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Sample records for helps regulate synaptic

  1. Circadian Regulation of Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Frank, Marcos G.

    2016-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Chloride Regulation: A Dynamic Equilibrium Crucial for Synaptic Inhibition.

    PubMed

    Doyon, Nicolas; Vinay, Laurent; Prescott, Steven A; De Koninck, Yves

    2016-03-16

    Fast synaptic inhibition relies on tight regulation of intracellular Cl(-). Chloride dysregulation is implicated in several neurological and psychiatric disorders. Beyond mere disinhibition, the consequences of Cl(-) dysregulation are multifaceted and best understood in terms of a dynamical system involving complex interactions between multiple processes operating on many spatiotemporal scales. This dynamical perspective helps explain many unintuitive manifestations of Cl(-) dysregulation. Here we discuss how taking into account dynamical regulation of intracellular Cl(-) is important for understanding how synaptic inhibition fails, how to best detect that failure, why Cl(-) regulation is energetically so expensive, and the overall consequences for therapeutics. PMID:26985723

  4. Chloride Regulation: A Dynamic Equilibrium Crucial for Synaptic Inhibition.

    PubMed

    Doyon, Nicolas; Vinay, Laurent; Prescott, Steven A; De Koninck, Yves

    2016-03-16

    Fast synaptic inhibition relies on tight regulation of intracellular Cl(-). Chloride dysregulation is implicated in several neurological and psychiatric disorders. Beyond mere disinhibition, the consequences of Cl(-) dysregulation are multifaceted and best understood in terms of a dynamical system involving complex interactions between multiple processes operating on many spatiotemporal scales. This dynamical perspective helps explain many unintuitive manifestations of Cl(-) dysregulation. Here we discuss how taking into account dynamical regulation of intracellular Cl(-) is important for understanding how synaptic inhibition fails, how to best detect that failure, why Cl(-) regulation is energetically so expensive, and the overall consequences for therapeutics.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Ubiquitination-dependent mechanisms regulate synaptic growth and function.

    PubMed

    DiAntonio, A; Haghighi, A P; Portman, S L; Lee, J D; Amaranto, A M; Goodman, C S

    2001-07-26

    The covalent attachment of ubiquitin to cellular proteins is a powerful mechanism for controlling protein activity and localization. Ubiquitination is a reversible modification promoted by ubiquitin ligases and antagonized by deubiquitinating proteases. Ubiquitin-dependent mechanisms regulate many important processes including cell-cycle progression, apoptosis and transcriptional regulation. Here we show that ubiquitin-dependent mechanisms regulate synaptic development at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Neuronal overexpression of the deubiquitinating protease fat facets leads to a profound disruption of synaptic growth control; there is a large increase in the number of synaptic boutons, an elaboration of the synaptic branching pattern, and a disruption of synaptic function. Antagonizing the ubiquitination pathway in neurons by expression of the yeast deubiquitinating protease UBP2 (ref. 5) also produces synaptic overgrowth and dysfunction. Genetic interactions between fat facets and highwire, a negative regulator of synaptic growth that has structural homology to a family of ubiquitin ligases, suggest that synaptic development may be controlled by the balance between positive and negative regulators of ubiquitination.

  10. Ubiquitination-dependent mechanisms regulate synaptic growth and function.

    PubMed

    DiAntonio, A; Haghighi, A P; Portman, S L; Lee, J D; Amaranto, A M; Goodman, C S

    2001-07-26

    The covalent attachment of ubiquitin to cellular proteins is a powerful mechanism for controlling protein activity and localization. Ubiquitination is a reversible modification promoted by ubiquitin ligases and antagonized by deubiquitinating proteases. Ubiquitin-dependent mechanisms regulate many important processes including cell-cycle progression, apoptosis and transcriptional regulation. Here we show that ubiquitin-dependent mechanisms regulate synaptic development at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Neuronal overexpression of the deubiquitinating protease fat facets leads to a profound disruption of synaptic growth control; there is a large increase in the number of synaptic boutons, an elaboration of the synaptic branching pattern, and a disruption of synaptic function. Antagonizing the ubiquitination pathway in neurons by expression of the yeast deubiquitinating protease UBP2 (ref. 5) also produces synaptic overgrowth and dysfunction. Genetic interactions between fat facets and highwire, a negative regulator of synaptic growth that has structural homology to a family of ubiquitin ligases, suggest that synaptic development may be controlled by the balance between positive and negative regulators of ubiquitination. PMID:11473321

  11. BMP signaling and microtubule organization regulate synaptic strength

    PubMed Central

    Ball, Robin W.; Peled, Einat; Guerrero, Giovanna; Isacoff, Ehud Y.

    2015-01-01

    The strength of synaptic transmission between a neuron and multiple postsynaptic partners can vary considerably. We have studied synaptic heterogeneity using the glutamatergic Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ), which contains multiple synaptic connections of varying strength between a motor axon and muscle fiber. In larval NMJs, there is a gradient of synaptic transmission from weak proximal to strong distal boutons. We imaged synaptic transmission with the postsynaptically targeted fluorescent calcium sensor SynapCam, to investigate the molecular pathways that determine synaptic strength and set up this gradient. We discovered that mutations in the Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) signaling pathway disrupt production of strong distal boutons. We find that strong connections contain unbundled microtubules in the boutons, suggesting a role for microtubule organization in transmission strength. The spastin mutation, which disorganizes microtubules, disrupted the transmission gradient, supporting this interpretation. We propose that the BMP pathway, shown previously to function in the homeostatic regulation of synaptic growth, also boosts synaptic transmission in a spatially selective manner that depends on the microtubule system. PMID:25681521

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Innervation regulates synaptic ribbons in lateral line mechanosensory hair cells.

    PubMed

    Suli, Arminda; Pujol, Remy; Cunningham, Dale E; Hailey, Dale W; Prendergast, Andrew; Rubel, Edwin W; Raible, David W

    2016-06-01

    Failure to form proper synapses in mechanosensory hair cells, the sensory cells responsible for hearing and balance, leads to deafness and balance disorders. Ribbons are electron-dense structures that tether synaptic vesicles to the presynaptic zone of mechanosensory hair cells where they are juxtaposed with the post-synaptic endings of afferent fibers. They are initially formed throughout the cytoplasm, and, as cells mature, ribbons translocate to the basolateral membrane of hair cells to form functional synapses. We have examined the effect of post-synaptic elements on ribbon formation and maintenance in the zebrafish lateral line system by observing mutants that lack hair cell innervation, wild-type larvae whose nerves have been transected and ribbons in regenerating hair cells. Our results demonstrate that innervation is not required for initial ribbon formation but suggest that it is crucial for regulating the number, size and localization of ribbons in maturing hair cells, and for ribbon maintenance at the mature synapse.

  16. Innervation regulates synaptic ribbons in lateral line mechanosensory hair cells.

    PubMed

    Suli, Arminda; Pujol, Remy; Cunningham, Dale E; Hailey, Dale W; Prendergast, Andrew; Rubel, Edwin W; Raible, David W

    2016-06-01

    Failure to form proper synapses in mechanosensory hair cells, the sensory cells responsible for hearing and balance, leads to deafness and balance disorders. Ribbons are electron-dense structures that tether synaptic vesicles to the presynaptic zone of mechanosensory hair cells where they are juxtaposed with the post-synaptic endings of afferent fibers. They are initially formed throughout the cytoplasm, and, as cells mature, ribbons translocate to the basolateral membrane of hair cells to form functional synapses. We have examined the effect of post-synaptic elements on ribbon formation and maintenance in the zebrafish lateral line system by observing mutants that lack hair cell innervation, wild-type larvae whose nerves have been transected and ribbons in regenerating hair cells. Our results demonstrate that innervation is not required for initial ribbon formation but suggest that it is crucial for regulating the number, size and localization of ribbons in maturing hair cells, and for ribbon maintenance at the mature synapse. PMID:27103160

  17. 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

  18. Circuit reactivation dynamically regulates synaptic plasticity in neocortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  19. Developmentally regulated switch in alternatively spliced SNAP-25 isoforms alters facilitation of synaptic transmission.

    PubMed

    Bark, Christina; Bellinger, Frederick P; Kaushal, Ashutosh; Mathews, James R; Partridge, L Donald; Wilson, Michael C

    2004-10-01

    Although the basic molecular components that promote regulated neurotransmitter release are well established, the contribution of these proteins as regulators of the plasticity of neurotransmission and refinement of synaptic connectivity during development is elaborated less fully. For example, during the period of synaptic growth and maturation in brain, the expression of synaptosomal protein 25 kDa (SNAP-25), a neuronal t-SNARE (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor) essential for action potential-dependent neuroexocytosis, is altered through alternative splicing of pre-mRNA transcripts. We addressed the role of the two splice-variant isoforms of SNAP-25 with a targeted mouse mutation that impairs the shift from SNAP-25a to SNAP-25b. Most of these mutant mice die between 3 and 5 weeks of age, which coincides with the time when SNAP-25b expression normally reaches mature levels in brain and synapse formation is essentially completed. The altered expression of these SNAP-25 isoforms influences short-term synaptic function by affecting facilitation but not the initial probability of release. This suggests that mechanisms controlling alternative splicing between SNAP-25 isoforms contribute to a molecular switch important for survival that helps to guide the transition from immature to mature synaptic connections, as well as synapse regrowth and remodeling after neural injury.

  20. Evolution of the Aging Brain Transcriptome and Synaptic Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Dakin, Kelly A.; Vann, James M.; Isaacs, Adrian; Geula, Chengiz; Wang, Jianbin; Pan, Ying; Gabuzda, Dana H.; Li, Cheng; Prolla, Tomas A.; Yankner, Bruce A.

    2008-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders of aging are characterized by clinical and pathological features that are relatively specific to humans. To obtain greater insight into how brain aging has evolved, we compared age-related gene expression changes in the cortex of humans, rhesus macaques, and mice on a genome-wide scale. A small subset of gene expression changes are conserved in all three species, including robust age-dependent upregulation of the neuroprotective gene apolipoprotein D (APOD) and downregulation of the synaptic cAMP signaling gene calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV (CAMK4). However, analysis of gene ontology and cell type localization shows that humans and rhesus macaques have diverged from mice due to a dramatic increase in age-dependent repression of neuronal genes. Many of these age-regulated neuronal genes are associated with synaptic function. Notably, genes associated with GABA-ergic inhibitory function are robustly age-downregulated in humans but not in mice at the level of both mRNA and protein. Gene downregulation was not associated with overall neuronal or synaptic loss. Thus, repression of neuronal gene expression is a prominent and recently evolved feature of brain aging in humans and rhesus macaques that may alter neural networks and contribute to age-related cognitive changes. PMID:18830410

  1. The active zone protein CAST regulates synaptic vesicle recycling and quantal size in the mouse hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Shizuka; Hida, Yamato; Ishizaki, Hiroyoshi; Inoue, Eiji; Tanaka-Okamoto, Miki; Yamasaki, Miwako; Miyazaki, Taisuke; Fukaya, Masahiro; Kitajima, Isao; Takai, Yoshimi; Watanabe, Masahiko; Ohtsuka, Toshihisa; Manabe, Toshiya

    2016-09-01

    Synaptic efficacy is determined by various factors, including the quantal size, which is dependent on the amount of neurotransmitters in synaptic vesicles at the presynaptic terminal. It is essential for stable synaptic transmission that the quantal size is kept within a constant range and that synaptic efficacy during and after repetitive synaptic activation is maintained by replenishing release sites with synaptic vesicles. However, the mechanisms for these fundamental properties have still been undetermined. We found that the active zone protein CAST (cytomatrix at the active zone structural protein) played pivotal roles in both presynaptic regulation of quantal size and recycling of endocytosed synaptic vesicles. In the CA1 region of hippocampal slices of the CAST knockout mice, miniature excitatory synaptic responses were increased in size, and synaptic depression after prolonged synaptic activation was larger, which was attributable to selective impairment of synaptic vesicle trafficking via the endosome in the presynaptic terminal likely mediated by Rab6. Therefore, CAST serves as a key molecule that regulates dynamics and neurotransmitter contents of synaptic vesicles in the excitatory presynaptic terminal in the central nervous system.

  2. The active zone protein CAST regulates synaptic vesicle recycling and quantal size in the mouse hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Shizuka; Hida, Yamato; Ishizaki, Hiroyoshi; Inoue, Eiji; Tanaka-Okamoto, Miki; Yamasaki, Miwako; Miyazaki, Taisuke; Fukaya, Masahiro; Kitajima, Isao; Takai, Yoshimi; Watanabe, Masahiko; Ohtsuka, Toshihisa; Manabe, Toshiya

    2016-09-01

    Synaptic efficacy is determined by various factors, including the quantal size, which is dependent on the amount of neurotransmitters in synaptic vesicles at the presynaptic terminal. It is essential for stable synaptic transmission that the quantal size is kept within a constant range and that synaptic efficacy during and after repetitive synaptic activation is maintained by replenishing release sites with synaptic vesicles. However, the mechanisms for these fundamental properties have still been undetermined. We found that the active zone protein CAST (cytomatrix at the active zone structural protein) played pivotal roles in both presynaptic regulation of quantal size and recycling of endocytosed synaptic vesicles. In the CA1 region of hippocampal slices of the CAST knockout mice, miniature excitatory synaptic responses were increased in size, and synaptic depression after prolonged synaptic activation was larger, which was attributable to selective impairment of synaptic vesicle trafficking via the endosome in the presynaptic terminal likely mediated by Rab6. Therefore, CAST serves as a key molecule that regulates dynamics and neurotransmitter contents of synaptic vesicles in the excitatory presynaptic terminal in the central nervous system. PMID:27422015

  3. Regulation of Synaptic Transmission by Ambient Extracellular Glutamate

    PubMed Central

    FEATHERSTONE, DAVID E.; SHIPPY, SCOTT A.

    2008-01-01

    Many neuroscientists assume that ambient extracellular glutamate concentrations in the nervous system are biologically negligible under nonpathological conditions. This assumption is false. Hundreds of studies over several decades suggest that ambient extracellular glutamate levels in the intact mammalian brain are ~0.5 to ~5 μM. This has important implications. Glutamate receptors are desensitized by glutamate concentrations significantly lower than needed for receptor activation; 0.5 to 5 μM of glutamate is high enough to cause constitutive desensitization of most glutamate receptors. Therefore, most glutamate receptors in vivo may be constitutively desensitized, and ambient extracellular glutamate and receptor desensitization may be potent but generally unrecognized regulators of synaptic transmission. Unfortunately, the mechanisms regulating ambient extracellular glutamate and glutamate receptor desensitization remain poorly understood and understudied. PMID:17947494

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Synucleins regulate the kinetics of synaptic vesicle endocytosis.

    PubMed

    Vargas, Karina J; Makani, Sachin; Davis, Taylor; Westphal, Christopher H; Castillo, Pablo E; Chandra, Sreeganga S

    2014-07-01

    Genetic and pathological studies link α-synuclein to the etiology of Parkinson's disease (PD), but the normal function of this presynaptic protein remains unknown. α-Synuclein, an acidic lipid binding protein, shares high sequence identity with β- and γ-synuclein. Previous studies have implicated synucleins in synaptic vesicle (SV) trafficking, although the precise site of synuclein action continues to be unclear. Here we show, using optical imaging, electron microscopy, and slice electrophysiology, that synucleins are required for the fast kinetics of SV endocytosis. Slowed endocytosis observed in synuclein null cultures can be rescued by individually expressing mouse α-, β-, or γ-synuclein, indicating they are functionally redundant. Through comparisons to dynamin knock-out synapses and biochemical experiments, we suggest that synucleins act at early steps of SV endocytosis. Our results categorize α-synuclein with other familial PD genes known to regulate SV endocytosis, implicating this pathway in PD.

  8. Metabotropic glutamate receptors: beyond the regulation of synaptic transmission.

    PubMed

    Nicoletti, Ferdinando; Battaglia, Giuseppe; Storto, Marianna; Ngomba, Richard T; Iacovelli, Luisa; Arcella, Antonietta; Gradini, Roberto; Sale, Patrizio; Rampello, Liborio; De Vita, Teresa; Di Marco, Roberto; Melchiorri, Daniela; Bruno, Valeria

    2007-08-01

    Metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptors are G-protein coupled receptors activated by glutamate, the major excitatory neurotransmitter of the CNS. A growing body of evidence suggests that the function of mGlu receptors is not restricted to the regulation of synaptic transmission. mGlu receptors are expressed in a variety of peripheral cells, including inter alia hepatocytes, pancreatic cells, osteoblasts and immune cells. Within the immunological synapses, mGlu receptors expressed by T cells might contribute to the vast array of signals generated by the antigen-presenting cells. mGlu receptors are also found in embryonic and neural stem cells. This suggests their involvement in the pathophysiology of brain tumors, which likely originates from cancer stem cells similar to neural stem cells. Ligands of mGlu3 and mGlu4 receptors are potential candidates for the experimental treatment of malignant gliomas and medulloblastomas, respectively. PMID:17651904

  9. Retrograde neurotrophin signaling through Tollo regulates synaptic growth in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Daniel L.; Ganetzky, Barry

    2014-01-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are best characterized for their roles in mediating dorsoventral patterning and the innate immune response. However, recent studies indicate that TLRs are also involved in regulating neuronal growth and development. Here, we demonstrate that the TLR Tollo positively regulates growth of the Drosophila melanogaster larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Tollo mutants exhibited NMJ undergrowth, whereas increased expression of Tollo led to NMJ overgrowth. Tollo expression in the motoneuron was both necessary and sufficient for regulating NMJ growth. Dominant genetic interactions together with altered levels of phosphorylated c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and puc-lacZ expression revealed that Tollo signals through the JNK pathway at the NMJ. Genetic interactions also revealed that the neurotrophin Spätzle3 (Spz3) is a likely Tollo ligand. Spz3 expression in muscle and proteolytic activation via the Easter protease was necessary and sufficient to promote NMJ growth. These results demonstrate the existence of a novel neurotrophin signaling pathway that is required for synaptic development in Drosophila. PMID:24662564

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Cholinergic modulation of multivesicular release regulates striatal synaptic potency and integration.

    PubMed

    Higley, Michael J; Soler-Llavina, Gilberto J; Sabatini, Bernardo L

    2009-09-01

    The pleiotropic actions of neuromodulators on pre- and postsynaptic targets make disentangling the mechanisms underlying regulation of synaptic transmission challenging. In the striatum, acetylcholine modulates glutamate release via activation of muscarinic receptors (mAchRs), although the consequences for postsynaptic signaling are unclear. Using two-photon microscopy and glutamate uncaging to examine individual synapses in the rat striatum, we found that glutamatergic afferents have a high degree of multivesicular release (MVR) in the absence of postsynaptic receptor saturation. We found that mAchR activation decreased both the probability of release and the concentration of glutamate in the synaptic cleft. The corresponding decrease in synaptic potency reduced the duration of synaptic potentials and limited temporal summation of afferent inputs. These findings reveal a mechanism by which a combination of basal MVR and low receptor saturation allow the presynaptic actions of a neuromodulator to control the engagement of postsynaptic nonlinearities and regulate synaptic integration.

  14. Synaptopodin regulates denervation-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. p53 prevents neurodegeneration by regulating synaptic genes.

    PubMed

    Merlo, Paola; Frost, Bess; Peng, Shouyong; Yang, Yawei J; Park, Peter J; Feany, Mel

    2014-12-16

    DNA damage has been implicated in neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease and other tauopathies, but the consequences of genotoxic stress to postmitotic neurons are poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that p53, a key mediator of the DNA damage response, plays a neuroprotective role in a Drosophila model of tauopathy. Further, through a whole-genome ChIP-chip analysis, we identify genes controlled by p53 in postmitotic neurons. We genetically validate a specific pathway, synaptic function, in p53-mediated neuroprotection. We then demonstrate that the control of synaptic genes by p53 is conserved in mammals. Collectively, our results implicate synaptic function as a central target in p53-dependent protection from neurodegeneration.

  19. Dendritic Spines as Tunable Regulators of Synaptic Signals

    PubMed Central

    Tønnesen, Jan; Nägerl, U. Valentin

    2016-01-01

    Neurons are perpetually receiving vast amounts of information in the form of synaptic input from surrounding cells. The majority of input occurs at thousands of dendritic spines, which mediate excitatory synaptic transmission in the brain, and is integrated by the dendritic and somatic compartments of the postsynaptic neuron. The functional role of dendritic spines in shaping biochemical and electrical signals transmitted via synapses has long been intensely studied. Yet, many basic questions remain unanswered, in particular regarding the impact of their nanoscale morphology on electrical signals. Here, we review our current understanding of the structure and function relationship of dendritic spines, focusing on the controversy of electrical compartmentalization and the potential role of spine structural changes in synaptic plasticity. PMID:27340393

  20. S-nitrosylation-dependent proteasomal degradation restrains Cdk5 activity to regulate hippocampal synaptic strength

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Peng; Fu, Wing-Yu; Fu, Amy K. Y.; Ip, Nancy Y.

    2015-01-01

    Precise regulation of synaptic strength requires coordinated activity and functions of synaptic proteins, which is controlled by a variety of post-translational modification. Here we report that S-nitrosylation of p35, the activator of cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5), by nitric oxide (NO) is important for the regulation of excitatory synaptic strength. While blockade of NO signalling results in structural and functional synaptic deficits as indicated by reduced mature dendritic spine density and surface expression of glutamate receptor subunits, phosphorylation of numerous synaptic substrates of Cdk5 and its activity are aberrantly upregulated following reduced NO production. The results show that the NO-induced reduction in Cdk5 activity is mediated by S-nitrosylation of p35, resulting in its ubiquitination and degradation by the E3 ligase PJA2. Silencing p35 protein in hippocampal neurons partially rescues the NO blockade-induced synaptic deficits. These findings collectively demonstrate that p35 S-nitrosylation by NO signalling is critical for regulating hippocampal synaptic strength. PMID:26503494

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  2. Light-evoked synaptic activity of retinal ganglion and amacrine cells is regulated in developing mouse retina

    PubMed Central

    He, Quanhua; Wang, Ping; Tian, Ning

    2010-01-01

    Recent studies have shown a continued maturation of visual responsiveness and synaptic activity of retina after eye opening, including the size of receptive fields of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), light-evoked synaptic output of RGCs, bipolar cell spontaneous synaptic inputs to RGCs, and the synaptic connections between RGCs and ON and OFF bipolar cells. Light deprivation retarded some of these age-dependent changes. However, many other functional and morphological features of RGCs are not sensitive to visual experience. To determine whether light-evoked synaptic responses of RGCs undergo developmental change, we directly examined the light-evoked synaptic inputs from ON and OFF synaptic pathways to RGCs in developing retinas and found that both light-evoked excitatory and inhibitory synaptic currents decreased, but not increased, with age. We also examined the light-evoked synaptic inputs from ON and OFF synaptic pathways to amacrine cells in developing retinas and found that the light-evoked synaptic input of amacrine cells is also down-regulated in developing mouse retina. Different from the developmental changes of RGC spontaneous synaptic activity, dark rearing has little effect on the developmental changes of light-evoked synaptic activity of both RGCs and amacrine cells. Therefore, we concluded that the synaptic mechanisms mediating spontaneous and light-evoked synaptic activity of RGCs and amacrine cells are likely to be different. PMID:21091802

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Cholinergic synaptic vesicle heterogeneity: evidence for regulation of acetylcholine transport

    SciTech Connect

    Gracz, L.M.; Wang, W.; Parsons, S.M.

    1988-07-12

    Crude cholinergic synaptic vesicles from a homogenate of the electric organ of Torpedo californica were centrifuged to equilibrium in an isosmotic sucrose density gradient. The classical VP/sub 1/ synaptic vesicles banding at 1.055 g/mL actively transported (/sup 3/H)acetylcholine (AcCh). An organelle banding at about 1.071 g/mL transported even more (/sup 3/H)AcCh. Transport by both organelles was inhibited by the known AcCh storage blockers trans-2-(4-phenylpiperidino)cyclohexanol (vesamicol, formerly AH5183) and nigericin. Relative to VP/sub 1/ vesicles the denser organelle was slightly smaller as shown by size-exclusion chromatography. It is concluded that the denser organelle corresponds to the recycling VP/sub 2/ synaptic vesicle originally described in intact Torpedo marmorata electric organ. The properties of the receptor for vesamicol were studied by measuring binding of (/sup 3/H)vesamicol, and the amount of SV2 antigen characteristic of secretory vesicles was assayed with a monoclonal antibody directed against it. Relative to VP/sub 1/ vesicles the VP/sub 2/ vesicles had a ratio of (/sup 3/H)AcCh transport activity to vesamicol receptor concentration that typically was 4-7-fold higher, whereas the ratio of SV2 antigen concentration to vesamicol receptor concentration was about 2-fold higher. The Hill coefficients ..cap alpha../sub H/ and equilibrium dissociation constants K for vesamicol binding to VP/sub 1/ and VP/sub 2/ vesicles were essentially the same. The positive Hill coefficient suggests that the vesamicol receptor exists as a homotropic oligomeric complex. The results demonstrate that VP/sub 1/ and VP/sub 2/ synaptic vesicles exhibit functional differences in the AcCh transport system, presumably as a result of regulatory phenomena.

  9. Homeostatic regulation of spontaneous and evoked synaptic transmission in two steps

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background During development both Hebbian and homeostatic mechanisms regulate synaptic efficacy, usually working in opposite directions in response to neuronal activity. Homeostatic plasticity has often been investigated by assaying changes in spontaneous synaptic transmission resulting from chronic circuit inactivation. However, effects of inactivation on evoked transmission have been less frequently reported. Importantly, contributions from the effects of circuit inactivation and reactivation on synaptic efficacy have not been individuated. Results Here we show for developing hippocampal neurons in primary culture that chronic inactivation with TTX results in increased mean amplitude of miniature synaptic currents (mEPSCs), but not evoked synaptic currents (eEPSCs). However, changes in quantal properties of transmission, partially reflected in mEPSCs, accurately predicted higher-order statistical properties of eEPSCs. The classical prediction of homeostasis – increased strength of evoked transmission – was realized after explicit circuit reactivation, in the form of cells’ pairwise connection probability. In contrast, distributions of eEPSC amplitudes for control and inactivated-then-reactivated groups matched throughout. Conclusions Homeostatic up-regulation of evoked synaptic transmission in developing hippocampal neurons in primary culture requires both the inactivation and reactivation stages, leading to a net increase in functional circuit connectivity. PMID:23965342

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  12. FAIM-L regulation of XIAP degradation modulates Synaptic Long-Term Depression and Axon Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Mármol, Ramón; Barneda-Zahonero, Bruna; Soto, David; Andrés, Rosa Maria; Coccia, Elena; Gasull, Xavier; Planells-Ferrer, Laura; Moubarak, Rana S.; Soriano, Eduardo; Comella, Joan X.

    2016-01-01

    Caspases have recently emerged as key regulators of axonal pruning and degeneration and of long-term depression (LTD), a long-lasting form of synaptic plasticity. However, the mechanism underlying these functions remains unclear. In this context, XIAP has been shown to modulate these processes. The neuron-specific form of FAIM protein (FAIM-L) is a death receptor antagonist that stabilizes XIAP protein levels, thus preventing death receptor-induced neuronal apoptosis. Here we show that FAIM-L modulates synaptic transmission, prevents chemical-LTD induction in hippocampal neurons, and thwarts axon degeneration after nerve growth factor (NGF) withdrawal. Additionally, we demonstrate that the participation of FAIM-L in these two processes is dependent on its capacity to stabilize XIAP protein levels. Our data reveal FAIM-L as a regulator of axonal degeneration and synaptic plasticity. PMID:27767058

  13. Synapse-Assembly Proteins Maintain Synaptic Vesicle Cluster Stability and Regulate Synaptic Vesicle Transport in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Stacey L.; Yorks, Rosalina M.; Morrison, Logan M.; Hoover, Christopher M.; Miller, Kenneth G.

    2015-01-01

    The functional integrity of neurons requires the bidirectional active transport of synaptic vesicles (SVs) in axons. The kinesin motor KIF1A transports SVs from somas to stable SV clusters at synapses, while dynein moves them in the opposite direction. However, it is unclear how SV transport is regulated and how SVs at clusters interact with motor proteins. We addressed these questions by isolating a rare temperature-sensitive allele of Caenorhabditis elegans unc-104 (KIF1A) that allowed us to manipulate SV levels in axons and dendrites. Growth at 20° and 14° resulted in locomotion rates that were ∼3 and 50% of wild type, respectively, with similar effects on axonal SV levels. Corresponding with the loss of SVs from axons, mutants grown at 14° and 20° showed a 10- and 24-fold dynein-dependent accumulation of SVs in their dendrites. Mutants grown at 14° and switched to 25° showed an abrupt irreversible 50% decrease in locomotion and a 50% loss of SVs from the synaptic region 12-hr post-shift, with no further decreases at later time points, suggesting that the remaining clustered SVs are stable and resistant to retrograde removal by dynein. The data further showed that the synapse-assembly proteins SYD-1, SYD-2, and SAD-1 protected SV clusters from degradation by motor proteins. In syd-1, syd-2, and sad-1 mutants, SVs accumulate in an UNC-104-dependent manner in the distal axon region that normally lacks SVs. In addition to their roles in SV cluster stability, all three proteins also regulate SV transport. PMID:26354975

  14. Synapse-Assembly Proteins Maintain Synaptic Vesicle Cluster Stability and Regulate Synaptic Vesicle Transport in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Stacey L; Yorks, Rosalina M; Morrison, Logan M; Hoover, Christopher M; Miller, Kenneth G

    2015-09-01

    The functional integrity of neurons requires the bidirectional active transport of synaptic vesicles (SVs) in axons. The kinesin motor KIF1A transports SVs from somas to stable SV clusters at synapses, while dynein moves them in the opposite direction. However, it is unclear how SV transport is regulated and how SVs at clusters interact with motor proteins. We addressed these questions by isolating a rare temperature-sensitive allele of Caenorhabditis elegans unc-104 (KIF1A) that allowed us to manipulate SV levels in axons and dendrites. Growth at 20° and 14° resulted in locomotion rates that were ∼3 and 50% of wild type, respectively, with similar effects on axonal SV levels. Corresponding with the loss of SVs from axons, mutants grown at 14° and 20° showed a 10- and 24-fold dynein-dependent accumulation of SVs in their dendrites. Mutants grown at 14° and switched to 25° showed an abrupt irreversible 50% decrease in locomotion and a 50% loss of SVs from the synaptic region 12-hr post-shift, with no further decreases at later time points, suggesting that the remaining clustered SVs are stable and resistant to retrograde removal by dynein. The data further showed that the synapse-assembly proteins SYD-1, SYD-2, and SAD-1 protected SV clusters from degradation by motor proteins. In syd-1, syd-2, and sad-1 mutants, SVs accumulate in an UNC-104-dependent manner in the distal axon region that normally lacks SVs. In addition to their roles in SV cluster stability, all three proteins also regulate SV transport.

  15. Ubiquitin ligase RNF167 regulates AMPA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission

    PubMed Central

    Lussier, Marc P.; Herring, Bruce E.; Nasu-Nishimura, Yukiko; Neutzner, Albert; Karbowski, Mariusz; Youle, Richard J.; Nicoll, Roger A.; Roche, Katherine W.

    2012-01-01

    AMPA receptors (AMPARs) mediate the majority of fast excitatory neurotransmission, and their density at postsynaptic sites determines synaptic strength. Ubiquitination is a posttranslational modification that dynamically regulates the synaptic expression of many proteins. However, very few of the ubiquitinating enzymes implicated in the process have been identified. In a screen to identify transmembrane RING domain-containing E3 ubiquitin ligases that regulate surface expression of AMPARs, we identified RNF167. Predominantly lysosomal, a subpopulation of RNF167 is located on the surface of cultured neurons. Using a RING mutant RNF167 or a specific shRNA to eliminate endogenous RNF167, we demonstrate that AMPAR surface expression increases in hippocampal neurons with disrupted RNF167 activity and that RNF167 is involved in activity-dependent ubiquitination of AMPARs. In addition, RNF167 regulates synaptic AMPAR currents, whereas synaptic NMDAR currents are unaffected. Therefore, our study identifies RNF167 as a selective regulator of AMPAR-mediated neurotransmission and expands our understanding of how ubiquitination dynamically regulates excitatory synapses. PMID:23129617

  16. Rabx-5 regulates RAB-5 early endosomal compartments and synaptic vesicles in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Sann, Sharon B; Crane, Matthew M; Lu, Hang; Jin, Yishi

    2012-01-01

    Early endosomal membrane compartments are required for the formation and recycling of synaptic vesicles, but how these compartments are regulated is incompletely understood. We performed a forward genetic screen in C. elegans for mutations that affect RAB-5 labeled early endosomal compartments in GABAergic motoneurons. Here we report the isolation and characterization of one mutation, rabx-5. The rabx-5 mutation leads to decreased intensity of YFP::RAB-5 in the cell soma but increased intensity in the synaptic and intersynaptic regions of the axon. This effect is due to the bias of the cycling state of RAB-5, and results from a change in the organization of the early endosomal compartment as well as the membrane binding state of RAB-5. Synaptic vesicle accumulation is altered in rabx-5 mutants, and synaptic transmission from cholinergic neurons is decreased. Early endosomal membrane compartments show disorganization with ageing and rabx-5 mutant animals age faster. These results suggest that rabx-5 regulation of RAB-5 compartments is important for maintaining proper synaptic function throughout the lifetime.

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-11-01

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

  18. Modeling glutamatergic synapses: insights into mechanisms regulating synaptic efficacy.

    PubMed

    Bouteiller, Jean-Marie C; Baudry, Michel; Allam, Sushmita L; Greget, Renaud J; Bischoff, Serge; Berger, Theodore W

    2008-06-01

    The hippocampal formation is critically involved for the long-term storage of various forms of information, and it is widely believed that the phenomenon of long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic transmission is a molecular/cellular mechanism participating in memory formation. Although several high level models of hippocampal function have been developed, they do not incorporate detailed molecular information of the type necessary to understand the contribution of individual molecular events to the mechanisms underlying LTP and learning and memory. We are therefore developing new technological tools based on mathematical modeling and computer simulation of the molecular processes taking place in realistic biological networks to reach such an understanding. This article briefly summarizes the approach we are using and illustrates it by presenting data regarding the effects of changing the number of AMPA receptors on various features of glutamatergic transmission, including NMDA receptor-mediated responses and paired-pulse facilitation. We conclude by discussing the significance of these results and providing some ideas for future directions with this approach.

  19. 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.

  20. A novel non-canonical Notch signaling regulates expression of synaptic vesicle proteins in excitatory neurons

    PubMed Central

    Hayashi, Yukari; Nishimune, Hiroshi; Hozumi, Katsuto; Saga, Yumiko; Harada, Akihiro; Yuzaki, Michisuke; Iwatsubo, Takeshi; Kopan, Raphael; Tomita, Taisuke

    2016-01-01

    Notch signaling plays crucial roles for cellular differentiation during development through γ-secretase-dependent intramembrane proteolysis followed by transcription of target genes. Although recent studies implicate that Notch regulates synaptic plasticity or cognitive performance, the molecular mechanism how Notch works in mature neurons remains uncertain. Here we demonstrate that a novel Notch signaling is involved in expression of synaptic proteins in postmitotic neurons. Levels of several synaptic vesicle proteins including synaptophysin 1 and VGLUT1 were increased when neurons were cocultured with Notch ligands-expressing NIH3T3 cells. Neuron-specific deletion of Notch genes decreased these proteins, suggesting that Notch signaling maintains the expression of synaptic vesicle proteins in a cell-autonomous manner. Unexpectedly, cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) inhibitor, but not γ-secretase inhibitor, abolished the elevation of synaptic vesicle proteins, suggesting that generation of Notch intracellular domain is dispensable for this function. These data uncover a ligand-dependent, but γ-secretase-independent, non-canonical Notch signaling involved in presynaptic protein expression in postmitotic neurons. PMID:27040987

  1. Neurotrophins and target interactions in the development and regulation of sympathetic neuron electrical and synaptic properties

    PubMed Central

    Luther, Jason A.; Birren, Susan J.

    2009-01-01

    The electrical and synaptic properties of neurons are essential for determining the function of the nervous system. Thus, understanding the mechanisms that control the appropriate developmental acquisition and maintenance of these properties is a critical problem in neuroscience. A great deal of our understanding of these developmental mechanisms comes from studies of soluble growth factor signaling between cells in the peripheral nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system has provided a model for studying the role of these factors both in early development and in the establishment of mature properties. In particular, neurotrophins produced by the targets of sympathetic innervation regulate the synaptic and electrophysiological properties of postnatal sympathetic neurons. In this review we examine the role of neurotrophin signaling in the regulation of synaptic strength, neurotransmitter phenotype, voltage-gated currents and repetitive firing properties of sympathetic neurons. Together, these properties determine the level of sympathetic drive to target organs such as the heart. Changes in this sympathetic drive, which may be linked to dysfunctions in neurotrophin signaling, are associated with devastating diseases such as high blood pressure, arrhythmias and heart attack. Neurotrophins appear to play similar roles in modulating the synaptic and electrical properties of other peripheral and central neuronal systems, suggesting that information provided from studies in the sympathetic nervous system will be widely applicable for understanding the neurotrophic regulation of neuronal function in other systems. PMID:19748836

  2. Synaptic vesicle release regulates myelin sheath number of individual oligodendrocytes in vivo.

    PubMed

    Mensch, Sigrid; Baraban, Marion; Almeida, Rafael; Czopka, Tim; Ausborn, Jessica; El Manira, Abdeljabbar; Lyons, David A

    2015-05-01

    The myelination of axons by oligodendrocytes markedly affects CNS function, but how this is regulated by neuronal activity in vivo is not known. We found that blocking synaptic vesicle release impaired CNS myelination by reducing the number of myelin sheaths made by individual oligodendrocytes during their short period of formation. We also found that stimulating neuronal activity increased myelin sheath formation by individual oligodendrocytes. These data indicate that neuronal activity regulates the myelinating capacity of single oligodendrocytes.

  3. Dynamics of Elongation Factor 2 Kinase Regulation in Cortical Neurons in Response to Synaptic Activity

    PubMed Central

    Kenney, Justin W.; Sorokina, Oksana; Genheden, Maja; Sorokin, Anatoly

    2015-01-01

    The rapid regulation of cell signaling in response to calcium in neurons is essential for real-time processing of large amounts of information in the brain. A vital regulatory component, and one of the most energy-intensive biochemical processes in cells, is the elongation phase of mRNA translation, which is controlled by the Ca2+/CaM-dependent elongation factor 2 kinase (eEF2K). However, little is known about the dynamics of eEF2K regulation in neurons despite its established role in learning and synaptic plasticity. To explore eEF2K dynamics in depth, we stimulated synaptic activity in mouse primary cortical neurons. We find that synaptic activity results in a rapid, but transient, increase in eEF2K activity that is regulated by a combination of AMPA and NMDA-type glutamate receptors and the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MEK)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) pathways. We then used computational modeling to test the hypothesis that considering Ca2+-coordinated MEK/ERK, mTORC1, and eEF2k activation is sufficient to describe the observed eEF2K dynamics. Although such a model could partially fit the empirical findings, it also suggested that a crucial positive regulator of eEF2K was also necessary. Through additional modeling and empirical evidence, we demonstrate that AMP kinase (AMPK) is also an important regulator of synaptic activity-driven eEF2K dynamics in neurons. Our combined modeling and experimental findings provide the first evidence that it is necessary to consider the combined interactions of Ca2+ with MEK/ERK, mTORC1, and AMPK to adequately explain eEF2K regulation in neurons. PMID:25698741

  4. Regulation of Synaptic Extracellular Matrix Composition Is Critical for Proper Synapse Morphology

    PubMed Central

    Kurshan, Peri T.; Phan, Allan Q.; Wang, George J.; Crane, Matthew M.; Lu, Hang

    2014-01-01

    Synapses are surrounded by a layer of extracellular matrix (ECM), which is instrumental for their development and maintenance. ECM composition is dynamically controlled by proteases, but how the precise composition of the ECM affects synaptic morphology is largely unknown. Through an unbiased forward genetic screen, we found that Caenorhabditis elegans gon-1, a conserved extracellular ADAMTS protease, is required for maintaining proper synaptic morphology at the neuromuscular junction. In gon-1 mutants, once synapse formation is complete, motor neuron presynaptic varicosities develop into large bulbous protrusions that contain synaptic vesicles and active zone proteins. A concomitant overgrowth of postsynaptic muscle membrane is found in close apposition to presynaptic axonal protrusions. Mutations in the muscle-specific, actin-severing protein cofilin (unc-60) suppress the axon phenotype, suggesting that muscle outgrowth is necessary for presynaptic protrusions. gon-1 mutants can also be suppressed by loss of the ECM components collagen IV (EMB-9) and fibulin (FBL-1). We propose that GON-1 regulates a developmental switch out of an initial “pro-growth” phase during which muscle arms grow out and form synapses with motor neuron axons. We postulate that this switch involves degradation or reorganization of collagen IV (EMB-9), whereas FBL-1 opposes GON-1 by stabilizing EMB-9. Our results describe a mechanism for regulating synaptic ECM composition and reveal the importance of precise ECM composition for neuronal morphology and synapse integrity. PMID:25232106

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-20

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

  6. Temporal requirements of the fragile X mental retardation protein in the regulation of synaptic structure.

    PubMed

    Gatto, Cheryl L; Broadie, Kendal

    2008-08-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FraX), caused by the loss-of-function of one gene (FMR1), is the most common inherited form of both mental retardation and autism spectrum disorders. The FMR1 product (FMRP) is an mRNA-binding translation regulator that mediates activity-dependent control of synaptic structure and function. To develop any FraX intervention strategy, it is essential to define when and where FMRP loss causes the manifestation of synaptic defects, and whether the reintroduction of FMRP can restore normal synapse properties. In the Drosophila FraX model, dFMRP loss causes neuromuscular junction (NMJ) synapse over-elaboration (overgrowth, overbranching, excess synaptic boutons), accumulation of development-arrested satellite boutons, and altered neurotransmission. We used the Gene-Switch method to conditionally drive dFMRP expression to define the spatiotemporal requirements in synaptic mechanisms. Constitutive induction of targeted neuronal dFMRP at wild-type levels rescues all synaptic architectural defects in Drosophila Fmr1 (dfmr1)-null mutants, demonstrating a presynaptic requirement for synapse structuring. By contrast, presynaptic dFMRP expression does not ameliorate functional neurotransmission defects, indicating a postsynaptic dFMRP requirement. Strikingly, targeted early induction of dFMRP effects nearly complete rescue of synaptic structure defects, showing a primarily early-development role. In addition, acute dFMRP expression at maturity partially alleviates dfmr1-null defects, although rescue is not as complete as either early or constitutive dFMRP expression, showing a modest capacity for late-stage structural plasticity. We conclude that dFMRP predominantly acts early in synaptogenesis to modulate architecture, but that late dFMRP introduction at maturity can weakly compensate for early absence of dFMRP function. PMID:18579676

  7. Ethanol Regulation of Synaptic GABAA α4 Receptors Is Prevented by Protein Kinase A Activation.

    PubMed

    Carlson, Stephen L; Bohnsack, John Peyton; Morrow, A Leslie

    2016-04-01

    Ethanol alters GABAA receptor trafficking and function through activation of protein kinases, and these changes may underlie ethanol dependence and withdrawal. In this study, we used subsynaptic fraction techniques and patch-clamp electrophysiology to investigate the biochemical and functional effects of protein kinase A (PKA) and protein kinase C (PKC) activation by ethanol on synaptic GABAA α4 receptors, a key target of ethanol-induced changes. Rat cerebral cortical neurons were grown for 18 days in vitro and exposed to ethanol and/or kinase modulators for 4 hours, a paradigm that recapitulates GABAergic changes found after chronic ethanol exposure in vivo. PKA activation by forskolin or rolipram during ethanol exposure prevented increases in P2 fraction α4 subunit abundance, whereas inhibiting PKA had no effect. Similarly, in the synaptic fraction, activation of PKA by rolipram in the presence of ethanol prevented the increase in synaptic α4 subunit abundance, whereas inhibiting PKA in the presence of ethanol was ineffective. Conversely, PKC inhibition in the presence of ethanol prevented the ethanol-induced increases in synaptic α4 subunit abundance. Finally, we found that either activating PKA or inhibiting PKC in the presence of ethanol prevented the ethanol-induced decrease in GABA miniature inhibitory postsynaptic current decay τ1, whereas inhibiting PKA had no effect. We conclude that PKA and PKC have opposing effects in the regulation of synaptic α4 receptors, with PKA activation negatively modulating, and PKC activation positively modulating, synaptic α4 subunit abundance and function. These results suggest potential targets for restoring normal GABAergic functioning in the treatment of alcohol use disorders.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-15

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

  10. 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

  11. Cooperation between BDNF and glutamate in the regulation of synaptic transmission and neuronal development.

    PubMed

    Martin, Jean-Luc; Finsterwald, Charles

    2011-01-01

    Ample evidence supports a role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the survival and differentiation of selective populations of neurons in the peripheral and central nervous systems. In addition to its trophic actions, BDNF exerts acute effects on synaptic transmission and plasticity. In particular, BDNF enhances excitatory synaptic transmission through pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms. In this regard, BDNF enhances glutamate release, the frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs), NMDA receptor activity and the phosphorylation of NMDA receptor subunits. Our recent studies revealed a novel cooperative interaction between BDNF and glutamate in the regulation of dendritic development. Indeed, we found that the effects of BDNF on dendritic growth of cortical neurons require both the stimulation of cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) phosphorylation by BDNF and the activation of the CREB-regulated transcription coactivator 1 (CRTC1) by glutamate. Together, these studies highlight the importance of the cooperation between BDNF and glutamate in the regulation of synaptic transmission and neuronal development.

  12. 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.

  13. Nerve growth factor regulates the firing patterns and synaptic composition of motoneurons.

    PubMed

    Davis-López de Carrizosa, María A; Morado-Díaz, Camilo J; Morcuende, Sara; de la Cruz, Rosa R; Pastor, Angel M

    2010-06-16

    Target-derived neurotrophins exert powerful synaptotrophic actions in the adult brain and are involved in the regulation of different forms of synaptic plasticity. Target disconnection produces a profound synaptic stripping due to the lack of trophic support. Consequently, target reinnervation leads to synaptic remodeling and restoration of cellular functions. Extraocular motoneurons are unique in that they normally express the TrkA neurotrophin receptor in the adult, a feature not seen in other cranial or spinal motoneurons, except after lesions such as axotomy or in neurodegenerative diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We investigated the effects of nerve growth factor (NGF) by retrogradely delivering this neurotrophin to abducens motoneurons of adult cats. Axotomy reduced the density of somatic boutons and the overall tonic and phasic firing modulation. Treatment with NGF restored synaptic inputs and firing modulation in axotomized motoneurons. When K252a, a selective inhibitor of tyrosine kinase activity, was applied to specifically test TrkA effects, the NGF-mediated restoration of synapses and firing-related parameters was abolished. Discharge variability and recruitment threshold were, however, increased by NGF compared with control or axotomized motoneurons. Interestingly, these parameters returned to normal following application of REX, an antibody raised against neurotrophin receptor p75 (p75(NTR)). In conclusion, NGF, acting retrogradely through TrkA receptors, supports afferent boutons and regulates the burst and tonic signals correlated with eye movements. On the other hand, p75(NTR) activation regulates recruitment threshold, which impacts on firing regularity. To our knowledge, this is the first report showing powerful synaptotrophic effects of NGF on motoneurons in vivo.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-21

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

  16. Dopamine D1 Receptors Regulate the Light Dependent Development of Retinal Synaptic Responses

    PubMed Central

    He, Quanhua; Xu, Hong-ping; Wang, Ping; Tian, Ning

    2013-01-01

    Retinal synaptic connections and function are developmentally regulated. Retinal synaptic activity plays critical roles in the development of retinal synaptic circuitry. Dopamine receptors have been thought to play important roles in the activity-dependent synaptic plasticity in central nervous system. The primary goal of this study is to determine whether dopamine D1 receptor regulates the activity-dependent development of retinal light responsiveness. Accordingly, we recorded electroretinogram from wild type mice and mice with genetic deletion of D1 dopamine receptor (D1−/− mice) raised under cyclic light conditions and constant darkness. Our results demonstrated that D1−/− mice have reduced amplitudes of all three major components of electroretinogram in adulthood. When the relative strength of the responses is considered, the D1−/− mice have selective reduction of the amplitudes of a-wave and oscillatory potentials evoked by low-intermediate intensities of lights. During postnatal development, D1−/− mice have increased amplitude of b-wave at the time of eye-opening but reduced developmental increase of the amplitude of b-wave after eye opening. Light deprivation from birth significantly reduced the amplitudes of b-wave and oscillatory potentials, increased the outer retinal light response gain and altered the light response kinetics of both a- and b-waves of wild type mice. In D1−/− mice, the effect of dark rearing on the amplitude of oscillatory potentials was diminished and dark rearing induced effects on the response gain of outer retina and the kinetics of a-wave were reversed. These results demonstrated roles of dopamine D1 receptor in the activity-dependent functional development of mouse retina. PMID:24260267

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. A TRPV Channel in Drosophila Motor Neurons Regulates Presynaptic Resting Ca2+ Levels, Synapse Growth, and Synaptic Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Ching-On; Chen, Kuchuan; Lin, Yong Qi; Chao, Yufang; Duraine, Lita; Lu, Zhongmin; Yoon, Wan Hee; Sullivan, Jeremy M.; Broadhead, Geoffrey T.; Sumner, Charlotte J.; Lloyd, Thomas E.; Macleod, Gregory T.; Bellen, Hugo J.; Venkatachalam, Kartik

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Presynaptic resting Ca2+ influences synaptic vesicle (SV) release probability. Here, we report that a TRPV channel, Inactive (Iav), maintains presynaptic resting [Ca2+] by promoting Ca2+ release from the endoplasmic reticulum in Drosophila motor neurons, and is required for both synapse development and neurotransmission. We find that Iav activates the Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein phosphatase, calcineurin, which is essential for presynaptic microtubule stabilization at the neuromuscular junction. Thus, loss of Iav induces destabilization of presynaptic microtubules resulting in diminished synaptic growth. Interestingly, expression of human TRPV1 in Iav-deficient motor neurons rescues these defects. We also show that the absence of Iav causes lower SV release probability and diminished synaptic transmission, whereas Iav overexpression elevates these synaptic parameters. Together, our findings indicate that Iav acts as a key regulator of synaptic development and function by influencing presynaptic resting [Ca2+]. PMID:25451193

  19. Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge Blocks Ethanol-Induced Synaptic Dysfunction through Regulation of NMDA Receptor-Dependent Synaptic Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Park, Hye Jin; Lee, Seungheon; Jung, Ji Wook; Lee, Young Choon; Choi, Seong-Min; Kim, Dong Hyun

    2016-01-01

    Consumption of high doses of ethanol can lead to amnesia, which often manifests as a blackout. These blackouts experienced by ethanol consumers may be a major cause of the social problems associated with excess ethanol consumption. However, there is currently no established treatment for preventing these ethanol-induced blackouts. In this study, we tested the ethanol extract of the roots of Salvia miltiorrhiza (SM) for its ability to mitigate ethanol-induced behavioral and synaptic deficits. To test behavioral deficits, an object recognition test was conducted in mouse. In this test, ethanol (1 g/kg, i.p.) impaired object recognition memory, but SM (200 mg/kg) prevented this impairment. To evaluate synaptic deficits, NMDA receptor-mediated excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) and long-term potentiation (LTP) in the mouse hippocampal slices were tested, as they are known to be vulnerable to ethanol and are associated with ethanol-induced amnesia. SM (10 and 100 μg/ml) significantly ameliorated ethanol-induced long-term potentiation and NMDA receptor-mediated EPSP deficits in the hippocampal slices. Therefore, these results suggest that SM prevents ethanol-induced amnesia by protecting the hippocampus from NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity deficits induced by ethanol. PMID:27257009

  20. Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge Blocks Ethanol-Induced Synaptic Dysfunction through Regulation of NMDA Receptor-Dependent Synaptic Transmission.

