Science.gov

Sample records for neuronal creciente usando

  1. Silicon Neuron.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    Many researchers have developed neural architectures based on extremely simplified models of neurons . Recently, researchers have developed an analog...electronic model of a neuron that more accurately reproduces its biological counterpart. This electronic neuron was designed to emulate the ionic...currents present in biological neurons . Based on this neural model, we designed and fabricated an eight input neuron on a 2mm by 2mm 40 pin VLSI (very

  2. [Neuronal ageing].

    PubMed

    Piechota, Małgorzata; Sunderland, Piotr

    2014-01-01

    Ageing leads to irreversible alterations in the nervous system, which to various extent impair its functions such as capacity to learn and memory. In old neurons and brain, similarly to what may take place in other cells, there is increased oxidative stress, disturbed energetic homeostasis and metabolism, accumulation of damage in proteins and nucleic acids. Characteristic of old neurons are alterations in plasticity, synaptic transmission, sensitivity to neurotrophic factors and cytoskeletal changes. Some markers of senescence, whose one of them is SA-beta-galactosidase were used to show the process of neuronal ageing both in vitro, and in vivo. Some research suggest that, despite the fact that neurons are postmitotic cells, it is cell cycle proteins which play a certain role in their biology, e.g. differentiation. However, their role in neuronal ageing is not known or explained. Ageing is the serious factor of development of neurodegenerative diseases among others Alzheimer disease.

  3. Addictive neurons

    PubMed Central

    Kodirov, Sodikdjon A.

    2017-01-01

    Since the reward center is considered to be the area tegmentalis ventralis of the hypothalamus, logically its neurons could mainly be responsible for addiction. However, the literature asserts that almost any neurons of CNS can respond to one or another addictive compound. Obviously not only addictive nicotine, but also alcohol, amphetamine, cannabis, cocaine, heroin and morphine may influence dopaminergic cells alone in VTA. Moreover, paradoxically some of these drugs ameliorate symptoms, counterbalance syndromes, cure diseases and improve health, not only those related to the CNS and in adults, but also almost all other organs and in children, e.g. epilepsy. PMID:28649663

  4. Neurons other than motor neurons in motor neuron disease.

    PubMed

    Ruffoli, Riccardo; Biagioni, Francesca; Busceti, Carla L; Gaglione, Anderson; Ryskalin, Larisa; Gambardella, Stefano; Frati, Alessandro; Fornai, Francesco

    2017-11-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is typically defined by a loss of motor neurons in the central nervous system. Accordingly, morphological analysis for decades considered motor neurons (in the cortex, brainstem and spinal cord) as the neuronal population selectively involved in ALS. Similarly, this was considered the pathological marker to score disease severity ex vivo both in patients and experimental models. However, the concept of non-autonomous motor neuron death was used recently to indicate the need for additional cell types to produce motor neuron death in ALS. This means that motor neuron loss occurs only when they are connected with other cell types. This concept originally emphasized the need for resident glia as well as non-resident inflammatory cells. Nowadays, the additional role of neurons other than motor neurons emerged in the scenario to induce non-autonomous motor neuron death. In fact, in ALS neurons diverse from motor neurons are involved. These cells play multiple roles in ALS: (i) they participate in the chain of events to produce motor neuron loss; (ii) they may even degenerate more than and before motor neurons. In the present manuscript evidence about multi-neuronal involvement in ALS patients and experimental models is discussed. Specific sub-classes of neurons in the whole spinal cord are reported either to degenerate or to trigger neuronal degeneration, thus portraying ALS as a whole spinal cord disorder rather than a disease affecting motor neurons solely. This is associated with a novel concept in motor neuron disease which recruits abnormal mechanisms of cell to cell communication.

  5. Neurofibromin and Neuronal Apoptosis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-07-01

    for these differences in the response of Nfl-/- neurons. "So What" Section. The learning disabilities associated with NF I constitute a highly variable...and +/+ neurons appear to become more significant with age. Our results may have implications for two areas: 1) the pathogenesis of learning ... disabilities in children with NF I, and 2) therapeutic strategies or targets for prolonging neuron survival, or for increasing neuronal response to protective

  6. Cajal bodies in neurons.

    PubMed

    Lafarga, Miguel; Tapia, Olga; Romero, Ana M; Berciano, Maria T

    2016-09-14

    Cajal is commonly regarded as the father of modern neuroscience in recognition of his fundamental work on the structure of the nervous system. But Cajal also made seminal contributions to the knowledge of nuclear structure in the early 1900s, including the discovery of the "accessory body" later renamed "Cajal body" (CB). This important nuclear structure has emerged as a center for the assembly of ribonucleoproteins (RNPs) required for splicing, ribosome biogenesis and telomere maintenance. The modern era of CB research started in the 1990s with the discovery of coilin, now known as a scaffold protein of CBs, and specific probes for small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs). In this review, we summarize what we have learned in the recent decades concerning CBs in post-mitotic neurons, thereby ruling out dynamic changes in CB functions during the cell cycle. We show that CBs are particularly prominent in neurons, where they frequently associate with the nucleolus. Neuronal CBs are transcription-dependent nuclear organelles. Indeed, their number dynamically accommodates to support the high neuronal demand for splicing and ribosome biogenesis required for sustaining metabolic and bioelectrical activity. Mature neurons have canonical CBs enriched in coilin, survival motor neuron protein and snRNPs. Disruption and loss of neuronal CBs associate with severe neuronal dysfunctions in several neurological disorders such as motor neuron diseases. In particular, CB depletion in motor neurons seems to reflect a perturbation of transcription and splicing in spinal muscular atrophy, the most common genetic cause of infant mortality.

  7. Neurofibromin and Neuronal Apoptosis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-07-01

    role of familial pheochromocytoma genes, including succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) and Nf1, in modulating neuronal apoptosis following neurotrophin...gene products, in Nf1-/- sensory and sympathetic neurons; this work will also have relevance to the biology of familial pheochromocytoma . "So what...Schlisio, S. (2005). Neuronal apoptosis linked to EglN3 prolyl hydroxylase and familial pheochromocytoma genes: Developmental culling and cancer. Cancer

  8. Neurons and tumor suppressors.

    PubMed

    Zochodne, Douglas W

    2014-08-20

    Neurons choose growth pathways with half hearted reluctance, behavior that may be appropriate to maintain fixed long lasting connections but not to regenerate them. We now recognize that intrinsic brakes on regrowth are widely expressed in these hesitant neurons and include classical tumor suppressor molecules. Here, we review how two brakes, PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10) and retinoblastoma emerge as new and exciting knockdown targets to enhance neuron plasticity and improve outcome from damage or disease.

  9. Pacemaking Kisspeptin Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Martin J.; Zhang, Chunguang; Qiu, Jian; Rønnekleiv, Oline K.

    2013-01-01

    Kisspeptin (Kiss1) neurons are vital for reproduction. GnRH neurons express the kisspeptin receptor, GPR 54, and kisspeptins potently stimulate the release of GnRH by depolarising and inducing sustained action potential firing in GnRH neurons. As such Kiss1 neurons may be the pre-synaptic pacemaker neurons in the hypothalamic circuitry that controls reproduction. There are at least two different populations of Kiss1 neurons: one in the rostral periventricular area (RP3V) that is stimulated by oestrogens and the other in the arcuate nucleus that is inhibited by oestrogens. How each of these Kiss1 neuronal populations participate in the regulation of the reproductive cycle is currently under intense investigation. Based on electrophysiological studies in the guinea pig and mouse, Kiss1 neurons in general are capable of generating burst firing behavior. Essentially all Kiss1 neurons, which have been studied thus far in the arcuate nucleus, express the ion channels necessary for burst firing, which include hyperpolarization-activated, cyclic nucleotide gated cation (HCN) channels and the T-type calcium (Cav3.1) channels. Under voltage clamp conditions, these channels produce distinct currents that under current clamp conditions can generate burst firing behavior. The future challenge is to identify other key channels and synaptic inputs involved in the regulation of the firing properties of Kiss1 neurons and the physiological regulation of the expression of these channels and receptors by oestrogens and other hormones. The ultimate goal is to understand how Kiss1 neurons control the different phases of GnRH neurosecretion and hence reproduction. PMID:23884368

  10. Neuronal Mechanisms of Intelligence.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-03-21

    The underlying premise of this research is that the neuron itself is the functional unit in the brain for positive reinforcement . Our early studies...preference studies (an alternative method to self-stimulation for measuring reward). Keywords: Neuronal conditioning; Positive reinforcement ; Learning; and Adaptive networks.

  11. Culturing rat hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Audesirk, G; Audesirk, T; Ferguson, C

    2001-01-01

    Cultured neurons are widely used to investigate the mechanisms of neurotoxicity. Embryonic rat hippocampal neurons may be grown as described under a wide variety of conditions to suit differing experimental procedures, including electrophysiology, morphological analysis of neurite development, and various biochemical and molecular analyses.

  12. Corticospinal mirror neurons.

    PubMed

    Kraskov, A; Philipp, R; Waldert, S; Vigneswaran, G; Quallo, M M; Lemon, R N

    2014-01-01

    Here, we report the properties of neurons with mirror-like characteristics that were identified as pyramidal tract neurons (PTNs) and recorded in the ventral premotor cortex (area F5) and primary motor cortex (M1) of three macaque monkeys. We analysed the neurons' discharge while the monkeys performed active grasp of either food or an object, and also while they observed an experimenter carrying out a similar range of grasps. A considerable proportion of tested PTNs showed clear mirror-like properties (52% F5 and 58% M1). Some PTNs exhibited 'classical' mirror neuron properties, increasing activity for both execution and observation, while others decreased their discharge during observation ('suppression mirror-neurons'). These experiments not only demonstrate the existence of PTNs as mirror neurons in M1, but also reveal some interesting differences between M1 and F5 mirror PTNs. Although observation-related changes in the discharge of PTNs must reach the spinal cord and will include some direct projections to motoneurons supplying grasping muscles, there was no EMG activity in these muscles during action observation. We suggest that the mirror neuron system is involved in the withholding of unwanted movement during action observation. Mirror neurons are differentially recruited in the behaviour that switches rapidly between making your own movements and observing those of others.

  13. NEURON and Python.

    PubMed

    Hines, Michael L; Davison, Andrew P; Muller, Eilif

    2009-01-01

    The NEURON simulation program now allows Python to be used, alone or in combination with NEURON's traditional Hoc interpreter. Adding Python to NEURON has the immediate benefit of making available a very extensive suite of analysis tools written for engineering and science. It also catalyzes NEURON software development by offering users a modern programming tool that is recognized for its flexibility and power to create and maintain complex programs. At the same time, nothing is lost because all existing models written in Hoc, including graphical user interface tools, continue to work without change and are also available within the Python context. An example of the benefits of Python availability is the use of the xml module in implementing NEURON's Import3D and CellBuild tools to read MorphML and NeuroML model specifications.

  14. NEURON and Python

    PubMed Central

    Hines, Michael L.; Davison, Andrew P.; Muller, Eilif

    2008-01-01

    The NEURON simulation program now allows Python to be used, alone or in combination with NEURON's traditional Hoc interpreter. Adding Python to NEURON has the immediate benefit of making available a very extensive suite of analysis tools written for engineering and science. It also catalyzes NEURON software development by offering users a modern programming tool that is recognized for its flexibility and power to create and maintain complex programs. At the same time, nothing is lost because all existing models written in Hoc, including graphical user interface tools, continue to work without change and are also available within the Python context. An example of the benefits of Python availability is the use of the xml module in implementing NEURON's Import3D and CellBuild tools to read MorphML and NeuroML model specifications. PMID:19198661

  15. Imaging calcium in neurons.

    PubMed

    Grienberger, Christine; Konnerth, Arthur

    2012-03-08

    Calcium ions generate versatile intracellular signals that control key functions in all types of neurons. Imaging calcium in neurons is particularly important because calcium signals exert their highly specific functions in well-defined cellular subcompartments. In this Primer, we briefly review the general mechanisms of neuronal calcium signaling. We then introduce the calcium imaging devices, including confocal and two-photon microscopy as well as miniaturized devices that are used in freely moving animals. We provide an overview of the classical chemical fluorescent calcium indicators and of the protein-based genetically encoded calcium indicators. Using application examples, we introduce new developments in the field, such as calcium imaging in awake, behaving animals and the use of calcium imaging for mapping single spine sensory inputs in cortical neurons in vivo. We conclude by providing an outlook on the prospects of calcium imaging for the analysis of neuronal signaling and plasticity in various animal models.

  16. Neuronal signaling through endocytosis.

    PubMed

    Cosker, Katharina E; Segal, Rosalind A

    2014-02-01

    The distinctive morphology of neurons, with complex dendritic arbors and extensive axons, presents spatial challenges for intracellular signal transduction. The endosomal system provides mechanisms that enable signaling molecules initiated by extracellular cues to be trafficked throughout the expanse of the neuron, allowing intracellular signals to be sustained over long distances. Therefore endosomes are critical for many aspects of neuronal signaling that regulate cell survival, axonal growth and guidance, dendritic branching, and cell migration. An intriguing characteristic of neuronal signal transduction is that endosomal trafficking enables physiological responses that vary based on the subcellular location of signal initiation. In this review, we will discuss the specialized mechanisms and the functional significance of endosomal signaling in neurons, both during normal development and in disease.

  17. Neuronal Signaling through Endocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Cosker, Katharina E.; Segal, Rosalind A.

    2014-01-01

    The distinctive morphology of neurons, with complex dendritic arbors and extensive axons, presents spatial challenges for intracellular signal transduction. The endosomal system provides mechanisms that enable signaling molecules initiated by extracellular cues to be trafficked throughout the expanse of the neuron, allowing intracellular signals to be sustained over long distances. Therefore endosomes are critical for many aspects of neuronal signaling that regulate cell survival, axonal growth and guidance, dendritic branching, and cell migration. An intriguing characteristic of neuronal signal transduction is that endosomal trafficking enables physiological responses that vary based on the subcellular location of signal initiation. In this review, we will discuss the specialized mechanisms and the functional significance of endosomal signaling in neurons, both during normal development and in disease. PMID:24492712

  18. Cajal bodies in neurons

    PubMed Central

    Lafarga, Miguel; Tapia, Olga; Romero, Ana M.; Berciano, Maria T.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Cajal is commonly regarded as the father of modern neuroscience in recognition of his fundamental work on the structure of the nervous system. But Cajal also made seminal contributions to the knowledge of nuclear structure in the early 1900s, including the discovery of the “accessory body” later renamed “Cajal body” (CB). This important nuclear structure has emerged as a center for the assembly of ribonucleoproteins (RNPs) required for splicing, ribosome biogenesis and telomere maintenance. The modern era of CB research started in the 1990s with the discovery of coilin, now known as a scaffold protein of CBs, and specific probes for small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs). In this review, we summarize what we have learned in the recent decades concerning CBs in post-mitotic neurons, thereby ruling out dynamic changes in CB functions during the cell cycle. We show that CBs are particularly prominent in neurons, where they frequently associate with the nucleolus. Neuronal CBs are transcription-dependent nuclear organelles. Indeed, their number dynamically accommodates to support the high neuronal demand for splicing and ribosome biogenesis required for sustaining metabolic and bioelectrical activity. Mature neurons have canonical CBs enriched in coilin, survival motor neuron protein and snRNPs. Disruption and loss of neuronal CBs associate with severe neuronal dysfunctions in several neurological disorders such as motor neuron diseases. In particular, CB depletion in motor neurons seems to reflect a perturbation of transcription and splicing in spinal muscular atrophy, the most common genetic cause of infant mortality. PMID:27627892

  19. Neuronal Mechanisms of Intelligence.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1984-11-01

    RD-R15i 077 NEURONAL MECHANISMS OF INTELLIGENCE(U) CALIFORNIA UNIV i/i IRVINE DEPT OF PHARMACOLOGYV L STEIN ET AL- NOV 84 AFOSR-TR-85-8e73 F49620-8i...ACCESSION NO S. RECIPIENT’S CATALOG NUMBER * 4. TITLE (and Subtitle) S- TYPE OF REPORT & PERIOD COVERED NEURONAL MECHANISMS OF INTELLIGENCE Final...ide if necessary .dd ti t by block number) Operant Conditioning) dptive Networks1 Neuronal Conditioning) Positive Reinforcement g" z Reward) Learning

  20. Algebra of Neuron Matrices,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1985-03-13

    AD-Ri55 296 ALGEBRA OF NEURON MATRICES(U) FOREIGN TECHNOLOGY DIV i/i WRIGHT-PATTERSON RF8 ON K~ G RGRBRBYRN 13 MAR 85 FTD-ID(RS)T-8@4i-85...ANCLASSIFIED F/G6/6 NL I. 1j.2 U .611111 ’’ K1*10 Vl( PIH OPY Pl (iLUTION TL T CHART I-" FTD-ID(RS )T-0041-85 FOREIGN TECHNOLOGY DIVISION In ALGEBRA OF NEURON ... NEURON MATRICES DTIC TAB Unannounced Q By: K.G. Agababyan JustLficatlon English pages: 10 By Distribution/ Source: Doklady Akademii Nauk SSSR, Vol. 199

  1. Mesmerising mirror neurons.

    PubMed

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2010-06-01

    Mirror neurons have been hailed as the key to understanding social cognition. I argue that three currents of thought-relating to evolution, atomism and telepathy-have magnified the perceived importance of mirror neurons. When they are understood to be a product of associative learning, rather than an adaptation for social cognition, mirror neurons are no longer mesmerising, but they continue to raise important questions about both the psychology of science and the neural bases of social cognition. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Dopaminergic neurons modulate GABA neuron migration in the embryonic midbrain

    PubMed Central

    Vasudevan, Anju; Won, Chungkil; Li, Suyan; Erdélyi, Ferenc; Szabó, Gábor; Kim, Kwang-Soo

    2012-01-01

    Neuronal migration, a key event during brain development, remains largely unexplored in the mesencephalon, where dopaminergic (DA) and GABA neurons constitute two major neuronal populations. Here we study the migrational trajectories of DA and GABA neurons and show that they occupy ventral mesencephalic territory in a temporally and spatially specific manner. Our results from the Pitx3-deficient aphakia mouse suggest that pre-existing DA neurons modulate GABA neuronal migration to their final destination, providing novel insights and fresh perspectives concerning neuronal migration and connectivity in the mesencephalon in normal as well as diseased brains. PMID:22872083

  3. Dopaminergic neurons modulate GABA neuron migration in the embryonic midbrain.

    PubMed

    Vasudevan, Anju; Won, Chungkil; Li, Suyan; Erdélyi, Ferenc; Szabó, Gábor; Kim, Kwang-Soo

    2012-09-01

    Neuronal migration, a key event during brain development, remains largely unexplored in the mesencephalon, where dopaminergic (DA) and GABA neurons constitute two major neuronal populations. Here we study the migrational trajectories of DA and GABA neurons and show that they occupy ventral mesencephalic territory in a temporally and spatially specific manner. Our results from the Pitx3-deficient aphakia mouse suggest that pre-existing DA neurons modulate GABA neuronal migration to their final destination, providing novel insights and fresh perspectives concerning neuronal migration and connectivity in the mesencephalon in normal as well as diseased brains.

  4. Neuronal ubiquitin homeostasis

    PubMed Central

    Hallengren, Jada; Chen, Ping-Chung; Wilson, Scott M.

    2013-01-01

    Neurons have highly specialized intracellular compartments that facilitate the development and activity of the nervous system. Ubiquitination is a post-translational modification that controls many aspects of neuronal function by regulating protein abundance. Disruption of this signaling pathway has been demonstrated in neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Angleman Syndrome. Since many neurological disorders exhibit ubiquitinated protein aggregates, the loss of neuronal ubiquitin homeostasis may be an important contributor of disease. This review discusses the mechanisms utilized by neurons to control the free pool of ubiquitin necessary for normal nervous system development and function as well as new roles of protein ubiquitination in regulating synaptic activity. PMID:23686613

  5. Neuromorphic Silicon Neuron Circuits

    PubMed Central

    Indiveri, Giacomo; Linares-Barranco, Bernabé; Hamilton, Tara Julia; van Schaik, André; Etienne-Cummings, Ralph; Delbruck, Tobi; Liu, Shih-Chii; Dudek, Piotr; Häfliger, Philipp; Renaud, Sylvie; Schemmel, Johannes; Cauwenberghs, Gert; Arthur, John; Hynna, Kai; Folowosele, Fopefolu; Saighi, Sylvain; Serrano-Gotarredona, Teresa; Wijekoon, Jayawan; Wang, Yingxue; Boahen, Kwabena

    2011-01-01

    Hardware implementations of spiking neurons can be extremely useful for a large variety of applications, ranging from high-speed modeling of large-scale neural systems to real-time behaving systems, to bidirectional brain–machine interfaces. The specific circuit solutions used to implement silicon neurons depend on the application requirements. In this paper we describe the most common building blocks and techniques used to implement these circuits, and present an overview of a wide range of neuromorphic silicon neurons, which implement different computational models, ranging from biophysically realistic and conductance-based Hodgkin–Huxley models to bi-dimensional generalized adaptive integrate and fire models. We compare the different design methodologies used for each silicon neuron design described, and demonstrate their features with experimental results, measured from a wide range of fabricated VLSI chips. PMID:21747754

  6. Neuronal Mechanisms of Intelligence

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-11-01

    numbtr) FIELOD GROUP ]SUB-GROJP operant conditioning; neuronal conditioning; positive reinforcement ; reward; learning; adaptive networks; self...gratuitous capacity for operant conditioning, the individual neuron could be an important functional unit for positive reinforcement in the brain. These...the following conditions: 1) if a brain cell with the capacity for positive reinforcement discharges in a burst of activity, and 2) if that cell’s

  7. Motor neurone disease.

    PubMed

    2016-03-23

    Essential facts Motor neurone disease describes a group of related diseases, affecting the neurones in the brain and spinal cord. Progressive, incurable and life-limiting, MND is rare, with about 1,100 people developing it each year in the UK and up to 5,000 people affected at any one time. One third of people will die within a year of diagnosis and more than half within two years. About 5% to 10% are alive at ten years.

  8. [Neuron-glia interactions].

    PubMed

    Belin, M F; Hardin, H

    1991-01-01

    The progress of research in the Central Nervous System (CNS) had led to the consideration of neurons and glia as indissociable functional complexes. Neuron-glia interactions are essential for the maturation of the CNS. Glial cells release trophic factors for neurons (NGF) and neurons release trophic factors for glia (GGF). Furthermore, the latter provide a substrate for the migration of neurons and guidance of axons by mean of adhesion molecules. In adults, the interactions between neurons and glial cells serve to maintain homeostasis. Thus, the glial cells perform the restoration of the metabolic equilibrium overthrown by the transmission of the nerve impulse and provide the glucose required for neuronal activity. The nerve impulse provokes increases in the cellular space of CO2, K+, NH3 and neurotransmitters which must be taken up to allow neuronal activity to continue (in normal conditions). Astrocytes perform the uptake of the extracellular K+ by means of passive ionic channels, ionic voltage-dependent channels and a sodium-potassium-ATPase-dependent pump. The oligodendrocytes are involved in the metabolism of CO2 by converting CO2 into carbonic acid by means of carbonic anhydrase. Oligodendrocytes and astrocytes play a role in terminating neural transmission by the uptake of the amino acid neurotransmitters, such as GABA, glutamate and aspartate. The catabolism of glutamate to glutamine by means of glutamine synthetase allows both the conversion of an excitatory amino acid into a neutral amino acid (which can diffuse in the extracellular space without causing neural transmission) and the reduction of cerebral NH3 content.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  9. Corticospinal mirror neurons

    PubMed Central

    Kraskov, A.; Philipp, R.; Waldert, S.; Vigneswaran, G.; Quallo, M. M.; Lemon, R. N.

    2014-01-01

    Here, we report the properties of neurons with mirror-like characteristics that were identified as pyramidal tract neurons (PTNs) and recorded in the ventral premotor cortex (area F5) and primary motor cortex (M1) of three macaque monkeys. We analysed the neurons’ discharge while the monkeys performed active grasp of either food or an object, and also while they observed an experimenter carrying out a similar range of grasps. A considerable proportion of tested PTNs showed clear mirror-like properties (52% F5 and 58% M1). Some PTNs exhibited ‘classical’ mirror neuron properties, increasing activity for both execution and observation, while others decreased their discharge during observation (‘suppression mirror-neurons’). These experiments not only demonstrate the existence of PTNs as mirror neurons in M1, but also reveal some interesting differences between M1 and F5 mirror PTNs. Although observation-related changes in the discharge of PTNs must reach the spinal cord and will include some direct projections to motoneurons supplying grasping muscles, there was no EMG activity in these muscles during action observation. We suggest that the mirror neuron system is involved in the withholding of unwanted movement during action observation. Mirror neurons are differentially recruited in the behaviour that switches rapidly between making your own movements and observing those of others. PMID:24778371

  10. Ghrelin in central neurons.

    PubMed

    Ferrini, F; Salio, C; Lossi, L; Merighi, A

    2009-03-01

    Ghrelin, an orexigenic peptide synthesized by endocrine cells of the gastric mucosa, is released in the bloodstream in response to a negative energetic status. Since discovery, the hypothalamus was identified as the main source of ghrelin in the CNS, and effects of the peptide have been mainly observed in this area of the brain. In recent years, an increasing number of studies have reported ghrelin synthesis and effects in specific populations of neurons also outside the hypothalamus. Thus, ghrelin activity has been described in midbrain, hindbrain, hippocampus, and spinal cord. The spectrum of functions and biological effects produced by the peptide on central neurons is remarkably wide and complex. It ranges from modulation of membrane excitability, to control of neurotransmitter release, neuronal gene expression, and neuronal survival and proliferation. There is not at present a general consensus concerning the source of ghrelin acting on central neurons. Whereas it is widely accepted that the hypothalamus represents the most important endogenous source of the hormone in CNS, the existence of extra-hypothalamic ghrelin-synthesizing neurons is still controversial. In addition, circulating ghrelin can theoretically be another natural ligand for central ghrelin receptors. This paper gives an overview on the distribution of ghrelin and its receptor across the CNS and critically analyses the data available so far as regarding the effects of ghrelin on central neurotransmission.

  11. Neuron-Microdevice Connections.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Regehr, Wade Gordon

    1988-12-01

    A new method for long-term recording and stimulation applicable to cultured neurons has been developed. Silicon -based microelectrodes have been fabricated using integrated -circuit technology and micromachining. The chronic connection is made by positioning the electrode tip into contact with the cell body, and gluing the device to the bottom of the culture dish. These "diving-board electrodes" consist of an insulated lead exposed only at the tip sealed to the cell body of a cultured neuron: A two-way electrical connection to Helisoma B19 neurons has been established for up to four days. Preliminary experiments with cultured superior cervical ganglion neurons indicate diving-board electrodes can be used with cultured neurons larger than 20mum in diameter. In a related technique Helisoma neurons grown on a special dish containing a multielectrode array were found to seal to the dish electrodes, establishing similar long-term connections. This capability will make it possible to conduct experiments with either diving-board electrodes or dishes that cannot be performed using conventional techniques.

  12. Ghrelin in Central Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Ferrini, F; Salio, C; Lossi, L; Merighi, A

    2009-01-01

    Ghrelin, an orexigenic peptide synthesized by endocrine cells of the gastric mucosa, is released in the bloodstream in response to a negative energetic status. Since discovery, the hypothalamus was identified as the main source of ghrelin in the CNS, and effects of the peptide have been mainly observed in this area of the brain. In recent years, an increasing number of studies have reported ghrelin synthesis and effects in specific populations of neurons also outside the hypothalamus. Thus, ghrelin activity has been described in midbrain, hindbrain, hippocampus, and spinal cord. The spectrum of functions and biological effects produced by the peptide on central neurons is remarkably wide and complex. It ranges from modulation of membrane excitability, to control of neurotransmitter release, neuronal gene expression, and neuronal survival and proliferation. There is not at present a general consensus concerning the source of ghrelin acting on central neurons. Whereas it is widely accepted that the hypothalamus represents the most important endogenous source of the hormone in CNS, the existence of extra-hypothalamic ghrelin-synthesizing neurons is still controversial. In addition, circulating ghrelin can theoretically be another natural ligand for central ghrelin receptors. This paper gives an overview on the distribution of ghrelin and its receptor across the CNS and critically analyses the data available so far as regarding the effects of ghrelin on central neurotransmission. PMID:19721816

  13. NeuronBank: A Tool for Cataloging Neuronal Circuitry.

    PubMed

    Katz, Paul S; Calin-Jageman, Robert; Dhawan, Akshaye; Frederick, Chad; Guo, Shuman; Dissanayaka, Rasanjalee; Hiremath, Naveen; Ma, Wenjun; Shen, Xiuyn; Wang, Hsui C; Yang, Hong; Prasad, Sushil; Sunderraman, Rajshekhar; Zhu, Ying

    2010-01-01

    The basic unit of any nervous system is the neuron. Therefore, understanding the operation of nervous systems ultimately requires an inventory of their constituent neurons and synaptic connectivity, which form neural circuits. The presence of uniquely identifiable neurons or classes of neurons in many invertebrates has facilitated the construction of cellular-level connectivity diagrams that can be generalized across individuals within a species. Homologous neurons can also be recognized across species. Here we describe NeuronBank.org, a web-based tool that we are developing for cataloging, searching, and analyzing neuronal circuitry within and across species. Information from a single species is represented in an individual branch of NeuronBank. Users can search within a branch or perform queries across branches to look for similarities in neuronal circuits across species. The branches allow for an extensible ontology so that additional characteristics can be added as knowledge grows. Each entry in NeuronBank generates a unique accession ID, allowing it to be easily cited. There is also an automatic link to a Wiki page allowing an encyclopedic explanation of the entry. All of the 44 previously published neurons plus one previously unpublished neuron from the mollusc, Tritonia diomedea, have been entered into a branch of NeuronBank as have 4 previously published neurons from the mollusc, Melibe leonina. The ability to organize information about neuronal circuits will make this information more accessible, ultimately aiding research on these important models.

  14. NeuronBank: A Tool for Cataloging Neuronal Circuitry

    PubMed Central

    Katz, Paul S.; Calin-Jageman, Robert; Dhawan, Akshaye; Frederick, Chad; Guo, Shuman; Dissanayaka, Rasanjalee; Hiremath, Naveen; Ma, Wenjun; Shen, Xiuyn; Wang, Hsui C.; Yang, Hong; Prasad, Sushil; Sunderraman, Rajshekhar; Zhu, Ying

    2010-01-01

    The basic unit of any nervous system is the neuron. Therefore, understanding the operation of nervous systems ultimately requires an inventory of their constituent neurons and synaptic connectivity, which form neural circuits. The presence of uniquely identifiable neurons or classes of neurons in many invertebrates has facilitated the construction of cellular-level connectivity diagrams that can be generalized across individuals within a species. Homologous neurons can also be recognized across species. Here we describe NeuronBank.org, a web-based tool that we are developing for cataloging, searching, and analyzing neuronal circuitry within and across species. Information from a single species is represented in an individual branch of NeuronBank. Users can search within a branch or perform queries across branches to look for similarities in neuronal circuits across species. The branches allow for an extensible ontology so that additional characteristics can be added as knowledge grows. Each entry in NeuronBank generates a unique accession ID, allowing it to be easily cited. There is also an automatic link to a Wiki page allowing an encyclopedic explanation of the entry. All of the 44 previously published neurons plus one previously unpublished neuron from the mollusc, Tritonia diomedea, have been entered into a branch of NeuronBank as have 4 previously published neurons from the mollusc, Melibe leonina. The ability to organize information about neuronal circuits will make this information more accessible, ultimately aiding research on these important models. PMID:20428500

  15. Synapse-to-neuron ratio is inversely related to neuronal density in mature neuronal cultures.

    PubMed

    Cullen, D Kacy; Gilroy, Meghan E; Irons, Hillary R; Laplaca, Michelle C

    2010-11-04

    Synapse formation is a fundamental process in neurons that occurs throughout development, maturity, and aging. Although these stages contain disparate and fluctuating numbers of mature neurons, tactics employed by neuronal networks to modulate synapse number as a function of neuronal density are not well understood. The goal of this study was to utilize an in vitro model to assess the influence of cell density and neuronal maturity on synapse number and distribution. Specifically, cerebral cortical neurons were plated in planar culture at densities ranging from 10 to 5000 neurons/mm², and synapse number and distribution were evaluated via immunocytochemistry over 21 days in vitro (DIV). High-resolution confocal microscopy revealed an elaborate three-dimensional distribution of neurites and synapses across the heights of high-density neuronal networks by 21 DIV, which were up to 18 μm thick, demonstrating the complex degree of spatial interactions even in planar high-density cultures. At 7 DIV, the mean number of synapses per neuron was less than 5, and this did not vary as a function of neuronal density. However, by 21 DIV, the number of synapses per neuron had jumped 30- to 80-fold, and the synapse-to-neuron ratio was greatest at lower neuronal densities (< 500 neurons/mm²; mean approximately 400 synapses/neuron) compared to mid and higher neuronal densities (500-4500 neurons/mm²; mean of approximately 150 synapses/neuron) (p<0.05). These results suggest a relationship between neuronal density and synapse number that may have implications in the neurobiology of developing neuronal networks as well as processes of cell death and regeneration.

  16. Neuronal migration illuminated

    PubMed Central

    Trivedi, Niraj

    2011-01-01

    During vertebrate brain development, migration of neurons from the germinal zones to their final laminar positions is essential to establish functional neural circuits.1–3 Whereas key insights into neuronal migration initially came from landmark studies identifying the genes mutated in human cortical malformations,4 cell biology has recently greatly advanced our understanding of how cytoskeletal proteins and molecular motors drive the morphogenic cell movements that build the developing brain. This Commentary & View reviews recent studies examining the role of the molecular motors during neuronal migration and critically examines current models of acto-myosin function in the two-step neuronal migration cycle. Given the apparent emerging diversity of neuronal sub-type cytoskeletal organizations, we propose that two approaches must be taken to resolve differences between the current migration models: the mechanisms of radial and tangential migration must be compared, and the loci of tension generation, migration substrates and sites of adhesion dynamics must be precisely examined in an integrated manner. PMID:20935494

  17. Equine neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

    PubMed

    Url, A; Bauder, B; Thalhammer, J; Nowotny, N; Kolodziejek, J; Herout, N; Fürst, S; Weissenböck, H

    2001-04-01

    Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) is an inherited, neurodegenerative disorder with fatal outcome in humans. It has also been described in some animal species; this is the first report of NCL in equines. Three horses showed developmental retardation, slow movements and loss of appetite at the age of six months. Neurological symptoms, as well as visual failure in one case, were noticed at the age of 1 year. Due to slowly progressing deterioration, euthanasia was indicated 1.5 years after onset of conspicuous behavior. At necropsy, slight flattening of the gyri and discoloring of the brain was noticed. Histopathology revealed eosinophilic, autofluorescent material in the perikarya of neurons throughout the brain and spinal cord. Identical material was found in neurons of retina, submucous and myenteric ganglia, as well as in glial cells. Immunohistochemistry, using antiserum against subunit c of mitochondrial ATP synthase, showed positive signals in neurons and glial cells. Electron microscopical studies revealed fingerprint profiles mixed with rectilinear structures in markedly enlarged lysosomes of neurons and renal tubules, and rectilinear structures mixed with curvilinear bodies in macrophages and lymphocytes of lymph nodes. Thus, our study presents the first occurrence of lysosomal storage disease in horses, further characterized by immunohistochemical and electron microscopical investigations as NCL.

  18. Neuronal survival in the brain: neuron type-specific mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Pfisterer, Ulrich; Khodosevich, Konstantin

    2017-01-01

    Neurogenic regions of mammalian brain produce many more neurons that will eventually survive and reach a mature stage. Developmental cell death affects both embryonically produced immature neurons and those immature neurons that are generated in regions of adult neurogenesis. Removal of substantial numbers of neurons that are not yet completely integrated into the local circuits helps to ensure that maturation and homeostatic function of neuronal networks in the brain proceed correctly. External signals from brain microenvironment together with intrinsic signaling pathways determine whether a particular neuron will die. To accommodate this signaling, immature neurons in the brain express a number of transmembrane factors as well as intracellular signaling molecules that will regulate the cell survival/death decision, and many of these factors cease being expressed upon neuronal maturation. Furthermore, pro-survival factors and intracellular responses depend on the type of neuron and region of the brain. Thus, in addition to some common neuronal pro-survival signaling, different types of neurons possess a variety of 'neuron type-specific' pro-survival constituents that might help them to adapt for survival in a certain brain region. This review focuses on how immature neurons survive during normal and impaired brain development, both in the embryonic/neonatal brain and in brain regions associated with adult neurogenesis, and emphasizes neuron type-specific mechanisms that help to survive for various types of immature neurons. Importantly, we mainly focus on in vivo data to describe neuronal survival specifically in the brain, without extrapolating data obtained in the PNS or spinal cord, and thus emphasize the influence of the complex brain environment on neuronal survival during development. PMID:28252642

  19. Neuronal survival in the brain: neuron type-specific mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Pfisterer, Ulrich; Khodosevich, Konstantin

    2017-03-02

    Neurogenic regions of mammalian brain produce many more neurons that will eventually survive and reach a mature stage. Developmental cell death affects both embryonically produced immature neurons and those immature neurons that are generated in regions of adult neurogenesis. Removal of substantial numbers of neurons that are not yet completely integrated into the local circuits helps to ensure that maturation and homeostatic function of neuronal networks in the brain proceed correctly. External signals from brain microenvironment together with intrinsic signaling pathways determine whether a particular neuron will die. To accommodate this signaling, immature neurons in the brain express a number of transmembrane factors as well as intracellular signaling molecules that will regulate the cell survival/death decision, and many of these factors cease being expressed upon neuronal maturation. Furthermore, pro-survival factors and intracellular responses depend on the type of neuron and region of the brain. Thus, in addition to some common neuronal pro-survival signaling, different types of neurons possess a variety of 'neuron type-specific' pro-survival constituents that might help them to adapt for survival in a certain brain region. This review focuses on how immature neurons survive during normal and impaired brain development, both in the embryonic/neonatal brain and in brain regions associated with adult neurogenesis, and emphasizes neuron type-specific mechanisms that help to survive for various types of immature neurons. Importantly, we mainly focus on in vivo data to describe neuronal survival specifically in the brain, without extrapolating data obtained in the PNS or spinal cord, and thus emphasize the influence of the complex brain environment on neuronal survival during development.

  20. Mitochondrial trafficking in neurons.

    PubMed

    Schwarz, Thomas L

    2013-06-01

    Neurons, perhaps more than any other cell type, depend on mitochondrial trafficking for their survival. Recent studies have elucidated a motor/adaptor complex on the mitochondrial surface that is shared between neurons and other animal cells. In addition to kinesin and dynein, this complex contains the proteins Miro (also called RhoT1/2) and milton (also called TRAK1/2) and is responsible for much, although not necessarily all, mitochondrial movement. Elucidation of the complex has permitted inroads for understanding how this movement is regulated by a variety of intracellular signals, although many mysteries remain. Regulating mitochondrial movement can match energy demand to energy supply throughout the extraordinary architecture of these cells and can control the clearance and replenishing of mitochondria in the periphery. Because the extended axons of neurons contain uniformly polarized microtubules, they have been useful for studying mitochondrial motility in conjunction with biochemical assays in many cell types.

  1. Neuronal Cell Cultures.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1982-10-01

    AD-A123 120 NEURONAL . CELL CULTURES( U) FEDERATION OF AMERICAN / SOCIETIES FOR EXPER IMENTAL B IOLOGY BETHES DA MD R BUNOF ET AL 01 0C 82 AFOSR-- a...REPRT NUM2. GOVT ACCESSION No. 3. RECIIENT’S CATALOG NUmBER 4. TITLE (end Subtitle) 5, TYPE OF REPORT & PERIOD COVERED Neuronal Cell Cultures FNLRPR...10. PROGRAM ELEMENT. PRZjECT. TASK~ Federation of American Societies for Experi- AREA & WORK UNIT N.jVBERS mental Biology (FASEB), 9650 Rockville

  2. The Reliability of Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Bullock, Theodore Holmes

    1970-01-01

    The prevalent probabilistic view is virtually untestable; it remains a plausible belief. The cases usually cited can not be taken as evidence for it. Several grounds for this conclusion are developed. Three issues are distinguished in an attempt to clarify a murky debate: (a) the utility of probabilistic methods in data reduction, (b) the value of models that assume indeterminacy, and (c) the validity of the inference that the nervous system is largely indeterministic at the neuronal level. No exception is taken to the first two; the second is a private heuristic question. The third is the issue to which the assertion in the first two sentences is addressed. Of the two kinds of uncertainty, statistical mechanical (= practical unpredictability) as in a gas, and Heisenbergian indeterminancy, the first certainly exists, the second is moot at the neuronal level. It would contribute to discussion to recognize that neurons perform with a degree of reliability. Although unreliability is difficult to establish, to say nothing of measure, evidence that some neurons have a high degree of reliability, in both connections and activity is increasing greatly. An example is given from sternarchine electric fish. PMID:5462670

  3. The neuron classification problem

    PubMed Central

    Bota, Mihail; Swanson, Larry W.

    2007-01-01

    A systematic account of neuron cell types is a basic prerequisite for determining the vertebrate nervous system global wiring diagram. With comprehensive lineage and phylogenetic information unavailable, a general ontology based on structure-function taxonomy is proposed and implemented in a knowledge management system, and a prototype analysis of select regions (including retina, cerebellum, and hypothalamus) presented. The supporting Brain Architecture Knowledge Management System (BAMS) Neuron ontology is online and its user interface allows queries about terms and their definitions, classification criteria based on the original literature and “Petilla Convention” guidelines, hierarchies, and relations—with annotations documenting each ontology entry. Combined with three BAMS modules for neural regions, connections between regions and neuron types, and molecules, the Neuron ontology provides a general framework for physical descriptions and computational modeling of neural systems. The knowledge management system interacts with other web resources, is accessible in both XML and RDF/OWL, is extendible to the whole body, and awaits large-scale data population requiring community participation for timely implementation. PMID:17582506

  4. Nanoresolution radiology of neurons

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, H.R.; Chen, S.T.; Chu, Y.S.; Conley, R.; Bouet, N.; Chien, C.C.; Chen, H.H.; Lin, C.H.; Tung, H.T.; Chen, Y.S.; Margaritondo, G.; Je, J.H.; Hwu, Y.

    2013-04-08

    We report recent advances in hard-x-ray optics - including record spatial resolution - and in staining techniques that enable synchrotron microradiology to produce neurobiology images of quality comparable to electron and visible microscopy. In addition, microradiology offers excellent penetration and effective three-dimensional detection as required for many neuron studies. Our tests include tomographic reconstruction based on projection image sets.

  5. Neuronal porosome lipidome.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Kenneth T; Maddipati, Krishna R; Taatjes, Douglas J; Jena, Bhanu P

    2014-10-01

    Cup-shaped lipoprotein structures called porosomes are the universal secretory portals at the cell plasma membrane, where secretory vesicles transiently dock and fuse to release intravesicular contents. In neurons, porosomes measure ~15 nm and are comprised of nearly 40 proteins, among them SNAREs, ion channels, the G(αo) G-protein and several structural proteins. Earlier studies report the interaction of specific lipids and their influence on SNAREs, ion channels and G-protein function. Our own studies demonstrate the requirement of cholesterol for the maintenance of neuronal porosome integrity, and the influence of lipids on SNARE complex assembly. In this study, to further understand the role of lipids on porosome structure-function, the lipid composition of isolated neuronal porosome was determined using mass spectrometry. Using lipid-binding assays, the affinity of porosome-associated syntaxin-1A to various lipids was determined. Our mass spectrometry results demonstrate the presence of phosphatidylinositol phosphates (PIP's) and phosphatidic acid (PA) among other lipids, and the enriched presence of ceramide (Cer), lysophosphatidylinositol phosphates (LPIP) and diacylglycerol (DAG). Lipid binding assays demonstrate the binding of neuronal porosome to cardiolipin, and confirm its association with PIP's and PA. The ability of exogenous PA to alter protein-protein interaction and neurotransmitter release is further demonstrated from the study. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Foundation for Cellular and Molecular Medicine.

  6. Nanoresolution radiology of neurons

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, H. R.; Chen, S. T.; Chu, Y. S.; Conley, R.; Bouet, N.; Chien, C. C.; Chen, H. H.; Lin, C. H.; Tung, H. T.; Chen, Y. S.; Margaritondo, G.; Je, J. H.; Hwu, Y.

    2012-05-29

    We report recent advances in hard-x-ray optics—including record spatial resolution—and in staining techniques that enable synchrotron microradiology to produce neurobiology images of quality comparable to electron and visible microscopy. In addition, microradiology offers excellent penetration and effective three-dimensional detection as required for many neuron studies. Our tests include tomographic reconstruction based on projection image sets.

  7. Nanoresolution radiology of neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, H. R.; Chen, S. T.; Chu, Y. S.; Conley, R.; Bouet, N.; Chien, C. C.; Chen, H. H.; Lin, C. H.; Tung, H. T.; Chen, Y. S.; Margaritondo, G.; Je, J. H.; Hwu, Y.

    2012-06-01

    We report recent advances in hard-x-ray optics—including record spatial resolution—and in staining techniques that enable synchrotron microradiology to produce neurobiology images of quality comparable to electron and visible microscopy. In addition, microradiology offers excellent penetration and effective three-dimensional detection as required for many neuron studies. Our tests include tomographic reconstruction based on projection image sets.

  8. Clustered protocadherins and neuronal diversity.

    PubMed

    Hirayama, Teruyoshi; Yagi, Takeshi

    2013-01-01

    Neuronal diversity is a fundamental requirement for complex neuronal networks and brain function. The clustered protocadherin (Pcdh) family possesses several characteristic features that are important for the molecular basis of neuronal diversity. Clustered Pcdhs are expressed predominantly in the central nervous system, in neurites, growth cones, and synapses. They consist of about 60 isoforms, and their expression is stochastically and combinatorially regulated in individual neurons. The multiple clustered Pcdhs expressed in individual neurons form heteromultimeric protein complexes that exhibit homophilic adhesion properties. Theoretically, the clustered Pcdhs could generate more than 3×10(10) possible variations in each neuron and 12,720 types of cis-tetramers per neuron. The clustered Pcdhs are important for normal neuronal development. The clustered Pcdh genes have also attracted attention as a target for epigenetic regulation.

  9. Exploring neuronal activity with photons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bourdieu, Laurent; Léger, Jean-François

    2015-10-01

    The following sections are included: * Introduction * Information coding * Optical recordings of neuronal activity * Functional organization of the cortex at the level of a cortical column * Microarchitecture of a cortical column * Dynamics of neuronal populations * Outlook * Bibliography

  10. Cholinergic Neurons Excite Cortically Projecting Basal Forebrain GABAergic Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Chun; McKenna, James T.; Zant, Janneke C.; Winston, Stuart; Basheer, Radhika

    2014-01-01

    The basal forebrain (BF) plays an important role in the control of cortical activation and attention. Understanding the modulation of BF neuronal activity is a prerequisite to treat disorders of cortical activation involving BF dysfunction, such as Alzheimer's disease. Here we reveal the interaction between cholinergic neurons and cortically projecting BF GABAergic neurons using immunohistochemistry and whole-cell recordings in vitro. In GAD67-GFP knock-in mice, BF cholinergic (choline acetyltransferase-positive) neurons were intermingled with GABAergic (GFP+) neurons. Immunohistochemistry for the vesicular acetylcholine transporter showed that cholinergic fibers apposed putative cortically projecting GABAergic neurons containing parvalbumin (PV). In coronal BF slices from GAD67-GFP knock-in or PV-tdTomato mice, pharmacological activation of cholinergic receptors with bath application of carbachol increased the firing rate of large (>20 μm diameter) BF GFP+ and PV (tdTomato+) neurons, which exhibited the intrinsic membrane properties of cortically projecting neurons. The excitatory effect of carbachol was blocked by antagonists of M1 and M3 muscarinic receptors in two subpopulations of BF GABAergic neurons [large hyperpolarization-activated cation current (Ih) and small Ih, respectively]. Ion substitution experiments and reversal potential measurements suggested that the carbachol-induced inward current was mediated mainly by sodium-permeable cation channels. Carbachol also increased the frequency of spontaneous excitatory and inhibitory synaptic currents. Furthermore, optogenetic stimulation of cholinergic neurons/fibers caused a mecamylamine- and atropine-sensitive inward current in putative GABAergic neurons. Thus, cortically projecting, BF GABAergic/PV neurons are excited by neighboring BF and/or brainstem cholinergic neurons. Loss of cholinergic neurons in Alzheimer's disease may impair cortical activation, in part, through disfacilitation of BF cortically

  11. Neuronal cell cycle: the neuron itself and its circumstances.

    PubMed

    Frade, José M; Ovejero-Benito, María C

    2015-01-01

    Neurons are usually regarded as postmitotic cells that undergo apoptosis in response to cell cycle reactivation. Nevertheless, recent evidence indicates the existence of a defined developmental program that induces DNA replication in specific populations of neurons, which remain in a tetraploid state for the rest of their adult life. Similarly, de novo neuronal tetraploidization has also been described in the adult brain as an early hallmark of neurodegeneration. The aim of this review is to integrate these recent developments in the context of cell cycle regulation and apoptotic cell death in neurons. We conclude that a variety of mechanisms exists in neuronal cells for G1/S and G2/M checkpoint regulation. These mechanisms, which are connected with the apoptotic machinery, can be modulated by environmental signals and the neuronal phenotype itself, thus resulting in a variety of outcomes ranging from cell death at the G1/S checkpoint to full proliferation of differentiated neurons.

  12. Neuronal synchrony: Peculiarity and generality

    PubMed Central

    Nowotny, Thomas; Huerta, Ramon; Rabinovich, Mikhail I.

    2008-01-01

    Synchronization in neuronal systems is a new and intriguing application of dynamical systems theory. Why are neuronal systems different as a subject for synchronization? (1) Neurons in themselves are multidimensional nonlinear systems that are able to exhibit a wide variety of different activity patterns. Their “dynamical repertoire” includes regular or chaotic spiking, regular or chaotic bursting, multistability, and complex transient regimes. (2) Usually, neuronal oscillations are the result of the cooperative activity of many synaptically connected neurons (a neuronal circuit). Thus, it is necessary to consider synchronization between different neuronal circuits as well. (3) The synapses that implement the coupling between neurons are also dynamical elements and their intrinsic dynamics influences the process of synchronization or entrainment significantly. In this review we will focus on four new problems: (i) the synchronization in minimal neuronal networks with plastic synapses (synchronization with activity dependent coupling), (ii) synchronization of bursts that are generated by a group of nonsymmetrically coupled inhibitory neurons (heteroclinic synchronization), (iii) the coordination of activities of two coupled neuronal networks (partial synchronization of small composite structures), and (iv) coarse grained synchronization in larger systems (synchronization on a mesoscopic scale). PMID:19045493

  13. Add neurons, subtract anxiety

    PubMed Central

    Kheirbek, Mazen A.; Hen, René

    2014-01-01

    IN BRIEF To keep memories from becoming jumbled, the brain must encode the distinct features of events and situations in a way that allows them to be distinguished from one another—a process called pattern separation. Pattern separation enables us to distinguish dangerous situations from similar ones that pose no risk. People with defects in this ability may be prone to anxiety disorders. The process occurs in one of the two regions of the brain that generate neurons throughout life. These fledgling cells seem to be critical to pattern separation. Interventions that specifically boost the ranks of rookie neurons could provide new ways to regulate mood and possibly treat conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder. PMID:24974712

  14. Micropatterning neuronal networks.

    PubMed

    Hardelauf, Heike; Waide, Sarah; Sisnaiske, Julia; Jacob, Peter; Hausherr, Vanessa; Schöbel, Nicole; Janasek, Dirk; van Thriel, Christoph; West, Jonathan

    2014-07-07

    Spatially organised neuronal networks have wide reaching applications, including fundamental research, toxicology testing, pharmaceutical screening and the realisation of neuronal implant interfaces. Despite the large number of methods catalogued in the literature there remains the need to identify a method that delivers high pattern compliance, long-term stability and is widely accessible to neuroscientists. In this comparative study, aminated (polylysine/polyornithine and aminosilanes) and cytophobic (poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and methylated) material contrasts were evaluated. Backfilling plasma stencilled PEGylated substrates with polylysine does not produce good material contrasts, whereas polylysine patterned on methylated substrates becomes mobilised by agents in the cell culture media which results in rapid pattern decay. Aminosilanes, polylysine substitutes, are prone to hydrolysis and the chemistries prove challenging to master. Instead, the stable coupling between polylysine and PLL-g-PEG can be exploited: Microcontact printing polylysine onto a PLL-g-PEG coated glass substrate provides a simple means to produce microstructured networks of primary neurons that have superior pattern compliance during long term (>1 month) culture.

  15. Consistent estimation of complete neuronal connectivity in large neuronal populations using sparse "shotgun" neuronal activity sampling.

    PubMed

    Mishchenko, Yuriy

    2016-10-01

    We investigate the properties of recently proposed "shotgun" sampling approach for the common inputs problem in the functional estimation of neuronal connectivity. We study the asymptotic correctness, the speed of convergence, and the data size requirements of such an approach. We show that the shotgun approach can be expected to allow the inference of complete connectivity matrix in large neuronal populations under some rather general conditions. However, we find that the posterior error of the shotgun connectivity estimator grows quickly with the size of unobserved neuronal populations, the square of average connectivity strength, and the square of observation sparseness. This implies that the shotgun connectivity estimation will require significantly larger amounts of neuronal activity data whenever the number of neurons in observed neuronal populations remains small. We present a numerical approach for solving the shotgun estimation problem in general settings and use it to demonstrate the shotgun connectivity inference in the examples of simulated synfire and weakly coupled cortical neuronal networks.

  16. Parvalbumin+ Neurons and Npas1+ Neurons Are Distinct Neuron Classes in the Mouse External Globus Pallidus

    PubMed Central

    Hernández, Vivian M.; Hegeman, Daniel J.; Cui, Qiaoling; Kelver, Daniel A.; Fiske, Michael P.; Glajch, Kelly E.; Pitt, Jason E.; Huang, Tina Y.; Justice, Nicholas J.

    2015-01-01

    Compelling evidence suggests that pathological activity of the external globus pallidus (GPe), a nucleus in the basal ganglia, contributes to the motor symptoms of a variety of movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease. Recent studies have challenged the idea that the GPe comprises a single, homogenous population of neurons that serves as a simple relay in the indirect pathway. However, we still lack a full understanding of the diversity of the neurons that make up the GPe. Specifically, a more precise classification scheme is needed to better describe the fundamental biology and function of different GPe neuron classes. To this end, we generated a novel multicistronic BAC (bacterial artificial chromosome) transgenic mouse line under the regulatory elements of the Npas1 gene. Using a combinatorial transgenic and immunohistochemical approach, we discovered that parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons in the GPe represent two nonoverlapping cell classes, amounting to 55% and 27% of the total GPe neuron population, respectively. These two genetically identified cell classes projected primarily to the subthalamic nucleus and to the striatum, respectively. Additionally, parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons were distinct in their autonomous and driven firing characteristics, their expression of intrinsic ion conductances, and their responsiveness to chronic 6-hydroxydopamine lesion. In summary, our data argue that parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons are two distinct functional classes of GPe neurons. This work revises our understanding of the GPe, and provides the foundation for future studies of its function and dysfunction. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Until recently, the heterogeneity of the constituent neurons within the external globus pallidus (GPe) was not fully appreciated. We addressed this knowledge gap by discovering two principal GPe neuron classes, which were identified by their nonoverlapping

  17. Interactions of neurons with topographic nano cues affect branching morphology mimicking neuron-neuron interactions.

    PubMed

    Baranes, Koby; Kollmar, Davida; Chejanovsky, Nathan; Sharoni, Amos; Shefi, Orit

    2012-08-01

    We study the effect of topographic nano-cues on neuronal growth-morphology using invertebrate neurons in culture. We use photolithography to fabricate substrates with repeatable line-pattern ridges of nano-scale heights of 10-150 nm. We plate leech neurons atop the patterned-substrates and compare their growth pattern to neurons plated atop non-patterned substrates. The model system allows us the analysis of single neurite-single ridge interactions. The use of high resolution electron microscopy reveals small filopodia processes that attach to the line-pattern ridges. These fine processes, that cannot be detected in light microscopy, add anchoring sites onto the side of the ridges, thus additional physical support. These interactions of the neuronal process dominantly affect the neuronal growth direction. We analyze the response of the entire neuronal branching tree to the patterned substrates and find significant effect on the growth patterns compared to non-patterned substrates. Moreover, interactions with the nano-cues trigger a growth strategy similarly to interactions with other neuronal cells, as reflected in their morphometric parameters. The number of branches and the number of neurites originating from the soma decrease following the interaction demonstrating a tendency to a more simplified neuronal branching tree. The effect of the nano-cues on the neuronal function deserves further investigation and will strengthen our understanding of the interplay between function and form.

  18. Aging and Neuronal Vulnerability

    PubMed Central

    Mattson, Mark P.; Magnus, Tim

    2011-01-01

    Everyone ages, but only some will acquire a neurodegenerative disorder in the process. Disease might occur when cells fail to respond adaptively to age-related increases in oxidative, metabolic and ionic stress resulting in excessive accumulation of damaged proteins, DNA and membranes. Determinants of neuronal vulnerability might include cell size and location, metabolism of disease-specific proteins, and repertoire of signal transduction pathways and stress resistance mechanisms. Emerging evidence on protein interaction networks that monitor and respond to the normal aging process suggests that successful neural aging is possible for most, but also cautions that cures for neurodegenerative disorders are unlikely in the near future. PMID:16552414

  19. DNA Damage Induced Neuronal Death

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1999-10-01

    Experiments are proposed to examine the molecular mechanism by which mustard chemical warfare agents induce neuronal cell death . DNA damage is the...proposed underlying mechanism of mustard-induced neuronal cell death . We propose a novel research strategy to test this hypothesis by using mice with...perturbed DNA repair to explore the relationship between mustard-induced DNA damage and neuronal cell death . Initial in vitro studies (Years 1, 2 & 3

  20. STDP in Recurrent Neuronal Networks

    PubMed Central

    Gilson, Matthieu; Burkitt, Anthony; van Hemmen, J. Leo

    2010-01-01

    Recent results about spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) in recurrently connected neurons are reviewed, with a focus on the relationship between the weight dynamics and the emergence of network structure. In particular, the evolution of synaptic weights in the two cases of incoming connections for a single neuron and recurrent connections are compared and contrasted. A theoretical framework is used that is based upon Poisson neurons with a temporally inhomogeneous firing rate and the asymptotic distribution of weights generated by the learning dynamics. Different network configurations examined in recent studies are discussed and an overview of the current understanding of STDP in recurrently connected neuronal networks is presented. PMID:20890448

  1. The straintronic spin-neuron.

    PubMed

    Biswas, Ayan K; Atulasimha, Jayasimha; Bandyopadhyay, Supriyo

    2015-07-17

    In artificial neural networks, neurons are usually implemented with highly dissipative CMOS-based operational amplifiers. A more energy-efficient implementation is a 'spin-neuron' realized with a magneto-tunneling junction (MTJ) that is switched with a spin-polarized current (representing weighted sum of input currents) that either delivers a spin transfer torque or induces domain wall motion in the soft layer of the MTJ to mimic neuron firing. Here, we propose and analyze a different type of spin-neuron in which the soft layer of the MTJ is switched with mechanical strain generated by a voltage (representing weighted sum of input voltages) and term it straintronic spin-neuron. It dissipates orders of magnitude less energy in threshold operations than the traditional current-driven spin neuron at 0 K temperature and may even be faster. We have also studied the room-temperature firing behaviors of both types of spin neurons and find that thermal noise degrades the performance of both types, but the current-driven type is degraded much more than the straintronic type if both are optimized for maximum energy-efficiency. On the other hand, if both are designed to have the same level of thermal degradation, then the current-driven version will dissipate orders of magnitude more energy than the straintronic version. Thus, the straintronic spin-neuron is superior to current-driven spin neurons.

  2. [Neuronal plasticity and gene expression].

    PubMed

    Sokolova, O O; Shtark, M B; Lisachev, P D

    2010-01-01

    Neuronal plasticity--a fundamental feature of brain--provides adequate interactions with dynamic environment. One of the most deeply investigated forms of the neuronal plasticity is a long-term potentiation (LTP)--a phenomenon underlying learning and memory. Signal paths activated during LTP converge into the nuclear of the neuron, giving rise to launch of the molecular-genetic programs, which mediate structural and functional remodeling of synapses. In the review data concerning involvement of multilevel gene expression into plastic change under neuronal activation are summarized.

  3. The biophysics of neuronal growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franze, Kristian; Guck, Jochen

    2010-09-01

    For a long time, neuroscience has focused on biochemical, molecular biological and electrophysiological aspects of neuronal physiology and pathology. However, there is a growing body of evidence indicating the importance of physical stimuli for neuronal growth and development. In this review we briefly summarize the historical background of neurobiophysics and give an overview over the current understanding of neuronal growth from a physics perspective. We show how biophysics has so far contributed to a better understanding of neuronal growth and discuss current inconsistencies. Finally, we speculate how biophysics may contribute to the successful treatment of lesions to the central nervous system, which have been considered incurable until very recently.

  4. Hippocampal neurons in schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Heckers, S.; Konradi, C.

    2014-01-01

    Summary The hippocampus is crucial for normal brain function, especially for the encoding and retrieval of multimodal sensory information. Neuropsychiatric disorders such as temporal lobe epilepsy, amnesia, and the dementias are associated with structural and functional abnormalities of specific hippocampal neurons. More recently we have also found evidence for a role of the hippocampus in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. The most consistent finding is a subtle, yet significant volume difference in schizophrenia. Here we review the cellular and molecular basis of smaller hippocampal volume in schizophrenia. In contrast to neurodegenerative disorders, total hippocampal cell number is not markedly decreased in schizophrenia. However, the intriguing finding of a selective loss of hippocampal inter-neurons deserves further study. Two neurotransmitter receptors, the GABAA and AMPA/kainate glutamate receptors, appear to be abnormal, whereas changes of the NMDA glutamate receptor are less robust. The expression of several genes, including those related to the GABAergic system, neurodevelopment, and synaptic function, is decreased in schizophrenia. Taken together, recent studies of hippocampal cell number, protein expression, and gene regulation point towards an abnormality of hippocampal architecture in schizophrenia. PMID:12111476

  5. Pain in motor neuron disease.

    PubMed Central

    Newrick, P G; Langton-Hewer, R

    1985-01-01

    Twenty-seven of 42 patients with motor neuron disease had significant pain. The nature and duration of the pain are described along with an illustrative case-report. The aetiology and most effective treatment of this common complication of motor neuron disease remain unclear. PMID:4031936

  6. The Neuronal Ceroid-Lipofuscinoses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bennett, Michael J.; Rakheja, Dinesh

    2013-01-01

    The neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses (NCL's, Batten disease) represent a group of severe neurodegenerative diseases, which mostly present in childhood. The phenotypes are similar and include visual loss, seizures, loss of motor and cognitive function, and early death. At autopsy, there is massive neuronal loss with characteristic storage in…

  7. Neuronal avalanches and coherence potentials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plenz, D.

    2012-05-01

    The mammalian cortex consists of a vast network of weakly interacting excitable cells called neurons. Neurons must synchronize their activities in order to trigger activity in neighboring neurons. Moreover, interactions must be carefully regulated to remain weak (but not too weak) such that cascades of active neuronal groups avoid explosive growth yet allow for activity propagation over long-distances. Such a balance is robustly realized for neuronal avalanches, which are defined as cortical activity cascades that follow precise power laws. In experiments, scale-invariant neuronal avalanche dynamics have been observed during spontaneous cortical activity in isolated preparations in vitro as well as in the ongoing cortical activity of awake animals and in humans. Theory, models, and experiments suggest that neuronal avalanches are the signature of brain function near criticality at which the cortex optimally responds to inputs and maximizes its information capacity. Importantly, avalanche dynamics allow for the emergence of a subset of avalanches, the coherence potentials. They emerge when the synchronization of a local neuronal group exceeds a local threshold, at which the system spawns replicas of the local group activity at distant network sites. The functional importance of coherence potentials will be discussed in the context of propagating structures, such as gliders in balanced cellular automata. Gliders constitute local population dynamics that replicate in space after a finite number of generations and are thought to provide cellular automata with universal computation. Avalanches and coherence potentials are proposed to constitute a modern framework of cortical synchronization dynamics that underlies brain function.

  8. Synchronization by elastic neuronal latencies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vardi, Roni; Timor, Reut; Marom, Shimon; Abeles, Moshe; Kanter, Ido

    2013-01-01

    Psychological and physiological considerations entail that formation and functionality of neuronal cell assemblies depend upon synchronized repeated activation such as zero-lag synchronization. Several mechanisms for the emergence of this phenomenon have been suggested, including the global network quantity, the greatest common divisor of neuronal circuit delay loops. However, they require strict biological prerequisites such as precisely matched delays and connectivity, and synchronization is represented as a stationary mode of activity instead of a transient phenomenon. Here we show that the unavoidable increase in neuronal response latency to ongoing stimulation serves as a nonuniform gradual stretching of neuronal circuit delay loops. This apparent nuisance is revealed to be an essential mechanism in various types of neuronal time controllers, where synchronization emerges as a transient phenomenon and without predefined precisely matched synaptic delays. These findings are described in an experimental procedure where conditioned stimulations were enforced on a circuit of neurons embedded within a large-scale network of cortical cells in vitro, and are corroborated and extended by simulations of circuits composed of Hodgkin-Huxley neurons with time-dependent latencies. These findings announce a cortical time scale for time controllers based on tens of microseconds stretching of neuronal circuit delay loops per spike. They call for a reexamination of the role of the temporal periodic mode in brain functionality using advanced in vitro and in vivo experiments.

  9. The Neuronal Ceroid-Lipofuscinoses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bennett, Michael J.; Rakheja, Dinesh

    2013-01-01

    The neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses (NCL's, Batten disease) represent a group of severe neurodegenerative diseases, which mostly present in childhood. The phenotypes are similar and include visual loss, seizures, loss of motor and cognitive function, and early death. At autopsy, there is massive neuronal loss with characteristic storage in…

  10. Cryopreservation of adherent neuronal networks.

    PubMed

    Ma, Wu; O'Shaughnessy, Thomas; Chang, Eddie

    2006-07-31

    Neuronal networks have been widely used for neurophysiology, drug discovery and toxicity testing. An essential prerequisite for future widespread application of neuronal networks is the development of efficient cryopreservation protocols to facilitate their storage and transportation. Here is the first report on cryopreservation of mammalian adherent neuronal networks. Dissociated spinal cord cells were attached to a poly-d-lysine/laminin surface and allowed to form neuronal networks. Adherent neuronal networks were embedded in a thin film of collagen gel and loaded with trehalose prior to transfer to a freezing medium containing DMSO, FBS and culture medium. This was followed by a slow rate of cooling to -80 degrees C for 24 h and then storage for up to 2 months in liquid nitrogen at -196 degrees C. The three components: DMSO, collagen gel entrapment and trehalose loading combined provided the highest post-thaw viability, relative to individual or two component protocols. The post-thaw cells with this protocol demonstrated similar neuronal and astrocytic markers and morphological structure as those detected in unfrozen cells. Fluorescent dye FM1-43 staining revealed active recycling of synaptic vesicles upon depolarizing stimulation in the post-thaw neuronal networks. These results suggest that a combination of DMSO, collagen gel entrapment and trehalose loading can significantly improve conventional slow-cooling methods in cryopreservation of adherent neuronal networks.

  11. Cell biology of neuronal endocytosis.

    PubMed

    Parton, R G; Dotti, C G

    1993-09-01

    Endocytosis is the process by which cells take in fluid and components of the plasma membrane. In this way cells obtain nutrients and trophic factors, retrieve membrane proteins for degradation, and sample their environment. In neuronal cells endocytosis is essential for the recycling of membrane after neurotransmitter release and plays a critical role during early developmental stages. Moreover, alterations of the endocytic pathway have been attributed a crucial role in the pathophysiology of certain neurological diseases. Although well characterized at the ultrastructural level, little is known of the dynamics and molecular organization of the neuronal endocytic pathways. In this respect most of our knowledge comes from studies of non-neuronal cells. In this review we will examine the endocytic pathways in neurons from a cell biological viewpoint by making comparisons with non-neuronal cells and in particular with another polarized cell, the epithelial cell.

  12. Phenotypic checkpoints regulate neuronal development.

    PubMed

    Ben-Ari, Yehezkel; Spitzer, Nicholas C

    2010-11-01

    Nervous system development proceeds by sequential gene expression mediated by cascades of transcription factors in parallel with sequences of patterned network activity driven by receptors and ion channels. These sequences are cell type- and developmental stage-dependent and modulated by paracrine actions of substances released by neurons and glia. How and to what extent these sequences interact to enable neuronal network development is not understood. Recent evidence demonstrates that CNS development requires intermediate stages of differentiation providing functional feedback that influences gene expression. We suggest that embryonic neuronal functions constitute a series of phenotypic checkpoint signatures; neurons failing to express these functions are delayed or developmentally arrested. Such checkpoints are likely to be a general feature of neuronal development and constitute presymptomatic signatures of neurological disorders when they go awry.

