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Sample records for altered glutamatergic synaptic

  1. Melamine Alters Glutamatergic Synaptic Transmission of CA3-CA1 Synapses Presynaptically Through Autophagy Activation in the Rat Hippocampus.

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    Zhang, Hui; Wang, Hui; Xiao, Xi; Zhang, Tao

    2016-01-01

    Melamine is an industrial chemical that can cause central nervous system disorders including excitotoxicity and cognitive impairment. Its illegal use in powdered baby formula was the focus of a milk scandal in China in 2008. One of our previous studies showed that melamine impaired glutamatergic transmission in rat hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells. However, the underlying mechanism of action of melamine is unclear, and it is unknown if the CA3-CA1 pathway is directly involved. In the present study, a whole-cell patch-clamp technique was employed to investigate the effect of melamine on the hippocampal CA3-CA1 pathway in vitro. Both the evoked excitatory postsynaptic current (eEPSC) and the paired-pulse ratio (PPR) were recorded. Furthermore, we examined whether autophagy was involved in glutamatergic transmission alterations induced by melamine. Our data showed that melamine significantly increased the amplitude of eEPSCs in a dose-dependent manner. Inhibition of the N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor did not prevent the increase in eEPSC amplitude. In addition, the PPR was remarkably decreased by a melamine concentration of 5 × 10(-5) g/mL. It was found that autophagy could be activated by melamine and an autophagy inhibitor, 3-MA, prevented the melamine-induced increase in eEPSC amplitude. Overall, our results show that melamine presynaptically alters glutamatergic synaptic transmission of hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapses in vitro and this is likely associated with autophagy alteration.

  2. Mice lacking brain/kidney phosphate-activated glutaminase have impaired glutamatergic synaptic transmission, altered breathing, disorganized goal-directed behavior and die shortly after birth.

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    Masson, Justine; Darmon, Michèle; Conjard, Agnès; Chuhma, Nao; Ropert, Nicole; Thoby-Brisson, Muriel; Foutz, Arthur S; Parrot, Sandrine; Miller, Gretchen M; Jorisch, Renée; Polan, Jonathan; Hamon, Michel; Hen, René; Rayport, Stephen

    2006-04-26

    Neurotransmitter glutamate has been thought to derive mainly from glutamine via the action of glutaminase type 1 (GLS1). To address the importance of this pathway in glutamatergic transmission, we knocked out GLS1 in mice. The insertion of a STOP cassette by homologous recombination produced a null allele that blocked transcription, encoded no immunoreactive protein, and abolished GLS1 enzymatic activity. Null mutants were slightly smaller, were deficient in goal-directed behavior, hypoventilated, and died in the first postnatal day. No gross or microscopic defects were detected in peripheral organs or in the CNS. In cultured neurons from the null mutants, miniature EPSC amplitude and duration were normal; however, the amplitude of evoked EPSCs decayed more rapidly with sustained 10 Hz stimulation, consistent with an observed reduction in depolarization-evoked glutamate release. Because of this activity-dependent impairment in glutamatergic transmission, we surmised that respiratory networks, which require temporal summation of synaptic input, would be particularly affected. We found that the amplitude of inspirations was decreased in vivo, chemosensitivity to CO2 was severely altered, and the frequency of pacemaker activity recorded in the respiratory generator in the pre-Bötzinger complex, a glutamatergic brainstem network that can be isolated in vitro, was increased. Our results show that although alternate pathways to GLS1 glutamate synthesis support baseline glutamatergic transmission, the GLS1 pathway is essential for maintaining the function of active synapses, and thus the mutation is associated with impaired respiratory function, abnormal goal-directed behavior, and neonatal demise.

  3. Central cholinesterase inhibition enhances glutamatergic synaptic transmission.

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    Kozhemyakin, Maxim; Rajasekaran, Karthik; Kapur, Jaideep

    2010-04-01

    Central cholinergic overstimulation results in prolonged seizures of status epilepticus in humans and experimental animals. Cellular mechanisms of underlying seizures caused by cholinergic stimulation remain uncertain, but enhanced glutamatergic transmission is a potential mechanism. Paraoxon, an organophosphate cholinesterase inhibitor, enhanced glutamatergic transmission on hippocampal granule cells synapses by increasing the frequency and amplitude of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) in a concentration-dependent fashion. The amplitude of mEPSCs was not increased, which suggested the possibility of enhanced action potential-dependent release. Analysis of EPSCs evoked by minimal stimulation revealed reduced failures and increased amplitude of evoked responses. The ratio of amplitudes of EPSCs evoked by paired stimuli was also altered. The effect of paraoxon on glutamatergic transmission was blocked by the muscarinic antagonist atropine and partially mimicked by carbachol. The nicotinic receptor antagonist α -bungarotoxin did not block the effects of paraoxon; however, nicotine enhanced glutamatergic transmission. These studies suggested that cholinergic overstimulation enhances glutamatergic transmission by enhancing neurotransmitter release from presynaptic terminals.

  4. Intracellular accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) protein plays a major role in Aβ-induced alterations of glutamatergic synaptic transmission and plasticity.

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    Ripoli, Cristian; Cocco, Sara; Li Puma, Domenica D; Piacentini, Roberto; Mastrodonato, Alessia; Scala, Federico; Puzzo, Daniela; D'Ascenzo, Marcello; Grassi, Claudio

    2014-09-17

    Intracellular accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) protein has been proposed as an early event in AD pathogenesis. In patients with mild cognitive impairment, intraneuronal Aβ immunoreactivity was found especially in brain regions critically involved in the cognitive deficits of AD. Although a large body of evidence demonstrates that Aβ42 accumulates intraneuronally ((in)Aβ), the action and the role of Aβ42 buildup on synaptic function have been poorly investigated. Here, we demonstrate that basal synaptic transmission and LTP were markedly depressed following Aβ42 injection into the neuron through the patch pipette. Control experiments performed with the reverse peptide (Aβ42-1) allowed us to exclude that the effects of (in)Aβ depended on changes in oncotic pressure. To further investigate (in)Aβ synaptotoxicity we used an Aβ variant harboring oxidized methionine in position 35 that does not cross the neuronal plasma membrane and is not uploaded from the extracellular space. This Aβ42 variant had no effects on synaptic transmission and plasticity when applied extracellularly, but induced synaptic depression and LTP inhibition after patch-pipette dialysis. Finally, the injection of an antibody raised against human Aβ42 (6E10) in CA1 pyramidal neurons of mouse hippocampal brain slices and autaptic microcultures did not, per se, significantly affect LTP and basal synaptic transmission, but it protected against the toxic effects of extracellular Aβ42. Collectively, these findings suggest that Aβ42-induced impairment of glutamatergic synaptic function depends on its internalization and intracellular accumulation thus paving the way to a systemic proteomic analysis of intracellular targets/partners of Aβ42.

  5. Long-lasting alterations in membrane properties, K+ currents and glutamatergic synaptic currents of nucleus accumbens medium spiny neurons in a rat model of alcohol dependence

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    Igor eSpigelman

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Chronic alcohol exposure causes marked changes in reinforcement mechanisms and motivational state that are thought to contribute to the development of cravings and relapse during protracted withdrawal. The nucleus accumbens (NAcc is a key structure of the mesolimbic dopaminergic reward system. Although the NAcc plays an important role in mediating alcohol-seeking behaviors, little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying alcohol-induced neuroadaptive changes in NAcc function. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE treatment, a rat model of alcohol withdrawal and dependence, on intrinsic electrical membrane properties and glutamatergic synaptic transmission of medium spiny neurons (MSNs in the NAcc core during protracted withdrawal. We show that CIE treatment followed by prolonged withdrawal increased the inward rectification of MSNs observed at hyperpolarized potentials. In addition, MSNs from CIE-treated animals displayed a lower input resistance, faster action potentials (APs and larger fast afterhyperpolarizations (fAHPs than MSNs from vehicle-treated animals, all suggestive of increases in K+-channel conductances. Significant increases in the Cs+-sensitive inwardly-rectifying K+-current accounted for the increased input resistance, while increases in the A-type K+-current accounted for the faster APs and increased fAHPs in MSNs from CIE rats. We also show that the amplitude and the conductance of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPAR-mediated mEPSCs were enhanced in CIE-treated animals due to an increase in a small fraction of functional postsynaptic GluA2-lacking AMPARs. These long-lasting modifications of excitability and excitatory synaptic receptor function of MSNs in the NAcc core could play a critical role in the neuroadaptive changes underlying alcohol withdrawal and dependence.

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

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    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.

  7. Altered balance of glutamatergic/GABAergic synaptic input and associated changes in dendrite morphology after BDNF expression in BDNF-deficient hippocampal neurons

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    Singh, B; Henneberger, C.; Betances, D.; Arevalo, M. A.; Rodriguez-Tebar, A.; Meier, J C; Grantyn, R.

    2006-01-01

    Cultured neurons from bdnf-/- mice display reduced densities of synaptic terminals, although in vivo these deficits are small or absent. Here we aimed at clarifying the local responses to postsynaptic brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). To this end, solitary enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)-labeled hippocampal neurons from bdnf-/- mice were compared with bdnf-/- neurons after transfection with BDNF, bdnf-/- neurons after transient exposure to exogenous BDNF, and bdnf+/+ neurons...

  8. Multi-walled carbon nanotube inhibits CA1 glutamatergic synaptic transmission in rat's hippocampal slices.

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    Chen, Ting; Yang, Jiajia; Zhang, Hui; Ren, Guogang; Yang, Zhuo; Zhang, Tao

    2014-09-17

    The purpose of the study was to investigate the neurotoxic effect of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) on the properties of glutamatergic synaptic transmission in rat's hippocampal slices using whole-cell patch clamp technique. The amplitude and frequency of excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC) were accessed on the hippocampal pyramidal neurons. The alterations of glutamatergic synaptic transmission in CA3-CA1 were examined by measuring both the amplitude of evoked excitatory postsynaptic current (eEPSC) and paired-pulse ratio (PPR). The data showed that the amplitude of either spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic current (sEPSC) or miniature excitatory postsynaptic current (mEPSC) was significantly inhibited by 1 μg/mL MWCNTs. However, it was found that there was a trend of different change on the frequency index. When 1 μg/mL MWCNTs was applied, there were a decreased frequency of mEPSC and an increased frequency of sEPSC, which might be due to the effect of action potential. Furthermore, the amplitudes of eEPSC at CA3-CA1 synapses were remarkably decreased. And the mean amplitude of AMPAR-mediated eEPSC was significantly reduced as well. Meanwhile, a majority of PPRs data were greater than one. There were no significant differences of PPRs between control and MWCNTs states, but an increased trend of paired-pulse facilitation was found. These results suggested that MWCNT markedly inhibited hippocampal CA1 glutamatergic synaptic transmission in vitro, which provided new insights into the MWCNT toxicology on CNS at cellular level.