    PubMed

    Park, Hye Jin; Lee, Seungheon; Jung, Ji Wook; Lee, Young Choon; Choi, Seong-Min; Kim, Dong Hyun

    2016-07-01

    Consumption of high doses of ethanol can lead to amnesia, which often manifests as a blackout. These blackouts experienced by ethanol consumers may be a major cause of the social problems associated with excess ethanol consumption. However, there is currently no established treatment for preventing these ethanol-induced blackouts. In this study, we tested the ethanol extract of the roots of Salvia miltiorrhiza (SM) for its ability to mitigate ethanol-induced behavioral and synaptic deficits. To test behavioral deficits, an object recognition test was conducted in mouse. In this test, ethanol (1 g/kg, i.p.) impaired object recognition memory, but SM (200 mg/kg) prevented this impairment. To evaluate synaptic deficits, NMDA receptor-mediated excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) and long-term potentiation (LTP) in the mouse hippocampal slices were tested, as they are known to be vulnerable to ethanol and are associated with ethanol-induced amnesia. SM (10 and 100 μg/ml) significantly ameliorated ethanol-induced long-term potentiation and NMDA receptor-mediated EPSP deficits in the hippocampal slices. Therefore, these results suggest that SM prevents ethanol-induced amnesia by protecting the hippocampus from NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity deficits induced by ethanol. PMID:27257009

  1. 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

  2. The Vesicle Protein SAM-4 Regulates the Processivity of Synaptic Vesicle Transport

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Qun; Ahlawat, Shikha; Schaefer, Anneliese; Mahoney, Tim; Koushika, Sandhya P.; Nonet, Michael L.

    2014-01-01

    Axonal transport of synaptic vesicles (SVs) is a KIF1A/UNC-104 mediated process critical for synapse development and maintenance yet little is known of how SV transport is regulated. Using C. elegans as an in vivo model, we identified SAM-4 as a novel conserved vesicular component regulating SV transport. Processivity, but not velocity, of SV transport was reduced in sam-4 mutants. sam-4 displayed strong genetic interactions with mutations in the cargo binding but not the motor domain of unc-104. Gain-of-function mutations in the unc-104 motor domain, identified in this study, suppress the sam-4 defects by increasing processivity of the SV transport. Genetic analyses suggest that SAM-4, SYD-2/liprin-α and the KIF1A/UNC-104 motor function in the same pathway to regulate SV transport. Our data support a model in which the SV protein SAM-4 regulates the processivity of SV transport. PMID:25329901

  3. Radixin regulates synaptic GABAA receptor density and is essential for reversal learning and short-term memory

    PubMed Central

    Hausrat, Torben J.; Muhia, Mary; Gerrow, Kimberly; Thomas, Philip; Hirdes, Wiebke; Tsukita, Sachiko; Heisler, Frank F.; Herich, Lena; Dubroqua, Sylvain; Breiden, Petra; Feldon, Joram; Schwarz, Jürgen R; Yee, Benjamin K.; Smart, Trevor G.; Triller, Antoine; Kneussel, Matthias

    2015-01-01

    Neurotransmitter receptor density is a major variable in regulating synaptic strength. Receptors rapidly exchange between synapses and intracellular storage pools through endocytic recycling. In addition, lateral diffusion and confinement exchanges surface membrane receptors between synaptic and extrasynaptic sites. However, the signals that regulate this transition are currently unknown. GABAA receptors containing α5-subunits (GABAAR-α5) concentrate extrasynaptically through radixin (Rdx)-mediated anchorage at the actin cytoskeleton. Here we report a novel mechanism that regulates adjustable plasma membrane receptor pools in the control of synaptic receptor density. RhoA/ROCK signalling regulates an activity-dependent Rdx phosphorylation switch that uncouples GABAAR-α5 from its extrasynaptic anchor, thereby enriching synaptic receptor numbers. Thus, the unphosphorylated form of Rdx alters mIPSCs. Rdx gene knockout impairs reversal learning and short-term memory, and Rdx phosphorylation in wild-type mice exhibits experience-dependent changes when exposed to novel environments. Our data suggest an additional mode of synaptic plasticity, in which extrasynaptic receptor reservoirs supply synaptic GABAARs. PMID:25891999

  4. Neurexin-Neuroligin Synaptic Complex Regulates Schizophrenia-Related DISC1/Kal-7/Rac1 "Signalosome".

    PubMed

    Owczarek, Sylwia; Bang, Marie Louise; Berezin, Vladimir

    2015-01-01

    Neurexins (NXs) and neuroligins (NLs) are cell adhesion molecules that are localized at opposite sites of synaptic membranes. They interact with each other to promote the assembly, maintenance, and function of synapses in the central nervous system. Both NX and NL are cleaved from a membrane-attached intracellular domain in an activity-dependent manner, generating the soluble ectodomain of NX or NL. Expression of the NX1 and NX3 genes in the brain appears to be regulated by a schizophrenia-related protein, DISC1. Here, we show that soluble ecto-NX1β can regulate the expression of DISC1 and induce signaling downstream of DISC1. We also show that NL1 binds to a well-characterized DISC1 interaction partner, Kal-7, and this interaction can be compromised by DISC1. Our results indicate that the NX/NL synaptic complex is intrinsically involved in the regulation of DISC1 function, thus contributing to a better understanding of the pathology of schizophrenia.

  5. GABA regulates synaptic integration of newly generated neurons in the adult brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ge, Shaoyu; Goh, Eyleen L. K.; Sailor, Kurt A.; Kitabatake, Yasuji; Ming, Guo-Li; Song, Hongjun

    2006-02-01

    Adult neurogenesis, the birth and integration of new neurons from adult neural stem cells, is a striking form of structural plasticity and highlights the regenerative capacity of the adult mammalian brain. Accumulating evidence suggests that neuronal activity regulates adult neurogenesis and that new neurons contribute to specific brain functions. The mechanism that regulates the integration of newly generated neurons into the pre-existing functional circuitry in the adult brain is unknown. Here we show that newborn granule cells in the dentate gyrus of the adult hippocampus are tonically activated by ambient GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid) before being sequentially innervated by GABA- and glutamate-mediated synaptic inputs. GABA, the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the adult brain, initially exerts an excitatory action on newborn neurons owing to their high cytoplasmic chloride ion content. Conversion of GABA-induced depolarization (excitation) into hyperpolarization (inhibition) in newborn neurons leads to marked defects in their synapse formation and dendritic development in vivo. Our study identifies an essential role for GABA in the synaptic integration of newly generated neurons in the adult brain, and suggests an unexpected mechanism for activity-dependent regulation of adult neurogenesis, in which newborn neurons may sense neuronal network activity through tonic and phasic GABA activation.

  6. The matrix protein Hikaru genki localizes to cholinergic synaptic clefts and regulates postsynaptic organization in the Drosophila brain.

    PubMed

    Nakayama, Minoru; Matsushita, Fumiya; Hama, Chihiro

    2014-10-15

    The synaptic cleft, a crucial space involved in neurotransmission, is filled with extracellular matrix that serves as a scaffold for synaptic differentiation. However, little is known about the proteins present in the matrix and their functions in synaptogenesis, especially in the CNS. Here, we report that Hikaru genki (Hig), a secreted protein with an Ig motif and complement control protein domains, localizes specifically to the synaptic clefts of cholinergic synapses in the Drosophila CNS. The data indicate that this specific localization is achieved by capture of secreted Hig in synaptic clefts, even when it is ectopically expressed in glia. In the absence of Hig, the cytoskeletal scaffold protein DLG accumulated abnormally in cholinergic postsynapses, and the synaptic distribution of acetylcholine receptor (AchR) subunits Dα6 and Dα7 significantly decreased. hig mutant flies consistently exhibited resistance to the AchR agonist spinosad, which causes lethality by specifically activating the Dα6 subunit, suggesting that loss of Hig compromises the cholinergic synaptic activity mediated by Dα6. These results indicate that Hig is a specific component of the synaptic cleft matrix of cholinergic synapses and regulates their postsynaptic organization in the CNS.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-11

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

  9. Regulation of synaptic functions in central nervous system by endocrine hormones and the maintenance of energy homoeostasis.

    PubMed

    Pang, Zhiping P; Han, Weiping

    2012-10-01

    Energy homoeostasis, a co-ordinated balance of food intake and energy expenditure, is regulated by the CNS (central nervous system). The past decade has witnessed significant advances in our understanding of metabolic processes and brain circuitry which responds to a broad range of neural, nutrient and hormonal signals. Accumulating evidence demonstrates altered synaptic plasticity in the CNS in response to hormone signals. Moreover, emerging observations suggest that synaptic plasticity underlies all brain functions, including the physiological regulation of energy homoeostasis, and that impaired synaptic constellation and plasticity may lead to pathological development and conditions. Here, we summarize the current knowledge on the regulation of postsynaptic receptors such as AMPA (α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid), NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) and GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid) receptors, and the presynaptic components by hormone signals. A detailed understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms by which hormones regulate energy homoeostasis may lead to novel strategies in treating metabolic disorders.

  10. The Strip-Hippo Pathway Regulates Synaptic Terminal Formation by Modulating Actin Organization at the Drosophila Neuromuscular Synapses.

    PubMed

    Sakuma, Chisako; Saito, Yoshie; Umehara, Tomoki; Kamimura, Keisuke; Maeda, Nobuaki; Mosca, Timothy J; Miura, Masayuki; Chihara, Takahiro

    2016-08-30

    Synapse formation requires the precise coordination of axon elongation, cytoskeletal stability, and diverse modes of cell signaling. The underlying mechanisms of this interplay, however, remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate that Strip, a component of the striatin-interacting phosphatase and kinase (STRIPAK) complex that regulates these processes, is required to ensure the proper development of synaptic boutons at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction. In doing so, Strip negatively regulates the activity of the Hippo (Hpo) pathway, an evolutionarily conserved regulator of organ size whose role in synapse formation is currently unappreciated. Strip functions genetically with Enabled, an actin assembly/elongation factor and the presumptive downstream target of Hpo signaling, to modulate local actin organization at synaptic termini. This regulation occurs independently of the transcriptional co-activator Yorkie, the canonical downstream target of the Hpo pathway. Our study identifies a previously unanticipated role of the Strip-Hippo pathway in synaptic development, linking cell signaling to actin organization. PMID:27545887

  11. β-Neurexins Control Neural Circuits by Regulating Synaptic Endocannabinoid Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Garret R.; Aoto, Jason; Tabuchi, Katsuhiko; Földy, Csaba; Covy, Jason; Yee, Ada Xin; Wu, Dick; Lee, Sung-Jin; Chen, Lu; Malenka, Robert C.; Südhof, Thomas C.

    2015-01-01

    α- and β-neurexins are presynaptic cell-adhesion molecules implicated in autism and schizophrenia. We find that although β-neurexins are expressed at much lower levels than α-neurexins, conditional knockout of β-neurexins with continued expression of α-neurexins dramatically decreased neurotransmitter release at excitatory synapses in cultured cortical neurons. The β-neurexin knockout phenotype was attenuated by CB1-receptor inhibition which blocks presynaptic endocannabinoid signaling or by 2-arachidonoylglycerol synthesis inhibition which impairs postsynaptic endocannabinoid release. In synapses formed by CA1-region pyramidal neurons onto burst-firing subiculum neurons, presynaptic in vivo knockout of β-neurexins aggravated endocannabinoid-mediated inhibition of synaptic transmission and blocked LTP; presynaptic CB1-receptor antagonists or postsynaptic 2-arachidonoylglycerol synthesis inhibition again reversed this block. Moreover, conditional knockout of β-neurexins in CA1-region neurons impaired contextual fear memories. Thus, our data suggest that presynaptic β-neurexins control synaptic strength in excitatory synapses by regulating postsynaptic 2-arachidonoylglycerol synthesis, revealing an unexpected role for β-neurexins in the endocannabinoid-dependent regulation of neural circuits. PMID:26213384

  12. β-Neurexins Control Neural Circuits by Regulating Synaptic Endocannabinoid Signaling.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Garret R; Aoto, Jason; Tabuchi, Katsuhiko; Földy, Csaba; Covy, Jason; Yee, Ada Xin; Wu, Dick; Lee, Sung-Jin; Chen, Lu; Malenka, Robert C; Südhof, Thomas C

    2015-07-30

    α- and β-neurexins are presynaptic cell-adhesion molecules implicated in autism and schizophrenia. We find that, although β-neurexins are expressed at much lower levels than α-neurexins, conditional knockout of β-neurexins with continued expression of α-neurexins dramatically decreased neurotransmitter release at excitatory synapses in cultured cortical neurons. The β-neurexin knockout phenotype was attenuated by CB1-receptor inhibition, which blocks presynaptic endocannabinoid signaling, or by 2-arachidonoylglycerol synthesis inhibition, which impairs postsynaptic endocannabinoid release. In synapses formed by CA1-region pyramidal neurons onto burst-firing subiculum neurons, presynaptic in vivo knockout of β-neurexins aggravated endocannabinoid-mediated inhibition of synaptic transmission and blocked LTP; presynaptic CB1-receptor antagonists or postsynaptic 2-arachidonoylglycerol synthesis inhibition again reversed this block. Moreover, conditional knockout of β-neurexins in CA1-region neurons impaired contextual fear memories. Thus, our data suggest that presynaptic β-neurexins control synaptic strength in excitatory synapses by regulating postsynaptic 2-arachidonoylglycerol synthesis, revealing an unexpected role for β-neurexins in the endocannabinoid-dependent regulation of neural circuits. PMID:26213384

  13. Agrin regulates CLASP2-mediated capture of microtubules at the neuromuscular junction synaptic membrane

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Nadine; Basu, Sreya; Sladecek, Stefan; Gatti, Sabrina; van Haren, Jeffrey; Treves, Susan; Pielage, Jan

    2012-01-01

    Agrin is the major factor mediating the neuronal regulation of postsynaptic structures at the vertebrate neuromuscular junction, but the details of how it orchestrates this unique three-dimensional structure remain unknown. Here, we show that agrin induces the formation of the dense network of microtubules in the subsynaptic cytoplasm and that this, in turn, regulates acetylcholine receptor insertion into the postsynaptic membrane. Agrin acted in part by locally activating phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and inactivating GSK3β, which led to the local capturing of dynamic microtubules at agrin-induced acetylcholine receptor (AChR) clusters, mediated to a large extent by the microtubule plus-end tracking proteins CLASP2 and CLIP-170. Indeed, in the absence of CLASP2, microtubule plus ends at the subsynaptic muscle membrane, the density of synaptic AChRs, the size of AChR clusters, and the numbers of subsynaptic muscle nuclei with their selective gene expression programs were all reduced. Thus, the cascade linking agrin to CLASP2-mediated microtubule capturing at the synaptic membrane is essential for the maintenance of a normal neuromuscular phenotype. PMID:22851317

  14. Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species regulate the strength of inhibitory GABA-mediated synaptic transmission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Accardi, Michael V.; Daniels, Bryan A.; Brown, Patricia M. G. E.; Fritschy, Jean-Marc; Tyagarajan, Shiva K.; Bowie, Derek

    2014-01-01

    Neuronal communication imposes a heavy metabolic burden in maintaining ionic gradients essential for action potential firing and synaptic signalling. Although cellular metabolism is known to regulate excitatory neurotransmission, it is still unclear whether the brain’s energy supply affects inhibitory signalling. Here we show that mitochondrial-derived reactive oxygen species (mROS) regulate the strength of postsynaptic GABAA receptors at inhibitory synapses of cerebellar stellate cells. Inhibition is strengthened through a mechanism that selectively recruits α3-containing GABAA receptors into synapses with no discernible effect on resident α1-containing receptors. Since mROS promotes the emergence of postsynaptic events with unique kinetic properties, we conclude that newly recruited α3-containing GABAA receptors are activated by neurotransmitter released onto discrete postsynaptic sites. Although traditionally associated with oxidative stress in neurodegenerative disease, our data identify mROS as a putative homeostatic signalling molecule coupling cellular metabolism to the strength of inhibitory transmission.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2A (SV2A) regulates kindling epileptogenesis via GABAergic neurotransmission

    PubMed Central

    Tokudome, Kentaro; Okumura, Takahiro; Shimizu, Saki; Mashimo, Tomoji; Takizawa, Akiko; Serikawa, Tadao; Terada, Ryo; Ishihara, Shizuka; Kunisawa, Naofumi; Sasa, Masashi; Ohno, Yukihiro

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2A (SV2A) is a prototype synaptic vesicle protein regulating action potential-dependent neurotransmitters release. SV2A also serves as a specific binding site for certain antiepileptics and is implicated in the treatment of epilepsy. Here, to elucidate the role of SV2A in modulating epileptogenesis, we generated a novel rat model (Sv2aL174Q rat) carrying a Sv2a-targeted missense mutation (L174Q) and analyzed its susceptibilities to kindling development. Although animals homozygous for the Sv2aL174Q mutation exhibited normal appearance and development, they are susceptible to pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) seizures. In addition, development of kindling associated with repeated PTZ treatments or focal stimulation of the amygdala was markedly facilitated by the Sv2aL174Q mutation. Neurochemical studies revealed that the Sv2aL174Q mutation specifically reduced depolarization-induced GABA, but not glutamate, release in the hippocampus without affecting basal release or the SV2A expression level in GABAergic neurons. In addition, the Sv2aL174Q mutation selectively reduced the synaptotagmin1 (Syt1) level among the exocytosis-related proteins examined. The present results demonstrate that dysfunction of SV2A due to the Sv2aL174Q mutation impairs the synaptic GABA release by reducing the Syt1 level and facilitates the kindling development, illustrating the crucial role of SV2A-GABA system in modulating kindling epileptogenesis. PMID:27265781

  17. The Conserved SKN-1/Nrf2 Stress Response Pathway Regulates Synaptic Function in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Staab, Trisha A.; Griffen, Trevor C.; Corcoran, Connor; Evgrafov, Oleg; Knowles, James A.; Sieburth, Derek

    2013-01-01

    The Nrf family of transcription factors plays a critical role in mediating adaptive responses to cellular stress and defends against neurodegeneration, aging, and cancer. Here, we report a novel role for the Caenorhabditis elegans Nrf homolog SKN-1 in regulating synaptic transmission at neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). Activation of SKN-1, either by acute pharmacological treatment with the mitochondrial toxin sodium arsenite or by mutations that cause constitutive SKN-1 activation, results in defects in neuromuscular function. Additionally, elimination of the conserved WD40 repeat protein WDR-23, a principal negative regulator of SKN-1, results in impaired locomotion and synaptic vesicle and neuropeptide release from cholinergic motor axons. Mutations that abolish skn-1 activity restore normal neuromuscular function to wdr-23 mutants and animals treated with toxin. We show that negative regulation of SKN-1 by WDR-23 in the intestine, but not at neuromuscular junctions, is necessary and sufficient for proper neuromuscular function. WDR-23 isoforms differentially localize to the outer membranes of mitochondria and to nuclei, and the effects of WDR-23 on neuromuscular function are dependent on its interaction with cullin E3 ubiquitin ligase. Finally, whole-transcriptome RNA sequencing of wdr-23 mutants reveals an increase in the expression of known SKN-1/Nrf2-regulated stress-response genes, as well as neurotransmission genes not previously implicated in SKN-1/Nrf2 responses. Together, our results indicate that SKN-1/Nrf2 activation may be a mechanism through which cellular stress, detected in one tissue, affects cellular function of a distal tissue through endocrine signaling. These results provide insight into how SKN-1/Nrf2 might protect the nervous system from damage in response to oxidative stress. PMID:23555279

  18. 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

  19. Syncrip/hnRNP Q influences synaptic transmission and regulates BMP signaling at the Drosophila neuromuscular synapse

    PubMed Central

    Halstead, James M.; Lin, Yong Qi; Durraine, Lita; Hamilton, Russell S.; Ball, Graeme; Neely, Greg G.; Bellen, Hugo J.; Davis, Ilan

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Synaptic plasticity involves the modulation of synaptic connections in response to neuronal activity via multiple pathways. One mechanism modulates synaptic transmission by retrograde signals from the post-synapse that influence the probability of vesicle release in the pre-synapse. Despite its importance, very few factors required for the expression of retrograde signals, and proper synaptic transmission, have been identified. Here, we identify the conserved RNA binding protein Syncrip as a new factor that modulates the efficiency of vesicle release from the motoneuron and is required for correct synapse structure. We show that syncrip is required genetically and its protein product is detected only in the muscle and not in the motoneuron itself. This unexpected non-autonomy is at least partly explained by the fact that Syncrip modulates retrograde BMP signals from the muscle back to the motoneuron. We show that Syncrip influences the levels of the Bone Morphogenic Protein ligand Glass Bottom Boat from the post-synapse and regulates the pre-synapse. Our results highlight the RNA-binding protein Syncrip as a novel regulator of synaptic output. Given its known role in regulating translation, we propose that Syncrip is important for maintaining a balance between the strength of presynaptic vesicle release and postsynaptic translation. PMID:25171887

  20. Neuronal Nogo-A negatively regulates dendritic morphology and synaptic transmission in the cerebellum

    PubMed Central

    Petrinovic, Marija M.; Hourez, Raphael; Aloy, Elisabeth M.; Dewarrat, Gregoire; Gall, David; Weinmann, Oliver; Gaudias, Julien; Bachmann, Lukas C.; Schiffmann, Serge N.; Vogt, Kaspar E.; Schwab, Martin E.

    2013-01-01

    Neuronal signal integration as well as synaptic transmission and plasticity highly depend on the morphology of dendrites and their spines. Nogo-A is a membrane protein enriched in the adult central nervous system (CNS) myelin, where it restricts the capacity of axons to grow and regenerate after injury. Nogo-A is also expressed by certain neurons, in particular during development, but its physiological function in this cell type is less well understood. We addressed this question in the cerebellum, where Nogo-A is transitorily highly expressed in the Purkinje cells (PCs) during early postnatal development. We used general genetic ablation (KO) as well as selective overexpression of Nogo-A in PCs to analyze its effect on dendritogenesis and on the formation of their main input synapses from parallel (PFs) and climbing fibers (CFs). PC dendritic trees were larger and more complex in Nogo-A KO mice and smaller than in wild-type in Nogo-A overexpressing PCs. Nogo-A KO resulted in premature soma-to-dendrite translocation of CFs and an enlargement of the CF territory in the molecular layer during development. Although spine density was not influenced by Nogo-A, the size of postsynaptic densities of PF–PC synapses was negatively correlated with the Nogo-A expression level. Electrophysiological studies revealed that Nogo-A negatively regulates the strength of synaptic transmission at the PF–PC synapse. Thus, Nogo-A appears as a negative regulator of PC input synapses, which orchestrates cerebellar connectivity through regulation of synapse morphology and the size of the PC dendritic tree. PMID:23277570

  1. SLEEPLESS is a bi-functional regulator of excitability and cholinergic synaptic transmission

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Meilin; Robinson, James E.; Joiner, William J.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Background Although sleep is conserved throughout evolution, the molecular basis of its control is still largely a mystery. We previously showed that the quiver/sleepless (qvr/sss) gene encodes a membrane-tethered protein that is required for normal sleep in Drosophila. SLEEPLESS (SSS) protein functions, at least in part, by upregulating the levels and open probability of Shaker (Sh) potassium channels to suppress neuronal excitability and enable sleep. Consistent with this proposed mechanism, loss-of-function mutations in Sh phenocopy qvr/sss null mutants. However, sleep is more genetically modifiable in Sh than in qvr/sss mutants, suggesting that sss may regulate additional molecules to influence sleep. Results Here we show that SSS also antagonizes nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) to reduce synaptic transmission and promote sleep. Mimicking this antagonism with the nAChR inhibitor mecamylamine or by RNAi knockdown of specific nAChR subunits is sufficient to restore sleep to qvr/sss mutants. Regulation of nAChR activity by SSS occurs post-transcriptionally since the levels of nAChR mRNAs are unchanged in qvr/sss mutants. Regulation of nAChR activity by SSS may in fact be direct, since SSS forms a stable complex with and antagonizes fly nAChR function in transfected cells. Intriguingly, lynx1, a mammalian homolog of SSS, can partially restore normal sleep to qvr/sss mutants, and lynx1 can form stable complexes with Shaker-type channels and nAChRs. Conclusions Together, our data point to an evolutionarily conserved, bi-functional role for SSS and its homologs in controlling excitability and synaptic transmission in fundamental processes of the nervous system such as sleep. PMID:24613312

  2. Drosophila cyfip regulates synaptic development and endocytosis by suppressing filamentous actin assembly.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Lu; Wang, Dan; Wang, Qifu; Rodal, Avital A; Zhang, Yong Q

    2013-04-01

    The formation of synapses and the proper construction of neural circuits depend on signaling pathways that regulate cytoskeletal structure and dynamics. After the mutual recognition of a growing axon and its target, multiple signaling pathways are activated that regulate cytoskeletal dynamics to determine the morphology and strength of the connection. By analyzing Drosophila mutations in the cytoplasmic FMRP interacting protein Cyfip, we demonstrate that this component of the WAVE complex inhibits the assembly of filamentous actin (F-actin) and thereby regulates key aspects of synaptogenesis. Cyfip regulates the distribution of F-actin filaments in presynaptic neuromuscular junction (NMJ) terminals. At cyfip mutant NMJs, F-actin assembly was accelerated, resulting in shorter NMJs, more numerous satellite boutons, and reduced quantal content. Increased synaptic vesicle size and failure to maintain excitatory junctional potential amplitudes under high-frequency stimulation in cyfip mutants indicated an endocytic defect. cyfip mutants exhibited upregulated bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling, a major growth-promoting pathway known to be attenuated by endocytosis at the Drosophila NMJ. We propose that Cyfip regulates synapse development and endocytosis by inhibiting actin assembly.

  3. SALM5 trans-synaptically interacts with LAR-RPTPs in a splicing-dependent manner to regulate synapse development

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Yeonsoo; Nam, Jungyong; Whitcomb, Daniel J.; Song, Yoo Sung; Kim, Doyoun; Jeon, Sangmin; Um, Ji Won; Lee, Seong-Gyu; Woo, Jooyeon; Kwon, Seok-Kyu; Li, Yan; Mah, Won; Kim, Ho Min; Ko, Jaewon; Cho, Kwangwook; Kim, Eunjoon

    2016-01-01

    Synaptogenic adhesion molecules play critical roles in synapse formation. SALM5/Lrfn5, a SALM/Lrfn family adhesion molecule implicated in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and schizophrenia, induces presynaptic differentiation in contacting axons, but its presynaptic ligand remains unknown. We found that SALM5 interacts with the Ig domains of LAR family receptor protein tyrosine phosphatases (LAR-RPTPs; LAR, PTPδ, and PTPσ). These interactions are strongly inhibited by the splice insert B in the Ig domain region of LAR-RPTPs, and mediate SALM5-dependent presynaptic differentiation in contacting axons. In addition, SALM5 regulates AMPA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission through mechanisms involving the interaction of postsynaptic SALM5 with presynaptic LAR-RPTPs. These results suggest that postsynaptic SALM5 promotes synapse development by trans-synaptically interacting with presynaptic LAR-RPTPs and is important for the regulation of excitatory synaptic strength. PMID:27225731

  4. Regulation of synaptic activity by snapin-mediated endolysosomal transport and sorting

    PubMed Central

    Di Giovanni, Jerome; Sheng, Zu-Hang

    2015-01-01

    Recycling synaptic vesicles (SVs) transit through early endosomal sorting stations, which raises a fundamental question: are SVs sorted toward endolysosomal pathways? Here, we used snapin mutants as tools to assess how endolysosomal sorting and trafficking impact presynaptic activity in wild-type and snapin−/− neurons. Snapin acts as a dynein adaptor that mediates the retrograde transport of late endosomes (LEs) and interacts with dysbindin, a subunit of the endosomal sorting complex BLOC-1. Expressing dynein-binding defective snapin mutants induced SV accumulation at presynaptic terminals, mimicking the snapin−/− phenotype. Conversely, over-expressing snapin reduced SV pool size by enhancing SV trafficking to the endolysosomal pathway. Using a SV-targeted Ca2+ sensor, we demonstrate that snapin–dysbindin interaction regulates SV positional priming through BLOC-1/AP-3-dependent sorting. Our study reveals a bipartite regulation of presynaptic activity by endolysosomal trafficking and sorting: LE transport regulates SV pool size, and BLOC-1/AP-3-dependent sorting fine-tunes the Ca2+ sensitivity of SV release. Therefore, our study provides new mechanistic insights into the maintenance and regulation of SV pool size and synchronized SV fusion through snapin-mediated LE trafficking and endosomal sorting. PMID:26108535

  5. Fast retrieval and autonomous regulation of single spontaneously recycling synaptic vesicles

    PubMed Central

    Leitz, Jeremy; Kavalali, Ege T

    2014-01-01

    Presynaptic terminals release neurotransmitters spontaneously in a manner that can be regulated by Ca2+. However, the mechanisms underlying this regulation are poorly understood because the inherent stochasticity and low probability of spontaneous fusion events has curtailed their visualization at individual release sites. Here, using pH-sensitive optical probes targeted to synaptic vesicles, we visualized single spontaneous fusion events and found that they are retrieved extremely rapidly with faster re-acidification kinetics than their action potential-evoked counterparts. These fusion events were coupled to postsynaptic NMDA receptor-driven Ca2+ signals, and at elevated Ca2+ concentrations there was an increase in the number of vesicles that would undergo fusion. Furthermore, spontaneous vesicle fusion propensity in a synapse was Ca2+-dependent but regulated autonomously: independent of evoked fusion probability at the same synapse. Taken together, these results expand classical quantal analysis to incorporate endocytic and exocytic phases of single fusion events and uncover autonomous regulation of spontaneous fusion. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.03658.001 PMID:25415052

  6. Shp2 in forebrain neurons regulates synaptic plasticity, locomotion, and memory formation in mice.

    PubMed

    Kusakari, Shinya; Saitow, Fumihito; Ago, Yukio; Shibasaki, Koji; Sato-Hashimoto, Miho; Matsuzaki, Yasunori; Kotani, Takenori; Murata, Yoji; Hirai, Hirokazu; Matsuda, Toshio; Suzuki, Hidenori; Matozaki, Takashi; Ohnishi, Hiroshi

    2015-05-01

    Shp2 (Src homology 2 domain-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase 2) regulates neural cell differentiation. It is also expressed in postmitotic neurons, however, and mutations of Shp2 are associated with clinical syndromes characterized by mental retardation. Here we show that conditional-knockout (cKO) mice lacking Shp2 specifically in postmitotic forebrain neurons manifest abnormal behavior, including hyperactivity. Novelty-induced expression of immediate-early genes and activation of extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (Erk) were attenuated in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of Shp2 cKO mice, suggestive of reduced neuronal activity. In contrast, ablation of Shp2 enhanced high-K(+)-induced Erk activation in both cultured cortical neurons and synaptosomes, whereas it inhibited that induced by brain-derived growth factor in cultured neurons. Posttetanic potentiation and paired-pulse facilitation were attenuated and enhanced, respectively, in hippocampal slices from Shp2 cKO mice. The mutant mice also manifested transient impairment of memory formation in the Morris water maze. Our data suggest that Shp2 contributes to regulation of Erk activation and synaptic plasticity in postmitotic forebrain neurons and thereby controls locomotor activity and memory formation.

  7. Shp2 in Forebrain Neurons Regulates Synaptic Plasticity, Locomotion, and Memory Formation in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Kusakari, Shinya; Saitow, Fumihito; Ago, Yukio; Shibasaki, Koji; Sato-Hashimoto, Miho; Matsuzaki, Yasunori; Kotani, Takenori; Murata, Yoji; Hirai, Hirokazu; Matsuda, Toshio; Suzuki, Hidenori

    2015-01-01

    Shp2 (Src homology 2 domain-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase 2) regulates neural cell differentiation. It is also expressed in postmitotic neurons, however, and mutations of Shp2 are associated with clinical syndromes characterized by mental retardation. Here we show that conditional-knockout (cKO) mice lacking Shp2 specifically in postmitotic forebrain neurons manifest abnormal behavior, including hyperactivity. Novelty-induced expression of immediate-early genes and activation of extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (Erk) were attenuated in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of Shp2 cKO mice, suggestive of reduced neuronal activity. In contrast, ablation of Shp2 enhanced high-K+-induced Erk activation in both cultured cortical neurons and synaptosomes, whereas it inhibited that induced by brain-derived growth factor in cultured neurons. Posttetanic potentiation and paired-pulse facilitation were attenuated and enhanced, respectively, in hippocampal slices from Shp2 cKO mice. The mutant mice also manifested transient impairment of memory formation in the Morris water maze. Our data suggest that Shp2 contributes to regulation of Erk activation and synaptic plasticity in postmitotic forebrain neurons and thereby controls locomotor activity and memory formation. PMID:25713104

  8. Neuronal glutamate transporters regulate synaptic transmission in single synapses on CA1 hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Kondratskaya, Elena; Shin, Min-Chul; Akaike, Norio

    2010-01-15

    Glutamate is the major excitatory transmitter in CNS although it causes severe brain damage by pathologic excitotoxicity. Efficient neurotransmission is controlled by powerful protection and support afforded by specific high-affinity glutamate transporters in neurons and glia, clearing synaptic glutamate. While the role of glial cells in glutamate uptake is well defined, the role of neuronal transporters remains poorly understood. The evaluation of impact of neuronal transporters on spontaneous and evoked EPSC in hippocampal CA1 neurons within a model 'single bouton preparation' by pre- and postsynaptic uptake was addressed. In whole-cell patch clamp experiments the influence of blocking, pre- or both pre- and postsynaptic glutamate transporters (GluT) on spontaneous and evoked postsynaptic currents (sEPSC and eEPSC), was examined by manipulating the content of intracellular solution. Suppressing GluT by non-transportable inhibitor TBOA (10 microM) led to remarkable alteration of glutamate uptake process and was reflected in measurable changes of general properties of synaptic currents. Elimination of intracellular K(+) concentration required for glutamate transporter operation by using Cs(+)-based internal solution (postsynaptic GluTs are non-functional apriori), causes the deficient of presynaptic glutamate transporters. Applied in such conditions glutamate transporter inhibitor TBOA (10 microM) affected the occurrence of synaptic event and thus unregulated the transmitter release. eEPSCs were generally suppressed both in amplitude (to 48.73+/-7.03% vs. control) and in success rate (R(suc)) by TBOA (from 91.1+/-7.5% in control to 79.57+/-13.2%). In contrast, with K(+)-based solution in patch pipette (pre- and postsynaptic GluT are intact), amplitude of eEPSC was substantially potentiated by pre-treatment with TBOA (152.1+/-11%), whereas (R(suc)) was reduced to 79.8+/-8.3% in average. The identical reduction of event success rate as well as increased pair

  9. Expression of the synaptic exocytosis-regulating molecule complexin 2 in taste buds and its participation in peripheral taste transduction.

    PubMed

    Kurokawa, Azusa; Narukawa, Masataka; Ohmoto, Makoto; Yoshimoto, Joto; Abe, Keiko; Misaka, Takumi

    2015-06-01

    Taste information from type III taste cells to gustatory neurons is thought to be transmitted via synapses. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying taste transduction through this pathway have not been fully elucidated. In this study, to identify molecules that participate in synaptic taste transduction, we investigated whether complexins (Cplxs), which play roles in regulating membrane fusion in synaptic vesicle exocytosis, were expressed in taste bud cells. Among four Cplx isoforms, strong expression of Cplx2 mRNA was detected in type III taste cells. To investigate the function of CPLX2 in taste transduction, we observed taste responses in CPLX2-knockout mice. When assessed with electrophysiological and behavioral assays, taste responses to some sour stimuli in CPLX2-knockout mice were significantly lower than those in wild-type mice. These results suggested that CPLX2 participated in synaptic taste transduction from type III taste cells to gustatory neurons. A part of taste information is thought to be transmitted via synapses. However, the molecular mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. To identify molecules that participate in synaptic taste transduction, we investigated complexins (Cplxs) expression in taste bud cells. Strong expression of Cplx2 mRNA was detected in taste bud cells. Furthermore, taste responses to some sour stimuli in CPLX2- knockout mice were significantly lower than those in wild-type mice. These suggested that CPLX2 participated in synaptic taste transduction.

  10. Neurosteroid interactions with synaptic and extrasynaptic GABAa receptors: regulation of subunit plasticity, phasic and tonic inhibition, and neuronal network excitability

    PubMed Central

    Chase Matthew, Carver; Doodipala Samba, Reddy

    2013-01-01

    Rationale Neurosteroids are steroids synthesized within the brain with rapid effects on neuronal excitability. Allopregnanolone, allotetrahydrodeoxycorticosterone, and androstanediol are three widely explored prototype endogenous neurosteroids. They have very different targets and functions compared to conventional steroid hormones. Neuronal GABAa receptors are one of the prime molecular targets of neurosteroids. Objective This review provides a critical appraisal of recent advances in the pharmacology of endogenous neurosteroids that interact with GABAa receptors in the brain. Neurosteroids possess distinct, characteristic effects on the membrane potential and current conductance of the neuron, mainly via potentiation of GABAa receptors at low concentrations and direct activation of receptor chloride channel at higher concentrations. The GABAa receptor mediates two types of inhibition, now characterized as synaptic (phasic) and extrasynaptic (tonic) inhibition. Synaptic release of GABA results in the activation of low-affinity γ2-containing synaptic receptors, while high-affinity δ-containing extrasynaptic receptors are persistently activated by the ambient GABA present in the extracellular fluid. Neurosteroids are potent positive allosteric modulators of synaptic and extrasynaptic GABAa receptors and therefore enhance both phasic and tonic inhibition. Tonic inhibition is specifically more sensitive to neurosteroids. The resulting tonic conductance generates a form of shunting inhibition that controls neuronal network excitability, seizure susceptibility, and behavior. Conclusion The growing understanding of the mechanisms of neurosteroid regulation of the structure and function of the synaptic and extrasynaptic GABAa receptors provide many opportunities to create improved therapies for sleep, anxiety, stress, epilepsy, and other neuropsychiatric conditions. PMID:24071826

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Molecular Machines Regulating the Release Probability of Synaptic Vesicles at the Active Zone

    PubMed Central

    Körber, Christoph; Kuner, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    The fusion of synaptic vesicles (SVs) with the plasma membrane of the active zone (AZ) upon arrival of an action potential (AP) at the presynaptic compartment is a tightly regulated probabilistic process crucial for information transfer. The probability of a SV to release its transmitter content in response to an AP, termed release probability (Pr), is highly diverse both at the level of entire synapses and individual SVs at a given synapse. Differences in Pr exist between different types of synapses, between synapses of the same type, synapses originating from the same axon and even between different SV subpopulations within the same presynaptic terminal. The Pr of SVs at the AZ is set by a complex interplay of different presynaptic properties including the availability of release-ready SVs, the location of the SVs relative to the voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) at the AZ, the magnitude of calcium influx upon arrival of the AP, the buffering of calcium ions as well as the identity and sensitivity of the calcium sensor. These properties are not only interconnected, but can also be regulated dynamically to match the requirements of activity patterns mediated by the synapse. Here, we review recent advances in identifying molecules and molecular machines taking part in the determination of vesicular Pr at the AZ. PMID:26973506

  13. Molecular Machines Regulating the Release Probability of Synaptic Vesicles at the Active Zone.

    PubMed

    Körber, Christoph; Kuner, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    The fusion of synaptic vesicles (SVs) with the plasma membrane of the active zone (AZ) upon arrival of an action potential (AP) at the presynaptic compartment is a tightly regulated probabilistic process crucial for information transfer. The probability of a SV to release its transmitter content in response to an AP, termed release probability (Pr), is highly diverse both at the level of entire synapses and individual SVs at a given synapse. Differences in Pr exist between different types of synapses, between synapses of the same type, synapses originating from the same axon and even between different SV subpopulations within the same presynaptic terminal. The Pr of SVs at the AZ is set by a complex interplay of different presynaptic properties including the availability of release-ready SVs, the location of the SVs relative to the voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) at the AZ, the magnitude of calcium influx upon arrival of the AP, the buffering of calcium ions as well as the identity and sensitivity of the calcium sensor. These properties are not only interconnected, but can also be regulated dynamically to match the requirements of activity patterns mediated by the synapse. Here, we review recent advances in identifying molecules and molecular machines taking part in the determination of vesicular Pr at the AZ.

  14. Seizure-Induced Regulations of Amyloid-β, STEP61, and STEP61 Substrates Involved in Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Jang, Sung-Soo; Royston, Sara E.; Lee, Gunhee; Wang, Shuwei; Chung, Hee Jung

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive cognitive decline. Pathologic accumulation of soluble amyloid-β (Aβ) oligomers impairs synaptic plasticity and causes epileptic seizures, both of which contribute to cognitive dysfunction in AD. However, whether seizures could regulate Aβ-induced synaptic weakening remains unclear. Here we show that a single episode of electroconvulsive seizures (ECS) increased protein expression of membrane-associated STriatal-Enriched protein tyrosine Phosphatase (STEP61) and decreased tyrosine-phosphorylation of its substrates N-methyl D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) subunit GluN2B and extracellular signal regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) in the rat hippocampus at 2 days following a single ECS. Interestingly, a significant decrease in ERK1/2 expression and an increase in APP and Aβ levels were observed at 3-4 days following a single ECS when STEP61 level returned to the baseline. Given that pathologic levels of Aβ increase STEP61 activity and STEP61-mediated dephosphorylation of GluN2B and ERK1/2 leads to NMDAR internalization and ERK1/2 inactivation, we propose that upregulation of STEP61 and downregulation of GluN2B and ERK1/2 phosphorylation mediate compensatory weakening of synaptic strength in response to acute enhancement of hippocampal network activity, whereas delayed decrease in ERK1/2 expression and increase in APP and Aβ expression may contribute to the maintenance of this synaptic weakening. PMID:27127657

  15. TRPV1-dependent regulation of synaptic activity in the mouse dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus nerve

    PubMed Central

    Anwar, Imran J.; Derbenev, Andrei V.

    2013-01-01

    The dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV) is a key integrative point of the parasympathetic neuronal network localized in the dorsal vagal complex. Activity of neurons in the DMV is closely regulated by synaptic inputs, and regulation of excitatory and inhibitory synapsis by transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) has been demonstrated. Activation of TRPV1 by heat, protons, endovanilloids, endocannabinoids, and inflammatory mediators is well established. In our study we hypothesized that TRPV1 contributes to the synaptic transmission of DMV neurons at physiological range of temperature without additional stimuli. Using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings we evaluated the effect of a rapid increase of temperature on excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission and the contribution of TRPV1 to this response. Rapid increase of temperature from 25 to 37°C increased the frequency of miniature excitatory post-synaptic currents (mEPSC) by 351.7%. The frequency of miniature inhibitory post-synaptic currents (mIPSC) also increased by 184.7%. 5′-iodoresiniferatoxin (5′-iRFT), a selective TRPV1 antagonist, prevented the increase of mEPSC and mIPSC frequency. In summary, our data demonstrate that at physiological range of temperature TRPV1 contributes to presynaptic neurotransmission of DMV neurons. PMID:24379754

  16. Blockade of Astrocytic Calcineurin/NFAT Signaling Helps to Normalize Hippocampal Synaptic Function and Plasticity in a Rat Model of Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Furman, Jennifer L.; Sompol, Pradoldej; Kraner, Susan D.; Pleiss, Melanie M.; Putman, Esther J.; Dunkerson, Jacob; Mohmmad Abdul, Hafiz; Roberts, Kelly N.; Scheff, Stephen W.

    2016-01-01

    -dependent activation of the transcription factor NFAT (Nuclear Factor of Activated T cells) selectively, we have shown that activated astrocytes contribute to neural dysfunction in animal models characterized by progressive/chronic neuropathology. Here, we show that the suppression of astrocytic calcineurin/NFATs helps to protect synaptic function and plasticity in an animal model in which pathology arises from a single traumatic brain injury. The findings suggest that at least some astrocyte functions impair recovery after trauma and may provide druggable targets for treating victims of acute nervous system injury. PMID:26843634

  17. LIMK1 Regulates Long-Term Memory and Synaptic Plasticity via the Transcriptional Factor CREB

    PubMed Central

    Todorovski, Zarko; Asrar, Suhail; Liu, Jackie; Saw, Ner Mu Nar; Joshi, Krutika; Cortez, Miguel A.; Snead, O. Carter; Xie, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Deletion of the LIMK1 gene is associated with Williams syndrome, a unique neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by severe defects in visuospatial cognition and long-term memory (LTM). However, whether LIMK1 contributes to these deficits remains elusive. Here, we show that LIMK1-knockout (LIMK1−/−) mice are drastically impaired in LTM but not short-term memory (STM). In addition, LIMK1−/− mice are selectively defective in late-phase long-term potentiation (L-LTP), a form of long-lasting synaptic plasticity specifically required for the formation of LTM. Furthermore, we show that LIMK1 interacts and regulates the activity of cyclic AMP response element-binding protein (CREB), an extensively studied transcriptional factor critical for LTM. Importantly, both L-LTP and LTM deficits in LIMK1−/− mice are rescued by increasing the activity of CREB. These results provide strong evidence that LIMK1 deletion is sufficient to lead to an LTM deficit and that this deficit is attributable to CREB hypofunction. Our study has identified a direct gene-phenotype link in mice and provides a potential strategy to restore LTM in patients with Williams syndrome through the enhancement of CREB activity in the adult brain. PMID:25645926

  18. LIMK1 regulates long-term memory and synaptic plasticity via the transcriptional factor CREB.

    PubMed

    Todorovski, Zarko; Asrar, Suhail; Liu, Jackie; Saw, Ner Mu Nar; Joshi, Krutika; Cortez, Miguel A; Snead, O Carter; Xie, Wei; Jia, Zhengping

    2015-04-01

    Deletion of the LIMK1 gene is associated with Williams syndrome, a unique neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by severe defects in visuospatial cognition and long-term memory (LTM). However, whether LIMK1 contributes to these deficits remains elusive. Here, we show that LIMK1-knockout (LIMK1(-/-)) mice are drastically impaired in LTM but not short-term memory (STM). In addition, LIMK1(-/-) mice are selectively defective in late-phase long-term potentiation (L-LTP), a form of long-lasting synaptic plasticity specifically required for the formation of LTM. Furthermore, we show that LIMK1 interacts and regulates the activity of cyclic AMP response element-binding protein (CREB), an extensively studied transcriptional factor critical for LTM. Importantly, both L-LTP and LTM deficits in LIMK1(-/-) mice are rescued by increasing the activity of CREB. These results provide strong evidence that LIMK1 deletion is sufficient to lead to an LTM deficit and that this deficit is attributable to CREB hypofunction. Our study has identified a direct gene-phenotype link in mice and provides a potential strategy to restore LTM in patients with Williams syndrome through the enhancement of CREB activity in the adult brain.

