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Sample records for enhances synaptic communication

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Prion protein facilitates synaptic vesicle release by enhancing release probability.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Susan W; Nugent, Marie L; Dinsdale, David; Steinert, Joern R

    2014-09-01

    The cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) has been implicated in several neurodegenerative diseases as a result of protein misfolding. In humans, prion disease occurs typically with a sporadic origin where uncharacterized mechanisms induce spontaneous PrP(C) misfolding leading to neurotoxic PrP-scrapie formation (PrP(SC)). The consequences of misfolded PrP(C) signalling are well characterized but little is known about the physiological roles of PrP(C) and its involvement in disease. Here we investigated wild-type PrP(C) signalling in synaptic function as well as the effects of a disease-relevant mutation within PrP(C) (proline-to-leucine mutation at codon 101). Expression of wild-type PrP(C) at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction leads to enhanced synaptic responses as detected in larger miniature synaptic currents which are caused by enlarged presynaptic vesicles. The expression of the mutated PrP(C) leads to reduction of both parameters compared with wild-type PrP(C). Wild-type PrP(C) enhances synaptic release probability and quantal content but reduces the size of the ready-releasable vesicle pool. Partially, these changes are not detectable following expression of the mutant PrP(C). A behavioural test revealed that expression of either protein caused an increase in locomotor activities consistent with enhanced synaptic release and stronger muscle contractions. Both proteins were sensitive to proteinase digestion. These data uncover new functions of wild-type PrP(C) at the synapse with a disease-relevant mutation in PrP(C) leading to diminished functional phenotypes. Thus, our data present essential new information possibly related to prion pathogenesis in which a functional synaptic role of PrP(C) is compromised due to its advanced conversion into PrP(SC) thereby creating a lack-of-function scenario.

  4. High bandwidth synaptic communication and frequency tracking in human neocortex.

    PubMed

    Testa-Silva, Guilherme; Verhoog, Matthijs B; Linaro, Daniele; de Kock, Christiaan P J; Baayen, Johannes C; Meredith, Rhiannon M; De Zeeuw, Chris I; Giugliano, Michele; Mansvelder, Huibert D

    2014-11-01

    Neuronal firing, synaptic transmission, and its plasticity form the building blocks for processing and storage of information in the brain. It is unknown whether adult human synapses are more efficient in transferring information between neurons than rodent synapses. To test this, we recorded from connected pairs of pyramidal neurons in acute brain slices of adult human and mouse temporal cortex and probed the dynamical properties of use-dependent plasticity. We found that human synaptic connections were purely depressing and that they recovered three to four times more swiftly from depression than synapses in rodent neocortex. Thereby, during realistic spike trains, the temporal resolution of synaptic information exchange in human synapses substantially surpasses that in mice. Using information theory, we calculate that information transfer between human pyramidal neurons exceeds that of mouse pyramidal neurons by four to nine times, well into the beta and gamma frequency range. In addition, we found that human principal cells tracked fine temporal features, conveyed in received synaptic inputs, at a wider bandwidth than for rodents. Action potential firing probability was reliably phase-locked to input transients up to 1,000 cycles/s because of a steep onset of action potentials in human pyramidal neurons during spike trains, unlike in rodent neurons. Our data show that, in contrast to the widely held views of limited information transfer in rodent depressing synapses, fast recovering synapses of human neurons can actually transfer substantial amounts of information during spike trains. In addition, human pyramidal neurons are equipped to encode high synaptic information content. Thus, adult human cortical microcircuits relay information at a wider bandwidth than rodent microcircuits.

  5. Microvesicles released from microglia stimulate synaptic activity via enhanced sphingolipid metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Antonucci, Flavia; Turola, Elena; Riganti, Loredana; Caleo, Matteo; Gabrielli, Martina; Perrotta, Cristiana; Novellino, Luisa; Clementi, Emilio; Giussani, Paola; Viani, Paola; Matteoli, Michela; Verderio, Claudia

    2012-01-01

    Microvesicles (MVs) released into the brain microenvironment are emerging as a novel way of cell-to-cell communication. We have recently shown that microglia, the immune cells of the brain, shed MVs upon activation but their possible role in microglia-to-neuron communication has never been explored. To investigate whether MVs affect neurotransmission, we analysed spontaneous release of glutamate in neurons exposed to MVs and found a dose-dependent increase in miniature excitatory postsynaptic current (mEPSC) frequency without changes in mEPSC amplitude. Paired-pulse recording analysis of evoked neurotransmission showed that MVs mainly act at the presynaptic site, by increasing release probability. In line with the enhancement of excitatory transmission in vitro, injection of MVs into the rat visual cortex caused an acute increase in the amplitude of field potentials evoked by visual stimuli. Stimulation of synaptic activity occurred via enhanced sphingolipid metabolism. Indeed, MVs promoted ceramide and sphingosine production in neurons, while the increase of excitatory transmission induced by MVs was prevented by pharmacological or genetic inhibition of sphingosine synthesis. These data identify microglia-derived MVs as a new mechanism by which microglia influence synaptic activity and highlight the involvement of neuronal sphingosine in this microglia-to-neuron signalling pathway. PMID:22246184

  6. Synaptic Plasticity Can Produce and Enhance Direction Selectivity

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. IP3-mediated octopamine-induced synaptic enhancement of crayfish LG neurons.

    PubMed

    Araki, Makoto; Nagayama, Toshiki

    2012-08-01

    The biogenic amines, octopamine and serotonin, modulate the synaptic activity of the lateral giant interneuron (LG) circuitry of the crayfish escape behavior. Bath application of both octopamine and serotonin enhances the synaptic responses of LG to sensory stimulation. We have shown previously (Araki et al. J Neurophysiol 94:2644-2652, 2005) that a serotonin-induced enhancement of the LG response was mediated by an increase in cAMP levels following activation of adenylate cyclase; however, octopamine acts independently. Here, we clarify how octopamine enhances the LG response during sensory stimulation using physiological and pharmacological analyses. When phospholipase C inhibitor U-73122 was directly injected into the LG before biogenic amine application, it abolished the enhancing effect of octopamine on direct sensory input to the LG, but did not block indirect input via sensory interneurons or the effect of serotonin. Direct injection of IP(3), and its analogue adenophostin A, into the LG increased the synaptic response of the LG to sensory stimulation. Thus, IP(3) mediates octopamine-induced synaptic enhancement of the LG, but serotonin acts independently. These results indicate that both octopamine and serotonin enhance the synaptic responses of the LG to sensory stimulation, but that they activate two different signaling cascades in the LG.

  9. Glycinergic feedback enhances synaptic gain in the distal retina

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Zheng; Yang, Jinnan; Purpura, Lauren A; Liu, Yufei; Ripps, Harris; Shen, Wen

    2014-01-01

    Glycine input originates with interplexiform cells, a group of neurons situated within the inner retina that transmit signals centrifugally to the distal retina. The effect on visual function of this novel mechanism is largely unknown. Using gramicidin-perforated patch whole cell recordings, intracellular recordings and specific antibody labelling techniques, we examined the effects of the synaptic connections between glycinergic interplexiform cells, photoreceptors and bipolar cells. To confirm that interplexiform cells make centrifugal feedback on bipolar cell dendrites, we recorded the postsynaptic glycine currents from axon-detached bipolar cells while stimulating presynaptic interplexiform cells. The results show that glycinergic interplexiform cells activate bipolar cell dendrites that express the α3 subunit of the glycine receptor, as well as a subclass of unidentified receptors on photoreceptors. By virtue of their synaptic contacts, glycine centrifugal feedback increases glutamate release from photoreceptors and suppresses the uptake of glutamate by the type 2A excitatory amino acid transporter on photoreceptors. The net effect is a significant increase in synaptic gain between photoreceptors and their second-order neurons. PMID:24421349

  10. 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…

  11. Facilitation of AMPA Receptor Synaptic Delivery as a Molecular Mechanism for Cognitive Enhancement

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez-Puelles, Cristina; Pereda-Peréz, Inmaculada; Franco, Ana; Sandi, Carmen; Suárez, Luz M.; Solís, José M.; Alonso-Nanclares, Lidia; Martín, Eduardo D.; Merino-Serrais, Paula; Borcel, Erika; Li, Shizhong; Chen, Yongshuo; Gonzalez-Soriano, Juncal; Berezin, Vladimir; Bock, Elisabeth; DeFelipe, Javier; Esteban, José A.

    2012-01-01

    Cell adhesion molecules and downstream growth factor-dependent signaling are critical for brain development and synaptic plasticity, and they have been linked to cognitive function in adult animals. We have previously developed a mimetic peptide (FGL) from the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) that enhances spatial learning and memory in rats. We have now investigated the cellular and molecular basis of this cognitive enhancement, using biochemical, morphological, electrophysiological, and behavioral analyses. We have found that FGL triggers a long-lasting enhancement of synaptic transmission in hippocampal CA1 neurons. This effect is mediated by a facilitated synaptic delivery of AMPA receptors, which is accompanied by enhanced NMDA receptor-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP). Both LTP and cognitive enhancement are mediated by an initial PKC activation, which is followed by persistent CaMKII activation. These results provide a mechanistic link between facilitation of AMPA receptor synaptic delivery and improved hippocampal-dependent learning, induced by a pharmacological cognitive enhancer. PMID:22363206

  12. Peripherally restricted viral challenge elevates extracellular glutamate and enhances synaptic transmission in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Hunsberger, Holly C; Wang, Desheng; Petrisko, Tiffany J; Alhowail, Ahmad; Setti, Sharay E; Suppiramaniam, Vishnu; Konat, Gregory W; Reed, Miranda N

    2016-07-01

    Peripheral infections increase the propensity and severity of seizures in susceptible populations. We have previously shown that intraperitoneal injection of a viral mimic, polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (PIC), elicits hypersusceptibility of mice to kainic acid (KA)-induced seizures. This study was undertaken to determine whether this seizure hypersusceptibility entails alterations in glutamate signaling. Female C57BL/6 mice were intraperitoneally injected with PIC, and after 24 h, glutamate homeostasis in the hippocampus was monitored using the enzyme-based microelectrode arrays. PIC challenge robustly increased the level of resting extracellular glutamate. While pre-synaptic potassium-evoked glutamate release was not affected, glutamate uptake was profoundly impaired and non-vesicular glutamate release was augmented, indicating functional alterations of astrocytes. Electrophysiological examination of hippocampal slices from PIC-challenged mice revealed a several fold increase in the basal synaptic transmission as compared to control slices. PIC challenge also increased the probability of pre-synaptic glutamate release as seen from a reduction of paired-pulse facilitation and synaptic plasticity as seen from an enhancement of long-term potentiation. Altogether, our results implicate a dysregulation of astrocytic glutamate metabolism and an alteration of excitatory synaptic transmission as the underlying mechanism for the development of hippocampal hyperexcitability, and consequently seizure hypersusceptibility following peripheral PIC challenge. Peripheral infections/inflammations enhance seizure susceptibility. Here, we explored the effect of peritoneal inflammation induced by a viral mimic on glutamate homeostasis and glutamatergic neurotransmission in the mouse hippocampus. We found that peritoneal inflammation elevated extracellular glutamate concentration and enhanced the probability of pre-synaptic glutamate release resulting in hyperexcitability of

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

    PubMed

    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.

  15. 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. PMID:24807453

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    A hallmark feature of Ca2+/calmodulin (CaM)-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is generation of autonomous (Ca2+-independent) activity by T286 autophosphorylation. Biochemical studies have shown that “autonomous” CaMKII is ∼5-fold further stimulated by Ca2+/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 Ca2+/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 Ca2+/CaM binding and was not mimicked by T305/306D mutation. Thus, even autonomous CaMKII activity must be further stimulated by Ca2+/CaM for enhancement of synaptic strength.—Barcomb, K., Buard, I., Coultrap, S. J., Kulbe, J. R., O'Leary, H., Benke, T. A., Bayer, K. U. Autonomous CaMKII requires further stimulation by Ca2+/calmodulin for enhancing synaptic strength. PMID:24843070

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:25573367

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

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

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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. PMID:27391686

  8. Age-dependent enhancement of inhibitory synaptic transmission in CA1 pyramidal neurons via GluR5 kainate receptors.

    PubMed

    Xu, Changqing; Cui, Changhai; Alkon, Daniel L

    2009-08-01

    Changes in hippocampal synaptic networks during aging may contribute to age-dependent compromise of cognitive functions such as learning and memory. Previous studies have demonstrated that GABAergic synaptic transmission exhibits age-dependent changes. To better understand such age-dependent changes of GABAergic synaptic inhibition, we performed whole-cell recordings from pyramidal cells in the CA1 area of acute hippocampal slices on aged (24-26 months old) and young (2-4 months old) Brown-Norway rats. We found that the frequency and amplitude of spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic current (IPSCs) were significantly increased in aged rats, but the frequency and amplitude of mIPSCs were decreased. Furthermore, the regulation of GABAergic synaptic transmission by GluR5 containing kainate receptors was enhanced in aged rats, which was revealed by using LY382884 (a GluR5 kainate receptor antagonist) and ATPA (a GluR5 kainate receptor agonist). Moreover, we demonstrated that vesicular glutamate transporters are involved in the kainate receptor dependent regulation of sIPSCs. Taken together, these results suggest that GABAergic synaptic transmission is potentiated in aged rats, and GluR5 containing kainate receptors regulate the inhibitory synaptic transmission through endogenous glutamate. These alterations of GABAergic input with aging could contribute to age-dependent cognitive decline. PMID:19123252

  9. Synaptic structural complexity as a factor enhancing probability of calcium-mediated transmitter release.

    PubMed

    Cooper, R L; Winslow, J L; Govind, C K; Atwood, H L

    1996-06-01

    1. In a model synaptic system, the excitatory neuromuscular junction of the freshwater crayfish, the nerve terminals possess synapses that vary in structural complexity, with numbers of active zones ranging from zero to five. Active zones on individual synapses show a wide range of separation distances. We tested the hypothesis that two active zones of a single synapse in close proximity can enhance the localized increase in free calcium ion concentration, thus enhancing the probability of neurotransmission at that synapse. We evaluated the increase in calcium ion concentration as a function of distance between adjacent active zones. 2. To test this hypothesis, a reaction-diffusion model for Ca2+ entering the presynaptic terminals was used. This test was used because 1) present measurement techniques are inadequate to resolve quantitatively the highly localized, transient calcium microdomains at synaptic active zones; and 2) there is presently no suitable preparation for physiological recording from isolated synapses with varying distances between active zones. Included in the model were intracellular buffer and a typical distribution of voltage-activated Ca2+ channels for an active zone, estimated from freeze-fracture micrographs. 3. The model indicated that localized Ca2+ clouds from discrete active zones can overlap to create spatial enhancement of Ca2+ concentration. The degree of interaction between two active zones depends on the distance between them. When two typical active zones are separated by < or = 200 nm, the maximum intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) is greater at 1) the midpoint between them, and 2) the center of each one, than at the corresponding positions for a single isolated active zone. Enhanced [Ca2+]i at the edge of the active zone where "docked" synaptic vesicles occur would be expected to have an effect on transmitter release. 4. When the model includes no intracellular buffer, the increase in [Ca2+]i is a linear function of

  10. Low-calcium-induced enhancement of chemical synaptic transmission from photoreceptors to horizontal cells in the vertebrate retina.

    PubMed Central

    Piccolino, M; Byzov, A L; Kurennyi, D E; Pignatelli, A; Sappia, F; Wilkinson, M; Barnes, S

    1996-01-01

    According to the classical calcium hypothesis of synaptic transmission, the release of neurotransmitter from presynaptic terminals occurs through an exocytotic process triggered by depolarization-induced presynaptic calcium influx. However, evidence has been accumulating in the last two decades indicating that, in many preparations, synaptic transmitter release can persist or even increase when calcium is omitted from the perfusing saline, leading to the notion of a "calcium-independent release" mechanism. Our study shows that the enhancement of synaptic transmission between photoreceptors and horizontal cells of the vertebrate retina induced by low-calcium media is caused by an increase of calcium influx into presynaptic terminals. This paradoxical effect is accounted for by modifications of surface potential on the photoreceptor membrane. Since lowering extracellular calcium concentration may likewise enhance calcium influx into other nerve cells, other experimental observations of "calcium-independent" release may be reaccommodated within the framework of the classical calcium hypothesis without invoking unconventional processes. PMID:8637867

  11. 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

  12. RNA silencing of genes involved in Alzheimer's disease enhances mitochondrial function and synaptic activity.

    PubMed

    Manczak, Maria; Reddy, P Hemachandra

    2013-12-01

    An age-dependent increase in mRNA levels of the amyloid precursor protein (APP), the microtubule-associated protein Tau, and voltage-dependent anion channel 1 (VDAC1) genes are reported to be toxic to neurons affected by Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the underlying toxic nature of these genes is not completely understood. The purpose of our study was to determine the effects of RNA silencing of APP, Tau, and VDAC1 genes in AD pathogenesis. Using human neuroblastoma (SHSY5Y) cells, we first silenced RNA for APP, Tau, and VDAC1 genes, and then performed real-time RT-PCR analysis to measure mRNA levels of 34 genes that are involved in AD pathogenesis. Using biochemical assays, we also assessed mitochondrial function by measuring levels of H2O2 production, lipid peroxidation, cytochrome c oxidase activity, ATP production, and GTPase enzymatic activity. We found that increased mRNA expression of synaptic function and mitochondrial fission genes, and reduced levels of mitochondrial fusion genes in RNA silenced the SHSY5Y cells for APP, Tau and VDAC1 genes relative to the control SHSY5Y cells. In addition, RNA-silenced APP, Tau, and VDAC1 genes in SHSY5Y cells showed reduced levels of H2O2 production, lipid peroxidation, fission-linked GTPase activity, and increased cytochrome oxidase activity and ATP production. These findings suggest that a reduction of human APP, Tau, and VDAC1 may enhance synaptic activity, may improve mitochondrial maintenance and function, and may protect against toxicities of AD-related genes. Thus, these findings also suggest that the reduction of APP, Tau, and VDAC1 mRNA expressions may have therapeutic value for patients with AD.

  13. Platelet Activating Factor Enhances Synaptic Vesicle Exocytosis Via PKC, Elevated Intracellular Calcium, and Modulation of Synapsin 1 Dynamics and Phosphorylation

    PubMed Central

    Hammond, Jennetta W.; Lu, Shao-Ming; Gelbard, Harris A.

    2016-01-01

    Platelet activating factor (PAF) is an inflammatory phospholipid signaling molecule implicated in synaptic plasticity, learning and memory and neurotoxicity during neuroinflammation. However, little is known about the intracellular mechanisms mediating PAF’s physiological or pathological effects on synaptic facilitation. We show here that PAF receptors are localized at the synapse. Using fluorescent reporters of presynaptic activity we show that a non-hydrolysable analog of PAF (cPAF) enhances synaptic vesicle release from individual presynaptic boutons by increasing the size or release of the readily releasable pool and the exocytosis rate of the total recycling pool. cPAF also activates previously silent boutons resulting in vesicle release from a larger number of terminals. The underlying mechanism involves elevated calcium within presynaptic boutons and protein kinase C activation. Furthermore, cPAF increases synapsin I phosphorylation at sites 1 and 3, and increases dispersion of synapsin I from the presynaptic compartment during stimulation, freeing synaptic vesicles for subsequent release. These findings provide a conceptual framework for how PAF, regardless of its cellular origin, can modulate synapses during normal and pathologic synaptic activity. PMID:26778968

  14. Hippocampal synaptic enhancement and spatial learning in the Morris swim task.

    PubMed

    Korol, D L; Abel, T W; Church, L T; Barnes, C A; McNaughton, B L

    1993-04-01

    The authors attempted to replicate the study of Castro, Silbert, McNaughton, and Barnes (1989) in which it was concluded that bilateral saturation of hippocampal synaptic enhancement produced a deficit in acquisition of a spatial navigation problem in the Morris swim task. The original protocol was followed as closely as possible, but no effect of long-term enhancement (LTE) saturation on spatial performance in this task was found. This negative result suggests either that the previous finding using the swim task reflected statistical error or that some as yet undetermined variable is of critical importance in this phenomenon. The present negative finding also raises a question concerning the reproducibility of the earlier results of McNaughton, Barnes, Rao, Baldwin, and Rasmussen (1986) in which LTE saturation apparently led to a prolonged deficit on a different spatial task. Although negative results in such experiments do not constitute grounds for rejecting the underlying hypothesis, the present lack of a positive effect renders uncertain, for the time being, one of the lines of experimental support for the theory that LTE at hippocampal synapses reflects a mechanism for the associative, distributed storage of new spatial information.

  15. 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…

  16. Digital photography enhances diagnostics, communication, and documentation.

    PubMed

    McLaren, Edward A; Schoenbaum, Todd

    2011-01-01

    Digital dental photography is an exceptional tool for communication, diagnosis, and documentation. So much of what is possible today with dental treatment hinges strongly upon dentists' ability to fully capture the necessary diagnostic information and properly educate their patients. With the proper training, techniques, equipment, and implementation, dental photography can significantly enhance the level of treatment provided.

  17. Abnormal Synaptic Vesicle Biogenesis in Drosophila Synaptogyrin Mutants

    PubMed Central

    Stevens, Robin J.; Akbergenova, Yulia; Jorquera, Ramon A.; Littleton, J. Troy

    2012-01-01

    Sustained neuronal communication relies on the coordinated activity of multiple proteins that regulate synaptic vesicle biogenesis and cycling within the presynaptic terminal. Synaptogyrin and synaptophysin are conserved MARVEL domain-containing transmembrane proteins that are among the most abundant synaptic vesicle constituents, although their role in the synaptic vesicle cycle has remained elusive. To further investigate the function of these proteins, we generated and characterized a synaptogyrin (gyr) null mutant in Drosophila, whose genome encodes a single synaptogyrin isoform and lacks a synaptophysin homolog. We demonstrate that Drosophila synaptogyrin plays a modulatory role in synaptic vesicle biogenesis at larval neuromuscular junctions. Drosophila lacking synaptogyrin are viable and fertile and have no overt deficits in motor function. However, ultrastructural analysis of gyr larvae revealed increased synaptic vesicle diameter and enhanced variability in the size of synaptic vesicles. In addition, the resolution of endocytic cisternae into synaptic vesicles in response to strong stimulation is defective in gyr mutants. Electrophysiological analysis demonstrated an increase in quantal size and a concomitant decrease in quantal content, suggesting functional consequences for transmission caused by the loss of synaptogyrin. Furthermore, high-frequency stimulation resulted in increased facilitation and a delay in recovery from synaptic depression, indicating that synaptic vesicle exo-endocytosis is abnormally regulated during intense stimulation conditions. These results suggest that synaptogyrin modulates the synaptic vesicle exo-endocytic cycle and is required for the proper biogenesis of synaptic vesicles at nerve terminals. PMID:23238721

  18. Monitoring Synaptic Vesicle Protein Sorting with Enhanced Horseradish Peroxidase in the Electron Microscope.

    PubMed

    Schikorski, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Protein sorting is the fundamental cellular process that creates and maintains cell organelles and subcellular structures. The synaptic vesicle (SV) is a unique cell organelle that contains a plethora of specific SV proteins and its protein composition is crucial for its function. Thus understanding the mechanisms that sort proteins to SVs and other cell organelles is central to neuroscience and cell biology.While in the past protein sorting was studied in the fluorescence and confocal microscope, we here present a protocol that reveals SV protein trafficking and sorting in the electron microscope (EM). The protocol exploits tagging SV proteins with a new genetically encoded label for EM: enhanced horseradish peroxidase (eHRP). eHRP gained its high sensitivity through direct evolution of its catalytic activity and is detectable in the EM and LM after expression in neurons and other mammalian cells. The protocol describes the use of eHRP, labeling of SVs in cultured hippocampal neurons, and analysis via serial section reconstruction. PMID:27515091

  19. Short-term synaptic plasticity can enhance weak signal detectability in nonrenewal spike trains.

    PubMed

    Lüdtke, Niklas; Nelson, Mark E

    2006-12-01

    We study the encoding of weak signals in spike trains with interspike interval (ISI) correlations and the signals' subsequent detection in sensory neurons. Motivated by the observation of negative ISI correlations in auditory and electrosensory afferents, we assess the theoretical performance limits of an individual detector neuron receiving a weak signal distributed across multiple afferent inputs. We assess the functional role of ISI correlations in the detection process using statistical detection theory and derive two sequential likelihood ratio detector models: one for afferents with renewal statistics; the other for afferents with negatively correlated ISIs. We suggest a mechanism that might enable sensory neurons to implicitly compute conditional probabilities of presynaptic spikes by means of short-term synaptic plasticity. We demonstrate how this mechanism can enhance a postsynaptic neuron's sensitivity to weak signals by exploiting the correlation structure of the input spike trains. Our model not only captures fundamental aspects of early electrosensory signal processing in weakly electric fish, but may also bear relevance to the mammalian auditory system and other sensory modalities.

  20. Lycopene oxidation product enhances gap junctional communication.

    PubMed

    Aust, O; Ale-Agha, N; Zhang, L; Wollersen, H; Sies, H; Stahl, W

    2003-10-01

    Carotenoids as well as their metabolites and oxidation products stimulate gap junctional communication (GJC) between cells, which is thought to be one of the protective mechanisms related to cancer-preventive activities of these compounds. Increased intake of lycopene by consumption of tomatoes or tomato products has been epidemiologically associated with a diminished risk of prostate cancer. Here, we report a stimulatory effect of a lycopene oxidation product on GJC in rat liver epithelial WB-F344 cells. The active compound was obtained by complete in vitro oxidation of lycopene with hydrogen peroxide/osmium tetroxide. For structural analysis high performance liquid chromatography, gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry, ultraviolet/visible-, and infrared spectrophotometry were applied. The biologically active oxidation product was identified as 2,7,11-trimethyl-tetradecahexaene-1,14-dial. The present data indicate a potential role of lycopene degradation products in cell signaling enhancing cell-to-cell communication via gap junctions. PMID:12909274

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. Nicotine enhances both excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs to inspiratory-activated airway vagal preganglionic neurons.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xujiao; Chen, Yonghua; Ge, Dengyun; Yuan, Wenjun; Wang, Jijiang

    2013-01-01

    The airway vagal preganglionic neurons (AVPNs) supply the essential excitatory drive to the postganglionic neurons and dominate the neural control of the airway both physiologically and pathophysiologically. The AVPNs express multiple subunits of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), but the influences of exogenous nicotine and endogenous acetylcholine are unknown. This study examined the effects of nicotine and endogenous acetylcholine on retrogradely labelled, functionally identified inspiratory-activated AVPNs (IA-AVPNs) using the patch-clamp technique. Nicotine (10 μmol l(-1)) significantly increased the frequency and amplitude of the spontaneous EPSCs of IA-AVPNs, and these effects were insensitive to methyllycaconitine (MLA, 100 nmol l(-1)), an antagonist of the α7 type of nAChR, but was prevented by dihydro-β-erythroidine (DHβE, 3 μmol l(-1)), an antagonist of the α4β2 type of nAChR. Nicotine caused a tonic inward current in IA-AVPNs, which was reduced by MLA or DHβE alone, but was not abolished by co-application of MLA and DHβE. Nicotine caused a significant increase in the frequency of GABAergic and glycinergic spontaneous IPSCs and significantly increased the amplitude of glycinergic spontaneous IPSCs, all of which were prevented by DHβE. Nicotine had no effects on the miniature EPSCs or miniature IPSCs following pretreatment with TTX. Under current clamp, nicotine caused depolarization and increased the firing rate of IA-AVPNs during inspiratory intervals. Neostigmine (10 μmol l(-1)), an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, mimicked the effects of nicotine. These results demonstrate that nicotine and endogenous ACh enhance the excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs of IA-AVPNs and cause a postsynaptic excitatory current and that the nicotinic effects are mediated presynaptically by activation of the α4β2 type of nAChR and postsynaptically by activation of multiple nAChRs, including α7 and α4β2 types.

  4. SEA - Enhancing communication for better environmental decisions

    SciTech Connect

    Vicente, Gustavo . E-mail: gv@fct.unl.pt; Partidario, Maria R. . E-mail: mrp@civil.ist.utl.pt

    2006-11-15

    Over the years SEA has been subjected to several interpretations, often resulting from different views on democratic processes and social considerations in decision-making. More than strictly a technical tool, as in its original form, SEA has the potential to act as a mediating instrument, bridging problem perceptions with technical solutions, steering the assessment to facilitate the integration of environmental values into decision-making processes, influencing decision-makers' capacity of acceptance. This paper explores the potential of SEA to enhance communication between different stakeholders, enabling discussion and agreement independently of different beliefs, convictions, social roles, values, accumulated experiences, individual needs, or any other factors, that express different world visions and determine the context within which decisions are taken. To face up to this challenge the authors suggest the establishment of communication strategies that enhance the role of SEA in the construction of social expectations and platforms of discussion, in the multiple negotiation processes that take place between stakeholders and decision-makers.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-05

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. 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

  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. Enhancing GRASS data communication with videographic technology

    SciTech Connect

    Sullivan, R.G.; Gerdes, D.; Youngs, D.

    1992-07-01

    Research at Argonne National Laboratory and the US Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory has shown that computer videographic technology can be used to assist visualization and communication of GIS-generated geographic information. Videographic tools can be used to make results of GRASS analyses clear to decision-makers and to public interest groups, as well as to help GRASS users visualize geographic data more easily. Useful videographic visualization tools include graphic overlay of GRASS layers onto panchromatic images, allowing landscape features to be associated with GIS classifications; draping of GIS layers onto terrain models to create shaded relief maps; and incorporation of photographic imagery into GIS graphics. Useful videographic communications capabilities include convenient, direct interface to video formats, allowing incorporation of live video into GRASS graphics and output of GRASS graphics to video; convenient output of high-quality slides and prints; and enhanced labeling and editing of GRASS images. Conversion of GRASS imagery to standard videographic file formats also facilitates incorporation of GRASS images into other software programs, such as database and work-processing packages.

  11. Enhancing GRASS data communication with videographic technology

    SciTech Connect

    Sullivan, R.G. ); Gerdes, D.; Youngs, D. )

    1992-01-01

    Research at Argonne National Laboratory and the US Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory has shown that computer videographic technology can be used to assist visualization and communication of GIS-generated geographic information. Videographic tools can be used to make results of GRASS analyses clear to decision-makers and to public interest groups, as well as to help GRASS users visualize geographic data more easily. Useful videographic visualization tools include graphic overlay of GRASS layers onto panchromatic images, allowing landscape features to be associated with GIS classifications; draping of GIS layers onto terrain models to create shaded relief maps; and incorporation of photographic imagery into GIS graphics. Useful videographic communications capabilities include convenient, direct interface to video formats, allowing incorporation of live video into GRASS graphics and output of GRASS graphics to video; convenient output of high-quality slides and prints; and enhanced labeling and editing of GRASS images. Conversion of GRASS imagery to standard videographic file formats also facilitates incorporation of GRASS images into other software programs, such as database and work-processing packages.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Intracellular Zn2+ accumulation enhances suppression of synaptic activity following spreading depolarization.