  13. Oligodendroglia: metabolic supporters of neurons.

    PubMed

    Philips, Thomas; Rothstein, Jeffrey D

    2017-09-01

    Oligodendrocytes are glial cells that populate the entire CNS after they have differentiated from oligodendrocyte progenitor cells. From birth onward, oligodendrocytes initiate wrapping of neuronal axons with a multilamellar lipid structure called myelin. Apart from their well-established function in action potential propagation, more recent data indicate that oligodendrocytes are essential for providing metabolic support to neurons. Oligodendrocytes transfer energy metabolites to neurons through cytoplasmic "myelinic" channels and monocarboxylate transporters, which allow for the fast delivery of short-carbon-chain energy metabolites like pyruvate and lactate to neurons. These substrates are metabolized and contribute to ATP synthesis in neurons. This Review will discuss our current understanding of this metabolic supportive function of oligodendrocytes and its potential impact in human neurodegenerative disease and related animal models.

  14. Neuron's function revealed

    SciTech Connect

    2009-01-01

    There's a new way to explore biologys secrets. With a flash of light, scientists from the U.S. Department of Energys Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley zeroed in on the type of neural cell that controls swimming in larval zebrafish. Using innovative light-activated proteins and gene expression techniques, the scientists zapped several zebrafish with a pulse of light, and initiated a swimming action in a subset of fish that was traced back to the type of neuron that drives the side-to-side motion of their tail fins. The technique behind this needle-in-haystack search for the neural roots of a specific behavior could become a powerful way to learn how any biological system works. http://newscenter.lbl.gov/press-releases/2009/09/16/light-activated-protein/

  15. [Neurons and values].

    PubMed

    Camps, Victoria

    2013-09-01

    This article examines the advances made by neuroscience in the attempt to find an answer to the question regarding the origin and foundation of moral judgements and of human behaviour in compliance with them. The conception of the brain as something dynamic and capable of adapting to the social and cultural surroundings is seen to be an important point for philosophy. At the same time, the complexity of ethical issues that cannot be reduced to observations based strictly on neurons alone also becomes quite apparent. Nevertheless, scientists and philosophers should get together and communicate with one another so as to be able to pose their questions with greater rigour and take advantage of each other's respective knowledge.

  16. Multiplying with Neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gabbiani, F.; Krapp, H.; Koch, C.; Laurent, G.

    1998-03-01

    LGMD and DCMD are a pair of identified neurons in the locust brain thought to be involved in visually triggered escape behavior. LGMD integrates visual inputs in its dendritic arbor, converts them into spikes transmitted in a 1:1 manner to DCMD which relays this information to motor centers. We measured the spike activity of DCMD during simulated object approach and observed that its peak occured prior to the expected collision. The time difference between peak activity and collision depended linearly on the ratio of object size to approach velocity, as expected if LGMD/DCMD were detecting the moment in time when the approaching object reaches a fixed angular threshold θ_thresh on the locust's retina. The response of LGMD/DCMD could be fitted by multiplying the angular velocity at which an approaching object is increasing in size over the retina, dot θ, with an exponential function of the object's angular size, θ: f(t) = g(dot θ(t-δ) e^-α θ(t-δ)) where g is a static non-linearity, α a constant related to the angular threshold detected by LGMD/DCMD (θ_thresh = arctan (2/α)) and δ denotes the lag of the neuronal response with respect to the stimulus. This suggests that LGMD/DCMD derives its angular threshold sensitivity by multiplying dot θ with an exponential of θ. A biophysical implementation would be through linear summation of excitatory and inhibitory inputs proportional to log(dot θ) and -α θ, followed by a conversion to spike rate according to the static non-linearity (g circ exp). We have performed several experiments to test this hypothesis.

  17. Postmitotic Specification of Drosophila Insulinergic Neurons from Pioneer Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Miguel-Aliaga, Irene; Thor, Stefan; Gould, Alex P

    2008-01-01

    Insulin and related peptides play important and conserved functions in growth and metabolism. Although Drosophila has proved useful for the genetic analysis of insulin functions, little is known about the transcription factors and cell lineages involved in insulin production. Within the embryonic central nervous system, the MP2 neuroblast divides once to generate a dMP2 neuron that initially functions as a pioneer, guiding the axons of other later-born embryonic neurons. Later during development, dMP2 neurons in anterior segments undergo apoptosis but their posterior counterparts persist. We show here that surviving posterior dMP2 neurons no longer function in axonal scaffolding but differentiate into neuroendocrine cells that express insulin-like peptide 7 (Ilp7) and innervate the hindgut. We find that the postmitotic transition from pioneer to insulin-producing neuron is a multistep process requiring retrograde bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signalling and four transcription factors: Abdominal-B, Hb9, Fork Head, and Dimmed. These five inputs contribute in a partially overlapping manner to combinatorial codes for dMP2 apoptosis, survival, and insulinergic differentiation. Ectopic reconstitution of this code is sufficient to activate Ilp7 expression in other postmitotic neurons. These studies reveal striking similarities between the transcription factors regulating insulin expression in insect neurons and mammalian pancreatic β-cells. PMID:18336071

  18. Neuronal cell lines as model dorsal root ganglion neurons

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Kathleen; Baillie, Gregory J

    2016-01-01

    Background Dorsal root ganglion neuron-derived immortal cell lines including ND7/23 and F-11 cells have been used extensively as in vitro model systems of native peripheral sensory neurons. However, while it is clear that some sensory neuron-specific receptors and ion channels are present in these cell lines, a systematic comparison of the molecular targets expressed by these cell lines with those expressed in intact peripheral neurons is lacking. Results In this study, we examined the expression of RNA transcripts in the human neuroblastoma-derived cell line, SH-SY5Y, and two dorsal root ganglion hybridoma cell lines, F-11 and ND7/23, using Illumina next-generation sequencing, and compared the results with native whole murine dorsal root ganglions. The gene expression profiles of these three cell lines did not resemble any specific defined dorsal root ganglion subclass. The cell lines lacked many markers for nociceptive sensory neurons, such as the Transient receptor potential V1 gene, but expressed markers for both myelinated and unmyelinated neurons. Global gene ontology analysis on whole dorsal root ganglions and cell lines showed similar enrichment of biological process terms across all samples. Conclusions This paper provides insights into the receptor repertoire expressed in common dorsal root ganglion neuron-derived cell lines compared with whole murine dorsal root ganglions, and illustrates the limits and potentials of these cell lines as tools for neuropharmacological exploration. PMID:27130590

  19. Acetaminophen inhibits neuronal inflammation and protects neurons from oxidative stress

    PubMed Central

    Tripathy, Debjani; Grammas, Paula

    2009-01-01

    Background Recent studies have demonstrated a link between the inflammatory response, increased cytokine formation, and neurodegeneration in the brain. The beneficial effects of anti-inflammatory drugs in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), have been documented. Increasing evidence suggests that acetaminophen has unappreciated anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The objectives of this study are to determine the effects of acetaminophen on cultured brain neuronal survival and inflammatory factor expression when exposed to oxidative stress. Methods Cerebral cortical cultured neurons are pretreated with acetaminophen and then exposed to the superoxide-generating compound menadione (5 μM). Cell survival is assessed by MTT assay and inflammatory protein (tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin-1, macrophage inflammatory protein alpha, and RANTES) release quantitated by ELISA. Expression of pro- and anti-apoptotic proteins is assessed by western blots. Results Acetaminophen has pro-survival effects on neurons in culture. Menadione, a superoxide releasing oxidant stressor, causes a significant (p < 0.001) increase in neuronal cell death as well as in the release of tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin-1, macrophage inflammatory protein alpha, and RANTES from cultured neurons. Pretreatment of neuronal cultures with acetaminophen (50 μM) increases neuronal cell survival and inhibits the expression of these cytokines and chemokines. In addition, we document, for the first time, that acetaminophen increases expression of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl2 in brain neurons and decreases the menadione-induced elevation of the proapoptotic protein, cleaved caspase 3. We show that blocking acetaminophen-induced expression of Bcl2 reduces the pro-survival effect of the drug. Conclusion These data show that acetaminophen has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on neurons and suggest a heretofore unappreciated therapeutic potential for

  20. The Chandelier Neuron in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, David A.

    2010-01-01

    Markers of GABA neurotransmission between chandelier neurons and their synaptic targets, the axon initial segment (AIS) of pyramidal neurons, are altered in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) of subjects with schizophrenia. For example, immunoreactivity for the GABA membrane transporter (GAT1) is decreased in presynaptic chandelier neuron axon terminals, whereas immunoreactivity for the GABAA receptor α2 subunit is increased in postsynaptic AIS. These alterations are most marked in cortical layers 2–3. In addition, other determinants of the function of chandelier cell-pyramidal neuron synapses, such as ankyrin-G (which regulates the recruitment of sodium channels to the AIS), are also selectively altered in superficial layer pyramidal neurons in subjects with schizophrenia. Each of these components of chandelier cell-pyramidal neuron connectivity exhibits distinctive developmental trajectories in the primate DLPFC, suggesting that disturbances in these trajectories could contribute to the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Recent findings that inputs from neocortical chandelier neurons are excitatory provide new ideas about the role of this circuitry in the pathophysiology of cortical dysfunction in schizophrenia. PMID:21154915

  1. The chandelier neuron in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Lewis, David A

    2011-01-01

    Markers of GABA neurotransmission between chandelier neurons and their synaptic targets, the axon initial segment (AIS) of pyramidal neurons, are altered in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) of subjects with schizophrenia. For example, immunoreactivity for the GABA membrane transporter (GAT1) is decreased in presynaptic chandelier neuron axon terminals, whereas immunoreactivity for the GABA(A) receptor α2 subunit is increased in postsynaptic AIS. These alterations are most marked in cortical layers 2-3. In addition, other determinants of the function of chandelier cell-pyramidal neuron synapses, such as ankyrin-G (which regulates the recruitment of sodium channels to the AIS), are also selectively altered in superficial layer pyramidal neurons in subjects with schizophrenia. Each of these components of chandelier cell-pyramidal neuron connectivity exhibits distinctive developmental trajectories in the primate DLPFC, suggesting that disturbances in these trajectories could contribute to the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Recent findings that inputs from neocortical chandelier neurons are excitatory provide new ideas about the role of this circuitry in the pathophysiology of cortical dysfunction in schizophrenia.

  2. Dopaminergic regulation of orexin neurons.

    PubMed

    Bubser, Michael; Fadel, Jim R; Jackson, Lela L; Meador-Woodruff, James H; Jing, Deqiang; Deutch, Ariel Y

    2005-06-01

    Orexin/hypocretin neurons in the lateral hypothalamus and adjacent perifornical area (LH/PFA) innervate midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons that project to corticolimbic sites and subserve psychostimulant-induced locomotor activity. However, it is not known whether dopamine neurons in turn regulate the activity of orexin cells. We examined the ability of dopamine agonists to activate orexin neurons in the rat, as reflected by induction of Fos. The mixed dopamine agonist apomorphine increased Fos expression in orexin cells, with a greater effect on orexin neurons located medial to the fornix. Both the selective D1-like agonist, A-77636, and the D2-like agonist, quinpirole, also induced Fos in orexin cells, suggesting that stimulation of either receptor subtype is sufficient to activate orexin neurons. Consistent with this finding, combined SCH 23390 (D1 antagonist)-haloperidol (D2 antagonist) pretreatment blocked apomorphine-induced activation of medial as well as lateral orexin neurons; in contrast, pretreatment with either the D1-like or D2-like antagonists alone did not attenuate apomorphine-induced activation of medial orexin cells. In situ hybridization histochemistry revealed that LH/PFA cells rarely express mRNAs encoding dopamine receptors, suggesting that orexin cells are transsynaptically activated by apomorphine. We therefore lesioned the nucleus accumbens, a site known to regulate orexin cells, but this treatment did not alter apomorphine-elicited activation of medial or lateral orexin neurons. Interestingly, apomorphine failed to activate orexin cells in isoflurane-anaesthetized animals. These data suggest that apomorphine-induced arousal but not accumbens-mediated hyperactivity is required for dopamine to transsynaptically activate orexin neurons.

  3. Neuronal pathway finding: from neurons to initial neural networks.

    PubMed

    Roscigno, Cecelia I

    2004-10-01

    Neuronal pathway finding is crucial for structured cellular organization and development of neural circuits within the nervous system. Neuronal pathway finding within the visual system has been extensively studied and therefore is used as a model to review existing knowledge regarding concepts of this developmental process. General principles of neuron pathway finding throughout the nervous system exist. Comprehension of these concepts guides neuroscience nurses in gaining an understanding of the developmental course of action, the implications of different anomalies, as well as the theoretical basis and nursing implications of some provocative new therapies being proposed to treat neurodegenerative diseases and neurologic injuries. These therapies have limitations in light of current ethical, developmental, and delivery modes and what is known about the development of neuronal pathways.

  4. Ensemble Neuron Tracer for 3D Neuron Reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ching-Wei; Lee, Yu-Ching; Pradana, Hilmil; Zhou, Zhi; Peng, Hanchuan

    2017-02-09

    Tracing of neuron paths is important in neuroscience. Recent studies have shown that it is possible to segment and reconstruct three-dimensional morphology of axons and dendrites using fully automatic neuron tracing methods. A specific tracer may be better than others for a specific dataset, but another tracer could perform better for some other datasets. Ensemble of learners is an effective way to improve learning accuracy in machine learning. We developed automatic ensemble neuron tracers, which consistently perform well on 57 datasets of 5 species collected from 7 laboratories worldwide. Quantitative evaluation based on the data generated by human annotators shows that the proposed ensemble tracers are valuable for 3D neuron tracing and can be widely applied to different datasets.

  5. Evidence of involvement of neurone-glia/neurone-neurone communications via gap junctions in synchronised activity of KNDy neurones.

    PubMed

    Ikegami, K; Minabe, S; Ieda, N; Goto, T; Sugimoto, A; Nakamura, S; Inoue, N; Oishi, S; Maturana, A D; Sanbo, M; Hirabayashi, M; Maeda, K-I; Tsukamura, H; Uenoyama, Y

    2017-06-01

    Pulsatile secretion of gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH)/luteinising hormone is indispensable for the onset of puberty and reproductive activities at adulthood in mammalian species. A cohort of neurones expressing three neuropeptides, namely kisspeptin, encoded by the Kiss1 gene, neurokinin B (NKB) and dynorphin A, localised in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC), so-called KNDy neurones, comprises a putative intrinsic source of the GnRH pulse generator. Synchronous activity among KNDy neurones is considered to be required for pulsatile GnRH secretion. It has been reported that gap junctions play a key role in synchronising electrical activity in the central nervous system. Thus, we hypothesised that gap junctions are involved in the synchronised activities of KNDy neurones, which is induced by NKB-NK3R signalling. We determined the role of NKB-NK3R signalling in Ca(2+) oscillation (an indicator of neuronal activities) of KNDy neurones and its synchronisation mechanism among KNDy neurones. Senktide, a selective agonist for NK3R, increased the frequency of Ca(2+) oscillations in cultured Kiss1-GFP cells collected from the mediobasal hypothalamus of the foetal Kiss1-green fluorescent protein (GFP) mice. The senktide-induced Ca(2+) oscillations were synchronised in the Kiss1-GFP and neighbouring glial cells. Confocal microscopy analysis of these cells, which have shown synchronised Ca(2+) oscillations, revealed close contacts between Kiss1-GFP cells, as well as between Kiss1-GFP cells and glial cells. Dye coupling experiments suggest cell-to-cell communication through gap junctions between Kiss1-GFP cells and neighbouring glial cells. Connexin-26 and -37 mRNA were found in isolated ARC Kiss1 cells taken from adult female Kiss1-GFP transgenic mice. Furthermore, 18β-glycyrrhetinic acids and mefloquine, which are gap junction inhibitors, attenuated senktide-induced Ca(2+) oscillations in Kiss1-GFP cells. Taken together, these results suggest that NKB-NK3R

  6. Towards Automatic Classification of Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Armañanzas, Rubén; Ascoli, Giorgio A.

    2015-01-01

    The classification of neurons into types has been much debated since the inception of modern neuroscience. Recent experimental advances are accelerating the pace of data collection. The resulting information growth of morphological, physiological, and molecular properties encourages efforts to automate neuronal classification by powerful machine learning techniques. We review state-of-the-art analysis approaches and availability of suitable data and resources, highlighting prominent challenges and opportunities. The effective solution of the neuronal classification problem will require continuous development of computational methods, high-throughput data production, and systematic metadata organization to enable cross-lab integration. PMID:25765323

  7. Molecular Mechanisms of Neuronal Responsivity.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-07-10

    O-A187 061 MOLECULAR MECHANISMS OF NEURONAL RESPONSIVITY(U) / VERMONT UNIV BURLINGTON COIL OF MEDICINE V EHRLICH 7 UwKL7RS1S1 IS1 JUL 87 RFOSR-TR-87...The grant was awarded to support the organization of a scientific conference entitled: "Molecular Mechanisms of Neuronal Responsivity." This...from the University of New York, on: "Synaptic Transmission and Neuronal Integration." It should be mentioned that this presentation emerged as a most

  8. Neostriatal Neuronal Activity and Behavior

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-09-30

    J 4 ’ AD-A278 429 NTATION PAGE- No 000 FINAL 01 3Jun 92 TO 30 Sep 93 14. TITLE AND SUBTITLE S. FUND:NG NUMBERS NEOSTRIATAL NEURONAL ACTIVITY AND...distribution unlimited 13. ABSTRACT (Maximum 200 words) The overall goal of the "University Initiative" project "Neostriatal Neuronal Activity and Behavior...34 was to establish a new technical approach for the study of ensembles of single neurons in CNS during tasks requiring sensory motor Q integration. An

  9. A fish on the hunt, observed neuron by neuron

    SciTech Connect

    2010-01-01

    This three-dimensional microscopy image reveals an output neuron of the optic tectum lighting up in response to visual information from the retina. The scientists used this state-of-the-art imaging technology to learn how neurons in the optic tectum take visual information and convert it into an output that drives action. More information: http://newscenter.lbl.gov/feature-stories/2010/10/29/zebrafish-vision/

  10. Npas1+ Pallidal Neurons Target Striatal Projection Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Glajch, Kelly E.; Kelver, Daniel A.; Hegeman, Daniel J.; Cui, Qiaoling; Xenias, Harry S.; Augustine, Elizabeth C.; Hernández, Vivian M.; Verma, Neha; Huang, Tina Y.; Luo, Minmin; Justice, Nicholas J.

    2016-01-01

    Compelling evidence demonstrates that the external globus pallidus (GPe) plays a key role in processing sensorimotor information. An anatomical projection from the GPe to the dorsal striatum has been described for decades. However, the cellular target and functional impact of this projection remain unknown. Using cell-specific transgenic mice, modern monosynaptic tracing techniques, and optogenetics-based mapping, we discovered that GPe neurons provide inhibitory inputs to direct and indirect pathway striatal projection neurons (SPNs). Our results indicate that the GPe input to SPNs arises primarily from Npas1-expressing neurons and is strengthened in a chronic Parkinson's disease (PD) model. Alterations of the GPe-SPN input in a PD model argue for the critical position of this connection in regulating basal ganglia motor output and PD symptomatology. Finally, chemogenetic activation of Npas1-expressing GPe neurons suppresses motor output, arguing that strengthening of the GPe-SPN connection is maladaptive and may underlie the hypokinetic symptoms in PD. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT An anatomical projection from the pallidum to the striatum has been described for decades, but little is known about its connectivity pattern. The authors dissect the presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons involved in this projection, and show its cell-specific remodeling and strengthening in parkinsonian mice. Chemogenetic activation of Npas1+ pallidal neurons that give rise to the principal pallidostriatal projection increases the time that the mice spend motionless. This argues that maladaptive strengthening of this connection underlies the paucity of volitional movements, which is a hallmark of Parkinson's disease. PMID:27194328

  11. Tinbergen on mirror neurons.

    PubMed

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2014-01-01

    Fifty years ago, Niko Tinbergen defined the scope of behavioural biology with his four problems: causation, ontogeny, survival value and evolution. About 20 years ago, there was another highly significant development in behavioural biology-the discovery of mirror neurons (MNs). Here, I use Tinbergen's original four problems (rather than the list that appears in textbooks) to highlight the differences between two prominent accounts of MNs, the genetic and associative accounts; to suggest that the latter provides the defeasible 'best explanation' for current data on the causation and ontogeny of MNs; and to argue that functional analysis, of the kind that Tinbergen identified somewhat misleadingly with studies of 'survival value', should be a high priority for future research. In this kind of functional analysis, system-level theories would assign MNs a small, but potentially important, role in the achievement of action understanding-or another social cognitive function-by a production line of interacting component processes. These theories would be tested by experimental intervention in human and non-human animal samples with carefully documented and controlled developmental histories.

  12. Tinbergen on mirror neurons

    PubMed Central

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2014-01-01

    Fifty years ago, Niko Tinbergen defined the scope of behavioural biology with his four problems: causation, ontogeny, survival value and evolution. About 20 years ago, there was another highly significant development in behavioural biology—the discovery of mirror neurons (MNs). Here, I use Tinbergen's original four problems (rather than the list that appears in textbooks) to highlight the differences between two prominent accounts of MNs, the genetic and associative accounts; to suggest that the latter provides the defeasible ‘best explanation’ for current data on the causation and ontogeny of MNs; and to argue that functional analysis, of the kind that Tinbergen identified somewhat misleadingly with studies of ‘survival value’, should be a high priority for future research. In this kind of functional analysis, system-level theories would assign MNs a small, but potentially important, role in the achievement of action understanding—or another social cognitive function—by a production line of interacting component processes. These theories would be tested by experimental intervention in human and non-human animal samples with carefully documented and controlled developmental histories. PMID:24778376

  13. Neuronal boost to evolutionary dynamics.

    PubMed

    de Vladar, Harold P; Szathmáry, Eörs

    2015-12-06

    Standard evolutionary dynamics is limited by the constraints of the genetic system. A central message of evolutionary neurodynamics is that evolutionary dynamics in the brain can happen in a neuronal niche in real time, despite the fact that neurons do not reproduce. We show that Hebbian learning and structural synaptic plasticity broaden the capacity for informational replication and guided variability provided a neuronally plausible mechanism of replication is in place. The synergy between learning and selection is more efficient than the equivalent search by mutation selection. We also consider asymmetric landscapes and show that the learning weights become correlated with the fitness gradient. That is, the neuronal complexes learn the local properties of the fitness landscape, resulting in the generation of variability directed towards the direction of fitness increase, as if mutations in a genetic pool were drawn such that they would increase reproductive success. Evolution might thus be more efficient within evolved brains than among organisms out in the wild.

  14. Neuronal migration and protein kinases

    PubMed Central

    Ohshima, Toshio

    2015-01-01

    The formation of the six-layered structure of the mammalian cortex via the inside-out pattern of neuronal migration is fundamental to neocortical functions. Extracellular cues such as Reelin induce intracellular signaling cascades through the protein phosphorylation. Migrating neurons also have intrinsic machineries to regulate cytoskeletal proteins and adhesion properties. Protein phosphorylation regulates these processes. Moreover, the balance between phosphorylation and dephosphorylation is modified by extracellular cues. Multipolar-bipolar transition, radial glia-guided locomotion and terminal translocation are critical steps of radial migration of cortical pyramidal neurons. Protein kinases such as Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) and c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) involve these steps. In this review, I shall give an overview the roles of protein kinases in neuronal migration. PMID:25628530

  15. Polyphenolic Antioxidants and Neuronal Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Ataie, Amin; Shadifar, Mohammad; Ataee, Ramin

    2016-01-01

    Many studies indicate that oxidative stress is involved in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases. Oxidative stress can induce neuronal damages, modulate intracellular signaling and ultimately leads to neuronal death by apoptosis or necrosis. To review antioxidants preventive effects on oxidative stress and neurodegenerative diseases we accumulated data from international medical journals and academic informations’ sites. According to many studies, antioxidants could reduce toxic neuronal damages and many studies confirmed the efficacy of polyphenol antioxidants in fruits and vegetables to reduce neuronal death and to diminish oxidative stress. This systematic review showed the antioxidant activities of phytochemicals which play as natural neuroprotectives with low adverse effects against some neurodegenerative diseases as Parkinson or Alzheimer diseases. PMID:27303602

  16. Neuronal boost to evolutionary dynamics

    PubMed Central

    de Vladar, Harold P.; Szathmáry, Eörs

    2015-01-01

    Standard evolutionary dynamics is limited by the constraints of the genetic system. A central message of evolutionary neurodynamics is that evolutionary dynamics in the brain can happen in a neuronal niche in real time, despite the fact that neurons do not reproduce. We show that Hebbian learning and structural synaptic plasticity broaden the capacity for informational replication and guided variability provided a neuronally plausible mechanism of replication is in place. The synergy between learning and selection is more efficient than the equivalent search by mutation selection. We also consider asymmetric landscapes and show that the learning weights become correlated with the fitness gradient. That is, the neuronal complexes learn the local properties of the fitness landscape, resulting in the generation of variability directed towards the direction of fitness increase, as if mutations in a genetic pool were drawn such that they would increase reproductive success. Evolution might thus be more efficient within evolved brains than among organisms out in the wild. PMID:26640653

  17. Bifurcating neuron: characterization and dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farhat, Nabil H.; Eldefrawy, Mostafa H.

    1993-02-01

    We discuss the concept of bifurcating neuron and show it combines functional complexity, comparable to that of the living (biological) neuron, with structural simplicity and power efficiency which are important attributes for its hardware realizations, both optoelectronic or electronic. The functional complexity of the bifurcating neuron is key to removing many limitations of present-day neural networks which employ predominantly sigmoidal neurons that can not account for the temporal relations of firing instances of neurons in a network. In the language of information processing, accounting for such temporal relations is synonymous with retention of phase information. The complex behavior of the bifurcating neuron is characterized. It is shown to be capable of exhibiting phase-locking and synchronization, and that it exhibits a host of firing modalities that parallel those observed by neurophysiologists in the living neuron including chaotic firing and that it is capable of bifurcating between these firing modalities depending on the nature of its input. The implications of this complex behavior for the introduction of a new generation of bifurcating neural networks, that are capable of using chaos as adaptive intrinsic noise, for self-annealing and directed intelligent search of the phase-space of bifurcating networks are discussed. It is argued that the bifurcating neuron concept is key to building new physical structures (bifurcating networks) in which one can study the roles of bifurcation, synchronicity, and chaos in collective nonlinear dynamical signal processing and is moreover key to modeling and understanding higher-level cortical signal processing such as feature-binding and cognition, and that its ease of implementation in analog hardware promises to offer important technological benefits.

  18. Is realistic neuronal modeling realistic?

    PubMed

    Almog, Mara; Korngreen, Alon

    2016-11-01

    Scientific models are abstractions that aim to explain natural phenomena. A successful model shows how a complex phenomenon arises from relatively simple principles while preserving major physical or biological rules and predicting novel experiments. A model should not be a facsimile of reality; it is an aid for understanding it. Contrary to this basic premise, with the 21st century has come a surge in computational efforts to model biological processes in great detail. Here we discuss the oxymoronic, realistic modeling of single neurons. This rapidly advancing field is driven by the discovery that some neurons don't merely sum their inputs and fire if the sum exceeds some threshold. Thus researchers have asked what are the computational abilities of single neurons and attempted to give answers using realistic models. We briefly review the state of the art of compartmental modeling highlighting recent progress and intrinsic flaws. We then attempt to address two fundamental questions. Practically, can we realistically model single neurons? Philosophically, should we realistically model single neurons? We use layer 5 neocortical pyramidal neurons as a test case to examine these issues. We subject three publically available models of layer 5 pyramidal neurons to three simple computational challenges. Based on their performance and a partial survey of published models, we conclude that current compartmental models are ad hoc, unrealistic models functioning poorly once they are stretched beyond the specific problems for which they were designed. We then attempt to plot possible paths for generating realistic single neuron models. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  19. [Some characteristics of vertigo in vestibular neuronitis].

    PubMed

    Skliut, I A; Likhachev, S A; Rybina, O V

    2004-01-01

    The authors present a detailed clinical analysis of objective neurological symptoms and vertigo in patients with vestibular neuronitis. Diagnostic criteria are specified allowing differentiation between vertigo and dizziness, pathognomonic signs of vestibular neuronitis are outlined. Peripheral location of the pathological process in vestibular neuronitis is suggested. How rotating vertigo is forming in patients with vestibular neuronitis is hypothesized.

  20. Network synchronization in hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Penn, Yaron; Segal, Menahem; Moses, Elisha

    2016-03-22

    Oscillatory activity is widespread in dynamic neuronal networks. The main paradigm for the origin of periodicity consists of specialized pacemaking elements that synchronize and drive the rest of the network; however, other models exist. Here, we studied the spontaneous emergence of synchronized periodic bursting in a network of cultured dissociated neurons from rat hippocampus and cortex. Surprisingly, about 60% of all active neurons were self-sustained oscillators when disconnected, each with its own natural frequency. The individual neuron's tendency to oscillate and the corresponding oscillation frequency are controlled by its excitability. The single neuron intrinsic oscillations were blocked by riluzole, and are thus dependent on persistent sodium leak currents. Upon a gradual retrieval of connectivity, the synchrony evolves: Loose synchrony appears already at weak connectivity, with the oscillators converging to one common oscillation frequency, yet shifted in phase across the population. Further strengthening of the connectivity causes a reduction in the mean phase shifts until zero-lag is achieved, manifested by synchronous periodic network bursts. Interestingly, the frequency of network bursting matches the average of the intrinsic frequencies. Overall, the network behaves like other universal systems, where order emerges spontaneously by entrainment of independent rhythmic units. Although simplified with respect to circuitry in the brain, our results attribute a basic functional role for intrinsic single neuron excitability mechanisms in driving the network's activity and dynamics, contributing to our understanding of developing neural circuits.

  1. Centrosome localization determines neuronal polarity.

    PubMed

    de Anda, Froylan Calderon; Pollarolo, Giulia; Da Silva, Jorge Santos; Camoletto, Paola G; Feiguin, Fabian; Dotti, Carlos G

    2005-08-04

    Neuronal polarization occurs shortly after mitosis. In neurons differentiating in vitro, axon formation follows the segregation of growth-promoting activities to only one of the multiple neurites that form after mitosis. It is unresolved whether such spatial restriction makes use of an intrinsic program, like during C. elegans embryo polarization, or is extrinsic and cue-mediated, as in migratory cells. Here we show that in hippocampal neurons in vitro, the axon consistently arises from the neurite that develops first after mitosis. Centrosomes, the Golgi apparatus and endosomes cluster together close to the area where the first neurite will form, which is in turn opposite from the plane of the last mitotic division. We show that the polarized activities of these organelles are necessary and sufficient for neuronal polarization: (1) polarized microtubule polymerization and membrane transport precedes first neurite formation, (2) neurons with more than one centrosome sprout more than one axon and (3) suppression of centrosome-mediated functions precludes polarization. We conclude that asymmetric centrosome-mediated dynamics in the early post-mitotic stage instruct neuronal polarity, implying that pre-mitotic mechanisms with a role in division orientation may in turn participate in this event.

  2. Calcium oscillations in neurons.

    PubMed

    Friel, D D

    1995-01-01

    Oscillations in the cytosolic free Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) have been described in a variety of cells. In some cases, [Ca2+]i oscillations reflect cycles of membrane depolarization and voltage-dependent Ca2+ entry. In others, they are caused by periodic Ca2+ uptake and release by internal stores, with little immediate requirement for external Ca2+. A third type of [Ca2+]i oscillation is typified by caffeine-induced oscillations in sympathetic neurons. Here, the oscillations depend on the interplay between Ca2+ transport across the plasma membrane and transport by a caffeine-sensitive store. These oscillations can occur at a steady membrane potential and are blocked by ryanodine (1 microM), indicating that they do not result from voltage-dependent changes in Ca2+ entry but do require Ca(2+)-induced Ca2+ release. Entry of Ca2+ from the external medium is important during all phases of the oscillatory cycle except the rapid upstroke, which is dominated by Ca2+ release from an internal store. It is proposed that caffeine-induced [Ca2+]i oscillations are cyclic perturbations of [Ca2+]i caused by exchange of Ca2+ between the cytosol and the caffeine-sensitive store: net Ca2+ loss from the store increases [Ca2+]i transiently above its steady-state value ([Ca2+]ss), whereas net accumulation of Ca2+ by the store transiently depresses [Ca2+]i below [Ca2+]ss. The effects of rapid removal of Ca2+ and caffeine on the rate of change of [Ca2+]i (d[Ca2+]i/dt) provide estimates of the rates of net Ca2+ entry and (caffeine-sensitive) Ca2+ release and information on the way these rates vary during the oscillatory cycle.

  3. Neuronal polarization in the developing cerebral cortex

    PubMed Central

    Sakakibara, Akira; Hatanaka, Yumiko

    2015-01-01

    Cortical neurons consist of excitatory projection neurons and inhibitory GABAergic interneurons, whose connections construct highly organized neuronal circuits that control higher order information processing. Recent progress in live imaging has allowed us to examine how these neurons differentiate during development in vivo or in in vivo-like conditions. These analyses have revealed how the initial steps of polarization, in which neurons establish an axon, occur. Interestingly, both excitatory and inhibitory cortical neurons establish neuronal polarity de novo by undergoing a multipolar stage reminiscent of the manner in which polarity formation occurs in hippocampal neurons in dissociated culture. In this review, we focus on polarity formation in cortical neurons and describe their typical morphology and dynamic behavior during the polarization period. We also discuss cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying polarization, with reference to polarity formation in dissociated hippocampal neurons in vitro. PMID:25904841

  4. Optimization of Neuronal-Computer Interface

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-06-23

    activity . The lack of signals in cultures lacking neurons, coupled with reversible cessation of signals following addition of a cocktail of excitatory...fluctuations are present in the absence of neurons, while signal activity was only observed in the presence of neurons (“neuronal signals”). Note that...directed against nonphosphorylated epitopes of neurofilaments as a general neuronal marker, and with a second antibody directed against the receptor

  5. Functional properties of lumbar preganglionic neurones.

    PubMed

    Jänig, W; Szulczyk, P

    1980-03-17

    Lumbar preganglionic neurones projecting through WRL2 and L3 to lumbar ganglia caudal to L4 were investigated for those functional properties which are typical for postganglionic vasoconstrictor neurones supplying muscle and skin and for post ganglionic sudomotor neurones. The properties tested were the cardiac rhythmicity of the activity and the reactions to systemic hypoxia, to noxious stimulation of skin and (in part of the experiments) to vibrational stimuli. Furthermore, resting activity and conduction velocities of the asons were measured. 426 neurones were investigated. 311 (73%) of them were silent and could -- as far as tested -- not be excited by the afferent stimuli used. The conduction velocities of the axons of these neurones ranged from 0.5 to about 16 m/sec. 115 neurones had resting activity of 0.1--4.6 impulses/sec. The conduction velocities of their axons ranged from 0.5 to about 12 m/sec. 80 preganglionic neurones with resting activity were classified on the basis of the reflexes in these neurones to afferent stimuli. Preganglionic neurones reacting like postganglionic vasoconstrictor neurones to muscle (excited by systemic hypoxia and/or by noxious stimulation of skin; with cardic rhythmicity) were classified as type 1 neurones (26 from 80 neurones tested). The resting activity of these neurones was 1.8 +/- 1.3 impulses/sec (mean +/- 1 S.D.). Their axons conducted with 3.9 +/- m/sec. Preganglionic neurones reacting like the majority of the postganglionic vasoconstrictor neurones to hairy and hairless skin (inhibited by systemic hypoxia and/or noxious cutaneous stimuli) were classified as type 2 neurones (48 from 80 neurones investigated). In 40% of these neurones the activity had cardiac rhythmicity. The resting activity was 0.9 +/- 0.6 impulses/sec. The distribution of the conduction velocities of the axons of these neurones was bimodal. They conducted on the average with 1.3 +/- 0.6 m/sec and 6.6 +/- 1.1 m/sec respectively. A few neurones were

  6. Neurons on Parafilm: versatile elastic substrates for neuronal cell cultures.

    PubMed

    Yoo, Sang Jin; Nam, Yoonkey

    2012-02-15

    A variety of materials has been applied to neuronal cell culture substrates to improve the efficiency of the culture and to provide pertinent cell growth environment. Here we report the application of Parafilm(®) M ('Parafilm') as a novel substrate for neuronal culture and patterning. Cell culture results show that elastic Parafilm had effects on cell viability, length and number of neurites, and soma spreading. Parafilm was also an effective substrate to obtain patterned neuronal cultures using a conventional micro-contract printing (μCP) technique. Polylysine micropatterns in line or grid forms were readily transferred from PDMS stamp to bare Parafilm surfaces and spatially confined neuronal cultures were successfully maintained for over three weeks. We also demonstrate that batch-processing cell culture substrates can be easily fabricated using a piece of Parafilm. The softness, plasticity, and hydrophobicity were main features that made it attractive for Parafilm to be considered as a practical cell culture platform. The results can be extended to develop an inexpensive and practical neuronal culture substrates in tissue engineering and biochip applications.

  7. Spinal Cord Neuronal Precursors Generate Multiple Neuronal Phenotypes in Culture

    PubMed Central

    Kalyani, Anjali J.; Piper, David; Mujtaba, Tahmina; Lucero, Mary T.; Rao, Mahendra S.

    2010-01-01

    Neuronal restricted precursors (NRPs) (Mayer-Proschel et al., 1997) can generate multiple neurotransmitter phenotypes during maturation in culture. Undifferentiated E-NCAM+ (embryonic neural cell adhesion molecule) immunoreactive NRPs are mitotically active and electrically immature, and they express only a subset of neuronal markers. Fully mature cells are postmitotic, process-bearing cells that are neurofilament-M and synaptophysin immunoreactive, and they synthesize and respond to different subsets of neurotransmitter molecules. Mature neurons that synthesize and respond to glycine, glutamate, GABA, dopamine, and acetylcholine can be identified by immunocytochemistry, RT-PCR, and calcium imaging in mass cultures. Individual NRPs also generate heterogeneous progeny as assessed by neurotransmitter response and synthesis, demonstrating the multipotent nature of the precursor cells. Differentiation can be modulated by sonic hedgehog (Shh) and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-2/4 molecules. Shh acts as a mitogen and inhibits differentiation (including cholinergic differentiation). BMP-2 and BMP-4, in contrast, inhibit cell division and promote differentiation (including cholinergic differentiation). Thus, a single neuronal precursor cell can differentiate into multiple classes of neurons, and this differentiation can be modulated by environmental signals. PMID:9742154

  8. Neuronize: a tool for building realistic neuronal cell morphologies

    PubMed Central

    Brito, Juan P.; Mata, Susana; Bayona, Sofia; Pastor, Luis; DeFelipe, Javier; Benavides-Piccione, Ruth

    2013-01-01

    This study presents a tool, Neuronize, for building realistic three-dimensional models of neuronal cells from the morphological information extracted through computer-aided tracing applications. Neuronize consists of a set of methods designed to build 3D neural meshes that approximate the cell membrane at different resolution levels, allowing a balance to be reached between the complexity and the quality of the final model. The main contribution of the present study is the proposal of a novel approach to build a realistic and accurate 3D shape of the soma from the incomplete information stored in the digitally traced neuron, which usually consists of a 2D cell body contour. This technique is based on the deformation of an initial shape driven by the position and thickness of the first order dendrites. The addition of a set of spines along the dendrites completes the model, building a final 3D neuronal cell suitable for its visualization in a wide range of 3D environments. PMID:23761740

  9. Neuronal SUMOylation: Mechanisms, Physiology, and Roles in Neuronal Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Henley, Jeremy M.; Craig, Tim J.; Wilkinson, Kevin A.

    2014-01-01

    Protein SUMOylation is a critically important posttranslational protein modification that participates in nearly all aspects of cellular physiology. In the nearly 20 years since its discovery, SUMOylation has emerged as a major regulator of nuclear function, and more recently, it has become clear that SUMOylation has key roles in the regulation of protein trafficking and function outside of the nucleus. In neurons, SUMOylation participates in cellular processes ranging from neuronal differentiation and control of synapse formation to regulation of synaptic transmission and cell survival. It is a highly dynamic and usually transient modification that enhances or hinders interactions between proteins, and its consequences are extremely diverse. Hundreds of different proteins are SUMO substrates, and dysfunction of protein SUMOylation is implicated in a many different diseases. Here we briefly outline core aspects of the SUMO system and provide a detailed overview of the current understanding of the roles of SUMOylation in healthy and diseased neurons. PMID:25287864

  10. Npas1+ Pallidal Neurons Target Striatal Projection Neurons.

    PubMed

    Glajch, Kelly E; Kelver, Daniel A; Hegeman, Daniel J; Cui, Qiaoling; Xenias, Harry S; Augustine, Elizabeth C; Hernández, Vivian M; Verma, Neha; Huang, Tina Y; Luo, Minmin; Justice, Nicholas J; Chan, C Savio

    2016-05-18

    Compelling evidence demonstrates that the external globus pallidus (GPe) plays a key role in processing sensorimotor information. An anatomical projection from the GPe to the dorsal striatum has been described for decades. However, the cellular target and functional impact of this projection remain unknown. Using cell-specific transgenic mice, modern monosynaptic tracing techniques, and optogenetics-based mapping, we discovered that GPe neurons provide inhibitory inputs to direct and indirect pathway striatal projection neurons (SPNs). Our results indicate that the GPe input to SPNs arises primarily from Npas1-expressing neurons and is strengthened in a chronic Parkinson's disease (PD) model. Alterations of the GPe-SPN input in a PD model argue for the critical position of this connection in regulating basal ganglia motor output and PD symptomatology. Finally, chemogenetic activation of Npas1-expressing GPe neurons suppresses motor output, arguing that strengthening of the GPe-SPN connection is maladaptive and may underlie the hypokinetic symptoms in PD. An anatomical projection from the pallidum to the striatum has been described for decades, but little is known about its connectivity pattern. The authors dissect the presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons involved in this projection, and show its cell-specific remodeling and strengthening in parkinsonian mice. Chemogenetic activation of Npas1(+) pallidal neurons that give rise to the principal pallidostriatal projection increases the time that the mice spend motionless. This argues that maladaptive strengthening of this connection underlies the paucity of volitional movements, which is a hallmark of Parkinson's disease. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/365472-17$15.00/0.

  11. Electronics Meets Ionics: Neurons and Neuronal Nets on Silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fromherz, Peter

    2001-03-01

    The integration of microelectronics and neuronal systems is a dream with numerous prospects in neuroscience and computer science. This lecture considers the basic problems of interfacing the electronics of semiconductors and the ionics of neurons. In all experiments we use silicon chips that are insulated with silicon dioxide to avoid electrochemical processes in the aqueous enviroment. (I) The strength of coupling depends on the separation of chip and cell membrane. Using fluorescent molecules that probe the standing light modes on silicon, we find 10-100 nm. (II) We measure the conductance between cell and chip by AC spectroscopy observing the voltage profile in the junction with field-effect transistors or with electrochromic dyes in the membrane. We find a sheet resistance of a few megaohm. (III) We check the ionic current through the attached membrane by applying DC voltage to the cell and observing the voltage drop in the junction with transistors. There are functionally intact channels in the junction. Their density is locally enhanced by a factor of ten. It is modulated by genetic transfection. (IV) We study the opening of voltage-gated ion channels by capacitive stimulation from the chip. (V) We elicit and record action potentials in individual nerve cells from silicon using stimulation spots of high capacitance and open transistors, respectively. (VI) Snail neurons are connected by synapses, guided by chemical and mechanical patterns on the chip. (VII) Synaptically connected neurons are interfaced by two-way contacts on the chip. (VIII) Disconnected neurons are bridged by an electronically active chip. The goal is to develop defined neuronal nets that are supervised by a silicon chip in order to study experimentally dynamical processes such as associative memory.

  12. More questions for mirror neurons.

    PubMed

    Borg, Emma

    2013-09-01

    The mirror neuron system is widely held to provide direct access to the motor goals of others. This paper critically investigates this idea, focusing on the so-called 'intentional worry'. I explore two answers to the intentional worry: first that the worry is premised on too limited an understanding of mirror neuron behaviour (Sections 2 and 3), second that the appeal made to mirror neurons can be refined in such a way as to avoid the worry (Section 4). I argue that the first response requires an account of the mechanism by which small-scale gestures are supposedly mapped to larger chains of actions but that none of the extant accounts of this mechanism are plausible. Section 4 then briefly examines refinements of the mirror neuron-mindreading hypothesis which avoid the intentional worry. I conclude that these refinements may well be plausible but that they undermine many of the claims standardly made for mirror neurons. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. [Neurons that encode sound direction].

    PubMed

    Peña, J L

    In the auditory system, the inner ear breaks down complex signals into their spectral components, and encodes the amplitude and phase of each. In order to infer sound direction in space, a computation on each frequency component of the sound must be performed. Space specific neurons in the owl s inferior colliculus respond only to sounds coming from a particular direction and represent the results of this computation. The interaural time difference (ITD) and interaural level difference (ILD define the auditory space for the owl and are processed in separate neural pathways. The parallel pathways that process these cues merge in the external nucleus of the inferior colliculus where the space specific neurons are selective to combinations of ITD and ILD. How do inputs from the two sources interact to produce combination selectivity to ITD ILD pairs? A multiplication of postsynaptic potentials tuned to ITD and ILD can account for the subthreshold responses of these neurons to ITD ILD pairs. Examples of multiplication by neurons or neural circuits are scarce, but many computational models assume the existence of this basic operation. The owl s auditory system uses such operation to create a 2 dimensional map of auditory space. The map of space in the owl s auditory system shows important similarities with representations of space in the cerebral cortex and other sensory systems. In encoding space or other stimulus features, individual neurons appear to possess analogous functional properties related to the synthesis of high order receptive fields.

  14. Neuronal factors determining high intelligence

    PubMed Central

    Dicke, Ursula; Roth, Gerhard

    2016-01-01

    Many attempts have been made to correlate degrees of both animal and human intelligence with brain properties. With respect to mammals, a much-discussed trait concerns absolute and relative brain size, either uncorrected or corrected for body size. However, the correlation of both with degrees of intelligence yields large inconsistencies, because although they are regarded as the most intelligent mammals, monkeys and apes, including humans, have neither the absolutely nor the relatively largest brains. The best fit between brain traits and degrees of intelligence among mammals is reached by a combination of the number of cortical neurons, neuron packing density, interneuronal distance and axonal conduction velocity—factors that determine general information processing capacity (IPC), as reflected by general intelligence. The highest IPC is found in humans, followed by the great apes, Old World and New World monkeys. The IPC of cetaceans and elephants is much lower because of a thin cortex, low neuron packing density and low axonal conduction velocity. By contrast, corvid and psittacid birds have very small and densely packed pallial neurons and relatively many neurons, which, despite very small brain volumes, might explain their high intelligence. The evolution of a syntactical and grammatical language in humans most probably has served as an additional intelligence amplifier, which may have happened in songbirds and psittacids in a convergent manner. PMID:26598734

  15. Stochastic phase-change neurons.

    PubMed

    Tuma, Tomas; Pantazi, Angeliki; Le Gallo, Manuel; Sebastian, Abu; Eleftheriou, Evangelos

    2016-08-01

    Artificial neuromorphic systems based on populations of spiking neurons are an indispensable tool in understanding the human brain and in constructing neuromimetic computational systems. To reach areal and power efficiencies comparable to those seen in biological systems, electroionics-based and phase-change-based memristive devices have been explored as nanoscale counterparts of synapses. However, progress on scalable realizations of neurons has so far been limited. Here, we show that chalcogenide-based phase-change materials can be used to create an artificial neuron in which the membrane potential is represented by the phase configuration of the nanoscale phase-change device. By exploiting the physics of reversible amorphous-to-crystal phase transitions, we show that the temporal integration of postsynaptic potentials can be achieved on a nanosecond timescale. Moreover, we show that this is inherently stochastic because of the melt-quench-induced reconfiguration of the atomic structure occurring when the neuron is reset. We demonstrate the use of these phase-change neurons, and their populations, in the detection of temporal correlations in parallel data streams and in sub-Nyquist representation of high-bandwidth signals.

  16. Brain Neurons as Quantum Computers:

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bershadskii, A.; Dremencov, E.; Bershadskii, J.; Yadid, G.

    The question: whether quantum coherent states can sustain decoherence, heating and dissipation over time scales comparable to the dynamical timescales of brain neurons, has been actively discussed in the last years. A positive answer on this question is crucial, in particular, for consideration of brain neurons as quantum computers. This discussion was mainly based on theoretical arguments. In the present paper nonlinear statistical properties of the Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA) of genetically depressive limbic brain are studied in vivo on the Flinders Sensitive Line of rats (FSL). VTA plays a key role in the generation of pleasure and in the development of psychological drug addiction. We found that the FSL VTA (dopaminergic) neuron signals exhibit multifractal properties for interspike frequencies on the scales where healthy VTA dopaminergic neurons exhibit bursting activity. For high moments the observed multifractal (generalized dimensions) spectrum coincides with the generalized dimensions spectrum calculated for a spectral measure of a quantum system (so-called kicked Harper model, actively used as a model of quantum chaos). This observation can be considered as a first experimental (in vivo) indication in the favor of the quantum (at least partially) nature of brain neurons activity.

  17. Inhibition among olfactory receptor neurons

    PubMed Central

    Van der Goes van Naters, Wynand

    2013-01-01

    Often assumed to be epiphenomena of a cell’s activity, extracellular currents and resulting potential changes are increasingly recognized to influence the function of other cells in the vicinity. Experimental evidence shows that even small electric fields can modulate spike timing in neurons. Moreover, when neurons are brought close together experimentally or in pathological conditions, activity in one neuron can excite its neighbors. Inhibitory ephaptic mechanisms, however, may depend on more specialized coupling among cells. Recent studies in the Drosophila olfactory system have shown that excitation of a sensory neuron can inhibit its neighbor, and it was speculated that this interaction was ephaptic. Here we give an overview of ephaptic interactions that effect changes in spike timing, excitation or inhibition in diverse systems with potential relevance to human neuroscience. We examine the mechanism of the inhibitory interaction in the Drosophila system and that of the well-studied ephaptic inhibition of the Mauthner cell in more detail. We note that both current towards and current away from the local extracellular environment of a neuron can inhibit it, but the mechanism depends on the specific architecture of each system. PMID:24167484

  18. Energy Model of Neuron Activation.

    PubMed

    Romanyshyn, Yuriy; Smerdov, Andriy; Petrytska, Svitlana

    2017-02-01

    On the basis of the neurophysiological strength-duration (amplitude-duration) curve of neuron activation (which relates the threshold amplitude of a rectangular current pulse of neuron activation to the pulse duration), as well as with the use of activation energy constraint (the threshold curve corresponds to the energy threshold of neuron activation by a rectangular current pulse), an energy model of neuron activation by a single current pulse has been constructed. The constructed model of activation, which determines its spectral properties, is a bandpass filter. Under the condition of minimum-phase feature of the neuron activation model, on the basis of Hilbert transform, the possibilities of phase-frequency response calculation from its amplitude-frequency response have been considered. Approximation to the amplitude-frequency response by the response of the Butterworth filter of the first order, as well as obtaining the pulse response corresponding to this approximation, give us the possibility of analyzing the efficiency of activating current pulses of various shapes, including analysis in accordance with the energy constraint.

  19. Stochastic phase-change neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tuma, Tomas; Pantazi, Angeliki; Le Gallo, Manuel; Sebastian, Abu; Eleftheriou, Evangelos

    2016-08-01

    Artificial neuromorphic systems based on populations of spiking neurons are an indispensable tool in understanding the human brain and in constructing neuromimetic computational systems. To reach areal and power efficiencies comparable to those seen in biological systems, electroionics-based and phase-change-based memristive devices have been explored as nanoscale counterparts of synapses. However, progress on scalable realizations of neurons has so far been limited. Here, we show that chalcogenide-based phase-change materials can be used to create an artificial neuron in which the membrane potential is represented by the phase configuration of the nanoscale phase-change device. By exploiting the physics of reversible amorphous-to-crystal phase transitions, we show that the temporal integration of postsynaptic potentials can be achieved on a nanosecond timescale. Moreover, we show that this is inherently stochastic because of the melt-quench-induced reconfiguration of the atomic structure occurring when the neuron is reset. We demonstrate the use of these phase-change neurons, and their populations, in the detection of temporal correlations in parallel data streams and in sub-Nyquist representation of high-bandwidth signals.

  20. Neuronal Mitophagy in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Martinez-Vicente, Marta

    2017-01-01

    Neuronal homeostasis depends on the proper functioning of different quality control systems. All intracellular components are subjected to continuous turnover through the coordinated synthesis, degradation and recycling of their constituent elements. Autophagy is the catabolic mechanism by which intracellular cytosolic components, including proteins, organelles, aggregates and any other intracellular materials, are delivered to lysosomes for degradation. Among the different types of selective autophagy described to date, the process of mitophagy involves the selective autophagic degradation of mitochondria. In this way, mitophagy is responsible for basal mitochondrial turnover, but can also be induced under certain physiological or pathogenic conditions to eliminate unwanted or damaged mitochondria. Dysfunctional cellular proteolytic systems have been linked extensively to neurodegenerative diseases (ND) like Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), or Huntington’s disease (HD), with autophagic failure being one of the main factors contributing to neuronal cell death in these diseases. Neurons are particularly vulnerable to autophagic impairment as well as to mitochondrial dysfunction, due mostly to their particular high energy dependence and to their post-mitotic nature. The accurate and proper degradation of dysfunctional mitochondria by mitophagy is essential for maintaining control over mitochondrial quality and quantity in neurons. In this report, I will review the role of mitophagy in neuronal homeostasis and the consequences of its dysfunction in ND. PMID:28337125

  1. Neuronal factors determining high intelligence.

    PubMed

    Dicke, Ursula; Roth, Gerhard

    2016-01-05

    Many attempts have been made to correlate degrees of both animal and human intelligence with brain properties. With respect to mammals, a much-discussed trait concerns absolute and relative brain size, either uncorrected or corrected for body size. However, the correlation of both with degrees of intelligence yields large inconsistencies, because although they are regarded as the most intelligent mammals, monkeys and apes, including humans, have neither the absolutely nor the relatively largest brains. The best fit between brain traits and degrees of intelligence among mammals is reached by a combination of the number of cortical neurons, neuron packing density, interneuronal distance and axonal conduction velocity--factors that determine general information processing capacity (IPC), as reflected by general intelligence. The highest IPC is found in humans, followed by the great apes, Old World and New World monkeys. The IPC of cetaceans and elephants is much lower because of a thin cortex, low neuron packing density and low axonal conduction velocity. By contrast, corvid and psittacid birds have very small and densely packed pallial neurons and relatively many neurons, which, despite very small brain volumes, might explain their high intelligence. The evolution of a syntactical and grammatical language in humans most probably has served as an additional intelligence amplifier, which may have happened in songbirds and psittacids in a convergent manner. © 2015 The Author(s).

  2. Network synchronization in hippocampal neurons

    PubMed Central

    Penn, Yaron; Segal, Menahem; Moses, Elisha

    2016-01-01

    Oscillatory activity is widespread in dynamic neuronal networks. The main paradigm for the origin of periodicity consists of specialized pacemaking elements that synchronize and drive the rest of the network; however, other models exist. Here, we studied the spontaneous emergence of synchronized periodic bursting in a network of cultured dissociated neurons from rat hippocampus and cortex. Surprisingly, about 60% of all active neurons were self-sustained oscillators when disconnected, each with its own natural frequency. The individual neuron’s tendency to oscillate and the corresponding oscillation frequency are controlled by its excitability. The single neuron intrinsic oscillations were blocked by riluzole, and are thus dependent on persistent sodium leak currents. Upon a gradual retrieval of connectivity, the synchrony evolves: Loose synchrony appears already at weak connectivity, with the oscillators converging to one common oscillation frequency, yet shifted in phase across the population. Further strengthening of the connectivity causes a reduction in the mean phase shifts until zero-lag is achieved, manifested by synchronous periodic network bursts. Interestingly, the frequency of network bursting matches the average of the intrinsic frequencies. Overall, the network behaves like other universal systems, where order emerges spontaneously by entrainment of independent rhythmic units. Although simplified with respect to circuitry in the brain, our results attribute a basic functional role for intrinsic single neuron excitability mechanisms in driving the network’s activity and dynamics, contributing to our understanding of developing neural circuits. PMID:26961000

  3. Do spinocerebellar neurones forward information on spinal actions of neurones in the feline red nucleus?

    PubMed

    Jankowska, E; Nilsson, E; Hammar, I

    2011-12-01

    We recently demonstrated that feline ventral spinocerebellar tract (VSCT) neurones monitor descending commands for voluntary movements initiated by pyramidal tract (PT) neurones as well as locomotor movements relayed by reticulospinal (RS) neurones. The aim of the present study was to examine whether VSCT neurones likewise monitor descending commands from the red nucleus (RN). Extracellular records from the spinal border (SB) subpopulation of VSCT neurons revealed that a third (31%) of SB neurones may be discharged by trains of stimuli applied in the RN. Moreover, when RN stimuli failed to discharge SB neurones they facilitated activation of some of these neurones by RS and/or PT neurones, while activation of other SB neurones was depressed. We propose that the facilitation and depression of actions of RS neurones by RN neurones might serve to reflect a higher or lower excitability of motoneurones and therefore a likely higher or lower efficacy of the RS descending commands, prompting the cerebellum to adjust the activation of reticulospinal neurones. Activation of SB neurones by RN stimuli alone would also allow monitoring and adjusting the RN descending commands. Intracellular records from SB neurones revealed both monosynaptic and disynaptic EPSPs and disynaptic IPSPs evoked by RN stimuli. The disynaptic actions remained following transection of axons of reticulospinal neurones within the medullary longitudinal fascicle (MLF) and were therefore taken to be relayed primarily by spinal neurones, in contrast to EPSPs and IPSPs evoked by PT stimuli found to be relayed by reticulospinal rather than spinal neurones.

  4. Do spinocerebellar neurones forward information on spinal actions of neurones in the feline red nucleus?

    PubMed Central

    Jankowska, E; Nilsson, E; Hammar, I

    2011-01-01

    Abstract We recently demonstrated that feline ventral spinocerebellar tract (VSCT) neurones monitor descending commands for voluntary movements initiated by pyramidal tract (PT) neurones as well as locomotor movements relayed by reticulospinal (RS) neurones. The aim of the present study was to examine whether VSCT neurones likewise monitor descending commands from the red nucleus (RN). Extracellular records from the spinal border (SB) subpopulation of VSCT neurons revealed that a third (31%) of SB neurones may be discharged by trains of stimuli applied in the RN. Moreover, when RN stimuli failed to discharge SB neurones they facilitated activation of some of these neurones by RS and/or PT neurones, while activation of other SB neurones was depressed. We propose that the facilitation and depression of actions of RS neurones by RN neurones might serve to reflect a higher or lower excitability of motoneurones and therefore a likely higher or lower efficacy of the RS descending commands, prompting the cerebellum to adjust the activation of reticulospinal neurones. Activation of SB neurones by RN stimuli alone would also allow monitoring and adjusting the RN descending commands. Intracellular records from SB neurones revealed both monosynaptic and disynaptic EPSPs and disynaptic IPSPs evoked by RN stimuli. The disynaptic actions remained following transection of axons of reticulospinal neurones within the medullary longitudinal fascicle (MLF) and were therefore taken to be relayed primarily by spinal neurones, in contrast to EPSPs and IPSPs evoked by PT stimuli found to be relayed by reticulospinal rather than spinal neurones. PMID:21986203

  5. Chimera states in bursting neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bera, Bidesh K.; Ghosh, Dibakar; Lakshmanan, M.

    2016-01-01

    We study the existence of chimera states in pulse-coupled networks of bursting Hindmarsh-Rose neurons with nonlocal, global, and local (nearest neighbor) couplings. Through a linear stability analysis, we discuss the behavior of the stability function in the incoherent (i.e., disorder), coherent, chimera, and multichimera states. Surprisingly, we find that chimera and multichimera states occur even using local nearest neighbor interaction in a network of identical bursting neurons alone. This is in contrast with the existence of chimera states in populations of nonlocally or globally coupled oscillators. A chemical synaptic coupling function is used which plays a key role in the emergence of chimera states in bursting neurons. The existence of chimera, multichimera, coherent, and disordered states is confirmed by means of the recently introduced statistical measures and mean phase velocity.

  6. Axon specification in hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Fukata, Yuko; Kimura, Toshihide; Kaibuchi, Kozo

    2002-08-01

    Neurons are the most highly polarized cells, comprised of two structurally and functionally distinct parts, axons and dendrites. This asymmetry enables a vectorial flow of signaling within neurons. One of the most fundamental questions still to be answered in neuroscience is how these two specialized processes initially develop. The first manifestation of polarization occurs when one of the immature neurites acquires axonal characteristics. We review recent advances that have highlighted the involvement of several cellular events in the initial formation of the axon, including membrane traffic and cytoskeletal rearrangement. We then discuss the molecular mechanisms underlying axon formation, focusing on the Rho family small GTPases and an axon-inducing neuronal protein, CRMP-2.

  7. Correlations and Neuronal Population Information

    PubMed Central

    Kohn, Adam; Coen-Cagli, Ruben; Kanitscheider, Ingmar; Pouget, Alexandre

    2016-01-01

    Brain function involves the activity of neuronal populations. Much recent effort has been devoted to measuring the activity of neuronal populations in different parts of the brain under various experimental conditions. Population activity patterns contain rich structure, yet many studies have focused on measuring pairwise relationships between members of a larger population---termed noise correlations. Here we review recent progress in understanding how these correlations affect population information, how information should be quantified, and what mechanisms may give rise to correlations. As population coding theory has improved, it has made clear that some forms of correlation are more important for information than others. We argue that this is a critical lesson for those interested in neuronal population responses more generally: Descriptions of population responses should be motivated by and linked to well-specified function. Within this context, we offer suggestions of where current theoretical frameworks fall short. PMID:27145916

  8. The Bifurcating Neuron network 1.

    PubMed

    Lee, G; Farhat, N H

    2001-01-01

    The Bifurcating Neuron (BN), a chaotic integrate-and-fire neuron, is a model of a neuron augmented by coherent modulation from its environment. The BN is mathematically equivalent to the sine-circle map, and this equivalence relationship allowed us to apply the mathematics of one-dimensional maps to the design of BN networks. The study of symmetry in the BN revealed that the BN can be configured to exhibit bistability that is controlled by attractor-merging crisis. Also, the symmetry of the bistability can be controlled by the introduction of a sinusoidal fluctuation to the threshold level of the BN. These two observations led us to the design of the BN Network 1 (BNN-1), a chaotic pulse-coupled neural network exhibiting associative memory. In numerical simulations, the BNN-1 showed a better performance than the continuous-time Hopfield network, as far as the spurious-minima problem is concerned and exhibited many biologically plausible characteristics.

  9. Dynamics of moment neuronal networks

    SciTech Connect

    Feng Jianfeng; Deng Yingchun; Rossoni, Enrico

    2006-04-15

    A theoretical framework is developed for moment neuronal networks (MNNs). Within this framework, the behavior of the system of spiking neurons is specified in terms of the first- and second-order statistics of their interspike intervals, i.e., the mean, the variance, and the cross correlations of spike activity. Since neurons emit and receive spike trains which can be described by renewal--but generally non-Poisson--processes, we first derive a suitable diffusion-type approximation of such processes. Two approximation schemes are introduced: the usual approximation scheme (UAS) and the Ornstein-Uhlenbeck scheme. It is found that both schemes approximate well the input-output characteristics of spiking models such as the IF and the Hodgkin-Huxley models. The MNN framework is then developed according to the UAS scheme, and its predictions are tested on a few examples.

  10. Towards a Neuronal Gauge Theory

    PubMed Central

    Sengupta, Biswa; Tozzi, Arturo; Cooray, Gerald K.; Douglas, Pamela K.; Friston, Karl J.

    2016-01-01

    Given the amount of knowledge and data accruing in the neurosciences, is it time to formulate a general principle for neuronal dynamics that holds at evolutionary, developmental, and perceptual timescales? In this paper, we propose that the brain (and other self-organised biological systems) can be characterised via the mathematical apparatus of a gauge theory. The picture that emerges from this approach suggests that any biological system (from a neuron to an organism) can be cast as resolving uncertainty about its external milieu, either by changing its internal states or its relationship to the environment. Using formal arguments, we show that a gauge theory for neuronal dynamics—based on approximate Bayesian inference—has the potential to shed new light on phenomena that have thus far eluded a formal description, such as attention and the link between action and perception. PMID:26953636

  11. Copying and Evolution of Neuronal Topology

    PubMed Central

    Fernando, Chrisantha; Karishma, K. K.; Szathmáry, Eörs

    2008-01-01

    We propose a mechanism for copying of neuronal networks that is of considerable interest for neuroscience for it suggests a neuronal basis for causal inference, function copying, and natural selection within the human brain. To date, no model of neuronal topology copying exists. We present three increasingly sophisticated mechanisms to demonstrate how topographic map formation coupled with Spike-Time Dependent Plasticity (STDP) can copy neuronal topology motifs. Fidelity is improved by error correction and activity-reverberation limitation. The high-fidelity topology-copying operator is used to evolve neuronal topologies. Possible roles for neuronal natural selection are discussed. PMID:19020662

  12. Calcium signals in olfactory neurons.

    PubMed

    Tareilus, E; Noé, J; Breer, H

    1995-11-09

    Laser scanning confocal microscopy in combination with the fluorescent calcium indicators Fluo-3 and Fura-Red was employed to estimate the intracellular concentration of free calcium ions in individual olfactory receptor neurons and to monitor temporal and spatial changes in the Ca(2+)-level upon stimulation. The chemosensory cells responded to odorants with a significant increase in the calcium concentration, preferentially in the dendritic knob. Applying various stimulation paradigma, it was found that in a population of isolated cells, subsets of receptor neurons display distinct patterns of responsiveness.

  13. Human motor neuron progenitor transplantation leads to endogenous neuronal sparing in 3 models of motor neuron loss.

    PubMed

    Wyatt, Tanya J; Rossi, Sharyn L; Siegenthaler, Monica M; Frame, Jennifer; Robles, Rockelle; Nistor, Gabriel; Keirstead, Hans S

    2011-01-01

    Motor neuron loss is characteristic of many neurodegenerative disorders and results in rapid loss of muscle control, paralysis, and eventual death in severe cases. In order to investigate the neurotrophic effects of a motor neuron lineage graft, we transplanted human embryonic stem cell-derived motor neuron progenitors (hMNPs) and examined their histopathological effect in three animal models of motor neuron loss. Specifically, we transplanted hMNPs into rodent models of SMA (Δ7SMN), ALS (SOD1 G93A), and spinal cord injury (SCI). The transplanted cells survived and differentiated in all models. In addition, we have also found that hMNPs secrete physiologically active growth factors in vivo, including NGF and NT-3, which significantly enhanced the number of spared endogenous neurons in all three animal models. The ability to maintain dying motor neurons by delivering motor neuron-specific neurotrophic support represents a powerful treatment strategy for diseases characterized by motor neuron loss.

  14. [What mirror neurons have revealed: revisited].

    PubMed

    Murata, Akira; Maeda, Kazutaka

    2014-06-01

    The first paper on mirror neurons was published in 1992. In the span of over two decades since then, much knowledge about the relationship between social cognitive function and the motor control system has been accumulated. Direct matching of visual actions and their corresponding motor representations is the most important functional property of mirror neuron. Many studies have emphasized intrinsic simulation as a core concept for mirror neurons. Mirror neurons are thought to play a role in social cognitive function. However, the function of mirror neurons in the macaque remains unclear, because such cognitive functions are limited or lacking in macaque monkeys. It is therefore important to discuss these neurons in the context of motor function. Rizzolatti and colleagues have stressed that the most important function of mirror neurons in macaques is recognition of actions performed by other individuals. I suggest that mirror neurons in the Macaque inferior pariental lobule might be correlated with body schema. In the parieto-premotor network, matching of corollary discharge and actual sensory feedback is an essential neuronal operation. Recently, neurons showing mirror properties were found in some cortical areas outside the mirror neuron system. The current work would revisit the outcomes of mirror neuron studies to discuss the function of mirror neurons in the monkey.

