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Sample records for abnormal synaptic plasticity

  1. Synaptic Plasticity and Nociception

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ChenJianguo

    2004-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is one of the fields that progresses rapidly and has a lot of success in neuroscience. The two major types of synaptie plasticity: long-term potentiation ( LTP and long-term depression (LTD are thought to be the cellular mochanisms of learning and memory. Recently, accumulating evidence suggests that, besides serving as a cellular model for learning and memory, the synaptic plasticity involves in other physiological or pathophysiological processes, such as the perception of pain and the regulation of cardiovascular system. This minireview will focus on the relationship between synaptic plasticity and nociception.

  2. Mitochondria, synaptic plasticity, and schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-Shachar, Dorit; Laifenfeld, Daphna

    2004-01-01

    The conceptualization of schizophrenia as a disorder of connectivity, i.e., of neuronal?synaptic plasticity, suggests abnormal synaptic modeling and neuronal signaling, possibly as a consequence of flawed interactions with the environment, as at least a secondary mechanism underlying the pathophysiology of this disorder. Indeed, deficits in episodic memory and malfunction of hippocampal circuitry, as well as anomalies of axonal sprouting and synapse formation, are all suggestive of diminished neuronal plasticity in schizophrenia. Evidence supports a dysfunction of mitochondria in schizophrenia, including mitochondrial hypoplasia, and a dysfunction of the oxidative phosphorylation system, as well as altered mitochondrial-related gene expression. Mitochondrial dysfunction leads to alterations in ATP production and cytoplasmatic calcium concentrations, as well as reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide production. All of the latter processes have been well established as leading to altered synaptic strength or plasticity. Moreover, mitochondria have been shown to play a role in plasticity of neuronal polarity, and studies in the visual cortex show an association between mitochondria and synaptogenesis. Finally, mitochondrial gene upregulation has been observed following synaptic and neuronal activity. This review proposes that mitochondrial dysfunction in schizophrenia could cause, or arise from, anomalies in processes of plasticity in this disorder.

  3. Optogenetics and synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

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

  4. Circadian Regulation of Synaptic Plasticity

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    Marcos G. Frank

    2016-07-01

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

  5. Multiscale modeling and synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhalla, Upinder S

    2014-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is a major convergence point for theory and computation, and the process of plasticity engages physiology, cell, and molecular biology. In its many manifestations, plasticity is at the hub of basic neuroscience questions about memory and development, as well as more medically themed questions of neural damage and recovery. As an important cellular locus of memory, synaptic plasticity has received a huge amount of experimental and theoretical attention. If computational models have tended to pick specific aspects of plasticity, such as STDP, and reduce them to an equation, some experimental studies are equally guilty of oversimplification each time they identify a new molecule and declare it to be the last word in plasticity and learning. Multiscale modeling begins with the acknowledgment that synaptic function spans many levels of signaling, and these are so tightly coupled that we risk losing essential features of plasticity if we focus exclusively on any one level. Despite the technical challenges and gaps in data for model specification, an increasing number of multiscale modeling studies have taken on key questions in plasticity. These have provided new insights, but importantly, they have opened new avenues for questioning. This review discusses a wide range of multiscale models in plasticity, including their technical landscape and their implications.

  6. Neuronal cytoskeleton in synaptic plasticity and regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon-Weeks, Phillip R; Fournier, Alyson E

    2014-04-01

    During development, dynamic changes in the axonal growth cone and dendrite are necessary for exploratory movements underlying initial axo-dendritic contact and ultimately the formation of a functional synapse. In the adult central nervous system, an impressive degree of plasticity is retained through morphological and molecular rearrangements in the pre- and post-synaptic compartments that underlie the strengthening or weakening of synaptic pathways. Plasticity is regulated by the interplay of permissive and inhibitory extracellular cues, which signal through receptors at the synapse to regulate the closure of critical periods of developmental plasticity as well as by acute changes in plasticity in response to experience and activity in the adult. The molecular underpinnings of synaptic plasticity are actively studied and it is clear that the cytoskeleton is a key substrate for many cues that affect plasticity. Many of the cues that restrict synaptic plasticity exhibit residual activity in the injured adult CNS and restrict regenerative growth by targeting the cytoskeleton. Here, we review some of the latest insights into how cytoskeletal remodeling affects neuronal plasticity and discuss how the cytoskeleton is being targeted in an effort to promote plasticity and repair following traumatic injury in the central nervous system. © 2013 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  7. Synaptic vesicle proteins and active zone plasticity

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    Robert J Kittel

    2016-04-01

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

  8. Synaptic Vesicle Proteins and Active Zone Plasticity.

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    Kittel, Robert J; Heckmann, Manfred

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Synaptic plasticity and the warburg effect

    KAUST Repository

    Magistretti, Pierre J.

    2014-01-01

    Functional brain imaging studies show that in certain brain regions glucose utilization exceeds oxygen consumption, indicating the predominance of aerobic glycolysis. In this issue, Goyal et al. (2014) report that this metabolic profile is associated with an enrichment in the expression of genes involved in synaptic plasticity and remodeling processes. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

  10. Inflammation subverts hippocampal synaptic plasticity in experimental multiple sclerosis.

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    Robert Nisticò

    Full Text Available Abnormal use-dependent synaptic plasticity is universally accepted as the main physiological correlate of memory deficits in neurodegenerative disorders. It is unclear whether synaptic plasticity deficits take place during neuroinflammatory diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS and its mouse model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE. In EAE mice, we found significant alterations of synaptic plasticity rules in the hippocampus. When compared to control mice, in fact, hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP induction was favored over long-term depression (LTD in EAE, as shown by a significant rightward shift in the frequency-synaptic response function. Notably, LTP induction was also enhanced in hippocampal slices from control mice following interleukin-1β (IL-1β perfusion, and both EAE and IL-1β inhibited GABAergic spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sIPSC without affecting glutamatergic transmission and AMPA/NMDA ratio. EAE was also associated with selective loss of GABAergic interneurons and with reduced gamma-frequency oscillations in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Finally, we provided evidence that microglial activation in the EAE hippocampus was associated with IL-1β expression, and hippocampal slices from control mice incubated with activated microglia displayed alterations of GABAergic transmission similar to those seen in EAE brains, through a mechanism dependent on enhanced IL-1β signaling. These data may yield novel insights into the basis of cognitive deficits in EAE and possibly of MS.

  11. Linking neuronal ensembles by associative synaptic plasticity.

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    Qi Yuan

    Full Text Available Synchronized activity in ensembles of neurons recruited by excitatory afferents is thought to contribute to the coding information in the brain. However, the mechanisms by which neuronal ensembles are generated and modified are not known. Here we show that in rat hippocampal slices associative synaptic plasticity enables ensembles of neurons to change by incorporating neurons belonging to different ensembles. Associative synaptic plasticity redistributes the composition of different ensembles recruited by distinct inputs such as to specifically increase the similarity between the ensembles. These results show that in the hippocampus, the ensemble of neurons recruited by a given afferent projection is fluid and can be rapidly and persistently modified to specifically include neurons from different ensembles. This linking of ensembles may contribute to the formation of associative memories.

  12. Synaptic Plasticity, Dementia and Alzheimer Disease.

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    Skaper, Stephen D; Facci, Laura; Zusso, Morena; Giusti, Pietro

    2017-01-13

    Neuroplasticity is not only shaped by learning and memory but is also a mediator of responses to neuron attrition and injury (compensatory plasticity). As an ongoing process it reacts to neuronal cell activity and injury, death, and genesis, which encompasses the modulation of structural and functional processes of axons, dendrites, and synapses. The range of structural elements that comprise plasticity includes long-term potentiation (a cellular correlate of learning and memory), synaptic efficacy and remodelling, synaptogenesis, axonal sprouting and dendritic remodelling, and neurogenesis and recruitment. Degenerative diseases of the human brain continue to pose one of biomedicine's most intractable problems. Research on human neurodegeneration is now moving from descriptive to mechanistic analyses. At the same time, it is increasing apparent that morphological lesions traditionally used by neuropathologists to confirm post-mortem clinical diagnosis might furnish us with an experimentally tractable handle to understand causative pathways. Consider the aging-dependent neurodegenerative disorder Alzheimer's disease (AD) which is characterised at the neuropathological level by deposits of insoluble amyloid b-peptide (Ab) in extracellular plaques and aggregated tau protein, which is found largely in the intracellular neurofibrillary tangles. We now appreciate that mild cognitive impairment in early AD may be due to synaptic dysfunction caused by accumulation of non-fibrillar, oligomeric Ab, occurring well in advance of evident widespread synaptic loss and neurodegeneration. Soluble Ab oligomers can adversely affect synaptic structure and plasticity at extremely low concentrations, although the molecular substrates by which synaptic memory mechanisms are disrupted remain to be fully elucidated. The dendritic spine constitutes a primary locus of excitatory synaptic transmission in the mammalian central nervous system. These structures protruding from dendritic shafts

  13. Filamentary Switching: Synaptic Plasticity through Device Volatility

    CERN Document Server

    La Barbera, Selina; Alibart, Fabien

    2015-01-01

    Replicating the computational functionalities and performances of the brain remains one of the biggest challenges for the future of information and communication technologies. Such an ambitious goal requires research efforts from the architecture level to the basic device level (i.e., investigating the opportunities offered by emerging nanotechnologies to build such systems). Nanodevices, or, more precisely, memory or memristive devices, have been proposed for the implementation of synaptic functions, offering the required features and integration in a single component. In this paper, we demonstrate that the basic physics involved in the filamentary switching of electrochemical metallization cells can reproduce important biological synaptic functions that are key mechanisms for information processing and storage. The transition from short- to long-term plasticity has been reported as a direct consequence of filament growth (i.e., increased conductance) in filamentary memory devices. In this paper, we show tha...

  14. Epigenetic Basis of Neuronal and Synaptic Plasticity.

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    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.

  15. Plasticity of Hippocampal Excitatory-Inhibitory Balance: Missing the Synaptic Control in the Epileptic Brain

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    Christian Bonansco

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic plasticity is the capacity generated by experience to modify the neural function and, thereby, adapt our behaviour. Long-term plasticity of glutamatergic and GABAergic transmission occurs in a concerted manner, finely adjusting the excitatory-inhibitory (E/I balance. Imbalances of E/I function are related to several neurological diseases including epilepsy. Several evidences have demonstrated that astrocytes are able to control the synaptic plasticity, with astrocytes being active partners in synaptic physiology and E/I balance. Here, we revise molecular evidences showing the epileptic stage as an abnormal form of long-term brain plasticity and propose the possible participation of astrocytes to the abnormal increase of glutamatergic and decrease of GABAergic neurotransmission in epileptic networks.

  16. Synaptic Plasticity onto Dopamine Neurons Shapes Fear Learning.

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    Pignatelli, Marco; Umanah, George Kwabena Essien; Ribeiro, Sissi Palma; Chen, Rong; Karuppagounder, Senthilkumar Senthil; Yau, Hau-Jie; Eacker, Stephen; Dawson, Valina Lynn; Dawson, Ted Murray; Bonci, Antonello

    2017-01-18

    Fear learning is a fundamental behavioral process that requires dopamine (DA) release. Experience-dependent synaptic plasticity occurs on DA neurons while an organism is engaged in aversive experiences. However, whether synaptic plasticity onto DA neurons is causally involved in aversion learning is unknown. Here, we show that a stress priming procedure enhances fear learning by engaging VTA synaptic plasticity. Moreover, we took advantage of the ability of the ATPase Thorase to regulate the internalization of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) in order to selectively manipulate glutamatergic synaptic plasticity on DA neurons. Genetic ablation of Thorase in DAT(+) neurons produced increased AMPAR surface expression and function that lead to impaired induction of both long-term depression (LTD) and long-term potentiation (LTP). Strikingly, animals lacking Thorase in DAT(+) neurons expressed greater associative learning in a fear conditioning paradigm. In conclusion, our data provide a novel, causal link between synaptic plasticity onto DA neurons and fear learning. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  17. Nicotinic mechanisms influencing synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Andon Nicholas PLACZEK; Tao A ZHANG; John Anthony DANI

    2009-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are expressed throughout the hippocampus, and nicotinic signaling plays an important role in neuronal function. In the context of learning and memory related behaviors associated with hippocampal function, a potentially significant feature of nAChR activity is the impact it has on synaptic plasticity. Synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons has long been considered a contributing cellular mechanism of learning and memory. These same kinds of cellular mechanisms are a factor in the development of nicotine addiction. Nicotinic signaling has been demonstrated by in vitro studies to affect synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons via multiple steps, and the signaling has also been shown to evoke synaptic plasticity in vivo. This review focuses on the nAChRs subtypes that contribute to hippocampal synaptic plasticity at the cellular and circuit level. It also considers nicotinic influences over long-term changes in the hippocampus that may contribute to addiction.

  18. Recent advances in understanding synaptic abnormalities in Rett syndrome [version 1; referees: 2 approved

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    Michael Johnston

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Rett syndrome is an extremely disabling X-linked nervous system disorder that mainly affects girls in early childhood and causes autism-like behavior, severe intellectual disability, seizures, sleep disturbances, autonomic instability, and other disorders due to mutations in the MeCP2 (methyl CpG-binding protein 2 transcription factor. The disorder targets synapses and synaptic plasticity and has been shown to disrupt the balance between glutamate excitatory synapses and GABAergic inhibitory synapses. In fact, it can be argued that Rett syndrome is primarily a disorder of synaptic plasticity and that agents that can correct this imbalance may have beneficial effects on brain development. This review briefly summarizes the link between disrupted synaptic plasticity mechanisms and Rett syndrome and early clinical trials that aim to target these abnormalities to improve the outcome for these severely disabled children.

  19. GAP-43 in synaptic plasticity: molecular perspectives

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    Holahan MR

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Matthew R HolahanDepartment of Neuroscience, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, CanadaAbstract: The growth-associated protein, GAP-43 (also known as F1, neuromodulin, B-50, participates in the developmental regulation of axonal growth and neural network formation via protein kinase C-mediated regulation of cytoskeletal elements. Transgenic overexpression of GAP-43 can result in the formation of new synapses, neurite outgrowth, and synaptogenesis after injury. In a number of adult mammalian species, GAP-43 has been implicated in the regulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity, such as long-term potentiation, drug sensitization, and changes in memory processes. This review examines the molecular and biochemical attributes of GAP-43, its distribution in the central nervous system, subcellular localization, role in neurite outgrowth and development, and functions related to plasticity, such as those occurring during long-term potentiation, memory formation, and drug sensitization.Keywords: GAP-43, protein kinase C, axons, development, regeneration, long-term potentiation, memory

  20. Cellular and molecular bases of memory: synaptic and neuronal plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, J H; Ko, G Y; Kelly, P T

    1997-07-01

    Discoveries made during the past decade have greatly improved our understanding of how the nervous system functions. This review article examines the relation between memory and the cellular mechanisms of neuronal and synaptic plasticity in the central nervous system. Evidence indicating that activity-dependent short- and long-term changes in strength of synaptic transmission are important for memory processes is examined. Focus is placed on one model of synaptic plasticity called long-term potentiation, and its similarities with memory processes are illustrated. Recent studies show that the regulation of synaptic strength is bidirectional (e.g., synaptic potentiation or depression). Mechanisms involving intracellular signaling pathways that regulate synaptic strength are described, and the specific roles of calcium, protein kinases, protein phosphatases, and retrograde messengers are emphasized. Evidence suggests that changes in synaptic ultrastructure, dendritic ultrastructure, and neuronal gene expression may also contribute to mechanisms of synaptic plasticity. Also discussed are recent findings about postsynaptic mechanisms that regulate short-term synaptic facilitation and neuronal burst-pattern activity, as well as evidence about the subcellular location (presynaptic or postsynaptic) of mechanisms involved in long-term synaptic plasticity.

  1. Spikes Synchronization in Neural Networks with Synaptic Plasticity

    CERN Document Server

    Borges, Rafael R; Batista, Antonio M; Caldas, Iberê L; Borges, Fernando S; Lameu, Ewandson L

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we investigated the neural spikes synchronisation in a neural network with synaptic plasticity and external perturbation. In the simulations the neural dynamics is described by the Hodgkin Huxley model considering chemical synapses (excitatory) among neurons. According to neural spikes synchronisation is expected that a perturbation produce non synchronised regimes. However, in the literature there are works showing that the combination of synaptic plasticity and external perturbation may generate synchronised regime. This article describes the effect of the synaptic plasticity on the synchronisation, where we consider a perturbation with a uniform distribution. This study is relevant to researches of neural disorders control.

  2. Synaptic plasticity: Building memories to last.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, S M

    2000-03-23

    A series of recent studies has provided long-awaited direct evidence that enduring changes in synaptic strength, presumably underlying the formation of persistent memories, may be encoded in a lasting form as a change in synaptic structure.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Pannexin 1 Regulates Bidirectional Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity in Adult Mice

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    Alvaro O. Ardiles

    2014-10-01

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

  5. The impact of synapsins on synaptic plasticity and cognitive behaviors

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lin ZHANG; Zhong-Xin ZHAO

    2006-01-01

    Synapsins are a family of phosphoproteins specifically associated with the cytoplasmic surface of the synaptic vesicle membrane, appearing to regulate neurotransmitter release, the formation and maintenance of synaptic contacts.They could induce the change of the synaptic plasticity to regulate various adaptation reactions, and change the cognitive behaviors. So we presume that if some cognitive behavior are damaged, synapsins would be changed as well. This gives us a new recognition of better diagnosis and therapy of cognitive disorder desease.

  6. Synaptic plasticity in inhibitory neurons of the auditory brainstem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bender, Kevin J; Trussell, Laurence O

    2011-04-01

    There is a growing appreciation of synaptic plasticity in the early levels of auditory processing, and particularly of its role in inhibitory circuits. Synaptic strength in auditory brainstem and midbrain is sensitive to standard protocols for induction of long-term depression, potentiation, and spike-timing-dependent plasticity. Differential forms of plasticity are operative at synapses onto inhibitory versus excitatory neurons within a circuit, and together these could serve to tune circuits involved in sound localization or multisensory integration. Such activity-dependent control of synaptic function in inhibitory neurons may also be expressed after hearing loss and could underlie persistent neuronal activity in patients with tinnitus. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Synaptic Plasticity & Interneurons'.

  7. Astrocytes Mediate In Vivo Cholinergic-Induced Synaptic Plasticity

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    In vivo and in vitro studies reveal that astrocytes, classically considered supportive cells for neurons, regulate synaptic plasticity in the mouse hippocampus and are directly involved in information storage.

  8. The discovery of GluA3-dependent synaptic plasticity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Renner, M.C.

    2016-01-01

    AMPA receptors (AMPARs) are responsible for fast excitatory synaptic transmission. GluA1-containing AMPARs have been extensively studied and play a key role in several forms of synaptic plasticity and memory. In contrast, GluA3-containing AMPARs have historically been ignored because they have

  9. Phosphorylation of AMPA receptors is required for sensory deprivation-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity.

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    Anubhuti Goel

    Full Text Available Sensory experience, and the lack thereof, can alter the function of excitatory synapses in the primary sensory cortices. Recent evidence suggests that changes in sensory experience can regulate the synaptic level of Ca(2+-permeable AMPA receptors (CP-AMPARs. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying such a process have not been determined. We found that binocular visual deprivation, which is a well-established in vivo model to produce multiplicative synaptic scaling in visual cortex of juvenile rodents, is accompanied by an increase in the phosphorylation of AMPAR GluR1 (or GluA1 subunit at the serine 845 (S845 site and the appearance of CP-AMPARs at synapses. To address the role of GluR1-S845 in visual deprivation-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity, we used mice lacking key phosphorylation sites on the GluR1 subunit. We found that mice specifically lacking the GluR1-S845 site (GluR1-S845A mutants, which is a substrate of cAMP-dependent kinase (PKA, show abnormal basal excitatory synaptic transmission and lack visual deprivation-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity. We also found evidence that increasing GluR1-S845 phosphorylation alone is not sufficient to produce normal multiplicative synaptic scaling. Our study provides concrete evidence that a GluR1 dependent mechanism, especially S845 phosphorylation, is a necessary pre-requisite step for in vivo homeostatic synaptic plasticity.

  10. Phosphorylation of AMPA receptors is required for sensory deprivation-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goel, Anubhuti; Xu, Linda W; Snyder, Kevin P; Song, Lihua; Goenaga-Vazquez, Yamila; Megill, Andrea; Takamiya, Kogo; Huganir, Richard L; Lee, Hey-Kyoung

    2011-03-31

    Sensory experience, and the lack thereof, can alter the function of excitatory synapses in the primary sensory cortices. Recent evidence suggests that changes in sensory experience can regulate the synaptic level of Ca(2+)-permeable AMPA receptors (CP-AMPARs). However, the molecular mechanisms underlying such a process have not been determined. We found that binocular visual deprivation, which is a well-established in vivo model to produce multiplicative synaptic scaling in visual cortex of juvenile rodents, is accompanied by an increase in the phosphorylation of AMPAR GluR1 (or GluA1) subunit at the serine 845 (S845) site and the appearance of CP-AMPARs at synapses. To address the role of GluR1-S845 in visual deprivation-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity, we used mice lacking key phosphorylation sites on the GluR1 subunit. We found that mice specifically lacking the GluR1-S845 site (GluR1-S845A mutants), which is a substrate of cAMP-dependent kinase (PKA), show abnormal basal excitatory synaptic transmission and lack visual deprivation-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity. We also found evidence that increasing GluR1-S845 phosphorylation alone is not sufficient to produce normal multiplicative synaptic scaling. Our study provides concrete evidence that a GluR1 dependent mechanism, especially S845 phosphorylation, is a necessary pre-requisite step for in vivo homeostatic synaptic plasticity.

  11. Molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal synaptic plasticity: systems biology meets computational neuroscience in the wilds of synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackwell, Kim T; Jedrzejewska-Szmek, Joanna

    2013-01-01

    Interactions among signaling pathways that are activated by transmembrane receptors produce complex networks and emergent dynamical behaviors that are implicated in synaptic plasticity. Temporal dynamics and spatial aspects are critical determinants of cell responses such as synaptic plasticity, although the mapping between spatiotemporal activity pattern and direction of synaptic plasticity is not completely understood. Computational modeling of neuronal signaling pathways has significantly contributed to understanding signaling pathways underlying synaptic plasticity. Spatial models of signaling pathways in hippocampal neurons have revealed mechanisms underlying the spatial distribution of extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK) activation in hippocampal neurons. Other spatial models have demonstrated that the major role of anchoring proteins in striatal and hippocampal synaptic plasticity is to place molecules near their activators. Simulations of yet other models have revealed that the spatial distribution of synaptic plasticity may differ for potentiation versus depression. In general, the most significant advances have been made by interactive modeling and experiments; thus, an interdisciplinary approach should be applied to investigate critical issues in neuronal signaling pathways. These issues include identifying which transmembrane receptors are key for activating ERK in neurons, and the crucial targets of kinases that produce long-lasting synaptic plasticity. Although the number of computer programs for computationally efficient simulation of large reaction-diffusion networks is increasing, parameter estimation and sensitivity analysis in these spatial models remain more difficult than in single compartment models. Advances in live cell imaging coupled with further software development will continue to accelerate the development of spatial models of synaptic plasticity. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Mapping homeostatic synaptic plasticity using cable properties of dendrites.

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    Queenan, B N; Lee, K J; Tan, H; Huganir, R L; Vicini, S; Pak, D T S

    2016-02-19

    When chronically silenced, cortical and hippocampal neurons homeostatically upregulate excitatory synaptic function. However, the subcellular position of such changes on the dendritic tree is not clear. We exploited the cable-filtering properties of dendrites to derive a parameter, the dendritic filtering index (DFI), to map the spatial distribution of synaptic currents. Our analysis indicates that young rat cortical neurons globally scale AMPA receptor-mediated currents, while mature hippocampal neurons do not, revealing distinct homeostatic strategies between brain regions and developmental stages. The DFI presents a useful tool for mapping the dendritic origin of synaptic currents and the location of synaptic plasticity changes.

  13. Glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the mesocorticolimbic system in addiction

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Huijstee, Aile N.; Mansvelder, Huibert D.

    2015-01-01

    Addictive drugs remodel the brain’s reward circuitry, the mesocorticolimbic dopamine (DA) system, by inducing widespread adaptations of glutamatergic synapses. This drug-induced synaptic plasticity is thought to contribute to both the development and the persistence of addiction. This review highlights the synaptic modifications that are induced by in vivo exposure to addictive drugs and describes how these drug-induced synaptic changes may contribute to the different components of addictive behavior, such as compulsive drug use despite negative consequences and relapse. Initially, exposure to an addictive drug induces synaptic changes in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). This drug-induced synaptic potentiation in the VTA subsequently triggers synaptic changes in downstream areas of the mesocorticolimbic system, such as the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and the prefrontal cortex (PFC), with further drug exposure. These glutamatergic synaptic alterations are then thought to mediate many of the behavioral symptoms that characterize addiction. The later stages of glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the NAc and in particular in the PFC play a role in maintaining addiction and drive relapse to drug-taking induced by drug-associated cues. Remodeling of PFC glutamatergic circuits can persist into adulthood, causing a lasting vulnerability to relapse. We will discuss how these neurobiological changes produced by drugs of abuse may provide novel targets for potential treatment strategies for addiction. PMID:25653591

  14. Cellular and molecular connections between sleep and synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benington, Joel H; Frank, Marcos G

    2003-02-01

    The hypothesis that sleep promotes learning and memory has long been a subject of active investigation. This hypothesis implies that sleep must facilitate synaptic plasticity in some way, and recent studies have provided evidence for such a function. Our knowledge of both the cellular neurophysiology of sleep states and of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity has expanded considerably in recent years. In this article, we review findings in these areas and discuss possible mechanisms whereby the neurophysiological processes characteristic of sleep states may serve to facilitate synaptic plasticity. We address this issue first on the cellular level, considering how activation of T-type Ca(2+) channels in nonREM sleep may promote either long-term depression or long-term potentiation, as well as how cellular events of REM sleep may influence these processes. We then consider how synchronization of neuronal activity in thalamocortical and hippocampal-neocortical networks in nonREM sleep and REM sleep could promote differential strengthening of synapses according to the degree to which activity in one neuron is synchronized with activity in other neurons in the network. Rather than advocating one specific cellular hypothesis, we have intentionally taken a broad approach, describing a range of possible mechanisms whereby sleep may facilitate synaptic plasticity on the cellular and/or network levels. We have also provided a general review of evidence for and against the hypothesis that sleep does indeed facilitate learning, memory, and synaptic plasticity.

  15. Synaptic plasticity functions in an organic electrochemical transistor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gkoupidenis, Paschalis; Schaefer, Nathan; Strakosas, Xenofon; Fairfield, Jessamyn A.; Malliaras, George G.

    2015-12-01

    Synaptic plasticity functions play a crucial role in the transmission of neural signals in the brain. Short-term plasticity is required for the transmission, encoding, and filtering of the neural signal, whereas long-term plasticity establishes more permanent changes in neural microcircuitry and thus underlies memory and learning. The realization of bioinspired circuits that can actually mimic signal processing in the brain demands the reproduction of both short- and long-term aspects of synaptic plasticity in a single device. Here, we demonstrate the implementation of neuromorphic functions similar to biological memory, such as short- to long-term memory transition, in non-volatile organic electrochemical transistors (OECTs). Depending on the training of the OECT, the device displays either short- or long-term plasticity, therefore, exhibiting non von Neumann characteristics with merged processing and storing functionalities. These results are a first step towards the implementation of organic-based neuromorphic circuits.

  16. Cross-modal synaptic plasticity in adult primary sensory cortices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hey-Kyoung; Whitt, Jessica L

    2015-12-01

    Sensory loss leads to widespread adaptation of brain circuits to allow an organism to navigate its environment with its remaining senses, which is broadly referred to as cross-modal plasticity. Such adaptation can be observed even in the primary sensory cortices, and falls into two distinct categories: recruitment of the deprived sensory cortex for processing the remaining senses, which we term 'cross-modal recruitment', and experience-dependent refinement of the spared sensory cortices referred to as 'compensatory plasticity.' Here we will review recent studies demonstrating that cortical adaptation to sensory loss involves LTP/LTD and homeostatic synaptic plasticity. Cross-modal synaptic plasticity is observed in adults, hence cross-modal sensory deprivation may be an effective way to promote plasticity in adult primary sensory cortices.

  17. Circuit reactivation dynamically regulates synaptic plasticity in neocortex

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honnuraiah, Suraj; Narayanan, Rishikesh

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elgersma, Y; Silva, A J

    1999-04-01

    To unravel the molecular and cellular bases of learning and memory is one of the most ambitious goals of modern science. The progress of recent years has not only brought us closer to understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying stable, long-lasting changes in synaptic strength, but it has also provided further evidence that these mechanisms are required for memory formation.

  20. Emergence of Functional Specificity in Balanced Networks with Synaptic Plasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sadra Sadeh

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available In rodent visual cortex, synaptic connections between orientation-selective neurons are unspecific at the time of eye opening, and become to some degree functionally specific only later during development. An explanation for this two-stage process was proposed in terms of Hebbian plasticity based on visual experience that would eventually enhance connections between neurons with similar response features. For this to work, however, two conditions must be satisfied: First, orientation selective neuronal responses must exist before specific recurrent synaptic connections can be established. Second, Hebbian learning must be compatible with the recurrent network dynamics contributing to orientation selectivity, and the resulting specific connectivity must remain stable for unspecific background activity. Previous studies have mainly focused on very simple models, where the receptive fields of neurons were essentially determined by feedforward mechanisms, and where the recurrent network was small, lacking the complex recurrent dynamics of large-scale networks of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. Here we studied the emergence of functionally specific connectivity in large-scale recurrent networks with synaptic plasticity. Our results show that balanced random networks, which already exhibit highly selective responses at eye opening, can develop feature-specific connectivity if appropriate rules of synaptic plasticity are invoked within and between excitatory and inhibitory populations. If these conditions are met, the initial orientation selectivity guides the process of Hebbian learning and, as a result, functionally specific and a surplus of bidirectional connections emerge. Our results thus demonstrate the cooperation of synaptic plasticity and recurrent dynamics in large-scale functional networks with realistic receptive fields, highlight the role of inhibition as a critical element in this process, and paves the road for further computational

  1. Energy Efficient Sparse Connectivity from Imbalanced Synaptic Plasticity Rules.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João Sacramento

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available It is believed that energy efficiency is an important constraint in brain evolution. As synaptic transmission dominates energy consumption, energy can be saved by ensuring that only a few synapses are active. It is therefore likely that the formation of sparse codes and sparse connectivity are fundamental objectives of synaptic plasticity. In this work we study how sparse connectivity can result from a synaptic learning rule of excitatory synapses. Information is maximised when potentiation and depression are balanced according to the mean presynaptic activity level and the resulting fraction of zero-weight synapses is around 50%. However, an imbalance towards depression increases the fraction of zero-weight synapses without significantly affecting performance. We show that imbalanced plasticity corresponds to imposing a regularising constraint on the L1-norm of the synaptic weight vector, a procedure that is well-known to induce sparseness. Imbalanced plasticity is biophysically plausible and leads to more efficient synaptic configurations than a previously suggested approach that prunes synapses after learning. Our framework gives a novel interpretation to the high fraction of silent synapses found in brain regions like the cerebellum.

  2. Dysregulated Expression of Neuregulin-1 by Cortical Pyramidal Neurons Disrupts Synaptic Plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amit Agarwal

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Neuregulin-1 (NRG1 gene variants are associated with increased genetic risk for schizophrenia. It is unclear whether risk haplotypes cause elevated or decreased expression of NRG1 in the brains of schizophrenia patients, given that both findings have been reported from autopsy studies. To study NRG1 functions in vivo, we generated mouse mutants with reduced and elevated NRG1 levels and analyzed the impact on cortical functions. Loss of NRG1 from cortical projection neurons resulted in increased inhibitory neurotransmission, reduced synaptic plasticity, and hypoactivity. Neuronal overexpression of cysteine-rich domain (CRD-NRG1, the major brain isoform, caused unbalanced excitatory-inhibitory neurotransmission, reduced synaptic plasticity, abnormal spine growth, altered steady-state levels of synaptic plasticity-related proteins, and impaired sensorimotor gating. We conclude that an “optimal” level of NRG1 signaling balances excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission in the cortex. Our data provide a potential pathomechanism for impaired synaptic plasticity and suggest that human NRG1 risk haplotypes exert a gain-of-function effect.

  3. Formation and maintenance of neuronal assemblies through synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litwin-Kumar, Ashok; Doiron, Brent

    2014-11-14

    The architecture of cortex is flexible, permitting neuronal networks to store recent sensory experiences as specific synaptic connectivity patterns. However, it is unclear how these patterns are maintained in the face of the high spike time variability associated with cortex. Here we demonstrate, using a large-scale cortical network model, that realistic synaptic plasticity rules coupled with homeostatic mechanisms lead to the formation of neuronal assemblies that reflect previously experienced stimuli. Further, reverberation of past evoked states in spontaneous spiking activity stabilizes, rather than erases, this learned architecture. Spontaneous and evoked spiking activity contains a signature of learned assembly structures, leading to testable predictions about the effect of recent sensory experience on spike train statistics. Our work outlines requirements for synaptic plasticity rules capable of modifying spontaneous dynamics and shows that this modification is beneficial for stability of learned network architectures.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  5. Corticosterone alters AMPAR mobility and facilitates bidirectional synaptic plasticity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Martin, S.; Henley, J.M.; Holman, D.; Zhou, M.; Wiegert, O.; van Spronsen, M.; Joëls, M.; Hoogenraad, C.C.; Krugers, H.J.

    2009-01-01

    Background: The stress hormone corticosterone has the ability both to enhance and suppress synaptic plasticity and learning and memory processes. However, until today there is very little known about the molecular mechanism that underlies the bidirectional effects of stress and corticosteroid hormon

  6. Corticosterone alters AMPAR mobility and facilitates bidirectional synaptic plasticity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S. Martin (Stéphane); J.M. Henley (Jeremy); D. Holman (David); M. Zhou (Ming); O. Wiegert (Olof); M. van Spronsena (Myrrhe); M. Joëls (Marian); C.C. Hoogenraad (Casper); H.J. Krugers (Harmen)

    2009-01-01

    textabstractBackground: The stress hormone corticosterone has the ability both to enhance and suppress synaptic plasticity and learning and memory processes. However, until today there is very little known about the molecular mechanism that underlies the bidirectional effects of stress and corticost

  7. Spontaneous Activity Drives Local Synaptic Plasticity In Vivo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Winnubst, Johan; Cheyne, Juliette E; Niculescu, Dragos; Lohmann, C.

    2015-01-01

    Spontaneous activity fine-tunes neuronal connections in the developing brain. To explore the underlying synaptic plasticity mechanisms, we monitored naturally occurring changes in spontaneous activity at individual synapses with whole-cell patch-clamp recordings and simultaneous calcium imaging in

  8. proBDNF negatively regulates neuronal remodeling, synaptic transmission, and synaptic plasticity in hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-08

    Experience-dependent plasticity shapes postnatal development of neural circuits, but the mechanisms that refine dendritic arbors, remodel spines, and impair synaptic activity are poorly understood. Mature brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) modulates neuronal morphology and synaptic plasticity, including long-term potentiation (LTP) via TrkB activation. BDNF is initially translated as proBDNF, which binds p75(NTR). In vitro, recombinant proBDNF modulates neuronal structure and alters hippocampal long-term plasticity, but the actions of endogenously expressed proBDNF are unclear. Therefore, we generated a cleavage-resistant probdnf knockin mouse. Our results demonstrate that proBDNF negatively regulates hippocampal dendritic complexity and spine density through p75(NTR). Hippocampal slices from probdnf mice exhibit depressed synaptic transmission, impaired LTP, and enhanced long-term depression (LTD) in area CA1. These results suggest that proBDNF acts in vivo as a biologically active factor that regulates hippocampal structure, synaptic transmission, and plasticity, effects that are distinct from those of mature BDNF. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Frequency dependent changes in NMDAR-dependent synaptic plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arvind eKumar

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The NMDAR-dependent synaptic plasticity is thought to mediate several forms of learning, and can be induced by spike trains containing a small number of spikes occurring with varying rates and timing, as well as with oscillations. We computed the influence of these variables on the plasticity induced at a single NMDAR containing synapse using a reduced model that was analytically tractable, and these findings were confirmed using detailed, multi-compartment model. In addition to explaining diverse experimental results about the rate and timing dependence of synaptic plasticity, the model made several novel and testable predictions. We found that there was a preferred frequency for inducing long-term potentiation (LTP such that higher frequency stimuli induced lesser LTP, decreasing as 1/f when the number of spikes in the stimulus was kept fixed. Among other things, the preferred frequency for inducing LTP varied as a function of the distance of the synapse from the soma. In fact, same stimulation frequencies could induce LTP or LTD depending on the dendritic location of the synapse. Next, we found that rhythmic stimuli induced greater plasticity then irregular stimuli. Furthermore, brief bursts of spikes significantly expanded the timing dependence of plasticity. Finally, we found that in the ~5-15Hz frequency range both rate- and timing-dependent plasticity mechanisms work synergistically to render the synaptic plasticity most sensitive to spike-timing. These findings provide computational evidence that oscillations can have a profound influence on the plasticity of an NMDAR-dependent synapse, and show a novel role for the dendritic morphology in this process.

  10. Stochastic synaptic plasticity with memristor crossbar arrays

    KAUST Repository

    Naous, Rawan

    2016-11-01

    Memristive devices have been shown to exhibit slow and stochastic resistive switching behavior under low-voltage, low-current operating conditions. Here we explore such mechanisms to emulate stochastic plasticity in memristor crossbar synapse arrays. Interfaced with integrate-and-fire spiking neurons, the memristive synapse arrays are capable of implementing stochastic forms of spike-timing dependent plasticity which parallel mean-rate models of stochastic learning with binary synapses. We present theory and experiments with spike-based stochastic learning in memristor crossbar arrays, including simplified modeling as well as detailed physical simulation of memristor stochastic resistive switching characteristics due to voltage and current induced filament formation and collapse. © 2016 IEEE.

  11. Astrocyte plasticity: implications for synaptic and neuronal activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirttimaki, Tiina M; Parri, H Rheinallt

    2013-12-01

    Astrocytes are increasingly implicated in a range of functions in the brain, many of which were previously ascribed to neurons. Much of the prevailing interest centers on the role of astrocytes in the modulation of synaptic transmission and their involvement in the induction of forms of plasticity such as long-term potentiation and long-term depression. However, there is also an increasing realization that astrocytes themselves can undergo plasticity. This plasticity may be manifest as changes in protein expression which may modify calcium activity within the cells, changes in morphology that affect the environment of the synapse and the extracellular space, or changes in gap junction astrocyte coupling that modify the transfer of ions and metabolites through astrocyte networks. Plasticity in the way that astrocytes release gliotransmitters can also have direct effects on synaptic activity and neuronal excitability. Astrocyte plasticity can potentially have profound effects on neuronal network activity and be recruited in pathological conditions. An emerging principle of astrocyte plasticity is that it is often induced by neuronal activity, reinforcing our emerging understanding of the working brain as a constant interaction between neurons and glial cells.

  12. Amyloid-β as a modulator of synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parihar, Mordhwaj S; Brewer, Gregory J

    2010-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease is associated with synapse loss, memory dysfunction, and pathological accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) in plaques. However, an exclusively pathological role for Aβ is being challenged by new evidence for an essential function of Aβ at the synapse. Aβ protein exists in different assembly states in the central nervous system and plays distinct roles ranging from synapse and memory formation to memory loss and neuronal cell death. Aβ is present in the brain of symptom-free people where it likely performs important physiological roles. New evidence indicates that synaptic activity directly evokes the release of Aβ at the synapse. At physiological levels, Aβ is a normal, soluble product of neuronal metabolism that regulates synaptic function beginning early in life. Monomeric Aβ40 and Aβ42 are the predominant forms required for synaptic plasticity and neuronal survival. With age, some assemblies of Aβ are associated with synaptic failure and Alzheimer's disease pathology, possibly targeting the N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor through the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, mitochondrial Aβ alcohol dehydrogenase, and cyclophilin D. But emerging data suggests a distinction between age effects on the target response in contrast to the assembly state or the accumulation of the peptide. Both aging and Aβ independently decrease neuronal plasticity. Our laboratory has reported that Aβ, glutamate, and lactic acid are each increasingly toxic with neuron age. The basis of the age-related toxicity partly resides in age-related mitochondrial dysfunction and an oxidative shift in mitochondrial and cytoplasmic redox potential. In turn, signaling through phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases is affected along with an age-independent increase in phosphorylated cAMP response element-binding protein. This review examines the long-awaited functional impact of Aβ on synaptic plasticity.

  13. Calcium, synaptic plasticity and intrinsic homeostasis in Purkinje neuron models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo Achard

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available We recently reproduced the complex electrical activity of a Purkinje cell (PC with very different combinations of ionic channel maximum conductances, suggesting that a large parameter space is available to homeostatic mechanisms. It has been hypothesized that cytoplasmic calcium concentrations control the homeostatic activity sensors. This raises many questions for PCs since in these neurons calcium plays an important role in the induction of synaptic plasticity. To address this question, we generated 148 new PC models. In these models the somatic membrane voltages are stable, but the somatic calcium dynamics are very variable, in agreement with experimental results. Conversely, the calcium signal in spiny dendrites shows only small variability. We demonstrate that this localized control of calcium conductances preserves the induction of long-term depression for all models. We conclude that calcium is unlikely to be the sole activity-sensor in this cell but that there is a strong relationship between activity homeostasis and synaptic plasticity.

  14. Neuropsin--a possible modulator of synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiosaka, Sadao; Ishikawa, Yasuyuki

    2011-09-01

    Accumulating evidence has suggested pivotal roles for neural proteases in development, maturation, aging, and cognitive functions. Among such proteases, neuropsin, a kallikrein gene-related (KLK) endoprotease, appears to have a significant plasticity function that has been analyzed primarily in the hippocampal Schaffer-collateral pathway. In this article, after reviewing the general features of neuropsin, its role in Schaffer-collateral synaptic plasticity is discussed in some detail. Enzymatically active neuropsin is necessary to establish the early phase of long-term potentiation (LTP). This type of LTP, which can be elicited by rather weak tetanic stimulation, is significant in synaptic late association between two independent hippocampal synapses. Neuropsin deficiency completely impaired the early phase of LTP, leading to the absence of late associativity. Associations between early and persistent-LTP synapses may be related to mammalian working memory and consequently integration in learning and memory.

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

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    In the mammalian central nervous system, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation is counterbalanced by antioxidant defenses. When large amounts of ROS accumulate, antioxidant mechanisms become overwhelmed and oxidative cellular stress may occur. Therefore, ROS are typically characterized as toxic molecules, oxidizing membrane lipids, changing the conformation of proteins, damaging nucleic acids, and causing deficits in synaptic plasticity. High ROS concentrations are associated with a declin...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  17. Coordinated Regulation of Synaptic Plasticity at Striatopallidal and Striatonigral Neurons Orchestrates Motor Control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Massimo Trusel

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The basal ganglia play a critical role in shaping motor behavior. For this function, the activity of medium spiny neurons (MSNs of the striatonigral and striatopallidal pathways must be integrated. It remains unclear whether the activity of the two pathways is primarily coordinated by synaptic plasticity mechanisms. Using a model of Parkinson’s disease, we determined the circuit and behavioral effects of concurrently regulating cell-type-specific forms of corticostriatal long-term synaptic depression (LTD by inhibiting small-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels (SKs of the dorsolateral striatum. At striatopallidal synapses, SK channel inhibition rescued the disease-linked deficits in endocannabinoid (eCB-dependent LTD. At striatonigral cells, inhibition of these channels counteracted a form of adenosine-mediated LTD by activating the ERK cascade. Interfering with eCB-, adenosine-, and ERK signaling in vivo alleviated motor abnormalities, which supports that synaptic modulation of striatal pathways affects behavior. Thus, our results establish a central role of coordinated synaptic plasticity at MSN subpopulations in motor control.

  18. The computational power of astrocyte mediated synaptic plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rogier eMin

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Research in the last two decades has made clear that astrocytes play a crucial role in the brain beyond their functions in energy metabolism and homeostasis. Many studies have shown that astrocytes can dynamically modulate neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity, and might participate in higher brain functions like learning and memory. With the plethora of astrocyte-mediated signaling processes described in the literature today, the current challenge is to identify which of these processes happen under what physiological condition, and how this shapes information processing and, ultimately, behavior. To answer these questions will require a combination of advanced physiological, genetical and behavioral experiments. Additionally, mathematical modeling will prove crucial for testing predictions on the possible functions of astrocytes in neuronal networks, and to generate novel ideas as to how astrocytes can contribute to the complexity of the brain. Here, we aim to provide an outline of how astrocytes can interact with neurons. We do this by reviewing recent experimental literature on astrocyte-neuron interactions, discussing the dynamic effects of astrocytes on neuronal excitability and short- and long-term synaptic plasticity. Finally, we will outline the potential computational functions that astrocyte-neuron interactions can serve in the brain. We will discuss how astrocytes could govern metaplasticity in the brain, how they might organize the clustering of synaptic inputs, and how they could function as memory elements for neuronal activity. We conclude that astrocytes can enhance the computational power of neuronal networks in previously unexpected ways.

  19. Ultradian corticosterone pulses balance glutamatergic transmission and synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarabdjitsingh, Ratna Angela; Jezequel, Julie; Pasricha, Natasha; Mikasova, Lenka; Kerkhofs, Amber; Karst, Henk; Groc, Laurent; Joëls, Marian

    2014-09-30

    The rodent adrenal hormone corticosterone (CORT) reaches the brain in hourly ultradian pulses, with a steep rise in amplitude before awakening. The impact of a single CORT pulse on glutamatergic transmission is well documented, but it remains poorly understood how consecutive pulses impact on glutamate receptor trafficking and synaptic plasticity. By using high-resolution imaging and electrophysiological approaches, we report that a single pulse of CORT to hippocampal networks causes synaptic enrichment of glutamate receptors and increased responses to spontaneously released glutamatergic vesicles, collectively abrogating the ability to subsequently induce synaptic long-term potentiation. Strikingly, a second pulse of CORT one hour after the first--mimicking ultradian pulses--completely normalizes all aspects of glutamate transmission investigated, restoring the plastic range of the synapse. The effect of the second pulse is precisely timed and depends on a nongenomic glucocorticoid receptor-dependent pathway. This normalizing effect through a sequence of CORT pulses--as seen around awakening--may ensure that hippocampal glutamatergic synapses remain fully responsive and able to encode new stress-related information when daily activities start.

  20. The computational power of astrocyte mediated synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Min, Rogier; Santello, Mirko; Nevian, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Research in the last two decades has made clear that astrocytes play a crucial role in the brain beyond their functions in energy metabolism and homeostasis. Many studies have shown that astrocytes can dynamically modulate neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity, and might participate in higher brain functions like learning and memory. With the plethora of astrocyte mediated signaling processes described in the literature today, the current challenge is to identify, which of these processes happen under what physiological condition, and how this shapes information processing and, ultimately, behavior. To answer these questions will require a combination of advanced physiological, genetical, and behavioral experiments. Additionally, mathematical modeling will prove crucial for testing predictions on the possible functions of astrocytes in neuronal networks, and to generate novel ideas as to how astrocytes can contribute to the complexity of the brain. Here, we aim to provide an outline of how astrocytes can interact with neurons. We do this by reviewing recent experimental literature on astrocyte-neuron interactions, discussing the dynamic effects of astrocytes on neuronal excitability and short- and long-term synaptic plasticity. Finally, we will outline the potential computational functions that astrocyte-neuron interactions can serve in the brain. We will discuss how astrocytes could govern metaplasticity in the brain, how they might organize the clustering of synaptic inputs, and how they could function as memory elements for neuronal activity. We conclude that astrocytes can enhance the computational power of neuronal networks in previously unexpected ways.

  1. The computational power of astrocyte mediated synaptic plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Min, Rogier; Santello, Mirko; Nevian, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Research in the last two decades has made clear that astrocytes play a crucial role in the brain beyond their functions in energy metabolism and homeostasis. Many studies have shown that astrocytes can dynamically modulate neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity, and might participate in higher brain functions like learning and memory. With the plethora of astrocyte mediated signaling processes described in the literature today, the current challenge is to identify, which of these processes happen under what physiological condition, and how this shapes information processing and, ultimately, behavior. To answer these questions will require a combination of advanced physiological, genetical, and behavioral experiments. Additionally, mathematical modeling will prove crucial for testing predictions on the possible functions of astrocytes in neuronal networks, and to generate novel ideas as to how astrocytes can contribute to the complexity of the brain. Here, we aim to provide an outline of how astrocytes can interact with neurons. We do this by reviewing recent experimental literature on astrocyte-neuron interactions, discussing the dynamic effects of astrocytes on neuronal excitability and short- and long-term synaptic plasticity. Finally, we will outline the potential computational functions that astrocyte-neuron interactions can serve in the brain. We will discuss how astrocytes could govern metaplasticity in the brain, how they might organize the clustering of synaptic inputs, and how they could function as memory elements for neuronal activity. We conclude that astrocytes can enhance the computational power of neuronal networks in previously unexpected ways. PMID:23125832

  2. Dynamic learning and memory, synaptic plasticity and neurogenesis: An update

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ales eStuchlik

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Mammalian memory is the result of the interaction of millions of neurons in the brain and their coordinated activity. Candidate mechanisms for memory are synaptic plasticity changes, such as long-term potentiation (LTP. LTP is essentially an electrophysiological phenomenon manifested in hours-lasting increase on postsynaptic potentials after synapse tetanization. It is thought to ensure long-term changes in synaptic efficacy in distributed networks, leading to persistent changes in the behavioral patterns, actions and choices, which are often interpreted as the retention of information, i.e., memory. Interestingly, new neurons are born in the mammalian brain and adult hippocampal neurogenesis is proposed to provide a substrate for dynamic and flexible aspects of behavior such as pattern separation, prevention of interference, flexibility of behavior and memory resolution. This work provides a brief review on the memory and involvement of LTP and adult neurogenesis in memory phenomena.

  3. Information processing and synaptic plasticity at hippocampal mossy fiber terminals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alesya eEvstratova

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Granule cells of the dentate gyrus receive cortical information and they transform and transmit this code to the CA3 area via their axons, the mossy fibers. Structural and functional complexity of this network has been extensively studied at various organizational levels. This review is focused on the anatomical and physiological properties of the mossy fiber system. We will discuss the mechanism by which dentate granule cells process signals from single action potentials, short bursts and longer stimuli. Various parameters of synaptic interactions at different target cells such as quantal transmission, short- and long-term plasticity will be summarized. Different types of synaptic contacts formed by mossy fibers have unique sets of rules for information processing during different rates of granule cell activity. We will investigate the complex interactions between key determinants of information transfer between the dentate gyrus and the CA3 area of the hippocampus.

  4. Dendritic spine actin dynamics in neuronal maturation and synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hlushchenko, Iryna; Koskinen, Mikko; Hotulainen, Pirta

    2016-09-01

    The majority of the postsynaptic terminals of excitatory synapses in the central nervous system exist on small bulbous structures on dendrites known as dendritic spines. The actin cytoskeleton is a structural element underlying the proper development and morphology of dendritic spines. Synaptic activity patterns rapidly change actin dynamics, leading to morphological changes in dendritic spines. In this mini-review, we will discuss recent findings on neuronal maturation and synaptic plasticity-induced changes in the dendritic spine actin cytoskeleton. We propose that actin dynamics in dendritic spines decrease through actin filament crosslinking during neuronal maturation. In long-term potentiation, we evaluate the model of fast breakdown of actin filaments through severing and rebuilding through polymerization and later stabilization through crosslinking. We will discuss the role of Ca(2+) in long-term depression, and suggest that actin filaments are dissolved through actin filament severing. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Prenatal ethanol exposure alters synaptic plasticity in the dorsolateral striatum of rat offspring via changing the reactivity of dopamine receptor.

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    Rong Zhou

    Full Text Available Prenatal exposure to high-level ethanol (EtOH has been reported to produce hyperlocomotion in offspring. Previous studies have demonstrated synaptic plasticity in cortical afferent to the dorsolateral (DL striatum is involved in the pathogensis of hyperlocomotion. Here, prenatal EtOH-exposed rat offspring were used to investigate whether maternal EtOH exposure affected synaptic plasticity in the DL striatum. We found high-frequency stimulation (HFS induced a weaker long-term potentiation (LTP in EtOH rats than that in control rats at postnatal day (PD 15. The same protocol of HFS induced long-term depression (LTD in control group but still LTP in EtOH group at PD 30 or PD 40. Furthermore, enhancement of basal synaptic transmission accompanied by the decrease of pair-pulse facilitation (PPF was observed in PD 30 EtOH offspring. The perfusion with D1-type receptors (D1R antagonist SCH23390 recovered synaptic transmission and blocked the induction of abnormal LTP in PD 30 EtOH offspring. The perfusion with D2-type receptors (D2R agonist quinpirole reversed EtOH-induced LTP into D1R- and metabotropic glutamate receptor-dependent LTD. The data provide the functional evidence that prenatal ethanol exposure led to the persistent abnormal synaptic plasticity in the DL striatum via disturbing the balance between D1R and D2R.

  6. Microglia and Spinal Cord Synaptic Plasticity in Persistent Pain

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    Sarah Taves

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Microglia are regarded as macrophages in the central nervous system (CNS and play an important role in neuroinflammation in the CNS. Microglial activation has been strongly implicated in neurodegeneration in the brain. Increasing evidence also suggests an important role of spinal cord microglia in the genesis of persistent pain, by releasing the proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα, Interleukine-1beta (IL-1β, and brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF. In this review, we discuss the recent findings illustrating the importance of microglial mediators in regulating synaptic plasticity of the excitatory and inhibitory pain circuits in the spinal cord, leading to enhanced pain states. Insights into microglial-neuronal interactions in the spinal cord dorsal horn will not only further our understanding of neural plasticity but may also lead to novel therapeutics for chronic pain management.

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

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

    2015-07-01

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

  8. Miglustat Reverts the Impairment of Synaptic Plasticity in a Mouse Model of NPC Disease

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    G. D’Arcangelo

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Niemann-Pick type C disease is an autosomal recessive storage disorder, characterized by abnormal sequestration of unesterified cholesterol within the late endolysosomal compartment of cells and accumulation of gangliosides and other sphingolipids. Progressive neurological deterioration and insurgence of symptoms like ataxia, seizure, and cognitive decline until severe dementia are pathognomonic features of the disease. Here, we studied synaptic plasticity phenomena and evaluated ERKs activation in the hippocampus of BALB/c NPC1−/− mice, a well described animal model of the disease. Our results demonstrated an impairment of both induction and maintenance of long term synaptic potentiation in NPC1−/− mouse slices, associated with the lack of ERKs phosphorylation. We then investigated the effects of Miglustat, a recent approved drug for the treatment of NPCD. We found that in vivo Miglustat administration in NPC1−/− mice was able to rescue synaptic plasticity deficits, to restore ERKs activation and to counteract hyperexcitability. Overall, these data indicate that Miglustat may be effective for treating the neurological deficits associated with NPCD, such as seizures and dementia.

  9. Magnesium protects cognitive functions and synaptic plasticity in streptozotocin-induced sporadic Alzheimer's model.

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    Zhi-Peng Xu

    Full Text Available Alzheimer's disease (AD is characterized by profound synapse loss and impairments of learning and memory. Magnesium affects many biochemical mechanisms that are vital for neuronal properties and synaptic plasticity. Recent studies have demonstrated that the serum and brain magnesium levels are decreased in AD patients; however, the exact role of magnesium in AD pathogenesis remains unclear. Here, we found that the intraperitoneal administration of magnesium sulfate increased the brain magnesium levels and protected learning and memory capacities in streptozotocin-induced sporadic AD model rats. We also found that magnesium sulfate reversed impairments in long-term potentiation (LTP, dendritic abnormalities, and the impaired recruitment of synaptic proteins. Magnesium sulfate treatment also decreased tau hyperphosphorylation by increasing the inhibitory phosphorylation of GSK-3β at serine 9, thereby increasing the activity of Akt at Ser473 and PI3K at Tyr458/199, and improving insulin sensitivity. We conclude that magnesium treatment protects cognitive function and synaptic plasticity by inhibiting GSK-3β in sporadic AD model rats, which suggests a potential role for magnesium in AD therapy.

  10. Emerging Links between Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity and Neurological Disease

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    Dion eDickman

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Homeostatic signaling systems are ubiquitous forms of biological regulation, having been studied for hundreds of years in the context of diverse physiological processes including body temperature and osmotic balance. However, only recently has this concept been brought to the study of excitatory and inhibitory electrical activity that the nervous system uses to establish and maintain stable communication. Synapses are a primary target of neuronal regulation with a variety of studies over the past 15 years demonstrating that these cellular junctions are under bidirectional homeostatic control. Recent work from an array of diverse systems and approaches has revealed exciting new links between homeostatic synaptic plasticity and a variety of seemingly disparate neurological and psychiatric diseases. These include autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, schizophrenia, and Fragile X Syndrome. Although the molecular mechanisms through which defective homeostatic signaling may lead to disease pathogenesis remain unclear, rapid progress is likely to be made in the coming years using a powerful combination of genetic, imaging, electrophysiological, and next generation sequencing approaches. Importantly, understanding homeostatic synaptic plasticity at a cellular and molecular level may lead to developments in new therapeutic innovations to treat these diseases. In this review we will examine recent studies that demonstrate homeostatic control of postsynaptic protein translation, retrograde signaling, and presynaptic function that may contribute to the etiology of complex neurological and psychiatric diseases.

  11. Emerging links between homeostatic synaptic plasticity and neurological disease.

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    Wondolowski, Joyce; Dickman, Dion

    2013-11-21

    Homeostatic signaling systems are ubiquitous forms of biological regulation, having been studied for hundreds of years in the context of diverse physiological processes including body temperature and osmotic balance. However, only recently has this concept been brought to the study of excitatory and inhibitory electrical activity that the nervous system uses to establish and maintain stable communication. Synapses are a primary target of neuronal regulation with a variety of studies over the past 15 years demonstrating that these cellular junctions are under bidirectional homeostatic control. Recent work from an array of diverse systems and approaches has revealed exciting new links between homeostatic synaptic plasticity and a variety of seemingly disparate neurological and psychiatric diseases. These include autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, schizophrenia, and Fragile X Syndrome. Although the molecular mechanisms through which defective homeostatic signaling may lead to disease pathogenesis remain unclear, rapid progress is likely to be made in the coming years using a powerful combination of genetic, imaging, electrophysiological, and next generation sequencing approaches. Importantly, understanding homeostatic synaptic plasticity at a cellular and molecular level may lead to developments in new therapeutic innovations to treat these diseases. In this review we will examine recent studies that demonstrate homeostatic control of postsynaptic protein translation, retrograde signaling, and presynaptic function that may contribute to the etiology of complex neurological and psychiatric diseases.

  12. Ras and Rap signaling in synaptic plasticity and mental disorders.

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    Stornetta, Ruth L; Zhu, J Julius

    2011-02-01

    The Ras family GTPases (Ras, Rap1, and Rap2) and their downstream mitogen-activated protein kinases (ERK, JNK, and p38MAPK) and PI3K signaling cascades control various physiological processes. In neuronal cells, recent studies have shown that these parallel cascades signal distinct forms of AMPA-sensitive glutamate receptor trafficking during experience-dependent synaptic plasticity and adaptive behavior. Interestingly, both hypo- and hyperactivation of Ras/ Rap signaling impair the capacity of synaptic plasticity, underscoring the importance of a "happy-medium" dynamic regulation of the signaling. Moreover, accumulating reports have linked various genetic defects that either up- or down-regulate Ras/Rap signaling with several mental disorders associated with learning disability (e.g., Alzheimer's disease, Angelman syndrome, autism, cardio-facio-cutaneous syndrome, Coffin-Lowry syndrome, Costello syndrome, Cowden and Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndromes, fragile X syndrome, neurofibromatosis type 1, Noonan syndrome, schizophrenia, tuberous sclerosis, and X-linked mental retardation), highlighting the necessity of happy-medium dynamic regulation of Ras/Rap signaling in learning behavior. Thus, the recent advances in understanding of neuronal Ras/Rap signaling provide a useful guide for developing novel treatments for mental diseases.

  13. MicroRNAs regulate synaptic plasticity underlying drug addiction.

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    Smith, A C W; Kenny, P J

    2017-09-05

    Chronic use of drugs of abuse results in neurochemical, morphological and behavioral plasticity that underlies the emergence of compulsive drug seeking and vulnerability to relapse during periods of attempted abstinence. Identifying and reversing addiction-relevant plasticity is seen as a potential point of pharmacotherapeutic intervention in drug-addicted individuals. Despite considerable advances in our understanding of the actions of drugs of abuse in the brain this information has thus far yielded few novel treatment options addicted individuals. MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that can each regulate the translation of hundreds to thousands of messenger RNAs. The highly pleiotropic nature of miRNAs has focused attention on their contribution to addiction-relevant structural and functional plasticity in the brain and their potential utility as targets for medications development. In this review, we discuss the roles of miRNAs in synaptic plasticity underlying the development of addiction and then briefly discuss the possibility of using circulating miRNA as biomarkers for addiction. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  14. Astrocytes mediate in vivo cholinergic-induced synaptic plasticity.

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    Marta Navarrete

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Long-term potentiation (LTP of synaptic transmission represents the cellular basis of learning and memory. Astrocytes have been shown to regulate synaptic transmission and plasticity. However, their involvement in specific physiological processes that induce LTP in vivo remains unknown. Here we show that in vivo cholinergic activity evoked by sensory stimulation or electrical stimulation of the septal nucleus increases Ca²⁺ in hippocampal astrocytes and induces LTP of CA3-CA1 synapses, which requires cholinergic muscarinic (mAChR and metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR activation. Stimulation of cholinergic pathways in hippocampal slices evokes astrocyte Ca²⁺ elevations, postsynaptic depolarizations of CA1 pyramidal neurons, and LTP of transmitter release at single CA3-CA1 synapses. Like in vivo, these effects are mediated by mAChRs, and this cholinergic-induced LTP (c-LTP also involves mGluR activation. Astrocyte Ca²⁺ elevations and LTP are absent in IP₃R2 knock-out mice. Downregulating astrocyte Ca²⁺ signal by loading astrocytes with BAPTA or GDPβS also prevents LTP, which is restored by simultaneous astrocyte Ca²⁺ uncaging and postsynaptic depolarization. Therefore, cholinergic-induced LTP requires astrocyte Ca²⁺ elevations, which stimulate astrocyte glutamate release that activates mGluRs. The cholinergic-induced LTP results from the temporal coincidence of the postsynaptic activity and the astrocyte Ca²⁺ signal simultaneously evoked by cholinergic activity. Therefore, the astrocyte Ca²⁺ signal is necessary for cholinergic-induced synaptic plasticity, indicating that astrocytes are directly involved in brain storage information.

  15. In Sickness and in Health: Perineuronal Nets and Synaptic Plasticity in Psychiatric Disorders

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    Harry Pantazopoulos

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Rapidly emerging evidence implicates perineuronal nets (PNNs and extracellular matrix (ECM molecules that compose or interact with PNNs, in the pathophysiology of several psychiatric disorders. Studies on schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders, mood disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, and epilepsy point to the involvement of ECM molecules such as chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans, Reelin, and matrix metalloproteases, as well as their cell surface receptors. In many of these disorders, PNN abnormalities have also been reported. In the context of the “quadripartite” synapse concept, that is, the functional unit composed of the pre- and postsynaptic terminals, glial processes, and ECM, and of the role that PNNs and ECM molecules play in regulating synaptic functions and plasticity, these findings resonate with one of the most well-replicated aspects of the pathology of psychiatric disorders, that is, synaptic abnormalities. Here we review the evidence for PNN/ECM-related pathology in these disorders, with particular emphasis on schizophrenia, and discuss the hypothesis that such pathology may significantly contribute to synaptic dysfunction.

  16. Obesity elicits interleukin 1-mediated deficits in hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

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    Erion, Joanna R; Wosiski-Kuhn, Marlena; Dey, Aditi; Hao, Shuai; Davis, Catherine L; Pollock, Norman K; Stranahan, Alexis M

    2014-02-12

    Adipose tissue is a known source of proinflammatory cytokines in obese humans and animal models, including the db/db mouse, in which obesity arises as a result of leptin receptor insensitivity. Inflammatory cytokines induce cognitive deficits across numerous conditions, but no studies have determined whether obesity-induced inflammation mediates synaptic dysfunction. To address this question, we used a treadmill training paradigm in which mice were exposed to daily training sessions or an immobile belt, with motivation achieved by delivery of compressed air on noncompliance. Treadmill training prevented hippocampal microgliosis, abolished expression of microglial activation markers, and also blocked the functional sensitization observed in isolated cells after ex vivo exposure to lipopolysaccharide. Reduced microglial reactivity with exercise was associated with reinstatement of hippocampus-dependent memory, reversal of deficits in long-term potentiation, and normalization of hippocampal dendritic spine density. Because treadmill training evokes broad responses not limited to the immune system, we next assessed whether directly manipulating adiposity through lipectomy and fat transplantation influences inflammation, cognition, and synaptic plasticity. Lipectomy prevents and fat transplantation promotes systemic and central inflammation, with associated alterations in cognitive and synaptic function. Levels of interleukin 1β (IL1β) emerged as a correlate of adiposity and cognitive impairment across both the treadmill and lipectomy studies, so we manipulated hippocampal IL1 signaling using intrahippocampal delivery of IL1 receptor antagonist (IL1ra). Intrahippocampal IL1ra prevented synaptic dysfunction, proinflammatory priming, and cognitive impairment. This pattern supports a central role for IL1-mediated neuroinflammation as a mechanism for cognitive deficits in obesity and diabetes.