    PubMed

    Carter, Russell E; Seidel, Jessica L; Lindquist, Britta E; Sheline, Christian T; Shuttleworth, C William

    2013-06-01

    Spreading depolarization (SD) is a feed-forward wave that propagates slowly throughout brain tissue and recovery from SD involves substantial metabolic demand. Presynaptic Zn(2+) release and intracellular accumulation occurs with SD, and elevated intracellular Zn(2+) ([Zn(2+) ]i ) can impair cellular metabolism through multiple pathways. We tested here whether increased [Zn(2+) ]i could exacerbate the metabolic challenge of SD, induced by KCl, and delay recovery in acute murine hippocampal slices. [Zn(2+) ]i loading prior to SD, by transient ZnCl2 application with the Zn(2+) ionophore pyrithione (Zn/Pyr), delayed recovery of field excitatory post-synaptic potentials (fEPSPs) in a concentration-dependent manner, prolonged DC shifts, and significantly increased extracellular adenosine accumulation. These effects could be due to metabolic inhibition, occurring downstream of pyruvate utilization. Prolonged [Zn(2+) ]i accumulation prior to SD was required for effects on fEPSP recovery and consistent with this, endogenous synaptic Zn(2+) release during SD propagation did not delay recovery from SD. The effects of exogenous [Zn(2+) ]i loading were also lost in slices preconditioned with repetitive SDs, implying a rapid adaptation. Together, these results suggest that [Zn(2+) ]i loading prior to SD can provide significant additional challenge to brain tissue, and could contribute to deleterious effects of [Zn(2+) ]i accumulation in a range of brain injury models. PMID:23495967

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Mutation of the Dyslexia-Associated Gene Dcdc2 Enhances Glutamatergic Synaptic Transmission Between Layer 4 Neurons in Mouse Neocortex.

    PubMed

    Che, Alicia; Truong, Dongnhu T; Fitch, R Holly; LoTurco, Joseph J

    2016-09-01

    Variants in DCDC2 have been associated with reading disability in humans, and targeted mutation of Dcdc2 in mice causes impairments in both learning and sensory processing. In this study, we sought to determine whether Dcdc2 mutation affects functional synaptic circuitry in neocortex. We found mutation in Dcdc2 resulted in elevated spontaneous and evoked glutamate release from neurons in somatosensory cortex. The probability of release was decreased to wild-type level by acute application of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) antagonists when postsynaptic NMDARs were blocked by intracellular MK-801, and could not be explained by elevated ambient glutamate, suggesting altered, nonpostsynaptic NMDAR activation in the mutants. In addition, we determined that the increased excitatory transmission was present at layer 4-layer 4 but not thalamocortical connections in Dcdc2 mutants, and larger evoked synaptic release appeared to enhance the NMDAR-mediated effect. These results demonstrate an NMDAR activation-gated, increased functional excitatory connectivity between layer 4 lateral connections in somatosensory neocortex of the mutants, providing support for potential changes in cortical connectivity and activation resulting from mutation of dyslexia candidate gene Dcdc2. PMID:26250775

  18. Enhancing synaptic plasticity and cellular resilience to develop novel, improved treatments for mood disorders

    PubMed Central

    Quiroz, Jorge A.; Manji, Husseini K.

    2002-01-01

    There is mounting evidence that recurrent mood disorders - once considered “good prognosis diseases”- are, in fact, often very severe and life-threatening illnesses. Furthermore, although mood disorders have traditionally been conceptualized as neurochemical disorders, there is now evidence from a variety of sources demonstrating regional reductions in central nervous system (CNS) volume, as well as reductions in the numbers and/or sizes ofglia and neurons in discrete brain areas. Although the precise cellular mechanisms underlying these morphometric changes remain to be fully elucidated, the data suggest that mood disorders are associated with impairments of synaptic plasticity and cellular resilience. In this context, it is noteworthy that there is increasing preclinical evidence that antidepressants regulate the function of the glutamatergic system. Moreover, although clearly preliminary, the available clinical data suggest that attenuation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) function has antidepressant effects. Recent preclinical and clinical studies have shown that signaling pathways involved in regulating cell survival and cell death are long-term targets for the actions of antidepressant agents. Antidepressants and mood stabilizers indirectly regulate a number of factors involved in cell survival pathways, including cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) response element binding protein (CREB), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), the antiapoptotic protein bcl-2, and mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases, and may thus bring about some of their delayed long-term beneficial effects via underappreciated neurotrophic effects. There is much promise for the future development of treatments that more directly target molecules in critical CNS signaling pathways regulating synaptic plasticity and cellular resilience. These will represent improved long-term treatments for mood disorders. PMID:22034240

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    Thibault, Karine; Rivière, Sébastien; Lenkei, Zsolt; Férézou, Isabelle; Pezet, Sophie

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Relationship-Enhancing Communication Skills in "The Cosby Show."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aust, Charles F.

    A study examined the parenting behaviors portrayed on "The Cosby Show" to determine the use of specific parenting skills and family relationship-enhancing communication techniques. Videotapes of nine randomly chosen broadcast episodes were content analyzed according to family communication models of Thomas P. Gordon (1970), Bernard J. Guerney…

  9. Rabies Virus CVS-N2c(ΔG) Strain Enhances Retrograde Synaptic Transfer and Neuronal Viability.

    PubMed

    Reardon, Thomas R; Murray, Andrew J; Turi, Gergely F; Wirblich, Christoph; Croce, Katherine R; Schnell, Matthias J; Jessell, Thomas M; Losonczy, Attila

    2016-02-17

    Virally based transsynaptic tracing technologies are powerful experimental tools for neuronal circuit mapping. The glycoprotein-deletion variant of the SAD-B19 vaccine strain rabies virus (RABV) has been the reagent of choice in monosynaptic tracing, since it permits the mapping of synaptic inputs to genetically marked neurons. Since its introduction, new helper viruses and reagents that facilitate complementation have enhanced the efficiency of SAD-B19(ΔG) transsynaptic transfer, but there has been little focus on improvements to the core RABV strain. Here we generate a new deletion mutant strain, CVS-N2c(ΔG), and examine its neuronal toxicity and efficiency in directing retrograde transsynaptic transfer. We find that by comparison with SAD-B19(ΔG), the CVS-N2c(ΔG) strain exhibits a reduction in neuronal toxicity and a marked enhancement in transsynaptic neuronal transfer. We conclude that the CVS-N2c(ΔG) strain provides a more effective means of mapping neuronal circuitry and of monitoring and manipulating neuronal activity in vivo in the mammalian CNS. PMID:26804990

  10. 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…

  11. 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)…

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

    PubMed

    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 Ca(2+) 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. PMID:27374604

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Rats given linseed oil in microemulsion forms enriches the brain synaptic membrane with docosahexaenoic acid and enhances the neurotransmitter levels in the brain.

    PubMed

    Sugasini, Dhavamani; Lokesh, Belur R

    2015-02-01

    Long chain n-3 fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are essential for the normal functioning of the brain. The vegetarian sections of the population get only alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) through their diet as a source of n-3 fatty acids. Hence, in this group of the population, the ALAs need to be converted to DHA through the action of the desaturase and the elongase enzymes. However, the conversion of the ALA to the DHA is very minimal (<2%) in mammals. Our recent studies have shown that the conversion of the ALA to the DHA can be enhanced significantly when given in the microemulsion forms. This work was undertaken to study the feasibility of enriching the synaptic membranes of rat brain with the DHA by providing the microemulsions of linseed oil (LSO) containing ALA. The rats were fed LSO as microemulsions in whey protein or in lipoid for 60 days through gavage. The rats given LSO microemulsions in lipoid showed higher levels of the DHA in the brain synaptic membrane when compared to rats given LSO without emulsion formation. This decreased the n-6/n-3 fatty acid ratio of the brain synaptic membrane. This also increased the membrane fluidity, Na⁺-K⁺ ATPase activity, and acetylcholine esterase activity in the synaptic membranes. Furthermore, Ca²⁺-Mg²⁺ ATPase activity, monoamine oxidase A and monoamine oxidase B activity was lowered in the rats given LSO in the microemulsion form. The dopamine and the serotonin levels in the brain were increased in the rats given LSO in the microemulsion form with lipoid as compared to those given LSO without the preemulsion formation. This study indicates that the LSO microemulsions in the lipoid can enhance the synaptic membrane DHA levels and influence the functions associated with the brain in a beneficial manner.

  15. Enhancement of synaptic facilitation during the progression of kindling epilepsy by amygdala stimulations.

    PubMed

    Matsuura, S; Hirayama, K; Murata, R

    1993-08-01

    1. A quantitative analysis of facilitation during the kindling stimulation to the amygdala was conducted by measuring the area between the excitatory potential and the baseline in the averaged tetanic response recorded at the entorhinal cortex. The changes in facilitation were then compared with the development of electrographic afterdischarges (AD) and behavioral seizures in response to successive kindling stimulations. 2. Kindling train pulses (n = 99 or 100; duration: 0.5 ms; frequency: 10 Hz; intensity: AD threshold) were applied to conscious rats until at least one generalized seizure occurred or until 13 stimuli were delivered. 3. Facilitation of the entorhinal responses by kindling stimulation first occurred in the monosynaptic excitatory component and was then followed by a progressive increase in the polysynaptic component that was manifested as the later negative peaks. A clear progressive enhancement was observed in the facilitation by successive kindling stimulations, which also induced prolongation of the AD duration and progression of the seizure stages, indicating that activity-dependent enhancement of facilitation (EF) occurred during the progression of kindling epilepsy. 4. Quantitative analysis revealed that the EF that occurred with the progression of seizure stages was statistically significant (P < 0.001, Friedman test). The AD duration (r = 0.89) and the long-term potentiation (r = 0.85) of the entorhinal responses by single test amygdala stimuli showed a very good linear relation to the EF.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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

  7. Application analysis of enhanced video tracker in space optical communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhai, Xuhua; Zhang, Hongtao; Zhao, Haishan; Zhang, Zhiping

    2011-06-01

    Relay mirror is used to track ground-based beacon accurately in space optical communication. It is unreliable to track the beam by the ordinary quadrant. DBA video tracker applies avalanche photo diode quadrant to enhance, which can improve the performance of the relay mirror tracking system. However, the sight line disturbance followed is unacceptable. By the continuous designs we present the scheme of enhanced video tracker with high-passed high bandwidth quadrant, and it is proved that it is successful for the relay mirror experiment.

  8. 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.

  9. Coupled Electromagnetic Resonators for Enhanced Communications and Telemetry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dimmock, John O.

    2005-01-01

    Future NASA missions will require the collection of an increasing quantity and quality of data which, in turn, will place increasing demands on advanced sensors and advanced high bandwidth telemetry and communications systems. The capabilities of communication and telemetry systems depend, among other factors, on the stability, controllability and spectral purity of the carrier wave. These, in turn, depend on the quality of the oscillator, or resonator, or the Q of the system. Recent work on high Q optical resonators has indicated that the Q, or quality factor, of optical microsphere resonators can be substantially enhanced by coupling several such resonators together.1-3 In addition to the possibility of enhanced Q and increased energy storage capacity, the coupled optical resonators indicate that a wide variety of interesting and potentially useful phenomena such as induced transparency and interactive mode splitting can be observed depending critically on the morphology and configuration of the microresonators. The purpose of this SFFP has been to examine several different coupled electromagnetic oscillator configurations in order to evaluate their potential for enhanced electromagnetic communications.

  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. Intervention to Enhance Communication About Newly Prescribed Medications

    PubMed Central

    Tarn, Derjung M.; Paterniti, Debora A.; Orosz, Deborah K.; Tseng, Chi-Hong; Wenger, Neil S.

    2013-01-01

    PURPOSE Physicians prescribing new medications often do not convey important medication-related information. This study tests an intervention to improve physician-patient communication about newly prescribed medications. METHODS We conducted a controlled clinical trial of patients in 3 primary care practices, combining data from patient surveys with audio-recorded physician-patient interactions. The intervention consisted of a 1-hour physician-targeted interactive educational session encouraging communication about 5 basic elements regarding a new prescription and a patient information handout listing the 5 basic elements. Main outcome measures were the Medication Communication Index (MCI), a 5-point index assessed by qualitative analysis of audio-recorded interactions (giving points for discussion of medication name, purpose, directions for use, duration of use, and side effects), and patient ratings of physician communication about new prescriptions. RESULTS Twenty-seven physicians prescribed 113 new medications to 82 of 256 patients. The mean MCI for medications prescribed by physicians in the intervention group was 3.95 (SD = 1.02), significantly higher than that for medications prescribed by control group physicians (2.86, SD = 1.23, P <.001). This effect held regardless of medication type (chronic vs nonchronic medication). Counseling about 3 of the 5 MCI components was significantly higher for medications prescribed by physicians in the intervention group, as were patients’ ratings of new medication information transfer (P = .02). Independent of intervention or control groups, higher MCI scores were associated with better patient ratings about information about new prescriptions (P = .003). CONCLUSIONS A physician-targeted educational session improved the content of and enhanced patient ratings of physician communication about new medication prescriptions. Further work is required to assess whether improved communication stimulated by the intervention

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Neuro-talk: an intervention to enhance communication.

    PubMed

    Gregory, R J

    1998-10-01

    Neurologically impaired individuals, their family members, nurses, and physicians generally have few terms with which to describe neurological sensations and events. Neuro-talk is a made-up word to describe the unique language needs of persons affected by neurological conditions. Strategies to cope with neurological conditions vary, and most are less than successful. As a result, many individuals are unable to communicate effectively about their situation, and in return, others find it difficult to converse with them. This awkward impasse does not have to be, for communication patterns can be improved and enhanced. Nurses can teach people to use an enriched vocabulary, to explain their situation with metaphors and analogies, and to understand specifics about anatomy and physiology. This will offer nurses opportunities to interact productively and meaningfully with neurologically impaired individuals.

  15. [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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Recordings of cultured neurons and synaptic activity using patch-clamp chips

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martina, Marzia; Luk, Collin; Py, Christophe; Martinez, Dolores; Comas, Tanya; Monette, Robert; Denhoff, Mike; Syed, Naweed; Mealing, Geoffrey A. R.

    2011-06-01

    Planar patch-clamp chip technology has been developed to enhance the assessment of novel compounds for therapeutic efficacy and safety. However, this technology has been limited to recording ion channels expressed in isolated suspended cells, making the study of ion channel function in synaptic transmission impractical. Recently, we developed single- and dual-recording site planar patch-clamp chips and demonstrated their capacity to record ion channel activity from neurons established in culture. Such capacity provides the opportunity to record from synaptically connected neurons cultured on-chip. In this study we reconstructed, on-chip, a simple synaptic circuit between cultured pre-synaptic visceral dorsal 4 neurons and post-synaptic left pedal dorsal 1 neurons isolated from the mollusk Lymnaea stagnalis. Here we report the first planar patch-clamp chip recordings of synaptic phenomena from these paired neurons and pharmacologically demonstrate the cholinergic nature of this synapse. We also report simultaneous dual-site recordings from paired neurons, and demonstrate dedicated cytoplasmic perfusion of individual neurons via on-chip subterranean microfluidics. This is the first application of planar patch-clamp technology to examine synaptic communication.

  19. Molecular underpinnings of synaptic vesicle pool heterogeneity.

    PubMed

    Crawford, Devon C; Kavalali, Ege T

    2015-04-01

    Neuronal communication relies on chemical synaptic transmission for information transfer and processing. Chemical neurotransmission is initiated by synaptic vesicle fusion with the presynaptic active zone resulting in release of neurotransmitters. Classical models have assumed that all synaptic vesicles within a synapse have the same potential to fuse under different functional contexts. In this model, functional differences among synaptic vesicle populations are ascribed to their spatial distribution in the synapse with respect to the active zone. Emerging evidence suggests, however, that synaptic vesicles are not a homogenous population of organelles, and they possess intrinsic molecular differences and differential interaction partners. Recent studies have reported a diverse array of synaptic molecules that selectively regulate synaptic vesicles' ability to fuse synchronously and asynchronously in response to action potentials or spontaneously irrespective of action potentials. Here we discuss these molecular mediators of vesicle pool heterogeneity that are found on the synaptic vesicle membrane, on the presynaptic plasma membrane, or within the cytosol and consider some of the functional consequences of this diversity. This emerging molecular framework presents novel avenues to probe synaptic function and uncover how synaptic vesicle pools impact neuronal signaling.

  20. 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.

  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. 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

  3. Enhanced TCP for maritime communications over satellite network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zong, Liang; Du, Wencai; Bai, Yong

    2014-10-01

    For maritime communications over satellite network, TCP performance is essential for data transmissions. TCP ADaLR is congestion control algorithm that the sender judgments the relevant window change and measures roundtrip time to control congestion window. It can adapt to the characteristics of the satellite link and improve the performance of TCP than conventional TCP. However, it does not take into account distinction of random packet loss and congestion loss like TCP Veno. In this paper, we propose further enhancement of TCP ADaLR, called TCP ADaLR+, that can distinguish between random packet loss and congestion loss. The improved performance of proposed TCP ADaLR+ is demonstrated by simulations.

  4. The anterior cingulate cortex may enhance inhibition of lateral prefrontal cortex via m2 cholinergic receptors at dual synaptic sites.

    PubMed

    Medalla, Maria; Barbas, Helen

    2012-10-31

    The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices (DLPFC) share robust excitatory connections. However, during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, when cortical activity is dominated by acetylcholine, the ACC is activated but DLPFC is suppressed. Using pathway tracing and electron microscopy in nonhuman primates (Macaca mulatta), we tested the hypothesis that the opposite states may reflect specific modulation by acetylcholine through strategic synaptic localization of muscarinic m2 receptors, which inhibit neurotransmitter release presynaptically, but are thought to be excitatory postsynaptically. In the ACC pathway to DLPFC (area 32 to area 9), m2 receptors predominated in ACC axon terminals and in more than half of the targeted dendrites of presumed inhibitory neurons, suggesting inhibitory cholinergic influence. In contrast, in a pathway linking the DLPFC area 46 to DLPFC area 9, postsynaptic m2 receptors predominated in targeted spines of presumed excitatory neurons, consistent with their mutual activation in working memory. These novel findings suggest that presynaptic and postsynaptic specificity of m2 cholinergic receptors may help explain the differential engagement of ACC and DLPFC areas in REM sleep for memory consolidation and synergism in awake states for cognitive control.

  5. Synaptic view of eukaryotic cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baluška, František; Mancuso, Stefano

    2014-10-01

    Synapses are stable adhesive domains between two neighbouring cells of the multicellular organisms which serve for cell-cell communication as well as for information processing and storing. The synaptic concept was developed over more than 100 years specifically for neuronal cell-cell communication. In the last ten years, this concept was adapted to embrace other cell-cell communication phenomena. Here, we focus on the recently emerged phagocytic synapse and propose new endosymbiotic synapses and "intracellular organellar synapses". All these synapses of eukaryotic cells are in a good position to explain the high capacity of eukaryotic cells for integration of diverse signalling inputs into coherent cellular behaviour.

  6. Nuclear compartments, genome folding, and enhancer-promoter communication.

    PubMed

    Ulianov, Sergey V; Gavrilov, Alexey A; Razin, Sergey V

    2015-01-01

    The eukaryotic genome has an extremely complex spatial organization. The physical distances between regulatory elements of the genome, such as enhancers, promoters, insulators, and CpG-islands, do not necessarily reflect genomic distances. Some remote regulatory elements appear to interact physically with target promoters in the 3D nuclear space. These spatial contacts are thought to play a crucial role in the regulation of transcription. Recent studies performed using 3C (chromosome conformation capture)-based methods, FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization) coupled with confocal microscopy, and other experimental approaches have revealed that the spatial interactions of distant genomic elements within a folded chromosome are specific and functionally relevant. Additionally, the spatial organization of the eukaryotic genome is linked to the functional compartmentalization of the cell nucleus. In this review, we discuss the current state of research on the functional architecture of the eukaryotic genome. Special emphasis is given to the role of the spatial organization of the genome in establishing communication between enhancers and promoters. The driving forces of the juxtaposition of remote genomic elements are also considered.

  7. Synaptic Vesicle Proteins and Active Zone Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Kittel, Robert J; Heckmann, Manfred

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Learning and reconsolidation implicate different synaptic mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yan; Meloni, Edward G.; Carlezon, William A.; Milad, Mohammed R.; Pitman, Roger K.; Nader, Karim; Bolshakov, Vadim Y.

    2013-01-01

    Synaptic mechanisms underlying memory reconsolidation after retrieval are largely unknown. Here we report that synapses in projections to the lateral nucleus of the amygdala implicated in auditory fear conditioning, which are potentiated by learning, enter a labile state after memory reactivation, and must be restabilized through a postsynaptic mechanism implicating the mammalian target of rapamycin kinase-dependent signaling. Fear-conditioning–induced synaptic enhancements were primarily presynaptic in origin. Reconsolidation blockade with rapamycin, inhibiting mammalian target of rapamycin kinase activity, suppressed synaptic potentiation in slices from fear-conditioned rats. Surprisingly, this reduction of synaptic efficacy was mediated by post- but not presynaptic mechanisms. These findings suggest that different plasticity rules may apply to the processes underlying the acquisition of original fear memory and postreactivational stabilization of fear-conditioning–induced synaptic enhancements mediating fear memory reconsolidation. PMID:23487762

  10. 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.

  11. Selective Activation of Microglia Facilitates Synaptic Strength

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Anna K.; Gruber-Schoffnegger, Doris; Drdla-Schutting, Ruth; Gerhold, Katharina J.; Malcangio, Marzia

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is thought to be initiated by neurons only, with the prevailing view assigning glial cells mere specify supportive functions for synaptic transmission and plasticity. We now demonstrate that glial cells can control synaptic strength independent of neuronal activity. Here we show that selective activation of microglia in the rat is sufficient to rapidly facilitate synaptic strength between primary afferent C-fibers and lamina I neurons, the first synaptic relay in the nociceptive pathway. Specifically, the activation of the CX3CR1 receptor by fractalkine induces the release of interleukin-1β from microglia, which modulates NMDA signaling in postsynaptic neurons, leading to the release of an eicosanoid messenger, which ultimately enhances presynaptic neurotransmitter release. In contrast to the conventional view, this form of plasticity does not require enhanced neuronal activity to trigger the events leading to synaptic facilitation. Augmentation of synaptic strength in nociceptive pathways represents a cellular model of pain amplification. The present data thus suggest that, under chronic pain states, CX3CR1-mediated activation of microglia drives the facilitation of excitatory synaptic transmission in the dorsal horn, which contributes to pain hypersensitivity in chronic pain states. PMID:25788673

  12. Do Enhanced Communication Technologies Inhibit or Facilitate Self-Regulated Learning?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Banyard, Philip; Underwood, Jean; Twiner, Alison

    2006-01-01

    The assumption tested here is whether the introduction of enhanced communication technologies in the form of high-speed broadband connectivity has removed or ameliorated any of the barriers to efficient and effective teaching and learning. Evidence is presented of how enhanced communication technologies have facilitated self-regulated learning.…

  13. Dendritic spikes amplify the synaptic signal to enhance detection of motion in a simulation of the direction-selective ganglion cell.

    PubMed

    Schachter, Michael J; Oesch, Nicholas; Smith, Robert G; Taylor, W Rowland

    2010-08-19

    The On-Off direction-selective ganglion cell (DSGC) in mammalian retinas responds most strongly to a stimulus moving in a specific direction. The DSGC initiates spikes in its dendritic tree, which are thought to propagate to the soma with high probability. Both dendritic and somatic spikes in the DSGC display strong directional tuning, whereas somatic PSPs (postsynaptic potentials) are only weakly directional, indicating that spike generation includes marked enhancement of the directional signal. We used a realistic computational model based on anatomical and physiological measurements to determine the source of the enhancement. Our results indicate that the DSGC dendritic tree is partitioned into separate electrotonic regions, each summing its local excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs to initiate spikes. Within each local region the local spike threshold nonlinearly amplifies the preferred response over the null response on the basis of PSP amplitude. Using inhibitory conductances previously measured in DSGCs, the simulation results showed that inhibition is only sufficient to prevent spike initiation and cannot affect spike propagation. Therefore, inhibition will only act locally within the dendritic arbor. We identified the role of three mechanisms that generate directional selectivity (DS) in the local dendritic regions. First, a mechanism for DS intrinsic to the dendritic structure of the DSGC enhances DS on the null side of the cell's dendritic tree and weakens it on the preferred side. Second, spatially offset postsynaptic inhibition generates robust DS in the isolated dendritic tips but weak DS near the soma. Third, presynaptic DS is apparently necessary because it is more robust across the dendritic tree. The pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms together can overcome the local intrinsic DS. These local dendritic mechanisms can perform independent nonlinear computations to make a decision, and there could be analogous mechanisms within cortical circuitry.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-10

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

  15. Curcumin Enhances Neurogenesis and Cognition in Aged Rats: Implications for Transcriptional Interactions Related to Growth and Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, E. Siobhan; Xiu, Jin; Tiwari, Jyoti K.; Hu, Yinghe; Cao, Xiaohua; Zhao, Zheng

    2012-01-01

    Background Curcumin has been demonstrated to have many neuroprotective properties, including improvement of cognition in humans and neurogenesis in animals, yet the mechanism of such effects remains unclear. Methodology We assessed behavioural performance and hippocampal cell proliferation in aged rats after 6- and 12-week curcumin-fortified diets. Curcumin enhanced non-spatial and spatial memory, as well as dentate gyrate cell proliferation as compared to control diet rats. We also investigated underlying mechanistic pathways that might link curcumin treatment to increased cognition and neurogenesis via exon array analysis of cortical and hippocampal mRNA transcription. The results revealed a transcriptional network interaction of genes involved in neurotransmission, neuronal development, signal transduction, and metabolism in response to the curcumin treatment. Conclusions The results suggest a neurogenesis- and cognition-enhancing potential of prolonged curcumin treatment in aged rats, which may be due to its diverse effects on genes related to growth and plasticity. PMID:22359574

  16. 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.

  17. Synaptic vesicle endocytosis.

    PubMed

    Saheki, Yasunori; De Camilli, Pietro

    2012-09-01

    Neurons can sustain high rates of synaptic transmission without exhausting their supply of synaptic vesicles. This property relies on a highly efficient local endocytic recycling of synaptic vesicle membranes, which can be reused for hundreds, possibly thousands, of exo-endocytic cycles. Morphological, physiological, molecular, and genetic studies over the last four decades have provided insight into the membrane traffic reactions that govern this recycling and its regulation. These studies have shown that synaptic vesicle endocytosis capitalizes on fundamental and general endocytic mechanisms but also involves neuron-specific adaptations of such mechanisms. Thus, investigations of these processes have advanced not only the field of synaptic transmission but also, more generally, the field of endocytosis. This article summarizes current information on synaptic vesicle endocytosis with an emphasis on the underlying molecular mechanisms and with a special focus on clathrin-mediated endocytosis, the predominant pathway of synaptic vesicle protein internalization.

  18. Synaptic Vesicle Endocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Saheki, Yasunori; De Camilli, Pietro

    2012-01-01

    Neurons can sustain high rates of synaptic transmission without exhausting their supply of synaptic vesicles. This property relies on a highly efficient local endocytic recycling of synaptic vesicle membranes, which can be reused for hundreds, possibly thousands, of exo-endocytic cycles. Morphological, physiological, molecular, and genetic studies over the last four decades have provided insight into the membrane traffic reactions that govern this recycling and its regulation. These studies have shown that synaptic vesicle endocytosis capitalizes on fundamental and general endocytic mechanisms but also involves neuron-specific adaptations of such mechanisms. Thus, investigations of these processes have advanced not only the field of synaptic transmission but also, more generally, the field of endocytosis. This article summarizes current information on synaptic vesicle endocytosis with an emphasis on the underlying molecular mechanisms and with a special focus on clathrin-mediated endocytosis, the predominant pathway of synaptic vesicle protein internalization. PMID:22763746

  19. Mechanism underlying unaltered cortical inhibitory synaptic transmission in contrast with enhanced excitatory transmission in CaV2.1 knockin migraine mice.

    PubMed

    Vecchia, Dania; Tottene, Angelita; van den Maagdenberg, Arn M J M; Pietrobon, Daniela

    2014-09-01

    Familial hemiplegic migraine type 1 (FHM1), a monogenic subtype of migraine with aura, is caused by gain-of-function mutations in CaV2.1 (P/Q-type) calcium channels. In FHM1 knockin mice, excitatory neurotransmission at cortical pyramidal cell synapses is enhanced, but inhibitory neurotransmission at connected pairs of fast-spiking (FS) interneurons and pyramidal cells is unaltered, despite being initiated by CaV2.1 channels. The mechanism underlying the unaltered GABA release at cortical FS interneuron synapses remains unknown. Here, we show that the FHM1 R192Q mutation does not affect inhibitory transmission at autapses of cortical FS and other types of multipolar interneurons in microculture from R192Q knockin mice, and investigate the underlying mechanism. Lowering the extracellular [Ca(2+)] did not reveal gain-of-function of evoked transmission neither in control nor after prolongation of the action potential (AP) with tetraethylammonium, indicating unaltered AP-evoked presynaptic calcium influx at inhibitory autapses in FHM1 KI mice. Neither saturation of the presynaptic calcium sensor nor short duration of the AP can explain the unaltered inhibitory transmission in the mutant mice. Recordings of the P/Q-type calcium current in multipolar interneurons in microculture revealed that the current density and the gating properties of the CaV2.1 channels expressed in these interneurons are barely affected by the FHM1 mutation, in contrast with the enhanced current density and left-shifted activation gating of mutant CaV2.1 channels in cortical pyramidal cells. Our findings suggest that expression of specific CaV2.1 channels differentially sensitive to modulation by FHM1 mutations in inhibitory and excitatory cortical neurons underlies the gain-of-function of excitatory but unaltered inhibitory synaptic transmission and the likely consequent dysregulation of the cortical excitatory-inhibitory balance in FHM1. PMID:24907493

  20. Enhancing Mathematics Communication using Critical Aspects and Dimensions of Variation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olteanu, Constanta; Olteanu, Lucian

    2013-01-01

    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…

  1. 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.

  2. Using Communication Technology to Enhance Interprofessional Education Simulations

    PubMed Central

    Shrader, Sarah; Shin, Tiffany; Heble, Annie; Kempin, Brian; Miller, Astyn; Patykiewicz, Nick

    2016-01-01

    Objective. To determine the impact of simulations using an alternative method of communication on students’ satisfaction, attitudes, confidence, and performance related to interprofessional communication. Design. One hundred sixty-three pharmacy students participated in a required applications-based capstone course. Students were randomly assigned to one of three interprofessional education (IPE) simulations with other health professions students using communication methods such as telephone, e-mail, and video conferencing. Assessment. Pharmacy students completed a validated survey instrument, Attitude Toward Healthcare Teams Scale (ATHCTS) prior to and after course participation. Significant positive changes occurred for 5 out of 20 items. Written reflection papers and student satisfaction surveys completed after participation showed positive themes and satisfaction. Course instructors evaluated student performance using rubrics for formative feedback. Conclusion. Implementation of IPE simulations using various methods of communication technology is an effective way for pharmacy schools to incorporate IPE into their curriculum. PMID:26941439

  3. Caring communications: how technology enhances interpersonal relations, Part II.

    PubMed

    Simpson, Roy L

    2008-01-01

    Part I of this 2-part series about technology's role in interpersonal communications examined how humans interact; proposed a caring theory of communication, collaboration, and conflict resolution; and delineated ways that technology--in general--supports this carative model of interpersonal relations. Part II will examine the barriers to adoption of carative technologies, describe the core capabilities required to overcome them, and discuss specific technologies that can support carative interpersonal relationships. PMID:18360212

  4. The rapid antidepressant and anxiolytic-like effects of YY-21 involve enhancement of excitatory synaptic transmission via activation of mTOR signaling in the mPFC.