  9. M-type potassium channels modulate Schaffer collateral-CA1 glutamatergic synaptic transmission.

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    Sun, Jianli; Kapur, Jaideep

    2012-08-15

    Previous studies have suggested that muscarinic receptor activation modulates glutamatergic transmission. M-type potassium channels mediate the effects of muscarinic activation in the hippocampus, and it has been proposed that they modulate glutamatergic synaptic transmission. We tested whether M1 muscarinic receptor activation enhances glutamatergic synaptic transmission via the inhibition of the M-type potassium channels that are present in Schaffer collateral axons and terminals. Miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) were recorded from CA1 pyramidal neurons. The M1 receptor agonist, NcN-A-343, increased the frequency of mEPSCs, but did not alter their amplitude. The M-channel blocker XE991 and its analogue linopirdine also increased the frequency of mEPSCs. Flupirtine, which opens M-channels, had the opposite effect. XE991 did not enhance mEPSCs frequency in a calcium-free external medium. Blocking P/Q- and N-type calcium channels abolished the effect of XE991 on mEPSCs. These data suggested that the inhibition of M-channels increases presynaptic calcium-dependent glutamate release in CA1 pyramidal neurons. The effects of these agents on the membrane potentials of presynaptic CA3 pyramidal neurons were studied using current clamp recordings; activation of M1 receptors and blocking M-channels depolarized neurons and increased burst firing. The input resistance of CA3 neurons was increased by the application of McN-A-343 and XE991; these effects were consistent with the closure of M-channels. Muscarinic activation inhibits M-channels in CA3 pyramidal neurons and its efferents – Schaffer collateral, which causes the depolarization, activates voltage-gated calcium channels, and ultimately elevates the intracellular calcium concentration to increase the release of glutamate on CA1 pyramidal neurons.

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

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    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'.

  11. In vivo effects of antibodies from patients with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis: further evidence of synaptic glutamatergic dysfunction

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    Manto Mario

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A severe encephalitis that associates with auto-antibodies to the NR1 subunit of the NMDA receptor (NMDA-R was recently reported. Patients' antibodies cause a decrease of the density of NMDA-R and synaptic mediated currents, but the in vivo effects on the extracellular glutamate and glutamatergic transmission are unknown. Methods We investigated the acute metabolic effects of patients' CSF and purified IgG injected in vivo. Injections were performed in CA1 area of Ammon's horn and in premotor cortex in rats. Results Patient's CSF increased the concentrations of glutamate in the extracellular space. The increase was dose-dependent and was dramatic with purified IgG. Patients' CSF impaired both the NMDA- and the AMPA-mediated synaptic regulation of glutamate, and did not affect the glial transport of glutamate. Blockade of GABA-A receptors was associated with a marked elevation of extra-cellular levels of glutamate following a pretreatment with patients' CSF. Conclusion These results support a direct role of NMDA-R antibodies upon altering glutamatergic transmission. Furthermore, we provide additional evidence in vivo that NMDA-R antibodies deregulate the glutamatergic pathways and that the encephalitis associated with these antibodies is an auto-immune synaptic disorder.

  12. Energy substrates to support glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic function

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    Schousboe, Arne; Bak, Lasse K; Sickmann, Helle M;

    2007-01-01

    Maintenance of glutamatergic and GABAergic activity requires a continuous supply of energy since the exocytotic processes as well as high affinity glutamate and GABA uptake and subsequent metabolism of glutamate to glutamine are energy demanding processes. The main energy substrate for the brain ...

  13. Multiple roles for mammalian target of rapamycin signaling in both glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic transmission.

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    Weston, Matthew C; Chen, Hongmei; Swann, John W

    2012-08-15

    The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway in neurons integrates a variety of extracellular signals to produce appropriate translational responses. mTOR signaling is hyperactive in neurological syndromes in both humans and mouse models that are characterized by epilepsy, autism, and cognitive disturbances. In addition, rapamycin, a clinically important immunosuppressant, is a specific and potent inhibitor of mTOR signaling. While mTOR is known to regulate growth and synaptic plasticity of glutamatergic neurons, its effects on basic parameters of synaptic transmission are less well studied, and its role in regulating GABAergic transmission is unexplored. We therefore performed an electrophysiological and morphological comparison of glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons in which mTOR signaling was either increased by loss of the repressor Pten or decreased by treatment with rapamycin. We found that hyperactive mTOR signaling increased evoked synaptic responses in both glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons by ∼50%, due to an increase in the number of synaptic vesicles available for release, the number of synapses formed, and the miniature event size. Prolonged (72 h) rapamycin treatment prevented these abnormalities and also decreased synaptic transmission in wild-type glutamatergic, but not GABAergic, neurons. Further analyses suggested that hyperactivation of the mTOR pathway also impairs presynaptic function, possibly by interfering with vesicle fusion. Despite this presynaptic impairment, the net effect of Pten loss is enhanced synaptic transmission in both GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons, which has numerous implications, depending on where in the brain mutations of an mTOR suppressor gene occur.

  14. Effects of hypoxia on glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic transmission%缺氧对谷氨酸能和GABA能突触传递的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李晶; 杜永平; 张月萍

    2013-01-01

    Neurons in the mammalian central nervous sysytem (CNS) are highly sensitive to the availability of oxygen. Hypoxia alters synaptic transmission in a few minutes. Both glutamatergic and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic synaptic transmissions respond to hypoxic exposure with prominent modification. Glutamate receptors, GABA receptors, adenosine receptor, and some endogenous neuromodulators are involved in the preservation of neuron function. Since the neuroprotection in all hypoxic tolerant species examined so far relies on significant increase in GABA and decrease in glutamate , it may be an important strategy to make a moderate balance of glutamate/GAB A synaptic transmission against hypoxic insults.

  15. Effect of VGLUT inhibitors on glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the rodent hippocampus and prefrontal cortex.

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    Neale, S A; Copeland, C S; Salt, T E

    2014-07-01

    Vesicular glutamate transporters (VGLUTs) are known to be important in the uptake of glutamate into vesicles in the presynaptic terminal; thereby playing a role in synaptic function. VGLUT dysfunction has also been suggested in neurological and psychiatric disorders such as epilepsy and schizophrenia. A number of compounds have been identified as VGLUT inhibitors; however, little is known as to how these compounds affect synaptic transmission. We therefore investigated the effects of structurally unrelated VGLUT inhibitors on synaptic transmission in the rodent hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. In the CA1 and dentate gyrus regions of the in vitro slice preparation of mouse hippocampus, AMPA receptor-mediated field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) were evoked in response to Schaffer collateral/commissural pathway stimulation. Application of the VGLUT inhibitors Rose Bengal (RB), Congo Red (CR) or Chicago Sky Blue 6B (CB) resulted in a concentration-related reduction of fEPSP amplitudes. RB (30μM) or CB (300μM) also depressed NMDA receptor-mediated responses in the CA1 region. The naturally occurring kynurenine Xanthurenic Acid (XA) is reported to be a VGLUT inhibitor. We found XA attenuated both AMPA and NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission. The potency order of the VGLUT inhibitors was consistent with literature Ki values for VGLUT inhibition. Impaired glutamatergic neurotransmission is believed to contribute to schizophrenia, and VGLUTs have also been implicated in this disease. We therefore investigated the effect of VGLUT inhibition in the prefrontal cortex. Application of the VGLUT inhibitors RB or CB resulted in a concentration-dependent reduction in the amplitude of glutamate receptor-mediated fEPSPs recorded in layer V/VI in response to stimulation in the forceps minor. We conclude that VGLUT inhibitors can modulate glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the PFC and hippocampus. This could be important in the pathophysiology of nervous

  16. Melatonin receptor activation increases glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the rat medial lateral habenula.

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    Evely, Katherine M; Hudson, Randall L; Dubocovich, Margarita L; Haj-Dahmane, Samir

    2016-05-01

    Melatonin (MLT) is secreted from the pineal gland and mediates its physiological effects through activation of two G protein-coupled receptors, MT1 and MT2 . These receptors are expressed in several brain areas, including the habenular complex, a pair of nuclei that relay information from forebrain to midbrain and modulate a plethora of behaviors, including sleep, mood, and pain. However, so far, the precise mechanisms by which MLT control the function of habenula neurons remain unknown. Using whole cell recordings from male rat brain slices, we examined the effects of MLT on the excitability of medial lateral habenula (MLHb) neurons. We found that MLT had no significant effects on the intrinsic excitability of MLHb neurons, but profoundly increased the amplitude of glutamate-mediated evoked excitatory post-synaptic currents (EPSC). The increase in strength of glutamate synapses onto MLHb neurons was mediated by an increase in glutamate release. The MLT-induced increase in glutamatergic synaptic transmission was blocked by the competitive MT1 /MT2 receptor antagonist luzindole (LUZ). These results unravel a potential cellular mechanism by which MLT receptor activation enhances the excitability of MLHb neurons. The MLT-mediated control of glutamatergic inputs to the MLHb may play a key role in the modulation of various behaviors controlled by the habenular complex.

  17. The NG2 Protein Is Not Required for Glutamatergic Neuron-NG2 Cell Synaptic Signaling.

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    Passlick, Stefan; Trotter, Jacqueline; Seifert, Gerald; Steinhäuser, Christian; Jabs, Ronald

    2016-01-01

    NG2 glial cells (as from now NG2 cells) are unique in receiving synaptic input from neurons. However, the components regulating formation and maintenance of these neuron-glia synapses remain elusive. The transmembrane protein NG2 has been considered a potential mediator of synapse formation and alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPAR) clustering, because it contains 2 extracellular Laminin G/Neurexin/Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin domains, which in neurons are crucial for formation of transsynaptic neuroligin-neurexin complexes. NG2 is connected via Glutamate Receptor-Interacting Protein with GluA2/3-containing AMPARs, thereby possibly mediating receptor clustering in glial postsynaptic density. To elucidate the role of NG2 in neuron-glia communication, we investigated glutamatergic synaptic transmission in juvenile and aged hippocampal NG2 cells of heterozygous and homozygous NG2 knockout mice. Neuron-NG2 cell synapses readily formed in the absence of NG2. Short-term plasticity, synaptic connectivity, postsynaptic AMPAR current kinetics, and density were not affected by NG2 deletion. During development, an NG2-independent acceleration of AMPAR current kinetics and decreased synaptic connectivity were observed. Our results indicate that the lack of NG2 does not interfere with genesis and basic properties of neuron-glia synapses. In addition, we demonstrate frequent expression of neuroligins 1-3 in juvenile and aged NG2 cells, suggesting a role of these molecules in synapse formation between NG2 glia and neurons.