  19. Association between regulating synaptic membrane exocytosis 2 gene polymorphisms and degenerative lumbar scoliosis.

    PubMed

    Kim, Ki-Tack; Lee, Jong Seok; Lee, Byoung Wook; Seok, Hosik; Jeon, Hye Sook; Kim, Jun Ho; Chung, Joo-Ho

    2013-07-01

    Degenerative lumbar scoliosis (DLS) is a spinal deformity that develops after skeletal maturity and progresses with age. In contrast to adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, the genetic association of DLS has not yet been elucidated. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between regulating synaptic membrane exocytosis 2 (RIMS2, OBOE) gene polymorphisms and DLS. Two coding single-nucleotide polymorphisms [rs2028945 (Gln1200Gln) and rs10461 (Ala1327Ala)] of RIMS2 were selected and genotyped by direct sequencing. As a result, the rs10461 was associated with DLS in allele frequencies (P=0.008) and genotype distributions (P=0.006 in the codominant model, 0.018 in the dominant model and 0.029 in the recessive model). In the analysis of haplotypes, two haplotypes exhibited significant differences between the control and DLS groups (CC haplotype, P=0.009 in the codominant model, 0.038 in the dominant model and 0.030 in the recessive model; CT haplotype, P=0.041 in the codominant model and 0.021 in the dominant model). These findings suggest that RIMS2 may be associated with the development of DLS. PMID:24648997

  20. Association between regulating synaptic membrane exocytosis 2 gene polymorphisms and degenerative lumbar scoliosis

    PubMed Central

    KIM, KI-TACK; LEE, JONG SEOK; LEE, BYOUNG WOOK; SEOK, HOSIK; JEON, HYE SOOK; KIM, JUN HO; CHUNG, JOO-HO

    2013-01-01

    Degenerative lumbar scoliosis (DLS) is a spinal deformity that develops after skeletal maturity and progresses with age. In contrast to adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, the genetic association of DLS has not yet been elucidated. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between regulating synaptic membrane exocytosis 2 (RIMS2, OBOE) gene polymorphisms and DLS. Two coding single-nucleotide polymorphisms [rs2028945 (Gln1200Gln) and rs10461 (Ala1327Ala)] of RIMS2 were selected and genotyped by direct sequencing. As a result, the rs10461 was associated with DLS in allele frequencies (P=0.008) and genotype distributions (P=0.006 in the codominant model, 0.018 in the dominant model and 0.029 in the recessive model). In the analysis of haplotypes, two haplotypes exhibited significant differences between the control and DLS groups (CC haplotype, P=0.009 in the codominant model, 0.038 in the dominant model and 0.030 in the recessive model; CT haplotype, P=0.041 in the codominant model and 0.021 in the dominant model). These findings suggest that RIMS2 may be associated with the development of DLS. PMID:24648997

  1. Characterization of Takusan, a Novel Gene Family that Regulates Synaptic Activity

    PubMed Central

    Tu, Shichun; Shin, Yeonsook; Zago, Wagner M.; States, Bradley A.; Eroshkin, Alexey; Lipton, Stuart A.; Tong, Gary G.; Nakanishi, Nobuki

    2009-01-01

    Summary We have characterized a rodent-specific gene family designated α-takusan (meaning “many” in Japanese). We initially identified a member of the family whose expression is upregulated in mice lacking the NMDAR subunit NR3A. We then isolated cDNAs encoding 46 α-takusan variants from mouse brains. Most variants share a ~130-aa long sequence, which contains the previously identified DUF622 (domain of unknown function 622) and is predicted to form coiled-coil structures. Single-cell PCR analyses indicate one neuron can express multiple α-takusan variants, and particular variants may predominate in certain cell types. Forced expression in cultured hippocampal neurons of two variants, α1 or α2, which bind either directly or indirectly to PSD-95, leads to an increase in PSD-95 clustering, dendritic-spine density, GluR1 surface expression, and AMPAR activity. Conversely, treating cultured neurons with RNAi targeting α-takusan variants resulted in the opposite phenotype. Hence, α-takusan represents a novel gene family that regulates synaptic activity. PMID:17610818

  2. Presynaptic DLG regulates synaptic function through the localization of voltage-activated Ca2+ Channels

    PubMed Central

    Astorga, César; Jorquera, Ramón A.; Ramírez, Mauricio; Kohler, Andrés; López, Estefanía; Delgado, Ricardo; Córdova, Alex; Olguín, Patricio; Sierralta, Jimena

    2016-01-01

    The DLG-MAGUK subfamily of proteins plays a role on the recycling and clustering of glutamate receptors (GLUR) at the postsynaptic density. discs-large1 (dlg) is the only DLG-MAGUK gene in Drosophila and originates two main products, DLGA and DLGS97 which differ by the presence of an L27 domain. Combining electrophysiology, immunostaining and genetic manipulation at the pre and postsynaptic compartments we study the DLG contribution to the basal synaptic-function at the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction. Our results reveal a specific function of DLGS97 in the regulation of the size of GLUR fields and their subunit composition. Strikingly the absence of any of DLG proteins at the presynaptic terminal disrupts the clustering and localization of the calcium channel DmCa1A subunit (Cacophony), decreases the action potential-evoked release probability and alters short-term plasticity. Our results show for the first time a crucial role of DLG proteins in the presynaptic function in vivo. PMID:27573697

  3. Munc18-1-regulated stage-wise SNARE assembly underlying synaptic exocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Lu; Rebane, Aleksander A; Yang, Guangcan; Xi, Zhiqun; Kang, Yuhao; Gao, Ying; Zhang, Yongli

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic-soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment receptor (SNARE) proteins couple their stage-wise folding/assembly to rapid exocytosis of neurotransmitters in a Munc18-1-dependent manner. The functions of the different assembly stages in exocytosis and the role of Munc18-1 in SNARE assembly are not well understood. Using optical tweezers, we observed four distinct stages of assembly in SNARE N-terminal, middle, C-terminal, and linker domains (or NTD, MD, CTD, and LD, respectively). We found that SNARE layer mutations differentially affect SNARE assembly. Comparison of their effects on SNARE assembly and on exocytosis reveals that NTD and CTD are responsible for vesicle docking and fusion, respectively, whereas MD regulates SNARE assembly and fusion. Munc18-1 initiates SNARE assembly and structures t-SNARE C-terminus independent of syntaxin N-terminal regulatory domain (NRD) and stabilizes the half-zippered SNARE complex dependent upon the NRD. Our observations demonstrate distinct functions of SNARE domains whose assembly is intimately chaperoned by Munc18-1. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09580.001 PMID:26701912

  4. Presynaptic DLG regulates synaptic function through the localization of voltage-activated Ca(2+) Channels.

    PubMed

    Astorga, César; Jorquera, Ramón A; Ramírez, Mauricio; Kohler, Andrés; López, Estefanía; Delgado, Ricardo; Córdova, Alex; Olguín, Patricio; Sierralta, Jimena

    2016-01-01

    The DLG-MAGUK subfamily of proteins plays a role on the recycling and clustering of glutamate receptors (GLUR) at the postsynaptic density. discs-large1 (dlg) is the only DLG-MAGUK gene in Drosophila and originates two main products, DLGA and DLGS97 which differ by the presence of an L27 domain. Combining electrophysiology, immunostaining and genetic manipulation at the pre and postsynaptic compartments we study the DLG contribution to the basal synaptic-function at the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction. Our results reveal a specific function of DLGS97 in the regulation of the size of GLUR fields and their subunit composition. Strikingly the absence of any of DLG proteins at the presynaptic terminal disrupts the clustering and localization of the calcium channel DmCa1A subunit (Cacophony), decreases the action potential-evoked release probability and alters short-term plasticity. Our results show for the first time a crucial role of DLG proteins in the presynaptic function in vivo. PMID:27573697

  5. N-cadherin regulates molecular organization of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic circuits in adult hippocampus in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Nikitczuk, Jessica S.; Patil, Shekhar B.; Matikainen-Ankney, Bridget A.; Scarpa, Joseph; Shapiro, Matthew L.

    2016-01-01

    N-cadherin and β-catenin form a transsynaptic adhesion complex required for spine and synapse development. In adulthood, N-cadherin mediates persistent synaptic plasticity, but whether the role of N-cadherin at mature synapses is similar to that at developing synapses is unclear. To address this, we conditionally ablated N-cadherin from excitatory forebrain synapses in mice starting in late postnatal life and examined hippocampal structure and function in adulthood. In the absence of N-cadherin, β-catenin levels were reduced, but numbers of excitatory synapses were unchanged, and there was no impact on number or shape of dendrites or spines. However, the composition of synaptic molecules was altered. Levels of GluA1 and its scaffolding protein PSD95 were diminished and the density of immunolabeled puncta was decreased, without effects on other glutamate receptors and their scaffolding proteins. Additionally, loss of N-cadherin at excitatory synapses triggered increases in the density of markers for inhibitory synapses and decreased severity of hippocampal seizures. Finally, adult mutant mice were profoundly impaired in hippocampal-dependent memory for spatial episodes. These results demonstrate a novel function for the N-cadherin/β-catenin complex in regulating ionotropic receptor composition of excitatory synapses, an appropriate balance of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic proteins and the maintenance of neural circuitry necessary to generate flexible yet persistent cognitive and synaptic function. PMID:24753442

  6. N-cadherin regulates molecular organization of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic circuits in adult hippocampus in vivo.

    PubMed

    Nikitczuk, Jessica S; Patil, Shekhar B; Matikainen-Ankney, Bridget A; Scarpa, Joseph; Shapiro, Matthew L; Benson, Deanna L; Huntley, George W

    2014-08-01

    N-Cadherin and β-catenin form a transsynaptic adhesion complex required for spine and synapse development. In adulthood, N-cadherin mediates persistent synaptic plasticity, but whether the role of N-cadherin at mature synapses is similar to that at developing synapses is unclear. To address this, we conditionally ablated N-cadherin from excitatory forebrain synapses in mice starting in late postnatal life and examined hippocampal structure and function in adulthood. In the absence of N-cadherin, β-catenin levels were reduced, but numbers of excitatory synapses were unchanged, and there was no impact on number or shape of dendrites or spines. However, the composition of synaptic molecules was altered. Levels of GluA1 and its scaffolding protein PSD95 were diminished and the density of immunolabeled puncta was decreased, without effects on other glutamate receptors and their scaffolding proteins. Additionally, loss of N-cadherin at excitatory synapses triggered increases in the density of markers for inhibitory synapses and decreased severity of hippocampal seizures. Finally, adult mutant mice were profoundly impaired in hippocampal-dependent memory for spatial episodes. These results demonstrate a novel function for the N-cadherin/β-catenin complex in regulating ionotropic receptor composition of excitatory synapses, an appropriate balance of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic proteins and the maintenance of neural circuitry necessary to generate flexible yet persistent cognitive and synaptic function.

  7. Endogenous Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor in the Nucleus Tractus Solitarius Tonically Regulates Synaptic and Autonomic Function

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Catharine G.; Hasser, Eileen M.; Kunze, Diana L.; Katz, David M.; Kline, David D.

    2012-01-01

    Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptor, TrkB, are highly expressed in the nucleus tractus solitarius (nTS), the principal target of cardiovascular primary afferent input to the brainstem. However, little is known about the role of BDNF signaling in nTS in cardiovascular homeostasis. We examined whether BDNF in nTS modulates cardiovascular function in vivo and regulates synaptic and/or neuronal activity in isolated brainstem slices. Microinjection of BDNF into the rat medial nTS (mnTS), a region critical for baroreflex control of sympathetic outflow, produced dose-dependent increases in mean arterial pressure (MAP), heart rate (HR) and lumbar sympathetic nerve activity (LSNA) that were blocked by the tyrosine kinase inhibitor K252a. In contrast, immunoneutralization of endogenous BDNF (antiBDNF), or microinjection of K252a alone, decreased MAP, HR and LSNA. The effects of antiBDNF were abolished by blockade of ionotropic glutamate receptors, indicating a role for glutamate signaling in the response to BDNF. In vitro, BDNF reduced the amplitude of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) as well as solitary tract (TS)-evoked EPSC amplitude and action potential discharge (APD) in second-order nTS neurons. BDNF effects on EPSCs were independent of GABAergic signaling and ablated by AMPA receptor blockade. In contrast, K252a increased spontaneous EPSC frequency and TS-evoked EPSC amplitude. BDNF also attenuated APD evoked by injection of depolarizing current into second-order neurons, indicating reduced intrinsic neuronal excitability. Our data demonstrate that BDNF signaling in mnTS plays a tonic role in regulating cardiovascular function, likely via modulation of primary afferent glutamatergic excitatory transmission and neural activity. PMID:21865474

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Topological Regulation of Synaptic AMPA Receptor Expression by the RNA-Binding Protein CPEB3.

    PubMed

    Savtchouk, Iaroslav; Sun, Lu; Bender, Crhistian L; Yang, Qian; Szabó, Gábor; Gasparini, Sonia; Liu, Siqiong June

    2016-09-27

    Synaptic receptors gate the neuronal response to incoming signals, but they are not homogeneously distributed on dendrites. A spatially defined receptor distribution can preferentially amplify certain synaptic inputs, resize receptive fields of neurons, and optimize information processing within a neuronal circuit. Thus, a longstanding question is how the spatial organization of synaptic receptors is achieved. Here, we find that action potentials provide local signals that influence the distribution of synaptic AMPA receptors along dendrites in mouse cerebellar stellate cells. Graded dendritic depolarizations elevate CPEB3 protein at proximal dendrites, where we suggest that CPEB3 binds to GluA2 mRNA, suppressing GluA2 protein synthesis leading to a distance-dependent increase in synaptic GluA2 AMPARs. The activity-induced expression of CPEB3 requires increased Ca(2+) and PKC activation. Our results suggest a cell-autonomous mechanism where sustained postsynaptic firing drives graded local protein synthesis, thus directing the spatial organization of synaptic AMPARs. PMID:27681423

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Synaptic excitation is regulated by the postsynaptic dSK channel at the Drosophila larval NMJ

    PubMed Central

    Gertner, Daniel M.; Desai, Sunil

    2014-01-01

    In the mammalian central nervous system, the postsynaptic small-conductance Ca2+-dependent K+ (SK) channel has been shown to reduce postsynaptic depolarization and limit Ca2+ influx through N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors. To examine further the role of the postsynaptic SK channel in synaptic transmission, we studied its action at the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Repetitive synaptic stimulation produced an increase in postsynaptic membrane conductance leading to depression of excitatory postsynaptic potential amplitude and hyperpolarization of the resting membrane potential (RMP). This reduction in synaptic excitation was due to the postsynaptic Drosophila SK (dSK) channel; synaptic depression, increased membrane conductance and RMP hyperpolarization were reduced in dSK mutants or after expressing a Ca2+ buffer in the muscle. Ca2+ entering at the postsynaptic membrane was sufficient to activate dSK channels based upon studies in which the muscle membrane was voltage clamped to prevent opening voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels. Increasing external Ca2+ produced an increase in resting membrane conductance and RMP that was not seen in dSK mutants or after adding the glutamate-receptor blocker philanthotoxin. Thus it appeared that dSK channels were also activated by spontaneous transmitter release and played a role in setting membrane conductance and RMP. In mammals, dephosphorylation by protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) increased the Ca2+ sensitivity of the SK channel; PP2A appeared to increase the sensitivity of the dSK channel since PP2A inhibitors reduced activation of the dSK channel by evoked synaptic activity or increased external Ca2+. It is proposed that spontaneous and evoked transmitter release activate the postsynaptic dSK channel to limit synaptic excitation and stabilize synapses. PMID:24671529

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  14. Help

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tollefson, Ann

    2009-01-01

    Planning to start or expand a K-8 critical language program? Looking for support in doing so? There "may" be help at the federal level for great ideas and strong programs. While there have been various pools of federal dollars available to support world language programs for a number of years, the federal government's interest in assuring strong…

  15. DISC1 Protein Regulates γ-Aminobutyric Acid, Type A (GABAA) Receptor Trafficking and Inhibitory Synaptic Transmission in Cortical Neurons.

    PubMed

    Wei, Jing; Graziane, Nicholas M; Gu, Zhenglin; Yan, Zhen

    2015-11-13

    Association studies have suggested that Disrupted-in-Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) confers a genetic risk at the level of endophenotypes that underlies many major mental disorders. Despite the progress in understanding the significance of DISC1 at neural development, the mechanisms underlying DISC1 regulation of synaptic functions remain elusive. Because alterations in the cortical GABA system have been strongly linked to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, one potential target of DISC1 that is critically involved in the regulation of cognition and emotion is the GABAA receptor (GABAAR). We found that cellular knockdown of DISC1 significantly reduced GABAAR-mediated synaptic and whole-cell current, whereas overexpression of wild-type DISC1, but not the C-terminal-truncated DISC1 (a schizophrenia-related mutant), significantly increased GABAAR currents in pyramidal neurons of the prefrontal cortex. These effects were accompanied by DISC1-induced changes in surface GABAAR expression. Moreover, the regulation of GABAARs by DISC1 knockdown or overexpression depends on the microtubule motor protein kinesin 1 (KIF5). Our results suggest that DISC1 exerts an important effect on GABAergic inhibitory transmission by regulating KIF5/microtubule-based GABAAR trafficking in the cortex. The knowledge gained from this study would shed light on how DISC1 and the GABA system are linked mechanistically and how their interactions are critical for maintaining a normal mental state.

  16. DISC1 Protein Regulates γ-Aminobutyric Acid, Type A (GABAA) Receptor Trafficking and Inhibitory Synaptic Transmission in Cortical Neurons.

    PubMed

    Wei, Jing; Graziane, Nicholas M; Gu, Zhenglin; Yan, Zhen

    2015-11-13

    Association studies have suggested that Disrupted-in-Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) confers a genetic risk at the level of endophenotypes that underlies many major mental disorders. Despite the progress in understanding the significance of DISC1 at neural development, the mechanisms underlying DISC1 regulation of synaptic functions remain elusive. Because alterations in the cortical GABA system have been strongly linked to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, one potential target of DISC1 that is critically involved in the regulation of cognition and emotion is the GABAA receptor (GABAAR). We found that cellular knockdown of DISC1 significantly reduced GABAAR-mediated synaptic and whole-cell current, whereas overexpression of wild-type DISC1, but not the C-terminal-truncated DISC1 (a schizophrenia-related mutant), significantly increased GABAAR currents in pyramidal neurons of the prefrontal cortex. These effects were accompanied by DISC1-induced changes in surface GABAAR expression. Moreover, the regulation of GABAARs by DISC1 knockdown or overexpression depends on the microtubule motor protein kinesin 1 (KIF5). Our results suggest that DISC1 exerts an important effect on GABAergic inhibitory transmission by regulating KIF5/microtubule-based GABAAR trafficking in the cortex. The knowledge gained from this study would shed light on how DISC1 and the GABA system are linked mechanistically and how their interactions are critical for maintaining a normal mental state. PMID:26424793

  17. Proteolytic regulation of synaptic plasticity in the mouse primary visual cortex: analysis of matrix metalloproteinase 9 deficient mice

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Emily A.; Russo, Amanda S.; Jackson, Cory D.; Lamantia, Cassandra E.; Majewska, Ania K.

    2015-01-01

    The extracellular matrix (ECM) is known to play important roles in regulating neuronal recovery from injury. The ECM can also impact physiological synaptic plasticity, although this process is less well understood. To understand the impact of the ECM on synaptic function and remodeling in vivo, we examined ECM composition and proteolysis in a well-established model of experience-dependent plasticity in the visual cortex. We describe a rapid change in ECM protein composition during Ocular Dominance Plasticity (ODP) in adolescent mice, and a loss of ECM remodeling in mice that lack the extracellular protease, matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP9). Loss of MMP9 also attenuated functional ODP following monocular deprivation (MD) and reduced excitatory synapse density and spine density in sensory cortex. While we observed no change in the morphology of existing dendritic spines, spine dynamics were altered, and MMP9 knock-out (KO) mice showed increased turnover of dendritic spines over a period of 2 days. We also analyzed the effects of MMP9 loss on microglia, as these cells are involved in extracellular remodeling and have been recently shown to be important for synaptic plasticity. MMP9 KO mice exhibited very limited changes in microglial morphology. Ultrastructural analysis, however, showed that the extracellular space surrounding microglia was increased, with concomitant increases in microglial inclusions, suggesting possible changes in microglial function in the absence of MMP9. Taken together, our results show that MMP9 contributes to ECM degradation, synaptic dynamics and sensory-evoked plasticity in the mouse visual cortex. PMID:26441540

  18. C-terminal Src Kinase Gates Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity and Regulates Fasciclin II Expression at the Drosophila Neuromuscular Junction

    PubMed Central

    Spring, Ashlyn M.; Brusich, Douglas J.; Frank, C. Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Forms of homeostatic plasticity stabilize neuronal outputs and promote physiologically favorable synapse function. A well-studied homeostatic system operates at the Drosophila melanogaster larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ). At the NMJ, impairment of postsynaptic glutamate receptor activity is offset by a compensatory increase in presynaptic neurotransmitter release. We aim to elucidate how this process operates on a molecular level and is preserved throughout development. In this study, we identified a tyrosine kinase-driven signaling system that sustains homeostatic control of NMJ function. We identified C-terminal Src Kinase (Csk) as a potential regulator of synaptic homeostasis through an RNAi- and electrophysiology-based genetic screen. We found that Csk loss-of-function mutations impaired the sustained expression of homeostatic plasticity at the NMJ, without drastically altering synapse growth or baseline neurotransmission. Muscle-specific overexpression of Src Family Kinase (SFK) substrates that are negatively regulated by Csk also impaired NMJ homeostasis. Surprisingly, we found that transgenic Csk-YFP can support homeostatic plasticity at the NMJ when expressed either in the muscle or in the nerve. However, only muscle-expressed Csk-YFP was able to localize to NMJ structures. By immunostaining, we found that Csk mutant NMJs had dysregulated expression of the Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule homolog Fasciclin II (FasII). By immunoblotting, we found that levels of a specific isoform of FasII were decreased in homeostatically challenged GluRIIA mutant animals–but markedly increased in Csk mutant animals. Additionally, we found that postsynaptic overexpression of FasII from its endogenous locus was sufficient to impair synaptic homeostasis, and genetically reducing FasII levels in Csk mutants fully restored synaptic homeostasis. Based on these data, we propose that Csk and its SFK substrates impinge upon homeostatic control of NMJ function by regulating

  19. A conserved juxtacrine signal regulates synaptic partner recognition in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background An essential stage of neural development involves the assembly of neural circuits via formation of inter-neuronal connections. Early steps in neural circuit formation, including cell migration, axon guidance, and the localization of synaptic components, are well described. However, upon reaching their target region, most neurites still contact many potential partners. In order to assemble functional circuits, it is critical that within this group of cells, neurons identify and form connections only with their appropriate partners, a process we call synaptic partner recognition (SPR). To understand how SPR is mediated, we previously developed a genetically encoded fluorescent trans-synaptic marker called NLG-1 GRASP, which labels synaptic contacts between individual neurons of interest in dense cellular environments in the genetic model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. Results Here, we describe the first use of NLG-1 GRASP technology, to identify SPR genes that function in this critical process. The NLG-1 GRASP system allows us to assess synaptogenesis between PHB sensory neurons and AVA interneurons instantly in live animals, making genetic analysis feasible. Additionally, we employ a behavioral assay to specifically test PHB sensory circuit function. Utilizing this approach, we reveal a new role for the secreted UNC-6/Netrin ligand and its transmembrane receptor UNC-40/Deleted in colorectal cancer (DCC) in SPR. Synapses between PHB and AVA are severely reduced in unc-6 and unc-40 animals despite normal axon guidance and subcellular localization of synaptic components. Additionally, behavioral defects indicate a complete disruption of PHB circuit function in unc-40 mutants. Our data indicate that UNC-40 and UNC-6 function in PHB and AVA, respectively, to specify SPR. Strikingly, overexpression of UNC-6 in postsynaptic neurons is sufficient to promote increased PHB-AVA synaptogenesis and to potentiate the behavioral response beyond wild-type levels

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

    PubMed Central

    Klann, Eric

    2011-01-01

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

  1. LGI1 acts presynaptically to regulate excitatory synaptic transmission during early postnatal development

    PubMed Central

    Boillot, Morgane; Lee, Chun-Yao; Allene, Camille; Leguern, Eric; Baulac, Stéphanie; Rouach, Nathalie

    2016-01-01

    The secreted leucine-rich glioma inactivated 1 (LGI1) protein is an important actor for human seizures of both genetic and autoimmune etiology: mutations in LGI1 cause inherited temporal lobe epilepsy, while LGI1 is involved in antibody-mediated encephalitis. Remarkably, Lgi1-deficient (Lgi1−/−) mice recapitulate the epileptic disorder and display early-onset spontaneous seizures. To understand how Lgi1-deficiency leads to seizures during postnatal development, we here investigated the early functional and structural defects occurring before seizure onset in Lgi1−/− mice. We found an increased excitatory synaptic transmission in hippocampal slices from Lgi1−/− mice. No structural alteration in the morphology of pyramidal cell dendrites and synapses was observed at this stage, indicating that Lgi1-deficiency is unlikely to trigger early developmental abnormalities. Consistent with the presynaptic subcellular localization of the protein, Lgi1-deficiency caused presynaptic defects, with no alteration in postsynaptic AMPA receptor activity in Lgi1−/− pyramidal cells before seizure onset. Presynaptic dysfunction led to increased synaptic glutamate levels, which were associated with hyperexcitable neuronal networks. Altogether, these data show that Lgi1 acts presynaptically as a negative modulator of excitatory synaptic transmission during early postnatal development. We therefore here reveal that increased presynaptic glutamate release is a key early event resulting from Lgi1-deficiency, which likely contributes to epileptogenesis. PMID:26878798

  2. LGI1 acts presynaptically to regulate excitatory synaptic transmission during early postnatal development.

    PubMed

    Boillot, Morgane; Lee, Chun-Yao; Allene, Camille; Leguern, Eric; Baulac, Stéphanie; Rouach, Nathalie

    2016-01-01

    The secreted leucine-rich glioma inactivated 1 (LGI1) protein is an important actor for human seizures of both genetic and autoimmune etiology: mutations in LGI1 cause inherited temporal lobe epilepsy, while LGI1 is involved in antibody-mediated encephalitis. Remarkably, Lgi1-deficient (Lgi1(-/-)) mice recapitulate the epileptic disorder and display early-onset spontaneous seizures. To understand how Lgi1-deficiency leads to seizures during postnatal development, we here investigated the early functional and structural defects occurring before seizure onset in Lgi1(-/-) mice. We found an increased excitatory synaptic transmission in hippocampal slices from Lgi1(-/-) mice. No structural alteration in the morphology of pyramidal cell dendrites and synapses was observed at this stage, indicating that Lgi1-deficiency is unlikely to trigger early developmental abnormalities. Consistent with the presynaptic subcellular localization of the protein, Lgi1-deficiency caused presynaptic defects, with no alteration in postsynaptic AMPA receptor activity in Lgi1-/- pyramidal cells before seizure onset. Presynaptic dysfunction led to increased synaptic glutamate levels, which were associated with hyperexcitable neuronal networks. Altogether, these data show that Lgi1 acts presynaptically as a negative modulator of excitatory synaptic transmission during early postnatal development. We therefore here reveal that increased presynaptic glutamate release is a key early event resulting from Lgi1-deficiency, which likely contributes to epileptogenesis. PMID:26878798

  3. Behavior control in the sensorimotor loop with short-term synaptic dynamics induced by self-regulating neurons.

    PubMed

    Toutounji, Hazem; Pasemann, Frank

    2014-01-01

    The behavior and skills of living systems depend on the distributed control provided by specialized and highly recurrent neural networks. Learning and memory in these systems is mediated by a set of adaptation mechanisms, known collectively as neuronal plasticity. Translating principles of recurrent neural control and plasticity to artificial agents has seen major strides, but is usually hampered by the complex interactions between the agent's body and its environment. One of the important standing issues is for the agent to support multiple stable states of behavior, so that its behavioral repertoire matches the requirements imposed by these interactions. The agent also must have the capacity to switch between these states in time scales that are comparable to those by which sensory stimulation varies. Achieving this requires a mechanism of short-term memory that allows the neurocontroller to keep track of the recent history of its input, which finds its biological counterpart in short-term synaptic plasticity. This issue is approached here by deriving synaptic dynamics in recurrent neural networks. Neurons are introduced as self-regulating units with a rich repertoire of dynamics. They exhibit homeostatic properties for certain parameter domains, which result in a set of stable states and the required short-term memory. They can also operate as oscillators, which allow them to surpass the level of activity imposed by their homeostatic operation conditions. Neural systems endowed with the derived synaptic dynamics can be utilized for the neural behavior control of autonomous mobile agents. The resulting behavior depends also on the underlying network structure, which is either engineered or developed by evolutionary techniques. The effectiveness of these self-regulating units is demonstrated by controlling locomotion of a hexapod with 18 degrees of freedom, and obstacle-avoidance of a wheel-driven robot. PMID:24904403

  4. Behavior control in the sensorimotor loop with short-term synaptic dynamics induced by self-regulating neurons

    PubMed Central

    Toutounji, Hazem; Pasemann, Frank

    2014-01-01

    The behavior and skills of living systems depend on the distributed control provided by specialized and highly recurrent neural networks. Learning and memory in these systems is mediated by a set of adaptation mechanisms, known collectively as neuronal plasticity. Translating principles of recurrent neural control and plasticity to artificial agents has seen major strides, but is usually hampered by the complex interactions between the agent's body and its environment. One of the important standing issues is for the agent to support multiple stable states of behavior, so that its behavioral repertoire matches the requirements imposed by these interactions. The agent also must have the capacity to switch between these states in time scales that are comparable to those by which sensory stimulation varies. Achieving this requires a mechanism of short-term memory that allows the neurocontroller to keep track of the recent history of its input, which finds its biological counterpart in short-term synaptic plasticity. This issue is approached here by deriving synaptic dynamics in recurrent neural networks. Neurons are introduced as self-regulating units with a rich repertoire of dynamics. They exhibit homeostatic properties for certain parameter domains, which result in a set of stable states and the required short-term memory. They can also operate as oscillators, which allow them to surpass the level of activity imposed by their homeostatic operation conditions. Neural systems endowed with the derived synaptic dynamics can be utilized for the neural behavior control of autonomous mobile agents. The resulting behavior depends also on the underlying network structure, which is either engineered or developed by evolutionary techniques. The effectiveness of these self-regulating units is demonstrated by controlling locomotion of a hexapod with 18 degrees of freedom, and obstacle-avoidance of a wheel-driven robot. PMID:24904403

  5. Calcium sensor regulation of the CaV2.1 Ca2+ channel contributes to short-term synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Nanou, Evanthia; Sullivan, Jane M; Scheuer, Todd; Catterall, William A

    2016-01-26

    Short-term synaptic plasticity is induced by calcium (Ca(2+)) accumulating in presynaptic nerve terminals during repetitive action potentials. Regulation of voltage-gated CaV2.1 Ca(2+) channels by Ca(2+) sensor proteins induces facilitation of Ca(2+) currents and synaptic facilitation in cultured neurons expressing exogenous CaV2.1 channels. However, it is unknown whether this mechanism contributes to facilitation in native synapses. We introduced the IM-AA mutation into the IQ-like motif (IM) of the Ca(2+) sensor binding site. This mutation does not alter voltage dependence or kinetics of CaV2.1 currents, or frequency or amplitude of spontaneous miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs); however, synaptic facilitation is completely blocked in excitatory glutamatergic synapses in hippocampal autaptic cultures. In acutely prepared hippocampal slices, frequency and amplitude of mEPSCs and amplitudes of evoked EPSCs are unaltered. In contrast, short-term synaptic facilitation in response to paired stimuli is reduced by ∼ 50%. In the presence of EGTA-AM to prevent global increases in free Ca(2+), the IM-AA mutation completely blocks short-term synaptic facilitation, indicating that synaptic facilitation by brief, local increases in Ca(2+) is dependent upon regulation of CaV2.1 channels by Ca(2+) sensor proteins. In response to trains of action potentials, synaptic facilitation is reduced in IM-AA synapses in initial stimuli, consistent with results of paired-pulse experiments; however, synaptic depression is also delayed, resulting in sustained increases in amplitudes of later EPSCs during trains of 10 stimuli at 10-20 Hz. Evidently, regulation of CaV2.1 channels by CaS proteins is required for normal short-term plasticity and normal encoding of information in native hippocampal synapses.

  6. Regulation of Synaptic Vesicle Docking by Different Classes of Macromolecules in Active Zone Material

    PubMed Central

    Szule, Joseph A.; Harlow, Mark L.; Jung, Jae Hoon; De-Miguel, Francisco F.; Marshall, Robert M.; McMahan, Uel J.

    2012-01-01

    The docking of synaptic vesicles at active zones on the presynaptic plasma membrane of axon terminals is essential for their fusion with the membrane and exocytosis of their neurotransmitter to mediate synaptic impulse transmission. Dense networks of macromolecules, called active zone material, (AZM) are attached to the presynaptic membrane next to docked vesicles. Electron tomography has shown that some AZM macromolecules are connected to docked vesicles, leading to the suggestion that AZM is somehow involved in the docking process. We used electron tomography on the simply arranged active zones at frog neuromuscular junctions to characterize the connections of AZM to docked synaptic vesicles and to search for the establishment of such connections during vesicle docking. We show that each docked vesicle is connected to 10–15 AZM macromolecules, which fall into four classes based on several criteria including their position relative to the presynaptic membrane. In activated axon terminals fixed during replacement of docked vesicles by previously undocked vesicles, undocked vesicles near vacated docking sites on the presynaptic membrane have connections to the same classes of AZM macromolecules that are connected to docked vesicles in resting terminals. The number of classes and the total number of macromolecules to which the undocked vesicles are connected are inversely proportional to the vesicles’ distance from the presynaptic membrane. We conclude that vesicle movement toward and maintenance at docking sites on the presynaptic membrane are directed by an orderly succession of stable interactions between the vesicles and distinct classes of AZM macromolecules positioned at different distances from the membrane. Establishing the number, arrangement and sequence of association of AZM macromolecules involved in vesicle docking provides an anatomical basis for testing and extending concepts of docking mechanisms provided by biochemistry. PMID:22438915

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  8. Imaging activity-dependent regulation of neurexin-neuroligin interactions using trans-synaptic enzymatic biotinylation.

    PubMed

    Thyagarajan, Amar; Ting, Alice Y

    2010-10-29

    The functions of trans-synaptic adhesion molecules, such as neurexin and neuroligin, have been difficult to study due to the lack of methods to directly detect their binding in living neurons. Here, we use biotin labeling of intercellular contacts (BLINC), a method for imaging protein interactions based on interaction-dependent biotinylation of a peptide by E. coli biotin ligase, to visualize neurexin-neuroligin trans-interactions at synapses and study their role in synapse development. We found that both developmental maturation and acute synaptic activity stimulate the growth of neurexin-neuroligin adhesion complexes via a combination of neurexin and neuroligin surface insertion and internalization arrest. Both mechanisms require NMDA receptor activity. We also discovered that disruption of activity-induced neurexin-neuroligin complex growth prevents recruitment of the AMPA receptor, a hallmark of mature synapses. Our results provide support for neurexin-neuroligin function in synapse maturation and introduce a general method to study intercellular protein-protein interactions.

  9. Chloride Homeostasis Critically Regulates Synaptic NMDA Receptor Activity in Neuropathic Pain.

    PubMed

    Li, Lingyong; Chen, Shao-Rui; Chen, Hong; Wen, Lei; Hittelman, Walter N; Xie, Jing-Dun; Pan, Hui-Lin

    2016-05-17

    Chronic neuropathic pain is a debilitating condition that remains difficult to treat. Diminished synaptic inhibition by GABA and glycine and increased NMDA receptor (NMDAR) activity in the spinal dorsal horn are key mechanisms underlying neuropathic pain. However, the reciprocal relationship between synaptic inhibition and excitation in neuropathic pain is unclear. Here, we show that intrathecal delivery of K(+)-Cl(-) cotransporter-2 (KCC2) using lentiviral vectors produces a complete and long-lasting reversal of pain hypersensitivity induced by nerve injury. KCC2 gene transfer restores Cl(-) homeostasis disrupted by nerve injury in both spinal dorsal horn and primary sensory neurons. Remarkably, restoring Cl(-) homeostasis normalizes both presynaptic and postsynaptic NMDAR activity increased by nerve injury in the spinal dorsal horn. Our findings indicate that nerve injury recruits NMDAR-mediated signaling pathways through the disruption of Cl(-) homeostasis in spinal dorsal horn and primary sensory neurons. Lentiviral vector-mediated KCC2 expression is a promising gene therapy for the treatment of neuropathic pain. PMID:27160909

  10. Fmrp Interacts with Adar and Regulates RNA Editing, Synaptic Density and Locomotor Activity in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Porath, Hagit T.; Barak, Michal; Pinto, Yishay; Wachtel, Chaim; Zilberberg, Alona; Lerer-Goldshtein, Tali; Efroni, Sol; Levanon, Erez Y.; Appelbaum, Lior

    2015-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most frequent inherited form of mental retardation. The cause for this X-linked disorder is the silencing of the fragile X mental retardation 1 (fmr1) gene and the absence of the fragile X mental retardation protein (Fmrp). The RNA-binding protein Fmrp represses protein translation, particularly in synapses. In Drosophila, Fmrp interacts with the adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (Adar) enzymes. Adar enzymes convert adenosine to inosine (A-to-I) and modify the sequence of RNA transcripts. Utilizing the fmr1 zebrafish mutant (fmr1-/-), we studied Fmrp-dependent neuronal circuit formation, behavior, and Adar-mediated RNA editing. By combining behavior analyses and live imaging of single axons and synapses, we showed hyperlocomotor activity, as well as increased axonal branching and synaptic density, in fmr1-/- larvae. We identified thousands of clustered RNA editing sites in the zebrafish transcriptome and showed that Fmrp biochemically interacts with the Adar2a protein. The expression levels of the adar genes and Adar2 protein increased in fmr1-/- zebrafish. Microfluidic-based multiplex PCR coupled with deep sequencing showed a mild increase in A-to-I RNA editing levels in evolutionarily conserved neuronal and synaptic Adar-targets in fmr1-/- larvae. These findings suggest that loss of Fmrp results in increased Adar-mediated RNA editing activity on target-specific RNAs, which, in turn, might alter neuronal circuit formation and behavior in FXS. PMID:26637167

  11. 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

  12. Emotion Talk: Helping Caregivers Facilitate Emotion Understanding and Emotion Regulation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brinton, Bonnie; Fujiki, Martin

    2011-01-01

    This article focuses on two aspects of emotional intelligence, emotion understanding and emotion regulation. These abilities are important because of their impact on social communication and the way in which they influence a child's access to knowledge. Caregivers who engage their children in emotion talk may strengthen the ability of their…

  13. Altered short-term synaptic plasticity and reduced muscle strength in mice with impaired regulation of presynaptic CaV2.1 Ca2+ channels.

    PubMed

    Nanou, Evanthia; Yan, Jin; Whitehead, Nicholas P; Kim, Min Jeong; Froehner, Stanley C; Scheuer, Todd; Catterall, William A

    2016-01-26

    Facilitation and inactivation of P/Q-type calcium (Ca(2+)) currents through the regulation of voltage-gated Ca(2+) (CaV) 2.1 channels by Ca(2+) sensor (CaS) proteins contributes to the facilitation and rapid depression of synaptic transmission in cultured neurons that transiently express CaV2.1 channels. To examine the modulation of endogenous CaV2.1 channels by CaS proteins in native synapses, we introduced a mutation (IM-AA) into the CaS protein-binding site in the C-terminal domain of CaV2.1 channels in mice, and tested synaptic facilitation and depression in neuromuscular junction synapses that use exclusively CaV2.1 channels for Ca(2+) entry that triggers synaptic transmission. Even though basal synaptic transmission was unaltered in the neuromuscular synapses in IM-AA mice, we found reduced short-term facilitation in response to paired stimuli at short interstimulus intervals in IM-AA synapses. In response to trains of action potentials, we found increased facilitation at lower frequencies (10-30 Hz) in IM-AA synapses accompanied by slowed synaptic depression, whereas synaptic facilitation was reduced at high stimulus frequencies (50-100 Hz) that would induce strong muscle contraction. As a consequence of altered regulation of CaV2.1 channels, the hindlimb tibialis anterior muscle in IM-AA mice exhibited reduced peak force in response to 50 Hz stimulation and increased muscle fatigue. The IM-AA mice also had impaired motor control, exercise capacity, and grip strength. Taken together, our results indicate that regulation of CaV2.1 channels by CaS proteins is essential for normal synaptic plasticity at the neuromuscular junction and for muscle strength, endurance, and motor coordination in mice in vivo.

  14. RGS7/Gβ5/R7BP complex regulates synaptic plasticity and memory by modulating hippocampal GABABR-GIRK signaling

    PubMed Central

    Ostrovskaya, Olga; Xie, Keqiang; Masuho, Ikuo; Fajardo-Serrano, Ana; Lujan, Rafael; Wickman, Kevin; Martemyanov, Kirill A

    2014-01-01

    In the hippocampus, the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA shapes the activity of the output pyramidal neurons and plays important role in cognition. Most of its inhibitory effects are mediated by signaling from GABAB receptor to the G protein-gated Inwardly-rectifying K+ (GIRK) channels. Here, we show that RGS7, in cooperation with its binding partner R7BP, regulates GABABR-GIRK signaling in hippocampal pyramidal neurons. Deletion of RGS7 in mice dramatically sensitizes GIRK responses to GABAB receptor stimulation and markedly slows channel deactivation kinetics. Enhanced activity of this signaling pathway leads to decreased neuronal excitability and selective disruption of inhibitory forms of synaptic plasticity. As a result, mice lacking RGS7 exhibit deficits in learning and memory. We further report that RGS7 is selectively modulated by its membrane anchoring subunit R7BP, which sets the dynamic range of GIRK responses. Together, these results demonstrate a novel role of RGS7 in hippocampal synaptic plasticity and memory formation. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.02053.001 PMID:24755289

  15. p140Cap regulates memory and synaptic plasticity through Src-mediated and citron-N-mediated actin reorganization.

    PubMed

    Repetto, Daniele; Camera, Paola; Melani, Riccardo; Morello, Noemi; Russo, Isabella; Calcagno, Eleonora; Tomasoni, Romana; Bianchi, Federico; Berto, Gaia; Giustetto, Maurizio; Berardi, Nicoletta; Pizzorusso, Tommaso; Matteoli, Michela; Di Stefano, Paola; Missler, Markus; Turco, Emilia; Di Cunto, Ferdinando; Defilippi, Paola

    2014-01-22

    A major challenge in the neuroscience field is the identification of molecules and pathways that control synaptic plasticity and memory. Dendritic spines play a pivotal role in these processes, as the major sites of excitatory synapses in neuronal communication. Previous studies have shown that the scaffold protein p140Cap localizes into dendritic spines and that its knockdown negatively modulates spine shape in culture. However, so far, there is no information on its in vivo relevance. By using a knock-out mouse model, we here demonstrate that p140Cap is a key element for both learning and synaptic plasticity. Indeed, p140Cap(-/-) mice are impaired in object recognition test, as well as in LTP and in LTD measurements. The in vivo effects of p140Cap loss are presumably attenuated by noncell-autonomous events, since primary neurons obtained from p140Cap(-/-) mice show a strong reduction in number of mushroom spines and abnormal organization of synapse-associated F-actin. These phenotypes are most likely caused by a local reduction of the inhibitory control of RhoA and of cortactin toward the actin-depolymerizing factor cofilin. These events can be controlled by p140Cap through its capability to directly inhibit the activation of Src kinase and by its binding to the scaffold protein Citron-N. Altogether, our results provide new insight into how protein associated with dynamic microtubules may regulate spine actin organization through interaction with postsynaptic density components. PMID:24453341

  16. Dopamine D1/D5 receptor signaling regulates synaptic cooperation and competition in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons via sustained ERK1/2 activation

    PubMed Central

    Shivarama Shetty, Mahesh; Gopinadhan, Suma

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Synaptic cooperation and competition are important components of synaptic plasticity that tune synapses for the formation of associative long‐term plasticity, a cellular correlate of associative long‐term memory. We have recently reported that coincidental activation of weak synapses within the vicinity of potentiated synapses will alter the cooperative state of synapses to a competitive state thus leading to the slow decay of long‐term plasticity, but the molecular mechanism underlying this is still unknown. Here, using acute hippocampal slices of rats, we have examined how increasing extracellular dopamine concentrations interact and/or affect electrically induced long‐term potentiation (LTP) in the neighboring synapses. We demonstrate that D1/D5‐receptor‐mediated potentiation at the CA1 Schaffer collateral synapses differentially regulates synaptic co‐operation and competition. Further investigating the molecular players involved, we reveal an important role for extracellular signal‐regulated kinases‐1 and 2 (ERK1/2) as signal integrators and dose‐sensors. Interestingly, a sustained activation of ERK1/2 pathway seems to be involved in the differential regulation of synaptic associativity. The concentration‐dependent effects of the modulatory transmitter, as demonstrated for dopaminergic signaling in the present study, might offer additional computational power by fine tuning synaptic associativity processes for establishing long‐term associative memory in neural networks. © 2015 The Authors Hippocampus Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26194339

  17. Myosin IXa Binds AMPAR and Regulates Synaptic Structure, LTP, and Cognitive Function

    PubMed Central

    Folci, Alessandra; Murru, Luca; Vezzoli, Elena; Ponzoni, Luisa; Gerosa, Laura; Moretto, Edoardo; Longo, Fabiana; Zapata, Jonathan; Braida, Daniela; Pistillo, Francesco; Bähler, Martin; Francolini, Maura; Sala, Mariaelvina; Bassani, Silvia

    2016-01-01

    Myosin IXa (Myo9a) is a motor protein that is highly expressed in the brain. However, the role of Myo9a in neurons remains unknown. Here, we investigated Myo9a function in hippocampal synapses. In rat hippocampal neurons, Myo9a localizes to the postsynaptic density (PSD) and binds the alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid receptor (AMPAR) GluA2 subunit. Myo9a+/- mice displayed a thicker PSD and increased levels of PSD95 and surface AMPAR expression. Furthermore, synaptic transmission, long-term potentiation (LTP) and cognitive functions were impaired in Myo9a+/- mice. Together, these results support a key role for Myo9a in controlling the molecular structure and function of hippocampal synapses. PMID:26834556

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-17

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

  19. Regulation of Synaptic Rac1 Activity, Long-Term Potentiation Maintenance, and Learning and Memory by BCR and ABR Rac GTPase-Activating Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Oh, Daeyoung; Han, Seungnam; Seo, Jinsoo; Lee, Jae-Ran; Choi, Jeonghoon; Groffen, John; Kim, Karam; Cho, Yi Sul; Choi, Han-Saem; Shin, Hyewon; Woo, Jooyeon; Won, Hyejung; Park, Soon Kwon; Kim, Soo-Young; Jo, Jihoon; Whitcomb, Daniel J.; Cho, Kwangwook; Kim, Hyun; Bae, Yong Chul; Heisterkamp, Nora; Choi, Se-Young; Kim, Eunjoon

    2016-01-01

    Rho family small GTPases are important regulators of neuronal development. Defective Rho regulation causes nervous system dysfunctions including mental retardation and Alzheimer’s disease. Rac1, a member of the Rho family, regulates dendritic spines and excitatory synapses, but relatively little is known about how synaptic Rac1 is negatively regulated. Breakpoint cluster region (BCR) is a Rac GTPase-activating protein known to form a fusion protein with the c-Abl tyrosine kinase in Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myelogenous leukemia. Despite the fact that BCR mRNAs are abundantly expressed in the brain, the neural functions of BCR protein have remained obscure. We report here that BCR and its close relative active BCR-related (ABR) localize at excitatory synapses and directly interact with PSD-95, an abundant postsynaptic scaffolding protein. Mice deficient for BCR or ABR show enhanced basal Rac1 activity but only a small increase in spine density. Importantly, mice lacking BCR or ABR exhibit a marked decrease in the maintenance, but not induction, of long-term potentiation, and show impaired spatial and object recognition memory. These results suggest that BCR and ABR have novel roles in the regulation of synaptic Rac1 signaling, synaptic plasticity, and learning and memory, and that excessive Rac1 activity negatively affects synaptic and cognitive functions. PMID:20962234

  20. Pre-synaptic histamine H3 receptors regulate glutamate, but not GABA release in rat thalamus.

    PubMed

    Garduño-Torres, Belén; Treviño, Mario; Gutiérrez, Rafael; Arias-Montaño, José-Antonio

    2007-02-01

    We have investigated the presence of histamine H(3) receptors (H(3)Rs) on rat thalamic isolated nerve terminals (synaptosomes) and the effect of their activation on glutamate and GABA release. N-alpha-[methyl-(3)H]histamine ([(3)H]-NMHA) bound specifically to synaptosomal membranes with dissociation constant (K(d)) 0.78+/-0.20 nM and maximum binding (B(max)) 141+/-12fmol/mg protein. Inhibition of [(3)H]-NMHA binding by histamine and the H(3)R agonist immepip fit better to a two-site model, whereas for the H(3)R antagonist clobenpropit the best fit was to the one-site model. GTPgammaS (30 microM) decreased [(3)H]-NMHA binding by 55+/-4% and made the histamine inhibition fit better to the one-site model. Immepip (30 nM) induced a modest, but significant increase (113+/-2% of basal) in [(35)S]-GTPgammaS binding to synaptosomal membranes, an effect prevented by clobenpropit (1 microM) and by pre-treatment with pertussis toxin. In thalamus synaptosomes depolarisation-induced, Ca(2+)-dependent glutamate release was inhibited by histamine (1 microM, 25+/-4% inhibition) and immepip (30 nM, 38+/-5% reduction). These effects were reversed by clobenpropit (1microM). Conversely, immepip (up to 1 microM) had no effect on depolarisation-evoked [(3)H]-GABA release. Extracellular synaptic responses were recorded in the thalamus ventrobasal complex by stimulating corticothalamic afferents. H(3)R activation reduced by 38+/-7% the glutamate receptor-mediated field potentials (FPs), but increased the FP2/FP1 ratio (from 0.86+/-0.03 to 1.38+/-0.05) in a paired-pulse paradigm. Taken together, our results confirm the presence of H(3)Rs on thalamic nerve terminals and show that their activation modulates pre-synaptically glutamatergic, but not GABAergic neurotransmission.