  15. Which Neurons Will Be the Engram - Activated Neurons and/or More Excitable Neurons?

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Ji-il; Cho, Hye-Yeon; Han, Jin-Hee

    2016-01-01

    During past decades, the formation and storage principle of memory have received much attention in the neuroscience field. Although some studies have attempted to demonstrate the nature of the engram, elucidating the memory engram allocation mechanism was not possible because of the limitations of existing methods, which cannot specifically modulate the candidate neuronal population. Recently, the development of new techniques, which offer ways to mark and control specific populations of neurons, may accelerate solving this issue. Here, we review the recent advances, which have provided substantial evidence showing that both candidates (neuronal population that is activated by learning, and that has increased CREB level/excitability at learning) satisfy the criteria of the engram, which are necessary and sufficient for memory expression. PMID:27122991

  16. Stomatin and sensory neuron mechanotransduction.

    PubMed

    Martinez-Salgado, Carlos; Benckendorff, Anne G; Chiang, Li-Yang; Wang, Rui; Milenkovic, Nevena; Wetzel, Christiane; Hu, Jing; Stucky, Cheryl L; Parra, Marilyn G; Mohandas, Narla; Lewin, Gary R

    2007-12-01

    Somatic sensory neurons of the dorsal root ganglia are necessary for a large part of our mechanosensory experience. However, we only have a good knowledge of the molecules required for mechanotransduction in simple invertebrates such as the nematode Caenorhabiditis elegans. In C. elegans, a number of so-called mec genes have been isolated that are required for the transduction of body touch. One such gene, mec-2 codes for an integral membrane protein of the stomatin family, a large group of genes with a stomatin homology domain. Using stomatin null mutant mice, we have tested the hypothesis that the founding member of this family, stomatin might play a role in the transduction of mechanical stimuli by primary sensory neurons. We used the in vitro mouse skin nerve preparation to record from a large population of low- and high-threshold mechanoreceptors with myelinated A-fiber (n = 553) and unmyelinated C-fiber (n = 157) axons. One subtype of mechanoreceptor, the d-hair receptor, which is a rapidly adapting mechanoreceptor, had reduced sensitivity to mechanical stimulation in the absence of stomatin. Other cutaneous mechanoreceptors, including nociceptive C-fibers were not affected by the absence of a functional stomatin protein. Patch-clamp analysis of presumptive D-hair receptor mechanoreceptive neurons, which were identified by a characteristic rosette morphology in culture, showed no change in membrane excitability in the absence of the stomatin protein. We conclude that stomatin is required for normal mechanotransduction in a subpopulation of vertebrate sensory neurons.

  17. Bifurcating neuron: computation and learning.

    PubMed

    Lysetskiy, Mykola; Zurada, Jacek M

    2004-03-01

    The ability of bifurcating processing units and their networks to rapidly switch between different dynamic modes has been used in recent research efforts to model new computational properties of neural systems. In this spirit, we devise a bifurcating neuron based on control of chaos collapsing to a period-3 orbit in the dynamics of a quadratic logistic map (QLM). Proposed QLM3 neuron is constructed with the third iterate of QLM and uses an external input, which governs its dynamics. The input shifts the neuron's dynamics from chaos to one of the stable fixed points. This way the inputs from certain ranges (clusters) are mapped to stable fixed points, while the rest of the inputs is mapped to chaotic or periodic output dynamics. It has been shown that QLM3 neuron is able to learn a specific mapping by adaptively adjusting its bifurcation parameter, the idea of which is based on the principles of parametric control of logistic maps [Proceedings of the International Symposium on Nonlinear Theory and its Applications (NOLTA'97), Honolulu, HI, 1997; Proceedings of SPIE, 2000]. Learning algorithm for the bifurcation parameter is proposed, which employs the error gradient descent method.

  18. Motor neurone disease: an overview.

    PubMed

    Kent, Anna

    Motor neurone disease (MND) is a relatively rare, progressive and incurable neurological condition affecting patients' speech, mobility and respiratory function. Care of patients with MND is complex and involves various healthcare professionals and services. There is a need to discuss symptom management and promote palliative and end of life care from the point of diagnosis to ensure appropriate holistic care is provided.

  19. Neuronal circuits of fear extinction.

    PubMed

    Herry, Cyril; Ferraguti, Francesco; Singewald, Nicolas; Letzkus, Johannes J; Ehrlich, Ingrid; Lüthi, Andreas

    2010-02-01

    Fear extinction is a form of inhibitory learning that allows for the adaptive control of conditioned fear responses. Although fear extinction is an active learning process that eventually leads to the formation of a consolidated extinction memory, it is a fragile behavioural state. Fear responses can recover spontaneously or subsequent to environmental influences, such as context changes or stress. Understanding the neuronal substrates of fear extinction is of tremendous clinical relevance, as extinction is the cornerstone of psychological therapy of several anxiety disorders and because the relapse of maladaptative fear and anxiety is a major clinical problem. Recent research has begun to shed light on the molecular and cellular processes underlying fear extinction. In particular, the acquisition, consolidation and expression of extinction memories are thought to be mediated by highly specific neuronal circuits embedded in a large-scale brain network including the amygdala, prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and brain stem. Moreover, recent findings indicate that the neuronal circuitry of extinction is developmentally regulated. Here, we review emerging concepts of the neuronal circuitry of fear extinction, and highlight novel findings suggesting that the fragile phenomenon of extinction can be converted into a permanent erasure of fear memories. Finally, we discuss how research on genetic animal models of impaired extinction can further our understanding of the molecular and genetic bases of human anxiety disorders.

  20. Optimal compensation for neuron loss

    PubMed Central

    Barrett, David GT; Denève, Sophie; Machens, Christian K

    2016-01-01

    The brain has an impressive ability to withstand neural damage. Diseases that kill neurons can go unnoticed for years, and incomplete brain lesions or silencing of neurons often fail to produce any behavioral effect. How does the brain compensate for such damage, and what are the limits of this compensation? We propose that neural circuits instantly compensate for neuron loss, thereby preserving their function as much as possible. We show that this compensation can explain changes in tuning curves induced by neuron silencing across a variety of systems, including the primary visual cortex. We find that compensatory mechanisms can be implemented through the dynamics of networks with a tight balance of excitation and inhibition, without requiring synaptic plasticity. The limits of this compensatory mechanism are reached when excitation and inhibition become unbalanced, thereby demarcating a recovery boundary, where signal representation fails and where diseases may become symptomatic. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12454.001 PMID:27935480

  1. Neuronal Inhibition under the Spotlight.

    PubMed

    Mortensen, Martin; Smart, Trevor G

    2015-12-02

    In this issue of Neuron,Lin et al. (2015) report an optical method to precisely manipulate the activity of GABAA receptors by designing a mutant receptor that binds photosensitive compounds. This allows for studying GABAA receptors in situ and represents a valuable tool to investigate how inhibition affects brain physiology.

  2. The Neuronal Infrastructure of Speaking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Menenti, Laura; Segaert, Katrien; Hagoort, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Models of speaking distinguish producing meaning, words and syntax as three different linguistic components of speaking. Nevertheless, little is known about the brain's integrated neuronal infrastructure for speech production. We investigated semantic, lexical and syntactic aspects of speaking using fMRI. In a picture description task, we…

  3. Biomechanics of Single Cortical Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Bernick, Kristin B.; Prevost, Thibault P.; Suresh, Subra; Socrate, Simona

    2011-01-01

    This study presents experimental results and computational analysis of the large strain dynamic behavior of single neurons in vitro with the objective of formulating a novel quantitative framework for the biomechanics of cortical neurons. Relying on the atomic force microscopy (AFM) technique, novel testing protocols are developed to enable the characterization of neural soma deformability over a range of indentation rates spanning three orders of magnitude – 10, 1, and 0.1 μm/s. Modified spherical AFM probes were utilized to compress the cell bodies of neonatal rat cortical neurons in load, unload, reload and relaxation conditions. The cell response showed marked hysteretic features, strong non-linearities, and substantial time/rate dependencies. The rheological data were complemented with geometrical measurements of cell body morphology, i.e. cross-diameter and height estimates. A constitutive model, validated by the present experiments, is proposed to quantify the mechanical behavior of cortical neurons. The model aimed to correlate empirical findings with measurable degrees of (hyper-) elastic resilience and viscosity at the cell level. The proposed formulation, predicated upon previous constitutive model developments undertaken at the cortical tissue level, was implemented into a three-dimensional finite element framework. The simulated cell response was calibrated to the experimental measurements under the selected test conditions, providing a novel single cell model that could form the basis for further refinements. PMID:20971217

  4. Neuronal development: neighbors have to be different.

    PubMed

    Hummel, Thomas

    2007-12-18

    The assembly of neurons into functional circuits requires a multitude of cellular recognition events. Recent work on the hypervariable Drosophila Dscam gene revealed how a vast number of cell adhesion proteins contributes to neuronal patterning.

  5. Network of hypothalamic neurons that control appetite.

    PubMed

    Sohn, Jong-Woo

    2015-04-01

    The central nervous system (CNS) controls food intake and energy expenditure via tight coordinations between multiple neuronal populations. Specifically, two distinct neuronal populations exist in the arcuate nucleus of hypothalamus (ARH): the anorexigenic (appetite-suppressing) pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons and the orexigenic (appetite-increasing) neuropeptide Y (NPY)/agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons. The coordinated regulation of neuronal circuit involving these neurons is essential in properly maintaining energy balance, and any disturbance therein may result in hyperphagia/obesity or hypophagia/starvation. Thus, adequate knowledge of the POMC and NPY/AgRP neuron physiology is mandatory to understand the pathophysiology of obesity and related metabolic diseases. This review will discuss the history and recent updates on the POMC and NPY/AgRP neuronal circuits, as well as the general anorexigenic and orexigenic circuits in the CNS.

  6. Shape, connectedness and dynamics in neuronal networks.

    PubMed

    Comin, Cesar Henrique; da Fontoura Costa, Luciano

    2013-11-15

    The morphology of neurons is directly related to several aspects of the nervous system, including its connectedness, health, development, evolution, dynamics and, ultimately, behavior. Such interplays of the neuronal morphology can be understood within the more general shape-function paradigm. The current article reviews, in an introductory way, some key issues regarding the role of neuronal morphology in the nervous system, with emphasis on works developed in the authors' group. The following topics are addressed: (a) characterization of neuronal shape; (b) stochastic synthesis of neurons and neuronal systems; (c) characterization of the connectivity of neuronal networks by using complex networks concepts; and (d) investigations of influences of neuronal shape on network dynamics. The presented concepts and methods are useful also for several other multiple object systems, such as protein-protein interaction, tissues, aggregates and polymers.

  7. Advances in applications of spiking neuron networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cios, Krzysztof J.; Sala, Dorel M.

    2000-03-01

    In this paper, we present new findings in constructing and applications of artificial neural networks that use a biologically inspired spiking neuron model. The used model is a point neuron with the interaction between neurons described by postsynaptic potentials. The synaptic plasticity is achieved by using a temporal correlation learning rule, specified as a function of time difference between the firings of pre- and post-synaptic neurons. Using this rule we show how certain associations between neurons in a network of spiking neurons can be implemented. As an example we analyze the dynamic properties of networks of laterally connected spiking neurons and we show their capability to self-organize into topological maps in response to external stimulation. In another application we explore the capability networks of spiking neurons to solve graph algorithms by using temporal coding of distances in a given spatial configuration. The paper underlines the importance of temporal dimension in artificial neural network information processing.

  8. [The ontogeny of the mirror neuron system].

    PubMed

    Myowa-Yamakoshi, Masako

    2014-06-01

    Abstract Humans utilize the mirror neuron system to understand and predict others' actions. However, the ontogeny of the mirror neuron system remains unknown. Whether mirror neuron function is an innate trait or whether mirror neurons acquire their sensorimotor matching properties ontogenetically remains to be clarified. In this paper, I review the ontogenetic theory of the mirror neuron system. I then discuss the functioning of the mirror neuron system in the context of social cognitive abilities, which are unique to humans. Recently, some researchers argue that it is too early to interpret the function of mirror neurons as an understanding of the underlying psychological states of others. They imply that such functioning would require inferential cognitive processes that are known to involve areas outside the mirror neuron system. Filling in this missing link may be the key to elucidating the unique ability of humans to understand others' actions.

  9. Neuronal migration on laminin in vitro.

    PubMed

    Liang, S; Crutcher, K A

    1992-03-20

    Chick sympathetic (E-9) or telencephalic (E-7) neurons were cultured at low density on poly-DL-ornithine (PORN), poly-L-lysine (POLS), laminin or laminin-covered PORN or POLS and monitored with time-lapse videomicroscopy. Neurons migrated on laminin, or laminin-covered PORN or POLS, but not on PORN or POLS alone. Neuronal migration did not involve interactions with other cells indicating that neurons are capable of independent migration when exposed to a laminin substrate.

  10. Prospective Coding by Spiking Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Brea, Johanni; Gaál, Alexisz Tamás; Senn, Walter

    2016-01-01

    Animals learn to make predictions, such as associating the sound of a bell with upcoming feeding or predicting a movement that a motor command is eliciting. How predictions are realized on the neuronal level and what plasticity rule underlies their learning is not well understood. Here we propose a biologically plausible synaptic plasticity rule to learn predictions on a single neuron level on a timescale of seconds. The learning rule allows a spiking two-compartment neuron to match its current firing rate to its own expected future discounted firing rate. For instance, if an originally neutral event is repeatedly followed by an event that elevates the firing rate of a neuron, the originally neutral event will eventually also elevate the neuron’s firing rate. The plasticity rule is a form of spike timing dependent plasticity in which a presynaptic spike followed by a postsynaptic spike leads to potentiation. Even if the plasticity window has a width of 20 milliseconds, associations on the time scale of seconds can be learned. We illustrate prospective coding with three examples: learning to predict a time varying input, learning to predict the next stimulus in a delayed paired-associate task and learning with a recurrent network to reproduce a temporally compressed version of a sequence. We discuss the potential role of the learning mechanism in classical trace conditioning. In the special case that the signal to be predicted encodes reward, the neuron learns to predict the discounted future reward and learning is closely related to the temporal difference learning algorithm TD(λ). PMID:27341100

  11. Spiking neuron network Helmholtz machine.

    PubMed

    Sountsov, Pavel; Miller, Paul

    2015-01-01

    An increasing amount of behavioral and neurophysiological data suggests that the brain performs optimal (or near-optimal) probabilistic inference and learning during perception and other tasks. Although many machine learning algorithms exist that perform inference and learning in an optimal way, the complete description of how one of those algorithms (or a novel algorithm) can be implemented in the brain is currently incomplete. There have been many proposed solutions that address how neurons can perform optimal inference but the question of how synaptic plasticity can implement optimal learning is rarely addressed. This paper aims to unify the two fields of probabilistic inference and synaptic plasticity by using a neuronal network of realistic model spiking neurons to implement a well-studied computational model called the Helmholtz Machine. The Helmholtz Machine is amenable to neural implementation as the algorithm it uses to learn its parameters, called the wake-sleep algorithm, uses a local delta learning rule. Our spiking-neuron network implements both the delta rule and a small example of a Helmholtz machine. This neuronal network can learn an internal model of continuous-valued training data sets without supervision. The network can also perform inference on the learned internal models. We show how various biophysical features of the neural implementation constrain the parameters of the wake-sleep algorithm, such as the duration of the wake and sleep phases of learning and the minimal sample duration. We examine the deviations from optimal performance and tie them to the properties of the synaptic plasticity rule.

  12. Spiking neuron network Helmholtz machine

    PubMed Central

    Sountsov, Pavel; Miller, Paul

    2015-01-01

    An increasing amount of behavioral and neurophysiological data suggests that the brain performs optimal (or near-optimal) probabilistic inference and learning during perception and other tasks. Although many machine learning algorithms exist that perform inference and learning in an optimal way, the complete description of how one of those algorithms (or a novel algorithm) can be implemented in the brain is currently incomplete. There have been many proposed solutions that address how neurons can perform optimal inference but the question of how synaptic plasticity can implement optimal learning is rarely addressed. This paper aims to unify the two fields of probabilistic inference and synaptic plasticity by using a neuronal network of realistic model spiking neurons to implement a well-studied computational model called the Helmholtz Machine. The Helmholtz Machine is amenable to neural implementation as the algorithm it uses to learn its parameters, called the wake-sleep algorithm, uses a local delta learning rule. Our spiking-neuron network implements both the delta rule and a small example of a Helmholtz machine. This neuronal network can learn an internal model of continuous-valued training data sets without supervision. The network can also perform inference on the learned internal models. We show how various biophysical features of the neural implementation constrain the parameters of the wake-sleep algorithm, such as the duration of the wake and sleep phases of learning and the minimal sample duration. We examine the deviations from optimal performance and tie them to the properties of the synaptic plasticity rule. PMID:25954191

  13. BlastNeuron for Automated Comparison, Retrieval and Clustering of 3D Neuron Morphologies.

    PubMed

    Wan, Yinan; Long, Fuhui; Qu, Lei; Xiao, Hang; Hawrylycz, Michael; Myers, Eugene W; Peng, Hanchuan

    2015-10-01

    Characterizing the identity and types of neurons in the brain, as well as their associated function, requires a means of quantifying and comparing 3D neuron morphology. Presently, neuron comparison methods are based on statistics from neuronal morphology such as size and number of branches, which are not fully suitable for detecting local similarities and differences in the detailed structure. We developed BlastNeuron to compare neurons in terms of their global appearance, detailed arborization patterns, and topological similarity. BlastNeuron first compares and clusters 3D neuron reconstructions based on global morphology features and moment invariants, independent of their orientations, sizes, level of reconstruction and other variations. Subsequently, BlastNeuron performs local alignment between any pair of retrieved neurons via a tree-topology driven dynamic programming method. A 3D correspondence map can thus be generated at the resolution of single reconstruction nodes. We applied BlastNeuron to three datasets: (1) 10,000+ neuron reconstructions from a public morphology database, (2) 681 newly and manually reconstructed neurons, and (3) neurons reconstructions produced using several independent reconstruction methods. Our approach was able to accurately and efficiently retrieve morphologically and functionally similar neuron structures from large morphology database, identify the local common structures, and find clusters of neurons that share similarities in both morphology and molecular profiles.

  14. Neuronal communication: firing spikes with spikes.

    PubMed

    Brecht, Michael

    2012-08-21

    Spikes of single cortical neurons can exert powerful effects even though most cortical synapses are too weak to fire postsynaptic neurons. A recent study combining single-cell stimulation with population imaging has visualized in vivo postsynaptic firing in genetically identified target cells. The results confirm predictions from in vitro work and might help to understand how the brain reads single-neuron activity.

  15. Spontaneous Calcium Changes in Micro Neuronal Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, Aki; Moriguchi, Hiroyuki; Iwabuchi, Shin; Goto, Miho; Takayama, Yuzo; Kotani, Kiyoshi; Jimbo, Yasuhiko

    We have developed a practical experimental method to mass-produce and maintain a variation of minimal neuronal networks (“micro neuronal networks”) consisted of a single to several neurons in culture using spray-patterning technique. In this paper, we could maintain the micro-cultures for one month or more by adding conditioned medium and carried out optical recording of spontaneous activity in micro neuronal networks and considered the interactions between them. To determine the interactions between micro neuronal networks, fluorescence changes in several small networks were simultaneously measured using calcium indicator dye fluo-4 AM, and time-series analysis was carried out using surrogate arrangements. By using the spray-patterning method, a large number of cell-adhesive micro regions were formed. Neurons extended neurites along the edge of the cell-adhesive micro regions and form micro neuronal networks. In part of micro regions, some neurite was protruded from the region, and thus micro neuronal networks were connected with synapses. In these networks, a single neuron-induced network activity was observed. On the other hand, even in morphologically non-connected micro neuronal networks, synchronous oscillations between micro neuronal networks were observed. Our micro-patterning methods and results provide the possibility that synchronous activity is occurred between morphologically non-connected neuronal networks. This suggest that the humoral factor is also a important component for network-wide dynamics.

  16. Ecological constraints on the origin of neurones.

    PubMed

    Monk, Travis; Paulin, Michael G; Green, Peter

    2015-12-01

    The basic functional characteristics of spiking neurones are remarkably similar throughout the animal kingdom. Their core design and function features were presumably established very early in their evolutionary history. Identifying the selection pressures that drove animals to evolve spiking neurones could help us interpret their design and function today. This paper provides a quantitative argument, based on ecology, that animals evolved neurones after they started eating each other, about 550 million years ago. We consider neurones as devices that aid an animal's foraging performance, but incur an energetic cost. We introduce an idealised stochastic model ecosystem of animals and their food, and obtain an analytic expression for the probability that an animal with a neurone will fix in a neurone-less population. Analysis of the fixation probability reveals two key results. First, a neurone will never fix if an animal forages low-value food at high density, even if that neurone incurs no cost. Second, a neurone will fix with high probability if an animal is foraging high-value food at low density, even if that neurone is expensive. These observations indicate that the transition from neurone-less to neurone-armed animals can be facilitated by a transition from filter-feeding or substrate grazing to episodic feeding strategies such as animal-on-animal predation (macrophagy).

  17. From the neuron doctrine to neural networks.

    PubMed

    Yuste, Rafael

    2015-08-01

    For over a century, the neuron doctrine--which states that the neuron is the structural and functional unit of the nervous system--has provided a conceptual foundation for neuroscience. This viewpoint reflects its origins in a time when the use of single-neuron anatomical and physiological techniques was prominent. However, newer multineuronal recording methods have revealed that ensembles of neurons, rather than individual cells, can form physiological units and generate emergent functional properties and states. As a new paradigm for neuroscience, neural network models have the potential to incorporate knowledge acquired with single-neuron approaches to help us understand how emergent functional states generate behaviour, cognition and mental disease.

  18. What We Know Currently about Mirror Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Kilner, J.M.; Lemon, R.N.

    2013-01-01

    Mirror neurons were discovered over twenty years ago in the ventral premotor region F5 of the macaque monkey. Since their discovery much has been written about these neurons, both in the scientific literature and in the popular press. They have been proposed to be the neuronal substrate underlying a vast array of different functions. Indeed so much has been written about mirror neurons that last year they were referred to, rightly or wrongly, as “The most hyped concept in neuroscience”. Here we try to cut through some of this hyperbole and review what is currently known (and not known) about mirror neurons. PMID:24309286

  19. What we know currently about mirror neurons.

    PubMed

    Kilner, J M; Lemon, R N

    2013-12-02

    Mirror neurons were discovered over twenty years ago in the ventral premotor region F5 of the macaque monkey. Since their discovery much has been written about these neurons, both in the scientific literature and in the popular press. They have been proposed to be the neuronal substrate underlying a vast array of different functions. Indeed so much has been written about mirror neurons that last year they were referred to, rightly or wrongly, as "The most hyped concept in neuroscience". Here we try to cut through some of this hyperbole and review what is currently known (and not known) about mirror neurons. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Neuronal gap junctions play a role in the secondary neuronal death following controlled cortical impact.

    PubMed

    Belousov, Andrei B; Wang, Yongfu; Song, Ji-Hoon; Denisova, Janna V; Berman, Nancy E; Fontes, Joseph D

    2012-08-22

    In the mammalian CNS, excessive release of glutamate and overactivation of glutamate receptors are responsible for the secondary (delayed) neuronal death following neuronal injury, including ischemia, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and epilepsy. Recent studies in mice showed a critical role for neuronal gap junctions in NMDA receptor-mediated excitotoxicity and ischemia-mediated neuronal death. Here, using controlled cortical impact (CCI) in adult mice, as a model of TBI, and Fluoro-Jade B staining for analysis of neuronal death, we set to determine whether neuronal gap junctions play a role in the CCI-mediated secondary neuronal death. We report that 24h post-CCI, substantial neuronal death is detected in a number of brain regions outside the injury core, including the striatum. The striatal neuronal death is reduced both in wild-type mice by systemic administration of mefloquine (a relatively selective blocker of neuronal gap junctions) and in knockout mice lacking connexin 36 (neuronal gap junction protein). It is also reduced by inactivation of group II metabotropic glutamate receptors (with LY341495) which, as reported previously, control the rapid increase in neuronal gap junction coupling following different types of neuronal injury. The results suggest that neuronal gap junctions play a critical role in the CCI-induced secondary neuronal death. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Stiff substrates enhance cultured neuronal network activity.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Quan-You; Zhang, Yan-Yan; Xie, Jing; Li, Chen-Xu; Chen, Wei-Yi; Liu, Bai-Lin; Wu, Xiao-an; Li, Shu-Na; Huo, Bo; Jiang, Lin-Hua; Zhao, Hu-Cheng

    2014-08-28

    The mechanical property of extracellular matrix and cell-supporting substrates is known to modulate neuronal growth, differentiation, extension and branching. Here we show that substrate stiffness is an important microenvironmental cue, to which mouse hippocampal neurons respond and integrate into synapse formation and transmission in cultured neuronal network. Hippocampal neurons were cultured on polydimethylsiloxane substrates fabricated to have similar surface properties but a 10-fold difference in Young's modulus. Voltage-gated Ca(2+) channel currents determined by patch-clamp recording were greater in neurons on stiff substrates than on soft substrates. Ca(2+) oscillations in cultured neuronal network monitored using time-lapse single cell imaging increased in both amplitude and frequency among neurons on stiff substrates. Consistently, synaptic connectivity recorded by paired recording was enhanced between neurons on stiff substrates. Furthermore, spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic activity became greater and more frequent in neurons on stiff substrates. Evoked excitatory transmitter release and excitatory postsynaptic currents also were heightened at synapses between neurons on stiff substrates. Taken together, our results provide compelling evidence to show that substrate stiffness is an important biophysical factor modulating synapse connectivity and transmission in cultured hippocampal neuronal network. Such information is useful in designing instructive scaffolds or supporting substrates for neural tissue engineering.

  2. Interactive Exploration for Continuously Expanding Neuron Databases.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhongyu; Metaxas, Dimitris N; Lu, Aidong; Zhang, Shaoting

    2017-02-15

    This paper proposes a novel framework to help biologists explore and analyze neurons based on retrieval of data from neuron morphological databases. In recent years, the continuously expanding neuron databases provide a rich source of information to associate neuronal morphologies with their functional properties. We design a coarse-to-fine framework for efficient and effective data retrieval from large-scale neuron databases. In the coarse-level, for efficiency in large-scale, we employ a binary coding method to compress morphological features into binary codes of tens of bits. Short binary codes allow for real-time similarity searching in Hamming space. Because the neuron databases are continuously expanding, it is inefficient to re-train the binary coding model from scratch when adding new neurons. To solve this problem, we extend binary coding with online updating schemes, which only considers the newly added neurons and update the model on-the-fly, without accessing the whole neuron databases. In the fine-grained level, we introduce domain experts/users in the framework, which can give relevance feedback for the binary coding based retrieval results. This interactive strategy can improve the retrieval performance through re-ranking the above coarse results, where we design a new similarity measure and take the feedback into account. Our framework is validated on more than 17,000 neuron cells, showing promising retrieval accuracy and efficiency. Moreover, we demonstrate its use case in assisting biologists to identify and explore unknown neurons.

  3. Semaphorins as mediators of neuronal apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Shirvan, A; Ziv, I; Fleminger, G; Shina, R; He, Z; Brudo, I; Melamed, E; Barzilai, A

    1999-09-01

    Shrinkage and collapse of the neuritic network are often observed during the process of neuronal apoptosis. However, the molecular and biochemical basis for the axonal damage associated with neuronal cell death is still unclear. We present evidence for the involvement of axon guidance molecules with repulsive cues in neuronal cell death. Using the differential display approach, an up-regulation of collapsin response mediator protein was detected in sympathetic neurons undergoing dopamine-induced apoptosis. A synchronized induction of mRNA of the secreted collapsin-1 and the intracellular collapsin response mediator protein that preceded commitment of neurons to apoptosis was detected. Antibodies directed against a conserved collapsin-derived peptide provided marked and prolonged protection of several neuronal cell types from dopamine-induced apoptosis. Moreover, neuronal apoptosis was inhibited by antibodies against neuropilin-1, a putative component of the semaphorin III/collapsin-1 receptor. Induction of neuronal apoptosis was also caused by exposure of neurons to semaphorin III-alkaline phosphatase secreted from 293EBNA cells. Anti-collapsin-1 antibodies were effective in blocking the semaphorin III-induced death process. We therefore suggest that, before their death, apoptosis-destined neurons may produce and secrete destructive axon guidance molecules that can affect their neighboring cells and thus transfer a "death signal" across specific and susceptible neuronal populations.

  4. Forward engineering neuronal diversity using direct reprogramming.

    PubMed

    Tsunemoto, Rachel K; Eade, Kevin T; Blanchard, Joel W; Baldwin, Kristin K

    2015-06-03

    The nervous system is comprised of a vast diversity of distinct neural cell types. Differences between neuronal subtypes drive the assembly of neuronal circuits and underlie the subtype specificity of many neurological diseases. Yet, because neurons are irreversibly post-mitotic and not readily available from patients, it has not been feasible to study specific subtypes of human neurons in larger numbers. A powerful means to study neuronal diversity and neurological disease is to establish methods to produce desired neuronal subtypes in vitro. Traditionally this has been accomplished by treating pluripotent or neural stem cells with growth factors and morphogens that recapitulate exogenous developmental signals. These approaches often require extended periods of culture, which can limit their utility. However, more recently, it has become possible to produce neurons directly from fibroblasts using transcription factors and/or microRNAs. This technique referred to as direct reprogramming or transdifferentiation has proven to be a rapid, robust, and reproducible method to generate mature neurons of many different subtypes from multiple cell sources. Here, we highlight recent advances in generating neurons of specific subtypes using direct reprogramming and outline various scenarios in which induced neurons may be applied to studies of neuronal function and neurological disease.

  5. Observability of Neuronal Network Motifs

    PubMed Central

    Whalen, Andrew J.; Brennan, Sean N.; Sauer, Timothy D.; Schiff, Steven J.

    2014-01-01

    We quantify observability in small (3 node) neuronal networks as a function of 1) the connection topology and symmetry, 2) the measured nodes, and 3) the nodal dynamics (linear and nonlinear). We find that typical observability metrics for 3 neuron motifs range over several orders of magnitude, depending upon topology, and for motifs containing symmetry the network observability decreases when observing from particularly confounded nodes. Nonlinearities in the nodal equations generally decrease the average network observability and full network information becomes available only in limited regions of the system phase space. Our findings demonstrate that such networks are partially observable, and suggest their potential efficacy in reconstructing network dynamics from limited measurement data. How well such strategies can be used to reconstruct and control network dynamics in experimental settings is a subject for future experimental work. PMID:25909092

  6. Neuronal avalanches and brain plasticity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Arcangelis, L.; Herrmann, H. J.; Perrone-Capano, C.

    2007-12-01

    Networks of living neurons exhibit an avalanche mode of activity, experimentally found in organotypic cultures. Moreover, experimental studies of morphology indicate that neurons develop a network of small-world-like connections, with the possibility of a very high connectivity degree. Here we discuss a recent model based on self-organized criticality, which consists of an electrical network with threshold firing and activity-dependent synapse strengths. The model is implemented on regular and small world lattices and on a scale-free network, the Apollonian network. The system exhibits an avalanche activity with a power law distribution of sizes and durations. The analysis of the power spectra of the electrical signal reproduces very robustly the power law behaviour with the exponent 0.8, experimentally measured in electroencephalogram (EEG) spectra. The exponents are found to be quite stable with respect to initial configurations and strength of plastic remodelling, indicating that universality holds for a wide class of neural network models.

  7. Oscillatory integration windows in neurons

    PubMed Central

    Gupta, Nitin; Singh, Swikriti Saran; Stopfer, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Oscillatory synchrony among neurons occurs in many species and brain areas, and has been proposed to help neural circuits process information. One hypothesis states that oscillatory input creates cyclic integration windows: specific times in each oscillatory cycle when postsynaptic neurons become especially responsive to inputs. With paired local field potential (LFP) and intracellular recordings and controlled stimulus manipulations we directly test this idea in the locust olfactory system. We find that inputs arriving in Kenyon cells (KCs) sum most effectively in a preferred window of the oscillation cycle. With a computational model, we show that the non-uniform structure of noise in the membrane potential helps mediate this process. Further experiments performed in vivo demonstrate that integration windows can form in the absence of inhibition and at a broad range of oscillation frequencies. Our results reveal how a fundamental coincidence-detection mechanism in a neural circuit functions to decode temporally organized spiking. PMID:27976720

  8. Oscillatory integration windows in neurons.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Nitin; Singh, Swikriti Saran; Stopfer, Mark

    2016-12-15

    Oscillatory synchrony among neurons occurs in many species and brain areas, and has been proposed to help neural circuits process information. One hypothesis states that oscillatory input creates cyclic integration windows: specific times in each oscillatory cycle when postsynaptic neurons become especially responsive to inputs. With paired local field potential (LFP) and intracellular recordings and controlled stimulus manipulations we directly test this idea in the locust olfactory system. We find that inputs arriving in Kenyon cells (KCs) sum most effectively in a preferred window of the oscillation cycle. With a computational model, we show that the non-uniform structure of noise in the membrane potential helps mediate this process. Further experiments performed in vivo demonstrate that integration windows can form in the absence of inhibition and at a broad range of oscillation frequencies. Our results reveal how a fundamental coincidence-detection mechanism in a neural circuit functions to decode temporally organized spiking.

  9. Molecular profiling of neurons based on connectivity.

    PubMed

    Ekstrand, Mats I; Nectow, Alexander R; Knight, Zachary A; Latcha, Kaamashri N; Pomeranz, Lisa E; Friedman, Jeffrey M

    2014-05-22

    The complexity and cellular heterogeneity of neural circuitry presents a major challenge to understanding the role of discrete neural populations in controlling behavior. While neuroanatomical methods enable high-resolution mapping of neural circuitry, these approaches do not allow systematic molecular profiling of neurons based on their connectivity. Here, we report the development of an approach for molecularly profiling projective neurons. We show that ribosomes can be tagged with a camelid nanobody raised against GFP and that this system can be engineered to selectively capture translating mRNAs from neurons retrogradely labeled with GFP. Using this system, we profiled neurons projecting to the nucleus accumbens. We then used an AAV to selectively profile midbrain dopamine neurons projecting to the nucleus accumbens. By comparing the captured mRNAs from each experiment, we identified a number of markers specific to VTA dopaminergic projection neurons. The current method provides a means for profiling neurons based on their projections.

  10. Imaging and Optically Manipulating Neuronal Ensembles.

    PubMed

    Carrillo-Reid, Luis; Yang, Weijian; Kang Miller, Jae-Eun; Peterka, Darcy S; Yuste, Rafael

    2017-05-22

    The neural code that relates the firing of neurons to the generation of behavior and mental states must be implemented by spatiotemporal patterns of activity across neuronal populations. These patterns engage selective groups of neurons, called neuronal ensembles, which are emergent building blocks of neural circuits. We review optical and computational methods, based on two-photon calcium imaging and two-photon optogenetics, to detect, characterize, and manipulate neuronal ensembles in three dimensions. We review data using these methods in the mammalian cortex that demonstrate the existence of neuronal ensembles in the spontaneous and evoked cortical activity in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, two-photon optogenetics enable the possibility of artificially imprinting neuronal ensembles into awake, behaving animals and of later recalling those ensembles selectively by stimulating individual cells. These methods could enable deciphering the neural code and also be used to understand the pathophysiology of and design novel therapies for neurological and mental diseases.

  11. Calcium imaging in neuron cell death.

    PubMed

    Calvo, María; Villalobos, Carlos; Núñez, Lucía

    2015-01-01

    Intracellular Ca2+ is involved in control of a large variety of cell functions including apoptosis and neuron cell death. For example, intracellular Ca2+ overload is critical in neuron cell death induced by excitotoxicity. Thus, single cell monitoring of intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]cyt ) in neurons concurrently with apoptosis and neuron cell death is widely required. Procedures for culture and preparation of primary cultures of hippocampal rat neurons and fluorescence imaging of cytosolic Ca2+ concentration in Fura2/AM -loaded neurons are described. We also describe a method for apoptosis detection by immunofluorescence imaging. Finally, a simple method for concurrent measurements of [Ca2+]cyt and apoptosis in the same neurons is described.

  12. Using light to probe neuronal function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daria, Vincent R.; Bachor, Hans-A.

    2015-08-01

    In the last few years a multi-disciplinary approach has been launched to investigate the brain using new techniques, which are capable of probing neuronal function across the entire length scales of the brain. Here, we discuss optical tools and spatial light patterning techniques to investigate brain function from the perspective of individual neurons and neuronal circuits. We discuss both biochemical and genetic tools to stimulate neurons, as well as techniques to record neuronal activity. We discuss optical projection and imaging tricks that can be dynamically customized to a particular neuron morphology and neuronal circuit layout facilitating a systematic study of their input/output transfer functions. These optical techniques will play a major role towards understanding the operation of a brain.

  13. Neuronal Analogues of Conditioning Paradigms

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1984-04-24

    Although the mechanisms of interneuronal communication have been well established, the changes underlying most forms of learning have thus far eluded...stimulating electrodes on one of the connectives was adjusted so as to produce a small excitatory postsynaptic potential ( EPSP ) in the impaled cell...two stimuli would constitute a neuronal analogue of conditioning by producing an increased EPSP in response to the test stimulus alone. If so, then

  14. Automated identification of neurons and their locations.

    PubMed

    Inglis, A; Cruz, L; Roe, D L; Stanley, H E; Rosene, D L; Urbanc, B

    2008-06-01

    Individual locations of many neuronal cell bodies (>10(4)) are needed to enable statistically significant measurements of spatial organization within the brain such as nearest-neighbour and microcolumnarity measurements. In this paper, we introduce an Automated Neuron Recognition Algorithm (ANRA) which obtains the (x, y) location of individual neurons within digitized images of Nissl-stained, 30 microm thick, frozen sections of the cerebral cortex of the Rhesus monkey. Identification of neurons within such Nissl-stained sections is inherently difficult due to the variability in neuron staining, the overlap of neurons, the presence of partial or damaged neurons at tissue surfaces, and the presence of non-neuron objects, such as glial cells, blood vessels, and random artefacts. To overcome these challenges and identify neurons, ANRA applies a combination of image segmentation and machine learning. The steps involve active contour segmentation to find outlines of potential neuron cell bodies followed by artificial neural network training using the segmentation properties (size, optical density, gyration, etc.) to distinguish between neuron and non-neuron segmentations. ANRA positively identifies 86 +/- 5% neurons with 15 +/- 8% error (mean +/- SD) on a wide range of Nissl-stained images, whereas semi-automatic methods obtain 80 +/- 7%/17 +/- 12%. A further advantage of ANRA is that it affords an unlimited increase in speed from semi-automatic methods, and is computationally efficient, with the ability to recognize approximately 100 neurons per minute using a standard personal computer. ANRA is amenable to analysis of huge photo-montages of Nissl-stained tissue, thereby opening the door to fast, efficient and quantitative analysis of vast stores of archival material that exist in laboratories and research collections around the world.

  15. Piezo2 expression in corneal afferent neurons.

    PubMed

    Bron, Romke; Wood, Rhiannon J; Brock, James A; Ivanusic, Jason J

    2014-09-01

    Recently, a novel class of mechanically sensitive channels has been identified and have been called Piezo channels. In this study, we explored Piezo channel expression in sensory neurons supplying the guinea pig corneal epithelium, which have well-defined modalities in this species. We hypothesized that a proportion of corneal afferent neurons express Piezo2, and that these neurons are neurochemically distinct from corneal polymodal nociceptors or cold-sensing neurons. We used a combination of retrograde tracing to identify corneal afferent neurons and double label in situ hybridization and/or immunohistochemistry to determine their molecular and/or neurochemical profile. We found that Piezo2 expression occurs in ∼26% of trigeminal ganglion neurons and 30% of corneal afferent neurons. Piezo2 corneal afferent neurons are almost exclusively non-calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP)-immunoreactive (-IR), medium- to large-sized neurons that are NF200-IR, suggesting they are not corneal polymodal nociceptors. There was no coexpression of Piezo2 and transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily M member 8 (TRPM8) transcripts in any corneal afferent neurons, further suggesting that Piezo2 is not expressed in corneal cold-sensing neurons. We also noted that TRPM8-IR or CGRP-IR corneal afferent neurons are almost entirely small and lack NF200-IR. Piezo2 expression occurs in a neurochemically distinct subpopulation of corneal afferent neurons that are not polymodal nociceptors or cold-sensing neurons, and is likely confined to a subpopulation of pure mechano-nociceptors in the cornea. This provides the first evidence in an in vivo system that Piezo2 is a strong candidate for a channel that transduces noxious mechanical stimuli. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Neuronal Responses to Physiological Stress

    PubMed Central

    Kagias, Konstantinos; Nehammer, Camilla; Pocock, Roger

    2012-01-01

    Physiological stress can be defined as any external or internal condition that challenges the homeostasis of a cell or an organism. It can be divided into three different aspects: environmental stress, intrinsic developmental stress, and aging. Throughout life all living organisms are challenged by changes in the environment. Fluctuations in oxygen levels, temperature, and redox state for example, trigger molecular events that enable an organism to adapt, survive, and reproduce. In addition to external stressors, organisms experience stress associated with morphogenesis and changes in inner chemistry during normal development. For example, conditions such as intrinsic hypoxia and oxidative stress, due to an increase in tissue mass, have to be confronted by developing embryos in order to complete their development. Finally, organisms face the challenge of stochastic accumulation of molecular damage during aging that results in decline and eventual death. Studies have shown that the nervous system plays a pivotal role in responding to stress. Neurons not only receive and process information from the environment but also actively respond to various stresses to promote survival. These responses include changes in the expression of molecules such as transcription factors and microRNAs that regulate stress resistance and adaptation. Moreover, both intrinsic and extrinsic stresses have a tremendous impact on neuronal development and maintenance with implications in many diseases. Here, we review the responses of neurons to various physiological stressors at the molecular and cellular level. PMID:23112806

  17. Neuronal regulation of tendon homoeostasis

    PubMed Central

    Ackermann, Paul W

    2013-01-01

    The regulation of tendon homoeostasis, including adaptation to loading, is still not fully understood. Accumulating data, however, demonstrates that in addition to afferent (sensory) functions, the nervous system, via efferent pathways which are associated with through specific neuronal mediators plays an active role in regulating pain, inflammation and tendon homeostasis. This neuronal regulation of intact-, healing- and tendinopathic tendons has been shown to be mediated by three major groups of molecules including opioid, autonomic and excitatory glutamatergic neuroregulators. In intact healthy tendons the neuromediators are found in the surrounding structures: paratenon, endotenon and epitenon, whereas the proper tendon itself is practically devoid of neurovascular supply. This neuroanatomy reflects that normal tendon homoeostasis is regulated from the tendon surroundings. After injury and during tendon repair, however, there is extensive nerve ingrowth into the tendon proper, followed by a time-dependent emergence of sensory, autonomic and glutamatergic mediators, which amplify and fine-tune inflammation and regulate tendon regeneration. In tendinopathic condition, excessive and protracted presence of sensory and glutamatergic neuromediators has been identified, suggesting involvement in inflammatory, nociceptive and hypertrophic (degenerative) tissue responses. Under experimental and clinical conditions of impaired (e.g. diabetes) as well as excessive (e.g. tendinopathy) neuromediator release, dysfunctional tendon homoeostasis develops resulting in chronic pain and gradual degeneration. Thus there is a prospect that in the future pharmacotherapy and tissue engineering approaches targeting neuronal mediators and their receptors may prove to be effective therapies for painful, degenerative and traumatic tendon disorders. PMID:23718724

  18. Results on a binding neuron model and their implications for modified hourglass model for neuronal network.

    PubMed

    Arunachalam, Viswanathan; Akhavan-Tabatabaei, Raha; Lopez, Cristina

    2013-01-01

    The classical models of single neuron like Hodgkin-Huxley point neuron or leaky integrate and fire neuron assume the influence of postsynaptic potentials to last till the neuron fires. Vidybida (2008) in a refreshing departure has proposed models for binding neurons in which the trace of an input is remembered only for a finite fixed period of time after which it is forgotten. The binding neurons conform to the behaviour of real neurons and are applicable in constructing fast recurrent networks for computer modeling. This paper develops explicitly several useful results for a binding neuron like the firing time distribution and other statistical characteristics. We also discuss the applicability of the developed results in constructing a modified hourglass network model in which there are interconnected neurons with excitatory as well as inhibitory inputs. Limited simulation results of the hourglass network are presented.

  19. Glutamate neurons are intermixed with midbrain dopamine neurons in nonhuman primates and humans

    PubMed Central

    Root, David H.; Wang, Hui-Ling; Liu, Bing; Barker, David J.; Mód, László; Szocsics, Péter; Silva, Afonso C.; Maglóczky, Zsófia; Morales, Marisela

    2016-01-01

    The rodent ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra pars compacta (SNC) contain dopamine neurons intermixed with glutamate neurons (expressing vesicular glutamate transporter 2; VGluT2), which play roles in reward and aversion. However, identifying the neuronal compositions of the VTA and SNC in higher mammals has remained challenging. Here, we revealed VGluT2 neurons within the VTA and SNC of nonhuman primates and humans by simultaneous detection of VGluT2 mRNA and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH; for identification of dopamine neurons). We found that several VTA subdivisions share similar cellular compositions in nonhuman primates and humans; their rostral linear nuclei have a high prevalence of VGluT2 neurons lacking TH; their paranigral and parabrachial pigmented nuclei have mostly TH neurons, and their parabrachial pigmented nuclei have dual VGluT2-TH neurons. Within nonhuman primates and humans SNC, the vast majority of neurons are TH neurons but VGluT2 neurons were detected in the pars lateralis subdivision. The demonstration that midbrain dopamine neurons are intermixed with glutamate or glutamate-dopamine neurons from rodents to humans offers new opportunities for translational studies towards analyzing the roles that each of these neurons play in human behavior and in midbrain-associated illnesses such as addiction, depression, schizophrenia, and Parkinson’s disease. PMID:27477243

  20. Neurons containing hypocretin (orexin) project to multiple neuronal systems.

    PubMed

    Peyron, C; Tighe, D K; van den Pol, A N; de Lecea, L; Heller, H C; Sutcliffe, J G; Kilduff, T S

    1998-12-01

    The novel neuropeptides called hypocretins (orexins) have recently been identified as being localized exclusively in cell bodies in a subregion of the tuberal part of the hypothalamus. The structure of the hypocretins, their accumulation in vesicles of axon terminals, and their excitatory effect on cultured hypothalamic neurons suggest that the hypocretins function in intercellular communication. To characterize these peptides further and to help understand what physiological functions they may serve, we undertook an immunohistochemical study to examine the distribution of preprohypocretin-immunoreactive neurons and fibers in the rat brain. Preprohypocretin-positive neurons were found in the perifornical nucleus and in the dorsal and lateral hypothalamic areas. These cells were distinct from those that express melanin-concentrating hormone. Although they represent a restricted group of cells, their projections were widely distributed in the brain. We observed labeled fibers throughout the hypothalamus. The densest extrahypothalamic projection was found in the locus coeruleus. Fibers were also seen in the septal nuclei, the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, the paraventricular and reuniens nuclei of the thalamus, the zona incerta, the subthalamic nucleus, the central gray, the substantia nigra, the raphe nuclei, the parabrachial area, the medullary reticular formation, and the nucleus of the solitary tract. Less prominent projections were found in cortical regions, central and anterior amygdaloid nuclei, and the olfactory bulb. These results suggest that hypocretins are likely to have a role in physiological functions in addition to food intake such as regulation of blood pressure, the neuroendocrine system, body temperature, and the sleep-waking cycle.

  1. Optimization Methods for Spiking Neurons and Networks

    PubMed Central

    Russell, Alexander; Orchard, Garrick; Dong, Yi; Mihalaş, Ştefan; Niebur, Ernst; Tapson, Jonathan; Etienne-Cummings, Ralph

    2011-01-01

    Spiking neurons and spiking neural circuits are finding uses in a multitude of tasks such as robotic locomotion control, neuroprosthetics, visual sensory processing, and audition. The desired neural output is achieved through the use of complex neuron models, or by combining multiple simple neurons into a network. In either case, a means for configuring the neuron or neural circuit is required. Manual manipulation of parameters is both time consuming and non-intuitive due to the nonlinear relationship between parameters and the neuron’s output. The complexity rises even further as the neurons are networked and the systems often become mathematically intractable. In large circuits, the desired behavior and timing of action potential trains may be known but the timing of the individual action potentials is unknown and unimportant, whereas in single neuron systems the timing of individual action potentials is critical. In this paper, we automate the process of finding parameters. To configure a single neuron we derive a maximum likelihood method for configuring a neuron model, specifically the Mihalas–Niebur Neuron. Similarly, to configure neural circuits, we show how we use genetic algorithms (GAs) to configure parameters for a network of simple integrate and fire with adaptation neurons. The GA approach is demonstrated both in software simulation and hardware implementation on a reconfigurable custom very large scale integration chip. PMID:20959265

  2. Neuronal Differentiation Modulated by Polymeric Membrane Properties.

    PubMed

    Morelli, Sabrina; Piscioneri, Antonella; Drioli, Enrico; De Bartolo, Loredana

    2017-08-05

    In this study, different collagen-blend membranes were successfully constructed by blending collagen with chitosan (CHT) or poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) to enhance their properties and thus create new biofunctional materials with great potential use for neuronal tissue engineering and regeneration. Collagen blending strongly affected membrane properties in the following ways: (i) it improved the surface hydrophilicity of both pure CHT and PLGA membranes, (ii) it reduced the stiffness of CHT membranes, but (iii) it did not modify the good mechanical properties of PLGA membranes. Then, we investigated the effect of the different collagen concentrations on the neuronal behavior of the membranes developed. Morphological observations, immunocytochemistry, and morphometric measures demonstrated that the membranes developed, especially CHT/Col30, PLGA, and PLGA/Col1, provided suitable microenvironments for neuronal growth owing to their enhanced properties. The most consistent neuronal differentiation was obtained in neurons cultured on PLGA-based membranes, where a well-developed neuronal network was achieved due to their improved mechanical properties. Our findings suggest that tensile strength and elongation at break are key material parameters that have potential influence on both axonal elongation and neuronal structure and organization, which are of fundamental importance for the maintenance of efficient neuronal growth. Hence, our study has provided new insights regarding the effects of membrane mechanical properties on neuronal behavior, and thus it may help to design and improve novel instructive biomaterials for neuronal tissue engineering. © 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  3. Population Encoding With Hodgkin–Huxley Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Lazar, Aurel A.

    2013-01-01

    The recovery of (weak) stimuli encoded with a population of Hodgkin–Huxley neurons is investigated. In the absence of a stimulus, the Hodgkin–Huxley neurons are assumed to be tonically spiking. The methodology employed calls for 1) finding an input–output (I/O) equivalent description of the Hodgkin–Huxley neuron and 2) devising a recovery algorithm for stimuli encoded with the I/O equivalent neuron(s). A Hodgkin–Huxley neuron with multiplicative coupling is I/O equivalent with an Integrate-and-Fire neuron with a variable threshold sequence. For bandlimited stimuli a perfect recovery of the stimulus can be achieved provided that a Nyquist-type rate condition is satisfied. A Hodgkin–Huxley neuron with additive coupling and deterministic conductances is first-order I/O equivalent with a Project-Integrate-and-Fire neuron that integrates a projection of the stimulus on the phase response curve. The stimulus recovery is formulated as a spline interpolation problem in the space of finite length bounded energy signals. A Hodgkin–Huxley neuron with additive coupling and stochastic conductances is shown to be first-order I/O equivalent with a Project-Integrate-and-Fire neuron with random thresholds. For stimuli modeled as elements of Sobolev spaces the reconstruction algorithm minimizes a regularized quadratic optimality criterion. Finally, all previous recovery results of stimuli encoded with Hodgkin–Huxley neurons with multiplicative and additive coupling, and deterministic and stochastic conductances are extended to stimuli encoded with a population of Hodgkin–Huxley neurons. PMID:24194625

  4. Population Encoding With Hodgkin-Huxley Neurons.

    PubMed

    Lazar, Aurel A

    2010-02-01

    The recovery of (weak) stimuli encoded with a population of Hodgkin-Huxley neurons is investigated. In the absence of a stimulus, the Hodgkin-Huxley neurons are assumed to be tonically spiking. The methodology employed calls for 1) finding an input-output (I/O) equivalent description of the Hodgkin-Huxley neuron and 2) devising a recovery algorithm for stimuli encoded with the I/O equivalent neuron(s). A Hodgkin-Huxley neuron with multiplicative coupling is I/O equivalent with an Integrate-and-Fire neuron with a variable threshold sequence. For bandlimited stimuli a perfect recovery of the stimulus can be achieved provided that a Nyquist-type rate condition is satisfied. A Hodgkin-Huxley neuron with additive coupling and deterministic conductances is first-order I/O equivalent with a Project-Integrate-and-Fire neuron that integrates a projection of the stimulus on the phase response curve. The stimulus recovery is formulated as a spline interpolation problem in the space of finite length bounded energy signals. A Hodgkin-Huxley neuron with additive coupling and stochastic conductances is shown to be first-order I/O equivalent with a Project-Integrate-and-Fire neuron with random thresholds. For stimuli modeled as elements of Sobolev spaces the reconstruction algorithm minimizes a regularized quadratic optimality criterion. Finally, all previous recovery results of stimuli encoded with Hodgkin-Huxley neurons with multiplicative and additive coupling, and deterministic and stochastic conductances are extended to stimuli encoded with a population of Hodgkin-Huxley neurons.

  5. Synaptic Circuit Organization of Motor Corticothalamic Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Yamawaki, Naoki

    2015-01-01

    Corticothalamic (CT) neurons in layer 6 constitute a large but enigmatic class of cortical projection neurons. How they are integrated into intracortical and thalamo-cortico-thalamic circuits is incompletely understood, especially outside of sensory cortex. Here, we investigated CT circuits in mouse forelimb motor cortex (M1) using multiple circuit-analysis methods. Stimulating and recording from CT, intratelencephalic (IT), and pyramidal tract (PT) projection neurons, we found strong CT↔ CT and CT↔ IT connections; however, CT→IT connections were limited to IT neurons in layer 6, not 5B. There was strikingly little CT↔ PT excitatory connectivity. Disynaptic inhibition systematically accompanied excitation in these pathways, scaling with the amplitude of excitation according to both presynaptic (class-specific) and postsynaptic (cell-by-cell) factors. In particular, CT neurons evoked proportionally more inhibition relative to excitation (I/E ratio) than IT neurons. Furthermore, the amplitude of inhibition was tuned to match the amount of excitation at the level of individual neurons; in the extreme, neurons receiving no excitation received no inhibition either. Extending these studies to dissect the connectivity between cortex and thalamus, we found that M1-CT neurons and thalamocortical neurons in the ventrolateral (VL) nucleus were remarkably unconnected in either direction. Instead, VL axons in the cortex excited both IT and PT neurons, and CT axons in the thalamus excited other thalamic neurons, including those in the posterior nucleus, which additionally received PT excitation. These findings, which contrast in several ways with previous observations in sensory areas, illuminate the basic circuit organization of CT neurons within M1 and between M1 and thalamus. PMID:25653383

  6. Neuronal injury increases retrograde axonal transport of the neurotrophins to spinal sensory neurons and motor neurons via multiple receptor mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Curtis, R; Tonra, J R; Stark, J L; Adryan, K M; Park, J S; Cliffer, K D; Lindsay, R M; DiStefano, P S

    1998-10-01

    We investigated the retrograde axonal transport of 125I-labeled neurotrophins (NGF, BDNF, NT-3, and NT-4) from the sciatic nerve to dorsal root ganglion (DRG) sensory neurons and spinal motor neurons in normal rats or after neuronal injury. DRG neurons showed increased transport of all neurotrophins following crush injury to the sciatic nerve. This was maximal 1 day after sciatic nerve crush and returned to control levels after 7 days. 125I-BDNF transport from sciatic nerve was elevated with injection either proximal to the lesion or directly into the crush site and after transection of the dorsal roots. All neurotrophin transport was receptor-mediated and consistent with neurotrophin binding to the low-affinity neurotrophin receptor (LNR) or Trk receptors. However, transport of 125I-labeled wheat germ agglutinin also increased 1 day after sciatic nerve crush, showing that increased uptake and transport is a generalized response to injury in DRG sensory neurons. Spinal cord motor neurons also showed increased neurotrophin transport following sciatic nerve injury, although this was maximal after 3 days. The transport of 125I-NGF depended on the expression of LNR by injured motor neurons, as demonstrated by competition experiments with unlabeled neurotrophins. The absence of TrkA in normal motor neurons or after axotomy was confirmed by immunostaining and in situ hybridization. Thus, increased transport of neurotrophic factors after neuronal injury is due to multiple receptor-mediated mechanisms including general increases in axonal transport capacity. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.

  7. Serotonin released from amacrine neurons is scavenged and degraded in bipolar neurons in the retina

    PubMed Central

    Ghai, Kanika; Zelinka, Christopher; Fischer, Andy J.

    2009-01-01

    The neurotransmitter serotonin is synthesized in the retina by one type of amacrine neuron but accumulates in bipolar neurons in many vertebrates. The mechanisms, functions and purpose underlying of serotonin in bipolar cells remain unknown. Here, we demonstrate that exogenous serotonin transiently accumulates in a distinct type of bipolar neuron. KCl-mediated depolarization causes the depletion of serotonin from amacrine neurons and, subsequently, serotonin is taken-up by bipolar neurons. The accumulation of endogenous or exogenous serotonin by bipolar neurons is blocked by selective reuptake inhibitors. Exogenous serotonin is specifically taken-up by bipolar neurons even when serotonin-synthesizing amacrine neurons are destroyed; excluding the possibility that serotonin diffuses through gap junctions from amacrine into bipolar neurons. Further, inhibition of monoamine oxidase (A) prevents the degradation of serotonin in bipolar neurons, suggesting that MAO(A) is present in these neurons. However, the vesicular monoamine transporter (VMAT2) is present only in amacrine cells suggesting that serotonin is not transported into synaptic vesicles and re-used as a transmitter in the bipolar neurons. We conclude that the serotonin-accumulating bipolar neurons perform glial functions in the retina by actively transporting and degrading serotonin that is synthesized in neighboring amacrine cells. PMID:19619137

  8. Human Cerebrospinal Fluid Promotes Neuronal Viability and Activity of Hippocampal Neuronal Circuits In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Perez-Alcazar, Marta; Culley, Georgia; Lyckenvik, Tim; Mobarrez, Kristoffer; Bjorefeldt, Andreas; Wasling, Pontus; Seth, Henrik; Asztely, Frederik; Harrer, Andrea; Iglseder, Bernhard; Aigner, Ludwig; Hanse, Eric; Illes, Sebastian

    2016-01-01

    For decades it has been hypothesized that molecules within the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) diffuse into the brain parenchyma and influence the function of neurons. However, the functional consequences of CSF on neuronal circuits are largely unexplored and unknown. A major reason for this is the absence of appropriate neuronal in vitro model systems, and it is uncertain if neurons cultured in pure CSF survive and preserve electrophysiological functionality in vitro. In this article, we present an approach to address how human CSF (hCSF) influences neuronal circuits in vitro. We validate our approach by comparing the morphology, viability, and electrophysiological function of single neurons and at the network level in rat organotypic slice and primary neuronal cultures cultivated either in hCSF or in defined standard culture media. Our results demonstrate that rodent hippocampal slices and primary neurons cultured in hCSF maintain neuronal morphology and preserve synaptic transmission. Importantly, we show that hCSF increases neuronal viability and the number of electrophysiologically active neurons in comparison to the culture media. In summary, our data indicate that hCSF represents a physiological environment for neurons in vitro and a superior culture condition compared to the defined standard media. Moreover, this experimental approach paves the way to assess the functional consequences of CSF on neuronal circuits as well as suggesting a novel strategy for central nervous system (CNS) disease modeling. PMID:26973467

  9. Glutamatergic Nonpyramidal Neurons From Neocortical Layer VI and Their Comparison With Pyramidal and Spiny Stellate Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Andjelic, Sofija; Gallopin, Thierry; Cauli, Bruno; Hill, Elisa L.; Roux, Lisa; Badr, Sammy; Hu, Emilie; Tamás, Gábor; Lambolez, Bertrand

    2009-01-01

    The deeper part of neocortical layer VI is dominated by nonpyramidal neurons, which lack a prominent vertically ascending dendrite and predominantly establish corticocortical connections. These neurons were studied in rat neocortical slices using patch-clamp, single-cell reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction, and biocytin labeling. The majority of these neurons expressed the vesicular glutamate transporter but not glutamic acid decarboxylase, suggesting that a high proportion of layer VI nonpyramidal neurons are glutamatergic. Indeed, they exhibited numerous dendritic spines and established asymmetrical synapses. Our sample of glutamatergic nonpyramidal neurons displayed a wide variety of somatodendritic morphologies and a subset of these cells expressed the Nurr1 mRNA, a marker for ipsilateral, but not commissural corticocortical projection neurons in layer VI. Comparison with spiny stellate and pyramidal neurons from other layers showed that glutamatergic neurons consistently exhibited a low occurrence of GABAergic interneuron markers and regular spiking firing patterns. Analysis of electrophysiological diversity using unsupervised clustering disclosed three groups of cells. Layer V pyramidal neurons were segregated into a first group, whereas a second group consisted of a subpopulation of layer VI neurons exhibiting tonic firing. A third heterogeneous cluster comprised spiny stellate, layer II/III pyramidal, and layer VI neurons exhibiting adaptive firing. The segregation of layer VI neurons in two different clusters did not correlate either with their somatodendritic morphologies or with Nurr1 expression. Our results suggest that electrophysiological similarities between neocortical glutamatergic neurons extend beyond layer positioning, somatodendritic morphology, and projection specificity. PMID:19052106

  10. Glutamatergic nonpyramidal neurons from neocortical layer VI and their comparison with pyramidal and spiny stellate neurons.

    PubMed

    Andjelic, Sofija; Gallopin, Thierry; Cauli, Bruno; Hill, Elisa L; Roux, Lisa; Badr, Sammy; Hu, Emilie; Tamás, Gábor; Lambolez, Bertrand

    2009-02-01

    The deeper part of neocortical layer VI is dominated by nonpyramidal neurons, which lack a prominent vertically ascending dendrite and predominantly establish corticocortical connections. These neurons were studied in rat neocortical slices using patch-clamp, single-cell reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, and biocytin labeling. The majority of these neurons expressed the vesicular glutamate transporter but not glutamic acid decarboxylase, suggesting that a high proportion of layer VI nonpyramidal neurons are glutamatergic. Indeed, they exhibited numerous dendritic spines and established asymmetrical synapses. Our sample of glutamatergic nonpyramidal neurons displayed a wide variety of somatodendritic morphologies and a subset of these cells expressed the Nurr1 mRNA, a marker for ipsilateral, but not commissural corticocortical projection neurons in layer VI. Comparison with spiny stellate and pyramidal neurons from other layers showed that glutamatergic neurons consistently exhibited a low occurrence of GABAergic interneuron markers and regular spiking firing patterns. Analysis of electrophysiological diversity using unsupervised clustering disclosed three groups of cells. Layer V pyramidal neurons were segregated into a first group, whereas a second group consisted of a subpopulation of layer VI neurons exhibiting tonic firing. A third heterogeneous cluster comprised spiny stellate, layer II/III pyramidal, and layer VI neurons exhibiting adaptive firing. The segregation of layer VI neurons in two different clusters did not correlate either with their somatodendritic morphologies or with Nurr1 expression. Our results suggest that electrophysiological similarities between neocortical glutamatergic neurons extend beyond layer positioning, somatodendritic morphology, and projection specificity.

  11. Nasal neuron PET imaging quantifies neuron generation and degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Van de Bittner, Genevieve C.; Riley, Misha M.; Cao, Luxiang; Herrick, Scott P.; Ricq, Emily L.; O’Neill, Michael J.; Ahmed, Zeshan; Murray, Tracey K.; Smith, Jaclyn E.; Wang, Changning; Schroeder, Frederick A.; Albers, Mark W.; Hooker, Jacob M.

    2017-01-01

    Olfactory dysfunction is broadly associated with neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases and predicts increased mortality rates in healthy individuals. Conventional measurements of olfactory health assess odor processing pathways within the brain and provide a limited understanding of primary odor detection. Quantification of the olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs), which detect odors within the nasal cavity, would provide insight into the etiology of olfactory dysfunction associated with disease and mortality. Notably, OSNs are continually replenished by adult neurogenesis in mammals, including humans, so OSN measurements are primed to provide specialized insights into neurological disease. Here, we have evaluated a PET radiotracer, [11C]GV1-57, that specifically binds mature OSNs and quantifies the mature OSN population in vivo. [11C]GV1-57 monitored native OSN population dynamics in rodents, detecting OSN generation during postnatal development and aging-associated neurodegeneration. [11C]GV1-57 additionally measured rates of neuron regeneration after acute injury and early-stage OSN deficits in a rodent tauopathy model of neurodegenerative disease. Preliminary assessment in nonhuman primates suggested maintained uptake and saturable binding of [18F]GV1-57 in primate nasal epithelium, supporting its translational potential. Future applications for GV1-57 include monitoring additional diseases or conditions associated with olfactory dysregulation, including cognitive decline, as well as monitoring effects of neuroregenerative or neuroprotective therapeutics. PMID:28112682

  12. Nasal neuron PET imaging quantifies neuron generation and degeneration.

    PubMed

    Van de Bittner, Genevieve C; Riley, Misha M; Cao, Luxiang; Ehses, Janina; Herrick, Scott P; Ricq, Emily L; Wey, Hsiao-Ying; O'Neill, Michael J; Ahmed, Zeshan; Murray, Tracey K; Smith, Jaclyn E; Wang, Changning; Schroeder, Frederick A; Albers, Mark W; Hooker, Jacob M

    2017-02-01

    Olfactory dysfunction is broadly associated with neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases and predicts increased mortality rates in healthy individuals. Conventional measurements of olfactory health assess odor processing pathways within the brain and provide a limited understanding of primary odor detection. Quantification of the olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs), which detect odors within the nasal cavity, would provide insight into the etiology of olfactory dysfunction associated with disease and mortality. Notably, OSNs are continually replenished by adult neurogenesis in mammals, including humans, so OSN measurements are primed to provide specialized insights into neurological disease. Here, we have evaluated a PET radiotracer, [11C]GV1-57, that specifically binds mature OSNs and quantifies the mature OSN population in vivo. [11C]GV1-57 monitored native OSN population dynamics in rodents, detecting OSN generation during postnatal development and aging-associated neurodegeneration. [11C]GV1-57 additionally measured rates of neuron regeneration after acute injury and early-stage OSN deficits in a rodent tauopathy model of neurodegenerative disease. Preliminary assessment in nonhuman primates suggested maintained uptake and saturable binding of [18F]GV1-57 in primate nasal epithelium, supporting its translational potential. Future applications for GV1-57 include monitoring additional diseases or conditions associated with olfactory dysregulation, including cognitive decline, as well as monitoring effects of neuroregenerative or neuroprotective therapeutics.

  13. Anisotropic path searching for automatic neuron reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Xie, Jun; Zhao, Ting; Lee, Tzumin; Myers, Eugene; Peng, Hanchuan

    2011-10-01

    Full reconstruction of neuron morphology is of fundamental interest for the analysis and understanding of their functioning. We have developed a novel method capable of automatically tracing neurons in three-dimensional microscopy data. In contrast to template-based methods, the proposed approach makes no assumptions about the shape or appearance of neurite structure. Instead, an efficient seeding approach is applied to capture complex neuronal structures and the tracing problem is solved by computing the optimal reconstruction with a weighted graph. The optimality is determined by the cost function designed for the path between each pair of seeds and by topological constraints defining the component interrelations and completeness. In addition, an automated neuron comparison method is introduced for performance evaluation and structure analysis. The proposed algorithm is computationally efficient and has been validated using different types of microscopy data sets including Drosophila's projection neurons and fly neurons with presynaptic sites. In all cases, the approach yielded promising results.

  14. Optimal stimulus shapes for neuronal excitation.

    PubMed

    Forger, Daniel B; Paydarfar, David; Clay, John R

    2011-07-01

    An important problem in neuronal computation is to discern how features of stimuli control the timing of action potentials. One aspect of this problem is to determine how an action potential, or spike, can be elicited with the least energy cost, e.g., a minimal amount of applied current. Here we show in the Hodgkin & Huxley model of the action potential and in experiments on squid giant axons that: 1) spike generation in a neuron can be highly discriminatory for stimulus shape and 2) the optimal stimulus shape is dependent upon inputs to the neuron. We show how polarity and time course of post-synaptic currents determine which of these optimal stimulus shapes best excites the neuron. These results are obtained mathematically using the calculus of variations and experimentally using a stochastic search methodology. Our findings reveal a surprising complexity of computation at the single cell level that may be relevant for understanding optimization of signaling in neurons and neuronal networks.

