Science.gov

Sample records for altered glutamatergic synaptic

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Glutamatergic Synaptic Dysfunction and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Ting, Jonathan T; Feng, Guoping

    2008-01-01

    Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a debilitating neuropsychiatric condition estimated to afflict 1-3% of the world population. The estimated financial impact in the treatment and management of OCD is in the billions of dollars annually in the US alone. At present there is a marked lack of evidence on the specific causes of OCD. Current hypotheses largely focus on the serotonin (5-HT) system on the basis of the effectiveness of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in alleviating symptoms of patients with OCD, yet a considerable fraction of patients are non-responsive or minimally responsive to these agents. Despite this fact, SSRIs have remained the primary pharmacological treatment avenue for OCD. In recent years, multiple lines of evidence have implicated glutamatergic synaptic dysfunction within the cortico-striatal-thalamo-cortical (CSTC) brain circuit in the etiology of OCD and related disorders, thereby prompting intensified effort in the development and evaluation of agents that modulate glutamatergic neurotransmission for the treatment of OCD. With this in mind, here we review the following topics with respect to synaptic dysfunction and the neural circuitry underlying OCD: (1) evidence supporting the critical involvement of the CSTC circuit, (2) genetic studies supporting the involvement of glutamatergic dysfunction, (3) insights from genetic animal models of OCD, and (4) preliminary findings with glutamatergic neurotransmission-modulating agents in the treatment of OCD. Given the putative mechanistic overlap between OCD and the broader OC-spectrum of disorders, unraveling the synaptic basis of OCD has potential to translate into more effective treatments for an array of poorly understood human disorders. PMID:19768139

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-10-01

    chemokines in the brain results in impaired synaptic development and altered behavior . We employed the MIA mouse model and so far found that in...offspring there is a reduction in the number of synaptic structures in vivo as well as reduced motility. Behavioral impairments relevant to ASD are also...impaired synaptic development and altered behavior . To test this hypothesis, we employed the MIA mouse model using the viral mimic poly (I:C) to

  9. 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.

  10. 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-/-.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-10-01

    1 Award Number: W81XWH-13-1-0440 TITLE: Mechanisms of Synaptic Alterations in a Neuroinflammation Model of Autism PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Anna...29Sep2014 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Mechanisms of Synaptic Alterations in a Neuroinflammation Model of Autism 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER W81XWH-13-1-0440 5b...Here we investigated how Maternal Immune Activation (MIA), a risk factor for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) affects the development of synapses

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. [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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  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. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Early changes in Huntington's disease patient brains involve alterations in cytoskeletal and synaptic elements.

    PubMed

    DiProspero, Nicholas A; Chen, Er-Yun; Charles, Vinod; Plomann, Markus; Kordower, Jeffrey H; Tagle, Danilo A

    2004-09-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is caused by a polyglutamine repeat expansion in the N-terminus of the huntingtin protein. Huntingtin is normally present in the cytoplasm where it may interact with structural and synaptic elements. The mechanism of HD pathogenesis remains unknown but studies indicate a toxic gain-of-function possibly through aberrant protein interactions. To investigate whether early degenerative changes in HD involve alterations of cytoskeletal and vesicular components, we examined early cellular changes in the frontal cortex of HD presymptomatic (PS), early pathological grade (grade 1) and late-stage (grade 3 and 4) patients as compared to age-matched controls. Morphologic analysis using silver impregnation revealed a progressive decrease in neuronal fiber density and organization in pyramidal cell layers beginning in presymptomatic HD cases. Immunocytochemical analyses for the cytoskeletal markers alpha -tubulin, microtubule-associated protein 2, and phosphorylated neurofilament demonstrated a concomitant loss of staining in early grade cases. Immunoblotting for synaptic proteins revealed a reduction in complexin 2, which was marked in some grade 1 HD cases and significantly reduced in all late stage cases. Interestingly, we demonstrate that two synaptic proteins, dynamin and PACSIN 1, which were unchanged by immunoblotting, showed a striking loss by immunocytochemistry beginning in early stage HD tissue suggesting abnormal distribution of these proteins. We propose that mutant huntingtin affects proteins involved in synaptic function and cytoskeletal integrity before symptoms develop which may influence early disease onset and/or progression.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-09-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  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. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

    2016-08-01

    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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Evidence for loss of synaptic AMPA receptors in anterior piriform cortex of aged mice.

    PubMed

    Gocel, James; Larson, John

    2013-01-01

    It has been suggested that age-related impairments in learning and memory may be due to age-related deficits in long-term potentiation of glutamatergic synaptic transmission. For example, olfactory discrimination learning is significantly affected by aging in mice and this may be due, in part, to diminished synaptic plasticity in piriform cortex. In the present study, we tested for alterations in electrophysiological properties and synaptic transmission in this simple cortical network. Whole-cell recordings were made from principal neurons in slices of anterior piriform cortex from young (3-6 months old) and old (24-28 months) C57Bl/6 mice. Miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) mediated by AMPA receptors were collected from cells in presence of tetrodotoxin (TTX) and held at -80 mV in voltage-clamp. Amplitudes of mEPSCs were significantly reduced in aged mice, suggesting that synaptic AMPA receptor expression is decreased during aging. In a second set of experiments, spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (s/mEPSCs) were recorded in slices from different cohorts of young and old mice, in the absence of TTX. These currents resembled mEPSCs and were similarly reduced in amplitude in old mice. The results represent the first electrophysiological evidence for age-related declines in glutamatergic synaptic function in the mammalian olfactory system.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. [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.

  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. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  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. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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).

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. [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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  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. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  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. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  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. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  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. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  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. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  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. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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…

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  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. 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

  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. 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.

  13. Optogenetic Activation of Septal Glutamatergic Neurons Drive Hippocampal Theta Rhythms.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Jennifer; Manseau, Frédéric; Ducharme, Guillaume; Amilhon, Bénédicte; Vigneault, Erika; El Mestikawy, Salah; Williams, Sylvain

    2016-03-09

    The medial septum and diagonal band of Broca (MS-DBB) has an essential role for theta rhythm generation in the hippocampus and is critical for learning and memory. The MS-DBB contains cholinergic, GABAergic, and recently described glutamatergic neurons, but their specific contribution to theta generation is poorly understood. Here, we examined the role of MS-DBB glutamatergic neurons in theta rhythm using optogenetic activation and electrophysiological recordings performed in in vitro preparations and in freely behaving mice. The experiments in slices suggest that MS-DBB glutamatergic neurons provide prominent excitatory inputs to a majority of local GABAergic and a minority of septal cholinergic neurons. In contrast, activation of MS-DBB glutamatergic fiber terminals in hippocampal slices elicited weak postsynaptic responses in hippocampal neurons. In the in vitro septo-hippocampal preparation, activation of MS-DBB glutamatergic neurons did increase the rhythmicity of hippocampal theta oscillations, whereas stimulation of septo-hippocampal glutamatergic fibers in the fornix did not have an effect. In freely behaving mice, activation of these neurons in the MS-DBB strongly synchronized hippocampal theta rhythms over a wide range of frequencies, whereas activation of their projections to the hippocampus through fornix stimulations had no effect on theta rhythms, suggesting that MS-DBB glutamatergic neurons played a role in theta generation through local modulation of septal neurons. Together, these results provide the first evidence that MS-DBB glutamatergic neurons modulate local septal circuits, which in turn contribute to theta rhythms in the hippocampus.

  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. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Synthetic Aβ oligomers (Aβ(1-42) globulomer) modulate presynaptic calcium currents: prevention of Aβ-induced synaptic deficits by calcium channel blockers.

    PubMed

    Hermann, David; Mezler, Mario; Müller, Michaela K; Wicke, Karsten; Gross, Gerhard; Draguhn, Andreas; Bruehl, Claus; Nimmrich, Volker

    2013-02-28

    Alzheimer's disease is accompanied by increased brain levels of soluble amyloid-β (Aβ) oligomers. It has been suggested that oligomers directly impair synaptic function, thereby causing cognitive deficits in Alzheimer's disease patients. Recently, it has been shown that synthetic Aβ oligomers directly modulate P/Q-type calcium channels, possibly leading to excitotoxic cascades and subsequent synaptic decline. Using whole-cell recordings we studied the modulation of recombinant presynaptic calcium channels in HEK293 cells after application of a stable Aβ oligomer preparation (Aβ1-42 globulomer). Aβ globulomer shifted the half-activation voltage of P/Q-type and N-type calcium channels to more hyperpolarized values (by 11.5 and 7.5 mV). Application of non-aggregated Aβ peptides had no effect. We then analyzed the potential of calcium channel blockers to prevent Aβ globulomer-induced synaptic decline in hippocampal slice cultures. Specific block of P/Q-type or N-type calcium channels with peptide toxins completely reversed Aβ globulomer-induced deficits in glutamatergic neurotransmission. Two state-dependent low molecular weight P/Q-type and N-type calcium channel blockers also protected neurons from Aβ-induced alterations. On the contrary, inhibition of L-type calcium channels failed to reverse the deficit. Our data show that Aβ globulomer directly modulates recombinant P/Q-type and N-type calcium channels in HEK293 cells. Block of presynaptic calcium channels with both state-dependent and state-independent modulators can reverse Aβ-induced functional deficits in synaptic transmission. These findings indicate that presynaptic calcium channel blockers may be a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Progressive Brain Damage, Synaptic Reorganization and NMDA Activation in a Model of Epileptogenic Cortical Dysplasia

    PubMed Central

    Colciaghi, Francesca; Finardi, Adele; Nobili, Paola; Locatelli, Denise; Spigolon, Giada; Battaglia, Giorgio Stefano

    2014-01-01

    Whether severe epilepsy could be a progressive disorder remains as yet unresolved. We previously demonstrated in a rat model of acquired focal cortical dysplasia, the methylazoxymethanol/pilocarpine - MAM/pilocarpine - rats, that the occurrence of status epilepticus (SE) and subsequent seizures fostered a pathologic process capable of modifying the morphology of cortical pyramidal neurons and NMDA receptor expression/localization. We have here extended our analysis by evaluating neocortical and hippocampal changes in MAM/pilocarpine rats at different epilepsy stages, from few days after onset up to six months of chronic epilepsy. Our findings indicate that the process triggered by SE and subsequent seizures in the malformed brain i) is steadily progressive, deeply altering neocortical and hippocampal morphology, with atrophy of neocortex and CA regions and progressive increase of granule cell layer dispersion; ii) changes dramatically the fine morphology of neurons in neocortex and hippocampus, by increasing cell size and decreasing both dendrite arborization and spine density; iii) induces reorganization of glutamatergic and GABAergic networks in both neocortex and hippocampus, favoring excitatory vs inhibitory input; iv) activates NMDA regulatory subunits. Taken together, our data indicate that, at least in experimental models of brain malformations, severe seizure activity, i.e., SE plus recurrent seizures, may lead to a widespread, steadily progressive architectural, neuronal and synaptic reorganization in the brain. They also suggest the mechanistic relevance of glutamate/NMDA hyper-activation in the seizure-related brain pathologic plasticity. PMID:24587109

  11. Angiotensin II attenuates synaptic GABA release and excites paraventricular-rostral ventrolateral medulla output neurons.

    PubMed

    Li, De-Pei; Pan, Hui-Lin

    2005-06-01

    The hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) neurons regulate sympathetic outflow through projections to the spinal cord and rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM). Although the PVN-RVLM pathway is important for the action of brain angiotensin II (Ang II) on autonomic control, the cellular mechanisms involved are not fully known. In this study, we examined the effect of Ang II on the excitability and synaptic inputs to RVLM-projecting PVN neurons. PVN neurons were retrogradely labeled by FluoSpheres injected into the RVLM of rats. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were performed on labeled PVN neurons in brain slices. Ang II significantly increased the firing rate of PVN neurons from 3.63 +/- 0.65 to 6.10 +/- 0.75 Hz (P < 0.05, n = 9), and such an effect was eliminated by an AT(1) receptor antagonist, losartan. Furthermore, inclusion of a G protein inhibitor, guanosine 5'-O-(2-thiodiphosphate, in the pipette internal solution did not alter the excitatory effect of Ang II on labeled PVN neurons. Application of 0.5 to 5 microM Ang II significantly decreased the amplitude of evoked GABAergic inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) in a dose-dependent manner. Also, 2 microM Ang II significantly decreased the frequency of miniature IPSCs (mIPSCs) from 3.89 +/- 0.84 to 2.06 +/- 0.45 Hz (P < 0.05, n = 11), but did not change the amplitude and decay time constant of mIPSCs. By contrast, Ang II had no significant effect on glutamatergic excitatory postsynaptic currents at the concentrations that inhibited IPSCs. In addition, Ang II failed to excite PVN neurons in the presence of bicuculline. Collectively, this study provides important new information that Ang II excites RVLM-projecting PVN neurons through attenuation of GABAergic synaptic inputs.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  13. Measurement of saturation processes in glutamatergic and GABAergic synapse densities during long-term development of cultured rat cortical networks.

    PubMed

    Ito, Daisuke; Komatsu, Takumi; Gohara, Kazutoshi

    2013-10-09

    The aim of this study was to clarify the saturation processes of excitatory and inhibitory synapse densities during the long-term development of cultured neuronal networks. For this purpose, we performed a long-term culture of rat cortical cells for 35 days in vitro (DIV). During this culture period, we labeled glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses separately using antibodies against vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (VGluT1) and vesicular transporter of γ-aminobutyric acid (VGAT). The densities and distributions of both types of synaptic terminals were measured simultaneously. Observations and subsequent measurements of immunofluorescence demonstrated that the densities of both types of antibody-labeled terminals increased gradually from 7 to 21-28 DIV. The densities did not show a further increase at 35 DIV and tended to become saturated. Triple staining with VGluT1, VGAT, and microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) enabled analysis of the distribution of both types of synapses, and revealed that the densities of the two types of synaptic terminals on somata were not significantly different, but that glutamatergic synapses predominated on the dendrites during long-term culture. However, some neurons did not fall within this distribution, suggesting differences in synapse distribution on target neurons. The electrical activity also showed an initial increase and subsequent saturation of the firing rate and synchronized burst rate during long-term culture, and the number of days of culture to saturation from the initial increase followed the same pattern under this culture condition.

  14. Glutamatergic medications for the treatment of drug and behavioral addictions

    PubMed Central

    Olive, M. Foster; Cleva, Richard M.; Kalivas, Peter W.; Malcolm, Robert J.

    2011-01-01

    Historically, most pharmacological approaches to the treatment of addictive disorders have utilized either substitution-based methods (i.e., nicotine replacement or opioid maintenance) or have targeted monoaminergic or endogenous opioidergic neurotransmitter systems. However, substantial evidence has accumulated indicating that ligands acting on glutamatergic transmission are also of potential utility in the treatment of drug addiction, as well as various behavioral addictions such as pathological gambling. The purpose of this review is to summarize the pharmacological mechanisms of action and general clinical efficacy of glutamatergic medications that are currently approved or are being investigated for approval for the treatment of addictive disorders. Medications with effects on glutamatergic transmission that will be discussed include acamprosate, N-acetylcysteine, D-cycloserine, gabapentin, lamotrigine, memantine, modafinil, and topiramate. We conclude that manipulation of glutamatergic neurotransmission is relatively young but promising avenue for the development of improved therapeutic agents for the treatment of drug and behavioral addictions. PMID:21536062

  15. Metabotropic glutamatergic receptors and their ligands in drug addiction.

    PubMed

    Pomierny-Chamioło, Lucyna; Rup, Kinga; Pomierny, Bartosz; Niedzielska, Ewa; Kalivas, Peter W; Filip, Małgorzata

    2014-06-01

    Glutamatergic excitatory transmission is implicated in physiological and pathological conditions like learning, memory, neuronal plasticity and emotions, while glutamatergic abnormalities are reported in numerous neurological and psychiatric disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases, epilepsy, stroke, traumatic brain injury, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and pain. Also, several lines of evidence have accumulated indicating a pivotal role for glutamatergic neurotransmission in mediating addictive behaviors. Among the proteins regulating glutamatergic transmission, the metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR) are being developed as pharmacological targets for treating many neuropsychiatric disorders, including drug addiction. In this review we describe the molecular structure of mGluRs and their distribution, physiology and pharmacology in the central nervous system, as well as their use as targets in preclinical studies of drug addiction.

  16. GRASP1 Regulates Synaptic Plasticity and Learning through Endosomal Recycling of AMPA Receptors.

    PubMed

    Chiu, Shu-Ling; Diering, Graham Hugh; Ye, Bing; Takamiya, Kogo; Chen, Chih-Ming; Jiang, Yuwu; Niranjan, Tejasvi; Schwartz, Charles E; Wang, Tao; Huganir, Richard L

    2017-03-22

    Learning depends on experience-dependent modification of synaptic efficacy and neuronal connectivity in the brain. We provide direct evidence for physiological roles of the recycling endosome protein GRASP1 in glutamatergic synapse function and animal behavior. Mice lacking GRASP1 showed abnormal excitatory synapse number, synaptic plasticity, and hippocampal-dependent learning and memory due to a failure in learning-induced synaptic AMPAR incorporation. We identified two GRASP1 point mutations from intellectual disability (ID) patients that showed convergent disruptive effects on AMPAR recycling and glutamate uncaging-induced structural and functional plasticity. Wild-type GRASP1, but not ID mutants, rescued spine loss in hippocampal CA1 neurons in Grasp1 knockout mice. Together, these results demonstrate a requirement for normal recycling endosome function in AMPAR-dependent synaptic function and neuronal connectivity in vivo, and suggest a potential role for GRASP1 in the pathophysiology of human cognitive disorders.

  17. Dynamic inhibition of excitatory synaptic transmission by astrocyte-derived ATP in hippocampal cultures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koizumi, Schuichi; Fujishita, Kayoko; Tsuda, Makoto; Shigemoto-Mogami, Yukari; Inoue, Kazuhide

    2003-09-01

    Originally ascribed passive roles in the CNS, astrocytes are now known to have an active role in the regulation of synaptic transmission. Neuronal activity can evoke Ca2+ transients in astrocytes, and Ca2+ transients in astrocytes can evoke changes in neuronal activity. The excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate has been shown to mediate such bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons. We demonstrate here that ATP, a primary mediator of intercellular Ca2+ signaling among astrocytes, also mediates intercellular signaling between astrocytes and neurons in hippocampal cultures. Mechanical stimulation of astrocytes evoked Ca2+ waves mediated by the release of ATP and the activation of P2 receptors. Mechanically evoked Ca2+ waves led to decreased excitatory glutamatergic synaptic transmission in an ATP-dependent manner. Exogenous application of ATP does not affect postsynaptic glutamatergic responses but decreased presynaptic exocytotic events. Finally, we show that astrocytes exhibit spontaneous Ca2+ waves mediated by extracellular ATP and that inhibition of these Ca2+ responses enhanced excitatory glutamatergic transmission. We therefore conclude that ATP released from astrocytes exerts tonic and activity-dependent down-regulation of synaptic transmission via presynaptic mechanisms.

  18. Noradrenergic Modulation of Intrinsic and Synaptic Properties of Lumbar Motoneurons in the Neonatal Rat Spinal Cord

    PubMed Central

    Tartas, Maylis; Morin, France; Barrière, Grégory; Goillandeau, Michel; Lacaille, Jean-Claude; Cazalets, Jean-René; Bertrand, Sandrine S.

    2009-01-01

    Although it is known that noradrenaline (NA) powerfully controls spinal motor networks, few data are available regarding the noradrenergic (NAergic) modulation of intrinsic and synaptic properties of neurons in motor networks. Our work explores the cellular basis of NAergic modulation in the rat motor spinal cord. We first show that lumbar motoneurons express the three classes of adrenergic receptors at birth. Using patch-clamp recordings in the newborn rat spinal cord preparation, we characterized the effects of NA and of specific agonists of the three classes of adrenoreceptors on motoneuron membrane properties. NA increases the motoneuron excitability partly via the inhibition of a KIR like current. Methoxamine (α1), clonidine (α2) and isoproterenol (β) differentially modulate the motoneuron membrane potential but also increase motoneuron excitability, these effects being respectively inhibited by the antagonists prazosin (α1), yohimbine (α2) and propranolol (β). We show that the glutamatergic synaptic drive arising from the T13-L2 network is enhanced in motoneurons by NA, methoxamine and isoproterenol. On the other hand, NA, isoproterenol and clonidine inhibit both the frequency and amplitude of miniature glutamatergic EPSCs while methoxamine increases their frequency. The T13-L2 synaptic drive is thereby differentially modulated from the other glutamatergic synapses converging onto motoneurons and enhanced by presynaptic α1 and β receptor activation. Our data thus show that the NAergic system exerts a powerful and complex neuromodulation of lumbar motor networks in the neonatal rat spinal cord. PMID:20300468

  19. Translational regulation of NeuroD1 expression by FMRP: involvement in glutamatergic neuronal differentiation of cultured rat primary neural progenitor cells.

    PubMed

    Jeon, Se Jin; Kim, Ji-Woon; Kim, Ki Chan; Han, So Min; Go, Hyo Sang; Seo, Jung Eun; Choi, Chang Soon; Ryu, Jong Hoon; Shin, Chan Young; Song, Mi-Ryoung

    2014-03-01

    Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) is encoded by Fmr1 gene in which mutation is known to cause fragile X syndrome characterized by mental impairment and other psychiatric symptoms similar to autism spectrum disorders. FMRP plays important roles in cellular mRNA biology such as transport, stability, and translation as an RNA-binding protein. In the present study, we identified potential role of FMRP in the neural differentiation, using cortical neural progenitor cells from Sprague-Dawley rat. We newly found NeuroD1, an essential regulator of glutamatergic neuronal differentiation, as a new mRNA target interacting with FMRP in co-immunoprecipitation experiments. We also identified FMRP as a regulator of neuronal differentiation by modulating NeuroD1 expression. Down-regulation of FMRP by siRNA also increased NeuroD1 expression along with increased pre- and post-synaptic development of glutamatergic neuron, as evidenced by Western blot and immunocytochemistry. On the contrary, cells harboring FMRP over-expression construct showed decreased NeuroD1 expression. Treatment of cultured neural precursor cells with a histone deacetylase inhibitor, valproic acid known as an inducer of hyper-glutamatergic neuronal differentiation, down-regulated the expression of FMRP, and induced NeuroD1 expression. Our study suggests that modulation of FMRP expression regulates neuronal differentiation by interaction with its binding target mRNA, and provides an example of the gene and environmental interaction regulating glutamatergic neuronal differentiation.

  20. GABAergic neurotransmission and new strategies of neuromodulation to compensate synaptic dysfunction in early stages of Alzheimer’s disease

    PubMed Central

    Nava-Mesa, Mauricio O.; Jiménez-Díaz, Lydia; Yajeya, Javier; Navarro-Lopez, Juan D.

    2014-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by cognitive decline, brain atrophy due to neuronal and synapse loss, and formation of two pathological lesions: extracellular amyloid plaques, composed largely of amyloid-beta peptide (Aβ), and neurofibrillary tangles formed by intracellular aggregates of hyperphosphorylated tau protein. Lesions mainly accumulate in brain regions that modulate cognitive functions such as the hippocampus, septum or amygdala. These brain structures have dense reciprocal glutamatergic, cholinergic, and GABAergic connections and their relationships directly affect learning and memory processes, so they have been proposed as highly susceptible regions to suffer damage by Aβ during AD course. Last findings support the emerging concept that soluble Aβ peptides, inducing an initial stage of synaptic dysfunction which probably starts 20–30 years before the clinical onset of AD, can perturb the excitatory–inhibitory balance of neural circuitries. In turn, neurotransmission imbalance will result in altered network activity that might be responsible of cognitive deficits in AD. Therefore, Aβ interactions on neurotransmission systems in memory-related brain regions such as amygdaloid complex, medial septum or hippocampus are critical in cognitive functions and appear as a pivotal target for drug design to improve learning and dysfunctions that manifest with age. Since treatments based on glutamatergic and cholinergic pharmacology in AD have shown limited success, therapies combining modulators of different neurotransmission systems including recent findings regarding the GABAergic system, emerge as a more useful tool for the treatment, and overall prevention, of this dementia. In this review, focused on inhibitory systems, we will analyze pharmacological strategies to compensate neurotransmission imbalance that might be considered as potential therapeutic interventions in AD. PMID:24987334

  1. Can Mismatch Negativity Be Linked to Synaptic Processes? A Glutamatergic Approach to Deviance Detection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Strelnikov, Kuzma

    2007-01-01

    This article aims to provide a theoretical framework to elucidate the neurophysiological underpinnings of deviance detection as reflected by mismatch negativity. A six-step model of the information processing necessary for deviance detection is proposed. In this model, predictive coding of learned regularities is realized by means of long-term…

  2. Synapsin-dependent reserve pool of synaptic vesicles supports replenishment of the readily releasable pool under intense synaptic transmission.

    PubMed

    Vasileva, Mariya; Horstmann, Heinz; Geumann, Constanze; Gitler, Daniel; Kuner, Thomas

    2012-10-01

    Synapsins are abundant synaptic vesicle (SV)-associated proteins thought to mediate synaptic vesicle mobility and clustering at most synapses. We used synapsin triple knock-out (TKO) mice to examine the morphological and functional consequences of deleting all synapsin isoforms at the calyx of Held, a giant glutamatergic synapse located in the auditory brain stem. Quantitative three-dimensional (3D) immunohistochemistry of entire calyces showed lower amounts of the synaptic vesicle protein vGluT1 while the level of the active zone marker bassoon was unchanged in TKO terminals. Examination of brain lysates by ELISA revealed a strong reduction in abundance of several synaptic vesicle proteins, while proteins of the active zone cytomatrix or postsynaptic density were unaffected. Serial section scanning electron microscopy of large 3D-reconstructed segments confirmed a decrease in the number of SVs to approximately 50% in TKO calyces. Short-term depression tested at stimulus frequencies ranging from 10 to 300 Hz was accelerated only at frequencies above 100 Hz and the time course of recovery from depression was slowed in calyces lacking synapsins. These results reveal that in wild-type synapses, the synapsin-dependent reserve pool contributes to the replenishment of the readily releasable pool (RRP), although accounting only for a small fraction of the SVs that enter the RRP. In conclusion, our results suggest that synapsins may be required for normal synaptic vesicle biogenesis, trafficking and immobilization of synaptic vesicles, yet they are not essential for sustained high-frequency synaptic transmission at the calyx terminal.