  18. Glutamatergic modulation of synaptic-like vesicle recycling in mechanosensory lanceolate nerve terminals of mammalian hair follicles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Banks, R.W.; Cahusac, P.M.; Graca, A.; Kain, N.; Shenton, F.; Singh, P.; Nja, A.; Simon, A.; Watson, S.; Slater, C.R.; Bewick, G.S.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Our aim in the present study was to determine whether a glutamatergic modulatory system involving synaptic-like vesicles (SLVs) is present in the lanceolate ending of the mouse and rat hair follicle and, if so, to assess its similarity to that of the rat muscle spindle annulospiral ending w

  19. Methamphetamine modulates glutamatergic synaptic transmission in rat primary cultured hippocampal neurons.

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    Zhang, Shuzhuo; Jin, Yuelei; Liu, Xiaoyan; Yang, Lujia; Ge, Zhi juan; Wang, Hui; Li, Jin; Zheng, Jianquan

    2014-09-25

    Methamphetamine (METH) is a psychostimulant drug. Abuse of METH produces long-term behavioral changes including behavioral, sensitization, tolerance, and dependence. It induces neurotoxic effects in several areas of the brain via enhancing dopamine (DA) level abnormally, which may cause a secondary release of glutamate (GLU). However, repeated administration of METH still increases release of GLU even when dopamine content in tissue is significantly depleted. It implies that some other mechanisms are likely to involve in METH-induced GLU release. The goal of this study was to observe METH affected glutamatergic synaptic transmission in rat primary cultured hippocampal neurons and to explore the mechanism of METH modulated GLU release. Using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings, we found that METH (0.1-50.0μM) increased the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) and miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs). However, METH decreased the frequency of sEPSCs and mEPSCs at high concentration of 100μM. The postsynaptic NMDA receptor currents and P/Q-type calcium channel were not affected by the use of METH (10,100μM). METH did not present visible effect on N-type Ca(2+) channel current at the concentration lower than 50.0μM, but it was inhibited by use of METH at a 100μM. The effect of METH on glutamatergic synaptic transmission was not revered by pretreated with DA receptor antagonist SCH23390. These results suggest that METH directly modulated presynaptic GLU release at a different concentration, while dopaminergic system was not involved in METH modulated release of GLU in rat primary cultured hippocampal neurons.

  20. Dysfunctional astrocytic and synaptic regulation of hypothalamic glutamatergic transmission in a mouse model of early-life adversity: relevance to neurosteroids and programming of the stress response.

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

    2013-12-11

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

  1. Glutamatergic synaptic currents of nigral dopaminergic neurons follow a postnatal developmental sequence

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    Edouard ePearlstein

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The spontaneous activity pattern of adult dopaminergic (DA neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc results from interactions between intrinsic membrane conductances and afferent inputs. In adult SNc DA neurons, low-frequency tonic background activity is generated by intrinsic pacemaker mechanisms, whereas burst generation depends on intact synaptic inputs in particular the glutamatergic ones. Tonic DA release in the striatum during pacemaking is required to maintain motor activity, and burst firing evokes phasic DA release, necessary for cue-dependent learning tasks. However, it is still unknown how the firing properties of SNc DA neurons mature during postnatal development before reaching the adult state. We studied the postnatal developmental profile of spontaneous and evoked AMPA and NMDA receptor-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs in SNc DA neurons in brain slices from immature (postnatal days P4-10 and young adult (P30-50 tyrosine hydroxylase (TH-GFP mice. We found that somato-dendritic fields of SNc DA neurons are already mature at P4-10. In contrast, spontaneous glutamatergic EPSCs show a developmental sequence. Spontaneous NMDA EPSCs in particular are larger and more frequent in immature SNc DA neurons than in young adult ones and have a bursty pattern. They are mediated by GluN2B and GluN2D subunit-containing NMDA receptors. The latter generate long-lasting, DQP1105-sensitive, spontaneous EPSCs, which are transiently recorded during this early period. Due to high NMDA activity, immature SNc DA neurons generate large and long lasting NMDA receptor-dependent (APV-sensitive bursts in response to the stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus. We conclude that the transient high NMDA activity allows calcium influx into the dendrites of developing SNc DA neurons.

  2. Global brain gene expression analysis links glutamatergic and GABAergic alterations to suicide and major depression.

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    Adolfo Sequeira

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Most studies investigating the neurobiology of depression and suicide have focused on the serotonergic system. While it seems clear that serotonergic alterations play a role in the pathogenesis of these major public health problems, dysfunction in additional neurotransmitter systems and other molecular alterations may also be implicated. Microarray expression studies are excellent screening tools to generate hypotheses about additional molecular processes that may be at play. In this study we investigated brain regions that are known to be implicated in the neurobiology of suicide and major depression are likely to represent valid global molecular alterations. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We performed gene expression analysis using the HG-U133AB chipset in 17 cortical and subcortical brain regions from suicides with and without major depression and controls. Total mRNA for microarray analysis was obtained from 663 brain samples isolated from 39 male subjects, including 26 suicide cases and 13 controls diagnosed by means of psychological autopsies. Independent brain samples from 34 subjects and animal studies were used to control for the potential confounding effects of comorbidity with alcohol. Using a Gene Ontology analysis as our starting point, we identified molecular pathways that may be involved in depression and suicide, and performed follow-up analyses on these possible targets. Methodology included gene expression measures from microarrays, Gene Score Resampling for global ontological profiling, and semi-quantitative RT-PCR. We observed the highest number of suicide specific alterations in prefrontal cortical areas and hippocampus. Our results revealed alterations of synaptic neurotransmission and intracellular signaling. Among these, Glutamatergic (GLU and GABAergic related genes were globally altered. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR results investigating expression of GLU and GABA receptor subunit genes were consistent with

  3. Glutamatergic modulation of synaptic-like vesicle recycling in mechanosensory lanceolate nerve terminals of mammalian hair follicles

    OpenAIRE

    Robert W Banks; Cahusac, Peter M. B.; Graca, Anna; Kain, Nakul; Shenton, Fiona; Singh, Paramjeet; Njå, Arild; Simon, Anna; Watson, Sonia; Slater, Clarke R; Bewick, Guy S.

    2013-01-01

    Our aim in the present study was to determine whether a glutamatergic modulatory system involving synaptic-like vesicles (SLVs) is present in the lanceolate ending of the mouse and rat hair follicle and, if so, to assess its similarity to that of the rat muscle spindle annulospiral ending we have described previously. Both types of endings are formed by the peripheral sensory terminals of primary mechanosensory dorsal root ganglion cells, so the presence of such a system in the lanceolate end...

  4. Interplay between glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission alterations in cognitive and motor impairment in minimal hepatic encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llansola, Marta; Montoliu, Carmina; Agusti, Ana; Hernandez-Rabaza, Vicente; Cabrera-Pastor, Andrea; Gomez-Gimenez, Belen; Malaguarnera, Michele; Dadsetan, Sherry; Belghiti, Majedeline; Garcia-Garcia, Raquel; Balzano, Tiziano; Taoro, Lucas; Felipo, Vicente

    2015-09-01

    The cognitive and motor alterations in hepatic encephalopathy (HE) are the final result of altered neurotransmission and communication between neurons in neuronal networks and circuits. Different neurotransmitter systems cooperate to modulate cognitive and motor function, with a main role for glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission in different brain areas and neuronal circuits. There is an interplay between glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission alterations in cognitive and motor impairment in HE. This interplay may occur: (a) in different brain areas involved in specific neuronal circuits; (b) in the same brain area through cross-modulation of glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission. We will summarize some examples of the (1) interplay between glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission alterations in different areas in the basal ganglia-thalamus-cortex circuit in the motor alterations in minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE); (2) interplay between glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission alterations in cerebellum in the impairment of cognitive function in MHE through altered function of the glutamate-nitric oxide-cGMP pathway. We will also comment the therapeutic implications of the above studies and the utility of modulators of glutamate and GABA receptors to restore cognitive and motor function in rats with hyperammonemia and hepatic encephalopathy.

  5. Dissociation of μ- and δ-opioid inhibition of glutamatergic synaptic transmission in superficial dorsal horn

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    Vaughan Christopher W

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There is anatomical and behavioural evidence that μ- and δ-opioid receptors modulate distinct nociceptive modalities within the superficial dorsal horn. The aim of the present study was to examine whether μ- and δ-opioid receptor activation differentially modulates TRP sensitive inputs to neurons within the superficial dorsal horn. To do this, whole cell patch clamp recordings were made from lamina I - II neurons in rat spinal cord slices in vitro to examine the effect of opioids on TRP agonist-enhanced glutamatergic spontaneous miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs. Results Under basal conditions the μ-opioid agonist DAMGO (3 μM reduced the rate of miniature EPSCs in 68% of neurons, while the δ- and κ-opioid agonists deltorphin-II (300 nM and U69593 (300 nM did so in 13 - 17% of neurons tested. The TRP agonists menthol (400 μM and icilin (100 μM both produced a Ca2+-dependent increase in miniature EPSC rate which was unaffected by the voltage dependent calcium channel (VDCC blocker Cd2+. The proportion of neurons in which deltorphin-II reduced the miniature EPSC rate was enhanced in the presence of icilin (83%, but not menthol (0%. By contrast, the proportion of DAMGO and U69593 responders was unaltered in the presence of menthol (57%, 0%, or icilin (57%, 17%. Conclusions These findings demonstrate that δ-opioid receptor activation selectively inhibits inputs activated by icilin, whereas μ-opioid receptor activation has a more widespread effect on synaptic inputs to neurons in the superficial dorsal horn. These findings suggest that δ-opioids may provide a novel analgesic approach for specific, TRPA1-like mediated pain modalities.

  6. Effects of Fluoxetine and Visual Experience on Glutamatergic and GABAergic Synaptic Proteins in Adult Rat Visual Cortex.

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    Beshara, Simon; Beston, Brett R; Pinto, Joshua G A; Murphy, Kathryn M

    2015-01-01

    Fluoxetine has emerged as a novel treatment for persistent amblyopia because in adult animals it reinstates critical period-like ocular dominance plasticity and promotes recovery of visual acuity. Translation of these results from animal models to the clinic, however, has been challenging because of the lack of understanding of how this selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor affects glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic mechanisms that are essential for experience-dependent plasticity. An appealing hypothesis is that fluoxetine recreates a critical period (CP)-like state by shifting synaptic mechanisms to be more juvenile. To test this we studied the effect of fluoxetine treatment in adult rats, alone or in combination with visual deprivation [monocular deprivation (MD)], on a set of highly conserved presynaptic and postsynaptic proteins (synapsin, synaptophysin, VGLUT1, VGAT, PSD-95, gephyrin, GluN1, GluA2, GluN2B, GluN2A, GABAAα1, GABAAα3). We did not find evidence that fluoxetine shifted the protein amounts or balances to a CP-like state. Instead, it drove the balances in favor of the more mature subunits (GluN2A, GABAAα1). In addition, when fluoxetine was paired with MD it created a neuroprotective-like environment by normalizing the glutamatergic gain found in adult MDs. Together, our results suggest that fluoxetine treatment creates a novel synaptic environment dominated by GluN2A- and GABAAα1-dependent plasticity.

  7. Pre-synaptic adenosine A2A receptors control cannabinoid CB1 receptor-mediated inhibition of striatal glutamatergic neurotransmission.