  15. Morphological Neuron Classification Using Machine Learning

    PubMed Central

    Vasques, Xavier; Vanel, Laurent; Villette, Guillaume; Cif, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Classification and quantitative characterization of neuronal morphologies from histological neuronal reconstruction is challenging since it is still unclear how to delineate a neuronal cell class and which are the best features to define them by. The morphological neuron characterization represents a primary source to address anatomical comparisons, morphometric analysis of cells, or brain modeling. The objectives of this paper are (i) to develop and integrate a pipeline that goes from morphological feature extraction to classification and (ii) to assess and compare the accuracy of machine learning algorithms to classify neuron morphologies. The algorithms were trained on 430 digitally reconstructed neurons subjectively classified into layers and/or m-types using young and/or adult development state population of the somatosensory cortex in rats. For supervised algorithms, linear discriminant analysis provided better classification results in comparison with others. For unsupervised algorithms, the affinity propagation and the Ward algorithms provided slightly better results. PMID:27847467

  16. Selective Neuronal Vulnerability in Human Prion Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Guentchev, Marin; Wanschitz, Julia; Voigtländer, Till; Flicker, Helga; Budka, Herbert

    1999-01-01

    Human transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases are neurodegenerative disorders of infectious, inherited or sporadic origin and include Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker disease (GSS), kuru and fatal familial insomnia (FFI). Clinicopathologic features of FFI differ markedly from other human TSEs. Previous studies demonstrated selective neuronal vulnerability of parvalbumin positive (PV+) GABAergic inhibitory interneurons in sporadic CJD and experimental TSEs. In this report we show uniform severe loss of PV+ neurons also in other TSEs such as GSS, kuru, new variant and familial CJD. In contrast, these neurons are mostly well preserved, or only moderately reduced, in FFI. Only PV+ neurons surrounded by isolectin-B4 positive perineuronal nets were severely affected in TSEs, suggesting a factor residing in this type of extracellular matrix around PV+ neurons as modulator for the selective neuronal vulnerability. PMID:10550300

  17. Morphological Neuron Classification Using Machine Learning.

    PubMed

    Vasques, Xavier; Vanel, Laurent; Villette, Guillaume; Cif, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Classification and quantitative characterization of neuronal morphologies from histological neuronal reconstruction is challenging since it is still unclear how to delineate a neuronal cell class and which are the best features to define them by. The morphological neuron characterization represents a primary source to address anatomical comparisons, morphometric analysis of cells, or brain modeling. The objectives of this paper are (i) to develop and integrate a pipeline that goes from morphological feature extraction to classification and (ii) to assess and compare the accuracy of machine learning algorithms to classify neuron morphologies. The algorithms were trained on 430 digitally reconstructed neurons subjectively classified into layers and/or m-types using young and/or adult development state population of the somatosensory cortex in rats. For supervised algorithms, linear discriminant analysis provided better classification results in comparison with others. For unsupervised algorithms, the affinity propagation and the Ward algorithms provided slightly better results.

  18. A chimeric path to neuronal synchronization

    SciTech Connect

    Essaki Arumugam, Easwara Moorthy; Spano, Mark L.

    2015-01-15

    Synchronization of neuronal activity is associated with neurological disorders such as epilepsy. This process of neuronal synchronization is not fully understood. To further our understanding, we have experimentally studied the progression of this synchronization from normal neuronal firing to full synchronization. We implemented nine FitzHugh-Nagumo neurons (a simplified Hodgkin-Huxley model) via discrete electronics. For different coupling parameters (synaptic strengths), the neurons in the ring were either unsynchronized or completely synchronized when locally coupled in a ring. When a single long-range connection (nonlocal coupling) was introduced, an intermediate state known as a chimera appeared. The results indicate that (1) epilepsy is likely not only a dynamical disease but also a topological disease, strongly tied to the connectivity of the underlying network of neurons, and (2) the synchronization process in epilepsy may not be an “all or none” phenomenon, but can pass through an intermediate stage (chimera)

  19. A chimeric path to neuronal synchronization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Essaki Arumugam, Easwara Moorthy; Spano, Mark L.

    2015-01-01

    Synchronization of neuronal activity is associated with neurological disorders such as epilepsy. This process of neuronal synchronization is not fully understood. To further our understanding, we have experimentally studied the progression of this synchronization from normal neuronal firing to full synchronization. We implemented nine FitzHugh-Nagumo neurons (a simplified Hodgkin-Huxley model) via discrete electronics. For different coupling parameters (synaptic strengths), the neurons in the ring were either unsynchronized or completely synchronized when locally coupled in a ring. When a single long-range connection (nonlocal coupling) was introduced, an intermediate state known as a chimera appeared. The results indicate that (1) epilepsy is likely not only a dynamical disease but also a topological disease, strongly tied to the connectivity of the underlying network of neurons, and (2) the synchronization process in epilepsy may not be an "all or none" phenomenon, but can pass through an intermediate stage (chimera).

  20. MRI of neuronal plasticity in rodent models.

    PubMed

    Pelled, Galit

    2011-01-01

    Modifications in the behavior and architecture of neuronal networks are well documented to occur in association with learning and memory, as well as following injury. These plasticity mechanisms are crucial to ensure adequate processing of stimuli, and they also dictate the degree of recovery following peripheral or central nervous system injury. Nevertheless, the underlying neuronal mechanisms that determine the degree of plasticity of neuronal pathways are not fully understood. Recent developments in animal-dedicated magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners and related hardware afford a high spatial and temporal resolution, making functional MRI and manganese-enhanced MRI emerging tools for studying reorganization of neuronal pathways in rodent models. Many of the observed changes in neuronal functions in rodent's brains following injury discussed here agree with clinical human fMRI findings. This demonstrates that animal model imaging can have a significant clinical impact in the neuronal plasticity and rehabilitation arenas.

  1. A chimeric path to neuronal synchronization.

    PubMed

    Essaki Arumugam, Easwara Moorthy; Spano, Mark L

    2015-01-01

    Synchronization of neuronal activity is associated with neurological disorders such as epilepsy. This process of neuronal synchronization is not fully understood. To further our understanding, we have experimentally studied the progression of this synchronization from normal neuronal firing to full synchronization. We implemented nine FitzHugh-Nagumo neurons (a simplified Hodgkin-Huxley model) via discrete electronics. For different coupling parameters (synaptic strengths), the neurons in the ring were either unsynchronized or completely synchronized when locally coupled in a ring. When a single long-range connection (nonlocal coupling) was introduced, an intermediate state known as a chimera appeared. The results indicate that (1) epilepsy is likely not only a dynamical disease but also a topological disease, strongly tied to the connectivity of the underlying network of neurons, and (2) the synchronization process in epilepsy may not be an "all or none" phenomenon, but can pass through an intermediate stage (chimera).

  2. Neuronal regulation of tendon homoeostasis.

    PubMed

    Ackermann, Paul W

    2013-08-01

    The regulation of tendon homoeostasis, including adaptation to loading, is still not fully understood. Accumulating data, however, demonstrates that in addition to afferent (sensory) functions, the nervous system, via efferent pathways which are associated with through specific neuronal mediators plays an active role in regulating pain, inflammation and tendon homeostasis. This neuronal regulation of intact-, healing- and tendinopathic tendons has been shown to be mediated by three major groups of molecules including opioid, autonomic and excitatory glutamatergic neuroregulators. In intact healthy tendons the neuromediators are found in the surrounding structures: paratenon, endotenon and epitenon, whereas the proper tendon itself is practically devoid of neurovascular supply. This neuroanatomy reflects that normal tendon homoeostasis is regulated from the tendon surroundings. After injury and during tendon repair, however, there is extensive nerve ingrowth into the tendon proper, followed by a time-dependent emergence of sensory, autonomic and glutamatergic mediators, which amplify and fine-tune inflammation and regulate tendon regeneration. In tendinopathic condition, excessive and protracted presence of sensory and glutamatergic neuromediators has been identified, suggesting involvement in inflammatory, nociceptive and hypertrophic (degenerative) tissue responses. Under experimental and clinical conditions of impaired (e.g. diabetes) as well as excessive (e.g. tendinopathy) neuromediator release, dysfunctional tendon homoeostasis develops resulting in chronic pain and gradual degeneration. Thus there is a prospect that in the future pharmacotherapy and tissue engineering approaches targeting neuronal mediators and their receptors may prove to be effective therapies for painful, degenerative and traumatic tendon disorders. © 2013 The Authors. International Journal of Experimental Pathology © 2013 International Journal of Experimental Pathology.

  3. Neuronal representation of object orientation.

    PubMed

    Karnath, H O; Ferber, S; Bülthoff, H H

    2000-01-01

    The dissociation between object identity and object orientation observed in six patients with brain damage, has been taken as evidence for a view-invariant model of object recognition. However, there was also some indication that these patients were not generally agnosic for object orientation but were able to gain access to at least some information about objects' canonical upright. We studied a new case (KB) with spared knowledge of object identity and impaired perception of object orientation using a forced choice paradigm to contrast directly the patient's ability to perceive objects' canonical upright vs non-upright orientations. We presented 2D-pictures of objects with unambiguous canonical upright orientations in four different orientations (0 degrees, -90 degrees, +90 degrees, 180 degrees ). KB showed no impairment in identifying letters, objects, animals, or faces irrespective of their given orientation. Also, her knowledge of upright orientation of stimuli was perfectly preserved. In sharp contrast, KB was not able to judge the orientation when the stimuli were presented in a non-upright orientation. The findings give further support for a distributed view-based representation of objects in which neurons become tuned to the features present in certain views of an object. Since we see more upright than inverted animals and familiar objects, the statistics of these images leads to a larger number of neurons tuned for objects in an upright orientation. We suppose that probably for this reason KB's knowledge of upright orientation was found to be more robust against neuronal damage than knowledge of other orientations.

  4. Neuronal Networks on Nanocellulose Scaffolds.

    PubMed

    Jonsson, Malin; Brackmann, Christian; Puchades, Maja; Brattås, Karoline; Ewing, Andrew; Gatenholm, Paul; Enejder, Annika

    2015-11-01

    Proliferation, integration, and neurite extension of PC12 cells, a widely used culture model for cholinergic neurons, were studied in nanocellulose scaffolds biosynthesized by Gluconacetobacter xylinus to allow a three-dimensional (3D) extension of neurites better mimicking neuronal networks in tissue. The interaction with control scaffolds was compared with cationized nanocellulose (trimethyl ammonium betahydroxy propyl [TMAHP] cellulose) to investigate the impact of surface charges on the cell interaction mechanisms. Furthermore, coatings with extracellular matrix proteins (collagen, fibronectin, and laminin) were investigated to determine the importance of integrin-mediated cell attachment. Cell proliferation was evaluated by a cellular proliferation assay, while cell integration and neurite propagation were studied by simultaneous label-free Coherent anti-Stokes Raman Scattering and second harmonic generation microscopy, providing 3D images of PC12 cells and arrangement of nanocellulose fibrils, respectively. Cell attachment and proliferation were enhanced by TMAHP modification, but not by protein coating. Protein coating instead promoted active interaction between the cells and the scaffold, hence lateral cell migration and integration. Irrespective of surface modification, deepest cell integration measured was one to two cell layers, whereas neurites have a capacity to integrate deeper than the cell bodies in the scaffold due to their fine dimensions and amoeba-like migration pattern. Neurites with lengths of >50 μm were observed, successfully connecting individual cells and cell clusters. In conclusion, TMAHP-modified nanocellulose scaffolds promote initial cellular scaffold adhesion, which combined with additional cell-scaffold treatments enables further formation of 3D neuronal networks.

  5. Performance limitations of relay neurons.

    PubMed

    Agarwal, Rahul; Sarma, Sridevi V

    2012-01-01

    Relay cells are prevalent throughout sensory systems and receive two types of inputs: driving and modulating. The driving input contains receptive field properties that must be transmitted while the modulating input alters the specifics of transmission. For example, the visual thalamus contains relay neurons that receive driving inputs from the retina that encode a visual image, and modulating inputs from reticular activating system and layer 6 of visual cortex that control what aspects of the image will be relayed back to visual cortex for perception. What gets relayed depends on several factors such as attentional demands and a subject's goals. In this paper, we analyze a biophysical based model of a relay cell and use systems theoretic tools to construct analytic bounds on how well the cell transmits a driving input as a function of the neuron's electrophysiological properties, the modulating input, and the driving signal parameters. We assume that the modulating input belongs to a class of sinusoidal signals and that the driving input is an irregular train of pulses with inter-pulse intervals obeying an exponential distribution. Our analysis applies to any [Formula: see text] order model as long as the neuron does not spike without a driving input pulse and exhibits a refractory period. Our bounds on relay reliability contain performance obtained through simulation of a second and third order model, and suggest, for instance, that if the frequency of the modulating input increases or the DC offset decreases, then relay increases. Our analysis also shows, for the first time, how the biophysical properties of the neuron (e.g. ion channel dynamics) define the oscillatory patterns needed in the modulating input for appropriately timed relay of sensory information. In our discussion, we describe how our bounds predict experimentally observed neural activity in the basal ganglia in (i) health, (ii) in Parkinson's disease (PD), and (iii) in PD during therapeutic deep

  6. The genealogy of genealogy of neurons

    PubMed Central

    Moroz, Leonid L

    2014-01-01

    Two scenarios of neuronal evolution (monophyly and polyphyly) are discussed in the historical timeline starting from the 19th century. The recent genomic studies on Ctenophores re-initiated a broad interest in the hypotheses of independent origins of neurons. However, even earlier work on ctenophores suggested that their nervous systems are unique in many aspects of their organization and a possibility of the independent origin of neurons and synapses was introduced well before modern advances in genomic biology. PMID:26478767

  7. Neuron Model with Simplified Memristive Ionic Channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hegab, Almoatazbellah M.; Salem, Noha M.; Radwan, Ahmed G.; Chua, Leon

    2015-06-01

    A simplified neuron model is introduced to mimic the action potential generated by the famous Hodgkin-Huxley equations by using the genetic optimization algorithm. Comparison with different neuron models is investigated, and it is confirmed that the sodium and potassium channels in our simplified neuron model are made out of memristors. In addition, the channel equations in the simplified model may be adjusted to introduce a simplified memristor model that is in accordance with the theoretical conditions of the memristive systems.

  8. Shockwaves Cause Synaptic Degeneration in Cultured Neurons

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-11-02

    constructed of delrin. A piezoresistive pressure sensor (Endevco Model 8530C) was mounted flush with the plate, coaxial with the center of the gene gun ...biolostic gene gun to deliver shockwaves to cultured hippocampal or cortical neurons. These cultured cells form abundant synapses in vitro, and after a 24-48...neurons, we used a biolostic gene gun to deliver shockwaves to cultured hippocampal or cortical neurons. These cultured cells form abundant synapses in

  9. Boronate-tau mediated uptake in neurons.

    PubMed

    Pérez, Mar; Cuadros, Raquel; Pallas-Bazarra, Noemi; García, Carlos; Langa, Elena; Jurado-Arjona, Jerónimo; Hernández, Félix; Avila, Jesús

    2014-01-01

    We modified tau protein with boronic acid to facilitate its delivery into non neural or neural cultured cells lacking tau protein. Our results indicate that the incorporated tau promotes the formation of cytoplasmic extensions in non-neuronal cells, as well as the appearance of neurites in cultured tau knockout hippocampal neurons. In addition, boronated tau is incorporated into hippocampal neurons of tau knockout mice after intracranial injection in vivo. These findings describe a novel method to deliver exogenous tau protein into cells.

  10. High-Degree Neurons Feed Cortical Computations.

    PubMed

    Timme, Nicholas M; Ito, Shinya; Myroshnychenko, Maxym; Nigam, Sunny; Shimono, Masanori; Yeh, Fang-Chin; Hottowy, Pawel; Litke, Alan M; Beggs, John M

    2016-05-01

    Recent work has shown that functional connectivity among cortical neurons is highly varied, with a small percentage of neurons having many more connections than others. Also, recent theoretical developments now make it possible to quantify how neurons modify information from the connections they receive. Therefore, it is now possible to investigate how information modification, or computation, depends on the number of connections a neuron receives (in-degree) or sends out (out-degree). To do this, we recorded the simultaneous spiking activity of hundreds of neurons in cortico-hippocampal slice cultures using a high-density 512-electrode array. This preparation and recording method combination produced large numbers of neurons recorded at temporal and spatial resolutions that are not currently available in any in vivo recording system. We utilized transfer entropy (a well-established method for detecting linear and nonlinear interactions in time series) and the partial information decomposition (a powerful, recently developed tool for dissecting multivariate information processing into distinct parts) to quantify computation between neurons where information flows converged. We found that computations did not occur equally in all neurons throughout the networks. Surprisingly, neurons that computed large amounts of information tended to receive connections from high out-degree neurons. However, the in-degree of a neuron was not related to the amount of information it computed. To gain insight into these findings, we developed a simple feedforward network model. We found that a degree-modified Hebbian wiring rule best reproduced the pattern of computation and degree correlation results seen in the real data. Interestingly, this rule also maximized signal propagation in the presence of network-wide correlations, suggesting a mechanism by which cortex could deal with common random background input. These are the first results to show that the extent to which a neuron

  11. Graded Synaptic Transmission between Spiking Neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1980-06-01

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

  12. High-Degree Neurons Feed Cortical Computations

    PubMed Central

    Timme, Nicholas M.; Ito, Shinya; Shimono, Masanori; Yeh, Fang-Chin; Litke, Alan M.; Beggs, John M.

    2016-01-01

    Recent work has shown that functional connectivity among cortical neurons is highly varied, with a small percentage of neurons having many more connections than others. Also, recent theoretical developments now make it possible to quantify how neurons modify information from the connections they receive. Therefore, it is now possible to investigate how information modification, or computation, depends on the number of connections a neuron receives (in-degree) or sends out (out-degree). To do this, we recorded the simultaneous spiking activity of hundreds of neurons in cortico-hippocampal slice cultures using a high-density 512-electrode array. This preparation and recording method combination produced large numbers of neurons recorded at temporal and spatial resolutions that are not currently available in any in vivo recording system. We utilized transfer entropy (a well-established method for detecting linear and nonlinear interactions in time series) and the partial information decomposition (a powerful, recently developed tool for dissecting multivariate information processing into distinct parts) to quantify computation between neurons where information flows converged. We found that computations did not occur equally in all neurons throughout the networks. Surprisingly, neurons that computed large amounts of information tended to receive connections from high out-degree neurons. However, the in-degree of a neuron was not related to the amount of information it computed. To gain insight into these findings, we developed a simple feedforward network model. We found that a degree-modified Hebbian wiring rule best reproduced the pattern of computation and degree correlation results seen in the real data. Interestingly, this rule also maximized signal propagation in the presence of network-wide correlations, suggesting a mechanism by which cortex could deal with common random background input. These are the first results to show that the extent to which a neuron

  13. Correction: Understanding metal homeostasis in primary cultured neurons. Studies using single neuron subcellular and quantitative metallomics.

    PubMed

    Colvin, Robert A; Lai, Barry; Holmes, William R; Lee, Daewoo

    2015-09-01

    Correction for 'Understanding metal homeostasis in primary cultured neurons. Studies using single neuron subcellular and quantitative metallomics' by Robert A. Colvin et al., Metallomics, 2015, 7, 1111-1123.

  14. A New Population of Parvocellular Oxytocin Neurons Controlling Magnocellular Neuron Activity and Inflammatory Pain Processing.

    PubMed

    Eliava, Marina; Melchior, Meggane; Knobloch-Bollmann, H Sophie; Wahis, Jérôme; da Silva Gouveia, Miriam; Tang, Yan; Ciobanu, Alexandru Cristian; Triana del Rio, Rodrigo; Roth, Lena C; Althammer, Ferdinand; Chavant, Virginie; Goumon, Yannick; Gruber, Tim; Petit-Demoulière, Nathalie; Busnelli, Marta; Chini, Bice; Tan, Linette L; Mitre, Mariela; Froemke, Robert C; Chao, Moses V; Giese, Günter; Sprengel, Rolf; Kuner, Rohini; Poisbeau, Pierrick; Seeburg, Peter H; Stoop, Ron; Charlet, Alexandre; Grinevich, Valery

    2016-03-16

    Oxytocin (OT) is a neuropeptide elaborated by the hypothalamic paraventricular (PVN) and supraoptic (SON) nuclei. Magnocellular OT neurons of these nuclei innervate numerous forebrain regions and release OT into the blood from the posterior pituitary. The PVN also harbors parvocellular OT cells that project to the brainstem and spinal cord, but their function has not been directly assessed. Here, we identified a subset of approximately 30 parvocellular OT neurons, with collateral projections onto magnocellular OT neurons and neurons of deep layers of the spinal cord. Evoked OT release from these OT neurons suppresses nociception and promotes analgesia in an animal model of inflammatory pain. Our findings identify a new population of OT neurons that modulates nociception in a two tier process: (1) directly by release of OT from axons onto sensory spinal cord neurons and inhibiting their activity and (2) indirectly by stimulating OT release from SON neurons into the periphery.

  15. Macroscopic Description for Networks of Spiking Neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montbrió, Ernest; Pazó, Diego; Roxin, Alex

    2015-04-01

    A major goal of neuroscience, statistical physics, and nonlinear dynamics is to understand how brain function arises from the collective dynamics of networks of spiking neurons. This challenge has been chiefly addressed through large-scale numerical simulations. Alternatively, researchers have formulated mean-field theories to gain insight into macroscopic states of large neuronal networks in terms of the collective firing activity of the neurons, or the firing rate. However, these theories have not succeeded in establishing an exact correspondence between the firing rate of the network and the underlying microscopic state of the spiking neurons. This has largely constrained the range of applicability of such macroscopic descriptions, particularly when trying to describe neuronal synchronization. Here, we provide the derivation of a set of exact macroscopic equations for a network of spiking neurons. Our results reveal that the spike generation mechanism of individual neurons introduces an effective coupling between two biophysically relevant macroscopic quantities, the firing rate and the mean membrane potential, which together govern the evolution of the neuronal network. The resulting equations exactly describe all possible macroscopic dynamical states of the network, including states of synchronous spiking activity. Finally, we show that the firing-rate description is related, via a conformal map, to a low-dimensional description in terms of the Kuramoto order parameter, called Ott-Antonsen theory. We anticipate that our results will be an important tool in investigating how large networks of spiking neurons self-organize in time to process and encode information in the brain.

  16. Protein phosphorylation networks in motor neuron death.

    PubMed

    Hu, Jie Hong; Krieger, Charles

    2002-01-01

    The disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is characterized by the death of specific groups of neurons, especially motor neurons, which innervate skeletal muscle, and neurons connecting the cerebral cortex with motor neurons, such as corticospinal tract neurons. There have been numerous attempts to elucidate why there is selective involvement of motor neurons in ALS. Recent observations have demonstrated altered activities and protein levels of diverse kinases in the brain and spinal cord of transgenic mice that overexpress a mutant superoxide dismutase (mSOD) gene that is found in patients with the familial form of ALS, as well as in patients who have died with ALS. These results suggest that the alteration of protein phosphorylation may be involved in the pathogenesis of ALS. The changes in protein kinase and phosphatase expression and activity can affect the activation of important neuronal neurotransmitter receptors such as NMDA receptors or other signaling proteins and can trigger, or modify, the process producing neuronal loss in ALS. These various kinases, phosphatases and signaling proteins are involved in many signaling pathways; however, they have close interactions with each other. Therefore, an understanding of the role of protein kinases and protein phosphatases and the molecular organization of protein phosphorylation networks are useful to determine the mechanisms of selective motor neuron death.

  17. Effective Stimuli for Constructing Reliable Neuron Models

    PubMed Central

    Druckmann, Shaul; Berger, Thomas K.; Schürmann, Felix; Hill, Sean; Markram, Henry; Segev, Idan

    2011-01-01

    The rich dynamical nature of neurons poses major conceptual and technical challenges for unraveling their nonlinear membrane properties. Traditionally, various current waveforms have been injected at the soma to probe neuron dynamics, but the rationale for selecting specific stimuli has never been rigorously justified. The present experimental and theoretical study proposes a novel framework, inspired by learning theory, for objectively selecting the stimuli that best unravel the neuron's dynamics. The efficacy of stimuli is assessed in terms of their ability to constrain the parameter space of biophysically detailed conductance-based models that faithfully replicate the neuron's dynamics as attested by their ability to generalize well to the neuron's response to novel experimental stimuli. We used this framework to evaluate a variety of stimuli in different types of cortical neurons, ages and animals. Despite their simplicity, a set of stimuli consisting of step and ramp current pulses outperforms synaptic-like noisy stimuli in revealing the dynamics of these neurons. The general framework that we propose paves a new way for defining, evaluating and standardizing effective electrical probing of neurons and will thus lay the foundation for a much deeper understanding of the electrical nature of these highly sophisticated and non-linear devices and of the neuronal networks that they compose. PMID:21876663

  18. Glutamate Mediated Astrocytic Filtering of Neuronal Activity

    PubMed Central

    Herzog, Nitzan; De Pittà, Maurizio; Jacob, Eshel Ben; Berry, Hugues; Hanein, Yael

    2014-01-01

    Neuron-astrocyte communication is an important regulatory mechanism in various brain functions but its complexity and role are yet to be fully understood. In particular, the temporal pattern of astrocyte response to neuronal firing has not been fully characterized. Here, we used neuron-astrocyte cultures on multi-electrode arrays coupled to Ca2+ imaging and explored the range of neuronal stimulation frequencies while keeping constant the amount of stimulation. Our results reveal that astrocytes specifically respond to the frequency of neuronal stimulation by intracellular Ca2+ transients, with a clear onset of astrocytic activation at neuron firing rates around 3-5 Hz. The cell-to-cell heterogeneity of the astrocyte Ca2+ response was however large and increasing with stimulation frequency. Astrocytic activation by neurons was abolished with antagonists of type I metabotropic glutamate receptor, validating the glutamate-dependence of this neuron-to-astrocyte pathway. Using a realistic biophysical model of glutamate-based intracellular calcium signaling in astrocytes, we suggest that the stepwise response is due to the supralinear dynamics of intracellular IP3 and that the heterogeneity of the responses may be due to the heterogeneity of the astrocyte-to-astrocyte couplings via gap junction channels. Therefore our results present astrocyte intracellular Ca2+ activity as a nonlinear integrator of glutamate-dependent neuronal activity. PMID:25521344

  19. Genetic control of midbrain dopaminergic neuron development.

    PubMed

    Blaess, Sandra; Ang, Siew-Lan

    2015-01-01

    Midbrain dopaminergic neurons are involved in regulating motor control, reward behavior, and cognition. Degeneration or dysfunction of midbrain dopaminergic neurons is implicated in several neuropsychiatric disorders such as Parkinson's disease, substance use disorders, depression, and schizophrenia. Understanding the developmental processes that generate midbrain dopaminergic neurons will facilitate the generation of dopaminergic neurons from stem cells for cell replacement therapies to substitute degenerating cells in Parkinson's disease patients and will forward our understanding on how functional diversity of dopaminergic neurons in the adult brain is established. Midbrain dopaminergic neurons develop in a multistep process. Following the induction of the ventral midbrain, a distinct dopaminergic progenitor domain is specified and dopaminergic progenitors undergo proliferation, neurogenesis, and differentiation. Subsequently, midbrain dopaminergic neurons acquire a mature dopaminergic phenotype, migrate to their final position and establish projections and connections to their forebrain targets. This review will discuss insights gained on the signaling network of secreted molecules, cell surface receptors, and transcription factors that regulate specification and differentiation of midbrain dopaminergic progenitors and neurons, from the induction of the ventral midbrain to the migration of dopaminergic neurons. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. The authors have declared no conflicts of interest for this article. © 2015 Medical Research Council.

  20. Spiking Neurons for Analysis of Patterns

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huntsberger, Terrance

    2008-01-01

    Artificial neural networks comprising spiking neurons of a novel type have been conceived as improved pattern-analysis and pattern-recognition computational systems. These neurons are represented by a mathematical model denoted the state-variable model (SVM), which among other things, exploits a computational parallelism inherent in spiking-neuron geometry. Networks of SVM neurons offer advantages of speed and computational efficiency, relative to traditional artificial neural networks. The SVM also overcomes some of the limitations of prior spiking-neuron models. There are numerous potential pattern-recognition, tracking, and data-reduction (data preprocessing) applications for these SVM neural networks on Earth and in exploration of remote planets. Spiking neurons imitate biological neurons more closely than do the neurons of traditional artificial neural networks. A spiking neuron includes a central cell body (soma) surrounded by a tree-like interconnection network (dendrites). Spiking neurons are so named because they generate trains of output pulses (spikes) in response to inputs received from sensors or from other neurons. They gain their speed advantage over traditional neural networks by using the timing of individual spikes for computation, whereas traditional artificial neurons use averages of activity levels over time. Moreover, spiking neurons use the delays inherent in dendritic processing in order to efficiently encode the information content of incoming signals. Because traditional artificial neurons fail to capture this encoding, they have less processing capability, and so it is necessary to use more gates when implementing traditional artificial neurons in electronic circuitry. Such higher-order functions as dynamic tasking are effected by use of pools (collections) of spiking neurons interconnected by spike-transmitting fibers. The SVM includes adaptive thresholds and submodels of transport of ions (in imitation of such transport in biological

  1. Endorphinic neurons are contacting the tuberoinfundibular dopaminergic neurons in the rat brain

    SciTech Connect

    Morel, G.; Pelletier, G.

    1986-11-01

    The anatomical relationships between endorphinic neurons and dopaminergic neurons were evaluated in the rat hypothalamus using a combination of immunocytochemistry and autoradiography. In the arcuate nucleus, endorphinic endings were seen making contacts with dopaminergic cell bodies and dendrites. No synapsis could be observed at the sites of contacts. These results strongly suggest that the endorphinic neurons are directly acting on dopaminergic neurons to modify the release of dopamine into the pituitary portal system.

  2. Telemetric recording of neuronal activity.

    PubMed

    Jürgens, Uwe; Hage, Steffen R

    2006-03-01

    A telemetric system is described which allows the wireless registration of extracellular neuronal activity and vocalization-associated skull vibrations in freely moving, socially living squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus). The system consists of a carrier platform with numerous guiding tubes implanted on the skull. Custom-made microdrives are mounted on the platform, allowing the exploration of two electrode tracks at the same time. Commercially available quartz-insulated platinum-tungsten microelectrodes are used. The electrodes can be moved over a distance of 8-10 mm by turning a screw on the microdrive. Vocalization-associated skull vibrations are recorded with a piezo-ceramic element. Skull vibration signal and the signals from the two microelectrodes are fed into separate transmitters having different carrier frequencies. The signals are picked up by an antenna in the animal cage and are sent to three receivers in the central laboratory. Here, the signals are transferred via an analog/digital interface to a personal computer for data analysis and to a video recorder for long-term storage. The total weight of the head mount including carrier platform, microdrive, electrodes, skull vibration sensor, three transmitters, and protection cap is 32 g. The transmitters are powered with two rechargeable lithium batteries, allowing about 8 h of continuous recording. Reliable signal transmission is obtained over a distance of about 2 m. Recording stability allows to follow the activity of specific neurons up to several hours, with no movement artefacts during locomotion.

  3. Advances in motor neurone disease.

    PubMed

    Bäumer, Dirk; Talbot, Kevin; Turner, Martin R

    2014-01-01

    Motor neurone disease (MND), the commonest clinical presentation of which is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is regarded as the most devastating of adult-onset neurodegenerative disorders. The last decade has seen major improvements in patient care, but also rapid scientific advances, so that rational therapies based on key pathogenic mechanisms now seem plausible. ALS is strikingly heterogeneous in both its presentation, with an average one-year delay from first symptoms to diagnosis, and subsequent rate of clinical progression. Although half of patients succumb within 3-4 years of symptom onset, typically through respiratory failure, a significant minority survives into a second decade. Although an apparently sporadic disorder for most patients, without clear environmental triggers, recent genetic studies have identified disease-causing mutations in genes in several seemingly disparate functional pathways, so that motor neuron degeneration may need to be understood as a common final pathway with a number of upstream causes. This apparent aetiological and clinical heterogeneity suggests that therapeutic studies should include detailed biomarker profiling, and consider genetic as well as clinical stratification. The most common mutation, accounting for 10% of all Western hemisphere ALS, is a hexanucleotide repeat expansion in C9orf72. This and several other genes implicate altered RNA processing and protein degradation pathways in the core of ALS pathogenesis. A major gap remains in understanding how such fundamental processes appear to function without obvious deficit in the decades prior to symptom emergence, and the study of pre-symptomatic gene carriers is an important new initiative.

  4. Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (Batten's Disease)

    PubMed Central

    Gordon, N. S.; Marsden, H. B.; Noronha, M. J.

    1972-01-01

    Four patients are described, who on clinical, histological, and biochemical criteria are considered to be suffering from neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis. It is suggested that this may be the commonest condition included under the term amaurotic family idiocy. A number of gangliosidoses can be classified on a biochemical basis and considerable advances have been made in identifying the enzyme deficiencies. The aetiology of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis is unknown, and it is possible that there is more than one cause. Visual symptoms and signs are not always present. Though generalized convulsions occur at the start of the illness, myoclonus tends increasingly to dominate the clinical picture. An abnormal sensitivity to photic stimulation at a very slow frequency is a suggestive finding. Evidence of cerebral atrophy on air-encephalography favours this diagnosis, as the brain tends to be enlarged in the gangliosidoses. A definite diagnosis can only be made in life by examination of a cortical biopsy. Biochemical analysis will show a normal ganglioside pattern, and histological examination by light and electron microscopy will reveal characteristic changes. An age dependent classification of amaurotic family idiocy is no longer justifiable, and if full investigations are carried out, an increasing number of these patients can be diagnosed as suffering from a specific type of disorder. ImagesFIG. 1FIG. 2 PMID:5023478

  5. Differentiating lower motor neuron syndromes.

    PubMed

    Garg, Nidhi; Park, Susanna B; Vucic, Steve; Yiannikas, Con; Spies, Judy; Howells, James; Huynh, William; Matamala, José M; Krishnan, Arun V; Pollard, John D; Cornblath, David R; Reilly, Mary M; Kiernan, Matthew C

    2017-06-01

    Lower motor neuron (LMN) syndromes typically present with muscle wasting and weakness and may arise from pathology affecting the distal motor nerve up to the level of the anterior horn cell. A variety of hereditary causes are recognised, including spinal muscular atrophy, distal hereditary motor neuropathy and LMN variants of familial motor neuron disease. Recent genetic advances have resulted in the identification of a variety of disease-causing mutations. Immune-mediated disorders, including multifocal motor neuropathy and variants of chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, account for a proportion of LMN presentations and are important to recognise, as effective treatments are available. The present review will outline the spectrum of LMN syndromes that may develop in adulthood and provide a framework for the clinician assessing a patient presenting with predominantly LMN features. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/.

  6. [Neuronal mechanisms of chronic pain].

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, M

    2004-05-01

    Until recently the paradigms of pain research were predominantly related to acute pain in humans and animals. Some 20 years ago the focus of basic and clinical research was shifted towards the mechanisms of chronic pain. Usually the nociceptors of our joints respond only to overload and lesions and thus serve protective functions. However, in case of a lasting pain condition mechanisms emerge in the nervous system that result in an increasing sensitivity of the neuronal pain system-these are the initial steps toward the process of pain chronicity. Inflammatory mediators including cytokines result in a dramatic enhancement of peripheral nervous system sensitivity. The ensuing plastic changes in the central neurotransmitter systems result in long term potentiation of synaptic transmission and may include adaptations in neuronal gene transcription. Interactions between the nervous and immune systems as well as learning processes may further wind up pain sensitivity. The tendency of perpetuation inherent to these processes contribute to pain chronicity-can this be halted by preventive treatment strategies?

  7. Stages of neuronal network formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woiterski, Lydia; Claudepierre, Thomas; Luxenhofer, Robert; Jordan, Rainer; Käs, Josef A.

    2013-02-01

    Graph theoretical approaches have become a powerful tool for investigating the architecture and dynamics of complex networks. The topology of network graphs revealed small-world properties for very different real systems among these neuronal networks. In this study, we observed the early development of mouse retinal ganglion cell (RGC) networks in vitro using time-lapse video microscopy. By means of a time-resolved graph theoretical analysis of the connectivity, shortest path length and the edge length, we were able to discover the different stages during the network formation. Starting from single cells, at the first stage neurons connected to each other ending up in a network with maximum complexity. In the further course, we observed a simplification of the network which manifested in a change of relevant network parameters such as the minimization of the path length. Moreover, we found that RGC networks self-organized as small-world networks at both stages; however, the optimization occurred only in the second stage.

  8. Deficiency of GDNF Receptor GFRα1 in Alzheimer's Neurons Results in Neuronal Death

    PubMed Central

    Konishi, Yoshihiro; Yang, Li-Bang; He, Ping; Lindholm, Kristina; Lu, Bai

    2014-01-01

    We have recently developed aged cortical neuron cultures from autopsied human brains with Alzheimer's disease (AD). During the culturing process, we found that glutamatergic cortical neurons from the AD brain lacked a response to glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), including no axonal regrowth, and were starting to undergo apoptosis. Here we showed that, in cortical neurons from age- and gender-matched cognitively normal control (NC) subjects (NC neurons), GDNF enhanced the expression of GDNF family receptor subtype α1 (GFRα1), but not the other three subtypes (GFRα2, GFRα3, and GFRα4), whereas GDNF failed to induce GFRα1 expression in cortical neurons from the AD brain (AD neurons). The exogenous introduction of GFRα1, but not of its binding partner α1-neural cell adhesion molecule, or RET into AD neurons restored the effect of GDNF on neuronal survival. Moreover, between NC and AD neurons, the AMPA receptor blocker CNQX and the NMDA receptor blocker AP-5 had opposite effects on the GFRα1 expression induced by GDNF. In NC neurons, the presence of glutamate receptors was necessary for GDNF-linked GFRα1 expression, while in AD neurons the absence of glutamate receptors was required for GFRα1 expression by GDNF stimulation. These results suggest that, in AD neurons, specific impairments of GFRα1, which may be linked to glutamatergic neurotransmission, shed light on developing potential therapeutic strategies for AD by upregulation of GFRα1 expression. PMID:25253858

  9. Functional Interactions between Newborn and Mature Neurons Leading to Integration into Established Neuronal Circuits.

    PubMed

    Boulanger-Weill, Jonathan; Candat, Virginie; Jouary, Adrien; Romano, Sebastián A; Pérez-Schuster, Verónica; Sumbre, Germán

    2017-06-19

    From development up to adulthood, the vertebrate brain is continuously supplied with newborn neurons that integrate into established mature circuits. However, how this process is coordinated during development remains unclear. Using two-photon imaging, GCaMP5 transgenic zebrafish larvae, and sparse electroporation in the larva's optic tectum, we monitored spontaneous and induced activity of large neuronal populations containing newborn and functionally mature neurons. We observed that the maturation of newborn neurons is a 4-day process. Initially, newborn neurons showed undeveloped dendritic arbors, no neurotransmitter identity, and were unresponsive to visual stimulation, although they displayed spontaneous calcium transients. Later on, newborn-labeled neurons began to respond to visual stimuli but in a very variable manner. At the end of the maturation period, newborn-labeled neurons exhibited visual tuning curves (spatial receptive fields and direction selectivity) and spontaneous correlated activity with neighboring functionally mature neurons. At this developmental stage, newborn-labeled neurons presented complex dendritic arbors and neurotransmitter identity (excitatory or inhibitory). Removal of retinal inputs significantly perturbed the integration of newborn neurons into the functionally mature tectal network. Our results provide a comprehensive description of the maturation of newborn neurons during development and shed light on potential mechanisms underlying their integration into a functionally mature neuronal circuit. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  10. Essential roles of mitochondrial depolarization in neuron loss through microglial activation and attraction toward neurons.

    PubMed

    Nam, Min-Kyung; Shin, Hyun-Ah; Han, Ji-Hye; Park, Dae-Wook; Rhim, Hyangshuk

    2013-04-10

    As life spans increased, neurodegenerative disorders that affect aging populations have also increased. Progressive neuronal loss in specific brain regions is the most common cause of neurodegenerative disease; however, key determinants mediating neuron loss are not fully understood. Using a model of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) loss, we found only 25% cell loss in SH-SY5Y (SH) neuronal mono-cultures, but interestingly, 85% neuronal loss occurred when neurons were co-cultured with BV2 microglia. SH neurons overexpressing uncoupling protein 2 exhibited an increase in neuron-microglia interactions, which represent an early step in microglial phagocytosis of neurons. This result indicates that ΔΨm loss in SH neurons is an important contributor to recruitment of BV2 microglia. Notably, we show that ΔΨm loss in BV2 microglia plays a crucial role in microglial activation and phagocytosis of damaged SH neurons. Thus, our study demonstrates that ΔΨm loss in both neurons and microglia is a critical determinant of neuron loss. These findings also offer new insights into neuroimmunological and bioenergetical aspects of neurodegenerative disease.

  11. Cerebellar Nuclear Neurons Use Time and Rate Coding to Transmit Purkinje Neuron Pauses.

    PubMed

    Sudhakar, Shyam Kumar; Torben-Nielsen, Benjamin; De Schutter, Erik

    2015-12-01

    Neurons of the cerebellar nuclei convey the final output of the cerebellum to their targets in various parts of the brain. Within the cerebellum their direct upstream connections originate from inhibitory Purkinje neurons. Purkinje neurons have a complex firing pattern of regular spikes interrupted by intermittent pauses of variable length. How can the cerebellar nucleus process this complex input pattern? In this modeling study, we investigate different forms of Purkinje neuron simple spike pause synchrony and its influence on candidate coding strategies in the cerebellar nuclei. That is, we investigate how different alignments of synchronous pauses in synthetic Purkinje neuron spike trains affect either time-locking or rate-changes in the downstream nuclei. We find that Purkinje neuron synchrony is mainly represented by changes in the firing rate of cerebellar nuclei neurons. Pause beginning synchronization produced a unique effect on nuclei neuron firing, while the effect of pause ending and pause overlapping synchronization could not be distinguished from each other. Pause beginning synchronization produced better time-locking of nuclear neurons for short length pauses. We also characterize the effect of pause length and spike jitter on the nuclear neuron firing. Additionally, we find that the rate of rebound responses in nuclear neurons after a synchronous pause is controlled by the firing rate of Purkinje neurons preceding it.

  12. Electrophysiology of globus pallidus neurons in vitro.

    PubMed

    Nambu, A; Llinaś, R

    1994-09-01

    1. We investigated the electrical properties of globus pallidus neurons intracellularly using brain slices from adult guinea pigs. Three types of neurons were identified according to their intrinsic electrophysiological properties. 2. Type I neurons (59%) were silent at the resting membrane level (-65 +/- 10 mV, mean +/- SD) and generated a burst of spikes, with strong accommodation, to depolarizing current injection. Calcium-dependent low-frequency (1-8 Hz) membrane oscillations were often elicited by membrane depolarization (-53 +/- 8 mV). A low-threshold calcium conductance and an A-current were also identified. The mean input resistance of this neuronal type was 70 +/- 22 M omega. 3. Type II neurons (37%) fired spontaneously at the resting membrane level (-59 +/- 9 mV). Their repetitive firing (< or = 200 Hz) was very sensitive to the amplitude of injected current and showed weak accommodation. Sodium-dependent high-frequency (20-100 Hz) subthreshold membrane oscillations were often elicited by membrane depolarization. This neuronal type demonstrated a low-threshold calcium spike and had the highest input resistance (134 +/- 62 M omega) of the three neuron types. 4. Type III neurons (4%) did not fire spontaneously at the resting membrane level (-73 +/- 5 mV). Their action potentials were characterized by a long duration (2.3 +/- 0.6 ms). Repetitive firing elicited by depolarizing current injection showed weak or no accommodation. This neuronal type had an A-current and showed the lowest input resistance (52 +/- 35 M omega) of the three neuron types. 5. Stimulation of the caudoputamen evoked inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs) in Type I and II neurons. In Type II neurons the IPSPs were usually followed by rebound firing. Excitatory postsynaptic potentials and antidromic responses were also elicited in some Type I and II neurons. The estimated conduction velocity of the striopallidal projection was < 1 m/s (Type I neurons, 0.49 +/- 0.37 m/s; Type II

  13. Neuron Morphology Influences Axon Initial Segment Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Gulledge, Allan T; Bravo, Jaime J

    2016-01-01

    In most vertebrate neurons, action potentials are initiated in the axon initial segment (AIS), a specialized region of the axon containing a high density of voltage-gated sodium and potassium channels. It has recently been proposed that neurons use plasticity of AIS length and/or location to regulate their intrinsic excitability. Here we quantify the impact of neuron morphology on AIS plasticity using computational models of simplified and realistic somatodendritic morphologies. In small neurons (e.g., dentate granule neurons), excitability was highest when the AIS was of intermediate length and located adjacent to the soma. Conversely, neurons having larger dendritic trees (e.g., pyramidal neurons) were most excitable when the AIS was longer and/or located away from the soma. For any given somatodendritic morphology, increasing dendritic membrane capacitance and/or conductance favored a longer and more distally located AIS. Overall, changes to AIS length, with corresponding changes in total sodium conductance, were far more effective in regulating neuron excitability than were changes in AIS location, while dendritic capacitance had a larger impact on AIS performance than did dendritic conductance. The somatodendritic influence on AIS performance reflects modest soma-to-AIS voltage attenuation combined with neuron size-dependent changes in AIS input resistance, effective membrane time constant, and isolation from somatodendritic capacitance. We conclude that the impact of AIS plasticity on neuron excitability will depend largely on somatodendritic morphology, and that, in some neurons, a shorter or more distally located AIS may promote, rather than limit, action potential generation.

  14. Morphometry of myenteric neurons in stomach.

    PubMed

    Saini, Narbada; Gupta, Madhur

    2007-06-01

    The wall of the gastrointestinal tract presents extensive plexuses of nerve fibres and neuronal cell bodies responsible for the modulation of the rhythmic gastrointestinal peristaltic activities, among other functions. One of the most developed ganglionated plexuses of the gastrointestinal tract is the Myenteric plexus located between the inner circular layer and outer longitudinal layer of the smooth muscle tunica. The musculature of fundus, body and pyloric parts of stomach are differently disposed and they perform different functions. Thus the present study was conducted to study the myenteric plexus of all parts of stomach by counting the number of collections of neurons, number of neurons in each collection, diameter and area of the neurons of the plexus. The stomach walls of 1 cm in size were taken from 5 cadavers of medical post mortem cases from Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Chandigarh and were processed for paraffin sections. 5 and 10 micro thick sections were stained with haematoxylin and Eosin and examined under light microscope. Randomly selected sections were photomicrographed using digital camera and morphometrical analysis was done using Image-Pro Express software. Number of collections of neurons was maximum in fundus with an average of 4.521 and each collection on an average contain 5.27 neurons ranging from 1-31, while body had 3.292 collections containing 1-19 neurons (mean: 3.198), pylorus had 3.883 collections of neurons which contained 1-16 neurons (mean: 4.411). The neurons were classified as small, medium and large according to the size of the area of their cell bodies. In this way, 11.3% neurons were found to be small, 69.5% medium and 19.1% large in fundus, 8.7% small, 80.6% medium and 11.2% large in body and 11.1% small, 74.3% medium and 14.5% large in pylorus.

  15. Motor neurons and the generation of spinal motor neuron diversity

    PubMed Central

    Stifani, Nicolas

    2014-01-01

    Motor neurons (MNs) are neuronal cells located in the central nervous system (CNS) controlling a variety of downstream targets. This function infers the existence of MN subtypes matching the identity of the targets they innervate. To illustrate the mechanism involved in the generation of cellular diversity and the acquisition of specific identity, this review will focus on spinal MNs (SpMNs) that have been the core of significant work and discoveries during the last decades. SpMNs are responsible for the contraction of effector muscles in the periphery. Humans possess more than 500 different skeletal muscles capable to work in a precise time and space coordination to generate complex movements such as walking or grasping. To ensure such refined coordination, SpMNs must retain the identity of the muscle they innervate. Within the last two decades, scientists around the world have produced considerable efforts to elucidate several critical steps of SpMNs differentiation. During development, SpMNs emerge from dividing progenitor cells located in the medial portion of the ventral neural tube. MN identities are established by patterning cues working in cooperation with intrinsic sets of transcription factors. As the embryo develop, MNs further differentiate in a stepwise manner to form compact anatomical groups termed pools connecting to a unique muscle target. MN pools are not homogeneous and comprise subtypes according to the muscle fibers they innervate. This article aims to provide a global view of MN classification as well as an up-to-date review of the molecular mechanisms involved in the generation of SpMN diversity. Remaining conundrums will be discussed since a complete understanding of those mechanisms constitutes the foundation required for the elaboration of prospective MN regeneration therapies. PMID:25346659

  16. Heavy metals in locus ceruleus and motor neurons in motor neuron disease

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The causes of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SALS) and other types of motor neuron disease (MND) remain largely unknown. Heavy metals have long been implicated in MND, and it has recently been shown that inorganic mercury selectively enters human locus ceruleus (LC) and motor neurons. We therefore used silver nitrate autometallography (AMG) to look for AMG-stainable heavy metals (inorganic mercury and bismuth) in LC and motor neurons of 24 patients with MND (18 with SALS and 6 with familial MND) and in the LC of 24 controls. Results Heavy metals in neurons were found in significantly more MND patients than in controls when comparing: (1) the presence of any versus no heavy metal-containing LC neurons (MND 88%, controls 42%), (2) the median percentage of heavy metal-containing LC neurons (MND 9.5%, control 0.0%), and (3) numbers of individuals with heavy metal-containing LC neurons in the upper half of the percentage range (MND 75%, controls 25%). In MND patients, 67% of remaining spinal motor neurons contained heavy metals; smaller percentages were found in hypoglossal, nucleus ambiguus and oculomotor neurons, but none in cortical motor neurons. The majority of MND patients had heavy metals in both LC and spinal motor neurons. No glia or other neurons, including neuromelanin-containing neurons of the substantia nigra, contained stainable heavy metals. Conclusions Uptake of heavy metals by LC and lower motor neurons appears to be fairly common in humans, though heavy metal staining in the LC, most likely due to inorganic mercury, was seen significantly more often in MND patients than in controls. The LC innervates many cell types that are affected in MND, and it is possible that MND is triggered by toxicant-induced interactions between LC and motor neurons. PMID:24330485

  17. Heavy metals in locus ceruleus and motor neurons in motor neuron disease.

    PubMed

    Pamphlett, Roger; Kum Jew, Stephen

    2013-12-12

    The causes of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SALS) and other types of motor neuron disease (MND) remain largely unknown. Heavy metals have long been implicated in MND, and it has recently been shown that inorganic mercury selectively enters human locus ceruleus (LC) and motor neurons. We therefore used silver nitrate autometallography (AMG) to look for AMG-stainable heavy metals (inorganic mercury and bismuth) in LC and motor neurons of 24 patients with MND (18 with SALS and 6 with familial MND) and in the LC of 24 controls. Heavy metals in neurons were found in significantly more MND patients than in controls when comparing: (1) the presence of any versus no heavy metal-containing LC neurons (MND 88%, controls 42%), (2) the median percentage of heavy metal-containing LC neurons (MND 9.5%, control 0.0%), and (3) numbers of individuals with heavy metal-containing LC neurons in the upper half of the percentage range (MND 75%, controls 25%). In MND patients, 67% of remaining spinal motor neurons contained heavy metals; smaller percentages were found in hypoglossal, nucleus ambiguus and oculomotor neurons, but none in cortical motor neurons. The majority of MND patients had heavy metals in both LC and spinal motor neurons. No glia or other neurons, including neuromelanin-containing neurons of the substantia nigra, contained stainable heavy metals. Uptake of heavy metals by LC and lower motor neurons appears to be fairly common in humans, though heavy metal staining in the LC, most likely due to inorganic mercury, was seen significantly more often in MND patients than in controls. The LC innervates many cell types that are affected in MND, and it is possible that MND is triggered by toxicant-induced interactions between LC and motor neurons.

  18. Local and commissural IC neurons make axosomatic inputs on large GABAergic tectothalamic neurons.

    PubMed

    Ito, Tetsufumi; Oliver, Douglas L

    2014-10-15

    Large GABAergic (LG) neurons are a distinct type of neuron in the inferior colliculus (IC) identified by their dense vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGLUT2)-containing axosomatic synaptic terminals. Yet the sources of these terminals are unknown. Since IC glutamatergic neurons express VGLUT2, and IC neurons are known to have local collaterals, we tested the hypothesis that these excitatory, glutamatergic axosomatic inputs on LG neurons come from local axonal collaterals and commissural IC neurons. We injected a recombinant viral tracer into the IC which enabled Golgi-like green fluorescent protein (GFP) labeling in both dendrites and axons. In all cases, we found terminals positive for both GFP and VGLUT2 (GFP+/VGLUT2+) that made axosomatic contacts on LG neurons. One to six axosomatic contacts were made on a single LG cell body by a single axonal branch. The GFP-labeled neurons giving rise to the VGLUT2+ terminals on LG neurons were close by. The density of GFP+/VGLUT2+ terminals on the LG neurons was related to the number of nearby GFP-labeled cells. On the contralateral side, a smaller number of LG neurons received axosomatic contacts from GFP+/VGLUT2+ terminals. In cases with a single GFP-labeled glutamatergic neuron, the labeled axonal plexus was flat, oriented in parallel to the fibrodendritic laminae, and contacted 9-30 LG cell bodies within the plexus. Our data demonstrated that within the IC microcircuitry there is a convergence of inputs from local IC excitatory neurons on LG cell bodies. This suggests that LG neurons are heavily influenced by the activity of the nearby laminar glutamatergic neurons in the IC.

  19. Patch-clamping Drosophila sensory neurons.

    PubMed

    Kucher, Volodymyr; Eaton, Benjamin A; Stockand, James D; Boiko, Nina

    2013-01-01

    Electrophysiological studies provide essential clues about the regulation and physiological function of ion channel proteins. Probing ion channel activity in vivo, though, often is challenging. This can limit the usefulness of such model organisms as Drosophila for electrophysiological studies. This is unfortunate because these genetically tractable organisms represent powerful research tools that facilitate elaboration of complex questions of physiology. Here, we describe a recently developed method for recording ion channel activity in Drosophila sensory neurons. This approach is based on patch-clamping primary neuron cultures from Drosophila embryos. Such cultures allow the study of ion channels in different genetic backgrounds. In addition to describing how to prepare a primary neuronal cell culture from Drosophila embryos, we discuss, as an example of utility, analysis of Na(+) currents in cultured class IV multidendritic (md) sensory neurons with the patch clamp technique. Excitability of md sensory neurons, manifested as action potential firing, is revealed with whole-cell current-clamping. Voltage-clamping class IV md neurons revealed the activity of the voltage-gated Na(+) channel, paralytic. Moreover, challenging class IV md neurons with acidic pH activates acid-sensing inward Na(+) currents. Genetic manipulation of Drosophila combined with this electrophysiological readout of activity identifies pickpocket1 (Ppk1), a member of the Deg/ENaC channel family, as responsible for conducting an acid-sensing Na(+) current in class IV md sensory neurons.

  20. Calcium Phosphate Transfection of Primary Hippocampal Neurons

    PubMed Central

    DiBona, Victoria L.; Wu, Qian; Zhang, Huaye

    2013-01-01

    Calcium phosphate precipitation is a convenient and economical method for transfection of cultured cells. With optimization, it is possible to use this method on hard-to-transfect cells like primary neurons. Here we describe our detailed protocol for calcium phosphate transfection of hippocampal neurons cocultured with astroglial cells. PMID:24300106

  1. Dopaminergic Neurons and Brain Reward Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Sarah X.; Huang, Eric J.

    2017-01-01

    Midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta and ventral tegmental area regulate extrapyramidal movement and important cognitive functions, including motivation, reward associations, and habit learning. Dysfunctions in DA neuron circuitry have been implicated in several neuropsychiatric disorders, including addiction and schizophrenia, whereas selective degeneration of DA neurons in substantia nigra pars compacta is a key neuropathological feature in Parkinson disease. Efforts to understand these disorders have focused on dissecting the underlying causes, as well as developing therapeutic strategies to replenish dopamine deficiency. In particular, the promise of cell replacement therapies for clinical intervention has led to extensive research in the identification of mechanisms involved in DA neuron development. It is hoped that a comprehensive understanding of these mechanisms will lead to therapeutic strategies that improve the efficiency of DA neuron production, engraftment, and function. This review provides a comprehensive discussion on how Wnt/β-catenin and sonic hedgehog–Smoothened signaling mechanisms control the specification and expansion of DA progenitors and the differentiation of DA neurons. We also discuss how mechanisms involving transforming growth factor-β and transcriptional cofactor homeodomain interacting protein kinase 2 regulate the survival and maturation of DA neurons in early postnatal life. These results not only reveal fundamental mechanisms regulating DA neuron development, but also provide important insights to their potential contributions to neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26724386

  2. The Mirror Neuron System and Action Recognition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buccino, Giovanni; Binkofski, Ferdinand; Riggio, Lucia

    2004-01-01

    Mirror neurons, first described in the rostral part of monkey ventral premotor cortex (area F5), discharge both when the animal performs a goal-directed hand action and when it observes another individual performing the same or a similar action. More recently, in the same area mirror neurons responding to the observation of mouth actions have been…

  3. Do mirror neurons subserve action understanding?

    PubMed

    Hickok, Gregory

    2013-04-12

    Mirror neurons were once widely believed to support action understanding via motor simulation of the observed actions. Recent evidence regarding the functional properties of mirror neurons in monkeys as well as much neuropsychological evidence in humans has shown that this is not the case. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Mirror neurons: functions, mechanisms and models.

    PubMed

    Oztop, Erhan; Kawato, Mitsuo; Arbib, Michael A

    2013-04-12

    Mirror neurons for manipulation fire both when the animal manipulates an object in a specific way and when it sees another animal (or the experimenter) perform an action that is more or less similar. Such neurons were originally found in macaque monkeys, in the ventral premotor cortex, area F5 and later also in the inferior parietal lobule. Recent neuroimaging data indicate that the adult human brain is endowed with a "mirror neuron system," putatively containing mirror neurons and other neurons, for matching the observation and execution of actions. Mirror neurons may serve action recognition in monkeys as well as humans, whereas their putative role in imitation and language may be realized in human but not in monkey. This article shows the important role of computational models in providing sufficient and causal explanations for the observed phenomena involving mirror systems and the learning processes which form them, and underlines the need for additional circuitry to lift up the monkey mirror neuron circuit to sustain the posited cognitive functions attributed to the human mirror neuron system. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Where do mirror neurons come from?

    PubMed

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2010-03-01

    Debates about the evolution of the 'mirror neuron system' imply that it is an adaptation for action understanding. Alternatively, mirror neurons may be a byproduct of associative learning. Here I argue that the adaptation and associative hypotheses both offer plausible accounts of the origin of mirror neurons, but the associative hypothesis has three advantages. First, it provides a straightforward, testable explanation for the differences between monkeys and humans that have led some researchers to question the existence of a mirror neuron system. Second, it is consistent with emerging evidence that mirror neurons contribute to a range of social cognitive functions, but do not play a dominant, specialised role in action understanding. Finally, the associative hypothesis is supported by recent data showing that, even in adulthood, the mirror neuron system can be transformed by sensorimotor learning. The associative account implies that mirror neurons come from sensorimotor experience, and that much of this experience is obtained through interaction with others. Therefore, if the associative account is correct, the mirror neuron system is a product, as well as a process, of social interaction. (c) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Adaptive Neurons For Artificial Neural Networks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tawel, Raoul

    1990-01-01

    Training time decreases dramatically. In improved mathematical model of neural-network processor, temperature of neurons (in addition to connection strengths, also called weights, of synapses) varied during supervised-learning phase of operation according to mathematical formalism and not heuristic rule. Evidence that biological neural networks also process information at neuronal level.

  7. Multidisciplinary Interventions in Motor Neuron Disease

    PubMed Central

    Williams, U. E.; Philip-Ephraim, E. E.; Oparah, S. K.

    2014-01-01

    Motor neuron disease is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by loss of upper motor neuron in the motor cortex and lower motor neurons in the brain stem and spinal cord. Death occurs 2–4 years after the onset of the disease. A complex interplay of cellular processes such as mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, excitotoxicity, and impaired axonal transport are proposed pathogenetic processes underlying neuronal cell loss. Currently evidence exists for the use of riluzole as a disease modifying drug; multidisciplinary team care approach to patient management; noninvasive ventilation for respiratory management; botulinum toxin B for sialorrhoea treatment; palliative care throughout the course of the disease; and Modafinil use for fatigue treatment. Further research is needed in management of dysphagia, bronchial secretion, pseudobulbar affect, spasticity, cramps, insomnia, cognitive impairment, and communication in motor neuron disease. PMID:26317009

  8. Interaction function of coupled bursting neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xia, Shi; Jiadong, Zhang

    2016-06-01

    The interaction functions of electrically coupled Hindmarsh-Rose (HR) neurons for different firing patterns are investigated in this paper. By applying the phase reduction technique, the phase response curve (PRC) of the spiking neuron and burst phase response curve (BPRC) of the bursting neuron are derived. Then the interaction function of two coupled neurons can be calculated numerically according to the PRC (or BPRC) and the voltage time course of the neurons. Results show that the BPRC is more and more complicated with the increase of the spike number within a burst, and the curve of the interaction function oscillates more and more frequently with it. However, two certain things are unchanged: ϕ = 0, which corresponds to the in-phase synchronization state, is always the stable equilibrium, while the anti-phase synchronization state with ϕ = 0.5 is an unstable equilibrium. Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 11272065 and 11472061).

  9. Attractor dynamics in local neuronal networks

    PubMed Central

    Thivierge, Jean-Philippe; Comas, Rosa; Longtin, André

    2014-01-01

    Patterns of synaptic connectivity in various regions of the brain are characterized by the presence of synaptic motifs, defined as unidirectional and bidirectional synaptic contacts that follow a particular configuration and link together small groups of neurons. Recent computational work proposes that a relay network (two populations communicating via a third, relay population of neurons) can generate precise patterns of neural synchronization. Here, we employ two distinct models of neuronal dynamics and show that simulated neural circuits designed in this way are caught in a global attractor of activity that prevents neurons from modulating their response on the basis of incoming stimuli. To circumvent the emergence of a fixed global attractor, we propose a mechanism of selective gain inhibition that promotes flexible responses to external stimuli. We suggest that local neuronal circuits may employ this mechanism to generate precise patterns of neural synchronization whose transient nature delimits the occurrence of a brief stimulus. PMID:24688457

  10. Fractional differentiation by neocortical pyramidal neurons

    PubMed Central

    Lundstrom, Brian Nils; Higgs, Matthew H; Spain, William J; Fairhall, Adrienne L

    2008-01-01

    Neural systems adapt to changes in stimulus statistics. However, it is not known how stimuli with complex temporal dynamics drive the dynamics of adaptation and the resulting firing rate. For single neurons, it has often been assumed that adaptation has a single time scale. Here, we show that single rat neocortical pyramidal neurons adapt with a time scale that depends on the time scale of changes in stimulus statistics. This multiple time scale adaptation is consistent with fractional order differentiation, such that the neuron’s firing rate is a fractional derivative of slowly varying stimulus parameters. Biophysically, even though neuronal fractional differentiation effectively yields adaptation with many time scales, we find that its implementation requires only a few, properly balanced known adaptive mechanisms. Fractional differentiation provides single neurons with a fundamental and general computation that can contribute to efficient information processing, stimulus anticipation, and frequency independent phase shifts of oscillatory neuronal firing. PMID:18931665

  11. Dendritic trafficking for neuronal growth and plasticity.

    PubMed

    Ehlers, Michael D

    2013-12-01

    Among the largest cells in the body, neurons possess an immense surface area and intricate geometry that poses many unique cell biological challenges. This morphological complexity is critical for neural circuit formation and enables neurons to compartmentalize cell-cell communication and local intracellular signalling to a degree that surpasses other cell types. The adaptive plastic properties of neurons, synapses and circuits have been classically studied by measurement of electrophysiological properties, ionic conductances and excitability. Over the last 15 years, the field of synaptic and neural electrophysiology has collided with neuronal cell biology to produce a more integrated understanding of how these remarkable highly differentiated cells utilize common eukaryotic cellular machinery to decode, integrate and propagate signals in the nervous system. The present article gives a very brief and personal overview of the organelles and trafficking machinery of neuronal dendrites and their role in dendritic and synaptic plasticity.

  12. Pacemaking Property of RVLM Presympathetic Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Accorsi-Mendonça, Daniela; da Silva, Melina P.; Souza, George M. P. R.; Lima-Silveira, Ludmila; Karlen-Amarante, Marlusa; Amorim, Mateus R.; Almado, Carlos E. L.; Moraes, Davi J. A.; Machado, Benedito H.

    2016-01-01

    Despite several studies describing the electrophysiological properties of RVLM presympathetic neurons, there is no consensus in the literature about their pacemaking property, mainly due to different experimental approaches used for recordings of neuronal intrinsic properties. In this review we are presenting a historical retrospective about the pioneering studies and their controversies on the intrinsic electrophysiological property of auto-depolarization of these cells in conjunction with recent studies from our laboratory documenting that RVLM presympathetic neurons present pacemaking capacity. We also discuss whether increased sympathetic activity observed in animal models of neurogenic hypertension (CIH and SHR) are dependent on changes in the intrinsic electrophysiological properties of these cells or due to changes in modulatory inputs from neurons of the respiratory network. We also highlight the key role of INaP as the major current contributing to the pacemaking property of RVLM presympathetic neurons. PMID:27713705

  13. Automated Neuron Tracing Methods: An Updated Account.

    PubMed

    Acciai, Ludovica; Soda, Paolo; Iannello, Giulio

    2016-10-01

    The reconstruction of neuron morphology allows to investigate how the brain works, which is one of the foremost challenges in neuroscience. This process aims at extracting the neuronal structures from microscopic imaging data. The great advances in microscopic technologies have made a huge amount of data available at the micro-, or even lower, resolution where manual inspection is time consuming, prone to error and utterly impractical. This has motivated the development of methods to automatically trace the neuronal structures, a task also known as neuron tracing. This paper surveys the latest neuron tracing methods available in the scientific literature as well as a selection of significant older papers to better place these proposals into context. They are categorized into global processing, local processing and meta-algorithm approaches. Furthermore, we point out the algorithmic components used to design each method and we report information on the datasets and the performance metrics used.

  14. PRIMARY CULTURES OF DISSOCIATED SYMPATHETIC NEURONS

    PubMed Central

    Mains, Richard E.; Patterson, Paul H.

    1973-01-01

    Rat sympathetic ganglia were disrupted by mechanical agitation to yield dissociated primary neurons, and the conditions for long-term growth in culture of the isolated neurons were examined. The neurons were grown with or without non-neural cells, simply by the addition or deletion of bicarbonate during growth in culture. Fluorescence histochemistry indicated that the isolated neurons contained catecholamines; incubations with radioactive precursors were used to verify the synthesis and accumulation of both dopamine and norepinephrine. The neurons also produced octopamine using tyramine as precursor, but not with tyrosine as the precursor. In the presence of eserine, older cultures synthesized and stored small amounts of acetylcholine. The cultures did not synthesize and accumulate detectable levels of radioactive γ-aminobutyric acid, 5-hydroxytryptamine, or histamine. PMID:4616046

  15. A computational model of motor neuron degeneration.

    PubMed

    Le Masson, Gwendal; Przedborski, Serge; Abbott, L F

    2014-08-20

    To explore the link between bioenergetics and motor neuron degeneration, we used a computational model in which detailed morphology and ion conductance are paired with intracellular ATP production and consumption. We found that reduced ATP availability increases the metabolic cost of a single action potential and disrupts K+/Na+ homeostasis, resulting in a chronic depolarization. The magnitude of the ATP shortage at which this ionic instability occurs depends on the morphology and intrinsic conductance characteristic of the neuron. If ATP shortage is confined to the distal part of the axon, the ensuing local ionic instability eventually spreads to the whole neuron and involves fasciculation-like spiking events. A shortage of ATP also causes a rise in intracellular calcium. Our modeling work supports the notion that mitochondrial dysfunction can account for salient features of the paralytic disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, including motor neuron hyperexcitability, fasciculation, and differential vulnerability of motor neuron subpopulations. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. A COMPUTATIONAL MODEL OF MOTOR NEURON DEGENERATION

    PubMed Central

    Le Masson, Gwendal; Przedborski, Serge; Abbott, L.F.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY To explore the link between bioenergetics and motor neuron degeneration, we used a computational model in which detailed morphology and ion conductance are paired with intracellular ATP production and consumption. We found that reduced ATP availability increases the metabolic cost of a single action potential and disrupts K+/Na+ homeostasis, resulting in a chronic depolarization. The magnitude of the ATP shortage at which this ionic instability occurs depends on the morphology and intrinsic conductance characteristic of the neuron. If ATP shortage is confined to the distal part of the axon, the ensuing local ionic instability eventually spreads to the whole neuron and involves fasciculation-like spiking events. A shortage of ATP also causes a rise in intracellular calcium. Our modeling work supports the notion that mitochondrial dysfunction can account for salient features of the paralytic disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, including motor neuron hyperexcitability, fasciculation, and differential vulnerability of motor neuron subpopulations. PMID:25088365

  17. Kisspeptin Excitation of GnRH Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Rønnekleiv, Oline K.; Kelly, Martin J.

    2014-01-01

    Kisspeptin binding to its cognate G protein-coupled receptor (GPR54, aka Kiss1R) in gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons stimulates peptide release and activation of the reproductive axis in mammals. Kisspeptin has pronounced pre- and postsynaptic effects, with the latter dominating the excitability of GnRH neurons. Presynaptically, kisspeptin increases the excitatory drive (both GABA-A and glutamate) to GnRH neurons and postsynaptically, kisspeptin inhibits an A-type and inwardly rectifying K + (Kir 6.2 and GIRK) currents and activates nonselective cation (TRPC) currents to cause long-lasting depolarization and increased action potential firing. The signaling cascades and the multiple intracellular targets of kisspeptin actions in native GnRH neurons are continuing to be elucidated. This review summarizes our current state of knowledge about kisspeptin signaling in GnRH neurons. PMID:23550004

  18. [Impact of opiates on dopaminergic neurons].