  17. Presynaptic active zone density during development and synaptic plasticity.

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    Gwenaëlle L Clarke

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Neural circuits transmit information through synapses, and the efficiency of synaptic transmission is closely related to the density of presynaptic active zones, where synaptic vesicles are released. The goal of this review is to highlight recent insights into the molecular mechanisms that control the number of active zones per presynaptic terminal (active zone density during developmental and stimulus-dependent changes in synaptic efficacy. At the neuromuscular junctions (NMJs, the active zone density is preserved across species, remains constant during development, and is the same between synapses with different activities. However, the NMJ active zones are not always stable, as exemplified by the change in active zone density during acute experimental manipulation or as a result of aging. Therefore, a mechanism must exist to maintain its density. In the central nervous system (CNS, active zones have restricted maximal size, exist in multiple numbers in larger presynaptic terminals, and maintain a constant density during development. These findings suggest that active zone density in the CNS is also controlled. However, in contrast to the NMJ, active zone density in the CNS can also be increased, as observed in hippocampal synapses in response to synaptic plasticity. Although the numbers of known active zone proteins and protein interactions have increased, less is known about the mechanism that controls the number or spacing of active zones. The following molecules are known to control active zone density and will be discussed herein: extracellular matrix laminins and voltage-dependent calcium channels, amyloid precursor proteins, the small GTPase Rab3, an endocytosis mechanism including synaptojanin, cytoskeleton protein spectrins and β-adducin, and a presynaptic web including spectrins. The molecular mechanisms that organize the active zone density are just beginning to be elucidated.

  18. Wnts in adult brain: from synaptic plasticity to cognitive deficiencies

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    Oliva, Carolina A.; Vargas, Jessica Y.; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C.

    2013-01-01

    During development of the central nervous system the Wnt signaling pathway has been implicated in a wide spectrum of physiological processes, including neuronal connectivity and synapse formation. Wnt proteins and components of the Wnt pathway are expressed in the brain since early development to the adult life, however, little is known about its role in mature synapses. Here, we review evidences indicating that Wnt proteins participate in the remodeling of pre- and post-synaptic regions, thus modulating synaptic function. We include the most recent data in the literature showing that Wnts are constantly released in the brain to maintain the basal neural activity. Also, we review the evidences that involve components of the Wnt pathway in the development of neurological and mental disorders, including a special emphasis on in vivo studies that relate behavioral abnormalities to deficiencies in Wnt signaling. Finally, we include the evidences that support a neuroprotective role of Wnt proteins in Alzheimer’s disease. We postulate that deregulation in Wnt signaling might have a fundamental role in the origin of neurological diseases, by altering the synaptic function at stages where the phenotype is not yet established but when the cognitive decline starts. PMID:24348327

  19. The Role of Short Term Synaptic Plasticity in Temporal Coding of Neuronal Networks

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    Chandrasekaran, Lakshmi

    2008-01-01

    Short term synaptic plasticity is a phenomenon which is commonly found in the central nervous system. It could contribute to functions of signal processing namely, temporal integration and coincidence detection by modulating the input synaptic strength. This dissertation has two parts. First, we study the effects of short term synaptic plasticity…

  20. The Role of Short Term Synaptic Plasticity in Temporal Coding of Neuronal Networks

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    Chandrasekaran, Lakshmi

    2008-01-01

    Short term synaptic plasticity is a phenomenon which is commonly found in the central nervous system. It could contribute to functions of signal processing namely, temporal integration and coincidence detection by modulating the input synaptic strength. This dissertation has two parts. First, we study the effects of short term synaptic plasticity…

  1. Plasticity and mTOR: Towards Restoration of Impaired Synaptic Plasticity in mTOR-Related Neurogenetic Disorders

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    Tanjala T. Gipson

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. To review the recent literature on the clinical features, genetic mutations, neurobiology associated with dysregulation of mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin, and clinical trials for tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC, neurofibromatosis-1 (NF1 and fragile X syndrome (FXS, and phosphatase and tensin homolog hamartoma syndromes (PTHS, which are neurogenetic disorders associated with abnormalities in synaptic plasticity and mTOR signaling. Methods. Pubmed and Clinicaltrials.gov were searched using specific search strategies. Results/Conclusions. Although traditionally thought of as irreversible disorders, significant scientific progress has been made in both humans and preclinical models to understand how pathologic features of these neurogenetic disorders can be reduced or reversed. This paper revealed significant similarities among the conditions. Not only do they share features of impaired synaptic plasticity and dysregulation of mTOR, but they also share clinical features—autism, intellectual disability, cutaneous lesions, and tumors. Although scientific advances towards discovery of effective treatment in some disorders have outpaced others, progress in understanding the signaling pathways that connect the entire group indicates that the lesser known disorders will become treatable as well.

  2. Histone Deacetylase Inhibition Facilitates Massed Pattern-Induced Synaptic Plasticity and Memory

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    Pandey, Kiran; Sharma, Kaushik P.; Sharma, Shiv K.

    2015-01-01

    Massed training is less effective for long-term memory formation than the spaced training. The role of acetylation in synaptic plasticity and memory is now well established. However, the role of this important protein modification in synaptic plasticity induced by massed pattern of stimulation or memory induced by massed training is not well…

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

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Endocannabinoid System and Synaptic Plasticity: Implications for Emotional Responses

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    María-Paz Viveros

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available The endocannabinoid system has been involved in the regulation of anxiety, and proposed as an inhibitory modulator of neuronal, behavioral and adrenocortical responses to stressful stimuli. Brain regions such as the amygdala, hippocampus and cortex, which are directly involved in the regulation of emotional behavior, contain high densities of cannabinoid CB1 receptors. Mutant mice lacking CB1 receptors show anxiogenic and depressive-like behaviors as well as an altered hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis activity, whereas enhancement of endocannabinoid signaling produces anxiolytic and antidepressant-like effects. Genetic and pharmacological approaches also support an involvement of endocannabinoids in extinction of aversive memories. Thus, the endocannabinoid system appears to play a pivotal role in the regulation of emotional states. Endocannabinoids have emerged as mediators of short- and long- term synaptic plasticity in diverse brain structures. Despite the fact that most of the studies on this field have been performed using in vitro models, endocannabinoid-mediated plasticity might be considered as a plausible candidate underlying some of the diverse physiological functions of the endogenous cannabinoid system, including developmental, affective and cognitive processes. In this paper, we will focus on the functional relevance of endocannabinoid-mediated plasticity within the framework of emotional responses. Alterations of the endocannabinoid system may constitute an important factor in the aetiology of certain neuropsychiatric disorders, and, in turn, enhancers of endocannabinoid signaling could represent a potential therapeutical tool in the treatment of both anxiety and depressive symptoms.

  5. Endocannabinoid system and synaptic plasticity: implications for emotional responses.

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    Viveros, María-Paz; Marco, Eva-María; Llorente, Ricardo; López-Gallardo, Meritxell

    2007-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system has been involved in the regulation of anxiety, and proposed as an inhibitory modulator of neuronal, behavioral and adrenocortical responses to stressful stimuli. Brain regions such as the amygdala, hippocampus and cortex, which are directly involved in the regulation of emotional behavior, contain high densities of cannabinoid CB1 receptors. Mutant mice lacking CB1 receptors show anxiogenic and depressive-like behaviors as well as an altered hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis activity, whereas enhancement of endocannabinoid signaling produces anxiolytic and antidepressant-like effects. Genetic and pharmacological approaches also support an involvement of endocannabinoids in extinction of aversive memories. Thus, the endocannabinoid system appears to play a pivotal role in the regulation of emotional states. Endocannabinoids have emerged as mediators of short- and long-term synaptic plasticity in diverse brain structures. Despite the fact that most of the studies on this field have been performed using in vitro models, endocannabinoid-mediated plasticity might be considered as a plausible candidate underlying some of the diverse physiological functions of the endogenous cannabinoid system, including developmental, affective and cognitive processes. In this paper, we will focus on the functional relevance of endocannabinoid-mediated plasticity within the framework of emotional responses. Alterations of the endocannabinoid system may constitute an important factor in the aetiology of certain neuropsychiatric disorders, and, in turn, enhancers of endocannabinoid signaling could represent a potential therapeutical tool in the treatment of both anxiety and depressive symptoms.

  6. Adenosine gates synaptic plasticity at hippocampal mossy fiber synapses

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    Moore, Kimberly A.; Nicoll, Roger A.; Schmitz, Dietmar

    2003-11-01

    The release properties of synapses in the central nervous system vary greatly, not only across anatomically distinct types of synapses but also among the same class of synapse. This variation manifests itself in large part by differences in the probability of transmitter release, which affects such activity-dependent presynaptic forms of plasticity as paired-pulse facilitation and frequency facilitation. This heterogeneity in presynaptic function reflects differences in the intrinsic properties of the synaptic terminal and the activation of presynaptic neurotransmitter receptors. Here we show that the unique presynaptic properties of the hippocampal mossy fiber synapse are largely imparted onto the synapse by the continuous local action of extracellular adenosine at presynaptic A1 adenosine receptors, which maintains a low basal probability of transmitter release.

  7. Dysregulation of synaptic plasticity precedes appearance of morphological defects in a Pten conditional knockout mouse model of autism.

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    Takeuchi, Koichi; Gertner, Michael J; Zhou, Jing; Parada, Luis F; Bennett, Michael V L; Zukin, R Suzanne

    2013-03-19

    The phosphoinositide signaling system is a crucial regulator of neural development, cell survival, and plasticity. Phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) negatively regulates phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase signaling and downstream targets. Nse-Cre Pten conditional knockout mice, in which Pten is ablated in granule cells of the dentate gyrus and pyramidal neurons of the hippocampal CA3, but not CA1, recapitulate many of the symptoms of humans with inactivating PTEN mutations, including progressive hypertrophy of the dentate gyrus and deficits in hippocampus-based social and cognitive behaviors. However, the impact of Pten loss on activity-dependent synaptic plasticity in this clinically relevant mouse model of Pten inactivation remains unclear. Here, we show that two phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase- and protein synthesis-dependent forms of synaptic plasticity, theta burst-induced long-term potentiation and metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR)-dependent long-term depression, are dysregulated at medial perforant path-to-dentate gyrus synapses of young Nse-Cre Pten conditional knockout mice before the onset of visible morphological abnormalities. In contrast, long-term potentiation and mGluR-dependent long-term depression are normal at CA3-CA1 pyramidal cell synapses at this age. Our results reveal that deletion of Pten in dentate granule cells dysregulates synaptic plasticity, a defect that may underlie abnormal social and cognitive behaviors observed in humans with Pten inactivating mutations and potentially other autism spectrum disorders.

  8. Traumatic brain injury impairs synaptic plasticity in hippocampus in rats

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    ZHANG Bao-liang; CHEN Xin; TAN Tao; YANG Zhuo; CARLOS Dayao; JIANG Rong-cai; ZHANG Jian-ning

    2011-01-01

    Background Traumatic brain injury (TBl) often causes cognitive deficits and remote symptomatic epilepsy.Hippocampal regional excitability is associated with the cognitive function. However, little is known about injury-induced neuronal loss and subsequent alterations of hippocampal regional excitability. The present study was designed to determine whether TBl may impair the cellular circuit in the hippocampus.Methods Forty male Wistar rats were randomized into control (n=20) and TBl groups (n=20). Long-term potentiation,extracellular input/output curves, and hippocampal parvalbumin-immunoreactive and cholecystokinin-immunoreactive interneurons were compared between the two groups.Results TBI resulted in a significantly increased excitability in the dentate gyrus (DG), but a significantly decreased excitability in the cornu ammonis 1 (CA1) area. Using design-based stereological injury procedures, we induced interneuronal loss in the DG and CA3 subregions in the hippocampus, but not in the CA1 area.Conclusions TBl leads to the impairment of hippocampus synaptic plasticity due to the changing of interneuronal interaction. The injury-induced disruption of synaptic efficacy within the hippocampal circuit may underlie the observed cognitive deficits and symptomatic epilepsy.

  9. Pannexin1 stabilizes synaptic plasticity and is needed for learning.

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    Nora Prochnow

    Full Text Available Pannexin 1 (Panx1 represents a class of vertebrate membrane channels, bearing significant sequence homology with the invertebrate gap junction proteins, the innexins and more distant similarities in the membrane topologies and pharmacological sensitivities with gap junction proteins of the connexin family. In the nervous system, cooperation among pannexin channels, adenosine receptors, and K(ATP channels modulating neuronal excitability via ATP and adenosine has been recognized, but little is known about the significance in vivo. However, the localization of Panx1 at postsynaptic sites in hippocampal neurons and astrocytes in close proximity together with the fundamental role of ATP and adenosine for CNS metabolism and cell signaling underscore the potential relevance of this channel to synaptic plasticity and higher brain functions. Here, we report increased excitability and potently enhanced early and persistent LTP responses in the CA1 region of acute slice preparations from adult Panx1(-/- mice. Adenosine application and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR-blocking normalized this phenotype, suggesting that absence of Panx1 causes chronic extracellular ATP/adenosine depletion, thus facilitating postsynaptic NMDAR activation. Compensatory transcriptional up-regulation of metabotropic glutamate receptor 4 (grm4 accompanies these adaptive changes. The physiological modification, promoted by loss of Panx1, led to distinct behavioral alterations, enhancing anxiety and impairing object recognition and spatial learning in Panx1(-/- mice. We conclude that ATP release through Panx1 channels plays a critical role in maintaining synaptic strength and plasticity in CA1 neurons of the adult hippocampus. This result provides the rationale for in-depth analysis of Panx1 function and adenosine based therapies in CNS disorders.

  10. Plasticity resembling spike-timing dependent synaptic plasticity: the evidence in human cortex

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    Florian Müller-Dahlhaus

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP has been studied extensively in a variety of animal models during the past decade but whether it can be studied at the systems level of the human cortex has been a matter of debate. Only recently newly developed non-invasive brain stimulation techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS have made it possible to induce and assess timing dependent plasticity in conscious human subjects. This review will present a critical synopsis of these experiments, which suggest that several of the principal characteristics and molecular mechanisms of TMS-induced plasticity correspond to those of STDP as studied at a cellular level. TMS combined with a second phasic stimulation modality can induce bidirectional long-lasting changes in the excitability of the stimulated cortex, whose polarity depends on the order of the associated stimulus-evoked events within a critical time window of tens of milliseconds. Pharmacological evidence suggests an NMDA receptor mediated form of synaptic plasticity. Studies in human motor cortex demonstrated that motor learning significantly modulates TMS-induced timing dependent plasticity, and, conversely, may be modulated bidirectionally by prior TMS-induced plasticity, providing circumstantial evidence that long-term potentiation-like mechanisms may be involved in motor learning. In summary, convergent evidence is being accumulated for the contention that it is now possible to induce STDP-like changes in the intact human central nervous system by means of TMS to study and interfere with synaptic plasticity in neural circuits in the context of behaviour such as learning and memory.

  11. Spike-Timing–Dependent Synaptic Plasticity and Synaptic Democracy in Dendrites

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    Gidon, Albert; Segev, Idan

    2009-01-01

    We explored in a computational study the effect of dendrites on excitatory synapses undergoing spike-timing–dependent plasticity (STDP), using both cylindrical dendritic models and reconstructed dendritic trees. We show that even if the initial strength, gpeak, of distal synapses is augmented in a location independent manner, the efficacy of distal synapses diminishes following STDP and proximal synapses would eventually dominate. Indeed, proximal synapses always win over distal synapses following linear STDP rule, independent of the initial synaptic strength distribution in the dendritic tree. This effect is more pronounced as the dendritic cable length increases but it does not depend on the dendritic branching structure. Adding a small multiplicative component to the linear STDP rule, whereby already strong synapses tend to be less potentiated than depressed (and vice versa for weak synapses) did partially “save” distal synapses from “dying out.” Another successful strategy for balancing the efficacy of distal and proximal synapses following STDP is to increase the upper bound for the synaptic conductance (gmax) with distance from the soma. We conclude by discussing an experiment for assessing which of these possible strategies might actually operate in dendrites. PMID:19357339

  12. Spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity and synaptic democracy in dendrites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gidon, Albert; Segev, Idan

    2009-06-01

    We explored in a computational study the effect of dendrites on excitatory synapses undergoing spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP), using both cylindrical dendritic models and reconstructed dendritic trees. We show that even if the initial strength, g(peak), of distal synapses is augmented in a location independent manner, the efficacy of distal synapses diminishes following STDP and proximal synapses would eventually dominate. Indeed, proximal synapses always win over distal synapses following linear STDP rule, independent of the initial synaptic strength distribution in the dendritic tree. This effect is more pronounced as the dendritic cable length increases but it does not depend on the dendritic branching structure. Adding a small multiplicative component to the linear STDP rule, whereby already strong synapses tend to be less potentiated than depressed (and vice versa for weak synapses) did partially "save" distal synapses from "dying out." Another successful strategy for balancing the efficacy of distal and proximal synapses following STDP is to increase the upper bound for the synaptic conductance (g(max)) with distance from the soma. We conclude by discussing an experiment for assessing which of these possible strategies might actually operate in dendrites.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-23

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Fructose consumption reduces hippocampal synaptic plasticity underlying cognitive performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cisternas, Pedro; Salazar, Paulina; Serrano, Felipe G.; Montecinos-Oliva, Carla; Arredondo, Sebastián B.; Varela-Nallar, Lorena; Barja, Salesa; Vio, Carlos P.; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C.

    2017-01-01

    Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a global epidemic, which involves a spectrum of metabolic disorders comprising diabetes and obesity. The impact of MetS on the brain is becoming to be a concern, however, the poor understanding of mechanisms involved has limited the development of therapeutic strategies. We induced a MetS-like condition by exposing mice to fructose feeding for 7 weeks. There was a dramatic deterioration in the capacity of the hippocampus to sustain synaptic plasticity in the forms of long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). Mice exposed to fructose showed a reduction in the number of contact zones and the size of postsynaptic densities (PSDs) in the hippocampus, as well as a decrease in hippocampal neurogenesis. There was an increase in lipid peroxidation likely associated with a deficiency in plasma membrane excitability. Consistent with an overall hippocampal dysfunction, there was a subsequent decrease in hippocampal dependent learning and memory performance, i.e., spatial learning and episodic memory. Most of the pathological sequel of MetS in the brain was reversed three month after discontinue fructose feeding. These results are novel to show that MetS triggers a cascade of molecular events, which disrupt hippocampal functional plasticity, and specific aspects of learning and memory function. The overall information raises concerns about the risk imposed by excessive fructose consumption on the pathology of neurological disorders. PMID:26300486

  16. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and abnormal neuronal plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medina, Alexandre E

    2011-06-01

    The ingestion of alcohol during pregnancy can result in a group of neurobehavioral abnormalities collectively known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). During the past decade, studies using animal models indicated that early alcohol exposure can dramatically affect neuronal plasticity, an essential property of the central nervous system responsible for the normal wiring of the brain and involved in processes such as learning and memory. The abnormalities in neuronal plasticity caused by alcohol can explain many of the neurobehavioral deficits observed in FASD. Conversely, improving neuronal plasticity may have important therapeutic benefits. In this review, the author discuss the mechanisms that lead to these abnormalities and comment on recent pharmacological approaches that have been showing promising results in improving neuronal plasticity in FASD.

  17. Cross-talk induces bifurcations in nonlinear models of synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliott, Terry

    2012-02-01

    Linear models of synaptic plasticity provide a useful starting-point for examining the dynamics of neuronal development and learning, but their inherent problems are well known. Models of synaptic plasticity that embrace the demands of biological realism are therefore typically nonlinear. Viewed from a more abstract perspective, nonlinear models of synaptic plasticity are a subset of nonlinear dynamical systems. As such, they may therefore exhibit bifurcations under the variation of control parameters, including noise and errors in synaptic updates. One source of noise or error is the cross-talk that occurs during otherwise Hebbian plasticity. Under cross-talk, stimulation of a set of synapses can induce or modify plasticity in adjacent, unstimulated synapses. Here, we analyze two nonlinear models of developmental synaptic plasticity and a model of independent component analysis in the presence of a simple model of cross-talk. We show that cross-talk does indeed induce bifurcations in these models, entirely destroying their ability to acquire either developmentally or learning-related patterns of fixed points. Importantly, the critical level of cross-talk required to induce bifurcations in these models is very sensitive to the statistics of the afferents' activities and the number of afferents synapsing on a postsynaptic cell. In particular, the critical level can be made arbitrarily small. Because bifurcations are inevitable in nonlinear models, our results likely apply to many nonlinear models of synaptic plasticity, although the precise details vary by model. Hence, many nonlinear models of synaptic plasticity are potentially fatally compromised by the toxic influence of cross-talk and other sources of noise and errors more generally. We conclude by arguing that biologically realistic models of synaptic plasticity must be robust against noise-induced bifurcations and that biological systems may have evolved strategies to circumvent their possible dangers.

  18. Ablation of Hippocampal Neurogenesis Impairs Contextual Fear Conditioning and Synaptic Plasticity in the Dentate Gyrus

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Michael D. Saxe; Fortunato Battaglia; Jing-Wen Wang; Gael Malleret; Denis J. David; James E. Monckton; A. Denise R. Garcia; Michael V. Sofroniew; Eric R. Kandel; Luca Santarelli; René Hen; Michael R. Drew

    2006-01-01

    .... In the present study, we used two independent methods to ablate hippocampal neurogenesis and found that each procedure caused a limited behavioral deficit and a loss of synaptic plasticity within the dentate gyrus...

  19. Effects of changes in glucose concentration on synaptic plasticity in hippocampal slices

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gispen, W.H.; Kamal, A.; Spoelstra, K.; Biessels, G.J.; Urban, I.J.A.

    1999-01-01

    The effects of a low or high concentration of glucose in the perfusion medium on synaptic activity and plasticity were studied in hippocampal slices from rats. Low-glucose medium depressed the field excitatory post-synaptic potentials (fEPSP) significantly, whereas high-glucose medium had little eff

  20. Cocaine-induced Modification of Synaptic Plasticity in Rat Medial Prefrontal Cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Lu, Hui

    2009-01-01

    Medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is involved in relapse after withdrawal for cocaine exposure, but changes in synaptic function and plasticity in the mPFC during the period of withdrawal remain largely unknown. After the termination of repeated cocaine treatments in rats, I observed a gradual enhancement in the susceptibility of excitatory synapses on layer V mPFC pyramidal neurons to activity-induced long-term potentiation (LTP). This enhanced synaptic plasticity could be attributed to a grad...

  1. Robustness of learning that is based on covariance-driven synaptic plasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yonatan Loewenstein

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available It is widely believed that learning is due, at least in part, to long-lasting modifications of the strengths of synapses in the brain. Theoretical studies have shown that a family of synaptic plasticity rules, in which synaptic changes are driven by covariance, is particularly useful for many forms of learning, including associative memory, gradient estimation, and operant conditioning. Covariance-based plasticity is inherently sensitive. Even a slight mistuning of the parameters of a covariance-based plasticity rule is likely to result in substantial changes in synaptic efficacies. Therefore, the biological relevance of covariance-based plasticity models is questionable. Here, we study the effects of mistuning parameters of the plasticity rule in a decision making model in which synaptic plasticity is driven by the covariance of reward and neural activity. An exact covariance plasticity rule yields Herrnstein's matching law. We show that although the effect of slight mistuning of the plasticity rule on the synaptic efficacies is large, the behavioral effect is small. Thus, matching behavior is robust to mistuning of the parameters of the covariance-based plasticity rule. Furthermore, the mistuned covariance rule results in undermatching, which is consistent with experimentally observed behavior. These results substantiate the hypothesis that approximate covariance-based synaptic plasticity underlies operant conditioning. However, we show that the mistuning of the mean subtraction makes behavior sensitive to the mistuning of the properties of the decision making network. Thus, there is a tradeoff between the robustness of matching behavior to changes in the plasticity rule and its robustness to changes in the properties of the decision making network.

  2. 5-HT7 receptors as modulators of neuronal excitability, synaptic transmission and plasticity: physiological role and possible implications in autism spectrum disorders

    OpenAIRE

    Lucia eCiranna; Maria Vincenza Catania

    2014-01-01

    Serotonin type 7 receptors (5-HT7) are expressed in several brain areas, regulate brain development, synaptic transmission and plasticity, and therefore are involved in various brain functions such as learning and memory. A number of studies suggest that 5-HT7 receptors could be potential pharmacotherapeutic target for cognitive disorders. Several abnormalities of serotonergic system have been described in patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), including abnormal activity of 5-HT trans...

  3. Abnormal Changes of Synaptic Excitability in Migraine with Aura

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Siniatchkin, Michael; Sendacki, Mascha; Moeller, Friederike

    2012-01-01

    Migraine patients are characterized by altered cortical excitability and information processing between attacks. The relationship between these abnormalities is still poorly understood. In this study, visual evoked potentials (VEP) and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy were recorded simultan...

  4. Actin Tyrosine-53-Phosphorylation in Neuronal Maturation and Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertling, Enni; Englund, Jonas; Minkeviciene, Rimante; Koskinen, Mikko; Segerstråle, Mikael; Castrén, Eero; Taira, Tomi; Hotulainen, Pirta

    2016-05-11

    Rapid reorganization and stabilization of the actin cytoskeleton in dendritic spines enables cellular processes underlying learning, such as long-term potentiation (LTP). Dendritic spines are enriched in exceptionally short and dynamic actin filaments, but the studies so far have not revealed the molecular mechanisms underlying the high actin dynamics in dendritic spines. Here, we show that actin in dendritic spines is dynamically phosphorylated at tyrosine-53 (Y53) in rat hippocampal and cortical neurons. Our findings show that actin phosphorylation increases the turnover rate of actin filaments and promotes the short-term dynamics of dendritic spines. During neuronal maturation, actin phosphorylation peaks at the first weeks of morphogenesis, when dendritic spines form, and the amount of Y53-phosphorylated actin decreases when spines mature and stabilize. Induction of LTP transiently increases the amount of phosphorylated actin and LTP induction is deficient in neurons expressing mutant actin that mimics phosphorylation. Actin phosphorylation provides a molecular mechanism to maintain the high actin dynamics in dendritic spines during neuronal development and to induce fast reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton in synaptic plasticity. In turn, dephosphorylation of actin is required for the stabilization of actin filaments that is necessary for proper dendritic spine maturation and LTP maintenance. Dendritic spines are small protrusions from neuronal dendrites where the postsynaptic components of most excitatory synapses reside. Precise control of dendritic spine morphology and density is critical for normal brain function. Accordingly, aberrant spine morphology is linked to many neurological diseases. The actin cytoskeleton is a structural element underlying the proper morphology of dendritic spines. Therefore, defects in the regulation of the actin cytoskeleton in neurons have been implicated in neurological diseases. Here, we revealed a novel mechanism for

  5. Synaptic plasticity, AMPA-R trafficking, and Ras-MAPK signaling

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yun GU; Ruth L STORNETTA

    2007-01-01

    Synaptic modification of transmission is a general phenomenon expressed at al-most every excitatory synapse in the mammalian brain. Over the last three decades,much has been discovered about the cellular, synaptic, molecular, and signalingmechanisms responsible for controlling synaptic transmission and plasticity. Here,we present a brief review of these mechanisms with emphasis on the currentunderstanding of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid recep-tor (AMPA-R) trafficking and Ras-mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)signaling events involved in controlling synaptic transmission.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-03

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

  7. Interplay of multiple synaptic plasticity features in filamentary memristive devices for neuromorphic computing

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Barbera, Selina; Vincent, Adrien F.; Vuillaume, Dominique; Querlioz, Damien; Alibart, Fabien

    2016-12-01

    Bio-inspired computing represents today a major challenge at different levels ranging from material science for the design of innovative devices and circuits to computer science for the understanding of the key features required for processing of natural data. In this paper, we propose a detail analysis of resistive switching dynamics in electrochemical metallization cells for synaptic plasticity implementation. We show how filament stability associated to joule effect during switching can be used to emulate key synaptic features such as short term to long term plasticity transition and spike timing dependent plasticity. Furthermore, an interplay between these different synaptic features is demonstrated for object motion detection in a spike-based neuromorphic circuit. System level simulation presents robust learning and promising synaptic operation paving the way to complex bio-inspired computing systems composed of innovative memory devices.

  8. Impaired contextual fear extinction and hippocampal synaptic plasticity in adult rats induced by prenatal morphine exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Ji-Wei; Duan, Ting-Ting; Zhou, Qi-Xin; Ding, Ze-Yang; Jing, Liang; Cao, Jun; Wang, Li-Ping; Mao, Rong-Rong; Xu, Lin

    2015-07-01

    Prenatal opiate exposure causes a series of neurobehavioral disturbances by affecting brain development. However, the question of whether prenatal opiate exposure increases vulnerability to memory-related neuropsychiatric disorders in adult offspring remains largely unknown. Here, we found that rats prenatally exposed to morphine (PM) showed impaired acquisition but enhanced maintenance of contextual fear memory compared with control animals that were prenatally exposed to saline (PS). The impairment of acquisition was rescued by increasing the intensity of footshocks (1.2 mA rather than 0.8 mA). Meanwhile, we also found that PM rats exhibited impaired extinction of contextual fear, which is associated with enhanced maintenance of fear memory. The impaired extinction lasted for 1 week following extinction training. Furthermore, PM rats exhibited reduced anxiety-like behavior in the elevated plus-maze and light/dark box test without differences in locomotor activity. These alterations in PM rats were mirrored by abnormalities in synaptic plasticity in the Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses of the hippocampus in vivo. PS rats showed blocked long-term potentiation and enabled long-term depression in CA1 synapses following contextual fear conditioning, while prenatal morphine exposure restricted synaptic plasticity in CA1 synapses. The smaller long-term potentiation in PM rats was not further blocked by contextual fear conditioning, and the long-term depression enabled by contextual fear conditioning was abolished. Taken together, our results provide the first evidence suggesting that prenatal morphine exposure may increase vulnerability to fear memory-related neuropsychiatric disorders in adulthood. © 2014 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  9. Impairment of bidirectional synaptic plasticity in the striatum of a mouse model of DYT1 dystonia: role of endogenous acetylcholine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martella, Giuseppina; Tassone, Annalisa; Sciamanna, Giuseppe; Platania, Paola; Cuomo, Dario; Viscomi, Maria Teresa; Bonsi, Paola; Cacci, Emanuele; Biagioni, Stefano; Usiello, Alessandro; Bernardi, Giorgio; Sharma, Nutan

    2009-01-01

    DYT1 dystonia is a severe form of inherited dystonia, characterized by involuntary twisting movements and abnormal postures. It is linked to a deletion in the dyt1 gene, resulting in a mutated form of the protein torsinA. The penetrance for dystonia is incomplete, but both clinically affected and non-manifesting carriers of the DYT1 mutation exhibit impaired motor learning and evidence of altered motor plasticity. Here, we characterized striatal glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in transgenic mice expressing either the normal human torsinA or its mutant form, in comparison to non-transgenic (NT) control mice. Medium spiny neurons recorded from both NT and normal human torsinA mice exhibited normal long-term depression (LTD), whereas in mutant human torsinA littermates LTD could not be elicited. In addition, although long-term potentiation (LTP) could be induced in all the mice, it was greater in magnitude in mutant human torsinA mice. Low-frequency stimulation (LFS) can revert potentiated synapses to resting levels, a phenomenon termed synaptic depotentiation. LFS induced synaptic depotentiation (SD) both in NT and normal human torsinA mice, but not in mutant human torsinA mice. Since anti-cholinergic drugs are an effective medical therapeutic option for the treatment of human dystonia, we reasoned that an excess in endogenous acetylcholine could underlie the synaptic plasticity impairment. Indeed, both LTD and SD were rescued in mutant human torsinA mice either by lowering endogenous acetylcholine levels or by antagonizing muscarinic M1 receptors. The presence of an enhanced acetylcholine tone was confirmed by the observation that acetylcholinesterase activity was significantly increased in the striatum of mutant human torsinA mice, as compared with both normal human torsinA and NT littermates. Moreover, we found similar alterations of synaptic plasticity in muscarinic M2/M4 receptor knockout mice, in which an increased striatal acetylcholine level has been

  10. Loss of Cdc42 leads to defects in synaptic plasticity and remote memory recall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Il Hwan; Wang, Hong; Soderling, Scott H; Yasuda, Ryohei

    2014-07-08

    Cdc42 is a signaling protein important for reorganization of actin cytoskeleton and morphogenesis of cells. However, the functional role of Cdc42 in synaptic plasticity and in behaviors such as learning and memory are not well understood. Here we report that postnatal forebrain deletion of Cdc42 leads to deficits in synaptic plasticity and in remote memory recall using conditional knockout of Cdc42. We found that deletion of Cdc42 impaired LTP in the Schaffer collateral synapses and postsynaptic structural plasticity of dendritic spines in CA1 pyramidal neurons in the hippocampus. Additionally, loss of Cdc42 did not affect memory acquisition, but instead significantly impaired remote memory recall. Together these results indicate that the postnatal functions of Cdc42 may be crucial for the synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons, which contribute to the capacity for remote memory recall.

  11. Fragile X mental retardation protein in learning-related synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercaldo, Valentina; Descalzi, Giannina; Zhuo, Min

    2009-12-31

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is caused by a lack of the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) due to silencing of the Fmr1 gene. As an RNA binding protein, FMRP is thought to contribute to synaptic plasticity by regulating plasticity-related protein synthesis and other signaling pathways. Previous studies have mostly focused on the roles of FMRP within the hippocampus--a key structure for spatial memory. However, recent studies indicate that FMRP may have a more general contribution to brain functions, including synaptic plasticity and modulation within the prefrontal cortex. In this brief review, we will focus on recent studies reported in the prefrontal cortex, including the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). We hypothesize that alterations in ACC-related plasticity and synaptic modulation may contribute to various forms of cognitive deficits associated with FXS.

  12. A neuromorphic implementation of multiple spike-timing synaptic plasticity rules for large-scale neural networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Runchun M.; Hamilton, Tara J.; Tapson, Jonathan C.; van Schaik, André

    2015-01-01

    We present a neuromorphic implementation of multiple synaptic plasticity learning rules, which include both Spike Timing Dependent Plasticity (STDP) and Spike Timing Dependent Delay Plasticity (STDDP). We present a fully digital implementation as well as a mixed-signal implementation, both of which use a novel dynamic-assignment time-multiplexing approach and support up to 226 (64M) synaptic plasticity elements. Rather than implementing dedicated synapses for particular types of synaptic plasticity, we implemented a more generic synaptic plasticity adaptor array that is separate from the neurons in the neural network. Each adaptor performs synaptic plasticity according to the arrival times of the pre- and post-synaptic spikes assigned to it, and sends out a weighted or delayed pre-synaptic spike to the post-synaptic neuron in the neural network. This strategy provides great flexibility for building complex large-scale neural networks, as a neural network can be configured for multiple synaptic plasticity rules without changing its structure. We validate the proposed neuromorphic implementations with measurement results and illustrate that the circuits are capable of performing both STDP and STDDP. We argue that it is practical to scale the work presented here up to 236 (64G) synaptic adaptors on a current high-end FPGA platform. PMID:26041985

  13. A neuromorphic implementation of multiple spike-timing synaptic plasticity rules for large-scale neural networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Runchun M; Hamilton, Tara J; Tapson, Jonathan C; van Schaik, André

    2015-01-01

    We present a neuromorphic implementation of multiple synaptic plasticity learning rules, which include both Spike Timing Dependent Plasticity (STDP) and Spike Timing Dependent Delay Plasticity (STDDP). We present a fully digital implementation as well as a mixed-signal implementation, both of which use a novel dynamic-assignment time-multiplexing approach and support up to 2(26) (64M) synaptic plasticity elements. Rather than implementing dedicated synapses for particular types of synaptic plasticity, we implemented a more generic synaptic plasticity adaptor array that is separate from the neurons in the neural network. Each adaptor performs synaptic plasticity according to the arrival times of the pre- and post-synaptic spikes assigned to it, and sends out a weighted or delayed pre-synaptic spike to the post-synaptic neuron in the neural network. This strategy provides great flexibility for building complex large-scale neural networks, as a neural network can be configured for multiple synaptic plasticity rules without changing its structure. We validate the proposed neuromorphic implementations with measurement results and illustrate that the circuits are capable of performing both STDP and STDDP. We argue that it is practical to scale the work presented here up to 2(36) (64G) synaptic adaptors on a current high-end FPGA platform.

  14. Spike Train Auto-Structure Impacts Post-Synaptic Firing and Timing-Based Plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheller, Bertram; Castellano, Marta; Vicente, Raul; Pipa, Gordon

    2011-01-01

    Cortical neurons are typically driven by several thousand synapses. The precise spatiotemporal pattern formed by these inputs can modulate the response of a post-synaptic cell. In this work, we explore how the temporal structure of pre-synaptic inhibitory and excitatory inputs impact the post-synaptic firing of a conductance-based integrate and fire neuron. Both the excitatory and inhibitory input was modeled by renewal gamma processes with varying shape factors for modeling regular and temporally random Poisson activity. We demonstrate that the temporal structure of mutually independent inputs affects the post-synaptic firing, while the strength of the effect depends on the firing rates of both the excitatory and inhibitory inputs. In a second step, we explore the effect of temporal structure of mutually independent inputs on a simple version of Hebbian learning, i.e., hard bound spike-timing-dependent plasticity. We explore both the equilibrium weight distribution and the speed of the transient weight dynamics for different mutually independent gamma processes. We find that both the equilibrium distribution of the synaptic weights and the speed of synaptic changes are modulated by the temporal structure of the input. Finally, we highlight that the sensitivity of both the post-synaptic firing as well as the spike-timing-dependent plasticity on the auto-structure of the input of a neuron could be used to modulate the learning rate of synaptic modification. PMID:22203800

  15. Downregulation of caveolin-1 contributes to the synaptic plasticity deficit in the hippocampus of aged rats*******

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yang Liu; Zhanhua Liang; Jing Liu; Wei Zou; Xiaoyan Li; Yachen Wang; Lijia An

    2013-01-01

    Caveolin-1 is involved in the regulation of synaptic plasticity, but the relationship between its pression and cognitive function during aging remains controversial. To explore the relationship be-tween synaptic plasticity in the aging process and changes in learning and memory, we examined caveolin-1 expression in the hippocampus, cortex and cerebel um of rats at different ages. We also examined the relationship between the expression of caveolin-1 and synaptophysin, a marker of synaptic plasticity. Hippocampal caveolin-1 and synaptophysin expression in aged (22-24 month old) rats was significantly lower than that in young (1 month old) and adult (4 months old) rats. pression levels of both proteins were significantly greater in the cortex of aged rats than in that of young or adult rats, and levels were similar between the three age groups in the cerebel um. Linear regression analysis revealed that hippocampal expression of synaptophysin was associated with memory and learning abilities. Moreover, synaptophysin expression correlated positively with caveolin-1 expression in the hippocampus, cortex and cerebel um. These results confirm that caveolin-1 has a regulatory effect on synaptic plasticity, and suggest that the downregulation of hippocampal caveolin-1 expression causes a decrease in synaptic plasticity during physiological aging.

  16. Plasticity of inhibitory synaptic network interactions in the lateral amygdala upon fear conditioning in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szinyei, Csaba; Narayanan, Rajeevan T; Pape, Hans-Christian

    2007-02-01

    After fear conditioning, plastic changes of excitatory synaptic transmission occur in the amygdala. Fear-related memory also involves the GABAergic system, although no influence on inhibitory synaptic transmission is known. In the present study we assessed the influence of Pavlovian fear conditioning on the plasticity of GABAergic synaptic interactions in the lateral amygdala (LA) in brain slices prepared from fear-conditioned, pseudo-trained and naïve adult mice. Theta-burst tetanization of thalamic afferent inputs to the LA evoked an input-specific potentiation of inhibitory postsynaptic responses in projection neurons; the cortical input was unaffected. Philanthotoxin (10 microM), an antagonist of Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptors, disabled this plastic phenomenon. Surgical isolation of the LA, extracellular application of a GABA(B) receptor antagonist (CGP 55845A, 10 microM) or an NMDA receptor antagonist (APV, 50 microM), or intracellular application of BAPTA (10 mM), did not influence the plasticity. The plasticity also showed as a potentiation of monosynaptic excitatory responses in putative GABAergic interneurons. Pavlovian fear conditioning, but not pseudo-conditioning, resulted in a significant reduction in this potentiation that was evident 24 h after training. Two weeks after training, the potentiation returned to control levels. In conclusion, a reduction in potentiation of inhibitory synaptic interactions occurs in the LA and may contribute to a shift in synaptic balance towards excitatory signal flow during the processes of fear-memory acquisition or consolidation.

  17. EEA1 restores homeostatic synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons from Rett syndrome mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xin; Pozzo-Miller, Lucas

    2017-08-15

    Rett syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by loss-of-function mutations in MECP2, the gene encoding the transcriptional regulator methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2). Mecp2 deletion in mice results in an imbalance of excitation and inhibition in hippocampal neurons, which affects 'Hebbian' synaptic plasticity. We show that Mecp2-deficient neurons also lack homeostatic synaptic plasticity, likely due to reduced levels of EEA1, a protein involved in AMPA receptor endocytosis. Expression of EEA1 restored homeostatic synaptic plasticity in Mecp2-deficient neurons, providing novel targets of intervention in Rett syndrome. Rett syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by loss-of-function mutations in MECP2, the gene encoding the transcriptional regulator methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2). Deletion of Mecp2 in mice results in an imbalance of synaptic excitation and inhibition in hippocampal pyramidal neurons, which affects 'Hebbian' long-term synaptic plasticity. Since the excitatory-inhibitory balance is maintained by homeostatic mechanisms, we examined the role of MeCP2 in homeostatic synaptic plasticity (HSP) at excitatory synapses. Negative feedback HSP, also known as synaptic scaling, maintains the global synaptic strength of individual neurons in response to sustained alterations in neuronal activity. Hippocampal neurons from Mecp2 knockout (KO) mice do not show the characteristic homeostatic scaling up of the amplitude of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) and of synaptic levels of the GluA1 subunit of AMPA-type glutamate receptors after 48 h silencing with the Na(+) channel blocker tetrodotoxin. This deficit in HSP is bidirectional because Mecp2 KO neurons also failed to scale down mEPSC amplitudes and GluA1 synaptic levels after 48 h blockade of type A GABA receptor (GABAA R)-mediated inhibition with bicuculline. Consistent with the role of synaptic trafficking of AMPA-type of glutamate receptors in HSP, Mecp2 KO neurons

  18. Altered synaptic plasticity in Tourette's syndrome and its relationship to motor skill learning.

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    Valerie Cathérine Brandt

    Full Text Available Gilles de la Tourette syndrome is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by motor and phonic tics that can be considered motor responses to preceding inner urges. It has been shown that Tourette patients have inferior performance in some motor learning tasks and reduced synaptic plasticity induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation. However, it has not been investigated whether altered synaptic plasticity is directly linked to impaired motor skill acquisition in Tourette patients. In this study, cortical plasticity was assessed by measuring motor-evoked potentials before and after paired associative stimulation in 14 Tourette patients (13 male; age 18-39 and 15 healthy controls (12 male; age 18-33. Tic and urge severity were assessed using the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale and the Premonitory Urges for Tics Scale. Motor learning was assessed 45 minutes after inducing synaptic plasticity and 9 months later, using the rotary pursuit task. On average, long-term potentiation-like effects in response to the paired associative stimulation were present in healthy controls but not in patients. In Tourette patients, long-term potentiation-like effects were associated with more and long-term depression-like effects with less severe urges and tics. While motor learning did not differ between patients and healthy controls 45 minutes after inducing synaptic plasticity, the learning curve of the healthy controls started at a significantly higher level than the Tourette patients' 9 months later. Induced synaptic plasticity correlated positively with motor skills in healthy controls 9 months later. The present study confirms previously found long-term improvement in motor performance after paired associative stimulation in healthy controls but not in Tourette patients. Tourette patients did not show long-term potentiation in response to PAS and also showed reduced levels of motor skill consolidation after 9 months compared to healthy controls. Moreover

  19. Pain-related synaptic plasticity in spinal dorsal horn neurons: role of CGRP

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    Willis William D

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The synaptic and cellular mechanisms of pain-related central sensitization in the spinal cord are not fully understood yet. Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP has been identified as an important molecule in spinal nociceptive processing and ensuing behavioral responses, but its contribution to synaptic plasticity, cellular mechanisms and site of action in the spinal cord remain to be determined. Here we address the role of CGRP in synaptic plasticity in the spinal dorsal horn in a model of arthritic pain. Results Whole-cell current- and voltage-clamp recordings were made from substantia gelatinosa (SG neurons in spinal cord slices from control rats and arthritic rats (> 6 h postinjection of kaolin/carrageenan into the knee. Monosynaptic excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs were evoked by electrical stimulation of afferents in the dorsal root near the dorsal root entry zone. Neurons in slices from arthritic rats showed increased synaptic transmission and excitability compared to controls. A selective CGRP1 receptor antagonist (CGRP8-37 reversed synaptic plasticity in neurons from arthritic rats but had no significant effect on normal transmission. CGRP facilitated synaptic transmission in the arthritis pain model more strongly than under normal conditions where both facilitatory and inhibitory effects were observed. CGRP also increased neuronal excitability. Miniature EPSC analysis suggested a post- rather than pre-synaptic mechanism of CGRP action. Conclusion This study is the first to show synaptic plasticity in the spinal dorsal horn in a model of arthritic pain that involves a postsynaptic action of CGRP on SG neurons.

  20. Calcium signaling, excitability, and synaptic plasticity defects in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hua; Liu, Jie; Sun, Suya; Pchitskaya, Ekaterina; Popugaeva, Elena; Bezprozvanny, Ilya

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) and aging result in impaired ability to store memories, but the cellular mechanisms responsible for these defects are poorly understood. Presenilin 1 (PS1) mutations are responsible for many early-onset familial AD (FAD) cases. The phenomenon of hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) is widely used in studies of memory formation and storage. Recent data revealed long-term LTP maintenance (L-LTP) is impaired in PS1-M146V knock-in (KI) FAD mice. To understand the basis for this phenomenon, in the present study we analyzed structural synaptic plasticity in hippocampal cultures from wild type (WT) and KI mice. We discovered that exposure to picrotoxin induces formation of mushroom spines in both WT and KI cultures, but the maintenance of mushroom spines is impaired in KI neurons. This maintenance defect can be explained by an abnormal firing pattern during the consolidation phase of structural plasticity in KI neurons. Reduced frequency of neuronal firing in KI neurons is caused by enhanced calcium-induced calcium release (CICR), enhanced activity of calcium-activated potassium channels, and increased afterhyperpolarization. As a result, "consolidation" pattern of neuronal activity converted to "depotentiation" pattern of neuronal activity in KI neurons. Consistent with this model, we demonstrated that pharmacological inhibitors of CICR (dantrolene), of calcium-activated potassium channels (apamin), and of calcium-dependent phosphatase calcineurin (FK506) are able to rescue structural plasticity defects in KI neurons. Furthermore, we demonstrate that incubation with dantrolene or apamin also rescued L-LTP defects in KI hippocampal slices, suggesting a role for a similar mechanism. This proposed mechanism may be responsible for memory defects in AD but also for age-related memory decline.

  1. A neuromorphic implementation of multiple spike-timing synaptic plasticity rules for large-scale neural networks

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    Runchun Mark Wang

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available We present a neuromorphic implementation of multiple synaptic plasticity learning rules, which include both Spike Timing Dependent Plasticity (STDP and Spike Timing Dependent Delay Plasticity (STDDP. We present a fully digital implementation as well as a mixed-signal implementation, both of which use a novel dynamic-assignment time-multiplexing approach and support up to 2^26 (64M synaptic plasticity elements. Rather than implementing dedicated synapses for particular types of synaptic plasticity, we implemented a more generic synaptic plasticity adaptor array that is separate from the neurons in the neural network. Each adaptor performs synaptic plasticity according to the arrival times of the pre- and post-synaptic spikes assigned to it, and sends out a weighted and/or delayed pre-synaptic spike to the target synapse in the neural network. This strategy provides great flexibility for building complex large-scale neural networks, as a neural network can be configured for multiple synaptic plasticity rules without changing its structure. We validate the proposed neuromorphic implementations with measurement results and illustrate that the circuits are capable of performing both STDP and STDDP. We argue that it is practical to scale the work presented here up to 2^36 (64G synaptic adaptors on a current high-end FPGA platform.

  2. NMDA-receptor trafficking and targeting: implications for synaptic transmission and plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, Reed C; Zukin, R Suzanne

    2002-11-01

    Dynamic regulation of synaptic efficacy is thought to play a crucial role in formation of neuronal connections and in experience-dependent modification of neural circuitry. The molecular and cellular mechanisms by which synaptic changes are triggered and expressed are the focus of intense interest. This articles reviews recent evidence that NMDA receptors undergo dynamically regulated targeting and trafficking, and that the physical transport of NMDA receptors in and out of the synaptic membrane contributes to several forms of long-lasting synaptic plasticity. The identification of targeting and internalization sequences in NMDA-receptor subunits has begun the unraveling of some mechanisms that underlie activity-dependent redistribution of NMDA receptors. Given that NMDA receptors are widely expressed throughout the CNS, regulation of NMDA-receptor trafficking provides a potentially important way to modulate efficacy of synaptic transmission.

  3. In vivo BDNF modulation of adult functional and morphological synaptic plasticity at hippocampal mossy fibers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Palacio-Schjetnan, Andrea; Escobar, Martha L

    2008-11-07

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been proposed as a key regulator and mediator of long-term synaptic modifications related to learning and memory maintenance. Our previous studies show that application of high-frequency stimulation (HFS) sufficient to elicit LTP at the dentate gyrus (DG)-CA3 pathway produces mossy fiber structural modifications 7 days after tetanic stimulation. In the present study, we show that acute intrahippocampal microinfusion of BDNF induces a lasting potentiation of synaptic efficacy in the DG-CA3 projection of anesthetized adult rats. Furthermore, we show that BDNF functional modifications in synaptic efficacy are accompanied by a presynaptic structural long-lasting reorganization at the hippocampal mossy fiber pathway. These findings support the idea that BDNF plays an important role as synaptic messenger of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity in the adult mammalian brain, in vivo.

  4. Pre- and postsynaptic twists in BDNF secretion and action in synaptic plasticity.

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    Edelmann, Elke; Lessmann, Volkmar; Brigadski, Tanja

    2014-01-01

    Overwhelming evidence collected since the early 1990's strongly supports the notion that BDNF is among the key regulators of synaptic plasticity in many areas of the mammalian central nervous system. Still, due to the extremely low expression levels of endogenous BDNF in most brain areas, surprisingly little data i) pinpointing pre- and postsynaptic release sites, ii) unraveling the time course of release, and iii) elucidating the physiological levels of synaptic activity driving this secretion are available. Likewise, our knowledge regarding pre- and postsynaptic effects of endogenous BDNF at the single cell level in mediating long-term potentiation still is sparse. Thus, our review will discuss the data currently available regarding synaptic BDNF secretion in response to physiologically relevant levels of activity, and will discuss how endogenously secreted BDNF affects synaptic plasticity, giving a special focus on spike timing-dependent types of LTP and on mossy fiber LTP. We will attempt to open up perspectives how the remaining challenging questions regarding synaptic BDNF release and action might be addressed by future experiments. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'BDNF Regulation of Synaptic Structure, Function, and Plasticity'.

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

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    Jason Tait Sanchez Quinones

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Defined as reduced neural responses during high rates of activity, synaptic depression is a form of short-term plasticity important for the temporal filtering of sound. In the avian cochlear nucleus magnocellularis (NM, an auditory brainstem structure, mechanisms regulating short-term synaptic depression include pre-, post-, and extrasynaptic factors. Using varied paired-pulse stimulus intervals, we found that the time course of synaptic depression lasts up to four seconds at late-developing NM synapses. Synaptic depression was largely reliant on exogenous Ca 2+ -dependent probability of presynaptic neurotransmitter release, and to a lesser extent, on the desensitization of postsynaptic α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid-type glutamate receptor (AMPA-R. Interestingly, although extrasynaptic glutamate clearance did not play a significant role in regulating synaptic depression, blocking glutamate clearance at early-developing synapses altered synaptic dynamics, changing responses from depression to facilitation. These results suggest a developmental shift in the relative reliance on pre-, post-, and extrasynaptic factors in regulating short-term synaptic plasticity in NM.

  6. The requirement of BDNF for hippocampal synaptic plasticity is experience‐dependent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aarse, Janna; Herlitze, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Brain‐derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) supports neuronal survival, growth, and differentiation and has been implicated in forms of hippocampus‐dependent learning. In vitro, a specific role in hippocampal synaptic plasticity has been described, although not all experience‐dependent forms of synaptic plasticity critically depend on BDNF. Synaptic plasticity is likely to enable long‐term synaptic information storage and memory, and the induction of persistent (>24 h) forms, such as long‐term potentiation (LTP) and long‐term depression (LTD) is tightly associated with learning specific aspects of a spatial representation. Whether BDNF is required for persistent (>24 h) forms of LTP and LTD, and how it contributes to synaptic plasticity in the freely behaving rodent has never been explored. We examined LTP, LTD, and related forms of learning in the CA1 region of freely dependent mice that have a partial knockdown of BDNF (BDNF+/−). We show that whereas early‐LTD (BDNF, short‐term depression (BDNF is required for LTP that is induced by mild, but not strong short afferent stimulation protocols. Object‐place learning triggers LTD in the CA1 region of mice. We observed that object‐place memory was impaired and the object‐place exploration failed to induce LTD in BDNF+/− mice. Furthermore, spatial reference memory, that is believed to be enabled by LTP, was also impaired. Taken together, these data indicate that BDNF is required for specific, but not all, forms of hippocampal‐dependent information storage and memory. Thus, very robust forms of synaptic plasticity may circumvent the need for BDNF, rather it may play a specific role in the optimization of weaker forms of plasticity. The finding that both learning‐facilitated LTD and spatial reference memory are both impaired in BDNF+/− mice, suggests moreover, that it is critically required for the physiological encoding of hippocampus‐dependent memory. © 2015 The Authors

  7. Synaptic plasticity in the hippocampal area CA1-subiculum projection: implications for theories of memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Mara, S M; Commins, S; Anderson, M

    2000-01-01

    This paper reviews investigations of synaptic plasticity in the major, and underexplored, pathway from hippocampal area CA1 to the subiculum. This brain area is the major synaptic relay for the majority of hippocampal area CA1 neurons, making the subiculum the last relay of the hippocampal formation prior to the cortex. The subiculum thus has a very major role in mediating hippocampal-cortical interactions. We demonstrate that the projection from hippocampal area CA1 to the subiculum sustains plasticity on a number of levels. We show that this pathway is capable of undergoing both long-term potentiation (LTP) and paired-pulse facilitation (PPF, a short-term plastic effect). Although we failed to induce long-term depression (LTD) of this pathway with low-frequency stimulation (LFS) and two-pulse stimulation (TPS), both protocols can induce a "late-developing" potentiation of synaptic transmission. We further demonstrate that baseline synaptic transmission can be dissociated from paired-pulse stimulation of the same pathway; we also show that it is possible, using appropriate protocols, to change PPF to paired-pulse depression, thus revealing subtle and previously undescribed mechanisms which regulate short-term synaptic plasticity. Finally, we successfully recorded from individual subicular units in the freely-moving animal, and provide a description of the characteristics of such neurons in a pellet-chasing task. We discuss the implications of these findings in relation to theories of the biological consolidation of memory.

  8. Electrochemical-reaction-induced synaptic plasticity in MoOx-based solid state electrochemical cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Chuan-Sen; Shang, Da-Shan; Chai, Yi-Sheng; Yan, Li-Qin; Shen, Bao-Gen; Sun, Young

    2017-02-08

    Solid state electrochemical cells with synaptic functions have important applications in building smart-terminal networks. Here, the essential synaptic functions including potentiation and depression of synaptic weight, transition from short- to long-term plasticity, spike-rate-dependent plasticity, and spike-timing-dependent plasticity behavior were successfully realized in an Ag/MoOx/fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) cell with continual resistance switching. The synaptic plasticity underlying these functions was controlled by tuning the excitatory post-synaptic current (EPSC) decay, which is determined by the applied voltage pulse number, width, frequency, and intervals between the pre- and post-spikes. The physical mechanism of the artificial synapse operation is attributed to the interfacial electrochemical reaction processes of the MoOx films with the adsorbed water, where protons generated by water decomposition under an electric field diffused into the MoOx films and intercalated into the lattice, leading to the short- and long-term retention of cell resistance, respectively. These results indicate the possibility of achieving advanced artificial synapses with solid state electrochemical cells and will contribute to the development of smart-terminal networking systems.

  9. Intracerebroventricular administration of ouabain alters synaptic plasticity and dopamine release in rat medial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sui, Li; Song, Xiao-Jin; Ren, Jie; Ju, Li-Hua; Wang, Yan

    2013-08-01

    Intracerebroventricular (ICV) administration of ouabain, a specific Na-K-ATPase inhibitor, in rats mimics the manic phenotypes of bipolar disorder and thus has been proposed as one of the best animal models of mania. Bipolar mania has been known to be associated with dysfunctions of medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), a brain area critically involved in mental functions; however, the exact mechanism underlying these dysfunctions is not yet clear. The present study investigated synaptic transmission, synaptic plasticity, and dopamine release in Sprague-Dawley rat mPFC following ICV administration of ouabain (5 μl of 1 mM ouabain). The electrophysiological results demonstrated that ouabain depressed the short- and the long-term synaptic plasticity, represented by paired-pulse facilitation and long-term potentiation, respectively, in the mPFC. These ouabain-induced alterations in synaptic plasticity can be prevented by pre-treatment with lithium (intraperitoneal injection of 47.5 mg/kg lithium, twice a day, 7 days), which acts as an effective mood stabilizer in preventing mania. The electrochemical results demonstrated that ICV administration of ouabain enhanced dopamine release in the mPFC, which did not be affected by pre-treatment with lithium. These findings suggested that alterations in synaptic plasticity and dopamine release in the mPFC might underlie the dysfunctions of mPFC accompanied with ouabain administration-induced bipolar mania.

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

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    Rudenko, Gabby (Texas-MED)

    2017-01-01

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

  11. Dynamic microtubules regulate dendritic spine morphology and synaptic plasticity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jaworski, J.; Kapitein, L.C.; Montenegro Gouveia, S.; Dortland, B.R.; Wulf, P.S.; Grigoriev, I.; Camera, P.; Spangler, S.A.; Di Stefano, P.; Demmers, J.; Krugers, H.; Defilippi, P.; Akhmanova, A.; Hoogenraad, C.C.

    2009-01-01

    Dendritic spines are the major sites of excitatory synaptic input, and their morphological changes have been linked to learning and memory processes. Here, we report that growing microtubule plus ends decorated by the microtubule tip-tracking protein EB3 enter spines and can modulate spine morpholog

  12. Hippocampal testosterone relates to reference memory performance and synaptic plasticity in male rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristina eSchulz

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Steroids are important neuromodulators influencing cognitive performance and synaptic plasticity. While the majority of literature concerns adrenal- and gonadectomized animals, very little is known about the natural endogenous release of hormones during learning. Therefore, we measured blood and brain (hippocampus, prefrontal cortex testosterone, estradiol, and corticosterone concentrations of intact male rats undergoing a spatial learning paradigm which is known to reinforce hippocampal plasticity. We found significant modulations of all investigated hormones over the training course. Corticosterone and testosterone were correlated manifold with behaviour, while estradiol expressed fewer correlations. In the recall session, testosterone was tightly coupled to reference memory performance, which is crucial for reinforcement of synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus. Intriguingly, prefrontal cortex and hippocampal levels related differentially to reference memory performance. Correlations of testosterone and corticosterone switched from unspecific activity to specific cognitive functions over training. Correspondingly, exogenous application of testosterone revealed different effects on synaptic and neuronal plasticity in trained versus untrained animals. While hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP of the field excitatory postsynaptic potential (fEPSP was prolonged in untrained rats, both the fEPSP- and the population spike amplitude-LTP was impaired in trained rats. Behavioural performance was unaffected, but correlations of hippocampal field potentials with behaviour were decoupled in treated rats. The data provide important evidence that besides adrenal, also gonadal steroids play a mechanistic role in linking synaptic plasticity to cognitive performance.

  13. Astroglial calcium signaling displays short-term plasticity and adjusts synaptic efficacy

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    Jeremie eSibille

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytes are dynamic signaling brain elements able to sense neuronal inputs and to respond by complex calcium signals, which are thought to represent their excitability. Such signaling has been proposed to modulate, or not, neuronal activities ranging from basal synaptic transmission to epileptiform discharges. However, whether calcium signaling in astrocytes exhibits activity-dependent changes and acutely modulates short-term synaptic plasticity is currently unclear. We here show, using dual recordings of astroglial calcium signals and synaptic transmission, that calcium signaling in astrocytes displays, concomitantly to excitatory synapses, short-term plasticity in response to prolonged repetitive and tetanic stimulations of Schaffer collaterals. We also found that acute inhibition of calcium signaling in astrocytes by intracellular calcium chelation rapidly potentiates excitatory synaptic transmission and short-term plasticity of Shaffer collateral CA1 synapses, i.e. paired-pulse facilitation and responses to tetanic and prolonged repetitive stimulation. These data reveal that calcium signaling of astrocytes is plastic and down-regulates basal transmission and short-term plasticity of hippocampal CA1 glutamatergic synapses.

  14. Hippocampal Testosterone Relates to Reference Memory Performance and Synaptic Plasticity in Male Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulz, Kristina; Korz, Volker

    2010-01-01

    Steroids are important neuromodulators influencing cognitive performance and synaptic plasticity. While the majority of literature concerns adrenal- and gonadectomized animals, very little is known about the “natural” endogenous release of hormones during learning. Therefore, we measured blood and brain (hippocampus, prefrontal cortex) testosterone, estradiol, and corticosterone concentrations of intact male rats undergoing a spatial learning paradigm which is known to reinforce hippocampal plasticity. We found significant modulations of all investigated hormones over the training course. Corticosterone and testosterone were correlated manifold with behavior, while estradiol expressed fewer correlations. In the recall session, testosterone was tightly coupled to reference memory (RM) performance, which is crucial for reinforcement of synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus. Intriguingly, prefrontal cortex and hippocampal levels related differentially to RM performance. Correlations of testosterone and corticosterone switched from unspecific activity to specific cognitive functions over training. Correspondingly, exogenous application of testosterone revealed different effects on synaptic and neuronal plasticity in trained versus untrained animals. While hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) of the field excitatory postsynaptic potential (fEPSP) was prolonged in untrained rats, both the fEPSP- and the population spike amplitude (PSA)-LTP was impaired in trained rats. Behavioral performance was unaffected, but correlations of hippocampal field potentials with behavior were decoupled in treated rats. The data provide important evidence that besides adrenal, also gonadal steroids play a mechanistic role in linking synaptic plasticity to cognitive performance. PMID:21188275

  15. Maladaptive synaptic plasticity in L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia

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    Qiang Wang

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The emergence of L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia (LID in patients with Parkinson disease (PD could be due to maladaptive plasticity of corticostriatal synapses in response to L-DOPA treatment. A series of recent studies has revealed that LID is associated with marked morphological plasticity of striatal dendritic spines, particularly cell type-specific structural plasticity of medium spiny neurons (MSNs in the striatum. In addition, evidence demonstrating the occurrence of plastic adaptations, including aberrant morphological and functional features, in multiple components of cortico-basal ganglionic circuitry, such as primary motor cortex (M1 and basal ganglia (BG output nuclei. These adaptations have been implicated in the pathophysiology of LID. Here, we briefly review recent studies that have addressed maladaptive plastic changes within the cortico-BG loop in dyskinetic animal models of PD and patients with PD.

  16. Late onset deficits in synaptic plasticity in the valproic acid rat model of autism

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    Henry Giles Stratten Martin

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Valproic acid (VPA is a frequently used drug in the treatment of epilepsy, bipolar disorders and migraines; however it is also a potent teratogen. Prenatal exposure increases the risk of childhood malformations and can result in cognitive deficits. In rodents in utero exposure to VPA also causes neurodevelopmental abnormalities and is an important model of autism. In early postnatal life VPA exposed rat pups show changes in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC physiology and synaptic connectivity. Specifically, principal neurons show decreased excitability but increased local connectivity, coupled with an increase in long-term potentiation (LTP due to an up-regulation of NMDA receptor (NMDAR expression. However recent evidence suggests compensatory homeostatic mechanisms lead to normalization of synaptic NMDA receptors during later postnatal development. Here we have extended study of mPFC synaptic physiology into adulthood to better understand the longitudinal consequences of early developmental abnormalities in VPA exposed rats. Surprisingly in contrast to early postnatal life and adolescence, we find that adult VPA exposed rats show reduced synaptic function. Both NMDAR mediated currents and LTP are lower in adult VPA rats, although spontaneous activity and endocannabinoid dependent long-term depression are normal. We conclude that rather than correcting, synaptic abnormalities persist into adulthood in VPA exposed rats, although a quite different synaptic phenotype is present. This switch from hyper to hypo function in mPFC may be linked to some of the neurodevelopmental defects found in prenatal VPA exposure and autism spectrum disorders in general.

