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Sample records for enhances synaptic communication

  1. Nicotine uses neuron-glia communication to enhance hippocampal synaptic transmission and long-term memory.

    PubMed

    López-Hidalgo, Mónica; Salgado-Puga, Karla; Alvarado-Martínez, Reynaldo; Medina, Andrea Cristina; Prado-Alcalá, Roberto A; García-Colunga, Jesús

    2012-01-01

    Nicotine enhances synaptic transmission and facilitates long-term memory. Now it is known that bi-directional glia-neuron interactions play important roles in the physiology of the brain. However, the involvement of glial cells in the effects of nicotine has not been considered until now. In particular, the gliotransmitter D-serine, an endogenous co-agonist of NMDA receptors, enables different types of synaptic plasticity and memory in the hippocampus. Here, we report that hippocampal long-term synaptic plasticity induced by nicotine was annulled by an enzyme that degrades endogenous D-serine, or by an NMDA receptor antagonist that acts at the D-serine binding site. Accordingly, both effects of nicotine: the enhancement of synaptic transmission and facilitation of long-term memory were eliminated by impairing glial cells with fluoroacetate, and were restored with exogenous D-serine. Together, these results show that glial D-serine is essential for the long-term effects of nicotine on synaptic plasticity and memory, and they highlight the roles of glial cells as key participants in brain functions.

  2. Attention enhances synaptic efficacy and the signal-to-noise ratio in neural circuits.

    PubMed

    Briggs, Farran; Mangun, George R; Usrey, W Martin

    2013-07-25

    Attention is a critical component of perception. However, the mechanisms by which attention modulates neuronal communication to guide behaviour are poorly understood. To elucidate the synaptic mechanisms of attention, we developed a sensitive assay of attentional modulation of neuronal communication. In alert monkeys performing a visual spatial attention task, we probed thalamocortical communication by electrically stimulating neurons in the lateral geniculate nucleus of the thalamus while simultaneously recording shock-evoked responses from monosynaptically connected neurons in primary visual cortex. We found that attention enhances neuronal communication by increasing the efficacy of presynaptic input in driving postsynaptic responses, by increasing synchronous responses among ensembles of postsynaptic neurons receiving independent input, and by decreasing redundant signals between postsynaptic neurons receiving common input. The results demonstrate that attention finely tunes neuronal communication at the synaptic level by selectively altering synaptic weights, enabling enhanced detection of salient events in the noisy sensory environment.

  3. Synaptic Contacts Enhance Cell-to-Cell Tau Pathology Propagation.

    PubMed

    Calafate, Sara; Buist, Arjan; Miskiewicz, Katarzyna; Vijayan, Vinoy; Daneels, Guy; de Strooper, Bart; de Wit, Joris; Verstreken, Patrik; Moechars, Diederik

    2015-05-26

    Accumulation of insoluble Tau protein aggregates and stereotypical propagation of Tau pathology through the brain are common hallmarks of tauopathies, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). Propagation of Tau pathology appears to occur along connected neurons, but whether synaptic contacts between neurons are facilitating propagation has not been demonstrated. Using quantitative in vitro models, we demonstrate that, in parallel to non-synaptic mechanisms, synapses, but not merely the close distance between the cells, enhance the propagation of Tau pathology between acceptor hippocampal neurons and Tau donor cells. Similarly, in an artificial neuronal network using microfluidic devices, synapses and synaptic activity are promoting neuronal Tau pathology propagation in parallel to the non-synaptic mechanisms. Our work indicates that the physical presence of synaptic contacts between neurons facilitate Tau pathology propagation. These findings can have implications for synaptic repair therapies, which may turn out to have adverse effects by promoting propagation of Tau pathology.

  4. Differential Conditioning of Associative Synaptic Enhancement in Hippocampal Brain Slices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelso, Stephen R.; Brown, Thomas H.

    1986-04-01

    An electrophysiological stimulation paradigm similar to one that produces Pavlovian conditioning was applied to synaptic inputs to pyramidal neurons of hippocampal brain slices. Persistent synaptic enhancement was induced in one of two weak synaptic inputs by pairing high-frequency electrical stimulation of the weak input with stimulation of a third, stronger input to the same region. Forward (temporally overlapping) but not backward (temporally separate) pairings caused this enhancement. Thus hippocampal synapses in vitro can undergo the conditional and selective type of associative modification that could provide the substrate for some of the mnemonic functions in which the hippocampus is thought to participate.

  5. CDK5 downregulation enhances synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Posada-Duque, Rafael Andrés; Ramirez, Omar; Härtel, Steffen; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C; Bodaleo, Felipe; González-Billault, Christian; Kirkwood, Alfredo; Cardona-Gómez, Gloria Patricia

    2017-01-01

    CDK5 is a serine/threonine kinase that is involved in the normal function of the adult brain and plays a role in neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity. However, its over-regulation has been associated with Tau hyperphosphorylation and cognitive deficits. Our previous studies have demonstrated that CDK5 targeting using shRNA-miR provides neuroprotection and prevents cognitive deficits. Dendritic spine morphogenesis and forms of long-term synaptic plasticity-such as long-term potentiation (LTP)-have been proposed as essential processes of neuroplasticity. However, whether CDK5 participates in these processes remains controversial and depends on the experimental model. Using wild-type mice that received injections of CDK5 shRNA-miR in CA1 showed an increased LTP and recovered the PPF in deficient LTP of APPswe/PS1Δ9 transgenic mice. On mature hippocampal neurons CDK5, shRNA-miR for 12 days induced increased dendritic protrusion morphogenesis, which was dependent on Rac activity. In addition, silencing of CDK5 increased BDNF expression, temporarily increased phosphorylation of CaMKII, ERK, and CREB; and facilitated calcium signaling in neurites. Together, our data suggest that CDK5 downregulation induces synaptic plasticity in mature neurons involving Ca(2+) signaling and BDNF/CREB activation.

  6. Synaptic amplification by dendritic spines enhances input cooperativity.

    PubMed

    Harnett, Mark T; Makara, Judit K; Spruston, Nelson; Kath, William L; Magee, Jeffrey C

    2012-11-22

    Dendritic spines are the nearly ubiquitous site of excitatory synaptic input onto neurons and as such are critically positioned to influence diverse aspects of neuronal signalling. Decades of theoretical studies have proposed that spines may function as highly effective and modifiable chemical and electrical compartments that regulate synaptic efficacy, integration and plasticity. Experimental studies have confirmed activity-dependent structural dynamics and biochemical compartmentalization by spines. However, there is a longstanding debate over the influence of spines on the electrical aspects of synaptic transmission and dendritic operation. Here we measure the amplitude ratio of spine head to parent dendrite voltage across a range of dendritic compartments and calculate the associated spine neck resistance (R(neck)) for spines at apical trunk dendrites in rat hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons. We find that R(neck) is large enough (~500 MΩ) to amplify substantially the spine head depolarization associated with a unitary synaptic input by ~1.5- to ~45-fold, depending on parent dendritic impedance. A morphologically realistic compartmental model capable of reproducing the observed spatial profile of the amplitude ratio indicates that spines provide a consistently high-impedance input structure throughout the dendritic arborization. Finally, we demonstrate that the amplification produced by spines encourages electrical interaction among coactive inputs through an R(neck)-dependent increase in spine head voltage-gated conductance activation. We conclude that the electrical properties of spines promote nonlinear dendritic processing and associated forms of plasticity and storage, thus fundamentally enhancing the computational capabilities of neurons.

  7. Synaptic amplification by dendritic spines enhances input cooperativity

    PubMed Central

    Harnett, Mark T.; Makara, Judit K.; Spruston, Nelson; Kath, William L.; Magee, Jeffrey C.

    2012-01-01

    Dendritic spines are the nearly ubiquitous site of excitatory synaptic input onto neurons1–2 and as such are critically positioned to influence diverse aspects of neuronal signaling. Decades of theoretical studies have proposed that spines may function as highly effective and modifiable chemical and electrical compartments that regulate synaptic efficacy, integration, and plasticity3–8. Experimental studies have confirmed activity-dependent structural dynamics and biochemical compartmentalization by spines9–12. However, a longstanding debate remains over the influence of spines on the electrical aspects of synaptic transmission and dendritic operation3–8,13–18. Here, we measured the amplitude ratio (AR) of spine head to parent dendrite voltage across a range of dendritic compartments and calculated the associated Rneck for spines at apical trunk dendrites in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons. We found that Rneck is large enough (~500 MΩ) to substantially amplify the spine head depolarization associated with a unitary synaptic input by ~1.5- to ~45-fold depending on parent dendritic impedance. A morphologically realistic compartmental model capable of reproducing the observed spatial profile of AR indicates that spines provide a consistently high impedance input structure throughout the dendritic arbor. Finally, we demonstrate that the amplification produced by spines encourages electrical interaction among coactive inputs through an Rneck-dependent increase in spine head voltage- dependent conductance activation. We conclude that the electrical properties of spines promote nonlinear dendritic processing and associated forms of plasticity and storage, thus fundamentally enhancing the computational capabilities of neurons19–21. PMID:23103868

  8. Excitability and synaptic communication within the oligodendrocyte lineage.

    PubMed

    De Biase, Lindsay M; Nishiyama, Akiko; Bergles, Dwight E

    2010-03-10

    The mammalian CNS contains an abundant, widely distributed population of glial cells that serve as oligodendrocyte progenitors. It has been reported that these NG2-immunoreactive cells (NG2(+) cells) form synapses and generate action potentials, suggesting that neural-evoked excitation of these progenitors may regulate oligodendrogenesis. However, recent studies also suggest that NG2(+) cells are comprised of functionally distinct groups that differ in their ability to respond to neuronal activity, undergo differentiation, and experience injury following ischemia. To better define the physiological properties of NG2(+) cells, we used transgenic mice that allowed an unbiased sampling of this population and unambiguous identification of cells in discrete states of differentiation. Using acute brain slices prepared from developing and mature mice, we found that NG2(+) cells in diverse brain regions share a core set of physiological properties, including expression of voltage-gated Na(+) (NaV) channels and ionotropic glutamate receptors, and formation of synapses with glutamatergic neurons. Although small amplitude Na(+) spikes could be elicited in some NG2(+) cells during the first postnatal week, they were not capable of generating action potentials. Transition of these progenitors to the premyelinating stage was accompanied by the rapid removal of synaptic input, as well as downregulation of AMPA and NMDA receptors and NaV channels. Thus, prior reports of physiological heterogeneity among NG2(+) cells may reflect analysis of cells in later stages of maturation. These results suggest that NG2(+) cells are uniquely positioned within the oligodendrocyte lineage to monitor the firing patterns of surrounding neurons.

  9. Vitamin D prevents cognitive decline and enhances hippocampal synaptic function in aging rats

    PubMed Central

    Latimer, Caitlin S.; Brewer, Lawrence D.; Searcy, James L.; Chen, Kuey-Chu; Popović, Jelena; Kraner, Susan D.; Thibault, Olivier; Blalock, Eric M.; Landfield, Philip W.; Porter, Nada M.

    2014-01-01

    Vitamin D is an important calcium-regulating hormone with diverse functions in numerous tissues, including the brain. Increasing evidence suggests that vitamin D may play a role in maintaining cognitive function and that vitamin D deficiency may accelerate age-related cognitive decline. Using aging rodents, we attempted to model the range of human serum vitamin D levels, from deficient to sufficient, to test whether vitamin D could preserve or improve cognitive function with aging. For 5–6 mo, middle-aged F344 rats were fed diets containing low, medium (typical amount), or high (100, 1,000, or 10,000 international units/kg diet, respectively) vitamin D3, and hippocampal-dependent learning and memory were then tested in the Morris water maze. Rats on high vitamin D achieved the highest blood levels (in the sufficient range) and significantly outperformed low and medium groups on maze reversal, a particularly challenging task that detects more subtle changes in memory. In addition to calcium-related processes, hippocampal gene expression microarrays identified pathways pertaining to synaptic transmission, cell communication, and G protein function as being up-regulated with high vitamin D. Basal synaptic transmission also was enhanced, corroborating observed effects on gene expression and learning and memory. Our studies demonstrate a causal relationship between vitamin D status and cognitive function, and they suggest that vitamin D-mediated changes in hippocampal gene expression may improve the likelihood of successful brain aging. PMID:25267625

  10. Enhancement of Synaptic Potentials in Rabbit CA1 Pyramidal Neurons Following Classical Conditioning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loturco, Joseph J.; Coulter, Douglas A.; Alkon, Daniel L.

    1988-03-01

    A synaptic potential elicited by high-frequency stimulation of the Schaffer collaterals was enhanced in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells from rabbits that were classically conditioned relative to cells from control rabbits. In addition, confirming previous reports, the after-hyperpolarization was reduced in cells from conditioned animals. We suggest that reduced after-hyperpolarization and enhanced synaptic responsiveness in cells from conditioned animals work in concert to contribute to the functioning of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells during classical conditioning.

  11. Communication Enhancement: Principles and Practices.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shane, Howard

    1988-01-01

    A physician discusses the work of the Communications Enhancement Clinic at Children's Hospital-Boston in providing assistance to children with severe speech problems. He describes the process of evaluating and matching a child's strengths and weaknesses to available technology, including educational software, speech or print output devices, and…

  12. A robust and scalable neuromorphic communication system by combining synaptic time multiplexing and MIMO-OFDM.

    PubMed

    Srinivasa, Narayan; Zhang, Deying; Grigorian, Beayna

    2014-03-01

    This paper describes a novel architecture for enabling robust and efficient neuromorphic communication. The architecture combines two concepts: 1) synaptic time multiplexing (STM) that trades space for speed of processing to create an intragroup communication approach that is firing rate independent and offers more flexibility in connectivity than cross-bar architectures and 2) a wired multiple input multiple output (MIMO) communication with orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) techniques to enable a robust and efficient intergroup communication for neuromorphic systems. The MIMO-OFDM concept for the proposed architecture was analyzed by simulating large-scale spiking neural network architecture. Analysis shows that the neuromorphic system with MIMO-OFDM exhibits robust and efficient communication while operating in real time with a high bit rate. Through combining STM with MIMO-OFDM techniques, the resulting system offers a flexible and scalable connectivity as well as a power and area efficient solution for the implementation of very large-scale spiking neural architectures in hardware.

  13. Enhanced synaptic transmission at the squid giant synapse by artificial seawater based on physically modified saline

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Soonwook; Yu, Eunah; Rabello, Guilherme; Merlo, Suelen; Zemmar, Ajmal; Walton, Kerry D.; Moreno, Herman; Moreira, Jorge E.; Sugimori, Mutsuyuki; Llinás, Rodolfo R.

    2014-01-01

    Superfusion of the squid giant synapse with artificial seawater (ASW) based on isotonic saline containing oxygen nanobubbles (RNS60 ASW) generates an enhancement of synaptic transmission. This was determined by examining the postsynaptic response to single and repetitive presynaptic spike activation, spontaneous transmitter release, and presynaptic voltage clamp studies. In the presence of RNS60 ASW single presynaptic stimulation elicited larger postsynaptic potentials (PSP) and more robust recovery from high frequency stimulation than in control ASW. Analysis of postsynaptic noise revealed an increase in spontaneous transmitter release with modified noise kinetics in RNS60 ASW. Presynaptic voltage clamp demonstrated an increased EPSP, without an increase in presynaptic ICa++ amplitude during RNS60 ASW superfusion. Synaptic release enhancement reached stable maxima within 5–10 min of RNS60 ASW superfusion and was maintained for the entire recording time, up to 1 h. Electronmicroscopic morphometry indicated a decrease in synaptic vesicle density and the number at active zones with an increase in the number of clathrin-coated vesicles (CCV) and large endosome-like vesicles near junctional sites. Block of mitochondrial ATP synthesis by presynaptic injection of oligomycin reduced spontaneous release and prevented the synaptic noise increase seen in RNS60 ASW. After ATP block the number of vesicles at the active zone and CCV was reduced, with an increase in large vesicles. The possibility that RNS60 ASW acts by increasing mitochondrial ATP synthesis was tested by direct determination of ATP levels in both presynaptic and postsynaptic structures. This was implemented using luciferin/luciferase photon emission, which demonstrated a marked increase in ATP synthesis following RNS60 administration. It is concluded that RNS60 positively modulates synaptic transmission by up-regulating ATP synthesis, thus leading to synaptic transmission enhancement. PMID:24575037

  14. TARP γ-7 selectively enhances synaptic expression of calcium-permeable AMPARs.

    PubMed

    Studniarczyk, Dorota; Coombs, Ian; Cull-Candy, Stuart G; Farrant, Mark

    2013-09-01

    Regulation of calcium-permeable AMPA receptors (CP-AMPARs) is crucial in normal synaptic function and neurological disease states. Although transmembrane AMPAR regulatory proteins (TARPs) such as stargazin (γ-2) modulate the properties of calcium-impermeable AMPARs (CI-AMPARs) and promote their synaptic targeting, the TARP-specific rules governing CP-AMPAR synaptic trafficking remain unclear. We used RNA interference to manipulate AMPAR-subunit and TARP expression in γ-2-lacking stargazer cerebellar granule cells--the classic model of TARP deficiency. We found that TARP γ-7 selectively enhanced the synaptic expression of CP-AMPARs and suppressed CI-AMPARs, identifying a pivotal role of γ-7 in regulating the prevalence of CP-AMPARs. In the absence of associated TARPs, both CP-AMPARs and CI-AMPARs were able to localize to synapses and mediate transmission, although their properties were altered. Our results also establish that TARPed synaptic receptors in granule cells require both γ-2 and γ-7 and reveal an unexpected basis for the loss of AMPAR-mediated transmission in stargazer mice.

  15. Dopamine and Norepinephrine Receptors Participate in Methylphenidate Enhancement of In Vivo Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Synaptic enhancement induced by gintonin via lysophosphatidic acid receptor activation in central synapses.

    PubMed

    Park, Hoyong; Kim, Sungmin; Rhee, Jeehae; Kim, Hyeon-Joong; Han, Jung-Soo; Nah, Seung-Yeol; Chung, ChiHye

    2015-03-01

    Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is one of the well-characterized, ubiquitous phospholipid molecules. LPA exerts its effect by activating G protein-coupled receptors known as LPA receptors (LPARs). So far, LPAR signaling has been critically implicated during early development stages, including the regulation of synapse formation and the morphology of cortical and hippocampal neurons. In adult brains, LPARs seem to participate in cognitive as well as emotional learning and memory. Recent studies using LPAR1-deficient mice reported impaired performances in a number of behavioral tasks, including the hippocampus-dependent spatial memory and fear conditioning tests. Nevertheless, the effect of LPAR activation in the synaptic transmission of central synapses after the completion of embryonic development has not been investigated. In this study, we took advantage of a novel extracellular agonist for LPARs called gintonin to activate LPARs in adult brain systems. Gintonin, a recently identified active ingredient in ginseng, has been shown to activate LPARs and mobilize Ca(2+) in an artificial cell system. We found that the activation of LPARs by application of gintonin acutely enhanced both excitatory and inhibitory transmission in central synapses, albeit through tentatively distinct mechanisms. Gintonin-mediated LPAR activation primarily resulted in synaptic enhancement and an increase in neuronal excitability in a phospholipase C-dependent manner. Our findings suggest that LPARs are able to directly potentiate synaptic transmission in central synapses when stimulated exogenously. Therefore, LPARs could serve as a useful target to modulate synaptic activity under pathological conditions, including neurodegenerative diseases.

  17. Anemoside A3 Enhances Cognition through the Regulation of Synaptic Function and Neuroprotection

    PubMed Central

    Ip, Fanny CF; Fu, Wing-Yu; Cheng, Elaine YL; Tong, Estella PS; Lok, Ka-Chun; Liang, Yan; Ye, Wen-Cai; Ip, Nancy Y

    2015-01-01

    Compounds that have the ability to both strengthen synaptic function and facilitate neuroprotection are valuable cognitive enhancers that may improve health and quality of life, as well as retard age-related cognitive deterioration. Medicinal plants are an abundant source of potential cognitive enhancers. Here we report that anemoside A3 (AA3) isolated from Pulsatilla chinensis modulates synaptic connectivity in circuits central to memory enhancement. AA3 specifically modulates the function of AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs) by increasing serine phosphorylation within the GluA1 subunit, which is a modification required for the trafficking of GluA1-containing AMPARs to synapses. Furthermore, AA3 administration activates several synaptic signaling molecules and increases protein expressions of the neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor and monoamine neurotransmitters in the mouse hippocampus. In addition to acting through AMPARs, AA3 also acts as a non-competitive NMDA receptor (NMDAR) modulator with a neuroprotective capacity against ischemic brain injury and overexcitation in rats. These findings collectively suggest that AA3 possesses a unique ability to modulate the functions of both AMPARs and NMDARs. Concordantly, behavioral studies indicate that AA3 not only facilitates hippocampal long-term potentiation but also enhances spatial reference memory formation in mice. These multifaceted roles suggest that AA3 is an attractive candidate for further development as a cognitive enhancer capable of alleviating memory dysfunctions associated with aging and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25649278

  18. Nootropic dipeptide noopept enhances inhibitory synaptic transmission in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Povarov, I S; Kondratenko, R V; Derevyagin, V I; Ostrovskaya, R U; Skrebitskii, V G

    2015-01-01

    Application of nootropic agent Noopept on hippocampal slices from Wistar rats enhanced the inhibitory component of total current induced by stimulation of Shaffer collaterals in CA1 pyramidal neurons, but did not affect the excitatory component. A direct correlation between the increase in the amplitude of inhibitory current and agent concentration was found. The substance did not affect the release of inhibitory transmitters from terminals in the pyramidal neurons, which indicated changes in GABAergic interneurons.

  19. Memory-enhancing corticosterone treatment increases amygdala norepinephrine and Arc protein expression in hippocampal synaptic fractions.

    PubMed

    McReynolds, Jayme R; Donowho, Kyle; Abdi, Amin; McGaugh, James L; Roozendaal, Benno; McIntyre, Christa K

    2010-03-01

    Considerable evidence indicates that glucocorticoid hormones enhance the consolidation of memory for emotionally arousing events through interactions with the noradrenergic system of the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA). We previously reported that intra-BLA administration of a beta-adrenoceptor agonist immediately after inhibitory avoidance training enhanced memory consolidation and increased hippocampal expression of the protein product of the immediate early gene activity-regulated cytoskeletal-associated protein (Arc). In the present experiments corticosterone (3 mg/kg, i.p.) was administered to male Sprague-Dawley rats immediately after inhibitory avoidance training to examine effects on long-term memory, amygdala norepinephrine levels, and hippocampal Arc expression. Corticosterone increased amygdala norepinephrine levels 15 min after inhibitory avoidance training, as assessed by in vivo microdialysis, and enhanced memory tested at 48 h. Corticosterone treatment also increased expression of Arc protein in hippocampal synaptic tissue. The elevation in BLA norepinephrine appears to participate in corticosterone-influenced modulation of hippocampal Arc expression as intra-BLA blockade of beta-adrenoceptors with propranolol (0.5 microg/0.2 microL) attenuated the corticosterone-induced synaptic Arc expression in the hippocampus. These findings indicate that noradrenergic activity at BLA beta-adrenoceptors is involved in corticosterone-induced enhancement of memory consolidation and expression of the synaptic-plasticity-related protein Arc in the hippocampus.

  20. Vortioxetine disinhibits pyramidal cell function and enhances synaptic plasticity in the rat hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Dale, Elena; Zhang, Hong; Leiser, Steven C; Xiao, Yixin; Lu, Dunguo; Yang, Charles R; Plath, Niels; Sanchez, Connie

    2014-01-01

    Vortioxetine, a novel antidepressant with multimodal action, is a serotonin (5-HT)3, 5-HT7 and 5-HT1D receptor antagonist, a 5-HT1B receptor partial agonist, a 5-HT1A receptor agonist and a 5-HT transporter (SERT) inhibitor. Vortioxetine has been shown to improve cognitive performance in several preclinical rat models and in patients with major depressive disorder. Here we investigated the mechanistic basis for these effects by studying the effect of vortioxetine on synaptic transmission, long-term potentiation (LTP), a cellular correlate of learning and memory, and theta oscillations in the rat hippocampus and frontal cortex. Vortioxetine was found to prevent the 5-HT-induced increase in inhibitory post-synaptic potentials recorded from CA1 pyramidal cells, most likely by 5-HT3 receptor antagonism. Vortioxetine also enhanced LTP in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Finally, vortioxetine increased fronto-cortical theta power during active wake in whole animal electroencephalographic recordings. In comparison, the selective SERT inhibitor escitalopram showed no effect on any of these measures. Taken together, our results indicate that vortioxetine can increase pyramidal cell output, which leads to enhanced synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. Given the central role of the hippocampus in cognition, these findings may provide a cellular correlate to the observed preclinical and clinical cognition-enhancing effects of vortioxetine. PMID:25122043

  1. Vortioxetine disinhibits pyramidal cell function and enhances synaptic plasticity in the rat hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Dale, Elena; Zhang, Hong; Leiser, Steven C; Xiao, Yixin; Lu, Dunguo; Yang, Charles R; Plath, Niels; Sanchez, Connie

    2014-10-01

    Vortioxetine, a novel antidepressant with multimodal action, is a serotonin (5-HT)3, 5-HT7 and 5-HT1D receptor antagonist, a 5-HT1B receptor partial agonist, a 5-HT1A receptor agonist and a 5-HT transporter (SERT) inhibitor. Vortioxetine has been shown to improve cognitive performance in several preclinical rat models and in patients with major depressive disorder. Here we investigated the mechanistic basis for these effects by studying the effect of vortioxetine on synaptic transmission, long-term potentiation (LTP), a cellular correlate of learning and memory, and theta oscillations in the rat hippocampus and frontal cortex. Vortioxetine was found to prevent the 5-HT-induced increase in inhibitory post-synaptic potentials recorded from CA1 pyramidal cells, most likely by 5-HT3 receptor antagonism. Vortioxetine also enhanced LTP in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Finally, vortioxetine increased fronto-cortical theta power during active wake in whole animal electroencephalographic recordings. In comparison, the selective SERT inhibitor escitalopram showed no effect on any of these measures. Taken together, our results indicate that vortioxetine can increase pyramidal cell output, which leads to enhanced synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. Given the central role of the hippocampus in cognition, these findings may provide a cellular correlate to the observed preclinical and clinical cognition-enhancing effects of vortioxetine.

  2. Calmodulin enhances ribbon replenishment and shapes filtering of synaptic transmission by cone photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Van Hook, Matthew J; Parmelee, Caitlyn M; Chen, Minghui; Cork, Karlene M; Curto, Carina; Thoreson, Wallace B

    2014-11-01

    At the first synapse in the vertebrate visual pathway, light-evoked changes in photoreceptor membrane potential alter the rate of glutamate release onto second-order retinal neurons. This process depends on the synaptic ribbon, a specialized structure found at various sensory synapses, to provide a supply of primed vesicles for release. Calcium (Ca(2+)) accelerates the replenishment of vesicles at cone ribbon synapses, but the mechanisms underlying this acceleration and its functional implications for vision are unknown. We studied vesicle replenishment using paired whole-cell recordings of cones and postsynaptic neurons in tiger salamander retinas and found that it involves two kinetic mechanisms, the faster of which was diminished by calmodulin (CaM) inhibitors. We developed an analytical model that can be applied to both conventional and ribbon synapses and showed that vesicle resupply is limited by a simple time constant, τ = 1/(Dρδs), where D is the vesicle diffusion coefficient, δ is the vesicle diameter, ρ is the vesicle density, and s is the probability of vesicle attachment. The combination of electrophysiological measurements, modeling, and total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy of single synaptic vesicles suggested that CaM speeds replenishment by enhancing vesicle attachment to the ribbon. Using electroretinogram and whole-cell recordings of light responses, we found that enhanced replenishment improves the ability of cone synapses to signal darkness after brief flashes of light and enhances the amplitude of responses to higher-frequency stimuli. By accelerating the resupply of vesicles to the ribbon, CaM extends the temporal range of synaptic transmission, allowing cones to transmit higher-frequency visual information to downstream neurons. Thus, the ability of the visual system to encode time-varying stimuli is shaped by the dynamics of vesicle replenishment at photoreceptor synaptic ribbons.

  3. Docosahexaenoic acid dietary supplementation enhances the effects of exercise on synaptic plasticity and cognition.

    PubMed

    Wu, A; Ying, Z; Gomez-Pinilla, F

    2008-08-26

    Omega-3 fatty acids (i.e. docosahexaenoic acid; DHA), similar to exercise, improve cognitive function, promote neuroplasticity, and protect against neurological lesion. In this study, we investigated a possible synergistic action between DHA dietary supplementation and voluntary exercise on modulating synaptic plasticity and cognition. Rats received DHA dietary supplementation (1.25% DHA) with or without voluntary exercise for 12 days. We found that the DHA-enriched diet significantly increased spatial learning ability, and these effects were enhanced by exercise. The DHA-enriched diet increased levels of pro-brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and mature BDNF, whereas the additional application of exercise boosted the levels of both. Furthermore, the levels of the activated forms of CREB and synapsin I were incremented by the DHA-enriched diet with greater elevation by the concurrent application of exercise. While the DHA diet reduced hippocampal oxidized protein levels, a combination of a DHA diet and exercise resulted in a greater reduction rate. The levels of activated forms of hippocampal Akt and CaMKII were increased by the DHA-enriched diet, and with even greater elevation by a combination of diet and exercise. Akt and CaMKII signaling are crucial step by which BDNF exerts its action on synaptic plasticity and learning and memory. These results indicate that the DHA diet enhanced the effects of exercise on cognition and BDNF-related synaptic plasticity, a capacity that may be used to promote mental health and reduce risk of neurological disorders.

  4. Taurine-Induced Long-Lasting Enhancement of Synaptic Transmission in Mice: Role of Transporters

    PubMed Central

    Sergeeva, O A; Chepkova, A N; Doreulee, N; Eriksson, K S; Poelchen, W; Mönnighoff, I; Heller-Stilb, B; Warskulat, U; Häussinger, D; Haas, H L

    2003-01-01

    Taurine, a major osmolyte in the brain evokes a long-lasting enhancement (LLETAU) of synaptic transmission in hippocampal and cortico-striatal slices. Hippocampal LLETAU was abolished by the GABA uptake blocker nipecotic acid (NPA) but not by the taurine-uptake inhibitor guanidinoethyl sulphonate (GES). Striatal LLETAU was sensitive to GES but not to NPA. Semiquantitative PCR analysis and immunohistochemistry revealed that taurine transporter expression is significantly higher in the striatum than in the hippocampus. Taurine transporter-deficient mice displayed very low taurine levels in both structures and a low ability to develop LLETAU in the striatum, but not in the hippocampus. The different mechanisms of taurine-induced synaptic plasticity may reflect the different vulnerabilities of these brain regions under pathological conditions that are accompanied by osmotic changes such as hepatic encephalopathy. PMID:12824447

  5. Enhanced excitatory synaptic network activity following transient group I metabotropic glutamate activation.

    PubMed

    Pan, Y-Z; Rutecki, P A

    2014-09-05

    Prolonged activation of group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) using the agonist (S)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG) produces long-lasting changes in the CA3 region of the hippocampal slice. Changes in CA3 pyramidal neuron excitability that follow DHPG exposure result in abnormal network activity manifest by epileptiform activity that consists of interictal and longer lasting ictal epileptiform discharges. In this study we evaluated changes in synaptic activity of CA3 neurons in rat hippocampal slices that occurred after exposure to DHPG. Whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings were made from visually identified CA3 neurons in control artificial cerebrospinal fluid at times greater than 1h after DHPG exposure. Compared to control slices, neurons from slices exposed to DHPG showed enhanced amplitude and frequency of spontaneously occurring excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) without a concurrent change in inhibitory postsynaptic current (IPSC) amplitude or frequency. Miniature EPSCs were not affected by DHPG exposure but mIPSCs occurred less frequently and were of reduced amplitude. IPSCs recorded in the presence of ionotropic glutamate receptor blockade occurred less frequently in neurons that had been exposed to DHPG. Monosynaptic-evoked IPSPs were also reduced in amplitude in neurons that had been exposed to DHPG. Taken together, these findings demonstrated an enhanced network excitability of the CA3 region and failure of compensatory synaptic inhibition. We propose that prolonged activation of group I mGluR that may occur under conditions of pathological glutamate release results in long-lasting changes in CA3 synaptic network activity and epileptiform activity driven by excessive synaptic excitation.

  6. Autonomous CaMKII requires further stimulation by Ca2+/calmodulin for enhancing synaptic strength.

    PubMed

    Barcomb, Kelsey; Buard, Isabelle; Coultrap, Steven J; Kulbe, Jacqueline R; O'Leary, Heather; Benke, Timothy A; Bayer, K Ulrich

    2014-08-01

    A hallmark feature of Ca(2+)/calmodulin (CaM)-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is generation of autonomous (Ca(2+)-independent) activity by T286 autophosphorylation. Biochemical studies have shown that "autonomous" CaMKII is ∼5-fold further stimulated by Ca(2+)/CaM, but demonstration of a physiological function for such regulation within cells has remained elusive. In this study, CaMKII-induced enhancement of synaptic strength in rat hippocampal neurons required both autonomous activity and further stimulation. Synaptic strength was decreased by CaMKIIα knockdown and rescued by reexpression, but not by mutants impaired for autonomy (T286A) or binding to NMDA-type glutamate receptor subunit 2B (GluN2B; formerly NR2B; I205K). Full rescue was seen with constitutively autonomous mutants (T286D), but only if they could be further stimulated (additional T305/306A mutation), and not with two other mutations that additionally impair Ca(2+)/CaM binding. Compared to rescue with wild-type CaMKII, the CaM-binding-impaired mutants even had reduced synaptic strength. One of these mutants (T305/306D) mimicked an inhibitory autophosphorylation of CaMKII, whereas the other one (Δstim) abolished CaM binding without introducing charged residues. Inhibitory T305/306 autophosphorylation also reduced GluN2B binding, but this effect was independent of reduced Ca(2+)/CaM binding and was not mimicked by T305/306D mutation. Thus, even autonomous CaMKII activity must be further stimulated by Ca(2+)/CaM for enhancement of synaptic strength.

  7. Action potential broadening induced by lithium may cause a presynaptic enhancement of excitatory synaptic transmission in neonatal rat hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Colino, A; García-Seoane, J J; Valentín, A

    1998-07-01

    Lithium enhances excitatory synaptic transmission in CA1 pyramidal cells, but the mechanisms remain unclear. The present study demonstrates that lithium enhances the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA) receptor-mediated components of the excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC). Lithium decreased the magnitude of paired-pulse facilitation and presented an inverse correlation between the lithium-induced enhancement of synaptic transmission and initial paired-pulse facilitation, which is consistent with a presynaptic mode of action. The enhancement of synaptic strength is likely to act, at least in part, by increasing the amplitude of the presynaptic Ca2+ transient. One mechanism which could account for this change of the presynaptic Ca2+ transient is an increase in the duration of the action potential. We investigated action potential in hippocampal pyramidal neurons and found that lithium (0.5-6 mM) increased the half-amplitude duration and reduced the rate of repolarization, whereas the rate of depolarization remained similar. To find out whether the lithium synaptic effects might be explained by spike broadening, we investigated the field recording of the excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) in hippocampal slices and found three lines of evidence. First, the prolongation of the presynaptic action potential with 4-aminopyridine and tetraethylammonium blocked or reduced the synaptic effects of lithium. Second, the lithium-induced synaptic enhancement was modulated when presynaptic Ca2+ influx was varied by changing the external Ca2+ concentration. Finally, both effects, the synaptic transmission increment and the action potential broadening, were independent of inositol depletion. These results suggest that lithium enhances synaptic transmission in the hippocampus via a presynaptic site of action: the mechanism underlying the potentiating effect may be attributable to an increased Ca2+ influx consequent

  8. Mossy fiber synaptic transmission: communication from the dentate gyrus to area CA3.

    PubMed

    Jaffe, David B; Gutiérrez, Rafael

    2007-01-01

    Communication between the dentate gyrus (DG) and area CA3 of the hippocampus proper is transmitted via axons of granule cells--the mossy fiber (MF) pathway. In this review we discuss and compare the properties of transmitter release from the MFs onto pyramidal neurons and interneurons. An examination of the anatomical connectivity from DG to CA3 reveals a surprising interplay between excitation and inhibition for this circuit. In this respect it is particularly relevant that the major targets of the MFs are interneurons and that the consequence of MF input into CA3 may be inhibitory or excitatory, conditionally dependent on the frequency of input and modulatory regulation. This is further complicated by the properties of transmitter release from the MFs where a large number of co-localized transmitters, including GABAergic inhibitory transmitter release, and the effects of presynaptic modulation finely tune transmitter release. A picture emerges that extends beyond the hypothesis that the MFs are simply "detonators" of CA3 pyramidal neurons; the properties of synaptic information flow from the DG have more subtle and complex influences on the CA3 network.

  9. Enhancement of synaptic transmission induced by BDNF in cultured cortical neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Jun; Gong, Hui; Zeng, Shaoqun; Li, Yanling; Luo, Qingming

    2005-03-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), like other neurotrophins, has long-term effects on neuronal survival and differentiation; furthermore, BDNF has been reported to exert an acute potentiation of synaptic activity and are critically involved in long-term potentiation (LTP). We found that BDNF rapidly induced potentiation of synaptic activity and an increase in the intracellular Ca2+ concentration in cultured cortical neurons. Within minutes of BDNF application to cultured cortical neurons, spontaneous firing rate was dramatically increased as were the frequency and amplitude of excitatory spontaneous postsynaptic currents (EPSCs). Fura-2 recordings showed that BDNF acutely elicited an increase in intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]c). This effect was partially dependent on [Ca2+]o; The BDNF-induced increase in [Ca2+]c can not be completely blocked by Ca2+-free solution. It was completely blocked by K252a and partially blocked by Cd2+ and TTX. The results demonstrate that BDNF can enhances synaptic transmission and that this effect is accompanied by a rise in [Ca2+]c that requires two route: the release of Ca2+ from intracellular calcium stores and influx of extracellular Ca2+ through voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels in cultured cortical neurons.

  10. Can Communicative Principles Enhance Classical Language Acquisition?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Overland, Paul; Fields, Lee; Noonan, Jennifer

    2011-01-01

    Is it feasible for nonfluent instructors to teach Biblical Hebrew by communicative principles? If it is feasible, will communicative instruction enhance postsecondary learning of a classical language? To begin answering these questions, two consultants representing second language acquisition (SLA) and technology-assisted language learning led 8…

  11. Histone deacetylase 2 cell autonomously suppresses excitatory and enhances inhibitory synaptic function in CA1 pyramidal neurons.

    PubMed

    Hanson, Jesse E; Deng, Lunbin; Hackos, David H; Lo, Shih-Ching; Lauffer, Benjamin E; Steiner, Pascal; Zhou, Qiang

    2013-04-03

    Histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2) negatively regulates excitatory synapse number and memory performance. However, whether HDAC2 regulation of excitatory synapses occurs in a cell-autonomous manner and whether HDAC2 regulates inhibitory synaptic functions are not well understood. To examine these aspects of HDAC2 function, we used sparse transfection of rat hippocampal slice cultures and whole-cell recordings in pyramidal neurons. HDAC2 knockdown (KD) in single postsynaptic pyramidal neurons enhanced, whereas HDAC2 overexpression (OE) reduced, excitatory synaptic transmission. Postsynaptic KD of HDAC2 also facilitated expression of long-term potentiation induced by subthreshold induction stimuli, without altering long-term depression. In contrast, HDAC2 KD reduced, whereas HDAC2 OE enhanced, inhibitory synaptic transmission. Alterations of postsynaptic GABA(A) receptors (GABA(A)Rs) likely underlie the impact of HDAC2 on inhibitory transmission. Consistent with this, we observed reduced transcript and protein levels of the GABA(A)R γ2 subunit and reduced surface expression of the α2 subunit after HDAC2 KD. Furthermore, we observed a reduction in synaptic but not tonic GABA(A)R currents by HDAC2 KD, suggesting that HDAC2 selectively affects synaptic abundance of functional GABA(A)Rs. Immunostaining for postsynaptic GABA(A)Rs confirmed that HDAC2 KD and OE can regulate the synaptic abundance of these receptors. Together, these results highlight a role for HDAC2 in suppressing synaptic excitation and enhancing synaptic inhibition of hippocampal neurons. Therefore, a shift in the balance of synaptic excitation versus inhibition favoring excitation could contribute to the beneficial effects of reducing HDAC2 function in wild-type mice or of inhibiting HDACs in models of cognitive impairment.

  12. Transient Enhancement of Inhibitory Synaptic Transmission in Hippocampal CA1 Pyramidal Neurons after Cerebral Ischemia

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Rui; Pang, Zhi-Ping; Deng, Ping; Xu, Zao C.

    2009-01-01

    Pyramidal neurons in hippocampal CA1 regions are highly sensitive to cerebral ischemia. Alterations of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission may contribute to the ischemia-induced neuronal degeneration. However, little is known about the changes of GABAergic synaptic transmission in the hippocampus following reperfusion. We examined the GABAA receptor-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) in CA1 pyramidal neurons 12 hours and 24 hours after transient forebrain ischemia. The amplitudes of evoked IPSCs (eIPSCs) were increased significantly 12 hours after ischemia and returned to control levels 24 hours following reperfusion. The potentiation of eIPSCs was accompanied by an increase of miniature IPSCs (mIPSCs) amplitude, and an enhanced response to exogenous application of GABA, indicating the involvement of postsynaptic mechanisms. Furthermore, there was no obvious change of the paired-pulse ratio (PPR) of eIPSCs and the frequency of mIPSCs, suggesting that the potentiation of eIPSCs might not be due to the increased presynaptic release. Blockade of adenosine A1 receptors led to a decrease of eIPSCs amplitude in post-ischemic neurons but not in control neurons, without affecting the frequency of mIPSCs and the PPR of eIPSCs. Thus, tonic activation of adenosine A1 receptors might, at least in part, contribute to the enhancement of inhibitory synaptic transmission in CA1 neurons after forebrain ischemia. The transient enhancement of inhibitory neurotransmission might temporarily protect CA1 pyramidal neurons, and delay the process of neuronal death after cerebral ischemia. PMID:19258028

  13. Enhancing Communication in Noisy Environments

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-10-01

    speech, an Active Noise Reduction (ANR) component, and a hearing-protective earpiece to deliver the processed signal to the wearer. The microphone array...it is gradually replaced by the ANR system. The hearing protective earpiece will be interfaced also with the soldier’s radio communication unit

  14. Creative Methodologies to Enhance Communication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kennedy, Lucille; Brewer, Gayle

    2016-01-01

    The experiences and opinions of people with learning disabilities are often ignored or devalued. Oral and life history projects allow individuals to communicate their own opinions and experiences. This process can lead to more meaningful interactions between those with learning disabilities and support workers. Whilst the interview techniques…

  15. 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.

  16. Enhanced synaptic responses in the piriform cortex associated with sexual stimulation in the male rat.

    PubMed

    Pfaus, J G; Tse, T L M; Werk, C M; Chanda, M L; Leblonde, A; Harbour, V L; Chapman, C A

    2009-12-29

    Male rats that copulate to ejaculation with female rats bearing an odor show a learned preference to ejaculate selectively with females that bear the odor. This conditioned ejaculatory preference reflects an association between the odor and the reward state induced by ejaculation. Although little is known about the neuronal mechanisms that mediate this form of learning, convergence of genitosensory and olfactory inputs occurs in both hypothalamic and cortical regions, notably within primary olfactory (piriform) cortex, which may be involved in the encoding or storage of the association. The present study contrasted the ability of genital investigations, mounts, intromissions, ejaculations, and a sexually conditioned olfactory stimulus, to enhance evoked synaptic field potentials in the piriform cortex. Rats in the Paired group underwent conditioning trials in which they copulated with sexually receptive females bearing an almond odor. Rats in the Unpaired control group copulated with receptive females bearing no odor. Responses in the piriform cortex evoked by electrical stimulation of the olfactory bulb were recorded in male rats as they engaged in different aspects of sexual behavior, and were also recorded after conditioning, during exposure to cotton swabs bearing the almond odor. The monosynaptic component of responses was increased during intromission and ejaculation, and the late component of responses was increased during anogenital sniffing and mounting (with or without intromission). However, no differences in the amplitudes of evoked responses were found between the Paired and Unpaired groups, and no differences in synaptic responses were found during presentation of the odor after conditioning. These data indicate that short-term alterations in synaptic responsiveness occur in piriform cortex as a function of sexual stimulation in the male rat, but that responses are not significantly altered by a conditioned odor.

  17. Enhanced synaptic connectivity and epilepsy in C1q knockout mice.

    PubMed

    Chu, Yunxiang; Jin, Xiaoming; Parada, Isabel; Pesic, Alexei; Stevens, Beth; Barres, Ben; Prince, David A

    2010-04-27

    Excessive CNS synapses are eliminated during development to establish mature patterns of neuronal connectivity. A complement cascade protein, C1q, is involved in this process. Mice deficient in C1q fail to refine retinogeniculate connections resulting in excessive retinal innervation of lateral geniculate neurons. We hypothesized that C1q knockout (KO) mice would exhibit defects in neocortical synapse elimination resulting in enhanced excitatory synaptic connectivity and epileptiform activity. We recorded spontaneous and evoked field potential activity in neocortical slices and obtained video-EEG recordings from implanted C1q KO and wild-type (WT) mice. We also used laser scanning photostimulation of caged glutamate and whole cell recordings to map excitatory and inhibitory synaptic connectivity. Spontaneous and evoked epileptiform field potentials occurred at multiple sites in neocortical slices from C1q KO, but not WT mice. Laser mapping experiments in C1q KO slices showed that the proportion of glutamate uncaging sites from which excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) could be evoked ("hotspot ratio") increased significantly in layer IV and layer V, although EPSC amplitudes were unaltered. Density of axonal boutons was significantly increased in layer V pyramidal neurons of C1q KO mice. Implanted KO mice had frequent behavioral seizures consisting of behavioral arrest associated with bihemispheric spikes and slow wave activity lasting from 5 to 30 s. Results indicate that epileptogenesis in C1q KO mice is related to a genetically determined failure to prune excessive excitatory synapses during development.

  18. The Enhanced Rise and Delayed Fall of Memory in a Model of Synaptic Integration: Extension to Discrete State Synapses.

    PubMed

    Elliott, Terry

    2016-09-01

    Integrate-and-express models of synaptic plasticity propose that synapses may act as low-pass filters, integrating synaptic plasticity induction signals in order to discern trends before expressing synaptic plasticity. We have previously shown that synaptic filtering strongly controls destabilizing fluctuations in developmental models. When applied to palimpsest memory systems that learn new memories by forgetting old ones, we have also shown that with binary-strength synapses, integrative synapses lead to an initial memory signal rise before its fall back to equilibrium. Such an initial rise is in dramatic contrast to nonintegrative synapses, in which the memory signal falls monotonically. We now extend our earlier analysis of palimpsest memories with synaptic filters to consider the more general case of discrete state, multilevel synapses. We derive exact results for the memory signal dynamics and then consider various simplifying approximations. We show that multilevel synapses enhance the initial rise in the memory signal and then delay its subsequent fall by inducing a plateau-like region in the memory signal. Such dynamics significantly increase memory lifetimes, defined by a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). We derive expressions for optimal choices of synaptic parameters (filter size, number of strength states, number of synapses) that maximize SNR memory lifetimes. However, we find that with memory lifetimes defined via mean-first-passage times, such optimality conditions do not exist, suggesting that optimality may be an artifact of SNRs.

  19. Enhancing Disease Surveillance Event Communication Among Jurisdictions.

    PubMed

    Tabernero, Nathaniel R; Loschen, Wayne A; Jorgensen, Joel; Suereth, Joshua; Coberly, Jacqueline S; Holtry, Rekha S; Sikes, Marvin L; Babin, Steven M; Lewis, Sheryl L Happel

    2009-01-01

    Automated disease surveillance systems are becoming widely used by the public health community. However, communication among non-collocated and widely dispersed users still needs improvement. A web-based software tool for enhancing user communications was completely integrated into an existing automated disease surveillance system and was tested during two simulated exercises and operational use involving multiple jurisdictions. Evaluation of this tool was conducted by user meetings, anonymous surveys, and web logs. Public health officials found this tool to be useful, and the tool has been modified further to incorporate features suggested by user responses. Features of the automated disease surveillance system, such as alerts and time series plots, can be specifically referenced by user comments. The user may also indicate the alert response being considered by adding a color indicator to their comment. The web-based event communication tool described in this article provides a common ground for collaboration and communication among public health officials at different locations.

  20. Disrupted Dentate Granule Cell Chloride Regulation Enhances Synaptic Excitability during Development of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

    PubMed Central

    Pathak, Hemal R.; Weissinger, Florian; Terunuma, Miho; Carlson, Gregory C.; Hsu, Fu-Chun; Moss, Stephen J.; Coulter, Douglas A.

    2008-01-01

    GABAA receptor-mediated inhibition depends on the maintenance of intracellular Cl− concentration ([Cl−]in ) at low levels. In neurons in the developing CNS, [Cl−]in is elevated, EGABA is depolarizing, and GABA consequently is excitatory. Depolarizing GABAergic synaptic responses may be recapitulated in various neuropathological conditions, including epilepsy. In the present study, rat hippocampal dentate granule cells were recorded using gramicidin perforated patch techniques at varying times (1–60 d) after an epileptogenic injury, pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus (STEP). In normal, non-epileptic animals, these strongly inhibited dentate granule cells act as a gate, regulating hippocampal excitation, controlling seizure initiation and/or propagation. For 2 weeks after STEP, we found that EGABA was positively shifted in granule cells. This shift in EGABA altered synaptic integration, increased granule cell excitability, and resulted in compromised “gate” function of the dentate gyrus. EGABA recovered to control values at longer latencies post-STEP (2–8 weeks), when animals had developed epilepsy. During this period of shifted EGABA, expression of the Cl− extruding K+/Cl− cotransporter, KCC2 was decreased. Application of the KCC2 blocker, furosemide, to control neurons mimicked EGABA shifts evident in granule cells post-STEP. Furthermore, post-STEP and furosemide effects interacted occlusively, both on EGABA in granule cells, and on gatekeeper function of the dentate gyrus. This suggests a shared mechanism, reduced KCC2 function. These findings demonstrate that decreased expression of KCC2 persists for weeks after an epileptogenic injury, reducing inhibitory efficacy and enhancing dentate granule cell excitability. This pathophysiological process may constitute a significant mechanism linking injury to the subsequent development of epilepsy. PMID:18094240

  1. SAHA enhances synaptic function and plasticity in vitro but has limited brain availability in vivo and does not impact cognition.

    PubMed

    Hanson, Jesse E; La, Hank; Plise, Emile; Chen, Yung-Hsiang; Ding, Xiao; Hanania, Taleen; Sabath, Emily V; Alexandrov, Vadim; Brunner, Dani; Leahy, Emer; Steiner, Pascal; Liu, Lichuan; Scearce-Levie, Kimberly; Zhou, Qiang

    2013-01-01

    Suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) is an inhibitor of histone deacetylases (HDACs) used for the treatment of cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL) and under consideration for other indications. In vivo studies suggest reducing HDAC function can enhance synaptic function and memory, raising the possibility that SAHA treatment could have neurological benefits. We first examined the impacts of SAHA on synaptic function in vitro using rat organotypic hippocampal brain slices. Following several days of SAHA treatment, basal excitatory but not inhibitory synaptic function was enhanced. Presynaptic release probability and intrinsic neuronal excitability were unaffected suggesting SAHA treatment selectively enhanced postsynaptic excitatory function. In addition, long-term potentiation (LTP) of excitatory synapses was augmented, while long-term depression (LTD) was impaired in SAHA treated slices. Despite the in vitro synaptic enhancements, in vivo SAHA treatment did not rescue memory deficits in the Tg2576 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Along with the lack of behavioral impact, pharmacokinetic analysis indicated poor brain availability of SAHA. Broader assessment of in vivo SAHA treatment using high-content phenotypic characterization of C57Bl6 mice failed to demonstrate significant behavioral effects of up to 150 mg/kg SAHA following either acute or chronic injections. Potentially explaining the low brain exposure and lack of behavioral impacts, SAHA was found to be a substrate of the blood brain barrier (BBB) efflux transporters Pgp and Bcrp1. Thus while our in vitro data show that HDAC inhibition can enhance excitatory synaptic strength and potentiation, our in vivo data suggests limited brain availability may contribute to the lack of behavioral impact of SAHA following peripheral delivery. These results do not predict CNS effects of SAHA during clinical use and also emphasize the importance of analyzing brain drug levels when interpreting preclinical

  2. Enhanced quantum communication via optical refocusing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lupo, Cosmo; Giovannetti, Vittorio; Pirandola, Stefano; Mancini, Stefano; Lloyd, Seth

    2011-07-01

    We consider the problem of quantum communication mediated by a passive optical refocusing system. The model captures the basic features of all those situations in which a signal is either refocused by a repeater for long-distance communication, or it is focused on a detector prior to the information decoding process. Introducing a general method for linear passive optical systems, we determine the conditions under which optical refocusing implies information transmission gain. Although the finite aperture of the repeater may cause loss of information, we show that the presence of the refocusing system can substantially enhance the rate of reliable communication with respect to the free-space propagation. We explicitly address the transferring of classical messages over the quantum channel, but the results can be easily extended to include the case of transferring quantum messages as well.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Enhancing the Communication of Climate Change Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Somerville, R. C.; Hassol, S. J.

    2011-12-01

    Climate scientists have an important role to play in the critical task of informing the public, media and policymakers. Scientists can help in publicizing and illuminating climate science. However, this task requires combining climate science expertise with advanced communication skills. For example, it is entirely possible to convey scientific information accurately without using jargon or technical concepts unfamiliar to non-scientists. However, making this translation into everyday language is a job that few scientists have been trained to do. In this talk, we give examples from our recent experience working with scientists to enhance their ability to communicate well. Our work includes providing training, technical assistance, and communications tools to climate scientists and universities, government agencies, and research centers. Our experience ranges from preparing Congressional testimony to writing major climate science reports to appearing on television. We have also aided journalists in gathering reliable scientific information and identifying trustworthy experts. Additionally, we are involved in developing resources freely available online at climatecommunication.org. These include a feature on the links between climate change and extreme weather, a climate science primer, and graphics and video explaining key developments in climate change science.

  5. A2A Adenosine Receptor Antagonism Enhances Synaptic and Motor Effects of Cocaine via CB1 Cannabinoid Receptor Activation

    PubMed Central

    Tozzi, Alessandro; de Iure, Antonio; Marsili, Valentina; Romano, Rosaria; Tantucci, Michela; Di Filippo, Massimiliano; Costa, Cinzia; Napolitano, Francesco; Mercuri, Nicola Biagio; Borsini, Franco; Giampà, Carmen; Fusco, Francesca Romana; Picconi, Barbara; Usiello, Alessandro; Calabresi, Paolo

    2012-01-01

    Background Cocaine increases the level of endogenous dopamine (DA) in the striatum by blocking the DA transporter. Endogenous DA modulates glutamatergic inputs to striatal neurons and this modulation influences motor activity. Since D2 DA and A2A-adenosine receptors (A2A-Rs) have antagonistic effects on striatal neurons, drugs targeting adenosine receptors such as caffeine-like compounds, could enhance psychomotor stimulant effects of cocaine. In this study, we analyzed the electrophysiological effects of cocaine and A2A-Rs antagonists in striatal slices and the motor effects produced by this pharmacological modulation in rodents. Principal Findings Concomitant administration of cocaine and A2A-Rs antagonists reduced glutamatergic synaptic transmission in striatal spiny neurons while these drugs failed to produce this effect when given in isolation. This inhibitory effect was dependent on the activation of D2-like receptors and the release of endocannabinoids since it was prevented by L-sulpiride and reduced by a CB1 receptor antagonist. Combined application of cocaine and A2A-R antagonists also reduced the firing frequency of striatal cholinergic interneurons suggesting that changes in cholinergic tone might contribute to this synaptic modulation. Finally, A2A-Rs antagonists, in the presence of a sub-threshold dose of cocaine, enhanced locomotion and, in line with the electrophysiological experiments, this enhanced activity required activation of D2-like and CB1 receptors. Conclusions The present study provides a possible synaptic mechanism explaining how caffeine-like compounds could enhance psychomotor stimulant effects of cocaine. PMID:22715379

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Communication to Enhance Silence: The Trappist Experience

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jaksa, James A.; Stech, Ernest L.

    1978-01-01

    Investigates perceptions of the amount of interpersonal communication and attitudes towards communication frequency after the Trappist monk's rule of enforced silence and solitude was lifted in 1969. Concludes that increased interpersonal communication resulted in increased self-awareness and therefore more meaningful and effective silence. (MH)

  8. Domestication of the Dog from the Wolf Was Promoted by Enhanced Excitatory Synaptic Plasticity: A Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ming-Shan; Irwin, David M.; Wu, Dong-Dong; Zhang, Ya-Ping

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Long-term enhancement of synaptic transmission between antennal lobe and mushroom body in cultured Drosophila brain.