    PubMed

    Kaufling, Jennifer; Freund-Mercier, Marie-José; Barrot, Michel

    2016-01-01

    Since the work of Johnson and North, it is known that opiates increase the activity of dopaminergic neurons by a GABA neuron-mediated desinhibition. This model should however be updated based on recent advances. Thus, the neuroanatomical location of the GABA neurons responsible for this desinhibition has been recently detailed: they belong to a brain structure in continuity with the posterior part of the ventral tegmental area and discovered this past decade. Other data also highlighted the critical role played by glutamatergic transmission in the opioid regulation of dopaminergic neuron activity. During protracted opiate withdrawal, the inhibitory/excitatory balance exerted on dopaminergic neurons is altered. These results are now leading to propose an original hypothesis for explaining the impact of protracted opiate withdrawal on mood.

  19. Vestibular efferent neurons project to the flocculus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shinder, M. E.; Purcell, I. M.; Kaufman, G. D.; Perachio, A. A.

    2001-01-01

    A bilateral projection from the vestibular efferent neurons, located dorsal to the genu of the facial nerve, to the cerebellar flocculus and ventral paraflocculus was demonstrated. Efferent neurons were double-labeled by the unilateral injections of separate retrograde tracers into the labyrinth and into the floccular and ventral parafloccular lobules. Efferent neurons were found with double retrograde tracer labeling both ipsilateral and contralateral to the sites of injection. No double labeling was found when using a fluorescent tracer with non-fluorescent tracers such as horseradish peroxidase (HRP) or biotinylated dextran amine (BDA), but large percentages of efferent neurons were found to be double labeled when using two fluorescent substances including: fluorogold, microruby dextran amine, or rhodamine labeled latex beads. These data suggest a potential role for vestibular efferent neurons in modulating the dynamics of the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) during normal and adaptive conditions.

  20. Neuronal Migration and AUTS2 Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Hori, Kei; Hoshino, Mikio

    2017-05-14

    Neuronal migration is one of the pivotal steps to form a functional brain, and disorganization of this process is believed to underlie the pathology of psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and epilepsy. However, it is not clear how abnormal neuronal migration causes mental dysfunction. Recently, a key gene for various psychiatric diseases, the Autism susceptibility candidate 2 (AUTS2), has been shown to regulate neuronal migration, which gives new insight into understanding this question. Interestingly, the AUTS2 protein has dual functions: Cytoplasmic AUTS2 regulates actin cytoskeleton to control neuronal migration and neurite extension, while nuclear AUTS2 controls transcription of various genes as a component of the polycomb complex 1 (PRC1). In this review, we discuss AUTS2 from the viewpoint of human genetics, molecular function, brain development, and behavior in animal models, focusing on its role in neuronal migration.

  1. Central auditory neurons have composite receptive fields

    PubMed Central

    Kozlov, Andrei S.; Gentner, Timothy Q.

    2016-01-01

    High-level neurons processing complex, behaviorally relevant signals are sensitive to conjunctions of features. Characterizing the receptive fields of such neurons is difficult with standard statistical tools, however, and the principles governing their organization remain poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate multiple distinct receptive-field features in individual high-level auditory neurons in a songbird, European starling, in response to natural vocal signals (songs). We then show that receptive fields with similar characteristics can be reproduced by an unsupervised neural network trained to represent starling songs with a single learning rule that enforces sparseness and divisive normalization. We conclude that central auditory neurons have composite receptive fields that can arise through a combination of sparseness and normalization in neural circuits. Our results, along with descriptions of random, discontinuous receptive fields in the central olfactory neurons in mammals and insects, suggest general principles of neural computation across sensory systems and animal classes. PMID:26787894

  2. Vestibular efferent neurons project to the flocculus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shinder, M. E.; Purcell, I. M.; Kaufman, G. D.; Perachio, A. A.

    2001-01-01

    A bilateral projection from the vestibular efferent neurons, located dorsal to the genu of the facial nerve, to the cerebellar flocculus and ventral paraflocculus was demonstrated. Efferent neurons were double-labeled by the unilateral injections of separate retrograde tracers into the labyrinth and into the floccular and ventral parafloccular lobules. Efferent neurons were found with double retrograde tracer labeling both ipsilateral and contralateral to the sites of injection. No double labeling was found when using a fluorescent tracer with non-fluorescent tracers such as horseradish peroxidase (HRP) or biotinylated dextran amine (BDA), but large percentages of efferent neurons were found to be double labeled when using two fluorescent substances including: fluorogold, microruby dextran amine, or rhodamine labeled latex beads. These data suggest a potential role for vestibular efferent neurons in modulating the dynamics of the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) during normal and adaptive conditions.

  3. Timing control by redundant inhibitory neuronal circuits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tristan, I.; Rulkov, N. F.; Huerta, R.; Rabinovich, M.

    2014-03-01

    Rhythms and timing control of sequential activity in the brain is fundamental to cognition and behavior. Although experimental and theoretical studies support the understanding that neuronal circuits are intrinsically capable of generating different time intervals, the dynamical origin of the phenomenon of functionally dependent timing control is still unclear. Here, we consider a new mechanism that is related to the multi-neuronal cooperative dynamics in inhibitory brain motifs consisting of a few clusters. It is shown that redundancy and diversity of neurons within each cluster enhances the sensitivity of the timing control with the level of neuronal excitation of the whole network. The generality of the mechanism is shown to work on two different neuronal models: a conductance-based model and a map-based model.

  4. Targeting neurons and photons for optogenetics.

    PubMed

    Packer, Adam M; Roska, Botond; Häusser, Michael

    2013-07-01

    Optogenetic approaches promise to revolutionize neuroscience by using light to manipulate neural activity in genetically or functionally defined neurons with millisecond precision. Harnessing the full potential of optogenetic tools, however, requires light to be targeted to the right neurons at the right time. Here we discuss some barriers and potential solutions to this problem. We review methods for targeting the expression of light-activatable molecules to specific cell types, under genetic, viral or activity-dependent control. Next we explore new ways to target light to individual neurons to allow their precise activation and inactivation. These techniques provide a precision in the temporal and spatial activation of neurons that was not achievable in previous experiments. In combination with simultaneous recording and imaging techniques, these strategies will allow us to mimic the natural activity patterns of neurons in vivo, enabling previously impossible 'dream experiments'.

  5. Independent component analysis in spiking neurons.

    PubMed

    Savin, Cristina; Joshi, Prashant; Triesch, Jochen

    2010-04-22

    Although models based on independent component analysis (ICA) have been successful in explaining various properties of sensory coding in the cortex, it remains unclear how networks of spiking neurons using realistic plasticity rules can realize such computation. Here, we propose a biologically plausible mechanism for ICA-like learning with spiking neurons. Our model combines spike-timing dependent plasticity and synaptic scaling with an intrinsic plasticity rule that regulates neuronal excitability to maximize information transmission. We show that a stochastically spiking neuron learns one independent component for inputs encoded either as rates or using spike-spike correlations. Furthermore, different independent components can be recovered, when the activity of different neurons is decorrelated by adaptive lateral inhibition.

  6. Mirror Neurons through the Lens of Epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    Ferrari, Pier F.; Tramacere, Antonella; Simpson, Elizabeth A.; Iriki, Atsushi

    2013-01-01

    The consensus view in mirror neuron research is that mirror neurons comprise a uniform, stable execution-observation matching system. In this article, we argue that, in light of recent evidence, this is, at best, an incomplete and oversimplified view of mirror neurons, whose activity is actually quite variable and more plastic than previously theorized. We propose an epigenetic account for understanding developmental changes in sensorimotor systems, including variations in mirror neuron activity. Although extant associative and genetic accounts fail to consider the complexity of genetic and non-genetic interactions, we propose a new Evo-Devo perspective, which predicts that environmental differences early in development, or through sensorimotor training, should produce variations in mirror neuron response patterns, tuning them to the social environment. PMID:23953747

  7. Mirror neurons: their implications for group psychotherapy.

    PubMed

    Schermer, Victor L

    2010-10-01

    Recently discovered mirror neurons in the motor cortex of the brain register the actions and intentions of both the organism and others in the environment. As such, they may play a significant role in social behavior and groups. This paper considers the potential implications of mirror neurons and related neural networks for group therapists, proposing that mirror neurons and mirror systems provide "hard-wired" support for the group therapist's belief in the centrality of relationships in the treatment process and exploring their value in accounting for group-as-a-whole phenomena. Mirror neurons further confirm the holistic, social nature of perception, action, and intention as distinct from a stimulus-response behaviorism. The implications of mirror neurons and mirroring processes for the group therapist role, interventions, and training are also discussed.

  8. Mirror neurons through the lens of epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Ferrari, Pier F; Tramacere, Antonella; Simpson, Elizabeth A; Iriki, Atsushi

    2013-09-01

    The consensus view in mirror neuron research is that mirror neurons comprise a uniform, stable execution-observation matching system. In this opinion article, we argue that, in light of recent evidence, this is at best an incomplete and oversimplified view of mirror neurons, where activity is actually variable and more plastic than previously theorized. We propose an epigenetic account for understanding developmental changes in sensorimotor systems, including variations in mirror neuron activity. Although associative and genetic accounts fail to consider the complexity of genetic and nongenetic interactions, we propose a new evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) perspective, which predicts that environmental differences early in development should produce variations in mirror neuron response patterns, tuning them to the social environment. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Reflections on mirror neurons and speech perception.

    PubMed

    Lotto, Andrew J; Hickok, Gregory S; Holt, Lori L

    2009-03-01

    The discovery of mirror neurons, a class of neurons that respond when a monkey performs an action and also when the monkey observes others producing the same action, has promoted a renaissance for the Motor Theory (MT) of speech perception. This is because mirror neurons seem to accomplish the same kind of one to one mapping between perception and action that MT theorizes to be the basis of human speech communication. However, this seeming correspondence is superficial, and there are theoretical and empirical reasons to temper enthusiasm about the explanatory role mirror neurons might have for speech perception. In fact, rather than providing support for MT, mirror neurons are actually inconsistent with the central tenets of MT.

  10. An overview of the neuron ring model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taber, Rod

    1991-01-01

    The Neuron Ring model employs an avalanche structure with two important distinctions at the neuron level. Each neuron has two memory latches; one traps maximum neuronal activation during pattern presentation, and the other records the time of latch content change. The latches filter short term memory. In the process, they preserve length 1 snapshots of activation theory history. The model finds utility in pattern classification. Its synaptic weights are first conditioned with sample spectra. The model then receives a test or unknown signal. The objective is to identify the sample closest to the test signal. Class decision follows complete presentation of the test data. The decision maker relies exclusively on the latch contents. Presented here is an overview of the Neuron Ring at the seminar level.

  11. Timing control by redundant inhibitory neuronal circuits

    SciTech Connect

    Tristan, I. Rulkov, N. F.; Huerta, R.; Rabinovich, M.

    2014-03-15

    Rhythms and timing control of sequential activity in the brain is fundamental to cognition and behavior. Although experimental and theoretical studies support the understanding that neuronal circuits are intrinsically capable of generating different time intervals, the dynamical origin of the phenomenon of functionally dependent timing control is still unclear. Here, we consider a new mechanism that is related to the multi-neuronal cooperative dynamics in inhibitory brain motifs consisting of a few clusters. It is shown that redundancy and diversity of neurons within each cluster enhances the sensitivity of the timing control with the level of neuronal excitation of the whole network. The generality of the mechanism is shown to work on two different neuronal models: a conductance-based model and a map-based model.

  12. Effects of surface asymmetry on neuronal growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Staii, Cristian

    Understanding the brain is of tremendous fundamental importance, but it is immensely challenging because of the complexity of both its architecture and function. A growing body of evidence shows that physical stimuli (stiffness of the growth substrate, gradients of various molecular species, geometry of the surrounding environment, traction forces etc.) play a key role in the wiring up of the nervous system. I will present a systematic experimental and theoretical investigation of neuronal growth on substrates with asymmetric geometries and textures. The experimental results show unidirectional axonal growth on these substrates. We demonstrate that the unidirectional bias is imparted by the surface ratchet geometry and quantify the geometrical guidance cues that control neuronal growth. Our results provide new insight into the role played by physical cues in neuronal growth, and could lead to new methods for stimulating neuronal regeneration and the engineering of artificial neuronal tissue. We acknowledge support from NSF through CBET 1067093.

  13. Neuron Biomechanics Probed by Atomic Force Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Spedden, Elise; Staii, Cristian

    2013-01-01

    Mechanical interactions play a key role in many processes associated with neuronal growth and development. Over the last few years there has been significant progress in our understanding of the role played by the substrate stiffness in neuronal growth, of the cell-substrate adhesion forces, of the generation of traction forces during axonal elongation, and of the relationships between the neuron soma elastic properties and its health. The particular capabilities of the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), such as high spatial resolution, high degree of control over the magnitude and orientation of the applied forces, minimal sample damage, and the ability to image and interact with cells in physiologically relevant conditions make this technique particularly suitable for measuring mechanical properties of living neuronal cells. This article reviews recent advances on using the AFM for studying neuronal biomechanics, provides an overview about the state-of-the-art measurements, and suggests directions for future applications. PMID:23921683

  14. Quo vadis motor neuron disease?

    PubMed Central

    Balendra, Rubika; Patani, Rickie

    2016-01-01

    Motor neuron disease (MND), also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a relentlessly progressive neurodegenerative condition that is invariably fatal, usually within 3 to 5 years of diagnosis. The aetio-pathogenesis of MND remains unresolved and no effective treatments exist. The only Food and Drug Administration approved disease modifying therapy is riluzole, a glutamate antagonist, which prolongs survival by up to 3 mo. Current management is largely symptomatic/supportive. There is therefore a desperate and unmet clinical need for discovery of disease mechanisms to guide novel therapeutic strategy. In this review, we start by introducing the organizational anatomy of the motor system, before providing a clinical overview of its dysfunction specifically in MND. We then summarize insights gained from pathological, genetic and animal models and conclude by speculating on optimal strategies to drive the step change in discovery, which is so desperately needed in this arena. PMID:27019797

  15. Molecular chaperones and neuronal proteostasis.

    PubMed

    Smith, Heather L; Li, Wenwen; Cheetham, Michael E

    2015-04-01

    Protein homeostasis (proteostasis) is essential for maintaining the functionality of the proteome. The disruption of proteostasis, due to genetic mutations or an age-related decline, leads to aberrantly folded proteins that typically lose their function. The accumulation of misfolded and aggregated protein is also cytotoxic and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Neurons have developed an intrinsic protein quality control network, of which molecular chaperones are an essential component. Molecular chaperones function to promote efficient folding and target misfolded proteins for refolding or degradation. Increasing molecular chaperone expression can suppress protein aggregation and toxicity in numerous models of neurodegenerative disease; therefore, molecular chaperones are considered exciting therapeutic targets. Furthermore, mutations in several chaperones cause inherited neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we focus on the importance of molecular chaperones in neurodegenerative diseases, and discuss the advances in understanding their protective mechanisms. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Molecular chaperones and neuronal proteostasis

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Heather L.; Li, Wenwen; Cheetham, Michael E.

    2015-01-01

    Protein homeostasis (proteostasis) is essential for maintaining the functionality of the proteome. The disruption of proteostasis, due to genetic mutations or an age-related decline, leads to aberrantly folded proteins that typically lose their function. The accumulation of misfolded and aggregated protein is also cytotoxic and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Neurons have developed an intrinsic protein quality control network, of which molecular chaperones are an essential component. Molecular chaperones function to promote efficient folding and target misfolded proteins for refolding or degradation. Increasing molecular chaperone expression can suppress protein aggregation and toxicity in numerous models of neurodegenerative disease; therefore, molecular chaperones are considered exciting therapeutic targets. Furthermore, mutations in several chaperones cause inherited neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we focus on the importance of molecular chaperones in neurodegenerative diseases, and discuss the advances in understanding their protective mechanisms. PMID:25770416

  17. Active properties of neuronal dendrites.

    PubMed

    Johnston, D; Magee, J C; Colbert, C M; Cristie, B R

    1996-01-01

    Dendrites of neurons in the central nervous system are the principal sites for excitatory synaptic input. Although little is known about their function, two disparate perspectives have arisen to describe the activity patterns inherent to these diverse tree-like structures. Dendrites are thus considered either passive or active in their role in integrating synaptic inputs. This review follows the history of dendritic research from before the turn of the century to the present, with a primary focus on the hippocampus. A number of recent techniques, including high-speed fluorescence imaging and dendritic patch clamping, have provided new information and perspectives about the active properties of dendrites. The results support previous notions about the dendritic propagation of action potentials and also indicate which types of voltage-gated sodium and calcium channels are expressed and functionally active in dendrites. Possible roles for the active properties of dendrites in synaptic plasticity and integration are also discussed.

  18. Parallel network simulations with NEURON.

    PubMed

    Migliore, M; Cannia, C; Lytton, W W; Markram, Henry; Hines, M L

    2006-10-01

    The NEURON simulation environment has been extended to support parallel network simulations. Each processor integrates the equations for its subnet over an interval equal to the minimum (interprocessor) presynaptic spike generation to postsynaptic spike delivery connection delay. The performance of three published network models with very different spike patterns exhibits superlinear speedup on Beowulf clusters and demonstrates that spike communication overhead is often less than the benefit of an increased fraction of the entire problem fitting into high speed cache. On the EPFL IBM Blue Gene, almost linear speedup was obtained up to 100 processors. Increasing one model from 500 to 40,000 realistic cells exhibited almost linear speedup on 2,000 processors, with an integration time of 9.8 seconds and communication time of 1.3 seconds. The potential for speed-ups of several orders of magnitude makes practical the running of large network simulations that could otherwise not be explored.

  19. Parallel Network Simulations with NEURON

    PubMed Central

    Migliore, M.; Cannia, C.; Lytton, W.W; Markram, Henry; Hines, M. L.

    2009-01-01

    The NEURON simulation environment has been extended to support parallel network simulations. Each processor integrates the equations for its subnet over an interval equal to the minimum (interprocessor) presynaptic spike generation to postsynaptic spike delivery connection delay. The performance of three published network models with very different spike patterns exhibits superlinear speedup on Beowulf clusters and demonstrates that spike communication overhead is often less than the benefit of an increased fraction of the entire problem fitting into high speed cache. On the EPFL IBM Blue Gene, almost linear speedup was obtained up to 100 processors. Increasing one model from 500 to 40,000 realistic cells exhibited almost linear speedup on 2000 processors, with an integration time of 9.8 seconds and communication time of 1.3 seconds. The potential for speed-ups of several orders of magnitude makes practical the running of large network simulations that could otherwise not be explored. PMID:16732488

  20. A single-neuron tracing study of arkypallidal and prototypic neurons in healthy rats.

    PubMed

    Fujiyama, Fumino; Nakano, Takashi; Matsuda, Wakoto; Furuta, Takahiro; Udagawa, Jun; Kaneko, Takeshi

    2016-12-01

    The external globus pallidus (GP) is known as a relay nucleus of the indirect pathway of the basal ganglia. Recent studies in dopamine-depleted and healthy rats indicate that the GP comprises two main types of pallidofugal neurons: the so-called "prototypic" and "arkypallidal" neurons. However, the reconstruction of complete arkypallidal neurons in healthy rats has not been reported. Here we visualized the entire axonal arborization of four single arkypallidal neurons and six single prototypic neurons in rat brain using labeling with a viral vector expressing membrane-targeted green fluorescent protein and examined the distribution of axon boutons in the target nuclei. Results revealed that not only the arkypallidal neurons but nearly all of the prototypic neurons projected to the striatum with numerous axon varicosities. Thus, the striatum is a major target nucleus for pallidal neurons. Arkypallidal and prototypic GP neurons located in the calbindin-positive and calbindin-negative regions mainly projected to the corresponding positive and negative regions in the striatum. Because the GP and striatum calbindin staining patterns reflect the topographic organization of the striatopallidal projection, the striatal neurons in the sensorimotor and associative regions constitute the reciprocal connection with the GP neurons in the corresponding regions.

  1. Neuron-derived IgG protects neurons from complement-dependent cytotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jie; Niu, Na; Li, Bingjie; McNutt, Michael A

    2013-12-01

    Passive immunity of the nervous system has traditionally been thought to be predominantly due to the blood-brain barrier. This concept must now be revisited based on the existence of neuron-derived IgG. The conventional concept is that IgG is produced solely by mature B lymphocytes, but it has now been found to be synthesized by murine and human neurons. However, the function of this endogenous IgG is poorly understood. In this study, we confirm IgG production by rat cortical neurons at the protein and mRNA levels, with 69.0 ± 5.8% of cortical neurons IgG-positive. Injury to primary-culture neurons was induced by complement leading to increases in IgG production. Blockage of neuron-derived IgG resulted in more neuronal death and early apoptosis in the presence of complement. In addition, FcγRI was found in microglia and astrocytes. Expression of FcγR I in microglia was increased by exposure to neuron-derived IgG. Release of NO from microglia triggered by complement was attenuated by neuron-derived IgG, and this attenuation could be reversed by IgG neutralization. These data demonstrate that neuron-derived IgG is protective of neurons against injury induced by complement and microglial activation. IgG appears to play an important role in maintaining the stability of the nervous system.

  2. Role of neuronal activity in regulating the structure and function of auditory neurons

    SciTech Connect

    Born, D.E.

    1986-01-01

    The role of afferent activity in maintaining neuronal structure and function was investigated in second order auditory neurons in nucleus magnocellularis (NM) of the chicken. The cochlea provides the major excitatory input to NM neurons via the eighth nerve. Removal of the cochlea causes dramatic changes in NM neurons. To determine if the elimination of neuronal activity is responsible for the changes in NM seen after cochlea removal, tetrodotoxin was used block action potentials in the cochlear ganglion cells. Tetrodotoxin injections into the perilymph reliably blocked neuronal activity in the cochlear nerve and NM. Far field recordings of sound-evoked potentials revealed that responses returned within 6 hours. Changes in amino acid incorporation in NM neurons were measured by giving intracardiac injections of /sup 3/H-leucine and preparing tissue for autoradiographic demonstration of incorporated amino acid. Grain counts over individual neurons revealed that a single injection of tetrodotoxin produced a 40% decrease in grain density in ipsilateral NM neurons. It is concluded that neuronal activity plays an important contribution to the maintenance of the normal properties of NM neurons.

  3. Orexinergic neurons and barbiturate anesthesia.

    PubMed

    Kushikata, T; Hirota, K; Yoshida, H; Kudo, M; Lambert, D G; Smart, D; Jerman, J C; Matsuki, A

    2003-01-01

    Orexins (OXs) regulate sleep with possible interactions with brain noradrenergic neurons. In addition, noradrenergic activity affects barbiturate anesthesia. As we have also recently reported that OXs selectively evoke norepinephrine release from rat cerebrocortical slices we hypothesized that barbiturate anesthesia may result from of an interaction with central orexinergic systems. To test this hypothesis, we performed a series of in vivo and in vitro studies in rats. In vivo, the effects of i.c.v. OX A, B and SB-334867-A (OX1 receptor antagonist) on pentobarbital, thiopental or phenobarbital-induced anesthesia times (loss of righting reflex) was assessed. In vitro effects of barbiturates and SB-334867-A on OX-evoked norepinephrine release from cerebrocortical slice was examined. In Chinese hamster ovary cells expressing human OX1/OX2 receptors OX A- and B-evoked increases in intracellular Ca2+ were measured with and without barbiturates. OX A and B significantly decreased pentobarbital, thiopental and phenobarbital anesthesia times by 15-40%. SB-334867-A increased thiopental-induced anesthesia time by approximately by 40%, and reversed the decrease produced by OX A. In vitro, all anesthetic barbiturates inhibited OX-evoked norepinephrine release with clinically relevant IC50 values. A GABAA antagonist, bicuculline, did not modify the inhibitory effects of thiopental and the GABAA agonist, muscimol, did not inhibit norepinephrine release. In addition there was no interaction of barbiturates with either OX1 or OX2 receptors. Collectively our data suggest that orexinergic neurons may be an important target for barbiturates, and GABAA, OX1 and OX2 receptors may not be involved in this interaction.

  4. Pathological Changes of von Economo Neuron and Fork Neuron in Neuropsychiatric Diseases.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jia; Wang, Lu-ning; Arzberger, Thomas; Zhu, Ming-wei

    2016-02-01

    von Economo neuron (VEN) is a bipolar neuron characterized by a large spindle-shaped soma. VEN is generally distributed in the layer V of anterior insular lobe and anterior cingulate cortex. Fork neuron is another featured bipolar neuron. In recent years,many studies have illustrated that VEN and fork neurons are correlated with complicated cognition such as self-consciousness and social emotion. Studies in the development and morpholigies of these two neurons as well as their pathological changes in various neurological and psychiatric disorders have found that the abnormal number and functions of VEN can cause corresponding dysfunctions in social recognition and emotions both during the neuro-developmental stages of childhood and during the nerve degeneration in old age stage. Therefore, more attentions should be paid on the research of VEN and fork neurons in neuropsychiatric diseases.

  5. Dynamical estimation of neuron and network properties III: network analysis using neuron spike times.

    PubMed

    Knowlton, Chris; Meliza, C Daniel; Margoliash, Daniel; Abarbanel, Henry D I

    2014-06-01

    Estimating the behavior of a network of neurons requires accurate models of the individual neurons along with accurate characterizations of the connections among them. Whereas for a single cell, measurements of the intracellular voltage are technically feasible and sufficient to characterize a useful model of its behavior, making sufficient numbers of simultaneous intracellular measurements to characterize even small networks is infeasible. This paper builds on prior work on single neurons to explore whether knowledge of the time of spiking of neurons in a network, once the nodes (neurons) have been characterized biophysically, can provide enough information to usefully constrain the functional architecture of the network: the existence of synaptic links among neurons and their strength. Using standardized voltage and synaptic gating variable waveforms associated with a spike, we demonstrate that the functional architecture of a small network of model neurons can be established.

  6. Effect of cholecystokinin on experimental neuronal aging

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Xiao-Jiang; Lu, Qin-Chi; Cai, Yan

    2005-01-01

    AIM: To observe the effect of cholecystokinin (CCK) on lipofusin value, neuronal dendrite and spine ultrastructure, and total cellular protein during the process of experimental neuronal aging. METHODS: Experimental neuronal aging study model was established by NBA2 cellular serum-free culture method. By using single intracellular lipofusin value from microspectrophotometry, morphology of neuronal dendrites and spines from the scanner electron microscopy, and total cellular protein as the indexes of experimental neuronal aging, we observed the effect of CCK8 on the process of experimental neuronal aging. RESULTS: Under the condition of serum-free culture, intracellular fluorescence value (%) increased with the extension of culture time (1 d 8.51±3.43; 5 d 10.12±3.03; 10 d 20.54±10.3; 15 d 36.88±10.49; bP<0.01). When CCK was added to serum-free culture medium, intracellular lipofusin value (%) decreased remarkably after consecutive CCK reaction for 10 and 15 d (control 36.88±10.49; 5 d 32.03±10.01; 10 d 14.37±5.55; 15 d 17.31±4.80; bP<0.01). As the time of serum-free culturing was prolonged, the number of neuronal dendrite and spine cells decreased. The later increased in number when CCK8 was added. CCK8 could improve the total cellular protein in the process of experimental neuronal aging. CONCLUSION: CCK8 may prolong the process of experimental neuronal aging by maintaining the structure and the number of neuronal dendrite and spine cells and changing the total cellular protein. PMID:15641144

  7. Neuronal Ensemble Synchrony during Human Focal Seizures

    PubMed Central

    Ahmed, Omar J.; Harrison, Matthew T.; Eskandar, Emad N.; Cosgrove, G. Rees; Madsen, Joseph R.; Blum, Andrew S.; Potter, N. Stevenson; Hochberg, Leigh R.; Cash, Sydney S.

    2014-01-01

    Seizures are classically characterized as the expression of hypersynchronous neural activity, yet the true degree of synchrony in neuronal spiking (action potentials) during human seizures remains a fundamental question. We quantified the temporal precision of spike synchrony in ensembles of neocortical neurons during seizures in people with pharmacologically intractable epilepsy. Two seizure types were analyzed: those characterized by sustained gamma (∼40–60 Hz) local field potential (LFP) oscillations or by spike-wave complexes (SWCs; ∼3 Hz). Fine (<10 ms) temporal synchrony was rarely present during gamma-band seizures, where neuronal spiking remained highly irregular and asynchronous. In SWC seizures, phase locking of neuronal spiking to the SWC spike phase induced synchrony at a coarse 50–100 ms level. In addition, transient fine synchrony occurred primarily during the initial ∼20 ms period of the SWC spike phase and varied across subjects and seizures. Sporadic coherence events between neuronal population spike counts and LFPs were observed during SWC seizures in high (∼80 Hz) gamma-band and during high-frequency oscillations (∼130 Hz). Maximum entropy models of the joint neuronal spiking probability, constrained only on single neurons' nonstationary coarse spiking rates and local network activation, explained most of the fine synchrony in both seizure types. Our findings indicate that fine neuronal ensemble synchrony occurs mostly during SWC, not gamma-band, seizures, and primarily during the initial phase of SWC spikes. Furthermore, these fine synchrony events result mostly from transient increases in overall neuronal network spiking rates, rather than changes in precise spiking correlations between specific pairs of neurons. PMID:25057195

  8. Starving neurons show sex difference in autophagy.

    PubMed

    Du, Lina; Hickey, Robert W; Bayir, Hülya; Watkins, Simon C; Tyurin, Vladimir A; Guo, Fengli; Kochanek, Patrick M; Jenkins, Larry W; Ren, Jin; Gibson, Greg; Chu, Charleen T; Kagan, Valerian E; Clark, Robert S B

    2009-01-23

    Sex-dependent differences in adaptation to famine have long been appreciated, thought to hinge on female versus male preferences for fat versus protein sources, respectively. However, whether these differences can be reduced to neurons, independent of typical nutrient depots, such as adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, and liver, was heretofore unknown. A vital adaptation to starvation is autophagy, a mechanism for recycling amino acids from organelles and proteins. Here we show that segregated neurons from males in culture are more vulnerable to starvation than neurons from females. Nutrient deprivation decreased mitochondrial respiration, increased autophagosome formation, and produced cell death more profoundly in neurons from males versus females. Starvation-induced neuronal death was attenuated by 3-methyladenine, an inhibitor of autophagy; Atg7 knockdown using small interfering RNA; or L-carnitine, essential for transport of fatty acids into mitochondria, all more effective in neurons from males versus females. Relative tolerance to nutrient deprivation in neurons from females was associated with a marked increase in triglyceride and free fatty acid content and a cytosolic phospholipase A2-dependent increase in formation of lipid droplets. Similar sex differences in sensitivity to nutrient deprivation were seen in fibroblasts. However, although inhibition of autophagy using Atg7 small interfering RNA inhibited cell death during starvation in neurons, it increased cell death in fibroblasts, implying that the role of autophagy during starvation is both sex- and tissue-dependent. Thus, during starvation, neurons from males more readily undergo autophagy and die, whereas neurons from females mobilize fatty acids, accumulate triglycerides, form lipid droplets, and survive longer.

  9. Mirror neurons: from origin to function.

    PubMed

    Cook, Richard; Bird, Geoffrey; Catmur, Caroline; Press, Clare; Heyes, Cecilia

    2014-04-01

    This article argues that mirror neurons originate in sensorimotor associative learning and therefore a new approach is needed to investigate their functions. Mirror neurons were discovered about 20 years ago in the monkey brain, and there is now evidence that they are also present in the human brain. The intriguing feature of many mirror neurons is that they fire not only when the animal is performing an action, such as grasping an object using a power grip, but also when the animal passively observes a similar action performed by another agent. It is widely believed that mirror neurons are a genetic adaptation for action understanding; that they were designed by evolution to fulfill a specific socio-cognitive function. In contrast, we argue that mirror neurons are forged by domain-general processes of associative learning in the course of individual development, and, although they may have psychological functions, they do not necessarily have a specific evolutionary purpose or adaptive function. The evidence supporting this view shows that (1) mirror neurons do not consistently encode action "goals"; (2) the contingency- and context-sensitive nature of associative learning explains the full range of mirror neuron properties; (3) human infants receive enough sensorimotor experience to support associative learning of mirror neurons ("wealth of the stimulus"); and (4) mirror neurons can be changed in radical ways by sensorimotor training. The associative account implies that reliable information about the function of mirror neurons can be obtained only by research based on developmental history, system-level theory, and careful experimentation.

  10. Death of Neurons following Injury Requires Conductive Neuronal Gap Junction Channels but Not a Specific Connexin

    PubMed Central

    Fontes, Joseph D.; Ramsey, Jon; Polk, Jeremy M; Koop, Andre; Denisova, Janna V.; Belousov, Andrei B.

    2015-01-01

    Pharmacological blockade or genetic knockout of neuronal connexin 36 (Cx36)-containing gap junctions reduces neuronal death caused by ischemia, traumatic brain injury and NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated excitotoxicity. However, whether Cx36 gap junctions contribute to neuronal death via channel-dependent or channel-independent mechanism remains an open question. To address this, we manipulated connexin protein expression via lentiviral transduction of mouse neuronal cortical cultures and analyzed neuronal death twenty-four hours following administration of NMDA (a model of NMDAR excitotoxicity) or oxygen-glucose deprivation (a model of ischemic injury). In cultures prepared from wild-type mice, over-expression and knockdown of Cx36-containing gap junctions augmented and prevented, respectively, neuronal death from NMDAR-mediated excitotoxicity and ischemia. In cultures obtained form from Cx36 knockout mice, re-expression of functional gap junction channels, containing either neuronal Cx36 or non-neuronal Cx43 or Cx31, resulted in increased neuronal death following insult. In contrast, the expression of communication-deficient gap junctions (containing mutated connexins) did not have this effect. Finally, the absence of ethidium bromide uptake in non-transduced wild-type neurons two hours following NMDAR excitotoxicity or ischemia suggested the absence of active endogenous hemichannels in those neurons. Taken together, these results suggest a role for neuronal gap junctions in cell death via a connexin type-independent mechanism that likely relies on channel activities of gap junctional complexes among neurons. A possible contribution of gap junction channel-permeable death signals in neuronal death is discussed. PMID:26017008

  11. Contribution of synchronized GABAergic neurons to dopaminergic neuron firing and bursting.

    PubMed

    Morozova, Ekaterina O; Myroshnychenko, Maxym; Zakharov, Denis; di Volo, Matteo; Gutkin, Boris; Lapish, Christopher C; Kuznetsov, Alexey

    2016-10-01

    In the ventral tegmental area (VTA), interactions between dopamine (DA) and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons are critical for regulating DA neuron activity and thus DA efflux. To provide a mechanistic explanation of how GABA neurons influence DA neuron firing, we developed a circuit model of the VTA. The model is based on feed-forward inhibition and recreates canonical features of the VTA neurons. Simulations revealed that γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor (GABAR) stimulation can differentially influence the firing pattern of the DA neuron, depending on the level of synchronization among GABA neurons. Asynchronous activity of GABA neurons provides a constant level of inhibition to the DA neuron and, when removed, produces a classical disinhibition burst. In contrast, when GABA neurons are synchronized by common synaptic input, their influence evokes additional spikes in the DA neuron, resulting in increased measures of firing and bursting. Distinct from previous mechanisms, the increases were not based on lowered firing rate of the GABA neurons or weaker hyperpolarization by the GABAR synaptic current. This phenomenon was induced by GABA-mediated hyperpolarization of the DA neuron that leads to decreases in intracellular calcium (Ca(2+)) concentration, thus reducing the Ca(2+)-dependent potassium (K(+)) current. In this way, the GABA-mediated hyperpolarization replaces Ca(2+)-dependent K(+) current; however, this inhibition is pulsatile, which allows the DA neuron to fire during the rhythmic pauses in inhibition. Our results emphasize the importance of inhibition in the VTA, which has been discussed in many studies, and suggest a novel mechanism whereby computations can occur locally.

  12. Developmental history of the subplate zone, subplate neurons and interstitial white matter neurons: relevance for schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Kostović, Ivica; Judaš, Miloš; Sedmak, Goran

    2011-05-01

    The subplate zone is a transient cytoarchitectonic compartment of the fetal telencephalic wall and contains a population of subplate neurons which are the main neurons of the fetal neocortex and play a key role in normal development of cerebral cortical structure and connectivity. While the subplate zone disappears during the perinatal and early postnatal period, numerous subplate neurons survive and remain embedded in the superficial (gyral) white matter of adolescent and adult brain as so-called interstitial neurons. In both fetal and adult brain, subplate/interstitial neurons belong to two major classes of cortical cells: (a) projection (glutamatergic) neurons and (b) local circuit (GABAergic) interneurons. As interstitial neurons remain strategically positioned at the cortical/white matter interface through which various cortical afferent systems enter the deep cortical layers, they probably serve as auxiliary interneurons involved in differential "gating" of cortical input systems. It is widely accepted that prenatal lesions which alter the number of surviving subplate neurons (i.e., the number of interstitial neurons) and/or the nature of their involvement in cortical circuitry represent an important causal factor in pathogenesis of at least some types of schizophrenia--e.g., in the subgroup of patients with cognitive impairment and deficits of frontal lobe functions. The abnormal functioning of cortical circuitry in schizophrenia becomes manifest during the adolescence, when there is an increased demand for proper functioning of the prefrontal cortex. In this review, we describe developmental history of subplate zone, subplate neurons and surviving interstitial neurons, as well as presumed consequences of the increased number of GABAergic interstitial neurons in the prefrontal cortex. We propose that the increased number of GABAergic interstitial neurons leads to the increased inhibition of prefrontal cortical neurons. This inhibitory action of GABAergic

  13. Neurons Are Host Cells for Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    PubMed Central

    Randall, Philippa J.; Hsu, Nai-Jen; Lang, Dirk; Cooper, Susan; Sebesho, Boipelo; Allie, Nasiema; Keeton, Roanne; Francisco, Ngiambudulu M.; Salie, Sumayah; Labuschagné, Antoinette; Quesniaux, Valerie; Ryffel, Bernhard; Kellaway, Lauriston

    2014-01-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection of the central nervous system is thought to be initiated once the bacilli have breached the blood brain barrier and are phagocytosed, primarily by microglial cells. In this study, the interactions of M. tuberculosis with neurons in vitro and in vivo were investigated. The data obtained demonstrate that neurons can act as host cells for M. tuberculosis. M. tuberculosis bacilli were internalized by murine neuronal cultured cells in a time-dependent manner after exposure, with superior uptake by HT22 cells compared to Neuro-2a cells (17.7% versus 9.8%). Internalization of M. tuberculosis bacilli by human SK-N-SH cultured neurons suggested the clinical relevance of the findings. Moreover, primary murine hippocampus-derived neuronal cultures could similarly internalize M. tuberculosis. Internalized M. tuberculosis bacilli represented a productive infection with retention of bacterial viability and replicative potential, increasing 2- to 4-fold within 48 h. M. tuberculosis bacillus infection of neurons was confirmed in vivo in the brains of C57BL/6 mice after intracerebral challenge. This study, therefore, demonstrates neurons as potential new target cells for M. tuberculosis within the central nervous system. PMID:24566619

  14. Neurons are host cells for Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Randall, Philippa J; Hsu, Nai-Jen; Lang, Dirk; Cooper, Susan; Sebesho, Boipelo; Allie, Nasiema; Keeton, Roanne; Francisco, Ngiambudulu M; Salie, Sumayah; Labuschagné, Antoinette; Quesniaux, Valerie; Ryffel, Bernhard; Kellaway, Lauriston; Jacobs, Muazzam

    2014-05-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection of the central nervous system is thought to be initiated once the bacilli have breached the blood brain barrier and are phagocytosed, primarily by microglial cells. In this study, the interactions of M. tuberculosis with neurons in vitro and in vivo were investigated. The data obtained demonstrate that neurons can act as host cells for M. tuberculosis. M. tuberculosis bacilli were internalized by murine neuronal cultured cells in a time-dependent manner after exposure, with superior uptake by HT22 cells compared to Neuro-2a cells (17.7% versus 9.8%). Internalization of M. tuberculosis bacilli by human SK-N-SH cultured neurons suggested the clinical relevance of the findings. Moreover, primary murine hippocampus-derived neuronal cultures could similarly internalize M. tuberculosis. Internalized M. tuberculosis bacilli represented a productive infection with retention of bacterial viability and replicative potential, increasing 2- to 4-fold within 48 h. M. tuberculosis bacillus infection of neurons was confirmed in vivo in the brains of C57BL/6 mice after intracerebral challenge. This study, therefore, demonstrates neurons as potential new target cells for M. tuberculosis within the central nervous system.

  15. New trends in neuronal migration disorders.

    PubMed

    Verrotti, Alberto; Spalice, Alberto; Ursitti, Fabiana; Papetti, Laura; Mariani, Rosanna; Castronovo, Antonella; Mastrangelo, Mario; Iannetti, Paola

    2010-01-01

    Neuronal migration disorders are an heterogeneous group of disorders of nervous system development and they are considered to be one of the most significant causes of neurological and developmental disabilities and epileptic seizures in childhood. In the last ten years, molecular biologic and genetic investigations have widely increased our knowledge about the regulation of neuronal migration during development. One of the most frequent disorders is lissencephaly. It is characterized by a paucity of normal gyri and sulci resulting in a "smooth brain". There are two pathologic subtypes: classical and cobblestone. Classical lissencephaly is caused by an arrest of neuronal migration whereas cobblestone lissencephaly caused by overmigration. Heterotopia is another important neuronal migration disorder. It is characterized by a cluster of disorganized neurons in abnormal locations and it is divided into three main groups: periventricular nodular heterotopia, subcortical heterotopia and marginal glioneural heterotopia. Polymicrogyria develops at the final stages of neuronal migration, in the earliest phases of cortical organization; bilateral frontoparietal form is characterized by bilateral, symmetric polymicrogyria in the frontoparietal regions. Bilateral perisylvian polymicrogyria causes a clinical syndrome which manifests itself in the form of mild mental retardation, epilepsy and pseudobulbar palsy. Schizencephaly is another important neuronal migration disorder whose clinical characteristics are extremely variable. This review reports the main clinical and pathophysiological aspects of these disorders paying particular attention to the recent advances in molecular genetics. Copyright 2009 European Paediatric Neurology Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. A vascular perspective on neuronal migration.

    PubMed

    Segarra, Marta; Kirchmaier, Bettina C; Acker-Palmer, Amparo

    2015-11-01

    During CNS development and adult neurogenesis, immature neurons travel from the germinal zones towards their final destination using cellular substrates for their migration. Classically, radial glia and neuronal axons have been shown to act as physical scaffolds to support neuroblast locomotion in processes known as gliophilic and neurophilic migration, respectively (Hatten, 1999; Marin and Rubenstein, 2003; Rakic, 2003). In adulthood, long distance neuronal migration occurs in a glial-independent manner since radial glia cells differentiate into astrocytes after birth. A series of studies highlight a novel mode of neuronal migration that uses blood vessels as scaffolds, the so-called vasophilic migration. This migration mode allows neuroblast navigation in physiological and also pathological conditions, such as neuronal precursor migration after ischemic stroke or cerebral invasion of glioma tumor cells. Here we review the current knowledge about how vessels pave the path for migrating neurons and how trophic factors derived by glio-vascular structures guide neuronal migration both during physiological as well as pathological processes. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  17. Neuronal growth and differentiation on biodegradable membranes.

    PubMed

    Morelli, Sabrina; Piscioneri, Antonella; Messina, Antonietta; Salerno, Simona; Al-Fageeh, Mohamed B; Drioli, Enrico; De Bartolo, Loredana

    2015-02-01

    Semipermeable polymeric membranes with appropriate morphological, physicochemical and transport properties are relevant to inducing neural regeneration. We developed novel biodegradable membranes to support neuronal differentiation. In particular, we developed chitosan, polycaprolactone and polyurethane flat membranes and a biosynthetic blend between polycaprolactone and polyurethane by phase-inversion techniques. The biodegradable membranes were characterized in order to evaluate their morphological, physicochemical, mechanical and degradation properties. We investigated the efficacy of these different membranes to promote the adhesion and differentiation of neuronal cells. We employed as model cell system the human neuroblastoma cell line SHSY5Y, which is a well-established system for studying neuronal differentiation. The investigation of viability and specific neuronal marker expression allowed assessment that the correct neuronal differentiation and the formation of neuronal network had taken place in vitro in the cells seeded on different biodegradable membranes. Overall, this study provides evidence that neural cell responses depend on the nature of the biodegradable polymer used to form the membranes, as well as on the dissolution, hydrophilic and, above all, mechanical membrane properties. PCL-PU membranes exhibit mechanical properties that improve neurite outgrowth and the expression of specific neuronal markers.

  18. Calretinin Neurons in the Rat Suprachiasmatic Nucleus.

    PubMed

    Moore, Robert Y

    2016-08-01

    The hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), a circadian pacemaker, is present in all mammalian brains. It has a complex organization of peptide-containing neurons that is similar among species, but calcium-binding proteins are expressed variably. Neurons containing calretinin have been described in the SCN in a number of species but not with association to circadian function. The objective of the present study is to characterize a calretinin neuron (CAR) group in the rat anterior hypothalamus anatomically and functionally with a detailed description of its location and a quantitative analysis of neuronal calretinin immunoreactivity at 3 times of day, 0600, 1400, and 1900 h, from animals in either light-dark or constant dark conditions. CAR neurons occupy a region in the dorsal and lateral SCN with a circadian rhythm in CAR immunoreactivity with a peak at 0600 h and a rhythm in cytoplasmic CAR distribution with a peak at 1400 h. CAR neurons should be viewed as an anatomical and functional component of the rat SCN that expands the definition from observations with cell stains. CAR neurons are likely to modulate temporal regulation of calcium in synaptic transmission.

  19. Subthalamic Nucleus Stimulation Modulates Thalamic Neuronal Activity

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Weidong; Russo, Gary S.; Hashimoto, Takao; Zhang, Jianyu; Vitek, Jerrold L.

    2009-01-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) in the subthalamic nucleus (STN) is an effective tool for the treatment of advanced Parkinson’s disease. The mechanism by which STN DBS elicits its beneficial effect, however, remains unclear. We previously reported STN stimulation increased the rate and produced a more regular and periodic pattern of neuronal activity in the internal segment of the globus pallidus (GPi). Here we extend our observations to neurons in the pallidal (ventralis lateralis pars oralis (VLo) and ventralis anterior (VA)) and cerebellar (ventralis lateralis posterior pars oralis (VPLo)) receiving areas of the motor thalamus during STN DBS. Stimulation parameters that produced improvement in rigidity and bradykinesia resulted in changes in the pattern and power of oscillatory activity of neuronal activity that were similar in both regions of the motor thalamus. Neurons in both VA/VLo and VPLo tended to become more periodic and regular with a shift in oscillatory activity from low to high frequencies. Burst activity was reduced in VA/VLo, but was not significantly changed in VPLo. There was also a significant shift in the population of VA/VLo neurons that were inhibited during STN DBS, while VPLo neurons tended to be activated. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that STN DBS increases output from the nucleus and produces a change in the pattern and periodicity of neuronal activity in the basal ganglia thalamic network, and that these changes include cerebellar pathways likely via activation of adjacent cerebello-thalamic fiber bundles. PMID:19005057

  20. Glucose Sensing Neurons in the Ventromedial Hypothalamus

    PubMed Central

    Routh, Vanessa H.

    2010-01-01

    Neurons whose activity is regulated by glucose are found in a number of brain regions. Glucose-excited (GE) neurons increase while glucose-inhibited (GI) neurons decrease their action potential frequency as interstitial brain glucose levels increase. We hypothesize that these neurons evolved to sense and respond to severe energy deficit (e.g., fasting) that threatens the brains glucose supply. During modern times, they are also important for the restoration of blood glucose levels following insulin-induced hypoglycemia. Our data suggest that impaired glucose sensing by hypothalamic glucose sensing neurons may contribute to the syndrome known as hypoglycemia-associated autonomic failure in which the mechanisms which restore euglycemia following hypoglycemia become impaired. On the other hand, increased responses of glucose sensing neurons to glucose deficit may play a role in the development of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and obesity. This review will discuss the mechanisms by which glucose sensing neurons sense changes in interstitial glucose and explore the roles of these specialized glucose sensors in glucose and energy homeostasis. PMID:22022208

  1. Activation of Pedunculopontine Glutamate Neurons Is Reinforcing.

    PubMed

    Yoo, Ji Hoon; Zell, Vivien; Wu, Johnathan; Punta, Cindy; Ramajayam, Nivedita; Shen, Xinyi; Faget, Lauren; Lilascharoen, Varoth; Lim, Byung Kook; Hnasko, Thomas S

    2017-01-04

    Dopamine transmission from midbrain ventral tegmental area (VTA) neurons underlies behavioral processes related to motivation and drug addiction. The pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg) is a brainstem nucleus containing glutamate-, acetylcholine-, and GABA-releasing neurons with connections to basal ganglia and limbic brain regions. Here we investigated the role of PPTg glutamate neurons in reinforcement, with an emphasis on their projections to VTA dopamine neurons. We used cell-type-specific anterograde tracing and optogenetic methods to selectively label and manipulate glutamate projections from PPTg neurons in mice. We used anatomical, electrophysiological, and behavioral assays to determine their patterns of connectivity and ascribe functional roles in reinforcement. We found that photoactivation of PPTg glutamate cell bodies could serve as a direct positive reinforcer on intracranial self-photostimulation assays. Further, PPTg glutamate neurons directly innervate VTA; photostimulation of this pathway preferentially excites VTA dopamine neurons and is sufficient to induce behavioral reinforcement. These results demonstrate that ascending PPTg glutamate projections can drive motivated behavior, and PPTg to VTA synapses may represent an important target relevant to drug addiction and other mental health disorders.

  2. Rapid Mechanically Controlled Rewiring of Neuronal Circuits

    PubMed Central

    Magdesian, Margaret H.; Lopez-Ayon, G. Monserratt; Mori, Megumi; Boudreau, Dominic; Goulet-Hanssens, Alexis; Sanz, Ricardo; Miyahara, Yoichi; Barrett, Christopher J.; Fournier, Alyson E.; De Koninck, Yves

    2016-01-01

    CNS injury may lead to permanent functional deficits because it is still not possible to regenerate axons over long distances and accurately reconnect them with an appropriate target. Using rat neurons, microtools, and nanotools, we show that new, functional neurites can be created and precisely positioned to directly (re)wire neuronal networks. We show that an adhesive contact made onto an axon or dendrite can be pulled to initiate a new neurite that can be mechanically guided to form new synapses at up to 0.8 mm distance in <1 h. Our findings challenge current understanding of the limits of neuronal growth and have direct implications for the development of new therapies and surgical techniques to achieve functional regeneration. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Brain and spinal cord injury may lead to permanent disability and death because it is still not possible to regenerate neurons over long distances and accurately reconnect them with an appropriate target. Using microtools and nanotools we have developed a new method to rapidly initiate, elongate, and precisely connect new functional neuronal circuits over long distances. The extension rates achieved are ≥60 times faster than previously reported. Our findings have direct implications for the development of new therapies and surgical techniques to achieve functional regeneration after trauma and in neurodegenerative diseases. It also opens the door for the direct wiring of robust brain–machine interfaces as well as for investigations of fundamental aspects of neuronal signal processing and neuronal function. PMID:26791225

  3. Firing dynamics of an autaptic neuron

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Heng-Tong; Chen, Yong

    2015-12-01

    Autapses are synapses that connect a neuron to itself in the nervous system. Previously, both experimental and theoretical studies have demonstrated that autaptic connections in the nervous system have a significant physiological function. Autapses in nature provide self-delayed feedback, thus introducing an additional timescale to neuronal activities and causing many dynamic behaviors in neurons. Recently, theoretical studies have revealed that an autapse provides a control option for adjusting the response of a neuron: e.g., an autaptic connection can cause the electrical activities of the Hindmarsh-Rose neuron to switch between quiescent, periodic, and chaotic firing patterns; an autapse can enhance or suppress the mode-locking status of a neuron injected with sinusoidal current; and the firing frequency and interspike interval distributions of the response spike train can also be modified by the autapse. In this paper, we review recent studies that showed how an autapse affects the response of a single neuron. Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 11275084 and 11447027) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, China (Grant No. GK201503025).

  4. Sloppiness in spontaneously active neuronal networks.

    PubMed

    Panas, Dagmara; Amin, Hayder; Maccione, Alessandro; Muthmann, Oliver; van Rossum, Mark; Berdondini, Luca; Hennig, Matthias H

    2015-06-03

    Various plasticity mechanisms, including experience-dependent, spontaneous, as well as homeostatic ones, continuously remodel neural circuits. Yet, despite fluctuations in the properties of single neurons and synapses, the behavior and function of neuronal assemblies are generally found to be very stable over time. This raises the important question of how plasticity is coordinated across the network. To address this, we investigated the stability of network activity in cultured rat hippocampal neurons recorded with high-density multielectrode arrays over several days. We used parametric models to characterize multineuron activity patterns and analyzed their sensitivity to changes. We found that the models exhibited sloppiness, a property where the model behavior is insensitive to changes in many parameter combinations, but very sensitive to a few. The activity of neurons with sloppy parameters showed faster and larger fluctuations than the activity of a small subset of neurons associated with sensitive parameters. Furthermore, parameter sensitivity was highly correlated with firing rates. Finally, we tested our observations from cell cultures on an in vivo recording from monkey visual cortex and we confirm that spontaneous cortical activity also shows hallmarks of sloppy behavior and firing rate dependence. Our findings suggest that a small subnetwork of highly active and stable neurons supports group stability, and that this endows neuronal networks with the flexibility to continuously remodel without compromising stability and function.

  5. Taotie neurons regulate appetite in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Zhan, Yin Peng; Liu, Li; Zhu, Yan

    2016-01-01

    The brain has an essential role in maintaining a balance between energy intake and expenditure of the body. Deciphering the processes underlying the decision-making for timely feeding of appropriate amounts may improve our understanding of physiological and psychological disorders related to feeding control. Here, we identify a group of appetite-enhancing neurons in a behavioural screen for flies with increased appetite. Manipulating the activity of these neurons, which we name Taotie neurons, induces bidirectional changes in feeding motivation. Long-term stimulation of Taotie neurons results in flies with highly obese phenotypes. Furthermore, we show that the in vivo activity of Taotie neurons in the neuroendocrine region reflects the hunger/satiety states of un-manipulated animals, and that appetitive-enhancing Taotie neurons control the secretion of insulin, a known regulator of feeding behaviour. Thus, our study reveals a new set of neurons regulating feeding behaviour in the high brain regions that represents physiological hunger states and control feeding behaviour in Drosophila. PMID:27924813

  6. Differentiation of human adult skin-derived neuronal precursors into mature neurons.

    PubMed

    Gingras, Marie; Champigny, Marie-France; Berthod, François

    2007-02-01

    The isolation of autologous neuronal precursors from skin-derived precursor cells extracted from adult human skin would be a very efficient source of neurons for the treatment of various neurodegenerative diseases. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate that these neuronal precursors were able to differentiate into mature neurons. We isolated neuronal precursors from breast skin and expanded them in vitro for over ten passages. We showed that 48% of these cells were proliferating after the first passage, while this growth rate decreased after the second passage. We demonstrated that 70% of these cells were nestin-positive after the third passage, while only 17% were neurofilament M-positive after 7 days of differentiation. These neuronal precursors expressed betaIII tubulin, the dendritic marker MAP2 and the presynaptic marker synaptophysin after 7 days of in vitro maturation. They also expressed the postsynaptic marker PSD95 and the late neuronal markers NeuN and neurofilament H after 21 days of differentiation, demonstrating they became terminally differentiated neurons. These markers were still expressed after 50 days of culture. The generation of autologous neurons from an accessible adult human source opens many potential therapeutic applications and has a great potential for the development of experimental studies on normal human neurons.

  7. Changing numbers of neuronal and non-neuronal cells underlie postnatal brain growth in the rat

    PubMed Central

    Bandeira, Fabiana; Lent, Roberto; Herculano-Houzel, Suzana

    2009-01-01

    The rat brain increases >6× in mass from birth to adulthood, presumably through the addition of glial cells and increasing neuronal size, without the addition of neurons. To test this hypothesis, here we investigate quantitatively the postnatal changes in the total number of neuronal and non-neuronal cells in the developing rat brain, and examine how these changes correlate with brain growth. Total numbers of cells were determined with the isotropic fractionator in the brains of 53 Wistar rats, from birth to young adulthood. We find that at birth, >90% of the cells in the rat brain are neurons. Following a dormant period of ≈3 days after birth, the net number of neurons in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, and remaining tissue (excluding cerebellum and olfactory bulb) doubles during the first week, then is reduced by 70% during the second postnatal week, concurrently with net gliogenesis. A second round of net addition of 6 million neurons is observed in the cerebral cortex over the following 2 weeks. During the first postnatal week, brain growth relates mainly to increased numbers of neurons of larger average size. In the second and third weeks, it correlates with increased numbers of non-neuronal cells that are smaller in size than the preexisting neurons. Postnatal rat brain development is thus characterized by dramatic changes in the cellular composition of the brain, whose growth is governed by different combinations of cell addition and loss, and changes in average cell size during the first months after birth. PMID:19666520

  8. Neuronal uptake of serum albumin is associated with neuron damage during the development of epilepsy

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Zanhua; Liu, Jinjie; Wang, Suping; Liu, Sibo; Zhao, Yongbo

    2016-01-01

    It is well established that brain blood barrier dysfunction following the onset of seizures may lead to serum albumin extravasation into the brain. However, the effect of albumin extravasation on the development of epilepsy is yet to be fully elucidated. Previous studies have predominantly focused on the effect of albumin absorption by astrocytes; however, the present study investigated the effects of neuronal uptake of albumin in vitro and in kainic acid-induced Sprague-Dawley rat models of temporal lobe epilepsy. In the present study, electroencephalogram recordings were conducted to record seizure onset, Nissl and Evans blue staining were used to detect neuronal damage and albumin extravasation, respectively, and double immunofluorescence was used to explore neuronal absorption of albumin. Cell counting was also conducted in vitro to determine whether albumin contributes to neuronal death. The results of the present study indicated that extravasated serum albumin was absorbed by neurons, and the neurons that had absorbed albumin died and were dissolved 28 days after seizure onset in vivo. Furthermore, significant neuronal death was detected after albumin absorption in vitro in a dose- and time-dependent manner. These results suggested that albumin may be absorbed by neurons following the onset of seizures. Furthermore, the results indicated that neuronal albumin uptake may be associated with neuronal damage and death in epileptic seizures. Therefore, attenuating albumin extravasation following epileptic seizures may reduce brain damage and slow the development of epilepsy. PMID:27446263

  9. From induction to conduction: how intrinsic transcriptional priming of extrinsic neuronal connectivity shapes neuronal identity.

    PubMed

    Russ, Jeffrey B; Kaltschmidt, Julia A

    2014-10-01

    Every behaviour of an organism relies on an intricate and vastly diverse network of neurons whose identity and connectivity must be specified with extreme precision during development. Intrinsically, specification of neuronal identity depends heavily on the expression of powerful transcription factors that direct numerous features of neuronal identity, including especially properties of neuronal connectivity, such as dendritic morphology, axonal targeting or synaptic specificity, ultimately priming the neuron for incorporation into emerging circuitry. As the neuron's early connectivity is established, extrinsic signals from its pre- and postsynaptic partners feedback on the neuron to further refine its unique characteristics. As a result, disruption of one component of the circuitry during development can have vital consequences for the proper identity specification of its synaptic partners. Recent studies have begun to harness the power of various transcription factors that control neuronal cell fate, including those that specify a neuron's subtype-specific identity, seeking insight for future therapeutic strategies that aim to reconstitute damaged circuitry through neuronal reprogramming.

  10. Survival motor neuron protein in motor neurons determines synaptic integrity in spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Martinez, Tara L; Kong, Lingling; Wang, Xueyong; Osborne, Melissa A; Crowder, Melissa E; Van Meerbeke, James P; Xu, Xixi; Davis, Crystal; Wooley, Joe; Goldhamer, David J; Lutz, Cathleen M; Rich, Mark M; Sumner, Charlotte J

    2012-06-20

    The inherited motor neuron disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by deficient expression of survival motor neuron (SMN) protein and results in severe muscle weakness. In SMA mice, synaptic dysfunction of both neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) and central sensorimotor synapses precedes motor neuron cell death. To address whether this synaptic dysfunction is due to SMN deficiency in motor neurons, muscle, or both, we generated three lines of conditional SMA mice with tissue-specific increases in SMN expression. All three lines of mice showed increased survival, weights, and improved motor behavior. While increased SMN expression in motor neurons prevented synaptic dysfunction at the NMJ and restored motor neuron somal synapses, increased SMN expression in muscle did not affect synaptic function although it did improve myofiber size. Together these data indicate that both peripheral and central synaptic integrity are dependent on motor neurons in SMA, but SMN may have variable roles in the maintenance of these different synapses. At the NMJ, it functions at the presynaptic terminal in a cell-autonomous fashion, but may be necessary for retrograde trophic signaling to presynaptic inputs onto motor neurons. Importantly, SMN also appears to function in muscle growth and/or maintenance independent of motor neurons. Our data suggest that SMN plays distinct roles in muscle, NMJs, and motor neuron somal synapses and that restored function of SMN at all three sites will be necessary for full recovery of muscle power.

  11. Patient fibroblasts-derived induced neurons demonstrate autonomous neuronal defects in adult-onset Krabbe disease

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Won Jun; Oh, Ki-Wook; Nahm, Minyeop; Xue, Yuanchao; Choi, Jae Hyeok; Choi, Ji Young; Kim, Young-Eun; Chung, Ki Wha; Fu, Xiang-Dong; Ki, Chang-Seok; Kim, Seung Hyun

    2016-01-01

    Krabbe disease (KD) is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder caused by defective β-galactosylceramidase (GALC), a lysosomal enzyme responsible for cleavage of several key substrates including psychosine. Accumulation of psychosine to the cytotoxic levels in KD patients is thought to cause dysfunctions in myelinating glial cells based on a comprehensive study of demyelination in KD. However, recent evidence suggests myelin-independent neuronal death in the murine model of KD, thus indicating defective GALC in neurons as an autonomous mechanism for neuronal cell death in KD. These observations prompted us to generate induced neurons (iNeurons) from two adult-onset KD patients carrying compound heterozygous mutations (p.[K563*];[L634S]) and (p.[N228_S232delinsTP];[G286D]) to determine the direct contribution of autonomous neuronal toxicity to KD. Here we report that directly converted KD iNeurons showed not only diminished GALC activity and increased psychosine levels, as expected, but also neurite fragmentation and abnormal neuritic branching. The lysosomal-associated membrane proteins 1 (LAMP1) was expressed at higher levels than controls, LAMP1-positive vesicles were significantly enlarged and fragmented, and mitochondrial morphology and its function were altered in KD iNeurons. Strikingly, we demonstrated that psychosine was sufficient to induce neurite defects, mitochondrial fragmentation, and lysosomal alterations in iNeurons derived in healthy individuals, thus establishing the causal effect of the cytotoxic GALC substrate in KD and the autonomous neuronal toxicity in KD pathology. PMID:27780934

  12. Parkin Mutations Reduce the Complexity of Neuronal Processes in iPSC-derived Human Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Ren, Yong; Jiang, Houbo; Hu, Zhixing; Fan, Kevin; Wang, Jun; Janoschka, Stephen; Wang, Xiaomin; Ge, Shaoyu; Feng, Jian

    2015-01-01

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by the degeneration of nigral dopaminergic (DA) neurons and non-DA neurons in many parts of the brain. Mutations of parkin, an E3 ubiquitin ligase that strongly binds to microtubules, are the most frequent cause of recessively inherited Parkinson’s disease. The lack of robust PD phenotype in parkin knockout mice suggests a unique vulnerability of human neurons to parkin mutations. Here, we show that the complexity of neuronal processes as measured by total neurite length, number of terminals, number of branch points and Sholl analysis, was greatly reduced in induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived TH+ or TH− neurons from PD patients with parkin mutations. Consistent with these, microtubule stability was significantly decreased by parkin mutations in iPSC-derived neurons. Overexpression of parkin, but not its PD-linked mutant nor GFP, restored the complexity of neuronal processes and the stability of microtubules. Consistent with these, the microtubule-depolymerizing agent colchicine mimicked the effect of parkin mutations by decreasing neurite length and complexity in control neurons while the microtubule-stabilizing drug taxol mimicked the effect of parkin overexpression by enhancing the morphology of parkin-deficient neurons. The results suggest that parkin maintains the morphological complexity of human neurons by stabilizing microtubules. PMID:25332110

  13. Mesodermal and neuronal retinoids regulate the induction and maintenance of limb innervating spinal motor neurons.

    PubMed

    Ji, Sheng-Jian; Zhuang, BinQuan; Falco, Crystal; Schneider, André; Schuster-Gossler, Karin; Gossler, Achim; Sockanathan, Shanthini

    2006-09-01

    During embryonic development, the generation, diversification and maintenance of spinal motor neurons depend upon extrinsic signals that are tightly regulated. Retinoic acid (RA) is necessary for specifying the fates of forelimb-innervating motor neurons of the Lateral Motor Column (LMC), and the specification of LMC neurons into medial and lateral subtypes. Previous studies implicate motor neurons as the relevant source of RA for specifying lateral LMC fates at forelimb levels. However, at the time of LMC diversification, a significant amount of retinoids in the spinal cord originates from the adjacent paraxial mesoderm. Here we employ mouse genetics to show that RA derived from the paraxial mesoderm is required for lateral LMC induction at forelimb and hindlimb levels, demonstrating that mesodermally synthesized RA functions as a second source of signals to specify lateral LMC identity. Furthermore, reduced RA levels in postmitotic motor neurons result in a decrease of medial and lateral LMC neurons, and abnormal axonal projections in the limb; invoking additional roles for neuronally synthesized RA in motor neuron maintenance and survival. These findings suggest that during embryogenesis, mesodermal and neuronal retinoids act coordinately to establish and maintain appropriate cohorts of spinal motor neurons that innervate target muscles in the limb.

  14. Human embryonic stem cell-derived neuronal cells form spontaneously active neuronal networks in vitro.

    PubMed

    Heikkilä, Teemu J; Ylä-Outinen, Laura; Tanskanen, Jarno M A; Lappalainen, Riikka S; Skottman, Heli; Suuronen, Riitta; Mikkonen, Jarno E; Hyttinen, Jari A K; Narkilahti, Susanna

    2009-07-01

    The production of functional human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived neuronal cells is critical for the application of hESCs in treating neurodegenerative disorders. To study the potential functionality of hESC-derived neurons, we cultured and monitored the development of hESC-derived neuronal networks on microelectrode arrays. Immunocytochemical studies revealed that these networks were positive for the neuronal marker proteins beta-tubulin(III) and microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP-2). The hESC-derived neuronal networks were spontaneously active and exhibited a multitude of electrical impulse firing patterns. Synchronous bursts of electrical activity similar to those reported for hippocampal neurons and rodent embryonic stem cell-derived neuronal networks were recorded from the differentiated cultures until up to 4 months. The dependence of the observed neuronal network activity on sodium ion channels was examined using tetrodotoxin (TTX). Antagonists for the glutamate receptors NMDA [D(-)-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid] and AMPA/kainate [6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione], and for GABAA receptors [(-)-bicuculline methiodide] modulated the spontaneous electrical activity, indicating that pharmacologically susceptible neuronal networks with functional synapses had been generated. The findings indicate that hESC-derived neuronal cells can generate spontaneously active networks with synchronous communication in vitro, and are therefore suitable for use in developmental and drug screening studies, as well as for regenerative medicine.

  15. Culturing conditions determine neuronal and glial excitability.

    PubMed

    Stoppelkamp, Sandra; Riedel, Gernot; Platt, Bettina

    2010-12-15

    The cultivation of pure neuronal cultures is considered advantageous for the investigation of cell-type specific responses (such as transmitter release and also pharmacological agents), however, divergent results are a likely consequence of media modifications and culture composition. Using Fura-2 based imaging techniques, we here set out to compare calcium responses of rat hippocampal neurones and glia to excitatory stimulation with l-glutamate in different culture types and media. Neurones in neurone-enriched cultures had increased responses to 10 μM and 100 μM l-glutamate (+43 and 45%, respectively; p's< 0.001) and a slower recovery compared to mixed cultures, indicating heightened excitability. In matured (15-20 days in vitro) mixed cultures, neuronal responder rates were suppressed in a neurone-supportive medium (Neurobasal-A, NB: 65%) compared to a general-purpose medium (supplemented minimal essential medium, MEM: 96%). Glial response size in contrast did not differ greatly in isolated or mixed cultures maintained in MEM, but responder rates were suppressed in both culture types in NB (e.g. 10 μM l-glutamate responders in mixed cultures: 29% in NB, 71% in MEM). This indicates that medium composition is more important for glial excitability than the presence of neurones, whereas the presence of glia has an important impact on neuronal excitability. Therefore, careful consideration of culturing conditions is crucial for interpretation and comparison of experimental results. Especially for investigations of toxicity and neuroprotection mixed cultures may be more physiologically relevant over isolated cultures as they comprise aspects of mutual influences between glia and neurones.