  17. Learning Structure of Sensory Inputs with Synaptic Plasticity Leads to Interference

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    Joseph eChrol-Cannon

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic plasticity is often explored as a form of unsupervised adaptationin cortical microcircuits to learn the structure of complex sensoryinputs and thereby improve performance of classification and prediction. The question of whether the specific structure of the input patterns is encoded in the structure of neural networks has been largely neglected. Existing studies that have analyzed input-specific structural adaptation have used simplified, synthetic inputs in contrast to complex and noisy patterns found in real-world sensory data.In this work, input-specific structural changes are analyzed forthree empirically derived models of plasticity applied to three temporal sensory classification tasks that include complex, real-world visual and auditory data. Two forms of spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP and the Bienenstock-Cooper-Munro (BCM plasticity rule are used to adapt the recurrent network structure during the training process before performance is tested on the pattern recognition tasks.It is shown that synaptic adaptation is highly sensitive to specific classes of input pattern. However, plasticity does not improve the performance on sensory pattern recognition tasks, partly due to synaptic interference between consecutively presented input samples. The changes in synaptic strength produced by one stimulus are reversed by thepresentation of another, thus largely preventing input-specific synaptic changes from being retained in the structure of the network.To solve the problem of interference, we suggest that models of plasticitybe extended to restrict neural activity and synaptic modification to a subset of the neural circuit, which is increasingly found to be the casein experimental neuroscience.

  18. Learning of Precise Spike Times with Homeostatic Membrane Potential Dependent Synaptic Plasticity.

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    Christian Albers

    Full Text Available Precise spatio-temporal patterns of neuronal action potentials underly e.g. sensory representations and control of muscle activities. However, it is not known how the synaptic efficacies in the neuronal networks of the brain adapt such that they can reliably generate spikes at specific points in time. Existing activity-dependent plasticity rules like Spike-Timing-Dependent Plasticity are agnostic to the goal of learning spike times. On the other hand, the existing formal and supervised learning algorithms perform a temporally precise comparison of projected activity with the target, but there is no known biologically plausible implementation of this comparison. Here, we propose a simple and local unsupervised synaptic plasticity mechanism that is derived from the requirement of a balanced membrane potential. Since the relevant signal for synaptic change is the postsynaptic voltage rather than spike times, we call the plasticity rule Membrane Potential Dependent Plasticity (MPDP. Combining our plasticity mechanism with spike after-hyperpolarization causes a sensitivity of synaptic change to pre- and postsynaptic spike times which can reproduce Hebbian spike timing dependent plasticity for inhibitory synapses as was found in experiments. In addition, the sensitivity of MPDP to the time course of the voltage when generating a spike allows MPDP to distinguish between weak (spurious and strong (teacher spikes, which therefore provides a neuronal basis for the comparison of actual and target activity. For spatio-temporal input spike patterns our conceptually simple plasticity rule achieves a surprisingly high storage capacity for spike associations. The sensitivity of the MPDP to the subthreshold membrane potential during training allows robust memory retrieval after learning even in the presence of activity corrupted by noise. We propose that MPDP represents a biophysically plausible mechanism to learn temporal target activity patterns.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  20. SYNAPTIC PLASTICITY IN THE DENTATE GYRUS OF AGED RATS IS ALTERED AFTER CHRONIC NIMODIPINE APPLICATION

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    DEJONG, GI; BUWALDA, B; SCHUURMAN, T; LUITEN, PGM

    1992-01-01

    We examined ultrastructural correlates of synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus of young (3 months) vs aged (30 months) Wistar rats and established the effects of the calcium antagonist nimodipine in animals chronically treated from 24 to 30 months. The effects of nimodipine was studied since this

  1. HDAC2 expression in parvalbumin interneurons regulates synaptic plasticity in the mouse visual cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexi Nott

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available An experience-dependent postnatal increase in GABAergic inhibition in the visual cortex is important for the closure of a critical period of enhanced synaptic plasticity. Although maturation of the subclass of parvalbumin (Pv–expressing GABAergic interneurons is known to contribute to critical period closure, the role of epigenetics on cortical inhibition and synaptic plasticity has not been explored. The transcription regulator, histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2, has been shown to modulate synaptic plasticity and learning processes in hippocampal excitatory neurons. We found that genetic deletion of HDAC2 specifically from Pv interneurons reduces inhibitory input in the visual cortex of adult mice and coincides with enhanced long-term depression that is more typical of young mice. These findings show that HDAC2 loss in Pv interneurons leads to a delayed closure of the critical period in the visual cortex and supports the hypothesis that HDAC2 is a key negative regulator of synaptic plasticity in the adult brain.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  3. Balancing feed-forward excitation and inhibition via Hebbian inhibitory synaptic plasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yotam Luz

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available It has been suggested that excitatory and inhibitory inputs to cortical cells are balanced, and that this balance is important for the highly irregular firing observed in the cortex. There are two hypotheses as to the origin of this balance. One assumes that it results from a stable solution of the recurrent neuronal dynamics. This model can account for a balance of steady state excitation and inhibition without fine tuning of parameters, but not for transient inputs. The second hypothesis suggests that the feed forward excitatory and inhibitory inputs to a postsynaptic cell are already balanced. This latter hypothesis thus does account for the balance of transient inputs. However, it remains unclear what mechanism underlies the fine tuning required for balancing feed forward excitatory and inhibitory inputs. Here we investigated whether inhibitory synaptic plasticity is responsible for the balance of transient feed forward excitation and inhibition. We address this issue in the framework of a model characterizing the stochastic dynamics of temporally anti-symmetric Hebbian spike timing dependent plasticity of feed forward excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs to a single post-synaptic cell. Our analysis shows that inhibitory Hebbian plasticity generates 'negative feedback' that balances excitation and inhibition, which contrasts with the 'positive feedback' of excitatory Hebbian synaptic plasticity. As a result, this balance may increase the sensitivity of the learning dynamics to the correlation structure of the excitatory inputs.

  4. Water maze learning and hippocampal synaptic plasticity in streptozotocin diabetic rats: effects of insulin treatment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gispen, W.H.; Biessels, G.J.; Kamal, A.; Urban, I.J.A.; Spruijt, B.M.; Erkelens, D.W.

    1998-01-01

    Streptozotocin-diabetic rats express deficits in water maze learning and hippocampal synaptic plasticity. The present study examined whether these deficits could be prevented and/or reversed with insulin treatment. In addition, the water maze learning deficit in diabetic rats was further characteriz

  5. The transformation of synaptic to system plasticity in motor output from the sacral cord of the adult mouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Mingchen C; Elbasiouny, Sherif M; Collins, William F; Heckman, C J

    2015-09-01

    Synaptic plasticity is fundamental in shaping the output of neural networks. The transformation of synaptic plasticity at the cellular level into plasticity at the system level involves multiple factors, including behavior of local networks of interneurons. Here we investigate the synaptic to system transformation for plasticity in motor output in an in vitro preparation of the adult mouse spinal cord. System plasticity was assessed from compound action potentials (APs) in spinal ventral roots, which were generated simultaneously by the axons of many motoneurons (MNs). Synaptic plasticity was assessed from intracellular recordings of MNs. A computer model of the MN pool was used to identify the middle steps in the transformation from synaptic to system behavior. Two input systems that converge on the same MN pool were studied: one sensory and one descending. The two synaptic input systems generated very different motor outputs, with sensory stimulation consistently evoking short-term depression (STD) whereas descending stimulation had bimodal plasticity: STD at low frequencies but short-term facilitation (STF) at high frequencies. Intracellular and pharmacological studies revealed contributions from monosynaptic excitation and stimulus time-locked inhibition but also considerable asynchronous excitation sustained from local network activity. The computer simulations showed that STD in the monosynaptic excitatory input was the primary driver of the system STD in the sensory input whereas network excitation underlies the bimodal plasticity in the descending system. These results provide insight on the roles of plasticity in the monosynaptic and polysynaptic inputs converging on the same MN pool to overall motor plasticity.

  6. Two aspects of ASIC function: Synaptic plasticity and neuronal injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yan; Jiang, Nan; Li, Jun; Ji, Yong-Hua; Xiong, Zhi-Gang; Zha, Xiang-ming

    2015-07-01

    Extracellular brain pH fluctuates in both physiological and disease conditions. The main postsynaptic proton receptor is the acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs). During the past decade, much progress has been made on protons, ASICs, and neurological disease. This review summarizes the recent progress on synaptic role of protons and our current understanding of how ASICs contribute to various types of neuronal injury in the brain. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'Acid-Sensing Ion Channels in the Nervous System'. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Suppression of synaptic plasticity by fullerenol in rat hippocampus in vitro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang XX

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Xin-Xing Wang,1,2,* Ying-Ying Zha,3,* Bo Yang,1 Lin Chen,1,2 Ming Wang1,2 1CAS Key Laboratory of Brain Function and Diseases, 2Auditory Research Laboratory, School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui, People’s Republic of China; 3Cell Electrophysiology Laboratory, Wannan Medical College, Wuhu, Anhui, People’s Republic of China *These authors contributed equally to this work Abstract: Fullerenol, a water-soluble fullerene derivative, has attracted much attention due to its bioactive properties, including the antioxidative properties and free radical scavenging ability. Due to its superior nature, fullerenol represents a promising diagnostic, therapeutic, and protective agent. Therefore, elucidation of the possible side effects of fullerenol is important in determining its potential role. In the present study, we investigated the acute effects of 5 µM fullerenol on synaptic plasticity in hippocampal brain slices of rats. Incubation with fullerenol for 20 minutes significantly decreased the peak of paired-pulse facilitation and long-term potentiation, indicating that fullerenol suppresses the short- and long-term synaptic plasticity of region I of hippocampus. We found that fullerenol depressed the activity and the expression of nitric oxide (NO synthase in hippocampus. In view of the important role of NO in synaptic plasticity, the inhibition of fullerenol on NO synthase may contribute to the suppression of synaptic plasticity. These findings may facilitate the evaluation of the side effects of fullerenol. Keywords: fullerenol, hippocampal slice, nitric oxide synthase, synaptic plasticity, oxidative stress

  8. Multiple forms of long-term synaptic plasticity at hippocampal mossy fiber synapses on interneurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galván, Emilio J; Cosgrove, Kathleen E; Barrionuevo, Germán

    2011-04-01

    The hippocampal mossy fiber (MF) pathway originates from the dentate gyrus granule cells and provides a powerful excitatory synaptic drive to neurons in the dentate gyrus hilus and area CA3. Much of the early work on the MF pathway focused on its electrophysiological properties, and ability to drive CA3 pyramidal cell activity. Over the last ten years, however, a new focus on the synaptic interaction between granule cells and inhibitory interneurons has emerged. These data have revealed an immense heterogeneity of long-term plasticity at MF synapses on various interneuron targets. Interestingly, these studies also indicate that the mechanisms of MF long-term plasticity in some interneuron subtypes may be more similar to pyramidal cells than previously appreciated. In this review, we first define the synapse types at each of the interneuron targets based on the receptors present. We then describe the different forms of long-term plasticity observed, and the mechanisms underlying each form as they are currently understood. Finally we highlight various open questions surrounding MF long-term plasticity in interneurons, focusing specifically on the induction and maintenance of LTP, and what the functional impact of persistent changes in efficacy at MF-interneuron synapses might be on the emergent properties of the inhibitory network dynamics in area CA3. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Synaptic Plasticity & Interneurons'.

  9. Specific Downregulation of Hippocampal ATF4 Reveals a Necessary Role in Synaptic Plasticity and Memory

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    Silvia Pasini

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Prior studies suggested that the transcription factor ATF4 negatively regulates synaptic plastic and memory. By contrast, we provide evidence from direct in vitro and in vivo knockdown of ATF4 in rodent hippocampal neurons and from ATF4-null mice that implicate ATF4 as essential for normal synaptic plasticity and memory. In particular, hippocampal ATF4 downregulation produces deficits in long-term spatial memory and behavioral flexibility without affecting associative memory or anxiety-like behavior. ATF4 knockdown or loss also causes profound impairment of both long-term potentiation (LTP and long-term depression (LTD as well as decreased glutamatergic function. We conclude that ATF4 is a key regulator of the physiological state necessary for neuronal plasticity and memory.

  10. Self-organization of a recurrent network under ongoing synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aoki, Takaaki

    2015-02-01

    We investigated the organization of a recurrent network under ongoing synaptic plasticity using a model of neural oscillators coupled by dynamic synapses. In this model, the coupling weights changed dynamically, depending on the timing between the oscillators. We determined the phase coupling function of the oscillator model, Γ(ϕ), using conductance-based neuron models. Furthermore, we examined the effects of the Fourier zero mode of Γ(ϕ), which has a critical role in the case of spike-time-dependent plasticity-organized recurrent networks. Heterogeneous layered clusters with different frequencies emerged from homogeneous populations as the Fourier zero mode increased. Our findings may provide new insights into the self-assembly mechanisms of neural networks related to synaptic plasticity.

  11. Hypermethylation of Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity-Related genes is Involved in Neonatal Sevoflurane Exposure-Induced Cognitive Impairments in Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ju, Ling-sha; Jia, Min; Sun, Jie; Sun, Xiao-ru; Zhang, Hui; Ji, Mu-huo; Yang, Jian-jun; Wang, Zhong-yun

    2016-02-01

    General anesthetics given to immature rodents cause delayed neurobehavioral abnormalities via incompletely understood mechanisms. DNA methylation, one of the epigenetic modifications, is essential for the modulation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity through regulating the related genes. Therefore, we investigated whether abnormalities in the hippocampal DNA methylation of synaptic plasticity-related genes are involved in neonatal sevoflurane exposure-induced cognitive impairments in rats. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to 3 % sevoflurane or 30 % oxygen/air for 2 h daily from postnatal day 7 (P7) to P9 and were treated with DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) inhibitor 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine (5-AZA) or vehicle 1 h before the first sevoflurane exposure on P7. The rats were euthanized 1, 6, 24 h, and 30 days after the last sevoflurane exposure, and the brain tissues were harvested for biochemical analysis. Cognitive functions were evaluated by the open field, fear conditioning, and Morris water maze (MWM) tests on P39, P41-43, and P50-57, respectively. In the present study, repeated neonatal sevoflurane exposure resulted in hippocampus-dependent cognitive impairments as assessed by fear conditioning and MWM tests. The cognitive impairments were associated with the increased DNMTs and hypermethylation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and Reelin genes, and subsequent down-regulation of BDNF and Reelin genes, which finally led to the decrease of dendritic spines in the hippocampal pyramidal neurons in adolescent rats. Notably, pretreatment with 5-AZA reversed these sevoflurane-induced abnormalities. In conclusion, our results suggest that hypermethylation of hippocampal BDNF and Reelin is involved in neonatal sevoflurane exposure-induced cognitive impairments.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-22

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

  13. Activity- and age-dependent GABAergic synaptic plasticity in the developing rat hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gubellini, P; Ben-Ari, Y; Gaïarsa, J L

    2001-12-01

    Activity-dependent plasticity of GABAergic synaptic transmission was investigated in rat hippocampal slices obtained between postnatal day (P) 0-15 using the whole-cell patch-clamp recording technique. Spontaneous GABA(A) receptor-mediated postsynaptic currents (sGABA(A)-PSCs) were isolated in the presence of ionotropic glutamate receptor antagonists. A conditioning protocol relevant to the physiological condition, consisting of repetitive depolarizing pulses (DPs) at 0.1 Hz, was able to induce long-lasting changes in both frequency and amplitude of sGABA(A)-PSCs between P0 and P8. Starting from P12, DPs were unable to induce any form of synaptic plasticity. The effects of DPs were tightly keyed to the frequency at which they were delivered. When delivered at a lower (0.05 Hz) or higher (1 Hz) frequency, DPs failed to induce any long-lasting change in the frequency or amplitude of sGABA(A)-PSCs. In two cases, DPs were able to activate sGABA(A)-PSCs in previously synaptically silent cells at P0-1. These results show that long-term changes in GABAergic synaptic activity can be induced during a restricted period of development by a conditioning protocol relevant to the physiological condition. It is suggested that such activity-induced modifications may represent a physiological mechanism for the functional maturation of GABAergic synaptic transmission.

  14. The Roles of Protein Expression in Synaptic Plasticity and Memory Consolidation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tali eRosenberg

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The amount and availability of proteins are regulated by their synthesis, degradation, and transport. These processes can specifically, locally, and temporally regulate a protein or a population of proteins, thus affecting numerous biological processes in health and disease states. Accordingly, malfunction in the processes of protein turnover and localization underlies different neuronal diseases. However, as early as a century ago, it was recognized that there is a specific need for normal macromolecular synthesis in a specific fragment of the learning process, memory consolidation, which takes place minutes to hours following acquisition. Memory consolidation is the process by which fragile short-term memory is converted into stable long-term memory. It is accepted today that synaptic plasticity is a cellular mechanism of learning and memory processes. Interestingly, similar molecular mechanisms subserve both memory and synaptic plasticity consolidation. In this review, we survey the current view on the connection between memory consolidation processes and proteostasis, i.e., maintaining the protein contents at the neuron and the synapse. In addition, we describe the technical obstacles and possible new methods to determine neuronal proteostasis of synaptic function and better explain the process of memory and synaptic plasticity consolidation.

  15. Emerging Link between Alzheimer’s Disease and Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sung-Soo Jang

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-06-30

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

  17. Correlation between synaptic plasticity, associated proteins, and rehabilitation training in a rat model of cerebral infarction

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Dan Yang; Qian Yu

    2008-01-01

    All motions provide sensory, motoric, and reflexive input to the central nervous system, as well as playing an important role in cerebral functional plasticity and compensation. Cerebral plasticity has become the theoretical basis of neurorehabilitation. Studies of cerebrovascular disease, in particular, demonstrate that regeneration is accompanied by multiple forms of plasticity, such as functional and structural, in different phases of stroke rehabilitation. This study was designed to measure synaptic plasticity and expression of associated proteins to analyze the effect of rehabilitation training on learning and memory in a rat model of cerebral infarction. Results suggest that rehabilitation training increases expression of nerve growth factor associated protein 43, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and neural cell adhesion molecules, and also promotes cerebral functional plasticity.

  18. Learning-facilitated synaptic plasticity occurs in the intermediate hippocampus in association with spatial learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenney, Jana; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise

    2013-01-01

    The dorsoventral axis of the hippocampus is differentiated into dorsal, intermediate, and ventral parts. Whereas the dorsal part is believed to specialize in processing spatial information, the ventral may be equipped to process non-spatial information. The precise role of the intermediate hippocampus is unclear, although recent data suggests it is functionally distinct, at least from the dorsal hippocampus. Learning-facilitated synaptic plasticity describes the ability of hippocampal synapses to respond with robust synaptic plasticity (>24 h) when a spatial learning event is coupled with afferent stimulation that would normally not lead to a lasting plasticity response: in the dorsal hippocampus novel space facilitates robust expression of long-term potentiation (LTP), whereas novel spatial content facilitates long-term depression (LTD). We explored whether the intermediate hippocampus engages in this kind of synaptic plasticity in response to novel spatial experience. In freely moving rats, high-frequency stimulation at 200 Hz (3 bursts of 15 stimuli) elicited synaptic potentiation that lasted for at least 4 h. Coupling of this stimulation with the exploration of a novel holeboard resulted in LTP that lasted for over 24 h. Low frequency afferent stimulation (1 Hz, 900 pulses) resulted in short-term depression (STD) that was significantly enhanced and prolonged by exposure to a novel large orientational (landmark) cues, however LTD was not enabled. Exposure to a holeboard that included novel objects in the holeboard holes elicited a transient enhancement of STD of the population spike (PS) but not field EPSP, and also failed to facilitate the expression of LTD. Our data suggest that the intermediate dentate gyrus engages in processing of spatial information, but is functionally distinct to the dorsal dentate gyrus. This may in turn reflect their assumed different roles in synaptic information processing and memory formation. PMID:24194716

  19. Learning-facilitated synaptic plasticity occurs in the intermediate hippocampus in association with spatial learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jana eKenney

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The dorsoventral axis of the hippocampus is differentiated into dorsal, intermediate and ventral parts. Whereas the dorsal part is believed to specialize in processing spatial information, the ventral may be equipped to process non-spatial information. The precise role of the intermediate hippocampus is unclear, although recent data suggests it is functionally distinct, at least from the dorsal hippocampus. Learning-facilitated synaptic plasticity describes the ability of hippocampal synapses to respond with robust synaptic plasticity (>24h when a spatial learning event is coupled with afferent stimulation that would normally not lead to a lasting plasticity response: In the dorsal hippocampus novel space facilitates robust expression of LTP, whereas novel spatial content facilitates LTD. We explored whether the intermediate hippocampus engages in this kind of synaptic plasticity in response to novel spatial experience.In freely moving rats, high-frequency stimulation at 200Hz (3 bursts of 15 stimuli elicited synaptic potentiation that lasted for at least 4h. Coupling of this stimulation with the exploration of a novel holeboard resulted in long-term potentiation (LTP that lasted for over 24h. Low frequency afferent stimulation (1Hz, 900 pulses resulted in short-term depression (STD that was significantly enhanced and prolonged by exposure to a novel large orientational (landmark cues, however LTD was not enabled. Exposure to a holeboard that included novel objects in the holeboard holes elicited a transient enhancement of STD of the population spike but not field EPSP, and also failed to facilitate the expression of LTD. Our data suggest that the intermediate dentate gyrus engages in processing of spatial information, but is functionally distinct to the dorsal dentate gyrus. This may in turn reflect their assumed different roles in synaptic information processing and memory formation.

  20. Drug-evoked synaptic plasticity in addiction: from molecular changes to circuit remodeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lüscher, Christian; Malenka, Robert C.

    2014-01-01

    Addictive drugs have in common that they target the mesocoticolimbic dopamine (DA) system. This system originates in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and projects mainly to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and prefrontal cortex (PFC). Here we review the effects that such drugs leave on glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic transmission in these three brain areas. We refer to these changes as drug-evoked synaptic plasticity, which outlasts the presence of the drug in the brain and contributes to the reorganization of neural circuits. While in most cases these early changes are not sufficient to induce the disease, with repetitive drug exposure, they may add up and cause addictive behavior. PMID:21338877

  1. Enhancement of signal sensitivity in a heterogeneous neural network refined from synaptic plasticity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li Xiumin; Small, Michael, E-mail: ensmall@polyu.edu.h, E-mail: 07901216r@eie.polyu.edu.h [Department of Electronic and Information Engineering, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon (Hong Kong)

    2010-08-15

    Long-term synaptic plasticity induced by neural activity is of great importance in informing the formation of neural connectivity and the development of the nervous system. It is reasonable to consider self-organized neural networks instead of prior imposition of a specific topology. In this paper, we propose a novel network evolved from two stages of the learning process, which are respectively guided by two experimentally observed synaptic plasticity rules, i.e. the spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) mechanism and the burst-timing-dependent plasticity (BTDP) mechanism. Due to the existence of heterogeneity in neurons that exhibit different degrees of excitability, a two-level hierarchical structure is obtained after the synaptic refinement. This self-organized network shows higher sensitivity to afferent current injection compared with alternative archetypal networks with different neural connectivity. Statistical analysis also demonstrates that it has the small-world properties of small shortest path length and high clustering coefficients. Thus the selectively refined connectivity enhances the ability of neuronal communications and improves the efficiency of signal transmission in the network.

  2. Consequences of Inhibiting Amyloid Precursor Protein Processing Enzymes on Synaptic Function and Plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hui Wang

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer's disease (AD is a neurodegenerative disease, one of whose major pathological hallmarks is the accumulation of amyloid plaques comprised of aggregated β-amyloid (Aβ peptides. It is now recognized that soluble Aβ oligomers may lead to synaptic dysfunctions early in AD pathology preceding plaque deposition. Aβ is produced by a sequential cleavage of amyloid precursor protein (APP by the activity of β- and γ-secretases, which have been identified as major candidate therapeutic targets of AD. This paper focuses on how Aβ alters synaptic function and the functional consequences of inhibiting the activity of the two secretases responsible for Aβ generation. Abnormalities in synaptic function resulting from the absence or inhibition of the Aβ-producing enzymes suggest that Aβ itself may have normal physiological functions which are disrupted by abnormal accumulation of Aβ during AD pathology. This interpretation suggests that AD therapeutics targeting the β- and γ-secretases should be developed to restore normal levels of Aβ or combined with measures to circumvent the associated synaptic dysfunction(s in order to have minimal impact on normal synaptic function.

  3. Synaptic plasticity can produce and enhance direction selectivity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean Carver

    2008-02-01

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

  4. Temporal profiles of synaptic plasticity-related signals in adult mouse hippocampus with methotrexate treatment

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Miyoung Yang; Juhwan Kim; Sung-Ho Kim; Joong-Sun Kim; Taekyun Shin; Changjong Moon

    2012-01-01

    Methotrexate, which is used to treat many malignancies and autoimmune diseases, affects brain functions including hippocampal-dependent memory function. However, the precise mechanisms underlying methotrexate-induced hippocampal dysfunction are poorly understood. To evaluate temporal changes in synaptic plasticity-related signals, the expression and activity of N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor 1, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2, cAMP responsive element-binding protein, glutamate receptor 1, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor were examined in the hippocampi of adult C57BL/6 mice after methotrexate (40 mg/kg) intraperitoneal injection. Western blot analysis showed biphasic changes in synaptic plasticity-related signals in adult hippocampi following methotrexate treatment. N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor 1, cal-cium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, and glutamate receptor 1 were acutely activated dur-ing the early phase (1 day post-injection), while extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and cAMP responsive element-binding protein activation showed biphasic increases during the early (1 day post-injection) and late phases (7-14 days post-injection). Brain-derived neurotrophic factor and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor expression increased significantly during the late phase (7-14 days post-injection). Therefore, methotrexate treatment affects synaptic plasticity-related signals in the adult mouse hippocampus, suggesting that changes in synaptic plasticity-related signals may be associated with neuronal survival and plasticity-related cellular remodeling.

  5. Temporal profiles of synaptic plasticity-related signals in adult mouse hippocampus with methotrexate treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Miyoung; Kim, Juhwan; Kim, Sung-Ho; Kim, Joong-Sun; Shin, Taekyun; Moon, Changjong

    2012-07-25

    Methotrexate, which is used to treat many malignancies and autoimmune diseases, affects brain functions including hippocampal-dependent memory function. However, the precise mechanisms underlying methotrexate-induced hippocampal dysfunction are poorly understood. To evaluate temporal changes in synaptic plasticity-related signals, the expression and activity of N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor 1, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2, cAMP responsive element-binding protein, glutamate receptor 1, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor were examined in the hippocampi of adult C57BL/6 mice after methotrexate (40 mg/kg) intraperitoneal injection. Western blot analysis showed biphasic changes in synaptic plasticity-related signals in adult hippocampi following methotrexate treatment. N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor 1, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, and glutamate receptor 1 were acutely activated during the early phase (1 day post-injection), while extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and cAMP responsive element-binding protein activation showed biphasic increases during the early (1 day post-injection) and late phases (7-14 days post-injection). Brain-derived neurotrophic factor and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor expression increased significantly during the late phase (7-14 days post-injection). Therefore, methotrexate treatment affects synaptic plasticity-related signals in the adult mouse hippocampus, suggesting that changes in synaptic plasticity-related signals may be associated with neuronal survival and plasticity-related cellular remodeling.

  6. Questions About STDP as a General Model of Synaptic Plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Lisman

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available According to spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP, the timing of the Na+ spike relative to the EPSP determines whether LTP or LTD will occur. Here, we review our reservations about STDP. Most investigations of this process have been done under conditions in which the spike is evoked by postsynaptic current injection. Under more realistic conditions, in which the spike is evoked by the EPSP, the results do not generally support STDP. For instance, low-frequency stimulation of a group of synapses can cause LTD, not the LTP predicted by the pre-before-post sequence in STDP; this is true regardless of whether or not the EPSP is large enough to produce a Na+ spike. With stronger or more frequent stimulation, LTP can be induced by the same pre-before-post timing, but in this case block of Na+ spikes does not necessarily prevent LTP induction. Thus, Na+ spikes may facilitate LTP and/or LTD under some conditions, but they are not necessary, a finding consistent with their small size relative to the EPSP in many parts of pyramidal cell dendrites. The nature of the dendritic depolarizing events that control bidirectional plasticity is of central importance to understanding neural function. There are several candidates, including backpropagating action potentials, but also dendritic Ca2+ spikes, the AMPA receptor-mediated EPSP, and NMDA receptor-mediated EPSPs or spikes. These often appear to be more important than the Na+ spike in providing the depolarization necessary for plasticity. We thus feel that it is premature to accept STDP-like processes as the major determinant of LTP/LTD.

  7. Striatal synaptic dysfunction and hippocampal plasticity deficits in the Hu97/18 mouse model of Huntington disease.

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    Karolina Kolodziejczyk

    Full Text Available Huntington disease (HD is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder caused by a CAG repeat expansion in the gene (HTT encoding the huntingtin protein (HTT. This mutation leads to multiple cellular and synaptic alterations that are mimicked in many current HD animal models. However, the most commonly used, well-characterized HD models do not accurately reproduce the genetics of human disease. Recently, a new 'humanized' mouse model, termed Hu97/18, has been developed that genetically recapitulates human HD, including two human HTT alleles, no mouse Hdh alleles and heterozygosity of the HD mutation. Previously, behavioral and neuropathological testing in Hu97/18 mice revealed many features of HD, yet no electrophysiological measures were employed to investigate possible synaptic alterations. Here, we describe electrophysiological changes in the striatum and hippocampus of the Hu97/18 mice. At 9 months of age, a stage when cognitive deficits are fully developed and motor dysfunction is also evident, Hu97/18 striatal spiny projection neurons (SPNs exhibited small changes in membrane properties and lower amplitude and frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs; however, release probability from presynaptic terminals was unaltered. Strikingly, these mice also exhibited a profound deficiency in long-term potentiation (LTP at CA3-to-CA1 synapses. In contrast, at 6 months of age we found only subtle alterations in SPN synaptic transmission, while 3-month old animals did not display any electrophysiologically detectable changes in the striatum and CA1 LTP was intact. Together, these data reveal robust, progressive deficits in synaptic function and plasticity in Hu97/18 mice, consistent with previously reported behavioral abnormalities, and suggest an optimal age (9 months for future electrophysiological assessment in preclinical studies of HD.

  8. The AAA+ ATPase, Thorase Regulates AMPA Receptor-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity and Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jianmin; Wang, Yue; Chi, Zhikai; Keuss, Matthew J.; Pai, Ying-Min Emily; Kang, Ho Chul; Shin, Jooho; Bugayenko, Artem; Wang, Hong; Xiong, Yulan; Pletnikov, Mikhail V.; Mattson, Mark P.; Dawson, Ted M.; Dawson, Valina L.

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY The synaptic insertion or removal of AMPA receptors (AMPAR) plays critical roles in the regulation of synaptic activity reflected in the expression of long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). The cellular events underlying this important process in learning and memory are still being revealed. Here we describe and characterize the AAA+ ATPase, Thorase, that regulates the expression of surface AMPAR. In an ATPase-dependent manner Thorase mediates the internalization of AMPAR by disassembling the AMPAR-GRIP1 complex. Following genetic deletion of Thorase, the internalization of AMPAR is substantially reduced, leading to increased amplitudes of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents, enhancement of LTP and elimination of LTD. These molecular events are expressed as deficits in learning and memory in Thorase null mice. This study identifies an AAA+ ATPase that plays a critical role in regulating the surface expression of AMPAR and thereby regulates synaptic plasticity and learning and memory. PMID:21496646

  9. Structural synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus induced by spatial experience and its implications in information processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carasatorre, M; Ramírez-Amaya, V; Díaz Cintra, S

    2016-10-01

    Long-lasting memory formation requires that groups of neurons processing new information develop the ability to reproduce the patterns of neural activity acquired by experience. Changes in synaptic efficiency let neurons organise to form ensembles that repeat certain activity patterns again and again. Among other changes in synaptic plasticity, structural modifications tend to be long-lasting which suggests that they underlie long-term memory. There is a large body of evidence supporting that experience promotes changes in the synaptic structure, particularly in the hippocampus. Structural changes to the hippocampus may be functionally implicated in stabilising acquired memories and encoding new information. Copyright © 2012 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  10. Hormetic effect of amyloid-beta peptide in hippocampal synaptic plasticity and memory

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    Daniela Puzzo

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: The term hormesis refers to a biphasic dose-response phenomenon characterized by low-dose stimulation and high-dose inhibition represented by a J-shaped or U-shaped curve, depending on the parameter measured (Calabrese and Baldwin, Hum Exp Toxicol, 2002. Indeed, several, if not all, physiological molecules (i.e. glutamate, glucocorticoids, nitric oxide are likely to present a hormetic effect, exhibiting opposite effects at high or low concentrations. In the last few years, we have focused on amyloid-beta (A, a peptide widely known because it is produced in high amounts during Alzheimer’s disease (AD. A is considered a toxic fragment causing synaptic dysfunction and memory impairment (Selkoe, Science, 2002. However, the peptide is normally produced in the healthy brain and growing evidences indicate that it might have a physiologic function. Aim: Based on previous results showing that picomolar concentrations of A42 enhance synaptic plasticity and memory (Puzzo et al, J Neurosci, 2008 and that endogenous A is necessary for synaptic plasticity and memory (Puzzo et al, Ann Neurol, 2011, the aim of our study was to demonstrate the hormetic role of A in synaptic plasticity and memory. Methods: We used 3-month old wild type mice to analyze how synaptic plasticity, measured on hippocampal slices in vitro, and spatial reference memory were modified by treatment with different doses of A (from 2 pM to 20 μM. Results: We demonstrated that A has a hormetic effect (Puzzo et al, Neurobiol Aging, 2012 with low-doses (200 pM stimulating synaptic plasticity and memory and high-doses (≥ 200 nM inhibiting these processes. Conclusions: Our results suggest that, paradoxically, very low doses of A might serve to enhance memory at appropriate concentrations and conditions. These findings raise several issues when designing

  11. EPO induces changes in synaptic transmission and plasticity in the dentate gyrus of rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almaguer-Melian, William; Mercerón-Martínez, Daymara; Delgado-Ocaña, Susana; Pavón-Fuentes, Nancy; Ledón, Nuris; Bergado, Jorge A

    2016-06-01

    Erythropoietin has shown wide physiological effects on the central nervous system in animal models of disease, and in healthy animals. We have recently shown that systemic EPO administration 15 min, but not 5 h, after daily training in a water maze is able to induce the recovery of spatial memory in fimbria-fornix chronic-lesioned animals, suggesting that acute EPO triggers mechanisms which can modulate the active neural plasticity mechanism involved in spatial memory acquisition in lesioned animals. Additionally, this EPO effect is accompanied by the up-regulation of plasticity-related early genes. More remarkably, this time-dependent effects on learning recovery could signify that EPO in nerve system modulate specific living-cellular processes. In the present article, we focus on the question if EPO could modulate the induction of long-term synaptic plasticity like LTP and LTD, which presumably could support our previous published data. Our results show that acute EPO peripheral administration 15 min before the induction of synaptic plasticity is able to increase the magnitude of the LTP (more prominent in PSA than fEPSP-Slope) to facilitate the induction of LTD, and to protect LTP from depotentiation. These findings showing that EPO modulates in vivo synaptic plasticity sustain the assumption that EPO can act not only as a neuroprotective substance, but is also able to modulate transient neural plasticity mechanisms and therefore to promote the recovery of nerve function after an established chronic brain lesion. According to these results, EPO could be use as a molecular tool for neurorestaurative treatments.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-05

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

  13. Curcumin improves synaptic plasticity impairment induced by HIV-1gp120 V3 loop

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    Ling-ling Shen

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Curcumin has been shown to significantly improve spatial memory impairment induced by HIV-1 gp120 V3 in rats, but the electrophysiological mechanism remains unknown. Using extracellular microelectrode recording techniques, this study confirmed that the gp120 V3 loop could suppress long-term potentiation in the rat hippocampal CA1 region and synaptic plasticity, and that curcumin could antagonize these inhibitory effects. Using a Fura-2/AM calcium ion probe, we found that curcumin resisted the effects of the gp120 V3 loop on hippocampal synaptosomes and decreased Ca 2+ concentration in synaptosomes. This effect of curcumin was identical to nimodipine, suggesting that curcumin improved the inhibitory effects of gp120 on synaptic plasticity, ameliorated damage caused to the central nervous system, and might be a potential neuroprotective drug.

  14. Curcumin improves synaptic plasticity impairment induced by HIV-1gp120 V3 loop

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ling-ling Shen; Li-juan Yang; Ying Xu; Jun Dong; Ming-liang Jiang; Si-si Liu; Min-chun Cai; Zhong-qiu Hong; Li-qing Lin; Yan-yan Xing; Gui-lin Chen; Rui Pan

    2015-01-01

    Curcumin has been shown to significantly improve spatial memory impairment induced by HIV-1 gp120 V3 in rats, but the electrophysiological mechanism remains unknown. Using extra-cellular microelectrode recording techniques, this study conifrmed that the gp120 V3 loop could suppress long-term potentiation in the rat hippocampal CA1 region and synaptic plasticity, and that curcumin could antagonize these inhibitory effects. Using a Fura-2/AM calcium ion probe, we found that curcumin resisted the effects of the gp120 V3 loop on hippocampal synaptosomes and decreased Ca2+concentration in synaptosomes. This effect of curcumin was identical to nimodipine, suggesting that curcumin improved the inhibitory effects of gp120 on synaptic plasticity, ameliorated damage caused to the central nervous system, and might be a potential neuroprotective drug.

  15. Thrombin regulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity: implications for health and disease.

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    Marina eBen Shimon

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Thrombin, a serine protease involved in the blood coagulation cascade has been shown to affect neural function following blood-brain barrier breakdown. However, several lines of evidence exist that thrombin is also expressed in the brain under physiological conditions, suggesting an involvement of thrombin in the regulation of normal brain functions. Here, we review ours’ as well as others' recent work on the role of thrombin in synaptic transmission and plasticity through direct or indirect activation of Protease-Activated Receptor-1 (PAR1. These studies propose a novel role of thrombin in synaptic plasticity, both in physiology as well as in neurological diseases associated with increased brain thrombin/PAR1 levels.

  16. P2Y Receptors in Synaptic Transmission and Plasticity: Therapeutic Potential in Cognitive Dysfunction

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    Segundo J. Guzman

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available ATP released from neurons and astrocytes during neuronal activity or under pathophysiological circumstances is able to influence information flow in neuronal circuits by activation of ionotropic P2X and metabotropic P2Y receptors and subsequent modulation of cellular excitability, synaptic strength, and plasticity. In the present paper we review cellular and network effects of P2Y receptors in the brain. We show that P2Y receptors inhibit the release of neurotransmitters, modulate voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels, and differentially influence the induction of synaptic plasticity in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum. The findings discussed here may explain how P2Y1 receptor activation during brain injury, hypoxia, inflammation, schizophrenia, or Alzheimer’s disease leads to an impairment of cognitive processes. Hence, it is suggested that the blockade of P2Y1 receptors may have therapeutic potential against cognitive disturbances in these states.

  17. Complement emerges as a masterful regulator of CNS homeostasis, neural synaptic plasticity and cognitive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mastellos, Dimitrios C

    2014-11-01

    Growing evidence points to a previously elusive role of complement-modulated pathways in CNS development, neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity. Distinct complement effectors appear to play a multifaceted role in brain homeostasis by regulating synaptic pruning in the retinogeniculate system and sculpting functional neural circuits both in the developing and adult mammalian brain. A recent study by Perez-Alcazar et al. (2014) provides novel insights into this intricate interplay between complement and the dynamically regulated brain synaptic circuitry, by reporting that mice deficient in C3 exhibit enhanced hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and cognitive performance. This behavioral pattern is associated with an impact of C3 on the functional capacity of glutamatergic synapses, supporting a crucial role for complement in excitatory synapse elimination in the hippocampus. These findings add a fresh twist to this rapidly evolving research field, suggesting that discrete complement components may differentially modulate synaptic connectivity by wiring up with diverse neural effectors in different regions of the brain. The emerging role of complement in synaptogenesis and neural network plasticity opens new conceptual avenues for considering complement interception as a potential therapeutic modality for ameliorating progressive cognitive impairment in age-related, debilitating brain diseases with a prominent inflammatory signature.

  18. Localization of Presynaptic Plasticity Mechanisms Enables Functional Independence of Synaptic and Ectopic Transmission in the Cerebellum

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    Katharine L. Dobson

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In the cerebellar molecular layer parallel fibre terminals release glutamate from both the active zone and from extrasynaptic “ectopic” sites. Ectopic release mediates transmission to the Bergmann glia that ensheathe the synapse, activating Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptors and glutamate transporters. Parallel fibre terminals exhibit several forms of presynaptic plasticity, including cAMP-dependent long-term potentiation and endocannabinoid-dependent long-term depression, but it is not known whether these presynaptic forms of long-term plasticity also influence ectopic transmission to Bergmann glia. Stimulation of parallel fibre inputs at 16 Hz evoked LTP of synaptic transmission, but LTD of ectopic transmission. Pharmacological activation of adenylyl cyclase by forskolin caused LTP at Purkinje neurons, but only transient potentiation at Bergmann glia, reinforcing the concept that ectopic sites lack the capacity to express sustained cAMP-dependent potentiation. Activation of mGluR1 caused depression of synaptic transmission via retrograde endocannabinoid signalling but had no significant effect at ectopic sites. In contrast, activation of NMDA receptors suppressed both synaptic and ectopic transmission. The results suggest that the signalling mechanisms for presynaptic LTP and retrograde depression by endocannabinoids are restricted to the active zone at parallel fibre synapses, allowing independent modulation of synaptic transmission to Purkinje neurons and ectopic transmission to Bergmann glia.

  19. Localization of Presynaptic Plasticity Mechanisms Enables Functional Independence of Synaptic and Ectopic Transmission in the Cerebellum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobson, Katharine L.; Bellamy, Tomas C.

    2015-01-01

    In the cerebellar molecular layer parallel fibre terminals release glutamate from both the active zone and from extrasynaptic “ectopic” sites. Ectopic release mediates transmission to the Bergmann glia that ensheathe the synapse, activating Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptors and glutamate transporters. Parallel fibre terminals exhibit several forms of presynaptic plasticity, including cAMP-dependent long-term potentiation and endocannabinoid-dependent long-term depression, but it is not known whether these presynaptic forms of long-term plasticity also influence ectopic transmission to Bergmann glia. Stimulation of parallel fibre inputs at 16 Hz evoked LTP of synaptic transmission, but LTD of ectopic transmission. Pharmacological activation of adenylyl cyclase by forskolin caused LTP at Purkinje neurons, but only transient potentiation at Bergmann glia, reinforcing the concept that ectopic sites lack the capacity to express sustained cAMP-dependent potentiation. Activation of mGluR1 caused depression of synaptic transmission via retrograde endocannabinoid signalling but had no significant effect at ectopic sites. In contrast, activation of NMDA receptors suppressed both synaptic and ectopic transmission. The results suggest that the signalling mechanisms for presynaptic LTP and retrograde depression by endocannabinoids are restricted to the active zone at parallel fibre synapses, allowing independent modulation of synaptic transmission to Purkinje neurons and ectopic transmission to Bergmann glia. PMID:26171253

  20. DHA dietary supplementation enhances the effects of exercise on synaptic plasticity and cognition

    OpenAIRE

    Wu, Aiguo; Ying, Zhe; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando

    2008-01-01

    Omega-3 fatty acids (i.e., docosahexaenoic acid; DHA), similar to exercise, improve cognitive function, promote neuroplasticity, and protect against neurological lesion. In this study, we investigated a possible synergistic action between DHA dietary supplementation and voluntary exercise on modulating synaptic plasticity and cognition. Rats received DHA dietary supplementation (1.25% DHA) with or without voluntary exercise for 12 days. We found that the DHA-enriched diet significantly increa...

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. All About Running: Synaptic Plasticity, Growth Factors and Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhan-chi Zhang

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Synaptic transmission and plasticity require AMPA receptor anchoring via its N-terminal domain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, Jake F; Ho, Hinze; Greger, Ingo H

    2017-01-01

    AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs) mediate fast excitatory neurotransmission and are selectively recruited during activity-dependent plasticity to increase synaptic strength. A prerequisite for faithful signal transmission is the positioning and clustering of AMPARs at postsynaptic sites. The mechanisms underlying this positioning have largely been ascribed to the receptor cytoplasmic C-termini and to AMPAR-associated auxiliary subunits, both interacting with the postsynaptic scaffold. Here, using mouse organotypic hippocampal slices, we show that the extracellular AMPAR N-terminal domain (NTD), which projects midway into the synaptic cleft, plays a fundamental role in this process. This highly sequence-diverse domain mediates synaptic anchoring in a subunit-selective manner. Receptors lacking the NTD exhibit increased mobility in synapses, depress synaptic transmission and are unable to sustain long-term potentiation (LTP). Thus, synaptic transmission and the expression of LTP are dependent upon an AMPAR anchoring mechanism that is driven by the NTD. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.23024.001 PMID:28290985

  5. BACE1 Is Necessary for Experience-Dependent Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity in Visual Cortex

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    Emily Petrus

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer’s disease (AD is the most common form of age-related dementia, which is thought to result from overproduction and/or reduced clearance of amyloid-beta (Aβ peptides. Studies over the past few decades suggest that Aβ is produced in an activity-dependent manner and has physiological relevance to normal brain functions. Similarly, physiological functions for β- and γ-secretases, the two key enzymes that produce Aβ by sequentially processing the amyloid precursor protein (APP, have been discovered over recent years. In particular, activity-dependent production of Aβ has been suggested to play a role in homeostatic regulation of excitatory synaptic function. There is accumulating evidence that activity-dependent immediate early gene Arc is an activity “sensor,” which acts upstream of Aβ production and triggers AMPA receptor endocytosis to homeostatically downregulate the strength of excitatory synaptic transmission. We previously reported that Arc is critical for sensory experience-dependent homeostatic reduction of excitatory synaptic transmission in the superficial layers of visual cortex. Here we demonstrate that mice lacking the major neuronal β-secretase, BACE1, exhibit a similar phenotype: stronger basal excitatory synaptic transmission and failure to adapt to changes in visual experience. Our results indicate that BACE1 plays an essential role in sensory experience-dependent homeostatic synaptic plasticity in the neocortex.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-08-26

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

  7. Effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on synaptic plasticity and apoptosis in vascular dementia rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hui-Yun; Liu, Yang; Xie, Jia-Cun; Liu, Nan-Nan; Tian, Xin

    2015-03-15

    This study aims to determine whether low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) protects pyramidal cells from apoptosis and promotes hippocampal synaptic plasticity in a vascular dementia (VaD) rat model. Following establishment of a VaD rat model using two-vessel occlusion (2VO), learning and memory were evaluated via the Morris Water Maze (MWM), hippocampal CA1 neuron ultrastructure was examined via electron microscopy, and hippocampal synaptic plasticity was assessed by long-term potentiation (LTP). Western blot was used to detect the expression of N-methyl-d-aspartic acid receptor 1 (NMDAR1), Bcl-2, and Bax. Compared with VaD group, rats treated with low-frequency rTMS had reduced-escape latencies, increased swimming time in the target quadrant (PCA3-CA1 synapses was enhanced (P<0.05). Low-frequency rTMS significantly up-regulated NMDAR1 and Bcl-2 expression and down-regulated Bax expression. Low-frequency rTMS improves learning and memory, protects the synapse, and increases synaptic plasticity in VaD model rats. Increased Bcl-2 expression and reduced Bax expression may be a novel protective mechanism of low-frequency rTMS treatment for VaD.

  8. Hippocampal synthesis of sex steroids and corticosteroids: essential for modulation of synaptic plasticity

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    Yasushi eHojo

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Sex steroids play essential roles in the modulation of synaptic plasticity and neuroprotection in the hippocampus. Accumulating evidence shows that hippocampal neurons synthesize both estrogen and androgen. Recently, we also revealed the hippocampal synthesis of corticosteroids. The accurate concentrations of these hippocampus-synthesized steroids are determined by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry in combination with novel derivatization. The hippocampal levels of 17β-estradiol (E2, testosterone (T, dihydrotestosterone (DHT and corticosterone (CORT, are 5-15 nM, and these levels are sufficient to modulate synaptic plasticity. Hippocampal E2 modulates memory-related synaptic plasticity not only slowly/genomicaly but also rapidly/nongenomically. Slow actions of E2 occur via classical nuclear receptors (ERα or ERβ, while rapid E2 actions occur via synapse-localized or extranuclear ERα or ERβ. Nanomolar concentrations of E2 changes rapidly the density and morphology of spines in hippocampal neurons. ERα, but not ERβ, drives this enhancement/suppression of spinogenesis in adult animals. Nanomolar concentrations of androgens (T and DHT and CORT also increase in the spine density. Kinase networks are involved downstream of ERα and androgen receptor (AR. Newly developed Spiso-3D mathematical analysis is useful to distinguish these complex effects by sex steroids and kinases. Significant advance has been achieved in investigations of rapid modulation by E2 of the long-term depression or the long-term potentiation.

  9. Kalirin-7 is necessary for normal NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity

    KAUST Repository

    Lemtiri-Chlieh, Fouad

    2011-12-19

    Background: Dendritic spines represent the postsynaptic component of the vast majority of excitatory synapses present in the mammalian forebrain. The ability of spines to rapidly alter their shape, size, number and receptor content in response to stimulation is considered to be of paramount importance during the development of synaptic plasticity. Indeed, long-term potentiation (LTP), widely believed to be a cellular correlate of learning and memory, has been repeatedly shown to induce both spine enlargement and the formation of new dendritic spines. In our studies, we focus on Kalirin-7 (Kal7), a Rho GDP/GTP exchange factor (Rho-GEF) localized to the postsynaptic density that plays a crucial role in the development and maintenance of dendritic spines both in vitro and in vivo. Previous studies have shown that mice lacking Kal7 (Kal7 KO) have decreased dendritic spine density in the hippocampus as well as focal hippocampal-dependent learning impairments.Results: We have performed a detailed electrophysiological characterization of the role of Kal7 in hippocampal synaptic plasticity. We show that loss of Kal7 results in impaired NMDA receptor-dependent LTP and long-term depression, whereas a NMDA receptor-independent form of LTP is shown to be normal in the absence of Kal7.Conclusions: These results indicate that Kal7 is an essential and selective modulator of NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. 2011 Lemtiri-Chlieh et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

  10. Kalirin-7 is necessary for normal NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity

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    Lemtiri-Chlieh Fouad

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Dendritic spines represent the postsynaptic component of the vast majority of excitatory synapses present in the mammalian forebrain. The ability of spines to rapidly alter their shape, size, number and receptor content in response to stimulation is considered to be of paramount importance during the development of synaptic plasticity. Indeed, long-term potentiation (LTP, widely believed to be a cellular correlate of learning and memory, has been repeatedly shown to induce both spine enlargement and the formation of new dendritic spines. In our studies, we focus on Kalirin-7 (Kal7, a Rho GDP/GTP exchange factor (Rho-GEF localized to the postsynaptic density that plays a crucial role in the development and maintenance of dendritic spines both in vitro and in vivo. Previous studies have shown that mice lacking Kal7 (Kal7KO have decreased dendritic spine density in the hippocampus as well as focal hippocampal-dependent learning impairments. Results We have performed a detailed electrophysiological characterization of the role of Kal7 in hippocampal synaptic plasticity. We show that loss of Kal7 results in impaired NMDA receptor-dependent LTP and long-term depression, whereas a NMDA receptor-independent form of LTP is shown to be normal in the absence of Kal7. Conclusions These results indicate that Kal7 is an essential and selective modulator of NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus.

  11. Circadian clocks, rhythmic synaptic plasticity and the sleep-wake cycle in zebrafish

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    Idan eElbaz

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available The circadian clock and homeostatic processes are fundamental mechanisms that regulate sleep. Surprisingly, despite decades of research, we still do not know why we sleep. Intriguing hypotheses suggest that sleep regulates synaptic plasticity and consequently has a beneficial role in learning and memory. However, direct evidence is still limited and the molecular regulatory mechanisms remain unclear. The zebrafish provides a powerful vertebrate model system that enables simple genetic manipulation, imaging of neuronal circuits and synapses in living animals, and the monitoring of behavioral performance during day and night. Thus, the zebrafish has become an attractive model to study circadian and homeostatic processes that regulate sleep. Zebrafish clock- and sleep-related genes have been cloned, neuronal circuits that exhibit circadian rhythms of activity and synaptic plasticity have been studied, and rhythmic behavioral outputs have been characterized. Integration of this data could lead to a better understanding of sleep regulation. Here, we review the progress of circadian clock and sleep studies in zebrafish with special emphasis on the genetic and neuroendocrine mechanisms that regulate rhythms of melatonin secretion, structural synaptic plasticity, locomotor activity and sleep.

  12. Circadian clocks, rhythmic synaptic plasticity and the sleep-wake cycle in zebrafish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elbaz, Idan; Foulkes, Nicholas S; Gothilf, Yoav; Appelbaum, Lior

    2013-01-01

    The circadian clock and homeostatic processes are fundamental mechanisms that regulate sleep. Surprisingly, despite decades of research, we still do not know why we sleep. Intriguing hypotheses suggest that sleep regulates synaptic plasticity and consequently has a beneficial role in learning and memory. However, direct evidence is still limited and the molecular regulatory mechanisms remain unclear. The zebrafish provides a powerful vertebrate model system that enables simple genetic manipulation, imaging of neuronal circuits and synapses in living animals, and the monitoring of behavioral performance during day and night. Thus, the zebrafish has become an attractive model to study circadian and homeostatic processes that regulate sleep. Zebrafish clock- and sleep-related genes have been cloned, neuronal circuits that exhibit circadian rhythms of activity and synaptic plasticity have been studied, and rhythmic behavioral outputs have been characterized. Integration of this data could lead to a better understanding of sleep regulation. Here, we review the progress of circadian clock and sleep studies in zebrafish with special emphasis on the genetic and neuroendocrine mechanisms that regulate rhythms of melatonin secretion, structural synaptic plasticity, locomotor activity and sleep.

  13. Abnormal sensorimotor plasticity in migraine without aura patients.

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    Pierelli, Francesco; Iacovelli, Elisa; Bracaglia, Martina; Serrao, Mariano; Coppola, Gianluca

    2013-09-01

    The period between migraine attacks is characterized by paradoxical responses to repetitive sensory and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Abnormal long-term cortical functional plasticity may play a role and can be assessed experimentally by paired associative stimulation (PAS), in which somatosensory peripheral nerve stimuli are followed by TMS of the motor cortex. Changes in motor-evoked potential (MEP) amplitudes were recorded in 16 migraine without aura patients (MO) and 15 healthy volunteers (HV) before and after PAS, which consisted of 90 peripheral electrical right ulnar nerve stimulations and subsequent TMS pulses over the first dorsal interosseous (FDI) muscle activation site with a delay of 10 ms (excitability depressing) or 25 ms (excitability enhancing). As a control experiment of the 31 subjects studied, 8 (4 MO and 4 HV) also underwent PAS10 earlier, the recording of somatosensory high-frequency oscillations (HFOs) reflecting thalamocortical activation (early HFOs). Although PAS10 reduced MEP amplitudes in HV (-17.7%), it significantly increased amplitudes in MO (+35.9%). Although in HV MEP amplitudes were significantly potentiated (+55.1) after PAS25, only a slight, nonsignificant increase was observed in MO (+18.8%). In the control experiment, performed on 8 subjects pooled together, Pearson's correlation showed an inverse relationship between the percentage of MEP amplitude changes after PAS10 and early HFO amplitudes (r=-0.81; P=.01). Because we observed that the more deficient the long-term PAS-induced change, the more the thalamocortical activation decreased, we hypothesize that the abnormalities in long-term cortical plasticity observed in the interictal period between migraine episodes could be due to altered thalamic control.

  14. Synaptic plasticity in medial vestibular nucleus neurons: comparison with computational requirements of VOR adaptation.

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    John R W Menzies

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR gain adaptation, a longstanding experimental model of cerebellar learning, utilizes sites of plasticity in both cerebellar cortex and brainstem. However, the mechanisms by which the activity of cortical Purkinje cells may guide synaptic plasticity in brainstem vestibular neurons are unclear. Theoretical analyses indicate that vestibular plasticity should depend upon the correlation between Purkinje cell and vestibular afferent inputs, so that, in gain-down learning for example, increased cortical activity should induce long-term depression (LTD at vestibular synapses. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we expressed this correlational learning rule in its simplest form, as an anti-Hebbian, heterosynaptic spike-timing dependent plasticity interaction between excitatory (vestibular and inhibitory (floccular inputs converging on medial vestibular nucleus (MVN neurons (input-spike-timing dependent plasticity, iSTDP. To test this rule, we stimulated vestibular afferents to evoke EPSCs in rat MVN neurons in vitro. Control EPSC recordings were followed by an induction protocol where membrane hyperpolarizing pulses, mimicking IPSPs evoked by flocculus inputs, were paired with single vestibular nerve stimuli. A robust LTD developed at vestibular synapses when the afferent EPSPs coincided with membrane hyperpolarization, while EPSPs occurring before or after the simulated IPSPs induced no lasting change. Furthermore, the iSTDP rule also successfully predicted the effects of a complex protocol using EPSP trains designed to mimic classical conditioning. CONCLUSIONS: These results, in strong support of theoretical predictions, suggest that the cerebellum alters the strength of vestibular synapses on MVN neurons through hetero-synaptic, anti-Hebbian iSTDP. Since the iSTDP rule does not depend on post-synaptic firing, it suggests a possible mechanism for VOR adaptation without compromising gaze-holding and VOR

  15. Disturbance in Maternal Environment Leads to Abnormal Synaptic Instability during Neuronal Circuitry Development

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    Hatanaka, Yusuke; Kabuta, Tomohiro; Wada, Keiji

    2017-01-01

    Adverse maternal environment during gestation and lactation can have negative effects on the developing brain that persist into adulthood and result in behavioral impairment. Recent studies of human and animal models suggest epidemiological and experimental association between disturbances in maternal environments during brain development and the occurrence of neuropsychiatric disorders, including autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, and neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we summarize recent advances in understanding the effects of maternal metabolic and hormonal abnormalities on the developing brain by focusing on the dynamics of dendritic spine, an excitatory postsynaptic structure. We discuss the abnormal instability of dendritic spines that is common to developmental disorders and neurological diseases. We also introduce our recent studies that demonstrate how maternal obesity and hyperandrogenism leads to abnormal development of neuronal circuitry and persistent synaptic instability, which results in the loss of synapses. The aim of this review is to highlight the links between abnormal maternal environment, behavioral impairment in offspring, and the dendiric spine pathology of neuropsychiatric disorders.

  16. A role for calcium-permeable AMPA receptors in synaptic plasticity and learning.

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    Brian J Wiltgen

    Full Text Available A central concept in the field of learning and memory is that NMDARs are essential for synaptic plasticity and memory formation. Surprisingly then, multiple studies have found that behavioral experience can reduce or eliminate the contribution of these receptors to learning. The cellular mechanisms that mediate learning in the absence of NMDAR activation are currently unknown. To address this issue, we examined the contribution of Ca(2+-permeable AMPARs to learning and plasticity in the hippocampus. Mutant mice were engineered with a conditional genetic deletion of GluR2 in the CA1 region of the hippocampus (GluR2-cKO mice. Electrophysiology experiments in these animals revealed a novel form of long-term potentiation (LTP that was independent of NMDARs and mediated by GluR2-lacking Ca(2+-permeable AMPARs. Behavioral analyses found that GluR2-cKO mice were impaired on multiple hippocampus-dependent learning tasks that required NMDAR activation. This suggests that AMPAR-mediated LTP interferes with NMDAR-dependent plasticity. In contrast, NMDAR-independent learning was normal in knockout mice and required the activation of Ca(2+-permeable AMPARs. These results suggest that GluR2-lacking AMPARs play a functional and previously unidentified role in learning; they appear to mediate changes in synaptic strength that occur after plasticity has been established by NMDARs.

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

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

    2015-11-01

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

  18. Impaired novelty acquisition and synaptic plasticity in congenital hyperammonemia caused by hepatic glutamine synthetase deficiency

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    Chepkova, Aisa N.; Sergeeva, Olga A.; Görg, Boris; Haas, Helmut L.; Klöcker, Nikolaj; Häussinger, Dieter

    2017-01-01

    Genetic defects in ammonia metabolism can produce irreversible damage of the developing CNS causing an impairment of cognitive and motor functions. We investigated alterations in behavior, synaptic plasticity and gene expression in the hippocampus and dorsal striatum of transgenic mice with systemic hyperammonemia resulting from conditional knockout of hepatic glutamine synthetase (LGS-ko). These mice showed reduced exploratory activity and delayed habituation to a novel environment. Field potential recordings from LGS-ko brain slices revealed significantly reduced magnitude of electrically-induced long-term potentiation (LTP) in both CA3-CA1 hippocampal and corticostriatal synaptic transmission. Corticostriatal but not hippocampal slices from LGS-ko brains demonstrated also significant alterations in long-lasting effects evoked by pharmacological activation of glutamate receptors. Real-time RT-PCR revealed distinct patterns of dysregulated gene expression in the hippocampus and striatum of LGS-ko mice: LGS-ko hippocampus showed significantly modified expression of mRNAs for mGluR1, GluN2B subunit of NMDAR, and A1 adenosine receptors while altered expression of mRNAs for D1 dopamine receptors, the M1 cholinoreceptor and the acetylcholine-synthetizing enzyme choline-acetyltransferase was observed in LGS-ko striatum. Thus, inborn systemic hyperammonemia resulted in significant deficits in novelty acquisition and disturbed synaptic plasticity in corticostriatal and hippocampal pathways involved in learning and goal-directed behavior. PMID:28067279

  19. Alzheimer’s disease Aβ assemblies mediating rapid disruption of synaptic plasticity and memory

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    Klyubin Igor

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Alzheimer’s disease (AD is characterized by episodic memory impairment that often precedes clinical diagnosis by many years. Probing the mechanisms of such impairment may provide much needed means of diagnosis and therapeutic intervention at an early, pre-dementia, stage. Prior to the onset of significant neurodegeneration, the structural and functional integrity of synapses in mnemonic circuitry is severely compromised in the presence of amyloidosis. This review examines recent evidence evaluating the role of amyloid-ß protein (Aβ in causing rapid disruption of synaptic plasticity and memory impairment. We evaluate the relative importance of different sizes and conformations of Aβ, including monomer, oligomer, protofibril and fibril. We pay particular attention to recent controversies over the relevance to the pathophysiology of AD of different water soluble Aβ aggregates and the importance of cellular prion protein in mediating their effects. Current data are consistent with the view that both low-n oligomers and larger soluble assemblies present in AD brain, some of them via a direct interaction with cellular prion protein, cause synaptic memory failure. At the two extremes of aggregation, monomers and fibrils appear to act in vivo both as sources and sinks of certain metastable conformations of soluble aggregates that powerfully disrupt synaptic plasticity. The same principle appears to apply to other synaptotoxic amyloidogenic proteins including tau, α-synuclein and prion protein.

  20. Gene control of synaptic plasticity and memory formation: implications for diseases and therapeutic strategies.

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    Vaillend, C; Rampon, C; Davis, S; Laroche, S

    2002-11-01

    There has been nearly a century of interest in the idea that information is stored in the brain as changes in the efficacy of synaptic connections between neurons that are activated during learning. The discovery and detailed report of the phenomenon generally known as long-term potentiation opened a new chapter in the study of synaptic plasticity in the vertebrate brain, and this form of synaptic plasticity has now become the dominant model in the search for the cellular and molecular bases of learning and memory. Accumulating evidence suggests that the rapid activation of the genetic machinery is a key mechanism underlying the enduring modification of neural networks required for the laying down of memory. Here we briefly review these mechanisms and illustrate with a few examples of animal models of neurological disorders how new knowledge about these mechanisms can provide valuable insights into identifying the mechanisms that go awry when memory is deficient, and how, in turn, characterisation of the dysfunctional mechanisms offers prospects to design and evaluate molecular and biobehavioural strategies for therapeutic prevention and rescue.

  1. On Analysis of Quantifying Learning Creativity Phenomenon Considering Brain Synaptic Plasticity

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    Hassan Mustafa

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Generally, Analysis of learning creativity phenomenon is an interesting and challenging issue associated with educational practice. Moreover, that phenomenon is tightly related to main human brain functions (Learning and Memory. So, creative individuals are characterized by their distinct capabilities in performing both brain functions. Additionally, educationalists as well as psychologists, for a long time ago and until recently, have been interesting in searching for quantitative investigation of that challenging issue. In the field of education, practical evaluation of learners' performance, -during tutoring session(s - may result in observation of creativity phenomenon. Herein, this work introduces an interdisciplinary novel approach concerned with analysis of quantifying learning creativity phenomenon. That is fulfilled by adopting Artificial Neural Networks modeling for realistic simulation of synaptic connectivity dynamics (equivalently, synaptic plasticity. By some details, presented work considered two main design parameters of Artificial Neural Networks. Namely they are, gain factor (of neuronal sigmoid activation function, and learning rate value. Both parameters Synaptic Plasticity inside the brain. Obviously, individuals characterized by various values of gain factor value as well as learning rate parameter are well relevant to quantify there learning creativity. Conclusively, obtained results motivate future research for systematical investigational study in depth considering the effect of congenital and/or hereditary factors on learning creativity phenomenon.

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

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    Jiandong Sun

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Gated solely by activity-induced changes in intracellular calcium, small-conductance potassium channels (SKs are critical for a variety of functions in the CNS, from learning and memory to rhythmic activity and sleep. While there is a wealth of information on SK2 gating, kinetics, and Ca2+ sensitivity, little is known regarding the regulation of SK2 subcellular localization. We report here that synaptic SK2 levels are regulated by the E3 ubiquitin ligase UBE3A, whose deficiency results in Angelman syndrome and overexpression in increased risk of autistic spectrum disorder. UBE3A directly ubiquitinates SK2 in the C-terminal domain, which facilitates endocytosis. In UBE3A-deficient mice, increased postsynaptic SK2 levels result in decreased NMDA receptor activation, thereby impairing hippocampal long-term synaptic plasticity. Impairments in both synaptic plasticity and fear conditioning memory in UBE3A-deficient mice are significantly ameliorated by blocking SK2. These results elucidate a mechanism by which UBE3A directly influences cognitive function.