    PubMed

    Ueno, Kohei; Naganos, Shintaro; Hirano, Yukinori; Horiuchi, Junjiro; Saitoe, Minoru

    2013-01-01

    In Drosophila, the mushroom body (MB) is a critical brain structure for olfactory associative learning. During aversive conditioning, the MBs are thought to associate odour signals, conveyed by projection neurons (PNs) from the antennal lobe (AL), with shock signals conveyed through ascending fibres of the ventral nerve cord (AFV). Although synaptic transmission between AL and MB might play a crucial role for olfactory associative learning, its physiological properties have not been examined directly. Using a cultured Drosophila brain expressing a Ca(2+) indicator in the MBs, we investigated synaptic transmission and plasticity at the AL-MB synapse. Following stimulation with a glass micro-electrode, AL-induced Ca(2+) responses in the MBs were mediated through Drosophila nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (dnAChRs), while AFV-induced Ca(2+) responses were mediated through Drosophila NMDA receptors (dNRs). AL-MB synaptic transmission was enhanced more than 2 h after the simultaneous 'associative-stimulation' of AL and AFV, and such long-term enhancement (LTE) was specifically formed at the AL-MB synapses but not at the AFV-MB synapses. AL-MB LTE was not induced by intense stimulation of the AL alone, and the LTE decays within 60 min after subsequent repetitive AL stimulation. These phenotypes of associativity, input specificity and persistence of AL-MB LTE are highly reminiscent of olfactory memory. Furthermore, similar to olfactory aversive memory, AL-MB LTE formation required activation of the Drosophila D1 dopamine receptor, DopR, along with dnAChR and dNR during associative stimulations. These physiological and genetic analogies indicate that AL-MB LTE might be a relevant cellular model for olfactory memory.

  10. Long-term enhancement of synaptic transmission between antennal lobe and mushroom body in cultured Drosophila brain

    PubMed Central

    Ueno, Kohei; Naganos, Shintaro; Hirano, Yukinori; Horiuchi, Junjiro; Saitoe, Minoru

    2013-01-01

    In Drosophila, the mushroom body (MB) is a critical brain structure for olfactory associative learning. During aversive conditioning, the MBs are thought to associate odour signals, conveyed by projection neurons (PNs) from the antennal lobe (AL), with shock signals conveyed through ascending fibres of the ventral nerve cord (AFV). Although synaptic transmission between AL and MB might play a crucial role for olfactory associative learning, its physiological properties have not been examined directly. Using a cultured Drosophila brain expressing a Ca2+ indicator in the MBs, we investigated synaptic transmission and plasticity at the AL–MB synapse. Following stimulation with a glass micro-electrode, AL-induced Ca2+ responses in the MBs were mediated through Drosophila nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (dnAChRs), while AFV-induced Ca2+ responses were mediated through Drosophila NMDA receptors (dNRs). AL–MB synaptic transmission was enhanced more than 2 h after the simultaneous ‘associative-stimulation’ of AL and AFV, and such long-term enhancement (LTE) was specifically formed at the AL–MB synapses but not at the AFV–MB synapses. AL–MB LTE was not induced by intense stimulation of the AL alone, and the LTE decays within 60 min after subsequent repetitive AL stimulation. These phenotypes of associativity, input specificity and persistence of AL–MB LTE are highly reminiscent of olfactory memory. Furthermore, similar to olfactory aversive memory, AL–MB LTE formation required activation of the Drosophila D1 dopamine receptor, DopR, along with dnAChR and dNR during associative stimulations. These physiological and genetic analogies indicate that AL–MB LTE might be a relevant cellular model for olfactory memory. PMID:23027817

  11. Acupuncture enhances the synaptic dopamine availability to improve motor function in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Kim, Seung-Nam; Doo, Ah-Reum; Park, Ji-Yeun; Bae, Hyungjin; Chae, Younbyoung; Shim, Insop; Lee, Hyangsook; Moon, Woongjoon; Lee, Hyejung; Park, Hi-Joon

    2011-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is caused by the selective loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) and the depletion of striatal dopamine (DA). Acupuncture, as an alternative therapy for PD, has beneficial effects in both PD patients and PD animal models, although the underlying mechanisms therein remain uncertain. The present study investigated whether acupuncture treatment affected dopamine neurotransmission in a PD mouse model using 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). We found that acupuncture treatment at acupoint GB34 improved motor function with accompanying dopaminergic neuron protection against MPTP but did not restore striatal dopamine depletion. Instead, acupuncture treatment increased dopamine release that in turn, may lead to the enhancement of dopamine availability in the synaptic cleft. Moreover, acupuncture treatment mitigated MPTP-induced abnormal postsynaptic changes, suggesting that acupuncture treatment may increase postsynaptic dopamine neurotransmission and facilitate the normalization of basal ganglia activity. These results suggest that the acupuncture-induced enhancement of synaptic dopamine availability may play a critical role in motor function improvement against MPTP.

  12. Human enhancement and communication: on meaning and shared understanding.

    PubMed

    Cabrera, Laura; Weckert, John

    2013-09-01

    Our technologies have enabled us to change both the world and our perceptions of the world, as well as to change ourselves and to find new ways to fulfil the human desire for improvement and for having new capacities. The debate around using technology for human enhancement has already raised many ethical concerns, however little research has been done in how human enhancement can affect human communication. The purpose of this paper is to explore whether some human enhancements could change our shared lifeworld so radically that human communication as we know it would not be possible any longer. After exploring the kinds of communication problems we are concerned with as well as mentioning some possible enhancement interventions that could bring about such problems, we will address some of the ethical implications that follow from these potential communication problems. We argue that because of the role that communication plays in human society, this issue deserves attention.

  13. Enhancing Everyday Communication for Children with Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sigafoos, Jeff; Arthur-Kelly, Michael; Butterfield, Nancy

    2006-01-01

    Practical and concise, this introductory guide is filled with real-world tips and strategies for anyone working to improve the communication of children with moderate, severe, and multiple disabilities. Emphasizing the link between behavior and communication, three respected researchers transform up-to-date research and proven best practices into…

  14. Activation of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors persistently enhances hippocampal synaptic transmission and prevents Aß-mediated inhibition of LTP in the rat hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Ondrejcak, Tomas; Wang, Qinwen; Kew, James N C; Virley, David J; Upton, Neil; Anwyl, Roger; Rowan, Michael J

    2012-02-29

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors mediate fast cholinergic modulation of glutamatergic transmission and synaptic plasticity. Here we investigated the effects of subtype selective activation of the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on hippocampal transmission and the inhibition of synaptic long-term potentiation by the Alzheimer's disease associated amyloid ß-protein (Aß). The α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist "compound A" ((R)-N-(1-azabicyclo[2.2.2]oct-3-yl)(5-(2-pyridyl))thiophene-2-carboxamide) induced a rapid-onset persistent enhancement of synaptic transmission in the dentate gyrus in vitro. Consistent with a requirement for activation of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, the type II α7-selective positive allosteric modulator PheTQS ((3aR, 4S, 9bS)-4-(4-methylphenyl)-3a,4,5,9b-tetrahydro-3H-cyclopenta[c]quinoline-8-sulfonamide) potentiated, and the antagonist methyllycaconitine (MLA) prevented the persistent enhancement. Systemic injection of the agonist also induced a similar MLA-sensitive persistent enhancement of synaptic transmission in the CA1 area in vivo. Remarkably, although compound A did not affect control long-term potentiation (LTP) in vitro, it prevented the inhibition of LTP by Aß1-42 and this effect was inhibited by MLA. These findings strongly indicate that activation of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors is sufficient to persistently enhance hippocampal synaptic transmission and to overcome the inhibition of LTP by Aß.

  15. Enhanced GABAergic synaptic transmission at VLPAG neurons and potent modulation by oxycodone in a bone cancer pain model

    PubMed Central

    Takasu, Keiko; Ogawa, Koichi; Nakamura, Atsushi; Kanbara, Tomoe; Ono, Hiroko; Tomii, Takako; Morioka, Yasuhide; Hasegawa, Minoru; Shibasaki, Masahiro; Mori, Tomohisa; Suzuki, Tsutomu; Sakaguchi, Gaku

    2015-01-01

    Background and Purpose We demonstrated previously that oxycodone has potent antinociceptive effects at supraspinal sites. In this study, we investigated changes in neuronal function and antinociceptive mechanisms of oxycodone at ventrolateral periaqueductal gray (VLPAG) neurons, which are a major site of opioid action, in a femur bone cancer (FBC) model with bone cancer-related pain. Experimental Approach We characterized the supraspinal antinociceptive profiles of oxycodone and morphine on mechanical hypersensitivity in the FBC model. Based on the disinhibition mechanism underlying supraspinal opioid antinociception, the effects of oxycodone and morphine on GABAA receptor-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) in VLPAG neurons were evaluated in slices from the FBC model. Key Results The supraspinal antinociceptive effects of oxycodone, but not morphine, were abolished by blocking G protein-gated inwardly rectifying potassium1 (Kir3.1) channels. In slices from the FBC model, GABAergic synaptic transmission at VLPAG neurons was enhanced, as indicated by a leftward shift of the input–output relationship curve of evoked IPSCs, the increased paired-pulse facilitation and the enhancement of miniature IPSC frequency. Following treatment with oxycodone and morphine, IPSCs were reduced in the FBC model, and the inhibition of presynaptic GABA release by oxycodone, but not morphine was enhanced and dependent on Kir3.1 channels. Conclusion and Implications Our results demonstrate that Kir3.1 channels are important for supraspinal antinociception and presynaptic GABA release inhibition by oxycodone in the FBC model. Enhanced GABAergic synaptic transmission at VLPAG neurons in the FBC model is an important site of supraspinal antinociception by oxycodone via Kir3.1 channel activation. PMID:25521524

  16. Physical Exercise Enhances Cognitive Flexibility as Well as Astrocytic and Synaptic Markers in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Brockett, Adam T.; LaMarca, Elizabeth A.; Gould, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    Physical exercise enhances a wide range of cognitive functions in humans. Running-induced cognitive enhancement has also been demonstrated in rodents but with a strong emphasis on tasks that require the hippocampus. Additionally, studies designed to identify mechanisms that underlie cognitive enhancement with physical exercise have focused on running-induced changes in neurons with little attention paid to such changes in astrocytes. To further our understanding of how the brain changes with physical exercise, we investigated whether running alters performance on cognitive tasks that require the prefrontal cortex and whether any such changes are associated with astrocytic, as well as neuronal, plasticity. We found that running enhances performance on cognitive tasks known to rely on the prefrontal cortex. By contrast, we found no such improvement on a cognitive task known to rely on the perirhinal cortex. Moreover, we found that running enhances synaptic, dendritic and astrocytic measures in several brain regions involved in cognition but that changes in the latter measures were more specific to brain regions associated with cognitive improvements. These findings suggest that physical exercise induces widespread plasticity in both neuronal and nonneuronal elements and that both types of changes may be involved in running-induced cognitive enhancement. PMID:25938418

  17. Synaptic Ultrastructure of Drosophila Johnston’s Organ Axon Terminals as Revealed by an Enhancer Trap

    PubMed Central

    SIVAN-LOUKIANOVA, ELENA; EBERL, DANIEL F.

    2007-01-01

    The role of auditory circuitry is to decipher relevant information from acoustic signals. Acoustic parameters used by different insect species vary widely. All these auditory systems, however, share a common transducer: tympanal organs as well as the Drosophila flagellar ears use chordotonal organs as the auditory mechanoreceptors. We here describe the central neural projections of the Drosophila Johnston’s organ (JO). These neurons, which represent the antennal auditory organ, terminate in the antennomechanosensory center. To ensure correct identification of these terminals we made use of a β-galactosidase-expressing trans-gene that labels JO neurons specifically. Analysis of these projection pathways shows that parallel JO fibers display extensive contacts, including putative gap junctions. We find that the synaptic boutons show both chemical synaptic structures as well as putative gap junctions, indicating mixed synapses, and belong largely to the divergent type, with multiple small postsynaptic processes. The ultrastructure of JO fibers and synapses may indicate an ability to process temporally discretized acoustic information. PMID:16127697

  18. Effective Perioperative Communication to Enhance Patient Care.

    PubMed

    Garrett, J Hudson

    2016-08-01

    Breakdowns in health care communication are a significant cause of sentinel events and associated patient morbidity and mortality. Effective communication is a necessary component of a patient safety program, which enables all members of the interdisciplinary health care team to effectively manage their individual roles and responsibilities in the perioperative setting; set expectations for safe, high-reliability care; and measure and assess outcomes. To sustain a culture of safety, effective communication should be standardized, complete, clear, brief, and timely. Executive leadership and support helps remove institutional barriers and address challenges to support the engagement of patients in health care communication, which has been shown to improve outcomes, reduce costs, and improve the patient experience.

  19. Enhancing Mathematical Communication: "Bag of Tricks" Game

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Patahuddin, Sitti Maesuri; Ramful, Ajay; Greenlees, Jane

    2015-01-01

    An engaging activity which prompts students to listen, talk, reason and write about geometrical properties. The "Bag of Tricks" encourages students to clarify their thoughts and communicate precisely using accurate mathematical language.

  20. 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

  1. Novel nootropic drug sunifiram enhances hippocampal synaptic efficacy via glycine-binding site of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor.

    PubMed

    Moriguchi, Shigeki; Tanaka, Tomoya; Narahashi, Toshio; Fukunaga, Kohji

    2013-10-01

    Sunifiram is a novel pyrrolidone nootropic drug structurally related to piracetam, which was developed for neurodegenerative disorder like Alzheimer's disease. Sunifiram is known to enhance cognitive function in some behavioral experiments such as Morris water maze task. To address question whether sunifiram affects N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-dependent synaptic function in the hippocampal CA1 region, we assessed the effects of sunifiram on NMDAR-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP) by electrophysiology and on phosphorylation of synaptic proteins by immunoblotting analysis. In mouse hippocampal slices, sunifiram at 10-100 nM significantly enhanced LTP in a bell-shaped dose-response relationship which peaked at 10 nM. The enhancement of LTP by sunifiram treatment was inhibited by 7-chloro-kynurenic acid (7-ClKN), an antagonist for glycine-binding site of NMDAR, but not by ifenprodil, an inhibitor for polyamine site of NMDAR. The enhancement of LTP by sunifilam was associated with an increase in phosphorylation of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisozazole-4-propionate receptor (AMPAR) through activation of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) and an increase in phosphorylation of NMDAR through activation of protein kinase Cα (PKCα). Sunifiram treatments at 1-1000 nM increased the slope of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) in a dose-dependent manner. The enhancement was associated with an increase in phosphorylation of AMPAR receptor through activation of CaMKII. Interestingly, under the basal condition, sunifiram treatments increased PKCα (Ser-657) and Src family (Tyr-416) activities with the same bell-shaped dose-response curve as that of LTP peaking at 10 nM. The increase in phosphorylation of PKCα (Ser-657) and Src (Tyr-416) induced by sunifiram was inhibited by 7-ClKN treatment. The LTP enhancement by sunifiram was significantly inhibited by PP2, a Src family inhibitor. Finally, when pretreated with a high

  2. Enhancing flood resilience through improved risk communications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Sullivan, J. J.; Bradford, R. A.; Bonaiuto, M.; De Dominicis, S.; Rotko, P.; Aaltonen, J.; Waylen, K.; Langan, S. J.

    2012-07-01

    A framework of guiding recommendations for effective pre-flood and flood warning communications derived from the URFlood project (2nd ERA-Net CRUE Research Funding Initiative) from extensive quantitative and qualitative research in Finland, Ireland, Italy and Scotland is presented. Eleven case studies in fluvial, pluvial, coastal, residual and "new" flood risk locations were undertaken. The recommendations were developed from questionnaire surveys by exploring statistical correlations of actions and understandings of individuals in flood risk situations to low, moderate and high resilience groupings. Groupings were based on a conceptual relationship of self-assessed levels of awareness, preparedness and worry. Focus groups and structured interviews were used to discuss barriers in flood communications, explore implementation of the recommendations and to rank the recommendations in order of perceived importance. Results indicate that the information deficit model for flood communications that relies on the provision of more and better information to mitigate risk in flood-prone areas is insufficient, and that the communications process is very much multi-dimensional. The recommendations are aimed at addressing this complexity and their careful implementation is likely to improve the penetration of flood communications. The recommendations are applicable to other risks and are transferrable to jurisdictions beyond the project countries.

  3. Exposure to Multiple Languages Enhances Communication Skills in Infancy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liberman, Zoe; Woodward, Amanda L.; Keysar, Boaz; Kinzler, Katherine D.

    2017-01-01

    Early exposure to multiple languages can enhance children's communication skills, even when children are effectively monolingual (Fan, Liberman, Keysar & Kinzler, 2015). Here we report evidence that the social benefits of multilingual exposure emerge in infancy. Sixteen-month-old infants participated in a communication task that required…

  4. A leadership initiative to improve communication and enhance safety.

    PubMed

    Donahue, Moreen; Miller, Matthew; Smith, Lisa; Dykes, Patricia; Fitzpatrick, Joyce J

    2011-01-01

    The EMPOWER project was a collaborative effort to promote a culture of patient safety at Danbury Hospital through an interdisciplinary leadership-driven communication program. The "EMPOWER" component includes Educating and Mentoring Paraprofessionals On Ways to Enhance Reporting of changes in patient status. Specifically, the EMPOWER program was designed to prepare paraprofessional staff (PPS) to communicate changes in patient status using SBAR (situation, background, assessment, recommendations) structured communication. The specific project goals included (a) translation of SBAR structured communication methods for use with PPS, (b) reduction of cultural and educational barriers to interdisciplinary communication, and (c) examination of the effect of the EMPOWER intervention on the PPS communication practices and perceptions of the patient safety culture. Results of the project indicate a change in the use of SBAR throughout the institution, with particular improvement in communication from PPS to professional staff.

  5. Enhancing Communication through Gesture and Naming Therapy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caute, Anna; Pring, Tim; Cocks, Naomi; Cruice, Madeline; Best, Wendy; Marshall, Jane

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: In this study, the authors investigated whether gesture, naming, and strategic treatment improved the communication skills of 14 people with severe aphasia. Method: All participants received 15 hr of gesture and naming treatment (reported in a companion article [Marshall et al., 2012]). Half the group received a further 15 hr of strategic…

  6. Enhancing Student Learning through Electronic Communication Technologies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buzzard, Janet; MacLeod, Laura; DeWitt, Calvin W.

    This paper discusses several applications of technology to facilitate better synchronous and asynchronous communication between faculty members and students and among students at Eastern New Mexico University's College of Business. Topics discussed include: (1) World Wide Web pages, including programming languages, browsers, and hyperlinks; (2)…

  7. Iowa Communications Network Enhancing Education in Iowa.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ivanovic, Greta

    1995-01-01

    Describes the Iowa Communications Network, a statewide fiber optic network capable of transporting interactive, two-way audio, video, voice, and data signals. Topics include statewide cooperation among educational and state organizations; classroom design, including interactive classrooms; access to the Internet; and use by noneducational…

  8. 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.

  9. TH-9 (a theophylline derivative) induces long-lasting enhancement in excitatory synaptic transmission in the rat hippocampus that is occluded by frequency-dependent plasticity in vitro.

    PubMed

    Nashawi, H; Bartl, T; Bartl, P; Novotny, L; Oriowo, M A; Kombian, S B

    2012-09-18

    Dementia, especially Alzheimer's disease, is a rapidly increasing medical condition that presents with enormous challenge for treatment. It is characterized by impairment in memory and cognitive function often accompanied by changes in synaptic transmission and plasticity in relevant brain regions such as the hippocampus. We recently synthesized TH-9, a conjugate racetam-methylxanthine compound and tested if it had potential for enhancing synaptic function and possibly, plasticity, by examining its effect on hippocampal fast excitatory synaptic transmission and plasticity. Field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) were recorded in the CA1 hippocampal area of naïve juvenile male Sprague-Dawley rats using conventional electrophysiological recording techniques. TH-9 caused a concentration-dependent, long-lasting enhancement in fEPSPs. This effect was blocked by adenosine A1, acetylcholine (muscarinic and nicotinic) and glutamate (N-methyl-d-aspartate) receptor antagonists but not by a γ-aminobutyric acid receptor type B (GABA(B)) receptor antagonist. The TH-9 effect was also blocked by enhancing intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate and inhibiting protein kinase A. Pretreatment with TH-9 did not prevent the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) or long-term depression (LTD). Conversely, induction of LTP or LTD completely occluded the ability of TH-9 to enhance fEPSPs. Thus, TH-9 utilizes cholinergic and adenosinergic mechanisms to cause long-lasting enhancement in fEPSPs which were occluded by LTP and LTD. TH-9 may therefore employ similar or convergent mechanisms with frequency-dependent synaptic plasticities to produce the observed long-lasting enhancement in synaptic transmission and may thus, have potential for use in improving memory.

  10. Mice Overexpressing Type 1 Adenylyl Cyclase Show Enhanced Spatial Memory Flexibility in the Absence of Intact Synaptic Long-Term Depression

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Ming; Wang, Hongbing

    2013-01-01

    There is significant interest in understanding the contribution of intracellular signaling and synaptic substrates to memory flexibility, which involves new learning and suppression of obsolete memory. Here, we report that enhancement of Ca[superscript 2+]-stimulated cAMP signaling by overexpressing type 1 adenylyl cyclase (AC1) facilitated…

  11. Enhancing public health law communication linkages.

    PubMed

    Silverman, Ross D

    2008-01-01

    Although interest in the field of public health law has dramatically increased over the past two decades, there remain significant challenges in communicating and sharing public health law-related knowledge. Access to quality information, which may assist in a public health department's efforts to protect the public's health, welfare, and safety, varies widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and interjurisdictional communication remains at best a patchwork quilt with many holes. What follows is an analysis of several approaches the Public Health Law Association or other public health law-related organizations might undertake to serve as a conduit for the identification, gathering, and dissemination of extant public health law information, as well as the development of new public health law-related content, with a particular focus on the use of electronic means for such efforts.

  12. Orofacial Neuropathic Pain Leads to a Hyporesponsive Barrel Cortex with Enhanced Structural Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Thibault, Karine; Rivière, Sébastien; Lenkei, Zsolt

    2016-01-01

    Chronic pain is a long-lasting debilitating condition that is particularly difficult to treat due to the lack of identified underlying mechanisms. Although several key contributing processes have been described at the level of the spinal cord, very few studies have investigated the supraspinal mechanisms underlying chronic pain. Using a combination of approaches (cortical intrinsic imaging, immunohistochemical and behavioural analysis), our study aimed to decipher the nature of functional and structural changes in a mouse model of orofacial neuropathic pain, focusing on cortical areas involved in various pain components. Our results show that chronic neuropathic orofacial pain is associated with decreased haemodynamic responsiveness to whisker stimulation in the barrel field cortex. This reduced functional activation is likely due to the increased basal neuronal activity (measured indirectly using cFos and phospho-ERK immunoreactivity) observed in several cortical areas, including the contralateral barrel field, motor and cingulate cortices. In the same animals, immunohistochemical analysis of markers for active pre- or postsynaptic elements (Piccolo and phospho-Cofilin, respectively) revealed an increased immunofluorescence in deep cortical layers of the contralateral barrel field, motor and cingulate cortices. These results suggest that long-lasting orofacial neuropathic pain is associated with exacerbated neuronal activity and synaptic plasticity at the cortical level. PMID:27548330

  13. 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.

  14. Interventions to enhance communication among patients, providers, and families.

    PubMed

    Tulsky, James A

    2005-01-01

    Whether patient suffering is caused by physical symptoms, unwanted medical intervention, or spiritual crisis, the common pathway to relief is through a provider who is able to elicit these concerns and is equipped to help the patient and family address them. This paper reviews the current state of knowledge in communication at the end of life, organized according to a framework of information gathering, information giving, and relationship building; and then focuses on interventions to enhance communication among patients, providers, and families. Several observations emerge from the existing literature. Patients have highly individualized desires for information and we cannot predict patient preferences. Communication coding methodology has advanced significantly yet the current systems remain poorly understood and largely inaccessible. Physicians and other health care providers do not discuss sufficiently treatment options, quality of life or respond to emotional cues from patients, and there is plenty of room for improvement. On the positive side, we have also learned that physicians and other health care providers can be taught to communicate better through intensive communication courses, and that communication interventions can improve some patient outcomes. Finally, huge gaps remain in our current knowledge, particularly with regard to understanding the relationship between communication style and outcomes. These findings suggest several recommendations. We should create larger and more diverse datasets; improve upon the analysis of recorded communication data; increase our knowledge about patient preferences for information; establish a stronger link between specific communication behaviors and outcomes; and identify more efficient ways to teach providers communication skills.

  15. Enhancing early communication through infant sign training.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Rachel H; Cotnoir-Bichelman, Nicole M; McKerchar, Paige M; Tate, Trista L; Dancho, Kelly A

    2007-01-01

    Existing research suggests that there may be benefits to teaching signing to hearing infants who have not yet developed vocal communication. In the current study, each of 4 infants ranging in age from 6 to 10 months was taught a simple sign using delayed prompting and reinforcement. In addition, Experiment 1 showed that 2 children independently signed in a variety of novel stimulus conditions (e.g., in a classroom, with father) after participating in sign training under controlled experimental conditions. In Experiment 2, crying and whining were replaced with signing when sign training was implemented in combination with extinction.

  16. Activation of α₁-adrenoceptors enhances excitatory synaptic transmission via a pre- and postsynaptic protein kinase C-dependent mechanism in the medial prefrontal cortex of rats.

    PubMed

    Luo, Fei; Tang, Hua; Li, Bao-ming; Li, Si-hai

    2014-04-01

    The physiological effects of α₁-adrenoceptors (α₁-ARs) have been examined in many brain regions. However, little is known about the mechanism of modulation on synaptic transmission by α₁-ARs in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). The present study investigated how α₁-AR activation regulates glutamatergic synaptic transmission in layer V/VI pyramidal cells of the rat mPFC. We found that the α₁-AR agonist phenylephrine (Phe) induced a significant enhancement of the amplitude and frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs). The facilitation effect of Phe on the frequency of mEPSCs involved a presynaptic protein kinase C-dependent pathway. Phe produced a significant enhancement on the amplitude of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPA-R)- and N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor (NMDA-R)-mediated evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (eEPSCs). Phe enhanced inward currents evoked by puff application of glutamate or NMDA. The Phe-induced facilitation of AMPA-R- and NMDA-R-mediated eEPSCs required, in part, postsynaptic Gq , phospholipase C and PKC. These findings suggest that α₁-AR activation facilitates excitatory synaptic transmission in mPFC pyramidal cells via both pre- and post-synaptic PKC-dependent mechanisms.

  17. Mobile Seamless Technology Enhanced CSL Oral Communication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lan, Yu-Ju; Lin, Yen-Ting

    2016-01-01

    The current study aimed at investigating how mobile seamless technology can be used to enhance the pragmatic competence of learners of Chinese as a second language (CSL). 34 overseas CSL learners participated in this study. They were randomly assigned into two groups: the classroom group, executing language tasks in fake contexts in a traditional…

  18. Efficacy Enhancing Communication within the Online Courseroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kasitz, Christine M.

    2013-01-01

    Online learning is becoming more prevalent in high schools especially with at-risk students who may need to recover credits to meet graduation requirements. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of an online courseroom design that delivers performance-based efficacy enhancing feedback at regular intervals, rather than relying on the…

  19. 9-Methyl-β-carboline-induced cognitive enhancement is associated with elevated hippocampal dopamine levels and dendritic and synaptic proliferation.

    PubMed

    Gruss, Michael; Appenroth, Dorothea; Flubacher, Armin; Enzensperger, Christoph; Bock, Jörg; Fleck, Christian; Gille, Gabriele; Braun, Katharina

    2012-06-01

    β-Carbolines (BCs) belong to the heterogenous family of carbolines, which have been found exogenously, that is, in various fruits, meats, tobacco smoke, alcohol and coffee, but also endogenously, that is, blood, brain and CSF. These exogenous and endogenous BCs and some of their metabolites can exert neurotoxic effects, however, an unexpected stimulatory effect of 9-methyl-β-carboline (9-me-BC) on dopaminergic neurons in primary mesencephalic cultures was recently discovered. The aim of the present study was to extend our knowledge on the stimulatory effects of 9-me-BC and to test the hypothesis that 9-me-BC may act as a cognitive enhancer. We found that 10 days (but not 5 days) of pharmacological treatment with 9-me-BC (i) improves spatial learning in the radial maze, (ii) elevates dopamine levels in the hippocampal formation, and (iii) results after 10 days of treatment in elongated, more complex dendritic trees and higher spine numbers on granule neurons in the dentate gyrus of 9-me-BC-treated rats. Our results demonstrate that beyond its neuroprotective/neurorestorative and anti-inflammatory effects, 9-me-BC acts as a cognitive enhancer in a hippocampus-dependent task, and that the behavioral effects may be associated with a stimulatory impact on hippocampal dopamine levels and dendritic and synaptic proliferation.

  20. Entanglement enhances security in quantum communication

    SciTech Connect

    Demkowicz-Dobrzanski, Rafal; Sen, Aditi; Sen, Ujjwal; Lewenstein, Maciej

    2009-07-15

    Secret sharing is a protocol in which a 'boss' wants to send a classical message secretly to two 'subordinates', such that none of the subordinates is able to know the message alone, while they can find it if they cooperate. Quantum mechanics is known to allow for such a possibility. We analyze tolerable quantum bit error rates in such secret sharing protocols in the physically relevant case when the eavesdropping is local with respect to the two channels of information transfer from the boss to the two subordinates. We find that using entangled encoding states is advantageous to legitimate users of the protocol. We therefore find that entanglement is useful for secure quantum communication. We also find that bound entangled states with positive partial transpose are not useful as a local eavesdropping resource. Moreover, we provide a criterion for security in secret sharing--a parallel of the Csiszar-Koerner criterion in single-receiver classical cryptography.

  1. Enhancing family communication about genetics: ethical and professional dilemmas.

    PubMed

    Hodgson, Jan; Gaff, Clara

    2013-02-01

    When a new genetic condition is diagnosed within a family, genetic counselors often describe a sense of responsibility towards other at risk family members to be appropriately informed about their status. Successful communication of genetic information in families is contingent on many factors. While a small number of probands directly state their intention not to inform their relatives, many who do intend to communicate this information appear to be unsuccessful for a wide range of reasons and may benefit from follow up support from a genetic counselor. Drawing on the reciprocal-engagement model (REM) of genetic counseling practice we explore how enhancing family communication about genetics raises a number of ethical and professional challenges for counselors-and describe how we resolved these. A subsequent manuscript will describe the counseling framework we have developed to enhance family communication about genetics.

  2. Forebrain engraftment by human glial progenitor cells enhances synaptic plasticity and learning in adult mice.

    PubMed

    Han, Xiaoning; Chen, Michael; Wang, Fushun; Windrem, Martha; Wang, Su; Shanz, Steven; Xu, Qiwu; Oberheim, Nancy Ann; Bekar, Lane; Betstadt, Sarah; Silva, Alcino J; Takano, Takahiro; Goldman, Steven A; Nedergaard, Maiken

    2013-03-07

    Human astrocytes are larger and more complex than those of infraprimate mammals, suggesting that their role in neural processing has expanded with evolution. To assess the cell-autonomous and species-selective properties of human glia, we engrafted human glial progenitor cells (GPCs) into neonatal immunodeficient mice. Upon maturation, the recipient brains exhibited large numbers and high proportions of both human glial progenitors and astrocytes. The engrafted human glia were gap-junction-coupled to host astroglia, yet retained the size and pleomorphism of hominid astroglia, and propagated Ca2+ signals 3-fold faster than their hosts. Long-term potentiation (LTP) was sharply enhanced in the human glial chimeric mice, as was their learning, as assessed by Barnes maze navigation, object-location memory, and both contextual and tone fear conditioning. Mice allografted with murine GPCs showed no enhancement of either LTP or learning. These findings indicate that human glia differentially enhance both activity-dependent plasticity and learning in mice.

  3. Enhancing Mediated Interpersonal Communication through Affective Haptics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsetserukou, Dzmitry; Neviarouskaya, Alena; Prendinger, Helmut; Kawakami, Naoki; Ishizuka, Mitsuru; Tachi, Susumu

    Driven by the motivation to enhance emotionally immersive experience of real-time messaging in 3D virtual world Second Life, we are proposing a conceptually novel approach to reinforcing (intensifying) own feelings and reproducing (simulating) the emotions felt by the partner through specially designed system, iFeel_IM!. In the paper we are describing the development of novel haptic devices (HaptiHeart, HaptiHug, HaptiTickler, HaptiCooler, and HaptiWarmer) integrated into iFeel_IM! system, which architecture is presented in detail.

  4. Privacy enhanced group communication in clinical environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Mingyan; Narayanan, Sreeram; Poovendran, Radha

    2005-04-01

    Privacy protection of medical records has always been an important issue and is mandated by the recent Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards. In this paper, we propose security architectures for a tele-referring system that allows electronic group communication among professionals for better quality treatments, while protecting patient privacy against unauthorized access. Although DICOM defines the much-needed guidelines for confidentiality of medical data during transmission, there is no provision in the existing medical security systems to guarantee patient privacy once the data has been received. In our design, we address this issue by enabling tracing back to the recipient whose received data is disclosed to outsiders, using watermarking technique. We present security architecture design of a tele-referring system using a distributed approach and a centralized web-based approach. The resulting tele-referring system (i) provides confidentiality during the transmission and ensures integrity and authenticity of the received data, (ii) allows tracing of the recipient who has either distributed the data to outsiders or whose system has been compromised, (iii) provides proof of receipt or origin, and (iv) can be easy to use and low-cost to employ in clinical environment.

  5. 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

  6. Novel technology for enhanced security and trust in communication networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milovanov, Alexander; Bukshpun, Leonid; Pradhan, Ranjit; Jannson, Tomasz

    2011-06-01

    A novel technology that significantly enhances security and trust in wireless and wired communication networks has been developed. It is based on integration of a novel encryption mechanism and novel data packet structure with enhanced security tools. This novel data packet structure results in an unprecedented level of security and trust, while at the same time reducing power consumption and computing/communication overhead in networks. As a result, networks are provided with protection against intrusion, exploitation, and cyber attacks and posses self-building, self-awareness, self-configuring, self-healing, and self-protecting intelligence.

  7. Carbamazepine and oxcarbazepine, but not eslicarbazepine, enhance excitatory synaptic transmission onto hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells through an antagonist action at adenosine A1 receptors.

    PubMed

    Booker, Sam A; Pires, Nuno; Cobb, Stuart; Soares-da-Silva, Patrício; Vida, Imre

    2015-06-01

    This study assessed the anticonvulsant and seizure generation effects of carbamazepine (CBZ), oxcarbazepine (OXC) and eslicarbazepine (S-Lic) in wild-type mice. Electrophysiological recordings were made to discriminate potential cellular and synaptic mechanisms underlying anti- and pro-epileptic actions. The anticonvulsant and pro-convulsant effects were evaluated in the MES, the 6-Hz and the Irwin tests. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were used to investigate the effects on fast excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission in hippocampal area CA1. The safety window for CBZ, OXC and eslicarbazepine (ED50 value against the MES test and the dose that produces grade 5 convulsions in all mice), was 6.3, 6.0 and 12.5, respectively. At high concentrations the three drugs reduced synaptic transmission. CBZ and OXC enhanced excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) at low, therapeutically-relevant concentrations. These effects were associated with no change in inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) resulting in altered balance between excitation and inhibition. S-Lic had no effect on EPSC or IPSC amplitudes over the same concentration range. The CBZ mediated enhancement of EPSCs was blocked by DPCPX, a selective antagonist, and occluded by CCPA, a selective agonist of the adenosine A1 receptor. Furthermore, reduction of endogenous adenosine by application of the enzyme adenosine deaminase also abolished the CBZ- and OXC-induced increase of EPSCs, indicating that the two drugs act as antagonists at native adenosine receptors. In conclusion, CBZ and OXC possess pro-epileptic actions at clinically-relevant concentrations through the enhancement of excitatory synaptic transmission. S-Lic by comparison has no such effect on synaptic transmission, explaining its lack of seizure exacerbation.

  8. Increased expression of the PI3K enhancer PIKE mediates deficits in synaptic plasticity and behavior in fragile X syndrome.

    PubMed

    Gross, Christina; Chang, Chia-Wei; Kelly, Seth M; Bhattacharya, Aditi; McBride, Sean M J; Danielson, Scott W; Jiang, Michael Q; Chan, Chi Bun; Ye, Keqiang; Gibson, Jay R; Klann, Eric; Jongens, Thomas A; Moberg, Kenneth H; Huber, Kimberly M; Bassell, Gary J

    2015-05-05

    The PI3K enhancer PIKE links PI3K catalytic subunits to group 1 metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGlu1/5) and activates PI3K signaling. The roles of PIKE in synaptic plasticity and the etiology of mental disorders are unknown. Here, we show that increased PIKE expression is a key mediator of impaired mGlu1/5-dependent neuronal plasticity in mouse and fly models of the inherited intellectual disability fragile X syndrome (FXS). Normalizing elevated PIKE protein levels in FXS mice reversed deficits in molecular and cellular plasticity and improved behavior. Notably, PIKE reduction rescued PI3K-dependent and -independent neuronal defects in FXS. We further show that PI3K signaling is increased in a fly model of FXS and that genetic reduction of the Drosophila ortholog of PIKE, CenG1A rescued excessive PI3K signaling, mushroom body defects, and impaired short-term memory in these flies. Our results demonstrate a crucial role of increased PIKE expression in exaggerated mGlu1/5 signaling causing neuronal defects in FXS.

  9. Enhancing Students' Communication Skills through Treffinger Teaching Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alhaddad, Idrus; Kusumah, Yaya S.; Sabandar, Jozua; Dahlan, Jarnawi A.

    2015-01-01

    This research aims to investigate, compare, and describe the achievement and enhancement of students' mathematical communication skills (MCS). It based on the prior mathematical knowledge (PMK) category (high, medium and low) by using Treffinger models (TM) and conventional learning (CL). This research is an experimental study with the population…

  10. Hybrid Learning in Enhancing Communicative Skill in English

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Singaravelu, G.

    2010-01-01

    The present study highlights the effectiveness of Hybrid-Learning in enhancing communicative skill in English among the Trainees of Bachelor of education of School of Distance Education, Bharathiar University,Coimbatore. Hybrid learning refers to mixing of different learning methods or mixing two more methods for teaching learning process. It…

  11. The Team Boat Exercise: Enhancing Team Communication Midsemester

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cox, Pamela L.; Friedman, Barry A.

    2009-01-01

    This paper discusses the Team Boat Exercise, which was developed to provide students with a mechanism for addressing team problems and enhancing team communication midsemester. The inspiration for the exercise came from a video by Prentice Hall, Inc. (2001). Part III of the video, entitled "Corporate Coaching," shows senior staff members from the…

  12. Isoflurane enhances both fast and slow synaptic inhibition in the hippocampus at amnestic concentrations

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Shuiping; Perouansky, Misha; Pearce, Robert A.

    2012-01-01

    Background Inhibition mediated by γ-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors has long been considered an important target for a variety of general anesthetics. In the hippocampus, two types of phasic GABAA receptor-mediated inhibition coexist: GABAA,fast, which is expressed primarily at peri-somatic sites, and GABAA,slow, which is expressed primarily in the dendrites. Their spatial segregation suggests distinct functions: GABAA,slow may control plasticity of dendritic synapses, while GABAA,fast controls action potential initiation at the soma. We examined modulation of GABAA,fast and GABAA,slow inhibition by isoflurane at amnesic concentrations, and compared it to modulation by behaviorally equivalent doses of the GABAA receptor-selective drug etomidate. Methods Whole-cell recordings were conducted at near-physiological temperature from pyramidal cells in organotypic hippocampal cultures obtained from C57BL/6 x 129/SvJ F1 hybrid mice. GABAA receptor-mediated currents were isolated using glutamate receptor antagonists. GABAA,slow currents were evoked by electrical stimulation in the stratum lacunosum-moleculare. Miniature GABAA,fast currents were recorded in the presence of tetrodotoxin. Results 100 µM isoflurane (approximately EC50,amnesia) slowed fast and slow inhibitory postsynaptic current decay by approximately 25%. Higher concentrations, up to 400 µM, produced proportionally greater effects without altering current amplitudes. The effects on GABAA,slow were approximately one-half those produced by equi-amnesic concentrations of etomidate. Conclusions Isoflurane enhances both types of phasic GABAA receptor-mediated inhibition to similar degrees at amnesic concentrations. This pattern differs from etomidate, which at low concentrations selectively enhances slow inhibition. These effects of isoflurane are sufficiently large that they may contribute substantially to its suppression of hippocampal learning and memory. PMID:22343472

  13. Willed-movement training reduces brain damage and enhances synaptic plasticity related proteins synthesis after focal ischemia.

    PubMed

    Nie, Jingjing; Yang, Xiaosu; Tang, Qingping; Shen, Qin; Li, Simin

    2016-01-01

    It has been wildly accepted that willed movement(WM) training promotes neurological rehabilitation in patients with stroke. However, it was not clear whether the effect of WM is better than other forms of exercise. The purpose of this study is to assess different effects of WM and other forms of exercise on rats with focal ischemia. The subjects are all had right middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) surgery and randomly allocated to three groups of training and one control group with no training. Infarct volume by 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) dye, expression of PICK1 and synaptophysin in cerebral cortex and striatum of injured side by western blotting and immunofluorescence performed are analyzed. Exercise has done respectively on rats in each group for 15 days and 30 days. Compared with the control group, the brain damage is reduced in other groups after 15 days exercise. The protein expressions levels of synaptophysin and PICK1 are upregulated after exercise. Concentration of PICK1 protein in WM is greater than other exercise groups, and the expression of synaptophysin in WM and SM groups are higher than EM groups. The number of PICK1 positive cells, synaptophysin and PICK1 co-positive cells are increased by exercise. Synaptophysin is widely distributed in cortex surrounding the injury area in WM and EM. It is indicated in our result that willed-movement training is the most effective intervention in enhancing the PICK1-mediated synaptic plasticity in the area adjacent to the damage region of ischemic rats.

  14. A role for protein kinase A and protein kinase M zeta in muscarinic acetylcholine receptor-initiated persistent synaptic enhancement in rat hippocampus in vivo.

    PubMed

    Hayes, J; Li, S; Anwyl, R; Rowan, M J

    2008-01-24

    Antagonists at presynaptic muscarinic autoreceptors increase endogenous acetylcholine (ACh) release and enhance cognition but little is known regarding their actions on plasticity at glutamatergic synapses. Here the mechanisms of the persistent enhancement of hippocampal excitatory transmission induced by the M2/M4 muscarinic ACh receptor antagonist methoctramine were investigated in vivo. The persistent facilitatory effect of i.c.v. methoctramine in the CA1 region of urethane-anesthetized rats was mimicked by gallamine, an M2 receptor antagonist, supporting a role for this receptor subtype. Neither the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonists D-(-)-2-amino phosphonopentanoic acid (d-AP5) and memantine, nor the metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 1a antagonist (S)-(+)-alpha-amino-4-carboxy-2-methylbenzeneacetic acid (LY367385) significantly affected the methoctramine-induced persistent synaptic enhancement, indicating a lack of requirement for these glutamate receptors. The selective kinase inhibitors Rp-adenosine-3', 5'-cyclic monophosphorothioate (Rp-cAMPS) and the myrostylated pseudosubstrate peptide, Myr-Ser-Ile-Tyr-Arg-Arg-Gly-Ala-Arg-Arg-Trp-Arg-Lys-Leu-OH (ZIP), were used to investigate the roles of protein kinase A (PKA) and the atypical protein kinase C, protein kinase Mzeta (PKM zeta), respectively. Remarkably, pretreatment with either agent prevented the induction of the persistent synaptic enhancement by methoctramine and post-methoctramine treatment with Rp-cAMPS transiently reversed the enhancement. These findings are strong evidence that antagonism of M2 muscarinic ACh receptors in vivo induces an NMDA receptor-independent persistent synaptic enhancement that requires activation of both PKA and PKM zeta.

  15. Enhanced automated platform for 2D characterization of RFID communications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vuza, Dan Tudor; Vlǎdescu, Marian

    2016-12-01

    The characterization of the quality of communication between an RFID reader and a transponder at all expected positions of the latter on the reader antenna is of primal importance for the evaluation of performance of an RFID system. Continuing the line of instruments developed for this purpose by the authors, the present work proposes an enhanced version of a previously introduced automated platform for 2D evaluation. By featuring higher performance in terms of mechanical speed, the new version allows to obtain 2D maps of communication with a higher resolution that would have been prohibitive in terms of test duration with the previous version. The list of measurement procedures that can be executed with the platform is now enlarged with additional ones, such as the determination of the variation of the magnetic coupling between transponder and antenna across the antenna surface and the utilization of transponder simulators for evaluation of the quality of communication.

  16. 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.

  17. Noise-enhanced classical and quantum capacities in communication networks.

    PubMed

    Caruso, Filippo; Huelga, Susana F; Plenio, Martin B

    2010-11-05

    The unavoidable presence of noise is thought to be one of the major problems to solve in order to pave the way for implementing quantum information technologies in realistic physical platforms. However, here we show a clear example in which noise, in terms of dephasing, may enhance the capability of transmitting not only classical but also quantum information, encoded in quantum systems, through communication networks. In particular, we find analytically and numerically the quantum and classical capacities for a large family of quantum channels and show that these information transmission rates can be strongly enhanced by introducing dephasing noise in the complex network dynamics.

  18. Developmental enhancement of alpha2-adrenoceptor-mediated suppression of inhibitory synaptic transmission onto mouse cerebellar Purkinje cells.

    PubMed

    Hirono, M; Matsunaga, W; Chimura, T; Obata, K

    2008-09-22

    Noradrenaline (NA) modulates glutamatergic and GABAergic transmission in various areas of the brain. It is reported that some alpha2-adrenoceptor subtypes are expressed in the cerebellar cortex and alpha2-adrenoceptors may play a role in motor coordination. Our previous study demonstrated that the selective alpha2-adrenoceptor agonist clonidine partially depresses spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sIPSCs) in mouse cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs). Here we found that the inhibitory effect of clonidine on sIPSCs was enhanced during postnatal development. The activation of alpha2-adrenoceptors by clonidine did not affect sIPSCs in PCs at postnatal days (P) 8-10, when PCs showed a few sIPSCs and interneurons in the molecular layer (MLIs) did not cause action potential (AP). In the second postnatal week, the frequency of sIPSCs increased temporarily and reached a plateau at P14. By contrast, MLIs began to fire at P11 with the firing rate gradually increasing thereafter and reaching a plateau at P21. In parallel with this rise in the rate of firing, the magnitude of the clonidine-mediated inhibition of sIPSCs increased during postnatal development. Furthermore, the magnitude of the clonidine-mediated firing suppression in MLIs, which seemed to be mediated by a reduction in amplitude of the hyperpolarization-activated nonselective cation current, I(h), was constant across development. Both alpha2A- and alpha2B-, but not alpha2C-, adrenoceptors were strongly expressed in MLIs at P13, and P31. Therefore, the developmental enhancement of the clonidine-mediated inhibition of sIPSCs is attributed to an age-dependent increase in AP-derived sIPSCs, which can be blocked by clonidine. Thus, presynaptic activation of alpha2-adrenoceptors inhibits cerebellar inhibitory synaptic transmission after the second postnatal week, leading to a restriction of NA signaling, which is mainly mediated by alpha1- and beta2-adrenoceptors in the adult cerebellar neuronal circuit.

  19. VIP enhances both pre- and postsynaptic GABAergic transmission to hippocampal interneurones leading to increased excitatory synaptic transmission to CA1 pyramidal cells.

    PubMed

    Cunha-Reis, Diana; Sebastião, Ana M; Wirkner, Kerstin; Illes, Peter; Ribeiro, Joaquim Alexandre

    2004-11-01

    Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) is present in the hippocampus in three subtypes of GABAergic interneurones, two of which innervate preferentially other interneurones, responsible for pyramidal cell inhibition. We investigated how pre- and postsynaptic modulation of GABAergic transmission (to both pyramidal cells and interneurones) by VIP could influence excitatory synaptic transmission in the CA1 area of the hippocampus. VIP (0.1-100 nM) increased [(3)H]GABA release from hippocampal synaptosomes (maximum effect at 1 nM VIP; 63.8 +/- 4.0%) but did not change [(3)H]glutamate release. VIP (0.3-30 nM) enhanced synaptic transmission in hippocampal slices (maximum effect at 1 nM VIP; field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (epsp) slope: 23.7 +/- 1.1%; population spike amplitude: 20.3 +/- 1.7%). The action on field epsp slope was fully dependent on GABAergic transmission since it was absent in the presence of picrotoxin (50 microM) plus CGP55845 (1 microM). VIP (1 nM) did not change paired-pulse facilitation but increased paired-pulse inhibition in CA1 pyramidal cells (16.0 +/- 0.9%), reinforcing the involvement of GABAergic transmission in the action of VIP. VIP (1 nM) increased muscimol-evoked inhibitory currents by 36.4 +/- 8.7% in eight out of ten CA1 interneurones in the stratum radiatum. This suggests that VIP promotes increased inhibition of interneurones that control pyramidal cells, leading to disinhibition of synaptic transmission to pyramidal cell dendrites. In conclusion, concerted pre- and postsynaptic actions of VIP lead to disinhibition of pyramidal cell dendrites causing an enhancement of synaptic transmission.

  20. Neutralization of Nogo-A Enhances Synaptic Plasticity in the Rodent Motor Cortex and Improves Motor Learning in Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Weinmann, Oliver; Kellner, Yves; Yu, Xinzhu; Vicente, Raul; Gullo, Miriam; Kasper, Hansjörg; Lussi, Karin; Ristic, Zorica; Luft, Andreas R.; Rioult-Pedotti, Mengia; Zuo, Yi; Zagrebelsky, Marta; Schwab, Martin E.

    2014-01-01

    The membrane protein Nogo-A is known as an inhibitor of axonal outgrowth and regeneration in the CNS. However, its physiological functions in the normal adult CNS remain incompletely understood. Here, we investigated the role of Nogo-A in cortical synaptic plasticity and motor learning in the uninjured adult rodent motor cortex. Nogo-A and its receptor NgR1 are present at cortical synapses. Acute treatment of slices with function-blocking antibodies (Abs) against Nogo-A or against NgR1 increased long-term potentiation (LTP) induced by stimulation of layer 2/3 horizontal fibers. Furthermore, anti-Nogo-A Ab treatment increased LTP saturation levels, whereas long-term depression remained unchanged, thus leading to an enlarged synaptic modification range. In vivo, intrathecal application of Nogo-A-blocking Abs resulted in a higher dendritic spine density at cortical pyramidal neurons due to an increase in spine formation as revealed by in vivo two-photon microscopy. To investigate whether these changes in synaptic plasticity correlate with motor learning, we trained rats to learn a skilled forelimb-reaching task while receiving anti-Nogo-A Abs. Learning of this cortically controlled precision movement was improved upon anti-Nogo-A Ab treatment. Our results identify Nogo-A as an influential molecular modulator of synaptic plasticity and as a regulator for learning of skilled movements in the motor cortex. PMID:24966370

  1. Activation of Exchange Protein Activated by Cyclic-AMP Enhances Long-Lasting Synaptic Potentiation in the Hippocampus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gelinas, Jennifer N.; Banko, Jessica L.; Peters, Melinda M.; Klann, Eric; Weeber, Edwin J.; Nguyen, Peter V.

    2008-01-01

    cAMP is a critical second messenger implicated in synaptic plasticity and memory in the mammalian brain. Substantial evidence links increases in intracellular cAMP to activation of cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) and subsequent phosphorylation of downstream effectors (transcription factors, receptors, protein kinases) necessary for long-term…

  2. Enhancement of Global Communication Skill at the School of Engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morimura, Kumiko

    Globalization is one of the most important challenges for universities. Especially for the School of Engineering, it is crucial to foster researchers or engineers with broader perspective. International communication competency is essential for them in order to deal with other professionals from overseas. Center for Innovation in Engineering Education established in the School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo in 2005 started two programs for graduate and undergraduate students to enhance their international communication competency and to increase international competitiveness. ‘English for Scientists and Engineers A, B’ are for the graduate students to learn how to write papers in English and how to make good presentations. Special English Lessons are for the undergraduate students to have a chance to practice English conversation or prepare for TOEFL test. In this paper, the authors discuss the details of the programs, their purpose and the future tasks.

  3. [Counseling: a tool for enhancing the communication with the patient].

    PubMed

    Martí-Gil, C; Barreda-Hernández, D; Marcos-Pérez, G; Barreira-Hernández, D

    2013-01-01

    Counseling is a technique used in psychology that has shown a major impact on health: in deep, it is the methodology recommended by the Worl Health Organization to help HIV-infected patients. Although it has been translated to spanish by assisted counseling or helping relationship, counseling covers a broader concept. It is defined as an interactive process based on communication in which the clinician helps the patients to think about their own health and to take appropiate decisions based on their values and interests. In short, counseling is a tool to enhance communication with the patient, resulting very useful during clinical interview in pharmaceutical care programs in order to improve pharmacotherapy and patient safety.

  4. Acetyl-l-carnitine restores synaptic transmission and enhances the inducibility of stable LTP after oxygen-glucose deprivation.

    PubMed

    Kocsis, Kitti; Frank, Rita; Szabó, József; Knapp, Levente; Kis, Zsolt; Farkas, Tamás; Vécsei, László; Toldi, József

    2016-09-22

    Hypoxic circumstances result in functional and structural impairments of the brain. Oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) on hippocampal slices is a technique widely used to investigate the consequences of ischemic stroke and the potential neuroprotective effects of different drugs. Acetyl-l-carnitine (ALC) is a naturally occurring substance in the body, and it can therefore be administered safely even in relatively high doses. In previous experiments, ALC pretreatment proved to be effective against global hypoperfusion. In the present study, we investigated whether ALC can be protective in an OGD model. We are not aware of any earlier study in which the long-term potentiation (LTP) function on hippocampal slices was measured after OGD. Therefore, we set out to determine whether an effective ALC concentration has an effect on synaptic plasticity after OGD in the hippocampal CA1 subfield of rats. A further aim was to investigate the mechanism underlying the protective effect of this compound. The experiments revealed that ALC is neuroprotective against OGD in a dose-dependent manner, which is manifested not only in the regeneration of the impaired synaptic transmission after the OGD, but also in the inducibility and stability of the LTP. In the case of the most effective concentration of ALC (500μM), use of a phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor (LY294002) revealed that the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway has a key role in the restoration of the synaptic transmission and plasticity reached by ALC treatment.

  5. Effects of T-588, a cognitive enhancer compound, on synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus of freely moving rats.

    PubMed

    Yamaguchi, H; Tamura, R; Kuriwaki, J I; Eifuku, S; Ono, T

    2001-07-01

    (1R)-1-benzo [b] thiophen-5-yl-2-[2-(diethylamino) ethoxy] ethan-1-ol hydrochloride (T-588) is a compound for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease and cerebrovascular diseases. T-588 reportedly alleviates learning and memory deficits in animal models of dementia. In the present study, we investigated the effects of T-588 on the induction and decay of long-term potentiation (LTP) and on the responses to paired-pulse (pp) stimulation in freely moving rats. Perforant path-evoked field potentials were recorded in the dentate gyrus by chronically implanted electrodes. LTP was induced by high-frequency stimulation 30 min after oral administration of T-588 (0.3 or 3 mg/kg). T-588 significantly augmented the increase in population spike amplitude and field excitatory postsynaptic potential slope after LTP induction. T-588 also prolonged the decay of augmented population spike amplitude, but had no significant effect on the response to pp stimulation. These results suggest that T-588 facilitates long-term synaptic plasticity, but not short-term synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus of freely moving rats. The effect of T-588 on long-term synaptic plasticity may contribute to the alleviation of learning and memory dysfunction seen in animal models.

  6. Reactive oxygen species enhance excitatory synaptic transmission in rat spinal dorsal horn neurons by activating TRPA1 and TRPV1 channels.

    PubMed

    Nishio, N; Taniguchi, W; Sugimura, Y K; Takiguchi, N; Yamanaka, M; Kiyoyuki, Yasukuni; Yamada, H; Miyazaki, N; Yoshida, M; Nakatsuka, T

    2013-09-05

    Central neuropathic pain (CNP) in the spinal cord, such as chronic pain after spinal cord injury (SCI), is an incurable ailment. However, little is known about the spinal cord mechanisms underlying CNP. Recently, reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been recognized to play an important role in CNP of the spinal cord. However, it is unclear how ROS affect synaptic transmission in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. To clarify how ROS impact on synaptic transmission, we investigated the effects of ROS on synaptic transmission in rat spinal cord substantia gelatinosa (SG) neurons using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings. Administration of tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BOOH), an ROS donor, into the spinal cord markedly increased the frequency and amplitude of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) in SG neurons. This t-BOOH-induced enhancement was not suppressed by the Na(+) channel blocker tetrodotoxin. However, in the presence of a non-N-methyl-D-aspartate glutamate receptor antagonist, 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione, t-BOOH did not generate any sEPSCs. Furthermore, in the presence of a transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) channel antagonist (HC-030031) or a transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) channel antagonist (capsazepine or AMG9810), the t-BOOH-induced increase in the frequency of sEPSCs was inhibited. These results indicate that ROS enhance the spontaneous release of glutamate from presynaptic terminals onto SG neurons through TRPA1 and TRPV1 channel activation. Excessive activation of these ion channels by ROS may induce central sensitization in the spinal cord and result in chronic pain such as that following SCI.