  16. Motor neuron dysfunction in frontotemporal dementia.

    PubMed

    Burrell, James R; Kiernan, Matthew C; Vucic, Steve; Hodges, John R

    2011-09-01

    Frontotemporal dementia and motor neuron disease share clinical, genetic and pathological characteristics. Motor neuron disease develops in a proportion of patients with frontotemporal dementia, but the incidence, severity and functional significance of motor system dysfunction in patients with frontotemporal dementia has not been determined. Neurophysiological biomarkers have been developed to document motor system dysfunction including: short-interval intracortical inhibition, a marker of corticospinal motor neuron dysfunction and the neurophysiological index, a marker of lower motor neuron dysfunction. The present study performed detailed clinical and neurophysiological assessments on 108 participants including 40 consecutive patients with frontotemporal dementia, 42 age- and gender-matched patients with motor neuron disease and 26 control subjects. Of the 40 patients with frontotemporal dementia, 12.5% had concomitant motor neuron disease. A further 27.3% of the patients with frontotemporal dementia had clinical evidence of minor motor system dysfunction such as occasional fasciculations, mild wasting or weakness. Biomarkers of motor system function were abnormal in frontotemporal dementia. Average short-interval intracortical inhibition was reduced in frontotemporal dementia (4.3 ± 1.7%) compared with controls (9.1 ± 1.1%, P < 0.05). Short-interval intracortical inhibition was particularly reduced in the progressive non-fluent aphasia subgroup, but was normal in patients with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia and semantic dementia. The neurophysiological index was reduced in frontotemporal dementia (1.1) compared with controls (1.9, P < 0.001), indicating a degree of lower motor neuron dysfunction, although remained relatively preserved when compared with motor neuron disease (0.7, P < 0.05). Motor system dysfunction in frontotemporal dementia may result from pathological involvement of the primary motor cortex, with secondary

  17. Reaction-diffusion in the NEURON simulator

    PubMed Central

    McDougal, Robert A.; Hines, Michael L.; Lytton, William W.

    2013-01-01

    In order to support research on the role of cell biological principles (genomics, proteomics, signaling cascades and reaction dynamics) on the dynamics of neuronal response in health and disease, NEURON's Reaction-Diffusion (rxd) module in Python provides specification and simulation for these dynamics, coupled with the electrophysiological dynamics of the cell membrane. Arithmetic operations on species and parameters are overloaded, allowing arbitrary reaction formulas to be specified using Python syntax. These expressions are then transparently compiled into bytecode that uses NumPy for fast vectorized calculations. At each time step, rxd combines NEURON's integrators with SciPy's sparse linear algebra library. PMID:24298253

  18. Capacity of a single spiking neuron

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ikeda, Shiro; Manton, Jonathan H.

    2009-12-01

    It is widely believed the neurons transmit information in the form of spikes. Since the spike patterns are known to be noisy, the neuron information channel is noisy. We have investigated the channel capacity of this "Spiking neuron channel" for both of the "temporal coding" and the "rate coding," which are two main coding considered in the neuroscience [1, 2]. As the result, we've proved that the distribution of inputs, which achieves the channel capacity, is a discrete distribution with finite mass points for temporal and rate coding under a reasonable assumption. In this draft, we show the details of the proof.

  19. Reaction-diffusion in the NEURON simulator.

    PubMed

    McDougal, Robert A; Hines, Michael L; Lytton, William W

    2013-01-01

    In order to support research on the role of cell biological principles (genomics, proteomics, signaling cascades and reaction dynamics) on the dynamics of neuronal response in health and disease, NEURON's Reaction-Diffusion (rxd) module in Python provides specification and simulation for these dynamics, coupled with the electrophysiological dynamics of the cell membrane. Arithmetic operations on species and parameters are overloaded, allowing arbitrary reaction formulas to be specified using Python syntax. These expressions are then transparently compiled into bytecode that uses NumPy for fast vectorized calculations. At each time step, rxd combines NEURON's integrators with SciPy's sparse linear algebra library.

  20. Synchronous Behavior of Two Coupled Biological Neurons

    SciTech Connect

    Elson, R.C.; Selverston, A.I.; Elson, R.C.; Selverston, A.I.; Huerta, R.; Rulkov, N.F.; Rabinovich, M.I.; Abarbanel, H.D.; Selverston, A.I.; Huerta, R.; Abarbanel, H.D.

    1998-12-01

    We report experimental studies of synchronization phenomena in a pair of biological neurons that interact through naturally occurring, electrical coupling. When these neurons generate irregular bursts of spikes, the natural coupling synchronizes slow oscillations of membrane potential, but not the fast spikes. By adding artificial electrical coupling we studied transitions between synchrony and asynchrony in both slow oscillations and fast spikes. We discuss the dynamics of bursting and synchronization in living neurons with distributed functional morphology. {copyright} {ital 1998} {ital The American Physical Society}

  1. Evoking prescribed spike times in stochastic neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doose, Jens; Lindner, Benjamin

    2017-09-01

    Single cell stimulation in vivo is a powerful tool to investigate the properties of single neurons and their functionality in neural networks. We present a method to determine a cell-specific stimulus that reliably evokes a prescribed spike train with high temporal precision of action potentials. We test the performance of this stimulus in simulations for two different stochastic neuron models. For a broad range of parameters and a neuron firing with intermediate firing rates (20-40 Hz) the reliability in evoking the prescribed spike train is close to its theoretical maximum that is mainly determined by the level of intrinsic noise.

  2. Cadherins as regulators of neuronal polarity

    PubMed Central

    Gärtner, Annette; Fornasiero, Eugenio F; Dotti, Carlos G

    2015-01-01

    A compelling amount of data is accumulating about the polyphonic role of neuronal cadherins during brain development throughout all developmental stages, starting from the involvement of cadherins in the organization of neurulation up to synapse development and plasticity. Recent work has confirmed that specifically N-cadherins play an important role in asymmetrical cellular processes in developing neurons that are at the basis of polarity. In this review we will summarize recent data, which demonstrate how N-cadherin orchestrates distinct processes of polarity establishment in neurons. PMID:25482615

  3. Associative memory - An optimum binary neuron representation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Awwal, A. A.; Karim, M. A.; Liu, H. K.

    1989-01-01

    Convergence mechanism of vectors in the Hopfield's neural network is studied in terms of both weights (i.e., inner products) and Hamming distance. It is shown that Hamming distance should not always be used in determining the convergence of vectors. Instead, weights (which in turn depend on the neuron representation) are found to play a more dominant role in the convergence mechanism. Consequently, a new binary neuron representation for associative memory is proposed. With the new neuron representation, the associative memory responds unambiguously to the partial input in retrieving the stored information.

  4. A novel enteric neuron-glia coculture system reveals the role of glia in neuronal development.

    PubMed

    Le Berre-Scoul, Catherine; Chevalier, Julien; Oleynikova, Elena; Cossais, François; Talon, Sophie; Neunlist, Michel; Boudin, Hélène

    2017-01-15

    Unlike astrocytes in the brain, the potential role of enteric glial cells (EGCs) in the formation of the enteric neuronal circuit is currently unknown. To examine the role of EGCs in the formation of the neuronal network, we developed a novel neuron-enriched culture model from embryonic rat intestine grown in indirect coculture with EGCs. We found that EGCs shape axonal complexity and synapse density in enteric neurons, through purinergic- and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor-dependent pathways. Using a novel and valuable culture model to study enteric neuron-glia interactions, our study identified EGCs as a key cellular actor regulating neuronal network maturation. In the nervous system, the formation of neuronal circuitry results from a complex and coordinated action of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. In the CNS, extrinsic mediators derived from astrocytes have been shown to play a key role in neuronal maturation, including dendritic shaping, axon guidance and synaptogenesis. In the enteric nervous system (ENS), the potential role of enteric glial cells (EGCs) in the maturation of developing enteric neuronal circuit is currently unknown. A major obstacle in addressing this question is the difficulty in obtaining a valuable experimental model in which enteric neurons could be isolated and maintained without EGCs. We adapted a cell culture method previously developed for CNS neurons to establish a neuron-enriched primary culture from embryonic rat intestine which was cultured in indirect coculture with EGCs. We demonstrated that enteric neurons grown in such conditions showed several structural, phenotypic and functional hallmarks of proper development and maturation. However, when neurons were grown without EGCs, the complexity of the axonal arbour and the density of synapses were markedly reduced, suggesting that glial-derived factors contribute strongly to the formation of the neuronal circuitry. We found that these effects played by EGCs were

  5. Neuron as time coherence discriminator.

    PubMed

    Vidybida, A K

    1996-06-01

    Neuronal excitability under stimuli with a complex time course is investigated on the basis of the numerical solution of the Hodgkin-Huxley equations. Each stimulus is composed of 100-1000 unitary excitatory postsynaptic potentials (uEPSP) that start randomly within a definite time window. Probability of initiating a spike [firing probability, FP(W)] as a function of the window width W is calculated by the Monte Carlo method. FP(W) has a step-like shape: it becomes equal to 1 for small W and almost vanishes as W exceeds some value Ws. The role of long-lasting somatic inhibition is analysed. Ws depends on the inhibition potential, but the step-like shape of FP is preserved. It is concluded that the capability of multisynaptic stimulation to cause a spike can be expressed in terms of temporal coherence between the synaptic inputs. Namely, the spike is initiated if the temporal coherence between active inputs is above a definite threshold. The threshold value can be effectively regulated by varying the inhibition potential.

  6. Spontaneous Activity in Crustacean Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Preston, James B.; Kennedy, Donald

    1962-01-01

    Single units which discharged with regular spontaneous rhythms without intentional stimulation were observed in the ventral nerve cord by intracellular recording close to the sixth abdominal ganglion. These units were divided into two groups: group A units in which interspike intervals varied less than 10 msec.; group B units in which interspike intervals varied within a range of 10 to 30 msec. Group A units maintained "constant" interspike intervals and could not be discharged by sensory inputs, while the majority of group B units could be discharged by appropriate sensory nerve stimulation. Both group A and B units discharged to direct stimulation when the stimulating and recording electrodes were placed in the same ganglionic intersegment, and directly evoked single spikes reset the spontaneous rhythm. In group B units, presynaptic volleys reset the spontaneous rhythm of some units; but in others, synaptically evoked spikes were interpolated within the spontaneous rhythm without resetting. The phenomenon of enhancement could also be demonstrated in spontaneously active units as a result of repetitive stimulation. It is concluded that endogenous pacemaker activity is responsible for much of the regular spontaneous firing observed in crayfish central neurons, and that interaction of evoked responses with such pacemaker sites can produce a variety of effects dependent upon the anatomical relationships between pacemaker and synaptic regions. PMID:14488667

  7. Cellular and molecular neuronal plasticity.

    PubMed

    Griesbach, Grace S; Hovda, David A

    2015-01-01

    The brain has the capability to adapt to function when tissue is compromised. This capability of adaptation paves the road to recovery and allows for rehabilitation after a traumatic brain injury (TBI). This chapter addresses neuroplasticity within the context of TBI. Here neuroplasticity is defined as changes in neuronal structure and function, including synaptic changes as well as modifications in neural pathways. First, the influence of TBI pathology on neuroplasticity is addressed. Here, proteins that are important in neuroplasticity are introduced and a description given of how these are affected in a temporal and severity-dependent manner. Secondly, given that we are becoming increasingly aware that the brain's response to injury is highly influenced by the environmental milieu, the manner in which behavioral manipulations have an effect on TBI-associated neuroplasticity is addressed. A description is given of how specific environmental qualities may facilitate or hinder neuroplasticity. Finally, the long-term effects of neuroplasticity and the relevance it has to rehabilitation are described.

  8. Micromachined devices for interfacing neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stieglitz, Thomas; Beutel, Hansjoerg; Blau, Cornelia; Meyer, Joerg-Uwe

    1998-07-01

    Micromachining technologies were established to fabricate microelectrode arrays and devices for interfacing parts of the central or peripheral nervous system. The devices were part of a neural prosthesis that allows simultaneous multichannel recording and multisite stimulation of neurons. Overcoming the brittle mechanics of silicon devices and challenging housing demands close to the nerve we established a process technology to fabricate light-weighted and highly flexible polyimide based devices. Platinum and iridium thin-film electrodes were embedded in the polyimide. With reactive ion etching we got the possibility to simply integrate interconnections and to form nearly arbitrary outer shapes of the devices. We designed multichannel devices with up to 24 electrodes in the shape of plates, hooks and cuffs for different applications. In vitro tests exhibited stable electrode properties and no cytotoxicity of the materials and the devices. Sieve electrodes were chronically implanted in rats to interface the regenerating sciatic nerve. After six months, recordings and stimulation of the nerve via electrodes on the micro-device proved functional reinnervation of the limb. Concentric circular structures were designed for a retina implant for the blind. In preliminary studies in rabbits, evoked potentials in the visual cortex corresponded to stimulation sites of the implant.

  9. Regulation of neuronal axon specification by glia-neuron gap junctions in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Meng, Lingfeng; Zhang, Albert; Jin, Yishi; Yan, Dong

    2016-01-01

    Axon specification is a critical step in neuronal development, and the function of glial cells in this process is not fully understood. Here, we show that C. elegans GLR glial cells regulate axon specification of their nearby GABAergic RME neurons through GLR-RME gap junctions. Disruption of GLR-RME gap junctions causes misaccumulation of axonal markers in non-axonal neurites of RME neurons and converts microtubules in those neurites to form an axon-like assembly. We further uncover that GLR-RME gap junctions regulate RME axon specification through activation of the CDK-5 pathway in a calcium-dependent manner, involving a calpain clp-4. Therefore, our study reveals the function of glia-neuron gap junctions in neuronal axon specification and shows that calcium originated from glial cells can regulate neuronal intracellular pathways through gap junctions. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19510.001 PMID:27767956

  10. Regulation of neuronal axon specification by glia-neuron gap junctions in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Meng, Lingfeng; Zhang, Albert; Jin, Yishi; Yan, Dong

    2016-10-21

    Axon specification is a critical step in neuronal development, and the function of glial cells in this process is not fully understood. Here, we show that C. elegans GLR glial cells regulate axon specification of their nearby GABAergic RME neurons through GLR-RME gap junctions. Disruption of GLR-RME gap junctions causes misaccumulation of axonal markers in non-axonal neurites of RME neurons and converts microtubules in those neurites to form an axon-like assembly. We further uncover that GLR-RME gap junctions regulate RME axon specification through activation of the CDK-5 pathway in a calcium-dependent manner, involving a calpain clp-4. Therefore, our study reveals the function of glia-neuron gap junctions in neuronal axon specification and shows that calcium originated from glial cells can regulate neuronal intracellular pathways through gap junctions.

  11. Synaptic contact between median preoptic neurons and subfornical organ neurons projecting to the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus.

    PubMed

    Kawano, Hitoshi

    2017-04-01

    It is known that the median preoptic nucleus (POMe) sends dense projections to the subfornical organ (SFO). However, the functional significance of these projections have not been well discussed. In this electron microscopic study, we investigated the presence of synapses between POMe-derived axon terminals and SFO neurons that project to the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus (PVN). After injection of a retrograde tracer, wheat germ agglutinin-conjugated horseradish peroxidase-colloidal gold complex, into the PVN, many labeled neurons were found in the SFO. In contrast, after injection of an anterograde tracer, biotinylated dextran amine, in the POMe, abundant labeled axon varicosities were observed in the SFO. Using electron microscopy, synapses were identified between retrogradely labeled dendrites and cell bodies, and anterogradely labeled axon terminals, indicating that POMe neurons innervate SFO neurons projecting to the PVN. The possibility that POMe neurons play multiple roles in the neuronal circuit responsible for vasopressin release and/or cardiovascular regulation is also discussed.

  12. Epibranchial placode-derived neurons produce BDNF required for early sensory neuron development.

    PubMed

    Harlow, Danielle E; Yang, Hui; Williams, Trevor; Barlow, Linda A

    2011-02-01

    In mice, BDNF provided by the developing taste epithelium is required for gustatory neuron survival following target innervation. However, we find that expression of BDNF, as detected by BDNF-driven β-galactosidase, begins in the cranial ganglia before its expression in the central (hindbrain) or peripheral (taste papillae) targets of these sensory neurons, and before gustatory ganglion cells innervate either target. To test early BDNF function, we examined the ganglia of bdnf null mice before target innervation, and found that while initial neuron survival is unaltered, early neuron development is disrupted. In addition, fate mapping analysis in mice demonstrates that murine cranial ganglia arise from two embryonic populations, i.e., epibranchial placodes and neural crest, as has been described for these ganglia in non-mammalian vertebrates. Only placodal neurons produce BDNF, however, which indicates that prior to innervation, early ganglionic BDNF produced by placode-derived cells promotes gustatory neuron development.

  13. The ontogenetic origins of mirror neurons: evidence from 'tool-use' and 'audiovisual' mirror neurons.

    PubMed

    Cook, Richard

    2012-10-23

    Since their discovery, mirror neurons--units in the macaque brain that discharge both during action observation and execution--have attracted considerable interest. Whether mirror neurons are an innate endowment or acquire their sensorimotor matching properties ontogenetically has been the subject of intense debate. It is widely believed that these units are an innate trait; that we are born with a set of mature mirror neurons because their matching properties conveyed upon our ancestors an evolutionary advantage. However, an alternative view is that mirror neurons acquire their matching properties during ontogeny, through correlated experience of observing and performing actions. The present article re-examines frequently overlooked neurophysiological reports of 'tool-use' and 'audiovisual' mirror neurons within the context of this debate. It is argued that these findings represent compelling evidence that mirror neurons are a product of sensorimotor experience, and not an innate endowment.

  14. Strategies for analyzing neuronal progenitor development and neuronal migration in the developing cerebral cortex.

    PubMed

    Higginbotham, Holden; Yokota, Yukako; Anton, E S

    2011-07-01

    The emergence of functional neuronal connectivity in the developing cerebral cortex depends on 1) neural progenitor differentiation, which leads to the generation of appropriate number and types of neurons, and 2) neuronal migration, which enables the appropriate positioning of neurons so that the correct patterns of functional synaptic connectivity between neurons can emerge. In this review, we discuss 1) currently available methods to study neural progenitor development and differentiation in the developing cerebral cortex and emerging technologies in this regard, 2) assays to study the migration of descendents of progenitors (i.e., neurons) in vitro and in vivo, and 3) the use of these assays to probe the molecular control of these events in the developing brain and evaluation of gene functions disrupted in human neurodevelopmental disorders.

  15. Frizzled-5 receptor is involved in neuronal polarity and morphogenesis of hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Slater, Paula G; Ramirez, Valerie T; Gonzalez-Billault, Christian; Varela-Nallar, Lorena; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C

    2013-01-01

    The Wnt signaling pathway plays important roles during different stages of neuronal development, including neuronal polarization and dendritic and axonal outgrowth. However, little is known about the identity of the Frizzled receptors mediating these processes. In the present study, we investigated the role of Frizzled-5 (Fzd5) on neuronal development in cultured Sprague-Dawley rat hippocampal neurons. We found that Fzd5 is expressed early in cultured neurons on actin-rich structures localized at minor neurites and axonal growth cones. At 4 DIV, Fzd5 polarizes towards the axon, where its expression is detected mainly at the peripheral zone of axonal growth cones, with no obvious staining at dendrites; suggesting a role of Fzd5 in neuronal polarization. Overexpression of Fzd5 during the acquisition of neuronal polarity induces mislocalization of the receptor and a loss of polarized axonal markers. Fzd5 knock-down leads to loss of axonal proteins, suggesting an impaired neuronal polarity. In contrast, overexpression of Fzd5 in neurons that are already polarized did not alter polarity, but decreased the total length of axons and increased total dendrite length and arborization. Fzd5 activated JNK in HEK293 cells and the effects triggered by Fzd5 overexpression in neurons were partially prevented by inhibition of JNK, suggesting that a non-canonical Wnt signaling mechanism might be involved. Our results suggest that, Fzd5 has a role in the establishment of neuronal polarity, and in the morphogenesis of neuronal processes, in part through the activation of the non-canonical Wnt mechanism involving JNK.

  16. Factors that Contribute to Neuron Survival and Neuron Growth after Injury

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-02-03

    et al., 1990; Spranger et aL, 1990;, Engele and Bohn, 1991; Matsuoka et al., 1991; Petroski et al., 1991; Araujo and Cotman, 1992; Lindholm et al, 1992...of lesioned cholinergic neurons in vivo. Nature 332360-361. Araujo DM and Cotman CW (1992) Basic FGF in astroglial, microglial, and neuronal cultures...sim- chemistry (30). This sprouting of dorsal ilar to the number of neurons that possess root terminals may represent a mechanism subliminal sural nerve

  17. Reconstruction of phrenic neuron identity in embryonic stem cell-derived motor neurons.

    PubMed

    Machado, Carolina Barcellos; Kanning, Kevin C; Kreis, Patricia; Stevenson, Danielle; Crossley, Martin; Nowak, Magdalena; Iacovino, Michelina; Kyba, Michael; Chambers, David; Blanc, Eric; Lieberam, Ivo

    2014-02-01

    Air breathing is an essential motor function for vertebrates living on land. The rhythm that drives breathing is generated within the central nervous system and relayed via specialised subsets of spinal motor neurons to muscles that regulate lung volume. In mammals, a key respiratory muscle is the diaphragm, which is innervated by motor neurons in the phrenic nucleus. Remarkably, relatively little is known about how this crucial subtype of motor neuron is generated during embryogenesis. Here, we used direct differentiation of motor neurons from mouse embryonic stem cells as a tool to identify genes that direct phrenic neuron identity. We find that three determinants, Pou3f1, Hoxa5 and Notch, act in combination to promote a phrenic neuron molecular identity. We show that Notch signalling induces Pou3f1 in developing motor neurons in vitro and in vivo. This suggests that the phrenic neuron lineage is established through a local source of Notch ligand at mid-cervical levels. Furthermore, we find that the cadherins Pcdh10, which is regulated by Pou3f1 and Hoxa5, and Cdh10, which is controlled by Pou3f1, are both mediators of like-like clustering of motor neuron cell bodies. This specific Pcdh10/Cdh10 activity might provide the means by which phrenic neurons are assembled into a distinct nucleus. Our study provides a framework for understanding how phrenic neuron identity is conferred and will help to generate this rare and inaccessible yet vital neuronal subtype directly from pluripotent stem cells, thus facilitating subsequent functional investigations.

  18. Frizzled-5 Receptor Is Involved in Neuronal Polarity and Morphogenesis of Hippocampal Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Slater, Paula G.; Ramirez, Valerie T.; Gonzalez-Billault, Christian; Varela-Nallar, Lorena; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C.

    2013-01-01

    The Wnt signaling pathway plays important roles during different stages of neuronal development, including neuronal polarization and dendritic and axonal outgrowth. However, little is known about the identity of the Frizzled receptors mediating these processes. In the present study, we investigated the role of Frizzled-5 (Fzd5) on neuronal development in cultured Sprague-Dawley rat hippocampal neurons. We found that Fzd5 is expressed early in cultured neurons on actin-rich structures localized at minor neurites and axonal growth cones. At 4 DIV, Fzd5 polarizes towards the axon, where its expression is detected mainly at the peripheral zone of axonal growth cones, with no obvious staining at dendrites; suggesting a role of Fzd5 in neuronal polarization. Overexpression of Fzd5 during the acquisition of neuronal polarity induces mislocalization of the receptor and a loss of polarized axonal markers. Fzd5 knock-down leads to loss of axonal proteins, suggesting an impaired neuronal polarity. In contrast, overexpression of Fzd5 in neurons that are already polarized did not alter polarity, but decreased the total length of axons and increased total dendrite length and arborization. Fzd5 activated JNK in HEK293 cells and the effects triggered by Fzd5 overexpression in neurons were partially prevented by inhibition of JNK, suggesting that a non-canonical Wnt signaling mechanism might be involved. Our results suggest that, Fzd5 has a role in the establishment of neuronal polarity, and in the morphogenesis of neuronal processes, in part through the activation of the non-canonical Wnt mechanism involving JNK. PMID:24205342

  19. Reconstruction of phrenic neuron identity in embryonic stem cell-derived motor neurons

    PubMed Central

    Machado, Carolina Barcellos; Kanning, Kevin C.; Kreis, Patricia; Stevenson, Danielle; Crossley, Martin; Nowak, Magdalena; Iacovino, Michelina; Kyba, Michael; Chambers, David; Blanc, Eric; Lieberam, Ivo

    2014-01-01

    Air breathing is an essential motor function for vertebrates living on land. The rhythm that drives breathing is generated within the central nervous system and relayed via specialised subsets of spinal motor neurons to muscles that regulate lung volume. In mammals, a key respiratory muscle is the diaphragm, which is innervated by motor neurons in the phrenic nucleus. Remarkably, relatively little is known about how this crucial subtype of motor neuron is generated during embryogenesis. Here, we used direct differentiation of motor neurons from mouse embryonic stem cells as a tool to identify genes that direct phrenic neuron identity. We find that three determinants, Pou3f1, Hoxa5 and Notch, act in combination to promote a phrenic neuron molecular identity. We show that Notch signalling induces Pou3f1 in developing motor neurons in vitro and in vivo. This suggests that the phrenic neuron lineage is established through a local source of Notch ligand at mid-cervical levels. Furthermore, we find that the cadherins Pcdh10, which is regulated by Pou3f1 and Hoxa5, and Cdh10, which is controlled by Pou3f1, are both mediators of like-like clustering of motor neuron cell bodies. This specific Pcdh10/Cdh10 activity might provide the means by which phrenic neurons are assembled into a distinct nucleus. Our study provides a framework for understanding how phrenic neuron identity is conferred and will help to generate this rare and inaccessible yet vital neuronal subtype directly from pluripotent stem cells, thus facilitating subsequent functional investigations. PMID:24496616

  20. Neuromodulation targets intrinsic cardiac neurons to attenuate neuronally mediated atrial arrhythmias

    PubMed Central

    Gibbons, David D.; Southerland, E. Marie; Hoover, Donald B.; Beaumont, Eric; Armour, J. Andrew

    2012-01-01

    Our objective was to determine whether atrial fibrillation (AF) results from excessive activation of intrinsic cardiac neurons (ICNs) and, if so, whether select subpopulations of neurons therein represent therapeutic targets for suppression of this arrhythmogenic potential. Trains of five electrical stimuli (0.3–1.2 mA, 1 ms) were delivered during the atrial refractory period to mediastinal nerves (MSN) on the superior vena cava to evoke AF. Neuroanatomical studies were performed by injecting the neuronal tracer DiI into MSN sites that induced AF. Functional studies involved recording of neuronal activity in situ from the right atrial ganglionated plexus (RAGP) in response to MSN stimulation (MSNS) prior to and following neuromodulation involving either preemptive spinal cord stimulation (SCS; T1–T3, 50 Hz, 200-ms duration) or ganglionic blockade (hexamethonium, 5 mg/kg). The tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate (DiI) neuronal tracer labeled a subset (13.2%) of RAGP neurons, which also colocalized with cholinergic or adrenergic markers. A subset of DiI-labeled RAGP neurons were noncholinergic/nonadrenergic. MSNS evoked an ∼4-fold increase in RAGP neuronal activity from baseline, which SCS reduced by 43%. Hexamethonium blocked MSNS-evoked increases in neuronal activity. MSNS evoked AF in 78% of right-sided MSN sites, which SCS reduced to 33% and hexamethonium reduced to 7%. MSNS-induced bradycardia was maintained with SCS but was mitigated by hexamethonium. We conclude that MSNS activates subpopulations of intrinsic cardiac neurons, thereby resulting in the formation of atrial arrhythmias leading to atrial fibrillation. Stabilization of ICN local circuit neurons by SCS or the local circuit and autonomic efferent neurons with hexamethonium reduces the arrhythmogenic potential. PMID:22088304

  1. The Age of Human Cerebral Cortex Neurons

    SciTech Connect

    Bhardwaj, R D; Curtis, M A; Spalding, K L; Buchholz, B A; Fink, D; Bjork-Eriksson, T; Nordborg, C; Gage, F H; Druid, H; Eriksson, P S; Frisen, J

    2006-04-06

    The traditional static view of the adult mammalian brain has been challenged by the realization of continuous generation of neurons from stem cells. Based mainly on studies in experimental animals, adult neurogenesis may contribute to recovery after brain insults and decreased neurogenesis has been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurological and psychiatric diseases in man. The extent of neurogenesis in the adult human brain has, however, been difficult to establish. We have taken advantage of the integration of {sup 14}C, generated by nuclear bomb tests during the Cold War, in DNA to establish the age of neurons in the major areas of the human cerebral cortex. Together with the analysis of the cortex from patients who received BrdU, which integrates in the DNA of dividing cells, our results demonstrate that whereas non-neuronal cells turn over, neurons in the human cerebral cortex are not generated postnatally at detectable levels, but are as old as the individual.

  2. Lyapunov exponents computation for hybrid neurons.

    PubMed

    Bizzarri, Federico; Brambilla, Angelo; Gajani, Giancarlo Storti

    2013-10-01

    Lyapunov exponents are a basic and powerful tool to characterise the long-term behaviour of dynamical systems. The computation of Lyapunov exponents for continuous time dynamical systems is straightforward whenever they are ruled by vector fields that are sufficiently smooth to admit a variational model. Hybrid neurons do not belong to this wide class of systems since they are intrinsically non-smooth owing to the impact and sometimes switching model used to describe the integrate-and-fire (I&F) mechanism. In this paper we show how a variational model can be defined also for this class of neurons by resorting to saltation matrices. This extension allows the computation of Lyapunov exponent spectrum of hybrid neurons and of networks made up of them through a standard numerical approach even in the case of neurons firing synchronously.

  3. Neurotrophin signalling pathways regulating neuronal apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Miller, F D; Kaplan, D R

    2001-07-01

    Recent evidence indicates that naturally occurring neuronal death in mammals is regulated by the interplay between receptor-mediated prosurvival and proapoptotic signals. The neurotrophins, a family of growth factors best known for their positive effects on neuronal biology, have now been shown to mediate both positive and negative survival signals, by signalling through the Trk and p75 neurotrophin receptors, respectively. The mechanisms whereby these two neurotrophin receptors interact to determine neuronal survival have been difficult to decipher, largely because both can signal independently or coincidentally, depending upon the cell or developmental context. Nonetheless, the past several years have seen significant advances in our understanding of this receptor signalling system. In this review, we focus on the proapoptotic actions of the p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR), and on the interplay between Trk and p75NTR that determines neuronal survival.

  4. Decoding the Epigenetic Language of Neuronal Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Borrelli, Emiliana; Nestler, Eric J.; Allis, C. David; Sassone-Corsi, Paolo

    2009-01-01

    Neurons are submitted to an exceptional variety of stimuli and are able to convert these into high-order functions, such as storing memories, controlling behavior, and governing consciousness. These unique properties are based on the highly flexible nature of neurons, a characteristic that can be regulated by the complex molecular machinery that controls gene expression. Epigenetic control, which largely involves events of chromatin remodeling, appears to be one way in which transcriptional regulation of gene expression can be modified in neurons. This review will focus on how epigenetic control in the mature nervous system may guide dynamic plasticity processes and long-lasting cellular neuronal responses. We outline the molecular pathways underlying chromatin transitions, propose the presence of an “epigenetic indexing code,” and discuss how central findings accumulating at an exponential pace in the field of epigenetics are conceptually changing our perspective of adult brain function. PMID:19109904

  5. Extrasynaptic vesicle recycling in mature hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Ratnayaka, Arjuna; Marra, Vincenzo; Branco, Tiago; Staras, Kevin

    2011-11-08

    Fast neuronal signalling relies on highly regulated vesicle fusion and recycling at specialized presynaptic terminals. Recently, examples of non-classical neurotransmission have also been reported, where fusion of vesicles can occur at sites remote from conventional synapses. This has potentially broad biological implications, but the underlying mechanisms are not well established. Here we show that a complete vesicle recycling pathway can occur at discrete axonal sites in mature hippocampal neurons and that extrasynaptic fusion is a robust feature of native tissue. We demonstrate that laterally mobile vesicle clusters trafficking between synaptic terminals become transiently stabilized by evoked action potentials and undergo complete but delayed Ca(2+)-dependent fusion along axons. This fusion is associated with dynamic actin accumulation and, subsequently, vesicles can be locally recycled, re-acidified and re-used. Immunofluorescence and ultrastructural work demonstrates that extrasynaptic fusion sites can have apposed postsynaptic specializations, suggesting that mobile vesicle recycling may underlie highly dynamic neuron-neuron communication.

  6. Decoding the epigenetic language of neuronal plasticity.

    PubMed

    Borrelli, Emiliana; Nestler, Eric J; Allis, C David; Sassone-Corsi, Paolo

    2008-12-26

    Neurons are submitted to an exceptional variety of stimuli and are able to convert these into high-order functions, such as storing memories, controlling behavior, and governing consciousness. These unique properties are based on the highly flexible nature of neurons, a characteristic that can be regulated by the complex molecular machinery that controls gene expression. Epigenetic control, which largely involves events of chromatin remodeling, appears to be one way in which transcriptional regulation of gene expression can be modified in neurons. This review will focus on how epigenetic control in the mature nervous system may guide dynamic plasticity processes and long-lasting cellular neuronal responses. We outline the molecular pathways underlying chromatin transitions, propose the presence of an "epigenetic indexing code," and discuss how central findings accumulating at an exponential pace in the field of epigenetics are conceptually changing our perspective of adult brain function.

  7. Neuronal homeostasis: time for a change?

    PubMed Central

    O'Leary, Timothy; Wyllie, David J A

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Homeostatic processes that regulate electrical activity in neurones are now an established aspect of physiology and rest on a large body of experimental evidence that points to roles in development, learning and memory, and disease. However, the concepts underlying homeostasis are too often summarized in ways that restrict their explanatory power and obviate important subtleties. Here, we present a review of the underlying theory of homeostasis – control theory – in an attempt to reconcile some existing conceptual problems in the context of neuronal physiology. In addition to clarifying the underlying theory, this review highlights the remaining challenges posed when analysing homeostatic phenomena that underlie the regulation of neuronal excitability. Moreover, we suggest approaches for future experimental and computational work that will further our understanding of neuronal homeostasis and the fundamental neurophysiological functions it serves. PMID:21825033

  8. Fitting Neuron Models to Spike Trains

    PubMed Central

    Rossant, Cyrille; Goodman, Dan F. M.; Fontaine, Bertrand; Platkiewicz, Jonathan; Magnusson, Anna K.; Brette, Romain

    2011-01-01

    Computational modeling is increasingly used to understand the function of neural circuits in systems neuroscience. These studies require models of individual neurons with realistic input–output properties. Recently, it was found that spiking models can accurately predict the precisely timed spike trains produced by cortical neurons in response to somatically injected currents, if properly fitted. This requires fitting techniques that are efficient and flexible enough to easily test different candidate models. We present a generic solution, based on the Brian simulator (a neural network simulator in Python), which allows the user to define and fit arbitrary neuron models to electrophysiological recordings. It relies on vectorization and parallel computing techniques to achieve efficiency. We demonstrate its use on neural recordings in the barrel cortex and in the auditory brainstem, and confirm that simple adaptive spiking models can accurately predict the response of cortical neurons. Finally, we show how a complex multicompartmental model can be reduced to a simple effective spiking model. PMID:21415925

  9. Maintenance of postmitotic neuronal cell identity

    PubMed Central

    Deneris, Evan S.; Hobert, Oliver

    2015-01-01

    The identity of specific cell types in the nervous system is defined by the expression of neuron type–specific gene batteries. How the expression of such batteries is initiated during nervous system development has been under intensive study over the past few decades. However, comparatively little is known about how gene batteries that define the terminally differentiated state of a neuron type are maintained throughout the life of an animal. We provide here an overview of studies in invertebrate and vertebrate model systems that have carved out the general and not commonly appreciated principle that neuronal identity is maintained in postmitotic neurons by the sustained, and often autoregulated expression of the same transcription factors that have initiated terminal differentiation in a developing organism. Disruption of postmitotic maintenance mechanisms may result in neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative conditions. PMID:24929660

  10. Maintenance of postmitotic neuronal cell identity.

    PubMed

    Deneris, Evan S; Hobert, Oliver

    2014-07-01

    The identity of specific cell types in the nervous system is defined by the expression of neuron type-specific gene batteries. How the expression of such batteries is initiated during nervous system development has been under intensive study over the past few decades. However, comparatively little is known about how gene batteries that define the terminally differentiated state of a neuron type are maintained throughout the life of an animal. Here we provide an overview of studies in invertebrate and vertebrate model systems that have carved out the general and not commonly appreciated principle that neuronal identity is maintained in postmitotic neurons by the sustained, and often autoregulated, expression of the same transcription factors that initiate terminal differentiation in a developing organism. Disruption of postmitotic maintenance mechanisms may result in neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative conditions.

  11. Selective neuronal vulnerability in Parkinson disease

    PubMed Central

    Surmeier, D. James; Obeso, José A.; Halliday, Glenda M.

    2017-01-01

    Intracellular α-synuclein (α-syn)-rich protein aggregates called Lewy pathology (LP) and neuronal death are commonly found in the brains of patients with clinical Parkinson disease (cPD). It is widely believed that LP appears early in the disease and spreads in synaptically coupled brain networks, driving neuronal dysfunction and death. However, post-mortem analysis of human brains and connectome-mapping studies show that the pattern of LP in cPD is not consistent with this simple model, arguing that, if LP propagates in cPD, it must be gated by cell- or region-autonomous mechanisms. Moreover, the correlation between LP and neuronal death is weak. In this Review, we briefly discuss the evidence for and against the spreading LP model, as well as evidence that cell-autonomous factors govern both α-syn pathology and neuronal death. PMID:28104909

  12. The smallest insects evolve anucleate neurons.

    PubMed

    Polilov, Alexey A

    2012-01-01

    The smallest insects are comparable in size to unicellular organisms. Thus, their size affects their structure not only at the organ level, but also at the cellular level. Here we report the first finding of animals with an almost entirely anucleate nervous system. Adults of the smallest flying insects of the parasitic wasp genus Megaphragma (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) have only 339-372 nuclei in the central nervous system, i.e., their ganglia, including the brain, consist almost exclusively of processes of neurons. In contrast, their pupae have ganglia more typical of other insects, with about 7400 nuclei in the central nervous system. During the final phases of pupal development, most neuronal cell bodies lyse. As adults, these insects have many fewer nucleated neurons, a small number of cell bodies in different stages of lysis, and about 7000 anucleate cells. Although most neurons lack nuclei, these insects exhibit many important behaviors, including flight and searching for hosts.

  13. Integrated microfluidic platforms for investigating neuronal networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Hyung Joon

    This dissertation describes the development and application of integrated microfluidics-based assay platforms to study neuronal activities in the nervous system in-vitro. The assay platforms were fabricated using soft lithography and micro/nano fabrication including microfluidics, surface patterning, and nanomaterial synthesis. The use of integrated microfluidics-based assay platform allows culturing and manipulating many types of neuronal tissues in precisely controlled microenvironment. Furthermore, they provide organized multi-cellular in-vitro model, long-term monitoring with live cell imaging, and compatibility with molecular biology techniques and electrophysiology experiment. In this dissertation, the integrated microfluidics-based assay platforms are developed for investigation of neuronal activities such as local protein synthesis, impairment of axonal transport by chemical/physical variants, growth cone path finding under chemical/physical cues, and synaptic transmission in neuronal circuit. Chapter 1 describes the motivation, objectives, and scope for developing in-vitro platform to study various neuronal activities. Chapter 2 introduces microfluidic culture platform for biochemical assay with large-scale neuronal tissues that are utilized as model system in neuroscience research. Chapter 3 focuses on the investigation of impaired axonal transport by beta-Amyloid and oxidative stress. The platform allows to control neuronal processes and to quantify mitochondrial movement in various regions of axons away from applied drugs. Chapter 4 demonstrates the development of microfluidics-based growth cone turning assay to elucidate the mechanism underlying axon guidance under soluble factors and shear flow. Using this platform, the behaviors of growth cone of mammalian neurons are verified under the gradient of inhibitory molecules and also shear flow in well-controlled manner. In Chapter 5, I combine in-vitro multicellular model with microfabricated MEA

  14. Shape recognition and inferior temporal neurons.

    PubMed Central

    Schwartz, E L; Desimone, R; Albright, T D; Gross, C G

    1983-01-01

    Inferior temporal cortex plays an important role in shape recognition. To study the shape selectivity of single inferior temporal neurons, we recorded their responses to a set of shapes systematically varying in boundary curvature. Many inferior temporal neurons were selective for stimuli of specific boundary curvature and maintained this selectivity over changes in stimulus size or position. The method of describing boundary curvature was that of Fourier descriptors. PMID:6577453

  15. Electrical Interactions Between Mammalian Cortical Neurons

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-09-28

    nuclei. Kynurenic acid and Dtf-glutamylglycine (broad-spectrum EAA antagonists) reduced EPSPs in supraoptic neurons, while N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA...antagonists had relatively little effect on EPSPs . Other studies showed that kynurenic acid had dose-dependent effects on EPSPs of at least two types of...The primary method has been to examine the effects of EAA antagonists on EPSPs of hypothalamic neurons. Finally, another objective is to ascertain

  16. Synchrony and Control of Neuronal Networks.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schiff, Steven

    2001-03-01

    Cooperative behavior in the brain stems from the nature and strength of the interactions between neurons within a networked ensemble. Normal network activity takes place in a state of partial synchrony between neurons, and some pathological behaviors, such as epilepsy and tremor, appear to share a common feature of increased interaction strength. We have focused on the parallel paths of both detecting and characterizing the nonlinear synchronization present within neuronal networks, and employing feedback control methodology using electrical fields to modulate that neuronal activity. From a theoretical perspective, we see evidence for nonlinear generalized synchrony in networks of neurons that linear techniques are incapable of detecting (PRE 54: 6708, 1996), and we have described a decoherence transition between asymmetric nonlinear systems that is experimentally observable (PRL 84: 1689, 2000). In addition, we have seen evidence for unstable dimension variability in real neuronal systems that indicates certain physical limits of modelability when observing such systems (PRL 85, 2490, 2000). From an experimental perspective, we have achieved success in modulating epileptic seizures in neuronal networks using electrical fields. Extracellular neuronal activity is continuously recorded during field application through differential extracellular recording techniques, and the applied electric field strength is continuously updated using a computer controlled proportional feedback algorithm. This approach appears capable of sustained amelioration of seizure events when used with negative feedback. In negative feedback mode, such findings may offer a novel technology for seizure control. In positive feedback mode, adaptively applied electric fields may offer a more physiological means for neural modulation for prosthetic purposes than previously possible (J. Neuroscience, 2001).

  17. The Effects of Hydrazines of Neuronal Excitability

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-01-10

    resulting in a broadening of the action potential from 3-4 msec duration to about 10 msec (Figure 5A). HZ also affected responses of spinal neurons to...these experiments. These neurons were usually spontaneously active, firing action potentials on a underlying background synaptic barrage. These action ... action potentials , often followed by prolonged, 10-20 mV depolarizing plateau potentials . Some bursts were followed by extremely prolonged large (30

  18. The Effects of Hydrazines of Neuronal Excitability.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-12-31

    these experiments. These neurons were usually spontaneously active, firing action potentials on a underlying background synaptic barrage. These action ...of action potentials , often followed by prolonged, 10-20 mV depolarizing plateau potentials . Some bursts were followed by extremely prolonged large (30... action potential from 3-4 msec duration to about 10 msec (Figure 5A). HZ also affected responses of spinal neurons to sustained stimuli. Under control

  19. Gene regulatory logic of dopaminergic neuron differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Flames, Nuria; Hobert, Oliver

    2009-01-01

    Dopamine signaling regulates a variety of complex behaviors and defects in dopaminergic neuron function or survival result in severe human pathologies, such as Parkinson's disease 1. The common denominator of all dopaminergic neurons is the expression of dopamine pathway genes, which code for a set of phylogenetically conserved proteins involved in dopamine synthesis and transport. Gene regulatory mechanisms that result in the activation of dopamine pathway genes and thereby ultimately determine the identity of dopaminergic neurons are poorly understood in any system studied to date 2. We show here that a simple cis-regulatory element, the DA motif, controls the expression of all dopamine pathway genes in all dopaminergic cell types in C. elegans. The DA motif is activated by the ETS transcription factor, AST-1. Loss of ast-1 results in the failure of all distinct dopaminergic neuronal subtypes to terminally differentiate. Ectopic expression of ast-1 is sufficient to activate the dopamine production pathway in some cellular contexts. Vertebrate dopaminergic pathway genes also contain phylogenetically conserved DA motifs that can be activated by the mouse ETS transcription factor Etv1/ER81 and a specific class of dopaminergic neurons fails to differentiate in mice lacking Etv1/ER81. Moreover, ectopic Etv1/ER81 expression induces dopaminergic fate marker expression in neuronal primary cultures. Mouse Etv1/ER81 can also functionally substitute for ast-1 in C.elegans. Our studies reveal an astoundingly simple and apparently conserved regulatory logic of dopaminergic neuron terminal differentiation and may provide new entry points into the diagnosis or therapy of conditions in which dopamine neurons are defective. PMID:19287374

  20. Multiplexed RNA trafficking in oligodendrocytes and neurons.

    PubMed

    Carson, John H; Gao, Yuanzheng; Tatavarty, Vedakumar; Levin, Mikhail K; Korza, George; Francone, Victor P; Kosturko, Linda D; Maggipinto, Michael J; Barbarese, Elisa

    2008-08-01

    In oligodendrocytes and neurons genetic information is transmitted from the nucleus to dendrites in the form of RNA granules. Here we describe how transport of multiple different RNA molecules in individual granules is analogous to the process of multiplexing in telecommunications. In both cases multiple messages are combined into a composite signal for transmission on a single carrier. Multiplexing provides a mechanism to coordinate local expression of ensembles of genes in myelin in oligodendrocytes and at synapses in neurons.

  1. Nanomechanics controls neuronal precursors adhesion and differentiation.

    PubMed

    Migliorini, Elisa; Ban, Jelena; Grenci, Gianluca; Andolfi, Laura; Pozzato, Alessandro; Tormen, Massimo; Torre, Vincent; Lazzarino, Marco

    2013-08-01

    The ability to control the differentiation of stem cells into specific neuronal types has a tremendous potential for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. In vitro neuronal differentiation can be guided by the interplay of biochemical and biophysical cues. Different strategies to increase the differentiation yield have been proposed, focusing everything on substrate topography, or, alternatively on substrate stiffness. Both strategies demonstrated an improvement of the cellular response. However it was often impossible to separate the topographical and the mechanical contributions. Here we investigate the role of the mechanical properties of nanostructured substrates, aiming at understanding the ultimate parameters which govern the stem cell differentiation. To this purpose a set of different substrates with controlled stiffness and with or without nanopatterning are used for stem cell differentiation. Our results show that the neuronal differentiation yield depends mainly on the substrate mechanical properties while the geometry plays a minor role. In particular nanostructured and flat polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) substrates with comparable stiffness show the same neuronal yield. The improvement in the differentiation yield obtained through surface nanopatterning in the submicrometer scale could be explained as a consequence of a substrate softening effect. Finally we investigate by single cell force spectroscopy the neuronal precursor adhesion on the substrate immediately after seeding, as a possible critical step governing the neuronal differentiation efficiency. We observed that neuronal precursor adhesion depends on substrate stiffness but not on surface structure, and in particular it is higher on softer substrates. Our results suggest that cell-substrate adhesion forces and mechanical response are the key parameters to be considered for substrate design in neuronal regenerative medicine.

  2. Authors’ response: mirror neurons: tests and testability.

    PubMed

    Catmur, Caroline; Press, Clare; Cook, Richard; Bird, Geoffrey; Heyes, Cecilia

    2014-04-01

    Commentators have tended to focus on the conceptual framework of our article, the contrast between genetic and associative accounts of mirror neurons, and to challenge it with additional possibilities rather than empirical data. This makes the empirically focused comments especially valuable. The mirror neuron debate is replete with ideas; what it needs now are system-level theories and careful experiments – tests and testability.

  3. Neural network with dynamically adaptable neurons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tawel, Raoul (Inventor)

    1994-01-01

    This invention is an adaptive neuron for use in neural network processors. The adaptive neuron participates in the supervised learning phase of operation on a co-equal basis with the synapse matrix elements by adaptively changing its gain in a similar manner to the change of weights in the synapse IO elements. In this manner, training time is decreased by as much as three orders of magnitude.

  4. Cellular neuron and large wireless neural network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jannson, Tomasz; Forrester, Thomas; Ambrose, Barry; Kazantzidis, Matheos; Lin, Freddie

    2006-05-01

    A new approach to neural networks is proposed, based on wireless interconnects (synapses) and cellular neurons, both software and hardware; with the capacity of 10 10 neurons, almost fully connected. The core of the system is Spatio-Temporal-Variant (STV) kernel and cellular axon with synaptic plasticity variable in time and space. The novel large neural network hardware is based on two established wireless technologies: RF-cellular and IR-wireless.

  5. Effect of the heterogeneous neuron and information transmission delay on stochastic resonance of neuronal networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Qingyun; Zhang, Honghui; Chen, Guanrong

    2012-12-01

    We study the effect of heterogeneous neuron and information transmission delay on stochastic resonance of scale-free neuronal networks. For this purpose, we introduce the heterogeneity to the specified neuron with the highest degree. It is shown that in the absence of delay, an intermediate noise level can optimally assist spike firings of collective neurons so as to achieve stochastic resonance on scale-free neuronal networks for small and intermediate αh, which plays a heterogeneous role. Maxima of stochastic resonance measure are enhanced as αh increases, which implies that the heterogeneity can improve stochastic resonance. However, as αh is beyond a certain large value, no obvious stochastic resonance can be observed. If the information transmission delay is introduced to neuronal networks, stochastic resonance is dramatically affected. In particular, the tuned information transmission delay can induce multiple stochastic resonance, which can be manifested as well-expressed maximum in the measure for stochastic resonance, appearing every multiple of one half of the subthreshold stimulus period. Furthermore, we can observe that stochastic resonance at odd multiple of one half of the subthreshold stimulus period is subharmonic, as opposed to the case of even multiple of one half of the subthreshold stimulus period. More interestingly, multiple stochastic resonance can also be improved by the suitable heterogeneous neuron. Presented results can provide good insights into the understanding of the heterogeneous neuron and information transmission delay on realistic neuronal networks.

  6. Intrinsically Active and Pacemaker Neurons in Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Neuronal Populations

    PubMed Central

    Illes, Sebastian; Jakab, Martin; Beyer, Felix; Gelfert, Renate; Couillard-Despres, Sébastien; Schnitzler, Alfons; Ritter, Markus; Aigner, Ludwig

    2014-01-01

    Summary Neurons generated from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) self-organize into functional neuronal assemblies in vitro, generating synchronous network activities. Intriguingly, PSC-derived neuronal assemblies develop spontaneous activities that are independent of external stimulation, suggesting the presence of thus far undetected intrinsically active neurons (IANs). Here, by using mouse embryonic stem cells, we provide evidence for the existence of IANs in PSC-neuronal networks based on extracellular multielectrode array and intracellular patch-clamp recordings. IANs remain active after pharmacological inhibition of fast synaptic communication and possess intrinsic mechanisms required for autonomous neuronal activity. PSC-derived IANs are functionally integrated in PSC-neuronal populations, contribute to synchronous network bursting, and exhibit pacemaker properties. The intrinsic activity and pacemaker properties of the neuronal subpopulation identified herein may be particularly relevant for interventions involving transplantation of neural tissues. IANs may be a key element in the regulation of the functional activity of grafted as well as preexisting host neuronal networks. PMID:24672755

  7. A neuron-astrocyte transistor-like model for neuromorphic dressed neurons.

    PubMed

    Valenza, G; Pioggia, G; Armato, A; Ferro, M; Scilingo, E P; De Rossi, D

    2011-09-01

    Experimental evidences on the role of the synaptic glia as an active partner together with the bold synapse in neuronal signaling and dynamics of neural tissue strongly suggest to investigate on a more realistic neuron-glia model for better understanding human brain processing. Among the glial cells, the astrocytes play a crucial role in the tripartite synapsis, i.e. the dressed neuron. A well-known two-way astrocyte-neuron interaction can be found in the literature, completely revising the purely supportive role for the glia. The aim of this study is to provide a computationally efficient model for neuron-glia interaction. The neuron-glia interactions were simulated by implementing the Li-Rinzel model for an astrocyte and the Izhikevich model for a neuron. Assuming the dressed neuron dynamics similar to the nonlinear input-output characteristics of a bipolar junction transistor, we derived our computationally efficient model. This model may represent the fundamental computational unit for the development of real-time artificial neuron-glia networks opening new perspectives in pattern recognition systems and in brain neurophysiology.

  8. Reinnervation of Hair Cells by Auditory Neurons after Selective Removal of Spiral Ganglion Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Martinez-Monedero, Rodrigo; Corrales, C. Eduardo; Cuajungco, Math P.; Heller, Stefan; Edge, Albert S.B.

    2007-01-01

    Hearing loss can be caused by primary degeneration of spiral ganglion neurons or by secondary degeneration of these neurons after hair cell loss. The replacement of auditory neurons would be an important step in any attempt to restore auditory function in patients with damaged inner ear neurons or hair cells. Application of β-bungarotoxin, a toxin derived from snake venom, to an explant of the cochlea eradicates spiral ganglion neurons while sparing the other cochlear cell types. The toxin was found to bind to the neurons and to cause apoptotic cell death without affecting hair cells or other inner ear cell types as indicated by TUNEL staining, and, thus, the toxin provides a highly specific means of deafferentation of hair cells. We therefore used the denervated organ of Corti for the study of neuronal regeneration and synaptogenesis with hair cells and found that spiral ganglion neurons obtained from the cochlea of an untreated newborn mouse reinnervated hair cells in the toxin-treated organ of Corti and expressed synaptic vesicle markers at points of contact with hair cells. These findings suggest that it may be possible to replace degenerated neurons by grafting new cells into the organ of Corti. PMID:16408287

  9. Labeling of neuronal differentiation and neuron cells with biocompatible fluorescent nanodiamonds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsu, Tzu-Chia; Liu, Kuang-Kai; Chang, Huan-Cheng; Hwang, Eric; Chao, Jui-I.

    2014-05-01

    Nanodiamond is a promising carbon nanomaterial developed for biomedical applications. Here, we show fluorescent nanodiamond (FND) with the biocompatible properties that can be used for the labeling and tracking of neuronal differentiation and neuron cells derived from embryonal carcinoma stem (ECS) cells. The fluorescence intensities of FNDs were increased by treatment with FNDs in both the mouse P19 and human NT2/D1 ECS cells. FNDs were taken into ECS cells; however, FNDs did not alter the cellular morphology and growth ability. Moreover, FNDs did not change the protein expression of stem cell marker SSEA-1 of ECS cells. The neuronal differentiation of ECS cells could be induced by retinoic acid (RA). Interestingly, FNDs did not affect on the morphological alteration, cytotoxicity and apoptosis during the neuronal differentiation. Besides, FNDs did not alter the cell viability and the expression of neuron-specific marker β-III-tubulin in these differentiated neuron cells. The existence of FNDs in the neuron cells can be identified by confocal microscopy and flow cytometry. Together, FND is a biocompatible and readily detectable nanomaterial for the labeling and tracking of neuronal differentiation process and neuron cells from stem cells.

  10. Labeling of neuronal differentiation and neuron cells with biocompatible fluorescent nanodiamonds.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Tzu-Chia; Liu, Kuang-Kai; Chang, Huan-Cheng; Hwang, Eric; Chao, Jui-I

    2014-05-16

    Nanodiamond is a promising carbon nanomaterial developed for biomedical applications. Here, we show fluorescent nanodiamond (FND) with the biocompatible properties that can be used for the labeling and tracking of neuronal differentiation and neuron cells derived from embryonal carcinoma stem (ECS) cells. The fluorescence intensities of FNDs were increased by treatment with FNDs in both the mouse P19 and human NT2/D1 ECS cells. FNDs were taken into ECS cells; however, FNDs did not alter the cellular morphology and growth ability. Moreover, FNDs did not change the protein expression of stem cell marker SSEA-1 of ECS cells. The neuronal differentiation of ECS cells could be induced by retinoic acid (RA). Interestingly, FNDs did not affect on the morphological alteration, cytotoxicity and apoptosis during the neuronal differentiation. Besides, FNDs did not alter the cell viability and the expression of neuron-specific marker β-III-tubulin in these differentiated neuron cells. The existence of FNDs in the neuron cells can be identified by confocal microscopy and flow cytometry. Together, FND is a biocompatible and readily detectable nanomaterial for the labeling and tracking of neuronal differentiation process and neuron cells from stem cells.

  11. Orexin (hypocretin)/dynorphin neurons control GABAergic inputs to tuberomammillary neurons.

    PubMed

    Eriksson, Krister S; Sergeeva, Olga A; Selbach, Oliver; Haas, Helmut L

    2004-03-01

    High activity of the histaminergic neurons in the tuberomammillary (TM) nucleus increases wakefulness, and their firing rate is highest during waking and lowest during rapid eye movement sleep. The TM neurons receive a prominent innervation from sleep-active gamma-aminobutyric acidergic (GABAergic) neurons in the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus, which inhibits them during sleep. They also receive an excitatory input from the orexin- and dynorphin-containing neurons in the lateral hypothalamus, which are critically involved in sleep regulation and whose dysfunction causes narcolepsy. We have used intracellular recordings and immunohistochemistry to study if orexin neurons exert control over the GABAergic inputs to TM neurons in rat hypothalamic slices. Dynorphin suppressed GABAergic inputs and thus disinhibits the TM neurons, acting in concert with orexin to increase the excitability of these neurons. In contrast, both orexin-A and orexin-B markedly increased the frequency of GABAergic potentials, while co-application of orexin and dynorphin produced responses similar to dynorphin alone. Thus, orexins excite TM neurons directly and by disinhibition, gated by dynorphin. These data might explain some of the neuropathology of narcolepsy.

  12. NBLAST: Rapid, Sensitive Comparison of Neuronal Structure and Construction of Neuron Family Databases.

    PubMed

    Costa, Marta; Manton, James D; Ostrovsky, Aaron D; Prohaska, Steffen; Jefferis, Gregory S X E

    2016-07-20

    Neural circuit mapping is generating datasets of tens of thousands of labeled neurons. New computational tools are needed to search and organize these data. We present NBLAST, a sensitive and rapid algorithm, for measuring pairwise neuronal similarity. NBLAST considers both position and local geometry, decomposing neurons into short segments; matched segments are scored using a probabilistic scoring matrix defined by statistics of matches and non-matches. We validated NBLAST on a published dataset of 16,129 single Drosophila neurons. NBLAST can distinguish neuronal types down to the finest level (single identified neurons) without a priori information. Cluster analysis of extensively studied neuronal classes identified new types and unreported topographical features. Fully automated clustering organized the validation dataset into 1,052 clusters, many of which map onto previously described neuronal types. NBLAST supports additional query types, including searching neurons against transgene expression patterns. Finally, we show that NBLAST is effective with data from other invertebrates and zebrafish. VIDEO ABSTRACT. Copyright © 2016 MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Delayed focal involvement of upper motor neurons in the Madras pattern of motor neuron disease.

    PubMed

    Massa, R; Scalise, A; Iani, C; Palmieri, M G; Bernardi, G

    1998-12-01

    We report the case of a young man from the south of India, initially presenting the typical signs of benign monomelic amyotrophy (BMA) in the left upper limb. After several years, the involvement of other limbs and the appearance of bulbar signs suggested the possible diagnosis of the Madras pattern of motor neuron disease (MMND). Serial motor evoked potential (MEP) recordings allowed detection of the onset of a focal involvement of upper motor neurons (UMN) controlling innervation in the originally amyotrophic limb. Therefore, serial MEP recordings can be useful for the early detection of sub-clinical UMN damage in motor neuron disease presenting with pure lower motor neuron (LMN) signs.

  14. Accelerated neuronal differentiation toward motor neuron lineage from human embryonic stem cell line (H9).

    PubMed

    Lu, David; Chen, Eric Y T; Lee, Philip; Wang, Yung-Chen; Ching, Wendy; Markey, Christopher; Gulstrom, Chase; Chen, Li-Ching; Nguyen, Thien; Chin, Wei-Chun

    2015-03-01

    Motor neurons loss plays a pivotal role in the pathoetiology of various debilitating diseases such as, but not limited to, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, primary lateral sclerosis, progressive muscular atrophy, progressive bulbar palsy, pseudobulbar palsy, and spinal muscular atrophy. However, advancement in motor neuron replacement therapy has been significantly constrained by the difficulties in large-scale production at a cost-effective manner. Current methods to derive motor neuron heavily rely on biochemical stimulation, chemical biological screening, and complex physical cues. These existing methods are seriously challenged by extensive time requirements and poor yields. An innovative approach that overcomes prior hurdles and enhances the rate of successful motor neuron transplantation in patients is of critical demand. Iron, a trace element, is indispensable for the normal development and function of the central nervous system. Whether ferric ions promote neuronal differentiation and subsequently promote motor neuron lineage has never been considered. Here, we demonstrate that elevated iron concentration can drastically accelerate the differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) toward motor neuron lineage potentially via a transferrin mediated pathway. HB9 expression in 500 nM iron-treated hESCs is approximately twofold higher than the control. Moreover, iron treatment generated more matured and functional motor neuron-like cells that are ∼1.5 times more sensitive to depolarization when compared to the control. Our methodology renders an expedited approach to harvest motor neuron-like cells for disease, traumatic injury regeneration, and drug screening.

  15. Effect of the heterogeneous neuron and information transmission delay on stochastic resonance of neuronal networks.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qingyun; Zhang, Honghui; Chen, Guanrong

    2012-12-01

    We study the effect of heterogeneous neuron and information transmission delay on stochastic resonance of scale-free neuronal networks. For this purpose, we introduce the heterogeneity to the specified neuron with the highest degree. It is shown that in the absence of delay, an intermediate noise level can optimally assist spike firings of collective neurons so as to achieve stochastic resonance on scale-free neuronal networks for small and intermediate α(h), which plays a heterogeneous role. Maxima of stochastic resonance measure are enhanced as α(h) increases, which implies that the heterogeneity can improve stochastic resonance. However, as α(h) is beyond a certain large value, no obvious stochastic resonance can be observed. If the information transmission delay is introduced to neuronal networks, stochastic resonance is dramatically affected. In particular, the tuned information transmission delay can induce multiple stochastic resonance, which can be manifested as well-expressed maximum in the measure for stochastic resonance, appearing every multiple of one half of the subthreshold stimulus period. Furthermore, we can observe that stochastic resonance at odd multiple of one half of the subthreshold stimulus period is subharmonic, as opposed to the case of even multiple of one half of the subthreshold stimulus period. More interestingly, multiple stochastic resonance can also be improved by the suitable heterogeneous neuron. Presented results can provide good insights into the understanding of the heterogeneous neuron and information transmission delay on realistic neuronal networks.

  16. Neuronal somatic ATP release triggers neuron-satellite glial cell communication in dorsal root ganglia.

    PubMed

    Zhang, X; Chen, Y; Wang, C; Huang, L-Y M

    2007-06-05

    It has been generally assumed that the cell body (soma) of a neuron, which contains the nucleus, is mainly responsible for synthesis of macromolecules and has a limited role in cell-to-cell communication. Using sniffer patch recordings, we show here that electrical stimulation of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons elicits robust vesicular ATP release from their somata. The rate of release events increases with the frequency of nerve stimulation; external Ca(2+) entry is required for the release. FM1-43 photoconversion analysis further reveals that small clear vesicles participate in exocytosis. In addition, the released ATP activates P2X7 receptors in satellite cells that enwrap each DRG neuron and triggers the communication between neuronal somata and glial cells. Blocking L-type Ca(2+) channels completely eliminates the neuron-glia communication. We further show that activation of P2X7 receptors can lead to the release of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFalpha) from satellite cells. TNFalpha in turn potentiates the P2X3 receptor-mediated responses and increases the excitability of DRG neurons. This study provides strong evidence that somata of DRG neurons actively release transmitters and play a crucial role in bidirectional communication between neurons and surrounding satellite glial cells. These results also suggest that, contrary to the conventional view, neuronal somata have a significant role in cell-cell signaling.

  17. Early phenotype expression of cortical neurons: Evidence that a subclass of migrating neurons have callosal axons

    SciTech Connect

    Schwartz, M.L.; Rakic, P.; Goldman-Rakic, P.S. )

    1991-02-15

    The use of ({sup 3}H)thymidine labeling in combination with various axonal transport tracers has revealed that a subset of migrating neurons in the fetal monkey cerebrum issue axons to the opposite cerebral hemisphere while still migrating to their final positions in the cortical plate. Other cortical neurons with the same birthdate (i.e., that underwent their last round of DNA synthesis on the same day) are not retrogradely labeled by tracer injections of the opposite hemisphere. These findings suggest that the cardinal distinction between projection and local circuit neurons may be specified in postmitotic neurons before they acquire their final positions in the cortex.

  18. Mouse Grueneberg ganglion neurons share molecular and functional features with C. elegans amphid neurons

    PubMed Central

    Brechbühl, Julien; Moine, Fabian; Broillet, Marie-Christine

    2013-01-01

    The mouse Grueneberg ganglion (GG) is an olfactory subsystem located at the tip of the nose close to the entry of the naris. It comprises neurons that are both sensitive to cold temperature and play an important role in the detection of alarm pheromones (APs). This chemical modality may be essential for species survival. Interestingly, GG neurons display an atypical mammalian olfactory morphology with neurons bearing deeply invaginated cilia mostly covered by ensheathing glial cells. We had previously noticed their morphological resemblance with the chemosensory amphid neurons found in the anterior region of the head of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). We demonstrate here further molecular and functional similarities. Thus, we found an orthologous expression of molecular signaling elements that was furthermore restricted to similar specific subcellular localizations. Calcium imaging also revealed a ligand selectivity for the methylated thiazole odorants that amphid neurons are known to detect. Cellular responses from GG neurons evoked by chemical or temperature stimuli were also partially cGMP-dependent. In addition, we found that, although behaviors depending on temperature sensing in the mouse, such as huddling and thermotaxis did not implicate the GG, the thermosensitivity modulated the chemosensitivity at the level of single GG neurons. Thus, the striking similarities with the chemosensory amphid neurons of C. elegans conferred to the mouse GG neurons unique multimodal sensory properties. PMID:24367309

  19. Farnesol-Detecting Olfactory Neurons in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Ronderos, David S.; Lin, Chun-Chieh; Potter, Christopher J.

    2014-01-01

    We set out to deorphanize a subset of putative Drosophila odorant receptors expressed in trichoid sensilla using a transgenic in vivo misexpression approach. We identified farnesol as a potent and specific activator for the orphan odorant receptor Or83c. Farnesol is an intermediate in juvenile hormone biosynthesis, but is also produced by ripe citrus fruit peels. Here, we show that farnesol stimulates robust activation of Or83c-expressing olfactory neurons, even at high dilutions. The CD36 homolog Snmp1 is required for normal farnesol response kinetics. The neurons expressing Or83c are found in a subset of poorly characterized intermediate sensilla. We show that these neurons mediate attraction behavior to low concentrations of farnesol and that Or83c receptor mutants are defective for this behavior. Or83c neurons innervate the DC3 glomerulus in the antennal lobe and projection neurons relaying information from this glomerulus to higher brain centers target a region of the lateral horn previously implicated in pheromone perception. Our findings identify a sensitive, narrowly tuned receptor that mediates attraction behavior to farnesol and demonstrates an effective approach to deorphanizing odorant receptors expressed in neurons located in intermediate and trichoid sensilla that may not function in the classical “empty basiconic neuron” system. PMID:24623773

  20. Optimal Stimulus Shapes for Neuronal Excitation

    PubMed Central

    Forger, Daniel B.; Paydarfar, David; Clay, John R.

    2011-01-01

    An important problem in neuronal computation is to discern how features of stimuli control the timing of action potentials. One aspect of this problem is to determine how an action potential, or spike, can be elicited with the least energy cost, e.g., a minimal amount of applied current. Here we show in the Hodgkin & Huxley model of the action potential and in experiments on squid giant axons that: 1) spike generation in a neuron can be highly discriminatory for stimulus shape and 2) the optimal stimulus shape is dependent upon inputs to the neuron. We show how polarity and time course of post-synaptic currents determine which of these optimal stimulus shapes best excites the neuron. These results are obtained mathematically using the calculus of variations and experimentally using a stochastic search methodology. Our findings reveal a surprising complexity of computation at the single cell level that may be relevant for understanding optimization of signaling in neurons and neuronal networks. PMID:21760759

  1. [Morphology of neurons of human subiculum proper].