  1. Synaptic protein and pan-neuronal gene expression and their regulation by Dicer-dependent mechanisms differ between neurons and neuroendocrine cells

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Neurons in sympathetic ganglia and neuroendocrine cells in the adrenal medulla share not only their embryonic origin from sympathoadrenal precursors in the neural crest but also a range of functional features. These include the capacity for noradrenaline biosynthesis, vesicular storage and regulated release. Yet the regulation of neuronal properties in early neuroendocrine differentiation is a matter of debate and the developmental expression of the vesicle fusion machinery, which includes components found in both neurons and neuroendocrine cells, is not resolved. Results Analysis of synaptic protein and pan-neuronal marker mRNA expression during mouse development uncovers profound differences between sympathetic neurons and adrenal chromaffin cells, which result in qualitatively similar but quantitatively divergent transcript profiles. In sympathetic neurons embryonic upregulation of synaptic protein mRNA follows early and persistent induction of pan-neuronal marker transcripts. In adrenal chromaffin cells pan-neuronal marker expression occurs only transiently and synaptic protein messages remain at distinctly low levels throughout embryogenesis. Embryonic induction of synaptotagmin I (Syt1) in sympathetic ganglia and postnatal upregulation of synaptotagmin VII (Syt7) in adrenal medulla results in a cell type-specific difference in isoform prevalence. Dicer 1 inactivation in catecholaminergic cells reduces high neuronal synaptic protein mRNA levels but not their neuroendocrine low level expression. Pan-neuronal marker mRNAs are induced in chromaffin cells to yield a more neuron-like transcript pattern, while ultrastructure is not altered. Conclusions Our study demonstrates that remarkably different gene regulatory programs govern the expression of synaptic proteins in the neuronal and neuroendocrine branch of the sympathoadrenal system. They result in overlapping but quantitatively divergent transcript profiles. Dicer 1-dependent regulation is required

  2. Drosophila Spastin Regulates Synaptic Microtubule Networks and Is Required for Normal Motor Function

    PubMed Central

    2004-01-01

    The most common form of human autosomal dominant hereditary spastic paraplegia (AD-HSP) is caused by mutations in the SPG4 (spastin) gene, which encodes an AAA ATPase closely related in sequence to the microtubule-severing protein Katanin. Patients with AD-HSP exhibit degeneration of the distal regions of the longest axons in the spinal cord. Loss-of-function mutations in the Drosophila spastin gene produce larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ) phenotypes. NMJ synaptic boutons in spastin mutants are more numerous and more clustered than in wild-type, and transmitter release is impaired. spastin-null adult flies have severe movement defects. They do not fly or jump, they climb poorly, and they have short lifespans. spastin hypomorphs have weaker behavioral phenotypes. Overexpression of Spastin erases the muscle microtubule network. This gain-of-function phenotype is consistent with the hypothesis that Spastin has microtubule-severing activity, and implies that spastin loss-of-function mutants should have an increased number of microtubules. Surprisingly, however, we observed the opposite phenotype: in spastin-null mutants, there are fewer microtubule bundles within the NMJ, especially in its distal boutons. The Drosophila NMJ is a glutamatergic synapse that resembles excitatory synapses in the mammalian spinal cord, so the reduction of organized presynaptic microtubules that we observe in spastin mutants may be relevant to an understanding of human Spastin's role in maintenance of axon terminals in the spinal cord. PMID:15562320

  3. Dynein light chain regulates axonal trafficking and synaptic levels of Bassoon.

    PubMed

    Fejtova, Anna; Davydova, Daria; Bischof, Ferdinand; Lazarevic, Vesna; Altrock, Wilko D; Romorini, Stefano; Schöne, Cornelia; Zuschratter, Werner; Kreutz, Michael R; Garner, Craig C; Ziv, Noam E; Gundelfinger, Eckart D

    2009-04-20

    Bassoon and the related protein Piccolo are core components of the presynaptic cytomatrix at the active zone of neurotransmitter release. They are transported on Golgi-derived membranous organelles, called Piccolo-Bassoon transport vesicles (PTVs), from the neuronal soma to distal axonal locations, where they participate in assembling new synapses. Despite their net anterograde transport, PTVs move in both directions within the axon. How PTVs are linked to retrograde motors and the functional significance of their bidirectional transport are unclear. In this study, we report the direct interaction of Bassoon with dynein light chains (DLCs) DLC1 and DLC2, which potentially link PTVs to dynein and myosin V motor complexes. We demonstrate that Bassoon functions as a cargo adapter for retrograde transport and that disruption of the Bassoon-DLC interactions leads to impaired trafficking of Bassoon in neurons and affects the distribution of Bassoon and Piccolo among synapses. These findings reveal a novel function for Bassoon in trafficking and synaptic delivery of active zone material.

  4. Mitochondrial fusion but not fission regulates larval growth and synaptic development through steroid hormone production

    PubMed Central

    Sandoval, Hector; Yao, Chi-Kuang; Chen, Kuchuan; Jaiswal, Manish; Donti, Taraka; Lin, Yong Qi; Bayat, Vafa; Xiong, Bo; Zhang, Ke; David, Gabriela; Charng, Wu-Lin; Yamamoto, Shinya; Duraine, Lita; Graham, Brett H; Bellen, Hugo J

    2014-01-01

    Mitochondrial fusion and fission affect the distribution and quality control of mitochondria. We show that Marf (Mitochondrial associated regulatory factor), is required for mitochondrial fusion and transport in long axons. Moreover, loss of Marf leads to a severe depletion of mitochondria in neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). Marf mutants also fail to maintain proper synaptic transmission at NMJs upon repetitive stimulation, similar to Drp1 fission mutants. However, unlike Drp1, loss of Marf leads to NMJ morphology defects and extended larval lifespan. Marf is required to form contacts between the endoplasmic reticulum and/or lipid droplets (LDs) and for proper storage of cholesterol and ecdysone synthesis in ring glands. Interestingly, human Mitofusin-2 rescues the loss of LD but both Mitofusin-1 and Mitofusin-2 are required for steroid-hormone synthesis. Our data show that Marf and Mitofusins share an evolutionarily conserved role in mitochondrial transport, cholesterol ester storage and steroid-hormone synthesis. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.03558.001 PMID:25313867

  5. The Susd2 protein regulates neurite growth and excitatory synaptic density in hippocampal cultures.

    PubMed

    Nadjar, Yann; Triller, Antoine; Bessereau, Jean-Louis; Dumoulin, Andrea

    2015-03-01

    Complement control protein (CCP) domains have adhesion properties and are commonly found in proteins that control the complement immune system. However, an increasing number of proteins containing CCP domains have been reported to display neuronal functions. Susd2 is a transmembrane protein containing one CCP domain. It was previously identified as a tumor-reversing protein, but has no characterized function in the CNS. The present study investigates the expression and function of Susd2 in the rat hippocampus. Characterization of Susd2 during development showed a peak in mRNA expression two weeks after birth. In hippocampal neuronal cultures, the same expression profile was observed at 15days in vitro for both mRNA and protein, a time consistent with synaptogenesis in our model. At the subcellular level, Susd2 was located on the soma, axons and dendrites, and appeared to associate preferentially with excitatory synapses. Inhibition of Susd2 by shRNAs led to decreased numbers of excitatory synaptic profiles, exclusively. Also, morphological parameters were studied on young (5DIV) developing neurons. After Susd2 inhibition, an increase in dendritic tree length but a decrease in axon elongation were observed, suggesting changes in adhesion properties. Our results demonstrate a dual role for Susd2 at different developmental stages, and raise the question whether Susd2 and other CCP-containing proteins expressed in the CNS could be function-related. PMID:25724483

  6. Cdk5 and the mystery of synaptic vesicle endocytosis.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Chan; Bibb, James A

    2003-11-24

    Regulation of endocytosis by protein phosphorylation and dephosphorylation is critical to synaptic vesicle recycling. Two groups have now identified the neuronal kinase Cdk5 (cyclin-dependent kinase 5) as an important regulator of this process. Robinson and coworkers recently demonstrated that Cdk5 is necessary for synaptic vesicle endocytosis (SVE) (Tan et al., 2003), whereas a new report in this issue claims that Cdk5 negatively regulates SVE (Tomizawa et al., 2003). Careful examination of the data reveals a model that helps resolve the apparently contradictory nature of these reports.

  7. Astrocyte-like glial cells physiologically regulate olfactory processing through the modification of ORN-PN synaptic strength in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Liu, He; Zhou, Bangyu; Yan, Wenjun; Lei, Zhengchang; Zhao, Xiaoliang; Zhang, Ke; Guo, Aike

    2014-09-01

    Astrocyte-like glial cells are abundant in the central nervous system of adult Drosophila and exhibit morphology similar to astrocytes of mammals. Previous evidence has shown that astrocyte-like glial cells are strongly associated with synapses in the antennal lobe (AL), the first relay of the olfactory system, where olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) transmit information into projection neurons (PNs). However, the function of astrocyte-like glia in the AL remains obscure. In this study, using in vivo calcium imaging, we found that astrocyte-like glial cells exhibited spontaneous microdomain calcium elevations. Using simultaneous manipulation of glial activity and monitoring of neuronal function, we found that the astrocyte-like glial activation, but not ensheathing glial activation, could inhibit odor-evoked responses of PNs. Ensheathing glial cells are another subtype of glia, and are of functional importance in the AL. Electrophysiological experiments indicated that astrocyte-like glial activation decreased the amplitude and slope of excitatory postsynaptic potentials evoked through electrical stimulation of the antennal nerve. These results suggest that astrocyte-like glial cells may regulate olfactory processing through negative regulation of ORN-PN synaptic strength. Beyond the antennal lobe we observed astrocyte-like glial spontaneous calcium activities in the ventromedial protocerebrum, indicating that astrocyte-like glial spontaneous calcium elevations might be general in the adult fly brain. Overall, our study demonstrates a new function for astrocyte-like glial cells in the physiological modulation of olfactory information transmission, possibly through regulating ORN-PN synapse strength.

  8. Synaptic commitment: developmentally regulated reciprocal changes in hippocampal granule cell NMDA and AMPA receptors over the lifespan.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhiyong; Krause, Michael; Rao, Geeta; McNaughton, Bruce L; Barnes, C A

    2008-06-01

    Synaptic transmission in hippocampal field CA1 is largely N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDA(R)) dependent during the early postnatal period. It becomes increasingly mediated by alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-proprionate (AMPA) receptors until an adult ratio of AMPA to NMDA receptors is achieved. It is shown here that increases in the AMPA receptor (AMPA(R))-mediated field potential response continue over the life span of the F-344 rat at the perforant path-granule cell synapse in the dentate gyrus. In contrast, the NMDA(R)-dependent component of the response decreases with age between 1 and 27 mo, leading to an increase of AMPA(R)/NMDA(R) ratio with age. One possible explanation of this age difference is that the AMPA(R)/NMDA(R) ratio can be modified by experience. To test the idea that the changed ratio is caused by the old rats' longer lives, an intensive 10-mo period of enrichment treatment was given to a group of animals, beginning at 3 mo of age. Compared with animals housed in standard cages, the enrichment treatment did not alter the glutamatergic response ratio measured with field potential recording methods. These data provide support for the conclusion that the observed change with age is developmentally regulated rather than experience dependent. Given the role of the NMDA(R) in synaptic plasticity, these changes suggest a progressive commitment of perforant path synapses to particular weights over the life span. One possible implication of this effect includes preservation of selected memories, ultimately at the expense of a reduced capacity to store new information.

  9. Contactin-associated Protein 1 (Caspr1) Regulates the Traffic and Synaptic Content of α-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic Acid (AMPA)-type Glutamate Receptors*

    PubMed Central

    Santos, Sandra D.; Iuliano, Olga; Ribeiro, Luís; Veran, Julien; Ferreira, Joana S.; Rio, Pedro; Mulle, Christophe; Duarte, Carlos B.; Carvalho, Ana Luísa

    2012-01-01

    Glutamate receptors of the α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) type mediate fast excitatory synaptic transmission in the CNS. Synaptic strength is modulated by AMPA receptor binding partners, which regulate receptor synaptic targeting and functional properties. We identify Contactin-associated protein 1 (Caspr1) as an AMPA receptor interactor. Caspr1 is present in synapses and interacts with AMPA receptors in brain synaptic fractions. Coexpression of Caspr1 with GluA1 increases the amplitude of glutamate-evoked currents. Caspr1 overexpression in hippocampal neurons increases the number and size of synaptic GluA1 clusters, whereas knockdown of Caspr1 decreases the intensity of synaptic GluA1 clusters. Hence, Caspr1 is a regulator of the trafficking of AMPA receptors to synapses. PMID:22223644

  10. Contactin-associated protein 1 (Caspr1) regulates the traffic and synaptic content of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA)-type glutamate receptors.

    PubMed

    Santos, Sandra D; Iuliano, Olga; Ribeiro, Luís; Veran, Julien; Ferreira, Joana S; Rio, Pedro; Mulle, Christophe; Duarte, Carlos B; Carvalho, Ana Luísa

    2012-02-24

    Glutamate receptors of the α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) type mediate fast excitatory synaptic transmission in the CNS. Synaptic strength is modulated by AMPA receptor binding partners, which regulate receptor synaptic targeting and functional properties. We identify Contactin-associated protein 1 (Caspr1) as an AMPA receptor interactor. Caspr1 is present in synapses and interacts with AMPA receptors in brain synaptic fractions. Coexpression of Caspr1 with GluA1 increases the amplitude of glutamate-evoked currents. Caspr1 overexpression in hippocampal neurons increases the number and size of synaptic GluA1 clusters, whereas knockdown of Caspr1 decreases the intensity of synaptic GluA1 clusters. Hence, Caspr1 is a regulator of the trafficking of AMPA receptors to synapses. PMID:22223644

  11. Regulation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptor-mediated synaptic responses by adenosine receptors in the rat hippocampus.

    PubMed Central

    Morton, R A; Davies, C H

    1997-01-01

    1. Intracellular current clamp recordings were made from CA1 pyramidal neurones in rat hippocampal slices. Experiments were performed in the presence of ionotropic glutamate receptor antagonists and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor antagonists to block all fast excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission. A single stimulus, delivered extracellularly in the stratum oriens, caused a reduction in spike frequency adaptation in response to a depolarizing current step delivered 2 s after the stimulus. A 2- to 10-fold increase in stimulus intensity evoked a slow excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) which was associated with a small increase in input resistance. The peak amplitude of the EPSP occurred approximately 2.5 s after the stimulus and its magnitude (up to 30 mV) and duration (10-50 s) increased with increasing stimulus intensity. 2. The slow EPSP was unaffected by the metabotropic glutamate receptor antagonist (+)-alpha-methyl-4-carboxyphenylglycine ((+)-MCPG; 1000 microM) but was greatly enhanced by the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor physostigmine (1-5 microM). Both the slow EPSP and the stimulus-evoked reduction in spike frequency adaptation were inhibited by the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) antagonist atropine (1-5 microM). These results are consistent with these effects being mediated by mAChRs. 3. Both the mAChR-mediated EPSP (EPSPm) and the associated reduction in spike frequency adaptation were reversibly depressed (up to 97%) by either adenosine (100 microM) or its non-hydrolysable analogue 2-chloroadenosine (CADO; 0.1-5.0 microM). These effects were often accompanied by postsynaptic hyperpolarization (up to 8 mV) and a reduction in input resistance (up to 11%). The selective adenosine A1 receptor agonists 2-chloro-N6-cyclopentyladenosine (CCPA; 0.1-0.4 microM) and R(-)N6-(2-phenylisopropyl)-adenosine (R-PIA; 1 microM) both depressed the EPSPm. In contrast, the adenosine A2A receptor agonist 2-p-(2-carboxyethyl)-phenethylamino-5

  12. LL5beta: a regulator of postsynaptic differentiation identified in a screen for synaptically enriched transcripts at the neuromuscular junction.

    PubMed

    Kishi, Masashi; Kummer, Terrance T; Eglen, Stephen J; Sanes, Joshua R

    2005-04-25

    In both neurons and muscle fibers, specific mRNAs are concentrated beneath and locally translated at synaptic sites. At the skeletal neuromuscular junction, all synaptic RNAs identified to date encode synaptic components. Using microarrays, we compared RNAs in synapse-rich and -free regions of muscles, thereby identifying transcripts that are enriched near synapses and that encode soluble membrane and nuclear proteins. One gene product, LL5beta, binds to both phosphoinositides and a cytoskeletal protein, filamin, one form of which is concentrated at synaptic sites. LL5beta is itself associated with the cytoplasmic face of the postsynaptic membrane; its highest levels border regions of highest acetylcholine receptor (AChR) density, which suggests a role in "corraling" AChRs. Consistent with this idea, perturbing LL5beta expression in myotubes inhibits AChR aggregation. Thus, a strategy designed to identify novel synaptic components led to identification of a protein required for assembly of the postsynaptic apparatus.

  13. Modulation of synaptic function by VAC14, a protein that regulates the phosphoinositides PI(3,5)P2 and PI(5)P

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yanling; McCartney, Amber J; Zolov, Sergey N; Ferguson, Cole J; Meisler, Miriam H; Sutton, Michael A; Weisman, Lois S

    2012-01-01

    Normal steady-state levels of the signalling lipids PI(3,5)P2 and PI(5)P require the lipid kinase FAB1/PIKfyve and its regulators, VAC14 and FIG4. Mutations in the PIKfyve/VAC14/FIG4 pathway are associated with Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in humans, and profound neurodegeneration in mice. Hence, tight regulation of this pathway is critical for neural function. Here, we examine the localization and physiological role of VAC14 in neurons. We report that endogenous VAC14 localizes to endocytic organelles in fibroblasts and neurons. Unexpectedly, VAC14 exhibits a pronounced synaptic localization in hippocampal neurons, suggesting a role in regulating synaptic function. Indeed, the amplitude of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents is enhanced in both Vac14−/− and Fig4−/− neurons. Re-introduction of VAC14 in postsynaptic Vac14−/− cells reverses this effect. These changes in synaptic strength in Vac14−/− neurons are associated with enhanced surface levels of the AMPA-type glutamate receptor subunit GluA2, an effect that is due to diminished regulated endocytosis of AMPA receptors. Thus, VAC14, PI(3,5)P2 and/or PI(5)P play a role in controlling postsynaptic function via regulation of endocytic cycling of AMPA receptors. PMID:22842785

  14. 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

  15. GAD67-mediated GABA synthesis and signaling regulate inhibitory synaptic innervation in the visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Chattopadhyaya, Bidisha; Di Cristo, Graziella; Wu, Cai Zhi; Knott, Graham; Kuhlman, Sandra; Fu, Yu; Palmiter, Richard D; Huang, Z Josh

    2007-06-21

    The development of GABAergic inhibitory circuits is shaped by neural activity, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Here, we demonstrate a novel function of GABA in regulating GABAergic innervation in the adolescent brain, when GABA is mainly known as an inhibitory transmitter. Conditional knockdown of the rate-limiting synthetic enzyme GAD67 in basket interneurons in adolescent visual cortex resulted in cell autonomous deficits in axon branching, perisomatic synapse formation around pyramidal neurons, and complexity of the innervation fields; the same manipulation had little influence on the subsequent maintenance of perisomatic synapses. These effects of GABA deficiency were rescued by suppressing GABA reuptake and by GABA receptor agonists. Germline knockdown of GAD67 but not GAD65 showed similar deficits, suggesting a specific role of GAD67 in the maturation of perisomatic innervation. Since intracellular GABA levels are modulated by neuronal activity, our results implicate GAD67-mediated GABA synthesis in activity-dependent regulation of inhibitory innervation patterns.

  16. LRRK2 kinase activity regulates synaptic vesicle trafficking and neurotransmitter release through modulation of LRRK2 macro-molecular complex

    PubMed Central

    Cirnaru, Maria D.; Marte, Antonella; Belluzzi, Elisa; Russo, Isabella; Gabrielli, Martina; Longo, Francesco; Arcuri, Ludovico; Murru, Luca; Bubacco, Luigi; Matteoli, Michela; Fedele, Ernesto; Sala, Carlo; Passafaro, Maria; Morari, Michele; Greggio, Elisa; Onofri, Franco; Piccoli, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    Mutations in Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 gene (LRRK2) are associated with familial and sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD). LRRK2 is a complex protein that consists of multiple domains executing several functions, including GTP hydrolysis, kinase activity, and protein binding. Robust evidence suggests that LRRK2 acts at the synaptic site as a molecular hub connecting synaptic vesicles to cytoskeletal elements via a complex panel of protein-protein interactions. Here we investigated the impact of pharmacological inhibition of LRRK2 kinase activity on synaptic function. Acute treatment with LRRK2 inhibitors reduced the frequency of spontaneous currents, the rate of synaptic vesicle trafficking and the release of neurotransmitter from isolated synaptosomes. The investigation of complementary models lacking LRRK2 expression allowed us to exclude potential off-side effects of kinase inhibitors on synaptic functions. Next we studied whether kinase inhibition affects LRRK2 heterologous interactions. We found that the binding among LRRK2, presynaptic proteins and synaptic vesicles is affected by kinase inhibition. Our results suggest that LRRK2 kinase activity influences synaptic vesicle release via modulation of LRRK2 macro-molecular complex. PMID:24904275

  17. LRRK2 kinase activity regulates synaptic vesicle trafficking and neurotransmitter release through modulation of LRRK2 macro-molecular complex.

    PubMed

    Cirnaru, Maria D; Marte, Antonella; Belluzzi, Elisa; Russo, Isabella; Gabrielli, Martina; Longo, Francesco; Arcuri, Ludovico; Murru, Luca; Bubacco, Luigi; Matteoli, Michela; Fedele, Ernesto; Sala, Carlo; Passafaro, Maria; Morari, Michele; Greggio, Elisa; Onofri, Franco; Piccoli, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    Mutations in Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 gene (LRRK2) are associated with familial and sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD). LRRK2 is a complex protein that consists of multiple domains executing several functions, including GTP hydrolysis, kinase activity, and protein binding. Robust evidence suggests that LRRK2 acts at the synaptic site as a molecular hub connecting synaptic vesicles to cytoskeletal elements via a complex panel of protein-protein interactions. Here we investigated the impact of pharmacological inhibition of LRRK2 kinase activity on synaptic function. Acute treatment with LRRK2 inhibitors reduced the frequency of spontaneous currents, the rate of synaptic vesicle trafficking and the release of neurotransmitter from isolated synaptosomes. The investigation of complementary models lacking LRRK2 expression allowed us to exclude potential off-side effects of kinase inhibitors on synaptic functions. Next we studied whether kinase inhibition affects LRRK2 heterologous interactions. We found that the binding among LRRK2, presynaptic proteins and synaptic vesicles is affected by kinase inhibition. Our results suggest that LRRK2 kinase activity influences synaptic vesicle release via modulation of LRRK2 macro-molecular complex. PMID:24904275

  18. LRRK2 kinase activity regulates synaptic vesicle trafficking and neurotransmitter release through modulation of LRRK2 macro-molecular complex.

    PubMed

    Cirnaru, Maria D; Marte, Antonella; Belluzzi, Elisa; Russo, Isabella; Gabrielli, Martina; Longo, Francesco; Arcuri, Ludovico; Murru, Luca; Bubacco, Luigi; Matteoli, Michela; Fedele, Ernesto; Sala, Carlo; Passafaro, Maria; Morari, Michele; Greggio, Elisa; Onofri, Franco; Piccoli, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    Mutations in Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 gene (LRRK2) are associated with familial and sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD). LRRK2 is a complex protein that consists of multiple domains executing several functions, including GTP hydrolysis, kinase activity, and protein binding. Robust evidence suggests that LRRK2 acts at the synaptic site as a molecular hub connecting synaptic vesicles to cytoskeletal elements via a complex panel of protein-protein interactions. Here we investigated the impact of pharmacological inhibition of LRRK2 kinase activity on synaptic function. Acute treatment with LRRK2 inhibitors reduced the frequency of spontaneous currents, the rate of synaptic vesicle trafficking and the release of neurotransmitter from isolated synaptosomes. The investigation of complementary models lacking LRRK2 expression allowed us to exclude potential off-side effects of kinase inhibitors on synaptic functions. Next we studied whether kinase inhibition affects LRRK2 heterologous interactions. We found that the binding among LRRK2, presynaptic proteins and synaptic vesicles is affected by kinase inhibition. Our results suggest that LRRK2 kinase activity influences synaptic vesicle release via modulation of LRRK2 macro-molecular complex.

  19. ROCK1 and 2 differentially regulate actomyosin organization to drive cell and synaptic polarity

    PubMed Central

    Badoual, Mathilde; Asmussen, Hannelore; Patel, Heather; Whitmore, Leanna; Horwitz, Alan Rick

    2015-01-01

    RhoGTPases organize the actin cytoskeleton to generate diverse polarities, from front–back polarity in migrating cells to dendritic spine morphology in neurons. For example, RhoA through its effector kinase, RhoA kinase (ROCK), activates myosin II to form actomyosin filament bundles and large adhesions that locally inhibit and thereby polarize Rac1-driven actin polymerization to the protrusions of migratory fibroblasts and the head of dendritic spines. We have found that the two ROCK isoforms, ROCK1 and ROCK2, differentially regulate distinct molecular pathways downstream of RhoA, and their coordinated activities drive polarity in both cell migration and synapse formation. In particular, ROCK1 forms the stable actomyosin filament bundles that initiate front–back and dendritic spine polarity. In contrast, ROCK2 regulates contractile force and Rac1 activity at the leading edge of migratory cells and the spine head of neurons; it also specifically regulates cofilin-mediated actin remodeling that underlies the maturation of adhesions and the postsynaptic density of dendritic spines. PMID:26169356

  20. Munc13 C[subscript 2]B domain is an activity-dependent Ca[superscript 2+] regulator of synaptic exocytosis

    SciTech Connect

    Shin, Ok-Ho; Lu, Jun; Rhee, Jeong-Seop; Tomchick, Diana R.; Pang, Zhiping P.; Wojcik, Sonja M.; Camacho-Perez, Marcial; Brose, Nils; Machius, Mischa; Rizo, Josep; Rosenmund, Christian; Südhof, Thomas C.

    2010-04-26

    Munc13 is a multidomain protein present in presynaptic active zones that mediates the priming and plasticity of synaptic vesicle exocytosis, but the mechanisms involved remain unclear. Here we use biophysical, biochemical and electrophysiological approaches to show that the central C{sub 2}B domain of Munc13 functions as a Ca{sup 2+} regulator of short-term synaptic plasticity. The crystal structure of the C{sub 2}B domain revealed an unusual Ca{sup 2+}-binding site with an amphipathic {alpha}-helix. This configuration confers onto the C{sub 2}B domain unique Ca{sup 2+}-dependent phospholipid-binding properties that favor phosphatidylinositolphosphates. A mutation that inactivated Ca{sup 2+}-dependent phospholipid binding to the C{sub 2}B domain did not alter neurotransmitter release evoked by isolated action potentials, but it did depress release evoked by action-potential trains. In contrast, a mutation that increased Ca{sup 2+}-dependent phosphatidylinositolbisphosphate binding to the C{sub 2}B domain enhanced release evoked by isolated action potentials and by action-potential trains. Our data suggest that, during repeated action potentials, Ca{sup 2+} and phosphatidylinositolphosphate binding to the Munc13 C{sub 2}B domain potentiate synaptic vesicle exocytosis, thereby offsetting synaptic depression induced by vesicle depletion.

  1. 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…

  2. Endogenous BDNF regulates inhibitory synaptic transmission in the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus.

    PubMed

    Jo, Young-Hwan

    2012-01-01

    Output from steroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1) neurons in the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (VMH) is anorexigenic. SF-1 neurons express brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) that contributes to the regulation of food intake and body weight. Here I show that regulation of GABAergic inputs onto SF-1 neurons by endogenous BDNF determines the anorexigenic outcome from the VMH. Single-cell RT-PCR analysis reveals that one-third of SF-1 neurons express BDNF and that only a subset of BDNF-expressing SF-1 neurons coexpresses the melanocortin receptor type 4. Whole cell patch-clamp analysis of SF-1 neurons in the VMH shows that exogenous BDNF significantly increases the frequency of spontaneous GABAergic inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sIPSCs). This enhancement of GABA drive readily decreases the excitability of SF-1 neurons. However, treatment with BDNF has no significant effect on the frequency of TTX-independent GABAergic IPSCs. Moreover, TrkB receptors are not localized at the postsynaptic sites of GABAergic synapses on SF-1 neurons as there is no change in the amplitude of miniature IPSCs in the presence of BDNF. Dual patch-clamp recordings in mouse hypothalamic slices reveal that stimulation of one SF-1 neuron induces an increase in sIPSC frequency onto the neighboring SF-1 neuron. More importantly, this effect is blocked by a tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Hence, this increased GABA drive onto SF-1 neurons may, in part, explain the cellular mechanisms that mediate the anorexigenic effects of BDNF.

  3. Kv1.3 channels regulate synaptic transmission in the nucleus of solitary tract.

    PubMed

    Ramirez-Navarro, Angelina; Glazebrook, Patricia A; Kane-Sutton, Michelle; Padro, Caroline; Kline, David D; Kunze, Diana L

    2011-06-01

    The voltage-gated K(+) channel Kv1.3 has been reported to regulate transmitter release in select central and peripheral neurons. In this study, we evaluated its role at the synapse between visceral sensory afferents and secondary neurons in the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS). We identified mRNA and protein for Kv1.3 in rat nodose ganglia using RT-PCR and Western blot analysis. In immunohistochemical experiments, anti-Kv1.3 immunoreactivity was very strong in internal organelles in the soma of nodose neurons with a weaker distribution near the plasma membrane. Anti-Kv1.3 was also identified in the axonal branches that project centrally, including their presynaptic terminals in the medial and commissural NTS. In current-clamp experiments, margatoxin (MgTx), a high-affinity blocker of Kv1.3, produced an increase in action potential duration in C-type but not A- or Ah-type neurons. To evaluate the role of Kv1.3 at the presynaptic terminal, we examined the effect of MgTx on tract evoked monosynaptic excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) in brain slices of the NTS. MgTx increased the amplitude of evoked EPSCs in a subset of neurons, with the major increase occurring during the first stimuli in a 20-Hz train. These data, together with the results from somal recordings, support the hypothesis that Kv1.3 regulates the duration of the action potential in the presynaptic terminal of C fibers, limiting transmitter release to the postsynaptic cell. PMID:21430270

  4. Development of TIMP1 magnetic nanoformulation for regulation of synaptic plasticity in HIV-1 infection.

    PubMed

    Atluri, Venkata Subba Rao; Jayant, Rahul Dev; Pilakka-Kanthikeel, Sudheesh; Garcia, Gabriella; Samikkannu, Thangavel; Yndart, Adriana; Kaushik, Ajeet; Nair, Madhavan

    2016-01-01

    Although the introduction of antiretroviral therapy has reduced the prevalence of severe forms of neurocognitive disorders, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1-associated neurocognitive disorders were observed in 50% of HIV-infected patients globally. The blood-brain barrier is known to be impermeable to most of antiretroviral drugs. Successful delivery of antiretroviral drugs into the brain may induce an inflammatory response, which may further induce neurotoxicity. Therefore, alternate options to antiretroviral drugs for decreasing the HIV infection and neurotoxicity may help in reducing neurocognitive impairments observed in HIV-infected patients. In this study, we explored the role of magnetic nanoparticle (MNP)-bound tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP1) protein in reducing HIV infection levels, oxidative stress, and recovering spine density in HIV-infected SK-N-MC neuroblastoma cells. We did not observe any neuronal cytotoxicity with either the free TIMP1 or MNP-bound TIMP1 used in our study. We observed significantly reduced HIV infection in both solution phase and in MNP-bound TIMP1-exposed neuronal cells. Furthermore, we also observed significantly reduced reactive oxygen species production in both the test groups compared to the neuronal cells infected with HIV alone. To observe the effect of both soluble-phase TIMP1 and MNP-bound TIMP1 on spine density in HIV-infected neuronal cells, confocal microscopy was used. We observed significant recovery of spine density in both the test groups when compared to the cells infected with HIV alone, indicting the neuroprotective effect of TIMP1. Therefore, our results suggest that the MNP-bound TIMP1 delivery method across the blood-brain barrier can be used for reducing HIV infectivity in brain tissue and neuronal toxicity in HIV-infected patients. PMID:27621622

  5. Development of TIMP1 magnetic nanoformulation for regulation of synaptic plasticity in HIV-1 infection

    PubMed Central

    Atluri, Venkata Subba Rao; Jayant, Rahul Dev; Pilakka-Kanthikeel, Sudheesh; Garcia, Gabriella; Samikkannu, Thangavel; Yndart, Adriana; Kaushik, Ajeet; Nair, Madhavan

    2016-01-01

    Although the introduction of antiretroviral therapy has reduced the prevalence of severe forms of neurocognitive disorders, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1-associated neurocognitive disorders were observed in 50% of HIV-infected patients globally. The blood–brain barrier is known to be impermeable to most of antiretroviral drugs. Successful delivery of antiretroviral drugs into the brain may induce an inflammatory response, which may further induce neurotoxicity. Therefore, alternate options to antiretroviral drugs for decreasing the HIV infection and neurotoxicity may help in reducing neurocognitive impairments observed in HIV-infected patients. In this study, we explored the role of magnetic nanoparticle (MNP)-bound tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP1) protein in reducing HIV infection levels, oxidative stress, and recovering spine density in HIV-infected SK-N-MC neuroblastoma cells. We did not observe any neuronal cytotoxicity with either the free TIMP1 or MNP-bound TIMP1 used in our study. We observed significantly reduced HIV infection in both solution phase and in MNP-bound TIMP1-exposed neuronal cells. Furthermore, we also observed significantly reduced reactive oxygen species production in both the test groups compared to the neuronal cells infected with HIV alone. To observe the effect of both soluble-phase TIMP1 and MNP-bound TIMP1 on spine density in HIV-infected neuronal cells, confocal microscopy was used. We observed significant recovery of spine density in both the test groups when compared to the cells infected with HIV alone, indicting the neuroprotective effect of TIMP1. Therefore, our results suggest that the MNP-bound TIMP1 delivery method across the blood–brain barrier can be used for reducing HIV infectivity in brain tissue and neuronal toxicity in HIV-infected patients.

  6. Development of TIMP1 magnetic nanoformulation for regulation of synaptic plasticity in HIV-1 infection

    PubMed Central

    Atluri, Venkata Subba Rao; Jayant, Rahul Dev; Pilakka-Kanthikeel, Sudheesh; Garcia, Gabriella; Samikkannu, Thangavel; Yndart, Adriana; Kaushik, Ajeet; Nair, Madhavan

    2016-01-01

    Although the introduction of antiretroviral therapy has reduced the prevalence of severe forms of neurocognitive disorders, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1-associated neurocognitive disorders were observed in 50% of HIV-infected patients globally. The blood–brain barrier is known to be impermeable to most of antiretroviral drugs. Successful delivery of antiretroviral drugs into the brain may induce an inflammatory response, which may further induce neurotoxicity. Therefore, alternate options to antiretroviral drugs for decreasing the HIV infection and neurotoxicity may help in reducing neurocognitive impairments observed in HIV-infected patients. In this study, we explored the role of magnetic nanoparticle (MNP)-bound tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP1) protein in reducing HIV infection levels, oxidative stress, and recovering spine density in HIV-infected SK-N-MC neuroblastoma cells. We did not observe any neuronal cytotoxicity with either the free TIMP1 or MNP-bound TIMP1 used in our study. We observed significantly reduced HIV infection in both solution phase and in MNP-bound TIMP1-exposed neuronal cells. Furthermore, we also observed significantly reduced reactive oxygen species production in both the test groups compared to the neuronal cells infected with HIV alone. To observe the effect of both soluble-phase TIMP1 and MNP-bound TIMP1 on spine density in HIV-infected neuronal cells, confocal microscopy was used. We observed significant recovery of spine density in both the test groups when compared to the cells infected with HIV alone, indicting the neuroprotective effect of TIMP1. Therefore, our results suggest that the MNP-bound TIMP1 delivery method across the blood–brain barrier can be used for reducing HIV infectivity in brain tissue and neuronal toxicity in HIV-infected patients. PMID:27621622

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  8. Lrp4 Domains Differentially Regulate Limb/Brain Development and Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Pohlkamp, Theresa; Durakoglugil, Murat; Lane-Donovan, Courtney; Xian, Xunde; Johnson, Eric B.; Hammer, Robert E.; Herz, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) genotype is the strongest predictor of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) risk. ApoE is a cholesterol transport protein that binds to members of the Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) Receptor family, which includes LDL Receptor Related Protein 4 (Lrp4). Lrp4, together with one of its ligands Agrin and its co-receptors Muscle Specific Kinase (MuSK) and Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP), regulates neuromuscular junction (NMJ) formation. All four proteins are also expressed in the adult brain, and APP, MuSK, and Agrin are required for normal synapse function in the CNS. Here, we show that Lrp4 is also required for normal hippocampal plasticity. In contrast to the closely related Lrp8/Apoer2, the intracellular domain of Lrp4 does not appear to be necessary for normal expression and maintenance of long-term potentiation at central synapses or for the formation and maintenance of peripheral NMJs. However, it does play a role in limb development. PMID:25688974

  9. Cytoplasmic Rbfox1 Regulates the Expression of Synaptic and Autism-Related Genes.

    PubMed

    Lee, Ji-Ann; Damianov, Andrey; Lin, Chia-Ho; Fontes, Mariana; Parikshak, Neelroop N; Anderson, Erik S; Geschwind, Daniel H; Black, Douglas L; Martin, Kelsey C

    2016-01-01

    Human genetic studies have identified the neuronal RNA binding protein, Rbfox1, as a candidate gene for autism spectrum disorders. While Rbfox1 functions as a splicing regulator in the nucleus, it is also alternatively spliced to produce cytoplasmic isoforms. To investigate the function of cytoplasmic Rbfox1, we knocked down Rbfox proteins in mouse neurons and rescued with cytoplasmic or nuclear Rbfox1. Transcriptome profiling showed that nuclear Rbfox1 rescued splicing changes, whereas cytoplasmic Rbfox1 rescued changes in mRNA levels. iCLIP-seq of subcellular fractions revealed that Rbfox1 bound predominantly to introns in nascent RNA, while cytoplasmic Rbox1 bound to 3' UTRs. Cytoplasmic Rbfox1 binding increased target mRNA stability and translation, and Rbfox1 and miRNA binding sites overlapped significantly. Cytoplasmic Rbfox1 target mRNAs were enriched in genes involved in cortical development and autism. Our results uncover a new Rbfox1 regulatory network and highlight the importance of cytoplasmic RNA metabolism to cortical development and disease. PMID:26687839

  10. Lrp4 domains differentially regulate limb/brain development and synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Pohlkamp, Theresa; Durakoglugil, Murat; Lane-Donovan, Courtney; Xian, Xunde; Johnson, Eric B; Hammer, Robert E; Herz, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) genotype is the strongest predictor of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) risk. ApoE is a cholesterol transport protein that binds to members of the Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) Receptor family, which includes LDL Receptor Related Protein 4 (Lrp4). Lrp4, together with one of its ligands Agrin and its co-receptors Muscle Specific Kinase (MuSK) and Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP), regulates neuromuscular junction (NMJ) formation. All four proteins are also expressed in the adult brain, and APP, MuSK, and Agrin are required for normal synapse function in the CNS. Here, we show that Lrp4 is also required for normal hippocampal plasticity. In contrast to the closely related Lrp8/Apoer2, the intracellular domain of Lrp4 does not appear to be necessary for normal expression and maintenance of long-term potentiation at central synapses or for the formation and maintenance of peripheral NMJs. However, it does play a role in limb development. PMID:25688974

  11. Vorinostat positively regulates synaptic plasticity genes expression and spine density in HIV infected neurons: role of nicotine in progression of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND) is characterized by development of cognitive, behavioral and motor abnormalities, and occurs in approximately 50% of HIV infected individuals. In the United States, the prevalence of cigarette smoking ranges from 35-70% in HIV-infected individuals compared to 20% in general population. Cognitive impairment in heavy cigarette smokers has been well reported. However, the synergistic effects of nicotine and HIV infection and the underlying mechanisms in the development of HAND are unknown. Results In this study, we explored the role of nicotine in the progression of HAND using SK-N-MC, a neuronal cell line. SK-N-MC cells were infected with HIV-1 in the presence or absence of nicotine for 7 days. We observed significant increase in HIV infectivity in SK-N-MC treated with nicotine compared to untreated HIV-infected neuronal cells. HIV and nicotine synergize to significantly dysregulate the expression of synaptic plasticity genes and spine density; with a concomitant increase of HDAC2 levels in SK-N-MC cells. In addition, inhibition of HDAC2 up-regulation with the use of vorinostat resulted in HIV latency breakdown and recovery of synaptic plasticity genes expression and spine density in nicotine/HIV alone and in co-treated SK-N-MC cells. Furthermore, increased eIF2 alpha phosphorylation, which negatively regulates eukaryotic translational process, was observed in HIV alone and in co-treatment with nicotine compared to untreated control and nicotine alone treated SK-N-MC cells. Conclusions These results suggest that nicotine and HIV synergize to negatively regulate the synaptic plasticity gene expression and spine density and this may contribute to the increased risk of HAND in HIV infected smokers. Apart from disrupting latency, vorinostat may be a useful therapeutic to inhibit the negative regulatory effects on synaptic plasticity in HIV infected nicotine abusers. PMID:24886748

  12. Rapid eye movement sleep deprivation revives a form of developmentally regulated synaptic plasticity in the visual cortex of post-critical period rats.

    PubMed

    Shaffery, James P; Lopez, Jorge; Bissette, Garth; Roffwarg, Howard P

    2006-01-01

    The critical period for observing a developmentally regulated form of synaptic plasticity in the visual cortex of young rats normally ends at about postnatal day 30. This developmentally regulated form of in vitro long-term potentiation (LTP) can be reliably induced in layers II-III by aiming high frequency, theta burst stimulation (TBS) at the white matter situated directly below visual cortex (LTPWM-III). Previous work has demonstrated that suppression of sensory activation of visual cortex, achieved by rearing young rats in total darkness from birth, delays termination of the critical period for inducing LTPWM-III. Subsequent data also demonstrated that when rapid eye movement sleep (REMS) is suppressed, thereby reducing REMS cortical activation, just prior to the end of the critical period, termination of this developmental phase is delayed, and LTPWM-III can still be reliably produced in the usual post-critical period. Here, we report that for approximately 3 weeks immediately following the usual end of the critical period, suppression of REMS disrupts the maturational processes that close the critical period, and LTPWM-III is readily induced in brain slices taken from these somewhat older animals. Insofar as in vitro LTP is a model for the cellular and molecular changes that underlie developmental synaptic plasticity, these results suggest that mechanisms of synaptic plasticity, which participate in brain development and perhaps also in learning and memory processes, remain susceptible to the effects of REMS deprivation during the general period of adolescence in the rat.

  13. Neuronal plasticity in hibernation and the proposed role of the microtubule-associated protein tau as a "master switch" regulating synaptic gain in neuronal networks.

    PubMed

    Arendt, Thomas; Bullmann, Torsten

    2013-09-01

    The present paper provides an overview of adaptive changes in brain structure and learning abilities during hibernation as a behavioral strategy used by several mammalian species to minimize energy expenditure under current or anticipated inhospitable environmental conditions. One cellular mechanism that contributes to the regulated suppression of metabolism and thermogenesis during hibernation is reversible phosphorylation of enzymes and proteins, which limits rates of flux through metabolic pathways. Reversible phosphorylation during hibernation also affects synaptic membrane proteins, a process known to be involved in synaptic plasticity. This mechanism of reversible protein phosphorylation also affects the microtubule-associated protein tau, thereby generating a condition that in the adult human brain is associated with aggregation of tau protein to paired helical filaments (PHFs), as observed in Alzheimer's disease. Here, we put forward the concept that phosphorylation of tau is a neuroprotective mechanism to escape NMDA-mediated hyperexcitability of neurons that would otherwise occur during slow gradual cooling of the brain. Phosphorylation of tau and its subsequent targeting to subsynaptic sites might, thus, work as a kind of "master switch," regulating NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic gain in a wide array of neuronal networks, thereby enabling entry into torpor. If this condition lasts too long, however, it may eventually turn into a pathological trigger, driving a cascade of events leading to neurodegeneration, as in Alzheimer's disease or other "tauopathies".

  14. The intellectual disability protein RAB39B selectively regulates GluA2 trafficking to determine synaptic AMPAR composition

    PubMed Central

    Mignogna, Maria Lidia; Giannandrea, Maila; Gurgone, Antonia; Fanelli, Francesca; Raimondi, Francesco; Mapelli, Lisa; Bassani, Silvia; Fang, Huaqiang; Van Anken, Eelco; Alessio, Massimo; Passafaro, Maria; Gatti, Silvia; Esteban, José A.; Huganir, Richard; D’Adamo, Patrizia

    2015-01-01

    RAB39B is a member of the RAB family of small GTPases that controls intracellular vesicular trafficking in a compartment-specific manner. Mutations in the RAB39B gene cause intellectual disability comorbid with autism spectrum disorder and epilepsy, but the impact of RAB39B loss of function on synaptic activity is largely unexplained. Here we show that protein interacting with C-kinase 1 (PICK1) is a downstream effector of GTP-bound RAB39B and that RAB39B-PICK1 controls trafficking from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi and, hence, surface expression of GluA2, a subunit of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid receptors (AMPARs). The role of AMPARs in synaptic transmission varies depending on the combination of subunits (GluA1, GluA2 and GluA3) they incorporate. RAB39B downregulation in mouse hippocampal neurons skews AMPAR composition towards non GluA2-containing Ca2+-permeable forms and thereby alters synaptic activity, specifically in hippocampal neurons. We posit that the resulting alteration in synaptic function underlies cognitive dysfunction in RAB39B-related disorders. PMID:25784538

  15. The intellectual disability protein RAB39B selectively regulates GluA2 trafficking to determine synaptic AMPAR composition.

    PubMed

    Mignogna, Maria Lidia; Giannandrea, Maila; Gurgone, Antonia; Fanelli, Francesca; Raimondi, Francesco; Mapelli, Lisa; Bassani, Silvia; Fang, Huaqiang; Van Anken, Eelco; Alessio, Massimo; Passafaro, Maria; Gatti, Silvia; Esteban, José A; Huganir, Richard; D'Adamo, Patrizia

    2015-01-01

    RAB39B is a member of the RAB family of small GTPases that controls intracellular vesicular trafficking in a compartment-specific manner. Mutations in the RAB39B gene cause intellectual disability comorbid with autism spectrum disorder and epilepsy, but the impact of RAB39B loss of function on synaptic activity is largely unexplained. Here we show that protein interacting with C-kinase 1 (PICK1) is a downstream effector of GTP-bound RAB39B and that RAB39B-PICK1 controls trafficking from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi and, hence, surface expression of GluA2, a subunit of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid receptors (AMPARs). The role of AMPARs in synaptic transmission varies depending on the combination of subunits (GluA1, GluA2 and GluA3) they incorporate. RAB39B downregulation in mouse hippocampal neurons skews AMPAR composition towards non GluA2-containing Ca(2+)-permeable forms and thereby alters synaptic activity, specifically in hippocampal neurons. We posit that the resulting alteration in synaptic function underlies cognitive dysfunction in RAB39B-related disorders. PMID:25784538

  16. dFMRP and Caprin, translational regulators of synaptic plasticity, control the cell cycle at the Drosophila mid-blastula transition

    PubMed Central

    Papoulas, Ophelia; Monzo, Kathryn F.; Cantin, Greg T.; Ruse, Cristian; Yates, John R.; Ryu, Young Hee; Sisson, John C.