  7. 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.

  8. Enhanced Pointing Gimbal Mechanisms for Next Generation Communication Antennas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nalbandian, Ruben

    2013-09-01

    This paper summarizes the design and the development of a family of high precision Enhanced Pointing Gimbal Assemblies (EPGA) specifically targeting the next generation of satellite communication antenna technologies.The development and qualification of the first two EPGAs started some years ago. The purpose of this project has been to develop a gimbal based on a new rotary actuator technology achieving positioning performance superior to micro-stepping performance, to be used in highly accurate pointing and scanning mechanisms. The design also had to provide high stiffness and high load carrying capacity at the output stage.The design of this new line of gimbals is based on a rotary actuator with a high gear reduction ratio and high load carrying capacity output stage.Analysis of the latest missions, especially those for communication, earth observation and imaging, show that performance requirements for dual axis gimbals used for antenna pointing are becoming more and more demanding. Most recent Ka-band and future generation antenna technologies for smaller spot beams require finer resolutions of less than 0.003 degrees. Considerably larger solid core ( 3.0 meter diameter) and expandable wire-mesh ( 22 meter diameter) require higher load carrying capabilities and moment stiffness to sustain the launch and orbital maneuvering loads. The developed Enhanced Pointing Gimbal Assembly addresses those applications requiring small output step size, high precision pointing, and unpowered holding torque, which challenge the use of gimbals that use conventional rotary actuators.

  9. TARP phosphorylation regulates synaptic AMPA receptors through lipid bilayers.

    PubMed

    Sumioka, Akio; Yan, Dan; Tomita, Susumu

    2010-06-10

    Neurons use neurotransmitters to communicate across synapses, constructing neural circuits in the brain. AMPA-type glutamate receptors are the predominant excitatory neurotransmitter receptors mediating fast synaptic transmission. AMPA receptors localize at synapses by forming protein complexes with transmembrane AMPA receptor regulatory proteins (TARPs) and PSD-95-like membrane-associated guanylate kinases. Among the three classes of ionotropic glutamate receptors (AMPA, NMDA, and kainate type), AMPA receptor activity is most regulatable by neuronal activity to adjust synaptic strength. Here, we mutated the prototypical TARP, stargazin, and found that TARP phosphorylation regulates synaptic AMPA receptor activity in vivo. We also found that stargazin interacts with negatively charged lipid bilayers in a phosphorylation-dependent manner and that the lipid interaction inhibited stargazin binding to PSD-95. Cationic lipids dissociated stargazin from lipid bilayers and enhanced synaptic AMPA receptor activity in a stargazin phosphorylation-dependent manner. Thus, TARP phosphorylation plays a critical role in regulating AMPA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission via a lipid bilayer interaction.

  10. TARP phosphorylation regulates synaptic AMPA receptors through lipid bilayers

    PubMed Central

    Sumioka, Akio; Yan, Dan; Tomita, Susumu

    2010-01-01

    Summary Neurons use neurotransmitters to communicate across synapses, constructing neural circuits in the brain. AMPA-type glutamate receptors are the predominant excitatory neurotransmitter receptors mediating fast synaptic transmission. AMPA receptors localize at synapses by forming protein complexes with transmembrane AMPA receptor regulatory proteins (TARPs) and PSD-95-like MAGUKs. Among the three classes of ionotropic glutamate receptors (AMPA-, NMDA, kainate-type), AMPA receptor activity is most regulatable by neuronal activity to adjust synaptic strength. Here, we mutated the prototypical TARP, stargazin, and found that TARP phosphorylation regulates synaptic AMPA receptor activity in vivo. We also found that stargazin interacts with negatively-charged lipid bilayers in its phosphorylation dependent manner, and that the lipid interaction inhibited stargazin binding to PSD-95. Cationic lipids dissociated stargazin from lipid bilayers and enhanced synaptic AMPA receptor activity in a stargazin phosphorylation-dependent manner. Thus, TARP phosphorylation plays a critical role in regulating AMPA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission via a lipid bilayer interaction. PMID:20547132

  11. Inhibition of PI3K-Akt Signaling Blocks Exercise-Mediated Enhancement of Adult Neurogenesis and Synaptic Plasticity in the Dentate Gyrus

    PubMed Central

    Bruel-Jungerman, Elodie; Veyrac, Alexandra; Dufour, Franck; Horwood, Jennifer; Laroche, Serge; Davis, Sabrina

    2009-01-01

    Background Physical exercise has been shown to increase adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus and enhances synaptic plasticity. The antiapoptotic kinase, Akt has also been shown to be phosphorylated following voluntary exercise; however, it remains unknown whether the PI3K-Akt signaling pathway is involved in exercise-induced neurogenesis and the associated facilitation of synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus. Methodology/Principal Findings To gain insight into the potential role of this signaling pathway in exercise-induced neurogenesis and LTP in the dentate gyrus rats were infused with the PI3K inhibitor, LY294002 or vehicle control solution (icv) via osmotic minipumps and exercised in a running wheel for 10 days. Newborn cells in the dentate gyrus were date-labelled with BrdU on the last 3 days of exercise. Then, they were either returned to the home cage for 2 weeks to assess exercise-induced LTP and neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus, or were killed on the last day of exercise to assess proliferation and activation of the PI3K-Akt cascade using western blotting. Conclusions/Significance Exercise increases cell proliferation and promotes survival of adult-born neurons in the dentate gyrus. Immediately after exercise, we found that Akt and three downstream targets, BAD, GSK3β and FOXO1 were activated. LY294002 blocked exercise-induced phosphorylation of Akt and downstream target proteins. This had no effect on exercise-induced cell proliferation, but it abolished most of the beneficial effect of exercise on the survival of newly generated dentate gyrus neurons and prevented exercise-induced increase in dentate gyrus LTP. These results suggest that activation of the PI3 kinase-Akt signaling pathway plays a significant role via an antiapoptotic function in promoting survival of newly formed granule cells generated during exercise and the associated increase in synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus. PMID:19936256

  12. Enhancing Environmental Communication and Products Through Qualitative Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeLorme, D.; Hagen, S. C.

    2014-12-01

    This presentation discusses two ongoing interdisciplinary case studies that are using qualitative research to design and enhance environmental communication and science products for outreach and decision making purposes. Both cases demonstrate the viability and practical value of qualitative social science methodology, specifically focus group interviews, to better understand the viewpoints of target audiences, improve deliverables, and support project goals. The first case is a NOAA-funded project to conduct process-based modeling to project impact from climate change in general and sea level rise in particular to the natural and built environment. The project spans the Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida Panhandle coasts with concentration on the three National Estuarine Research Reserves. As part of the broader project, four annual focus groups were conducted with a purposive sample of coastal resource managers to capture their perspectives and suggestions to better meet their informational and operational needs. The second case is a Florida Sea Grant-funded project that is developing, implementing, and testing a cohesive outreach campaign to promote voluntary careful and responsible recreational boating to help protect sensitive marine life and habitats (especially seagrasses and oyster reefs) in the Mosquito Lagoon. Six focus groups were conducted with a purposive sample of the target audience of boaters to gain insights, feedback, and ideas on the direction of the campaign and design of the messages and products. The campaign materials created include a branded website, Facebook page, mobile app, information packets, brochures, pledge forms, and promotional items. A comparison of these two case studies will be provided and will explain how the qualitative findings were/are being implemented to tailor and refine the respective communication strategies and techniques including the emerging outreach products. The resulting outcomes are messages and tools that are

  13. Enhancing communication in oncology outpatient consultations: critical reflections from doctors

    PubMed Central

    Murphy, Roger; Cox, Karen; Steward, William

    2011-01-01

    Objectives The experiences of patients diagnosed with advanced incurable cancer and the doctors who conducted their medical consultations were studied in order to improve the understanding of what happens in consultations, when bad news is disclosed. The major objective of the study was to critically reflect upon doctor-patient communication, in such situations, with a view to considering future strategies for doctors’ continuing professional development. Methods Sixteen patients and sixteen Oncologists, from a cancer centre in the UK were recruited into this ethnographic study. One hundred and fifteen episodes of data were collected from audio recorded consultations; interviews with doctors and patients and their relatives and observations of consultations. These data were analysed using a constant comparison method. Results Interactions between doctors and patients are complex and consultations can be challenging for both of them. Some doctors spoke openly about their need for additional support to enhance their communication related competencies within Oncology consultations. These doctors wanted to observe their peers conducting consultations. They also wanted to receive feedback about their own clinical practices. These doctors stated that they wanted an open culture whereby they could talk freely about difficult and emotionally challenging consultations without fear of being considered incompetent by their Consultants, who act in a clinical supervisory role. Conclusions To help practitioners consolidate their practice in such settings it is necessary to develop better collaborations among practitioners within clinical practice. Providing individual supervisory sessions or group workshops can facilitate reflective learning and provide an open and supportive learning culture.

  14. Enhancement of FSO communications links under complex environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alnajjar, Satea H.; Noori, Ammar A.; Moosa, Arwa A.

    2017-03-01

    Free space optical communication is a line-of-sight (LOS) technology that uses lasers to provide optical bandwidth connections. Potential disturbance arising from the weather condition is one of the most effective factors that influence the bi-directional free space optics (FSO) performance. The complex weather condition in the Middle East region and Arabian Gulf has been dominated by dust storms activities. Dust storms directly affect the characteristics of FSO and consequently lead to an increase in the bit error rate (BER) and deterioration Q-factor to bad levels due to the high attenuation factor. In this research, the authors compare the differences between two bi-directional FSOs. One is the traditional link, and the other has been developed to enhance the system performance under the dust storms condition. The proposed design consists of dual FSO channels, and each one includes erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA) optical amplifiers. This design has demonstrated the proficiency in addressing the attenuation that occurs due to weather stickers. The results prove there is an improvement in performance by measuring the Q-factor. In addition, BER can be significantly improved, and further communicating distance can be achieved by utilizing 1550 nm with multiple channels and EDFA.

  15. The psychostimulant modafinil enhances gap junctional communication in cortical astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xinhe; Petit, Jean-Marie; Ezan, Pascal; Gyger, Joël; Magistretti, Pierre; Giaume, Christian

    2013-12-01

    Sleep-wake cycle is characterized by changes in neuronal network activity. However, for the last decade there is increasing evidence that neuroglial interaction may play a role in the modulation of sleep homeostasis and that astrocytes have a critical impact in this process. Interestingly, astrocytes are organized into communicating networks based on their high expression of connexins, which are the molecular constituents of gap junction channels. Thus, neuroglial interactions should also be considered as the result of the interplay between neuronal and astroglial networks. Here, we investigate the effect of modafinil, a wakefulness-promoting agent, on astrocyte gap junctional communication. We report that in the cortex modafinil injection increases the expression of mRNA and protein of connexin 30 but not those of connexin 43, the other major astroglial connexin. These increases are correlated with an enhancement of intercellular dye coupling in cortical astrocytes, which is abolished when neuronal activity is silenced by tetrodotoxin. Moreover, gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, which at a millimolar concentration induces sleep, has an opposite effect on astroglial gap junctions in an activity-independent manner. These results support the proposition that astroglia may play an important role in complex physiological brain functions, such as sleep regulation, and that neuroglial networking interaction is modified during sleep-wake cycle. This article is part of the Special Issue Section entitled 'Current Pharmacology of Gap Junction Channels and Hemichannels'.

  16. 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

  17. Nicotine-induced enhancement of synaptic plasticity at CA3-CA1 synapses requires GABAergic interneurons in adult anti-NGF mice.

    PubMed

    Rosato-Siri, Marcelo; Cattaneo, Antonino; Cherubini, Enrico

    2006-10-15

    The hippocampus, a key structure for learning and memory processes, receives an important cholinergic innervation and is densely packed with a variety of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) localized on principal cells and interneurons. Activation of these receptors by nicotine or endogenously released acetylcholine enhances activity-dependent synaptic plasticity processes. Deficits in the cholinergic system produce impairment of cognitive functions that are particularly relevant during senescence and in age-related neurodegenerative pathologies. In particular, Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by a selective loss of cholinergic neurons in the basal forebrain and nAChRs in particular regions controlling memory processes such as the cortex and the hippocampus. Field excitatory postsynaptic potentials were recorded in order to examine whether nicotine was able to regulate induction of long-term potentiation at CA3-CA1 synapses in hippocampal slices from adult anti-NGF transgenic mice (AD 11), a comprehensive animal model of AD, in which cholinergic deficits due to nerve growth factor depletion are accompanied by progressive Alzheimer-like neurodegeneration. Both AD 11 and wild-type (WT) mice exhibited short- and long-lasting synaptic plasticity processes that were boosted by nicotine. The effects of nicotine on WT and AD 11 mice were mediated by both alpha7- and beta2-containing nAChRs. In the presence of GABA(A) receptor antagonists, nicotine failed to boost synaptic plasticity in AD 11 but not in WT mice, indicating that in anti-NGF transgenic mice GABAergic interneurons are able to compensate for the deficit in cholinergic modulation of glutamatergic transmission. This compensation may occur at different levels and may involve the reorganization of the GABAergic circuit. However, patch-clamp whole-cell recordings from principal cells failed to reveal any change in spontaneous release of GABA following pressure application of nicotine to nearby

  18. Nicotine enhancement of dopamine release by a calcium-dependent increase in the size of the readily releasable pool of synaptic vesicles.

    PubMed

    Turner, Timothy J

    2004-12-15

    A major factor underlying compulsive tobacco use is nicotine-induced modulation of dopamine release in the mesolimbic reward pathway (Wise and Rompre, 1989). An established biochemical mechanism for nicotine-enhanced dopamine release is by activating presynaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) (Wonnacott, 1997). Prolonged application of 10(-7) to 10(-5) m nicotine to striatal synaptosomes promoted a sustained efflux of [3H]dopamine. This nicotine effect was mediated by non-alpha7 nAChRs, because it was blocked by 5 mum mecamylamine but was resistant to 100 nm alpha-bungarotoxin (alphaBgTx). Dopamine release was diminished by omitting Na+ or by applying peptide calcium channel blockers, indicating that nAChRs trigger release by depolarizing the nerve terminals. However, because alpha7 receptors rapidly desensitize in the continuous presence of agonists, a repetitive stimulation protocol was used to evaluate the possible significance of desensitization. This protocol produced a transient increase in [3H]dopamine released by depolarization and a significant increase in the response to hypertonic solutions that measure the size of the readily releasable pool (RRP) of synaptic vesicles. The nicotine-induced increase in the size of the readily releasable pool was blocked by alphaBgTx and by the calmodulin antagonist calmidazolium, suggesting that Ca2+ entry through alpha7 nAChRs specifically enhances synaptic vesicle mobilization at dopamine terminals. Thus, nicotine enhances dopamine release by two complementary actions mediated by discrete nAChR subtypes and suggest that the alpha7 nAChR-mediated pathway is tightly and specifically coupled to refilling of the RRP of vesicles in dopamine terminals.

  19. 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.

  20. Multiple personalities: synaptic target cells as introverts and extroverts.

    PubMed

    Ritzenthaler, S; Chiba, A

    2001-10-01

    The intricate process of wiring a neuronetwork requires a high degree of accuracy in the communication between pre- and post-synaptic cells. While presynaptic cells have been widely recognized for their dynamic role in synaptic matchmaking, post-synaptic cells have historically been overlooked as passive targets. Recent studies in the Drosophila embryonic neuromuscular system provide compelling evidence that post-synaptic cells participate actively in the synaptogenic process. Endocytosis allows them to quickly modify the array of molecular cues they provide on their surfaces and the extension of dynamic filopodia allows post-synaptic cells to engage in direct long-distance communication. By making use of familiar cellular mechanisms such as endocytosis and filopodia formation, post-synaptic cells may be able to communicate more effectively with potential synaptic partners.

  1. Enhanced cognitive activity--over and above social or physical activity--is required to protect Alzheimer's mice against cognitive impairment, reduce Abeta deposition, and increase synaptic immunoreactivity.

    PubMed

    Cracchiolo, Jennifer R; Mori, Takashi; Nazian, Stanley J; Tan, Jun; Potter, Huntington; Arendash, Gary W

    2007-10-01

    Although social, physical, and cognitive activities have each been suggested to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD), epidemiologic studies cannot determine which activity or combination of activities is most important. To address this question, mutant APP transgenic AD mice were reared long-term in one of four housing conditions (impoverished, social, social+physical, or complete enrichment) from 1(1/2) through 9 months of age. Thus, a stepwise layering of social, physical, and enhanced cognitive activity was created. Behavioral evaluation in a full battery of sensorimotor, anxiety, and cognitive tasks was carried out during the final 5 weeks of housing. Only AD mice raised in complete enrichment (i.e., enhanced cognitive activity) showed: (1) protection against cognitive impairment, (2) decreased brain beta-amyloid deposition, and (3) increased hippocampal synaptic immunoreactivity. The protection provided by enhanced cognitive activity spanned multiple cognitive domains (working memory, reference learning, and recognition/identification). Cognitive and neurohistologic benefits of complete enrichment occurred without any changes in blood cytokine or corticosterone levels, suggesting that enrichment-dependent mechanisms do not involve changes in the inflammatory response or stress levels, respectively. These results indicate that the enhanced cognitive activity of complete enrichment is required for cognitive and neurologic benefit to AD mice-physical and/or social activity are insufficient. Thus, our data suggest that humans who emphasize a high lifelong level of cognitive activity (over and above social and physical activities) will attain the maximal environmental protection against AD.

  2. SDF-1α/CXCL12 enhances GABA and glutamate synaptic activity at serotonin neurons in the rat dorsal raphe nucleus

    PubMed Central

    Heinisch, Silke; Kirby, Lynn G.

    2009-01-01

    Summary The serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) system has a well-characterized role in depression. Recent reports describe comorbidities of mood-immune disorders, suggesting an immunological component may contribute to the pathogenesis of depression as well. Chemokines, immune proteins which mediate leukocyte trafficking, and their receptors are widely distributed in the brain, mediate neuronal patterning, and modulate various neuropathologies. The purpose of this study was to investigate the neuroanatomical relationship and functional impact of the chemokine stromal cell-derived factor-1α/CXCL12 and its receptor, CXCR4, on the serotonin dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) system in the rat using anatomical and electrophysiological techniques. Immunohistochemical analysis indicates that over 70% of 5-HT neurons colocalize with CXCL12 and CXCR4. At a subcellular level, CXCL12 localizes throughout the cytoplasm whereas CXCR4 concentrates to the outer membrane and processes of 5-HT neurons. CXCL12 and CXCR4 also colocalize on individual DRN cells. Furthermore, electrophysiological studies demonstrate CXCL12 depolarization of 5-HT neurons indirectly via glutamate synaptic inputs. CXCL12 also enhances the frequency of spontaneous inhibitory and excitatory postsynaptic currents (sIPSC and sEPSC). CXCL12 concentration-dependently increases evoked IPSC amplitude and decreases evoked IPSC paired-pulse ratio selectively in 5-HT neurons, effects blocked by the CXCR4 antagonist AMD3100. These data indicate presynaptic enhancement of GABA and glutamate release at 5-HT DRN neurons by CXCL12. Immunohistochemical analysis further shows CXCR4 localization to DRN GABA neurons, providing an anatomical basis for CXCL12 effects on GABA release. Thus, CXCL12 indirectly modulates 5-HT neurotransmission via GABA and glutamate synaptic afferents. Future therapies targeting CXCL12 and other chemokines may treat serotonin related mood disorders, particularly depression experienced by immune

  3. 24S-Hydroxycholesterol enhances synaptic vesicle cycling in the mouse neuromuscular junction: Implication of glutamate NMDA receptors and nitric oxide.

    PubMed

    Kasimov, M R; Fatkhrakhmanova, M R; Mukhutdinova, K A; Petrov, A M

    2017-01-31

    24S-hydroxycholesterol (24S-HC) is a brain-derived product of lipid metabolism present in the systemic circulation, where its level can change significantly in response to physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Here, using electrophysiological and optical approaches, we have found a high sensitivity to 24S-HC of the synaptic vesicle cycle at the mouse neuromuscular junctions. Treatment with 24S-HC increased the end plate potential amplitude (EPP) in response to a single stimulus and attenuated the EPP amplitude rundown during high frequency (HF) activity but had no influence on miniature EPP amplitude or frequency. The effects on evoked responses were associated with enhanced FM1-43 dye loading and unloading by endo- and exocytosis. Comparison of electrophysiological and optical data revealed an increase in the rate of vesicular cycling. The impact of 24S-HC was abolished or potentiated by stimulation or inhibition of NMDA-receptors respectively. Moreover, 24S-HC, acting in the same manner as the endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) inhibitor cavtratin, suppressed an increase in NO-sensitive dye fluorescence during HF stimulation, while l-glutamate had the opposite effect. Inhibitors of NOS (l-NAME and cavtratin, but not the neuronal NOS inhibitor TRIM), a scavenger of extracellular NO and a protein kinase G blocker all had stimulatory effects, similar to those of 24S-HC, on exocytosis induced by HF activity and completely masked the effect of 24S-HC. The data suggest that 24S-HC enhances synaptic vesicle cycling due to an attenuation of retrograde NO signaling that depends on eNOS. In this regard, 24S-HC counteracts the effects of NMDA-receptor stimulation at mouse neuromuscular junctions.

  4. The role of synaptic ion channels in synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Voglis, Giannis; Tavernarakis, Nektarios

    2006-01-01

    The nervous system receives a large amount of information about the environment through elaborate sensory routes. Processing and integration of these wide-ranging inputs often results in long-term behavioural alterations as a result of past experiences. These relatively permanent changes in behaviour are manifestations of the capacity of the nervous system for learning and memory. At the cellular level, synaptic plasticity is one of the mechanisms underlying this process. Repeated neural activity generates physiological changes in the nervous system that ultimately modulate neuronal communication through synaptic transmission. Recent studies implicate both presynaptic and postsynaptic ion channels in the process of synapse strength modulation. Here, we review the role of synaptic ion channels in learning and memory, and discuss the implications and significance of these findings towards deciphering the molecular biology of learning and memory. PMID:17077866

  5. Digital photography: enhancing communication between burn therapists and nurses.

    PubMed

    Van, Lan B; Sicotte, K M; Lassiter, R R; Jablonski, K A; Crean, D A; Jeng, J C; Jordan, M H

    2004-01-01

    Burn rehabilitation therapists rely on nursing staff to follow through with the positioning and splinting programs. To communicate more effectively, a communication tool that consisted of digital photos and written instructions was created. Microsoft Word and Nikon View software were used to design the communication tool. The purpose of the study was to assess the perceived effectiveness of a communication tool between burn therapists and burn nurses for splinting and positioning. Thirty-two surveys were distributed to burn nursing staff to assess their perception of the communication tool (digital photographs with written instructions) compared with previous methods of instructions (without digital photographs). Seventy-three percent of nurses felt the communication tool with verbal instructions were the best methods of communicating splinting and positioning needs. All respondents felt that the rehabilitation staff should continue to use the communication tool.

  6. Enhanced sensitivity of hippocampal pyramidal neurons from mdx mice to hypoxia-induced loss of synaptic transmission.

    PubMed Central

    Mehler, M F; Haas, K Z; Kessler, J A; Stanton, P K

    1992-01-01

    The gene at the Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophy locus encodes dystrophin, a member of a protein superfamily that links the actin cytoskeleton to transmembrane plasmalemmal proteins. In mature skeletal myocytes, the absence of dystrophin is associated with decreased membrane stability, altered kinetics of several calcium channels, and increased intracellular calcium concentration. In the central nervous system, dystrophin is restricted to specific neuronal populations that show heightened susceptibility to excitotoxic damage and is localized in proximal dendrites and the neuronal somata. We report that CA1 pyramidal neurons in a hippocampal slice preparation from a dystrophin-deficient mouse genetic model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (the mdx mouse) exhibit significant increased susceptibility to hypoxia-induced damage to synaptic transmission. This selective vulnerability was substantially ameliorated by pretreatment with diphenylhydantoin, an anticonvulsant that blocks both sodium-dependent action potentials and low-threshold transient calcium conductances. These findings suggest that dystrophin deficiency could predispose susceptible neuronal populations to cumulative hypoxic insults that may contribute to the development of cognitive deficits in Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophy patients and that the effects of such periods of hypoxia may be pharmacologically remediable. PMID:1549609

  7. How interpersonal communication mediates the relationship of multichannel communication connections to health-enhancing and health-threatening behaviors.

    PubMed

    Seo, Mihye; Matsaganis, Matthew D

    2013-08-01

    This article examines how everyday media use and interpersonal communication for health information could influence health behaviors beyond intervention or campaign contexts. The authors argue that interpersonal communication works as an independent information channel and mediates the relation between media channels and health behaviors. In addition, the authors investigate whether interpersonal communication differently influences the relation between media connections and health behaviors for more and less educated individuals. Using data from the 2008 Annenberg National Health Communication Survey, the authors show that multiple communication channels for health information encourage health-enhancing behaviors but do not have significant relations with health-threatening behaviors. Interpersonal communication is directly linked to health-enhancing behaviors, but it also mediates the influence of individuals' multichannel media environment on health-enhancing behaviors. The mediating role of interpersonal health communication was only significant for less educated people. In addition, among media channels, television was a more important instigator of health-related conversations with family and friends for the less educated group. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings, as well as suggestions for future research directions, are discussed.

  8. YAC128 Huntington's disease transgenic mice show enhanced short-term hippocampal synaptic plasticity early in the course of the disease.

    PubMed

    Ghilan, Mohamed; Bostrom, Crystal A; Hryciw, Brett N; Simpson, Jessica M; Christie, Brian R; Gil-Mohapel, Joana

    2014-09-18

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disorder caused by a polyglutamine expansion in the gene encoding the protein huntingtin. The disease progresses over decades, but often patients develop cognitive impairments that precede the onset of the classical motor symptoms. Similar to the disease progression in humans, the yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) 128 HD mouse model also exhibits cognitive dysfunction that precedes the onset of the neuropathological and motor impairments characteristic of HD. Thus, the purpose of this study was to evaluate whether short- and long-term synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus, two related biological models of learning and memory processes, were altered in YAC128 mice in early stages of disease progression. We show that the YAC128 hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) displays marked reductions in paired-pulse depression both at 3 and 6 months of age. In addition, significantly enhanced post-tetanic and short-term potentiation are apparent in YAC128 mice after high-frequency stimulation at this time. Early and late forms of long-term plasticity were not altered at this stage. Together these findings indicate that there may be elevated neurotransmitter release in response to synaptic stimulation in YAC128 mice during the initial phase of disease progression. These abnormalities in short-term plasticity detected at this stage in YAC128 HD transgenic mice indicate that aberrant information processing at the level of the synapses may contribute, at least in part, to the early onset of cognitive deficits that are characteristic of this devastating neurodegenerative disorder.

  9. Compassionate care: enhancing physician-patient communication and education in dermatology: Part I: Patient-centered communication.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Tien V; Hong, Judith; Prose, Neil S

    2013-03-01

    The motivation for developing patient-centered communication stems from a desire to enhance the quality of patient care, fulfill professional competency requirements, reduce medical errors, and improve health outcomes and patient satisfaction. Patient-centered communication skills can optimize the physician-patient relationship without significantly prolonging office visits. We propose a series of practical and generally effective techniques for verbal and nonverbal communication. We also suggest a targeted approach for specific difficult conversations that may occur frequently in the practice of dermatology.

  10. Synaptic Vesicle Proteins and Active Zone Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Kittel, Robert J.; Heckmann, Manfred

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Communication vulnerable patients in the pediatric ICU: Enhancing care through augmentative and alternative communication.

    PubMed

    Costello, John M; Patak, Lance; Pritchard, Jennifer

    2010-01-01

    Children in pediatric intensive care units (PICUs) may experience a broad range of motor, sensory, cognitive, and linguistic difficulties that make it difficult for them to communicate effectively. Being unable to communicate is emotionally frightening for children and can lead to an increase in sentinel events, medical errors and extended lengths of stay. Implementation of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) tools and strategies can address the communication needs of children in the PICU by enabling them to communicate their wants, needs and feelings to healthcare providers and family members and participate in their own care more productively. Hospitals around the world are increasingly recognizing and addressing patients' needs for communication access and have begun to implement communication screenings and assessments and interventions at admission and throughout the hospital stay. New standards for all American hospitals, in fact, mandate efforts to improve patient communication. When patient-provider communication improves, treatment success goes up, hospital-caused errors decrease and patient and family satisfaction improve. This article describes three phases of intervention for communication vulnerable children in the PICU and provides examples of treatment approaches that ensure communication access as their medical condition changes.

  12. Synaptic plasticity along the sleep-wake cycle: implications for epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Romcy-Pereira, Rodrigo N; Leite, João P; Garcia-Cairasco, Norberto

    2009-01-01

    Activity-dependent changes in synaptic efficacy (i.e., synaptic plasticity) can alter the way neurons communicate and process information as a result of experience. Synaptic plasticity mechanisms involve both molecular and structural modifications that affect synaptic functioning, either enhancing or depressing neuronal transmission. They include redistribution of postsynaptic receptors, activation of intracellular signaling cascades, and formation/retraction of dendritic spines, among others. During the sleep-wake cycle, as the result of particular neurochemical and neuronal firing modes, distinct oscillatory patterns organize the activity of neuronal populations, modulating synaptic plasticity. Such modulation, for example, has been shown in the visual cortex following sleep deprivation and in the ability to induce hippocampal long-term potentiation during sleep. In epilepsy, synchronized behavioral states tend to contribute to the initiation of paroxystic discharges and are considered more epileptogenic than desynchronized states. Here, we review some of the current understandings of synaptic plasticity changes in wake and sleep states and how sleep may affect epileptic seizures.

  13. GPCR Mediated Regulation of Synaptic Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Betke, Katherine M.; Wells, Christopher A.; Hamm, Heidi E.

    2012-01-01

    Synaptic transmission is a finely regulated mechanism of neuronal communication. The release of neurotransmitter at the synapse is not only the reflection of membrane depolarization events, but rather, is the summation of interactions between ion channels, G protein coupled receptors, second messengers, and the exocytotic machinery itself which exposes the components within a synaptic vesicle to the synaptic cleft. The focus of this review is to explore the role of G protein signaling as it relates to neurotransmission, as well as to discuss the recently determined inhibitory mechanism of Gβγ dimers acting directly on the exocytotic machinery proteins to inhibit neurotransmitter release. PMID:22307060

  14. Engineering amorphous-crystalline interfaces in TiO2-x/TiO2-y-based bilayer structures for enhanced resistive switching and synaptic properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bousoulas, P.; Asenov, P.; Karageorgiou, I.; Sakellaropoulos, D.; Stathopoulos, S.; Tsoukalas, D.

    2016-10-01

    The operating principle of resistive random access memories (RRAMs) relies on the distribution of ionic species and their influence on the electron transport. Taking into account that formation and annihilation of conducting filaments (CFs) is the driving mechanism for the switching effect, it is very important to control the regions where these filaments will evolve. Thus, homolayers of titanium oxide with different oxygen contents were fabricated in order to tune the local electrical and thermal properties of the CFs and narrow down the potential percolation paths. We show that the oxygen content in the top layer of the TiO2-x/TiO2-y bilayer memristors can directly influence the morphology of the layers which affect the diffusion barrier and consequently the diffusivity and drift velocity of oxygen vacancies, yielding in important enhancement of switching characteristics, in terms of spatial uniformity (σ/μ < 0.2), enlarged switching ratio (˜104), and synaptic learning. In order to address the experimental data, a physical model was applied, divulging the crucial role of temperature, electric potential and oxygen vacancy density on the switching effect and offering physical insights to the SET/RESET transitions and the analog switching. The forming free nature of all the devices in conjunction with the self-rectifying behavior, should also be regarded as important assets towards RRAM device optimization.

  15. Coaching and feedback: enhancing communication teaching and learning in veterinary practice settings.

    PubMed

    Adams, Cindy L; Kurtz, Suzanne

    2012-01-01

    Communication is a critical clinical skill closely linked to clinical reasoning, medical problem solving, and significant outcomes of care such as accuracy, efficiency, supportiveness, adherence to treatment plans, and client and veterinarian satisfaction. More than 40 years of research on communication and communication education in human medicine and, more recently, in veterinary medicine provide a substantive rationale for formal communication teaching in veterinary education. As a result, veterinary schools are beginning to invest in communication training. However, if communication training is to result in development of veterinary communication skills to a professional level of competence, there must be follow-through with effective communication modeling and coaching in practice settings. The purpose of this article is to move the communication modeling and coaching done in the "real world" of clinical practice to the next level. The development of skills for communication coaching and feedback is demanding. We begin by comparing communication coaching with what is required for teaching other clinical skills in practice settings. Examining both, what it takes to teach others (whether DVM students or veterinarians in practice for several years) and what it takes to enhance one's own communication skills and capacities, we consider the why, what, and how of communication coaching. We describe the use of teaching instruments to structure this work and give particular attention to how to engage in feedback sessions, since these elements are so critical in communication teaching and learning. We consider the preconditions necessary to initiate and sustain communication skills training in practice, including the need for a safe and supportive environment within which to implement communication coaching and feedback. Finally we discuss the challenges and opportunities unique to coaching and to building and delivering communication skills training in practice

  16. The number of components of enhancement contributing to short-term synaptic plasticity at the neuromuscular synapse during patterned nerve Stimulation progressively decreases as basal release probability is increased from low to normal levels by changing extracellular Ca2+.

    PubMed

    Holohean, Alice M; Magleby, Karl L

    2011-05-11

    Presynaptic short-term plasticity (STP) dynamically modulates synaptic strength in a reversible manner on a timescale of milliseconds to minutes. For low basal vesicular release probability (prob0), four components of enhancement, F1 and F2 facilitation, augmentation (A), and potentiation (P), increase synaptic strength during repetitive nerve activity. For release rates that exceed the rate of replenishment of the readily releasable pool (RRP) of synaptic vesicles, depression of synaptic strength, observed as a rundown of postsynaptic potential amplitudes, can also develop. To understand the relationship between enhancement and depression at the frog (Rana pipiens) neuromuscular synapse, data obtained over a wide range of prob0 using patterned stimulation are analyzed with a hybrid model to reveal the components of STP. We find that F1, F2, A, P, and depletion of the RRP all contribute to STP during repetitive nerve activity at low prob0. As prob0 is increased by raising Ca(o)(2+) (extracellular Ca2+), specific components of enhancement no longer contribute, with first P, then A, and then F2 becoming undetectable, even though F1 continues to enhance release. For levels of prob0 that lead to appreciable depression, only F1 and depletion of the RRP contribute to STP during rundown, and for low stimulation rates, F2 can also contribute. These observations place prob0-dependent limitations on which components of enhancement contribute to STP and suggest some fundamental mechanistic differences among the components. The presented model can serve as a tool to readily characterize the components of STP over wide ranges of prob0.

  17. Recognizing and Enhancing the Communication Skills of Your Group Home Clients.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vicker, Beverly A.

    The manual examines ways in which nonprofessional group home health care workers can enhance the communication and interaction skills of developmentally disabled clients. The communication process is explored in terms of information exchange, both verbal and nonverbal. Examples of vocal, nonvocal, and echolalic speech are offered and suggestions…

  18. The Enhancement of Teacher Education through the Use of Communication Technology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Durham, John Richard; Sunal, Dennis W.

    The University of Alabama set up a communication network pilot program to enhance the early childhood and elementary methods block in the College of Education. The pilot program incorporated electronic mail (E-Mail), a fax machine, and a microcomputer communications network. The network made possible instructors' clarifications of assignments,…

  19. Enhancing mathematics communication using critical aspects and dimensions of variation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olteanu, Constanta; Olteanu, Lucian

    2013-06-01

    This article deals with two prominent topics in the field of mathematics education: the communication in mathematics and its teaching and learning and the continuous professional development of mathematics teachers. In this article, a framework is proposed for analysing the effectiveness of communication in mathematics classrooms. The presentation is based on data collected, during a 3-year period, while different objects of learning is presented in nine classes, and it includes 22 teachers and 884 students. Among other things, the data consist of the students' tests, the teachers' lessons plan and reports of the lessons' instructions. In the analysis, concepts relating to variation theory have been used as analytical tools. The results show that effective communication occurs in the classroom if it has the real critical aspects in student learning as its starting point. Also, the results show that teachers develop new strategies to present the contents by having the focus to open up dimensions of variation.

  20. Spike-Timing Precision and Neuronal Synchrony Are Enhanced by an Interaction between Synaptic Inhibition and Membrane Oscillations in the Amygdala

    PubMed Central

    Daftary, Shabrine; Madsen, Teresa E.; Rainnie, Donald G.

    2012-01-01

    The basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA) is a critical component of the neural circuit regulating fear learning. During fear learning and recall, the amygdala and other brain regions, including the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, exhibit phase-locked oscillations in the high delta/low theta frequency band (∼2–6 Hz) that have been shown to contribute to the learning process. Network oscillations are commonly generated by inhibitory synaptic input that coordinates action potentials in groups of neurons. In the rat BLA, principal neurons spontaneously receive synchronized, inhibitory input in the form of compound, rhythmic, inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs), likely originating from burst-firing parvalbumin interneurons. Here we investigated the role of compound IPSPs in the rat and rhesus macaque BLA in regulating action potential synchrony and spike-timing precision. Furthermore, because principal neurons exhibit intrinsic oscillatory properties and resonance between 4 and 5 Hz, in the same frequency band observed during fear, we investigated whether compound IPSPs and intrinsic oscillations interact to promote rhythmic activity in the BLA at this frequency. Using whole-cell patch clamp in brain slices, we demonstrate that compound IPSPs, which occur spontaneously and are synchronized across principal neurons in both the rat and primate BLA, significantly improve spike-timing precision in BLA principal neurons for a window of ∼300 ms following each IPSP. We also show that compound IPSPs coordinate the firing of pairs of BLA principal neurons, and significantly improve spike synchrony for a window of ∼130 ms. Compound IPSPs enhance a 5 Hz calcium-dependent membrane potential oscillation (MPO) in these neurons, likely contributing to the improvement in spike-timing precision and synchronization of spiking. Activation of the cAMP-PKA signaling cascade enhanced the MPO, and inhibition of this cascade blocked the MPO. We discuss these results in

  1. Language Training for Enhanced Horizontal Communication: A Challenge for MNCs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Charles, Mirjaliisa; Marschan-Piekkari, Rebecca

    2002-01-01

    Identifies and examines the problems that staff in multinational corporations (MNCs) experience in horizontal communication with other units and discusses the implications of these problems for in-company language training. Concludes that illustrative interview data suggests that corporate training schemes should focus on the broad spectrum of…

  2. Neuro-Linguistic Programming: Enhancing Teacher-Student Communications.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Childers, John H., Jr.

    1985-01-01

    Defines Neurolinguistic Programming (NCP) and discusses specific dimensions of the model that have applications for classroom teaching. Describes five representational systems individuals use to process information and gives examples of effective and ineffective teacher-student communication for each system. (MCF)

  3. Improving Student Academic Achievement through Enhanced Communication Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rivan, Christine A.; Weber, Annette M.

    This report describes a program implemented to improve inadequate student communication skills, specifically in the areas of listening, speaking, social, and emotional development. The targeted population consisted of first and second grade students in a middle class community, located in central Illinois. Evidence for the existence of the problem…

  4. Using Discussion Pedagogy to Enhance Oral and Written Communication Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dallimore, Elise J.; Hertenstein, Julie H.; Platt, Marjorie B.

    2008-01-01

    This research project examines students' reactions to in-class discussion as an instructional technique by investigating the effect of participation practices on communication-based skill development. The findings provide evidence that active preparation and participation in class discussion can be linked to students' reports of improved oral and…

  5. Enhanced Communication Network Solution for Positive Train Control Implementation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fatehi, M. T.; Simon, J.; Chang, W.; Chow, E. T.; Burleigh, S. C.

    2011-01-01

    The commuter and freight railroad industry is required to implement Positive Train Control (PTC) by 2015 (2012 for Metrolink), a challenging network communications problem. This paper will discuss present technologies developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to overcome comparable communication challenges encountered in deep space mission operations. PTC will be based on a new cellular wireless packet Internet Protocol (IP) network. However, ensuring reliability in such a network is difficult due to the "dead zones" and transient disruptions we commonly experience when we lose calls in commercial cellular networks. These disruptions make it difficult to meet PTC s stringent reliability (99.999%) and safety requirements, deployment deadlines, and budget. This paper proposes innovative solutions based on space-proven technologies that would help meet these challenges: (1) Delay Tolerant Networking (DTN) technology, designed for use in resource-constrained, embedded systems and currently in use on the International Space Station, enables reliable communication over networks in which timely data acknowledgments might not be possible due to transient link outages. (2) Policy-Based Management (PBM) provides dynamic management capabilities, allowing vital data to be exchanged selectively (with priority) by utilizing alternative communication resources. The resulting network may help railroads implement PTC faster, cheaper, and more reliably.

  6. 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.

  7. Increased Anxiety-Like Behavior and Enhanced Synaptic Efficacy in the Amygdala of GluR5 Knockout Mice

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Hui; Vadakkan, Kunjumon I.; Ren, Ming; Knifed, Eva; Shum, Fanny; Quan, Jessica; Zhang, Xue-Han; Zhuo, Min

    2007-01-01

    GABAergic transmission in the amygdala modulates the expression of anxiety. Understanding the interplay between GABAergic transmission and excitatory circuits in the amygdala is, therefore, critical for understanding the neurobiological basis of anxiety. Here, we used a multi-disciplinary approach to demonstrate that GluR5-containing kainate receptors regulate local inhibitory circuits, modulate the excitatory transmission from the basolateral amygdala to the central amygdala, and control behavioral anxiety. Genetic deletion of GluR5 or local injection of a GluR5 antagonist into the basolateral amygdala increases anxiety-like behavior. Activation of GluR5 selectively depolarized inhibitory neurons, thereby increasing GABA release and contributing to tonic GABA current in the basolateral amygdala. The enhanced GABAergic transmission leads to reduced excitatory inputs in the central amygdala. Our results suggest that GluR5 is a key regulator of inhibitory circuits in the amygdala and highlight the potential use of GluR5-specific drugs in the treatment of pathological anxiety. PMID:17245443

  8. Therapeutic communication part 2: strategies that can enhance the quality of the emergency care consultation.

    PubMed

    O'gara, Paula E; Fairhurst, Wendy

    2004-10-01

    Therapeutic, patient-centred communication as well as being desirable in its own right may also have the potential to improve satisfaction, health outcomes and change health behaviours in Emergency Care. This paper, the second of two, identifies from a substantive literature review five specific communication strategies that, when employed in an Emergency Care consultation, could significantly enhance its therapeutic potential. The five strategies: questioning, listening and noticing, communicating empathy, establishing and incorporating the patient's cares and concerns and concluding the consultation have been derived from the purposeful selection and analysis of communication research between 1990 and 2002.

  9. SPECS: Secure and Privacy Enhancing Communications Schemes for VANETs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chim, T. W.; Yiu, S. M.; Hui, L. C. K.; Jiang, Zoe L.; Li, Victor O. K.

    Vehicular ad hoc network (VANET) is an emerging type of networks which facilitates vehicles on roads to communicate for driving safety. The basic idea is to allow arbitrary vehicles to broadcast ad hoc messages (e.g. traffic accidents) to other vehicles. However, this raises the concern of security and privacy. Messages should be signed and verified before they are trusted while the real identity of vehicles should not be revealed, but traceable by authorized party. Existing solutions either rely heavily on a tamper-proof hardware device, or cannot satisfy the privacy requirement and do not have an effective message verification scheme. In this paper, we provide a software-based solution which makes use of only two shared secrets to satisfy the privacy requirement and gives lower message overhead and at least 45% higher successful rate than previous solutions in the message verification phase using the bloom filter and the binary search techniques. We also provide the first group communication protocol to allow vehicles to authenticate and securely communicate with others in a group of known vehicles.

  10. Synaptic Effects of Electric Fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rahman, Asif

    . Moreover, stimulation polarity has asymmetric effects on synaptic strength making it easier to enhance ongoing plasticity. These results suggest that the susceptibility of brain networks to an electric field depends on the state of synaptic activity. Combining a training task, which activates specific circuits, with TES may lead to functionally-specific effects. Given the simplicity of TES and the complexity of brain function, understanding the mechanisms leading to specificity is fundamental to the rational advancement of TES.

  11. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation enhances spatial learning and synaptic plasticity via the VEGF and BDNF-NMDAR pathways in a rat model of vascular dementia.

    PubMed

    Zhang, N; Xing, M; Wang, Y; Tao, H; Cheng, Y

    2015-12-17

    This study aimed to evaluate the effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on learning and memory in a rat model of vascular dementia (VaD) and to analyze the associated mechanisms. Bilateral carotid artery occlusion (2-VO) was used to establish a rat model of VaD. High-frequency (5Hz) rTMS was performed on rats for four weeks. Spatial learning and memory abilities were evaluated using the Morris water maze (MWM), and synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus was assessed via long-term potentiation (LTP). Hippocampal expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and three subunits of the N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor (NMDAR), NR1, NR2A and NR2B, was analyzed by Western blotting. Compared with the VaD group, escape latency was decreased (P<0.05) and the time spent in the target quadrant and the percentage of swimming distance within that quadrant were increased (P<0.05) in the rTMS group. LTP at hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapses was enhanced by rTMS (P<0.05). VEGF expression was up-regulated following 2-VO and was further increased by rTMS (P<0.05). BDNF, NR1 and NR2B expression was decreased in the VaD group and increased by rTMS (P<0.05). There were no significant differences in NR2A expression among the three groups. These results suggest that rTMS improved learning and memory in the VaD model rats via the up-regulation of VEGF, BDNF and NMDARs. In addition, NR2B may be more important than NR2A for LTP induction in the hippocampus during rTMS treatment of VaD.

  12. Chelation of hippocampal zinc enhances long-term potentiation and synaptic tagging/capture in CA1 pyramidal neurons of aged rats: implications to aging and memory.

    PubMed

    Shetty, Mahesh Shivarama; Sharma, Mahima; Sajikumar, Sreedharan

    2017-02-01

    Aging is associated with decline in cognitive functions, prominently in the memory consolidation and association capabilities. Hippocampus plays a crucial role in the formation and maintenance of long-term associative memories, and a significant body of evidence shows that impairments in hippocampal function correlate with aging-related memory loss. A number of studies have implicated alterations in hippocampal synaptic plasticity, such as long-term potentiation (LTP), in age-related cognitive decline although exact mechanisms underlying are not completely clear. Zinc deficiency and the resultant adverse effects on cognition have been well studied. However, the role of excess of zinc in synaptic plasticity, especially in aging, is not addressed well. Here, we have investigated the hippocampal zinc levels and the impairments in synaptic plasticity, such as LTP and synaptic tagging and capture (STC), in the CA1 region of acute hippocampal slices from 82- to 84-week-old male Wistar rats. We report increased zinc levels in the hippocampus of aged rats and also deficits in the tetani-induced and dopaminergic agonist-induced late-LTP and STC. The observed deficits in synaptic plasticity were restored upon chelation of zinc using a cell-permeable chelator. These data suggest that functional plasticity and associativity can be successfully established in aged neural networks by chelating zinc with cell-permeable chelating agents.

  13. Enhanced communication performance improvement and patient satisfaction in an endoscopy/ambulatory surgery unit.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    A nursing incentive directed toward enhanced communication, performance improvement, patient safety, and patient satisfaction was initiated by the staff nurses in an endoscopy unit of a 714-bed specialized teaching hospital. Data were collected from approximately 1,800 ambulatory patients using a hands-off communication tool. The population was evenly divided between males and females. The goals of the data collection focused on the utilization of a medical questionnaire given to patients prior to elective procedures. The purpose of this initial study was to ascertain whether the questionnaires contributed to patients' communication regarding their health record while facilitating the admission/assessment phase of undergoing an elective endoscopy procedure. The medical questionnaire also served as a patient education tool whereby staff promoted the importance of safe medication administration. The initiative will remain ongoing and future studies will monitor and identify areas needed for performance improvement, patient safety, and enhanced communication. Patient satisfaction is measured using Press Ganey results.

  14. Phosphorylation of Synaptojanin Differentially Regulates Endocytosis of Functionally Distinct Synaptic Vesicle Pools

    PubMed Central

    Geng, Junhua; Wang, Liping; Lee, Joo Yeun; Chen, Chun-Kan

    2016-01-01

    The rapid replenishment of synaptic vesicles through endocytosis is crucial for sustaining synaptic transmission during intense neuronal activity. Synaptojanin (Synj), a phosphoinositide phosphatase, is known to play an important role in vesicle recycling by promoting the uncoating of clathrin following synaptic vesicle uptake. Synj has been shown to be a substrate of the minibrain (Mnb) kinase, a fly homolog of the dual-specificity tyrosine phosphorylation-regulated kinase 1A (DYRK1A); however, the functional impacts of Synj phosphorylation by Mnb are not well understood. Here we identify that Mnb phosphorylates Synj at S1029 in Drosophila. We find that phosphorylation of Synj at S1029 enhances Synj phosphatase activity, alters interaction between Synj and endophilin, and promotes efficient endocytosis of the active cycling vesicle pool (also referred to as exo-endo cycling pool) at the expense of reserve pool vesicle endocytosis. Dephosphorylated Synj, on the other hand, is deficient in the endocytosis of the active recycling pool vesicles but maintains reserve pool vesicle endocytosis to restore total vesicle pool size and sustain synaptic transmission. Together, our findings reveal a novel role for Synj in modulating reserve pool vesicle endocytosis and further indicate that dynamic phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of Synj differentially maintain endocytosis of distinct functional synaptic vesicle pools. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Synaptic vesicle endocytosis sustains communication between neurons during a wide range of neuronal activities by recycling used vesicle membrane and protein components. Here we identify that Synaptojanin, a protein with a known role in synaptic vesicle endocytosis, is phosphorylated at S1029 in vivo by the Minibrain kinase. We further demonstrate that the phosphorylation status of Synaptojanin at S1029 differentially regulates its participation in the recycling of distinct synaptic vesicle pools. Our results reveal a new role for

  15. Enhancing the Performance of Medical Implant Communication Systems through Cooperative Diversity.

    PubMed

    Hegyi, Barnabás; Levendovszky, János

    2010-01-01

    Battery-operated medical implants-such as pacemakers or cardioverter-defibrillators-have already been widely used in practical telemedicine and telecare applications. However, no solution has yet been found to mitigate the effect of the fading that the in-body to off-body communication channel is subject to. In this paper, we reveal and assess the potential of cooperative diversity to combat fading-hence to improve system performance-in medical implant communication systems. In the particular cooperative communication scenario we consider, multiple cooperating receiver units are installed across the room accommodating the patient with a medical implant inside his/her body. Our investigations have shown that the application of cooperative diversity is a promising approach to enhance the performance of medical implant communication systems in various aspects such as implant lifetime and communication link reliability.

  16. Enhanced nitric oxide production during lead (Pb²⁺) exposure recovers protein expression but not presynaptic localization of synaptic proteins in developing hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Neal, April P; Stansfield, Kirstie H; Guilarte, Tomás R

    2012-02-23

    We have previously reported that lead (Pb(2+)) exposure results in both presynaptic and postsynaptic changes in developing neurons as a result of inhibition of the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR). NMDAR inhibition by Pb(2+) during synaptogenesis disrupts downstream trans-synaptic signaling of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and exogenous addition of BDNF can recover the effects of Pb(2+) on both presynaptic protein expression and presynaptic vesicular release. NMDAR activity can modulate other trans-synaptic signaling pathways, such as nitric oxide (NO) signaling. Thus, it is possible that other trans-synaptic pathways in addition to BDNF signaling may be disrupted by Pb(2+) exposure. The current study investigated whether exogenous addition of NO could recover the presynaptic vesicular proteins lost as a result of Pb(2+) exposure during synaptogenesis, namely Synaptophysin (Syn) and Synaptobrevin (Syb). We observed that exogenous addition of NO during Pb(2+) exposure results in complete recovery of whole-cell Syn levels and partial recovery of Syn and Syb synaptic targeting in Pb(2+)-exposed neurons.

  17. Science documentary video slides to enhance education and communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byrne, J. M.; Little, L. J.; Dodgson, K.

    2010-12-01

    Documentary production can convey powerful messages using a combination of authentic science and reinforcing video imagery. Conventional documentary production contains too much information for many viewers to follow; hence many powerful points may be lost. But documentary productions that are re-edited into short video sequences and made available through web based video servers allow the teacher/viewer to access the material as video slides. Each video slide contains one critical discussion segment of the larger documentary. A teacher/viewer can review the documentary one segment at a time in a class room, public forum, or in the comfort of home. The sequential presentation of the video slides allows the viewer to best absorb the documentary message. The website environment provides space for additional questions and discussion to enhance the video message.

  18. Lateral regulation of synaptic transmission by astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Covelo, A; Araque, A

    2016-05-26

    Fifteen years ago the concept of the "tripartite synapse" was proposed to conceptualize the functional view that astrocytes are integral elements of synapses. The signaling exchange between astrocytes and neurons within the tripartite synapse results in the synaptic regulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity through an autocrine form of communication. However, recent evidence indicates that the astrocyte synaptic regulation is not restricted to the active tripartite synapse but can be manifested through astrocyte signaling at synapses relatively distant from active synapses, a process termed lateral astrocyte synaptic regulation. This phenomenon resembles the classical heterosynaptic modulation but is mechanistically different because it involves astrocytes and its properties critically depend on the morphological and functional features of astrocytes. Therefore, the functional concept of the tripartite synapse as a fundamental unit must be expanded to include the interaction between tripartite synapses. Through lateral synaptic regulation, astrocytes serve as an active processing bridge for synaptic interaction and crosstalk between synapses with no direct neuronal connectivity, supporting the idea that neural network function results from the coordinated activity of astrocytes and neurons.

  19. COMMUNICATION: Folate and S-adenosylmethionine modulate synaptic activity in cultured cortical neurons: acute differential impact on normal and apolipoprotein-deficient mice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serra, Michael; Chan, Amy; Dubey, Maya; Gilman, Vladimir; Shea, Thomas B.

    2008-12-01

    Folate deficiency is accompanied by a decline in the cognitive neurotransmitter acetylcholine and a decline in cognitive performance in mice lacking apolipoprotein E (ApoE-/- mice), a low-density lipoprotein that regulates aspects of lipid metabolism. One direct consequence of folate deficiency is a decline in S-adenosylmethionine (SAM). Since dietary SAM supplementation maintains acetylcholine levels and cognitive performance in the absence of folate, we examined herein the impact of folate and SAM on neuronal synaptic activity. Embryonic cortical neurons from mice expressing or lacking ApoE (ApoE+/+ or -/-, respectively) were cultured for 1 month on multi-electrode arrays, and signaling was recorded. ApoE+/+ cultures displayed significantly more frequent spontaneous signals than ApoE-/- cultures. Supplementation with 166 µm SAM (not normally present in culture medium) increased signal frequency and decreased signal amplitude in ApoE+/+ cultures. SAM also increased the frequency of tightly clustered signal bursts. Folate deprivation reversibly reduced signal frequency in ApoE+/+ cultures; SAM supplementation maintained signal frequency despite folate deprivation. These findings support the importance of dietary supplementation with folate and SAM on neuronal health. Supplementation with 166 µm SAM did not alter signaling in ApoE-/- cultures, which may be a reflection of the reduced SAM levels in ApoE-/- mice. The differential impact of SAM on ApoE+/+ and -/- neurons underscores the combined impact of nutritional and genetic deficiencies on neuronal homeostasis.

  20. Dopaminergic enhancement of excitatory synaptic transmission in layer II entorhinal neurons is dependent on D₁-like receptor-mediated signaling.

    PubMed

    Glovaci, I; Caruana, D A; Chapman, C A

    2014-01-31

    The modulatory neurotransmitter dopamine induces concentration-dependent changes in synaptic transmission in the entorhinal cortex, in which high concentrations of dopamine suppress evoked excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) and lower concentrations induce an acute synaptic facilitation. Whole-cell current-clamp recordings were used to investigate the dopaminergic facilitation of synaptic responses in layer II neurons of the rat lateral entorhinal cortex. A constant bath application of 1 μM dopamine resulted in a consistent facilitation of EPSPs evoked in layer II fan cells by layer I stimulation; the size of the facilitation was more variable in pyramidal neurons, and synaptic responses in a small group of multiform neurons were not modulated by dopamine. Isolated inhibitory synaptic responses were not affected by dopamine, and the facilitation of EPSPs was not associated with a change in paired-pulse facilitation ratio. Voltage-clamp recordings of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA) glutamate receptor-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) were facilitated by dopamine, but N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-mediated currents were not. Bath application of the dopamine D₁-like receptor blocker SCH23390 (50 μM), but not the D₂-like receptor blocker sulpiride (50 μM), prevented the facilitation, indicating that it is dependent upon D₁-like receptor activation. Dopamine D₁ receptors lead to activation of protein kinase A (PKA), and including the PKA inhibitor H-89 or KT 5720 in the recording pipette solution prevented the facilitation of EPSCs. PKA-dependent phosphorylation of inhibitor 1 or the dopamine- and cAMP-regulated protein phosphatase (DARPP-32) can lead to a facilitation of AMPA receptor responses by inhibiting the activity of protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) that reduces dephosphorylation of AMPA receptors, and we found here that inhibition of PP1 occluded the facilitatory effect of dopamine. The dopamine

  1. Communication Enhancement Project. Manitoba Pool Elevators and United Grain Growers. Phase One Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howell, Sandi

    In 1992, United Grain Growers (UGG) and Manitoba Pool (MP) formed a partnership to examine the literacy and numeracy needs of their rural grain elevator operators and the potential of delivering a communications enhancement program in the rural areas. During part 1, the committee held a series of initial planning meetings. Both companies held…

  2. NEW MEDIA TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT TO ENHANCE AND IMPROVE COMMUNICATIONS AT USEPA'S NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY

    EPA Science Inventory

    New media technology (NT) interactive applications are currently being developed in house at ORD/NRMRL to enhance and improve communication of NRMRL's 1) research projects, 2) workshops/conferences and 3) specialized training. NT is an exciting mix of cutting-edge information tec...