  3. Homer 1a gates the induction mechanism for endocannabinoid-mediated synaptic plasticity.

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    Roloff, Alan M; Anderson, Garret R; Martemyanov, Kirill A; Thayer, Stanley A

    2010-02-24

    At hippocampal excitatory synapses, endocannabinoids (eCBs) mediate two forms of retrograde synaptic inhibition that are induced by postsynaptic depolarization or activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs). The homer family of molecular scaffolds provides spatial organization to regulate postsynaptic signaling cascades, including those activated by mGluRs. Expression of the homer 1a (H1a) immediate-early gene produces a short homer protein that lacks the domain required for homer oligomerization, enabling it to uncouple homer assemblies. Here, we report that H1a differentially modulates two forms of eCB-mediated synaptic plasticity, depolarization-induced suppression of excitation (DSE) and metabotropic suppression of excitation (MSE). EPSCs were recorded from cultured hippocampal neurons and DSE evoked by a 15 s depolarization to 0 mV and MSE evoked by a type I mGluR agonist. Expression of H1a enhanced DSE and inhibited MSE at the same synapse. Many physiologically important stimuli initiate H1a expression including brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Treating hippocampal cultures with BDNF increased transcription of H1a and uncoupled homer 1c-GFP (green fluorescent protein) clusters. BDNF treatment blocked MSE and enhanced DSE. Thus, physiological changes in H1a expression gate the induction pathway for eCB-mediated synaptic plasticity by uncoupling mGluR from eCB production.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

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

  5. A light-stimulated synaptic transistor with synaptic plasticity and memory functions based on InGaZnOx-Al2O3 thin film structure

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    Li, H. K.; Chen, T. P.; Liu, P.; Hu, S. G.; Liu, Y.; Zhang, Q.; Lee, P. S.

    2016-06-01

    In this work, a synaptic transistor based on the indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO)-aluminum oxide (Al2O3) thin film structure, which uses ultraviolet (UV) light pulses as the pre-synaptic stimulus, has been demonstrated. The synaptic transistor exhibits the behavior of synaptic plasticity like the paired-pulse facilitation. In addition, it also shows the brain's memory behaviors including the transition from short-term memory to long-term memory and the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve. The synapse-like behavior and memory behaviors of the transistor are due to the trapping and detrapping processes of the holes, which are generated by the UV pulses, at the IGZO/Al2O3 interface and/or in the Al2O3 layer.

  6. Memory and synaptic plasticity are impaired by dysregulated hippocampal O-GlcNAcylation

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    Yang, Yong Ryoul; Song, Seungju; Hwang, Hongik; Jung, Jung Hoon; Kim, Su-Jeong; Yoon, Sora; Hur, Jin-Hoe; Park, Jae-Il; Lee, Cheol; Nam, Dougu; Seo, Young-Kyo; Kim, Joung-Hun; Rhim, Hyewhon; Suh, Pann-Ghill

    2017-01-01

    O-GlcNAcylated proteins are abundant in the brain and are associated with neuronal functions and neurodegenerative diseases. Although several studies have reported the effects of aberrant regulation of O-GlcNAcylation on brain function, the roles of O-GlcNAcylation in synaptic function remain unclear. To understand the effect of aberrant O-GlcNAcylation on the brain, we used Oga+/− mice which have an increased level of O-GlcNAcylation, and found that Oga+/− mice exhibited impaired spatial learning and memory. Consistent with this result, Oga+/− mice showed a defect in hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Oga heterozygosity causes impairment of both long-term potentiation and long-term depression due to dysregulation of AMPA receptor phosphorylation. These results demonstrate a role for hyper-O-GlcNAcylation in learning and memory. PMID:28368052

  7. X-linked mental retardation: focus on synaptic function and plasticity.

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    Humeau, Yann; Gambino, Frédéric; Chelly, Jamel; Vitale, Nicolas

    2009-04-01

    Among mental disorders, mental retardation has been shown to be caused by various factors including a large array of genetic mutations. On the basis of remarkable progress, the emerging view is that defects in the regulation of synaptic activity and morphogenesis of dendritic spines are apparently common features associated with mutations in several genes implicated in mental retardation. In this review, we will discuss X-linked MR-related gene products that are potentially involved in the normal structure and function of the synapses, with a particular focus on pre- and/or post-synaptic plasticity mechanisms. Progress in understanding the underlying conditions leading to mental retardation will undoubtedly be gained from a closer collaboration of geneticists, physiologists and cognitive neuroscientists, which should enable the establishment of standardized approaches.

  8. Role of Atypical Protein Kinases in Maintenance of Long-Term Memory and Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borodinova, A A; Zuzina, A B; Balaban, P M

    2017-03-01

    Investigation of biochemical mechanisms underlying the long-term storage of information in nervous system is one of main problems of modern neurobiology. As a molecular basis of long-term memory, long-term changes in kinase activities, increase in the level and changes in the subunit composition of receptors in synaptic membranes, local activity of prion-like proteins, and epigenetic modifications of chromatin have been proposed. Perhaps a combination of all or of some of these factors underlies the storage of long-term memory in the brain. Many recent studies have shown an exclusively important role of atypical protein kinases (PKCζ, PKMζ, and PKCι/λ) in processes of learning, consolidation and maintenance of memory. The present review is devoted to consideration of mechanisms of transcriptional and translational control of atypical protein kinases and their roles in induction and maintenance of long-term synaptic plasticity and memory in vertebrates and invertebrates.

  9. Learning and retrieval behavior in recurrent neural networks with pre-synaptic dependent homeostatic plasticity

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    Mizusaki, Beatriz E. P.; Agnes, Everton J.; Erichsen, Rubem; Brunnet, Leonardo G.

    2017-08-01

    The plastic character of brain synapses is considered to be one of the foundations for the formation of memories. There are numerous kinds of such phenomenon currently described in the literature, but their role in the development of information pathways in neural networks with recurrent architectures is still not completely clear. In this paper we study the role of an activity-based process, called pre-synaptic dependent homeostatic scaling, in the organization of networks that yield precise-timed spiking patterns. It encodes spatio-temporal information in the synaptic weights as it associates a learned input with a specific response. We introduce a correlation measure to evaluate the precision of the spiking patterns and explore the effects of different inhibitory interactions and learning parameters. We find that large learning periods are important in order to improve the network learning capacity and discuss this ability in the presence of distinct inhibitory currents.

  10. Role of immediate-early genes in synaptic plasticity and neuronal ensembles underlying the memory trace

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    Keiichiro eMinatohara

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In the brain, neuronal gene expression is dynamically changed in response to neuronal activity. In particular, the expression of immediate-early genes (IEGs such as egr-1, c-fos, and Arc is rapidly and selectively upregulated in subsets of neurons in specific brain regions associated with learning and memory formation. IEG expression has therefore been widely used as a molecular marker for neuronal populations that undergo plastic changes underlying formation of long-term memory. In recent years, optogenetic and pharmacogenetic studies of neurons expressing c-fos or Arc have revealed that, during learning, IEG-positive neurons encode and store information that is required for memory recall, suggesting that they may be involved in formation of the memory trace. However, despite accumulating evidence for the role of IEGs in synaptic plasticity, the molecular and cellular mechanisms associated with this process remain unclear. In this review, we first summarize recent literature concerning the role of IEG-expressing neuronal ensembles in organizing the memory trace. We then focus on the physiological significance of IEGs, especially Arc, in synaptic plasticity, and describe our hypotheses about the importance of Arc expression in various types of input-specific circuit reorganization. Finally, we offer perspectives on Arc function that would unveil the role of IEG-expressing neurons in the formation of memory traces in the hippocampus and other brain areas.

  11. The role of extracellular proteolysis in synaptic plasticity of the central nervous system 

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    Anna Konopka

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The extracellular matrix (ECM of the central nervous system has a specific structure and protein composition that are different from those in other organs. Today we know that the ECM not only provides physical scaffolding for the neurons and glia, but also actively modifies their functions. Over the last two decades, a growing body of research evidence has been collected, suggesting an important role of ECM proteolysis in synaptic plasticity of the brain. So far the majority of data concern two large families of proteases: the serine proteases and the matrix metalloproteinases. The members of these families are localized at the synapses, and are secreted into the extracellular space in an activity-dependent manner. The proteases remodel the local environment as well as influencing synapse structure and function. The structural modifications induced by proteases include shape and size changes, as well as synapse elimination, and synaptogenesis. The functional changes include modifications of receptor function in the postsynaptic part of the synapse, as well as the potentiation or depression of neurotransmitter secretion by the presynaptic site. The present review summarizes the current view on the role of extracellular proteolysis in the physiological synaptic plasticity underlying the phenomena of learning and memory, as well as in the pathological plasticity occurring during epileptogenesis or development of drug addiction. 

  12. Role of Immediate-Early Genes in Synaptic Plasticity and Neuronal Ensembles Underlying the Memory Trace.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minatohara, Keiichiro; Akiyoshi, Mika; Okuno, Hiroyuki

    2015-01-01

    In the brain, neuronal gene expression is dynamically changed in response to neuronal activity. In particular, the expression of immediate-early genes (IEGs) such as egr-1, c-fos, and Arc is rapidly and selectively upregulated in subsets of neurons in specific brain regions associated with learning and memory formation. IEG expression has therefore been widely used as a molecular marker for neuronal populations that undergo plastic changes underlying formation of long-term memory. In recent years, optogenetic and pharmacogenetic studies of neurons expressing c-fos or Arc have revealed that, during learning, IEG-positive neurons encode and store information that is required for memory recall, suggesting that they may be involved in formation of the memory trace. However, despite accumulating evidence for the role of IEGs in synaptic plasticity, the molecular and cellular mechanisms associated with this process remain unclear. In this review, we first summarize recent literature concerning the role of IEG-expressing neuronal ensembles in organizing the memory trace. We then focus on the physiological significance of IEGs, especially Arc, in synaptic plasticity, and describe our hypotheses about the importance of Arc expression in various types of input-specific circuit reorganization. Finally, we offer perspectives on Arc function that would unveil the role of IEG-expressing neurons in the formation of memory traces in the hippocampus and other brain areas.

  13. Magnetic nanotherapeutics for dysregulated synaptic plasticity during neuroAIDS and drug abuse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagar, Vidya; Atluri, Venkata Subba Rao; Pilakka-Kanthikeel, Sudheesh; Nair, Madhavan

    2016-05-23

    The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a neurotropic virus. It induces neurotoxicity and subsequent brain pathologies in different brain cells. Addiction to recreational drugs remarkably affects the initiation of HIV infections and expedites the progression of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) associated neuropathogenesis. Symptoms of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) are noticed in many AIDS patients. At least 50 % of HIV diagnosed cases show one or other kind of neuropathological signs or symptoms during different stages of disease progression. In the same line, mild to severe neurological alterations are seen in at least 80 % autopsies of AIDS patients. Neurological illnesses weaken the connections between neurons causing significant altercations in synaptic plasticity. Synaptic plasticity alterations during HIV infection and recreational drug abuse are mediated by complex cellular phenomena involving changes in gene expression and subsequent loss of dendritic and spine morphology and physiology. New treatment strategies with ability to deliver drugs across blood-brain barrier (BBB) are being intensively investigated. In this context, magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) based nanoformulations have shown significant potential for target specificity, drug delivery, drug release, and bioavailability of desired amount of drugs in non-invasive brain targeting. MNPs-based potential therapies to promote neuronal plasticity during HIV infection and recreational drug abuse are being developed.

  14. The Neuroplastin adhesion molecules: key regulators of neuronal plasticity and synaptic function.

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    Beesley, Philip W; Herrera-Molina, Rodrigo; Smalla, Karl-Heinz; Seidenbecher, Constanze

    2014-11-01

    The Neuroplastins Np65 and Np55 are neuronal and synapse-enriched immunoglobulin superfamily molecules that play important roles in a number of key neuronal and synaptic functions including, for Np65, cell adhesion. In this review we focus on the physiological roles of the Neuroplastins in promoting neurite outgrowth, regulating the structure and function of both inhibitory and excitatory synapses in brain, and in neuronal and synaptic plasticity. We discuss the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms by which the Neuroplastins exert their physiological effects and how these are dependent upon the structural features of Np65 and Np55, which enable them to bind to a diverse range of protein partners. In turn this enables the Neuroplastins to interact with a number of key neuronal signalling cascades. These include: binding to and activation of the fibroblast growth factor receptor; Np65 trans-homophilic binding leading to activation of p38 MAPK and internalization of glutamate (GluR1) receptor subunits; acting as accessory proteins for monocarboxylate transporters, thus affecting neuronal energy supply, and binding to GABAA α1, 2 and 5 subunits, thus regulating the composition and localization of GABAA receptors. An emerging theme is the role of the Neuroplastins in regulating the trafficking and subcellular localization of specific binding partners. We also discuss the involvement of Neuroplastins in a number of pathophysiological conditions, including ischaemia, schizophrenia and breast cancer and the role of a single nucleotide polymorphism in the human Neuroplastin (NPTN) gene locus in impairment of cortical development and cognitive functions. Neuroplastins are neuronal cell adhesion molecules, which induce neurite outgrowth and play important roles in synaptic maturation and plasticity. This review summarizes the functional implications of Neuroplastins for correct synaptic membrane protein localization, neuronal energy supply, expression of LTP and LTD

  15. A neuromorphic VLSI design for spike timing and rate based synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahimi Azghadi, Mostafa; Al-Sarawi, Said; Abbott, Derek; Iannella, Nicolangelo

    2013-09-01

    Triplet-based Spike Timing Dependent Plasticity (TSTDP) is a powerful synaptic plasticity rule that acts beyond conventional pair-based STDP (PSTDP). Here, the TSTDP is capable of reproducing the outcomes from a variety of biological experiments, while the PSTDP rule fails to reproduce them. Additionally, it has been shown that the behaviour inherent to the spike rate-based Bienenstock-Cooper-Munro (BCM) synaptic plasticity rule can also emerge from the TSTDP rule. This paper proposes an analogue implementation of the TSTDP rule. The proposed VLSI circuit has been designed using the AMS 0.35 μm CMOS process and has been simulated using design kits for Synopsys and Cadence tools. Simulation results demonstrate how well the proposed circuit can alter synaptic weights according to the timing difference amongst a set of different patterns of spikes. Furthermore, the circuit is shown to give rise to a BCM-like learning rule, which is a rate-based rule. To mimic an implementation environment, a 1000 run Monte Carlo (MC) analysis was conducted on the proposed circuit. The presented MC simulation analysis and the simulation result from fine-tuned circuits show that it is possible to mitigate the effect of process variations in the proof of concept circuit; however, a practical variation aware design technique is required to promise a high circuit performance in a large scale neural network. We believe that the proposed design can play a significant role in future VLSI implementations of both spike timing and rate based neuromorphic learning systems.

  16. Chronic alcohol exposure alters behavioral and synaptic plasticity of the rodent prefrontal cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sven Kroener

    Full Text Available In the present study, we used a mouse model of chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE exposure to examine how CIE alters the plasticity of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC. In acute slices obtained either immediately or 1-week after the last episode of alcohol exposure, voltage-clamp recording of excitatory post-synaptic currents (EPSCs in mPFC layer V pyramidal neurons revealed that CIE exposure resulted in an increase in the NMDA/AMPA current ratio. This increase appeared to result from a selective increase in the NMDA component of the EPSC. Consistent with this, Western blot analysis of the postsynaptic density fraction showed that while there was no change in expression of the AMPA GluR1 subunit, NMDA NR1 and NRB subunits were significantly increased in CIE exposed mice when examined immediately after the last episode of alcohol exposure. Unexpectedly, this increase in NR1 and NR2B was no longer observed after 1-week of withdrawal in spite of a persistent increase in synaptic NMDA currents. Analysis of spines on the basal dendrites of layer V neurons revealed that while the total density of spines was not altered, there was a selective increase in the density of mushroom-type spines following CIE exposure. Examination of NMDA-receptor mediated spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP showed that CIE exposure was associated with altered expression of long-term potentiation (LTP. Lastly, behavioral studies using an attentional set-shifting task that depends upon the mPFC for optimal performance revealed deficits in cognitive flexibility in CIE exposed mice when tested up to 1-week after the last episode of alcohol exposure. Taken together, these observations are consistent with those in human alcoholics showing protracted deficits in executive function, and suggest these deficits may be associated with alterations in synaptic plasticity in the mPFC.

  17. Nucleolar integrity is required for the maintenance of long-term synaptic plasticity.

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    Kim D Allen

    Full Text Available Long-term memory (LTM formation requires new protein synthesis and new gene expression. Based on our work in Aplysia, we hypothesized that the rRNA genes, stimulation-dependent targets of the enzyme Poly(ADP-ribose polymerase-1 (PARP-1, are primary effectors of the activity-dependent changes in synaptic function that maintain synaptic plasticity and memory. Using electrophysiology, immunohistochemistry, pharmacology and molecular biology techniques, we show here, for the first time, that the maintenance of forskolin-induced late-phase long-term potentiation (L-LTP in mouse hippocampal slices requires nucleolar integrity and the expression of new rRNAs. The activity-dependent upregulation of rRNA, as well as L-LTP expression, are poly(ADP-ribosylation (PAR dependent and accompanied by an increase in nuclear PARP-1 and Poly(ADP ribose molecules (pADPr after forskolin stimulation. The upregulation of PARP-1 and pADPr is regulated by Protein kinase A (PKA and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK--two kinases strongly associated with long-term plasticity and learning and memory. Selective inhibition of RNA Polymerase I (Pol I, responsible for the synthesis of precursor rRNA, results in the segmentation of nucleoli, the exclusion of PARP-1 from functional nucleolar compartments and disrupted L-LTP maintenance. Taken as a whole, these results suggest that new rRNAs (28S, 18S, and 5.8S ribosomal components--hence, new ribosomes and nucleoli integrity--are required for the maintenance of long-term synaptic plasticity. This provides a mechanistic link between stimulation-dependent gene expression and the new protein synthesis known to be required for memory consolidation.

  18. Synaptic plasticity in a recurrent neural network for versatile and adaptive behaviors of a walking robot

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grinke, Eduard; Tetzlaff, Christian; Wörgötter, Florentin

    2015-01-01

    mechanisms with plasticity, exteroceptive sensory feedback, and biomechanics. The neural mechanisms consist of adaptive neural sensory processing and modular neural locomotion control. The sensory processing is based on a small recurrent neural network consisting of two fully connected neurons. Online...... correlation-based learning with synaptic scaling is applied to adequately change the connections of the network. By doing so, we can effectively exploit neural dynamics (i.e., hysteresis effects and single attractors) in the network to generate different turning angles with short-term memory for a walking...

  19. BAI1 regulates spatial learning and synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhu, Dan; Li, Chenchen; Swanson, Andrew M

    2015-01-01

    levels of the canonical PSD component PSD-95 in the brain, which stems from protein destabilization. We determined that BAI1 prevents PSD-95 polyubiquitination and degradation through an interaction with murine double minute 2 (MDM2), the E3 ubiquitin ligase that regulates PSD-95 stability. Restoration...... of PSD-95 expression in hippocampal neurons in BAI1-deficient mice by viral gene therapy was sufficient to compensate for Bai1 loss and rescued deficits in synaptic plasticity. Together, our results reveal that interaction of BAI1 with MDM2 in the brain modulates PSD-95 levels and thereby regulates...

  20. Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase 65: A Link Between GABAergic Synaptic Plasticity in the Lateral Amygdala and Conditioned Fear Generalization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, Maren D; Jüngling, Kay; Paulukat, Linda; Vieler, Marc; Gaburro, Stefano; Sosulina, Ludmila; Blaesse, Peter; Sreepathi, Hari K; Ferraguti, Francesco; Pape, Hans-Christian

    2014-01-01

    An imbalance of the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system is considered a major neurobiological pathomechanism of anxiety, and the amygdala is a key brain region involved. Reduced GABA levels have been found in anxiety patients, and genetic variations of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), the rate-limiting enzyme of GABA synthesis, have been associated with anxiety phenotypes in both humans and mice. These findings prompted us to hypothesize that a deficiency of GAD65, the GAD isoform controlling the availability of GABA as a transmitter, affects synaptic transmission and plasticity in the lateral amygdala (LA), and thereby interferes with fear responsiveness. Results indicate that genetically determined GAD65 deficiency in mice is associated with (1) increased synaptic length and release at GABAergic connections, (2) impaired efficacy of GABAergic synaptic transmission and plasticity, and (3) reduced spillover of GABA to presynaptic GABAB receptors, resulting in a loss of the associative nature of long-term synaptic plasticity at cortical inputs to LA principal neurons. (4) In addition, training with high shock intensities in wild-type mice mimicked the phenotype of GAD65 deficiency at both the behavioral and synaptic level, indicated by generalization of conditioned fear and a loss of the associative nature of synaptic plasticity in the LA. In conclusion, GAD65 is required for efficient GABAergic synaptic transmission and plasticity, and for maintaining extracellular GABA at a level needed for associative plasticity at cortical inputs in the LA, which, if disturbed, results in an impairment of the cue specificity of conditioned fear responses typifying anxiety disorders. PMID:24663011

  1. Glutamic acid decarboxylase 65: a link between GABAergic synaptic plasticity in the lateral amygdala and conditioned fear generalization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, Maren D; Jüngling, Kay; Paulukat, Linda; Vieler, Marc; Gaburro, Stefano; Sosulina, Ludmila; Blaesse, Peter; Sreepathi, Hari K; Ferraguti, Francesco; Pape, Hans-Christian

    2014-08-01

    An imbalance of the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system is considered a major neurobiological pathomechanism of anxiety, and the amygdala is a key brain region involved. Reduced GABA levels have been found in anxiety patients, and genetic variations of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), the rate-limiting enzyme of GABA synthesis, have been associated with anxiety phenotypes in both humans and mice. These findings prompted us to hypothesize that a deficiency of GAD65, the GAD isoform controlling the availability of GABA as a transmitter, affects synaptic transmission and plasticity in the lateral amygdala (LA), and thereby interferes with fear responsiveness. Results indicate that genetically determined GAD65 deficiency in mice is associated with (1) increased synaptic length and release at GABAergic connections, (2) impaired efficacy of GABAergic synaptic transmission and plasticity, and (3) reduced spillover of GABA to presynaptic GABAB receptors, resulting in a loss of the associative nature of long-term synaptic plasticity at cortical inputs to LA principal neurons. (4) In addition, training with high shock intensities in wild-type mice mimicked the phenotype of GAD65 deficiency at both the behavioral and synaptic level, indicated by generalization of conditioned fear and a loss of the associative nature of synaptic plasticity in the LA. In conclusion, GAD65 is required for efficient GABAergic synaptic transmission and plasticity, and for maintaining extracellular GABA at a level needed for associative plasticity at cortical inputs in the LA, which, if disturbed, results in an impairment of the cue specificity of conditioned fear responses typifying anxiety disorders.

  2. The temporoammonic input to the hippocampal CA1 region displays distinctly different synaptic plasticity compared to the Schaffer collateral input in vivo: significance for synaptic information processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aksoy-Aksel, Ayla; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise

    2013-01-01

    In terms of its sub-regional differentiation, the hippocampal CA1 region receives cortical information directly via the perforant (temporoammonic) path (pp-CA1 synapse) and indirectly via the tri-synaptic pathway where the last relay station is the Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapse (Sc-CA1 synapse). Research to date on pp-CA1 synapses has been conducted predominantly in vitro and never in awake animals, but these studies hint that information processing at this synapse might be distinct to processing at the Sc-CA1 synapse. Here, we characterized synaptic properties and synaptic plasticity at the pp-CA1 synapse of freely behaving adult rats. We observed that field excitatory postsynaptic potentials at the pp-CA1 synapse have longer onset latencies and a shorter time-to-peak compared to the Sc-CA1 synapse. LTP (>24 h) was successfully evoked by tetanic afferent stimulation of pp-CA1 synapses. Low frequency stimulation evoked synaptic depression at Sc-CA1 synapses, but did not elicit LTD at pp-CA1 synapses unless the Schaffer collateral afferents to the CA1 region had been severed. Paired-pulse responses also showed significant differences. Our data suggest that synaptic plasticity at the pp-CA1 synapse is distinct from the Sc-CA1 synapse and that this may reflect its specific role in hippocampal information processing. PMID:23986697

  3. The temporoammonic input to the hippocampal CA1 region displays distinctly different synaptic plasticity compared to the Schaffer collateral input in vivo: significance for synaptic information processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayla eAksoy Aksel

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available In terms of its sub-regional differentiation, the hippocampal CA1 region receives cortical information directly via the perforant (temporoammonic path (pp-CA1 synapse and indirectly via the tri-synaptic pathway where the last relay station is the Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapse (Sc-CA1 synapse. Research to date on pp-CA1 synapses has been conducted predominantly in vitro and never in awake animals, but these studies hint that information processing at this synapse might be distinct to processing at the Sc-CA1 synapse. Here, we characterized synaptic properties and synaptic plasticity at the pp-CA1 synapse of freely behaving adult rats. We established that field excitatory postsynaptic potentials at the pp-CA1 have longer onset latencies and a shorter time-to-peak compared to the Sc-CA1 synapse. LTP (> 24h was successfully evoked by tetanic afferent stimulation of pp-CA1 synapses. Low frequency stimulation evoked synaptic depression at Sc-CA1 synapses, but did not elicit LTD at pp-CA1 synapses unless the Schaffer collateral afferents to the CA1 region had been severed. Paired-pulse responses also showed significant differences. Our data suggest that synaptic plasticity at the pp-CA1 synapse is distinct from the Sc-CA1 synapse and that this may reflect its specific role in hippocampal information processing.

  4. Cocaine-evoked synaptic plasticity of excitatory transmission in the ventral tegmental area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lüscher, Christian

    2013-05-01

    Cocaine leads to a strong euphoria, which is at the origin of its recreational use. Past the acute effects, the drug leaves traces in the brain that persist long after it has been cleared from the body. These traces eventually shape behavior such that drug use may become compulsive and addiction develops. Here we discuss cocaine-evoked synaptic plasticity of glutamatergic transmission onto dopamine (DA) neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) as one of the earliest traces after a first injection of cocaine. We review the literature that has examined the induction requirements as well as the expression mechanism of this form of plasticity and ask the question about its functional significance.

  5. Human-Specific Cortical Synaptic Connections and Their Plasticity: Is That What Makes Us Human?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lourenço, Joana; Bacci, Alberto

    2017-01-01

    One outstanding difference between Homo sapiens and other mammals is the ability to perform highly complex cognitive tasks and behaviors, such as language, abstract thinking, and cultural diversity. How is this accomplished? According to one prominent theory, cognitive complexity is proportional to the repetition of specific computational modules over a large surface expansion of the cerebral cortex (neocortex). However, the human neocortex was shown to also possess unique features at the cellular and synaptic levels, raising the possibility that expanding the computational module is not the only mechanism underlying complex thinking. In a study published in PLOS Biology, Szegedi and colleagues analyzed a specific cortical circuit from live postoperative human tissue, showing that human-specific, very powerful excitatory connections between principal pyramidal neurons and inhibitory neurons are highly plastic. This suggests that exclusive plasticity of specific microcircuits might be considered among the mechanisms endowing the human neocortex with the ability to perform highly complex cognitive tasks. PMID:28103228

  6. Human synaptic plasticity gene expression profile and dendritic spine density changes in HIV-infected human CNS cells: role in HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Venkata Subba Rao Atluri

    Full Text Available HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND is characterized by development of cognitive, behavioral and motor abnormalities, and occur in approximately 50% of HIV infected individuals. Our current understanding of HAND emanates mainly from HIV-1 subtype B (clade B, which is prevalent in USA and Western countries. However very little information is available on neuropathogenesis of HIV-1 subtype C (clade C that exists in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Therefore, studies to identify specific neuropathogenic mechanisms associated with HAND are worth pursuing to dissect the mechanisms underlying this modulation and to prevent HAND particularly in clade B infection. In this study, we have investigated 84 key human synaptic plasticity genes differential expression profile in clade B and clade C infected primary human astrocytes by using RT(2 Profile PCR Array human Synaptic Plasticity kit. Among these, 31 and 21 synaptic genes were significantly (≥3 fold down-regulated and 5 genes were significantly (≥3 fold up-regulated in clade B and clade C infected cells, respectively compared to the uninfected control astrocytes. In flow-cytometry analysis, down-regulation of postsynaptic density and dendrite spine morphology regulatory proteins (ARC, NMDAR1 and GRM1 was confirmed in both clade B and C infected primary human astrocytes and SK-N-MC neuroblastoma cells. Further, spine density and dendrite morphology changes by confocal microscopic analysis indicates significantly decreased spine density, loss of spines and decreased dendrite diameter, total dendrite and spine area in clade B infected SK-N-MC neuroblastoma cells compared to uninfected and clade C infected cells. We have also observed that, in clade B infected astrocytes, induction of apoptosis was significantly higher than in the clade C infected astrocytes. In conclusion, this study suggests that down-regulation of synaptic plasticity genes, decreased dendritic spine density and induction of

  7. Protease-activated receptor-1 modulates hippocampal memory formation and synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almonte, Antoine G; Qadri, Laura H; Sultan, Faraz A; Watson, Jennifer A; Mount, Daniel J; Rumbaugh, Gavin; Sweatt, J David

    2013-01-01

    Protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR1) is an unusual G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) that is activated through proteolytic cleavage by extracellular serine proteases. Although previous work has shown that inhibiting PAR1 activation is neuroprotective in models of ischemia, traumatic injury, and neurotoxicity, surprisingly little is known about PAR1's contribution to normal brain function. Here, we used PAR1-/- mice to investigate the contribution of PAR1 function to memory formation and synaptic function. We demonstrate that PAR1-/- mice have deficits in hippocampus-dependent memory. We also show that while PAR1-/- mice have normal baseline synaptic transmission at Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses, they exhibit severe deficits in N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP). Mounting evidence indicates that activation of PAR1 leads to potentiation of NMDAR-mediated responses in CA1 pyramidal cells. Taken together, this evidence and our data suggest an important role for PAR1 function in NMDAR-dependent processes subserving memory formation and synaptic plasticity. © 2012 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  8. Regulation of Astroglia on Synaptic Plasticity in the CA1 Region of Rat Hippocampus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2005-01-01

    The regulation of astroglia on synaptic plasticity in the CA1 region of rat hippocampus was examined. Rats were divided into three groups: the newly born (<24 h), the juvenile (28-30days) and the adult groups (90-100 days), with each group having 20 animals. The CA1 region of rat hippocampus was immunohistochemically and electron-microscopically examined, respectively,for the growth of astroglia and the ultrastructure of synapses. The high performance liquid chromatography was employed to determine the cholesterol content of rat hippocampus. In the newly-born rats, a large number of neurons were noted in the hippocampal CA1 region of the newly-born rats,and few astroglia and no synaptic structure were observed. In the juvenile group, a few astroglias and some immature synapses were found, which were less than those in adult rats (P<0.01). The cholesterol content was 2.92±0.03 mg/g, 11.20± 3.41 mg/g and 12.91 ± 1.25 mg/g for newly born, the juvenile and the adult groups, respectively, with the differences among them being statistically significant (P<0.01). Our study suggests that the astrocytes may play an important role in the synaptic formation and functional maturity of hippocampal neurons, which may be related to the secretion of cholesterol from astrocytes.

  9. The Role of Histone Deacetylase 6 in Synaptic Plasticity and Memory

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    Sarah Perry

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Histone deacetylases (HDACs have been extensively studied as drug targets in neurodegenerative diseases, but less is known about their role in healthy neurons. We tested zinc-dependent HDACs using RNAi in Drosophila melanogaster and found memory deficits with RPD3 and HDAC6. We demonstrate that HDAC6 is required in both the larval and adult stages for normal olfactory memory retention. Neuronal expression of HDAC6 rescued memory deficits, and we demonstrate that the N-terminal deacetylase (DAC domain is required for this ability. This suggests that deacetylation of synaptic targets associated with the first DAC domain, such as the active-zone scaffold Bruchpilot, is required for memory retention. Finally, electrophysiological experiments at the neuromuscular junction reveal that HDAC6 mutants exhibit a partial block of homeostatic plasticity, suggesting that HDAC6 may be required for the stabilization of synaptic strength. The learning deficit we observe in HDAC6 mutants could be a behavioral consequence of these synaptic defects.

  10. A distance constrained synaptic plasticity model of C. elegans neuronal network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badhwar, Rahul; Bagler, Ganesh

    2017-03-01

    Brain research has been driven by enquiry for principles of brain structure organization and its control mechanisms. The neuronal wiring map of C. elegans, the only complete connectome available till date, presents an incredible opportunity to learn basic governing principles that drive structure and function of its neuronal architecture. Despite its apparently simple nervous system, C. elegans is known to possess complex functions. The nervous system forms an important underlying framework which specifies phenotypic features associated to sensation, movement, conditioning and memory. In this study, with the help of graph theoretical models, we investigated the C. elegans neuronal network to identify network features that are critical for its control. The 'driver neurons' are associated with important biological functions such as reproduction, signalling processes and anatomical structural development. We created 1D and 2D network models of C. elegans neuronal system to probe the role of features that confer controllability and small world nature. The simple 1D ring model is critically poised for the number of feed forward motifs, neuronal clustering and characteristic path-length in response to synaptic rewiring, indicating optimal rewiring. Using empirically observed distance constraint in the neuronal network as a guiding principle, we created a distance constrained synaptic plasticity model that simultaneously explains small world nature, saturation of feed forward motifs as well as observed number of driver neurons. The distance constrained model suggests optimum long distance synaptic connections as a key feature specifying control of the network.

  11. Direct current stimulation promotes BDNF-dependent synaptic plasticity: potential implications for motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritsch, Brita; Reis, Janine; Martinowich, Keri; Schambra, Heidi M; Ji, Yuanyuan; Cohen, Leonardo G; Lu, Bai

    2010-04-29

    Despite its increasing use in experimental and clinical settings, the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) remain unknown. Anodal tDCS applied to the human motor cortex (M1) improves motor skill learning. Here, we demonstrate in mouse M1 slices that DCS induces a long-lasting synaptic potentiation (DCS-LTP), which is polarity specific, NMDA receptor dependent, and requires coupling of DCS with repetitive low-frequency synaptic activation (LFS). Combined DCS and LFS enhance BDNF-secretion and TrkB activation, and DCS-LTP is absent in BDNF and TrkB mutant mice, suggesting that BDNF is a key mediator of this phenomenon. Moreover, the BDNF val66met polymorphism known to partially affect activity-dependent BDNF secretion impairs motor skill acquisition in humans and mice. Motor learning is enhanced by anodal tDCS, as long as activity-dependent BDNF secretion is in place. We propose that tDCS may improve motor skill learning through augmentation of synaptic plasticity that requires BDNF secretion and TrkB activation within M1.

  12. Ribbon Synaptic Plasticity in Gravity Sensors of Rats Flown on Neurolab

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Muriel D.; Varelas, Joseph

    2003-01-01

    Previous spaceflight experiments (Space Life Sciences-1 and -2 (SLS-1 and SLS-2)) first demonstrated the extraordinary ability of gravity sensor hair cells to change the number, kind, and distribution of connections (synapses) they make to other cells while in weightlessness. The number of synapses in hair cells in one part of the inner ear (the utricle) was markedly elevated on flight day 13 (FD13) of SLS-2. Unanswered questions, however, were whether these increases in synapses occur rapidly and whether they remain stable in weightlessness. The answers have implications for long-duration human space travel. If gravity sensors can adapt quickly, crews may be able to move easily between different gravity levels, since the sensors will adapt rapidly to weightlessness on the spacecraft and then back to Earth's gravity when the mission ends. This ability to adapt is also important for recovery from balance disorders. To further our understanding of this adaptive potential (a property called neuronal synaptic plasticity), the present Neurolab research was undertaken. Our experiment examined whether: (a) increases in synapses would remain stable throughout the flight, (b) changes in the number of synapses were uniform across different portions of the gravity sensors (the utricle and saccule), and (c) synaptic changes were similar for the different types of hair cells (Type I and Type II). Utricular and saccular maculae (the gravity-sensing portions of the inner ear) were collected in flight from rats on FD2 and FD14. Samples were also collected from control rats on the ground. Tissues were prepared for ultrastructural study. Hair cells and their ribbon synapses were examined in a transmission electron microscope. Synapses were counted in all hair cells in 50 consecutive sections that crossed the striolar zone. Results indicate that utricular hair cell synapses initially increased significantly in number in both types of hair cells by FD2. Counts declined by FD14, but

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2008-01-01

    Our laboratory demonstrated previously that PGE2-induced modulation of hippocampal synaptic transmission is via a presynaptic PGE2 EP2 receptor. However, little is known about whether the EP2 receptor is involved in hippocampal long-term synaptic plasticity and cognitive function. Here we show that long-term potentiation (LTP) at the hippocampal perforant path synapses was impaired in mice deficient in the EP2 (KO), while membrane excitability and passive properties in granule neurons were no...

  14. Fragile X protein FMRP is required for homeostatic plasticity and regulation of synaptic strength by retinoic acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soden, Marta E; Chen, Lu

    2010-12-15

    Homeostatic synaptic plasticity adjusts the strength of synapses during global changes in neural activity, thereby stabilizing the overall activity of neural networks. Suppression of synaptic activity increases synaptic strength by inducing synthesis of retinoic acid (RA), which activates postsynaptic synthesis of AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs) in dendrites and promotes synaptic insertion of newly synthesized AMPARs. Here, we show that fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), an RNA-binding protein that regulates dendritic protein synthesis, is essential for increases in synaptic strength induced by RA or by blockade of neural activity in the mouse hippocampus. Although activity-dependent RA synthesis is maintained in Fmr1 knock-out neurons, RA-dependent dendritic translation of GluR1-type AMPA receptors is impaired. Intriguingly, FMRP is only required for the form of homeostatic plasticity that is dependent on both RA signaling and local protein synthesis. Postsynaptic expression of wild-type or mutant FMRP(I304N) in knock-out neurons reduced the total, surface, and synaptic levels of AMPARs, implying a role for FMRP in regulating AMPAR abundance. Expression of FMRP lacking the RGG box RNA-binding domain had no effect on AMPAR levels. Importantly, postsynaptic expression of wild-type FMRP, but not FMRP(I304N) or FMRPΔRGG, restored synaptic scaling when expressed in knock-out neurons. Together, these findings identify an unanticipated role for FMRP in regulating homeostatic synaptic plasticity downstream of RA. Our results raise the possibility that at least some of the symptoms of fragile X syndrome reflect impaired homeostatic plasticity and impaired RA signaling.

  15. G-Protein-Coupled Estrogen Receptor 1 Is Anatomically Positioned to Modulate Synaptic Plasticity in the Mouse Hippocampus

    OpenAIRE

    Elizabeth M. Waters; Thompson, Louisa I.; Patel, Parth; Gonzales, Andreina D.; Ye, Hector (Zhiyu); Filardo, Edward J.; Clegg, Deborah J.; Gorecka, Jolanta; Akama, Keith T.; McEwen, Bruce S.; Milner, Teresa A.

    2015-01-01

    Both estrous cycle and sex affect the numbers and types of neuronal and glial profiles containing the classical estrogen receptors α and β, and synaptic levels in the rodent dorsal hippocampus. Here, we examined whether the membrane estrogen receptor, G-protein-coupled estrogen receptor 1 (GPER1), is anatomically positioned in the dorsal hippocampus of mice to regulate synaptic plasticity. By light microscopy, GPER1-immunoreactivity (IR) was most noticeable in the pyramidal cell layer and int...

  16. Kek-6: A truncated-Trk-like receptor for Drosophila neurotrophin 2 regulates structural synaptic plasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzana Ulian-Benitez

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Neurotrophism, structural plasticity, learning and long-term memory in mammals critically depend on neurotrophins binding Trk receptors to activate tyrosine kinase (TyrK signaling, but Drosophila lacks full-length Trks, raising the question of how these processes occur in the fly. Paradoxically, truncated Trk isoforms lacking the TyrK predominate in the adult human brain, but whether they have neuronal functions independently of full-length Trks is unknown. Drosophila has TyrK-less Trk-family receptors, encoded by the kekkon (kek genes, suggesting that evolutionarily conserved functions for this receptor class may exist. Here, we asked whether Keks function together with Drosophila neurotrophins (DNTs at the larval glutamatergic neuromuscular junction (NMJ. We tested the eleven LRR and Ig-containing (LIG proteins encoded in the Drosophila genome for expression in the central nervous system (CNS and potential interaction with DNTs. Kek-6 is expressed in the CNS, interacts genetically with DNTs and can bind DNT2 in signaling assays and co-immunoprecipitations. Ligand binding is promiscuous, as Kek-6 can also bind DNT1, and Kek-2 and Kek-5 can also bind DNT2. In vivo, Kek-6 is found presynaptically in motoneurons, and DNT2 is produced by the muscle to function as a retrograde factor at the NMJ. Kek-6 and DNT2 regulate NMJ growth and synaptic structure. Evidence indicates that Kek-6 does not antagonise the alternative DNT2 receptor Toll-6. Instead, Kek-6 and Toll-6 interact physically, and together regulate structural synaptic plasticity and homeostasis. Using pull-down assays, we identified and validated CaMKII and VAP33A as intracellular partners of Kek-6, and show that they regulate NMJ growth and active zone formation downstream of DNT2 and Kek-6. The synaptic functions of Kek-6 could be evolutionarily conserved. This raises the intriguing possibility that a novel mechanism of structural synaptic plasticity involving truncated Trk

  17. Priming stimulation modifies synaptic plasticity in the perforant path of hippocampal slice in rat

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lian ZHANG; Hong-Mei XIAO; Yan-Xia ZHOU; Xiao-Ping LUO

    2006-01-01

    Objective The potential of all central nervous system synapses to exhibit long term potentiation (LTP) or long term depression (LTD) is subject to modulation by prior synaptic activity, a higher-order form of plasticity that has been termed metaplasticity. This study is designed to examine the plasticity and metaplasticity in the lateral perforant path of rat. Methods Field potential was measured with different priming and conditioning stimulation protocols. Results Ten-hertz priming, which does not affect basal synaptic transmission, caused a dramatic reduction in subsequent LTP at lateral perforant path synapses in vitro, and the reduced LTP lasted for at least 2 h. The LTD was unaffected. The reduction of LTP in the lateral perforant path was also readily induced by applying priming antidromically at the mossy fibers. Conclusion Priming with 10 Hz, which is within a frequency range observed during physiological activity, can cause potent,long-lasting inhibition of LTP, but not LTD. This form of metaplasticity adds a layer of complexity to the activity-dependent modification of synapses within the dentate gyrus.

  18. Dynamic impact of temporal context of Ca²⁺ signals on inhibitory synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawaguchi, Shin-Ya; Nagasaki, Nobuhiro; Hirano, Tomoo

    2011-01-01

    Neuronal activity-dependent synaptic plasticity, a basis for learning and memory, is tightly correlated with the pattern of increase in intracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)). Here, using combined application of electrophysiological experiments and systems biological simulation, we show that such a correlation dynamically changes depending on the context of [Ca(2+)](i) increase. In a cerebellar Purkinje cell, long-term potentiation of inhibitory GABA(A) receptor responsiveness (called rebound potentiation; RP) was induced by [Ca(2+)](i) increase in a temporally integrative manner through sustained activation of Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII). However, the RP establishment was canceled by coupling of two patterns of RP-inducing [Ca(2+)](i) increase depending on the temporal sequence. Negative feedback signaling by phospho-Thr305/306 CaMKII detected the [Ca(2+)](i) context, and assisted the feedforward inhibition of CaMKII through PDE1, resulting in the RP impairment. The [Ca(2+)](i) context-dependent dynamic regulation of synaptic plasticity might contribute to the temporal refinement of information flow in neuronal networks.

  19. TRPV1 in the central nervous system: synaptic plasticity, function, and pharmacological implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Jeffrey G

    2014-01-01

    The function of TRPV1 in the peripheral nervous system is increasingly being investigated for its anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive properties in an effort to find a novel target to fight pain that is nonaddictive. However, in recent years, it was discovered that TRPV1 is also associated with a wide array of functions and behaviors in the central nervous system, such as fear, anxiety, stress, thermoregulation, pain, and, more recently, synaptic plasticity, the cellular mechanism that allows the brain to adapt to its environment. This suggests a new role for brain TRPV1 in areas such as learning and memory, reward and addiction, and development. This wide array of functional aspects of TRPV1 in the central nervous system (CNS) is in part due to its multimodal form of activation and highlights the potential pharmacological implications of TRPV1 in the brain. As humans also express a TRPV1 homologue, it is likely that animal research will be translational to humans and therefore worthy of exploration. This review outlines the basic expression patterns of TRPV1 in the CNS along with what is known regarding its signaling mechanisms and its role in the aforementioned brain functions. As TRPV1 involvement in synaptic plasticity has never been fully reviewed elsewhere, it will be a focus of this review. The chapter concludes with some of the potential pharmaceutical implications of further TRPV1 research.

  20. Frequency-dependent gating of synaptic transmission and plasticity by dopamine

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    Hiroshi T Ito

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available The neurotransmitter dopamine (DA plays an important role in learning by enhancing the saliency of behaviorally relevant stimuli. How this stimulus selection is achieved on the cellular level, however, is not known. Here, in recordings from hippocampal slices, we show that DA acts specifically at the direct cortical input to hippocampal area CA1 (the temporoammonic (TA pathway to filter the excitatory drive onto pyramidal neurons based on the input frequency. During low-frequency patterns of stimulation, DA depressed excitatory TA inputs to both CA1 pyramidal neurons and local inhibitory GABAergic interneurons via presynaptic inhibition. In contrast, during high-frequency patterns of stimulation, DA potently facilitated the TA excitatory drive onto CA1 pyramidal neurons, owing to diminished feedforward inhibition. Analysis of DA's effects over a broad range of stimulus frequencies indicates that it acts as a high-pass filter, augmenting the response to high-frequency inputs while diminishing the impact of low-frequency inputs. These modulatory effects of DA exert a profound influence on activity-dependent forms of synaptic plasticity at both TA-CA1 and Schaffer-collateral (SC-CA1 synapses. Taken together, our data demonstrate that DA acts as a gate on the direct cortical input to the hippocampus, modulating information flow and synaptic plasticity in a frequency-dependent manner.

  1. Neuronal activity causes rapid changes of lateral amygdala neuronal membrane properties and reduction of synaptic integration and synaptic plasticity in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenkranz, J Amiel

    2011-04-20

    Neuronal membrane properties dictate neuronal responsiveness. Plasticity of membrane properties alters neuronal function and can arise in response to robust neuronal activity. Despite the potential for great impact, there is little evidence for a rapid effect of activity-dependent changes of membrane properties on many neuronal functions in vivo in mammalian brain. In this study it was tested whether periods of neuronal firing lead to a rapid change of membrane properties in neurons of a rat brain region important for some forms of learning, the lateral nucleus of the amygdala, using in vivo intracellular recordings. Our results demonstrate that rapid plasticity of membrane properties occurs in vivo, in response to action potential firing. This plasticity of membrane properties leads to changes of synaptic integration and subsequent synaptic plasticity. These changes require Ca(2+) and hyperpolarization-activated ion channels, but are NMDA independent. Furthermore, the parameters and time course of these changes would not have been predicted from most in vitro studies. The plasticity of membrane properties demonstrated here may represent a basic form of in vivo short-term plasticity that modifies neuronal function.

  2. Histone acetylation in the olfactory bulb of young rats facilitates aversive olfactory learning and synaptic plasticity.

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    Wang, Y-J; Okutani, F; Murata, Y; Taniguchi, M; Namba, T; Kaba, H

    2013-03-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms play an important role in memory formation and synaptic plasticity. Specifically, histone-associated heterochromatin undergoes changes in structure during the early stages of long-term memory formation. In keeping with the classical conditioning paradigm, young rats have been shown to exhibit aversion to an odor stimulus initially presented during foot shock. We previously showed that synaptic plasticity at the dendrodendritic synapses between mitral and granule cells in the olfactory bulb (OB) underlies this aversive olfactory learning. However, the epigenetic mechanisms involved are not well characterized. Therefore, we examined whether intrabulbar infusion of trichostatin A (TSA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor, facilitates olfactory learning in young rats. TSA infusion during odor-shock training enhanced a conditioned odor aversion in a dose-dependent manner and prolonged the learned aversion. Western blot and immunohistochemical analyses showed that the level of histone H4 acetylation significantly increased until 4 h after odor-shock training in both mitral and granule cells in the OB, whereas histone H3 acetylation returned to the control level at 2 h after the training. We also obtained evidence that TSA infusion elevated acetylation of histone H4 or H3. Furthermore, in vitro electrophysiological analysis using slices of the OB revealed that application of TSA significantly enhanced the long-term potentiation induced in synaptic transmission from mitral to granule cells at dendrodendritic synapses. Taken together, these results provide evidence that histone H4 and H3 acetylation in the OB is an epigenetic mechanism associated with aversive olfactory learning in young rats.

  3. Hypocretin/orexin neurons contribute to hippocampus-dependent social memory and synaptic plasticity in mice.

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    Yang, Liya; Zou, Bende; Xiong, Xiaoxing; Pascual, Conrado; Xie, James; Malik, Adam; Xie, Julian; Sakurai, Takeshi; Xie, Xinmin Simon

    2013-03-20

    Hypocretin/orexin (Hcrt)-producing neurons in the lateral hypothalamus project throughout the brain, including to the hippocampus, where Hcrt receptors are widely expressed. Hcrt neurons activate these targets to orchestrate global arousal state, wake-sleep architecture, energy homeostasis, stress adaptation, and reward behaviors. Recently, Hcrt has been implicated in cognitive functions and social interaction. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that Hcrt neurons are critical to social interaction, particularly social memory, using neurobehavioral assessment and electrophysiological approaches. The validated "two-enclosure homecage test" devices and procedure were used to test sociability, preference for social novelty (social novelty), and recognition memory. A conventional direct contact social test was conducted to corroborate the findings. We found that adult orexin/ataxin-3-transgenic (AT) mice, in which Hcrt neurons degenerate by 3 months of age, displayed normal sociability and social novelty with respect to their wild-type littermates. However, AT mice displayed deficits in long-term social memory. Nasal administration of exogenous Hcrt-1 restored social memory to an extent in AT mice. Hippocampal slices taken from AT mice exhibited decreases in degree of paired-pulse facilitation and magnitude of long-term potentiation, despite displaying normal basal synaptic neurotransmission in the CA1 area compared to wild-type hippocampal slices. AT hippocampi had lower levels of phosphorylated cAMP response element-binding protein (pCREB), an activity-dependent transcription factor important for synaptic plasticity and long-term memory storage. Our studies demonstrate that Hcrt neurons play an important role in the consolidation of social recognition memory, at least in part through enhancements of hippocampal synaptic plasticity and cAMP response element-binding protein phosphorylation.

  4. Multiplicative gain modulation arising from inhibitory synaptic plasticity in the cerebellar nuclei

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    Dimitris Bampasakis

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Neurons use the rate of action potentials to encode sensory variables. This makes the output rate as a function of input, also known as input-output (I–O relationship, a core computational function in neuronal processing. The introduction, or increase, of a modulatory input, can transform this function in multiple ways: additive transformations result in a shift, and multiplicative transformations in a change of slope of the I–O relationship. This slope change is known as gain modulation, and it can implement important forms of neural computation such as coordinate transformations. Gain modulation can be found in a wide range of brain systems, including the cerebellum, where it can be enabled by synaptic plasticity at both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. We use a realistic, conductance based, multi-compartmental model of a cerebellar nucleus (CN neuron, to investigate the determinants of gain modulation mediated by synaptic plasticity. In particular, we are interested in the effect of short term depression (STD at the inhibitory synapse from Purkinje cells (PCs to CN neurons. Considering the inhibitory PC input as the driving input, we compare the I–O relationship of the CN neuron in the presence and absence of STD for 20 Hz of excitatory synaptic input from mossy fibers (MFs, and find that STD introduces a gain change, changing the slope of the I–O function. We then proceed to compare the transformation performed by the increase of the modulatory input from 20 to 50 Hz, in the presence and absence of STD. We find that the presence of STD in the inhibitory synapse introduces a multiplicative component in the transformation performed by the excitatory input, an effect that persists for different levels of STD, and various combinations of regularity and synchronicity in the input.

  5. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) influences spatial cognition and modulates hippocampal structural synaptic plasticity in aging mice.

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    Ma, Jun; Zhang, Zhanchi; Kang, Lin; Geng, Dandan; Wang, Yanyong; Wang, Mingwei; Cui, Huixian

    2014-10-01

    Normal aging is characteristic with the gradual decline in cognitive function associated with the progressive reduction of structural and functional plasticity in the hippocampus. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has developed into a novel neurological and psychiatric tool that can be used to investigate the neurobiology of cognitive function. Recent studies have demonstrated that low-frequency rTMS (≤1Hz) affects synaptic plasticity in rats with vascular dementia (VaD), and it ameliorates the spatial cognitive ability in mice with Aβ1-42-mediated memory deficits, but there are little concerns about the effects of rTMS on normal aging related cognition and synaptic plasticity changes. Thus, the current study investigated the effects of rTMS on spatial memory behavior, neuron and synapse morphology in the hippocampus, and synaptic protein markers and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)/tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB) in normal aging mice, to illustrate the mechanisms of rTMS in regulating cognitive capacity. Relative to adult animals, aging caused hippocampal-dependent cognitive impairment, simultaneously inhibited the activation of the BDNF-TrkB signaling pathway, reduced the transcription and expression of synaptic protein markers: synaptophysin (SYN), growth associated protein 43 (GAP43) and post-synaptic density protein 95 (PSD95), as well as decreased synapse density and PSD (post-synaptic density) thickness. Interestingly, rTMS with low intensity (110% average resting motor threshold intensity, 1Hz, LIMS) triggered the activation of BDNF and TrkB, upregulated the level of synaptic protein markers, and increased synapse density and thickened PSD, and further reversed the spatial cognition dysfunction in aging mice. Conversely, high-intensity magnetic stimulation (150% average resting motor threshold intensity, 1Hz, HIMS) appeared to be detrimental, inducing thinning of PSDs, disordered synaptic structure, and a large number of

  6. Spike timing regulation on the millisecond scale by distributed synaptic plasticity at the cerebellum input stage: a simulation study

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    Jesus A Garrido

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The way long-term synaptic plasticity regulates neuronal spike patterns is not completely understood. This issue is especially relevant for the cerebellum, which is endowed with several forms of long-term synaptic plasticity and has been predicted to operate as a timing and a learning machine. Here we have used a computational model to simulate the impact of multiple distributed synaptic weights in the cerebellar granular layer network. In response to mossy fiber bursts, synaptic weights at multiple connections played a crucial role to regulate spike number and positioning in granule cells. The weight at mossy fiber to granule cell synapses regulated the delay of the first spike and the weight at mossy fiber and parallel fiber to Golgi cell synapses regulated the duration of the time-window during which the first-spike could be emitted. Moreover, the weights of synapses controlling Golgi cell activation regulated the intensity of granule cell inhibition and therefore the number of spikes that could be emitted. First spike timing was regulated with millisecond precision and the number of spikes ranged from 0 to 3. Interestingly, different combinations of synaptic weights optimized either first-spike timing precision or spike number, efficiently controlling transmission and filtering properties. These results predict that distributed synaptic plasticity regulates the emission of quasi-digital spike patterns on the millisecond time scale and allows the cerebellar granular layer to flexibly control burst transmission along the mossy fiber pathway.

  7. Investigation of hippocampal synaptic transmission and plasticity in mice deficient in the actin-binding protein Drebrin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willmes, Claudia G.; Mack, Till G. A.; Ledderose, Julia; Schmitz, Dietmar; Wozny, Christian; Eickholt, Britta J.

    2017-01-01

    The dynamic regulation of the actin cytoskeleton plays a key role in controlling the structure and function of synapses. It is vital for activity-dependent modulation of synaptic transmission and long-term changes in synaptic morphology associated with memory consolidation. Several regulators of actin dynamics at the synapse have been identified, of which a salient one is the postsynaptic actin stabilising protein Drebrin (DBN). It has been suggested that DBN modulates neurotransmission and changes in dendritic spine morphology associated with synaptic plasticity. Given that a decrease in DBN levels is correlated with cognitive deficits associated with ageing and dementia, it was hypothesised that DBN protein abundance instructs the integrity and function of synapses. We created a novel DBN deficient mouse line. Analysis of gross brain and neuronal morphology revealed no phenotype in the absence of DBN. Electrophysiological recordings in acute hippocampal slices and primary hippocampal neuronal cultures showed that basal synaptic transmission, and both long-term and homeostatic synaptic plasticity were unchanged, suggesting that loss of DBN is not sufficient in inducing synapse dysfunction. We propose that the overall lack of changes in synaptic function and plasticity in DBN deficient mice may indicate robust compensatory mechanisms that safeguard cytoskeleton dynamics at the synapse. PMID:28198431

  8. Loss of catecholaminergic neuromodulation of persistent forms of hippocampal synaptic plasticity with increasing age

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    Hannah Twarkowski

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Neuromodulation by means of the catecholaminergic system is a key component of motivation-driven learning and behaviorally modulated hippocampal synaptic plasticity. In particular, dopamine acting on D1/D5 receptors and noradrenaline acting on beta-adrenergic receptors exert a very potent regulation of forms of hippocampal synaptic plasticity that last for very long-periods of time (>24h, and occur in conjunction with novel spatial learning. Antagonism of these receptors not only prevents long-term potentiation (LTP and long-term depression (LTD, but prevents the memory of the spatial event that, under normal circumstances, leads to the perpetuation of these plasticity forms. Spatial learning behavior that normally comes easily to rats, such as object-place learning and spatial reference learning, becomes increasingly impaired with aging. Middle-aged animals display aging-related deficits of specific, but not all, components of spatial learning, and one possibility is that this initial manifestation of decrements in learning ability that become manifest in middle-age relate to changes in motivation, attention and/or the regulation by neuromodulatory systems of these behavioral states.Here, we compared the regulation by dopaminergic D1/D5 and beta-adrenergic receptors of persistent LTP in young (2-4 month old and middle-aged (8-14 month old rats. We observed in young rats, that weak potentiation that typically lasts for ca. 2h could be strengthened into persistent (>24h LTP by pharmacological activation of either D1/D5 or beta-adrenergic receptors. By contrast, no such facilitation occurred in middle-aged rats. This difference was not related to an ostensible learning deficit: a facilitation of weak potentiation into LTP by spatial learning was possible both in young and middle-aged rats. It was also not directly linked to deficits in LTP: strong afferent stimulation resulted in equivalent LTP in both age groups. We postulate that this change in

  9. Loss of Catecholaminergic Neuromodulation of Persistent Forms of Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity with Increasing Age

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twarkowski, Hannah; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise

    2016-01-01

    Neuromodulation by means of the catecholaminergic system is a key component of motivation-driven learning and behaviorally modulated hippocampal synaptic plasticity. In particular, dopamine acting on D1/D5 receptors and noradrenaline acting on beta-adrenergic receptors exert a very potent regulation of forms of hippocampal synaptic plasticity that last for very long-periods of time (>24 h), and occur in conjunction with novel spatial learning. Antagonism of these receptors not only prevents long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD), but prevents the memory of the spatial event that, under normal circumstances, leads to the perpetuation of these plasticity forms. Spatial learning behavior that normally comes easily to rats, such as object-place learning and spatial reference learning, becomes increasingly impaired with aging. Middle-aged animals display aging-related deficits of specific, but not all, components of spatial learning, and one possibility is that this initial manifestation of decrements in learning ability that become apparent in middle-age relate to changes in motivation, attention and/or the regulation by neuromodulatory systems of these behavioral states. Here, we compared the regulation by dopaminergic D1/D5 and beta-adrenergic receptors of persistent LTP in young (2–4 month old) and middle-aged (8–14 month old) rats. We observed in young rats, that weak potentiation that typically lasts for ca. 2 h could be strengthened into persistent (>24 h) LTP by pharmacological activation of either D1/D5 or beta-adrenergic receptors. By contrast, no such facilitation occurred in middle-aged rats. This difference was not related to an ostensible learning deficit: a facilitation of weak potentiation into LTP by spatial learning was possible both in young and middle-aged rats. It was also not directly linked to deficits in LTP: strong afferent stimulation resulted in equivalent LTP in both age groups. We postulate that this change in

  10. 5-HT7 receptors as modulators of neuronal excitability, synaptic transmission and plasticity: physiological role and possible implications in autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciranna, Lucia; Catania, Maria Vincenza

    2014-01-01

    Serotonin type 7 receptors (5-HT7) are expressed in several brain areas, regulate brain development, synaptic transmission and plasticity, and therefore are involved in various brain functions such as learning and memory. A number of studies suggest that 5-HT7 receptors could be potential pharmacotherapeutic target for cognitive disorders. Several abnormalities of serotonergic system have been described in patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), including abnormal activity of 5-HT transporter, altered blood and brain 5-HT levels, reduced 5-HT synthesis and altered expression of 5-HT receptors in the brain. A specific role for 5-HT7 receptors in ASD has not yet been demonstrated but some evidence implicates their possible involvement. We have recently shown that 5-HT7 receptor activation rescues hippocampal synaptic plasticity in a mouse model of Fragile X Syndrome, a monogenic cause of autism. Several other studies have shown that 5-HT7 receptors modulate behavioral flexibility, exploratory behavior, mood disorders and epilepsy, which include core and co-morbid symptoms of ASD. These findings further suggest an involvement of 5-HT7 receptors in ASD. Here, we review the physiological roles of 5-HT7 receptors and their implications in Fragile X Syndrome and other ASD.

  11. 5-HT7 receptors as modulators of neuronal excitability, synaptic transmission and plasticity: physiological role and possible implications in autism spectrum disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucia eCiranna

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Serotonin type 7 receptors (5-HT7 are expressed in several brain areas, regulate brain development, synaptic transmission and plasticity, and therefore are involved in various brain functions such as learning and memory. A number of studies suggest that 5-HT7 receptors could be potential pharmacotherapeutic target for cognitive disorders. Several abnormalities of serotonergic system have been described in patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD, including abnormal activity of 5-HT transporter, altered blood and brain 5-HT levels, reduced 5-HT synthesis and altered expression of 5-HT receptors in the brain. A specific role for 5-HT7 receptors in ASD has not yet been demonstrated but some evidence implicates their possible involvement. We have recently shown that 5-HT7 receptor activation rescues hippocampal synaptic plasticity in a mouse model of Fragile X Syndrome, a monogenic cause of autism. Several other studies have shown that 5-HT7 receptors modulate behavioral flexibility, exploratory behavior, mood disorders and epilepsy, which include core and co-morbid symptoms of ASD. These findings further suggest an involvement of 5-HT7 receptors in ASD. Here, we review the physiological roles of 5-HT7 receptors and their implications in Fragile X Syndrome and other ASD.

  12. Translational control by eIF2α kinases in long-lasting synaptic plasticity and long-term memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trinh, Mimi A; Klann, Eric

    2013-10-01

    Although the requirement for new protein synthesis in synaptic plasticity and memory has been well established, recent genetic, molecular, electrophysiological, and pharmacological studies have broadened our understanding of the translational control mechanisms that are involved in these processes. One of the critical translational control points mediating general and gene-specific translation depends on the phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor 2 alpha (eIF2α) by four regulatory kinases. Here, we review the literature highlighting the important role for proper translational control via regulation of eIF2α phosphorylation by its kinases in long-lasting synaptic plasticity and long-term memory.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Strain-dependent variations in spatial learning and in hippocampal synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus of freely behaving rats

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    Denise eManahan-Vaughan

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Hippocampal synaptic plasticity is believed to comprise the cellular basis for spatial learning. Strain-dependent differences in synaptic plasticity in the CA1 region have been reported. However, it is not known whether these differences extend to other synapses within the trisynaptic circuit, although there is evidence for morphological variations within that path. We investigated whether Wistar and Hooded Lister (HL rat strains express differences in synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus in vivo. We also explored whether they exhibit differences in the ability to engage in spatial learning in an 8-arm radial maze. Basal synaptic transmission was stable over a 24h period in both rat strains, and the input-output relationship of both strains was not significantly different. Paired-pulse analysis revealed significantly less paired-pulse facilitation in the Hooded Lister strain when pulses were given 40-100 msec apart. Low frequency stimulation at 1Hz evoked long-term depression (>24h in Wistar and short-term depression (<2h in HL rats; 200Hz stimulation induced long-term potentiation (>24h in Wistar, and a transient, significantly smaller potentiation (<1h in HL rats, suggesting that HL rats have higher thresholds for expression of persistent synaptic plasticity. Training for 10d in an 8-arm radial maze revealed that HL rats master the working memory task faster than Wistar rats, although both strains show an equivalent performance by the end of the trial period. HL rats also perform more efficiently in a double working and reference memory task. On the other hand, Wistar rats show better reference memory performance on the final (8-10 days of training. Wistar rats were less active and more anxious than HL rats.These data suggest that strain-dependent variations in hippocampal synaptic plasticity occur in different hippocampal synapses. A clear correlation with differences in spatial learning is not evident however.

