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Sample records for altered glutamatergic synaptic

  1. Melamine Alters Glutamatergic Synaptic Transmission of CA3-CA1 Synapses Presynaptically Through Autophagy Activation in the Rat Hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hui; Wang, Hui; Xiao, Xi; Zhang, Tao

    2016-01-01

    Melamine is an industrial chemical that can cause central nervous system disorders including excitotoxicity and cognitive impairment. Its illegal use in powdered baby formula was the focus of a milk scandal in China in 2008. One of our previous studies showed that melamine impaired glutamatergic transmission in rat hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells. However, the underlying mechanism of action of melamine is unclear, and it is unknown if the CA3-CA1 pathway is directly involved. In the present study, a whole-cell patch-clamp technique was employed to investigate the effect of melamine on the hippocampal CA3-CA1 pathway in vitro. Both the evoked excitatory postsynaptic current (eEPSC) and the paired-pulse ratio (PPR) were recorded. Furthermore, we examined whether autophagy was involved in glutamatergic transmission alterations induced by melamine. Our data showed that melamine significantly increased the amplitude of eEPSCs in a dose-dependent manner. Inhibition of the N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor did not prevent the increase in eEPSC amplitude. In addition, the PPR was remarkably decreased by a melamine concentration of 5 × 10(-5) g/mL. It was found that autophagy could be activated by melamine and an autophagy inhibitor, 3-MA, prevented the melamine-induced increase in eEPSC amplitude. Overall, our results show that melamine presynaptically alters glutamatergic synaptic transmission of hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapses in vitro and this is likely associated with autophagy alteration.

  2. Glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the mesocorticolimbic system in addiction

    PubMed Central

    van Huijstee, Aile N.; Mansvelder, Huibert D.

    2015-01-01

    Addictive drugs remodel the brain’s reward circuitry, the mesocorticolimbic dopamine (DA) system, by inducing widespread adaptations of glutamatergic synapses. This drug-induced synaptic plasticity is thought to contribute to both the development and the persistence of addiction. This review highlights the synaptic modifications that are induced by in vivo exposure to addictive drugs and describes how these drug-induced synaptic changes may contribute to the different components of addictive behavior, such as compulsive drug use despite negative consequences and relapse. Initially, exposure to an addictive drug induces synaptic changes in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). This drug-induced synaptic potentiation in the VTA subsequently triggers synaptic changes in downstream areas of the mesocorticolimbic system, such as the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and the prefrontal cortex (PFC), with further drug exposure. These glutamatergic synaptic alterations are then thought to mediate many of the behavioral symptoms that characterize addiction. The later stages of glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the NAc and in particular in the PFC play a role in maintaining addiction and drive relapse to drug-taking induced by drug-associated cues. Remodeling of PFC glutamatergic circuits can persist into adulthood, causing a lasting vulnerability to relapse. We will discuss how these neurobiological changes produced by drugs of abuse may provide novel targets for potential treatment strategies for addiction. PMID:25653591

  3. Mice lacking brain/kidney phosphate-activated glutaminase (GLS1) have impaired glutamatergic synaptic transmission, altered breathing, disorganized goal-directed behavior and die shortly after birth

    PubMed Central

    Masson, Justine; Darmon, Michèle; Conjard, Agnès; Chuhma, Nao; Ropert, Nicole; Thoby-Brisson, Muriel; Foutz, Arthur S.; Parrot, Sandrine; Miller, Gretchen M.; Jorisch, Renée; Polan, Jonathan; Hamon, Michel; Hen, René; Rayport, Stephen

    2009-01-01

    Neurotransmitter glutamate has been thought to derive mainly from glutamine via the action of glutaminase type 1 (GLS1). To address the importance of this pathway in glutamatergic transmission, we knocked out GLS1 in mice. The insertion of a STOP cassette by homologous recombination produced a null allele that blocked transcription, encoded no immunoreactive protein and abolished GLS1 enzymatic activity. Null mutants were slightly smaller, were deficient in goal-directed behavior, hypoventilated and died in the first post-natal day. No gross or microscopic defects were detected in peripheral organs or in the central nervous system. In cultured neurons from the null mutants, miniature EPSC amplitude and duration were normal; however, the amplitude of evoked EPSCs decayed more rapidly with sustained 10 Hz stimulation, consistent with an observed reduction in depolarization-evoked glutamate release. Because of this activity-dependent impairment in glutamatergic transmission, we surmised that respiratory networks, which require temporal summation of synaptic input, would be particularly affected. We found that the amplitude of inspirations was decreased in vivo, chemosensitivity to CO2 was severely altered, and the frequency of pacemaker activity recorded in the respiratory generator in the Pre-Bötzinger complex, a glutamatergic brainstem network that can be isolated in vitro, was increased. Our results show that while alternate pathways to GLS1 glutamate synthesis support baseline glutamatergic transmission, the GLS1 pathway is essential for maintaining the function of active synapses, and so the mutation is associated with impaired respiratory function, abnormal goal-directed behavior and neonatal demise. PMID:16641247

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

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Wendou; De Blas, Angel L.

    2009-01-01

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

  5. Long-lasting alterations in membrane properties, k(+) currents, and glutamatergic synaptic currents of nucleus accumbens medium spiny neurons in a rat model of alcohol dependence.

    PubMed

    Marty, Vincent N; Spigelman, Igor

    2012-01-01

    Chronic alcohol exposure causes marked changes in reinforcement mechanisms and motivational state that are thought to contribute to the development of cravings and relapse during protracted withdrawal. The nucleus accumbens (NAcc) is a key structure of the mesolimbic dopaminergic reward system. Although the NAcc plays an important role in mediating alcohol-seeking behaviors, little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying alcohol-induced neuroadaptive changes in NAcc function. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) treatment, a rat model of alcohol withdrawal and dependence, on intrinsic electrical membrane properties and glutamatergic synaptic transmission of medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the NAcc core during protracted withdrawal. We show that CIE treatment followed by prolonged withdrawal increased the inward rectification of MSNs observed at hyperpolarized potentials. In addition, MSNs from CIE-treated animals displayed a lower input resistance, faster action potentials (APs), and larger fast afterhyperpolarizations (fAHPs) than MSNs from vehicle-treated animals, all suggestive of increases in K(+)-channel conductances. Significant increases in the Cs(+)-sensitive inwardly rectifying K(+)-current accounted for the increased input resistance, while increases in the A-type K(+)-current accounted for the faster APs and increased fAHPs in MSNs from CIE rats. We also show that the amplitude and the conductance of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPAR)-mediated mEPSCs were enhanced in CIE-treated animals due to an increase in a small fraction of functional postsynaptic GluA2-lacking AMPARs. These long-lasting modifications of excitability and excitatory synaptic receptor function of MSNs in the NAcc core could play a critical role in the neuroadaptive changes underlying alcohol withdrawal and dependence.

  6. Long-Lasting Alterations in Membrane Properties, K+ Currents, and Glutamatergic Synaptic Currents of Nucleus Accumbens Medium Spiny Neurons in a Rat Model of Alcohol Dependence

    PubMed Central

    Marty, Vincent N.; Spigelman, Igor

    2012-01-01

    Chronic alcohol exposure causes marked changes in reinforcement mechanisms and motivational state that are thought to contribute to the development of cravings and relapse during protracted withdrawal. The nucleus accumbens (NAcc) is a key structure of the mesolimbic dopaminergic reward system. Although the NAcc plays an important role in mediating alcohol-seeking behaviors, little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying alcohol-induced neuroadaptive changes in NAcc function. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) treatment, a rat model of alcohol withdrawal and dependence, on intrinsic electrical membrane properties and glutamatergic synaptic transmission of medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the NAcc core during protracted withdrawal. We show that CIE treatment followed by prolonged withdrawal increased the inward rectification of MSNs observed at hyperpolarized potentials. In addition, MSNs from CIE-treated animals displayed a lower input resistance, faster action potentials (APs), and larger fast afterhyperpolarizations (fAHPs) than MSNs from vehicle-treated animals, all suggestive of increases in K+-channel conductances. Significant increases in the Cs+-sensitive inwardly rectifying K+-current accounted for the increased input resistance, while increases in the A-type K+-current accounted for the faster APs and increased fAHPs in MSNs from CIE rats. We also show that the amplitude and the conductance of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPAR)-mediated mEPSCs were enhanced in CIE-treated animals due to an increase in a small fraction of functional postsynaptic GluA2-lacking AMPARs. These long-lasting modifications of excitability and excitatory synaptic receptor function of MSNs in the NAcc core could play a critical role in the neuroadaptive changes underlying alcohol withdrawal and dependence. PMID:22701402

  7. Presynaptic muscarinic control of glutamatergic synaptic transmission.

    PubMed

    Buño, W; Cabezas, C; Fernández de Sevilla, D

    2006-01-01

    The hippocampus receives cholinergic projections from the medial septal nucleus and Broca's diagonal band that terminate in the CA1, CA3, and dentate gyrus regions (Frotscher and Leranth, 1985). Glutamatergic synapses between CA3 and CA1 pyramidal neurons are presynaptically inhibited by acetylcholine (ACh), via activation of muscarinic ACh receptors (mAChRs) at the terminals of Schaffer collaterals (SCs) (Hounsgaard, 1978; Fernández de Sevilla et al., 2002, 2003). There are two types of SC-CA1 pyramidal neuron synapses. One type, called functional synapse, shows postsynaptic alpha- amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate (AMPA)-receptor mediated currents at resting potential (Vm) and both AMPA and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-mediated currents when depolarized. The other type, termed silent synapse, only displays postsynaptic NMDAR-mediated currents at depolarized Vms, but does not respond at the resting Vm (Isaac et al., 1995). Using hippocampal slices obtained from young Wistar rats, we examined the effects of activation of cholinergic afferents at the stratum oriens/alveus on excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) evoked in CA1 pyramidal neurons by stimulation of SCs. We also tested the action of the nonhydrolyzable cholinergic agonist carbamylcholine chloride (CCh) on EPSCs evoked by minimal stimulation of SCs (which activates a single or very few synapses) in functional and silent synapses.

  8. 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

  9. Analysis of Synaptic Gene Expression in the Neocortex of Primates Reveals Evolutionary Changes in Glutamatergic Neurotransmission

    PubMed Central

    Muntané, Gerard; Horvath, Julie E.; Hof, Patrick R.; Ely, John J.; Hopkins, William D.; Raghanti, Mary Ann; Lewandowski, Albert H.; Wray, Gregory A.; Sherwood, Chet C.

    2015-01-01

    Increased relative brain size characterizes the evolution of primates, suggesting that enhanced cognition plays an important part in the behavioral adaptations of this mammalian order. In addition to changes in brain anatomy, cognition can also be regulated by molecular changes that alter synaptic function, but little is known about modifications of synapses in primate brain evolution. The aim of the current study was to investigate the expression patterns and evolution of 20 synaptic genes from the prefrontal cortex of 12 primate species. The genes investigated included glutamate receptors, scaffolding proteins, synaptic vesicle components, as well as factors involved in synaptic vesicle release and structural components of the nervous system. Our analyses revealed that there have been significant changes during primate brain evolution in the components of the glutamatergic signaling pathway in terms of gene expression, protein expression, and promoter sequence changes. These results could entail functional modifications in the regulation of specific genes related to processes underlying learning and memory. PMID:24408959

  10. Analysis of synaptic gene expression in the neocortex of primates reveals evolutionary changes in glutamatergic neurotransmission.

    PubMed

    Muntané, Gerard; Horvath, Julie E; Hof, Patrick R; Ely, John J; Hopkins, William D; Raghanti, Mary Ann; Lewandowski, Albert H; Wray, Gregory A; Sherwood, Chet C

    2015-06-01

    Increased relative brain size characterizes the evolution of primates, suggesting that enhanced cognition plays an important part in the behavioral adaptations of this mammalian order. In addition to changes in brain anatomy, cognition can also be regulated by molecular changes that alter synaptic function, but little is known about modifications of synapses in primate brain evolution. The aim of the current study was to investigate the expression patterns and evolution of 20 synaptic genes from the prefrontal cortex of 12 primate species. The genes investigated included glutamate receptors, scaffolding proteins, synaptic vesicle components, as well as factors involved in synaptic vesicle release and structural components of the nervous system. Our analyses revealed that there have been significant changes during primate brain evolution in the components of the glutamatergic signaling pathway in terms of gene expression, protein expression, and promoter sequence changes. These results could entail functional modifications in the regulation of specific genes related to processes underlying learning and memory.

  11. Interaction of Acetylcholinesterase with Neurexin-1β regulates Glutamatergic Synaptic stability in Hippocampal neurons

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Excess expression of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in the cortex and hippocampus causes a decrease in the number of glutamatergic synapses and alters the expression of neurexin and neuroligin, trans-synaptic proteins that control synaptic stability. The molecular sequence and three-dimensional structure of AChE are homologous to the corresponding aspects of the ectodomain of neuroligin. This study investigated whether excess AChE interacts physically with neurexin to destabilize glutamatergic synapses. Results The results showed that AChE clusters colocalized with neurexin assemblies in the neurites of hippocampal neurons and that AChE co-immunoprecipitated with neurexin from the lysate of these neurons. Moreover, when expressed in human embryonic kidney 293 cells, N-glycosylated AChE co-immunoprecipitated with non-O–glycosylated neurexin-1β, with N-glycosylation of the AChE being required for this co-precipitation to occur. Increasing extracellular AChE decreased the association of neurexin with neuroligin and inhibited neuroligin-induced synaptogenesis. The number and activity of excitatory synapses in cultured hippocampal neurons were reduced by extracellular catalytically inactive AChE. Conclusions Excessive glycosylated AChE could competitively disrupt a subset of the neurexin–neuroligin junctions consequently impairing the integrity of glutamatergic synapses. This might serve a molecular mechanism of excessive AChE induced neurodegeneration. PMID:24594013

  12. Long-term changes in glutamatergic synaptic transmission in phenylketonuria.

    PubMed

    Glushakov, A V; Glushakova, O; Varshney, M; Bajpai, L K; Sumners, C; Laipis, P J; Embury, J E; Baker, S P; Otero, D H; Dennis, D M; Seubert, C N; Martynyuk, A E

    2005-02-01

    The cellular mechanisms that underlie impaired brain function during phenylketonuria (PKU), the most common biochemical cause of mental retardation in humans, remain unclear. Acute application of L-Phe at concentrations observed in the PKU brain depresses glutamatergic synaptic transmission but does not affect GABA receptor activity in cultured neurons. If these depressant effects of L-Phe take place in the PKU brain, then chronic impairment of the glutamate system, which may contribute to impaired brain function, could be detected as changes in postsynaptic glutamate receptors. This hypothesis was tested by using a combination of liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, patch-clamp, radioligand binding and western blot approaches in forebrain tissue from heterozygous and homozygous (PKU) Pah(enu2) mice. Brain concentrations of L-Phe were nearly six-fold greater in PKU mice (863.12 +/- 17.96 micromol/kg) than in their heterozygous counterparts (149.32 +/- 10.23 micromol/kg). This concentration is significantly higher than the K(B) of 573 microM for L-Phe to compete for N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. Receptor binding experiments with [3H]MK-801 showed significant up-regulation of NMDA receptor density in PKU mice. Consistent with the depressant effects of L-Phe, expression of NMDA receptor NR2A and (RS)-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor Glu1 and Glu2/3 subunits was significantly increased, whereas expression of the NR2B subunit was decreased. There was no change in GABA alpha1 subunit expression. Given the role of the glutamatergic system in brain development and function, these changes may, at least in part, explain the brain disorders associated with PKU.

  13. Glutamatergic synaptic transmission participates in generating the hippocampal EEG.

    PubMed

    Leung, L Stan; Shen, Bixia

    2004-01-01

    controlling the amplitude of theta and gamma EEG in the hippocampus. Excitatory glutamatergic synaptic currents, activated by afferents from the entorhinal cortex and CA3, are suggested to participate in hippocampal EEG activities.

  14. In vivo effects of antibodies from patients with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis: further evidence of synaptic glutamatergic dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background A severe encephalitis that associates with auto-antibodies to the NR1 subunit of the NMDA receptor (NMDA-R) was recently reported. Patients' antibodies cause a decrease of the density of NMDA-R and synaptic mediated currents, but the in vivo effects on the extracellular glutamate and glutamatergic transmission are unknown. Methods We investigated the acute metabolic effects of patients' CSF and purified IgG injected in vivo. Injections were performed in CA1 area of Ammon's horn and in premotor cortex in rats. Results Patient's CSF increased the concentrations of glutamate in the extracellular space. The increase was dose-dependent and was dramatic with purified IgG. Patients' CSF impaired both the NMDA- and the AMPA-mediated synaptic regulation of glutamate, and did not affect the glial transport of glutamate. Blockade of GABA-A receptors was associated with a marked elevation of extra-cellular levels of glutamate following a pretreatment with patients' CSF. Conclusion These results support a direct role of NMDA-R antibodies upon altering glutamatergic transmission. Furthermore, we provide additional evidence in vivo that NMDA-R antibodies deregulate the glutamatergic pathways and that the encephalitis associated with these antibodies is an auto-immune synaptic disorder. PMID:21110857

  15. In vivo effects of antibodies from patients with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis: further evidence of synaptic glutamatergic dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Manto, Mario; Dalmau, Josep; Didelot, Adrien; Rogemond, Véronique; Honnorat, Jérôme

    2010-11-26

    A severe encephalitis that associates with auto-antibodies to the NR1 subunit of the NMDA receptor (NMDA-R) was recently reported. Patients' antibodies cause a decrease of the density of NMDA-R and synaptic mediated currents, but the in vivo effects on the extracellular glutamate and glutamatergic transmission are unknown. We investigated the acute metabolic effects of patients' CSF and purified IgG injected in vivo. Injections were performed in CA1 area of Ammon's horn and in premotor cortex in rats. Patient's CSF increased the concentrations of glutamate in the extracellular space. The increase was dose-dependent and was dramatic with purified IgG. Patients' CSF impaired both the NMDA- and the AMPA-mediated synaptic regulation of glutamate, and did not affect the glial transport of glutamate. Blockade of GABA-A receptors was associated with a marked elevation of extra-cellular levels of glutamate following a pretreatment with patients' CSF. These results support a direct role of NMDA-R antibodies upon altering glutamatergic transmission. Furthermore, we provide additional evidence in vivo that NMDA-R antibodies deregulate the glutamatergic pathways and that the encephalitis associated with these antibodies is an auto-immune synaptic disorder.

  16. Multiple roles for mTOR signaling in both glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic transmission

    PubMed Central

    Weston, Matthew C.; Chen, Hongmei; Swann, John W.

    2012-01-01

    Summary The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway in neurons integrates a variety of extracellular signals to produce appropriate translational responses. mTOR signaling is hyperactive in neurological syndromes in both humans and mouse models that are characterized by epilepsy, autism and cognitive disturbances. In addition, rapamycin, a clinically important immunosuppressant, is a specific and potent inhibitor of mTOR signaling. While mTOR is known to regulate growth and synaptic plasticity of glutamatergic neurons, its effects on basic parameters of synaptic transmission are less well studied, and its role in regulating GABAergic transmission is unexplored. We therefore performed an electrophysiological and morphological comparison of glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons in which mTOR signaling was either increased by loss of the repressor Pten or decreased by treatment with rapamycin. We found that hyperactive mTOR signaling increased evoked synaptic responses in both glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons by approximately 50%, due to an increase in the number of synaptic vesicles available for release, the number of synapses formed and the miniature event size. Prolonged (72 hours) rapamycin treatment prevented these abnormalities and also decreased synaptic transmission in wild-type glutamatergic, but not GABAergic, neurons. Further analyses suggested that hyperactivation of the mTOR pathway also impairs presynaptic function, possibly by interfering with vesicle fusion. Despite this presynaptic impairment, the net effect of Pten loss is enhanced synaptic transmission in both GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons, which has numerous implications – depending on where in the brain mutations of an mTOR suppressor gene takes place during development. PMID:22895726

  17. Pathophysiology of depression and innovative treatments: remodeling glutamatergic synaptic connections

    PubMed Central

    Duman, Ronald S.

    2014-01-01

    Despite the complexity and heterogeneity of mood disorders, basic and clinical research studies have begun to elucidate the pathophysiology of depression and to identify rapid, efficacious antidepressant agents. Stress and depression are associated with neuronal atrophy, characterized by loss of synaptic connections in key cortical and limbic brain regions implicated in depression. This is thought to occur in part via decreased expression and function of growth factors, such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampus. These structural alterations are difficult to reverse with typical antidepressants. However, recent studies demonstrate that ketamine, an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist that produces rapid antidepressant actions in treatment-resistant depressed patients, rapidly increases spine synapses in the PFC and reverses the deficits caused by chronic stress. This is thought to occur by disinhibition of glutamate transmission, resulting in a rapid but transient burst of glutamate, followed by an increase in BDNF release and activation of downstream signaling pathways that stimulate synapse formation. Recent work demonstrates that the rapid-acting antidepressant effects of scopolamine, a muscarinic receptor antagonist, are also associated with increased glutamate transmission and synapse formation. These findings have resulted in testing and identification of additional targets and agents that influence glutamate transmission and have rapid antidepressant actions in rodent models and in clinical trials. Together these studies have created tremendous excitement and hope for a new generation of rapid, efficacious antidepressants. PMID:24733968

  18. Pathophysiology of depression and innovative treatments: remodeling glutamatergic synaptic connections.

    PubMed

    Duman, Ronald S

    2014-03-01

    Despite the complexity and heterogeneity of mood disorders, basic and clinical research studies have begun to elucidate the pathophysiology of depression and to identify rapid, efficacious antidepressant agents. Stress and depression are associated with neuronal atrophy, characterized by loss of synaptic connections in key cortical and limbic brain regions implicated in depression. This is thought to occur in part via decreased expression and function of growth factors, such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampus. These structural alterations are difficult to reverse with typical antidepressants. However, recent studies demonstrate that ketamine, an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist that produces rapid antidepressant actions in treatment-resistant depressed patients, rapidly increases spine synapses in the PFC and reverses the deficits caused by chronic stress. This is thought to occur by disinhibition of glutamate transmission, resulting in a rapid but transient burst of glutamate, followed by an increase in BDNF release and activation of downstream signaling pathways that stimulate synapse formation. Recent work demonstrates that the rapid-acting antidepressant effects of scopolamine, a muscarinic receptor antagonist, are also associated with increased glutamate transmission and synapse formation. These findings have resulted in testing and identification of additional targets and agents that influence glutamate transmission and have rapid antidepressant actions in rodent models and in clinical trials. Together these studies have created tremendous excitement and hope for a new generation of rapid, efficacious antidepressants.

  19. Synaptic secretion of BDNF after high-frequency stimulation of glutamatergic synapses

    PubMed Central

    Hartmann, Matthias; Heumann, Rolf; Lessmann, Volkmar

    2001-01-01

    The protein brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been postulated to be a retrograde or paracrine synaptic messenger in long-term potentiation and other forms of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. Although crucial for this concept, direct evidence for the activity-dependent synaptic release of BDNF is lacking. Here we investigate secretion of BDNF labelled with green fluorescent protein (BDNF–GFP) by monitoring the changes in fluorescence intensity of dendritic BDNF–GFP vesicles at glutamatergic synaptic junctions of living hippocampal neurons. We show that high-frequency activation of glutamatergic synapses triggers the release of BDNF–GFP from synaptically localized secretory granules. This release depends on activation of postsynaptic ionotropic glutamate receptors and on postsynaptic Ca2+ influx. Release of BDNF–GFP is also observed from extrasynaptic dendritic vesicle clusters, suggesting that a possible spatial restriction of BDNF release to specific synaptic sites can only occur if the postsynaptic depolarization remains local. These results support the concept of BDNF being a synaptic messenger of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity, which is released from postsynaptic neurons. PMID:11689429

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  2. Neuregulin links dopaminergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission to control hippocampal synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Neddens, Jörg; Vullhorst, Detlef; Paredes, Daniel

    2009-01-01

    Neuregulin-1 (NRG-1) and its receptor ErbB4 are genetically associated with schizophrenia, a complex developmental disorder of high heritability but unknown etiology that has been proposed to result from deficits in functional connectivity and synaptic plasticity. Based on pharmacological evidence, imbalances in dopaminergic and glutamatergic transmission systems are believed to contribute to its pathophysiology, but genetic data supporting a causative role for either are sparse. Stimulation of NRG-1/ErbB4 signaling inhibits or reverts hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) at glutamatergic synapses between Schaeffer collateral afferents and CA1 pyramidal neurons (SC→CA1). We have recently demonstrated that NRG-1 regulates glutamatergic plasticity by rapidly increasing extracellular hippocampal dopamine levels and activation of D4 dopamine receptors.7 These new findings position the NRG-1/ErbB4 signaling pathway at the crossroads between dopaminergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission and offer novel ways to consolidate genetic, functional and pharmacological data toward a better understanding of the etiological processes underlying schizophrenia, and the role of NRG-1 for normal synaptic function and plasticity. The currently available data suggest that hippocampal interneurons might play a crucial role in mediating NRG-1 induced depotentiation. This interpretation is in line with other evidence pointing towards an involvement of GABAergic cells in the etiology of schizophrenia. PMID:19641746

  3. Nicotinic modulation of glutamatergic synaptic transmission in region CA3 of the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Giocomo, Lisa M; Hasselmo, Michael E

    2005-09-01

    Cholinergic modulation of synaptic transmission in the hippocampus appears to be involved in learning, memory and attentional processes. In brain slice preparations of hippocampal region CA3, we have explored the effect of nicotine on the afferent connections of stratum lacunosum moleculare (SLM) vs. the intrinsic connections of stratum radiatum (SR). Nicotine application had a lamina-selective effect, causing changes in synaptic transmission only in SLM. The nicotinic effect in SLM was characterized by a transient decrease in synaptic potential size followed by a longer period of enhancement of synaptic transmission. The effect was blocked by gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic antagonists, indicating the role of GABAergic interneurons in the observed nicotinic effect. The biphasic nature of the nicotinic effect could be due to a difference in receptor subtypes, as supported by the effects of the nicotinic antagonists mecamylamine and methyllycaconitine. Nicotinic modulation of glutamatergic synaptic transmission could complement muscarinic suppression of intrinsic connections, amplifying incoming information and providing a physiological mechanism for the memory-enhancing effect of nicotine.

  4. The NG2 Protein Is Not Required for Glutamatergic Neuron-NG2 Cell Synaptic Signaling.

    PubMed

    Passlick, Stefan; Trotter, Jacqueline; Seifert, Gerald; Steinhäuser, Christian; Jabs, Ronald

    2016-01-01

    NG2 glial cells (as from now NG2 cells) are unique in receiving synaptic input from neurons. However, the components regulating formation and maintenance of these neuron-glia synapses remain elusive. The transmembrane protein NG2 has been considered a potential mediator of synapse formation and alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPAR) clustering, because it contains 2 extracellular Laminin G/Neurexin/Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin domains, which in neurons are crucial for formation of transsynaptic neuroligin-neurexin complexes. NG2 is connected via Glutamate Receptor-Interacting Protein with GluA2/3-containing AMPARs, thereby possibly mediating receptor clustering in glial postsynaptic density. To elucidate the role of NG2 in neuron-glia communication, we investigated glutamatergic synaptic transmission in juvenile and aged hippocampal NG2 cells of heterozygous and homozygous NG2 knockout mice. Neuron-NG2 cell synapses readily formed in the absence of NG2. Short-term plasticity, synaptic connectivity, postsynaptic AMPAR current kinetics, and density were not affected by NG2 deletion. During development, an NG2-independent acceleration of AMPAR current kinetics and decreased synaptic connectivity were observed. Our results indicate that the lack of NG2 does not interfere with genesis and basic properties of neuron-glia synapses. In addition, we demonstrate frequent expression of neuroligins 1-3 in juvenile and aged NG2 cells, suggesting a role of these molecules in synapse formation between NG2 glia and neurons.

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

    PubMed Central

    Li, Qin; Burrell, Brian D.

    2008-01-01

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

  6. Neurotrophin-dependent modulation of glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the mammalian CNS.

    PubMed

    Lessmann, V

    1998-11-01

    1. The protein family of the neurotrophins, consisting of nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and Neurotrophin-3, -4/5, and -6 (NT-3; NT-4/5; NT-6) is well known to enhance the survival and to stabilize the phenotype of different populations of neurons in the central and the peripheral nervous system. These effects are mediated via binding to specific tyrosine kinase receptors (Trks) and to the low-affinity p75 neurotrophin receptor. 2. The neurotrophins NGF, BDNF, and NT-3 and the BDNF and NT-3 selective receptors (TrkB, TrkC) are expressed at high levels in neurons of the basal forebrain, the hippocampus, and the neocortex of the mammalian brain. The expression and secretion of NGF and BDNF in these brain areas is regulated by (physiological levels of) neuronal activity. 3. Exogenous application of the neurotrophins to hippocampal and neocortical neurons can enhance excitatory glutamatergic synaptic transmission via activation of Trk receptors. In addition, long-term potentiation (a potential cellular correlate for learning and memory formation in mammals) in the rodent hippocampus depends on endogenous supply of neurons with BDNF. 4. Judged by the analysis of electrophysiological data, the BDNF- and NT-3-induced enhancement of glutamatergic synapses is mediated by increasing the efficacy of glutamate release from the presynaptic neuron. However, neurotrophin-dependent postsynaptic enhancement of NMDA (but not AMPA) receptor responsiveness has also been shown. 5. On the molecular level, neither the pre- nor the postsynaptic modulation of glutamatergic synapses by neurotrophins is well understood. However, neurotrophins were shown to acutely affect intraneuronal Ca2+ levels and to influence molecular components of the transmitter release machinery, which could underly the presynaptic modifications, whereas BDNF-induced phosphorylation of NMDA-type glutamate receptors could account for the postsynaptic effects. 6. Taken together

  7. Synaptic and Behavioral Profile of Multiple Glutamatergic Inputs to the Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Britt, Jonathan P.; Benaliouad, Faiza; McDevitt, Ross A.; Stuber, Garret D.; Wise, Roy A.; Bonci, Antonello

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Excitatory afferents to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) are thought to facilitate reward seeking by encoding reward-associated cues. Selective activation of different glutamatergic inputs to the NAc can produce divergent physiological and behavioral responses, but mechanistic explanations for these pathway-specific effects are lacking. Here, we compared the innervation patterns and synaptic properties of ventral hippocampus, basolateral amygdala, and prefrontal cortex input to the NAc. Ventral hippocampal input was found to be uniquely localized to the medial NAc shell, where it was predominant and selectively potentiated following cocaine exposure. In vivo, bidirectional optogenetic manipulations of this pathway attenuated and enhanced cocaine-induced locomotion. Challenging the idea that any of these inputs encode motivationally-neutral information, activation of each discrete pathway reinforced instrumental behaviors. Finally, direct optical activation of medium spiny neurons proved to be capable of supporting self-stimulation, demonstrating that behavioral reinforcement is an explicit consequence of strong excitatory drive to the NAc. PMID:23177963

  8. Methamphetamine modulates glutamatergic synaptic transmission in rat primary cultured hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shuzhuo; Jin, Yuelei; Liu, Xiaoyan; Yang, Lujia; Ge, Zhi juan; Wang, Hui; Li, Jin; Zheng, Jianquan

    2014-09-25

    Methamphetamine (METH) is a psychostimulant drug. Abuse of METH produces long-term behavioral changes including behavioral, sensitization, tolerance, and dependence. It induces neurotoxic effects in several areas of the brain via enhancing dopamine (DA) level abnormally, which may cause a secondary release of glutamate (GLU). However, repeated administration of METH still increases release of GLU even when dopamine content in tissue is significantly depleted. It implies that some other mechanisms are likely to involve in METH-induced GLU release. The goal of this study was to observe METH affected glutamatergic synaptic transmission in rat primary cultured hippocampal neurons and to explore the mechanism of METH modulated GLU release. Using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings, we found that METH (0.1-50.0μM) increased the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) and miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs). However, METH decreased the frequency of sEPSCs and mEPSCs at high concentration of 100μM. The postsynaptic NMDA receptor currents and P/Q-type calcium channel were not affected by the use of METH (10,100μM). METH did not present visible effect on N-type Ca(2+) channel current at the concentration lower than 50.0μM, but it was inhibited by use of METH at a 100μM. The effect of METH on glutamatergic synaptic transmission was not revered by pretreated with DA receptor antagonist SCH23390. These results suggest that METH directly modulated presynaptic GLU release at a different concentration, while dopaminergic system was not involved in METH modulated release of GLU in rat primary cultured hippocampal neurons. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  9. Diversity of Glutamatergic Synaptic Strength in Lateral Prefrontal versus Primary Visual Cortices in the Rhesus Monkey

    PubMed Central

    Luebke, Jennifer I.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding commonalities and differences in glutamatergic synaptic signaling is essential for understanding cortical functional diversity, especially in the highly complex primate brain. Previously, we have shown that spontaneous EPSCs differed markedly in layer 3 pyramidal neurons of two specialized cortical areas in the rhesus monkey, the high-order lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) and the primary visual cortex (V1). Here, we used patch-clamp recordings and confocal and electron microscopy to determine whether these distinct synaptic responses are due to differences in firing rates of presynaptic neurons and/or in the features of presynaptic or postsynaptic entities. As with spontaneous EPSCs, TTX-insensitive (action potential-independent) miniature EPSCs exhibited significantly higher frequency, greater amplitude, and slower kinetics in LPFC compared with V1 neurons. Consistent with these physiological differences, LPFC neurons possessed higher densities of spines, and the mean width of large spines was greater compared with those on V1 neurons. Axospinous synapses in layers 2–3 of LPFC had larger postsynaptic density surface areas and a higher proportion of large perforated synapses compared with V1. Axonal boutons in LPFC were also larger in volume and contained ∼1.6× more vesicles than did those in V1. Further, LPFC had a higher density of AMPA GluR2 receptor labeling than V1. The properties of spines and synaptic currents of individual layer 3 pyramidal neurons measured here were significantly correlated, consistent with the idea that significantly more frequent and larger synaptic currents are likely due to more numerous, larger, and more powerful synapses in LPFC compared with V1. PMID:25568107

  10. Dysfunctional Astrocytic and Synaptic Regulation of Hypothalamic Glutamatergic Transmission in a Mouse Model of Early-Life Adversity: Relevance to Neurosteroids and Programming of the Stress Response

    PubMed Central

    Gunn, Benjamin G.; Cunningham, Linda; Cooper, Michelle A.; Corteen, Nicole L.; Seifi, Mohsen; Swinny, Jerome D.; Lambert, Jeremy J.

    2013-01-01

    Adverse early-life experiences, such as poor maternal care, program an abnormal stress response that may involve an altered balance between excitatory and inhibitory signals. Here, we explored how early-life stress (ELS) affects excitatory and inhibitory transmission in corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF)-expressing dorsal-medial (mpd) neurons of the neonatal mouse hypothalamus. We report that ELS associates with enhanced excitatory glutamatergic transmission that is manifested as an increased frequency of synaptic events and increased extrasynaptic conductance, with the latter associated with dysfunctional astrocytic regulation of glutamate levels. The neurosteroid 5α-pregnan-3α-ol-20-one (5α3α-THPROG) is an endogenous, positive modulator of GABAA receptors (GABAARs) that is abundant during brain development and rises rapidly during acute stress, thereby enhancing inhibition to curtail stress-induced activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis. In control mpd neurons, 5α3α-THPROG potently suppressed neuronal discharge, but this action was greatly compromised by prior ELS exposure. This neurosteroid insensitivity did not primarily result from perturbations of GABAergic inhibition, but rather arose functionally from the increased excitatory drive onto mpd neurons. Previous reports indicated that mice (dams) lacking the GABAAR δ subunit (δ0/0) exhibit altered maternal behavior. Intriguingly, δ0/0 offspring showed some hallmarks of abnormal maternal care that were further exacerbated by ELS. Moreover, in common with ELS, mpd neurons of δ0/0 pups exhibited increased synaptic and extrasynaptic glutamatergic transmission and consequently a blunted neurosteroid suppression of neuronal firing. This study reveals that increased synaptic and tonic glutamatergic transmission may be a common maladaptation to ELS, leading to enhanced excitation of CRF-releasing neurons, and identifies neurosteroids as putative early regulators of the stress

  11. Interplay between glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission alterations in cognitive and motor impairment in minimal hepatic encephalopathy.

    PubMed

    Llansola, Marta; Montoliu, Carmina; Agusti, Ana; Hernandez-Rabaza, Vicente; Cabrera-Pastor, Andrea; Gomez-Gimenez, Belen; Malaguarnera, Michele; Dadsetan, Sherry; Belghiti, Majedeline; Garcia-Garcia, Raquel; Balzano, Tiziano; Taoro, Lucas; Felipo, Vicente

    2015-09-01

    The cognitive and motor alterations in hepatic encephalopathy (HE) are the final result of altered neurotransmission and communication between neurons in neuronal networks and circuits. Different neurotransmitter systems cooperate to modulate cognitive and motor function, with a main role for glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission in different brain areas and neuronal circuits. There is an interplay between glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission alterations in cognitive and motor impairment in HE. This interplay may occur: (a) in different brain areas involved in specific neuronal circuits; (b) in the same brain area through cross-modulation of glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission. We will summarize some examples of the (1) interplay between glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission alterations in different areas in the basal ganglia-thalamus-cortex circuit in the motor alterations in minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE); (2) interplay between glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission alterations in cerebellum in the impairment of cognitive function in MHE through altered function of the glutamate-nitric oxide-cGMP pathway. We will also comment the therapeutic implications of the above studies and the utility of modulators of glutamate and GABA receptors to restore cognitive and motor function in rats with hyperammonemia and hepatic encephalopathy.

  12. Morphological, biophysical and synaptic properties of glutamatergic neurons of the mouse spinal dorsal horn

    PubMed Central

    Punnakkal, Pradeep; Schoultz, Carolin; Haenraets, Karen; Wildner, Hendrik; Zeilhofer, Hanns Ulrich

    2014-01-01

    Interneurons of the spinal dorsal horn are central to somatosensory and nociceptive processing. A mechanistic understanding of their function depends on profound knowledge of their intrinsic properties and their integration into dorsal horn circuits. Here, we have used BAC transgenic mice expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) under the control of the vesicular glutamate transporter (vGluT2) gene (vGluT2::eGFP mice) to perform a detailed electrophysiological and morphological characterisation of excitatory dorsal horn neurons, and to compare their properties to those of GABAergic (Gad67::eGFP tagged) and glycinergic (GlyT2::eGFP tagged) neurons. vGluT2::eGFP was detected in about one-third of all excitatory dorsal horn neurons and, as demonstrated by the co-expression of vGluT2::eGFP with different markers of subtypes of glutamatergic neurons, probably labelled a representative fraction of these neurons. Three types of dendritic tree morphologies (vertical, central, and radial), but no islet cell-type morphology, were identified in vGluT2::eGFP neurons. vGluT2::eGFP neurons had more depolarised action potential thresholds and longer action potential durations than inhibitory neurons, while no significant differences were found for the resting membrane potential, input resistance, cell capacitance and after-hyperpolarisation. Delayed firing and single action potential firing were the single most prevalent firing patterns in vGluT2::eGFP neurons of the superficial and deep dorsal horn, respectively. By contrast, tonic firing prevailed in inhibitory interneurons of the dorsal horn. Capsaicin-induced synaptic inputs were detected in about half of the excitatory and inhibitory neurons, and occurred more frequently in superficial than in deep dorsal horn neurons. Primary afferent-evoked (polysynaptic) inhibitory inputs were found in the majority of glutamatergic and glycinergic neurons, but only in less than half of the GABAergic population. Excitatory

  13. Major Impairments of Glutamatergic Transmission and Long-Term Synaptic Plasticity in the Hippocampus of Mice Lacking the Melanin-Concentrating Hormone Receptor-1

    PubMed Central

    Pachoud, Bastien; Adamantidis, Antoine; Ravassard, Pascal; Luppi, Pierre-Hervé; Grisar, Thierry; Lakaye, Bernard

    2010-01-01

    The hypothalamic neuropeptide melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) plays important roles in energy homeostasis, anxiety, and sleep regulation. Since the MCH receptor-1 (MCH-R1), the only functional receptor that mediates MCH functions in rodents, facilitates behavioral performance in hippocampus-dependent learning tasks, we investigated whether glutamatergic transmission in CA1 pyramidal cells could be modulated in mice lacking the MCH-R1 gene (MCH-R1−/−). We found that both α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) and N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-mediated transmissions were diminished in the mutant mice compared with their controls. This deficit was explained, at least in part, by a postsynaptic down-regulation of these receptors since the amplitude of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents and the NMDA/AMPA ratio were decreased. Long-term synaptic potentiation (LTP) was also impaired in MCH-R1−/− mice. This was due to an altered induction, rather than an impaired, expression because repeating the induction stimulus restored LTP to a normal magnitude. In addition, long-term synaptic depression was strongly diminished in MCH-R1−/− mice. These results suggest that MCH exerts a facilitatory effect on CA1 glutamatergic synaptic transmission and long-term synaptic plasticity. Recently, it has been shown that MCH neurons fire exclusively during sleep and mainly during rapid eye movement sleep. Thus these findings provide a mechanism by which sleep might facilitate memory consolidation. PMID:20592115

  14. Mechanisms involved in systemic nicotine-induced glutamatergic synaptic plasticity on dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Ming; Jin, Yu; Yang, Kechun; Zhang, Die; Lukas, Ronald J.; Wu, Jie

    2010-01-01

    Systemic exposure to nicotine induces glutamatergic synaptic plasticity on dopamine (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), but mechanisms are largely unknown. Here, we report that single, systemic exposure in rats to nicotine (0.17 mg/kg free base) increases the ratio of DA neuronal currents mediated by AMPA relative to NMDA receptors (AMPA/NMDA ratio) assessed 24 hr later, based on slice patch recording. The AMPA/NMDA ratio increase is evident within 1 hr and lasts for at least 72 hr after nicotine exposure (and up to 8 days after repeated nicotine administration). This effect cannot be prevented by systemic injection of either α7-nAChR-selective (methyllycaconitine, MLA) or β2*-nAChR-selective (mecamylamine, MEC) antagonists but is prevented by co-injection of MLA and MEC. In either nAChR α7 or β2 subunit knock-out mice, systemic exposure to nicotine still increases the AMPA/NMDA ratio. Pre-injection in rats of a NMDA receptor antagonist (MK801), but neither DA receptor antagonists (SCH23390 plus haloperidol) nor a calcineurin inhibitor (cyclosporine), prevents the nicotine-induced increase in AMPA/NMDA ratio. After systemic exposure to nicotine, glutamatergic (but not GABAergic) transmission onto rat VTA DA neuronal inputs is enhanced. Correspondingly, DA neuronal firing measured 24 hr after nicotine exposure using extracellular single unit recording in vivo is significantly faster, and there is conversion of silent to active DA neurons. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that systemic nicotine acting via either α7- or β2*-nAChRs increases pre- and post-synaptic glutamatergic function, and consequently initiates glutamatergic synaptic plasticity, which may be an important, early neuronal adaptation in nicotine reward and reinforcement. PMID:20943922

  15. Glutamatergic synaptic depression by synthetic amyloid beta-peptide in the medial septum.

    PubMed

    Santos-Torres, Julio; Fuente, Antonio; Criado, Jose Maria; Riolobos, Adelaida Sanchez; Heredia, Margarita; Yajeya, Javier

    2007-02-15

    The medial septum/diagonal band region, which participates in learning and memory processes via its cholinergic and GABAergic projection to the hippocampus, is one of the structures affected by beta amyloid (betaA) deposition in Alzheimer's disease (AD). The acute effects of betaA (25-35 and 1-40) on action potential generation and glutamatergic synaptic transmission in slices of the medial septal area of the rat brain were studied using current and patch-clamp techniques. The betaA mechanism of action through M1 muscarinic receptors and voltage-dependent calcium channels was also addressed. Excitatory evoked responses decreased (30-60%) in amplitude after betaA (2 microM) perfusion in 70% of recorded cells. However, the firing properties were unaltered at the same concentration. This depression was irreversible in most cases, and was not prevented or reversed by nicotine (5 microM). In addition, the results obtained using a paired-pulse protocol support pre- and postsynaptic actions of the peptide. The betaA effect was blocked by calcicludine (50 nM), a selective antagonist of L-type calcium channels, and also by blocking muscarinic receptors with atropine (5 muM) or pirenzepine (1 microM), a more specific M1-receptor blocker. We show that in the medial septal area this oligomeric peptide acts through calcium channels and muscarinic receptors. As blocking any of these pathways blocks the betaA effects, we propose a joint action through both mechanisms. These results may contribute to a better understanding of the pathophysiology at the onset of AD. This understanding will be required for the development of new therapeutic agents.

  16. Pre-synaptic adenosine A2A receptors control cannabinoid CB1 receptor-mediated inhibition of striatal glutamatergic neurotransmission.

    PubMed

    Martire, Alberto; Tebano, Maria Teresa; Chiodi, Valentina; Ferreira, Samira G; Cunha, Rodrigo A; Köfalvi, Attila; Popoli, Patrizia

    2011-01-01

    An interaction between adenosine A(2A) receptors (A(2A) Rs) and cannabinoid CB(1) receptors (CB(1) Rs) has been consistently reported to occur in the striatum, although the precise mechanisms are not completely understood. As both receptors control striatal glutamatergic transmission, we now probed the putative interaction between pre-synaptic CB(1) R and A(2A) R in the striatum. In extracellular field potentials recordings in corticostriatal slices from Wistar rats, A(2A) R activation by CGS21680 inhibited CB(1) R-mediated effects (depression of synaptic response and increase in paired-pulse facilitation). Moreover, in superfused rat striatal nerve terminals, A(2A) R activation prevented, while A(2A) R inhibition facilitated, the CB(1) R-mediated inhibition of 4-aminopyridine-evoked glutamate release. In summary, the present study provides converging neurochemical and electrophysiological support for the occurrence of a tight control of CB(1) R function by A(2A) Rs in glutamatergic terminals of the striatum. In view of the key role of glutamate to trigger the recruitment of striatal circuits, this pre-synaptic interaction between CB(1) R and A(2A) R may be of relevance for the pathogenesis and the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders affecting the basal ganglia.

  17. Effects of Fluoxetine and Visual Experience on Glutamatergic and GABAergic Synaptic Proteins in Adult Rat Visual Cortex123

    PubMed Central

    Beshara, Simon; Beston, Brett R.; Pinto, Joshua G. A.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Fluoxetine has emerged as a novel treatment for persistent amblyopia because in adult animals it reinstates critical period-like ocular dominance plasticity and promotes recovery of visual acuity. Translation of these results from animal models to the clinic, however, has been challenging because of the lack of understanding of how this selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor affects glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic mechanisms that are essential for experience-dependent plasticity. An appealing hypothesis is that fluoxetine recreates a critical period (CP)-like state by shifting synaptic mechanisms to be more juvenile. To test this we studied the effect of fluoxetine treatment in adult rats, alone or in combination with visual deprivation [monocular deprivation (MD)], on a set of highly conserved presynaptic and postsynaptic proteins (synapsin, synaptophysin, VGLUT1, VGAT, PSD-95, gephyrin, GluN1, GluA2, GluN2B, GluN2A, GABAAα1, GABAAα3). We did not find evidence that fluoxetine shifted the protein amounts or balances to a CP-like state. Instead, it drove the balances in favor of the more mature subunits (GluN2A, GABAAα1). In addition, when fluoxetine was paired with MD it created a neuroprotective-like environment by normalizing the glutamatergic gain found in adult MDs. Together, our results suggest that fluoxetine treatment creates a novel synaptic environment dominated by GluN2A- and GABAAα1-dependent plasticity. PMID:26730408

  18. Effects of Fluoxetine and Visual Experience on Glutamatergic and GABAergic Synaptic Proteins in Adult Rat Visual Cortex.

    PubMed

    Beshara, Simon; Beston, Brett R; Pinto, Joshua G A; Murphy, Kathryn M

    2015-01-01

    Fluoxetine has emerged as a novel treatment for persistent amblyopia because in adult animals it reinstates critical period-like ocular dominance plasticity and promotes recovery of visual acuity. Translation of these results from animal models to the clinic, however, has been challenging because of the lack of understanding of how this selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor affects glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic mechanisms that are essential for experience-dependent plasticity. An appealing hypothesis is that fluoxetine recreates a critical period (CP)-like state by shifting synaptic mechanisms to be more juvenile. To test this we studied the effect of fluoxetine treatment in adult rats, alone or in combination with visual deprivation [monocular deprivation (MD)], on a set of highly conserved presynaptic and postsynaptic proteins (synapsin, synaptophysin, VGLUT1, VGAT, PSD-95, gephyrin, GluN1, GluA2, GluN2B, GluN2A, GABAAα1, GABAAα3). We did not find evidence that fluoxetine shifted the protein amounts or balances to a CP-like state. Instead, it drove the balances in favor of the more mature subunits (GluN2A, GABAAα1). In addition, when fluoxetine was paired with MD it created a neuroprotective-like environment by normalizing the glutamatergic gain found in adult MDs. Together, our results suggest that fluoxetine treatment creates a novel synaptic environment dominated by GluN2A- and GABAAα1-dependent plasticity.

  19. LRRK2 overexpression alters glutamatergic presynaptic plasticity, striatal dopamine tone, postsynaptic signal transduction, motor activity and memory.

    PubMed

    Beccano-Kelly, Dayne A; Volta, Mattia; Munsie, Lise N; Paschall, Sarah A; Tatarnikov, Igor; Co, Kimberley; Chou, Patrick; Cao, Li-Ping; Bergeron, Sabrina; Mitchell, Emma; Han, Heather; Melrose, Heather L; Tapia, Lucia; Raymond, Lynn A; Farrer, Matthew J; Milnerwood, Austen J

    2015-03-01

    Mutations in leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (Lrrk2) are the most common genetic cause of Parkinson's disease (PD), a neurodegenerative disorder affecting 1-2% of those >65 years old. The neurophysiology of LRRK2 remains largely elusive, although protein loss suggests a role in glutamatergic synapse transmission and overexpression studies show altered dopamine release in aged mice. We show that glutamate transmission is unaltered onto striatal projection neurons (SPNs) of adult LRRK2 knockout mice and that adult animals exhibit no detectable cognitive or motor deficits. Basal synaptic transmission is also unaltered in SPNs of LRRK2 overexpressing mice, but they do exhibit clear alterations to D2-receptor-mediated short-term synaptic plasticity, behavioral hypoactivity and impaired recognition memory. These phenomena are associated with decreased striatal dopamine tone and abnormal dopamine- and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein 32 kDa signal integration. The data suggest that LRRK2 acts at the nexus of dopamine and glutamate signaling in the adult striatum, where it regulates dopamine levels, presynaptic glutamate release via D2-dependent synaptic plasticity and dopamine-receptor signal transduction.

  20. Glutamatergic plasticity and alcohol dependence-induced alterations in reward, affect and cognition

    PubMed Central

    Burnett, Elizabeth J; Chandler, L Judson; Trantham-Davidson, Heather

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Alcohol dependence is characterized by a reduction in reward threshold, development of a negative affective state, and significant cognitive impairments. Dependence-induced glutamatergic neuroadaptations in the neurocircuitry mediating reward, affect and cognitive function are thought to underlie the neural mechanism for these alterations. These changes serve to promote increased craving for alcohol and facilitate the development of maladaptive behaviors that promote relapse to alcohol drinking during periods of abstinence. Objective To review the extant literature on the effects of chronic alcohol exposure on glutamatergic neurotransmission and its impact on reward, affect and cognition. Results Evidence from a diverse set of studies demonstrates significant enhancement of glutamatergic activity following chronic alcohol exposure and up-regulation of GluN2B-containing NMDA receptor expression and function is a commonly observed phenomenon that likely reflects activity-dependent adaptive homeostatic plasticity. However, changes in NMDA receptors and additional glutamatergic neuroadaptations are often circuit and cell-type specific. Discussion Dependence-induced alterations in glutamate signaling contribute to many of the symptoms experienced in addicted individuals and can persist well into abstinence. This suggests they play an important role in the development of behaviors that increase the probability for relapse. As our understanding of the complexity of the neurocircuitry involved in the addictive process has advanced, it has become increasingly clear that investigations of cell-type and circuit-specific effects are required to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the glutamatergic adaptations and their functional consequences in alcohol addiction. Conclusion While pharmacological treatments for alcohol dependence and relapse targeting the glutamatergic system have shown great promise in preclinical models, more research is needed to uncover

  1. Mechanisms involved in systemic nicotine-induced glutamatergic synaptic plasticity on dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Gao, Ming; Jin, Yu; Yang, Kechun; Zhang, Die; Lukas, Ronald J; Wu, Jie

    2010-10-13

    Systemic exposure to nicotine induces glutamatergic synaptic plasticity on dopamine (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), but mechanisms are largely unknown. Here, we report that single, systemic exposure in rats to nicotine (0.17 mg/kg free base) increases the ratio of DA neuronal currents mediated by AMPA relative to NMDA receptors (AMPA/NMDA ratio) assessed 24 h later, based on slice-patch recording. The AMPA/NMDA ratio increase is evident within 1 h and lasts for at least 72 h after nicotine exposure (and up to 8 d after repeated nicotine administration). This effect cannot be prevented by systemic injection of either α7-nAChR (nicotinic ACh receptor)-selective [methyllycaconitine (MLA)] or β2*-nAChR-selective [mecamylamine (MEC)] antagonists but is prevented by coinjection of MLA and MEC. In either nAChR α7 or β2 subunit knock-out mice, systemic exposure to nicotine still increases the AMPA/NMDA ratio. Preinjection in rats of a NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801((+)-5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo[a,d]cyclohepten-5,10-imine maleate), but neither DA receptor antagonists [SCH-23390 (R-(+)-7-chloro-8-hydroxy-3-methyl-1-phenyl-2,3,4,5-tetrahydro-1H-3-benzazepine) plus haloperidol] nor a calcineurin inhibitor (cyclosporine), prevents the nicotine-induced increase in AMPA/NMDA ratio. After systemic exposure to nicotine, glutamatergic (but not GABAergic) transmission onto rat VTA DA neuronal inputs is enhanced. Correspondingly, DA neuronal firing measured 24 h after nicotine exposure using extracellular single-unit recording in vivo is significantly faster, and there is conversion of silent to active DA neurons. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that systemic nicotine acting via either α7- or β2*-nAChRs increases presynaptic and postsynaptic glutamatergic function, and consequently initiates glutamatergic synaptic plasticity, which may be an important, early neuronal adaptation in nicotine reward and reinforcement.

  2. Involvement of ClC-3 chloride/proton exchangers in controlling glutamatergic synaptic strength in cultured hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Guzman, Raul E; Alekov, Alexi K; Filippov, Mikhail; Hegermann, Jan; Fahlke, Christoph

    2014-01-01

    ClC-3 is a member of the CLC family of anion channels and transporters that localizes to early and late endosomes as well as to synaptic vesicles (SV). Its genetic disruption in mouse models results in pronounced hippocampal and retinal neurodegeneration, suggesting that ClC-3 might be important for normal excitatory and/or inhibitory neurotransmission in central neurons. To characterize the role of ClC-3 in glutamate accumulation in SV we compared glutamatergic synaptic transmission in cultured hippocampal neurons from WT and Clcn3-/- mice. In Clcn3-/- neurons the amplitude and frequency of miniature as well as the amplitudes of action-potential evoked EPSCs were significantly increased as compared to WT neurons. The low-affinity competitive AMPA receptor antagonist γ-DGG reduced the quantal size of synaptic events more effectively in WT than in Clcn3-/- neurons, whereas no difference was observed for the high-affinity competitive non-NMDA antagonist NBQX. Paired pulse ratios of evoked EPSCs were significantly reduced, whereas the size of the readily releasable pool was not affected by the genetic ablation of ClC-3. Electron microscopy revealed increased volumes of SV in hippocampi of Clcn3-/- mice. Our findings demonstrate that ClC-3 controls fast excitatory synaptic transmission by regulating the amount of neurotransmitter as well as the release probability of SV. These results provide novel insights into the role of ClC-3 in synaptic transmission and identify excessive glutamate release as a likely basis of neurodegeneration in Clcn3-/-.

  3. Selective cholinergic depletion in medial septum leads to impaired long term potentiation and glutamatergic synaptic currents in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Kanju, Patrick M; Parameshwaran, Kodeeswaran; Sims-Robinson, Catrina; Uthayathas, Subramaniam; Josephson, Eleanor M; Rajakumar, Nagalingam; Dhanasekaran, Muralikrishnan; Suppiramaniam, Vishnu

    2012-01-01

    Cholinergic depletion in the medial septum (MS) is associated with impaired hippocampal-dependent learning and memory. Here we investigated whether long term potentiation (LTP) and synaptic currents, mediated by alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazole-4-propionate (AMPA) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the CA1 hippocampal region, are affected following cholinergic lesions of the MS. Stereotaxic intra-medioseptal infusions of a selective immunotoxin, 192-saporin, against cholinergic neurons or sterile saline were made in adult rats. Four days after infusions, hippocampal slices were made and LTP, whole cell, and single channel (AMPA or NMDA receptor) currents were recorded. Results demonstrated impairment in the induction and expression of LTP in lesioned rats. Lesioned rats also showed decreases in synaptic currents from CA1 pyramidal cells and synaptosomal single channels of AMPA and NMDA receptors. Our results suggest that MS cholinergic afferents modulate LTP and glutamatergic currents in the CA1 region of the hippocampus, providing a potential synaptic mechanism for the learning and memory deficits observed in the rodent model of selective MS cholinergic lesioning.

  4. Alteration in synaptic junction proteins following traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Merlo, Lucia; Cimino, Francesco; Angileri, Filippo Flavio; La Torre, Domenico; Conti, Alfredo; Cardali, Salvatore Massimiliano; Saija, Antonella; Germanò, Antonino

    2014-08-15

    Extensive research and scientific efforts have been focused on the elucidation of the pathobiology of cellular and axonal damage following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Conversely, few studies have specifically addressed the issue of synaptic dysfunction. Synaptic junction proteins may be involved in post-TBI alterations, leading to synaptic loss or disrupted plasticity. A Synapse Protein Database on synapse ontology identified 109 domains implicated in synaptic activities and over 5000 proteins, but few of these demonstrated to play a role in the synaptic dysfunction after TBI. These proteins are involved in neuroplasticity and neuromodulation and, most importantly, may be used as novel neuronal markers of TBI for specific intervention.

  5. 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

  6. Repeated social defeat stress enhances glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the VTA and cocaine place conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Stelly, Claire E; Pomrenze, Matthew B; Cook, Jason B; Morikawa, Hitoshi

    2016-01-01

    Enduring memories of sensory cues associated with drug intake drive addiction. It is well known that stressful experiences increase addiction vulnerability. However, it is not clear how repeated stress promotes learning of cue-drug associations, as repeated stress generally impairs learning and memory processes unrelated to stressful experiences. Here, we show that repeated social defeat stress in rats causes persistent enhancement of long-term potentiation (LTP) of NMDA receptor-mediated glutamatergic transmission in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Protein kinase A-dependent increase in the potency of inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate-induced Ca2+ signaling underlies LTP facilitation. Notably, defeated rats display enhanced learning of contextual cues paired with cocaine experience assessed using a conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm. Enhancement of LTP in the VTA and cocaine CPP in behaving rats both require glucocorticoid receptor activation during defeat episodes. These findings suggest that enhanced glutamatergic plasticity in the VTA may contribute, at least partially, to increased addiction vulnerability following repeated stressful experiences. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.15448.001 PMID:27374604

  7. Cannabinoid CB1 receptor in dorsal telencephalic glutamatergic neurons: distinctive sufficiency for hippocampus-dependent and amygdala-dependent synaptic and behavioral functions.

    PubMed

    Ruehle, Sabine; Remmers, Floor; Romo-Parra, Hector; Massa, Federico; Wickert, Melanie; Wörtge, Simone; Häring, Martin; Kaiser, Nadine; Marsicano, Giovanni; Pape, Hans-Christian; Lutz, Beat

    2013-06-19

    A major goal in current neuroscience is to understand the causal links connecting protein functions, neural activity, and behavior. The cannabinoid CB1 receptor is expressed in different neuronal subpopulations, and is engaged in fine-tuning excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission. Studies using conditional knock-out mice revealed necessary roles of CB1 receptor expressed in dorsal telencephalic glutamatergic neurons in synaptic plasticity and behavior, but whether this expression is also sufficient for brain functions is still to be determined. We applied a genetic strategy to reconstitute full wild-type CB1 receptor functions exclusively in dorsal telencephalic glutamatergic neurons and investigated endocannabinoid-dependent synaptic processes and behavior. Using this approach, we partly restored the phenotype of global CB1 receptor deletion in anxiety-like behaviors and fully restored hippocampus-dependent neuroprotection from chemically induced epileptiform seizures. These features coincided with a rescued hippocampal depolarization-induced suppression of excitation (DSE), a CB1 receptor-dependent form of synaptic plasticity at glutamatergic neurons. By comparison, the rescue of the CB1 receptor on dorsal telencephalic glutamatergic neurons prolonged the time course of DSE in the amygdala, and impaired fear extinction in auditory fear conditioning. These data reveal that CB1 receptor in dorsal telencephalic glutamatergic neurons plays a sufficient role to control neuronal functions that are in large part hippocampus-dependent, while it is insufficient for proper amygdala functions, suggesting an unexpectedly complex circuit regulation by endocannabinoid signaling in the amygdala. Our data pave the way to a better understanding of neuronal networks in the context of behavior, by fine-tuned interference with synaptic transmission processes.

  8. Glutamatergic neurons of the mouse medial septum and diagonal band of Broca synaptically drive hippocampal pyramidal cells: relevance for hippocampal theta rhythm.

    PubMed

    Huh, Carey Y L; Goutagny, Romain; Williams, Sylvain

    2010-11-24

    Neurons of the medial septum and diagonal band of Broca (MS-DBB) provide an important input to the hippocampus and are critically involved in learning and memory. Although cholinergic and GABAergic MS-DBB neurons are known to modulate hippocampal activity, the role of recently described glutamatergic MS-DBB neurons is unknown. Here, we examined the electrophysiological properties of glutamatergic MS-DBB neurons and tested whether they provide a functional synaptic input to the hippocampus. To visualize the glutamatergic neurons, we used MS-DBB slices from transgenic mice in which the green fluorescent protein is expressed specifically by vesicular glutamate transporter 2-positive neurons and characterized their properties using whole-cell patch-clamp technique. For assessing the function of the glutamatergic projection, we used an in vitro septohippocampal preparation, electrically stimulated the fornix or chemically activated the MS-DBB using NMDA microinfusions and recorded postsynaptic responses in CA3 pyramidal cells. We found that glutamatergic MS-DBB neurons as a population display a highly heterogeneous set of firing patterns including fast-, cluster-, burst-, and slow-firing. Remarkably, a significant proportion exhibited fast-firing properties, prominent I(h), and rhythmic spontaneous firing at theta frequencies similar to those found in GABAergic MS-DBB neurons. Activation of the MS-DBB led to fast, AMPA receptor-mediated glutamatergic responses in CA3 pyramidal cells. These results describe for the first time the electrophysiological signatures of glutamatergic MS-DBB neurons, their rhythmic firing properties, and their capacity to drive hippocampal principal neurons. Our findings suggest that the glutamatergic septohippocampal pathway may play an important role in hippocampal theta oscillations and relevant cognitive functions.

  9. Developmental cuprizone exposure impairs oligodendrocyte lineages differentially in cortical and white matter tissues and suppresses glutamatergic neurogenesis signals and synaptic plasticity in the hippocampal dentate gyrus of rats.

    PubMed

    Abe, Hajime; Saito, Fumiyo; Tanaka, Takeshi; Mizukami, Sayaka; Hasegawa-Baba, Yasuko; Imatanaka, Nobuya; Akahori, Yumi; Yoshida, Toshinori; Shibutani, Makoto

    2016-01-01

    Developmental cuprizone (CPZ) exposure impairs rat hippocampal neurogenesis. Here, we captured the developmental neurotoxicity profile of CPZ using a region-specific expression microarray analysis in the hippocampal dentate gyrus, corpus callosum, cerebral cortex and cerebellar vermis of rat offspring exposed to 0, 0.1, or 0.4% CPZ in the maternal diet from gestation day 6 to postnatal day (PND) 21. Transcripts of those genes identified as altered were subjected to immunohistochemical analysis on PNDs 21 and 77. Our results showed that transcripts for myelinogenesis-related genes, including Cnp, were selectively downregulated in the cerebral cortex by CPZ at ≥0.1% or 0.4% on PND 21. CPZ at 0.4% decreased immunostaining intensity for 2',3'-cyclic-nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase (CNPase) and CNPase(+) and OLIG2(+) oligodendrocyte densities in the cerebral cortex, whereas CNPase immunostaining intensity alone was decreased in the corpus callosum. By contrast, a striking transcript upregulation for Klotho gene and an increased density of Klotho(+) oligodendrocytes were detected in the corpus callosum at ≥0.1%. In the dentate gyrus, CPZ at ≥0.1% or 0.4% decreased the transcript levels for Gria1, Grin2a and Ptgs2, genes related to the synapse and synaptic transmission, and the number of GRIA1(+) and GRIN2A(+) hilar γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic interneurons and cyclooxygenase-2(+) granule cells. All changes were reversed at PND 77. Thus, developmental CPZ exposure reversibly decreased mature oligodendrocytes in both cortical and white matter tissues, and Klotho protected white matter oligodendrocyte growth. CPZ also reversibly targeted glutamatergic signals of GABAergic interneuron to affect dentate gyrus neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity in granule cells.

  10. Neuroprotective Effect of Amantadine on Corticosterone-induced Abnormal Glutamatergic Synaptic Transmission of CA3-CA1 pathway in rat's hippocampal slices.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Xi; Zhang, Hui; Wang, Hui; Li, Qun; Zhang, Tao

    2017-09-13

    Depression is a psychiatric disorder and chronic stress, leading to altered glucocorticoid secretion patterns, is one of the factors that induce depression. Our previous study showed that amantadine significantly attenuated the impairments of synaptic plasticity and cognitive function a rat model of CUS. However, little is known regarding the underlying mechanism. In the present study, the whole-cell patch-clamp technique was applied to examine the protection effect of amantadine on the hippocampus CA3-CA1 pathway. Evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (eEPSCs), miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs), paired-pulse ratio (PPR) and the action potentials of CA3 neurons were recorded. Our data showed that corticosterone increased the amplitude of eEPSCs and decreased the value of paired-pulse ratio (PPR), but both of them were significantly reversed by amantadine. In addition, the frequency of mEPSC was considerably increased by corticosterone, but it was reduced by amantadine. Moreover, we used the Fluo-3/AM image to detect the Ca(2+) influx in primary cultured hippocampal neurons. The results showed that the intracellular calcium levels were significantly decreased by amantadine in the corticosterone treated neurons. Additionally, the superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activities were reduced by corticosterone, while they were enhanced by either amantadine or low-calcium artificial cerebral spinal fluid (ACSF). These results suggest that amantadine significantly improves corticosterone-induced abnormal glutamatergic synaptic transmission of CA3-CA1 synapses presynaptically and alleviates the activities of antioxidant enzymes via regulating the calcium influx. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. The effects of JM-20 on the glutamatergic system in synaptic vesicles, synaptosomes and neural cells cultured from rat brain.

    PubMed

    Nuñez-Figueredo, Yanier; Pardo Andreu, Gilberto L; Oliveira Loureiro, Samanta; Ganzella, Marcelo; Ramírez-Sánchez, Jeney; Ochoa-Rodríguez, Estael; Verdecia-Reyes, Yamila; Delgado-Hernández, René; Souza, Diogo O

    2015-02-01

    JM-20 (3-ethoxycarbonyl-2-methyl-4-(2-nitrophenyl)-4,11-dihydro-1H-pyrido[2,3-b][1,5]benzodiazepine) is a novel benzodiazepine dihydropyridine hybrid molecule, which has been shown to be a neuroprotective agent in brain disorders involving glutamate receptors. However, the effect of JM-20 on the functionality of the glutamatergic system has not been investigated. In this study, by using different in vitro preparations, we investigated the effects of JM-20 on (i) rat brain synaptic vesicles (L-[(3)H]-glutamate uptake, proton gradient built-up and bafilomycin-sensitive H(+)-ATPase activity), (ii) rat brain synaptosomes (glutamate release) and (iii) primary cultures of rat cortical neurons, astrocytes and astrocyte-neuron co-cultures (L-[(3)H]-glutamate uptake and glutamate release). We observed here that JM-20 impairs H(+)-ATPase activity and consequently reduces vesicular glutamate uptake. This molecule also inhibits glutamate release from brain synaptosomes and markedly increases glutamate uptake in astrocytes alone, and co-cultured neurons and astrocytes. The impairment of vesicular glutamate uptake by inhibition of the H(+)-ATPase caused by JM-20 could decrease the amount of the transmitter stored in synaptic vesicles, increase the cytosolic levels of glutamate, and will thus down-regulate neurotransmitter release. Together, these results contribute to explain the anti-excitotoxic effect of JM-20 and its strong neuroprotective effect observed in different in vitro and in vivo models of brain ischemia. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Differential alterations of cortical glutamatergic binding sites in senile dementia of the Alzheimer type

    SciTech Connect

    Chalmers, D.T.; Dewar, D.; Graham, D.I.; Brooks, D.N.; McCulloch, J. )

    1990-02-01

    Involvement of cortical glutamatergic mechanisms in senile dementia of the Alzheimer type (SDAT) has been investigated with quantitative ligand-binding autoradiography. The distribution and density of Na(+)-dependent glutamate uptake sites and glutamate receptor subtypes--kainate, quisqualate, and N-methyl-D-aspartate--were measured in adjacent sections of frontal cortex obtained postmortem from six patients with SDAT and six age-matched controls. The number of senile plaques was determined in the same brain region. Binding of D-(3H)aspartate to Na(+)-dependent uptake sites was reduced by approximately 40% throughout SDAT frontal cortex relative to controls, indicating a general loss of glutamatergic presynaptic terminals. (3H)Kainate receptor binding was significantly increased by approximately 70% in deep layers of SDAT frontal cortex compared with controls, whereas this binding was unaltered in superficial laminae. There was a positive correlation (r = 0.914) between kainate binding and senile plaque number in deep cortical layers. Quisqualate receptors, as assessed by 2-amino-3-hydroxy-5-(3H)methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid binding, were unaltered in SDAT frontal cortex compared with controls. There was a small reduction (25%) in N-methyl-D-aspartate-sensitive (3H)glutamate binding only in superficial cortical layers of SDAT brains relative to control subjects. (3H)Glutamate binding in SDAT subjects was unrelated to senile plaque number in superficial cortical layers (r = 0.104). These results indicate that in the presence of cortical glutamatergic terminal loss in SDAT plastic alterations occur in some glutamate receptor subtypes but not in others.

  13. Glutamatergic modulation of synaptic-like vesicle recycling in mechanosensory lanceolate nerve terminals of mammalian hair follicles.

    PubMed

    Banks, Robert W; Cahusac, Peter M B; Graca, Anna; Kain, Nakul; Shenton, Fiona; Singh, Paramjeet; Njå, Arild; Simon, Anna; Watson, Sonia; Slater, Clarke R; Bewick, Guy S

    2013-05-15

    Our aim in the present study was to determine whether a glutamatergic modulatory system involving synaptic-like vesicles (SLVs) is present in the lanceolate ending of the mouse and rat hair follicle and, if so, to assess its similarity to that of the rat muscle spindle annulospiral ending we have described previously. Both types of endings are formed by the peripheral sensory terminals of primary mechanosensory dorsal root ganglion cells, so the presence of such a system in the lanceolate ending would provide support for our hypothesis that it is a general property of fundamental importance to the regulation of the responsiveness of the broad class of primary mechanosensory endings. We show not only that an SLV-based system is present in lanceolate endings, but also that there are clear parallels between its operation in the two types of mechanosensory endings. In particular, we demonstrate that, as in the muscle spindle: (i) FM1-43 labels the sensory terminals of the lanceolate ending, rather than the closely associated accessory (glial) cells; (ii) the dye enters and leaves the terminals primarily by SLV recycling; (iii) the dye does not block the electrical response to mechanical stimulation, in contrast to its effect on the hair cell and dorsal root ganglion cells in culture; (iv) SLV recycling is Ca(2+) sensitive; and (v) the sensory terminals are enriched in glutamate. Thus, in the lanceolate sensory ending SLV recycling is itself regulated, at least in part, by glutamate acting through a phospholipase D-coupled metabotropic glutamate receptor.