  3. Coping and Communication-Enhancing Intervention versus Supportive Counseling for Women Diagnosed with Gynecological Cancers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manne, Sharon L.; Rubin, Stephen; Edelson, Mitchell; Rosenblum, Norman; Bergman, Cynthia; Hernandez, Enrique; Carlson, John; Rocereto, Thomas; Winkel, Gary

    2007-01-01

    This study compared the efficacy of 2 psychological interventions, a coping and communication-enhancing intervention (CCI) and supportive counseling (SC), in reducing depressive symptoms and cancer-specific distress of women diagnosed with gynecological cancer. Demographic, medical, and psychological moderators of intervention effects were…

  4. Enhancing HIV Communication between Parents and Children: Efficacy of the Parents Matter! Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Kim S.; Lin, Carol Y.; Poulsen, Melissa N.; Fasula, Amy; Wyckoff, Sarah C.; Forehand, Rex; Long, Nicholas; Armistead, Lisa

    2011-01-01

    We examine efficacy of the Parents Matter! Program (PMP), a program to teach African-American parents of preadolescents sexual communication and HIV-prevention skills, through a multicenter, randomized control trial. A total of 1115 parent-child participants were randomized to one of three intervention arms (enhanced, brief, control). Percentages…

  5. Music and Sign Language to Promote Infant and Toddler Communication and Enhance Parent-Child Interaction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colwell, Cynthia; Memmott, Jenny; Meeker-Miller, Anne

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of using music and/or sign language to promote early communication in infants and toddlers (6-20 months) and to enhance parent-child interactions. Three groups used for this study were pairs of participants (care-giver(s) and child) assigned to each group: 1) Music Alone 2) Sign Language…

  6. Enhancing Willingness to Communicate: Relative Effects of Visualization and Goal Setting

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Munezane, Yoko

    2015-01-01

    This article examines the relative effects of two treatments--goal setting and visualization--on enhancing Willingness to Communicate (WTC) among a group of 373 Japanese university EFL learners. Although longitudinal studies in both EFL and ESL settings have been conducted to examine the developmental aspect of WTC, no solid results of enhancing…

  7. Leveraging Computer-Mediated Communication Technologies to Enhance Interactions in Online Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wright, Linda J.

    2011-01-01

    Computer-mediated communication (CMC) technologies have been an integral part of distance education for many years. They are found in both synchronous and asynchronous platforms and are intended to enhance the learning experience for students. CMC technologies add an interactive element to the online learning environment. The findings from this…

  8. Use of Information and Communication Technology to Enhance the Information Literacy Skills of Distance Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pastula, Matthew

    2010-01-01

    Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has become an integral tool in enhancing library services worldwide. This article looks at ways technology is utilized at Massey University to bridge the gap between distance students and traditional library services. There are a variety of software providers, formats and implementation practices…

  9. Using Visual Accents to Enhance Attending to Communication Symbols for Students with Severe Multiple Disabilities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bailey, Brent R.; Downing, June

    1994-01-01

    Visual accents can create unique communication graphics to increase attending behavior necessary for learning symbol/referent relationships by students with severe vision loss. Accenting procedures use size, color, contrast, shape, and graphic pattern to enhance the probability that the learner will self-initiate attending to the visual symbol.…

  10. Enhancing the Utilization of Information Communication Technology (ICT) among Home Economics Lecturers in South Eastern Nigeria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ejinkeonye, Uju Bridget; Usoroh, Comfort I.

    2016-01-01

    The study was on enhancing the utilization of information communication Technology (ICT) among Home Economics lecturers in south Eastern Nigeria. The study adopted a survey method. The area of the study is south eastern Nigeria. Three research questions guided the study. The population was made up of 63 Home Economics lecturers from the six…

  11. Cooperative Learning and Enhanced Communication: Effects on Student Performance, Retention, and Attitudes in General Chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dougherty, R. C.; Bowen, C. W.; Berger, T.; Rees, W.; Mellon, E. K.; Pulliam, E.

    1995-09-01

    This report discusses the retention and performance of three sections of general chemistry that utilized different levels of cooperative learning and enhanced communication. The structured cooperative section (S-coop) required that students belonged to study groups, had group homework and group quizzes and had course credit driven electronic mail. The unstructured cooperative section (U-coop) encouraged students to form optional informal groups and provided for optional enhanced communication by paper mail. The control section used a standard lecture format without any cooperative learning or enhanced communication options. The student retention (C or better) was S-coop 85 %, U-coop 76 %, and Control 59 % (all differences were statistically significant). On the final exam the percent correct for common questions was S-coop 58%, U-coop 60%, and Control 55%. Adjusted for the difference in retention there was no significant difference between the two cooperative sections. The results of the Student Instructional Rating System for the three sections had the following percentage of students agreeing that the instructor was an effective teacher: S-coop 74%; U-coop 99%; and Control 80%. In all cases the differences were statistically significant. We conclude that a structured cooperative learning environment with enhanced communication can improve overall student retention and performance in general chemistry.

  12. Enhancing Intercultural Communication and Understanding: Team Translation Project as a Student Engagement Learning Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yang, Ping

    2015-01-01

    This paper reflects on a team translation project on Aboriginal culture designed to enhance university students' intercultural communication competence and understanding through engaging in an interactive team translation project funded by the Australia-China Council. A selected group of Chinese speaking translation students participated in the…

  13. A Review of Information and Communication Technology Enhanced Social Work Interventions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chan, Chitat; Holosko, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: Information and communications technology (ICT) has impacted almost all human service disciplines and currently is evolving in social work. This study provides a systematic review of ICT-enhanced social work interventions, with particular reference to their intervention fidelity (IF), validity, and the role of ICT in the helping…

  14. Method of Enhancing On-Board State Estimation Using Communication Signals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anzalone, Evan J. (Inventor); Chuang, Jason C. H. (Inventor)

    2015-01-01

    A method of enhancing on-board state estimation for a spacecraft utilizes a network of assets to include planetary-based assets and space-based assets. Communication signals transmitted from each of the assets into space are defined by a common protocol. Data is embedded in each communication signal transmitted by the assets. The data includes a time-of-transmission for a corresponding one of the communication signals and a position of a corresponding one of the assets at the time-of-transmission. A spacecraft is equipped to receive the communication signals, has a clock synchronized to the space-wide time reference frame, and has a processor programmed to generate state estimates of the spacecraft. Using its processor, the spacecraft determines a one-dimensional range from itself to at least one of the assets and then updates its state estimates using each one-dimensional range.

  15. Correlated network activity enhances synaptic efficacy via BDNF and the ERK pathway at immature CA3 CA1 connections in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Mohajerani, Majid H; Sivakumaran, Sudhir; Zacchi, Paola; Aguilera, Pedro; Cherubini, Enrico

    2007-08-07

    At early developmental stages, correlated neuronal activity is thought to exert a critical control on functional and structural refinement of synaptic connections. In the hippocampus, between postnatal day 2 (P2) and P6, network-driven giant depolarizing potentials (GDPs) are generated by the synergistic action of glutamate and GABA, which is depolarizing and excitatory. Here the rising phase of GDPs was used to trigger Schaffer collateral stimulation in such a way that synchronized network activity was coincident with presynaptic activation of afferent input. This procedure produced a persistent increase in spontaneous and evoked alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxadepropionic acid-mediated glutamatergic currents, an effect that required calcium influx through postsynaptic L-type calcium channels. No potentiation was observed when a delay of 3 sec was introduced between GDPs and afferent stimulation. Pairing-induced potentiation was prevented by scavengers of endogenous BDNF or tropomyosin-related kinase receptor B (TrkB) receptor antagonists. Blocking TrkB receptors in the postsynaptic cell did not prevent the effects of pairing, suggesting that BDNF, possibly secreted from the postsynaptic cell during GDPs, acts on TrkB receptors localized on presynaptic neurons. Application of exogenous BDNF mimicked the effects of pairing on synaptic transmission. In addition, pairing-induced synaptic potentiation was blocked by ERK inhibitors, suggesting that BDNF activates the MAPK/ERK cascade, which may lead to transcriptional regulation and new protein synthesis in the postsynaptic neuron. These results support the hypothesis that, during a critical period of postnatal development, GABAA-mediated GDPs are instrumental in tuning excitatory synaptic connections and provide insights into the molecular mechanisms involved in this process.

  16. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-induced mitochondrial motility arrest and presynaptic docking contribute to BDNF-enhanced synaptic transmission.

    PubMed

    Su, Bo; Ji, Yun-Song; Sun, Xu-lu; Liu, Xiang-Hua; Chen, Zhe-Yu

    2014-01-17

    Appropriate mitochondrial transport and distribution are essential for neurons because of the high energy and Ca(2+) buffering requirements at synapses. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays an essential role in regulating synaptic transmission and plasticity. However, whether and how BDNF can regulate mitochondrial transport and distribution are still unclear. Here, we find that in cultured hippocampal neurons, application of BDNF for 15 min decreased the percentage of moving mitochondria in axons, a process dependent on the activation of the TrkB receptor and its downstream PI3K and phospholipase-Cγ signaling pathways. Moreover, the BDNF-induced mitochondrial stopping requires the activation of transient receptor potential canonical 3 and 6 (TRPC3 and TRPC6) channels and elevated intracellular Ca(2+) levels. The Ca(2+) sensor Miro1 plays an important role in this process. Finally, the BDNF-induced mitochondrial stopping leads to the accumulation of more mitochondria at presynaptic sites. Mutant Miro1 lacking the ability to bind Ca(2+) prevents BDNF-induced mitochondrial presynaptic accumulation and synaptic transmission, suggesting that Miro1-mediated mitochondrial motility is involved in BDNF-induced mitochondrial presynaptic docking and neurotransmission. Together, these data suggest that mitochondrial transport and distribution play essential roles in BDNF-mediated synaptic transmission.

  17. 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.

  18. Regulatory Enhancer-Core-Promoter Communication via Transcription Factors and Cofactors.

    PubMed

    Zabidi, Muhammad A; Stark, Alexander

    2016-12-01

    Gene expression is regulated by genomic enhancers that recruit transcription factors and cofactors to activate transcription from target core promoters. Over the past years, thousands of enhancers and core promoters in animal genomes have been annotated, and we have learned much about the domain structure in which regulatory genomes are organized in animals. Enhancer-core-promoter targeting occurs at several levels, including regulatory domains, DNA accessibility, and sequence-encoded core-promoter specificities that are likely mediated by different regulatory proteins. We review here current knowledge about enhancer-core-promoter targeting, regulatory communication between enhancers and core promoters, and the protein factors involved. We conclude with an outlook on open questions that we find particularly interesting and that will likely lead to additional insights in the upcoming years.

  19. CPP-TRS(C): On using visual cognitive symbols to enhance communication effectiveness

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tonfoni, Graziella

    1994-01-01

    Communicative Positioning Program/Text Representation Systems (CPP-TRS) is a visual language based on a system of 12 canvasses, 10 signals and 14 symbols. CPP-TRS is based on the fact that every communication action is the result of a set of cognitive processes and the whole system is based on the concept that you can enhance communication by visually perceiving text. With a simple syntax, CPP-TRS is capable of representing meaning and intention as well as communication functions visually. Those are precisely invisible aspects of natural language that are most relevant to getting the global meaning of a text. CPP-TRS reinforces natural language in human machine interaction systems. It complements natural language by adding certain important elements that are not represented by natural language by itself. These include communication intention and function of the text expressed by the sender, as well as the role the reader is supposed to play. The communication intention and function of a text and the reader's role are invisible in natural language because neither specific words nor punctuation conveys them sufficiently and unambiguously; they are therefore non-transparent.

  20. Sleep, synaptic connectivity, and hippocampal memory during early development.

    PubMed

    Huber, Reto; Born, Jan

    2014-03-01

    Sleep, specifically sleep slow-wave activity (SWA), contributes to global synaptic homeostasis in neocortical networks by downscaling synaptic connections that were potentiated during prior wakefulness. In parallel, SWA supports the consolidation of hippocampus-dependent episodic memory, a process linked to local increases in synaptic connectivity. During development, both SWA and episodic memory show parallel time courses: distinct SWA and capabilities to form episodic memory become established during infancy and then profoundly increase across childhood until puberty. We propose that the parallel increases across childhood reflect an imbalance in the underlying regulation of synaptic connectivity during sleep; although memory consolidation favoring synaptic potentiation is enhanced, global synaptic downscaling during sleep SWA does not attain complete recovery of homeostatic baseline levels.

  1. An Evaluation of Protocol Enhancing Proxies and File Transport Protocols for Satellite Communication

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Finch, Patrick Eugene; Sullivan, Donald; Ivancic, William D.

    2012-01-01

    NASA is utilizing Global Hawk aircraft in high-altitude, long-duration Earth science missions. Communications with the onboard research equipment and sensors (the science payload) is via Ku-Band radio utilizing satellites in geostationary orbits. All payload communications use standard Internet Protocols and routing, and much of the data to be transferred is comprised of very large files. The science community is interested in fully utilizing these communication links to retrieve data as quickly and reliably as possible. A test bed was developed at NASA Ames to evaluate modern transport protocols as well as Protocol Enhancing Proxies (PEPs) to determine what tools best fit the needs of the science community. This paper describes the test bed used, the protocols, the PEPs that were evaluated, the particular tests performed and the results and conclusions.

  2. Communications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stouffer, Donald D.

    1990-01-01

    Communication in its many forms is a critical component for an effective Space Grant Program. Good communication is needed within individual Space Grant College/Consortia, for example between consortium affiliates and the consortium program office. Effective communication between the several programs, NASA Headquarters, and NASA field centers also is required. Further, communication among the above program elements, industry, local and state government, and the public also are necessary for meeting program objectives.

  3. Communication.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hancock, Alan

    An informal introduction to the study of communication deals with the major topics in the field. It presents basic theories of communication and language, reviews how language takes on meaning, explains the stimulus-response and Piaget theories of learning, and presents major theories dealing with communications and society. These theories include…

  4. Activity-dependent synaptic GRIP1 accumulation drives synaptic scaling up in response to action potential blockade.

    PubMed

    Gainey, Melanie A; Tatavarty, Vedakumar; Nahmani, Marc; Lin, Heather; Turrigiano, Gina G

    2015-07-07

    Synaptic scaling is a form of homeostatic plasticity that stabilizes neuronal firing in response to changes in synapse number and strength. Scaling up in response to action-potential blockade is accomplished through increased synaptic accumulation of GluA2-containing AMPA receptors (AMPAR), but the receptor trafficking steps that drive this process remain largely obscure. Here, we show that the AMPAR-binding protein glutamate receptor-interacting protein-1 (GRIP1) is essential for regulated synaptic AMPAR accumulation during scaling up. Synaptic abundance of GRIP1 was enhanced by activity deprivation, directly increasing synaptic GRIP1 abundance through overexpression increased the amplitude of AMPA miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs), and shRNA-mediated GRIP1 knockdown prevented scaling up of AMPA mEPSCs. Furthermore, knockdown and replace experiments targeting either GRIP1 or GluA2 revealed that scaling up requires the interaction between GRIP1 and GluA2. Finally, GRIP1 synaptic accumulation during scaling up did not require GluA2 binding. Taken together, our data support a model in which activity-dependent trafficking of GRIP1 to synaptic sites drives the forward trafficking and enhanced synaptic accumulation of GluA2-containing AMPAR during synaptic scaling up.

  5. Extracellular ATP Hydrolysis Inhibits Synaptic Transmission by Increasing pH Buffering in the Synaptic Cleft

    PubMed Central

    Vroman, Rozan; Klaassen, Lauw J.; Howlett, Marcus H.C.; Cenedese, Valentina; Klooster, Jan; Sjoerdsma, Trijntje; Kamermans, Maarten

    2014-01-01

    Neuronal computations strongly depend on inhibitory interactions. One such example occurs at the first retinal synapse, where horizontal cells inhibit photoreceptors. This interaction generates the center/surround organization of bipolar cell receptive fields and is crucial for contrast enhancement. Despite its essential role in vision, the underlying synaptic mechanism has puzzled the neuroscience community for decades. Two competing hypotheses are currently considered: an ephaptic and a proton-mediated mechanism. Here we show that horizontal cells feed back to photoreceptors via an unexpected synthesis of the two. The first one is a very fast ephaptic mechanism that has no synaptic delay, making it one of the fastest inhibitory synapses known. The second one is a relatively slow (τ≈200 ms), highly intriguing mechanism. It depends on ATP release via Pannexin 1 channels located on horizontal cell dendrites invaginating the cone synaptic terminal. The ecto-ATPase NTPDase1 hydrolyses extracellular ATP to AMP, phosphate groups, and protons. The phosphate groups and protons form a pH buffer with a pKa of 7.2, which keeps the pH in the synaptic cleft relatively acidic. This inhibits the cone Ca2+ channels and consequently reduces the glutamate release by the cones. When horizontal cells hyperpolarize, the pannexin 1 channels decrease their conductance, the ATP release decreases, and the formation of the pH buffer reduces. The resulting alkalization in the synaptic cleft consequently increases cone glutamate release. Surprisingly, the hydrolysis of ATP instead of ATP itself mediates the synaptic modulation. Our results not only solve longstanding issues regarding horizontal cell to photoreceptor feedback, they also demonstrate a new form of synaptic modulation. Because pannexin 1 channels and ecto-ATPases are strongly expressed in the nervous system and pannexin 1 function is implicated in synaptic plasticity, we anticipate that this novel form of synaptic modulation

  6. Astrocytes Optimize the Synaptic Transmission of Information

    PubMed Central

    Nadkarni, Suhita; Jung, Peter; Levine, Herbert

    2008-01-01

    Chemical synapses transmit information via the release of neurotransmitter-filled vesicles from the presynaptic terminal. Using computational modeling, we predict that the limited availability of neurotransmitter resources in combination with the spontaneous release of vesicles limits the maximum degree of enhancement of synaptic transmission. This gives rise to an optimal tuning that depends on the number of active zones. There is strong experimental evidence that astrocytes that enwrap synapses can modulate the probabilities of vesicle release through bidirectional signaling and hence regulate synaptic transmission. For low-fidelity hippocampal synapses, which typically have only one or two active zones, the predicted optimal values lie close to those determined by experimentally measured astrocytic feedback, suggesting that astrocytes optimize synaptic transmission of information. PMID:18516277

  7. Presynaptic angiotensin II AT1 receptors enhance inhibitory and excitatory synaptic neurotransmission to motoneurons and other ventral horn neurons in neonatal rat spinal cord.

    PubMed

    Oz, Murat; Yang, Keun-Hang; O'donovan, Michael J; Renaud, Leo P

    2005-08-01

    In neonatal spinal cord, we previously reported that exogenous angiotensin II (ANG II) acts at postsynaptic AT1 receptors to depolarize neonatal rat spinal ventral horn neurons in vitro. This study evaluated an associated increase in synaptic activity. Patch clamp recordings revealed that 38/81 thoracolumbar (T7-L5) motoneurons responded to bath applied ANG II (0.3-1 microM; 30 s) with a prolonged (5-10 min) and reversible increase in spontaneous postsynaptic activity, selectively blockable with Losartan (n = 5) but not PD123319 (n = 5). ANG-II-induced events included both spontaneous inhibitory (IPSCs; n = 6) and excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs; n = 5). While most ANG induced events were tetrodotoxin-sensitive, ANG induced a significant tetrodotoxin-resistant increase in frequency but not amplitude of miniature IPSCs (n = 7/13 cells) and EPSCs (n = 2/7 cells). In 35/77 unidentified neurons, ANG II also induced a tetrodotoxin-sensitive and prolonged increase in their spontaneous synaptic activity that featured both IPSCs (n = 5) and EPSCs (n = 4) when tested in the presence of selective amino acid receptor antagonists. When tested in the presence of tetrodotoxin, ANG II was noted to induce a significant increase in the frequency but not the amplitude of mIPSCs (n = 9) and mEPSCs (n = 8). ANG also increased spontaneous motor activity from isolated mouse lumbar ventral rootlets. Collectively, these observations support the existence of a wide pre- and postsynaptic distribution of ANG II AT1 receptors in neonatal ventral spinal cord that are capable of influencing both inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmission.

  8. Modeling synaptic transmission of the tripartite synapse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nadkarni, Suhita; Jung, Peter

    2007-03-01

    The tripartite synapse denotes the junction of a pre- and postsynaptic neuron modulated by a synaptic astrocyte. Enhanced transmission probability and frequency of the postsynaptic current-events are among the significant effects of the astrocyte on the synapse as experimentally characterized by several groups. In this paper we provide a mathematical framework for the relevant synaptic interactions between neurons and astrocytes that can account quantitatively for both the astrocytic effects on the synaptic transmission and the spontaneous postsynaptic events. Inferred from experiments, the model assumes that glutamate released by the astrocytes in response to synaptic activity regulates store-operated calcium in the presynaptic terminal. This source of calcium is distinct from voltage-gated calcium influx and accounts for the long timescale of facilitation at the synapse seen in correlation with calcium activity in the astrocytes. Our model predicts the inter-event interval distribution of spontaneous current activity mediated by a synaptic astrocyte and provides an additional insight into a novel mechanism for plasticity in which a low fidelity synapse gets transformed into a high fidelity synapse via astrocytic coupling.

  9. Cell–cell communication enhances the capacity of cell ensembles to sense shallow gradients during morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Ellison, David; Mugler, Andrew; Brennan, Matthew D.; Lee, Sung Hoon; Huebner, Robert J.; Shamir, Eliah R.; Woo, Laura A.; Kim, Joseph; Amar, Patrick; Nemenman, Ilya; Ewald, Andrew J.; Levchenko, Andre

    2016-01-01

    Collective cell responses to exogenous cues depend on cell–cell interactions. In principle, these can result in enhanced sensitivity to weak and noisy stimuli. However, this has not yet been shown experimentally, and little is known about how multicellular signal processing modulates single-cell sensitivity to extracellular signaling inputs, including those guiding complex changes in the tissue form and function. Here we explored whether cell–cell communication can enhance the ability of cell ensembles to sense and respond to weak gradients of chemotactic cues. Using a combination of experiments with mammary epithelial cells and mathematical modeling, we find that multicellular sensing enables detection of and response to shallow epidermal growth factor (EGF) gradients that are undetectable by single cells. However, the advantage of this type of gradient sensing is limited by the noisiness of the signaling relay, necessary to integrate spatially distributed ligand concentration information. We calculate the fundamental sensory limits imposed by this communication noise and combine them with the experimental data to estimate the effective size of multicellular sensory groups involved in gradient sensing. Functional experiments strongly implicated intercellular communication through gap junctions and calcium release from intracellular stores as mediators of collective gradient sensing. The resulting integrative analysis provides a framework for understanding the advantages and limitations of sensory information processing by relays of chemically coupled cells. PMID:26792522

  10. 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

  11. Exponentially enhanced quantum communication rate by multiplexing continuous-variable teleportation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christ, Andreas; Lupo, Cosmo; Silberhorn, Christine

    2012-08-01

    A major challenge of today's quantum communication systems lies in the transmission of quantum information with high rates over long distances in the presence of unavoidable losses. Thereby the achievable quantum communication rate is fundamentally limited by the amount of energy that can be transmitted per use of the channel. It is hence vital to develop quantum communication protocols that encode quantum information as energy efficiently as possible. To this aim we investigate continuous-variable quantum teleportation as a method of distributing quantum information. We explore the possibility to encode information on multiple optical modes and derive upper and lower bounds on the achievable quantum channel capacities. This analysis enables us to benchmark single-mode versus multi-mode entanglement resources. Our research reveals that multiplexing does not only feature an enhanced energy efficiency, leading to an exponential increase in the achievable quantum communication rates in comparison to single-mode coding, but also yields an improved loss resilience. However, as reliable quantum information transfer is only achieved for entanglement values above a certain threshold a careful optimization of the number of coding modes is needed to obtain the optimal quantum channel capacity.

  12. Cost effective optical coupling for enhanced rate polymer optical fiber communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chandrappan, Jayakrishnan; Zhang, Jing; Ramana, Pamidighantam V.; Lau, John Hon Shing; Kwong, Dim Lee

    2008-02-01

    Recent developments in the short distance communication have made polymer optical fibers (POF) an attractive product in the high speed data communication market. The requirement of a large bandwidth, low cost, light weight and flexibility in installation have placed them over the copper cables especially in applications like home networking and automotives. Since POFs are large core multimoded fibers, their band width is limited by intermodal dispersion. This confines POFs application to low data rate short distance communications. Restrictive mode launchers (RML) and higher order mode strippers placed in the data link helps to reduce the intermodal dispersion. The techniques used to implement these signal conditioners should be simple and cost effective to keep POFs attractive in the short distance communication. In this paper we explore the possibility of integrating the RML and mode stripping elements in the transmitter and receiver package itself. The pre-designed optical signal conditioning elements are projected to get molded in the plastic packages and are fiber plug in modules. This connector less package design, universal to any light source proposes to enhance the data rate and is widely manufacturable at an ease of installation and low cost.

  13. Communicate!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chase, Stuart

    This ten chapter book is designed to provide high school students with an understanding of basic communication processes. The first five chapters include discussions of language development, function, and acquisition in relation to both human and non-human communication. The sixth chapter contains specimen linguistic analyses of speech and…

  14. Communication

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Griner, James

    2010-01-01

    NASA s communication work for the UAS Command and Control area will build upon work currently being conducted under NASA Recovery Act funds. Communication portions of UAS NextGen ConOps, Stateof- the-Art assessment, and Gap Analysis. Preliminary simulations for UAS CNPC link scalability assessment. Surrogate UAS aircraft upgrades. This work will also leverage FY10 in-guide funding for communication link model development. UAS are currently managed through exceptions and are operating using DoD frequencies for line-of-sight (LOS) and satellite-based communications links, low-power LOS links in amateur bands, or unlicensed Instrument/Scientific/Medical (ISM) frequencies. None of these frequency bands are designated for Safety and Regularity of Flight. No radio-frequency (RF) spectrum has been allocated by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) specifically for UAS command and control links, for either LOS or Beyond LOS (BLOS) communication.

  15. Improving Outcomes for Children with Developmental Disabilities through Enhanced Communication and Collaboration between School Psychologists and Physicians

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ritzema, Anne M.; Sladeczek, Ingrid E.; Ghosh, Shuvo; Karagiannakis, Anastasia; Manay-Quian, Natalia

    2014-01-01

    A renewed call for enhanced communication and collaboration between school psychology and medicine is envisioned, in light of a transdisciplinary model, where school psychologists, family physicians, and other health professionals transcend disciplinary boundaries. Recommendations for optimal communication and collaboration are described, as well…

  16. Enhancing the decoding performance of optical wireless communication systems using receiver-side predistortion.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qi; Wang, Zhaocheng; Chen, Sheng; Hanzo, Lajos

    2013-12-16

    White light emitting diodes (LEDs) have been widely utilized for illumination owing to their desired properties of inherent bright output, high efficiency, low power consumption and long life-time. They are also increasingly applied in optical wireless communications for realizing high data rate transmission. This paper presents an improved scheme relying on the insertion of a simple predistortion module before the decoder at the receiver of optical wireless communication systems that use white LEDs. The proposed predistortion scheme exploits the inherent nature of mixing the three unequal optical-power primary colours in generating white light to enhance the system's performance. Specifically, we design this predistortion module by minimizing the upper bound of the error probability in conjunction with a soft-decision decoder. Our simulation results demonstrate that the detection performance is considerably improved with the aid of the proposed predistortion module.

  17. Active music classes in infancy enhance musical, communicative and social development.

    PubMed

    Gerry, David; Unrau, Andrea; Trainor, Laurel J

    2012-05-01

    Previous studies suggest that musical training in children can positively affect various aspects of development. However, it remains unknown as to how early in development musical experience can have an effect, the nature of any such effects, and whether different types of music experience affect development differently. We found that random assignment to 6 months of active participatory musical experience beginning at 6 months of age accelerates acquisition of culture-specific knowledge of Western tonality in comparison to a similar amount of passive exposure to music. Furthermore, infants assigned to the active musical experience showed superior development of prelinguistic communicative gestures and social behaviour compared to infants assigned to the passive musical experience. These results indicate that (1) infants can engage in meaningful musical training when appropriate pedagogical approaches are used, (2) active musical participation in infancy enhances culture-specific musical acquisition, and (3) active musical participation in infancy impacts social and communication development.

  18. [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.

  19. 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.

  20. A synaptic mechanism for network synchrony

    PubMed Central

    Alford, Simon T.; Alpert, Michael H.

    2014-01-01

    Within neural networks, synchronization of activity is dependent upon the synaptic connectivity of embedded microcircuits and the intrinsic membrane properties of their constituent neurons. Synaptic integration, dendritic Ca2+ signaling, and non-linear interactions are crucial cellular attributes that dictate single neuron computation, but their roles promoting synchrony and the generation of network oscillations are not well understood, especially within the context of a defined behavior. In this regard, the lamprey spinal central pattern generator (CPG) stands out as a well-characterized, conserved vertebrate model of a neural network (Smith et al., 2013a), which produces synchronized oscillations in which neural elements from the systems to cellular level that control rhythmic locomotion have been determined. We review the current evidence for the synaptic basis of oscillation generation with a particular emphasis on the linkage between synaptic communication and its cellular coupling to membrane processes that control oscillatory behavior of neurons within the locomotor network. We seek to relate dendritic function found in many vertebrate systems to the accessible lamprey central nervous system in which the relationship between neural network activity and behavior is well understood. This enables us to address how Ca2+ signaling in spinal neuron dendrites orchestrate oscillations that drive network behavior. PMID:25278839

  1. Technology and Research Requirements for Combating Human Trafficking: Enhancing Communication, Analysis, Reporting, and Information Sharing

    SciTech Connect

    Kreyling, Sean J.; West, Curtis L.; Olson, Jarrod

    2011-03-17

    DHS’ Science & Technology Directorate directed PNNL to conduct an exploratory study on the domain of human trafficking in the Pacific Northwest in order to examine and identify technology and research requirements for enhancing communication, analysis, reporting, and information sharing – activities that directly support efforts to track, identify, deter, and prosecute human trafficking – including identification of potential national threats from smuggling and trafficking networks. This effort was conducted under the Knowledge Management Technologies Portfolio as part of the Integrated Federal, State, and Local/Regional Information Sharing (RISC) and Collaboration Program.

  2. Reflections on learning and enhancing communication skills through community engagement: a student perspective.

    PubMed

    Hanks, S; Marples, C; Wall, E

    2016-07-22

    Students in Peninsula School of Dentistry (PSD), Plymouth, undertake community engagement projects during the first two years of their undergraduate curriculum. These projects involve interaction with a variety of specific community groups and the planning and delivery of an appropriate and meaningful oral health intervention. Many of the project outcomes are based on enhancing communication skills and encouraging students to transfer these into their patient treatment sessions. This report draws on the experience of students who undertook two specific projects to demonstrate how they feel this is achieved.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Context-Dependent Modulation of Excitatory Synaptic Strength by Synaptically Released Zinc

    PubMed Central

    Kalappa, Bopanna I.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Synaptically released zinc inhibits baseline excitatory neurotransmission; however, the role of this neuromodulator on short-term plasticity during different levels of synaptic activity remains largely unknown. This lack of knowledge prevents our understanding of information transfer across zinc-releasing synapses, including 50% of excitatory synapses in cortical areas. We used in vitro electrophysiology in mouse brain slices and discovered that the effects of zinc on excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC) amplitudes are context-dependent. At lower frequencies of activity, synaptically released zinc reduces EPSC amplitudes. In contrast, at higher stimulation frequencies and vesicular release probability (Pr), zinc inhibits EPSC amplitudes during the first few stimuli but leads to enhanced steady-state EPSC amplitudes during subsequent stimuli. This paradoxical enhancement is due to zinc-dependent potentiation of synaptic facilitation via the recruitment of endocannabinoid signaling. Together, these findings demonstrate that synaptically released zinc is a modulator of excitatory short-term plasticity, which shapes information transfer among excitatory synapses. PMID:28275718

  7. Improving multidisciplinary communication at ward board rounds using video enhanced reflective practice

    PubMed Central

    Hellier, Cyril; Tully, Vicki; Forrest, Sandra; Jaggard, Pamela; MacRae, Morag; Habicht, Dirk; Greene, Alexandra; Collins, Karen

    2015-01-01

    The priority to ensure patient safety and use resources effectively, demands attention and innovation. Video enhanced reflective practice (VERP) provides training based upon analysis of film clips of one's professional practice to develop practical insight into the processes of communication, so that effective changes can be made to ongoing behaviour and practice. In this case the focus was on multi-disciplinary communication within daily board rounds on an acute medicine and care of the elderly ward. Baseline assessment and post intervention testing of perceptions of change by both full and core team were undertaken to establish the impact of VERP training. In addition pre and post focus group discussion and film analysis supplemented evaluation. The findings support the view that after VERP training of a core team, board rounds were seen as consistently easier to participate in, providing improved focus, were more efficient in goal setting and resulting in better care for patients as well as improved pathways to discharge. This suggests benefits to the communication “culture” of a multidisciplinary team resulting in increased benefits for the wider team. It is concluded that the use of tailored VERP training for personal, professional and team development is relevant, feasible, and worthy of further testing and investigation. PMID:26734342

  8. 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

  9. Communications

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bailenson, Jeremy; Buzzanell, Patrice; Deetz, Stanley; Tewksbury, David; Thompson, Robert J.; Turow, Joseph; Bichelmeyer, Barbara; Bishop, M. J.; Gayeski, Diane

    2013-01-01

    Scholars representing the field of communications were asked to identify what they considered to be the most exciting and imaginative work currently being done in their field, as well as how that work might change our understanding. The scholars included Jeremy Bailenson, Patrice Buzzanell, Stanley Deetz, David Tewksbury, Robert J. Thompson, and…

  10. Retinal synaptic regeneration via microfluidic guiding channels

    PubMed Central

    Su, Ping-Jung; Liu, Zongbin; Zhang, Kai; Han, Xin; Saito, Yuki; Xia, Xiaojun; Yokoi, Kenji; Shen, Haifa; Qin, Lidong

    2015-01-01

    In vitro culture of dissociated retinal neurons is an important model for investigating retinal synaptic regeneration (RSR) and exploring potentials in artificial retina. Here, retinal precursor cells were cultured in a microfluidic chip with multiple arrays of microchannels in order to reconstruct the retinal neuronal synapse. The cultured retinal cells were physically connected through microchannels. Activation of electric signal transduction by the cells through the microchannels was demonstrated by administration of glycinergic factors. In addition, an image-based analytical method was used to quantify the synaptic connections and to assess the kinetics of synaptic regeneration. The rate of RSR decreased significantly below 100 μM of inhibitor glycine and then approached to a relatively constant level at higher concentrations. Furthermore, RSR was enhanced by chemical stimulation with potassium chloride. Collectively, the microfluidic synaptic regeneration chip provides a novel tool for high-throughput investigation of RSR at the cellular level and may be useful in quality control of retinal precursor cell transplantation. PMID:26314276

  11. Visible light communications using predistortion signal to enhance the response of passive optical receiver

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yang; Chen, Hung-Yu; Liang, Kevin; Wei, Liang-Yu; Chow, Chi-Wai; Yeh, Chien-Hung

    2016-01-01

    Traditional visible light communication (VLC) uses positive-intrinsic-negative photodiode (PD) or avalanche PD as the optical receivers (Rx). We demonstrate using a solar cell as the VLC Rx. The solar cell is flexible and low cost and converts the optical signal into an electrical signal directly without the need of external power supply. In addition to acting as the VLC passive Rx, the converted electrical signal from the solar cell can charge up the battery of the Rx nodes. Hence, the proposed scheme can be a promising candidate for the future Internet of Things network. However, a solar cell acting as a VLC Rx is very challenging, since the response of the solar cell is limited. Here, we propose and demonstrate using predistortion to significantly enhance the solar cell Rx response for the first time up to the authors' knowledge. Experimental results show that the response of the solar cell Rx is significantly enhanced; and the original 2-kHz detection bandwidth of the solar cell can be enhanced by 250 times for receiving 500-kbit/s VLC signal at a transmission distance of 1 m. The operation principle, the generated voltage by the solar cell, and the maximum data rates achieved at different transmission distances are also studied.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Security-enhanced chaos communication with time-delay signature suppression and phase encryption.

    PubMed

    Xue, Chenpeng; Jiang, Ning; Lv, Yunxin; Wang, Chao; Li, Guilan; Lin, Shuqing; Qiu, Kun

    2016-08-15

    A security-enhanced chaos communication scheme with time delay signature (TDS) suppression and phase-encrypted feedback light is proposed, in virtue of dual-loop feedback with independent high-speed phase modulation. We numerically investigate the property of TDS suppression in the intensity and phase space and quantitatively discuss security of the proposed system by calculating the bit error rate of eavesdroppers who try to crack the system by directly filtering the detected signal or by using a similar semiconductor laser to synchronize the link signal and extract the data. The results show that TDS embedded in the chaotic carrier can be well suppressed by properly setting the modulation frequency, which can keep the time delay a secret from the eavesdropper. Moreover, because the feedback light is encrypted, without the accurate time delay and key, the eavesdropper cannot reconstruct the symmetric operation conditions and decode the correct data.

  15. Enhancer-promoter communication mediated by Chip during Pannier-driven proneural patterning is regulated by Osa.

    PubMed

    Heitzler, Pascal; Vanolst, Luc; Biryukova, Inna; Ramain, Philippe

    2003-03-01

    The GATA factor Pannier activates proneural achaete/scute (ac/sc) expression during development of the sensory organs of Drosophila through enhancer binding. Chip bridges Pannier with the (Ac/Sc)-Daughterless heterodimers bound to the promoter and facilitates the enhancer-promoter communication required for proneural development. We show here that this communication is regulated by Osa, which is recruited by Pannier and Chip. Osa belongs to Brahma chromatin remodeling complexes and we show that Osa negatively regulates ac/sc. Consequently, Pannier and Chip also play an essential role during repression of proneural gene expression. Our study suggests that altering chromatin structure is essential for regulation of enhancer-promoter communication.

  16. Surface-plasmon enhanced photodetection at communication band based on hot electrons

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, Kai; Zhan, Yaohui E-mail: xfli@suda.edu.cn; Wu, Shaolong; Deng, Jiajia; Li, Xiaofeng E-mail: xfli@suda.edu.cn

    2015-08-14

    Surface plasmons can squeeze light into a deep-subwavelength space and generate abundant hot electrons in the nearby metallic regions, enabling a new paradigm of photoconversion by the way of hot electron collection. Unlike the visible spectral range concerned in previous literatures, we focus on the communication band and design the infrared hot-electron photodetectors with plasmonic metal-insulator-metal configuration by using full-wave finite-element method. Titanium dioxide-silver Schottky interface is employed to boost the low-energy infrared photodetection. The photodetection sensitivity is strongly improved by enhancing the plasmonic excitation from a rationally engineered metallic grating, which enables a strong unidirectional photocurrent. With a five-step electrical simulation, the optimized device exhibits an unbiased responsivity of ∼0.1 mA/W and an ultra-narrow response band (FWHM = 4.66 meV), which promises to be a candidate as the compact photodetector operating in communication band.

  17. Time reversal multiple-input/multiple-output acoustic communication enhanced by parallel interference cancellation.

    PubMed

    Song, Aijun; Badiey, Mohsen

    2012-01-01

    Multiple-input/multiple-output (MIMO) techniques can lead to significant improvements of underwater acoustic communication capabilities. In this paper, receivers based on time reversal processing are developed for high frequency underwater MIMO channels. Time reversal followed by a single channel decision feedback equalizer, aided by frequent channel updates, is used to compensate for the time-varying inter-symbol interference. A parallel interference cancellation method is incorporated to suppress the co-channel interference in the MIMO system. The receiver performance is demonstrated by a 2008 shallow water experiment in Kauai, Hawaii. In the experiment, high frequency MIMO signals centered at 16 kHz were transmitted every hour during a 35 h period from an 8-element source array to a wide aperture 16-element vertical receiving array at 4 km range. The interference cancellation method is shown to generate significant performance enhancement, on average 2-4 dB in the output signal-to-noise ratio per data stream, throughout the 35 h MIMO transmissions. Further, communication performance and achieved data rates exhibit significant changes over the 35 h period as a result of stratification of the water column.

  18. Communications and Control for Enhanced Autonomy in Underwater Vehicles for Deep Oceanographic Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakuba, M.; Kinsey, J. C.; Yoerger, D. R.; Whitcomb, L. L.; Camilli, R.; Murphy, C.; Bowen, A.; German, C. R.

    2010-12-01

    NASA’s Astrobiology Science and Technology for Exploring Planets (ASTEP) program is a science-driven program to produce advances in scientific and technological capabilities for planetary exploration. Oceanographic robotic vehicles and planetary exploration robots have proven to be highly effective scientific tools for performing scientific research in remote, extreme, and hostile environments that preclude direct human presence. In both domains, the planets and the world’s oceans, human oversight of remote robotic exploration can dramatically enhance scientific return in comparison to purely pre-planned missions by combining the perception, intelligence, and domain knowledge of the human operators with the super-human physical and sensory capabilities of robots. The degree of human oversight, however, is restricted in sea and space by physical limits on the bandwidth and time delay of communications between human operators and remote robotic platforms. Enhanced robotic autonomy can alleviate this obstacle. We present a communications and control architecture for underwater oceanographic robot vehicles that has permitted us to introduce elements of enhanced autonomy into operations with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) Nereus and Sentry. Our architecture is designed to facilitate: (1) autonomous distillation of scientific data and transmission of salient synopses from the remote vehicle to its human operators; (2) high-level near real-time human supervision and control of mission programming; (3) semi-supervised learning of environmental models for enhanced survey and search mission effectiveness. Specific capabilities our group has demonstrated include selective data delivery via acoustic link; near real-time reprogramming of vehicle mission programs during otherwise preplanned dives; and validation of autonomous decision-making processes with human-supervision. These elements have been recently demonstrated

  19. 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.

  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. Review of Interventions to Enhance the Health Communication of People with Intellectual Disabilities: A Communicative Health Literacy Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chinn, Deborah

    2017-01-01

    Background: Communicative health literacy is a term relating to the range of competencies and capabilities patients bring to the task of seeking information about their health and sharing it with others. This exchange can be problematic for people with intellectual disabilities. The aim of this review was to synthesize findings from interventions…

  2. Synaptic Activity Regulates the Abundance and Binding of Complexin

    PubMed Central

    Wragg, Rachel T.; Gouzer, Géraldine; Bai, Jihong; Arianna, Gianluca; Ryan, Timothy A.; Dittman, Jeremy S.

    2015-01-01

    Nervous system function relies on precise chemical communication between neurons at specialized junctions known as synapses. Complexin (CPX) is one of a small number of cytoplasmic proteins that are indispensable in controlling neurotransmitter release through SNARE and synaptic vesicle interactions. However, the mechanisms that recruit and stabilize CPX are poorly understood. The mobility of CPX tagged with photoactivatable green fluorescent protein (pGFP) was quantified in vivo using Caenorhabditis elegans. Although pGFP escaped the synapse within seconds, CPX-pGFP displayed both fast and slow decay components, requiring minutes for complete exchange of the synaptic pool. The longer synaptic residence time of CPX arose from both synaptic vesicle and SNARE interactions, and surprisingly, CPX mobility depended on synaptic activity. Moreover, mouse CPX-GFP reversibly dispersed out of hippocampal presynaptic terminals during stimulation, and blockade of vesicle fusion prevented CPX dispersion. Hence, synaptic CPX can rapidly redistribute and this exchange is influenced by neuronal activity, potentially contributing to use-dependent plasticity. PMID:25809246

  3. Behavioral activation for dementia caregivers: scheduling pleasant events and enhancing communications

    PubMed Central

    Au, Alma; Gallagher-Thompson, Dolores; Wong, Meng-Kong; Leung, Jess; Chan, Wai-Chi; Chan, Chun Chung; Lu, Hui-Jing; Lai, Man Kin; Chan, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    Background Dementia caregiving is often associated with increase in depressive symptoms and strained relationships. This study tested whether telephone-delivered psychoeducation combined with an enhanced behavioral activation (BA) module had a better effect on the well-being of Alzheimer’s caregivers than psychoeducation alone. The focus is on enhancing the competent use of coping skills via BA. The program is delivered by telephone to increase accessibility and sustainability for caregivers. Senior citizens are trained as paraprofessionals to deliver the BA module to increase the potential for sustainability of the program. Methods and subjects The study compared two telephone interventions using a 4-month longitudinal randomized controlled trial. For the first 4 weeks, all participants received the same psychoeducation program via telephone. Then for the following 4 months, eight biweekly telephone follow-up calls were carried out. For these eight follow-up calls, participants were randomized into either one of the two following groups with different conditions. For the psychoeducation with BA (PsyED-BA) group, participants received eight biweekly sessions of BA practice focused on pleasant event scheduling and improving communications. For the psychoeducation only (PsyED only) group, participants received eight biweekly sessions of general discussion of psychoeducation and related information. A total of 62 family caregivers of persons living with dementia were recruited and 59 (29 in the PsyED-BA group and 30 in the PsyED only group) completed the whole study. Results As compared to the group with psychoeducation and discussion, the group with enhanced BA had decreased levels of depressive symptoms. The study had a low attrition rate. Conclusion Results suggested that competence-based training could be effectively administered through the telephone with the help of senior citizens trained and engaged as paraprofessionals. Results contribute to the present

  4. 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…

  5. Acetylcholine Mediates a Slow Synaptic Potential in Hippocampal Pyramidal Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cole, A. E.; Nicoll, R. A.

    1983-09-01

    The hippocampal slice preparation was used to study the role of acetylcholine as a synaptic transmitter. Bath-applied acetylcholine had three actions on pyramidal cells: (i) depolarization associated with increased input resistance, (ii) blockade of calcium-activated potassium responses, and (iii) blockade of accommodation of cell discharge. All these actions were reversed by the muscarinic antagonist atropine. Stimulation of sites in the slice known to contain cholinergic fibers mimicked all the actions. Furthermore, these evoked synaptic responses were enhanced by the cholinesterase inhibitor eserine and were blocked by atropine. These findings provide electrophysiological support for the role of acetylcholine as a synaptic transmitter in the brain and demonstrate that nonclassical synaptic responses involving the blockade of membrane conductances exist in the brain.

  6. Acid-Sensing Ion Channels Activated by Evoked Released Protons Modulate Synaptic Transmission at the Mouse Calyx of Held Synapse.

    PubMed

    González-Inchauspe, Carlota; Urbano, Francisco J; Di Guilmi, Mariano N; Uchitel, Osvaldo D

    2017-03-08

    (coreleased with neurotransmitter from acidified synaptic vesicles). These ASIC-1as contribute to the generation of postsynaptic currents and, more relevant, to calcium influx, which could be involved in the modulation of presynaptic transmitter release. Inhibition or deletion of ASIC-1a leads to enhanced short-term depression, demonstrating that they are concerned with short-term plasticity of the synapse. ASICs represent a widespread communication system with unique properties. We expect that our experiments will have an impact in the neurobiology field and will spread in areas related to neuronal plasticity.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Mediators of a Coping and Communication-Enhancing Intervention and a Supportive Counseling Intervention among Women Diagnosed with Gynecological Cancers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manne, Sharon L.; Winkel, Gary; Rubin, Stephen; Edelson, Mitchell; Rosenblum, Norman; Bergman, Cynthia; Hernandez, Enrique; Carlson, John; Rocereto, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    The authors evaluated mechanisms of change for a coping and communication-enhancing intervention (CCI) and supportive counseling (SC). They proposed that the effects of CCI on depressive symptoms would be mediated by psychological processes targeted by CCI, namely increases in the following: positive reappraisal, acceptance, planful problem…

  11. Efficacy of Information and Communication Technology in Enhancing Learning Outcomes of Students with Hearing Impairment in Ibadan

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Egaga, Patrick I.; Aderibigbe, S. Akinwumi

    2015-01-01

    The study aimed at examining the efficacy of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in enhancing learning outcomes of students with hearing impairment in Ibadan. The study adopted a pretest, post-test, control group quasi-experimental research design. Purposive sampling techniques was used for the selection of thirty participants…

  12. Selective 5-HT7 Receptor Activation May Enhance Synaptic Plasticity Through N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) Receptor Activity in the Visual Cortex.

    PubMed

    Xiang, Kangjian; Zhao, Xuefei; Li, Youjun; Zheng, Liang; Wang, Jue; Li, Yan-Hai

    2016-01-01

    Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) is an important neurotransmitter that modulates N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor activity by binding to several different 5-HT receptor subtypes. In the present study, we used whole-cell patch-clamp recordings in transverse slice preparations to test the role of 5-HT receptors in modulating the NMDA receptor-mediated miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) in layer II/III pyramidal neurons of the rat visual cortex. We found that the NMDA receptor-mediated component of mEPSCs could be potentiated by exogenously applied 5-HT. Similar results were obtained by exogenously applied 5-CT or 8-OH-DPAT (the 5-HT1A and 5-HT7 receptor agonist). A specific antagonist for the 5-HT7 receptor, SB-269970, completely blocked the increase in NMDA receptor-mediated component of mEPSCs by 5-CT or 8- OH-DPAT. Moreover, the selective 5-HT1A receptor antagonist, WAY-100135, displayed no influence on the enhancement in NMDA receptor-mediated component of mEPSCs by 5-CT or 8-OHDPAT. These results indicated that the increase in NMDA receptor-mediated component of mEPSCs by 5-HT in layer II/III pyramidal neurons of the young rat visual cortex requires activation of 5-HT7 receptors, but not 5-HT1A receptors. These observations might be clinically relevant to schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease (AD), where enhancing NMDA receptor-mediated neurotransmission is considered to be a promising strategy for treatment of these diseases.

  13. Communications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bonelle, G. J.

    1984-01-01

    Communications in any system is one of the last technologies to be considered, and sometimes it is considered too late to impact the system. This was somewhat the impression on reviewing the NASA budget for two mission scenarios for the space station. However, that budget fortunately was well spent, and the money was spent to get the most benefit per dollar. Another thing that is very often forgotten is that technology is not produced in a vacuum. In fact, in conducting independent research and development (IR&D), the first phase is to define the requirements which must be time phased, becuase very often the conditions will change during the life of the system. From the requirements, a set of architectures that are at least representative of that era are produced. If the exact requirements were not established, at least boundaries are set on the requirements for that architecture. When this is completed, then the technology that is really needed is defined. The major criticism of the work that was presented to the panel is the lack of a firm set of requirements.

  14. 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

  15. Stimulation of the Sigma-1 Receptor by DHEA Enhances Synaptic Efficacy and Neurogenesis in the Hippocampal Dentate Gyrus of Olfactory Bulbectomized Mice

    PubMed Central

    Moriguchi, Shigeki; Shinoda, Yasuharu; Yamamoto, Yui; Sasaki, Yuzuru; Miyajima, Kosuke; Tagashira, Hideaki; Fukunaga, Kohji

    2013-01-01

    Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is the most abundant neurosteroid synthesized de novo in the central nervous system. We previously reported that stimulation of the sigma-1 receptor by DHEA improves cognitive function by activating calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII), protein kinase C and extracellular signal-regulated kinase in the hippocampus in olfactory bulbectomized (OBX) mice. Here, we asked whether DHEA enhances neurogenesis in the subgranular zone of the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) and improves depressive-like behaviors observed in OBX mice. Chronic treatment with DHEA at 30 or 60 mg/kg p.o. for 14 days significantly improved hippocampal LTP impaired in OBX mice concomitant with increased CaMKII autophosphorylation and GluR1 (Ser-831) phosphorylation in the DG. Chronic DHEA treatment also ameliorated depressive-like behaviors in OBX mice, as assessed by tail suspension and forced swim tests, while a single DHEA treatment had no affect. DHEA treatment also significantly increased the number of BrdU-positive neurons in the subgranular zone of the DG of OBX mice, an increase inhibited by treatment with NE-100, a sigma-1 receptor antagonist. DHEA treatment also significantly increased phosphorylation of Akt (Ser-473), Akt (Ser-308) and ERK in the DG. Furthermore, GSK-3β (Ser-9) phosphorylation increased in the DG of OBX mice possibly accounting for increased neurogenesis through Akt activation. Finally, we confirmed that DHEA treatment of OBX mice increases the number of BrdU-positive neurons co-expressing β-catenin, a downstream GSK-3βtarget. Overall, we conclude that sigma-1 receptor stimulation by DHEA ameliorates OBX-induced depressive-like behaviors by increasing neurogenesis in the DG through activation of the Akt/GSK-3β/β-catenin pathway. PMID:23593332

  16. Clinical Decision Support System to Enhance Quality Control of Spirometry Using Information and Communication Technologies

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background We recently demonstrated that quality of spirometry in primary care could markedly improve with remote offline support from specialized professionals. It is hypothesized that implementation of automatic online assessment of quality of spirometry using information and communication technologies may significantly enhance the potential for extensive deployment of a high quality spirometry program in integrated care settings. Objective The objective of the study was to elaborate and validate a Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS) for automatic online quality assessment of spirometry. Methods The CDSS was done through a three step process including: (1) identification of optimal sampling frequency; (2) iterations to build-up an initial version using the 24 standard spirometry curves recommended by the American Thoracic Society; and (3) iterations to refine the CDSS using 270 curves from 90 patients. In each of these steps the results were checked against one expert. Finally, 778 spirometry curves from 291 patients were analyzed for validation purposes. Results The CDSS generated appropriate online classification and certification in 685/778 (88.1%) of spirometry testing, with 96% sensitivity and 95% specificity. Conclusions Consequently, only 93/778 (11.9%) of spirometry testing required offline remote classification by an expert, indicating a potential positive role of the CDSS in the deployment of a high quality spirometry program in an integrated care setting. PMID:25600957

  17. Thermal stability enhanced ZDSF proposal for ultra high-speed long haul communication systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Makouei, S.; Makouei, F.

    2017-04-01

    In this article, thermal stability enhanced triangular graded-index single-mode zero-dispersion shifted fiber (ZDSF) is designed and the effect of temperature variation on its characteristics is investigated. The zero-dispersion wavelength (λZD) adjustment is accomplished through minimization of the broadening factor at the wavelength of 1.55 μm. The simulation results admit that the dispersion and its slope at 1.55 μm are 0.0051 ps/km/nm and 0.038 ps/km/nm2, respectively. This small slope of the structure results in the bit rate of 133 Gb/s in the 100 km distance. In addition, compared to the bell-shaped electrical mode distribution structures, the proposed structure holds an extended effective area (Aeff), which leads to elimination of the nonlinear effects. The λZD in the designed fiber exhibits a lower thermal coefficient compared to the reports previously presented which provides a better stability. This satisfactory feature is the direct result of small dispersion slope in the introduced structure. Furthermore, a temperature compensation system based on tensile strain induction, for the first time to the best of our knowledge, is proposed that preserves the effective refractive index (neff) profile versus wavelength not only in λZD but also in all communication bands of S+C+L. This accomplishment compensates the temperature impact on parameters such as dispersion and zero-dispersion wavelength.

  18. Effectively using communication to enhance the provision of pediatric palliative care in an acute care setting.

    PubMed

    Hubble, Rosemary; Trowbridge, Kelly; Hubbard, Claudia; Ahsens, Leslie; Ward-Smith, Peggy

    2008-08-01

    The capability of effectively communicating is crucial when providing palliative care, especially when the patient is a child. Communication among healthcare professionals with the child and family members must be clear, concise, and consistent. Use of a communication tool provides documentation for conversations, treatment plans, and specific desires related to care. This paper describes communication theory, portrays the use of this theory to develop a communication tool, and illustrates the use of this tool by multidisciplinary members of a healthcare team to provide pediatric palliative care.

  19. Spiritual Coping: A Gateway to Enhancing Family Communication During Cancer Treatment.

    PubMed

    Prouty, Anne M; Fischer, Judith; Purdom, Ann; Cobos, Everardo; Helmeke, Karen B

    2016-02-01

    The researchers examined the spiritual coping, family communication, and family functioning of 95 participants in 34 families by an online survey. Multilevel linear regression was used to test whether individuals' and families' higher endorsement of more use of spiritual coping strategies to deal with a member's cancer would be associated with higher scores on family communication and family functioning, and whether better communication would also be associated with higher family functioning scores. Results revealed that spiritual coping was positively associated with family communication, and family communication was positively associated with healthier family functioning. The researchers provide suggestions for further research.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Enhanced communication and coordination in the public health surveillance component of the Cincinnati Drinking Water Contamination Warning System.