  3. Glutamatergic Mechanisms of Comorbidity Between Acute Stress and Cocaine Self-administration

    PubMed Central

    Garcia-Keller, Constanza; Kupchik, Yonatan; Gipson, Cassandra D; Brown, Robyn M; Spencer, Sade; Bollati, Flavia; Esparza, Maria A; Roberts-Wolfe, Doug; Heinsbroek, Jasper; Bobadilla, Ana-Clara; Cancela, Liliana M; Kalivas, Peter W

    2015-01-01

    There is substantial comorbidity between stress disorders and substance use disorders (SUDs), and acute stress augments the locomotor stimulant effect of cocaine in animal models. Here we endeavor to understand the neural underpinnings of comorbid stress disorders and drug use by determining if the glutamatergic neuroadaptations that characterize cocaine self-administration are induced by acute stress. Rats were exposed to acute (2 h) immobilization stress and 3 weeks later the nucleus accumbens core was examined for changes in glutamate transport, glutamate mediated synaptic currents, and dendritic spine morphology. We also determined if acute stress potentiated the acquisition of cocaine self-administration. Acute stress produced an enduring reduction in glutamate transport, and potentiated excitatory synapses on medium spiny neurons. Acute stress also augmented the acquisition of cocaine self-administration. Importantly, by restoring glutamate transport in the accumbens core with ceftriaxone the capacity of acute stress to augment the acquisition of cocaine self-administration was abolished. Similarly, ceftriaxone treatment prevented stress-induced potentiation of cocaine-induced locomotor activity. However, ceftriaxone did not reverse stress-induced synaptic potentiation, indicating that this effect of stress exposure did not underpin the increased acquisition of cocaine self-administration. Reversing acute stress-induced vulnerability to self-administer cocaine by normalizing glutamate transport poses a novel treatment possibility for reducing comorbid SUDs in stress disorders. PMID:26821978

  4. Repeated binge-like ethanol drinking alters ethanol drinking patterns and depresses striatal GABAergic transmission.

    PubMed

    Wilcox, Mark V; Cuzon Carlson, Verginia C; Sherazee, Nyssa; Sprow, Gretchen M; Bock, Roland; Thiele, Todd E; Lovinger, David M; Alvarez, Veronica A

    2014-02-01

    Repeated cycles of binge alcohol drinking and abstinence are key components in the development of dependence. However, the precise behavioral mechanisms underlying binge-like drinking and its consequences on striatal synaptic physiology remain unclear. In the present study, ethanol and water drinking patterns were recorded with high temporal resolution over 6 weeks of binge-like ethanol drinking using the 'drinking in the dark' (DID) protocol. The bottle exchange occurring at the beginning of each session prompted a transient increase in the drinking rate that might facilitate the acquisition of ethanol binge-like drinking. Ethanol drinking mice also displayed a 'front-loading' behavior, in which the highest rate of drinking was recorded during the first 15 min. This rate increased over weeks and paralleled the mild escalation of blood ethanol concentrations. GABAergic and glutamatergic transmission in the dorsal striatum were examined following DID. Spontaneous glutamatergic transmission and the density of dendritic spines were unchanged after ethanol drinking. However, the frequency of GABAA receptor-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents was depressed in medium spiny neurons of ethanol drinking mice. A history of ethanol drinking also increased ethanol preference and altered the acute ethanol effects on GABAergic transmission differentially in dorsolateral and dorsomedial striatum. Together, the study shows that the bottle exchange during DID promotes fast, voluntary ethanol drinking and that this intermittent pattern of ethanol drinking causes a depression of GABAergic transmission in the dorsal striatum.

  5. Shank Modulates Postsynaptic Wnt Signaling to Regulate Synaptic Development

    PubMed Central

    Akbergenova, Yulia; Cho, Richard W.; Baas-Thomas, Maximilien S.; Littleton, J. Troy

    2016-01-01

    Prosap/Shank scaffolding proteins regulate the formation, organization, and plasticity of excitatory synapses. Mutations in SHANK family genes are implicated in autism spectrum disorder and other neuropsychiatric conditions. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying Shank function are not fully understood, and no study to date has examined the consequences of complete loss of all Shank proteins in vivo. Here we characterize the single Drosophila Prosap/Shank family homolog. Shank is enriched at the postsynaptic membrane of glutamatergic neuromuscular junctions and controls multiple parameters of synapse biology in a dose-dependent manner. Both loss and overexpression of Shank result in defects in synaptic bouton number and maturation. We find that Shank regulates a noncanonical Wnt signaling pathway in the postsynaptic cell by modulating the internalization of the Wnt receptor Fz2. This study identifies Shank as a key component of synaptic Wnt signaling, defining a novel mechanism for how Shank contributes to synapse maturation during neuronal development. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Haploinsufficiency for SHANK3 is one of the most prevalent monogenic causes of autism spectrum disorder, making it imperative to understand how the Shank family regulates neurodevelopment and synapse function. We created the first animal model lacking all Shank proteins and used the Drosophila neuromuscular junction, a model glutamatergic synapse, to characterize the role of Shank at synapses. We identified a novel function of Shank in synapse maturation via regulation of Wnt signaling in the postsynaptic cell. PMID:27225771

  6. Wnt-related SynGAP1 is a neuroprotective factor of glutamatergic synapses against Aβ oligomers.

    PubMed

    Codocedo, Juan F; Montecinos-Oliva, Carla; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C

    2015-01-01

    Wnt-5a is a synaptogenic factor that modulates glutamatergic synapses and generates neuroprotection against Aβ oligomers. It is known that Wnt-5a plays a key role in the adult nervous system and synaptic plasticity. Emerging evidence indicates that miRNAs are actively involved in the regulation of synaptic plasticity. Recently, we showed that Wnt-5a is able to control the expression of several miRNAs including miR-101b, which has been extensively studied in carcinogenesis. However, its role in brain is just beginning to be explored. That is why we aim to study the relationship between Wnt-5a and miRNAs in glutamatergic synapses. We performed in silico analysis which predicted that miR-101b may inhibit the expression of synaptic GTPase-Activating Protein (SynGAP1), a Ras GTPase-activating protein critical for the development of cognition and proper synaptic function. Through overexpression of miR-101b, we showed that miR-101b is able to regulate the expression of SynGAP1 in an hippocampal cell line. Moreover and consistent with a decrease of miR-101b, Wnt-5a enhances SynGAP expression in cultured hippocampal neurons. Additionally, Wnt-5a increases the activity of SynGAP in a time-dependent manner, with a similar kinetic to CaMKII phosphorylation. This also, correlates with a modulation in the SynGAP clusters density. On the other hand, Aβ oligomers permanently decrease the number of SynGAP clusters. Interestingly, when neurons are co-incubated with Wnt-5a and Aβ oligomers, we do not observe the detrimental effect of Aβ oligomers, indicating that, Wnt-5a protects neurons from the synaptic failure triggered by Aβ oligomers. Overall, our findings suggest that SynGAP1 is part of the signaling pathways induced by Wnt-5a. Therefore, possibility exists that SynGAP is involved in the synaptic protection against Aβ oligomers.

  7. Wnt-related SynGAP1 is a neuroprotective factor of glutamatergic synapses against Aβ oligomers

    PubMed Central

    Codocedo, Juan F.; Montecinos-Oliva, Carla; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C.

    2015-01-01

    Wnt-5a is a synaptogenic factor that modulates glutamatergic synapses and generates neuroprotection against Aβ oligomers. It is known that Wnt-5a plays a key role in the adult nervous system and synaptic plasticity. Emerging evidence indicates that miRNAs are actively involved in the regulation of synaptic plasticity. Recently, we showed that Wnt-5a is able to control the expression of several miRNAs including miR-101b, which has been extensively studied in carcinogenesis. However, its role in brain is just beginning to be explored. That is why we aim to study the relationship between Wnt-5a and miRNAs in glutamatergic synapses. We performed in silico analysis which predicted that miR-101b may inhibit the expression of synaptic GTPase-Activating Protein (SynGAP1), a Ras GTPase-activating protein critical for the development of cognition and proper synaptic function. Through overexpression of miR-101b, we showed that miR-101b is able to regulate the expression of SynGAP1 in an hippocampal cell line. Moreover and consistent with a decrease of miR-101b, Wnt-5a enhances SynGAP expression in cultured hippocampal neurons. Additionally, Wnt-5a increases the activity of SynGAP in a time-dependent manner, with a similar kinetic to CaMKII phosphorylation. This also, correlates with a modulation in the SynGAP clusters density. On the other hand, Aβ oligomers permanently decrease the number of SynGAP clusters. Interestingly, when neurons are co-incubated with Wnt-5a and Aβ oligomers, we do not observe the detrimental effect of Aβ oligomers, indicating that, Wnt-5a protects neurons from the synaptic failure triggered by Aβ oligomers. Overall, our findings suggest that SynGAP1 is part of the signaling pathways induced by Wnt-5a. Therefore, possibility exists that SynGAP is involved in the synaptic protection against Aβ oligomers. PMID:26124704

  8. [Autism, genetics and synaptic function alterations].

    PubMed

    Perche, O; Laumonnier, F; Baala, L; Ardourel, M-Y; Menuet, A; Robin, V; Mortaud, S; Montécot-Dubourg, C; Richard, O; Pichon, J; Briault, S

    2010-10-01

    Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by a deficit of language and communication both associated with a restricted repertoire of activities and interests. The current prevalence of autistic disorder stricto sensu is estimated at 1/500 whereas autism spectrum disorders (ASD) increases up to 1/150 to 1/200. Mental deficiency (MD) and epilepsy are present in numerous autistic individuals. Consequently, autism is as a major public health issue. Autism was first considered as a non biological disease; however various rational approaches for analysing epidemiological data suggested the possibility of the influence of genetic factors. In 2003, this hypothesis was clearly illustrated by the characterization of genetic mutations transmitted through a mendelian manner. Subsequently, the glutamate synapse appeared as a preferential causal target in autism because the identified genes encoded proteins present in this structure. Strikingly, the findings that an identical genetic dysfunction of the synapse might also explain some MD suggested the possibility of a genetic comorbidity between these neurodevelopmental conditions. To date, various identified genes are considered indifferently as "autism" or "MD" genes. The characterization of mutations in the NLGN4X gene in patients with Asperger syndrome, autism without MD, or MD without autism, was the first example. It appears that a genetic continuum between ASD on one hand, and between autism and MD on the other hand, is present. Consequently, it is likely that genes already involved in MD will be found mutated in autistic patients and will represent future target for finding new factors in autism.

  9. Lrp4 in astrocytes modulates glutamatergic transmission

    PubMed Central

    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

    2016-01-01

    Neurotransmission requires precise control of neurotransmitter release from axon terminals. This process is regulated by glial cells; however, underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. Here we report that glutamate release in the brain is impaired in mice lacking low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 4 (Lrp4), a protein critical for neuromuscular junction formation. Electrophysiological studies indicate compromised release probability in astrocyte-specific Lrp4 knockout mice. Lrp4 mutant astrocytes suppress glutamate transmission by enhancing the release of ATP, whose levels are elevated in the hippocampus of Lrp4 mutant mice. Consequently, the mutant mice are impaired in locomotor activity and spatial memory and are resistant to seizure induction. These impairments could be ameliorated by adenosine A1 receptor antagonist. The results reveal a critical role of Lrp4, in response to agrin, in modulating astrocytic ATP release and synaptic transmission. Our study provides insight into the interaction between neurons and astrocytes for synaptic homeostasis and/or plasticity. PMID:27294513

  10. Glutamatergic substrates of drug addiction and alcoholism1

    PubMed Central

    Gass, Justin T.; Foster Olive, M.

    2008-01-01

    The past two decades have witnessed a dramatic accumulation of evidence indicating that the excitatory amino acid glutamate plays an important role in drug addiction and alcoholism. The purpose of this review is to summarize findings on glutamatergic substrates of addiction, surveying data from both human and animal studies. The effects of various drugs of abuse on glutamatergic neurotransmission are discussed, as are the effects of pharmacological or genetic manipulation of various components of glutamate transmission on drug reinforcement, conditioned reward, extinction, and relapse-like behavior. In addition, glutamatergic agents that are currently in use or are undergoing testing in clinical trials for the treatment of addiction are discussed, including acamprosate, N-acetylcysteine, modafinil, topiramate, lamotrigine, gabapentin and mematine. All drugs of abuse appear to modulate glutamatergic transmission, albeit by different mechanisms, and this modulation of glutamate transmission is believed to result in long-lasting neuroplastic changes in the brain that may contribute to the perseveration of drug-seeking behavior and drug-associated memories. In general, attenuation of glutamatergic transmission reduces drug reward, reinforcement, and relapse-like behavior. On the other hand, potentiation of glutamatergic transmission appears to facilitate the extinction of drug-seeking behavior. However, attempts at identifying genetic polymorphisms in components of glutamate transmission in humans have yielded only a limited number of candidate genes that may serve as risk factors for the development of addiction. Nonetheless, manipulation of glutamatergic neurotransmission appears to be a promising avenue of research in developing improved therapeutic agents for the treatment of drug addiction and alcoholism. PMID:17706608

  11. Interneurons targeting similar layers receive synaptic inputs with similar kinetics.

    PubMed

    Cossart, Rosa; Petanjek, Zdravko; Dumitriu, Dani; Hirsch, June C; Ben-Ari, Yehezkel; Esclapez, Monique; Bernard, Christophe

    2006-01-01

    GABAergic interneurons play diverse and important roles in controlling neuronal network dynamics. They are characterized by an extreme heterogeneity morphologically, neurochemically, and physiologically, but a functionally relevant classification is still lacking. Present taxonomy is essentially based on their postsynaptic targets, but a physiological counterpart to this classification has not yet been determined. Using a quantitative analysis based on multidimensional clustering of morphological and physiological variables, we now demonstrate a strong correlation between the kinetics of glutamate and GABA miniature synaptic currents received by CA1 hippocampal interneurons and the laminar distribution of their axons: neurons that project to the same layer(s) receive synaptic inputs with similar kinetics distributions. In contrast, the kinetics distributions of GABAergic and glutamatergic synaptic events received by a given interneuron do not depend upon its somatic location or dendritic arborization. Although the mechanisms responsible for this unexpected observation are still unclear, our results suggest that interneurons may be programmed to receive synaptic currents with specific temporal dynamics depending on their targets and the local networks in which they operate.

  12. Capsaicin augments synaptic transmission in the rat medial preoptic nucleus.

    PubMed

    Karlsson, Urban; Sundgren-Andersson, Anna K; Johansson, Staffan; Krupp, Johannes J

    2005-05-10

    The medial preoptic nucleus (MPN) is the major nucleus of the preoptic area (POA), a hypothalamic area involved in the regulation of body-temperature. Injection of capsaicin into this area causes hypothermia in vivo. Capsaicin also causes glutamate release from hypothalamic slices. However, no data are available on the effect of capsaicin on synaptic transmission within the MPN. Here, we have studied the effect of exogenously applied capsaicin on spontaneous synaptic activity in hypothalamic slices of the rat. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were made from visually identified neurons located in the MPN. In a subset of the studied neurons, capsaicin enhanced the frequency of spontaneous glutamatergic EPSCs. Remarkably, capsaicin also increased the frequency of GABAergic IPSCs, an effect that was sensitive to removal of extracellular calcium, but insensitive to tetrodotoxin. This suggests an action of capsaicin at presynaptic GABAergic terminals. In contrast to capsaicin, the TRPV4 agonist 4alpha-PDD did not affect GABAergic IPSCs. Our results show that capsaicin directly affects synaptic transmission in the MPN, likely through actions at presynaptic terminals as well as on projecting neurons. Our data add to the growing evidence that capsaicin receptors are not only expressed in primary afferent neurons, but also contribute to synaptic processing in some CNS regions.

  13. Presynaptic α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors Enhance Hippocampal Mossy Fiber Glutamatergic Transmission via PKA Activation

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Qing

    2014-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are expressed widely in the CNS, and mediate both synaptic and perisynaptic activities of endogenous cholinergic inputs and pharmacological actions of exogenous compounds (e.g., nicotine and choline). Behavioral studies indicate that nicotine improves such cognitive functions as learning and memory. However, the mechanism of nicotine's action on cognitive function remains elusive. We performed patch-clamp recordings from hippocampal CA3 pyramidal neurons to determine the effect of nicotine on mossy fiber glutamatergic synaptic transmission. We found that nicotine in combination with NS1738, an α7 nAChR-positive allosteric modulator, strongly potentiated the amplitude of evoked EPSCs (eEPSCs), and reduced the EPSC paired-pulse ratio. The action of nicotine and NS1738 was mimicked by PNU-282987 (an α7 nAChR agonist), and was absent in α7 nAChR knock-out mice. These data indicate that activation of α7 nAChRs was both necessary and sufficient to enhance the amplitude of eEPSCs. BAPTA applied postsynaptically failed to block the action of nicotine and NS1738, suggesting again a presynaptic action of the α7 nAChRs. We also observed α7 nAChR-mediated calcium rises at mossy fiber giant terminals, indicating the presence of functional α7 nAChRs at presynaptic terminals. Furthermore, the addition of PNU-282987 enhanced action potential-dependent calcium transient at these terminals. Last, the potentiating effect of PNU-282987 on eEPSCs was abolished by inhibition of protein kinase A (PKA). Our findings indicate that activation of α7 nAChRs at presynaptic sites, via a mechanism involving PKA, plays a critical role in enhancing synaptic efficiency of hippocampal mossy fiber transmission. PMID:24381273

  14. Simulation of Postsynaptic Glutamate Receptors Reveals Critical Features of Glutamatergic Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Greget, Renaud; Pernot, Fabien; Bouteiller, Jean-Marie C.; Ghaderi, Viviane; Allam, Sushmita; Keller, Anne Florence; Ambert, Nicolas; Legendre, Arnaud; Sarmis, Merdan; Haeberle, Olivier; Faupel, Michel; Bischoff, Serge; Berger, Theodore W.; Baudry, Michel

    2011-01-01

    Activation of several subtypes of glutamate receptors contributes to changes in postsynaptic calcium concentration at hippocampal synapses, resulting in various types of changes in synaptic strength. Thus, while activation of NMDA receptors has been shown to be critical for long-term potentiation (LTP) and long term depression (LTD) of synaptic transmission, activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) has been linked to either LTP or LTD. While it is generally admitted that dynamic changes in postsynaptic calcium concentration represent the critical elements to determine the direction and amplitude of the changes in synaptic strength, it has been difficult to quantitatively estimate the relative contribution of the different types of glutamate receptors to these changes under different experimental conditions. Here we present a detailed model of a postsynaptic glutamatergic synapse that incorporates ionotropic and mGluR type I receptors, and we use this model to determine the role of the different receptors to the dynamics of postsynaptic calcium with different patterns of presynaptic activation. Our modeling framework includes glutamate vesicular release and diffusion in the cleft and a glutamate transporter that modulates extracellular glutamate concentration. Our results indicate that the contribution of mGluRs to changes in postsynaptic calcium concentration is minimal under basal stimulation conditions and becomes apparent only at high frequency of stimulation. Furthermore, the location of mGluRs in the postsynaptic membrane is also a critical factor, as activation of distant receptors contributes significantly less to calcium dynamics than more centrally located ones. These results confirm the important role of glutamate transporters and of the localization of mGluRs in postsynaptic sites in their signaling properties, and further strengthen the notion that mGluR activation significantly contributes to postsynaptic calcium dynamics only following

  15. Astrocytes optimize synaptic fidelity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nadkarni, Suhita; Jung, Peter; Levine, Herbert

    2007-03-01

    Most neuronal synapses in the central nervous system are enwrapped by an astrocytic process. This relation allows the astrocyte to listen to and feed back to the synapse and to regulate synaptic transmission. We combine a tested mathematical model for the Ca^2+ response of the synaptic astrocyte and presynaptic feedback with a detailed model for vesicle release of neurotransmitter at active zones. The predicted Ca^2+ dependence of the presynaptic synaptic vesicle release compares favorably for several types of synapses, including the Calyx of Held. We hypothesize that the feedback regulation of the astrocyte onto the presynaptic terminal optimizes the fidelity of the synapse in terms of information transmission.

  16. Glutamatergic Neurons in Rodent Models Respond to Nanoscale Particulate Urban Air Pollutants in Vivo and in Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Morgan, Todd E.; Davis, David A.; Iwata, Nahoko; Tanner, Jeremy A.; Snyder, David; Ning, Zhi; Kam, Winnie; Hsu, Yu-Tien; Winkler, Jeremy W.; Chen, Jiu-Chiuan; Petasis, Nicos A.; Baudry, Michel; Sioutas, Constantinos

    2011-01-01

    Background: Inhalation of airborne particulate matter (PM) derived from urban traffic is associated with pathology in the arteries, heart, and lung; effects on brain are also indicated but are less documented. Objective: We evaluated rodent brain responses to urban nanoscale (< 200 nm) PM (nPM). Methods: Ambient nPM collected near an urban freeway was transferred to aqueous suspension and reaerosolized for 10-week inhalation exposure of mice or directly applied to rat brain cell cultures. Results: Free radicals were detected by electron paramagnetic resonance in the nPM 30 days after initial collection. Chronic inhalation of reaerosolized nPM altered selected neuronal and glial activities in mice. The neuronal glutamate receptor subunit (GluA1) was decreased in hippocampus, whereas glia were activated and inflammatory cytokines were induced [interleukin-1α (IL-1α), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα)] in cerebral cortex. Two in vitro models showed effects of nPM suspensions within 24–48 hr of exposure that involved glutamatergic functions. In hippocampal slice cultures, nPM increased the neurotoxicity of NMDA (N-methyl-d-aspartic acid), a glutamatergic agonist, which was in turn blocked by the NMDA antagonist AP5 [(2R)-amino-5-phosphonopentanoate]. In embryonic neuron cultures, nPM impaired neurite outgrowth, also blocked by AP5. Induction of IL-1α and TNFα in mixed glia cultures required higher nPM concentrations than did neuronal effects. Because conditioned media from nPM-exposed glia also impaired outgrowth of embryonic neurites, nPM can act indirectly, as well as directly, on neurons in vitro. Conclusions: nPM can affect embryonic and adult neurons through glutamatergic mechanisms. The interactions of nPM with glutamatergic neuronal functions suggest that cerebral ischemia, which involves glutamatergic excitotoxicity, could be exacerbated by nPM. PMID:21724521

  17. Neuropeptides as synaptic transmitters.

    PubMed

    Salio, Chiara; Lossi, Laura; Ferrini, Francesco; Merighi, Adalberto

    2006-11-01

    Neuropeptides are small protein molecules (composed of 3-100 amino-acid residues) that have been localized to discrete cell populations of central and peripheral neurons. In most instances, they coexist with low-molecular-weight neurotransmitters within the same neurons. At the subcellular level, neuropeptides are selectively stored, singularly or more frequently in combinations, within large granular vesicles. Release occurs through mechanisms different from classical calcium-dependent exocytosis at the synaptic cleft, and thus they account for slow synaptic and/or non-synaptic communication in neurons. Neuropeptide co-storage and coexistence can be observed throughout the central nervous system and are responsible for a series of functional interactions that occur at both pre- and post-synaptic levels. Thus, the subcellular site(s) of storage and sorting mechanisms into different neuronal compartments are crucial to the mode of release and the function of neuropeptides as neuronal messengers.

  18. Arginine Vasopressin Alters Both Spontaneous and Phase-Locked Synaptic Inputs to Airway Vagal Preganglionic Neuron via Activation of V1a Receptor: Insights into Stress-Related Airway Vagal Excitation

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Xianxia; Chen, Xingxin; Guo, Yuhong; He, Ding; Chen, Yonghua; Xia, Chunmei; Wang, Jijiang

    2017-01-01

    The airway vagal preganglionic neurons (AVPNs) in the external formation of the nucleus ambiguus (eNA) play a major role in the vagal control of tracheobronchial smooth muscle tone and maintenance of airway resistance. The eNA receives vasopressinergic projection from the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN), the key node for the genesis of psychological stress. Since airway vagal excitation is reportedly to be associated with the psychological stress-induced/exacerbated airway hyperresponsiveness in asthmatics, arginine vasopressin (AVP) might be involved in stress-related airway vagal excitation. However, this possibility has not been validated. This study aimed to test whether and how AVP regulates AVPNs. In rhythmically active medullary slices of newborn rats, retrogradely labeled AVPNs were identified as inspiratory-activated and inspiratory-inhibited AVPNs (IA- and II-AVPNs) using patch-clamp techniques according to their inspiratory-related firing behavior and synaptic activities. The results show that under current clamp, AVP depolarized both IA- and II-AVPNs, and significantly increased their spontaneous firing rate. Under voltage clamp, AVP elicited a slow inward current, and significantly increased the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) in both types of AVPNs. In addition, AVP significantly enhanced the phase-locked excitatory inspiratory inward current in inspiratory-activated airway vagal preganglionic neurons (IA-AVPNs), but significantly suppressed the phase-locked inhibitory inspiratory outward current in II-AVPNs. In both types AVPNs, AVP significantly increased the frequency and amplitude of pharmacologically isolated spontaneous GABAergic and glycinergic inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs). All of the AVP-induced effects were prevented by SR49059, an antagonist of V1a receptors, but unaffected by SSR149415, an antagonist of V1b receptors. AVP did not cause significant changes in the miniature excitatory

  19. Pharmacological characterization of the rhythmic synaptic drive onto lumbosacral motoneurons in the chick embryo spinal cord.

    PubMed

    Sernagor, E; Chub, N; Ritter, A; O'Donovan, M J

    1995-11-01

    The isolated spinal cord of the chick embryo generates episodes of rhythmic bursting in which sartorius (hip flexor) and femorotibialis (knee extensor) motoneurons exhibit characteristic patterns of activity. At the beginning of each cycle both sets of motoneurons discharge synchronously. Following this brief synchronous activation sartorius motoneurons stop firing at the time of peak femorotibialis activity, producing a period of alternation between the two sets of motoneurons. Intracellular recording from motoneurons has suggested that the pause is mediated by a synaptically induced shunt conductance. However, the pharmacological basis for this shunt and the nature of the excitatory drive to motoneurons is unknown. To address these questions we have investigated the pharmacology of the rhythmic, synaptic drive to lumbosacral motoneurons using local and bath application of several excitatory and inhibitory antagonists, and documenting their effects on motor output in E10-E12 chick embryos. Local application of bicuculline or picrotoxin over sartorius motoneurons abolished the pause in firing recorded from the sartorius muscle nerve. As a consequence, the pattern of sartorius and femorotibialis activity was similar and the motoneurons were coactive. The pause in sartorius firing was shortened following local application of the glycine antagonist strychnine the nicotinic, cholinergic antagonists mecamylamine, and dihydro-beta-erythroidine and several excitatory amino acid antagonists. Application of the GABA uptake inhibitor nipecotic acid depressed the slow potentials and discharge recorded from the sartorius muscle nerve. These findings suggest that the pause is determined primarily by synaptic inputs acting at motoneuron GABAA receptors with contributions from glycinergic, cholinergic, and glutamatergic inputs. The actions of locally applied GABA onto spinal neurons are consistent with these findings because the neurotransmitter depolarizes spinal neurons and

  20. New Tools for Targeted Disruption of Cholinergic Synaptic Transmission in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Mejia, Monica; Heghinian, Mari D.; Marí, Frank; Godenschwege, Tanja A.