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    Martire, Alberto; Tebano, Maria Teresa; Chiodi, Valentina; Ferreira, Samira G; Cunha, Rodrigo A; Köfalvi, Attila; Popoli, Patrizia

    2011-01-01

    An interaction between adenosine A(2A) receptors (A(2A) Rs) and cannabinoid CB(1) receptors (CB(1) Rs) has been consistently reported to occur in the striatum, although the precise mechanisms are not completely understood. As both receptors control striatal glutamatergic transmission, we now probed the putative interaction between pre-synaptic CB(1) R and A(2A) R in the striatum. In extracellular field potentials recordings in corticostriatal slices from Wistar rats, A(2A) R activation by CGS21680 inhibited CB(1) R-mediated effects (depression of synaptic response and increase in paired-pulse facilitation). Moreover, in superfused rat striatal nerve terminals, A(2A) R activation prevented, while A(2A) R inhibition facilitated, the CB(1) R-mediated inhibition of 4-aminopyridine-evoked glutamate release. In summary, the present study provides converging neurochemical and electrophysiological support for the occurrence of a tight control of CB(1) R function by A(2A) Rs in glutamatergic terminals of the striatum. In view of the key role of glutamate to trigger the recruitment of striatal circuits, this pre-synaptic interaction between CB(1) R and A(2A) R may be of relevance for the pathogenesis and the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders affecting the basal ganglia.

  8. Involvement of ClC-3 chloride/proton exchangers in controlling glutamatergic synaptic strength in cultured hippocampal neurons

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    Raul Enrique Guzman

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available ClC-3 is a member of the CLC family of anion channels and transporters that localizes to early and late endosomes as well as to synaptic vesicles. Its genetic disruption in mouse models results in pronounced hippocampal and retinal neurodegeneration, suggesting that ClC-3 might be important for normal excitatory and/or inhibitory neurotransmission in central neurons. To characterize the role of ClC-3 in glutamate accumulation in synaptic vesicles we compared glutamatergic synaptic transmission in cultured hippocampal neurons from WT and Clcn3-/- mice. In Clcn3-/- neurons the amplitude and frequency of miniature as well as the amplitudes of action-potential evoked EPSCs were significantly increased as compared to WT neurons. The low-affinity competitive AMPA receptor antagonist -DGG reduced the quantal size of synaptic events more effectively in WT than in Clcn3-/- neurons, whereas no difference was observed for the high-affinity competitive non-NMDA antagonist NBQX. Paired pulse ratios of evoked EPSCs were significantly reduced, whereas the size of the readily releasable pool was not affected by the genetic ablation of ClC-3. Electron microscopy revealed increased volumes of synaptic vesicles in hippocampi of Clcn3-/- mice. Our findings demonstrate that ClC-3 controls fast excitatory synaptic transmission by regulating the amount of neurotransmitter as well as the release probability of synaptic vesicles. These results provide novel insights into the role of ClC-3 in synaptic transmission and identify excessive glutamate release as a likely basis of neurodegeneration in Clcn3-/-.

  9. Synaptic vesicle cycling is not impaired in a glutamatergic and a cholinergic synapse that exhibit deficits in acidification and filling

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    Bento João Abreu

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of the present work was to investigate synaptic vesicle trafficking when vesicles exhibit alterations in filling and acidification in two different synapses: a cholinergic frog neuromuscular junction and a glutamatergic ribbon-type nerve terminal in the retina. These synapses display remarkable structural and functional differences, and the mechanisms regulating synaptic vesicle cycling might also differ between them. The lipophilic styryl dye FM1-43 was used to monitor vesicle trafficking. Both preparations were exposed to pharmacological agents that collapse ΔpH (NH4Cl and methylamine or the whole ΔµH+ (bafilomycin, a necessary situation to provide the driving force for neurotransmitter accumulation into synaptic vesicles. The results showed that FM1-43 loading and unloading in neuromuscular junctions did not differ statistically between control and experimental conditions (P > 0.05. Also, FM1-43 labeling in bipolar cell terminals proved highly similar under all conditions tested. Despite remarkable differences in both experimental models, the present findings show that acidification and filling are not required for normal vesicle trafficking in either synapse.O objetivo do presente trabalho foi investigar o tráfego de vesículas sinápticas quando estas apresentam alterações no armazenamento de neurotransmissores e acidificação em duas distintas sinapses: a junção neuromuscular colinérgica de rãs versus o terminal nervoso glutamatérgico do tipo ribbon em céulas bipolares da retina. Essas sinapses exibem notáveis diferenças estruturais e funcionais e os mecanismos de regulação de ciclo das vesículas sinápticas podem ser diferentes entre eles. Para monitorar o tráfego de vesícula, foi utilizado o marcador lipofílico FM1-43. Ambas as preparações foram expostas a agentes farmacológicos que provocam o colapso de ΔpH (NH4Cl e metilamina ou de todo ΔµH+ (bafilomicina, gradientes necessários para o ac

  10. Synaptic secretion of BDNF after high-frequency stimulation of glutamatergic synapses

    OpenAIRE

    Hartmann, Matthias; Heumann, Rolf; Lessmann, Volkmar

    2001-01-01

    The protein brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been postulated to be a retrograde or paracrine synaptic messenger in long-term potentiation and other forms of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. Although crucial for this concept, direct evidence for the activity-dependent synaptic release of BDNF is lacking. Here we investigate secretion of BDNF labelled with green fluorescent protein (BDNF–GFP) by monitoring the changes in fluorescence intensity of dendritic BDNF–GFP vesicles a...

  11. Alteration in synaptic junction proteins following traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merlo, Lucia; Cimino, Francesco; Angileri, Filippo Flavio; La Torre, Domenico; Conti, Alfredo; Cardali, Salvatore Massimiliano; Saija, Antonella; Germanò, Antonino

    2014-08-15

    Extensive research and scientific efforts have been focused on the elucidation of the pathobiology of cellular and axonal damage following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Conversely, few studies have specifically addressed the issue of synaptic dysfunction. Synaptic junction proteins may be involved in post-TBI alterations, leading to synaptic loss or disrupted plasticity. A Synapse Protein Database on synapse ontology identified 109 domains implicated in synaptic activities and over 5000 proteins, but few of these demonstrated to play a role in the synaptic dysfunction after TBI. These proteins are involved in neuroplasticity and neuromodulation and, most importantly, may be used as novel neuronal markers of TBI for specific intervention.

  12. 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.

  13. The effects of stress on glutamatergic transmission in the brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Ti-Fei; Hou, Gonglin

    2015-01-01

    Stress leads to detrimental effects on brain functions and results in various diseases. Recent studies highlight the involvement of glutamatergic transmission in pathogenesis of depressive behaviors and fears. Acute stress generates different impacts on the excitatory transmission compared to chronic stress. Different neuromodulators and epigenetic factors also participate in the alteration of synaptic transmission and the regulation of synaptic plasticity. Restoration of the glutamatergic transmission in stress-affected brain areas therefore provides novel directions of therapeutic interventions against stress.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Emanuele

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  16. Mechanisms of Synaptic Alterations in a Neuroinflammation Model of Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-10-01

    1 Award Number: W81XWH-13-1-0440 TITLE: Mechanisms of Synaptic Alterations in a Neuroinflammation Model of Autism PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Anna...29Sep2014 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Mechanisms of Synaptic Alterations in a Neuroinflammation Model of Autism 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER W81XWH-13-1-0440 5b...Here we investigated how Maternal Immune Activation (MIA), a risk factor for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) affects the development of synapses

  17. Aβ induces acute depression of excitatory glutamatergic synaptic transmission through distinct phosphatase-dependent mechanisms in rat CA1 pyramidal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Wen; Zou, Hao-Jun; Sun, Da; Ren, Si-Qiang

    2013-06-17

    Beta-amyloid peptide (Aβ) has a causal role in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Recent studies indicate that Aβ can disrupt excitatory glutamatergic synaptic function at synaptic level. However, the underlying mechanisms remain obscure. In this study, we recorded evoked and spontaneous EPSCs in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons via whole-cell voltage-clamping methods and found that 1 μM Aβ can induce acute depression of basal glutamatergic synaptic transmission through both presynaptic and postsynaptic dysfunction. Moreover, we also found that Aβ-induced both presynaptic and postsynaptic dysfunction can be reversed by the inhibitor of protein phosphatase 2B (PP2B), FK506, whereas only postsynaptic disruption can be ameliorated by the inhibitor of PP1/PP2A, Okadaic acid (OA). These results indicate that PP1/PP2A and PP2B have overlapping but not identical functions in Aβ-induced acute depression of excitatory glutamatergic synaptic transmission of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons.

  18. Nicotinic, glutamatergic and dopaminergic synaptic transmission and plasticity in the mesocorticolimbic system: focus on nicotine effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pistillo, Francesco; Clementi, Francesco; Zoli, Michele; Gotti, Cecilia

    2015-01-01

    Cigarette smoking is currently the leading cause of preventable deaths and disability throughout the world, being responsible for about five million premature deaths/year. Unfortunately, fewer than 10% of tobacco users who try to stop smoking actually manage to do so. The main addictive agent delivered by cigarette smoke is nicotine, which induces psychostimulation and reward, and reduces stress and anxiety. The use of new technologies (including optogenetics) and the development of mouse models characterised by cell-specific deletions of receptor subtype genes or the expression of gain-of-function nAChR subunits has greatly increased our understanding of the molecular mechanisms and neural substrates of nicotine addiction first revealed by classic electrophysiological, neurochemical and behavioural approaches. It is now becoming clear that various aspects of nicotine dependence are mediated by close interactions of the glutamatergic, dopaminergic and γ-aminobutyric acidergic systems in the mesocorticolimbic system. This review is divided into two parts. The first provides an updated overview of the circuitry of the ventral tegmental area, ventral striatum and prefrontal cortex, the neurotransmitter receptor subtypes expressed in these areas, and their physiological role in the mesocorticolimbic system. The second will focus on the molecular, functional and behavioural mechanisms involved in the acute and chronic effects of nicotine on the mesocorticolimbic system.

  19. 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.

  20. Peptide and lipid modulation of glutamatergic afferent synaptic transmission in the solitary tract nucleus

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    Michael C. Andresen

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The brainstem nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS holds the first central neurons in major homeostatic reflex pathways. These homeostatic reflexes regulate and coordinate multiple organ systems from gastrointestinal to cardiopulmonary functions. The core of many of these pathways arise from cranial visceral afferent neurons that enter the brain as the solitary tract (ST with more than two-thirds arising from the gastrointestinal system. About one quarter of ST afferents have myelinated axons but the majority are classed as unmyelinated C-fibers. All ST afferents release the fast neurotransmitter glutamate with remarkably similar, high-probability release characteristics. Second order NTS neurons receive surprisingly limited primary afferent information with one or two individual inputs converging on single second order NTS neurons. A- and C-fiber afferents never mix at NTS second order neurons. Many transmitters modify the basic glutamatergic excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC often by reducing glutamate release or interrupting terminal depolarization. Thus, a distinguishing feature of ST transmission is presynaptic expression of G-protein coupled receptors for peptides common to peripheral or forebrain (e.g. hypothalamus neuron sources. Presynaptic receptors for angiotensin (AT1, vasopressin (V1a, oxytocin (OT, opioid (MOR, ghrelin (GHSR1 and cholecystokinin (CCK differentially control glutamate release on particular subsets of neurons with most other ST afferents unaffected. Lastly, lipid-like signals are transduced by two key ST presynaptic receptors, the transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1 and the cannabinoid receptor (CB1 that oppositely control glutamate release. Increasing evidence suggests that peripheral nervous signaling mechanisms are repurposed at central terminals to control excitation and are major sites of signal integration of peripheral and central inputs particularly from the hypothalamus.