    PubMed

    Dangel, Chrissy; Allgeier, Steven C; Gibbons, Darcy; Haas, Adam; Simon, Katie

    2012-03-01

    Effective communication and coordination are critical when investigating a possible drinking water contamination incident. A contamination warning system is designed to detect water contamination by initiating a coordinated, effective response to mitigate significant public health and economic consequences. This article describes historical communication barriers during water contamination incidents and discusses how these barriers were overcome through the public health surveillance component of the Cincinnati Drinking Water Contamination Warning System, referred to as the "Cincinnati Pilot." By enhancing partnerships in the public health surveillance component of the Cincinnati Pilot, information silos that existed in each organization were replaced with interagency information depots that facilitated effective decision making.

  3. Synaptic ultrastructure changes in trigeminocervical complex posttrigeminal nerve injury.

    PubMed

    Park, John; Trinh, Van Nancy; Sears-Kraxberger, Ilse; Li, Kang-Wu; Steward, Oswald; Luo, Z David

    2016-02-01

    Trigeminal nerves collecting sensory information from the orofacial area synapse on second-order neurons in the dorsal horn of subnucleus caudalis and cervical C1/C2 spinal cord (Vc/C2, or trigeminocervical complex), which is critical for sensory information processing. Injury to the trigeminal nerves may cause maladaptive changes in synaptic connectivity that plays an important role in chronic pain development. Here we examined whether injury to the infraorbital nerve, a branch of the trigeminal nerves, led to synaptic ultrastructural changes when the injured animals have developed neuropathic pain states. Transmission electron microscopy was used to examine synaptic profiles in Vc/C2 at 3 weeks postinjury, corresponding to the time of peak behavioral hypersensitivity following chronic constriction injury to the infraorbital nerve (CCI-ION). Using established criteria, synaptic profiles were classified as associated with excitatory (R-), inhibitory (F-), and primary afferent (C-) terminals. Each type was counted within the superficial dorsal horn of the Vc/C2 and the means from each rat were compared between sham and injured animals; synaptic contact length was also measured. The overall analysis indicates that rats with orofacial pain states had increased numbers and decreased mean synaptic length of R-profiles within the Vc/C2 superficial dorsal horn (lamina I) 3 weeks post-CCI-ION. Increases in the number of excitatory synapses in the superficial dorsal horn of Vc/C2 could lead to enhanced activation of nociceptive pathways, contributing to the development of orofacial pain states.

  4. The use of hi fidelity simulation to enhance nursing students' therapeutic communication skills.

    PubMed

    Sleeper, Justin A; Thompson, Cesarina

    2008-01-01

    Nursing students entering psychiatric settings for clinical practice need a solid foundation of therapeutic communication skills. This article presents an innovative strategy for nursing students to practice therapeutic communication skills with psychiatric patients by using hi fidelity simulation with Laerdal SimMan. Using the SimMan vocal function enabled nurse educators to develop communication algorithms that allowed students to interact with SimMan as they would with psychiatric patients. The SimMan algorithms can be designed to mimic many scenarios typically found in psychiatric settings. Nursing students can use this technology to take the therapeutic communication skills they have learned in the classroom and practice them in a safe laboratory environment before entering actual psychiatric settings. The ability of students to practice communication skills prior to entering psychiatric settings can promote effective therapeutic communication skills and decrease student anxiety.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Climate Change Media Forum - for Enhanced Communication between Journalists and Climate Scientists in Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goto-Maeda, Y.; Emori, S.; Takahashi, K.; Aoyagi-Usui, M.; Fukushi, K.; Tanaka, Y.; Fukuda, H.; Matsumoto, Y.; Asakura, A.; Hiramatsu, A.; Sumi, A.

    2011-12-01

    For researchers, being reported by mass media is an effective way to share their studies with others, although some have concerns that scientific results are often exaggerated by highlighting sensational parts and ignoring essential results by the media. Obviously, journalists have their own criteria of effective science reporting for their newspapers or magazines which do not necessarily conform to how researchers report their results. Climate Change Media Forum was started in 2009 by researchers specializing in climate science and communication to fill such gaps and enhance communication between climate scientists and journalists as part of a climate change research project funded by the Ministry of Environment of Japan. Since its start, forum events have been held once a year to exchange ideas on reporting of climate change science through mass media. At the first event in March, 2009, we started with learning about what actually the journalists and researchers think about media reports on climate change sciences. Using onsite questionnaire surveys, the participants (39 journalists and 31 researchers) discussed their problems on reporting climate change and what they would like to tell to the public. Some of the survey results suggested that researchers are willing to emphasize more about the conditions and assumptions of studies, while journalists would like to know more about current and short-term impacts. From the second year, two journalists joined the committee to make the events more meaningful for journalists. For the event in March, 2010, three months after COP15 in Copenhagen, the 2 degrees temperature target, which was the only written number on the Copenhagen Accord, was selected as a timely topic. Although researchers understand that a specific target is necessary for setting a concrete pathway, many of them also feel uncomfortable about selecting one single value from the temperature range with uncertainty. After two lectures on the history of the

  8. Enhancing medical students' communication skills: development and evaluation of an undergraduate training program

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background There is a relative lack of current research on the effects of specific communication training offered at the beginning of the medical degree program. The newly developed communication training "Basics and Practice in Communication Skills" was pilot tested in 2008 and expanded in the following year at the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany. The goal was to promote and improve the communicative skills of participants and show the usefulness of an early offered intervention on patient-physician communication within the medical curriculum. Methods The students participating in the project and a comparison group of students from the standard degree program were surveyed at the beginning and end of the courses. The survey consisted of a self-assessment of their skills as well as a standardised expert rating and an evaluation of the modules by means of a questionnaire. Results Students who attended the communication skills course exhibited a considerable increase of communication skills in this newly developed training. It was also observed that students in the intervention group had a greater degree of self-assessed competence following training than the medical students in the comparison group. This finding is also reflected in the results from a standardised objective measure. Conclusions The empirical results of the study showed that the training enabled students to acquire specialised competence in communication through the course of a newly developed training program. These findings will be used to establish new communication training at the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf. PMID:22443807

  9. Investigating interactional competence using video recordings in ESL classrooms to enhance communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krishnasamy, Hariharan N.

    2016-08-01

    Interactional competence, or knowing and using the appropriate skills for interaction in various communication situations within a given speech community and culture is important in the field of business and professional communication [1], [2]. Similar to many developing countries in the world, Malaysia is a growing economy and undergraduates will have to acquire appropriate communication skills. In this study, two aspects of the interactional communicative competence were investigated, that is the linguistic and paralinguistic behaviors in small group communication as well as conflict management in small group communication. Two groups of student participants were given a problem-solving task based on a letter of complaint. The two groups of students were video recorded during class hours for 40 minutes. The videos and transcription of the group discussions were analyzed to examine the use of language and interaction in small groups. The analysis, findings and interpretations were verified with three lecturers in the field of communication. The results showed that students were able to accomplish the given task using verbal and nonverbal communication. However, participation was unevenly distributed with two students talking for less than a minute. Negotiation was based more on alternative views and consensus was easily achieved. In concluding, suggestions are given on ways to improve English language communication.

  10. Theoretical models of synaptic short term plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Hennig, Matthias H.

    2013-01-01

    Short term plasticity is a highly abundant form of rapid, activity-dependent modulation of synaptic efficacy. A shared set of mechanisms can cause both depression and enhancement of the postsynaptic response at different synapses, with important consequences for information processing. Mathematical models have been extensively used to study the mechanisms and roles of short term plasticity. This review provides an overview of existing models and their biological basis, and of their main properties. Special attention will be given to slow processes such as calcium channel inactivation and the effect of activation of presynaptic autoreceptors. PMID:23626536

  11. Persistent ERK Activation Maintains Learning-Induced Long-Lasting Modulation of Synaptic Connectivity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cohen-Matsliah, Sivan Ida; Seroussi, Yaron; Rosenblum, Kobi; Barkai, Edi

    2008-01-01

    Pyramidal neurons in the piriform cortex from olfactory-discrimination (OD) trained rats undergo synaptic modifications that last for days after learning. A particularly intriguing modification is reduced paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) in the synapses interconnecting these cells; a phenomenon thought to reflect enhanced synaptic release. The…

  12. Activity-dependent facilitation of Synaptojanin and synaptic vesicle recycling by the Minibrain kinase

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chun-Kan; Bregere, Catherine; Paluch, Jeremy; Lu, Jason; Dickman, Dion K.; Chang, Karen T.

    2014-01-01

    Phosphorylation has emerged as a crucial regulatory mechanism in the nervous system to integrate the dynamic signaling required for proper synaptic development, function, and plasticity, particularly during changes in neuronal activity. Here we present evidence that Minibrain (Mnb; also known as Dyrk1A), a serine/threonine kinase implicated in autism spectrum disorder and Down syndrome, is required presynaptically for normal synaptic growth and rapid synaptic vesicle endocytosis at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ). We find that Mnb-dependent phosphorylation of synaptojanin (Synj) is required, in vivo, for complex endocytic protein interactions and to enhance Synj activity. Neuronal stimulation drives Mnb mobilization to endocytic zones and triggers Mnb-dependent phosphorylation of Synj. Our data identify Mnb as a synaptic kinase that promotes efficient synaptic vesicle recycling by dynamically calibrating Synj function at the Drosophila NMJ, and in turn endocytic capacity, to adapt to conditions of high synaptic activity. PMID:24977345

  13. Activity-dependent facilitation of Synaptojanin and synaptic vesicle recycling by the Minibrain kinase.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chun-Kan; Bregere, Catherine; Paluch, Jeremy; Lu, Jason F; Dickman, Dion K; Chang, Karen T

    2014-06-30

    Phosphorylation has emerged as a crucial regulatory mechanism in the nervous system to integrate the dynamic signalling required for proper synaptic development, function and plasticity, particularly during changes in neuronal activity. Here we present evidence that Minibrain (Mnb; also known as Dyrk1A), a serine/threonine kinase implicated in autism spectrum disorder and Down syndrome, is required presynaptically for normal synaptic growth and rapid synaptic vesicle endocytosis at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ). We find that Mnb-dependent phosphorylation of Synaptojanin (Synj) is required, in vivo, for complex endocytic protein interactions and to enhance Synj activity. Neuronal stimulation drives Mnb mobilization to endocytic zones and triggers Mnb-dependent phosphorylation of Synj. Our data identify Mnb as a synaptic kinase that promotes efficient synaptic vesicle recycling by dynamically calibrating Synj function at the Drosophila NMJ, and in turn endocytic capacity, to adapt to conditions of high synaptic activity.

  14. Non-communicable diseases and global health governance: enhancing global processes to improve health development

    PubMed Central

    Magnusson, Roger S

    2007-01-01

    This paper assesses progress in the development of a global framework for responding to non-communicable diseases, as reflected in the policies and initiatives of the World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank and the UN: the institutions most capable of shaping a coherent global policy. Responding to the global burden of chronic disease requires a strategic assessment of the global processes that are likely to be most effective in generating commitment to policy change at country level, and in influencing industry behaviour. WHO has adopted a legal process with tobacco (the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control), but a non-legal, advocacy-based approach with diet and physical activity (the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health). The paper assesses the merits of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the FCTC as distinct global processes for advancing health development, before considering what lessons might be learned for enhancing the implementation of the Global Strategy on Diet. While global partnerships, economic incentives, and international legal instruments could each contribute to a more effective global response to chronic diseases, the paper makes a special case for the development of international legal standards in select areas of diet and nutrition, as a strategy for ensuring that the health of future generations does not become dependent on corporate charity and voluntary commitments. A broader frame of reference for lifestyle-related chronic diseases is needed: one that draws together WHO's work in tobacco, nutrition and physical activity, and that envisages selective use of international legal obligations, non-binding recommendations, advocacy and policy advice as tools of choice for promoting different elements of the strategy. PMID:17519005

  15. Non-communicable diseases and global health governance: enhancing global processes to improve health development.

    PubMed

    Magnusson, Roger S

    2007-05-22

    This paper assesses progress in the development of a global framework for responding to non-communicable diseases, as reflected in the policies and initiatives of the World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank and the UN: the institutions most capable of shaping a coherent global policy. Responding to the global burden of chronic disease requires a strategic assessment of the global processes that are likely to be most effective in generating commitment to policy change at country level, and in influencing industry behaviour. WHO has adopted a legal process with tobacco (the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control), but a non-legal, advocacy-based approach with diet and physical activity (the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health). The paper assesses the merits of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the FCTC as distinct global processes for advancing health development, before considering what lessons might be learned for enhancing the implementation of the Global Strategy on Diet. While global partnerships, economic incentives, and international legal instruments could each contribute to a more effective global response to chronic diseases, the paper makes a special case for the development of international legal standards in select areas of diet and nutrition, as a strategy for ensuring that the health of future generations does not become dependent on corporate charity and voluntary commitments. A broader frame of reference for lifestyle-related chronic diseases is needed: one that draws together WHO's work in tobacco, nutrition and physical activity, and that envisages selective use of international legal obligations, non-binding recommendations, advocacy and policy advice as tools of choice for promoting different elements of the strategy.

  16. Tweek, an evolutionary conserved proteinis required for synaptic vesicle recycling

    PubMed Central

    Verstreken, Patrik; Ohyama, Tomoko; Haueter, Claire; Habets, Ron L.P.; Lin, Yong Q.; Swan, Laura E.; Ly, Cindy V.; Venken, Koen J. T.; De Camilli, Pietro; Bellen, Hugo J.

    2009-01-01

    Synaptic vesicle endocytosis is critical to maintain synaptic communication during intense stimulation. Here we describe Tweek, a conserved protein that is required for synaptic vesicle recycling. tweek mutants show reduced FM 1–43 uptake, cannot maintain release during intense stimulation and harbor larger than normal synaptic vesicles, implicating it in vesicle recycling at the synapse. Interestingly, the levels of a fluorescent PI(4,5)P2 reporter are reduced at tweek mutant synapses and the probe is aberrantly localized during stimulation. In addition, various endocytic adaptors known to bind PI(4,5)P2 are mislocalized and the defects in FM 1–43 dye uptake and adaptor localization are partially suppressed by removing one copy of the phosphoinositide-phosphatase synaptojanin, suggesting a role for Tweek in maintaining proper phosphoinositide levels at synapses. Our data implicate Tweek in regulating synaptic vesicle recycling via an action mediated at least in part by the regulation of PI(4,5)P2 levels or availability at the synapse. PMID:19640479

  17. Enhancing Graduate Student Communication to General Audiences through Blogging about Nanotechnology and Sustainability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bishop, Lee M.; Tillman, Ayesha S.; Geiger, Franz M.; Haynes, Christy L.; Klaper, Rebecca D.; Murphy, Catherine J.; Orr, Galya; Pedersen, Joel A.; DeStefano, Lizanne; Hamers, Robert J.

    2014-01-01

    We have developed and assessed a multiauthor science blog on the topic of nanotechnology and sustainability as a tool to improve the written communication and public engagement skills of graduate students. Focus group studies revealed that after participation in the blog, student authors felt more confident and capable of communicating technical…

  18. From a Medicinal to Educational Context: Implementing a Signature Pedagogy for Enhanced Parent-Teacher Communication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dotger, Benjamin H.

    2009-01-01

    Many teachers are not well prepared for, nor are they being trained to communicate effectively with, parents/caregivers from the different backgrounds and cultures with whom they will interact. Yet, one knows that teachers' professional communication skills are important as they work with parents to promote the success of all children in the…

  19. Enhancing Parent-Teacher Communication Using Technology: A Reading Improvement Clinic Example

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Merkley, Donna; Schmidt, Denise; Dirksen, Carrie; Fuhler, Carol

    2006-01-01

    Effective communication between homes and schools can be essential in helping students experience success in the classroom. Unfortunately, the topic of establishing mechanisms for meaningful parent-teacher communication is often slighted during the preparation of teachers. New teachers entering classrooms need the opportunity to interact and…

  20. Enhancing Parent-Child Communication about Drug Use: Strategies for Professionals Working with Parents and Guardians

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    King, Keith A.; Vidourek, Rebecca A.

    2011-01-01

    Research indicates that family connectedness is the leading protective factor against youth involvement in alcohol and other drug use. A vital component to building positive family connections is effective parent-child communication. This article discusses the importance of building positive parent-child communication skills and provides practical…

  1. Enhancing Students' Communication Skills in the Science Classroom through Socioscientific Issues

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chung, Yoonsook; Yoo, Jungsook; Kim, Sung-Won; Lee, Hyunju; Zeidler, Dana L.

    2016-01-01

    Communication skills are one of the most important competencies for 21st century global citizens. Our guiding presupposition was that socioscientific issues (SSIs) could be used as an effective pedagogical tool for promoting students' communication skills by increasing peer interactions, stimulating students' reasoning, and in constructing shared…

  2. Teaching Communication Ethics and Diversity: Using Technology and Community Engagement to Enhance Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swenson-Lepper, Tammy

    2012-01-01

    The workforce in the United States is becoming more diverse. To help students prepare to work and live in a diverse society, the author developed a lower-division course called "Communication Ethics and Diversity." After this course, students should be able to: (1) define diversity and communication ethics; (2) understand a variety of…

  3. Problems and Recommendations: Enhancing Communication with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kader, Shereen Abdel; Yawkey, Thomas D.

    2002-01-01

    Notes that communication between teachers and culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students need serious consideration especially in recognizing potential sources of miscommunication and misinterpretation. Considers sources of miscommunication within verbal and nonverbal communication. Discusses each element and offers examples in CLD…

  4. The Use of Computer-Mediated Communication To Enhance Subsequent Face-to-Face Discussions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dietz-Uhler, Beth; Bishop-Clark, Cathy

    2001-01-01

    Describes a study of undergraduate students that assessed the effects of synchronous (Internet chat) and asynchronous (Internet discussion board) computer-mediated communication on subsequent face-to-face discussions. Results showed that face-to-face discussions preceded by computer-mediated communication were perceived to be more enjoyable.…

  5. Designing for Communication at Work: A Case for Technology-Enhanced Boundary Objects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bakker, Arthur; Kent, Phillip; Hoyles, Celia; Noss, Richard

    2011-01-01

    In this article we conceptualise the challenges of communication between a mortgage company and its customers in terms of crossing boundaries between communities. Through an ethnographic study we first address the question: what are the challenges of communication between sales agents and customers of a mortgage company around mathematical…

  6. Enhanced communication by developing a non-anxious presence: a key attribute for the successful veterinarian.

    PubMed

    Strand, Elizabeth B

    2006-01-01

    In the recent past much has been written about non-technical skills in veterinary medical education. This dialogue has focused extensively on competence in behaviorally based communication skills for successful veterinary practice. Other relationship-based communication skills are also useful in communication, such as self-awareness, flexibility, non-judgment (compassion), and being present. All of these relationally based skills are present in the concept of non-anxious presence. This article will review the history of the term ''non-anxious presence'' (NAP), discuss a proposed model of NAP for the veterinary medical environment, and review some methods useful in teaching NAP in veterinary medical education.

  7. 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

  8. A Clinical Communication Strategy to Enhance Effectiveness and CAHPS Scores: The ALERT Model

    PubMed Central

    Hardee, James T; Kasper, Ilene K

    2008-01-01

    The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) program is a national annual report that surveys patients and rates health plans on a variety of metrics, including claims processing, customer service, office staff helpfulness, and ability to get needed care. Although physicians may feel they have no immediate control over many aspects of this questionnaire, there is an important area of the survey where they do have direct control: “how well the doctor communicates.” It is well established that effective physician–patient communication has beneficial effects not only on physician and patient satisfaction but also on adherence to medical advice, diagnostic accuracy, and malpractice risk. The creators of the CAHPS survey developed and incorporated four questions seeking to ascertain the patient's impression of the physician's communication skills. These questions assess how well the physician listened carefully to the patient, how often the physician explained things understandably, how often the physician showed respect for what the patient said, and how often the physician spent enough time with the patient. Many excellent clinical communication models exist that touch on aspects of the CAHPS topics, but it behooves physicians to be mindful of the exact survey questions. The ALERT model of communication was developed to facilitate physicians' recall of these measures. By incorporating key verbal and nonverbal communication skills, clinicians can address and improve their scores on this important area of the CAHPS survey. PMID:21331215

  9. Sumoylation in Synaptic Function and Dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Schorova, Lenka; Martin, Stéphane

    2016-01-01

    Sumoylation has recently emerged as a key post-translational modification involved in many, if not all, biological processes. Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier (SUMO) polypeptides are covalently attached to specific lysine residues of target proteins through a dedicated enzymatic pathway. Disruption of the SUMO enzymatic pathway in the developing brain leads to lethality indicating that this process exerts a central role during embryonic and post-natal development. However, little is still known regarding how this highly dynamic protein modification is regulated in the mammalian brain despite an increasing number of data implicating sumoylated substrates in synapse formation, synaptic communication and plasticity. The aim of this review is therefore to briefly describe the enzymatic SUMO pathway and to give an overview of our current knowledge on the function and dysfunction of protein sumoylation at the mammalian synapse.

  10. Sumoylation in Synaptic Function and Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Schorova, Lenka; Martin, Stéphane

    2016-01-01

    Sumoylation has recently emerged as a key post-translational modification involved in many, if not all, biological processes. Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier (SUMO) polypeptides are covalently attached to specific lysine residues of target proteins through a dedicated enzymatic pathway. Disruption of the SUMO enzymatic pathway in the developing brain leads to lethality indicating that this process exerts a central role during embryonic and post-natal development. However, little is still known regarding how this highly dynamic protein modification is regulated in the mammalian brain despite an increasing number of data implicating sumoylated substrates in synapse formation, synaptic communication and plasticity. The aim of this review is therefore to briefly describe the enzymatic SUMO pathway and to give an overview of our current knowledge on the function and dysfunction of protein sumoylation at the mammalian synapse. PMID:27199730

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Balanced synaptic input shapes the correlation between neural spike trains.

    PubMed

    Litwin-Kumar, Ashok; Oswald, Anne-Marie M; Urban, Nathaniel N; Doiron, Brent

    2011-12-01

    Stimulus properties, attention, and behavioral context influence correlations between the spike times produced by a pair of neurons. However, the biophysical mechanisms that modulate these correlations are poorly understood. With a combined theoretical and experimental approach, we show that the rate of balanced excitatory and inhibitory synaptic input modulates the magnitude and timescale of pairwise spike train correlation. High rate synaptic inputs promote spike time synchrony rather than long timescale spike rate correlations, while low rate synaptic inputs produce opposite results. This correlation shaping is due to a combination of enhanced high frequency input transfer and reduced firing rate gain in the high input rate state compared to the low state. Our study extends neural modulation from single neuron responses to population activity, a necessary step in understanding how the dynamics and processing of neural activity change across distinct brain states.

  14. Synaptic potentiation onto habenula neurons in the learned helplessness model of depression

    SciTech Connect

    Li, B.; Schulz, D.; Li, B; Piriz, J.; Mirrione, M.; Chung, C.H.; Proulx, C.D.; Schulz, D.; Henn, F.; Malinow, R.

    2011-02-24

    The cellular basis of depressive disorders is poorly understood. Recent studies in monkeys indicate that neurons in the lateral habenula (LHb), a nucleus that mediates communication between forebrain and midbrain structures, can increase their activity when an animal fails to receive an expected positive reward or receives a stimulus that predicts aversive conditions (that is, disappointment or anticipation of a negative outcome). LHb neurons project to, and modulate, dopamine-rich regions, such as the ventral tegmental area (VTA), that control reward-seeking behaviour and participate in depressive disorders. Here we show that in two learned helplessness models of depression, excitatory synapses onto LHb neurons projecting to the VTA are potentiated. Synaptic potentiation correlates with an animal's helplessness behaviour and is due to an enhanced presynaptic release probability. Depleting transmitter release by repeated electrical stimulation of LHb afferents, using a protocol that can be effective for patients who are depressed, markedly suppresses synaptic drive onto VTA-projecting LHb neurons in brain slices and can significantly reduce learned helplessness behaviour in rats. Our results indicate that increased presynaptic action onto LHb neurons contributes to the rodent learned helplessness model of depression.

  15. 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

  16. Depression as a Glial-Based Synaptic Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Rial, Daniel; Lemos, Cristina; Pinheiro, Helena; Duarte, Joana M.; Gonçalves, Francisco Q.; Real, Joana I.; Prediger, Rui D.; Gonçalves, Nélio; Gomes, Catarina A.; Canas, Paula M.; Agostinho, Paula; Cunha, Rodrigo A.

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies combining pharmacological, behavioral, electrophysiological and molecular approaches indicate that depression results from maladaptive neuroplastic processes occurring in defined frontolimbic circuits responsible for emotional processing such as the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, amygdala and ventral striatum. However, the exact mechanisms controlling synaptic plasticity that are disrupted to trigger depressive conditions have not been elucidated. Since glial cells (astrocytes and microglia) tightly and dynamically interact with synapses, engaging a bi-directional communication critical for the processing of synaptic information, we now revisit the role of glial cells in the etiology of depression focusing on a dysfunction of the “quad-partite” synapse. This interest is supported by the observations that depressive-like conditions are associated with a decreased density and hypofunction of astrocytes and with an increased microglia “activation” in frontolimbic regions, which is expected to contribute for the synaptic dysfunction present in depression. Furthermore, the traditional culprits of depression (glucocorticoids, biogenic amines, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, BDNF) affect glia functioning, whereas antidepressant treatments (serotonin-selective reuptake inhibitors, SSRIs, electroshocks, deep brain stimulation) recover glia functioning. In this context of a quad-partite synapse, systems modulating glia-synapse bidirectional communication—such as the purinergic neuromodulation system operated by adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATP) and adenosine—emerge as promising candidates to “re-normalize” synaptic function by combining direct synaptic effects with an ability to also control astrocyte and microglia function. This proposed triple action of purines to control aberrant synaptic function illustrates the rationale to consider the interference with glia dysfunction as a mechanism of action driving the design of future

  17. Membrane-Derived Phospholipids Control Synaptic Neurotransmission and Plasticity

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Botulinum neurotoxin type-A enters a non-recycling pool of synaptic vesicles.

    PubMed

    Harper, Callista B; Papadopulos, Andreas; Martin, Sally; Matthews, Daniel R; Morgan, Garry P; Nguyen, Tam H; Wang, Tong; Nair, Deepak; Choquet, Daniel; Meunier, Frederic A

    2016-01-25

    Neuronal communication relies on synaptic vesicles undergoing regulated exocytosis and recycling for multiple rounds of fusion. Whether all synaptic vesicles have identical protein content has been challenged, suggesting that their recycling ability may differ greatly. Botulinum neurotoxin type-A (BoNT/A) is a highly potent neurotoxin that is internalized in synaptic vesicles at motor nerve terminals and induces flaccid paralysis. Recently, BoNT/A was also shown to undergo retrograde transport, suggesting it might enter a specific pool of synaptic vesicles with a retrograde trafficking fate. Using high-resolution microscopy techniques including electron microscopy and single molecule imaging, we found that the BoNT/A binding domain is internalized within a subset of vesicles that only partially co-localize with cholera toxin B-subunit and have markedly reduced VAMP2 immunoreactivity. Synaptic vesicles loaded with pHrodo-BoNT/A-Hc exhibited a significantly reduced ability to fuse with the plasma membrane in mouse hippocampal nerve terminals when compared with pHrodo-dextran-containing synaptic vesicles and pHrodo-labeled anti-GFP nanobodies bound to VAMP2-pHluorin or vGlut-pHluorin. Similar results were also obtained at the amphibian neuromuscular junction. These results reveal that BoNT/A is internalized in a subpopulation of synaptic vesicles that are not destined to recycle, highlighting the existence of significant molecular and functional heterogeneity between synaptic vesicles.

  19. Botulinum neurotoxin type-A enters a non-recycling pool of synaptic vesicles

    PubMed Central

    Harper, Callista B.; Papadopulos, Andreas; Martin, Sally; Matthews, Daniel R.; Morgan, Garry P.; Nguyen, Tam H.; Wang, Tong; Nair, Deepak; Choquet, Daniel; Meunier, Frederic A.

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal communication relies on synaptic vesicles undergoing regulated exocytosis and recycling for multiple rounds of fusion. Whether all synaptic vesicles have identical protein content has been challenged, suggesting that their recycling ability may differ greatly. Botulinum neurotoxin type-A (BoNT/A) is a highly potent neurotoxin that is internalized in synaptic vesicles at motor nerve terminals and induces flaccid paralysis. Recently, BoNT/A was also shown to undergo retrograde transport, suggesting it might enter a specific pool of synaptic vesicles with a retrograde trafficking fate. Using high-resolution microscopy techniques including electron microscopy and single molecule imaging, we found that the BoNT/A binding domain is internalized within a subset of vesicles that only partially co-localize with cholera toxin B-subunit and have markedly reduced VAMP2 immunoreactivity. Synaptic vesicles loaded with pHrodo-BoNT/A-Hc exhibited a significantly reduced ability to fuse with the plasma membrane in mouse hippocampal nerve terminals when compared with pHrodo-dextran-containing synaptic vesicles and pHrodo-labeled anti-GFP nanobodies bound to VAMP2-pHluorin or vGlut-pHluorin. Similar results were also obtained at the amphibian neuromuscular junction. These results reveal that BoNT/A is internalized in a subpopulation of synaptic vesicles that are not destined to recycle, highlighting the existence of significant molecular and functional heterogeneity between synaptic vesicles. PMID:26805017

  20. Molecular bases of caloric restriction regulation of neuronal synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Fontán-Lozano, Angela; López-Lluch, Guillermo; Delgado-García, José María; Navas, Placido; Carrión, Angel Manuel

    2008-10-01

    Aging is associated with the decline of cognitive properties. This situation is magnified when neurodegenerative processes associated with aging appear in human patients. Neuronal synaptic plasticity events underlie cognitive properties in the central nervous system. Caloric restriction (CR; either a decrease in food intake or an intermittent fasting diet) can extend life span and increase disease resistance. Recent studies have shown that CR can have profound effects on brain function and vulnerability to injury and disease. Moreover, CR can stimulate the production of new neurons from stem cells (neurogenesis) and can enhance synaptic plasticity, which modulate pain sensation, enhance cognitive function, and may increase the ability of the brain to resist aging. The beneficial effects of CR appear to be the result of a cellular stress response stimulating the production of proteins that enhance neuronal plasticity and resistance to oxidative and metabolic insults; they include neurotrophic factors, neurotransmitter receptors, protein chaperones, and mitochondrial biosynthesis regulators. In this review, we will present and discuss the effect of CR in synaptic processes underlying analgesia and cognitive improvement in healthy, sick, and aging animals. We will also discuss the possible role of mitochondrial biogenesis induced by CR in regulation of neuronal synaptic plasticity.

  1. Open Access in the Natural and Social Sciences: The Correspondence of Innovative Moves to Enhance Access, Inclusion and Impact in Scholarly Communication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Armbruster, Chris

    2008-01-01

    Online, open access is the superior model for scholarly communication. A variety of scientific communities in physics, the life sciences and economics have gone furthest in innovating their scholarly communication through open access, enhancing accessibility for scientists, students and the interested public. Open access enjoys a comparative…

  2. A simple packet retransmission strategy for throughput and delay enhancement on power line communication channels

    SciTech Connect

    Onunga, J.O. ); Donaldson, R.W. . Dept. of Electrical Engineering)

    1993-07-01

    A new, simple, and effective communication protocol is developed and evaluated for use on power line distribution networks. The protocol involves retransmission of unacknowledged packets, which are sent in either single or multiple (N) copies in accordance with estimates of communication link quality. Multiple packet copies can be code combined at the receiver, using majority voting on each bit position, to reduce packet error rates. Adaptive link quality estimates are based on the receipt or absence of positive acknowledgements. Information throughput efficiency is calculated and N optimized in terms of system variables. Performance benefits of code combining are clearly demonstrated. The algorithm was implemented and tested using a five-station intrabuilding power line communications network operating at 1.2, 2.4, 4.8 and 9.6 kbit/s data rate. Substantial throughput and delay improvement occurred on poor quality links, without degrading performance on good links.

  3. Synaptic vesicle distribution by conveyor belt.

    PubMed

    Moughamian, Armen J; Holzbaur, Erika L F

    2012-03-02

    The equal distribution of synaptic vesicles among synapses along the axon is critical for robust neurotransmission. Wong et al. show that the continuous circulation of synaptic vesicles throughout the axon driven by molecular motors ultimately yields this even distribution.

  4. Enhancing University Teachers' Information and Communication Technology Usage by Using a Virtual Learning Environment Training Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ageel, Mohammed; Woollard, John

    2012-01-01

    The research project is a case study focussing on the use of a virtual learning environment (VLE) implemented to increase the use of information and communication technology (ICT) by university teachers in Jazan University, Saudi Arabia. The study aims to investigate the effect of the VLE as the vehicle for a training course in ICT designed to…

  5. Enhancing the Speech and Language Development of Communicatively Disordered Children through Music and Movement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leung, Katherine

    The paper examines the suprasegmental aspects of speech and focuses on the benefits of music and movement to facilitate language development in handicapped children. The paper discusses the current thinking of suprasegmental functions of intonation, stress, and rhythm as the foundation for the organization of speech communication. Strategies for…

  6. An Internet Web-Site To Enhance Communication with School Personnel and Parents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flores, Jayne; Karr-Kidwell, PJ

    This document represents a Web site for Chisholm Trail Intermediate School (Keller Independent School District (KISD), Fort Worth, Texas). The first part of the document provides an introduction that discusses the importance of the communication environment and the sense of community that can be created within education. This section also…

  7. Evaluating iPad Technology for Enhancing Communication Skills of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boyd, Tara K.; Hart Barnett, Juliet E.; More, Cori M.

    2015-01-01

    Mobile technology has introduced a new communication opportunity for students with autism spectrum disorder. Tablets, like the iPad, allow users to customize applications for their needs. Users also have found iPads to be less stigmatizing because so many people own them and use them for various purposes. In the fast-paced world of technology,…

  8. Enhancing Motivation in Online Courses with Mobile Communication Tool Support: A Comparative Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chaiprasurt, Chantorn; Esichaikul, Vatcharaporn

    2013-01-01

    Mobile technologies have helped establish new channels of communication among learners and instructors, potentially providing greater access to course information, and promoting easier access to course activities and learner motivation in online learning environments. The paper compares motivation between groups of learners being taught through an…

  9. Social Media Use to Enhance Internal Communication: Course Design for Business Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Young, Amy M.; Hinesly, Mary D.

    2014-01-01

    Organizations are increasingly using social media to improve their internal communication. When successfully implemented, such initiatives can have a dramatic impact on internal efficiency, team collaboration, innovation, organizational alignment, and cultural transformation. This article describes a course offered by the Ross School of Business,…

  10. Untethering Education: Creating a Pilot Hybrid Class to Enhance Learning in Intercultural Communication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawton, Bessie; Foeman, Anita; Thompsen, Philip

    2014-01-01

    Improvements in educational technology in the past couple of decades have led institutions of higher learning to encourage and implement various types of distance education courses. This article reports on the conversion process of a face-to-face Intercultural Communication class at a mid-Atlantic university in the USA. First, the impetus for its…

  11. Use of Information and Communication Technology in Enhancing Teaching and Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salleh, Siti Maliza Hj.; Jack, Suriani; Bohari, Zubaidah; Jusoff, Hj. Kamaruzaman

    2011-01-01

    The role of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in education has been peripheral, with new technologies being added to the traditional teacher centred model of instruction. Students in the global economy of the 21st Century need to be creative thinkers and innovators. Thus, this paper provides an overview of the integration of…

  12. Teaching Teams To Enhance Microcomputer Communications between School and Family, 1986-1988. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cavalluzzo, Virginia A.

    This report describes the goals, objectives, activities, and outcomes of a project developed at the University of New Mexico Children's Psychiatric Hospital's Mimbres School to demonstrate the use of the microcomputer as a tool for establishing positive communication between emotionally-disturbed children and their parents. The project was…

  13. 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.

  14. Finite Post Synaptic Potentials Cause a Fast Neuronal Response

    PubMed Central

    Helias, Moritz; Deger, Moritz; Rotter, Stefan; Diesmann, Markus

    2011-01-01

    A generic property of the communication between neurons is the exchange of pulses at discrete time points, the action potentials. However, the prevalent theory of spiking neuronal networks of integrate-and-fire model neurons relies on two assumptions: the superposition of many afferent synaptic impulses is approximated by Gaussian white noise, equivalent to a vanishing magnitude of the synaptic impulses, and the transfer of time varying signals by neurons is assessable by linearization. Going beyond both approximations, we find that in the presence of synaptic impulses the response to transient inputs differs qualitatively from previous predictions. It is instantaneous rather than exhibiting low-pass characteristics, depends non-linearly on the amplitude of the impulse, is asymmetric for excitation and inhibition and is promoted by a characteristic level of synaptic background noise. These findings resolve contradictions between the earlier theory and experimental observations. Here we review the recent theoretical progress that enabled these insights. We explain why the membrane potential near threshold is sensitive to properties of the afferent noise and show how this shapes the neural response. A further extension of the theory to time evolution in discrete steps quantifies simulation artifacts and yields improved methods to cross check results. PMID:21427776

  15. Use of computer-assisted technologies (CAT) to enhance social, communicative, and language development in children with autism spectrum disorders.

    PubMed

    Ploog, Bertram O; Scharf, Alexa; Nelson, DeShawn; Brooks, Patricia J

    2013-02-01

    Major advances in multimedia computer technology over the past decades have made sophisticated computer games readily available to the public. This, combined with the observation that most children, including those with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), show an affinity to computers, has led researchers to recognize the potential of computer technology as an effective and efficient tool in research and treatment. This paper reviews the use of computer-assisted technology (CAT), excluding strictly internet-based approaches, to enhance social, communicative, and language development in individuals with ASD by dividing the vast literature into four main areas: language, emotion recognition, theory of mind, and social skills. Although many studies illustrate the tremendous promise of CAT to enhance skills of individuals with ASD, most lack rigorous, scientific assessment of efficacy relative to non-CAT approaches.

  16. LRRK2 regulates retrograde synaptic compensation at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction

    PubMed Central

    Penney, Jay; Tsurudome, Kazuya; Liao, Edward H.; Kauwe, Grant; Gray, Lindsay; Yanagiya, Akiko; R. Calderon, Mario; Sonenberg, Nahum; Haghighi, A. Pejmun

    2016-01-01

    Parkinson's disease gene leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) has been implicated in a number of processes including the regulation of mitochondrial function, autophagy and endocytic dynamics; nevertheless, we know little about its potential role in the regulation of synaptic plasticity. Here we demonstrate that postsynaptic knockdown of the fly homologue of LRRK2 thwarts retrograde, homeostatic synaptic compensation at the larval neuromuscular junction. Conversely, postsynaptic overexpression of either the fly or human LRRK2 transgene induces a retrograde enhancement of presynaptic neurotransmitter release by increasing the size of the release ready pool of vesicles. We show that LRRK2 promotes cap-dependent translation and identify Furin 1 as its translational target, which is required for the synaptic function of LRRK2. As the regulation of synaptic homeostasis plays a fundamental role in ensuring normal and stable synaptic function, our findings suggest that aberrant function of LRRK2 may lead to destabilization of neural circuits. PMID:27432119

  17. 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.

  18. Turnover of synaptic membranes: age-related changes and modulation by dietary restriction.

    PubMed

    Ando, Susumu; Tanaka, Yasukazu; Toyoda nee Ono, Yuriko; Kon, Kazuo; Kawashima, Sei-Ichi

    2002-11-01

    We examined age-related changes in the turnover rates of synaptic membrane components that might underlie the decrease in synaptic functions in senescence. Synaptic membrane constituents were labeled in vivo with deuterium and the disappearance of the deuterated molecules from synaptic membranes was measured by mass spectrometry. The turnover rates of phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, cholesterol, and synaptophysin were all shown to slow down with aging. Dietary restriction, which is known to retard various aging processes, was found to decrease the turnover rates of membrane lipid species. Consequently, the fatty acid composition in phospholipids remained unchanged in the synaptic plasma membranes of food restricted mice. In contrast, the turnover rate of synaptophysin was accelerated under dietary restriction. This may mean that increased turnover enhances the removal of damaged proteins from membranes.

  19. Enhancing Graduate Student Communication to General Audiences through Blogging about Nanotechnology and Sustainability

    SciTech Connect

    Bishop, Lee M.; Tillman, Ayesha S.; Geiger, Franz M.; Haynes, Christy L.; Klaper, Rebecca D.; Murphy, Catherine; Orr, Galya; Pedersen, Joel A.; DeStefano, Lizanne; Hamers, Robert J.

    2014-10-14

    We have developed and assessed a multiauthor science blog on the topic of nanotechnology and sustainability as a tool to improve the written communication and public engagement skills of graduate students. Focus group studies revealed that after participation in the blog, student authors felt more confident and capable of communicating technical topics to general audiences. Students' research mentors viewed this as an important component of their students' education, as indicated by survey data. Important design aspects of this effort include participation of an editor as well as having flexible content and target-audience guidelines. We have explicitly outlined aspects of the effort we see as critical in order to enable others to replicate this model in related settings.

  20. Regulators of synaptic transmission: roles in the pathogenesis and treatment of epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Casillas-Espinosa, Pablo M; Powell, Kim L; O'Brien, Terence J

    2012-12-01

    Synaptic transmission is the communication between a presynaptic and a postsynaptic neuron, and the subsequent processing of the signal. These processes are complex and highly regulated, reflecting their importance in normal brain functioning and homeostasis. Sustaining synaptic transmission depends on the continuing cycle of synaptic vesicle formation, release, and endocytosis, which requires proteins such as dynamin, syndapin, synapsin, and synaptic vesicle protein 2A. Synaptic transmission is regulated by diverse mechanisms, including presynaptic modulators of synaptic vesicle formation and release, postsynaptic receptors and signaling, and modulators of neurotransmission. Neurotransmitters released presynaptically can bind to their postsynaptic receptors, the inhibitory γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic receptors or the excitatory glutamate receptors. Once released, glutamate activates a variety of postsynaptic receptors including α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA), N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), kainate, and metabotropic receptors. The activation of the receptors triggers downstream signaling cascades generating a vast array of effects, which can be modulated by a numerous auxiliary regulatory subunits. Moreover, different neuropeptides such as neuropeptide Y, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), somatostatin, ghrelin, and galanin, act as regulators of diverse synaptic functions and along with the classic neurotransmitters. Abnormalities in the regulation of synaptic transmission play a critical role in the pathogenesis of numerous brain diseases, including epilepsy. This review focuses on the different mechanisms involved in the regulation of synaptic transmission, which may play a role in the pathogenesis of epilepsy: the presynaptic modulators of synaptic vesicle formation and release, postsynaptic receptors, and modulators of neurotransmission, including the mechanism by which drugs can modulate the frequency and severity of

  1. Enhancing In-Flight Transoceanic Communications Using Swift-64 Packet Mode Service

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slywczak, Richard A.

    2004-01-01

    Current aeronautical communications can be divided into two segments. The first provides state of the art, packet switched technology to the cabin passengers so that they have access to e-mail and web services. The second provides basic circuit switch communication technology to the cockpit, which does not use bandwidth as efficiently as packet switching nor promotes resource sharing. This paper explores the research efforts currently being conducted by the NASA/Glenn Research Center (GRC) for transoceanic communications. The goal is to bring packet mode services to both the cabin and the cockpit of the aircraft and be able to attain benefits by sharing the data link with cabin services. First, this paper will outline the goals of the program and detail the benefits and issues related to this research. We will explain our current laboratory setup and show an architecture implemented in the testbed. Finally, we will present a work plan that will show the progression of research over the next year. This plan will describe a complete cycle from conceptual design and laboratory implementation to the final flight testing.

  2. Synaptic ultrastructure changes in trigeminocervical complex post trigeminal nerve injury

    PubMed Central

    Park, John; Trinh, Van Nancy; Sears-Kraxberger, Ilse; Li, Kang-Wu; Steward, Oswald; Luo, Z. David

    2015-01-01

    Trigeminal nerves collecting sensory information from the orofacial area synapse on second order neurons in the dorsal horn of subnucleus caudalis and cervical C1/C2 spinal cord (Vc/C2, or trigeminocervical complex), which is critical for sensory information processing. Injury to the trigeminal nerves may cause maladaptive changes in synaptic connectivity that plays an important role in chronic pain development. Here, we examined whether injury to the infraorbital nerve, a branch of the trigeminal nerves, led to synaptic ultrastructural changes when the injured animals have developed neuropathic pain states. Transmission electron microscopy was used to examine synaptic profiles in Vc/C2 at three-weeks post-injury, corresponding to the time of peak behavioral hypersensitivity following chronic constriction injury to the infraorbital nerve (CCI-ION). Using established criteria, synaptic profiles were classified as associated with excitatory (R-), inhibitory (F-), and primary afferent (C-) terminals. Each type was counted within the superficial dorsal horn of the Vc/C2 and the means from each rat were compared between sham and injured animals; synaptic contact length was also measured. The overall analysis indicates that rats with orofacial pain states had increased numbers and decreased mean synaptic length of R-profiles within the Vc/C2 superficial dorsal horn (lamina I) three-weeks post CCI-ION. Increases in the number of excitatory synapses in the superficial dorsal horn of Vc/C2 could lead to enhanced activation of nociceptive pathways, contributing to the development of orofacial pain states. PMID:26132987

  3. Improving therapeutic outcomes in autism spectrum disorders: Enhancing social communication and sensory processing through the use of interactive robots.

    PubMed

    Sartorato, Felippe; Przybylowski, Leon; Sarko, Diana K

    2017-02-07

    For children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), social robots are increasingly utilized as therapeutic tools in order to enhance social skills and communication. Robots have been shown to generate a number of social and behavioral benefits in children with ASD including heightened engagement, increased attention, and decreased social anxiety. Although social robots appear to be effective social reinforcement tools in assistive therapies, the perceptual mechanism underlying these benefits remains unknown. To date, social robot studies have primarily relied on expertise in fields such as engineering and clinical psychology, with measures of social robot efficacy principally limited to qualitative observational assessments of children's interactions with robots. In this review, we examine a range of socially interactive robots that currently have the most widespread use as well as the utility of these robots and their therapeutic effects. In addition, given that social interactions rely on audiovisual communication, we discuss how enhanced sensory processing and integration of robotic social cues may underlie the perceptual and behavioral benefits that social robots confer. Although overall multisensory processing (including audiovisual integration) is impaired in individuals with ASD, social robot interactions may provide therapeutic benefits by allowing audiovisual social cues to be experienced through a simplified version of a human interaction. By applying systems neuroscience tools to identify, analyze, and extend the multisensory perceptual substrates that may underlie the therapeutic benefits of social robots, future studies have the potential to strengthen the clinical utility of social robots for individuals with ASD.

  4. Sapap3 deletion anomalously activates short-term endocannabinoid-mediated synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Meng; Wan, Yehong; Ade, Kristen; Ting, Jonathan; Feng, Guoping; Calakos, Nicole

    2011-01-01

    Retrograde synaptic signaling by endocannabinoids is a widespread mechanism for activity-dependent inhibition of synaptic strength in the brain. Although prevalent, the conditions for eliciting endocannabinoid (eCB)-mediated synaptic depression vary among brain circuits. As yet, relatively little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying this variation, although the initial signaling events are likely dictated by postsynaptic proteins. SAPAPs are a family of postsynaptic proteins unique to excitatory synapses. Using Sapap3 knock-out (KO) mice, we find that, in the absence of SAPAP3, striatal medium spiny neuron (MSN) excitatory synapses exhibit eCB-mediated synaptic depression under conditions that do not normally activate this process. The anomalous synaptic plasticity requires type 5 metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR5), which are dysregulated in Sapap3 KO MSNs. Both surface expression and activity of mGluR5 are increased in Sapap3 KO MSNs, suggesting that enhanced mGluR5 activity may drive the anomalous synaptic plasticity. In direct support of this possibility, we find that, in wildtype (WT) MSNs, pharmacological enhancement of mGluR5 by a positive allosteric modulator is sufficient to reproduce the increased synaptic depression seen in Sapap3 KO MSNs. The same pharmacologic treatment, however, fails to elicit further depression in KO MSNs. Under conditions that are sufficient to engage eCB-mediated synaptic depression in WT MSNs, Sapap3 deletion does not alter the magnitude of the response. These results identify a role for SAPAP3 in the regulation of postsynaptic mGluRs and eCB-mediated synaptic plasticity. SAPAPs, through their effect on mGluR activity, may serve as regulatory molecules gating the threshold for inducing eCB-mediated synaptic plasticity. PMID:21715621

  5. Directional visible light communication signal enhancement using a varifocal micromirror with four degrees of freedom

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morrison, Jessica; Rahaim, Michael; Miao, Yun; Imboden, Matthias; Little, Thomas D. C.; Koomson, Valencia; Bishop, David J.

    2016-09-01

    We present the use of a micromirror to dynamically improve an optical wireless communications link. The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is improved by directing the output of a 675 nm laser diode modulated at 10 MHz toward a receiver and by varying the divergence of the output beam using a varifocal, tip-tilt-piston micromirror. The SNR has a dynamic range of 30 dB for a diffuse source, all by optimizing the overall shape and direction of the mirror.

  6. Open Syntaxin Docks Synaptic Vesicles

    PubMed Central

    Olsen, Shawn; Jorgensen, Erik M

    2007-01-01

    Synaptic vesicles dock to the plasma membrane at synapses to facilitate rapid exocytosis. Docking was originally proposed to require the soluble N-ethylmaleimide–sensitive fusion attachment protein receptor (SNARE) proteins; however, perturbation studies suggested that docking was independent of the SNARE proteins. We now find that the SNARE protein syntaxin is required for docking of all vesicles at synapses in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The active zone protein UNC-13, which interacts with syntaxin, is also required for docking in the active zone. The docking defects in unc-13 mutants can be fully rescued by overexpressing a constitutively open form of syntaxin, but not by wild-type syntaxin. These experiments support a model for docking in which UNC-13 converts syntaxin from the closed to the open state, and open syntaxin acts directly in docking vesicles to the plasma membrane. These data provide a molecular basis for synaptic vesicle docking. PMID:17645391

  7. Synaptic dynamics and decision making

    PubMed Central

    Deco, Gustavo; Rolls, Edmund T.; Romo, Ranulfo

    2010-01-01

    During decision making between sequential stimuli, the first stimulus must be held in memory and then compared with the second. Here, we show that in systems that encode the stimuli by their firing rate, neurons can use synaptic facilitation not only to remember the first stimulus during the delay but during the presentation of the second stimulus so that they respond to a combination of the first and second stimuli, as has been found for “partial differential” neurons recorded in the ventral premotor cortex during vibrotactile flutter frequency decision making. Moreover, we show that such partial differential neurons provide important input to a subsequent attractor decision-making network that can then compare this combination of the first and second stimuli with inputs from other neurons that respond only to the second stimulus. Thus, both synaptic facilitation and neuronal attractor dynamics can account for sequential decision making in such systems in the brain. PMID:20360555

  8. Optimal Degrees of Synaptic Connectivity.

    PubMed

    Litwin-Kumar, Ashok; Harris, Kameron Decker; Axel, Richard; Sompolinsky, Haim; Abbott, L F

    2017-03-08

    Synaptic connectivity varies widely across neuronal types. Cerebellar granule cells receive five orders of magnitude fewer inputs than the Purkinje cells they innervate, and cerebellum-like circuits, including the insect mushroom body, also exhibit large divergences in connectivity. In contrast, the number of inputs per neuron in cerebral cortex is more uniform and large. We investigate how the dimension of a representation formed by a population of neurons depends on how many inputs each neuron receives and what this implies for learning associations. Our theory predicts that the dimensions of the cerebellar granule-cell and Drosophila Kenyon-cell representations are maximized at degrees of synaptic connectivity that match those observed anatomically, showing that sparse connectivity is sometimes superior to dense connectivity. When input synapses are subject to supervised plasticity, however, dense wiring becomes advantageous, suggesting that the type of plasticity exhibited by a set of synapses is a major determinant of connection density.

  9. Communication: Enhanced oxygen reduction reaction and its underlying mechanism in Pd-Ir-Co trimetallic alloys

    SciTech Connect

    Ham, Hyung Chul; Hwang, Gyeong S.; Manogaran, Dhivya; Lee, Kang Hee; Jin, Seon-ah; You, Dae Jong; Pak, Chanho; Kwon, Kyungjung

    2013-11-28

    Based on a combined density functional theory and experimental study, we present that the electrochemical activity of Pd{sub 3}Co alloy catalysts toward oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) can be enhanced by adding a small amount of Ir. While Ir tends to favorably exist in the subsurface layers, the underlying Ir atoms are found to cause a substantial modification in the surface electronic structure. As a consequence, we find that the activation barriers of O/OH hydrogenation reactions are noticeably lowered, which would be mainly responsible for the enhanced ORR activity. Furthermore, our study suggests that the presence of Ir in the near-surface region can suppress Co out-diffusion from the Pd{sub 3}Co substrate, thereby improving the durability of Pd-Ir-Co catalysts. We also discuss the relative roles played by Ir and Co in enhancing the ORR activity relative to monometallic Pd catalysts.

  10. Synaptic Plasticity and Memory Formation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1994-05-31

    The name " Ampakines " has been used to describe this family; when more is known about structure-activity relationships, it should be possible to...regarding the physiological effects of the drugs. Excised patch studies have shown that Ampakines prolong the duration of AMPA receptor-mediated...also revealed that Ampakines produce the expected facilitation and prolongation of synaptic responses in situ; these drugs are thus the first compounds

  11. Playback Theatre as a tool to enhance communication in medical education.

    PubMed

    Salas, Ramiro; Steele, Kenya; Lin, Amy; Loe, Claire; Gauna, Leslie; Jafar-Nejad, Paymaan

    2013-12-23

    Playback Theatre (PT) is an improvisational form of theatre in which a group of actors "play back" real life stories told by audience members. In PT, a conductor elicits moments, feelings and stories from audience members, and conducts mini-interviews with those who volunteer a moment of their lives to be re-enacted or "played" for the audience. A musician plays music according to the theme of each story, and 4-5 actors listen to the interview and perform the story that has just been told. PT has been used in a large number of settings as a tool to share stories in an artistic manner. Despite its similarities to psychodrama, PT does not claim to be a form of therapy. We offered two PT performances to first year medical students at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, to bring the students a safe and fun environment, conducive to sharing feelings and moments related to being a medical student. Through the moments and stories shared by students, we conclude that there is an enormous need in this population for opportunities to communicate the many emotions associated with medical school and with healthcare-related personal experiences, such as anxiety, pride, or anger. PT proved a powerful tool to help students communicate.

  12. Playback Theatre as a tool to enhance communication in medical education.

    PubMed

    Salas, Ramiro; Steele, Kenya; Lin, Amy; Loe, Claire; Gauna, Leslie; Jafar-Nejad, Paymaan

    2013-01-01

    Playback Theatre (PT) is an improvisational form of theatre in which a group of actors "play back" real life stories told by audience members. In PT, a conductor elicits moments, feelings and stories from audience members, and conducts mini-interviews with those who volunteer a moment of their lives to be re-enacted or "played" for the audience. A musician plays music according to the theme of each story, and 4-5 actors listen to the interview and perform the story that has just been told. PT has been used in a large number of settings as a tool to share stories in an artistic manner. Despite its similarities to psychodrama, PT does not claim to be a form of therapy. We offered two PT performances to first year medical students at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, to bring the students a safe and fun environment, conducive to sharing feelings and moments related to being a medical student. Through the moments and stories shared by students, we conclude that there is an enormous need in this population for opportunities to communicate the many emotions associated with medical school and with healthcare-related personal experiences, such as anxiety, pride, or anger. PT proved a powerful tool to help students communicate.

  13. Progress toward treatments for synaptic defects in autism.

    PubMed

    Delorme, Richard; Ey, Elodie; Toro, Roberto; Leboyer, Marion; Gillberg, Christopher; Bourgeron, Thomas

    2013-06-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) encompasses a range of disorders that are characterized by social and communication deficits and repetitive behaviors. For the majority of affected individuals, the cause of ASD remains unknown, but in at least 20% of the cases, a genetic cause can be identified. There is currently no cure for ASD; however, results from mouse models indicate that some forms of the disorder could be alleviated even at the adult stage. Genes involved in ASD seem to converge on common pathways altering synaptic homeostasis. We propose, given the clinical heterogeneity of ASD, that specific 'synaptic clinical trials' should be designed and launched with the aim of establishing whether phenotype 'reversals' could also occur in humans.

  14. Modulation of Synaptic Plasticity by Exercise Training as a Basis for Ischemic Stroke Rehabilitation.

    PubMed

    Nie, Jingjing; Yang, Xiaosu

    2017-01-01

    In recent years, rehabilitation of ischemic stroke draws more and more attention in the world, and has been linked to changes of synaptic plasticity. Exercise training improves motor function of ischemia as well as cognition which is associated with formation of learning and memory. The molecular basis of learning and memory might be synaptic plasticity. Research has therefore been conducted in an attempt to relate effects of exercise training to neuroprotection and neurogenesis adjacent to the ischemic injury brain. The present paper reviews the current literature addressing this question and discusses the possible mechanisms involved in modulation of synaptic plasticity by exercise training. This review shows the pathological process of synaptic dysfunction in ischemic roughly and then discusses the effects of exercise training on scaffold proteins and regulatory protein expression. The expression of scaffold proteins generally increased after training, but the effects on regulatory proteins were mixed. Moreover, the compositions of postsynaptic receptors were changed and the strength of synaptic transmission was enhanced after training. Finally, the recovery of cognition is critically associated with synaptic remodeling in an injured brain, and the remodeling occurs through a number of local regulations including mRNA translation, remodeling of cytoskeleton, and receptor trafficking into and out of the synapse. We do provide a comprehensive knowledge of synaptic plasticity enhancement obtained by exercise training in this review.