    2013-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are pentameric ligand-gated ion channels. The α7 subtype of nAChRs is involved in neurological pathologies such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, addiction, epilepsy and autism spectrum disorders. The Drosophila melanogaster α7 (Dα7) has the closest sequence homology to the vertebrate α7 subunit and it can form homopentameric receptors just as the vertebrate counterpart. The Dα7 subunits are essential for the function of the Giant Fiber circuit, which mediates the escape response of the fly. To further characterize the receptor function, we generated different missense mutations in the Dα7 nAChR’s ligand binding domain. We characterized the effects of targeted expression of two UAS-constructs carrying a single mutation, D197A and Y195T, as well as a UAS-construct carrying a triple D77T, L117Q, I196P mutation in a Dα7 null mutant and in a wild type background. Expression of the triple mutation was able to restore the function of the circuit in Dα7 null mutants and had no disruptive effects when expressed in wild type. In contrast, both single mutations severely disrupted the synaptic transmission of Dα7-dependent but not glutamatergic or gap junction dependent synapses in wild type background, and did not or only partially rescued the synaptic defects of the null mutant. These observations are consistent with the formation of hybrid receptors, consisting of D197A or Y195T subunits and wild type Dα7 subunits, in which the binding of acetylcholine or acetylcholine-induced conformational changes of the Dα7 receptor are altered and causes inhibition of cholinergic responses. Thus targeted expression of D197A or Y195T can be used to selectively disrupt synaptic transmission of Dα7-dependent synapses in neuronal circuits. Hence, these constructs can be used as tools to study learning and memory or addiction associated behaviors by allowing the manipulation of neuronal processing in the circuits

  1. Superpriming of synaptic vesicles as a common basis for intersynapse variability and modulation of synaptic strength

    PubMed Central

    Taschenberger, Holger; Woehler, Andrew; Neher, Erwin

    2016-01-01

    Glutamatergic synapses show large variations in strength and short-term plasticity (STP). We show here that synapses displaying an increased strength either after posttetanic potentiation (PTP) or through activation of the phospholipase-C–diacylglycerol pathway share characteristic properties with intrinsically strong synapses, such as (i) pronounced short-term depression (STD) during high-frequency stimulation; (ii) a conversion of that STD into a sequence of facilitation followed by STD after a few conditioning stimuli at low frequency; (iii) an equalizing effect of such conditioning stimulation, which reduces differences among synapses and abolishes potentiation; and (iv) a requirement of long periods of rest for reconstitution of the original STP pattern. These phenomena are quantitatively described by assuming that a small fraction of “superprimed” synaptic vesicles are in a state of elevated release probability (p ∼ 0.5). This fraction is variable in size among synapses (typically about 30%), but increases after application of phorbol ester or during PTP. The majority of vesicles, released during repetitive stimulation, have low release probability (p ∼ 0.1), are relatively uniform in number across synapses, and are rapidly recruited. In contrast, superprimed vesicles need several seconds to be regenerated. They mediate enhanced synaptic strength at the onset of burst-like activity, the impact of which is subject to modulation by slow modulatory transmitter systems. PMID:27432975

  2. Regulation of synaptic signalling by postsynaptic, non-glutamate receptor ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Bloodgood, Brenda L; Sabatini, Bernardo L

    2008-01-01

    Activation of glutamatergic synapses onto pyramidal neurons produces a synaptic depolarization as well as a buildup of intracellular calcium (Ca2+). The synaptic depolarization propagates through the dendritic arbor and can be detected at the soma with a recording electrode. Current influx through AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs) provides the depolarizing drive, and the amplitudes of synaptic potentials are generally thought to reflect the number and properties of these receptors at each synapse. In contrast, synaptically evoked Ca2+ transients are limited to the spine containing the active synapse and result primarily from Ca2+ influx through NMDA-type glutamate receptors (NMDARs). Here we review recent studies that reveal that both synaptic depolarizations and spine head Ca2+ transients are strongly regulated by the activity of postsynaptic, non-glutamate receptor ion channels. In hippocampal pyramidal neurons, voltage- and Ca2+-gated ion channels located in dendritic spines open as downstream consequences of glutamate receptor activation and act within a complex signalling loop that feeds back to regulate synaptic signals. Dynamic regulation of these ion channels offers a powerful mechanism of synaptic plasticity that is independent of direct modulation of glutamate receptors. PMID:18096597

  3. Evolutionarily conserved differences in pallial and thalamic short-term synaptic plasticity in striatum

    PubMed Central

    Ericsson, Jesper; Stephenson-Jones, Marcus; Kardamakis, Andreas; Robertson, Brita; Silberberg, Gilad; Grillner, Sten

    2013-01-01

    The striatum of the basal ganglia is conserved throughout the vertebrate phylum. Tracing studies in lamprey have shown that its afferent inputs are organized in a manner similar to that of mammals. The main inputs arise from the thalamus (Th) and lateral pallium (LPal; the homologue of cortex) that represents the two principal excitatory glutamatergic inputs in mammals. The aim here was to characterize the pharmacology and synaptic dynamics of afferent fibres from the LPal and Th onto identified striatal neurons to understand the processing taking place in the lamprey striatum. We used whole-cell current-clamp recordings in acute slices of striatum with preserved fibres from the Th and LPal, as well as tract tracing and immunohistochemistry. We show that the Th and LPal produce monosynaptic excitatory glutamatergic input through NMDA and AMPA receptors. The synaptic input from the LPal displayed short-term facilitation, unlike the Th input that instead displayed strong short-term synaptic depression. There was also an activity-dependent recruitment of intrastriatal oligosynaptic inhibition from both inputs. These results indicate that the two principal inputs undergo different activity-dependent short-term synaptic plasticity in the lamprey striatum. The difference observed between Th and LPal (cortical) input is also observed in mammals, suggesting a conserved trait throughout vertebrate evolution. PMID:23148315

  4. Hippocampal Fast Glutamatergic Transmission Is Transiently Regulated by Corticosterone Pulsatility

    PubMed Central

    Smeets, Johanna A. S.; Kerkhofs, Amber; Mikasova, Lenka; Karst, Henk; Groc, Laurent; Joëls, Marian

    2016-01-01

    In recent years it has become clear that corticosteroid hormones (such as corticosterone) are released in ultradian pulses as a natural consequence of pituitary-adrenal interactions. All organs, including the brain, are thus exposed to pulsatile changes in corticosteroid hormone level, important to ensure full genomic responsiveness to stress-induced surges. However, corticosterone also changes neuronal excitability through rapid non-genomic pathways, particularly in the hippocampus. Potentially, background excitability of hippocampal neurons could thus be changed by pulsatile exposure to corticosteroids. It is currently unknown, though, how neuronal activity alters during a sequence of corticosterone pulses. To test this, hippocampal cells were exposed in vitro to four consecutive corticosterone pulses with a 60 min inter-pulse interval. During the pulses we examined four features of hippocampal signal transfer by the main excitatory transmitter glutamate—i.e., postsynaptic responses to spontaneous release of presynaptic vesicles, postsynaptic GluA2-AMPA receptor dynamics, basal (evoked) field responses, and synaptic plasticity, using a set of high resolution imaging and electrophysiological approaches. We show that the first pulse of corticosterone causes a transient increase in miniature EPSC frequency, AMPA receptor trafficking and synaptic plasticity, while basal evoked field responses are unaffected. This pattern is not maintained during subsequent applications: responses become more variable, attenuate or even reverse over time, albeit with different kinetics for the various experimental endpoints. This may indicate that the beneficial effect of ultradian pulses on transcriptional regulation in the hippocampus is not consistently accompanied by short-term perturbations in background excitability. In general, this could be interpreted as a means to keep hippocampal neurons responsive to incoming signals related to environmental challenges. PMID:26741493

  5. Chronic Stress Induces a Selective Decrease in AMPA Receptor-Mediated Synaptic Excitation at Hippocampal Temporoammonic-CA1 Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Kallarackal, Angy J.; Kvarta, Mark D.; Cammarata, Erin; Jaberi, Leelah; Cai, Xiang; Bailey, Aileen M.

    2013-01-01

    Chronic stress promotes depression, but how it disrupts cognition and mood remains unknown. Chronic stress causes atrophy of pyramidal cell dendrites in the hippocampus and cortex in human and animal models, and a depressive-like behavioral state. We now test the hypothesis that excitatory temporoammonic (TA) synapses in the distal dendrites of CA1 pyramidal cells in rats are altered by chronic unpredictable stress (CUS) and restored by chronic antidepressant treatment, in conjunction with the behavioral consequences of CUS. We observed a decrease in AMPAR-mediated excitation at TA-CA1 synapses, but not Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses, after CUS, with a corresponding layer-specific decrease in GluA1 expression. Both changes were reversed by chronic fluoxetine. CUS also disrupted long-term memory consolidation in the Morris water maze, a function of TA-CA1 synapses. The decreases in TA-CA1 AMPAR-mediated excitation and performance in the consolidation test were correlated positively with decreases in sucrose preference, a measure of anhedonia. We conclude that chronic stress selectively decreases AMPAR number and function at specific synapses and suggest that this underlies various depressive endophenotypes. Our findings provide evidence that glutamatergic dysfunction is an underlying cause of depression and that current first-line antidepressant drugs act by restoring excitatory synaptic strength. Our findings suggest novel therapeutic targets for this debilitating disease. PMID:24089474

  6. Sleep and synaptic plasticity in the developing and adult brain.

    PubMed

    Frank, Marcos G

    2015-01-01

    Sleep is hypothesized to play an integral role in brain plasticity. This has traditionally been investigated using behavioral assays. In the last 10-15 years, studies combining sleep measurements with in vitro and in vivo models of synaptic plasticity have provided exciting new insights into how sleep alters synaptic strength. In addition, new theories have been proposed that integrate older ideas about sleep function and recent discoveries in the field of synaptic plasticity. There remain, however, important challenges and unanswered questions. For example, sleep does not appear to have a single effect on synaptic strength. An unbiased review of the literature indicates that the effects of sleep vary widely depending on ontogenetic stage, the type of waking experience (or stimulation protocols) that precede sleep and the type of neuronal synapse under examination. In this review, I discuss these key findings in the context of current theories that posit different roles for sleep in synaptic plasticity.

  7. Clusters of synaptic inputs on dendrites of layer 5 pyramidal cells in mouse visual cortex

    PubMed Central

    Gökçe, Onur; Bonhoeffer, Tobias; Scheuss, Volker

    2016-01-01

    The spatial organization of synaptic inputs on the dendritic tree of cortical neurons plays a major role for dendritic integration and neural computations, yet, remarkably little is known about it. We mapped the spatial organization of glutamatergic synapses between layer 5 pyramidal cells by combining optogenetics and 2-photon calcium imaging in mouse neocortical slices. To mathematically characterize the organization of inputs we developed an approach based on combinatorial analysis of the likelihoods of specific synapse arrangements. We found that the synapses of intralaminar inputs form clusters on the basal dendrites of layer 5 pyramidal cells. These clusters contain 4 to 14 synapses within ≤30 µm of dendrite. According to the spatiotemporal characteristics of synaptic summation, these numbers suggest that there will be non-linear dendritic integration of synaptic inputs during synchronous activation. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09222.001 PMID:27431612

  8. Involvement of glutamatergic neurotransmission in the antidepressant-like effect of zinc in the chronic unpredictable stress model of depression.

    PubMed

    Manosso, Luana M; Moretti, Morgana; Colla, André R; Ribeiro, Camille M; Dal-Cim, Tharine; Tasca, Carla I; Rodrigues, Ana Lúcia S

    2016-03-01

    Stress and excessive glutamatergic neurotransmission have been implicated in the pathophysiology of depression. Therefore, this study was aimed at investigating the influence of zinc on depressive-like behavior induced by chronic unpredictable stress (CUS), on alterations in glutamate-induced toxicity and immunocontent of proteins involved in the control of glutamatergic neurotransmission in the hippocampus of mice. Mice were subjected to CUS procedure for 14 days. From the 8th to the 14th day, mice received zinc chloride (ZnCl2) (10 mg/kg) or fluoxetine (10 mg/kg, positive control) once a day by oral route. CUS caused a depressive-like behavior evidenced by the increased immobility time in the tail suspension test (TST), which was prevented by treatment with ZnCl2 or fluoxetine. Ex vivo exposure of hippocampal slices to glutamate (10 mM) resulted in a significant decrease on cell viability; however, neither CUS procedure nor drug treatments altered this reduction. No alterations in the immunocontents of GLT-1 and GFAP or p-Akt were observed in any experimental group. The ratio of p-Akt/AKT was also not altered in any group. However, Akt immunocontent was increased in stressed mice and in animals treated with ZnCl2 (stressed or non-stressed mice) and EAAC1 immunocontent was increased in stressed mice treated with ZnCl2, fluoxetine or vehicle and in non-stressed mice treated with ZnCl2 and fluoxetine. These findings indicate a robust effect of zinc in reversing behavioral alteration induced by CUS in mice, through a possible modulation of the glutamatergic neurotransmission, extending literature data regarding the mechanisms underlying its antidepressant-like action.

  9. Glutamatergic phenotype of glucagon-like peptide 1 neurons in the caudal nucleus of the solitary tract in rats

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, H.; Stornetta, R. L.; Agassandian, K.

    2017-01-01

    The expression of a vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT) suffices to assign a glutamatergic phenotype to neurons and other secretory cells. For example, intestinal L cells express VGLUT2 and secrete glutamate along with glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP1). We hypothesized that GLP1-positive neurons within the caudal (visceral) nucleus of the solitary tract (cNST) also are glutamatergic. To test this, the axonal projections of GLP1 and other neurons within the cNST were labeled in rats via iontophoretic delivery of anterograde tracer. Dual immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy was used to visualize tracer-, GLP1-, and VGLUT2-positive fibers within brainstem, hypothalamic, and limbic forebrain nuclei that receive input from the cNST. Electron microscopy was used to confirm GLP1 and VGLUT2 immunolabeling within the same axon varicosities, and fluorescent in situ hybridization was used to examine VGLUT2 mRNA expression by GLP1-positive neurons. Most anterograde tracer-labeled fibers displayed VGLUT2-positive varicosities, providing new evidence that ascending axonal projections from the cNST are primarily glutamatergic. Virtually all GLP1-positive varicosities also were VGLUT2-positive. Electron microscopy confirmed the colocalization of GLP1 and VGLUT2 immunolabeling in axon terminals that formed asymmetric (excitatory-type) synapses with unlabeled dendrites in the hypothalamus. Finally, in situ hybridization confirmed that GLP1-positive cNST neurons express VGLUT2 mRNA. Thus, hindbrain GLP1 neurons in rats are equipped to store glutamate in synaptic vesicles, and likely co-release both glutamate and GLP1 from axon varicosities and terminals in the hypothalamus and other brain regions. PMID:25012114

  10. Glutamatergic phenotype of glucagon-like peptide 1 neurons in the caudal nucleus of the solitary tract in rats.

    PubMed

    Zheng, H; Stornetta, R L; Agassandian, K; Rinaman, Linda

    2015-09-01

    The expression of a vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT) suffices to assign a glutamatergic phenotype to neurons and other secretory cells. For example, intestinal L cells express VGLUT2 and secrete glutamate along with glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP1). We hypothesized that GLP1-positive neurons within the caudal (visceral) nucleus of the solitary tract (cNST) also are glutamatergic. To test this, the axonal projections of GLP1 and other neurons within the cNST were labeled in rats via iontophoretic delivery of anterograde tracer. Dual immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy was used to visualize tracer-, GLP1-, and VGLUT2-positive fibers within brainstem, hypothalamic, and limbic forebrain nuclei that receive input from the cNST. Electron microscopy was used to confirm GLP1 and VGLUT2 immunolabeling within the same axon varicosities, and fluorescent in situ hybridization was used to examine VGLUT2 mRNA expression by GLP1-positive neurons. Most anterograde tracer-labeled fibers displayed VGLUT2-positive varicosities, providing new evidence that ascending axonal projections from the cNST are primarily glutamatergic. Virtually all GLP1-positive varicosities also were VGLUT2-positive. Electron microscopy confirmed the colocalization of GLP1 and VGLUT2 immunolabeling in axon terminals that formed asymmetric (excitatory-type) synapses with unlabeled dendrites in the hypothalamus. Finally, in situ hybridization confirmed that GLP1-positive cNST neurons express VGLUT2 mRNA. Thus, hindbrain GLP1 neurons in rats are equipped to store glutamate in synaptic vesicles, and likely co-release both glutamate and GLP1 from axon varicosities and terminals in the hypothalamus and other brain regions.

  11. Extrinsic and local glutamatergic inputs of the rat hippocampal CA1 area differentially innervate pyramidal cells and interneurons.

    PubMed

    Takács, Virág T; Klausberger, Thomas; Somogyi, Peter; Freund, Tamás F; Gulyás, Attila I

    2012-06-01

    The two main glutamatergic pathways to the CA1 area, the Schaffer collateral/commissural input and the entorhinal fibers, as well as the local axons of CA1 pyramidal cells innervate both pyramidal cells and interneurons. To determine whether these inputs differ in their weights of activating GABAergic circuits, we have studied the relative proportion of pyramidal cells and interneurons among their postsynaptic targets in serial electron microscopic sections. Local axons of CA1 pyramidal cells, intracellularly labeled in vitro or in vivo, innervated a relatively high proportion of interneuronal postsynaptic targets (65.9 and 53.8%, in vitro and in vivo, respectively) in stratum (str.) oriens and alveus. In contrast, axons of in vitro labeled CA3 pyramidal cells in str. oriens and str. radiatum of the CA1 area made synaptic junctions predominantly with pyramidal cell spines (92.9%). The postsynaptic targets of anterogradely labeled medial entorhinal cortical boutons in CA1 str. lacunosum-moleculare were primarily pyramidal neuron dendritic spines and shafts (90.8%). The alvear group of the entorhinal afferents, traversing str. oriens, str. pyramidale, and str. radiatum showed a higher preference for innervating GABAergic cells (21.3%), particularly in str. oriens/alveus. These data demonstrate that different glutamatergic pathways innervate CA1 GABAergic cells to different extents. The results suggest that the numerically smaller CA1 local axonal inputs together with the alvear part of the entorhinal input preferentially act on GABAergic interneurons in contrast to the CA3, or the entorhinal input in str. lacunosum-moleculare. The results highlight differences in the postsynaptic target selection of the feed-forward versus recurrent glutamatergic inputs to the CA1 and CA3 areas.

  12. Targeting the Glutamatergic System to Treat Major Depressive Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Mathews, Daniel C.; Henter, Ioline D.; Zarate, Carlos A.

    2012-01-01

    Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a severe, debilitating medical illness that affects millions of individuals worldwide. The young age of onset and chronicity of the disorder has a significant impact on the long-term disability that affected individuals face. Most existing treatments have focused on the ‘monoamine hypothesis’ for rational design of compounds. However, patients continue to experience low remission rates, residual subsyndromal symptoms, relapses and overall functional impairment. In this context, growing evidence suggests that the glutamatergic system is uniquely central to the neurobiology and treatment of MDD. Here, we review data supporting the involvement of the glutamatergic system in the pathophysiology of MDD, and discuss the efficacy of glutamatergic agents as novel therapeutics. Preliminary clinical evidence has been promising, particularly with regard to the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonist ketamine as a ‘proof-of-concept’ agent. The review also highlights potential molecular and inflammatory mechanisms that may contribute to the rapid antidepressant response seen with ketamine. Because existing pharmacological treatments for MDD are often insufficient for many patients, the next generation of treatments needs to be more effective, rapid acting and better tolerated than currently available medications. There is extant evidence that the glutamatergic system holds considerable promise for developing the next generation of novel and mechanistically distinct agents for the treatment of MDD. PMID:22731961

  13. Synaptic Size Dynamics as an Effectively Stochastic Process

    PubMed Central

    Statman, Adiel; Kaufman, Maya; Minerbi, Amir; Ziv, Noam E.; Brenner, Naama

    2014-01-01

    Long-term, repeated measurements of individual synaptic properties have revealed that synapses can undergo significant directed and spontaneous changes over time scales of minutes to weeks. These changes are presumably driven by a large number of activity-dependent and independent molecular processes, yet how these processes integrate to determine the totality of synaptic size remains unknown. Here we propose, as an alternative to detailed, mechanistic descriptions, a statistical approach to synaptic size dynamics. The basic premise of this approach is that the integrated outcome of the myriad of processes that drive synaptic size dynamics are effectively described as a combination of multiplicative and additive processes, both of which are stochastic and taken from distributions parametrically affected by physiological signals. We show that this seemingly simple model, known in probability theory as the Kesten process, can generate rich dynamics which are qualitatively similar to the dynamics of individual glutamatergic synapses recorded in long-term time-lapse experiments in ex-vivo cortical networks. Moreover, we show that this stochastic model, which is insensitive to many of its underlying details, quantitatively captures the distributions of synaptic sizes measured in these experiments, the long-term stability of such distributions and their scaling in response to pharmacological manipulations. Finally, we show that the average kinetics of new postsynaptic density formation measured in such experiments is also faithfully captured by the same model. The model thus provides a useful framework for characterizing synapse size dynamics at steady state, during initial formation of such steady states, and during their convergence to new steady states following perturbations. These findings show the strength of a simple low dimensional statistical model to quantitatively describe synapse size dynamics as the integrated result of many underlying complex processes

  14. Amyloid-β induces synaptic dysfunction through G protein-gated inwardly rectifying potassium channels in the fimbria-CA3 hippocampal synapse.

    PubMed

    Nava-Mesa, Mauricio O; Jiménez-Díaz, Lydia; Yajeya, Javier; Navarro-Lopez, Juan D

    2013-01-01

    Last evidences suggest that, in Alzheimer's disease (AD) early stage, Amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide induces an imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission systems resulting in the functional impairment of neural networks. Such alterations are particularly important in the septohippocampal system where learning and memory processes take place depending on accurate oscillatory activity tuned at fimbria-CA3 synapse. Here, the acute effects of Aβ on CA3 pyramidal neurons and their synaptic activation from septal part of the fimbria were studied in rats. A triphasic postsynaptic response defined by an excitatory potential (EPSP) followed by both early and late inhibitory potentials (IPSP) was evoked. The EPSP was glutamatergic acting on ionotropic receptors. The early IPSP was blocked by GABAA antagonists whereas the late IPSP was removed by GABAB antagonists. Aβ perfusion induced recorded cells to depolarize, increase their input resistance and decrease the late IPSP. Aβ action mechanism was localized at postsynaptic level and most likely linked to GABAB-related ion channels conductance decrease. In addition, it was found that the specific pharmacological modulation of the GABAB receptor effector, G-protein-coupled inward rectifier potassium (GirK) channels, mimicked all Aβ effects previously described. Thus, our findings suggest that Aβ altering GirK channels conductance in CA3 pyramidal neurons might have a key role in the septohippocampal activity dysfunction observed in AD.

  15. Amyloid-β induces synaptic dysfunction through G protein-gated inwardly rectifying potassium channels in the fimbria-CA3 hippocampal synapse

    PubMed Central

    Nava-Mesa, Mauricio O.; Jiménez-Díaz, Lydia; Yajeya, Javier; Navarro-Lopez, Juan D.

    2013-01-01

    Last evidences suggest that, in Alzheimer's disease (AD) early stage, Amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide induces an imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission systems resulting in the functional impairment of neural networks. Such alterations are particularly important in the septohippocampal system where learning and memory processes take place depending on accurate oscillatory activity tuned at fimbria-CA3 synapse. Here, the acute effects of Aβ on CA3 pyramidal neurons and their synaptic activation from septal part of the fimbria were studied in rats. A triphasic postsynaptic response defined by an excitatory potential (EPSP) followed by both early and late inhibitory potentials (IPSP) was evoked. The EPSP was glutamatergic acting on ionotropic receptors. The early IPSP was blocked by GABAA antagonists whereas the late IPSP was removed by GABAB antagonists. Aβ perfusion induced recorded cells to depolarize, increase their input resistance and decrease the late IPSP. Aβ action mechanism was localized at postsynaptic level and most likely linked to GABAB-related ion channels conductance decrease. In addition, it was found that the specific pharmacological modulation of the GABAB receptor effector, G-protein-coupled inward rectifier potassium (GirK) channels, mimicked all Aβ effects previously described. Thus, our findings suggest that Aβ altering GirK channels conductance in CA3 pyramidal neurons might have a key role in the septohippocampal activity dysfunction observed in AD. PMID:23898239

  16. NMDA Receptors Mediate Synaptic Competition in Culture

    PubMed Central

    She, Kevin; Craig, Ann Marie

    2011-01-01

    Background Activity through NMDA type glutamate receptors sculpts connectivity in the developing nervous system. This topic is typically studied in the visual system in vivo, where activity of inputs can be differentially regulated, but in which individual synapses are difficult to visualize and mechanisms governing synaptic competition can be difficult to ascertain. Here, we develop a model of NMDA-receptor dependent synaptic competition in dissociated cultured hippocampal neurons. Methodology/Principal Findings GluN1 -/- (KO) mouse hippocampal neurons lacking the essential NMDA receptor subunit were cultured alone or cultured in defined ratios with wild type (WT) neurons. The absence of functional NMDA receptors did not alter neuron survival. Synapse development was assessed by immunofluorescence for postsynaptic PSD-95 family scaffold and apposed presynaptic vesicular glutamate transporter VGlut1. Synapse density was specifically enhanced onto minority wild type neurons co-cultured with a majority of GluN1 -/- neighbour neurons, both relative to the GluN1 -/- neighbours and relative to sister pure wild type cultures. This form of synaptic competition was dependent on NMDA receptor activity and not conferred by the mere physical presence of GluN1. In contrast to these results in 10% WT and 90% KO co-cultures, synapse density did not differ by genotype in 50% WT and 50% KO co-cultures or in 90% WT and 10% KO co-cultures. Conclusions/Significance The enhanced synaptic density onto NMDA receptor-competent neurons in minority coculture with GluN1 -/- neurons represents a cell culture paradigm for studying synaptic competition. Mechanisms involved may include a retrograde ‘reward’ signal generated by WT neurons, although in this paradigm there was no ‘punishment’ signal against GluN1 -/- neurons. Cell culture assays involving such defined circuits may help uncover the rules and mechanisms of activity-dependent synaptic competition in the developing nervous

  17. Role of MicroRNA in Governing Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Epsin1 modulates synaptic vesicle retrieval capacity at CNS synapses

    PubMed Central

    Kyung, Jae Won; Bae, Jae Ryul; Kim, Dae-Hwan; Song, Woo Keun; Kim, Sung Hyun

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic vesicle retrieval is an essential process for continuous maintenance of neural information flow after synaptic transmission. Epsin1, originally identified as an EPS15-interacting protein, is a major component of clathrin-mediated endocytosis. However, the role of Epsin1 in synaptic vesicle endocytosis at CNS synapses remains elusive. Here, we showed significantly altered synaptic vesicle endocytosis in neurons transfected with shRNA targeting Epsin1 during/after neural activity. Endocytosis was effectively restored by introducing shRNA-insensitive Epsin1 into Epsin1-depleted neurons. Domain studies performed on neurons in which domain deletion mutants of Epsin1 were introduced after Epsin1 knockdown revealed that ENTH, CLAP, and NPFs are essential for synaptic vesicle endocytosis, whereas UIMs are not. Strikingly, the efficacy of the rate of synaptic vesicle retrieval (the “endocytic capacity”) was significantly decreased in the absence of Epsin1. Thus, Epsin1 is required for proper synaptic vesicle retrieval and modulates the endocytic capacity of synaptic vesicles. PMID:27557559

  19. A method for the three-dimensional reconstruction of Neurobiotin™-filled neurons and the location of their synaptic inputs

    PubMed Central

    Fogarty, Matthew J.; Hammond, Luke A.; Kanjhan, Refik; Bellingham, Mark C.; Noakes, Peter G.