  1. Glutamatergic synaptic inputs activate neurons in the subfornical organ through non-NMDA receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, S H; Inenaga, K; Honda, E; Yamashita, H

    2000-01-14

    The subfornical organ (SFO) plays an important role in central regulation of the autonomic nervous system. The synaptic transmission properties of neurons in the SFO were studied with intracellular and whole-cell patch clamp recordings in the rat slice preparations. Both the spontaneous and evoked excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) and currents (EPSCs) were almost completely suppressed by the glutamate receptor antagonist kynurenic acid and the non-NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartic acid) antagonist CNQX. The non-NMDA agonist kainic acid depolarized the membrane most potently, compared with NMDA and quisqualic acid. These suggest that glutamate is a main excitatory neurotransmitter in the SFO and that its action is at least partly mediated through non-NMDA receptors.

  2. Glutamatergic modulation of synaptic-like vesicle recycling in mechanosensory lanceolate nerve terminals of mammalian hair follicles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banks, Robert W; Cahusac, Peter M B; Graca, Anna; Kain, Nakul; Shenton, Fiona; Singh, Paramjeet; Njå, Arild; Simon, Anna; Watson, Sonia; Slater, Clarke R; Bewick, Guy S

    2013-05-15

    Our aim in the present study was to determine whether a glutamatergic modulatory system involving synaptic-like vesicles (SLVs) is present in the lanceolate ending of the mouse and rat hair follicle and, if so, to assess its similarity to that of the rat muscle spindle annulospiral ending we have described previously. Both types of endings are formed by the peripheral sensory terminals of primary mechanosensory dorsal root ganglion cells, so the presence of such a system in the lanceolate ending would provide support for our hypothesis that it is a general property of fundamental importance to the regulation of the responsiveness of the broad class of primary mechanosensory endings. We show not only that an SLV-based system is present in lanceolate endings, but also that there are clear parallels between its operation in the two types of mechanosensory endings. In particular, we demonstrate that, as in the muscle spindle: (i) FM1-43 labels the sensory terminals of the lanceolate ending, rather than the closely associated accessory (glial) cells; (ii) the dye enters and leaves the terminals primarily by SLV recycling; (iii) the dye does not block the electrical response to mechanical stimulation, in contrast to its effect on the hair cell and dorsal root ganglion cells in culture; (iv) SLV recycling is Ca(2+) sensitive; and (v) the sensory terminals are enriched in glutamate. Thus, in the lanceolate sensory ending SLV recycling is itself regulated, at least in part, by glutamate acting through a phospholipase D-coupled metabotropic glutamate receptor.

  3. Enhanced Glutamatergic Synaptic Plasticity in the Hippocampal CA1 Field of Food-Restricted Rats: Involvement of CB1 Receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talani, Giuseppe; Licheri, Valentina; Biggio, Francesca; Locci, Valentina; Mostallino, Maria Cristina; Secci, Pietro Paolo; Melis, Valentina; Dazzi, Laura; Carta, Gianfranca; Banni, Sebastiano; Biggio, Giovanni; Sanna, Enrico

    2016-04-01

    The endogenous endocannabinoid system has a crucial role in regulating appetite and feeding behavior in mammals, as well as working memory and reward mechanisms. In order to elucidate the possible role of cannabinoid type-1 receptors (CB1Rs) in the regulation of hippocampal plasticity in animals exposed to food restriction (FR), we limited the availability of food to a 2-h daily period for 3 weeks in Sprague-Dawley rats. FR rats showed a higher long-term potentiation at hippocampal CA1 excitatory synapses with a parallel increase in glutamate release when compared with animals fed ad libitum. FR rats showed a significant increase in the long-term spatial memory determined by Barnes maze. FR was also associated with a decreased inhibitory effect of the CB1R agonist win55,212-2 on glutamatergic field excitatory postsynaptic potentials, together with a decrease in hippocampal CB1R protein expression. In addition, hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor protein levels and mushroom dendritic spine density were significantly enhanced in FR rats. Altogether, our data suggest that alterations of hippocampal CB1R expression and function in FR rats are associated with dendritic spine remodeling and functional potentiation of CA1 excitatory synapses, and these findings are consistent with increasing evidence supporting the idea that FR may improve cognitive functions.

  4. A subnanomolar concentration of Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase-Activating Polypeptide (PACAP) pre-synaptically modulates glutamatergic transmission in the rat hippocampus acting through acetylcholine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pecoraro, Valeria; Sardone, Lara Maria; Chisari, Mariangela; Licata, Flora; Li Volsi, Guido; Perciavalle, Vincenzo; Ciranna, Lucia; Costa, Lara

    2017-01-06

    The neuropeptide PACAP modulates synaptic transmission in the hippocampus exerting multiple effects through different receptor subtypes: the underlying mechanisms have not yet been completely elucidated. The neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) also exerts a well-documented modulation of hippocampal synaptic transmission and plasticity. Since PACAP was shown to stimulate ACh release in the hippocampus, we tested whether PACAP acting through ACh might indirectly modulate glutamate-mediated synaptic transmission at a pre- and/or at a post-synaptic level. Using patch clamp on rat hippocampal slices, we tested PACAP effects on stimulation-evoked AMPA receptor-mediated excitatory post-synaptic currents (EPSCsAMPA) in the CA3-CA1 synapse and on spontaneous miniature EPSCs (mEPSCs) in CA1 pyramidal neurons. A subnanomolar dose of PACAP (0.5nM) decreased EPSCsAMPA amplitude, enhanced EPSC paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) and reduced mEPSC frequency, indicating a pre-synaptic decrease of glutamate release probability: these effects were abolished by simultaneous blockade of muscarinic and nicotinic ACh receptors, indicating the involvement of endogenous ACh. The effect of subnanomolar PACAP was abolished by a PAC1 receptor antagonist but not by a VPAC receptor blocker. At a higher concentration (10nM), PACAP inhibited EPSCsAMPA: this effect persisted in the presence of ACh receptor antagonists and did not involve any change in PPF or in mEPSC frequency, thus was not mediated by ACh and was exerted post- synaptically on CA1 pyramidal neurons. We suggest that a high-affinity PAC1 receptor pre-synaptically modulates hippocampal glutamatergic transmission acting through ACh. Therefore, administration of PACAP at very low doses might be envisaged in cognitive diseases with reduced cholinergic transmission.

  5. Synaptic plasticity in glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission following chronic memantine treatment in an in vitro model of limbic epileptogenesis.

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    He, Shuijin; Bausch, Suzanne B

    2014-02-01

    Chronic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) blockade with high affinity competitive and uncompetitive antagonists can lead to seizure exacerbation, presumably due to an imbalance in glutamatergic and GABAergic transmission. Acute administration of the moderate affinity NMDAR antagonist memantine in vivo has been associated with pro- and anticonvulsive properties. Chronic treatment with memantine can exacerbate seizures. Therefore, we hypothesized that chronic memantine treatment would increase glutamatergic and decrease GABAergic transmission, similar to high affinity competitive and uncompetitive antagonists. To test this hypothesis, organotypic hippocampal slice culture were treated for 17-21 days with memantine and then subjected to electrophysiological recordings. Whole-cell recordings from dentate granule cells revealed that chronic memantine treatment slightly, but significantly increased sEPSC frequency, mEPSC amplitude and mEPSC charge transfer, consistent with minimally increased glutamatergic transmission. Chronic memantine treatment also increased both sIPSC and mIPSC frequency and amplitude, suggestive of increased GABAergic transmission. Results suggest that a simple imbalance between glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission may not underlie memantine's ictogenic properties. That said, glutamatergic and GABAergic transmission were assayed independently of one another in the current study. More complex interactions between glutamatergic and GABAergic transmission may prevail under conditions of intact circuitry.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  7. Dissociation of CA3 pyramidal cells with attached, functional, identified mossy fiber and interneuronal boutons for studying glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beltrán, Jesús Q; Reyes, Sebastián; Pérez-Guzmán, José A; Elías-Viñas, David; Gutiérrez, Rafael

    2012-07-15

    Pyramidal cells of CA3 area receive glutamatergic signals from the mossy fibers (MFs), perforant path and collaterals of other pyramidal cells, as well as GABAergic inputs from interneurons. In hippocampal slices, an extracellular stimulation electrode is often used to activate the MFs, with the disadvantage of possibly activating fibers other than MFs. We set-up a preparation that allows the analysis of the glutamatergic input from identified, giant MF boutons as well as of GABAergic inputs from boutons of interneurons on single CA3 pyramidal cells. Mossy fiber boutons were labeled by exposing hippocampal slices to a zinc-reactive fluorescent dye, or by injecting a fluorescent dye in the granule cell layer and allowing its transport along the MFs to their terminals in CA3 area. After conducting an enzyme-free, mechanical dissociation of CA3 area, we obtained pyramidal cells containing fluorescent, giant MF boutons attached to their apical dendrites, as well as boutons of interneuronal origin. Whole cell recordings were then performed, whereby synaptic responses could be evoked by selective stimulation of the identified boutons. The synaptic currents evoked by stimulation of MF boutons, unlike those evoked by stimulation of interneuronal boutons, underwent strong frequency potentiation and were depressed by activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors, which are characteristics of transmission of MF origin. Combination of fluorophores can be used to label different tracts/boutons allowing the study of the different characteristics of neurotransmitter release from a variety of sources on single target cells.

  8. Multi-locus genome-wide association analysis supports the role of glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the etiology of major depressive disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, P H; Perlis, R H; Jung, J-Y; Byrne, E M; Rueckert, E; Siburian, R; Haddad, S; Mayerfeld, C E; Heath, A C; Pergadia, M L; Madden, P A F; Boomsma, D I; Penninx, B W; Sklar, P; Martin, N G; Wray, N R; Purcell, S M; Smoller, J W

    2012-11-13

    Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common psychiatric illness characterized by low mood and loss of interest in pleasurable activities. Despite years of effort, recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified few susceptibility variants or genes that are robustly associated with MDD. Standard single-SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism)-based GWAS analysis typically has limited power to deal with the extensive heterogeneity and substantial polygenic contribution of individually weak genetic effects underlying the pathogenesis of MDD. Here, we report an alternative, gene-set-based association analysis of MDD in an effort to identify groups of biologically related genetic variants that are involved in the same molecular function or cellular processes and exhibit a significant level of aggregated association with MDD. In particular, we used a text-mining-based data analysis to prioritize candidate gene sets implicated in MDD and conducted a multi-locus association analysis to look for enriched signals of nominally associated MDD susceptibility loci within each of the gene sets. Our primary analysis is based on the meta-analysis of three large MDD GWAS data sets (total N=4346 cases and 4430 controls). After correction for multiple testing, we found that genes involved in glutamatergic synaptic neurotransmission were significantly associated with MDD (set-based association P=6.9 × 10(-4)). This result is consistent with previous studies that support a role of the glutamatergic system in synaptic plasticity and MDD and support the potential utility of targeting glutamatergic neurotransmission in the treatment of MDD.