  15. High-fat diet induces hepatic insulin resistance and impairment of synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhigang; Patil, Ishan Y; Jiang, Tianyi; Sancheti, Harsh; Walsh, John P; Stiles, Bangyan L; Yin, Fei; Cadenas, Enrique

    2015-01-01

    High-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity is associated with insulin resistance, which may affect brain synaptic plasticity through impairment of insulin-sensitive processes underlying neuronal survival, learning, and memory. The experimental model consisted of 3 month-old C57BL/6J mice fed either a normal chow diet (control group) or a HFD (60% of calorie from fat; HFD group) for 12 weeks. This model was characterized as a function of time in terms of body weight, fasting blood glucose and insulin levels, HOMA-IR values, and plasma triglycerides. IRS-1/Akt pathway was assessed in primary hepatocytes and brain homogenates. The effect of HFD in brain was assessed by electrophysiology, input/output responses and long-term potentiation. HFD-fed mice exhibited a significant increase in body weight, higher fasting glucose- and insulin levels in plasma, lower glucose tolerance, and higher HOMA-IR values. In liver, HFD elicited (a) a significant decrease of insulin receptor substrate (IRS-1) phosphorylation on Tyr608 and increase of Ser307 phosphorylation, indicative of IRS-1 inactivation; (b) these changes were accompanied by inflammatory responses in terms of increases in the expression of NFκB and iNOS and activation of the MAP kinases p38 and JNK; (c) primary hepatocytes from mice fed a HFD showed decreased cellular oxygen consumption rates (indicative of mitochondrial functional impairment); this can be ascribed partly to a decreased expression of PGC1α and mitochondrial biogenesis. In brain, HFD feeding elicited (a) an inactivation of the IRS-1 and, consequentially, (b) a decreased expression and plasma membrane localization of the insulin-sensitive neuronal glucose transporters GLUT3/GLUT4; (c) a suppression of the ERK/CREB pathway, and (d) a substantial decrease in long-term potentiation in the CA1 region of hippocampus (indicative of impaired synaptic plasticity). It may be surmised that 12 weeks fed with HFD induce a systemic insulin resistance that impacts

  16. High-fat diet induces hepatic insulin resistance and impairment of synaptic plasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhigang Liu

    Full Text Available High-fat diet (HFD-induced obesity is associated with insulin resistance, which may affect brain synaptic plasticity through impairment of insulin-sensitive processes underlying neuronal survival, learning, and memory. The experimental model consisted of 3 month-old C57BL/6J mice fed either a normal chow diet (control group or a HFD (60% of calorie from fat; HFD group for 12 weeks. This model was characterized as a function of time in terms of body weight, fasting blood glucose and insulin levels, HOMA-IR values, and plasma triglycerides. IRS-1/Akt pathway was assessed in primary hepatocytes and brain homogenates. The effect of HFD in brain was assessed by electrophysiology, input/output responses and long-term potentiation. HFD-fed mice exhibited a significant increase in body weight, higher fasting glucose- and insulin levels in plasma, lower glucose tolerance, and higher HOMA-IR values. In liver, HFD elicited (a a significant decrease of insulin receptor substrate (IRS-1 phosphorylation on Tyr608 and increase of Ser307 phosphorylation, indicative of IRS-1 inactivation; (b these changes were accompanied by inflammatory responses in terms of increases in the expression of NFκB and iNOS and activation of the MAP kinases p38 and JNK; (c primary hepatocytes from mice fed a HFD showed decreased cellular oxygen consumption rates (indicative of mitochondrial functional impairment; this can be ascribed partly to a decreased expression of PGC1α and mitochondrial biogenesis. In brain, HFD feeding elicited (a an inactivation of the IRS-1 and, consequentially, (b a decreased expression and plasma membrane localization of the insulin-sensitive neuronal glucose transporters GLUT3/GLUT4; (c a suppression of the ERK/CREB pathway, and (d a substantial decrease in long-term potentiation in the CA1 region of hippocampus (indicative of impaired synaptic plasticity. It may be surmised that 12 weeks fed with HFD induce a systemic insulin resistance that impacts

  17. Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity Can Explain Post-traumatic Epileptogenesis in Chronically Isolated Neocortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houweling, Arthur R.; Bazhenov, Maxim; Timofeev, Igor; Steriade, Mircea; Sejnowski, Terrence J.

    2010-01-01

    Chronically isolated neocortex develops chronic hyperexcitability and focal epileptogenesis in a period of days to weeks. The mechanisms operating in this model of post-traumatic epileptogenesis are not well understood. We hypothesized that the spontaneous burst discharges recorded in chronically isolated neocortex result from homeostatic plasticity (a mechanism generally assumed to stabilize neuronal activity) induced by low neuronal activity after deafferentation. To test this hypothesis we constructed computer models of neocortex incorporating a biologically based homeostatic plasticity rule that operates to maintain firing rates. After deafferentation, homeostatic upregulation of excitatory synapses on pyramidal cells, either with or without concurrent downregulation of inhibitory synapses or upregulation of intrinsic excitability, initiated slowly repeating burst discharges that closely resembled the epileptiform burst discharges recorded in chronically isolated neocortex. These burst discharges lasted a few hundred ms, propagated at 1–3 cm/s and consisted of large (10–15 mV) intracellular depolarizations topped by a small number of action potentials. Our results support a role for homeostatic synaptic plasticity as a novel mechanism of post-traumatic epileptogenesis. PMID:15483049

  18. Sleep deprivation during a specific 3-hour time window post-training impairs hippocampal synaptic plasticity and memory

    OpenAIRE

    Prince, Toni-Moi; Wimmer, Mathieu; Choi, Jennifer; Havekes, Robbert; Aton, Sara; Abel, Ted

    2013-01-01

    Sleep deprivation disrupts hippocampal function and plasticity. In particular, long-term memory consolidation is impaired by sleep deprivation, suggesting that a specific critical period exists following learning during which sleep is necessary. To elucidate the impact of sleep deprivation on long-term memory consolidation and synaptic plasticity, long-term memory was assessed when mice were sleep deprived following training in the hippocampus-dependent object place recognition task. We found...

  19. AMPA Receptor Phosphorylation and Synaptic Colocalization on Motor Neurons Drive Maladaptive Plasticity below Complete Spinal Cord Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huie, J Russell; Stuck, Ellen D; Lee, Kuan H; Irvine, Karen-Amanda; Beattie, Michael S; Bresnahan, Jacqueline C; Grau, James W; Ferguson, Adam R

    2015-01-01

    Clinical spinal cord injury (SCI) is accompanied by comorbid peripheral injury in 47% of patients. Human and animal modeling data have shown that painful peripheral injuries undermine long-term recovery of locomotion through unknown mechanisms. Peripheral nociceptive stimuli induce maladaptive synaptic plasticity in dorsal horn sensory systems through AMPA receptor (AMPAR) phosphorylation and trafficking to synapses. Here we test whether ventral horn motor neurons in rats demonstrate similar experience-dependent maladaptive plasticity below a complete SCI in vivo. Quantitative biochemistry demonstrated that intermittent nociceptive stimulation (INS) rapidly and selectively increases AMPAR subunit GluA1 serine 831 phosphorylation and localization to synapses in the injured spinal cord, while reducing synaptic GluA2. These changes predict motor dysfunction in the absence of cell death signaling, suggesting an opportunity for therapeutic reversal. Automated confocal time-course analysis of lumbar ventral horn motor neurons confirmed a time-dependent increase in synaptic GluA1 with concurrent decrease in synaptic GluA2. Optical fractionation of neuronal plasma membranes revealed GluA2 removal from extrasynaptic sites on motor neurons early after INS followed by removal from synapses 2 h later. As GluA2-lacking AMPARs are canonical calcium-permeable AMPARs (CP-AMPARs), their stimulus- and time-dependent insertion provides a therapeutic target for limiting calcium-dependent dynamic maladaptive plasticity after SCI. Confirming this, a selective CP-AMPAR antagonist protected against INS-induced maladaptive spinal plasticity, restoring adaptive motor responses on a sensorimotor spinal training task. These findings highlight the critical involvement of AMPARs in experience-dependent spinal cord plasticity after injury and provide a pharmacologically targetable synaptic mechanism by which early postinjury experience shapes motor plasticity.

  20. Humans with Type-2 Diabetes Show Abnormal Long-Term Potentiation-Like Cortical Plasticity Associated with Verbal Learning Deficits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fried, Peter J.; Schilberg, Lukas; Brem, Anna-Katharine; Saxena, Sadhvi; Wong, Bonnie; Cypess, Aaron M.; Horton, Edward S.; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro

    2016-01-01

    Background Type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) accelerates cognitive aging and increases risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Rodent models of T2DM show altered synaptic plasticity associated with reduced learning and memory. Humans with T2DM also show cognitive deficits, including reduced learning and memory, but the relationship of these impairments to the efficacy of neuroplastic mechanisms has never been assessed. Objective Our primary objective was to compare mechanisms of cortical plasticity in humans with and without T2DM. Our secondary objective was to relate plasticity measures to standard measures of cognition. Methods A prospective cross-sectional cohort study was conducted on 21 adults with T2DM and 15 demographically-similar non-diabetic controls. Long-term potentiation-like plasticity was assessed in primary motor cortex by comparing the amplitude of motor evoked potentials (MEPs) from single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation before and after intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS). Plasticity measures were compared between groups and related to neuropsychological scores. Results In T2DM, iTBS-induced modulation of MEPs was significantly less than controls, even after controlling for potential confounds. Furthermore, in T2DM, modulation of MEPs 10-min post-iTBS was significantly correlated with Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Task (RAVLT) performance. Conclusion Humans with T2DM show abnormal cortico-motor plasticity that is correlated with reduced verbal learning. Since iTBS after-effects and the RAVLT are both NMDA receptor-dependent measures, their relationship in T2DM may reflect brain-wide alterations in the efficacy of NMDA receptors. These findings offer novel mechanistic insights into the brain consequences of T2DM and provide a reliable means to monitor brain health and evaluate the efficacy of clinical interventions. PMID:27636847

  1. Taurine content in different brain structures during ageing: effect on hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suárez, Luz M; Muñoz, María-Dolores; Martín Del Río, Rafael; Solís, José M

    2016-05-01

    A reduction in taurine content accompanies the ageing process in many tissues. In fact, the decline of brain taurine levels has been associated with cognitive deficits whereas chronic administration of taurine seems to ameliorate age-related deficits such as memory acquisition and retention. In the present study, using rats of three age groups (young, adult and aged) we determined whether the content of taurine and other amino acids (glutamate, serine, glutamine, glycine, alanine and GABA) was altered during ageing in different brain areas (cerebellum, cortex and hippocampus) as well non-brain tissues (heart, kidney, liver and plasma). Moreover, using hippocampal slices we tested whether ageing affects synaptic function and plasticity. These parameters were also determined in aged rats fed with either taurine-devoid or taurine-supplemented diets. With age, we found heterogeneous changes in amino acid content depending on the amino acid type and the tissue. In the case of taurine, its content was reduced in the cerebellum of adult and aged rats, but it remained unchanged in the hippocampus, cortex, heart and liver. The synaptic response amplitude decreased in aged rats, although the late phase of long-term synaptic potentiation (late-LTP), a taurine-dependent process, was not altered. Our study highlights the stability of taurine content in the hippocampus during ageing regardless of whether taurine was present in the diet, which is consistent with the lack of changes detected in late-LTP. These results indicate that the beneficial effects of taurine supplementation might be independent of the replenishment of taurine stores.

  2. Impaired synaptic plasticity in the prefrontal cortex of mice with developmentally decreased number of interneurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konstantoudaki, X; Chalkiadaki, K; Tivodar, S; Karagogeos, D; Sidiropoulou, K

    2016-05-13

    Interneurons are inhibitory neurons, which protect neural tissue from excessive excitation. They are interconnected with glutamatergic pyramidal neurons in the cerebral cortex and regulate their function. Particularly in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), interneurons have been strongly implicated in regulating pathological states which display deficits in the PFC. The aim of this study is to investigate the adaptations in the adult glutamatergic system, when defects in interneuron development do not allow adequate numbers of interneurons to reach the cerebral cortex. To this end, we used a mouse model that displays ~50% fewer cortical interneurons due to the Rac1 protein loss from Nkx2.1/Cre expressing cells (Rac1 conditional knockout (cKO) mice), to examine how the developmental loss of interneurons may affect basal synaptic transmission, synaptic plasticity and neuronal morphology in the adult PFC. Despite the decrease in the number of interneurons, basal synaptic transmission, as examined by recording field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) from layer II networks, is not altered in the PFC of Rac1 cKO mice. However, there is decreased paired-pulse ratio (PPR) and decreased long-term potentiation (LTP), in response to tetanic stimulation, in the layer II PFC synapses of Rac1 cKO mice. Furthermore, expression of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) subunits is decreased and dendritic morphology is altered, changes that could underlie the decrease in LTP in the Rac1 cKO mice. Finally, we find that treating Rac1 cKO mice with diazepam in early postnatal life can reverse changes in dendritic morphology observed in non-treated Rac1 cKO mice. Therefore, our data show that disruption in GABAergic inhibition alters glutamatergic function in the adult PFC, an effect that could be reversed by enhancement of GABAergic function during an early postnatal period.

  3. A kinetic model of dopamine- and calcium-dependent striatal synaptic plasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takashi Nakano

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Corticostriatal synapse plasticity of medium spiny neurons is regulated by glutamate input from the cortex and dopamine input from the substantia nigra. While cortical stimulation alone results in long-term depression (LTD, the combination with dopamine switches LTD to long-term potentiation (LTP, which is known as dopamine-dependent plasticity. LTP is also induced by cortical stimulation in magnesium-free solution, which leads to massive calcium influx through NMDA-type receptors and is regarded as calcium-dependent plasticity. Signaling cascades in the corticostriatal spines are currently under investigation. However, because of the existence of multiple excitatory and inhibitory pathways with loops, the mechanisms regulating the two types of plasticity remain poorly understood. A signaling pathway model of spines that express D1-type dopamine receptors was constructed to analyze the dynamic mechanisms of dopamine- and calcium-dependent plasticity. The model incorporated all major signaling molecules, including dopamine- and cyclic AMP-regulated phosphoprotein with a molecular weight of 32 kDa (DARPP32, as well as AMPA receptor trafficking in the post-synaptic membrane. Simulations with dopamine and calcium inputs reproduced dopamine- and calcium-dependent plasticity. Further in silico experiments revealed that the positive feedback loop consisted of protein kinase A (PKA, protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A, and the phosphorylation site at threonine 75 of DARPP-32 (Thr75 served as the major switch for inducing LTD and LTP. Calcium input modulated this loop through the PP2B (phosphatase 2B-CK1 (casein kinase 1-Cdk5 (cyclin-dependent kinase 5-Thr75 pathway and PP2A, whereas calcium and dopamine input activated the loop via PKA activation by cyclic AMP (cAMP. The positive feedback loop displayed robust bi-stable responses following changes in the reaction parameters. Increased basal dopamine levels disrupted this dopamine-dependent plasticity. The

  4. Synchronization and long-time memory in neural networks with inhibitory hubs and synaptic plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertolotti, Elena; Burioni, Raffaella; di Volo, Matteo; Vezzani, Alessandro

    2017-01-01

    We investigate the dynamical role of inhibitory and highly connected nodes (hub) in synchronization and input processing of leaky-integrate-and-fire neural networks with short term synaptic plasticity. We take advantage of a heterogeneous mean-field approximation to encode the role of network structure and we tune the fraction of inhibitory neurons fI and their connectivity level to investigate the cooperation between hub features and inhibition. We show that, depending on fI, highly connected inhibitory nodes strongly drive the synchronization properties of the overall network through dynamical transitions from synchronous to asynchronous regimes. Furthermore, a metastable regime with long memory of external inputs emerges for a specific fraction of hub inhibitory neurons, underlining the role of inhibition and connectivity also for input processing in neural networks.

  5. Cbln1 is essential for synaptic integrity and plasticity in the cerebellum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirai, Hirokazu; Pang, Zhen; Bao, Dashi; Miyazaki, Taisuke; Li, Leyi; Miura, Eriko; Parris, Jennifer; Rong, Yongqi; Watanabe, Masahiko; Yuzaki, Michisuke; Morgan, James I

    2005-11-01

    Cbln1 is a cerebellum-specific protein of previously unknown function that is structurally related to the C1q and tumor necrosis factor families of proteins. We show that Cbln1 is a glycoprotein secreted from cerebellar granule cells that is essential for three processes in cerebellar Purkinje cells: the matching and maintenance of pre- and postsynaptic elements at parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapses, the establishment of the proper pattern of climbing fiber-Purkinje cell innervation, and induction of long-term depression at parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapses. Notably, the phenotype of cbln1-null mice mimics loss-of-function mutations in the orphan glutamate receptor, GluR delta2, a gene selectively expressed in Purkinje neurons. Therefore, Cbln1 secreted from presynaptic granule cells may be a component of a transneuronal signaling pathway that controls synaptic structure and plasticity.

  6. Chaos and Correlated Avalanches in Excitatory Neural Networks with Synaptic Plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pittorino, Fabrizio; Ibáñez-Berganza, Miguel; di Volo, Matteo; Vezzani, Alessandro; Burioni, Raffaella

    2017-03-01

    A collective chaotic phase with power law scaling of activity events is observed in a disordered mean field network of purely excitatory leaky integrate-and-fire neurons with short-term synaptic plasticity. The dynamical phase diagram exhibits two transitions from quasisynchronous and asynchronous regimes to the nontrivial, collective, bursty regime with avalanches. In the homogeneous case without disorder, the system synchronizes and the bursty behavior is reflected into a period doubling transition to chaos for a two dimensional discrete map. Numerical simulations show that the bursty chaotic phase with avalanches exhibits a spontaneous emergence of persistent time correlations and enhanced Kolmogorov complexity. Our analysis reveals a mechanism for the generation of irregular avalanches that emerges from the combination of disorder and deterministic underlying chaotic dynamics.

  7. Dynamic regulation of midbrain dopamine neuron activity: intrinsic, synaptic, and plasticity mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morikawa, H; Paladini, C A

    2011-12-15

    Although the roles of dopaminergic signaling in learning and behavior are well established, it is not fully understood how the activity of dopaminergic neurons is dynamically regulated under different conditions in a constantly changing environment. Dopamine neurons must integrate sensory, motor, and cognitive information online to inform the organism to pursue outcomes with the highest reward probability. In this article, we provide an overview of recent advances on the intrinsic, extrinsic (i.e., synaptic), and plasticity mechanisms controlling dopamine neuron activity, mostly focusing on mechanistic studies conducted using ex vivo brain slice preparations. We also hope to highlight some unresolved questions regarding information processing that takes place at dopamine neurons, thereby stimulating further investigations at different levels of analysis.

  8. Modulation of Rho GTPases rescues brain mitochondrial dysfunction, cognitive deficits and aberrant synaptic plasticity in female mice modeling Rett syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Filippis, Bianca; Valenti, Daniela; Chiodi, Valentina; Ferrante, Antonella; de Bari, Lidia; Fiorentini, Carla; Domenici, Maria Rosaria; Ricceri, Laura; Vacca, Rosa Anna; Fabbri, Alessia; Laviola, Giovanni

    2015-06-01

    Rho GTPases are molecules critically involved in neuronal plasticity and cognition. We have previously reported that modulation of brain Rho GTPases by the bacterial toxin CNF1 rescues the neurobehavioral phenotype in MeCP2-308 male mice, a model of Rett syndrome (RTT). RTT is a rare X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder and a genetic cause of intellectual disability, for which no effective therapy is available. Mitochondrial dysfunction has been proposed to be involved in the mechanism of the disease pathogenesis. Here we demonstrate that modulation of Rho GTPases by CNF1 rescues the reduced mitochondrial ATP production via oxidative phosphorylation in the brain of MeCP2-308 heterozygous female mice, the condition which more closely recapitulates that of RTT patients. In RTT mouse brain, CNF1 also restores the alterations in the activity of the mitochondrial respiratory chain (MRC) complexes and of ATP synthase, the molecular machinery responsible for the majority of cell energy production. Such effects were achieved through the upregulation of the protein content of those MRC complexes subunits, which were defective in RTT mouse brain. Restored mitochondrial functionality was accompanied by the rescue of deficits in cognitive function (spatial reference memory in the Barnes maze), synaptic plasticity (long-term potentiation) and Tyr1472 phosphorylation of GluN2B, which was abnormally enhanced in the hippocampus of RTT mice. Present findings bring into light previously unknown functional mitochondrial alterations in the brain of female mice modeling RTT and provide the first evidence that RTT brain mitochondrial dysfunction can be rescued by modulation of Rho GTPases.

  9. Protective effect of tetrahydroxy stilbene glucoside on learning and memory by regulating synaptic plasticity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hong-bo Luo; Yun Li; Zun-jing Liu; Li Cao; Zhi-qiang Zhang; Yong Wang; Xiao-yan Zhang; Zhao Liu; Xiang-qun Shi

    2016-01-01

    Damage to synaptic plasticity induced by neurotoxicity of amyloid-beta is regarded to be one of the pathological mechanisms of learning and memory disabilities in Alzheimer’s disease patients. This study assumed that the damage of amyloid-beta to learning and memory abilities was strongly associated with the changes in the Fyn/N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor 2B (NR2B) expression. An APP695V7171 transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease was used and treatment with tetrahydroxy-stilbene glucoside was administered intragas-trically. Results showed that intragastric administration of tetrahydroxy-stilbene glucoside improved the learning and memory abilities of the transgenic mice through increasing NR2B receptors and Fyn expression. It also reversed parameters for synaptic interface structure of gray type I. These ifndings indicate that tetrahydroxy stilbene glucoside has protective effects on the brain, and has prospects for its clinical application to improve the learning and memory abilities and treat Alzheimer’s disease.

  10. A novel fibroblast growth factor receptor family member promotes neuronal outgrowth and synaptic plasticity in aplysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollak, Daniela D; Minh, Bui Quang; Cicvaric, Ana; Monje, Francisco J

    2014-11-01

    Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF) Receptors (FGFRs) regulate essential biological processes, including embryogenesis, angiogenesis, cellular growth and memory-related long-term synaptic plasticity. Whereas canonical FGFRs depend exclusively on extracellular Immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domains for ligand binding, other receptor types, including members of the tropomyosin-receptor-kinase (Trk) family, use either Ig-like or Leucine-Rich Repeat (LRR) motifs, or both. Little is known, however, about the evolutionary events leading to the differential incorporation of LRR domains into Ig-containing tyrosine kinase receptors. Moreover, although FGFRs have been identified in many vertebrate species, few reports describe their existence in invertebrates. Information about the biological relevance of invertebrate FGFRs and evolutionary divergences between them and their vertebrate counterparts is therefore limited. Here, we characterized ApLRRTK, a neuronal cell-surface protein recently identified in Aplysia. We unveiled ApLRRTK as the first member of the FGFRs family deprived of Ig-like domains that instead contains extracellular LRR domains. We describe that ApLRRTK exhibits properties typical of canonical vertebrate FGFRs, including promotion of FGF activity, enhancement of neuritic outgrowth and signaling via MAPK and the transcription factor CREB. ApLRRTK also enhanced the synaptic efficiency of neurons known to mediate in vivo memory-related defensive behaviors. These data reveal a novel molecular regulator of neuronal function in invertebrates, provide the first evolutionary linkage between LRR proteins and FGFRs and unveil an unprecedented mechanism of FGFR gene diversification in primeval central nervous systems.

  11. Neuronal pentraxin 1 negatively regulates excitatory synapse density and synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figueiro-Silva, Joana; Gruart, Agnès; Clayton, Kevin Bernard; Podlesniy, Petar; Abad, Maria Alba; Gasull, Xavier; Delgado-García, José María; Trullas, Ramon

    2015-04-08

    In mature neurons, the number of synapses is determined by a neuronal activity-dependent dynamic equilibrium between positive and negative regulatory factors. We hypothesized that neuronal pentraxin (NP1), a proapoptotic protein induced by low neuronal activity, could be a negative regulator of synapse density because it is found in dystrophic neurites in Alzheimer's disease-affected brains. Here, we report that knockdown of NP1 increases the number of excitatory synapses and neuronal excitability in cultured rat cortical neurons and enhances excitatory drive and long-term potentiation in the hippocampus of behaving mice. Moreover, we found that NP1 regulates the surface expression of the Kv7.2 subunit of the Kv7 family of potassium channels that control neuronal excitability. Furthermore, pharmacological activation of Kv7 channels prevents, whereas inhibition mimics, the increase in synaptic proteins evoked by the knockdown of NP1. These results indicate that NP1 negatively regulates excitatory synapse number by modulating neuronal excitability and show that NP1 restricts excitatory synaptic plasticity. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/355504-18$15.00/0.

  12. Different Compartments of Apical CA1 Dendrites Have Different Plasticity Thresholds for Expressing Synaptic Tagging and Capture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sajikumar, Sreedharan; Korte, Martin

    2011-01-01

    The consolidation process from short- to long-term memory depends on the type of stimulation received from a specific neuronal network and on the cooperativity and associativity between different synaptic inputs converging onto a specific neuron. We show here that the plasticity thresholds for inducing LTP are different in proximal and distal…

  13. Computational identification of potential multitarget treatments for ameliorating the adverse effects of amyloid-beta on synaptic plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas J. Anastasio

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The leading hypothesis on Alzheimer Disease (AD is that it is caused by buildup of the peptide amyloid-beta (Abeta, which initially causes dysregulation of synaptic plasticity and eventually causes destruction of synapses and neurons. Pharmacological efforts to limit Abeta buildup have proven ineffective, and this raises the twin challenges of understanding the adverse effects of Abeta on synapses and of suggesting pharmacological means to prevent it. The purpose of this paper is to initiate a computational approach to understanding the dysregulation by Abeta of synaptic plasticity and to offer suggestions whereby combinations of various chemical compounds could be arrayed against it. This data-driven approach confronts the complexity of synaptic plasticity by representing findings from the literature in a course-grained manner, and focuses on understanding the aggregate behavior of many molecular interactions. The same set of interactions is modeled by two different computer programs, each written using a different programming modality: one imperative, the other declarative. Both programs compute the same results over an extensive test battery, providing an essential crosscheck. Then the imperative program is used for the computationally intensive purpose of determining the effects on the model of every combination of ten different compounds, while the declarative program is used to analyze model behavior using temporal logic. Together these two model implementations offer new insights into the mechanisms by which Abeta dysregulates synaptic plasticity and suggest many drug combinations that potentially may reduce or prevent it.

  14. Different Compartments of Apical CA1 Dendrites Have Different Plasticity Thresholds for Expressing Synaptic Tagging and Capture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sajikumar, Sreedharan; Korte, Martin

    2011-01-01

    The consolidation process from short- to long-term memory depends on the type of stimulation received from a specific neuronal network and on the cooperativity and associativity between different synaptic inputs converging onto a specific neuron. We show here that the plasticity thresholds for inducing LTP are different in proximal and distal…

  15. Epigenetic alterations are critical for fear memory consolidation and synaptic plasticity in the lateral amygdala.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa S Monsey

    Full Text Available Epigenetic mechanisms, including histone acetylation and DNA methylation, have been widely implicated in hippocampal-dependent learning paradigms. Here, we have examined the role of epigenetic alterations in amygdala-dependent auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning and associated synaptic plasticity in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA in the rat. Using Western blotting, we first show that auditory fear conditioning is associated with an increase in histone H3 acetylation and DNMT3A expression in the LA, and that training-related alterations in histone acetylation and DNMT3A expression in the LA are downstream of ERK/MAPK signaling. Next, we show that intra-LA infusion of the histone deacetylase (HDAC inhibitor TSA increases H3 acetylation and enhances fear memory consolidation; that is, long-term memory (LTM is enhanced, while short-term memory (STM is unaffected. Conversely, intra-LA infusion of the DNA methyltransferase (DNMT inhibitor 5-AZA impairs fear memory consolidation. Further, intra-LA infusion of 5-AZA was observed to impair training-related increases in H3 acetylation, and pre-treatment with TSA was observed to rescue the memory consolidation deficit induced by 5-AZA. In our final series of experiments, we show that bath application of either 5-AZA or TSA to amygdala slices results in significant impairment or enhancement, respectively, of long-term potentiation (LTP at both thalamic and cortical inputs to the LA. Further, the deficit in LTP following treatment with 5-AZA was observed to be rescued at both inputs by co-application of TSA. Collectively, these findings provide strong support that histone acetylation and DNA methylation work in concert to regulate memory consolidation of auditory fear conditioning and associated synaptic plasticity in the LA.

  16. Epigenetic alterations are critical for fear memory consolidation and synaptic plasticity in the lateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monsey, Melissa S; Ota, Kristie T; Akingbade, Irene F; Hong, Ellie S; Schafe, Glenn E

    2011-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms, including histone acetylation and DNA methylation, have been widely implicated in hippocampal-dependent learning paradigms. Here, we have examined the role of epigenetic alterations in amygdala-dependent auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning and associated synaptic plasticity in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) in the rat. Using Western blotting, we first show that auditory fear conditioning is associated with an increase in histone H3 acetylation and DNMT3A expression in the LA, and that training-related alterations in histone acetylation and DNMT3A expression in the LA are downstream of ERK/MAPK signaling. Next, we show that intra-LA infusion of the histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor TSA increases H3 acetylation and enhances fear memory consolidation; that is, long-term memory (LTM) is enhanced, while short-term memory (STM) is unaffected. Conversely, intra-LA infusion of the DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) inhibitor 5-AZA impairs fear memory consolidation. Further, intra-LA infusion of 5-AZA was observed to impair training-related increases in H3 acetylation, and pre-treatment with TSA was observed to rescue the memory consolidation deficit induced by 5-AZA. In our final series of experiments, we show that bath application of either 5-AZA or TSA to amygdala slices results in significant impairment or enhancement, respectively, of long-term potentiation (LTP) at both thalamic and cortical inputs to the LA. Further, the deficit in LTP following treatment with 5-AZA was observed to be rescued at both inputs by co-application of TSA. Collectively, these findings provide strong support that histone acetylation and DNA methylation work in concert to regulate memory consolidation of auditory fear conditioning and associated synaptic plasticity in the LA.

  17. Tunable low energy, compact and high performance neuromorphic circuit for spike-based synaptic plasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mostafa Rahimi Azghadi

    Full Text Available Cortical circuits in the brain have long been recognised for their information processing capabilities and have been studied both experimentally and theoretically via spiking neural networks. Neuromorphic engineers are primarily concerned with translating the computational capabilities of biological cortical circuits, using the Spiking Neural Network (SNN paradigm, into in silico applications that can mimic the behaviour and capabilities of real biological circuits/systems. These capabilities include low power consumption, compactness, and relevant dynamics. In this paper, we propose a new accelerated-time circuit that has several advantages over its previous neuromorphic counterparts in terms of compactness, power consumption, and capability to mimic the outcomes of biological experiments. The presented circuit simulation results demonstrate that, in comparing the new circuit to previous published synaptic plasticity circuits, reduced silicon area and lower energy consumption for processing each spike is achieved. In addition, it can be tuned in order to closely mimic the outcomes of various spike timing- and rate-based synaptic plasticity experiments. The proposed circuit is also investigated and compared to other designs in terms of tolerance to mismatch and process variation. Monte Carlo simulation results show that the proposed design is much more stable than its previous counterparts in terms of vulnerability to transistor mismatch, which is a significant challenge in analog neuromorphic design. All these features make the proposed design an ideal circuit for use in large scale SNNs, which aim at implementing neuromorphic systems with an inherent capability that can adapt to a continuously changing environment, thus leading to systems with significant learning and computational abilities.

  18. Tunable low energy, compact and high performance neuromorphic circuit for spike-based synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahimi Azghadi, Mostafa; Iannella, Nicolangelo; Al-Sarawi, Said; Abbott, Derek

    2014-01-01

    Cortical circuits in the brain have long been recognised for their information processing capabilities and have been studied both experimentally and theoretically via spiking neural networks. Neuromorphic engineers are primarily concerned with translating the computational capabilities of biological cortical circuits, using the Spiking Neural Network (SNN) paradigm, into in silico applications that can mimic the behaviour and capabilities of real biological circuits/systems. These capabilities include low power consumption, compactness, and relevant dynamics. In this paper, we propose a new accelerated-time circuit that has several advantages over its previous neuromorphic counterparts in terms of compactness, power consumption, and capability to mimic the outcomes of biological experiments. The presented circuit simulation results demonstrate that, in comparing the new circuit to previous published synaptic plasticity circuits, reduced silicon area and lower energy consumption for processing each spike is achieved. In addition, it can be tuned in order to closely mimic the outcomes of various spike timing- and rate-based synaptic plasticity experiments. The proposed circuit is also investigated and compared to other designs in terms of tolerance to mismatch and process variation. Monte Carlo simulation results show that the proposed design is much more stable than its previous counterparts in terms of vulnerability to transistor mismatch, which is a significant challenge in analog neuromorphic design. All these features make the proposed design an ideal circuit for use in large scale SNNs, which aim at implementing neuromorphic systems with an inherent capability that can adapt to a continuously changing environment, thus leading to systems with significant learning and computational abilities.

  19. The role of astrocytic aquaporin-4 in synaptic plasticity and learning and memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jenny I. Szu

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Aquaporin-4 (AQP4 is the predominant water channel expressed by astrocytes in the central nervous system. AQP4 is widely expressed throughout the brain, especially at the blood-brain barrier where AQP4 is highly polarized to astrocytic foot processes in contact with blood vessels. The bidirectional water transport function of AQP4 suggests its role in cerebral water balance in the CNS. The regulation of AQP4 has been extensively investigated in various neuropathological conditions such as cerebral edema, epilepsy, and ischemia, however, the functional role of AQP4 in synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory is only beginning to be elucidated. In this review, we explore the current literature on AQP4 and its influence on LTP and LTD in the hippocampus as well as the potential relationship between AQP4 in learning and memory. We begin by discussing recent in vitro and in vivo studies using AQP4 knockout (KO and wild-type mice, in particular, the impairment of LTP and LTD observed in the hippocampus. Early evidence using AQP4 KO mice have suggested that impaired LTP and LTD is BDNF dependent. Others have indicated a possible link between defective LTP and the downregulation of glutamate transporter-1 which is rescued by chronic treatment of β-lactam antibiotic ceftriaxone. Furthermore, behavioral studies may shed some light into the functional role of AQP4 in learning and memory. AQP4 KO mice performances utilizing Morris water maze, object placement tests, and contextual fear conditioning proposed a specific role of AQP4 in memory consolidation. All together, these studies highlight the potential influence AQP4 may have on long term synaptic plasticity and memory.

  20. Spinal motoneuron synaptic plasticity after axotomy in the absence of inducible nitric oxide synthase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zanon Renata G

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Astrocytes play a major role in preserving and restoring structural and physiological integrity following injury to the nervous system. After peripheral axotomy, reactive gliosis propagates within adjacent spinal segments, influenced by the local synthesis of nitric oxide (NO. The present work investigated the importance of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS activity in acute and late glial responses after injury and in major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC I expression and synaptic plasticity of inputs to lesioned alpha motoneurons. Methods In vivo analyses were carried out using C57BL/6J-iNOS knockout (iNOS-/- and C57BL/6J mice. Glial response after axotomy, glial MHC I expression, and the effects of axotomy on synaptic contacts were measured using immunohistochemistry and transmission electron microscopy. For this purpose, 2-month-old animals were sacrificed and fixed one or two weeks after unilateral sciatic nerve transection, and spinal cord sections were incubated with antibodies against classical MHC I, GFAP (glial fibrillary acidic protein - an astroglial marker, Iba-1 (an ionized calcium binding adaptor protein and a microglial marker or synaptophysin (a presynaptic terminal marker. Western blotting analysis of MHC I and nNOS expression one week after lesion were also performed. The data were analyzed using a two-tailed Student's t test for parametric data or a two-tailed Mann-Whitney U test for nonparametric data. Results A statistical difference was shown with respect to astrogliosis between strains at the different time points studied. Also, MHC I expression by iNOS-/- microglial cells did not increase at one or two weeks after unilateral axotomy. There was a difference in synaptophysin expression reflecting synaptic elimination, in which iNOS-/- mice displayed a decreased number of the inputs to alpha motoneurons, in comparison to that of C57BL/6J. Conclusion The findings herein indicate that i

  1. The Role of GluK4 in Synaptic Plasticity and Affective Behavior in Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catches, Justin Samuel

    Kainate receptors (KARs) are glutamate-gated ion channels that signal through both ionotropic and metabotropic pathways (Contractor et al., 2011). Combinations of five KAR subunits (GluK1-5) form tetrameric receptors with GluK1, GluK2, and GluK3 able to form functional homomeric channels. The high-affinity subunits, GluK4 and GluK5, do not form homomeric channels but modify the properties of heteromeric receptors. Expression of the GluK4 receptor subunit in the forebrain is restricted to the CA3 region of the hippocampus and dentate gyrus regions where KARs modulate synaptic plasticity. In this study, ablation of Grik4, which encodes GluK4, in mice reduced KAR synaptic currents and altered activation properties of postsynaptic receptors but left two forms of presynaptic short-term plasticity intact. Disruption of both Grik4 and Grik5 caused complete loss of the postsynaptic ionotropic KAR current and impaired presynaptic frequency facilitation. Additionally, KAR surface expression was altered at pre- and postsynaptic sites at the MF synapse. Despite the loss of ionotropic signaling, KAR-mediated inhibition of the slow afterhyperpolarization current, which is dependent on metabotropic signaling, was intact in CA3 neurons. Long-term potentiation at the MF-CA3 synapse was reduced, likely through a loss of KAR modulation of excitability of the presynaptic MF axons. Genetic variants in the human GRIK4 gene alter the susceptibility for affective disorders (Bloss and Hunter, 2010). We found that ablation of Grik4 in mice resulted in reduced anxiety and an antidepressant-like phenotype. In the elevated zero-maze, a test for anxiety and risk taking behavior, and in two anxiogenic tests, marble-burying and novelty-induced suppression of feeding, anxiety-like behavior was consistently reduced in knockout animals. In the forced swim, a test of learned helplessness used to determine depression-like behavior, knockout mice demonstrated significantly less immobility suggesting

  2. Proteolytic Regulation of Synaptic Plasticity in the Mouse Primary Visual Cortex: Analysis of Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 Deficient Mice.

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    Emily A Kelly

    2015-09-01

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

  3. Epileptiform activity and spreading depolarization in the blood-brain barrier-disrupted peri-infarct hippocampus are associated with impaired GABAergic inhibition and synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lippmann, Kristina; Kamintsky, Lyn; Kim, Soo Young; Lublinsky, Svetlana; Prager, Ofer; Nichtweiss, Julia Friederike; Salar, Seda; Kaufer, Daniela; Heinemann, Uwe; Friedman, Alon

    2017-05-01

    Peri-infarct opening of the blood-brain barrier may be associated with spreading depolarizations, seizures, and epileptogenesis as well as cognitive dysfunction. We aimed to investigate the mechanisms underlying neural network pathophysiology in the blood-brain barrier-dysfunctional hippocampus. Photothrombotic stroke within the rat neocortex was associated with increased intracranial pressure, vasogenic edema, and peri-ischemic blood-brain barrier dysfunction that included the ipsilateral hippocampus. Intrahippocampal recordings revealed electrographic seizures within the first week in two-thirds of animals, accompanied by a reduction in gamma and increase in theta frequency bands. Synaptic interactions were studied in parasagittal hippocampal slices at 24 h and seven days post-stroke. Field potential recordings in CA1 and CA3 uncovered multiple population spikes, epileptiform episodes, and spreading depolarizations at 24 h. Input-output analysis revealed that fEPSP-spike coupling was significantly enhanced at seven days. In addition, CA1 feedback and feedforward inhibition were diminished. Slices generating epileptiform activity at seven days revealed impaired bidirectional long-term plasticity following high and low-frequency stimulation protocols. Microarray and PCR data confirmed changes in expression of astrocyte-related genes and suggested downregulation in expression of GABAA-receptor subunits. We conclude that blood-brain barrier dysfunction in the peri-infarct hippocampus is associated with early disinhibition, hyperexcitability, and abnormal synaptic plasticity.

  4. Simulating the Effects of Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity on Postsynaptic Dynamics in the Globus Pallidus

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    Moran eBrody

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The rat globus pallidus (GP is one of the nuclei of the basal ganglia and plays an important role in a variety of motor and cognitive processes. In vivo studies have shown that repetitive stimulation evokes complex modulations of GP activity. In vitro and computational studies have suggested that short-term synaptic plasticity (STP could be one of the underlying mechanisms. The current study used simplified single compartment modeling to explore the possible effect of STP on the activity of GP neurons during low and high frequency stimulation. To do this we constructed a model of a GP neuron connected to a small network of neurons from the three major input sources to GP neurons: striatum (Str, subthalamic nucleus (STN and GP collaterals. All synapses were implemented with a kinetic model of STP. The in vitro recordings of responses to low frequency repetitive stimulation were highly reconstructed, including rate changes and locking to the stimulus. Mainly involved were fast forms of plasticity which have been found at these synapses. . The simulations were qualitatively compared to a data set previously recorded in vitro in our lab. Reconstructions of experimental responses to high frequency stimulation required adding slower forms of plasticity to the STN and GP collateral synapses, as well as adding metabotropic receptors to the STN-GP synapses. These finding suggest the existence of as yet unreported slower short-term dynamics in the GP. The computational model made additional predictions about GP activity during low and high frequency stimulation that may further our understanding of the mechanisms underlying repetative stimulation of the GP.

  5. The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism enhances glutamatergic transmission but diminishes activity-dependent synaptic plasticity in the dorsolateral striatum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jing, Deqiang; Lee, Francis S; Ninan, Ipe

    2017-01-01

    The Val66Met polymorphism in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene disrupts the activity-dependent release of BDNF, which might underlie its involvement in several neuropsychiatric disorders. Consistent with the potential role of regulated release of BDNF in synaptic functions, earlier studies have demonstrated that the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism impairs NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission and plasticity in the hippocampus, the medial prefrontal cortex and the central amygdala. However, it is unknown whether the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism affects synapses in the dorsal striatum, which depends on cortical afferents for BDNF. Electrophysiological experiments revealed an enhanced glutamatergic transmission in the dorsolateral striatum (DLS) of knock-in mice containing the variant polymorphism (BDNF(Met/Met)) compared to the wild-type (BDNF(Val/Val)) mice. This increase in glutamatergic transmission is mediated by a potentiation in glutamate release and NMDA receptor transmission in the medium spiny neurons without any alterations in non-NMDA receptor-mediated transmission. We also observed an impairment of synaptic plasticity, both long-term potentiation and depression in the DLS neurons, in BDNF(Met/Met) mice. Thus, the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism exerts an increase in glutamatergic transmission but impairs synaptic plasticity in the dorsal striatum, which might play a role in its effect on neuropsychiatric symptoms. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'Ionotropic glutamate receptors'.

  6. Mechanisms of translation control underlying long-lasting synaptic plasticity and the consolidation of long-term memory.

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    Santini, Emanuela; Huynh, Thu N; Klann, Eric

    2014-01-01

    The complexity of memory formation and its persistence is a phenomenon that has been studied intensely for centuries. Memory exists in many forms and is stored in various brain regions. Generally speaking, memories are reorganized into broadly distributed cortical networks over time through systems level consolidation. At the cellular level, storage of information is believed to initially occur via altered synaptic strength by processes such as long-term potentiation. New protein synthesis is required for long-lasting synaptic plasticity as well as for the formation of long-term memory. The mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) is a critical regulator of cap-dependent protein synthesis and is required for numerous forms of long-lasting synaptic plasticity and long-term memory. As such, the study of mTORC1 and protein factors that control translation initiation and elongation has enhanced our understanding of how the process of protein synthesis is regulated during memory formation. Herein we discuss the molecular mechanisms that regulate protein synthesis as well as pharmacological and genetic manipulations that demonstrate the requirement for proper translational control in long-lasting synaptic plasticity and long-term memory formation. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Streptavidin-conjugated CdSe/ZnS quantum dots impaired synaptic plasticity and spatial memory process

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gao Xiaoyan [Center for Molecular Neurobiology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (Germany); Tang Mingliang [Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (China); Li Zhifeng; Zha Yingying [University of Science and Technology of China, CAS Key Laboratory of Brain Function and Disease, and School of Life Sciences (China); Cheng Guosheng [Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (China); Yin Shuting [Center for Molecular Neurobiology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (Germany); Chen Jutao; Ruan Diyun; Chen Lin; Wang Ming, E-mail: wming@ustc.edu.cn [University of Science and Technology of China, CAS Key Laboratory of Brain Function and Disease, and School of Life Sciences (China)

    2013-04-15

    Studies reported that quantum dots (QDs), as a novel probe, demonstrated a promising future for in vivo imaging, but also showed potential toxicity. This study is mainly to investigate in vivo response in the central nervous system (CNS) after exposure to QDs in a rat model of synaptic plasticity and spatial memory. Adult rats were exposed to streptavidin-conjugated CdSe/ZnS QDs (Qdots 525, purchased from Molecular Probes Inc.) by intraperitoneal injection for 7 days, followed by behavioral, electrophysiological, and biochemical examinations. The electrophysiological results show that input/output (I/O) functions were increased, while the peak of paired-pulse reaction and long-term potentiation were decreased after QDs insult, indicating synaptic transmission was enhanced and synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus was impaired. Meanwhile, behavioral experiments provide the evidence that QDs could impair rats' spatial memory process. All the results present evidences of interference of synaptic transmission and plasticity in rat hippocampal dentate gyrus area by QDs insult and suggest potential adverse issues which should be considered in QDs applications.

  8. Anti-homeostatic synaptic plasticity of glycine receptor function after chronic strychnine in developing cultured mouse spinal neurons.

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    Carrasco, M A; Castro, P A; Sepulveda, F J; Cuevas, M; Tapia, J C; Izaurieta, P; van Zundert, B; Aguayo, L G

    2007-03-01

    In this study, we describe a novel form of anti-homeostatic plasticity produced after culturing spinal neurons with strychnine, but not bicuculline or 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX). Strychnine caused a large increase in network excitability, detected as spontaneous synaptic currents and calcium transients. The calcium transients were associated with action potential firing and activation of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA(A)) and alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors as they were blocked by tetrodotoxin (TTX), bicuculline, and CNQX. After chronic blockade of glycine receptors (GlyRs), the frequency of synaptic transmission showed a significant enhancement demonstrating the phenomenon of anti-homeostatic plasticity. Spontaneous inhibitory glycinergic currents in treated cells showed a fourfold increase in frequency (from 0.55 to 2.4 Hz) and a 184% increase in average peak amplitude compared with control. Furthermore, the augmentation in excitability accelerated the decay time constant of miniature inhibitory post-synaptic currents. Strychnine caused an increase in GlyR current density, without changes in the apparent affinity. These findings support the idea of a post-synaptic action that partly explains the increase in synaptic transmission. This phenomenon of synaptic plasticity was blocked by TTX, an antibody against brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and K252a suggesting the involvement of the neuronal activity-dependent BDNF-TrkB signaling pathway. These results show that the properties of GlyRs are regulated by the degree of neuronal activity in the developing network.

  9. MicroRNA132 Modulates Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity but Not Basal Release Probability in Hippocampal Neurons

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    Lambert, Talley J.; Storm, Daniel R.; Sullivan, Jane M.

    2010-01-01

    MicroRNAs play important regulatory roles in a broad range of cellular processes including neuronal morphology and long-term synaptic plasticity. MicroRNA-132 (miR132) is a CREB-regulated miRNA that is induced by neuronal activity and neurotrophins, and plays a role in regulating neuronal morphology and cellular excitability. Little is known about the effects of miR132 expression on synaptic function. Here we show that overexpression of miR132 increases the paired-pulse ratio and decreases sy...

  10. Role of synaptic structural plasticity in impairments of spatial learning and memory induced by developmental lead exposure in Wistar rats.

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    Yongmei Xiao

    Full Text Available Lead (Pb is found to impair cognitive function. Synaptic structural plasticity is considered to be the physiological basis of synaptic functional plasticity and has been recently found to play important roles in learning and memory. To study the effect of Pb on spatial learning and memory at different developmental stages, and its relationship with alterations of synaptic structural plasticity, postnatal rats were randomly divided into three groups: Control; Pre-weaning Pb (Parents were exposed to 2 mM PbCl2 3 weeks before mating until weaning of pups; Post-weaning Pb (Weaned pups were exposed to 2 mM PbCl2 for 9 weeks. The spatial learning and memory of rats was measured by Morris water maze (MWM on PND 85-90. Rat pups in Pre-weaning Pb and Post-weaning Pb groups performed significantly worse than those in Control group (p<0.05. However, there was no significant difference in the performance of MWM between the two Pb-exposure groups. Before MWM (PND 84, the number of neurons and synapses significantly decreased in Pre-weaning Pb group, but not in Post-weaning Pb group. After MWM (PND 91, the number of synapses in Pre-weaning Pb group increased significantly, but it was still less than that of Control group (p<0.05; the number of synapses in Post-weaning Pb group was also less than that of Control group (p<0.05, although the number of synapses has no differences between Post-weaning Pb and Control groups before MWM. In both Pre-weaning Pb and Post-weaning Pb groups, synaptic structural parameters such as thickness of postsynaptic density (PSD, length of synaptic active zone and synaptic curvature increased significantly while width of synaptic cleft decreased significantly compared to Control group (p<0.05. Our data demonstrated that both early and late developmental Pb exposure impaired spatial learning and memory as well as synaptic structural plasticity in Wistar rats.

  11. Morphological and functional abnormalities in mitochondria associated with synaptic degeneration in prion disease.

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    Sisková, Zuzana; Mahad, Don Joseph; Pudney, Carianne; Campbell, Graham; Cadogan, Mark; Asuni, Ayodeji; O'Connor, Vincent; Perry, Victor Hugh

    2010-09-01

    Synaptic and dendritic pathology is a well-documented component of prion disease. In common with other neurodegenerative diseases that contain an element of protein misfolding, little is known about the underlying mechanisms of synaptic degeneration. In particular, in prion disease the relationship between synaptic malfunction, degeneration, and mitochondria has been neglected. We investigated a wide range of mitochondrial parameters, including changes in mitochondrial density, inner membrane ultrastructure, functional properties and nature of mitochondrial DNA from hippocampal tissue of mice with prion disease, which have ongoing synaptic pathology. Our results indicate that despite a lack of detectable changes in either mitochondrial density or expression of the mitochondrial proteins, mitochondrial function was impaired when compared with age-matched control animals. We observed changes in mitochondrial inner membrane morphology and a reduction in the cytochrome c oxidase activity relative to a sustained level of mitochondrial proteins such as porin and individual, functionally important subunits of complex II and complex IV. These data support the idea that mitochondrial dysfunction appears to occur due to inhibition or modification of respiratory complex rather than deletions of mitochondrial DNA. Indeed, these changes were seen in the stratum radiatum where synaptic pathology is readily detected, indicating that mitochondrial function is impaired and could potentially contribute to or even initiate the synaptic pathology in prion disease.

  12. Promoter-Specific Effects of DREADD Modulation on Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity and Memory Formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López, Alberto J; Kramár, Enikö; Matheos, Dina P; White, André O; Kwapis, Janine; Vogel-Ciernia, Annie; Sakata, Keith; Espinoza, Monica; Wood, Marcelo A

    2016-03-23

    modulating the hippocampus in not only a hippocampus-dependent task but also in hippocampal synaptic plasticity. This is the first study to evaluate the effects of DREADD-mediated inhibition and excitation in hippocampal long-term potentiation. More specifically, this study evaluates the effect of promoter-specific expression of DREADD viruses in a heterogenic cell population, which revealed surprising effects of different promoters. With chemogenetics becoming a more ubiquitous tool throughout studies investigating circuit-specific function, these data are of broad interest to the neuroscientific community because we have shown that promoter-specific effects can drastically alter synaptic function within a specific region, without parallel changes at the level of behavior. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/363589-12$15.00/0.

  13. Compartmentalized PDE4A5 Signaling Impairs Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity and Long-Term Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Havekes, Robbert; Park, Alan J; Tolentino, Rosa E; Bruinenberg, Vibeke M; Tudor, Jennifer C; Lee, Yool; Hansen, Rolf T; Guercio, Leonardo A; Linton, Edward; Neves-Zaph, Susana R; Meerlo, Peter; Baillie, George S; Houslay, Miles D; Abel, Ted

    2016-08-24

    Alterations in cAMP signaling are thought to contribute to neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric disorders. Members of the cAMP-specific phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) family, which contains >25 different isoforms, play a key role in determining spatial cAMP degradation so as to orchestrate compartmentalized cAMP signaling in cells. Each isoform binds to a different set of protein complexes through its unique N-terminal domain, thereby leading to targeted degradation of cAMP in specific intracellular compartments. However, the functional role of specific compartmentalized PDE4 isoforms has not been examined in vivo Here, we show that increasing protein levels of the PDE4A5 isoform in mouse hippocampal excitatory neurons impairs a long-lasting form of hippocampal synaptic plasticity and attenuates hippocampus-dependent long-term memories without affecting anxiety. In contrast, viral expression of a truncated version of PDE4A5, which lacks the unique N-terminal targeting domain, does not affect long-term memory. Further, overexpression of the PDE4A1 isoform, which targets a different subset of signalosomes, leaves memory undisturbed. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer sensor-based cAMP measurements reveal that the full-length PDE4A5, in contrast to the truncated form, hampers forskolin-mediated increases in neuronal cAMP levels. Our study indicates that the unique N-terminal localization domain of PDE4A5 is essential for the targeting of specific cAMP-dependent signaling underlying synaptic plasticity and memory. The development of compounds to disrupt the compartmentalization of individual PDE4 isoforms by targeting their unique N-terminal domains may provide a fruitful approach to prevent cognitive deficits in neuropsychiatric and neurocognitive disorders that are associated with alterations in cAMP signaling. Neurons exhibit localized signaling processes that enable biochemical cascades to be activated selectively in specific subcellular compartments. The

  14. Modulation of Synaptic Plasticity in the Cortex Needs to Understand All the Players

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    Meunier, Claire N. J.; Chameau, Pascal; Fossier, Philippe M.

    2017-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is involved in cognitive tasks such as working memory, decision making, risk assessment and regulation of attention. These functions performed by the PFC are supposed to rely on rhythmic electrical activity generated by neuronal network oscillations determined by a precise balance between excitation and inhibition balance (E/I balance) resulting from the coordinated activities of recurrent excitation and feedback and feedforward inhibition. Functional alterations in PFC functions have been associated with cognitive deficits in several pathologies such as major depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. These pathological situations are correlated with alterations of different neurotransmitter systems (i.e., serotonin (5-HT), dopamine (DA), acetylcholine…) that result in alterations of the E/I balance. The aim of this review article is to cover the basic aspects of the regulation of the E/I balance as well as to highlight the importance of the complementarity role of several neurotransmitters in the modulation of the plasticity of excitatory and inhibitory synapses. We illustrate our purpose by recent findings that demonstrate that 5-HT and DA cooperate to regulate the plasticity of excitatory and inhibitory synapses targeting layer 5 pyramidal neurons (L5PyNs) of the PFC and to fine tune the E/I balance. Using a method based on the decomposition of the synaptic conductance into its excitatory and inhibitory components, we show that concomitant activation of D1-like receptors (D1Rs) and 5-HT1ARs, through a modulation of NMDA receptors, favors long term potentiation (LTP) of both excitation and inhibition and consequently does not modify the E/I balance. We also demonstrate that activation of D2-receptors requires functional 5-HT1ARs to shift the E-I balance towards more inhibition and to favor long term depression (LTD) of excitatory synapses through the activation of glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β). This cooperation between different

  15. Structural synaptic plasticity has high memory capacity and can explain graded amnesia, catastrophic forgetting, and the spacing effect.

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    Andreas Knoblauch

    Full Text Available Although already William James and, more explicitly, Donald Hebb's theory of cell assemblies have suggested that activity-dependent rewiring of neuronal networks is the substrate of learning and memory, over the last six decades most theoretical work on memory has focused on plasticity of existing synapses in prewired networks. Research in the last decade has emphasized that structural modification of synaptic connectivity is common in the adult brain and tightly correlated with learning and memory. Here we present a parsimonious computational model for learning by structural plasticity. The basic modeling units are "potential synapses" defined as locations in the network where synapses can potentially grow to connect two neurons. This model generalizes well-known previous models for associative learning based on weight plasticity. Therefore, existing theory can be applied to analyze how many memories and how much information structural plasticity can store in a synapse. Surprisingly, we find that structural plasticity largely outperforms weight plasticity and can achieve a much higher storage capacity per synapse. The effect of structural plasticity on the structure of sparsely connected networks is quite intuitive: Structural plasticity increases the "effectual network connectivity", that is, the network wiring that specifically supports storage and recall of the memories. Further, this model of structural plasticity produces gradients of effectual connectivity in the course of learning, thereby explaining various cognitive phenomena including graded amnesia, catastrophic forgetting, and the spacing effect.

  16. Bidirectional synaptic plasticity in intercalated amygdala neurons and the extinction of conditioned fear responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Royer, S; Paré, D

    2002-01-01

    Classical fear conditioning is believed to result from potentiation of conditioned synaptic inputs in the basolateral amygdala. That is, the conditioned stimulus would excite more neurons in the central nucleus and, via their projections to the brainstem and hypothalamus, evoke fear responses. However, much data suggests that extinction of fear responses does not depend on the reversal of these changes but on a parallel NMDA-dependent learning that competes with the first one. Because they control impulse traffic from the basolateral amygdala to the central nucleus, GABAergic neurons of the intercalated cell masses are ideally located to implement this second learning. Consistent with this hypothesis, the present study shows that low- and high-frequency stimulation of basolateral afferents respectively induce long-term depression (LTD) and potentiation (LTP) of responses in intercalated cells. Moreover, induction of LTP and LTD is prevented by application of an NMDA antagonist. To determine how these activity-dependent changes are expressed, we tested whether LTD and LTP induction are associated with modifications in paired-pulse facilitation, an index of transmitter release probability. Only LTP induction was associated with a change in paired-pulse facilitation. Depotentiation of previously potentiated synapses did not revert the modification in paired pulse facilitation, suggesting that LTP is associated with presynaptic alterations, but that LTD and depotentiation depend on postsynaptic changes. Taken together, our results suggest that basolateral synapses onto intercalated neurons can express NMDA-dependent LTP and LTD, consistent with the possibility that intercalated neurons are a critical locus of plasticity for the extinction of conditioned fear responses. Ultimately, these plastic events may prevent conditioned amygdala responses from exciting neurons of the central nucleus, and thus from evoking conditioned fear responses.

  17. Muscarinic and nicotinic modulation of thalamo-prefrontal cortex synaptic plasticity [corrected] in vivo.

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    Lezio Soares Bueno-Junior

    Full Text Available The mediodorsal nucleus of the thalamus (MD is a rich source of afferents to the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC. Dysfunctions in the thalamo-prefrontal connections can impair networks implicated in working memory, some of which are affected in Alzheimer disease and schizophrenia. Considering the importance of the cholinergic system to cortical functioning, our study aimed to investigate the effects of global cholinergic activation of the brain on MD-mPFC synaptic plasticity by measuring the dynamics of long-term potentiation (LTP and depression (LTD in vivo. Therefore, rats received intraventricular injections either of the muscarinic agonist pilocarpine (PILO; 40 nmol/µL, the nicotinic agonist nicotine (NIC; 320 nmol/µL, or vehicle. The injections were administered prior to either thalamic high-frequency (HFS or low-frequency stimulation (LFS. Test pulses were applied to MD for 30 min during baseline and 240 min after HFS or LFS, while field postsynaptic potentials were recorded in the mPFC. The transient oscillatory effects of PILO and NIC were monitored through recording of thalamic and cortical local field potentials. Our results show that HFS did not affect mPFC responses in vehicle-injected rats, but induced a delayed-onset LTP with distinct effects when applied following PILO or NIC. Conversely, LFS induced a stable LTD in control subjects, but was unable to induce LTD when applied after PILO or NIC. Taken together, our findings show distinct modulatory effects of each cholinergic brain activation on MD-mPFC plasticity following HFS and LFS. The LTP-inducing action and long-lasting suppression of cortical LTD induced by PILO and NIC might implicate differential modulation of thalamo-prefrontal functions under low and high input drive.

  18. Diversity of thalamorecipient spine morphology in cat visual cortex and its implication for synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Costa, Nuno Maçarico

    2013-06-15

    A feature of spine synapses is the existence of a neck connecting the synapse on the spine head to the dendritic shaft. As with a cable, spine neck resistance (R(neck)) increases with increasing neck length and is inversely proportional to the cross-sectional area of the neck. A synaptic current entering a spine with a high R(neck) will lead to greater local depolarization in the spine head than would a similar input applied to a spine with a lower R(neck). This could make spines with high R(neck) more sensitive to plastic changes since voltage sensitive conductances, such as N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) channels can be more easily activated. This hypothesis was tested using serial section electron microscopic reconstructions of thalamocortical spine synapses and spine necks located on spiny stellate cells and corticothalamic cells from area 17 of cats. Thalamic axons and corticothalamic neurons were labeled by injections of the tracer biotinylated dextran amine (BDA) in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) of anesthetized cats and spiny stellates were filled intracellularly in vivo with horseradish peroxidase. Twenty-eight labeled spines that formed synapses with dLGN boutons were collected from three spiny stellate and four corticothalamic cells and reconstructed in 3D from serial electron micrographs. Spine length, spine diameter, and the area of the postsynaptic density were measured from the 3D reconstructions and R(neck) of the spine was estimated. No correlation was found between the postsynaptic density size and the estimated spine R(neck). This suggests that forms of plasticity that lead to larger synapses are independent of spine neck resistance.

  19. Synaptic plasticity in a recurrent neural network for versatile and adaptive behaviors of a walking robot

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    Eduard eGrinke

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Walking animals, like insects, with little neural computing can effectively perform complex behaviors. They can walk around their environment, escape from corners/deadlocks, and avoid or climb over obstacles. While performing all these behaviors, they can also adapt their movements to deal with an unknown situation. As a consequence, they successfully navigate through their complex environment. The versatile and adaptive abilities are the result of an integration of several ingredients embedded in their sensorimotor loop. Biological studies reveal that the ingredients include neural dynamics, plasticity, sensory feedback, and biomechanics. Generating such versatile and adaptive behaviors for a walking robot is a challenging task. In this study, we present a bio-inspired approach to solve this task. Specifically, the approach combines neural mechanisms with plasticity, sensory feedback, and biomechanics. The neural mechanisms consist of adaptive neural sensory processing and modular neural locomotion control. The sensory processing is based on a small recurrent network consisting of two fully connected neurons. Online correlation-based learning with synaptic scaling is applied to adequately change the connections of the network. By doing so, we can effectively exploit neural dynamics (i.e., hysteresis effects and single attractors in the network to generate different turning angles with short-term memory for a biomechanical walking robot. The turning information is transmitted as descending steering signals to the locomotion control which translates the signals into motor actions. As a result, the robot can walk around and adapt its turning angle for avoiding obstacles in different situations as well as escaping from sharp corners or deadlocks. Using backbone joint control embedded in the locomotion control allows the robot to climb over small obstacles. Consequently, it can successfully explore and navigate in complex environments.