  15. Re-Conceptualizing EFL Professional Development: Enhancing Communicative Language Pedagogy for Thai Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, Lottie L.

    2016-01-01

    The spread of globalization means an accompanying growth in the importance of English as a lingua franca. Efforts to increase English proficiency are especially pronounced in Southeast Asia with the opening of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015. A common strategy to enhance English learning in Asian countries is to begin instruction at the…

  16. 77 FR 40072 - Assessment of the Program for Enhanced Review Transparency and Communication for New Molecular...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-07-06

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration Assessment of the Program for Enhanced Review Transparency... Applications in Prescription Drug User Fee Act V; Request for Comments AGENCY: Food and Drug Administration, HHS. ACTION: Notice; request for comments. SUMMARY: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)...

  17. Leptin regulation of hippocampal synaptic function in health and disease

    PubMed Central

    Irving, Andrew J.; Harvey, Jenni

    2014-01-01

    The endocrine hormone leptin plays a key role in regulating food intake and body weight via its actions in the hypothalamus. However, leptin receptors are highly expressed in many extra-hypothalamic brain regions and evidence is growing that leptin influences many central processes including cognition. Indeed, recent studies indicate that leptin is a potential cognitive enhancer as it markedly facilitates the cellular events underlying hippocampal-dependent learning and memory, including effects on glutamate receptor trafficking, neuronal morphology and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. However, the ability of leptin to regulate hippocampal synaptic function markedly declines with age and aberrant leptin function has been linked to neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here, we review the evidence supporting a cognitive enhancing role for the hormone leptin and discuss the therapeutic potential of using leptin-based agents to treat AD. PMID:24298156

  18. Experimental demonstration of security-enhanced WDM-PON based on chaotic optical communications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, Hongxi; Chen, Xiaolei; Yue, Hehe; Zhao, Qingchun; Hao, Yang; Wu, Chenguang; Zhao, Nan

    2015-08-01

    The message-decryption process of subtracting chaotic synchronization carrier from receiving signal is explained by modeling and numerically solving the rate equations for semiconductor lasers. An experimental system of wavelength division multiplexing passive optical network (WDM-PON) based on chaotic-light secure communications is first built up. The bidirectional transmissions of downstream and upstream data are experimentally realized with only two lasers and a single wavelength channel in a WDM fiber-optic link. When the data rate is 1.25 Gb/s, the secure transmission distance can be up to 11 km with SSMF of G.652. After sampling and decision, the BER of the recovered messages is calculated to be approximately 1×10-4.

  19. Enhanced spectral efficiency using bandwidth switchable SAW filtering for mobile satellite communications systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peach, Robert; Malarky, Alastair

    1990-01-01

    Currently proposed mobile satellite communications systems require a high degree of flexibility in assignment of spectral capacity to different geographic locations. Conventionally this results in poor spectral efficiency which may be overcome by the use of bandwidth switchable filtering. Surface acoustic wave (SAW) technology makes it possible to provide banks of filters whose responses may be contiguously combined to form variable bandwidth filters with constant amplitude and phase responses across the entire band. The high selectivity possible with SAW filters, combined with the variable bandwidth capability, makes it possible to achieve spectral efficiencies over the allocated bandwidths of greater than 90 percent, while retaining full system flexibility. Bandwidth switchable SAW filtering (BSSF) achieves these gains with a negligible increase in hardware complexity.

  20. Enhanced science-stakeholder communication to improve ecosystem model performances for climate change impact assessments.

    PubMed

    Jönsson, Anna Maria; Anderbrant, Olle; Holmér, Jennie; Johansson, Jacob; Schurgers, Guy; Svensson, Glenn P; Smith, Henrik G

    2015-04-01

    In recent years, climate impact assessments of relevance to the agricultural and forestry sectors have received considerable attention. Current ecosystem models commonly capture the effect of a warmer climate on biomass production, but they rarely sufficiently capture potential losses caused by pests, pathogens and extreme weather events. In addition, alternative management regimes may not be integrated in the models. A way to improve the quality of climate impact assessments is to increase the science-stakeholder collaboration, and in a two-way dialog link empirical experience and impact modelling with policy and strategies for sustainable management. In this paper we give a brief overview of different ecosystem modelling methods, discuss how to include ecological and management aspects, and highlight the importance of science-stakeholder communication. By this, we hope to stimulate a discussion among the science-stakeholder communities on how to quantify the potential for climate change adaptation by improving the realism in the models.

  1. Design of optical transmitting antenna with enhance performance in visible light communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuang, Dang; Wang, Jianping; Lu, Huimin

    2016-10-01

    An optical transmitting antenna for visible light communication(VLC) is designed in this work, in which the antenna is positioned before the light-emitting diodes (LED) source to change the lighting distribution, in order to achieve uniform received power effect. The method to design antenna is introduced into physical optical lens principle. According to the energy conservation law and Snell law, the antenna is designed via establishing energy mapping between the luminous flux emitted by a LED source with Lambertian distribution and the target plane. The coordinates of the antenna model are obtained under matrix laboratory (MATLAB). The antenna model entity is generated through three dimensional (3D) composition software AutoCAD with the coordinates of antenna. Ray-tracing software Tracepro is used to trace the ray which through antenna, and validate the irradiance maps. The uniformity of illumination and received power of the designed VLC is improved from approximately 35% to over 83%.

  2. Emerging Link between Alzheimer's Disease and Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Jang, Sung-Soo; Chung, Hee Jung

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an irreversible brain disorder characterized by progressive cognitive decline and neurodegeneration of brain regions that are crucial for learning and memory. Although intracellular neurofibrillary tangles and extracellular senile plaques, composed of insoluble amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides, have been the hallmarks of postmortem AD brains, memory impairment in early AD correlates better with pathological accumulation of soluble Aβ oligomers and persistent weakening of excitatory synaptic strength, which is demonstrated by inhibition of long-term potentiation, enhancement of long-term depression, and loss of synapses. However, current, approved interventions aiming to reduce Aβ levels have failed to retard disease progression; this has led to a pressing need to identify and target alternative pathogenic mechanisms of AD. Recently, it has been suggested that the disruption of Hebbian synaptic plasticity in AD is due to aberrant metaplasticity, which is a form of homeostatic plasticity that tunes the magnitude and direction of future synaptic plasticity based on previous neuronal or synaptic activity. This review examines emerging evidence for aberrant metaplasticity in AD. Putative mechanisms underlying aberrant metaplasticity in AD will also be discussed. We hope this review inspires future studies to test the extent to which these mechanisms contribute to the etiology of AD and offer therapeutic targets. PMID:27019755

  3. Spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity depends on dendritic location

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Froemke, Robert C.; Poo, Mu-ming; Dan, Yang

    2005-03-01

    In the neocortex, each neuron receives thousands of synaptic inputs distributed across an extensive dendritic tree. Although postsynaptic processing of each input is known to depend on its dendritic location, it is unclear whether activity-dependent synaptic modification is also location-dependent. Here we report that both the magnitude and the temporal specificity of spike-timing-dependent synaptic modification vary along the apical dendrite of rat cortical layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons. At the distal dendrite, the magnitude of long-term potentiation is smaller, and the window of pre-/postsynaptic spike interval for long-term depression (LTD) is broader. The spike-timing window for LTD correlates with the window of action potential-induced suppression of NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptors; this correlation applies to both their dendritic location-dependence and pharmacological properties. Presynaptic stimulation with partial blockade of NMDA receptors induced LTD and occluded further induction of spike-timing-dependent LTD, suggesting that NMDA receptor suppression underlies LTD induction. Computer simulation studies showed that the dendritic inhomogeneity of spike-timing-dependent synaptic modification leads to differential input selection at distal and proximal dendrites according to the temporal characteristics of presynaptic spike trains. Such location-dependent tuning of inputs, together with the dendritic heterogeneity of postsynaptic processing, could enhance the computational capacity of cortical pyramidal neurons.

  4. Synaptic regulation of affective behaviors; role of BDNF

    PubMed Central

    Ninan, Ipe

    2013-01-01

    Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a neurotrophin essential for nervous system development and synaptic plasticity, has been found to have a significant influence on affective behaviors. The notion that an impairment in BDNF signaling might be involved in affective disorders is originated primarily from the opposing effects of antidepressants and stress on BDNF signaling. Antidepressants enhance BDNF signaling and synaptic plasticity. On the other hand, negative environmental factors such as severe stress suppress BDNF signaling, impair synaptic activity and increase susceptibility to affective disorders. Postmortem studies provided strong support for decreased BDNF signaling in depressive disorders. Remarkably, studies in humans with a single nucleotide polymorphism in the BDNF gene, the BDNF Val66Met which affects regulated release of BDNF, showed profound deficits in hippocampal and prefrontal cortical (PFC) plasticity and cognitive behaviors. BDNF regulates synaptic mechanisms responsible for various cognitive processes including attenuation of aversive memories, a key process in the regulation of affective behaviors. The unique role of BDNF in cognitive and affective behaviors suggests that cognitive deficits due to altered BDNF signaling might underlie affective disorders. Understanding how BDNF modulates synapses in neural circuits relevant to affective behaviors, particularly the medial prefrontal cortical (mPFC)-hippocampus-amygdala pathway, and its interaction with development, sex, and environmental risk factors might shed light on potential therapeutic targets for affective disorders. PMID:23747574

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-09-30

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

  7. Slob, a Slowpoke channel–binding protein, modulates synaptic transmission

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jiaming

    2011-01-01

    Modulation of ion channels by regulatory proteins within the same macromolecular complex is a well-accepted concept, but the physiological consequences of such modulation are not fully understood. Slowpoke (Slo), a potassium channel critical for action potential repolarization and transmitter release, is regulated by Slo channel–binding protein (Slob), a Drosophila melanogaster Slo (dSlo) binding partner. Slob modulates the voltage dependence of dSlo channel activation in vitro and exerts similar effects on the dSlo channel in Drosophila central nervous system neurons in vivo. In addition, Slob modulates action potential duration in these neurons. Here, we investigate further the functional consequences of the modulation of the dSlo channel by Slob in vivo, by examining larval neuromuscular synaptic transmission in flies in which Slob levels have been altered. In Slob-null flies generated through P-element mutagenesis, as well as in Slob knockdown flies generated by RNA interference (RNAi), we find an enhancement of synaptic transmission but no change in the properties of the postsynaptic muscle cell. Using targeted transgenic rescue and targeted expression of Slob-RNAi, we find that Slob expression in neurons (but not in the postsynaptic muscle cell) is critical for its effects on synaptic transmission. Furthermore, inhibition of dSlo channel activity abolishes these effects of Slob. These results suggest that presynaptic Slob, by regulating dSlo channel function, participates in the modulation of synaptic transmission. PMID:21282401

  8. Elevated serotonergic signaling amplifies synaptic noise and facilitates the emergence of epileptiform network oscillations

    PubMed Central

    Puzerey, Pavel A.; Decker, Michael J.

    2014-01-01

    Serotonin fibers densely innervate the cortical sheath to regulate neuronal excitability, but its role in shaping network dynamics remains undetermined. We show that serotonin provides an excitatory tone to cortical neurons in the form of spontaneous synaptic noise through 5-HT3 receptors, which is persistent and can be augmented using fluoxetine, a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor. Augmented serotonin signaling also increases cortical network activity by enhancing synaptic excitation through activation of 5-HT2 receptors. This in turn facilitates the emergence of epileptiform network oscillations (10–16 Hz) known as fast runs. A computational model of cortical dynamics demonstrates that these two combined mechanisms, increased background synaptic noise and enhanced synaptic excitation, are sufficient to replicate the emergence fast runs and their statistics. Consistent with these findings, we show that blocking 5-HT2 receptors in vivo significantly raises the threshold for convulsant-induced seizures. PMID:25122717

  9. 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

  10. Impact of Risk Perception on Risk Communication and Community Resilience Enhancement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frazier, T. G.; Thompson, C. M.

    2014-12-01

    Past studies have demonstrated there is a relationship between risk perception, risk tolerance and mitigation planning. When people experience high-risk perception, their risk tolerance is typically lowered causing them to become more likely to support the implementation of mitigation policies including those that are either cost intensive or politically controversial. Understanding stakeholder risk perception could therefore provide information about the likelihood of implementation of various mitigation strategies. Varied risk communication methods are needed to accurately represent community risk so as to better inform decision-making. In response to this need, this research examines the effect of risk perception on community resilience through a case study of Fernan Lake, ID. Researchers conducted a survey of Fernan Lake residents to determine their risk perception of the impact of blue-green algae blooms on community resilience. Survey questions were developed based on traditional risk perception factors like vested interest, social trust, knowledge, possible benefits or losses, relevance to individual and potential for control. The results were used to determine residents' risk perception of the impact of blue green algae blooms on Socio-Ecological System resource availability and future development and growth potential. Focus groups were then conducted to validate the survey results. Research results demonstrate that residents are concerned about the impacts of blue-green algae blooms, but the level of interest in acting on those concerns and their willingness to consider more aggressive mitigation strategies varies across the study area. This research demonstrates the need for varied risk communication approaches, depending upon community mitigation goals.

  11. Enhancing Space Science Communication with Cross-Cultural Venues in Latino Communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morris, P. A.; Reiff, P.; Sumners, C.; McKay, G. A.

    2006-12-01

    Brownsville, Texas in the Rio Grande Valley is the site of an annual space science outreach event that illustrates successful methods of communicating science across cultural and economical boundaries. The Lower Rio Grande valley is predominantly rural, Spanish speaking with large portions of the population at or below the poverty line. Many of the Latino students drop out of school before receiving a high school diploma. For the past four years the University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB) has brought a group of educators, high school and undergraduate students to Houston for training at Johnson Space Center and the Houston Museum of Natural Science. The group subsequently organizes a one day event for 5th-8th grade students, teachers and administrators that is focused on a space science theme. In 2006 over 500 participants learned about NASA's return to the Moon. The attendees listened to a talk by a NASA scientist, viewed exhibits of lunar materials and participated in 20 different hands-on activities. Examples of the activities were the effects of the Sun's solar winds on regolith formation, lunar craters, potential water resources and future exploration. The event is a success because it is locally supported and organized by UTB and its students. UTB has taken "ownership" of the yearly activity. Outside support is limited to scientific data and information, supplying a guest speaker and materials support. Materials support can include NASA displays, telescopes, a portable planetarium and selected planetarium shows. Communication barriers between English speaking and Spanish speaking are eliminated as over ninety percent of the local leaders are bilingual. Additionally the portable planetarium has Spanish language programs. This is an example of an activity that crosses across cultural boundaries and can be exported to other regions of the western hemisphere.

  12. A Statistical Model-Based Speech Enhancement Using Acoustic Noise Classification for Robust Speech Communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Jae-Hun; Chang, Joon-Hyuk

    In this paper, we present a speech enhancement technique based on the ambient noise classification that incorporates the Gaussian mixture model (GMM). The principal parameters of the statistical model-based speech enhancement algorithm such as the weighting parameter in the decision-directed (DD) method and the long-term smoothing parameter of the noise estimation, are set according to the classified context to ensure best performance under each noise. For real-time context awareness, the noise classification is performed on a frame-by-frame basis using the GMM with the soft decision framework. The speech absence probability (SAP) is used in detecting the speech absence periods and updating the likelihood of the GMM.

  13. Communication: Multiple atomistic force fields in a single enhanced sampling simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Hoang Viet, Man; Derreumaux, Philippe; Nguyen, Phuong H.

    2015-07-14

    The main concerns of biomolecular dynamics simulations are the convergence of the conformational sampling and the dependence of the results on the force fields. While the first issue can be addressed by employing enhanced sampling techniques such as simulated tempering or replica exchange molecular dynamics, repeating these simulations with different force fields is very time consuming. Here, we propose an automatic method that includes different force fields into a single advanced sampling simulation. Conformational sampling using three all-atom force fields is enhanced by simulated tempering and by formulating the weight parameters of the simulated tempering method in terms of the energy fluctuations, the system is able to perform random walk in both temperature and force field spaces. The method is first demonstrated on a 1D system and then validated by the folding of the 10-residue chignolin peptide in explicit water.

  14. Cholinergic receptor activation induces a relative facilitation of synaptic responses in the entorhinal cortex during theta- and gamma-frequency stimulation of parasubicular inputs.

    PubMed

    Sparks, D W; Chapman, C A

    2013-01-29

    The parasubiculum sends its single major output to layer II of the entorhinal cortex, and it may therefore interact with inputs to the entorhinal cortex from other cortical areas, and help to shape the activity of layer II entorhinal cells that project to the hippocampal formation. Cholinergic inputs are thought to contribute to the generation of theta- and gamma-frequency activities in the parasubiculum and entorhinal cortex, and the present study assessed how cholinergic receptor activation affects synaptic responses of the entorhinal cortex to theta- and gamma-frequency stimulation. Depth profiles of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) in acute brain slices showed a short-latency negative fEPSP in layer II, consistent with the activation of excitatory synaptic inputs to layer II. Application of the cholinergic agonist carbachol (CCh) suppressed synaptic responses and enhanced paired-pulse facilitation. CCh also resulted in a marked relative facilitation of synaptic responses evoked during short 5-pulse trains of stimulation at both theta- and gamma-frequencies. Application of the M(1) antagonist pirenzepine, but not the M(2) antagonist methoctramine, blocked the facilitation of responses. Inhibition of the M-current or block of GABA(B) receptors had no effect, but the facilitation effect was partially blocked by the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) antagonist APV, indicating that NMDA receptors play a role. Application of ZD7288, a selective inhibitor of the hyperpolarization-activated cationic current I(h), almost completely blocked the relative facilitation of responses, and the less potent I(h)-blocker Cs(+) also resulted in a partial block. The relative facilitation of synaptic responses induced by CCh is therefore likely mediated by multiple mechanisms including the cholinergic suppression of transmitter release that enhances transmitter availability during repetitive stimulation, NMDA receptor-mediated effects on pre- or postsynaptic function, and

  15. Data communications

    SciTech Connect

    Preckshot, G.G.

    1993-08-01

    The purpose of this paper is to recommend regulatory guidance for reviewers examining computer communication systems used in nuclear power plants. The recommendations cover three areas important to these communications systems: system design, communication protocols, and communication media. The first area, system design, considers three aspects of system design--questions about architecture, specific risky design elements or omissions to look for in designs being reviewed, and recommendations for multiplexed data communication systems used in safety systems. The second area reviews pertinent aspects of communication protocol design and makes recommendations for newly designed protocols or the selection of existing protocols for safety system, information display, and non-safety control system use. The third area covers communication media selection, which differs significantly from traditional wire and cable. The recommendations for communication media extend or enhance the concerns of published IEEE standards about three subjects: data rate, imported hazards and maintainability.

  16. Enhanced channel estimation and symbol detection for high speed multi-input multi-output underwater acoustic communications.

    PubMed

    Ling, Jun; Yardibi, Tarik; Su, Xiang; He, Hao; Li, Jian

    2009-05-01

    The need for achieving higher data rates in underwater acoustic communications leverages the use of multi-input multi-output (MIMO) schemes. In this paper two key issues regarding the design of a MIMO communications system, namely, channel estimation and symbol detection, are addressed. To enhance channel estimation performance, a cyclic approach for designing training sequences and a channel estimation algorithm called the iterative adaptive approach (IAA) are presented. Sparse channel estimates can be obtained by combining IAA with the Bayesian information criterion (BIC). Moreover, the RELAX algorithm can be used to improve the IAA with BIC estimates further. Regarding symbol detection, a minimum mean-squared error based detection scheme, called RELAX-BLAST, which is a combination of vertical Bell Labs layered space-time (V-BLAST) algorithm and the cyclic principle of the RELAX algorithm, is presented and it is shown that RELAX-BLAST outperforms V-BLAST. Both simulated and experimental results are provided to validate the proposed MIMO scheme. RACE'08 experimental results employing a 4 x 24 MIMO system show that the proposed scheme enjoys an average uncoded bit error rate of 0.38% at a payload data rate of 31.25 kbps and an average coded bit error rate of 0% at a payload data rate of 15.63 kbps.

  17. Communication in a noisy environment: Perception of one's own voice and speech enhancement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Cocq, Cecile

    Workers in noisy industrial environments are often confronted to communication problems. Lost of workers complain about not being able to communicate easily with their coworkers when they wear hearing protectors. In consequence, they tend to remove their protectors, which expose them to the risk of hearing loss. In fact this communication problem is a double one: first the hearing protectors modify one's own voice perception; second they interfere with understanding speech from others. This double problem is examined in this thesis. When wearing hearing protectors, the modification of one's own voice perception is partly due to the occlusion effect which is produced when an earplug is inserted in the car canal. This occlusion effect has two main consequences: first the physiological noises in low frequencies are better perceived, second the perception of one's own voice is modified. In order to have a better understanding of this phenomenon, the literature results are analyzed systematically, and a new method to quantify the occlusion effect is developed. Instead of stimulating the skull with a bone vibrator or asking the subject to speak as is usually done in the literature, it has been decided to excite the buccal cavity with an acoustic wave. The experiment has been designed in such a way that the acoustic wave which excites the buccal cavity does not excite the external car or the rest of the body directly. The measurement of the hearing threshold in open and occluded car has been used to quantify the subjective occlusion effect for an acoustic wave in the buccal cavity. These experimental results as well as those reported in the literature have lead to a better understanding of the occlusion effect and an evaluation of the role of each internal path from the acoustic source to the internal car. The speech intelligibility from others is altered by both the high sound levels of noisy industrial environments and the speech signal attenuation due to hearing

  18. Short-term Music Training Enhances Complex, Distributed Neural Communication during Music and Linguistic Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Carpentier, Sarah M.; Moreno, Sylvain; McIntosh, Anthony R.

    2016-01-01

    Musical training is frequently associated with benefits to linguistic abilities, and recent focus has been placed on possible benefits of bilingualism to lifelong executive functions; however, the neural mechanisms for such effects are unclear. The aim of this study was to gain better understanding of the whole-brain functional effects of music and second-language training that could support such previously observed cognitive transfer effects. We conducted a 28-day longitudinal study of monolingual English-speaking 4- to 6-year-old children randomly selected to receive daily music or French language training, excluding weekends. Children completed passive EEG music note and French vowel auditory oddball detection tasks before and after training. Brain signal complexity was measured on source waveforms at multiple temporal scales as an index of neural information processing and network communication load. Comparing pretraining with posttraining, musical training was associated with increased EEG complexity at coarse temporal scales during the music and French vowel tasks in widely distributed cortical regions. Conversely, very minimal decreases in complexity at fine scales and trends toward coarse-scale increases were displayed after French training during the tasks. Spectral analysis failed to distinguish between training types and found overall theta (3.5–7.5 Hz) power increases after all training forms, with spatially fewer decreases in power at higher frequencies (>10 Hz). These findings demonstrate that musical training increased diversity of brain network states to support domain-specific music skill acquisition and music-to-language transfer effects. PMID:27243611

  19. Early Postnatal Lipopolysaccharide Exposure Leads to Enhanced Neurogenesis and Impaired Communicative Functions in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Xuemei; Roller, Anna; Carter, Kathleen; Paul, Ian; Bhatt, Abhay J.; Lin, Rick C. S.; Fan, Lir-Wan

    2016-01-01

    Perinatal infection is a well-identified risk factor for a number of neurodevelopmental disorders, including brain white matter injury (WMI) and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The underlying mechanisms by which early life inflammatory events cause aberrant neural, cytoarchitectural, and network organization, remain elusive. This study is aimed to investigate how systemic lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced neuroinflammation affects microglia phenotypes and early neural developmental events in rats. We show here that LPS exposure at early postnatal day 3 leads to a robust microglia activation which is characterized with mixed microglial proinflammatory (M1) and anti-inflammatory (M2) phenotypes. More specifically, we found that microglial M1 markers iNOS and MHC-II were induced at relatively low levels in a regionally restricted manner, whereas M2 markers CD206 and TGFβ were strongly upregulated in a sub-set of activated microglia in multiple white and gray matter structures. This unique microglial response was associated with a marked decrease in naturally occurring apoptosis, but an increase in cell proliferation in the subventricular zone (SVZ) and the dentate gyrus (DG) of hippocampus. LPS exposure also leads to a significant increase in oligodendrocyte lineage population without causing discernible hypermyelination. Moreover, LPS-exposed rats exhibited significant impairments in communicative and cognitive functions. These findings suggest a possible role of M2-like microglial activation in abnormal neural development that may underlie ASD-like behavioral impairments. PMID:27723799

  20. Energy efficiency enhancements for semiconductors, communications, sensors and software achieved in cool silicon cluster project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ellinger, Frank; Mikolajick, Thomas; Fettweis, Gerhard; Hentschel, Dieter; Kolodinski, Sabine; Warnecke, Helmut; Reppe, Thomas; Tzschoppe, Christoph; Dohl, Jan; Carta, Corrado; Fritsche, David; Tretter, Gregor; Wiatr, Maciej; Detlef Kronholz, Stefan; Mikalo, Ricardo Pablo; Heinrich, Harald; Paulo, Robert; Wolf, Robert; Hübner, Johannes; Waltsgott, Johannes; Meißner, Klaus; Richter, Robert; Michler, Oliver; Bausinger, Markus; Mehlich, Heiko; Hahmann, Martin; Möller, Henning; Wiemer, Maik; Holland, Hans-Jürgen; Gärtner, Roberto; Schubert, Stefan; Richter, Alexander; Strobel, Axel; Fehske, Albrecht; Cech, Sebastian; Aßmann, Uwe; Pawlak, Andreas; Schröter, Michael; Finger, Wolfgang; Schumann, Stefan; Höppner, Sebastian; Walter, Dennis; Eisenreich, Holger; Schüffny, René

    2013-07-01

    An overview about the German cluster project Cool Silicon aiming at increasing the energy efficiency for semiconductors, communications, sensors and software is presented. Examples for achievements are: 1000 times reduced gate leakage in transistors using high-fc (HKMG) materials compared to conventional poly-gate (SiON) devices at the same technology node; 700 V transistors integrated in standard 0.35 μm CMOS; solar cell efficiencies above 19% at < 200 W/m2 irradiation; 0.99 power factor, 87% efficiency and 0.088 distortion factor for dc supplies; 1 ns synchronization resolution via Ethernet; database accelerators allowing 85% energy savings for servers; adaptive software yielding energy reduction of 73% for e-Commerce applications; processors and corresponding data links with 40% and 70% energy savings, respectively, by adaption of clock frequency and supply voltage in less than 20 ns; clock generator chip with tunable frequency from 83-666 MHz and 0.62-1.6 mW dc power; 90 Gb/s on-chip link over 6 mm and efficiency of 174 fJ/mm; dynamic biasing system doubling efficiency in power amplifiers; 60 GHz BiCMOS frontends with dc power to bandwidth ratio of 0.17 mW/MHz; driver assistance systems reducing energy consumption by 10% in cars Contribution to the Topical Issue “International Semiconductor Conference Dresden-Grenoble - ISCDG 2012”, Edited by Gérard Ghibaudo, Francis Balestra and Simon Deleonibus.

  1. Connexin 43 mediated gap junctional communication enhances breast tumor cell diapedesis in culture

    PubMed Central

    Pollmann, Mary-Ann; Shao, Qing; Laird, Dale W; Sandig, Martin

    2005-01-01

    Introduction Metastasis involves the emigration of tumor cells through the vascular endothelium, a process also known as diapedesis. The molecular mechanisms regulating tumor cell diapedesis are poorly understood, but may involve heterocellular gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) between tumor cells and endothelial cells. Method To test this hypothesis we expressed connexin 43 (Cx43) in GJIC-deficient mammary epithelial tumor cells (HBL100) and examined their ability to form gap junctions, establish heterocellular GJIC and migrate through monolayers of human microvascular endothelial cells (HMVEC) grown on matrigel-coated coverslips. Results HBL100 cells expressing Cx43 formed functional heterocellular gap junctions with HMVEC monolayers within 30 minutes. In addition, immunocytochemistry revealed Cx43 localized to contact sites between Cx43 expressing tumor cells and endothelial cells. Quantitative analysis of diapedesis revealed a two-fold increase in diapedesis of Cx43 expressing cells compared to empty vector control cells. The expression of a functionally inactive Cx43 chimeric protein in HBL100 cells failed to increase migration efficiency, suggesting that the observed up-regulation of diapedesis in Cx43 expressing cells required heterocellular GJIC. This finding is further supported by the observation that blocking homocellular and heterocellular GJIC with carbenoxolone in co-cultures also reduced diapedesis of Cx43 expressing HBL100 tumor cells. Conclusion Collectively, our results suggest that heterocellular GJIC between breast tumor cells and endothelial cells may be an important regulatory step during metastasis. PMID:15987459

  2. Short-term Music Training Enhances Complex, Distributed Neural Communication during Music and Linguistic Tasks.

    PubMed

    Carpentier, Sarah M; Moreno, Sylvain; McIntosh, Anthony R

    2016-10-01

    Musical training is frequently associated with benefits to linguistic abilities, and recent focus has been placed on possible benefits of bilingualism to lifelong executive functions; however, the neural mechanisms for such effects are unclear. The aim of this study was to gain better understanding of the whole-brain functional effects of music and second-language training that could support such previously observed cognitive transfer effects. We conducted a 28-day longitudinal study of monolingual English-speaking 4- to 6-year-old children randomly selected to receive daily music or French language training, excluding weekends. Children completed passive EEG music note and French vowel auditory oddball detection tasks before and after training. Brain signal complexity was measured on source waveforms at multiple temporal scales as an index of neural information processing and network communication load. Comparing pretraining with posttraining, musical training was associated with increased EEG complexity at coarse temporal scales during the music and French vowel tasks in widely distributed cortical regions. Conversely, very minimal decreases in complexity at fine scales and trends toward coarse-scale increases were displayed after French training during the tasks. Spectral analysis failed to distinguish between training types and found overall theta (3.5-7.5 Hz) power increases after all training forms, with spatially fewer decreases in power at higher frequencies (>10 Hz). These findings demonstrate that musical training increased diversity of brain network states to support domain-specific music skill acquisition and music-to-language transfer effects.

  3. Reflections on the specificity of synaptic connections.

    PubMed

    White, Edward L

    2007-10-01

    The principal focus of this treatise is the specificity of synaptic connectivity in the mammalian central nervous system. The occurrence of stereotypical patterns of connection at the macro level (e.g., the general consistency with which axonal pathways impinge on and originate within specific cortical areas and layers) implies that the cerebral cortex is a highly ordered structure. Order is seen also at the more micro level of synaptic connectivity, for instance, in the contrasting synaptic patterns of spiny vs. non-spiny neurons. Quantitative electron microscopic studies of synapses between identified neurons and correlative anatomical/electrophysiological investigations indicate that the high degree of order characterizing many aspects of cortical organization is mirrored by an equally ordered arrangement of synaptic connections between specific types of neurons. The recognition of recurring synaptic patterns has generated increased support for the notion of synaptic specificity as opposed to randomness, and we have begun now to understand the role of specificity in cortical function. At the core of cortical processing lie myriad possibilities for computation provided by the wealth of synaptic connections involving each neuron. Specificity, by limiting possibilities for connection, imposes an order on synaptic interactions even as processes of dynamic selection or synaptic remodeling ensure the constant formation and dissolution of cortical circuits. Collectively, these operations make maximal use of the richness of cortical synaptic connections to produce a highly flexible system, irrespective of the degree of hard-wiring, mutability, randomness or specificity that obtains for cortical wiring at any particular time. A brief, historical account of developments leading to our current understanding of cortical synaptic organization will precede the presentation of evidence for synaptic specificity.

  4. Graded Synaptic Transmission between Spiking Neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graubard, Katherine; Raper, Jonathan A.; Hartline, Daniel K.

    1980-06-01

    Graded synaptic transmission occurs between spiking neurons of the lobster stomatogastric ganglion. In addition to eliciting spike-evoked inhibitory potentials in postsynaptic cells, these neurons also release functionally significant amounts of transmitter below the threshold for action potentials. The spikeless postsynaptic potentials grade in amplitude with presynaptic voltage and can be maintained for long periods. Graded synaptic transmission can be modulated by synaptic input to the presynaptic neuron.

  5. Potential Use of the Australian Satellite Communications System for School of the Air and Enhanced Educational Services. Report Prepared for the Commonwealth/State Advisory Committee on the Educational Use of Communications Technology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davies, N. G.; Gillam, J. A.

    This report considers the potential for the use of the Australian Communications Satellite System (ACSS) for the Australian Schools of the Air (SOTAs) and the delivery of enhanced educational services, and develops the concept of all SOTAs operating through one transponder in a national beam. An evolutionary introduction of satellite transmission…

  6. Nonvolatile programmable neural network synaptic array

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tawel, Raoul (Inventor)

    1994-01-01

    A floating-gate metal oxide semiconductor (MOS) transistor is implemented for use as a nonvolatile analog storage element of a synaptic cell used to implement an array of processing synaptic cells. These cells are based on a four-quadrant analog multiplier requiring both X and Y differential inputs, where one Y input is UV programmable. These nonvolatile synaptic cells are disclosed fully connected in a 32 x 32 synaptic cell array using standard very large scale integration (VLSI) complementary MOS (CMOS) technology.

  7. Synaptic NMDA Receptors Mediate Hypoxic Excitotoxic Death

    PubMed Central

    Wroge, Christine M.; Hogins, Joshua; Eisenman, Larry; Mennerick, Steven

    2012-01-01

    Excessive NMDA receptor activation and excitotoxicity underlies pathology in many neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders, including hypoxia/ischemia. Thus, the development of effective therapeutics for these disorders demands a complete understanding of NMDA receptor (NMDAR) activation during excitotoxic insults. The extrasynaptic NMDAR hypothesis posits that synaptic NMDARs are neurotrophic/neuroprotective and extrasynaptic NMDARs are neurotoxic. In part, the extrasynaptic hypothesis is built on observed selectivity for extrasynaptic receptors of a neuroprotective use-dependent NMDAR channel blocker, memantine. In rat hippocampal neurons we found that a neuroprotective concentration of memantine shows little selectivity for extrasynaptic NMDARs when all receptors are tonically activated by exogenous glutamate. This led us to test the extrasynaptic NMDAR hypothesis using metabolic challenge, where the source of excitotoxic glutamate buildup may be largely synaptic. Three independent approaches suggest strongly that synaptic receptors participate prominently in hypoxic excitotoxicity. First, block of glutamate transporters with a non-substrate antagonist exacerbated rather than prevented damage, consistent with a primarily synaptic source of glutamate. Second, selective, preblock of synaptic NMDARs with a slowly reversible, use-dependent antagonist protected nearly fully against prolonged hypoxic insult. Third, glutamate pyruvate transaminase (GPT), which degrades ambient but not synaptic glutamate, did not protect against hypoxia but protected against exogenous glutamate damage. Together, these results suggest that synaptic NMDARs can mediate excitotoxicity, particularly when the glutamate source is synaptic and when synaptic receptor contributions are rigorously defined. Moreover, the results suggest that in some situations therapeutically targeting extrasynaptic receptors may be inappropriate. PMID:22573696

  8. GABAB receptor modulation of synaptic function

    PubMed Central

    Chalifoux, Jason R.; Carter, Adam G.

    2011-01-01

    Neuromodulators have complex effects on both the presynaptic release and postsynaptic detection of neurotransmitters. Here we describe recent advances in our understanding of synaptic modulation by metabotropic GABAB receptors. By inhibiting multivesicular release from the presynaptic terminal, these receptors decrease the synaptic glutamate signal. GABAB receptors also inhibit the Ca2+ permeability of NMDA receptors to decrease Ca2+ signals in postsynaptic spines. These new findings highlight the importance of GABAB receptors in regulating many aspects of synaptic transmission. They also point to novel questions about the spatiotemporal dynamics and sources of synaptic modulation in the brain. PMID:21376567

  9. Rate-constrained source separation for speech enhancement in wireless-communicated binaural hearing aids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayllón, David; Gil-Pita, Roberto; Rosa-Zurera, Manuel

    2013-12-01

    A recent trend in hearing aids is the connection of the left and right devices to collaborate between them. Binaural systems can provide natural binaural hearing and support the improvement of speech intelligibility in noise, but they require data transmission between both devices, which increases the power consumption. This paper presents a novel sound source separation algorithm for binaural speech enhancement based on supervised machine learning and time-frequency masking. The system is designed considering the power restrictions in hearing aids, constraining both the computational cost of the algorithm and the transmission bit rate. The transmission schema is optimized using a tailored evolutionary algorithm that assigns a different number of bits to each frequency band. The proposed algorithm requires less than 10% of the available computational resources for signal processing and obtains good separation performance using bit rates lower than 64 kbps.

  10. Enhanced hybrid asymmetrically clipped orthogonal frequency division multiplexing for optical wireless communications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guan, Rui; Huang, Nuo; Wang, Jin-Yuan; Wang, Houyu; Chen, Ming

    2016-05-01

    This paper presents an enhanced hybrid asymmetrically clipped optical orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (EHACO-OFDM) scheme, which benefits from the simultaneous transmission of ACO-OFDM, pulse-amplitude-modulated discrete multitone modulation, and direct-current-biased optical orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (DCO-OFDM). Since the entire available bandwidth is utilized for data modulation, this scheme can achieve higher spectral efficiency than HACO-OFDM and ACO-OFDM. Moreover, as a smaller DC bias is introduced in our scheme, it is more power efficient than asymmetrically clipped DC-biased optical OFDM (ADO-OFDM) and DCO-OFDM. A modified receiver is also designed for this system, taking advantage of an iterative algorithm and a pairwise averaging. It has been shown by simulation that our three-path simultaneous transmission scheme can surpass the existing mixed OFDM-based schemes at high data rates. In addition, compared with the noniterative receiver, the modified receiver exhibits significant gains.

  11. Plant-Microbe Communication Enhances Auxin Biosynthesis by a Root-Associated Bacterium, Bacillus amyloliquefaciens SQR9.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yunpeng; Chen, Lin; Zhang, Nan; Li, Zunfeng; Zhang, Guishan; Xu, Yu; Shen, Qirong; Zhang, Ruifu

    2016-04-01

    Mechanisms by which beneficial rhizobacteria promote plant growth include tryptophan-dependent indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) synthesis. The abundance of tryptophan in the rhizosphere, however, may influence the level of benefit provided by IAA-producing rhizobacteria. This study examined the cucumber-Bacillus amyloliquefaciens SQR9 system and found that SQR9, a bacterium previously shown to enhance the growth of cucumber, increased root secretion of tryptophan by three- to fourfold. Using a split-root system, SQR9 colonization of roots in one chamber not only increased tryptophan secretion from the noninoculated roots but also increased the expression of the cucumber tryptophan transport gene but not the anthranilate synthesis gene in those roots. The increased tryptophan in isolated rhizosphere exudates was sufficient to support increased IAA production by SQR9. Moreover, SQR9 colonization of roots in one chamber in the split-root system resulted in sufficient tryptophan production by the other roots to upregulate SQR9 IAA biosynthesis genes, including a 27-fold increase in the indole-3-acetonitrilase gene yhcX during subsequent colonization of those roots. Deletion of yhcX eliminated SQR9-mediated increases in root surface area, likely by reducing IAA-stimulated lateral root growth. This study demonstrates a chemical dialogue between B. amyloliquefaciens and cucumber in which this communication contributes to bacteria-mediated plant-growth enhancement.

  12. 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

  13. Space-Data Routers: Enhancing Deep Space communications for scientific data transmission and exploitation from Mars through Space Internetworking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sykioti, Olga; Daglis, Ioannis; Rontogiannis, Athanasios; Tsaoussidis, Vassilis; Diamantopoulos, Sotirios

    2014-05-01

    Dissemination and exploitation of data from Deep Space missions, such as planetary missions, face two major impediments: limited access capabilities due to narrow connectivity window via satellites (thus, resulting to confined scientific capacity) and lack of sufficient communication and dissemination mechanisms between deep space missions such the current missions to Mars, space data receiving centers, space-data collection centers and the end-user community. Although large quantities of data have to be transferred from deep space to the operation centers and then to the academic foundations and research centers, due to the aforementioned impediments more and more stored space data volumes remain unexploited, until they become obsolete or useless and are consequently removed. In the near future, these constraints on space and ground segment resources will rapidly increase due to the launch of new missions. The Space-Data Routers (SDR) project aims into boosting collaboration and competitiveness between the European Space Agency, the European Space Industry and the European Academic Institutions towards meeting these new challenges through Space Internetworking. Space internetworking gradually replaces or assists traditional telecommunication protocols. Future deep space operations, such as those to Mars, are scheduled to be more dynamic and flexible; many of the procedures, which are now human-operated, will become automated, interoperable and collaborative. As a consequence, space internetworking will bring a revolution in space communications. For this purpose, one of the main scientific objectives of the project is, through the examination of a specific scenario, the enhanced transmission and dissemination of Deep Space data from Mars, through unified communication channels. Specifically, the scenario involves enhanced data transmission acquired by the OMEGA sensor on-board ESA's Mars Express satellite. We consider two separate issues considering the

  14. Enhancing Communication of Climate Impacts Assessments: Examples of Local Stories, Animations and Video.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fitzpatrick, M. F.; Grigholm, B. O.

    2014-12-01

    Comprehensive climate impacts assessments are important vehicles for conveying salient information to the public and policy makers. However, over the last few decades communication of this important information has been hampered for a number of reasons. Firstly, we have a rapidly changing social media landscape, where there are fewer opportunities for in-depth treatment of issues. To compete in this arena, climate information needs to be packaged in sound bites, and much of the nuance and complexity may be lost. Secondly, scientific literacy among the general U.S. population is not particularly high, which creates a barrier to understanding and limits the audiences that can be reached. Thirdly, climate science has been undermined by misinformation over many years often funded by fossil fuel interests. While this latter obstacle is clearly diminishing - largely in the face of evidence from the undeniable climate impacts that are already being seen by communities - there has been much confusion generated to date. Despite the fact that 97% of active climate scientists agree that the planet is warming as a result of human greenhouse gas emission, only 42% of the U.S. population agrees (Pew Research, 2013). In the face of these challenges, much of the work that the Union of Concerned Scientists does to translate climate impacts assessments has shifted to visuals, animations, and videos that people can relate to and connect with more readily. In this session we will share some of the general design features, discuss target audiences, and outline production limitations of several local stories involving videos and animations, as well as present some recent infographics. One example of this work are case studies that focus on sea level rise and involve a local personality who can speak to climate impacts at the community level. We understand the power of visual images and stories in creating messages that stick, and we use this in designing animations that explain the

  15. GluN2B-Containing NMDA Receptors Regulate AMPA Receptor Traffic through Anchoring of the Synaptic Proteasome.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Joana S; Schmidt, Jeannette; Rio, Pedro; Águas, Rodolfo; Rooyakkers, Amanda; Li, Ka Wan; Smit, August B; Craig, Ann Marie; Carvalho, Ana Luisa

    2015-06-03

    NMDA receptors play a central role in shaping the strength of synaptic connections throughout development and in mediating synaptic plasticity mechanisms that underlie some forms of learning and memory formation in the CNS. In the hippocampus and the neocortex, GluN1 is combined primarily with GluN2A and GluN2B, which are differentially expressed during development and confer distinct molecular and physiological properties to NMDA receptors. The contribution of each subunit to the synaptic traffic of NMDA receptors and therefore to their role during development and in synaptic plasticity is still controversial. We report a critical role for the GluN2B subunit in regulating NMDA receptor synaptic targeting. In the absence of GluN2B, the synaptic levels of AMPA receptors are increased and accompanied by decreased constitutive endocytosis of GluA1-AMPA receptor. We used quantitative proteomic analysis to identify changes in the composition of postsynaptic densities from GluN2B(-/-) mouse primary neuronal cultures and found altered levels of several ubiquitin proteasome system components, in particular decreased levels of proteasome subunits. Enhancing the proteasome activity with a novel proteasome activator restored the synaptic levels of AMPA receptors in GluN2B(-/-) neurons and their endocytosis, revealing that GluN2B-mediated anchoring of the synaptic proteasome is responsible for fine tuning AMPA receptor synaptic levels under basal conditions.

  16. Synaptic modulation by astrocytes via Ca2+-dependent glutamate release.

    PubMed

    Santello, M; Volterra, A

    2009-01-12

    In the past 15 years the classical view that astrocytes play a relatively passive role in brain function has been overturned and it has become increasingly clear that signaling between neurons and astrocytes may play a crucial role in the information processing that the brain carries out. This new view stems from two seminal observations made in the early 1990s: 1. astrocytes respond to neurotransmitters released during synaptic activity with elevation of their intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i); 2. astrocytes release chemical transmitters, including glutamate, in response to [Ca2+]i elevations. The simultaneous recognition that astrocytes sense neuronal activity and release neuroactive agents has been instrumental for understanding previously unknown roles of these cells in the control of synapse formation, function and plasticity. These findings open a conceptual revolution, leading to rethink how brain communication works, as they imply that information travels (and is processed) not just in the neuronal circuitry but in an expanded neuron-glia network. In this review we critically discuss the available information concerning: 1. the characteristics of the astrocytic Ca2+ responses to synaptic activity; 2. the basis of Ca2+-dependent glutamate exocytosis from astrocytes; 3. the modes of action of astrocytic glutamate on synaptic function.

  17. Synaptic Control of Motoneuronal Excitability

    PubMed Central

    Rekling, Jens C.; Funk, Gregory D.; Bayliss, Douglas A.; Dong, Xiao-Wei; Feldman, Jack L.

    2016-01-01

    Movement, the fundamental component of behavior and the principal extrinsic action of the brain, is produced when skeletal muscles contract and relax in response to patterns of action potentials generated by motoneurons. The processes that determine the firing behavior of motoneurons are therefore important in understanding the transformation of neural activity to motor behavior. Here, we review recent studies on the control of motoneuronal excitability, focusing on synaptic and cellular properties. We first present a background description of motoneurons: their development, anatomical organization, and membrane properties, both passive and active. We then describe the general anatomical organization of synaptic input to motoneurons, followed by a description of the major transmitter systems that affect motoneuronal excitability, including ligands, receptor distribution, pre- and postsynaptic actions, signal transduction, and functional role. Glutamate is the main excitatory, and GABA and glycine are the main inhibitory transmitters acting through ionotropic receptors. These amino acids signal the principal motor commands from peripheral, spinal, and supraspinal structures. Amines, such as serotonin and norepinephrine, and neuropeptides, as well as the glutamate and GABA acting at metabotropic receptors, modulate motoneuronal excitability through pre- and postsynaptic actions. Acting principally via second messenger systems, their actions converge on common effectors, e.g., leak K+ current, cationic inward current, hyperpolarization-activated inward current, Ca2+ channels, or presynaptic release processes. Together, these numerous inputs mediate and modify incoming motor commands, ultimately generating the coordinated firing patterns that underlie muscle contractions during motor behavior. PMID:10747207

  18. Interracial Communication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harris, Tina M.

    2004-01-01

    This course explores the inextricable and multidimensional relationships among race, culture, and communication by providing students with an extensive theoretical framework to enhance their understanding of interracial communication. Specific attention is geared toward the construction of one's own racial and ethnic identity as well as those of…

  19. The Developing Synapse: Construction and Modulation of Synaptic Structures and Circuits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohen-Cory, Susana

    2002-10-01

    Synapse formation and stabilization in the vertebrate central nervous system is a dynamic process, requiring bi-directional communication between pre- and postsynaptic partners. Numerous mechanisms coordinate where and when synapses are made in the developing brain. This review discusses cellular and activity-dependent mechanisms that control the development of synaptic connectivity.

  20. 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.

  1. Augmenting the spectral efficiency of enhanced PAM-DMT-based optical wireless communications.

    PubMed

    Islim, Mohamed Sufyan; Haas, Harald

    2016-05-30

    The energy efficiency of pulse-amplitude-modulated discrete multitone modulation (PAM-DMT) decreases as the modulation order of M-PAM modulation increases. Enhanced PAM-DMT (ePAM-DMT) was proposed as a solution to the reduced energy efficiency of PAM-DMT. This was achieved by allowing multiple streams of PAM-DMT to be superimposed and successively demodulated at the receiver side. In order to maintain a distortion-free unipolar ePAM-DMT system, the multiple time-domain PAM-DMT streams are required to be aligned. However, aligning the antisymmetry in ePAM-DMT is complex and results in efficiency losses. In this paper, a novel simplified method to apply the superposition modulation on M-PAM modulated discrete multitone (DMT) is introduced. Contrary to ePAM-DMT, the signal generation of the proposed system, termed augmented spectral efficiency discrete multitone (ASE-DMT), occurs in the frequency domain. This results in an improved spectral and energy efficiency. The analytical bit error rate (BER) performance bound of the proposed system is derived and compared with Monte-Carlo simulations. The system performance is shown to offer significant electrical and optical energy savings compared with ePAM-DMT and DC-biased optical orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (DCO-OFDM).

  2. [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.

  3. Leptin regulation of neuronal morphology and hippocampal synaptic function

    PubMed Central

    Harvey, Jenni

    2013-01-01

    The central actions of the hormone leptin in regulating energy homeostasis via the hypothalamus are well documented. However, evidence is growing that this hormone can also modify the structure and function of synapses throughout the CNS. The hippocampus is a region of the forebrain that plays a crucial role in associative learning and memory and is an area also highly vulnerable to neurodegenerative processes. Recent studies indicate that leptin is a potential cognitive enhancer as it modulates the cellular processes underlying hippocampal-dependent learning and memory including dendritic morphology, glutamate receptor trafficking and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. Here, we review the recent evidence implicating the hormone leptin as a key regulator of hippocampal synaptic function and discuss the role of leptin receptor-driven lipid signaling pathways involved in this process. PMID:23964236

  4. Epigenetic regulation of cell adhesion and communication by enhancer of zeste homolog 2 in human endothelial cells.

    PubMed

    Dreger, Henryk; Ludwig, Antje; Weller, Andrea; Stangl, Verena; Baumann, Gert; Meiners, Silke; Stangl, Karl

    2012-11-01

    The histone methyltransferase enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (Ezh2) mediates trimethylation of lysine 27 in histone 3, which acts as a repressive epigenetic mark. Ezh2 is essential for maintaining pluripotency of stem cells, but information on its role in differentiated cells is sparse. Whole-genome mRNA expression arrays identified 964 genes that were regulated by >2-fold 72 hours after small interfering RNA-mediated silencing of Ezh2 in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Among them, genes associated with the gene ontology terms cell communication and cell adhesion were significantly overrepresented, suggesting a functional role for Ezh2 in the regulation of angiogenesis. Indeed, adhesion, migration, and tube formation assays revealed significantly altered angiogenic properties of human umbilical vein endothelial cells after silencing of Ezh2. To identify direct target genes of Ezh2, we performed chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments followed by whole-genome promoter arrays (chromatin immunoprecipitation-on-chip) and identified 5585 genes associated with trimethylation of lysine 27 in histone 3. Comparative analysis with our mRNA expression data identified 276 genes that met our criteria for putative Ezh2 target genes, upregulation by >2-fold after Ezh2 silencing and association with trimethylation of lysine 27 in histone 3. Notably, we observed a striking overrepresentation of genes involved in wingless-type mouse mammary tumor virus integration site (WNT) signaling pathways. Epigenetic regulation of several of these genes by Ezh2 was specifically confirmed by polymerase chain reaction analysis of DNA enrichment after chromatin immunoprecipitation using an antibody specific for trimethylation of lysine 27 in histone 3. Combining mRNA expression arrays and chromatin immunoprecipitation-on-chip analysis, we identified 276 Ezh2 target genes in endothelial cells. Ezh2-dependent repression of genes involved in cell adhesion and communication contributes to the

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Synaptic Transmission Correlates of General Mental Ability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McRorie, Margaret; Cooper, Colin

    2004-01-01

    Nerve conduction velocity (NCV) and efficiency of synaptic transmission are two possible biological mechanisms that may underpin intelligence. Direct assessments of NCV, without synaptic transmission, show few substantial or reliable correlations with cognitive abilities ["Intelligence" 16 (1992) 273]. We therefore assessed the latencies…

  7. Communication, Collaboration, and Enhancing the Learning Experience: Developing a Collaborative Virtual Enquiry Service in University Libraries in the North of England

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jolly, Liz; White, Sue

    2016-01-01

    This article uses the case study of developing a collaborative "out-of-hours" virtual enquiry service by members of the Northern Collaboration Group of academic libraries in the north of England to explore the importance of communication and collaboration between academic library services in enhancing student learning. Set within the…

  8. Millisecond Coupling of Local Field Potentials to Synaptic Currents in the Awake Visual Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Haider, Bilal; Schulz, David P.A.; Häusser, Michael; Carandini, Matteo

    2016-01-01

    Summary The cortical local field potential (LFP) is a common measure of population activity, but its relationship to synaptic activity in individual neurons is not fully established. This relationship has been typically studied during anesthesia and is obscured by shared slow fluctuations. Here, we used patch-clamp recordings in visual cortex of anesthetized and awake mice to measure intracellular activity; we then applied a simple method to reveal its coupling to the simultaneously recorded LFP. LFP predicted membrane potential as accurately as synaptic currents, indicating a major role for synaptic currents in the relationship between cortical LFP and intracellular activity. During anesthesia, cortical LFP predicted excitation far better than inhibition; during wakefulness, it predicted them equally well, and visual stimulation further enhanced predictions of inhibition. These findings reveal a central role for synaptic currents, and especially inhibition, in the relationship between the subthreshold activity of individual neurons and the cortical LFP during wakefulness. PMID:27021173

  9. Homeostatic regulation of AMPA receptor trafficking and degradation by light-controlled single synaptic activation

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Qingming; Gilbert, James; Man, Heng-Ye

    2011-01-01

    During homeostatic adjustment in response to alterations in neuronal activity, synaptic expression of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) is globally tuned up- or down so that the neuronal activity is restored to a physiological range. Given that a central neuron receives multiple presynaptic inputs, whether and how AMPAR synaptic expression is homeostatically regulated at individual synapses remains unclear. In cultured hippocampal neurons, we report that when activity of an individual presynaptic terminal is selectively elevated by light-controlled excitation, AMPAR abundance at the excited synapses is selectively down-regulated in an NMDAR-dependent manner. The reduction in surface AMPARs is accompanied by enhanced receptor endocytosis and dependent on proteasomal activity. Synaptic activation also leads to a site-specific increase in the ubiquitin ligase Nedd4 and polyubiquitination levels, consistent with AMPAR ubiquitination and degradation in the spine. These results indicate that AMPAR accumulation at individual synapses is subject to autonomous homeostatic regulation in response to synaptic activity. PMID:22153376

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Involvement of Synaptic Genes in the Pathogenesis of Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Case of Synapsins

    PubMed Central

    Giovedí, Silvia; Corradi, Anna; Fassio, Anna; Benfenati, Fabio

    2014-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by deficits in social interaction and social communication, restricted interests, and repetitive behaviors. Many synaptic protein genes are linked to the pathogenesis of ASDs, making them prototypical synaptopathies. An array of mutations in the synapsin (Syn) genes in humans has been recently associated with ASD and epilepsy, diseases that display a frequent comorbidity. Syns are pre-synaptic proteins regulating synaptic vesicle traffic, neurotransmitter release, and short-term synaptic plasticity. In doing so, Syn isoforms control the tone of activity of neural circuits and the balance between excitation and inhibition. As ASD pathogenesis is believed to result from dysfunctions in the balance between excitatory and inhibitory transmissions in neocortical areas, Syns are novel ASD candidate genes. Accordingly, deletion of single Syn genes in mice, in addition to epilepsy, causes core symptoms of ASD by affecting social behavior, social communication, and repetitive behaviors. Thus, Syn knockout mice represent a good experimental model to define synaptic alterations involved in the pathogenesis of ASD and epilepsy. PMID:25237665

  14. A diversity of synaptic filters are created by temporal summation of excitation and inhibition

    PubMed Central

    George, Andrew A.; Lyons-Warren, Ariel M.; Ma, Xiaofeng; Carlson, Bruce A.

    2011-01-01

    Temporal filtering is a fundamental operation of nervous systems. In peripheral sensory systems, the temporal pattern of spiking activity can encode various stimulus qualities, and temporal filtering allows postsynaptic neurons to detect behaviorally-relevant stimulus features from these spike trains. Intrinsic excitability, short-term synaptic plasticity, and voltage-dependent dendritic conductances have all been identified as mechanisms that can establish temporal filtering behavior in single neurons. Here we show that synaptic integration of temporally-summating excitation and inhibition can establish diverse temporal filters of presynaptic input. Mormyrid electric fish communicate by varying the intervals between electric organ discharges. The timing of each discharge is coded by peripheral receptors into precisely-timed spikes. Within the midbrain posterior exterolateral nucleus, temporal filtering by individual neurons results in selective responses to a particular range of presynaptic interspike intervals. These neurons are diverse in their temporal filtering properties, reflecting the wide range of intervals that must be detected during natural communication behavior. By manipulating presynaptic spike timing with high temporal resolution, we demonstrate that tuning to behaviorally-relevant patterns of presynaptic input is similar in vivo and in vitro. We reveal that GABAergic inhibition plays a critical role in establishing different temporal filtering properties. Further, our results demonstrate that temporal summation of excitation and inhibition establishes selective responses to high and low rates of synaptic input, respectively. Simple models of synaptic integration reveal that variation in these two competing influences provides a basic mechanism for generating diverse temporal filters of synaptic input. PMID:21994388

  15. Programmable synaptic chip for electronic neural networks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moopenn, A.; Langenbacher, H.; Thakoor, A. P.; Khanna, S. K.