    PubMed

    Stanković-Vulović, Maja; Zivanović-Macuzić, Ivana; Sazdanović, Predrag; Jeremić, Dejan; Tosevski, Jovo

    2010-01-01

    Subiculum proper is an archicortical structure of the subicular complex and presents the place of origin of great majority of axons of the whole hippocampal formation. In contrast to the hippocampus which has been intensively studied, the data about human subiculum proper are quite scarce. The aim of our study was to identify morphological characteristics of neurons of the human subiculum proper. The study was performed on 10 brains of both genders by using Golgi impregnation and Nissl staining. The subiculum has three layers: molecular, pyramidal and polymorphic layer. The dominant cell type in the pyramidal layer was the pyramidal neurons, which had pyramidal shaped soma, multiple basal dendrites and one apical dendrite. The nonpyramidal cells were scattered among the pyramidal cells of the pyramidal layer. The nonpyramidal cells were classified on: multipolar, bipolar and neurons with triangular-shaped soma. The neurons of the molecular layer of the human subiculum were divided into groups: bipolar and multipolar neurons. The most numerous cells of the polymorphic layer were bipolar and multipolar neurons.

  2. Preventing NAD+ Depletion Protects Neurons against Excitotoxicity

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Dong; Pitta, Michael; Mattson, Mark P.

    2008-01-01

    Neurons are excitable cells that require large amounts of energy to support their survival and functions and are therefore prone to excitotoxicity, which involves energy depletion. By examining bioenergetic changes induced by glutamate, we found that the cellular nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) level is a critical determinant of neuronal survival. The bioenergetic effects of mitochondrial uncoupling and caloric restriction were also examined in cultured neurons and rodent brain. 2, 4-dinitrophenol (DNP) is a chemical mitochondrial uncoupler that stimulates glucose uptake and oxygen consumption on cultured neurons, which accelerates oxidation of NAD(P)H to NAD+ in mitochondria. The NAD+-dependent histone deacetylase sirtulin 1 (SIRT1) and glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) mRNA are upregulated mouse brain under caloric restriction. To examine whether NAD+ mediates neuroprotective effects, nicotinamide, a precursor of NAD+ and inhibitor of SIRT1 and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1) (two NAD+-dependent enzymes), was employed. Nicotinamide attenuated excitotoxic death and preserved cellular NAD+ levels to support SIRT1 and PARP 1 activities. Our findings suggest that mild mitochondrial uncoupling and caloric restriction exert hormetic effects by stimulating bioenergetics in neurons thereby increasing tolerance of neurons to metabolic stress. PMID:19076449

  3. Mechanical Dissociation of Retinal Neurons with Vibration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Motomura, Tamami; Hayashida, Yuki; Murayama, Nobuki

    The neuromorphic device, which implements the functions of biological neural circuits by means of VLSI technology, has been collecting much attention in the engineering fields in the last decade. Concurrently, progress in neuroscience research has revealed the nonlinear computation in single neuron levels, suggesting that individual neurons are not merely the circuit elements but computational units. Thus, elucidating the properties of neuronal signal processing is thought to be an essential step for developing the next generation of neuromorphic devices. In the present study, we developed a method for dissociating single neurons from specific sublayers of mammalian retinas with using no proteolytic enzymes but rather combining tissue incubation in a low-Ca2+ medium and the vibro-dissociation technique developed for the slices of brains and spinal cords previously. Our method took shorter time of the procedure, and required less elaborated skill, than the conventional enzymatic method did; nevertheless it yielded enough number of the cells available for acute electrophysiological experiments. The isolated retinal neurons were useful for measuring the nonlinear membrane conductances as well as the spike firing properties under the perforated-patch whole-cell configuration. These neurons also enabled us to examine the effects of proteolytic enzymes on the membrane excitability in those cells.

  4. Time-warp-invariant neuronal processing.

    PubMed

    Gütig, Robert; Sompolinsky, Haim

    2009-07-01

    Fluctuations in the temporal durations of sensory signals constitute a major source of variability within natural stimulus ensembles. The neuronal mechanisms through which sensory systems can stabilize perception against such fluctuations are largely unknown. An intriguing instantiation of such robustness occurs in human speech perception, which relies critically on temporal acoustic cues that are embedded in signals with highly variable duration. Across different instances of natural speech, auditory cues can undergo temporal warping that ranges from 2-fold compression to 2-fold dilation without significant perceptual impairment. Here, we report that time-warp-invariant neuronal processing can be subserved by the shunting action of synaptic conductances that automatically rescales the effective integration time of postsynaptic neurons. We propose a novel spike-based learning rule for synaptic conductances that adjusts the degree of synaptic shunting to the temporal processing requirements of a given task. Applying this general biophysical mechanism to the example of speech processing, we propose a neuronal network model for time-warp-invariant word discrimination and demonstrate its excellent performance on a standard benchmark speech-recognition task. Our results demonstrate the important functional role of synaptic conductances in spike-based neuronal information processing and learning. The biophysics of temporal integration at neuronal membranes can endow sensory pathways with powerful time-warp-invariant computational capabilities.

  5. Parameter Estimation of a Spiking Silicon Neuron

    PubMed Central

    Russell, Alexander; Mazurek, Kevin; Mihalaş, Stefan; Niebur, Ernst; Etienne-Cummings, Ralph

    2012-01-01

    Spiking neuron models are used in a multitude of tasks ranging from understanding neural behavior at its most basic level to neuroprosthetics. Parameter estimation of a single neuron model, such that the model’s output matches that of a biological neuron is an extremely important task. Hand tuning of parameters to obtain such behaviors is a difficult and time consuming process. This is further complicated when the neuron is instantiated in silicon (an attractive medium in which to implement these models) as fabrication imperfections make the task of parameter configuration more complex. In this paper we show two methods to automate the configuration of a silicon (hardware) neuron’s parameters. First, we show how a Maximum Likelihood method can be applied to a leaky integrate and fire silicon neuron with spike induced currents to fit the neuron’s output to desired spike times. We then show how a distance based method which approximates the negative log likelihood of the lognormal distribution can also be used to tune the neuron’s parameters. We conclude that the distance based method is better suited for parameter configuration of silicon neurons due to its superior optimization speed. PMID:23852978

  6. Calcium dynamics and compartmentalization in leech neurons.

    PubMed

    Andjelic, Sofija; Torre, Vincent

    2005-12-01

    Calcium dynamics in leech neurons were studied using a fast CCD camera. Fluorescence changes (DeltaF/F) of the membrane impermeable calcium indicator Oregon Green were measured. The dye was pressure injected into the soma of neurons under investigation. DeltaF/F caused by a single action potential (AP) in mechanosensory neurons had approximately the same amplitude and time course in the soma and in distal processes. By contrast, in other neurons such as the Anterior Pagoda neuron, the Annulus Erector motoneuron, the L motoneuron, and other motoneurons, APs evoked by passing depolarizing current in the soma produced much larger fluorescence changes in distal processes than in the soma. When APs were evoked by stimulating one distal axon through the root, DeltaF/F was large in all distal processes but very small in the soma. Our results show a clear compartmentalization of calcium dynamics in most leech neurons in which the soma does not give propagating action potentials. In such cells, the soma, while not excitable, can affect information processing by modulating the sites of origin and conduction of AP propagation in distal excitable processes.

  7. Properties of persistent postnatal cortical subplate neurons.

    PubMed

    Torres-Reveron, Juan; Friedlander, Michael J

    2007-09-12

    Subplate (SP) neurons are important for the proper development of thalamocortical innervation. They are necessary for formation of ocular dominance and orientation columns in visual cortex. During the perinatal period, many SP neurons die. The surviving cohort forms interstitial cells in the white matter (WM) and a band of horizontally oriented cells below layer VI (layer VIb, layer VII, or subplate cells). Although the function of embryonic SP neurons has been well established, the functional roles of WM and postnatal SP cells are not known. We used a combination of anatomical, immunohistochemical, and electrophysiological techniques to explore the dendritic morphology, neurotransmitter phenotype, intrinsic electrophysiological, and synaptic input properties of these surviving cells in the rat visual cortex. The density of SP and WM cells significantly decreases during the first month of life. Both populations express neuronal markers and have extensive dendritic arborizations within the SP, WM, and to the overlying visual cortex. Some intrinsic electrophysiological properties of SP and WM cells are similar: each generates high-frequency slowly adapting trains of action potentials in response to a sustained depolarization. However, SP cells exhibit greater frequency-dependent action potential broadening than WM neurons. Both cell types receive predominantly AMPA/kainate receptor-mediated excitatory synaptic input that undergoes paired-pulse facilitation as well as NMDA receptor and GABAergic input. Synaptic inputs to these cells can also undergo long-term synaptic plasticity. Thus, surviving SP and WM cells are functional electrogenic neurons integrated within the postnatal visual cortical circuit.

  8. The neuronal insulin receptor in its environment.

    PubMed

    Gralle, Matthias

    2017-02-01

    Insulin is known mainly for its effects in peripheral tissues, such as the liver, skeletal muscles and adipose tissue, where the activation of the insulin receptor (IR) has both short-term and long-term effects. Insulin and the IR are also present in the brain, and since there is evidence that neuronal insulin signaling regulates synaptic plasticity and that it is impaired in disease, this pathway might be the key to protection or reversal of symptoms, especially in Alzheimer's disease. However, there are controversies about the importance of the neuronal IR, partly because biophysical data on its activation and signaling are much less complete than for the peripheral IR. This review briefly summarizes the neuronal IR signaling in health and disease, and then focuses on known differences between the neuronal and peripheral IR with regard to alternative splicing and glycosylation, and lack of data with respect to phosphorylation and membrane subdomain localization. Particularities in the neuronal IR itself and its environment may have consequences for downstream signaling and impact synaptic plasticity. Furthermore, establishing the relative importance of insulin signaling through IR or through hybrids with its homolog, the insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor, is crucial for evaluating the consequences of brain IR activation. An improved biophysical understanding of the neuronal IR may help predict the consequences of insulin-targeted interventions.

  9. Pleiotrophin antagonizes Brd2 during neuronal differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Garcia-Gutierrez, Pablo; Juarez-Vicente, Francisco; Wolgemuth, Debra J.; Garcia-Dominguez, Mario

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Bromodomain-containing protein 2 (Brd2) is a BET family chromatin adaptor required for expression of cell-cycle-associated genes and therefore involved in cell cycle progression. Brd2 is expressed in proliferating neuronal progenitors, displays cell-cycle-stimulating activity and, when overexpressed, impairs neuronal differentiation. Paradoxically, Brd2 is also detected in differentiating neurons. To shed light on the role of Brd2 in the transition from cell proliferation to differentiation, we had previously looked for proteins that interacted with Brd2 upon induction of neuronal differentiation. Surprisingly, we identified the growth factor pleiotrophin (Ptn). Here, we show that Ptn antagonized the cell-cycle-stimulating activity associated with Brd2, thus enhancing induced neuronal differentiation. Moreover, Ptn knockdown reduced neuronal differentiation. We analyzed Ptn-mediated antagonism of Brd2 in a cell differentiation model and in two embryonic processes associated with the neural tube: spinal cord neurogenesis and neural crest migration. Finally, we investigated the mechanisms of Ptn-mediated antagonism and determined that Ptn destabilizes the association of Brd2 with chromatin. Thus, Ptn-mediated Brd2 antagonism emerges as a modulation system accounting for the balance between cell proliferation and differentiation in the vertebrate nervous system. PMID:24695857

  10. Prefrontal Parvalbumin Neurons in Control of Attention

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hoseok; Ährlund-Richter, Sofie; Wang, Xinming; Deisseroth, Karl; Carlén, Marie

    2016-01-01

    Summary While signatures of attention have been extensively studied in sensory systems, the neural sources and computations responsible for top-down control of attention are largely unknown. Using chronic recordings in mice, we found that fast-spiking parvalbumin (FS-PV) interneurons in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) uniformly show increased and sustained firing during goal-driven attentional processing, correlating to the level of attention. Elevated activity of FS-PV neurons on the timescale of seconds predicted successful execution of behavior. Successful allocation of attention was characterized by strong synchronization of FS-PV neurons, increased gamma oscillations, and phase locking of pyramidal firing. Phase-locked pyramidal neurons showed gamma-phase-dependent rate modulation during successful attentional processing. Optogenetic silencing of FS-PV neurons deteriorated attentional processing, while optogenetic synchronization of FS-PV neurons at gamma frequencies had pro-cognitive effects and improved goal-directed behavior. FS-PV neurons thus act as a functional unit coordinating the activity in the local mPFC circuit during goal-driven attentional processing. PMID:26771492

  11. Time-Warp–Invariant Neuronal Processing

    PubMed Central

    Gütig, Robert; Sompolinsky, Haim

    2009-01-01

    Fluctuations in the temporal durations of sensory signals constitute a major source of variability within natural stimulus ensembles. The neuronal mechanisms through which sensory systems can stabilize perception against such fluctuations are largely unknown. An intriguing instantiation of such robustness occurs in human speech perception, which relies critically on temporal acoustic cues that are embedded in signals with highly variable duration. Across different instances of natural speech, auditory cues can undergo temporal warping that ranges from 2-fold compression to 2-fold dilation without significant perceptual impairment. Here, we report that time-warp–invariant neuronal processing can be subserved by the shunting action of synaptic conductances that automatically rescales the effective integration time of postsynaptic neurons. We propose a novel spike-based learning rule for synaptic conductances that adjusts the degree of synaptic shunting to the temporal processing requirements of a given task. Applying this general biophysical mechanism to the example of speech processing, we propose a neuronal network model for time-warp–invariant word discrimination and demonstrate its excellent performance on a standard benchmark speech-recognition task. Our results demonstrate the important functional role of synaptic conductances in spike-based neuronal information processing and learning. The biophysics of temporal integration at neuronal membranes can endow sensory pathways with powerful time-warp–invariant computational capabilities. PMID:19582146

  12. Dressed Neurons: Modeling the Tripartite Synapse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Peter

    2004-03-01

    The vast majority of cells in the brain are glial cells, of which astrocytes are the most numerous. Besides providing structural and metabolic support for the neurons, they listen to the neuronal chatter and modulate synaptic transmission at the synapse through extended processes that enwrap partially or fully neuronal synapses. The interaction of neurons with astrocytes involves metabolic pathways that are much slower than neuronal processes, typically of the order of seconds to minutes, resulting in complex neural-glial circuits that are at the forefront of research in neurobiology. In this talk I will give a brief introduction into the neurobiology of neural-glial circuitry and then discuss first attempts to mould these into mathematical models. One of the main signaling mechanisms within the astrocytes is through calcium release from internal stores. Neurotransmitter, released at synapses triggers astrocytic calcium events that can travel intra- and intercellularly to modify nearby or remote synapses through co-released glutamate. We discuss a few simple neural-glial circuits and the fingerprints of the astrocytic environment on neuronal dynamics. We further explore extreme parameter ranges that are consistent with conditions found in epileptic tissue and discuss the possible role of astrocytes for epilepsy.

  13. Developmental specification of forebrain cholinergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Allaway, Kathryn C; Machold, Robert

    2017-01-01

    Striatal cholinergic interneurons and basal forebrain cholinergic projection neurons, which together comprise the forebrain cholinergic system, regulate attention, memory, reward pathways, and motor activity through the neuromodulation of multiple brain circuits. The importance of these neurons in the etiology of neurocognitive disorders has been well documented, but our understanding of their specification during embryogenesis is still incomplete. All forebrain cholinergic projection neurons and interneurons appear to share a common developmental origin in the embryonic ventral telencephalon, a region that also gives rise to GABAergic projection neurons and interneurons. Significant progress has been made in identifying the key intrinsic and extrinsic factors that promote a cholinergic fate in this precursor population. However, how cholinergic interneurons and projection neurons differentiate from one another during development, as well as how distinct developmental programs contribute to heterogeneity within those two classes, is not yet well understood. In this review we summarize the transcription factors and signaling molecules known to play a role in the specification and early development of striatal and basal forebrain cholinergic neurons. We also discuss the heterogeneity of these populations and its possible developmental origins. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Pleiotrophin antagonizes Brd2 during neuronal differentiation.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Gutierrez, Pablo; Juarez-Vicente, Francisco; Wolgemuth, Debra J; Garcia-Dominguez, Mario

    2014-06-01

    Bromodomain-containing protein 2 (Brd2) is a BET family chromatin adaptor required for expression of cell-cycle-associated genes and therefore involved in cell cycle progression. Brd2 is expressed in proliferating neuronal progenitors, displays cell-cycle-stimulating activity and, when overexpressed, impairs neuronal differentiation. Paradoxically, Brd2 is also detected in differentiating neurons. To shed light on the role of Brd2 in the transition from cell proliferation to differentiation, we had previously looked for proteins that interacted with Brd2 upon induction of neuronal differentiation. Surprisingly, we identified the growth factor pleiotrophin (Ptn). Here, we show that Ptn antagonized the cell-cycle-stimulating activity associated with Brd2, thus enhancing induced neuronal differentiation. Moreover, Ptn knockdown reduced neuronal differentiation. We analyzed Ptn-mediated antagonism of Brd2 in a cell differentiation model and in two embryonic processes associated with the neural tube: spinal cord neurogenesis and neural crest migration. Finally, we investigated the mechanisms of Ptn-mediated antagonism and determined that Ptn destabilizes the association of Brd2 with chromatin. Thus, Ptn-mediated Brd2 antagonism emerges as a modulation system accounting for the balance between cell proliferation and differentiation in the vertebrate nervous system. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  15. Obesity-blocking neurons in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Al-Anzi, Bader; Sapin, Viveca; Waters, Christopher; Zinn, Kai; Wyman, Robert J.; Benzer, Seymour

    2009-01-01

    Summary In mammals, fat store levels are communicated by leptin and insulin signaling to brain centers that regulate food intake and metabolism. By using transgenic manipulation of neural activity, we report the isolation of two distinct neuronal populations in flies that perform a similar function, the c673a-Gal4 and fruitless-Gal4 neurons. When either of these neuronal groups is silenced, fat store levels increase. This change is mediated through an increase in food intake and altered metabolism in c673a-Gal4 silenced flies, while silencing fruitless-Gal4 neurons alters only metabolism. Hyperactivation of either neuronal group causes depletion of fat stores by increasing metabolic rate and decreasing fatty acid synthesis. Altering the activities of these neurons causes changes in expression of genes known to regulate fat utilization. Our results show that the fly brain measures fat store levels and can induce changes in food intake and metabolism to maintain them within normal limits. PMID:19679073

  16. Functional maps within a single neuron

    PubMed Central

    Johnston, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    The presence and plasticity of dendritic ion channels are well established. However, the literature is divided on what specific roles these dendritic ion channels play in neuronal information processing, and there is no consensus on why neuronal dendrites should express diverse ion channels with different expression profiles. In this review, we present a case for viewing dendritic information processing through the lens of the sensory map literature, where functional gradients within neurons are considered as maps on the neuronal topograph. Under such a framework, drawing analogies from the sensory map literature, we postulate that the formation of intraneuronal functional maps is driven by the twin objectives of efficiently encoding inputs that impinge along different dendritic locations and of retaining homeostasis in the face of changes that are required in the coding process. In arriving at this postulate, we relate intraneuronal map physiology to the vast literature on sensory maps and argue that such a metaphorical association provides a fresh conceptual framework for analyzing and understanding single-neuron information encoding. We also describe instances where the metaphor presents specific directions for research on intraneuronal maps, derived from analogous pursuits in the sensory map literature. We suggest that this perspective offers a thesis for why neurons should express and alter ion channels in their dendrites and provides a framework under which active dendrites could be related to neural coding, learning theory, and homeostasis. PMID:22933729

  17. GABA neurons of the VTA drive conditioned place aversion.

    PubMed

    Tan, Kelly R; Yvon, Cédric; Turiault, Marc; Mirzabekov, Julie J; Doehner, Jana; Labouèbe, Gwenaël; Deisseroth, Karl; Tye, Kay M; Lüscher, Christian

    2012-03-22

    Salient but aversive stimuli inhibit the majority of dopamine (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and cause conditioned place aversion (CPA). The cellular mechanism underlying DA neuron inhibition has not been investigated and the causal link to behavior remains elusive. Here, we show that GABA neurons of the VTA inhibit DA neurons through neurotransmission at GABA(A) receptors. We also observe that GABA neurons increase their firing in response to a footshock and provide evidence that driving GABA neurons with optogenetic effectors is sufficient to affect behavior. Taken together, our data demonstrate that synaptic inhibition of DA neurons drives place aversion. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Physiological, morphological and neurochemical characterization of neurons modulated by movement.

    PubMed

    Dessem, Dean

    2011-04-21

    The role of individual neurons and their function in neuronal circuits is fundamental to understanding the neuronal mechanisms of sensory and motor functions. Most investigations of sensorimotor mechanisms rely on either examination of neurons while an animal is static or record extracellular neuronal activity during a movement. While these studies have provided the fundamental background for sensorimotor function, they either do not evaluate functional information which occurs during a movement or are limited in their ability to fully characterize the anatomy, physiology and neurochemical phenotype of the neuron. A technique is shown here which allows extensive characterization of individual neurons during an in vivo movement. This technique can be used not only to study primary afferent neurons but also to characterize motoneurons and sensorimotor interneurons. Initially the response of a single neuron is recorded using electrophysiological methods during various movements of the mandible followed by determination of the receptive field for the neuron. A neuronal tracer is then intracellularly injected into the neuron and the brain is processed so that the neuron can be visualized with light, electron or confocal microscopy (Fig. 1). The detailed morphology of the characterized neuron is then reconstructed so that neuronal morphology can be correlated with the physiological response of the neuron (Figs. 2,3). In this communication important key details and tips for successful implementation of this technique are provided. Valuable additional information can be determined for the neuron under study by combining this method with other techniques. Retrograde neuronal labeling can be used to determine neurons with which the labeled neuron synapses; thus allowing detailed determination of neuronal circuitry. Immunocytochemistry can be combined with this method to examine neurotransmitters within the labeled neuron and to determine the chemical phenotypes of neurons

  19. Remote control of neuronal signaling.

    PubMed

    Rogan, Sarah C; Roth, Bryan L

    2011-06-01

    A significant challenge for neuroscientists is to determine how both electrical and chemical signals affect the activity of cells and circuits and how the nervous system subsequently translates that activity into behavior. Remote, bidirectional manipulation of those signals with high spatiotemporal precision is an ideal approach to addressing that challenge. Neuroscientists have recently developed a diverse set of tools that permit such experimental manipulation with varying degrees of spatial, temporal, and directional control. These tools use light, peptides, and small molecules to primarily activate ion channels and G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that in turn activate or inhibit neuronal firing. By monitoring the electrophysiological, biochemical, and behavioral effects of such activation/inhibition, researchers can better understand the links between brain activity and behavior. Here, we review the tools that are available for this type of experimentation. We describe the development of the tools and highlight exciting in vivo data. We focus primarily on designer GPCRs (receptors activated solely by synthetic ligands, designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs) and microbial opsins (e.g., channelrhodopsin-2, halorhodopsin, Volvox carteri channelrhodopsin) but also describe other novel techniques that use orthogonal receptors, caged ligands, allosteric modulators, and other approaches. These tools differ in the direction of their effect (activation/inhibition, hyperpolarization/depolarization), their onset and offset kinetics (milliseconds/minutes/hours), the degree of spatial resolution they afford, and their invasiveness. Although none of these tools is perfect, each has advantages and disadvantages, which we describe, and they are all still works in progress. We conclude with suggestions for improving upon the existing tools.

  20. Remote Control of Neuronal Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Rogan, Sarah C.

    2011-01-01

    A significant challenge for neuroscientists is to determine how both electrical and chemical signals affect the activity of cells and circuits and how the nervous system subsequently translates that activity into behavior. Remote, bidirectional manipulation of those signals with high spatiotemporal precision is an ideal approach to addressing that challenge. Neuroscientists have recently developed a diverse set of tools that permit such experimental manipulation with varying degrees of spatial, temporal, and directional control. These tools use light, peptides, and small molecules to primarily activate ion channels and G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that in turn activate or inhibit neuronal firing. By monitoring the electrophysiological, biochemical, and behavioral effects of such activation/inhibition, researchers can better understand the links between brain activity and behavior. Here, we review the tools that are available for this type of experimentation. We describe the development of the tools and highlight exciting in vivo data. We focus primarily on designer GPCRs (receptors activated solely by synthetic ligands, designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs) and microbial opsins (e.g., channelrhodopsin-2, halorhodopsin, Volvox carteri channelrhodopsin) but also describe other novel techniques that use orthogonal receptors, caged ligands, allosteric modulators, and other approaches. These tools differ in the direction of their effect (activation/inhibition, hyperpolarization/depolarization), their onset and offset kinetics (milliseconds/minutes/hours), the degree of spatial resolution they afford, and their invasiveness. Although none of these tools is perfect, each has advantages and disadvantages, which we describe, and they are all still works in progress. We conclude with suggestions for improving upon the existing tools. PMID:21415127

  1. Dissociated neurons of the pupal blowfly antenna in cell culture.

    PubMed

    Nakagawa, A; Iwama, A

    1995-12-01

    Primary cell cultures are useful for studying the function of neurons in a simplified and controlled environment. We established a primary culture of antennal cells from pupal blowflies in order to investigate olfactory receptor neurons. In cultures, neuron-like cells were identified on the basis of morphology and immunocytochemical characterization with anti-HRP staining. Neuron-like cells showed variety in the extension pattern of neurites. Many neuron-like cells extended a single prominent long process, which reached about 200 microm after four days, and several short ones. However, some neuron-like cells differentiated in other ways; some exhibited bipolar or multipolar processes, distinct from intact olfactory receptor neurons. The size of cell bodies of neuron-like cells as divisible into two groups; approx. 7 microm diameter and 10-15 microm diameter. Neuron-like cells in culture will provide a good model for electrophysiological analysis and for developmental studies of olfactory receptor neurons.

  2. Neuron matters: electric activation of neuronal tissue is dependent on the interaction between the neuron and the electric field.

    PubMed

    Ye, Hui; Steiger, Amanda

    2015-08-12

    In laboratory research and clinical practice, externally-applied electric fields have been widely used to control neuronal activity. It is generally accepted that neuronal excitability is controlled by electric current that depolarizes or hyperpolarizes the excitable cell membrane. What determines the amount of polarization? Research on the mechanisms of electric stimulation focus on the optimal control of the field properties (frequency, amplitude, and direction of the electric currents) to improve stimulation outcomes. Emerging evidence from modeling and experimental studies support the existence of interactions between the targeted neurons and the externally-applied electric fields. With cell-field interaction, we suggest a two-way process. When a neuron is positioned inside an electric field, the electric field will induce a change in the resting membrane potential by superimposing an electrically-induced transmembrane potential (ITP). At the same time, the electric field can be perturbed and re-distributed by the cell. This cell-field interaction may play a significant role in the overall effects of stimulation. The redistributed field can cause secondary effects to neighboring cells by altering their geometrical pattern and amount of membrane polarization. Neurons excited by the externally-applied electric field can also affect neighboring cells by ephaptic interaction. Both aspects of the cell-field interaction depend on the biophysical properties of the neuronal tissue, including geometric (i.e., size, shape, orientation to the field) and electric (i.e., conductivity and dielectricity) attributes of the cells. The biophysical basis of the cell-field interaction can be explained by the electromagnetism theory. Further experimental and simulation studies on electric stimulation of neuronal tissue should consider the prospect of a cell-field interaction, and a better understanding of tissue inhomogeneity and anisotropy is needed to fully appreciate the neural

  3. PREPROGLUCAGON (PPG) NEURONS INNERVATE NEUROCHEMICALLY IDENTIFIED AUTONOMIC NEURONS IN THE MOUSE BRAINSTEM

    PubMed Central

    Llewellyn-Smith, Ida J; Gnanamanickam, Greta J. E.; Reimann, Frank; Gribble, Fiona M; Trapp, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    Preproglucagon (PPG) neurons produce glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and occur primarily in the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS). GLP-1 affects a variety of central autonomic circuits, including those controlling the cardiovascular system, thermogenesis, and most notably energy balance. Our immunohistochemical studies in transgenic mice expressing YFP under the control of the PPG promoter showed that PPG neurons project widely to central autonomic regions, including brainstem nuclei. Functional studies have highlighted the importance of hindbrain receptors for the anorexic effects of GLP-1. In this study, we assessed YFP innervation of neurochemically-identified brainstem neurons in transgenic YFP-PPG mice. Immunoreactivity for YFP plus choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and/or serotonin (5-HT) were visualised with two- or three-colour immunoperoxidase labelling using black (YFP), brown and bluegrey reaction products. In the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV), terminals from fine YFP-immunoreactive axons closely apposed a small proportion of ChAT-positive and rare TH-positive/ChAT-positive motor neurons, mostly ventral to AP. YFP-immunoreactive innervation was virtually absent from the compact and loose formations of the nucleus ambiguus. In the NTS, some TH-immunoreactive neurons were closely apposed by YFP-containing axons. In the A1/C1 column in the ventrolateral medulla, close appositions on TH-positive neurons were more common, particularly in the caudal portion of the column. A single YFP-immunoreactive axon usually provided 1-3 close appositions on individual ChAT- or TH-positive neurons. Serotonin-immunoreactive neurons were most heavily innervated, with the majority of raphé pallidus, raphé obscurus and parapyramidal neurons receiving several close appositions from large varicosities of YFP-immunoreactive axons. These results indicate that GLP-1 neurons innervate various populations of brainstem autonomic neurons. These

  4. Identification of neuron selective androgen receptor inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Otto-Duessel, Maya; Tew, Ben Yi; Vonderfecht, Steven; Moore, Roger; Jones, Jeremy O

    2017-05-26

    To identify neuron-selective androgen receptor (AR) signaling inhibitors, which could be useful in the treatment of spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), or Kennedy's disease, a neuromuscular disorder in which deterioration of motor neurons leads to progressive muscle weakness. Cell lines representing prostate, kidney, neuron, adipose, and muscle tissue were developed that stably expressed the CFP-AR-YFP FRET reporter. We used these cells to screen a library of small molecules for cell type-selective AR inhibitors. Secondary screening in luciferase assays was used to identify the best cell-type specific AR inhibitors. The mechanism of action of a neuron-selective AR inhibitor was examined in vitro using luciferase reporter assays, immunofluorescence microscopy, and immunoprecipitations. Rats were treated with the most potent compound and tissue-selective AR inhibition was examined using RT-qPCR of AR-regulated genes and immunohistochemistry. We identified the thiazole class of antibiotics as compounds able to inhibit AR signaling in a neuronal cell line but not a muscle cell line. One of these antibiotics, thiostrepton is able to inhibit the activity of both wild type and polyglutamine expanded AR in neuronal GT1-7 cells with nanomolar potency. The thiazole antibiotics are known to inhibit FOXM1 activity and accordingly, a novel FOXM1 inhibitor FDI-6 also inhibited AR activity in a neuron-selective fashion. The selective inhibition of AR is likely indirect as the varied structures of these compounds would not suggest that they are competitive antagonists. Indeed, we found that FOXM1 expression correlates with cell-type selectivity, FOXM1 co-localizes with AR in the nucleus, and that shRNA-mediated knock down of FOXM1 reduces AR activity and thiostrepton sensitivity in a neuronal cell line. Thiostrepton treatment reduces FOXM1 levels and the nuclear localization of beta-catenin, a known co-activator of both FOXM1 and AR, and reduces the association between beta

  5. Fast assembling of neuron fragments in serial 3D sections.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hanbo; Iascone, Daniel Maxim; da Costa, Nuno Maçarico; Lein, Ed S; Liu, Tianming; Peng, Hanchuan

    2017-04-01

    Reconstructing neurons from 3D image-stacks of serial sections of thick brain tissue is very time-consuming and often becomes a bottleneck in high-throughput brain mapping projects. We developed NeuronStitcher, a software suite for stitching non-overlapping neuron fragments reconstructed in serial 3D image sections. With its efficient algorithm and user-friendly interface, NeuronStitcher has been used successfully to reconstruct very large and complex human and mouse neurons.

  6. A novel perspective on neuron study: damaging and promoting effects in different neurons induced by mechanical stress.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yazhou; Wang, Wei; Li, Zong; Hao, Shilei; Wang, Bochu

    2016-10-01

    A growing volume of experimental evidence demonstrates that mechanical stress plays a significant role in growth, proliferation, apoptosis, gene expression, electrophysiological properties and many other aspects of neurons. In this review, first, the mechanical microenvironment and properties of neurons under in vivo conditions are introduced and analyzed. Second, research works in recent decades on the effects of different mechanical forces, especially compression and tension, on various neurons, including dorsal root ganglion neurons, retinal ganglion cells, cerebral cortex neurons, hippocampus neurons, neural stem cells, and other neurons, are summarized. Previous research results demonstrate that mechanical stress can not only injure neurons by damaging their morphology, impacting their electrophysiological characteristics and gene expression, but also promote neuron self-repair. Finally, some future perspectives in neuron research are discussed.

  7. Reliability of neuronal information conveyed by unreliable neuristor-based leaky integrate-and-fire neurons: a model study

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Hyungkwang; Kornijcuk, Vladimir; Seok, Jun Yeong; Kim, Seong Keun; Kim, Inho; Hwang, Cheol Seong; Jeong, Doo Seok

    2015-01-01

    We conducted simulations on the neuronal behavior of neuristor-based leaky integrate-and-fire (NLIF) neurons. The phase-plane analysis on the NLIF neuron highlights its spiking dynamics – determined by two nullclines conditional on the variables on the plane. Particular emphasis was placed on the operational noise arising from the variability of the threshold switching behavior in the neuron on each switching event. As a consequence, we found that the NLIF neuron exhibits a Poisson-like noise in spiking, delimiting the reliability of the information conveyed by individual NLIF neurons. To highlight neuronal information coding at a higher level, a population of noisy NLIF neurons was analyzed in regard to probability of successful information decoding given the Poisson-like noise of each neuron. The result demonstrates highly probable success in decoding in spite of large variability – due to the variability of the threshold switching behavior – of individual neurons. PMID:25966658

  8. Modeling schizophrenia using hiPSC neurons

    PubMed Central

    Brennand, Kristen; Simone, Anthony; Jou, Jessica; Gelboin-Burkhart, Chelsea; Tran, Ngoc; Sangar, Sarah; Li, Yan; Mu, Yangling; Chen, Gong; Yu, Diana; McCarthy, Shane; Sebat, Jonathan; Gage, Fred H.

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Schizophrenia (SCZD) is a debilitating neurological disorder with a world-wide prevalence of 1%; there is a strong genetic component, with an estimated heritability of 80–85%1. Though postmortem studies have revealed reduced brain volume, cell size, spine density and abnormal neural distribution in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of SCZD brain tissue2 and neuropharmacological studies have implicated dopaminergic, glutamatergic and GABAergic activity in SCZD3, the cell types affected in SCZD and the molecular mechanisms underlying the disease state remain unclear. To elucidate the cellular and molecular defects of SCZD, we directly reprogrammed fibroblasts from SCZD patients into human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) and subsequently differentiated these disorder-specific hiPSCs into neurons (SI Fig. 1). SCZD hiPSC neurons showed diminished neuronal connectivity in conjunction with decreased neurite number, PSD95-protein levels and glutamate receptor expression. Gene expression profiles of SCZD hiPSC neurons identified altered expression of many components of the cAMP and WNT signaling pathways. Key cellular and molecular elements of the SCZD phenotype were ameliorated following treatment of SCZD hiPSC neurons with the antipsychotic Loxapine. To date, hiPSC neuronal pathology has only been demonstrated in diseases characterized by both the loss of function of a single gene product and rapid disease progression in early childhood4–6. We now report hiPSC neuronal phenotypes and gene expression changes associated with SCZD, a complex genetic psychiatric disorder (SI Table 1). PMID:21490598

  9. Response variability of marmoset parvocellular neurons

    PubMed Central

    Victor, J D; Blessing, E M; Forte, J D; Buzás, P; Martin, P R

    2007-01-01

    This study concerns the properties of neurons carrying signals for colour vision in primates. We investigated the variability of responses of individual parvocellular lateral geniculate neurons of dichromatic and trichromatic marmosets to drifting sinusoidal luminance and chromatic gratings. Response variability was quantified by the cycle-to-cycle variation in Fourier components of the response. Averaged across the population, the variability at low contrasts was greater than predicted by a Poisson process, and at high contrasts the responses were approximately 40% more variable than responses at low contrasts. The contrast-dependent increase in variability was nevertheless below that expected from the increase in firing rate. Variability falls below the Poisson prediction at high contrast, and intrinsic variability of the spike train decreases as contrast increases. Thus, while deeply modulated responses in parvocellular cells have a larger absolute variability than weakly modulated ones, they have a more favourable signal: noise ratio than predicted by a Poisson process. Similar results were obtained from a small sample of magnocellular and koniocellular (‘blue-on’) neurons. For parvocellular neurons with pronounced colour opponency, chromatic responses were, on average, less variable (10–15%, p < 0.01) than luminance responses of equal magnitude. Conversely, non-opponent parvocellular neurons showed the opposite tendency. This is consistent with a supra-additive noise source prior to combination of cone signals. In summary, though variability of parvocellular neurons is largely independent of the way in which they combine cone signals, the noise characteristics of retinal circuitry may augment specialization of parvocellular neurons to signal luminance or chromatic contrast. PMID:17124265

  10. Neuronal injury after photoactivation of photofrin II.

    PubMed Central

    Yoshida, Y.; Dereski, M. O.; Garcia, J. H.; Hetzel, F. W.; Chopp, M.

    1992-01-01

    Photodynamic therapy has been used in the management of patients with malignant brain tumors even though the effects of this form of treatment on the adjacent normal brain are incompletely characterized. The authors examined, in sequential experiments, morphologic alterations affecting the cerebral cortex in rats injected with Photophrin II and exposed to light. Initially, minimal cell alterations, including cisternal swelling of both endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus, involved only neurons located in the superficial layers of the cerebral cortex exposed to light. These changes spread, over a period of several hours, from the surface to the bottom of the cortex and eventually involved the entire cortical segment exposed to light. The earliest structural signs of lethal injury to neurons developed over a period of 18 hours after porphyrins had been photoactivated and astrocytes had been severely damaged. Signs of lethal injury to neurons included an increase in the number of mitochondrial cristae and appearance of amorphous electron-dense deposits within swollen mitochondria. The appearance of these alterations was followed by segregation of intracytoplasmic organelles and fragmentation of nuclear and cytoplasmic membranes. The tissue changes, including those involving neurons, eventually progressed to coagulation necrosis at 48 hours. These observations suggest that prophyrins injected to rats (48 hours before photoactivation) cause swelling and necrosis of astrocytes. This is followed by neuronal necrosis, which appears at two time intervals; the initial neuronal necrosis occurs after the astrocytic disintegration. A second type of neuronal alteration appears after microvessels become thrombosed and ischemia is likely to develop. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 7 PMID:1415489

  11. Aquaporin-4 Water Channels in Enteric Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Thi, Mia M.; Spray, David C.; Hanani, Menachem

    2009-01-01

    Aquaporin-4 is a water channel predominantly found in astrocytes in the central nervous system and is believed to play a critical role in the formation and maintenance of the blood–brain barrier and in water secretion from the brain. As enteric glial cells were found to share several similarities with astrocytes, we hypothesized that enteric glia might also contain aquaporin-4. We used immunohistochemistry to identify aquaporin-4 in the myenteric and submucosal plexuses of the mouse and the rat colon. We found that sub-populations of neurons in both enteric plexuses were positively labeled for human aquaporin-4. Double staining of the enteric ganglia with antibodies to the neuronal marker neurofilament–heavy chain 100 and to aquaporin-4 showed that a minority of myenteric neurons were aquaporin-4 positive (about 12% in the mouse and 13% in the rat). In contrast, in the submucosal plexus significant numbers of neurons were positive for aquaporin-4 (about 79% in both the mouse and the rat). Double labeling for aquaporin-4 and for the glial marker glial fibrillary acidic protein verified that glial cells were not immunoreactive to aquaporin-4. We further confirmed our findings with additional aquaporin-4 antibodies and Western blot analysis. We found that, in addition to expressing aquaporin-4, the myenteric plexus and, to a greater extent, the submucosal plexus both expressed aquaporin-1. We conclude that neurons rather than glial cells contain aquaporin-4 in the colonic enteric plexuses. It is known that submucosal neurons control transport processes in the intestinal mucosa, and the high percentage of aquaporin-4-postive sub-mucosal neurons suggests that aquaporin-4 contributes to this function. PMID:17893913

  12. Channel Properties of Nax Expressed in Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Matsumoto, Masahito; Hiyama, Takeshi Y.; Kuboyama, Kazuya; Suzuki, Ryoko; Fujikawa, Akihiro; Noda, Masaharu

    2015-01-01

    Nax is a sodium-concentration ([Na+])-sensitive Na channel with a gating threshold of ~150 mM for extracellular [Na+] ([Na+]o) in vitro. We previously reported that Nax was preferentially expressed in the glial cells of sensory circumventricular organs including the subfornical organ, and was involved in [Na+] sensing for the control of salt-intake behavior. Although Nax was also suggested to be expressed in the neurons of some brain regions including the amygdala and cerebral cortex, the channel properties of Nax have not yet been adequately characterized in neurons. We herein verified that Nax was expressed in neurons in the lateral amygdala of mice using an antibody that was newly generated against mouse Nax. To investigate the channel properties of Nax expressed in neurons, we established an inducible cell line of Nax using the mouse neuroblastoma cell line, Neuro-2a, which is endogenously devoid of the expression of Nax. Functional analyses of this cell line revealed that the [Na+]-sensitivity of Nax in neuronal cells was similar to that expressed in glial cells. The cation selectivity sequence of the Nax channel in cations was revealed to be Na+ ≈ Li+ > Rb+ > Cs+ for the first time. Furthermore, we demonstrated that Nax bound to postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD95) through its PSD95/Disc-large/ZO-1 (PDZ)-binding motif at the C-terminus in neurons. The interaction between Nax and PSD95 may be involved in promoting the surface expression of Nax channels because the depletion of endogenous PSD95 resulted in a decrease in Nax at the plasma membrane. These results indicated, for the first time, that Nax functions as a [Na+]-sensitive Na channel in neurons as well as in glial cells. PMID:25961826

  13. Amygdala neurons differentially encode motivation and reinforcement.

    PubMed

    Tye, Kay M; Janak, Patricia H

    2007-04-11

    Lesion studies demonstrate that the basolateral amygdala complex (BLA) is important for assigning motivational significance to sensory stimuli, but little is known about how this information is encoded. We used in vivo electrophysiology procedures to investigate how the amygdala encodes motivating and reinforcing properties of cues that induce reinstatement of reward-seeking behavior. Two groups of rats were trained to respond to a sucrose reward. The "paired" group was trained with a reward-predictive cue, whereas the "unpaired" group was trained with a randomly presented cue. Both groups underwent identical extinction and reinstatement procedures during which the reward was withheld. The proportion of neurons that were phasically cue responsive during reinstatement was significantly higher in the paired group (46 of 100) than in the unpaired group (8 of 112). Cues that induce reward-seeking behavior can do so by acting as incentives or reinforcers. Distinct populations of neurons responded to the cue in trials in which the cue acted as an incentive, triggering a motivated reward-seeking state, or as a reinforcer, supporting continued instrumental responding. The incentive motivation-encoding population of neurons (34 of 46 cue-responsive neurons; 74%) extinguished in temporal agreement with a decrease in the rate of instrumental responding. The conditioned reinforcement-encoding population of neurons (12 of 46 cue-responsive neurons; 26%) maintained their response for the duration of cue-reinforced instrumental responding. These data demonstrate that separate populations of cue-responsive neurons in the BLA encode the motivating or reinforcing properties of a cue previously associated with a reward.

  14. Activity-Dependent Model for Neuronal Avalanches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Arcangelis, L.

    Networks of living neurons represent one of the most fascinating systems of modern biology. If the physical and chemical mechanisms at the basis of the functioning of a single neuron are quite well understood, the collective behavior of a system of many neurons is an extremely intriguing subject. Crucial ingredient of this complex behavior is the plasticity property of the network, namely the capacity to adapt and evolve depending on the level of activity. This plastic ability is believed, nowadays, to be at the basis of learning and memory in real brains. This fundamental problem in neurobiology has recently shown a number of features in common to other complex systems. These features mainly concern the morphology of the network, namely the spatial organization of the established connections, and a novel kind of neuronal activity. Experimental data have, in fact, shown that electrical information propagates in a cortex slice via an avalanche mode. Both features have been found in other problems in the context of the physics of complex systems and successful models have been developed to describe their behavior. In this contribution, we apply a statistical mechanical model to describe the complex activity in a neuronal network. The network is chosen to have a number of connections in long range, as found for neurons in vitro. The model implements the main physiological properties of living neurons and is able to reproduce recent experimental results. The numerical power spectra for electrical activity reproduces also the power law behavior measured in an EEG of man resting with the eyes closed.

  15. Genetic manipulation of single neurons in vivo reveals specific roles of flamingo in neuronal morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Sweeney, Neal T; Li, Wenjun; Gao, Fen-Biao

    2002-07-01

    To study the roles of intracellular factors in neuronal morphogenesis, we used the mosaic analysis with a repressible cell marker (MARCM) technique to visualize identifiable single multiple dendritic (MD) neurons in living Drosophila larvae. We found that individual neurons in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) developed clear morphological polarity and diverse dendritic branching patterns in larval stages. Each MD neuron in the same dorsal cluster developed a unique dendritic field, suggesting that they have specific physiological functions. Single-neuron analysis revealed that Flamingo did not affect the general dendritic branching patterns in postmitotic neurons. Instead, Flamingo limited the extension of one or more dorsal dendrites without grossly affecting lateral branches. The dendritic overextension phenotype was partially conferred by the precocious initiation of dorsal dendrites in flamingo mutant embryos. In addition, Flamingo is required cell autonomously to promote axonal growth and to prevent premature axonal branching of PNS neurons. Our molecular analysis also indicated that the amino acid sequence near the first EGF motif is important for the proper localization and function of Flamingo. These results demonstrate that Flamingo plays a role in early neuronal differentiation and exerts specific effects on dendrites and axons.

  16. Pressure waves in neurons and their relationship to tangled neurons and plaques.

    PubMed

    Barz, Helmut; Barz, Ulrich

    2014-05-01

    The paper based on the hypothesis that mechanical impulses cause the transmission of excitement in the peripheral and central nervous system. Possible connections between changes in the tubular neuronal network and the morphological findings of Alzheimer's disease are presented. Additionally, changes in the viscosity of the neuronal cytoplasm and changes in the walls of the neuronal fibers due to the intracellular hydrostatic pressure and pressure waves are considered possible causes of plaques, threads and tangles. The pressure causes reduced elasticity and mechanical breakdown in neuronal fiber walls. This is compared to features found in blood vessels. It is presumed that damaged membranes lead to an escape of cytoplasm from the neurons into the extracellular space. This outflow may cause the spherical structured proteinaceous plaques. On the other hand it could be that the decrease of fluid and reduced intraneuronal pressure after a membrane crack may favor the agglomeration of cytoplasm proteins in the neurons forming threads and tangles. The consolidation of the neuronal cytoplasm and the irreparable decrement of the intracellular pressure cause a loss of function and finally a dieback of the affected neurons. The reduction of blood perfusion due to an increased local tissue pressure in certain regions of the brain may promote the forming of Alzheimer deposits. An increase of preamyloid proteins and small soluble amyloid particles within the extracellular fluid can lead, along their natural drainage route, to an amyloid angiopathy. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  17. Neuronal Survival, Morphology and Outgrowth of Spiral Ganglion Neurons Using a Defined Growth Factor Combination

    PubMed Central

    Schwieger, Jana; Warnecke, Athanasia; Lenarz, Thomas; Esser, Karl-Heinz; Scheper, Verena

    2015-01-01

    Objectives The functionality of cochlear implants (CI) depends, among others, on the number and excitability of surviving spiral ganglion neurons (SGN). The spatial separation between the SGN, located in the bony axis of the inner ear, and the CI, which is inserted in the scala tympani, results in suboptimal performance of CI patients and may be decreased by attracting the SGN neurites towards the electrode contacts. Neurotrophic factors (NTFs) can support neuronal survival and neurite outgrowth. Methods Since brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is well known for its neuroprotective effect and ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) increases neurite outgrowth, we evaluated if the combination of BDNF and CNTF leads to an enhanced neuronal survival with extended neurite outgrowth. Both NTFs were added in effective high concentrations (BDNF 50ng/ml, CNTF 100ng/ml), alone and in combination, to cultured dissociated SGN of neonatal rats for 48 hours. Results The neuronal survival and neurite outgrowth were significantly higher in SGN treated with the combination of the two NTFs compared to treatment with each factor alone. Additionally, with respect to the morphology, the combination of BDNF and CNTF leads to a significantly higher number of bipolar neurons and a decreased number of neurons without neurites in culture. Conclusion The combination of BDNF and CNTF shows a great potential to increase the neuronal survival and the number of bipolar neurons in vitro and to regenerate retracted nerve fibers. PMID:26263175

  18. Neuronal Survival, Morphology and Outgrowth of Spiral Ganglion Neurons Using a Defined Growth Factor Combination.

    PubMed

    Schwieger, Jana; Warnecke, Athanasia; Lenarz, Thomas; Esser, Karl-Heinz; Scheper, Verena

    2015-01-01

    The functionality of cochlear implants (CI) depends, among others, on the number and excitability of surviving spiral ganglion neurons (SGN). The spatial separation between the SGN, located in the bony axis of the inner ear, and the CI, which is inserted in the scala tympani, results in suboptimal performance of CI patients and may be decreased by attracting the SGN neurites towards the electrode contacts. Neurotrophic factors (NTFs) can support neuronal survival and neurite outgrowth. Since brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is well known for its neuroprotective effect and ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) increases neurite outgrowth, we evaluated if the combination of BDNF and CNTF leads to an enhanced neuronal survival with extended neurite outgrowth. Both NTFs were added in effective high concentrations (BDNF 50 ng/ml, CNTF 100 ng/ml), alone and in combination, to cultured dissociated SGN of neonatal rats for 48 hours. The neuronal survival and neurite outgrowth were significantly higher in SGN treated with the combination of the two NTFs compared to treatment with each factor alone. Additionally, with respect to the morphology, the combination of BDNF and CNTF leads to a significantly higher number of bipolar neurons and a decreased number of neurons without neurites in culture. The combination of BDNF and CNTF shows a great potential to increase the neuronal survival and the number of bipolar neurons in vitro and to regenerate retracted nerve fibers.

  19. Stem cells decreased neuronal cell death after hypoxic stress in primary fetal rat neurons in vitro.

    PubMed

    Sakai, Tetsuro; Xu, Yan

    2012-01-01

    To explore stem cell-mediated neuronal protection through extracellular signaling pathways by transplanted stem cells, we sought to identify potential candidate molecules responsible for neuronal protection using an in vitro coculture system. Primary fetal rat hippocampal neurons underwent hypoxia (≤1% oxygen) for 96 h nad then were returned to a normoxic condition. The study group then received rat umbilical cord matrix-derived stem cells, while the control group received fresh media only. The experimental group showed decreased neuronal apoptosis compared to the control group [44.5 ± 1.6% vs. 71.0 ± 4.2% (mean ± SD, p = 0.0005) on day 5] and higher neuronal survival (4.9 ± 1.2 cells/100× field vs. 2.2 ± 0.3, p = 0.02 on day 5). Among 90 proteins evaluated using a protein array, stem cell coculture media showed increased protein secretion of TIMP-1 (5.61-fold), TIMP-2 (4.88), CNTF-Rα (3.42), activin A (2.20), fractalkine (2.04), CCR4 (2.02), and decreased secretion in MIP-2 (0.30-fold), AMPK α1 (0.43), TROY (0.48), and TIMP-3 (0.50). This study demonstrated that coculturing stem cells with primary neurons in vitro decreased neuronal cell death after hypoxia with significantly altered protein secretion. The results suggest that stem cells may offer neuronal protection through extracellular signaling.

  20. Adult-born neurons modify excitatory synaptic transmission to existing neurons

    PubMed Central

    Adlaf, Elena W; Vaden, Ryan J; Niver, Anastasia J; Manuel, Allison F; Onyilo, Vincent C; Araujo, Matheus T; Dieni, Cristina V; Vo, Hai T; King, Gwendalyn D; Wadiche, Jacques I; Overstreet-Wadiche, Linda

    2017-01-01

    Adult-born neurons are continually produced in the dentate gyrus but it is unclear whether synaptic integration of new neurons affects the pre-existing circuit. Here we investigated how manipulating neurogenesis in adult mice alters excitatory synaptic transmission to mature dentate neurons. Enhancing neurogenesis by conditional deletion of the pro-apoptotic gene Bax in stem cells reduced excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) and spine density in mature neurons, whereas genetic ablation of neurogenesis increased EPSCs in mature neurons. Unexpectedly, we found that Bax deletion in developing and mature dentate neurons increased EPSCs and prevented neurogenesis-induced synaptic suppression. Together these results show that neurogenesis modifies synaptic transmission to mature neurons in a manner consistent with a redistribution of pre-existing synapses to newly integrating neurons and that a non-apoptotic function of the Bax signaling pathway contributes to ongoing synaptic refinement within the dentate circuit. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19886.001 PMID:28135190

  1. Hyperexcitable neurons and altered non-neuronal cells in the compressed spinal ganglion

    PubMed Central

    LaMotte, Robert H.; Chao, MA

    2009-01-01

    The cell body or soma in the dosal root ganglion (DRG) is normally excitable and this excitability can increase and persist after an injury of peripheral sensory neurons. In a rat model of radicular pain, an intraforaminal implantation of a rod that chronically compressed the lumbar DRG (“CCD” model) resulted in neuronal somal hyperexcitability and spontaneous activity that was accompanied by hyperalgesia in the ipsilateral hind paw. By the 5th day after onset of CCD, there was a novel upregulation in neuronal expression of the chemokine, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1 or CCL2) and also its receptor, CCR2. The neurons developed, in response to topically applied MCP-1, an excitatory response that they normally do not have. CCD also activated non-neuronal cells including, for example, the endothelial cells as evidenced by angiogenesis in the form of an increased number of capillaries in the DRG after 7 days. A working hypothesis is that the CCD induced changes in neurons and non-neuronal cells that may act together to promote the survival of the injured tissue. The release of ligands such as CCL2, in addition to possibly activating nociceptive neurons (maintaining the pain), may also act to preserve injured cells in the face of ischemia and hypoxia, for example, by promoting angiogenesis. Thus, somal hyperexcitability, as often said of inflammation, may represent a double edged sword. PMID:18958366

  2. Morphine disinhibits glutamatergic input to VTA dopamine neurons and promotes dopamine neuron excitation.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ming; Zhao, Yanfang; Yang, Hualan; Luan, Wenjie; Song, Jiaojiao; Cui, Dongyang; Dong, Yi; Lai, Bin; Ma, Lan; Zheng, Ping

    2015-07-24

    One reported mechanism for morphine activation of dopamine (DA) neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) is the disinhibition model of VTA-DA neurons. Morphine inhibits GABA inhibitory neurons, which shifts the balance between inhibitory and excitatory input to VTA-DA neurons in favor of excitation and then leads to VTA-DA neuron excitation. However, it is not known whether morphine has an additional strengthening effect on excitatory input. Our results suggest that glutamatergic input to VTA-DA neurons is inhibited by GABAergic interneurons via GABAB receptors and that morphine promotes presynaptic glutamate release by removing this inhibition. We also studied the contribution of the morphine-induced disinhibitory effect on the presynaptic glutamate release to the overall excitatory effect of morphine on VTA-DA neurons and related behavior. Our results suggest that the disinhibitory action of morphine on presynaptic glutamate release might be the main mechanism for morphine-induced increase in VTA-DA neuron firing and related behaviors.

  3. Hyperexcitable neurons and altered non-neuronal cells in the compressed spinal ganglion.

    PubMed

    LaMotte, Robert H; Ma, Chao

    2008-10-25

    The cell body or soma in the dosal root ganglion (DRG) is normally excitable and this excitability can increase and persist after an injury of peripheral sensory neurons. In a rat model of radicular pain, an intraforaminal implantation of a rod that chronically compressed the lumbar DRG ("CCD" model) resulted in neuronal somal hyperexcitability and spontaneous activity that was accompanied by hyperalgesia in the ipsilateral hind paw. By the 5th day after onset of CCD, there was a novel upregulation in neuronal expression of the chemokine, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1 or CCL2) and also its receptor, CCR2. The neurons developed, in response to topically applied MCP-1, an excitatory response that they normally do not have. CCD also activated non-neuronal cells including, for example, the endothelial cells as evidenced by angiogenesis in the form of an increased number of capillaries in the DRG after 7 days. A working hypothesis is that the CCD induced changes in neurons and non-neuronal cells that may act together to promote the survival of the injured tissue. The release of ligands such as CCL2, in addition to possibly activating nociceptive neurons (maintaining the pain), may also act to preserve injured cells in the face of ischemia and hypoxia, for example, by promoting angiogenesis. Thus, somal hyperexcitability, as often said of inflammation, may represent a double edged sword.

  4. Morphine disinhibits glutamatergic input to VTA dopamine neurons and promotes dopamine neuron excitation

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Ming; Zhao, Yanfang; Yang, Hualan; Luan, Wenjie; Song, Jiaojiao; Cui, Dongyang; Dong, Yi; Lai, Bin; Ma, Lan; Zheng, Ping

    2015-01-01

    One reported mechanism for morphine activation of dopamine (DA) neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) is the disinhibition model of VTA-DA neurons. Morphine inhibits GABA inhibitory neurons, which shifts the balance between inhibitory and excitatory input to VTA-DA neurons in favor of excitation and then leads to VTA-DA neuron excitation. However, it is not known whether morphine has an additional strengthening effect on excitatory input. Our results suggest that glutamatergic input to VTA-DA neurons is inhibited by GABAergic interneurons via GABAB receptors and that morphine promotes presynaptic glutamate release by removing this inhibition. We also studied the contribution of the morphine-induced disinhibitory effect on the presynaptic glutamate release to the overall excitatory effect of morphine on VTA-DA neurons and related behavior. Our results suggest that the disinhibitory action of morphine on presynaptic glutamate release might be the main mechanism for morphine-induced increase in VTA-DA neuron firing and related behaviors. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09275.001 PMID:26208338

  5. Closing the Phenotypic Gap between Transformed Neuronal Cell Lines in Culture and Untransformed Neurons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Myers, Tereance A.; Nickerson, Cheryl A.; Kaushal, Deepak; Ott, C. Mark; HonerzuBentrup, Kerstin; Ramamurthy, Rajee; Nelman-Gonzales, Mayra; Pierson, Duane L.; Philipp, Mario T.

    2008-01-01

    Studies of neuronal dysfunction in the central nervous system (CNS) are frequently limited by the failure of primary neurons to propagate in vitro. Neuronal cell lines can be substituted for primary cells but they often misrepresent normal conditions. We hypothesized that a dimensional (3-D) cell culture system would drive the phenotype of transformed neurons closer to that of untransformed cells. In our studies comparing 3-D versus 2-dimensional (2-D) culture, neuronal SH-SY5Y (SY) cells underwent distinct morphological changes combined with a significant drop in their rate of cell division. Expression of the proto-oncogene N-myc and the RNA binding protein HuD was decreased in 3-D culture as compared to standard 2-D conditions. We observed a decline in the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 in 3-D culture, coupled with increased expression of the pro-apoptotic proteins Bax and Bak. Moreover, thapsigargin (TG)-induced apoptosis was enhanced in the 3-D cells. Microarray analysis demonstrated significantly differing mRNA levels for over 700 genes in the cells of each culture type. These results indicate that a 3-D culture approach narrows the phenotypic gap between neuronal cell lines and primary neurons. The resulting cells may readily be used for in vitro research of neuronal pathogenesis.

  6. Irregular spiking of pyramidal neurons organizes as scale-invariant neuronal avalanches in the awake state.

    PubMed

    Bellay, Timothy; Klaus, Andreas; Seshadri, Saurav; Plenz, Dietmar

    2015-07-07

    Spontaneous fluctuations in neuronal activity emerge at many spatial and temporal scales in cortex. Population measures found these fluctuations to organize as scale-invariant neuronal avalanches, suggesting cortical dynamics to be critical. Macroscopic dynamics, though, depend on physiological states and are ambiguous as to their cellular composition, spatiotemporal origin, and contributions from synaptic input or action potential (AP) output. Here, we study spontaneous firing in pyramidal neurons (PNs) from rat superficial cortical layers in vivo and in vitro using 2-photon imaging. As the animal transitions from the anesthetized to awake state, spontaneous single neuron firing increases in irregularity and assembles into scale-invariant avalanches at the group level. In vitro spike avalanches emerged naturally yet required balanced excitation and inhibition. This demonstrates that neuronal avalanches are linked to the global physiological state of wakefulness and that cortical resting activity organizes as avalanches from firing of local PN groups to global population activity.

  7. Immortalization of neuronal progenitors using SV40 large T antigen and differentiation towards dopaminergic neurons

    PubMed Central

    Alwin Prem Anand, A; Gowri Sankar, S; Kokila Vani, V

    2012-01-01

    Transplantation is common in clinical practice where there is availability of the tissue and organ. In the case of neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson's disease (PD), transplantation is not possible as a result of the non-availability of tissue or organ and therefore, cell therapy is an innovation in clinical practice. However, the availability of neuronal cells for transplantation is very limited. Alternatively, immortalized neuronal progenitors could be used in treating PD. The neuronal progenitor cells can be differentiated into dopaminergic phenotype. Here in this article, the current understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in the differentiation of dopaminergic phenotype from the neuronal progenitors immortalized with SV40 LT antigen is discussed. In addition, the methods of generating dopaminergic neurons from progenitor cells and the factors that govern their differentiation are elaborated. Recent advances in cell-therapy based transplantation in PD patients and future prospects are discussed. PMID:22863662

  8. [Localization of efferent sympathetic neurons and afferent neurons in dorsal root ganglia innervating the heart].

    PubMed

    Fateev, M M; Zaikina, M G

    1989-01-01

    The retrograde transport of horseradish peroxidase (HRP) has been used to study the localization and the number of neurons innervating the heart in the right stellate ganglion and accessory cervical ganglion, spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia of the cat. HRP was applied to the central cuts of anastomose of the stellate ganglion with the vagal nerve, of the vagosympathetic trunk caudal to anastomose and of the inferior cardiac nerve. HRP-labelled neurons were detected in the stellate ganglion in the regions which give off nerves, whereas in the accessory cervical ganglion labelled neurons were distributed throughout the whole ganglion. HRP-stained cells were found in the anastomose. In the spinal cord labelled neurons were detected in the lateral horn of T1-T5 segments. In the dorsal root ganglion the greatest number of neurons was observed in T2-T4 segments.

  9. Alternative functions of core cell cycle regulators in neuronal migration, neuronal maturation, and synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Frank, Christopher L.; Tsai, Li-Huei

    2009-01-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated that boundaries separating a cycling cell from a post-mitotic neuron are not as concrete as expected. Novel and unique physiological functions in neurons have been ascribed for proteins fundamentally required for cell cycle progression and control. These “core” cell cycle regulators serve diverse post-mitotic functions that span various developmental stages of a neuron, including neuronal migration, axonal elongation, axon pruning, dendrite morphogenesis, and synaptic maturation and plasticity. In this review, we detail the non-proliferative post-mitotic roles that these cell cycle proteins have recently been reported to play, the significance of their expression in neurons, mechanistic insight when available, and future prospects. PMID:19447088

  10. Identification and mechanosensitivity of viscerofugal neurons.

    PubMed

    Hibberd, T J; Zagorodnyuk, V P; Spencer, N J; Brookes, S J H

    2012-12-06

    Enteric viscerofugal neurons are interneurons with cell bodies in the gut wall; they project to prevertebral ganglia where they provide excitatory synaptic drive to sympathetic neurons which control intestinal motility and secretion. Here, we studied the mechanosensitivity and firing of single, identified viscerofugal neurons in guinea-pig distal colon. Flat sheet preparations of gut were set up in vitro and conventional extracellular recordings made from colonic nerve trunks. The nicotinic agonist, 1,1-dimethyl-4-phenylpiperazinium iodide (DMPP) (1mM), was locally pressure ejected onto individual myenteric ganglia. In a few ganglia, DMPP promptly evoked firing in colonic nerves. Biotinamide filling of colonic nerves revealed that DMPP-responsive sites corresponded to viscerofugal nerve cell bodies. This provides a robust means to positively identify viscerofugal neuron firing. Of 15 single units identified in this way, none responded to locally-applied capsaicin (1 μM). Probing with von Frey hairs at DMPP-responsive sites reliably evoked firing in all identified viscerofugal neurons (18/18 units tested; 0.8-5 mN). Circumferential stretch of the preparation increased firing in all 14/14 units (1-5 g, p<0.05). Both stretch and von Frey hair responses persisted in Ca(2+)-free solution (6 mM Mg(2+), 1mM EDTA), indicating that viscerofugal neurons are directly mechanosensitive. To investigate their adequate stimulus, circular muscle tension and length were independently modulated (BAY K8644, 1 μM and 10 μM, respectively). Increases in intramural tension without changes in length did not affect firing. However, contraction-evoked shortening, under constant load, significantly decreased firing (p<0.001). In conclusion, viscerofugal neuron action potentials contribute to recordings from colonic nerve trunks, in vitro. They provide a significant primary afferent output from the colon, encoding circumferential length, largely independent of muscle tension. All

  11. Teaching neurons to respond to placebos.

    PubMed

    Benedetti, Fabrizio; Frisaldi, Elisa; Carlino, Elisa; Giudetti, Lucia; Pampallona, Alan; Zibetti, Maurizio; Lanotte, Michele; Lopiano, Leonardo

    2016-10-01

    We analysed the placebo response at the single-neuron level in the thalamus of Parkinson patients to see the differences between first-time administration of placebo and administration after pharmacological pre-conditioning. When the placebo was given for the first time, it induced neither clinical improvement, as assessed through muscle rigidity reduction at the wrist, nor neuronal changes in thalamic neurons. However, if placebo was given after two, three or four prior administrations of an anti-Parkinson drug, apomorphine, it produced both clinical and neuronal responses. Both the magnitude and the duration of these placebo responses depended on the number of prior exposures to apomorphine, according to the rule: the greater the number of previous apomorphine administrations, the larger the magnitude and the longer the duration of the clinical and neuronal placebo responses. These findings show that learning plays a crucial role in the placebo response and suggest that placebo non-responders can be turned into placebo responders, with important clinical implications. Placebos have been found to affect the patient's brain in several conditions, such as pain and motor disorders. For example, in Parkinson's disease, a placebo treatment induces a release of dopamine in the striatum and changes the activity of neurons in both thalamic and subthalamic nuclei. The present study shows that placebo administration for the first time induces neither clinical nor neuronal improvement in Parkinson patients who undergo implantation of electrodes for deep brain stimulation. However, this lack of placebo responsiveness can be turned into substantial placebo responses following previous exposure to repeated administrations of the anti-Parkinson agent apomorphine. As the number of apomorphine administrations increased from one to four, both the clinical response and the neuronal activity in the ventral anterior and anterior ventrolateral thalamus increased. In fact, after four

  12. Neuronal and glial purinergic receptors functions in neuron development and brain disease

    PubMed Central

    del Puerto, Ana; Wandosell, Francisco; Garrido, Juan José

    2013-01-01

    Brain development requires the interaction of complex signaling pathways, involving different cell types and molecules. For a long time, most attention has focused on neurons in a neuronocentric conceptualization of central nervous system development, these cells fulfilling an intrinsic program that establishes the brain’s morphology and function. By contrast, glia have mainly been studied as support cells, offering guidance or as the cells that react to brain injury. However, new evidence is appearing that demonstrates a more fundamental role of glial cells in the control of different aspects of neuronal development and function, events in which the influence of neurons is at best weak. Moreover, it is becoming clear that the function and organization of the nervous system depends heavily on reciprocal neuron–glia interactions. During development, neurons are often generated far from their final destination and while intrinsic mechanisms are responsible for neuronal migration and growth, they need support and regulatory influences from glial cells in order to migrate correctly. Similarly, the axons emitted by neurons often have to reach faraway targets and in this sense, glia help define the way that axons grow. Moreover, oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells ultimately envelop axons, contributing to the generation of nodes of Ranvier. Finally, recent publications show that astrocytes contribute to the modulation of synaptic transmission. In this sense, purinergic receptors are expressed widely by glial cells and neurons, and recent evidence points to multiple roles of purines and purinergic receptors in neuronal development and function, from neurogenesis to axon growth and functional axonal maturation, as well as in pathological conditions in the brain. This review will focus on the role of glial and neuronal secreted purines, and on the purinergic receptors, fundamentally in the control of neuronal development and function, as well as in diseases of the

  13. Optogenetic identification of hypothalamic orexin neuron projections to paraventricular spinally projecting neurons.

    PubMed

    Dergacheva, Olga; Yamanaka, Akihiro; Schwartz, Alan R; Polotsky, Vsevolod Y; Mendelowitz, David

    2017-04-01

    Orexin neurons, and activation of orexin receptors, are generally thought to be sympathoexcitatory; however, the functional connectivity between orexin neurons and a likely sympathetic target, the hypothalamic spinally projecting neurons (SPNs) in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) has not been established. To test the hypothesis that orexin neurons project directly to SPNs in the PVN, channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) was selectively expressed in orexin neurons to enable photoactivation of ChR2-expressing fibers while examining evoked postsynaptic currents in SPNs in rat hypothalamic slices. Selective photoactivation of orexin fibers elicited short-latency postsynaptic currents in all SPNs tested (n = 34). These light-triggered responses were heterogeneous, with a majority being excitatory glutamatergic responses (59%) and a minority of inhibitory GABAergic (35%) and mixed glutamatergic and GABAergic currents (6%). Both glutamatergic and GABAergic responses were present in the presence of tetrodotoxin and 4-aminopyridine, suggesting a monosynaptic connection between orexin neurons and SPNs. In addition to generating postsynaptic responses, photostimulation facilitated action potential firing in SPNs (current clamp configuration). Glutamatergic, but not GABAergic, postsynaptic currents were diminished by application of the orexin receptor antagonist almorexant, indicating orexin release facilitates glutamatergic neurotransmission in this pathway. This work identifies a neuronal circuit by which orexin neurons likely exert sympathoexcitatory control of cardiovascular function.NEW & NOTEWORTHY This is the first study to establish, using innovative optogenetic approaches in a transgenic rat model, that there are robust heterogeneous projections from orexin neurons to paraventricular spinally projecting neurons, including excitatory glutamatergic and inhibitory GABAergic neurotransmission. Endogenous orexin release modulates glutamatergic, but not GABAergic

  14. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurones innervate kisspeptin neurones in the female mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Kalló, Imre; Vida, Barbara; Bardóczi, Zsuzsanna; Szilvásy-Szabó, Anett; Rabi, Fruzsina; Molnár, Tamás; Farkas, Imre; Caraty, Alain; Mikkelsen, Jens; Coen, Clive W; Hrabovszky, Erik; Liposits, Zsolt

    2013-01-01

    Kisspeptin (KP) neurones in the rostral periventricular area of the third ventricle (RP3V) and arcuate nucleus (Arc) are important elements in the neuronal circuitry regulating gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) secretion. KP and co-synthesised neuropeptides/neurotransmitters act directly on GnRH perikarya and processes. GnRH neurones not only form the final output pathway regulating the reproductive functions of the anterior pituitary gland, but also provide neuronal input to sites within the hypothalamus. The current double-label immunohistochemical studies investigated whether GnRH-immunoreactive (IR) projections to the RP3V and/or Arc establish morphological connections with KP-IR neurones at these sites. To optimise visualisation of KP immunoreactivity in, respectively, the RP3V and Arc, ovariectomised (OVX) oestrogen-treated and OVX oil-treated female mice were studied. Confocal laser microscopic analysis of immunofluorescent specimens revealed GnRH-IR axon varicosities in apposition to approximately 25% of the KP-IR neurones in the RP3V and 50% of the KP-IR neurones in the Arc. At the ultrastructural level, GnRH-IR neurones were seen to establish asymmetric synaptic contacts, which usually reflect excitatory neurotransmission, with KP-IR neurones in both the RP3V and Arc. Together with previous data, these findings indicate reciprocal connectivity between both of the KP cell populations and the GnRH neuronal system. The functional significance of the GnRH-IR input to the two separate KP cell populations requires electrophysiological investigation. © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  15. Energy-efficient neural information processing in individual neurons and neuronal networks.