  20. Differential contributions of microglial and neuronal IKKβ to synaptic plasticity and associative learning in alert behaving mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyrargyri, Vasiliki; Vega-Flores, Germán; Gruart, Agnès; Delgado-García, José M; Probert, Lesley

    2015-04-01

    Microglia are CNS resident immune cells and a rich source of neuroactive mediators, but their contribution to physiological brain processes such as synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory is not fully understood. In this study, we used mice with partial depletion of IκB kinase β, the main activating kinase in the inducible NF-κB pathway, selectively in myeloid lineage cells (mIKKβKO) or excitatory neurons (nIKKβKO) to measure synaptic strength at hippocampal Schaffer collaterals during long-term potentiation (LTP) and instrumental conditioning in alert behaving individuals. Resting microglial cells in mIKKβKO mice showed less Iba1-immunoreactivity, and brain IL-1β mRNA levels were selectively reduced compared with controls. Measurement of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) evoked by stimulation of the CA3-CA1 synapse in mIKKβKO mice showed higher facilitation in response to paired pulses and enhanced LTP following high frequency stimulation. In contrast, nIKKβKO mice showed normal basic synaptic transmission and LTP induction but impairments in late LTP. To understand the consequences of such impairments in synaptic plasticity for learning and memory, we measured CA1 fEPSPs in behaving mice during instrumental conditioning. IKKβ was not necessary in either microglia or neurons for mice to learn lever-pressing (appetitive behavior) to obtain food (consummatory behavior) but was required in both for modification of their hippocampus-dependent appetitive, not consummatory behavior. Our results show that microglia, through IKKβ and therefore NF-κB activity, regulate hippocampal synaptic plasticity and that both microglia and neurons, through IKKβ, are necessary for animals to modify hippocampus-driven behavior during associative learning. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. [The study on the relationship between hippocampus neuronal apoptosis and hippocampus synaptic plasticity in rats exposed to aluminum].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nie, Xiaohan; Qin, Xiujun; Zhang, Huifang; Kang, Pan; Li, Zhaoyang; Niu, Qiao

    2015-07-01

    To investigate the effect of aluminum exposure on neuronal apoptosis of rats hippocampus and the correlation of and synaptic plasticity. There were 40 SPF grade SD rats which were randomly divided into four groups: the control group, the low dose group, the medium dose group and the high dose group, 10 rats in each group. The rats were daily gavaged with aluminum lactate for 30 days. The hippocampal fEPSPs in rat was measured by electrophysiological grapher and the neuronal apoptosis in hippocampus was detected by Flow cytometer. In addition, the relative expression of gene which includes caspase-3, 8, 9 was measured by Real-time PCR. Compared to the control group, the average of fEPSPs which after HFS 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 min was decreased at different time point in the low dose group, the medium dose group and the high dose group (P neuronal apoptosis in rats, and then affect hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

  2. Effects of decreased inhibition on synaptic plasticity and dendritic morphology in the juvenile prefrontal cortex

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    Xanthippi Konstantoudaki

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Excitation-inhibition balance is critical for maintaining proper functioning of the cerebral cortex, as evident from electrophysiological and modeling studies, and it is also important for animal behavior (Yizhar et al., 2011. In the cerebral cortex, excitation is provided by glutamate release from pyramidal neurons, while inhibition is provided by GABA release from several types of interneurons. Many neuropsychiatric disorders, such as epilepsy, anxiety, schizophrenia and autism exhibit an imbalance between the excitatory and inhibitory mechanisms of cortical circuits within key brain regions as prefrontal cortex or hippocampus, primarily through dysfunctions in the inhibitory system (Lewis, Volk, & Hashimoto, 2003; Marín, 2012 Given the significant role of GABAergic inhibition in shaping proper function of the cerebral cortex, we used a mouse model of developmentally decreased GABAergic inhibition in order to examine its effects in network properties, namely basal synaptic transmission, synaptic plasticity and dendritic morphology of pyramidal neurons. For our study, we used mice (postnatal day 20-30 in which the Rac1 protein was deleted from Nkx2.1-expressing neurons (Vidaki et al., 2012, (Rac1fl/flNkx2.1 +/cre referred as Rac1 KO mice, and heterozygous (Rac1+/flNkx2.1 +/cre or control (Rac1+/flNkx2.1 +/+ mice. The specific ablation of Rac1 protein from NKx2.1-expressing MGE-derived progenitors leads to a perturbation of their cell cycle exit resulting in decreased number of interneurons in the cortex(Vidaki et al, 2012. We prepared brain slices from the prefrontal cortex and recorded field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs from layer II neurons while stimulating axons in layer II. We find that the evoked fEPSPs are decreased in Rac1 KO mice compared to Rac1 heterozygous or control mice. This could suggest that the decreased GABAergic inhibition causes network alterations that result in reduced glutamatergic function. Furthermore

  3. Effect of Aggregated β-Amyloid (1-42 on Synaptic Plasticity of Hippocampal Dentate Gyrus Granule Cells in Vivo

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    Shirin Babri

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Alzheimer’s disease (AD is a common neurodegenerative disorder in elderly people with an impairment of cognitive decline and memory loss. β-amyloid (Aβ as a potent neurotoxic peptide has a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of AD. This disease begins with impairment in synaptic functions before developing into later neuro­degeneration and neuronal loss. The aim of this study was to evaluate the synaptic plasticity and electrophysiological function of granule cells in hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG after intracerebroventricular (i.c.v. administration of aggregated Aβ (1-42 peptide in vivo. Methods: Animals were divided to control and Aβ (1-42 groups. Long-term potentia­tion (LTP in perforant path-DG synapses was assessed in order to investigate the effect of aggregated Aβ (1-42 on synaptic plasticity. Field excitatory post-synaptic potential (fEPSP slope and population spike (PS amplitude were measured. Results: Administration of Aβ (1-42 significantly decreased fEPSP slope and PS amplitude in Aβ (1-42 group comparing with the control group and had no effect on baseline activity of neurons. Conclusion: The present study indicates that administration of aggregated form of Aβ (1-42 into the lateral ventricle effectively inhibits LTP in granular cells of the DG in hippocampus in vivo.

  4. Synapse-specific stabilization of plasticity processes: the synaptic tagging and capture hypothesis revisited 10 years later.

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    Barco, Angel; Lopez de Armentia, Mikel; Alarcon, Juan M

    2008-01-01

    A decade ago, the synaptic tagging hypothesis was proposed to explain how newly synthesized plasticity products can be specifically targeted to active synapses. A growing number of studies have validated the seminal findings that gave rise to this model, as well as contributed to unveil and expand the range of mechanisms underlying late-associativity and neuronal computation. Here, we will review what it was learnt during this past decade regarding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic tagging and synaptic capture. The accumulated experimental evidence has widened the theoretical framework set by the synaptic tagging and capture (STC) model and introduced concepts that were originally considered part of alternative models for explaining synapse-specific long-term potentiation (LTP). As a result, we believe that the STC model, now improved and expanded with these new ideas and concepts, still represents the most compelling hypothesis to explain late-associativity in synapse-specific plasticity processes. We will also discuss the impact of this model in our view of the integrative capability of neurons and associative learning.

  5. Short-term plasticity and modulation of synaptic transmission at mammalian inhibitory cholinergic olivocochlear synapses

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    Eleonora eKatz

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The organ of Corti, the mammalian sensory epithelium of the inner ear, has two types of mechanoreceptor cells, inner hair cells (IHCs and outer hair cells (OHCs. In this sensory epithelium, vibrations produced by sound waves are transformed into electrical signals. When depolarized by incoming sounds, IHCs release glutamate and activate auditory nerve fibers innervating them and OHCs, by virtue of their electromotile property, increase the amplification and fine tuning of sound signals. The medial olivocochlear (MOC system, an efferent feedback system, inhibits OHC activity and thereby reduces the sensitivity and sharp tuning of cochlear afferent fibers. During neonatal development, IHCs fire Ca2+ action potentials which evoke glutamate release promoting activity in the immature auditory system in the absence of sensory stimuli. During this period, MOC fibers also innervate IHCs and are thought to modulate their firing rate. Both the MOC-OHC and the MOC-IHC synapses are cholinergic, fast and inhibitory and mediated by the alpha9alpha10 nicotinic cholinergic receptor (nAChR coupled to the activation of calcium-activated potassium channels that hyperpolarize the hair cells.In this review we discuss the biophysical, functional and molecular data which demonstrate that at the synapses between MOC efferent fibers and cochlear hair cells, modulation of transmitter release as well as short-term synaptic plasticity mechanisms, operating both at the presynaptic terminal and at the postsynaptic hair-cell, determine the efficacy of these synapses and shape the hair cell response pattern.

  6. p38 MAPK Inhibition Improves Synaptic Plasticity and Memory in Angiotensin II-dependent Hypertensive Mice

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    Dai, Hai-long; Hu, Wei-yuan; Jiang, Li-hong; Li, Le; Gaung, Xue-feng; Xiao, Zhi-cheng

    2016-01-01

    The pathogenesis of hypertension-related cognitive impairment has not been sufficiently clarified, new molecular targets are needed. p38 MAPK pathway plays an important role in hypertensive target organ damage. Activated p38 MAPK was seen in AD brain tissue. In this study, we found that long-term potentiation (LTP) of hippocampal CA1 was decreased, the density of the dendritic spines on the CA1 pyramidal cells was reduced, the p-p38 protein expression in hippocampus was elevated, and cognitive function was impaired in angiotensin II-dependent hypertensive C57BL/6 mice. In vivo, using a p38 heterozygous knockdown mice (p38KI/+) model, we showed that knockdown of p38 MAPK in hippocampus leads to the improvement of cognitive function and hippocampal synaptic plasticity in angiotensin II-dependent p38KI/+ hypertensive mice. In vitro, LTP was improved in hippocampal slices from C57BL/6 hypertensive mice by treatment with p38MAPK inhibitor SKF86002. Our data demonstrated that p38 MAPK may be a potential therapeutic target for hypertension-related cognitive dysfunction. PMID:27283322

  7. Constitutive and Acquired Serotonin Deficiency Alters Memory and Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez, Sebastian P; Muzerelle, Aude; Scotto-Lomassese, Sophie; Barik, Jacques; Gruart, Agnès; Delgado-García, José M; Gaspar, Patricia

    2017-01-01

    Serotonin (5-HT) deficiency occurs in a number of brain disorders that affect cognitive function. However, a direct causal relationship between 5-HT hypo-transmission and memory and underlying mechanisms has not been established. We used mice with a constitutive depletion of 5-HT brain levels (Pet1KO mice) to analyze the contribution of 5-HT to different forms of learning and memory. Pet1KO mice exhibited a striking deficit in novel object recognition memory, a hippocampal-dependent task. No alterations were found in tasks for social recognition, procedural learning, or fear memory. Viral delivery of designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs was used to selectively silence the activity of 5-HT neurons in the raphe. Inhibition of 5-HT neurons in the median raphe, but not the dorsal raphe, was sufficient to impair object recognition in adult mice. In vivo electrophysiology in behaving mice showed that long-term potentiation in the hippocampus of 5-HT-deficient mice was altered, and administration of the 5-HT1A agonist 8-OHDPAT rescued the memory deficits. Our data suggest that hyposerotonergia selectively affects declarative hippocampal-dependent memory. Serotonergic projections from the median raphe are necessary to regulate object memory and hippocampal synaptic plasticity processes, through an inhibitory control mediated by 5-HT1A receptors.

  8. Parametric and non-parametric modeling of short-term synaptic plasticity. Part II: Experimental study.

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    Song, Dong; Wang, Zhuo; Marmarelis, Vasilis Z; Berger, Theodore W

    2009-02-01

    This paper presents a synergistic parametric and non-parametric modeling study of short-term plasticity (STP) in the Schaffer collateral to hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neuron (SC) synapse. Parametric models in the form of sets of differential and algebraic equations have been proposed on the basis of the current understanding of biological mechanisms active within the system. Non-parametric Poisson-Volterra models are obtained herein from broadband experimental input-output data. The non-parametric model is shown to provide better prediction of the experimental output than a parametric model with a single set of facilitation/depression (FD) process. The parametric model is then validated in terms of its input-output transformational properties using the non-parametric model since the latter constitutes a canonical and more complete representation of the synaptic nonlinear dynamics. Furthermore, discrepancies between the experimentally-derived non-parametric model and the equivalent non-parametric model of the parametric model suggest the presence of multiple FD processes in the SC synapses. Inclusion of an additional set of FD process in the parametric model makes it replicate better the characteristics of the experimentally-derived non-parametric model. This improved parametric model in turn provides the requisite biological interpretability that the non-parametric model lacks.

  9. DCC Expression by Neurons Regulates Synaptic Plasticity in the Adult Brain

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    Katherine E. Horn

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The transmembrane protein deleted in colorectal cancer (DCC and its ligand, netrin-1, regulate synaptogenesis during development, but their function in the mature central nervous system is unknown. Given that DCC promotes cell-cell adhesion, is expressed by neurons, and activates proteins that signal at synapses, we hypothesized that DCC expression by neurons regulates synaptic function and plasticity in the adult brain. We report that DCC is enriched in dendritic spines of pyramidal neurons in wild-type mice, and we demonstrate that selective deletion of DCC from neurons in the adult forebrain results in the loss of long-term potentiation (LTP, intact long-term depression, shorter dendritic spines, and impaired spatial and recognition memory. LTP induction requires Src activation of NMDA receptor (NMDAR function. DCC deletion severely reduced Src activation. We demonstrate that enhancing NMDAR function or activating Src rescues LTP in the absence of DCC. We conclude that DCC activation of Src is required for NMDAR-dependent LTP and certain forms of learning and memory.

  10. GABAergic synaptic transmission regulates calcium influx during spike-timing dependent plasticity

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    Trevor Balena

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Coincident pre- and postsynaptic activity of hippocampal neurons alters the strength of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABAA-mediated inhibition through a Ca2+-dependent regulation of cation-chloride cotransporters. This long-term synaptic modulation is termed GABAergic spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP. In the present study, we examined whether the properties of the GABAergic synapses themselves modulate the required postsynaptic Ca2+ influx during GABAergic STDP induction. To do this we first identified GABAergic synapses between cultured hippocampal neurons based on their relatively long decay time constants and their reversal potentials which lay close to the resting membrane potential. GABAergic STDP was then induced by coincidentally (± 1 ms firing the pre- and postsynaptic neurons at 5 Hz for 30 seconds, while postsynaptic Ca2+ was imaged with the Ca2+-sensitive fluorescent dye Fluo4-AM. In all cases, the induction of GABAergic STDP increased postsynaptic Ca2+ above resting levels. We further found that the magnitude of this increase correlated with the amplitude and polarity of the GABAergic postsynaptic current (GPSC; hyperpolarizing GPSCs reduced the Ca2+ influx in comparison to both depolarizing GPSCs, and postsynaptic neurons spiked alone. This relationship was influenced by both the driving force for Cl- and GABAA conductance (which had positive correlations with the Ca2+ influx. The spike-timing order during STDP induction did not influence the correlation between GPSC amplitude and Ca2+ influx, which is likely accounted for by the symmetrical GABAergic STDP window.

  11. Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Spatial Memory and Synaptic Plasticity Impairment Is Preventable by Captopril

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    Azam Abareshi

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Renin-angiotensin system has a role in inflammation and also is involved in many brain functions such as learning, memory, and emotion. Neuroimmune factors have been proposed as the contributors to the pathogenesis of memory impairments. In the present study, the effect of captopril on spatial memory and synaptic plasticity impairments induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS was investigated. Methods. The rats were divided and treated into control (saline, LPS (1 mg/kg, LPS-captopril (LPS-Capto; 50 mg/kg captopril before LPS, and captopril groups (50 mg/kg before saline. Morris water maze was done. Long-term potentiation (LTP from CA1 area of hippocampus was assessed by 100 Hz stimulation in the ipsilateral Schaffer collateral pathway. Results. In the LPS group, the spent time and traveled path to reach the platform were longer than those in the control, while, in the LPS-Capto group, they were shorter than those in the LPS group. Moreover, the slope and amplitude of field excitatory postsynaptic potential (fEPSP decreased in the LPS group, as compared to the control group, whereas, in the LPS-Capto group, they increased compared to the LPS group. Conclusion. The results of the present study showed that captopril improved the LPS-induced memory and LTP impairments induced by LPS in rats. Further investigations are required in order to better understand the exact responsible mechanism(s.

  12. MCTP is an ER-resident calcium sensor that stabilizes synaptic transmission and homeostatic plasticity

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    Genç, Özgür; Dickman, Dion K; Ma, Wenpei; Tong, Amy; Fetter, Richard D; Davis, Graeme W

    2017-01-01

    Presynaptic homeostatic plasticity (PHP) controls synaptic transmission in organisms from Drosophila to human and is hypothesized to be relevant to the cause of human disease. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms of PHP are just emerging and direct disease associations remain obscure. In a forward genetic screen for mutations that block PHP we identified mctp (Multiple C2 Domain Proteins with Two Transmembrane Regions). Here we show that MCTP localizes to the membranes of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) that elaborate throughout the soma, dendrites, axon and presynaptic terminal. Then, we demonstrate that MCTP functions downstream of presynaptic calcium influx with separable activities to stabilize baseline transmission, short-term release dynamics and PHP. Notably, PHP specifically requires the calcium coordinating residues in each of the three C2 domains of MCTP. Thus, we propose MCTP as a novel, ER-localized calcium sensor and a source of calcium-dependent feedback for the homeostatic stabilization of neurotransmission. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.22904.001 PMID:28485711

  13. Role of the somatostatin system in contextual fear memory and hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

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    Kluge, Christian; Stoppel, Christian; Szinyei, Csaba; Stork, Oliver; Pape, Hans-Christian

    2008-04-01

    Somatostatin has been implicated in various cognitive and emotional functions, but its precise role is still poorly understood. Here, we have made use of mice with somatostatin deficiency, based upon genetic invalidation or pharmacologically induced depletion, and Pavlovian fear conditioning in order to address the contribution of the somatostatin system to associative fear memory. The results demonstrate an impairment of foreground and background contextual but not tone fear conditioning in mice with targeted ablation of the somatostatin gene. These deficits were associated with a decrease in long-term potentiation in the CA1 area of the hippocampus. Both the behavioral and the electrophysiological phenotypes were mimicked in wild-type mice through application of the somatostatin-depleting substance cysteamine prior to fear training, whereas no further deficits were observed upon application in the somatostatin null mutants. These results suggest that the somatostatin system plays a critical role in the acquisition of contextual fear memory, but not tone fear learning, and further highlights the role of hippocampal synaptic plasticity for information processing concerning contextual information.

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

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    Lüdtke, Niklas; Nelson, Mark E

    2006-12-01

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

  15. IQGAP1: A microtubule-microfilament scaffolding protein with multiple roles in nerve cell development and synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jausoro, Ignacio; Mestres, Iván; Remedi, Mónica; Sanchez, Mónica; Cáceres, Alfredo

    2012-11-01

    In this article, we review our current understanding of the biology of IQ domain-containing GTPase-Activating Protein 1, IQGAP1, a scaffolding protein with multiple binding partners, which is widely expressed among different cell types, including neurons, and capable of linking Rho-GTPase signaling with cytosleletal elements and environmental cues. Interestingly, a series of recent studies suggest that IQGAP family members have an important role in neuronal development, synaptic plasticity and nervous system disorders involving alterations in spine density.

  16. Excitatory synaptic activity is associated with a rapid structural plasticity of inhibitory synapses on hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells

    OpenAIRE

    Lushnikova, Irina; Skibo, Galina; Muller, Dominique; Nikonenko, Iryna

    2011-01-01

    Synaptic activity, such as long-term potentiation (LTP), has been shown to induce morphological plasticity of excitatory synapses on dendritic spines through the spine head and postsynaptic density (PSD) enlargement and reorganization. Much less, however, is known about activity-induced morphological modifications of inhibitory synapses. Using an in vitro model of rat organotypic hippocampal slice cultures and electron microscopy, we studied activity-related morphological changes of somatic i...

  17. Effects of exercise intensity on spatial memory performance and hippocampal synaptic plasticity in transient brain ischemic rats.

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    Pei-Cheng Shih

    Full Text Available Memory impairment is commonly noted in stroke survivors, and can lead to delay of functional recovery. Exercise has been proved to improve memory in adult healthy subjects. Such beneficial effects are often suggested to relate to hippocampal synaptic plasticity, which is important for memory processing. Previous evidence showed that in normal rats, low intensity exercise can improve synaptic plasticity better than high intensity exercise. However, the effects of exercise intensities on hippocampal synaptic plasticity and spatial memory after brain ischemia remain unclear. In this study, we investigated such effects in brain ischemic rats. The middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO procedure was used to induce brain ischemia. After the MCAO procedure, rats were randomly assigned to sedentary (Sed, low-intensity exercise (Low-Ex, or high-intensity exercise (High-Ex group. Treadmill training began from the second day post MCAO procedure, 30 min/day for 14 consecutive days for the exercise groups. The Low-Ex group was trained at the speed of 8 m/min, while the High-Ex group at the speed of 20 m/min. The spatial memory, hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, synapsin-I, postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD-95, and dendritic structures were examined to document the effects. Serum corticosterone level was also quantified as stress marker. Our results showed the Low-Ex group, but not the High-Ex group, demonstrated better spatial memory performance than the Sed group. Dendritic complexity and the levels of BDNF and PSD-95 increased significantly only in the Low-Ex group as compared with the Sed group in bilateral hippocampus. Notably, increased level of corticosterone was found in the High-Ex group, implicating higher stress response. In conclusion, after brain ischemia, low intensity exercise may result in better synaptic plasticity and spatial memory performance than high intensity exercise; therefore, the intensity is suggested to be

  18. Roles for NF-κB and gene targets of NF-κB in synaptic plasticity, memory, and navigation.

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    Snow, Wanda M; Stoesz, Brenda M; Kelly, Debbie M; Albensi, Benedict C

    2014-04-01

    Although traditionally associated with immune function, the transcription factor nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) has garnered much attention in recent years as an important regulator of memory. Specifically, research has found that NF-κB, localized in both neurons and glia, is activated during the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP), a paradigm of synaptic plasticity and correlate of memory. Further, experimental manipulation of NF-κB activation or its blockade results in altered memory and spatial navigation abilities. Genetic knockout of specific NF-κB subunits in mice results in memory alterations. Collectively, such data suggest that NF-κB may be a requirement for memory, although the direction of the response (i.e., memory enhancement or deficit) is inconsistent. A limited number of gene targets of NF-κB have been recently identified in neurons, including neurotrophic factors, calcium-regulating proteins, other transcription factors, and molecules associated with neuronal outgrowth and remodeling. In turn, several key molecules are activators of NF-κB, including protein kinase C and [Ca(++)]i. Thus, NF-κB signaling is complex and under the regulation of numerous proteins involved in activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. The purpose of this review is to highlight the literature detailing a role for NF-κB in synaptic plasticity, memory, and spatial navigation. Secondly, this review will synthesize the research evaluating gene targets of NF-κB in synaptic plasticity and memory. Although there is ample evidence to suggest a critical role for NF-κB in memory, our understanding of its gene targets in neurons is limited and only beginning to be appreciated.

  19. Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule-Associated Polysialic Acid Regulates Synaptic Plasticity and Learning by Restraining the Signaling through GluN2B-Containing NMDA Receptors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kochlamazashvili, Gaga; Senkov, Oleg; Grebenyuk, Sergei; Robinson, Catrina; Xiao, Mei-Fang; Stummeyer, Katharina; Gerardy-Schahn, Rita; Engel, Andreas K.; Feig, Larry; Semyanov, Alexey; Suppiramaniam, Vishnu; Schachner, Melitta; Dityatev, Alexander

    2017-01-01

    The neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) is the predominant carrier of α2,8 polysialic acid (PSA) in the mammalian brain. Abnormalities in PSA and NCAM expression are associated with schizophrenia in humans and cause deficits in hippocampal synaptic plasticity and contextual fear conditioning in mice. Here, we show that PSA inhibits opening of recombinant NMDA receptors composed of GluN1/2B (NR1/NR2B) or GluN1/2A/2B (NR1/NR2A/NR2B) but not of GluN1/2A (NR1/NR2A) subunits. Deficits in NCAM/PSA increase GluN2B-mediated transmission and Ca2+ transients in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. In line with elevation of GluN2B-mediated transmission, defects in long-term potentiation in the CA1 region and contextual fear memory in NCAM/PSA-deficient mice are abrogated by application of a GluN2B-selective antagonist. Furthermore, treatment with the glutamate scavenger glutamic-pyruvic transaminase, ablation of Ras-GRF1 (a mediator of GluN2B signaling to p38 MAPK), or direct inhibition of hyperactive p38 MAPK can restore impaired synaptic plasticity in brain slices lacking PSA/NCAM. Thus, PSA carried by NCAM regulates plasticity and learning by inhibition of the GluN2B-Ras-GRF1-p38 MAPK signaling pathway. These findings implicate carbohydrates carried by adhesion molecules in modulating NMDA receptor signaling in the brain and demonstrate reversibility of cognitive deficits associated with ablation of a schizophrenia-related adhesion molecule. PMID:20237287

  20. The sphingolipid receptor S1PR2 is a receptor for Nogo-a repressing synaptic plasticity.

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    Anissa Kempf

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Nogo-A is a membrane protein of the central nervous system (CNS restricting neurite growth and synaptic plasticity via two extracellular domains: Nogo-66 and Nogo-A-Δ20. Receptors transducing Nogo-A-Δ20 signaling remained elusive so far. Here we identify the G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor 2 (S1PR2 as a Nogo-A-Δ20-specific receptor. Nogo-A-Δ20 binds S1PR2 on sites distinct from the pocket of the sphingolipid sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P and signals via the G protein G13, the Rho GEF LARG, and RhoA. Deleting or blocking S1PR2 counteracts Nogo-A-Δ20- and myelin-mediated inhibition of neurite outgrowth and cell spreading. Blockade of S1PR2 strongly enhances long-term potentiation (LTP in the hippocampus of wild-type but not Nogo-A(-/- mice, indicating a repressor function of the Nogo-A/S1PR2 axis in synaptic plasticity. A similar increase in LTP was also observed in the motor cortex after S1PR2 blockade. We propose a novel signaling model in which a GPCR functions as a receptor for two structurally unrelated ligands, a membrane protein and a sphingolipid. Elucidating Nogo-A/S1PR2 signaling platforms will provide new insights into regulation of synaptic plasticity.

  1. Gastrin-releasing peptide facilitates glutamatergic transmission in the hippocampus and effectively prevents vascular dementia induced cognitive and synaptic plasticity deficits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jiajia; Yao, Yang; Wang, Ling; Yang, Chunxiao; Wang, Faqi; Guo, Jie; Wang, Zhiyun; Yang, Zhuo; Ming, Dong

    2017-01-01

    Neuronal gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) has been proved to be an important neuromodulator in the brain and involved in a variety of neurological diseases. Whether GRP could attenuate cognition impairment induced by vascular dementia (VD) in rats, and the mechanism of synaptic plasticity and GRP's action on synaptic efficiency are still poorly understood. In this study, we first investigated the effects of GRP on glutamatergic transmission with patch-clamp recording. We found that acute application of GRP enhanced the excitatory synaptic transmission in hippocampal CA1 neurons via GRPR in a presynaptic mechanism. Secondly, we examined whether exogenous GRP or its analogue neuromedin B (NMB) could prevent VD-induced cognitive deficits and the mechanism of synaptic plasticity. By using Morris water maze, long-term potentiation (LTP) recording, western blot assay and immunofluorescent staining, we verified for the first time that GRP or NMB substantially improved the spatial learning and memory abilities in VD rats, restored the impaired synaptic plasticity and was able to elevate the expression of synaptic proteins, synaptophysin (SYP) and CaMKII, which play pivotal roles in synaptic plasticity. These results suggest that the facilitatory effects of GRP on glutamate release may contribute to its long-term action on synaptic efficacy which is essential in cognitive function. Our findings present a new entry point for a better understanding of physiological function of GRP and raise the possibility that GRPR agonists might ameliorate cognitive deficits associated with neurological diseases.

  2. Motor learning in animal models of Parkinson's disease: Aberrant synaptic plasticity in the motor cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Tonghui; Wang, Shaofang; Lalchandani, Rupa R; Ding, Jun B

    2017-04-01

    In Parkinson's disease (PD), dopamine depletion causes major changes in the brain, resulting in the typical cardinal motor features of the disease. PD neuropathology has been restricted to postmortem examinations, which are limited to only a single time of PD progression. Models of PD in which dopamine tone in the brain is chemically or physically disrupted are valuable tools in understanding the mechanisms of the disease. The basal ganglia have been well studied in the context of PD, and circuit changes in response to dopamine loss have been linked to the motor dysfunctions in PD. However, the etiology of the cognitive dysfunctions that are comorbid in PD patients has remained unclear until now. In this article, we review recent studies exploring how dopamine depletion affects the motor cortex at the synaptic level. In particular, we highlight our recent findings on abnormal spine dynamics in the motor cortex of PD mouse models through in vivo time-lapse imaging and motor skill behavior assays. In combination with previous studies, a role of the motor cortex in skill learning and the impairment of this ability with the loss of dopamine are becoming more apparent. Taken together, we conclude with a discussion on the potential role for the motor cortex in PD, with the possibility of targeting the motor cortex for future PD therapeutics. © 2017 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society. © 2017 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

  3. Prenatal Ethanol Exposure Persistently Alters Endocannabinoid Signaling and Endocannabinoid-Mediated Excitatory Synaptic Plasticity in Ventral Tegmental Area Dopamine Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hausknecht, Kathryn; Shen, Ying-Ling; Wang, Rui-Xiang; Haj-Dahmane, Samir; Shen, Roh-Yu

    2017-06-14

    Prenatal ethanol exposure (PE) leads to increased addiction risk which could be mediated by enhanced excitatory synaptic strength in ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons. Previous studies have shown that PE enhances excitatory synaptic strength by facilitating an anti-Hebbian form of long-term potentiation (LTP). In this study, we investigated the effect of PE on endocannabinoid-mediated long-term depression (eCB-LTD) in VTA DA neurons. Rats were exposed to moderate (3 g/kg/d) or high (6 g/kg/d) levels of ethanol during gestation. Whole-cell recordings were conducted in male offspring between 4 and 10 weeks old.We found that PE led to increased amphetamine self-administration. Both moderate and high levels of PE persistently reduced low-frequency stimulation-induced eCB-LTD. Furthermore, action potential-independent glutamate release was regulated by tonic eCB signaling in PE animals. Mechanistic studies for impaired eCB-LTD revealed that PE downregulated CB1 receptor function. Interestingly, eCB-LTD in PE animals was rescued by metabotropic glutamate receptor I activation, suggesting that PE did not impair the synthesis/release of eCBs. In contrast, eCB-LTD in PE animals was not rescued by increasing presynaptic activity, which actually led to LTP in PE animals, whereas LTD was still observed in controls. This result shows that the regulation of excitatory synaptic plasticity is fundamentally altered in PE animals. Together, PE leads to impaired eCB-LTD at the excitatory synapses of VTA DA neurons primarily due to CB1 receptor downregulation. This effect could contribute to enhanced LTP and the maintenance of augmented excitatory synaptic strength in VTA DA neurons and increased addiction risk after PE.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Prenatal ethanol exposure (PE) is among many adverse developmental factors known to increase drug addiction risk. Increased excitatory synaptic strength in VTA DA neurons is a critical cellular mechanism for addiction risk. Our

  4. Haploinsufficiency of the 22q11.2-microdeletion gene Mrpl40 disrupts short-term synaptic plasticity and working memory through dysregulation of mitochondrial calcium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devaraju, Prakash; Yu, Jing; Eddins, Donnie; Mellado-Lagarde, Marcia M.; Earls, Laurie R.; Westmoreland, Joby J.; Quarato, Giovanni; Green, Douglas R.; Zakharenko, Stanislav S.

    2016-01-01

    Hemizygous deletion of a 1.5- to 3-megabase region on chromosome 22 causes 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS), which constitutes one of the strongest genetic risks for schizophrenia. Mouse models of 22q11DS have abnormal short-term synaptic plasticity (STP) that contributes to working memory deficiencies similar to those in schizophrenia. We screened mutant mice carrying hemizygous deletions of 22q11DS genes and identified haploinsufficiency of Mrpl40 (mitochondrial large ribosomal subunit protein 40) as a contributor to abnormal STP. Two-photon imaging of the genetically encoded fluorescent calcium indicator GCaMP6, expressed in presynaptic cytosol or mitochondria, showed that Mrpl40 haploinsufficiency deregulates STP via impaired calcium extrusion from the mitochondrial matrix through the mitochondrial permeability transition pore. This led to abnormally high cytosolic calcium transients in presynaptic terminals and deficient working memory but did not affect long-term spatial memory. Thus, we propose that mitochondrial calcium deregulation is a novel pathogenic mechanism of cognitive deficiencies in schizophrenia. PMID:27184122

  5. PKA and ERK, but not PKC, in the amygdala contribute to pain-related synaptic plasticity and behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramsey Cara

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The laterocapsular division of the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeLC has emerged as an important site of pain-related plasticity and pain modulation. Glutamate and neuropeptide receptors in the CeLC contribute to synaptic and behavioral changes in the arthritis pain model, but the intracellular signaling pathways remain to be determined. This study addressed the role of PKA, PKC, and ERK in the CeLC. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were used in all experiments. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of CeLC neurons were made in brain slices from normal rats and from rats with a kaolin/carrageenan-induced monoarthritis in the knee (6 h postinduction. Membrane-permeable inhibitors of PKA (KT5720, 1 μM; cAMPS-Rp, 10 μM and ERK (U0126, 1 μM activation inhibited synaptic plasticity in slices from arthritic rats but had no effect on normal transmission in control slices. A PKC inhibitor (GF109203x, 1 μM and an inactive structural analogue of U0126 (U0124, 1 μM had no effect. The NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic component was inhibited by KT5720 or U0126; their combined application had additive effects. U0126 did not inhibit synaptic facilitation by forskolin-induced PKA-activation. Administration of KT5720 (100 μM, concentration in microdialysis probe or U0126 (100 μM into the CeLC, but not striatum (placement control, inhibited audible and ultrasonic vocalizations and spinal reflexes of arthritic rats but had no effect in normal animals. GF109203x (100 μM and U0124 (100 μM did not affect pain behavior. The data suggest that in the amygdala PKA and ERK, but not PKC, contribute to pain-related synaptic facilitation and behavior by increasing NMDA receptor function through independent signaling pathways.

  6. Sex differences in high-fat diet-induced obesity, metabolic alterations and learning, and synaptic plasticity deficits in mice.

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    Hwang, Ling-Ling; Wang, Chien-Hua; Li, Tzu-Ling; Chang, Shih-Dar; Lin, Li-Chun; Chen, Ching-Ping; Chen, Chiung-Tong; Liang, Keng-Chen; Ho, Ing-Kang; Yang, Wei-Shiung; Chiou, Lih-Chu

    2010-03-01

    Obesity is a potential risk factor for cognitive deficits in the elder humans. Using a high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese mouse model, we investigated the impacts of HFD on obesity, metabolic and stress hormones, learning performance, and hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Both male and female C57BL/6J mice fed with HFD (3 weeks to 9-12 months) gained significantly more weights than the sex-specific control groups. Compared with the obese female mice, the obese males had similar energy intake but developed more weight gains. The obese male mice developed hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, hypercholesterolemia, and hyperleptinemia, but not hypertriglyceridemia. The obese females had less hyperinsulinemia and hypercholesterolemia than the obese males, and no hyperglycemia and hypertriglyceridemia. In the contextual fear conditioning and step-down passive avoidance tasks, the obese male, but not female, mice showed poorer learning performance than their normal counterparts. These learning deficits were not due to sensorimotor impairment as verified by the open-field and hot-plate tests. Although, basal synaptic transmission characteristics (input-output transfer and paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) ratio) were not significantly different between normal and HFD groups, the magnitudes of synaptic plasticity (long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD)) were lower at the Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses of the hippocampal slices isolated from the obese male, but not female, mice, as compared with their sex-specific controls. Our results suggest that male mice are more vulnerable than the females to the impacts of HFD on weight gains, metabolic alterations and deficits of learning, and hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

  7. Differential regulation of BDNF, synaptic plasticity and sprouting in the hippocampal mossy fiber pathway of male and female rats.

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    Scharfman, Helen E; MacLusky, Neil J

    2014-01-01

    Many studies have described potent effects of BDNF, 17β-estradiol or androgen on hippocampal synapses and their plasticity. Far less information is available about the interactions between 17β-estradiol and BDNF in hippocampus, or interactions between androgen and BDNF in hippocampus. Here we review the regulation of BDNF in the mossy fiber pathway, a critical part of hippocampal circuitry. We discuss the emerging view that 17β-estradiol upregulates mossy fiber BDNF synthesis in the adult female rat, while testosterone exerts a tonic suppression of mossy fiber BDNF levels in the adult male rat. The consequences are interesting to consider: in females, increased excitability associated with high levels of BDNF in mossy fibers could improve normal functions of area CA3, such as the ability to perform pattern completion. However, memory retrieval may lead to anxiety if stressful events are recalled. Therefore, the actions of 17β-estradiol on the mossy fiber pathway in females may provide a potential explanation for the greater incidence of anxiety-related disorders and post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) in women relative to men. In males, suppression of BDNF-dependent plasticity in the mossy fibers may be protective, but at the 'price' of reduced synaptic plasticity in CA3. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'BDNF Regulation of Synaptic Structure, Function, and Plasticity'.

  8. Trisomy of the G protein-coupled K+ channel gene, Kcnj6, affects reward mechanisms, cognitive functions, and synaptic plasticity in mice.

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    Cooper, Ayelet; Grigoryan, Gayane; Guy-David, Liora; Tsoory, Michael M; Chen, Alon; Reuveny, Eitan

    2012-02-14

    G protein-activated inwardly rectifying K+ channels (GIRK) generate slow inhibitory postsynaptic potentials in the brain via G(i/o) protein-coupled receptors. GIRK2, a GIRK subunit, is widely abundant in the brain and has been implicated in various functions and pathologies, such as learning and memory, reward, motor coordination, and Down syndrome. Down syndrome, the most prevalent cause of mental retardation, results from the presence of an extra maternal chromosome 21 (trisomy 21), which comprises the Kcnj6 gene (GIRK2). The present study examined the behaviors and cellular physiology properties in mice harboring a single trisomy of the Kcnj6 gene. Kcnj6 triploid mice exhibit deficits in hippocampal-dependent learning and memory, altered responses to rewards, hampered depotentiation, a form of excitatory synaptic plasticity, and have accentuated long-term synaptic depression. Collectively the findings suggest that triplication of Kcnj6 gene may play an active role in some of the abnormal neurological phenotypes found in Down syndrome.

  9. Evidence for high-fidelity timing-dependent synaptic plasticity of human motor cortex.

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    Cash, R F H; Mastaglia, F L; Thickbroom, G W

    2013-01-01

    A single transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) pulse typically evokes a short series of spikes in corticospinal neurons [known as indirect (I)-waves] which are thought to arise from transynaptic input. Delivering a second pulse at inter-pulse intervals (IPIs) corresponding to the timing of these I-waves leads to a facilitation of the response, and if stimulus pairs are delivered repeatedly, a persistent LTP-like increase in excitability can occur. This has been demonstrated at an IPI of 1.5 ms, which corresponds to the first I-wave interval, in an intervention referred to as ITMS (I-wave TMS), and it has been argued that this may have similarities with timing-dependent plasticity models. Consequently, we hypothesized that if the second stimulus is delivered so as not to coincide with I-wave timing, it should lead to LTD. We performed a crossover study in 10 subjects in which TMS doublets were timed to coincide (1.5-ms IPI, ITMS(1.5)) or not coincide (2-ms IPI, ITMS(2)) with I-wave firing. Single pulse motor-evoked potential (MEP) amplitude, resting motor threshold (RMT), and short-interval cortical inhibition (SICI) were measured from the first dorsal interosseous (FDI) muscle. After ITMS(1.5) corticomotor excitability was increased by ~60% for 15 min (P < 0.05) and returned to baseline by 20 min. Increasing the IPI by just 500 μs to 2 ms reversed the aftereffect, and MEP amplitude was significantly reduced (~35%, P < 0.05) for 15 min before returning to baseline. This reduction was not associated with an increase in SICI, suggesting a reduction in excitatory transmission rather than an increase in inhibitory efficacy. RMT also remained unchanged, suggesting that these changes were not due to changes in membrane excitability. Amplitude-matching ITMS(2) did not modulate excitability. The results are consistent with timing-dependent synaptic LTP/D-like effects and suggest that there are plasticity mechanisms operating in the human motor cortex with a temporal

  10. Synaptic plasticity in a recurrent neural network for versatile and adaptive behaviors of a walking robot.

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    Grinke, Eduard; Tetzlaff, Christian; Wörgötter, Florentin; Manoonpong, Poramate

    2015-01-01

    Walking animals, like insects, with little neural computing can effectively perform complex behaviors. For example, they can walk around their environment, escape from corners/deadlocks, and avoid or climb over obstacles. While performing all these behaviors, they can also adapt their movements to deal with an unknown situation. As a consequence, they successfully navigate through their complex environment. The versatile and adaptive abilities are the result of an integration of several ingredients embedded in their sensorimotor loop. Biological studies reveal that the ingredients include neural dynamics, plasticity, sensory feedback, and biomechanics. Generating such versatile and adaptive behaviors for a many degrees-of-freedom (DOFs) walking robot is a challenging task. Thus, in this study, we present a bio-inspired approach to solve this task. Specifically, the approach combines neural mechanisms with plasticity, exteroceptive sensory feedback, and biomechanics. The neural mechanisms consist of adaptive neural sensory processing and modular neural locomotion control. The sensory processing is based on a small recurrent neural network consisting of two fully connected neurons. Online correlation-based learning with synaptic scaling is applied to adequately change the connections of the network. By doing so, we can effectively exploit neural dynamics (i.e., hysteresis effects and single attractors) in the network to generate different turning angles with short-term memory for a walking robot. The turning information is transmitted as descending steering signals to the neural locomotion control which translates the signals into motor actions. As a result, the robot can walk around and adapt its turning angle for avoiding obstacles in different situations. The adaptation also enables the robot to effectively escape from sharp corners or deadlocks. Using backbone joint control embedded in the the locomotion control allows the robot to climb over small obstacles

  11. LTS and FS inhibitory interneurons, short-term synaptic plasticity, and cortical circuit dynamics.

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    Itai Hayut

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Somatostatin-expressing, low threshold-spiking (LTS cells and fast-spiking (FS cells are two common subtypes of inhibitory neocortical interneuron. Excitatory synapses from regular-spiking (RS pyramidal neurons to LTS cells strongly facilitate when activated repetitively, whereas RS-to-FS synapses depress. This suggests that LTS neurons may be especially relevant at high rate regimes and protect cortical circuits against over-excitation and seizures. However, the inhibitory synapses from LTS cells usually depress, which may reduce their effectiveness at high rates. We ask: by which mechanisms and at what firing rates do LTS neurons control the activity of cortical circuits responding to thalamic input, and how is control by LTS neurons different from that of FS neurons? We study rate models of circuits that include RS cells and LTS and FS inhibitory cells with short-term synaptic plasticity. LTS neurons shift the RS firing-rate vs. current curve to the right at high rates and reduce its slope at low rates; the LTS effect is delayed and prolonged. FS neurons always shift the curve to the right and affect RS firing transiently. In an RS-LTS-FS network, FS neurons reach a quiescent state if they receive weak input, LTS neurons are quiescent if RS neurons receive weak input, and both FS and RS populations are active if they both receive large inputs. In general, FS neurons tend to follow the spiking of RS neurons much more closely than LTS neurons. A novel type of facilitation-induced slow oscillations is observed above the LTS firing threshold with a frequency determined by the time scale of recovery from facilitation. To conclude, contrary to earlier proposals, LTS neurons affect the transient and steady state responses of cortical circuits over a range of firing rates, not only during the high rate regime; LTS neurons protect against over-activation about as well as FS neurons.

  12. How voltage-gated calcium channels gate forms of homeostatic synaptic plasticity

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    C. Andrew eFrank

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Throughout life, animals face a variety of challenges such as developmental growth, the presence of toxins, or changes in temperature. Neuronal circuits and synapses respond to challenges by executing an array of neuroplasticity paradigms. Some paradigms allow neurons to up- or downregulate activity outputs, while countervailing ones ensure that outputs remain within appropriate physiological ranges. A growing body of evidence suggests that homeostatic synaptic plasticity (HSP is critical in the latter case. Voltage-gated calcium channels gate forms of HSP. Presynaptically, the aggregate data show that when synapse activity is weakened, homeostatic signaling systems can act to correct impairments, in part by increasing calcium influx through presynaptic CaV2-type channels. Increased calcium influx is often accompanied by parallel increases in the size of active zones and the size of the readily releasable pool of presynaptic vesicles. These changes coincide with homeostatic enhancements of neurotransmitter release. Postsynaptically, there is a great deal of evidence that reduced network activity and loss of calcium influx through CaV1-type calcium channels also results in adaptive homeostatic signaling. Some adaptations drive presynaptic enhancements of vesicle pool size and turnover rate via retrograde signaling, as well as de novo insertion of postsynaptic neurotransmitter receptors. Enhanced calcium influx through CaV1 after network activation or single cell stimulation can elicit the opposite response – homeostatic depression via removal of excitatory receptors.There exist intriguing links between HSP and calcium channelopathies – such as forms of epilepsy, migraine, ataxia, and myasthenia. The episodic nature of some of these disorders suggests alternating periods of stable and unstable function. Uncovering information about how calcium channels are regulated in the context of HSP could be relevant toward understanding these and other

  13. Synaptic plasticity in the medial vestibular nuclei: role of glutamate receptors and retrograde messengers in rat brainstem slices.

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    Grassi, S; Pettorossi, V E

    2001-08-01

    The analysis of cellular-molecular events mediating synaptic plasticity within vestibular nuclei is an attempt to explain the mechanisms underlying vestibular plasticity phenomena. The present review is meant to illustrate the main results, obtained in vitro, on the mechanisms underlying long-term changes in synaptic strength within the medial vestibular nuclei. The synaptic plasticity phenomena taking place at the level of vestibular nuclei could be useful for adapting and consolidating the efficacy of vestibular neuron responsiveness to environmental requirements, as during visuo-vestibular recalibration and vestibular compensation. Following a general introduction on the most salient features of vestibular compensation and visuo-vestibular adaptation, which are two plastic events involving neuronal circuitry within the medial vestibular nuclei, the second and third sections describe the results from rat brainstem slice studies, demonstrating the possibility to induce long-term potentiation and depression in the medial vestibular nuclei, following high frequency stimulation of the primary vestibular afferents. In particular the mechanisms sustaining the induction and expression of vestibular long-term potentiation and depression, such as the role of various glutamate receptors and retrograde messengers have been described. The relevant role of the interaction between the platelet-activating factor, acting as a retrograde messenger, and the presynaptic metabotropic glutamate receptors, in determining the full expression of vestibular long-term potentiation is also underlined. In addition, the mechanisms involved in vestibular long-term potentiation have been compared with those leading to long-term potentiation in the hippocampus to emphasize the most significant differences emerging from vestibular studies. The fourth part, describes recent results demonstrating the essential role of nitric oxide, another retrograde messenger, in the induction of vestibular

  14. Persistent deficits in hippocampal synaptic plasticity accompany losses of hippocampus-dependent memory in a rodent model of psychosis

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    Valentina eWiescholleck

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Irreversible N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR antagonism is known to provoke symptoms of psychosis and schizophrenia in healthy humans. NMDAR hypofunction is believed to play a central role in the pathophysiology of both disorders and in an animal model of psychosis, that is based on irreversible antagonism of NMDARs, pronounced deficits in hippocampal synaptic plasticity have been reported shortly after antagonist treatment. Here, we examined the long-term consequences for long-term potentiation (LTP of a single acute treatment with an irreversible antagonist and investigated whether deficits are associated with memory impairments.The ability to express long-term potentiation (LTP at the perforant pathway – dentate gyrus synapse, as well as object recognition memory was assessed 1, 2, 3 and 4 weeks after a single -treatment of the antagonist, MK801. Here, LTP in freely behaving rats was significantly impaired at all time-points compared to control LTP before treatment. Object recognition memory was also significantly poorer in MK801-treated compared to vehicle-treated animals for several weeks after treatment. Histological analysis revealed no changes in brain tissue.Taken together, these data support that acute treatment with an irreversible NMDAR antagonist persistently impairs hippocampal functioning on behavioral, as well as synaptic levels. The long-term deficits in synaptic plasticity may underlie the cognitive impairments that are associated with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders.

  15. Effects of the kainate receptor agonist ATPA on glutamatergic synaptic transmission and plasticity during early postnatal development.

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    Sallert, Marko; Malkki, Hemi; Segerstråle, Mikael; Taira, Tomi; Lauri, Sari E

    2007-05-01

    Kainate type of glutamate receptors (KARs) modulate synaptic transmission in a developmentally regulated manner at several synapses in the brain. Previous studies have shown that KARs depress glutamatergic transmission at CA3-CA1 synapses in the hippocampus and these receptors are tonically active during early postnatal development. Here we use the GluR5 subunit specific agonist ATPA to further characterize the role of KARs in the modulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity in area CA1 during the first two weeks of life. We find that the depressant effect of ATPA on evoked fEPSPs/EPSCs is smaller in the neonate (P3-P6) than in the juvenile (P14-P18) rat CA1, due to endogenous activity of KAR in the neonate. Further, in the neonate but not juvenile CA1, ATPA downregulates action-potential independent transmission (mEPSCs) and its effects are dependent on protein kinase C activity. ATPA-induced depression of fEPSPs in the neonate occludes the presynaptic component of long-term depression (LTD). In contrast, at P14-P18, ATPA prevents LTD indirectly via GABAergic mechanisms. These data show that GluR5 signaling mechanisms are developmentally regulated and suggest distinct functional role for KARs in the modulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity at different stages of development.

  16. Effects of amitriptyline and fluoxetine on synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus of hippocampal formation in rats

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    Ghasem Zarei

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Several studies have been shown that antidepressant drugs have contradictory effects on cognitive processes. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of amitriptyline and fluoxetine on synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus (DG of the hippocampal formation in rat. Materials and Methods: Experimental groups were the control, the fluoxetine, and amitriptyline. The rats were treated for 21 days and then, paired pulse facilitation/inhibition (PPF/I and long-term potentiation (LTP in perforant path-DG synapses were assessed (by 400 Hz tetanization. Field excitatory post-synaptic potential (fEPSP slope and population spike (PS amplitude were measured. Results: The results of PPF/I showed that PS amplitude ratios were increased in 10-70 ms inter-stimulus intervals in the amitriptyline group compared to the control group. In the fluoxetine group, EPSP slope ratios were decreased in intervals 30, 40, and 50 ms inter-stimulus intervals compared to the control group. The PS-LTP was significantly lower in the fluoxetine and the amitriptyline groups with respect to the control group. Conclusion: The results showed that fluoxetine and amitriptyline affect synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus and these effects is probably due to the impact on the number of active neurons.

  17. Role of mental retardation-associated dystrophin-gene product Dp71 in excitatory synapse organization, synaptic plasticity and behavioral functions.

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    Fatma Daoud

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD is caused by deficient expression of the cytoskeletal protein, dystrophin. One third of DMD patients also have mental retardation (MR, likely due to mutations preventing expression of dystrophin and other brain products of the DMD gene expressed from distinct internal promoters. Loss of Dp71, the major DMD-gene product in brain, is thought to contribute to the severity of MR; however, the specific function of Dp71 is poorly understood. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Complementary approaches were used to explore the role of Dp71 in neuronal function and identify mechanisms by which Dp71 loss may impair neuronal and cognitive functions. Besides the normal expression of Dp71 in a subpopulation of astrocytes, we found that a pool of Dp71 colocalizes with synaptic proteins in cultured neurons and is expressed in synaptic subcellular fractions in adult brains. We report that Dp71-associated protein complexes interact with specialized modular scaffolds of proteins that cluster glutamate receptors and organize signaling in postsynaptic densities. We then undertook the first functional examination of the brain and cognitive alterations in the Dp71-null mice. We found that these mice display abnormal synapse organization and maturation in vitro, altered synapse density in the adult brain, enhanced glutamatergic transmission and reduced synaptic plasticity in CA1 hippocampus. Dp71-null mice show selective behavioral disturbances characterized by reduced exploratory and novelty-seeking behavior, mild retention deficits in inhibitory avoidance, and impairments in spatial learning and memory. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Results suggest that Dp71 expression in neurons play a regulatory role in glutamatergic synapse organization and function, which provides a new mechanism by which inactivation of Dp71 in association with that of other DMD-gene products may lead to increased severity of MR.

  18. Medial prefrontal cortex inversely regulates toluene-induced changes in markers of synaptic plasticity of mesolimbic dopamine neurons

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    Beckley, Jacob T.; Evins, Caitlin E.; Fedarovich, Hleb; Gilstrap, Meghin J.; Woodward, John J.

    2013-01-01

    Toluene is a volatile solvent that is intentionally inhaled by children, adolescents and adults for its intoxicating effects. While voluntary use of toluene suggests that it possesses rewarding properties and abuse potential, it is unknown whether toluene alters excitatory synaptic transmission in reward sensitive dopamine neurons like other drugs of abuse. Here, using a combination of retrograde labeling and slice electrophysiology, we show that a brief in vivo exposure of rats to a behaviorally relevant concentration of toluene vapor enhances glutamatergic synaptic strength of dopamine (DA) neurons projecting to nucleus accumbens core and medial shell neurons. This effect persisted for up to 3 days in mesoaccumbens core DA neurons and for at least 21 days in those projecting to the medial shell. In contrast, toluene vapor exposure had no effect on synaptic strength of DA neurons that project to the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Furthermore, infusion of GABAergic modulators into the mPFC prior to vapor exposure to pharmacologically manipulate output, inhibited or potentiated toluene's action on mesoaccumbens DA neurons. Taken together, the results of these studies indicate that toluene induces a target-selective increase in mesolimbic DA neuron synaptic transmission and strongly implicates the mPFC as an important regulator of drug-induced plasticity of mesolimbic dopamine neurons. PMID:23303956

  19. Age-related deficits in synaptic plasticity rescued by activating PKA or PKC in sensory neurons of Aplysia californica

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    Andrew T Kempsell

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Brain aging is associated with declines in synaptic function that contribute to memory loss, including reduced postsynaptic response to neurotransmitters and decreased neuronal excitability. To understand how aging affects memory in a simple neural circuit, we studied neuronal proxies of memory for sensitization in mature versus advanced age Aplysia. Glutamate- (L-Glu- evoked excitatory currents were facilitated by the neuromodulator serotonin (5-HT in sensory neurons (SN isolated from mature but not aged animals. Activation of PKA and PKC signaling rescued facilitation of L-Glu currents in aged SN. Similarly, PKA and PKC activators restored increased excitability in aged tail SN. These results suggest that altered synaptic plasticity during aging involves defects in second messenger systems

  20. Immune dysregulation and cognitive vulnerability in the aging brain: Interactions of microglia, IL-1β, BDNF and synaptic plasticity.

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    Patterson, Susan L

    2015-09-01

    Older individuals often experience declines in cognitive function after events (e.g. infection, or injury) that trigger activation of the immune system. This occurs at least in part because aging sensitizes the response of microglia (the brain's resident immune cells) to signals triggered by an immune challenge. In the aging brain, microglia respond to these signals by producing more pro-inflammatory cytokines (e.g. interleukin-1beta or IL-1β) and producing them for longer than microglia in younger brains. This exaggerated inflammatory response can compromise processes critical for optimal cognitive functioning. Interleukin-1β is central to the inflammatory response and is a key mediator and modulator of an array of associated biological functions; thus its production and release is usually very tightly regulated. This review will focus on the impact of dysregulated production of IL-1β on hippocampus dependent-memory systems and associated synaptic plasticity processes. The neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BNDF) helps to protect neurons from damage caused by infection or injury, and it plays a critical role in many of the same memory and hippocampal plasticity processes compromised by dysregulated production of IL-1β. This suggests that an exaggerated brain inflammatory response, arising from aging and a secondary immune challenge, may erode the capacity to provide the BDNF needed for memory-related plasticity processes at hippocampal synapses. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Neuroimmunology and Synaptic Function'. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. The brain-tumor related protein podoplanin regulates synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent learning and memory.

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    Cicvaric, Ana; Yang, Jiaye; Krieger, Sigurd; Khan, Deeba; Kim, Eun-Jung; Dominguez-Rodriguez, Manuel; Cabatic, Maureen; Molz, Barbara; Acevedo Aguilar, Juan Pablo; Milicevic, Radoslav; Smani, Tarik; Breuss, Johannes M; Kerjaschki, Dontscho; Pollak, Daniela D; Uhrin, Pavel; Monje, Francisco J

    2016-12-01

    Podoplanin is a cell-surface glycoprotein constitutively expressed in the brain and implicated in human brain tumorigenesis. The intrinsic function of podoplanin in brain neurons remains however uncharacterized. Using an established podoplanin-knockout mouse model and electrophysiological, biochemical, and behavioral approaches, we investigated the brain neuronal role of podoplanin. Ex-vivo electrophysiology showed that podoplanin deletion impairs dentate gyrus synaptic strengthening. In vivo, podoplanin deletion selectively impaired hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory without affecting amygdala-dependent cued fear conditioning. In vitro, neuronal overexpression of podoplanin promoted synaptic activity and neuritic outgrowth whereas podoplanin-deficient neurons exhibited stunted outgrowth and lower levels of p-Ezrin, TrkA, and CREB in response to nerve growth factor (NGF). Surface Plasmon Resonance data further indicated a physical interaction between podoplanin and NGF. This work proposes podoplanin as a novel component of the neuronal machinery underlying neuritogenesis, synaptic plasticity, and hippocampus-dependent memory functions. The existence of a relevant cross-talk between podoplanin and the NGF/TrkA signaling pathway is also for the first time proposed here, thus providing a novel molecular complex as a target for future multidisciplinary studies of the brain function in the physiology and the pathology. Key messages Podoplanin, a protein linked to the promotion of human brain tumors, is required in vivo for proper hippocampus-dependent learning and memory functions. Deletion of podoplanin selectively impairs activity-dependent synaptic strengthening at the neurogenic dentate-gyrus and hampers neuritogenesis and phospho Ezrin, TrkA and CREB protein levels upon NGF stimulation. Surface plasmon resonance data indicates a physical interaction between podoplanin and NGF. On these grounds, a relevant cross-talk between podoplanin and NGF as well

  2. Levetiracetam attenuates hippocampal expression of synaptic plasticity-related immediate early and late response genes in amygdala-kindled rats

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    2010-01-01

    Background The amygdala-kindled rat is a model for human temporal lobe epilepsy and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. Hippocampal RNA isolated from amygdala-kindled rats at different kindling stages was analyzed to identify kindling-induced genes. Furthermore, effects of the anti-epileptic drug levetiracetam on kindling-induced gene expression were examined. Results Cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2), Protocadherin-8 (Pcdh8) and TGF-beta-inducible early response gene-1 (TIEG1) were identified and verified as differentially expressed transcripts in the hippocampus of kindled rats by in situ hybridization and quantitative RT-PCR. In addition, we identified a panel of 16 additional transcripts which included Arc, Egr3/Pilot, Homer1a, Ania-3, MMP9, Narp, c-fos, NGF, BDNF, NT-3, Synaptopodin, Pim1 kinase, TNF-α, RGS2, Egr2/krox-20 and β-A activin that were differentially expressed in the hippocampus of amygdala-kindled rats. The list consists of many synaptic plasticity-related immediate early genes (IEGs) as well as some late response genes encoding transcription factors, neurotrophic factors and proteins that are known to regulate synaptic remodelling. In the hippocampus, induction of IEG expression was dependent on the afterdischarge (AD) duration. Levetiracetam, 40 mg/kg, suppressed the development of kindling measured as severity of seizures and AD duration. In addition, single animal profiling also showed that levetiracetam attenuated the observed kindling-induced IEG expression; an effect that paralleled the anti-epileptic effect of the drug on AD duration. Conclusions The present study provides mRNA expression data that suggest that levetiracetam attenuates expression of genes known to regulate synaptic remodelling. In the kindled rat, levetiracetam does so by shortening the AD duration thereby reducing the seizure-induced changes in mRNA expression in the hippocampus. PMID:20105316

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

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    Graham K Sheridan

    2014-08-01

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

  4. Excitatory synaptic activity is associated with a rapid structural plasticity of inhibitory synapses on hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells.

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    Lushnikova, Irina; Skibo, Galina; Muller, Dominique; Nikonenko, Irina

    2011-04-01

    Synaptic activity, such as long-term potentiation (LTP), has been shown to induce morphological plasticity of excitatory synapses on dendritic spines through the spine head and postsynaptic density (PSD) enlargement and reorganization. Much less, however, is known about activity-induced morphological modifications of inhibitory synapses. Using an in vitro model of rat organotypic hippocampal slice cultures and electron microscopy, we studied activity-related morphological changes of somatic inhibitory inputs triggered by a brief oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) episode, a condition associated with a synaptic enhancement referred to as anoxic LTP and a structural remodeling of excitatory synapses. Three-dimensional reconstruction of inhibitory axo-somatic synapses at different times before and after brief OGD revealed important morphological changes. The PSD area significantly and markedly increased at synapses with large and complex PSDs, but not at synapses with simple, macular PSDs. Activity-related changes of PSD size and presynaptic bouton volume developed in a strongly correlated manner. Analyses of single and serial sections further showed that the density of inhibitory synaptic contacts on the cell soma did not change within 1 h after OGD. In contrast, the proportion of the cell surface covered with inhibitory PSDs, as well as the complexity of these PSDs significantly increased, with less macular PSDs and more complex, segmented shapes. Together, these data reveal a rapid activity-related restructuring of somatic inhibitory synapses characterized by an enlargement and increased complexity of inhibitory PSDs, providing a new mechanism for a quick adjustment of the excitatory-inhibitory balance. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Synaptic Plasticity & Interneurons'.

  5. Alterations in synaptic plasticity coincide with deficits in spatial working memory in presymptomatic 3xTg-AD mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Jason K; Furgerson, Matthew; Crystal, Jonathon D; Fechheimer, Marcus; Furukawa, Ruth; Wagner, John J

    2015-11-01

    Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative condition believed to be initiated by production of amyloid-beta peptide, which leads to synaptic dysfunction and progressive memory loss. Using a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (3xTg-AD), an 8-arm radial maze was employed to assess spatial working memory. Unexpectedly, the younger (3month old) 3xTg-AD mice were as impaired in the spatial working memory task as the older (8month old) 3xTg-AD mice when compared with age-matched NonTg control animals. Field potential recordings from the CA1 region of slices prepared from the ventral hippocampus were obtained to assess synaptic transmission and capability for synaptic plasticity. At 3months of age, the NMDA receptor-dependent component of LTP was reduced in 3xTg-AD mice. However, the magnitude of the non-NMDA receptor-dependent component of LTP was concomitantly increased, resulting in a similar amount of total LTP in 3xTg-AD and NonTg mice. At 8months of age, the NMDA receptor-dependent LTP was again reduced in 3xTg-AD mice, but now the non-NMDA receptor-dependent component was decreased as well, resulting in a significantly reduced total amount of LTP in 3xTg-AD compared with NonTg mice. Both 3 and 8month old 3xTg-AD mice exhibited reductions in paired-pulse facilitation and NMDA receptor-dependent LTP that coincided with the deficit in spatial working memory. The early presence of this cognitive impairment and the associated alterations in synaptic plasticity demonstrate that the onset of some behavioral and neurophysiological consequences can occur before the detectable presence of plaques and tangles in the 3xTg-AD mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

  6. Levetiracetam attenuates hippocampal expression of synaptic plasticity-related immediate early and late response genes in amygdala-kindled rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Watson William P

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The amygdala-kindled rat is a model for human temporal lobe epilepsy and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. Hippocampal RNA isolated from amygdala-kindled rats at different kindling stages was analyzed to identify kindling-induced genes. Furthermore, effects of the anti-epileptic drug levetiracetam on kindling-induced gene expression were examined. Results Cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2, Protocadherin-8 (Pcdh8 and TGF-beta-inducible early response gene-1 (TIEG1 were identified and verified as differentially expressed transcripts in the hippocampus of kindled rats by in situ hybridization and quantitative RT-PCR. In addition, we identified a panel of 16 additional transcripts which included Arc, Egr3/Pilot, Homer1a, Ania-3, MMP9, Narp, c-fos, NGF, BDNF, NT-3, Synaptopodin, Pim1 kinase, TNF-α, RGS2, Egr2/krox-20 and β-A activin that were differentially expressed in the hippocampus of amygdala-kindled rats. The list consists of many synaptic plasticity-related immediate early genes (IEGs as well as some late response genes encoding transcription factors, neurotrophic factors and proteins that are known to regulate synaptic remodelling. In the hippocampus, induction of IEG expression was dependent on the afterdischarge (AD duration. Levetiracetam, 40 mg/kg, suppressed the development of kindling measured as severity of seizures and AD duration. In addition, single animal profiling also showed that levetiracetam attenuated the observed kindling-induced IEG expression; an effect that paralleled the anti-epileptic effect of the drug on AD duration. Conclusions The present study provides mRNA expression data that suggest that levetiracetam attenuates expression of genes known to regulate synaptic remodelling. In the kindled rat, levetiracetam does so by shortening the AD duration thereby reducing the seizure-induced changes in mRNA expression in the hippocampus.

  7. A synaptically controlled, associative signal for Hebbian plasticity in hippocampal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magee, J C; Johnston, D

    1997-01-10

    The role of back-propagating dendritic action potentials in the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) was investigated in CA1 neurons by means of dendritic patch recordings and simultaneous calcium imaging. Pairing of subthreshold excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) with back-propagating action potentials resulted in an amplification of dendritic action potentials and evoked calcium influx near the site of synaptic input. This pairing also induced a robust LTP, which was reduced when EPSPs were paired with non-back-propagating action potentials or when stimuli were unpaired. Action potentials thus provide a synaptically controlled, associative signal to the dendrites for Hebbian modifications of synaptic strength.

  8. G-protein-coupled estrogen receptor 1 is anatomically positioned to modulate synaptic plasticity in the mouse hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waters, Elizabeth M; Thompson, Louisa I; Patel, Parth; Gonzales, Andreina D; Ye, Hector Zhiyu; Filardo, Edward J; Clegg, Deborah J; Gorecka, Jolanta; Akama, Keith T; McEwen, Bruce S; Milner, Teresa A

    2015-02-11

    Both estrous cycle and sex affect the numbers and types of neuronal and glial profiles containing the classical estrogen receptors α and β, and synaptic levels in the rodent dorsal hippocampus. Here, we examined whether the membrane estrogen receptor, G-protein-coupled estrogen receptor 1 (GPER1), is anatomically positioned in the dorsal hippocampus of mice to regulate synaptic plasticity. By light microscopy, GPER1-immunoreactivity (IR) was most noticeable in the pyramidal cell layer and interspersed interneurons, especially those in the hilus of the dentate gyrus. Diffuse GPER1-IR was found in all lamina but was most dense in stratum lucidum of CA3. Ultrastructural analysis revealed discrete extranuclear GPER1-IR affiliated with the plasma membrane and endoplasmic reticulum of neuronal perikarya and dendritic shafts, synaptic specializations in dendritic spines, and clusters of vesicles in axon terminals. Moreover, GPER1-IR was found in unmyelinated axons and glial profiles. Overall, the types and amounts of GPER1-labeled profiles were similar between males and females; however, in females elevated estrogen levels generally increased axonal labeling. Some estradiol-induced changes observed in previous studies were replicated by the GPER agonist G1: G1 increased PSD95-IR in strata oriens, lucidum, and radiatum of CA3 in ovariectomized mice 6 h after administration. In contrast, estradiol but not G1 increased Akt phosphorylation levels. Instead, GPER1 actions in the synapse may be due to interactions with synaptic scaffolding proteins, such as SAP97. These results suggest that although estrogen's actions via GPER1 may converge on the same synaptic elements, different pathways are used to achieve these actions.