  14. Differential synaptic organization of GABAergic bipolar cells and non-GABAergic (glutamatergic) bipolar cells in the tiger salamander retina.

    PubMed

    Yang, Chen-Yu; Zhang, Jun; Yazulla, Stephen

    2003-01-06

    The synaptic organizations of gamma-aminobutyric acid-immunoreactive (GABA-IR, GABAergic) and non-GABA-IR (non-IR, glutamatergic) bipolar cells in salamander retina were compared by postembedding immunoelectron microscopy. A total of 238 presynaptic bipolar cell synapses were studied; 61 were GABA-IR and 177 were non-IR. Both groups were similar in that (1). they made asymmetrical ribbon synapses as well as asymmetrical non-ribbon synapses; (2). they made ribbon synapses at dyads, triads, and monads; and (3). the vast majority of ribbon synapses ( approximately 90%) were with dyads. The differences were that synapses of GABA-IR bipolar cells had a higher proportion of (1). direct contact with ganglion cells, (2). non-ribbon synapses, (3). output to GABA-IR amacrine cells, and (4). output in sublamina a. Overall, the output of GABA-IR ribbons was equally split between amacrine and ganglion cell processes, whereas for non-IR ribbons, it was approximately 2:1 in favor of amacrine cells. The ribbon:non-ribbon synapse ratio was approximately 1.2:1 (33:28) for GABA-IR but approximately 2:1 (118:59) for non-IR terminals. Thus, GABA-IR bipolar cells made more direct contacts with ganglion cells and used a higher proportion of non-ribbon synapses. GABA-IR dyads were more likely to contact GABA-IR amacrine profiles (52% vs. 38%). Finally, GABA-IR ribbon synapses were more common in sublamina a than sublamina b (2:1), whereas non-IR synapses were equally present in sublaminas a and b. This differential targeting of ganglion cells and amacrine cells in the OFF vs. ON layers indicates a difference in the role of bipolar cells in the generation of receptive field properties, depending on whether or not they use GABA as well as glutamate for their transmitter.

  15. Enhanced Glutamatergic Synaptic Plasticity in the Hippocampal CA1 Field of Food-Restricted Rats: Involvement of CB1 Receptors.

    PubMed

    Talani, Giuseppe; Licheri, Valentina; Biggio, Francesca; Locci, Valentina; Mostallino, Maria Cristina; Secci, Pietro Paolo; Melis, Valentina; Dazzi, Laura; Carta, Gianfranca; Banni, Sebastiano; Biggio, Giovanni; Sanna, Enrico

    2016-04-01

    The endogenous endocannabinoid system has a crucial role in regulating appetite and feeding behavior in mammals, as well as working memory and reward mechanisms. In order to elucidate the possible role of cannabinoid type-1 receptors (CB1Rs) in the regulation of hippocampal plasticity in animals exposed to food restriction (FR), we limited the availability of food to a 2-h daily period for 3 weeks in Sprague-Dawley rats. FR rats showed a higher long-term potentiation at hippocampal CA1 excitatory synapses with a parallel increase in glutamate release when compared with animals fed ad libitum. FR rats showed a significant increase in the long-term spatial memory determined by Barnes maze. FR was also associated with a decreased inhibitory effect of the CB1R agonist win55,212-2 on glutamatergic field excitatory postsynaptic potentials, together with a decrease in hippocampal CB1R protein expression. In addition, hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor protein levels and mushroom dendritic spine density were significantly enhanced in FR rats. Altogether, our data suggest that alterations of hippocampal CB1R expression and function in FR rats are associated with dendritic spine remodeling and functional potentiation of CA1 excitatory synapses, and these findings are consistent with increasing evidence supporting the idea that FR may improve cognitive functions.

  16. A subnanomolar concentration of Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase-Activating Polypeptide (PACAP) pre-synaptically modulates glutamatergic transmission in the rat hippocampus acting through acetylcholine.

    PubMed

    Pecoraro, Valeria; Sardone, Lara Maria; Chisari, Mariangela; Licata, Flora; Li Volsi, Guido; Perciavalle, Vincenzo; Ciranna, Lucia; Costa, Lara

    2017-01-06

    The neuropeptide PACAP modulates synaptic transmission in the hippocampus exerting multiple effects through different receptor subtypes: the underlying mechanisms have not yet been completely elucidated. The neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) also exerts a well-documented modulation of hippocampal synaptic transmission and plasticity. Since PACAP was shown to stimulate ACh release in the hippocampus, we tested whether PACAP acting through ACh might indirectly modulate glutamate-mediated synaptic transmission at a pre- and/or at a post-synaptic level. Using patch clamp on rat hippocampal slices, we tested PACAP effects on stimulation-evoked AMPA receptor-mediated excitatory post-synaptic currents (EPSCsAMPA) in the CA3-CA1 synapse and on spontaneous miniature EPSCs (mEPSCs) in CA1 pyramidal neurons. A subnanomolar dose of PACAP (0.5nM) decreased EPSCsAMPA amplitude, enhanced EPSC paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) and reduced mEPSC frequency, indicating a pre-synaptic decrease of glutamate release probability: these effects were abolished by simultaneous blockade of muscarinic and nicotinic ACh receptors, indicating the involvement of endogenous ACh. The effect of subnanomolar PACAP was abolished by a PAC1 receptor antagonist but not by a VPAC receptor blocker. At a higher concentration (10nM), PACAP inhibited EPSCsAMPA: this effect persisted in the presence of ACh receptor antagonists and did not involve any change in PPF or in mEPSC frequency, thus was not mediated by ACh and was exerted post- synaptically on CA1 pyramidal neurons. We suggest that a high-affinity PAC1 receptor pre-synaptically modulates hippocampal glutamatergic transmission acting through ACh. Therefore, administration of PACAP at very low doses might be envisaged in cognitive diseases with reduced cholinergic transmission.

  17. Toluene inhalation in adolescent rats reduces flexible behaviour in adulthood and alters glutamatergic and GABAergic signalling.

    PubMed

    Furlong, Teri M; Duncan, Jhodie R; Corbit, Laura H; Rae, Caroline D; Rowlands, Benjamin D; Maher, Anthony D; Nasrallah, Fatima A; Milligan, Carol J; Petrou, Steven; Lawrence, Andrew J; Balleine, Bernard W

    2016-12-01

    Toluene is a commonly abused inhalant that is easily accessible to adolescents. Despite the increasing incidence of use, our understanding of its long-term impact remains limited. Here, we used a range of techniques to examine the acute and chronic effects of toluene exposure on glutameteric and GABAergic function, and on indices of psychological function in adult rats after adolescent exposure. Metabolomics conducted on cortical tissue established that acute exposure to toluene produces alterations in cellular metabolism indicative of a glutamatergic and GABAergic profile. Similarly, in vitro electrophysiology in Xenopus oocytes found that acute toluene exposure reduced NMDA receptor signalling. Finally, in an adolescent rodent model of chronic intermittent exposure to toluene (10 000 ppm), we found that, while toluene exposure did not affect initial learning, it induced a deficit in updating that learning when response-outcome relationships were reversed or degraded in an instrumental conditioning paradigm. There were also group differences when more effort was required to obtain the reward; toluene-exposed animals were less sensitive to progressive ratio schedules and to delayed discounting. These behavioural deficits were accompanied by changes in subunit expression of both NMDA and GABA receptors in adulthood, up to 10 weeks after the final exposure to toluene in the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex and ventromedial striatum; regions with recognized roles in behavioural flexibility and decision-making. Collectively, our data suggest that exposure to toluene is sufficient to induce adaptive changes in glutamatergic and GABAergic systems and in adaptive behaviour that may underlie the deficits observed following adolescent inhalant abuse, including susceptibility to further drug-use. © 2016 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  18. Altered glutamatergic metabolism associated with punctate white matter lesions in preterm infants.

    PubMed

    Wisnowski, Jessica L; Blüml, Stefan; Paquette, Lisa; Zelinski, Elizabeth; Nelson, Marvin D; Painter, Michael J; Damasio, Hanna; Gilles, Floyd; Panigrahy, Ashok

    2013-01-01

    Preterm infants (∼10% of all births) are at high-risk for long-term neurodevelopmental disabilities, most often resulting from white matter injury sustained during the neonatal period. Glutamate excitotoxicity is hypothesized to be a key mechanism in the pathogenesis of white matter injury; however, there has been no in vivo demonstration of glutamate excitotoxicity in preterm infants. Using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), we tested the hypothesis that glutamate and glutamine, i.e., markers of glutamatergic metabolism, are altered in association with punctate white matter lesions and "diffuse excessive high signal intensity" (DEHSI), the predominant patterns of preterm white matter injury. We reviewed all clinically-indicated MRS studies conducted on preterm infants at a single institution during a six-year period and determined the absolute concentration of glutamate, glutamine, and four other key metabolites in the parietal white matter in 108 of those infants after two investigators independently evaluated the studies for punctate white matter lesions and DEHSI. Punctate white matter lesions were associated with a 29% increase in glutamine concentration (p = 0.002). In contrast, there were no differences in glutamatergic metabolism in association with DEHSI. Severe DEHSI, however, was associated with increased lactate concentration (p = 0.001), a marker of tissue acidosis. Findings from this study support glutamate excitotoxicity in the pathogenesis of punctate white matter lesions, but not necessarily in DEHSI, and suggest that MRS provides a useful biomarker for determining the pathogenesis of white matter injury in preterm infants during a period when neuroprotective agents may be especially effective.

  19. Dissociation of CA3 pyramidal cells with attached, functional, identified mossy fiber and interneuronal boutons for studying glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic transmission.

    PubMed

    Beltrán, Jesús Q; Reyes, Sebastián; Pérez-Guzmán, José A; Elías-Viñas, David; Gutiérrez, Rafael

    2012-07-15

    Pyramidal cells of CA3 area receive glutamatergic signals from the mossy fibers (MFs), perforant path and collaterals of other pyramidal cells, as well as GABAergic inputs from interneurons. In hippocampal slices, an extracellular stimulation electrode is often used to activate the MFs, with the disadvantage of possibly activating fibers other than MFs. We set-up a preparation that allows the analysis of the glutamatergic input from identified, giant MF boutons as well as of GABAergic inputs from boutons of interneurons on single CA3 pyramidal cells. Mossy fiber boutons were labeled by exposing hippocampal slices to a zinc-reactive fluorescent dye, or by injecting a fluorescent dye in the granule cell layer and allowing its transport along the MFs to their terminals in CA3 area. After conducting an enzyme-free, mechanical dissociation of CA3 area, we obtained pyramidal cells containing fluorescent, giant MF boutons attached to their apical dendrites, as well as boutons of interneuronal origin. Whole cell recordings were then performed, whereby synaptic responses could be evoked by selective stimulation of the identified boutons. The synaptic currents evoked by stimulation of MF boutons, unlike those evoked by stimulation of interneuronal boutons, underwent strong frequency potentiation and were depressed by activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors, which are characteristics of transmission of MF origin. Combination of fluorophores can be used to label different tracts/boutons allowing the study of the different characteristics of neurotransmitter release from a variety of sources on single target cells.

  20. Alterations in hippocampal excitability, synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity in a neurodevelopmental model of schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Sanderson, Thomas M; Cotel, Marie-Caroline; O'Neill, Michael J; Tricklebank, Mark D; Collingridge, Graham L; Sher, Emanuele

    2012-03-01

    The risk of developing schizophrenia has been linked to perturbations in embryonic development, but the physiological alterations that result from such insults are incompletely understood. Here, we have investigated aspects of hippocampal physiology in a proposed neurodevelopmental model of schizophrenia, induced during gestation in rats by injection of the antimitotic agent methylazoxymethanol acetate (MAM) at embryonic day 17 (MAM(E17)). We observed a reduction in synaptic innervation and synaptic transmission in the dorsal hippocampus of MAM(E17) treated rats, accompanied by a pronounced increase in CA1 pyramidal neuron excitability. Pharmacological investigations suggested that a deficit in GABAergic inhibition could account for the increase in excitability; furthermore, some aspects of the hyper-excitability could be normalised by the GABA(A) receptor (GABA(A)R) potentiator diazepam. Despite these alterations, two major forms of synaptic plasticity, long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) could be readily induced. In contrast, there was a substantial deficit in the reversal of LTP, depotentiation. These findings suggest that delivering neurodevelopmental insults at E17 may offer insights into some of the physiological alterations that underlie behavioural and cognitive symptoms observed in schizophrenia.

  1. Embryonic ethanol exposure alters synaptic properties at zebrafish neuromuscular junctions.

    PubMed

    Sylvain, Nicole J; Brewster, Daniel L; Ali, Declan W

    2011-01-01

    Pre-natal alcohol exposure induces delays in fine and gross motor skills, and deficiencies in reflex development via mechanisms that remain to be elucidated. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of embryonic ethanol exposure (16-hour exposure window with 1.5%, 2% or 2.5% EtOH) on synaptic properties at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) in 3 day post fertilization (dpf) zebrafish larvae. Immunohistochemical studies show that exposure of embryos to 2.5% ethanol for 16 h results in motor neuron axons that display abnormal branching patterns. Co-labelling embryos with pre-synaptic markers such as SV-2 or 3A10, and the post-synaptic marker, α-bungarotoxin, which irreversibly binds to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), indicates that pre- and post-synaptic sites are properly aligned even when motor neuron axons display abnormal morphology. Miniature endplate currents (mEPCs) recorded from muscle fibers revealed the presence of two types of mEPCs that we dubbed fast and slow. Ethanol treated fish experienced significant changes in the frequencies of fast and slow mEPCs, and an increase in the rise time of slow mEPCs recorded from red muscle fibers. Additionally, embryonic exposure to ethanol resulted in a significant increase in the decay time of fast mEPCs recorded from white fibers. Mean mEPC amplitude was unaffected by ethanol treatment. Together, these results indicate that zebrafish embryos exposed to ethanol may experience altered synaptic properties at the NMJ.

  2. [EFFECT OF PEPTIDE SEMAX ON SYNAPTIC ACTIVITY AND SHORT-TERM PLASTICITY OF GLUTAMATERGIC SYNAPSES OF CO-CULTURED DORSAL ROOT GANGLION AND DORSAL HORN NEURONS].

    PubMed

    Shypshyna, M S; Veselovsky, N S; Myasoedov, N F; Shram, S I; Fedulova, S A

    2015-01-01

    The influence of long-term culturing (12 days in vitro) of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and dorsal horn (DH) neurons with peptide Semax on the level of synaptic activity at co-cultures, as well as short-term plasticity in sensory synapses were studied. It has been shown that neuronal culturing with peptide at concentrations of 10 and 100 µM led to increasing the frequency of spontaneous glutamatergic postsynaptic currents in DH neurons to 71.7 ± 1.8% and 93.9 ± 3.1% (n = 6; P < 0.001); Semax has a not significant effect on the amplitude and frequency of miniature glutamatergic currents, but causes an increase of the amplitudes of spontaneous postsynaptic currents, as well as elevates the quantum content. The data show the increase of multivesicular glutamate release efficiency in neural networks of co-cultures following incubation with the peptide. Also Semax (10 and 100 µM) induces changes of the basic parameters of short-term plasticity in sensory synapses: (1) increasing the paired-pulse ratio from 0.53 ± 0.028 (n = 8) to 0.91 ± 0.072 (n = 6, P < 0.01) and 0.95 ± 0.026 (n = 7; P < 0.001); (2) reducing the ratio of the coefficients of variation (CV2/ CV1) from 1.49 ± 0.11 (n = 8) to 1.02 ± 0.09 (n = 6; P < 0.05) and 1.11 ± 0.13 (n = 7; P < 0.0) respectively. The results indicate a stimulating effect of Semax on the activity of glutamatergic synapses in neural networks of co-cultures, as well as the ability of the peptide to effectively modulate the short-term plasticity in sensory synapses.

  3. Altered cognitive performance and synaptic function in the hippocampus of mice lacking C3.

    PubMed

    Perez-Alcazar, Marta; Daborg, Jonny; Stokowska, Anna; Wasling, Pontus; Björefeldt, Andreas; Kalm, Marie; Zetterberg, Henrik; Carlström, Karl E; Blomgren, Klas; Ekdahl, Christine T; Hanse, Eric; Pekna, Marcela

    2014-03-01

    Previous work implicated the complement system in adult neurogenesis as well as elimination of synapses in the developing and injured CNS. In the present study, we used mice lacking the third complement component (C3) to elucidate the role the complement system plays in hippocampus-dependent learning and synaptic function. We found that the constitutive absence of C3 is associated with enhanced place and reversal learning in adult mice. Our findings of lower release probability at CA3-CA1 glutamatergic synapses in combination with unaltered overall efficacy of these synapses in C3 deficient mice implicate C3 as a negative regulator of the number of functional glutamatergic synapses in the hippocampus. The C3 deficient mice showed no signs of spontaneous epileptiform activity in the hippocampus. We conclude that C3 plays a role in the regulation of the number and function of glutamatergic synapses in the hippocampus and exerts negative effects on hippocampus-dependent cognitive performance.

  4. 17β-Estradiol-Induced Synaptic Rearrangements Are Accompanied by Altered Ectonucleotidase Activities in Male Rat Hippocampal Synaptosomes.

    PubMed

    Mitrović, Nataša; Zarić, Marina; Drakulić, Dunja; Martinović, Jelena; Sévigny, Jean; Stanojlović, Miloš; Nedeljković, Nadežda; Grković, Ivana

    2017-03-01

    17β-Estradiol (E2) rapidly, by binding to membrane estrogen receptors, activates cell signaling cascades which induce formation of new dendritic spines in the hippocampus of males as in females, but the interaction with other metabolic processes, such as extracellular adenine nucleotides metabolism, are currently unknown. Extracellular adenine nucleotides play significant roles, controlling excitatory glutamatergic synapses and development of neural circuits and synaptic plasticity. Their precise regulation in the synaptic cleft is tightly controlled by ecto-nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase (NTPDase)/ecto-5'-nucleotidase (eN) enzyme chain. Therefore, we sought to clarify whether a single systemic injection of E2 in male rats is accompanied by changes in the expression of the pre- and postsynaptic proteins and downstream kinases linked to E2-induced synaptic rearrangement as well as alterations in NTPDase/eN pathway in the hippocampal synaptosomes. Obtained data showed activation of mammalian target of rapamycin and upregulation of key synaptic proteins necessary for spine formation, 24 h after systemic E2 administration. In E2-mediated conditions, we found downregulation of NTPDase1 and NTPDase2 and attenuation of adenine nucleotide hydrolysis by NTPDase/eN enzyme chain, without changes in NTPDase3 properties and augmentation of synaptic tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP) activity. Despite reduced NTPDase activities, increased TNAP activity probably prevents toxic accumulation of ATP in the extracellular milieu and also hydrolyzes accumulated ADP due to unchanged NTPDase3 activity. Thus, our initial evaluation supports idea of specific roles of different ectonucleotidases and their coordinated actions in E2-mediated spine remodeling and maintenance.

  5. Modulation of synaptic plasticity by stress hormone associates with plastic alteration of synaptic NMDA receptor in the adult hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Tse, Yiu Chung; Bagot, Rosemary C; Hutter, Juliana A; Wong, Alice S; Wong, Tak Pan

    2011-01-01

    Stress exerts a profound impact on learning and memory, in part, through the actions of adrenal corticosterone (CORT) on synaptic plasticity, a cellular model of learning and memory. Increasing findings suggest that CORT exerts its impact on synaptic plasticity by altering the functional properties of glutamate receptors, which include changes in the motility and function of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid subtype of glutamate receptor (AMPAR) that are responsible for the expression of synaptic plasticity. Here we provide evidence that CORT could also regulate synaptic plasticity by modulating the function of synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs), which mediate the induction of synaptic plasticity. We found that stress level CORT applied to adult rat hippocampal slices potentiated evoked NMDAR-mediated synaptic responses within 30 min. Surprisingly, following this fast-onset change, we observed a slow-onset (>1 hour after termination of CORT exposure) increase in synaptic expression of GluN2A-containing NMDARs. To investigate the consequences of the distinct fast- and slow-onset modulation of NMDARs for synaptic plasticity, we examined the formation of long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) within relevant time windows. Paralleling the increased NMDAR function, both LTP and LTD were facilitated during CORT treatment. However, 1-2 hours after CORT treatment when synaptic expression of GluN2A-containing NMDARs is increased, bidirectional plasticity was no longer facilitated. Our findings reveal the remarkable plasticity of NMDARs in the adult hippocampus in response to CORT. CORT-mediated slow-onset increase in GluN2A in hippocampal synapses could be a homeostatic mechanism to normalize synaptic plasticity following fast-onset stress-induced facilitation.

  6. Cholinergic and glutamatergic alterations beginning at the early stages of Alzheimer disease: participation of the phospholipase A2 enzyme.

    PubMed

    Schaeffer, Evelin L; Gattaz, Wagner F

    2008-05-01

    Alzheimer disease (AD), a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, is the leading cause of dementia in the elderly. A combination of cholinergic and glutamatergic dysfunction appears to underlie the symptomatology of AD, and thus, treatment strategies should address impairments in both systems. Evidence suggests the involvement of phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)) enzyme in memory impairment and neurodegeneration in AD via actions on both cholinergic and glutamatergic systems. To review cholinergic and glutamatergic alterations underlying cognitive impairment and neuropathology in AD and attempt to link PLA(2) with such alterations. Medline databases were searched (no date restrictions) for published articles with links among the terms Alzheimer disease (mild, moderate, severe), mild cognitive impairment, choline acetyltransferase, acetylcholinesterase, NGF, NGF receptor, muscarinic receptor, nicotinic receptor, NMDA, AMPA, metabotropic glutamate receptor, atrophy, glucose metabolism, phospholipid metabolism, sphingolipid, membrane fluidity, phospholipase A(2), arachidonic acid, attention, memory, long-term potentiation, beta-amyloid, tau, inflammation, and reactive species. Reference lists of the identified articles were checked to identify additional studies of interest. Overall, results suggest the hypothesis that persistent inhibition of cPLA(2) and iPLA(2) isoforms at early stages of AD may play a central role in memory deficits and beta-amyloid production through down-regulation of cholinergic and glutamate receptors. As the disease progresses, beta-amyloid induced up-regulation of cPLA(2) and sPLA(2) isoforms may play critical roles in inflammation and oxidative stress, thus participating in the neurodegenerative process. Activation and inhibition of specific PLA(2) isoforms at different stages of AD could be of therapeutic importance and delay cognitive dysfunction and neurodegeneration.

  7. Glutamatergic ionotropic blockade within accumbens disrupts working memory and might alter the endocytic machinery in rat accumbens and prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Baiardi, G; Ruiz, A M; Beling, A; Borgonovo, J; Martínez, G; Landa, A I; Sosa, M A; Gargiulo, P A

    2007-01-01

    Effects of blocking N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) and non-NMDA glutamatergic receptors on performance in the hole board test was studied in male rats bilaterally cannulated into the nucleus accumbens (Acc). Rats, divided into 5 groups, received either 1 microl injections of saline, (+/-) 2-amino-7-phosphonoheptanoic acid (AP-7) (0.5 or 1 microg) or 2,3-dioxo-6-nitro-1,2,3,4,tetrahydrobenzo-(f)quinoxaline-7-sulphonamide disodium (NBQX, 0.5 or 1 microg) 10 min before testing. An increase by AP-7 was observed in ambulatory movements (0.5 microg; p < 0.05), non-ambulatory movements and number of movements (1 microg; p < 0.05); sniffing and total exploration (1 microg; p < 0.01). When holes were considered in order from the first to the fifth by the number of explorations, the most visited holes (first and second) of the AP-7 group were significantly higher than the corresponding holes of saline group (p < 0.05 for 0.5 microg and p < 0.001 for 1 microg). When the second hole was compared with the first of his group, a difference was only observed in the AP-7 1 microg group (p < 0.001). Increasing differences between the other holes and the first were observed by drug treatment. At molecular level, it was observed that AP-7 induced an increase of the coat protein AP-2 expression in Acc, but not AP-180 neither the synaptic protein synaptophysin. The increase of AP-2 was also observed in the medial prefrontal cortex by the action of AP-7 but not NBQX. We conclude that NMDA glutamatergic blockade might induce an activation of the endocytic machinery into the Acc, leading to stereotypies and perseverations, lacking cortical intentional direction.

  8. Effects of diazepam on glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the hippocampal CA1 area of rats with traumatic brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Lei; Bie, Xiaohua; Huo, Su; Du, Jubao; Liu, Lin; Song, Weiqun

    2014-01-01

    The activity of the Schaffer collaterals of hippocampal CA3 neurons and hippocampal CA1 neurons has been shown to increase after fluid percussion injury. Diazepam can inhibit the hyperexcitability of rat hippocampal neurons after injury, but the mechanism by which it affects excitatory synaptic transmission remains poorly understood. Our results showed that diazepam treatment significantly increased the slope of input-output curves in rat neurons after fluid percussion injury. Diazepam significantly decreased the numbers of spikes evoked by super stimuli in the presence of 15 μmol/L bicuculline, indicating the existence of inhibitory pathways in the injured rat hippocampus. Diazepam effectively increased the paired-pulse facilitation ratio in the hippocampal CA1 region following fluid percussion injury, reduced miniature excitatory postsynaptic potentials, decreased action-potential-dependent glutamine release, and reversed spontaneous glutamine release. These data suggest that diazepam could decrease the fluid percussion injury-induced enhancement of excitatory synaptic transmission in the rat hippocampal CA1 area. PMID:25558239

  9. Potentiation of the glutamatergic synaptic input to rat locus coeruleus neurons by P2X7 receptors

    PubMed Central

    Khakpay, Roghayeh; Polster, Daniel; Köles, Laszlo; Skorinkin, Andrey; Szabo, Bela; Wirkner, Kerstin

    2010-01-01

    Locus coeruleus (LC) neurons in a rat brain slice preparation were superfused with a Mg2+-free and bicuculline-containing external medium. Under these conditions, glutamatergic spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) were recorded by means of the whole-cell patch-clamp method. ATP, as well as its structural analogue 2-methylthio ATP (2-MeSATP), both caused transient inward currents, which were outlasted by an increase in the frequency but not the amplitude of the sEPSCs. PPADS, but not suramin or reactive blue 2 counteracted both effects of 2-MeSATP. By contrast, α,β-methylene ATP (α,β-meATP), UTP and BzATP did not cause an inward current response. Of these latter agonists, only BzATP slightly facilitated the sEPSC amplitude and strongly potentiated its frequency. PPADS and Brilliant Blue G, as well as fluorocitric acid and aminoadipic acid prevented the activity of BzATP. Furthermore, BzATP caused a similar facilitation of the miniature (m)EPSC (recorded in the presence of tetrodotoxin) and sEPSC frequencies (recorded in its absence). Eventually, capsaicin augmented the frequency of the sEPSCs in a capsazepine-, but not PPADS-antagonizable, manner. In conclusion, the stimulation of astrocytic P2X7 receptors appears to lead to the outflow of a signalling molecule, which presynaptically increases the spontaneous release of glutamate onto LC neurons from their afferent fibre tracts. It is suggested, that the two algogenic compounds ATP and capsaicin utilise separate receptor systems to potentiate the release of glutamate and in consequence to increase the excitability of LC neurons. PMID:21103218

  10. Male-specific alteration in excitatory post-synaptic development and social interaction in pre-natal valproic acid exposure model of autism spectrum disorder.

    PubMed

    Kim, Ki Chan; Kim, Pitna; Go, Hyo Sang; Choi, Chang Soon; Park, Jin Hee; Kim, Hee Jin; Jeon, Se Jin; Dela Pena, Ike Campomayor; Han, Seol-Heui; Cheong, Jae Hoon; Ryu, Jong Hoon; Shin, Chan Young

    2013-03-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a pervasive developmental disorder characterized by three main behavioral symptoms including social deficits, impaired communication, and stereotyped and repetitive behaviors. ASD prevalence shows gender bias to male. Prenatal exposure to valproic acid (VPA), a drug used in epilepsy and bipolar disorder, induces autistic symptoms in both human and rodents. As we reported previously, prenatally VPA-exposed animals at E12 showed impairment in social behavior without any overt reproductive toxicity. Social interactions were not significantly different between male and female rats in control condition. However, VPA-exposed male offspring showed significantly impaired social interaction while female offspring showed only marginal deficits in social interaction. Similar male inclination was observed in hyperactivity behavior induced by VPA. In addition to the ASD-like behavioral phenotype, prenatally VPA-exposed rat offspring shows crooked tail phenotype, which was not different between male and female groups. Both male and female rat showed reduced GABAergic neuronal marker GAD and increased glutamatergic neuronal marker vGluT1 expression. Interestingly, despite of the similar increased expression of vGluT1, post-synaptic marker proteins such as PSD-95 and α-CAMKII expression was significantly elevated only in male offspring. Electron microscopy showed increased number of post-synapse in male but not in female at 4 weeks of age. These results might suggest that the altered glutamatergic neuronal differentiation leads to deranged post-synaptic maturation only in male offspring prenatally exposed to VPA. Consistent with the increased post-synaptic compartment, VPA-exposed male rats showed higher sensitivity to electric shock than VPA-exposed female rats. These results suggest that prenatally VPA-exposed rats show the male preponderance of ASD-like behaviors including defective social interaction similar to human autistic patients, which

  11. Wingless-type family member 5A (Wnt-5a) stimulates synaptic differentiation and function of glutamatergic synapses.

    PubMed

    Varela-Nallar, Lorena; Alfaro, Iván E; Serrano, Felipe G; Parodi, Jorge; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C

    2010-12-07

    Growing evidence indicates that Wingless-type (Wnt) signaling plays an important role in the maturation of the central nervous system. We report here that Wingless-type family member 5A (Wnt-5a) is expressed early in development and stimulates dendrite spine morphogenesis, inducing de novo formation of spines and increasing the size of the preexisting ones in hippocampal neurons. Wnt-5a increased intracellular calcium concentration in dendritic processes and the amplitude of NMDA spontaneous miniature currents. Acute application of Wnt-5a increased the amplitude of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSP) in hippocampal slices, an effect that was prevented by calcium-channel blockers. The physiological relevance of our findings is supported by studies showing that Wnt scavengers decreased spine density, miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents, and fEPSP amplitude. We conclude that Wnt-5a stimulates different aspects of synaptic differentiation and plasticity in the mammalian central nervous system.

  12. Wingless-type family member 5A (Wnt-5a) stimulates synaptic differentiation and function of glutamatergic synapses

    PubMed Central

    Varela-Nallar, Lorena; Alfaro, Iván E.; Serrano, Felipe G.; Parodi, Jorge; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C.

    2010-01-01

    Growing evidence indicates that Wingless-type (Wnt) signaling plays an important role in the maturation of the central nervous system. We report here that Wingless-type family member 5A (Wnt-5a) is expressed early in development and stimulates dendrite spine morphogenesis, inducing de novo formation of spines and increasing the size of the preexisting ones in hippocampal neurons. Wnt-5a increased intracellular calcium concentration in dendritic processes and the amplitude of NMDA spontaneous miniature currents. Acute application of Wnt-5a increased the amplitude of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSP) in hippocampal slices, an effect that was prevented by calcium-channel blockers. The physiological relevance of our findings is supported by studies showing that Wnt scavengers decreased spine density, miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents, and fEPSP amplitude. We conclude that Wnt-5a stimulates different aspects of synaptic differentiation and plasticity in the mammalian central nervous system. PMID:21084636

  13. Evidence that hyperprolinemia alters glutamatergic homeostasis in rat brain: neuroprotector effect of guanosine.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Andréa G K; da Cunha, Aline A; Scherer, Emilene B; Machado, Fernanda R; da Cunha, Maira J; Braga, Andressa; Mussulini, Ben Hur; Moreira, Júlia D; Wofchuk, Susana; Souza, Diogo O; Wyse, Angela T S

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of acute and chronic hyperprolinemia on glutamate uptake, as well as some mechanisms underlying the proline effects on glutamatergic system in rat cerebral cortex. The protective role of guanosine on effects mediated by proline was also evaluated. Results showed that acute and chronic hyperprolinemia reduced glutamate uptake, Na(+), K(+)-ATPase activity, ATP levels and increased lipoperoxidation. GLAST and GLT-1 immunocontent were increased in acute, but not in chronic hyperprolinemic rats. Our data suggest that the effects of proline on glutamate uptake may be mediated by lipid peroxidation and disruption of Na(+), K(+)-ATPase activity, but not by decreasing in glutamate transporters. This probably induces excitotoxicity and subsequent energy deficit. Guanosine was effective to prevent most of the effects promoted by proline, reinforcing its modulator role in counteracting the glutamate toxicity. However, further studies are needed to assess the modulatory effects of guanosine on experimental hyperprolinemia.

  14. Loss of D2 dopamine receptor function modulates cocaine-induced glutamatergic synaptic potentiation in the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Madhavan, Anuradha; Argilli, Emanuela; Bonci, Antonello; Whistler, Jennifer L

    2013-07-24

    Potentiation of glutamate responses is a critical synaptic response to cocaine exposure in ventral tegmental area (VTA) neurons. However, the mechanism by which cocaine exposure promotes potentiation of NMDA receptors (NMDARs) and subsequently AMPA receptors (AMPARs) is not fully understood. In this study we demonstrate that repeated cocaine treatment causes loss of D2 dopamine receptor functional responses via interaction with lysosome-targeting G-protein-associated sorting protein1 (GASP1). We also show that the absence of D2 downregulation in GASP1-KO mice prevents cocaine-induced potentiation of NMDAR currents, elevation of the AMPA/NMDA ratio, and redistribution of NMDAR and AMPAR subunits to the membrane. As a pharmacological parallel, coadministration of the high-affinity D2 agonist, aripiprazole, reduces not only functional downregulation of D2s in response to cocaine but also potentiation of NMDAR and AMPAR responses in wild-type mice. Together these data suggest that functional loss of D2 receptors is a critical mechanism mediating cocaine-induced glutamate plasticity in VTA neurons.

  15. Role of glial and neuronal glycine transporters in the control of glycinergic and glutamatergic synaptic transmission in lamina X of the rat spinal cord

    PubMed Central

    Bradaïa, Amyaouch; Schlichter, Rémy; Trouslard, Jérôme

    2004-01-01

    Using whole cell voltage clamp recordings from lamina X neurones in rat spinal cord slices, we investigated the effect of glycine transporter (GlyT) antagonists on both glycinergic inhibitory postsynaptic current (IPSCs) and glutamatergic excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSCs). We used ORG 24598 and ORG 25543, selective antagonists of the glial GlyT (GlyT1) and neuronal GlyT (GlyT2), respectively. In rats (P12–P16) and in the presence of kynurenic acid, 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX) and bicuculline, ORG 24598 and ORG 25543 applied individually at a concentration of 10 μm induced a mean inward current of −10/−50 pA at −60 mV and increased significantly the decay time constants of miniature (mIPSCs), spontaneous (sIPSCs) and electrically evoked glycinergic (eIPSCs) inhibitory postsynaptic currents. ORG 25543, but not ORG 24598, decreased the frequency of mIPSCs and sIPSCs. Replacing extracellular sodium with N-methyl-d-glucamine or superfusing the slice with micromolar concentrations of glycine also increased the decay time constant of glycinergic IPSCs. By contrast, the decay time constant, amplitude and frequency of miniature GABAergic IPSCs recorded in the presence of strychnine were not affected by ORG 24598 and ORG 25543. In the presence of strychnine, bicuculline and CNQX, we recorded electrically evoked NMDA receptor-mediated EPSCs (eEPSCs). eEPSCs were suppressed by 30 μmd-2-amino-5-phosphonovalerate (APV), an antagonist of the NMDA receptor, and by 30 μm dichlorokynurenic acid (DCKA), an antagonist of the glycine site of the NMDA receptor. Glycine (1–5 μm) and d-serine (10 μm) increased the amplitude of eEPSCs whereas l-serine had no effect. ORG 24598 and ORG 25543 increased significantly the amplitude of NMDA receptor-mediated eEPSCs without affecting the amplitude of non-NMDA receptor-mediated eEPSCs. We conclude that blocking glial and/or neuronal glycine transporters increased the level of glycine in spinal cord slices

  16. Gene expression related to serotonergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission is altered in the flinders sensitive line rat model of depression: Effect of ketamine.

    PubMed

    Du Jardin, Kristian Gaarn; Müller, Heidi Kaastrup; Sanchez, Connie; Wegener, Gregers; Elfving, Betina

    2017-01-01

    Major depressive disorder (MDD) is associated with dysfunctional serotonergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission, and the genetic animal model of depression Flinders Sensitive Line (FSL) rats display alterations in these systems relatively to their control strain Flinders Resistant Line (FRL). However, changes on transcript level related to serotonergic and glutamatergic signaling have only been sparsely studied in this model. The non-competitive N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist ketamine has fast-onset antidepressant properties, and recent data implicate serotonergic neurotransmission in ketamine's antidepressant-like activities in rodents. Here, we investigated the transcript levels of 40 genes involved in serotonergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission in FSL and FRL rats in response to a single dose of ketamine (15 mg/kg; 90 min prior to euthanization). Using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction, we studied the effect of ketamine in the hippocampus, whereas strain differences were investigated in both hippocampus and frontal cortex. The expression of genes involved in serotonergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission were unaffected by a single dose of ketamine in the hippocampus. Relative to FRL rats, FSL rats displayed enhanced hippocampal transcript levels of 5-ht2c , and P11, whereas the expression was reduced for 5-ht2a , Nr2a, and Mglur2. In the frontal cortex, we found higher transcript levels of 5-ht2c and Mglur2, whereas the expression of 5-ht2a was reduced in FSL rats. Thus, ketamine is not associated with hippocampal alterations in serotonergic or glutamatergic genes at 90 min after an antidepressant dose. Furthermore, FSL rats display serotonergic and glutamatergic abnormalities on gene expression level that partly may resemble findings in MDD patients. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Aβ-Induced Synaptic Alterations Require the E3 Ubiquitin Ligase Nedd4-1.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Elizabeth M; Scudder, Samantha L; Goo, Marisa S; Patrick, Gentry N

    2016-02-03

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease in which patients experience progressive cognitive decline. A wealth of evidence suggests that this cognitive impairment results from synaptic dysfunction in affected brain regions caused by cleavage of amyloid precursor protein into the pathogenic peptide amyloid-β (Aβ). Specifically, it has been shown that Aβ decreases surface AMPARs, dendritic spine density, and synaptic strength, and also alters synaptic plasticity. The precise molecular mechanisms by which this occurs remain unclear. Here we demonstrate a role for ubiquitination in Aβ-induced synaptic dysfunction in cultured rat neurons. We find that Aβ promotes the ubiquitination of AMPARs, as well as the redistribution and recruitment of Nedd4-1, a HECT E3 ubiquitin ligase we previously demonstrated to target AMPARs for ubiquitination and degradation. Strikingly, we show that Nedd4-1 is required for Aβ-induced reductions in surface AMPARs, synaptic strength, and dendritic spine density. Our findings, therefore, indicate an important role for Nedd4-1 and ubiquitin in the synaptic alterations induced by Aβ. Synaptic changes in Alzheimer's disease (AD) include surface AMPAR loss, which can weaken synapses. In a cell culture model of AD, we found that AMPAR loss correlates with increased AMPAR ubiquitination. In addition, the ubiquitin ligase Nedd4-1, known to ubiquitinate AMPARs, is recruited to synapses in response to Aβ. Strikingly, reducing Nedd4-1 levels in this model prevented surface AMPAR loss and synaptic weakening. These findings suggest that, in AD, Nedd4-1 may ubiquitinate AMPARs to promote their internalization and weaken synaptic strength, similar to what occurs in Nedd4-1's established role in homeostatic synaptic scaling. This is the first demonstration of Aβ-mediated control of a ubiquitin ligase to regulate surface AMPAR expression. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/361590-06$15.00/0.

  18. Mechanisms of Synaptic Alterations in a Neuroinflammation Model of Autism

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-10-01

    inflamatory drug ibudilast via the lactating mother for the first two postnatal weeks. We found that the drug treatment ameliorated the spine deficits in...offspring receive reduced excitatory input. • Dendritic spine impairments last into adulthood. • Postnatal treatment with an anti-inflammatory drug...Importantly, we demonstrated for the first time that an early anti-inflammatory treatment can ameliorate the synaptic and behavioral deficits

  19. Mutations altering synaptic connectivity between identified neurons in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Thomas, J B; Wyman, R J

    1984-02-01

    By studying the effects of mutations on a simple circuit of identified neurons in Drosophila, we have found genes whose proper functioning is necessary to produce normal synaptic connections between the neurons. These neurons comprise the giant fiber (GF) system; the GFs are command neurons activated by a light-off stimulus and evoke a stereotyped pattern of activity in the thoracic muscles producing an escape jump. Each GF monosynaptically drives a motor neuron innervating the tergotrochanteral muscle (jump muscle, TTM). Each GF also disynaptically drives the motor neurons innervating the dorsal longitudinal flight muscle (DLM) via the peripherally synapsing interneuron (PSI) (King, D. G., and R. J. Wyman (1980) J. Neurocytol. 9: 753-770; M. A. Tanouye and R. J. Wyman (1980) J. Neurophysiol. 44: 405-421). A search was made for mutations affecting these identified synapses. Fifty thousand mutagenized flies were screened for nonjumping behavior to the light-off stimulus. Fifty-seven nonjumping mutant lines were established from individuals selected in the screen. Members of the lines were then tested for abnormal GF motor output to the TTM and DLM. From these lines, four X-linked mutations (representing three complementation groups) were isolated which affect the circuit. The mutations differentially disrupt specific synapses within the GF system. One mutation, bendless, disrupts synaptic transmission between the GF and the TTM motor neuron. Another, gfA, disrupts the synaptic connections of the PSI, and a third mutation, passover, disrupts transmission in both pathways.

  20. Astrocyte activation in the anterior cingulate cortex and altered glutamatergic gene expression during paclitaxel-induced neuropathic pain in mice

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Spinal astrocyte activation contributes to the pathogenesis of paclitaxel-induced neuropathic pain (PINP) in animal models. We examined glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP; an astrocyte marker) immunoreactivity and gene expression of GFAP, glutamate transporters and receptor subunits by real time PCR in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) at 7 days post first administration of paclitaxel, a time point when mice had developed thermal hyperalgesia. The ACC, an area in the brain involved in pain perception and modulation, was chosen because changes in this area might contribute to the pathophysiology of PINP. GFAP transcripts levels were elevated by more than fivefold and GFAP immunoreactivity increased in the ACC of paclitaxel-treated mice. The 6 glutamate transporters (GLAST, GLT-1 EAAC1, EAAT4, VGLUT-1 and VGLUT-2) quantified were not significantly altered by paclitaxel treatment. Of the 12 ionotropic glutamate receptor subunits transcripts analysed 6 (GLuA1, GLuA3, GLuK2, GLuK3, GLuK5 and GLuN1) were significantly up-regulated, whereas GLuA2, GLuK1, GLuK4, GLuN2A and GLuN2B were not significantly altered and GLuA4 was lowly expressed. Amongst the 8 metabotropic receptor subunits analysed only mGLuR8 was significantly elevated. In conclusion, during PINP there is astrocyte activation, with no change in glutamate transporter expression and differential up-regulation of glutamate receptor subunits in the ACC. Thus, targeting astrocyte activation and the glutamatergic system might be another therapeutic avenue for management of PINP. PMID:26528412

  1. Morphological changes of glutamatergic synapses in animal models of Parkinson’s disease

    PubMed Central

    Villalba, Rosa M.; Mathai, Abraham; Smith, Yoland

    2015-01-01

    The striatum and the subthalamic nucleus (STN) are the main entry doors for extrinsic inputs to reach the basal ganglia (BG) circuitry. The cerebral cortex, thalamus and brainstem are the key sources of glutamatergic inputs to these nuclei. There is anatomical, functional and neurochemical evidence that glutamatergic neurotransmission is altered in the striatum and STN of animal models of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and that these changes may contribute to aberrant network neuronal activity in the BG-thalamocortical circuitry. Postmortem studies of animal models and PD patients have revealed significant pathology of glutamatergic synapses, dendritic spines and microcircuits in the striatum of parkinsonians. More recent findings have also demonstrated a significant breakdown of the glutamatergic corticosubthalamic system in parkinsonian monkeys. In this review, we will discuss evidence for synaptic glutamatergic dysfunction and pathology of cortical and thalamic inputs to the striatum and STN in models of PD. The potential functional implication of these alterations on synaptic integration, processing and transmission of extrinsic information through the BG circuits will be considered. Finally, the significance of these pathological changes in the pathophysiology of motor and non-motor symptoms in PD will be examined. PMID:26441550

  2. Autism-linked neuroligin-3 R451C mutation differentially alters hippocampal and cortical synaptic function.

    PubMed

    Etherton, Mark; Földy, Csaba; Sharma, Manu; Tabuchi, Katsuhiko; Liu, Xinran; Shamloo, Mehrdad; Malenka, Robert C; Südhof, Thomas C

    2011-08-16

    Multiple independent mutations in neuroligin genes were identified in patients with familial autism, including the R451C substitution in neuroligin-3 (NL3). Previous studies showed that NL3(R451C) knock-in mice exhibited modestly impaired social behaviors, enhanced water maze learning abilities, and increased synaptic inhibition in the somatosensory cortex, and they suggested that the behavioral changes in these mice may be caused by a general shift of synaptic transmission to inhibition. Here, we confirm that NL3(R451C) mutant mice behaviorally exhibit social interaction deficits and electrophysiologically display increased synaptic inhibition in the somatosensory cortex. Unexpectedly, however, we find that the NL3(R451C) mutation produced a strikingly different phenotype in the hippocampus. Specifically, in the hippocampal CA1 region, the NL3(R451C) mutation caused an ∼1.5-fold increase in AMPA receptor-mediated excitatory synaptic transmission, dramatically altered the kinetics of NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic responses, induced an approximately twofold up-regulation of NMDA receptors containing NR2B subunits, and enhanced long-term potentiation almost twofold. NL3 KO mice did not exhibit any of these changes. Quantitative light microscopy and EM revealed that the NL3(R451C) mutation increased dendritic branching and altered the structure of synapses in the stratum radiatum of the hippocampus. Thus, in NL3(R451C) mutant mice, a single point mutation in a synaptic cell adhesion molecule causes context-dependent changes in synaptic transmission; these changes are consistent with the broad impact of this mutation on murine and human behaviors, suggesting that NL3 controls excitatory and inhibitory synapse properties in a region- and circuit-specific manner.

  3. Intracerebroventricular administration of ouabain alters synaptic plasticity and dopamine release in rat medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Sui, Li; Song, Xiao-Jin; Ren, Jie; Ju, Li-Hua; Wang, Yan

    2013-08-01

    Intracerebroventricular (ICV) administration of ouabain, a specific Na-K-ATPase inhibitor, in rats mimics the manic phenotypes of bipolar disorder and thus has been proposed as one of the best animal models of mania. Bipolar mania has been known to be associated with dysfunctions of medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), a brain area critically involved in mental functions; however, the exact mechanism underlying these dysfunctions is not yet clear. The present study investigated synaptic transmission, synaptic plasticity, and dopamine release in Sprague-Dawley rat mPFC following ICV administration of ouabain (5 μl of 1 mM ouabain). The electrophysiological results demonstrated that ouabain depressed the short- and the long-term synaptic plasticity, represented by paired-pulse facilitation and long-term potentiation, respectively, in the mPFC. These ouabain-induced alterations in synaptic plasticity can be prevented by pre-treatment with lithium (intraperitoneal injection of 47.5 mg/kg lithium, twice a day, 7 days), which acts as an effective mood stabilizer in preventing mania. The electrochemical results demonstrated that ICV administration of ouabain enhanced dopamine release in the mPFC, which did not be affected by pre-treatment with lithium. These findings suggested that alterations in synaptic plasticity and dopamine release in the mPFC might underlie the dysfunctions of mPFC accompanied with ouabain administration-induced bipolar mania.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  5. 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

  6. Glutamatergic transmission in the central nucleus of the amygdala is selectively altered in Marchigian Sardinian alcohol-preferring rats: alcohol and CRF effects

    PubMed Central

    Herman, Melissa A.; Varodayan, Florence P.; Oleata, Christopher S.; Luu, George; Kirson, Dean; Heilig, Markus; Ciccocioppo, Roberto; Roberto, Marisa

    2015-01-01

    The CRF system of the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) is important for the processing of anxiety, stress, and effects of acute and chronic ethanol. We previously reported that ethanol decreases evoked glutamate transmission in the CeA of Sprague Dawley rats and that ethanol dependence alters glutamate release in the CeA. Here, we examined the effects of ethanol, CRF and a CRF1 receptor antagonist on spontaneous and evoked glutamatergic transmission in CeA neurons from Wistar and Marchigian Sardinian Preferring (msP) rats, a rodent line genetically selected for excessive alcohol drinking and characterized by heightened activity of the CRF1 system. Basal spontaneous and evoked glutamate transmission in CeA neurons from msP rats was increased compared to Wistar rats. Ethanol had divergent effects, either increasing or decreasing spontaneous glutamate release in the CeA of Wistar rats. This bidirectional effect was retained in msP rats, but the magnitude of the ethanol-induced increase in glutamate release was significantly smaller. The inhibitory effect of ethanol on evoked glutamatergic transmission was similar in both strains. CRF also either increased or decreased spontaneous glutamate release in CeA neurons of Wistar rats, however, in msP rats CRF only increased glutamate release. The inhibitory effect of CRF on evoked glutamatergic transmission was also lost in neurons from msP rats. A CRF1 antagonist produced only minor effects on spontaneous glutamate transmission, which were consistent across strains, and no effects on evoked glutamate transmission. These results demonstrate that the genetically altered CRF system of msP rats results in alterations in spontaneous and stimulated glutamate signaling in the CeA that may contribute to both the anxiety and drinking behavioral phenotypes. PMID:26519902

  7. Glutamatergic regulation prevents hippocampal-dependent age-related cognitive decline through dendritic spine clustering

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, Ana C.; Lambert, Hilary K.; Grossman, Yael S.; Dumitriu, Dani; Waldman, Rachel; Jannetty, Sophia K.; Calakos, Katina; Janssen, William G.; McEwen, Bruce S.; Morrison, John H.

    2014-01-01

    The dementia of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) results primarily from degeneration of neurons that furnish glutamatergic corticocortical connections that subserve cognition. Although neuron death is minimal in the absence of AD, age-related cognitive decline does occur in animals as well as humans, and it decreases quality of life for elderly people. Age-related cognitive decline has been linked to synapse loss and/or alterations of synaptic proteins that impair function in regions such as the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. These synaptic alterations are likely reversible, such that maintenance of synaptic health in the face of aging is a critically important therapeutic goal. Here, we show that riluzole can protect against some of the synaptic alterations in hippocampus that are linked to age-related memory loss in rats. Riluzole increases glutamate uptake through glial transporters and is thought to decrease glutamate spillover to extrasynaptic NMDA receptors while increasing synaptic glutamatergic activity. Treated aged rats were protected against age-related cognitive decline displayed in nontreated aged animals. Memory performance correlated with density of thin spines on apical dendrites in CA1, although not with mushroom spines. Furthermore, riluzole-treated rats had an increase in clustering of thin spines that correlated with memory performance and was specific to the apical, but not the basilar, dendrites of CA1. Clustering of synaptic inputs is thought to allow nonlinear summation of synaptic strength. These findings further elucidate neuroplastic changes in glutamatergic circuits with aging and advance therapeutic development to prevent and treat age-related cognitive decline. PMID:25512503

  8. Medial prefrontal cortex neuronal activation and synaptic alterations after stress-induced reinstatement of palatable food seeking: a study using c-fos-GFP transgenic female rats.

    PubMed

    Cifani, Carlo; Koya, Eisuke; Navarre, Brittany M; Calu, Donna J; Baumann, Michael H; Marchant, Nathan J; Liu, Qing-Rong; Khuc, Thi; Pickel, James; Lupica, Carl R; Shaham, Yavin; Hope, Bruce T

    2012-06-20

    Relapse to maladaptive eating habits during dieting is often provoked by stress and there is evidence for a role of ovarian hormones in stress responses and feeding. We studied the role of these hormones in stress-induced reinstatement of food seeking and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) neuronal activation in c-fos-GFP transgenic female rats, which express GFP in strongly activated neurons. Food-restricted ovariectomized or sham-operated c-fos-GFP rats were trained to lever-press for palatable food pellets. Subsequently, lever-pressing was extinguished and reinstatement of food seeking and mPFC neuronal activation was assessed after injections of the pharmacological stressor yohimbine (0.5-2 mg/kg) or pellet priming (1-4 noncontingent pellets). Estrous cycle effects on reinstatement were also assessed in wild-type rats. Yohimbine- and pellet-priming-induced reinstatement was associated with Fos and GFP induction in mPFC; both reinstatement and neuronal activation were minimally affected by ovarian hormones in both c-fos-GFP and wild-type rats. c-fos-GFP transgenic rats were then used to assess glutamatergic synaptic alterations within activated GFP-positive and nonactivated GFP-negative mPFC neurons following yohimbine-induced reinstatement of food seeking. This reinstatement was associated with reduced AMPA receptor/NMDA receptor current ratios and increased paired-pulse facilitation in activated GFP-positive but not GFP-negative neurons. While ovarian hormones do not appear to play a role in stress-induced relapse of food seeking in our rat model, this reinstatement was associated with unique synaptic alterations in strongly activated mPFC neurons. Our paper introduces the c-fos-GFP transgenic rat as a new tool to study unique synaptic changes in activated neurons during behavior.

  9. Drebrin depletion alters neurotransmitter receptor levels in protein complexes, dendritic spine morphogenesis and memory-related synaptic plasticity in the mouse hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Jung, Gangsoo; Kim, Eun-Jung; Cicvaric, Ana; Sase, Sunetra; Gröger, Marion; Höger, Harald; Sialana, Fernando Jayson; Berger, Johannes; Monje, Francisco J; Lubec, Gert

    2015-07-01

    Drebrin an actin-bundling key regulator of dendritic spine genesis and morphology, has been recently proposed as a regulator of hippocampal glutamatergic activity which is critical for memory formation and maintenance. Here, we examined the effects of genetic deletion of drebrin on dendritic spine and on the level of complexes containing major brain receptors. To this end, homozygous and heterozygous drebrin knockout mice generated in our laboratory and related wild-type control animals were studied. Level of protein complexes containing dopamine receptor D1/dopamine receptor D2, 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 1A (5-HT1(A)R), and 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 7 (5-HT7R) were significantly reduced in hippocampus of drebrin knockout mice whereas no significant changes were detected for GluR1, 2, and 3 and NR1 as examined by native gel-based immunoblotting. Drebrin depletion also altered dendritic spine formation, morphology, and reduced levels of dopamine receptor D1 in dendritic spines as evaluated using immunohistochemistry/confocal microscopy. Electrophysiological studies further showed significant reduction in memory-related hippocampal synaptic plasticity upon drebrin depletion. These findings provide unprecedented experimental support for a role of drebrin in the regulation of memory-related synaptic plasticity and neurotransmitter receptor signaling, offer relevant information regarding the interpretation of previous studies and help in the design of future studies on dendritic spines. © 2015 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  10. Dietary cholesterol alters memory and synaptic structural plasticity in young rat brain.

    PubMed

    Ya, Bai-liu; Liu, Wen-yan; Ge, Feng; Zhang, Yan-xia; Zhu, Bao-liang; Bai, Bo

    2013-08-01

    Cholesterol plays an important role in synaptic plasticity, learning and memory. To better explore how dietary cholesterol contributes to learning and memory and the related changes in synaptic structural plasticity, rats were categorized into a regular diet (RD) group and a cholesterol-enriched diet (CD) group, and were fed with respective diet for 2 months. Dietary cholesterol impacts on learning and memory, hippocampal synaptic ultrastructure, expression levels of postsynaptic density-95 (PSD-95), synaptophysin (SYP) and cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1R) were investigated. We found CD rats had better performances in learning and memory using Morris water maze and object recognition test than RD rats. The memory improvement was accompanied with alterations of synaptic ultrastructure in the CA1 area of the hippocampus evaluated by electron microscopy, enhanced immunoreactivity of SYP, a presynaptic marker in hippocampus detected by immunocytochemistry, as well as increased levels of PSD-95, SYP and decreased level of CB1R in brains of CD rats determined by Western blot. Taken together, the results suggest that the improvement of learning and memory abilities of the young adult rats induced by dietary cholesterol may be linked with changes in synaptic structural plasticity in the brain.

  11. Optogenetic Stimulation of Prefrontal Glutamatergic Neurons Enhances Recognition Memory

    PubMed Central

    Barker, Gareth R. I.; Stuart, Sarah A.; Roloff, Eva v. L.; Teschemacher, Anja G.; Warburton, E. Clea

    2016-01-01

    Finding effective cognitive enhancers is a major health challenge; however, modulating glutamatergic neurotransmission has the potential to enhance performance in recognition memory tasks. Previous studies using glutamate receptor antagonists have revealed that the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) plays a central role in associative recognition memory. The present study investigates short-term recognition memory using optogenetics to target glutamatergic neurons within the rodent mPFC specifically. Selective stimulation of glutamatergic neurons during the online maintenance of information enhanced associative recognition memory in normal animals. This cognitive enhancing effect was replicated by local infusions of the AMPAkine CX516, but not CX546, which differ in their effects on EPSPs. This suggests that enhancing the amplitude, but not the duration, of excitatory synaptic currents improves memory performance. Increasing glutamate release through infusions of the mGluR7 presynaptic receptor antagonist MMPIP had no effect on performance. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT These results provide new mechanistic information that could guide the targeting of future cognitive enhancers. Our work suggests that improved associative-recognition memory can be achieved by enhancing endogenous glutamatergic neuronal activity selectively using an optogenetic approach. We build on these observations to recapitulate this effect using drug treatments that enhance the amplitude of EPSPs; however, drugs that alter the duration of the EPSP or increase glutamate release lack efficacy. This suggests that both neural and temporal specificity are needed to achieve cognitive enhancement. PMID:27147648

  12. Altered gene regulation and synaptic morphology in Drosophila learning and memory mutants

    PubMed Central

    Guan, Zhuo; Buhl, Lauren K.; Quinn, William G.; Littleton, J. Troy

    2011-01-01

    Genetic studies in Drosophila have revealed two separable long-term memory pathways defined as anesthesia-resistant memory (ARM) and long-lasting long-term memory (LLTM). ARM is disrupted in radish (rsh) mutants, whereas LLTM requires CREB-dependent protein synthesis. Although the downstream effectors of ARM and LLTM are distinct, pathways leading to these forms of memory may share the cAMP cascade critical for associative learning. Dunce, which encodes a cAMP-specific phosphodiesterase, and rutabaga, which encodes an adenylyl cyclase, both disrupt short-term memory. Amnesiac encodes a pituitary adenylyl cyclase-activating peptide homolog and is required for middle-term memory. Here, we demonstrate that the Radish protein localizes to the cytoplasm and nucleus and is a PKA phosphorylation target in vitro. To characterize how these plasticity pathways may manifest at the synaptic level, we assayed synaptic connectivity and performed an expression analysis to detect altered transcriptional networks in rutabaga, dunce, amnesiac, and radish mutants. All four mutants disrupt specific aspects of synaptic connectivity at larval neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). Genome-wide DNA microarray analysis revealed ∼375 transcripts that are altered in these mutants, suggesting defects in multiple neuronal signaling pathways. In particular, the transcriptional target Lapsyn, which encodes a leucine-rich repeat cell adhesion protein, localizes to synapses and regulates synaptic growth. This analysis provides insights into the Radish-dependent ARM pathway and novel transcriptional targets that may contribute to memory processing in Drosophila. PMID:21422168

  13. Cholinergic dysfunction alters synaptic integration between thalamostriatal and corticostriatal inputs in DYT1 dystonia.

    PubMed

    Sciamanna, Giuseppe; Tassone, Annalisa; Mandolesi, Georgia; Puglisi, Francesca; Ponterio, Giulia; Martella, Giuseppina; Madeo, Graziella; Bernardi, Giorgio; Standaert, David G; Bonsi, Paola; Pisani, Antonio

    2012-08-29

    Projections from thalamic intralaminar nuclei convey sensory signals to striatal cholinergic interneurons. These neurons respond with a pause in their pacemaking activity, enabling synaptic integration with cortical inputs to medium spiny neurons (MSNs), thus playing a crucial role in motor function. In mice with the DYT1 dystonia mutation, stimulation of thalamostriatal axons, mimicking a response to salient events, evoked a shortened pause and triggered an abnormal spiking activity in interneurons. This altered pattern caused a significant rearrangement of the temporal sequence of synaptic activity mediated by M(1) and M(2) muscarinic receptors in MSNs, consisting of an increase in postsynaptic currents and a decrease of presynaptic inhibition, respectively. Consistent with a major role of acetylcholine, either lowering cholinergic tone or antagonizing postsynaptic M(1) muscarinic receptors normalized synaptic activity. Our data demonstrate an abnormal time window for synaptic integration between thalamostriatal and corticostriatal inputs, which might alter the action selection process, thereby predisposing DYT1 gene mutation carriers to develop dystonic movements.

  14. Altered Synaptic Plasticity in Tourette's Syndrome and Its Relationship to Motor Skill Learning

    PubMed Central

    Ganos, Christos; Kahl, Ursula; Bäumer, Tobias; Münchau, Alexander

    2014-01-01

    Gilles de la Tourette syndrome is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by motor and phonic tics that can be considered motor responses to preceding inner urges. It has been shown that Tourette patients have inferior performance in some motor learning tasks and reduced synaptic plasticity induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation. However, it has not been investigated whether altered synaptic plasticity is directly linked to impaired motor skill acquisition in Tourette patients. In this study, cortical plasticity was assessed by measuring motor-evoked potentials before and after paired associative stimulation in 14 Tourette patients (13 male; age 18–39) and 15 healthy controls (12 male; age 18–33). Tic and urge severity were assessed using the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale and the Premonitory Urges for Tics Scale. Motor learning was assessed 45 minutes after inducing synaptic plasticity and 9 months later, using the rotary pursuit task. On average, long-term potentiation-like effects in response to the paired associative stimulation were present in healthy controls but not in patients. In Tourette patients, long-term potentiation-like effects were associated with more and long-term depression-like effects with less severe urges and tics. While motor learning did not differ between patients and healthy controls 45 minutes after inducing synaptic plasticity, the learning curve of the healthy controls started at a significantly higher level than the Tourette patients' 9 months later. Induced synaptic plasticity correlated positively with motor skills in healthy controls 9 months later. The present study confirms previously found long-term improvement in motor performance after paired associative stimulation in healthy controls but not in Tourette patients. Tourette patients did not show long-term potentiation in response to PAS and also showed reduced levels of motor skill consolidation after 9 months compared to healthy controls. Moreover, synaptic

  15. Neuroanatomical alterations and synaptic plasticity impairment in the perirhinal cortex of the Ts65Dn mouse model of Down syndrome.

    PubMed

    Roncacé, Vincenzo; Burattini, Costanza; Stagni, Fiorenza; Guidi, Sandra; Giacomini, Andrea; Emili, Marco; Aicardi, Giorgio; Bartesaghi, Renata

    2017-10-01

    Down syndrome (DS), a genetic condition due to triplication of Chromosome 21, is characterized by numerous neurodevelopmental alterations and intellectual disability. Individuals with DS and DS mouse models are impaired in several memory domains, including hippocampus-dependent declarative (spatial, in rodents) memory and visual recognition memory, a form of memory in which the perirhinal cortex (PRC) plays a fundamental role. The anatomo-functional substrates of hippocampus-dependent memory impairment have been largely elucidated in the Ts65Dn mouse model of DS. In contrast, there is a lack of corresponding information regarding visual recognition memory. Therefore, we deemed it of interest to examine at both an anatomical and functional level the PRC of Ts65Dn mice. We found that the PRC of adult (1.5-3.5month-old) Ts65Dn mice exhibited diffused hypocellularity and neurons with a reduced spine density. No difference between Ts65Dn and euploid mice was detected in the abundance of glutamatergic and GABAergic terminals. We examined brain slices for long-term potentiation (LTP), a form of synaptic plasticity involved in long-term memory. Theta burst stimulation of intracortical fibers was used in order to elicit LTP in the superficial layers of the PRC. We found that in trisomic slices LTP had a similar time-course but a reduced magnitude in comparison with euploid slices. While exposure to the GABAA receptor antagonist picrotoxin had no effect on LTP magnitude, exposure to the GABAB receptor antagonist CGP55845 caused an increase in LTP magnitude that became even larger than in euploid slices. Western blot analysis showed increased levels of the G-protein-activated inwardly rectifying K(+) channel 2 (GIRK2) in the PRC of Ts65Dn mice, consistent with triplication of the gene coding for GIRK2. This suggests that the reduced magnitude of LTP may be caused by GIRK2-dependent exaggerated GABAB receptor-mediated inhibition. Results provide novel evidence for anatomo

  16. Pathophysiology of Huntington’s Disease: Time-Dependent Alterations in Synaptic and Receptor Function

    PubMed Central

    Raymond, Lynn A.; André, Véronique M.; Cepeda, Carlos; Gladding, Clare M.; Milnerwood, Austen J.; Levine, Michael S.

    2011-01-01

    Huntington’s disease (HD) is a progressive, fatal neurological condition caused by an expansion of CAG (glutamine) repeats in the coding region of the Huntington gene. To date, there is no cure but great strides have been made to understand pathophysiological mechanisms. In particular, genetic animal models of HD have been instrumental in elucidating the progression of behavioral and physiological alterations, which had not been possible using classic neurotoxin models. Our groups have pioneered the use of transgenic HD mice to examine the excitotoxicity hypothesis of striatal neuronal dysfunction and degeneration, as well as alterations in excitation and inhibition in striatum and cerebral cortex. In this review, we focus on synaptic and receptor alterations of striatal medium-sized spiny (MSNs) and cortical pyramidal neurons in genetic HD mouse models. We demonstrate a complex series of alterations that are region-specific and time-dependent. In particular, many changes are bidirectional depending on the degree of disease progression, i.e., early versus late, and also on the region examined. Early synaptic dysfunction is manifested by dysregulated glutamate release in striatum followed by progressive disconnection between cortex and striatum. The differential effects of altered glutamate release on MSNs originating the direct and indirect pathways is also elucidated, with the unexpected finding that cells of the direct striatal pathway are involved early in the course of the disease. In addition, we review evidence for early N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) dysfunction leading to enhanced sensitivity of extrasynaptic receptors and a critical role of GluN2B subunits. Some of the alterations in late HD could be compensatory mechanisms designed to cope with early synaptic and receptor dysfunctions. The main findings indicate that HD treatments need to be designed according to the stage of disease progression and should consider regional differences. PMID

  17. Chronic lead exposure alters presynaptic calcium regulation and synaptic facilitation in Drosophila larvae

    PubMed Central

    He, T.; Hirsch, H.V.B.; Ruden, D. M.; Lnenicka, G. A.

    2009-01-01

    Prolonged exposure to inorganic lead (Pb2+) during development has been shown to influence activity-dependent synaptic plasticity in the mammalian brain, possibly by altering the regulation of intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i). To explore this possibility, we studied the effect of Pb2+ exposure on [Ca2+]i regulation and synaptic facilitation at the neuromuscular junction of larval Drosophila. Wild-type Drosophila (CS) were raised from egg stages through the third larval instar in media containing either 0, 100 μM or 250 μM Pb2+ and identified motor terminals were examined in late third-instar larvae. To compare resting [Ca2+]i and the changes in [Ca2+]i produced by impulse activity, the motor terminals were loaded with a Ca2+ indicator, either Oregon Green 488 BAPTA-1 (OGB-1) or fura-2 conjugated to a dextran. We found that rearing in Pb2+ did not significantly change the resting [Ca2+]i nor the Ca2+ transient produced in synaptic boutons by single action potentials (APs); however, the Ca2+ transients produced by 10 and 20 Hz AP trains were larger in Pb2+-exposed boutons and decayed more slowly. For larvae raised in 250 μM Pb2+, the increase in [Ca2+]i during an AP train (20 Hz) was 29% greater than in control larvae and the [Ca2+]i decay τ was 69% greater. These differences appear to result from reduced activity of the plasma membrane Ca2+ ATPase (PMCA), which extrudes Ca2+ from these synaptic terminals. These findings are consistent with studies in mammals showing a Pb2+-dependent reduction in PMCA activity. We also observed a Pb2+-dependent enhancement of synaptic facilitation at these larval neuromuscular synapses. Facilitation of EPSP amplitude during AP trains (20 Hz) was 55% greater in Pb2+-reared larvae than in controls. These results showed that Pb2+ exposure produced changes in the regulation of [Ca2+]i during impulse activity, which could affect various aspects of nervous system development. At the mature synapse, this altered [Ca2+]i

  18. Prenatal melamine exposure impairs spatial cognition and hippocampal synaptic plasticity by presynaptic and postsynaptic inhibition of glutamatergic transmission in adolescent offspring.

    PubMed

    An, Lei; Sun, Wei

    2017-03-05

    Our previous studies showed that prenatal melamine exposure (PME) could impair spatial cognition and hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP). More importantly, the synaptic dysfunction induced by PME was associated with the probability of presynaptic glutamate release. Considering the crucial role of the other form of synaptic plasticity, long-term depression (LTD), in some types of learning and memory process, the aim of present study was to investigate if the hippocampal LTD and cognitive flexibility were affected. And then we attempted to explore the underlying mechanism. The animal model was produced by melamine exposure throughout gestational period with 400mg/kg bodyweight, the male offspring rats were used in the study. Morris water maze (MWM) test was performed, and then LTD was recorded from Schaffer collaterals to CA1 region in the hippocampus. Behavioral test showed that learning, reference memory and re-acquisition learning abilities were impaired significantly by PME. The field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) slopes of LTD were significantly higher after PME. Furthermore, the data of whole-cell patch-clamp experiments showed that PME markedly diminished the frequencies of spontaneous EPSCs (sEPSCs) and simultaneously reduced the amplitude of sEPSCs. In conclusion, PME inhibited glutamate transmission presynaptically and postsynaptically which could contribute importantly to the depressed hippocampal synaptic plasticity and further induced cognitive deficits in MWM tests.

  19. Witnessing stressful events induces glutamatergic synapse pathway alterations and gene set enrichment of positive EPSP regulation within the VTA of adult mice: An ontology based approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brewer, Jacob S.

    It is well known that exposure to severe stress increases the risk for developing mood disorders. Currently, the neurobiological and genetic mechanisms underlying the functional effects of psychological stress are poorly understood. Presenting a major obstacle to the study of psychological stress is the inability of current animal models of stress to distinguish between physical and psychological stressors. A novel paradigm recently developed by Warren et al., is able to tease apart the effects of physical and psychological stress in adult mice by allowing these mice to "witness," the social defeat of another mouse thus removing confounding variables associated with physical stressors. Using this 'witness' model of stress and RNA-Seq technology, the current study aims to study the genetic effects of psychological stress. After, witnessing the social defeat of another mouse, VTA tissue was extracted, sequenced, and analyzed for differential expression. Since genes often work together in complex networks, a pathway and gene ontology (GO) analysis was performed using data from the differential expression analysis. The pathway and GO analyzes revealed a perturbation of the glutamatergic synapse pathway and an enrichment of positive excitatory post-synaptic potential regulation. This is consistent with the excitatory synapse theory of depression. Together these findings demonstrate a dysregulation of the mesolimbic reward pathway at the gene level as a result of psychological stress potentially contributing to depressive like behaviors.