    2010-01-01

    The molecular mechanisms driving the conserved metazoan developmental shift referred to as the mid-blastula transition (MBT) remain mysterious. Typically, cleavage divisions give way to longer asynchronous cell cycles with the acquisition of a gap phase. In Drosophila, rapid synchronous nuclear divisions must pause at the MBT to allow the formation of a cellular blastoderm through a special form of cytokinesis termed cellularization. Drosophila Fragile X mental retardation protein (dFMRP; FMR1), a transcript-specific translational regulator, is required for cellularization. The role of FMRP has been most extensively studied in the nervous system because the loss of FMRP activity in neurons causes the misexpression of specific mRNAs required for synaptic plasticity, resulting in mental retardation and autism in humans. Here, we show that in the early embryo dFMRP associates specifically with Caprin, another transcript-specific translational regulator implicated in synaptic plasticity, and with eIF4G, a key regulator of translational initiation. dFMRP and Caprin collaborate to control the cell cycle at the MBT by directly mediating the normal repression of maternal Cyclin B mRNA and the activation of zygotic frühstart mRNA. These findings identify two new targets of dFMRP regulation and implicate conserved translational regulatory mechanisms in processes as diverse as learning, memory and early embryonic development. PMID:21068064

  17. Basic roles of key molecules connected with NMDAR signaling pathway on regulating learning and memory and synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hui; Peng, Rui-Yun

    2016-01-01

    With key roles in essential brain functions ranging from the long-term potentiation (LTP) to synaptic plasticity, the N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor (NMDAR) can be considered as one of the fundamental glutamate receptors in the central nervous system. The role of NMDA R was first identified in synaptic plasticity and has been extensively studied. Some molecules, such as Ca(2+), postsynaptic density 95 (PSD-95), calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMK II), protein kinase A (PKA), mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) responsive element binding protein (CREB), are of special importance in learning and memory. This review mainly focused on the new research of key molecules connected with learning and memory, which played important roles in the NMDAR signaling pathway. PMID:27583167

  18. A novel nondevelopmental role of the sax-7/L1CAM cell adhesion molecule in synaptic regulation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Opperman, Karla; Moseley-Alldredge, Melinda; Yochem, John; Bell, Leslie; Kanayinkal, Tony; Chen, Lihsia

    2015-02-01

    The L1CAM family of cell adhesion molecules is a conserved set of single-pass transmembrane proteins that play diverse roles required for proper nervous system development and function. Mutations in L1CAMs can cause the neurological L1 syndrome and are associated with autism and neuropsychiatric disorders. L1CAM expression in the mature nervous system suggests additional functions besides the well-characterized developmental roles. In this study, we demonstrate that the gene encoding the Caenorhabditis elegans L1CAM, sax-7, genetically interacts with gtl-2, as well as with unc-13 and rab-3, genes that function in neurotransmission. These sax-7 genetic interactions result in synthetic phenotypes that are consistent with abnormal synaptic function. Using an inducible sax-7 expression system and pharmacological reagents that interfere with cholinergic transmission, we uncovered a previously uncharacterized nondevelopmental role for sax-7 that impinges on synaptic function. PMID:25488979

  19. Translational control by eIF2α phosphorylation regulates vulnerability to the synaptic and behavioral effects of cocaine

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Wei; Placzek, Andon N; Viana Di Prisco, Gonzalo; Khatiwada, Sanjeev; Sidrauski, Carmela; Krnjević, Krešimir; Walter, Peter; Dani, John A; Costa-Mattioli, Mauro

    2016-01-01

    Adolescents are especially prone to drug addiction, but the underlying biological basis of their increased vulnerability remains unknown. We reveal that translational control by phosphorylation of the translation initiation factor eIF2α (p-eIF2α) accounts for adolescent hypersensitivity to cocaine. In adolescent (but not adult) mice, a low dose of cocaine reduced p-eIF2α in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), potentiated synaptic inputs to VTA dopaminergic neurons, and induced drug-reinforced behavior. Like adolescents, adult mice with reduced p-eIF2α-mediated translational control were more susceptible to cocaine-induced synaptic potentiation and behavior. Conversely, like adults, adolescent mice with increased p-eIF2α became more resistant to cocaine's effects. Accordingly, metabotropic glutamate receptor-mediated long-term depression (mGluR-LTD)—whose disruption is postulated to increase vulnerability to drug addiction—was impaired in both adolescent mice and adult mice with reduced p-eIF2α mediated translation. Thus, during addiction, cocaine hijacks translational control by p-eIF2α, initiating synaptic potentiation and addiction-related behaviors. These insights may hold promise for new treatments for addiction. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12052.001 PMID:26928234

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Regulation of synaptic structure and function by FMRP-associated microRNAs miR-125b and miR-132

    PubMed Central

    Edbauer, Dieter; Neilson, Joel R.; Foster, Kelly A.; Wang, Chi-Fong; Seeburg, Daniel P.; Batterton, Matthew N.; Tada, Tomoko; Dolan, Bridget M.; Sharp, Phillip A.; Sheng, Morgan

    2016-01-01

    Summary MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are non-coding RNAs that suppress translation of specific mRNAs. The miRNA machinery interacts with Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein (FMRP), which functions as translational repressor. We show that miR-125b and miR-132, as well as several other miRNAs, are associated with FMRP in mouse brain. miR-125b and miR-132 had largely opposing effects on dendritic spine morphology and synaptic physiology in hippocampal neurons. FMRP knockdown ameliorates the effect of miRNA overexpression on spine morphology. We identified NMDA receptor subunit NR2A as novel target of miR-125b and show that NR2A mRNA is specifically associated with FMRP in brain. In hippocampal neurons, NR2A expression is negatively regulated through its 3’UTR by FMRP, miR-125b and Argonaute 1. Regulation of NR2A 3’UTR by FMRP depends in part on miR-125b. Because NMDA receptor subunit composition profoundly affects synaptic plasticity, these observations have implications for the pathophysiology of Fragile X Syndrome, in which plasticity is altered. PMID:20159450

  6. Differential regulation of synaptic transmission by mGlu2 and mGlu3 at the perforant path inputs to the dentate gyrus and CA1 revealed in mGlu2 -/- mice.

    PubMed

    Kew, James N C; Pflimlin, Marie-Claire; Kemp, John A; Mutel, Vincent

    2002-08-01

    Group II metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptors can act as presynaptic autoinhibitory receptors at perforant path inputs to the hippocampus under conditions of high frequency synaptic activation. We have used mGlu2 -/- mice to examine the relative roles of mGlu2 and mGlu3 in the regulation of perforant path synaptic transmission mediated by both the selective group II receptor agonist, DCG-IV, and by synaptically released glutamate. Field excitatory postsynaptic potentials evoked by stimulation of either the perforant path inputs to the dentate gyrus mid-moleculare or the CA1 stratum lacunosum moleculare were inhibited by DCG-IV with IC(50) values and maximum percentage inhibition of: 169 nM (60%) and 41 nM (72%) in wild-type mice and 273 nM (19%) and 116 nM (49%) in mGlu2 -/- mice, respectively. Activation of presynaptic group II mGlu autoreceptors by synaptically released glutamate, as revealed by a LY341495-mediated increase in the relative amplitude of a test fEPSP evoked after a conditioning burst, was observed in both the dentate gyrus and the stratum lacunosum of wild-type, but not mGlu2 -/- mice. These observations demonstrate that activation of mGlu3 receptors can regulate synaptic transmission at perforant path synapses but suggest that mGlu2 is the major presynaptic group II autoreceptor activated by synaptically released glutamate. PMID:12213275

  7. Implications of emotion regulation strategies for empathic concern, social attitudes, and helping behavior.

    PubMed

    Lebowitz, Matthew S; Dovidio, John F

    2015-04-01

    Empathic concern-a sense of caring and compassion in response to the needs of others-is a type of emotional response to the plights and misfortunes of others that predicts positive social attitudes and altruistic interpersonal behaviors. One psychological process that has been posited to facilitate empathic concern is the ability to regulate one's own emotions. However, existing research links some emotion-regulation approaches (e.g., suppression) to social outcomes that would appear at odds with empathic concern, such as decreased interpersonal closeness. In the present research, we tested whether relying on suppression to regulate one's emotions would lead to decreases in empathic concern-and related downstream variables, such as negative social attitudes and unwillingness to engage in altruistic behavior-when learning about another person's misfortune. In Study 1, dispositional and instructionally induced suppression was negatively associated with empathic concern, which led to increased stigmatizing attitudes. By contrast, instructing participants to use another emotion-regulation strategy examined for comparison-reappraisal-did not decrease empathic concern, and dispositional reliance on reappraisal was actually positively associated with empathic concern. In Study 2, the findings of Study 1 regarding the effects of habitual use of reappraisal and suppression were replicated, and reliance on suppression was also found to be associated with reluctance to engage in helping behaviors. These findings are situated within the existing literature and employed to shed new light on the interpersonal consequences of intrapersonal emotion-regulation strategies.

  8. Implications of emotion regulation strategies for empathic concern, social attitudes, and helping behavior.

    PubMed

    Lebowitz, Matthew S; Dovidio, John F

    2015-04-01

    Empathic concern-a sense of caring and compassion in response to the needs of others-is a type of emotional response to the plights and misfortunes of others that predicts positive social attitudes and altruistic interpersonal behaviors. One psychological process that has been posited to facilitate empathic concern is the ability to regulate one's own emotions. However, existing research links some emotion-regulation approaches (e.g., suppression) to social outcomes that would appear at odds with empathic concern, such as decreased interpersonal closeness. In the present research, we tested whether relying on suppression to regulate one's emotions would lead to decreases in empathic concern-and related downstream variables, such as negative social attitudes and unwillingness to engage in altruistic behavior-when learning about another person's misfortune. In Study 1, dispositional and instructionally induced suppression was negatively associated with empathic concern, which led to increased stigmatizing attitudes. By contrast, instructing participants to use another emotion-regulation strategy examined for comparison-reappraisal-did not decrease empathic concern, and dispositional reliance on reappraisal was actually positively associated with empathic concern. In Study 2, the findings of Study 1 regarding the effects of habitual use of reappraisal and suppression were replicated, and reliance on suppression was also found to be associated with reluctance to engage in helping behaviors. These findings are situated within the existing literature and employed to shed new light on the interpersonal consequences of intrapersonal emotion-regulation strategies. PMID:25706828

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Network processes involved in the mediation of short-term habituation in Aplysia: contribution of intrinsic regulation of excitability and synaptic augmentation.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Thomas M; Jacobson, Daniel A; Demorest-Hayes, Kristin

    2014-01-01

    Short-term habituation (STH) is the decrease in behavioral responding observed during repeated stimulation at regular intervals. For siphon-elicited siphon withdrawal in Aplysia (S-SWR), we previously showed that the amplitude of responses measured in LFS-type siphon motor neurons (LFS MNs) during training is dependent on the stimulus interval used and is training-site specific. The major source of excitation from siphon stimulation onto the LFS MNs comes from the L29 interneurons. Here we examined the role of the L29s in STH by addressing two questions: (1) What are the relative contributions of intrinsic regulation of excitability and network inhibition on L29 activity during STH training? By activating L29s with intracellular current injection, we found that intrinsic changes in excitability occur, but only at short training intervals (1 s). We also demonstrated that network inhibition is not required for regulating L29 responses during training, indicating that any expression of inhibition is redundant to the excitability changes. (2) How does L29 synaptic plasticity contribute to the maintenance of training site-specificity exhibited in LFS MNs? When training stimuli are delivered 1 s apart [1 s, interstimulus interval (ISI)], L29 responses decrease in both stimulated (trained) and un-stimulated (untrained) pathways, yet site-specificity of training is maintained in the LFS MNs. Our results suggest that activity-dependent synaptic facilitation (augmentation; AUG) expressed by the L29s acts to compensate for the decreased activity in the untrained pathway. First, we demonstrated that the L29-LFS synapse exhibits significant AUG with L29 activation at a 1 s ISI. Second, we showed that the induction of AUG prevents the reduction in siphon-evoked LFS responses that is otherwise observed with decreased L29 activity. Collectively, our results support a role for the L29s in regulating network dynamics during STH training, but only at rapid (1 s ISI) training

  12. LPHN3, a presynaptic adhesion-GPCR implicated in ADHD, regulates the strength of neocortical layer 2/3 synaptic input to layer 5

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Latrophilins (LPHNs) are a small family of neuronal adhesion-GPCRs originally discovered as receptors for the black widow spider toxin α-latrotoxin. Mutations in LPHN3 have recently been identified as risk factors for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in humans, but their physiological function has remained elusive. In this study, we tested two hypotheses regarding LPHN3 function: (1) LPHN3 regulates synaptic transmission by modulating probability of release; and (2) LPHN3 controls synapse development and the abundance of synapses. Results We manipulated LPHN3 expression in mouse layer 2/3 (L2/3) pyramidal neurons and examined the consequences on the L2/3 to L5 cortical microcircuit. Employing an optogenetic strategy combined with shRNA knockdown of LPHN3, we found that LPHN3 did not influence probability of release at synapses formed by L2/3 neurons onto L5 pyramidal cells. The strength of L2/3 afferent input to L5, however, was weakened by loss of LPHN3. Using Synaptophysin-GFP as an anatomical marker of presynaptic terminals, we found that the density of synapses formed by L2/3 axons in L5 was reduced when LPHN3 was lost. Finally, we investigated the structural organization of the extracellular domain of LPHN3. We used single particle negative stain electron microscopy to image the extracellular domain of LPHN3 and showed that the Olfactomedin and Lectin domains form a globular domain on an elongated stalk. Cell-based binding experiments with mutant proteins revealed that the Olfactomedin domain was required for binding to FLRT3, whereas both the Olfactomedin and Lectin domains were involved in binding to Teneurin 1. Mutant LPHN3 lacking the Olfactomedin domain was not capable of rescuing the deficit in presynaptic density following knockdown of endogenous LPHN3. Conclusions We find that LPHN3 regulates the number of synapses formed by L2/3 neurons in L5 and the strength of synaptic drive from the L2/3-L5 pathway. The Olfactomedin

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Coordinated regulation of endocannabinoid-mediated retrograde synaptic suppression in the cerebellum by neuronal and astrocytic monoacylglycerol lipase

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xiaojie; Chen, Yao; Vickstrom, Casey R.; Li, Yan; Viader, Andreu; Cravatt, Benjamin F.; Liu, Qing-song

    2016-01-01

    The endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) mediates retrograde synaptic depression including depolarization-induced suppression of excitation (DSE) and inhibition (DSI). 2-AG is degraded primarily by monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), which is expressed in neurons and astrocytes. Using knockout mice in which MAGL is deleted globally or selectively in neurons or astrocytes, we investigated the relative contribution of neuronal and astrocytic MAGL to the termination of DSE and DSI in Purkinje cells (PCs) in cerebellar slices. We report that neuronal MAGL plays a predominant role in terminating DSE at climbing fiber (CF) to PC synapses, while both neuronal and astrocytic MAGL significantly contributes to the termination of DSE at parallel fiber (PF) to PC synapses and DSI at putative Stellate cell to PC synapses. Thus, DSE and DSI at different synapses is not uniformly affected by global and cell type-specific knockout of MAGL. Additionally, MAGL global knockout, but not cell type-specific knockout, caused tonic activation and partial desensitization of the CB1 receptor at PF-PC synapses. This tonic CB1 activation is mediated by 2-AG since it was blocked by the diacylglycerol lipase inhibitor DO34. Together, these results suggest that both neuronal and astrocytic MAGL contribute to 2-AG clearance and prevent CB1 receptor over-stimulation in the cerebellum. PMID:27775008

  16. Free D-aspartate regulates neuronal dendritic morphology, synaptic plasticity, gray matter volume and brain activity in mammals

    PubMed Central

    Errico, F; Nisticò, R; Di Giorgio, A; Squillace, M; Vitucci, D; Galbusera, A; Piccinin, S; Mango, D; Fazio, L; Middei, S; Trizio, S; Mercuri, N B; Teule, M A; Centonze, D; Gozzi, A; Blasi, G; Bertolino, A; Usiello, A

    2014-01-01

    D-aspartate (D-Asp) is an atypical amino acid, which is especially abundant in the developing mammalian brain, and can bind to and activate N-methyl-D-Aspartate receptors (NMDARs). In line with its pharmacological features, we find that mice chronically treated with D-Asp show enhanced NMDAR-mediated miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents and basal cerebral blood volume in fronto-hippocampal areas. In addition, we show that both chronic administration of D-Asp and deletion of the gene coding for the catabolic enzyme D-aspartate oxidase (DDO) trigger plastic modifications of neuronal cytoarchitecture in the prefrontal cortex and CA1 subfield of the hippocampus and promote a cytochalasin D-sensitive form of synaptic plasticity in adult mouse brains. To translate these findings in humans and consistent with the experiments using Ddo gene targeting in animals, we performed a hierarchical stepwise translational genetic approach. Specifically, we investigated the association of variation in the gene coding for DDO with complex human prefrontal phenotypes. We demonstrate that genetic variation predicting reduced expression of DDO in postmortem human prefrontal cortex is mapped on greater prefrontal gray matter and activity during working memory as measured with MRI. In conclusion our results identify novel NMDAR-dependent effects of D-Asp on plasticity and physiology in rodents, which also map to prefrontal phenotypes in humans. PMID:25072322

  17. Free D-aspartate regulates neuronal dendritic morphology, synaptic plasticity, gray matter volume and brain activity in mammals.

    PubMed

    Errico, F; Nisticò, R; Di Giorgio, A; Squillace, M; Vitucci, D; Galbusera, A; Piccinin, S; Mango, D; Fazio, L; Middei, S; Trizio, S; Mercuri, N B; Teule, M A; Centonze, D; Gozzi, A; Blasi, G; Bertolino, A; Usiello, A

    2014-01-01

    D-aspartate (D-Asp) is an atypical amino acid, which is especially abundant in the developing mammalian brain, and can bind to and activate N-methyl-D-Aspartate receptors (NMDARs). In line with its pharmacological features, we find that mice chronically treated with D-Asp show enhanced NMDAR-mediated miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents and basal cerebral blood volume in fronto-hippocampal areas. In addition, we show that both chronic administration of D-Asp and deletion of the gene coding for the catabolic enzyme D-aspartate oxidase (DDO) trigger plastic modifications of neuronal cytoarchitecture in the prefrontal cortex and CA1 subfield of the hippocampus and promote a cytochalasin D-sensitive form of synaptic plasticity in adult mouse brains. To translate these findings in humans and consistent with the experiments using Ddo gene targeting in animals, we performed a hierarchical stepwise translational genetic approach. Specifically, we investigated the association of variation in the gene coding for DDO with complex human prefrontal phenotypes. We demonstrate that genetic variation predicting reduced expression of DDO in postmortem human prefrontal cortex is mapped on greater prefrontal gray matter and activity during working memory as measured with MRI. In conclusion our results identify novel NMDAR-dependent effects of D-Asp on plasticity and physiology in rodents, which also map to prefrontal phenotypes in humans.

  18. Synaptic P-Rex1 signaling regulates hippocampal long-term depression and autism-like social behavior

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jun; Chai, Anping; Wang, Lifang; Ma, Yuanlin; Wu, Zhiliu; Yu, Hao; Mei, Liwei; Lu, Lin; Zhang, Chen; Yue, Weihua; Xu, Lin; Rao, Yi; Zhang, Dai

    2015-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of highly inheritable mental disorders associated with synaptic dysfunction, but the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms remain to be clarified. Here we report that autism in Chinese Han population is associated with genetic variations and copy number deletion of P-Rex1 (phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-trisphosphate-dependent Rac exchange factor 1). Genetic deletion or knockdown of P-Rex1 in the CA1 region of the hippocampus in mice resulted in autism-like social behavior that was specifically linked to the defect of long-term depression (LTD) in the CA1 region through alteration of AMPA receptor endocytosis mediated by the postsynaptic PP1α (protein phosphase 1α)–P-Rex1–Rac1 (Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1) signaling pathway. Rescue of the LTD in the CA1 region markedly alleviated autism-like social behavior. Together, our findings suggest a vital role of P-Rex1 signaling in CA1 LTD that is critical for social behavior and cognitive function and offer new insight into the etiology of ASDs. PMID:26621702

  19. Influence of Academic Self-Regulation, Critical Thinking, and Age on Online Graduate Students' Academic Help-Seeking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dunn, Karee E.; Rakes, Glenda C.; Rakes, Thomas A.

    2014-01-01

    Academic help-seeking is an invaluable learning strategy that has not yet received much attention in the distance education research literature. The asynchronous nature of distance education and many online courses presents an inherent roadblock to help-seeking. The purpose of this study was to explore the effect of academic self-regulation,…

  20. Propofol prevents electroconvulsive-shock-induced memory impairment through regulation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity in a rat model of depression

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Jie; Min, Su; Wei, Ke; Cao, Jun; Wang, Bin; Li, Ping; Dong, Jun; Liu, Yuanyuan

    2014-01-01

    Background Although a rapid and efficient psychiatric treatment, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) induces memory impairment. Modified ECT requires anesthesia for safety purposes. Although traditionally found to exert amnesic effects in general anesthesia, which is an inherent part of modified ECT, some anesthetics have been found to protect against ECT-induced cognitive impairment. However, the mechanisms remain unclear. We investigated the effects of propofol (2,6-diisopropylphenol) on memory in depressed rats undergoing electroconvulsive shock (ECS), the analog of ECT in animals, under anesthesia as well as its mechanisms. Methods Chronic unpredictable mild stresses were adopted to reproduce depression in a rodent model. Rats underwent ECS (or sham ECS) with anesthesia with propofol or normal saline. Behavior was assessed in sucrose preference, open field and Morris water maze tests. Hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) was measured using electrophysiological techniques. PSD-95, CREB, and p-CREB protein expression was assayed with Western blotting. Results Depression induced memory damage, and downregulated LTP, PSD-95, CREB, and p-CREB; these effects were exacerbated in depressed rats by ECS; propofol did not reverse the depression-induced changes, but when administered in modified ECS, propofol improved memory and reversed the downregulation of LTP and the proteins. Conclusion These findings suggest that propofol prevents ECS-induced memory impairment, and modified ECS under anesthesia with propofol improves memory in depressed rats, possibly by reversing the excessive changes in hippocampal synaptic plasticity. These observations provide a novel insight into potential targets for optimizing the clinical use of ECT for psychiatric disorders. PMID:25285008

  1. Role of rut adenylyl cyclase in the ensemble regulation of presynaptic terminal excitability: reduced synaptic strength and precision in a Drosophila memory mutant.

    PubMed

    Ueda, Atsushi; Wu, Chun-Fang

    2009-01-01

    Although modulation of presynaptic terminal excitability can profoundly affect transmission efficacy, how excitability along axonal terminal branches is regulated requires further investigations. We performed focal patch recording in Drosophila larval neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) to monitor the activity of individual synaptic boutons along the presynaptic terminal. Analysis of the learning mutant rutabaga (rut) suggests a tight regulation of presynaptic terminal excitability by rut adenylyl cyclase (AC) that is responsible for Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent cAMP synthesis. Focal excitatory junctional currents (ejcs) demonstrated that disrupted cAMP metabolism in rut mutant boutons leads to decreased transmitter release, coupled with temporal dispersion and amplitude fluctuation of ejcs during repetitive activity. Strikingly, rut motor terminals displayed greatly increased variability among corresponding terminal branches of identified NMJs in different preparations. However, boutons throughout single terminal branches were relatively uniform in either WT or rut mutant larvae. The use of electrotonic depolarization to directly evoke transmitter release from axonal terminals revealed that variability in neurotransmission originated from varying degrees of weakened excitability in rut terminals. Pharmacological treatments and axonal action potential recordings raised the possibility that defective rut AC resulted in reduced Ca2+ currents in the nerve terminal. Thus, our data indicate that rut AC not only affects transmitter release machinery, but also plays a previously unsuspected role in local excitability control, both contributing to transmission level and precision along the entire axonal terminal. PMID:19101836

  2. The interaction of mammalian Class C Vps with nSec-1/Munc18-a and syntaxin 1A regulates pre-synaptic release

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Bong Yoon; Sahara, Yoshinori; Yamamoto, Akitsugu; Kominami, Eiki; Kohsaka, Shinichi; Akazawa, Chihiro . E-mail: akazawa1@ncnp.go.jp

    2006-11-24

    Membrane docking and fusion in neurons is a highly regulated process requiring the participation of a large number of SNAREs (soluble N-ethylmaleimide sensitive factor attachment protein receptors) and SNARE-interacting proteins. We found that mammalian Class C Vps protein complex associated specifically with nSec-1/Munc18-a, and syntaxin 1A both in vivo and in vitro. In contrast, VAMP2 and SNAP-25, other neuronal core complex proteins, did not interact. When co-transfected with the human growth hormone (hGH) reporter gene, mammalian Class C Vps proteins enhanced Ca{sup 2+}-dependent exocytosis, which was abolished by the Ca{sup 2+}-channel blocker nifedipine. In hippocampal primary cultures, the lentivirus-mediated overexpression of hVps18 increased asynchronous spontaneous synaptic release without changing mEPSCs. These results indicate that mammalian Class C Vps proteins are involved in the regulation of membrane docking and fusion through an interaction with neuronal specific SNARE molecules, nSec-1/Munc18-a and syntaxin 1A.

  3. 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

  4. Regulation of GABAA and Glutamate Receptor Expression, Synaptic Facilitation and Long-Term Potentiation in the Hippocampus of Prion Mutant Mice

    PubMed Central

    Rangel, Alejandra; Madroñal, Noelia; Massó, Agnès Gruart i.; Gavín, Rosalina; Llorens, Franc; Sumoy, Lauro; Torres, Juan María; Delgado-García, José María; Río, José Antonio Del

    2009-01-01

    Background Prionopathies are characterized by spongiform brain degeneration, myoclonia, dementia, and periodic electroencephalographic (EEG) disturbances. The hallmark of prioniopathies is the presence of an abnormal conformational isoform (PrPsc) of the natural cellular prion protein (PrPc) encoded by the Prnp gene. Although several roles have been attributed to PrPc, its putative functions in neuronal excitability are unknown. Although early studies of the behavior of Prnp knockout mice described minor changes, later studies report altered behavior. To date, most functional PrPc studies on synaptic plasticity have been performed in vitro. To our knowledge, only one electrophysiological study has been performed in vivo in anesthetized mice, by Curtis and coworkers. They reported no significant differences in paired-pulse facilitation or LTP in the CA1 region after Schaffer collateral/commissural pathway stimulation. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we explore the role of PrPc expression in neurotransmission and neural excitability using wild-type, Prnp −/− and PrPc-overexpressing mice (Tg20 strain). By correlating histopathology with electrophysiology in living behaving mice, we demonstrate that both Prnp −/− mice but, more relevantly Tg20 mice show increased susceptibility to KA, leading to significant cell death in the hippocampus. This finding correlates with enhanced synaptic facilitation in paired-pulse experiments and hippocampal LTP in living behaving mutant mice. Gene expression profiling using Illumina™ microarrays and Ingenuity pathways analysis showed that 129 genes involved in canonical pathways such as Ubiquitination or Neurotransmission were co-regulated in Prnp −/− and Tg20 mice. Lastly, RT-qPCR of neurotransmission-related genes indicated that subunits of GABAA and AMPA-kainate receptors are co-regulated in both Prnp −/− and Tg20 mice. Conclusions/Significance Present results demonstrate that PrPc is necessary for the proper

  5. Listening to Music: Helping Children Regulate Their Emotions and Improve Learning in the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foran, Lucille M.

    2009-01-01

    Early education teachers are familiar with using music and rhythm as tools for learning language and building memory. However, the potential of music to help across all special education settings is largely unexplored. Work with music has been widely judged helpful in cases of psychological trauma, yet people do not know why it is helpful. The…

  6. 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

  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. Modification of a Hydrophobic Layer by a Point Mutation in Syntaxin 1A Regulates the Rate of Synaptic Vesicle Fusion

    PubMed Central

    Lagow, Robert D; Bao, Hong; Cohen, Evan N; Daniels, Richard W; Zuzek, Aleksej; Williams, Wade H; Macleod, Gregory T; Sutton, R. Bryan; Zhang, Bing

    2007-01-01

    Both constitutive secretion and Ca2+-regulated exocytosis require the assembly of the soluble N-ethylmaleimide–sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complexes. At present, little is known about how the SNARE complexes mediating these two distinct pathways differ in structure. Using the Drosophila neuromuscular synapse as a model, we show that a mutation modifying a hydrophobic layer in syntaxin 1A regulates the rate of vesicle fusion. Syntaxin 1A molecules share a highly conserved threonine in the C-terminal +7 layer near the transmembrane domain. Mutation of this threonine to isoleucine results in a structural change that more closely resembles those found in syntaxins ascribed to the constitutive secretory pathway. Flies carrying the I254 mutant protein have increased levels of SNARE complexes and dramatically enhanced rate of both constitutive and evoked vesicle fusion. In contrast, overexpression of the T254 wild-type protein in neurons reduces vesicle fusion only in the I254 mutant background. These results are consistent with molecular dynamics simulations of the SNARE core complex, suggesting that T254 serves as an internal brake to dampen SNARE zippering and impede vesicle fusion, whereas I254 favors fusion by enhancing intermolecular interaction within the SNARE core complex. PMID:17341138

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2005-01-01

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

  11. Copper-uptake is critical for the down regulation of synapsin and dynamin induced by neocuproine: modulation of synaptic activity in hippocampal neurons

    PubMed Central

    Castro, Patricio A.; Ramirez, Alejandra; Sepúlveda, Fernando J.; Peters, Christian; Fierro, Humberto; Waldron, Javier; Luza, Sandra; Fuentealba, Jorge; Muñoz, Francisco J.; De Ferrari, Giancarlo V.; Bush, Ashley I.; Aguayo, Luis G.; Opazo, Carlos M.

    2014-01-01

    Extracellular and intracellular copper and zinc regulate synaptic activity and plasticity, which may impact brain functionality and human behavior. We have found that a metal coordinating molecule, Neocuproine, transiently increases free intracellular copper and zinc levels (i.e., min) in hippocampal neurons as monitored by Phen Green and FluoZin-3 fluorescence, respectively. The changes in free intracellular zinc induced by Neocuproine were abolished by the presence of a non-permeant copper chelator, Bathocuproine (BC), indicating that copper influx is needed for the action of Neocuproine on intracellular Zn levels. Moreover, Neocuproine decreased the mRNA levels of Synapsin and Dynamin, and did not affect the expression of Bassoon, tubulin or superoxide dismutase (SOD). Western blot analysis showed that protein levels of synapsin and dynamin were also down regulated in the presence of Neocuproine and that these changes were accompanied by a decrease in calcium transients and neuronal activity. Furthermore, Neocuproine decreased the number of active neurons, effect that was blocked by the presence of BC, indicating that copper influx is needed for the action of Neocuproine. We finally show that Neocuproine blocks the epileptiform-like activity induced by bicuculline in hippocampal neurons. Collectively, our data indicates that presynaptic protein configuration and function of primary hippocampal neurons is sensitive to transient changes in transition metal homeostasis. Therefore, small molecules able to coordinate transition metals and penetrate the blood-brain barrier might modify neurotransmission at the Central Nervous System (CNS). This might be useful to establish therapeutic approaches to control the neuronal hyperexcitabiltity observed in brain conditions that are associated to copper dyshomeotasis such as Alzheimer’s and Menkes diseases. Our work also opens a new avenue to find novel and effective antiepilepsy drugs based in metal coordinating molecules

  12. Copper-uptake is critical for the down regulation of synapsin and dynamin induced by neocuproine: modulation of synaptic activity in hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Castro, Patricio A; Ramirez, Alejandra; Sepúlveda, Fernando J; Peters, Christian; Fierro, Humberto; Waldron, Javier; Luza, Sandra; Fuentealba, Jorge; Muñoz, Francisco J; De Ferrari, Giancarlo V; Bush, Ashley I; Aguayo, Luis G; Opazo, Carlos M

    2014-01-01

    Extracellular and intracellular copper and zinc regulate synaptic activity and plasticity, which may impact brain functionality and human behavior. We have found that a metal coordinating molecule, Neocuproine, transiently increases free intracellular copper and zinc levels (i.e., min) in hippocampal neurons as monitored by Phen Green and FluoZin-3 fluorescence, respectively. The changes in free intracellular zinc induced by Neocuproine were abolished by the presence of a non-permeant copper chelator, Bathocuproine (BC), indicating that copper influx is needed for the action of Neocuproine on intracellular Zn levels. Moreover, Neocuproine decreased the mRNA levels of Synapsin and Dynamin, and did not affect the expression of Bassoon, tubulin or superoxide dismutase (SOD). Western blot analysis showed that protein levels of synapsin and dynamin were also down regulated in the presence of Neocuproine and that these changes were accompanied by a decrease in calcium transients and neuronal activity. Furthermore, Neocuproine decreased the number of active neurons, effect that was blocked by the presence of BC, indicating that copper influx is needed for the action of Neocuproine. We finally show that Neocuproine blocks the epileptiform-like activity induced by bicuculline in hippocampal neurons. Collectively, our data indicates that presynaptic protein configuration and function of primary hippocampal neurons is sensitive to transient changes in transition metal homeostasis. Therefore, small molecules able to coordinate transition metals and penetrate the blood-brain barrier might modify neurotransmission at the Central Nervous System (CNS). This might be useful to establish therapeutic approaches to control the neuronal hyperexcitabiltity observed in brain conditions that are associated to copper dyshomeotasis such as Alzheimer's and Menkes diseases. Our work also opens a new avenue to find novel and effective antiepilepsy drugs based in metal coordinating molecules.

  13. Angelman Syndrome Protein Ube3a Regulates Synaptic Growth and Endocytosis by Inhibiting BMP Signaling in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Li, Wenhua; Yao, Aiyu; Zhi, Hui; Kaur, Kuldeep; Zhu, Yong-Chuan; Jia, Mingyue; Zhao, Hui; Wang, Qifu; Jin, Shan; Zhao, Guoli; Xiong, Zhi-Qi; Zhang, Yong Q

    2016-05-01

    Altered expression of the E3 ubiquitin ligase UBE3A, which is involved in protein degradation through the proteasome-mediated pathway, is associated with neurodevelopmental and behavioral defects observed in Angelman syndrome (AS) and autism. However, little is known about the neuronal function of UBE3A and the pathogenesis of UBE3A-associated disorders. To understand the in vivo function of UBE3A in the nervous system, we generated multiple mutations of ube3a, the Drosophila ortholog of UBE3A. We found a significantly increased number of total boutons and satellite boutons in conjunction with compromised endocytosis in the neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) of ube3a mutants compared to the wild type. Genetic and biochemical analysis showed upregulation of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling in the nervous system of ube3a mutants. An immunochemical study revealed a specific increase in the protein level of Thickveins (Tkv), a type I BMP receptor, but not other BMP receptors Wishful thinking (Wit) and Saxophone (Sax), in ube3a mutants. Ube3a was associated with and specifically ubiquitinated lysine 227 within the cytoplasmic tail of Tkv, and promoted its proteasomal degradation in Schneider 2 cells. Negative regulation of Tkv by Ube3a was conserved in mammalian cells. These results reveal a critical role for Ube3a in regulating NMJ synapse development by repressing BMP signaling. This study sheds new light onto the neuronal functions of UBE3A and provides novel perspectives for understanding the pathogenesis of UBE3A-associated disorders. PMID:27232889

  14. Angelman Syndrome Protein Ube3a Regulates Synaptic Growth and Endocytosis by Inhibiting BMP Signaling in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Kaur, Kuldeep; Zhu, Yong-chuan; Zhao, Hui; Wang, Qifu; Jin, Shan; Zhao, Guoli; Xiong, Zhi-Qi; Zhang, Yong Q.

    2016-01-01

    Altered expression of the E3 ubiquitin ligase UBE3A, which is involved in protein degradation through the proteasome-mediated pathway, is associated with neurodevelopmental and behavioral defects observed in Angelman syndrome (AS) and autism. However, little is known about the neuronal function of UBE3A and the pathogenesis of UBE3A-associated disorders. To understand the in vivo function of UBE3A in the nervous system, we generated multiple mutations of ube3a, the Drosophila ortholog of UBE3A. We found a significantly increased number of total boutons and satellite boutons in conjunction with compromised endocytosis in the neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) of ube3a mutants compared to the wild type. Genetic and biochemical analysis showed upregulation of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling in the nervous system of ube3a mutants. An immunochemical study revealed a specific increase in the protein level of Thickveins (Tkv), a type I BMP receptor, but not other BMP receptors Wishful thinking (Wit) and Saxophone (Sax), in ube3a mutants. Ube3a was associated with and specifically ubiquitinated lysine 227 within the cytoplasmic tail of Tkv, and promoted its proteasomal degradation in Schneider 2 cells. Negative regulation of Tkv by Ube3a was conserved in mammalian cells. These results reveal a critical role for Ube3a in regulating NMJ synapse development by repressing BMP signaling. This study sheds new light onto the neuronal functions of UBE3A and provides novel perspectives for understanding the pathogenesis of UBE3A-associated disorders. PMID:27232889

  15. Adaptive and Nonadaptive Help Seeking with Peer Harassment: An Integrative Perspective of Coping and Self-Regulation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newman, Richard S.

    2008-01-01

    When harassed by peers, elementary school students often face a dilemma of whether to ask their teacher for help. Assistance may be useful, and perhaps necessary. However, there can be social costs; children generally are expected to resolve interpersonal conflicts on their own. Two theoretical perspectives (i.e., coping and self-regulation)…

  16. MeCP2 Regulates the Synaptic Expression of a Dysbindin-BLOC-1 Network Component in Mouse Brain and Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Larimore, Jennifer; Ryder, Pearl V.; Kim, Kun-Yong; Ambrose, L. Alex; Chapleau, Christopher; Calfa, Gaston; Gross, Christina; Bassell, Gary J.; Pozzo-Miller, Lucas; Smith, Yoland; Talbot, Konrad; Park, In-Hyun; Faundez, Victor

    2013-01-01

    Clinical, epidemiological, and genetic evidence suggest overlapping pathogenic mechanisms between autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and schizophrenia. We tested this hypothesis by asking if mutations in the ASD gene MECP2 which cause Rett syndrome affect the expression of genes encoding the schizophrenia risk factor dysbindin, a subunit of the biogenesis of lysosome-related organelles complex-1 (BLOC-1), and associated interacting proteins. We measured mRNA and protein levels of key components of a dysbindin interaction network by, quantitative real time PCR and quantitative immunohistochemistry in hippocampal samples of wild-type and Mecp2 mutant mice. In addition, we confirmed results by performing immunohistochemistry of normal human hippocampus and quantitative qRT-PCR of human inducible pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)-derived human neurons from Rett syndrome patients. We defined the distribution of the BLOC-1 subunit pallidin in human and mouse hippocampus and contrasted this distribution with that of symptomatic Mecp2 mutant mice. Neurons from mutant mice and Rett syndrome patients displayed selectively reduced levels of pallidin transcript. Pallidin immunoreactivity decreased in the hippocampus of symptomatic Mecp2 mutant mice, a feature most prominent at asymmetric synapses as determined by immunoelectron microcopy. Pallidin immunoreactivity decreased concomitantly with reduced BDNF content in the hippocampus of Mecp2 mice. Similarly, BDNF content was reduced in the hippocampus of BLOC-1 deficient mice suggesting that genetic defects in BLOC-1 are upstream of the BDNF phenotype in Mecp2 deficient mice. Our results demonstrate that the ASD-related gene Mecp2 regulates the expression of components belonging to the dysbindin interactome and these molecular differences may contribute to synaptic phenotypes that characterize Mecp2 deficiencies and ASD. PMID:23750231

  17. Cholinergic modulation of large-conductance calcium-activated potassium channels regulates synaptic strength and spine calcium in cartwheel cells of the dorsal cochlear nucleus.

    PubMed

    He, Shan; Wang, Ya-Xian; Petralia, Ronald S; Brenowitz, Stephan D

    2014-04-01

    Acetylcholine is a neuromodulatory transmitter that controls synaptic plasticity and sensory processing in many brain regions. The dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) is an auditory brainstem nucleus that integrates auditory signals from the cochlea with multisensory inputs from several brainstem nuclei and receives prominent cholinergic projections. In the auditory periphery, cholinergic modulation serves a neuroprotective function, reducing cochlear output under high sound levels. However, the role of cholinergic signaling in the DCN is less understood. Here we examine postsynaptic mechanisms of cholinergic modulation at glutamatergic synapses formed by parallel fiber axons onto cartwheel cells (CWCs) in the apical DCN circuit from mouse brainstem slice using calcium (Ca) imaging combined with two-photon laser glutamate uncaging onto CWC spines. Activation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) significantly increased the amplitude of both uncaging-evoked EPSPs (uEPSPs) and spine Ca transients. Our results demonstrate that mAChRs in CWC spines act by suppressing large-conductance calcium-activated potassium (BK) channels, and this effect is mediated through the cAMP/protein kinase A signaling pathway. Blocking BK channels relieves voltage-dependent magnesium block of NMDA receptors, thereby enhancing uEPSPs and spine Ca transients. Finally, we demonstrate that mAChR activation inhibits L-type Ca channels and thus may contribute to the suppression of BK channels by mAChRs. In summary, we demonstrate a novel role for BK channels in regulating glutamatergic transmission and show that this mechanism is under modulatory control of mAChRs.

  18. Cholinergic Modulation of Large-Conductance Calcium-Activated Potassium Channels Regulates Synaptic Strength and Spine Calcium in Cartwheel Cells of the Dorsal Cochlear Nucleus

    PubMed Central

    He, Shan; Wang, Ya-Xian; Petralia, Ronald S.

    2014-01-01

    Acetylcholine is a neuromodulatory transmitter that controls synaptic plasticity and sensory processing in many brain regions. The dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) is an auditory brainstem nucleus that integrates auditory signals from the cochlea with multisensory inputs from several brainstem nuclei and receives prominent cholinergic projections. In the auditory periphery, cholinergic modulation serves a neuroprotective function, reducing cochlear output under high sound levels. However, the role of cholinergic signaling in the DCN is less understood. Here we examine postsynaptic mechanisms of cholinergic modulation at glutamatergic synapses formed by parallel fiber axons onto cartwheel cells (CWCs) in the apical DCN circuit from mouse brainstem slice using calcium (Ca) imaging combined with two-photon laser glutamate uncaging onto CWC spines. Activation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) significantly increased the amplitude of both uncaging-evoked EPSPs (uEPSPs) and spine Ca transients. Our results demonstrate that mAChRs in CWC spines act by suppressing large-conductance calcium-activated potassium (BK) channels, and this effect is mediated through the cAMP/protein kinase A signaling pathway. Blocking BK channels relieves voltage-dependent magnesium block of NMDA receptors, thereby enhancing uEPSPs and spine Ca transients. Finally, we demonstrate that mAChR activation inhibits L-type Ca channels and thus may contribute to the suppression of BK channels by mAChRs. In summary, we demonstrate a novel role for BK channels in regulating glutamatergic transmission and show that this mechanism is under modulatory control of mAChRs. PMID:24719104

  19. 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

  20. DOE helps the EPA expedite offshore regulations for synthetic-based mud.

    SciTech Connect

    Veil, J. A.; Daly, J. M.; Johnson, N.; Environmental Assessment; EPA

    2000-01-01

    In the mid-1990s, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) took the lead in promoting the use of synthetic-based muds (SBMs) as a pollution-preventing technology and asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to revise and clarify its offshore regulations. The EPA, in cooperation with industry work groups, has chosen a streamlined approach to resolve SBM discharge regulations. Current regulations and permits do not adequately address SBM issues, a drilling fluid believed to be environmentally friendly. EPA has instead agreed to modify the offshore and coastal effluent limitation guidelines (ELGs).

  1. Preservice Teachers' Help-Seeking Tendencies and Self-Regulation of Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bembenutty, Hefer

    2006-01-01

    The present study examined the associations between preservice teachers' help seeking tendencies, homework beliefs and behavior, and their individual characteristics such as academic delay of gratification, self-esteem, and self-handicap behavior (N = 63). The results indicated that preservice teachers who have a positive attitude toward help…

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. L-DOPA Oppositely Regulates Synaptic Strength and Spine Morphology in D1 and D2 Striatal Projection Neurons in Dyskinesia

    PubMed Central

    Suarez, Luz M; Solis, Oscar; Aguado, Carolina; Lujan, Rafael; Moratalla, Rosario

    2016-01-01

    Dopamine depletion in Parkinson's disease (PD) produces dendritic spine loss in striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs) and increases their excitability. However, the synaptic changes that occur in MSNs in PD, in particular those induced by chronic L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) treatment, are still poorly understood. We exposed BAC-transgenic D1-tomato and D2-eGFP mice to PD and dyskinesia model paradigms, enabling cell type-specific assessment of changes in synaptic physiology and morphology. The distinct fluorescence markers allowed us to identify D1 and D2 MSNs for analysis using intracellular sharp electrode recordings, electron microscopy, and 3D reconstructions with single-cell Lucifer Yellow injections. Dopamine depletion induced spine pruning in both types of MSNs, affecting mushroom and thin spines equally. Dopamine depletion also increased firing rate in both D1- and D2-MSNs, but reduced evoked-EPSP amplitude selectively in D2-MSNs. L-DOPA treatment that produced dyskinesia differentially affected synaptic properties in D1- and D2-MSNs. In D1-MSNs, spine density remained reduced but the remaining spines were enlarged, with bigger heads and larger postsynaptic densities. These morphological changes were accompanied by facilitation of action potential firing triggered by synaptic inputs. In contrast, although L-DOPA restored the number of spines in D2-MSNs, it resulted in shortened postsynaptic densities. These changes in D2-MSNs correlated with a decrease in synaptic transmission. Our findings indicate that L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia is associated with abnormal spine morphology, modified synaptic transmission, and altered EPSP-spike coupling, with distinct effects in D1- and D2-MSNs. PMID:27613437

  5. 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

  6. Comply with regulations or risk paying hefty fines: ten tips for choosing call recording to help ensure compliance.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Bill

    2014-01-01

    Medical practices are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for not complying with various governmental regulations, including a variety of HIPAA rules and credit card compliance. One solution to help reduce this risk and avoid fines is to use call recording to help ensure compliance. This article provides readers with key considerations for choosing and implementing a call recording solution for their medical practices to ensure that it will be compliant with key regulations. These tips include being able to customize call recording policies and procedures for their unique needs; providing secure, private storage; allowing easy access for authorized users; secure sharing of call recordings; regulatory compliance training; disaster recovery; and maintaining an audit-ready and compliant-evident state at all times.

  7. Comply with regulations or risk paying hefty fines: ten tips for choosing call recording to help ensure compliance.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Bill

    2014-01-01

    Medical practices are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for not complying with various governmental regulations, including a variety of HIPAA rules and credit card compliance. One solution to help reduce this risk and avoid fines is to use call recording to help ensure compliance. This article provides readers with key considerations for choosing and implementing a call recording solution for their medical practices to ensure that it will be compliant with key regulations. These tips include being able to customize call recording policies and procedures for their unique needs; providing secure, private storage; allowing easy access for authorized users; secure sharing of call recordings; regulatory compliance training; disaster recovery; and maintaining an audit-ready and compliant-evident state at all times. PMID:24873125

  8. 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.

  9. The NO-cGMP-PKG Signaling Pathway Regulates Synaptic Plasticity and Fear Memory Consolidation in the Lateral Amygdala via Activation of ERK/MAP Kinase

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ota, Kristie T.; Pierre, Vicki J.; Ploski, Jonathan E.; Queen, Kaila; Schafe, Glenn E.

    2008-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that nitric oxide (NO) signaling plays a crucial role in memory consolidation of Pavlovian fear conditioning and in synaptic plasticity in the lateral amygdala (LA). In the present experiments, we examined the role of the cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG), a downstream effector of NO, in fear memory consolidation and…

  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. Predicting protein-protein interactions in the post synaptic density.

    PubMed

    Bar-shira, Ossnat; Chechik, Gal

    2013-09-01

    The post synaptic density (PSD) is a specialization of the cytoskeleton at the synaptic junction, composed of hundreds of different proteins. Characterizing the protein components of the PSD and their interactions can help elucidate the mechanism of long-term changes in synaptic plasticity, which underlie learning and memory. Unfortunately, our knowledge of the proteome and interactome of the PSD is still partial and noisy. In this study we describe a computational framework to improve the reconstruction of the PSD network. The approach is based on learning the characteristics of PSD protein interactions from a set of trusted interactions, expanding this set with data collected from large scale repositories, and then predicting novel interaction with proteins that are suspected to reside in the PSD. Using this method we obtained thirty predicted interactions, with more than half of which having supporting evidence in the literature. We discuss in details two of these new interactions, Lrrtm1 with PSD-95 and Src with Capg. The first may take part in a mechanism underlying glutamatergic dysfunction in schizophrenia. The second suggests an alternative mechanism to regulate dendritic spines maturation.