  9. Decrease of synaptic plasticity associated with alteration of information flow in a rat model of vascular dementia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, X; Li, Z; Yang, Z; Zhang, T

    2012-03-29

    This investigation examined whether the directional index of neural information flow (NIF) could be employed to characterize the synaptic plasticity in the CA3-CA1 pathway of the hippocampus and assessed which oscillatory rhythm was associated with cognitive impairments induced by vascular dementia (VD). Rats were randomly divided into control and VD groups. The animal model of VD used the two-vessel occlusion (2VO) method. Behavior was measured using the Morris water maze (MWM). Local field potentials (LFPs) from CA3 and CA1 were recorded after behavioral tests, followed by recording long-term potentiation (LTP) of the same CA3-CA1 pathway. General partial directed coherence (gPDC) approach was utilized to determine the directionality of NIF between CA3 and CA1 over five frequency bands, which were delta, theta, alpha, beta, and gamma. The results showed that the escape latencies were significantly prolonged in the VD group, whereas the swimming speeds of these two groups remained constant throughout testing. Moreover, the phase synchronization values between CA3 and CA1 regions were reduced in theta, alpha, beta, and gamma bands in the VD state compared to that in the normal state. The coupling directional index was considerably decreased in the previously given four frequency bands in VD rats, whereas the strength of CA3 driving CA1 was significantly reduced in the same frequency bands. Interestingly, LTP was significantly decreased in the VD group, which was consistent with the LFPs findings. The data suggest that the directionality index of NIF in these physiological oscillatory rhythms could be used as a measure of synaptic plasticity in the hippocampal CA3-CA1 pathway in VD states. The potential mechanism of the relationship between NIF direction and synaptic plasticity in VD state was discussed.

  10. 突触可塑性分子机制的相关研究%Molecular Mechanisms of Synaptic Plasticity Related Research

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张永杰

    2012-01-01

    In recent years,researchers have paid close attention to the role of synaptic plasticity in learning and memory. Synaptic is a key part of neural information transmission, and synaptic plasticity is considered as synaptic changes, the new synaptic formation and the establishment of transmission performance. Synaptic plasticity is the molecular basis of learning and memory, which mediates the transmission of nerve excitability, and has a major influence on synaptic plasticity of neurons establishment, therefore is closely related to learning and memory. Here is to make a review on the molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity in learning and memory.%近年来,突触可塑性在学习记忆中所产生的作用一直是人们关注的焦点.突触是神经信息传递的关键部位,突触可塑性被认为是突触形态的改变、新的突触的形成及传递性能的建立,突触可塑性是学习与记忆的细胞分子学基础,其介导了神经兴奋性的传导,对神经元突触可塑性和神经构筑产生了重要影响,因而与学习记忆关系密切.现就突触可塑性分子机制对学习记忆的影响进行综述.

  11. Altered Striatal Synaptic Function and Abnormal Behaviour in Shank3 Exon4-9 Deletion Mouse Model of Autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaramillo, Thomas C; Speed, Haley E; Xuan, Zhong; Reimers, Jeremy M; Liu, Shunan; Powell, Craig M

    2016-03-01

    Shank3 is a multi-domain, synaptic scaffolding protein that organizes proteins in the postsynaptic density of excitatory synapses. Clinical studies suggest that ∼ 0.5% of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) cases may involve SHANK3 mutation/deletion. Patients with SHANK3 mutations exhibit deficits in cognition along with delayed/impaired speech/language and repetitive and obsessive/compulsive-like (OCD-like) behaviors. To examine how mutation/deletion of SHANK3 might alter brain function leading to ASD, we have independently created mice with deletion of Shank3 exons 4-9, a region implicated in ASD patients. We find that homozygous deletion of exons 4-9 (Shank3(e4-9) KO) results in loss of the two highest molecular weight isoforms of Shank3 and a significant reduction in other isoforms. Behaviorally, both Shank3(e4-9) heterozygous (HET) and Shank3(e4-9) KO mice display increased repetitive grooming, deficits in novel and spatial object recognition learning and memory, and abnormal ultrasonic vocalizations. Shank3(e4-9) KO mice also display abnormal social interaction when paired with one another. Analysis of synaptosome fractions from striata of Shank3(e4-9) KO mice reveals decreased Homer1b/c, GluA2, and GluA3 expression. Both Shank3(e4-9) HET and KO demonstrated a significant reduction in NMDA/AMPA ratio at excitatory synapses onto striatal medium spiny neurons. Furthermore, Shank3(e4-9) KO mice displayed reduced hippocampal LTP despite normal baseline synaptic transmission. Collectively these behavioral, biochemical and physiological changes suggest Shank3 isoforms have region-specific roles in regulation of AMPAR subunit localization and NMDAR function in the Shank3(e4-9) mutant mouse model of autism.

  12. Multiple forms of long-term synaptic plasticity at hippocampal mossy fiber synapses onto interneurons

    OpenAIRE

    Galván, Emilio J; Cosgrove, Kathleen E.; Barrionuevo, Germán

    2010-01-01

    The hippocampal mossy fiber (MF) pathway originates from the dentate gyrus granule cells and provides a powerful excitatory synaptic drive to neurons in the dentate gyrus hilus and area CA3. Much of the early work on the MF pathway focused on its electrophysiological properties, and ability to drive CA3 pyramidal cell activity. Over the last ten years, however, a new focus on the synaptic interaction between granule cells with inhibitory interneurons has emerged. These data have revealed an i...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

    The primary motor cortex has an important role in the precise execution of learned motor responses. During motor learning, synaptic efficacy between sensory and primary motor cortical neurons is enhanced, possibly involving long-term potentiation and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-specific glutamate receptor function. To investigate whether NMDA receptor in the primary motor cortex can act as a coincidence detector for activity-dependent changes in synaptic strength and associative learning, her...

  14. Dynamic control of synaptic vesicle replenishment and short-term plasticity by Ca(2+)-calmodulin-Munc13-1 signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipstein, Noa; Sakaba, Takeshi; Cooper, Benjamin H; Lin, Kun-Han; Strenzke, Nicola; Ashery, Uri; Rhee, Jeong-Seop; Taschenberger, Holger; Neher, Erwin; Brose, Nils

    2013-07-10

    Short-term synaptic plasticity, the dynamic alteration of synaptic strength during high-frequency activity, is a fundamental characteristic of all synapses. At the calyx of Held, repetitive activity eventually results in short-term synaptic depression, which is in part due to the gradual exhaustion of releasable synaptic vesicles. This is counterbalanced by Ca(2+)-dependent vesicle replenishment, but the molecular mechanisms of this replenishment are largely unknown. We studied calyces of Held in knockin mice that express a Ca(2+)-Calmodulin insensitive Munc13-1(W464R) variant of the synaptic vesicle priming protein Munc13-1. Calyces of these mice exhibit a slower rate of synaptic vesicle replenishment, aberrant short-term depression and reduced recovery from synaptic depression after high-frequency stimulation. Our data establish Munc13-1 as a major presynaptic target of Ca(2+)-Calmodulin signaling and show that the Ca(2+)-Calmodulin-Munc13-1 complex is a pivotal component of the molecular machinery that determines short-term synaptic plasticity characteristics.

  15. Synaptic damage underlies EEG abnormalities in postanoxic encephalopathy : A computational study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruijter, Barry Johannes; Hofmeijer, Jeannette; Meijer, Hil Gaétan Ellart; van Putten, Michel Johannes Antonius Maria

    2017-01-01

    Objective In postanoxic coma, EEG patterns indicate the severity of encephalopathy and typically evolve in time. We aim to improve the understanding of pathophysiological mechanisms underlying these EEG abnormalities. Methods We used a mean field model comprising excitatory and inhibitory neurons,

  16. Voluntary running-enhanced synaptic plasticity, learning and memory are mediated by Notch1 signal pathway in C57BL mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiaochen; Yang, Chunxiao; Gao, Jing; Yin, Hongqiang; Zhang, Hui; Zhang, Tao; Yang, Zhuo

    2017-09-20

    It is well known that voluntary running can enhance synaptic plasticity and improve learning and memory abilities. The Notch1 receptor is also reported to be associated with these processes, but its role in running-induced alterations is unclear. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether the Notch1 signalling pathway was involved in voluntary running-induced enhancement of synaptic plasticity, learning and memory. Notch1 heterozygous deficient (Notch1(+/-)) mice and wildtype (WT) C57BL littermates were randomly divided into runner group and non-runner group. Mice were given free access to running wheels for 14 days in both the Notch1(+/-) runner group and the WT runner group. Our results demonstrate that Notch1 knockdown impairs the performance in the novel object recognition (NOR) test and Morris water maze test and decreases the synaptic plasticity. Voluntary running improves spatial learning and memory abilities, promotes synaptic plasticity and increases expressions of postsynaptic proteins in WT mice but not in Notch1(+/-) mice. Our results suggest that Notch1 plays a vital role in spatial learning and memory, synaptic plasticity under normal physiological conditions and voluntary running conditions. These findings will set the groundwork and fill in some gaps for understanding the role of Notch1 signalling in voluntary running-induced phenomena.

  17. Learning Discloses Abnormal Structural and Functional Plasticity at Hippocampal Synapses in the APP23 Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Middei, Silvia; Roberto, Anna; Berretta, Nicola; Panico, Maria Beatrice; Lista, Simone; Bernardi, Giorgio; Mercuri, Nicola B.; Ammassari-Teule, Martine; Nistico, Robert

    2010-01-01

    B6-Tg/Thy1APP23Sdz (APP23) mutant mice exhibit neurohistological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease but show intact basal hippocampal neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity. Here, we examine whether spatial learning differently modifies the structural and electrophysiological properties of hippocampal synapses in APP23 and wild-type mice. While…

  18. Age-Dependent Glutamate Induction of Synaptic Plasticity in Cultured Hippocampal Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivenshitz, Miriam; Segal, Menahem; Sapoznik, Stav

    2006-01-01

    A common denominator for the induction of morphological and functional plasticity in cultured hippocampal neurons involves the activation of excitatory synapses. We now demonstrate massive morphological plasticity in mature cultured hippocampal neurons caused by a brief exposure to glutamate. This plasticity involves a slow, 70%-80% increase in…

  19. The role of additive neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity in a hippocampal memory model with grid-cell like input.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter A Appleby

    Full Text Available Recently, we presented a study of adult neurogenesis in a simplified hippocampal memory model. The network was required to encode and decode memory patterns despite changing input statistics. We showed that additive neurogenesis was a more effective adaptation strategy compared to neuronal turnover and conventional synaptic plasticity as it allowed the network to respond to changes in the input statistics while preserving representations of earlier environments. Here we extend our model to include realistic, spatially driven input firing patterns in the form of grid cells in the entorhinal cortex. We compare network performance across a sequence of spatial environments using three distinct adaptation strategies: conventional synaptic plasticity, where the network is of fixed size but the connectivity is plastic; neuronal turnover, where the network is of fixed size but units in the network may die and be replaced; and additive neurogenesis, where the network starts out with fewer initial units but grows over time. We confirm that additive neurogenesis is a superior adaptation strategy when using realistic, spatially structured input patterns. We then show that a more biologically plausible neurogenesis rule that incorporates cell death and enhanced plasticity of new granule cells has an overall performance significantly better than any one of the three individual strategies operating alone. This adaptation rule can be tailored to maximise performance of the network when operating as either a short- or long-term memory store. We also examine the time course of adult neurogenesis over the lifetime of an animal raised under different hypothetical rearing conditions. These growth profiles have several distinct features that form a theoretical prediction that could be tested experimentally. Finally, we show that place cells can emerge and refine in a realistic manner in our model as a direct result of the sparsification performed by the dentate gyrus

  20. Is a 4-bit synaptic weight resolution enough? - constraints on enabling spike-timing dependent plasticity in neuromorphic hardware.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfeil, Thomas; Potjans, Tobias C; Schrader, Sven; Potjans, Wiebke; Schemmel, Johannes; Diesmann, Markus; Meier, Karlheinz

    2012-01-01

    Large-scale neuromorphic hardware systems typically bear the trade-off between detail level and required chip resources. Especially when implementing spike-timing dependent plasticity, reduction in resources leads to limitations as compared to floating point precision. By design, a natural modification that saves resources would be reducing synaptic weight resolution. In this study, we give an estimate for the impact of synaptic weight discretization on different levels, ranging from random walks of individual weights to computer simulations of spiking neural networks. The FACETS wafer-scale hardware system offers a 4-bit resolution of synaptic weights, which is shown to be sufficient within the scope of our network benchmark. Our findings indicate that increasing the resolution may not even be useful in light of further restrictions of customized mixed-signal synapses. In addition, variations due to production imperfections are investigated and shown to be uncritical in the context of the presented study. Our results represent a general framework for setting up and configuring hardware-constrained synapses. We suggest how weight discretization could be considered for other backends dedicated to large-scale simulations. Thus, our proposition of a good hardware verification practice may rise synergy effects between hardware developers and neuroscientists.

  1. Spatiotemporal discrimination in neural networks with short-term synaptic plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shlaer, Benjamin; Miller, Paul

    2015-03-01

    Cells in recurrently connected neural networks exhibit bistability, which allows for stimulus information to persist in a circuit even after stimulus offset, i.e. short-term memory. However, such a system does not have enough hysteresis to encode temporal information about the stimuli. The biophysically described phenomenon of synaptic depression decreases synaptic transmission strengths due to increased presynaptic activity. This short-term reduction in synaptic strengths can destabilize attractor states in excitatory recurrent neural networks, causing the network to move along stimulus dependent dynamical trajectories. Such a network can successfully separate amplitudes and durations of stimuli from the number of successive stimuli. Stimulus number, duration and intensity encoding in randomly connected attractor networks with synaptic depression. Front. Comput. Neurosci. 7:59., and so provides a strong candidate network for the encoding of spatiotemporal information. Here we explicitly demonstrate the capability of a recurrent neural network with short-term synaptic depression to discriminate between the temporal sequences in which spatial stimuli are presented.

  2. Abnormal tau induces cognitive impairment through two different mechanisms: synaptic dysfunction and neuronal loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di, J; Cohen, L S; Corbo, C P; Phillips, G R; El Idrissi, A; Alonso, A D

    2016-02-18

    The hyperphosphorylated microtubule-associated protein tau is present in several neurodegenerative diseases, although the causal relationship remains elusive. Few mouse models used to study Alzheimer-like dementia target tau phosphorylation. We created an inducible pseudophosphorylated tau (Pathological Human Tau, PH-Tau) mouse model to study the effect of conformationally modified tau in vivo. Leaky expression resulted in two levels of PH-Tau: low basal level and higher upon induction (4% and 14% of the endogenous tau, respectively). Unexpectedly, low PH-Tau resulted in significant cognitive deficits, decrease in the number of synapses (seen by EM in the CA1 region), reduction of synaptic proteins, and localization to the nucleus. Induction of PH-Tau triggered neuronal death (60% in CA3), astrocytosis, and loss of the processes in CA1. These findings suggest, that phosphorylated tau is sufficient to induce neurodegeneration and that two different mechanisms can induce cognitive impairment depending on the levels of PH-Tau expression.

  3. Neto1 is a novel CUB-domain NMDA receptor-interacting protein required for synaptic plasticity and learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Ng

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available The N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR, a major excitatory ligand-gated ion channel in the central nervous system (CNS, is a principal mediator of synaptic plasticity. Here we report that neuropilin tolloid-like 1 (Neto1, a complement C1r/C1s, Uegf, Bmp1 (CUB domain-containing transmembrane protein, is a novel component of the NMDAR complex critical for maintaining the abundance of NR2A-containing NMDARs in the postsynaptic density. Neto1-null mice have depressed long-term potentiation (LTP at Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses, with the subunit dependency of LTP induction switching from the normal predominance of NR2A- to NR2B-NMDARs. NMDAR-dependent spatial learning and memory is depressed in Neto1-null mice, indicating that Neto1 regulates NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity and cognition. Remarkably, we also found that the deficits in LTP, learning, and memory in Neto1-null mice were rescued by the ampakine CX546 at doses without effect in wild-type. Together, our results establish the principle that auxiliary proteins are required for the normal abundance of NMDAR subunits at synapses, and demonstrate that an inherited learning defect can be rescued pharmacologically, a finding with therapeutic implications for humans.

  4. Steroid sulfatase inhibitor DU-14 protects spatial memory and synaptic plasticity from disruption by amyloid β protein in male rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yue, Xing-Hua; Tong, Jia-Qing; Wang, Zhao-Jun; Zhang, Jun; Liu, Xu; Liu, Xiao-Jie; Cai, Hong-Yan; Qi, Jin-Shun

    2016-07-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an age-related mental disorder characterized by progressive loss of memory and multiple cognitive impairments. The overproduction and aggregation of Amyloid β protein (Aβ) in the brain, especially in the hippocampus, are closely involved in the memory loss in the patients with AD. Accumulating evidence indicates that the Aβ-induced imbalance of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) in the brain plays an important role in the AD pathogenesis and progression. The level of DHEA is elevated, while DHEAS is dramatically decreased in the AD brain. The present study tried to restore the balance between DHEA and DHEAS by using a non-steroidal sulfatase inhibitor DU-14, which increases endogenous DHEAS through preventing DHEAS converted back into DHEA. We found that: (1) DU-14 effectively attenuated the Aβ1-42-induced cognitive deficits in spatial learning and memory of rats in Morris water maze test; (2) DU-14 prevented Aβ1-42-induced decrease in the cholinergic theta rhythm of hippocampal local field potential (LFP) in the CA1 region; (3) DU-14 protected hippocampal synaptic plasticity against Aβ1-42-induced suppression of long term potentiation (LTP). These results provide evidence for the neuroprotective action of DU-14 against neurotoxic Aβ, suggesting that up-regulation of endogenous DHEAS by DU-14 could be beneficial to the alleviation of Aβ-induced impairments in spatial memory and synaptic plasticity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Neuronal Kmt2a/Mll1 histone methyltransferase is essential for prefrontal synaptic plasticity and working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakovcevski, Mira; Ruan, Hongyu; Shen, Erica Y; Dincer, Aslihan; Javidfar, Behnam; Ma, Qi; Peter, Cyril J; Cheung, Iris; Mitchell, Amanda C; Jiang, Yan; Lin, Cong L; Pothula, Venu; Stewart, A Francis; Ernst, Patricia; Yao, Wei-Dong; Akbarian, Schahram

    2015-04-01

    Neuronal histone H3-lysine 4 methylation landscapes are defined by sharp peaks at gene promoters and other cis-regulatory sequences, but molecular and cellular phenotypes after neuron-specific deletion of H3K4 methyl-regulators remain largely unexplored. We report that neuronal ablation of the H3K4-specific methyltransferase, Kmt2a/Mixed-lineage leukemia 1 (Mll1), in mouse postnatal forebrain and adult prefrontal cortex (PFC) is associated with increased anxiety and robust cognitive deficits without locomotor dysfunction. In contrast, only mild behavioral phenotypes were observed after ablation of the Mll1 ortholog Kmt2b/Mll2 in PFC. Impaired working memory after Kmt2a/Mll1 ablation in PFC neurons was associated with loss of training-induced transient waves of Arc immediate early gene expression critical for synaptic plasticity. Medial prefrontal layer V pyramidal neurons, a major output relay of the cortex, demonstrated severely impaired synaptic facilitation and temporal summation, two forms of short-term plasticity essential for working memory. Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by deep sequencing in Mll1-deficient cortical neurons revealed downregulated expression and loss of the transcriptional mark, trimethyl-H3K4, at neurons critically depend on maintenance of Mll1-regulated H3K4 methylation at a subset of genes with an essential role in cognition and emotion. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/355097-12$15.00/0.

  6. Inactivation of BRD7 results in impaired cognitive behavior and reduced synaptic plasticity of the medial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Yang; Cao, Wenyu; Zhou, Ming; Li, Changqi; Luo, Yanwei; Wang, Heran; Zhao, Ran; Jiang, Shihe; Yang, Jing; Liu, Yukun; Wang, Xinye; Li, Xiayu; Xiong, Wei; Ma, Jian; Peng, Shuping; Zeng, Zhaoyang; Li, Xiaoling; Tan, Ming; Li, Guiyuan

    2015-06-01

    BRD7 is a bromodomain-containing protein (BCP), and recent evidence implicates the role of BCPs in the initiation and development of neurodevelopmental disorders. However, few studies have investigated the biological functions of BRD7 in the central nervous system. In our study, BRD7 was found to be widely expressed in various regions of the mouse brain, including the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), caudate putamen (CPu), hippocampus (Hip), midbrain (Mb), cerebellum (Cb), and mainly co-localized with neuron but not with glia. Using a BRD7 knockout mouse model and a battery of behavioral tests, we report that disruption of BRD7 results in impaired cognitive behavior leaving the emotional behavior unaffected. Moreover, a series of proteins involved in synaptic plasticity were decreased in the medial prefrontal cortex and there was a concomitant decrease in neuronal spine density and dendritic branching in the medial prefrontal cortex. However, no significant difference was found in the hippocampus compared to the wild-type mice. Thus, BRD7 might play a critical role in the regulation of synaptic plasticity and affect cognitive behavior.

  7. Long-term plasticity determines the postsynaptic response to correlated afferents with multivesicular short-term synaptic depression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander David Bird

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Synchrony in a presynaptic population leads to correlations in vesicle occupancy at the active sites for neurotransmitter release. The number of independent release sites per presynaptic neuron, a synaptic parameter recently shown to be modifed during long-term plasticity, will modulate these correlations and therefore have a significant effect on the firing rate of the postsynaptic neuron. To understand how correlations from synaptic dynamics and from presynaptic synchrony shape the postsynaptic response, we study a model of multiple release site short-term plasticity and derive exact results for the crosscorrelation function of vesicle occupancy and neurotransmitter release, as well as the postsynaptic voltage variance. Using approximate forms for the postsynaptic firing rate in the limits of low and high correlations, we demonstrate that short-term depression leads to a maximum response for an intermediate number of presynaptic release sites, and that this leads to a tuning-curve response peaked at an optimal presynaptic synchrony setby the number of neurotransmitter release sites per presynaptic neuron. These effects arise because, above a certain level of correlation, activity in the presynaptic population is overly strong resulting in wastage of the pool of releasable neurotransmitter. As the nervous system operates under constraints of efficient metabolism it is likely that this phenomenon provides an activity-dependent constraint on network architecture.

  8. A novel form of synaptic plasticity in field CA3 of hippocampus requires GPER1 activation and BDNF release.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briz, Victor; Liu, Yan; Zhu, Guoqi; Bi, Xiaoning; Baudry, Michel

    2015-09-28

    Estrogen is an important modulator of hippocampal synaptic plasticity and memory consolidation through its rapid action on membrane-associated receptors. Here, we found that both estradiol and the G-protein-coupled estrogen receptor 1 (GPER1) specific agonist G1 rapidly induce brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) release, leading to transient stimulation of activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated (Arc) protein translation and GluA1-containing AMPA receptor internalization in field CA3 of hippocampus. We also show that type-I metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) activation does not induce Arc translation nor long-term depression (LTD) at the mossy fiber pathway, as opposed to its effects in CA1, and it only triggers LTD after GPER1 stimulation. Furthermore, this form of mGluR-dependent LTD is associated with ubiquitination and proteasome-mediated degradation of GluA1, and is prevented by proteasome inhibition. Overall, our study identifies a novel mechanism by which estrogen and BDNF regulate hippocampal synaptic plasticity in the adult brain.

  9. Enriched environment, nitric oxide production and synaptic plasticity prevent the aging-dependent impairment of spatial cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnaiz, Silvia Lores; D'Amico, Gabriela; Paglia, Nora; Arismendi, Mariana; Basso, Nidia; del Rosario Lores Arnaiz, María

    2004-01-01

    In rodents, neuronal plasticity decreases and spatial learning and working memory deficits increase upon aging. Several authors have shown that rats reared in enriched environments have better cognitive performance in association with increased neuronal plasticity than animals reared in standard environments. We hypothesized that enriched environment could preserve animals from the age-associated neurological impairments, mainly through NO-dependent mechanisms of induction of neuronal plasticity. We present evidence that 27 months old rats from an enriched environment show a better performance in spatial working memory than standard reared rats of the same age. Both mtNOS and cytosolic nNOS activities were found significantly increased (73% and 155%, respectively) in female rats from enriched environment as compared with control animals kept in a standard environment. The enzymatic activity of complex I was 80% increased in rats from enriched environment as compared with control rats. We conclude that an extensively enriched environment prevents old rats from the aging-associated impairment of spatial cognition, synaptic plasticity and nitric oxide production.

  10. Exercise, Alzheimer's Disease and Synaptic Plasticity (review)%运动、阿尔茨海默病与突触可塑性

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘慧莉; 赵刚

    2012-01-01

    Exercise can improve cognitive performance in Alzheimer's disease (AD), which may involve in synaptic plasticity. This paper reviewed the benefit of exercise on AD, the synaptic plasticity in AD, and the effects of exercise on synaptic plasticity.%运动能够减缓阿尔茨海默病(AD)的发病和进展,突触可塑性可能是AD学习和记忆功能障碍的神经生物学基础,也是运动防治AD的细胞机制.本文就运动对AD的防治作用、AD突触可塑性的改变及运动对突触可塑性的影响进行综述.

  11. Schisandra N-butanol extract improves synaptic morphology and plasticity in ovarectomized mice

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Meiyan Yang; Zhaolin Cai; Peng Xiao; Chuhua Li

    2012-01-01

    Preliminary work by our research team revealed that Schisandra, a renowned traditional Chinese medicine, causes learning and memory improvements in ovariectomized mice. This activity was attributed to active ingredients extracted with N-butyl alcohol, named Schisandra N-butanol extract. In this study, ovariectomized mice were pretreated with Schisandra N-butanol extract given by intragastric administration. This treatment led to the enhancement of learning, and an increase in hippocampal CA1 synaptic, surface and postsynaptic density. A decrease in the average size of the synaptic active zone was also observed. These experimental findings showing that Schisandra N-butanol extract improved synaptic morphology indicate an underlying mechanism by which the ability of learning is enhanced in ovariectomized mice.

  12. Decreased synaptic plasticity in the medial prefrontal cortex underlies short-term memory deficits in 6-OHDA-lesioned rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matheus, Filipe C; Rial, Daniel; Real, Joana I; Lemos, Cristina; Ben, Juliana; Guaita, Gisele O; Pita, Inês R; Sequeira, Ana C; Pereira, Frederico C; Walz, Roger; Takahashi, Reinaldo N; Bertoglio, Leandro J; Da Cunha, Cláudio; Cunha, Rodrigo A; Prediger, Rui D

    2016-03-15

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by motor dysfunction associated with dopaminergic degeneration in the dorsolateral striatum (DLS). However, motor symptoms in PD are often preceded by short-term memory deficits, which have been argued to involve deregulation of medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). We now used a 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) rat PD model to explore if alterations of synaptic plasticity in DLS and mPFC underlie short-term memory impairments in PD prodrome. The bilateral injection of 6-OHDA (20μg/hemisphere) in the DLS caused a marked loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (>80%) and decreased monoamine levels in the striatum and PFC, accompanied by motor deficits evaluated after 21 days in the open field and accelerated rotarod. A lower dose of 6-OHDA (10μg/hemisphere) only induced a partial degeneration (about 60%) of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra with no gross motor impairments, thus mimicking an early premotor stage of PD. Notably, 6-OHDA (10μg)-lesioned rats displayed decreased monoamine levels in the PFC as well as short-term memory deficits evaluated in the novel object discrimination and in the modified Y-maze tasks; this was accompanied by a selective decrease in the amplitude of long-term potentiation in the mPFC, but not in DLS, without changes of synaptic transmission in either brain regions. These results indicate that the short-term memory dysfunction predating the motor alterations in the 6-OHDA model of PD is associated with selective changes of information processing in PFC circuits, typified by persistent changes of synaptic plasticity.

  13. Cognition and Synaptic-Plasticity Related Changes in Aged Rats Supplemented with 8- and 10-Carbon Medium Chain Triglycerides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Dongmei; Mitchell, Ellen S.

    2016-01-01

    Brain glucose hypometabolism is a common feature of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Previous studies have shown that cognition is improved by providing AD patients with an alternate energy source: ketones derived from either ketogenic diet or supplementation with medium chain triglycerides (MCT). Recently, data on the neuroprotective capacity of MCT-derived medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) suggest 8-carbon and 10-carbon MCFA may have cognition-enhancing properties which are not related to ketone production. We investigated the effect of 8 week treatment with MCT8, MCT10 or sunflower oil supplementation (5% by weight of chow diet) in 21 month old Wistar rats. Both MCT diets increased ketones plasma similarly compared to control diet, but MCT diets did not increase ketones in the brain. Treatment with MCT10, but not MCT8, significantly improved novel object recognition memory compared to control diet, while social recognition increased in both MCT groups. MCT8 and MCT10 diets decreased weight compared to control diet, where MCFA plasma levels were higher in MCT10 groups than in MCT8 groups. Both MCT diets increased IRS-1 (612) phosphorylation and decreased S6K phosphorylation (240/244) but only MCT10 increased Akt phosphorylation (473). MCT8 supplementation increased synaptophysin, but not PSD-95, in contrast MCT10 had no effect on either synaptic marker. Expression of Ube3a, which controls synaptic stability, was increased by both MCT diets. Cortex transcription via qPCR showed that immediate early genes related to synaptic plasticity (arc, plk3, junb, egr2, nr4a1) were downregulated by both MCT diets while MCT8 additionally down-regulated fosb and egr1 but upregulated grin1 and gba2. These results demonstrate that treatment of 8- and 10-carbon length MCTs in aged rats have slight differential effects on synaptic stability, protein synthesis and behavior that may be independent of brain ketone levels. PMID:27517611

  14. Regional-specific effects of ovarian hormone loss on synaptic plasticity in adult human APOE targeted replacement mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca C Klein

    Full Text Available The human apolipoprotein ε4 allele (APOE4 has been implicated as one of the strongest genetic risk factors associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD and in influencing normal cognitive functioning. Previous studies have demonstrated that mice expressing human apoE4 display deficits in behavioral and neurophysiological outcomes compared to those with apoE3. Ovarian hormones have also been shown to be important in modulating synaptic processes underlying cognitive function, yet little is known about how their effects are influenced by apoE. In the current study, female adult human APOE targeted replacement (TR mice were utilized to examine the effects of human APOE genotype and long-term ovarian hormone loss on synaptic plasticity in limbic regions by measuring dendritic spine density and electrophysiological function. No significant genotype differences were observed on any outcomes within intact mice. However, there was a significant main effect of genotype on total spine density in apical dendrites in the hippocampus, with post-hoc t-tests revealing a significant reduction in spine density in apoE3 ovariectomized (OVX mice compared to sham operated mice. There was also a significant main effect of OVX on the magnitude of LTP, with post-hoc t-tests revealing a decrease in apoE3 OVX mice relative to sham. In contrast, apoE4 OVX mice showed increased synaptic activity relative to sham. In the lateral amygdala, there was a significant increase in total spine density in apoE4 OVX mice relative to sham. This increase in spine density was consistent with a significant increase in spontaneous excitatory activity in apoE4 OVX mice. These findings suggest that ovarian hormones differentially modulate synaptic integrity in an apoE-dependent manner within brain regions that are susceptible to neurophysiological dysfunction associated with AD.

  15. Effect of Chronic Morphine Consumption on Synaptic Plasticity of Rat’s Hippocampus: A Transmission Electron Microscopy Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Hassan Heidari

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available It is well known that the synapses undergo some changes in the brain during the course of normal life and under certain pathological or experimental circumstances. One of the main goals of numerous researchers has been to find the reasons for these structural changes. In the present study, we investigated the effects of chronic morphine consumption on synaptic plasticity, postsynaptic density thickness, and synaptic curvatures of hippocampus CA1 area of rats. So for reaching these goals, 24 N-Mary male rats were randomly divided into three groups, morphine (n=8, placebo (n=8, and control (n=8 groups. In the morphine group, complex of morphine (0.1, 0.2, 0.3, and 0.4 mg/mL and in the placebo (sucrose group complex of sucrose (% 0.3 were used for 21 days. After the end of drug treatment the animals were scarified and perfused intracardinally and finally the CA1 hippocampal samples were taken for ultrastructural studies, and then the obtained data were analyzed by SPSS and one-way analysis of variance. Our data indicated that synaptic numbers per nm3 change significantly in morphine group compared to the other two groups (placebo and control (P<0.001 and also statistical analysis revealed a significant difference between groups in terms of thickness of postsynaptic density (P<0.001 and synaptic curvature (P<0.007. It seems that morphine dependence in rats plays a main role in the ultrastructural changes of hippocampus.

  16. A light-stimulated synaptic transistor with synaptic plasticity and memory functions based on InGaZnO{sub x}–Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} thin film structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, H. K.; Chen, T. P., E-mail: echentp@ntu.edu.sg; Liu, P.; Zhang, Q. [School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798 (Singapore); Hu, S. G. [School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798 (Singapore); State Key Laboratory of Electronic Thin Films and Integrated Devices, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, Sichuan 610054 (China); Liu, Y. [State Key Laboratory of Electronic Thin Films and Integrated Devices, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, Sichuan 610054 (China); Lee, P. S. [School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798 (Singapore)

    2016-06-28

    In this work, a synaptic transistor based on the indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO)–aluminum oxide (Al{sub 2}O{sub 3}) thin film structure, which uses ultraviolet (UV) light pulses as the pre-synaptic stimulus, has been demonstrated. The synaptic transistor exhibits the behavior of synaptic plasticity like the paired-pulse facilitation. In addition, it also shows the brain's memory behaviors including the transition from short-term memory to long-term memory and the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve. The synapse-like behavior and memory behaviors of the transistor are due to the trapping and detrapping processes of the holes, which are generated by the UV pulses, at the IGZO/Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} interface and/or in the Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} layer.

  17. Effects of exercise and diet change on cognition function and synaptic plasticity in high fat diet induced obese rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Nutritional imbalance-induced obesity causes a variety of diseases and in particular is an important cause of cognitive function decline. This study was performed on Sprague Dawley (SD) rats with 13-weeks of high fat diet-induced obesity in connection to the effects of regular exercise and dietary control for 8 weeks on the synaptic plasticity and cognitive abilities of brain. Methods Four weeks-old SD rats were adopted classified into normal-normal diet-sedentary (NNS, n = 8), obesity-high fat diet-sedentary (OHS, n = 8), obesity-high fat diet-training (OHT, n = 8), obesity-normal diet-sedentary (ONS, n = 8) and obesity- normal diet-training (ONT, n = 8). The exercise program consisted of a treadmill exercise administered at a speed of 8 m/min for 1–4 weeks, and 14 m/min for 5–8 weeks. The Western blot method was used to measure the expression of NGF, BDNF, p38MAPK and p-p38MAPK proteins in hippocampus of the brain, and expressions of NGF, BDNF, TrkA, TrkB, CREB and synapsin1 mRNA were analyzed through qRT-PCR. Results The results suggest cognitive function-related protein levels and mRNA expression to be significantly decreased in the hippocampus of obese rats, and synaptic plasticity as well as cognitive function signaling sub-pathway factors were also significantly decreased. In addition, 8-weeks exercises and treatment by dietary change had induced significant increase of cognitive function-related protein levels and mRNA expression as well as synaptic plasticity and cognitive function signaling sub-pathway factors in obese rats. In particular, the combined treatment had presented even more positive effect. Conclusions Therefore, it was determined that the high fat diet-induced obesity decreases plasticity and cognitive function of the brain, but was identified as being improved by exercises and dietary changes. In particular, it is considered that regular exercise has positive effects on memory span and learning

  18. Age-dependent modulation of synaptic plasticity and insulin mimetic effect of lipoic acid on a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harsh Sancheti

    Full Text Available Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that entails impairments of memory, thinking and behavior and culminates into brain atrophy. Impaired glucose uptake (accumulating into energy deficits and synaptic plasticity have been shown to be affected in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. This study examines the ability of lipoic acid to increase brain glucose uptake and lead to improvements in synaptic plasticity on a triple transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (3xTg-AD that shows progression of pathology as a function of age; two age groups: 6 months (young and 12 months (old were used in this study. 3xTg-AD mice fed 0.23% w/v lipoic acid in drinking water for 4 weeks showed an insulin mimetic effect that consisted of increased brain glucose uptake, activation of the insulin receptor substrate and of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. Lipoic acid supplementation led to important changes in synaptic function as shown by increased input/output (I/O and long term potentiation (LTP (measured by electrophysiology. Lipoic acid was more effective in stimulating an insulin-like effect and reversing the impaired synaptic plasticity in the old mice, wherein the impairment of insulin signaling and synaptic plasticity was more pronounced than those in young mice.

  19. Age-dependent modulation of synaptic plasticity and insulin mimetic effect of lipoic acid on a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sancheti, Harsh; Akopian, Garnik; Yin, Fei; Brinton, Roberta D; Walsh, John P; Cadenas, Enrique

    2013-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that entails impairments of memory, thinking and behavior and culminates into brain atrophy. Impaired glucose uptake (accumulating into energy deficits) and synaptic plasticity have been shown to be affected in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. This study examines the ability of lipoic acid to increase brain glucose uptake and lead to improvements in synaptic plasticity on a triple transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (3xTg-AD) that shows progression of pathology as a function of age; two age groups: 6 months (young) and 12 months (old) were used in this study. 3xTg-AD mice fed 0.23% w/v lipoic acid in drinking water for 4 weeks showed an insulin mimetic effect that consisted of increased brain glucose uptake, activation of the insulin receptor substrate and of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. Lipoic acid supplementation led to important changes in synaptic function as shown by increased input/output (I/O) and long term potentiation (LTP) (measured by electrophysiology). Lipoic acid was more effective in stimulating an insulin-like effect and reversing the impaired synaptic plasticity in the old mice, wherein the impairment of insulin signaling and synaptic plasticity was more pronounced than those in young mice.

  20. Closed-loop Robots Driven by Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity: Emergent Explorative vs. Limit-Cycle Locomotion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Laura; Sándor, Bulcsú; Gros, Claudius

    2016-01-01

    We examine the hypothesis, that short-term synaptic plasticity (STSP) may generate self-organized motor patterns. We simulated sphere-shaped autonomous robots, within the LPZRobots simulation package, containing three weights moving along orthogonal internal rods. The position of a weight is controlled by a single neuron receiving excitatory input from the sensor, measuring its actual position, and inhibitory inputs from the other two neurons. The inhibitory connections are transiently plastic, following physiologically inspired STSP-rules. We find that a wide palette of motion patterns are generated through the interaction of STSP, robot, and environment (closed-loop configuration), including various forward meandering and circular motions, together with chaotic trajectories. The observed locomotion is robust with respect to additional interactions with obstacles. In the chaotic phase the robot is seemingly engaged in actively exploring its environment. We believe that our results constitute a concept of proof that transient synaptic plasticity, as described by STSP, may potentially be important for the generation of motor commands and for the emergence of complex locomotion patterns, adapting seamlessly also to unexpected environmental feedback. We observe spontaneous and collision induced mode switchings, finding in addition, that locomotion may follow transiently limit cycles which are otherwise unstable. Regular locomotion corresponds to stable limit cycles in the sensorimotor loop, which may be characterized in turn by arbitrary angles of propagation. This degeneracy is, in our analysis, one of the drivings for the chaotic wandering observed for selected parameter settings, which is induced by the smooth diffusion of the angle of propagation. PMID:27803661

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Increased Expression of the PI3K Enhancer PIKE Mediates Deficits in Synaptic Plasticity and Behavior in Fragile X Syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina Gross

    2015-05-01

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

  3. In Vitro Studies of Neuronal Networks and Synaptic Plasticity in Invertebrates and in Mammals Using Multielectrode Arrays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tessadori, Jacopo; Ghirardi, Mirella

    2015-01-01

    Brain functions are strictly dependent on neural connections formed during development and modified during life. The cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying synaptogenesis and plastic changes involved in learning and memory have been analyzed in detail in simple animals such as invertebrates and in circuits of mammalian brains mainly by intracellular recordings of neuronal activity. In the last decades, the evolution of techniques such as microelectrode arrays (MEAs) that allow simultaneous, long-lasting, noninvasive, extracellular recordings from a large number of neurons has proven very useful to study long-term processes in neuronal networks in vivo and in vitro. In this work, we start off by briefly reviewing the microelectrode array technology and the optimization of the coupling between neurons and microtransducers to detect subthreshold synaptic signals. Then, we report MEA studies of circuit formation and activity in invertebrate models such as Lymnaea, Aplysia, and Helix. In the following sections, we analyze plasticity and connectivity in cultures of mammalian dissociated neurons, focusing on spontaneous activity and electrical stimulation. We conclude by discussing plasticity in closed-loop experiments. PMID:25866681

  4. In Vitro Studies of Neuronal Networks and Synaptic Plasticity in Invertebrates and in Mammals Using Multielectrode Arrays

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Massobrio

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Brain functions are strictly dependent on neural connections formed during development and modified during life. The cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying synaptogenesis and plastic changes involved in learning and memory have been analyzed in detail in simple animals such as invertebrates and in circuits of mammalian brains mainly by intracellular recordings of neuronal activity. In the last decades, the evolution of techniques such as microelectrode arrays (MEAs that allow simultaneous, long-lasting, noninvasive, extracellular recordings from a large number of neurons has proven very useful to study long-term processes in neuronal networks in vivo and in vitro. In this work, we start off by briefly reviewing the microelectrode array technology and the optimization of the coupling between neurons and microtransducers to detect subthreshold synaptic signals. Then, we report MEA studies of circuit formation and activity in invertebrate models such as Lymnaea, Aplysia, and Helix. In the following sections, we analyze plasticity and connectivity in cultures of mammalian dissociated neurons, focusing on spontaneous activity and electrical stimulation. We conclude by discussing plasticity in closed-loop experiments.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-05

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

  6. In vitro studies of neuronal networks and synaptic plasticity in invertebrates and in mammals using multielectrode arrays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massobrio, Paolo; Tessadori, Jacopo; Chiappalone, Michela; Ghirardi, Mirella

    2015-01-01

    Brain functions are strictly dependent on neural connections formed during development and modified during life. The cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying synaptogenesis and plastic changes involved in learning and memory have been analyzed in detail in simple animals such as invertebrates and in circuits of mammalian brains mainly by intracellular recordings of neuronal activity. In the last decades, the evolution of techniques such as microelectrode arrays (MEAs) that allow simultaneous, long-lasting, noninvasive, extracellular recordings from a large number of neurons has proven very useful to study long-term processes in neuronal networks in vivo and in vitro. In this work, we start off by briefly reviewing the microelectrode array technology and the optimization of the coupling between neurons and microtransducers to detect subthreshold synaptic signals. Then, we report MEA studies of circuit formation and activity in invertebrate models such as Lymnaea, Aplysia, and Helix. In the following sections, we analyze plasticity and connectivity in cultures of mammalian dissociated neurons, focusing on spontaneous activity and electrical stimulation. We conclude by discussing plasticity in closed-loop experiments.

  7. Impaired mitochondrial biogenesis, defective axonal transport of mitochondria, abnormal mitochondrial dynamics and synaptic degeneration in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calkins, Marcus J; Manczak, Maria; Mao, Peizhong; Shirendeb, Ulziibat; Reddy, P Hemachandra

    2011-12-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that the accumulation of amyloid beta (Aβ) in synapses and synaptic mitochondria causes synaptic mitochondrial failure and synaptic degeneration in Alzheimer's disease (AD). The purpose of this study was to better understand the effects of Aβ in mitochondrial activity and synaptic alterations in neurons from a mouse model of AD. Using primary neurons from a well-characterized Aβ precursor protein transgenic (AβPP) mouse model (Tg2576 mouse line), for the first time, we studied mitochondrial activity, including axonal transport of mitochondria, mitochondrial dynamics, morphology and function. Further, we also studied the nature of Aβ-induced synaptic alterations, and cell death in primary neurons from Tg2576 mice, and we sought to determine whether the mitochondria-targeted antioxidant SS31 could mitigate the effects of oligomeric Aβ. We found significantly decreased anterograde mitochondrial movement, increased mitochondrial fission and decreased fusion, abnormal mitochondrial and synaptic proteins and defective mitochondrial function in primary neurons from AβPP mice compared with wild-type (WT) neurons. Transmission electron microscopy revealed a large number of small mitochondria and structurally damaged mitochondria, with broken cristae in AβPP primary neurons. We also found an increased accumulation of oligomeric Aβ and increased apoptotic neuronal death in the primary neurons from the AβPP mice relative to the WT neurons. Our results revealed an accumulation of intraneuronal oligomeric Aβ, leading to mitochondrial and synaptic deficiencies, and ultimately causing neurodegeneration in AβPP cultures. However, we found that the mitochondria-targeted antioxidant SS31 restored mitochondrial transport and synaptic viability, and decreased the percentage of defective mitochondria, indicating that SS31 protects mitochondria and synapses from Aβ toxicity.

  8. Interaction of inhibition and triplets of excitatory spikes modulates the NMDA-R-mediated synaptic plasticity in a computational model of spike timing-dependent plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cutsuridis, Vassilis

    2013-01-01

    Spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) experiments have shown that a synapse is strengthened when a presynaptic spike precedes a postsynaptic one and depressed vice versa. The canonical form of STDP has been shown to have an asymmetric shape with the peak long-term potentiation at +6 ms and the peak long-term depression at -5 ms. Experiments in hippocampal cultures with more complex stimuli such as triplets (one presynaptic spike combined with two postsynaptic spikes or one postsynaptic spike with two presynaptic spikes) have shown that pre-post-pre spike triplets result in no change in synaptic strength, whereas post-pre-post spike triplets lead to significant potentiation. The sign and magnitude of STDP have also been experimentally hypothesized to be modulated by inhibition. Recently, a computational study showed that the asymmetrical form of STDP in the CA1 pyramidal cell dendrite when two spikes interact switches to a symmetrical one in the presence of inhibition under certain conditions. In the present study, I investigate computationally how inhibition modulates STDP in the CA1 pyramidal neuron dendrite when it is driven by triplets. The model uses calcium as the postsynaptic signaling agent for STDP and is shown to be consistent with the experimental triplet observations in the absence of inhibition: simulated pre-post-pre spike triplets result in no change in synaptic strength, whereas simulated post-pre-post spike triplets lead to significant potentiation. When inhibition is bounded by the onset and offset of the triplet stimulation, then the strength of the synapse is decreased as the strength of inhibition increases. When inhibition arrives either few milliseconds before or at the onset of the last spike in the pre-post-pre triplet stimulation, then the synapse is potentiated. Variability in the frequency of inhibition (50 vs. 100 Hz) produces no change in synaptic strength. Finally, a 5% variation in model's calcium parameters (calcium thresholds

  9. Synaptic Basis for Cross-modal Plasticity: Enhanced Supragranular Dendritic Spine Density in Anterior Ectosylvian Auditory Cortex of the Early Deaf Cat

    OpenAIRE

    Clemo, H. Ruth; Lomber, Stephen G.; Meredith, M. Alex

    2014-01-01

    In the cat, the auditory field of the anterior ectosylvian sulcus (FAES) is sensitive to auditory cues and its deactivation leads to orienting deficits toward acoustic, but not visual, stimuli. However, in early deaf cats, FAES activity shifts to the visual modality and its deactivation blocks orienting toward visual stimuli. Thus, as in other auditory cortices, hearing loss leads to cross-modal plasticity in the FAES. However, the synaptic basis for cross-modal plasticity is unknown. Therefo...

  10. Chronic intermittent hypoxia-induced deficits in synaptic plasticity and neurocognitive functions: a role for brain-derived neurotrophic factor

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hui XIE; Wing-ho YUNG

    2012-01-01

    Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is well known for its metabolic as well as neurobehavioral consequences.Chronic intermittent hypoxia (IH) is a major component of OSA.In recent years,substantial advances have been made in elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the effect of chronic IH on neurocognitive functions,many of which are based on studies in animal models.A number of hypotheses have been put forward to explain chronic IH-induced neurological dysfunctions.Among these,the roles of oxidative stress and apoptosis-related neural injury are widely accepted.Here,focusing on results derived from animal studies,we highlight a possible role of reduced expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in causing impairment in long-term synaptic plasticity and neurocognitive functions during chronic IH.The possible relationship between BDNF and previous findings on this subject will be elucidated.

  11. Diverse action of repeated corticosterone treatment on synaptic transmission, neuronal plasticity, and morphology in superficial and deep layers of the rat motor cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kula, Joanna; Gugula, Anna; Blasiak, Anna; Bobula, Bartosz; Danielewicz, Joanna; Kania, Alan; Tylko, Grzegorz; Hess, Grzegorz

    2017-07-27

    One of the adverse effects of prolonged stress in rats is impaired performance of skilled reaching and walking tasks. The mechanisms that lead to these abnormalities are incompletely understood. Therefore, we compared the effects of twice daily repeated corticosterone injections for 7 days on miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs), as well as on synaptic plasticity and morphology of layers II/III and V pyramidal neurons of the primary motor cortex (M1) of male Wistar rats. Corticosterone treatment resulted in increased frequency, but not amplitude, of mEPSCs in layer II/III neurons accompanied by increased complexity of the apical part of their dendritic tree, with no changes in the density of dendritic spines. The frequency and amplitude of mEPSCs as well as the parameters characterizing the complexity of the dendritic tree were not changed in layer V cells; however, their dendritic spine density was increased. While corticosterone treatment resulted in an increase in the amplitude of field potentials evoked in intralaminar connections within layer II/III, it did not influence field responses in layer V intralaminar connections, as well as the extent of chemically induced layer V long-term potentiation (chemLTP) by the application of tetraethylammonium (TEA, 25 mM). However, chemLTP induction in layer II/III was impaired in slices prepared from corticosterone-treated animals. These data indicate that repeated 7-day administration of exogenous corticosterone induces structural and functional plasticity in the M1, which occurs mainly in layer II/III pyramidal neurons. These findings shed light on potential sites of action and mechanisms underlying stress-induced impairment of motor functions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  13. Obesogenic diet intake during pregnancy programs aberrant synaptic plasticity and addiction-like behavior to a palatable food in offspring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camacho, Alberto; Montalvo-Martinez, Larisa; Cardenas-Perez, Robbi E; Fuentes-Mera, Lizeth; Garza-Ocañas, Lourdes

    2017-07-14

    Contextual food conditioned behaviors require plasticity of glutamatergic neurotransmission in the reward system, involving changes in the expression of including a-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole 4-propionate receptors (AMPA), N-methyl-d-aspartic acid (NMDA) and metabotropic glutamate 2,3 (mGlur 2,3). However, the role of changes in glutamatergic synaptic markers on energy-dense palatable food preference during development has not been described. Here, we determine the effect of nutritional programing during gestation on fat food choices using a conditioned place preference (CPP) test and an operant training response and its effect on glutamatergic markers in the nucleus accumbens (Nac) shell and prefrontal cortex (PFC). Our data showed that rats displayed preference for palatable fat food and an increase in caloric intake when compared to a chow diet. Notably, 74% of rats showing a preference for fat food intake correlate with a positive HFD-paired score whereas 26% failed to get HFD-conditioned. Also, male rats trained under an operant training response schedule (FR1, FR5 and PR) showed high and low responder groups to work for food. Notably, hypercaloric nutritional programing of female rats leads to exacerbation for reinforcers in female offspring compared to offspring from chow diet. Finally, we found that an operant training response to palatable reinforcers correlates with upregulation of mGlur 2,3 in the NAc shell and PFC of male rats and female offspring. Also, we found selective Nr1 upregulation in NAc shell and the PFC of female offspring. Our data suggest that nutritional programing by hypercaloric intake leads to incentive motivation to work for food and synaptic plasticity alteration in the mesolimbic system. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Long-term social recognition memory is mediated by oxytocin-dependent synaptic plasticity in the medial amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gur, Rotem; Tendler, Alex; Wagner, Shlomo

    2014-09-01

    Recognition of specific individuals is fundamental to mammalian social behavior and is mediated in most mammals by the main and accessory olfactory systems. Both these systems innervate the medial amygdala (MeA), where activity of the neuropeptide oxytocin is thought to mediate social recognition memory (SRM). The specific contribution of the MeA to SRM formation and the specific actions of oxytocin in the MeA are unknown. We used the social discrimination test to evaluate short-term and long-term SRM in adult Sprague-Dawley male rats (n = 38). The role of protein synthesis in the MeA was investigated by local application of the protein synthesis blocker anisomycin (n = 11). Synaptic plasticity was assessed in vivo by recording the MeA evoked field potential responses to stimulation of the main (n = 21) and accessory (n = 56) olfactory bulbs before and after theta burst stimulation. Intracerebroventricular administration of saline, oxytocin, or oxytocin receptor antagonist was used to measure the effect of oxytocin on synaptic plasticity. Anisomycin application to the MeA prevented the formation of long-term SRM. In addition, the responses of MeA neurons underwent long-term depression (LTD) after theta burst stimulation of the accessory olfactory bulb, but not the main accessory bulb, in an oxytocin-dependent manner. No LTD was found in socially isolated rats, which are known to lack long-term SRM. Finally, accessory olfactory bulb stimulation before SRM acquisition blocked long-term SRM, supporting the involvement of LTD in the MeA in formation of long-term SRM. Our results indicate that long-term SRM in rats involves protein synthesis and oxytocin-dependent LTD in the MeA. Copyright © 2014 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Enhanced group II mGluR-mediated inhibition of pain-related synaptic plasticity in the amygdala

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bird Gary C

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The latero-capsular part of the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeLC is the target of the spino-parabrachio-amygdaloid pain pathway. Our previous studies showed that CeLC neurons develop synaptic plasticity and increased neuronal excitability in the kaolin/carrageenan model of arthritic pain. These pain-related changes involve presynaptic group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs and postsynaptic NMDA and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP1 receptors. Here we address the role of group II mGluRs. Results Whole-cell current- and voltage-clamp recordings were made from CeLC neurons in brain slices from control rats and arthritic rats (>6 h postinjection of kaolin/carrageenan into the knee. Monosynaptic excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs were evoked by electrical stimulation of afferents from the pontine parabrachial (PB area. A selective group II mGluR agonist (LY354740 decreased the amplitude of EPSCs more potently in CeLC neurons from arthritic rats (IC50 = 0.59 nM than in control animals (IC50 = 15.0 nM. The inhibitory effect of LY354740 was reversed by a group II mGluR antagonist (EGLU but not a GABAA receptor antagonist (bicuculline. LY354740 decreased frequency, but not amplitude, of miniature EPSCs in the presence of TTX. No significant changes of neuronal excitability measures (membrane slope conductance and action potential firing rate were detected. Conclusion Our data suggest that group II mGluRs act presynaptically to modulate synaptic plasticity in the amygdala in a model of arthritic pain.

  16. EFFECT OF ELECTROACUPUNCTURE ON SYNAPTIC PLASTICITY OF HPPOCAMPAL NEURONS IN CEREBRAL ISCHEMIA RATS

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杨卓欣; 于海波; 王玲; 张家维

    2004-01-01

    Objective:To observe the effect of electroacupuncture (EA) on synaptic structure of hippocampal nerve felts and synaptophysin(SYN)expression in rats with cerebral ischemic injury. Methods: Sixty Wistar rats were randomized into sham-operation group, cerebral ischemia (CI) group and EA group, each of which was further divided into 1week (W) and 5W subgroups. CI injury model was established by occlusion of the bilateral common carotid arteries. "Baihui"(百会 GV 20), "Dazhui" (大椎 GV 14), "Renzhong"(人中 GV 26) and "Guanyuan"(关元 CV 4) were punctured and stimulated electrically. The brain tissue sections containing hippocampus region were stained with immunohistochemical technique and observed under light microscope and transmission electronic microscope. Results: After CI, the ischemic injury as degeneration of the presynapse compositions, decrease of the synaptic numeral density, and low expression of SYN were observed in hippocampal CA1 area. By the 5th week after CI, the neonatal synapses of CI and EA groups appeared, and SYN expression was upregulated. In EA group, the recovery of the numeral density of synapses was especially noticeable, being 93.8% of that of sham-operation group and significantly higher than that in CI group (P<0.01). Compared with sham-operation group, the calibrated optical density (COD) values of SYN increased to 70% in CI group, and 93.3% in EA group, and COD value in EA group was significantly higher than that in CI group (P<0.01). Conclusion: EA can function in promoting synaptic regeneration and enhancing and perfecting the actions of the reconstructed synapses in hippocampal CA1 area in CI rats.

  17. Bidirectional regulation of eEF2 phosphorylation controls synaptic plasticity by decoding neuronal activity patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCamphill, Patrick K; Farah, Carole A; Anadolu, Mina N; Hoque, Sanjida; Sossin, Wayne S

    2015-03-11

    At the sensory-motor neuron synapse of Aplysia, either spaced or continuous (massed) exposure to serotonin (5-HT) induces a form of intermediate-term facilitation (ITF) that requires new protein synthesis but not gene transcription. However, spaced and massed ITF use distinct molecular mechanisms to maintain increased synaptic strength. Synapses activated by spaced applications of 5-HT generate an ITF that depends on persistent protein kinase A (PKA) activity, whereas an ITF produced by massed 5-HT depends on persistent protein kinase C (PKC) activity. In this study, we demonstrate that eukaryotic elongation factor 2 (eEF2), which catalyzes the GTP-dependent translocation of the ribosome during protein synthesis, acts as a biochemical sensor that is tuned to the pattern of neuronal stimulation. Specifically, we find that massed training leads to a PKC-dependent increase in phosphorylation of eEF2, whereas spaced training results in a PKA-dependent decrease in phosphorylation of eEF2. Importantly, by using either pharmacological or dominant-negative strategies to inhibit eEF2 kinase (eEF2K), we were able to block massed 5-HT-dependent increases in eEF2 phosphorylation and subsequent PKC-dependent ITF. In contrast, pharmacological inhibition of eEF2K during the longer period of time required for spaced training was sufficient to reduce eEF2 phosphorylation and induce ITF. Finally, we find that the massed 5-HT-dependent increase in synaptic strength requires translation elongation, but not translation initiation, whereas the spaced 5-HT-dependent increase in synaptic strength is partially dependent on translation initiation. Thus, bidirectional regulation of eEF2 is critical for decoding distinct activity patterns at synapses by activating distinct modes of translation regulation. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/354403-15$15.00/0.

  18. Promoter-Specific Effects of DREADD Modulation on Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity and Memory Formation

    OpenAIRE

    Lopez, AJ; Kramar, E; Matheos, DP; White, AO; Kwapis, J; Vogel-Ciernia, A; Sakata, K.; Espinoza, M; Wood, MA

    2016-01-01

    Designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drug (DREADDs) are a novel tool with the potential to bidirectionally drive cellular, circuit, and ultimately, behavioral changes. We used DREADDs to evaluate memory formation in a hippocampus-dependent task in mice and effects on synaptic physiology in the dorsal hippocampus. We expressed neuron-specific (hSyn promoter) DREADDs that were either excitatory (HM3D) or inhibitory (HM4D) in the dorsal hippocampus. As predicted, hSyn–HM3D was ab...

  19. Genetic deletion of melanin-concentrating hormone neurons impairs hippocampal short-term synaptic plasticity and hippocampal-dependent forms of short-term memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Barillier, Léa; Léger, Lucienne; Luppi, Pierre-Hervé; Fort, Patrice; Malleret, Gaël; Salin, Paul-Antoine

    2015-11-01

    The cognitive role of melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) neurons, a neuronal population located in the mammalian postero-lateral hypothalamus sending projections to all cortical areas, remains poorly understood. Mainly activated during paradoxical sleep (PS), MCH neurons have been implicated in sleep regulation. The genetic deletion of the only known MCH receptor in rodent leads to an impairment of hippocampal dependent forms of memory and to an alteration of hippocampal long-term synaptic plasticity. By using MCH/ataxin3 mice, a genetic model characterized by a selective deletion of MCH neurons in the adult, we investigated the role of MCH neurons in hippocampal synaptic plasticity and hippocampal-dependent forms of memory. MCH/ataxin3 mice exhibited a deficit in the early part of both long-term potentiation and depression in the CA1 area of the hippocampus. Post-tetanic potentiation (PTP) was diminished while synaptic depression induced by repetitive stimulation was enhanced suggesting an alteration of pre-synaptic forms of short-term plasticity in these mice. Behaviorally, MCH/ataxin3 mice spent more time and showed a higher level of hesitation as compared to their controls in performing a short-term memory T-maze task, displayed retardation in acquiring a reference memory task in a Morris water maze, and showed a habituation deficit in an open field task. Deletion of MCH neurons could thus alter spatial short-term memory by impairing short-term plasticity in the hippocampus. Altogether, these findings could provide a cellular mechanism by which PS may facilitate memory encoding. Via MCH neuron activation, PS could prepare the day's learning by increasing and modulating short-term synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Fear extinction induces mGluR5-mediated synaptic and intrinsic plasticity in infralimbic neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Sepulveda-Orengo, Marian T.; Lopez, Ana V.; Soler-Cedeño, Omar; Porter, James T.

    2013-01-01

    Studies suggest that plasticity in the infralimbic prefrontal cortex (IL) in rodents and its homolog in humans is necessary for inhibition of fear during the recall of fear extinction. The recall of extinction is impaired by locally blocking metabotropic glutamate receptor type 5 (mGluR5) activation in IL during extinction training. This finding suggests that mGluR5 stimulation may lead to IL plasticity needed for fear extinction. To test this hypothesis, we recorded AMPA and NMDA currents, A...

  1. ATM protein is located on presynaptic vesicles and its deficit leads to failures in synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vail, Graham; Cheng, Aifang; Han, Yu Ray; Zhao, Teng; Du, Shengwang; Loy, Michael M T; Herrup, Karl; Plummer, Mark R

    2016-07-01

    Ataxia telangiectasia is a multisystemic disorder that includes a devastating neurodegeneration phenotype. The ATM (ataxia-telangiectasia mutated) protein is well-known for its role in the DNA damage response, yet ATM is also found in association with cytoplasmic vesicular structures: endosomes and lysosomes, as well as neuronal synaptic vesicles. In keeping with this latter association, electrical stimulation of the Schaffer collateral pathway in hippocampal slices from ATM-deficient mice does not elicit normal long-term potentiation (LTP). The current study was undertaken to assess the nature of this deficit. Theta burst-induced LTP was reduced in Atm(-/-) animals, with the reduction most pronounced at burst stimuli that included 6 or greater trains. To assess whether the deficit was associated with a pre- or postsynaptic failure, we analyzed paired-pulse facilitation and found that it too was significantly reduced in Atm(-/-) mice. This indicates a deficit in presynaptic function. As further evidence that these synaptic effects of ATM deficiency were presynaptic, we used stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy. Three-dimensional reconstruction revealed that ATM is significantly more closely associated with Piccolo (a presynaptic marker) than with Homer1 (a postsynaptic marker). These results underline how, in addition to its nuclear functions, ATM plays an important functional role in the neuronal synapse where it participates in the regulation of presynaptic vesicle physiology.

  2. The Histone H3K27 Demethylase UTX Regulates Synaptic Plasticity and Cognitive Behaviors in Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gang-Bin Tang

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Histone demethylase UTX mediates removal of repressive trimethylation of histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27me3 to establish a mechanistic switch to activate large sets of genes. Mutation of Utx has recently been shown to be associated with Kabuki syndrome, a rare congenital anomaly syndrome with dementia. However, its biological function in the brain is largely unknown. Here, we observe that deletion of Utx results in increased anxiety-like behaviors and impaired spatial learning and memory in mice. Loss of Utx in the hippocampus leads to reduced long-term potentiation and amplitude of miniature excitatory postsynaptic current, aberrant dendrite development and defective synapse formation. Transcriptional profiling reveals that Utx regulates a subset of genes that are involved in the regulation of dendritic morphology, synaptic transmission, and cognition. Specifically, Utx deletion disrupts expression of neurotransmitter 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 5B (Htr5b. Restoration of Htr5b expression in newborn hippocampal neurons rescues the defects of neuronal morphology by Utx ablation. Therefore, we provide evidence that Utx plays a critical role in modulating synaptic transmission and cognitive behaviors. Utx cKO mouse models like ours provide a valuable means to study the underlying mechanisms of the etiology of Kabuki syndrome.

  3. Sleep deprivation during a specific 3-hour time window post-training impairs hippocampal synaptic plasticity and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prince, Toni-Moi; Wimmer, Mathieu; Choi, Jennifer; Havekes, Robbert; Aton, Sara; Abel, Ted

    2014-03-01

    Sleep deprivation disrupts hippocampal function and plasticity. In particular, long-term memory consolidation is impaired by sleep deprivation, suggesting that a specific critical period exists following learning during which sleep is necessary. To elucidate the impact of sleep deprivation on long-term memory consolidation and synaptic plasticity, long-term memory was assessed when mice were sleep deprived following training in the hippocampus-dependent object place recognition task. We found that 3h of sleep deprivation significantly impaired memory when deprivation began 1h after training. In contrast, 3 h of deprivation beginning immediately post-training did not impair spatial memory. Furthermore, a 3-h sleep deprivation beginning 1h after training impaired hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP), whereas sleep deprivation immediately after training did not affect LTP. Together, our findings define a specific 3-h critical period, extending from 1 to 4h after training, during which sleep deprivation impairs hippocampal function. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Diversity in Long-Term Synaptic Plasticity at Inhibitory Synapses of Striatal Spiny Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rueda-Orozco, Pavel E.; Mendoza, Ernesto; Hernandez, Ricardo; Aceves, Jose J.; Ibanez-Sandoval, Osvaldo; Galarraga, Elvira; Bargas, Jose

    2009-01-01

    Procedural memories and habits are posited to be stored in the basal ganglia, whose intrinsic circuitries possess important inhibitory connections arising from striatal spiny neurons. However, no information about long-term plasticity at these synapses is available. Therefore, this work describes a novel postsynaptically dependent long-term…

  5. Diversity in Long-Term Synaptic Plasticity at Inhibitory Synapses of Striatal Spiny Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rueda-Orozco, Pavel E.; Mendoza, Ernesto; Hernandez, Ricardo; Aceves, Jose J.; Ibanez-Sandoval, Osvaldo; Galarraga, Elvira; Bargas, Jose

    2009-01-01

    Procedural memories and habits are posited to be stored in the basal ganglia, whose intrinsic circuitries possess important inhibitory connections arising from striatal spiny neurons. However, no information about long-term plasticity at these synapses is available. Therefore, this work describes a novel postsynaptically dependent long-term…

  6. Synaptic determinants of Rett syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena M B Boggio

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available There is mounting evidence showing that the structural and molecular organization of synaptic connections are affected both in human patients and in animal models of neurological and psychiatric diseases. As a consequence of these experimental observations, it has been introduced the concept of synapsopathies, a notion describing brain disorders of synaptic function and plasticity. A close correlation between neurological diseases and synaptic abnormalities is especially relevant for those syndromes including also mental retardation in their symptomatology, such as Rett Syndrome (RS. RS (MIM312750 is an X-linked dominant neurological disorder that is caused, in the majority of cases by mutations in methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2. This review will focus on the current knowledge of the synaptic alterations produced by mutations of the gene MeCP2 in mouse models of RS and will highlight prospects experimental therapies currently in use. Different experimental approaches have revealed that RS could be the consequence of an impairment in the homeostasis of synaptic transmission in specific brain regions. Indeed, several forms of experience-induced neuronal plasticity are impaired in the absence of MeCP2. Based on the results presented in this review, it is reasonable to propose that understanding how the brain is affected by diseases such as RS is at reach. This effort will bring us closer to identify the neurobiological bases of human cognition.