    PubMed

    Guo, Fei; Zhang, Bing; Fu, Zhiwen; Ma, Yuqin; Gao, Yu; Shen, Fuyi; Huang, Chenggang; Li, Yang

    2016-07-01

    Although antidepressants have been widely prescribed to treat patients with major depressive disease (MDD), there is little disagreement over the need for improved antidepressant therapeutics as the typical treatments have a slow therapeutic onset and moderate efficacy. In the present study, we assessed a novel compound, YY-21, from timosaponin B-III derived from sarsasapogenin of Anemarrhenae Rhizoma. From the initial results, we found that YY-21 obviously increased presynaptic glutamate release and enhanced long-term synaptic activity within 10min as determined by excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC) and field excitatory postsynaptic potential (fEPSP) in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) slices, respectively. YY-21 demonstrated anxiolytic-like effects following acute administration in naïve animals and reversed the depressive-like and anxiety phenotypes induced by chronic unpredictable mild stress (CMS) with a relatively fast therapeutic onset. Furthermore, analysis of intracellular signaling pathways showed that YY-21 normalized the CMS-induced low protein levels of GluN2B, p-mTOR, synaptic-related proteins, such as BDNF, PSD-95 and GluA1. Pre-application of the mTOR-selective inhibitor rapamycin blocked YY-21-induced long-term synaptic enhancement. These findings suggest that the activation of BDNF-dependent mTOR signaling, which produces a rapid increase in the postsynaptic protein PSD-95 and GluA1 and further triggers the long-term enhancement of synaptic neurotransmission, may be the mechanism underlying the rapid antidepressant and anxiolytic effects induced by YY-21.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

    ... and Communication for New Molecular Entity New Drug Applications and Original Biologics License... Enhanced Review Transparency and Communication for New Molecular Entity (NME) New Drug Applications (NDAs... CONTACT: Andrea Tan, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903...

  8. Using Virtual Interactions to Enhance the Teaching of Communication Skills to Information Technology Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pineteh, Ernest A.

    2012-01-01

    This paper examines the use of virtual interactions in a Communication class at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT)-South Africa. It demonstrates how synthesising virtual and other computer-assisted exercises as well as traditional classroom-based activities can enhance the teaching and learning of communication concepts. The paper is…

  9. 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,…

  10. Open communication: Recommendations for enhancing communication among primary care and mental health providers, services, and systems.

    PubMed

    Wong, Shale L; Talmi, Ayelet

    2015-06-01

    Comments on the article "Please break the silence: Parents' views on communication between pediatric primary care and mental health providers" by Greene et al. (see record 2015-14521-001). The article highlights the need to improve communication between primary care and mental health care providers to better serve children and families. The report reaffirms that parents understand the value and necessity of collaborative care, as evidenced by the identification of gaps in consistency of bidirectional communication between providers in traditional and separate practice settings and the desire for improved care coordination.

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. 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)

  15. Strategic Interaction: A Method That Enhances Communicative Competence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Al-Khanji, Rajai

    The Strategic Interaction method has been found to be effective in developing oral skills among students in an intensive English language program at the University of Jordan, and holds promise for language instruction in other contexts. The method, which is predominantly communicative in nature, stresses language use and interaction in discourse…

  16. Enhancing nurse-patient communication: a critical reflection.

    PubMed

    Farrington, Naomi; Townsend, Kay

    Patients with cancer can easily become overloaded with information about diagnosis, prognosis, treatments and side effects. One of a nurse's most important roles is to help patients and their families make sense of this, providing support and information through their cancer journey. However, many barriers exist, including the nurse's own knowledge limitations, time constraints and the patient's engagement with the nurse. This paper uses critical reflection to evaluate an incident from clinical practice involving a patient with prostate cancer suffering from a distressing side effect of treatment: urinary incontinence following a transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). The paper examines nurse-patient communication, and evaluates how nurses can use communication strategies to minimise patient distress. Practical approaches to managing urinary incontinence are also discussed. This paper demonstrates that critical reflection is a valuable learning process that can alter clinical nursing practice to provide the best care for people with cancer.

  17. 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.

  18. Synaptic pathology: A shared mechanism in neurological disease.

    PubMed

    Henstridge, Christopher M; Pickett, Eleanor; Spires-Jones, Tara L

    2016-07-01

    Synaptic proteomes have evolved a rich and complex diversity to allow the exquisite control of neuronal communication and information transfer. It is therefore not surprising that many neurological disorders are associated with alterations in synaptic function. As technology has advanced, our ability to study the anatomical and physiological function of synapses in greater detail has revealed a critical role for both central and peripheral synapses in neurodegenerative disease. Synapse loss has a devastating effect on cellular communication, leading to wide ranging effects such as network disruption within central neural systems and muscle wastage in the periphery. These devastating effects link synaptic pathology to a diverse range of neurological disorders, spanning Alzheimer's disease to multiple sclerosis. This review will highlight some of the current literature on synaptic integrity in animal models of disease and human post-mortem studies. Synaptic changes in normal brain ageing will also be discussed and finally the current and prospective treatments for neurodegenerative disorders will be summarised. PMID:27108053

  19. Communication.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Strauss, Andre

    The following essays on communication are presented: communication as a condition of survival, communication for special purposes, the means of transmission of communication, communication within social and economic structures, the teaching of communication through the press, the teaching of modern languages, communication as a point of departure,…

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. EONS: an online synaptic modeling platform.

    PubMed

    Bouteiller, Jean-Marie C; Qiu, Yumei; Ziane, Mohammed B; Baudry, Michel; Berger, Theodore W

    2006-01-01

    Chemical synapses, although representing the smallest unit of communication between two neurons in the nervous system constitute a complex ensemble of mechanisms. Understanding these mechanisms and the way synaptic transmission occurs is critical for our comprehension of CNS functions in general and learning and memory in particular. Here we describe a modeling platform called EONS (Elementary Object of Neural System) accessible online, which allows neuroscientists throughout the world to study qualitatively, but also quantitatively the relative contributions of diverse mechanisms underlying synaptic efficacy: the relevance of each and every elements that comprise a synapse, the interactions between these components and their subcellular distribution, as well as the influence of synaptic geometry (presynaptic terminal, cleft and postsynaptic density).

  3. Enhancing patient safety in the pediatric emergency department: teams, communication, and lessons from crew resource management.

    PubMed

    Pruitt, Christopher M; Liebelt, Erica L

    2010-12-01

    The fast-paced and multifaceted nature of patient care in the emergency department makes our discipline especially prone to errors and adverse events. In recent years, strategies such as formal communication and medical team training have been proposed as potential means to enhance patient safety. In many ways, practice dynamics particular to the emergency department make this setting almost ideal for implementation of these strategies. This article reviews concepts of communication and team training in medicine, including those learned from the aviation industry (known as crew resource management). Recent literature pertaining to teams and communication in medicine is reviewed.

  4. Communication: Enhanced dissociative chemisorption of CO2 via vibrational excitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Bin; Guo, Hua

    2016-03-01

    A fully coupled global nine-dimensional potential energy surface for the dissociative chemisorption of CO2 on Ni(100) is constructed from ˜18 000 density functional points. It reveals a complex reaction pathway dominated by two near iso-energetic transition states. The dissociation probabilities obtained by quasi-classical trajectories on the potential energy surface reproduced experimental trends, and indicate that vibrational excitations of CO2 significantly promote the dissociation. Using the sudden vector projection model, the behavior of the reactivity is rationalized by couplings with the reaction coordinate at each transition state. These results offer plausible rationalization for the observed enhancement of CO2 dissociation in non-thermal plasmas by metal surfaces.

  5. Learning with two sites of synaptic integration.

    PubMed

    Körding, K P; König, P

    2000-02-01

    Since the classical work of D O Hebb 1949 The Organization of Behaviour (New York: Wiley) it is assumed that synaptic plasticity solely depends on the activity of the pre- and the postsynaptic cells. Synapses influence the plasticity of other synapses exclusively via the post-synaptic activity. This confounds effects on synaptic plasticity and neuronal activation and, thus, makes it difficult to implement networks which optimize global measures of performance. Exploring solutions to this problem, inspired by recent research on the properties of apical dendrites, we examine a network of neurons with two sites of synaptic integration. These communicate in such a way that one set of synapses mainly influences the neurons' activity; the other set gates synaptic plasticity. Analysing the system with a constant set of parameters reveals: (1) the afferents that gate plasticity act as supervisors, individual to every cell. (2) While the neurons acquire specific receptive fields the net activity remains constant for different stimuli. This ensures that all stimuli are represented and, thus, contributes to information maximization. (3) Mechanisms for maximization of coherent information can easily be implemented. Neurons with non-overlapping receptive fields learn to fire correlated and preferentially transmit information that is correlated over space. (4) We demonstrate how a new measure of performance can be implemented: cells learn to represent only the part of the input that is relevant to the processing at higher stages. This criterion is termed 'relevant infomax'.

  6. Learning with two sites of synaptic integration.

    PubMed

    Körding, K P; König, P

    2000-02-01

    Since the classical work of D O Hebb 1949 The Organization of Behaviour (New York: Wiley) it is assumed that synaptic plasticity solely depends on the activity of the pre- and the postsynaptic cells. Synapses influence the plasticity of other synapses exclusively via the post-synaptic activity. This confounds effects on synaptic plasticity and neuronal activation and, thus, makes it difficult to implement networks which optimize global measures of performance. Exploring solutions to this problem, inspired by recent research on the properties of apical dendrites, we examine a network of neurons with two sites of synaptic integration. These communicate in such a way that one set of synapses mainly influences the neurons' activity; the other set gates synaptic plasticity. Analysing the system with a constant set of parameters reveals: (1) the afferents that gate plasticity act as supervisors, individual to every cell. (2) While the neurons acquire specific receptive fields the net activity remains constant for different stimuli. This ensures that all stimuli are represented and, thus, contributes to information maximization. (3) Mechanisms for maximization of coherent information can easily be implemented. Neurons with non-overlapping receptive fields learn to fire correlated and preferentially transmit information that is correlated over space. (4) We demonstrate how a new measure of performance can be implemented: cells learn to represent only the part of the input that is relevant to the processing at higher stages. This criterion is termed 'relevant infomax'. PMID:10735527

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26109571

  8. Functionally heterogeneous synaptic vesicle pools support diverse synaptic signalling.

    PubMed

    Chamberland, Simon; Tóth, Katalin

    2016-02-15

    Synaptic communication between neurons is a highly dynamic process involving specialized structures. At the level of the presynaptic terminal, neurotransmission is ensured by fusion of vesicles to the membrane, which releases neurotransmitter in the synaptic cleft. Depending on the level of activity experienced by the terminal, the spatiotemporal properties of calcium invasion will dictate the timing and the number of vesicles that need to be released. Diverse presynaptic firing patterns are translated to neurotransmitter release with a distinct temporal feature. Complex patterns of neurotransmitter release can be achieved when different vesicles respond to distinct calcium dynamics in the presynaptic terminal. Specific vesicles from different pools are recruited during various modes of release as the particular molecular composition of their membrane proteins define their functional properties. Such diversity endows the presynaptic terminal with the ability to respond to distinct physiological signals via the mobilization of specific subpopulation of vesicles. There are several mechanisms by which a diverse vesicle population could be generated in single presynaptic terminals, including distinct recycling pathways that utilize various adaptor proteins. Several additional factors could potentially contribute to the development of a heterogeneous vesicle pool such as specialized release sites, spatial segregation within the terminal and specialized delivery pathways. Among these factors molecular heterogeneity plays a central role in defining the functional properties of different subpopulations of vesicles. PMID:26614712

  9. Transgenic Expression of Glud1 (Glutamate Dehydrogenase 1) in Neurons: In Vivo Model of Enhanced Glutamate Release, Altered Synaptic Plasticity, and Selective Neuronal Vulnerability

    PubMed Central

    Bao, Xiaodong; Pal, Ranu; Hascup, Kevin N.; Wang, Yongfu; Wang, Wen-Tung; Xu, Wenhao; Hui, Dongwei; Agbas, Abdulbaki; Wang, Xinkun; Michaelis, Mary L.; Choi, In-Young; Belousov, Andrei B.; Gerhardt, Greg A.; Michaelis, Elias K.

    2010-01-01

    The effects of lifelong, moderate excess release of glutamate (Glu) in the CNS have not been previously characterized. We created a transgenic (Tg) mouse model of lifelong excess synaptic Glu release in the CNS by introducing the gene for glutamate dehydrogenase 1 (Glud1) under the control of the neuron-specific enolase promoter. Glud1 is, potentially, an important enzyme in the pathway of Glu synthesis in nerve terminals. Increased levels of GLUD protein and activity in CNS neurons of hemizygous Tg mice were associated with increases in the in vivo release of Glu after neuronal depolarization in striatum and in the frequency and amplitude of miniature EPSCs in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Despite overexpression of Glud1 in all neurons of the CNS, the Tg mice suffered neuronal losses in select brain regions (e.g., the CA1 but not the CA3 region). In vulnerable regions, Tg mice had decreases in MAP2A labeling of dendrites and in synaptophysin labeling of presynaptic terminals; the decreases in neuronal numbers and dendrite and presynaptic terminal labeling increased with advancing age. In addition, the Tg mice exhibited decreases in long-term potentiation of synaptic activity and in spine density in dendrites of CA1 neurons. Behaviorally, the Tg mice were significantly more resistant than wild-type mice to induction and duration of anesthesia produced by anesthetics that suppress Glu neurotransmission. The Glud1 mouse might be a useful model for the effects of lifelong excess synaptic Glu release on CNS neurons and for age-associated neurodegenerative processes. PMID:19890003

  10. 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...

  11. 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…

  12. Grade/Study-Performance Contracts, Enhanced Communication, Cooperative Learning, and Student Performance in Undergraduate Organic Chemistry.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dougherty, Ralph C.

    1997-01-01

    Describes and evaluates a teaching strategy, designed to increase student retention while maintaining academic performance levels in undergraduate organic chemistry, that uses grade/study-performance contracts, enhanced communication using electronic mail, and cooperative learning. Concludes that a series of interventions can substantially…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. How Can Mobile SMS Communication Support and Enhance a First Year Undergraduate Learning Environment?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Geraldine; Edwards, Gabriele; Reid, Alan

    2009-01-01

    In this paper we discuss a case study investigating how the academic and personal development of first year students on an undergraduate sports education degree can be supported and enhanced with mobile SMS (Short Message Service) communication. SMS-based technologies were introduced in response to students' particular needs (in transition to…

  2. 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.…

  3. 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.

  4. Translational control of synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Richter, Joel D

    2010-12-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tonfoni, Graziella

    1994-11-01

    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.

  7. Sustained running in rats administered corticosterone prevents the development of depressive behaviors and enhances hippocampal neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity without increasing neurotrophic factor levels.

    PubMed

    Yau, Suk-Yu; Li, Ang; Zhang, En-Dong; Christie, Brian R; Xu, Aimin; Lee, Tatia M C; So, Kwok-Fai

    2014-01-01

    We have previously shown that voluntary running acts as an anxiolytic and ameliorates deficits in hippocampal neurogenesis and spatial learning. It also reduces depression-like behaviors that are normally observed in rats that were administered either low (30 mg/kg) or moderate (40 mg/kg) doses of corticosterone (CORT). However, the protective effects of running were absent in rats treated with a high (50 mg/kg) dose of CORT. We examined whether allowing animals to exercise for 2 weeks prior and/or concurrently with the administration of 50 mg/kg CORT treatment could have similar protective effects. We examined hippocampal neurogenesis using immunohistochemical staining of proliferative and survival cells with the thymidine analogs (BrdU, CIdU, and IdU). In addition, we monitored synaptic protein expression and quantified the levels of neurotrophic factors in these animals as well as performing behavioral analyses (forced swim test and sucrose preference test). Our results indicate that the depressive phenotype and reductions in neurogenesis that normally accompany high CORT administration could only be prevented by allowing animals to exercise both prior to and concurrently with the CORT administration period. These animals also showed increases in both synaptophysin and PSD-95 protein levels, but surprisingly, neither brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) nor insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) levels were increased in these animals. The results suggest that persistent exercise can strengthen resilience to stress by promoting hippocampal neurogenesis and increasing synaptic protein levels, thereby reducing the deleterious effects of stress.

  8. Synaptic vesicle pools: an update.

    PubMed

    Denker, Annette; Rizzoli, Silvio O

    2010-01-01

    During the last few decades synaptic vesicles have been assigned to a variety of functional and morphological classes or "pools". We have argued in the past (Rizzoli and Betz, 2005) that synaptic activity in several preparations is accounted for by the function of three vesicle pools: the readily releasable pool (docked at active zones and ready to go upon stimulation), the recycling pool (scattered throughout the nerve terminals and recycling upon moderate stimulation), and finally the reserve pool (occupying most of the vesicle clusters and only recycling upon strong stimulation). We discuss here the advancements in the vesicle pool field which took place in the ensuing years, focusing on the behavior of different pools under both strong stimulation and physiological activity. Several new findings have enhanced the three-pool model, with, for example, the disparity between recycling and reserve vesicles being underlined by the observation that the former are mobile, while the latter are "fixed". Finally, a number of altogether new concepts have also evolved such as the current controversy on the identity of the spontaneously recycling vesicle pool. PMID:21423521

  9. 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

  10. The need for and development of an adaptive Listening and Communication Enhancement (LACE) Program.

    PubMed

    Sweetow, Robert W; Sabes, Jennifer Henderson

    2006-09-01

    Auditory training has long been advocated to enhance communication but has never been time or cost-effective. This article describes the concepts underlying the development of a home-based, interactive adaptive computer program designed to engage the adult hearing-impaired listener in the hearing-aid-fitting process, provide listening strategies, build confidence, and address cognitive changes characteristic of the aging process. An investigation using a between-group, within-subject design with pre- and post-test objective and subjective measures was conducted at five clinical sites. Sixty-five subjects were randomly placed into two groups, one receiving LACE (Listening and Communication Enhancement) immediately following baseline testing and one serving as a control for one month and then receiving training as a crossover group. Results showed statistically significant improvements for the trained subjects on all but one of the outcome measures. Barriers facing the widespread implementation of home-based aural rehabilitation are discussed. PMID:16999250

  11. Synaptic Mitochondria in Synaptic Transmission and Organization of Vesicle Pools in Health and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Vos, Melissa; Lauwers, Elsa; Verstreken, Patrik

    2010-01-01

    Cell types rich in mitochondria, including neurons, display a high energy demand and a need for calcium buffering. The importance of mitochondria for proper neuronal function is stressed by the occurrence of neurological defects in patients suffering from a great variety of diseases caused by mutations in mitochondrial genes. Genetic and pharmacological evidence also reveal a role of these organelles in various aspects of neuronal physiology and in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders. Yet the mechanisms by which mitochondria can affect neurotransmission largely remain to be elucidated. In this review we focus on experimental data that suggest a critical function of synaptic mitochondria in the function and organization of synaptic vesicle pools, and in neurotransmitter release during intense neuronal activity. We discuss how calcium handling, ATP production and other mitochondrial mechanisms may influence synaptic vesicle pool organization and synaptic function. Given the link between synaptic mitochondrial function and neuronal communication, efforts toward better understanding mitochondrial biology may lead to novel therapeutic approaches of neurological disorders including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and psychiatric disorders that are at least in part caused by mitochondrial deficits. PMID:21423525

  12. Sleep and Synaptic Renormalization: A Computational Study

    PubMed Central

    Olcese, Umberto; Esser, Steve K.

    2010-01-01

    Recent evidence indicates that net synaptic strength in cortical and other networks increases during wakefulness and returns to a baseline level during sleep. These homeostatic changes in synaptic strength are accompanied by corresponding changes in sleep slow wave activity (SWA) and in neuronal firing rates and synchrony. Other evidence indicates that sleep is associated with an initial reactivation of learned firing patterns that decreases over time. Finally, sleep can enhance performance of learned tasks, aid memory consolidation, and desaturate the ability to learn. Using a large-scale model of the corticothalamic system equipped with a spike-timing dependent learning rule, in agreement with experimental results, we demonstrate a net increase in synaptic strength in the waking mode associated with an increase in neuronal firing rates and synchrony. In the sleep mode, net synaptic strength decreases accompanied by a decline in SWA. We show that the interplay of activity and plasticity changes implements a control loop yielding an exponential, self-limiting renormalization of synaptic strength. Moreover, when the model “learns” a sequence of activation during waking, the learned sequence is preferentially reactivated during sleep, and reactivation declines over time. Finally, sleep-dependent synaptic renormalization leads to increased signal-to-noise ratios, increased resistance to interference, and desaturation of learning capabilities. Although the specific mechanisms implemented in the model cannot capture the variety and complexity of biological substrates, and will need modifications in line with future evidence, the present simulations provide a unified, parsimonious account for diverse experimental findings coming from molecular, electrophysiological, and behavioral approaches. PMID:20926617

  13. Optogenetics and synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  14. Retinal synaptic regeneration via microfluidic guiding channels.

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-28

    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.

  15. Regulation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity by BDNF.

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-24

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

  16. 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

  17. Retinal synaptic regeneration via microfluidic guiding channels.

    PubMed

    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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Simvastatin protects Sertoli cells against cisplatin cytotoxicity through enhanced gap junction intercellular communication.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lingzhi; Peng, Jianxin; Huang, Huansen; Wang, Qin; Yu, Meiling; Tao, Liang

    2015-10-01

    Cisplatin, an important chemotherapeutic agent against testicular germ cell cancer, induces testicular toxicity on Leydig and Sertoli cells, leading to serious side-effects such as azoospermia and infertility. In a previous study, it was found that simvastatin enhanced the sensitivity of Leydig tumor cells to chemotherapeutic toxicity through the enhancement of gap junction functions. In the present study, the effect of simvastatin on the sensitivity of normal Sertoli cells to cisplatin and the role of gap junctions in such effects was investigated. The results showed that, simvastatin attenuated cisplatin toxicity only when cells exhibited high-density culture where gap junctional formation was possible. When gap junction function was decreased by the gap junction inhibitor or by siRNA targeting connexin 43, the protective effect of simvastatin to cisplatin toxicity was substantially attenuated. Simvastatin also enhanced gap junction functions between Sertoli cells. This effect was mediated by the reduction of PKC-mediated connexin phosphorylation, thereby increasing connexin 43 membrane localization. Thus, simvastatin-induced enhancement of gap junction‑mediated intercellular communication attenuated cisplatin toxicity on Sertoli cells. This result indicated that enhancement of gap junction function by simvastatin may have bilateral beneficial effects on cisplatin‑based chemotherapy, enhancing cisplatin killing on cancer while ameliorating the reproduction toxicity.

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. 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. PMID:24514608

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:27444599

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Honnuraiah, Suraj; Narayanan, Rishikesh

    2013-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Distinct Subunit Domains Govern Synaptic Stability and Specificity of the Kainate Receptor.

    PubMed

    Straub, Christoph; Noam, Yoav; Nomura, Toshihiro; Yamasaki, Miwako; Yan, Dan; Fernandes, Herman B; Zhang, Ping; Howe, James R; Watanabe, Masahiko; Contractor, Anis; Tomita, Susumu

    2016-07-12

    Synaptic communication between neurons requires the precise localization of neurotransmitter receptors to the correct synapse type. Kainate-type glutamate receptors restrict synaptic localization that is determined by the afferent presynaptic connection. The mechanisms that govern this input-specific synaptic localization remain unclear. Here, we examine how subunit composition and specific subunit domains contribute to synaptic localization of kainate receptors. The cytoplasmic domain of the GluK2 low-affinity subunit stabilizes kainate receptors at synapses. In contrast, the extracellular domain of the GluK4/5 high-affinity subunit synergistically controls the synaptic specificity of kainate receptors through interaction with C1q-like proteins. Thus, the input-specific synaptic localization of the native kainate receptor complex involves two mechanisms that underlie specificity and stabilization of the receptor at synapses.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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…

  19. Classification: Molecular & Synaptic Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Lussier, Marc P.; Gu, Xinglong; Lu, Wei; Roche, Katherine W.

    2014-01-01

    Controlling the density of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors (AMPARs) at synapses is essential for regulating the strength of excitatory neurotransmission. In particular, the phosphorylation of AMPARs is important for defining both synaptic expression and intracellular routing of receptors. Phosphorylation is a posttranslational modification known to regulate many cellular events and the C-termini of glutamate receptors are important targets. Recently, the first intracellular loop1 region of the GluA1 subunit of AMPARs was reported to regulate synaptic targeting through phosphorylation of S567 by Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII). Intriguingly, the loop1 region of all four AMPAR subunits contains many putative phosphorylation sites (S/T/Y), leaving the possibility that other kinases may regulate AMPAR surface expression via phosphorylation of the loop regions. To explore this hypothesis, we used in vitro phosphorylation assays with a small panel of purified kinases and found that casein kinase 2 (CK2) phosphorylates the GluA1 and GluA2 loop1 regions, but not GluA3 or GluA4. Interestingly, when we reduced the endogenous expression of CK2 using a specific shRNA against the regulatory subunit CK2β, we detected a reduction of GluA1 surface expression, whereas GluA2 was unchanged. Furthermore, we identified S579 of GluA1 as a substrate of CK2, and the expression of GluA1 phospho-deficient mutants in hippocampal neurons displayed reduced surface expression. Therefore, our study identifies CK2 as a regulator of GluA1 surface expression by phosphorylating the intracellular loop1 region. PMID:24712994

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Diversity climate enhances work outcomes through trust and openness in workgroup communication.

    PubMed

    Hofhuis, Joep; van der Rijt, Pernill G A; Vlug, Martijn

    2016-01-01

    Diversity climate, defined as an organizational climate characterized by openness towards and appreciation of individual differences, has been shown to enhance outcomes in culturally diverse teams. To date, it remains unclear which processes are responsible for these findings. This paper presents two quantitative studies (n = 91; 246) that identify trust and openness in workgroup communication as possible mediators. We replicate earlier findings that perceived diversity climate positively relates to job satisfaction, sense of inclusion, work group identification and knowledge sharing in teams. In study 1, trust is shown to mediate the effects of perceived diversity climate on team members' sense of inclusion. In study 2, trust mediates the relationship between perceived diversity climate and workgroup identification and openness mediates its relationship with knowledge sharing. PMID:27375983

  3. 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. PMID:27519064

  4. Better communication could have enhanced enforcement of federal oil-pricing regulations

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1981-05-04

    The Justice and Energy Departments could have enhanced their efforts to enforce oil pricing regulations through increased communication and coordination if: (1) Justice had provided Energy with detailed written information on preliminary decisions to decline prosecution; (2) Energy had provided Justice with information, prior to referral, on investigations being conducted by its Office of Special Counsel; and (3) Energy had better insured that its district Office of Enforcement officials identified and forwarded to Energy's Office of General Counsel for possible civil action by Justice cases where remedial orders had been issued and complied with. Justice agreed with the need to provide Energy with information on preliminary decisions to decline prosecution but did not agree that written notification should be made. Energy agreed on the need to insure civil penalties are sought, when appropriate, in cases where remedial orders have been issued and compiled with.

  5. Performance enhancement using forward error correction on power line communication channels

    SciTech Connect

    Chan, M.H.L. ); Friedman, D.; Donaldson, R.W. )

    1994-04-01

    The use of forward error correction (FEC) coding is investigated, to enhance communication throughput and reliability on noisy power line networks. Rate one-half self-orthogonal convolutional codes are considered. These codes are known to be effective in other environments, and can be decoded inexpensively in real-time using majority logic decoders. Extensive bit and packet error rate tests were conducted on actual, noisy in-building power line links. Coding gains of 15 dB were observed at 10[sup [minus]3] decoded bit error rates. A self-orthogonal (2, 1, 6) convolutional code with interleaving to degree 7 was particularly effective, and was implemented as a VLSI microelectronic chip. Its use improved data throughput and packet error rates substantially, at data transmission rates of 9,600 bits/s.

  6. Diversity climate enhances work outcomes through trust and openness in workgroup communication.

    PubMed

    Hofhuis, Joep; van der Rijt, Pernill G A; Vlug, Martijn

    2016-01-01

    Diversity climate, defined as an organizational climate characterized by openness towards and appreciation of individual differences, has been shown to enhance outcomes in culturally diverse teams. To date, it remains unclear which processes are responsible for these findings. This paper presents two quantitative studies (n = 91; 246) that identify trust and openness in workgroup communication as possible mediators. We replicate earlier findings that perceived diversity climate positively relates to job satisfaction, sense of inclusion, work group identification and knowledge sharing in teams. In study 1, trust is shown to mediate the effects of perceived diversity climate on team members' sense of inclusion. In study 2, trust mediates the relationship between perceived diversity climate and workgroup identification and openness mediates its relationship with knowledge sharing.

  7. 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

  8. Circadian Regulation of Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Frank, Marcos G

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Synaptic Tagging During Memory Allocation

    PubMed Central

    Rogerson, Thomas; Cai, Denise; Frank, Adam; Sano, Yoshitake; Shobe, Justin; Aranda, Manuel L.; Silva, Alcino J.

    2014-01-01

    There is now compelling evidence that the allocation of memory to specific neurons (neuronal allocation) and synapses (synaptic allocation) in a neurocircuit is not random and that instead specific mechanisms, such as increases in neuronal excitability and synaptic tagging and capture, determine the exact sites where memories are stored. We propose an integrated view of these processes, such that neuronal allocation, synaptic tagging and capture, spine clustering and metaplasticity reflect related aspects of memory allocation mechanisms. Importantly, the properties of these mechanisms suggest a set of rules that profoundly affect how memories are stored and recalled. PMID:24496410

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Communicative social capital and collective efficacy as determinants of access to health-enhancing resources in residential communities.

    PubMed

    Matsaganis, Matthew D; Wilkin, Holley A

    2015-04-01

    This article contributes to the burgeoning literature on the social determinants of health disparities. The authors investigate how communication resources and collective efficacy, independently and in combination, shape residents' access to health enhancing resources (including healthcare services, sources of healthier food options, and public recreation spaces) in their communities. Using random digit dial telephone survey data from 833 residents of South Los Angeles communities the authors show that communicative social capital-that is, an information and problem-solving resource that accrues to residents as they become more integrated into their local communication network of neighbors, community organizations, and local media-plays a significant role in access to health resources. This relationship is complicated by individuals' health insurance and health status, as communicative social capital magnifies the sense of absence of resources for those who are in worse health and lack insurance. Communicative social capital builds collective efficacy, which is positively related to access to health-enhancing resources, but it also mediates the negative relationship between communicative social capital and access to health resources. Residents with richer stores of communicative social capital and collective efficacy report better access to health resources. The authors conclude with a discussion of implications of these findings and suggestions for future research.