  12. Regulating the helping hand: improving legal preparedness for cross-border disaster medicine.

    PubMed

    Fisher, David

    2010-01-01

    Medical care is a highly regulated field in nearly every country. Therefore, it is not surprising that legal issues regularly arise in cross-border disaster operations that have with the potential to profoundly impact the effectiveness of international assistance. Little attention has been paid to preparing for and addressing these kinds of issues. This paper will report on research by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) on International Disaster Response Law, and discuss new developments in the international legal framework for addressing these issues. For seven years, the IFRC has studied legal issues in cross-border disaster assistance. Its activities have included several dozen case studies, a global survey of governments and humanitarian stakeholders, and a series of meetings and high-level conferences. The IFRC has found a consistent set of regulatory problems in major disaster relief operations related to the entry and regulation of international relief. These include some issues specific to the health field, such as the regulation of drug donations and the recognition of foreign medical qualifications. To address the gaps in domestic and international regulatory structures, the IFRC spearheaded the development of new international guidelines. The legal risks for international health providers in disaster settings are real and should be better integrated into program planning. Governments must become more proactive in ensuring that legal frameworks are flexible enough to mitigate these problems. PMID:20586011

  13. 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

  14. Absence of amyloid β oligomers at the postsynapse and regulated synaptic Zn2+ in cognitively intact aged individuals with Alzheimer’s disease neuropathology

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Early cognitive impairment in Alzheimer Disease (AD) is thought to result from the dysfunctional effect of amyloid beta (Aβ) oligomers targeting the synapses. Some individuals, however, escape cognitive decline despite the presence of the neuropathologic features of AD (Aβ plaques and neurofibrillary tangles). We term this group Non-Demented with AD Neuropathology or NDAN. The present study illustrates one putative resistance mechanism involved in NDAN cases which may suggest targets for the effective treatment of AD. Results Here we describe the localization of Aβ oligomers at the postsynapse in hippocampi from AD cases. Notably, however, we also found that while present in soluble fractions, Aβ oligomers are absent from hippocampal postsynapses in NDAN cases. In addition, levels of phosphorylated (active) CREB, a transcription factor important for synaptic plasticity, are normal in NDAN individuals, suggesting that their synapses are functionally intact. Analysis of Zn2+ showed that levels were increased in both soluble fractions and synaptic vesicles in AD hippocampi, paralleled by a decrease of expression of the synaptic vesicle Zn2+ transporter, ZnT3. Conversely, in NDAN individuals, levels of Zn2+ in soluble fractions were significantly lower than in AD, whereas in synaptic vesicles the levels of Zn2+ were similar to AD, but accompanied by preserved expression of the ZnT3. Conclusions Taken together, these data illustrate that despite substantial AD neuropathology, Aβ oligomers, and increased synaptic vesicle Zn2+, susceptible brain tissue in these aged NDAN individuals features, as compared to symptomatic AD subjects, significantly lower total Zn2+ levels and no association of Aβ oligomers with the postsynapse, which collectively may promote the maintenance of intact cognitive function. PMID:22640423

  15. Synaptic plasticity and NO-cGMP-PKG signaling coordinately regulate ERK-driven gene expression in the lateral amygdala and in the auditory thalamus following Pavlovian fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Ota, Kristie T; Monsey, Melissa S; Wu, Melissa S; Young, Grace J; Schafe, Glenn E

    2010-04-01

    We have recently hypothesized that NO-cGMP-PKG signaling in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) during auditory fear conditioning coordinately regulates ERK-driven transcriptional changes in both auditory thalamic (MGm/PIN) and LA neurons that serve to promote pre- and postsynaptic alterations at thalamo-LA synapses, respectively. In the present series of experiments, we show that N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-driven synaptic plasticity and NO-cGMP-PKG signaling in the LA regulate the training-induced expression of ERK and the ERK-driven immediate early genes (IEGs) Arc/Arg3.1, c-Fos, and EGR-1 in the LA and the MGm/PIN. Rats receiving intra-LA infusion of the NR2B selective antagonist Ifenprodil, the NOS inhibitor 7-Ni, or the PKG inhibitor Rp-8-Br-PET-cGMPS exhibited significant decreases in ERK activation and in the training-induced expression of all three IEGs in the LA and MGm/PIN while intra-LA infusion of the PKG activator 8-Br-cGMP had the opposite effect. Remarkably, those rats given intra-LA infusion of the membrane impermeable NO scavenger c-PTIO exhibited significant decreases in ERK activation and ERK-driven IEG expression in the MGm/PIN, but not in the LA. Together with our previous experiments, these results suggest that synaptic plasticity and the NO-cGMP-PKG signaling pathway promote fear memory consolidation, in part, by regulating ERK-driven transcription in both the LA and the MGm/PIN. They further suggest that synaptic plasticity in the LA during fear conditioning promotes ERK-driven transcription in MGm/PIN neurons via NO-driven "retrograde signaling."

  16. The cell biology of synaptic specificity during development

    PubMed Central

    Christensen, Ryan; Shao, Zhiyong; Colón-Ramos, Daniel A

    2013-01-01

    Proper circuit connectivity is critical for nervous system function. Connectivity derives from the interaction of two interdependent modules: synaptic specificity and synaptic assembly. Specificity involves both targeting of neurons to specific laminar regions and the formation of synapses onto defined subcellular areas. In this review, we focus discussion on recently elucidated molecular mechanisms that control synaptic specificity and link them to synapse assembly. We use these molecular pathways to underscore fundamental cell biological concepts that underpin, and help explain, the rules governing synaptic specificity. PMID:23932598

  17. Anatomical regulation of ice nucleation and cavitation helps trees to survive freezing and drought stress

    PubMed Central

    Lintunen, A.; Hölttä, T.; Kulmala, M.

    2013-01-01

    Water in the xylem, the water transport system of plants, is vulnerable to freezing and cavitation, i.e. to phase change from liquid to ice or gaseous phase. The former is a threat in cold and the latter in dry environmental conditions. Here we show that a small xylem conduit diameter, which has previously been shown to be associated with lower cavitation pressure thus making a plant more drought resistant, is also associated with a decrease in the temperature required for ice nucleation in the xylem. Thus the susceptibility of freezing and cavitation are linked together in the xylem of plants. We explain this linkage by the regulation of the sizes of the nuclei catalysing freezing and drought cavitation. Our results offer better understanding of the similarities of adaption of plants to cold and drought stress, and offer new insights into the ability of plants to adapt to the changing environment. PMID:23778457

  18. Anatomical regulation of ice nucleation and cavitation helps trees to survive freezing and drought stress.

    PubMed

    Lintunen, A; Hölttä, T; Kulmala, M

    2013-01-01

    Water in the xylem, the water transport system of plants, is vulnerable to freezing and cavitation, i.e. to phase change from liquid to ice or gaseous phase. The former is a threat in cold and the latter in dry environmental conditions. Here we show that a small xylem conduit diameter, which has previously been shown to be associated with lower cavitation pressure thus making a plant more drought resistant, is also associated with a decrease in the temperature required for ice nucleation in the xylem. Thus the susceptibility of freezing and cavitation are linked together in the xylem of plants. We explain this linkage by the regulation of the sizes of the nuclei catalysing freezing and drought cavitation. Our results offer better understanding of the similarities of adaption of plants to cold and drought stress, and offer new insights into the ability of plants to adapt to the changing environment.

  19. Anatomical regulation of ice nucleation and cavitation helps trees to survive freezing and drought stress.

    PubMed

    Lintunen, A; Hölttä, T; Kulmala, M

    2013-01-01

    Water in the xylem, the water transport system of plants, is vulnerable to freezing and cavitation, i.e. to phase change from liquid to ice or gaseous phase. The former is a threat in cold and the latter in dry environmental conditions. Here we show that a small xylem conduit diameter, which has previously been shown to be associated with lower cavitation pressure thus making a plant more drought resistant, is also associated with a decrease in the temperature required for ice nucleation in the xylem. Thus the susceptibility of freezing and cavitation are linked together in the xylem of plants. We explain this linkage by the regulation of the sizes of the nuclei catalysing freezing and drought cavitation. Our results offer better understanding of the similarities of adaption of plants to cold and drought stress, and offer new insights into the ability of plants to adapt to the changing environment. PMID:23778457

  20. The Role of Internet-Specific Epistemic Beliefs and Self-Regulation in High School Students' Online Academic Help Seeking: A Structural Equation Modeling Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cheng, Kun-Hung; Liang, Jyh-Chong; Tsai, Chin-Chung

    2013-01-01

    Three instruments (i.e., Internet-specific epistemic beliefs, self-regulation, and online academic help seeking questionnaires) were administered to 319 high school students with the aim of understanding the role of Internet specific epistemic beliefs and self-regulation in their online academic help seeking. Through a structure equation modeling…

  1. Can Basic Risk Research Help in the Prevention of Childhood and Adolescent Depression? Examining a Cognitive and Emotional Regulation Approach

    PubMed Central

    Rice, Frances; Rawal, Adhip

    2011-01-01

    This paper aims to highlight ways in which basic research findings in the field of childhood and adolescent depression can help to inform and refine preventive intervention efforts. We selectively review basic research evidence from community, clinical, and high-risk populations that identifies cognitive mechanisms (thought processes and reactions to negative affect) and emotional regulation as key processes involved in the onset and maintenance of depression. We focus on cognitive and emotional mechanisms in order to allow comparability with the majority of current preventive interventions. A range of basic research strategies and studies are then suggested that could be employed to help the development and refinement of prevention strategies. These include the need for prospective longitudinal studies to identify causal risk and protective factors, an integration of research approaches and methods, and a focus on understanding potential aetiological heterogeneity between childhood and adolescent depression. PMID:21197099

  2. Lambda-cyhalothrin disrupts the up-regulation effect of 17β-estradiol on post-synaptic density 95 protein expression via estrogen receptor α-dependent Akt pathway.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qunan; Xia, Xin; Deng, Xiaomei; Li, Nian; Wu, Daji; Zhang, Long; Yang, Chengwei; Tao, Fangbiao; Zhou, Jiangning

    2016-03-01

    Lambda-cyhalothrin (LCT), one of the type II pyrethroids, has been widely used throughout the world. The estrogenic effect of LCT to increase cell proliferation has been well established. However, whether the estrogenic effect of LCT will influence neurodevelopment has not been investigated. In addition, 17β-Estradiol (E2) plays a crucial role in neurodevelopment and induces an increase in synaptic proteins. The post-synaptic density 95 (PSD95) protein, which is involved in the development of the structure and function of new spines and localized with estrogen receptor α (ERα) at the post-synaptic density (PSD), was detected in our study by using hippocampal neuron cell line HT22. We found that LCT up-regulated PSD95 and ERα expression, estrogen receptor (ER) antagonist ICI182,780 and phosphatidylinositol-4; 5-bisphosphate 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor LY294,002 blocked this effect. In addition, LCT disrupted the promotion effect of E2 on PSD95. To investigate whether the observed changes are caused by ERα-dependent signaling activation, we next detected the effects of LCT on the ERα-mediated PI3K-Protein kinase B (PKB/Akt)-eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF) 4E-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1) pathway. There existed an activation of Akt and the downstream factor 4E-BP1 after LCT treatment. In addition, LCT could disrupt the activation effect of E2 on the Akt pathway. However, no changes in cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) activation and PSD95 messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) were observed. Our findings demonstrated that LCT could increase the PSD95 protein level via the ERα-dependent Akt pathway, and LCT might disrupt the up-regulation effect of E2 on PSD95 protein expression via this signaling pathway. PMID:26969072

  3. Multi-gate synergic modulation in laterally coupled synaptic transistors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

    Laterally coupled oxide-based synaptic transistors with multiple gates are fabricated on phosphorosilicate glass electrolyte films. Electrical performance of the transistor can be evidently improved when the device is operated in a tri-gate synergic modulation mode. Excitatory post-synaptic current and paired pulse facilitation (PPF) behavior of biological synapses are mimicked, and PPF index can be effectively tuned by the voltage applied on the modulatory terminal. At last, superlinear to sublinear synaptic integration regulation is also mimicked by applying a modulatory pulse on the third modulatory terminal. The multi-gate oxide-based synaptic transistors may find potential applications in biochemical sensors and neuromorphic systems.

  4. Exploring Suitable Emotion-Focused Strategies in Helping Students to Regulate Their Emotional State in a Tutoring System: Malaysian Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yusoff, Mohd Zaliman Mohd; Zin, Nor Azan Mat

    2013-01-01

    Introduction: This study explored the suitable emotion-focused strategies in helping students to regulate their emotional state in a self-regulated tutoring system. Method: A questionnaire which consists of 25 different regulation strategies adapted from Way of Coping Questionnaire (WCQ) was used to determine the strategies deployed by the…

  5. Transcriptional coupling of synaptic transmission and energy metabolism: role of nuclear respiratory factor 1 in co-regulating neuronal nitric oxide synthase and cytochrome c oxidase genes in neurons.

    PubMed

    Dhar, Shilpa S; Liang, Huan Ling; Wong-Riley, Margaret T T

    2009-10-01

    Neuronal activity is highly dependent on energy metabolism; yet, the two processes have traditionally been regarded as independently regulated at the transcriptional level. Recently, we found that the same transcription factor, nuclear respiratory factor 1 (NRF-1) co-regulates an important energy-generating enzyme, cytochrome c oxidase, as well as critical subunits of glutamatergic receptors. The present study tests our hypothesis that the co-regulation extends to the next level of glutamatergic synapses, namely, neuronal nitric oxide synthase, which generates nitric oxide as a downstream signaling molecule. Using in silico analysis, electrophoretic mobility shift assay, chromatin immunoprecipitation, promoter mutations, and NRF-1 silencing, we documented that NRF-1 functionally bound to Nos1, but not Nos2 (inducible) and Nos3 (endothelial) gene promoters. Both COX and Nos1 transcripts were up-regulated by depolarizing KCl treatment and down-regulated by TTX-mediated impulse blockade in neurons. However, NRF-1 silencing blocked the up-regulation of both Nos1 and COX induced by KCl depolarization, and over-expression of NRF-1 rescued both Nos1 and COX transcripts down-regulated by TTX. These findings are consistent with our hypothesis that synaptic neuronal transmission and energy metabolism are tightly coupled at the molecular level.

  6. The NO-cGMP-PKG signaling pathway regulates synaptic plasticity and fear memory consolidation in the lateral amygdala via activation of ERK/MAP kinase.

    PubMed

    Ota, Kristie T; Pierre, Vicki J; Ploski, Jonathan E; Queen, Kaila; Schafe, Glenn E

    2008-10-01

    Recent studies have shown that nitric oxide (NO) signaling plays a crucial role in memory consolidation of Pavlovian fear conditioning and in synaptic plasticity in the lateral amygdala (LA). In the present experiments, we examined the role of the cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG), a downstream effector of NO, in fear memory consolidation and long-term potentiation (LTP) at thalamic and cortical input pathways to the LA. In behavioral experiments, rats given intra-LA infusions of either the PKG inhibitor Rp-8-Br-PET-cGMPS or the PKG activator 8-Br-cGMP exhibited dose-dependent impairments or enhancements of fear memory consolidation, respectively. In slice electrophysiology experiments, bath application of Rp-8-Br-PET-cGMPS or the guanylyl cyclase inhibitor LY83583 impaired LTP at thalamic, but not cortical inputs to the LA, while bath application of 8-Br-cGMP or the guanylyl cyclase activator YC-1 resulted in enhanced LTP at thalamic inputs to the LA. Interestingly, YC-1-induced enhancement of LTP in the LA was reversed by concurrent application of the MEK inhibitor U0126, suggesting that the NO-cGMP-PKG signaling pathway may promote synaptic plasticity and fear memory formation in the LA, in part by activating the ERK/MAPK signaling cascade. As a test of this hypothesis, we next showed that rats given intra-LA infusion of the PKG inhibitor Rp-8-Br-PET-cGMPS or the PKG activator 8-Br-cGMP exhibit impaired or enhanced activation, respectively, of ERK/MAPK in the LA after fear conditioning. Collectively, our findings suggest that an NO-cGMP-PKG-dependent form of synaptic plasticity at thalamic input synapses to the LA may underlie memory consolidation of Pavlovian fear conditioning, in part, via activation of the ERK/MAPK signaling cascade.

  7. Helping Kids Help

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heiss, E. Renee

    2008-01-01

    Educators need to help kids help others so that they can help themselves. Volunteering does not involve competition or grades. This is one area where students don't have to worry about measuring up to the expectations of parents, teachers, and coaches. Students participate in charitable work to add another line to a college transcript or job…

  8. Helping Users Help Themselves.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Malley, Claire E.

    This discussion of the design of user-initiated help systems in computers focuses on the information that users actively seek to help them with their tasks, with emphasis on how to help users ask the questions that will bridge the gap between the initial internal (mental) form of the query and their information need as expressed by the system.…

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Role of MicroRNA in Governing Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Phosphodiesterase Inhibition to Target the Synaptic Dysfunction in Alzheimer's Disease

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bales, Kelly R.; Plath, Niels; Svenstrup, Niels; Menniti, Frank S.

    Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is a disease of synaptic dysfunction that ultimately proceeds to neuronal death. There is a wealth of evidence that indicates the final common mediator of this neurotoxic process is the formation and actions on synaptotoxic b-amyloid (Aβ). The premise in this review is that synaptic dysfunction may also be an initiating factor in for AD and promote synaptotoxic Aβ formation. This latter hypothesis is consistent with the fact that the most common risk factors for AD, apolipoprotein E (ApoE) allele status, age, education, and fitness, encompass suboptimal synaptic function. Thus, the synaptic dysfunction in AD may be both cause and effect, and remediating synaptic dysfunction in AD may have acute effects on the symptoms present at the initiation of therapy and also slow disease progression. The cyclic nucleotide (cAMP and cGMP) signaling systems are intimately involved in the regulation of synaptic homeostasis. The phosphodiesterases (PDEs) are a superfamily of enzymes that critically regulate spatial and temporal aspects of cyclic nucleotide signaling through metabolic inactivation of cAMP and cGMP. Thus, targeting the PDEs to promote improved synaptic function, or 'synaptic resilience', may be an effective and facile approach to new symptomatic and disease modifying therapies for AD. There continues to be a significant drug discovery effort aimed at discovering PDE inhibitors to treat a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders. Here we review the current status of those efforts as they relate to potential new therapies for AD.

  15. Casein Kinase 2-mediated Synaptic GluN2A Up-regulation Increases N-Methyl-d-aspartate Receptor Activity and Excitability of Hypothalamic Neurons in Hypertension*

    PubMed Central

    Ye, Zeng-You; Li, Li; Li, De-Pei; Pan, Hui-Lin

    2012-01-01

    Increased glutamatergic input, particularly N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) activity, in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus is closely associated with high sympathetic outflow in essential hypertension. The molecular mechanisms underlying augmented NMDAR activity in hypertension are unclear. GluN2 subunit composition at the synaptic site critically determines NMDAR functional properties. Here, we found that evoked NMDAR-excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) of retrogradely labeled spinally projecting PVN neurons displayed a larger amplitude and shorter decay time in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) than in Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats. Blocking GluN2B caused a smaller decrease in NMDAR-EPSCs of PVN neurons in SHRs than in WKY rats. In contrast, GluN2A blockade resulted in a larger reduction in evoked NMDAR-EPSCs and puff NMDA-elicited currents of PVN neurons in SHRs than in WKY rats. Blocking presynaptic GluN2A, but not GluN2B, significantly reduced the frequency of miniature EPSCs and the firing activity of PVN neurons in SHRs. The mRNA and total protein levels of GluN2A and GluN2B in the PVN were greater in SHRs than in WKY rats. Furthermore, the GluN2B Ser1480 phosphorylation level and the synaptosomal GluN2A protein level in the PVN were significantly higher in SHRs than in WKY rats. Inhibition of protein kinase CK2 normalized the GluN2B Ser1480 phosphorylation level and the contribution of GluN2A to NMDAR-EPSCs and miniature EPSCs of PVN neurons in SHRs. Collectively, our findings suggest that CK2-mediated GluN2B phosphorylation contributes to increased synaptic GluN2A, which potentiates pre- and postsynaptic NMDAR activity and the excitability of PVN presympathetic neurons in hypertension. PMID:22474321

  16. Structure and function of the amygdaloid NPY system: NPY Y2 receptors regulate excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission in the centromedial amygdala.

    PubMed

    Wood, J; Verma, D; Lach, G; Bonaventure, P; Herzog, H; Sperk, G; Tasan, R O

    2016-09-01

    The amygdala is essential for generating emotional-affective behaviors. It consists of several nuclei with highly selective, elaborate functions. In particular, the central extended amygdala, consisting of the central amygdala (CEA) and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) is an essential component actively controlling efferent connections to downstream effectors like hypothalamus and brain stem. Both, CEA and BNST contain high amounts of different neuropeptides that significantly contribute to synaptic transmission. Among these, neuropeptide Y (NPY) has emerged as an important anxiolytic and fear-reducing neuromodulator. Here, we characterized the expression, connectivity and electrophysiological function of NPY and Y2 receptors within the CEA. We identified several NPY-expressing neuronal populations, including somatostatin- and calretinin-expressing neurons. Furthermore, in the main intercalated nucleus, NPY is expressed primarily in dopamine D1 receptor-expressing neurons but also in interspersed somatostatin-expressing neurons. Interestingly, NPY neurons did not co-localize with the Y2 receptor. Retrograde tract tracing experiments revealed that NPY neurons reciprocally connect the CEA and BNST. Functionally, the Y2 receptor agonist PYY3-36, reduced both, inhibitory as well as excitatory synaptic transmission in the centromedial amygdala (CEm). However, we also provide evidence that lack of NPY or Y2 receptors results in increased GABA release specifically at inhibitory synapses in the CEm. Taken together, our findings suggest that NPY expressed by distinct populations of neurons can modulate afferent and efferent projections of the CEA via presynaptic Y2 receptors located at inhibitory and excitatory synapses.

  17. HAP1 helps to regulate actin-based transport of insulin-containing granules in pancreatic β cells.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhiyong; Peng, Ting; Wu, Hongnian; He, Jun; Li, He

    2015-07-01

    Huntingtin-associated protein 1 (HAP1) is enriched in neurons and binds to polyglutamine-expanded huntingtin. It consists of two alternatively spliced isoforms, HAP1A and HAP1B, which differ only in their short C-terminal sequences. Both HAP1A and HAP1B have been also detected in pancreatic β cells, where the loss of HAP1 impairs glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. Here, we use time-lapse laser scanning confocal microscopy to provide direct evidence that HAP1A, but not HAP1B, co-localizes and co-migrates with insulin-containing vesicles and actin-based myosin Va motor protein in the INS-1 pancreatic β cell line. Knocking down HAP1 expression using small interfering RNA significantly inhibited actin-based transport of insulin vesicles following glucose stimulation. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrated interaction between HAP1A, myosin Va, and phogrin, a transmembrane protein in insulin-containing vesicles. Stimulating INS-1 cells with glucose increased the association of HAP1A with myosin Va, while silencing HAP1 expression reduced the association of myosin Va with phogrin after glucose stimulation, without affecting levels of myosin Va or actin. Our results provide real-time evidence in living cells that HAP1 may help regulate transport of insulin-containing secretory granules along cortical actin filaments. This also raises the possibility that HAP1 may play an important role in actin-based secretory vesicle trafficking in neurons. PMID:25744490

  18. 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.

  19. NIDD, a novel DHHC-containing protein, targets neuronal nitric-oxide synthase (nNOS) to the synaptic membrane through a PDZ-dependent interaction and regulates nNOS activity.

    PubMed

    Saitoh, Fuminori; Tian, Qing Bao; Okano, Akira; Sakagami, Hiroyuki; Kondo, Hisatake; Suzuki, Tatsuo

    2004-07-01

    Targeting of neuronal nitric-oxide synthase (nNOS) to appropriate sites in a cell is mediated by interactions with its PDZ domain and plays an important role in specifying the sites of reaction of nitric oxide (NO) in the central nervous system. Here we report the identification and characterization of a novel nNOS-interacting DHHC domain-containing protein with dendritic mRNA (NIDD) (GenBank accession number AB098078), which increases nNOS enzyme activity by targeting the nNOS to the synaptic plasma membrane in a PDZ domain-dependent manner. The deduced NIDD protein consisted of 392 amino acid residues and possessed five transmembrane segments, a zinc finger DHHC domain, and a PDZ-binding motif (-EDIV) at its C-terminal tail. In vitro pull-down assays suggested that the C-terminal tail region of NIDD specifically interacted with the PDZ domain of nNOS. The PDZ dependence was confirmed by an experiment using a deletion mutant, and the interaction was further confirmed by co-sedimentation assays using COS-7 cells transfected with NIDD and nNOS. Both NIDD and nNOS were enriched in synaptosome and synaptic plasma membrane fractions and were present in the lipid raft and postsynaptic density fractions in the rat brain. Co-localization of these proteins was also observed by double staining of the proteins in cultured cortical neurons. Thus, NIDD and nNOS were co-localized in the brain, although the colocalizing regions were restricted, as indicated by the distribution of their mRNA expression. Most important, co-transfection of NIDD and nNOS increased NO-producing nNOS activity. These results suggested that NIDD plays an important role in the regulation of the NO signaling pathway at postsynaptic sites through targeting of nNOS to the postsynaptic membrane. PMID:15105416

  20. Persistent inflammation-induced up-regulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) promotes synaptic delivery of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor GluA1 subunits in descending pain modulatory circuits.

    PubMed

    Tao, Wenjuan; Chen, Quan; Zhou, Wenjie; Wang, Yunping; Wang, Lu; Zhang, Zhi

    2014-08-01

    The enhanced AMPA receptor phosphorylation at GluA1 serine 831 sites in the central pain-modulating system plays a pivotal role in descending pain facilitation after inflammation, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. We show here that, in the rat brain stem, in the nucleus raphe magnus, which is a critical relay in the descending pain-modulating system of the brain, persistent inflammatory pain induced by complete Freund adjuvant (CFA) can enhance AMPA receptor-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents and the GluA2-lacking AMPA receptor-mediated rectification index. Western blot analysis showed an increase in GluA1 phosphorylation at Ser-831 but not at Ser-845. This was accompanied by an increase in distribution of the synaptic GluA1 subunit. In parallel, the level of histone H3 acetylation at bdnf gene promoter regions was reduced significantly 3 days after CFA injection, as indicated by ChIP assays. This was correlated with an increase in BDNF mRNA levels and BDNF protein levels. Sequestering endogenous extracellular BDNF with TrkB-IgG in the nucleus raphe magnus decreased AMPA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission and GluA1 phosphorylation at Ser-831 3 days after CFA injection. Under the same conditions, blockade of TrkB receptor functions, phospholipase C, or PKC impaired GluA1 phosphorylation at Ser-831 and decreased excitatory postsynaptic currents mediated by GluA2-lacking AMPA receptors. Taken together, these results suggest that epigenetic up-regulation of BDNF by peripheral inflammation induces GluR1 phosphorylation at Ser-831 sites through activation of the phospholipase C-PKC signaling cascade, leading to the trafficking of GluA1 to pain-modulating neuronal synapses.

  1. 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.

  2. Redox regulation of mitochondrial fission, protein misfolding, synaptic damage, and neuronal cell death: potential implications for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Tomohiro

    2010-01-01

    Normal mitochondrial dynamics consist of fission and fusion events giving rise to new mitochondria, a process termed mitochondrial biogenesis. However, several neurodegenerative disorders manifest aberrant mitochondrial dynamics, resulting in morphological abnormalities often associated with deficits in mitochondrial mobility and cell bioenergetics. Rarely, dysfunctional mitochondrial occur in a familial pattern due to genetic mutations, but much more commonly patients manifest sporadic forms of mitochondrial disability presumably related to a complex set of interactions of multiple genes (or their products) with environmental factors (G × E). Recent studies have shown that generation of excessive nitric oxide (NO), in part due to generation of oligomers of amyloid-β (Aβ) protein or overactivity of the NMDA-subtype of glutamate receptor, can augment mitochondrial fission, leading to frank fragmentation of the mitochondria. S-Nitrosylation, a covalent redox reaction of NO with specific protein thiol groups, represents one mechanism contributing to NO-induced mitochondrial fragmentation, bioenergetic failure, synaptic damage, and eventually neuronal apoptosis. Here, we summarize our evidence in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients and animal models showing that NO contributes to mitochondrial fragmentation via S-nitrosylation of dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1), a protein involved in mitochondrial fission. These findings may provide a new target for drug development in AD. Additionally, we review emerging evidence that redox reactions triggered by excessive levels of NO can contribute to protein misfolding, the hallmark of a number of neurodegenerative disorders, including AD and Parkinson’s disease. For example, S-nitrosylation of parkin disrupts its E3 ubiquitin ligase activity, and thereby affects Lewy body formation and neuronal cell death. PMID:20177970

  3. Target-controlled differentiation of axon terminals and synaptic organization.

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, G; Frost, D O

    1987-01-01

    These experiments investigate the processes regulating the morphological differentiation of synaptic connections. Electron microscopy showed that the terminal boutons and synaptic complexes of retinal afferent axons in the main thalamic visual nucleus, the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus, differ in their morphology from those of ascending afferent axons in the main thalamic somatosensory (ventrobasal) nucleus. Developing retinal ganglion cell axons in hamsters were made to project permanently to the ventrobasal nucleus, rather than to the lateral geniculate nucleus. With respect to most of the ultrastructural features examined, the terminals and synaptic complexes of mature, anterogradely labeled retino-ventrobasal axons more closely resembled those of normal somatosensory afferents to the ventrobasal nucleus than they did those of normal retinofugal axons within the lateral geniculate nucleus. These results suggest that the ultrastructural differentiation of axon terminals and synaptic complexes is regulated largely by the target environment, although some features appear to be intrinsic to the afferent axons themselves. Images PMID:2443913

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

    PubMed

    Hawasli, Ammar H; Bibb, James A

    2007-08-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Synaptic scaling stabilizes persistent activity driven by asynchronous neurotransmitter release.

    PubMed

    Volman, Vladislav; Gerkin, Richard C

    2011-04-01

    Small networks of cultured hippocampal neurons respond to transient stimulation with rhythmic network activity (reverberation) that persists for several seconds, constituting an in vitro model of synchrony, working memory, and seizure. This mode of activity has been shown theoretically and experimentally to depend on asynchronous neurotransmitter release (an essential feature of the developing hippocampus) and is supported by a variety of developing neuronal networks despite variability in the size of populations (10-200 neurons) and in patterns of synaptic connectivity. It has previously been reported in computational models that "small-world" connection topology is ideal for the propagation of similar modes of network activity, although this has been shown only for neurons utilizing synchronous (phasic) synaptic transmission. We investigated how topological constraints on synaptic connectivity could shape the stability of reverberations in small networks that also use asynchronous synaptic transmission. We found that reverberation duration in such networks was resistant to changes in topology and scaled poorly with network size. However, normalization of synaptic drive, by reducing the variance of synaptic input across neurons, stabilized reverberation in such networks. Our results thus suggest that the stability of both normal and pathological states in developing networks might be shaped by variance-normalizing constraints on synaptic drive. We offer an experimental prediction for the consequences of such regulation on the behavior of small networks.

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

    PubMed Central

    Koon, Alex C.; Budnik, Vivian

    2012-01-01

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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Parekh, Puja K.; McClung, Colleen A.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Parekh, Puja K; McClung, Colleen A

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Synaptic Mechanisms of Memory Consolidation during Sleep Slow Oscillations

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Yina; Krishnan, Giri P.

    2016-01-01

    Sleep is critical for regulation of synaptic efficacy, memories, and learning. However, the underlying mechanisms of how sleep rhythms contribute to consolidating memories acquired during wakefulness remain unclear. Here we studied the role of slow oscillations, 0.2–1 Hz rhythmic transitions between Up and Down states during stage 3/4 sleep, on dynamics of synaptic connectivity in the thalamocortical network model implementing spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity. We found that the spatiotemporal pattern of Up-state propagation determines the changes of synaptic strengths between neurons. Furthermore, an external input, mimicking hippocampal ripples, delivered to the cortical network results in input-specific changes of synaptic weights, which persisted after stimulation was removed. These synaptic changes promoted replay of specific firing sequences of the cortical neurons. Our study proposes a neuronal mechanism on how an interaction between hippocampal input, such as mediated by sharp wave-ripple events, cortical slow oscillations, and synaptic plasticity, may lead to consolidation of memories through preferential replay of cortical cell spike sequences during slow-wave sleep. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Sleep is critical for memory and learning. Replay during sleep of temporally ordered spike sequences related to a recent experience was proposed to be a neuronal substrate of memory consolidation. However, specific mechanisms of replay or how spike sequence replay leads to synaptic changes that underlie memory consolidation are still poorly understood. Here we used a detailed computational model of the thalamocortical system to report that interaction between slow cortical oscillations and synaptic plasticity during deep sleep can underlie mapping hippocampal memory traces to persistent cortical representation. This study provided, for the first time, a mechanistic explanation of how slow-wave sleep may promote consolidation of recent memory events. PMID

  14. 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.

  15. Synaptic Efficacy as a Function of Ionotropic Receptor Distribution: A Computational Study

    PubMed Central

    Allam, Sushmita L.; Bouteiller, Jean-Marie C.; Hu, Eric Y.; Ambert, Nicolas; Greget, Renaud; Bischoff, Serge; Baudry, Michel; Berger, Theodore W.

    2015-01-01

    Glutamatergic synapses are the most prevalent functional elements of information processing in the brain. Changes in pre-synaptic activity and in the function of various post-synaptic elements contribute to generate a large variety of synaptic responses. Previous studies have explored postsynaptic factors responsible for regulating synaptic strength variations, but have given far less importance to synaptic geometry, and more specifically to the subcellular distribution of ionotropic receptors. We analyzed the functional effects resulting from changing the subsynaptic localization of ionotropic receptors by using a hippocampal synaptic computational framework. The present study was performed using the EONS (Elementary Objects of the Nervous System) synaptic modeling platform, which was specifically developed to explore the roles of subsynaptic elements as well as their interactions, and that of synaptic geometry. More specifically, we determined the effects of changing the localization of ionotropic receptors relative to the presynaptic glutamate release site, on synaptic efficacy and its variations following single pulse and paired-pulse stimulation protocols. The results indicate that changes in synaptic geometry do have consequences on synaptic efficacy and its dynamics. PMID:26480028

  16. Agrin and Synaptic Laminin Are Required to Maintain Adult Neuromuscular Junctions

    PubMed Central

    Samuel, Melanie A.; Valdez, Gregorio; Tapia, Juan C.; Lichtman, Jeff W.; Sanes, Joshua R.

    2012-01-01

    As synapses form and mature the synaptic partners produce organizing molecules that regulate each other’s differentiation and ensure precise apposition of pre- and post-synaptic specializations. At the skeletal neuromuscular junction (NMJ), these molecules include agrin, a nerve-derived organizer of postsynaptic differentiation, and synaptic laminins, muscle-derived organizers of presynaptic differentiation. Both become concentrated in the synaptic cleft as the NMJ develops and are retained in adulthood. Here, we used mutant mice to ask whether these organizers are also required for synaptic maintenance. Deletion of agrin from a subset of adult motor neurons resulted in the loss of acetylcholine receptors and other components of the postsynaptic apparatus and synaptic cleft. Nerve terminals also atrophied and eventually withdrew from muscle fibers. On the other hand, mice lacking the presynaptic organizer laminin-α4 retained most of the synaptic cleft components but exhibited synaptic alterations reminiscent of those observed in aged animals. Although we detected no marked decrease in laminin or agrin levels at aged NMJs, we observed alterations in the distribution and organization of these synaptic cleft components suggesting that such changes could contribute to age-related synaptic disassembly. Together, these results demonstrate that pre- and post-synaptic organizers actively function to maintain the structure and function of adult NMJs. PMID:23056392

  17. Synaptic Efficacy as a Function of Ionotropic Receptor Distribution: A Computational Study.

    PubMed

    Allam, Sushmita L; Bouteiller, Jean-Marie C; Hu, Eric Y; Ambert, Nicolas; Greget, Renaud; Bischoff, Serge; Baudry, Michel; Berger, Theodore W

    2015-01-01

    Glutamatergic synapses are the most prevalent functional elements of information processing in the brain. Changes in pre-synaptic activity and in the function of various post-synaptic elements contribute to generate a large variety of synaptic responses. Previous studies have explored postsynaptic factors responsible for regulating synaptic strength variations, but have given far less importance to synaptic geometry, and more specifically to the subcellular distribution of ionotropic receptors. We analyzed the functional effects resulting from changing the subsynaptic localization of ionotropic receptors by using a hippocampal synaptic computational framework. The present study was performed using the EONS (Elementary Objects of the Nervous System) synaptic modeling platform, which was specifically developed to explore the roles of subsynaptic elements as well as their interactions, and that of synaptic geometry. More specifically, we determined the effects of changing the localization of ionotropic receptors relative to the presynaptic glutamate release site, on synaptic efficacy and its variations following single pulse and paired-pulse stimulation protocols. The results indicate that changes in synaptic geometry do have consequences on synaptic efficacy and its dynamics.

  18. 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.

  19. Balance within the Neurexin Trans-Synaptic Connexus Stabilizes Behavioral Control.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Raymond A; Eapen, Valsamma

    2014-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by a broad spectrum of behavioral deficits of unknown etiology. ASD associated mutations implicate numerous neurological pathways including a common association with the neurexin trans-synaptic connexus (NTSC) which regulates neuronal cell-adhesion, neuronal circuitry, and neurotransmission. Comparable DNA lesions affecting the NTSC, however, associate with a diversity of behavioral deficits within and without the autism spectrum including a very strong association with Tourette syndrome. The NTSC is comprised of numerous post-synaptic ligands competing for trans-synaptic connection with one of the many different neurexin receptors yet no apparent association exists between specific NTSC molecules/complexes and specific behavioral deficits. Together these findings indicate a fundamental role for NTSC-balance in stabilizing pre-behavioral control. Further molecular and clinical characterization and stratification of ASD and TS on the basis of NTSC status will help elucidate the molecular basis of behavior - and define how the NTSC functions in combination with other molecular determinates to strengthen behavioral control and specify behavioral deficits.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  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.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Achieving High-Frequency Optical Control of Synaptic Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Jackman, Skyler L.; Beneduce, Brandon M.; Drew, Iain R.

    2014-01-01

    The optogenetic tool channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) is widely used to excite neurons to study neural circuits. Previous optogenetic studies of synapses suggest that light-evoked synaptic responses often exhibit artificial synaptic depression, which has been attributed to either the inability of ChR2 to reliably fire presynaptic axons or to ChR2 elevating the probability of release by depolarizing presynaptic boutons. Here, we compare light-evoked and electrically evoked synaptic responses for high-frequency stimulation at three synapses in the mouse brain. At synapses from Purkinje cells to deep cerebellar nuclei neurons (PC→DCN), light- and electrically evoked synaptic currents were remarkably similar for ChR2 expressed transgenically or with adeno-associated virus (AAV) expression vectors. For hippocampal CA3→CA1 synapses, AAV expression vectors of serotype 1, 5, and 8 led to light-evoked synaptic currents that depressed much more than electrically evoked currents, even though ChR2 could fire axons reliably at up to 50 Hz. The disparity between optical and electrical stimulation was eliminated when ChR2 was expressed transgenically or with AAV9. For cerebellar granule cell to stellate cell (grc→SC) synapses, AAV1 also led to artificial synaptic depression and AAV9 provided superior performance. Artificial synaptic depression also occurred when stimulating over presynaptic boutons, rather than axons, at CA3→CA1 synapses, but not at PC→DCN synapses. These findings indicate that ChR2 expression methods and light stimulation techniques influence synaptic responses in a neuron-specific manner. They also identify pitfalls associated with using ChR2 to study synapses and suggest an approach that allows optogenetics to be applied in a manner that helps to avoid potential complications. PMID:24872574

  6. Neurobeachin, a Regulator of Synaptic Protein Targeting, Is Associated with Body Fat Mass and Feeding Behavior in Mice and Body-Mass Index in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Olszewski, Pawel K.; Rozman, Jan; Jacobsson, Josefin A.; Rathkolb, Birgit; Strömberg, Siv; Hans, Wolfgang; Klockars, Anica; Alsiö, Johan; Risérus, Ulf; Becker, Lore; Hölter, Sabine M.; Elvert, Ralf; Ehrhardt, Nicole; Gailus-Durner, Valérie; Fuchs, Helmut; Fredriksson, Robert; Wolf, Eckhard; Klopstock, Thomas; Wurst, Wolfgang; Levine, Allen S.; Marcus, Claude; Hrabě de Angelis, Martin; Klingenspor, Martin; Schiöth, Helgi B.; Kilimann, Manfred W.

    2012-01-01

    Neurobeachin (Nbea) regulates neuronal membrane protein trafficking and is required for the development and functioning of central and neuromuscular synapses. In homozygous knockout (KO) mice, Nbea deficiency causes perinatal death. Here, we report that heterozygous KO mice haploinsufficient for Nbea have higher body weight due to increased adipose tissue mass. In several feeding paradigms, heterozygous KO mice consumed more food than wild-type (WT) controls, and this consumption was primarily driven by calories rather than palatability. Expression analysis of feeding-related genes in the hypothalamus and brainstem with real-time PCR showed differential expression of a subset of neuropeptide or neuropeptide receptor mRNAs between WT and Nbea+/− mice in the sated state and in response to food deprivation, but not to feeding reward. In humans, we identified two intronic NBEA single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that are significantly associated with body-mass index (BMI) in adult and juvenile cohorts. Overall, data obtained in mice and humans suggest that variation of Nbea abundance or activity critically affects body weight, presumably by influencing the activity of feeding-related neural circuits. Our study emphasizes the importance of neural mechanisms in body weight control and points out NBEA as a potential risk gene in human obesity. PMID:22438821

  7. A model for regulation by SynGAP-α1 of binding of synaptic proteins to PDZ-domain 'Slots' in the postsynaptic density

    PubMed Central

    Walkup, Ward G; Mastro, Tara L; Schenker, Leslie T; Vielmetter, Jost; Hu, Rebecca; Iancu, Ariella; Reghunathan, Meera; Bannon, Barry Dylan; Kennedy, Mary B

    2016-01-01

    SynGAP is a Ras/Rap GTPase-activating protein (GAP) that is a major constituent of postsynaptic densities (PSDs) from mammalian forebrain. Its α1 isoform binds to all three PDZ (PSD-95, Discs-large, ZO-1) domains of PSD-95, the principal PSD scaffold, and can occupy as many as 15% of these PDZ domains. We present evidence that synGAP-α1 regulates the composition of the PSD by restricting binding to the PDZ domains of PSD-95. We show that phosphorylation by Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) and Polo-like kinase-2 (PLK2) decreases its affinity for the PDZ domains by several fold, which would free PDZ domains for occupancy by other proteins. Finally, we show that three critical postsynaptic signaling proteins that bind to the PDZ domains of PSD-95 are present in higher concentration in PSDs isolated from mice with a heterozygous deletion of synGAP. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16813.001 PMID:27623146

  8. Using Formative Assessment and Self-Regulated Learning to Help Developmental Mathematics Students Achieve: A Multi-Campus Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hudesman, John; Crosby, Sara; Ziehmke, Niesha; Everson, Howard; Issac, Sharlene; Flugman, Bert; Zimmerman, Barry; Moylan, Adam

    2014-01-01

    The authors describe an Enhanced Formative Assessment and Self-Regulated Learning (EFA-SRL) program designed to improve the achievement of community college students enrolled in developmental mathematics courses. Their model includes the use of specially formatted quizzes designed to assess both the students' mathematics and metacognitive…

  9. Environmental Stewardship: How Semiconductor Suppliers Help toMeet Energy-Efficiency Regulations and Voluntary Specifications inChina

    SciTech Connect

    Aizhen, Li; Fanara, Andrew; Fridley, David; Merriman, Louise; Ju,Jeff

    2007-01-15

    Recognizing the role that semiconductor suppliers can playin meeting energy-efficiency regulations and voluntary specifications,this paper provides an overview of Chinese policies and implementingbodies; a discussion of current programs, their goals, and effectiveness;and possible steps that can be taken tomeet these energy-efficiencyrequirements while also meeting products' high performance and costgoals.

  10. Does a Combination of Metaphor and Pairing Activity Help Programming Performance of Students with Different Self-Regulated Learning Level?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hui, Tie Hui; Umar, Irfan Naufal

    2011-01-01

    This study aims to investigate the effects of metaphors and pairing activity on programming performance of students with different self-regulated-learning (SRL) level. A total of 84 computing students were involved in this seven-week study, and they were randomly assigned either to a group that received a combination of metaphor and pair…

  11. Using Computer Supported Collaborative Learning Strategies for Helping Students Acquire Self-Regulated Problem-Solving Skills in Mathematics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lazakidou, Georgia; Retalis, Symeon

    2010-01-01

    The main objective of this paper is to investigate the effectiveness of a proposed computer-based instructional method in Primary Education for self-regulated problem solving. The proposed instructional method is based on Sternberg's model of problem solving within an authentic context. It consists of three main phases: observation, collaboration…

  12. Sensory Integration and Self-Regulation in Infants and Toddlers: Helping Very Young Children Interact with Their Environment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williamson, G. Gordon; Anzalone, Marie E.

    Some children require a great deal of assistance to overcome difficulties in taking in and responding to information from their senses, and to achieve the levels of self-regulation they need to interact with and explore the world around them. This monograph, targeted to a wide array of disciplines from the medical, therapeutic, educational, mental…

  13. 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

  14. Wnts in action: from synapse formation to synaptic maintenance

    PubMed Central

    Dickins, Ellen M.; Salinas, Patricia C.

    2013-01-01

    A proper balance between synapse assembly and disassembly is crucial for the formation of functional neuronal circuits and synaptic plasticity in the adult brain. During development, synaptogenesis generates a vast excess of synapses, which are subsequently eliminated. Importantly, aberrant synaptic disassembly during development underpins many neurological disorders. Wnt secreted proteins are robust synaptogenic factors that regulate synapse assembly and function in the developing and mature brain. Recent studies show that Wnt blockade with the antagonist Dickkopf-1 (Dkk1) induces the rapid disassembly of synapses in mature neurons. Importantly, Dkk1 mediates synaptic loss induced by Amyloid-ß, a key pathogenic molecule in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). These findings provide new insights into the potential contribution of dysfunctional Wnt signaling to synaptic loss observed in neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we discuss the role of Wnt signaling in vertebrate synaptic assembly, function and maintenance, and consider how dysfunction of Wnt signaling could contribute to synaptic disassembly in neurodegenerative diseases such as AD. PMID:24223536

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    De Pittà, Maurizio; Brunel, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-17

    Dendritic voltage integration determines the transformation of synaptic inputs into output firing, while synaptic calcium integration drives plasticity mechanisms thought to underlie memory storage. Dendritic calcium integration has been shown to follow the same synaptic input-output relationship as dendritic voltage, but whether similar operations apply to neurons exhibiting sublinear voltage integration is unknown. We examined the properties and cellular mechanisms of these dendritic operations in cerebellar molecular layer interneurons using dendritic voltage and calcium imaging, in combination with synaptic stimulation or glutamate uncaging. We show that, while synaptic potentials summate sublinearly, concomitant dendritic calcium signals summate either linearly or supralinearly depending on the number of synapses activated. The supralinear dendritic calcium triggers a branch-specific, short-term suppression of neurotransmitter release that alters the pattern of synaptic activation. Thus, differential voltage and calcium integration permits dynamic regulation of neuronal input-output transformations without altering intrinsic nonlinear integration mechanisms. PMID:27537486

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-17

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Genetics and Cell Biology of Building Specific Synaptic Connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Kang; Scheiffele, Peter

    2011-01-01

    The assembly of specific synaptic connections during development of the nervous system represents a remarkable example of cellular recognition and differentiation. Neurons employ several different cellular signaling strategies to solve this puzzle, which successively limit unwanted interactions and reduce the number of direct recognition events that are required to result in a specific connectivity pattern. Specificity mechanisms include the action of contact-mediated and long-range signals that support or inhibit synapse formation, which can take place directly between synaptic partners or with transient partners and transient cell populations. The molecular signals that drive the synaptic differentiation process at individual synapses in the central nervous system are similarly diverse and act through multiple, parallel differentiation pathways. This molecular complexity balances the need for central circuits to be assembled with high accuracy during development while retaining plasticity for local and dynamic regulation. PMID:20367446

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Lepeta, Katarzyna; Kaczmarek, Leszek

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Endogenous Rho-kinase signaling maintains synaptic strength by stabilizing the size of the readily releasable pool of synaptic vesicles.