    PubMed

    Yu, Lianchun; Yu, Yuguo

    2017-11-01

    Brains are composed of networks of an enormous number of neurons interconnected with synapses. Neural information is carried by the electrical signals within neurons and the chemical signals among neurons. Generating these electrical and chemical signals is metabolically expensive. The fundamental issue raised here is whether brains have evolved efficient ways of developing an energy-efficient neural code from the molecular level to the circuit level. Here, we summarize the factors and biophysical mechanisms that could contribute to the energy-efficient neural code for processing input signals. The factors range from ion channel kinetics, body temperature, axonal propagation of action potentials, low-probability release of synaptic neurotransmitters, optimal input and noise, the size of neurons and neuronal clusters, excitation/inhibition balance, coding strategy, cortical wiring, and the organization of functional connectivity. Both experimental and computational evidence suggests that neural systems may use these factors to maximize the efficiency of energy consumption in processing neural signals. Studies indicate that efficient energy utilization may be universal in neuronal systems as an evolutionary consequence of the pressure of limited energy. As a result, neuronal connections may be wired in a highly economical manner to lower energy costs and space. Individual neurons within a network may encode independent stimulus components to allow a minimal number of neurons to represent whole stimulus characteristics efficiently. This basic principle may fundamentally change our view of how billions of neurons organize themselves into complex circuits to operate and generate the most powerful intelligent cognition in nature. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Localization of neuronal and glial glutamate transporters.

    PubMed

    Rothstein, J D; Martin, L; Levey, A I; Dykes-Hoberg, M; Jin, L; Wu, D; Nash, N; Kuncl, R W

    1994-09-01

    The cellular and subcellular distributions of the glutamate transporter subtypes EAAC1, GLT-1, and GLAST in the rat CNS were demonstrated using anti-peptide antibodies that recognize the C-terminal domains of each transporter. On immunoblots, the antibodies specifically recognize proteins of 65-73 kDa in total brain homogenates. Immunocytochemistry shows that glutamate transporter subtypes are distributed differentially within neurons and astroglia. EAAC1 is specific for certain neurons, such as large pyramidal cortical neurons and Purkinje cells, but does not appear to be selective for glutamatergic neurons. GLT-1 is localized only to astroglia. GLAST is found in both neurons and astroglia. The regional localizations are unique to each transporter subtype. EAAC1 is highly enriched in the cortex, hippocampus, and caudate-putamen and is confined to pre- and postsynaptic elements. GLT-1 is distributed in astrocytes throughout the brain and spinal cord. GLAST is most abundant in Bergmann glia in the cerebellar molecular layer brain, but is also present in the cortex, hippocampus, and deep cerebellar nuclei.

  17. High-Throughput Screening in Primary Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Punita; Ando, D. Michael; Daub, Aaron; Kaye, Julia A.; Finkbeiner, Steven

    2013-01-01

    Despite years of incremental progress in our understanding of diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), there are still no disease-modifying therapeutics. The discrepancy between the number of lead compounds and approved drugs may partially be a result of the methods used to generate the leads and highlights the need for new technology to obtain more detailed and physiologically relevant information on cellular processes in normal and diseased states. Our high-throughput screening (HTS) system in a primary neuron model can help address this unmet need. HTS allows scientists to assay thousands of conditions in a short period of time which can reveal completely new aspects of biology and identify potential therapeutics in the span of a few months when conventional methods could take years or fail all together. HTS in primary neurons combines the advantages of HTS with the biological relevance of intact, fully differentiated neurons which can capture the critical cellular events or homeostatic states that make neurons uniquely susceptible to disease-associated proteins. We detail methodologies of our primary neuron HTS assay workflow from sample preparation to data reporting. We also discuss our adaptation of our HTS system into high-content screening (HCS), a type of HTS that uses multichannel fluorescence images to capture biological events in situ, and is uniquely suited to study dynamical processes in living cells. PMID:22341232

  18. WNT signaling in neuronal maturation and synaptogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Rosso, Silvana B.; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C.

    2013-01-01

    The Wnt signaling pathway plays a role in the development of the central nervous system and growing evidence indicates that Wnts also regulates the structure and function of the adult nervous system. Wnt components are key regulators of a variety of developmental processes, including embryonic patterning, cell specification, and cell polarity. In the nervous system, Wnt signaling also regulates the formation and function of neuronal circuits by controlling neuronal differentiation, axon outgrowth and guidance, dendrite development, synaptic function, and neuronal plasticity. Wnt factors can signal through three very well characterized cascades: canonical or β-catenin pathway, planar cell polarity pathway and calcium pathway that control different processes. However, divergent downstream cascades have been identified to control neuronal morphogenesis. In the nervous system, the expression of Wnt proteins is a highly controlled process. In addition, deregulation of Wnt signaling has been associated with neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we will review different aspects of neuronal and dendrite maturation, including spinogenesis and synaptogenesis. Finally, the role of Wnt pathway components on Alzheimer’s disease will be revised. PMID:23847469

  19. Amino acid odorants stimulate microvillar sensory neurons.

    PubMed

    Lipschitz, David L; Michel, William C

    2002-03-01

    The olfactory epithelium (OE) of zebrafish is populated with ciliated and microvillar olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs). Whether distinct classes of odorants specifically activate either of these unique populations of OSNs is unknown. Previously we demonstrated that zebrafish OSNs could be labeled in an activity-dependent fashion by amino acid but not bile acid odorants. To determine which sensory neuron type was stimulated by amino acid odorants, we labeled OSNs using the ion channel permeant probe agmatine (AGB) and analyzed its distribution with conventional light- and electron-microscope immunocytochemical techniques. Approximately 7% of the sensory epithelium was labeled by AGB exposure alone. Following stimulation with one of the eight amino acids tested, the proportion of labeled epithelium increased from 9% for histidine to 19% for alanine; amino acid stimulated increases in labeling of 2-12% over control labeling. Only histidine failed to stimulate a significant increase in the proportion of labeled OSNs compared to control preparations. Most amino acid sensitive OSNs were located superficially in the epithelium and immuno-electron microscopy demonstrated that the labeled OSNs were predominantly microvillar. Large numbers of nanogold particles (20-60 per 1.5 microm(2)) were associated with microvillar olfactory sensory neurons (MSNs), while few such particles (<15 per 1.5 microm(2)) were observed over ciliated olfactory sensory neurons (CSNs), supporting cells (SCs) and areas without tissue, such as the lumen above the OE. Collectively, these findings indicate that microvillar sensory neurons are capable of detecting amino acid odorants.

  20. Neuronal cell death in hepatic encephalopathy.

    PubMed

    Butterworth, Roger F

    2007-12-01

    It is generally assumed that neuronal cell death is minimal in liver failure and is insufficient to account for the neuropsychiatric symptoms characteristic of hepatic encephalopathy. However, contrary to this assumption, neuronal cell damage and death are well documented in liver failure patients, taking the form of several distinct clinical entities namely acquired (non-Wilsonian) hepatocerebral degeneration, cirrhosis-related Parkinsonism, post-shunt myelopathy and cerebellar degeneration. In addition, there is evidence to suggest that liver failure contributes to the severity of neuronal loss in Wernicke's encephalopathy. The long-standing nature of the thalamic and cerebellar lesions, over 80% of which are missed by routine clinical evaluation, together with the probability that they are nutritional in origin, underscores the need for careful nutritional management (adequate dietary protein, Vitamin B(1)) in liver failure patients. Mechanisms identified with the potential to cause neuronal cell death in liver failure include NMDA receptor-mediated excitotoxicity, lactic acidosis, oxidative/nitrosative stress and the presence of pro-inflammatory cytokines. The extent of neuronal damage in liver failure may be attenuated by compensatory mechanisms that include down-regulation of NMDA receptors, hypothermia and the presence of neuroprotective steroids such as allopregnanolone. These findings suggest that some of the purported "sequelae" of liver transplantation (gait ataxia, memory loss, confusion) could reflect preexisting neuropathology.

  1. Stability of Neuronal Networks with Homeostatic Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Harnack, Daniel; Pelko, Miha; Chaillet, Antoine; Chitour, Yacine; van Rossum, Mark C.W.

    2015-01-01

    Neurons are equipped with homeostatic mechanisms that counteract long-term perturbations of their average activity and thereby keep neurons in a healthy and information-rich operating regime. While homeostasis is believed to be crucial for neural function, a systematic analysis of homeostatic control has largely been lacking. The analysis presented here analyses the necessary conditions for stable homeostatic control. We consider networks of neurons with homeostasis and show that homeostatic control that is stable for single neurons, can destabilize activity in otherwise stable recurrent networks leading to strong non-abating oscillations in the activity. This instability can be prevented by slowing down the homeostatic control. The stronger the network recurrence, the slower the homeostasis has to be. Next, we consider how non-linearities in the neural activation function affect these constraints. Finally, we consider the case that homeostatic feedback is mediated via a cascade of multiple intermediate stages. Counter-intuitively, the addition of extra stages in the homeostatic control loop further destabilizes activity in single neurons and networks. Our theoretical framework for homeostasis thus reveals previously unconsidered constraints on homeostasis in biological networks, and identifies conditions that require the slow time-constants of homeostatic regulation observed experimentally. PMID:26154297

  2. Millisecond Timescale Synchrony among Hippocampal Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Amarasingham, Asohan; Mizuseki, Kenji; Buzsáki, György

    2014-01-01

    Inhibitory neurons in cortical circuits play critical roles in composing spike timing and oscillatory patterns in neuronal activity. These roles in turn require coherent activation of interneurons at different timescales. To investigate how the local circuitry provides for these activities, we applied resampled cross-correlation analyses to large-scale recordings of neuronal populations in the cornu ammonis 1 (CA1) and CA3 regions of the hippocampus of freely moving rats. Significant counts in the cross-correlation of cell pairs, relative to jittered surrogate spike-trains, allowed us to identify the effective couplings between neurons in CA1 and CA3 hippocampal regions on the timescale of milliseconds. In addition to putative excitatory and inhibitory monosynaptic connections, we uncovered prominent millisecond timescale synchrony between cell pairs, observed as peaks in the central 0 ms bin of cross-correlograms. This millisecond timescale synchrony appeared to be independent of network state, excitatory input, and γ oscillations. Moreover, it was frequently observed between cells of differing putative interneuronal type, arguing against gap junctions as the sole underlying source. Our observations corroborate recent in vitro findings suggesting that inhibition alone is sufficient to synchronize interneurons at such fast timescales. Moreover, we show that this synchronous spiking may cause stronger inhibition and rebound spiking in target neurons, pointing toward a potential function for millisecond synchrony of interneurons in shaping and affecting timing in pyramidal populations within and downstream from the circuit. PMID:25378164

  3. The Evolution of Bifurcation Dynamics in Neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stemmler, Martin

    2001-03-01

    The nervous system typically encodes perception and action with short voltage pulses, called spikes, traveling from cell to cell from the sensory periphery to the muscles. There is, however, no a priori reason why the nervous system could not use standard digital logic, switching once from low to high voltage (or vice versa) to convey one bit of information. The spikes in the nervous system result from ionic conductances in the neuronal membrane that are voltage-dependent; a small shift in the voltage-dependent properties would cause a cell to behave like a digital transistor, and no longer spike. Theory suggests two principles as to why neurons spike: information compression and energy efficiency. These first principles allow one to derive biophysically plausible ``learning rules" for a non-spiking neuron model to self- organize and tune its voltage-dependent conductances to approach a dynamical bifurcation point. The requirement of energy efficiency eventually forces the resulting bifurcation to become homoclinic, and thus the neuron discovers spiking. The sequence of events in the self-organization of spiking behavior is stereotypical. An examination of the evolutionary record allows one to ask whether ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny---does neuronal development echo the theoretically deduced intermediate stages of spiking behavior?

  4. Inhibitory control of hippocampal inhibitory neurons

    PubMed Central

    Chamberland, Simon; Topolnik, Lisa

    2012-01-01

    Information processing within neuronal networks is determined by a dynamic partnership between principal neurons and local circuit inhibitory interneurons. The population of GABAergic interneurons is extremely heterogeneous and comprises, in many brain regions, cells with divergent morphological and physiological properties, distinct molecular expression profiles, and highly specialized functions. GABAergic interneurons have been studied extensively during the past two decades, especially in the hippocampus, which is a relatively simple cortical structure. Different types of hippocampal inhibitory interneurons control spike initiation [e.g., axo-axonic and basket cells (BCs)] and synaptic integration (e.g., bistratified and oriens–lacunosum moleculare interneurons) within pyramidal neurons and synchronize local network activity, providing a means for functional segregation of neuronal ensembles and proper routing of hippocampal information. Thus, it is thought that, at least in the hippocampus, GABAergic inhibitory interneurons represent critical regulating elements at all stages of information processing, from synaptic integration and spike generation to large-scale network activity. However, this raises an important question: if inhibitory interneurons are fundamental for network computations, what are the mechanisms that control the activity of the interneurons themselves? Given the essential role of synaptic inhibition in the regulation of neuronal activity, it would be logical to expect that specific inhibitory mechanisms have evolved to control the operation of interneurons. Here, we review the mechanisms of synaptic inhibition of interneurons and discuss their role in the operation of hippocampal inhibitory circuits. PMID:23162426

  5. Functions of Rac GTPases during neuronal development.

    PubMed

    de Curtis, Ivan

    2008-01-01

    The small GTPases of the Rho family are important regulators of the actin cytoskeleton and are critical for several aspects of neuronal development including the establishment of neuronal polarity, extension of axon and dendrites, neurite branching, axonal navigation and synapse formation. The aim of this review is to present evidence supporting the function of Rac and Rac-related proteins in different aspects of neuronal maturation, based on work performed with organisms including nematodes, Drosophila, Xenopus and mice, and with primary cultures of developing neurons. Three of the 4 vertebrate Rac-related genes, namely Rac1, Rac3 and RhoG, are expressed in the nervous system, and several data support an essential role of all 3 GTPases in distinct aspects of neuronal development and function. Two important points emerge from the analysis presented: highly homologous Rac-related proteins may perform different functions in the developing nervous system; on the other hand, the data also indicate that similar GTPases may perform redundant functions in vivo. (c) 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  6. Reliable Neuronal Systems: The Importance of Heterogeneity

    PubMed Central

    Lengler, Johannes; Jug, Florian; Steger, Angelika

    2013-01-01

    For every engineer it goes without saying: in order to build a reliable system we need components that consistently behave precisely as they should. It is also well known that neurons, the building blocks of brains, do not satisfy this constraint. Even neurons of the same type come with huge variances in their properties and these properties also vary over time. Synapses, the connections between neurons, are highly unreliable in forwarding signals. In this paper we argue that both these fact add variance to neuronal processes, and that this variance is not a handicap of neural systems, but that instead predictable and reliable functional behavior of neural systems depends crucially on this variability. In particular, we show that higher variance allows a recurrently connected neural population to react more sensitively to incoming signals, and processes them faster and more energy efficient. This, for example, challenges the general assumption that the intrinsic variability of neurons in the brain is a defect that has to be overcome by synaptic plasticity in the process of learning. PMID:24324621

  7. Synchronous behavior of two coupled electronic neurons

    SciTech Connect

    Pinto, R. D.; Varona, P.; Volkovskii, A. R.; Szuecs, A.; Abarbanel, Henry D. I.; Rabinovich, M. I.

    2000-08-01

    We report on experimental studies of synchronization phenomena in a pair of analog electronic neurons (ENs). The ENs were designed to reproduce the observed membrane voltage oscillations of isolated biological neurons from the stomatogastric ganglion of the California spiny lobster Panulirus interruptus. The ENs are simple analog circuits which integrate four-dimensional differential equations representing fast and slow subcellular mechanisms that produce the characteristic regular/chaotic spiking-bursting behavior of these cells. In this paper we study their dynamical behavior as we couple them in the same configurations as we have done for their counterpart biological neurons. The interconnections we use for these neural oscillators are both direct electrical connections and excitatory and inhibitory chemical connections: each realized by analog circuitry and suggested by biological examples. We provide here quantitative evidence that the ENs and the biological neurons behave similarly when coupled in the same manner. They each display well defined bifurcations in their mutual synchronization and regularization. We report briefly on an experiment on coupled biological neurons and four-dimensional ENs, which provides further ground for testing the validity of our numerical and electronic models of individual neural behavior. Our experiments as a whole present interesting new examples of regularization and synchronization in coupled nonlinear oscillators. (c) 2000 The American Physical Society.

  8. Spin orbit torque based electronic neuron

    SciTech Connect

    Sengupta, Abhronil Choday, Sri Harsha; Kim, Yusung; Roy, Kaushik

    2015-04-06

    A device based on current-induced spin-orbit torque (SOT) that functions as an electronic neuron is proposed in this work. The SOT device implements an artificial neuron's thresholding (transfer) function. In the first step of a two-step switching scheme, a charge current places the magnetization of a nano-magnet along the hard-axis, i.e., an unstable point for the magnet. In the second step, the SOT device (neuron) receives a current (from the synapses) which moves the magnetization from the unstable point to one of the two stable states. The polarity of the synaptic current encodes the excitatory and inhibitory nature of the neuron input and determines the final orientation of the magnetization. A resistive crossbar array, functioning as synapses, generates a bipolar current that is a weighted sum of the inputs. The simulation of a two layer feed-forward artificial neural network based on the SOT electronic neuron shows that it consumes ∼3× lower power than a 45 nm digital CMOS implementation, while reaching ∼80% accuracy in the classification of 100 images of handwritten digits from the MNIST dataset.

  9. Probing extracellular Sonic hedgehog in neurons.

    PubMed

    Eitan, Erez; Petralia, Ronald S; Wang, Ya-Xian; Indig, Fred E; Mattson, Mark P; Yao, Pamela J

    2016-08-15

    The bioactivity of Sonic hedgehog (Shh) depends on specific lipid modifications; a palmitate at its N-terminus and a cholesterol at its C-terminus. This dual-lipid modification makes Shh molecules lipophilic, which prevents them from diffusing freely in extracellular space. Multiple lines of evidence indicate that Shh proteins are carried by various forms of extracellular vesicles (EVs). It also has been shown, for instance, that in some tissues Shh proteins are transported to neighboring cells directly via filopodia. We have previously reported that Shh proteins are expressed in hippocampal neurons. In this study we show that, in the hippocampus and cerebellum of postnatal day (P)2 rats, Shh is mostly found near or on the membrane surface of small neurites or filopodia. We also examined cultured hippocampal neurons where we observed noticeable and widespread Shh-immunolabeled vesicles located outside neurons. Through immunoelectron microscopy and biochemical analysis, we find Shh-containing EVs with a wide range of sizes. Unlike robust Shh activity in EVs isolated from cells overexpressing an N-terminal Shh fragment construct, we did not detect measurable Shh activity in EVs purified from the medium of cultured hippocampal neurons. These results suggest the complexity of the transcellular Shh signaling mechanisms in neurons.

  10. Magnetic skyrmion-based artificial neuron device

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Sai; Kang, Wang; Huang, Yangqi; Zhang, Xichao; Zhou, Yan; Zhao, Weisheng

    2017-08-01

    Neuromorphic computing, inspired by the biological nervous system, has attracted considerable attention. Intensive research has been conducted in this field for developing artificial synapses and neurons, attempting to mimic the behaviors of biological synapses and neurons, which are two basic elements of a human brain. Recently, magnetic skyrmions have been investigated as promising candidates in neuromorphic computing design owing to their topologically protected particle-like behaviors, nanoscale size and low driving current density. In one of our previous studies, a skyrmion-based artificial synapse was proposed, with which both short-term plasticity and long-term potentiation functions have been demonstrated. In this work, we further report on a skyrmion-based artificial neuron by exploiting the tunable current-driven skyrmion motion dynamics, mimicking the leaky-integrate-fire function of a biological neuron. With a simple single-device implementation, this proposed artificial neuron may enable us to build a dense and energy-efficient spiking neuromorphic computing system.

  11. Neuronal networks and energy bursts in epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Wu, Y; Liu, D; Song, Z

    2015-02-26

    Epilepsy can be defined as the abnormal activities of neurons. The occurrence, propagation and termination of epileptic seizures rely on the networks of neuronal cells that are connected through both synaptic- and non-synaptic interactions. These complicated interactions contain the modified functions of normal neurons and glias as well as the mediation of excitatory and inhibitory mechanisms with feedback homeostasis. Numerous spread patterns are detected in disparate networks of ictal activities. The cortical-thalamic-cortical loop is present during a general spike wave seizure. The thalamic reticular nucleus (nRT) is the major inhibitory input traversing the region, and the dentate gyrus (DG) controls CA3 excitability. The imbalance between γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic inhibition and glutamatergic excitation is the main disorder in epilepsy. Adjustable negative feedback that mediates both inhibitory and excitatory components affects neuronal networks through neurotransmission fluctuation, receptor and transmitter signaling, and through concomitant influences on ion concentrations and field effects. Within a limited dynamic range, neurons slowly adapt to input levels and have a high sensitivity to synaptic changes. The stability of the adapting network depends on the ratio of the adaptation rates of both the excitatory and inhibitory populations. Thus, therapeutic strategies with multiple effects on seizures are required for the treatment of epilepsy, and the therapeutic functions on networks are reviewed here. Based on the high-energy burst theory of epileptic activity, we propose a potential antiepileptic therapeutic strategy to transfer the high energy and extra electricity out of the foci.

  12. Operant Conditioning of Primate Prefrontal Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Schultz, Wolfram; Sakagami, Masamichi

    2010-01-01

    An operant is a behavioral act that has an impact on the environment to produce an outcome, constituting an important component of voluntary behavior. Because the environment can be volatile, the same action may cause different consequences. Thus to obtain an optimal outcome, it is crucial to detect action–outcome relationships and adapt the behavior accordingly. Although prefrontal neurons are known to change activity depending on expected reward, it remains unknown whether prefrontal activity contributes to obtaining reward. We investigated this issue by setting variable relationships between levels of single-neuron activity and rewarding outcomes. Lateral prefrontal neurons changed their spiking activity according to the specific requirements for gaining reward, without the animals making a motor response. Thus spiking activity constituted an operant response. Data from a control task suggested that these changes were unlikely to reflect simple reward predictions. These data demonstrate a remarkable capacity of prefrontal neurons to adapt to specific operant requirements at the single-neuron level. PMID:20107129

  13. A stochastic model for interconnected neurons.

    PubMed

    Cottrell, M; Piat, F; Rospars, J P

    1997-01-01

    A model is proposed to describe the collective behavior of a biologically plausible neural network, composed of interconnected spiking neurons which separately receive external stationary stimulations. The spiking dynamics of each neuron is represented by an hourglass metaphor. This network model was first studied in a special case where the connections are only inhibitory (Cottrell, 1988, 1992). We study the network dynamics as a function of the parameters which quantify the strengths of both inhibitory and excitatory connections. We show that the model exhibits two kinds of limit states. In the first states (convergent case), the system is ergodic and all neurons have a positive mean firing rate. In the other states (divergent case), some neurons become definitively inactive while the sub-network of the active neurons is ergodic. The patterns which result from these divergent states can be seen as a neural coding of the external stimulation by the network. This property is applied to the olfactory system to produce a code for an odor. The role of inhibitory connections in odor discrimination is studied.

  14. Suppression of Dopamine Neurons Mediates Reward

    PubMed Central

    Yamagata, Nobuhiro; Abe, Ayako; Tanimoto, Hiromu

    2016-01-01

    Massive activation of dopamine neurons is critical for natural reward and drug abuse. In contrast, the significance of their spontaneous activity remains elusive. In Drosophila melanogaster, depolarization of the protocerebral anterior medial (PAM) cluster dopamine neurons en masse signals reward to the mushroom body (MB) and drives appetitive memory. Focusing on the functional heterogeneity of PAM cluster neurons, we identified that a single class of PAM neurons, PAM-γ3, mediates sugar reward by suppressing their own activity. PAM-γ3 is selectively required for appetitive olfactory learning, while activation of these neurons in turn induces aversive memory. Ongoing activity of PAM-γ3 gets suppressed upon sugar ingestion. Strikingly, transient inactivation of basal PAM-γ3 activity can substitute for reward and induces appetitive memory. Furthermore, we identified the satiety-signaling neuropeptide Allatostatin A (AstA) as a key mediator that conveys inhibitory input onto PAM-γ3. Our results suggest the significance of basal dopamine release in reward signaling and reveal a circuit mechanism for negative regulation. PMID:27997541

  15. Epigenetic Basis of Neuronal and Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Karpova, Nina N; Sales, Amanda J; Joca, Samia R

    2017-01-01

    Neuronal network and plasticity change as a function of experience. Altered neural connectivity leads to distinct transcriptional programs of neuronal plasticity-related genes. The environmental challenges throughout life may promote long-lasting reprogramming of gene expression and the development of brain disorders. The modifications in neuronal epigenome mediate gene-environmental interactions and are required for activity-dependent regulation of neuronal differentiation, maturation and plasticity. Here, we highlight the latest advances in understanding the role of the main players of epigenetic machinery (DNA methylation and demethylation, histone modifications, chromatin-remodeling enzymes, transposons, and non-coding RNAs) in activity-dependent and long- term neural and synaptic plasticity. The review focuses on both the transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression levels, including the processes of promoter activation, alternative splicing, regulation of stability of gene transcripts by natural antisense RNAs, and alternative polyadenylation. Further, we discuss the epigenetic aspects of impaired neuronal plasticity and the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental (Rett syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, genomic imprinting disorders, schizophrenia, and others), stressrelated (mood disorders) and neurodegenerative Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's disorders. The review also highlights the pharmacological compounds that modulate epigenetic programming of gene expression, the potential treatment strategies of discussed brain disorders, and the questions that should be addressed during the development of effective and safe approaches for the treatment of brain disorders.

  16. Selective loss of alpha motor neurons with sparing of gamma motor neurons and spinal cord cholinergic neurons in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Powis, Rachael A; Gillingwater, Thomas H

    2016-03-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disease characterised primarily by loss of lower motor neurons from the ventral grey horn of the spinal cord and proximal muscle atrophy. Recent experiments utilising mouse models of SMA have demonstrated that not all motor neurons are equally susceptible to the disease, revealing that other populations of neurons can also be affected. Here, we have extended investigations of selective vulnerability of neuronal populations in the spinal cord of SMA mice to include comparative assessments of alpha motor neuron (α-MN) and gamma motor neuron (γ-MN) pools, as well as other populations of cholinergic neurons. Immunohistochemical analyses of late-symptomatic SMA mouse spinal cord revealed that numbers of α-MNs were significantly reduced at all levels of the spinal cord compared with controls, whereas numbers of γ-MNs remained stable. Likewise, the average size of α-MN cell somata was decreased in SMA mice with no change occurring in γ-MNs. Evaluation of other pools of spinal cord cholinergic neurons revealed that pre-ganglionic sympathetic neurons, central canal cluster interneurons, partition interneurons and preganglionic autonomic dorsal commissural nucleus neuron numbers all remained unaffected in SMA mice. Taken together, these findings indicate that α-MNs are uniquely vulnerable among cholinergic neuron populations in the SMA mouse spinal cord, with γ-MNs and other cholinergic neuronal populations being largely spared.

  17. Serotonin neurons in the dorsal raphe nucleus encode reward signals

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yi; Zhong, Weixin; Wang, Daqing; Feng, Qiru; Liu, Zhixiang; Zhou, Jingfeng; Jia, Chunying; Hu, Fei; Zeng, Jiawei; Guo, Qingchun; Fu, Ling; Luo, Minmin

    2016-01-01

    The dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) is involved in organizing reward-related behaviours; however, it remains unclear how genetically defined neurons in the DRN of a freely behaving animal respond to various natural rewards. Here we addressed this question using fibre photometry and single-unit recording from serotonin (5-HT) neurons and GABA neurons in the DRN of behaving mice. Rewards including sucrose, food, sex and social interaction rapidly activate 5-HT neurons, but aversive stimuli including quinine and footshock do not. Both expected and unexpected rewards activate 5-HT neurons. After mice learn to wait for sucrose delivery, most 5-HT neurons fire tonically during waiting and then phasically on reward acquisition. Finally, GABA neurons are activated by aversive stimuli but inhibited when mice seek rewards. Thus, DRN 5-HT neurons positively encode a wide range of reward signals during anticipatory and consummatory phases of reward responses. Moreover, GABA neurons play a complementary role in reward processing. PMID:26818705

  18. CDYL Deficiency Disrupts Neuronal Migration and Increases Susceptibility to Epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Qin, Rui; Cao, Shuai; Lyu, Tianjie; Qi, Cai; Zhang, Weiguang; Wang, Yun

    2017-01-10

    During brain development, the correct migration of newborn neurons is one of the determinants of circuit formation, and neuronal migration defects may lead to neurological and psychiatric disorders. The molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal migration and related disorders are poorly understood. Here, we report that Chromodomain Y-like (CDYL) is critical for neuronal migration in mice. Knocking down CDYL caused neuronal migration defects and disrupted both mobility and multipolar-to-bipolar transition of migrating neurons. We find that CDYL regulates neuronal migration by transcriptionally repressing RhoA. In addition, CDYL deficiency increased the excitability of cortical pyramidal neurons and the susceptibility of mice to convulsant-induced seizures. These results demonstrate that CDYL is a regulator of neuronal migration and shed light on the pathogenesis of seizure-related neurodevelopmental disorders. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Oestradiol synthesized by female neurons generates sex differences in neuritogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Ruiz-Palmero, Isabel; Ortiz-Rodriguez, Ana; Melcangi, Roberto Cosimo; Caruso, Donatella; Garcia-Segura, Luis M.; Rune, Gabriele M.; Arevalo, Maria-Angeles

    2016-01-01

    Testosterone produced by the foetal testis is converted by male neurons to oestradiol, which masculinizes neuronal morphology. Female neurons are known to synthesize oestradiol in absence of exogenous testosterone. However, the role of neuronal oestradiol on the differentiation of foetal female neurons is unknown. Here we show that, due to endogenous neuronal oestradiol synthesis, female hippocampal neurons have higher expression of the neuritogenic protein Neurogenin 3 and enhanced neuritogenesis than males. Exogenous application of testosterone or its metabolite dihydrotestosterone increases Neurogenin 3 expression and promotes neuritogenesis in males, but reduces these parameters in females. Together our data indicate that gonadal-independent oestradiol synthesis by female neurons participates in the generation of sex differences in hippocampal neuronal development. PMID:27553191

  20. Respiratory Modulation Of Premotor Cardiac Vagal Neurons In The Brainstem

    PubMed Central

    Dergacheva, Olga; Griffioen, Kathleen J.; Neff, Robert A.; Mendelowitz, David

    2010-01-01

    The respiratory and cardiovascular systems are highly intertwined, both anatomically and physiologically. Respiratory and cardiovascular neurons are often co-localized in the same brainstem regions, and this is particularly evident in the ventral medulla which contains pre-sympathetic neurons in the rostral ventrolateral medulla, premotor parasympathetic cardioinhibitory neurons in the nucleus ambiguus, and the ventral respiratory group, which includes the pre-Botzinger complex. Anatomical studies of respiratory and cardiovascular neurons have demonstrated that many of these neurons have projections and axon collateral processes which extend into their neighboring cardiorespiratory regions providing an anatomical substrate for cardiorespiratory interactions. As other reports in this Special Issue of Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology focus on interactions between the respiratory network and baroreceptors, neurons in the nucleus tractus solitarius, presympathetic neurons and sympathetic activity, this report will focus on the respiratory modulation of parasympathetic activity and the neurons that generate parasympathetic activity to the heart, cardiac vagal neurons. PMID:20452467

  1. Oestradiol synthesized by female neurons generates sex differences in neuritogenesis.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Palmero, Isabel; Ortiz-Rodriguez, Ana; Melcangi, Roberto Cosimo; Caruso, Donatella; Garcia-Segura, Luis M; Rune, Gabriele M; Arevalo, Maria-Angeles

    2016-08-24

    Testosterone produced by the foetal testis is converted by male neurons to oestradiol, which masculinizes neuronal morphology. Female neurons are known to synthesize oestradiol in absence of exogenous testosterone. However, the role of neuronal oestradiol on the differentiation of foetal female neurons is unknown. Here we show that, due to endogenous neuronal oestradiol synthesis, female hippocampal neurons have higher expression of the neuritogenic protein Neurogenin 3 and enhanced neuritogenesis than males. Exogenous application of testosterone or its metabolite dihydrotestosterone increases Neurogenin 3 expression and promotes neuritogenesis in males, but reduces these parameters in females. Together our data indicate that gonadal-independent oestradiol synthesis by female neurons participates in the generation of sex differences in hippocampal neuronal development.

  2. Transplanted embryonic neurons integrate into adult neocortical circuits.

    PubMed

    Falkner, Susanne; Grade, Sofia; Dimou, Leda; Conzelmann, Karl-Klaus; Bonhoeffer, Tobias; Götz, Magdalena; Hübener, Mark

    2016-11-10

    The ability of the adult mammalian brain to compensate for neuronal loss caused by injury or disease is very limited. Transplantation aims to replace lost neurons, but the extent to which new neurons can integrate into existing circuits is unknown. Here, using chronic in vivo two-photon imaging, we show that embryonic neurons transplanted into the visual cortex of adult mice mature into bona fide pyramidal cells with selective pruning of basal dendrites, achieving adult-like densities of dendritic spines and axonal boutons within 4-8 weeks. Monosynaptic tracing experiments reveal that grafted neurons receive area-specific, afferent inputs matching those of pyramidal neurons in the normal visual cortex, including topographically organized geniculo-cortical connections. Furthermore, stimulus-selective responses refine over the course of many weeks and finally become indistinguishable from those of host neurons. Thus, grafted neurons can integrate with great specificity into neocortical circuits that normally never incorporate new neurons in the adult brain.

  3. Trimethyltin retinopathy: relationship of subcellular response to neuronal subspecialization

    SciTech Connect

    Bouldin, T.W.; Goines, N.D.; Krigman, M.R.

    1984-03-01

    Retinal neurons from rats acutely intoxicated with trimethyltin (TMT) were examined by light and electron microscopy to determine if there is a relationship between the subcellular response of a neuron to TMT and its morphologic subspecialization. Subcellular pathologic alterations were present in neurons from all three cellular layers of the sensory retina. However, the type and degree of subcellular response varied among the highly subspecialized neurons of the different retinal layers. Clusters of dense-cored vesicles and tubules were mainly limited to neurons of the ganglion-cell layer, large accumulations of dense bodies were mainly limited to neurons of the inner nuclear layer, and neuronal necrosis was mainly limited to the photoreceptor cells. The inner segment of the photoreceptor cell shared with the perikaryon of more conventional neurons a special vulnerability to TMT cytotoxicity. Our results suggest that the subspecialization of neurons affects the type and the degree of subcellular response to TMT.

  4. Morphological differentiation of the embryonic peripheral neurons in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Bodmer, Rolf; Jan, Yuh Nung

    1987-02-01

    The stereotyped segmental and dorso-ventral organization of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) of Drosophila embryos allows the identification of all the neurons in the body wall. Distinct classes of neurons are distinguishable according to their location, the targets they innervate, the particular shape of their dendrites and their cell size. Those neurons innervating external sensory structures (es) and chordotonal organs (ch) have single dendrites and have been previously described (Ghysen et al. 1986; Dambly-Chaudiere and Ghysen 1986; Campos-Ortega and Hartenstein 1985). We describe here the identity and morphological features of three other classes of neurons in the body segments which have multiple dendrites (md neurons): 1) neurons that give rise to elaborate dendritic arborisations (da neurons); 2) neurons that have bipolar dendrites (bd neurons); 3) neurons that arborize around particular tracheal branches (td neurons). The thoracic hemisegment (T2 and T3) contains 13 da, one bd, one td, 21 es and four ch neurons; the abdominal hemisegment (A1 to A7) contains 14 da, three bd, three td, 15 es and eight ch neurons. The arrangement of the segmented peripheral neurons is highly invariant and provides a favorable assay system for the genetic analysis of neurodevelopment.

  5. Characteristics of sodium currents in rat geniculate ganglion neurons.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Shiro; Bradley, Robert M

    2011-12-01

    Geniculate ganglion (GG) cell bodies of chorda tympani (CT), greater superficial petrosal (GSP), and posterior auricular (PA) nerves transmit orofacial sensory information to the rostral nucleus of the solitary tract. We have used whole cell recording to investigate the characteristics of the Na(+) channels in isolated Fluorogold-labeled GG neurons that innervate different peripheral receptive fields. GG neurons expressed two classes of Na(+) channels, TTX sensitive (TTX-S) and TTX resistant (TTX-R). The majority of GG neurons expressed TTX-R currents of different amplitudes. TTX-R currents were relatively small in 60% of the neurons but were large in 12% of the sampled population. In a further 28% of the neurons, TTX completely abolished all Na(+) currents. Application of TTX completely inhibited action potential generation in all CT and PA neurons but had little effect on the generation of action potentials in 40% of GSP neurons. Most CT, GSP, and PA neurons stained positively with IB(4), and 27% of the GSP neurons were capsaicin sensitive. The majority of IB(4)-positive GSP neurons with large TTX-R Na(+) currents responded to capsaicin, whereas IB(4)-positive GSP neurons with small TTX-R Na(+) currents were capsaicin insensitive. These data demonstrate the heterogeneity of GG neurons and indicate the existence of a subset of GSP neurons sensitive to capsaicin, usually associated with nociceptors. Since there are no reports of nociceptors in the GSP receptive field, the role of these capsaicin-sensitive neurons is not clear.

  6. Hypothalamic leptin-neurotensin-hypocretin neuronal networks in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Levitas-Djerbi, Talia; Yelin-Bekerman, Laura; Lerer-Goldshtein, Tali; Appelbaum, Lior

    2015-04-01

    Neurotensin (NTS) is a 13 amino acid neuropeptide that is expressed in the hypothalamus. In mammals, NTS-producing neurons that express leptin receptor (LepRb) regulate the function of hypocretin/orexin (HCRT) and dopamine neurons. Thus, the hypothalamic leptin-NTS-HCRT neuronal network orchestrates key homeostatic output, including sleep, feeding, and reward. However, the intricate mechanisms of the circuitry and the unique role of NTS-expressing neurons remain unclear. We studied the NTS neuronal networks in zebrafish and cloned the genes encoding the NTS neuropeptide and receptor (NTSR). Similar to mammals, the ligand is expressed primarily in the hypothalamus, while the receptor is expressed widely throughout the brain in zebrafish. A portion of hypothalamic nts-expressing neurons are inhibitory and some coexpress leptin receptor (lepR1). As in mammals, NTS and HCRT neurons are localized adjacently in the hypothalamus. To track the development and axonal projection of NTS neurons, the NTS promoter was isolated. Transgenesis and double labeling of NTS and HCRT neurons showed that NTS axons project toward HCRT neurons, some of which express ntsr. Moreover, another target of NTS neurons is ntsr-expressing dopaminergeric neurons. These findings suggest structural circuitry between leptin, NTS, and hypocretinergic or dopaminergic neurons and establish the zebrafish as a model to study the role of these neuronal circuits in the regulation of feeding, sleep, and reward.

  7. Neuronal stimulation of (3H)thymidine incorporation by primary cultures of highly purified non-neuronal cells.

    PubMed

    McCarthy, K D; Partlow, L M

    1976-09-24

    A specific intercellular interaction has been demonstrated between neuronal and non-neuronal cells that appears to increase the rate of non-neuronal cell proliferation. Isolated and recombined primary cultures of both cell types were prepared from 11-day embryonic chick sympathetic ganglia by a method recently developed in this laboratory. When non-dividing neurons were added to an equal number of proliferating non-neuronal cells, the amount of [methyl-3H]thymidine incorporated by these mixed cultures was 230% greater than that incorporated by 99% pure non-neuronal cultures. Removal of all neurons from such non-neuronal cultures by a 48-h preincubation without nerve growth factor resulted in an even greater increase in [3H]thymidine incorporation upon addition of neurons (370%). When increasing numbers of isolated neurons were added to non-neuronal cell cultures, the amount of [3H]thymidine incorporation initially increased in a dose-dependent fashion until it reached a plateau. In contrast, the addition of increasing numbers of non-neuronal cells to a constant number of neurons resulted in a linear increase in [3H]thymidine incorporation. In some cases neurons and non-neuronal cells were not grown in direct physical contact but were only allowed to communicate with one another through the culture medium. Such indirect communication never resulted in a stimulation of [3H]thymidine incorporation. When neurons were added to cultures of embryonic chick fibroblasts, the neurons grew well but did not stimulate [3H]thymidine incorporation by the fibroblasts. These results suggest that embryonic sympathetic neurons selectively stimulate the proliferation of non-neuronal cells derived from the same source.

  8. Unstable neurons underlie a stable learned behavior

    PubMed Central

    Liberti, William A.; Markowitz, Jeffrey E.; Perkins, L. Nathan; Liberti, Derek C.; Leman, Daniel P.; Guitchounts, Grigori; Velho, Tarciso; Kotton, Darrell N.; Lois, Carlos; Gardner, Timothy J.

    2016-01-01

    Motor skills can be maintained for decades, but the biological basis of this memory persistence remains largely unknown. The zebra finch, for example, sings a highly stereotyped song that is stable for years, but it is not known whether the precise neural patterns underlying song are stable or shift from day to day. Here, we demonstrate that the population of projection neurons coding for song in the pre-motor nucleus HVC change from day to day. The most dramatic shifts occur over intervals of sleep. In contrast to the transient participation of excitatory neurons, ensemble measurements dominated by inhibition persist unchanged even after damage to downstream motor nerves. These observations offer a principle of motor stability: spatio-temporal patterns of inhibition can maintain a stable scaffold for motor dynamics while the population of principle neurons that directly drive behavior shift from one day to the next. PMID:27723744

  9. Homoclinic Bifurcation in a Thermally Sensitive Neuron

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feudel, Ulrike; Neiman, Alexander; Pei, Xing; Wojtenek, Winfried; Moss, Frank

    2002-07-01

    A wide class of sensory neurons demonstrates spontaneous oscillatory activity. Moreover, some thermosensitive neurons, for example, electroreceptors of the paddlefish, dogfish, the warm and cold receptors of rat and cat and the caudal photoreceptor of the crayfish, display complicated bifurcation sequences of the spike train patterns as the control parameter, e. g. the temperature, changes. Recent experiments also revealed the existence of low-dimensional chaotic behavior of some thermoreceptors. We study a rather unusual behavior of a bursting neuron exhibiting an explosion of interspike intervals at a certain temperature value. This phenomenon can be qualitatively demonstrated with electro-physiological experiments with the caudal photoreceptor of the crayfish. Furthermore we investigate a modified Hodgkin-Huxley model to understand the experimentally observed abrupt increase of the interspike intervals. We identify this transition with a homoclinic bifurcation of a saddle-focus equilibrium state which is embedded in the chaotic attractor of the system.

  10. Mirror Neurons and Mirror-Touch Synesthesia.

    PubMed

    Linkovski, Omer; Katzin, Naama; Salti, Moti

    2016-05-30

    Since mirror neurons were introduced to the neuroscientific community more than 20 years ago, they have become an elegant and intuitive account for different cognitive mechanisms (e.g., empathy, goal understanding) and conditions (e.g., autism spectrum disorders). Recently, mirror neurons were suggested to be the mechanism underlying a specific type of synesthesia. Mirror-touch synesthesia is a phenomenon in which individuals experience somatosensory sensations when seeing someone else being touched. Appealing as it is, careful delineation is required when applying this mechanism. Using the mirror-touch synesthesia case, we put forward theoretical and methodological issues that should be addressed before relying on the mirror-neurons account. © The Author(s) 2016.

  11. Neuronal Polarity: Demarcation, growth and commitment

    PubMed Central

    Cáceres, Alfredo; Ye, Bing; Dotti, Carlos G.

    2012-01-01

    In a biological sense, polarity refers to the extremity of the main axis of an organelle, cell, or organism. In neurons, morphological polarity begins with the appearance of the first neurite from the cell body. In multipolar neurons, a second phase of polarization occurs when a single neurite initiates a phase of rapid growth to become the neuron’s axon, while the others later differentiate as dendrites. Finally, during a third phase, axons and dendrites develop an elaborate architecture, acquiring special morphological and molecular features that commit them to their final identities. Mechanistically, each phase must be preceded by spatial restriction of growth activity. We will review recent work on the mechanisms underlying the polarized growth of neurons. PMID:22726583

  12. Molecular genetics of neuronal migration disorders.

    PubMed

    Liu, Judy S

    2011-04-01

    Cortical malformations associated with defects in neuronal migration result in severe developmental consequences including intractable epilepsy and intellectual disability. Genetic causes of migration defects have been identified with the advent and widespread use of high-resolution MRI and genetic techniques. Thus, the full phenotypic range of these genetic disorders is becoming apparent. Genes that cause lissencephaly, pachygyria, subcortical band heterotopia, and periventricular nodular heterotopias have been defined. Many of these genes are involved in cytoskeletal regulation including the function of microtubules (LIS1, TUBA1A,TUBB3, and DCX) and of actin (FilaminA). Thus, the molecular pathways regulating neuronal migration including the cytoskeletal pathways appear to be defined by human mutation syndromes. Basic science, including cell biology and animal models of these disorders, has informed our understanding of the pathogenesis of neuronal migration disorders and further progress depends on the continued integration of the clinical and basic sciences.

  13. Electromagnetic limits to radiofrequency (RF) neuronal telemetry.

    PubMed

    Diaz, R E; Sebastian, T

    2013-12-18

    The viability of a radiofrequency (RF) telemetry channel for reporting individual neuron activity wirelessly from an embedded antenna to an external receiver is determined. Comparing the power at the transmitting antenna required for the desired Channel Capacity, to the maximum power that this antenna can dissipate in the body without altering or damaging surrounding tissue reveals the severe penalty incurred by miniaturization of the antenna. Using both Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) and thermal damage limits as constraints, and 300 Kbps as the required capacity for telemetry streams 100 ms in duration, the model shows that conventional antennas smaller than 0.1 mm could not support human neuronal telemetry to a remote receiver (1 m away.) Reducing the antenna to 10 microns in size to enable the monitoring of single human neuron signals to a receiver at the surface of the head would require operating with a channel capacity of only 0.3 bps.

  14. Microglia in neuronal plasticity: Influence of stress.

    PubMed

    Delpech, Jean-Christophe; Madore, Charlotte; Nadjar, Agnes; Joffre, Corinne; Wohleb, Eric S; Layé, Sophie

    2015-09-01

    The central nervous system (CNS) has previously been regarded as an immune-privileged site with the absence of immune cell responses but this dogma was not entirely true. Microglia are the brain innate immune cells and recent findings indicate that they participate both in CNS disease and infection as well as facilitate normal CNS function. Microglia are highly plastic and play integral roles in sculpting the structure of the CNS, refining neuronal circuitry and connectivity, and contribute actively to neuronal plasticity in the healthy brain. Interestingly, psychological stress can perturb the function of microglia in association with an impaired neuronal plasticity and the development of emotional behavior alterations. As a result it seemed important to describe in this review some findings indicating that the stress-induced microglia dysfunction may underlie neuroplasticity deficits associated to many mood disorders. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Neuroimmunology and Synaptic Function'. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Motor neurons controlling fluid ingestion in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Manzo, Andrea; Silies, Marion; Gohl, Daryl M; Scott, Kristin

    2012-04-17

    Rhythmic motor behaviors such as feeding are driven by neural networks that can be modulated by external stimuli and internal states. In Drosophila, ingestion is accomplished by a pump that draws fluid into the esophagus. Here we examine how pumping is regulated and characterize motor neurons innervating the pump. Frequency of pumping is not affected by sucrose concentration or hunger but is altered by fluid viscosity. Inactivating motor neurons disrupts pumping and ingestion, whereas activating them elicits arrhythmic pumping. These motor neurons respond to taste stimuli and show prolonged activity to palatable substances. This work describes an important component of the neural circuit for feeding in Drosophila and is a step toward understanding the rhythmic activity producing ingestion.

  16. Anticipated synchronization in neuronal network motifs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matias, F. S.; Gollo, L. L.; Carelli, P. V.; Copelli, M.; Mirasso, C. R.

    2013-01-01

    Two identical dynamical systems coupled unidirectionally (in a so called master-slave configuration) exhibit anticipated synchronization (AS) if the one which receives the coupling (the slave) also receives a negative delayed self-feedback. In oscillatory neuronal systems AS is characterized by a phase-locking with negative time delay τ between the spikes of the master and of the slave (slave fires before the master), while in the usual delayed synchronization (DS) regime τ is positive (slave fires after the master). A 3-neuron motif in which the slave self-feedback is replaced by a feedback loop mediated by an interneuron can exhibits both AS and DS regimes. Here we show that AS is robust in the presence of noise in a 3 Hodgkin-Huxley type neuronal motif. We also show that AS is stable for large values of τ in a chain of connected slaves-interneurons.

  17. Neuronal typology of Gallotia galloti optic tectum.

    PubMed

    Morales, M C; Monzón, M; Yanes, C; Diaz, C; Martin, A; Marrero, A

    1989-01-01

    The object of this work has been to show neuronal typology and stratification of the optic tectum in Gallotia galloti adult specimens so as to have a basic model for the neuronal genesis study. As methodology Nissl and Golgi-Stensaas technique were employed. Six strata have been identified that include 14 layers where the neuronal types can be included, poligonals, bipolar, monopolar and stellate types. The stratification of the optic tectum in the 14 layers is corroborated in Reptiles, a fact which is maintained in birds, and is reduced in amphibians, urodels, and fish here the reptil optic tectum presentes an extraordinary importance in the study of the auditive and visual vias in phylogeny.

  18. Neuronal dysfunction with aging and its amelioration.

    PubMed

    Ando, Susumu

    2012-01-01

    The author focused on the functional decline of synapses in the brain with aging to understand the underlying mechanisms and to ameliorate the deficits. The first attempt was to unravel the neuronal functions of gangliosides so that gangliosides could be used for enhancing synaptic activity. The second attempt was to elicit the neuronal plasticity in aged animals through enriched environmental stimulation and nutritional intervention. Environmental stimuli were revealed neurochemically and morphologically to develop synapses leading to enhanced cognitive function. Dietary restriction as a nutritional intervention restored the altered metabolism of neuronal membranes with aging, providing a possible explanation for the longevity effect of dietary restriction. These results obtained with aging and dementia models of animals would benefit aged people.

  19. Neurotrophins: Roles in Neuronal Development and Function*

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Eric J; Reichardt, Louis F

    2009-01-01

    Neurotrophins regulate development, maintenance, and function of vertebrate nervous systems. Neurotrophins activate two different classes of receptors, the Trk family of receptor tyrosine kinases and p75NTR, a member of the TNF receptor superfamily. Through these, neurotrophins activate many signaling pathways, including those mediated by ras and members of the cdc-42/ras/rho G protein families, and the MAP kinase, PI-3 kinase, and Jun kinase cascades. During development, limiting amounts of neurotrophins function as survival factors to ensure a match between the number of surviving neurons and the requirement for appropriate target innervation. They also regulate cell fate decisions, axon growth, dendrite pruning, the patterning of innervation and the expression of proteins crucial for normal neuronal function, such as neurotransmitters and ion channels. These proteins also regulate many aspects of neural function. In the mature nervous system, they control synaptic function and synaptic plasticity, while continuing to modulate neuronal survival. PMID:11520916

  20. [Effect of plant glycosides on snail neurons].

    PubMed

    Kostiuchenko, O V; Hryshkovets', V I; Koreniuk, I I

    2001-01-01

    The effect of the plant triterpene saponins on Helix pomatia neurons is investigated. It was found that monodesmosidic saponins being perfused to the extracellular solution at concentrations 2[symbol: see text] 10(-3)-10(-4) M induced persistent hyperpolarization of the neurons. By using the patch-clamp technique it was obtained that these substances increased the amplitude of the outward potassium current. At lower concentrations (10(-5)-10(-7) M) saponins either led to the transient reversible oppression of the impulse activity, or didn't change the background activity. The influence of saponins is unspecific and develops during 1-2 min. It was supposed that the effect of triterpene saponins at high concentrations was related with the appearance of nonselective holes in neuron membrane.

  1. Small object detection neurons in female hoverflies.

    PubMed

    Nordström, Karin; O'Carroll, David C

    2006-05-22

    While predators such as dragonflies are dependent on visual detection of moving prey, social interactions make conspecific detection equally important for many non-predatory insects. Specialized 'acute zones' associated with target detection have evolved in several insect groups and are a prominent male-specific feature in many dipteran flies. The physiology of target selective neurons associated with these specialized eye regions has previously been described only from male flies. We show here that female hoverflies (Eristalis tenax) have several classes of neurons within the third optic ganglion (lobula) capable of detecting moving objects smaller than 1 degrees . These neurons have frontal receptive fields covering a large part of the ipsilateral world and are tuned to a broad range of target speeds and sizes. This could make them suitable for detecting targets under a range of natural conditions such as required during predator avoidance or conspecific interactions.

  2. Neuronal control of bone and muscle.

    PubMed

    Houweling, Peter; Kulkarni, Rishikesh N; Baldock, Paul A

    2015-11-01

    The functional interplay between bone and muscle that enables locomotion is a fundamental aspect of daily life. However, other interactions between bone and muscle continue to attract attention as our understanding of the breath and importance of this inter-relationship continues to expand. Of particular interest is the regulatory connection between bone and muscle, which adds a new insight to the coordination of the bone/muscle unit. We have appreciated the importance of neuronal signaling to the control of bone turnover and muscle contraction, but recent data indicate that neuronal inputs control a far wider range of bone and muscle physiology than previously appreciated. This review outlines the role of the sympathetic nervous system and neuronal/neuropeptide inputs upon the regulation of bone and muscle tissue, and the potential for co-regulatory actions, particularly involving the sympathetic nervous system. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Muscle Bone Interactions". Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  3. Merkel cells and neurons keep in touch

    PubMed Central

    Woo, Seung-Hyun; Lumpkin, Ellen A.; Patapoutian, Ardem

    2014-01-01

    The Merkel cell-neurite complex is a unique vertebrate touch receptor comprising two distinct cell types in the skin. Its presence in touch-sensitive skin areas was recognized more than a century ago, but the functions of each cell type in sensory transduction have been unclear. Three recent studies demonstrate that Merkel cells are mechanosensitive cells that function in touch transduction via Piezo2. One study concludes that Merkel cells rather than sensory neurons are principal sites of mechanotransduction, whereas the other two studies report that both Merkel cells and neurons encode mechanical inputs. Together, these studies settle a longstanding debate on whether Merkel cells are mechanosensory cells, and enable future investigations of how these skin cells communicate with neurons. PMID:25480024

  4. Merkel cells and neurons keep in touch.

    PubMed

    Woo, Seung-Hyun; Lumpkin, Ellen A; Patapoutian, Ardem

    2015-02-01

    The Merkel cell-neurite complex is a unique vertebrate touch receptor comprising two distinct cell types in the skin. Its presence in touch-sensitive skin areas was recognized more than a century ago, but the functions of each cell type in sensory transduction have been unclear. Three recent studies demonstrate that Merkel cells are mechanosensitive cells that function in touch transduction via Piezo2. One study concludes that Merkel cells, rather than sensory neurons, are principal sites of mechanotransduction, whereas two other studies report that both Merkel cells and neurons encode mechanical inputs. Together, these studies settle a long-standing debate on whether or not Merkel cells are mechanosensory cells, and enable future investigations of how these skin cells communicate with neurons. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Neuronal chemotaxis by optically manipulated liposomes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinato, G.; Lien, L. T.; D'Este, E.; Torre, V.; Cojoc, D.

    2011-08-01

    We probe chemotaxis of single neurons, induced by signalling molecules which were optically delivered from liposomes in the neighbourhood of the cells. We implemented an optical tweezers setup combined with a micro-dissection system on an inverted microscope platform. Molecules of Netrin-1 protein were encapsulated into micron-sized liposomes and manipulated to micrometric distances from a specific growth cone of a hippocampal neuron by the IR optical tweezers. The molecules were then released by breaking the liposomes with UV laser pulses. Chemotaxis induced by the delivered molecules was confirmed by the migration of the growth cone toward the liposome position. Since the delivery can be manipulated with high temporal and spatial resolution and the number of molecules released can be controlled quite precisely by tuning the liposome size and the solution concentration, this technique opens new opportunities to investigate the effect of physiological active compounds as Netrin-1 to neuronal signalling and guidance, which represents an important issue in neurobiology.

  6. Revealing neuronal function through microelectrode array recordings

    PubMed Central

    Obien, Marie Engelene J.; Deligkaris, Kosmas; Bullmann, Torsten; Bakkum, Douglas J.; Frey, Urs

    2015-01-01

    Microelectrode arrays and microprobes have been widely utilized to measure neuronal activity, both in vitro and in vivo. The key advantage is the capability to record and stimulate neurons at multiple sites simultaneously. However, unlike the single-cell or single-channel resolution of intracellular recording, microelectrodes detect signals from all possible sources around every sensor. Here, we review the current understanding of microelectrode signals and the techniques for analyzing them. We introduce the ongoing advancements in microelectrode technology, with focus on achieving higher resolution and quality of recordings by means of monolithic integration with on-chip circuitry. We show how recent advanced microelectrode array measurement methods facilitate the understanding of single neurons as well as network function. PMID:25610364

  7. Role of presenilins in neuronal calcium homeostasis

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Hua; Sun, Suya; Herreman, An; De Strooper, Bart; Bezprozvanny, Ilya

    2010-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive and irreversible neurodegenerative disorder. Familial AD (FAD) mutations in presenilins have been linked to calcium (Ca2+) signaling abnormalities. To explain these results we previously proposed that presenilins function as endoplasmic reticulum (ER) passive Ca2+ leak channels. To directly investigate the role of presenilins in neuronal ER Ca2+ homeostasis we here performed a series of Ca2+ imaging experiments with primary neuronal cultures from conditional presenilin double-knockout mice (PScDKO mice; PS1dTAG/dTAG, PS2−/−) and from a triple transgenic AD mice (3xTg mice; KI-PS1M146V, Thy1-APPKM670/671NL, Thy1-tauP301L). Obtained results provided further support to the hypothesis that presenilins function as ER Ca2+ leak channels in neurons. Interestingly, we discovered that presenilins play a major role in ER Ca2+ leak function in hippocampal but not in striatal neurons. We further discovered that in hippocampal neurons loss of presenilin-mediated ER Ca2+ leak function was compensated by an increase in expression and function of ryanodine receptors (RyanR). Long-term feeding of RyanR inhibitor dantrolene to APPPS1 mice (Thy1-APPKM670/671NL, Thy1-PS1L166P) resulted in an increased amyloid load, loss of synaptic markers and neuronal atrophy in hippocampal and cortical regions. These results indicate that disruption of ER Ca2+ leak function of presenilins may play an important role in AD pathogenesis. PMID:20573903

  8. Role of presenilins in neuronal calcium homeostasis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hua; Sun, Suya; Herreman, An; De Strooper, Bart; Bezprozvanny, Ilya

    2010-06-23

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive and irreversible neurodegenerative disorder. Familial AD (FAD) mutations in presenilins have been linked to calcium (Ca(2+)) signaling abnormalities. To explain these results, we previously proposed that presenilins function as endoplasmic reticulum (ER) passive Ca(2+) leak channels. To directly investigate the role of presenilins in neuronal ER Ca(2+) homeostasis, we here performed a series of Ca(2+) imaging experiments with primary neuronal cultures from conditional presenilin double-knock-out mice (PS1(dTAG/dTAG), PS2(-/-)) and from triple-transgenic AD mice (KI-PS1(M146V), Thy1-APP(KM670/671NL), Thy1-tau(P301L)). Obtained results provided additional support to the hypothesis that presenilins function as ER Ca(2+) leak channels in neurons. Interestingly, we discovered that presenilins play a major role in ER Ca(2+) leak function in hippocampal but not in striatal neurons. We further discovered that, in hippocampal neurons, loss of presenilin-mediated ER Ca(2+) leak function was compensated by an increase in expression and function of ryanodine receptors (RyanRs). Long-term feeding of the RyanR inhibitor dantrolene to amyloid precursor protein-presenilin-1 mice (Thy1-APP(KM670/671NL), Thy1-PS1(L166P)) resulted in an increased amyloid load, loss of synaptic markers, and neuronal atrophy in hippocampal and cortical regions. These results indicate that disruption of ER Ca(2+) leak function of presenilins may play an important role in AD pathogenesis.

  9. Nuclear Calcium Buffering Capacity Shapes Neuronal Architecture*

    PubMed Central

    Mauceri, Daniela; Hagenston, Anna M.; Schramm, Kathrin; Weiss, Ursula; Bading, Hilmar

    2015-01-01

    Calcium-binding proteins (CaBPs) such as parvalbumin are part of the cellular calcium buffering system that determines intracellular calcium diffusion and influences the spatiotemporal dynamics of calcium signals. In neurons, CaBPs are primarily localized to the cytosol and function, for example, in nerve terminals in short-term synaptic plasticity. However, CaBPs are also expressed in the cell nucleus, suggesting that they modulate nuclear calcium signals, which are key regulators of neuronal gene expression. Here we show that the calcium buffering capacity of the cell nucleus in mouse hippocampal neurons regulates neuronal architecture by modulating the expression levels of VEGFD and the complement factor C1q-c, two nuclear calcium-regulated genes that control dendrite geometry and spine density, respectively. Increasing the levels of nuclear calcium buffers by means of expression of a nuclearly targeted form of parvalbumin fused to mCherry (PV.NLS-mC) led to a reduction in VEGFD expression and, as a result, to a decrease in total dendritic length and complexity. In contrast, mRNA levels of the synapse pruning factor C1q-c were increased in neurons expressing PV.NLS-mC, causing a reduction in the density and size of dendritic spines. Our results establish a close link between nuclear calcium buffering capacity and the transcription of genes that determine neuronal structure. They suggest that the development of cognitive deficits observed in neurological conditions associated with CaBP deregulation may reflect the loss of necessary structural features of dendrites and spines. PMID:26231212

  10. Neuronal glycogen synthesis contributes to physiological aging

    PubMed Central

    Sinadinos, Christopher; Valles-Ortega, Jordi; Boulan, Laura; Solsona, Estel; Tevy, Maria F; Marquez, Mercedes; Duran, Jordi; Lopez-Iglesias, Carmen; Calbó, Joaquim; Blasco, Ester; Pumarola, Marti; Milán, Marco; Guinovart, Joan J

    2014-01-01

    Glycogen is a branched polymer of glucose and the carbohydrate energy store for animal cells. In the brain, it is essentially found in glial cells, although it is also present in minute amounts in neurons. In humans, loss-of-function mutations in laforin and malin, proteins involved in suppressing glycogen synthesis, induce the presence of high numbers of insoluble polyglucosan bodies in neuronal cells. Known as Lafora bodies (LBs), these deposits result in the aggressive neurodegeneration seen in Lafora’s disease. Polysaccharide-based aggregates, called corpora amylacea (CA), are also present in the neurons of aged human brains. Despite the similarity of CA to LBs, the mechanisms and functional consequences of CA formation are yet unknown. Here, we show that wild-type laboratory mice also accumulate glycogen-based aggregates in the brain as they age. These structures are immunopositive for an array of metabolic and stress-response proteins, some of which were previously shown to aggregate in correlation with age in the human brain and are also present in LBs. Remarkably, these structures and their associated protein aggregates are not present in the aged mouse brain upon genetic ablation of glycogen synthase. Similar genetic intervention in Drosophila prevents the accumulation of glycogen clusters in the neuronal processes of aged flies. Most interestingly, targeted reduction of Drosophila glycogen synthase in neurons improves neurological function with age and extends lifespan. These results demonstrate that neuronal glycogen accumulation contributes to physiological aging and may therefore constitute a key factor regulating age-related neurological decline in humans. PMID:25059425

  11. Predation and the origin of neurones.

    PubMed

    Monk, Travis; Paulin, Michael G

    2014-01-01

    The core design of spiking neurones is remarkably similar throughout the animal kingdom. Their basic function as fast-signalling thresholding cells might have been established very early in their evolutionary history. Identifying the selection pressures that drove animals to evolve spiking neurones could help us interpret their design and function today. We review fossil, ecological and molecular evidence to investigate when and why animals evolved spiking neurones. Fossils suggest that animals evolved nervous systems soon after the advent of animal-on-animal predation, 550 million years ago (MYa). Between 550 and 525 MYa, we see the first fossil appearances of many animal innovations, including eyes. Animal behavioural complexity increased during this period as well, as evidenced by their traces, suggesting that nervous systems were an innovation of that time. Fossils further suggest that, before 550 MYa, animals were either filter feeders or microbial mat grazers. Extant sponges and Trichoplax perform these tasks using energetically cheaper alternatives than spiking neurones. Genetic evidence testifies that nervous systems evolved before the protostome-deuterostome split. It is less clear whether nervous systems evolved before the cnidarian-bilaterian split, so cnidarians and bilaterians might have evolved their nervous systems independently. The fossil record indicates that the advent of predation could fit into the window of time between those two splits, though molecular clock studies dispute this claim. Collectively, these lines of evidence indicate that animals evolved spiking neurones soon after they started eating each other. The first sensory neurones could have been threshold detectors that spiked in response to other animals in their proximity, alerting them to perform precisely timed actions, such as striking or fleeing. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  12. Diverse precerebellar neurons share similar intrinsic excitability

    PubMed Central

    Kolkman, Kristine E.; McElvain, Lauren E.; du Lac, Sascha

    2011-01-01

    The cerebellum dedicates a majority of the brain’s neurons to processing a wide range of sensory, motor, and cognitive signals. Stereotyped circuitry within the cerebellar cortex suggests that similar computations are performed throughout the cerebellum, but little is known about whether diverse precerebellar neurons are specialized for the nature of the information they convey. In vivo recordings indicate that firing responses to sensory or motor stimuli vary dramatically across different precerebellar nuclei, but whether this reflects diverse synaptic inputs or differentially tuned intrinsic excitability has not been determined. We targeted whole-cell patch clamp recordings to neurons in 8 precerebellar nuclei which were retrogradely labeled from different regions of the cerebellum in mice.