  14. Restoration of synaptic plasticity and learning in young and aged NCAM-deficient mice by enhancing neurotransmission mediated by GluN2A-containing NMDA receptors.

    PubMed

    Kochlamazashvili, Gaga; Bukalo, Olena; Senkov, Oleg; Salmen, Benedikt; Gerardy-Schahn, Rita; Engel, Andreas K; Schachner, Melitta; Dityatev, Alexander

    2012-02-15

    Neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) is the predominant carrier of the unusual glycan polysialic acid (PSA). Deficits in PSA and/or NCAM expression cause impairments in hippocampal long-term potentiation and depression (LTP and LTD) and are associated with schizophrenia and aging. In this study, we show that impaired LTP in adult NCAM-deficient (NCAM(-/-)) mice is restored by increasing the activity of the NMDA subtype of glutamate receptor (GluN) through either reducing the extracellular Mg2+ concentration or applying d-cycloserine (DCS), a partial agonist of the GluN glycine binding site. Pharmacological inhibition of the GluN2A subtype reduced LTP to the same level in NCAM(-/-) and wild-type (NCAM(+/+)) littermate mice and abolished the rescue by DCS in NCAM(-/-) mice, suggesting that the effects of DCS are mainly mediated by GluN2A. The insufficient contribution of GluN to LTD in NCAM(-/-) mice was also compensated for by DCS. Furthermore, impaired contextual and cued fear conditioning levels were restored in NCAM(-/-) mice by administration of DCS before conditioning. In 12-month-old NCAM(-/-), but not NCAM(+/+) mice, there was a decline in LTP compared with 3-month-old mice that could be rescued by DCS. In 24-month-old mice of both genotypes, there was a reduction in LTP that could be fully restored by DCS in NCAM(+/+) mice but only partially restored in NCAM(-/-) mice. Thus, several deficiencies of NCAM(-/-) mice can be ameliorated by enhancing GluN2A-mediated neurotransmission with DCS.

  15. Endocytosis of VAMP is facilitated by a synaptic vesicle targeting signal

    PubMed Central

    1996-01-01

    After synaptic vesicles fuse with the plasma membrane and release their contents, vesicle membrane proteins recycle by endocytosis and are targeted to newly formed synaptic vesicles. The membrane traffic of an epitope-tagged form of VAMP-2 (VAMP-TAg) was observed in transfected cells to identify sequence requirements for recycling of a synaptic vesicle membrane protein. In the neuroendocrine PC12 cell line VAMP-TAg is found not only in synaptic vesicles, but also in endosomes and on the plasma membrane. Endocytosis of VAMP-TAg is a rapid and saturable process. At high expression levels VAMP-TAg accumulates at the cell surface. Rapid endocytosis of VAMP-TAg also occurs in transfected CHO cells and is therefore independent of other synaptic proteins. The majority of the measured endocytosis is not directly into synaptic vesicles since mutations in VAMP-TAg that enhance synaptic vesicle targeting did not affect endocytosis. Nonetheless, mutations that inhibited synaptic vesicle targeting, in particular replacement of methionine-46 by alanine, inhibited endocytosis by 85% in PC12 cells and by 35% in CHO cells. These results demonstrate that the synaptic vesicle targeting signal is also used for endocytosis and can be recognized in cells lacking synaptic vesicles. PMID:8647886

  16. Endocannabinoid signaling and synaptic function

    PubMed Central

    Castillo, Pablo E.; Younts, Thomas J.; Chávez, Andrés E.; Hashimotodani, Yuki

    2012-01-01

    Endocannabinoids are key modulators of synaptic function. By activating cannabinoid receptors expressed in the central nervous system, these lipid messengers can regulate several neural functions and behaviors. As experimental tools advance, the repertoire of known endocannabinoid-mediated effects at the synapse, and their underlying mechanism, continues to expand. Retrograde signaling is the principal mode by which endocannabinoids mediate short- and long-term forms of plasticity at both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. However, growing evidence suggests that endocannabinoids can also signal in a non-retrograde manner. In addition to mediating synaptic plasticity, the endocannabinoid system is itself subject to plastic changes. Multiple points of interaction with other neuromodulatory and signaling systems have now been identified. Synaptic endocannabinoid signaling is thus mechanistically more complex and diverse than originally thought. In this review, we focus on new advances in endocannabinoid signaling and highlight their role as potent regulators of synaptic function in the mammalian brain. PMID:23040807

  17. 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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24977345

  18. Cholinergic Signaling through Synaptic SK Channels: It’s a Protein Kinase but Which One?

    PubMed Central

    Maylie, James; Adelman, John P.

    2016-01-01

    Cholinergic signaling modulates synaptic responses and influences cognition. In this issue of Neuron, two groups (Buchanan et al. and Giessel and Sabatini) present evidence that cholinergic signaling enhances postsynaptic responses in CA1 neurons by decreasing synaptic SK channel activity. However, they come to different conclusions about the protein kinases involved in this process. PMID:21144995

  19. 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…

  20. Depression as a Glial-Based Synaptic Dysfunction.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-01-01

    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 pharmacological tools to

  1. Synaptic Mechanisms of Blast-Induced Brain Injury.

    PubMed

    Przekwas, Andrzej; Somayaji, Mahadevabharath R; Gupta, Raj K

    2016-01-01

    Blast wave-induced traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most common injuries to military personnel. Brain tissue compression/tension due to blast-induced cranial deformations and shear waves due to head rotation may generate diffuse micro-damage to neuro-axonal structures and trigger a cascade of neurobiological events culminating in cognitive and neurodegenerative disorders. Although diffuse axonal injury is regarded as a signature wound of mild TBI (mTBI), blast loads may also cause synaptic injury wherein neuronal synapses are stretched and sheared. This synaptic injury may result in temporary disconnect of the neural circuitry and transient loss in neuronal communication. We hypothesize that mTBI symptoms such as loss of consciousness or dizziness, which start immediately after the insult, could be attributed to synaptic injury. Although empirical evidence is beginning to emerge; the detailed mechanisms underlying synaptic injury are still elusive. Coordinated in vitro-in vivo experiments and mathematical modeling studies can shed light into the synaptic injury mechanisms and their role in the potentiation of mTBI symptoms. PMID:26834697

  2. Synaptic Mechanisms of Blast-Induced Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Przekwas, Andrzej; Somayaji, Mahadevabharath R.; Gupta, Raj K.

    2016-01-01

    Blast wave-induced traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most common injuries to military personnel. Brain tissue compression/tension due to blast-induced cranial deformations and shear waves due to head rotation may generate diffuse micro-damage to neuro-axonal structures and trigger a cascade of neurobiological events culminating in cognitive and neurodegenerative disorders. Although diffuse axonal injury is regarded as a signature wound of mild TBI (mTBI), blast loads may also cause synaptic injury wherein neuronal synapses are stretched and sheared. This synaptic injury may result in temporary disconnect of the neural circuitry and transient loss in neuronal communication. We hypothesize that mTBI symptoms such as loss of consciousness or dizziness, which start immediately after the insult, could be attributed to synaptic injury. Although empirical evidence is beginning to emerge; the detailed mechanisms underlying synaptic injury are still elusive. Coordinated in vitro–in vivo experiments and mathematical modeling studies can shed light into the synaptic injury mechanisms and their role in the potentiation of mTBI symptoms. PMID:26834697

  3. Introduction of a guide to enhance risk communication among low-income and minority populations: a grassroots community engagement approach.

    PubMed

    Rowel, Randy; Sheikhattari, Payam; Barber, Tanyka M; Evans-Holland, Myrtle

    2012-01-01

    Low-income populations, especially those belonging to minority groups, are among the most vulnerable groups before, during, and after a natural disaster. One of the factors that can be attributed to their vulnerability is the ineffectiveness of traditional risk communication systems in reaching this population. Many low-income populations are distrustful of government agencies and those who typically communicate risk messages. Consequently, traditional systems are not as effective in reaching these communities. Furthermore, traditional systems have been based on the social media that the general population uses and not based on social networks of disadvantaged populations which are more important than formal channels in these communities for dissemination of information. To bridge the gap, an approach is needed that relies on trusted agencies and leaders to educate and warn low-income communities about possible public health threats. A grassroots approach can enhance the capacity of the risk communication systems to more effectively reach vulnerable populations by engaging grassroots organizations in risk communication activities. The Guide to Enhance Grassroots Risk Communication Among Low-Income Populations provides strategies and guidance that can assist agencies in upgrading their systems for risk communication by building partnerships with local community stakeholders.

  4. The Effects of Enhanced Milieu Teaching and a Voice Output Communication Aid on the Requesting of Three Children with Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olive, Melissa L.; de la Cruz, Berenice; Davis, Tonya N.; Chan, Jeffrey M.; Lang, Russell B.; O'Reilly, Mark F.; Dickson, Sarah M.

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of enhanced milieu teaching when combined with a voice output communication aid on the requesting skills of three children with autism. The research design was a multiple probe across participants. All sessions were conducted during 5-min play sessions in the child's classroom. All three…

  5. 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…

  6. Workplace Learning Curriculum Guides. Volume VIII: Enhanced Basic Skills--Listening Skills, Communications, Speech, Self-Esteem, Individual Workplace Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colorado Community Coll. and Occupational Education System, Denver.

    This volume, the last of a series of eight curriculum guides compiled by the Colorado Workplace Learning Initiative: 1991-92, contains 11 workplace literacy courses on enhanced basic skills including listening skills, communications, speech, self-esteem, and individual workplace skills. Introductory materials include a table of contents and a list…

  7. 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…

  8. Synaptic Cell Adhesion Molecules in Alzheimer's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Leshchyns'ka, Iryna

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Meyer, Daniel; Bonhoeffer, Tobias; Scheuss, Volker

    2014-04-16

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

  10. Grade/Performance Contracts, Enhanced Communication, Cooperative Learning and Student Performance in Undergraduate Organic Chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dougherty, Ralph C.

    1997-06-01

    This paper describes a grade/study-performance contract that was designed to increase student retention while maintaining academic performance levels in undergraduate organic chemistry. The experimental course included enhanced communication using electronic mail, and cooperative learning in addition to grade/study-performance contracts. The objective of the grade/study-performance contract was the development of learning skills with creation of a basis for unobtrusive auditing of performance. The retention rate in the experimental course was 0.82 for the first term and 0.93 for the second term. The overall retention was 0.76. This value was 3.8 times the average retention for the same sequence in the previous five years at the same institution. It was seven standard deviations away from the previous mean. The ACS Organic Chemistry Examination percentile score for the control section was 46+25 (n=117). The corresponding data for the experimental section was 53+23 (n=143). When the course was offered with the same instructor, cooperative learning, e-mail, but no grade/study-performance contract the ACS Exam percentile average 37+29. This represents a drop of 9.9 standard deviations for comparison of the means. We conclude that grade/study-performance contracts can be effective in increasing both student performance and retention in undergraduate organic chemistry.

  11. Dephosphorylated synapsin I anchors synaptic vesicles to actin cytoskeleton: an analysis by videomicroscopy.

    PubMed

    Ceccaldi, P E; Grohovaz, F; Benfenati, F; Chieregatti, E; Greengard, P; Valtorta, F

    1995-03-01

    Synapsin I is a synaptic vesicle-associated protein which inhibits neurotransmitter release, an effect which is abolished upon its phosphorylation by Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaM kinase II). Based on indirect evidence, it was suggested that this effect on neurotransmitter release may be achieved by the reversible anchoring of synaptic vesicles to the actin cytoskeleton of the nerve terminal. Using video-enhanced microscopy, we have now obtained experimental evidence in support of this model: the presence of dephosphorylated synapsin I is necessary for synaptic vesicles to bind actin; synapsin I is able to promote actin polymerization and bundling of actin filaments in the presence of synaptic vesicles; the ability to cross-link synaptic vesicles and actin is specific for synapsin I and is not shared by other basic proteins; the cross-linking between synaptic vesicles and actin is specific for the membrane of synaptic vesicles and does not reflect either a non-specific binding of membranes to the highly surface active synapsin I molecule or trapping of vesicles within the thick bundles of actin filaments; the formation of the ternary complex is virtually abolished when synapsin I is phosphorylated by CaM kinase II. The data indicate that synapsin I markedly affects synaptic vesicle traffic and cytoskeleton assembly in the nerve terminal and provide a molecular basis for the ability of synapsin I to regulate the availability of synaptic vesicles for exocytosis and thereby the efficiency of neurotransmitter release. PMID:7876313

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Sung-Cherl; Eun, Su-Yong

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Synaptic representation of locomotion in single cerebellar granule cells

    PubMed Central

    Powell, Kate; Mathy, Alexandre; Duguid, Ian; Häusser, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The cerebellum plays a crucial role in the regulation of locomotion, but how movement is represented at the synaptic level is not known. Here, we use in vivo patch-clamp recordings to show that locomotion can be directly read out from mossy fiber synaptic input and spike output in single granule cells. The increase in granule cell spiking during locomotion is enhanced by glutamate spillover currents recruited during movement. Surprisingly, the entire step sequence can be predicted from input EPSCs and output spikes of a single granule cell, suggesting that a robust gait code is present already at the cerebellar input layer and transmitted via the granule cell pathway to downstream Purkinje cells. Thus, synaptic input delivers remarkably rich information to single neurons during locomotion. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07290.001 PMID:26083712

  16. Dendritic and synaptic effects in systems of coupled cortical oscillators.

    PubMed

    Crook, S M; Ermentrout, G B; Bower, J M

    1998-07-01

    We explore the influence of synaptic location and form on the behavior of networks of coupled cortical oscillators. First, we develop a model of two coupled somatic oscillators that includes passive dendritic cables. Using a phase model approach, we show that the synchronous solution can change from a stable solution to an unstable one as the cable lengthens and the synaptic position moves further from the soma. We confirm this prediction using a system of coupled compartmental models. We also demonstrate that when the synchronous solution becomes unstable, a bifurcation occurs and a pair of asynchronous stable solutions appear, causing a phase lag between the cells in the system. Then using a variety of coupling functions and different synaptic positions, we show that distal connections and broad synaptic time courses encourage phase lags that can be reduced, eliminated, or enhanced by the presence of active currents in the dendrite. This mechanism may appear in neural systems where proximal connections could be used to encourage synchrony, and distal connections and broad synaptic time courses could be used to produce phase lags that can be modulated by active currents.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  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. SynProt: A Database for Proteins of Detergent-Resistant Synaptic Protein Preparations

    PubMed Central

    Pielot, Rainer; Smalla, Karl-Heinz; Müller, Anke; Landgraf, Peter; Lehmann, Anne-Christin; Eisenschmidt, Elke; Haus, Utz-Uwe; Weismantel, Robert; Gundelfinger, Eckart D.; Dieterich, Daniela C.

    2012-01-01

    Chemical synapses are highly specialized cell–cell contacts for communication between neurons in the CNS characterized by complex and dynamic protein networks at both synaptic membranes. The cytomatrix at the active zone (CAZ) organizes the apparatus for the regulated release of transmitters from the presynapse. At the postsynaptic side, the postsynaptic density constitutes the machinery for detection, integration, and transduction of the transmitter signal. Both pre- and postsynaptic protein networks represent the molecular substrates for synaptic plasticity. Their function can be altered both by regulating their composition and by post-translational modification of their components. For a comprehensive understanding of synaptic networks the entire ensemble of synaptic proteins has to be considered. To support this, we established a comprehensive database for synaptic junction proteins (SynProt database) primarily based on proteomics data obtained from biochemical preparations of detergent-resistant synaptic junctions. The database currently contains 2,788 non-redundant entries of rat, mouse, and some human proteins, which mainly have been manually extracted from 12 proteomic studies and annotated for synaptic subcellular localization. Each dataset is completed with manually added information including protein classifiers as well as automatically retrieved and updated information from public databases (UniProt and PubMed). We intend that the database will be used to support modeling of synaptic protein networks and rational experimental design. PMID:22737123

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. In Vivo Measurement of Cell-Type-Specific Synaptic Connectivity and Synaptic Transmission in Layer 2/3 Mouse Barrel Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Pala, Aurélie; Petersen, Carl C.H.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Intracellular recordings of membrane potential in vitro have defined fundamental properties of synaptic communication. Much less is known about the properties of synaptic connectivity and synaptic transmission in vivo. Here, we combined single-cell optogenetics with whole-cell recordings to investigate glutamatergic synaptic transmission in vivo from single identified excitatory neurons onto two genetically defined subtypes of inhibitory GABAergic neurons in layer 2/3 mouse barrel cortex. We found that parvalbumin-expressing (PV) GABAergic neurons received unitary glutamatergic synaptic input with higher probability than somatostatin-expressing (Sst) GABAergic neurons. Unitary excitatory postsynaptic potentials onto PV neurons were also faster and more reliable than inputs onto Sst neurons. Excitatory synapses targeting Sst neurons displayed strong short-term facilitation, while those targeting PV neurons showed little short-term dynamics. Our results largely agree with in vitro measurements. We therefore demonstrate the technical feasibility of assessing functional cell-type-specific synaptic connectivity in vivo, allowing future investigations into context-dependent modulation of synaptic transmission. PMID:25543458

  5. Synapse number and synaptic efficacy are regulated by presynaptic cAMP and protein kinase A.

    PubMed

    Munno, David W; Prince, David J; Syed, Naweed I

    2003-05-15

    The mechanisms by which neurons regulate the number and strength of synapses during development and synaptic plasticity have not yet been defined fully. This lack of fundamental knowledge in the fields of neurodevelopment and synaptic plasticity can be attributed, in part, to compensatory mechanisms by which neurons accommodate for the loss of function in their synaptic partners. This is generally achieved either by scaling up neuronal transmitter release capabilities or by enhancing the postsynaptic responsiveness. Here, we demonstrate that regulation of synaptic strength and number between identified Lymnaea neurons visceral dorsal 4 (VD4, the presynaptic cell) and left pedal dorsal 1 (LPeD1, the postsynaptic cell) requires presynaptic activation of a cAMP-PKA-dependent signal. Experimental activation of the cAMP-PKA pathway resulted in reduced synaptic efficacy, whereas inhibition of the cAMP-PKA cascade permitted hyperinnervation and an overall enhancement of synaptic strength. Because synaptic transmission between VD4 and LPeD1 does not require a cAMP-PKA pathway, our data show that these messengers may play a novel role in regulating the synaptic efficacy during early synaptogenesis and plasticity.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Li, Bo; Piriz, Joaquin; Mirrione, Martine; Chung, ChiHye; Proulx, Christophe D; Schulz, Daniela; Henn, Fritz; Malinow, Roberto

    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. PMID:21350486

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  11. 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.

  12. 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 approaches…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. Enhancing Professionalism in Academic Agricultural Communications Programs: The Role of Accreditation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tucker, Mark; Whaley, Sherrie R.; Whiting, Larry; Agunga, Robert

    2002-01-01

    Provides an overview of the accreditation process as it relates to academic agricultural communications programs. Reports results of an electronic mail survey regarding the perceptions of 16 agricultural communications faculty as to the need for accreditation. Discusses the merits of national accreditation standards. (Contains 20 references.) (JOW)

  18. Enhancing the Instruction of Relationship Development in the Basic Communication Course.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gorcyca, Diane Atkinson

    Traditional course outlines in a hybrid communication course cover the "elements" areas before discussion of different forms and types of relationships. This paper proposes a structure whereby the development of relationships is presented first, and the elements are examined as communication factors that promote or discourage a particular…

  19. 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…

  20. Enhanced chaotic communication in VCSELs with variable-polarization optical feedback and polarization-preserved optical injection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiang, Shuiying; Pan, Wei; Luo, Bin; Yan, Lianshan; Zou, Xihua; Li, Nianqiang; Zhang, Liyue

    2012-11-01

    The communication performance and security enhancement in vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) subject to variable-polarization optical feedback (VPOF) are investigated numerically. Unidirectional polarization-preserved optical injection (PPOI) scheme is adopted, chaos modulation is utilized for message encryption, and two decoding methods are discussed and compared. The influences of VPOF on the performances of two decoding methods are focused on, and the effects of injection strength and frequency detuning are also considered. The security enhancement is further discussed by analyzing the robustness to mismatched feedback configuration and polarizer angle, as well as the intrinsic parameters. It is shown that, successful message encoding and decoding with Q-factors greater than 6 can be achieved by using unpredictability-enhanced chaotic carrier. In particular, the Q-factors are quite sensitive to the feedback configuration and laser parameters. When an attacker with open-loop is considered, Q-factors are smaller than 3 (6) for division (subtraction) decoding method. Specifically, even when an attacker with close-loop is considered, the Q-factors are lower than 6 when mismatched polarizer angles or intrinsic parameters exceed ±20% for subtraction method, and are more sensitive to parameter mismatch for division method, which enhances significantly the security, and thus is extremely useful for the security-enhanced chaotic communication system.

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Extension of synaptic extracellular matrix during nerve terminal sprouting in living frog neuromuscular junctions.

    PubMed

    Chen, L; Ko, C P

    1994-02-01

    Remodeling of the synaptic extracellular matrix (ECM) and its dynamic relationship with nerve terminal plasticity have been demonstrated in normal frog neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) in vivo (Chen et al., 1991). Our previous work has led to a hypothesis that extension of synaptic ECM precedes nerve terminal growth during synaptic remodeling. To test this hypothesis, the present study examined the changes of synaptic ECM in frog NMJs that were primarily undergoing nerve terminal growth and sprouting. Frog sartorius muscles were double stained with a fluorescent nerve terminal dye (4-Di-2-Asp) and rhodamine-tagged peanut agglutinin (PNA), which recognizes synaptic ECM. The double-labeled NMJs were visualized in vivo with video-enhanced fluorescence microscopy. Nerve sprouting was then induced in the muscle by grafting segments of the contralateral sciatic nerve. The identified NMJs were restrained and reexamined 2-3 months later. Extensive sprouting was observed in 46% of 167 identified NMJs. At junctional regions that showed extension or formation of new branches, synaptic ECM was commonly seen to have the same shape and distribution as the nerve terminal. However, extension of synaptic ECM beyond the corresponding nerve terminals, often by tens of microns, was observed in 29% of these newly formed junctional regions. This lack of correlation might be transient, as growth of nerve terminals following extended, PNA-stained ECM was seen. Examination with histological staining not only confirmed a lack of nerve terminal at the extended synaptic ECM region but also indicated an absence of AChE and postsynaptic junctional folds. The absence of these postsynaptic specializations at the extended, PNA-stained ECM region makes it unlikely that this region was previously occupied by nerve terminals that had retracted. Thus, the present study provides further findings consistent with the hypothesis that synaptic ECM precedes nerve terminal outgrowth and that the extension of

  6. Effectiveness of enhanced communication therapy in the first four months after stroke for aphasia and dysarthria: a randomised controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    Hesketh, Anne; Patchick, Emma; Young, Alys; Davies, Linda; Vail, Andy; Long, Andrew F; Watkins, Caroline; Wilkinson, Mo; Pearl, Gill; Ralph, Matthew A Lambon; Tyrrell, Pippa

    2012-01-01

    Objective To assess the effectiveness of enhanced communication therapy in the first four months after stroke compared with an attention control (unstructured social contact). Design Externally randomised, pragmatic, parallel, superiority trial with blinded outcome assessment. Setting Twelve UK hospital and community stroke services. Participants 170 adults (mean age 70 years) randomised within two weeks of admission to hospital with stroke (December 2006 to January 2010) whom speech and language therapists deemed eligible, and 135 carers. Interventions Enhanced, agreed best practice, communication therapy specific to aphasia or dysarthria, offered by speech and language therapists according to participants’ needs for up to four months, with continuity from hospital to community. Comparison was with similarly resourced social contact (without communication therapy) from employed visitors. Outcome measures Primary outcome was blinded, functional communicative ability at six months on the Therapy Outcome Measure (TOM) activity subscale. Secondary outcomes (unblinded, six months): participants’ perceptions on the Communication Outcomes After Stroke scale (COAST); carers’ perceptions of participants from part of the Carer COAST; carers’ wellbeing on Carers of Older People in Europe Index and quality of life items from Carer COAST; and serious adverse events. Results Therapist and visitor contact both had good uptake from service users. An average 22 contacts (intervention or control) over 13 weeks were accepted by users. Impairment focused therapy was the approach most often used by the speech and language therapists. Visitors most often provided general conversation. In total, 81/85 of the intervention group and 72/85 of the control group completed the primary outcome measure. Both groups improved on the TOM activity subscale. The estimated six months group difference was not statistically significant, with 0.25 (95% CI –0.19 to 0.69) points in favour of

  7. Utilizing Trigger Films to Enhance Communication Skills of Home Care Clinicians.

    PubMed

    Brennan-Cook, Jill; Molloy, Margory A

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to describe an innovative method to help home care clinicians better communicate with older adults experiencing normal physiologic changes that impact their ability to communicate effectively. Developmental changes such as hearing, speech, vision, and cognition profoundly impede an older adult's ability to communicate with others, potentially undermining the quality of care delivered. The use of trigger films as an educational intervention can assist home care clinicians to improve communication with their patients. Trigger films are 2- to 4-minute video clips that end abruptly, encouraging learners to analyze clinical situations in a safe environment, such as a staff conference room. Trigger films are easy to make with the use of a smart phone and two staff members portraying the role of home care clinician and patient. Allowing discussion after viewing the trigger film places clinicians in an active learning role, thus fostering the sharing of ideas and best practice. Addressing age-related barriers to communication with this modality serves to improve patient interaction and healthcare outcomes. The use of trigger films is another tool that empowers the clinician to provide improved care for patients with communication deficits.

  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. A correlated nickelate synaptic transistor.

    PubMed

    Shi, Jian; Ha, Sieu D; Zhou, You; Schoofs, Frank; Ramanathan, Shriram

    2013-01-01

    Inspired by biological neural systems, neuromorphic devices may open up new computing paradigms to explore cognition, learning and limits of parallel computation. Here we report the demonstration of a synaptic transistor with SmNiO₃, a correlated electron system with insulator-metal transition temperature at 130°C in bulk form. Non-volatile resistance and synaptic multilevel analogue states are demonstrated by control over composition in ionic liquid-gated devices on silicon platforms. The extent of the resistance modulation can be dramatically controlled by the film microstructure. By simulating the time difference between postneuron and preneuron spikes as the input parameter of a gate bias voltage pulse, synaptic spike-timing-dependent plasticity learning behaviour is realized. The extreme sensitivity of electrical properties to defects in correlated oxides may make them a particularly suitable class of materials to realize artificial biological circuits that can be operated at and above room temperature and seamlessly integrated into conventional electronic circuits. PMID:24177330

  10. 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.

  11. Enhancing performance of next generation FSO communication systems using soft computing-based predictions.

    PubMed

    Kazaura, Kamugisha; Omae, Kazunori; Suzuki, Toshiji; Matsumoto, Mitsuji; Mutafungwa, Edward; Korhonen, Timo O; Murakami, Tadaaki; Takahashi, Koichi; Matsumoto, Hideki; Wakamori, Kazuhiko; Arimoto, Yoshinori

    2006-06-12

    The deterioration and deformation of a free-space optical beam wave-front as it propagates through the atmosphere can reduce the link availability and may introduce burst errors thus degrading the performance of the system. We investigate the suitability of utilizing soft-computing (SC) based tools for improving performance of free-space optical (FSO) communications systems. The SC based tools are used for the prediction of key parameters of a FSO communications system. Measured data collected from an experimental FSO communication system is used as training and testing data for a proposed multi-layer neural network predictor (MNNP) used to predict future parameter values. The predicted parameters are essential for reducing transmission errors by improving the antenna's accuracy of tracking data beams. This is particularly essential for periods considered to be of strong atmospheric turbulence. The parameter values predicted using the proposed tool show acceptable conformity with original measurements.

  12. 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…

  13. Sphingosine Facilitates SNARE Complex Assembly and Activates Synaptic Vesicle Exocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Darios, Frédéric; Wasser, Catherine; Shakirzyanova, Anastasia; Giniatullin, Artur; Goodman, Kerry; Munoz-Bravo, Jose L.; Raingo, Jesica; Jorgačevski, Jernej; Kreft, Marko; Zorec, Robert; Rosa, Juliana M.; Gandia, Luis; Gutiérrez, Luis M.; Binz, Thomas; Giniatullin, Rashid; Kavalali, Ege T.; Davletov, Bazbek

    2009-01-01

    Summary Synaptic vesicles loaded with neurotransmitters fuse with the plasma membrane to release their content into the extracellular space, thereby allowing neuronal communication. The membrane fusion process is mediated by a conserved set of SNARE proteins: vesicular synaptobrevin and plasma membrane syntaxin and SNAP-25. Recent data suggest that the fusion process may be subject to regulation by local lipid metabolism. Here, we have performed a screen of lipid compounds to identify positive regulators of vesicular synaptobrevin. We show that sphingosine, a releasable backbone of sphingolipids, activates synaptobrevin in synaptic vesicles to form the SNARE complex implicated in membrane fusion. Consistent with the role of synaptobrevin in vesicle fusion, sphingosine upregulated exocytosis in isolated nerve terminals, neuromuscular junctions, neuroendocrine cells and hippocampal neurons, but not in neurons obtained from synaptobrevin-2 knockout mice. Further mechanistic insights suggest that sphingosine acts on the synaptobrevin/phospholipid interface, defining a novel function for this important lipid regulator. PMID:19524527

  14. Reverse optical trawling for synaptic connections in situ.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Takuya; Minamisawa, Genki; Takahashi, Naoya; Matsuki, Norio; Ikegaya, Yuji

    2009-07-01

    We introduce a new method to unveil the network connectivity among dozens of neurons in brain slice preparations. While synaptic inputs were whole cell recorded from given postsynaptic neurons, the spatiotemporal firing patterns of presynaptic neuron candidates were monitored en masse with functional multineuron calcium imaging, an optical technique that records action potential-evoked somatic calcium transients with single-cell resolution. By statistically screening the neurons that exhibited calcium transients immediately before the postsynaptic inputs, we identified the presynaptic cells that made synaptic connections onto the patch-clamped neurons. To enhance the detection power, we devised the following points: 1) [K+]e was lowered and [Ca2+]e and [Mg2+]e were elevated, to reduce background synaptic activity and minimize the failure rate of synaptic transmission; and 2) a small fraction of presynaptic neurons was specifically activated by glutamate applied iontophoretically through a glass pipette that was moved to survey the presynaptic network of interest ("trawling"). Then we could theoretically detect 96% of presynaptic neurons activated in the imaged regions with a 1% false-positive error rate. This on-line probing technique would be a promising tool in the study of the wiring topography of neuronal circuits. PMID:19386760

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-09-30

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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-18

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

  18. Synapsin Regulates Activity-Dependent Outgrowth of Synaptic Boutons at the Drosophila Neuromuscular Junction

    PubMed Central

    Vasin, Alexander; Zueva, Lidia; Torrez, Carol; Volfson, Dina; Littleton, J. Troy

    2014-01-01

    Patterned depolarization of Drosophila motor neurons can rapidly induce the outgrowth of new synaptic boutons at the larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ), providing a model system to investigate mechanisms underlying acute structural plasticity. Correlative light and electron microscopy analysis revealed that new boutons typically form near the edge of postsynaptic reticulums of presynaptic boutons. Unlike mature boutons, new varicosities have synaptic vesicles which are distributed uniformly throughout the bouton and undeveloped postsynaptic specializations. To characterize the presynaptic mechanisms mediating new synaptic growth induced by patterned activity, we investigated the formation of new boutons in NMJs lacking synapsin [Syn(−)], a synaptic protein important for vesicle clustering, neurodevelopment, and plasticity. We found that budding of new boutons at Syn(−) NMJs was significantly diminished, and that new boutons in Syn(−) preparations were smaller and had reduced synaptic vesicle density. Since synapsin is a target of protein kinase A (PKA), we assayed whether activity-dependent synaptic growth is regulated via a cAMP/PKA/synapsin pathway. We pretreated preparations with forskolin to raise cAMP levels and found this manipulation significantly enhanced activity-dependent synaptic growth in control but not Syn(−) preparations. To examine the trafficking of synapsin during synaptic growth, we generated transgenic animals expressing fluorescently tagged synapsin. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching analysis revealed that patterned depolarization promoted synapsin movement between boutons. During new synaptic bouton formation, synapsin redistributed upon stimulation toward the sites of varicosity outgrowth. These findings support a model whereby synapsin accumulates at sites of synaptic growth and facilitates budding of new boutons via a cAMP/PKA-dependent pathway. PMID:25100589

  19. 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,…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  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. 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…

  6. Using Math Journals to Enhance Second Graders' Communication of Mathematical Thinking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kostos, Kathleen; Shin, Eui-kyung

    2010-01-01

    As an action research project, using mixed methodology, this study investigated how the use of math journals affected second grade students' communication of mathematical thinking. For this study, math journal instruction was provided. The data gathering included pre- and post- math assessment, students' math journals, interviews with the…

  7. Native/Non-Native Speaker Interactions through Video-Web Communication: A Clue for Enhancing Motivation?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jauregi, Kristi; de Graaff, Rick; van den Bergh, Huub; Kriz, Milan

    2012-01-01

    One of the main objectives of the European Networked Interaction in Foreign Language Acquisition and Research (NIFLAR) project is to make foreign language learning and teaching processes more relevant and rewarding for reaching intercultural communicative competence. This is realized by offering foreign language learners and pre-service teachers…

  8. 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,…

  9. Can Email Communication Enhance Professor-Student Relationship and Student Evaluation of Professor?: Some Empirical Evidence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sheer, Vivian C.; Fung, Timothy K.