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

    PubMed Central

    Urban, Nathaniel N.

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22553016

  1. Chronic alcohol exposure alters behavioral and synaptic plasticity of the rodent prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Kroener, Sven; Mulholland, Patrick J; New, Natasha N; Gass, Justin T; Becker, Howard C; Chandler, L Judson

    2012-01-01

    In the present study, we used a mouse model of chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) exposure to examine how CIE alters the plasticity of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). In acute slices obtained either immediately or 1-week after the last episode of alcohol exposure, voltage-clamp recording of excitatory post-synaptic currents (EPSCs) in mPFC layer V pyramidal neurons revealed that CIE exposure resulted in an increase in the NMDA/AMPA current ratio. This increase appeared to result from a selective increase in the NMDA component of the EPSC. Consistent with this, Western blot analysis of the postsynaptic density fraction showed that while there was no change in expression of the AMPA GluR1 subunit, NMDA NR1 and NRB subunits were significantly increased in CIE exposed mice when examined immediately after the last episode of alcohol exposure. Unexpectedly, this increase in NR1 and NR2B was no longer observed after 1-week of withdrawal in spite of a persistent increase in synaptic NMDA currents. Analysis of spines on the basal dendrites of layer V neurons revealed that while the total density of spines was not altered, there was a selective increase in the density of mushroom-type spines following CIE exposure. Examination of NMDA-receptor mediated spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) showed that CIE exposure was associated with altered expression of long-term potentiation (LTP). Lastly, behavioral studies using an attentional set-shifting task that depends upon the mPFC for optimal performance revealed deficits in cognitive flexibility in CIE exposed mice when tested up to 1-week after the last episode of alcohol exposure. Taken together, these observations are consistent with those in human alcoholics showing protracted deficits in executive function, and suggest these deficits may be associated with alterations in synaptic plasticity in the mPFC.

  2. Chronic Alcohol Exposure Alters Behavioral and Synaptic Plasticity of the Rodent Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Kroener, Sven; Mulholland, Patrick J.; New, Natasha N.; Gass, Justin T.; Becker, Howard C.; Chandler, L. Judson

    2012-01-01

    In the present study, we used a mouse model of chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) exposure to examine how CIE alters the plasticity of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). In acute slices obtained either immediately or 1-week after the last episode of alcohol exposure, voltage-clamp recording of excitatory post-synaptic currents (EPSCs) in mPFC layer V pyramidal neurons revealed that CIE exposure resulted in an increase in the NMDA/AMPA current ratio. This increase appeared to result from a selective increase in the NMDA component of the EPSC. Consistent with this, Western blot analysis of the postsynaptic density fraction showed that while there was no change in expression of the AMPA GluR1 subunit, NMDA NR1 and NRB subunits were significantly increased in CIE exposed mice when examined immediately after the last episode of alcohol exposure. Unexpectedly, this increase in NR1 and NR2B was no longer observed after 1-week of withdrawal in spite of a persistent increase in synaptic NMDA currents. Analysis of spines on the basal dendrites of layer V neurons revealed that while the total density of spines was not altered, there was a selective increase in the density of mushroom-type spines following CIE exposure. Examination of NMDA-receptor mediated spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) showed that CIE exposure was associated with altered expression of long-term potentiation (LTP). Lastly, behavioral studies using an attentional set-shifting task that depends upon the mPFC for optimal performance revealed deficits in cognitive flexibility in CIE exposed mice when tested up to 1-week after the last episode of alcohol exposure. Taken together, these observations are consistent with those in human alcoholics showing protracted deficits in executive function, and suggest these deficits may be associated with alterations in synaptic plasticity in the mPFC. PMID:22666364

  3. In vivo mitochondrial inhibition alters corticostriatal synaptic function and the modulatory effects of neurotrophins.

    PubMed

    Mendoza, E; Miranda-Barrientos, J A; Vázquez-Roque, R A; Morales-Herrera, E; Ruelas, A; De la Rosa, G; Flores, G; Hernández-Echeagaray, E

    2014-11-07

    Experimental evidence has revealed the role of mitochondria in various aspects of neuronal physiology. Mitochondrial failure results in alterations that underlie the pathogeneses of many neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease (HD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The mitochondrial toxin 3-nitropropionic acid (3-NP) has been used to model failure; for example, systemic administration of 3-NP imitates the striatal degeneration that is exhibited in the postmortem tissue of patients afflicted with HD. We have demonstrated that low, sub-chronic doses of 3-NP are sufficient to initiate the damage to striatal neurons that is associated with changes in neurotrophin expression levels. However, the mechanisms underlying the alterations in neuronal activity and neurotransmission due to 3-NP-induced mitochondrial dysfunction remain to be elucidated. In this paper, we focus on how corticostriatal transmission and its modulation by neurotrophins are altered in vivo after 5 days of mitochondrial inhibition with 3-NP. Recordings of population spikes and a paired pulse (PP) stimulation protocol were used to document changes in corticostriatal synapses in 3-NP-treated brain slices. The corticostriatal synapses were modulated by neurotrophins but displayed differential amplitude increases in the presence of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), or neurotrophin-4/5 (NT-4/5) under control conditions. Neurotrophin-mediated synaptic modulation was decreased in slices from 3-NP-treated mice. The protein and mRNA levels of neurotrophins and their receptors were also modified in the 3-NP-treated tissue. Neuronal structural evaluation demonstrated that synaptic length and density were reduced in the 3-NP-treated mice, which partially explained the changes in the amplitudes of the synaptic field responses. Our results demonstrate that corticostriatal synapses are differentially modulated by neurotrophins

  4. Time-course of alterations in pre- and post-synaptic chemoreceptor function during developmental hyperoxia

    PubMed Central

    Donnelly, David F.; Bavis, Ryan W.; Kim, Insook; Dbouk, Hassan A; Carroll, John L.

    2009-01-01

    Postnatal hyperoxia exposure reduces the carotid body response to acute hypoxia and produces a long-lasting impairment of the ventilatory response to hypoxia. The present work investigated the time-course of pre- and post-synaptic alterations following exposure to hyperoxia (Fio2=0.6) for 1, 3, 5, 8 and 14 days (d) starting at postnatal day 7 (P7) as compared to age-matched controls. Hyperoxia exposure for 1d enhanced the nerve response and glomus cell calcium response to acute hypoxia, but exposure for 3-5d caused a significant reduction in both. Hypoxia-induced catecholamine release and nerve conduction velocity were significantly decreased by 5d hyperoxia. We conclude that hyperoxia exerts pre-synaptic (glomus cell calcium and secretory responses) and post-synaptic (afferent nerve excitability) actions to initially enhance and then reduce the chemoreceptor response to acute hypoxia. The parallel changes in glomus cell calcium response and nerve response suggest causality between the two and that environmental hyperoxia can affect the coupling between acute hypoxia and glomus cell calcium regulation. PMID:19465165

  5. Enhanced ability of TRPV1 channels in regulating glutamatergic transmission after repeated morphine exposure in the nucleus accumbens of rat.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Haitao; Jia, Dong; Wang, Yuan; Qu, Liang; Wang, Xuelian; Song, Jian; Heng, Lijun; Gao, Guodong

    2017-04-01

    Glutamatergic projections to nucleus accumbens (NAc) drive drug-seeking behaviors during opioids withdrawal. Modulating glutamatergic neurotransmission provides a novel pharmacotherapeutic avenue for treatment of opioids dependence. Great deals of researches have verified that transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) channels alters synaptic transmitter release and regulate neural plasticity. In the present study, whole-cell patch clamp recordings were adopted to examine the activity of TRPV1 Channels in regulating glutamate-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) in NAc of rat during morphine withdrawal for 3days and 3weeks. The data showed that the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) and the amplitudes of evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (eEPSCs) were increased during morphine withdrawal after applied with capsaicin (TRPV1 agonist). Capsaicin decreased the paired pulse ratio (PPR) and increased sEPSCs frequency but not their amplitudes suggesting a presynaptic locus of action during morphine withdrawal. All these effects were fully blocked by the TRPV1 antagonist Capsazepine. Additionally, In the presence of AM251 (CB1 receptor antagonist), depolarization-induced release of endogenous cannabinoids activated TRPV1 channels to enhance glutamatergic neurotransmission during morphine withdrawal. The functional enhancement of TRPV1 Channels in facilitating glutamatergic transmission was not recorded in dorsal striatum. Our findings demonstrate the ability of TRPV1 in regulating excitatory glutamatergic transmission is enhanced during morphine withdrawal in NAc, which would deepen our understanding of glutamatergic modulation during opioids withdrawal. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. NFAT regulates pre-synaptic development and activity-dependent plasticity in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Freeman, Amanda; Franciscovich, Amy; Bowers, Mallory; Sandstrom, David J.; Sanyal, Subhabrata

    2010-01-01

    The calcium-regulated transcription factor NFAT is emerging as a key regulator of neuronal development and plasticity but precise cellular consequences of NFAT function remain poorly understood. Here, we report that the single Drosophila NFAT homolog is widely expressed in the nervous system including motor neurons and unexpectedly controls neural excitability. Likely due to this effect on excitability, NFAT regulates overall larval locomotion and both chronic and acute forms of activity-dependent plasticity at the larval glutamatergic neuro-muscular synapse. Specifically, NFAT-dependent synaptic phenotypes include changes in the number of pre-synaptic boutons, stable modifications in synaptic microtubule architecture and pre-synaptic transmitter release, while no evidence is found for synaptic retraction or alterations in the level of the synaptic cell adhesion molecule FasII. We propose that NFAT regulates pre-synaptic development and constraints long-term plasticity by dampening neuronal excitability. PMID:21185939

  7. Altered intrinsic and synaptic properties of lumbosacral dorsal horn neurons in a mouse model of colitis.

    PubMed

    Farrell, Kristen E; Keely, Simon; Walker, Marjorie M; Brichta, Alan M; Graham, Brett A; Callister, Robert J

    2017-08-23

    Visceral pain in inflammatory and functional gastrointestinal conditions is a major clinical problem. The exact mechanisms underlying the development of pain, during and after visceral inflammation, are unknown clinical and pre-clinical evidence that suggests plasticity within the spinal cord dorsal horn is a contributing factor. Here we use an in vivo preparation and patch-clamp electrophysiology to test whether the synaptic and intrinsic properties of superficial dorsal horn (SDH) neurons are altered 5days after the induction of mild colitis in adult male mice (i.e. during acute inflammation of the colon). Whole-cell recordings were made from lumbosacral (L6-S1) superficial dorsal horn neurons (SDH), in animals under isoflurane anesthesia. Noxious colorectal distension (CRD) was used to identify SDH neurons with colonic inputs, while stimulation of the hind paw and tail was employed to assess convergent cutaneous input. Following inflammation, a significantly increased proportion of SDH neurons received both colonic and cutaneous inputs, compared to neurons in naïve animals. In addition, the nature and magnitude of responses to CRD and cutaneous stimulation differed in inflamed animals, as was spontaneous excitatory synaptic drive. Conversely, several measures of intrinsic excitability were altered in a manner that would decrease SDH network excitability following colitis. We propose that during inflammation, sensitization of colonic afferents results in increased signaling to the SDH. This is accompanied by plasticity in SDH neurons whereby their intrinsic properties are changed to compensate for altered afferent activity. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Alzheimer's disease and type 2 diabetes-related alterations in brain mitochondria, autophagy and synaptic markers.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Cristina; Santos, Maria S; Oliveira, Catarina R; Moreira, Paula I

    2015-08-01

    We aimed to investigate mitochondrial function, biogenesis and autophagy in the brain of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) mice. Isolated brain mitochondria and homogenates from cerebral cortex and hippocampus of wild-type (WT), triple transgenic AD (3xTg-AD) and T2D mice were used to evaluate mitochondrial functional parameters and protein levels of mitochondrial biogenesis, autophagy and synaptic integrity markers, respectively. A significant decrease in mitochondrial respiration, membrane potential and energy levels was observed in T2D and 3xTg-AD mice. Also, a significant decrease in the levels of autophagy-related protein 7 (ATG7) and glycosylated lysosomal membrane protein 1 (LAMP1) was observed in cerebral cortex and hippocampus of T2D and 3xTg-AD mice. Moreover, both brain regions of 3xTg-AD mice present lower levels of nuclear respiratory factor (NRF) 1 while the levels of NRF2 are lower in both brain regions of T2D and 3xTg-AD mice. A decrease in mitochondrial encoded, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide dehydrogenase subunit 1 (ND1) was also observed in T2D and 3xTg-AD mice although only statistically significant in T2D cortex. Furthermore, a decrease in the levels of postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD95) in the cerebral cortex of 3xTg-AD mice and in hippocampus of T2D and 3xTg-AD mice and a decrease in the levels of synaptosomal-associated protein 25 (SNAP 25) in the hippocampus of T2D and 3xTg-AD mice were observed suggesting synaptic integrity loss. These results support the idea that alterations in mitochondrial function, biogenesis and autophagy cause synaptic damage in AD and T2D.

  9. Thinking outside the cleft to understand synaptic activity: contribution of the cystine-glutamate antiporter (System xc-) to normal and pathological glutamatergic signaling.

    PubMed

    Bridges, Richard; Lutgen, Victoria; Lobner, Doug; Baker, David A

    2012-07-01

    System x(c)(-) represents an intriguing target in attempts to understand the pathological states of the central nervous system. Also called a cystine-glutamate antiporter, system x(c)(-) typically functions by exchanging one molecule of extracellular cystine for one molecule of intracellular glutamate. Nonvesicular glutamate released during cystine-glutamate exchange activates extrasynaptic glutamate receptors in a manner that shapes synaptic activity and plasticity. These findings contribute to the intriguing possibility that extracellular glutamate is regulated by a complex network of release and reuptake mechanisms, many of which are unique to glutamate and rarely depicted in models of excitatory signaling. Because system x(c)(-) is often expressed on non-neuronal cells, the study of cystine-glutamate exchange may advance the emerging viewpoint that glia are active contributors to information processing in the brain. It is noteworthy that system x(c)(-) is at the interface between excitatory signaling and oxidative stress, because the uptake of cystine that results from cystine-glutamate exchange is critical in maintaining the levels of glutathione, a critical antioxidant. As a result of these dual functions, system x(c)(-) has been implicated in a wide array of central nervous system diseases ranging from addiction to neurodegenerative disorders to schizophrenia. In the current review, we briefly discuss the major cellular components that regulate glutamate homeostasis, including glutamate release by system x(c)(-). This is followed by an in-depth discussion of system x(c)(-) as it relates to glutamate release, cystine transport, and glutathione synthesis. Finally, the role of system x(c)(-) is surveyed across a number of psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.

  10. Synaptic development and neuronal myelination are altered with growth restriction in fetal guinea pigs.

    PubMed

    Piorkowska, Karolina; Thompson, Jennifer; Nygard, Karen; Matushewski, Brad; Hammond, Robert; Richardson, Bryan

    2014-01-01

    This study examines aberrant synaptogenesis and myelination of neuronal connections as possible links to neurological sequelae in growth-restricted fetuses. Pregnant guinea pig sows were subjected to uterine blood flow restriction or sham surgeries at midgestation. The animals underwent necropsy at term with fetuses grouped according to body weight and brain-to-liver weight ratios as follows: appropriate for gestational age (n = 12); asymmetrically fetal growth restricted (aFGR; n = 8); symmetrically fetal growth restricted (sFGR; n = 8), and large for gestational age (n = 8). Fetal brains were perfusion fixed and paraffin embedded to determine immunoreactivity for synaptophysin and synaptopodin as markers of synaptic development and maturation, respectively, and for myelin basic protein as a marker for myelination, which was further assessed using Luxol fast blue staining. The most pertinent findings were that growth-restricted guinea pig fetuses exhibited reduced synaptogenesis and synaptic maturation as well as reduced myelination, which were primarily seen in subareas of the hippocampus and associated efferent tracts. These neurodevelopmental changes were more pronounced in the sFGR compared to the aFGR animals. Accordingly, altered hippocampal development involving synaptogenesis and myelination may represent a mechanism by which cognitive deficits manifest in human growth-restricted offspring in later life. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  11. Altered synaptic phospholipid signaling in PRG-1 deficient mice induces exploratory behavior and motor hyperactivity resembling psychiatric disorders.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Patrick; Petzold, Sandra; Sommer, Angela; Nitsch, Robert; Schwegler, Herbert; Vogt, Johannes; Roskoden, Thomas

    2017-08-24

    Plasticity related gene 1 (PRG-1) is a neuron specific membrane protein located at the postsynaptic density of glutamatergic synapses. PRG-1 modulates signaling pathways of phosphorylated lipid substrates such as lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). Deletion of PRG-1 increases presynaptic glutamate release probability leading to neuronal over-excitation. However, due to its cortical expression, PRG-1 deficiency leading to increased glutamatergic transmission is supposed to also affect motor pathways. We therefore analyzed the effects of PRG-1 function on exploratory and motor behavior using homozygous PRG-1 knockout (PRG-1(-/-)) mice and PRG-1/LPA2-receptor double knockout (PRG-1(-/-)/LPA2(-/-)) mice in two open field settings of different size and assessing motor behavior in the Rota Rod test. PRG-1(-/-) mice displayed significantly longer path lengths and higher running speed in both open field conditions. In addition, PRG-1(-/-) mice spent significantly longer time in the larger open field and displayed rearing and self-grooming behavior. Furthermore PRG-1(-/-) mice displayed stereotypical behavior resembling phenotypes of psychiatric disorders in the smaller sized open field arena. Altogether, this behavior is similar to the stereotypical behavior observed in animal models for psychiatric disease of autistic spectrum disorders which reflects a disrupted balance between glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses. These differences indicate an altered excitation/inhibition balance in neuronal circuits in PRG-1(-/-) mice as recently shown in the somatosensory cortex [38]. In contrast, PRG-1(-/-)/LPA2(-/-) did not show significant changes in behavior in the open field suggesting that these specific alterations were abolished when the LPA2-receptor was lacking. Our findings indicate that PRG-1 deficiency led to over-excitability caused by an altered LPA/LPA2-R signaling inducing a behavioral phenotype typically observed in animal models for psychiatric disorders. Copyright

  12. Alteration of AMPA Receptor-Mediated Synaptic Transmission by Alexa Fluor 488 and 594 in Cerebellar Stellate Cells123

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The fluorescent dyes, Alexa Fluor 488 and 594 are commonly used to visualize dendritic structures and the localization of synapses, both of which are critical for the spatial and temporal integration of synaptic inputs. However, the effect of the dyes on synaptic transmission is not known. Here we investigated whether Alexa Fluor dyes alter the properties of synaptic currents mediated by two subtypes of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) at cerebellar stellate cell synapses. In naive mice, GluA2-lacking AMPAR-mediated synaptic currents displayed an inwardly rectifying current–voltage (I–V) relationship due to blockade by cytoplasmic spermine at depolarized potentials. We found that the inclusion of 100 µm Alexa Fluor dye, but not 10 µm, in the pipette solution led to a gradual increase in the amplitude of EPSCs at +40 mV and a change in the I–V relationship from inwardly rectifying to more linear. In mice exposed to an acute stress, AMPARs switched to GluA2-containing receptors, and 100 µm Alexa Fluor 594 did not alter the I–V relationship of synaptic currents. Therefore, a high concentration of Alexa Fluor dye changed the I–V relationship of EPSCs at GluA2-lacking AMPAR synapses. PMID:27280156

  13. Alteration of AMPA Receptor-Mediated Synaptic Transmission by Alexa Fluor 488 and 594 in Cerebellar Stellate Cells.

    PubMed

    Maroteaux, Matthieu; Liu, Siqiong June

    2016-01-01

    The fluorescent dyes, Alexa Fluor 488 and 594 are commonly used to visualize dendritic structures and the localization of synapses, both of which are critical for the spatial and temporal integration of synaptic inputs. However, the effect of the dyes on synaptic transmission is not known. Here we investigated whether Alexa Fluor dyes alter the properties of synaptic currents mediated by two subtypes of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) at cerebellar stellate cell synapses. In naive mice, GluA2-lacking AMPAR-mediated synaptic currents displayed an inwardly rectifying current-voltage (I-V) relationship due to blockade by cytoplasmic spermine at depolarized potentials. We found that the inclusion of 100 µm Alexa Fluor dye, but not 10 µm, in the pipette solution led to a gradual increase in the amplitude of EPSCs at +40 mV and a change in the I-V relationship from inwardly rectifying to more linear. In mice exposed to an acute stress, AMPARs switched to GluA2-containing receptors, and 100 µm Alexa Fluor 594 did not alter the I-V relationship of synaptic currents. Therefore, a high concentration of Alexa Fluor dye changed the I-V relationship of EPSCs at GluA2-lacking AMPAR synapses.

  14. Acute ethanol suppresses glutamatergic neurotransmission through endocannabinoids in hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Basavarajappa, Balapal S; Ninan, Ipe; Arancio, Ottavio

    2008-11-01

    Ethanol exposure during fetal development is a leading cause of long-term cognitive impairments. Studies suggest that ethanol exposure have deleterious effects on the hippocampus, a brain region that is important for learning and memory. Ethanol exerts its effects, in part, via alterations in glutamatergic neurotransmission, which is critical for the maturation of neuronal circuits during development. The current literature strongly supports the growing evidence that ethanol inhibits glutamate release in the neonatal CA1 hippocampal region. However, the exact molecular mechanism responsible for this effect is not well understood. In this study, we show that ethanol enhances endocannabinoid (EC) levels in cultured hippocampal neurons, possibly through calcium pathways. Acute ethanol depresses miniature post-synaptic current (mEPSC) frequencies without affecting their amplitude. This suggests that ethanol inhibits glutamate release. The CB1 receptors (CB1Rs) present on pre-synaptic neurons are not altered by acute ethanol. The CB1R antagonist SR 141716A reverses ethanol-induced depression of mEPSC frequency. Drugs that are known to enhance the in vivo function of ECs occlude ethanol effects on mEPSC frequency. Chelation of post-synaptic calcium by EGTA antagonizes ethanol-induced depression of mEPSC frequency. The activation of CB1R with the selective agonist WIN55,212-2 also suppresses the mEPSC frequency. This WIN55,212-2 effect is similar to the ethanol effects and is reversed by SR141716A. In addition, tetani-induced excitatory post-synaptic currents (EPSCs) are depressed by acute ethanol. SR141716A significantly reverses ethanol effects on evoked EPSC amplitude in a dual recording preparation. These observations, taken together, suggest the participation of ECs as retrograde messengers in the ethanol-induced depression of synaptic activities.

  15. Third Trimester Equivalent Alcohol Exposure Reduces Modulation of Glutamatergic Synaptic Transmission by 5-HT1A Receptors in the Rat Hippocampal CA3 Region

    PubMed Central

    Morton, Russell A.; Valenzuela, C. Fernando

    2016-01-01

    Fetal alcohol exposure has been associated with many neuropsychiatric disorders that have been linked to altered serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) signaling, including depression and anxiety. During the first 2 weeks of postnatal life in rodents (equivalent to the third trimester of human pregnancy) 5-HT neurons undergo significant functional maturation and their axons reach target regions in the forebrain (e.g., cortex and hippocampus). The objective of this study was to identify the effects of third trimester ethanol (EtOH) exposure on hippocampal 5-HT signaling. Using EtOH vapor inhalation chambers, we exposed rat pups to EtOH for 4 h/day from postnatal day (P) 2 to P12. The average serum EtOH concentration in the pups was 0.13 ± 0.04 g/dl (legal intoxication limit in humans = 0.08 g/dl). We used brain slices to assess the modulatory actions of 5-HT on field excitatory postsynaptic potentials in the hippocampal CA3 region at P13-P15. Application of the GABAA/glycine receptor antagonist, picrotoxin, caused broadening of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs), an effect that was reversed by application of 5-HT in slices from air exposed rats. However, this effect of 5-HT was absent in EtOH exposed animals. In slices from naïve animals, application of a 5-HT1A receptor antagonist blocked the effect of 5-HT on the fEPSPs recorded in presence of picrotoxin, suggesting that third trimester ethanol exposure acts by inhibiting the function of these receptors. Studies indicate that 5-HT1A receptors play a critical role in the development of hippocampal circuits. Therefore, inhibition of these receptors by third trimester ethanol exposure could contribute to the pathophysiology of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. PMID:27375424

  16. Constitutive and Acquired Serotonin Deficiency Alters Memory and Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Fernandez, Sebastian P; Muzerelle, Aude; Scotto-Lomassese, Sophie; Barik, Jacques; Gruart, Agnès; Delgado-García, José M; Gaspar, Patricia

    2017-01-01

    Serotonin (5-HT) deficiency occurs in a number of brain disorders that affect cognitive function. However, a direct causal relationship between 5-HT hypo-transmission and memory and underlying mechanisms has not been established. We used mice with a constitutive depletion of 5-HT brain levels (Pet1KO mice) to analyze the contribution of 5-HT to different forms of learning and memory. Pet1KO mice exhibited a striking deficit in novel object recognition memory, a hippocampal-dependent task. No alterations were found in tasks for social recognition, procedural learning, or fear memory. Viral delivery of designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs was used to selectively silence the activity of 5-HT neurons in the raphe. Inhibition of 5-HT neurons in the median raphe, but not the dorsal raphe, was sufficient to impair object recognition in adult mice. In vivo electrophysiology in behaving mice showed that long-term potentiation in the hippocampus of 5-HT-deficient mice was altered, and administration of the 5-HT1A agonist 8-OHDPAT rescued the memory deficits. Our data suggest that hyposerotonergia selectively affects declarative hippocampal-dependent memory. Serotonergic projections from the median raphe are necessary to regulate object memory and hippocampal synaptic plasticity processes, through an inhibitory control mediated by 5-HT1A receptors.

  17. PINK1 heterozygous mutations induce subtle alterations in dopamine-dependent synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Madeo, G.; Schirinzi, T.; Martella, G.; Latagliata, E.C.; Puglisi, F.; Shen, J.; Valente, E.M.; Federici, M.; Mercuri, N.B.; Puglisi-Allegra, S.; Bonsi, P.; Pisani, A.

    2014-01-01

    Background Homozygous or compound heterozygous mutations in the PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) gene are causative of autosomal recessive, early onset PD. Single heterozygous mutations have been repeatedly detected in a subset of patients as well as in non-affected subjects, and their significance has long been debated. Several neurophysiological studies from non-manifesting PINK1 heterozygotes have shown the existence of neural plasticity abnormalities, indicating the presence of specific endophenotypic traits in the heterozygous state. Methods In the present study, we performed a functional analysis of corticostriatal synaptic plasticity in heterozygous PINK1 knock-out (PINK1+/−) mice by a multidisciplinary approach. Results We found that, despite a normal motor behavior, repetitive activation of cortical inputs to striatal neurons failed to induce long-term potentiation (LTP), whereas long-term depression (LTD) was normal. Although nigral dopaminergic neurons exhibited normal morphological and electrophysiological properties with normal responses to dopamine receptor activation, we measured a significantly lower dopamine release in the striatum of PINK1+/−, compared to control mice, suggesting that a decrease in stimulus-evoked dopamine overflow acts as a major determinant for the LTP deficit. Accordingly, pharmacological agents capable of increasing the availability of dopamine in the synaptic cleft restored a normal LTP in heterozygous mice. Moreover, MAO-B inhibitors rescued a physiological LTP and a normal dopamine release. Conclusions Our results provide novel evidence for striatal plasticity abnormalities even in the heterozygous disease state. These alterations might be considered an endophenotype to this monogenic form of PD, and a valid tool to characterize early disease stage and design possible disease-modifying therapies. PMID:24167038

  18. Altered inhibitory synaptic transmission in superficial dorsal horn neurones in spastic and oscillator mice

    PubMed Central

    Graham, B A; Schofield, P R; Sah, P; Callister, R J

    2003-01-01

    The spastic (spa) and oscillator (ot) mouse have naturally occurring mutations in the inhibitory glycine receptor (GlyR) and exhibit severe motor disturbances when exposed to unexpected sensory stimuli. We examined the effects of the spa and ot mutations on GlyR- and GABAAR-mediated synaptic transmission in the superficial dorsal horn (SFDH), a spinal cord region where inhibition is important for nociceptive processing. Spontaneous mIPSCs were recorded from visually identified neurones in parasagittal spinal cord slices. Neurones received exclusively GABAAR-mediated mIPSCs, exclusively GlyR-mediated mIPSCs or both types of mIPSCs. In control mice (wild-type and spa/+) over 40 % of neurones received both types of mIPSCs, over 30 % received solely GABAAR-mediated mIPSCs and the remainder received solely GlyR-mediated mIPSCs. In spa/spa animals, 97 % of the neurones received exclusively GABAAergic or both types of mIPSCs. In ot/ot animals, over 80 % of the neurones received exclusively GABAAR-mediated mIPSCs. GlyR-mediated mIPSC amplitude and charge were reduced in spa/spa and ot/ot animals. GABAAR-mediated mIPSC amplitude and charge were elevated in spa/spa but unaltered in ot/ot animals. GlyR- and GABAAR-mediated mIPSC decay times were similar for all genotypes, consistent with the mutations altering receptor numbers but not kinetics. These findings suggest the spastic and oscillator mutations, traditionally considered motor disturbances, also disrupt inhibition in a sensory region associated with nociceptive transmission. Furthermore, the spastic mutation results in a compensatory increase in GABAAergic transmission in SFDH neurones, a form of inhibitory synaptic plasticity absent in the oscillator mouse. PMID:12837931

  19. Developmental alcohol exposure impairs synaptic plasticity without overtly altering microglial function in mouse visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Wong, Elissa L; Lutz, Nina M; Hogan, Victoria A; Lamantia, Cassandra E; McMurray, Helene R; Myers, Jason R; Ashton, John M; Majewska, Ania K

    2017-09-14

    Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), caused by gestational ethanol (EtOH) exposure, is one of the most common causes of non-heritable and life-long mental disability worldwide, with no standard treatment or therapy available. While EtOH exposure can alter the function of both neurons and glia, it is still unclear how EtOH influences brain development to cause deficits in sensory and cognitive processing later in life. Microglia play an important role in shaping synaptic function and plasticity during neural circuit development and have been shown to mount an acute immunological response to EtOH exposure in certain brain regions. Therefore, we hypothesized that microglial roles in the healthy brain could be permanently altered by early EtOH exposure leading to deficits in experience-dependent plasticity. We used a mouse model of human third trimester high binge EtOH exposure, administering EtOH twice daily by subcutaneous injections from postnatal day 4 through postnatal day 9 (P4-:P9). Using a monocular deprivation model to assess ocular dominance plasticity, we found an EtOH-induced deficit in this type of visually driven experience-dependent plasticity. However, using a combination of immunohistochemistry, confocal microscopy, and in vivo two-photon microscopy to assay microglial morphology and dynamics, as well as fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) and RNA-seq to examine the microglial transcriptome, we found no evidence of microglial dysfunction in early adolescence. We also found no evidence of microglial activation in visual cortex acutely after early ethanol exposure, possibly because we also did not observe EtOH-induced neuronal cell death in this brain region. We conclude that early EtOH exposure caused a deficit in experience-dependent synaptic plasticity in the visual cortex that was independent of changes in microglial phenotype or function. This demonstrates that neural plasticity can remain impaired by developmental ethanol exposure even in

  20. Alteration in glutathione content and associated enzyme activities in the synaptic terminals but not in the non-synaptic mitochondria from the frontal cortex of Parkinson's disease brains.

    PubMed

    Harish, G; Mahadevan, Anita; Srinivas Bharath, M M; Shankar, S K

    2013-01-01

    Altered redox dynamics contribute to physiological aging and Parkinson's disease (PD). This is reflected in the substantia nigra (SN) of PD patients as lowered antioxidant levels and elevated oxidative damage. Contrary to this observation, we previously reported that non-SN regions such as caudate nucleus and frontal cortex (FC) exhibited elevated antioxidants and lowered mitochondrial and oxidative damage indicating constitutive protective mechanisms in PD brains. To investigate whether the sub-cellular distribution of antioxidants could contribute to these protective effects, we examined the distribution of antioxidant/oxidant markers in the neuropil fractions [synaptosomes, non-synaptic mitochondria and cytosol] of FC from PD (n = 9) and controls (n = 8). In the control FC, all the antioxidant activities [Superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione (GSH), GSH peroxidase (GPx), GSH-S-transferase (GST)] except glutathione reductase (GR) were the highest in cytosol, but several fold lower in mitochondria and much lower in synaptosomes. However, FC synaptosomes from PD brains had significantly higher levels of GSH (p = 0.01) and related enzymes [GPx (p = 0.02), GR (p = 0.06), GST (p = 0.0001)] compared to controls. Conversely, mitochondria from the FC of PD cases displayed elevated SOD activity (p = 0.02) while the GSH and related enzymes were relatively unaltered. These changes in the neuropil fractions were associated with unchanged or lowered oxidative damage. Further, the mitochondrial content in the synaptosomes of both PD and control brains was ≥five-fold lower compared to the non-synaptic mitochondrial fraction. Altered distribution of oxidant/antioxidant markers in the neuropil fractions of the human brain during aging and PD has implications for (1) degenerative and protective mechanisms (2) distinct antioxidant mechanisms in synaptic terminals compared to other compartments.

  1. Kismet positively regulates glutamate receptor localization and synaptic transmission at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Rupa; Vegesna, Srikar; Safi, Ramia; Bao, Hong; Zhang, Bing; Marenda, Daniel R; Liebl, Faith L W

    2014-01-01

    The Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is a glutamatergic synapse that is structurally and functionally similar to mammalian glutamatergic synapses. These synapses can, as a result of changes in activity, alter the strength of their connections via processes that require chromatin remodeling and changes in gene expression. The chromodomain helicase DNA binding (CHD) protein, Kismet (Kis), is expressed in both motor neuron nuclei and postsynaptic muscle nuclei of the Drosophila larvae. Here, we show that Kis is important for motor neuron synaptic morphology, the localization and clustering of postsynaptic glutamate receptors, larval motor behavior, and synaptic transmission. Our data suggest that Kis is part of the machinery that modulates the development and function of the NMJ. Kis is the homolog to human CHD7, which is mutated in CHARGE syndrome. Thus, our data suggest novel avenues of investigation for synaptic defects associated with CHARGE syndrome.

  2. Kismet Positively Regulates Glutamate Receptor Localization and Synaptic Transmission at the Drosophila Neuromuscular Junction

    PubMed Central

    Ghosh, Rupa; Vegesna, Srikar; Safi, Ramia; Bao, Hong; Zhang, Bing; Marenda, Daniel R.; Liebl, Faith L. W.

    2014-01-01

    The Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is a glutamatergic synapse that is structurally and functionally similar to mammalian glutamatergic synapses. These synapses can, as a result of changes in activity, alter the strength of their connections via processes that require chromatin remodeling and changes in gene expression. The chromodomain helicase DNA binding (CHD) protein, Kismet (Kis), is expressed in both motor neuron nuclei and postsynaptic muscle nuclei of the Drosophila larvae. Here, we show that Kis is important for motor neuron synaptic morphology, the localization and clustering of postsynaptic glutamate receptors, larval motor behavior, and synaptic transmission. Our data suggest that Kis is part of the machinery that modulates the development and function of the NMJ. Kis is the homolog to human CHD7, which is mutated in CHARGE syndrome. Thus, our data suggest novel avenues of investigation for synaptic defects associated with CHARGE syndrome. PMID:25412171

  3. Xyloside primed glycosaminoglycans alter hair bundle micromechanical coupling and synaptic transmission: Pharmacokinetics

    SciTech Connect

    Holman, Holly A.; Nguyen, Lynn Y.; Tran, Vy M.; Arungundram, Sailaja; Kalita, Mausam; Kuberan, Balagurunathan; Rabbitt, Richard D.

    2015-12-31

    Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are ubiquitous in the inner ear, and disorders altering their structure or production often result in debilitating hearing and balance deficits. The specific mechanisms responsible for loss of hair-cell function are not well understood. We recently reported that introduction of a novel BODIPY conjugated xyloside (BX) into the endolymph primes fluorescent GAGs in vivo [6, 15]. Confocal and two-photon fluorescence imaging revealed rapid turnover and assembly of a glycocalyx enveloping the kinocilia and extending into the cupula, a structure that presumably serves as a mechanical link between the hair bundle and the cupula. Extracellular fluorescence was also observed around the basolateral surface of hair cells and surrounding afferent nerve projections into the crista. Single unit afferent recordings during mechanical hair bundle stimulation revealed temporary interruption of synaptic transmission following BX administration followed by recovery, demonstrating an essential role for GAGs in function of the hair cell synapse. In the present work we present a pharmacokinetic model to quantify the time course of BX primed GAG production and turnover in the ear.

  4. Xyloside primed glycosaminoglycans alter hair bundle micromechanical coupling and synaptic transmission: Pharmacokinetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holman, Holly A.; Tran, Vy M.; Nguyen, Lynn Y.; Arungundram, Sailaja; Kalita, Mausam; Kuberan, Balagurunathan; Rabbitt, Richard D.

    2015-12-01

    Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are ubiquitous in the inner ear, and disorders altering their structure or production often result in debilitating hearing and balance deficits. The specific mechanisms responsible for loss of hair-cell function are not well understood. We recently reported that introduction of a novel BODIPY conjugated xyloside (BX) into the endolymph primes fluorescent GAGs in vivo [6, 15]. Confocal and two-photon fluorescence imaging revealed rapid turnover and assembly of a glycocalyx enveloping the kinocilia and extending into the cupula, a structure that presumably serves as a mechanical link between the hair bundle and the cupula. Extracellular fluorescence was also observed around the basolateral surface of hair cells and surrounding afferent nerve projections into the crista. Single unit afferent recordings during mechanical hair bundle stimulation revealed temporary interruption of synaptic transmission following BX administration followed by recovery, demonstrating an essential role for GAGs in function of the hair cell synapse. In the present work we present a pharmacokinetic model to quantify the time course of BX primed GAG production and turnover in the ear.

  5. 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

    2007-06-05

    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.

  6. Cholinergic Synaptic Transmissions Were Altered after Single Sevoflurane Exposure in Drosophila Pupa

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Rongfa; Zhang, Tao; Kuang, Liting; Chen, Zhen; Ran, Dongzhi; Niu, Yang; Gu, Huaiyu

    2015-01-01

    Purpose. Sevoflurane, one of the most used general anesthetics, is widely used in clinical practice all over the world. Previous studies indicated that sevoflurane could induce neuron apoptosis and neural deficit causing query in the safety of anesthesia using sevoflurane. The present study was designed to investigate the effects of sevoflurane on electrophysiology in Drosophila pupa whose excitatory neurotransmitter is acetylcholine early after sevoflurane exposure using whole brain recording technique. Methods. Wide types of Drosophila (canton-s flies) were allocated to control and sevoflurane groups randomly. Sevoflurane groups (1% sevoflurane; 2% sevoflurane; 3% sevoflurane) were exposed to sevoflurane and the exposure lasted 5 hours, respectively. All flies were subjected to electrophysiology experiment using patch clamp 24 hours after exposure. Results. The results showed that, 24 hours after sevoflurane exposure, frequency but not the amplitude of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) was significantly reduced (P < 0.05). Furthermore, we explored the underlying mechanism and found that calcium currents density, which partially regulated the frequency of mEPSCs, was significantly reduced after sevoflurane exposure (P < 0.05). Conclusions. All these suggested that sevoflurane could alter the mEPSCs that are related to synaptic plasticity partially through modulating calcium channel early after sevoflurane exposure. PMID:25705662

  7. Cholinergic synaptic transmissions were altered after single sevoflurane exposure in Drosophila pupa.

    PubMed

    Chen, Rongfa; Zhang, Tao; Kuang, Liting; Chen, Zhen; Ran, Dongzhi; Niu, Yang; Xu, Kangqing; Gu, Huaiyu

    2015-01-01

    . Sevoflurane, one of the most used general anesthetics, is widely used in clinical practice all over the world. Previous studies indicated that sevoflurane could induce neuron apoptosis and neural deficit causing query in the safety of anesthesia using sevoflurane. The present study was designed to investigate the effects of sevoflurane on electrophysiology in Drosophila pupa whose excitatory neurotransmitter is acetylcholine early after sevoflurane exposure using whole brain recording technique. Wide types of Drosophila (canton-s flies) were allocated to control and sevoflurane groups randomly. Sevoflurane groups (1% sevoflurane; 2% sevoflurane; 3% sevoflurane) were exposed to sevoflurane and the exposure lasted 5 hours, respectively. All flies were subjected to electrophysiology experiment using patch clamp 24 hours after exposure. The results showed that, 24 hours after sevoflurane exposure, frequency but not the amplitude of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) was significantly reduced (P < 0.05). Furthermore, we explored the underlying mechanism and found that calcium currents density, which partially regulated the frequency of mEPSCs, was significantly reduced after sevoflurane exposure (P < 0.05). All these suggested that sevoflurane could alter the mEPSCs that are related to synaptic plasticity partially through modulating calcium channel early after sevoflurane exposure.

  8. Prenatal Ethanol Exposure Persistently Alters Endocannabinoid Signaling and Endocannabinoid-Mediated Excitatory Synaptic Plasticity in Ventral Tegmental Area Dopamine Neurons.

    PubMed

    Hausknecht, Kathryn; Shen, Ying-Ling; Wang, Rui-Xiang; Haj-Dahmane, Samir; Shen, Roh-Yu

    2017-06-14

    Prenatal ethanol exposure (PE) leads to increased addiction risk which could be mediated by enhanced excitatory synaptic strength in ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons. Previous studies have shown that PE enhances excitatory synaptic strength by facilitating an anti-Hebbian form of long-term potentiation (LTP). In this study, we investigated the effect of PE on endocannabinoid-mediated long-term depression (eCB-LTD) in VTA DA neurons. Rats were exposed to moderate (3 g/kg/d) or high (6 g/kg/d) levels of ethanol during gestation. Whole-cell recordings were conducted in male offspring between 4 and 10 weeks old.We found that PE led to increased amphetamine self-administration. Both moderate and high levels of PE persistently reduced low-frequency stimulation-induced eCB-LTD. Furthermore, action potential-independent glutamate release was regulated by tonic eCB signaling in PE animals. Mechanistic studies for impaired eCB-LTD revealed that PE downregulated CB1 receptor function. Interestingly, eCB-LTD in PE animals was rescued by metabotropic glutamate receptor I activation, suggesting that PE did not impair the synthesis/release of eCBs. In contrast, eCB-LTD in PE animals was not rescued by increasing presynaptic activity, which actually led to LTP in PE animals, whereas LTD was still observed in controls. This result shows that the regulation of excitatory synaptic plasticity is fundamentally altered in PE animals. Together, PE leads to impaired eCB-LTD at the excitatory synapses of VTA DA neurons primarily due to CB1 receptor downregulation. This effect could contribute to enhanced LTP and the maintenance of augmented excitatory synaptic strength in VTA DA neurons and increased addiction risk after PE.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Prenatal ethanol exposure (PE) is among many adverse developmental factors known to increase drug addiction risk. Increased excitatory synaptic strength in VTA DA neurons is a critical cellular mechanism for addiction risk. Our

  9. Paradoxical upregulation of glutamatergic presynaptic boutons during mild cognitive impairment.

    PubMed

    Bell, Karen F S; Bennett, David A; Cuello, A Claudio

    2007-10-03

    Synaptic integrity is now recognized as a central component of Alzheimer's disease. Surprisingly, however, the structural status of glutamatergic synapses in Alzheimer's disease is unclear, despite the fact that glutamate is the major excitatory transmitter of the CNS and has key roles in excitotoxicity and long-term potentiation. The identification of specific markers of glutamatergic neurons now allows an assessment of the structural involvement of the glutamatergic system across progressive stages of the Alzheimer's pathology, an opportunity not afforded by previously used neurochemical approaches. Glutamatergic presynaptic bouton density and dystrophic neurite abundance were quantified in midfrontal gyrus brain tissue from subjects with no cognitive impairment, mild cognitive impairment, or mild- or severe-stage Alzheimer's disease. Our study demonstrates a striking pathology-dependent pattern of glutamatergic synaptic remodeling with disease progression. Subjects with mild cognitive impairment display a paradoxical elevation in glutamatergic presynaptic bouton density, a situation akin to that observed in the cholinergic system, which then depletes and drops with disease progression. This pattern of synaptic remodeling mirrors our previous findings in transgenic animal models and is of major relevance to current transmitter-based therapeutics.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  11. Engrailed Alters the Specificity of Synaptic Connections of Drosophila Auditory Neurons with the Giant Fiber

    PubMed Central

    Pézier, Adeline; Jezzini, Sami H.; Marie, Bruno

    2014-01-01

    We show that a subset of sound-detecting Johnston's Organ neurons (JONs) in Drosophila melanogaster, which express the transcription factors Engrailed (En) and Invected (Inv), form mixed electrical and chemical synaptic inputs onto the giant fiber (GF) dendrite. These synaptic connections are detected by trans-synaptic Neurobiotin (NB) transfer and by colocalization of Bruchpilot-short puncta. We then show that misexpressing En postmitotically in a second subset of sound-responsive JONs causes them to form ectopic electrical and chemical synapses with the GF, in turn causing that postsynaptic neuron to redistribute its dendritic branches into the vicinity of these afferents. We also introduce a simple electrophysiological recording paradigm for quantifying the presynaptic and postsynaptic electrical activity at this synapse, by measuring the extracellular sound-evoked potentials (SEPs) from the antennal nerve while monitoring the likelihood of the GF firing an action potential in response to simultaneous subthreshold sound and voltage stimuli. Ectopic presynaptic expression of En strengthens the synaptic connection, consistent with there being more synaptic contacts formed. Finally, RNAi-mediated knockdown of En and Inv in postmitotic neurons reduces SEP amplitude but also reduces synaptic strength at the JON–GF synapse. Overall, these results suggest that En and Inv in JONs regulate both neuronal excitability and synaptic connectivity. PMID:25164665

  12. The Role of the Tripartite Glutamatergic Synapse in the Pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Rudy, Carolyn C.; Hunsberger, Holly C.; Weitzner, Daniel S.; Reed, Miranda N.

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia in individuals over 65 years of age and is characterized by accumulation of beta-amyloid (Aβ) and tau. Both Aβ and tau alter synaptic plasticity, leading to synapse loss, neural network dysfunction, and eventually neuron loss. However, the exact mechanism by which these proteins cause neurodegeneration is still not clear. A growing body of evidence suggests perturbations in the glutamatergic tripartite synapse, comprised of a presynaptic terminal, a postsynaptic spine, and an astrocytic process, may underlie the pathogenic mechanisms of AD. Glutamate is the primary excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain and plays an important role in learning and memory, but alterations in glutamatergic signaling can lead to excitotoxicity. This review discusses the ways in which both beta-amyloid (Aβ) and tau act alone and in concert to perturb synaptic functioning of the tripartite synapse, including alterations in glutamate release, astrocytic uptake, and receptor signaling. Particular emphasis is given to the role of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) as a possible convergence point for Aβ and tau toxicity. PMID:25821641

  13. Methamphetamine Reduces LTP and Increases Baseline Synaptic Transmission in the CA1 Region of Mouse Hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Swant, Jarod; Chirwa, Sanika; Stanwood, Gregg; Khoshbouei, Habibeh

    2010-01-01

    Methamphetamine (METH) is an addictive psychostimulant whose societal impact is on the rise. Emerging evidence suggests that psychostimulants alter synaptic plasticity in the brain—which may partly account for their adverse effects. While it is known that METH increases the extracellular concentration of monoamines dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, it is not clear how METH alters glutamatergic transmission. Within this context, the aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of acute and systemic METH on basal synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation (LTP; an activity-induced increase in synaptic efficacy) in CA1 sub-field in the hippocampus. Both the acute ex vivo application of METH to hippocampal slices and systemic administration of METH decreased LTP. Interestingly, the acute ex vivo application of METH at a concentration of 30 or 60 µM increased baseline synaptic transmission as well as decreased LTP. Pretreatment with eticlopride (D2-like receptor antagonist) did not alter the effects of METH on synaptic transmission or LTP. In contrast, pretreatment with D1/D5 dopamine receptor antagonist SCH23390 or 5-HT1A receptor antagonist NAN-190 abrogated the effect of METH on synaptic transmission. Furthermore, METH did not increase baseline synaptic transmission in D1 dopamine receptor haploinsufficient mice. Our findings suggest that METH affects excitatory synaptic transmission via activation of dopamine and serotonin receptor systems in the hippocampus. This modulation may contribute to synaptic maladaption induced by METH addiction and/or METH-mediated cognitive dysfunction. PMID:20614033

  14. Intramuscular AAV delivery of NT-3 alters synaptic transmission to motoneurons in adult rats

    PubMed Central

    Petruska, Jeffrey C.; Kitay, Brandon; Boyce, Vanessa S.; Kaspar, Brian; Pearse, Damien; Gage, Fred H.; Mendell, Lorne M.

    2010-01-01

    We examined whether elevating levels of neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) in the spinal cord and dorsal root ganglion (DRG) would alter connections made by muscle spindle afferent fibers on motoneurons. Adeno-associated virus (AAV) serotypes AAV1, AAV2 and AAV5, selected for their tropism profile, were engineered with the NT-3 gene and administered to the medial gastrocnemius muscle in adult rats. ELISA studies in muscle, DRG and spinal cord revealed that NT-3 concentration in all tissues peaked about 3 months after a single viral injection; after 6 months NT-3 concentration returned to normal values. Intracellular recording in triceps surae motoneurons revealed complex electrophysiological changes. Moderate elevation in cord NT-3 resulted in diminished segmental excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) amplitude, perhaps as a result of the observed decrease in motoneuron input resistance. With further elevation in NT-3 expression, the decline in EPSP amplitude was reversed indicating that NT-3 at higher concentration could increase EPSP amplitude. No correlation was observed between EPSP amplitude and NT-3 concentration in the DRG. Treatment with control viruses could elevate NT-3 levels minimally resulting in measurable electrophysiological effects, perhaps as a result of inflammation associated with injection. EPSPs elicited by stimulation of the ventrolateral funiculus underwent a consistent decline in amplitude independent of NT-3 level. These novel correlations between modified NT-3 expression and single-cell electrophysiological parameters indicate that intramuscular administration of AAV(NT-3) can exert long lasting effects on synaptic transmission to motoneurons. This approach to neurotrophin delivery could be useful in modifying spinal function after injury. PMID:20849530

  15. Deletion of Fmr1 Alters Function and Synaptic Inputs in the Auditory Brainstem

    PubMed Central

    Rotschafer, Sarah E.; Marshak, Sonya; Cramer, Karina S.

    2015-01-01

    Fragile X Syndrome (FXS), a neurodevelopmental disorder, is the most prevalent single-gene cause of autism spectrum disorder. Autism has been associated with impaired auditory processing, abnormalities in the auditory brainstem response (ABR), and reduced cell number and size in the auditory brainstem nuclei. FXS is characterized by elevated cortical responses to sound stimuli, with some evidence for aberrant ABRs. Here, we assessed ABRs and auditory brainstem anatomy in Fmr1-/- mice, an animal model of FXS. We found that Fmr1-/- mice showed elevated response thresholds to both click and tone stimuli. Amplitudes of ABR responses were reduced in Fmr1-/- mice for early peaks of the ABR. The growth of the peak I response with sound intensity was less steep in mutants that in wild type mice. In contrast, amplitudes and response growth in peaks IV and V did not differ between these groups. We did not observe differences in peak latencies or in interpeak latencies. Cell size was reduced in Fmr1-/- mice in the ventral cochlear nucleus (VCN) and in the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB). We quantified levels of inhibitory and excitatory synaptic inputs in these nuclei using markers for presynaptic proteins. We measured VGAT and VGLUT immunolabeling in VCN, MNTB, and the lateral superior olive (LSO). VGAT expression in MNTB was significantly greater in the Fmr1-/- mouse than in wild type mice. Together, these observations demonstrate that FXS affects peripheral and central aspects of hearing and alters the balance of excitation and inhibition in the auditory brainstem. PMID:25679778

  16. Glutamatergic drugs for schizophrenia treatment.

    PubMed

    Gibert-Rahola, Juan; Villena-Rodriguez, Abigail

    2014-01-01

    It is accepted that both positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia may be due to hypofunction of glutamatergic pathways leading to altered dopaminergic neurotransmission activity. Specifically, there may be diminished glutamatergic signaling at the level of the NMDA receptors, but direct receptor agonists have no clinical utility due to their nonspecific actions and undesirable side effects. Given the problems of ineffectiveness or side effects of drugs that act directly on ionotropic and metabotropic mGlu2-3 receptors, clinical trials have been conducted with other drugs that have other mechanisms of action, especially indirect mechanisms, such as the co-administration of NMDA agonists (glycine or D-serine), glycine transporter inhibitors (sarcosine bitopertin), ampakines (CX-516), and mGlu5 receptor agonists. However, despite repeated failures, the glutamatergic approach to the treatment of schizophrenia has not been exhausted and all theoretical aspects that relate these complex neurochemical mechanisms with symptoms of schizophrenia should be reviewed until we find truly effective molecules with an acceptable side effect profile.

  17. Allosteric Modulators for the Treatment of Schizophrenia: Targeting Glutamatergic Networks

    PubMed Central

    Menniti, Frank S.; Lindsley, Craig W.; Conn, P. Jeffrey; Pandit, Jayvardhan; Zagouras, Panayiotis; Volkmann, Robert A.

    2013-01-01

    Schizophrenia is a highly debilitating mental disorder which afflicts approximately 1% of the global population. Cognitive and negative deficits account for the lifelong disability associated with schizophrenia, whose symptoms are not effectively addressed by current treatments. New medicines are needed to treat these aspects of the disease. Neurodevelopmental, neuropathological, genetic, and behavioral pharmacological data indicate that schizophrenia stems from a dysfunction of glutamate synaptic transmission, particularly in frontal cortical networks. A number of novel pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms affecting glutamatergic synaptic transmission have emerged as viable targets for schizophrenia. While developing orthosteric glutamatergic agents for these targets has proven extremely difficult, targeting allosteric sites of these targets has emerged as a promising alternative. From a medicinal chemistry perspective, allosteric sites provide an opportunity of finding agents with better drug-like properties and greater target specificity. Furthermore, allosteric modulators are better suited to maintaining the highly precise temporal and spatial aspects of glutamatergic synaptic transmission. Herein, we review neuropathological and genomic/genetic evidence underscoring the importance of glutamate synaptic dysfunction in the etiology of schizophrenia and make a case for allosteric targets for therapeutic intervention. We review progress in identifying allosteric modulators of AMPA receptors, NMDA receptors, and metabotropic glutamate receptors, all with the aim of restoring physiological glutamatergic synaptic transmission. Challenges remain given the complexity of schizophrenia and the difficulty in studying cognition in animals and humans. Nonetheless, important compounds have emerged from these efforts and promising preclinical and variable clinical validation has been achieved. PMID:23409764

  18. Autoimmune-induced glutamatergic receptor dysfunctions: conceptual and psychiatric practice implications.

    PubMed

    Rosenthal-Simons, Ayelet; Durrant, Andrea R; Heresco-Levy, Uriel

    2013-12-01

    Glutamatergic neurotransmission is mediated via complex receptorial systems including N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA), alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolpropionic acid (AMPA) and metabotropic receptor subtypes and plays a critical role in the modulation of synaptic plasticity, mood, cognitive processes and motor behavior. Glutamatergic function deficits are hypothesized to contribute to the pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, mood and movement disorders. Accumulating data are rapidly leading to the characterization of specific types of autoimmune encephalitis in which the receptors and proteins critically involved in glutamatergic neurotransmission, e.g., NMDA, AMPA receptors, are antigen targets. Characteristic of these syndromes, antibodies alter the structure and/or function of the corresponding neuronal antigen resulting in clinical pictures that resemble pharmacological disease models. Presently the best characterized autoimmune glutamatergic disorder is anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis. This disorder manifests with intertwined psychiatric and neurological features, defines a new syndrome, reclassifies poorly defined clinical states and extends previous hypotheses, such as hypo-NMDA receptor function in schizophrenia. The characterization of autoimmune-induced glutamatergic receptor dysfunctions (AGRD) is likely to have a substantial conceptual impact upon our understanding of neuropsychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, affective and movement dysfunctions. Further definition of AGRD will provide additional guidelines for psychiatric diagnoses, identification of homogeneous patient subtypes within broad phenomenological classifications and will contribute to the development of personalized treatments. The body of knowledge already accumulated on anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis highlights the need for wide dissemination of these concepts among psychiatrists, and in suspected cases, for early recognition, prompt clinical

  19. Upregulation of three Drosophila homologs of human chromosome 21 genes alters synaptic function: Implications for Down syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Karen T.; Min, Kyung-Tai

    2009-01-01

    At the neuronal level of Down syndrome (DS) brains, there are evidences of altered shape, number, and density of synapses, as well as aberrant endocytosis associated with accumulation of enlarged endosomes, suggesting that proteins involved in synaptic vesicle recycling may play key roles in DS neurons. However, the exact mechanism underlying those anomalies is not well understood. We hypothesize that overexpression of three genes, dap160/itsn1, synj/synj1, and nla/dscr1, located on human chromosome 21 play important roles in DS neurons. Here, we systematically investigate the effects of multiple gene overexpression on synaptic morphology and endocytosis to identify possible dominant gene or genes. We found that overexpression of individual genes lead to abnormal synaptic morphology, but all three genes are necessary to cause impaired vesicle recycling and affect locomotor vigor. Furthermore, we report that dap160 overexpression alters the subcellular distribution of synaptojanin, and overexpression of nla regulates the phosphoinositol 5′ phosphatase activity of synaptojanin. These findings imply that restoring the level of any one of these genes may reduce endocytic defects seen in DS. PMID:19805187

  20. Altered AMPA receptor expression plays an important role in inducing bidirectional synaptic plasticity during contextual fear memory reconsolidation.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharya, Subhrajit; Kimble, Whitney; Buabeid, Manal; Bhattacharya, Dwipayan; Bloemer, Jenna; Alhowail, Ahmad; Reed, Miranda; Dhanasekaran, Muralikrishnan; Escobar, Martha; Suppiramaniam, Vishnu

    2017-03-01

    Retrieval of a memory appears to render it unstable until the memory is once again re-stabilized or reconsolidated. Although the occurrence and consequences of reconsolidation have received much attention in recent years, the specific mechanisms that underlie the process of reconsolidation have not been fully described. Here, we present the first electrophysiological model of the synaptic plasticity changes underlying the different stages of reconsolidation of a conditioned fear memory. In this model, retrieval of a fear memory results in immediate but transient alterations in synaptic plasticity, mediated by modified expression of the glutamate receptor subunits GluA1 and GluA2 in the hippocampus of rodents. Retrieval of a memory results in an immediate impairment in LTP, which is enhanced 6h following memory retrieval. Conversely, memory retrieval results in an immediate enhancement of LTD, which decreases with time. These changes in plasticity are accompanied by decreased expression of GluA2 receptor subunits. Recovery of LTP and LTD correlates with progressive overexpression of GluA2 receptor subunits. The contribution of the GluA2 receptor was confirmed by interfering with receptor expression at the postsynaptic sites. Blocking GluA2 endocytosis restored LTP and attenuated LTD during the initial portion of the reconsolidation period. These findings suggest that altered GluA2 receptor expression is one of the mechanisms that controls different forms of synaptic plasticity during reconsolidation.

  1. Upregulation of three Drosophila homologs of human chromosome 21 genes alters synaptic function: implications for Down syndrome.

    PubMed

    Chang, Karen T; Min, Kyung-Tai

    2009-10-06

    At the neuronal level of Down syndrome (DS) brains, there are evidences of altered shape, number, and density of synapses, as well as aberrant endocytosis associated with accumulation of enlarged endosomes, suggesting that proteins involved in synaptic vesicle recycling may play key roles in DS neurons. However, the exact mechanism underlying those anomalies is not well understood. We hypothesize that overexpression of three genes, dap160/itsn1, synj/synj1, and nla/dscr1, located on human chromosome 21 play important roles in DS neurons. Here, we systematically investigate the effects of multiple gene overexpression on synaptic morphology and endocytosis to identify possible dominant gene or genes. We found that overexpression of individual genes lead to abnormal synaptic morphology, but all three genes are necessary to cause impaired vesicle recycling and affect locomotor vigor. Furthermore, we report that dap160 overexpression alters the subcellular distribution of synaptojanin, and overexpression of nla regulates the phosphoinositol 5' phosphatase activity of synaptojanin. These findings imply that restoring the level of any one of these genes may reduce endocytic defects seen in DS.

  2. Expression of glutamatergic genes in healthy humans across 16 brain regions; altered expression in the hippocampus after chronic exposure to alcohol or cocaine.

    PubMed

    Enoch, M-A; Rosser, A A; Zhou, Z; Mash, D C; Yuan, Q; Goldman, D

    2014-11-01

    We analyzed global patterns of expression in genes related to glutamatergic neurotransmission (glutamatergic genes) in healthy human adult brain before determining the effects of chronic alcohol and cocaine exposure on gene expression in the hippocampus. RNA-Seq data from 'BrainSpan' was obtained across 16 brain regions from nine control adults. We also generated RNA-Seq data from postmortem hippocampus from eight alcoholics, eight cocaine addicts and eight controls. Expression analyses were undertaken of 28 genes encoding glutamate ionotropic (AMPA, kainate, NMDA) and metabotropic receptor subunits, together with glutamate transporters. The expression of each gene was fairly consistent across the brain with the exception of the cerebellum, the thalamic mediodorsal nucleus and the striatum. GRIN1, encoding the essential NMDA subunit, had the highest expression across all brain regions. Six factors accounted for 84% of the variance in global gene expression. GRIN2B (encoding GluN2B), was up-regulated in both alcoholics and cocaine addicts (FDR corrected P = 0.008). Alcoholics showed up-regulation of three genes relative to controls and cocaine addicts: GRIA4 (encoding GluA4), GRIK3 (GluR7) and GRM4 (mGluR4). Expression of both GRM3 (mGluR3) and GRIN2D (GluN2D) was up-regulated in alcoholics and down-regulated in cocaine addicts relative to controls. Glutamatergic genes are moderately to highly expressed throughout the brain. Six factors explain nearly all the variance in global gene expression. At least in the hippocampus, chronic alcohol use largely up-regulates glutamatergic genes. The NMDA GluN2B receptor subunit might be implicated in a common pathway to addiction, possibly in conjunction with the GABAB1 receptor subunit. Published 2014. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  3. Synaptic alterations in the medial geniculate bodies and the inferior colliculi in Alzheimer's disease: a Golgi and electron microscope study.

    PubMed

    Baloyannis, Stavros J; Mauroudis, Ioannis; Manolides, Spyros L; Manolides, Leonidas S

    2009-04-01

    The neuronal loss and the alteration of the synapses in the medial geniculate bodies and the inferior colliculi may be involved in the impairment of communication and symbolic sound perception, which is noticed even in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder, causing a progressive decline of intellectual faculties, gradual impairment of behavior and social performance, impairment of communication and speech eloquence, and various neurological manifestations. We attempted to figure out the synaptic alterations in the medial geniculate bodies and the inferior colliculi in 12 early cases of Alzheimer's disease, who fulfilled the clinical, and laboratory diagnostic criteria of Alzheimer's disease. For the histological study we applied routine neuropathological techniques as well as Bodian staining and rapid Golgi method. We proceeded to electron microscopy for the ultrastructural study of synapses and dendritic spines. The morphological and morphometric analysis revealed substantial neuronal loss and synaptic alterations in the medial geniculate bodies as well as in inferior colliculi. Dendritic spines of the polyhedral and elongated cells of the medial geniculate bodies were decreased in number. Mitochondrial alterations and fragmentation of Golgi apparatus were seen in 15% of the neurons of the medial geniculate bodies and in 5% of the neurons of the inferior colliculi. Senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles were not seen in either the medial geniculate bodies or the inferior colliculi.

  4. Alterations in Brain Inflammation, Synaptic Proteins, and Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis during Epileptogenesis in Mice Lacking Synapsin2

    PubMed Central

    Chugh, Deepti; Ali, Idrish; Bakochi, Anahita; Bahonjic, Elma; Etholm, Lars; Ekdahl, Christine T.

    2015-01-01

    Synapsins are pre-synaptic vesicle-associated proteins linked to the pathogenesis of epilepsy through genetic association studies in humans. Deletion of synapsins causes an excitatory/inhibitory imbalance, exemplified by the epileptic phenotype of synapsin knockout mice. These mice develop handling-induced tonic-clonic seizures starting at the age of about 3 months. Hence, they provide an opportunity to study epileptogenic alterations in a temporally controlled manner. Here, we evaluated brain inflammation, synaptic protein expression, and adult hippocampal neurogenesis in the epileptogenic (1 and 2 months of age) and tonic-clonic (3.5-4 months) phase of synapsin 2 knockout mice using immunohistochemical and biochemical assays. In the epileptogenic phase, region-specific microglial activation was evident, accompanied by an increase in the chemokine receptor CX3CR1, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α, and a decrease in chemokine keratinocyte chemoattractant/ growth-related oncogene. Both post-synaptic density-95 and gephyrin, scaffolding proteins at excitatory and inhibitory synapses, respectively, showed a significant up-regulation primarily in the cortex. Furthermore, we observed an increase in the inhibitory adhesion molecules neuroligin-2 and neurofascin and potassium chloride co-transporter KCC2. Decreased expression of γ-aminobutyric acid receptor-δ subunit and cholecystokinin was also evident. Surprisingly, hippocampal neurogenesis was reduced in the epileptogenic phase. Taken together, we report molecular alterations in brain inflammation and excitatory/inhibitory balance that could serve as potential targets for therapeutics and diagnostic biomarkers. In addition, the regional differences in brain inflammation and synaptic protein expression indicate an epileptogenic zone from where the generalized seizures in synapsin 2 knockout mice may be initiated or spread. PMID:26177381

  5. Maternal Dexamethasone Exposure Alters Synaptic Inputs to Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Neurons in the Early Postnatal Rat

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Wei Ling; Idris, Marshita Mohd; Kevin, Felix Suresh; Soga, Tomoko; Parhar, Ishwar S.

    2016-01-01

    Maternal dexamethasone [(DEX); a glucocorticoid receptor agonist] exposure delays pubertal onset and alters reproductive behavior in the adult offspring. However, little is known whether maternal DEX exposure affects the offspring’s reproductive function by disrupting the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neuronal function in the brain. Therefore, this study determined the exposure of maternal DEX on the GnRH neuronal spine development and synaptic cluster inputs to GnRH neurons using transgenic rats expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) under the control of GnRH promoter. Pregnant females were administered with DEX (0.1 mg/kg) or vehicle (VEH, water) daily during gestation day 13–20. Confocal imaging was used to examine the spine density of EGFP–GnRH neurons by three-dimensional rendering and synaptic cluster inputs to EGFP–GnRH neurons by synapsin I immunohistochemistry on postnatal day 0 (P0) males. The spine morphology and number on GnRH neurons did not change between the P0 males following maternal DEX and VEH treatment. The number of synaptic clusters within the organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis (OVLT) was decreased by maternal DEX exposure in P0 males. Furthermore, the number and levels of synaptic cluster inputs in close apposition with GnRH neurons was decreased following maternal DEX exposure in the OVLT region of P0 males. In addition, the postsynaptic marker molecule, postsynaptic density 95, was observed in GnRH neurons following both DEX and VEH treatment. These results suggest that maternal DEX exposure alters neural afferent inputs to GnRH neurons during early postnatal stage, which could lead to reproductive dysfunction during adulthood. PMID:27630615

  6. Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor Entinostat (MS-275) Restores Anesthesia-induced Alteration of Inhibitory Synaptic Transmission in the Developing Rat Hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Joksimovic, Srdjan M; Osuru, Hari Prasad; Oklopcic, Azra; Beenhakker, Mark P; Jevtovic-Todorovic, Vesna; Todorovic, Slobodan M

    2017-08-24

    Recent evidence strongly supports the idea that common general anesthetics (GAs) such as isoflurane (Iso) and nitrous oxide (N2O; laughing gas), as well as sedative drugs such as midazolam are neurotoxic for the developing mammalian brain having deleterious effects on neural circuits involved in cognition, learning and memory. However, to date, very little is known about epigenetic mechanisms involved in GA-induced plasticity of synaptic transmission in the hippocampus, the main memory-processing region in the brain. Here, we used patch-clamp recordings of miniature inhibitory post-synaptic currents (mIPSCs) from hippocampal neurons in slice cultures exposed to the clinically relevant GA combination. We found that in vitro exposure to a combination of midazolam, 0.75% Iso, and 70% N2O for 6 h leads to lasting increase in frequency of mIPSCs, while amplitudes and kinetics of the events were spared. Importantly, co-application of entinostat (MS-275), a selective inhibitor of class I histone deacetylases (HDAC), completely reversed GA-induced synaptic plasticity. Furthermore, when given in vivo to P7 pups exposed to GA with midazolam, Iso and N2O for 6 h, MS-275 reversed GA-induced histone-3 hypoacetylation as shown by an increase in Ac-H3 protein expression in the hippocampus. We conclude that exposure to a combination of Iso with N2O and midazolam causes plasticity of mIPSCs in hippocampal neurons by epigenetic mechanisms that target presynaptic sites. We hypothesize that GA-induced epigenetic alterations in inhibitory synaptic transmission in the hippocampus may contribute to altered neuronal excitability and consequently abnormal learning and memory later in life.

  7. Sleep loss alters synaptic and intrinsic neuronal properties in mouse prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Winters, Bradley D.; Huang, Yanhua H.; Dong, Yan; Krueger, James M.

    2011-01-01

    Despite sleep-loss-induced cognitive deficits, little is known about the cellular adaptations that occur with sleep loss. We used brain slices obtained from mice that were sleep deprived for 8 h to examine the electrophysiological effects of sleep deprivation (SD). We employed a modified pedestal (flowerpot) over water method for SD that eliminated rapid eye movement sleep and greatly reduced non-rapid eye movement sleep. In layer V/VI pyramidal cells of the medial prefrontal cortex, miniature excitatory post synaptic current amplitude was slightly reduced, miniature inhibitory post synaptic currents were unaffected, and intrinsic membrane excitability was increased after SD. PMID:21962531

  8. Sleep loss alters synaptic and intrinsic neuronal properties in mouse prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Winters, Bradley D; Huang, Yanhua H; Dong, Yan; Krueger, James M

    2011-10-28

    Despite sleep-loss-induced cognitive deficits, little is known about the cellular adaptations that occur with sleep loss. We used brain slices obtained from mice that were sleep deprived for 8h to examine the electrophysiological effects of sleep deprivation (SD). We employed a modified pedestal (flowerpot) over water method for SD that eliminated rapid eye movement sleep and greatly reduced non-rapid eye movement sleep. In layer V/VI pyramidal cells of the medial prefrontal cortex, miniature excitatory post synaptic current amplitude was slightly reduced, miniature inhibitory post synaptic currents were unaffected, and intrinsic membrane excitability was increased after SD.

  9. Unbalance of CB1 receptors expressed in GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons in a transgenic mouse model of Huntington's disease.

    PubMed

    Chiodi, Valentina; Uchigashima, Motokazu; Beggiato, Sarah; Ferrante, Antonella; Armida, Monica; Martire, Alberto; Potenza, Rosa Luisa; Ferraro, Luca; Tanganelli, Sergio; Watanabe, Masahiko; Domenici, Maria Rosaria; Popoli, Patrizia

    2012-03-01

    Cannabinoid CB1 receptors (CB1Rs) are known to be downregulated in patients and in animal models of Huntington's disease (HD). However, the functional meaning of this reduction, if any, is still unclear. Here, the effects of the cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN 55,212-2 (WIN) were investigated on striatal synaptic transmission and on glutamate and GABA release in symptomatic R6/2 mice, a genetic model of HD. The expression levels of CB1Rs in glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses were also evaluated. We found that in R6/2 mice, WIN effects on synaptic transmission and glutamate release were significantly increased with respect to wild type mice. On the contrary, a decrease in WIN-induced reduction of GABA release was found in R6/2 versus WT mice. The expression of CB1Rs in GABAergic neurons was drastically reduced, while CB1Rs levels in glutamatergic neurons were unchanged. These results demonstrate that the expression and functionality of CB1Rs are differentially affected in GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons in R6/2 mice. As a result, the balance between CB1Rs expressed by the two neuronal populations and, thus, the net effect of CB1R stimulation, is profoundly altered in HD mice.