  9. Altered cognitive performance and synaptic function in the hippocampus of mice lacking C3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez-Alcazar, Marta; Daborg, Jonny; Stokowska, Anna; Wasling, Pontus; Björefeldt, Andreas; Kalm, Marie; Zetterberg, Henrik; Carlström, Karl E; Blomgren, Klas; Ekdahl, Christine T; Hanse, Eric; Pekna, Marcela

    2014-03-01

    Previous work implicated the complement system in adult neurogenesis as well as elimination of synapses in the developing and injured CNS. In the present study, we used mice lacking the third complement component (C3) to elucidate the role the complement system plays in hippocampus-dependent learning and synaptic function. We found that the constitutive absence of C3 is associated with enhanced place and reversal learning in adult mice. Our findings of lower release probability at CA3-CA1 glutamatergic synapses in combination with unaltered overall efficacy of these synapses in C3 deficient mice implicate C3 as a negative regulator of the number of functional glutamatergic synapses in the hippocampus. The C3 deficient mice showed no signs of spontaneous epileptiform activity in the hippocampus. We conclude that C3 plays a role in the regulation of the number and function of glutamatergic synapses in the hippocampus and exerts negative effects on hippocampus-dependent cognitive performance.

  10. Blockade of glutamatergic transmission in the primate basolateral amygdala suppresses active behavior without altering social interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forcelli, Patrick A; Wellman, Laurie L; Malkova, Ludise

    2017-04-01

    The amygdala is an integrator of affective processing, and a key component of a network regulating social behavior. While decades of lesion studies in nonhuman primates have shown alterations in social interactions after amygdala damage, acute manipulations of the amygdala in primates have been underexplored. We recently reported (Wellman, Forcelli, Aguilar, & Malkova, 2016) that acute pharmacological inhibition of the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA) or the central nucleus of the amygdala increased affiliative social interactions in experimental dyads of macaques; this was achieved through microinjection of a GABA-A receptor agonist. Prior studies in rodents have shown similar effects achieved by blocking NMDA receptors or AMPA receptors within the BLA. Here, we sought to determine the role of these receptor systems in the primate BLA in the context of social behavior. In familiar dyads, we microinjected the NMDA receptor antagonist 2-amino-7-phosphonoheptanoic acid (AP7) or the AMPA receptor antagonist 2,3-dioxo-6-nitro-1,2,3,4-tetrahydrobenzo[f]quinoxaline-7-sulfonamide (NBQX) and observed behaviors and social interactions in the immediate postinjection period. In striking contrast with our prior report using GABA agonists, and in contrast with prior reports in rodents using glutamate antagonists, we found that neither NMDA nor AMPA blockade increase social interaction. Both treatments, however, were associated with decreases in locomotion and manipulation and increases in passive behavior. These data suggest that local blockade of glutamatergic neurotransmission in BLA is not the functional equivalent of local activation of GABAergic signaling, and raise interesting questions regarding the functional microcircuitry of the nonhuman primate amygdala in the context of social behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record

  11. Male-specific alteration in excitatory post-synaptic development and social interaction in pre-natal valproic acid exposure model of autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Ki Chan; Kim, Pitna; Go, Hyo Sang; Choi, Chang Soon; Park, Jin Hee; Kim, Hee Jin; Jeon, Se Jin; Dela Pena, Ike Campomayor; Han, Seol-Heui; Cheong, Jae Hoon; Ryu, Jong Hoon; Shin, Chan Young

    2013-03-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a pervasive developmental disorder characterized by three main behavioral symptoms including social deficits, impaired communication, and stereotyped and repetitive behaviors. ASD prevalence shows gender bias to male. Prenatal exposure to valproic acid (VPA), a drug used in epilepsy and bipolar disorder, induces autistic symptoms in both human and rodents. As we reported previously, prenatally VPA-exposed animals at E12 showed impairment in social behavior without any overt reproductive toxicity. Social interactions were not significantly different between male and female rats in control condition. However, VPA-exposed male offspring showed significantly impaired social interaction while female offspring showed only marginal deficits in social interaction. Similar male inclination was observed in hyperactivity behavior induced by VPA. In addition to the ASD-like behavioral phenotype, prenatally VPA-exposed rat offspring shows crooked tail phenotype, which was not different between male and female groups. Both male and female rat showed reduced GABAergic neuronal marker GAD and increased glutamatergic neuronal marker vGluT1 expression. Interestingly, despite of the similar increased expression of vGluT1, post-synaptic marker proteins such as PSD-95 and α-CAMKII expression was significantly elevated only in male offspring. Electron microscopy showed increased number of post-synapse in male but not in female at 4 weeks of age. These results might suggest that the altered glutamatergic neuronal differentiation leads to deranged post-synaptic maturation only in male offspring prenatally exposed to VPA. Consistent with the increased post-synaptic compartment, VPA-exposed male rats showed higher sensitivity to electric shock than VPA-exposed female rats. These results suggest that prenatally VPA-exposed rats show the male preponderance of ASD-like behaviors including defective social interaction similar to human autistic patients, which

  12. Effects of diazepam on glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the hippocampal CA1 area of rats with traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Lei; Bie, Xiaohua; Huo, Su; Du, Jubao; Liu, Lin; Song, Weiqun

    2014-11-01

    The activity of the Schaffer collaterals of hippocampal CA3 neurons and hippocampal CA1 neurons has been shown to increase after fluid percussion injury. Diazepam can inhibit the hyperexcitability of rat hippocampal neurons after injury, but the mechanism by which it affects excitatory synaptic transmission remains poorly understood. Our results showed that diazepam treatment significantly increased the slope of input-output curves in rat neurons after fluid percussion injury. Diazepam significantly decreased the numbers of spikes evoked by super stimuli in the presence of 15 μmol/L bicuculline, indicating the existence of inhibitory pathways in the injured rat hippocampus. Diazepam effectively increased the paired-pulse facilitation ratio in the hippocampal CA1 region following fluid percussion injury, reduced miniature excitatory postsynaptic potentials, decreased action-potential-dependent glutamine release, and reversed spontaneous glutamine release. These data suggest that diazepam could decrease the fluid percussion injury-induced enhancement of excitatory synaptic transmission in the rat hippocampal CA1 area.

  13. Effects of diazepam on glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the hippocampal CA1 area of rats with traumatic brain injury

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lei Cao; Xiaohua Bie; Su Huo; Jubao Du; Lin Liu; Weiqun Song

    2014-01-01

    The activity of the Schaffer collaterals of hippocampal CA3 neurons and hippocampal CA1 neurons has been shown to increase after lfuid percussion injury. Diazepam can inhibit the hy-perexcitability of rat hippocampal neurons after injury, but the mechanism by which it affects excitatory synaptic transmission remains poorly understood. Our results showed that diazepam treatment signiifcantly increased the slope of input-output curves in rat neurons after lfuid per-cussion injury. Diazepam signiifcantly decreased the numbers of spikes evoked by super stimuli in the presence of 15 μmol/L bicuculline, indicating the existence of inhibitory pathways in the injured rat hippocampus. Diazepam effectively increased the paired-pulse facilitation ratio in the hippocampal CA1 region following fluid percussion injury, reduced miniature excitatory postsynaptic potentials, decreased action-potential-dependent glutamine release, and reversed spontaneous glutamine release. These data suggest that diazepam could decrease the lfuid per-cussion injury-induced enhancement of excitatory synaptic transmission in the rat hippocampal CA1 area.

  14. Potentiation of the glutamatergic synaptic input to rat locus coeruleus neurons by P2X7 receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khakpay, Roghayeh; Polster, Daniel; Köles, Laszlo; Skorinkin, Andrey; Szabo, Bela; Wirkner, Kerstin; Illes, Peter

    2010-09-01

    Locus coeruleus (LC) neurons in a rat brain slice preparation were superfused with a Mg(2+)-free and bicuculline-containing external medium. Under these conditions, glutamatergic spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) were recorded by means of the whole-cell patch-clamp method. ATP, as well as its structural analogue 2-methylthio ATP (2-MeSATP), both caused transient inward currents, which were outlasted by an increase in the frequency but not the amplitude of the sEPSCs. PPADS, but not suramin or reactive blue 2 counteracted both effects of 2-MeSATP. By contrast, α,β-methylene ATP (α,β-meATP), UTP and BzATP did not cause an inward current response. Of these latter agonists, only BzATP slightly facilitated the sEPSC amplitude and strongly potentiated its frequency. PPADS and Brilliant Blue G, as well as fluorocitric acid and aminoadipic acid prevented the activity of BzATP. Furthermore, BzATP caused a similar facilitation of the miniature (m)EPSC (recorded in the presence of tetrodotoxin) and sEPSC frequencies (recorded in its absence). Eventually, capsaicin augmented the frequency of the sEPSCs in a capsazepine-, but not PPADS-antagonizable, manner. In conclusion, the stimulation of astrocytic P2X7 receptors appears to lead to the outflow of a signalling molecule, which presynaptically increases the spontaneous release of glutamate onto LC neurons from their afferent fibre tracts. It is suggested, that the two algogenic compounds ATP and capsaicin utilise separate receptor systems to potentiate the release of glutamate and in consequence to increase the excitability of LC neurons.

  15. Loss of D2 dopamine receptor function modulates cocaine-induced glutamatergic synaptic potentiation in the ventral tegmental area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madhavan, Anuradha; Argilli, Emanuela; Bonci, Antonello; Whistler, Jennifer L

    2013-07-24

    Potentiation of glutamate responses is a critical synaptic response to cocaine exposure in ventral tegmental area (VTA) neurons. However, the mechanism by which cocaine exposure promotes potentiation of NMDA receptors (NMDARs) and subsequently AMPA receptors (AMPARs) is not fully understood. In this study we demonstrate that repeated cocaine treatment causes loss of D2 dopamine receptor functional responses via interaction with lysosome-targeting G-protein-associated sorting protein1 (GASP1). We also show that the absence of D2 downregulation in GASP1-KO mice prevents cocaine-induced potentiation of NMDAR currents, elevation of the AMPA/NMDA ratio, and redistribution of NMDAR and AMPAR subunits to the membrane. As a pharmacological parallel, coadministration of the high-affinity D2 agonist, aripiprazole, reduces not only functional downregulation of D2s in response to cocaine but also potentiation of NMDAR and AMPAR responses in wild-type mice. Together these data suggest that functional loss of D2 receptors is a critical mechanism mediating cocaine-induced glutamate plasticity in VTA neurons.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Global Brain Gene Expression Analysis Links Glutamatergic and GABAergic Alterations to Suicide and Major Depression

    OpenAIRE

    Adolfo Sequeira; Firoza Mamdani; Carl Ernst; Vawter, Marquis P.; Bunney, William E.; Veronique Lebel; Sonia Rehal; Tim Klempan; Alain Gratton; Chawki Benkelfat; Rouleau, Guy A.; Naguib Mechawar; Gustavo Turecki

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Most studies investigating the neurobiology of depression and suicide have focused on the serotonergic system. While it seems clear that serotonergic alterations play a role in the pathogenesis of these major public health problems, dysfunction in additional neurotransmitter systems and other molecular alterations may also be implicated. Microarray expression studies are excellent screening tools to generate hypotheses about additional molecular processes that may be at play. In t...