    2007-01-01

    Four hundred and eight undergraduate students participated in this study that examined professor-student email communication, interpersonal relationship and teaching evaluation. Several findings have been gleaned. First, academic task was the most frequent email topic and social-relationship less frequent between professors and students. Second,…

  10. 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

  11. Unraveling mechanisms of homeostatic synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Pozo, Karine; Goda, Yukiko

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Synaptic AMPA Receptor Plasticity and Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Kessels, Helmut W.; Malinow, Roberto

    2014-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. The student health collaboration: an innovative approach to enhancing communication and improving student health.

    PubMed

    Guilday, Patricia

    2014-09-01

    Students, families, school staff and school nurses all benefit from successful community partnerships. School nurses requested improved communication with local clinicians and access to the health information of their students. School nurses were not routinely recognized as part of the care team and therefore were not able to access protected health information found in the medical record, which would improve health outcomes for their students. With a goal of improving student health outcomes, a local pediatric health care delivery system partnered with school nurses to share student health information. School nurses were included as part of the health care team, with access to electronic health records. This is an innovative coordinated care team approach with parents, nurses, and community clinicians able to communicate, plan, intervene, and evaluate student health.

  16. Enhancement of LED indoor communications using OPPM-PWM modulation and grouped bit-flipping decoding.

    PubMed

    Yang, Aiying; Li, Xiangming; Jiang, Tao

    2012-04-23

    Combination of overlapping pulse position modulation and pulse width modulation at the transmitter and grouped bit-flipping algorithm for low-density parity-check decoding at the receiver are proposed for visible Light Emitting Diode (LED) indoor communication system in this paper. The results demonstrate that, with the same Photodetector, the bit rate can be increased and the performance of the communication system can be improved by the scheme we proposed. Compared with the standard bit-flipping algorithm, the grouped bit-flipping algorithm can achieve more than 2.0 dB coding gain at bit error rate of 10-5. By optimizing the encoding of overlapping pulse position modulation and pulse width modulation symbol, the performance can be further improved. It is reasonably expected that the bit rate can be upgraded to 400 Mbit/s with a single available LED, thus transmission rate beyond 1 Gbit/s is foreseen by RGB LEDs.

  17. 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.

  18. Cholinergic synaptic circuitry in the macaque prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Mrzljak, L; Pappy, M; Leranth, C; Goldman-Rakic, P S

    1995-07-10

    Surprisingly little is known about the synaptic architecture of the cholinergic innervation in the primate cerebral cortex in spite of its acknowledged relevance to cognitive processing and Alzheimer's disease. To address this knowledge gap, we examined serially sectioned cholinergic axons in supra- and infragranular layers of the macaque prefrontal cortex by using an antibody against the acetylcholine synthesizing enzyme, choline acetyltransferase (ChAT). The tissue bound antibody was visualized with both immunoperoxidase and silver-enhanced diaminobenzidine sulfide (SEDS) techniques. Both methods revealed that cholinergic axons make synapses in all cortical layers and that these synapses are exclusively symmetric. Cholinergic axons formed synapses primarily on dendritic shafts (70.5%), dendritic spines (25%), and, to a lesser extent, cell bodies (4.5%). Both pyramidal neurons and cells exhibiting the morphological features of GABAergic cells were targets of the cholinergic innervation. Some spiny dendritic shafts received multiple, closely spaced synapses, suggesting that a subset of pyramidal neurons may be subject to a particularly strong cholinergic influence. Analysis of synaptic incidence of cholinergic profiles in the supragranular layers of the prefrontal cortex by the SEDS technique revealed that definitive synaptic junctions were formed by 44% of the cholinergic boutons. An unexpected finding was that cholinergic boutons were frequently apposed to spines and small dendrites without making any visible synaptic specializations. These same spines and dendrites often received asymmetric synapses, presumably of thalamocortical or corticocortical origin. Present ultrastructural findings suggest that acetylcholine may have a dual modulatory effect in the neocortex: one through classical synaptic junctions on dendritic shafts and spines, and the other through nonsynaptic appositions in close vicinity to asymmetric synapses. Further physiological studies are

  19. RPS23RG1 reduces Aβ oligomer-induced synaptic and cognitive deficits

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Li; Chen, Yaomin; Li, Wubo; Huang, Xiumei; Badie, Hedieh; Jian, Fan; Huang, Timothy; Zhao, Yingjun; Cohen, Stanley N.; Li, Limin; Zhang, Yun-wu; Luo, Huanmin; Tu, Shichun; Xu, Huaxi

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia in the elderly. It is generally believed that β-amyloidogenesis, tau-hyperphosphorylation, and synaptic loss underlie cognitive decline in AD. Rps23rg1, a functional retroposed mouse gene, has been shown to reduce Alzheimer’s β-amyloid (Aβ) production and tau phosphorylation. In this study, we have identified its human homolog, and demonstrated that RPS23RG1 regulates synaptic plasticity, thus counteracting Aβ oligomer (oAβ)-induced cognitive deficits in mice. The level of RPS23RG1 mRNA is significantly lower in the brains of AD compared to non-AD patients, suggesting its potential role in the pathogenesis of the disease. Similar to its mouse counterpart, human RPS23RG1 interacts with adenylate cyclase, activating PKA/CREB, and inhibiting GSK-3. Furthermore, we show that human RPS23RG1 promotes synaptic plasticity and offsets oAβ-induced synaptic loss in a PKA-dependent manner in cultured primary neurons. Overexpression of Rps23rg1 in transgenic mice consistently prevented oAβ-induced PKA inactivation, synaptic deficits, suppression of long-term potentiation, and cognitive impairment as compared to wild type littermates. Our study demonstrates that RPS23RG1 may reduce the occurrence of key elements of AD pathology and enhance synaptic functions to counteract oAβ-induced synaptic and cognitive deficits in AD. PMID:26733416

  20. 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

  1. 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

    2015-06-01

    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.

  2. 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

  3. Subcellular Imbalances in Synaptic Activity.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Naoya; Kobayashi, Chiaki; Ishikawa, Tomoe; Ikegaya, Yuji

    2016-02-16

    The dynamic interactions between synaptic excitation and inhibition (E/I) shape membrane potential fluctuations and determine patterns of neuronal outputs; however, the spatiotemporal organization of these interactions within a single cell is poorly understood. Here, we investigated the relationship between local synaptic excitation and global inhibition in hippocampal pyramidal neurons using functional dendrite imaging in combination with whole-cell recordings of inhibitory postsynaptic currents. We found that the sums of spine inputs over dendritic trees were counterbalanced by a proportional amount of somatic inhibitory inputs. This online E/I correlation was maintained in dendritic segments that were longer than 50 μm. However, at the single spine level, only 22% of the active spines were activated with inhibitory inputs. This inhibition-coupled activity occurred mainly in the spines with large heads. These results shed light on a microscopic E/I-balancing mechanism that operates at selected synapses and that may increase the accuracy of neural information. PMID:26854220

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-11-01

    Based on a combined density functional theory and experimental study, we present that the electrochemical activity of Pd3Co 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 Pd3Co 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.

  5. Spike timing and synaptic dynamics at the awake thalamocortical synapse.

    PubMed

    Swadlow, Harvey A; Bezdudnaya, Tatiana; Gusev, Alexander G

    2005-01-01

    column, (b) synaptic currents elicited by TC impulses with long preceding ISIs were greatly enhanced in both of these layers, and (c) the degree of this enhancement differed reliably among neighboring TC neurons but, for a given neuron, was very similar in layers 4 and 6. Thus, results generated by both methodological approaches are consistent with the presence of a chronic depression at the awake TC synapse that is relieved by long ISIs. Since long ISIs necessarily precede TC "bursts", our results are consistent with the notion that these events powerfully activate cortical circuits.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24369762

  8. 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. PMID:24369762

  9. Synaptic vesicle distribution by conveyor belt.

    PubMed

    Moughamian, Armen J; Holzbaur, Erika L F

    2012-03-01

    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. PMID:22385955

  10. Spontaneous vesicle recycling in the synaptic bouton.

    PubMed

    Truckenbrodt, Sven; Rizzoli, Silvio O

    2014-01-01

    The trigger for synaptic vesicle exocytosis is Ca(2+), which enters the synaptic bouton following action potential stimulation. However, spontaneous release of neurotransmitter also occurs in the absence of stimulation in virtually all synaptic boutons. It has long been thought that this represents exocytosis driven by fluctuations in local Ca(2+) levels. The vesicles responding to these fluctuations are thought to be the same ones that release upon stimulation, albeit potentially triggered by different Ca(2+) sensors. This view has been challenged by several recent works, which have suggested that spontaneous release is driven by a separate pool of synaptic vesicles. Numerous articles appeared during the last few years in support of each of these hypotheses, and it has been challenging to bring them into accord. We speculate here on the origins of this controversy, and propose a solution that is related to developmental effects. Constitutive membrane traffic, needed for the biogenesis of vesicles and synapses, is responsible for high levels of spontaneous membrane fusion in young neurons, probably independent of Ca(2+). The vesicles releasing spontaneously in such neurons are not related to other synaptic vesicle pools and may represent constitutively releasing vesicles (CRVs) rather than bona fide synaptic vesicles. In mature neurons, constitutive traffic is much dampened, and the few remaining spontaneous release events probably represent bona fide spontaneously releasing synaptic vesicles (SRSVs) responding to Ca(2+) fluctuations, along with a handful of CRVs that participate in synaptic vesicle turnover.

  11. 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 of…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Synaptic amplifier of inflammatory pain in the spinal dorsal horn.

    PubMed

    Ikeda, Hiroshi; Stark, Johanna; Fischer, Harald; Wagner, Matthias; Drdla, Ruth; Jäger, Tino; Sandkühler, Jürgen

    2006-06-16

    Inflammation and trauma lead to enhanced pain sensitivity (hyperalgesia), which is in part due to altered sensory processing in the spinal cord. The synaptic hypothesis of hyperalgesia, which postulates that hyperalgesia is induced by the activity-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP) in the spinal cord, has been challenged, because in previous studies of pain pathways, LTP was experimentally induced by nerve stimulation at high frequencies ( approximately 100 hertz). This does not, however, resemble the real low-frequency afferent barrage that occurs during inflammation. We identified a synaptic amplifier at the origin of an ascending pain pathway that is switched-on by low-level activity in nociceptive nerve fibers. This model integrates known signal transduction pathways of hyperalgesia without contradiction.

  16. E-mentoring: Using Computer Mediated Communication To Enhance the Mentoring Process.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bierema, Laura L.; Merriam, Sharan B.

    2002-01-01

    Provides a definition of e-mentoring and an exploration of its potential for enhancing mentoring relationships from technical and social perspectives. Considers benefits of and barriers to e-mentoring and describes strategies for establishing an e-mentoring relationship. Includes Internet resources. (EV)

  17. 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

  18. 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. PMID:24408959

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Synaptic dynamics: linear model and adaptation algorithm.

    PubMed

    Yousefi, Ali; Dibazar, Alireza A; Berger, Theodore W

    2014-08-01

    In this research, temporal processing in brain neural circuitries is addressed by a dynamic model of synaptic connections in which the synapse model accounts for both pre- and post-synaptic processes determining its temporal dynamics and strength. Neurons, which are excited by the post-synaptic potentials of hundred of the synapses, build the computational engine capable of processing dynamic neural stimuli. Temporal dynamics in neural models with dynamic synapses will be analyzed, and learning algorithms for synaptic adaptation of neural networks with hundreds of synaptic connections are proposed. The paper starts by introducing a linear approximate model for the temporal dynamics of synaptic transmission. The proposed linear model substantially simplifies the analysis and training of spiking neural networks. Furthermore, it is capable of replicating the synaptic response of the non-linear facilitation-depression model with an accuracy better than 92.5%. In the second part of the paper, a supervised spike-in-spike-out learning rule for synaptic adaptation in dynamic synapse neural networks (DSNN) is proposed. The proposed learning rule is a biologically plausible process, and it is capable of simultaneously adjusting both pre- and post-synaptic components of individual synapses. The last section of the paper starts with presenting the rigorous analysis of the learning algorithm in a system identification task with hundreds of synaptic connections which confirms the learning algorithm's accuracy, repeatability and scalability. The DSNN is utilized to predict the spiking activity of cortical neurons and pattern recognition tasks. The DSNN model is demonstrated to be a generative model capable of producing different cortical neuron spiking patterns and CA1 Pyramidal neurons recordings. A single-layer DSNN classifier on a benchmark pattern recognition task outperforms a 2-Layer Neural Network and GMM classifiers while having fewer numbers of free parameters and

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:25238981

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  10. Effect of chronic stress on synaptic currents in rat hippocampal dentate gyrus neurons.

    PubMed

    Karst, Henk; Joëls, Marian

    2003-01-01

    We investigated the effect of chronic stress on synaptic responses of rat dentate granule cells to perforant path stimulation. Rats were subjected for 3 wk to unpredictable stressors twice daily or to control handling. One day after the last stressor, hippocampal slices were prepared and synaptic responses were determined with whole-cell recording. At that time, adrenal weight was found to be increased and thymus weight as well as gain in body weight were decreased in the stressed versus control animals, indicative of corticosterone hypersecretion during the stress period. In slices from rats with basal corticosteroid levels (at the circadian trough, under rest), no effect of prior stress exposure was observed on synaptic responses. However, synaptic responses of dentate granule cells from chronically stressed and control rats were differently affected by in vitro activation of glucocorticoid receptors, i.e., 1-4 h after administration of 100 nM corticosterone for 20 min. Thus the maximal response to synaptic activation of dentate cells at holding potential of -70 mV [when N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors are blocked by magnesium] was significantly enhanced after corticosterone administration in chronically stressed but not in control animals. In accordance, the amplitude of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisolazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA) but not of NMDA receptor-mediated currents was increased by corticosterone in stressed rats, over the entire voltage range. Corticosterone treatment also decreased the time to peak of AMPA currents, but this effect did not depend on prior stress exposure. The data indicate that following chronic stress exposure synaptic excitation of dentate granule cells may be enhanced when corticosterone levels rise. This enhanced synaptic flow could contribute to enhanced excitation of projection areas of the dentate gyrus, most notably the CA3 hippocampal region.

  11. 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

  12. On the use of null-steering arrays to enhance the quality of HF skywave communications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clarke, R. H.

    1983-04-01

    The quality of HF skywave transmissions is degraded by the presence of multiple propagation paths between transmitter and receiver. Multipath signals are characterized by amplitude fading and associated phase variations as well as a spread in the propagation times and arrival angles of the skywave components. The use of null steering array techniques (either manual or adaptive) to attenuate all but the dominant component of a multicomponent wavefield is discussed. Propagation measurements are presented which give an insight into the type of ionospheric conditions required for null steering arrays to lead to a significant enhancement in the quality of skywave transmissions.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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. PMID:27243611

  18. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of chemical synaptic transmission.

    PubMed

    Millhorn, D E; Bayliss, D A; Erickson, J T; Gallman, E A; Szymeczek, C L; Czyzyk-Krzeska, M; Dean, J B

    1989-12-01

    During the last decade much progress has been made in understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which nerve cells communicate with each other and nonneural (e.g., muscle) target tissue. This review is intended to provide the reader with an account of this work. We begin with an historical overview of research on cell-to-cell communication and then discuss recent developments that, in some instances, have led to dramatic changes in the concept of synaptic transmission. For instance, the finding that single neurons often contain multiple messengers (i.e., neurotransmitters) invalidated the long-held theory (i.e., Dale's Law) that individual neurons contain and release one and only one type of neurotransmitter. Moreover, the last decade witnessed the inclusion of an entire group of compounds, the neuropeptides, as messenger molecules. Enormous progress has also been made in elucidating postsynaptic receptor complexes and biochemical intermediaries involved in synaptic transmission. Here the development of recombinant DNA technology has made it possible to clone and determine the molecular structure for a number of receptors. This information has been used to gain insight into how these receptors function either as a ligand-gated channel or as a G protein-linked ligand recognition molecule. Perhaps the most progress made during this era was in understanding the molecular linkage of G protein-linked receptors to intramembranous and cytoplasmic macromolecules involved in signal amplification and transduction. We conclude with a brief discussion of how synaptic transmission leads to immediate alterations in the electrical activity and, in some cases, to a change in phenotype by altering gene expression. These alterations in cellular behavior are believed to be mediated by phosphoproteins, the final biochemical product of signal transduction. PMID:2575357

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. Surface plasmon-enhanced optical trapping of quantum-dot-conjugated surface molecules on neurons cultured on a plasmonic chip

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miyauchi, Kohei; Tawa, Keiko; Kudoh, Suguru N.; Taguchi, Takahisa; Hosokawa, Chie

    2016-06-01

    Living neurons in a complex neuronal network communicate with each other through synaptic connections. The molecular dynamics of cell surface molecules localized at synaptic terminals is essential for functional connections via synaptic plasticity in the neuronal network. Here, we demonstrate surface-plasmon-resonance-based optical trapping using a plasmonic chip toward realizing effective manipulation of molecules on the surface of neurons. Surface-plasmon-enhanced optical trapping was evaluated by the fluorescence analysis of nanoparticles suspended in water and neural cell adhesion molecules (NCAMs) labeled with quantum dots (Q-dots) on rat hippocampal neurons. The motion of nanoparticles in water and the molecular dynamics of NCAMs on neuronal cells cultured on a plasmonic chip were constrained at the laser focus more effectively than those on a glass substrate because of the surface plasmon resonance effect.

  2. A Study of Umbilical Communication Interface of Simulator Kernel to Enhance Visibility and Controllability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koo, Cheol Hea; Lee, Hoon Hee; Moon, Sung Tae; Han, Sang Hyuck; Ju, Gwang Hyeok

    2013-08-01

    In aerospace research and practical development area, increasing the usage of simulation in software development, component design and system operation has been maintained and the increasing speed getting faster. This phenomenon can be found from the easiness of handling of simulation and the powerfulness of the output from the simulation. Simulation brings lots of benefit from the several characteristics of it as following, - easy to handle ; it is never broken or damaged by mistake - never wear out ; it is never getting old - cost effective ; once it is built, it can be distributed over 100 ~ 1000 people GenSim (Generic Simulator) which is developing by KARI and compatible with ESA SMP standard provides such a simulation platform to support flight software validation and mission operation verification. User interface of GenSim is shown in Figure 1 [1,2]. As shown in Figure 1, as most simulation platform typically has, GenSim has GRD (Graphical Display) and AND (Alpha Numeric Display). But frequently more complex and powerful handling of the simulated data is required at the actual system validation for example mission operation. In Figure 2, system simulation result of COMS (Communication, Ocean, and Meteorological Satellite, launched at June 28 2008) is being drawn by Celestia 3D program. In this case, the needed data from Celestia is given by one of the simulation model resident in system simulator through UDP network connection in this case. But the requirement of displaying format, data size, and communication rate is variable so developer has to manage the connection protocol manually at each time and each case. It brings a chaos in the simulation model design and development, also to the performance issue at last. Performance issue is happen when the required data magnitude is higher than the capacity of simulation kernel to process the required data safely. The problem is that the sending data to a visualization tool such as celestia is given by a

  3. VEGF modulates synaptic activity in the developing spinal cord.

    PubMed

    Guérit, Sylvaine; Allain, Anne-Emilie; Léon, Céline; Cazenave, William; Ferrara, Napoleone; Branchereau, Pascal; Bikfalvi, Andréas

    2014-11-01

    Although it has been documented that the nervous and the vascular systems share numerous analogies and are closely intermingled during development and pathological processes, interactions between the two systems are still poorly described. In this study, we investigated whether vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which is a key regulator of vascular development, also modulates neuronal developmental processes. We report that VEGF enhances the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)/glycinergic but not glutamatergic synaptic activity in embryonic spinal motoneurons (MNs), without affecting MNs excitability. In response to VEGF, the frequency of these synaptic events but not their amplitude was increased. Blocking endogenous VEGF led to an opposite effect by decreasing frequency of synaptic events. We found that this effect occurred specifically at early developmental stages (E13.5 and E15.5) and vanished at the prenatal stage E17.5. Furthermore, VEGF was able to increase vesicular inhibitory amino acid transporter density at the MN membrane. Inhibition of single VEGF receptors did not modify electrophysiological parameters indicating receptor combinations or an alternative pathway. Altogether, our findings identify VEGF as a modulator of the neuronal activity during synapse formation and highlight a new ontogenic role for this angiogenic factor in the nervous system.

  4. Improving theatre efficiency and utilisation through early identification of trauma patients and enhanced communication between teams.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Simon; Saithna, Adnan; Bethune, Rob

    2015-01-01

    Surgical departments are increasingly put under pressure to improve services, cut waiting lists, increase efficiency and save money. At a district general hospital in the west-midlands we approached the challenge of improving efficiency and optimising the services available in our orthopaedic theatres. Data was collected on: anaesthetic start times, operation start and finish times, and reasons for delay in our trauma theatre over a period from October 2014 to January 2015. During this period a change was implemented to improve the start time of the first operation of each day in the trauma theatre. Through adaptation of a method developed by Javed S et al, a patient was pre-selected by the on-call team and given the name the "golden patient" the day before they were due to be operated upon. This nominated patient would then be fixed at the start of the trauma theatre list the following day. The list would only then change if a "life or limb threatening" case was admitted overnight. The on-call team would prioritise that this patient was optimised for theatre and the theatre staff would ensure the surgical instruments were prepared. A PDSA cycle method was used, collecting data on 80 orthopaedic trauma cases during the period, and demonstrated a 59 minute (95% CI 45-72) improvement in start times from 10:49 AM to 9:50 AM with a p-value of 0.00024 with the intervention of early allocation of the first patient on the trauma list. A relatively simple intervention tool designed to improve communication within and between health-care teams can have a significant impact on the efficiency of a complex environment such as a trauma theatre.

  5. Improving theatre efficiency and utilisation through early identification of trauma patients and enhanced communication between teams

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Simon; Saithna, Adnan; Bethune, Rob

    2015-01-01

    Surgical departments are increasingly put under pressure to improve services, cut waiting lists, increase efficiency and save money. At a district general hospital in the west-midlands we approached the challenge of improving efficiency and optimising the services available in our orthopaedic theatres. Data was collected on: anaesthetic start times, operation start and finish times, and reasons for delay in our trauma theatre over a period from October 2014 to January 2015. During this period a change was implemented to improve the start time of the first operation of each day in the trauma theatre. Through adaptation of a method developed by Javed S et al, a patient was pre-selected by the on-call team and given the name the “golden patient” the day before they were due to be operated upon. This nominated patient would then be fixed at the start of the trauma theatre list the following day. The list would only then change if a “life or limb threatening” case was admitted overnight. The on-call team would prioritise that this patient was optimised for theatre and the theatre staff would ensure the surgical instruments were prepared. A PDSA cycle method was used, collecting data on 80 orthopaedic trauma cases during the period, and demonstrated a 59 minute (95% CI 45-72) improvement in start times from 10:49 AM to 9:50 AM with a p-value of 0.00024 with the intervention of early allocation of the first patient on the trauma list. A relatively simple intervention tool designed to improve communication within and between health-care teams can have a significant impact on the efficiency of a complex environment such as a trauma theatre. PMID:26734340

  6. Communication: Enhanced chemical reactivity of graphene on a Ni(111) substrate.

    PubMed

    Ambrosetti, Alberto; Silvestrelli, Pier Luigi

    2016-03-21

    Due to the unique combination of structural, mechanical, and transport properties, graphene has emerged as an exceptional candidate for catalysis applications. The low chemical reactivity caused by sp(2) hybridization and strongly delocalized π electrons, however, represents a main challenge for straightforward use of graphene in its pristine, free-standing form. Following recent experimental indications, we show that due to charge hybridization, a Ni(111) substrate can enhance the chemical reactivity of graphene, as exemplified by the interaction with the CO molecule. While CO only physisorbs on free-standing graphene, chemisorption of CO involving formation of ethylene dione complexes is predicted in Ni(111)-graphene. Higher chemical reactivity is also suggested in the case of oxidized graphene, opening the way to a simple and efficient control of graphene chemical properties, devoid of complex defect patterning or active metallic structures deposition.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Communication: Enhanced chemical reactivity of graphene on a Ni(111) substrate.

    PubMed

    Ambrosetti, Alberto; Silvestrelli, Pier Luigi

    2016-03-21

    Due to the unique combination of structural, mechanical, and transport properties, graphene has emerged as an exceptional candidate for catalysis applications. The low chemical reactivity caused by sp(2) hybridization and strongly delocalized π electrons, however, represents a main challenge for straightforward use of graphene in its pristine, free-standing form. Following recent experimental indications, we show that due to charge hybridization, a Ni(111) substrate can enhance the chemical reactivity of graphene, as exemplified by the interaction with the CO molecule. While CO only physisorbs on free-standing graphene, chemisorption of CO involving formation of ethylene dione complexes is predicted in Ni(111)-graphene. Higher chemical reactivity is also suggested in the case of oxidized graphene, opening the way to a simple and efficient control of graphene chemical properties, devoid of complex defect patterning or active metallic structures deposition. PMID:27004853

  10. Deciphering Resting Microglial Morphology and Process Motility from a Synaptic Prospect

    PubMed Central

    Hristovska, Ines; Pascual, Olivier

    2016-01-01

    Microglia, the resident immune cells of the central nervous system (CNS), were traditionally believed to be set into action only in case of injury or disease. Accordingly, microglia were assumed to be inactive or resting in the healthy brain. However, recent studies revealed that microglia carry out active tissue sampling in the intact brain by extending and retracting their ramified processes while periodically contacting synapses. Microglial morphology and motility as well as the frequency and duration of physical contacts with synaptic elements were found to be modulated by neuronal activity, sensory experience and neurotransmission; however findings have not been straightforward. Microglial cells are the most morphologically plastic element of the CNS. This unique feature confers them the possibility to locally sense activity, and to respond adequately by establishing synaptic contacts to regulate synaptic inputs by the secretion of signaling molecules. Indeed, microglial cells can hold new roles as critical players in maintaining brain homeostasis and regulating synaptic number, maturation and plasticity. For this reason, a better characterization of microglial cells and cues mediating neuron-to-microglia communication under physiological conditions may help advance our understanding of the microglial behavior and its regulation in the healthy brain. This review highlights recent findings on the instructive role of neuronal activity on microglial motility and microglia-synapse interactions, focusing on the main transmitters involved in this communication and including newly described communication at the tripartite synapse. PMID:26834588

  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. 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. PMID:26808445

  13. Presynaptic Calcium Channel Localization and Calcium Dependent Synaptic Vesicle Exocytosis Regulated by the Fuseless Protein

    PubMed Central

    Long, A. Ashleigh; Kim, Eunju; Leung, Hung-Tat; Woodruff, Elvin; An, Lingling; Doerge, R. W.; Pak, William L.; Broadie, Kendal

    2009-01-01

    Summary A systematic forward genetic Drosophila screen for electroretinogram mutants lacking synaptic transients identified the fuseless (fusl) gene, which encodes a predicted 8-pass transmembrane protein in the presynaptic membrane. Null fusl mutants display >75% reduction in evoked synaptic transmission but, conversely, a ~3-fold increase in the frequency and amplitude of spontaneous synaptic vesicle fusion events. These neurotransmission defects are rescued by a wildtype fusl transgene targeted only to the presynaptic cell, demonstrating a strictly presynaptic requirement for Fusl function. Defects in FM dye turnover at the synapse show a severely impaired exo-endo synaptic vesicle cycling pool. Consistently, ultrastructural analyses reveal accumulated vesicles arrested in clustered and docked pools at presynaptic active zones. In the absence of Fusl, calcium-dependent neurotransmitter release is dramatically compromised and there is little enhancement of synaptic efficacy with elevated external Ca2+ concentrations. These defects are causally linked with severe loss of the Cacophony voltage-gated Ca2+ channels, which fail to localize normally at presynaptic active zone domains in the absence of Fusl. These data indicate that Fusl regulates assembly of the presynaptic active zone Ca2+ channel domains required for efficient coupling of the Ca2+ influx and synaptic vesicle exocytosis during neurotransmission. PMID:18385325

  14. 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. PMID:26607913

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Stability of thalamocortical synaptic transmission across awake brain states.