    2013-01-01

    Here, we describe a robust method for mapping the number and type of neuro-chemically distinct synaptic inputs that a single reconstructed neuron receives. We have used individual hypoglossal motor neurons filled with Neurobiotin by semi-loose seal electroporation in thick brainstem slices. These filled motor neurons were then processed for excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs, using immunohistochemical-labeling procedures. For excitatory synapses, we used anti-VGLUT2 to locate glutamatergic pre-synaptic terminals and anti-PSD-95 to locate post-synaptic specializations on and within the surface of these filled motor neurons. For inhibitory synapses, we used anti-VGAT to locate GABAergic pre-synaptic terminals and anti-GABA-A receptor subunit α1 to locate the post-synaptic domain. The Neurobiotin-filled and immuno-labeled motor neuron was then processed for optical sectioning using confocal microscopy. The morphology of the motor neuron including its dendritic tree and the distribution of excitatory and inhibitory synapses were then determined by three-dimensional reconstruction using IMARIS software (Bitplane). Using surface rendering, fluorescence thresholding, and masking of unwanted immuno-labeling, tools found in IMARIS, we were able to obtain an accurate 3D structure of an individual neuron including the number and location of its glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic inputs. The power of this method allows for a rapid morphological confirmation of the post-synaptic responses recorded by patch-clamp prior to Neurobiotin filling. Finally, we show that this method can be adapted to super-resolution microscopy techniques, which will enhance its applicability to the study of neural circuits at the level of synapses. PMID:24101895

  20. DEVELOPMENTAL AND WITHDRAWAL EFFECTS OF ADOLESCENT AAS EXPOSURE ON THE GLUTAMATERGIC SYSTEM IN HAMSTERS

    PubMed Central

    Carrillo, Maria; Ricci, Lesley A.; Melloni, Richard H.

    2011-01-01

    In the Syrian hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) glutamate activity has been implicated in the modulation of adolescent anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS)-induced aggression. The current study investigated the time course of adolescent AAS-induced neurodevelopmental and withdrawal effects on the glutamatergic system and examined whether these changes paralleled those of adolescent AAS-induced aggression. Glutamate activity in brain areas comprising the aggression circuit in hamsters and aggression were examined following 1, 2, 3 and 4 weeks of AAS treatment or 1, 2, 3 and 4 weeks following the cessation of AAS exposure. In these studies glutamate activity was examined using vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGLUT2). The onset of aggression was observed following 2 weeks exposure to AAS and continued to increase showing maximal aggression levels after 4 weeks of AAS treatment. This aggressive phenotype was detected after 2 weeks of withdrawal from AAS. The time-course of AAS-induced changes in latero anterior hypothalamus (LAH)-VGLUT2 closely paralleled increases in aggression. Increases in LAH-VGLUT2 were first detected in animals exposed to AAS for 2 weeks and were maintained up to 3 weeks following the cessation of AAS treatment. AAS treatment also produced developmental and long-term alterations in VGLUT2 expression within other aggression areas. However, AAS-induced changes in glutamate activity within these regions did not coincide with changes in aggression. Together, these data indicate that adolescent AAS treatment leads to alterations in the glutamatergic system in brain areas implicated in aggression control, yet only alterations in LAH-glutamate parallel the time course of AAS-induced changes in the aggressive phenotype. PMID:21500881

  1. Developmental and withdrawal effects of adolescent AAS exposure on the glutamatergic system in hamsters.

    PubMed

    Carrillo, Maria; Ricci, Lesley A; Melloni, Richard H

    2011-06-01

    In the Syrian hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) glutamate activity has been implicated in the modulation of adolescent anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS)-induced aggression. The current study investigated the time course of adolescent AAS-induced neurodevelopmental and withdrawal effects on the glutamatergic system and examined whether these changes paralleled those of adolescent AAS-induced aggression. Glutamate activity in brain areas comprising the aggression circuit in hamsters and aggression levels were examined following 1, 2, 3, and 4 weeks of AAS treatment or 1, 2, 3, and 4 weeks following the cessation of AAS exposure. In these studies glutamate activity was examined using vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGLUT2). The onset of aggression was observed following 2 weeks exposure to AAS and continued to increase showing maximal aggression levels after 4 weeks of AAS treatment. This aggressive phenotype was detected after 2 weeks of withdrawal from AAS. The time-course of AAS-induced changes in latero-anterior hypothalamus (LAH)-VGLUT2 closely paralleled increases in aggression. Increases in LAH-VGLUT2 were first detected in animals exposed to AAS for 2 weeks and were maintained up to 3 weeks following the cessation of AAS treatment. AAS treatment also produced developmental and long-term alterations in VGLUT2 expression within other aggression areas. However, AAS-induced changes in glutamate activity within these regions did not coincide with changes in aggression. Together, these data indicate that adolescent AAS treatment leads to alterations in the glutamatergic system in brain areas implicated in aggression control, yet only alterations in LAH-glutamate parallel the time course of AAS-induced changes in the aggressive phenotype.

  2. Adolescent anabolic androgenic steroids reorganize the glutamatergic neural circuitry in the hypothalamus.

    PubMed

    Carrillo, Maria; Ricci, Lesley A; Melloni, Richard H

    2009-01-16

    Chronic treatment with anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) during adolescence alters the activity of various neurotransmitter systems in male Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus). The present study was conducted to determine whether glutamatergic cells in the lateral anterior hypothalamus (LAH), a sub-region of the anterior hypothalamus, have lasting activation following adolescent AAS exposure, and to examine AAS-induced alterations in the connections between the LAH and the ventrolateral hypothalamus (VLH) governed by glutamate. Hamsters were administered AAS during adolescence and then examined for changes in FOS (protein product of the immediate early gene c-fos) and phosphate activated glutaminase (PAG; the rate-limiting enzyme in the synthesis of glutamate) immunoreactivity (FOS/PAG-IR) using double-label immunohistochemistry. In a second experiment, a retrograde tracing study was conducted using a red fluorescent tracer microinjected into the VLH. Then brains were processes for PAG immunofluorescence and examined for AAS-induced changes in the number of PAG positive cells containing the tracer (PAG/Tracer) in the LAH. When compared to oil-treated controls, AAS-treated hamsters showed significant increases in PAG-IR and FOS/PAG-IR in the LAH, decreases in afferent innervation from the LAH to the VLH and decreases in the total number of glutamate cells in the LAH projecting to the VLH. Together with previous research from our lab showing increased AAS-induced expression of PAG in the AH and increased glutamate receptor expression in the VLH, the current results suggest that adolescent AAS exposure leads to alterations in the function and expression of the glutamatergic system as well as changes in hypothalamic neural connections. In addition, the current results further strengthen the notion that a specific nucleus in the AH, the LAH is a critical hypothalamic sub-region particularly sensitive to AAS-induced neurodevelopmental effects.

  3. Pathological glutamatergic neurotransmission in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome.

    PubMed

    Kanaan, Ahmad Seif; Gerasch, Sarah; García-García, Isabel; Lampe, Leonie; Pampel, André; Anwander, Alfred; Near, Jamie; Möller, Harald E; Müller-Vahl, Kirsten

    2017-01-01

    Gilles de la Tourette syndrome is a hereditary, neuropsychiatric movement disorder with reported abnormalities in the neurotransmission of dopamine and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Spatially focalized alterations in excitatory, inhibitory and modulatory neurochemical ratios within specific functional subdivisions of the basal ganglia, may lead to the expression of diverse motor and non-motor features as manifested in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome. Current treatment strategies are often unsatisfactory thus provoking the need for further elucidation of the underlying pathophysiology. In view of (i) the close spatio-temporal synergy exhibited between excitatory, inhibitory and modulatory neurotransmitter systems; (ii) the crucial role played by glutamate (Glu) in tonic/phasic dopaminergic signalling; and (iii) the interdependent metabolic relationship exhibited between Glu and GABA via glutamine (Gln); we postulated that glutamatergic signalling is related to the pathophysiology of Gilles de la Tourette syndrome. As such, we examined the neurochemical profile of three cortico-striato-thalamo-cortical regions in 37 well-characterized, drug-free adult patients and 36 age/gender-matched healthy control subjects via magnetic resonance spectroscopy at 3 T. To interrogate the influence of treatment on metabolite concentrations, spectral data were acquired from 15 patients undergoing a 4-week treatment with aripiprazole. Test-retest reliability measurements in 23 controls indicated high repeatability of voxel localization and metabolite quantitation. We report significant reductions in striatal concentrations of Gln, Glu + Gln (Glx) and the Gln:Glu ratio, and thalamic concentrations of Glx in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome in comparison to controls. ON-treatment patients exhibited no significant metabolite differences when compared to controls but significant increases in striatal Glu and Glx, and trends for increases in striatal Gln and thalamic Glx compared to baseline

  4. Irreversible loss of a subpopulation of cortical interneurons in the absence of glutamatergic network activity.

    PubMed

    de Lima, Ana Dolabela; Opitz, Thoralf; Voigt, Thomas

    2004-06-01

    In the cerebral cortex of mammals, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic neurons represent 15-25% of all neurons, depending on the species and area being examined. Because converging evidence suggests that activity may play an important role in the neuritic maturation and synaptic function of GABAergic neurons, it is feasible that activity plays a role in the regulation of the proportion of GABAergic neurons. Here we provide direct evidence that early in cortical development activity blockade may deplete the network of a subpopulation of GABA immunoreactive neurons characterized by their small size and late generation in vitro. In a period of time coinciding with the emergence of synchronous network activity, the survival and morphological differentiation of GABAergic neurons was influenced by long-term blockade of synaptic activity. While GABA(A) receptor antagonists had a minor promoting effect on interneuronal survival during the second week in vitro, antagonists of ionotropic glutamate receptors strongly impaired survival and differentiation of immature GABAergic interneurons. Interneuronal loss was more severe when N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors were blocked than after blockade of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-proprionic acid (AMPA)/kainate receptors. The decrease in the density of GABAergic neurons was irreversible, but could be prevented by the simultaneous addition of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). These results suggest that there is a narrow time window during neocortical development when glutamatergic activity, and specially NMDA receptor stimulation, is crucial to assure survival and maturation of a subpopulation of late developing GABAergic interneurons.

  5. Synaptic structure, distribution, and circuitry in the central nervous system of the locust and related insects.

    PubMed

    Watson, Alan Hugh David; Schürmann, Friedrich-Wilhelm

    2002-02-01

    The Orthopteran central nervous system has proved a fertile substrate for combined morphological and physiological studies of identified neurons. Electron microscopy reveals two major types of synaptic contacts between nerve fibres: chemical synapses (which predominate) and electrotonic (gap) junctions. The chemical synapses are characterized by a structural asymmetry between the pre- and postsynaptic electron dense paramembranous structures. The postsynaptic paramembranous density defines the extent of a synaptic contact that varies according to synaptic type and location in single identified neurons. Synaptic bars are the most prominent presynaptic element at both monadic and dyadic (divergent) synapses. These are associated with small electron lucent synaptic vesicles in neurons that are cholinergic or glutamatergic (round vesicles) or GABAergic (pleomorphic vesicles). Dense core vesicles of different sizes are indicative of the presence of peptide or amine transmitters. Synapses are mostly found on small-diameter neuropilar branches and the number of synaptic contacts constituting a single physiological synapse ranges from a few tens to several thousand depending on the neurones involved. Some principles of synaptic circuitry can be deduced from the analysis of highly ordered brain neuropiles. With the light microscope, synaptic location can be inferred from the distribution of the presynaptic protein synapsin I. In the ventral nerve cord, identified neurons that are components of circuits subserving known behaviours, have been studied using electrophysiology in combination with light and electron microscopy and immunocytochemistry of neuroactive compounds. This has allowed the synaptic distribution of the major classes of neurone in the ventral nerve cord to be analysed within a functional context.

  6. A Network of Three Types of Filaments Organizes Synaptic Vesicles for Storage, Mobilization, and Docking

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Xiaobing; Reese, Thomas S.

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic transmission between neurons requires precise management of synaptic vesicles. While individual molecular components of the presynaptic terminal are well known, exactly how the molecules are organized into a molecular machine serving the storage and mobilization of synaptic vesicles to the active zone remains unclear. Here we report three filament types associated with synaptic vesicles in glutamatergic synapses revealed by electron microscope tomography in unstimulated, dissociated rat hippocampal neurons. One filament type, likely corresponding to the SNAREpin complex, extends from the active zone membrane and surrounds docked vesicles. A second filament type contacts all vesicles throughout the active zone and pairs vesicles together. On the third filament type, vesicles attach to side branches extending from the long filament core and form vesicle clusters that are distributed throughout the vesicle cloud and along the active zone membrane. Detailed analysis of presynaptic structure reveals how each of the three filament types interacts with synaptic vesicles, providing a means to traffic reserved and recycled vesicles from the cloud of vesicles into the docking position at the active zone. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The formation and release of synaptic vesicles has been extensively investigated. Explanations of the release of synaptic vesicles generally begin with the movement of vesicles from the cloud into the synaptic active zone. However, the presynaptic terminal is filled with filamentous material that would appear to limit vesicular diffusion. Here, we provide a systematic description of three filament types connecting synaptic vesicles. A picture emerges illustrating how the cooperative attachment and release of these three filament types facilitate the movement of vesicles to the active zone to become docked in preparation for release. PMID:26985032

  7. Synaptic growth: dancing with adducin.

    PubMed

    Stevens, Robin J; Littleton, J Troy

    2011-05-24

    Manipulations of the actin-capping protein adducin in Drosophila and mammalian neurons provide new insights into the mechanisms linking structural changes to synaptic plasticity and learning. Adducin regulates synaptic remodeling, providing a molecular switch that controls synaptic growth versus disassembly during plasticity.

  8. Short- and long-term depression at glutamatergic synapses on hippocampal interneurons by group I mGluR activation.

    PubMed

    Le Duigou, Caroline; Holden, Thomas; Kullmann, Dimitri M

    2011-04-01

    Group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) are expressed by many interneurons of the hippocampus. Although they have been implicated in short- and long-term synaptic plasticity of glutamatergic transmission, their roles in modulating transmission to interneurons are incompletely understood. The selective group I mGluR agonist (S)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG) acutely depressed transmission at synapses in the feed-forward inhibitory pathway made by Schaffer collaterals on interneurons in the rat hippocampal CA1 sub-field. DHPG elicited a qualitatively similar depression at synapses made by pyramidal neuron axon collaterals on interneurons in the feedback circuit in stratum oriens. Selective blockers revealed a link from mGluR1 to reversible, and mGluR5 to long-lasting, depression. The acute DHPG-induced depression was consistently accompanied by an elevation in paired-pulse ratio, implying a presynaptic decrease in release probability. However, it was also attenuated by blocking G-protein and Ca(2+) signalling within the postsynaptic neuron, arguing for a retrograde signalling cascade. The DHPG-evoked depression was unaffected by antagonists of CB1 and GABA(B) receptors but was occluded when presynaptic P/Q-type Ca(2+) channels were blocked. Finally, high-frequency stimulation delivered to an independent conditioning pathway evoked a heterosynaptic reversible depression, which was sensitive to group I mGluR antagonists. Group I mGluRs thus powerfully modulate synaptic excitation of hippocampal interneurons and mediate inter-synaptic cross-talk. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Synaptic Plasticity & Interneurons'.

  9. Activity-dependent switch of GABAergic inhibition into glutamatergic excitation in astrocyte-neuron networks.

    PubMed

    Perea, Gertrudis; Gómez, Ricardo; Mederos, Sara; Covelo, Ana; Ballesteros, Jesús J; Schlosser, Laura; Hernández-Vivanco, Alicia; Martín-Fernández, Mario; Quintana, Ruth; Rayan, Abdelrahman; Díez, Adolfo; Fuenzalida, Marco; Agarwal, Amit; Bergles, Dwight E; Bettler, Bernhard; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise; Martín, Eduardo D; Kirchhoff, Frank; Araque, Alfonso

    2016-12-24

    Interneurons are critical for proper neural network function and can activate Ca(2+) signaling in astrocytes. However, the impact of the interneuron-astrocyte signaling into neuronal network operation remains unknown. Using the simplest hippocampal Astrocyte-Neuron network, i.e., GABAergic interneuron, pyramidal neuron, single CA3-CA1 glutamatergic synapse, and astrocytes, we found that interneuron-astrocyte signaling dynamically affected excitatory neurotransmission in an activity- and time-dependent manner, and determined the sign (inhibition vs potentiation) of the GABA-mediated effects. While synaptic inhibition was mediated by GABAA receptors, potentiation involved astrocyte GABAB receptors, astrocytic glutamate release, and presynaptic metabotropic glutamate receptors. Using conditional astrocyte-specific GABAB receptor (Gabbr1) knockout mice, we confirmed the glial source of the interneuron-induced potentiation, and demonstrated the involvement of astrocytes in hippocampal theta and gamma oscillations in vivo. Therefore, astrocytes decode interneuron activity and transform inhibitory into excitatory signals, contributing to the emergence of novel network properties resulting from the interneuron-astrocyte interplay.

  10. Activity-dependent switch of GABAergic inhibition into glutamatergic excitation in astrocyte-neuron networks

    PubMed Central

    Perea, Gertrudis; Gómez, Ricardo; Mederos, Sara; Covelo, Ana; Ballesteros, Jesús J; Schlosser, Laura; Hernández-Vivanco, Alicia; Martín-Fernández, Mario; Quintana, Ruth; Rayan, Abdelrahman; Díez, Adolfo; Fuenzalida, Marco; Agarwal, Amit; Bergles, Dwight E; Bettler, Bernhard; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise; Martín, Eduardo D; Kirchhoff, Frank; Araque, Alfonso

    2016-01-01

    Interneurons are critical for proper neural network function and can activate Ca2+ signaling in astrocytes. However, the impact of the interneuron-astrocyte signaling into neuronal network operation remains unknown. Using the simplest hippocampal Astrocyte-Neuron network, i.e., GABAergic interneuron, pyramidal neuron, single CA3-CA1 glutamatergic synapse, and astrocytes, we found that interneuron-astrocyte signaling dynamically affected excitatory neurotransmission in an activity- and time-dependent manner, and determined the sign (inhibition vs potentiation) of the GABA-mediated effects. While synaptic inhibition was mediated by GABAA receptors, potentiation involved astrocyte GABAB receptors, astrocytic glutamate release, and presynaptic metabotropic glutamate receptors. Using conditional astrocyte-specific GABAB receptor (Gabbr1) knockout mice, we confirmed the glial source of the interneuron-induced potentiation, and demonstrated the involvement of astrocytes in hippocampal theta and gamma oscillations in vivo. Therefore, astrocytes decode interneuron activity and transform inhibitory into excitatory signals, contributing to the emergence of novel network properties resulting from the interneuron-astrocyte interplay. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.20362.001 PMID:28012274

  11. Glucocorticoid Induces Incoordination between Glutamatergic and GABAergic Neurons in the Amygdala

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Shan; Wang, Jin-Hui

    2016-01-01

    Background Stressful life leads to mood disorders. Chronic mild stress is presumably major etiology for depression, and acute severe stress leads to anxiety. These stressful situations may impair hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis and in turn induce synapse dysfunction. However, it remains elusive how the stress hormones mess up subcellular compartments and interactions between excitatory and inhibitory neurons, which we have investigated in mouse amygdala, a structure related to emotional states. Methods and Results Dexamethasone was chronically given by intraperitoneal injection once a day for one week or was acutely washed into the brain slices. The neuronal spikes and synaptic transmission were recorded by whole-cell patching in amygdala neurons of brain slices. The chronic or acute administration of dexamethasone downregulates glutamate release as well as upregulates GABA release and GABAergic neuron spiking. The chronic administration of dexamethasone also enhances the responsiveness of GABA receptors. Conclusion The upregulation of GABAergic neurons and the downregulation of glutamatergic neurons by glucocorticoid impair their balance in the amygdala, which leads to emotional disorders during stress. PMID:27861545

  12. Targeting synaptic dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease therapy.

    PubMed

    Nisticò, Robert; Pignatelli, Marco; Piccinin, Sonia; Mercuri, Nicola B; Collingridge, Graham

    2012-12-01

    In the past years, major efforts have been made to understand the genetics and molecular pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), which has been translated into extensive experimental approaches aimed at slowing down or halting disease progression. Advances in transgenic (Tg) technologies allowed the engineering of different mouse models of AD recapitulating a range of AD-like features. These Tg models provided excellent opportunities to analyze the bases for the temporal evolution of the disease. Several lines of evidence point to synaptic dysfunction as a cause of AD and that synapse loss is a pathological correlate associated with cognitive decline. Therefore, the phenotypic characterization of these animals has included electrophysiological studies to analyze hippocampal synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation, a widely recognized cellular model for learning and memory. Transgenic mice, along with non-Tg models derived mainly from exogenous application of Aβ, have also been useful experimental tools to test the various therapeutic approaches. As a result, numerous pharmacological interventions have been reported to attenuate synaptic dysfunction and improve behavior in the different AD models. To date, however, very few of these findings have resulted in target validation or successful translation into disease-modifying compounds in humans. Here, we will briefly review the synaptic alterations across the different animal models and we will recapitulate the pharmacological strategies aimed at rescuing hippocampal plasticity phenotypes. Finally, we will highlight intrinsic limitations in the use of experimental systems and related challenges in translating preclinical studies into human clinical trials.

  13. Dynamic Control of Synaptic Adhesion and Organizing Molecules in Synaptic Plasticity

    SciTech Connect

    Rudenko, Gabby

    2017-01-01

    Synapses play a critical role in establishing and maintaining neural circuits, permitting targeted information transfer throughout the brain. A large portfolio of synaptic adhesion/organizing molecules (SAMs) exists in the mammalian brain involved in synapse development and maintenance. SAMs bind protein partners, formingtrans-complexes spanning the synaptic cleft orcis-complexes attached to the same synaptic membrane. SAMs play key roles in cell adhesion and in organizing protein interaction networks; they can also provide mechanisms of recognition, generate scaffolds onto which partners can dock, and likely take part in signaling processes as well. SAMs are regulated through a portfolio of different mechanisms that affect their protein levels, precise localization, stability, and the availability of their partners at synapses. Interaction of SAMs with their partners can further be strengthened or weakened through alternative splicing, competing protein partners, ectodomain shedding, or astrocytically secreted factors. Given that numerous SAMs appear altered by synaptic activity, in vivo, these molecules may be used to dynamically scale up or scale down synaptic communication. Many SAMs, including neurexins, neuroligins, cadherins, and contactins, are now implicated in neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental diseases, such as autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder and studying their molecular mechanisms holds promise for developing novel therapeutics.

  14. Dynamic Control of Synaptic Adhesion and Organizing Molecules in Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Synapses play a critical role in establishing and maintaining neural circuits, permitting targeted information transfer throughout the brain. A large portfolio of synaptic adhesion/organizing molecules (SAMs) exists in the mammalian brain involved in synapse development and maintenance. SAMs bind protein partners, forming trans-complexes spanning the synaptic cleft or cis-complexes attached to the same synaptic membrane. SAMs play key roles in cell adhesion and in organizing protein interaction networks; they can also provide mechanisms of recognition, generate scaffolds onto which partners can dock, and likely take part in signaling processes as well. SAMs are regulated through a portfolio of different mechanisms that affect their protein levels, precise localization, stability, and the availability of their partners at synapses. Interaction of SAMs with their partners can further be strengthened or weakened through alternative splicing, competing protein partners, ectodomain shedding, or astrocytically secreted factors. Given that numerous SAMs appear altered by synaptic activity, in vivo, these molecules may be used to dynamically scale up or scale down synaptic communication. Many SAMs, including neurexins, neuroligins, cadherins, and contactins, are now implicated in neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental diseases, such as autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder and studying their molecular mechanisms holds promise for developing novel therapeutics. PMID:28255461

  15. Postsynaptic TrkC and Presynaptic PTPσ Function as a Bidirectional Excitatory Synaptic Organizing Complex

    PubMed Central

    Takahashi, Hideto; Arstikaitis, Pamela; Prasad, Tuhina; Bartlett, Thomas E.; Wang, Yu Tian; Murphy, Timothy H.; Craig, Ann Marie

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY Neurotrophin receptor tyrosine kinases (Trks) have well-defined trophic roles in nervous system development through kinase activation by neurotrophins. Yet Trks have typical cell-adhesion domains and express non-catalytic isoforms suggesting additional functions. Here we discovered non-catalytic TrkC in an unbiased hippocampal neuron-fibroblast coculture screen for proteins that trigger differentiation of neurotransmitter release sites in axons. All TrkC isoforms, but not TrkA or TrkB, function directly in excitatory glutamatergic synaptic adhesion by neurotrophin-independent high-affinity trans-binding to axonal PTPσ tyrosine phosphatase receptor. PTPσ triggers and TrkC mediates clustering of postsynaptic molecules in dendrites, indicating bidirectional synaptic organizing functions. Effects of a TrkC neutralizing antibody that blocks TrkC-PTPσ interaction and TrkC knockdown in culture and in vivo reveal essential roles of TrkC-PTPσ in glutamatergic synapse formation. Thus, postsynaptic TrkC trans-interaction with presynaptic PTPσ generates bidirectional adhesion and recruitment essential for excitatory synapse development and positions these signaling molecules at the center of synaptic pathways. PMID:21262467

  16. Cell type-specific long-term plasticity at glutamatergic synapses onto hippocampal interneurons expressing either parvalbumin or CB1 cannabinoid receptor.

    PubMed

    Nissen, Wiebke; Szabo, Andras; Somogyi, Jozsef; Somogyi, Peter; Lamsa, Karri P

    2010-01-27

    Different GABAergic interneuron types have specific roles in hippocampal function, and anatomical as well as physiological features vary greatly between interneuron classes. Long-term plasticity of interneurons has mostly been studied in unidentified GABAergic cells and is known to be very heterogeneous. Here we tested whether cell type-specific plasticity properties in distinct GABAergic interneuron types might underlie this heterogeneity. We show that long-term potentiation (LTP) and depression (LTD), two common forms of synaptic plasticity, are expressed in a highly cell type-specific manner at glutamatergic synapses onto hippocampal GABAergic neurons. Both LTP and LTD are generated in interneurons expressing parvalbumin (PV+), whereas interneurons with similar axon distributions but expressing cannabinoid receptor-1 show no lasting plasticity in response to the same protocol. In addition, LTP or LTD occurs in PV+ interneurons with different efferent target domains. Perisomatic-targeting PV+ basket and axo-axonic interneurons express LTP, whereas glutamatergic synapses onto PV+ bistratified cells display LTD. Both LTP and LTD are pathway specific, independent of NMDA receptors, and occur at synapses with calcium-permeable (CP) AMPA receptors. Plasticity in interneurons with CP-AMPA receptors strongly modulates disynaptic GABAergic transmission onto CA1 pyramidal cells. We propose that long-term plasticity adjusts the synaptic strength between pyramidal cells and interneurons in a cell type-specific manner and, in the defined CA1 interneurons, shifts the spatial pattern of inhibitory weight from pyramidal cell dendrites to the perisomatic region.

  17. Differential expression of vesicular glutamate transporters 1 and 2 may identify distinct modes of glutamatergic transmission in the macaque visual system.