    1988-01-01

    A binary synaptic matrix chip has been developed for electronic neural networks. The matrix chip contains a programmable 32X32 array of 'long channel' NMOSFET binary connection elements implemented in a 3-micron bulk CMOS process. Since the neurons are kept off-chip, the synaptic chip serves as a 'cascadable' building block for a multi-chip synaptic network as large as 512X512 in size. As an alternative to the programmable NMOSFET (long channel) connection elements, tailored thin film resistors are deposited, in series with FET switches, on some CMOS test chips, to obtain the weak synaptic connections. Although deposition and patterning of the resistors require additional processing steps, they promise substantial savings in silicon area. The performance of synaptic chip in a 32-neuron breadboard system in an associative memory test application is discussed.

  16. Graph-theoretical model of global human interactome reveals enhanced long-range communicability in cancer networks

    PubMed Central

    Gladilin, Evgeny

    2017-01-01

    Malignant transformation is known to involve substantial rearrangement of the molecular genetic landscape of the cell. A common approach to analysis of these alterations is a reductionist one and consists of finding a compact set of differentially expressed genes or associated signaling pathways. However, due to intrinsic tumor heterogeneity and tissue specificity, biomarkers defined by a small number of genes/pathways exhibit substantial variability. As an alternative to compact differential signatures, global features of genetic cell machinery are conceivable. Global network descriptors suggested in previous works are, however, known to potentially be biased by overrepresentation of interactions between frequently studied genes-proteins. Here, we construct a cellular network of 74538 directional and differential gene expression weighted protein-protein and gene regulatory interactions, and perform graph-theoretical analysis of global human interactome using a novel, degree-independent feature—the normalized total communicability (NTC). We apply this framework to assess differences in total information flow between different cancer (BRCA/COAD/GBM) and non-cancer interactomes. Our experimental results reveal that different cancer interactomes are characterized by significant enhancement of long-range NTC, which arises from circulation of information flow within robustly organized gene subnetworks. Although enhancement of NTC emerges in different cancer types from different genomic profiles, we identified a subset of 90 common genes that are related to elevated NTC in all studied tumors. Our ontological analysis shows that these genes are associated with enhanced cell division, DNA replication, stress response, and other cellular functions and processes typically upregulated in cancer. We conclude that enhancement of long-range NTC manifested in the correlated activity of genes whose tight coordination is required for survival and proliferation of all tumor cells

  17. Enhancing the Alternative and Augmentative Communication Use of a Child with Autism through a Parent-Implemented Naturalistic Intervention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nunes, Debora; Hanline, Mary Frances

    2007-01-01

    The effects of a parent-implemented naturalistic intervention on the communication skills of a 4-year-old boy with autism using an alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) system were investigated. The child's mother was taught to use 4 naturalistic teaching strategies that incorporated a picture communication system during 2 typical home…

  18. Hemifusion in Synaptic Vesicle Cycle

    PubMed Central

    Kweon, Dae-Hyuk; Kong, Byoungjae; Shin, Yeon-Kyun

    2017-01-01

    In the neuron, early neurotransmitters are released through the fusion pore prior to the complete vesicle fusion. It has been thought that the fusion pore is a gap junction-like structure made of transmembrane domains (TMDs) of soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive-factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) proteins. However, evidence has accumulated that lipid mixing occurs prior to the neurotransmitter release through the fusion pore lined predominantly with lipids. To explain these observations, the hemifusion, a membrane structure in which two bilayers are partially merged, has emerged as a key step preceding the formation of the fusion pore. Furthermore, the hemifusion appears to be the bona fide intermediate step not only for the synaptic vesicle cycle, but for a wide range of membrane remodeling processes, such as viral membrane fusion and endocytotic membrane fission. PMID:28360835

  19. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) as keys to the enhancement of public awareness about potential earth impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Usikov, Denis A.

    2013-09-01

    The 2007 Planetary Defense Conference recommends "to provide or enhance Internet sites to show how threats evolve and to illustrate possible action scenarios". Thereby, establishment of informational and communicational AsteroidAware web-site with the exact, authentic data about the past and the present of Earth's impact events will assist in achievement of positive results and progress in different directions on political, international, social and scientific levels. Expanded ICT's capabilities for popularization of planetary defense can help in resolving the problem of low public interest. The project's primary intent lies in popularizing the concept of planetary defenses and attracting attention to the potential dangers that threaten the Earth from outer space. The result of the efforts falling into the boundaries of this project would be an increased amount of social participation in the process of developing solutions for and increasing awareness of potential collisions between various astral bodies and the Earth. The project is also aimed at creating a foundation for the interaction between scientists and executives from around the world to facilitate international efforts of searching for fitting measures towards lowering threat levels and developing strategies revolving around united actions against potential threats.

  20. Supercritical CO(2)-extracted tomato Oleoresins enhance gap junction intercellular communications and recover from mercury chloride inhibition in keratinocytes.

    PubMed

    Leone, Antonella; Zefferino, Roberto; Longo, Cristiano; Leo, Lucia; Zacheo, Giuseppe

    2010-04-28

    A nutritionally relevant phytochemical such as lycopene, found in tomatoes and other fruits, has been proposed to have health-promoting effects by modulating hormonal and immune systems, metabolic pathways, and gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC). This work analyzes lycopene extracts, obtained from tomato and tomato added with grape seeds by using a safe and environmentally friendly extraction process, based on supercritical carbon dioxide technology (S-CO(2)). Analysis of the innovative S-CO(2)-extracted oleoresins showed peculiar chemical composition with high lycopene concentration and the presence of other carotenoids, lipids, and phenol compounds. The oleoresins showed a higher in vitro antioxidant activity compared with pure lycopene and beta-carotene and the remarkable ability to enhance the GJIC and to increase cx43 expression in keratinocytes. The oleoresins, (0.9 microM lycopene), were also able to overcome, completely, the GJIC inhibition induced by 10 nM HgCl(2), mercury(II) chloride, suggesting a possible action mechanism.

  1. Synaptic vesicle recycling: steps and principles

    PubMed Central

    Rizzoli, Silvio O

    2014-01-01

    Synaptic vesicle recycling is one of the best-studied cellular pathways. Many of the proteins involved are known, and their interactions are becoming increasingly clear. However, as for many other pathways, it is still difficult to understand synaptic vesicle recycling as a whole. While it is generally possible to point out how synaptic reactions take place, it is not always easy to understand what triggers or controls them. Also, it is often difficult to understand how the availability of the reaction partners is controlled: how the reaction partners manage to find each other in the right place, at the right time. I present here an overview of synaptic vesicle recycling, discussing the mechanisms that trigger different reactions, and those that ensure the availability of reaction partners. A central argument is that synaptic vesicles bind soluble cofactor proteins, with low affinity, and thus control their availability in the synapse, forming a buffer for cofactor proteins. The availability of cofactor proteins, in turn, regulates the different synaptic reactions. Similar mechanisms, in which one of the reaction partners buffers another, may apply to many other processes, from the biogenesis to the degradation of the synaptic vesicle. PMID:24596248

  2. A study on reception electrodes for the vital-sign monitor using near-field intra-body communication enhanced by spread spectrum technique.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Takumi; Shimatani, Yuichi; Kyoso, Masaki

    2013-01-01

    As a novel vital sign monitor, we have developed wireless ECG monitoring system with Near-field intra-body communication (NF-IBC) technique. However, it was hard to ensure communication reliability because transmission channel is noisy and unstable. In order to solve the problem, we utilize spread spectrum (SS), which is known as robust communication technique even through poor transmission channel. In previous study, we have already developed an ECG monitor using NF-IBC enhanced by SS. In this paper, we evaluated on structure of the reception electrode for reliable communication. Based on the evaluations with bit error rate, we suggested the reception electrode structure which can keep the communication reliability. As the results we considered that we can expand the reception electrode up to 2.25 m(2). Moreover, we proposed the structure of the reception electrodes that can keep the communication reliability. Finally we suggested how to use the SS NF-IBC vital-sign monitor in room that larger than 2.25 m(2), and we had shown the practicability of the systems.

  3. The computational power of astrocyte mediated synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Min, Rogier; Santello, Mirko; Nevian, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Research in the last two decades has made clear that astrocytes play a crucial role in the brain beyond their functions in energy metabolism and homeostasis. Many studies have shown that astrocytes can dynamically modulate neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity, and might participate in higher brain functions like learning and memory. With the plethora of astrocyte mediated signaling processes described in the literature today, the current challenge is to identify, which of these processes happen under what physiological condition, and how this shapes information processing and, ultimately, behavior. To answer these questions will require a combination of advanced physiological, genetical, and behavioral experiments. Additionally, mathematical modeling will prove crucial for testing predictions on the possible functions of astrocytes in neuronal networks, and to generate novel ideas as to how astrocytes can contribute to the complexity of the brain. Here, we aim to provide an outline of how astrocytes can interact with neurons. We do this by reviewing recent experimental literature on astrocyte-neuron interactions, discussing the dynamic effects of astrocytes on neuronal excitability and short- and long-term synaptic plasticity. Finally, we will outline the potential computational functions that astrocyte-neuron interactions can serve in the brain. We will discuss how astrocytes could govern metaplasticity in the brain, how they might organize the clustering of synaptic inputs, and how they could function as memory elements for neuronal activity. We conclude that astrocytes can enhance the computational power of neuronal networks in previously unexpected ways. PMID:23125832

  4. The computational power of astrocyte mediated synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Min, Rogier; Santello, Mirko; Nevian, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Research in the last two decades has made clear that astrocytes play a crucial role in the brain beyond their functions in energy metabolism and homeostasis. Many studies have shown that astrocytes can dynamically modulate neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity, and might participate in higher brain functions like learning and memory. With the plethora of astrocyte mediated signaling processes described in the literature today, the current challenge is to identify, which of these processes happen under what physiological condition, and how this shapes information processing and, ultimately, behavior. To answer these questions will require a combination of advanced physiological, genetical, and behavioral experiments. Additionally, mathematical modeling will prove crucial for testing predictions on the possible functions of astrocytes in neuronal networks, and to generate novel ideas as to how astrocytes can contribute to the complexity of the brain. Here, we aim to provide an outline of how astrocytes can interact with neurons. We do this by reviewing recent experimental literature on astrocyte-neuron interactions, discussing the dynamic effects of astrocytes on neuronal excitability and short- and long-term synaptic plasticity. Finally, we will outline the potential computational functions that astrocyte-neuron interactions can serve in the brain. We will discuss how astrocytes could govern metaplasticity in the brain, how they might organize the clustering of synaptic inputs, and how they could function as memory elements for neuronal activity. We conclude that astrocytes can enhance the computational power of neuronal networks in previously unexpected ways.

  5. β-Adrenergic Control of Hippocampal Function: Subserving the Choreography of Synaptic Information Storage and Memory.

    PubMed

    Hagena, Hardy; Hansen, Niels; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise

    2016-04-01

    Noradrenaline (NA) is a key neuromodulator for the regulation of behavioral state and cognition. It supports learning by increasing arousal and vigilance, whereby new experiences are "earmarked" for encoding. Within the hippocampus, experience-dependent information storage occurs by means of synaptic plasticity. Furthermore, novel spatial, contextual, or associative learning drives changes in synaptic strength, reflected by the strengthening of long-term potentiation (LTP) or long-term depression (LTD). NA acting on β-adrenergic receptors (β-AR) is a key determinant as to whether new experiences result in persistent hippocampal synaptic plasticity. This can even dictate the direction of change of synaptic strength.The different hippocampal subfields play different roles in encoding components of a spatial representation through LTP and LTD. Strikingly, the sensitivity of synaptic plasticity in these subfields to β-adrenergic control is very distinct (dentate gyrus > CA3 > CA1). Moreover, NA released from the locus coeruleus that acts on β-AR leads to hippocampal LTD and an enhancement of LTD-related memory processing. We propose that NA acting on hippocampal β-AR, that is graded according to the novelty or saliency of the experience, determines the content and persistency of synaptic information storage in the hippocampal subfields and therefore of spatial memories.

  6. Pycnogenol protects CA3-CA1 synaptic function in a rat model of traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Norris, Christopher M; Sompol, Pradoldej; Roberts, Kelly N; Ansari, Mubeen; Scheff, Stephen W

    2016-02-01

    Pycnogenol (PYC) is a patented mix of bioflavonoids with potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Previously, we showed that PYC administration to rats within hours after a controlled cortical impact (CCI) injury significantly protects against the loss of several synaptic proteins in the hippocampus. Here, we investigated the effects of PYC on CA3-CA1 synaptic function following CCI. Adult Sprague-Dawley rats received an ipsilateral CCI injury followed 15 min later by intravenous injection of saline vehicle or PYC (10 mg/kg). Hippocampal slices from the injured (ipsilateral) and uninjured (contralateral) hemispheres were prepared at seven and fourteen days post-CCI for electrophysiological analyses of CA3-CA1 synaptic function and induction of long-term depression (LTD). Basal synaptic strength was impaired in slices from the ipsilateral, relative to the contralateral, hemisphere at seven days post-CCI and susceptibility to LTD was enhanced in the ipsilateral hemisphere at both post-injury timepoints. No interhemispheric differences in basal synaptic strength or LTD induction were observed in rats treated with PYC. The results show that PYC preserves synaptic function after CCI and provides further rationale for investigating the use of PYC as a therapeutic in humans suffering from neurotrauma.

  7. Pycnogenol protects CA3-CA1 synaptic function in a rat model of traumatic brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Sompol, Pradoldej; Roberts, Kelly N.; Ansari, Mubeen

    2015-01-01

    Pycnogenol (PYC) is a patented mix of bioflavonoids with potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Previously, we showed that PYC administration to rats within hours after a controlled cortical impact (CCI) injury significantly protects against the loss of several synaptic proteins in the hippocampus. Here, we investigated the effects of PYC on CA3-CA1 synaptic function following CCI. Adult Sprague Dawley rats received an ipsilateral CCI injury followed 15 min later by intravenous injection of saline vehicle or PYC (10mg/kg). Hippocampal slices from the injured (ipsilateral) and uninjured (contralateral) hemispheres were prepared at seven and fourteen days post-CCI for electrophysiological analyses of CA3-CA1 synaptic function and induction of long-term depression (LTD). Basal synaptic strength was impaired in slices from the ipsilateral, relative to the contralateral, hemisphere at seven days post-CCI and susceptibility to LTD was enhanced in the ipsilateral hemisphere at both post-injury timepoints. No interhemispheric differences in basal synaptic strength or LTD induction were observed in rats treated with PYC. The results show that PYC preserves synaptic function after CCI and provides further rationale for investigating the use of PYC as a therapeutic in humans suffering from neurotrauma. PMID:26607913

  8. β-Adrenergic Control of Hippocampal Function: Subserving the Choreography of Synaptic Information Storage and Memory

    PubMed Central

    Hagena, Hardy; Hansen, Niels; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise

    2016-01-01

    Noradrenaline (NA) is a key neuromodulator for the regulation of behavioral state and cognition. It supports learning by increasing arousal and vigilance, whereby new experiences are “earmarked” for encoding. Within the hippocampus, experience-dependent information storage occurs by means of synaptic plasticity. Furthermore, novel spatial, contextual, or associative learning drives changes in synaptic strength, reflected by the strengthening of long-term potentiation (LTP) or long-term depression (LTD). NA acting on β-adrenergic receptors (β-AR) is a key determinant as to whether new experiences result in persistent hippocampal synaptic plasticity. This can even dictate the direction of change of synaptic strength. The different hippocampal subfields play different roles in encoding components of a spatial representation through LTP and LTD. Strikingly, the sensitivity of synaptic plasticity in these subfields to β-adrenergic control is very distinct (dentate gyrus > CA3 > CA1). Moreover, NA released from the locus coeruleus that acts on β-AR leads to hippocampal LTD and an enhancement of LTD-related memory processing. We propose that NA acting on hippocampal β-AR, that is graded according to the novelty or saliency of the experience, determines the content and persistency of synaptic information storage in the hippocampal subfields and therefore of spatial memories. PMID:26804338

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Molecular mechanisms of synaptic remodeling in alcoholism.

    PubMed

    Kyzar, Evan J; Pandey, Subhash C

    2015-08-05

    Alcohol use and alcohol addiction represent dysfunctional brain circuits resulting from neuroadaptive changes during protracted alcohol exposure and its withdrawal. Alcohol exerts a potent effect on synaptic plasticity and dendritic spine formation in specific brain regions, providing a neuroanatomical substrate for the pathophysiology of alcoholism. Epigenetics has recently emerged as a critical regulator of gene expression and synaptic plasticity-related events in the brain. Alcohol exposure and withdrawal induce changes in crucial epigenetic processes in the emotional brain circuitry (amygdala) that may be relevant to the negative affective state defined as the "dark side" of addiction. Here, we review the literature concerning synaptic plasticity and epigenetics, with a particular focus on molecular events related to dendritic remodeling during alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Targeting epigenetic processes that modulate synaptic plasticity may yield novel treatments for alcoholism.

  12. Programmable synaptic devices for electronic neural nets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moopenn, A.; Thakoor, A. P.

    1990-01-01

    The architecture, design, and operational characteristics of custom VLSI and thin film synaptic devices are described. The devices include CMOS-based synaptic chips containing 1024 reprogrammable synapses with a 6-bit dynamic range, and nonvolatile, write-once, binary synaptic arrays based on memory switching in hydrogenated amorphous silicon films. Their suitability for embodiment of fully parallel and analog neural hardware is discussed. Specifically, a neural network solution to an assignment problem of combinatorial global optimization, implemented in fully parallel hardware using the synaptic chips, is described. The network's ability to provide optimal and near optimal solutions over a time scale of few neuron time constants has been demonstrated and suggests a speedup improvement of several orders of magnitude over conventional search methods.

  13. Neuroimmune regulation of homeostatic synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Pribiag, Horia; Stellwagen, David

    2014-03-01

    Homeostatic synaptic plasticity refers to a set of negative-feedback mechanisms that are used by neurons to maintain activity within a functional range. While it is becoming increasingly clear that homeostatic regulation of synapse function is a key principle in the nervous system, the molecular details of this regulation are only beginning to be uncovered. Recent evidence implicates molecules classically associated with the peripheral immune system in the modulation of homeostatic synaptic plasticity. In particular, the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNFα, class I major histocompatibility complex, and neuronal pentraxin 2 are essential in the regulation of the compensatory synaptic response that occurs in response to prolonged neuronal inactivity. This review will present and discuss current evidence implicating neuroimmune molecules in the homeostatic regulation of synapse function. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity'.

  14. Synaptic Release at Mammalian Bipolar Cell Terminals

    PubMed Central

    Wan, Qun-Fang; Heidelberger, Ruth

    2011-01-01

    Bipolar cells play a vital role in the transfer of visual information across the vertebrate retina. The synaptic output of these neurons is regulated by factors that are extrinsic and intrinsic. Relatively little is known about the intrinsic factors that regulate neurotransmitter exocytosis. Much of what we know about intrinsic presynaptic mechanisms that regulate glutamate release has come from the study of the unusually large and accessible synaptic terminal of the goldfish rod-dominant bipolar cell, the Mb1 bipolar cell. However, over the past several years, examination of presynaptic mechanisms governing neurotransmitter release has been extended to the mammalian rod bipolar cell. In this review, we discuss the recent advances in our understanding of synaptic vesicle dynamics and neurotransmitter release in rodent rod bipolar cells and consider how these properties help shape the synaptic output of the mammalian retina. PMID:21272392

  15. Inter-satellite ranging and inter-satellite communication links for enhancing GNSS satellite broadcast navigation data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández, Francisco Amarillo

    2011-03-01

    Recently the European Space Agency (ESA) has initiated a number of exploratory Projects, within the General Studies Programme (GSP), to analyze what potential improvements on a GNSS system navigation determination and dissemination performance could be brought by introducing inter-satellite ranging & inter-satellite communication-links. The key improvements targeted by these Projects are the enhancement of the orbit and clock prediction accuracy and the reduction of the dependency from ground infrastructure. Both projects adopted the Galileo system architecture as the initial working point.The first exploratory Project, which was labelled as GNSS+ (Amarillo and Gerner, 2007; Amarillo et al., 2008), indicated the practical difficulty to implement these new on-board functionalities except at the price of a visible increase of the payload mass and power (e.g. relative to mass and power of the Galileo IOV navigation payload) (Sánchez and Pulido, 2008); it allowed to define a preliminary system architecture, and it also allowed to identify the technological problems that in practise would likely be encountered.A second exploratory Project, which was labelled as ADVISE, continued the research, targeting a visible simplification of the GNSS+ architecture and an overall consolidation of the design of the most demanding constituents from technology perspective.This article describes the results of the GNSS+ Project as well as the improvements proposed in the frame of the ADVISE Project. As result of the ADVISE Project it has been possible to low very visibly the payload maximum RF power, and to keep the orbit and clock estimation accuracy, which was already on the few cm level.

  16. Quantitative proteomics of synaptic and nonsynaptic mitochondria: insights for synaptic mitochondrial vulnerability.

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-02

    Synaptic mitochondria are essential for maintaining calcium homeostasis and producing ATP, processes vital for neuronal integrity and synaptic transmission. Synaptic mitochondria exhibit increased oxidative damage during aging and are more vulnerable to calcium insult than nonsynaptic mitochondria. Why synaptic mitochondria are specifically more susceptible to cumulative damage remains to be determined. In this study, the generation of a super-SILAC mix that served as an appropriate internal standard for mouse brain mitochondria mass spectrometry based analysis allowed for the quantification of the proteomic differences between synaptic and nonsynaptic mitochondria isolated from 10-month-old mice. We identified a total of 2260 common proteins between synaptic and nonsynaptic mitochondria of which 1629 were annotated as mitochondrial. Quantitative proteomic analysis of the proteins common between synaptic and nonsynaptic mitochondria revealed significant differential expression of 522 proteins involved in several pathways including oxidative phosphorylation, mitochondrial fission/fusion, calcium transport, and mitochondrial DNA replication and maintenance. In comparison to nonsynaptic mitochondria, synaptic mitochondria exhibited increased age-associated mitochondrial DNA deletions and decreased bioenergetic function. These findings provide insights into synaptic mitochondrial susceptibility to damage.

  17. Burst Firing Enhances Neural Output Correlation

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Ho Ka; Yang, Dong-Ping; Zhou, Changsong; Nowotny, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Neurons communicate and transmit information predominantly through spikes. Given that experimentally observed neural spike trains in a variety of brain areas can be highly correlated, it is important to investigate how neurons process correlated inputs. Most previous work in this area studied the problem of correlation transfer analytically by making significant simplifications on neural dynamics. Temporal correlation between inputs that arises from synaptic filtering, for instance, is often ignored when assuming that an input spike can at most generate one output spike. Through numerical simulations of a pair of leaky integrate-and-fire (LIF) neurons receiving correlated inputs, we demonstrate that neurons in the presence of synaptic filtering by slow synapses exhibit strong output correlations. We then show that burst firing plays a central role in enhancing output correlations, which can explain the above-mentioned observation because synaptic filtering induces bursting. The observed changes of correlations are mostly on a long time scale. Our results suggest that other features affecting the prevalence of neural burst firing in biological neurons, e.g., adaptive spiking mechanisms, may play an important role in modulating the overall level of correlations in neural networks. PMID:27242499

  18. [Neuronal communication and synaptic metabolism in childhood epilepsy].

    PubMed

    García-Cazorla, Àngels; Cortès-Saladelafont, Elisenda; Duarte, Sofia

    2015-03-01

    Introduccion. Los conocimientos que la neurociencia basica y el neurometabolismo estan aportando en epilepsia pediatrica, y en concreto en mecanismos de comunicacion sinaptica, crecen rapidamente. Existe, no obstante, una desconexion entre estos avances y una vision que los integre de manera global y en la practica clinica y terapeutica. Objetivos. Ofrecer una vision integradora de los diferentes mecanismos moleculares y metabolicos que se conocen y postulan en epilepsia pediatrica, y sugerir conceptos como el de 'metabolismo sinaptico' y 'fenotipos sinapticos' como herramientas utiles para desarrollar este enfoque. Desarrollo. Se revisan los estudios mas destacados que intentan explicar las caracteristicas esenciales de la comunicacion sinaptica en el cerebro en desarrollo, a traves de diferentes moleculas, basicamente proteinas sinapticas, canales ionicos (cotransportadores de cloro, sodio y potasio), la compartimentalizacion pre y postsinaptica, y los principales actores metabolicos (neurotransmisores, metabolismo energetico, factores de crecimiento y lipidos). A partir de esta combinacion de mecanismos biologicos se sugieren ejemplos de 'fenotipos sinapticos' en dos casos concretos de epilepsia genetica (SCN1A) y metabolica (epilepsia con respuesta a la piridoxina). Conclusiones. Una perspectiva holistica, entendiendo la diversidad de elementos relacionados y que suceden en determinados momentos del neurodesarrollo, puede ayudar a delinear fenotipos, vias de metabolismo sinaptico y conectividad cerebral, que faciliten no solo la comprension de la fisiopatologia, sino nuevas aproximaciones terapeuticas en epilepsia pediatrica.

  19. Nonconserved Ca2+/Calmodulin Binding Sites in Munc13s Differentially Control Synaptic Short-Term Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Lipstein, Noa; Schaks, Sabine; Dimova, Kalina; Kalkhof, Stefan; Ihling, Christian; Kölbel, Knut; Ashery, Uri; Rhee, JeongSeop; Brose, Nils

    2012-01-01

    Munc13s are presynaptic proteins that mediate synaptic vesicle priming and thereby control the size of the readily releasable pool of vesicles. During high synaptic activity, Munc13-1 and its closely related homolog, ubMunc13-2, bind Ca2+/calmodulin, resulting in enhanced priming activity and in changes of short-term synaptic plasticity characteristics. Here, we studied whether bMunc13-2 and Munc13-3, two remote isoforms of Munc13-1 with a neuronal subtype-specific expression pattern, mediate synaptic vesicle priming and regulate short-term synaptic plasticity in a Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent manner. We identified a single functional Ca2+/calmodulin binding site in these isoforms and provide structural evidence that all Munc13s employ a common mode of interaction with calmodulin despite the lack of sequence homology between their Ca2+/calmodulin binding sites. Electrophysiological analysis showed that, during high-frequency activity, Ca2+/calmodulin binding positively regulates the priming activity of bMunc13-2 and Munc13-3, resulting in an increase in the size of the readily releasable pool of vesicles and subsequently in strong short-term synaptic enhancement of neurotransmission. We conclude that Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent regulation of priming activity is structurally and functionally conserved in all Munc13 proteins, and that the composition of Munc13 isoforms in a neuron differentially controls its short-term synaptic plasticity characteristics. PMID:22966208

  20. Enhancing the Educational Potential of Non-Oral Children through Matching Communication Device Capabilities to Children's Needs. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coleman, Colette L.; And Others

    The report describes activities and results of a project to identify communication characteristics that would help match augmentative communication system (ACS) capabilities to the needs of nonoral children. Ss had a variety of handicapping conditions, including cerebral palsy and other developmental disabilities. Introductory sections cover the…

  1. A Model for Enhancing Social Communication and Interaction in Everyday Activities for Primary School Children with ASD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peters, Brenda

    2016-01-01

    Children with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder may find the social aspects of learning particularly challenging because of the traits of diffculty with social communication and interaction. This paper evaluates the impact of an interactive model designed to support social communication and interaction for twelve students with ASD, who…

  2. Developing Online Multimodal Verbal Communication to Enhance the Writing Process in an Audio-Graphic Conferencing Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ciekanski, Maud; Chanier, Thierry

    2008-01-01

    Over the last decade, most studies in Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) have highlighted how online synchronous learning environments implement a new literacy related to multimodal communication. The environment used in our experiment is based on a synchronous audio-graphic conferencing tool. This study concerns false beginners in an English…

  3. Content, Preparation, and Formative Evaluation of an Interactive Videodisc System to Enhance Communication Skills in Pharmacy Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McKenzie, Michael W.; And Others

    1993-01-01

    The process of developing and evaluating an interactive videodisc system to teach communication skills for community and institutional pharmacy practice settings is described. An interdisciplinary team was used to integrate therapeutics, communication theory, media design, video production, and computer programing in the software development…

  4. An event-based neural network architecture with an asynchronous programmable synaptic memory.

    PubMed

    Moradi, Saber; Indiveri, Giacomo

    2014-02-01

    We present a hybrid analog/digital very large scale integration (VLSI) implementation of a spiking neural network with programmable synaptic weights. The synaptic weight values are stored in an asynchronous Static Random Access Memory (SRAM) module, which is interfaced to a fast current-mode event-driven DAC for producing synaptic currents with the appropriate amplitude values. These currents are further integrated by current-mode integrator synapses to produce biophysically realistic temporal dynamics. The synapse output currents are then integrated by compact and efficient integrate and fire silicon neuron circuits with spike-frequency adaptation and adjustable refractory period and spike-reset voltage settings. The fabricated chip comprises a total of 32 × 32 SRAM cells, 4 × 32 synapse circuits and 32 × 1 silicon neurons. It acts as a transceiver, receiving asynchronous events in input, performing neural computation with hybrid analog/digital circuits on the input spikes, and eventually producing digital asynchronous events in output. Input, output, and synaptic weight values are transmitted to/from the chip using a common communication protocol based on the Address Event Representation (AER). Using this representation it is possible to interface the device to a workstation or a micro-controller and explore the effect of different types of Spike-Timing Dependent Plasticity (STDP) learning algorithms for updating the synaptic weights values in the SRAM module. We present experimental results demonstrating the correct operation of all the circuits present on the chip.

  5. Local Ca2+ detection and modulation of synaptic release by astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Di Castro, Maria Amalia; Chuquet, Julien; Liaudet, Nicolas; Bhaukaurally, Khaleel; Santello, Mirko; Bouvier, David; Tiret, Pascale; Volterra, Andrea

    2011-09-11

    Astrocytes communicate with synapses by means of intracellular calcium ([Ca(2+)](i)) elevations, but local calcium dynamics in astrocytic processes have never been thoroughly investigated. By taking advantage of high-resolution two-photon microscopy, we identify the characteristics of local astrocyte calcium activity in the adult mouse hippocampus. Astrocytic processes showed intense activity, triggered by physiological transmission at neighboring synapses. They encoded synchronous synaptic events generated by sparse action potentials into robust regional (∼12 μm) [Ca(2+)](i) elevations. Unexpectedly, they also sensed spontaneous synaptic events, producing highly confined (∼4 μm), fast (millisecond-scale) miniature Ca(2+) responses. This Ca(2+) activity in astrocytic processes is generated through GTP- and inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate-dependent signaling and is relevant for basal synaptic function. Thus, buffering astrocyte [Ca(2+)](i) or blocking a receptor mediating local astrocyte Ca(2+) signals decreased synaptic transmission reliability in minimal stimulation experiments. These data provide direct evidence that astrocytes are integrated in local synaptic functioning in adult brain.

  6. Overview of communications programs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Depaula, Ramon P.

    1991-01-01

    The objective of the communications program is to advance critical areas of enabling and enhancing communication technologies that support commercial needs, science, and exploration missions for the 1990's and beyond. The technology program consists of research and technology development in the following areas: RF technology; digital technology; optical communications; mobile communications; and systems integration, test, and evaluation.

  7. Substance P selectively modulates GABA(A) receptor-mediated synaptic transmission in striatal cholinergic interneurons.

    PubMed

    Govindaiah, G; Wang, Yanyan; Cox, Charles L

    2010-02-01

    Substance P (SP) is co-localized and co-released with gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) from approximately 50% of GABAergic medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the striatum. MSNs innervate several cellular targets including neighboring MSNs and cholinergic interneurons via collaterals. However, the functional role of SP release onto striatal interneurons is unknown. Here we examined SP-mediated actions on inhibitory synaptic transmission in cholinergic interneurons using whole-cell recordings in mouse corticostriatal slices. We found that SP selectively suppressed GABA(A) receptor-mediated inhibitory post-synaptic currents (IPSCs), but not excitatory post-synaptic currents (EPSCs) in cholinergic interneurons. In contrast, SP did not alter IPSCs in fast-spiking interneurons and MSNs. SP suppressed IPSC amplitude in a concentration-dependent and reversible manner, and the NK1 receptor antagonist RP67580 attenuated the SP-mediated suppression. In addition, RP67580 alone enhanced the evoked IPSC amplitude in cholinergic interneurons, suggesting an endogenous action of SP on regulation of inhibitory synaptic transmission. SP did not alter the paired-pulse ratio, but reduced the amplitudes of GABA(A) agonist muscimol-induced outward currents and miniature IPSCs in cholinergic interneurons, suggesting SP exerts its effects primarily at the post-synaptic site. Our results indicate that the physiological effects of SP are to enhance the activity of striatal cholinergic interneurons and provide a rationale for designing potential new antiparkinsonian agents.

  8. 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.

  9. A role for synaptic plasticity in the adolescent development of executive function

    PubMed Central

    Selemon, L D

    2013-01-01

    Adolescent brain maturation is characterized by the emergence of executive function mediated by the prefrontal cortex, e.g., goal planning, inhibition of impulsive behavior and set shifting. Synaptic pruning of excitatory contacts is the signature morphologic event of late brain maturation during adolescence. Mounting evidence suggests that glutamate receptor-mediated synaptic plasticity, in particular long term depression (LTD), is important for elimination of synaptic contacts in brain development. This review examines the possibility (1) that LTD mechanisms are enhanced in the prefrontal cortex during adolescence due to ongoing synaptic pruning in this late developing cortex and (2) that enhanced synaptic plasticity in the prefrontal cortex represents a key molecular substrate underlying the critical period for maturation of executive function. Molecular sites of interaction between environmental factors, such as alcohol and stress, and glutamate receptor mediated plasticity are considered. The accentuated negative impact of these factors during adolescence may be due in part to interference with LTD mechanisms that refine prefrontal cortical circuitry and when disrupted derail normal maturation of executive function. Diminished prefrontal cortical control over risk-taking behavior could further exacerbate negative outcomes associated with these behaviors, as for example addiction and depression. Greater insight into the neurobiology of the adolescent brain is needed to fully understand the molecular basis for heightened vulnerability during adolescence to the injurious effects of substance abuse and stress. PMID:23462989

  10. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor differentially regulates excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission in hippocampal cultures.

    PubMed

    Bolton, M M; Pittman, A J; Lo, D C

    2000-05-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been postulated to be a key signaling molecule in regulating synaptic strength and overall circuit activity. In this context, we have found that BDNF dramatically increases the frequency of spontaneously initiated action potentials in hippocampal neurons in dissociated culture. Using analysis of unitary synaptic transmission and immunocytochemical methods, we determined that chronic treatment with BDNF potentiates both excitatory and inhibitory transmission, but that it does so via different mechanisms. BDNF strengthens excitation primarily by augmenting the amplitude of AMPA receptor-mediated miniature EPSCs (mEPSCs) but enhances inhibition by increasing the frequency of mIPSC and increasing the size of GABAergic synaptic terminals. In contrast to observations in other systems, BDNF-mediated increases in AMPA-receptor mediated mEPSC amplitudes did not require activity, because blocking action potentials with tetrodotoxin for the entire duration of BDNF treatment had no effect on the magnitude of this enhancement. These forms of synaptic regulations appear to be a selective action of BDNF because intrinsic excitability, synapse number, and neuronal survival are not affected in these cultures. Thus, although BDNF induces a net increase in overall circuit activity, this results from potentiation of both excitatory and inhibitory synaptic drive through distinct and selective physiological mechanisms.

  11. Synaptic adhesion molecule IgSF11 regulates synaptic transmission and plasticity

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Homeostatic regulation of synaptic excitability: tonic GABAA receptor currents replace Ih in cortical pyramidal neurons of HCN1 knockout mice

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Xiangdong; Shu, Shaofang; Schwartz, Lauren C.; Sun, Chengsan; Kapur, Jaideep; Bayliss, Douglas A.

    2010-01-01

    Homeostatic control of synaptic efficacy is often mediated by dynamic regulation of excitatory synaptic receptors. Here, we report a novel form of homeostatic synaptic plasticity based on regulation of shunt currents that control dendritosomatic information transfer. In cortical pyramidal neurons from wild type mice, HCN1 channels underlie a dendritic hyperpolarization-activated cationic current (Ih) that serves to limit temporal summation of synaptic inputs. In HCN1 knockout mice, as expected, Ih is reduced in pyramidal neurons and its effects on synaptic summation are strongly diminished. Unexpectedly, we found a markedly enhanced bicuculline- and L-655,708-sensitive background GABAA current in these cells that could be attributed to selective up-regulation of GABAA α5 subunit expression in the cortex of HCN1 knockout mice. Strikingly, despite diminished Ih, baseline sub-linear summation of evoked EPSPs was unchanged in pyramidal neurons from HCN1 knockout mice; however, blocking tonic GABAA currents with bicuculline enhanced synaptic summation more strongly in pyramidal cells from HCN1 knockout mice than in those cells from wild type mice. Increasing tonic GABAA receptor conductance in the context of reduced Ih, using computational or pharmacological approaches, restored normal baseline synaptic summation, as observed in neurons from HCN1 knockout mice. These data indicate that up-regulation of α5 subunit-mediated GABAA receptor tonic current compensates quantitatively for loss of dendritic Ih in cortical pyramidal neurons from HCN1 knockout mice to maintain normal synaptic summation; they further imply that dendritosomatic synaptic efficacy is a controlled variable for homeostatic regulation of cortical neuron excitability in vivo. PMID:20164346

  13. The Virtual Environmental Microbiology Center - A Social Network for Enhanced Communication between Water Researchers and Policy Makers

    EPA Science Inventory

    Effective communication within and between organizations involved in research and policy making activities is essential. Sharing information across organizational and geographic boundaries can also facilitate coordination and collaboration, promote a better understanding of tech...

  14. Use of communications. [satellite communication

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1975-01-01

    Progress in the field of satellite communications is reviewed, and useful services which may be provided by future satellite communications systems are considered. Recommendations are made with regard to mobile communications for use on land and at sea, position determination, mineral and energy exploration, the possibility of using electronic means to assist in main delivery, education and health-care experiments, and the use of satellite telecommunications to enhance the quality of life in rural areas by making available a full range of educational and entertainment programs. The needs of the amateur radio community are also considered.

  15. Short term synaptic depression imposes a frequency dependent filter on synaptic information transfer.

    PubMed

    Rosenbaum, Robert; Rubin, Jonathan; Doiron, Brent

    2012-01-01

    Depletion of synaptic neurotransmitter vesicles induces a form of short term depression in synapses throughout the nervous system. This plasticity affects how synapses filter presynaptic spike trains. The filtering properties of short term depression are often studied using a deterministic synapse model that predicts the mean synaptic response to a presynaptic spike train, but ignores variability introduced by the probabilistic nature of vesicle release and stochasticity in synaptic recovery time. We show that this additional variability has important consequences for the synaptic filtering of presynaptic information. In particular, a synapse model with stochastic vesicle dynamics suppresses information encoded at lower frequencies more than information encoded at higher frequencies, while a model that ignores this stochasticity transfers information encoded at any frequency equally well. This distinction between the two models persists even when large numbers of synaptic contacts are considered. Our study provides strong evidence that the stochastic nature neurotransmitter vesicle dynamics must be considered when analyzing the information flow across a synapse.

  16. Exaggerated translation causes synaptic and behavioural aberrations associated with autism.

    PubMed

    Santini, Emanuela; Huynh, Thu N; MacAskill, Andrew F; Carter, Adam G; Pierre, Philippe; Ruggero, Davide; Kaphzan, Hanoch; Klann, Eric

    2013-01-17

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are an early onset, heterogeneous group of heritable neuropsychiatric disorders with symptoms that include deficits in social interaction skills, impaired communication abilities, and ritualistic-like repetitive behaviours. One of the hypotheses for a common molecular mechanism underlying ASDs is altered translational control resulting in exaggerated protein synthesis. Genetic variants in chromosome 4q, which contains the EIF4E locus, have been described in patients with autism. Importantly, a rare single nucleotide polymorphism has been identified in autism that is associated with increased promoter activity in the EIF4E gene. Here we show that genetically increasing the levels of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) in mice results in exaggerated cap-dependent translation and aberrant behaviours reminiscent of autism, including repetitive and perseverative behaviours and social interaction deficits. Moreover, these autistic-like behaviours are accompanied by synaptic pathophysiology in the medial prefrontal cortex, striatum and hippocampus. The autistic-like behaviours displayed by the eIF4E-transgenic mice are corrected by intracerebroventricular infusions of the cap-dependent translation inhibitor 4EGI-1. Our findings demonstrate a causal relationship between exaggerated cap-dependent translation, synaptic dysfunction and aberrant behaviours associated with autism.

  17. Emerging links between homeostatic synaptic plasticity and neurological disease.

    PubMed

    Wondolowski, Joyce; Dickman, Dion

    2013-11-21

    Homeostatic signaling systems are ubiquitous forms of biological regulation, having been studied for hundreds of years in the context of diverse physiological processes including body temperature and osmotic balance. However, only recently has this concept been brought to the study of excitatory and inhibitory electrical activity that the nervous system uses to establish and maintain stable communication. Synapses are a primary target of neuronal regulation with a variety of studies over the past 15 years demonstrating that these cellular junctions are under bidirectional homeostatic control. Recent work from an array of diverse systems and approaches has revealed exciting new links between homeostatic synaptic plasticity and a variety of seemingly disparate neurological and psychiatric diseases. These include autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, schizophrenia, and Fragile X Syndrome. Although the molecular mechanisms through which defective homeostatic signaling may lead to disease pathogenesis remain unclear, rapid progress is likely to be made in the coming years using a powerful combination of genetic, imaging, electrophysiological, and next generation sequencing approaches. Importantly, understanding homeostatic synaptic plasticity at a cellular and molecular level may lead to developments in new therapeutic innovations to treat these diseases. In this review we will examine recent studies that demonstrate homeostatic control of postsynaptic protein translation, retrograde signaling, and presynaptic function that may contribute to the etiology of complex neurological and psychiatric diseases.

  18. Synaptic Plasticity and Memory Formation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-06-14

    past year defined the cellular changes likely to be responsible for expression. The nootropic ("cognitive enhancing") drug aniracetam prolongs the open...as the substrate of LTP. Tests of this became possible with the discovery by Ito and co-workers Q’. Ph, si , 1990) that the nootropic drug aniracetam...plausible explanation for this is that LTP itself changes the receptors. Aniracetam as a "cognitive enhancer" The nootropic family of drugs to which

  19. Diacylglycerol Kinases in the Coordination of Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. The calcium sensor synaptotagmin 7 is required for synaptic facilitation

    PubMed Central

    Jackman, Skyler L.; Turecek, Josef; Belinsky, Justine E.

    2015-01-01

    It has been known for over 70 years that synaptic strength is dynamically regulated in a use-dependent manner1. At synapses with a low initial release probability, closely spaced presynaptic action potentials can result in facilitation, a short-term form of enhancement where each subsequent action potential evokes greater neurotransmitter release2. Facilitation can enhance neurotransmitter release manyfold and profoundly influence information transfer across synapses3, but the underlying mechanism remains a mystery. Among the proposed mechanisms is that a specialized calcium sensor for facilitation transiently increases the probability of release2,4 and is distinct from the fast sensors that mediate rapid neurotransmitter release. Yet such a sensor has never been identified, and its very existence has been disputed5,6. Here we show that synaptotagmin 7 (syt7) is a calcium sensor that is required for facilitation at multiple central synapses. In syt7 knockout mice, facilitation is eliminated even though the initial probability of release and presynaptic residual calcium signals are unaltered. Expression of wild-type syt7 in presynaptic neurons restored facilitation, whereas expression of a mutated syt7 with a calcium-insensitive C2A domain did not. By revealing the role of syt7 in synaptic facilitation, these results resolve a longstanding debate about a widespread form of short-term plasticity, and will enable future studies that may lead to a deeper understanding of the functional importance of facilitation. PMID:26738595

  1. Synaptic connectivity in engineered neuronal networks.

    PubMed

    Molnar, Peter; Kang, Jung-Fong; Bhargava, Neelima; Das, Mainak; Hickman, James J

    2014-01-01

    We have developed a method to organize cells in dissociated cultures using engineered chemical clues on a culture surface and determined their connectivity patterns. Although almost all elements of the synaptic transmission machinery can be studied separately in single cell models in dissociated cultures, the complex physiological interactions between these elements are usually lost. Thus, factors affecting synaptic transmission are generally studied in organotypic cultures, brain slices, or in vivo where the cellular architecture generally remains intact. However, by utilizing engineered neuronal networks complex phenomenon such as synaptic transmission or synaptic plasticity can be studied in a simple, functional, cell culture-based system. We have utilized self-assembled monolayers and photolithography to create the surface templates. Embryonic hippocampal cells, plated on the resultant patterns in serum-free medium, followed the surface clues and formed the engineered neuronal networks. Basic whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology was applied to characterize the synaptic connectivity in these engineered two-cell networks. The same technology has been used to pattern other cell types such as cardiomyocytes or skeletal muscle fibers.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Erk1/2 inhibit synaptic vesicle exocytosis through L type calcium channels

    PubMed Central

    Subramanian, Jaichandar; Morozov, Alexei

    2011-01-01

    L type calcium channels play only a minor role in basal neurotransmitter release in brain neurons, but contribute significantly after induction of plasticity. Very little is known about mechanisms that enable L type calcium channel participation in neurotransmitter release. Here, using mouse primary cortical neurons, we found that inhibition of Erk1/2 enhanced synaptic vesicle exocytosis by increasing calcium influx through L type calcium channels. Furthermore, inhibition of Erk1/2 increased the surface fraction of these channels. These findings indicate a novel inhibitory effect of Erk1/2 on synaptic transmission through L type calcium channels. PMID:21430174

  4. Coexistence of Multiple Types of Synaptic Plasticity in Individual Hippocampal CA1 Pyramidal Neurons.

    PubMed

    Edelmann, Elke; Cepeda-Prado, Efrain; Leßmann, Volkmar

    2017-01-01

    Understanding learning and memory mechanisms is an important goal in neuroscience. To gain insights into the underlying cellular mechanisms for memory formation, synaptic plasticity processes are studied with various techniques in different brain regions. A valid model to scrutinize different ways to enhance or decrease synaptic transmission is recording of long-term potentiation (LTP) or long-term depression (LTD). At the single cell level, spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) protocols have emerged as a powerful tool to investigate synaptic plasticity with stimulation paradigms that also likely occur during memory formation in vivo. Such kind of plasticity can be induced by different STDP paradigms with multiple repeat numbers and stimulation patterns. They subsequently recruit or activate different molecular pathways and neuromodulators for induction and expression of STDP. Dopamine (DA) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) have been recently shown to be important modulators for hippocampal STDP at Schaffer collateral (SC)-CA1 synapses and are activated exclusively by distinguishable STDP paradigms. Distinct types of parallel synaptic plasticity in a given neuron depend on specific subcellular molecular prerequisites. Since the basal and apical dendrites of CA1 pyramidal neurons are known to be heterogeneous, and distance-dependent dendritic gradients for specific receptors and ion channels are described, the dendrites might provide domain specific locations for multiple types of synaptic plasticity in the same neuron. In addition to the distinct signaling and expression mechanisms of various types of LTP and LTD, activation of these different types of plasticity might depend on background brain activity states. In this article, we will discuss some ideas why multiple forms of synaptic plasticity can simultaneously and independently coexist and can contribute so effectively to increasing the efficacy of memory storage and processing capacity of the

  5. A quantitative analytic pipeline for evaluating neuronal activities by high throughput synaptic vesicle imaging

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Jing; Xia, Xiaofeng; Li, Ying; Dy, Jennifer G.

    2012-01-01

    Synaptic vesicle dynamics play an important role in the study of neuronal and synaptic activities of neurodegradation diseases ranging from the epidemic Alzheimer’s disease to the rare Rett syndrome. A high-throughput assay with a large population of neurons would be useful and efficient to characterize neuronal activity based on the dynamics of synaptic vesicles for the study of mechanisms or to discover drug candidates for neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders. However, the massive amounts of image data generated via high throughput screening require enormous manual processing time and effort, restricting the practical use of such an assay. This paper presents an automated analytic system to process and interpret the huge data set generated by such assays. Our system enables the automated detection, segmentation, quantification, and measurement of neuron activities based on the synaptic vesicle assay. To overcome challenges such as noisy background, inhomogeneity, and tiny object size, we first employ MSVST (Multi-Scale Variance Stabilizing Transform) to obtain a denoised and enhanced map of the original image data. Then, we propose an adaptive thresholding strategy to solve the inhomogeneity issue, based on the local information, and to accurately segment synaptic vesicles. We design algorithms to address the issue of tiny objects-of-interest overlapping. Several post-processing criteria are defined to filter false positives. A total of 152 features are extracted for each detected vesicle. A score is defined for each synaptic vesicle image to quantify the neuron activity. We also compare the unsupervised strategy with the supervised method. Our experiments on hippocampal neuron assays showed that the proposed system can automatically detect vesicles and quantify their dynamics for evaluating neuron activities. The availability of such an automated system will open opportunities for investigation of synaptic neuropathology and identification of

  6. Synaptic Function of Rab11Fip5: Selective Requirement for Hippocampal Long-Term Depression

    PubMed Central

    Ahmad, Mohiuddin; Jurado, Sandra; Malenka, Robert C.

    2015-01-01

    Postsynaptic AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs) are among the major determinants of synaptic strength and can be trafficked into and out of synapses. Neuronal activity regulates AMPAR trafficking during synaptic plasticity to induce long-term changes in synaptic strength, including long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). Rab family GTPases regulate most membrane trafficking in eukaryotic cells; particularly, Rab11 and its effectors are implicated in mediating postsynaptic AMPAR insertion during LTP. To explore the synaptic function of Rab11Fip5, a neuronal Rab11 effector and a candidate autism-spectrum disorder gene, we performed shRNA-mediated knock-down and genetic knock-out (KO) studies. Surprisingly, we observed robust shRNA-induced synaptic phenotypes that were rescued by a Rab11Fip5 cDNA but that were nevertheless not observed in conditional KO neurons. Both in cultured neurons and acute slices, KO of Rab11Fip5 had no significant effect on basic parameters of synaptic transmission, indicating that Rab11Fip5 is not required for fundamental synaptic operations, such as neurotransmitter release or postsynaptic AMPAR insertion. KO of Rab11Fip5 did, however, abolish hippocampal LTD as measured both in acute slices or using a chemical LTD protocol in cultured neurons but did not affect hippocampal LTP. The Rab11Fip5 KO mice performed normally in several behavioral tasks, including fear conditioning, but showed enhanced contextual fear extinction. These are the first findings to suggest a requirement for Rab11Fip5, and presumably Rab11, during LTD. PMID:25972173

  7. Brief environmental enrichment elicits metaplasticity of hippocampal synaptic potentiation in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Buschler, Arne; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise

    2012-01-01

    Long-term environmental enrichment (EE) elicits enduring effects on the adult brain, including altered synaptic plasticity. Synaptic plasticity may underlie memory formation and includes robust (>24 h) and weak (<2 h) forms of long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). Most studies of the effect of EE on synaptic efficacy have examined the consequences of very prolonged EE-exposure. It is unclear whether brief exposure to EE can alter synaptic plasticity. Clarifying this issue could help develop strategies to address cognitive deficits arising from neglect in children or adults. We assessed whether short-term EE elicits alterations in hippocampal synaptic plasticity and if social context may play a role. Adult mice were exposed to EE for 14 consecutive days. We found that robust late-LTP (>24 h) and short-term depression (<2 h) at Schaffer-collateral-CA1 synapses in freely behaving mice were unaltered, whereas early-LTP (E-LTP, <2 h) was significantly enhanced by EE. Effects were transient: E-LTP returned to control levels 1 week after cessation of EE. Six weeks later, animals were re-exposed to EE for 14 days. Under these conditions, E-LTP was facilitated into L-LTP (>24 h), suggesting that metaplasticity was induced during the first EE experience and that EE-mediated modifications are cumulative. Effects were absent in mice that underwent solitary enrichment or were group-housed without EE. These data suggest that EE in naïve animals strengthens E-LTP, and also promotes L-LTP in animals that underwent EE in the past. This indicates that brief exposure to EE, particularly under social conditions can elicit lasting positive effects on synaptic strength that may have beneficial consequences for cognition that depends on synaptic plasticity. PMID:23248592

  8. GABAAR-dependent synaptic transmission sculpts dendritic arbor structure in Xenopus tadpoles in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Wanhua; Da Silva, Jorge Santos; He, Haiyan; Cline, Hollis T.

    2009-01-01

    The emergence of dendritic arbor structure in vivo depends on synaptic inputs. We tested whether inhibitory GABAergic synaptic transmission regulates Xenopus optic tectal cell dendritic arbor development in vivo by expressing a peptide corresponding to an intracellular loop (ICL) of the γ2 subunit of GABAAR which is required to anchor GABAA receptors to the postsynaptic scaffold. GFP-tagged ICL (EGFP-ICL) was distributed in a punctate pattern at putative inhibitory synapses, identified by VGAT-immunoreactive puncta. ICL expression completely blocked GABAAR - mediated transmission in 36% of transfected neurons and significantly reduced GABAAR - mediated synaptic currents relative to AMPAR-mediated synaptic currents in the remaining transfected neurons without altering release probability or neuronal excitability. Further analysis of ICL-expressing neurons with residual GABAAR- mediated inputs showed that the capacity of benzodiazepine to enhance GABAergic synaptic responses was reduced in ICL-expressing neurons, indicating that they were likely depleted of γ2 subunit-containing GABAAR. Neurons expressing a mutant form of ICL were comparable to controls. In vivo time-lapse images showed that ICL-expressing neurons have more sparsely branched dendritic arbors which expand over larger neuropil areas than EGFP-expressing control neurons. Analysis of branch dynamics indicated that ICL expression affected arbor growth by reducing rates of branch addition. Furthermore, we found that decreasing GABAergic synaptic transmission with ICL expression blocked visual experience dependent dendritic arbor structural plasticity. Our findings establish an essential role for inhibitory GABAergic synaptic transmission in the regulation of dendritic structural plasticity in Xenopus in vivo. PMID:19369572

  9. Bidirectional regulation of synaptic transmission by BRAG1/IQSEC2 and its requirement in long-term depression

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Joshua C.; Petersen, Amber; Zhong, Ling; Himelright, Miranda L.; Murphy, Jessica A.; Walikonis, Randall S.; Gerges, Nashaat Z.

    2016-01-01

    Dysfunction of the proteins regulating synaptic function can cause synaptic plasticity imbalance that underlies neurological disorders such as intellectual disability. A study found that four distinct mutations within BRAG1, an Arf-GEF synaptic protein, each led to X-chromosome-linked intellectual disability (XLID). Although the physiological functions of BRAG1 are poorly understood, each of these mutations reduces BRAG1's Arf-GEF activity. Here we show that BRAG1 is required for the activity-dependent removal of AMPA receptors in rat hippocampal pyramidal neurons. Moreover, we show that BRAG1 bidirectionally regulates synaptic transmission. On one hand, BRAG1 is required for the maintenance of synaptic transmission. On the other hand, BRAG1 expression enhances synaptic transmission, independently of BRAG1 Arf-GEF activity or neuronal activity, but dependently on its C-terminus interactions. This study demonstrates a dual role of BRAG1 in synaptic function and highlights the functional relevance of reduced BRAG1 Arf-GEF activity as seen in the XLID-associated human mutations. PMID:27009485

  10. Synaptic modulation of excitatory synaptic transmission by nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in spinal ventral horn neurons.

    PubMed

    Mine, N; Taniguchi, W; Nishio, N; Izumi, N; Miyazaki, N; Yamada, H; Nakatsuka, T; Yoshida, M

    2015-04-02

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are distributed widely in the central nervous system and play important roles in higher brain functions, including learning, memory, and recognition. However, functions of the cholinergic system in spinal motoneurons remain poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the actions of presynaptic and postsynaptic nAChRs in spinal ventral horn neurons by performing whole-cell patch-clamp recordings on lumbar slices from male rats. The application of nicotine or acetylcholine generated slow inward currents and increased the frequency and amplitude of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs). Slow inward currents by acetylcholine or nicotine were not inhibited by tetrodotoxin (TTX) or glutamate receptor antagonists. In the presence of TTX, the frequency and amplitude of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) were also increased by acetylcholine or nicotine. A selective α4β2 nicotinic receptor antagonist, dihydro-β-erythroidine hydrobromide (DhβE), significantly decreased nicotine-induced inward currents without affecting the enhancement of sEPSCs and mEPSCs. In addition, a selective α7 nicotinic receptor antagonist, methyllycaconitine, did not affect either nicotine-induced inward currents or the enhancement of sEPSCs and mEPSCs. These results suggest that α4β2 AChRs are localized at postsynaptic sites in the spinal ventral horn, non-α4β2 and non-α7 nAChRs are located presynaptically, and nAChRs enhance excitatory synaptic transmission in the spinal ventral horn.