    PubMed

    Stoelzel, Carl R; Bereshpolova, Yulia; Swadlow, Harvey A

    2009-05-27

    Sensory cortical neurons are highly sensitive to brain state, with many neurons showing changes in spatial and/or temporal response properties and some neurons becoming virtually unresponsive when subjects are not alert. Although some of these changes are undoubtedly attributable to state-related filtering at the thalamic level, another likely source of such effects is the thalamocortical (TC) synapse, where activation of nicotinic receptors on TC terminals have been shown to enhance synaptic transmission in vitro. However, monosynaptic TC synaptic transmission has not been directly examined during different states of alertness. Here, in awake rabbits that shifted between alert and non-alert EEG states, we examined the monosynaptic TC responses and short-term synaptic dynamics generated by spontaneous impulses of single visual and somatosensory TC neurons. We did this using spike-triggered current source-density analysis, an approach that enables assessment of monosynaptic extracellular currents generated in different cortical layers by impulses of single TC afferents. Spontaneous firing rates of TC neurons were higher, and burst rates were much lower in the alert state. However, we found no state-related changes in the amplitude of monosynaptic TC responses when TC spikes with similar preceding interspike interval were compared. Moreover, the relationship between the preceding interspike interval of the TC spike and postsynaptic response amplitude was not influenced by state. These data indicate that TC synaptic transmission and dynamics are highly conserved across different states of alertness and that observed state-related changes in receptive field properties that occur at the cortical level result from other mechanisms.

  19. Examination of synaptic vesicle recycling using FM dyes during evoked, spontaneous, and miniature synaptic activities.

    PubMed

    Iwabuchi, Sadahiro; Kakazu, Yasuhiro; Koh, Jin-Young; Goodman, Kirsty M; Harata, N Charles

    2014-03-31

    Synaptic vesicles in functional nerve terminals undergo exocytosis and endocytosis. This synaptic vesicle recycling can be effectively analyzed using styryl FM dyes, which reveal membrane turnover. Conventional protocols for the use of FM dyes were designed for analyzing neurons following stimulated (evoked) synaptic activity. Recently, protocols have become available for analyzing the FM signals that accompany weaker synaptic activities, such as spontaneous or miniature synaptic events. Analysis of these small changes in FM signals requires that the imaging system is sufficiently sensitive to detect small changes in intensity, yet that artifactual changes of large amplitude are suppressed. Here we describe a protocol that can be applied to evoked, spontaneous, and miniature synaptic activities, and use cultured hippocampal neurons as an example. This protocol also incorporates a means of assessing the rate of photobleaching of FM dyes, as this is a significant source of artifacts when imaging small changes in intensity.

  20. Examination of Synaptic Vesicle Recycling Using FM Dyes During Evoked, Spontaneous, and Miniature Synaptic Activities

    PubMed Central

    Iwabuchi, Sadahiro; Kakazu, Yasuhiro; Koh, Jin-Young; Goodman, Kirsty M.; Harata, N. Charles

    2014-01-01

    Synaptic vesicles in functional nerve terminals undergo exocytosis and endocytosis. This synaptic vesicle recycling can be effectively analyzed using styryl FM dyes, which reveal membrane turnover. Conventional protocols for the use of FM dyes were designed for analyzing neurons following stimulated (evoked) synaptic activity. Recently, protocols have become available for analyzing the FM signals that accompany weaker synaptic activities, such as spontaneous or miniature synaptic events. Analysis of these small changes in FM signals requires that the imaging system is sufficiently sensitive to detect small changes in intensity, yet that artifactual changes of large amplitude are suppressed. Here we describe a protocol that can be applied to evoked, spontaneous, and miniature synaptic activities, and use cultured hippocampal neurons as an example. This protocol also incorporates a means of assessing the rate of photobleaching of FM dyes, as this is a significant source of artifacts when imaging small changes in intensity. PMID:24747983

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Wake-up-word speech recognition application for first responder communication enhancement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Këpuska, Veton; Breitfeller, Jason

    2006-05-01

    Speech Recognition systems, historically, have proven to be cumbersome and insufficiently accurate for a range of applications. The ultimate goal of our proposed technology is to fundamentally change the way current Speech Recognition (SR) systems interact with humans and develop an application that is extremely hardware efficient. Accurate SR and reasonable hardware requirements will afford the average first responder officer, e.g., police officer, a true break-through technology that will change the way an officer performs his duties. The presented technology provides a cutting-edge solution for human-machine interaction through the utilization of a properly solved Wake-Up-Word (WUW) SR problem. This paradigm-shift provides the basis for development of SR systems with truly "Voice Activated" capabilities, impacting all SR based technologies and the way in which humans interact with computers. This shift is a radical departure from the current "push-to-talk" paradigm currently applied to all speech-to-text or speech-recognition applications. To be able to achieve this goal, a significantly more accurate pattern classification and scoring technique is required, which in turn provides SR systems enhanced performance for correct recognition (i.e., minimization of false rejection) as well as correct rejection (i.e., minimization of false acceptance). A revolutionary and innovative classification and scoring technique is used that is a significant enhancement over an earlier method presented in reference [1]. The solution in reference [1] has been demonstrated to meet the stringent requirements of the WUW-SR task. Advanced solution of [1] is a novel technique that is model and algorithm independent. Therefore, it could be used to significantly improve performance of existing recognition algorithms and systems. Reduction of error rates of over 40% are commonly observed for both false rejections and false acceptance. In this paper the architecture of the WUW-SR based

  4. Astrocytes increase the activity of synaptic GluN2B NMDA receptors

    PubMed Central

    Hahn, Junghyun; Wang, Xianhong; Margeta, Marta

    2015-01-01

    Astrocytes regulate excitatory synapse formation and surface expression of glutamate AMPA receptors (AMPARs) during development. Less is known about glial modulation of glutamate NMDA receptors (NMDARs), which mediate synaptic plasticity and regulate neuronal survival in a subunit- and subcellular localization-dependent manner. Using primary hippocampal cultures with mature synapses, we found that the density of NMDA-evoked whole-cell currents was approximately twice as large in neurons cultured in the presence of glia compared to neurons cultured alone. The glial effect was mediated by (an) astrocyte-secreted soluble factor(s), was Mg2+ and voltage independent, and could not be explained by a significant change in the synaptic density. Instead, we found that the peak amplitudes of total and NMDAR miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs), but not AMPAR mEPSCs, were significantly larger in mixed than neuronal cultures, resulting in a decreased synaptic AMPAR/NMDAR ratio. Astrocytic modulation was restricted to synaptic NMDARs that contain the GluN2B subunit, did not involve an increase in the cell surface expression of NMDAR subunits, and was mediated by protein kinase C (PKC). Taken together, our findings indicate that astrocyte-secreted soluble factor(s) can fine-tune synaptic NMDAR activity through the PKC-mediated regulation of GluN2B NMDAR channels already localized at postsynaptic sites, presumably on a rapid time scale. Given that physiologic activation of synaptic NMDARs is neuroprotective and that an increase in the synaptic GluN2B current is associated with improved learning and memory, the astrocyte-induced potentiation of synaptic GluN2B receptor activity is likely to enhance cognitive function while simultaneously strengthening neuroprotective signaling pathways. PMID:25941471

  5. Communication: the origin of rotational enhancement effect for the reaction of H2O(+) + H2 (D2).

    PubMed

    Li, Anyang; Li, Yongle; Guo, Hua; Lau, Kai-Chung; Xu, Yuntao; Xiong, Bo; Chang, Yih-Chung; Ng, C Y

    2014-01-01

    We have measured the absolute integral cross sections (σ's) for H3O(+) formed by the reaction of rovibrationally selected H2O(+)(X(2)B1; v1 (+)v2 (+)v3 (+) = 000; N(+) K a (+) K c (+) = 000, 111, and 211) ion with H2 at the center-of-mass collision energy (Ecm) range of 0.03-10.00 eV. The σ(000), σ(111), and σ(211) values thus obtained reveal rotational enhancements at low Ecm < 0.50 eV, in agreement with the observation of the previous study of the H2O(+)(X(2)B1) + D2 reaction. This Communication presents important progress concerning the high-level ab initio quantum calculation of the potential energy surface for the H2O(+)(X(2)B1) + H2 (D2) reactions, which has provided valuable insight into the origin of the rotational enhancement effect. Governed by the charge and dipole-induced-multipole interactions, the calculation shows that H2 (D2) approaches the H end of H2O(+)(X(2)B1) in the long range, whereas chemical force in the short range favors the orientation of H2 (D2) toward the O side of H2O(+). The reorientation of H2O(+) reactant ion facilitated by rotational excitation thus promotes the H2O(+) + H2 (D2) reaction along the minimum energy pathway, rendering the observed rotational enhancement effects. The occurrence of this effect at low Ecm indicates that the long range charge and dipole-induced-multipole interactions of the colliding pair play a significant role in the dynamics of the exothermic H2O(+) + H2 (D2) reactions.

  6. 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).

  7. 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). PMID:27410116

  8. 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.

  9. Reactivation of stalled polyribosomes in synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

  10. AMPA receptor inhibition by synaptically released zinc.

    PubMed

    Kalappa, Bopanna I; Anderson, Charles T; Goldberg, Jacob M; Lippard, Stephen J; Tzounopoulos, Thanos

    2015-12-22

    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.

  11. Molecular mechanisms of synaptic remodeling in alcoholism.

    PubMed

    Kyzar, Evan J; Pandey, Subhash C

    2015-08-01

    Alcohol use and alcohol addiction represent dysfunctional brain circuits resulting from neuroadaptive changes during protracted alcohol exposure and its withdrawal. Alcohol exerts a potent effect on synaptic plasticity and dendritic spine formation in specific brain regions, providing a neuroanatomical substrate for the pathophysiology of alcoholism. Epigenetics has recently emerged as a critical regulator of gene expression and synaptic plasticity-related events in the brain. Alcohol exposure and withdrawal induce changes in crucial epigenetic processes in the emotional brain circuitry (amygdala) that may be relevant to the negative affective state defined as the "dark side" of addiction. Here, we review the literature concerning synaptic plasticity and epigenetics, with a particular focus on molecular events related to dendritic remodeling during alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Targeting epigenetic processes that modulate synaptic plasticity may yield novel treatments for alcoholism.

  12. 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

  13. Quantitative proteomics of synaptic and nonsynaptic mitochondria: insights for synaptic mitochondrial vulnerability.

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

    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.

  14. Fast Learning with Weak Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Yger, Pierre; Stimberg, Marcel; Brette, Romain

    2015-09-30

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

  15. Evaluation of glutamate concentration transient in the synaptic cleft of the rat calyx of Held

    PubMed Central

    Budisantoso, Timotheus; Harada, Harumi; Kamasawa, Naomi; Fukazawa, Yugo; Shigemoto, Ryuichi; Matsui, Ko

    2013-01-01

    Establishing the spatiotemporal concentration profile of neurotransmitter following synaptic vesicular release is essential for our understanding of inter-neuronal communication. Such profile is a determinant of synaptic strength, short-term plasticity and inter-synaptic crosstalk. Synaptically released glutamate has been suggested to reach a few millimolar in concentration and last for <1 ms. The synaptic cleft is often conceived as a single concentration compartment, whereas a huge gradient likely exists. Modelling studies have attempted to describe this gradient, but two key parameters, the number of glutamate in a vesicle (NGlu) and its diffusion coefficient (DGlu) in the extracellular space, remained unresolved. To determine this profile, the rat calyx of Held synapse at postnatal day 12–16 was studied where diffusion of glutamate occurs two-dimensionally and where quantification of AMPA receptor distribution on individual postsynaptic specialization on medial nucleus of the trapezoid body principal cells is possible using SDS-digested freeze-fracture replica labelling. To assess the performance of these receptors as glutamate sensors, a kinetic model of the receptors was constructed from outside-out patch recordings. From here, we simulated synaptic responses and compared them with the EPSC recordings. Combinations of NGlu and DGlu with an optimum of 7000 and 0.3 μm2 ms−1 reproduced the data, suggesting slow diffusion. Further simulations showed that a single vesicle does not saturate the synaptic receptors, and that glutamate spillover does not affect the conductance amplitude at this synapse. Using the estimated profile, we also evaluated how the number of multiple vesicle releases at individual active zones affects the amplitude of postsynaptic signals. PMID:23070699

  16. 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…

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. [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.

  20. 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.

  1. Brain-Generated Estradiol Drives Long-Term Optimization of Auditory Coding to Enhance the Discrimination of Communication Signals

    PubMed Central

    Tremere, Liisa A.; Pinaud, Raphael

    2011-01-01

    Auditory processing and hearing-related pathologies are heavily influenced by steroid hormones in a variety of vertebrate species including humans. The hormone estradiol has been recently shown to directly modulate the gain of central auditory neurons, in real-time, by controlling the strength of inhibitory transmission via a non-genomic mechanism. The functional relevance of this modulation, however, remains unknown. Here we show that estradiol generated in the songbird homologue of the mammalian auditory association cortex, rapidly enhances the effectiveness of the neural coding of complex, learned acoustic signals in awake zebra finches. Specifically, estradiol increases mutual information rates, coding efficiency and the neural discrimination of songs. These effects are mediated by estradiol’s modulation of both rate and temporal coding of auditory signals. Interference with the local action or production of estradiol in the auditory forebrain of freely-behaving animals disrupts behavioral responses to songs, but not to other behaviorally-relevant communication signals. Our findings directly show that estradiol is a key regulator of auditory function in the adult vertebrate brain. PMID:21368039

  2. 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

  3. Long-Term Relationships between Synaptic Tenacity, Synaptic Remodeling, and Network Activity

    PubMed Central

    Minerbi, Amir; Kahana, Roni; Goldfeld, Larissa; Kaufman, Maya; Marom, Shimon; Ziv, Noam E.

    2009-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is widely believed to constitute a key mechanism for modifying functional properties of neuronal networks. This belief implicitly implies, however, that synapses, when not driven to change their characteristics by physiologically relevant stimuli, will maintain these characteristics over time. How tenacious are synapses over behaviorally relevant time scales? To begin to address this question, we developed a system for continuously imaging the structural dynamics of individual synapses over many days, while recording network activity in the same preparations. We found that in spontaneously active networks, distributions of synaptic sizes were generally stable over days. Following individual synapses revealed, however, that the apparently static distributions were actually steady states of synapses exhibiting continual and extensive remodeling. In active networks, large synapses tended to grow smaller, whereas small synapses tended to grow larger, mainly during periods of particularly synchronous activity. Suppression of network activity only mildly affected the magnitude of synaptic remodeling, but dependence on synaptic size was lost, leading to the broadening of synaptic size distributions and increases in mean synaptic size. From the perspective of individual neurons, activity drove changes in the relative sizes of their excitatory inputs, but such changes continued, albeit at lower rates, even when network activity was blocked. Our findings show that activity strongly drives synaptic remodeling, but they also show that significant remodeling occurs spontaneously. Whereas such spontaneous remodeling provides an explanation for “synaptic homeostasis” like processes, it also raises significant questions concerning the reliability of individual synapses as sites for persistently modifying network function. PMID:19554080

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Diacylglycerol Kinases in the Coordination of Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Metabolic Turnover of Synaptic Proteins: Kinetics, Interdependencies and Implications for Synaptic Maintenance

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Laurie D.; Zuchman, Rina; Sorokina, Oksana; Müller, Anke; Dieterich, Daniela C.; Armstrong, J. Douglas; Ziv, Tamar; Ziv, Noam E.

    2013-01-01

    Chemical synapses contain multitudes of proteins, which in common with all proteins, have finite lifetimes and therefore need to be continuously replaced. Given the huge numbers of synaptic connections typical neurons form, the demand to maintain the protein contents of these connections might be expected to place considerable metabolic demands on each neuron. Moreover, synaptic proteostasis might differ according to distance from global protein synthesis sites, the availability of distributed protein synthesis facilities, trafficking rates and synaptic protein dynamics. To date, the turnover kinetics of synaptic proteins have not been studied or analyzed systematically, and thus metabolic demands or the aforementioned relationships remain largely unknown. In the current study we used dynamic Stable Isotope Labeling with Amino acids in Cell culture (SILAC), mass spectrometry (MS), Fluorescent Non–Canonical Amino acid Tagging (FUNCAT), quantitative immunohistochemistry and bioinformatics to systematically measure the metabolic half-lives of hundreds of synaptic proteins, examine how these depend on their pre/postsynaptic affiliation or their association with particular molecular complexes, and assess the metabolic load of synaptic proteostasis. We found that nearly all synaptic proteins identified here exhibited half-lifetimes in the range of 2–5 days. Unexpectedly, metabolic turnover rates were not significantly different for presynaptic and postsynaptic proteins, or for proteins for which mRNAs are consistently found in dendrites. Some functionally or structurally related proteins exhibited very similar turnover rates, indicating that their biogenesis and degradation might be coupled, a possibility further supported by bioinformatics-based analyses. The relatively low turnover rates measured here (∼0.7% of synaptic protein content per hour) are in good agreement with imaging-based studies of synaptic protein trafficking, yet indicate that the metabolic load

  10. Drosophila Neuroligin 2 is Required Presynaptically and Postsynaptically for proper Synaptic Differentiation and Synaptic Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yu-Chi; Lin, Yong Qi; Banerjee, Swati; Venken, Koen; Li, Jingjun; Ismat, Afshan; Chen, Kuchuan; Duraine, Lita; Bellen, Hugo J.; Bhat, Manzoor A.

    2012-01-01

    Trans-synaptic adhesion between Neurexins and Neuroligins is thought to be required for proper synapse organization and modulation, and mutations in several human NEUROLIGINS have shown association with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Here we report the generation and phenotypic characterization of Drosophila neuroligin 2 (dnlg2) mutants. Loss of dnlg2 results in reduced bouton numbers, aberrant pre- and post-synaptic development at neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), and impaired synaptic transmission. In dnlg2 mutants, the evoked responses are decreased in amplitude, whereas the total active zone numbers at the NMJ are comparable to wild type, suggesting a decrease in the release probability. Ultrastructurally, the presynaptic active zone number per bouton area and the postsynaptic density area are both increased in dnlg2 mutants, whereas the subsynaptic reticulum (SSR) is reduced in volume. We show that both pre- and post-synaptic expression of Dnlg2 is required to restore synaptic growth and function in dnlg2 mutants. Post-synaptic expression of Dnlg2 in dnlg2 mutants and wild type leads to reduced bouton growth whereas pre- and post-synaptic overexpression in wild type animals results in synaptic overgrowth. Since Neuroligins have been shown to bind to Neurexins, we created double mutants. These mutants are viable and display phenotypes that closely resemble those of dnlg2 and dnrx single mutants. Our results provide compelling evidence that Dnlg2 functions both pre- and post-synaptically together with Neurexin to determine the proper number of boutons as well as the number of active zones and size of synaptic densities during the development of NMJs. PMID:23136438

  11. Synaptic vesicle proteins: targets and routes for botulinum neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Ahnert-Hilger, Gudrun; Münster-Wandowski, Agnieszka; Höltje, Markus

    2013-01-01

    Synaptic vesicles (SV) are key organelles of neuronal communication. SV are responsible for the storage of neurotransmitters, which are released by Ca(2+)-dependent exocytosis. After release and interaction with postsynaptic receptors, transmitters rapidly diffuse out of the synaptic cleft and are sequestered by plasma membrane transporters (in some cases following enzymatic conversion). SVs undergo endocytosis and are refilled by specific vesicular transmitter transporters different in the various neuronal subtypes. Besides these differences, SVs in general are equipped with a remarkable common set of proteins. Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) inhibit neurotransmitter release from almost all types of neurons by cleaving proteins required for membrane fusion localized either to SVs (synaptobrevin) or to the plasma membrane (SNAP-25 and syntaxin) depending on the BoNT serotype. To enter the neuronal cytoplasm, BoNTs specifically interact with the luminal domain of SV proteins (synaptotagmin or SV2, depending on serotype) transiently exposed during exocytotic membrane fusion and occurring in almost every neuron. Thus, the highly specific interaction with luminal domains of SV proteins commonly expressed on all SV types is one reason why BoNTs exhibit such a high neuronal specificity but attack almost every neuron type.

  12. 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.

  13. The calcium sensor synaptotagmin 7 is required for synaptic facilitation.

    PubMed

    Jackman, Skyler L; Turecek, Josef; Belinsky, Justine E; Regehr, Wade G

    2016-01-01

    It has been known for more than 70 years that synaptic strength is dynamically regulated in a use-dependent manner. At synapses with a low initial release probability, closely spaced presynaptic action potentials can result in facilitation, a short-term form of enhancement in which each subsequent action potential evokes greater neurotransmitter release. Facilitation can enhance neurotransmitter release considerably and can profoundly influence information transfer across synapses, but the underlying mechanism remains a mystery. One proposed mechanism is that a specialized calcium sensor for facilitation transiently increases the probability of release, and this sensor 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 disputed. Here we show that synaptotagmin 7 (Syt7) is a calcium sensor that is required for facilitation at several central synapses. In Syt7-knockout mice, facilitation is eliminated even though the initial probability of release and the 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.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Estradiol-induced synaptic remodeling of tyrosine hydroxylase immunopositive neurons in the rat arcuate nucleus.

    PubMed

    Csakvari, Eszter; Kurunczi, Anita; Hoyk, Zsofia; Gyenes, Andrea; Naftolin, Frederick; Parducz, Arpad

    2008-08-01

    Gonadal steroids induce synaptic plasticity in several areas of the adult nervous system. In the arcuate nucleus of adult female rats, 17beta-estradiol triggers synaptic remodeling, resulting in a decrease in the number of inhibitory synaptic inputs, an increase in the number of excitatory synapses, and an enhancement of the frequency of neuronal firing. In the present paper, we studied the specificity of hormonal effects by determining the changes in synaptic connectivity of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunoreactive (IR) neurons in the arcuate nucleus. We combined pre-embedding TH and post-embedding gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) immunostaining, and performed unbiased stereological measurements in gonadectomized and 17beta-estradiol-treated rats. We conclude that the synaptic connectivity of the TH-IR neurons is different from the other, nonlabeled population, and the response to estradiol is not uniform. TH-IR (dopaminergic) arcuate neurons of both male and female rats have more GABAergic (inhibitory) axosomatic inputs than the nondopaminergic population. Our study shows that the effect of 17beta-estradiol is sex and cell specific in the sense that not all arcuate neurons are affected by the structural synaptic remodeling. In ovariectomized females hormone treatment decreased the numerical density of GABAergic axosomatic synapses on TH-IR, but not on nondopaminergic, neurons, whereas in orchidectomized males, 17beta-estradiol treatment increased inhibitory synapses onto nondopaminergic neurons but did not affect the number of inhibitory terminals onto TH-IR neurons. The hormone-induced plastic changes in synaptic connectivity of TH-IR neurons may serve as the morphological basis for the cyclical regulation of the anterior pituitary.

  18. 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

  19. Low-voltage protonic/electronic hybrid indium zinc oxide synaptic transistors on paper substrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Guodong; Wan, Changjin; Zhou, Jumei; Zhu, Liqiang; Wan, Qing

    2014-03-01

    Low-voltage (1.5 V) indium zinc oxide (IZO)-based electric-double-layer (EDL) thin-film transistors (TFTs) gated by nanogranular proton conducting SiO2 electrolyte films are fabricated on paper substrates. Both enhancement-mode and depletion-mode operation are obtained by tuning the thickness of the IZO channel layer. Furthermore, such flexible IZO protonic/electronic hybrid EDL TFTs can be used as artificial synapses, and synaptic stimulation response and short-term synaptic plasticity function are demonstrated. The protonic/electronic hybrid EDL TFTs on paper substrates proposed here are promising for low-power flexible paper electronics, artificial synapses and bioelectronics.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Real-time Monitoring of Discrete Synaptic Release Events and Excitatory Potentials within Self-reconstructed Neuromuscular Junctions.

    PubMed

    Li, Yu-Tao; Zhang, Shu-Hui; Wang, Xue-Ying; Zhang, Xin-Wei; Oleinick, Alexander I; Svir, Irina; Amatore, Christian; Huang, Wei-Hua

    2015-08-01

    Chemical synaptic transmission is central to the brain functions. In this regard, real-time monitoring of chemical synaptic transmission during neuronal communication remains a great challenge. In this work, in vivo-like oriented neural networks between superior cervical ganglion (SCG) neurons and their effector smooth muscle cells (SMC) were assembled in a microfluidic device. This allowed amperometric detection of individual neurotransmitter release events inside functional SCG-SMC synapse with carbon fiber nanoelectrodes as well as recording of postsynaptic potential using glass nanopipette electrodes. The high vesicular release activities essentially involved complex events arising from flickering fusion pores as quantitatively established based on simulations. This work allowed for the first time monitoring in situ chemical synaptic transmission under conditions close to those found in vivo, which may yield important and new insights into the nature of neuronal communications. PMID:26079517

  3. Probing the interior of synaptic vesicles with internalized nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gadd, Jennifer C.; Budzinski, Kristi L.; Chan, Yang-Hsiang; Ye, Fangmao; Chiu, Daniel T.

    2012-03-01

    Synaptic vesicles are subcellular organelles that are found in the synaptic bouton and are responsible for the propagation of signals between neurons. Synaptic vesicles undergo endo- and exocytosis with the neuronal membrane to load and release neurotransmitters. Here we discuss how we utilize this property to load nanoparticles as a means of probing the interior of synaptic vesicles. To probe the intravesicular region of synaptic vesicles, we have developed a highly sensitive pH-sensing polymer dot. We feel the robust nature of the pH-sensing polymer dot will provide insight into the dynamics of proton loading into synaptic vesicles.

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

    PubMed

    Basu, Jayeeta; Siegelbaum, Steven A

    2015-11-02

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

  5. 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.

  6. Synaptic scaffolding molecule interacts with axin.

    PubMed

    Hirabayashi, Susumu; Nishimura, Wataru; Iida, Junko; Kansaku, Ai; Kishida, Shosei; Kikuchi, Akira; Tanaka, Noriaki; Hata, Yutaka

    2004-07-01

    Synaptic scaffolding molecule (S-SCAM) is a synaptic protein that consists of PDZ domains, a guanylate kinase domain, and WW domains. It interacts with N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor subunits, neuroligin, and beta-catenin. Here, we identified Axin as a novel binding partner of S-SCAM. Axin was co-immunoprecipitated with S-SCAM from rat brain, detected in the post-synaptic density fraction in rat brain subcellular fractionation, and partially co-localized with S-SCAM in neurons. The guanylate kinase domain of S-SCAM directly bound to the GSK3beta-binding region of Axin. S-SCAM formed a complex with beta-catenin and Axin, but competed with GSK3beta for Axin-binding. Thereby, S-SCAM inhibited the Axin-mediated phosphorylation of beta-catenin by GSK3beta.

  7. Heterosynaptic Plasticity Prevents Runaway Synaptic Dynamics

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Levetiracetam mitigates doxorubicin-induced DNA and synaptic damage in neurons.

    PubMed

    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

  9. Progranulin Deficiency Promotes Circuit-Specific Synaptic Pruning by Microglia via Complement Activation.

    PubMed

    Lui, Hansen; Zhang, Jiasheng; Makinson, Stefanie R; Cahill, Michelle K; Kelley, Kevin W; Huang, Hsin-Yi; Shang, Yulei; Oldham, Michael C; Martens, Lauren Herl; Gao, Fuying; Coppola, Giovanni; Sloan, Steven A; Hsieh, Christine L; Kim, Charles C; Bigio, Eileen H; Weintraub, Sandra; Mesulam, Marek-Marsel; Rademakers, Rosa; Mackenzie, Ian R; Seeley, William W; Karydas, Anna; Miller, Bruce L; Borroni, Barbara; Ghidoni, Roberta; Farese, Robert V; Paz, Jeanne T; Barres, Ben A; Huang, Eric J

    2016-05-01

    Microglia maintain homeostasis in the brain, but whether aberrant microglial activation can cause neurodegeneration remains controversial. Here, we use transcriptome profiling to demonstrate that deficiency in frontotemporal dementia (FTD) gene progranulin (Grn) leads to an age-dependent, progressive upregulation of lysosomal and innate immunity genes, increased complement production, and enhanced synaptic pruning in microglia. During aging, Grn(-/-) mice show profound microglia infiltration and preferential elimination of inhibitory synapses in the ventral thalamus, which lead to hyperexcitability in the thalamocortical circuits and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)-like grooming behaviors. Remarkably, deleting C1qa gene significantly reduces synaptic pruning by Grn(-/-) microglia and mitigates neurodegeneration, behavioral phenotypes, and premature mortality in Grn(-/-) mice. Together, our results uncover a previously unrecognized role of progranulin in suppressing aberrant microglia activation during aging. These results represent an important conceptual advance that complement activation and microglia-mediated synaptic pruning are major drivers, rather than consequences, of neurodegeneration caused by progranulin deficiency.

  10. Fusion Competent Synaptic Vesicles Persist upon Active Zone Disruption and Loss of Vesicle Docking.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shan Shan H; Held, Richard G; Wong, Man Yan; Liu, Changliang; Karakhanyan, Aziz; Kaeser, Pascal S

    2016-08-17

    In a nerve terminal, synaptic vesicle docking and release are restricted to an active zone. The active zone is a protein scaffold that is attached to the presynaptic plasma membrane and opposed to postsynaptic receptors. Here, we generated conditional knockout mice removing the active zone proteins RIM and ELKS, which additionally led to loss of Munc13, Bassoon, Piccolo, and RIM-BP, indicating disassembly of the active zone. We observed a near-complete lack of synaptic vesicle docking and a strong reduction in vesicular release probability and the speed of exocytosis, but total vesicle numbers, SNARE protein levels, and postsynaptic densities remained unaffected. Despite loss of the priming proteins Munc13 and RIM and of docked vesicles, a pool of releasable vesicles remained. Thus, the active zone is necessary for synaptic vesicle docking and to enhance release probability, but releasable vesicles can be localized distant from the presynaptic plasma membrane. PMID:27537483

  11. 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

  12. Progranulin Deficiency Promotes Circuit-Specific Synaptic Pruning by Microglia via Complement Activation.

    PubMed

    Lui, Hansen; Zhang, Jiasheng; Makinson, Stefanie R; Cahill, Michelle K; Kelley, Kevin W; Huang, Hsin-Yi; Shang, Yulei; Oldham, Michael C; Martens, Lauren Herl; Gao, Fuying; Coppola, Giovanni; Sloan, Steven A; Hsieh, Christine L; Kim, Charles C; Bigio, Eileen H; Weintraub, Sandra; Mesulam, Marek-Marsel; Rademakers, Rosa; Mackenzie, Ian R; Seeley, William W; Karydas, Anna; Miller, Bruce L; Borroni, Barbara; Ghidoni, Roberta; Farese, Robert V; Paz, Jeanne T; Barres, Ben A; Huang, Eric J

    2016-05-01

    Microglia maintain homeostasis in the brain, but whether aberrant microglial activation can cause neurodegeneration remains controversial. Here, we use transcriptome profiling to demonstrate that deficiency in frontotemporal dementia (FTD) gene progranulin (Grn) leads to an age-dependent, progressive upregulation of lysosomal and innate immunity genes, increased complement production, and enhanced synaptic pruning in microglia. During aging, Grn(-/-) mice show profound microglia infiltration and preferential elimination of inhibitory synapses in the ventral thalamus, which lead to hyperexcitability in the thalamocortical circuits and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)-like grooming behaviors. Remarkably, deleting C1qa gene significantly reduces synaptic pruning by Grn(-/-) microglia and mitigates neurodegeneration, behavioral phenotypes, and premature mortality in Grn(-/-) mice. Together, our results uncover a previously unrecognized role of progranulin in suppressing aberrant microglia activation during aging. These results represent an important conceptual advance that complement activation and microglia-mediated synaptic pruning are major drivers, rather than consequences, of neurodegeneration caused by progranulin deficiency. PMID:27114033

  13. Fusion Competent Synaptic Vesicles Persist upon Active Zone Disruption and Loss of Vesicle Docking.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shan Shan H; Held, Richard G; Wong, Man Yan; Liu, Changliang; Karakhanyan, Aziz; Kaeser, Pascal S

    2016-08-17

    In a nerve terminal, synaptic vesicle docking and release are restricted to an active zone. The active zone is a protein scaffold that is attached to the presynaptic plasma membrane and opposed to postsynaptic receptors. Here, we generated conditional knockout mice removing the active zone proteins RIM and ELKS, which additionally led to loss of Munc13, Bassoon, Piccolo, and RIM-BP, indicating disassembly of the active zone. We observed a near-complete lack of synaptic vesicle docking and a strong reduction in vesicular release probability and the speed of exocytosis, but total vesicle numbers, SNARE protein levels, and postsynaptic densities remained unaffected. Despite loss of the priming proteins Munc13 and RIM and of docked vesicles, a pool of releasable vesicles remained. Thus, the active zone is necessary for synaptic vesicle docking and to enhance release probability, but releasable vesicles can be localized distant from the presynaptic plasma membrane.