  7. Stimulation of the Hippocampal POMC/MC4R Circuit Alleviates Synaptic Plasticity Impairment in an Alzheimer’s Disease Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Shen

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Hippocampal synaptic plasticity is modulated by neuropeptides, the disruption of which might contribute to cognitive deficits observed in Alzheimer’s disease (AD. Although pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC-derived neuropeptides and melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R are implicated in hippocampus-dependent synaptic plasticity, how the POMC/MC4R system functions in the hippocampus and its role in synaptic dysfunction in AD are largely unknown. Here, we mapped a functional POMC circuit in the mouse hippocampus, wherein POMC neurons in the cornu ammonis 3 (CA3 activate MC4R in the CA1. Suppression of hippocampal MC4R activity in the APP/PS1 transgenic mouse model of AD exacerbates long-term potentiation impairment, which is alleviated by the replenishment of hippocampal POMC/MC4R activity or activation of hippocampal MC4R-coupled Gs signaling. Importantly, MC4R activation rescues amyloid-β-induced synaptic dysfunction via a Gs/cyclic AMP (cAMP/PKA/cAMP-response element binding protein (CREB-dependent mechanism. Hence, disruption of this hippocampal POMC/MC4R circuit might contribute to synaptic dysfunction observed in AD, revealing a potential therapeutic target for the disease.

  8. Short-term versus long-term water maze training effects on hippocampal neuronal synaptic plasticity in a rat model of senile dementia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Guogui Li

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Changes in synaptic plasticity might underlie senile dementia, and might be the neurobiological basis for learning and memory dysfunctions in patients with Alzheimer's Disease. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effects of water maze training on hippocampal neuronal synaptic plasticity in rats with senile dementia, and to compare changes in synaptic plasticity between short- and long-term water maze training sessions.DESIGN, TIME AND SETTING: A randomized, controlled, neuromorphological observation with animal models of senile dementia was performed at the laboratory of College of Pharmacy, Chongqing Medical University between November 2006 and April 2007.MATERIALS: Fifty male, Sprague Dawley rats were randomized into five groups, with 10 rats per group: model, control, sham-operated, short-term water maze training, and long-term water maze training. METHODS: In the model group, senile dementia was induced by fimbria-fornix lesion method. The control rats remained untreated. In the sham-operated group, water maze training was performed without fimbria-fornix lesion induction. Rats from the short-term water maze training group underwent 20-day water maze training from day 26 after fimbria-fornix lesion induction. The long-term water maze training group underwent 40-day water maze training beginning at day 6 following fimbria-fornix lesion induction. Beginning at day 41, each group underwent 5-day spatial learning and memory training. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Following experimentation, the morphological parameters of synapses, including synaptic numerical density, synaptic surface density, and the average synapse size were stereologically measured. Through the use of an electron microscope, synaptic morphological changes in the hippocampai CA3 region were observed.RESULTS: Compared with the control group, synaptic numerical and surface densities were significantly decreased in the model group (P < 0.01). Synaptic numerical and surface densities significantly

  9. Effects of prolyl-hydroxylase inhibition and chronic intermittent hypoxia on synaptic transmission and plasticity in the rat CA1 and dentate gyrus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wall, Audrey M; Corcoran, Alan E; O'Halloran, Ken D; O'Connor, John J

    2014-02-01

    Chronic intermittent hypoxia (CIH) is an underlying component of obstructive sleep apnoea and has been shown to have deleterious and damaging effects on central neurons and to impair synaptic plasticity in the CA1 region of the rat hippocampus. CIH has previously been shown to impair synaptic plasticity and working memory. CIH is a potent inducer of hypoxia inducible factor (HIF), a key regulator in a cell's adaptation to hypoxia that plays an important role in the fate of neurons during ischemia. Levels of HIF-1α are regulated by the activity of a group of enzymes called HIF-prolyl 4-hydroxylases (PHDs) and these have become potential pharmacological targets for preconditioning against ischemia. However little is known about the effects of prolyl hydroxylase inhibition and CIH on synaptic transmission and plasticity in sub-regions of the hippocampus. Male Wistar rats were treated for 7-days with either saline, CIH or PHD inhibition (dimethyloxaloylglycine, DMOG; 50mg/kg, i.p.). At the end of treatment all three groups showed no change in synaptic excitability using paired pulse paradigms. However long-term potentiation (LTP) was impaired in the CA1 region of the hippocampus in both CIH and DMOG treated animals. LTP induced in the dentate gyrus was not significantly affected by either CIH or DMOG treatment. We also investigated the effect of 7-day CIH and DMOG treatment on the recovery of synaptic transmission following an acute 30min hypoxic insult. CIH treated animals showed an improved rate of recovery of synaptic transmission following re-oxygenation in both the CA1 and the dentate gyrus. These results suggest that LTP induction in the CA1 region is more sensitive to both CIH and DMOG treatments than the dentate gyrus. © 2013.

  10. Synaptic plasticity and oscillation at zinc tin oxide/silver oxide interfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murdoch, Billy J.; McCulloch, Dougal G.; Partridge, James G.

    2017-02-01

    Short-term plasticity, long-term potentiation, and pulse interval dependent plasticity learning/memory functions have been observed in junctions between amorphous zinc-tin-oxide and silver-oxide. The same junctions exhibited current-controlled negative differential resistance and when connected in an appropriate circuit, they behaved as relaxation oscillators. These oscillators produced voltage pulses suitable for device programming. Transmission electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and electrical measurements suggest that the characteristics of these junctions arise from Ag+/O- electromigration across a highly resistive interface layer. With memory/learning functions and programming spikes provided in a single device structure, arrays of similar devices could be used to form transistor-free neuromorphic circuits.

  11. Histone Deacetylase (HDAC) Inhibitors - emerging roles in neuronal memory, learning, synaptic plasticity and neural regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganai, Shabir Ahmad; Ramadoss, Mahalakshmi; Mahadevan, Vijayalakshmi

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic regulation of neuronal signalling through histone acetylation dictates transcription programs that govern neuronal memory, plasticity and learning paradigms. Histone Acetyl Transferases (HATs) and Histone Deacetylases (HDACs) are antagonistic enzymes that regulate gene expression through acetylation and deacetylation of histone proteins around which DNA is wrapped inside a eukaryotic cell nucleus. The epigenetic control of HDACs and the cellular imbalance between HATs and HDACs dictate disease states and have been implicated in muscular dystrophy, loss of memory, neurodegeneration and autistic disorders. Altering gene expression profiles through inhibition of HDACs is now emerging as a powerful technique in therapy. This review presents evolving applications of HDAC inhibitors as potential drugs in neurological research and therapy. Mechanisms that govern their expression profiles in neuronal signalling, plasticity and learning will be covered. Promising and exciting possibilities of HDAC inhibitors in memory formation, fear conditioning, ischemic stroke and neural regeneration have been detailed.

  12. The effect of synaptic plasticity on orientation selectivity in a balanced model of primary visual cortex

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    Soledad eGonzalo Cogno

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Orientation selectivity is ubiquitous in the primary visual cortex (V1 of mammals. In cats and monkeys, V1 displays spatially ordered maps of orientation preference. Instead, in mice, squirrels and rats, orientation selective neurons in V1 are not spatially organized, giving rise to a seemingly random pattern usually referred to as a salt-and-pepper layout. The fact that such different organizations can sharpen orientation tuning leads to question the structural role of the intracortical connections; specifically the influence of plasticity and the generation of functional connectivity. In this work, we analyze the effect of plasticity processes on orientation selectivity for both scenarios. We study a computational model of layer 2/3 and a reduced one-dimensional model of orientation selective neurons, both in the balanced state. We analyze two plasticity mechanisms. The first one involves spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP, while the second one considers the reconnection of the interactions according to the preferred orientations of the neurons. We find that under certain conditions STDP can indeed improve selectivity but it works in a somehow unexpected way, that is, effectively decreasing the modulated part of the intracortical connectivity as compared to the non-modulated part of it. For the reconnection mechanism we find that increasing functional connectivity leads, in fact, to a decrease in orientation selectivity if the network is in a stable balanced state. Both counterintuitive results are a consequence of the dynamics of the balanced state. We also find that selectivity can increase due to a reconnection process if the resulting connections give rise to an unstable balanced state. We compare these findings with recent experimental results.

  13. Emergence of cortical inhibition by coordinated sensory–driven plasticity at distinct synaptic loci

    OpenAIRE

    Chittajallu, Ramesh; Isaac, John T. R.

    2010-01-01

    Feed–forward GABAergic inhibition sets dendritic integration window thereby controlling timing and output in cortical circuits. However, it is unclear how feed–forward inhibitory circuits emerge, even though this is a critical step for neocortical development and function. Here we show that sensory–experience drives plasticity of the feed–forward inhibitory circuit in mouse layer 4 somatosensory “barrel” cortex in the second postnatal week by two distinct mechanisms. Firstly, sensory–experien...

  14. Regulation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity thresholds and changes in exploratory and learning behavior in dominant negative NPR-B mutant rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barmashenko, Gleb; Buttgereit, Jens; Herring, Neil; Bader, Michael; Özcelik, Cemil; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise; Braunewell, Karl H.

    2014-01-01

    The second messenger cyclic GMP affects synaptic transmission and modulates synaptic plasticity and certain types of learning and memory processes. The impact of the natriuretic peptide receptor B (NPR-B) and its ligand C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP), one of several cGMP producing signaling systems, on hippocampal synaptic plasticity and learning is, however, less well understood. We have previously shown that the NPR-B ligand CNP increases the magnitude of long-term depression (LTD) in hippocampal area CA1, while reducing the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP). We have extended this line of research to show that bidirectional plasticity is affected in the opposite way in rats expressing a dominant-negative mutant of NPR-B (NSE-NPR-BΔKC) lacking the intracellular guanylyl cyclase domain under control of a promoter for neuron-specific enolase. The brain cells of these transgenic rats express functional dimers of the NPR-B receptor containing the dominant-negative NPR-BΔKC mutant, and therefore show decreased CNP-stimulated cGMP-production in brain membranes. The NPR-B transgenic rats display enhanced LTP but reduced LTD in hippocampal slices. When the frequency-dependence of synaptic modification to afferent stimulation in the range of 1–100 Hz was assessed in transgenic rats, the threshold for both, LTP and LTD induction, was shifted to lower frequencies. In parallel, NPR-BΔKC rats exhibited an enhancement in exploratory and learning behavior. These results indicate that bidirectional plasticity and learning and memory mechanism are affected in transgenic rats expressing a dominant-negative mutant of NPR-B. Our data substantiate the hypothesis that NPR-B-dependent cGMP signaling has a modulatory role for synaptic information storage and learning. PMID:25520616

  15. Regulation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity thresholds and changes in exploratory and learning behavior in dominant negative NPR-B mutant rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gleb eBarmashenko

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The second messenger cyclic GMP affects synaptic transmission and modulates synaptic plasticity and certain types of learning and memory processes. The impact of the natriuretic peptide receptor B (NPR-B and its ligand C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP, one of several cGMP producing signalling systems, on hippocampal synaptic plasticity and learning is, however, less well understood. We have previously shown that the NPR-B ligand CNP increases the magnitude of long-term depression (LTD in hippocampal area CA1, while reducing the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP. We have extended this line of research to show that bidirectional plasticity is affected in the opposite way in rats expressing a dominant-negative mutant of NPR-B (NSE-NPR-BdeltaKC lacking the intracellular guanylyl cyclase domain under control of a promoter for neuron-specific enolase. The brain cells of these transgenic rats express functional dimers of the NPR-B receptor containing the dominant-negative NPR-BdeltaKC mutant, and therefore show decreased CNP-stimulated cGMP-production in brain membranes. The NPR-B transgenic rats display enhanced LTP but reduced LTD in hippocampal slices. When the frequency-dependence of synaptic modification to afferent stimulation in the range of 1-100 Hz was assessed in transgenic rats the threshold for LTP induction was raised, but LTD induction was facilitated. In parallel, NPR-BdeltaKC rats exhibited an enhancement in exploratory and learning behavior. These results indicate that bidirectional plasticity and learning and memory mechanism are affected in transgenic rats expressing a dominant-negative mutant of NPR-B. Our data substantiate the hypothesis that NPR-B-dependent cGMP signalling has a modulatory role for synaptic information storage and learning.

  16. Dysfunction of the RAR/RXR signaling pathway in the forebrain impairs hippocampal memory and synaptic plasticity

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    Nomoto Masanori

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Retinoid signaling pathways mediated by retinoic acid receptor (RAR/retinoid × receptor (RXR-mediated transcription play critical roles in hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Furthermore, recent studies have shown that treatment with retinoic acid alleviates age-related deficits in hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP and memory performance and, furthermore, memory deficits in a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. However, the roles of the RAR/RXR signaling pathway in learning and memory at the behavioral level have still not been well characterized in the adult brain. We here show essential roles for RAR/RXR in hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. In the current study, we generated transgenic mice in which the expression of dominant-negative RAR (dnRAR could be induced in the mature brain using a tetracycline-dependent transcription factor and examined the effects of RAR/RXR loss. Results The expression of dnRAR in the forebrain down-regulated the expression of RARβ, a target gene of RAR/RXR, indicating that dnRAR mice exhibit dysfunction of the RAR/RXR signaling pathway. Similar with previous findings, dnRAR mice displayed impaired LTP and AMPA-mediated synaptic transmission in the hippocampus. More importantly, these mutant mice displayed impaired hippocampus-dependent social recognition and spatial memory. However, these deficits of LTP and memory performance were rescued by stronger conditioning stimulation and spaced training, respectively. Finally, we found that pharmacological blockade of RARα in the hippocampus impairs social recognition memory. Conclusions From these observations, we concluded that the RAR/RXR signaling pathway greatly contributes to learning and memory, and LTP in the hippocampus in the adult brain.

  17. Hidden prenatal malnutrition in the rat: role of β₁-adrenoceptors on synaptic plasticity in the frontal cortex.

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    Flores, Osvaldo; Pérez, Hernán; Valladares, Luis; Morgan, Carlos; Gatica, Arnaldo; Burgos, Héctor; Olivares, Ricardo; Hernández, Alejandro

    2011-10-01

    Moderate reduction in the protein content of the mother's diet (hidden malnutrition) does not alter body and brain weights of rat pups at birth, but leads to dysfunction of neocortical noradrenaline systems together with impaired long-term potentiation and visuo-spatial memory performance. As β₁-adrenoceptors and downstream protein kinase signaling are critically involved in synaptic long-term potentiation and memory formation, we evaluated the β₁-adrenoceptor density and the expression of cyclic-AMP dependent protein kinase, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase and protein kinase Fyn, in the frontal cortex of prenatally malnourished adult rats. In addition, we also studied if β₁-adrenoceptor activation with the selective β₁ agonist dobutamine could improve deficits of prefrontal cortex long-term potentiation presenting these animals. Prenatally malnourished rats exhibited half of β₁-adrenoceptor binding, together with a 51% and 65% reduction of cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase α and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase α expression, respectively, as compared with eutrophic animals. Administration of the selective β₁ agonist dobutamine prior to tetanization completely rescued the ability of the prefrontal cortex to develop and maintain long-term potentiation in the malnourished rats. Results suggest that under-expression of neocortical β₁-adrenoceptors and protein kinase signaling in hidden malnourished rats functionally affects the synaptic networks subserving prefrontal cortex long-term potentiation. β₁-adrenoceptor activation was sufficient to fully recover neocortical plasticity in the PKA- and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II-deficient undernourished rats, possibly by producing extra amounts of cAMP and/or by recruiting alternative signaling cascades. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Neurochemistry © 2011 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  18. The interplay between oxidative stress and brain-derived neurotrophic factor modulates the outcome of a saturated fat diet on synaptic plasticity and cognition.

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    Wu, Aiguo; Ying, Zhe; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando

    2004-04-01

    A diet high in saturated fat (HF) decreases levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), to the extent that compromises neuroplasticity and cognitive function, and aggravates the outcome of brain insult. By using the antioxidant power of vitamin E, we performed studies to determine the role of oxidative stress as a mediator for the effects of BDNF on synaptic plasticity and cognition caused by consumption of the HF diet. Male adult rats were maintained on a HF diet for 2 months with or without 500 IU/kg of vitamin E. Supplementation of the HF diet with vitamin E dramatically reduced oxidative damage, normalized levels of BDNF, synapsin I and cyclic AMP-response element-binding protein (CREB), caused by the consumption of the HF diet. In addition, vitamin E supplementation preserved the process of activation of synapsin I and CREB, and reversed the HF-impaired cognitive function. It is known that BDNF facilitates the synapse by modulating synapsin I and CREB, which have been implicated in synaptic plasticity associated to learning and memory. These results show that oxidative stress can interact with the BDNF system to modulate synaptic plasticity and cognitive function. Therefore, studies appear to reveal a mechanism by which events classically related to the maintenance of energy balance of the cell, such as oxidative stress, can interact with molecular events that modulate neuronal and behavioural plasticity.

  19. Regional differences in GABAergic modulation for TEA-induced synaptic plasticity in rat hippocampal CA1, CA3 and dentate gyrus.

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    Suzuki, Etsuko; Okada, Takashi

    2007-10-01

    Tetraethylammonium (TEA), a K(+)-channel blocker, reportedly induces long-term potentiation (LTP) of hippocampal CA1 synaptic responses, but at CA3 and the dentate gyrus (DG), the characteristics of TEA-induced plasticity and modulation by inhibitory interneurons remain unclear. This study recorded field EPSPs from CA1, CA3 and DG to examine the involvement of GABAergic modulation in TEA-induced synaptic plasticity for each region. In Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses and associational fiber (AF)-CA3 synapses, bath application of TEA-induced LTP in the presence and absence of picrotoxin (PTX), a GABA(A) receptor blocker, whereas TEA-induced LTP at mossy fiber (MF)-CA3 synapses was detected only in the absence of GABA(A) receptor blockers. MF-CA3 LTP showed sensitivity to Ni(2+), but not to nifedipine. In DG, synaptic plasticity was modulated by GABAergic inputs, but characteristics differed between the afferent lateral perforant path (LPP) and medial perforant path (MPP). LPP-DG synapses showed TEA-induced LTP during PTX application, whereas at MPP-DG synapses, TEA-induced long-term depression (LTD) was seen in the absence of PTX. This series of results demonstrates that TEA-induced DG and CA3 plasticity displays afferent specificity and is exposed to GABAergic modulation in an opposite manner.

  20. Mechanisms involved in systemic nicotine-induced glutamatergic synaptic plasticity on dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area.

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    Gao, Ming; Jin, Yu; Yang, Kechun; Zhang, Die; Lukas, Ronald J; Wu, Jie

    2010-10-13

    Systemic exposure to nicotine induces glutamatergic synaptic plasticity on dopamine (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), but mechanisms are largely unknown. Here, we report that single, systemic exposure in rats to nicotine (0.17 mg/kg free base) increases the ratio of DA neuronal currents mediated by AMPA relative to NMDA receptors (AMPA/NMDA ratio) assessed 24 h later, based on slice-patch recording. The AMPA/NMDA ratio increase is evident within 1 h and lasts for at least 72 h after nicotine exposure (and up to 8 d after repeated nicotine administration). This effect cannot be prevented by systemic injection of either α7-nAChR (nicotinic ACh receptor)-selective [methyllycaconitine (MLA)] or β2*-nAChR-selective [mecamylamine (MEC)] antagonists but is prevented by coinjection of MLA and MEC. In either nAChR α7 or β2 subunit knock-out mice, systemic exposure to nicotine still increases the AMPA/NMDA ratio. Preinjection in rats of a NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801((+)-5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo[a,d]cyclohepten-5,10-imine maleate), but neither DA receptor antagonists [SCH-23390 (R-(+)-7-chloro-8-hydroxy-3-methyl-1-phenyl-2,3,4,5-tetrahydro-1H-3-benzazepine) plus haloperidol] nor a calcineurin inhibitor (cyclosporine), prevents the nicotine-induced increase in AMPA/NMDA ratio. After systemic exposure to nicotine, glutamatergic (but not GABAergic) transmission onto rat VTA DA neuronal inputs is enhanced. Correspondingly, DA neuronal firing measured 24 h after nicotine exposure using extracellular single-unit recording in vivo is significantly faster, and there is conversion of silent to active DA neurons. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that systemic nicotine acting via either α7- or β2*-nAChRs increases presynaptic and postsynaptic glutamatergic function, and consequently initiates glutamatergic synaptic plasticity, which may be an important, early neuronal adaptation in nicotine reward and reinforcement.

  1. Large and Small Dendritic Spines Serve Different Interacting Functions in Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity and Homeostasis

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    Joshua J. W. Paulin

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The laying down of memory requires strong stimulation resulting in specific changes in synaptic strength and corresponding changes in size of dendritic spines. Strong stimuli can also be pathological, causing a homeostatic response, depressing and shrinking the synapse to prevent damage from too much Ca2+ influx. But do all types of dendritic spines serve both of these apparently opposite functions? Using confocal microscopy in organotypic slices from mice expressing green fluorescent protein in hippocampal neurones, the size of individual spines along sections of dendrite has been tracked in response to application of tetraethylammonium. This strong stimulus would be expected to cause both a protective homeostatic response and long-term potentiation. We report separation of these functions, with spines of different sizes reacting differently to the same strong stimulus. The immediate shrinkage of large spines suggests a homeostatic protective response during the period of potential danger. In CA1, long-lasting growth of small spines subsequently occurs consolidating long-term potentiation but only after the large spines return to their original size. In contrast, small spines do not change in dentate gyrus where potentiation does not occur. The separation in time of these changes allows clear functional differentiation of spines of different sizes.

  2. The adult abdominal neuromuscular junction of Drosophila: a model for synaptic plasticity.

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    Hebbar, Sarita; Hall, Rachel E; Demski, Sarah A; Subramanian, Aswati; Fernandes, Joyce J

    2006-09-01

    During its life cycle, Drosophila makes two sets of neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), embryonic/larval and adult, which serve distinct stage-specific functions. During metamorphosis, the larval NMJs are restructured to give rise to their adult counterparts, a process that is integrated into the overall remodeling of the nervous system. The NMJs of the prothoracic muscles and the mesothoracic dorsal longitudinal (flight) muscles have been previously described. Given the diversity and complexity of adult muscle groups, we set out to examine the less complex abdominal muscles. The large bouton sizes of these NMJs are particularly advantageous for easy visualization. Specifically, we have characterized morphological attributes of the ventral abdominal NMJ and show that an embryonic motor neuron identity gene, dHb9, is expressed at these adult junctions. We quantified bouton numbers and size and examined the localization of synaptic markers. We have also examined the formation of boutons during metamorphosis and examined the localization of presynaptic markers at these stages. To test the usefulness of the ventral abdominal NMJs as a model system, we characterized the effects of altering electrical activity and the levels of the cell adhesion molecule, FasciclinII (FasII). We show that both manipulations affect NMJ formation and that the effects are specific as they can be rescued genetically. Our results indicate that both activity and FasII affect development at the adult abdominal NMJ in ways that are distinct from their larval and adult thoracic counterparts

  3. Compensating Inhomogeneities of Neuromorphic VLSI Devices Via Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity.

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    Bill, Johannes; Schuch, Klaus; Brüderle, Daniel; Schemmel, Johannes; Maass, Wolfgang; Meier, Karlheinz

    2010-01-01

    Recent developments in neuromorphic hardware engineering make mixed-signal VLSI neural network models promising candidates for neuroscientific research tools and massively parallel computing devices, especially for tasks which exhaust the computing power of software simulations. Still, like all analog hardware systems, neuromorphic models suffer from a constricted configurability and production-related fluctuations of device characteristics. Since also future systems, involving ever-smaller structures, will inevitably exhibit such inhomogeneities on the unit level, self-regulation properties become a crucial requirement for their successful operation. By applying a cortically inspired self-adjusting network architecture, we show that the activity of generic spiking neural networks emulated on a neuromorphic hardware system can be kept within a biologically realistic firing regime and gain a remarkable robustness against transistor-level variations. As a first approach of this kind in engineering practice, the short-term synaptic depression and facilitation mechanisms implemented within an analog VLSI model of I&F neurons are functionally utilized for the purpose of network level stabilization. We present experimental data acquired both from the hardware model and from comparative software simulations which prove the applicability of the employed paradigm to neuromorphic VLSI devices.

  4. The perimenopausal aging transition in the female rat brain: decline in bioenergetic systems and synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Fei; Yao, Jia; Sancheti, Harsh; Feng, Tao; Melcangi, Roberto C; Morgan, Todd E; Finch, Caleb E; Pike, Christian J; Mack, Wendy J; Cadenas, Enrique; Brinton, Roberta D

    2015-07-01

    The perimenopause is an aging transition unique to the female that leads to reproductive senescence which can be characterized by multiple neurological symptoms. To better understand potential underlying mechanisms of neurological symptoms of perimenopause, the present study determined genomic, biochemical, brain metabolic, and electrophysiological transformations that occur during this transition using a rat model recapitulating fundamental characteristics of the human perimenopause. Gene expression analyses indicated two distinct aging programs: chronological and endocrine. A critical period emerged during the endocrine transition from regular to irregular cycling characterized by decline in bioenergetic gene expression, confirmed by deficits in fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) brain metabolism, mitochondrial function, and long-term potentiation. Bioinformatic analysis predicted insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 and adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase/peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1 alpha (AMPK/PGC1α) signaling pathways as upstream regulators. Onset of acyclicity was accompanied by a rise in genes required for fatty acid metabolism, inflammation, and mitochondrial function. Subsequent chronological aging resulted in decline of genes required for mitochondrial function and β-amyloid degradation. Emergence of glucose hypometabolism and impaired synaptic function in brain provide plausible mechanisms of neurological symptoms of perimenopause and may be predictive of later-life vulnerability to hypometabolic conditions such as Alzheimer's.

  5. Neonatal sensory nerve injury-induced synaptic plasticity in the trigeminal principal sensory nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, Fu-Sun; Erzurumlu, Reha S

    2016-01-01

    Sensory deprivation studies in neonatal mammals, such as monocular eye closure, whisker trimming, and chemical blockade of the olfactory epithelium have revealed the importance of sensory inputs in brain wiring during distinct critical periods. But very few studies have paid attention to the effects of neonatal peripheral sensory nerve damage on synaptic wiring of the central nervous system (CNS) circuits. Peripheral somatosensory nerves differ from other special sensory afferents in that they are more prone to crush or severance because of their locations in the body. Unlike the visual and auditory afferents, these nerves show regenerative capabilities after damage. Uniquely, damage to a somatosensory peripheral nerve does not only block activity incoming from the sensory receptors but also mediates injury-induced neuro- and glial chemical signals to the brain through the uninjured central axons of the primary sensory neurons. These chemical signals can have both far more and longer lasting effects than sensory blockade alone. Here we review studies which focus on the consequences of neonatal peripheral sensory nerve damage in the principal sensory nucleus of the brainstem trigeminal complex.

  6. Synaptic dysfunction in human immunodeficiency virus type-1-positive subjects: inflammation or impaired neuronal plasticity?

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    Avdoshina, Valeriya; Bachis, Alessia; Mocchetti, Italo

    2013-01-01

    Many people infected with the human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV) exhibit mild or severe neurological problems, termed HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND), even when receiving antiretroviral therapy. Thus, novel adjunctive therapies must be developed to overcome the neurotoxic effect of HIV. New therapies require a better understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of HIV-induced neurotoxicity and the risk factors that, besides inflammation and T cell depletion and drugs of abuse, render the central nervous system (CNS) a target of HIV-induced neurotoxicity. HIV appears to impair neuronal plasticity, which refers to the innate ability of the CNS to respond to injury and promote recovery of function. The availability of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a potent neurotrophic factor that is present in abundance in the adult brain, is essential for neuronal plasticity. BDNF acts through a receptor system composed of Trk and p75NTR. Here we present experimental evidence that some of the clinical features of HIV-mediated neurological impairment could result from altered BDNF/TrkB/p75NTR regulation and function. PMID:23600400

  7. Synaptic plasticity in a cerebellum-like structure depends on temporal order

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    Bell, Curtis C.; Han, Victor Z.; Sugawara, Yoshiko; Grant, Kirsty

    1997-05-01

    Cerebellum-like structures in fish appear to act as adaptive sensory processors, in which learned predictions about sensory input are generated and subtracted from actual sensory input, allowing unpredicted inputs to stand out1-3. Pairing sensory input with centrally originating predictive signals, such as corollary discharge signals linked to motor commands, results in neural responses to the predictive signals alone that are Negative images' of the previously paired sensory responses. Adding these 'negative images' to actual sensory inputs minimizes the neural response to predictable sensory features. At the cellular level, sensory input is relayed to the basal region of Purkinje-like cells, whereas predictive signals are relayed by parallel fibres to the apical dendrites of the same cells4. The generation of negative images could be explained by plasticity at parallel fibre synapses5-7. We show here that such plasticity exists in the electrosensory lobe of mormyrid electric fish and that it has the necessary properties for such a model: it is reversible, anti-hebbian (excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) are depressed after pairing with a postsynaptic spike) and tightly dependent on the sequence of pre- and postsynaptic events, with depression occurring only if the postsynaptic spike follows EPSP onset within 60 ms.

  8. Synaptic plasticity and neuronal refractory time cause scaling behaviour of neuronal avalanches

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    Michiels van Kessenich, L.; de Arcangelis, L.; Herrmann, H. J.

    2016-08-01

    Neuronal avalanches measured in vitro and in vivo in different cortical networks consistently exhibit power law behaviour for the size and duration distributions with exponents typical for a mean field self-organized branching process. These exponents are also recovered in neuronal network simulations implementing various neuronal dynamics on different network topologies. They can therefore be considered a very robust feature of spontaneous neuronal activity. Interestingly, this scaling behaviour is also observed on regular lattices in finite dimensions, which raises the question about the origin of the mean field behavior observed experimentally. In this study we provide an answer to this open question by investigating the effect of activity dependent plasticity in combination with the neuronal refractory time in a neuronal network. Results show that the refractory time hinders backward avalanches forcing a directed propagation. Hebbian plastic adaptation plays the role of sculpting these directed avalanche patterns into the topology of the network slowly changing it into a branched structure where loops are marginal.

  9. Synaptic plasticity and neuronal refractory time cause scaling behaviour of neuronal avalanches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michiels van Kessenich, L; de Arcangelis, L; Herrmann, H J

    2016-08-18

    Neuronal avalanches measured in vitro and in vivo in different cortical networks consistently exhibit power law behaviour for the size and duration distributions with exponents typical for a mean field self-organized branching process. These exponents are also recovered in neuronal network simulations implementing various neuronal dynamics on different network topologies. They can therefore be considered a very robust feature of spontaneous neuronal activity. Interestingly, this scaling behaviour is also observed on regular lattices in finite dimensions, which raises the question about the origin of the mean field behavior observed experimentally. In this study we provide an answer to this open question by investigating the effect of activity dependent plasticity in combination with the neuronal refractory time in a neuronal network. Results show that the refractory time hinders backward avalanches forcing a directed propagation. Hebbian plastic adaptation plays the role of sculpting these directed avalanche patterns into the topology of the network slowly changing it into a branched structure where loops are marginal.

  10. MeCP2 post-translational modifications: a mechanism to control its involvement in synaptic plasticity and homeostasis?

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    Elisa eBellini

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Although Rett syndrome (RTT represents one of the most frequent forms of severe intellectual disability in females worldwide, we still have an inadequate knowledge of the many roles played by MeCP2 (whose mutations are responsible for most cases of RTT and their relevance for RTT pathobiology. Several studies support a role of MeCP2 in the regulation of synaptic plasticity and homeostasis. At the molecular level, MeCP2 is described as a repressor capable of inhibiting gene transcription through chromatin compaction. Indeed, it interacts with several chromatin remodeling factors, such as HDAC-containing complexes and ATRX. Other studies have inferred that MeCP2 functions also as an activator; a role in regulating mRNA splicing and in modulating protein synthesis has also been proposed. Further, MeCP2 avidly binds both 5-methyl- and 5-hydroxymethyl-cytosine. Recent evidence suggests that it is the highly disorganized structure of MeCP2, together with its post-translational modifications (PTMs that generate and regulate this functional versatility. Indeed, several reports have demonstrated that differential phosphorylation of MeCP2 is a key mechanism by which the methyl binding protein modulates its affinity for its partners, gene expression and cellular adaptations to stimuli and neuronal plasticity. As logic consequence, generation of phospho-defective Mecp2 knock-in mice has permitted associating alterations in neuronal morphology, circuit formation, and mouse behavioral phenotypes with specific phosphorylation events. MeCP2 undergoes various other PTMs, including acetylation, ubiquitination and sumoylation, whose functional roles remain largely unexplored. These results, together with the genome-wide distribution of MeCP2 and its capability to substitute histone H1, recall the complex regulation of histones and suggest the relevance of quickly gaining a deeper comprehension of MeCP2 PTMs, the respective writers and readers and the consequent

  11. Acute Modulation of Synaptic Plasticity of Pyramidal Neurons by Activin in Adult Hippocampus

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    Yoshitaka eHasegawa

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Activin A is known as a neuroprotective factor produced upon acute excitotoxic injury of the hippocampus (in pathological states. We attempt to reveal the role of activin as a neuromodulator in the adult male hippocampus under physiological conditions (in healthy states, which remains largely unknown. We showed endogenous/basal expression of activin in the hippocampal neurons. Localization of activin receptors in dendritic spines (= postsynapses was demonstrated by immunoelectron microscopy. The incubation of hippocampal acute slices with activin A (10 ng/mL, 0.4 nM for 2 h altered the density and morphology of spines in CA1 pyramidal neurons. The total spine density increased by 1.2-fold upon activin treatments. Activin selectively increased the density of large-head spines, without affecting middle-head and small-head spines. Blocking of Erk/MAPK, PKA or PKC prevented the activin-induced spinogenesis by reducing the density of large-head spines, independent of Smad-induced gene transcription which usually takes more than several hours. Incubation of acute slices with activin for 2 h induced the moderate early long-term potentiation (moderate LTP upon weak theta burst stimuli. This moderate LTP induction was blocked by follistatin, MAPK inhibitor (PD98059 and inhibitor of NR2B subunit of NMDA receptors (Ro25-6981. It should be noted that the weak theta burst stimuli alone cannot induce moderate LTP. These results suggest that MAPK-induced phosphorylation of NMDA receptors (including NR2B may play an important role for activin-induced moderate LTP. Taken together, the current results reveal interesting physiological roles of endogenous activin as a synaptic modulator in the adult hippocampus.

  12. Persistent changes in neuronal structure and synaptic plasticity caused by proton irradiation.

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    Parihar, Vipan K; Pasha, Junaid; Tran, Katherine K; Craver, Brianna M; Acharya, Munjal M; Limoli, Charles L

    2015-03-01

    Cranial radiotherapy is used routinely to control the growth of primary and secondary brain tumors, but often results in serious and debilitating cognitive dysfunction. In part due to the beneficial dose depth distributions that may spare normal tissue damage, the use of protons to treat CNS and other tumor types is rapidly gaining popularity. Astronauts exposed to lower doses of protons in the space radiation environment are also at risk for developing adverse CNS complications. To explore the consequences of whole body proton irradiation, mice were subjected to 0.1 and 1 Gy and analyzed for morphometric changes in hippocampal neurons 10 and 30 days following exposure. Significant dose-dependent reductions (~33 %) in dendritic complexity were found, when dendritic length, branching and area were analyzed 30 days after exposure. At equivalent doses and times, significant reductions in the number (~30 %) and density (50-75 %) of dendritic spines along hippocampal neurons of the dentate gyrus were also observed. Immature spines (filopodia, long) exhibited the greatest sensitivity (1.5- to 3-fold) to irradiation, while more mature spines (mushroom) were more resistant to changes over a 1-month post-irradiation timeframe. Irradiated granule cell neurons spanning the subfields of the dentate gyrus showed significant and dose-responsive reductions in synaptophysin expression, while the expression of postsynaptic density protein (PSD-95) was increased significantly. These findings corroborate our past work using photon irradiation, and demonstrate for the first time, dose-responsive changes in dendritic complexity, spine density and morphology and synaptic protein levels following exposure to low-dose whole body proton irradiation.

  13. The contribution of synaptic plasticity in the basal ganglia to the processing of visual information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sil'kis, I G

    2007-10-01

    A mechanism for the involvement of the basal ganglia in the processing of visual information, based on dopamine-dependent modulation of the efficiency of synaptic transmission in interconnected parallel associative and limbic cortex-basal ganglia-thalamus-cortex circuits, is proposed. Each circuit consists of a visual or prefrontal area of the cortex connected with the thalamic nucleus and the corresponding areas in different nuclei of the basal ganglia. The circulation of activity in these circuits is supported by the recurrent arrival of information in the thalamus and cortex. Dopamine released in response to a visual stimulus modulates the efficiencies of "strong" and "weak" corticostriatal inputs in different directions, and the subsequent reorganization of activity in the circuit leads to disinhibition (inhibition) of the activity of those cortical neurons which are "strongly" ("weakly") excited by the visual stimulus simultaneously with dopaminergic cells. The pattern in each cortical area is the neuronal reflection of the properties of the visual stimulus processed by this area. Excitation of dopaminergic cells by the visual stimulus via the superior colliculi requires parallel activation of the disinhibitory input to the superior colliculi via the thalamus and the "direct" pathway" in the basal ganglia. The prefrontal cortex, excited by the visual stimulus via the mediodorsal nucleus of the thalamus, mediates the descending influence on the activity of dopaminergic cells, simultaneously controlling dopamine release in different areas of the striatum and thus facilitating the mutual selection of neural reflections of the individual properties of the visual stimulus and their binding into an integral image.

  14. Resveratrol Improves Cognitive Impairment by Regulating Apoptosis and Synaptic Plasticity in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats

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    Zhiyan Tian

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Aims: To investigate the effects of resveratrol on cognitive impairment in streptozotocin (STZ-induced diabetic rats and to explore the mechanisms of that phenomenon. Methods: Sixty healthy male Sprague Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups: normal control group (Con group, n = 15, Res group (normal Sprague Dawley rats treated with resveratrol, n = 15, diabetes mellitus group (DM group, n = 15 and DM + Res group (diabetic rats treat with resveratrol, n = 15. Streptozotocin (STZ was injected intraperitoneally to establish the diabetic model. One week after diabetic model induction, the animals in the Res group and the DM + Res group received resveratrol intraperitoneally once a day for consecutive 4 weeks. The Morris water maze test was applied to assess the effect of resveratrol on learning and memory. To explore the mechanisms of resveratrol on cognition, we detected the protein expression levels of Caspase-3, Bcl-2, Bax, NMDAR1 (N-Methyl-d-Aspartate receptor and BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor via western blotting analysis. Results: Resveratrol has no obvious effect on normal SD rats. Compared to Con group, cognitive ability was significantly impaired with increased expression of Caspase-3, Bax and down-regulation of Bcl-2, NMDAR1 and BDNF in diabetic rats. By contrast, resveratrol treatment improved the cognitive decline. Evidently, resveratrol treatment reversed diabetes-induced changes of protein expression. Conclusions: Resveratrol significantly ameliorates cognitive decline in STZ-induced diabetic model rats. The potential mechanism underlying the protective effect could be attributed to the inhibition of hippocampal apoptosis through the Bcl-2, Bax and Caspase-3 signaling pathways and improvement of synaptic dysfunction. BDNF may also play an indispensable role in this mechanism.

  15. Nicotine exposure during adolescence alters the rules for prefrontal cortical synaptic plasticity during adulthood

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    Huib eMansvelder

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The majority of adolescents report to have smoked a cigarette at least once. Adolescence is a critical period of brain development during which maturation of areas involved in cognitive functioning, such as the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC, is still ongoing. Tobacco smoking during this age may compromise the normal course of prefrontal development and lead to cognitive impairments in later life. In addition, adolescent smokers suffer from attention deficits, which progress with the years of smoking. Recent studies in rodents reveal the molecular changes induced by adolescent nicotine exposure that alter the functioning of synapses in the PFC and underlie the lasting effects on cognitive function. In particular, the expression and function of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs are changed and this has an impact on short- and long-term plasticity of glutamatergic synapses in the PFC and ultimately on the attention performance. Here, we review and discuss these recent findings.

  16. Fear extinction induces mGluR5-mediated synaptic and intrinsic plasticity in infralimbic neurons.

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    Sepulveda-Orengo, Marian T; Lopez, Ana V; Soler-Cedeño, Omar; Porter, James T

    2013-04-24

    Studies suggest that plasticity in the infralimbic prefrontal cortex (IL) in rodents and its homolog in humans is necessary for inhibition of fear during the recall of fear extinction. The recall of extinction is impaired by locally blocking metabotropic glutamate receptor type 5 (mGluR5) activation in IL during extinction training. This finding suggests that mGluR5 stimulation may lead to IL plasticity needed for fear extinction. To test this hypothesis, we recorded AMPA and NMDA currents, AMPA receptor (AMPAR) rectification, and intrinsic excitability in IL pyramidal neurons in slices from trained rats using whole-cell patch-clamp recording. We observed that fear extinction increases the AMPA/NMDA ratio, consistent with insertion of AMPARs into IL synapses. In addition, extinction training increased inward rectification, suggesting that extinction induces the insertion of calcium-permeable (GluA2-lacking) AMPARs into IL synapses. Consistent with this, selectively blocking calcium-permeable AMPARs with Naspm reduced the AMPA EPSCs in IL neurons to a larger degree after extinction. Extinction-induced changes in AMPA/NMDA ratio, rectification, and intrinsic excitability were blocked with an mGluR5 antagonist. These findings suggest that mGluR5 activation leads to consolidation of fear extinction by regulating the intrinsic excitability of IL neurons and modifying the composition of AMPARs in IL synapses. Therefore, impaired mGluR5 activity in IL synapses could be one factor that causes inappropriate modulation of fear expression leading to anxiety disorders.

  17. Extracellular matrix molecules and synaptic plasticity: immunomapping of intracellular and secreted Reelin in the adult rat brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos-Moreno, Tania; Galazo, Maria J; Porrero, Cesar; Martínez-Cerdeño, Verónica; Clascá, Francisco

    2006-01-01

    Reelin, a large extracellular matrix glycoprotein, is secreted by several neuron populations in the developing and adult rodent brain. Secreted Reelin triggers a complex signaling pathway by binding lipoprotein and integrin membrane receptors in target cells. Reelin signaling regulates migration and dendritic growth in developing neurons, while it can modulate synaptic plasticity in adult neurons. To identify which adult neural circuits can be modulated by Reelin-mediated signaling, we systematically mapped the distribution of Reelin in adult rat brain using sensitive immunolabeling techniques. Results show that the distribution of intracellular and secreted Reelin is both very widespread and specific. Some interneuron and projection neuron populations in the cerebral cortex contain Reelin. Numerous striatal neurons are weakly immunoreactive for Reelin and these cells are preferentially located in striosomes. Some thalamic nuclei contain Reelin-immunoreactive cells. Double-immunolabeling for GABA and Reelin reveals that the Reelin-immunoreactive cells in the visual thalamus are the intrinsic thalamic interneurons. High local concentrations of extracellular Reelin selectively outline several dendrite spine-rich neuropils. Together with previous mRNA data, our observations suggest abundant axoplasmic transport and secretion in pathways such as the retino-collicular tract, the entorhino-hippocampal ('perforant') path, the lateral olfactory tract or the parallel fiber system of the cerebellum. A preferential secretion of Reelin in these neuropils is consistent with reports of rapid, activity-induced structural changes in adult brain circuits.

  18. Novelty-Induced Phase-Locked Firing to Slow Gamma Oscillations in the Hippocampus: Requirement of Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitanishi, Takuma; Ujita, Sakiko; Fallahnezhad, Mehdi; Kitanishi, Naomi; Ikegaya, Yuji; Tashiro, Ayumu

    2015-06-03

    Temporally precise neuronal firing phase-locked to gamma oscillations is thought to mediate the dynamic interaction of neuronal populations, which is essential for information processing underlying higher-order functions such as learning and memory. However, the cellular mechanisms determining phase locking remain unclear. By devising a virus-mediated approach to perform multi-tetrode recording from genetically manipulated neurons, we demonstrated that synaptic plasticity dependent on the GluR1 subunit of AMPA (α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate) receptor mediates two dynamic changes in neuronal firing in the hippocampal CA1 area during novel experiences: the establishment of phase-locked firing to slow gamma oscillations and the rapid formation of the spatial firing pattern of place cells. The results suggest a series of events potentially underlying the acquisition of new spatial information: slow gamma oscillations, originating from the CA3 area, induce the two GluR1-dependent changes of CA1 neuronal firing, which in turn determine information flow in the hippocampal-entorhinal system.

  19. Effect of developmental lead exposure on synaptic plasticity and N—methyl—D—aspartate receptor subunit in rat hippocampus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    RuanDY; SuiL

    2002-01-01

    Chronic lead(Pb) exposure is known to be associated with learning and memory,and cognitive dysfunction in children.Previous studies have demonstrated that Pb exposure may impair neuronal process underlying synaptic plasticity via a direct interaction with N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors(NMDARs).The studies described here were carried out to investigate effect of developmental Pb exposure on long-term potentiation(LTP),long-tern depression(LTD) and NMDAs subunits in rat hippocampus.The results are listed as follows:(1)low-level Pb exposture can impair the induction and maintenance of LTP in vivo and in vitro;(2)the Pb-induced impairment of LTD magnitude was an age-related decline in area CA1 of rat hippocampus;(3)chronic Pb exposure affected two components,voltage-gated calcium channel-dependent LTD and NMDARs-dependent LTD,of LTD induction in area CA1 of rat hippocampus;(4)different effects of developmental Pb exposure on NMDA receptor NR1,NR2A,NR2B,NR2C,NR2D and NR3A subunits in area CA1,CA2,CA3 and CA4 of rat hippocampus were observed;(5)the α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid receptors enriched in area CA1,CA3 and dentate gyrus and kainite receptors enriched in area CA1 and dentate gyrus of rat hippocampus were impaired by Pb exposure.

  20. Zif268/Egr1 gain of function facilitates hippocampal synaptic plasticity and long-term spatial recognition memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penke, Zsuzsa; Morice, Elise; Veyrac, Alexandra; Gros, Alexandra; Chagneau, Carine; LeBlanc, Pascale; Samson, Nathalie; Baumgärtel, Karsten; Mansuy, Isabelle M; Davis, Sabrina; Laroche, Serge

    2014-01-05

    It is well established that Zif268/Egr1, a member of the Egr family of transcription factors, is critical for the consolidation of several forms of memory; however, it is as yet uncertain whether increasing expression of Zif268 in neurons can facilitate memory formation. Here, we used an inducible transgenic mouse model to specifically induce Zif268 overexpression in forebrain neurons and examined the effect on recognition memory and hippocampal synaptic transmission and plasticity. We found that Zif268 overexpression during the establishment of memory for objects did not change the ability to form a long-term memory of objects, but enhanced the capacity to form a long-term memory of the spatial location of objects. This enhancement was paralleled by increased long-term potentiation in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus and by increased activity-dependent expression of Zif268 and selected Zif268 target genes. These results provide novel evidence that transcriptional mechanisms engaging Zif268 contribute to determining the strength of newly encoded memories.

  1. ZD7288, a selective hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channel blocker, inhibits hippocampal synaptic plasticity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiao-xue Zhang; Xiao-chun Min; Xu-lin Xu; Min Zheng; Lian-jun Guo

    2016-01-01

    The selective hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channel blocker 4-(N-ethyl-N-phenylamino)-1,2-dimeth-yl-6-(methylamino) pyrimidinium chloride (ZD7288) blocks the induction of long-term potentiation in the perforant path–CA3 region in rat hippocampusin vivo. To explore the mechanisms underlying the action of ZD7288, we recorded excitatory postsynaptic potentials in perforant path–CA3 synapses in male Sprague-Dawley rats. We measured glutamate content in the hippocampus and in cultured hip-pocampal neurons using high performance liquid chromatography, and determined intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) using Fura-2. ZD7288 inhibited the induction and maintenance of long-term potentiation, and these effects were mirrored by the nonspeciifc HCN channel blocker cesium. ZD7288 also decreased glutamate release in hippocampal tissue and in cultured hippocampal neurons. Further-more, ZD7288 attenuated glutamate-induced rises in [Ca2+]i in a concentration-dependent manner and reversed 8-Br-cAMP-mediated facilitation of these glutamate-induced [Ca2+]i rises. Our results suggest that ZD7288 inhibits hippocampal synaptic plasticity both gluta-mate release and resultant [Ca2+]i increases in rat hippocampal neurons.

  2. St. John's wort may relieve negative effects of stress on spatial working memory by changing synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trofimiuk, Emil; Holownia, Adam; Braszko, Jan J

    2011-04-01

    Beneficial effects of St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) in the treatment of stress-evoked memory impairment were recently described. In this study, we tested a hypothesis that St. John's wort alleviates stress- and corticosterone-related memory impairments by restoring levels of synaptic plasticity proteins: neuromoduline (GAP-43) and synaptophysin (SYP) in hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Stressed and corticosterone-treated rats displayed a decline in the acquisition of spatial working memory (p < 0.001) in the Barnes maze (BM). Chronic administration of H. perforatum (350 mg kg(-1) for 21 days), potently and significantly improved processing of spatial information in the stressed and corticosterone-injected rats (p < 0.001). Also, St Johns' wort statistically significantly (p < 0.05) increased levels of GAP-43 and SYP, respectively in the hippocampi and prefrontal cortex as measured by western immunoblotting. We found that H. perforatum prevented the deleterious effects of both chronic restraint stress and prolonged corticosterone administration on working memory measured in the BM test. The herb significantly (p < 0.01) improved hippocampus-dependent spatial working memory in comparison with control and alleviated some other negative effects of stress on cognitive functions. These findings increase our understanding of the reaction of the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex to stressful assaults and provide new insight into the possible actions of H. perforatum in the treatment of patients with impaired adaptation to environmental stressors and simultaneously suffering from cognitive impairment.

  3. Osthole improves synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus and cognitive function of Alzheimer's disease rats via regulating glutamate

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiaohua Dong; Danshen Zhang; Li Zhang; Wei Li; Xianyong Meng

    2012-01-01

    Osthole,an effective monomer in Chinese medicinal herbs,can cross the blood-brain barrier and protect against brain injury,with few toxic effects.In this study,a rat model of Alzheimer's disease was established after intracerebroventricular injection of β-amyloid peptide (25-35).Subsequently,the rats were intraperitoneally treated with osthole (12.5 or 25.0 mg/kg) for 14 successive days.Results showed that osthole treatment significantly improved cognitive impairment and protected hippocampal neurons of Alzheimer's disease rats.Also,osthole treatment alleviated suppressed long-term potentiation in the hippocampus of Alzheimer's disease rats.In these osthole-treated Alzheimer's disease rats,the level of glutamate decreased,but there was no significant change in Y-amino-butyric acid.These experimental findings suggest that osthole can improve learning and memory impairment,and increase synaptic plasticity in Alzheimer's disease rats.These effects of osthole may be because of its regulation of central glutamate and Y-amino-butyric acid levels.

  4. Use of multi-electrode array recordings in studies of network synaptic plasticity in both time and space

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ming-Gang Liu; Xue-Feng Chen; Ting He; Zhen Li; Jun Chen

    2012-01-01

    Simultaneous multisite recording using multi-electrode arrays (MEAs) in cultured and acutely-dissociated brain slices and other tissues is an emerging technique in the field of network electrophysiology.Over the past 40 years,great efforts have been made by both scientists and commercial concerns,to advance this technique.The MEA technique has been widely applied to many regions of the brain,retina,heart and smooth muscle in various studies at the network level.The present review starts from the development of MEA techniques and their uses in brain preparations,and then specifically concentrates on the use of MEA recordings in studies of synaptic plasticity at the network level in both the temporal and spatial domains.Because the MEA technique helps bridge the gap between single-cell recordings and behavioral assays,its wide application will undoubtedly shed light on the mechanisms underlying brain functions and dysfunctions at the network level that remained largely unknown due to the technical difficulties before it matured.

  5. Hydrogen Sulfide Prevents Synaptic Plasticity from VD-Induced Damage via Akt/GSK-3β Pathway and Notch Signaling Pathway in Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chunhua; Xu, Xiaxia; Gao, Jing; Zhang, Tao; Yang, Zhuo

    2016-08-01

    Our previous study has demonstrated that hydrogen sulfide (H2S) attenuates neuronal injury induced by vascular dementia (VD) in rats, but the mechanism is still poorly understood. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether the neuroprotection of H2S was associated with synaptic plasticity and try to interpret the potential underlying mechanisms. Adult male Wistar rats were suffered the ligation of bilateral common carotid arteries. At 24 h after surgery, rats were administered intraperitoneally with sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS, 5.6 mg·kg(-1)·day(-1)), a H2S donor, for 3 weeks in the VD+NaHS group and treated intraperitoneally with saline in the VD group respectively. Our results demonstrated that NaHS significantly decreased the level of glutamate. It obviously ameliorated cognitive flexibility as well as the spatial learning and memory abilities by Morris water maze. Moreover, NaHS significantly improved the long-term depression (LTD), and was able to elevate the expression of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit 2A, which plays a pivotal role in synaptic plasticity. Interestingly, NaHS decreased the phosphorylation of Akt, and it could maintain the activity of glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β). Surprisingly, NaHS triggered the canonical Notch pathway by increasing expressions of Jagged-1 and Hes-1. These findings suggest that NaHS prevents synaptic plasticity from VD-induced damage partly via Akt/GSK-3β pathway and Notch signaling pathway.Hydrogen sulfide modulated the ratio of NMDAR 2A/2B and improved the synaptic plasticity via Akt/GSK-3β pathway and Notch signaling pathway in VD rats.

  6. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling in the ventral tegmental area mediates cocaine-induced synaptic plasticity and rewarding effects

    OpenAIRE

    Pan, Bin; Zhong, Peng; Sun, Dalong; Liu, Qing-song

    2011-01-01

    Drugs of abuse such as cocaine induce long-term synaptic plasticity in the reward circuitry, which underlies the formation of drug-associated memories and addictive behavior. We reported previously that repeated cocaine exposure in vivo facilitates long-term potentiation in dopamine neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) by reducing the strength of GABAergic inhibition and that endocannabinoid (eCB)-dependent long-term depression at inhibitory synapses (I-LTD) constitutes a mechanism for...

  7. The wiring of developing sensory circuits - from patterned spontaneous activity to mechanisms of synaptic plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra Helen Leighton

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available In order to accurately process incoming sensory stimuli, neurons must be organized into functional networks, with both genetic and environmental factors influencing the precise arrangement of connections between cells. Teasing apart the relative contributions of molecular guidance cues, spontaneous activity and visual experience during this maturation is on-going. During development of the sensory system, the first, rough organization of connections is created by molecular factors. These connections are then modulated by the intrinsically generated activity of neurons, even before the senses have become operational. Spontaneous waves of depolarisations sweep across the nervous system, placing them in a prime position to strengthen correct connections and weaken others, shaping synapses into a useful network. A large body of work now supports the idea that, rather than being a mere side-effect of the system, spontaneous activity actually contains information which readies the nervous system so that, as soon as the senses become active, sensory information can be utilized by the animal. An example is the neonatal mouse. As soon as the eyelids first open, neurons in the cortex respond to visual information without the animal having previously encountered structured sensory input (Cang et al., 2005a; Ko et al., 2013; Rochefort et al., 2011; Zhang et al., 2012. In vivo imaging techniques have advanced considerably, allowing observation of the natural activity in the brain of living animals down to the level of the individual synapse. New (optogenetic methods make it possible to subtly modulate the spatio-temporal properties of activity, aiding our understanding of how these characteristics relate to the function of spontaneous activity. Such experiments have had a huge impact on our knowledge by permitting direct testing of ideas about the plasticity mechanisms at play in the intact system, opening up a provocative range of fresh questions. Here, we

  8. Adaptation of short-term plasticity parameters via error-driven learning may explain the correlation between activity-dependent synaptic properties, connectivity motifs and target specificity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esposito, Umberto; Giugliano, Michele; Vasilaki, Eleni

    2014-01-01

    The anatomical connectivity among neurons has been experimentally found to be largely non-random across brain areas. This means that certain connectivity motifs occur at a higher frequency than would be expected by chance. Of particular interest, short-term synaptic plasticity properties were found to colocalize with specific motifs: an over-expression of bidirectional motifs has been found in neuronal pairs where short-term facilitation dominates synaptic transmission among the neurons, whereas an over-expression of unidirectional motifs has been observed in neuronal pairs where short-term depression dominates. In previous work we found that, given a network with fixed short-term properties, the interaction between short- and long-term plasticity of synaptic transmission is sufficient for the emergence of specific motifs. Here, we introduce an error-driven learning mechanism for short-term plasticity that may explain how such observed correspondences develop from randomly initialized dynamic synapses. By allowing synapses to change their properties, neurons are able to adapt their own activity depending on an error signal. This results in more rich dynamics and also, provided that the learning mechanism is target-specific, leads to specialized groups of synapses projecting onto functionally different targets, qualitatively replicating the experimental results of Wang and collaborators.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  10. Disruption of Slc4a10 augments neuronal excitability and modulates synaptic short-term plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne eSinning

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Slc4a10 is a Na+-coupled Cl--HCO3- exchanger, which is expressed in principal and inhibitory neurons as well as in choroid plexus epithelial cells of the brain. Slc4a10 knockout mice have collapsed brain ventricles and display an increased seizure threshold, while heterozygous deletions in man have been associated with idiopathic epilepsy and other neurological symptoms. To further characterize the role of Slc4a10 for network excitability, we compared input-output relations as well as short and long term changes of evoked field potentials in Slc4a10 knockout and wildtype mice. While responses of CA1 pyramidal neurons to stimulation of Schaffer collaterals were increased in Slc4a10 knockout mice, evoked field potentials did not differ between genotypes in the stratum radiatum or the neocortical areas analyzed. Paired pulse facilitation was diminished in the hippocampus upon disruption of Slc4a10 and paired pulse depression was increased in the neocortex. Though short term plasticity is modulated via Slc4a10, long term potentiation appears independent of Slc4a10. Our data support that Slc4a10 dampens neuronal excitability and thus sheds light on the pathophysiology of SLC4A10 associated pathologies.

  11. Tinnitus: pathology of synaptic plasticity at the cellular and system levels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthieu J Guitton

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Despite being more and more common, and having a high impact on the quality of life of sufferers, tinnitus does not yet have a cure. This has been mostly the result of limited knowledge of the biological mechanisms underlying this adverse pathology. However, the last decade has witnessed tremendous progress in our understanding on the pathophysiology of tinnitus. Animal models have demonstrated that tinnitus is a pathology of neural plasticity, and has two main components: a molecular, peripheral component related to the initiation phase of tinnitus; and a system-level, central component related to the long-term maintenance of tinnitus. Using the most recent experimental data and the molecular/system dichotomy as a framework, we describe here the biological basis of tinnitus. We then discuss these mechanisms from an evolutionary perspective, highlighting similarities with memory. Finally, we consider how these discoveries can translate into therapies, and we suggest operative strategies to design new and effective combined therapeutic solutions using both pharmacological (local and systemic and behavioral tools (e.g., using tele-medicine and virtual reality settings.

  12. Taurine regulation of short term synaptic plasticity in fragile X mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Idrissi, Abdeslem; Neuwirth, Lorenz S; L'Amoreaux, William

    2010-08-24

    Fragile X Syndrome is the most common known genetic cause of autism. The Fmr1-KO mouse, lacks the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), and is used as a model of the syndrome. The core behavioral deficits of autism may be conceptualized either as excessive adherence to patterns as seen in repetitive actions and aberrant language, or as insensitivity to subtle but socially important changes in patterns. The hippocampus receives information from the entorhinal cortex and plays a crucial role in the processing of patterned information. To gain more insight into the physiological function of FMRP and the neuronal mechanisms underlying fragile X syndrome, we examined the electrophysiological response of the hippocampus to pair pulse stimulation as a measure of patterned information processing and how it is affected in the Fmr1-KO mouse. In this study, we used paired-pulse stimulation of the afferent perforant path and recorded from the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Two-month-old FVB/NJ male mice and age-matched Fmr1-KO mice were used in this study. Hippocampal slices were prepared, equilibrated in artificial cerebrospinal fluid (aCSF), and excitatory post synaptic potentials (EPSPs) measured by stimulating the perforant path of the dentate gyrus (DG) while recording from the molecular layer of CA1. Stimulation occurred by setting current and pulse width to evoke a fixed percentage of maximal EPSP amplitude. This stimulation paradigm allowed us to examine the processing capabilities of the hippocampus as a function of increasing interstimulus intervals (ISI) and how taurine, a GABAA receptor agonist, affects such information processing. We found that hippocampal slices from wild type (WT) showed pair-pulse facilitation at ISI of 100-300 ms whereas slices from Fmr1-KO brains showed a consistent pair-pulse depression at a comparable ISI. Addition of 10 muM taurine to WT slices resulted in a drastic decrease of the peak response to the second stimulus, resulting in

  13. Taurine regulation of short term synaptic plasticity in fragile X mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    El Idrissi Abdeslem

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Fragile X Syndrome is the most common known genetic cause of autism. The Fmr1-KO mouse, lacks the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP, and is used as a model of the syndrome. The core behavioral deficits of autism may be conceptualized either as excessive adherence to patterns as seen in repetitive actions and aberrant language, or as insensitivity to subtle but socially important changes in patterns. The hippocampus receives information from the entorhinal cortex and plays a crucial role in the processing of patterned information. To gain more insight into the physiological function of FMRP and the neuronal mechanisms underlying fragile X syndrome, we examined the electrophysiological response of the hippocampus to pair pulse stimulation as a measure of patterned information processing and how it is affected in the Fmr1-KO mouse. Methods In this study, we used paired-pulse stimulation of the afferent perforant path and recorded from the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Two-month-old FVB/NJ male mice and age-matched Fmr1-KO mice were used in this study. Hippocampal slices were prepared, equilibrated in artificial cerebrospinal fluid (aCSF, and excitatory post synaptic potentials (EPSPs measured by stimulating the perforant path of the dentate gyrus (DG while recording from the molecular layer of CA1. Stimulation occurred by setting current and pulse width to evoke a fixed percentage of maximal EPSP amplitude. This stimulation paradigm allowed us to examine the processing capabilities of the hippocampus as a function of increasing interstimulus intervals (ISI and how taurine, a GABAA receptor agonist, affects such information processing. Results We found that hippocampal slices from wild type (WT showed pair-pulse facilitation at ISI of 100-300 ms whereas slices from Fmr1-KO brains showed a consistent pair-pulse depression at a comparable ISI. Addition of 10 μM taurine to WT slices resulted in a drastic decrease of the

  14. Plastic Synaptic Networks of the Amygdala for the Acquisition, Expression, and Extinction of Conditioned Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pape, Hans-Christian; Pare, Denis

    2009-01-01

    The last ten years have witnessed a surge of interest for the mechanisms underlying the acquisition and extinction of classically conditioned fear responses. In part, this results from the realization that abnormalities in fear learning mechanisms likely participate to the development and/or maintenance of human anxiety disorders. The simplicity and robustness of this learning paradigm, coupled to the fact that the underlying circuitry is evolutionarily well conserved makes it an ideal model to study the basic biology of memory and identify genetic factors and neuronal systems that regulate the normal and pathological expressions of learned fear. Critical advances have been made in determining how modified neuronal functions upon fear acquisition become stabilized during fear memory consolidation and how these processes are controlled in the course of fear memory extinction. With these advances, came the realization that activity in remote neuronal networks must be coordinated for these events to take place. In this paper, we review these mechanisms of coordinated network activity and the molecular cascades leading to enduring fear memory, and allowing for their extinction. We will focus on Pavlovian fear conditioning as a model and the amygdala as a key component for the acquisition and extinction of fear responses. PMID:20393190

  15. Early pre- and postsynaptic calcium signaling abnormalities mask underlying synaptic depression in presymptomatic Alzheimer’s disease mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakroborty, Shreaya; Kim, Joyce; Schneider, Corinne; Jacobson, Christopher; Molgó, Jordi; Stutzmann, Grace E.

    2012-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD)-linked presenilin mutations result in pronounced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) calcium disruptions that occur prior to detectable histopathology and cognitive deficits. More subtly, these early AD-linked calcium alt