    PubMed

    Balaram, Pooja; Hackett, Troy A; Kaas, Jon H

    2013-05-01

    Glutamate is the primary neurotransmitter utilized by the mammalian visual system for excitatory neurotransmission. The sequestration of glutamate into synaptic vesicles, and the subsequent transport of filled vesicles to the presynaptic terminal membrane, is regulated by a family of proteins known as vesicular glutamate transporters (VGLUTs). Two VGLUT proteins, VGLUT1 and VGLUT2, characterize distinct sets of glutamatergic projections between visual structures in rodents and prosimian primates, yet little is known about their distributions in the visual system of anthropoid primates. We have examined the mRNA and protein expression patterns of VGLUT1 and VGLUT2 in the visual system of macaque monkeys, an Old World anthropoid primate, in order to determine their relative distributions in the superior colliculus, lateral geniculate nucleus, pulvinar complex, V1 and V2. Distinct expression patterns for both VGLUT1 and VGLUT2 identified architectonic boundaries in all structures, as well as anatomical subdivisions of the superior colliculus, pulvinar complex, and V1. These results suggest that VGLUT1 and VGLUT2 clearly identify regions of glutamatergic input in visual structures, and may identify common architectonic features of visual areas and nuclei across the primate radiation. Additionally, we find that VGLUT1 and VGLUT2 characterize distinct subsets of glutamatergic projections in the macaque visual system; VGLUT2 predominates in driving or feedforward projections from lower order to higher order visual structures while VGLUT1 predominates in modulatory or feedback projections from higher order to lower order visual structures. The distribution of these two proteins suggests that VGLUT1 and VGLUT2 may identify class 1 and class 2 type glutamatergic projections within the primate visual system (Sherman and Guillery, 2006).

  18. Synaptic contacts impaired by styrene-7,8-oxide toxicity

    SciTech Connect

    Corsi, P. D'Aprile, A.; Nico, B.; Costa, G.L.; Assennato, G.

    2007-10-01

    Styrene-7,8-oxide (SO), a chemical compound widely used in industrial applications, is a potential hazard for humans, particularly in occupational settings. Neurobehavioral changes are consistently observed in occupationally exposed individuals and alterations of neurotransmitters associated with neuronal loss have been reported in animal models. Although the toxic effects of styrene have been extensively documented, the molecular mechanisms responsible for SO-induced neurotoxicity are still unclear. A possible dopamine-mediated effect of styrene neurotoxicity has been previously demonstrated, since styrene oxide alters dopamine neurotransmission in the brain. Thus, the present study hypothesizes that styrene neurotoxicity may involve synaptic contacts. Primary striatal neurons were exposed to styrene oxide at different concentrations (0.1-1 mM) for different time periods (8, 16, and 24 h) to evaluate the dose able to induce synaptic impairments. The expression of proteins crucial for synaptic transmission such as Synapsin, Synaptophysin, and RAC-1 were considered. The levels of Synaptophysin and RAC-1 decreased in a dose-dependent manner. Accordingly, morphological alterations, observed at the ultrastructural level, primarily involved the pre-synaptic compartment. In SO-exposed cultures, the biochemical cascade of caspases was activated affecting the cytoskeleton components as their target. Thus the impairments in synaptic contacts observed in SO-exposed cultures might reflect a primarily morphological alteration of neuronal cytoskeleton. In addition, our data support the hypothesis developed by previous authors of reactive oxygen species (ROS) initiating events of SO cytotoxicity.

  19. Differential Dendritic Integration of Synaptic Potentials and Calcium in Cerebellar Interneurons.

    PubMed

    Tran-Van-Minh, Alexandra; Abrahamsson, Therése; Cathala, Laurence; DiGregorio, David A

    2016-08-17

    Dendritic voltage integration determines the transformation of synaptic inputs into output firing, while synaptic calcium integration drives plasticity mechanisms thought to underlie memory storage. Dendritic calcium integration has been shown to follow the same synaptic input-output relationship as dendritic voltage, but whether similar operations apply to neurons exhibiting sublinear voltage integration is unknown. We examined the properties and cellular mechanisms of these dendritic operations in cerebellar molecular layer interneurons using dendritic voltage and calcium imaging, in combination with synaptic stimulation or glutamate uncaging. We show that, while synaptic potentials summate sublinearly, concomitant dendritic calcium signals summate either linearly or supralinearly depending on the number of synapses activated. The supralinear dendritic calcium triggers a branch-specific, short-term suppression of neurotransmitter release that alters the pattern of synaptic activation. Thus, differential voltage and calcium integration permits dynamic regulation of neuronal input-output transformations without altering intrinsic nonlinear integration mechanisms.

  20. Optical fiber synaptic sensor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pisarchik, A. N.; Jaimes-Reátegui, R.; Sevilla-Escoboza, R.; García-Lopez, J. H.; Kazantsev, V. B.

    2011-06-01

    Understanding neuron connections is a great challenge, which is needed to solve many important problems in neurobiology and neuroengineering for recreation of brain functions and efficient biorobotics. In particular, a design of an optical synapse capable to communicate with neuron spike sequences would be crucial to improve the functionality of neuromimmetic networks. In this work we propose an optical synaptic sensor based on an erbium-doped fiber laser driven by a FitzHung-Nagumo electronic neuron, to connect with another electronic neuron. Two possible optical synaptic configurations are analyzed for optoelectronic coupling between neurons: laser cavity loss modulation and pump laser modulation. The control parameters of the proposed optical synapse provide additional degrees of flexibility to the neuron connection traditionally controlled only by coupling strengths in artificial networks.

  1. Deletion of Shank1 has minimal effects on the molecular composition and function of glutamatergic afferent postsynapses in the mouse inner ear

    PubMed Central

    Braude, Jeremy P.; Vijayakumar, Sarath; Baumgarner, Katherine; Laurine, Rebecca; Jones, Timothy A.; Jones, Sherri M.; Pyott, Sonja J.

    2015-01-01

    Shank proteins (1–3) are considered the master organizers of glutamatergic postsynaptic densities in the central nervous system, and the genetic deletion of either Shank1, 2, or 3 results in altered composition, form, and strength of glutamatergic postsynapses. To investigate the contribution of Shank proteins to glutamatergic afferent synapses of the inner ear and especially cochlea, we used immunofluorescence and quantitative real time PCR to determine the expression of Shank1, 2, and 3 in the cochlea. Because we found evidence for expression of Shank1 but not 2 and 3, we investigated the morphology, composition, and function of afferent postsynaptic densities from defined tonotopic regions in the cochlea of Shank1−/− mice. Using immunofluorescence, we identified subtle changes in the morphology and composition (but not number and localization) of cochlear afferent postsynaptic densities at the lower frequency region (8 kHz) in Shank1−/− mice compared to Shank1+/+ littermates. However, we detected no differences in auditory brainstem responses at matching or higher frequencies. We also identified Shank1 in the vestibular afferent postsynaptic densities, but detected no differences in vestibular sensory evoked potentials in Shank1−/− mice compared to Shank1+/+ littermates. This work suggests that Shank proteins play a different role in the development and maintenance of glutamatergic afferent synapses in the inner ear compared to the central nervous system. PMID:25637745

  2. Synaptic Vesicle Exocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Südhof, Thomas C.; Rizo, Josep

    2011-01-01

    Presynaptic nerve terminals release neurotransmitters by synaptic vesicle exocytosis. Membrane fusion mediating synaptic exocytosis and other intracellular membrane traffic is affected by a universal machinery that includes SNARE (for “soluble NSF-attachment protein receptor”) and SM (for “Sec1/Munc18-like”) proteins. During fusion, vesicular and target SNARE proteins assemble into an α-helical trans-SNARE complex that forces the two membranes tightly together, and SM proteins likely wrap around assembling trans-SNARE complexes to catalyze membrane fusion. After fusion, SNARE complexes are dissociated by the ATPase NSF (for “N-ethylmaleimide sensitive factor”). Fusion-competent conformations of SNARE proteins are maintained by chaperone complexes composed of CSPα, Hsc70, and SGT, and by nonenzymatically acting synuclein chaperones; dysfunction of these chaperones results in neurodegeneration. The synaptic membrane-fusion machinery is controlled by synaptotagmin, and additionally regulated by a presynaptic protein matrix (the “active zone”) that includes Munc13 and RIM proteins as central components. PMID:22026965

  3. Abnormal plasticity in dystonia: Disruption of synaptic homeostasis.

    PubMed

    Quartarone, Angelo; Pisani, Antonio

    2011-05-01

    Work over the past two decades lead to substantial changes in our understanding of dystonia, which was, until recently, considered an exclusively sporadic movement disorder. The discovery of several gene mutations responsible for many inherited forms of dystonia has prompted much effort in the generation of transgenic mouse models bearing mutations found in patients. The large majority of these rodent models do not exhibit overt phenotypic abnormalities, or neuronal loss in specific brain areas. Nevertheless, both subtle motor abnormalities and significant alterations of synaptic plasticity have been recorded in mice, suggestive of an altered basal ganglia circuitry. In addition, robust evidence from experimental and clinical work supports the assumption that dystonia may indeed be considered a disorder linked to the disruption of synaptic "scaling", with a prevailing facilitation of synaptic potentiation, together with the loss of synaptic inhibitory processes. Notably, neurophysiological studies from patients carrying gene mutations as well as from non-manifesting carriers have shown the presence of synaptic plasticity abnormalities, indicating the presence of specific endophenotypic traits in carriers of the gene mutation. In this survey, we review findings from a broad range of data, obtained both from animal models and human research, and propose that the abnormalities of synaptic plasticity described in mice and humans may be considered an endophenotype to dystonia, and a valid and powerful tool to investigate the pathogenic mechanisms underlying this movement disorder. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Advances in dystonia".

  4. Synaptic Plasticity as a Cortical Coding Scheme

    PubMed Central

    Froemke, Robert C.; Schreiner, Christoph E.

    2015-01-01

    Processing of auditory information requires constant adjustment due to alterations of the environment and changing conditions in the nervous system with age, health, and experience. Consequently, patterns of activity in cortical networks have complex dynamics over a wide range of timescales, from milliseconds to days and longer. In the primary auditory cortex (AI), multiple forms of adaptation and plasticity shape synaptic input and action potential output. However, the variance of neuronal responses has made it difficult to characterize AI receptive fields and to determine the function of AI in processing auditory information such as vocalizations. Here we describe recent studies on the temporal modulation of cortical responses and consider the relation of synaptic plasticity to neural coding. PMID:26497430

  5. TNFα in synaptic function: switching gears.

    PubMed

    Santello, Mirko; Volterra, Andrea

    2012-10-01

    Pathological brain states are known to induce massive production of proinflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα). At much lower levels, these cytokines are also present in the healthy brain, where it is increasingly being recognized that they exert regulatory influences. Recent studies suggest that TNFα plays important roles in controlling synaptic transmission and plasticity. Here, we discuss the evidence in support of synaptic regulation by TNFα and the underlying cellular mechanisms, including control of AMPA receptor trafficking and glutamate release from astrocytes. These findings suggest that increases in TNFα levels (caused by nervous system infection, injury, or disease) transform the physiological actions of the cytokine into deleterious ones. This functional switch may contribute to cognitive alterations in several brain pathologies.

  6. A Hard-wired Glutamatergic Circuit Pools and Relays UV Signals to Mediate Spectral Preference in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Ting, Chun-Yuan; Pursley, Randall; Melnattur, Krishna V.; Diao, Fengqiu; White, Benjamin H.; Macpherson, Lindsey J.; Gallio, Marco; Pohida, Thomas; Lee, Chi-Hon

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Many visual animals have innate preferences for particular wavelengths of light, which can be modified by learning. Drosophila’s preference for UV over visible light requires UV-sensing R7 photoreceptors and specific wide-field amacrine neurons, called Dm8. Here we identify three types of medulla projection neurons downstream of R7 and Dm8, and show that selectively inactivating one of them (Tm5c) abolishes UV preference. Using a modified GRASP method to probe synaptic connections at the single-cell level, we reveal that each Dm8 neuron forms multiple synaptic contacts with Tm5c in the center of Dm8’s dendritic field, but sparse connections in the periphery. By single-cell transcript profiling and RNAi-mediated knockdown, we determine that Tm5c uses the kainate receptor Clumsy to receive excitatory glutamate input from Dm8. We conclude that R7s->Dm8->Tm5c form a hard-wired glutamatergic circuit that mediates UV preference by pooling ~16 R7 signals for transfer to the lobula, a higher visual center. PMID:24507194

  7. Calcium-permeable AMPA receptors provide a common mechanism for LTP in glutamatergic synapses of distinct hippocampal interneuron types.

    PubMed

    Szabo, Andras; Somogyi, Jozsef; Cauli, Bruno; Lambolez, Bertrand; Somogyi, Peter; Lamsa, Karri P

    2012-05-09

    Glutamatergic synapses on some hippocampal GABAergic interneurons exhibit activity-induced long-term potentiation (LTP). Interneuron types within the CA1 area expressing mutually exclusive molecular markers differ in LTP responses. Potentiation that depends on calcium-permeable (CP) AMPA receptors has been characterized in oriens-lacunosum moleculare (O-LM) interneurons, which express parvalbumin and somatostatin (SM). However, it is unknown how widely CP-AMPAR-dependent plasticity is expressed among different GABAergic interneuron types. Here we examine synaptic plasticity in rat hippocampal O-LM cells and two other interneuron types expressing either nitric oxide synthase (NOS) or cholecystokinin (CCK), which are known to be physiologically and developmentally distinct. We report similar CP-AMPAR-dependent LTP in NOS-immunopositive ivy cells and SM-expressing O-LM cells to afferent fiber theta burst stimulation. The potentiation in both cell types is induced at postsynaptic membrane potentials below firing threshold, and induction is blocked by intense spiking simultaneously with afferent stimulation. The strong inward rectification and calcium permeability of AMPARs is explained by a low level of GluA2 subunit mRNA expression. LTP is not elicited in CCK-expressing Schaffer collateral-associated cells, which lack CP-AMPARs and express high levels of the GluA2 subunit. The results show that CP-AMPAR-mediated synaptic potentiation is common in hippocampal interneuron types and occurs in interneurons of both feedforward and feedback inhibitory pathways.

  8. Blockade of NR2B-Containing NMDA Receptors Prevents BDNF Enhancement of Glutamatergic Transmission in Hippocampal Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Crozier, Robert A.; Black, Ira B.; Plummer, Mark R.

    1999-01-01

    Application of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) to hippocampal neurons has profound effects on glutamatergic synaptic transmission. Both pre- and postsynaptic actions have been identified that depend on the age and type of preparation. To understand the nature of this diversity, we have begun to examine the mechanisms of BDNF action in cultured dissociated embryonic hippocampal neurons. Whole-cell patch-clamp recording during iontophoretic application of glutamate revealed that BDNF doubled the amplitude of induced inward current. Coexposure to BDNF and the NMDA receptor antagonist AP-5 markedly reduced, but did not entirely prevent, the increase in current. Coexposure to BDNF and ifenprodil, an NR2B subunit antagonist, reproduced the response observed with AP-5, suggesting BDNF primarily enhanced activity of NR2B-containing NMDA receptors with a lesser effect on non-NMDA receptors. Protein kinase involvement was confirmed with the broad spectrum inhibitor staurosporine, which prevented the response to BDNF. PKCI19-31 and H-89, selective antagonists of PKC and PKA, had no effect on the response to BDNF, whereas autocamtide-2-related inhibitory peptide, an antagonist of CaM kinase II, reduced response magnitude by 60%. These results demonstrate the predominant role of a specific NMDA receptor subtype in BDNF modulation of hippocampal synaptic transmission. PMID:10492007

  9. Dopamine D4 receptors regulate AMPA receptor trafficking and glutamatergic transmission in GABAergic interneurons of prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Yuen, Eunice Y; Yan, Zhen

    2009-01-14

    GABAergic interneurons in prefrontal cortex (PFC) play a critical role in cortical circuits by providing feedforward and feedback inhibition and synchronizing neuronal activity. Impairments in GABAergic inhibition to PFC pyramidal neurons have been implicated in the abnormal neural synchrony and working memory disturbances in schizophrenia. The dopamine D(4) receptor, which is strongly linked to neuropsychiatric disorders, such as attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and schizophrenia, is highly expressed in PFC GABAergic interneurons, while the physiological role of D(4) in these interneurons is largely unknown. In this study, we found that D(4) activation caused a persistent suppression of AMPAR-mediated synaptic transmission in PFC interneurons. This effect of D(4) receptors on AMPAR-EPSC was via a mechanism dependent on actin/myosin V motor-based transport of AMPA receptors, which was regulated by cofilin, a major actin depolymerizing factor. Moreover, we demonstrated that the major cofilin-specific phosphatase Slingshot, which was activated by calcineurin downstream of D(4) signaling, was required for the D(4) regulation of glutamatergic transmission. Thus, D(4) receptors, by using the unique calcineurin/Slingshot/cofilin signaling mechanism, regulate actin dynamics and AMPAR trafficking in PFC GABAergic interneurons. It provides a potential mechanism for D(4) receptors to control the excitatory synaptic strength in local-circuit neurons and GABAergic inhibition in the PFC network, which may underlie the role of D(4) receptors in normal cognitive processes and mental disorders.

  10. Glutamatergic synapses are structurally and biochemically complex because of multiple plasticity processes: long-term potentiation, long-term depression, short-term potentiation and scaling.

    PubMed

    Lisman, John

    2017-03-05

    Synapses are complex because they perform multiple functions, including at least six mechanistically different forms of plasticity. Here, I comment on recent developments regarding these processes. (i) Short-term potentiation (STP), a Hebbian process that requires small amounts of synaptic input, appears to make strong contributions to some forms of working memory. (ii) The rules for long-term potentiation (LTP) induction in CA3 have been clarified: induction does not depend obligatorily on backpropagating sodium spikes but, rather, on dendritic branch-specific N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) spikes. (iii) Late LTP, a process that requires a dopamine signal (and is therefore neoHebbian), is mediated by trans-synaptic growth of the synapse, a growth that occurs about an hour after LTP induction. (iv) LTD processes are complex and include both homosynaptic and heterosynaptic forms. (v) Synaptic scaling produced by changes in activity levels are not primarily cell-autonomous, but rather depend on network activity. (vi) The evidence for distance-dependent scaling along the primary dendrite is firm, and a plausible structural-based mechanism is suggested.Ideas about the mechanisms of synaptic function need to take into consideration newly emerging data about synaptic structure. Recent super-resolution studies indicate that glutamatergic synapses are modular (module size 70-80 nm), as predicted by theoretical work. Modules are trans-synaptic structures and have high concentrations of postsynaptic density-95 (PSD-95) and α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor. These modules function as quasi-independent loci of AMPA-mediated transmission and may be independently modifiable, suggesting a new understanding of quantal transmission.This article is part of the themed issue 'Integrating Hebbian and homeostatic plasticity.'

  11. Rapid eye movement sleep deprivation decreases long-term potentiation stability and affects some glutamatergic signaling proteins during hippocampal development.

    PubMed

    Lopez, J; Roffwarg, H P; Dreher, A; Bissette, G; Karolewicz, B; Shaffery, J P

    2008-04-22

    Development of the mammalian CNS requires formation and stabilization of neuronal circuits and synaptic connections. Sensory stimulation provided by the environment orchestrates neuronal circuit formation in the waking state. Endogenous sources of activation are also implicated in these processes. Accordingly we hypothesized that sleep, especially rapid eye movement sleep (REMS), the stage characterized by high neuronal activity that is more prominent in development than adulthood, provides endogenous stimulation, which, like sensory input, helps to stabilize and refine neuronal circuits during CNS development. Young (Y: postnatal day (PN) 16) and adolescent (A: PN44) rats were rapid eye movement sleep-deprived (REMSD) by gentle cage-shaking for only 4 h on 3 consecutive days (total 12 h). The effect of REMS deprivation in Y and A rats was tested 3-7 days after the last deprivation session (Y, PN21-25; A, PN49-53) and was compared with younger (immature, I, PN9-12) untreated, age-matched, treated and normal control groups. REMS deprivation negatively affected the stability of long-term potentiation (LTP) in Y but not A animals. LTP instability in Y-REMSD animals was similar to the instability in even the more immature, untreated animals. Utilizing immunoblots, we identified changes in molecular components of glutamatergic synapses known to participate in mechanisms of synaptic refinement and plasticity. Overall, N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor subunit 2B (NR2B), N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor subunit 2A, AMPA receptor subunit 1 (GluR1), postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD-95), and calcium/calmodulin kinase II tended to be lower in Y REMSD animals (NR2B, GluR1 and PSD-95 were significantly lower) compared with controls, an effect not present in the A animals. Taken together, these data indicate that early-life REMS deprivation reduces stability of hippocampal neuronal circuits, possibly by hindering expression of mature glutamatergic synaptic components. The findings

  12. Aging synaptic mitochondria exhibit dynamic proteomic changes while maintaining bioenergetic function

    PubMed Central

    Stauch, Kelly L.; Purnell, Phillip R.; Fox, Howard S.

    2014-01-01

    Aging correlates with a progressive impairment of mitochondrial homeostasis and is an influential factor for several forms of neurodegeneration. However, the mechanisms underlying age-related alterations in synaptosomal mitochondria, a neuronal mitochondria population highly susceptible to insults and critical for brain function, remain incompletely understood. Therefore this study investigates the synaptic mitochondrial proteomic and bioenergetic alterations that occur with age. The utilization of a state of the art quantitative proteomics approach allowed for the comparison of protein expression levels in synaptic mitochondria isolated from 5 (mature), 12 (old), and 24 (aged) month old mice. During the process of aging we find that dynamic proteomic alterations occur in synaptic mitochondria. Despite direct (mitochondrial DNA deletions) and indirect (increased antioxidant protein levels) signs of mitochondrial damage in the aged mice, there was an overall maintenance of mitochondrial function. Therefore the synaptic mitochondrial proteomic changes that occur with aging correlate with preservation of synaptic mitochondrial function. PMID:24827396

  13. Aging synaptic mitochondria exhibit dynamic proteomic changes while maintaining bioenergetic function.

    PubMed

    Stauch, Kelly L; Purnell, Phillip R; Fox, Howard S

    2014-04-01

    Aging correlates with a progressive impairment of mitochondrial homeostasis and is an influential factor for several forms of neurodegeneration. However, the mechanisms underlying age-related alterations in synaptosomal mitochondria, a neuronal mitochondria population highly susceptible to insults and critical for brain function, remain incompletely understood. Therefore this study investigates the synaptic mitochondrial proteomic and bioenergetic alterations that occur with age. The utilization of a state of the art quantitative proteomics approach allowed for the comparison of protein expression levels in synaptic mitochondria isolated from 5 (mature), 12 (old), and 24 (aged) month old mice. During the process of aging we find that dynamic proteomic alterations occur in synaptic mitochondria. Despite direct (mitochondrial DNA deletions) and indirect (increased antioxidant protein levels) signs of mitochondrial damage in the aged mice, there was an overall maintenance of mitochondrial function. Therefore the synaptic mitochondrial proteomic changes that occur with aging correlate with preservation of synaptic mitochondrial function.

  14. HCN1 channels reduce the rate of exocytosis from a subset of cortical synaptic terminals

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Zhuo; Li, Gengyu; Aguado, Carolina; Lujan, Rafael; Shah, Mala M.

    2017-01-01

    The hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN1) channels are predominantly located in pyramidal cell dendrites within the cortex. Recent evidence suggests these channels also exist pre-synaptically in a subset of synaptic terminals within the mature entorhinal cortex (EC). Inhibition of pre-synaptic HCN channels enhances miniature excitatory post-synaptic currents (mEPSCs) onto EC layer III pyramidal neurons, suggesting that these channels decrease the release of the neurotransmitter, glutamate. Thus, do pre-synaptic HCN channels alter the rate of synaptic vesicle exocytosis and thereby enhance neurotransmitter release? To address this, we imaged the release of FM1-43, a dye that is incorporated into synaptic vesicles, from EC synaptic terminals using two photon microscopy in slices obtained from forebrain specific HCN1 deficient mice, global HCN1 knockouts and their wildtype littermates. This coupled with electrophysiology and pharmacology showed that HCN1 channels restrict the rate of exocytosis from a subset of cortical synaptic terminals within the EC and in this way, constrain non-action potential-dependent and action potential-dependent spontaneous release as well as synchronous, evoked release. Since HCN1 channels also affect post-synaptic potential kinetics and integration, our results indicate that there are diverse ways by which HCN1 channels influence synaptic strength and plasticity. PMID:28071723

  15. Abnormalities in α/β-CaMKII and related mechanisms suggest synaptic dysfunction in hippocampus of LPA1 receptor knockout mice.

    PubMed

    Musazzi, Laura; Di Daniel, Elena; Maycox, Peter; Racagni, Giorgio; Popoli, Maurizio

    2011-08-01

    Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a natural lysophospholipid that regulates neuronal maturation. In mice, the deletion of the LPA1 receptor causes some phenotypic defects partly overlapping with those found in schizophrenia. In this study, we identified molecular abnormalities in hippocampal synaptic mechanisms involved in glutamatergic neurotransmission, which allow further characterization of synaptic aberrations in LPA1 knockout (KO) mice. At the synaptic level, we found dysregulation of Ca2+/calmodulin (CaM)-dependent kinase II (CaMKII) activity and phosphorylation, with markedly higher Ca2+-dependent kinase activity, probably related to increased expression levels of the β isoform of CaMKII. Conversely, although the synaptic Ca2+-independent activity of the enzyme was unchanged, autophosphorylation levels of both α and β isoforms were significantly increased in LPA1 KO mice. Moreover, in LPA1 KO mice the α/β isoform ratio of CaMKII, which plays a key role in neuronal maturation during development, was markedly decreased, as found previously in schizophrenia patients. At post-synaptic level, LPA1 KO mice showed changes in expression, phosphorylation and interactions of NMDA and AMPA receptor subunits that are consistent with basal strengthening of glutamatergic synapses. However, we measured a reduction of nuclear cAMP responsive element-binding protein phosphorylation, suggesting that activation of the NMDA receptor does not occur at the intracellular signalling level. At the presynaptic level, in line with previous evidence from schizophrenia patients and animal models of pathology, LPA1 KO mice showed accumulation of SNARE protein complexes. This study shows that CaMKII and related synaptic mechanisms at glutamatergic synapses are strongly dysregulated in LPA1 KO mice.

  16. [Glutamatergic neurotransmitter system in regulation of the gastrointestinal tract motor activity].

    PubMed

    Alekseeva, E V; Popova, T S; Sal'nikov, P S

    2015-01-01

    The review include actual facts, demonstrating high probability of glutamatergic neurotransmitter system role in the regulation of the gastrointestinal tract motor activity. These facts suggest significant role of the glutamatergic neurotransmitter system dysfunction in forming motor activity disorders of the digestive tract, including in patients in critical condition. The analysis is based on results of multiple experimental and clinical researches of glutamic acid and other components of the glutamatergic neurotransmitter system in central nervous system and autonomic nervous system (with the accent on the enteral nervous system) in normal conditions and with functioning changes of the glutamatergic neurotransmitter system in case of inflammation, hupoxia, stress and in critical condition.

  17. Baseline effects of transcranial direct current stimulation on glutamatergic neurotransmission and large-scale network connectivity

    DOE PAGES

    Hunter, Michael A.; Coffman, Brian A.; Gasparovic, Charles; ...