  10. Widespread alterations in the synaptic proteome of the adolescent cerebral cortex following prenatal immune activation in rats.

    PubMed

    Györffy, Balázs A; Gulyássy, Péter; Gellén, Barbara; Völgyi, Katalin; Madarasi, Dóra; Kis, Viktor; Ozohanics, Olivér; Papp, Ildikó; Kovács, Péter; Lubec, Gert; Dobolyi, Árpád; Kardos, József; Drahos, László; Juhász, Gábor; Kékesi, Katalin A

    2016-08-01

    An increasing number of studies have revealed associations between pre- and perinatal immune activation and the development of schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Accordingly, neuroimmune crosstalk has a considerably large impact on brain development during early ontogenesis. While a plethora of heterogeneous abnormalities have already been described in established maternal immune activation (MIA) rodent and primate animal models, which highly correlate to those found in human diseases, the underlying molecular background remains obscure. In the current study, we describe the long-term effects of MIA on the neocortical pre- and postsynaptic proteome of adolescent rat offspring in detail. Molecular differences were revealed in sub-synaptic fractions, which were first thoroughly characterized using independent methods. The widespread proteomic examination of cortical samples from offspring exposed to maternal lipopolysaccharide administration at embryonic day 13.5 was conducted via combinations of different gel-based proteomic techniques and tandem mass spectrometry. Our experimentally validated proteomic data revealed more pre- than postsynaptic protein level changes in the offspring. The results propose the relevance of altered synaptic vesicle recycling, cytoskeletal structure and energy metabolism in the presynaptic region in addition to alterations in vesicle trafficking, the cytoskeleton and signal transduction in the postsynaptic compartment in MIA offspring. Differing levels of the prominent signaling regulator molecule calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II in the postsynapse was validated and identified specifically in the prefrontal cortex. Finally, several potential common molecular regulators of these altered proteins, which are already known to be implicated in schizophrenia and ASD, were identified and assessed. In summary, unexpectedly widespread changes in the synaptic molecular machinery in MIA rats were demonstrated which

  11. Modulation of synaptic plasticity by stress and antidepressants.

    PubMed

    Popoli, Maurizio; Gennarelli, Massimo; Racagni, Giorgio

    2002-06-01

    Recent preclinical and clinical studies have shown that mechanisms underlying neuronal plasticity and survival are involved in both the outcome of stressful experiences and the action of antidepressants. Whereas most antidepressants predominantly affect the brain levels of monoamine neurotransmitters, it is increasingly appreciated that they also modulate neurotransmission at synapses using the neurotransmitter glutamate (the most abundant in the brain). In the hippocampus, a main area of the limbic system involved in cognitive functions as well as attention and affect, specific molecules enriched at glutamatergic synapses mediate major changes in synaptic plasticity induced by stress paradigms or antidepressant treatments. We analyze here the modifications induced by stress or antidepressants in the strength of synaptic transmission in hippocampus, and the molecular modifications induced by antidepressants in two main mediators of synaptic plasticity: the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor complex for glutamate and the Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaM kinase II). Both stress and antidepressants induce alterations in long-term potentiation of hippocampal glutamatergic synapses, which may be partly accounted for by the influence of environmental or drug-induced stimulation of monoaminergic pathways projecting to the hippocampus. In the course of antidepressant treatments significant changes have been described in both the NMDA receptor and CaM kinase II, which may account for the physiological changes observed. A central role in these synaptic changes is exerted by brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which modulates both synaptic plasticity and its molecular mediators, as well as inducing morphological synaptic changes. The role of these molecular effectors in synaptic plasticity is discussed in relation to the action of antidepressants and the search for new molecular targets of drug action in the therapy of mood disorders.

  12. Sex differences in high-fat diet-induced obesity, metabolic alterations and learning, and synaptic plasticity deficits in mice.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Ling-Ling; Wang, Chien-Hua; Li, Tzu-Ling; Chang, Shih-Dar; Lin, Li-Chun; Chen, Ching-Ping; Chen, Chiung-Tong; Liang, Keng-Chen; Ho, Ing-Kang; Yang, Wei-Shiung; Chiou, Lih-Chu

    2010-03-01

    Obesity is a potential risk factor for cognitive deficits in the elder humans. Using a high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese mouse model, we investigated the impacts of HFD on obesity, metabolic and stress hormones, learning performance, and hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Both male and female C57BL/6J mice fed with HFD (3 weeks to 9-12 months) gained significantly more weights than the sex-specific control groups. Compared with the obese female mice, the obese males had similar energy intake but developed more weight gains. The obese male mice developed hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, hypercholesterolemia, and hyperleptinemia, but not hypertriglyceridemia. The obese females had less hyperinsulinemia and hypercholesterolemia than the obese males, and no hyperglycemia and hypertriglyceridemia. In the contextual fear conditioning and step-down passive avoidance tasks, the obese male, but not female, mice showed poorer learning performance than their normal counterparts. These learning deficits were not due to sensorimotor impairment as verified by the open-field and hot-plate tests. Although, basal synaptic transmission characteristics (input-output transfer and paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) ratio) were not significantly different between normal and HFD groups, the magnitudes of synaptic plasticity (long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD)) were lower at the Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses of the hippocampal slices isolated from the obese male, but not female, mice, as compared with their sex-specific controls. Our results suggest that male mice are more vulnerable than the females to the impacts of HFD on weight gains, metabolic alterations and deficits of learning, and hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

  13. A model of dopamine modulated glutamatergic synapse.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  14. Developmental Exposure to Perchlorate Alters Synaptic Transmission in Hippocampus of the Adult Rat

    PubMed Central

    Gilbert, Mary E.; Sui, Li

    2008-01-01

    Background Perchlorate is an environmental contaminant that blocks iodine uptake into the thyroid gland and reduces thyroid hormones. This action of perchlorate raises significant concern over its effects on brain development. Objectives The purpose of this study was to evaluate neurologic function in rats after developmental exposure to perchlorate. Methods Pregnant rats were exposed to 0, 30, 300, or 1,000 ppm perchlorate in drinking water from gestational day 6 until weaning. Adult male offspring were evaluated on a series of behavioral tasks and neurophysiologic measures of synaptic function in the hippocampus. Results At the highest perchlorate dose, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) were reduced in pups on postnatal day 21. T4 in dams was reduced relative to controls by 16%, 28%, and 60% in the 30-, 300-, and 1,000-ppm dose groups, respectively. Reductions in T4 were associated with increases in thyroid-stimulating hormone in the high-dose group. No changes were seen in serum T3. Perchlorate did not impair motor activity, spatial learning, or fear conditioning. However, significant reductions in baseline synaptic transmission were observed in hippocampal field potentials at all dose levels. Reductions in inhibitory function were evident at 300 and 1,000 ppm, and augmentations in long-term potentiation were observed in the population spike measure at the highest dose. Conclusions Dose-dependent deficits in hippocampal synaptic function were detectable with relatively minor perturbations of the thyroid axis, indicative of an irreversible impairment in synaptic transmission in response to developmental exposure to perchlorate. PMID:18560531

  15. Antagonism of Muscarinic Acetylcholine Receptors Alters Synaptic ERK Phosphorylation in the Rat Forebrain.

    PubMed

    Mao, Li-Min; Wang, Henry H; Wang, John Q

    2016-12-28

    Acetylcholine (ACh) is a key transmitter in the mesocorticolimbic circuit. By interacting with muscarinic ACh receptors (mAChR) enriched in the circuit, ACh actively regulates various neuronal and synaptic activities. The extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) is one of members of the mitogen-activated protein kinase family and is subject to the regulation by dopamine receptors, although the regulation of ERKs by limbic mAChRs is poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the role of mAChRs in the regulation of ERK phosphorylation (activation) in the mesocorticolimbic system of adult rat brains in vivo. We targeted a sub-pool of ERKs at synaptic sites. We found that a systemic injection of the mAChR antagonist scopolamine increased phosphorylation of synaptic ERKs in the striatum (caudate putamen and nucleus accumbens) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Increases in ERK phosphorylation in both forebrain regions were rapid and transient. Notably, pretreatment with a dopamine D1 receptor (D1R) antagonist SCH23390 blocked the scopolamine-stimulated ERK phosphorylation in these brain regions, while a dopamine D2 receptor antagonist eticlopride did not. Scopolamine and SCH23390 did not change the amount of total ERK proteins. These results demonstrate that mAChRs inhibit synaptic ERK phosphorylation in striatal and mPFC neurons under normal conditions. Blockade of this inhibitory mAChR tone leads to the upregulation of ERK phosphorylation likely through a mechanism involving the level of D1R activity.

  16. Glutamatergic Mechanisms Associated with Seizures and Epilepsy

    PubMed Central

    Barker-Haliski, Melissa; White, H. Steve

    2015-01-01

    Epilepsy is broadly characterized by aberrant neuronal excitability. Glutamate is the predominant excitatory neurotransmitter in the adult mammalian brain; thus, much of past epilepsy research has attempted to understand the role of glutamate in seizures and epilepsy. Seizures induce elevations in extracellular glutamate, which then contribute to excitotoxic damage. Chronic seizures can alter neuronal and glial expression of glutamate receptors and uptake transporters, further contributing to epileptogenesis. Evidence points to a shared glutamate pathology for epilepsy and other central nervous system (CNS) disorders, including depression, which is often a comorbidity of epilepsy. Therapies that target glutamatergic neurotransmission are available, but many have met with difficulty because of untoward adverse effects. Better understanding of this system has generated novel therapeutic targets that directly and indirectly modulate glutamatergic signaling. Thus, future efforts to manage the epileptic patient with glutamatergic-centric treatments now hold greater potential. PMID:26101204

  17. Microglial Intracellular Ca2+ Signaling in Synaptic Development and its Alterations in Neurodevelopmental Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Mizoguchi, Yoshito; Monji, Akira

    2017-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by deficits in social interaction, difficulties with language and repetitive/restricted behaviors. Microglia are resident innate immune cells which release many factors including proinflammatory cytokines, nitric oxide (NO) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) when they are activated in response to immunological stimuli. Recent in vivo imaging has shown that microglia sculpt and refine the synaptic circuitry by removing excess and unwanted synapses and be involved in the development of neural circuits or synaptic plasticity thereby maintaining the brain homeostasis. BDNF, one of the neurotrophins, has various important roles in cell survival, neurite outgrowth, neuronal differentiation, synaptic plasticity and the maintenance of neural circuits in the CNS. Intracellular Ca2+ signaling is important for microglial functions including ramification, de-ramification, migration, phagocytosis and release of cytokines, NO and BDNF. BDNF induces a sustained intracellular Ca2+ elevation through the upregulation of the surface expression of canonical transient receptor potential 3 (TRPC3) channels in rodent microglia. BDNF might have an anti-inflammatory effect through the inhibition of microglial activation and TRPC3 could play important roles in not only inflammatory processes but also formation of synapse through the modulation of microglial phagocytic activity in the brain. This review article summarizes recent findings on emerging dual, inflammatory and non-inflammatory, roles of microglia in the brain and reinforces the importance of intracellular Ca2+ signaling for microglial functions in both normal neurodevelopment and their potential contributing to neurodevelopmental disorders such as ASDs. PMID:28367116

  18. Altered expressions of apoptotic factors and synaptic markers in postmortem brain from bipolar disorder patients

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hyung-Wook; Rapoport, Stanley I; Rao, Jagadeesh S

    2009-01-01

    Bipolar disorder (BD) is a progressive psychiatric disorder characterized by recurrent changes of mood, and is associated with cognitive decline. There is evidence of excitotoxicity, neuroinflammation, upregulated arachidonic acid (AA) cascade signaling and brain atrophy in BD patients. These observations suggest that BD pathology may be associated with apoptosis as well as with disturbed synaptic function. To test this hypothesis, we measured mRNA and protein levels of the pro-apoptotic (Bax, BAD, Caspase-9 and Caspase-3) and anti-apoptotic factors (BDNF and Bcl-2), and of pre- and post-synaptic markers (synaptophysin and drebrin), in postmortem brain from 10 BD patients and 10 age-matched controls. Consistent with the hypothesis, BD brains showed significant increases in protein and mRNA levels of the pro-apoptotic factors and significant decreases of levels of the anti-apoptotic factors and the synaptic markers, synaptophysin and drebrin. These differences may contribute to brain atrophy and progressive cognitive changes in BD. PMID:19945534

  19. Loss of the Coffin-Lowry syndrome-associated gene RSK2 alters ERK activity, synaptic function and axonal transport in Drosophila motoneurons.

    PubMed

    Beck, Katherina; Ehmann, Nadine; Andlauer, Till F M; Ljaschenko, Dmitrij; Strecker, Katrin; Fischer, Matthias; Kittel, Robert J; Raabe, Thomas

    2015-11-01

    Plastic changes in synaptic properties are considered as fundamental for adaptive behaviors. Extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK)-mediated signaling has been implicated in regulation of synaptic plasticity. Ribosomal S6 kinase 2 (RSK2) acts as a regulator and downstream effector of ERK. In the brain, RSK2 is predominantly expressed in regions required for learning and memory. Loss-of-function mutations in human RSK2 cause Coffin-Lowry syndrome, which is characterized by severe mental retardation and low IQ scores in affected males. Knockout of RSK2 in mice or the RSK ortholog in Drosophila results in a variety of learning and memory defects. However, overall brain structure in these animals is not affected, leaving open the question of the pathophysiological consequences. Using the fly neuromuscular system as a model for excitatory glutamatergic synapses, we show that removal of RSK function causes distinct defects in motoneurons and at the neuromuscular junction. Based on histochemical and electrophysiological analyses, we conclude that RSK is required for normal synaptic morphology and function. Furthermore, loss of RSK function interferes with ERK signaling at different levels. Elevated ERK activity was evident in the somata of motoneurons, whereas decreased ERK activity was observed in axons and the presynapse. In addition, we uncovered a novel function of RSK in anterograde axonal transport. Our results emphasize the importance of fine-tuning ERK activity in neuronal processes underlying higher brain functions. In this context, RSK acts as a modulator of ERK signaling.

  20. Loss of the Coffin-Lowry syndrome-associated gene RSK2 alters ERK activity, synaptic function and axonal transport in Drosophila motoneurons

    PubMed Central

    Beck, Katherina; Ehmann, Nadine; Andlauer, Till F. M.; Ljaschenko, Dmitrij; Strecker, Katrin; Fischer, Matthias; Kittel, Robert J.; Raabe, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Plastic changes in synaptic properties are considered as fundamental for adaptive behaviors. Extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK)-mediated signaling has been implicated in regulation of synaptic plasticity. Ribosomal S6 kinase 2 (RSK2) acts as a regulator and downstream effector of ERK. In the brain, RSK2 is predominantly expressed in regions required for learning and memory. Loss-of-function mutations in human RSK2 cause Coffin-Lowry syndrome, which is characterized by severe mental retardation and low IQ scores in affected males. Knockout of RSK2 in mice or the RSK ortholog in Drosophila results in a variety of learning and memory defects. However, overall brain structure in these animals is not affected, leaving open the question of the pathophysiological consequences. Using the fly neuromuscular system as a model for excitatory glutamatergic synapses, we show that removal of RSK function causes distinct defects in motoneurons and at the neuromuscular junction. Based on histochemical and electrophysiological analyses, we conclude that RSK is required for normal synaptic morphology and function. Furthermore, loss of RSK function interferes with ERK signaling at different levels. Elevated ERK activity was evident in the somata of motoneurons, whereas decreased ERK activity was observed in axons and the presynapse. In addition, we uncovered a novel function of RSK in anterograde axonal transport. Our results emphasize the importance of fine-tuning ERK activity in neuronal processes underlying higher brain functions. In this context, RSK acts as a modulator of ERK signaling. PMID:26398944

  1. Microdomain [Ca(2+)] Fluctuations Alter Temporal Dynamics in Models of Ca(2+)-Dependent Signaling Cascades and Synaptic Vesicle Release.

    PubMed

    Weinberg, Seth H

    2016-03-01

    Ca(2+)-dependent signaling is often localized in spatially restricted microdomains and may involve only 1 to 100 Ca(2+) ions. Fluctuations in the microdomain Ca(2+) concentration (Ca(2+)) can arise from a wide range of elementary processes, including diffusion, Ca(2+) influx, and association/dissociation with Ca(2+) binding proteins or buffers. However, it is unclear to what extent these fluctuations alter Ca(2+)-dependent signaling. We construct Markov models of a general Ca(2+)-dependent signaling cascade and Ca(2+)-triggered synaptic vesicle release. We compare the hitting (release) time distribution and statistics for models that account for [Ca(2+)] fluctuations with the corresponding models that neglect these fluctuations. In general, when Ca(2+) fluctuations are much faster than the characteristic time for the signaling event, the hitting time distributions and statistics for the models with and without Ca(2+) fluctuation are similar. However, when the timescale of Ca(2+) fluctuations is on the same order as the signaling cascade or slower, the hitting time mean and variability are typically increased, in particular when the average number of microdomain Ca(2+) ions is small, a consequence of a long-tailed hitting time distribution. In a model of Ca(2+)-triggered synaptic vesicle release, we demonstrate the conditions for which [Ca(2+)] fluctuations do and do not alter the distribution, mean, and variability of release timing. We find that both the release time mean and variability can be increased, demonstrating that Ca(2+) fluctuations are an important aspect of microdomain Ca(2+) signaling and further suggesting that Ca(2+) fluctuations in the presynaptic terminal may contribute to variability in synaptic vesicle release and thus variability in neuronal spiking.

  2. Executive function deficits and glutamatergic protein alterations in a progressive 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine mouse model of Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Pflibsen, Lacey; Stang, Katherine A; Sconce, Michelle D; Wilson, Vanessa B; Hood, Rebecca L; Meshul, Charles K; Mitchell, Suzanne H

    2015-12-01

    Changes in executive function are at the root of most cognitive problems associated with Parkinson's disease. Because dopaminergic treatment does not necessarily alleviate deficits in executive function, it has been hypothesized that dysfunction of neurotransmitters/systems other than dopamine (DA) may be associated with this decrease in cognitive function. We have reported decreases in motor function and dopaminergic/glutamatergic biomarkers in a progressive 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) Parkinson's mouse model. Assessment of executive function and dopaminergic/glutamatergic biomarkers within the limbic circuit has not previously been explored in our model. Our results show progressive behavioral decline in a cued response task (a rodent model for frontal cortex cognitive function) with increasing weekly doses of MPTP. Although within the dorsolateral (DL) striatum mice that had been given MPTP showed a 63% and 83% loss of tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine transporter expression, respectively, there were no changes in the nucleus accumbens or medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Furthermore, dopamine-1 receptor and vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT)-1 expression increased in the mPFC following DA loss. There were significant MPTP-induced decreases and increases in VGLUT-1 and VGLUT-2 expression, respectively, within the DL striatum. We propose that the behavioral decline following MPTP treatment may be associated with a change not only in cortical-cortical (VGLUT-1) glutamate function but also in striatal DA and glutamate (VGLUT-1/VGLUT-2) input.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-15

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

  4. Neonatal Irradiation Leads to Persistent Proteome Alterations Involved in Synaptic Plasticity in the Mouse Hippocampus and Cortex.

    PubMed

    Kempf, Stefan J; Sepe, Sara; von Toerne, Christine; Janik, Dirk; Neff, Frauke; Hauck, Stefanie M; Atkinson, Michael J; Mastroberardino, Pier G; Tapio, Soile

    2015-11-06

    Recent epidemiological data indicate that radiation doses as low as those used in computer tomography may result in long-term neurocognitive side effects. The aim of this study was to elucidate long-term molecular alterations related to memory formation in the brain after low and moderate doses of γ radiation. Female C57BL/6J mice were irradiated on postnatal day 10 with total body doses of 0.1, 0.5, or 2.0 Gy; the control group was sham-irradiated. The proteome analysis of hippocampus, cortex, and synaptosomes isolated from these brain regions indicated changes in ephrin-related, RhoGDI, and axonal guidance signaling. Immunoblotting and miRNA-quantification demonstrated an imbalance in the synapse morphology-related Rac1-Cofilin pathway and long-term potentiation-related cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) signaling. Proteome profiling also showed impaired oxidative phosphorylation, especially in the synaptic mitochondria. This was accompanied by an early (4 weeks) reduction of mitochondrial respiration capacity in the hippocampus. Although the respiratory capacity was restored by 24 weeks, the number of deregulated mitochondrial complex proteins was increased at this time. All observed changes were significant at doses of 0.5 and 2.0 Gy but not at 0.1 Gy. This study strongly suggests that ionizing radiation at the neonatal state triggers persistent proteomic alterations associated with synaptic impairment.

  5. Synaptic Ultrastructural Alterations Anticipate the Development of Neuroaxonal Dystrophy in Sympathetic Ganglia of Aged and Diabetic Mice

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Robert E.; Parvin, Curtis A.; Green, Karen G.

    2009-01-01

    Neuroaxonal dystrophy (NAD), a distinctive axonopathy characterized by marked enlargement of distal axons, is the hallmark pathologic alteration in aged and diabetic human prevertebral sympathetic ganglia and in corresponding rodent models. NAD is thought to represent the abnormal outcome of cycles of synaptic degeneration and regeneration; a systematic study of identified axon terminals in aged and diabetic prevertebral ganglia, however, has not previously been performed. We examined the initial changes that develop in pre- and postsynaptic elements in sympathetic ganglia of aged and diabetic mice and found numerous synaptic changes involving both presynaptic and postsynaptic elements. Early alterations in presynaptic axon terminal size, vesicle content and morphology culminate in the development of anastomosing membranous tubulovesicular aggregates, accumulation of autophagosomes and amorphous debris that form a continuum with progressively larger classically dystrophic swellings. Dendritic changes consist of the development of swellings composed of delicate tubulovesicular elements and mitochondriopathy characterized by increased numbers of small mitochondria and, exclusively in aged ganglia, megamitochondria. These results support the hypothesis that NAD results from progressive changes in presynaptic axon terminals that likely involve membrane dynamics and which are accompanied by distinctive changes in postsynaptic dendritic elements. PMID:19018240

  6. Synaptic ultrastructural alterations anticipate the development of neuroaxonal dystrophy in sympathetic ganglia of aged and diabetic mice.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Robert E; Parvin, Curtis A; Green, Karen G

    2008-12-01

    Neuroaxonal dystrophy, a distinctive axonopathy characterized by marked enlargement of distal axons, is the hallmark pathologic alteration in aged and diabetic human prevertebral sympathetic ganglia and in corresponding rodent models. Neuroaxonal dystrophy is thought to represent the abnormal outcome of cycles of synaptic degeneration and regeneration; a systematic study of identified axon terminals in aged and diabetic prevertebral ganglia, however, has not previously been performed. We examined the initial changes that develop in presynaptic and postsynaptic elements in sympathetic ganglia of aged and diabetic mice and found numerous synaptic changes involving both presynaptic and postsynaptic elements. Early alterations in presynaptic axon terminal size, vesicle content, and morphology culminate in the development of anastomosing membranous tubulovesicular aggregates, accumulation of autophagosomes, and amorphous debris that form a continuum with progressively larger classically dystrophic swellings. Dendritic changes consist of the development of swellings composed of delicate tubulovesicular elements and mitochondriopathy characterized by increased numbers of small mitochondria and, exclusively in aged ganglia, megamitochondria. These results support the hypothesis that neuroaxonal dystrophy results from progressive changes in presynaptic axon terminals that likely involve membrane dynamics and which are accompanied by distinctive changes in postsynaptic dendritic elements.

  7. Glial abnormalities in substance use disorders and depression: Does shared glutamatergic dysfunction contribute to comorbidity?

    PubMed Central

    Niciu, Mark J.; Henter, Ioline D.; Sanacora, Gerard; Zarate, Carlos A.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives Preclinical and clinical research in neuropsychiatric disorders, particularly mood and substance use disorders, have historically focused on neurons; however, glial cells – astrocytes, microglia, and oligodendrocytes – also play key roles in these disorders. Methods Peer-reviewed PubMed/Medline articles published through December 2012 were identified using the following keyword combinations: glia, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes/glia, microglia, substance use, substance abuse, substance dependence, alcohol, opiate, opioid, cocaine, psychostimulants, stimulants, and glutamate. Results Depressive and substance use disorders are highly comorbid, suggesting a common or overlapping aetiology and pathophysiology. Reduced astrocyte cell number occurs in both disorders. Altered glutamate neurotransmission and metabolism – specifically changes in the levels/activity of transporters, receptors, and synaptic proteins potentially related to synaptic physiology – appear to be salient features of both disorders. Glial cell pathology may also underlie the pathophysiology of both disorders via impaired astrocytic production of neurotrophic factors. Microglial/neuroinflammatory pathology is also evident in both depressive and substance use disorders. Finally, oligodendrocyte impairment decreases myelination and impairs expression of myelin-related genes in both substance use and depressive disorders. Conclusions Glial-mediated glutamatergic dysfunction is a common neuropathological pathway in both substance use and depression. Therefore, glutamatergic neuromodulation is a rational drug target in this comorbidity. PMID:24024876

  8. D-Serine and Serine Racemase Are Associated with PSD-95 and Glutamatergic Synapse Stability.

    PubMed

    Lin, Hong; Jacobi, Ariel A; Anderson, Stewart A; Lynch, David R

    2016-01-01

    D-serine is an endogenous coagonist at the glycine site of synaptic NMDA receptors (NMDARs), synthesized by serine racemase (SR) through conversion of L-serine. It is crucial for synaptic plasticity and is implicated in schizophrenia. Our previous studies demonstrated specific loss of SR, D-serine-responsive synaptic NMDARs, and glutamatergic synapses in cortical neurons lacking α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, which promotes glutamatergic synapse formation and maturation during development. We thus hypothesize that D-serine and SR (D-serine/SR) are associated with glutamatergic synaptic development. Using morphological and molecular studies in cortical neuronal cultures, we demonstrate that D-serine/SR are associated with PSD-95 and NMDARs in postsynaptic neurons and with glutamatergic synapse stability during synaptic development. Endogenous D-serine and SR colocalize with PSD-95, but not presynaptic vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (VGLUT1), in glutamatergic synapses of cultured cortical neurons. Low-density astrocytes in cortical neuronal cultures lack SR expression but contain enriched D-serine in large vesicle-like structures, suggesting possible synthesis of D-serine in postsynaptic neurons and storage in astrocytes. More interestingly, endogenous D-serine and SR colocalize with PSD-95 in the postsynaptic terminals of glutamatergic synapses during early and late synaptic development, implicating involvement of D-serine/SR in glutamatergic synaptic development. Exogenous application of D-serine enhances the interactions of SR with PSD-95 and NR1, and increases the number of VGLUT1- and PSD-95-positive glutamatergic synapses, suggesting that exogenous D-serine enhances postsynaptic SR/PSD-95 signaling and stabilizes glutamatergic synapses during cortical synaptic development. This is blocked by NMDAR antagonist 2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid (AP5) and 7-chlorokynurenic acid (7-CK), a specific antagonist at the glycine site of NMDARs, demonstrating

  9. D-Serine and Serine Racemase Are Associated with PSD-95 and Glutamatergic Synapse Stability

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Hong; Jacobi, Ariel A.; Anderson, Stewart A.; Lynch, David R.

    2016-01-01

    D-serine is an endogenous coagonist at the glycine site of synaptic NMDA receptors (NMDARs), synthesized by serine racemase (SR) through conversion of L-serine. It is crucial for synaptic plasticity and is implicated in schizophrenia. Our previous studies demonstrated specific loss of SR, D-serine-responsive synaptic NMDARs, and glutamatergic synapses in cortical neurons lacking α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, which promotes glutamatergic synapse formation and maturation during development. We thus hypothesize that D-serine and SR (D-serine/SR) are associated with glutamatergic synaptic development. Using morphological and molecular studies in cortical neuronal cultures, we demonstrate that D-serine/SR are associated with PSD-95 and NMDARs in postsynaptic neurons and with glutamatergic synapse stability during synaptic development. Endogenous D-serine and SR colocalize with PSD-95, but not presynaptic vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (VGLUT1), in glutamatergic synapses of cultured cortical neurons. Low-density astrocytes in cortical neuronal cultures lack SR expression but contain enriched D-serine in large vesicle-like structures, suggesting possible synthesis of D-serine in postsynaptic neurons and storage in astrocytes. More interestingly, endogenous D-serine and SR colocalize with PSD-95 in the postsynaptic terminals of glutamatergic synapses during early and late synaptic development, implicating involvement of D-serine/SR in glutamatergic synaptic development. Exogenous application of D-serine enhances the interactions of SR with PSD-95 and NR1, and increases the number of VGLUT1- and PSD-95-positive glutamatergic synapses, suggesting that exogenous D-serine enhances postsynaptic SR/PSD-95 signaling and stabilizes glutamatergic synapses during cortical synaptic development. This is blocked by NMDAR antagonist 2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid (AP5) and 7-chlorokynurenic acid (7-CK), a specific antagonist at the glycine site of NMDARs, demonstrating

  10. Profilin2 contributes to synaptic vesicle exocytosis, neuronal excitability, and novelty-seeking behavior

    PubMed Central

    Pilo Boyl, Pietro; Di Nardo, Alessia; Mulle, Christophe; Sassoè-Pognetto, Marco; Panzanelli, Patrizia; Mele, Andrea; Kneussel, Matthias; Costantini, Vivian; Perlas, Emerald; Massimi, Marzia; Vara, Hugo; Giustetto, Maurizio; Witke, Walter

    2007-01-01

    Profilins are actin binding proteins essential for regulating cytoskeletal dynamics, however, their function in the mammalian nervous system is unknown. Here, we provide evidence that in mouse brain profilin1 and profilin2 have distinct roles in regulating synaptic actin polymerization with profilin2 preferring a WAVE-complex-mediated pathway. Mice lacking profilin2 show a block in synaptic actin polymerization in response to depolarization, which is accompanied by increased synaptic excitability of glutamatergic neurons due to higher vesicle exocytosis. These alterations in neurotransmitter release correlate with a hyperactivation of the striatum and enhanced novelty-seeking behavior in profilin2 mutant mice. Our results highlight a novel, profilin2-dependent pathway, regulating synaptic physiology, neuronal excitability, and complex behavior. PMID:17541406

  11. Knockout of Cyclophilin-D Provides Partial Amelioration of Intrinsic and Synaptic Properties Altered by Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Jianli; Jacobs, Kimberle M.

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondria are central to cell survival and Ca2+ homeostasis due to their intracellular buffering capabilities. Mitochondrial dysfunction resulting in mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) opening has been reported after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Cyclosporine A provides protection against the mPTP opening through its interaction with cyclophilin-D (CypD). A recent study has found that the extent of axonal injury after mTBI was diminished in neocortex in cyclophilin-D knockout (CypDKO) mice. Here we tested whether this CypDKO could also provide protection from the increased intrinsic and synaptic neuronal excitability previously described after mTBI in a mild central fluid percussion injury mice model. CypDKO mice were crossed with mice expressing yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) in layer V pyramidal neurons in neocortex to create CypDKO/YFP-H mice. Whole cell patch clamp recordings from axotomized (AX) and intact (IN) YFP+ layer V pyramidal neurons were made 1 and 2 days after sham or mTBI in slices from CypDKO/YFP-H mice. Both excitatory post synaptic currents (EPSCs) recorded in voltage clamp and intrinsic cellular properties, including action potential (AP), afterhyperpolarization (AHP), and depolarizing after potential (DAP) characteristics recorded in current clamp were evaluated. There was no significant difference between sham and mTBI for either spontaneous or miniature EPSC frequency, suggesting that CypDKO ameliorates excitatory synaptic abnormalities. There was a partial amelioration of intrinsic properties altered by mTBI. Alleviated were the increased slope of the AP frequency vs. injected current plot, the increased AP, AHP and DAP amplitudes. Other properties that saw a reversal that became significant in the opposite direction include the current rheobase and AP overshoot. The AP threshold remained depolarized and the input resistance remained increased in mTBI compared to sham. Additional altered properties suggest that the

  12. Distinct Defects in Synaptic Differentiation of Neocortical Neurons in Response to Prenatal Valproate Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Iijima, Yoko; Behr, Katharina; Iijima, Takatoshi; Biemans, Barbara; Bischofberger, Josef; Scheiffele, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a heterogeneous group of neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by impairments in social interactions and stereotyped behaviors. Valproic acid (VPA) is frequently used to treat epilepsy and bipolar disorders. When taken during pregnancy, VPA increases the risk of the unborn child to develop an ASD. In rodents, in utero VPA exposure can precipitate behavioral phenotypes related to ASD in the offspring. Therefore, such rodent models may allow for identification of synaptic pathophysiology underlying ASD risk. Here, we systematically probed alterations in synaptic proteins that might contribute to autism-related behavior in the offspring of in utero VPA-exposed mice. Moreover, we tested whether direct VPA exposure of cultured neocortical neurons may recapitulate the molecular alterations seen in vivo. VPA-exposed neurons in culture exhibit a significant increase in the number of glutamatergic synapses accompanied by a significant decrease in the number of GABAergic synapses. This shift in excitatory/inhibitory balance results in substantially increased spontaneous activity in neuronal networks arising from VPA-exposed neurons. Pharmacological experiments demonstrate that the alterations in GABAergic and glutamatergic synaptic proteins and structures are largely caused by inhibition of histone deacetylases. Therefore, our study highlights an epigenetic mechanism underlying the synaptic pathophysiology in this ASD model. PMID:27264355

  13. Impaired fear memory, altered object memory and modified hippocampal synaptic plasticity in split-brain mice.

    PubMed

    MacPherson, Peter; McGaffigan, Ruth; Wahlsten, Douglas; Nguyen, Peter V

    2008-05-19

    The hippocampus is critical for memory formation. However, the contributions of the hippocampal commissure (HC) and the corpus callosum (CC) are less clear. To elucidate the role of the forebrain commissures in learning and memory, we performed a behavioural and electrophysiological characterization of an inbred mouse strain that displays agenesis of the CC and congenitally reduced HC (BTBR T+ tf/J; 'BTBR'). Compared to a control strain, BTBR mice have severely impaired contextual fear memory, with normal object recognition memory. Interestingly, continuous environmental "enrichment" significantly increased object recognition in BTBR, but not in control C57BL/6 ('BL/6') mice. In area CA1 of hippocampal slices, BTBR displayed intact expression of long-term potentiation (LTP), paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) and basal synaptic transmission, compared to BL/6 mice. However, BTBR hippocampal slices show an increased susceptibility to depotentiation (DPT), an activity-induced reversal of LTP. We conclude that the HC and CC are critical for some forms of hippocampal memory and for synaptic resistance to DPT. Agenesis of the CC and HC may unmask some latent ability to encode, store or retrieve certain forms of recognition memory. We suggest that the increased susceptibility to DPT in BTBR may underlie the memory phenotype reported here.

  14. Differential Control of Cocaine Self-Administration by GABAergic and Glutamatergic CB1 Cannabinoid Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Martín-García, Elena; Bourgoin, Lucie; Cathala, Adeline; Kasanetz, Fernando; Mondesir, Miguel; Gutiérrez-Rodriguez, Ana; Reguero, Leire; Fiancette, Jean- François; Grandes, Pedro; Spampinato, Umberto; Maldonado, Rafael; Piazza, Pier Vincenzo; Marsicano, Giovanni; Deroche-Gamonet, Véronique

    2016-01-01

    The type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1) modulates numerous neurobehavioral processes and is therefore explored as a target for the treatment of several mental and neurological diseases. However, previous studies have investigated CB1 by targeting it globally, regardless of its two main neuronal localizations on glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons. In the context of cocaine addiction this lack of selectivity is critical since glutamatergic and GABAergic neuronal transmission is involved in different aspects of the disease. To determine whether CB1 exerts different control on cocaine seeking according to its two main neuronal localizations, we used mutant mice with deleted CB1 in cortical glutamatergic neurons (Glu-CB1) or in forebrain GABAergic neurons (GABA-CB1). In Glu-CB1, gene deletion concerns the dorsal telencephalon, including neocortex, paleocortex, archicortex, hippocampal formation and the cortical portions of the amygdala. In GABA-CB1, it concerns several cortical and non-cortical areas including the dorsal striatum, nucleus accumbens, thalamic, and hypothalamic nuclei. We tested complementary components of cocaine self-administration, separating the influence of primary and conditioned effects. Mechanisms underlying each phenotype were explored using in vivo microdialysis and ex vivo electrophysiology. We show that CB1 expression in forebrain GABAergic neurons controls mouse sensitivity to cocaine, while CB1 expression in cortical glutamatergic neurons controls associative learning processes. In accordance, in the nucleus accumbens, GABA-CB1 receptors control cocaine-induced dopamine release and Glu-CB1 receptors control AMPAR/NMDAR ratio; a marker of synaptic plasticity. Our findings demonstrate a critical distinction of the altered balance of Glu-CB1 and GABA-CB1 activity that could participate in the vulnerability to cocaine abuse and addiction. Moreover, these novel insights advance our understanding of CB1 neuropathophysiology. PMID:26612422

  15. Self administration of oxycodone alters synaptic plasticity gene expression in the hippocampus differentially in male adolescent and adult mice.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Y; Brownstein, A J; Buonora, M; Niikura, K; Ho, A; Correa da Rosa, J; Kreek, M J; Ott, J

    2015-01-29

    Abuse and addiction to prescription opioids such as oxycodone (a short-acting Mu opioid receptor (MOP-r) agonist) in adolescence is a pressing public health issue. We have previously shown differences in oxycodone self-administration behaviors between adolescent and adult C57BL/6J mice and expression of striatal neurotransmitter receptor genes, in areas involved in reward. In this study, we aimed to determine whether oxycodone self-administration differentially affects genes regulating synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus of adolescent compared to adult mice, since the hippocampus may be involved in learning aspects associated with chronic drug self administration. Hippocampus was isolated for mRNA analysis from mice that had self administered oxycodone (0.25 mg/kg/infusion) 2h/day for 14 consecutive days or from yoked saline controls. Gene expression was analyzed with real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using a commercially available "synaptic plasticity" PCR array containing 84 genes. We found that adolescent and adult control mice significantly differed in the expression of several genes in the absence of oxycodone exposure, including those coding for mitogen-activated protein kinase, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II gamma subunit, glutamate receptor, ionotropic AMPA2 and metabotropic 5. Chronic oxycodone self administration increased proviral integration site 1 (Pim1) and thymoma viral proto-oncogene 1 mRNA levels compared to controls in both age groups. Both Pim1 and cadherin 2 mRNAs showed a significant combined effect of Drug Condition and Age × Drug Condition. Furthermore, the mRNA levels of both cadherin 2 and cAMP response element modulators showed an experiment-wise significant difference between oxycodone and saline control in adult but not in adolescent mice. Overall, this study demonstrates for the first time that chronic oxycodone self-administration differentially alters synaptic plasticity gene expression in the hippocampus

  16. Both pre- and post-synaptic alterations contribute to aberrant cholinergic transmission in superior cervical ganglia of APP(-/-) mice.

    PubMed

    Cai, Zhao-Lin; Zhang, Jia-Jia; Chen, Ming; Wang, Jin-Zhao; Xiao, Peng; Yang, Li; Long, Cheng

    2016-11-01

    Though amyloid precursor protein (APP) can potentially be cleaved to generate the pathological amyloid β peptide (Aβ), APP itself plays an important role in regulating neuronal activity. APP deficiency causes functional impairment in cholinergic synaptic transmission and cognitive performance. However, the mechanisms underlying altered cholinergic synaptic transmission in APP knock-out mice (APP(-/-)) are poorly understood. In this study, we conducted in vivo extracellular recording to investigate cholinergic compound action potentials (CAPs) of the superior cervical ganglion (SCG) in APP(-/-) and littermate wild-type (WT) mice. Our results demonstrate that APP not only regulates presynaptic activity, but also affects postsynaptic function at cholinergic synapses in SCG. APP deficiency reduces the number of vesicles in presynaptic terminalsand attenuatesthe amplitude of CAPs, likely due to dysfunction of high-affinity choline transporters. Pharmacological and biochemical examination showed that postsynaptic responsesmediated by α4β2 and α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are reduced in the absence of APP. Our research provides evidences on how APP regulates cholinergic function and therefore may help to identify potential therapeutic targets to treat cholinergic dysfunction associated with Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis.

  17. mTORC1 Inhibition Corrects Neurodevelopmental and Synaptic Alterations in a Human Stem Cell Model of Tuberous Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Costa, Veronica; Aigner, Stefan; Vukcevic, Mirko; Sauter, Evelyn; Behr, Katharina; Ebeling, Martin; Dunkley, Tom; Friedlein, Arno; Zoffmann, Sannah; Meyer, Claas A; Knoflach, Frédéric; Lugert, Sebastian; Patsch, Christoph; Fjeldskaar, Fatiha; Chicha-Gaudimier, Laurie; Kiialainen, Anna; Piraino, Paolo; Bedoucha, Marc; Graf, Martin; Jessberger, Sebastian; Ghosh, Anirvan; Bischofberger, Josef; Jagasia, Ravi

    2016-04-05

    Hyperfunction of the mTORC1 pathway has been associated with idiopathic and syndromic forms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), including tuberous sclerosis, caused by loss of either TSC1 or TSC2. It remains largely unknown how developmental processes and biochemical signaling affected by mTORC1 dysregulation contribute to human neuronal dysfunction. Here, we have characterized multiple stages of neurogenesis and synapse formation in human neurons derived from TSC2-deleted pluripotent stem cells. Homozygous TSC2 deletion causes severe developmental abnormalities that recapitulate pathological hallmarks of cortical malformations in patients. Both TSC2(+/-) and TSC2(-/-) neurons display altered synaptic transmission paralleled by molecular changes in pathways associated with autism, suggesting the convergence of pathological mechanisms in ASD. Pharmacological inhibition of mTORC1 corrects developmental abnormalities and synaptic dysfunction during independent developmental stages. Our results uncouple stage-specific roles of mTORC1 in human neuronal development and contribute to a better understanding of the onset of neuronal pathophysiology in tuberous sclerosis. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Military blast-induced synaptic changes with distinct vulnerability may explain behavioral alterations in the absence of obvious brain damage

    PubMed Central

    Parisian, Catherine M.; Georgevitch, Gregory; Bahr, Ben A.

    2017-01-01

    Sadly many military veterans, who left home to serve their country honorably, return from service with permanent life-changing injuries. It is easy to remember our debt to those who have incurred such visible injuries, and all too easy to forget the invisible wounds that afflict so many of our military servicemen and women. Brain injuries can be invisible during initial medical evaluations and are often caused by military explosives that create blast shockwaves of varying intensity. One of the most common types of traumatic brain injury (TBI) linked to military service is blast-induced neurotrauma. To better understand this type of injury, a recently published study subjected rat brain slice cultures to detonations of RDX military explosives, resulting in reduced levels of specific synaptic markers. Such alterations have in fact been linked to depressive behavior, anxiety, and cognitive rigidity, and the blast-induced synaptic modifications may underlie the behavioral changes in those TBI sufferers who do not exhibit measurable brain damage. This research has the potential to improve diagnoses by identifying indicators of synapse integrity for the assessment of subtle synaptopathogenesis linked to blast-induced neurotrauma. PMID:28824962

  19. Synaptic structure and function are altered by the neddylation inhibitor MLN4924.

    PubMed

    Scudder, Samantha L; Patrick, Gentry N

    2015-03-01

    The posttranslational modification of proteins by the ubiquitin-like small molecule NEDD8 has previously been shown to be vital in a number of cell signaling pathways. In particular, conjugation of NEDD8 (neddylation) serves to regulate protein ubiquitination through modifications to E3 ubiquitin ligases. Despite the prevalence of NEDD8 in neurons, very little work has been done to characterize the role of this modifier in these cells. Here, we use the recently developed NEDD8 Activating Enzyme (NAE) inhibitor MLN4924 and report evidence of a role for NEDD8 in regulating mammalian excitatory synapses. Application of this drug to dissociated rat hippocampal neurons caused reductions in synaptic strength, surface glutamate receptor levels, dendritic spine width, and spine density, suggesting that neddylation is involved in the maintenance of synapses.

  20. Neonatal tissue damage facilitates nociceptive synaptic input to the developing superficial dorsal horn via NGF-dependent mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jie; Baccei, Mark L.

    2011-01-01

    Tissue injury during a critical period of early life can facilitate spontaneous glutamatergic transmission within developing pain circuits in the superficial dorsal horn (SDH) of the spinal cord. However, the extent to which neonatal tissue damage strengthens nociceptive synaptic input to specific subpopulations of SDH neurons, as well as the mechanisms underlying this distinct form of synaptic plasticity, remains unclear. Here we use in vitro whole-cell patch clamp recordings from rodent spinal cord slices to demonstrate that neonatal surgical injury selectively potentiates high-threshold primary afferent input to immature lamina II neurons. In addition, the increase in the frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) after hindpaw incision was prevented by neonatal capsaicin treatment, suggesting that early tissue injury enhances glutamate release from nociceptive synapses. This occurs in a widespread manner within the developing SDH, as incision elevated mEPSC frequency in both GABAergic and presumed glutamatergic lamina II neurons of Gad-GFP transgenic mice. The administration of exogenous nerve growth factor (NGF) into the rat hindpaw mimicked the effects of early tissue damage on excitatory synaptic function, while blocking trkA receptors in vivo abolished the changes in both spontaneous and primary afferent-evoked glutamatergic transmission following incision. These findings illustrate that neonatal tissue damage can alter the gain of developing pain pathways by activating NGF-dependent signaling cascades which modify synaptic efficacy at the first site of nociceptive processing within the CNS. PMID:21550171

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-12-01

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

  2. Distinct subsynaptic localization of type 1 metabotropic glutamate receptors at glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses in the rodent cerebellar cortex.

    PubMed

    Mansouri, Mahnaz; Kasugai, Yu; Fukazawa, Yugo; Bertaso, Federica; Raynaud, Fabrice; Perroy, Julie; Fagni, Laurent; Kaufmann, Walter A; Watanabe, Masahiko; Shigemoto, Ryuichi; Ferraguti, Francesco

    2015-01-01

    Type 1 metabotropic glutamate (mGlu1) receptors play a pivotal role in different forms of synaptic plasticity in the cerebellar cortex, e.g. long-term depression at glutamatergic synapses and rebound potentiation at GABAergic synapses. These various forms of plasticity might depend on the subsynaptic arrangement of the receptor in Purkinje cells that can be regulated by protein-protein interactions. This study investigated, by means of the freeze-fracture replica immunogold labelling method, the subcellular localization of mGlu1 receptors in the rodent cerebellum and whether Homer proteins regulate their subsynaptic distribution. We observed a widespread extrasynaptic localization of mGlu1 receptors and confirmed their peri-synaptic enrichment at glutamatergic synapses. Conversely, we detected mGlu1 receptors within the main body of GABAergic synapses onto Purkinje cell dendrites. Although Homer proteins are known to interact with the mGlu1 receptor C-terminus, we could not detect Homer3, the most abundant Homer protein in the cerebellar cortex, at GABAergic synapses by pre-embedding and post-embedding immunoelectron microscopy. We then hypothesized a critical role for Homer proteins in the peri-junctional localization of mGlu1 receptors at glutamatergic synapses. To disrupt Homer-associated protein complexes, mice were tail-vein injected with the membrane-permeable dominant-negative TAT-Homer1a. Freeze-fracture replica immunogold labelling analysis showed no significant alteration in the mGlu1 receptor distribution pattern at parallel fibre-Purkinje cell synapses, suggesting that other scaffolding proteins are involved in the peri-synaptic confinement. The identification of interactors that regulate the subsynaptic localization of the mGlu1 receptor at neurochemically distinct synapses may offer new insight into its trafficking and intracellular signalling.

  3. Transgenic Mice with Increased Astrocyte Expression of IL-6 Show Altered Effects of Acute Ethanol on Synaptic Function

    PubMed Central

    Hernandez, Ruben V.; Puro, Alana C.; Manos, Jessica C.; Huitron-Resendiz, Salvador; Reyes, Kenneth C.; Liu, Kevin; Vo, Khanh; Roberts, Amanda J.; Gruol, Donna L.

    2015-01-01

    A growing body of evidence has revealed that resident cells of the central nervous system (CNS), and particularly the glial cells, comprise a neuroimmune system that serves a number of functions in the normal CNS and during adverse conditions. Cells of the neuroimmune system regulate CNS functions through the production of signaling factors, referred to as neuroimmune factors. Recent studies show that ethanol can activate cells of the neuroimmune system, resulting in the elevated production of neuroimmune factors, including the cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6). Here we analyzed the consequences of this CNS action of ethanol using transgenic mice that express elevated levels of IL-6 through increased astrocyte expression (IL-6-tg) to model the increased IL-6 expression that occurs with ethanol use. Results show that increased IL-6 expression induces neuroadaptive changes that alter the effects of ethanol. In hippocampal slices from non-transgenic (non-tg) littermate control mice, synaptically evoked dendritic field excitatory postsynaptic potential (fEPSP) and somatic population spike (PS) at the Schaffer collateral to CA1 pyramidal neuron synapse were reduced by acute ethanol (20 or 60 mM). In contrast, acute ethanol enhanced the fEPSP and PS in hippocampal slices from IL-6 tg mice. Long-term synaptic plasticity of the fEPSP (i.e., LTP) showed the expected dose-dependent reduction by acute ethanol in non-tg hippocampal slices, whereas LTP in the IL-6 tg hippocampal slices was resistant to this depressive effect of acute ethanol. Consistent with altered effects of acute ethanol on synaptic function in the IL-6 tg mice, EEG recordings showed a higher level of CNS activity in the IL-6 tg mice than in the non-tg mice during the period of withdrawal from an acute high dose of ethanol. These results suggest a potential role for neuroadaptive effects of ethanol-induced astrocyte production of IL-6 as a mediator or modulator of the actions of ethanol on the CNS, including

  4. Transgenic mice with increased astrocyte expression of IL-6 show altered effects of acute ethanol on synaptic function.

    PubMed

    Hernandez, Ruben V; Puro, Alana C; Manos, Jessica C; Huitron-Resendiz, Salvador; Reyes, Kenneth C; Liu, Kevin; Vo, Khanh; Roberts, Amanda J; Gruol, Donna L

    2016-04-01

    A growing body of evidence has revealed that resident cells of the central nervous system (CNS), and particularly the glial cells, comprise a neuroimmune system that serves a number of functions in the normal CNS and during adverse conditions. Cells of the neuroimmune system regulate CNS functions through the production of signaling factors, referred to as neuroimmune factors. Recent studies show that ethanol can activate cells of the neuroimmune system, resulting in the elevated production of neuroimmune factors, including the cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6). Here we analyzed the consequences of this CNS action of ethanol using transgenic mice that express elevated levels of IL-6 through increased astrocyte expression (IL-6-tg) to model the increased IL-6 expression that occurs with ethanol use. Results show that increased IL-6 expression induces neuroadaptive changes that alter the effects of ethanol. In hippocampal slices from non-transgenic (non-tg) littermate control mice, synaptically evoked dendritic field excitatory postsynaptic potential (fEPSP) and somatic population spike (PS) at the Schaffer collateral to CA1 pyramidal neuron synapse were reduced by acute ethanol (20 or 60 mM). In contrast, acute ethanol enhanced the fEPSP and PS in hippocampal slices from IL-6 tg mice. Long-term synaptic plasticity of the fEPSP (i.e., LTP) showed the expected dose-dependent reduction by acute ethanol in non-tg hippocampal slices, whereas LTP in the IL-6 tg hippocampal slices was resistant to this depressive effect of acute ethanol. Consistent with altered effects of acute ethanol on synaptic function in the IL-6 tg mice, EEG recordings showed a higher level of CNS activity in the IL-6 tg mice than in the non-tg mice during the period of withdrawal from an acute high dose of ethanol. These results suggest a potential role for neuroadaptive effects of ethanol-induced astrocyte production of IL-6 as a mediator or modulator of the actions of ethanol on the CNS, including

  5. Quantitative proteomics identifies altered O-GlcNAcylation of structural, synaptic and memory-associated proteins in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Wang, Sheng; Yang, Feng; Petyuk, Vladislav A; Shukla, Anil K; Monroe, Matthew E; Gritsenko, Marina A; Rodland, Karin D; Smith, Richard D; Qian, Wei-Jun; Gong, Cheng-Xin; Liu, Tao

    2017-09-01

    Protein modification by O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) is emerging as an important factor in the pathogenesis of sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD); however, detailed molecular characterization of this important protein post-translational modification at the proteome level has been highly challenging, owing to its low stoichiometry and labile nature. Herein, we report the most comprehensive, quantitative proteomics analysis for protein O-GlcNAcylation in postmortem human brain tissues with and without AD by the use of isobaric tandem mass tag labelling, chemoenzymatic photocleavage enrichment, and liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. A total of 1850 O-GlcNAc peptides covering 1094 O-GlcNAcylation sites were identified from 530 proteins in the human brain. One hundred and thirty-one O-GlcNAc peptides covering 81 proteins were altered in AD brains as compared with controls (q < 0.05). Moreover, alteration of O-GlcNAc peptide abundance could be attributed more to O-GlcNAcylation level than to protein level changes. The altered O-GlcNAcylated proteins belong to several structural and functional categories, including synaptic proteins, cytoskeleton proteins, and memory-associated proteins. These findings suggest that dysregulation of O-GlcNAcylation of multiple brain proteins may be involved in the development of sporadic AD. Copyright © 2017 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2017 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  6. DEVELOPMENTAL HYPOTHYROIDISM ALTERS SYNAPTIC TRANSMISSION IN DENTATE GYRUS AND AREA CA1 OF HIPPOCAMPUS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Hypothyroidism during critical periods of brain developmental leads to learning deficits and alterations in hippocampal structure. Neurophysiological properties of the hippocampus, however, have not been well characterized. The present study examined field potentials evoked in...

  7. DEVELOPMENTAL HYPOTHYROIDISM ALTERS SYNAPTIC TRANSMISSION IN DENTATE GYRUS AND AREA CA1 OF HIPPOCAMPUS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Hypothyroidism during critical periods of brain developmental leads to learning deficits and alterations in hippocampal structure. Neurophysiological properties of the hippocampus, however, have not been well characterized. The present study examined field potentials evoked in...

  8. A Rat Model of Alzheimer’s Disease Based on Abeta42 and Pro-oxidative Substances Exhibits Cognitive Deficit and Alterations in Glutamatergic and Cholinergic Neurotransmitter Systems

    PubMed Central

    Petrasek, Tomas; Skurlova, Martina; Maleninska, Kristyna; Vojtechova, Iveta; Kristofikova, Zdena; Matuskova, Hana; Sirova, Jana; Vales, Karel; Ripova, Daniela; Stuchlik, Ales

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is one of the most serious human, medical, and socioeconomic burdens. Here we tested the hypothesis that a rat model of AD (Samaritan; Taconic Pharmaceuticals, USA) based on the application of amyloid beta42 (Abeta42) and the pro-oxidative substances ferrous sulfate heptahydrate and L-buthionine-(S, R)-sulfoximine, will exhibit cognitive deficits and disruption of the glutamatergic and cholinergic systems in the brain. Behavioral methods included the Morris water maze (MWM; long-term memory version) and the active allothetic place avoidance (AAPA) task (acquisition and reversal), testing spatial memory and different aspects of hippocampal function. Neurochemical methods included testing of the NR1/NR2A/NR2B subunits of NMDA receptors in the frontal cortex and CHT1 transporters in the hippocampus, in both cases in the right and left hemisphere separately. Our results show that Samaritan rats™ exhibit marked impairment in both the MWM and active place avoidance tasks, suggesting a deficit of spatial learning and memory. Moreover, Samaritan rats exhibited significant changes in NR2A expression and CHT1 activity compared to controls rats, mimicking the situation in patients with early stage AD. Taken together, our results corroborate the hypothesis that Samaritan rats are a promising model of AD in its early stages. PMID:27148049

  9. Glutamatergic Retinal Waves

    PubMed Central

    Kerschensteiner, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Spontaneous activity patterns propagate through many parts of the developing nervous system and shape the wiring of emerging circuits. Prior to vision, waves of activity originating in the retina propagate through the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) of the thalamus to primary visual cortex (V1). Retinal waves have been shown to instruct the wiring of ganglion cell axons in LGN and of thalamocortical axons in V1 via correlation-based plasticity rules. Across species, retinal waves mature in three stereotypic stages (I–III), in which distinct circuit mechanisms give rise to unique activity patterns that serve specific functions in visual system refinement. Here, I review insights into the patterns, mechanisms, and functions of stage III retinal waves, which rely on glutamatergic signaling. As glutamatergic waves spread across the retina, neighboring ganglion cells with opposite light responses (ON vs. OFF) are activated sequentially. Recent studies identified lateral excitatory networks in the inner retina that generate and propagate glutamatergic waves, and vertical inhibitory networks that desynchronize the activity of ON and OFF cells in the wavefront. Stage III wave activity patterns may help segregate axons of ON and OFF ganglion cells in the LGN, and could contribute to the emergence of orientation selectivity in V1. PMID:27242446

  10. Obesity diminishes synaptic markers, alters microglial morphology, and impairs cognitive function

    PubMed Central

    Bocarsly, Miriam E.; Fasolino, Maria; Kane, Gary A.; LaMarca, Elizabeth A.; Kirschen, Gregory W.; Karatsoreos, Ilia N.; McEwen, Bruce S.; Gould, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    Obesity is a major public health problem affecting overall physical and emotional well-being. Despite compelling data suggesting an association between obesity and cognitive dysfunction, this phenomenon has received relatively little attention. Neuroimaging studies in obese humans report reduced size of brain regions involved in cognition, but few studies have investigated the cellular processes underlying cognitive decline in obesity or the influence of obesity on cognition in the absence of obesity-related illnesses. Here, a rat model of diet-induced obesity was used to explore changes in brain regions important for cognition. Obese rats showed deficits on cognitive tasks requiring the prefrontal and perirhinal cortex. Cognitive deficits were accompanied by decreased dendritic spine density and synaptic marker expression in both brain regions. Microglial morphology was also changed in the prefrontal cortex. Detrimental changes in the prefrontal cortex and perirhinal cortex occurred before metabolic syndrome or diabetes, suggesting that these brain regions may be particularly vulnerable to early stage obesity. PMID:26644559

  11. Inverse modulation of motor neuron cellular and synaptic properties can maintain the same motor output.

    PubMed

    McClelland, Thomas James; Parker, David

    2017-09-30

    Although often examined in isolation, a single neuromodulator typically has multiple cellular and synaptic effects. Here, we have examined the interaction of the cellular and synaptic effects of 5-HT in the lamprey spinal cord. 5-HT reduces the amplitude of glutamatergic synaptic inputs and the slow post-spike afterhyperpolarization (sAHP) in motor neurons. We examined the interaction between these effects using ventral root activity evoked by stimulation of the spinal cord. While 5-HT reduced excitatory glutamatergic synaptic inputs in motor neurons to approximately 60% of control, ventral root activity was not significantly affected. The reduction of the sAHP by 5-HT increased motor neuron excitability by reducing spike frequency adaptation, an effect that could in principle have opposed the reduction of the excitatory synaptic input. Support for this was sought by reducing the amplitude of the sAHP by applying the toxin apamin before 5-HT application. In these experiments, 5-HT reduced the ventral root response, presumably because the reduction of the synaptic input now dominated. This was supported by computer simulations that showed that the motor output could be maintained over a wide range of synaptic input values if they were matched by changes in postsynaptic excitability. The effects of 5-HT on ventral root responses were altered by spinal cord lesions: 5-HT significantly increased ventral root responses in animals that recovered good locomotor function, consistent with a lesion-induced reduction in the synaptic effects of 5-HT, which thus biases its effects to the increase in motor neuron excitability. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. The role of nitric oxide in pre-synaptic plasticity and homeostasis

    PubMed Central

    Hardingham, Neil; Dachtler, James; Fox, Kevin

    2013-01-01

    Since the observation that nitric oxide (NO) can act as an intercellular messenger in the brain, the past 25 years have witnessed the steady accumulation of evidence that it acts pre-synaptically at both glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses to alter release-probability in synaptic plasticity. NO does so by acting on the synaptic machinery involved in transmitter release and, in a coordinated fashion, on vesicular recycling mechanisms. In this review, we examine the body of evidence for NO acting as a retrograde factor at synapses, and the evidence from in vivo and in vitro studies that specifically establish NOS1 (neuronal nitric oxide synthase) as the important isoform of NO synthase in this process. The NOS1 isoform is found at two very different locations and at two different spatial scales both in the cortex and hippocampus. On the one hand it is located diffusely in the cytoplasm of a small population of GABAergic neurons and on the other hand the alpha isoform is located discretely at the post-synaptic density (PSD) in spines of pyramidal cells. The present evidence is that the number of NOS1 molecules that exist at the PSD are so low that a spine can only give rise to modest concentrations of NO and therefore only exert a very local action. The NO receptor guanylate cyclase is located both pre- and post-synaptically and this suggests a role for NO in the coordination of local pre- and post-synaptic function during plasticity at individual synapses. Recent evidence shows that NOS1 is also located post-synaptic to GABAergic synapses and plays a pre-synaptic role in GABAergic plasticity as well as glutamatergic plasticity. Studies on the function of NO in plasticity at the cellular level are corroborated by evidence that NO is also involved in experience-dependent plasticity in the cerebral cortex. PMID:24198758

  13. Mitochondrial dynamics and bioenergetic dysfunction is associated with synaptic alterations in mutant SOD1 motor neurons

    PubMed Central

    Magrané, Jordi; Sahawneh, Mary Anne; Przedborski, Serge; Estévez, Álvaro G.; Manfredi, Giovanni

    2012-01-01

    Mutations in Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) cause familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS), a rapidly fatal motor neuron disease. Mutant SOD1 has pleiotropic toxic effects on motor neurons, among which mitochondrial dysfunction has been proposed as one of the contributing factors in motor neuron demise. Mitochondria are highly dynamic in neurons; they are constantly reshaped by fusion and move along neurites to localize at sites of high-energy utilization, such as synapses. The finding of abnormal mitochondria accumulation in neuromuscular junctions, where the SOD1-FALS degenerative process is though to initiate, suggests that impaired mitochondrial dynamics in motor neurons may be involved in pathogenesis. We addressed this hypothesis by live imaging microscopy of photo-switchable fluorescent mitoDendra in transgenic rat motor neurons expressing mutant or wild type human SOD1. We demonstrate that mutant SOD1 motor neurons have impaired mitochondrial fusion in axons and cell bodies. Mitochondria also display selective impairment of retrograde axonal transport, with reduced frequency and velocity of movements. Fusion and transport defects are associated with smaller mitochondrial size, decreased mitochondrial density, and defective mitochondrial membrane potential. Furthermore, mislocalization of mitochondria at synapses among motor neurons, in vitro, correlates with abnormal synaptic number, structure, and function. Dynamics abnormalities are specific to mutant SOD1 motor neuron mitochondria, since they are absent in wild type SOD1 motor neurons, they do not involve other organelles, and they are not found in cortical neurons. Taken together, these results suggest that impaired mitochondrial dynamics may contribute to the selective degeneration of motor neurons in SOD1-FALS. PMID:22219285

  14. Cocaine Exposure In Utero Alters Synaptic Plasticity in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex of Postnatal Rats

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Hui; Lim, Byungkook

    2009-01-01

    Cocaine exposure during pregnancy causes abnormality in fetal brain development, leading to cognitive dysfunction of the offspring, but the underlying cellular mechanism remains mostly unclear. In this study, we examined synaptic functions in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of postnatal rats that were exposed to cocaine in utero, using whole-cell recording from mPFC layer V pyramidal neurons in acute brain slices. Cocaine exposure in utero resulted in a facilitated activity-induced long-term potentiation (LTP) of excitatory synapses on these pyramidal neurons and an elevated neuronal excitability in postnatal rat pups after postnatal day 15 (P15). This facilitated LTP could be primarily attributed to the reduction of GABAergic inhibition. Biochemical assays of isolated mPFC tissue from postnatal rats further showed that cocaine exposure in utero caused a marked reduction in the surface expression of GABAA receptor subunits α1, β2, and β3, but had no effect on glutamate receptor subunit GluR1. Both facilitated LTP and reduced surface expression of GABAA receptors persisted in rats up to at least P42. Finally, the behavioral consequence of cocaine exposure in utero was reflected by the reduction in the sensitivity of locomotor activity in postnatal rats to cocaine and the dopamine receptor agonist apomorphine. Since the mPFC is an important part of the reward circuit in the rat brain and plays important roles in cognitive functions, these findings offer new insights into the cellular mechanism underlying the adverse effects of cocaine exposure in utero on brain development and cognitive functions. PMID:19812341

  15. Phenotype of cerebellar glutamatergic neurons is altered in stargazer mutant mice lacking brain-derived neurotrophic factor mRNA expression.

    PubMed

    Richardson, Christine A; Leitch, Beulah

    2005-01-10

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) influences neuronal survival, differentiation, and maturation. More recently, its role in synapse formation and plasticity has also emerged. In the cerebellum of the spontaneous recessive mutant mouse stargazer (stg) there is a specific and pronounced deficit in BDNF mRNA expression. BDNF protein levels in the cerebellum as a whole are reduced by 70%, while in the granule cells (GCs) there is a selective and near total reduction in BDNF mRNA expression. Recently, we published data demonstrating that inhibitory neurons in the cerebella of stgs have significantly reduced levels (approximately 50%) of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and fewer, smaller inhibitory synapses compared to wildtype (WT) controls. Our current investigations indicate that the stargazer mutation has an even more pronounced effect on the phenotype of glutamatergic neurons in the cerebellum. There is a profound decrease in the levels of glutamate-immunoreactivity (up to 77%) in stg compared to WT controls. The distribution profile of presynaptic vesicles is also markedly different: stgs have proportionally fewer docked vesicles and fewer vesicles located adjacent to the active zone ready to dock than WTs. Furthermore, the thickness of the postsynaptic density (PSD) at mossy fiber-granule cell (MF-GC) and parallel fiber-Purkinje cell (PF-PC) synapses is severely reduced (up to 33% less than WT controls). The number and length of excitatory synapses, however, appear to be relatively unchanged. It is possible that at least some of theses changes in phenotype are directly attributable to the lack of BDNF in the cerebellum of the stg mutant.

  16. [COX-2 regulation of prostaglandins in synaptic signaling].

    PubMed

    Yang, Hong-Wei

    2009-10-01

    Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is a rate-limiting enzyme converting arachidonic acid to prostaglandins (PGs), which is a key messenger in traumatic brain injury- and ischemia-induced neuronal damage and in neuroinflammation. COX-2 is implicated in the pathogeneses of neurodegenerative diseases. Growing evidence implies that the contribution of COX-2 to neuropathology is associated with its involvement in synaptic alteration. Elevation or inhibition of COX-2 has been shown to enhance or suppress excitatory glutamatergic neurotransmission and long-term potentiation (LTP). These events are mainly mediated via PGE2, the predominant reaction product of COX-2, and the PGE2 subtype 2 receptor (EP2). Thus, elucidation of COX-2 in synaptic signaling may provide a mechanistic basis for designing new drugs aimed at preventing, treating or alleviating neuroinflammation-associated neurological disorders.

  17. Altered Striatal Synaptic Function and Abnormal Behaviour in Shank3 Exon4-9 Deletion Mouse Model of Autism.

    PubMed

    Jaramillo, Thomas C; Speed, Haley E; Xuan, Zhong; Reimers, Jeremy M; Liu, Shunan; Powell, Craig M

    2016-03-01

    Shank3 is a multi-domain, synaptic scaffolding protein that organizes proteins in the postsynaptic density of excitatory synapses. Clinical studies suggest that ∼ 0.5% of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) cases may involve SHANK3 mutation/deletion. Patients with SHANK3 mutations exhibit deficits in cognition along with delayed/impaired speech/language and repetitive and obsessive/compulsive-like (OCD-like) behaviors. To examine how mutation/deletion of SHANK3 might alter brain function leading to ASD, we have independently created mice with deletion of Shank3 exons 4-9, a region implicated in ASD patients. We find that homozygous deletion of exons 4-9 (Shank3(e4-9) KO) results in loss of the two highest molecular weight isoforms of Shank3 and a significant reduction in other isoforms. Behaviorally, both Shank3(e4-9) heterozygous (HET) and Shank3(e4-9) KO mice display increased repetitive grooming, deficits in novel and spatial object recognition learning and memory, and abnormal ultrasonic vocalizations. Shank3(e4-9) KO mice also display abnormal social interaction when paired with one another. Analysis of synaptosome fractions from striata of Shank3(e4-9) KO mice reveals decreased Homer1b/c, GluA2, and GluA3 expression. Both Shank3(e4-9) HET and KO demonstrated a significant reduction in NMDA/AMPA ratio at excitatory synapses onto striatal medium spiny neurons. Furthermore, Shank3(e4-9) KO mice displayed reduced hippocampal LTP despite normal baseline synaptic transmission. Collectively these behavioral, biochemical and physiological changes suggest Shank3 isoforms have region-specific roles in regulation of AMPAR subunit localization and NMDAR function in the Shank3(e4-9) mutant mouse model of autism.

  18. Altered Striatal Synaptic Function and Abnormal Behaviour in Shank3 Exon4–9 Deletion Mouse Model of Autism

    PubMed Central

    Jaramillo, Thomas C.; Speed, Haley E.; Xuan, Zhong; Reimers, Jeremy M.; Liu, Shunan; Powell, Craig M.

    2016-01-01

    Shank3 is a multi-domain, synaptic scaffolding protein that organizes proteins in the postsynaptic density of excitatory synapses. Clinical studies suggest that ~0.5% of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) cases may involve SHANK3 mutation/deletion. Patients with SHANK3 mutations exhibit deficits in cognition along with delayed/impaired speech/language and repetitive and obsessive/compulsive-like (OCD-like) behaviors. To examine how mutation/deletion of SHANK3 might alter brain function leading to ASD, we have independently created mice with deletion of Shank3 exons 4–9, a region implicated in ASD patients. We find that homozygous deletion of exons 4–9 (Shank3e4–9 KO) results in loss of the two highest molecular weight isoforms of Shank3 and a significant reduction in other isoforms. Behaviorally, both Shank3e4–9 heterozygous (HET) and Shank3e4–9 KO mice display increased repetitive grooming, deficits in novel and spatial object recognition learning and memory, and abnormal ultrasonic vocalizations. Shank3e4–9 KO mice also display abnormal social interaction when paired with one another. Analysis of synaptosome fractions from striata of Shank3e4–9 KO mice reveals decreased Homer1b/c, GluA2, and GluA3 expression. Both Shank3e4–9 HET and KO demonstrated a significant reduction in NMDA/AMPA ratio at excitatory synapses onto striatal medium spiny neurons. Furthermore, Shank3e4–9 KO mice displayed reduced hippocampal LTP despite normal baseline synaptic transmission. Collectively these behavioral, biochemical and physiological changes suggest Shank3 isoforms have region-specific roles in regulation of AMPAR subunit localization and NMDAR function in the Shank3e4–9 mutant mouse model of autism. PMID:26559786

  19. Exogenous and endogenous cannabinoids control synaptic transmission in mice nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Robbe, David; Alonso, Gerard; Manzoni, Oliver J

    2003-11-01

    Addictive drugs are thought to alter normal brain function and cause the remodeling of synaptic functions in areas important to memory and reward. Excitatory transmission to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) is involved in the actions of most drugs of abuse, including cannabis. We have explored the functions of the endocannabinoid system at the prefrontal cortex-NAc synapses. Immunocytochemistry showed cannabinoid receptor (CB1) expression on axonal terminals making contacts with NAc neurons. In NAc slices, synthetic cannabinoids inhibit spontaneous and evoked glutamate-mediated transmission through presynaptic activation of presynaptic K+ channels and GABA-mediated transmission most likely via a direct presynaptic action on the vesicular release machinery. How does synaptic activity lead to the production of endogenous cannabinoids (eCBs) in the NAc? More generally, do eCBs participate in long-term synaptic plasticity in the brain? We found that tetanic stimulation (mimicking naturally occurring frequencies) of prelimbic glutamatergic afferents induced a presynaptic LTD dependent on eCB and CB1 receptors (eCB-LTD). Induction of eCB-LTD required postsynaptic activation of mGlu5 receptors and a rise in postsynaptic Ca2+ from ryanodine-sensitive intracellular Ca2+ stores. This retrograde signaling cascade involved postsynaptic eCB release and activation of presynaptic CB1 receptors. In the NAc, eCB-LTD might be part of a negative feedback loop, reducing glutamatergic synaptic strength during sustained cortical activity. The fact that this new form of LTD was occluded by an exogenous cannabinoid suggested that cannabis derivatives, such as marijuana, may alter normal eCB-mediated synaptic plasticity. These data suggest a major role of the eCB system in long-term synaptic plasticity and give insights into how cannabis derivatives, such as marijuana, alter normal eCB functions in the brain reward system.