  19. Altered Astrocyte-Neuron Interactions and Epileptogenesis in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-06-01

    and in vivo (video-EEG). To directly compare glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic transmission , excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) and...Epileptogenesis in non-tuber neural tissue in TS may thus arise by an imbalance of decreased inhibitory and increased excitatory synaptic transmission ... transmission . Astrocytes could also regulate neuronal excitability by glutamate uptake and other means that alter expression and function of synaptic

  20. Alterations in pharmacological sensitivity of GABAergic but not dopaminergic and glutamatergic systems during ontogenesis in dystonic mutant hamsters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, A; Löscher, W

    1993-01-26

    Attacks of sustained dystonia of the limbs and trunk can be initiated by handling or mild environmental stimuli (e.g. new cage) in mutant (gene symbol dtsz) Syrian golden hamsters. The severity of the dystonic syndrome in these mutant hamsters is age-dependent, with a peak at weaning (21 days of age) and a second peak at about 30-40 days of age. Spontaneous remission occurs at an age of about 70 days. The syndrome in hamsters is thus similar to transient paroxysmal dystonia in children. In the present experiments, it was examined whether dystonic hamsters exhibit age-dependent differences in susceptibility to drugs which affect GABA (gamma-aminobutyrate)ergic, glutamatergic or dopaminergic functions. After acute administration, the GABA-elevating drug aminooxyacetic acid was significantly less potent in attenuating the severity of dystonic attacks at 21 days than at 31 days of age. Similar but less marked age-dependent differences in antidystonic activity were found for phenobarbital and diazepam. In contrast to these GABAmimetic drugs, the NMDA receptor antagonist CGP 37849 (DL-[E]-2-amino-4-methyl-5-phosphono-3-pentenoic acid) or the dopamine receptor antagonist haloperidol had about the same antidystonic potency at both 21 and 31 days of age. Chronic treatment of dystonic hamsters with aminooxyacetic acid, starting at 21 days of age, did not alter the time course or the severity of dystonia.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  1. Astrocyte activation in the anterior cingulate cortex and altered glutamatergic gene expression during paclitaxel-induced neuropathic pain in mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Willias Masocha

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Spinal astrocyte activation contributes to the pathogenesis of paclitaxel-induced neuropathic pain (PINP in animal models. We examined glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP; an astrocyte marker immunoreactivity and gene expression of GFAP, glutamate transporters and receptor subunits by real time PCR in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC at 7 days post first administration of paclitaxel, a time point when mice had developed thermal hyperalgesia. The ACC, an area in the brain involved in pain perception and modulation, was chosen because changes in this area might contribute to the pathophysiology of PINP. GFAP transcripts levels were elevated by more than fivefold and GFAP immunoreactivity increased in the ACC of paclitaxel-treated mice. The 6 glutamate transporters (GLAST, GLT-1 EAAC1, EAAT4, VGLUT-1 and VGLUT-2 quantified were not significantly altered by paclitaxel treatment. Of the 12 ionotropic glutamate receptor subunits transcripts analysed 6 (GLuA1, GLuA3, GLuK2, GLuK3, GLuK5 and GLuN1 were significantly up-regulated, whereas GLuA2, GLuK1, GLuK4, GLuN2A and GLuN2B were not significantly altered and GLuA4 was lowly expressed. Amongst the 8 metabotropic receptor subunits analysed only mGLuR8 was significantly elevated. In conclusion, during PINP there is astrocyte activation, with no change in glutamate transporter expression and differential up-regulation of glutamate receptor subunits in the ACC. Thus, targeting astrocyte activation and the glutamatergic system might be another therapeutic avenue for management of PINP.

  2. Morphological changes of glutamatergic synapses in animal models of Parkinson’s disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosa M Villalba

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The striatum and the subthalamic nucleus are the main entry doors for extrinsic inputs to reach the basal ganglia circuitry. The cerebral cortex, thalamus and brainstem are the key sources of glutamatergic inputs to these nuclei. There is functional and neurochemical evidence that glutamatergic neurotransmission is altered in the striatum and subthalamic nucleus of animal models of Parkinson’s disease, and that these changes may contribute to aberrant network neuronal activity in the basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuitry. Postmortem studies of animal models and PD patients have revealed significant pathology of glutamatergic synapses, dendritic spines and microcircuits in the striatum of parkinsonians. More recent findings have also demonstrated a significant breakdown of the glutamatergic corticosubthalamic system in parkinsonian monkeys. In this review, we will discuss evidence for synaptic glutamatergic dysfunction and pathology of cortical and thalamic inputs to the striatum and subthalamic nucleus in models of Parkinson’s disease. The potential functional implication of these alterations on synaptic integration, processing and transmission of extrinsic information through the basal ganglia circuits will be considered. Finally, the significance of these pathological changes in the pathophysiology of motor and non-motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease will be examined.

  3. Morphological changes of glutamatergic synapses in animal models of Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villalba, Rosa M; Mathai, Abraham; Smith, Yoland

    2015-01-01

    The striatum and the subthalamic nucleus (STN) are the main entry doors for extrinsic inputs to reach the basal ganglia (BG) circuitry. The cerebral cortex, thalamus and brainstem are the key sources of glutamatergic inputs to these nuclei. There is anatomical, functional and neurochemical evidence that glutamatergic neurotransmission is altered in the striatum and STN of animal models of Parkinson's disease (PD) and that these changes may contribute to aberrant network neuronal activity in the BG-thalamocortical circuitry. Postmortem studies of animal models and PD patients have revealed significant pathology of glutamatergic synapses, dendritic spines and microcircuits in the striatum of parkinsonians. More recent findings have also demonstrated a significant breakdown of the glutamatergic corticosubthalamic system in parkinsonian monkeys. In this review, we will discuss evidence for synaptic glutamatergic dysfunction and pathology of cortical and thalamic inputs to the striatum and STN in models of PD. The potential functional implication of these alterations on synaptic integration, processing and transmission of extrinsic information through the BG circuits will be considered. Finally, the significance of these pathological changes in the pathophysiology of motor and non-motor symptoms in PD will be examined.

  4. 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.

  5. Dynamic changes in cytosolic ATP levels in cultured glutamatergic neurons during NMDA-induced synaptic activity supported by glucose or lactate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lange, Sofie Cecilie; Winkler, Ulrike; Andresen, Lars;

    2015-01-01

    We have previously shown that synaptic transmission fails in cultured neurons in the presence of lactate as the sole substrate. Thus, to test the hypothesis that the failure of synaptic transmission is a consequence of insufficient energy supply, ATP levels were monitored employing the ATP biosen...

  6. Glutamatergic transmission in the central nucleus of the amygdala is selectively altered in Marchigian Sardinian alcohol-preferring rats: Alcohol and CRF effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, Melissa A; Varodayan, Florence P; Oleata, Christopher S; Luu, George; Kirson, Dean; Heilig, Markus; Ciccocioppo, Roberto; Roberto, Marisa

    2016-03-01

    The CRF system of the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) is important for the processing of anxiety, stress, and effects of acute and chronic ethanol. We previously reported that ethanol decreases evoked glutamate transmission in the CeA of Sprague Dawley rats and that ethanol dependence alters glutamate release in the CeA. Here, we examined the effects of ethanol, CRF and a CRF1 receptor antagonist on spontaneous and evoked glutamatergic transmission in CeA neurons from Wistar and Marchigian Sardinian Preferring (msP) rats, a rodent line genetically selected for excessive alcohol drinking and characterized by heightened activity of the CRF1 system. Basal spontaneous and evoked glutamate transmission in CeA neurons from msP rats was increased compared to Wistar rats. Ethanol had divergent effects, either increasing or decreasing spontaneous glutamate release in the CeA of Wistar rats. This bidirectional effect was retained in msP rats, but the magnitude of the ethanol-induced increase in glutamate release was significantly smaller. The inhibitory effect of ethanol on evoked glutamatergic transmission was similar in both strains. CRF also either increased or decreased spontaneous glutamate release in CeA neurons of Wistar rats, however, in msP rats CRF only increased glutamate release. The inhibitory effect of CRF on evoked glutamatergic transmission was also lost in neurons from msP rats. A CRF1 antagonist produced only minor effects on spontaneous glutamate transmission, which were consistent across strains, and no effects on evoked glutamate transmission. These results demonstrate that the genetically altered CRF system of msP rats results in alterations in spontaneous and stimulated glutamate signaling in the CeA that may contribute to both the anxiety and drinking behavioral phenotypes.

  7. Medial prefrontal cortex neuronal activation and synaptic alterations after stress-induced reinstatement of palatable food seeking: a study using c-fos-GFP transgenic female rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cifani, Carlo; Koya, Eisuke; Navarre, Brittany M; Calu, Donna J; Baumann, Michael H; Marchant, Nathan J; Liu, Qing-Rong; Khuc, Thi; Pickel, James; Lupica, Carl R; Shaham, Yavin; Hope, Bruce T

    2012-06-20

    Relapse to maladaptive eating habits during dieting is often provoked by stress and there is evidence for a role of ovarian hormones in stress responses and feeding. We studied the role of these hormones in stress-induced reinstatement of food seeking and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) neuronal activation in c-fos-GFP transgenic female rats, which express GFP in strongly activated neurons. Food-restricted ovariectomized or sham-operated c-fos-GFP rats were trained to lever-press for palatable food pellets. Subsequently, lever-pressing was extinguished and reinstatement of food seeking and mPFC neuronal activation was assessed after injections of the pharmacological stressor yohimbine (0.5-2 mg/kg) or pellet priming (1-4 noncontingent pellets). Estrous cycle effects on reinstatement were also assessed in wild-type rats. Yohimbine- and pellet-priming-induced reinstatement was associated with Fos and GFP induction in mPFC; both reinstatement and neuronal activation were minimally affected by ovarian hormones in both c-fos-GFP and wild-type rats. c-fos-GFP transgenic rats were then used to assess glutamatergic synaptic alterations within activated GFP-positive and nonactivated GFP-negative mPFC neurons following yohimbine-induced reinstatement of food seeking. This reinstatement was associated with reduced AMPA receptor/NMDA receptor current ratios and increased paired-pulse facilitation in activated GFP-positive but not GFP-negative neurons. While ovarian hormones do not appear to play a role in stress-induced relapse of food seeking in our rat model, this reinstatement was associated with unique synaptic alterations in strongly activated mPFC neurons. Our paper introduces the c-fos-GFP transgenic rat as a new tool to study unique synaptic changes in activated neurons during behavior.