    2014-10-12

    Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) modulates glutamatergic neurotransmission and can be utilized as a novel treatment intervention for a multitude of populations. However, the exact mechanism by which tDCS modulates the brain's neural architecture, from the micro to macro scales, have yet to be investigated. In this paper, using a within-subjects design, resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS) were performed immediately before and after the administration of anodal tDCS over right parietal cortex. Group independent component analysis (ICA) was used to decompose fMRI scans into 75 brain networks, from which 12 resting-state networksmore » were identified that had significant voxel-wise functional connectivity to anatomical regions of interest. 1H MRS was used to obtain estimates of combined glutamate and glutamine (Glx) concentrations from bilateral intraparietal sulcus. Paired sample t-tests showed significantly increased Glx under the anodal electrode, but not in homologous regions of the contralateral hemisphere. Increases of within-network connectivity were observed within the superior parietal, inferior parietal, left frontal–parietal, salience and cerebellar intrinsic networks, and decreases in connectivity were observed in the anterior cingulate and the basal ganglia (p<0.05, FDR-corrected). Individual differences in Glx concentrations predicted network connectivity in most of these networks. Finally, the observed relationships between glutamatergic neurotransmission and network connectivity may be used to guide future tDCS protocols that aim to target and alter neuroplastic mechanisms in healthy individuals as well as those with psychiatric and neurologic disorders.« less

  18. Baseline effects of transcranial direct current stimulation on glutamatergic neurotransmission and large-scale network connectivity

    SciTech Connect

    Hunter, Michael A.; Coffman, Brian A.; Gasparovic, Charles; Calhoun, Vince D.; Trumbo, Michael C.; Clark, Vincent P.

    2014-10-12

    Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) modulates glutamatergic neurotransmission and can be utilized as a novel treatment intervention for a multitude of populations. However, the exact mechanism by which tDCS modulates the brain's neural architecture, from the micro to macro scales, have yet to be investigated. In this paper, using a within-subjects design, resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS) were performed immediately before and after the administration of anodal tDCS over right parietal cortex. Group independent component analysis (ICA) was used to decompose fMRI scans into 75 brain networks, from which 12 resting-state networks were identified that had significant voxel-wise functional connectivity to anatomical regions of interest. 1H MRS was used to obtain estimates of combined glutamate and glutamine (Glx) concentrations from bilateral intraparietal sulcus. Paired sample t-tests showed significantly increased Glx under the anodal electrode, but not in homologous regions of the contralateral hemisphere. Increases of within-network connectivity were observed within the superior parietal, inferior parietal, left frontal–parietal, salience and cerebellar intrinsic networks, and decreases in connectivity were observed in the anterior cingulate and the basal ganglia (p<0.05, FDR-corrected). Individual differences in Glx concentrations predicted network connectivity in most of these networks. Finally, the observed relationships between glutamatergic neurotransmission and network connectivity may be used to guide future tDCS protocols that aim to target and alter neuroplastic mechanisms in healthy individuals as well as those with psychiatric and neurologic disorders.

  19. Baseline effects of transcranial direct current stimulation on glutamatergic neurotransmission and large-scale network connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Hunter, Michael A.; Coffman, Brian A.; Gasparovic, Charles; Calhoun, Vince D.; Trumbo, Michael C.; Clark, Vincent P.

    2015-01-01

    Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) modulates glutamatergic neurotransmission and can be utilized as a novel treatment intervention for a multitude of populations. However, the exact mechanism by which tDCS modulates the brain’s neural architecture, from the micro to macro scales, have yet to be illuminated. Using a within-subjects design, resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) were performed immediately before and after the administration of anodal tDCS over right parietal cortex. Group independent component analysis (ICA) was used to decompose fMRI scans into 75 brain networks, from which 12 resting-state networks were identified that had significant voxel-wise functional connectivity to anatomical regions of interest. 1H-MRS was used to obtain estimates of combined glutamate and glutamine (Glx) concentrations from bilateral intraparietal sulcus. Paired sample t-tests showed significantly increased Glx under the anodal electrode, but not in homologous regions of the contralateral hemisphere. Increases of within-network connectivity were observed within the superior parietal, inferior parietal, left frontal-parietal, salience and cerebellar intrinsic networks, and decreases in connectivity were observed in the anterior cingulate and the basal ganglia (p < 0.05, FDR-corrected). Individual differences in Glx concentrations predicted network connectivity in most of these networks. The observed relationships between glutamatergic neurotransmission and network connectivity may be used to guide future tDCS protocols that aim to target and alter neuroplastic mechanisms in healthy individuals as well as those with psychiatric and neurologic disorders. PMID:25312829

  20. Synaptic encoding of temporal contiguity

    PubMed Central

    Ostojic, Srdjan; Fusi, Stefano

    2013-01-01

    Often we need to perform tasks in an environment that changes stochastically. In these situations it is important to learn the statistics of sequences of events in order to predict the future and the outcome of our actions. The statistical description of many of these sequences can be reduced to the set of probabilities that a particular event follows another event (temporal contiguity). Under these conditions, it is important to encode and store in our memory these transition probabilities. Here we show that for a large class of synaptic plasticity models, the distribution of synaptic strengths encodes transitions probabilities. Specifically, when the synaptic dynamics depend on pairs of contiguous events and the synapses can remember multiple instances of the transitions, then the average synaptic weights are a monotonic function of the transition probabilities. The synaptic weights converge to the distribution encoding the probabilities also when the correlations between consecutive synaptic modifications are considered. We studied how this distribution depends on the number of synaptic states for a specific model of a multi-state synapse with hard bounds. In the case of bistable synapses, the average synaptic weights are a smooth function of the transition probabilities and the accuracy of the encoding depends on the learning rate. As the number of synaptic states increases, the average synaptic weights become a step function of the transition probabilities. We finally show that the information stored in the synaptic weights can be read out by a simple rate-based neural network. Our study shows that synapses encode transition probabilities under general assumptions and this indicates that temporal contiguity is likely to be encoded and harnessed in almost every neural circuit in the brain. PMID:23641210

  1. Novel glutamatergic drugs for the treatment of mood disorders

    PubMed Central

    Lapidus, Kyle AB; Soleimani, Laili; Murrough, James W

    2013-01-01

    Mood disorders are common and debilitating, resulting in a significant public health burden. Current treatments are only partly effective and patients who have failed to respond to trials of existing antidepressant agents (eg, those who suffer from treatment-resistant depression [TRD]) require innovative therapeutics with novel mechanisms of action. Although neuroscience research has elucidated important aspects of the basic mechanisms of antidepressant action, most antidepressant drugs target monoaminergic mechanisms identified decades ago. Glutamate, the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, and glutamatergic dysfunction has been implicated in mood disorders. These data provide a rationale for the pursuit of glutamatergic agents as novel therapeutic agents. Here, we review preclinical and clinical investigations of glutamatergic agents in mood disorders with a focus on depression. We begin with discussion of evidence for the rapid antidepressant effects of ketamine, followed by studies of the antidepressant efficacy of the currently marketed drugs riluzole and lamotrigine. Promising novel agents currently in development, including N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor modulators, 2-amino-3-(3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazol-4-yl) propanoic acid (AMPA) receptor modulators, and drugs with activity at the metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptors are then reviewed. Taken together, both preclinical and clinical evidence exists to support the pursuit of small molecule modulators of the glutamate system as novel therapeutic agents in mood disorders. It is hoped that by targeting neural systems outside of the monoamine system, more effective and perhaps faster acting therapeutics can be developed for patients suffering from these disabling disorders. PMID:23976856

  2. Glial responses to synaptic damage and plasticity.

    PubMed

    Aldskogius, H; Liu, L; Svensson, M

    1999-10-01

    We review three principally different forms of injury-induced synaptic alterations. (1) Displacement of presynaptic terminals from perikarya and dendrites of axotomized neurons, (2) central changes in primary afferent terminals of peripherally axotomized sensory ganglion cells, and (3) anterograde Wallerian-type degeneration following interruption of central axonal pathways. All these instances rapidly activate astrocytes and microglia in the vicinity of the affected synaptic terminals. The evidence suggests that activated astrocytes play important and direct roles in synapse elimination and in the processes mediating collateral reinnervation. The roles of microglia are enigmatic. They undergo activation close to axotomized motoneuron perikarya, where synapse displacement occurs, but not adjacent to axotomized intrinsic central nervous system neurons, where synapse displacement also occurs. Microglia are also rapidly activated around central primary sensory terminals of peripherally axotomized sensory ganglion cells. Occasional phagocytosis of degenerating axon terminals by microglia occur in the latter situation. However, the role of microglia may be more oriented toward the general tissue conditions rather than specifically toward synaptic terminals.

  3. Pathogenesis of Abeta oligomers in synaptic failure.

    PubMed

    Sivanesan, Senthilkumar; Tan, Aaron; Rajadas, Jayakumar

    2013-03-01

    The soluble Abeta oligomers in brain are highly correlated with memory related synaptic dysfunctions in Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, more recent studies implicate the involvement of Abeta dimers and trimers in memory related AD pathology. Apparently, Abeta oligomers can bind with cellular prion protein at the membrane receptors, forming annular amyloid pores and membrane ion channels to induce aberrant spine cytoskeletal changes. Hence synapse targeting of Abeta oligomers involves activation of many receptors such as N-Methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), alpha-amino-3- hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA), nicotinic acetylcholine (nAChRs), p75 neurotrophin (p75NTR) following aberrant clustering of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR5) leading to neuronal loss and LTP failure. In particular, NMDA and AMPA receptor activation by soluble amyloid oligomers involves calcium mediated mitochondrial dysfunction, decreased Ca((2+))/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) levels at the synapses accompanying dramatic loss of synaptic proteins such as postsynaptic density-95 (PSD-95), dynamin-1 and synaptophysin. This kind of receptor-Abeta oligomer interaction might eventually affect the neuronal membrane integrity by altering dielectric barrier, various synaptic proteins, spine morphology and density and P/Q calcium currents that might provoke a cascade of events leading to neuronal loss and memory failure. In this review, we try to explain in detail the various possible mechanisms that connect Abeta oligomers with synapse damage and memory failure.

  4. Synaptic kainate currents reset interneuron firing phase

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Ellen J; Harris, Alexander Z; Pettit, Diana L

    2007-01-01

    Hippocampal interneuron activity has been linked to epileptogenesis, seizures and the oscillatory synaptic activity detected in behaving rats. Interneurons fire at specific times in the rhythmic cycles that comprise these oscillations; however, the mechanisms controlling these firing patterns remain unclear. We have examined the role of synaptic input in modulating the firing of spontaneously active rat hippocampal interneurons. We find that synaptic glutamate receptor currents of 20–30 pA increase instantaneous firing frequency and reset the phase of spontaneously firing CA1 stratum oriens interneurons. Kainate receptor (KAR)-mediated currents are particularly effective at producing this phase reset, while AMPA receptor currents are relatively ineffective. The efficacy of KAR-mediated currents is probably due to their 3-fold longer decay. Given the small amplitude of the currents needed for this phase reset, coincident activation of only a few KAR-containing synapses could synchronize firing in groups of interneurons. These data suggest that KARs are potent modulators of circuit behaviour and their activation alters hippocampal interneuron output. PMID:17068102

  5. Motoneuron glutamatergic receptor expression following recovery from cervical spinal hemisection.

    PubMed

    Gransee, Heather M; Gonzalez Porras, Maria A; Zhan, Wen-Zhi; Sieck, Gary C; Mantilla, Carlos B

    2017-04-01

    Cervical spinal hemisection at C2 (SH) removes premotor drive to phrenic motoneurons located in segments C3-C5 in rats. Spontaneous recovery of ipsilateral diaphragm muscle activity is associated with increased phrenic motoneuron expression of glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors and decreased expression of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-proprionic acid (AMPA) receptors. Glutamatergic receptor expression is regulated by tropomyosin-related kinase receptor subtype B (TrkB) signaling in various neuronal systems, and increased TrkB receptor expression in phrenic motoneurons enhances recovery post-SH. Accordingly, we hypothesize that recovery of ipsilateral diaphragm muscle activity post-SH, whether spontaneous or enhanced by adenoassociated virus (AAV)-mediated upregulation of TrkB receptor expression, is associated with increased expression of glutamatergic NMDA receptors in phrenic motoneurons. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats underwent diaphragm electromyography electrode implantation and SH surgery. Rats were injected intrapleurally with AAV expressing TrkB or GFP 3 weeks before SH. At 14 days post-SH, the proportion of animals displaying recovery of ipsilateral diaphragm activity increased in AAV-TrkB-treated (9/9) compared with untreated (3/5) or AAV-GFP-treated (4/10; P < 0.027) animals. Phrenic motoneuron NMDA NR1 subunit mRNA expression was approximately fourfold greater in AAV-TrkB- vs. AAV-GFP-treated SH animals (P < 0.004) and in animals displaying recovery vs. those not recovering (P < 0.005). Phrenic motoneuron AMPA glutamate receptor 2 (GluR2) subunit mRNA expression decreased after SH, and, albeit increased in animals displaying recovery vs. those not recovering, levels remained lower than control. We conclude that increased phrenic motoneuron expression of glutamatergic NMDA receptors is associated with spontaneous recovery after SH and enhanced recovery after AAV-TrkB treatment. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:1192-1205, 2017.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-08-01

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

  7. Synaptic Plasticity and Translation Initiation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2004-01-01

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

  8. Neuromodulator-evoked synaptic metaplasticity within a central pattern generator network.

    PubMed

    Kvarta, Mark D; Harris-Warrick, Ronald M; Johnson, Bruce R

    2012-11-01

    Synapses show short-term activity-dependent dynamics that alter the strength of neuronal interactions. This synaptic plasticity can be tuned by neuromodulation as a form of metaplasticity. We examined neuromodulator-induced metaplasticity at a graded chemical synapse in a model central pattern generator (CPG), the pyloric network of the spiny lobster stomatogastric ganglion. Dopamine, serotonin, and octopamine each produce a unique motor pattern from the pyloric network, partially through their modulation of synaptic strength in the network. We characterized synaptic depression and its amine modulation at the graded synapse from the pyloric dilator neuron to the lateral pyloric neuron (PD→LP synapse), driving the PD neuron with both long square pulses and trains of realistic waveforms over a range of presynaptic voltages. We found that the three amines can differentially affect the amplitude of graded synaptic transmission independently of the synaptic dynamics. Low concentrations of dopamine had weak and variable effects on the strength of the graded inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (gIPSPs) but reliably accelerated the onset of synaptic depression and recovery from depression independently of gIPSP amplitude. Octopamine enhanced gIPSP amplitude but decreased the amount of synaptic depression; it slowed the onset of depression and accelerated its recovery during square pulse stimulation. Serotonin reduced gIPSP amplitude but increased the amount of synaptic depression and accelerated the onset of depression. These results suggest that amine-induced metaplasticity at graded chemical synapses can alter the parameters of synaptic dynamics in multiple and independent ways.

  9. Synaptic electronics: materials, devices and applications.

    PubMed

    Kuzum, Duygu; Yu, Shimeng; Wong, H-S Philip

    2013-09-27

    In this paper, the recent progress of synaptic electronics is reviewed. The basics of biological synaptic plasticity and learning are described. The material properties and electrical switching characteristics of a variety of synaptic devices are discussed, with a focus on the use of synaptic devices for neuromorphic or brain-inspired computing. Performance metrics desirable for large-scale implementations of synaptic devices are illustrated. A review of recent work on targeted computing applications with synaptic devices is presented.

  10. A Model of Synaptic Reconsolidation

    PubMed Central

    Kastner, David B.; Schwalger, Tilo; Ziegler, Lorric; Gerstner, Wulfram

    2016-01-01

    Reconsolidation of memories has mostly been studied at the behavioral and molecular level. Here, we put forward a simple extension of existing computational models of synaptic consolidation to capture hippocampal slice experiments that have been interpreted as reconsolidation at the synaptic level. The model implements reconsolidation through stabilization of consolidated synapses by stabilizing entities combined with an activity-dependent reservoir of stabilizing entities that are immune to protein synthesis inhibition (PSI). We derive a reduced version of our model to explore the conditions under which synaptic reconsolidation does or does not occur, often referred to as the boundary conditions of reconsolidation. We find that our computational model of synaptic reconsolidation displays complex boundary conditions. Our results suggest that a limited resource of hypothetical stabilizing molecules or complexes, which may be implemented by protein phosphorylation or different receptor subtypes, can underlie the phenomenon of synaptic reconsolidation. PMID:27242410

  11. Molecular Mechanisms of Synaptic Specificity

    PubMed Central

    Margeta, Milica A.; Shen, Kang

    2011-01-01

    Synapses are specialized junctions that mediate information flow between neurons and their targets. A striking feature of the nervous system is the specificity of its synaptic connections: an individual neuron will form synapses only with a small subset of available presynaptic and postsynaptic partners. Synaptic specificity has been classically thought to arise from homophilic or heterophilic interactions between adhesive molecules acting across the synaptic cleft. Over the past decade, many new mechanisms giving rise to synaptic specificity have been identified. Synapses can be specified by secreted molecules that promote or inhibit synaptogenesis, and their source can be a neighboring guidepost cell, not just presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons. Furthermore, lineage, fate, and timing of development can also play critical roles in shaping neural circuits. Future work utilizing large-scale screens will aim to elucidate the full scope of cellular mechanisms and molecular players that can give rise to synaptic specificity. PMID:19969086

  12. Cell-specific synaptic plasticity induced by network oscillations

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Muscarinic receptor subtypes differentially control synaptic input and excitability of cerebellum-projecting medial vestibular nucleus neurons.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Yun; Chen, Shao-Rui; Pan, Hui-Lin

    2016-04-01

    Neurons in the vestibular nuclei have a vital function in balance maintenance, gaze stabilization, and posture. Although muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) are expressed and involved in regulating vestibular function, it remains unclear how individual mAChR subtypes regulate vestibular neuronal activity. In this study, we determined which specific subtypes of mAChRs control synaptic input and excitability of medial vestibular nucleus (MVN) neurons that project to the cerebellum. Cerebellum-projecting MVN neurons were labeled by a fluorescent retrograde tracer and then identified in rat brainstem slices. Quantitative PCR analysis suggested that M2 and M3 were the possible major mAChR subtypes expressed in the MVN. The mAChR agonist oxotremorine-M significantly reduced the amplitude of glutamatergic excitatory post-synaptic currents evoked by stimulation of vestibular primary afferents, and this effect was abolished by the M2-preferring antagonist AF-DX 116. However, oxotremorine-M had no effect on GABA-mediated spontaneous inhibitory post-synaptic currents of labeled MVN neurons. Furthermore, oxotremorine-M significantly increased the firing activity of labeled MVN neurons, and this effect was blocked by the M3-preferring antagonist J104129 in most neurons tested. In addition, AF-DX 116 reduced the onset latency and prolonged the excitatory effect of oxotremorine-M on the firing activity of labeled MVN neurons. Our findings suggest that M3 is the predominant post-synaptic mAChR involved in muscarinic excitation of cerebellum-projecting MVN neurons. Pre-synaptic M2 mAChR regulates excitatory glutamatergic input from vestibular primary afferents, which in turn influences the excitability of cerebellum-projecting MVN neurons. This new information has important therapeutic implications for treating vestibular disorders with mAChR subtype-selective agents. Medial vestibular nucleus (MVN) neurons projecting to the cerebellum are involved in balance control. We

  14. Alcohol effects on synaptic transmission in periaqueductal gray dopamine neurons

    PubMed Central

    Li, Chia; McCall, Nora M.; Lopez, Alberto J.; Kash, Thomas L.

    2014-01-01

    The role of dopamine (DA) signaling in regulating the rewarding properties of drugs, including alcohol, has been widely studied. The majority of these studies, however, have focused on the DA neurons located in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), and their projections to the nucleus accumbens. DA neurons within the ventral periaqueductal gray (vPAG) have been shown to regulate reward but little is known about the functional properties of these neurons, or how they are modified by drugs of abuse. This lack of knowledge is likely due to the highly heterogeneous cell composition of the vPAG, with both γ-amino-butyric acid (GABA) and glutamate neurons present in addition to DA neurons. In this study, we performed whole-cell recordings in a TH–eGFP transgenic mouse line to evaluate the properties of vPAG-DA neurons. Following this initial characterization, we examined how both acute and chronic alcohol exposure modify synaptic transmission onto vPAG-DA neurons. We found minimal effects of acute alcohol exposure on GABA transmission, but a robust enhancement of glutamatergic synaptic transmission in vPAG-DA. Consistent with this effect on excitatory transmission, we also found that alcohol caused an increase in firing rate. These data were in contrast to the effects of chronic intermittent alcohol exposure, which had no significant impact on either inhibitory or excitatory synaptic transmission on the vPAG-DA neurons. These data add to a growing body of literature that points to alcohol having both region-dependent and cell-type dependent effects on function. PMID:23597415

  15. Mechanisms of Nicotinic Modulation of Glutamatergic Neuroplasticity in Humans.

    PubMed

    Lugon, Marcelo Di Marcello Valladão; Batsikadze, Giorgi; Fresnoza, Shane; Grundey, Jessica; Kuo, Min-Fang; Paulus, Walter; Nakamura-Palacios, Ester Miyuki; Nitsche, Michael A

    2015-10-22

    The impact of nicotine (NIC) on plasticity is thought to be primarily determined via calcium channel properties of nicotinic receptor subtypes, and glutamatergic plasticity is likewise calcium-dependent. Therefore glutamatergic plasticity is likely modulated by the impact of nicotinic receptor-dependent neuronal calcium influx. We tested this hypothesis for transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)-induced long-term potentiation-like plasticity, which is abolished by NIC in nonsmokers. To reduce calcium influx under NIC, we blocked N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. We applied anodal tDCS combined with 15 mg NIC patches and the NMDA-receptor antagonist dextromethorphan (DMO) in 3 different doses (50, 100, and 150 mg) or placebo medication. Corticospinal excitability was monitored by single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation-induced motor-evoked potential amplitudes after plasticity induction. NIC abolished anodal tDCS-induced motor cortex excitability enhancement, which was restituted under medium dosage of DMO. Low-dosage DMO did not affect the impact of NIC on tDCS-induced plasticity and high-dosage DMO abolished plasticity. For DMO alone, the low dosage had no effect, but medium and high dosages abolished tDCS-induced plasticity. These results enhance our knowledge about the proposed calcium-dependent impact of NIC on plasticity in humans and might be relevant for the development of novel nicotinic treatments for cognitive dysfunction.

  16. A pressurized nitrogen counterbalance to cortical glutamatergic pathway stimulation.

    PubMed

    Vallee, Nicolas; Rostain, Jean-Claude; Risso, Jean-Jacques

    2010-05-01

    Previous microdialysis studies performed in rats have revealed a decrease of striatal dopamine and glutamate induced by nitrogen narcosis. We sought to establish the hypothetical role of the glutamatergic corticostriatal pathway because of the glutamate deficiency which occurs in the basal ganglia in this hyperbaric syndrome. Retrodialysis with 1 mM of Saclofen and 100 mM of KCl in the prefrontal cortex under normobaric conditions led to an increase in striatal levels of glutamate by 95.2% and no changes in dopamine levels. Under 3 MPa of nitrogen and with the infusion, the rate of striatal glutamate decreased by 51.3%, to a greater extent than under pressurised nitrogen alone (-23.8%). The rate of dopamine decreased, which also occurred under pressurised nitrogen (-36.9 and -31.4%, respectively). In conclusion, the function of the corticostriatal pathway is affected by nitrogen under pressure. This suggests that the nitrogen-induced break point seems to be located at the glutamatergic striatopetal neurons.

  17. Transient Muscarinic and Glutamatergic Stimulation of Neural Stem Cells Trigger Acute and Persistent Changes in Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Samarasinghe, Ranmal A.; Kanuparthi, Prasad S.; Greenamyre, J. Timothy; DeFranco, Donald B.; Di Maio, Roberto

    2014-01-01

    While aberrant cell proliferation and differentiation may contribute to epileptogenesis, the mechanisms linking an initial epileptic insult to subsequent changes in cell fate remain elusive. Using both mouse and human iPSC-derived neural progenitor/stem cells (NPSCs), we found that a combined transient muscarinic and mGluR1 stimulation inhibited overall neurogenesis but enhanced NPSC differentiation into immature GABAergic cells. If treated NPSCs were further passaged, they retained a nearly identical phenotype upon differentiation. A similar profusion of immature GABAergic cells was seen in rats with pilocarpine-induced chronic epilepsy. Furthermore, live cell imaging revealed abnormal de-synchrony of Ca++ transients and altered gap junction intercellular communication following combined muscarinic/glutamatergic stimulation, which was associated with either acute site-specific dephosphorylation of connexin 43 or a long-term enhancement of its degradation. Therefore, epileptogenic stimuli can trigger acute and persistent changes in cell fate by altering distinct mechanisms that function to maintain appropriate intercellular communication between coupled NPSCs. PMID:25003306

  18. Ammonia impairs glutamatergic communication in astroglial cells: protective role of resveratrol.

    PubMed

    Bobermin, Larissa Daniele; Hansel, Gisele; Scherer, Emilene B S; Wyse, Angela T S; Souza, Diogo Onofre; Quincozes-Santos, André; Gonçalves, Carlos-Alberto

    2015-12-01

    Ammonia is a key toxin in the precipitation of hepatic encephalopathy (HE), a neuropsychiatric disorder associated with liver failure. In response to ammonia, various toxic events are triggered in astroglial cells, and alterations in brain glutamate communication are common. Resveratrol is a polyphenolic compound that has been extensively studied in pathological events because it presents several beneficial effects, including some in the central nervous system (CNS). We previously described that resveratrol is able to significantly modulate glial functioning and has a protective effect during ammonia challenge in vitro. In this study, we addressed the mechanisms by which resveratrol can protect C6 astroglial cells from glutamatergic alterations induced by ammonia. Resveratrol was able to prevent all the effects triggered by ammonia: (i) decrease in glutamate uptake activity and expression of the EAAC1 glutamate transporter, the main glutamate transporter present in C6 cells; (ii) increase of glutamate release, which was also dependent on the activation of the Na(+)-K(+)-Cl(-) co-transporter NKCC1; (iii) reduction in GS activity and intracellular GSH content; and (iv) impairment of Na(+)K(+)-ATPase activity. Interestingly, resveratrol, per se, also positively modulated the astroglial functions evaluated. Moreover, we demonstrated that heme oxygenase 1 (HO1), an enzyme that is part of the cellular defense system, mediated some of the effects of resveratrol. In conclusion, the mechanisms of the putative protective role of resveratrol against ammonia toxicity involve the modulation of pathways and molecules related to glutamate communication in astroglial cells.

  19. Propagation of homeostatic sleep signals by segregated synaptic microcircuits of the Drosophila mushroom body

    PubMed Central

    Sitaraman, Divya; Aso, Yoshinori; Jin, Xin; Chen, Nan; Felix, Mario; Rubin, Gerald M.; Nitabach, Michael N.