  20. Loss of MeCP2 disrupts cell autonomous and autocrine BDNF signaling in mouse glutamatergic neurons

    PubMed Central

    Sampathkumar, Charanya; Wu, Yuan-Ju; Vadhvani, Mayur; Trimbuch, Thorsten; Eickholt, Britta; Rosenmund, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Mutations in the MECP2 gene cause the neurodevelopmental disorder Rett syndrome (RTT). Previous studies have shown that altered MeCP2 levels result in aberrant neurite outgrowth and glutamatergic synapse formation. However, causal molecular mechanisms are not well understood since MeCP2 is known to regulate transcription of a wide range of target genes. Here, we describe a key role for a constitutive BDNF feed forward signaling pathway in regulating synaptic response, general growth and differentiation of glutamatergic neurons. Chronic block of TrkB receptors mimics the MeCP2 deficiency in wildtype glutamatergic neurons, while re-expression of BDNF quantitatively rescues MeCP2 deficiency. We show that BDNF acts cell autonomous and autocrine, as wildtype neurons are not capable of rescuing growth deficits in neighboring MeCP2 deficient neurons in vitro and in vivo. These findings are relevant for understanding RTT pathophysiology, wherein wildtype and mutant neurons are intermixed throughout the nervous system. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19374.001 PMID:27782879

  1. Seizure induced synaptic plasticity alteration in hippocampus is mediated by IL-1β receptor through PI3K/Akt pathway

    PubMed Central

    Han, Tao; Qin, Yanyu; Mou, Chenzhi; Wang, Min; Jiang, Meng; Liu, Bin

    2016-01-01

    Seizures, which result from synchronized aberrant firing of neuronal populations, can cause long-term sequelae, such as epilepsy, cognitive and behavioral issues, in which the synaptic plasticity alteration may play an important role. Long-term potentiation (LTP) is a persistent increase in synaptic strength and is essential for learning and memory. In the present study, we first examined the alteration of cognitive impairments and synaptic plasticity in mice with seizures, then explored the underlying mechanism involving pro-inflammatory factors and PI3K/Akt pathway. The results demonstrated that: (1) PTZ-induced seizure impairs learning and memory in mice, indicated by Morris water maze test; (2) PTZ-induced seizure decreased LTP; (3) the mRNA expression of IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α in the hippocampus were increased in mice with seizures; (4) LTP was increased by IL-1β receptor antagonist anakinra, but not inhibitors of IL-6 or TNF-α receptor; (5) Antagonist of IL-1β receptor rescues deficits in learning and memory of mice with seizures through PI3K/Akt pathway. It is concluded that the IL-1β induced by PTZ-induced seizures may impair the synaptic plasticity alteration in hippocampus as well as learning and memory ability by PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. PMID:27830035

  2. Early mood behavioral changes following exposure to monotonous environment during isolation stress is associated with altered hippocampal synaptic plasticity in male rats.

    PubMed

    Das, Saroj Kumar; Baitharu, Iswar; Barhwal, Kalpana; Hota, Sunil Kumar; Singh, Shashi Bala

    2016-01-26

    Social isolation stress and its effect on mood have been well reported, but the effect of monotony (a state of repetition of events for a considerable period of time without variation) on mood and hippocampal synaptic plasticity needs to be addressed. Present study was conducted on male Sprague-Dawley rats. Singly housed (SH) rats were subjected to monotony stress by physical, visual and pheromonal separation in specially designed animal segregation chamber. Fluoxetine (a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) was administered orally. Behavioral assessment showed anxiety and depression like traits in SH group. Monotony stress exposure to SH group resulted in increased pyknosis, decreased apical dendritic arborization and increased asymmetric (excitatory) synapses with the corresponding decrease in the symmetric (inhibitory) synapses in the hippocampal CA3 region. Monotonous environment during isolation stress also decreased the serotonin level and reduced the expression of synaptophysin and pCREB in the hippocampus. Fluoxetine administration to singly housed rats resulted in amelioration of altered mood along with improvement in serotonin and decrease in excitatory synaptic density but no change in altered inhibitory synaptic density in the hippocampus. These findings suggest that monotony during isolation contributes to early impairment in mood state by altering hippocampal synaptic density and neuronal morphology.

  3. Diminished neurosteroid sensitivity of synaptic inhibition and altered location of the alpha4 subunit of GABA(A) receptors in an animal model of epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Sun, Chengsan; Mtchedlishvili, Zakaria; Erisir, Alev; Kapur, Jaideep

    2007-11-14

    In animal models of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), neurosteroid sensitivity of GABA(A) receptors on dentate granule cells (DGCs) is diminished; the molecular mechanism underlying this phenomenon remains unclear. The current study investigated a mechanism for loss of neurosteroid sensitivity of synaptic GABA(A) receptors in TLE. Synaptic currents recorded from DGCs of epileptic animals (epileptic DGCs) were less frequent, larger in amplitude, and less sensitive to allopregnanolone modulation than those recorded from DGCs of control animals (control DGCs). Synaptic currents recorded from epileptic DGCs were less sensitive to diazepam and had altered sensitivity to benzodiazepine inverse agonist RO 15-4513 (ethyl-8-azido-6-dihydro-5-methyl-6-oxo-4H-imidazo[1,5alpha][1,4]benzodiazepine-3-carboxylate) and furosemide than those recorded from control DGCs. Properties of synaptic currents recorded from epileptic DGCs appeared similar to those of recombinant receptors containing the alpha4 subunit. Expression of the alpha4 subunit and its colocalization with the synaptic marker GAD65 was increased in epileptic DGCs. Location of the alpha4 subunit in relation to symmetric (inhibitory) synapses on soma and dendrites of control and epileptic DGCs was examined with postembedding immunogold electron microscopy. The alpha4 immunogold labeling was present more commonly within the synapse in epileptic DGCs compared with control DGCs, in which the subunit was extrasynaptic. These studies demonstrate that, in epileptic DGCs, the neurosteroid modulation of synaptic currents is diminished and alpha4 subunit-containing receptors are present at synapses and participate in synaptic transmission. These changes may facilitate seizures in epileptic animals.

  4. Glutamatergic signaling by mesolimbic dopamine neurons in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Tecuapetla, Fatuel; Patel, Jyoti C; Xenias, Harry; English, Daniel; Tadros, Ibrahim; Shah, Fulva; Berlin, Joshua; Deisseroth, Karl; Rice, Margaret E; Tepper, James M; Koos, Tibor

    2010-05-19

    Recent evidence suggests the intriguing possibility that midbrain dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons may use fast glutamatergic transmission to communicate with their postsynaptic targets. Because of technical limitations, direct demonstration of the existence of this signaling mechanism has been limited to experiments using cell culture preparations that often alter neuronal function including neurotransmitter phenotype. Consequently, it remains uncertain whether glutamatergic signaling between DAergic neurons and their postsynaptic targets exists under physiological conditions. Here, using an optogenetic approach, we provide the first conclusive demonstration that mesolimbic DAergic neurons in mice release glutamate and elicit excitatory postsynaptic responses in projection neurons of the nucleus accumbens. In addition, we describe the properties of the postsynaptic glutamatergic responses of these neurons during experimentally evoked burst firing of DAergic axons that reproduce the reward-related phasic population activity of the mesolimbic projection. These observations indicate that, in addition to DAergic mechanisms, mesolimbic reward signaling may involve glutamatergic transmission.

  5. Glutamatergic Signaling by Mesolimbic Dopamine Neurons in the Nucleus Accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Tecuapetla, Fatuel; Patel, Jyoti C.; Xenias, Harry; English, Daniel; Tadros, Ibrahim; Shah, Fulva; Berlin, Joshua; Deisseroth, Karl; Rice, Margaret E.; Tepper, James M.

    2010-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests the intriguing possibility that midbrain dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons may use fast glutamatergic transmission to communicate with their postsynaptic targets. Because of technical limitations, direct demonstration of the existence of this signaling mechanism has been limited to experiments using cell culture preparations that often alter neuronal function including neurotransmitter phenotype. Consequently, it remains uncertain whether glutamatergic signaling between DAergic neurons and their postsynaptic targets exists under physiological conditions. Here, using an optogenetic approach, we provide the first conclusive demonstration that mesolimbic DAergic neurons in mice release glutamate and elicit excitatory postsynaptic responses in projection neurons of the nucleus accumbens. In addition, we describe the properties of the postsynaptic glutamatergic responses of these neurons during experimentally evoked burst firing of DAergic axons that reproduce the reward-related phasic population activity of the mesolimbic projection. These observations indicate that, in addition to DAergic mechanisms, mesolimbic reward signaling may involve glutamatergic transmission. PMID:20484653

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

    PubMed Central

    Feldmeyer, Dirk; Radnikow, Gabriele

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-02-15

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

  8. Assemblies of glutamate receptor subunits with post-synaptic density proteins and their alterations in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Gardoni, Fabrizio; Ghiglieri, Veronica; Di Luca, Monica; Calabresi, Paolo

    2010-01-01

    N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors have been implicated as a mediator of neuronal injury associated with many neurological disorders including ischemia, epilepsy, brain trauma, dementia and neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease (PD) and Alzheimer's disease. To this, non-selective NMDA receptor antagonists have been tried and have been shown to be effective in many experimental animal models of disease, and some of these compounds have moved into clinical trials. However, the initial enthusiasm for this approach has waned, because the therapeutic index for most NMDA antagonists is quite poor, with significant adverse effects at clinically effective doses, thus limiting their utility. More recently, the concept that the exact pathways downstream NMDA receptor activation could represent a key variable element among neurological disorders has been put forward. In particular, variations in NMDA receptor subunit composition could be important in different disorders, both in the pathophysiological mechanisms of cell death and in the application of specific symptomatic therapies. As to PD, NMDA receptor complex has been shown to be altered in experimental models of parkinsonism and in PD in humans. Further, it has become increasingly evident that the NMDA receptor complex is intimately involved in the regulation of corticostriatal long-term potentiation, which is altered in experimental parkinsonism. The following sections will examine the modifications of specific NMDA receptor subunits as well as post-synaptic associated signalling complex including kinases and scaffolding proteins in experimental parkinsonism. These findings may allow the identification of specific molecular targets whose pharmacological or genetic manipulation might lead to innovative therapies for PD.

  9. Artemisia santolinifolia enhances glutamatergic neurotransmission in the nucleus of the solitary tract

    PubMed Central

    Vance, Katie M.; Ribnicky, David M.; Rogers, Richard C.; Hermann, Gerlinda E.

    2014-01-01

    Artemisia extracts have been used as remedies for a variety of maladies related to metabolic and gastrointestinal control. Because the vagal afferent-nucleus of the solitary tract (NST) synapse regulates the same homeostatic functions affected by Artemisia, it is possible that these extracts may have activity at the synaptic level in the NST. Therefore, we evaluated how extracts of three common medicinal Artemisia species, Artemisia santolinifolia (SANT), Artemisia scoparia (SCO), and Artemisia dracunculus L (PMI-5011), modulate the excitability of the glutamatergic vagal afferent-NST synapse. Our in vitro live cell calcium imaging data from prelabeled vagal afferent terminals show that SANT extract is a positive modulator of vagal afferent calcium levels, as the extract significantly increased the calcium signal relative to the time control. Neither SCO nor PMI-5011 extract altered the vagal calcium signals compared to the time control. Furthermore, whole cell voltage-clamp recordings from NST neurons corroborated the vagal terminal calcium data in that SANT extract also significantly increased miniature excitatory postsynaptic current (mEPSC) frequency in NST neurons. These data suggest that SANT extract could be a pharmacologically significant mediator of glutamatergic neurotransmission within the CNS. PMID:25220699

  10. Artemisia santolinifolia enhances glutamatergic neurotransmission in the nucleus of the solitary tract.

    PubMed

    Vance, Katie M; Ribnicky, David M; Rogers, Richard C; Hermann, Gerlinda E

    2014-10-17

    Artemisia extracts have been used as remedies for a variety of maladies related to metabolic and gastrointestinal control. Because the vagal afferent-nucleus of the solitary tract (NST) synapse regulates the same homeostatic functions affected by Artemisia, it is possible that these extracts may have activity at the synaptic level in the NST. Therefore, we evaluated how extracts of three common medicinal Artemisia species, Artemisia santolinifolia (SANT), Artemisia scoparia (SCO), and Artemisia dracunculus L (PMI-5011), modulate the excitability of the glutamatergic vagal afferent-NST synapse. Our in vitro live cell calcium imaging data from prelabeled vagal afferent terminals show that SANT extract is a positive modulator of vagal afferent calcium levels, as the extract significantly increased the calcium signal relative to the time control. Neither SCO nor PMI-5011 extract altered the vagal calcium signals compared to the time control. Furthermore, whole cell voltage-clamp recordings from NST neurons corroborated the vagal terminal calcium data in that SANT extract also significantly increased miniature excitatory postsynaptic current (mEPSC) frequency in NST neurons. These data suggest that SANT extract could be a pharmacologically significant mediator of glutamatergic neurotransmission within the CNS. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Decreased expression of vesicular glutamate transporter 1 and complexin II mRNAs in schizophrenia: further evidence for a synaptic pathology affecting glutamate neurons.

    PubMed

    Eastwood, S L; Harrison, P J

    2005-03-01

    Synaptic protein gene expression is altered in schizophrenia. In the hippocampal formation there may be particular involvement of glutamatergic neurons and their synapses, but overall the profile remains unclear. In this in situ hybridization histochemistry (ISHH) study, we examined four informative synaptic protein transcripts: vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT) 1, VGLUT2, complexin I, and complexin II, in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DPFC), superior temporal cortex (STC), and hippocampal formation, in 13 subjects with schizophrenia and 18 controls. In these areas, VGLUT1 and complexin II are expressed primarily by excitatory neurons, whereas complexin I is mainly expressed by inhibitory neurons. In schizophrenia, VGLUT1 mRNA was decreased in hippocampal formation and DPFC, complexin II mRNA was reduced in DPFC and STC, and complexin I mRNA decreased in STC. Hippocampal VGLUT1 mRNA declined with age selectively in the schizophrenia group. VGLUT2 mRNA was not quantifiable due to its low level. The data provide additional evidence for a synaptic pathology in schizophrenia, in terms of a reduced expression of three synaptic protein genes. In the hippocampus, the loss of VGLUT1 mRNA supports data indicating that glutamatergic presynaptic deficits are prominent, whereas the pattern of results in temporal and frontal cortex suggests broadly similar changes may affect inhibitory and excitatory neurons. The impairment of synaptic transmission implied by the synaptic protein reductions may contribute to the dysfunction of cortical neural circuits that characterises the disorder.

  12. GLUTAMATERGIC SYNAPSE FORMATION IS PROMOTED BY α7-CONTAINING NICOTINIC ACETYLCHOLINE RECEPTORS

    PubMed Central

    Lozada, Adrian F.; Wang, Xulong; Gounko, Natalia V.; Massey, Kerri A.; Duan, Jingjing; Liu, Zhaoping; Berg, Darwin K.

    2012-01-01

    Glutamate is the primary excitatory transmitter in adult brain, acting through synapses on dendritic spines and shafts. Early in development, however, when glutamatergic synapses are only beginning to form, nicotinic cholinergic excitation is already widespread; it is mediated by acetylcholine activating nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) that generate waves of activity across brain regions. A major class of nAChRs contributing at this time is a species containing α7 subunits (α7-nAChRs). These receptors are highly permeable to calcium, influence a variety of calcium-dependent events, and are diversely distributed throughout the developing CNS. Here we show that α7-nAChRs unexpectedly promote formation of glutamatergic synapses during development. The dependence on α7-nAChRs becomes clear when comparing wild-type mice with mice constitutively lacking the α7-nAChR gene. Ultrastructural analysis, immunostaining, and patch-clamp recording all reveal synaptic deficits when α7-nAChR input is absent. Similarly, nicotinic activation of α7-nAChRs in wild-type organotypic culture, as well as cell culture, increases the number of glutamatergic synapses. RNA interference demonstrates that the α7-nAChRs must be expressed in the neuron being innervated for normal innervation to occur. Moreover the deficits persist throughout the developmental period of major de novo synapse formation and are still fully apparent in the adult. GABAergic synapses, in contrast, are undiminished in number under such conditions. As a result, mice lacking α7-nAChRs have an altered balance in the excitatory/inhibitory input they receive. This ratio represents a fundamental feature of neural networks and shows for the first time that endogenous nicotinic cholinergic signaling plays a key role in network construction. PMID:22649244

  13. Reversal of age-related alterations in synaptic plasticity by blockade of L-type Ca2+ channels.

    PubMed

    Norris, C M; Halpain, S; Foster, T C

    1998-05-01

    The role of L-type Ca2+ channels in the induction of synaptic plasticity in hippocampal slices of aged (22-24 months) and young adult (4-6 months) male Fischer 344 rats was investigated. Prolonged 1 Hz stimulation (900 pulses) of Schaffer collaterals, which normally depresses CA3/CA1 synaptic strength in aged rat slices, failed to induce long-term depression (LTD) during bath application of the L-channel antagonist nifedipine (10 microM). When 5 Hz stimulation (900 pulses) was used to modify synaptic strength, nifedipine facilitated synaptic enhancement in slices from aged, but not young, adult rats. This enhancement was pathway-specific, reversible, and impaired by the NMDA receptor (NMDAR) antagonist DL-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid (AP5). Induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) in aged rats, using 100 Hz stimulation, occluded subsequent synaptic enhancement by 5 Hz stimulation, suggesting that nifedipine-facilitated enhancement shares mechanisms in common with conventional LTP. Facilitation of synaptic enhancement by nifedipine likely was attributable to a reduction ( approximately 30%) in the Ca2+-dependent K+-mediated afterhyperpolarization (AHP), because the K+ channel blocker apamin (1 microM) similarly reduced the AHP and promoted synaptic enhancement by 5 Hz stimulation. In contrast, apamin did not block LTD induction using 1 Hz stimulation, suggesting that, in aged rats, the AHP does not influence LTD and LTP induction in a similar way. The results indicate that, during aging, L-channels can (1) facilitate LTD induction during low rates of synaptic activity and (2) impair LTP induction during higher levels of synaptic activation via an increase in the Ca2+-dependent AHP.

  14. Impaired synaptic plasticity in the prefrontal cortex of mice with developmentally decreased number of interneurons.

    PubMed

    Konstantoudaki, X; Chalkiadaki, K; Tivodar, S; Karagogeos, D; Sidiropoulou, K

    2016-05-13

    Interneurons are inhibitory neurons, which protect neural tissue from excessive excitation. They are interconnected with glutamatergic pyramidal neurons in the cerebral cortex and regulate their function. Particularly in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), interneurons have been strongly implicated in regulating pathological states which display deficits in the PFC. The aim of this study is to investigate the adaptations in the adult glutamatergic system, when defects in interneuron development do not allow adequate numbers of interneurons to reach the cerebral cortex. To this end, we used a mouse model that displays ~50% fewer cortical interneurons due to the Rac1 protein loss from Nkx2.1/Cre expressing cells (Rac1 conditional knockout (cKO) mice), to examine how the developmental loss of interneurons may affect basal synaptic transmission, synaptic plasticity and neuronal morphology in the adult PFC. Despite the decrease in the number of interneurons, basal synaptic transmission, as examined by recording field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) from layer II networks, is not altered in the PFC of Rac1 cKO mice. However, there is decreased paired-pulse ratio (PPR) and decreased long-term potentiation (LTP), in response to tetanic stimulation, in the layer II PFC synapses of Rac1 cKO mice. Furthermore, expression of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) subunits is decreased and dendritic morphology is altered, changes that could underlie the decrease in LTP in the Rac1 cKO mice. Finally, we find that treating Rac1 cKO mice with diazepam in early postnatal life can reverse changes in dendritic morphology observed in non-treated Rac1 cKO mice. Therefore, our data show that disruption in GABAergic inhibition alters glutamatergic function in the adult PFC, an effect that could be reversed by enhancement of GABAergic function during an early postnatal period.

  15. Maternal chewing during prenatal stress ameliorates stress-induced hypomyelination, synaptic alterations, and learning impairment in mouse offspring.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Ayumi; Iinuma, Mitsuo; Hayashi, Sakurako; Sato, Yuichi; Azuma, Kagaku; Kubo, Kin-Ya

    2016-11-15

    Maternal chewing during prenatal stress attenuates both the development of stress-induced learning deficits and decreased cell proliferation in mouse hippocampal dentate gyrus. Hippocampal myelination affects spatial memory and the synaptic structure is a key mediator of neuronal communication. We investigated whether maternal chewing during prenatal stress ameliorates stress-induced alterations of hippocampal myelin and synapses, and impaired development of spatial memory in adult offspring. Pregnant mice were divided into control, stress, and stress/chewing groups. Stress was induced by placing mice in a ventilated restraint tube, and was initiated on day 12 of pregnancy and continued until delivery. Mice in the stress/chewing group were given a wooden stick to chew during restraint. In 1-month-old pups, spatial memory was assessed in the Morris water maze, and hippocampal oligodendrocytes and synapses in CA1 were assayed by immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy. Prenatal stress led to impaired learning ability, and decreased immunoreactivity of myelin basic protein (MBP) and 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase (CNPase) in the hippocampal CA1 in adult offspring. Numerous myelin sheath abnormalities were observed. The G-ratio [axonal diameter to axonal fiber diameter (axon plus myelin sheath)] was increased and postsynaptic density length was decreased in the hippocampal CA1 region. Maternal chewing during stress attenuated the prenatal stress-induced impairment of spatial memory, and the decreased MBP and CNPase immunoreactivity, increased G-ratios, and decreased postsynaptic-density length in the hippocampal CA1 region. These findings suggest that chewing during prenatal stress in dams could be an effective coping strategy to prevent hippocampal behavioral and morphologic impairments in their offspring.

  16. Synaptic activity regulates AMPA receptor trafficking through different recycling pathways

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Ning; Jeyifous, Okunola; Munro, Charlotte; Montgomery, Johanna M; Green, William N

    2015-01-01

    Changes in glutamatergic synaptic strength in brain are dependent on AMPA-type glutamate receptor (AMPAR) recycling, which is assumed to occur through a single local pathway. In this study, we present evidence that AMPAR recycling occurs through different pathways regulated by synaptic activity. Without synaptic stimulation, most AMPARs recycled in dynamin-independent endosomes containing the GTPase, Arf6. Few AMPARs recycled in dynamin-dependent endosomes labeled by transferrin receptors (TfRs). AMPAR recycling was blocked by alterations in the GTPase, TC10, which co-localized with Arf6 endosomes. TC10 mutants that reduced AMPAR recycling had no effect on increased AMPAR levels with long-term potentiation (LTP) and little effect on decreased AMPAR levels with long-term depression. However, internalized AMPAR levels in TfR-containing recycling endosomes increased after LTP, indicating increased AMPAR recycling through the dynamin-dependent pathway with synaptic plasticity. LTP-induced AMPAR endocytosis is inconsistent with local recycling as a source of increased surface receptors, suggesting AMPARs are trafficked from other sites. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.06878.001 PMID:25970033

  17. Astrocytes Potentiate Synaptic Transmission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nadkarni, Suhita

    2005-03-01

    A recent experimental study shows that astrocytes, a subtype of glia, are able to influence the spontaneous activity in the brain via calcium dependent glutamate release. We model the coupling mechanism between an astrocyte and a neuron based on experimental data. This coupling is dynamic and bi-directional, such that the modulations in intracellular calcium concentrations in astrocytes affect neuronal excitability and vice versa via a glutamatergic pathway. We demonstrate through simple neural-glial circuits that increases in the intracellular calcium concentration in astrocytes nearby can enhance spontaneous activity in a neuron, a significant mechanism said to be involved in plasticity and learning. The pattern of this marked increase in spontaneous firing rate in our model quantitatively follows that observed in the experiment. Further, depending on the type of synaptic connections diverging from the neuron, it can either inhibit or excite the ensuing dynamics and potentiate synaptic transmission, thus reinstating the integral role played by astrocytes in normal neuronal dynamics.

  18. Serotonin modulates glutamatergic transmission to neurons in the lateral habenula.

    PubMed

    Xie, Guiqin; Zuo, Wanhong; Wu, Liangzhi; Li, Wenting; Wu, Wei; Bekker, Alex; Ye, Jiang-Hong

    2016-04-01

    The lateral habenula (LHb) is bilaterally connected with serotoninergic raphe nuclei, and expresses high density of serotonin receptors. However, actions of serotonin on the excitatory synaptic transmission to LHb neurons have not been thoroughly investigated. The LHb contains two anatomically and functionally distinct regions: lateral (LHbl) and medial (LHbm) divisions. We compared serotonin's effects on glutamatergic transmission across the LHb in rat brains. Serotonin bi-directionally and differentially modulated glutamatergic transmission. Serotonin inhibited glutamatergic transmission in higher percentage of LHbl neurons but potentiated in higher percentage of LHbm neurons. Magnitude of potentiation was greater in LHbm than in LHbl. Type 2 and 3 serotonin receptor antagonists attenuated serotonin's potentiation. The serotonin reuptake blocker, and the type 2 and 3 receptor agonists facilitated glutamatergic transmission in both LHbl and LHbm neurons. Thus, serotonin via activating its type 2, 3 receptors, increased glutamate release at nerve terminals in some LHb neurons. Our data demonstrated that serotonin affects both LHbm and LHbl. Serotonin might play an important role in processing information between the LHb and its downstream-targeted structures during decision-making. It may also contribute to a homeostatic balance underlying the neural circuitry between the LHb and raphe nuclei.

  19. Serotonin modulates glutamatergic transmission to neurons in the lateral habenula

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Guiqin; Zuo, Wanhong; Wu, Liangzhi; Li, Wenting; Wu, Wei; Bekker, Alex; Ye, Jiang-Hong

    2016-01-01

    The lateral habenula (LHb) is bilaterally connected with serotoninergic raphe nuclei, and expresses high density of serotonin receptors. However, actions of serotonin on the excitatory synaptic transmission to LHb neurons have not been thoroughly investigated. The LHb contains two anatomically and functionally distinct regions: lateral (LHbl) and medial (LHbm) divisions. We compared serotonin’s effects on glutamatergic transmission across the LHb in rat brains. Serotonin bi-directionally and differentially modulated glutamatergic transmission. Serotonin inhibited glutamatergic transmission in higher percentage of LHbl neurons but potentiated in higher percentage of LHbm neurons. Magnitude of potentiation was greater in LHbm than in LHbl. Type 2 and 3 serotonin receptor antagonists attenuated serotonin’s potentiation. The serotonin reuptake blocker, and the type 2 and 3 receptor agonists facilitated glutamatergic transmission in both LHbl and LHbm neurons. Thus, serotonin via activating its type 2, 3 receptors, increased glutamate release at nerve terminals in some LHb neurons. Our data demonstrated that serotonin affects both LHbm and LHbl. Serotonin might play an important role in processing information between the LHb and its downstream-targeted structures during decision-making. It may also contribute to a homeostatic balance underlying the neural circuitry between the LHb and raphe nuclei. PMID:27033153

  20. Alpha-Synuclein Produces Early Behavioral Alterations via Striatal Cholinergic Synaptic Dysfunction by Interacting With GluN2D N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor Subunit.

    PubMed

    Tozzi, Alessandro; de Iure, Antonio; Bagetta, Vincenza; Tantucci, Michela; Durante, Valentina; Quiroga-Varela, Ana; Costa, Cinzia; Di Filippo, Massimiliano; Ghiglieri, Veronica; Latagliata, Emanuele Claudio; Wegrzynowicz, Michal; Decressac, Mickael; Giampà, Carmela; Dalley, Jeffrey W; Xia, Jing; Gardoni, Fabrizio; Mellone, Manuela; El-Agnaf, Omar Mukhtar; Ardah, Mustafa Taleb; Puglisi-Allegra, Stefano; Björklund, Anders; Spillantini, Maria Grazia; Picconi, Barbara; Calabresi, Paolo

    2016-03-01

    Advanced Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by massive degeneration of nigral dopaminergic neurons, dramatic motor and cognitive alterations, and presence of nigral Lewy bodies, whose main constituent is α-synuclein (α-syn). However, the synaptic mechanisms underlying behavioral and motor effects induced by early selective overexpression of nigral α-syn are still a matter of debate. We performed behavioral, molecular, and immunohistochemical analyses in two transgenic models of PD, mice transgenic for truncated human α-synuclein 1-120 and rats injected with the adeno-associated viral vector carrying wild-type human α-synuclein. We also investigated striatal synaptic plasticity by electrophysiological recordings from spiny projection neurons and cholinergic interneurons. We found that overexpression of truncated or wild-type human α-syn causes partial reduction of striatal dopamine levels and selectively blocks the induction of long-term potentiation in striatal cholinergic interneurons, producing early memory and motor alterations. These effects were dependent on α-syn modulation of the GluN2D-expressing N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors in cholinergic interneurons. Acute in vitro application of human α-syn oligomers mimicked the synaptic effects observed ex vivo in PD models. We suggest that striatal cholinergic dysfunction, induced by a direct interaction between α-syn and GluN2D-expressing N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors, represents a precocious biological marker of the disease. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. TLR4 elimination prevents synaptic and myelin alterations and long-term cognitive dysfunctions in adolescent mice with intermittent ethanol treatment.

    PubMed

    Montesinos, Jorge; Pascual, María; Pla, Antoni; Maldonado, Concepción; Rodríguez-Arias, Marta; Miñarro, Jose; Guerri, Consuelo

    2015-03-01

    The adolescent brain undergoes important dynamic and plastic cell changes, including overproduction of axons and synapses, followed by rapid pruning along with ongoing axon myelination. These developmental changes make the adolescent brain particularly vulnerable to neurotoxic and behavioral effects of alcohol. Although the mechanisms of these effects are largely unknown, we demonstrated that ethanol by activating innate immune receptors toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), induces neuroinflammation and brain damage in adult mice. The present study aims to evaluate whether intermittent ethanol treatment in adolescence promotes TLR4-dependent pro-inflammatory processes, leading to myelin and synaptic dysfunctions, and long-term cognitive impairments. Using wild-type (WT) and TLR4-deficient (TLR4-KO) adolescent mice treated intermittently with ethanol (3.0g/kg) for 2weeks, we show that binge-like ethanol treatment activates TLR4 signaling pathways (MAPK, NFκB) leading to the up-regulation of cytokines and pro-inflammatory mediators (COX-2, iNOS, HMGB1), impairing synaptic and myelin protein levels and causing ultrastructural alterations. These changes were associated with long-lasting cognitive dysfunctions in young adult mice, as demonstrated with the object recognition, passive avoidance and olfactory behavior tests. Notably, elimination of TLR4 receptors prevented neuroinflammation along with synaptic and myelin derangements, as well as long-term cognitive alterations. These results support the role of the neuroimmune response and TLR4 signaling in the neurotoxic and behavioral effects of ethanol in adolescence.

  2. Lrp4 in astrocytes modulates glutamatergic transmission.

    PubMed

    Sun, Xiang-Dong; Li, Lei; Liu, Fang; Huang, Zhi-Hui; Bean, Jonathan C; Jiao, Hui-Feng; Barik, Arnab; Kim, Seon-Myung; Wu, Haitao; Shen, Chengyong; Tian, Yun; Lin, Thiri W; Bates, Ryan; Sathyamurthy, Anupama; Chen, Yong-Jun; Yin, Dong-Min; Xiong, Lei; Lin, Hui-Ping; Hu, Jin-Xia; Li, Bao-Ming; Gao, Tian-Ming; Xiong, Wen-Cheng; Mei, Lin

    2016-08-01

    Neurotransmission requires precise control of neurotransmitter release from axon terminals. This process is regulated by glial cells; however, the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. We found that glutamate release in the brain was impaired in mice lacking low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 4 (Lrp4), a protein that is critical for neuromuscular junction formation. Electrophysiological studies revealed compromised release probability in astrocyte-specific Lrp4 knockout mice. Lrp4 mutant astrocytes suppressed glutamatergic transmission by enhancing the release of ATP, whose level was elevated in the hippocampus of Lrp4 mutant mice. Consequently, the mutant mice were impaired in locomotor activity and spatial memory and were resistant to seizure induction. These impairments could be ameliorated by blocking the adenosine A1 receptor. The results reveal a critical role for Lrp4, in response to agrin, in modulating astrocytic ATP release and synaptic transmission. Our findings provide insight into the interaction between neurons and astrocytes for synaptic homeostasis and/or plasticity.

  3. Prenatal immune challenge in rats: altered responses to dopaminergic and glutamatergic agents, prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle, and reduced route-based learning as a function of maternal body weight gain after prenatal exposure to poly IC.

    PubMed

    Vorhees, Charles V; Graham, Devon L; Braun, Amanda A; Schaefer, Tori L; Skelton, Matthew R; Richtand, Neil M; Williams, Michael T

    2012-08-01

    Prenatal maternal immune activation has been used to test the neurodevelopmental hypothesis of schizophrenia. Most of the data are in mouse models; far less is available for rats. We previously showed that maternal weight change in response to the immune activator polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (Poly IC) in rats differentially affects offspring. Therefore, we treated gravid Harlan Sprague-Dawley rats i.p. on embryonic day 14 with 8 mg/kg of Poly IC or Saline. The Poly IC group was divided into those that lost or gained the least weight, Poly IC (L), versus those that gained the most weight, Poly IC (H), following treatment. The study design controlled for litter size, litter sampling, sex distribution, and test experience. We found no effects of Poly IC on elevated zero maze, open-field activity, object burying, light-dark test, straight channel swimming, Morris water maze spatial acquisition, reversal, or shift navigation or spatial working or reference memory, or conditioned contextual or cued fear or latent inhibition. The Poly IC (H) group showed a significant decrease in the rate of route-based learning when visible cues were unavailable in the Cincinnati water maze and reduced prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle in females, but not males. The Poly IC (L) group exhibited altered responses to acute pharmacological challenges: exaggerated hyperactivity in response to (+)-amphetamine and an attenuated hyperactivity in response to MK-801. This model did not exhibit the cognitive, or latent inhibition deficits reported in Poly IC-treated rats but showed changes in response to drugs acting on neurotransmitter systems implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia (dopaminergic hyperfunction and glutamatergic hypofunction).

  4. Synaptic transmission is impaired prior to plaque formation in amyloid precursor protein-overexpressing mice without altering behaviorally-correlated sharp wave-ripple complexes.

    PubMed

    Hermann, D; Both, M; Ebert, U; Gross, G; Schoemaker, H; Draguhn, A; Wicke, K; Nimmrich, V

    2009-09-15

    One of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease is the accumulation of amyloid plaques in brains of affected patients. Several recent studies provided evidence that soluble oligomer forms of amyloid-beta (Abeta) rather than plaques determine cognitive decline. In vitro studies using artificial Abeta oligomer preparations suggest that such pathophysiology is caused by a specific impairment of synaptic function. We examined whether synaptic deficits occur before deposition of insoluble fibrillar Abeta by analyzing brain slices taken from young Tg2576 mice overexpressing mutant amyloid precursor protein. Excitatory synaptic transmission in the hippocampal CA1 region was strongly impaired before plaque development, suggesting a dissociation of an early synaptic impairment, probably caused by soluble oligomeric amyloid-beta, from subsequent plaque formation. At higher age neurotransmission was also decreased in wild type mice, paralleling a cognitive decline of normal aged animals. Memory formation in rats is accompanied by distinct hippocampal network oscillations. It has recently been shown that hippocampal gamma oscillations, a network correlate of exploratory behavior, are impaired in amyloid precursor protein (APP)-overexpressing mice. We determined whether sharp wave-ripple complexes, which contribute to memory consolidation during slow wave-sleep, are modified in Tg2576 mice. Interestingly, neither sharp waves nor superimposed ripples were changed at pre-plaque or plaque stages. During aging, however, there was a strong reduction of sharp wave frequency and ripple energy in wild type and APP-overexpressing animals. This indicates that the reported changes in network oscillations following APP-overexpression are specific for gamma oscillations, whereas aging has a more general effect on network properties. Taken together our data suggest that non-fibrillar forms of Abeta--possibly Abeta oligomers--specifically interfere with synaptic function in Tg2576, but do not

  5. Contrasting alterations to synaptic and intrinsic properties in upper-cervical superficial dorsal horn neurons following acute neck muscle inflammation

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Acute and chronic pain in axial structures, like the back and neck, are difficult to treat, and have incidence as high as 15%. Surprisingly, most preclinical work on pain mechanisms focuses on cutaneous structures in the limbs and animal models of axial pain are not widely available. Accordingly, we developed a mouse model of acute cervical muscle inflammation and assessed the functional properties of superficial dorsal horn (SDH) neurons. Results Male C57/Bl6 mice (P24-P40) were deeply anaesthetised (urethane 2.2 g/kg i.p) and the rectus capitis major muscle (RCM) injected with 40 μl of 2% carrageenan. Sham animals received vehicle injection and controls remained anaesthetised for 2 hrs. Mice in each group were sacrificed at 2 hrs for analysis. c-Fos staining was used to determine the location of activated neurons. c-Fos labelling in carrageenan-injected mice was concentrated within ipsilateral (87% and 63% of labelled neurons in C1 and C2 segments, respectively) and contralateral laminae I - II with some expression in lateral lamina V. c-Fos expression remained below detectable levels in control and sham animals. In additional experiments, whole cell recordings were obtained from visualised SDH neurons in transverse slices in the ipsilateral C1 and C2 spinal segments. Resting membrane potential and input resistance were not altered. Mean spontaneous EPSC amplitude was reduced by ~20% in neurons from carrageenan-injected mice versus control and sham animals (20.63 ± 1.05 vs. 24.64 ± 0.91 and 25.87 ± 1.32 pA, respectively). The amplitude (238 ± 33 vs. 494 ± 96 and 593 ± 167 pA) and inactivation time constant (12.9 ± 1.5 vs. 22.1 ± 3.6 and 15.3 ± 1.4 ms) of the rapid A type potassium current (IAr), the dominant subthreshold current in SDH neurons, were reduced in carrageenan-injected mice. Conclusions Excitatory synaptic drive onto, and important intrinsic properties (i.e., IAr) within SDH neurons are

  6. Active integration of glutamatergic input to the inferior olive generates bidirectional postsynaptic potentials

    PubMed Central

    Garden, Derek L. F.; Rinaldi, Arianna

    2016-01-01

    Key points We establish experimental preparations for optogenetic investigation of glutamatergic input to the inferior olive.Neurones in the principal olivary nucleus receive monosynaptic extra‐somatic glutamatergic input from the neocortex.Glutamatergic inputs to neurones in the inferior olive generate bidirectional postsynaptic potentials (PSPs), with a fast excitatory component followed by a slower inhibitory component.Small conductance calcium‐activated potassium (SK) channels are required for the slow inhibitory component of glutamatergic PSPs and oppose temporal summation of inputs at intervals ≤ 20 ms.Active integration of synaptic input within the inferior olive may play a central role in control of olivo‐cerebellar climbing fibre signals. Abstract The inferior olive plays a critical role in motor coordination and learning by integrating diverse afferent signals to generate climbing fibre inputs to the cerebellar cortex. While it is well established that climbing fibre signals are important for motor coordination, the mechanisms by which neurones in the inferior olive integrate synaptic inputs and the roles of particular ion channels are unclear. Here, we test the hypothesis that neurones in the inferior olive actively integrate glutamatergic synaptic inputs. We demonstrate that optogenetically activated long‐range synaptic inputs to the inferior olive, including projections from the motor cortex, generate rapid excitatory potentials followed by slower inhibitory potentials. Synaptic projections from the motor cortex preferentially target the principal olivary nucleus. We show that inhibitory and excitatory components of the bidirectional synaptic potentials are dependent upon AMPA (GluA) receptors, are GABAA independent, and originate from the same presynaptic axons. Consistent with models that predict active integration of synaptic inputs by inferior olive neurones, we find that the inhibitory component is reduced by blocking large conductance

  7. Active integration of glutamatergic input to the inferior olive generates bidirectional postsynaptic potentials.

    PubMed

    Garden, Derek L F; Rinaldi, Arianna; Nolan, Matthew F

    2017-02-15

    We establish experimental preparations for optogenetic investigation of glutamatergic input to the inferior olive. Neurones in the principal olivary nucleus receive monosynaptic extra-somatic glutamatergic input from the neocortex. Glutamatergic inputs to neurones in the inferior olive generate bidirectional postsynaptic potentials (PSPs), with a fast excitatory component followed by a slower inhibitory component. Small conductance calcium-activated potassium (SK) channels are required for the slow inhibitory component of glutamatergic PSPs and oppose temporal summation of inputs at intervals ≤ 20 ms. Active integration of synaptic input within the inferior olive may play a central role in control of olivo-cerebellar climbing fibre signals. The inferior olive plays a critical role in motor coordination and learning by integrating diverse afferent signals to generate climbing fibre inputs to the cerebellar cortex. While it is well established that climbing fibre signals are important for motor coordination, the mechanisms by which neurones in the inferior olive integrate synaptic inputs and the roles of particular ion channels are unclear. Here, we test the hypothesis that neurones in the inferior olive actively integrate glutamatergic synaptic inputs. We demonstrate that optogenetically activated long-range synaptic inputs to the inferior olive, including projections from the motor cortex, generate rapid excitatory potentials followed by slower inhibitory potentials. Synaptic projections from the motor cortex preferentially target the principal olivary nucleus. We show that inhibitory and excitatory components of the bidirectional synaptic potentials are dependent upon AMPA (GluA) receptors, are GABAA independent, and originate from the same presynaptic axons. Consistent with models that predict active integration of synaptic inputs by inferior olive neurones, we find that the inhibitory component is reduced by blocking large conductance calcium

  8. Reduced Anterior Cingulate Cortex Glutamatergic Concentrations in Childhood Major Depression

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mirza, Yousha; Tang, Jennifer; Russell, Aileen; Banerjee, S. Preeya; Bhandari, Rashmi; Ivey, Jennifer; Rose, Michelle; Moore, Gregory J.; Rosenberg, David R.

    2004-01-01

    Objective: To examine in vivo glutamatergic neurochemical alterations in the anterior cingulate cortex of children with major depressive disorder (MDD). Method: Single-voxel proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic ([.sup.1]H-MRS) examinations of the anterior cingulate cortex were conducted in 13 psychotropic-naive children and adolescents with MDD…

  9. Reduced Anterior Cingulate Cortex Glutamatergic Concentrations in Childhood Major Depression

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mirza, Yousha; Tang, Jennifer; Russell, Aileen; Banerjee, S. Preeya; Bhandari, Rashmi; Ivey, Jennifer; Rose, Michelle; Moore, Gregory J.; Rosenberg, David R.

    2004-01-01

    Objective: To examine in vivo glutamatergic neurochemical alterations in the anterior cingulate cortex of children with major depressive disorder (MDD). Method: Single-voxel proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic ([.sup.1]H-MRS) examinations of the anterior cingulate cortex were conducted in 13 psychotropic-naive children and adolescents with MDD…

  10. [Memory and synaptic plasticity].

    PubMed

    Maitre, M

    1996-01-01

    Short term memory traces are probably induced by a sustained and specific functional activation of some sensory and/or motor circuits in brain. These modifications, which could concern a large proportion of the brain but especially the limbic areas, are constituted primarily by ionic mechanisms and second messengers cascades induced by the activation of glutamatergic receptors (namely NMDA). In the invertebrate (Drosophilia melanogaster, aplysia), the role of serotonergic receptors seems to be more important. The activated cAMP-dependent and calcium dependent protein kinases target several proteins which are reversibly phosphorylated modifying the synaptic functions which in turn induce potentiated (PLT) or depressed (DLT) post-synaptic responses. These phenomena are at the basis of specific protein neosynthesis which is initiated by several early genes or trancription factor (cfos, zif 268, jun, CREB). Specific mRNA migrate to the potentiated synapse or dendritic spine where activated polyribosomes synthesize trophic factor, adhesion molecules and synaptic constituents. The building of new synaptic contacts and/or the plastic evolution of existing synapses could explain long-term LTP and long-term memory traces.

  11. Glutamatergic Signaling at the Vestibular Hair Cell Calyx Synapse

    PubMed Central

    Sadeghi, Soroush G.; Pyott, Sonja J.; Yu, Zhou

    2014-01-01

    In the vestibular periphery a unique postsynaptic terminal, the calyx, completely covers the basolateral walls of type I hair cells and receives input from multiple ribbon synapses. To date, the functional role of this specialized synapse remains elusive. There is limited data supporting glutamatergic transmission, K+ or H+ accumulation in the synaptic cleft as mechanisms of transmission. Here the role of glutamatergic transmission at the calyx synapse is investigated. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from calyx endings were performed in an in vitro whole-tissue preparation of the rat vestibular crista, the sensory organ of the semicircular canals that sense head rotation. AMPA-mediated EPSCs showed an unusually wide range of decay time constants, from <5 to >500 ms. Decay time constants of EPSCs increased (or decreased) in the presence of a glutamate transporter blocker (or a competitive glutamate receptor blocker), suggesting a role for glutamate accumulation and spillover in synaptic transmission. Glutamate accumulation caused slow depolarizations of the postsynaptic membrane potentials, and thereby substantially increased calyx firing rates. Finally, antibody labelings showed that a high percentage of presynaptic ribbon release sites and postsynaptic glutamate receptors were not juxtaposed, favoring a role for spillover. These findings suggest a prominent role for glutamate spillover in integration of inputs and synaptic transmission in the vestibular periphery. We propose that similar to other brain areas, such as the cerebellum and hippocampus, glutamate spillover may play a role in gain control of calyx afferents and contribute to their high-pass properties. PMID:25355208

  12. Differential Synaptic and Extrasynaptic Glutamate-Receptor Alterations in Striatal Medium-Sized Spiny Neurons of Aged YAC128 Huntington's Disease Mice.

    PubMed

    Botelho, Eliã P; Wang, Elizabeth; Chen, Jane Y; Holley, Sandra; Andre, Veronique; Cepeda, Carlos; Levine, Michael S

    2014-05-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a late-onset, slowly progressing neurodegenerative disorder caused by an expansion of glutamine repeats. The YAC128 mouse model has been widely used to study the progression of HD symptoms, but little is known about synaptic alterations in very old animals. The present experiments examined synaptic properties of striatal medium-sized spiny neurons (MSNs) in 16 month-old YAC128 mice. These mice were crossed with mice expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) under the control of either D1 or D2 dopamine receptor promoters to identify MSNs originating the direct and indirect pathways, respectively. The input-output curves of evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents mediated by activation of the α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) or N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors were reduced in MSNs in both pathways. In the presence of DL-threo-β-Benzyloxyaspartic acid (DL-TBOA), a glutamate transporter blocker used to increase activation of extrasynaptic receptors, NMDA receptor-mediated currents displayed altered amplitudes, longer decay times, and greater charge (response areas) in both direct and indirect pathway MSNs in YAC128 mice compared to wildtype controls. Amplitudes were significantly increased, primarily in direct pathway MSNs while normalized areas were significantly increased only in indirect pathway MSNs, suggesting that the two types of MSNs are affected in different ways. It may be that indirect pathway neurons are more susceptible to changes in glutamate transport. Taken together, the present findings demonstrate differential alterations in synaptic versus extrasynaptic NMDA receptors in both direct and indirect pathway MSNs in late HD, which may contribute to the dysfunction and degeneration in both pathways.

  13. Postnatal disruption of the disintegrin/metalloproteinase ADAM10 in brain causes epileptic seizures, learning deficits, altered spine morphology, and defective synaptic functions.

    PubMed

    Prox, Johannes; Bernreuther, Christian; Altmeppen, Hermann; Grendel, Jasper; Glatzel, Markus; D'Hooge, Rudi; Stroobants, Stijn; Ahmed, Tariq; Balschun, Detlef; Willem, Michael; Lammich, Sven; Isbrandt, Dirk; Schweizer, Michaela; Horré, Katrien; De Strooper, Bart; Saftig, Paul

    2013-08-07

    The metalloproteinase ADAM10 is of importance for Notch-dependent cortical brain development. The protease is tightly linked with α-secretase activity toward the amyloid precursor protein (APP) substrate. Increasing ADAM10 activity is suggested as a therapy to prevent the production of the neurotoxic amyloid β (Aβ) peptide in Alzheimer's disease. To investigate the function of ADAM10 in postnatal brain, we generated Adam10 conditional knock-out (A10cKO) mice using a CaMKIIα-Cre deleter strain. The lack of ADAM10 protein expression was evident in the brain cortex leading to a reduced generation of sAPPα and increased levels of sAPPβ and endogenous Aβ peptides. The A10cKO mice are characterized by weight loss and increased mortality after weaning associated with seizures. Behavioral comparison of adult mice revealed that the loss of ADAM10 in the A10cKO mice resulted in decreased neuromotor abilities and reduced learning performance, which were associated with altered in vivo network activities in the hippocampal CA1 region and impaired synaptic function. Histological and ultrastructural analysis of ADAM10-depleted brain revealed astrogliosis, microglia activation, and impaired number and altered morphology of postsynaptic spine structures. A defect in spine morphology was further supported by a reduction of the expression of NMDA receptors subunit 2A and 2B. The reduced shedding of essential postsynaptic cell adhesion proteins such as N-Cadherin, Nectin-1, and APP may explain the postsynaptic defects and the impaired learning, altered network activity, and synaptic plasticity of the A10cKO mice. Our study reveals that ADAM10 is instrumental for synaptic and neuronal network function in the adult murine brain.

  14. Subclinical Doses of ATP-Sensitive Potassium Channel Modulators Prevent Alterations in Memory and Synaptic Plasticity Induced by Amyloid-β.

    PubMed

    Salgado-Puga, Karla; Rodríguez-Colorado, Javier; Prado-Alcalá, Roberto A; Peña-Ortega, Fernando

    2017-02-10

    In addition to coupling cell metabolism and excitability, ATP-sensitive potassium channels (KATP) are involved in neural function and plasticity. Moreover, alterations in KATP activity and expression have been observed in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and during amyloid-β (Aβ)-induced pathology. Thus, we tested whether KATP modulators can influence Aβ-induced deleterious effects on memory, hippocampal network function, and plasticity. We found that treating animals with subclinical doses (those that did not change glycemia) of a KATP blocker (Tolbutamide) or a KATP opener (Diazoxide) differentially restrained Aβ-induced memory deficit, hippocampal network activity inhibition, and long-term synaptic plasticity unbalance (i.e., inhibition of LTP and promotion of LTD). We found that the protective effect of Tolbutamide against Aβ-induced memory deficit was strong and correlated with the reestablishment of synaptic plasticity balance, whereas Diazoxide treatment produced a mild protection against Aβ-induced memory deficit, which was not related to a complete reestablishment of synaptic plasticity balance. Interestingly, treatment with both KATP modulators renders the hippocampus resistant to Aβ-induced inhibition of hippocampal network activity. These findings indicate that KATP are involved in Aβ-induced pathology and they heighten the potential role of KATP modulation as a plausible therapeutic strategy against AD.

  15. Apolipoprotein E*4 (APOE*4) Genotype Is Associated with Altered Levels of Glutamate Signaling Proteins and Synaptic Coexpression Networks in the Prefrontal Cortex in Mild to Moderate Alzheimer Disease*

    PubMed Central

    Sweet, Robert A.; MacDonald, Matthew L.; Kirkwood, Caitlin M.; Ding, Ying; Schempf, Tadhg; Jones-Laughner, Jackie; Kofler, Julia; Ikonomovic, Milos D.; Lopez, Oscar L.; Garver, Megan E.; Fitz, Nicholas F.; Koldamova, Radosveta; Yates, Nathan A.

    2016-01-01

    It has been hypothesized that Alzheimer disease (AD) is primarily a disorder of the synapse. However, assessment of the synaptic proteome in AD subjects has been limited to a small number of proteins and often included subjects with end-stage pathology. Protein from prefrontal cortex gray matter of 59 AD subjects with mild to moderate dementia and 12 normal elderly subjects was assayed using targeted mass spectrometry to quantify 191 synaptically expressed proteins. The profile of synaptic protein expression clustered AD subjects into two groups. One of these was characterized by reduced expression of glutamate receptor proteins, significantly increased synaptic protein network coexpression, and associated withApolipoprotein E*4 (APOE*4) carrier status. The second group, by contrast, showed few differences from control subjects. A subset of AD subjects had altered prefrontal cortex synaptic proteostasis for glutamate receptors and their signaling partners. Efforts to therapeutically target glutamate receptors in AD may have outcomes dependent on APOE*4 genotype. PMID:27103636

  16. Traumatic Brain Injury Impairs Soluble N-Ethylmaleimide-Sensitive Factor Attachment Protein Receptor Complex Formation and Alters Synaptic Vesicle Distribution in the Hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Carlson, Shaun W.; Yan, Hong; Ma, Michelle; Li, Youming; Henchir, Jeremy

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Traumatic brain injury (TBI) impairs neuronal function and can culminate in lasting cognitive impairment. While impaired neurotransmitter release has been well established after experimental TBI, little is understood about the mechanisms underlying this consequence. In the synapse, vesicular docking and neurotransmitter release requires the formation of the soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complex. Impairments in vesicle docking, and alterations in SNARE complex formation are associated with impaired neurotransmitter release. We hypothesized that TBI reduces SNARE complex formation and disrupts synaptic vesicle distribution in the hippocampus. To examine the effect of TBI on the SNARE complex, rats were subjected to controlled cortical impact (CCI) or sham injury, and the brains were assessed at 6 h, 1 d, one week, two weeks, or four weeks post-injury. Immunoblotting of hippocampal homogenates revealed significantly reduced SNARE complex formation at one week and two weeks post-injury. To assess synaptic vesicles distribution, rats received CCI or sham injury and the brains were processed for transmission electron microscopy at one week post-injury. Synapses in the hippocampus were imaged at 100k magnification, and vesicle distribution was assessed in pre-synaptic terminals at the active zone. CCI resulted in a significant reduction in vesicle number within 150 nm of the active zone. These findings provide the first evidence of TBI-induced impairments in synaptic vesicle docking, and suggest that reductions in the pool of readily releasable vesicles and impaired SNARE complex formation are two novel mechanisms contributing to impaired neurotransmission after TBI. PMID:25923735

  17. Astroglial Metabolic Networks Sustain Hippocampal Synaptic Transmission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rouach, Nathalie; Koulakoff, Annette; Abudara, Veronica; Willecke, Klaus; Giaume, Christian

    2008-12-01

    Astrocytes provide metabolic substrates to neurons in an activity-dependent manner. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in this function, as well as its role in synaptic transmission, remain unclear. Here, we show that the gap-junction subunit proteins connexin 43 and 30 allow intercellular trafficking of glucose and its metabolites through astroglial networks. This trafficking is regulated by glutamatergic synaptic activity mediated by AMPA receptors. In the absence of extracellular glucose, the delivery of glucose or lactate to astrocytes sustains glutamatergic synaptic transmission and epileptiform activity only when they are connected by gap junctions. These results indicate that astroglial gap junctions provide an activity-dependent intercellular pathway for the delivery of energetic metabolites from blood vessels to distal neurons.

  18. Exercise Training after Spinal Cord Injury Selectively Alters Synaptic Properties in Neurons in Adult Mouse Spinal Cord

    PubMed Central

    Flynn, Jamie R.; Dunn, Lynda R.; Galea, Mary P.; Callister, Robin; Rank, Michelle M.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Following spinal cord injury (SCI), anatomical changes such as axonal sprouting occur within weeks in the vicinity of the injury. Exercise training enhances axon sprouting; however, the exact mechanisms that mediate exercised-induced plasticity are unknown. We studied the effects of exercise training after SCI on the intrinsic and synaptic properties of spinal neurons in the immediate vicinity (<2 segments) of the SCI. Male mice (C57BL/6, 9–10 weeks old) received a spinal hemisection (T10) and after 1 week of recovery, they were randomized to trained (treadmill exercise for 3 weeks) and untrained (no exercise) groups. After 3 weeks, mice were killed and horizontal spinal cord slices (T6–L1, 250 μm thick) were prepared for visually guided whole cell patch clamp recording. Intrinsic properties, including resting membrane potential, input resistance, rheobase current, action potential (AP) threshold and after-hyperpolarization (AHP) amplitude were similar in neurons from trained and untrained mice (n=67 and 70 neurons, respectively). Neurons could be grouped into four categories based on their AP discharge during depolarizing current injection; the proportions of tonic firing, initial bursting, single spiking, and delayed firing neurons were similar in trained and untrained mice. The properties of spontaneous excitatory synaptic currents (sEPSCs) did not differ in trained and untrained animals. In contrast, evoked excitatory synaptic currents recorded after dorsal column stimulation were markedly increased in trained animals (peak amplitude 78.9±17.5 vs. 42.2±6.8 pA; charge 1054±376 vs. 348±75 pA·ms). These data suggest that 3 weeks of treadmill exercise does not affect the intrinsic properties of spinal neurons after SCI; however, excitatory synaptic drive from dorsal column pathways, such as the corticospinal tract, is enhanced. PMID:23320512

  19. Role of nucleus accumbens glutamatergic plasticity in drug addiction

    PubMed Central

    Quintero, Gabriel C

    2013-01-01

    Substance dependence is characterized by a group of symptoms, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR). These symptoms include tolerance, withdrawal, drug consumption for alleviating withdrawal, exaggerated consumption beyond original intention, failure to reduce drug consumption, expending a considerable amount of time obtaining or recovering from the substance’s effects, disregard of basic aspects of life (for example, family), and maintenance of drug consumption, despite facing adverse consequences. The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is a brain structure located in the basal forebrain of vertebrates, and it has been the target of addictive drugs. Different neurotransmitter systems at the level of the NAc circuitry have been linked to the different problems of drug addiction, like compulsive use and relapse. The glutamate system has been linked mainly to relapse after drug-seeking extinction. The dopamine system has been linked mainly to compulsive drug use. The glutamate homeostasis hypothesis centers around the dynamics of synaptic and extrasynaptic levels of glutamate, and their impact on circuitry from the prefrontal cortex (PFC) to the NAc. After repetitive drug use, deregulation of this homeostasis increases the release of glutamate from the PFC to the NAc during drug relapse. Glial cells also play a fundamental role in this hypothesis; glial cells shape the interactions between the PFC and the NAc by means of altering glutamate levels in synaptic and extrasynaptic spaces. On the other hand, cocaine self-administration and withdrawal increases the surface expression of subunit glutamate receptor 1 (GluA1) of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors at the level of the NAc. Also, cocaine self-administration and withdrawal induce the formation of subunit glutamate receptor 2 (GluA2), lacking the Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptors (CP-AMPARs) at the level of the NAc

  20. Role of nucleus accumbens glutamatergic plasticity in drug addiction.

    PubMed

    Quintero, Gabriel C

    2013-01-01

    Substance dependence is characterized by a group of symptoms, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR). These symptoms include tolerance, withdrawal, drug consumption for alleviating withdrawal, exaggerated consumption beyond original intention, failure to reduce drug consumption, expending a considerable amount of time obtaining or recovering from the substance's effects, disregard of basic aspects of life (for example, family), and maintenance of drug consumption, despite facing adverse consequences. The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is a brain structure located in the basal forebrain of vertebrates, and it has been the target of addictive drugs. Different neurotransmitter systems at the level of the NAc circuitry have been linked to the different problems of drug addiction, like compulsive use and relapse. The glutamate system has been linked mainly to relapse after drug-seeking extinction. The dopamine system has been linked mainly to compulsive drug use. The glutamate homeostasis hypothesis centers around the dynamics of synaptic and extrasynaptic levels of glutamate, and their impact on circuitry from the prefrontal cortex (PFC) to the NAc. After repetitive drug use, deregulation of this homeostasis increases the release of glutamate from the PFC to the NAc during drug relapse. Glial cells also play a fundamental role in this hypothesis; glial cells shape the interactions between the PFC and the NAc by means of altering glutamate levels in synaptic and extrasynaptic spaces. On the other hand, cocaine self-administration and withdrawal increases the surface expression of subunit glutamate receptor 1 (GluA1) of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors at the level of the NAc. Also, cocaine self-administration and withdrawal induce the formation of subunit glutamate receptor 2 (GluA2), lacking the Ca(2+)-permeable AMPA receptors (CP-AMPARs) at the level of the NAc

  1. Excitatory but not inhibitory synaptic transmission is reduced in lethargic (Cacnb4(lh)) and tottering (Cacna1atg) mouse thalami.

    PubMed

    Caddick, S J; Wang, C; Fletcher, C F; Jenkins, N A; Copeland, N G; Hosford, D A

    1999-05-01

    Excitatory but not inhibitory synaptic transmission is reduced in lethargic (Cacnb4(lh)) and tottering (Cacna1atg) mouse thalami. Recent studies of the homozygous tottering (Cacna1atg) and lethargic mouse (Cacnb4(lh)) models of absence seizures have identified mutations in the genes encoding the alpha1A and beta4 subunits, respectively, of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels (VGCCs). beta subunits normally regulate Ca2+ currents via a direct interaction with alpha1 (pore-forming) subunits of VGCCs, and VGCCs are known to play a significant role in controlling the release of transmitter from presynaptic nerve terminals in the CNS. Because the gene mutation in Cacnb4(lh) homozygotes results in loss of the beta4 subunit's binding site for alpha1 subunits, we hypothesized that synaptic transmission would be altered in the CNS of Cacnb4(lh) homozygotes. We tested this hypothesis by using whole cell recordings of single cells in an in vitro slice preparation to investigate synaptic transmission in one of the critical neuronal populations that generate seizure activity in this strain, the somatosensory thalamus. The primary finding reported here is the observation of a significant decrease in glutamatergic synaptic transmission mediated by both N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and non-NMDA receptors in somatosensory thalamic neurons of Cacnb4(lh) homozygotes compared with matched, nonepileptic mice. In contrast, there was no significant decrease in GABAergic transmission in Cacnb4(lh) homozygotes nor was there any difference in effects mediated by presynaptic GABAB receptors. We found a similar decrease in glutamatergic but not GABAergic responses in Cacna1atg homozygotes, suggesting that the independent mutations in the two strains each affected P/Q channel function by causing defective neurotransmitter release specific to glutamatergic synapses in the somatosensory thalamus. This may be an important factor underlying the generation of seizures in these models.

  2. Neuroligin 1 modulates striatal glutamatergic neurotransmission in a pathway and NMDAR subunit-specific manner

    PubMed Central

    Espinosa, Felipe; Xuan, Zhong; Liu, Shunan; Powell, Craig M.

    2015-01-01

    Together with its presynaptic partner Neurexin 1 (Nxn1), Neuroligin 1 (NL1) participates in synapse specification and synapse maintenance. We and others have shown that NL1 can also modulate glutamatergic synaptic function in the central nervous system of rodent models. These molecular/cellular changes can translate into altered animal behaviors that are thought to be analogous to symptomatology of neuropsychiatric disorders. For example, in dorsal striatum of NL1 deletion mice, we previously reported that the ratio N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) mediated synaptic currents to α-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionate receptor (AMPAR) mediated synaptic currents (NMDA/AMPA) is reduced in medium spiny neuron (MSNs). Importantly, this reduction in NMDA/AMPA ratio correlated with increased repetitive grooming. The striatum is the input nucleus of the basal ganglia (BG). Classical models of this circuitry imply that there are two principal pathways that render distinct and somewhat opposite striatal outputs critical to the function of these nuclei in modulating motor behavior. Thus, we set out to better characterize the effects of NL1 deletion on direct and indirect pathways of the dorsal striatum by genetically labeling MSNs participating in the direct and indirect pathways. We demonstrate that a decrease in NMDAR-mediated currents is limited to MSNs of the direct pathway. Furthermore, the decrease in NMDAR-mediated currents is largely due to a reduction in function of NMDARs containing the GluN2A subunit. In contrast, indirect pathway MSNs in NL1 knockout (KO) mice showed a reduction in the frequency of miniature excitatory neurotransmission not observed in the direct pathway. Thus, NL1 deletion differentially affects direct and indirect pathway MSNs in dorsal striatum. These findings have potential implications for striatal function in NL1 KO mice. PMID:26283958

  3. AKAP Signaling Complexes in Regulation of Excitatory Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Sanderson, Jennifer L.; Dell'Acqua, Mark L.

    2011-01-01

    Plasticity at excitatory glutamatergic synapses in the central nervous system is believed to be critical for neuronal circuits to process and encode information allowing animals to perform complex behaviors such as learning and memory. In addition, alterations in synaptic plasticity are associated with human diseases including Alzheimer's, epilepsy, chronic pain, drug addiction, and schizophrenia. Long-term potentiation (LTP) and depression (LTD) in the hippocampal region of the brain are two forms of synaptic plasticity that increase or decrease, respectively, the strength of synaptic transmission by postsynaptic AMPA-type glutamate receptors. Both LTP and LTD are induced by activation of NMDA-type glutamate receptors but differ in the level and duration of Ca2+ influx through the NMDA receptor and the subsequent engagement of downstream signaling by protein kinases including PKA, PKC, and CaMKII and phosphatases including PP1 and calcineurin-PP2B (CaN). This review addresses the important emerging roles of the A-kinase anchoring protein (AKAP) family of scaffold proteins in regulating localization of PKA and other kinases and phosphatases to postsynaptic multi-protein complexes that control NMDA and AMPA receptor function during LTP and LTD. PMID:21498812

  4. AKAP signaling complexes in regulation of excitatory synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Sanderson, Jennifer L; Dell'Acqua, Mark L

    2011-06-01

    Plasticity at excitatory glutamatergic synapses in the central nervous system is believed to be critical for neuronal circuits to process and encode information, allowing animals to perform complex behaviors such as learning and memory. In addition, alterations in synaptic plasticity are associated with human diseases, including Alzheimer disease, epilepsy, chronic pain, drug addiction, and schizophrenia. Long-term potentiation (LTP) and depression (LTD) in the hippocampal region of the brain are two forms of synaptic plasticity that increase or decrease, respectively, the strength of synaptic transmission by postsynaptic AMPA-type glutamate receptors. Both LTP and LTD are induced by activation of NMDA-type glutamate receptors but differ in the level and duration of Ca(2+) influx through the NMDA receptor and the subsequent engagement of downstream signaling by protein kinases, including PKA, PKC, and CaMKII, and phosphatases, including PP1 and calcineurin-PP2B (CaN). This review addresses the important emerging roles of the A-kinase anchoring protein family of scaffold proteins in regulating localization of PKA and other kinases and phosphatases to postsynaptic multiprotein complexes that control NMDA and AMPA receptor function during LTP and LTD.