    PubMed

    González-Forero, David; Montero, Fernando; García-Morales, Victoria; Domínguez, Germán; Gómez-Pérez, Laura; García-Verdugo, José Manuel; Moreno-López, Bernardo

    2012-01-01

    Rho-associated kinase (ROCK) regulates neural cell migration, proliferation and survival, dendritic spine morphology, and axon guidance and regeneration. There is, however, little information about whether ROCK modulates the electrical activity and information processing of neuronal circuits. At neonatal stage, ROCKα is expressed in hypoglossal motoneurons (HMNs) and in their afferent inputs, whereas ROCKβ is found in synaptic terminals on HMNs, but not in their somata. Inhibition of endogenous ROCK activity in neonatal rat brainstem slices failed to modulate intrinsic excitability of HMNs, but strongly attenuated the strength of their glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic inputs. The mechanism acts presynaptically to reduce evoked neurotransmitter release. ROCK inhibition increased myosin light chain (MLC) phosphorylation, which is known to trigger actomyosin contraction, and reduced the number of synaptic vesicles docked to active zones in excitatory boutons. Functional and ultrastructural changes induced by ROCK inhibition were fully prevented/reverted by MLC kinase (MLCK) inhibition. Furthermore, ROCK inhibition drastically reduced the phosphorylated form of p21-associated kinase (PAK), which directly inhibits MLCK. We conclude that endogenous ROCK activity is necessary for the normal performance of motor output commands, because it maintains afferent synaptic strength, by stabilizing the size of the readily releasable pool of synaptic vesicles. The mechanism of action involves a tonic inhibition of MLCK, presumably through PAK phosphorylation. This mechanism might be present in adults since unilateral microinjection of ROCK or MLCK inhibitors into the hypoglossal nucleus reduced or increased, respectively, whole XIIth nerve activity.

  14. SALM4 suppresses excitatory synapse development by cis-inhibiting trans-synaptic SALM3-LAR adhesion.

    PubMed

    Lie, Eunkyung; Ko, Ji Seung; Choi, Su-Yeon; Roh, Junyeop Daniel; Cho, Yi Sul; Noh, Ran; Kim, Doyoun; Li, Yan; Kang, Hyeyeon; Choi, Tae-Yong; Nam, Jungyong; Mah, Won; Lee, Dongmin; Lee, Seong-Gyu; Kim, Ho Min; Kim, Hyun; Choi, Se-Young; Um, Ji Won; Kang, Myoung-Goo; Bae, Yong Chul; Ko, Jaewon; Kim, Eunjoon

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic adhesion molecules regulate various aspects of synapse development, function and plasticity. These functions mainly involve trans-synaptic interactions and positive regulations, whereas cis-interactions and negative regulation are less understood. Here we report that SALM4, a member of the SALM/Lrfn family of synaptic adhesion molecules, suppresses excitatory synapse development through cis inhibition of SALM3, another SALM family protein with synaptogenic activity. Salm4-mutant (Salm4(-/-)) mice show increased excitatory synapse numbers in the hippocampus. SALM4 cis-interacts with SALM3, inhibits trans-synaptic SALM3 interaction with presynaptic LAR family receptor tyrosine phosphatases and suppresses SALM3-dependent presynaptic differentiation. Importantly, deletion of Salm3 in Salm4(-/-) mice (Salm3(-/-); Salm4(-/-)) normalizes the increased excitatory synapse number. These results suggest that SALM4 negatively regulates excitatory synapses via cis inhibition of the trans-synaptic SALM3-LAR adhesion.

  15. SALM4 suppresses excitatory synapse development by cis-inhibiting trans-synaptic SALM3-LAR adhesion.

    PubMed

    Lie, Eunkyung; Ko, Ji Seung; Choi, Su-Yeon; Roh, Junyeop Daniel; Cho, Yi Sul; Noh, Ran; Kim, Doyoun; Li, Yan; Kang, Hyeyeon; Choi, Tae-Yong; Nam, Jungyong; Mah, Won; Lee, Dongmin; Lee, Seong-Gyu; Kim, Ho Min; Kim, Hyun; Choi, Se-Young; Um, Ji Won; Kang, Myoung-Goo; Bae, Yong Chul; Ko, Jaewon; Kim, Eunjoon

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic adhesion molecules regulate various aspects of synapse development, function and plasticity. These functions mainly involve trans-synaptic interactions and positive regulations, whereas cis-interactions and negative regulation are less understood. Here we report that SALM4, a member of the SALM/Lrfn family of synaptic adhesion molecules, suppresses excitatory synapse development through cis inhibition of SALM3, another SALM family protein with synaptogenic activity. Salm4-mutant (Salm4(-/-)) mice show increased excitatory synapse numbers in the hippocampus. SALM4 cis-interacts with SALM3, inhibits trans-synaptic SALM3 interaction with presynaptic LAR family receptor tyrosine phosphatases and suppresses SALM3-dependent presynaptic differentiation. Importantly, deletion of Salm3 in Salm4(-/-) mice (Salm3(-/-); Salm4(-/-)) normalizes the increased excitatory synapse number. These results suggest that SALM4 negatively regulates excitatory synapses via cis inhibition of the trans-synaptic SALM3-LAR adhesion. PMID:27480238

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Molecular Mechanoneurobiology: An Emerging Angle to Explore Neural Synaptic Functions

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Neural synapses are intercellular asymmetrical junctions that transmit biochemical and biophysical information between a neuron and a target cell. They are very tight, dynamic, and well organized by many synaptic adhesion molecules, signaling receptors, ion channels, and their associated cytoskeleton that bear forces. Mechanical forces have been an emerging factor in regulating axon guidance and growth, synapse formation and plasticity in physiological and pathological brain activity. Therefore, mechanical forces are undoubtedly exerted on those synaptic molecules and modulate their functions. Here we review current progress on how mechanical forces regulate receptor-ligand interactions, protein conformations, ion channels activation, and cytoskeleton dynamics and discuss how these regulations potentially affect synapse formation, stabilization, and plasticity. PMID:26106609

  20. 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

  1. Glutamate receptor δ2 associates with metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 (mGluR1), protein kinase Cγ, and canonical transient receptor potential 3 and regulates mGluR1-mediated synaptic transmission in cerebellar Purkinje neurons.

    PubMed

    Kato, Akihiko S; Knierman, Michael D; Siuda, Edward R; Isaac, John T R; Nisenbaum, Eric S; Bredt, David S

    2012-10-31

    Cerebellar motor coordination and cerebellar Purkinje cell synaptic function require metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 (mGluR1, Grm1). We used an unbiased proteomic approach to identify protein partners for mGluR1 in cerebellum and discovered glutamate receptor δ2 (GluRδ2, Grid2, GluΔ2) and protein kinase Cγ (PKCγ) as major interactors. We also found canonical transient receptor potential 3 (TRPC3), which is also needed for mGluR1-dependent slow EPSCs and motor coordination and associates with mGluR1, GluRδ2, and PKCγ. Mutation of GluRδ2 changes subcellular fractionation of mGluR1 and TRPC3 to increase their surface expression. Fitting with this, mGluR1-evoked inward currents are increased in GluRδ2 mutant mice. Moreover, loss of GluRδ2 disrupts the time course of mGluR1-dependent synaptic transmission at parallel fiber-Purkinje cells synapses. Thus, GluRδ2 is part of the mGluR1 signaling complex needed for cerebellar synaptic function and motor coordination, explaining the shared cerebellar motor phenotype that manifests in mutants of the mGluR1 and GluRδ2 signaling pathways.

  2. 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

  3. Overexpression of Swedish mutant APP in aged astrocytes attenuates excitatory synaptic transmission.

    PubMed

    Katsurabayashi, Shutaro; Kawano, Hiroyuki; Ii, Miyuki; Nakano, Sachiko; Tatsumi, Chihiro; Kubota, Kaori; Takasaki, Kotaro; Mishima, Kenichi; Fujiwara, Michihiro; Iwasaki, Katsunori

    2016-01-01

    Amyloid precursor protein (APP), a type I transmembrane protein, has different aspects, namely, performs essential physiological functions and produces β-amyloid peptide (Aβ). Overexpression of neuronal APP is responsible for synaptic dysfunction. In the central nervous system, astrocytes - a major glial cell type - have an important role in the regulation of synaptic transmission. Although APP is expressed in astrocytes, it remains unclear whether astrocytic overexpression of mutant APP affects synaptic transmission. In this study, the effect of astrocytic overexpression of a mutant APP on the excitatory synaptic transmission was investigated using coculture system of the transgenic (Tg) cortical astrocytes that express the human APP695 polypeptide with the double mutation K670N + M671L found in a large Swedish family with early onset Alzheimer's disease, and wild-type hippocampal neuron. Significant secretion of Aβ 1-40 and 1-42 was observed in cultured cortical astrocytes from the Tg2576 transgenic mouse that genetically overexpresses Swedish mutant APP. Under the condition, Tg astrocytes did not affect excitatory synaptic transmission of cocultured wild-type neurons. However, aged Tg astrocytes cultured for 9 weeks elicited a significant decrease in excitatory synaptic transmission in cocultured neurons. Moreover, a reduction in the number of readily releasable synaptic vesicles accompanied a decrease in the number of excitatory synapses in neurons cocultured with aged Tg astrocytes. These observations indicate that astrocytic expression of the mutant APP is involved in the downregulation of synaptic transmission with age. PMID:26733247

  4. Synaptic Plasticity, a Symphony in GEF

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. The initiation of post-synaptic protrusions

    PubMed Central

    Hotulainen, Pirta; Saarikangas, Juha

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The post-synaptic spines of neuronal dendrites are highly elaborate membrane protrusions. Their anatomy, stability and density are intimately linked to cognitive performance. The morphological transitions of spines are powered by coordinated polymerization of actin filaments against the plasma membrane, but how the membrane-associated polymerization is spatially and temporally regulated has remained ill defined. Here, we discuss our recent findings showing that dendritic spines can be initiated by direct membrane bending by the I-BAR protein MIM/Mtss1. This lipid phosphatidylinositol (PI(4,5)P2) signaling-activated membrane bending coordinated spatial actin assembly and promoted spine formation. From recent advances, we formulate a general model to discuss how spatially concentrated protein-lipid microdomains formed by multivalent interactions between lipids and actin/membrane regulatory proteins might launch cell protrusions. PMID:27489575

  7. Dynamic Clamp Analysis of Synaptic Integration in Sympathetic Ganglia

    PubMed Central

    Horn, J. P.; Kullmann, P. H. M.

    2008-01-01

    Advances in modern neuroscience require the identification of principles that connect different levels of experimental analysis, from molecular mechanisms to explanations of cellular functions, then to circuits, and, ultimately, to systems and behavior. Here, we examine how synaptic organization of the sympathetic ganglia may enable them to function as use-dependent amplifiers of preganglionic activity and how the gain of this amplification may be modulated by metabotropic signaling mechanisms. The approach combines a general computational model of ganglionic integration together with experimental tests of the model using the dynamic clamp method. In these experiments, we recorded intracellularly from dissociated bullfrog sympathetic neurons and then mimicked physiological synapses with virtual computer-generated synapses. It thus became possible to analyze the synaptic gain by recording cellular responses to complex patterns of synaptic activity that normally arise in vivo from convergent nicotinic and muscarinic synapses. The results of these studies are significant because they illustrate how gain generated through ganglionic integration may contribute to the feedback control of important autonomic behaviors, in particular to the control of the blood pressure. We dedicate this paper to the memory of Professor Vladimir Skok, whose rich legacy in synaptic physiology helped establish the modern paradigm for connecting multiple levels of analysis in studies of the nervous system. PMID:19756262

  8. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Help Helps, but Only so Much: Research on Help Seeking with Intelligent Tutoring Systems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aleven, Vincent; Roll, Ido; McLaren, Bruce M.; Koedinger, Kenneth R.

    2016-01-01

    Help seeking is an important process in self-regulated learning (SRL). It may influence learning with intelligent tutoring systems (ITSs), because many ITSs provide help, often at the student's request. The Help Tutor was a tutor agent that gave in-context, real-time feedback on students' help-seeking behavior, as they were learning with an ITS.…

  11. De novo mutations in schizophrenia implicate synaptic networks.

    PubMed

    Fromer, Menachem; Pocklington, Andrew J; Kavanagh, David H; Williams, Hywel J; Dwyer, Sarah; Gormley, Padhraig; Georgieva, Lyudmila; Rees, Elliott; Palta, Priit; Ruderfer, Douglas M; Carrera, Noa; Humphreys, Isla; Johnson, Jessica S; Roussos, Panos; Barker, Douglas D; Banks, Eric; Milanova, Vihra; Grant, Seth G; Hannon, Eilis; Rose, Samuel A; Chambert, Kimberly; Mahajan, Milind; Scolnick, Edward M; Moran, Jennifer L; Kirov, George; Palotie, Aarno; McCarroll, Steven A; Holmans, Peter; Sklar, Pamela; Owen, Michael J; Purcell, Shaun M; O'Donovan, Michael C

    2014-02-13

    Inherited alleles account for most of the genetic risk for schizophrenia. However, new (de novo) mutations, in the form of large chromosomal copy number changes, occur in a small fraction of cases and disproportionally disrupt genes encoding postsynaptic proteins. Here we show that small de novo mutations, affecting one or a few nucleotides, are overrepresented among glutamatergic postsynaptic proteins comprising activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (ARC) and N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) complexes. Mutations are additionally enriched in proteins that interact with these complexes to modulate synaptic strength, namely proteins regulating actin filament dynamics and those whose messenger RNAs are targets of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). Genes affected by mutations in schizophrenia overlap those mutated in autism and intellectual disability, as do mutation-enriched synaptic pathways. Aligning our findings with a parallel case-control study, we demonstrate reproducible insights into aetiological mechanisms for schizophrenia and reveal pathophysiology shared with other neurodevelopmental disorders. PMID:24463507

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Systematic Discovery of Rab GTPases with Synaptic Functions in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Chih-Chiang; Scoggin, Shane; Wang, Dong; Cherry, Smita; Dembo, Todd; Greenberg, Ben; Jin, Eugene Jennifer; Kuey, Cansu; Lopez, Antonio; Mehta, Sunil Q.; Perkins, Theodore J.; Brankatschk, Marko; Rothenfluh, Adrian; Buszczak, Michael; Hiesinger, P. Robin

    2012-01-01

    Summary Background Neurons require highly specialized intracellular membrane trafficking, especially at synapses. Rab GTPases are considered master regulators of membrane trafficking in all cells and only very few Rabs have known neuron-specific functions. Here, we present the first systematic characterization of neuronal expression, subcellular localization and function of Rab GTPases in an organism with a brain. Results We report the surprising discovery that half of all Drosophila Rabs function specifically or predominantly in distinct subsets of neurons in the brain. Furthermore, functional profiling of the GTP/GDP-bound states reveals that these neuronal Rabs are almost exclusively active at synapses and the majority of these synaptic Rabs specifically mark synaptic recycling endosomal compartments. Our profiling strategy is based on Gal4 knock-ins in large genomic fragments that are additionally designed to generated mutants by ends-out homologous recombination. We generated 36 large genomic targeting vectors and transgenic rab-Gal4 fly strains for 25 rab genes. Proof-of-principle knock-out of the synaptic rab27 reveals a sleep phenotype that matches its cell-specific expression. Conclusions Our findings suggest that up to half of all Drosophila Rabs exert specialized synaptic functions. The tools presented here allow systematic functional studies of these Rabs and provide a method that is applicable to any large gene family in Drosophila. PMID:22000105

  15. How do astrocytes shape synaptic transmission? Insights from electrophysiology

    PubMed Central

    Dallérac, Glenn; Chever, Oana; Rouach, Nathalie

    2013-01-01

    A major breakthrough in neuroscience has been the realization in the last decades that the dogmatic view of astroglial cells as being merely fostering and buffering elements of the nervous system is simplistic. A wealth of investigations now shows that astrocytes actually participate in the control of synaptic transmission in an active manner. This was first hinted by the intimate contacts glial processes make with neurons, particularly at the synaptic level, and evidenced using electrophysiological and calcium imaging techniques. Calcium imaging has provided critical evidence demonstrating that astrocytic regulation of synaptic efficacy is not a passive phenomenon. However, given that cellular activation is not only represented by calcium signaling, it is also crucial to assess concomitant mechanisms. We and others have used electrophysiological techniques to simultaneously record neuronal and astrocytic activity, thus enabling the study of multiple ionic currents and in depth investigation of neuro-glial dialogues. In the current review, we focus on the input such approach has provided in the understanding of astrocyte-neuron interactions underlying control of synaptic efficacy. PMID:24101894

  16. N-Glycosylation at the SynCAM (Synaptic Cell Adhesion Molecule) Immunoglobulin Interface Modulates Synaptic Adhesion

    SciTech Connect

    A Fogel; Y Li; Q Wang; T Lam; Y Modis; T Biederer

    2011-12-31

    Select adhesion molecules connect pre- and postsynaptic membranes and organize developing synapses. The regulation of these trans-synaptic interactions is an important neurobiological question. We have previously shown that the synaptic cell adhesion molecules (SynCAMs) 1 and 2 engage in homo- and heterophilic interactions and bridge the synaptic cleft to induce presynaptic terminals. Here, we demonstrate that site-specific N-glycosylation impacts the structure and function of adhesive SynCAM interactions. Through crystallographic analysis of SynCAM 2, we identified within the adhesive interface of its Ig1 domain an N-glycan on residue Asn(60). Structural modeling of the corresponding SynCAM 1 Ig1 domain indicates that its glycosylation sites Asn(70)/Asn(104) flank the binding interface of this domain. Mass spectrometric and mutational studies confirm and characterize the modification of these three sites. These site-specific N-glycans affect SynCAM adhesion yet act in a differential manner. Although glycosylation of SynCAM 2 at Asn(60) reduces adhesion, N-glycans at Asn(70)/Asn(104) of SynCAM 1 increase its interactions. The modification of SynCAM 1 with sialic acids contributes to the glycan-dependent strengthening of its binding. Functionally, N-glycosylation promotes the trans-synaptic interactions of SynCAM 1 and is required for synapse induction. These results demonstrate that N-glycosylation of SynCAM proteins differentially affects their binding interface and implicate post-translational modification as a mechanism to regulate trans-synaptic adhesion.

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

    PubMed Central

    Rodrigues, Elizabeth M.; Scudder, Samantha L.; Goo, Marisa S.

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease in which patients experience progressive cognitive decline. A wealth of evidence suggests that this cognitive impairment results from synaptic dysfunction in affected brain regions caused by cleavage of amyloid precursor protein into the pathogenic peptide amyloid-β (Aβ). Specifically, it has been shown that Aβ decreases surface AMPARs, dendritic spine density, and synaptic strength, and also alters synaptic plasticity. The precise molecular mechanisms by which this occurs remain unclear. Here we demonstrate a role for ubiquitination in Aβ-induced synaptic dysfunction in cultured rat neurons. We find that Aβ promotes the ubiquitination of AMPARs, as well as the redistribution and recruitment of Nedd4-1, a HECT E3 ubiquitin ligase we previously demonstrated to target AMPARs for ubiquitination and degradation. Strikingly, we show that Nedd4-1 is required for Aβ-induced reductions in surface AMPARs, synaptic strength, and dendritic spine density. Our findings, therefore, indicate an important role for Nedd4-1 and ubiquitin in the synaptic alterations induced by Aβ. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Synaptic changes in Alzheimer's disease (AD) include surface AMPAR loss, which can weaken synapses. In a cell culture model of AD, we found that AMPAR loss correlates with increased AMPAR ubiquitination. In addition, the ubiquitin ligase Nedd4-1, known to ubiquitinate AMPARs, is recruited to synapses in response to Aβ. Strikingly, reducing Nedd4-1 levels in this model prevented surface AMPAR loss and synaptic weakening. These findings suggest that, in AD, Nedd4-1 may ubiquitinate AMPARs to promote their internalization and weaken synaptic strength, similar to what occurs in Nedd4-1's established role in homeostatic synaptic scaling. This is the first demonstration of Aβ-mediated control of a ubiquitin ligase to regulate surface AMPAR expression. PMID:26843640

  18. Helping Children Help Themselves. Revised.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alberta Dept. of Agriculture, Edmonton.

    Youth leaders and parents can use this activity oriented publication to help children six to twelve years of age become more independent by acquiring daily living skills. The publication consists of five units, each of which contains an introduction, learning activities, and lists of resource materials. Age-ability levels are suggested for…

  19. Formin-Dependent Synaptic Growth; Evidence that Dlar Signals via Diaphanous to Modulate Synaptic Actin and Dynamic Pioneer Microtubules

    PubMed Central

    Pawson, Catherine; Eaton, Benjamin A.; Davis, Graeme W.

    2008-01-01

    The diaphanous gene is the founding member of a family of Diaphanous Related Formin proteins (DRF). We identified diaphanous in a screen for genes that are necessary for the normal growth and stabilization of the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Here we demonstrate that diaphanous mutations perturb synaptic growth at the NMJ. Diaphanous protein is present both pre- and postsynaptically. However, genetic rescue experiments in combination with additional genetic interaction experiments support the conclusion that dia is necessary presynaptically for normal NMJ growth. We then document defects in both the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons in dia mutant nerve terminals. In so doing, we define and characterize a population of dynamic pioneer microtubules within the NMJ that are distinct from the bundled core of microtubules identified by the MAP1b-like protein Futsch. Defects in both synaptic actin and dynamic pioneer MTs are correlated with impaired synaptic growth in dia mutants. Finally, we present genetic evidence that Dia functions downstream of the presynaptic receptor tyrosine phosphatase Dlar and the Rho-type GEF trio to control NMJ growth. Based upon the established function of DRFs as Rho-GTPase dependent regulators of the cell cytoskeleton, we propose a model in which Diaphanous links receptor tyrosine phosphatase signaling at the plasma membrane to growth-dependent modulation of the synaptic actin and microtubule cytoskeletons. PMID:18971454

  20. Variable priming of a docked synaptic vesicle

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Jae Hoon; Szule, Joseph A.; Marshall, Robert M.; McMahan, Uel J.

    2016-01-01

    The priming of a docked synaptic vesicle determines the probability of its membrane (VM) fusing with the presynaptic membrane (PM) when a nerve impulse arrives. To gain insight into the nature of priming, we searched by electron tomography for structural relationships correlated with fusion probability at active zones of axon terminals at frog neuromuscular junctions. For terminals fixed at rest, the contact area between the VM of docked vesicles and PM varied >10-fold with a normal distribution. There was no merging of the membranes. For terminals fixed during repetitive evoked synaptic transmission, the normal distribution of contact areas was shifted to the left, due in part to a decreased number of large contact areas, and there was a subpopulation of large contact areas where the membranes were hemifused, an intermediate preceding complete fusion. Thus, fusion probability of a docked vesicle is related to the extent of its VM–PM contact area. For terminals fixed 1 h after activity, the distribution of contact areas recovered to that at rest, indicating the extent of a VM–PM contact area is dynamic and in equilibrium. The extent of VM–PM contact areas in resting terminals correlated with eccentricity in vesicle shape caused by force toward the PM and with shortness of active zone material macromolecules linking vesicles to PM components, some thought to include Ca2+ channels. We propose that priming is a variable continuum of events imposing variable fusion probability on each vesicle and is regulated by force-generating shortening of active zone material macromolecules in dynamic equilibrium. PMID:26858418

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. The central role of heat shock factor 1 in synaptic fidelity and memory consolidation.

    PubMed

    Hooper, Philip L; Durham, Heather D; Török, Zsolt; Hooper, Paul L; Crul, Tim; Vígh, László

    2016-09-01

    Networks of neuronal synapses are the fundamental basis for making and retaining memory. Reduced synapse number and quality correlates with loss of memory in dementia. Heat shock factor 1 (HSF1), the major transcription factor regulating expression of heat shock genes, plays a central role in proteostasis, in establishing and sustaining synaptic fidelity and function, and in memory consolidation. Support for this thesis is based on these observations: (1) heat shock induces improvements in synapse integrity and memory consolidation; (2) synaptic depolarization activates HSF1; (3) activation of HSF1 alone (independent of the canonical heat shock response) augments formation of essential synaptic elements-neuroligands, vesicle transport, synaptic scaffolding proteins, lipid rafts, synaptic spines, and axodendritic synapses; (4) HSF1 coalesces and activates memory receptors in the post-synaptic dendritic spine; (5) huntingtin or α-synuclein accumulation lowers HSF1 while HSF1 lowers huntingtin and α-synuclein aggregation-a potential vicious cycle; and (6) HSF1 agonists (including physical activity) can improve cognitive function in dementia models. Thus, via direct gene expression of synaptic elements, production of HSPs that assure high protein fidelity, and activation of other neuroprotective signaling pathways, HSF1 agonists could provide breakthrough therapy for dementia-associated disease.

  8. The central role of heat shock factor 1 in synaptic fidelity and memory consolidation.

    PubMed

    Hooper, Philip L; Durham, Heather D; Török, Zsolt; Hooper, Paul L; Crul, Tim; Vígh, László

    2016-09-01

    Networks of neuronal synapses are the fundamental basis for making and retaining memory. Reduced synapse number and quality correlates with loss of memory in dementia. Heat shock factor 1 (HSF1), the major transcription factor regulating expression of heat shock genes, plays a central role in proteostasis, in establishing and sustaining synaptic fidelity and function, and in memory consolidation. Support for this thesis is based on these observations: (1) heat shock induces improvements in synapse integrity and memory consolidation; (2) synaptic depolarization activates HSF1; (3) activation of HSF1 alone (independent of the canonical heat shock response) augments formation of essential synaptic elements-neuroligands, vesicle transport, synaptic scaffolding proteins, lipid rafts, synaptic spines, and axodendritic synapses; (4) HSF1 coalesces and activates memory receptors in the post-synaptic dendritic spine; (5) huntingtin or α-synuclein accumulation lowers HSF1 while HSF1 lowers huntingtin and α-synuclein aggregation-a potential vicious cycle; and (6) HSF1 agonists (including physical activity) can improve cognitive function in dementia models. Thus, via direct gene expression of synaptic elements, production of HSPs that assure high protein fidelity, and activation of other neuroprotective signaling pathways, HSF1 agonists could provide breakthrough therapy for dementia-associated disease. PMID:27283588

  9. 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

  10. Selective Vulnerability of Synaptic Signaling and Metabolism to Nitrosative Stress

    PubMed Central

    Dohare, Preeti

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Significance: Nitric oxide (NO) plays diverse physiological roles in the central nervous system, where it modulates neuronal communication, regulates blood flow, and contributes to the innate immune responses. In a number of brain pathologies, the excessive production of NO also leads to the formation of reactive and toxic intermediates generically termed reactive nitrogen species (RNS). RNS cause irreversible or poorly reversible damage to brain cells. Recent Advances: Recent work in the field focused on the ability of NO and RNS to yield protein modifications, including the S-nitrosation of cysteine residues, which, in many instances, impact cellular functions and viability. Critical Issues: The vast majority of neuropathological studies focus on the loss of cell viability, but nitrosative stress may also strongly impair the functions of neuronal processes: axonal projections and dendritic trees. The functional integrity of axons and dendrites critically depends on local metabolism and effective delivery of metabolic enzymes and organelles. Here, we summarize the existing literature describing the effects of nitrosative stress on the major pathways of energetic metabolism: glycolysis, tricarboxylic acid cycle, and mitochondrial respiration, with the emphasis on modifications of protein thiols. Future Directions: We propose that axons and dendrites are highly vulnerable to nitrosative stress because of their low glycolytic capacity and high dependence on timely delivery of metabolic enzymes and organelles from the cell body. Thus, supplementation with the end products of glycolysis, pyruvate or lactate, may help preserve metabolism in distal neuronal processes and protect or restore synaptic function in the ailing brain. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 17, 992–1012. PMID:22339371

  11. miRNA Regulons Associated with Synaptic Function

    PubMed Central

    Paschou, Maria; Paraskevopoulou, Maria D.; Vlachos, Ioannis S.; Koukouraki, Pelagia; Hatzigeorgiou, Artemis G.; Doxakis, Epaminondas

    2012-01-01

    Differential RNA localization and local protein synthesis regulate synapse function and plasticity in neurons. MicroRNAs are a conserved class of regulatory RNAs that control mRNA stability and translation in tissues. They are abundant in the brain but the extent into which they are involved in synaptic mRNA regulation is poorly known. Herein, a computational analysis of the coding and 3′UTR regions of 242 presynaptic and 304 postsynaptic proteins revealed that 91% of them are predicted to be microRNA targets. Analysis of the longest 3′UTR isoform of synaptic transcripts showed that presynaptic mRNAs have significantly longer 3′UTR than control and postsynaptic mRNAs. In contrast, the shortest 3′UTR isoform of postsynaptic mRNAs is significantly shorter than control and presynaptic mRNAs, indicating they avert microRNA regulation under specific conditions. Examination of microRNA binding site density of synaptic 3′UTRs revealed that they are twice as dense as the rest of protein-coding transcripts and that approximately 50% of synaptic transcripts are predicted to have more than five different microRNA sites. An interaction map exploring the association of microRNAs and their targets revealed that a small set of ten microRNAs is predicted to regulate 77% and 80% of presynaptic and postsynaptic transcripts, respectively. Intriguingly, many of these microRNAs have yet to be identified outside primate mammals, implicating them in cognition differences observed between high-level primates and non-primate mammals. Importantly, the identified miRNAs have been previously associated with psychotic disorders that are characterized by neural circuitry dysfunction, such as schizophrenia. Finally, molecular dissection of their KEGG pathways showed enrichment for neuronal and synaptic processes. Adding on current knowledge, this investigation revealed the extent of miRNA regulation at the synapse and predicted critical microRNAs that would aid future research on the

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Cholesterol Asymmetry in Synaptic Plasma Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Wood, W. Gibson; Igbavboa, Urule; Müller, Walter E.; Eckert, Gunter P.

    2010-01-01

    Lipids are essential for the structural and functional integrity of membranes. Membrane lipids are not randomly distributed but are localized in different domains. A common characteristic of these membrane domains is their association with cholesterol. Lipid rafts and caveolae are examples of cholesterol enriched domains, which have attracted keen interest. However, two other important cholesterol domains are the exofacial and cytofacial leaflets of the plasma membrane. The two leaflets that make up the bilayer differ in their fluidity, electrical charge, lipid distribution, and active sites of certain proteins. The synaptic plasma membrane (SPM) cytofacial leaflet contains over 85% of the total SPM cholesterol as compared with the exofacial leaflet. This asymmetric distribution of cholesterol is not fixed or immobile but can be modified by different conditions in vivo: 1) chronic ethanol consumption; 2) statins; 3) aging; and 4) apoE isoform. Several potential candidates have been proposed as mechanisms involved in regulation of SPM cholesterol asymmetry: apoE, low-density-lipoprotein receptor, sterol carrier protein-2, fatty acid binding proteins, polyunsaturated fatty acids, p-glycoprotein and caveolin-1. This review examines cholesterol asymmetry in SPM, potential mechanisms of regulation and impact on membrane structure and function. PMID:21214553

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

    PubMed Central

    Lüscher, Christian; Frerking, Matthew

    2010-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Synaptic inhibition and disinhibition in the spinal dorsal horn.

    PubMed

    Prescott, Steven A

    2015-01-01

    Nociceptive signals originating in the periphery must be transmitted to the brain to evoke pain. Rather than being conveyed unchanged, those signals undergo extensive processing in the spinal dorsal horn. Synaptic inhibition plays a crucial role in that processing. On the one hand, neuropathy and inflammation are associated with reduced spinal inhibition; on the other hand, the hypersensitivity associated with inflammatory and neuropathic pain can be reproduced by blocking inhibition at the spinal level. To understand the consequences of disinhibition and how to therapeutically reverse it, one must understand how synaptic inhibition normally operates. To that end, this chapter will discuss the structure and function of GABAA and glycine receptors together with the role of associated molecules involved in transmitter handling and chloride regulation. Mechanisms by which inhibition modulates cellular excitability will be described. The chapter will end with discussion of how inhibition goes awry under pathological conditions and what the implications are for the treatment of resulting pain. PMID:25744679

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. 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

  3. Molecular Machines Determining the Fate of Endocytosed Synaptic Vesicles in Nerve Terminals

    PubMed Central

    Fassio, Anna; Fadda, Manuela; Benfenati, Fabio

    2016-01-01

    The cycle of a synaptic vesicle (SV) within the nerve terminal is a step-by-step journey with the final goal of ensuring the proper synaptic strength under changing environmental conditions. The SV cycle is a precisely regulated membrane traffic event in cells and, because of this, a plethora of membrane-bound and cytosolic proteins are devoted to assist SVs in each step of the journey. The cycling fate of endocytosed SVs determines both the availability for subsequent rounds of release and the lifetime of SVs in the terminal and is therefore crucial for synaptic function and plasticity. Molecular players that determine the destiny of SVs in nerve terminals after a round of exo-endocytosis are largely unknown. Here we review the functional role in SV fate of phosphorylation/dephosphorylation of SV proteins and of small GTPases acting on membrane trafficking at the synapse, as they are emerging as key molecules in determining the recycling route of SVs within the nerve terminal. In particular, we focus on: (i) the cyclin-dependent kinase-5 (cdk5) and calcineurin (CN) control of the recycling pool of SVs; (ii) the role of small GTPases of the Rab and ADP-ribosylation factor (Arf) families in defining the route followed by SV in their nerve terminal cycle. These regulatory proteins together with their synaptic regulators and effectors, are molecular nanomachines mediating homeostatic responses in synaptic plasticity and potential targets of drugs modulating the efficiency of synaptic transmission. PMID:27242505

  4. Molecular Machines Determining the Fate of Endocytosed Synaptic Vesicles in Nerve Terminals.

    PubMed

    Fassio, Anna; Fadda, Manuela; Benfenati, Fabio

    2016-01-01

    The cycle of a synaptic vesicle (SV) within the nerve terminal is a step-by-step journey with the final goal of ensuring the proper synaptic strength under changing environmental conditions. The SV cycle is a precisely regulated membrane traffic event in cells and, because of this, a plethora of membrane-bound and cytosolic proteins are devoted to assist SVs in each step of the journey. The cycling fate of endocytosed SVs determines both the availability for subsequent rounds of release and the lifetime of SVs in the terminal and is therefore crucial for synaptic function and plasticity. Molecular players that determine the destiny of SVs in nerve terminals after a round of exo-endocytosis are largely unknown. Here we review the functional role in SV fate of phosphorylation/dephosphorylation of SV proteins and of small GTPases acting on membrane trafficking at the synapse, as they are emerging as key molecules in determining the recycling route of SVs within the nerve terminal. In particular, we focus on: (i) the cyclin-dependent kinase-5 (cdk5) and calcineurin (CN) control of the recycling pool of SVs; (ii) the role of small GTPases of the Rab and ADP-ribosylation factor (Arf) families in defining the route followed by SV in their nerve terminal cycle. These regulatory proteins together with their synaptic regulators and effectors, are molecular nanomachines mediating homeostatic responses in synaptic plasticity and potential targets of drugs modulating the efficiency of synaptic transmission.

  5. Molecular Machines Determining the Fate of Endocytosed Synaptic Vesicles in Nerve Terminals.

    PubMed

    Fassio, Anna; Fadda, Manuela; Benfenati, Fabio

    2016-01-01

    The cycle of a synaptic vesicle (SV) within the nerve terminal is a step-by-step journey with the final goal of ensuring the proper synaptic strength under changing environmental conditions. The SV cycle is a precisely regulated membrane traffic event in cells and, because of this, a plethora of membrane-bound and cytosolic proteins are devoted to assist SVs in each step of the journey. The cycling fate of endocytosed SVs determines both the availability for subsequent rounds of release and the lifetime of SVs in the terminal and is therefore crucial for synaptic function and plasticity. Molecular players that determine the destiny of SVs in nerve terminals after a round of exo-endocytosis are largely unknown. Here we review the functional role in SV fate of phosphorylation/dephosphorylation of SV proteins and of small GTPases acting on membrane trafficking at the synapse, as they are emerging as key molecules in determining the recycling route of SVs within the nerve terminal. In particular, we focus on: (i) the cyclin-dependent kinase-5 (cdk5) and calcineurin (CN) control of the recycling pool of SVs; (ii) the role of small GTPases of the Rab and ADP-ribosylation factor (Arf) families in defining the route followed by SV in their nerve terminal cycle. These regulatory proteins together with their synaptic regulators and effectors, are molecular nanomachines mediating homeostatic responses in synaptic plasticity and potential targets of drugs modulating the efficiency of synaptic transmission. PMID:27242505

  6. 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

  7. Upregulation of transmitter release probability improves a conversion of synaptic analogue signals into neuronal digital spikes

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Action potentials at the neurons and graded signals at the synapses are primary codes in the brain. In terms of their functional interaction, the studies were focused on the influence of presynaptic spike patterns on synaptic activities. How the synapse dynamics quantitatively regulates the encoding of postsynaptic digital spikes remains unclear. We investigated this question at unitary glutamatergic synapses on cortical GABAergic neurons, especially the quantitative influences of release probability on synapse dynamics and neuronal encoding. Glutamate release probability and synaptic strength are proportionally upregulated by presynaptic sequential spikes. The upregulation of release probability and the efficiency of probability-driven synaptic facilitation are strengthened by elevating presynaptic spike frequency and Ca2+. The upregulation of release probability improves spike capacity and timing precision at postsynaptic neuron. These results suggest that the upregulation of presynaptic glutamate release facilitates a conversion of synaptic analogue signals into digital spikes in postsynaptic neurons, i.e., a functional compatibility between presynaptic and postsynaptic partners. PMID:22852823

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  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. Drosophila-Cdh1 (Rap/Fzr) a regulatory subunit of APC/C is required for synaptic morphology, synaptic transmission and locomotion.

    PubMed

    Wise, Alexandria; Schatoff, Emma; Flores, Julian; Hua, Shao-Ying; Ueda, Atsushi; Wu, Chun-Fang; Venkatesh, Tadmiri

    2013-11-01

    The assembly of functional synapses requires the orchestration of the synthesis and degradation of a multitude of proteins. Protein degradation and modification by the conserved ubiquitination pathway has emerged as a key cellular regulatory mechanism during nervous system development and function (Kwabe and Brose, 2011). The anaphase promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) is a multi-subunit ubiquitin ligase complex primarily characterized for its role in the regulation of mitosis (Peters, 2002). In recent years, a role for APC/C in nervous system development and function has been rapidly emerging (Stegmuller and Bonni, 2005; Li et al., 2008). In the mammalian central nervous system the activator subunit, APC/C-Cdh1, has been shown to be a regulator of axon growth and dendrite morphogenesis (Konishi et al., 2004). In the Drosophila peripheral nervous system (PNS), APC2, a ligase subunit of the APC/C complex has been shown to regulate synaptic bouton size and activity (van Roessel et al., 2004). To investigate the role of APC/C-Cdh1 at the synapse we examined loss-of-function mutants of Rap/Fzr (Retina aberrant in pattern/Fizzy related), a Drosophila homolog of the mammalian Cdh1 during the development of the larval neuromuscular junction in Drosophila. Our cell biological, ultrastructural, electrophysiological, and behavioral data showed that rap/fzr loss-of-function mutations lead to changes in synaptic structure and function as well as locomotion defects. Data presented here show changes in size and morphology of synaptic boutons, and, muscle tissue organization. Electrophysiological experiments show that loss-of-function mutants exhibit increased frequency of spontaneous miniature synaptic potentials, indicating a higher rate of spontaneous synaptic vesicle fusion events. In addition, larval locomotion and peristaltic movement were also impaired. These findings suggest a role for Drosophila APC/C-Cdh1 mediated ubiquitination in regulating synaptic morphology

  11. 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

  12. Synaptic Competition Sculpts the Development of GABAergic Axo-Dendritic but Not Perisomatic Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Medrihan, Lucian; Petrini, Enrica Maria; Barberis, Andrea; Wulff, Peer; Wisden, William; Sassoè-Pognetto, Marco

    2013-01-01

    The neurotransmitter GABA regulates many aspects of inhibitory synapse development. We tested the hypothesis that GABAA receptors (GABAARs) work together with the synaptic adhesion molecule neuroligin 2 (NL2) to regulate synapse formation in different subcellular compartments. We investigated mice (“γ2 knockdown mice”) with an engineered allele of the GABAAR γ2 subunit gene which produced a mosaic expression of synaptic GABAARs in neighboring neurons, causing a strong imbalance in synaptic inhibition. Deletion of the γ2 subunit did not abolish synapse formation or the targeting of NL2 to distinct types of perisomatic and axo-dendritic contacts. Thus synaptic localization of NL2 does not require synaptic GABAARs. However, loss of the γ2 subunit caused a selective decrease in the number of axo-dendritic synapses on cerebellar Purkinje cells and cortical pyramidal neurons, whereas perisomatic synapses were not significantly affected. Notably, γ2-positive cells had increased axo-dendritic innervation compared with both γ2-negative and wild-type counterparts. Moreover heterologous synapses on spines, that are found after total deletion of GABAARs from all Purkinje cells, were rare in cerebella of γ2 knockdown mice. These findings reveal a selective role of γ2 subunit-containing GABAARs in regulating synapse development in distinct subcellular compartments, and support the hypothesis that the refinement of axo-dendritic synapses is regulated by activity-dependent competition between neighboring neurons. PMID:23457547

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Restoration of synaptic function in sight for degenerative retinal disease

    PubMed Central

    Schubert, Timm; Wissinger, Bernd

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic disorganization is a prominent feature of many neurological diseases of the CNS, including Parkinson’s disease, intellectual development disorders, and autism. Although synaptic plasticity is critical for learning and memory, it is unclear whether this innate property helps restore synaptic function in disease once the primary cause of disease is abrogated. An answer to this question may come from a recent investigation in X-linked retinoschisis, a currently untreatable retinopathy. In this issue of the JCI, Ou, Vijayasarathy, and colleagues showed progressive disorganization of key functional elements of the synapse between photoreceptors and ON-bipolar cells in a retinoschisin-deficient mouse model. Moreover, they demonstrated that adeno-associated virus–mediated (AAV-mediated) delivery of the retinoschisin gene restores structure and function to the photoreceptor to ON–bipolar cell synapse in mouse models, even in adults at advanced stages of the disease. The results of this study hold promise that AAV-based supplemental gene therapy will benefit patients with X-linked retinoschisis in a forthcoming clinical trial. PMID:26098210

  15. Drosophila Syncrip modulates the expression of mRNAs encoding key synaptic proteins required for morphology at the neuromuscular junction

    PubMed Central

    McDermott, Suzanne M.; Yang, Lu; Halstead, James M.; Hamilton, Russell S.; Meignin, Carine

    2014-01-01

    Localized mRNA translation is thought to play a key role in synaptic plasticity, but the identity of the transcripts and the molecular mechanism underlying their function are still poorly understood. Here, we show that Syncrip, a regulator of localized translation in the Drosophila oocyte and a component of mammalian neuronal mRNA granules, is also expressed in the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction, where it regulates synaptic growth. We use RNA-immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing and qRT-PCR to show that Syncrip associates with a number of mRNAs encoding proteins with key synaptic functions, including msp-300, syd-1, neurexin-1, futsch, highwire, discs large, and α-spectrin. The protein levels of MSP-300, Discs large, and a number of others are significantly affected in syncrip null mutants. Furthermore, syncrip mutants show a reduction in MSP-300 protein levels and defects in muscle nuclear distribution characteristic of msp-300 mutants. Our results highlight a number of potential new players in localized translation during synaptic plasticity in the neuromuscular junction. We propose that Syncrip acts as a modulator of synaptic plasticity by regulating the translation of these key mRNAs encoding synaptic scaffolding proteins and other important components involved in synaptic growth and function. PMID:25171822

  16. Synaptic protein alterations in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Pienaar, Ilse S; Burn, David; Morris, Christopher; Dexter, David

    2012-02-01

    Alterations occur within distal neuronal compartments, including axons and synapses, during the course of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease (PD). These changes could hold important implications for the functioning of neural networks, especially since research studies have shown a loss of dendritic spines locating to medium spiny projection neurons and impaired axonal transport in PD-affected brains. However, despite ever-increasing awareness of the vulnerability of synapses and axons, inadequate understanding of the independent mechanisms regulating non-somatic neurodegeneration prevails. This has resulted in limited therapeutic strategies capable of targeting these distinct cellular compartments. Deregulated protein synthesis, folding and degrading proteins, and protein quality-control systems have repeatedly been linked with morphological and functional alterations of synapses in the PD-affected brains. Here, we review current understanding concerning the proteins involved in structural and functional changes that affect synaptic contact-points in PD. The collection of studies discussed emphasizes the need for developing therapeutics aimed at deregulated protein synthesis and degradation pathways operating at axonal and dendritic synapses for preserving "normal" circuitry and function, for as long as possible.

  17. Protein composition of immunoprecipitated synaptic ribbons

    PubMed Central

    Kantardzhieva, A.; Peppi, M.; Lane, W.S.; Sewell, W.F.

    2012-01-01

    The synaptic ribbon is an electron-dense structure found in hair cells and photoreceptors. The ribbon is surrounded by neurotransmitter-filled vesicles and considered to play a role in vesicle release. We generated an objective, quantitative analysis of the protein composition of the ribbon complex using a mass spectrometry-based proteomics analysis. Our use of affinity-purified ribbons and control IgG immunoprecipitations ensure that the identified proteins are indeed associated with the ribbon complex. The use of mouse tissue, where the proteome is complete, generated a comprehensive analysis of the candidates. We identified 30 proteins (comprising 56 isoforms and subunits) associated with the ribbon complex. The ribbon complex primarily comprises proteins found in conventional synapses, which we categorized into 6 functional groups: vesicle handling (38.5%), scaffold (7.3%), cytoskeletal molecules (20.6%), phosphorylation enzymes (10.6%), molecular chaperones (8.2%), and transmembrane proteins from the presynaptic membrane firmly attached to the ribbon (11.3%). The 3 CtBP isoforms represent the major protein in the ribbon whether calculated by molar amount (30%) or by mass (20%). The relatively high quantity of phosphorylation enzymes suggests a very active and regulated structure. The ribbon appears to comprise a concentrated cluster of proteins dealing with vesicle creation, retention and distribution, and consequent exocytosis. PMID:22103298

  18. Synaptic and cellular profile of neurons in the lateral habenula

    PubMed Central

    Meye, Frank J.; Lecca, Salvatore; Valentinova, Kristina; Mameli, Manuel

    2013-01-01

    The lateral habenula (LHb) is emerging as a crucial structure capable of conveying rewarding and aversive information. Recent evidence indicates that a rapid increase in the activity of LHb neurons drives negative states and avoidance. Furthermore, the hyperexcitability of neurons in the LHb, especially those projecting to the midbrain, may represent an important cellular correlate for neuropsychiatric disorders like depression and drug addiction. Despite the recent insights regarding the implications of the LHb in the context of reward and aversion, the exact nature of the synaptic and cellular players regulating LHb neuronal functions remains largely unknown. Here we focus on the synaptic and cellular physiology of LHb neurons. First, we discuss the properties of excitatory transmission and the implications of glutamate receptors for long-term synaptic plasticity; second, we review the features of GABAergic transmission onto LHb neurons; and finally, we describe the contribution that neuromodulators such as dopamine (DA) and serotonin may have for LHb neuronal physiology. We relate these findings to the role that the LHb can play in processing aversive and rewarding stimuli, both in health and disease states. PMID:24379770

  19. 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.