    2015-01-01

    The Drosophila mushroom body (MB) is a key associative memory center that has also been implicated in the control of sleep. However, the identity of MB neurons underlying homeostatic sleep regulation, as well as the types of sleep signals generated by specific classes of MB neurons, has remained poorly understood. We recently identified two MB output neuron (MBON) classes whose axons convey sleep control signals from the MB to converge in the same downstream target region: a cholinergic sleep-promoting MBON class and a glutamatergic wake-promoting MBON class. Here we deploy a combination of neurogenetic, behavioral, and physiological approaches to identify and mechanistically dissect sleep-controlling circuits of the MB. Our studies reveal the existence of two segregated excitatory synaptic microcircuits that propagate homeostatic sleep information from different populations of intrinsic MB “Kenyon cells” (KCs) to specific sleep-regulating MBONs: sleep-promoting KCs increase sleep by preferentially activating the cholinergic MBONs, while wake-promoting KCs decrease sleep by preferentially activating the glutamatergic MBONs. Importantly, activity of the sleep-promoting MB microcircuit is increased by sleep deprivation and is necessary for homeostatic rebound sleep (i.e., the increased sleep that occurs after, and in compensation for, sleep lost during deprivation). These studies reveal for the first time specific functional connections between subsets of KCs and particular MBONs and establish the identity of synaptic microcircuits underlying transmission of homeostatic sleep signals in the MB. PMID:26455303

  20. Differential Modulation of Synaptic Strength and Timing Regulate Synaptic Efficacy in a Motor Network

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Jessica M.; Kvarta, Mark D.; Lu, Jay Y. J.; Schneider, Lauren R.; Nadim, Farzan; Harris-Warrick, Ronald M.

    2011-01-01

    Neuromodulators modify network output by altering neuronal firing properties and synaptic strength at multiple sites; however, the functional importance of each site is often unclear. We determined the importance of monoamine modulation of a single synapse for regulation of network cycle frequency in the oscillatory pyloric network of the lobster. The pacemaker kernel of the pyloric network receives only one chemical synaptic feedback, an inhibitory synapse from the lateral pyloric (LP) neuron to the pyloric dilator (PD) neurons, which can limit cycle frequency. We measured the effects of dopamine (DA), octopamine (Oct), and serotonin (5HT) on the strength of the LP→PD synapse and the ability of the modified synapse to regulate pyloric cycle frequency. DA and Oct strengthened, whereas 5HT weakened, LP→PD inhibition. Surprisingly, the DA-strengthened LP→PD synapse lost its ability to slow the pyloric oscillations, whereas the 5HT-weakened LP→PD synapse gained a greater influence on the oscillations. These results are explained by monoamine modulation of factors that determine the firing phase of the LP neuron in each cycle. DA acts via multiple mechanisms to phase-advance the LP neuron into the pacemaker's refractory period, where the strengthened synapse has little effect. In contrast, 5HT phase-delays LP activity into a region of greater pacemaker sensitivity to LP synaptic input. Only Oct enhanced LP regulation of cycle period simply by enhancing LP→PD synaptic strength. These results show that modulation of the strength and timing of a synaptic input can differentially affect the synapse's efficacy in the network. PMID:21047938

  1. Combination of Methamphetamine and HIV-1 gp120 causes distinct long-term alterations of behavior, gene expression, and injury in the central nervous system

    PubMed Central

    Hoefer, Melanie M.; Sanchez, Ana B.; Maung, Ricky; de Rozieres, Cyrus M.; Catalan, Irene C.; Dowling, Cari C.; Thaney, Victoria E.; Piña-Crespo, Juan; Zhang, Dongxian; Roberts, Amanda J.; Kaul, Marcus

    2014-01-01

    Methamphetamine (METH) abuse is frequent in individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) and is suspected to aggravate HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). METH is a psychostimulant that compromises several neurotransmitter systems and HIV proteins trigger neuronal injury but the combined effects of viral infection and METH abuse are incompletely understood. In this study we treated transgenic mice expressing the HIV envelope protein gp120 in the brain (HIV/gp120tg) at 3–4 months of age with an escalating-dose, multiple-binge METH regimen. The long-term effects were analyzed after 6–7 months of drug abstinence employing behavioral tests and analysis of neuropathology, electrophysiology and gene expression. Behavioral testing showed that both HIV/gp120tg and WT animals treated with METH displayed impaired learning and memory. Neuropathological analysis revealed that METH similar to HIV/gp120 caused a significant loss of neuronal dendrites and pre-synaptic terminals in hippocampus and cerebral cortex of WT animals. Electrophysiological studies in hippocampal slices showed that METH exposed HIV/gp120tg animals displayed reduced post-tetanic potentiation, whereas both gp120 expression and METH lead to reduced long-term potentiation. A quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction array showed that gp120 expression, METH and their combination each caused a significant dysregulation of specific components of GABAergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission systems, providing a possible mechanism for synaptic dysfunction and behavioral impairment. In conclusion, both HIV-1/gp120 and METH caused lasting behavioral impairment in association with neuropathology and altered gene expression. However, combined METH exposure and HIV-1/gp120 expression resulted in the most pronounced, long lasting pre-and post-synaptic alterations coinciding with impaired learning and memory. PMID:25246228

  2. Local synaptic release of glutamate from neurons in the rat hypothalamic arcuate nucleus.

    PubMed Central

    Belousov, A B; van den Pol, A N

    1997-01-01

    1. The hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC) contains neuroendocrine neurons that regulate endocrine secretions by releasing substances which control anterior pituitary hormonal release into the portal blood stream. Many neuroactive substances have been identified in the ARC, but the existence of excitatory neurons in the ARC and the identity of an excitatory transmitter have not been investigated physiologically. 2. In the present experiments using whole-cell current- and voltage-clamp recording of neurons from cultures and slices of the ARC, we demonstrate for the first time that some of the neurons in the ARC secrete glutamate as their transmitter. 3. Using microdrop stimulation of presynaptic neurons in ARC slices, we found that local axons from these glutamatergic neurons make local synaptic contact with other neurons in the ARC and that all evoked excitatory postsynaptic potentials could be blocked by the selective ionotropic glutamate receptor antagonists 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX; 10 microM) and D,L-2-amino-5-phosphonovalerate (AP5; 100 microM). To determine the identity of ARC neurons postsynaptic to local glutamatergic neurons, we used antidromic stimulation to reveal that many of these cells were neuroendocrine neurons by virtue of their maintaining axon terminals in the median eminence. 4. In ARC cultures, postsynaptic potentials, both excitatory and inhibitory, were virtually eliminated by the glutamate receptor antagonists AP5 and CNQX, underlining the functional importance of glutamate within this part of the neuroendocrine brain. 5. GABA was secreted by a subset of ARC neurons from local axons. The GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline released glutamatergic neurons from chronic inhibition mediated by synaptically released GABA, resulting in further depolarization and an increase in the amplitude and frequency of glutamate-mediated excitatory postsynaptic potentials. Images Figure 1 PMID:9130170

  3. Nicotinic modulation of network and synaptic transmission in the immature hippocampus investigated with genetically modified mice

    PubMed Central

    Le Magueresse, Corentin; Safiulina, Victoria; Changeux, Jean-Pierre; Cherubini, Enrico

    2006-01-01

    The hippocampus, a key structure in learning and memory processes, receives a powerful cholinergic innervation from the septum and contains nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Early in postnatal development, activation of nAChRs by nicotine or endogenous acetylcholine contributes to enhance synaptic signalling. Here, the patch-clamp technique was used to assess the contribution of α7 and β2-containing (α7* and β2*) nAChRs to nicotine-elicited modulation of GABAergic and glutamatergic activity at the network and single-cell level in the immature hippocampus of wild-type (WT), α7−/− and β2−/− mice. We found that α7* and β2* nAChRs were sufficient to modulate nicotine-induced increase in frequency of spontaneously occurring giant depolarizing potentials (GDPs), which are generated at the network level by the synergistic action of glutamate and depolarizing GABA, and thought to play a crucial role in neuronal wiring. However, α7* but not β2* receptors were essential in nicotine-induced increase of interictal discharge frequency recorded after postnatal day 3 in the presence of bicuculline, when GABA shifted from the depolarizing to the hyperpolarizing direction. To correlate these observations with nicotine-elicited changes in synaptic transmission, we recorded spontaneous GABAergic and glutamatergic postsynaptic currents in pyramidal cells and interneurons localized in stratum oriens, stratum pyramidale and stratum radiatum, in slices obtained from WT and knock-out animals. We found that early in postnatal life α7* and β2* nAChRs exert a fine regional modulation of GABAergic and glutamatergic transmission that underlies nicotine-elicited changes in network synchronization. PMID:16901939

  4. Early Impairment of Synaptic and Intrinsic Excitability in Mice Expressing ALS/Dementia-Linked Mutant UBQLN2

    PubMed Central

    Radzicki, Daniel; Liu, Erdong; Deng, Han-Xiang; Siddique, Teepu; Martina, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are believed to represent the different outcomes of a common pathogenic mechanism. However, while researchers have intensely studied the involvement of motor neurons in the ALS/FTD syndrome, very little is known about the function of hippocampal neurons, although this area is critical for memory and other cognitive functions. We investigated the electrophysiological properties of CA1 pyramidal cells in slices from 1 month-old UBQLN2P497H mice, a recently generated model of ALS/FTD that shows heavy depositions of ubiquilin2-positive aggregates in this brain region. We found that, compared to wild-type mice, cells from UBQLN2P497H mice were hypo-excitable. The amplitude of the glutamatergic currents elicited by afferent fiber stimulation was reduced by ~50%, but no change was detected in paired-pulse plasticity. The maximum firing frequency in response to depolarizing current injection was reduced by ~30%; the fast afterhyperpolarization in response to a range of depolarizations was reduced by almost 10 mV; the maximum slow afterhyperpolarization (sAHP) was also significantly decreased, likely in consequence of the decreased number of spikes. Finally, the action potential (AP) upstroke was blunted and the threshold depolarized compared to controls. Thus, synaptic and intrinsic excitability are both impaired in CA1 pyramidal cells of UBQLN2P497H mice, likely constituting a cellular mechanism for the cognitive impairments. Because these alterations are detectable before the establishment of overt pathology, we hypothesize that they may affect the further course of the disease. PMID:27703430

  5. Synaptic microRNAs Coordinately Regulate Synaptic mRNAs: Perturbation by Chronic Alcohol Consumption

    PubMed Central

    Most, Dana; Leiter, Courtney; Blednov, Yuri A; Harris, R Adron; Mayfield, R Dayne

    2016-01-01

    Local translation of mRNAs in the synapse has a major role in synaptic structure and function. Chronic alcohol use causes persistent changes in synaptic mRNA expression, possibly mediated by microRNAs localized in the synapse. We profiled the transcriptome of synaptoneurosomes (SN) obtained from the amygdala of mice that consumed 20% ethanol (alcohol) in a 30-day continuous two-bottle choice test to identify the microRNAs that target alcohol-induced mRNAs. SN are membrane vesicles containing pre- and post-synaptic compartments of neurons and astroglia and are a unique model for studying the synaptic transcriptome. We previously showed that chronic alcohol regulates mRNA expression in a coordinated manner. Here, we examine microRNAs and mRNAs from the same samples to define alcohol-responsive synaptic microRNAs and their predicted interactions with targeted mRNAs. The aim of the study was to identify the microRNA–mRNA synaptic interactions that are altered by alcohol. This was accomplished by comparing the effect of alcohol in SN and total homogenate preparations from the same samples. We used a combination of unbiased bioinformatic methods (differential expression, correlation, co-expression, microRNA-mRNA target prediction, co-targeting, and cell type-specific analyses) to identify key alcohol-sensitive microRNAs. Prediction analysis showed that a subset of alcohol-responsive microRNAs was predicted to target many alcohol-responsive mRNAs, providing a bidirectional analysis for identifying microRNA–mRNA interactions. We found microRNAs and mRNAs with overlapping patterns of expression that correlated with alcohol consumption. Cell type-specific analysis revealed that a significant number of alcohol-responsive mRNAs and microRNAs were unique to glutamate neurons and were predicted to target each other. Chronic alcohol consumption appears to perturb the coordinated microRNA regulation of mRNAs in SN, a mechanism that may explain the aberrations in synaptic

  6. Synaptic microRNAs Coordinately Regulate Synaptic mRNAs: Perturbation by Chronic Alcohol Consumption.

    PubMed

    Most, Dana; Leiter, Courtney; Blednov, Yuri A; Harris, R Adron; Mayfield, R Dayne

    2016-01-01

    Local translation of mRNAs in the synapse has a major role in synaptic structure and function. Chronic alcohol use causes persistent changes in synaptic mRNA expression, possibly mediated by microRNAs localized in the synapse. We profiled the transcriptome of synaptoneurosomes (SN) obtained from the amygdala of mice that consumed 20% ethanol (alcohol) in a 30-day continuous two-bottle choice test to identify the microRNAs that target alcohol-induced mRNAs. SN are membrane vesicles containing pre- and post-synaptic compartments of neurons and astroglia and are a unique model for studying the synaptic transcriptome. We previously showed that chronic alcohol regulates mRNA expression in a coordinated manner. Here, we examine microRNAs and mRNAs from the same samples to define alcohol-responsive synaptic microRNAs and their predicted interactions with targeted mRNAs. The aim of the study was to identify the microRNA-mRNA synaptic interactions that are altered by alcohol. This was accomplished by comparing the effect of alcohol in SN and total homogenate preparations from the same samples. We used a combination of unbiased bioinformatic methods (differential expression, correlation, co-expression, microRNA-mRNA target prediction, co-targeting, and cell type-specific analyses) to identify key alcohol-sensitive microRNAs. Prediction analysis showed that a subset of alcohol-responsive microRNAs was predicted to target many alcohol-responsive mRNAs, providing a bidirectional analysis for identifying microRNA-mRNA interactions. We found microRNAs and mRNAs with overlapping patterns of expression that correlated with alcohol consumption. Cell type-specific analysis revealed that a significant number of alcohol-responsive mRNAs and microRNAs were unique to glutamate neurons and were predicted to target each other. Chronic alcohol consumption appears to perturb the coordinated microRNA regulation of mRNAs in SN, a mechanism that may explain the aberrations in synaptic

  7. Calcium channels, neuromuscular synaptic transmission and neurological diseases.

    PubMed

    Urbano, Francisco J; Pagani, Mario R; Uchitel, Osvaldo D

    2008-09-15

    Voltage-dependent calcium channels are essential in neuronal signaling and synaptic transmission, and their functional alterations underlie numerous human disorders whether monogenic (e.g., ataxia, migraine, etc.) or autoimmune. We review recent work on Ca(V)2.1 or P/Q channelopathies, mostly using neuromuscular junction preparations, and focus specially on the functional hierarchy among the calcium channels recruited to mediate neurotransmitter release when Ca(V)2.1 channels are mutated or depleted. In either case, synaptic transmission is greatly compromised; evidently, none of the reported functional replacements with other calcium channels compensates fully.

  8. NG2 glial cells integrate synaptic input in global and dendritic calcium signals

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Wenjing; Matthews, Elizabeth A; Nicolas, Vicky; Schoch, Susanne; Dietrich, Dirk

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic signaling to NG2-expressing oligodendrocyte precursor cells (NG2 cells) could be key to rendering myelination of axons dependent on neuronal activity, but it has remained unclear whether NG2 glial cells integrate and respond to synaptic input. Here we show that NG2 cells perform linear integration of glutamatergic synaptic inputs and respond with increasing dendritic calcium elevations. Synaptic activity induces rapid Ca2+ signals mediated by low-voltage activated Ca2+ channels under strict inhibitory control of voltage-gated A-type K+ channels. Ca2+ signals can be global and originate throughout the cell. However, voltage-gated channels are also found in thin dendrites which act as compartmentalized processing units and generate local calcium transients. Taken together, the activity-dependent control of Ca2+ signals by A-type channels and the global versus local signaling domains make intracellular Ca2+ in NG2 cells a prime signaling molecule to transform neurotransmitter release into activity-dependent myelination. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16262.001 PMID:27644104

  9. NG2 glial cells integrate synaptic input in global and dendritic calcium signals.

    PubMed

    Sun, Wenjing; Matthews, Elizabeth A; Nicolas, Vicky; Schoch, Susanne; Dietrich, Dirk

    2016-09-19

    Synaptic signaling to NG2-expressing oligodendrocyte precursor cells (NG2 cells) could be key to rendering myelination of axons dependent on neuronal activity, but it has remained unclear whether NG2 glial cells integrate and respond to synaptic input. Here we show that NG2 cells perform linear integration of glutamatergic synaptic inputs and respond with increasing dendritic calcium elevations. Synaptic activity induces rapid Ca(2+) signals mediated by low-voltage activated Ca(2+) channels under strict inhibitory control of voltage-gated A-type K(+) channels. Ca(2+) signals can be global and originate throughout the cell. However, voltage-gated channels are also found in thin dendrites which act as compartmentalized processing units and generate local calcium transients. Taken together, the activity-dependent control of Ca(2+) signals by A-type channels and the global versus local signaling domains make intracellular Ca(2+) in NG2 cells a prime signaling molecule to transform neurotransmitter release into activity-dependent myelination.

  10. The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism impairs NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Ninan, Ipe; Bath, Kevin G; Dagar, Karishma; Perez-Castro, Rosalia; Plummer, Mark R; Lee, Francis S; Chao, Moses V

    2010-06-30

    The Val66Met polymorphism in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene results in a defect in regulated release of BDNF and affects episodic memory and affective behaviors. However, the precise role of the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism in hippocampal synaptic transmission and plasticity has not yet been studied. Therefore, we examined synaptic properties in the hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapses of BDNF(Met/Met) mice and matched wild-type mice. Although basal glutamatergic neurotransmission was normal, both young and adult mice showed a significant reduction in NMDA receptor-dependent long-term potentiation. We also found that NMDA receptor-dependent long-term depression was decreased in BDNF(Met/Met) mice. However, mGluR-dependent long-term depression was not affected by the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism. Consistent with the NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity impairment, we observed a significant decrease in NMDA receptor neurotransmission in the CA1 pyramidal neurons of BDNF(Met/Met) mice. Thus, these results show that the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism has a direct effect on NMDA receptor transmission, which may account for changes in synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus.

  11. Circadian Regulation of Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Frank, Marcos G

    2016-07-13

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

  12. Circadian Regulation of Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Frank, Marcos G.

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Reduced Glutamatergic Currents and Dendritic Branching of Layer 5 Pyramidal Cells Contribute to Medial Prefrontal Cortex Deactivation in a Rat Model of Neuropathic Pain

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Crystle J.; Huang, Mei; Meltzer, Herbert; Martina, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Multiple studies have demonstrated that neuropathic pain is associated with major reorganization in multiple brain areas. In line with the strong emotional salience of chronic pain, involvement of the limbic system appears particularly important. Within the past few years, it has become clear that the functional deactivation of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is critical for both the cognitive/emotional and the sensory components of pain. However, at the cellular level, details of this deactivation remain in large part unclear. Here we show that 1 week after a peripheral neuropathic injury (Spared Nerve Injury model) pyramidal cells in layer 5 (L5) of the rat medial PFC show responses to excitatory glutamatergic inputs that are reduced by about 50%, as well as reduced frequency of spontaneous excitatory synaptic currents. Additionally, these cells have reduced membrane capacitance and increased input resistance. All these findings are consistent with decreased dendritic length, thus we performed a detailed morphological analysis on a subset of the recorded neurons. We found that the apical dendrites proximal to the soma (excluding the tuft) are shorter and less complex in SNI animals, in agreement with the reduced capacitance and glutamatergic input. Finally, we used in vivo microdialysis to compare the basal concentrations of glutamate and GABA in the PFC of sham and SNI rats and found that ambient glutamate is decreased in SNI rats. Taken together, these data show that impaired glutamatergic transmission contributes to the functional deactivation of the mPFC in neuropathic pain. Additionally, the reduced branching of apical dendrites of L5 pyramidal neurons may underlay the gray matter reduction in chronic pain. PMID:27252623

  14. Manipulations of MeCP2 in glutamatergic neurons highlight their contributions to Rett and other neurological disorders

    PubMed Central

    Meng, Xiangling; Wang, Wei; Lu, Hui; He, Ling-jie; Chen, Wu; Chao, Eugene S; Fiorotto, Marta L; Tang, Bin; Herrera, Jose A; Seymour, Michelle L; Neul, Jeffrey L; Pereira, Fred A; Tang, Jianrong; Xue, Mingshan; Zoghbi, Huda Y

    2016-01-01

    Many postnatal onset neurological disorders such as autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and intellectual disability are thought to arise largely from disruption of excitatory/inhibitory homeostasis. Although mouse models of Rett syndrome (RTT), a postnatal neurological disorder caused by loss-of-function mutations in MECP2, display impaired excitatory neurotransmission, the RTT phenotype can be largely reproduced in mice simply by removing MeCP2 from inhibitory GABAergic neurons. To determine what role excitatory signaling impairment might play in RTT pathogenesis, we generated conditional mouse models with Mecp2 either removed from or expressed solely in glutamatergic neurons. MeCP2 deficiency in glutamatergic neurons leads to early lethality, obesity, tremor, altered anxiety-like behaviors, and impaired acoustic startle response, which is distinct from the phenotype of mice lacking MeCP2 only in inhibitory neurons. These findings reveal a role for excitatory signaling impairment in specific neurobehavioral abnormalities shared by RTT and other postnatal neurological disorders. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14199.001 PMID:27328325

  15. The autism associated MET receptor tyrosine kinase engages early neuronal growth mechanism and controls glutamatergic circuits development in the forebrain

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Yun; Lu, Zhongming; Li, Guohui; Piechowicz, Mariel; Anderson, Miranda; Uddin, Yasin; Wu, Jie; Qiu, Shenfeng

    2015-01-01

    The human MET gene imparts a replicated risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and is implicated in the structural and functional integrity of brain. MET encodes a receptor tyrosine kinase, MET, which plays a pleiotropic role in embryogenesis and modifies a large number of neurodevelopmental events. Very little is known, however, on how MET signaling engages distinct cellular events to collectively affect brain development in ASD-relevant disease domains. Here, we show that MET protein expression is dynamically regulated and compartmentalized in developing neurons. MET is heavily expressed in neuronal growth cones at early developmental stages and its activation engages small GTPase Cdc42 to promote neuronal growth, dendritic arborization, and spine formation. Genetic ablation of MET signaling in mouse dorsal pallium leads to altered neuronal morphology indicative of early functional maturation. In contrast, prolonged activation of MET represses the formation and functional maturation of glutamatergic synapses. Moreover, manipulating MET signaling levels in vivo in the developing prefrontal projection neurons disrupts the local circuit connectivity made onto these neurons. Therefore, normal time-delimited MET signaling is critical in regulating the timing of neuronal growth, glutamatergic synapse maturation and cortical circuit function. Dysregulated MET signaling may lead to pathological changes in forebrain maturation and connectivity, and thus contribute to the emergence of neurological symptoms associated with ASD. PMID:26728565

  16. The establishment of GABAergic and glutamatergic synapses on CA1 pyramidal neurons is sequential and correlates with the development of the apical dendrite.

    PubMed

    Tyzio, R; Represa, A; Jorquera, I; Ben-Ari, Y; Gozlan, H; Aniksztejn, L

    1999-12-01

    We have performed a morphofunctional analysis of CA1 pyramidal neurons at birth to examine the sequence of formation of GABAergic and glutamatergic postsynaptic currents (PSCs) and to determine their relation to the dendritic arborization of pyramidal neurons. We report that at birth pyramidal neurons are heterogeneous. Three stages of development can be identified: (1) the majority of the neurons (80%) have small somata, an anlage of apical dendrite, and neither spontaneous nor evoked PSCs; (2) 10% of the neurons have a small apical dendrite restricted to the stratum radiatum and PSCs mediated only by GABA(A) receptors; and (3) 10% of the neurons have an apical dendrite that reaches the stratum lacunosum moleculare and PSCs mediated both by GABA(A) and glutamate receptors. These three groups of pyramidal neurons can be differentiated by their capacitance (C(m) = 17.9 +/- 0.8; 30.2 +/- 1.6; 43.2 +/- 3.0 pF, respectively). At birth, the synaptic markers synapsin-1 and synaptophysin labeling are present in dendritic layers but not in the stratum pyramidale, suggesting that GABAergic peridendritic synapses are established before perisomatic ones. The present observations demonstrate that GABAergic and glutamatergic synapses are established sequentially with GABAergic synapses being established first most likely on the apical dendrites of the principal neurons. We propose that different sets of conditions are required for the establishment of functional GABA and glutamate synapses, the latter necessitating more developed neurons that have apical dendrites that reach the lacunosum moleculare region.

  17. Increased glutamate synaptic transmission in the nucleus raphe magnus neurons from morphine-tolerant rats.

    PubMed

    Bie, Bihua; Pan, Zhizhong Z

    2005-02-09

    Currently, opioid-based drugs are the most effective pain relievers that are widely used in the treatment of pain. However, the analgesic efficacy of opioids is significantly limited by the development of tolerance after repeated opioid administration. Glutamate receptors have been reported to critically participate in the development and maintenance of opioid tolerance, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Using whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings in brainstem slices, the present study investigated chronic morphine-induced adaptations in glutamatergic synaptic transmission in neurons of the nucleus raphe magnus (NRM), a key supraspinal relay for pain modulation and opioid analgesia. Chronic morphine significantly increased glutamate synaptic transmission exclusively in one class of NRM cells that contains mu-opioid receptors in a morphine-tolerant state. The adenylyl cyclase activator forskolin and the cAMP analog 8-bromo-cAMP mimicked the chronic morphine effect in control neurons and their potency in enhancing the glutamate synaptic current was significantly increased in neurons from morphine-tolerant rats. MDL12330a, an adenylyl cyclase inhibitor, and H89, a protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor, reversed the increase in glutamate synaptic transmission induced by chronic morphine. In addition, PMA, a phorbol ester activator of protein kinase C (PKC), also showed an increased potency in enhancing the glutamate synaptic current in these morphine-tolerant cells. The PKC inhibitor GF109203X attenuated the chronic morphine effect. Taken together, these results suggest that chronic morphine increases presynaptic glutamate release in mu receptor-containing NRM neurons in a morphine-tolerant state, and that the increased glutamate synaptic transmission appears to involve an upregulation of both the cAMP/PKA pathway and the PKC pathway. This glutamate-mediated activation of these NRM neurons that are thought to facilitate spinal pain transmission may contribute to

  18. Synaptic dynamics in analog VLSI.

    PubMed

    Bartolozzi, Chiara; Indiveri, Giacomo

    2007-10-01

    Synapses are crucial elements for computation and information transfer in both real and artificial neural systems. Recent experimental findings and theoretical models of pulse-based neural networks suggest that synaptic dynamics can play a crucial role for learning neural codes and encoding spatiotemporal spike patterns. Within the context of hardware implementations of pulse-based neural networks, several analog VLSI circuits modeling synaptic functionality have been proposed. We present an overview of previously proposed circuits and describe a novel analog VLSI synaptic circuit suitable for integration in large VLSI spike-based neural systems. The circuit proposed is based on a computational model that fits the real postsynaptic currents with exponentials. We present experimental data showing how the circuit exhibits realistic dynamics and show how it can be connected to additional modules for implementing a wide range of synaptic properties.