  5. Protection against β-amyloid-induced synaptic and memory impairments via altering β-amyloid assembly by bis(heptyl)-cognitin

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Lan; Cui, Wei; Yang, Yong; Xu, Shujun; Zhou, Wenhua; Fu, Hongjun; Hu, Shengquan; Mak, Shinghung; Hu, Juwei; Wang, Qin; Pui-Yan Ma, Victor; Chung-lit Choi, Tony; Dik-lung Ma, Edmond; Tao, Liang; Pang, Yuanping; Rowan, Michael J.; Anwyl, Roger; Han, Yifan; Wang, Qinwen

    2015-01-01

    β-amyloid (Aβ) oligomers have been closely implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We found, for the first time, that bis(heptyl)-cognitin, a novel dimeric acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitor derived from tacrine, prevented Aβ oligomers-induced inhibition of long-term potentiation (LTP) at concentrations that did not interfere with normal LTP. Bis(heptyl)-cognitin also prevented Aβ oligomers-induced synaptotoxicity in primary hippocampal neurons. In contrast, tacrine and donepezil, typical AChE inhibitors, could not prevent synaptic impairments in these models, indicating that the modification of Aβ oligomers toxicity by bis(heptyl)-cognitin might be attributed to a mechanism other than AChE inhibition. Studies by using dot blotting, immunoblotting, circular dichroism spectroscopy, and transmission electron microscopy have shown that bis(heptyl)-cognitin altered Aβ assembly via directly inhibiting Aβ oligomers formation and reducing the amount of preformed Aβ oligomers. Molecular docking analysis further suggested that bis(heptyl)-cognitin presumably interacted with the hydrophobic pockets of Aβ, which confers stabilizing powers and assembly alteration effects on Aβ. Most importantly, bis(heptyl)-cognitin significantly reduced cognitive impairments induced by intra-hippocampal infusion of Aβ oligomers in mice. These results clearly demonstrated how dimeric agents prevent Aβ oligomers-induced synaptic and memory impairments, and offered a strong support for the beneficial therapeutic effects of bis(heptyl)-cognitin in the treatment of AD. PMID:26194093

  6. Lateral Hypothalamic Area Glutamatergic Neurons and Their Projections to the Lateral Habenula Regulate Feeding and Reward

    PubMed Central

    Stamatakis, Alice M.; Van Swieten, Maaike; Basiri, Marcus L.; Blair, Grace A.; Kantak, Pranish

    2016-01-01

    The overconsumption of calorically dense, highly palatable foods is thought to be a major contributor to the worldwide obesity epidemic; however, the precise neural circuits that directly regulate hedonic feeding remain elusive. Here, we show that lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) glutamatergic neurons, and their projections to the lateral habenula (LHb), negatively regulate the consumption of palatable food. Genetic ablation of LHA glutamatergic neurons increased daily caloric intake and produced weight gain in mice that had access to a high-fat diet, while not altering general locomotor activity. Anterior LHA glutamatergic neurons send a functional glutamatergic projection to the LHb, a brain region involved in processing aversive stimuli and negative reward prediction outcomes. Pathway-specific, optogenetic stimulation of glutamatergic LHA-LHb circuit resulted in detectable glutamate-mediated EPSCs as well as GABA-mediated IPSCs, although the net effect of neurotransmitter release was to increase the firing of most LHb neurons. In vivo optogenetic inhibition of LHA-LHb glutamatergic fibers produced a real-time place preference, whereas optogenetic stimulation of LHA-LHb glutamatergic fibers had the opposite effect. Furthermore, optogenetic inhibition of LHA-LHb glutamatergic fibers acutely increased the consumption of a palatable liquid caloric reward. Collectively, these results demonstrate that LHA glutamatergic neurons are well situated to bidirectionally regulate feeding and potentially other behavioral states via their functional circuit connectivity with the LHb and potentially other brain regions. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In this study, we show that the genetic ablation of LHA glutamatergic neurons enhances caloric intake. Some of these LHA glutamatergic neurons project to the lateral habenula, a brain area important for generating behavioral avoidance. Optogenetic stimulation of this circuit has net excitatory effects on postsynaptic LHb neurons. This is the

  7. Anaesthetics differentially modulate the trigeminocardiac reflex excitatory synaptic pathway in the brainstem

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xin; Gorini, Christopher; Sharp, Douglas; Bateman, Ryan; Mendelowitz, David

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The trigeminocardiac reflex (TCR) occurs upon excitation of the trigeminal nerve with a resulting bradycardia and hypotension. While several anaesthetics and analgesics have been reported to alter the incidence and strength of the TCR the mechanisms for this modulation are unclear. This study examines the mechanisms of action of ketamine, isoflurane and fentanyl on the synaptic TCR responses in both neurones in the spinal trigeminal interpolaris (Sp5I) nucleus and cardiac vagal neurones (CVNs) in the Nucleus Ambiguus (NA). Stimulation of trigeminal afferent fibres evoked an excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC) in trigeminal neurones with a latency of 1.8 ± 0.1 ms, jitter of 625 μs, and peak amplitude of 239 ± 45 pA. Synaptic responses further downstream in the reflex pathway in the CVNs occurred with a latency of 12.1 ± 1.1 ms, jitter of 0.8–2 ms and amplitude of 57.8 ± 7.5 pA. The average conduction velocity to the Sp5I neurones was 0.94 ± 0.18 mm ms−1 indicating a mixture of A-δ and C fibres. Stimulation-evoked EPSCs in both Sp5I and CVNs were completely blocked by AMPA/kainate and NMDA glutamatergic receptor antagonists. Ketamine (10 μm) inhibited the peak amplitude and duration in Sp5I as well as more distal synapses in the CVNs. Isoflurane (300 μm) significantly inhibited, while fentanyl (1 μm) significantly enhanced, EPSC amplitude and area in CVNs but had no effect on the responses in Sp5l neurones. These findings indicate glutamatergic excitatory synaptic pathways are critical in the TCR, and ketamine, isoflurane and fentanyl differentially alter the synaptic pathways via modulation of both AMPA/kainate and NMDA receptors at different synapses in the TCR. PMID:21930602

  8. Sex-Dependent Alterations in Social Behaviour and Cortical Synaptic Activity Coincide at Different Ages in a Model of Alzheimer’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Julien, Carl; Tremblay, Cyntia; Vandal, Milène; Msaid, Meriem; De Koninck, Yves; Calon, Frédéric

    2012-01-01

    Besides memory deficits, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients suffer from neuropsychiatric symptoms, including alterations in social interactions, which are subject of a growing number of investigations in transgenic models of AD. Yet the biological mechanisms underlying these behavioural alterations are poorly understood. Here, a social interaction paradigm was used to assess social dysfunction in the triple-transgenic mouse model of AD (3xTg-AD). We observed that transgenic mice displayed dimorphic behavioural abnormalities at different ages. Social disinhibition was observed in 18 months old 3xTg-AD males compared to age and sex-matched control mice. In 3xTg-AD females, social disinhibition was present at 12 months followed by reduced social interactions at 18 months. These dimorphic behavioural alterations were not associated with alterations in AD neuropathological markers such as Aβ or tau levels in the frontal cortex. However, patch-clamp recordings revealed that enhanced social interactions coincided temporally with an increase in both excitatory and inhibitory basal synaptic inputs to layer 2–3 pyramidal neurons in the prefrontal cortex. These findings uncover a novel pattern of occurrence of psychiatric-like symptoms between sexes in an AD model. Our results also reveal that functional alterations in synapse activity appear as a potentially significant substrate underlying behavioural correlates of AD. PMID:23029404

  9. Impaired Attention and Synaptic Senescence of the Prefrontal Cortex Involves Redox Regulation of NMDA Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Guidi, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Young (3–6 months) and middle-age (10–14 months) rats were trained on the five-choice serial reaction time task. Attention and executive function deficits were apparent in middle-age animals observed as a decrease in choice accuracy, increase in omissions, and increased response latency. The behavioral differences were not due to alterations in sensorimotor function or a diminished motivational state. Electrophysiological characterization of synaptic transmission in slices from the mPFC indicated an age-related decrease in glutamatergic transmission. In particular, a robust decrease in N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-mediated synaptic responses in the mPFC was correlated with several measures of attention. The decrease in NMDAR function was due in part to an altered redox state as bath application of the reducing agent, dithiothreitol, increased the NMDAR component of the synaptic response to a greater extent in middle-age animals. Together with previous work indicating that redox state mediates senescent physiology in the hippocampus, the results indicate that redox changes contribute to senescent synaptic function in vulnerable brain regions involved in age-related cognitive decline. PMID:25740525

  10. Impaired attention and synaptic senescence of the prefrontal cortex involves redox regulation of NMDA receptors.

    PubMed

    Guidi, Michael; Kumar, Ashok; Foster, Thomas C

    2015-03-04

    Young (3-6 months) and middle-age (10-14 months) rats were trained on the five-choice serial reaction time task. Attention and executive function deficits were apparent in middle-age animals observed as a decrease in choice accuracy, increase in omissions, and increased response latency. The behavioral differences were not due to alterations in sensorimotor function or a diminished motivational state. Electrophysiological characterization of synaptic transmission in slices from the mPFC indicated an age-related decrease in glutamatergic transmission. In particular, a robust decrease in N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-mediated synaptic responses in the mPFC was correlated with several measures of attention. The decrease in NMDAR function was due in part to an altered redox state as bath application of the reducing agent, dithiothreitol, increased the NMDAR component of the synaptic response to a greater extent in middle-age animals. Together with previous work indicating that redox state mediates senescent physiology in the hippocampus, the results indicate that redox changes contribute to senescent synaptic function in vulnerable brain regions involved in age-related cognitive decline.

  11. 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.

  12. Optogenetics and synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24162508

  13. Decreased MHC I expression in IFN gamma mutant mice alters synaptic elimination in the spinal cord after peripheral injury

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I expression in the central nervous system (CNS) regulates synaptic plasticity events during development and adult life. Its upregulation may be associated with events such as axotomy, cytokine exposition and changes in neuron electrical activity. Since IFNγ is a potent inducer of the MHC I expression, the present work investigated the importance of this pro-inflammatory cytokine in the synaptic elimination process in the spinal cord, as well as the motor recovery of IFN−/−, following peripheral injury. Methods The lumbar spinal cords of C57BL/6J (wild type) and IFNγ−/− (mutant) mice, subjected to unilateral sciatic nerve transection, were removed and processed for immunohistochemistry and real time RT-PCR, while the sciatic nerves from animals subjected to unilateral crush, were submitted to immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy for counting of the axons. Gait recovery was monitored using the Cat Walk system. Newborn mice astrocyte primary cultures were established in order to study the astrocytic respose in the absence of the IFNγ expression. Results IFNγ−/− mutant mice showed a decreased expression of MHC I and β2-microglobulin mRNA coupled with reduced synaptophysin immunolabelling in the lesioned spinal cord segment. Following unilateral nerve transection, the Iba-1 (ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule 1) and glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP) reactivities increased equally in both strains. In vitro, the astrocytes demonstrated similar GFAP levels, but the proliferation rate was higher in the wild type mice. In the crushed nerves (distal stump), neurofilaments and p75NTR immunolabeling were upregulated in the mutant mice as compared to the wild type and an improvement in locomotor recovery was observed. Conclusion The present results show that a lack of IFNγ affects the MHC I expression and the synaptic elimination process in the spinal cord. Such changes, however, do not

  14. Kalirin binds the NR2B subunit of the NMDA receptor, altering its synaptic localization and function.

    PubMed

    Kiraly, Drew D; Lemtiri-Chlieh, Fouad; Levine, Eric S; Mains, Richard E; Eipper, Betty A

    2011-08-31

    The ability of dendritic spines to change size and shape rapidly is critical in modulating synaptic strength; these morphological changes are dependent upon rearrangements of the actin cytoskeleton. Kalirin-7 (Kal7), a Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor localized to the postsynaptic density (PSD), modulates dendritic spine morphology in vitro and in vivo. Kal7 activates Rac and interacts with several PSD proteins, including PSD-95, DISC-1, AF-6, and Arf6. Mice genetically lacking Kal7 (Kal7(KO)) exhibit deficient hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) as well as behavioral abnormalities in models of addiction and learning. Purified PSDs from Kal7(KO) mice contain diminished levels of NR2B, an NMDA receptor subunit that plays a critical role in LTP induction. Here we demonstrate that Kal7(KO) animals have decreased levels of NR2B-dependent NMDA receptor currents in cortical pyramidal neurons as well as a specific deficit in cell surface expression of NR2B. Additionally, we demonstrate that the genotypic differences in conditioned place preference and passive avoidance learning seen in Kal7(KO) mice are abrogated when animals are treated with an NR2B-specific antagonist during conditioning. Finally, we identify a stable interaction between the pleckstrin homology domain of Kal7 and the juxtamembrane region of NR2B preceding its cytosolic C-terminal domain. Binding of NR2B to a protein that modulates the actin cytoskeleton is important, as NMDA receptors require actin integrity for synaptic localization and function. These studies demonstrate a novel and functionally important interaction between the NR2B subunit of the NMDA receptor and Kalirin, proteins known to be essential for normal synaptic plasticity.

  15. Kalirin binds the NR2B subunit of the NMDA receptor, altering its synaptic localization and function

    PubMed Central

    Kiraly, Drew D.; Lemtiri-Chlieh, Fouad; Levine, Eric S.; Mains, Richard E.; Eipper, Betty A.

    2011-01-01

    The ability of dendritic spines to change size and shape rapidly is critical in modulating synaptic strength; these morphological changes are dependent upon rearrangements of the actin cytoskeleton. Kalirin-7 (Kal7), a Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) localized to the postsynaptic density (PSD), modulates dendritic spine morphology in vitro and in vivo. Kal7 activates Rac and interacts with several PSD proteins including PSD-95, DISC-1, AF-6 and Arf6. Mice genetically lacking Kal7 (Kal7KO) exhibit deficient hippocampal LTP as well as behavioral abnormalities in models of addiction and learning. Purified PSDs from Kal7KO mice contain diminished levels of NR2B, an NMDA receptor subunit that plays a critical role in LTP induction. Here we demonstrate that Kal7KO animals have decreased levels of NR2B-dependent NMDA receptor currents in cortical pyramidal neurons as well as a specific deficit in cell-surface expression of NR2B. Additionally, we demonstrate that the genotypic differences in conditioned place preference and passive avoidance learning seen in Kal7KO mice are abrogated when animals are treated with an NR2B-specific antagonist during conditioning. Finally, we identify a stable interaction between the pleckstrin homology domain of Kal7 and the juxtamembrane region of NR2B preceding its cytosolic C-terminal domain. Binding of NR2B to a protein that modulates the actin cytoskeleton is important, as NMDA receptors require actin integrity for synaptic localization and function. These studies demonstrate a novel and functionally important interaction between the NR2B subunit of the NMDA receptor and Kalirin, proteins known to be essential for normal synaptic plasticity. PMID:21880917

  16. Balance of inhibitory and excitatory synaptic activity is altered in fast-spiking interneurons in experimental cortical dysplasia.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Fu-Wen; Chen, Huan-Xin; Roper, Steven N

    2009-10-01

    Cortical dysplasia (CD) is a common cause of intractable epilepsy in children and adults. We have studied rats irradiated in utero as a model of CD to better understand mechanisms that underlie dysplasia-associated epilepsy. Prior studies have shown a reduction in the number of cortical interneurons and in the frequency of inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) in pyramidal cells in this model. They have also shown a reduced frequency of spontaneous and miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) in the surviving cortical interneurons. However, the inhibitory synaptic contacts were not examined in that study. The current experiments were performed to assess inhibitory synaptic activity in fast-spiking (FS) interneurons in irradiated rats and controls and the balance of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic activity in these cells. Whole cell recordings were obtained from layer IV FS cells in controls and comparable FS cells in irradiated rats. The frequency of spontaneous and miniature IPSCs was reduced in dysplastic cortex, but the amplitude of these currents was unchanged. Stimulus-evoked IPSCs showed short-term depression in control and short-term facilitation in dysplastic cortex. Simultaneous recording of spontaneous EPSCs and IPSCs showed a shift in the ratio of excitation-to-inhibition in favor of inhibition in FS cells from dysplastic cortex. The same shift toward inhibition was seen when miniature EPSCs and IPSCs were examined. These results show that FS cells in dysplastic cortex have a relative lack of excitatory drive. This may result in an important class of inhibitory cells that are less able to perform their normal function especially in periods of increased excitatory activity.

  17. Alteration of Neuronal Excitability and Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity in the Prefrontal Cortex of a Mouse Model of Mental Illness.

    PubMed

    Crabtree, Gregg W; Sun, Ziyi; Kvajo, Mirna; Broek, Jantine A C; Fénelon, Karine; McKellar, Heather; Xiao, Lan; Xu, Bin; Bahn, Sabine; O'Donnell, James M; Gogos, Joseph A

    2017-04-12

    Using a genetic mouse model that faithfully recapitulates a DISC1 genetic alteration strongly associated with schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders, we examined the impact of this mutation within the prefrontal cortex. Although cortical layering, cytoarchitecture, and proteome were found to be largely unaffected, electrophysiological examination of the mPFC revealed both neuronal hyperexcitability and alterations in short-term synaptic plasticity consistent with enhanced neurotransmitter release. Increased excitability of layer II/III pyramidal neurons was accompanied by consistent reductions in voltage-activated potassium currents near the action potential threshold as well as by enhanced recruitment of inputs arising from superficial layers to layer V. We further observed reductions in both the paired-pulse ratios and the enhanced short-term depression of layer V synapses arising from superficial layers consistent with enhanced neurotransmitter release at these synapses. Recordings from layer II/III pyramidal neurons revealed action potential widening that could account for enhanced neurotransmitter release. Significantly, we found that reduced functional expression of the voltage-dependent potassium channel subunit Kv1.1 substantially contributes to both the excitability and short-term plasticity alterations that we observed. The underlying dysregulation of Kv1.1 expression was attributable to cAMP elevations in the PFC secondary to reduced phosphodiesterase 4 activity present in Disc1 deficiency and was rescued by pharmacological blockade of adenylate cyclase. Our results demonstrate a potentially devastating impact of Disc1 deficiency on neural circuit function, partly due to Kv1.1 dysregulation that leads to a dual dysfunction consisting of enhanced neuronal excitability and altered short-term synaptic plasticity.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Schizophrenia is a profoundly disabling psychiatric illness with a devastating impact not only upon the afflicted but

  18. 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

  19. Effects of prenatal protein malnutrition on kindling-induced alterations in dentate granule cell excitability. I. Synaptic transmission measures.

    PubMed

    Bronzino, J D; Austin-LaFrance, R J; Morgane, P J; Galler, J R

    1991-05-01

    The effects of prenatal protein malnutrition upon the efficacy of excitatory synaptic transmission at the level of the perforant path/dentate granule cell synapse were examined during development of perforant path kindling in chronically implanted adults rats. Rats born to dams fed a low protein (6% casein) or control protein (25% casein) diet were fostered to lactating dams fed the 25% casein diet 24 h after birth and were maintained on this diet throughout life following weaning. Beginning at 90-120 days of age, animals received daily kindling stimulations applied to the perforant path. Extracellular field potentials recorded from the granule cell layer of the dentate gyrus in response to single-pulse stimulation of the perforant path were analyzed to determine the effects of prenatal protein malnutrition on the efficacy of synaptic transmission during the kindling process. Measures used for these analyses included the EPSP slope, an indicator of the level of synaptic drive, the population spike amplitude which is a measure of postsynaptic activation and cellular firing, and the ratio of the population spike amplitude relative to the corresponding EPSP slope value, which was used to evaluate the overall efficacy of synaptic transmission. animals of the 6%/25% diet group were found to have significantly lower afterdischarge thresholds, yet required significantly more daily kindling stimulations to develop generalized motor convulsions (stage 5 seizure) than control animals. Examination of dentate field potentials obtained prior to kindling revealed no significant between group differences in measures of EPSP slope or population spike amplitude. Statistically significant increases in measures of both the population EPSP slope and population spike amplitude were observed in both diet groups 24 h after the first kindled afterdischarge. The degree of increase in both of these measures was significantly greater in animals of the 6%/25% group. Evaluation of input

  20. Spontaneous glutamatergic activity induces a BDNF-dependent potentiation of GABAergic synapses in the newborn rat hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Kuczewski, Nicola; Langlois, Anais; Fiorentino, Hervé; Bonnet, Stéphanie; Marissal, Thomas; Diabira, Diabe; Ferrand, Nadine; Porcher, Christophe; Gaiarsa, Jean-Luc

    2008-01-01

    Spontaneous ongoing synaptic activity is thought to play an instructive role in the maturation of the neuronal circuits. However the type of synaptic activity involved and how this activity is translated into structural and functional changes is not fully understood. Here we show that ongoing glutamatergic synaptic activity triggers a long-lasting potentiation of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) mediated synaptic activity (LLPGABA-A) in the developing rat hippocampus. LLPGABA-A induction requires (i) the activation of AMPA receptors and L-type voltage-dependent calcium channels, (ii) the release of endogenous brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and (iii) the activation of postsynaptic tropomyosin-related kinase receptors B (TrkB). We found that spontaneous glutamatergic activity is required to maintain a high level of native BDNF in the newborn rat hippocampus and that application of exogenous BDNF induced LLPGABA-A in the absence of glutamatergic activity. These results suggest that ongoing glutamatergic synaptic activity plays a pivotal role in the functional maturation of hippocampal GABAergic synapses by means of a cascade involving BDNF release and downstream signalling through postsynaptic TrkB receptor activation. PMID:18772203

  1. Disruption of striatal glutamatergic/GABAergic homeostasis following acute methamphetamine in mice.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Frederico C; Cunha-Oliveira, Teresa; Viana, Sofia D; Travassos, Ana S; Nunes, Sara; Silva, Carlos; Prediger, Rui Daniel; Rego, A Cristina; Ali, Syed F; Ribeiro, Carlos Alberto Fontes

    2012-01-01

    Methamphetamine leads to functional changes in basal ganglia that are linked to impairment in motor activity. Previous studies from our group and others have shown that a single high-methamphetamine injection induces striatal dopaminergic changes in rodents. However, striatal glutamatergic, GABAergic and serotoninergic changes remain elusive under this methamphetamine regimen. Moreover, nothing is known about the participation of the receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE), which is overexpressed upon synaptic dysfunction and glial response, on methamphetamine-induced striatal dysfunction. The aim of this work was to provide an integrative characterization of the striatal changes in amino acids, monoamines and astroglia, as well as in the RAGE levels, and the associated motor activity profile of C57BL/6 adult mice, 72 h after a single-high dose of methamphetamine (30 mg/kg, i.p.). Our findings indicate, for the first time, that methamphetamine decreases striatal glutamine, glutamate and GABA levels, as well as glutamine/glutamate and GABA/glutamate ratios, while serotonin (5-HT) and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) levels remain unchanged. This methamphetamine regimen also produced dopaminergic terminal degeneration in the striatum, as evidenced by dopamine and tyrosine hydroxylase depletion. Consistently, methamphetamine decreased the locomotor activity of mice, in the open field test. In addition, increased levels of glutamine synthase and glial fibrillary acidic protein were observed. Nevertheless, methamphetamine failed to change RAGE levels. Our results show that acute methamphetamine intoxication induces pronounced changes in the striatal glutamatergic/GABAergic and dopaminergic homeostasis, along with astrocyte activation. These neurochemical and glial alterations are accompanied by impairment in locomotor activity.

  2. Plasticity in Single Axon Glutamatergic Connection to GABAergic Interneurons Regulates Complex Events in the Human Neocortex

    PubMed Central

    Szegedi, Viktor; Paizs, Melinda; Csakvari, Eszter; Molnar, Gabor; Barzo, Pal; Tamas, Gabor; Lamsa, Karri

    2016-01-01

    In the human neocortex, single excitatory pyramidal cells can elicit very large glutamatergic EPSPs (VLEs) in inhibitory GABAergic interneurons capable of triggering their firing with short (3–5 ms) delay. Similar strong excitatory connections between two individual neurons have not been found in nonhuman cortices, suggesting that these synapses are specific to human interneurons. The VLEs are crucial for generating neocortical complex events, observed as single pyramidal cell spike-evoked discharge of cell assemblies in the frontal and temporal cortices. However, long-term plasticity of the VLE connections and how the plasticity modulates neocortical complex events has not been studied. Using triple and dual whole-cell recordings from synaptically connected human neocortical layers 2–3 neurons, we show that VLEs in fast-spiking GABAergic interneurons exhibit robust activity-induced long-term depression (LTD). The LTD by single pyramidal cell 40 Hz spike bursts is specific to connections with VLEs, requires group I metabotropic glutamate receptors, and has a presynaptic mechanism. The LTD of VLE connections alters suprathreshold activation of interneurons in the complex events suppressing the discharge of fast-spiking GABAergic cells. The VLEs triggering the complex events may contribute to cognitive processes in the human neocortex, and their long-term plasticity can alter the discharging cortical cell assemblies by learning. PMID:27828957

  3. Plasticity in Single Axon Glutamatergic Connection to GABAergic Interneurons Regulates Complex Events in the Human Neocortex.

    PubMed

    Szegedi, Viktor; Paizs, Melinda; Csakvari, Eszter; Molnar, Gabor; Barzo, Pal; Tamas, Gabor; Lamsa, Karri

    2016-11-01

    In the human neocortex, single excitatory pyramidal cells can elicit very large glutamatergic EPSPs (VLEs) in inhibitory GABAergic interneurons capable of triggering their firing with short (3-5 ms) delay. Similar strong excitatory connections between two individual neurons have not been found in nonhuman cortices, suggesting that these synapses are specific to human interneurons. The VLEs are crucial for generating neocortical complex events, observed as single pyramidal cell spike-evoked discharge of cell assemblies in the frontal and temporal cortices. However, long-term plasticity of the VLE connections and how the plasticity modulates neocortical complex events has not been studied. Using triple and dual whole-cell recordings from synaptically connected human neocortical layers 2-3 neurons, we show that VLEs in fast-spiking GABAergic interneurons exhibit robust activity-induced long-term depression (LTD). The LTD by single pyramidal cell 40 Hz spike bursts is specific to connections with VLEs, requires group I metabotropic glutamate receptors, and has a presynaptic mechanism. The LTD of VLE connections alters suprathreshold activation of interneurons in the complex events suppressing the discharge of fast-spiking GABAergic cells. The VLEs triggering the complex events may contribute to cognitive processes in the human neocortex, and their long-term plasticity can alter the discharging cortical cell assemblies by learning.

  4. Cannabinoids modulate spontaneous synaptic activity in retinal ganglion cells.

    PubMed

    Middleton, T P; Protti, D A

    2011-09-01

    The endocannabinoid (ECB) system has been found throughout the central nervous system and modulates cell excitability in various forms of short-term plasticity. ECBs and their receptors have also been localized to all retinal cells, and cannabinoid receptor activation has been shown to alter voltage-dependent conductances in several different retinal cell types, suggesting a possible role for cannabinoids in retinal processing. Their effects on synaptic transmission in the mammalian retina, however, have not been previously investigated. Here, we show that exogenous cannabinoids alter spontaneous synaptic transmission onto retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Using whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings in whole-mount retinas, we measured spontaneous postsynaptic currents (SPSCs) in RGCs in adult and young (P14-P21) mice. We found that the addition of an exogenous cannabinoid agonist, WIN55212-2 (5 μM), caused a significant reversible reduction in the frequency of SPSCs. This change, however, did not alter the kinetics of the SPSCs, indicating a presynaptic locus of action. Using blockers to isolate inhibitory or excitatory currents, we found that cannabinoids significantly reduced the release probability of both GABA and glutamate, respectively. While the addition of cannabinoids reduced the frequency of both GABAergic and glutamatergic SPSCs in both young and adult mice, we found that the largest effect was on GABA-mediated currents in young mice. These results suggest that the ECB system may potentially be involved in the modulation of signal transmission in the retina. Furthermore, they suggest that it might play a role in the developmental maturation of synaptic circuits, and that exogenous cannabinoids are likely able to disrupt retinal processing and consequently alter vision.

  5. Impairment of cognitive function and synaptic plasticity associated with alteration of information flow in theta and gamma oscillations in melamine-treated rats.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xiaxia; An, Lei; Mi, Xichao; Zhang, Tao

    2013-01-01

    Changes of neural oscillations at a variety of physiological rhythms are effectively associated with cognitive performance. The present study investigated whether the directional indices of neural information flow (NIF) could be used to symbolize the synaptic plasticity impairment in hippocampal CA3-CA1 network in a rat model of melamine. Male Wistar rats were employed while melamine was administered at a dose of 300 mg/kg/day for 4 weeks. Behavior was measured by the Morris water maze(MWM)test. Local field potentials (LFPs) were recorded before long-term potentiation (LTP) induction. Generalized partial directed coherence (gPDC) and phase-amplitude coupling conditional mutual information (PAC_CMI) were used to measure the unidirectional indices in both theta and low gamma oscillations (LG, ~ 30-50 Hz). Our results showed that melamine induced the cognition deficits consistent with the reduced LTP in CA1 area. Phase locking values (PLVs) showed that the synchronization between CA3 and CA1 in both theta and LG rhythms was reduced by melamine. In both theta and LG rhythms, unidirectional indices were significantly decreased in melamine treated rats while a similar variation trend was observed in LTP reduction, implying that the effects of melamine on cognitive impairment were possibly mediated via profound alterations of NIF on CA3-CA1 pathway in hippocampus. The results suggested that LFPs activities at these rhythms were most likely involved in determining the alterations of information flow in the hippocampal CA3-CA1 network, which might be associated with the alteration of synaptic transmission to some extent.

  6. Impairment of Cognitive Function and Synaptic Plasticity Associated with Alteration of Information Flow in Theta and Gamma Oscillations in Melamine-Treated Rats

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Xiaxia; An, Lei; Mi, Xichao; Zhang, Tao

    2013-01-01

    Changes of neural oscillations at a variety of physiological rhythms are effectively associated with cognitive performance. The present study investigated whether the directional indices of neural information flow (NIF) could be used to symbolize the synaptic plasticity impairment in hippocampal CA3-CA1 network in a rat model of melamine. Male Wistar rats were employed while melamine was administered at a dose of 300 mg/kg/day for 4 weeks. Behavior was measured by the Morris water maze(MWM)test. Local field potentials (LFPs) were recorded before long-term potentiation (LTP) induction. Generalized partial directed coherence (gPDC) and phase-amplitude coupling conditional mutual information (PAC_CMI) were used to measure the unidirectional indices in both theta and low gamma oscillations (LG, ∼30–50 Hz). Our results showed that melamine induced the cognition deficits consistent with the reduced LTP in CA1 area. Phase locking values (PLVs) showed that the synchronization between CA3 and CA1 in both theta and LG rhythms was reduced by melamine. In both theta and LG rhythms, unidirectional indices were significantly decreased in melamine treated rats while a similar variation trend was observed in LTP reduction, implying that the effects of melamine on cognitive impairment were possibly mediated via profound alterations of NIF on CA3-CA1 pathway in hippocampus. The results suggested that LFPs activities at these rhythms were most likely involved in determining the alterations of information flow in the hippocampal CA3-CA1 network, which might be associated with the alteration of synaptic transmission to some extent. PMID:24204970

  7. Innervation by a GABAergic neuron depresses spontaneous release in glutamatergic neurons and unveils the clamping phenotype of synaptotagmin-1.

    PubMed

    Wierda, Keimpe D B; Sørensen, Jakob B

    2014-02-05

    The role of spontaneously occurring release events in glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons and their regulation is intensely debated. To study the interdependence of glutamatergic and GABAergic spontaneous release, we compared reciprocally connected "mixed" glutamatergic/GABAergic neuronal pairs from mice cultured on astrocyte islands with "homotypic" glutamatergic or GABAergic pairs and autaptic neurons. We measured mEPSC and mIPSC frequencies simultaneously from both neurons. Neuronal pairs formed both interneuronal synaptic and autaptic connections indiscriminately. We find that whereas mEPSC and mIPSC frequencies did not deviate between autaptic and synaptic connections, the frequency of mEPSCs in mixed pairs was strongly depressed compared with either autaptic neurons or glutamatergic pairs. Simultaneous imaging of synapses, or comparison to evoked release amplitudes, showed that this decrease was not caused by fewer active synapses. The mEPSC frequency was negatively correlated with the mIPSC frequency, indicating interdependence. Moreover, the reduction in mEPSC frequency was abolished when established pairs were exposed to bicuculline for 3 d, but not by long-term incubation with tetrodotoxin, indicating that spontaneous GABA release downregulates mEPSC frequency. Further investigations showed that knockout of synaptotagmin-1 did not affect mEPSC frequencies in either glutamatergic autaptic neurons or in glutamatergic pairs. However, in mixed glutamatergic/GABAergic pairs, mEPSC frequencies were increased by a factor of four in the synaptotagmin-1-null neurons, which is in line with data obtained from mixed cultures. The effect persisted after incubation with BAPTA-AM. We conclude that spontaneous GABA release exerts control over mEPSC release, and GABAergic innervation of glutamatergic neurons unveils the unclamping phenotype of the synaptotagmin-1-null neurons.

  8. Altered synaptic marker abundance in the hippocampal stratum oriens of Ts65Dn mice is associated with exuberant expression of versican

    PubMed Central

    Howell, Matthew D; Gottschall, Paul E

    2012-01-01

    DS (Down syndrome), resulting from trisomy of chromosome 21, is the most common cause of genetic mental retardation; however, the molecular mechanisms underlying the cognitive deficits are poorly understood. Growing data indicate that changes in abundance or type of CSPGs (chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans) in the ECM (extracellular matrix) can influence synaptic structure and plasticity. The purpose of this study was to identify changes in synaptic structure in the hippocampus in a model of DS, the Ts65Dn mouse, and to determine the relationship to proteoglycan abundance and/or cleavage and cognitive disability. We measured synaptic proteins by ELISA and changes in lectican expression and processing in the hippocampus of young and old Ts65Dn mice and LMCs (littermate controls). In young (5 months old) Ts65Dn hippocampal extracts, we found a significant increase in the postsynaptic protein PSD-95 (postsynaptic density 95) compared with LMCs. In aged (20 months old) Ts65Dn hippocampus, this increase was localized to hippocampal stratum oriens extracts compared with LMCs. Aged Ts65Dn mice exhibited impaired hippocampal-dependent spatial learning and memory in the RAWM (radial-arm water maze) and a marked increase in levels of the lectican versican V2 in stratum oriens that correlated with the number of errors made in the final RAWM block. Ts65Dn stratum oriens PNNs (perineuronal nets), an extension of the ECM enveloping mostly inhibitory interneurons, were dispersed over a larger area compared with LMC mice. Taken together, these data suggest a possible association with alterations in the ECM and inhibitory neurotransmission in the Ts65Dn hippocampus which could contribute to cognitive deficits. PMID:22225533

  9. Tianeptine modulates amygdalar glutamate neurochemistry and synaptic proteins in rats subjected to repeated stress.

    PubMed

    Piroli, Gerardo G; Reznikov, Leah R; Grillo, Claudia A; Hagar, Janel M; Fadel, Jim R; Reagan, Lawrence P

    2013-03-01

    Stress is a common environmental factor associated with depressive illness and the amygdala is thought to be integral for this association. For example, repeated stress impairs amygdalar neuroplasticity in rodents and these defects parallel amygdalar deficits in depressive illness patients. Because the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate is important in neuroplasticity, we hypothesized that alterations in amygdalar glutamatergic systems may serve as key players in depressive illness. Moreover, restoration of amygdalar glutamatergic systems may serve as important therapeutic targets in the successful management of multiple stress-related mood disorders. To address these hypotheses, we measured glutamate efflux in the basolateral and central amygdalar complexes via in vivo microdialysis, as well as the expression of synaptic proteins that regulate vesicular glutamate packaging and release, in rats subjected to repeated stress and treated daily with saline or the antidepressant tianeptine. Glutamate efflux was significantly reduced in the central amygdalar complex of animals subjected to repeated stress. In addition, repeated stress nearly eliminated amygdalar vGLUT2 expression, thereby proving a potential mechanism through which repeated stress impairs amygdalar glutamate neurochemistry. These stress-induced changes in glutamate efflux and vGLUT2 expression were inhibited by daily tianeptine administration. Moreover, tianeptine administration increased the vesicular localization of SNAP-25, which could account for the ability of tianeptine to modify glutamatergic tone in non-stressed control rats. Collectively, these results demonstrate that repeated stress differentially affects amygdalar glutamate systems and further supports our previous studies indicating that tianeptine's antidepressant efficacy may involve targeting amygdalar glutatamatergic systems.

  10. Major glutamatergic projection from subplate into visual cortex during development.

    PubMed

    Finney, E M; Stone, J R; Shatz, C J

    1998-08-17

    Subplate neurons, the first neurons of the cerebral cortex to differentiate and mature, are thought to be essential for the formation of connections between thalamus and cortex, such as the system of ocular dominance columns within layer 4 of visual cortex. To learn more about the requirement for subplate neurons in the formation of thalamocortical connections, we have sought to identify the neurotransmitters and peptides expressed by the specific class of subplate neurons that sends axonal projections into the overlying visual cortex. To label retrogradely subplate neurons, fluorescent latex microspheres were injected into primary visual cortex of postnatal day 28 ferrets, just prior to the onset of ocular dominance column formation. Subsequently, neurons were immunostained with antibodies against glutamate, glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD-67), parvalbumin, neuropeptide Y (NPY), somatostatin (SRIF), or nitric oxide synthase (NOS). Retrograde labeling results indicate that the majority of subplate neurons projecting into the cortical plate reside in the upper half of the subplate. Combined immunostaining and microsphere labeling reveal that about half of cortically projecting subplate neurons are glutamatergic; most microsphere-labeled subplate neurons do not stain for GAD-67, parvalbumin, NPY, SRIF, or NOS. These observations suggest that subplate neurons can provide a significant glutamatergic synaptic input to the cortical plate, including the neurons of layer 4. If so, excitation from the axons of subplate neurons may be required in addition to that from lateral geniculate nucleus neurons for the activity-dependent synaptic interactions that lead to the formation of ocular dominance columns during development.

  11. Early Fear Memory Defects Are Associated with Altered Synaptic Plasticity and Molecular Architecture in the TgCRND8 Alzheimer's Disease Mouse Model

    PubMed Central

    Steele, John W.; Brautigam, Hannah; Short, Jennifer A.; Sowa, Allison; Shi, Mengxi; Yadav, Aniruddha; Weaver, Christina M.; Westaway, David; Fraser, Paul E.; St George-Hyslop, Peter H.; Gandy, Sam; Hof, Patrick R.; Dickstein, Dara L.

    2014-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a complex and slowly progressing dementing disorder that results in neuronal and synaptic loss, deposition in brain of aberrantly folded proteins, and impairment of spatial and episodic memory. Most studies of mouse models of AD have employed analyses of cognitive status and assessment of amyloid burden, gliosis, and molecular pathology during disease progression. Here, we sought to understand the behavioral, cellular, ultrastructural, and molecular changes that occur at a pathological stage equivalent to early stages of human AD. We studied the TgCRND8 mouse, a model of aggressive AD amyloidosis, at an early stage of plaque pathology (3 months of age) in comparison to their wild-type littermates and assessed changes in cognition, neuron and spine structure, and expression of synaptic glutamate receptor proteins. We found that, at this age, TgCRND8 mice display substantial plaque deposition in the neocortex and hippocampus and impairment on cued and contextual memory tasks. Of particular interest, we also observed a significant decrease in the number of neurons in the hippocampus. Furthermore, analysis of CA1 neurons revealed significant changes in apical and basal dendritic spine types, as well as altered expression of GluN1 and GluA2 receptors. This change in molecular architecture within the hippocampus may reflect a rising representation of inherently less stable thin spine populations, which can cause cognitive decline. These changes, taken together with toxic insults from amyloid-β protein, may underlie the observed neuronal loss. PMID:24415002

  12. Decreased anxiety, altered place learning, and increased CA1 basal excitatory synaptic transmission in mice with conditional ablation of the neural cell adhesion molecule L1.

    PubMed

    Law, Janice W S; Lee, Alan Y W; Sun, Mu; Nikonenko, Alexander G; Chung, Sookja K; Dityatev, Alexander; Schachner, Melitta; Morellini, Fabio

    2003-11-12

    L1, a neural cell adhesion molecule of the immunoglobulin superfamily, is involved in neuronal migration and differentiation and axon outgrowth and guidance. Mutations in the human and mouse L1 gene result in similarly severe neurological abnormalities. To dissociate the functional roles of L1 in the adult brain from developmental abnormalities, we have generated a mutant in which the L1 gene is inactivated by cre-recombinase under the control of the calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase II promoter. This mutant (L1fy+) did not show the overt morphological and behavioral abnormalities observed previously in constitutive L1-deficient (L1-/-) mice; however, there was an increase in basal excitatory synaptic transmission that was not apparent in L1-/- mice. Similar to L1-/- mice, no defects in short- and long-term potentiation in the CA1 region of the hippocampus were observed. Interestingly, L1fy+ mice showed decreased anxiety in the open field and elevated plus-maze, contrary to L1-/- mice, and altered place learning in the water maze, similar to L1-/- mice. Thus, mice conditionally deficient in L1 expression in the adult brain share some abnormalities, but also display different ones, as compared with L1-/- mice, highlighting the role of L1 in the regulation of synaptic transmission and behavior in adulthood.

  13. Protein kinase C is essential for kainate-induced anxiety-related behavior and glutamatergic synapse upregulation in prelimbic cortex.

    PubMed

    Liu, Bei; Feng, Jing; Wang, Jin-Hui

    2014-11-01

    Anxiety is one of common mood disorders, in which the deficit of serotonergic and GABAergic synaptic functions in the amygdala and prefrontal cortex is believed to be involved. The pathological changes at the glutamatergic synapses and neurons in these brain regions as well as their underlying mechanisms remain elusive, which we aim to investigate. An agonist of kainate-type glutamate receptors, kainic acid, was applied to induce anxiety-related behaviors. The morphology and functions of glutamatergic synapses in the prelimbic region of mouse prefrontal cortex were analyzed using cellular imaging and electrophysiology. After kainate-induced anxiety is onset, the signal transmission at the glutamatergic synapses is upregulated, and the dendritic spine heads are enlarged. In terms of the molecular mechanisms, the upregulated synaptic plasticity is associated with the expression of more protein kinase C (PKC) in the dendritic spines. Chelerythrine, a PKC inhibitor, reverses kainate-induced anxiety and anxiety-related glutamatergic synapse upregulation. The activation of glutamatergic kainate-type receptors leads to anxiety-related behaviors and glutamatergic synapse upregulation through protein kinase C in the prelimbic region of the mouse prefrontal cortex. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Neuroligin1 drives synaptic and behavioral maturation through intracellular interactions

    PubMed Central

    Hoy, Jennifer L.; Haeger, Paola A.; Constable, John R. L.; Arias, Renee J.; McCallum, Raluca; Kyweriga, Michael; Davis, Lawrence; Schnell, Eric; Wehr, Michael; Castillo, Pablo E.; Washbourne, Philip

    2013-01-01

    In vitro studies suggest that the intracellular C-terminus of Neuroligin1 (NL1) could play a central role in the maturation of excitatory synapses. However, it is unknown how this activity affects synapses in vivo, and whether it may impact the development of complex behaviors. To determine how NL1 influences the state of glutamatergic synapses in vivo, we compared the synaptic and behavioral phenotypes of mice overexpressing a full length version of NL1 (NL1FL) with mice overexpressing a version missing part of the intracellular domain (NL1ΔC). We show that overexpression of full length NL1 yielded an increase in the proportion of synapses with mature characteristics and impaired learning and flexibility. In contrast, the overexpression of NL1ΔC increased the number of excitatory postsynaptic structures and led to enhanced flexibility in mnemonic and social behaviors. Transient overexpression of NL1FL revealed that elevated levels are not necessary to maintain synaptic and behavioral states altered earlier in development. In contrast, overexpression of NL1FL in the fully mature adult was able to impair normal learning behavior after one month of expression. These results provide the first evidence that NL1 significantly impacts key developmental processes that permanently shape circuit function and behavior, as well as the function of fully developed neural circuits. Overall, these manipulations of NL1 function illuminate the significance of NL1 intracellular signaling in vivo, and enhance our understanding of the factors that gate the maturation of glutamatergic synapses and complex behavior. This has significant implications for our ability to address disorders such as ASD. PMID:23719805

  15. Enhanced corticosteroid signaling alters synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus in mice lacking the fragile X mental retardation protein.

    PubMed

    Ghilan, M; Hryciw, B N; Brocardo, P S; Bostrom, C A; Gil-Mohapel, J; Christie, B R

    2015-05-01

    The fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) is an important regulator of protein translation, and a lack of FMRP expression leads to a cognitive disorder known as fragile X syndrome (FXS). Clinical symptoms characterizing FXS include learning impairments and heightened anxiety in response to stressful situations. Here, we report that, in response to acute stress, mice lacking FMRP show a faster elevation of corticosterone and a more immediate impairment in N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) dependent long-term potentiation (LTP) in the dentate gyrus (DG). These stress-induced LTP impairments were rescued by administering the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) antagonist RU38486. Administration of RU38486 also enhanced LTP in Fmr1(-/y) mice in the absence of acute stress to wild-type levels, and this enhancement was blocked by application of the NMDAR antagonist 2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid. These results suggest that a loss of FMPR results in enhanced GR signaling that may adversely affect NMDAR dependent synaptic plasticity in the DG.

  16. Rapid State-Dependent Alteration in Kv3 Channel Availability Drives Flexible Synaptic Signaling Dependent on Somatic Subthreshold Depolarization.

    PubMed

    Rowan, Matthew J M; Christie, Jason M

    2017-02-21

    In many neurons, subthreshold depolarization in the soma can transiently increase action-potential (AP)-evoked neurotransmission via analog-to-digital facilitation. The mechanisms underlying this form of short-term synaptic plasticity are unclear, in part, due to the relative inaccessibility of the axon to direct physiological interrogation. Using voltage imaging and patch-clamp recording from presynaptic boutons of cerebellar stellate interneurons, we observed that depolarizing somatic potentials readily spread into the axon, resulting in AP broadening, increased spike-evoked Ca(2+) entry, and enhanced neurotransmission strength. Kv3 channels, which drive AP repolarization, rapidly inactivated upon incorporation of Kv3.4 subunits. This leads to fast susceptibility to depolarization-induced spike broadening and analog facilitation independent of Ca(2+)-dependent protein kinase C signaling. The spread of depolarization into the axon was attenuated by hyperpolarization-activated currents (Ih currents) in the maturing cerebellum, precluding analog facilitation. These results suggest that analog-to-digital facilitation is tempered by development or experience in stellate cells.

  17. Cellular and synaptic network defects in autism.

    PubMed

    Peça, João; Feng, Guoping

    2012-10-01

    Many candidate genes are now thought to confer susceptibility to autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Here we review four interrelated complexes, each composed of multiple families of genes that functionally coalesce on common cellular pathways. We illustrate a common thread in the organization of glutamatergic synapses and suggest a link between genes involved in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, Fragile X syndrome, Angelman syndrome and several synaptic ASD candidate genes. When viewed in this context, progress in deciphering the molecular architecture of cellular protein-protein interactions together with the unraveling of synaptic dysfunction in neural networks may prove pivotal to advancing our understanding of ASDs. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  18. Endogenous zinc depresses GABAergic transmission via T-type Ca(2+) channels and broadens the time window for integration of glutamatergic inputs in dentate granule cells.

    PubMed

    Grauert, Antonia; Engel, Dominique; Ruiz, Arnaud J

    2014-01-01

    Zinc actions on synaptic transmission span the modulation of neurotransmitter receptors, transporters, activation of intracellular cascades and alterations in gene expression. Whether and how zinc affects inhibitory synaptic signalling in the dentate gyrus remains largely unexplored. We found that mono- and di-synaptic GABAergic inputs onto dentate granule cells were reversibly depressed by exogenous zinc application and enhanced by zinc chelation. Blocking T-type Ca(2+) channels prevented the effect of zinc chelation. When recording from dentate fast-spiking interneurones, zinc chelation facilitated T-type Ca(2+) currents, increased action potential half-width and decreased spike threshold. It also increased the offset of the input-output relation in a manner consistent with enhanced excitability. In granule cells, chelation of zinc reduced the time window for the integration of glutamatergic inputs originating from perforant path synapses, resulting in reduced spike transfer. Thus, zinc-mediated modulation of dentate interneurone excitability and GABA release regulates information flow to local targets and hippocampal networks.

  19. Endogenous zinc depresses GABAergic transmission via T-type Ca2+ channels and broadens the time window for integration of glutamatergic inputs in dentate granule cells

    PubMed Central

    Grauert, Antonia; Engel, Dominique; Ruiz, Arnaud J

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Zinc actions on synaptic transmission span the modulation of neurotransmitter receptors, transporters, activation of intracellular cascades and alterations in gene expression. Whether and how zinc affects inhibitory synaptic signalling in the dentate gyrus remains largely unexplored. We found that mono- and di-synaptic GABAergic inputs onto dentate granule cells were reversibly depressed by exogenous zinc application and enhanced by zinc chelation. Blocking T-type Ca2+ channels prevented the effect of zinc chelation. When recording from dentate fast-spiking interneurones, zinc chelation facilitated T-type Ca2+ currents, increased action potential half-width and decreased spike threshold. It also increased the offset of the input–output relation in a manner consistent with enhanced excitability. In granule cells, chelation of zinc reduced the time window for the integration of glutamatergic inputs originating from perforant path synapses, resulting in reduced spike transfer. Thus, zinc-mediated modulation of dentate interneurone excitability and GABA release regulates information flow to local targets and hippocampal networks. PMID:24081159

  20. AMPA receptor inhibition by synaptically released zinc

    PubMed Central

    Kalappa, Bopanna I.; Anderson, Charles T.; Lippard, Stephen J.; Tzounopoulos, Thanos

    2015-01-01

    The vast amount of fast excitatory neurotransmission in the mammalian central nervous system is mediated by AMPA-subtype glutamate receptors (AMPARs). As a result, AMPAR-mediated synaptic transmission is implicated in nearly all aspects of brain development, function, and plasticity. Despite the central role of AMPARs in neurobiology, the fine-tuning of synaptic AMPA responses by endogenous modulators remains poorly understood. Here we provide evidence that endogenous zinc, released by single presynaptic action potentials, inhibits synaptic AMPA currents in the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) and hippocampus. Exposure to loud sound reduces presynaptic zinc levels in the DCN and abolishes zinc inhibition, implicating zinc in experience-dependent AMPAR synaptic plasticity. Our results establish zinc as an activity-dependent, endogenous modulator of AMPARs that tunes fast excitatory neurotransmission and plasticity in glutamatergic synapses. PMID:26647187

  1. Changes in action potential duration alter reliance of excitatory synaptic transmission on multiple types of Ca2+ channels in rat hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Wheeler, D B; Randall, A; Tsien, R W

    1996-04-01

    It has been established that multiple types of Ca2+ channels participate in triggering neurotransmitter release at central synapses, but there is uncertainty about the nature of their combined actions. We investigated synaptic transmission at CA3-CA1 synapses of rat hippocampal slices and asked whether the dependence on omega-CTx-GVIA-sensitive N-type channels and omega-Aga-IVA-sensitive P/Q-type Ca2+ channels can be altered by physiological mechanisms. The reliance on multiple types of Ca2+ channels was not absolute but depended strongly on the amount of Ca2+ influx through individual channels, which was manipulated by prolonging the presynaptic action potential with the K+ channel blocker 4-aminopyridine (4-AP) and by varying the extracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]o). We quantified the influence of spike broadening on Ca2+ influx through various Ca2+ channels by imposing mock action potentials on voltage-clamped cerebellar granule neurons. In field recordings of the EPSP in hippocampal slices, action potential prolongation increased the EPSP slope by 2-fold and decreased its reliance on either N-type or P/Q-type Ca2+ channels. The inhibition of synaptic transmission by N-type channel blockade was virtually eliminated in the presence of 4-AP, but it could be restored by lowering [Ca2+]o. These results rule out a scenario in which a significant fraction of presynaptic terminals rely solely on N-type channels to trigger transmission. The change in sensitivity to the neurotoxins with 4-AP could be explained in terms of a nonlinear relationship between Ca2+ entry and synaptic strength, which rises steeply at low [Ca2+]o, but approaches saturation at high [Ca2+]o. This relationship was evaluated experimentally by varying [CA2+]o in the absence and presence of 4-AP. One consequence of this relationship is that down-modulation of presynaptic Ca2+ channels by various modulators would increase the relative impact of spike broadening greatly.

  2. Gene Expression Alterations in the Cerebellum and Granule Neurons of Cstb−/− Mouse Are Associated with Early Synaptic Changes and Inflammation

    PubMed Central

    Reinmaa, Eva; Segerstråle, Mikael; Hakala, Paula; Pehkonen, Heidi; Korpi, Esa R.; Tyynelä, Jaana; Taira, Tomi; Hovatta, Iiris; Kopra, Outi; Lehesjoki, Anna-Elina

    2014-01-01

    Progressive myoclonus epilepsy of Unverricht-Lundborg type (EPM1) is an autosomal recessively inherited neurodegenerative disease, manifesting with myoclonus, seizures and ataxia, caused by mutations in the cystatin B (CSTB) gene. With the aim of understanding the molecular basis of pathogenetic events in EPM1 we characterized gene expression changes in the cerebella of pre-symptomatic postnatal day 7 (P7) and symptomatic P30 cystatin B -deficient (Cstb−/−) mice, a model for the disease, and in cultured Cstb−/− cerebellar granule cells using a pathway-based approach. Differentially expressed genes in P7 cerebella were connected to synaptic function and plasticity, and in cultured cerebellar granule cells, to cell cycle, cytoskeleton, and intracellular transport. In particular, the gene expression data pinpointed alterations in GABAergic pathway. Electrophysiological recordings from Cstb−/− cerebellar Purkinje cells revealed a shift of the balance towards decreased inhibition, yet the amount of inhibitory interneurons was not declined in young animals. Instead, we found diminished number of GABAergic terminals and reduced ligand binding to GABAA receptors in Cstb−/− cerebellum. These results suggest that alterations in GABAergic signaling could result in reduced inhibition in Cstb−/− cerebellum leading to the hyperexcitable phenotype of Cstb−/− mice. At P30, the microarray data revealed a marked upregulation of immune and defense response genes, compatible with the previously reported early glial activation that precedes neuronal degeneration. This further implies the role of early-onset neuroinflammation in the pathogenesis of EPM1. PMID:24586687

  3. Motor dysfunction and altered synaptic transmission at the parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse in mice lacking potassium channels Kv3.1 and Kv3.3.

    PubMed

    Matsukawa, Hiroshi; Wolf, Alexander M; Matsushita, Shinichi; Joho, Rolf H; Knöpfel, Thomas

    2003-08-20

    Micelacking both Kv3.1 and both Kv3.3 K+ channel alleles display severe motor deficits such as tremor, myoclonus, and ataxic gait. Micelacking one to three alleles at the Kv3.1 and Kv3.3 loci exhibit in an allele dose-dependent manner a modest degree of ataxia. Cerebellar granule cells coexpress Kv3.1 and Kv3.3 K+ channels and are therefore candidate neurons that might be involved in these behavioral deficits. Hence, we investigated the synaptic mechanisms of transmission in the parallel fiber-Purkinje cell system. Action potentials of parallel fibers were broader in mice lacking both Kv3.1 and both Kv3.3 alleles and in mice lacking both Kv3.1 and a single Kv3.3 allele compared with those of wild-type mice. The transmission of high-frequency trains of action potentials was only impaired at 200 Hz but not at 100 Hz in mice lacking both Kv3.1 and Kv3.3 genes. However, paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) at parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapses was dramatically reduced in a gene dose-dependent manner in mice lacking Kv3.1 or Kv3.3 alleles. Normal PPF could be restored by reducing the extracellular Ca2+ concentration indicating that increased activity-dependent presynaptic Ca2+ influx, at least in part caused the altered PPF in mutant mice. Induction of metabotropic glutamate receptor-mediated EPSCs was facilitated, whereas longterm depression was not impaired but rather facilitated in Kv3.1/Kv3.3 double-knockout mice. These results demonstrate the importance of Kv3 potassium channels in regulating the dynamics of synaptic transmission at the parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse and suggest a correlation between short-term plasticity at the parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse and motor performance.

  4. Elevated tonic extracellular dopamine concentration and altered dopamine modulation of synaptic activity precede dopamine loss in the striatum of mice overexpressing human α-synuclein.

    PubMed

    Lam, Hoa A; Wu, Nanping; Cely, Ingrid; Kelly, Rachel L; Hean, Sindalana; Richter, Franziska; Magen, Iddo; Cepeda, Carlos; Ackerson, Larry C; Walwyn, Wendy; Masliah, Eliezer; Chesselet, Marie-Françoise; Levine, Michael S; Maidment, Nigel T

    2011-07-01

    Overexpression or mutation of α-synuclein (α-Syn), a protein associated with presynaptic vesicles, causes familial forms of Parkinson's disease in humans and is also associated with sporadic forms of the disease. We used in vivo microdialysis, tissue content analysis, behavioral assessment, and whole-cell patch clamp recordings from striatal medium-sized spiny neurons (MSSNs) in slices to examine dopamine transmission and dopaminergic modulation of corticostriatal synaptic function in mice overexpressing human wild-type α-Syn under the Thy1 promoter (α-Syn mice). Tonic striatal extracellular dopamine and 3-methoxytyramine levels were elevated in α-Syn mice at 6 months of age, prior to any reduction in total striatal tissue content, and were accompanied by an increase in open-field activity. Dopamine clearance and amphetamine-induced dopamine efflux were unchanged. The frequency of MSSN spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) was lower in α-Syn mice. Amphetamine reduced sEPSC frequency in wild types (WTs) but produced no effect in α-Syn mice. Furthermore, whereas quinpirole reduced and sulpiride increased sEPSC frequency in WT mice, they produced the opposite effects in α-Syn mice. These observations indicate that overexpression of α-Syn alters dopamine efflux and D2 receptor modulation of corticostriatal glutamate release at a young age. At 14 months of age, the α-Syn mice presented with significantly lower striatal tissue dopamine and tyrosine hydroxylase content relative to WT littermates, accompanied by an L-DOPA-reversible sensory motor deficit. Together, these data further validate this transgenic mouse line as a slowly progressing model of Parkinson's disease and provide evidence for early dopamine synaptic dysfunction prior to loss of striatal dopamine. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  5. Altered Intrinsic Pyramidal Neuron Properties and Pathway-Specific Synaptic Dysfunction Underlie Aberrant Hippocampal Network Function in a Mouse Model of Tauopathy

    PubMed Central

    Booth, Clair A.; Witton, Jonathan; Nowacki, Jakub; Tsaneva-Atanasova, Krasimira; Jones, Matthew W.; Randall, Andrew D.

    2016-01-01

    The formation and deposition of tau protein aggregates is proposed to contribute to cognitive impairments in dementia by disrupting neuronal function in brain regions, including the hippocampus. We used a battery of in vivo and in vitro electrophysiological recordings in the rTg4510 transgenic mouse model, which overexpresses a mutant form of human tau protein, to investigate the effects of tau pathology on hippocampal neuronal function in area CA1 of 7- to 8-month-old mice, an age point at which rTg4510 animals exhibit advanced tau pathology and progressive neurodegeneration. In vitro recordings revealed shifted theta-frequency resonance properties of CA1 pyramidal neurons, deficits in synaptic transmission at Schaffer collateral synapses, and blunted plasticity and imbalanced inhibition at temporoammonic synapses. These changes were associated with aberrant CA1 network oscillations, pyramidal neuron bursting, and spatial information coding in vivo. Our findings relate tauopathy-associated changes in cellular neurophysiology to altered behavior-dependent network function. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Dementia is characterized by the loss of learning and memory ability. The deposition of tau protein aggregates in the brain is a pathological hallmark of dementia; and the hippocampus, a brain structure known to be critical in processing learning and memory, is one of the first and most heavily affected regions. Our results show that, in area CA1 of hippocampus, a region involved in spatial learning and memory, tau pathology is associated with specific disturbances in synaptic, cellular, and network-level function, culminating in the aberrant encoding of spatial information and spatial memory impairment. These studies identify several novel ways in which hippocampal information processing may be disrupted in dementia, which may provide targets for future therapeutic intervention. PMID:26758828

  6. Microglial activation enhances associative taste memory through purinergic modulation of glutamatergic neurotransmission.

    PubMed

    Delpech, Jean-Christophe; Saucisse, Nicolas; Parkes, Shauna L; Lacabanne, Chloe; Aubert, Agnes; Casenave, Fabrice; Coutureau, Etienne; Sans, Nathalie; Layé, Sophie; Ferreira, Guillaume; Nadjar, Agnes

    2015-02-18

    The cerebral innate immune system is able to modulate brain functioning and cognitive processes. During activation of the cerebral innate immune system, inflammatory factors produced by microglia, such as cytokines and adenosine triphosphate (ATP), have been directly linked to modulation of glutamatergic system on one hand and learning and memory functions on the other hand. However, the cellular mechanisms by which microglial activation modulates cognitive processes are still unclear. Here, we used taste memory tasks, highly dependent on glutamatergic transmission in the insular cortex, to investigate the behavioral and cellular impacts of an inflammation restricted to this cortical area in rats. We first show that intrainsular infusion of the endotoxin lipopolysaccharide induces a local inflammation and increases glutamatergic AMPA, but not NMDA, receptor expression at the synaptic level. This cortical inflammation also enhances associative, but not incidental, taste memory through increase of glutamatergic AMPA receptor trafficking. Moreover, we demonstrate that ATP, but not proinflammatory cytokines, is responsible for inflammation-induced enhancement of both associative taste memory and AMPA receptor expression in insular cortex. In conclusion, we propose that inflammation restricted to the insular cortex enhances associative taste memory through a purinergic-dependent increase of glutamatergic AMPA receptor expression at the synapse. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/353022-12$15.00/0.

  7. Isoflurane inhibits synaptic vesicle exocytosis through reduced Ca2+ influx, not Ca2+-exocytosis coupling

    PubMed Central

    Baumgart, Joel P.; Zhou, Zhen-Yu; Hara, Masato; Cook, Daniel C.; Hoppa, Michael B.; Ryan, Timothy A.; Hemmings, Hugh C.

    2015-01-01

    Identifying presynaptic mechanisms of general anesthetics is critical to understanding their effects on synaptic transmission. We show that the volatile anesthetic isoflurane inhibits synaptic vesicle (SV) exocytosis at nerve terminals in dissociated rat hippocampal neurons through inhibition of presynaptic Ca2+ influx without significantly altering the Ca2+ sensitivity of SV exocytosis. A clinically relevant concentration of isoflurane (0.7 mM) inhibited changes in [Ca2+]i driven by single action potentials (APs) by 25 ± 3%, which in turn led to 62 ± 3% inhibition of single AP-triggered exocytosis at 4 mM extracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]e). Lowering external Ca2+ to match the isoflurane-induced reduction in Ca2+ entry led to an equivalent reduction in exocytosis. These data thus indicate that anesthetic inhibition of neurotransmitter release from small SVs occurs primarily through reduced axon terminal Ca2+ entry without significant direct effects on Ca2+-exocytosis coupling or on the SV fusion machinery. Isoflurane inhibition of exocytosis and Ca2+ influx was greater in glutamatergic compared with GABAergic nerve terminals, consistent with selective inhibition of excitatory synaptic transmission. Such alteration in the balance of excitatory to inhibitory transmission could mediate reduced neuronal interactions and network-selective effects observed in the anesthetized central nervous system. PMID:26351670

  8. Working Memory Impairment in Calcineurin Knock-out Mice Is Associated with Alterations in Synaptic Vesicle Cycling and Disruption of High-Frequency Synaptic and Network Activity in Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Cottrell, Jeffrey R.; Levenson, Jonathan M.; Kim, Sung Hyun; Gibson, Helen E.; Richardson, Kristen A.; Sivula, Michael; Li, Bing; Ashford, Crystle J.; Heindl, Karen A.; Babcock, Ryan J.; Rose, David M.; Hempel, Chris M.; Wiig, Kjesten A.; Laeng, Pascal; Levin, Margaret E.; Ryan, Timothy A.

    2013-01-01

    Working memory is an essential component of higher cognitive function, and its impairment is a core symptom of multiple CNS disorders, including schizophrenia. Neuronal mechanisms supporting working memory under normal conditions have been described and include persistent, high-frequency activity of prefrontal cortical neurons. However, little is known about the molecular and cellular basis of working memory dysfunction in the context of neuropsychiatric disorders. To elucidate synaptic and neuronal mechanisms of working memory dysfunction, we have performed a comprehensive analysis of a mouse model of schizophrenia, the forebrain-specific calcineurin knock-out mouse. Biochemical analyses of cortical tissue from these mice revealed a pronounced hyperphosphorylation of synaptic vesicle cycling proteins known to be necessary for high-frequency synaptic transmission. Examination of the synaptic vesicle cycle in calcineurin-deficient neurons demonstrated an impairment of vesicle release enhancement during periods of intense stimulation. Moreover, brain slice and in vivo electrophysiological analyses showed that loss of calcineurin leads to a gene dose-dependent disruption of high-frequency synaptic transmission and network activity in the PFC, correlating with selective working memory impairment. Finally, we showed that levels of dynamin I, a key presynaptic protein and calcineurin substrate, are significantly reduced in prefrontal cortical samples from schizophrenia patients, extending the disease relevance of our findings. Our data provide support for a model in which impaired synaptic vesicle cycling represents a critical node for disease pathologies underlying the cognitive deficits in schizophrenia. PMID:23825400

  9. The cell-autonomous role of excitatory synaptic transmission in the regulation of neuronal structure and function.

    PubMed

    Lu, Wei; Bushong, Eric A; Shih, Tiffany P; Ellisman, Mark H; Nicoll, Roger A

    2013-05-08

    The cell-autonomous role of synaptic transmission in the regulation of neuronal structural and electrical properties is unclear. We have now employed a genetic approach to eliminate glutamatergic synaptic transmission onto individual CA1 pyramidal neurons in a mosaic fashion in vivo. Surprisingly, while electrical properties are profoundly affected in these neurons, as well as inhibitory synaptic transmission, we found little perturbation of neuronal morphology, demonstrating a functional segregation of excitatory synaptic transmission from neuronal morphological development.

  10. Familial hemiplegic migraine type-1 mutated cav2.1 calcium channels alter inhibitory and excitatory synaptic transmission in the lateral superior olive of mice.

    PubMed

    Inchauspe, Carlota González; Pilati, Nadia; Di Guilmi, Mariano N; Urbano, Francisco J; Ferrari, Michel D; van den Maagdenberg, Arn M J M; Forsythe, Ian D; Uchitel, Osvaldo D

    2015-01-01

    CaV2.1 Ca(2+) channels play a key role in triggering neurotransmitter release and mediating synaptic transmission. Familial hemiplegic migraine type-1 (FHM-1) is caused by missense mutations in the CACNA1A gene that encodes the α1A pore-forming subunit of CaV2.1 Ca(2+) channels. We used knock-in (KI) transgenic mice harbouring the pathogenic FHM-1 mutation R192Q to study inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmission in the principle neurons of the lateral superior olive (LSO) in the auditory brainstem. We tested if the R192Q FHM-1 mutation differentially affects excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission, disturbing the normal balance between excitation and inhibition in this nucleus. Whole cell patch-clamp was used to measure neurotransmitter elicited excitatory (EPSCs) and inhibitory (IPSCs) postsynaptic currents in wild-type (WT) and R192Q KI mice. Our results showed that the FHM-1 mutation in CaV2.1 channels has multiple effects. Evoked EPSC amplitudes were smaller whereas evoked and miniature IPSC amplitudes were larger in R192Q KI compared to WT mice. In addition, in R192Q KI mice, the release probability was enhanced compared to WT, at both inhibitory (0.53 ± 0.02 vs. 0.44 ± 0.01, P = 2.10(-5), Student's t-test) and excitatory synapses (0.60 ± 0.03 vs. 0.45 ± 0.02, P = 4 10(-6), Student's t-test). Vesicle pool size was diminished in R192Q KI mice compared to WT mice (68 ± 6 vs 91 ± 7, P = 0.008, inhibitory; 104 ± 13 vs 335 ± 30, P = 10(-6), excitatory, Student's t-test). R192Q KI mice present enhanced short-term plasticity. Repetitive stimulation of the afferent axons caused short-term depression (STD) of E/IPSCs that recovered significantly faster in R192Q KI mice compared to WT. This supports the hypothesis of a gain-of-function of the CaV2.1 channels in R192Q KI mice, which alters the balance of excitatory/inhibitory inputs and could also have implications in the altered cortical excitability responsible for FHM

  11. 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

  12. Genomic Convergence Analysis of Schizophrenia: mRNA Sequencing Reveals Altered Synaptic Vesicular Transport in Post-Mortem Cerebellum

    PubMed Central

    Mudge, Joann; Miller, Neil A.; Khrebtukova, Irina; Lindquist, Ingrid E.; May, Gregory D.; Huntley, Jim J.; Luo, Shujun; Zhang, Lu; van Velkinburgh, Jennifer C.; Farmer, Andrew D.; Lewis, Sharon; Beavis, William D.; Schilkey, Faye D.; Virk, Selene M.; Black, C. Forrest; Myers, M. Kathy; Mader, Lar C.; Langley, Ray J.; Utsey, John P.; Kim, Ryan W.; Roberts, Rosalinda C.; Khalsa, Sat Kirpal; Garcia, Meredith; Ambriz-Griffith, Victoria; Harlan, Richard; Czika, Wendy; Martin, Stanton; Wolfinger, Russell D.; Perrone-Bizzozero, Nora I.; Schroth, Gary P.; Kingsmore, Stephen F.

    2008-01-01

    Schizophrenia (SCZ) is a common, disabling mental illness with high heritability but complex, poorly understood genetic etiology. As the first phase of a genomic convergence analysis of SCZ, we generated 16.7 billion nucleotides of short read, shotgun sequences of cDNA from post-mortem cerebellar cortices of 14 patients and six, matched controls. A rigorous analysis pipeline was developed for analysis of digital gene expression studies. Sequences aligned to approximately 33,200 transcripts in each sample, with average coverage of 450 reads per gene. Following adjustments for confounding clinical, sample and experimental sources of variation, 215 genes differed significantly in expression between cases and controls. Golgi apparatus, vesicular transport, membrane association, Zinc binding and regulation of transcription were over-represented among differentially expressed genes. Twenty three genes with altered expression and involvement in presynaptic vesicular transport, Golgi function and GABAergic neurotransmission define a unifying molecular hypothesis for dysfunction in cerebellar cortex in SCZ. PMID:18985160

  13. Excitatory synapses are stronger in the hippocampus of Rett syndrome mice due to altered synaptic trafficking of AMPA-type glutamate receptors.

    PubMed

    Li, Wei; Xu, Xin; Pozzo-Miller, Lucas

    2016-03-15

    Deficits in long-term potentiation (LTP) at central excitatory synapses are thought to contribute to cognitive impairments in neurodevelopmental disorders associated with intellectual disability and autism. Using the methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (Mecp2) knockout (KO) mouse model of Rett syndrome, we show that naïve excitatory synapses onto hippocampal pyramidal neurons of symptomatic mice have all of the hallmarks of potentiated synapses. Stronger Mecp2 KO synapses failed to undergo LTP after either theta-burst afferent stimulation or pairing afferent stimulation with postsynaptic depolarization. On the other hand, basal synaptic strength and LTP were not affected in slices from younger presymptomatic Mecp2 KO mice. Furthermore, spine synapses in pyramidal neurons from symptomatic Mecp2 KO are larger and do not grow in size or incorporate GluA1 subunits after electrical or chemical LTP. Our data suggest that LTP is occluded in Mecp2 KO mice by already potentiated synapses. The higher surface levels of GluA1-containing receptors are consistent with altered expression levels of proteins involved in AMPA receptor trafficking, suggesting previously unidentified targets for therapeutic intervention for Rett syndrome and other MECP2-related disorders.

  14. Excitatory synapses are stronger in the hippocampus of Rett syndrome mice due to altered synaptic trafficking of AMPA-type glutamate receptors

    PubMed Central

    Li, Wei; Xu, Xin

    2016-01-01

    Deficits in long-term potentiation (LTP) at central excitatory synapses are thought to contribute to cognitive impairments in neurodevelopmental disorders associated with intellectual disability and autism. Using the methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (Mecp2) knockout (KO) mouse model of Rett syndrome, we show that naïve excitatory synapses onto hippocampal pyramidal neurons of symptomatic mice have all of the hallmarks of potentiated synapses. Stronger Mecp2 KO synapses failed to undergo LTP after either theta-burst afferent stimulation or pairing afferent stimulation with postsynaptic depolarization. On the other hand, basal synaptic strength and LTP were not affected in slices from younger presymptomatic Mecp2 KO mice. Furthermore, spine synapses in pyramidal neurons from symptomatic Mecp2 KO are larger and do not grow in size or incorporate GluA1 subunits after electrical or chemical LTP. Our data suggest that LTP is occluded in Mecp2 KO mice by already potentiated synapses. The higher surface levels of GluA1-containing receptors are consistent with altered expression levels of proteins involved in AMPA receptor trafficking, suggesting previously unidentified targets for therapeutic intervention for Rett syndrome and other MECP2-related disorders. PMID:26929363

  15. Inhibition of Ca2+-activated large-conductance K+ channel activity alters synaptic AMPA receptor phenotype in mouse cerebellar stellate cells.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yu; Savtchouk, Iaroslav; Acharjee, Shoana; Liu, Siqiong June

    2011-07-01

    Many fast-spiking inhibitory interneurons, including cerebellar stellate cells, fire brief action potentials and express α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA)-type glutamate receptors (AMPAR) that are permeable to Ca(2+) and do not contain the GluR2 subunit. In a recent study, we found that increasing action potential duration promotes GluR2 gene transcription in stellate cells. We have now tested the prediction that activation of potassium channels that control the duration of action potentials can suppress the expression of GluR2-containing AMPARs at stellate cell synapses. We find that large-conductance Ca(2+)-activated potassium (BK) channels mediate a large proportion of the depolarization-evoked noninactivating potassium current in stellate cells. Pharmacological blockade of BK channels prolonged the action potential duration in postsynaptic stellate cells and altered synaptic AMPAR subtype from GluR2-lacking to GluR2-containing Ca(2+)-impermeable AMPARs. An L-type channel blocker abolished an increase in Ca(2+) entry that was associated with spike broadening and also prevented the BK channel blocker-induced switch in AMPAR phenotype. Thus blocking BK potassium channels prolongs the action potential duration and increases the expression of GluR2-containing receptors at the synapse by enhancing Ca(2+) entry in cerebellar stellate cells.

  16. Inhibition of Ca2+-activated large-conductance K+ channel activity alters synaptic AMPA receptor phenotype in mouse cerebellar stellate cells

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yu; Savtchouk, Iaroslav; Acharjee, Shoana

    2011-01-01

    Many fast-spiking inhibitory interneurons, including cerebellar stellate cells, fire brief action potentials and express α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA)-type glutamate receptors (AMPAR) that are permeable to Ca2+ and do not contain the GluR2 subunit. In a recent study, we found that increasing action potential duration promotes GluR2 gene transcription in stellate cells. We have now tested the prediction that activation of potassium channels that control the duration of action potentials can suppress the expression of GluR2-containing AMPARs at stellate cell synapses. We find that large-conductance Ca2+-activated potassium (BK) channels mediate a large proportion of the depolarization-evoked noninactivating potassium current in stellate cells. Pharmacological blockade of BK channels prolonged the action potential duration in postsynaptic stellate cells and altered synaptic AMPAR subtype from GluR2-lacking to GluR2-containing Ca2+-impermeable AMPARs. An L-type channel blocker abolished an increase in Ca2+ entry that was associated with spike broadening and also prevented the BK channel blocker-induced switch in AMPAR phenotype. Thus blocking BK potassium channels prolongs the action potential duration and increases the expression of GluR2-containing receptors at the synapse by enhancing Ca2+ entry in cerebellar stellate cells. PMID:21562198

  17. A truncating mutation in Alzheimer's disease inactivates neuroligin-1 synaptic function.

    PubMed

    Tristán-Clavijo, Enriqueta; Camacho-Garcia, Rafael J; Robles-Lanuza, Estefanía; Ruiz, Agustín; van der Zee, Julie; Van Broeckhoven, Christine; Hernandez, Isabel; Martinez-Mir, Amalia; Scholl, Francisco G

    2015-12-01

    Neuroligins (NLs) are cell-adhesion proteins that regulate synapse formation and function. Neuroligin 1 (NL1) promotes the formation of glutamatergic synapses and mediates long-term potentiation in mouse models. Thus, altered NL1 function could mediate the synaptic and memory deficits associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here, we describe a frameshift mutation, c.875_876insTT, in the neuroligin 1 gene (NLGN1) in a patient with AD and familial history of AD. The insertion generates a premature stop codon in the extracellular domain of NL1 (p.Thr271fs). Expression of mutant NL1 shows accumulation of truncated NL1 proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum. In hippocampal neurons, the p.Thr271fs mutation abolishes the ability of NL1 to promote the formation of glutamatergic synapses. Our data support a role for inactivating mutations in NLGN1 in AD. Previous studies have reported rare mutations in X-linked NLGNL3 and NLGNL4 genes in patients with autism, which result in the inactivation of the mutant alleles. Therefore, together with a role in neurodevelopmental disorders, altered NL function could underlie the molecular mechanisms associated with brain diseases in the elderly.