  14. Regulation of synaptic development and function by the Drosophila PDZ protein Dyschronic.

    PubMed

    Jepson, James E C; Shahidullah, Mohammed; Liu, Die; le Marchand, Sylvain J; Liu, Sha; Wu, Mark N; Levitan, Irwin B; Dalva, Matthew B; Koh, Kyunghee

    2014-12-01

    Synaptic scaffold proteins control the localization of ion channels and receptors, and facilitate molecular associations between signaling components that modulate synaptic transmission and plasticity. Here, we define novel roles for a recently described scaffold protein, Dsychronic (DYSC), at the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction. DYSC is the Drosophila homolog of whirlin/DFNB31, a PDZ domain protein linked to Usher syndrome, the most common form of human deaf-blindness. We show that DYSC is expressed presynaptically and is often localized adjacent to the active zone, the site of neurotransmitter release. Loss of DYSC results in marked alterations in synaptic morphology and cytoskeletal organization. Moreover, active zones are frequently enlarged and misshapen in dysc mutants. Electrophysiological analyses further demonstrate that dysc mutants exhibit substantial increases in both evoked and spontaneous synaptic transmission. We have previously shown that DYSC binds to and regulates the expression of the Slowpoke (SLO) BK potassium channel. Consistent with this, slo mutant larvae exhibit similar alterations in synapse morphology, active zone size and neurotransmission, and simultaneous loss of dysc and slo does not enhance these phenotypes, suggesting that dysc and slo act in a common genetic pathway to modulate synaptic development and output. Our data expand our understanding of the neuronal functions of DYSC and uncover non-canonical roles for the SLO potassium channel at Drosophila synapses.

  15. ApoE isoform-dependent changes in hippocampal synaptic function.

    PubMed

    Korwek, Kimberly M; Trotter, Justin H; Ladu, Mary Jo; Sullivan, Patrick M; Weeber, Edwin J

    2009-05-27

    The lipoprotein receptor system in the hippocampus is intimately involved in the modulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity. The association of specific apoE isoform expression with human neurodegenerative disorders has focused attention on the role of these apoE isoforms in lipoprotein receptor-dependent synaptic modulation. In the present study, we used the apoE2, apoE3 and apoE4 targeted replacement (TR) mice along with recombinant human apoE isoforms to determine the role of apoE isoforms in hippocampus area CA1 synaptic function. While synaptic transmission is unaffected by apoE isoform, long-term potentiation (LTP) is significantly enhanced in apoE4 TR mice versus apoE2 TR mice. ApoE isoform-dependent differences in LTP induction require NMDA-receptor function, and apoE isoform expression alters activation of both ERK and JNK signal transduction. Acute application of specific apoE isoforms also alters LTP induction while decreasing NMDA-receptor mediated field potentials. Furthermore, acute apoE isoform application does not have the same effects on ERK and JNK activation. These findings demonstrate specific, isoform-dependent effects of human apoE isoforms on adult hippocampus synaptic plasticity and highlight mechanistic differences between chronic apoE isoform expression and acute apoE isoform exposure.

  16. Exogenous Alpha-Synuclein Alters Pre- and Post-Synaptic Activity by Fragmenting Lipid Rafts.

    PubMed

    Emanuele, Marco; Esposito, Alessandro; Camerini, Serena; Antonucci, Flavia; Ferrara, Silvia; Seghezza, Silvia; Catelani, Tiziano; Crescenzi, Marco; Marotta, Roberto; Canale, Claudio; Matteoli, Michela; Menna, Elisabetta; Chieregatti, Evelina

    2016-05-01

    Alpha-synuclein (αSyn) interferes with multiple steps of synaptic activity at pre-and post-synaptic terminals, however the mechanism/s by which αSyn alters neurotransmitter release and synaptic potentiation is unclear. By atomic force microscopy we show that human αSyn, when incubated with reconstituted membrane bilayer, induces lipid rafts' fragmentation. As a consequence, ion channels and receptors are displaced from lipid rafts with consequent changes in their activity. The enhanced calcium entry leads to acute mobilization of synaptic vesicles, and exhaustion of neurotransmission at later stages. At the post-synaptic terminal, an acute increase in glutamatergic transmission, with increased density of PSD-95 puncta, is followed by disruption of the interaction between N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) and PSD-95 with ensuing decrease of long term potentiation. While cholesterol loading prevents the acute effect of αSyn at the presynapse; inhibition of casein kinase 2, which appears activated by reduction of cholesterol, restores the correct localization and clustering of NMDARs.

  17. Monitoring local synaptic activity with astrocytic patch pipettes

    PubMed Central

    Henneberger, Christian; Rusakov, Dmitri A

    2013-01-01

    Rapid signal exchange between astroglia and neurons has emerged as a key player in neural communication in the brain. To understand the mechanisms involved, it is often important to have access to individual astrocytes while monitoring the activity of nearby synapses. Achieving this with standard electrophysiological tools is not always feasible. The protocol presented here enables the monitoring of synaptic activity using whole-cell current-clamp recordings from a local astrocyte. This approach takes advantage of the fact that the low input resistance of electrically passive astroglia allows extracellular currents to pass through the astrocytic membrane with relatively little attenuation. Once the slice preparation is ready, it takes ~30 min to several hours to implement this protocol, depending on the experimental design, which is similar to other patch-clamp techniques. The technique presented here can be used to directly access the intracellular medium of individual astrocytes while examining synapses functioning in their immediate proximity. PMID:23196973

  18. 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

  19. Imaging synaptic zinc: promises and perils.

    PubMed

    Kay, Alan R

    2006-04-01

    It is well established that some excitatory nerve terminals have high concentrations of Zn(2+) in their synaptic vesicles. For some time, it has been believed that synaptic Zn(2+) is released during neurotransmission and acts as a neuromodulator. Fluorescent Zn(2+) indicators that do not penetrate membranes offer the prospect of rendering the release of Zn(2+) visible. Here, I take a critical look at fluorimetric imaging experiments devised to determine whether Zn(2+) is released and show that they are particularly susceptible to artifacts. Moreover, I will argue that recent experiments suggest that, rather than being released, Zn(2+) is presented to the extracellular space firmly coordinated to presynaptic macromolecules.

  20. A genetic screen for synaptic transmission mutants mapping to the right arm of chromosome 3 in Drosophila.

    PubMed Central

    Babcock, Michael C; Stowers, R Steven; Leither, Jennifer; Goodman, Corey S; Pallanck, Leo J

    2003-01-01

    Neuronal function depends upon the proper formation of synaptic connections and rapid communication at these sites, primarily through the regulated exocytosis of chemical neurotransmitters. Recent biochemical and genomic studies have identified a large number of candidate molecules that may function in these processes. To complement these studies, we are pursuing a genetic approach to identify genes affecting synaptic transmission in the Drosophila visual system. Our screening approach involves a recently described genetic method allowing efficient production of mosaic flies whose eyes are entirely homozygous for a mutagenized chromosome arm. From a screen of 42,500 mutagenized flies, 32 mutations on chromosome 3R that confer synaptic transmission defects in the visual system were recovered. These mutations represent 14 complementation groups, of which at least 9 also appear to perform functional roles outside of the eye. Three of these complementation groups disrupt photoreceptor axonal projection, whereas the remaining complementation groups confer presynaptic defects in synaptic transmission without detectably altering photoreceptor structure. Mapping and complementation testing with candidate mutations revealed new alleles of the neuronal fate determinant svp and the synaptic vesicle trafficking component lap among the collection of mutants recovered in this screen. Given the tools available for investigation of synaptic function in Drosophila, these mutants represent a valuable resource for future analysis of synapse development and function. PMID:14504225

  1. Time-dependent reversal of synaptic plasticity induced by physiological concentrations of oligomeric Aβ42: an early index of Alzheimer’s disease

    PubMed Central

    Koppensteiner, Peter; Trinchese, Fabrizio; Fà, Mauro; Puzzo, Daniela; Gulisano, Walter; Yan, Shijun; Poussin, Arthur; Liu, Shumin; Orozco, Ian; Dale, Elena; Teich, Andrew F.; Palmeri, Agostino; Ninan, Ipe; Boehm, Stefan; Arancio, Ottavio

    2016-01-01

    The oligomeric amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide is thought to contribute to the subtle amnesic changes in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) by causing synaptic dysfunction. Here, we examined the time course of synaptic changes in mouse hippocampal neurons following exposure to Aβ42 at picomolar concentrations, mimicking its physiological levels in the brain. We found opposite effects of the peptide with short exposures in the range of minutes enhancing synaptic plasticity, and longer exposures lasting several hours reducing it. The plasticity reduction was concomitant with an increase in the basal frequency of spontaneous neurotransmitter release, a higher basal number of functional presynaptic release sites, and a redistribution of synaptic proteins including the vesicle-associated proteins synapsin I, synaptophysin, and the post-synaptic glutamate receptor I. These synaptic alterations were mediated by cytoskeletal changes involving actin polymerization and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase. These in vitro findings were confirmed in vivo with short hippocampal infusions of picomolar Aβ enhancing contextual memory and prolonged infusions impairing it. Our findings provide a model for initiation of synaptic dysfunction whereby exposure to physiologic levels of Aβ for a prolonged period of time causes microstructural changes at the synapse which result in increased transmitter release, failure of synaptic plasticity, and memory loss. PMID:27581852

  2. Time-dependent reversal of synaptic plasticity induced by physiological concentrations of oligomeric Aβ42: an early index of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Koppensteiner, Peter; Trinchese, Fabrizio; Fà, Mauro; Puzzo, Daniela; Gulisano, Walter; Yan, Shijun; Poussin, Arthur; Liu, Shumin; Orozco, Ian; Dale, Elena; Teich, Andrew F; Palmeri, Agostino; Ninan, Ipe; Boehm, Stefan; Arancio, Ottavio

    2016-01-01

    The oligomeric amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide is thought to contribute to the subtle amnesic changes in Alzheimer's disease (AD) by causing synaptic dysfunction. Here, we examined the time course of synaptic changes in mouse hippocampal neurons following exposure to Aβ42 at picomolar concentrations, mimicking its physiological levels in the brain. We found opposite effects of the peptide with short exposures in the range of minutes enhancing synaptic plasticity, and longer exposures lasting several hours reducing it. The plasticity reduction was concomitant with an increase in the basal frequency of spontaneous neurotransmitter release, a higher basal number of functional presynaptic release sites, and a redistribution of synaptic proteins including the vesicle-associated proteins synapsin I, synaptophysin, and the post-synaptic glutamate receptor I. These synaptic alterations were mediated by cytoskeletal changes involving actin polymerization and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase. These in vitro findings were confirmed in vivo with short hippocampal infusions of picomolar Aβ enhancing contextual memory and prolonged infusions impairing it. Our findings provide a model for initiation of synaptic dysfunction whereby exposure to physiologic levels of Aβ for a prolonged period of time causes microstructural changes at the synapse which result in increased transmitter release, failure of synaptic plasticity, and memory loss. PMID:27581852

  3. 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

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. Specific trans-synaptic interaction with inhibitory interneuronal neurexin underlies differential ability of neuroligins to induce functional inhibitory synapses.

    PubMed

    Futai, Kensuke; Doty, Christopher D; Baek, Brian; Ryu, Jubin; Sheng, Morgan

    2013-02-20

    Synaptic transmission depends on the matching and alignment of presynaptically released transmitters and postsynaptic neurotransmitter receptors. Neuroligin (NL) and Neurexin (Nrxn) proteins are trans-synaptic adhesion molecules that are important in validation and maturation of specific synapses. NL isoforms NL1 and NL2 have specific functional roles in excitatory and inhibitory synapses, respectively, but the molecular basis behind this distinction is still unclear. We show here that the extracellular domain of NL2 confers its unique ability to enhance inhibitory synaptic function when overexpressed in rat hippocampal pyramidal neurons, whereas NL1 normally only promotes excitatory synapses. This specificity is conferred by presynaptic Nrxn isoforms, as NL1 can also induce functional inhibitory synapse connections when the presynaptic interneurons ectopically express an Nrxn isoform that binds to NL1. Our results indicate that trans-synaptic interaction with differentially expressed presynaptic Nrxns underlies the distinct functions of NL1 and NL2, and is sufficient to induce functional inhibitory synapse formation.

  8. Flexible Proton-Gated Oxide Synaptic Transistors on Si Membrane.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Li Qiang; Wan, Chang Jin; Gao, Ping Qi; Liu, Yang Hui; Xiao, Hui; Ye, Ji Chun; Wan, Qing

    2016-08-24

    Ion-conducting materials have received considerable attention for their applications in fuel cells, electrochemical devices, and sensors. Here, flexible indium zinc oxide (InZnO) synaptic transistors with multiple presynaptic inputs gated by proton-conducting phosphorosilicate glass-based electrolyte films are fabricated on ultrathin Si membranes. Transient characteristics of the proton gated InZnO synaptic transistors are investigated, indicating stable proton-gating behaviors. Short-term synaptic plasticities are mimicked on the proposed proton-gated synaptic transistors. Furthermore, synaptic integration regulations are mimicked on the proposed synaptic transistor networks. Spiking logic modulations are realized based on the transition between superlinear and sublinear synaptic integration. The multigates coupled flexible proton-gated oxide synaptic transistors may be interesting for neuroinspired platforms with sophisticated spatiotemporal information processing. PMID:27471861

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Synaptic destabilization by neuronal Nogo-A.

    PubMed

    Aloy, Elisabeth M; Weinmann, Oliver; Pot, Caroline; Kasper, Hansjörg; Dodd, Dana A; Rülicke, Thomas; Rossi, Ferdinando; Schwab, Martin E

    2006-06-01

    Formation and maintenance of a neuronal network is based on a balance between plasticity and stability of synaptic connections. Several molecules have been found to regulate the maintenance of excitatory synapses but nothing is known about the molecular mechanisms involved in synaptic stabilization versus disassembly at inhibitory synapses. Here, we demonstrate that Nogo-A, which is well known to be present in myelin and inhibit growth in the adult CNS, is present in inhibitory presynaptic terminals in cerebellar Purkinje cells at the time of Purkinje cell-Deep Cerebellar Nuclei (DCN) inhibitory synapse formation and is then downregulated during synapse maturation. We addressed the role of neuronal Nogo-A in synapse maturation by generating several mouse lines overexpressing Nogo-A, starting at postnatal ages and throughout adult life, specifically in cerebellar Purkinje cells and their terminals. The overexpression of Nogo-A induced a progressive disassembly, retraction and loss of the inhibitory Purkinje cell terminals. This led to deficits in motor learning and coordination in the transgenic mice. Prior to synapse disassembly, the overexpression of neuronal Nogo-A led to the downregulation of the synaptic scaffold proteins spectrin, spectrin-E and beta-catenin in the postsynaptic neurons. Our data suggest that neuronal Nogo-A might play a role in the maintenance of inhibitory synapses by modulating the expression of synaptic anchoring molecules.

  12. 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.

  13. Tonic synaptic inhibition modulates neuronal output pattern and spatiotemporal synaptic integration.

    PubMed

    Häusser, M; Clark, B A

    1997-09-01

    Irregular firing patterns are observed in most central neurons in vivo, but their origin is controversial. Here, we show that two types of inhibitory neurons in the cerebellar cortex fire spontaneously and regularly in the absence of synaptic input but generate an irregular firing pattern in the presence of tonic synaptic inhibition. Paired recordings between synaptically connected neurons revealed that single action potentials in inhibitory interneurons cause highly variable delays in action potential firing in their postsynaptic cells. Activity in single and multiple inhibitory interneurons also significantly reduces postsynaptic membrane time constant and input resistance. These findings suggest that the time window for synaptic integration is a dynamic variable modulated by the level of tonic inhibition, and that rate coding and temporal coding strategies may be used in parallel in the same cell type. PMID:9331356

  14. 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

  15. Estimating synaptic parameters from mean, variance, and covariance in trains of synaptic responses.

    PubMed Central

    Scheuss, V; Neher, E

    2001-01-01

    Fluctuation analysis of synaptic transmission using the variance-mean approach has been restricted in the past to steady-state responses. Here we extend this method to short repetitive trains of synaptic responses, during which the response amplitudes are not stationary. We consider intervals between trains, long enough so that the system is in the same average state at the beginning of each train. This allows analysis of ensemble means and variances for each response in a train separately. Thus, modifications in synaptic efficacy during short-term plasticity can be attributed to changes in synaptic parameters. In addition, we provide practical guidelines for the analysis of the covariance between successive responses in trains. Explicit algorithms to estimate synaptic parameters are derived and tested by Monte Carlo simulations on the basis of a binomial model of synaptic transmission, allowing for quantal variability, heterogeneity in the release probability, and postsynaptic receptor saturation and desensitization. We find that the combined analysis of variance and covariance is advantageous in yielding an estimate for the number of release sites, which is independent of heterogeneity in the release probability under certain conditions. Furthermore, it allows one to calculate the apparent quantal size for each response in a sequence of stimuli. PMID:11566771

  16. Nuclear calcium signaling induces expression of the synaptic organizers Lrrtm1 and Lrrtm2.

    PubMed

    Hayer, Stefanie N; Bading, Hilmar

    2015-02-27

    Calcium transients in the cell nucleus evoked by synaptic activity in hippocampal neurons function as a signaling end point in synapse-to-nucleus communication. As an important regulator of neuronal gene expression, nuclear calcium is involved in the conversion of synaptic stimuli into functional and structural changes of neurons. Here we identify two synaptic organizers, Lrrtm1 and Lrrtm2, as targets of nuclear calcium signaling. Expression of both Lrrtm1 and Lrrtm2 increased in a synaptic NMDA receptor- and nuclear calcium-dependent manner in hippocampal neurons within 2-4 h after the induction of action potential bursting. Induction of Lrrtm1 and Lrrtm2 occurred independently of the need for new protein synthesis and required calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinases and the nuclear calcium signaling target CREB-binding protein. Analysis of reporter gene constructs revealed a functional cAMP response element in the proximal promoter of Lrrtm2, indicating that at least Lrrtm2 is regulated by the classical nuclear Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV-CREB/CREB-binding protein pathway. These results suggest that one mechanism by which nuclear calcium signaling controls neuronal network function is by regulating the expression of Lrrtm1 and Lrrtm2.

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  20. Synaptic Vesicle Docking: Sphingosine Regulates Syntaxin1 Interaction with Munc18

    PubMed Central

    Morando, Laura; Connell, Emma; Marletto, Fabio P.; Giustetto, Maurizio; Sassoè-Pognetto, Marco; Van Veldhoven, Paul P.; Ledesma, Maria Dolores

    2009-01-01

    Consensus exists that lipids must play key functions in synaptic activity but precise mechanistic information is limited. Acid sphingomyelinase knockout mice (ASMko) are a suitable model to address the role of sphingolipids in synaptic regulation as they recapitulate a mental retardation syndrome, Niemann Pick disease type A (NPA), and their neurons have altered levels of sphingomyelin (SM) and its derivatives. Electrophysiological recordings showed that ASMko hippocampi have increased paired-pulse facilitation and post-tetanic potentiation. Consistently, electron microscopy revealed reduced number of docked vesicles. Biochemical analysis of ASMko synaptic membranes unveiled higher amounts of SM and sphingosine (Se) and enhanced interaction of the docking molecules Munc18 and syntaxin1. In vitro reconstitution assays demonstrated that Se changes syntaxin1 conformation enhancing its interaction with Munc18. Moreover, Se reduces vesicle docking in primary neurons and increases paired-pulse facilitation when added to wt hippocampal slices. These data provide with a novel mechanism for synaptic vesicle control by sphingolipids and could explain cognitive deficits of NPA patients. PMID:19390577

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:26512729

  6. p21-Activated kinases 1 and 3 control brain size through coordinating neuronal complexity and synaptic properties.

    PubMed

    Huang, Wayne; Zhou, Zikai; Asrar, Suhail; Henkelman, Mark; Xie, Wei; Jia, Zhengping

    2011-02-01

    The molecular mechanisms that coordinate postnatal brain enlargement, synaptic properties, and cognition remain an enigma. Here, we demonstrate that neuronal complexity controlled by p21-activated kinases (PAKs) is a key determinant for postnatal brain enlargement and synaptic properties. We showed that double-knockout (DK) mice lacking both PAK1 and PAK3 were born healthy, with normal brain size and structure, but severely impaired in postnatal brain growth, resulting in a dramatic reduction in brain volume. Remarkably, the reduced brain size was accompanied by minimal changes in total cell count, due to a significant increase in cell density. However, the DK neurons have smaller soma, markedly simplified dendritic arbors/axons, and reduced synapse density. Surprisingly, the DK mice had elevated basal synaptic responses due to enhanced individual synaptic potency but were severely impaired in bidirectional synaptic plasticity. The actions of PAK1 and PAK3 are possibly mediated by cofilin-dependent actin regulation, because the activity of cofilin and the properties of actin filaments were altered in the DK mice. These results reveal an essential in vivo role of PAK1 and PAK3 in coordinating neuronal complexity and synaptic properties and highlight the critical importance of dendrite/axon growth in dictating postnatal brain growth and attainment of normal brain size and function.

  7. 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.

  8. Regulation of synaptic connectivity: levels of Fasciclin II influence synaptic growth in the Drosophila CNS.

    PubMed

    Baines, Richard A; Seugnet, Laurent; Thompson, Annemarie; Salvaterra, Paul M; Bate, Michael

    2002-08-01

    Much of our understanding of synaptogenesis comes from studies that deal with the development of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Although well studied, it is not clear how far the NMJ represents an adequate model for the formation of synapses within the CNS. Here we investigate the role of Fasciclin II (Fas II) in the development of synapses between identified motor neurons and cholinergic interneurons in the CNS of Drosophila. Fas II is a neural cell adhesion molecule homolog that is involved in both target selection and synaptic plasticity at the NMJ in Drosophila. In this study, we show that levels of Fas II are critical determinants of synapse formation and growth in the CNS. The initial establishment of synaptic contacts between these identified neurons is seemingly independent of Fas II. The subsequent proliferation of these synaptic connections that occurs postembryonically is, in contrast, significantly retarded by the absence of Fas II. Although the initial formation of synaptic connectivity between these neurons is seemingly independent of Fas II, we show that their formation is, nevertheless, significantly affected by manipulations that alter the relative balance of Fas II in the presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons. Increasing expression of Fas II in either the presynaptic or postsynaptic neurons, during embryogenesis, is sufficient to disrupt the normal level of synaptic connectivity that occurs between these neurons. This effect of Fas II is isoform specific and, moreover, phenocopies the disruption to synaptic connectivity observed previously after tetanus toxin light chain-dependent blockade of evoked synaptic vesicle release in these neurons. PMID:12151538

  9. The role of cAMP in synaptic homeostasis in response to environmental temperature challenges and hyperexcitability mutations

    PubMed Central

    Ueda, Atsushi; Wu, Chun-Fang

    2015-01-01

    Homeostasis is the ability of physiological systems to regain functional balance following environment or experimental insults and synaptic homeostasis has been demonstrated in various species following genetic or pharmacological disruptions. Among environmental challenges, homeostatic responses to temperature extremes are critical to animal survival under natural conditions. We previously reported that axon terminal arborization in Drosophila larval neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) is enhanced at elevated temperatures; however, the amplitude of excitatory junctional potentials (EJPs) remains unaltered despite the increase in synaptic bouton numbers. Here we determine the cellular basis of this homeostatic adjustment in larvae reared at high temperature (HT, 29°C). We found that synaptic current focally recorded from individual synaptic boutons was unaffected by rearing temperature (<15°C to >30°C). However, HT rearing decreased the quantal size (amplitude of spontaneous miniature EJPs, or mEJPs), which compensates for the increased number of synaptic releasing sites to retain a normal EJP size. The quantal size decrease is accounted for by a decrease in input resistance of the postsynaptic muscle fiber, indicating an increase in membrane area that matches the synaptic growth at HT. Interestingly, a mutation in rutabaga (rut) encoding adenylyl cyclase (AC) exhibited no obvious changes in quantal size or input resistance of postsynaptic muscle cells after HT rearing, suggesting an important role for rut AC in temperature-induced synaptic homeostasis in Drosophila. This extends our previous finding of rut-dependent synaptic homeostasis in hyperexcitable mutants, e.g., slowpoke (slo). In slo larvae, the lack of BK channel function is partially ameliorated by upregulation of presynaptic Shaker (Sh) IA current to limit excessive transmitter release in addition to postsynaptic glutamate receptor recomposition that reduces the quantal size. PMID:25698925

  10. Spontaneous network activity and synaptic development

    PubMed Central

    Kerschensteiner, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Throughout development, the nervous system produces patterned spontaneous activity. Research over the last two decades has revealed a core group of mechanisms that mediate spontaneous activity in diverse circuits. Many circuits engage several of these mechanisms sequentially to accommodate developmental changes in connectivity. In addition to shared mechanisms, activity propagates through developing circuits and neuronal pathways (i.e. linked circuits in different brain areas) in stereotypic patterns. Increasing evidence suggests that spontaneous network activity shapes synaptic development in vivo. Variations in activity-dependent plasticity may explain how similar mechanisms and patterns of activity can be employed to establish diverse circuits. Here, I will review common mechanisms and patterns of spontaneous activity in emerging neural networks and discuss recent insights into their contribution to synaptic development. PMID:24280071

  11. Morphological plasticity of astroglia: Understanding synaptic microenvironment

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Synaptic devices based on purely electronic memristors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Ruobing; Li, Jun; Zhuge, Fei; Zhu, Liqiang; Liang, Lingyan; Zhang, Hongliang; Gao, Junhua; Cao, Hongtao; Fu, Bing; Li, Kang

    2016-01-01

    Memristive devices have been widely employed to emulate biological synaptic behavior. In these cases, the memristive switching generally originates from electrical field induced ion migration or Joule heating induced phase change. In this letter, the Ti/ZnO/Pt structure was found to show memristive switching ascribed to a carrier trapping/detrapping of the trap sites (e.g., oxygen vacancies or zinc interstitials) in ZnO. The carrier trapping/detrapping level can be controllably adjusted by regulating the current compliance level or voltage amplitude. Multi-level conductance states can, therefore, be realized in such memristive device. The spike-timing-dependent plasticity, an important Hebbian learning rule, has been implemented in this type of synaptic device. Compared with filamentary-type memristive devices, purely electronic memristors have potential to reduce their energy consumption and work more stably and reliably, since no structural distortion occurs.

  13. Miniature Neurotransmission Regulates Drosophila Synaptic Structural Maturation

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Ben Jiwon; Imlach, Wendy L.; Jiao, Wei; Wolfram, Verena; Wu, Ying; Grbic, Mark; Cela, Carolina; Baines, Richard A.; Nitabach, Michael N.; McCabe, Brian D.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Miniature neurotransmission is the transsynaptic process where single synaptic vesicles spontaneously released from presynaptic neurons induce miniature postsynaptic potentials. Since their discovery over 60 years ago, miniature events have been found at every chemical synapse studied. However, the in vivo necessity for these small-amplitude events has remained enigmatic. Here, we show that miniature neurotransmission is required for the normal structural maturation of Drosophila glutamatergic synapses in a developmental role that is not shared by evoked neurotransmission. Conversely, we find that increasing miniature events is sufficient to induce synaptic terminal growth. We show that miniature neurotransmission acts locally at terminals to regulate synapse maturation via a Trio guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) and Rac1 GTPase molecular signaling pathway. Our results establish that miniature neurotransmission, a universal but often-overlooked feature of synapses, has unique and essential functions in vivo. PMID:24811381

  14. Novel synaptic memory device for neuromorphic computing.

    PubMed

    Mandal, Saptarshi; El-Amin, Ammaarah; Alexander, Kaitlyn; Rajendran, Bipin; Jha, Rashmi

    2014-06-18

    This report discusses the electrical characteristics of two-terminal synaptic memory devices capable of demonstrating an analog change in conductance in response to the varying amplitude and pulse-width of the applied signal. The devices are based on Mn doped HfO₂ material. The mechanism behind reconfiguration was studied and a unified model is presented to explain the underlying device physics. The model was then utilized to show the application of these devices in speech recognition. A comparison between a 20 nm × 20 nm sized synaptic memory device with that of a state-of-the-art VLSI SRAM synapse showed ~10× reduction in area and >10(6) times reduction in the power consumption per learning cycle.

  15. Novel synaptic memory device for neuromorphic computing

    PubMed Central

    Mandal, Saptarshi; El-Amin, Ammaarah; Alexander, Kaitlyn; Rajendran, Bipin; Jha, Rashmi

    2014-01-01

    This report discusses the electrical characteristics of two-terminal synaptic memory devices capable of demonstrating an analog change in conductance in response to the varying amplitude and pulse-width of the applied signal. The devices are based on Mn doped HfO2 material. The mechanism behind reconfiguration was studied and a unified model is presented to explain the underlying device physics. The model was then utilized to show the application of these devices in speech recognition. A comparison between a 20 nm × 20 nm sized synaptic memory device with that of a state-of-the-art VLSI SRAM synapse showed ~10× reduction in area and >106 times reduction in the power consumption per learning cycle. PMID:24939247

  16. Control of neural chaos by synaptic noise.

    PubMed

    Cortes, J M; Torres, J J; Marro, J

    2007-02-01

    We study neural automata - or neurobiologically inspired cellular automata - which exhibits chaotic itinerancy among the different stored patterns or memories. This is a consequence of activity-dependent synaptic fluctuations, which continuously destabilize the attractor and induce irregular hopping to other possible attractors. The nature of these irregularities depends on the dynamic details, namely, on the intensity of the synaptic noise and the number of sites of the network, which are synchronously updated at each time step. Varying these factors, different regimes occur, ranging from regular to chaotic dynamics. As a result, and in absence of external agents, the chaotic behavior may turn regular after tuning the noise intensity. It is argued that a similar mechanism might be on the basis of self-controlling chaos in natural systems.