  11. Bridging the synaptic cleft: lessons from orphan glutamate receptors.

    PubMed

    Schmid, Sabine M; Hollmann, Michael

    2010-08-24

    For neurons to communicate, signals must cross the cell-to-cell distance at their points of contact. At the predominant cell-cell contact in the central nervous system, the chemical synapse, the synaptic cleft spans roughly 20 nanometers. To signal across this distance, the presynaptic neuron secretes a diffusible neurotransmitter, which is detected by receptors on the postsynaptic neuron. Although this signaling mechanism has become common knowledge, it remains unclear how synapses are maintained when they are not in immediate use. New evidence reveals how Nature solved this problem at a particular type of synapse in the cerebellum: Three old acquaintances bridge the cleft. The ionotropic glutamate receptor GluD2 constitutes the postsynaptic anchor that indirectly interacts with the presynaptic anchor neurexin through a presynaptically secreted soluble factor, a member of the C1q protein family named Cbln1. This trio collaborates to align pre- and postsynaptic sides.

  12. Disruption of an Evolutionarily Novel Synaptic Expression Pattern in Autism

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Xi; Hu, Haiyang; Guijarro, Patricia; Mitchell, Amanda; Ely, John J.; Sherwood, Chet C.; Hof, Patrick R.; Qiu, Zilong; Pääbo, Svante; Akbarian, Schahram; Khaitovich, Philipp

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive defects in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) include socialization and communication: key behavioral capacities that separate humans from other species. Here, we analyze gene expression in the prefrontal cortex of 63 autism patients and control individuals, as well as 62 chimpanzees and macaques, from natal to adult age. We show that among all aberrant expression changes seen in ASD brains, a single aberrant expression pattern overrepresented in genes involved synaptic-related pathways is enriched in nucleotide variants linked to autism. Furthermore, only this pattern contains an excess of developmental expression features unique to humans, thus resulting in the disruption of human-specific developmental programs in autism. Several members of the early growth response (EGR) transcription factor family can be implicated in regulation of this aberrant developmental change. Our study draws a connection between the genetic risk architecture of autism and molecular features of cortical development unique to humans. PMID:27685936

  13. Actin Out: Regulation of the Synaptic Cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

    Spence, Erin F.; Soderling, Scott H.

    2015-01-01

    The small size of dendritic spines belies the elaborate role they play in excitatory synaptic transmission and ultimately complex behaviors. The cytoskeletal architecture of the spine is predominately composed of actin filaments. These filaments, which at first glance might appear simple, are also surprisingly complex. They dynamically assemble into different structures and serve as a platform for orchestrating the elaborate responses of the spine during spinogenesis and experience-dependent plasticity. Multiple mutations associated with human neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders involve genes that encode regulators of the synaptic cytoskeleton. A major, unresolved question is how the disruption of specific actin filament structures leads to the onset and progression of complex synaptic and behavioral phenotypes. This review will cover established and emerging mechanisms of actin cytoskeletal remodeling and how this influences specific aspects of spine biology that are implicated in disease. PMID:26453304

  14. Synaptic integration by NG2 cells

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Wenjing; Dietrich, Dirk

    2013-01-01

    NG2 expressing oligodendrocyte precursor cells stand out from other types of glial cells by receiving classical synaptic contacts from many neurons. This unconventional form of signaling between neurons and glial cells enables NG2 cells to receive information about the activity of presynaptic neurons with high temporal and spatial precision and has been postulated to be involved in activity-dependent myelination. While this still unproven concept is generally compelling, how NG2 cells may integrate synaptic input has hardly been addressed to date. Here we review the biophysical characteristics of synaptic currents and membrane properties of NG2 cells and discuss their capabilities to perform complex temporal and spatial signal integration and how this may be important for activity-dependent myelination. PMID:24391539

  15. 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.

  16. Synaptic activity: An emerging player in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Sarkar, Anindita; Marchetto, Maria C; Gage, Fred H

    2017-02-01

    Schizophrenia is a polygenic disorder with a complex etiology. While the genetic and molecular underpinnings of the disease are poorly understood, variations in genes encoding synaptic pathways are consistently implicated. Although its impact is still an open question, a deficit in synaptic activity provides an attractive model to explain the cognitive etiology of schizophrenia. Recent advances in high-throughput imaging and functional studies bring new hope for the application of in vitro disease modeling with patient-derived neurons to empirically ascertain the extent to which these synaptic pathways are involved in the disease. In addition, the emergent avenue of research targeted to probe neuronal connections is revealing critical insight into circuitry and may influence how we think about psychiatric disorders in the near future. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Exploiting human neurons.

  17. Reversed synaptic effects of hypocretin and NPY mediated by excitatory GABA-dependent synaptic activity in developing MCH neurons

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ying; Xu, Youfen

    2013-01-01

    In mature neurons, GABA is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter. In contrast, in developing neurons, GABA exerts excitatory actions, and in some neurons GABA-mediated excitatory synaptic activity is more prevalent than glutamate-mediated excitation. Hypothalamic neuropeptides that modulate cognitive arousal and energy homeostasis, hypocretin/orexin and neuropeptide Y (NPY), evoked reversed effects on synaptic actions that were dependent on presynaptic GABA release onto melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) neurons. MCH neurons were identified by selective green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression in transgenic mice. In adults, hypocretin increased GABA release leading to reduced excitation. In contrast, in the developing brain as studied here with analysis of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents, paired-pulse ratios, and evoked potentials, hypocretin acted presynaptically to enhance the excitatory actions of GABA. The ability of hypocretin to enhance GABA release increases inhibition in adult neurons but paradoxically enhances excitation in developing MCH neurons. In contrast, NPY attenuation of GABA release reduced inhibition in mature neurons but enhanced inhibition during development by attenuating GABA excitation. Both hypocretin and NPY also evoked direct actions on developing MCH neurons. Hypocretin excited MCH cells by activating a sodium-calcium exchanger and by reducing potassium currents; NPY reduced activity by increasing an inwardly rectifying potassium current. These data for the first time show that both hypocretin and NPY receptors are functional presynaptically during early postnatal hypothalamic development and that both neuropeptides modulate GABA actions during development with a valence of enhanced excitation or inhibition opposite to that of the adult state, potentially allowing neuropeptide modulation of use-dependent synapse stabilization. PMID:23255725

  18. Levetiracetam mitigates doxorubicin-induced DNA and synaptic damage in neurons

    PubMed Central

    Manchon, Jose Felix Moruno; Dabaghian, Yuri; Uzor, Ndidi-Ese; Kesler, Shelli R.; Wefel, Jeffrey S.; Tsvetkov, Andrey S.

    2016-01-01

    Neurotoxicity may occur in cancer patients and survivors during or after chemotherapy. Cognitive deficits associated with neurotoxicity can be subtle or disabling and frequently include disturbances in memory, attention, executive function and processing speed. Searching for pathways altered by anti-cancer treatments in cultured primary neurons, we discovered that doxorubicin, a commonly used anti-neoplastic drug, significantly decreased neuronal survival. The drug promoted the formation of DNA double-strand breaks in primary neurons and reduced synaptic and neurite density. Pretreatment of neurons with levetiracetam, an FDA-approved anti-epileptic drug, enhanced survival of chemotherapy drug-treated neurons, reduced doxorubicin-induced formation of DNA double-strand breaks, and mitigated synaptic and neurite loss. Thus, levetiracetam might be part of a valuable new approach for mitigating synaptic damage and, perhaps, for treating cognitive disturbances in cancer patients and survivors. PMID:27168474

  19. The AAA+ ATPase, Thorase Regulates AMPA Receptor-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity and Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jianmin; Wang, Yue; Chi, Zhikai; Keuss, Matthew J.; Pai, Ying-Min Emily; Kang, Ho Chul; Shin, Jooho; Bugayenko, Artem; Wang, Hong; Xiong, Yulan; Pletnikov, Mikhail V.; Mattson, Mark P.; Dawson, Ted M.; Dawson, Valina L.

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY The synaptic insertion or removal of AMPA receptors (AMPAR) plays critical roles in the regulation of synaptic activity reflected in the expression of long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). The cellular events underlying this important process in learning and memory are still being revealed. Here we describe and characterize the AAA+ ATPase, Thorase, that regulates the expression of surface AMPAR. In an ATPase-dependent manner Thorase mediates the internalization of AMPAR by disassembling the AMPAR-GRIP1 complex. Following genetic deletion of Thorase, the internalization of AMPAR is substantially reduced, leading to increased amplitudes of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents, enhancement of LTP and elimination of LTD. These molecular events are expressed as deficits in learning and memory in Thorase null mice. This study identifies an AAA+ ATPase that plays a critical role in regulating the surface expression of AMPAR and thereby regulates synaptic plasticity and learning and memory. PMID:21496646

  20. Methods to Enhance Verbal Communication between Individuals with Alzheimer's Disease and Their Formal and Informal Caregivers: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Egan, Mary; Bérubé, Daniel; Racine, Geneviève; Leonard, Carol; Rochon, Elizabeth

    2010-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease is the leading cause of dementia in older adults. Although memory problems are the most characteristic symptom of this disorder, many individuals also experience progressive problems with communication. This systematic review investigates the effectiveness of methods to improve the verbal communication of individuals with Alzheimer's disease with their caregivers. The following databases were reviewed: PsychINFO, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, REHABDATA, and COMDIS. The inclusion criteria were: (i) experimentally based studies, (ii) quantitative results, (iii) intervention aimed at improving verbal communication of the affected individual with a caregiver, and (iv) at least 50% of the sample having a confirmed diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. A total of 13 studies met all of the inclusion criteria. One technique emerged as potentially effective: the use of memory aids combined with specific caregiver training programs. The strength of this evidence was restricted by methodological limitations of the studies. Both adoption of and further research on these interventions are recommended. PMID:20798856

  1. Synaptic generation of an intracellular retrograde signal requires activation of the tyrosine kinase and mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling cascades in Aplysia.

    PubMed

    Stough, Shara; Kopec, Ashley M; Carew, Thomas J

    2015-11-01

    Cellular changes underlying memory formation can be generated in an activity-dependent manner at specific synapses. Thus an important question concerns the mechanisms by which synaptic signals communicate with the cell body to mediate these cellular changes. A monosynaptic circuit that is enhanced by sensitization in Aplysia is well-suited to study this question because three different subcellular compartments: (i) the sensorimotor SN-MN synapses, (ii) the SN projections to MNs via axonal connections, (iii) the SN cell bodies, can all be manipulated and studied independently. Here, we report that activity-dependent (AD) training in either the entire SN-MN circuit or in only the synaptic compartment, activates MAPK in a temporally and spatially specific pattern. Specifically, we find (i) MAPK activation is first transiently generated at SN-MN synapses during training, (ii) immediately after training MAPK is transiently activated in SN-MN axonal connections and persistently activated in SN cell bodies, and finally, (iii) MAPK is activated in SN cell bodies and SN-MN synapses 1h after training. These data suggest that there is an intracellularly transported retrograde signal generated at the synapse which is later responsible for delayed MAPK activation at SN somata. Finally, we find that this retrograde signal requires activation of tyrosine kinase (TK) and MEK signaling cascades at the synapses.

  2. Adult-born neurons modify excitatory synaptic transmission to existing neurons

    PubMed Central

    Adlaf, Elena W; Vaden, Ryan J; Niver, Anastasia J; Manuel, Allison F; Onyilo, Vincent C; Araujo, Matheus T; Dieni, Cristina V; Vo, Hai T; King, Gwendalyn D; Wadiche, Jacques I; Overstreet-Wadiche, Linda

    2017-01-01

    Adult-born neurons are continually produced in the dentate gyrus but it is unclear whether synaptic integration of new neurons affects the pre-existing circuit. Here we investigated how manipulating neurogenesis in adult mice alters excitatory synaptic transmission to mature dentate neurons. Enhancing neurogenesis by conditional deletion of the pro-apoptotic gene Bax in stem cells reduced excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) and spine density in mature neurons, whereas genetic ablation of neurogenesis increased EPSCs in mature neurons. Unexpectedly, we found that Bax deletion in developing and mature dentate neurons increased EPSCs and prevented neurogenesis-induced synaptic suppression. Together these results show that neurogenesis modifies synaptic transmission to mature neurons in a manner consistent with a redistribution of pre-existing synapses to newly integrating neurons and that a non-apoptotic function of the Bax signaling pathway contributes to ongoing synaptic refinement within the dentate circuit. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19886.001 PMID:28135190

  3. Chondroitin Sulfate Induces Depression of Synaptic Transmission and Modulation of Neuronal Plasticity in Rat Hippocampal Slices.

    PubMed

    Albiñana, Elisa; Gutierrez-Luengo, Javier; Hernández-Juarez, Natalia; Baraibar, Andrés M; Montell, Eulalia; Vergés, Josep; García, Antonio G; Hernández-Guijo, Jesus M

    2015-01-01

    It is currently known that in CNS the extracellular matrix is involved in synaptic stabilization and limitation of synaptic plasticity. However, it has been reported that the treatment with chondroitinase following injury allows the formation of new synapses and increased plasticity and functional recovery. So, we hypothesize that some components of extracellular matrix may modulate synaptic transmission. To test this hypothesis we evaluated the effects of chondroitin sulphate (CS) on excitatory synaptic transmission, cellular excitability, and neuronal plasticity using extracellular recordings in the CA1 area of rat hippocampal slices. CS caused a reversible depression of evoked field excitatory postsynaptic potentials in a concentration-dependent manner. CS also reduced the population spike amplitude evoked after orthodromic stimulation but not when the population spikes were antidromically evoked; in this last case a potentiation was observed. CS also enhanced paired-pulse facilitation and long-term potentiation. Our study provides evidence that CS, a major component of the brain perineuronal net and extracellular matrix, has a function beyond the structural one, namely, the modulation of synaptic transmission and neuronal plasticity in the hippocampus.

  4. 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.

  5. MICAL-like Regulates Fasciclin II Membrane Cycling and Synaptic Development

    PubMed Central

    Nahm, Minyeop; Park, Sunyoung; Lee, Jihye; Lee, Seungbok

    2016-01-01

    Fasciclin II (FasII), the Drosophila ortholog of neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM), plays a critical role in synaptic stabilization and plasticity. Although this molecule undergoes constitutive cycling at the synaptic membrane, how its membrane trafficking is regulated to ensure proper synaptic development remains poorly understood. In a genetic screen, we recovered a mutation in Drosophila mical-like that displays an increase in bouton numbers and a decrease in FasII levels at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Similar phenotypes were induced by presynaptic, but not postsynaptic, knockdown of mical-like expression. FasII trafficking assays revealed that the recycling of internalized FasII molecules to the cell surface was significantly impaired in mical-like-knockdown cells. Importantly, this defect correlated with an enhancement of endosomal sorting of FasII to the lysosomal degradation pathway. Similarly, synaptic vesicle exocytosis was also impaired in mical-like mutants. Together, our results identify Mical-like as a novel regulator of synaptic growth and FasII endocytic recycling. PMID:27770767

  6. 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.

  7. Synaptic transmission at retinal ribbon synapses

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Assessing the Success of a Discipline-Based Communication Skills Development and Enhancement Program in a Graduate Accounting Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barratt, Catherine; Hanlon, Dean; Rankin, Michaela

    2011-01-01

    In this paper we present results of the impact diagnostic testing and associated context-specific workshops have on students' written communication skills in a graduate-level accounting course. We find that students who undertook diagnostic testing performed better in their first semester accounting subject. This improvement is positively…

  11. Peer Feedback Enhances a "Journal Club" for Undergraduate Science Students That Develops Oral Communication and Critical Evaluation Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colthorpe, Kay; Chen, Xuebin; Zimbardi, Kirsten

    2014-01-01

    Effective science communication is one of the key skills undergraduates must achieve and is one of the threshold learning outcomes for Science (TLO 4.1). In addition, presenting published research to their peers allows students to critically evaluate scientific research (TLO 3.1) and develop a deeper appreciation for the link between experimental…

  12. Enhancing Initial Communication and Responsiveness of Learners with Multiple Disabilities: A Tri-Focus Framework for Partners.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Siegel-Causey, Ellin; Bashinski, Susan M.

    1997-01-01

    Describes multiple techniques for facilitating development of initial communication repertoires for individuals with multiple disabilities, and integrates these techniques with strategies for increasing the alert, responsive behavior state through the Tri-Focus Framework, which emphasizes understanding the learner, broadening the communication…

  13. "Physiology in the News": Using Press Releases to Enhance Lay Communication and Introduce Current Physiology Research to Undergraduates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kelly, Kevin L.; Poteracki, James M.; Steury, Michael D.; Wehrwein, Erica A.

    2015-01-01

    Michigan State University's senior-level undergraduate physiology capstone laboratory uses a simple exercise termed "Physiology in the News," to help students explore the current research within the field of physiology while also learning to communicate science in lay terms. "Physiology in the News" is an activity that charges…

  14. Enhancement of Pedagogical Skills in Nigerian Schools through Information and Communication Technology (ICT): Issues for the Future

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aluede, Oyaziwo

    2013-01-01

    The history of information and communication technology (ICT) in Nigerian schools is patchy. The first experience of Internet services started about 1990 with University of Ilorin through the assistance of McMaster University in Canada. Currently, though, many staff members of universities in Nigeria have email accounts, and over forty-four…

  15. Enhancing the Communication Abilities of Preschoolers at Risk for Behavior Problems: Effectiveness of a Parent-Implemented Language Intervention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brassart, Elise; Schelstraete, Marie-Anne

    2015-01-01

    Communication deficits are frequently associated with externalizing behavior problems in preschoolers but, in most cases, unsuspected in clinical practice. This exploratory study evaluated the effectiveness of a relatively brief parent-implemented language intervention on preschoolers at risk for behavior problems. Participants were randomly…

  16. Diabetes and Low-Health Literacy: A Preliminary Outcome Report of a Mediated Intervention to Enhance Patient-Physician Communication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shue, Carolyn K.; O'Hara, Laura L. S.; Marini, David; McKenzie, Jim; Schreiner, Melanie

    2010-01-01

    Patients with diabetes who experience low-health literacy often struggle in their roles as health consumers. A multi-disciplinary group of educators and researchers collaborated to develop a video intervention to help these patients better understand their disease and communicate more effectively with their physician. We describe the assessment…

  17. Using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to Enhance Language Teaching & Learning: An Interview with Dr. A. Gumawang Jati

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Floris, Flora Debora

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, information and communication technology (ICT) has become embedded and affected the every aspect of our lives. Rapid development of ICT has changed our language teaching pedagogy at all levels. Teachers, curriculum developers, researchers have been constantly striving to find techniques to use some form of it to both assist and…

  18. Effects of Infant-Parent Play with a Technology-Enhanced Toy: Affordance-Related Actions and Communicative Interactions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bergen, Doris; Hutchinson, Kathleen; Nolan, Joan T.; Weber, Deborah

    2010-01-01

    Infant-parent play with toys is an early form of social communication, and the toy features (i.e., affordances), as well as the child's language competence, contribute to the developmental level of the play and the types of play actions that occur. This research, conducted in cooperation with a toy manufacturer, investigated how the affordances of…

  19. Enhancing Student Learning in Knowledge-Based Courses: Integrating Team-Based Learning in Mass Communication Theory Classes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Han, Gang; Newell, Jay

    2014-01-01

    This study explores the adoption of the team-based learning (TBL) method in knowledge-based and theory-oriented journalism and mass communication (J&MC) courses. It first reviews the origin and concept of TBL, the relevant theories, and then introduces the TBL method and implementation, including procedures and assessments, employed in an…

  20. Impact of Synaptic Neurotransmitter Concentration Time Course on the Kinetics and Pharmacological Modulation of Inhibitory Synaptic Currents

    PubMed Central

    Barberis, Andrea; Petrini, Enrica Maria; Mozrzymas, Jerzy W.

    2011-01-01

    The time course of synaptic currents is a crucial determinant of rapid signaling between neurons. Traditionally, the mechanisms underlying the shape of synaptic signals are classified as pre- and post-synaptic. Over the last two decades, an extensive body of evidence indicated that synaptic signals are critically shaped by the neurotransmitter time course which encompasses several phenomena including pre- and post-synaptic ones. The agonist transient depends on neurotransmitter release mechanisms, diffusion within the synaptic cleft, spill-over to the extra-synaptic space, uptake, and binding to post-synaptic receptors. Most estimates indicate that the neurotransmitter transient is very brief, lasting between one hundred up to several hundreds of microseconds, implying that post-synaptic activation is characterized by a high degree of non-equilibrium. Moreover, pharmacological studies provide evidence that the kinetics of agonist transient plays a crucial role in setting the susceptibility of synaptic currents to modulation by a variety of compounds of physiological or clinical relevance. More recently, the role of the neurotransmitter time course has been emphasized by studies carried out on brain slice models that revealed a striking, cell-dependent variability of synaptic agonist waveforms ranging from rapid pulses to slow volume transmission. In the present paper we review the advances on studies addressing the impact of synaptic neurotransmitter transient on kinetics and pharmacological modulation of synaptic currents at inhibitory synapses. PMID:21734864

  1. E.M.P.A.T.H.Y.: a tool to enhance nonverbal communication between clinicians and their patients.

    PubMed

    Riess, Helen; Kraft-Todd, Gordon

    2014-08-01

    There is a gap in the medical education literature on teaching nonverbal detection and expression of empathy. Many articles do not address nonverbal interactions, instead focusing on "what to say" rather than "how to be." This focus on verbal communication overlooks the essential role nonverbal signals play in the communication of emotions, which has significant effects on patient satisfaction, health outcomes, and malpractice claims. This gap is addressed with a novel teaching tool for assessing nonverbal behavior using the acronym E.M.P.A.T.H.Y.-E: eye contact; M: muscles of facial expression; P: posture; A: affect; T: tone of voice; H: hearing the whole patient; Y: your response. This acronym was the cornerstone of a randomized controlled trial of empathy training at Massachusetts General Hospital, 2010-2012. Used as an easy-to-remember checklist, the acronym orients medical professionals to key aspects of perceiving and responding to nonverbal emotional cues. An urgent need exists to teach nonverbal aspects of communication as medical practices must be reoriented to the increasing cultural diversity represented by patients presenting for care. Where language proficiency may be limited, nonverbal communication becomes more crucial for understanding patients' communications. Furthermore, even in the absence of cultural differences, many patients are reluctant to disagree with their clinicians, and subtle nonverbal cues may be the critical entry point for discussions leading to shared medical decisions. A detailed description of the E.M.P.A.T.H.Y. acronym and a brief summary of the literature that supports each component of the teaching tool are provided.

  2. Molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity and memory.

    PubMed

    Elgersma, Y; Silva, A J

    1999-04-01

    To unravel the molecular and cellular bases of learning and memory is one of the most ambitious goals of modern science. The progress of recent years has not only brought us closer to understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying stable, long-lasting changes in synaptic strength, but it has also provided further evidence that these mechanisms are required for memory formation.

  3. 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.

  4. Nanoscale analysis of structural synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Bourne, Jennifer N.; Harris, Kristen M.

    2011-01-01

    In the 1950’s, transmission electron microscopy was first used to reveal the diversity in synaptic structure and composition in the central nervous system [1;2]. Since then, visualization and reconstruction of serial thin sections have provided three-dimensional contexts in which to understand how synapses are modified with plasticity, learning, and sensory input [3–17]. Three-dimensional reconstruction from serial section electron microscopy (ssEM) has proven invaluable for the comprehensive analysis of structural synaptic plasticity. It has provided the needed nanometer resolution to localize and measure key subcellular structures, such as the postsynaptic density (PSD) and presynaptic vesicles which define a synapse, polyribosomes as sites of local protein synthesis, smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SER) for local regulation of calcium and trafficking of membrane proteins, endosomes for recycling, and fine astroglial processes at the perimeter of some synapses. Thus, ssEM is an essential tool for nanoscale analysis of the cell biological and anatomical modifications that underlie changes in synaptic strength. Here we discuss several important issues associated with interpreting the functional significance of structural synaptic plasticity, especially during long-term potentiation, a widely studied cellular model of learning and memory. PMID:22088391

  5. Synaptic ribbon. Conveyor belt or safety belt?

    PubMed

    Parsons, T D; Sterling, P

    2003-02-06

    The synaptic ribbon in neurons that release transmitter via graded potentials has been considered as a conveyor belt that actively moves vesicles toward their release sites. But evidence has accumulated to the contrary, and it now seems plausible that the ribbon serves instead as a safety belt to tether vesicles stably in mutual contact and thus facilitate multivesicular release by compound exocytosis.

  6. Synaptic Plasticity, Dementia and Alzheimer Disease.

    PubMed

    Skaper, Stephen D; Facci, Laura; Zusso, Morena; Giusti, Pietro

    2017-01-13

    Neuroplasticity is not only shaped by learning and memory but is also a mediator of responses to neuron attrition and injury (compensatory plasticity). As an ongoing process it reacts to neuronal cell activity and injury, death, and genesis, which encompasses the modulation of structural and functional processes of axons, dendrites, and synapses. The range of structural elements that comprise plasticity includes long-term potentiation (a cellular correlate of learning and memory), synaptic efficacy and remodelling, synaptogenesis, axonal sprouting and dendritic remodelling, and neurogenesis and recruitment. Degenerative diseases of the human brain continue to pose one of biomedicine's most intractable problems. Research on human neurodegeneration is now moving from descriptive to mechanistic analyses. At the same time, it is increasing apparent that morphological lesions traditionally used by neuropathologists to confirm post-mortem clinical diagnosis might furnish us with an experimentally tractable handle to understand causative pathways. Consider the aging-dependent neurodegenerative disorder Alzheimer's disease (AD) which is characterised at the neuropathological level by deposits of insoluble amyloid b-peptide (Ab) in extracellular plaques and aggregated tau protein, which is found largely in the intracellular neurofibrillary tangles. We now appreciate that mild cognitive impairment in early AD may be due to synaptic dysfunction caused by accumulation of non-fibrillar, oligomeric Ab, occurring well in advance of evident widespread synaptic loss and neurodegeneration. Soluble Ab oligomers can adversely affect synaptic structure and plasticity at extremely low concentrations, although the molecular substrates by which synaptic memory mechanisms are disrupted remain to be fully elucidated. The dendritic spine constitutes a primary locus of excitatory synaptic transmission in the mammalian central nervous system. These structures protruding from dendritic shafts

  7. Nonmonotonic Synaptic Excitation and Imbalanced Inhibition Underlying Cortical Intensity Tuning

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Guangying K.; Li, Pingyang; Tao, Huizhong W.; Zhang, Li I.

    2006-01-01

    Summary Intensity-tuned neurons, characterized by their nonmonotonic response-level function, may play important roles in the encoding of sound intensity-related information. The synaptic mechanisms underlying intensity-tuning remain yet unclear. Here, in vivo whole-cell recordings in rat auditory cortex revealed that intensity-tuned neurons, mostly clustered in a posterior zone, receive imbalanced tone-evoked excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs. Excitatory inputs exhibit nonmonotonic intensity-tuning, whereas with tone intensity increments, the temporally-delayed inhibitory inputs increase monotonically in strength. In addition, this delay reduces with the increase of intensity, resulting in an enhanced suppression of excitation at high intensities and a significant sharpening of intensity-tuning. In contrast, non-intensity-tuned neurons exhibit covaried excitatory and inhibitory inputs and the relative time interval between them is stable with intensity increments, resulting in monotonic response-level function. Thus, cortical intensity-tuning is primarily determined by excitatory inputs, and shaped by cortical inhibition through a dynamic control of excitatory and inhibitory timing. PMID:17114053

  8. 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.

  9. Active dendrites, potassium channels and synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed Central

    Johnston, Daniel; Christie, Brian R; Frick, Andreas; Gray, Richard; Hoffman, Dax A; Schexnayder, Lalania K; Watanabe, Shigeo; Yuan, Li-Lian

    2003-01-01

    The dendrites of CA1 pyramidal neurons in the hippocampus express numerous types of voltage-gated ion channel, but the distributions or densities of many of these channels are very non-uniform. Sodium channels in the dendrites are responsible for action potential (AP) propagation from the axon into the dendrites (back-propagation); calcium channels are responsible for local changes in dendritic calcium concentrations following back-propagating APs and synaptic potentials; and potassium channels help regulate overall dendritic excitability. Several lines of evidence are presented here to suggest that back-propagating APs, when coincident with excitatory synaptic input, can lead to the induction of either long-term depression (LTD) or long-term potentiation (LTP). The induction of LTD or LTP is correlated with the magnitude of the rise in intracellular calcium. When brief bursts of synaptic potentials are paired with postsynaptic APs in a theta-burst pairing paradigm, the induction of LTP is dependent on the invasion of the AP into the dendritic tree. The amplitude of the AP in the dendrites is dependent, in part, on the activity of a transient, A-type potassium channel that is expressed at high density in the dendrites and correlates with the induction of the LTP. Furthermore, during the expression phase of the LTP, there are local changes in dendritic excitability that may result from modulation of the functioning of this transient potassium channel. The results support the view that the active properties of dendrites play important roles in synaptic integration and synaptic plasticity of these neurons. PMID:12740112

  10. 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

  11. Ceramidase Regulates Synaptic Vesicle Exocytosis and Trafficking

    PubMed Central

    Rohrbough, Jeffrey; Rushton, Emma; Palanker, Laura; Woodruff, Elvin; Matthies, Heinrich J. G.; Acharya, Usha; Acharya, Jairaj K.; Broadie, Kendal

    2009-01-01

    A screen for Drosophila synaptic dysfunction mutants identified slug-a-bed (slab). The slab gene encodes ceramidase, a central enzyme in sphingolipid metabolism and regulation. Sphingolipids are major constituents of lipid rafts, membrane domains with roles in vesicle trafficking, and signaling pathways. Null slab mutants arrest as fully developed embryos with severely reduced movement. The SLAB protein is widely expressed in different tissues but enriched in neurons at all stages of development. Targeted neuronal expression of slab rescues mutant lethality, demonstrating the essential neuronal function of the protein. C5-ceramide applied to living preparations is rapidly accumulated at neuromuscular junction (NMJ) synapses dependent on the SLAB expression level, indicating that synaptic sphingolipid trafficking and distribution is regulated by SLAB function. Evoked synaptic currents at slab mutant NMJs are reduced by 50–70%, whereas postsynaptic glutamate-gated currents are normal, demonstrating a specific presynaptic impairment. Hypertonic saline-evoked synaptic vesicle fusion is similarly impaired by 50–70%, demonstrating a loss of readily releasable vesicles. In addition, FM1-43 dye uptake is reduced in slab mutant presynaptic terminals, indicating a smaller cycling vesicle pool. Ultrastructural analyses of mutants reveal a normal vesicle distribution clustered and docked at active zones, but fewer vesicles in reserve regions, and a twofold to threefold increased incidence of vesicles linked together and tethered at the plasma membrane. These results indicate that SLAB ceramidase function controls presynaptic terminal sphingolipid composition to regulate vesicle fusion and trafficking, and thus the strength and reliability of synaptic transmission. PMID:15356190

  12. Low-cost Cognitive Electronics Technology for Enhanced Communications and Situational Awareness for Networks of Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-03-01

    corporation; or convey any rights or permission to manufacture, use, or sell any patented invention that may relate to them. This report was cleared...Modern smart phones such as the iPhone or Android base phones can use their integrated cameras to take a picture of a barcode and use image recognition...U.S. Patent 728997230-Oct-2007. [5] T. W. Rondeau, “Application of Artificial Intelligence to Wireless Communications,” PhD Dissertation

  13. Enhancing Parent-Child Communication and Parental Self-Esteem With a Video-Feedback Intervention: Outcomes With Prelingual Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children.

    PubMed

    Lam-Cassettari, Christa; Wadnerkar-Kamble, Meghana B; James, Deborah M

    2015-07-01

    Evidence on best practice for optimizing communication with prelingual deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) children is lacking. This study examined the effect of a family-focused psychosocial video intervention program on parent-child communication in the context of childhood hearing loss. Fourteen hearing parents with a prelingual DHH child (Mage = 2 years 8 months) completed three sessions of video interaction guidance intervention. Families were assessed in spontaneous free play interactions at pre and postintervention using the Emotional Availability (EA) Scales. The Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale was also used to assess parental report of self-esteem. Compared with nontreatment baselines, increases were shown in the EA subscales: parental sensitivity, parental structuring, parental nonhostility, child responsiveness, and child involvement, and in reported self-esteem at postintervention. Video-feedback enhances communication in families with prelingual DHH children and encourages more connected parent-child interaction. The results raise implications regarding the focus of early intervention strategies for prelingual DHH children.

  14. Enhancing Parent–Child Communication and Parental Self-Esteem With a Video-Feedback Intervention: Outcomes With Prelingual Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children

    PubMed Central

    Wadnerkar-Kamble, Meghana B.; James, Deborah M.

    2015-01-01

    Evidence on best practice for optimizing communication with prelingual deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) children is lacking. This study examined the effect of a family-focused psychosocial video intervention program on parent–child communication in the context of childhood hearing loss. Fourteen hearing parents with a prelingual DHH child (Mage = 2 years 8 months) completed three sessions of video interaction guidance intervention. Families were assessed in spontaneous free play interactions at pre and postintervention using the Emotional Availability (EA) Scales. The Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale was also used to assess parental report of self-esteem. Compared with nontreatment baselines, increases were shown in the EA subscales: parental sensitivity, parental structuring, parental nonhostility, child responsiveness, and child involvement, and in reported self-esteem at postintervention. Video-feedback enhances communication in families with prelingual DHH children and encourages more connected parent–child interaction. The results raise implications regarding the focus of early intervention strategies for prelingual DHH children. PMID:25819293

  15. Synaptic reorganization of inhibitory hilar interneuron circuitry after traumatic brain injury in mice.

    PubMed

    Hunt, Robert F; Scheff, Stephen W; Smith, Bret N

    2011-05-04

    Functional plasticity of synaptic networks in the dentate gyrus has been implicated in the development of posttraumatic epilepsy and in cognitive dysfunction after traumatic brain injury, but little is known about potentially pathogenic changes in inhibitory circuits. We examined synaptic inhibition of dentate granule cells and excitability of surviving GABAergic hilar interneurons 8-13 weeks after cortical contusion brain injury in transgenic mice that express enhanced green fluorescent protein in a subpopulation of inhibitory neurons. Whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings in granule cells revealed a reduction in spontaneous and miniature IPSC frequency after head injury; no concurrent change in paired-pulse ratio was found in granule cells after paired electrical stimulation of the hilus. Despite reduced inhibitory input to granule cells, action potential and EPSC frequencies were increased in hilar GABA neurons from slices ipsilateral to the injury versus those from control or contralateral slices. Furthermore, increased excitatory synaptic activity was detected in hilar GABA neurons ipsilateral to the injury after glutamate photostimulation of either the granule cell or CA3 pyramidal cell layers. Together, these findings suggest that excitatory drive to surviving hilar GABA neurons is enhanced by convergent input from both pyramidal and granule cells, but synaptic inhibition of granule cells is not fully restored after injury. This rewiring of circuitry regulating hilar inhibitory neurons may reflect an important compensatory mechanism, but it may also contribute to network destabilization by increasing the relative impact of surviving individual interneurons in controlling granule cell excitability in the posttraumatic dentate gyrus.

  16. Pam heterozygous mice reveal essential role for Cu in amygdalar behavioral and synaptic function

    PubMed Central

    Gaier, Eric D; Eipper, Betty A; Mains, Richard E

    2014-01-01

    Cu is an essential element with many biological roles, but its roles in the mammalian nervous system are poorly understood. Mice deficient in the cuproenzyme peptidylglycine α-amidating monooxygenase (PAM+/− mice) were initially generated to study neuropeptide amidation. PAM+/− mice exhibited profound deficits in a few behavioral tasks, including enhancements in innate fear along with deficits in acquired fear. Interestingly, several PAM+/− phenotypes were recapitulated in Cu restricted wildtype mice and rescued in Cu supplemented PAM+/− mice. These behaviors correspond to enhanced excitability and deficient synaptic plasticity in the amygdala of PAM+/− mice, which are also rescued by Cu supplementation. Cu and ATP7A are present at synapses, in key positions to respond to and influence synaptic activity. Further study demonstrated that extracellular Cu is necessary for wildtype synaptic plasticity and sufficient to rescue PAM+/− LTP. These experiments support roles for PAM in Cu homeostasis and for synaptic Cu in amygdalar function. PMID:24593825

  17. Cancer metastasis-suppressing peptide metastin upregulates excitatory synaptic transmission in hippocampal dentate granule cells.

    PubMed

    Arai, Amy C; Xia, Yan-Fang; Suzuki, Erika; Kessler, Markus; Civelli, Olivier; Nothacker, Hans-Peter

    2005-11-01

    Metastin is an antimetastatic peptide encoded by the KiSS-1 gene in cancer cells. Recent studies found that metastin is a ligand for the orphan G-protein-coupled receptor GPR54, which is highly expressed in specific brain regions such as the hypothalamus and parts of the hippocampus. This study shows that activation of GPR54 by submicromolar concentrations of metastin reversibly enhances excitatory synaptic transmission in hippocampal dentate granule cells in a mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase-dependent manner. Synaptic enhancement by metastin was suppressed by intracellular application of the G-protein inhibitor GDP-beta-S and the calcium chelator BAPTA. Analysis of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) revealed an increase in the mean amplitude but no change in event frequency. This indicates that GPR54 and the mechanism responsible for the increase in EPSCs are postsynaptic. Metastin-induced synaptic potentiation was abolished by 50 microM PD98059 and 20 microM U0126, two inhibitors of the MAP kinases ERK1 and ERK2. The effect was also blocked by inhibitors of calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinases and tyrosine kinases. RT-PCR experiments showed that both KiSS-1 and GPR54 are expressed in the hippocampal dentate gyrus. Metastin is thus a novel endogenous factor that modulates synaptic excitability in the dentate gyrus through mechanisms involving MAP kinases, which in turn may be controlled upstream by calcium-activated kinases and tyrosine kinases.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-05-25

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

  20. Communication in the Workplace.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shmerling, Leah

    Based on the National Communication Skills Modules taught at the TAFE (Technical and Further Education) level in Australia, this book is designed to enhance written and oral business communication skills. It covers interpersonal skills, teamwork, and presentation skills in six chapters on the following topics: workplace communication, writing…

  1. Teamwork and communication.

    PubMed

    Pfrimmer, Dale

    2009-07-01

    Effective teamwork and communication is critical to the delivery of safe and reliable patient care. Communication breakdowns account for the overwhelming majority of sentinel events. Effective teamwork and communication can help prevent mistakes and decrease patient risk. The implementation of simple tools and behaviors can greatly enhance patient safety and improve perceptions of teamwork.

  2. Antiproliferative Action of Conjugated Linoleic Acid on Human MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells Mediated by Enhancement of Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication through Inactivation of NF-κB

    PubMed Central

    Rakib, Md. Abdur; Lee, Won Sup; Kim, Gon Sup; Han, Jae Hee; Kim, Jeong Ok

    2013-01-01

    The major conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) isomers, c9,t11-CLA and t10,c12-CLA, have anticancer effects; however, the exact mechanisms underlying these effects are unknown. Evidence suggests that reversal of reduced gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) in cancer cells inhibits cell growth and induces cell death. Hence, we determined that CLA isomers enhance GJIC in human MCF-7 breast cancer cells and investigated the underlying molecular mechanisms. The CLA isomers significantly enhanced GJIC of MCF-7 cells at 40 μM concentration, whereas CLA inhibited cell growth and induced caspase-dependent apoptosis. CLA increased connexin43 (Cx43) expression both at the transcriptional and translational levels. CLA inhibited nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activity and enhanced reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. No significant difference was observed in the efficacy of c9,t11-CLA and t10,c12-CLA. These results suggest that the anticancer effect of CLA is associated with upregulation of GJIC mediated by enhanced Cx43 expression through inactivation of NF-κB and generation of ROS in MCF-7 cells. PMID:24371460

  3. Different synaptic stimulation patterns influence the local androgenic and estrogenic neurosteroid availability triggering hippocampal synaptic plasticity in the male rat.

    PubMed

    Di Mauro, Michela; Tozzi, Alessandro; Calabresi, Paolo; Pettorossi, Vito Enrico; Grassi, Silvarosa

    2017-02-01

    Electrophysiological recordings were used to investigate the role of the local synthesis of 17β-estradiol (E2) and 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) on synaptic long-term effects induced in the hippocampal CA1 region of male rat slices. Long-term depression (LTD) and long-term potentiation (LTP), induced by different stimulation patterns, were examined under the block of the DHT synthesis by finasteride (FIN), and the E2 synthesis by letrozole (LET). We used low frequency stimulation (LFS) for LTD, high frequency stimulation (HFS) for LTP, and intermediate patterns differing in duration or frequency. We found that FIN reverted the LFS-LTD into LTP and enhanced LTP induced by intermediate and HFSs. These effects were abolished by exogenous DHT at concentration higher than the basal one, suggesting a stimulus dependent increase in DHT availability. No effect on the synaptic responses was observed giving DHT alone. Moreover, we found that the inhibition of E2 synthesis influenced the HFS-LTP by reducing its amplitude, and the exogenous E2 either enhanced HFS-LTP or reverted the LFS-LTD into LTP. The equivalence of the E2 concentration for rescuing the full HFS-LTP under LET and reverting the LFS-LTD into LTP suggests an enhancement of the endogenous E2 availability that is specifically driven by the HFS. No effect of FIN or LET was observed on the responses to stimuli that did not induce either LTD or LTP. This study provides evidence that the E2 and DHT availability combined with specific stimulation patterns is determinant for the sign and amplitude of the long-term effects.

  4. Stochastic single-molecule dynamics of synaptic membrane protein domains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahraman, Osman; Li, Yiwei; Haselwandter, Christoph A.

    2016-09-01

    Motivated by single-molecule experiments on synaptic membrane protein domains, we use a stochastic lattice model to study protein reaction and diffusion processes in crowded membranes. We find that the stochastic reaction-diffusion dynamics of synaptic proteins provide a simple physical mechanism for collective fluctuations in synaptic domains, the molecular turnover observed at synaptic domains, key features of the single-molecule trajectories observed for synaptic proteins, and spatially inhomogeneous protein lifetimes at the cell membrane. Our results suggest that central aspects of the single-molecule and collective dynamics observed for membrane protein domains can be understood in terms of stochastic reaction-diffusion processes at the cell membrane.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis for characterizing synaptic efficacy.

    PubMed

    Chance, Frances S

    2007-02-01

    The role of background synaptic activity in cortical processing has recently received much attention. How do individual neurons extract information when embedded in a noisy background? When examining the impact of a synaptic input on postsynaptic firing, it is important to distinguish a change in overall firing probability from a true change in neuronal sensitivity to a particular input (synaptic efficacy) that corresponds to a change in detection performance. Here we study the impact of background synaptic input on neuronal sensitivity to individual synaptic inputs using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis. We use the area under the ROC curve as a measure of synaptic efficacy, here defined as the ability of a postsynaptic action potential to identify a particular synaptic input event. An advantage of using ROC analysis to measure synaptic efficacy is that it provides a measure that is independent of postsynaptic firing rate. Furthermore, changes in mean excitation or inhibition, although affecting overall firing probability, do not modulate synaptic efficacy when measured in this way. Changes in overall conductance also affect firing probability but not this form of synaptic efficacy. Input noise, here defined as the variance of the input current, does modulate synaptic efficacy, however. This effect persists when the change in input variance is coupled with a change in conductance (as would result from changing background activity).

  9. Case report: Using an auditory trainer with caregiver video modeling to enhance communication and socialization behaviors in autism.

    PubMed

    Baharav, Eva; Darling, Rieko

    2008-04-01

    A minimally verbal child with autism was exposed to short daily sessions of watching his parents on video in conjunction with an FM auditory trainer for a period of 4 weeks. Baseline measures of verbal and social behaviors were taken pre-treatment and repeated post treatment. Results indicate substantial gains in word productions, social orienting, and increased eye contact. Results are discussed in terms of the contributions of auditory-visual processing to establishing communication and socialization in autism and early intervention effectiveness.

  10. Synaptic Mitochondria Sustain More Damage than Non-Synaptic Mitochondria after Traumatic Brain Injury and Are Protected by Cyclosporine A.

    PubMed

    Kulbe, Jacqueline R; Hill, Rachel L; Singh, Indrapal N; Wang, Juan A; Hall, Edward D

    2016-10-13

    Currently, there are no Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved pharmacotherapies for the treatment of those with traumatic brain injury (TBI). As central mediators of the secondary injury cascade, mitochondria are promising therapeutic targets for prevention of cellular death and dysfunction after TBI. One of the most promising and extensively studied mitochondrial targeted TBI therapies is inhibition of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) by the FDA-approved drug, cyclosporine A (CsA). A number of studies have evaluated the effects of CsA on total brain mitochondria after TBI; however, no study has investigated the effects of CsA on isolated synaptic and non-synaptic mitochondria. Synaptic mitochondria are considered essential for proper neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity, and their dysfunction has been implicated in neurodegeneration. Synaptic and non-synaptic mitochondria have heterogeneous characteristics, but their heterogeneity can be masked in total mitochondrial (synaptic and non-synaptic) preparations. Therefore, it is essential that mitochondria targeted pharmacotherapies, such as CsA, be evaluated in both populations. This is the first study to examine the effects of CsA on isolated synaptic and non-synaptic mitochondria after experimental TBI. We conclude that synaptic mitochondria sustain more damage than non-synaptic mitochondria 24 h after severe controlled cortical impact injury (CCI), and that intraperitoneal administration of CsA (20 mg/kg) 15 min after injury improves synaptic and non-synaptic respiration, with a significant improvement being seen in the more severely impaired synaptic population. As such, CsA remains a promising neuroprotective candidate for the treatment of those with TBI.

  11. Carbon Nanotube Synaptic Transistor Network for Pattern Recognition.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sungho; Yoon, Jinsu; Kim, Hee-Dong; Choi, Sung-Jin

    2015-11-18

    Inspired by the human brain, a neuromorphic system combining complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) and adjustable synaptic devices may offer new computing paradigms by enabling massive neural-network parallelism. In particular, synaptic devices, which are capable of emulating the functions of biological synapses, are used as the essential building blocks for an information storage and processing system. However, previous synaptic devices based on two-terminal resistive devices remain challenging because of their variability and specific physical mechanisms of resistance change, which lead to a bottleneck in the implementation of a high-density synaptic device network. Here we report that a three-terminal synaptic transistor based on carbon nanotubes can provide reliable synaptic functions that encode relative timing and regulate weight change. In addition, using system-level simulations, the developed synaptic transistor network associated with CMOS circuits can perform unsupervised learning for pattern recognition using a simplified spike-timing-dependent plasticity scheme.

  12. Natural patterns of activity and long-term synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Paulsen, Ole; Sejnowski, Terrence J

    2010-01-01

    Long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic transmission is traditionally elicited by massively synchronous, high-frequency inputs, which rarely occur naturally. Recent in vitro experiments have revealed that both LTP and long-term depression (LTD) can arise by appropriately pairing weak synaptic inputs with action potentials in the postsynaptic cell. This discovery has generated new insights into the conditions under which synaptic modification may occur in pyramidal neurons in vivo. First, it has been shown that the temporal order of the synaptic input and the postsynaptic spike within a narrow temporal window determines whether LTP or LTD is elicited, according to a temporally asymmetric Hebbian learning rule. Second, backpropagating action potentials are able to serve as a global signal for synaptic plasticity in a neuron compared with local associative interactions between synaptic inputs on dendrites. Third, a specific temporal pattern of activity — postsynaptic bursting — accompanies synaptic potentiation in adults. PMID:10753798

  13. 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

  14. Different effects of bisphenol-A on memory behavior and synaptic modification in intact and estrogen-deprived female mice.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xiaohong; Gu, Ting; Shen, Qiaoqiao

    2015-03-01

    Bisphenol-A (BPA) has the capability of interfering with the effects of estrogens on modulating brain function. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of BPA on memory and synaptic modification in the hippocampus of female mice under different levels of cycling estrogen. BPA exposure (40, 400 μg/kg/day) for 8 weeks did not affect spatial memory and passive avoidance task of gonadally intact mice but improved ovariectomy (Ovx)-induced memory impairment, whereas co-exposure of BPA with estradiol benzoate (EB) diminished the rescue effect of EB on memory behavior of Ovx mice. The results of morphometric measurement showed that BPA positively modified the synaptic interface structure and increased the synaptic density of CA1 pyramidal cell in the hippocampus of Ovx females, but inhibited the enhancement of EB on synaptic modification and synaptogenesis of Ovx mice. Furthermore, BPA up-regulated synaptic proteins synapsin I and PSD-95 and NMDA receptor NR2B but inhibited EB-induced increase in PSD-95 and NR2B in the hippocampus of Ovx mice. These results suggest that BPA interfered with normal hormonal regulation in synaptic plasticity and memory of female mice as a potent estrogen mimetic and as a disruptor of estrogen under various concentrations of cycling estrogen.

  15. Electroacupuncture Regulates Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity via miR-134-Mediated LIMK1 Function in Rats with Ischemic Stroke

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Weilin; Wu, Jie; Zhuo, Peiyuan; Lin, Yunjiao; Wang, Lulu; Lin, Ruhui

    2017-01-01

    MircoRNAs (miRs) have been implicated in learning and memory, by regulating LIM domain kinase (LIMK1) to induce synaptic-dendritic plasticity. The study aimed to investigate whether miRNAs/LIMK1 signaling was involved in electroacupuncture- (EA-) mediated synaptic-dendritic plasticity in a rat model of middle cerebral artery occlusion induced cognitive deficit (MICD). Compared to untreatment or non-acupoint-EA treatment, EA at DU20 and DU24 acupoints could shorten escape latency and increase the frequency of crossing platform in Morris water maze test. T2-weighted imaging showed that the MICD rat brain lesions were located in cortex, hippocampus, corpus striatum, and thalamus regions and injured volumes were reduced after EA. Furthermore, we found that the density of dendritic spine and the number of synapses in the hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells were obviously reduced at Day 14 after MICD. However, synaptic-dendritic loss could be rescued after EA. Moreover, the synaptic-dendritic plasticity was associated with increases of the total LIMK1 and phospho-LIMK1 levels in hippocampal CA1 region, wherein EA decreased the expression of miR-134, negatively regulating LIMK1 to enhance synaptic-dendritic plasticity. Therefore, miR-134-mediated LIMK1 was involved in EA-induced hippocampal synaptic plasticity, which served as a contributor to improving learning and memory during the recovery stage of ischemic stroke. PMID:28116173

  16. Synaptic cross talk between perisomatic-targeting interneuron classes expressing cholecystokinin and parvalbumin in hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Karson, Miranda A; Tang, Ai-Hui; Milner, Teresa A; Alger, Bradley E

    2009-04-01

    Cholescystokinin (CCK)- or parvalbumin (PV)-containing interneurons are the major perisomatic-targeting interneurons in the cerebral cortex, including hippocampus, and are thought to form mutually exclusive networks. We used several techniques to test the alternative hypothesis that CCK and PV cells are coupled by chemical synapses. Triple immunofluorescence confocal microscopy revealed numerous axosomatic, axodendritic, and axoaxonic contacts stained for CCK, PV, and the presynaptic marker synaptophysin. The existence of mutual CCK and PV synapses was supported by dual EM immunolabeling. Paired whole-cell recordings detected unitary GABA(A)ergic synaptic transmission between identified CCK and PV cells, and single CCK cells could transiently inhibit action potential firing of synaptically coupled PV cells. We conclude that the major hippocampal perisomatic-targeting interneurons communicate synaptically. This communication should affect neuronal network activity, including neuronal oscillations, in which the CCK and PV cells have well established roles. The prevalence of CCK and PV networks in other brain regions suggests that internetwork interactions could be generally important.

  17. Synaptic cross-talk between perisomatic-targeting interneuron classes expressing cholecystokinin and parvalbumin in hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Karson, Miranda A.; Tang, Aihui; Milner, Teresa A.; Alger, Bradley E.

    2010-01-01

    Cholescystokinin (CCK)- or parvalbumin (PV)-containing interneurons are the major perisomatic targeting interneurons in the cerebral cortex, including hippocampus and are thought to form mutually exclusive networks. We used several techniques to test the alternative hypothesis that CCK and PV cells are coupled by chemical synapses. Triple immunofluorescence confocal microscopy revealed numerous axo-somatic, -dendritic and -axonic contacts stained for CCK, PV and the presynaptic marker, synaptophysin. The existence of mutual CCK and PV synapses was supported by dual EM immunolabeling. Paired whole-cell recordings detected unitary GABAAergic synaptic transmission between identified CCK and PV cells, and single CCK cells could transiently inhibit action potential firing of synaptically-coupled PV cells. We conclude that the major hippocampal perisomatic-targeting interneurons communicate synaptically. This communication should affect neuronal network activity, including neuronal oscillations, in which the CCK and PV cells have well-established roles. The prevalence of CCK and PV networks in other brain regions suggests that internetwork interactions could be generally important. PMID:19339609

  18. Performance enhancement of a web-based picture archiving and communication system using commercial off-the-shelf server clusters.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yan-Lin; Shih, Cheng-Ting; Chang, Yuan-Jen; Chang, Shu-Jun; Wu, Jay

    2014-01-01

    The rapid development of picture archiving and communication systems (PACSs) thoroughly changes the way of medical informatics communication and management. However, as the scale of a hospital's operations increases, the large amount of digital images transferred in the network inevitably decreases system efficiency. In this study, a server cluster consisting of two server nodes was constructed. Network load balancing (NLB), distributed file system (DFS), and structured query language (SQL) duplication services were installed. A total of 1 to 16 workstations were used to transfer computed radiography (CR), computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance (MR) images simultaneously to simulate the clinical situation. The average transmission rate (ATR) was analyzed between the cluster and noncluster servers. In the download scenario, the ATRs of CR, CT, and MR images increased by 44.3%, 56.6%, and 100.9%, respectively, when using the server cluster, whereas the ATRs increased by 23.0%, 39.2%, and 24.9% in the upload scenario. In the mix scenario, the transmission performance increased by 45.2% when using eight computer units. The fault tolerance mechanisms of the server cluster maintained the system availability and image integrity. The server cluster can improve the transmission efficiency while maintaining high reliability and continuous availability in a healthcare environment.

  19. Performance Enhancement of a Web-Based Picture Archiving and Communication System Using Commercial Off-the-Shelf Server Clusters

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Shu-Jun; Wu, Jay

    2014-01-01

    The rapid development of picture archiving and communication systems (PACSs) thoroughly changes the way of medical informatics communication and management. However, as the scale of a hospital's operations increases, the large amount of digital images transferred in the network inevitably decreases system efficiency. In this study, a server cluster consisting of two server nodes was constructed. Network load balancing (NLB), distributed file system (DFS), and structured query language (SQL) duplication services were installed. A total of 1 to 16 workstations were used to transfer computed radiography (CR), computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance (MR) images simultaneously to simulate the clinical situation. The average transmission rate (ATR) was analyzed between the cluster and noncluster servers. In the download scenario, the ATRs of CR, CT, and MR images increased by 44.3%, 56.6%, and 100.9%, respectively, when using the server cluster, whereas the ATRs increased by 23.0%, 39.2%, and 24.9% in the upload scenario. In the mix scenario, the transmission performance increased by 45.2% when using eight computer units. The fault tolerance mechanisms of the server cluster maintained the system availability and image integrity. The server cluster can improve the transmission efficiency while maintaining high reliability and continuous availability in a healthcare environment. PMID:24701580

  20. Initiating New Science Partnerships in Rural Education (INSPIRE): Enhancing Scientific Communication by Bringing STEM Research into the Classroom

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierce, D.; Radencic, S.; Funderburk, W. K.; Walker, R. M.; Jackson, B. S.; Dawkins, K. S.; Schmitz, D.; Bruce, L. M.; McNeal, K.

    2014-12-01

    INSPIRE, a five-year partnership between Mississippi State University and three local school districts, is designed to strengthen the communication skills of graduate Fellows in geosciences, physics, astronomy, chemistry, and engineering as they incorporate their research into inquiry-based lessons in 7th - 12th grade science and math classrooms. All lesson plans designed and taught by the graduate Fellows must include one or more connections to their research, and these connections must be demonstrated to the students during the lessons. International research partnerships with Australia, the Bahamas, England, and Poland provide valuable opportunities for graduate Fellows to conduct field work abroad and allow our partner teachers to have authentic research experiences that they can bring back to their classrooms. Program effectiveness has been examined using pre- and post-year attitudinal surveys, formal lesson plan documents, Fellow and teacher journals, focus group meetings with a project evaluator, and direct observation of Fellow-led classroom activities. Analyses of data gathered during the past four years of the partnership will be presented that examine the diversity in approaches taken by Fellows to communicate big ideas, changes in the ability of Fellows to find connections between their research and classroom lessons while keeping them aligned with state and national standards, and the quality of the mentorship provided to the Fellows by our partner teachers. INSPIRE is funded by the Graduate K-12 (GK-12) STEM Fellowship Program of the National Science Foundation (Award No. DGE-0947419).