  18. Prenatal minocycline treatment alters synaptic protein expression, and rescues reduced mother call rate in oxytocin receptor-knockout mice.

    PubMed

    Miyazaki, Shinji; Hiraoka, Yuichi; Hidema, Shizu; Nishimori, Katsuhiko

    2016-04-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired communication, difficulty in companionship, repetitive behaviors and restricted interests. Recent studies have shown amelioration of ASD symptoms by intranasal administration of oxytocin and demonstrated the association of polymorphisms in the oxytocin receptor (Oxtr) gene with ASD patients. Deficient pruning of synapses by microglial cells in the brain has been proposed as potential mechanism of ASD. Other researchers have shown specific activation of microglial cells in brain regions related to sociality in patients with ASD. Although the roles of Oxtr and microglia in ASD are in the spotlight, the relationship between them remains to be elucidated. In this study, we found abnormal activation of microglial cells and a reduction of postsynaptic density protein PSD95 expression in the Oxtr-deficient brain. Moreover, pharmacological inhibition of microglia during development can alter the expression of PSD95 and ameliorate abnormal mother-infant communication in Oxtr-deficient mice. Our results suggest that microglial abnormality is a potential mechanism of the development of Oxt/Oxtr mediated ASD-like phenotypes.

  19. Stress and corticosterone increase the readily releasable pool of glutamate vesicles in synaptic terminals of prefrontal and frontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Treccani, G; Musazzi, L; Perego, C; Milanese, M; Nava, N; Bonifacino, T; Lamanna, J; Malgaroli, A; Drago, F; Racagni, G; Nyengaard, J R; Wegener, G; Bonanno, G; Popoli, M

    2014-04-01

    Stress and glucocorticoids alter glutamatergic transmission, and the outcome of stress may range from plasticity enhancing effects to noxious, maladaptive changes. We have previously demonstrated that acute stress rapidly increases glutamate release in prefrontal and frontal cortex via glucocorticoid receptor and accumulation of presynaptic SNARE complex. Here we compared the ex vivo effects of acute stress on glutamate release with those of in vitro application of corticosterone, to analyze whether acute effect of stress on glutamatergic transmission is mediated by local synaptic action of corticosterone. We found that acute stress increases both the readily releasable pool (RRP) of vesicles and depolarization-evoked glutamate release, while application in vitro of corticosterone rapidly increases the RRP, an effect dependent on synaptic receptors for the hormone, but does not induce glutamate release for up to 20 min. These findings indicate that corticosterone mediates the enhancement of glutamate release induced by acute stress, and the rapid non-genomic action of the hormone is necessary but not sufficient for this effect.

  20. Chronic Exposure to Anabolic Androgenic Steroids Alters Activity and Synaptic Function in Neuroendocrine Control Regions of the Female Mouse

    PubMed Central

    Penatti, Carlos A.A.; Oberlander, Joseph G.; Davis, Matthew C.; Porter, Donna M.; Henderson, Leslie P.

    2011-01-01

    Summary Disruption of reproductive function is a hallmark of abuse of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) in female subjects. To understand the central actions of AAS, patch clamp recordings were made in estrous, diestrous and AAS-treated mice from gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons, neurons in the medial preoptic area (mPOA) and neurons in the anteroventroperiventricular nucleus (AVPV); regions known to provide GABAergic and kisspeptin inputs to the GnRH cells. Action potential (AP) frequency was significantly higher in GnRH neurons of estrous mice than in AAS-treated or diestrous animals. No significant differences in AAS-treated, estrous or diestrous mice were evident in the amplitude or kinetics of spontaneous postsynaptic currents (sPCSs), miniature PSCs or tonic currents mediated by GABAA receptors or in GABAA receptor subunit expression in GnRH neurons. In contrast, the frequency of GABAA receptor-mediated sPSCs in GnRH neurons showed an inverse correlation with AP frequency across the three hormonal states. Surprisingly, AP activity in the medial preoptic area (mPOA), a likely source of GABAergic afferents to GnRH cells, did not vary in concert with the sPSCs in the GnRH neurons. Furthermore, pharmacological blockade of GABAA receptors did not alter the pattern in which there was lower AP frequency in GnRH neurons of AAS-treated and diestrous versus estrous mice. These data suggest that AAS do not impose their effects either directly on GnRH neurons or on putative GABAergic afferents in the mPOA. AP activity recorded from neurons in kisspeptin-rich regions of the anteroventroperiventricular nucleus (AVPV) and the expression of kisspeptin mRNA and peptide did vary coordinately with AP activity in GnRH neurons. Our data demonstrate that AAS treatment imposes a “diestrous-like” pattern of activity in GnRH neurons and suggest that this effect may arise from suppression of presynaptic kisspeptin-mediated excitatory drive arising from the AVPV. The

  1. Cocaine Promotes Coincidence Detection and Lowers Induction Threshold during Hebbian Associative Synaptic Potentiation in Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Ruan, Hongyu; Yao, Wei-Dong

    2017-01-25

    Addictive drugs usurp neural plasticity mechanisms that normally serve reward-related learning and memory, primarily by evoking changes in glutamatergic synaptic strength in the mesocorticolimbic dopamine circuitry. Here, we show that repeated cocaine exposure in vivo does not alter synaptic strength in the mouse prefrontal cortex during an early period of withdrawal, but instead modifies a Hebbian quantitative synaptic learning rule by broadening the temporal window and lowers the induction threshold for spike-timing-dependent LTP (t-LTP). After repeated, but not single, daily cocaine injections, t-LTP in layer V pyramidal neurons is induced at +30 ms, a normally ineffective timing interval for t-LTP induction in saline-exposed mice. This cocaine-induced, extended-timing t-LTP lasts for ∼1 week after terminating cocaine and is accompanied by an increased susceptibility to potentiation by fewer pre-post spike pairs, indicating a reduced t-LTP induction threshold. Basal synaptic strength and the maximal attainable t-LTP magnitude remain unchanged after cocaine exposure. We further show that the cocaine facilitation of t-LTP induction is caused by sensitized D1-cAMP/protein kinase A dopamine signaling in pyramidal neurons, which then pathologically recruits voltage-gated l-type Ca(2+) channels that synergize with GluN2A-containing NMDA receptors to drive t-LTP at extended timing. Our results illustrate a mechanism by which cocaine, acting on a key neuromodulation pathway, modifies the coincidence detection window during Hebbian plasticity to facilitate associative synaptic potentiation in prefrontal excitatory circuits. By modifying rules that govern activity-dependent synaptic plasticity, addictive drugs can derail the experience-driven neural circuit remodeling process important for executive control of reward and addiction. It is believed that addictive drugs often render an addict's brain reward system hypersensitive, leaving the individual more susceptible to

  2. Medial prefrontal cortex inversely regulates toluene-induced changes in markers of synaptic plasticity of mesolimbic dopamine neurons

    PubMed Central

    Beckley, Jacob T.; Evins, Caitlin E.; Fedarovich, Hleb; Gilstrap, Meghin J.; Woodward, John J.

    2013-01-01

    Toluene is a volatile solvent that is intentionally inhaled by children, adolescents and adults for its intoxicating effects. While voluntary use of toluene suggests that it possesses rewarding properties and abuse potential, it is unknown whether toluene alters excitatory synaptic transmission in reward sensitive dopamine neurons like other drugs of abuse. Here, using a combination of retrograde labeling and slice electrophysiology, we show that a brief in vivo exposure of rats to a behaviorally relevant concentration of toluene vapor enhances glutamatergic synaptic strength of dopamine (DA) neurons projecting to nucleus accumbens core and medial shell neurons. This effect persisted for up to 3 days in mesoaccumbens core DA neurons and for at least 21 days in those projecting to the medial shell. In contrast, toluene vapor exposure had no effect on synaptic strength of DA neurons that project to the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Furthermore, infusion of GABAergic modulators into the mPFC prior to vapor exposure to pharmacologically manipulate output, inhibited or potentiated toluene's action on mesoaccumbens DA neurons. Taken together, the results of these studies indicate that toluene induces a target-selective increase in mesolimbic DA neuron synaptic transmission and strongly implicates the mPFC as an important regulator of drug-induced plasticity of mesolimbic dopamine neurons. PMID:23303956

  3. Presynaptic establishment of the synaptic cleft extracellular matrix is required for post-synaptic differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Rohrbough, Jeffrey; Rushton, Emma; Woodruff, Elvin; Fergestad, Tim; Vigneswaran, Krishanthan; Broadie, Kendal

    2007-01-01

    Formation and regulation of excitatory glutamatergic synapses is essential for shaping neural circuits throughout development. In a Drosophila genetic screen for synaptogenesis mutants, we identified mind the gap (mtg), which encodes a secreted, extracellular N-glycosaminoglycan-binding protein. MTG is expressed neuronally and detected in the synaptic cleft, and is required to form the specialized transsynaptic matrix that links the presynaptic active zone with the post-synaptic glutamate receptor (GluR) domain. Null mtg embryonic mutant synapses exhibit greatly reduced GluR function, and a corresponding loss of localized GluR domains. All known post-synaptic signaling/scaffold proteins functioning upstream of GluR localization are also grossly reduced or mislocalized in mtg mutants, including the dPix–dPak–Dock cascade and the Dlg/PSD-95 scaffold. Ubiquitous or neuronally targeted mtg RNA interference (RNAi) similarly reduce post-synaptic assembly, whereas post-synaptically targeted RNAi has no effect, indicating that presynaptic MTG induces and maintains the post-synaptic pathways driving GluR domain formation. These findings suggest that MTG is secreted from the presynaptic terminal to shape the extracellular synaptic cleft domain, and that the cleft domain functions to mediate transsynaptic signals required for post-synaptic development. PMID:17901219

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-09

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

  5. Fragile X mental retardation protein regulates synaptic and behavioral plasticity to repeated cocaine administration.

    PubMed

    Smith, Laura N; Jedynak, Jakub P; Fontenot, Miles R; Hale, Carly F; Dietz, Karen C; Taniguchi, Makoto; Thomas, Feba S; Zirlin, Benjamin C; Birnbaum, Shari G; Huber, Kimberly M; Thomas, Mark J; Cowan, Christopher W

    2014-05-07

    Repeated cocaine exposure causes persistent, maladaptive alterations in brain and behavior, and hope for effective therapeutics lies in understanding these processes. We describe here an essential role for fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), an RNA-binding protein and regulator of dendritic protein synthesis, in cocaine conditioned place preference, behavioral sensitization, and motor stereotypy. Cocaine reward deficits in FMRP-deficient mice stem from elevated mGluR5 (or GRM5) function, similar to a subset of fragile X symptoms, and do not extend to natural reward. We find that FMRP functions in the adult nucleus accumbens (NAc), a critical addiction-related brain region, to mediate behavioral sensitization but not cocaine reward. FMRP-deficient mice also exhibit several abnormalities in NAc medium spiny neurons, including reduced presynaptic function and premature changes in dendritic morphology and glutamatergic neurotransmission following repeated cocaine treatment. Together, our findings reveal FMRP as a critical mediator of cocaine-induced behavioral and synaptic plasticity.

  6. Obesogenic diet intake during pregnancy programs aberrant synaptic plasticity and addiction-like behavior to a palatable food in offspring.

    PubMed

    Camacho, Alberto; Montalvo-Martinez, Larisa; Cardenas-Perez, Robbi E; Fuentes-Mera, Lizeth; Garza-Ocañas, Lourdes

    2017-07-14

    Contextual food conditioned behaviors require plasticity of glutamatergic neurotransmission in the reward system, involving changes in the expression of including a-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole 4-propionate receptors (AMPA), N-methyl-d-aspartic acid (NMDA) and metabotropic glutamate 2,3 (mGlur 2,3). However, the role of changes in glutamatergic synaptic markers on energy-dense palatable food preference during development has not been described. Here, we determine the effect of nutritional programing during gestation on fat food choices using a conditioned place preference (CPP) test and an operant training response and its effect on glutamatergic markers in the nucleus accumbens (Nac) shell and prefrontal cortex (PFC). Our data showed that rats displayed preference for palatable fat food and an increase in caloric intake when compared to a chow diet. Notably, 74% of rats showing a preference for fat food intake correlate with a positive HFD-paired score whereas 26% failed to get HFD-conditioned. Also, male rats trained under an operant training response schedule (FR1, FR5 and PR) showed high and low responder groups to work for food. Notably, hypercaloric nutritional programing of female rats leads to exacerbation for reinforcers in female offspring compared to offspring from chow diet. Finally, we found that an operant training response to palatable reinforcers correlates with upregulation of mGlur 2,3 in the NAc shell and PFC of male rats and female offspring. Also, we found selective Nr1 upregulation in NAc shell and the PFC of female offspring. Our data suggest that nutritional programing by hypercaloric intake leads to incentive motivation to work for food and synaptic plasticity alteration in the mesolimbic system. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Glutamatergic targets for new alcohol medications

    PubMed Central

    Spanagel, Rainer; Krystal, John H.

    2013-01-01

    Rationale An increasingly compelling literature points to a major role for the glutamate system in mediating the effects of alcohol on behavior and the pathophysiology of alcoholism. Preclinical studies indicate that glutamate signaling mediates certain aspects of ethanol’s intoxicating and rewarding effects, and undergoes adaptations following chronic alcohol exposure that may contribute to the withdrawal, craving and compulsive drug-seeking that drive alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Objectives We discuss the potential for targeting the glutamate system as a novel pharmacotherapeutic approach to treating alcohol use disorders, focusing on five major components of the glutamate system: the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor and specific NMDA subunits, the glycineB site on the NMDA receptors (NMDAR), L-alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazole-4-propionic acid ionotropic (AMPA) and kainate (KAR) receptors, metabotropic receptors (mGluR), and glutamate transporters. Results Chronic alcohol abuse produces a hyperglutamatergic state, characterized by elevated extracellular glutamate and altered glutamate receptors and transporters. Pharmacologically manipulating glutamatergic neurotransmission alters alcohol-related behaviors including intoxication, withdrawal, and alcohol-seeking, in rodents and human subjects. Blocking NMDA and AMPA receptors reduces alcohol consumption in rodents, but side-effects may limit this as a therapeutic approach. Selectively targeting NMDA and AMPA receptor subunits (e.g., GluN2B, GluA3), or the NMDAR glycineB site offers an alternative approach. Blocking mGluR5 potently affects various alcohol-related behaviors in rodents, and mGluR2/3 agonism also suppresses alcohol consumption. Finally, glutamate transporter upregulation may mitigate behavioral and neurotoxic sequelae of excess glutamate caused by alcohol. Conclusions Despite the many challenges that remain, targeting the glutamate system offers genuine promise for developing new

  8. Cannabinoids: Glutamatergic Transmission and Kynurenines.

    PubMed

    Colín-González, Ana Laura; Aguilera, Gabriela; Santamaría, Abel

    2016-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) comprises a complex of receptors, enzymes, and endogenous agonists that are widely distributed in the central nervous system of mammals and participates in a considerable number of neuromodulatory functions, including neurotransmission, immunological control, and cell signaling. In turn, the kynurenine pathway (KP) is the most relevant metabolic route for tryptophan degradation to form the metabolic precursor NAD(+). Recent studies demonstrate that the control exerted by the pharmacological manipulation of the ECS on the glutamatergic system in the brain may offer key information not only on the development of psychiatric disorders like psychosis and schizophrenia-like symptoms, but it also may constitute a solid basis for the development of therapeutic strategies to combat excitotoxic events occurring in neurological disorders like Huntington's disease (HD). Part of the evidence pointing to the last approach is based on experimental protocols demonstrating the efficacy of cannabinoids to prevent the deleterious actions of the endogenous neurotoxin and KP metabolite quinolinic acid (QUIN). These findings intuitively raise the question about what is the precise role of the ECS in tryptophan metabolism through KP and vice versa. In this chapter, we will review basic concepts on the physiology of both the ECS and the KP to finally describe those recent findings combining the components of these two systems and hypothesize the future course that the research in this emerging field will take in the next years.

  9. Low level postnatal methylmercury exposure in vivo alters developmental forms of short-term synaptic plasticity in the visual cortex of rat

    SciTech Connect

    Dasari, Sameera; Yuan, Yukun

    2009-11-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) has been previously shown to affect neurotransmitter release. Short-term synaptic plasticity (STP) is primarily related to changes in the probability of neurotransmitter release. To determine if MeHg affects STP development, we examined STP forms in the visual cortex of rat following in vivo MeHg exposure. Neonatal rats received 0 (0.9% NaCl), 0.75 or 1.5 mg/kg/day MeHg subcutaneously for 15 or 30 days beginning on postnatal day 5, after which visual cortical slices were prepared for field potential recordings. In slices prepared from rats treated with vehicle, field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) evoked by paired-pulse stimulation at 20-200 ms inter-stimulus intervals showed a depression (PPD) of the second fEPSP (fEPSP2). PPD was also seen in slices prepared from rats after 15 day treatment with 0.75 or 1.5 mg/kg/day MeHg. However, longer duration treatment (30 days) with either dose of MeHg resulted in paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) of fEPSP2 in the majority of slices examined. PPF remained observable in slices prepared from animals in which MeHg exposure had been terminated for 30 days after completion of the initial 30 day MeHg treatment, whereas slices from control animals still showed PPD. MeHg did not cause any frequency- or region-preferential effect on STP. Manipulations of [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub e} or application of the GABA{sub A} receptor antagonist bicuculline could alter the strength and polarity of MeHg-induced changes in STP. Thus, these data suggest that low level postnatal MeHg exposure interferes with the developmental transformation of STP in the visual cortex, which is a long-lasting effect.

  10. The Role of the Tripartite Glutamatergic Synapse in the Pathophysiology and Therapeutics of Mood Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Machado-Vieira, Rodrigo; Manji, Husseini K.; Zarate, Carlos A.

    2009-01-01

    Bipolar disorder (BPD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) are common, chronic, and recurrent mood disorders that affect the lives of millions of individuals worldwide. Growing evidence suggests that glutamatergic system dysfunction is directly involved in mood disorders. This article describes the role of the “tripartite glutamatergic synapse”, comprising presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons and glial cells, in the pathophysiology and therapeutics of mood disorders. Glutamatergic neurons and glia directly control synaptic and extrasynaptic glutamate levels/release through integrative effects that target glutamate excitatory amino-acid transporters, postsynaptic density proteins, ionotropic receptors (alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole (AMPA), N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), and kainate (KA)), and metabotropic receptors (mGluRs). This article also explores the glutamatergic modulators riluzole and ketamine, which are considered valuable proof of concept agents for developing the next generation of antidepressants and mood stabilizers. In therapeutically relevant paradigms, ketamine preferentially targets postsynaptic AMPA/NMDA receptors, and riluzole preferentially targets presynaptic voltage-operated channels and glia. PMID:19471044

  11. Corticotropin releasing factor and catecholamines enhance glutamatergic neurotransmission in the lateral subdivision of the central amygdala.

    PubMed

    Silberman, Yuval; Winder, Danny G

    2013-07-01

    Glutamatergic neurotransmission in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) plays an important role in many behaviors including anxiety, memory consolidation and cardiovascular responses. While these behaviors can be modulated by corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) and catecholamine signaling, the mechanism(s) by which these signals modify CeA glutamatergic neurotransmission remains unclear. Utilizing whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology recordings from neurons in the lateral subdivision of the CeA (CeAL), we show that CRF, dopamine (DA) and the β-adrenergic receptor agonist isoproterenol (ISO) all enhance the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSC) without altering sEPSC kinetics, suggesting they increase presynaptic glutamate release. The effect of CRF on sEPSCs was mediated by a combination of CRFR1 and CRFR2 receptors. While previous work from our lab suggests that CRFRs mediate the effect of catecholamines on excitatory transmission in other subregions of the extended amygdala, blockade of CRFRs in the CeAL failed to significantly alter effects of DA and ISO on glutamatergic transmission. These findings suggest that catecholamine and CRF enhancement of glutamatergic transmission onto CeAL neurons occurs via distinct mechanisms. While CRF increased spontaneous glutamate release in the CeAL, CRF caused no significant changes to optogenetically evoked glutamate release in this region. The dissociable effects of CRF on different types of glutamatergic neurotransmission suggest that CRF may specifically regulate spontaneous excitatory transmission.

  12. Reorganization of Synaptic Connections and Perineuronal Nets in the Deep Cerebellar Nuclei of Purkinje Cell Degeneration Mutant Mice

    PubMed Central

    Blosa, M.; Bursch, C.; Weigel, S.; Holzer, M.; Jäger, C.; Janke, C.; Matthews, R. T.; Arendt, T.; Morawski, M.

    2016-01-01

    The perineuronal net (PN) is a subtype of extracellular matrix appearing as a net-like structure around distinct neurons throughout the whole CNS. PNs surround the soma, proximal dendrites, and the axonal initial segment embedding synaptic terminals on the neuronal surface. Different functions of the PNs are suggested which include support of synaptic stabilization, inhibition of axonal sprouting, and control of neuronal plasticity. A number of studies provide evidence that removing PNs or PN-components results in renewed neurite growth and synaptogenesis. In a mouse model for Purkinje cell degeneration, we examined the effect of deafferentation on synaptic remodeling and modulation of PNs in the deep cerebellar nuclei. We found reduced GABAergic, enhanced glutamatergic innervations at PN-associated neurons, and altered expression of the PN-components brevican and hapln4. These data refer to a direct interaction between ECM and synapses. The altered brevican expression induced by activated astrocytes could be required for an adequate regeneration by promoting neurite growth and synaptogenesis. PMID:26819763

  13. Reorganization of Synaptic Connections and Perineuronal Nets in the Deep Cerebellar Nuclei of Purkinje Cell Degeneration Mutant Mice.

    PubMed

    Blosa, M; Bursch, C; Weigel, S; Holzer, M; Jäger, C; Janke, C; Matthews, R T; Arendt, T; Morawski, M

    2016-01-01

    The perineuronal net (PN) is a subtype of extracellular matrix appearing as a net-like structure around distinct neurons throughout the whole CNS. PNs surround the soma, proximal dendrites, and the axonal initial segment embedding synaptic terminals on the neuronal surface. Different functions of the PNs are suggested which include support of synaptic stabilization, inhibition of axonal sprouting, and control of neuronal plasticity. A number of studies provide evidence that removing PNs or PN-components results in renewed neurite growth and synaptogenesis. In a mouse model for Purkinje cell degeneration, we examined the effect of deafferentation on synaptic remodeling and modulation of PNs in the deep cerebellar nuclei. We found reduced GABAergic, enhanced glutamatergic innervations at PN-associated neurons, and altered expression of the PN-components brevican and hapln4. These data refer to a direct interaction between ECM and synapses. The altered brevican expression induced by activated astrocytes could be required for an adequate regeneration by promoting neurite growth and synaptogenesis.

  14. Synaptic Plasticity onto Dopamine Neurons Shapes Fear Learning.

    PubMed

    Pignatelli, Marco; Umanah, George Kwabena Essien; Ribeiro, Sissi Palma; Chen, Rong; Karuppagounder, Senthilkumar Senthil; Yau, Hau-Jie; Eacker, Stephen; Dawson, Valina Lynn; Dawson, Ted Murray; Bonci, Antonello

    2017-01-18

    Fear learning is a fundamental behavioral process that requires dopamine (DA) release. Experience-dependent synaptic plasticity occurs on DA neurons while an organism is engaged in aversive experiences. However, whether synaptic plasticity onto DA neurons is causally involved in aversion learning is unknown. Here, we show that a stress priming procedure enhances fear learning by engaging VTA synaptic plasticity. Moreover, we took advantage of the ability of the ATPase Thorase to regulate the internalization of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) in order to selectively manipulate glutamatergic synaptic plasticity on DA neurons. Genetic ablation of Thorase in DAT(+) neurons produced increased AMPAR surface expression and function that lead to impaired induction of both long-term depression (LTD) and long-term potentiation (LTP). Strikingly, animals lacking Thorase in DAT(+) neurons expressed greater associative learning in a fear conditioning paradigm. In conclusion, our data provide a novel, causal link between synaptic plasticity onto DA neurons and fear learning.

  15. Cell-specific gain modulation by synaptically released zinc in cortical circuits of audition.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Charles T; Kumar, Manoj; Xiong, Shanshan; Tzounopoulos, Thanos

    2017-09-09

    In many excitatory synapses, mobile zinc is found within glutamatergic vesicles and is coreleased with glutamate. Ex vivo studies established that synaptically released (synaptic) zinc inhibits excitatory neurotransmission at lower frequencies of synaptic activity but enhances steady state synaptic responses during higher frequencies of activity. However, it remains unknown how synaptic zinc affects neuronal processing in vivo. Here, we imaged the sound-evoked neuronal activity of the primary auditory cortex in awake mice. We discovered that synaptic zinc enhanced the gain of sound-evoked responses in CaMKII-expressing principal neurons, but it reduced the gain of parvalbumin- and somatostatin-expressing interneurons. This modulation was sound intensity-dependent and, in part, NMDA receptor-independent. By establishing a previously unknown link between synaptic zinc and gain control of auditory cortical processing, our findings advance understanding about cortical synaptic mechanisms and create a new framework for approaching and interpreting the role of the auditory cortex in sound processing.

  16. The multiple roles of the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in modulating glutamatergic systems in the normal and diseased nervous system.

    PubMed

    Koukouli, Fani; Maskos, Uwe

    2015-10-15

    Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) play an important role in a variety of modulatory and regulatory processes including neurotransmitter release and synaptic transmission in various brain regions of the central nervous system (CNS). Glutamate is the principal excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain and the glutamatergic system participates in the pathophysiology of several neuropsychiatric disorders. Underpinning the importance of nAChRs, many studies demonstrated that nAChRs containing the α7 subunit facilitate glutamate release. Here, we review the currently available body of experimental evidence pertaining to α7 subunit containing nAChRs in their contribution to the modulation of glutamatergic neurotransmission, and we highlight the role of α7 in synaptic plasticity, the morphological and functional maturation of the glutamatergic system and therefore its important contribution in the modulation of neural circuits of the CNS. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Wnt-5a occludes Abeta oligomer-induced depression of glutamatergic transmission in hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Cerpa, Waldo; Farías, Ginny G; Godoy, Juan A; Fuenzalida, Marco; Bonansco, Christian; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C

    2010-01-18

    Soluble amyloid-beta (Abeta;) oligomers have been recognized to be early and key intermediates in Alzheimer's disease (AD)-related synaptic dysfunction. Abeta oligomers block hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) and impair rodent spatial memory. Wnt signaling plays an important role in neural development, including synaptic differentiation. We report here that the Wnt signaling activation prevents the synaptic damage triggered by Abeta oligomers. Electrophysiological analysis of Schaffer collaterals-CA1 glutamatergic synaptic transmission in hippocampal slices indicates that Wnt-5a increases the amplitude of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSP) and both AMPA and NMDA components of the excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs), without modifying the paired pulse facilitation (PPF). Conversely, in the presence of Abeta oligomers the fEPSP and EPSCs amplitude decreased without modification of the PPF, while the postsynaptic scaffold protein (PSD-95) decreased as well. Co-perfusion of hippocampal slices with Wnt-5a and Abeta oligomers occludes against the synaptic depression of EPSCs as well as the reduction of PSD-95 clusters induced by Abeta oligomers in neuronal cultures. Taken together these results indicate that Wnt-5a and Abeta oligomers inversely modulate postsynaptic components. These results indicate that post-synaptic damage induced by Abeta oligomers in hippocampal neurons is prevented by non-canonical Wnt pathway activation.

  18. Wnt-5a occludes Aβ oligomer-induced depression of glutamatergic transmission in hippocampal neurons

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Soluble amyloid-β (Aβ;) oligomers have been recognized to be early and key intermediates in Alzheimer's disease (AD)-related synaptic dysfunction. Aβ oligomers block hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) and impair rodent spatial memory. Wnt signaling plays an important role in neural development, including synaptic differentiation. Results We report here that the Wnt signaling activation prevents the synaptic damage triggered by Aβ oligomers. Electrophysiological analysis of Schaffer collaterals-CA1 glutamatergic synaptic transmission in hippocampal slices indicates that Wnt-5a increases the amplitude of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSP) and both AMPA and NMDA components of the excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs), without modifying the paired pulse facilitation (PPF). Conversely, in the presence of Aβ oligomers the fEPSP and EPSCs amplitude decreased without modification of the PPF, while the postsynaptic scaffold protein (PSD-95) decreased as well. Co-perfusion of hippocampal slices with Wnt-5a and Aβ oligomers occludes against the synaptic depression of EPSCs as well as the reduction of PSD-95 clusters induced by Aβ oligomers in neuronal cultures. Taken together these results indicate that Wnt-5a and Aβ oligomers inversely modulate postsynaptic components. Conclusion These results indicate that post-synaptic damage induced by Aβ oligomers in hippocampal neurons is prevented by non-canonical Wnt pathway activation. PMID:20205789

  19. Reduced Anterior Cingulate Glutamatergic Concentrations in Childhood Ocd and Major Depression Versus Healthy Controls

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rosenberg, David R.; Mirza, Yousha; Russell, Aileen; Tang, Jennifer; Smith, Janet M.; Banerjee, Preeya S.; Bhandari, Rashmi; Rose, Michelle; Ivey, Jennifer; Boyd, Courtney; Moore, Gregory J.

    2004-01-01

    Objective: To examine in vivo glutamatergic neurochemical alterations in the anterior cingulate cortex of pediatric patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) without major depressive disorder (MDD) versus pediatric patients with MDD without OCD and healthy controls. Method: Single-voxel proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic examinations…

  20. Reduced Anterior Cingulate Glutamatergic Concentrations in Childhood Ocd and Major Depression Versus Healthy Controls

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rosenberg, David R.; Mirza, Yousha; Russell, Aileen; Tang, Jennifer; Smith, Janet M.; Banerjee, Preeya S.; Bhandari, Rashmi; Rose, Michelle; Ivey, Jennifer; Boyd, Courtney; Moore, Gregory J.

    2004-01-01

    Objective: To examine in vivo glutamatergic neurochemical alterations in the anterior cingulate cortex of pediatric patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) without major depressive disorder (MDD) versus pediatric patients with MDD without OCD and healthy controls. Method: Single-voxel proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic examinations…

  1. Stress-altered synaptic plasticity and DAMP signaling in the hippocampus-PFC axis; elucidating the significance of IGF-1/IGF-1R/CaMKIIα expression in neural changes associated with a prolonged exposure therapy.

    PubMed

    Ogundele, Olalekan M; Ebenezer, Philip J; Lee, Charles C; Francis, Joseph

    2017-06-14

    was relatively unchanged in the hippocampus and PFC, CaMKIIα (p<0.001) and KCa2.2 (p<0.01) were upregulated in Stress-PET, and may be involved in extinction of fear memory-related synaptic potentials. These changes were also associated with a normalized neurotransmitter function, and a significant reduction in open space avoidance; when the animals were assessed in elevated plus maze (EPM). In addition to a decrease in IGF-1/IGF-1R, an increase in activated hippocampal and cortical microglia was seen in stress (p<0.05) and after a PET (Stress-PET; p<0.001). Furthermore, this was linked with a significant increase in HMGB1 (Hippocampus: p<0.001, PFC: p<0.05) and TLR4 expression (Hippocampus: p<0.01; PFC: ns) in the neurons. Taken together, this study showed that traumatic stress and subsequent PET involves an event-dependent alteration of IGF1/IGF-1R/CaMKIIα. Firstly, we showed a direct relationship between IGF-1/IGF-1R expression, presynaptic function (synaptophysin) and neurotransmitter activity in stress and PET. Secondly, we identified the possible role of CaMKIIα in post-synaptic function and regulation of small ion conductance channels. Lastly, we highlighted some of the possible links between IGF1/IGF-1R/CaMKIIα, the expression of DAMP proteins, Microglia activation, and its implication on synaptic plasticity during stress and PET. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Developmental Changes in Synaptic Distribution in Arcuate Nucleus Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Kirigiti, Melissa A.; Baquero, Karalee C.; Lee, Shin J.; Smith, M. Susan; Grove, Kevin L.

    2015-01-01

    Neurons coexpressing neuropeptide Y, agouti-related peptide, and GABA (NAG) play an important role in ingestive behavior and are located in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. NAG neurons receive both GABAergic and glutamatergic synaptic inputs, however, the developmental time course of synaptic input organization of NAG neurons in mice is unknown. In this study, we show that these neurons have low numbers of GABAergic synapses and that GABA is inhibitory to NAG neurons during early postnatal period. In contrast, glutamatergic inputs onto NAG neurons are relatively abundant by P13 and are comparatively similar to the levels observed in the adult. As mice reach adulthood (9–10 weeks), GABAergic tone onto NAG neurons increases. At this age, NAG neurons received similar numbers of inhibitory and EPSCs. To further differentiate age-associated changes in synaptic distribution, 17- to 18-week-old lean and diet-induced obesity (DIO) mice were studied. Surprisingly, NAG neurons from lean adult mice exhibit a reduction in the GABAergic synapses compared with younger adults. Conversely, DIO mice display reductions in the number of GABAergic and glutamatergic inputs onto NAG neurons. Based on these experiments, we propose that synaptic distribution in NAG neurons is continuously restructuring throughout development to accommodate the animals' energy requirements. PMID:26041922

  3. Reduced glycine transporter type 1 expression leads to major changes in glutamatergic neurotransmission of CA1 hippocampal neurones in mice

    PubMed Central

    Martina, Marzia; Turcotte, Marie-Eve B; Halman, Samantha; Tsai, Guochuan; Tiberi, Mario; Coyle, Joseph T; Bergeron, Richard

    2005-01-01

    To investigate the effects of persistent elevation of synaptic glycine at Schaffer collateral–CA1 synapses of the hippocampus, we studied the glutamatergic synaptic transmission in acute brain slices from mice with reduced expression of glycine transporter type 1 (GlyT1+/−) as compared to wild type (WT) littermates using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of CA1 pyramidal cells. We observed faster decay kinetics, reduced ifenprodil sensitivity and increased zinc-induced antagonism in N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) currents of GlyT1+/− mice. Moreover, the ratio α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid receptor (AMPAR)/NMDAR was decreased in mutants compared to WT. Surprisingly, this change was associated with a reduction in the number of AMPARs expressed at the CA1 synapses in the mutants compared to WT. Overall, these findings highlight the importance of GlyT1 in regulating glutamatergic neurotransmission. PMID:15661817

  4. Glutamatergic model psychoses: prediction error, learning, and inference.

    PubMed

    Corlett, Philip R; Honey, Garry D; Krystal, John H; Fletcher, Paul C

    2011-01-01

    Modulating glutamatergic neurotransmission induces alterations in conscious experience that mimic the symptoms of early psychotic illness. We review studies that use intravenous administration of ketamine, focusing on interindividual variability in the profundity of the ketamine experience. We will consider this individual variability within a hypothetical model of brain and cognitive function centered upon learning and inference. Within this model, the brains, neural systems, and even single neurons specify expectations about their inputs and responding to violations of those expectations with new learning that renders future inputs more predictable. We argue that ketamine temporarily deranges this ability by perturbing both the ways in which prior expectations are specified and the ways in which expectancy violations are signaled. We suggest that the former effect is predominantly mediated by NMDA blockade and the latter by augmented and inappropriate feedforward glutamatergic signaling. We suggest that the observed interindividual variability emerges from individual differences in neural circuits that normally underpin the learning and inference processes described. The exact source for that variability is uncertain, although it is likely to arise not only from genetic variation but also from subjects' previous experiences and prior learning. Furthermore, we argue that chronic, unlike acute, NMDA blockade alters the specification of expectancies more profoundly and permanently. Scrutinizing individual differences in the effects of acute and chronic ketamine administration in the context of the Bayesian brain model may generate new insights about the symptoms of psychosis; their underlying cognitive processes and neurocircuitry.

  5. Glutamatergic Model Psychoses: Prediction Error, Learning, and Inference

    PubMed Central

    Corlett, Philip R; Honey, Garry D; Krystal, John H; Fletcher, Paul C

    2011-01-01

    Modulating glutamatergic neurotransmission induces alterations in conscious experience that mimic the symptoms of early psychotic illness. We review studies that use intravenous administration of ketamine, focusing on interindividual variability in the profundity of the ketamine experience. We will consider this individual variability within a hypothetical model of brain and cognitive function centered upon learning and inference. Within this model, the brains, neural systems, and even single neurons specify expectations about their inputs and responding to violations of those expectations with new learning that renders future inputs more predictable. We argue that ketamine temporarily deranges this ability by perturbing both the ways in which prior expectations are specified and the ways in which expectancy violations are signaled. We suggest that the former effect is predominantly mediated by NMDA blockade and the latter by augmented and inappropriate feedforward glutamatergic signaling. We suggest that the observed interindividual variability emerges from individual differences in neural circuits that normally underpin the learning and inference processes described. The exact source for that variability is uncertain, although it is likely to arise not only from genetic variation but also from subjects' previous experiences and prior learning. Furthermore, we argue that chronic, unlike acute, NMDA blockade alters the specification of expectancies more profoundly and permanently. Scrutinizing individual differences in the effects of acute and chronic ketamine administration in the context of the Bayesian brain model may generate new insights about the symptoms of psychosis; their underlying cognitive processes and neurocircuitry. PMID:20861831

  6. Noradrenergic refinement of glutamatergic neuronal circuits in the lateral superior olivary nucleus before hearing onset.

    PubMed

    Hirao, Kenzo; Eto, Kei; Nakahata, Yoshihisa; Ishibashi, Hitoshi; Nagai, Taku; Nabekura, Junichi

    2015-09-01

    Neuronal circuit plasticity during development is fundamental for precise network formation. Pioneering studies of the developmental visual cortex indicated that noradrenaline (NA) is crucial for ocular dominance plasticity during the critical period in the visual cortex. Recent research demonstrated tonotopic map formation by NA during the critical period in the auditory system, indicating that NA also contributes to synaptic plasticity in this system. The lateral superior olive (LSO) in the auditory system receives glutamatergic input from the ventral cochlear nucleus (VCN) and undergoes circuit remodeling during postnatal development. LSO is innervated by noradrenergic afferents and is therefore a suitable model to study the function of NA in refinement of neuronal circuits. Chemical lesions of the noradrenergic system and chronic inhibition of α2-adrenoceptors in vivo during postnatal development in mice disrupted functional elimination and strengthening of VCN-LSO afferents. This was potentially mediated by activation of presynaptic α2-adrenoceptors and inhibition of glutamate release because NA presynaptically suppressed excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC) through α2-adrenoceptors during the first two postnatal weeks in an in vitro study. Furthermore, NA and α2-adrenoceptor agonist induced long-term suppression of EPSCs and decreased glutamate release. These results suggest that NA has a critical role in synaptic refinement of the VCN-LSO glutamatergic pathway through failure of synaptic transmission. Because of the ubiquitous distribution of NA afferents and the extensive expression of α2-adrenoceptors throughout the immature brain, this phenomenon might be widespread in the developing central nervous system.

  7. Targeting Glutamatergic Signaling for the Development of Novel Therapeutics for Mood Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Machado-Vieira, R.; Salvadore, G.; Ibrahim, L.; DiazGranados, N.; Zarate, C.A.

    2009-01-01

    There have been no recent advances in drug development for mood disorders in terms of identifying drug targets that are mechanistically distinct from existing ones. As a result, existing antidepressants are based on decades-old notions of which targets are relevant to the mechanisms of antidepressant action. Low rates of remission, a delay of onset of therapeutic effects, continual residual depressive symptoms, relapses, and poor quality of life are unfortunately common in patients with mood disorders. Offering alternative options is requisite in order to reduce the individual and societal burden of these diseases. The glutamatergic system is a promising area of research in mood disorders, and likely to offer new possibilities in therapeutics. There is increasing evidence that mood disorders are associated with impairments in neuroplasticity and cellular resilience, and alterations of the glutamatergic system are known to play a major role in cellular plasticity and resilience. Existing antidepressants and mood stabilizers have prominent effects on the glutamate system, and modulating glutamatergic ionotropic or metabotropic receptors results in antidepressant-like properties in animal models. Several glutamatergic modulators targeting various glutamate components are currently being studied in the treatment of mood disorders, including release inhibitors of glutamate, N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonists, alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) throughput enhancers, and glutamate transporter enhancers. This paper reviews the currently available knowledge regarding the role of the glutamatergic system in the etiopathogenesis of mood disorders and putative glutamate modulators. PMID:19442176

  8. VAMP-2, SNAP-25A/B and syntaxin-1 in glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses of the rat cerebellar cortex

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The aim of this study was to assess the distribution of key SNARE proteins in glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses of the adult rat cerebellar cortex using light microscopy immunohistochemical techniques. Analysis was made of co-localizations of vGluT-1 and vGluT-2, vesicular transporters of glutamate and markers of glutamatergic synapses, or GAD, the GABA synthetic enzyme and marker of GABAergic synapses, with VAMP-2, SNAP-25A/B and syntaxin-1. Results The examined SNARE proteins were found to be diffusely expressed in glutamatergic synapses, whereas they were rarely observed in GABAergic synapses. However, among glutamatergic synapses, subpopulations which did not contain VAMP-2, SNAP-25A/B and syntaxin-1 were detected. They included virtually all the synapses established by terminals of climbing fibres (immunoreactive for vGluT-2) and some synapses established by terminals of parallel and mossy fibres (immunoreactive for vGluT-1, and for vGluT-1 and 2, respectively). The only GABA synapses expressing the SNARE proteins studied were the synapses established by axon terminals of basket neurons. Conclusion The present study supplies a detailed morphological description of VAMP-2, SNAP-25A/B and syntaxin-1 in the different types of glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses of the rat cerebellar cortex. The examined SNARE proteins characterize most of glutamatergic synapses and only one type of GABAergic synapses. In the subpopulations of glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses lacking the SNARE protein isoforms examined, alternative mechanisms for regulating trafficking of synaptic vesicles may be hypothesized, possibly mediated by different isoforms or homologous proteins. PMID:22094010

  9. Characterization of glutamatergic neurons in the rat atrial intrinsic cardiac ganglia that project to the cardiac ventricular wall.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ting; Miller, Kenneth E

    2016-08-04

    The intrinsic cardiac nervous system modulates cardiac function by acting as an integration site for regulating autonomic efferent cardiac output. This intrinsic system is proposed to be composed of a short cardio-cardiac feedback control loop within the cardiac innervation hierarchy. For example, electrophysiological studies have postulated the presence of sensory neurons in intrinsic cardiac ganglia (ICG) for regional cardiac control. There is still a knowledge gap, however, about the anatomical location and neurochemical phenotype of sensory neurons inside ICG. In the present study, rat ICG neurons were characterized neurochemically with immunohistochemistry using glutamatergic markers: vesicular glutamate transporters 1 and 2 (VGLUT1; VGLUT2), and glutaminase (GLS), the enzyme essential for glutamate production. Glutamatergic neurons (VGLUT1/VGLUT2/GLS) in the ICG that have axons to the ventricles were identified by retrograde tracing of wheat germ agglutinin-horseradish peroxidase (WGA-HRP) injected in the ventricular wall. Co-labeling of VGLUT1, VGLUT2, and GLS with the vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT) was used to evaluate the relationship between post-ganglionic autonomic neurons and glutamatergic neurons. Sequential labeling of VGLUT1 and VGLUT2 in adjacent tissue sections was used to evaluate the co-localization of VGLUT1 and VGLUT2 in ICG neurons. Our studies yielded the following results: (1) ICG contain glutamatergic neurons with GLS for glutamate production and VGLUT1 and 2 for transport of glutamate into synaptic vesicles; (2) atrial ICG contain neurons that project to ventricle walls and these neurons are glutamatergic; (3) many glutamatergic ICG neurons also were cholinergic, expressing VAChT; (4) VGLUT1 and VGLUT2 co-localization occurred in ICG neurons with variation of their protein expression level. Investigation of both glutamatergic and cholinergic ICG neurons could help in better understanding the function of the intrinsic cardiac

  10. Mechanisms of glycine release, which build up synaptic and extrasynaptic glycine levels: the role of synaptic and non-synaptic glycine transporters.

    PubMed

    Harsing, Laszlo G; Matyus, Peter

    2013-04-01

    Glycine is an amino acid neurotransmitter that is involved in both inhibitory and excitatory neurochemical transmission in the central nervous system. The role of glycine in excitatory neurotransmission is related to its coagonist action at glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors. The glycine levels in the synaptic cleft rise many times higher during synaptic activation assuring that glycine spills over into the extrasynaptic space. Another possible origin of extrasynaptic glycine is the efflux of glycine occurring from astrocytes associated with glutamatergic synapses. The release of glycine from neuronal or glial origins exhibits several differences compared to that of biogenic amines or other amino acid neurotransmitters. These differences appear in an external Ca(2+)- and temperature-dependent manner, conferring unique characteristics on glycine as a neurotransmitter. Glycine transporter type-1 at synapses may exhibit neural and glial forms and plays a role in controlling synaptic glycine levels and the spill over rate of glycine from the synaptic cleft into the extrasynaptic biophase. Non-synaptic glycine transporter type-1 regulates extrasynaptic glycine concentrations, either increasing or decreasing them depending on the reverse or normal mode operation of the carrier molecule. While we can, at best, only estimate synaptic glycine levels at rest and during synaptic activation, glycine concentrations are readily measurable via brain microdialysis technique applied in the extrasynaptic space. The non-synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor may obtain glycine for activation following its spill over from highly active synapses or from its release mediated by the reverse operation of non-synaptic glycine transporter-1. The sensitivity of non-synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors to glutamate and glycine is many times higher than that of synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors making the former type of receptor the primary target for drug action. Synaptic

  11. Cannabinoid Type 1 Receptors Transiently Silence Glutamatergic Nerve Terminals of Cultured Cerebellar Granule Cells

    PubMed Central

    Ramírez-Franco, Jorge; Bartolomé-Martín, David; Alonso, Beatris; Torres, Magdalena; Sánchez-Prieto, José

    2014-01-01

    Cannabinoid receptors are the most abundant G protein-coupled receptors in the brain and they mediate retrograde short-term inhibition of neurotransmitter release, as well as long-term depression of synaptic transmission at many excitatory synapses. The induction of presynaptically silent synapses is a means of modulating synaptic strength, which is important for synaptic plasticity. Persistent activation of cannabinoid type 1 receptors (CB1Rs) mutes GABAergic terminals, although it is unclear if CB1Rs can also induce silencing at glutamatergic synapses. Cerebellar granule cells were transfected with VGLUT1-pHluorin to visualise the exo-endocytotic cycle. We found that prolonged stimulation (10 min) of cannabinoid receptors with the agonist HU-210 induces the silencing of previously active synapses. However, the presynaptic silencing induced by HU-210 is transient as it reverses after 20 min. cAMP with forskolin prevented CB1R-induced synaptic silencing, via activation of the Exchange Protein directly Activated by cAMP (Epac). Furthermore, Epac activation accelerated awakening of already silent boutons. Electron microscopy revealed that silencing was associated with synaptic vesicle (SV) redistribution within the nerve terminal, which diminished the number of vesicles close to the active zone of the plasma membrane. Finally, by combining functional and immunocytochemical approaches, we observed a strong correlation between the release capacity of the nerve terminals and RIM1α protein content, but not that of Munc13-1 protein. These results suggest that prolonged stimulation of cannabinoid receptors can transiently silence glutamatergic nerve terminals. PMID:24533119

  12. Synaptic connectivity in hippocampal neuronal networks cultured on micropatterned surfaces.

    PubMed

    Liu, Q Y; Coulombe, M; Dumm, J; Shaffer, K M; Schaffner, A E; Barker, J L; Pancrazio, J J; Stenger, D A; Ma, W

    2000-04-14

    Embryonic rat hippocampal neurons were grown on patterned silane surface in order to organize synapse formations in a controlled manner. The surface patterns were composed of trimethoxysilylpropyl-diethylenetriamine (DETA) lines separated by tridecafluoro-1,1,2,2-tetrahydrooctyl-1-dimethylchlorosilane (13F) spaces. Pre- and post-synaptic specializations were identified by immunostaining for synapsin I and microtubule-associated protein-2 (MAP-2). Functional synaptic connections were examined by recording simultaneously from pairs of neurons using the whole-cell configuration of the patch-clamp technique. Spontaneous and evoked synaptic currents were recorded in neurons cultured for 2-14 days. The formation of functional connections was accompanied by the appearance of spontaneous synaptic currents (SSCs), which could be detected after approximately 3 days in culture in the absence of evoked synaptic currents (ESCs). ESCs were detected only after approximately 7 days in culture, mostly in the form of unidirectional synaptic connections. Other forms of synaptic connectivity, such as bidirectional and autaptic connections, were also identified. Both transient GABAergic and glutamatergic signals mediated the transmissions between communicating cells. These results demonstrate the combination of various types of synaptic connections forming simple and complex networks in neurons cultured on line (DETA)-space (13F) patterns. Finally, precisely synchronized SSCs were recorded in neuron pairs cultured on pattern indicating the existence of a fast-acting feedback mechanism mediated by pre-synaptic GABA(A) receptors.

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. Glutamatergic Inhibition in Sensory Neocortex

    PubMed Central

    Sherman, S. Murray

    2009-01-01

    In the mammalian brain, glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid are considered major excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters, respectively. However, we have found evidence that glutamate can also act as a postsynaptic inhibitory neurotransmitter in layer 4 of the neocortex. Using whole-cell recordings from layer 4 neurons in slice preparations from the mouse visual, auditory, and somatosensory cortices, we found that metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) agonists (ACPD, APDC, and DCG IV) elicit a robust, long-lasting hyperpolarization that is abolished by the group II mGluR antagonist, MCCG. This response largely involves a K+ conductance mediated by G-protein activity and GIRK channels. Furthermore, electrical and photostimulation of the intracortical inputs to layer 4 elicits a similar hyperpolarization that is blocked by group II mGluR antagonists. This novel inhibition mediated by group II mGluRs may be an unappreciated mechanism for refining cortical receptive fields in layer 4 and may enable synaptic gain control during periods of high activity. PMID:19176638

  16. Glutamatergic inhibition in sensory neocortex.

    PubMed

    Lee, Charles C; Sherman, S Murray

    2009-10-01

    In the mammalian brain, glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid are considered major excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters, respectively. However, we have found evidence that glutamate can also act as a postsynaptic inhibitory neurotransmitter in layer 4 of the neocortex. Using whole-cell recordings from layer 4 neurons in slice preparations from the mouse visual, auditory, and somatosensory cortices, we found that metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) agonists (ACPD, APDC, and DCG IV) elicit a robust, long-lasting hyperpolarization that is abolished by the group II mGluR antagonist, MCCG. This response largely involves a K(+) conductance mediated by G-protein activity and GIRK channels. Furthermore, electrical and photostimulation of the intracortical inputs to layer 4 elicits a similar hyperpolarization that is blocked by group II mGluR antagonists. This novel inhibition mediated by group II mGluRs may be an unappreciated mechanism for refining cortical receptive fields in layer 4 and may enable synaptic gain control during periods of high activity.

  17. NO regulates the strength of synaptic inputs onto hippocampal CA1 neurons via NO-GC1/cGMP signalling.

    PubMed

    Neitz, A; Mergia, E; Neubacher, U; Koesling, D; Mittmann, T

    2015-06-01

    GABAergic interneurons are the predominant source of inhibition in the brain that coordinate the level of excitation and synchronization in neuronal circuitries. However, the underlying cellular mechanisms are still not fully understood. Here we report nitric oxide (NO)/NO-GC1 signalling as an important regulatory mechanism of GABAergic and glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the hippocampal CA1 region. Deletion of the NO receptor NO-GC1 induced functional alterations, indicated by a strong reduction of spontaneous and evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs), which could be compensated by application of the missing second messenger cGMP. Moreover, we found a general impairment in the strength of inhibitory and excitatory synaptic inputs onto CA1 pyramidal neurons deriving from NO-GC1KO mice. Finally, we disclosed one subpopulation of GABAergic interneurons, fast-spiking interneurons, that receive less excitatory synaptic input and consequently respond with less spike output after blockage of the NO/cGMP signalling pathway. On the basis of these and previous findings, we propose NO-GC1 as the major NO receptor which transduces the NO signal into cGMP at presynaptic terminals of different neuronal subtypes in the hippocampal CA1 region. Furthermore, we suggest NO-GC1-mediated cGMP signalling as a mechanism which regulates the strength of synaptic transmission, hence being important in gating information processing between hippocampal CA3 and CA1 region.

  18. Chronic Intermittent Ethanol Exposure Enhances the Excitability and Synaptic Plasticity of Lateral Orbitofrontal Cortex Neurons and Induces a Tolerance to the Acute Inhibitory Actions of Ethanol

    PubMed Central

    Nimitvilai, Sudarat; Lopez, Marcelo F; Mulholland, Patrick J; Woodward, John J

    2016-01-01

    Alcoholism is associated with changes in brain reward and control systems, including the prefrontal cortex. In prefrontal areas, the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) has been suggested to have an important role in the development of alcohol-abuse disorders and studies from this laboratory demonstrate that OFC-mediated behaviors are impaired in alcohol-dependent animals. However, it is not known whether chronic alcohol (ethanol) exposure alters the fundamental properties of OFC neurons. In this study, mice were exposed to repeated cycles of chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) exposure to induce dependence and whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology was used to examine the effects of CIE treatment on lateral OFC (lOFC) neuron excitability, synaptic transmission, and plasticity. Repeated cycles of CIE exposure and withdrawal enhanced current-evoked action potential (AP) spiking and this was accompanied by a reduction in the after-hyperpolarization and a decrease in the functional activity of SK channels. CIE mice also showed an increase in the AMPA/NMDA ratio, and this was associated with an increase in GluA1/GluA2 AMPA receptor expression and a decrease in GluN2B NMDA receptor subunits. Following CIE treatment, lOFC neurons displayed a persistent long-term potentiation of glutamatergic synaptic transmission following a spike-timing-dependent protocol. Lastly, CIE treatment diminished the inhibitory effect of acute ethanol on AP spiking of lOFC neurons and reduced expression of the GlyT1 transporter. Taken together, these results suggest that chronic exposure to ethanol leads to enhanced intrinsic excitability and glutamatergic synaptic signaling of lOFC neurons. These alterations may contribute to the impairment of OFC-dependent behaviors in alcohol-dependent individuals. PMID:26286839

  19. Chronic Intermittent Ethanol Exposure Enhances the Excitability and Synaptic Plasticity of Lateral Orbitofrontal Cortex Neurons and Induces a Tolerance to the Acute Inhibitory Actions of Ethanol.

    PubMed

    Nimitvilai, Sudarat; Lopez, Marcelo F; Mulholland, Patrick J; Woodward, John J

    2016-03-01

    Alcoholism is associated with changes in brain reward and control systems, including the prefrontal cortex. In prefrontal areas, the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) has been suggested to have an important role in the development of alcohol-abuse disorders and studies from this laboratory demonstrate that OFC-mediated behaviors are impaired in alcohol-dependent animals. However, it is not known whether chronic alcohol (ethanol) exposure alters the fundamental properties of OFC neurons. In this study, mice were exposed to repeated cycles of chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) exposure to induce dependence and whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology was used to examine the effects of CIE treatment on lateral OFC (lOFC) neuron excitability, synaptic transmission, and plasticity. Repeated cycles of CIE exposure and withdrawal enhanced current-evoked action potential (AP) spiking and this was accompanied by a reduction in the after-hyperpolarization and a decrease in the functional activity of SK channels. CIE mice also showed an increase in the AMPA/NMDA ratio, and this was associated with an increase in GluA1/GluA2 AMPA receptor expression and a decrease in GluN2B NMDA receptor subunits. Following CIE treatment, lOFC neurons displayed a persistent long-term potentiation of glutamatergic synaptic transmission following a spike-timing-dependent protocol. Lastly, CIE treatment diminished the inhibitory effect of acute ethanol on AP spiking of lOFC neurons and reduced expression of the GlyT1 transporter. Taken together, these results suggest that chronic exposure to ethanol leads to enhanced intrinsic excitability and glutamatergic synaptic signaling of lOFC neurons. These alterations may contribute to the impairment of OFC-dependent behaviors in alcohol-dependent individuals.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Pan-neurexin perturbation results in compromised synapse stability and a reduction in readily releasable synaptic vesicle pool size

    PubMed Central

    Quinn, Dylan P.; Kolar, Annette; Wigerius, Michael; Gomm-Kolisko, Rachel N.; Atwi, Hanine; Fawcett, James P.; Krueger, Stefan R.

    2017-01-01

    Neurexins are a diverse family of cell adhesion molecules that localize to presynaptic specializations of CNS neurons. Heterologous expression of neurexins in non-neuronal cells leads to the recruitment of postsynaptic proteins in contacting dendrites of co-cultured neurons, implicating neurexins in synapse formation. However, isoform-specific knockouts of either all α- or all β-neurexins show defects in synaptic transmission but an unaltered density of glutamatergic synapses, a finding that argues against an essential function of neurexins in synaptogenesis. To address the role of neurexin in synapse formation and function, we disrupted the function of all α- and β-neurexins in cultured hippocampal neurons by shRNA knockdown or by overexpressing a neurexin mutant that is unable to bind to postsynaptic neurexin ligands. We show that neurexin perturbation results in an attenuation of neurotransmitter release that is in large part due to a reduction in the number of readily releasable synaptic vesicles. We also find that neurexin perturbation fails to alter the ability of neurons to form synapses, but rather leads to more frequent synapse elimination. These experiments suggest that neurexins are dispensable for the formation of initial synaptic contacts, but play an essential role in the stabilization and functional maturation of synapses. PMID:28220838

  4. EDITORIAL: Synaptic electronics Synaptic electronics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demming, Anna; Gimzewski, James K.; Vuillaume, Dominique

    2013-09-01

    Conventional computers excel in logic and accurate scientific calculations but make hard work of open ended problems that human brains handle easily. Even von Neumann—the mathematician and polymath who first developed the programming architecture that forms the basis of today's computers—was already looking to the brain for future developments before his death in 1957 [1]. Neuromorphic computing uses approaches that better mimic the working of the human brain. Recent developments in nanotechnology are now providing structures with very accommodating properties for neuromorphic approaches. This special issue, with guest editors James K Gimzewski and Dominique Vuillaume, is devoted to research at the serendipitous interface between the two disciplines. 'Synaptic electronics', looks at artificial devices with connections that demonstrate behaviour similar to synapses in the nervous system allowing a new and more powerful approach to computing. Synapses and connecting neurons respond differently to incident signals depending on the history of signals previously experienced, ultimately leading to short term and long term memory behaviour. The basic characteristics of a synapse can be replicated with around ten simple transistors. However with the human brain having around 1011 neurons and 1015 synapses, artificial neurons and synapses from basic transistors are unlikely to accommodate the scalability required. The discovery of nanoscale elements that function as 'memristors' has provided a key tool for the implementation of synaptic connections [2]. Leon Chua first developed the concept of the 'The memristor—the missing circuit element' in 1971 [3]. In this special issue he presents a tutorial describing how memristor research has fed into our understanding of synaptic behaviour and how they can be applied in information processing [4]. He also describes, 'The new principle of local activity, which uncovers a minuscule life-enabling "Goldilocks zone", dubbed the

  5. Synaptic Consolidation Normalizes AMPAR Quantal Size following MAGUK Loss.

    PubMed

    Levy, Jonathan M; Chen, Xiaobing; Reese, Thomas S; Nicoll, Roger A

    2015-08-05

    The mechanisms controlling synapse growth and maintenance are of critical importance for learning and memory. The MAGUK family of synaptic scaffolding proteins is abundantly expressed at glutamatergic central synapses, but their importance in controlling the synaptic content of glutamate receptors is poorly understood. Here, we use a chained RNAi-mediated knockdown approach to simultaneously remove PSD-93, PSD-95, and SAP102, the MAGUKs previously shown to be responsible for synaptic localization of glutamate receptors. We find that MAGUKs are specifically responsible for creating functional synapses after initial spine formation by filling functionally silent spines with glutamate receptors. Removal of the MAGUKs causes a transient reduction in AMPA receptor quantal size followed by synaptic consolidation resulting in a normalization of quantal size at the few remaining functional synapses. Consolidation requires signaling through L-type calcium channels, CaM kinase kinase, and the GluA2 AMPA receptor subunit, akin to a homeostatic process.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  7. cAMP-dependent insulin modulation of synaptic inhibition in neurons of the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus is altered in diabetic mice

    PubMed Central

    Blake, Camille B.

    2014-01-01

    Pathologies in which insulin is dysregulated, including diabetes, can disrupt central vagal circuitry, leading to gastrointestinal and other autonomic dysfunction. Insulin affects whole body metabolism through central mechanisms and is transported into the brain stem dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV) and nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS), which mediate parasympathetic visceral regulation. The NTS receives viscerosensory vagal input and projects heavily to the DMV, which supplies parasympathetic vagal motor output. Normally, insulin inhibits synaptic excitation of DMV neurons, with no effect on synaptic inhibition. Modulation of synaptic inhibition in DMV, however, is often sensitive to cAMP-dependent mechanisms. We hypothesized that an effect of insulin on GABAergic synaptic transmission may be uncovered by elevating resting cAMP levels in GABAergic terminals. We used whole cell patch-clamp recordings in brain stem slices from control and diabetic mice to identify insulin effects on inhibitory neurotransmission in the DMV in the presence of forskolin to elevate cAMP levels. In the presence of forskolin, insulin decreased the frequency of inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) and the paired-pulse ratio of evoked IPSCs in DMV neurons from control mice. This effect was blocked by brefeldin-A, a Golgi-disrupting agent, or indinavir, a GLUT4 blocker, indicating that protein trafficking and glucose transport were involved. In streptozotocin-treated, diabetic mice, insulin did not affect IPSCs in DMV neurons in the presence of forskolin. Results suggest an impairment of cAMP-induced insulin effects on GABA release in the DMV, which likely involves disrupted protein trafficking in diabetic mice. These findings provide insight into mechanisms underlying vagal dysregulation associated with diabetes. PMID:24990858

  8. Treadmill exercise enhances synaptic plasticity, but does not alter β-amyloid deposition in hippocampi of aged APP/PS1 transgenic mice.

    PubMed

    Zhao, G; Liu, H L; Zhang, H; Tong, X J

    2015-07-09

    Several studies reveal that the beneficial effects of exercise interventions are dependent on the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). We have previously shown that long-term treadmill exercise begun before the onset of β-amyloid (Aβ) pathology prevents the deficits of cognition and long-term potentiation (LTP) in amyloid precursor protein (APP)/presenilin 1 (PS1) transgenic mice (8 months of age) paralleled by the reduction of soluble Aβ levels and Aβ deposition in the hippocampus. In the present study, treadmill exercise was initiated at a developed Aβ deposition stage in order to further investigate whether or not treadmill exercise in this phase can delay the progression of AD in aged APP/PS1 mice (17 months of age). Our results show that 5-month treadmill exercise ameliorates the impairment of spatial learning and memory with age paralleled by synaptic plasticity enhancement in aged APP/PS1 mice. In addition, exercise-induced enhancement of synaptic plasticity was accompanied by a significant reduction of soluble Aβ levels rather than Aβ plaque deposition. Therefore, the investigation demonstrates that long-term treadmill exercise has beneficial effects on cognition and synaptic plasticity even when the brain has developed Aβ deposition, and changes in soluble Aβ levels rather than Aβ plaque deposition may contribute to exercise-induced benefits.

  9. Plasticity-Related Gene 1 Affects Mouse Barrel Cortex Function via Strengthening of Glutamatergic Thalamocortical Transmission.

    PubMed

    Unichenko, Petr; Kirischuk, Sergei; Yang, Jenq-Wei; Baumgart, Jan; Roskoden, Thomas; Schneider, Patrick; Sommer, Angela; Horta, Guilherme; Radyushkin, Konstantin; Nitsch, Robert; Vogt, Johannes; Luhmann, Heiko J

    2016-07-01

    Plasticity-related gene-1 (PRG-1) is a brain-specific protein that modulates glutamatergic synaptic transmission. Here we investigated the functional role of PRG-1 in adolescent and adult mouse barrel cortex both in vitro and in vivo. Compared with wild-type (WT) animals, PRG-1-deficient (KO) mice showed specific behavioral deficits in tests assessing sensorimotor integration and whisker-based sensory discrimination as shown in the beam balance/walking test and sandpaper tactile discrimination test, respectively. At P25-31, spontaneous network activity in the barrel cortex in vivo was higher in KO mice compared with WT littermates, but not at P16-19. At P16-19, sensory evoked cortical responses in vivo elicited by single whisker stimulation were comparable in KO and WT mice. In contrast, at P25-31 evoked responses were smaller in amplitude and longer in duration in WT animals, whereas KO mice revealed no such developmental changes. In thalamocortical slices from KO mice, spontaneous activity was increased already at P16-19, and glutamatergic thalamocortical inputs to Layer 4 spiny stellate neurons were potentiated. We conclude that genetic ablation of PRG-1 modulates already at P16-19 spontaneous and evoked excitability of the barrel cortex, including enhancement of thalamocortical glutamatergic inputs to Layer 4, which distorts sensory processing in adulthood.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-05

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

  12. BMP signaling and microtubule organization regulate synaptic strength

    PubMed Central

    Ball, Robin W.; Peled, Einat; Guerrero, Giovanna; Isacoff, Ehud Y.

    2015-01-01

    The strength of synaptic transmission between a neuron and multiple postsynaptic partners can vary considerably. We have studied synaptic heterogeneity using the glutamatergic Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ), which contains multiple synaptic connections of varying strength between a motor axon and muscle fiber. In larval NMJs, there is a gradient of synaptic transmission from weak proximal to strong distal boutons. We imaged synaptic transmission with the postsynaptically targeted fluorescent calcium sensor SynapCam, to investigate the molecular pathways that determine synaptic strength and set up this gradient. We discovered that mutations in the Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) signaling pathway disrupt production of strong distal boutons. We find that strong connections contain unbundled microtubules in the boutons, suggesting a role for microtubule organization in transmission strength. The spastin mutation, which disorganizes microtubules, disrupted the transmission gradient, supporting this interpretation. We propose that the BMP pathway, shown previously to function in the homeostatic regulation of synaptic growth, also boosts synaptic transmission in a spatially selective manner that depends on the microtubule system. PMID:25681521

  13. Data-driven modeling of synaptic transmission and integration.

    PubMed

    Rothman, Jason S; Silver, R Angus

    2014-01-01

    In this chapter, we describe how to create mathematical models of synaptic transmission and integration. We start with a brief synopsis of the experimental evidence underlying our current understanding of synaptic transmission. We then describe synaptic transmission at a particular glutamatergic synapse in the mammalian cerebellum, the mossy fiber to granule cell synapse, since data from this well-characterized synapse can provide a benchmark comparison for how well synaptic properties are captured by different mathematical models. This chapter is structured by first presenting the simplest mathematical description of an average synaptic conductance waveform and then introducing methods for incorporating more complex synaptic properties such as nonlinear voltage dependence of ionotropic receptors, short-term plasticity, and stochastic fluctuations. We restrict our focus to excitatory synaptic transmission, but most of the modeling approaches discussed here can be equally applied to inhibitory synapses. Our data-driven approach will be of interest to those wishing to model synaptic transmission and network behavior in health and disease. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Neonatal Propofol and Etomidate Exposure Enhance Inhibitory Synaptic Transmission in Hippocampal Cornus Ammonis 1 Pyramidal Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jia-Qiang; Xu, Wan-Ying; Xu, Chang-Qing

    2016-01-01

    Background: Propofol and etomidate are the most important intravenous general anesthetics in the current clinical use and that mediate gamma-aminobutyric acid's (GABAergic) synaptic transmission. However, their long-term effects on GABAergic synaptic transmission induced by neonatal propofol or etomidate exposure remain unclear. We investigated the long-term GABAergic neurotransmission alterations, following neonatal propofol and etomidate administration. Methods: Sprague-Dawley rat pups at postnatal days 4–6 were underwent 6-h-long propofol-induced or 5-h-long etomidate-induced anesthesia. We performed whole-cell patch-clamp recording from pyramidal cells in the cornus ammonis 1 area of acute hippocampal slices of postnatal 80–90 days. Spontaneous and miniature inhibitory GABAergic currents (spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents [sIPSCs] and miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents [mIPSCs]) and their kinetic characters were measured. The glutamatergic tonic effect on inhibitory transmission and the effect of bumetanide on neonatal propofol exposure were also examined. Results: Neonatal propofol exposure significantly increased the frequency of mIPSCs (from 1.87 ± 0.35 Hz to 3.43 ± 0.51 Hz, P < 0.05) and did not affect the amplitude of mIPSCs and sIPSCs. Both propofol and etomidate slowed the decay time of mIPSCs kinetics (168.39 ± 27.91 ms and 267.02 ± 100.08 ms vs. 68.18 ± 12.43 ms; P < 0.05). Bumetanide significantly blocked the frequency increase and reversed the kinetic alteration of mIPSCs induced by neonatal propofol exposure (3.01 ± 0.45 Hz and 94.30 ± 32.56 ms). Conclusions: Neonatal propofol and etomidate exposure has long-term effects on inhibitory GABAergic transmission. Propofol might act at pre- and post-synaptic GABA receptor A (GABAA) receptors within GABAergic synapses and impairs the glutamatergic tonic input to GABAergic synapses; etomidate might act at the postsynaptic site. PMID:27824005

  15. Evidence that the Tritonia diomedea Swim Afferent Neurons Are Glutamatergic

    PubMed Central

    Megalou, E.V.; Brandon, C.J.; Frost, W.N.

    2011-01-01

    The escape swim response of the marine mollusc Tritonia diomedea is a well-established model system for studies of the neural basis of behavior. While the swim neural network is reasonably well understood, little is known about the transmitters used by its constituent neurons. In the present study, we provide immunocytochemical and electrophysiological evidence that the S-cells, the afferent neurons that detect aversive skin stimuli and in turn trigger Tritonia’s escape swim response, use glutamate as their transmitter. First, immunolabeling revealed that S-cell somata contain elevated levels of glutamate compared to most other neurons in the Tritonia brain, consistent with findings from glutamatergic neurons in many species. Second, pressure-applied puffs of glutamate produced the same excitatory response in the target neurons of the S-cells as the naturally released S-cell transmitter itself. Third, the glutamate receptor antagonist CNQX completely blocked S-cell synaptic connections. These findings support glutamate as a transmitter used by the S-cells, and will facilitate studies using this model system to explore a variety of issues related to the neural basis of behavior. PMID:19366921

  16. 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.

  17. Re-exposure to morphine-associated context facilitated long-term potentiation in the vSUB-NAc glutamatergic pathway via GluN2B-containing receptor activation.