  17. Electron tomographic analysis of synaptic ultrastructure.

    PubMed

    Burette, Alain C; Lesperance, Thomas; Crum, John; Martone, Maryann; Volkmann, Niels; Ellisman, Mark H; Weinberg, Richard J

    2012-08-15

    Synaptic function depends on interactions among sets of proteins that assemble into complex supramolecular machines. Molecular biology, electrophysiology, and live-cell imaging studies have provided tantalizing glimpses into the inner workings of the synapse, but fundamental questions remain regarding the functional organization of these "nano-machines." Electron tomography reveals the internal structure of synapses in three dimensions with exceptional spatial resolution. Here we report results from an electron tomographic study of axospinous synapses in neocortex and hippocampus of the adult rat, based on aldehyde-fixed material stabilized with tannic acid in lieu of postfixation with osmium tetroxide. Our results provide a new window into the structural basis of excitatory synaptic processing in the mammalian brain. PMID:22684938

  18. Pregnenolone sulfate as a modulator of synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Conor C.; Gibbs, Terrell T.

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Non-synaptic dendritic spines in neocortex.

    PubMed

    Arellano, J I; Espinosa, A; Fairén, A; Yuste, R; DeFelipe, J

    2007-03-16

    A long-held assumption states that each dendritic spine in the cerebral cortex forms a synapse, although this issue has not been systematically investigated. We performed complete ultrastructural reconstructions of a large (n=144) population of identified spines in adult mouse neocortex finding that only 3.6% of the spines clearly lacked synapses. Nonsynaptic spines were small and had no clear head, resembling dendritic filopodia, and could represent a source of new synaptic connections in the adult cerebral cortex.

  20. Copper enhances cellular and network excitabilities, and improves temporal processing in the rat hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Maureira, Carlos; Letelier, Juan Carlos; Alvarez, Osvaldo; Delgado, Ricardo; Vergara, Cecilia

    2015-12-01

    Copper, an ion with many important metabolic functions, has also been proposed to have a role as modulator on neuronal function, mostly based on its effects on voltage- and neurotransmitter-gated conductance as well as on neurological symptoms of patients with altered copper homeostasis. Nevertheless, the mechanisms by which copper exerts its neuromodulatory effects have not been clearly established in a functional neuronal network. Using rat hippocampus slices as a neuronal network model, the effects of copper in the range of 10-100 nm were tested on the intrinsic, synaptic and network properties of the CA1 region. Most of the previously described effects of this cation were in the micromolar range of copper concentrations. The current results indicate that copper is a multifaceted neuromodulator, having effects that may be grouped into two categories: (i) activity enhancement, by modulating synaptic communication and action potential (AP) conductances; and (ii) temporal processing and correlation extraction, by improving reliability and depressing inhibition. Specifically it was found that copper hyperpolarizes AP firing threshold, enhances neuronal and network excitability, modifies CA3-CA1 pathway gain, enhances the frequency of spontaneous synaptic events, decreases inhibitory network activity, and improves AP timing reliability. Moreover, copper chelation by bathocuproine decreases spontaneous network spiking activity. These results allow the proposal that copper affects the network activity from cellular to circuit levels on a moment-by-moment basis, and should be considered a crucial functional component of hippocampal neuronal circuitry.

  1. Synaptic theory of replicator-like melioration.

    PubMed

    Loewenstein, Yonatan

    2010-01-01

    According to the theory of Melioration, organisms in repeated choice settings shift their choice preference in favor of the alternative that provides the highest return. The goal of this paper is to explain how this learning behavior can emerge from microscopic changes in the efficacies of synapses, in the context of a two-alternative repeated-choice experiment. I consider a large family of synaptic plasticity rules in which changes in synaptic efficacies are driven by the covariance between reward and neural activity. I construct a general framework that predicts the learning dynamics of any decision-making neural network that implements this synaptic plasticity rule and show that melioration naturally emerges in such networks. Moreover, the resultant learning dynamics follows the Replicator equation which is commonly used to phenomenologically describe changes in behavior in operant conditioning experiments. Several examples demonstrate how the learning rate of the network is affected by its properties and by the specifics of the plasticity rule. These results help bridge the gap between cellular physiology and learning behavior.

  2. Synaptic theory of replicator-like melioration.

    PubMed

    Loewenstein, Yonatan

    2010-01-01

    According to the theory of Melioration, organisms in repeated choice settings shift their choice preference in favor of the alternative that provides the highest return. The goal of this paper is to explain how this learning behavior can emerge from microscopic changes in the efficacies of synapses, in the context of a two-alternative repeated-choice experiment. I consider a large family of synaptic plasticity rules in which changes in synaptic efficacies are driven by the covariance between reward and neural activity. I construct a general framework that predicts the learning dynamics of any decision-making neural network that implements this synaptic plasticity rule and show that melioration naturally emerges in such networks. Moreover, the resultant learning dynamics follows the Replicator equation which is commonly used to phenomenologically describe changes in behavior in operant conditioning experiments. Several examples demonstrate how the learning rate of the network is affected by its properties and by the specifics of the plasticity rule. These results help bridge the gap between cellular physiology and learning behavior. PMID:20617184

  3. Transient analysis of a chemical synaptic transmission.

    PubMed

    Melkonian, D S

    1993-01-01

    The statistical dynamics of an impulse induced quanta turnover is studied by means of a nonstationary stochastic model--double barrier synapse--resulting from a previously developed mathematical theory of chemical synaptic transmission. An essential aspect of nonstationarities of the model is that the interpool quanta transfers follow binomial distribution at impulse arrival time, while in the absence of stimulation they obey Yule-Furry statistics. Under a variety of conditions, corresponding to those in actual experiments, the transient behaviour of the model is simulated and analysed in detail. As a result, the quantitative description of immediate and delayed components of synaptic action is introduced. If simulations of quantal fluctuations are performed numerically, then for the treatment of dynamic regularities, besides numerical procedures, an analytical method of envelopes is developed. It is supported by the theorems which reduce behaviour of the double-barrier synapse to the super-position of simpler solutions for single-barrier systems. With short-term facilitation quantitative analysis and simulations, the synaptic resonance phenomenon is theoretically predicted: different resonant frequencies are found at different levels of facilitation. The importance of this phenomenon treated as a clue to the information processing capabilities of a chemical synapse is discussed. PMID:8097407

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

    PubMed

    Maren, Stephen

    2003-04-01

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

  5. Characterization and extraction of the synaptic apposition surface for synaptic geometry analysis

    PubMed Central

    Morales, Juan; Rodríguez, Angel; Rodríguez, José-Rodrigo; DeFelipe, Javier; Merchán-Pérez, Angel

    2013-01-01

    Geometrical features of chemical synapses are relevant to their function. Two critical components of the synaptic junction are the active zone (AZ) and the postsynaptic density (PSD), as they are related to the probability of synaptic release and the number of postsynaptic receptors, respectively. Morphological studies of these structures are greatly facilitated by the use of recent electron microscopy techniques, such as combined focused ion beam milling and scanning electron microscopy (FIB/SEM), and software tools that permit reconstruction of large numbers of synapses in three dimensions. Since the AZ and the PSD are in close apposition and have a similar surface area, they can be represented by a single surface—the synaptic apposition surface (SAS). We have developed an efficient computational technique to automatically extract this surface from synaptic junctions that have previously been three-dimensionally reconstructed from actual tissue samples imaged by automated FIB/SEM. Given its relationship with the release probability and the number of postsynaptic receptors, the surface area of the SAS is a functionally relevant measure of the size of a synapse that can complement other geometrical features like the volume of the reconstructed synaptic junction, the equivalent ellipsoid size and the Feret's diameter. PMID:23847474

  6. An Approach for Enhancing the Symbolic, Communicative, and Interpersonal Functioning of Young Children with Autism or Severe Emotional Handicaps.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rogers, Sally J.; And Others

    1986-01-01

    An intervention approach emphasizing development of symbolic thought, communication, and interpersonal relationships was implemented with 26 children (ages 2-6) with pervasive developmental disorder, or severe emotional handicaps. Ss demonstrated significant changes in several targeted developmental areas, including cognition, perceptual/fine…

  7. 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…

  8. Happy Family Kitchen: A community-based research for enhancing family communication and well-being in Hong Kong.

    PubMed

    Ho, Henry C Y; Mui, Moses; Wan, Alice; Ng, Yin-Lam; Stewart, Sunita M; Yew, Carol; Lam, Tai Hing; Chan, Sophia S

    2016-09-01

    Urban families worldwide are often characterized by busy working lives which leave little time for family gatherings and communication. The Happy Family Kitchen project, which emphasized cooking and dining with family members, was conducted in a deprived district in Hong Kong. We hypothesized that the community-based family intervention, derived from a positive psychology framework, can improve family communication, family well-being, and subjective happiness. Twenty-three social service units organized and delivered the intervention programs for 1,419 individuals from 612 families. The core intervention was developed with emphasis on 1 of 5 positive psychology themes: gratitude, flow, happiness, health, and savoring. Intervention outcomes were assessed at preintervention, immediate postintervention, and 6 weeks and 12 weeks postintervention. Results showed that family communication, family well-being, and subjective happiness improved with small effect sizes which were sustained up to 12 weeks. The gratitude intervention improved all of the outcome measures. Qualitative data provided additional evidence for effectiveness with in-depth insights into family dynamics. We concluded that this brief intervention was a low-cost and simple approach to improve family communication and well-being. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27513284

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. "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…

  13. 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…

  14. Enhancing Extemporaneous Speaking Skills in the Advanced Oral Communication Course and Team Testing Techniques in the Basic Course.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reppert, James E.

    In an advanced oral communication course, students make five major presentations. One of the foundations of extemporaneous speaking is the ability to outline relevant points and phrases in a coherent, orderly manner. Advanced students must be able to take any topic and dissect it quickly to determine the most succinct way to present it to an…

  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. Modulation of GABA-mediated synaptic transmission by endogenous zinc in the immature rat hippocampus in vitro.

    PubMed Central

    Xie, X; Hider, R C; Smart, T G

    1994-01-01

    1. Intracellular recordings from postnatal 2- to 12-day-old (P2-12) rat hippocampal CA3 pyramidal neurones exhibited spontaneous synaptic potentials mediated by GABAA receptors. These potentials can be separated on the basis of amplitude into two classes which are referred to as small and large. 2. The large depolarizing potentials were reversibly inhibited by the Zn2+ chelator 1,2-diethyl-3-hydroxypyridin-4-one (CP94). The small inhibitory postsynaptic potentials. (IPSPs) were apparently unaffected. 3. Stimulation of the mossy fibre pathway evoked composite excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) and IPSPs. Threshold stimulus-evoked synaptic potentials were mediated by GABAA receptors and were reversibly blocked by CP94. The responses evoked by suprathreshold stimulation and persisting in the presence of bicuculline or CP94 were partially inhibited by 2-amino-5-phosphonopropionic acid (AP5) and were completely blocked with 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX). 4. L-Histidine, which preferentially forms complexes with Cu2+ > Zn2+ > Fe2+ > Mn2+, inhibited both naturally occurring spontaneous and evoked GABAA-mediated large synaptic potentials without affecting the neuronal resting membrane properties. Exogenously applied Zn2+ induced large spontaneous synaptic potentials and prolonged the duration of the evoked potentials. These effects were reversibly blocked by histidine. 5. The metal chelating agent diethyldithiocarbamate had little effect on the large amplitude synaptic potentials. 6. The transition metal divalent cations Fe2+ and Mn2+ did not initiate large synaptic potentials in CA3 neurones; however, Cu2+ depolarized the membrane and enhanced both excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission, resulting in a transient increase in the frequency of the large amplitude events. In comparison, zinc increased the frequency of the large potentials and also induced such events in neurons (P4-21) where innate potentials were absent. The postsynaptic

  17. Extracting information from the power spectrum of synaptic noise.

    PubMed

    Destexhe, Alain; Rudolph, Michael

    2004-01-01

    In cortical neurons, synaptic "noise" is caused by the nearly random release of thousands of synapses. Few methods are presently available to analyze synaptic noise and deduce properties of the underlying synaptic inputs. We focus here on the power spectral density (PSD) of several models of synaptic noise. We examine different classes of analytically solvable kinetic models for synaptic currents, such as the "delta kinetic models," which use Dirac delta functions to represent the activation of the ion channel. We first show that, for this class of kinetic models, one can obtain an analytic expression for the PSD of the total synaptic conductance and derive equivalent stochastic models with only a few variables. This yields a method for constraining models of synaptic currents by analyzing voltage-clamp recordings of synaptic noise. Second, we show that a similar approach can be followed for the PSD of the the membrane potential (Vm) through an effective-leak approximation. Third, we show that this approach is also valid for inputs distributed in dendrites. In this case, the frequency scaling of the Vm PSD is preserved, suggesting that this approach may be applied to intracellular recordings of real neurons. In conclusion, using simple mathematical tools, we show that Vm recordings can be used to constrain kinetic models of synaptic currents, as well as to estimate equivalent stochastic models. This approach, therefore, provides a direct link between intracellular recordings in vivo and the design of models consistent with the dynamics and spectral structure of synaptic noise. PMID:15483395

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Reduced Expression of the Vesicular Acetylcholine Transporter and Neurotransmitter Content Affects Synaptic Vesicle Distribution and Shape in Mouse Neuromuscular Junction

    PubMed Central

    Rodrigues, Hermann A.; Fonseca, Matheus de C.; Camargo, Wallace L.; Lima, Patrícia M. A.; Martinelli, Patrícia M.; Naves, Lígia A.; Prado, Vânia F.; Prado, Marco A. M.; Guatimosim, Cristina

    2013-01-01

    In vertebrates, nerve muscle communication is mediated by the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine packed inside synaptic vesicles by a specific vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT). Here we used a mouse model (VAChT KDHOM) with 70% reduction in the expression of VAChT to investigate the morphological and functional consequences of a decreased acetylcholine uptake and release in neuromuscular synapses. Upon hypertonic stimulation, VAChT KDHOM mice presented a reduction in the amplitude and frequency of miniature endplate potentials, FM 1–43 staining intensity, total number of synaptic vesicles and altered distribution of vesicles within the synaptic terminal. In contrast, under electrical stimulation or no stimulation, VAChT KDHOM neuromuscular junctions did not differ from WT on total number of vesicles but showed altered distribution. Additionally, motor nerve terminals in VAChT KDHOM exhibited small and flattened synaptic vesicles similar to that observed in WT mice treated with vesamicol that blocks acetylcholine uptake. Based on these results, we propose that decreased VAChT levels affect synaptic vesicle biogenesis and distribution whereas a lower ACh content affects vesicles shape. PMID:24260111

  20. Reduced expression of the vesicular acetylcholine transporter and neurotransmitter content affects synaptic vesicle distribution and shape in mouse neuromuscular junction.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Hermann A; Fonseca, Matheus de C; Camargo, Wallace L; Lima, Patrícia M A; Martinelli, Patrícia M; Naves, Lígia A; Prado, Vânia F; Prado, Marco A M; Guatimosim, Cristina

    2013-01-01

    In vertebrates, nerve muscle communication is mediated by the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine packed inside synaptic vesicles by a specific vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT). Here we used a mouse model (VAChT KD(HOM)) with 70% reduction in the expression of VAChT to investigate the morphological and functional consequences of a decreased acetylcholine uptake and release in neuromuscular synapses. Upon hypertonic stimulation, VAChT KD(HOM) mice presented a reduction in the amplitude and frequency of miniature endplate potentials, FM 1-43 staining intensity, total number of synaptic vesicles and altered distribution of vesicles within the synaptic terminal. In contrast, under electrical stimulation or no stimulation, VAChT KD(HOM) neuromuscular junctions did not differ from WT on total number of vesicles but showed altered distribution. Additionally, motor nerve terminals in VAChT KD(HOM) exhibited small and flattened synaptic vesicles similar to that observed in WT mice treated with vesamicol that blocks acetylcholine uptake. Based on these results, we propose that decreased VAChT levels affect synaptic vesicle biogenesis and distribution whereas a lower ACh content affects vesicles shape. PMID:24260111

  1. SAD-B Phosphorylation of CAST Controls Active Zone Vesicle Recycling for Synaptic Depression.

    PubMed

    Mochida, Sumiko; Hida, Yamato; Tanifuji, Shota; Hagiwara, Akari; Hamada, Shun; Abe, Manabu; Ma, Huan; Yasumura, Misato; Kitajima, Isao; Sakimura, Kenji; Ohtsuka, Toshihisa

    2016-09-13

    Short-term synaptic depression (STD) is a common form of activity-dependent plasticity observed widely in the nervous system. Few molecular pathways that control STD have been described, but the active zone (AZ) release apparatus provides a possible link between neuronal activity and plasticity. Here, we show that an AZ cytomatrix protein CAST and an AZ-associated protein kinase SAD-B coordinately regulate STD by controlling reloading of the AZ with release-ready synaptic vesicles. SAD-B phosphorylates the N-terminal serine (S45) of CAST, and S45 phosphorylation increases with higher firing rate. A phosphomimetic CAST (S45D) mimics CAST deletion, which enhances STD by delaying reloading of the readily releasable pool (RRP), resulting in a pool size decrease. A phosphonegative CAST (S45A) inhibits STD and accelerates RRP reloading. Our results suggest that the CAST/SAD-B reaction serves as a brake on synaptic transmission by temporal calibration of activity and synaptic depression via RRP size regulation. PMID:27626661

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  3. SAD-B Phosphorylation of CAST Controls Active Zone Vesicle Recycling for Synaptic Depression.

    PubMed

    Mochida, Sumiko; Hida, Yamato; Tanifuji, Shota; Hagiwara, Akari; Hamada, Shun; Abe, Manabu; Ma, Huan; Yasumura, Misato; Kitajima, Isao; Sakimura, Kenji; Ohtsuka, Toshihisa

    2016-09-13

    Short-term synaptic depression (STD) is a common form of activity-dependent plasticity observed widely in the nervous system. Few molecular pathways that control STD have been described, but the active zone (AZ) release apparatus provides a possible link between neuronal activity and plasticity. Here, we show that an AZ cytomatrix protein CAST and an AZ-associated protein kinase SAD-B coordinately regulate STD by controlling reloading of the AZ with release-ready synaptic vesicles. SAD-B phosphorylates the N-terminal serine (S45) of CAST, and S45 phosphorylation increases with higher firing rate. A phosphomimetic CAST (S45D) mimics CAST deletion, which enhances STD by delaying reloading of the readily releasable pool (RRP), resulting in a pool size decrease. A phosphonegative CAST (S45A) inhibits STD and accelerates RRP reloading. Our results suggest that the CAST/SAD-B reaction serves as a brake on synaptic transmission by temporal calibration of activity and synaptic depression via RRP size regulation.

  4. Role of motor cortex NMDA receptors in learning-dependent synaptic plasticity of behaving mice

    PubMed Central

    Hasan, Mazahir T.; Hernández-González, Samuel; Dogbevia, Godwin; Treviño, Mario; Bertocchi, Ilaria; Gruart, Agnès; Delgado-García, José M.

    2013-01-01

    The primary motor cortex has an important role in the precise execution of learned motor responses. During motor learning, synaptic efficacy between sensory and primary motor cortical neurons is enhanced, possibly involving long-term potentiation and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-specific glutamate receptor function. To investigate whether NMDA receptor in the primary motor cortex can act as a coincidence detector for activity-dependent changes in synaptic strength and associative learning, here we generate mice with deletion of the Grin1 gene, encoding the essential NMDA receptor subunit 1 (GluN1), specifically in the primary motor cortex. The loss of NMDA receptor function impairs primary motor cortex long-term potentiation in vivo. Importantly, it impairs the synaptic efficacy between the primary somatosensory and primary motor cortices and significantly reduces classically conditioned eyeblink responses. Furthermore, compared with wild-type littermates, mice lacking primary motor cortex show slower learning in Skinner-box tasks. Thus, primary motor cortex NMDA receptors are necessary for activity-dependent synaptic strengthening and associative learning. PMID:23978820

  5. The GTPase Rab26 links synaptic vesicles to the autophagy pathway.

    PubMed

    Binotti, Beyenech; Pavlos, Nathan J; Riedel, Dietmar; Wenzel, Dirk; Vorbrüggen, Gerd; Schalk, Amanda M; Kühnel, Karin; Boyken, Janina; Erck, Christian; Martens, Henrik; Chua, John J E; Jahn, Reinhard

    2015-01-01

    Small GTPases of the Rab family not only regulate target recognition in membrane traffic but also control other cellular functions such as cytoskeletal transport and autophagy. Here we show that Rab26 is specifically associated with clusters of synaptic vesicles in neurites. Overexpression of active but not of GDP-preferring Rab26 enhances vesicle clustering, which is particularly conspicuous for the EGFP-tagged variant, resulting in a massive accumulation of synaptic vesicles in neuronal somata without altering the distribution of other organelles. Both endogenous and induced clusters co-localize with autophagy-related proteins such as Atg16L1, LC3B and Rab33B but not with other organelles. Furthermore, Atg16L1 appears to be a direct effector of Rab26 and binds Rab26 in its GTP-bound form, albeit only with low affinity. We propose that Rab26 selectively directs synaptic and secretory vesicles into preautophagosomal structures, suggesting the presence of a novel pathway for degradation of synaptic vesicles.

  6. Consumption of palatable food primes food approach behavior by rapidly increasing synaptic density in the VTA.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shuai; Globa, Andrea K; Mills, Fergil; Naef, Lindsay; Qiao, Min; Bamji, Shernaz X; Borgland, Stephanie L

    2016-03-01

    In an environment with easy access to highly palatable and energy-dense food, food-related cues drive food-seeking regardless of satiety, an effect that can lead to obesity. The ventral tegmental area (VTA) and its mesolimbic projections are critical structures involved in the learning of environmental cues used to predict motivationally relevant outcomes. Priming effects of food-related advertising and consumption of palatable food can drive food intake. However, the mechanism by which this effect occurs, and whether these priming effects last days after consumption, is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that short-term consumption of palatable food can prime future food approach behaviors and food intake. This effect is mediated by the strengthening of excitatory synaptic transmission onto dopamine neurons that is initially offset by a transient increase in endocannabinoid tone, but lasts days after an initial 24-h exposure to sweetened high-fat food (SHF). This enhanced synaptic strength is mediated by a long-lasting increase in excitatory synaptic density onto VTA dopamine neurons. Administration of insulin into the VTA, which suppresses excitatory synaptic transmission onto dopamine neurons, can abolish food approach behaviors and food intake observed days after 24-h access to SHF. These results suggest that even a short-term exposure to palatable foods can drive future feeding behavior by "rewiring" mesolimbic dopamine neurons. PMID:26884159

  7. Consumption of palatable food primes food approach behavior by rapidly increasing synaptic density in the VTA

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Shuai; Globa, Andrea K.; Mills, Fergil; Naef, Lindsay; Qiao, Min; Bamji, Shernaz X.; Borgland, Stephanie L.

    2016-01-01

    In an environment with easy access to highly palatable and energy-dense food, food-related cues drive food-seeking regardless of satiety, an effect that can lead to obesity. The ventral tegmental area (VTA) and its mesolimbic projections are critical structures involved in the learning of environmental cues used to predict motivationally relevant outcomes. Priming effects of food-related advertising and consumption of palatable food can drive food intake. However, the mechanism by which this effect occurs, and whether these priming effects last days after consumption, is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that short-term consumption of palatable food can prime future food approach behaviors and food intake. This effect is mediated by the strengthening of excitatory synaptic transmission onto dopamine neurons that is initially offset by a transient increase in endocannabinoid tone, but lasts days after an initial 24-h exposure to sweetened high-fat food (SHF). This enhanced synaptic strength is mediated by a long-lasting increase in excitatory synaptic density onto VTA dopamine neurons. Administration of insulin into the VTA, which suppresses excitatory synaptic transmission onto dopamine neurons, can abolish food approach behaviors and food intake observed days after 24-h access to SHF. These results suggest that even a short-term exposure to palatable foods can drive future feeding behavior by “rewiring” mesolimbic dopamine neurons. PMID:26884159

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  10. Membrane palmitoylated protein 2 is a synaptic scaffold protein required for synaptic SK2-containing channel function

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Gukhan; Luján, Rafael; Schwenk, Jochen; Kelley, Melissa H; Aguado, Carolina; Watanabe, Masahiko; Fakler, Bernd; Maylie, James; Adelman, John P

    2016-01-01

    Mouse CA1 pyramidal neurons express apamin-sensitive SK2-containing channels in the post-synaptic membrane, positioned close to NMDA-type (N-methyl-D-aspartate) glutamate receptors. Activated by synaptically evoked NMDAR-dependent Ca2+ influx, the synaptic SK2-containing channels modulate excitatory post-synaptic responses and the induction of synaptic plasticity. In addition, their activity- and protein kinase A-dependent trafficking contributes to expression of long-term potentiation (LTP). We have identified a novel synaptic scaffold, MPP2 (membrane palmitoylated protein 2; p55), a member of the membrane-associated guanylate kinase (MAGUK) family that interacts with SK2-containing channels. MPP2 and SK2 co-immunopurified from mouse brain, and co-immunoprecipitated when they were co-expressed in HEK293 cells. MPP2 is highly expressed in the post-synaptic density of dendritic spines on CA1 pyramidal neurons. Knocking down MPP2 expression selectively abolished the SK2-containing channel contribution to synaptic responses and decreased LTP. Thus, MPP2 is a novel synaptic scaffold that is required for proper synaptic localization and function of SK2-containing channels. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12637.001 PMID:26880549

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  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. PMID:25819293

  14. On the Teneurin track: a new synaptic organization molecule emerges

    PubMed Central

    Mosca, Timothy J.

    2015-01-01

    To achieve proper synaptic development and function, coordinated signals must pass between the pre- and postsynaptic membranes. Such transsynaptic signals can be comprised of receptors and secreted ligands, membrane associated receptors, and also pairs of synaptic cell adhesion molecules. A critical open question bridging neuroscience, developmental biology, and cell biology involves identifying those signals and elucidating how they function. Recent work in Drosophila and vertebrate systems has implicated a family of proteins, the Teneurins, as a new transsynaptic signal in both the peripheral and central nervous systems. The Teneurins have established roles in neuronal wiring, but studies now show their involvement in regulating synaptic connections between neurons and bridging the synaptic membrane and the cytoskeleton. This review will examine the Teneurins as synaptic cell adhesion molecules, explore how they regulate synaptic organization, and consider how some consequences of human Teneurin mutations may have synaptopathic origins. PMID:26074772

  15. LTD-like molecular pathways in developmental synaptic pruning

    PubMed Central

    Piochon, Claire; Kano, Masanobu; Hansel, Christian

    2016-01-01

    In long-term depression (LTD) at synapses in the adult brain, synaptic strength is reduced in an experience-dependent manner. LTD thus provides a cellular mechanism for information storage in some forms of learning. A similar activity-dependent reduction in synaptic strength also occurs in the developing brain and there provides an essential step in synaptic pruning and the postnatal development of neural circuits. Here we review evidence suggesting that LTD and synaptic pruning share components of their underlying molecular machinery and may thus represent two developmental stages of the same type of synaptic modulation that serve different, but related, functions in neural circuit plasticity. We also assess the relationship between LTD and synaptic pruning in the context of recent findings of LTD dysregulation in several mouse models of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and discuss whether LTD deficits can indicate impaired pruning processes that are required for proper brain development. PMID:27669991

  16. PTEN recruitment controls synaptic and cognitive function in Alzheimer's models.

    PubMed

    Knafo, Shira; Sánchez-Puelles, Cristina; Palomer, Ernest; Delgado, Igotz; Draffin, Jonathan E; Mingo, Janire; Wahle, Tina; Kaleka, Kanwardeep; Mou, Liping; Pereda-Perez, Inmaculada; Klosi, Edvin; Faber, Erik B; Chapman, Heidi M; Lozano-Montes, Laura; Ortega-Molina, Ana; Ordóñez-Gutiérrez, Lara; Wandosell, Francisco; Viña, Jose; Dotti, Carlos G; Hall, Randy A; Pulido, Rafael; Gerges, Nashaat Z; Chan, Andrew M; Spaller, Mark R; Serrano, Manuel; Venero, César; Esteban, José A

    2016-03-01

    Dyshomeostasis of amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) is responsible for synaptic malfunctions leading to cognitive deficits ranging from mild impairment to full-blown dementia in Alzheimer's disease. Aβ appears to skew synaptic plasticity events toward depression. We found that inhibition of PTEN, a lipid phosphatase that is essential to long-term depression, rescued normal synaptic function and cognition in cellular and animal models of Alzheimer's disease. Conversely, transgenic mice that overexpressed PTEN displayed synaptic depression that mimicked and occluded Aβ-induced depression. Mechanistically, Aβ triggers a PDZ-dependent recruitment of PTEN into the postsynaptic compartment. Using a PTEN knock-in mouse lacking the PDZ motif, and a cell-permeable interfering peptide, we found that this mechanism is crucial for Aβ-induced synaptic toxicity and cognitive dysfunction. Our results provide fundamental information on the molecular mechanisms of Aβ-induced synaptic malfunction and may offer new mechanism-based therapeutic targets to counteract downstream Aβ signaling.

  17. LTD-like molecular pathways in developmental synaptic pruning.

    PubMed

    Piochon, Claire; Kano, Masanobu; Hansel, Christian

    2016-09-27

    In long-term depression (LTD) at synapses in the adult brain, synaptic strength is reduced in an experience-dependent manner. LTD thus provides a cellular mechanism for information storage in some forms of learning. A similar activity-dependent reduction in synaptic strength also occurs in the developing brain and there provides an essential step in synaptic pruning and the postnatal development of neural circuits. Here we review evidence suggesting that LTD and synaptic pruning share components of their underlying molecular machinery and may thus represent two developmental stages of the same type of synaptic modulation that serve different, but related, functions in neural circuit plasticity. We also assess the relationship between LTD and synaptic pruning in the context of recent findings of LTD dysregulation in several mouse models of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and discuss whether LTD deficits can indicate impaired pruning processes that are required for proper brain development. PMID:27669991

  18. Effects of Modafinil on Behavioral Learning and Hippocampal Synaptic Transmission in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chong; Wang, Hai-Xia; Li, Chu-Hua; Huang, Jun-Ni; Xiao, Peng

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: Modafinil is a wake-promoting agent that has been proposed to improve cognitive performance at the preclinical and clinical levels. Since there is insufficient evidence for modafinil to be regarded as a cognitive enhancer, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of chronic modafinil administration on behavioral learning in healthy adult rats. Methods: Y-maze training was used to assess learning performance, and the whole-cell patch clamp technique was used to assess synaptic transmission in pyramidal neurons of the hippocampal CA1 region of rats. Results: Intraperitoneal administration of modafinil at 200 mg/kg or 300 mg/kg significantly improved learning performance. Furthermore, perfusion with 1mM modafinil enhanced the frequency and amplitude of spontaneous postsynaptic currents and spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents in CA1 pyramidal neurons in hippocampal slices. However, the frequency and amplitude of spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents in CA1 pyramidal neurons were inhibited by treatment with 1mM modafinil. Conclusions: These results indicate that modafinil improves learning and memory in rats possibly by enhancing glutamatergic excitatory synaptic transmission and inhibiting GABAergic (gamma-aminobutyric acid-ergic) inhibitory synaptic transmission. PMID:26739176

  19. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hawkins, Robert D.

    2013-01-01

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