  19. Growth factors in synaptic function

    PubMed Central

    Poon, Vivian Y.; Choi, Sojoong; Park, Mikyoung

    2013-01-01

    Synapses are increasingly recognized as key structures that malfunction in disorders like schizophrenia, mental retardation, and neurodegenerative diseases. The importance and complexity of the synapse has fuelled research into the molecular mechanisms underlying synaptogenesis, synaptic transmission, and plasticity. In this regard, neurotrophic factors such as netrin, Wnt, transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and others have gained prominence for their ability to regulate synaptic function. Several of these factors were first implicated in neuroprotection, neuronal growth, and axon guidance. However, their roles in synaptic development and function have become increasingly clear, and the downstream signaling pathways employed by these factors have begun to be elucidated. In this review, we will address the role of these factors and their downstream effectors in synaptic function in vivo and in cultured neurons. PMID:24065916

  20. It's MORe exciting than mu: crosstalk between mu opioid receptors and glutamatergic transmission in the mesolimbic dopamine system.

    PubMed

    Chartoff, Elena H; Connery, Hilary S

    2014-01-01

    Opioids selective for the G protein-coupled mu opioid receptor (MOR) produce potent analgesia and euphoria. Heroin, a synthetic opioid, is considered one of the most addictive substances, and the recent exponential rise in opioid addiction and overdose deaths has made treatment development a national public health priority. Existing medications (methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone), when combined with psychosocial therapies, have proven efficacy in reducing aspects of opioid addiction. Unfortunately, these medications have critical limitations including those associated with opioid agonist therapies (e.g., sustained physiological dependence and opioid withdrawal leading to high relapse rates upon discontinuation), non-adherence to daily dosing, and non-renewal of monthly injection with extended-release naltrexone. Furthermore, current medications fail to ameliorate key aspects of addiction such as powerful conditioned associations that trigger relapse (e.g., cues, stress, the drug itself). Thus, there is a need for developing novel treatments that target neural processes corrupted with chronic opioid use. This requires a basic understanding of molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying effects of opioids on synaptic transmission and plasticity within reward-related neural circuits. The focus of this review is to discuss how crosstalk between MOR-associated G protein signaling and glutamatergic neurotransmission leads to immediate and long-term effects on emotional states (e.g., euphoria, depression) and motivated behavior (e.g., drug-seeking, relapse). Our goal is to integrate findings on how opioids modulate synaptic release of glutamate and postsynaptic transmission via α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors in the nucleus accumbens and ventral tegmental area with the clinical (neurobehavioral) progression of opioid dependence, as well as to identify gaps in knowledge that can be addressed in future studies.

  1. Sensory Deprivation Triggers Synaptic and Intrinsic Plasticity in the Hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Milshtein-Parush, Hila; Frere, Samuel; Regev, Limor; Lahav, Coren; Benbenishty, Amit; Ben-Eliyahu, Shamgar; Goshen, Inbal; Slutsky, Inna

    2017-04-12

    Hippocampus, a temporal lobe structure involved in learning and memory, receives information from all sensory modalities. Despite extensive research on the role of sensory experience in cortical map plasticity, little is known about whether and how sensory experience regulates functioning of the hippocampal circuits. Here, we show that 9 ± 2 days of whisker deprivation during early mouse development depresses activity of CA3 pyramidal neurons by several principal mechanisms: decrease in release probability, increase in the fraction of silent synapses, and reduction in intrinsic excitability. As a result of deprivation-induced presynaptic inhibition, CA3-CA1 synaptic facilitation was augmented at high frequencies, shifting filtering properties of synapses. The changes in the AMPA-mediated synaptic transmission were accompanied by an increase in NR2B-containing NMDA receptors and a reduction in the AMPA/NMDA ratio. The observed reconfiguration of the CA3-CA1 connections may represent a homeostatic adaptation to augmentation in synaptic activity during the initial deprivation phase. In adult mice, tactile disuse diminished intrinsic excitability without altering synaptic facilitation. We suggest that sensory experience regulates computations performed by the hippocampus by tuning its synaptic and intrinsic characteristics.

  2. IL-6 regulation of synaptic function in the CNS.

    PubMed

    Gruol, Donna L

    2015-09-01

    A growing body of evidence supports a role for glial-produced neuroimmune factors, including the cytokine IL-6, in CNS physiology and pathology. CNS expression of IL-6 has been documented in the normal CNS at low levels and at elevated levels in several neurodegenerative or psychiatric disease states as well as in CNS infection and injury. The altered CNS function associated with these conditions raises the possibility that IL-6 has neuronal or synaptic actions. Studies in in vitro and in vivo models confirmed this possibility and showed that IL-6 can regulate a number of important neuronal and synaptic functions including synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity, an important cellular mechanism of memory and learning. Behavioral studies in animal models provided further evidence of an important role for IL-6 as a regulator of CNS pathways that are critical to cognitive function. This review summarizes studies that have lead to our current state of knowledge. In spite of the progress that has been made, there is a need for a greater understanding of the physiological and pathophysiological actions of IL-6 in the CNS, the mechanisms underlying these actions, conditions that induce production of IL-6 in the CNS and therapeutic strategies that could ameliorate or promote IL-6 actions. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Neuroimmunology and Synaptic Function'.

  3. Targeting the Glutamatergic System to Develop Novel, Improved Therapeutics for Mood Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Sanacora, Gerard; Zarate, Carlos A.; Krystal, John; Manji, Husseini K.

    2009-01-01

    PREFACE Mood disorders are common, chronic, recurrent mental illnesses that affect the lives of millions of individuals worldwide. To date, the monoaminergic systems (serotonergic, noradrenergic and dopaminergic) in the brain have received the greatest attention in neurobiological studies of mood disorders, and most therapeutics target these systems. However, there is growing evidence 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 mood disorder pathophysiology as well as the efficacy of glutamatergic agents in mood disorders. We also discuss exciting new prospects for the development of improved therapeutics for these devastating disorders. PMID:18425072

  4. Glutamatergic approaches to the treatment of cognitive and behavioural symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Francis, Paul T

    2008-01-01

    The glutamatergic system has long been recognised for its role in learning and memory and recent studies indicate an early loss of glutamatergic synapses in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Efforts to produce drugs which address changes in the glutamatergic system in AD are well advanced (e.g. memantine and drugs in development such as ampakines). Much less is known about the possible role of glutamate in non-cognitive behavioural changes; however, recent data from clinical trials suggest that memantine reduces agitation and aggressive behaviour in AD patients. In this context, it is important to help identify new treatment approaches to replace the use of antipsychotics in this vulnerable population.

  5. Two populations of neurokinin 1 receptor-expressing projection neurons in lamina I of the rat spinal cord that differ in AMPA receptor subunit composition and density of excitatory synaptic input

    PubMed Central

    Polgár, E.; Al Ghamdi, K.S.; Todd, A.J.

    2010-01-01

    Lamina I of the spinal cord contains many projection neurons that express the neurokinin 1 receptor (NK1r). It has been reported that these cells can undergo long-term potentiation (LTP), which may result from insertion of AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPArs) containing GluA1 or GluA4 subunits. We therefore investigated synaptic AMPAr expression on these cells with immunocytochemistry following antigen-retrieval. We also examined their density of glutamatergic input (by analysing AMPAr synaptic puncta and contacts from glutamatergic boutons), and phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases (pERKs) following noxious stimulation. Our results indicate that there are two populations of NK1r-expressing projection neurons: large GluA4+/GluA1− cells with a high density of glutamatergic input and small GluA1+/GluA4− cells with a much lower input density. Results from pERK experiments suggested that the two groups may not differ in the types of noxious stimulus that activate them. Glutamatergic synapses on distal dendrites of the large cells were significantly longer than those on proximal dendrites, which presumably compensates for the greater attenuation of distally-generated excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs). Both types of cell received contacts from peptidergic primary afferents, however, on the large cells these appeared to constitute over half of the glutamatergic synapses, and were often associated with elongated AMPAr puncta. This suggests that these afferents, which probably contain substance P, provide a powerful, secure synaptic input to large NK1r-expressing projection neurons. These results demonstrate the importance of GluA4-containing AMPArs in nociceptive transmission and raise the possibility that different forms of LTP in lamina I projection neurons may be related to differential expression of GluA1/GluA4. PMID:20303396

  6. Glutamatergic GRIN2B and polyaminergic ODC1 genes in suicide attempts: associations and gene-environment interactions with childhood/adolescent physical assault.

    PubMed

    Sokolowski, M; Ben-Efraim, Y J; Wasserman, J; Wasserman, D

    2013-09-01

    The complex etiology of suicidal behavior has frequently been investigated in relation to monoaminergic neurotransmission, but other neurosystems have shown alterations as well, involving excitatory glutamatergic and inhibitory γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) molecular components, together with the modulating polyamines. Sufficiently powered and family-based association studies of glutamatergic and GABAergic genes with suicidal behavior are nonexistent, but several studies have been reported for polyamines. We therefore conducted, for the first time ever, an extensive family-based study of 113 candidate single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located in 24 glutamatergic and GABA genes, in addition to interrelated polyaminergic genes, on the outcome of severe suicide attempts (SAs). The family-based analysis (n=660 trios) was supplemented with gene-environment interaction (G × E), case-control (n=519 controls) and subgroup analyses. The main observations were the previously unreported association and linkage of SNPs rs2268115 and rs220557 in GRIN2B, as well as of SNPs rs1049500 and rs2302614 in ODC1 (P<10(-2)). Furthermore, GRIN2B haplotypic associations were observed, in particular with a four-SNP AGGC haplotype (rs1805247-rs1806201-rs1805482-rs2268115; P<10(-5)), and a third SNP rs7559979 in ODC1 showed G × E with serious childhood/adolescent physical assault (P<10(-4)). SA subjects were characterized by transdiagnostic trait anger and past year alcohol-drug use disorders, but not by alcohol-drug use at SA, depression, anxiety or psychosis diagnoses. We also discuss a first ever confirmatory observation of SNP rs6526342 (polyaminergic SAT1) in SA, originally identified in completed suicides. The results suggest that specific genetic variants in a subset of glutamatergic (GRIN2B) and polyaminergic (ODC1) neurosystem genes may be of importance in certain suicidal subjects.

  7. In the developing rat hippocampus a tonic GABAA-mediated conductance selectively enhances the glutamatergic drive of principal cells

    PubMed Central

    Marchionni, Ivan; Omrani, Azar; Cherubini, Enrico

    2007-01-01

    In the adult hippocampus, two different forms of GABAA receptor-mediated inhibition have been identified: phasic and tonic. The first is due to the activation of GABAA receptors facing the presynaptic releasing sites, whereas the second is due to the activation of receptors localized away from the synapses. Because of their high affinity and low desensitization rate, extrasynaptic receptors are persistently able to sense low concentrations of GABA. Here we show that, early in postnatal life, between postnatal day (P) 2 and P6, CA1 and CA3 pyramidal cells but not stratum radiatum interneurons, express a tonic GABAA-mediated conductance. Block of the neuronal GABA transporter GAT-1 slightly enhanced the persistent GABA conductance in principal cells but not in GABAergic interneurons. However, in adulthood, a tonic GABAA-mediated conductance could be revealed in stratum radiatum interneurons, indicating that the ability of these cells to sense ambient GABA levels is developmentally regulated. Pharmacological analysis of the tonic conductance in principal cells demonstrated the involvement of β2/β3, α5 and γ2 GABAA receptor subunits. Removal of the tonic depolarizing action of GABA with picrotoxin, reduced the excitability and the glutamatergic drive of principal cells but did not modify the excitability of stratum radiatum interneurons. The increased cell excitability and synaptic activity following the activation of extrasynaptic GABAA receptors by ambient GABA would facilitate the induction of giant depolarizing potentials. PMID:17317750

  8. Synaptic activation modifies microtubules underlying transport of postsynaptic cargo.

    PubMed

    Maas, Christoph; Belgardt, Dorthe; Lee, Han Kyu; Heisler, Frank F; Lappe-Siefke, Corinna; Magiera, Maria M; van Dijk, Juliette; Hausrat, Torben J; Janke, Carsten; Kneussel, Matthias

    2009-05-26

    Synaptic plasticity, the ability of synapses to change in strength, requires alterations in synaptic molecule compositions over time, and synapses undergo selective modifications on stimulation. Molecular motors operate in sorting/transport of neuronal proteins; however, the targeting mechanisms that guide and direct cargo delivery remain elusive. We addressed the impact of synaptic transmission on the regulation of intracellular microtubule (MT)-based transport. We show that increased neuronal activity, as induced through GlyR activity blockade, facilitates tubulin polyglutamylation, a posttranslational modification thought to represent a molecular traffic sign for transport. Also, GlyR activity blockade alters the binding of the MT-associated protein MAP2 to MTs. By using the kinesin (KIF5) and the postsynaptic protein gephyrin as models, we show that such changes of MT tracks are accompanied by reduced motor protein mobility and cargo delivery into neurites. Notably, the observed neurite targeting deficits are prevented on functional depletion or gene expression knockdown of neuronal polyglutamylase. Our data suggest a previously undescribed concept of synaptic transmission regulating MT-dependent cargo delivery.

  9. Ziram, a pesticide associated with increased risk for Parkinson’s disease, differentially affects the presynaptic function of aminergic and glutamatergic nerve terminals at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Ciara A.; Myers, Katherine M.; Chen, Audrey; Martin, Nathan T.; Barajas, Angel; Schweizer, Felix E.; Krantz, David E.

    2015-01-01

    Multiple populations of aminergic neurons are affected in Parkinson’s disease (PD), with serotonergic and noradrenergic loci responsible for some non-motor symptoms. Environmental toxins, such as the dithiocarbamate fungicide ziram, significantly increase the risk of developing PD and the attendant spectrum of both motor and non-motor symptoms. The mechanisms by which ziram and other environmental toxins increase the risk of PD, and the potential effects of these toxins on aminergic neurons, remain unclear. To determine the relative effects of ziram on the synaptic function of aminergic versus non-aminergic neurons, we used live-imaging at the Drosophila melanogaster larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ). In contrast to nearly all other studies of this model synapse, we imaged presynaptic function at both glutamatergic Type Ib and aminergic Type II boutons, the latter responsible for storage and release of octopamine, the invertebrate equivalent of noradrenalin. To quantify the kinetics of exo- and endo- cytosis, we employed an acid-sensitive form of GFP fused to the Drosophila vesicular monoamine transporter (DVMAT-pHluorin). Additional genetic probes were used to visualize intracellular calcium flux (GCaMP) and voltage changes (ArcLight). We find that at glutamatergic Type Ib terminals, exposure to ziram increases exocytosis and inhibits endocytosis. By contrast, at octopaminergic Type II terminals, ziram has no detectable effect on exocytosis and dramatically inhibits endocytosis. In contrast to other reports on the neuronal effects of ziram, these effects do not appear to result from perturbation of the UPS or calcium homeostasis. Unexpectedly, ziram also caused spontaneous and synchronized bursts of calcium influx (measured by GCaMP) and electrical activity (measured by ArcLight) at aminergic Type II, but not glutamatergic Type Ib, nerve terminals. These events are sensitive to both tetrodotoxin and cadmium chloride, and thus appear to represent spontaneous

  10. Enhancement of extinction learning attenuates ethanol-seeking behavior and alters plasticity in the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Gass, Justin T; Trantham-Davidson, Heather; Kassab, Amanda S; Glen, William B; Olive, M Foster; Chandler, L Judson

    2014-05-28

    Addiction is a chronic relapsing disorder in which relapse is often initiated by exposure to drug-related cues. The present study examined the effects of mGluR5 activation on extinction of ethanol-cue-maintained responding, relapse-like behavior, and neuronal plasticity. Rats were trained to self-administer ethanol and then exposed to extinction training during which they were administered either vehicle or the mGluR5 positive allosteric modulator 3-cyano-N-(1,3-diphenyl-1H-pyrazol-5-yl) or CDPPB. CDPPB treatment reduced active lever responding during extinction, decreased the total number of extinction sessions required to meet criteria, and attenuated cue-induced reinstatement of ethanol seeking. CDPPB facilitation of extinction was blocked by the local infusion of the mGluR5 antagonist 3-((2-methyl-4-thiazolyl)ethynyl) pyridine into the infralimbic (IfL) cortex, but had no effect when infused into the prelimbic (PrL) cortex. Analysis of dendritic spines revealed alterations in structural plasticity, whereas electrophysiological recordings demonstrated differential alterations in glutamatergic neurotransmission in the PrL and IfL cortex. Extinction was associated with increased amplitude of evoked synaptic PrL and IfL NMDA currents but reduced amplitude of PrL AMPA currents. Treatment with CDPPB prevented the extinction-induced enhancement of NMDA currents in PrL without affecting NMDA currents in the IfL. Whereas CDPPB treatment did not alter the amplitude of PrL or IfL AMPA currents, it did promote the expression of IfL calcium-permeable GluR2-lacking receptors in both abstinence- and extinction-trained rats, but had no effect in ethanol-naive rats. These results confirm changes in the PrL and IfL cortex in glutamatergic neurotransmission during extinction learning and demonstrate that manipulation of mGluR5 facilitates extinction of ethanol cues in association with neuronal plasticity.

  11. A network of autism linked genes stabilizes two pools of synaptic GABAA receptors

    PubMed Central

    Tong, Xia-Jing; Hu, Zhitao; Liu, Yu; Anderson, Dorian; Kaplan, Joshua M

    2015-01-01

    Changing receptor abundance at synapses is an important mechanism for regulating synaptic strength. Synapses contain two pools of receptors, immobilized and diffusing receptors, both of which are confined to post-synaptic elements. Here we show that immobile and diffusing GABAA receptors are stabilized by distinct synaptic scaffolds at C. elegans neuromuscular junctions. Immobilized GABAA receptors are stabilized by binding to FRM-3/EPB4.1 and LIN-2A/CASK. Diffusing GABAA receptors are stabilized by the synaptic adhesion molecules Neurexin and Neuroligin. Inhibitory post-synaptic currents are eliminated in double mutants lacking both scaffolds. Neurexin, Neuroligin, and CASK mutations are all linked to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Our results suggest that these mutations may directly alter inhibitory transmission, which could contribute to the developmental and cognitive deficits observed in ASD. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09648.001 PMID:26575289

  12. Neuromodulation and metamodulation by adenosine: Impact and subtleties upon synaptic plasticity regulation.

    PubMed

    Sebastião, Ana M; Ribeiro, Joaquim A

    2015-09-24

    Synaptic plasticity mechanisms, i.e. the sequence of events that underlies persistent changes in synaptic strength as a consequence of transient alteration in neuronal firing, are greatly influenced by the 'chemical atmosphere' of the synapses, that is to say by the presence of molecules at the synaptic cleft able to fine-tune the activity of other molecules more directly related to plasticity. One of those fine tuners is adenosine, known for a long time as an ubiquitous neuromodulator and metamodulator and recognized early as influencing synaptic plasticity. In this review we will refer to the mechanisms that adenosine can use to affect plasticity, emphasizing aspects of the neurobiology of adenosine relevant to its ability to control synaptic functioning. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Brain and Memory.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-03

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

  14. Wnt signaling pathway improves central inhibitory synaptic transmission in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Fuenzalida, Marco; Espinoza, Claudia; Pérez, Miguel Ángel; Tapia-Rojas, Cheril; Cuitino, Loreto; Brandan, Enrique; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C

    2016-02-01

    The dystrophin-associated glycoprotein complex (DGC) that connects the cytoskeleton, plasma membrane and the extracellular matrix has been related to the maintenance and stabilization of channels and synaptic receptors, which are both essential for synaptogenesis and synaptic transmission. The dystrophin-deficient (mdx) mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) exhibits a significant reduction in hippocampal GABA efficacy, which may underlie the altered synaptic function and abnormal hippocampal long-term plasticity exhibited by mdx mice. Emerging studies have implicated Wnt signaling in the modulation of synaptic efficacy, neuronal plasticity and cognitive function. We report here that the activation of the non-canonical Wnt-5a pathway and Andrographolide, improves hippocampal mdx GABAergic efficacy by increasing the number of inhibitory synapses and GABA(A) receptors or GABA release. These results indicate that Wnt signaling modulates GABA synaptic efficacy and could be a promising novel target for DMD cognitive therapy.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  16. Transient ECM protease activity promotes synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Cholinergic modulation of primary afferent glutamatergic transmission in rat medullary dorsal horn neurons.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Seok-Gwon; Choi, In-Sun; Cho, Jin-Hwa; Jang, Il-Sung

    2013-12-01

    Although muscarinic acetylcholine (mACh) receptors are expressed in trigeminal ganglia, it is still unknown whether mACh receptors modulate glutamatergic transmission from primary afferents onto medullary dorsal horn neurons. In this study, we have addressed the cholinergic modulation of primary afferent glutamatergic transmission using a conventional whole cell patch clamp technique. Glutamatergic excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) were evoked from primary afferents by electrical stimulation of trigeminal tract and monosynaptic EPSCs were recorded from medullary dorsal horn neurons of rat horizontal brain stem slices. Muscarine and ACh reversibly and concentration-dependently decreased the amplitude of glutamatergic EPSCs and increased the paired-pulse ratio. In addition, muscarine reduced the frequency of miniature EPSCs without affecting the current amplitude, suggesting that muscarine acts presynaptically to decrease the probability of glutamate release onto medullary dorsal horn neurons. The muscarine-induced decrease of glutamatergic EPSCs was significantly occluded by methoctramine or AF-DX116, M2 receptor antagonists, but not pirenzepine, J104129 and MT-3, selective M1, M3 and M4 receptor antagonists. The muscarine-induced decrease of glutamatergic EPSCs was highly dependent on the extracellular Ca2+ concentration. Physostigmine and clinically available acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, such as rivastigmine and donepezil, significantly shifted the concentration-inhibition relationship of ACh for glutamatergic EPSCs. These results suggest that muscarine acts on presynaptic M2 receptors to inhibit glutamatergic transmission by reducing the Ca2+ influx into primary afferent terminals, and that M2 receptor agonists and acetylcholinesterase inhibitors could be, at least, potential targets to reduce nociceptive transmission from orofacial tissues.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Summary Synaptic plasticity is a fundamental feature of the nervous system that allows adaptation to changing behavioral environments. Most studies of synaptic plasticity have examined the regulated trafficking of postsynaptic glutamate receptors that generates alterations in synaptic transmission. Whether and how changes in the presynaptic release machinery contribute to neuronal plasticity is less clear. The SNARE complex mediates neurotransmitter release in response to presynaptic Ca++ entry. Here we show that the SNARE fusion clamp Complexin undergoes activity-dependent phosphorylation that alters the basic properties of neurotransmission in Drosophila. Retrograde signaling following stimulation activates PKA-dependent phosphorylation of the Complexin C-terminus that selectively and transiently enhances spontaneous release. Enhanced spontaneous release is required for activity-dependent synaptic growth. These data indicate that SNARE-dependent fusion mechanisms can be regulated in an activity-dependent manner and highlight the key role of spontaneous neurotransmitter release as a mediator of functional and structural plasticity. PMID:26590346

  19. Anatomical recovery of the spinal glutamatergic system following a complete spinal cord injury in lampreys

    PubMed Central

    Fernández-López, Blanca; Barreiro-Iglesias, Antón; Rodicio, María Celina

    2016-01-01

    Lampreys recover locomotion following a spinal cord injury (SCI). Glutamate is necessary to initiate and control locomotion and recent data suggest a crucial role for intraspinal neurons in functional recovery following SCI. We aimed to determine whether, in lampreys, axotomized spinal glutamatergic neurons, which lose glutamate immunoreactivity immediately after SCI, recover it later on and to study the long-term evolution and anatomical recovery of the spinal glutamatergic system after SCI. We used glutamate immunoreactivity to study changes in the glutamatergic system, tract-tracing to label axotomized neurons and TUNEL labelling to study cell death. Transections of the cord were made at the level of the fifth gill. TUNEL experiments indicated that cell death is a minor contributor to the initial loss of glutamate immunoreactivity. At least some of the axotomized neurons lose glutamate immunoreactivity, survive and recover glutamate immunoreactivity 1 week post-lesion (wpl). We observed a progressive increase in the number of glutamatergic neurons/processes until an almost complete anatomical recovery at 10 wpl. Among all the glutamatergic populations, the population of cerebrospinal fluid-contacting cells is the only one that never recovers. Our results indicate that full recovery of the glutamatergic system is not necessary for the restoration of function in lampreys. PMID:27886236

  20. VTA glutamatergic inputs to nucleus accumbens drive aversion by acting on GABAergic interneurons

    PubMed Central

    Qi, Jia; Zhang, Shiliang; Wang, Hui-Ling; Barker, David J.; Miranda-Barrientos, Jorge; Morales, Marisela

    2016-01-01

    The ventral tegmental area (VTA) is best known for its dopamine neurons, some of which project to nucleus accumbens (nAcc). However, the VTA also has glutamatergic neurons that project to nAcc. The function of the mesoaccumbens-glutamatergic pathway remains unknown. Here, we report that nAcc photoactivation of mesoaccumbens-glutamatergic fibers promotes aversion. Although we found that these mesoaccumbens-glutamate-fibers lack GABA, the aversion evoked by their photoactivation depends on glutamate and GABA receptor signaling, and not on dopamine receptor signaling. We found that mesoaccumbens-glutamatergic-fibers establish multiple asymmetric synapses on single parvalbumin-GABAergic interneurons, and that nAcc photoactivation of these fibers drives AMPA-mediated cellular firing of parvalbumin-GABAergic interneurons. These parvalbumin-GABAergic-interneurons, in turn, inhibit nAcc medium spiny output neurons, as such, controlling inhibitory neurotransmission within nAcc. The mesoaccumbens-glutamatergic pathway is the first glutamatergic input to nAcc shown to mediate aversion, instead of reward, and the first pathway shown to establish excitatory synapses on nAcc parvalbumin-GABAergic interneurons. PMID:27019014

  1. Synaptic Effects of Electric Fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rahman, Asif

    Learning and sensory processing in the brain relies on the effective transmission of information across synapses. The strength and efficacy of synaptic transmission is modifiable through training and can be modulated with noninvasive electrical brain stimulation. Transcranial electrical stimulation (TES), specifically, induces weak intensity and spatially diffuse electric fields in the brain. Despite being weak, electric fields modulate spiking probability and the efficacy of synaptic transmission. These effects critically depend on the direction of the electric field relative to the orientation of the neuron and on the level of endogenous synaptic activity. TES has been used to modulate a wide range of neuropsychiatric indications, for various rehabilitation applications, and cognitive performance in diverse tasks. How can a weak and diffuse electric field, which simultaneously polarizes neurons across the brain, have precise changes in brain function? Designing therapies to maximize desired outcomes and minimize undesired effects presents a challenging problem. A series of experiments and computational models are used to define the anatomical and functional factors leading to specificity of TES. Anatomical specificity derives from guiding current to targeted brain structures and taking advantage of the direction-sensitivity of neurons with respect to the electric field. Functional specificity originates from preferential modulation of neuronal networks that are already active. Diffuse electric fields may recruit connected brain networks involved in a training task and promote plasticity along active synaptic pathways. In vitro, electric fields boost endogenous synaptic plasticity and raise the ceiling for synaptic learning with repeated stimulation sessions. Synapses undergoing strong plasticity are preferentially modulated over weak synapses. Therefore, active circuits that are involved in a task could be more susceptible to stimulation than inactive circuits