    PubMed

    Li, Yi-Jing; Ping, Xing-Jie; Qi, Chong; Shen, Fang; Sun, Lin-Lin; Sun, Xiao-Wei; Ge, Fei-Fei; Xing, Guo-Gang; Cui, Cai-Lian

    2017-03-01

    The glutamatergic projection from the ventral subiculum of the hippocampus (vSUB) to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell has been reported to play a key role in drug-related behavior. The GluN2B subunit of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) in the NAc can be selectively elevated after the retrieval of drug-conditioned memory. However, whether the increased GluN2B-containing NMDARs (GluN2B-NMDARs) are able to alter the synaptic plasticity of the vSUB-NAc glutamatergic pathway remains unclear. Here, we found that the long-term potentiation (LTP) in the vSUB-NAc pathway was facilitated and the GluN2B subunit protein level was elevated in synaptoneurosomes of the NAc shell, but not in the core, following morphine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) expression in rats. The facilitated LTP was prevented by the GluN2B-NMDAR antagonist RO25-6981. Also, a neurochemical disconnection following microinjection of RO25-6981 into the NAc shell, plus microinfusion of GABA agonist baclofen and muscimol into the contralateral vSUB prevented the expression of morphine-induced CPP. These findings suggest that the retrieval of drug-associated memory potentiated synaptic plasticity in the vSUB-NAc pathway, which was dependent on GluN2B-NMDAR activation in the NAc shell. These findings provide a new explanation for the mechanisms that underlie the morphine-associated-context memory. The GluN2B-NMDARs may be regarded as a potential target for erasing morphine-related memory.

  18. Postsynaptic muscarinic m2 receptors at cholinergic and glutamatergic synapses of mouse brainstem motoneurons.

    PubMed

    Csaba, Zsolt; Krejci, Eric; Bernard, Véronique

    2013-06-15

    In many brain areas, few cholinergic synapses are identified. Acetylcholine is released into the extracellular space and acts through diffuse transmission. Motoneurons, however, are contacted by numerous cholinergic terminals, indicating synaptic cholinergic transmission on them. The muscarinic m2 receptor is the major acetylcholine receptor subtype of motoneurons; therefore, we analyzed the localization of the m2 receptor in correlation with synapses by electron microscopic immunohistochemistry in the mouse trigeminal, facial, and hypoglossal motor nuclei. In all nuclei, m2 receptors were localized at the membrane of motoneuronal perikarya and dendrites. The m2 receptors were concentrated at cholinergic synapses located on the perikarya and most proximal dendrites. However, m2 receptors at cholinergic synapses represented only a minority (<10%) of surface m2 receptors. The m2 receptors were also enriched at glutamatergic synapses in both motoneuronal perikarya and dendrites. A relatively large proportion (20-30%) of plasma membrane-associated m2 receptors were located at glutamatergic synapses. In conclusion, the effect of acetylcholine on motoneuron populations might be mediated through a synaptic as well as diffuse type of transmission.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Glutamatergic NMDA Receptor as Therapeutic Target for Depression.

    PubMed

    Réus, Gislaine Z; Abelaira, Helena M; Tuon, Talita; Titus, Stephanie E; Ignácio, Zuleide M; Rodrigues, Ana Lúcia S; Quevedo, João

    2016-01-01

    Major depressive disorder (MDD) affects approximately 121 million individuals globally and poses a significant burden to the healthcare system. Around 50-60% of patients with MDD respond adequately to existing treatments that are primarily based on a monoaminergic system. However, the neurobiology of MDD has not been fully elucidated; therefore, it is possible that other biochemical alterations are involved. The glutamatergic system and its associated receptors have been implicated in the pathophysiology of MDD. In fact, the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor, a glutamate receptor, is a binding or modulation site for both classical antidepressants and new fast-acting antidepressants. Thus, this review aims to present evidence describing the effect of antidepressants that modulate NMDA receptors and the mechanisms that contribute to the antidepressant response.

  2. Transgenic Expression of Glud1 (Glutamate Dehydrogenase 1) in Neurons: In Vivo Model of Enhanced Glutamate Release, Altered Synaptic Plasticity, and Selective Neuronal Vulnerability

    PubMed Central

    Bao, Xiaodong; Pal, Ranu; Hascup, Kevin N.; Wang, Yongfu; Wang, Wen-Tung; Xu, Wenhao; Hui, Dongwei; Agbas, Abdulbaki; Wang, Xinkun; Michaelis, Mary L.; Choi, In-Young; Belousov, Andrei B.; Gerhardt, Greg A.; Michaelis, Elias K.

    2010-01-01

    The effects of lifelong, moderate excess release of glutamate (Glu) in the CNS have not been previously characterized. We created a transgenic (Tg) mouse model of lifelong excess synaptic Glu release in the CNS by introducing the gene for glutamate dehydrogenase 1 (Glud1) under the control of the neuron-specific enolase promoter. Glud1 is, potentially, an important enzyme in the pathway of Glu synthesis in nerve terminals. Increased levels of GLUD protein and activity in CNS neurons of hemizygous Tg mice were associated with increases in the in vivo release of Glu after neuronal depolarization in striatum and in the frequency and amplitude of miniature EPSCs in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Despite overexpression of Glud1 in all neurons of the CNS, the Tg mice suffered neuronal losses in select brain regions (e.g., the CA1 but not the CA3 region). In vulnerable regions, Tg mice had decreases in MAP2A labeling of dendrites and in synaptophysin labeling of presynaptic terminals; the decreases in neuronal numbers and dendrite and presynaptic terminal labeling increased with advancing age. In addition, the Tg mice exhibited decreases in long-term potentiation of synaptic activity and in spine density in dendrites of CA1 neurons. Behaviorally, the Tg mice were significantly more resistant than wild-type mice to induction and duration of anesthesia produced by anesthetics that suppress Glu neurotransmission. The Glud1 mouse might be a useful model for the effects of lifelong excess synaptic Glu release on CNS neurons and for age-associated neurodegenerative processes. PMID:19890003

  3. Overview of Glutamatergic Dysregulation in Central Pathologies

    PubMed Central

    Miladinovic, Tanya; Nashed, Mina G.; Singh, Gurmit

    2015-01-01

    As the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system, glutamate plays a key role in many central pathologies, including gliomas, psychiatric, neurodevelopmental, and neurodegenerative disorders. Post-mortem and serological studies have implicated glutamatergic dysregulation in these pathologies, and pharmacological modulation of glutamate receptors and transporters has provided further validation for the involvement of glutamate. Furthermore, efforts from genetic, in vitro, and animal studies are actively elucidating the specific glutamatergic mechanisms that contribute to the aetiology of central pathologies. However, details regarding specific mechanisms remain sparse and progress in effectively modulating glutamate to alleviate symptoms or inhibit disease states has been relatively slow. In this report, we review what is currently known about glutamate signalling in central pathologies. We also discuss glutamate’s mediating role in comorbidities, specifically cancer-induced bone pain and depression. PMID:26569330

  4. The role of synaptic ion channels in synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Voglis, Giannis; Tavernarakis, Nektarios

    2006-01-01

    The nervous system receives a large amount of information about the environment through elaborate sensory routes. Processing and integration of these wide-ranging inputs often results in long-term behavioural alterations as a result of past experiences. These relatively permanent changes in behaviour are manifestations of the capacity of the nervous system for learning and memory. At the cellular level, synaptic plasticity is one of the mechanisms underlying this process. Repeated neural activity generates physiological changes in the nervous system that ultimately modulate neuronal communication through synaptic transmission. Recent studies implicate both presynaptic and postsynaptic ion channels in the process of synapse strength modulation. Here, we review the role of synaptic ion channels in learning and memory, and discuss the implications and significance of these findings towards deciphering the molecular biology of learning and memory. PMID:17077866

  5. Mitochondria, synaptic plasticity, and schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Ben-Shachar, Dorit; Laifenfeld, Daphna

    2004-01-01

    The conceptualization of schizophrenia as a disorder of connectivity, i.e., of neuronal?synaptic plasticity, suggests abnormal synaptic modeling and neuronal signaling, possibly as a consequence of flawed interactions with the environment, as at least a secondary mechanism underlying the pathophysiology of this disorder. Indeed, deficits in episodic memory and malfunction of hippocampal circuitry, as well as anomalies of axonal sprouting and synapse formation, are all suggestive of diminished neuronal plasticity in schizophrenia. Evidence supports a dysfunction of mitochondria in schizophrenia, including mitochondrial hypoplasia, and a dysfunction of the oxidative phosphorylation system, as well as altered mitochondrial-related gene expression. Mitochondrial dysfunction leads to alterations in ATP production and cytoplasmatic calcium concentrations, as well as reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide production. All of the latter processes have been well established as leading to altered synaptic strength or plasticity. Moreover, mitochondria have been shown to play a role in plasticity of neuronal polarity, and studies in the visual cortex show an association between mitochondria and synaptogenesis. Finally, mitochondrial gene upregulation has been observed following synaptic and neuronal activity. This review proposes that mitochondrial dysfunction in schizophrenia could cause, or arise from, anomalies in processes of plasticity in this disorder.

  6. Notch1 Regulates Hippocampal Plasticity Through Interaction with the Reelin Pathway, Glutamatergic Transmission and CREB Signaling.

    PubMed

    Brai, Emanuele; Marathe, Swananda; Astori, Simone; Fredj, Naila Ben; Perry, Elisabeth; Lamy, Christophe; Scotti, Alessandra; Alberi, Lavinia

    2015-01-01

    Notch signaling plays a crucial role in adult brain function such as synaptic plasticity, memory and olfaction. Several reports suggest an involvement of this pathway in neurodegenerative dementia. Yet, to date, the mechanism underlying Notch activity in mature neurons remains unresolved. In this work, we investigate how Notch regulates synaptic potentiation and contributes to the establishment of memory in mice. We observe that Notch1 is a postsynaptic receptor with functional interactions with the Reelin receptor, apolipoprotein E receptor 2 (ApoER2) and the ionotropic receptor, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR). Targeted loss of Notch1 in the hippocampal CA fields affects Reelin signaling by influencing Dab1 expression and impairs the synaptic potentiation achieved through Reelin stimulation. Further analysis indicates that loss of Notch1 affects the expression and composition of the NMDAR but not AMPAR. Glutamatergic signaling is further compromised through downregulation of CamKII and its secondary and tertiary messengers resulting in reduced cAMP response element-binding (CREB) signaling. Our results identify Notch1 as an important regulator of mechanisms involved in synaptic plasticity and memory formation. These findings emphasize the possible involvement of this signaling receptor in dementia. In this paper, we propose a mechanism for Notch1-dependent plasticity that likely underlies the function of Notch1 in memory formation: Notch1 interacts with another important developmental pathway, the Reelin cascade.Notch1 regulates both NMDAR expression and composition.Notch1 influences a cascade of cellular events culminating in CREB activation.

  7. The spatial distribution of glutamatergic inputs to dendrites of retinal ganglion cells.

    PubMed

    Jakobs, Tatjana C; Koizumi, Amane; Masland, Richard H

    2008-09-10

    The spatial pattern of excitatory glutamatergic input was visualized in a large series of ganglion cells of the rabbit retina, by using particle-mediated gene transfer of an expression plasmid for postsynaptic density 95-green fluorescent protein (PSD95-GFP). PSD95-GFP was confirmed as a marker of excitatory input by co-localization with synaptic ribbons (RIBEYE and kinesin II) and glutamate receptor subunits. Despite wide variation in the size, morphology, and functional complexity of the cells, the distribution of excitatory synaptic inputs followed a single set of rules: 1) the linear density of synaptic inputs (PSD95 sites/linear mum) varied surprisingly little and showed little specialization within the arbor; 2) the total density of excitatory inputs across individual arbors peaked in a ring-shaped region surrounding the soma, which is in accord with high-resolution maps of receptive field sensitivity in the rabbit; and 3) the areal density scaled inversely with the total area of the dendritic arbor, so that narrow dendritic arbors receive more synapses per unit area than large ones. To achieve sensitivity comparable to that of large cells, those that report upon a small region of visual space may need to receive a denser synaptic input from within that space.

  8. Optogenetic stimulation reveals distinct modulatory properties of thalamostriatal vs corticostriatal glutamatergic inputs to fast-spiking interneurons

    PubMed Central

    Sciamanna, Giuseppe; Ponterio, Giulia; Mandolesi, Georgia; Bonsi, Paola; Pisani, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    Parvalbumin-containing fast-spiking interneurons (FSIs) exert a powerful feed-forward GABAergic inhibition on striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs), playing a critical role in timing striatal output. However, how glutamatergic inputs modulate their firing activity is still unexplored. Here, by means of a combined optogenetic and electrophysiological approach, we provide evidence for a differential modulation of cortico- vs thalamo-striatal synaptic inputs to FSIs in transgenic mice carrying light-gated ion channels channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) in glutamatergic fibers. Corticostriatal synapses show a postsynaptic facilitation, whereas thalamostriatal synapses present a postsynaptic depression. Moreover, thalamostriatal synapses exhibit more prominent AMPA-mediated currents than corticostriatal synapses, and an increased release probability. Furthermore, during current-evoked firing activity, simultaneous corticostriatal stimulation increases bursting activity. Conversely, thalamostriatal fiber activation shifts the canonical burst-pause activity to a more prolonged, regular firing pattern. However, this change in firing pattern was accompanied by a significant rise in the frequency of membrane potential oscillations. Notably, the responses to thalamic stimulation were fully abolished by blocking metabotropic glutamate 1 (mGlu1) receptor subtype, whereas both acetylcholine and dopamine receptor antagonists were ineffective. Our findings demonstrate that cortical and thalamic glutamatergic input differently modulate FSIs firing activity through specific intrinsic and synaptic properties, exerting a powerful influence on striatal outputs. PMID:26572101

  9. Cognitive impairments associated with alterations in synaptic proteins induced by the genetic loss of adenosine A2A receptors in mice.

    PubMed

    Moscoso-Castro, Maria; López-Cano, Marc; Gracia-Rubio, Irene; Ciruela, Francisco; Valverde, Olga

    2017-11-01

    The study of psychiatric disorders usually focuses on emotional symptoms assessment. However, cognitive deficiencies frequently constitute the core symptoms, are often poorly controlled and handicap individual's quality of life. Adenosine receptors, through the control of both dopamine and glutamate systems, have been implicated in the pathophysiology of several psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Indeed, clinical data indicate that poorly responsive schizophrenia patients treated with adenosine adjuvants show improved treatment outcomes. The A2A adenosine receptor subtype (A2AR) is highly expressed in brain areas controlling cognition and motivational responses including the striatum, hippocampus and cerebral cortex. Accordingly, we study the role of A2AR in the regulation of cognitive processes based on a complete cognitive behavioural analysis coupled with the assessment of neurogenesis and sub-synaptic protein expression in adult and middle-aged A2AR constitutional knockout mice and wild-type littermates. Our results show overall cognitive impairments in A2AR knockout mice associated with a decrease in new-born hippocampal neuron proliferation and concomitant changes in synaptic protein expression, in both the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus. These results suggest a deficient adenosine signalling in cognitive processes, thus providing new opportunities for the therapeutic management of cognitive deficits associated with psychiatric disorders. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. 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

  11. Adolescent stress leads to glutamatergic disturbance through dopaminergic abnormalities in the prefrontal cortex of genetically vulnerable mice.

    PubMed

    Matsumoto, Yurie; Niwa, Minae; Mouri, Akihiro; Noda, Yukihiro; Fukushima, Takeshi; Ozaki, Norio; Nabeshima, Toshitaka

    2017-07-29

    Stress during the adolescent period influences postnatal maturation and behavioral patterns in adulthood. Adolescent stress-induced molecular and functional changes in neurons are the key clinical features of psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia. In the present study, we exposed genetically vulnerable mice to isolation stress to examine the molecular changes in the glutamatergic system involving N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors via dopaminergic disturbance in the prefrontal cortex (PFc). We report that late adolescent stress in combination with Disrupted-in-Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) genetic risk elicited alterations in glutamatergic neurons in the PFc, such as increased expression of glutamate transporters, decreased extracellular levels of glutamate, decreased concentration of d-serine, and impaired activation of NMDA-Ca(2+)/calmodulin kinase II signaling. These changes resulted in behavioral deficits in locomotor activity, forced swim, social interaction, and novelty preference tests. The glutamatergic alterations in the PFc were prevented if the animals were treated with an atypical antipsychotic drug clozapine and a dopamine D1 agonist SKF81297, which suggests that the activation of dopaminergic neurons is involved in the regulation of the glutamatergic system. Our results suggest that adolescent stress combined with dopaminergic abnormalities in the PFc of genetically vulnerable mice induces glutamatergic disturbances, which leads to behavioral deficits in the young adult stage.

  12. Infant avoidance training alters cellular activation patterns in prefronto-limbic circuits during adult avoidance learning: I. Cellular imaging of neurons expressing the synaptic plasticity early growth response protein 1 (Egr1).

    PubMed

    Gröger, Nicole; Mannewitz, Anja; Bock, Jörg; de Schultz, Tony Fernando; Guttmann, Katja; Poeggel, Gerd; Braun, Katharina

    2017-04-08

    Both positive feedback learning and negative feedback learning are essential for adapting and optimizing behavioral performance. There is increasing evidence in humans and animals that the ability of negative feedback learning emerges postnatally. Our work in rats, using a two-way active avoidance task (TWA) as an experimental paradigm for negative feedback learning, revealed that medial and lateral prefrontal regions of infant rats undergo dramatic synaptic reorganization during avoidance training, resulting in improved avoidance learning in adulthood. The aim of this study was to identify changes of cellular activation patterns during the course of training and in relation to infant pretraining. We applied a quantitative cellular imaging technique using the immunocytochemical detection of the activity marker early growth response protein 1 (Egr1) as a candidate contributing to learning-induced synaptic plasticity. We found region-specific cellular activity patterns, which indicate that during the acquisition phase, Egr1 expression is specifically elevated in cellular ensembles of the orbitofrontal, dorsal anterior cingulate and hippocampal CA1 region. During memory retrieval Egr1 expression is elevated in cellular ensembles of the dentate gyrus. Moreover, we, for the first time, show here that TWA training during infancy alters adult learning- and memory-related patterns of Egr1 expression in these brain regions. It is tempting to speculate that during infant learning, specific Egr1-expressing cellular ensembles are "tagged" representing long-term memory formation, and that these cell ensembles may be reactivated during adult learning.

  13. Triad3A Regulates Synaptic Strength by Ubiquitination of Arc

    PubMed Central

    Mabb, Angela M.; Je, H. Shawn; Wall, Mark J.; Robinson, Camenzind G.; Larsen, Rylan S.; Qiang, Yuan; Corrêa, Sonia A.L.; Ehlers, Michael D.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Activity-dependent gene transcription and protein synthesis underlie many forms of learning-related synaptic plasticity. At excitatory glutamatergic synapses, the immediate early gene product Arc/Arg3.1 couples synaptic activity to postsynaptic endocytosis of AMPA-type glutamate receptors. Although the mechanisms for Arc induction have been described, little is known regarding the molecular machinery that terminates Arc function. Here we demonstrate that the RING domain ubiquitin ligase Triad3A/RNF216 ubiquitinates Arc, resulting in its rapid proteasomal degradation. Triad3A associates with Arc, localizes to clathrin-coated pits, and is associated with endocytic sites in dendrites and spines. In the absence of Triad3A, Arc accumulates, leading to the loss of surface AMPA receptors. Furthermore, loss of Triad3A mimics and occludes Arc-dependent forms of synaptic plasticity. Thus, degradation of Arc by clathrin-localized Triad3A regulates the availability of synaptic AMPA receptors and temporally tunes Arc-mediated plasticity at glutamatergic synapses. PMID:24945773

  14. Novel glutamatergic agents for major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder

    PubMed Central

    Machado-Vieira, Rodrigo; Ibrahim, Lobna; Henter, Ioline D.; Zarate, Carlos A.

    2011-01-01

    Mood disorders such as major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder (BPD) are common, chronic, recurrent mental illnesses that affect the lives and functioning of millions of individuals worldwide. Growing evidence suggests that the glutamatergic system is central to the neurobiology and treatment of these disorders. Here, we review data supporting the involvement of the glutamatergic system in the pathophysiology of mood disorders as well as the efficacy of glutamatergic agents as novel therapeutics. PMID:21971560

  15. Altered pallido-pallidal synaptic transmission leads to aberrant firing of globus pallidus neurons in a rat model of Parkinson's disease

    PubMed Central

    Miguelez, Cristina; Morin, Stéphanie; Martinez, Audrey; Goillandeau, Michel; Bezard, Erwan; Bioulac, Bernard; Baufreton, Jérôme

    2012-01-01

    The pattern of activity of globus pallidus (GP) neurons is tightly regulated by GABAergic inhibition. In addition to extrinsic inputs from the striatum (STR–GP) the other source of GABA to GP neurons arises from intrinsic intranuclear axon collaterals (GP–GP). While the contribution of striatal inputs has been studied, notably its hyperactivity in Parkinson's disease (PD), the properties and function of intranuclear inhibition remain poorly understood. Our objective was therefore to test the impact of chronic dopamine depletion on pallido-pallidal transmission. Using patch-clamp whole-cell recordings in rat brain slices, we combined electrical and optogenetic stimulations with pharmacology to differentiate basic synaptic properties of STR–GP and GP–GP GABAergic synapses. GP–GP synapses were characterized by activity-dependent depression and insensitivity to the D2 receptor specific agonist quinpirole and STR–GP synapses by frequency-dependent facilitation and quinpirole modulation. Chronic dopamine deprivation obtained in 6-OHDA lesioned animals boosted the amplitude of GP–GP IPSCs but did not modify STR–GP transmission and increased the amplitude of miniature IPSCs. Replacement of calcium by strontium confirmed that the quantal amplitude was increased at GP–GP synapses. Finally, we demonstrated that boosted GP–GP transmission promotes resetting of autonomous activity and rebound-burst firing after dopamine depletion. These results suggest that GP–GP synaptic transmission (but not STR–GP) is augmented by chronic dopamine depletion which could contribute to the aberrant GP neuronal activity observed in PD. PMID:22890706

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  18. Autoregulatory and paracrine control of synaptic and behavioral plasticity by octopaminergic signaling.

    PubMed

    Koon, Alex C; Ashley, James; Barria, Romina; DasGupta, Shamik; Brain, Ruth; Waddell, Scott; Alkema, Mark J; Budnik, Vivian

    2011-02-01

    Adrenergic signaling has important roles in synaptic plasticity and metaplasticity. However, the underlying mechanisms of these functions remain poorly understood. We investigated the role of octopamine, the invertebrate counterpart of adrenaline and noradrenaline, in synaptic and behavioral plasticity in Drosophila. We found that an increase in locomotor speed induced by food deprivation was accompanied by an activity- and octopamine-dependent extension of octopaminergic arbors and that the formation and maintenance of these arbors required electrical activity. Growth of octopaminergic arbors was controlled by a cAMP- and CREB-dependent positive-feedback mechanism that required Octβ2R octopamine autoreceptors. Notably, this autoregulation was necessary for the locomotor response. In addition, octopamine neurons regulated the expansion of excitatory glutamatergic neuromuscular arbors through Octβ2Rs on glutamatergic motor neurons. Our results provide a mechanism for global regulation of excitatory synapses, presumably to maintain synaptic and behavioral plasticity in a dynamic range.

  19. Structurally dissimilar antimanic agents modulate synaptic plasticity by regulating AMPA glutamate receptor subunit GluR1 synaptic expression.

    PubMed

    Du, Jing; Gray, Neil A; Falke, Cynthia; Yuan, Peixiong; Szabo, Steven; Manji, Husseini K

    2003-11-01

    A growing body of data from clinical and preclinical studies suggests that the glutamatergic system may represent a novel therapeutic target for severe recurrent mood disorders. Since synapse-specific glutamate receptor expression/localization is known to play critical roles in synaptic plasticity, we investigated the effects of mood stabilizers on AMPA receptor expression. Rats were treated chronically with lithium or valproate, hippocampal synaptosomes were isolated, and GluR1 levels were determined. Additionally, hippocampal neurons were prepared from E18 rat embryos and treated with lithium or valproate. Surface expression of GluR1 was determined using a biotinylation assay, and double-immunostaining with anti-GluR1 and anti-synaptotagmin antibodies was used to determine synaptic GluR1 levels. The AMPA receptor subunit GluR1 expression in hippocampal synaptosomes was significantly reduced by both chronic lithium and valproate. Overall, these studies show that AMPA receptor subunit GluR1 is a common target for two structurally highly dissimilar, but highly efficacious, mood stabilizers, lithium and valproate. These studies suggest that regulation of glutamatergically mediated synaptic plasticity may play a role in the treatment of mood disorders, and raise the possibility that agents more directly affecting synaptic GluR1 may represent novel therapies for this devastating illness.

  20. Effects of Anti-NMDA Antibodies on Functional Recovery and Synaptic Rearrangement Following Hemicerebellectomy.

    PubMed

    Laricchiuta, Daniela; Cavallucci, Virve; Cutuli, Debora; De Bartolo, Paola; Caporali, Paola; Foti, Francesca; Finke, Carsten; D'Amelio, Marcello; Manto, Mario; Petrosini, Laura

    2016-06-01

    The compensation that follows cerebellar lesions is based on synaptic modifications in many cortical and subcortical regions, although its cellular mechanisms are still unclear. Changes in glutamatergic receptor expression may represent the synaptic basis of the compensated state. We analyzed in rats the involvement of glutamatergic system of the cerebello-frontal network in the compensation following a right hemicerebellectomy. We evaluated motor performances, spatial competencies and molecular correlates in compensated hemicerebellectomized rats which in the frontal cortex contralateral to the hemicerebellectomy side received injections of anti-NMDA antibodies from patients affected by anti-NMDA encephalitis. In the compensated hemicerebellectomized rats, the frontal injections of anti-NMDA antibodies elicited a marked decompensation state characterized by slight worsening of the motor symptoms as well as severe impairment of spatial mnesic and procedural performances. Conversely, in the sham-operated group the frontal injections of anti-NMDA antibodies elicited slight motor and spatial impairment. The molecular analyses indicated that cerebellar compensatory processes were related to a relevant rearrangement of glutamatergic synapses (NMDA and AMPA receptors and other glutamatergic components) along the entire cortico-cerebellar network. The long-term maintenance of the rearranged glutamatergic activity plays a crucial role in the maintenance of recovered function.

  1. Synaptic Efficacy as a Function of Ionotropic Receptor Distribution: A Computational Study

    PubMed Central

    Allam, Sushmita L.; Bouteiller, Jean-Marie C.; Hu, Eric Y.; Ambert, Nicolas; Greget, Renaud; Bischoff, Serge; Baudry, Michel; Berger, Theodore W.

    2015-01-01

    Glutamatergic synapses are the most prevalent functional elements of information processing in the brain. Changes in pre-synaptic activity and in the function of various post-synaptic elements contribute to generate a large variety of synaptic responses. Previous studies have explored postsynaptic factors responsible for regulating synaptic strength variations, but have given far less importance to synaptic geometry, and more specifically to the subcellular distribution of ionotropic receptors. We analyzed the functional effects resulting from changing the subsynaptic localization of ionotropic receptors by using a hippocampal synaptic computational framework. The present study was performed using the EONS (Elementary Objects of the Nervous System) synaptic modeling platform, which was specifically developed to explore the roles of subsynaptic elements as well as their interactions, and that of synaptic geometry. More specifically, we determined the effects of changing the localization of ionotropic receptors relative to the presynaptic glutamate release site, on synaptic efficacy and its variations following single pulse and paired-pulse stimulation protocols. The results indicate that changes in synaptic geometry do have consequences on synaptic efficacy and its dynamics. PMID:26480028

  2. Synaptic Efficacy as a Function of Ionotropic Receptor Distribution: A Computational Study.

    PubMed

    Allam, Sushmita L; Bouteiller, Jean-Marie C; Hu, Eric Y; Ambert, Nicolas; Greget, Renaud; Bischoff, Serge; Baudry, Michel; Berger, Theodore W

    2015-01-01

    Glutamatergic synapses are the most prevalent functional elements of information processing in the brain. Changes in pre-synaptic activity and in the function of various post-synaptic elements contribute to generate a large variety of synaptic responses. Previous studies have explored postsynaptic factors responsible for regulating synaptic strength variations, but have given far less importance to synaptic geometry, and more specifically to the subcellular distribution of ionotropic receptors. We analyzed the functional effects resulting from changing the subsynaptic localization of ionotropic receptors by using a hippocampal synaptic computational framework. The present study was performed using the EONS (Elementary Objects of the Nervous System) synaptic modeling platform, which was specifically developed to explore the roles of subsynaptic elements as well as their interactions, and that of synaptic geometry. More specifically, we determined the effects of changing the localization of ionotropic receptors relative to the presynaptic glutamate release site, on synaptic efficacy and its variations following single pulse and paired-pulse stimulation protocols. The results indicate that changes in synaptic geometry do have consequences on synaptic efficacy and its dynamics.

  3. Inflammatory and Glutamatergic Homeostasis Are Involved in Successful Aging.

    PubMed

    Hascup, Erin R; Wang, Feiya; Kopchick, John J; Bartke, Andrzej

    2016-03-01

    Whole body studies using long-lived growth hormone receptor gene disrupted or knock out (GHR-KO) mice report global GH resistance, increased insulin sensitivity, reduced insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), and cognitive retention in old-age, however, little is known about the neurobiological status of these mice. The aim of this study was to determine if glutamatergic and inflammatory markers that are altered in aging and/or age-related diseases and disorders, are preserved in mice that experience increased healthspan. We examined messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) expression levels in the brain of 4- to 6-, 8- to 10-, and 20- to 22-month GHR-KO and normal aging control mice. In the hippocampus, glutamate transporter 1 (GLT-1) and anti-inflammatory nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NFκB)-p50 were elevated in 8- to 10-month GHR-KO mice compared with age-matched controls. In the hypothalamus, NFκB-p50, NFκB-p65, IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R), glutamate/aspartate transporter (GLAST), and 2-amino-3-(5-methyl-3-oxo 2,3-dihydro-1,2 oxazol-4-yl) propanoic acid receptor subunit 1 (GluA1) were elevated in 8- to 10- and/or 20- to 22-month GHR-KO mice when comparing genotypes. Finally, interleukin 1-beta (IL-1β) mRNA was reduced in 4- to 6- and/or 8- to 10-month GHR-KO mice compared with normal littermates in all brain areas examined. These data support the importance of decreased brain inflammation in early adulthood and maintained homeostasis of the glutamatergic and inflammatory systems in extended longevity.

  4. ABNORMAL GLUTAMATERGIC NEUROTRANSMISSION AND NEURONALGLIAL INTERACTIONS IN ACUTE MANIA

    PubMed Central

    Öngür, Dost; Jensen, J. Eric; Prescot, Andrew P.; Stork, Caitlin; Lundy, Miriam; Cohen, Bruce M.; Renshaw, Perry F.

    2008-01-01

    Background At excitatory synapses, glutamate released from neurons is taken up by glial cells and converted to glutamine, which is cycled back to neurons. Alterations in this system are believed to play a role in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder, but they have not been characterized in vivo. We examined the glutamine/glutamate ratio, and levels of other metabolites in acute mania and schizophrenia in this exploratory study. Methods Data were obtained from 2×2×2cm voxels in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and parieto-occipital cortex (POC) using 2-dimensional J-resolved proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy at 4 Tesla, and analyzed using LCModel. Fifteen bipolar disorder patients with acute mania and seventeen schizophrenia patients with acute psychosis were recruited from an inpatient unit; twenty one matched healthy controls were also studied. Glutamine/glutamate ratio and N-acetylaspartate, creatine, choline, and myo-inositol levels were evaluated in a repeated-measures design. Medication effects and relationship to demographic and clinical variables were analyzed. Results Glutamine/glutamate ratio was significantly higher in ACC and POC in bipolar disorder, but not schizophrenia, compared with healthy controls. N-acetylaspartate was significantly lower in the ACC in schizophrenia. Patients on and off lithium, anticonvulsants, or benzodiazepines had similar glutamine/glutamate ratios. Conclusions The elevated glutamine/glutamate ratio is consistent with glutamatergic overactivity and/or defective neuronal-glial coupling in acute mania, although medication effects cannot be ruled out. Abnormalities in glutamatergic neurotransmission and glial cell function in bipolar disorder may represent targets for novel therapeutic interventions. PMID:18602089

  5. Non-associative Potentiation of Perisomatic Inhibition Alters the Temporal Coding of Neocortical Layer 5 Pyramidal Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Lourenço, Joana; Pacioni, Simone; Rebola, Nelson; van Woerden, Geeske M.; Marinelli, Silvia; DiGregorio, David; Bacci, Alberto

    2014-01-01

    In the neocortex, the coexistence of temporally locked excitation and inhibition governs complex network activity underlying cognitive functions, and is believed to be altered in several brain diseases. Here we show that this equilibrium can be unlocked by increased activity of layer 5 pyramidal neurons of the mouse neocortex. Somatic depolarization or short bursts of action potentials of layer 5 pyramidal neurons induced a selective long-term potentiation of GABAergic synapses (LTPi) without affecting glutamatergic inputs. Remarkably, LTPi was selective for perisomatic inhibition from parvalbumin basket cells, leaving dendritic inhibition intact. It relied on retrograde signaling of nitric oxide, which persistently altered presynaptic GABA release and diffused to inhibitory synapses impinging on adjacent pyramidal neurons. LTPi reduced the time window of synaptic summation and increased the temporal precision of spike generation. Thus, increases in single cortical pyramidal neuron activity can induce an interneuron-selective GABAergic plasticity effectively altering the computation of temporally coded information. PMID:25003184

  6. Postnatal Loss of P/Q-type Channels Confined to Rhombic Lip Derived Neurons Alters Synaptic Transmission at the Parallel Fiber to Purkinje Cell Synapse and Replicates Genomic Cacna1a Mutation Phenotype of Ataxia and Seizures in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Maejima, Takashi; Wollenweber, Patric; Teusner, Lena U. C.; Noebels, Jeffrey L.; Herlitze, Stefan; Mark, Melanie D.

    2013-01-01

    Ataxia, episodic dyskinesia and thalamocortical seizures are associated with an inherited loss of P/Q-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channel function. P/Q-type channels are widely expressed throughout the neuraxis, obscuring identification of the critical networks underlying these complex neurological disorders. We recently showed that the conditional postnatal loss of P/Q-type channels in cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs) in mice (purky) leads to these aberrant phenotypes, suggesting that intrinsic alteration in PC output is a sufficient pathogenic factor for disease initiation. The question arises whether P/Q-type channel deletion confined to a single upstream cerebellar synapse might induce the pathophysiological abnormality of genomically inherited P/Q-type channel disorders. PCs integrate two excitatory inputs, climbing fibers from inferior olive and parallel fibers (PFs) from granule cells (GCs) that receive mossy fiber (MF) input derived from precerebellar nuclei. In this paper, we introduce a new mouse model with a selective knock-out of P/Q-type channels in rhombic lip derived neurons including PF- and MF-pathways (quirky). We found that in quirky mice, PF-PC synaptic transmission is reduced during low-frequency stimulation. Using focal light stimulation of GCs that express optogenetic light-sensitive channels, channelrhodopsin-2, we found that modulation of PC firing via GC input is reduced in quirky mice. Phenotypic analysis revealed that quirky mice display ataxia, dyskinesia and absence epilepsy. These results suggest that developmental alteration of patterned input confined to only one of the main afferent cerebellar excitatory synaptic pathways has a significant role in generating the neurological phenotype associated with the global genomic loss of P/Q-type channel function. PMID:23516282

  7. 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

  8. Synaptic plasticity with discrete state synapses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abarbanel, Henry D. I.; Talathi, Sachin S.; Gibb, Leif; Rabinovich, M. I.

    2005-09-01

    Experimental observations on synaptic plasticity at individual glutamatergic synapses from the CA3 Shaffer collateral pathway onto CA1 pyramidal cells in the hippocampus suggest that the transitions in synaptic strength occur among discrete levels at individual synapses [C. C. H. Petersen , Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 85, 4732 (1998); O’Connor, Wittenberg, and Wang, D. H. O’Connor , Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA (to be published); J. M. Montgomery and D. V. Madison, Trends Neurosci. 27, 744 (2004)]. This happens for both long term potentiation (LTP) and long term depression (LTD) induction protocols. O’Connor, Wittenberg, and Wang have argued that three states would account for their observations on individual synapses in the CA3-CA1 pathway. We develop a quantitative model of this three-state system with transitions among the states determined by a competition between kinases and phosphatases shown by D. H. O’Connor , to be determinant of LTP and LTD, respectively. Specific predictions for various plasticity protocols are given by coupling this description of discrete synaptic α -amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor ligand gated ion channel conductance changes to a model of postsynaptic membrane potential and associated intracellular calcium fluxes to yield the transition rates among the states. We then present various LTP and LTD induction protocols to the model system and report the resulting whole cell changes in AMPA conductance. We also examine the effect of our discrete state synaptic plasticity model on the synchronization of realistic oscillating neurons. We show that one-to-one synchronization is enhanced by the plasticity we discuss here and the presynaptic and postsynaptic oscillations are in phase. Synaptic strength saturates naturally in this model and does not require artificial upper or lower cutoffs, in contrast to earlier models of plasticity.

  9. The developmental stages of synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Lohmann, Christian; Kessels, Helmut W

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The brain is programmed to drive behaviour by precisely wiring the appropriate neuronal circuits. Wiring and rewiring of neuronal circuits largely depends on the orchestrated changes in the strengths of synaptic contacts. Here, we review how the rules of synaptic plasticity change during development of the brain, from birth to independence. We focus on the changes that occur at the postsynaptic side of excitatory glutamatergic synapses in the rodent hippocampus and neocortex. First we summarize the current data on the structure of synapses and the developmental expression patterns of the key molecular players of synaptic plasticity, N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) and α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors, as well as pivotal kinases (Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, protein kinase A, protein kinase C) and phosphatases (PP1, PP2A, PP2B). In the second part we relate these findings to important characteristics of the emerging network. We argue that the concerted and gradual shifts in the usage of plasticity molecules comply with the changing need for (re)wiring neuronal circuits. PMID:24144877

  10. Genetic analysis of glutamatergic function in Drosophila

    SciTech Connect

    Chase, B.A.; Kankel, D.R.

    1987-01-01

    Neurotransmitters are essential for communication between neurons and hence are vital in the overall integrative functioning of the nervous system. Previous work on acetylcholine metabolism in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has also raised the possibility that transmitter metabolism may play a prominent role in either the achievement or maintenance of the normal structure of the central nervous system in this species. Unfortunately, acetylcholine is rather poorly characterized as a neurotransmitter in Drosophila; consequently, we have begun an analysis of the role of glutamate (probably the best characterized transmitter in this organism) in the formation and/or maintenance of nervous system structure. We present here the results of a series of preliminary analyses. To suggest where glutamatergic function may be localized, an examination of the spatial distribution of high affinity (/sup 3/H)-glutamate binding sites are presented. We present the results of an analysis of the spatial and temporal distribution of enzymatic activities thought to be important in the regulation of transmitter-glutamate pools (i.e., glutamate oxaloacetic transaminase, glutaminase, and glutamate dehydrogenase). To begin to examine whether mutations in any of these functions are capable of affecting glutamatergic activity, we present the results of an initial genetic analysis of one enzymatic function, glutamate oxaloacetic transaminase (GOT), chosen because of its differential distribution within the adult central nervous system and musculature.

  11. The neurobiological properties of tianeptine (Stablon): from monoamine hypothesis to glutamatergic modulation.

    PubMed

    McEwen, B S; Chattarji, S; Diamond, D M; Jay, T M; Reagan, L P; Svenningsson, P; Fuchs, E

    2010-03-01

    Tianeptine is a clinically used antidepressant that has drawn much attention, because this compound challenges traditional monoaminergic hypotheses of depression. It is now acknowledged that the antidepressant actions of tianeptine, together with its remarkable clinical tolerance, can be attributed to its particular neurobiological properties. The involvement of glutamate in the mechanism of action of the antidepressant tianeptine is consistent with a well-developed preclinical literature demonstrating the key function of glutamate in the mechanism of altered neuroplasticity that underlies the symptoms of depression. This article reviews the latest evidence on tianeptine's mechanism of action with a focus on the glutamatergic system, which could provide a key pathway for its antidepressant action. Converging lines of evidences demonstrate actions of tianeptine on the glutamatergic system, and therefore offer new insights into how tianeptine may be useful in the treatment of depressive disorders.

  12. Segregation of glutamatergic and cholinergic transmission at the mixed motoneuron Renshaw cell synapse.

    PubMed

    Lamotte d'Incamps, Boris; Bhumbra, Gardave S; Foster, Joshua D; Beato, Marco; Ascher, Philippe

    2017-06-22

    In neonatal mice motoneurons excite Renshaw cells by releasing both acetylcholine (ACh) and glutamate. These two neurotransmitters activate two types of nicotinic receptors (nAChRs) (the homomeric α7 receptors and the heteromeric α*ß* receptors) as well as the two types of glutamate receptors (GluRs) (AMPARs and NMDARs). Using paired recordings, we confirm that a single motoneuron can release both transmitters on a single post-synaptic Renshaw cell. We then show that co-transmission is preserved in adult animals. Kinetic analysis of miniature EPSCs revealed quantal release of mixed events associating AMPARs and NMDARs, as well as α7 and α*ß* nAChRs, but no evidence was found for mEPSCs associating nAChRs with GluRs. Bayesian Quantal Analysis (BQA) of evoked EPSCs showed that the number of functional contacts on a single Renshaw cell is more than halved when the nicotinic receptors are blocked, confirming that the two neurotransmitters systems are segregated. Our observations can be explained if ACh and glutamate are released from common vesicles onto spatially segregated post-synaptic receptors clusters, but a pre-synaptic segregation of cholinergic and glutamatergic release sites is also possible.

  13. Developing Medications Targeting Glutamatergic Dysfunction in Autism: Progress to Date

    PubMed Central

    Fung, Lawrence K.; Hardan, Antonio Y.

    2015-01-01

    Pharmacologic treatments targeting specific molecular mechanisms relevant for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are beginning to emerge in early drug development. This article reviews the evidence for the disruption of glutamatergic neurotransmission in animal models of social deficits and summarizes key pre-clinical and clinical efforts in developing pharmacologic interventions based on modulation of glutamatergic systems in individuals with ASD. Understanding the pathobiology of the glutamatergic system has led to the development of new investigational treatments for individuals with ASD. Specific examples of medications that modulate the glutamatergic system in preclinical and clinical studies are described. Finally, we will discuss the limitations of current strategies and future opportunities in developing medications targeting the glutamatergic system for treating individuals with ASD. PMID:26104862

  14. Optogenetic Acidification of Synaptic Vesicles and Lysosomes

    PubMed Central

    Grauel, M. Katharina; Wozny, Christian; Bentz, Claudia; Blessing, Anja; Rosenmund, Tanja; Jentsch, Thomas J.; Schmitz, Dietmar; Hegemann, Peter; Rosenmund, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Acidification is required for the function of many intracellular organelles, but methods to acutely manipulate their intraluminal pH have not been available. Here we present a targeting strategy to selectively express the light-driven proton pump Arch3 on synaptic vesicles. Our new tool, pHoenix, can functionally replace endogenous proton pumps, enabling optogenetic control of vesicular acidification and neurotransmitter accumulation. Under physiological conditions, glutamatergic vesicles are nearly full, as additional vesicle acidification with pHoenix only slightly increased the quantal size. By contrast, we found that incompletely filled vesicles exhibited a lower release probability than full vesicles, suggesting preferential exocytosis of vesicles with high transmitter content. Our subcellular targeting approach can be transferred to other organelles, as demonstrated for a pHoenix variant that allows light-activated acidification of lysosomes. PMID:26551543

  15. Amygdala EphB2 Signaling Regulates Glutamatergic Neuron Maturation and Innate Fear

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Xiao-Na; Liu, Xian-Dong; Zhuang, Hanyi; Henkemeyer, Mark

    2016-01-01

    The amygdala serves as emotional center to mediate innate fear behaviors that are reflected through neuronal responses to environmental aversive cues. However, the molecular mechanism underlying the initial neuron responses is poorly understood. In this study, we monitored the innate defensive responses to aversive stimuli of either elevated plus maze or predator odor in juvenile mice and found that glutamatergic neurons were activated in amygdala. Loss of EphB2, a receptor tyrosine kinase expressed in amygdala neurons, suppressed the reactions and led to defects in spine morphogenesis and fear behaviors. We further found a coupling of spinogenesis with these threat cues induced neuron activation in developing amygdala that was controlled by EphB2. A constitutively active form of EphB2 was sufficient to rescue the behavioral and morphological defects caused by ablation of ephrin-B3, a brain-enriched ligand to EphB2. These data suggest that kinase-dependent EphB2 intracellular signaling plays a major role for innate fear responses during the critical developing period, in which spinogenesis in amygdala glutamatergic neurons was involved. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Generation of innate fear responses to threat as an evolutionally conserved brain feature relies on development of functional neural circuit in amygdala, but the molecular mechanism remains largely unknown. We here identify that EphB2 receptor tyrosine kinase, which is specifically expressed in glutamatergic neurons, is required for the innate fear responses in the neonatal brain. We further reveal that EphB2 mediates coordination of spinogenesis and neuron activation in amygdala during the critical period for the innate fear. EphB2 catalytic activity plays a major role for the behavior upon EphB–ephrin-B3 binding and transnucleus neuronal connections. Our work thus indicates an essential synaptic molecular signaling within amygdala that controls synapse development and helps bring about innate fear emotions

  16. Functional recovery after cervical spinal cord injury: Role of neurotrophin and glutamatergic signaling in phrenic motoneurons.

    PubMed

    Gill, Luther C; Gransee, Heather M; Sieck, Gary C; Mantilla, Carlos B

    2016-06-01

    Cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) interrupts descending neural drive to phrenic motoneurons causing diaphragm muscle (DIAm) paralysis. Recent studies using a well-established model of SCI, unilateral spinal hemisection of the C2 segment of the cervical spinal cord (SH), provide novel information regarding the molecular and cellular mechanisms of functional recovery after SCI. Over time post-SH, gradual recovery of rhythmic ipsilateral DIAm activity occurs. Recovery of ipsilateral DIAm electromyogram (EMG) activity following SH is enhanced by increasing brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the region of the phrenic motoneuron pool. Delivery of exogenous BDNF either via intrathecal infusion or via mesenchymal stem cells engineered to release BDNF similarly enhance recovery. Conversely, recovery after SH is blunted by quenching endogenous BDNF with the fusion-protein TrkB-Fc in the region of the phrenic motoneuron pool or by selective inhibition of TrkB kinase activity using a chemical-genetic approach in TrkB(F616A) mice. Furthermore, the importance of BDNF signaling via TrkB receptors at phrenic motoneurons is highlighted by the blunting of recovery by siRNA-mediated downregulation of TrkB receptor expression in phrenic motoneurons and by the enhancement of recovery evident following virally-induced increases in TrkB expression specifically in phrenic motoneurons. BDNF/TrkB signaling regulates synaptic plasticity in various neuronal systems, including glutamatergic pathways. Glutamatergic neurotransmission constitutes the main inspiratory-related, excitatory drive to motoneurons, and following SH, spontaneous neuroplasticity is associated with increased expression of ionotropic N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in phrenic motoneurons. Evidence for the role of BDNF/TrkB and glutamatergic signaling in recovery of DIAm activity following cervical SCI is reviewed.

  17. Short-term high-fat-and-fructose feeding produces insulin signaling alterations accompanied by neurite and synaptic reduction and astroglial activation in the rat hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Calvo-Ochoa, Erika; Hernández-Ortega, Karina; Ferrera, Patricia; Morimoto, Sumiko; Arias, Clorinda

    2014-01-01

    Chronic consumption of high-fat-and-fructose diets (HFFD) is associated with the development of insulin resistance (InsRes) and obesity. Systemic insulin resistance resulting from long-term HFFD feeding has detrimental consequences on cognitive performance, neurogenesis, and long-term potentiation establishment, accompanied by neuronal alterations in the hippocampus. However, diet-induced hippocampal InsRes has not been reported. Therefore, we investigated whether short-term HFFD feeding produced hippocampal insulin signaling alterations associated with neuronal changes in the hippocampus. Rats were fed with a control diet or an HFFD consisting of 10% lard supplemented chow and 20% high-fructose syrup in the drinking water. Our results show that 7 days of HFFD feeding induce obesity and InsRes, associated with the following alterations in the hippocampus: (1) a decreased insulin signaling; (2) a decreased hippocampal weight; (3) a reduction in dendritic arborization in CA1 and microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP-2) levels; (4) a decreased dendritic spine number in CA1 and synaptophysin content, along with an increase in tau phosphorylation; and finally, (5) an increase in reactive astrocyte associated with microglial changes. To our knowledge, this is the first report addressing hippocampal insulin signaling, as well as morphologic, structural, and functional modifications due to short-term HFFD feeding in the rat. PMID:24667917

  18. Synaptic and non-synaptic localization of protocadherin-γC5 in the rat brain

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yanfang; Serwanski, David R.; Miralles, Celia P.; Fiondella, Christopher G.; LoTurco, Joseph J.; Rubio, Maria E.; De Blas, Angel L.

    2011-01-01

    It has been proposed that γ-protocadherins (Pcdh-γs) are involved in the establishment of specific patterns of neuronal connectivity. Contrary to the other Pcdh-γs, which are expressed in the embryo, Pcdh-γC5 is expressed postnatally in the brain, coinciding with the peak of synaptogenesis. We have developed an antibody specific for Pcdh-γC5 to study the expression and localization of Pcdh-γC5 in brain. Pcdh-γC5 is highly expressed in the olfactory bulb, corpus striatum, dentate gyrus, CA1 region of the hippocampus, layers I and II of the cerebral cortex, the molecular layer of the cerebellum. Pcdh-γC5 is expressed in both neurons and astrocytes. In hippocampal neuronal cultures, and in the absence of astrocytes, a significant percentage of synapses, more GABAergic than glutamatergic, have associated Pcdh-γC5 clusters. Some GABAergic axons show Pcdh-γC5 in the majority of their synapses. Nevertheless, many Pcdh-γC5 clusters are not associated with synapses. In the brain, a significant number of Pcdh-γC5 clusters are located at contact points between neurons and astrocytes. Electron microscope immunocytochemistry of the rat brain shows that i) Pcdh-γC5 is present in some GABAergic and glutamatergic synapses both pre- and postsynaptically; ii) Pcdh-γC5 is also extrasynaptically localized in membranes and in cytoplasmic organelles of neurons and astrocytes; and iii) that Pcdh-γC5 is also localized in perisynaptic astrocyte processes. The results support the notion that i) Pcdh-γC5 plays a role in synaptic specificity and/or synaptic maturation, and ii) that Pcdh-γC5 is involved in neuron-neuron synaptic interactions and in neuron-astrocyte interactions, including perisynaptic neuron-astrocyte interactions. PMID:20589908

  19. Inhibition of tonic spinal glutamatergic activity induces antinociception in the rat.

    PubMed

    Tambeli, Claudia H; Parada, Carlos A; Levine, Jon D; Gear, Robert W

    2002-10-01

    Inhibition of tonic activity in spino-supraspinal projection neurons induces heterosegmental antinociception that is mediated by opioid receptors in nucleus accumbens. To investigate the origin of this tonic activity, we evaluated the ability of inhibiting neurotransmission in the spinal cord to produce heterosegmental antinociception in the trigeminal nociceptive jaw-opening reflex (JOR) in the rat. Spinal intrathecal administration of calcium channel blockers attenuated the JOR, suggesting that the tonic spinal activity depends on synaptic input. To identify the excitatory neurotransmitter receptors involved, selective antagonists for AMPA/kainate, mGluR1, NMDA or NK1 receptors were administered intrathecally to the spinal cord. The AMPA/kainate and mGluR1 receptor antagonists, but not the NMDA or NK1 receptor antagonists, induced antinociception, which was antagonized by intra-accumbens administration of the selective micro -opioid receptor antagonist CTOP. Thus, inhibition of tonic spinal glutamatergic activity resulted in supraspinally mediated antinociception. As this antinociception occurred in the absence of interventions that would produce a facilitated nociceptive state, this tonic glutamatergic activity is important in setting nociceptive threshold.

  20. A Monte Carlo model reveals independent signaling at central glutamatergic synapses.

    PubMed Central

    Franks, Kevin M; Bartol, Thomas M; Sejnowski, Terrence J

    2002-01-01

    We have developed a biophysically realistic model of receptor activation at an idealized central glutamatergic synapse that uses Monte Carlo techniques to simulate the stochastic nature of transmission following release of a single synaptic vesicle. For the a synapse with 80 AMPA and 20 NMDA receptors, a single quantum, with 3000 glutamate molecules, opened approximately 3 NMDARs and 20 AMPARs. The number of open receptors varied directly with the total number of receptors, and the fraction of open receptors did not depend on the ratio of co-localized AMPARs and NMDARs. Variability decreased with increases in either total receptor number or quantal size, and differences between the variability of AMPAR and NMDAR responses were due solely to unequal numbers of receptors at the synapse. Despite NMDARs having a much higher affinity for glutamate than AMPARs, quantal release resulted in similar occupancy levels in both receptor types. Receptor activation increased with number of transmitter molecules released or total receptor number, whereas occupancy levels were only dependent on quantal size. Tortuous diffusion spaces reduced the extent of spillover and the activation of extrasynaptic receptors. These results support the conclusion that signaling is spatially independent within and between central glutamatergic synapses. PMID:12414671

  1. Synaptic Vesicle Endocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Saheki, Yasunori; De Camilli, Pietro

    2012-01-01

    Neurons can sustain high rates of synaptic transmission without exhausting their supply of synaptic vesicles. This property relies on a highly efficient local endocytic recycling of synaptic vesicle membranes, which can be reused for hundreds, possibly thousands, of exo-endocytic cycles. Morphological, physiological, molecular, and genetic studies over the last four decades have provided insight into the membrane traffic reactions that govern this recycling and its regulation. These studies have shown that synaptic vesicle endocytosis capitalizes on fundamental and general endocytic mechanisms but also involves neuron-specific adaptations of such mechanisms. Thus, investigations of these processes have advanced not only the field of synaptic transmission but also, more generally, the field of endocytosis. This article summarizes current information on synaptic vesicle endocytosis with an emphasis on the underlying molecular mechanisms and with a special focus on clathrin-mediated endocytosis, the predominant pathway of synaptic vesicle protein internalization. PMID:22763746

  2. Effect of cocaine on ion channels and glutamatergic EPSCs in noradrenergic locus coeruleus neurons.

    PubMed

    Liu, L N; Zhu, F P; Song, M Y; Kang, X J; Shang, S J; Zhang, X Y; Xu, H D; Teng, S S; Liu, B; Kuo, S T; Liu, W; Li, M L; Zhou, L; Jiao, R Y; Wang, C H; Wang, S R; Yang, H; Zhang, B; Zhou, Z; Xu, Z Q D

    2014-07-01

    The locus coeruleus (LC) is an important brainstem area involved in cocaine addiction. However, evidence to elucidate how cocaine modulates the activity of LC neurons remains incomplete. Here, we performed whole recordings in brain slices to evaluate the effects of cocaine on the sodium (Na(+)), potassium (K(+)), calcium (Ca(2+)) channels, and glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the locus coeruleus neurons. Local application of cocaine significantly and reversibly reduced the spontaneous firing rate but did not affect action potential amplitude, rising time, decay time, or half width of noradrenergic locus coeruleus neurons. Moreover, cocaine attenuated the sodium current but did not affect potassium and calcium currents. The N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents were reduced by neuropeptide galanin but not cocaine. All those data demonstrate that cocaine has inhibitory effect on the spontaneous activities and sodium current in locus coeruleus neurons. Therefore, neuromodulation of sodium channel in locus coeruleus neurons may play an important role in drug addiction.

  3. Multiple Mechanistically Distinct Modes of Endocannabinoid Mobilization at Central Amygdala Glutamatergic Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Ramikie, Teniel S.; Nyilas, Rita; Bluett, Rebecca J.; Gamble-George, Joyonna C.; Hartley, Nolan D.; Mackie, Ken; Watanabe, Masahiko; Katona, István; Patel, Sachin

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY The central amygdala (CeA) is a key structure at the limbic-motor interface regulating stress-responses and emotional learning. Endocannabinoid (eCB) signaling is heavily implicated in the regulation of stress-response physiology and emotional learning processes; however, the role of eCBs in the modulation of synaptic efficacy in the CeA is not well understood. Here we describe the subcellular localization of CB1 cannabinoid receptors and eCB synthetic machinery at glutamatergic synapses in the CeA and find that CeA neurons exhibit multiple mechanistically and temporally distinct modes of postsynaptic eCB mobilization. These data identify a prominent role for eCBs in the modulation of excitatory drive to CeA neurons and provide insight into the mechanisms by which eCB signaling and exogenous cannabinoids could regulate stress-responses and emotional learning. PMID:24607231

  4. Mixed cholinergic/glutamatergic neuromuscular innervation of Onychophora: a combined histochemical/electrophysiological study.

    PubMed

    Stern, Michael; Bicker, Gerd

    2008-08-01

    Morphological and molecular phylogenetic data show that the Onychophora are close relatives of the Arthropoda. However, onychophoran neuromuscular junctions have been reported to employ acetylcholine, as in annelids, nematodes, and other bilaterians, rather than glutamate, as in arthropods. Here, we show that the large longitudinal muscles of Peripatoides respond indeed only to acetylcholine, whereas the oblique and ring muscles of the body wall are sensitive both to acetylcholine and to L-glutamate. Moreover, cytochemical staining reveals both acetylcholinesterase- and glutamate-positive synaptic boutons on oblique and ring muscles. These novel findings agree with a phylogenetic position of onychophorans basal to that of the arthropods. Although the glutamatergic phenotype of excitatory neuromuscular transmission may be a characteristic feature of arthropods and present even in a subset of onychophoran motor neurons, the motor neurons of the longitudinal muscles still retain the cholinergic phenotype typical for annelids and other taxa.

  5. A Dynamical Role for Acetylcholine in Synaptic Renormalization

    PubMed Central

    Fink, Christian G.; Murphy, Geoffrey G.; Zochowski, Michal; Booth, Victoria

    2013-01-01

    Although sleep is a fundamental behavior observed in virtually all animal species, its functions remain unclear. One leading proposal, known as the synaptic renormalization hypothesis, suggests that sleep is necessary to counteract a global strengthening of synapses that occurs during wakefulness. Evidence for sleep-dependent synaptic downscaling (or synaptic renormalization) has been observed experimentally, but the physiological mechanisms which generate this phenomenon are unknown. In this study, we propose that changes in neuronal membrane excitability induced by acetylcholine may provide a dynamical mechanism for both wake-dependent synaptic upscaling and sleep-dependent downscaling. We show in silico that cholinergically-induced changes in network firing patterns alter overall network synaptic potentiation when synaptic strengths evolve through spike-timing dependent plasticity mechanisms. Specifically, network synaptic potentiation increases dramatically with high cholinergic concentration and decreases dramatically with low levels of acetylcholine. We demonstrate that this phenomenon is robust across variation of many different network parameters. PMID:23516342

  6. Relative Contributions of Specific Activity Histories and Spontaneous Processes to Size Remodeling of Glutamatergic Synapses.

    PubMed

    Dvorkin, Roman; Ziv, Noam E

    2016-10-01

    The idea that synaptic properties are defined by specific pre- and postsynaptic activity histories is one of the oldest and most influential tenets of contemporary neuroscience. Recent studies also indicate, however, that synaptic properties often change spontaneously, even in the absence of specific activity patterns or any activity whatsoever. What, then, are the relative contributions of activity history-dependent and activity history-independent processes to changes synapses undergo? To compare the relative contributions of these processes, we imaged, in spontaneously active networks of cortical neurons, glutamatergic synapses formed between the same axons and neurons or dendrites under the assumption that their similar activity histories should result in similar size changes over timescales of days. The size covariance of such commonly innervated (CI) synapses was then compared to that of synapses formed by different axons (non-CI synapses) that differed in their activity histories. We found that the size covariance of CI synapses was greater than that of non-CI synapses; yet overall size covariance of CI synapses was rather modest. Moreover, momentary and time-averaged sizes of CI synapses correlated rather poorly, in perfect agreement with published electron microscopy-based measurements of mouse cortex synapses. A conservative estimate suggested that ~40% of the observed size remodeling was attributable to specific activity histories, whereas ~10% and ~50% were attributable to cell-wide and spontaneous, synapse-autonomous processes, respectively. These findings demonstrate that histories of naturally occurring activity patterns can direct glutamatergic synapse remodeling but also suggest that the contributions of spontaneous, possibly stochastic, processes are at least as great.

  7. Relative Contributions of Specific Activity Histories and Spontaneous Processes to Size Remodeling of Glutamatergic Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Dvorkin, Roman; Ziv, Noam E.

    2016-01-01

    The idea that synaptic properties are defined by specific pre- and postsynaptic activity histories is one of the oldest and most influential tenets of contemporary neuroscience. Recent studies also indicate, however, that synaptic properties often change spontaneously, even in the absence of specific activity patterns or any activity whatsoever. What, then, are the relative contributions of activity history-dependent and activity history-independent processes to changes synapses undergo? To compare the relative contributions of these processes, we imaged, in spontaneously active networks of cortical neurons, glutamatergic synapses formed between the same axons and neurons or dendrites under the assumption that their similar activity histories should result in similar size changes over timescales of days. The size covariance of such commonly innervated (CI) synapses was then compared to that of synapses formed by different axons (non-CI synapses) that differed in their activity histories. We found that the size covariance of CI synapses was greater than that of non-CI synapses; yet overall size covariance of CI synapses was rather modest. Moreover, momentary and time-averaged sizes of CI synapses correlated rather poorly, in perfect agreement with published electron microscopy-based measurements of mouse cortex synapses. A conservative estimate suggested that ~40% of the observed size remodeling was attributable to specific activity histories, whereas ~10% and ~50% were attributable to cell-wide and spontaneous, synapse-autonomous processes, respectively. These findings demonstrate that histories of naturally occurring activity patterns can direct glutamatergic synapse remodeling but also suggest that the contributions of spontaneous, possibly stochastic, processes are at least as great. PMID:27776122

  8. Interplay between Brain BDNF and Glutamatergic Systems: A Brief State of the Evidence and Association with the Pathogenesis of Depression.

    PubMed

    Gulyaeva, N V

    2017-03-01

    The excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate system and the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) system are principally involved in phenomena of cellular and synaptic plasticity. These systems are interacting, and disclosing mechanisms of such interactions is critically important for understanding the machinery of neuroplasticity and its modulation in normal and pathological situations. The short state of evidence in this review addresses experimentally confirmed connections of these mechanisms and their potential relation to the pathogenesis of depression. The connections between the two systems are numerous and bidirectional, providing for mutual regulation of the glutamatergic and BDNF systems. The available data suggest that it is complex and well-coordinating nature of these connections that secures optimal synaptic and cellular plasticity in the normal brain. Both systems are associated with the pathogenesis of depression, and the disturbance of tight and well-balanced associations between them results in unfavorable changes in neuronal plasticity underlying depressive disorders and other mood diseases.

  9. Pax6-dependent cortical glutamatergic neuronal differentiation regulates autism-like behavior in prenatally valproic acid-exposed rat offspring.

    PubMed

    Kim, Ki Chan; Lee, Dong-Keun; Go, Hyo Sang; Kim, Pitna; Choi, Chang Soon; Kim, Ji-Woon; Jeon, Se Jin; Song, Mi-Ryoung; Shin, Chan Young

    2014-02-01

    Imbalance in excitatory/inhibitory signal in the brain has been proposed as one of the main pathological features in autism spectrum disorders, although the underlying cellular and molecular mechanism is unclear yet. Because excitatory/inhibitory imbalance can be induced by aberration in glutamatergic/GABAergic neuronal differentiation, we investigated the mechanism of dysregulated neuronal differentiation between excitatory and inhibitory neurons in the embryonic and postnatal brain of prenatally valproic acid-exposed rat offspring, which is often used as an animal model of autism spectrum disorders. Transcription factor Pax6, implicated in glutamatergic neuronal differentiation, was transiently increased in embryonic cortex by valproate exposure, which resulted in the increased expression of glutamatergic proteins in postnatal brain of offspring. Chromatin immunoprecipitation showed increased acetylated histone binding on Pax6 promoter region, which may underlie the transcriptional up-regulation of Pax6. Other histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors including TSA and SB but not valpromide, which is devoid of HDAC inhibitor activity, induced Pax6 up-regulation. Silencing Pax6 expression in cultured rat primary neural progenitor cells demonstrated that up-regulation of Pax6 plays an essential role in valproate-induced glutamatergic differentiation. Blocking glutamatergic transmission with MK-801 or memantine treatment, and to a lesser extent with MPEP treatment, reversed the impaired social behaviors and seizure susceptibility of prenatally valproate-exposed offspring. Together, environmental factors may contribute to the imbalance in excitatory/inhibitory neuronal activity in autistic brain by altering expression of transcription factors governing glutamatergic/GABAergic differentiation during fetal neural development, in conjunction with the genetic preload.

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-07-01

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

  11. Synaptic plasticity model of therapeutic sleep deprivation in major depression.

    PubMed

    Wolf, Elias; Kuhn, Marion; Normann, Claus; Mainberger, Florian; Maier, Jonathan G; Maywald, Sarah; Bredl, Aliza; Klöppel, Stefan; Biber, Knut; van Calker, Dietrich; Riemann, Dieter; Sterr, Annette; Nissen, Christoph

    2016-12-01

    Therapeutic sleep deprivation (SD) is a rapid acting treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD). Within hours, SD leads to a dramatic decrease in depressive symptoms in 50-60% of patients with MDD. Scientifically, therapeutic SD presents a unique paradigm to study the neurobiology of MDD. Yet, up to now, the neurobiological basis of the antidepressant effect, which is most likely different from today's first-line treatments, is not sufficiently understood. This article puts the idea forward that sleep/wake-dependent shifts in synaptic plasticity, i.e., the neural basis of adaptive network function and behavior, represent a critical mechanism of therapeutic SD in MDD. Particularly, this article centers on two major hypotheses of MDD and sleep, the synaptic plasticity hypothesis of MDD and the synaptic homeostasis hypothesis of sleep-wake regulation, and on how they can be integrated into a novel synaptic plasticity model of therapeutic SD in MDD. As a major component, the model proposes that therapeutic SD, by homeostatically enhancing cortical synaptic strength, shifts the initially deficient inducibility of associative synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP) in patients with MDD in a more favorable window of associative plasticity. Research on the molecular effects of SD in animals and humans, including observations in the neurotrophic, adenosinergic, monoaminergic, and glutamatergic system, provides some support for the hypothesis of associative synaptic plasticity facilitation after therapeutic SD in MDD. The model proposes a novel framework for a mechanism of action of therapeutic SD that can be further tested in humans based on non-invasive indices and in animals based on direct studies of synaptic plasticity. Further determining the mechanisms of action of SD might contribute to the development of novel fast acting treatments for MDD, one of the major health problems worldwide. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Origins of altered reinforcement effects in ADHD

    PubMed Central

    Johansen, Espen Borgå; Killeen, Peter R; Russell, Vivienne A; Tripp, Gail; Wickens, Jeff R; Tannock, Rosemary; Williams, Jonathan; Sagvolden, Terje

    2009-01-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), characterized by hyperactivity, impulsiveness and deficient sustained attention, is one of the most common and persistent behavioral disorders of childhood. ADHD is associated with catecholamine dysfunction. The catecholamines are important for response selection and memory formation, and dopamine in particular is important for reinforcement of successful behavior. The convergence of dopaminergic mesolimbic and glutamatergic corticostriatal synapses upon individual neostriatal neurons provides a favorable substrate for a three-factor synaptic modification rule underlying acquisition of associations between stimuli in a particular context, responses, and reinforcers. The change in associative strength as a function of delay between key stimuli or responses, and reinforcement, is known as the delay of reinforcement gradient. The gradient is altered by vicissitudes of attention, intrusions of irrelevant events, lapses of memory, and fluctuations in dopamine function. Theoretical and experimental analyses of these moderating factors will help to determine just how reinforcement processes are altered in ADHD. Such analyses can only help to improve treatment strategies for ADHD. PMID:19226460

  13. Notch1 Regulates Hippocampal Plasticity Through Interaction with the Reelin Pathway, Glutamatergic Transmission and CREB Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Brai, Emanuele; Marathe, Swananda; Astori, Simone; Fredj, Naila Ben; Perry, Elisabeth; Lamy, Christophe; Scotti, Alessandra; Alberi, Lavinia

    2015-01-01

    Notch signaling plays a crucial role in adult brain function such as synaptic plasticity, memory and olfaction. Several reports suggest an involvement of this pathway in neurodegenerative dementia. Yet, to date, the mechanism underlying Notch activity in mature neurons remains unresolved. In this work, we investigate how Notch regulates synaptic potentiation and contributes to the establishment of memory in mice. We observe that Notch1 is a postsynaptic receptor with functional interactions with the Reelin receptor, apolipoprotein E receptor 2 (ApoER2) and the ionotropic receptor, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR). Targeted loss of Notch1 in the hippocampal CA fields affects Reelin signaling by influencing Dab1 expression and impairs the synaptic potentiation achieved through Reelin stimulation. Further analysis indicates that loss of Notch1 affects the expression and composition of the NMDAR but not AMPAR. Glutamatergic signaling is further compromised through downregulation of CamKII and its secondary and tertiary messengers resulting in reduced cAMP response element-binding (CREB) signaling. Our results identify Notch1 as an important regulator of mechanisms involved in synaptic plasticity and memory formation. These findings emphasize the possible involvement of this signaling receptor in dementia. Highlights In this paper, we propose a mechanism for Notch1-dependent plasticity that likely underlies the function of Notch1 in memory formation: Notch1 interacts with another important developmental pathway, the Reelin cascade. Notch1 regulates both NMDAR expression and composition. Notch1 influences a cascade of cellular events culminating in CREB activation. PMID:26635527

  14. Preferential accumulation of amyloid-beta in presynaptic glutamatergic terminals (VGluT1 and VGluT2) in Alzheimer’s disease cortex

    PubMed Central

    Sokolow, Sophie; Luu, Sanh H.; Nandy, Karabi; Miller, Carol A.; Vinters, Harry V.; Poon, Wayne W.; Gylys, Karen H.

    2011-01-01

    Amyloid-beta (Aβ) is thought to play a central role in synaptic dysfunction (e.g. neurotransmitter release) and synapse loss. Glutamatergic dysfunction is involved in the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and perhaps plays a central role in age-related cognitive impairment. Yet, it is largely unknown whether Aβ accumulates in excitatory boutons. To assess the possibility that glutamatergic terminals are lost in AD patients, control and AD synaptosomes were immunolabeled for the most abundant vesicular glutamate transporters (VGluT1 and VGluT2) and quantified by flow cytometry and immunoblot methods. In post-mortem parietal cortex from aged control subjects, glutamatergic boutons are fairly abundant as approximately 40% were immunoreactive for VGluT1 (37%) and VGluT2 (39%). However, the levels of these specific markers of glutamatergic synapses were not significantly different among control and AD cases. To test the hypothesis that Aβ is associated with excitatory terminals, AD synaptosomes were double-labeled for Aβ and for VGluT1 and VGluT2, and analyzed by flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. Our study demonstrated that Aβ immunoreactivity (IR) was present in glutamatergic terminals of AD patients. Quantification of Aβ and VGluT1 in a large population of glutamatergic nerve terminals was performed by flow cytometry, showing that 42% of VGluT1 synaptosomes were immunoreactive for Aβ compared to 9% of VGluT1 synaptosomes lacking Aβ-IR. Percentage of VGluT2 synaptosomes immunoreactive for Aβ (21%) was significantly higher than VGluT2 synaptosomes lacking Aβ-IR (9%). Moreover, Aβ preferentially affects VGluT1 (42% positive) compared to VGluT2 terminals (21%). These data represent the first evidence of high levels of Aβ in excitatory boutons in AD cortex and support the hypothesis that Aβ may play a role in modulating glutamate transmission in AD terminals. PMID:21914482