  20. Control of synaptic function by endocannabinoid-mediated retrograde signaling

    PubMed Central

    KANO, Masanobu

    2014-01-01

    Since the first reports in 2001, great advances have been made towards the understanding of endocannabinoid-mediated synaptic modulation. Electrophysiological studies have revealed that one of the two major endocannabinoids, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), is produced from membrane lipids upon postsynaptic Ca2+ elevation and/or activation of Gq/11-coupled receptors, and released from postsynaptic neurons. The released 2-AG then acts retrogradely onto presynaptic cannabinoid CB1 receptors and induces suppression of neurotransmitter release either transiently or persistently. These forms of 2-AG-mediated retrograde synaptic modulation are functional throughout the brain. The other major endocannabinoid, anandamide, mediates a certain form of endocannabinoid-mediated long-term depression (LTD). Anandamide also functions as an agonist for transient receptor potential vanilloid receptor type 1 (TRPV1) and mediates endocannabinoid-independent and TRPV1-dependent forms of LTD. It has also been demonstrated that the endocannabinoid system itself is plastic, which can be either up- or down-regulated by experimental or environmental conditions. In this review, I will make an overview of the mechanisms underlying endocannabinoid-mediated synaptic modulation. PMID:25169670

  1. Diverse in- and output polarities and high complexity of local synaptic and non-synaptic signaling within a chemically defined class of peptidergic Drosophila neurons

    PubMed Central

    Karsai, Gergely; Pollák, Edit; Wacker, Matthias; Vömel, Matthias; Selcho, Mareike; Berta, Gergely; Nachman, Ronald J.; Isaac, R. Elwyn; Molnár, László; Wegener, Christian

    2013-01-01

    Peptidergic neurons are not easily integrated into current connectomics concepts, since their peptide messages can be distributed via non-synaptic paracrine signaling or volume transmission. Moreover, the polarity of peptidergic interneurons in terms of in- and out-put sites can be hard to predict and is very little explored. We describe in detail the morphology and the subcellular distribution of fluorescent vesicle/dendrite markers in CCAP neurons (NCCAP), a well defined set of peptidergic neurons in the Drosophila larva. NCCAP can be divided into five morphologically distinct subsets. In contrast to other subsets, serial homologous interneurons in the ventral ganglion show a mixed localization of in- and output markers along ventral neurites that defy a classification as dendritic or axonal compartments. Ultrastructurally, these neurites contain both pre- and postsynaptic sites preferably at varicosities. A significant portion of the synaptic events are due to reciprocal synapses. Peptides are mostly non-synaptically or parasynaptically released, and dense-core vesicles and synaptic vesicle pools are typically well separated. The responsiveness of the NCCAP to ecdysis-triggering hormone may be at least partly dependent on a tonic synaptic inhibition, and is independent of ecdysteroids. Our results reveal a remarkable variety and complexity of local synaptic circuitry within a chemically defined set of peptidergic neurons. Synaptic transmitter signaling as well as peptidergic paracrine signaling and volume transmission from varicosities can be main signaling modes of peptidergic interneurons depending on the subcellular region. The possibility of region-specific variable signaling modes should be taken into account in connectomic studies that aim to dissect the circuitry underlying insect behavior and physiology, in which peptidergic neurons act as important regulators. PMID:23914156

  2. Late onset deficits in synaptic plasticity in the valproic acid rat model of autism.

    PubMed

    Martin, Henry G S; Manzoni, Olivier J

    2014-01-01

    Valproic acid (VPA) is a frequently used drug in the treatment of epilepsy, bipolar disorders and migraines; however it is also a potent teratogen. Prenatal exposure increases the risk of childhood malformations and can result in cognitive deficits. In rodents in utero exposure to VPA also causes neurodevelopmental abnormalities and is an important model of autism. In early postnatal life VPA exposed rat pups show changes in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) physiology and synaptic connectivity. Specifically, principal neurons show decreased excitability but increased local connectivity, coupled with an increase in long-term potentiation (LTP) due to an up-regulation of NMDA receptor (NMDAR) expression. However recent evidence suggests compensatory homeostatic mechanisms lead to normalization of synaptic NMDARs during later postnatal development. Here we have extended study of mPFC synaptic physiology into adulthood to better understand the longitudinal consequences of early developmental abnormalities in VPA exposed rats. Surprisingly in contrast to early postnatal life and adolescence, we find that adult VPA exposed rats show reduced synaptic function. Both NMDAR mediated currents and LTP are lower in adult VPA rats, although spontaneous activity and endocannabinoid dependent long-term depression are normal. We conclude that rather than correcting, synaptic abnormalities persist into adulthood in VPA exposed rats, although a quite different synaptic phenotype is present. This switch from hyper to hypo function in mPFC may be linked to some of the neurodevelopmental defects found in prenatal VPA exposure and autism spectrum disorders in general.

  3. Late onset deficits in synaptic plasticity in the valproic acid rat model of autism

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Henry G. S.; Manzoni, Olivier J.

    2014-01-01

    Valproic acid (VPA) is a frequently used drug in the treatment of epilepsy, bipolar disorders and migraines; however it is also a potent teratogen. Prenatal exposure increases the risk of childhood malformations and can result in cognitive deficits. In rodents in utero exposure to VPA also causes neurodevelopmental abnormalities and is an important model of autism. In early postnatal life VPA exposed rat pups show changes in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) physiology and synaptic connectivity. Specifically, principal neurons show decreased excitability but increased local connectivity, coupled with an increase in long-term potentiation (LTP) due to an up-regulation of NMDA receptor (NMDAR) expression. However recent evidence suggests compensatory homeostatic mechanisms lead to normalization of synaptic NMDARs during later postnatal development. Here we have extended study of mPFC synaptic physiology into adulthood to better understand the longitudinal consequences of early developmental abnormalities in VPA exposed rats. Surprisingly in contrast to early postnatal life and adolescence, we find that adult VPA exposed rats show reduced synaptic function. Both NMDAR mediated currents and LTP are lower in adult VPA rats, although spontaneous activity and endocannabinoid dependent long-term depression are normal. We conclude that rather than correcting, synaptic abnormalities persist into adulthood in VPA exposed rats, although a quite different synaptic phenotype is present. This switch from hyper to hypo function in mPFC may be linked to some of the neurodevelopmental defects found in prenatal VPA exposure and autism spectrum disorders in general. PMID:24550781

  4. 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

  5. A synaptic mechanism for retinal adaptation to luminance and contrast.

    PubMed

    Jarsky, Tim; Cembrowski, Mark; Logan, Stephen M; Kath, William L; Riecke, Hermann; Demb, Jonathan B; Singer, Joshua H

    2011-07-27

    The gain of signaling in primary sensory circuits is matched to the stimulus intensity by the process of adaptation. Retinal neural circuits adapt to visual scene statistics, including the mean (background adaptation) and the temporal variance (contrast adaptation) of the light stimulus. The intrinsic properties of retinal bipolar cells and synapses contribute to background and contrast adaptation, but it is unclear whether both forms of adaptation depend on the same cellular mechanisms. Studies of bipolar cell synapses identified synaptic mechanisms of gain control, but the relevance of these mechanisms to visual processing is uncertain because of the historical focus on fast, phasic transmission rather than the tonic transmission evoked by ambient light. Here, we studied use-dependent regulation of bipolar cell synaptic transmission evoked by small, ongoing modulations of membrane potential (V(M)) in the physiological range. We made paired whole-cell recordings from rod bipolar (RB) and AII amacrine cells in a mouse retinal slice preparation. Quasi-white noise voltage commands modulated RB V(M) and evoked EPSCs in the AII. We mimicked changes in background luminance or contrast, respectively, by depolarizing the V(M) or increasing its variance. A linear systems analysis of synaptic transmission showed that increasing either the mean or the variance of the presynaptic V(M) reduced gain. Further electrophysiological and computational analyses demonstrated that adaptation to mean potential resulted from both Ca channel inactivation and vesicle depletion, whereas adaptation to variance resulted from vesicle depletion alone. Thus, background and contrast adaptation apparently depend in part on a common synaptic mechanism.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Long-term Relationships between Cholinergic Tone, Synchronous Bursting and Synaptic Remodeling

    PubMed Central

    Kaufman, Maya; Corner, Michael A.; Ziv, Noam E.

    2012-01-01

    Cholinergic neuromodulation plays key roles in the regulation of neuronal excitability, network activity, arousal, and behavior. On longer time scales, cholinergic systems play essential roles in cortical development, maturation, and plasticity. Presumably, these processes are associated with substantial synaptic remodeling, yet to date, long-term relationships between cholinergic tone and synaptic remodeling remain largely unknown. Here we used automated microscopy combined with multielectrode array recordings to study long-term relationships between cholinergic tone, excitatory synapse remodeling, and network activity characteristics in networks of cortical neurons grown on multielectrode array substrates. Experimental elevations of cholinergic tone led to the abrupt suppression of episodic synchronous bursting activity (but not of general activity), followed by a gradual growth of excitatory synapses over hours. Subsequent blockage of cholinergic receptors led to an immediate restoration of synchronous bursting and the gradual reversal of synaptic growth. Neither synaptic growth nor downsizing was governed by multiplicative scaling rules. Instead, these occurred in a subset of synapses, irrespective of initial synaptic size. Synaptic growth seemed to depend on intrinsic network activity, but not on the degree to which bursting was suppressed. Intriguingly, sustained elevations of cholinergic tone were associated with a gradual recovery of synchronous bursting but not with a reversal of synaptic growth. These findings show that cholinergic tone can strongly affect synaptic remodeling and synchronous bursting activity, but do not support a strict coupling between the two. Finally, the reemergence of synchronous bursting in the presence of elevated cholinergic tone indicates that the capacity of cholinergic neuromodulation to indefinitely suppress synchronous bursting might be inherently limited. PMID:22911726

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. An Engineered Metal Sensor Tunes the Kinetics of Synaptic Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Chantell S.; Ruhl, David A.

    2015-01-01

    The Ca2+ sensor synaptotagmin-1 (syt-1) regulates neurotransmitter release by interacting with anionic phospholipids. Here we test the idea that the intrinsic kinetics of syt–membrane interactions determine, in part, the time course of synaptic transmission. To tune the kinetics of this interaction, we grafted structural elements from the slowest isoform, syt-7, onto the fastest isoform, syt-1, resulting in a chimera with intermediate kinetic properties. Moreover, the chimera coupled a physiologically irrelevant metal, Sr2+, to membrane fusion in vitro. When substituted for syt-1 in mouse hippocampal neurons, the chimera slowed the kinetics of synaptic transmission. Neurons expressing the chimera also evinced rapid and efficient Sr2+ triggered release, in contrast to the weak response of neurons expressing syt-1. These findings reveal presynaptic sensor–membrane interactions as a major factor regulating the speed of the release machinery. Finally, the chimera failed to clamp the elevated spontaneous fusion rate exhibited by syt-1 KO neurons, indicating that the metal binding loops of syt-1 regulate the two modes of release by distinct mechanisms. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In calcium, synaptotagmin-1 triggers neurotransmitter release by interacting with membranes. Here, we demonstrate that intrinsic properties of this interaction control the time course of synaptic transmission. We engineered a “chimera” using synaptotagmin-1 and elements of a slower isoform, synaptotagmin-7. When expressed in neurons, the chimera slowed the rate of neurotransmitter release. Furthermore, unlike native synaptotagmin-1, the chimera was able to function robustly in the presence of strontium–a metal not present in cells. We exploited this ability to show that a key function of synaptotagmin-1 is to penetrate cell membranes. This work sheds light on fundamental mechanisms of neurotransmitter release. PMID:26311762

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

    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.

  17. 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.

  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. Nuclear respiratory factor 2 regulates the expression of the same NMDA receptor subunit genes as NRF-1: both factors act by a concurrent and parallel mechanism to couple energy metabolism and synaptic transmission.

    PubMed

    Priya, Anusha; Johar, Kaid; Wong-Riley, Margaret T T

    2013-01-01

    Neuronal activity and energy metabolism are tightly coupled processes. Previously, we found that nuclear respiratory factor 1 (NRF-1) transcriptionally co-regulates energy metabolism and neuronal activity by regulating all 13 subunits of the critical energy generating enzyme, cytochrome c oxidase (COX), as well as N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor subunits 1 and 2B, GluN1 (Grin1) and GluN2B (Grin2b). We also found that another transcription factor, nuclear respiratory factor 2 (NRF-2 or GA-binding protein) regulates all subunits of COX as well. The goal of the present study was to test our hypothesis that NRF-2 also regulates specific subunits of NMDA receptors, and that it functions with NRF-1 via one of three mechanisms: complementary, concurrent and parallel, or a combination of complementary and concurrent/parallel. By means of multiple approaches, including in silico analysis, electrophoretic mobility shift and supershift assays, in vivo chromatin immunoprecipitation of mouse neuroblastoma cells and rat visual cortical tissue, promoter mutations, real-time quantitative PCR, and western blot analysis, NRF-2 was found to functionally regulate Grin1 and Grin2b genes, but not any other NMDA subunit genes. Grin1 and Grin2b transcripts were up-regulated by depolarizing KCl, but silencing of NRF-2 prevented this up-regulation. On the other hand, over-expression of NRF-2 rescued the down-regulation of these subunits by the impulse blocker TTX. NRF-2 binding sites on Grin1 and Grin2b are conserved among species. Our data indicate that NRF-2 and NRF-1 operate in a concurrent and parallel manner in mediating the tight coupling between energy metabolism and neuronal activity at the molecular level.

  20. Synaptic Wnt/GSK3β Signaling Hub in Autism

    PubMed Central

    Caracci, Mario O.; Ávila, Miguel E.; De Ferrari, Giancarlo V.

    2016-01-01

    Hundreds of genes have been associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and the interaction of weak and de novo variants derive from distinct autistic phenotypes thus making up the “spectrum.” The convergence of these variants in networks of genes associated with synaptic function warrants the study of cell signaling pathways involved in the regulation of the synapse. The Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway plays a central role in the development and regulation of the central nervous system and several genes belonging to the cascade have been genetically associated with ASDs. In the present paper, we review basic information regarding the role of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in excitatory/inhibitory balance (E/I balance) through the regulation of pre- and postsynaptic compartments. Furthermore, we integrate information supporting the role of the glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) in the onset/development of ASDs through direct modulation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Finally, given GSK3β activity as key modulator of synaptic plasticity, we explore the potential of this kinase as a therapeutic target for ASD. PMID:26881141

  1. Reelin and apoE actions on signal transduction, synaptic function and memory formation.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Justin T; Weeber, Edwin J

    2008-08-01

    Low-density-lipoprotein receptors (LDLRs) are an evolutionarily ancient surface protein family with the ability to activate a diversity of extracellular signals across the cellular membrane in the adult central nervous system (CNS). Their intimate roles in modulating synaptic plasticity and their necessity in hippocampal-dependent learning and memory have only recently come to light. Two known LDLR ligands, specifically apolipoprotein E (apoE) and reelin, have been the most widely investigated in this regard. Most of our understanding of synaptic plasticity comes from investigation of both pre- and postsynaptic alterations. Therefore, it is interesting to note that neurons and glia that do not contribute to the synaptic junction in question can secrete signaling molecules that affect synaptic plasticity. Notably, reelin and apoE have been shown to modulate hippocampal long-term potentiation in general, and affect NMDA receptor and AMPA receptor regulation specifically. Furthermore, these receptors and signaling molecules have significant roles in neuronal degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. The recent production of recombinant proteins, knockout and transgenic mice for receptors and ligands and the development of human ApoE targeted replacement mice have significantly expanded our understanding of the roles LDLRs and their ligands have in certain disease states and the accompanying initiation of specific signaling pathways. This review describes the role LDLRs, apoE and reelin have in the regulation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

  2. Analysis of synaptic growth and function in Drosophila with an extended larval stage

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Daniel L.; Ballard, Shannon L.; Ganetzky, Barry

    2012-01-01

    The Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is a powerful system for the genetic and molecular analysis of neuronal excitability, synaptic transmission, and synaptic development. However, its use for studying age-dependent processes, such as maintenance of neuronal viability and synaptic stability, are temporally limited by the onset of pupariation and metamorphosis. Here we characterize larval NMJ growth, growth regulation, structure, and function in a developmental variant with an extended third instar. RNAi-knockdown of the prothoracicotropic hormone receptor, torso, in the ring gland of developing larvae leaves the timing of first and second instar molts largely unchanged, but triples duration of the third instar from 3 to 9.5 days (McBrayer et al., 2007; Rewitz et al., 2009). During this extended third instar (ETI) period, NMJs undergo additional growth (adding over 50 boutons/NMJ), and this growth remains under the control of the canonical regulators Highwire and the TGF-β/BMP pathway. NMJ growth during the ETI period occurs via addition of new branches, satellite boutons and interstitial boutons, and continues even after muscle growth levels off. Throughout the ETI, organization of synapses and active zones remains normal, and synaptic transmission is unchanged. These results establish the ETI larval system as a viable model for studying motor neuron diseases and for investigating time-dependent effects of perturbations that impair mechanisms of neuroprotection, synaptic maintenance, and response to neural injury. PMID:23035089

  3. Analysis of synaptic growth and function in Drosophila with an extended larval stage.

    PubMed

    Miller, Daniel L; Ballard, Shannon L; Ganetzky, Barry

    2012-10-01

    The Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is a powerful system for the genetic and molecular analysis of neuronal excitability, synaptic transmission, and synaptic development. However, its use for studying age-dependent processes, such as maintenance of neuronal viability and synaptic stability, are temporally limited by the onset of pupariation and metamorphosis. Here we characterize larval NMJ growth, growth regulation, structure, and function in a developmental variant with an extended third instar (ETI). RNAi-knockdown of the prothoracicotropic hormone receptor, torso, in the ring gland of developing larvae leaves the timing of first and second instar molts largely unchanged, but triples duration of the third instar from 3 to 9.5 d (McBrayer et al., 2007; Rewitz et al., 2009). During this ETI period, NMJs undergo additional growth (adding >50 boutons/NMJ), and this growth remains under the control of the canonical regulators Highwire and the TGFβ/BMP pathway. NMJ growth during the ETI period occurs via addition of new branches, satellite boutons, and interstitial boutons, and continues even after muscle growth levels off. Throughout the ETI, organization of synapses and active zones remains normal, and synaptic transmission is unchanged. These results establish the ETI larval system as a viable model for studying motor neuron diseases and for investigating time-dependent effects of perturbations that impair mechanisms of neuroprotection, synaptic maintenance, and response to neural injury. PMID:23035089

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  5. Role of phosphodiesterase 5 in synaptic plasticity and memory

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Increasing Student Engagement, Self-Efficacy, and Meta-Cognitive Self-Regulation in the High School Geometry Classroom: Do iPads Help?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perry, David R.; Steck, Andy K.

    2015-01-01

    Teachers are increasingly integrating mobile digital technology into the classroom. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of incorporating iPads in a secondary-level geometry course on academic achievement, student engagement, self-efficacy, and meta-cognitive self-regulation. Students in the iPad-using classroom experienced lower…

  9. Synaptic Plasticity and NO-cGMP-PKG Signaling Coordinately Regulate ERK-Driven Gene Expression in the Lateral Amygdala and in the Auditory Thalamus Following Pavlovian Fear Conditioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ota, Kristie T.; Monsey, Melissa S.; Wu, Melissa S.; Young, Grace J.; Schafe, Glenn E.

    2010-01-01

    We have recently hypothesized that NO-cGMP-PKG signaling in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) during auditory fear conditioning coordinately regulates ERK-driven transcriptional changes in both auditory thalamic (MGm/PIN) and LA neurons that serve to promote pre- and postsynaptic alterations at thalamo-LA synapses, respectively. In the…

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Plain packaging and indirect expropriation of trademark rights under BITs: does FCTC help to establish a right to regulate tobacco products?

    PubMed

    Lo, Chang-Fa

    2012-12-01

    Recently the giant tobacco company Philip Morris served its notice to launch an investor-to-state dispute settlement proceeding against the Australian Government for its introduction of plain packaging requirements on tobacco products. It is an important event in the field of intellectual property, investment and international health law. The fundamental questions involved are whether the restriction of trademark rights as a result of the plain packaging requirement is a compensable indirect expropriation under BITs or whether it falls within the scope of government's right to regulate and thus become not compensable. This paper is of the view that the requirement of plain packaging will deprive the essential value or core function of trademark rights and thus constitutes an indirect expropriation under BITs. However, such indirect expropriation meets the public interest requirement and the necessity requirement. The paper further argues that sovereign States have an inherent right to regulate domestic economic activities. Since the pain packaging requirements provided in the FCTC Guidelines are expected to protect the value of human lives and health, the protected values clearly outweigh the affected commercial interests of tobacco companies. Also the justification for host States to adopt a plain packaging policy is strong. Thus, the interpreters of BITs need to pay higher respect to the host State's sovereign power concerning its right to regulate tobacco products for a legitimate purpose. The conclusion of the paper is that the host States should enjoy a defense of the right to regulate to refuse compensation. The author believes that this is the only reasonable conclusion to avoid possible conflicts between different treaty systems (BITs and the FCTC) and between different legal systems and fields (trademark law, investment law and international health law).

  14. 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'.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Synaptic protein dysregulation in myotonic dystrophy type 1

    PubMed Central

    Hernández-Hernández, Oscar; Sicot, Géraldine; Dinca, Diana M.; Huguet, Aline; Nicole, Annie; Buée, Luc; Munnich, Arnold; Sergeant, Nicolas; Gourdon, Geneviève; Gomes-Pereira, Mário

    2013-01-01

    The toxicity of expanded transcripts in myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is mainly mediated by the disruption of alternative splicing. However, the detailed disease mechanisms in the central nervous system (CNS) have not been fully elucidated. In our recent study, we demonstrated that the accumulation of mutant transcripts in the CNS of a mouse model of DM1 disturbs splicing in a region-specific manner. We now discuss that the spatial- and temporal-regulated expression of splicing factors may contribute to the region-specific spliceopathy in DM1 brains. In the search for disease mechanisms operating in the CNS, we found that the expression of expanded CUG-containing RNA affects the expression and phosphorylation of synaptic vesicle proteins, possibly contributing to DM1 neurological phenotypes. Although mediated by splicing regulators with a described role in DM1, the misregulation of synaptic proteins was not associated with missplicing of their coding transcripts, supporting the view that DM1 mechanisms in the CNS have also far-reaching implications beyond the disruption of a splicing program. PMID:25003003

  18. Porcupine controls hippocampal AMPAR levels, composition and synaptic transmission

    PubMed Central

    Erlenhardt, Nadine; Yu, Hong; Abiraman, Kavitha; Yamasaki, Tokiwa; Wadiche, Jacques I.; Tomita, Susumu; Bredt, David S.

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY AMPAR (AMPAR) complexes contain auxiliary subunits that modulate receptor trafficking and gating. In addition to the transmembrane AMPAR regulatory proteins (TARPs) and cornichons (CNIH-2/3), recent proteomic studies identified a diverse array of additional AMPAR-associated transmembrane and secreted partners. We systematically surveyed these and found that PORCN and ABHD6 increase GluA1 levels in transfected cells. Knockdown of PORCN in rat hippocampal neurons, which express it in high amounts, selectively reduces levels of all tested AMPAR complex components. Regulation of AMPARs is independent of PORCN’s membrane-associated O-acyl transferase activity. PORCN knockdown in hippocampal neurons decreases AMPAR currents and accelerates desensitization, and leads to depletion of TARP γ-8 from AMPAR complexes. Conditional PORCN knockout mice also exhibit specific changes in AMPAR expression and gating that reduce basal synaptic transmission, but leave long-term potentiation intact. These studies define additional roles for PORCN in controlling synaptic transmission by regulating the level and composition of hippocampal AMPAR complexes. PMID:26776514

  19. 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.

  20. Experimental demonstration of a second-order memristor and its ability to biorealistically implement synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sungho; Du, Chao; Sheridan, Patrick; Ma, Wen; Choi, ShinHyun; Lu, Wei D

    2015-03-11

    Memristors have been extensively studied for data storage and low-power computation applications. In this study, we show that memristors offer more than simple resistance change. Specifically, the dynamic evolutions of internal state variables allow an oxide-based memristor to exhibit Ca(2+)-like dynamics that natively encode timing information and regulate synaptic weights. Such a device can be modeled as a second-order memristor and allow the implementation of critical synaptic functions realistically using simple spike forms based solely on spike activity. PMID:25710872

  1. Experimental demonstration of a second-order memristor and its ability to biorealistically implement synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sungho; Du, Chao; Sheridan, Patrick; Ma, Wen; Choi, ShinHyun; Lu, Wei D

    2015-03-11

    Memristors have been extensively studied for data storage and low-power computation applications. In this study, we show that memristors offer more than simple resistance change. Specifically, the dynamic evolutions of internal state variables allow an oxide-based memristor to exhibit Ca(2+)-like dynamics that natively encode timing information and regulate synaptic weights. Such a device can be modeled as a second-order memristor and allow the implementation of critical synaptic functions realistically using simple spike forms based solely on spike activity.

  2. 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.

  3. 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).

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Structure suggests function: the case for synaptic ribbons as exocytotic nanomachines.

    PubMed

    Lenzi, D; von Gersdorff, H

    2001-09-01

    Synaptic ribbons, the organelles identified in electron micrographs of the sensory synapses involved in vision, hearing, and balance, have long been hypothesized to play an important role in regulating presynaptic function because they associate with synaptic vesicles at the active zone. Their physiology and molecular composition have, however, remained largely unknown. Recently, a series of elegant studies spurred by technical innovation have finally begun to shed light on the ultrastructure and function of ribbon synapses. Electrical capacitance measurements have provided sub-millisecond resolution of exocytosis, evanescent-wave microscopy has filmed the fusion of single 30 nm synaptic vesicles, electron tomography has revealed the 3D architecture of the synapse, and molecular cloning has begun to identify the proteins that make up ribbons. These results are consistent with the ribbon serving as a vesicle "conveyor belt" to resupply the active zone, and with the suggestion that ribbon and conventional chemical synapses have much in common.

  7. Control of neurotransmitter release by an internal gel matrix in synaptic vesicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reigada, David; Díez-Pérez, Ismael; Gorostiza, Pau; Verdaguer, Albert; Gómez de Aranda, Inmaculada; Pineda, Oriol; Vilarrasa, Jaume; Marsal, Jordi; Blasi, Joan; Aleu, Jordi; Solsona, Carles

    2003-03-01

    Neurotransmitters are stored in synaptic vesicles, where they have been assumed to be in free solution. Here we report that in Torpedo synaptic vesicles, only 5% of the total acetylcholine (ACh) or ATP content is free, and that the rest is adsorbed to an intravesicular proteoglycan matrix. This matrix, which controls ACh and ATP release by an ion-exchange mechanism, behaves like a smart gel. That is, it releases neurotransmitter and changes its volume when challenged with small ionic concentration change. Immunodetection analysis revealed that the synaptic vesicle proteoglycan SV2 is the core of the intravesicular matrix and is responsible for immobilization and release of ACh and ATP. We suggest that in the early steps of vesicle fusion, this internal matrix regulates the availability of free diffusible ACh and ATP, and thus serves to modulate the quantity of transmitter released. Abbreviations: ACh, acetylcholine AFM, atomic force microscopy

  8. [The role of synaptic transmission in memory and neurodegeneration processes and effects of neurotropic preparations].

    PubMed

    Voronina, T A

    2003-01-01

    Academician Zakusov, in his book Pharmacology of Central Synapses (Moscow, 1973), emphasized the central role of synaptic processes in regulation of various forms of behavior, memory, and psychotropic drug action. The paper considers most promising directions in the search for substances possessing nootropic and neuroprotector properties, many of which were developed at the Institute of Pharmacology based on the notion about synaptic processes. These investigations led to the creation of well-known drugs such as mexidole, noopept, nooglutyl, beglimin, etc. Special attention is devoted to the implementation and modern development of the ideas of Academician Zakusov. Recent data are presented on the role of neuropeptides, neurotrophins, and intracellular signaling mechanisms in synaptic plasticity, memory processes, and development of neurodegenerative states. PMID:12962041

  9. Relapse induced by cues predicting cocaine depends on rapid, transient synaptic potentiation

    PubMed Central

    Gipson, Cassandra D.; Kupchik, Yonatan M.; Shen, Haowei; Reissner, Kathryn J.; Thomas, Charles A.; Kalivas, Peter W.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Cocaine addiction is characterized by long-lasting vulnerability to relapse arising because neutral environmental stimuli become associated with drug use and then act as cues that induce relapse. It is not known how cues elicit cocaine seeking, and why cocaine seeking is more difficult to regulate than seeking a natural reward. We found that cocaine-associated cues initiate cocaine seeking by inducing a rapid, transient increase in dendritic spine size and synaptic strength in the nucleus accumbens. These changes required neural activity in the prefrontal cortex. This is not the case when identical cues were associated with obtaining sucrose, which did not elicit changes in spine size or synaptic strength. The marked cue-induced synaptic changes in the accumbens were correlated with the intensity of cocaine, but not sucrose seeking, and may explain the difficulty addicts experience in managing relapse to cocaine use. PMID:23473317

  10. Absence of synaptotagmin disrupts excitation-secretion coupling during synaptic transmission.

    PubMed Central

    Broadie, K; Bellen, H J; DiAntonio, A; Littleton, J T; Schwarz, T L

    1994-01-01

    Synaptotagmin is an integral synaptic vesicle protein proposed to be involved in Ca(2+)-dependent exocytosis during synaptic transmission. Null mutations in synaptotagmin have been made in Drosophila, and the protein's in vivo function has been assayed at the neuromuscular synapse. In the absence of synaptotagmin, synaptic transmission is dramatically impaired but is not abolished. In null mutants, evoked vesicle release is decreased by a factor of 10. Moreover, the fidelity of excitation-secretion coupling is impaired so that a given stimulus generates a more variable amount of secretion. However, this residual evoked release shows Ca(2+)-dependence similar to normal release, suggesting either that synaptotagmin is not the Ca2+ sensor or that a second, independent Ca2+ sensor exists. While evoked transmission is suppressed, the rate of spontaneous vesicle fusion is increased by a factor of 5. We conclude that synaptotagmin is not an absolutely essential component of the Ca(2+)-dependent secretion pathway in synaptic transmission but is necessary for normal levels of transmission. Our data support a model in which synaptotagmin functions as a negative regulator of spontaneous vesicle fusion and acts to increase the efficiency of excitation-secretion coupling during synaptic transmission. Images PMID:7938019

  11. Role of Rab27 in synaptic transmission at the squid giant synapse.

    PubMed

    Yu, Eunah; Kanno, Eiko; Choi, Soonwook; Sugimori, Mutsuyuki; Moreira, Jorge E; Llinás, Rodolfo R; Fukuda, Mitsunori

    2008-10-14

    Small GTPase Rab is a member of a large family of Ras-related proteins, highly conserved in eukaryotic cells, and thought to regulate specific type(s) and/or specific step(s) in intracellular membrane trafficking. Given our interest in synaptic transmission, we addressed the possibility that Rab27 (a close isoform of Rab3) could be involved in cytosolic synaptic vesicle mobilization. Indeed, preterminal injection of a specific antibody against squid Rab27 (anti-sqRab27 antibody) combined with confocal microscopy demonstrated that Rab27 is present on squid synaptic vesicles. Electrophysiological study of injected synapses showed that the anti-sqRab27 antibody inhibited synaptic release in a stimulation-dependent manner without affecting presynaptic action potentials or inward Ca(2+) current. This result was confirmed in in vitro synaptosomes by using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. Thus, synaptosomal Ca(2+)-stimulated release of FM1-43 dye was greatly impaired by intraterminal anti-sqRab27 antibody. Ultrastructural analysis of the injected giant preterminal further showed a reduced number of docked synaptic vesicles and an increase in nondocked vesicular profiles distant from the active zone. These results, taken together, indicate that Rab27 is primarily involved in the maturation of recycled vesicles and/or their transport to the presynaptic active zone in the squid giant synapse.

  12. Role of Rab27 in synaptic transmission at the squid giant synapse

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Eunah; Kanno, Eiko; Choi, Soonwook; Sugimori, Mutsuyuki; Moreira, Jorge E.; Llinás, Rodolfo R.; Fukuda, Mitsunori

    2008-01-01

    Small GTPase Rab is a member of a large family of Ras-related proteins, highly conserved in eukaryotic cells, and thought to regulate specific type(s) and/or specific step(s) in intracellular membrane trafficking. Given our interest in synaptic transmission, we addressed the possibility that Rab27 (a close isoform of Rab3) could be involved in cytosolic synaptic vesicle mobilization. Indeed, preterminal injection of a specific antibody against squid Rab27 (anti-sqRab27 antibody) combined with confocal microscopy demonstrated that Rab27 is present on squid synaptic vesicles. Electrophysiological study of injected synapses showed that the anti-sqRab27 antibody inhibited synaptic release in a stimulation-dependent manner without affecting presynaptic action potentials or inward Ca2+ current. This result was confirmed in in vitro synaptosomes by using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. Thus, synaptosomal Ca2+-stimulated release of FM1-43 dye was greatly impaired by intraterminal anti-sqRab27 antibody. Ultrastructural analysis of the injected giant preterminal further showed a reduced number of docked synaptic vesicles and an increase in nondocked vesicular profiles distant from the active zone. These results, taken together, indicate that Rab27 is primarily involved in the maturation of recycled vesicles and/or their transport to the presynaptic active zone in the squid giant synapse. PMID:18840683

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

    PubMed

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

    2000-01-01

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

  14. A Critical and Cell-Autonomous Role for MeCP2 in Synaptic Scaling Up

    PubMed Central

    Blackman, Melissa P.; Djukic, Biljana; Nelson, Sacha B.; Turrigiano, Gina G.

    2012-01-01

    Rett syndrome is the leading genetic cause of mental retardation in females. Most cases of Rett are due to loss of function mutations in the gene coding for the transcriptional regulator methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2), but despite much effort it remains unclear how a loss of MeCP2 function generates the neurological deficits of Rett. Here we show that MeCP2 plays an essential and cell-autonomous role in homeostatic synaptic scaling up in response to reduced firing or reduced sensory drive in rat visual cortical pyramidal neurons. We found that acute RNAi knockdown of MeCP2 blocked synaptic scaling within targeted neocortical pyramidal neurons. Further, MeCP2 knockdown decreased excitatory synapse number without affecting basal mEPSC amplitude or AMPAR accumulation at spared synapses, demonstrating that MeCP2 acts cell-autonomously to maintain both excitatory synapse number and synaptic scaling in individual neocortical neurons. Finally, we used a mouse model of Rett to show that MeCP2 loss prevents homeostatic synaptic scaling up in response to visual deprivation in vivo, demonstrating for the first time that MeCP2 loss disrupts homeostatic plasticity within the intact developing neocortex. Our results establish MeCP2 as a critical mediator of synaptic scaling, and raise the possibility that some of the neurological defects of Rett arise from a disruption of homeostatic plasticity. PMID:23015442

  15. A critical and cell-autonomous role for MeCP2 in synaptic scaling up.

    PubMed

    Blackman, Melissa P; Djukic, Biljana; Nelson, Sacha B; Turrigiano, Gina G

    2012-09-26

    Rett syndrome (Rett) is the leading genetic cause of mental retardation in females. Most cases of Rett are caused by loss-of-function mutations in the gene coding for the transcriptional regulator methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2), but despite much effort, it remains unclear how a loss of MeCP2 function generates the neurological deficits of Rett. Here we show that MeCP2 plays an essential and cell-autonomous role in homeostatic synaptic scaling up in response to reduced firing or reduced sensory drive in rat visual cortical pyramidal neurons. We found that acute RNAi knockdown of MeCP2 blocked synaptic scaling within targeted neocortical pyramidal neurons. Furthermore, MeCP2 knockdown decreased excitatory synapse number without affecting basal mEPSC amplitude or AMPAR accumulation at spared synapses, demonstrating that MeCP2 acts cell-autonomously to maintain both excitatory synapse number and synaptic scaling in individual neocortical neurons. Finally, we used a mouse model of Rett to show that MeCP2 loss prevents homeostatic synaptic scaling up in response to visual deprivation in vivo, demonstrating for the first time that MeCP2 loss disrupts homeostatic plasticity within the intact developing neocortex. Our results establish MeCP2 as a critical mediator of synaptic scaling and raise the possibility that some of the neurological defects of Rett arise from a disruption of homeostatic plasticity. PMID:23015442

  16. Ig Superfamily Ligand and Receptor Pairs Expressed in Synaptic Partners in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Tan, Liming; Zhang, Kelvin Xi; Pecot, Matthew Y; Nagarkar-Jaiswal, Sonal; Lee, Pei-Tseng; Takemura, Shin-Ya; McEwen, Jason M; Nern, Aljoscha; Xu, Shuwa; Tadros, Wael; Chen, Zhenqing; Zinn, Kai; Bellen, Hugo J; Morey, Marta; Zipursky, S Lawrence

    2015-12-17

    Information processing relies on precise patterns of synapses between neurons. The cellular recognition mechanisms regulating this specificity are poorly understood. In the medulla of the Drosophila visual system, different neurons form synaptic connections in different layers. Here, we sought to identify candidate cell recognition molecules underlying this specificity. Using RNA sequencing (RNA-seq), we show that neurons with different synaptic specificities express unique combinations of mRNAs encoding hundreds of cell surface and secreted proteins. Using RNA-seq and protein tagging, we demonstrate that 21 paralogs of the Dpr family, a subclass of immunoglobulin (Ig)-domain containing proteins, are expressed in unique combinations in homologous neurons with different layer-specific synaptic connections. Dpr interacting proteins (DIPs), comprising nine paralogs of another subclass of Ig-containing proteins, are expressed in a complementary layer-specific fashion in a subset of synaptic partners. We propose that pairs of Dpr/DIP paralogs contribute to layer-specific patterns of synaptic connectivity. PMID:26687360

  17. Interneuronal Nitric Oxide Signaling Mediates Post-synaptic Long-Term Depression of Striatal Glutamatergic Synapses.

    PubMed

    Rafalovich, Igor V; Melendez, Alexandria E; Plotkin, Joshua L; Tanimura, Asami; Zhai, Shenyu; Surmeier, D James

    2015-11-17

    Experience-driven plasticity of glutamatergic synapses on striatal spiny projection neurons (SPNs) is thought to be essential to goal-directed behavior and habit formation. One major form of striatal plasticity, long-term depression (LTD), has long appeared to be expressed only pre-synaptically. Contrary to this view, nitric oxide (NO) generated by striatal interneurons was found to induce a post-synaptically expressed form of LTD at SPN glutamatergic synapses. This form of LTD was dependent on signaling through guanylyl cyclase and protein kinase G, both of which are abundantly expressed by SPNs. NO-LTD was unaffected by local synaptic activity or antagonism of endocannabinoid (eCb) and dopamine receptors, all of which modulate canonical, pre-synaptic LTD. Moreover, NO signaling disrupted induction of this canonical LTD by inhibiting dendritic Ca(2+) channels regulating eCb synthesis. These results establish an interneuron-dependent, heterosynaptic form of post-synaptic LTD that could act to promote stability of the striatal network during learning.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Compensating for thalamocortical synaptic loss in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Abuhassan, Kamal; Coyle, Damien; Maguire, Liam

    2014-01-01

    The study presents a thalamocortical network model which oscillates within the alpha frequency band (8-13 Hz) as recorded in the wakeful relaxed state with closed eyes to study the neural causes of abnormal oscillatory activity in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Incorporated within the model are various types of cortical excitatory and inhibitory neurons, recurrently connected to thalamic and reticular thalamic regions with the ratios and distances derived from the mammalian thalamocortical system. The model is utilized to study the impacts of four types of connectivity loss on the model's spectral dynamics. The study focuses on investigating degeneration of corticocortical, thalamocortical, corticothalamic, and corticoreticular couplings, with an emphasis on the influence of each modeled case on the spectral output of the model. Synaptic compensation has been included in each model to examine the interplay between synaptic deletion and compensation mechanisms, and the oscillatory activity of the network. The results of power spectra and event related desynchronization/synchronization (ERD/S) analyses show that the dynamics of the thalamic and cortical oscillations are significantly influenced by corticocortical synaptic loss. Interestingly, the patterns of changes in thalamic spectral activity are correlated with those in the cortical model. Similarly, the thalamic oscillatory activity is diminished after partial corticothalamic denervation. The results suggest that thalamic atrophy is a secondary pathology to cortical shrinkage in Alzheimer's disease. In addition, this study finds that the inhibition from neurons in the thalamic reticular nucleus (RTN) to thalamic relay (TCR) neurons plays a key role in regulating thalamic oscillations; disinhibition disrupts thalamic oscillatory activity even though TCR neurons are more depolarized after being released from RTN inhibition. This study provides information that can be explored experimentally to further our understanding

  3. 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.

  4. Iron response regulator protein IrrB in Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense MSR-1 helps control the iron/oxygen balance, oxidative stress tolerance, and magnetosome formation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qing; Wang, Meiwen; Wang, Xu; Guan, Guohua; Li, Ying; Peng, Youliang; Li, Jilun

    2015-12-01

    Magnetotactic bacteria are capable of forming nanosized, membrane-enclosed magnetosomes under iron-rich and oxygen-limited conditions. The complete genomic sequence of Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense strain MSR-1 has been analyzed and found to contain five fur homologue genes whose protein products are predicted to be involved in iron homeostasis and the response to oxidative stress. Of these, only the MGMSRv2_3149 gene (irrB) was significantly downregulated under high-iron and low-oxygen conditions, during the transition of cell growth from the logarithmic to the stationary phase. The encoded protein, IrrB, containing the conserved HHH motif, was identified as an iron response regulator (Irr) protein belonging to the Fur superfamily. To investigate the function of IrrB, we constructed an irrB deletion mutant (ΔirrB). The levels of cell growth and magnetosome formation were lower in the ΔirrB strain than in the wild type (WT) under both high-iron and low-iron conditions. The ΔirrB strain also showed lower levels of iron uptake and H2O2 tolerance than the WT. Quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR analysis indicated that the irrB mutation reduced the expression of numerous genes involved in iron transport, iron storage, heme biosynthesis, and Fe-S cluster assembly. Transcription studies of the other fur homologue genes in the ΔirrB strain indicated complementary functions of the Fur proteins in MSR-1. IrrB appears to be directly responsible for iron metabolism and homeostasis and to be indirectly involved in magnetosome formation. We propose two IrrB-regulated networks (under high- and low-iron conditions) in MSR-1 cells that control the balance of iron and oxygen metabolism and account for the coexistence of five Fur homologues. PMID:26386052

  5. The Set1/COMPASS histone H3 methyltransferase helps regulate mitosis with the CDK1 and NIMA mitotic kinases in Aspergillus nidulans.

    PubMed

    Govindaraghavan, Meera; Anglin, Sarah Lea; Osmani, Aysha H; Osmani, Stephen A

    2014-08-01

    Mitosis is promoted and regulated by reversible protein phosphorylation catalyzed by the essential NIMA and CDK1 kinases in the model filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans. Protein methylation mediated by the Set1/COMPASS methyltransferase complex has also been shown to regulate mitosis in budding yeast with the Aurora mitotic kinase. We uncover a genetic interaction between An-swd1, which encodes a subunit of the Set1 protein methyltransferase complex, with NIMA as partial inactivation of nimA is poorly tolerated in the absence of swd1. This genetic interaction is additionally seen without the Set1 methyltransferase catalytic subunit. Importantly partial inactivation of NIMT, a mitotic activator of the CDK1 kinase, also causes lethality in the absence of Set1 function, revealing a functional relationship between the Set1 complex and two pivotal mitotic kinases. The main target for Set1-mediated methylation is histone H3K4. Mutational analysis of histone H3 revealed that modifying the H3K4 target residue of Set1 methyltransferase activity phenocopied the lethality seen when either NIMA or CDK1 are partially functional. We probed the mechanistic basis of these genetic interactions and find that the Set1 complex performs functions with CDK1 for initiating mitosis and with NIMA during progression through mitosis. The studies uncover a joint requirement for the Set1 methyltransferase complex with the CDK1 and NIMA kinases for successful mitosis. The findings extend the roles of the Set1 complex to include the initiation of mitosis with CDK1 and mitotic progression with NIMA in addition to its previously identified interactions with Aurora and type 1 phosphatase in budding yeast.

  6. Iron Response Regulator Protein IrrB in Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense MSR-1 Helps Control the Iron/Oxygen Balance, Oxidative Stress Tolerance, and Magnetosome Formation

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Qing; Wang, Meiwen; Wang, Xu; Guan, Guohua; Peng, Youliang; Li, Jilun

    2015-01-01

    Magnetotactic bacteria are capable of forming nanosized, membrane-enclosed magnetosomes under iron-rich and oxygen-limited conditions. The complete genomic sequence of Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense strain MSR-1 has been analyzed and found to contain five fur homologue genes whose protein products are predicted to be involved in iron homeostasis and the response to oxidative stress. Of these, only the MGMSRv2_3149 gene (irrB) was significantly downregulated under high-iron and low-oxygen conditions, during the transition of cell growth from the logarithmic to the stationary phase. The encoded protein, IrrB, containing the conserved HHH motif, was identified as an iron response regulator (Irr) protein belonging to the Fur superfamily. To investigate the function of IrrB, we constructed an irrB deletion mutant (ΔirrB). The levels of cell growth and magnetosome formation were lower in the ΔirrB strain than in the wild type (WT) under both high-iron and low-iron conditions. The ΔirrB strain also showed lower levels of iron uptake and H2O2 tolerance than the WT. Quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR analysis indicated that the irrB mutation reduced the expression of numerous genes involved in iron transport, iron storage, heme biosynthesis, and Fe-S cluster assembly. Transcription studies of the other fur homologue genes in the ΔirrB strain indicated complementary functions of the Fur proteins in MSR-1. IrrB appears to be directly responsible for iron metabolism and homeostasis and to be indirectly involved in magnetosome formation. We propose two IrrB-regulated networks (under high- and low-iron conditions) in MSR-1 cells that control the balance of iron and oxygen metabolism and account for the coexistence of five Fur homologues. PMID:26386052

  7. The promoter of the Chinese hamster ovary dihydrofolate reductase gene regulates the activity of the local origin and helps define its boundaries.

    PubMed

    Saha, Swati; Shan, Yujie; Mesner, Larry D; Hamlin, Joyce L

    2004-02-15

    The dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) and 2BE2121 genes in the Chinese hamster are convergently transcribed in late G1 and ea ly S phase, and bracket an early-firing origin of replication that consists of a 55-kb zone of potential initiation sites. To test whether transcription through the DHFR gene is required to activate this origin in early S phase, we examined the two-dimension (2D) gel patterns of replication intermediates from several variants in which parts or all of the DHFR promote had been deleted. In those variants in which transcription was undetectable, initiation in the intergenic space was markedly suppressed (but not eliminated) in early S phase. Further more, replication of the locus required virtually the entire S period, as opposed to the usual 3-4 h. However, restoration of transcription with either the wild-type Chinese hamster promote or a Drosophila-based construct restored origin activity to the wild-type pattern. Surprisingly, 2D gel analysis of promote less variants revealed that initiation occurs at a low level in ea ly S phase not only in the intergenic region, but also in the body of the DHFR gene. The latter phenomenon has never been observed in the wild-type locus. These studies suggest that transcription through the gene normally increases the efficiency of origin firing in early S phase, but also suppresses initiation in the body of the gene, thus helping to define the boundaries of the downstream origin. PMID:14977920

  8. 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

  9. SALM4 suppresses excitatory synapse development by cis-inhibiting trans-synaptic SALM3–LAR adhesion

    PubMed Central

    Lie, Eunkyung; Ko, Ji Seung; Choi, Su-Yeon; Roh, Junyeop Daniel; Cho, Yi Sul; Noh, Ran; Kim, Doyoun; Li, Yan; Kang, Hyeyeon; Choi, Tae-Yong; Nam, Jungyong; Mah, Won; Lee, Dongmin; Lee, Seong-Gyu; Kim, Ho Min; Kim, Hyun; Choi, Se-Young; Um, Ji Won; Kang, Myoung-Goo; Bae, Yong Chul; Ko, Jaewon; Kim, Eunjoon

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic adhesion molecules regulate various aspects of synapse development, function and plasticity. These functions mainly involve trans-synaptic interactions and positive regulations, whereas cis-interactions and negative regulation are less understood. Here we report that SALM4, a member of the SALM/Lrfn family of synaptic adhesion molecules, suppresses excitatory synapse development through cis inhibition of SALM3, another SALM family protein with synaptogenic activity. Salm4-mutant (Salm4−/−) mice show increased excitatory synapse numbers in the hippocampus. SALM4 cis-interacts with SALM3, inhibits trans-synaptic SALM3 interaction with presynaptic LAR family receptor tyrosine phosphatases and suppresses SALM3-dependent presynaptic differentiation. Importantly, deletion of Salm3 in Salm4−/− mice (Salm3−/−; Salm4−/−) normalizes the increased excitatory synapse number. These results suggest that SALM4 negatively regulates excitatory synapses via cis inhibition of the trans-synaptic SALM3–LAR adhesion. PMID:27480238

  10. Genetic deletion of TNF receptor suppresses excitatory synaptic transmission via reducing AMPA receptor synaptic localization in cortical neurons

    PubMed Central

    He, Ping; Liu, Qiang; Wu, Jie; Shen, Yong

    2012-01-01

    The distribution of postsynaptic glutamate receptors has been shown to be regulated by proimmunocytokine tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) signaling. The role of TNF-α receptor subtypes in mediating glutamate receptor expression, trafficking, and function still remains unclear. Here, we report that TNF receptor subtypes (TNFR1 and TNFR2) differentially modulate α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid receptor (AMPAR) clustering and function in cultured cortical neurons. We find that genetic deletion of TNFR1 decreases surface expression and synaptic localization of the AMPAR GluA1 subunit, reduces the frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic current (mEPSC), and reduces AMPA-induced maximal whole-cell current. In addition, these results are not observed in TNFR2-deleted neurons. The decreased AMPAR expression and function in TNFR1-deleted cells are not significantly restored by short (2 h) or long (24 h) term exposure to TNF-α. In TNFR2-deleted cells, TNF-α promotes AMPAR trafficking to the synapse and increases mEPSC frequency. In the present study, we find no significant change in the GluN1 subunit of NMDAR clusters, location, and mEPSC. This includes applying or withholding the TNF-α treatment in both TNFR1- and TNFR2-deleted neurons. Our results indicate that TNF receptor subtype 1 but not 2 plays a critical role in modulating AMPAR clustering, suggesting that targeting TNFR1 gene might be a novel approach to preventing neuronal AMPAR-mediated excitotoxicity.—He, P., Liu, Q., Wu, J., Shen, Y. Genetic deletion of TNF receptor suppresses excitatory synaptic transmission via reducing AMPA receptor synaptic localization in cortical neurons. PMID:21982949

  11. Parent Tookit: Homework Help. Helpful Tips.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    All Kinds of Minds, 2006

    2006-01-01

    This check list contains tips for parents to help students reinforce and build upon what children learn at school: (1) Set a consistent time each day for doing homework; (2) Encourage children to make a homework checklist; (3) Provide assistance to help get started on a task; (4) Help children make a list of all needed materials before starting…

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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 rece