  8. Drebrin depletion alters neurotransmitter receptor levels in protein complexes, dendritic spine morphogenesis and memory-related synaptic plasticity in the mouse hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Gangsoo; Kim, Eun-Jung; Cicvaric, Ana; Sase, Sunetra; Gröger, Marion; Höger, Harald; Sialana, Fernando Jayson; Berger, Johannes; Monje, Francisco J; Lubec, Gert

    2015-07-01

    Drebrin an actin-bundling key regulator of dendritic spine genesis and morphology, has been recently proposed as a regulator of hippocampal glutamatergic activity which is critical for memory formation and maintenance. Here, we examined the effects of genetic deletion of drebrin on dendritic spine and on the level of complexes containing major brain receptors. To this end, homozygous and heterozygous drebrin knockout mice generated in our laboratory and related wild-type control animals were studied. Level of protein complexes containing dopamine receptor D1/dopamine receptor D2, 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 1A (5-HT1(A)R), and 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 7 (5-HT7R) were significantly reduced in hippocampus of drebrin knockout mice whereas no significant changes were detected for GluR1, 2, and 3 and NR1 as examined by native gel-based immunoblotting. Drebrin depletion also altered dendritic spine formation, morphology, and reduced levels of dopamine receptor D1 in dendritic spines as evaluated using immunohistochemistry/confocal microscopy. Electrophysiological studies further showed significant reduction in memory-related hippocampal synaptic plasticity upon drebrin depletion. These findings provide unprecedented experimental support for a role of drebrin in the regulation of memory-related synaptic plasticity and neurotransmitter receptor signaling, offer relevant information regarding the interpretation of previous studies and help in the design of future studies on dendritic spines.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Early changes in Huntington's disease patient brains involve alterations in cytoskeletal and synaptic elements.

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    DiProspero, Nicholas A; Chen, Er-Yun; Charles, Vinod; Plomann, Markus; Kordower, Jeffrey H; Tagle, Danilo A

    2004-09-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is caused by a polyglutamine repeat expansion in the N-terminus of the huntingtin protein. Huntingtin is normally present in the cytoplasm where it may interact with structural and synaptic elements. The mechanism of HD pathogenesis remains unknown but studies indicate a toxic gain-of-function possibly through aberrant protein interactions. To investigate whether early degenerative changes in HD involve alterations of cytoskeletal and vesicular components, we examined early cellular changes in the frontal cortex of HD presymptomatic (PS), early pathological grade (grade 1) and late-stage (grade 3 and 4) patients as compared to age-matched controls. Morphologic analysis using silver impregnation revealed a progressive decrease in neuronal fiber density and organization in pyramidal cell layers beginning in presymptomatic HD cases. Immunocytochemical analyses for the cytoskeletal markers alpha -tubulin, microtubule-associated protein 2, and phosphorylated neurofilament demonstrated a concomitant loss of staining in early grade cases. Immunoblotting for synaptic proteins revealed a reduction in complexin 2, which was marked in some grade 1 HD cases and significantly reduced in all late stage cases. Interestingly, we demonstrate that two synaptic proteins, dynamin and PACSIN 1, which were unchanged by immunoblotting, showed a striking loss by immunocytochemistry beginning in early stage HD tissue suggesting abnormal distribution of these proteins. We propose that mutant huntingtin affects proteins involved in synaptic function and cytoskeletal integrity before symptoms develop which may influence early disease onset and/or progression.

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

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    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.

  13. Deletion of PTEN produces autism-like behavioral deficits and alterations in synaptic proteins.

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    Lugo, Joaquin N; Smith, Gregory D; Arbuckle, Erin P; White, Jessika; Holley, Andrew J; Floruta, Crina M; Ahmed, Nowrin; Gomez, Maribel C; Okonkwo, Obi

    2014-01-01

    Many genes have been implicated in the underlying cause of autism but each gene accounts for only a small fraction of those diagnosed with autism. There is increasing evidence that activity-dependent changes in neuronal signaling could act as a convergent mechanism for many of the changes in synaptic proteins. One candidate signaling pathway that may have a critical role in autism is the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway. A major regulator of this pathway is the negative repressor phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN). In the current study we examined the behavioral and molecular consequences in mice with neuron subset-specific deletion of PTEN. The knockout (KO) mice showed deficits in social chamber and social partition test. KO mice demonstrated alterations in repetitive behavior, as measured in the marble burying test and hole-board test. They showed no changes in ultrasonic vocalizations emitted on postnatal day 10 or 12 compared to wildtype (WT) mice. They exhibited less anxiety in the elevated-plus maze test and were more active in the open field test compared to WT mice. In addition to the behavioral alterations, KO mice had elevation of phosphorylated AKT, phosphorylated S6, and an increase in S6K. KO mice had a decrease in mGluR but an increase in total and phosphorylated fragile X mental retardation protein. The disruptions in intracellular signaling may be why the KO mice had a decrease in the dendritic potassium channel Kv4.2 and a decrease in the synaptic scaffolding proteins PSD-95 and SAP102. These findings demonstrate that deletion of PTEN results in long-term alterations in social behavior, repetitive behavior, activity, and anxiety. In addition, deletion of PTEN significantly alters mGluR signaling and many synaptic proteins in the hippocampus. Our data demonstrates that deletion of PTEN can result in many of the behavioral features of autism and may provide insights into the regulation of intracellular signaling on synaptic proteins.

  14. Prenatal melamine exposure impairs spatial cognition and hippocampal synaptic plasticity by presynaptic and postsynaptic inhibition of glutamatergic transmission in adolescent offspring.

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    An, Lei; Sun, Wei

    2017-03-05

    Our previous studies showed that prenatal melamine exposure (PME) could impair spatial cognition and hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP). More importantly, the synaptic dysfunction induced by PME was associated with the probability of presynaptic glutamate release. Considering the crucial role of the other form of synaptic plasticity, long-term depression (LTD), in some types of learning and memory process, the aim of present study was to investigate if the hippocampal LTD and cognitive flexibility were affected. And then we attempted to explore the underlying mechanism. The animal model was produced by melamine exposure throughout gestational period with 400mg/kg bodyweight, the male offspring rats were used in the study. Morris water maze (MWM) test was performed, and then LTD was recorded from Schaffer collaterals to CA1 region in the hippocampus. Behavioral test showed that learning, reference memory and re-acquisition learning abilities were impaired significantly by PME. The field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) slopes of LTD were significantly higher after PME. Furthermore, the data of whole-cell patch-clamp experiments showed that PME markedly diminished the frequencies of spontaneous EPSCs (sEPSCs) and simultaneously reduced the amplitude of sEPSCs. In conclusion, PME inhibited glutamate transmission presynaptically and postsynaptically which could contribute importantly to the depressed hippocampal synaptic plasticity and further induced cognitive deficits in MWM tests.

  15. Pathological gamma oscillations, impaired dopamine release, synapse loss and reduced dynamic range of unitary glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the striatum of hypokinetic Q175 Huntington mice.

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    Rothe, T; Deliano, M; Wójtowicz, A M; Dvorzhak, A; Harnack, D; Paul, S; Vagner, T; Melnick, I; Stark, H; Grantyn, R

    2015-12-17

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a severe genetically inherited neurodegenerative disorder. Patients present with three principal phenotypes of motor symptoms: choreatic, hypokinetic-rigid and mixed. The Q175 mouse model of disease offers an opportunity to investigate the cellular basis of the hypokinetic-rigid form of HD. At the age of 1 year homozygote Q175 mice exhibited the following signs of hypokinesia: Reduced frequency of spontaneous movements on a precision balance at daytime (-55%), increased total time spent without movement in an open field (+42%), failures in the execution of unconditioned avoidance reactions (+32%), reduced ability for conditioned avoidance (-96%) and increased reaction times (+65%) in a shuttle box. Local field potential recordings revealed low-frequency gamma oscillations in the striatum as a characteristic feature of HD mice at rest. There was no significant loss of DARPP-32 immunolabeled striatal projection neurons (SPNs) although the level of DARPP-32 immunoreactivity was lower in HD. As a potential cause of hypokinesia, HD mice revealed a strong reduction in striatal KCl-induced dopamine release, accompanied by a decrease in the number of tyrosine hydroxylase-(TH)- and VMAT2-positive synaptic varicosities. The presynaptic TH fluorescence level was also reduced. Patch-clamp experiments were performed in slices from 1-year-old mice to record unitary EPSCs (uEPSCs) of presumed cortical origin in the absence of G-protein-mediated modulation. In HD mice, the maximal amplitudes of uEPSCs amounted to 69% of the WT level which matches the loss of VGluT1+/SYP+ synaptic terminals in immunostained sections. These results identify impairment of cortico-striatal synaptic transmission and dopamine release as a potential basis of hypokinesia in HD.

  16. Altered synaptic properties during integration of adult-born hippocampal neurons following a seizure insult.

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    Johanna Jackson

    Full Text Available Pathological conditions affect several stages of neurogenesis in the adult brain, including proliferation, survival, cell fate, migration, and functional integration. Here we explored how a pathological environment modulates the heterogeneous afferent synaptic input that shapes the functional properties of newly formed neurons. We analyzed the expression of adhesion molecules and other synaptic proteins on adult-born hippocampal neurons formed after electrically-induced partial status epilepticus (pSE. New cells were labeled with a GFP-retroviral vector one week after pSE. One and three weeks thereafter, synaptic proteins were present on dendritic spines and shafts, but without differences between pSE and control group. In contrast, at six weeks, we found fewer dendritic spines and decreased expression of the scaffolding protein PSD-95 on spines, without changes in expression of the adhesion molecules N-cadherin or neuroligin-1, primarily located at excitatory synapses. Moreover, we detected an increased expression of the inhibitory scaffolding protein gephyrin in newborn but not mature neurons after SE. However, this increase was not accompanied by a difference in GABA expression, and there was even a region-specific decrease in the adhesion molecule neuroligin-2 expression, both in newborn and mature neurons. Neuroligin-2 clusters co-localized with presynaptic cholecystokinin terminals, which were also reduced. The expression of neuroligin-4 and glycine receptor was unchanged. Increased postsynaptic clustering of gephyrin, without an accompanying increase in GABAergic input or neuroligin-2 and -4 expression, the latter important for clustering of GABA(A and glycine receptors, respectively, could imply an increased but altered inhibitory connectivity specific for newborn neurons. The changes were transient and expression of both gephyrin and NL-2 was normalized 3 months post-SE. Our findings indicate that seizure-induced brain pathology alters

  17. Enhanced ability of TRPV1 channels in regulating glutamatergic transmission after repeated morphine exposure in the nucleus accumbens of rat.

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    Zhang, Haitao; Jia, Dong; Wang, Yuan; Qu, Liang; Wang, Xuelian; Song, Jian; Heng, Lijun; Gao, Guodong

    2017-04-01

    Glutamatergic projections to nucleus accumbens (NAc) drive drug-seeking behaviors during opioids withdrawal. Modulating glutamatergic neurotransmission provides a novel pharmacotherapeutic avenue for treatment of opioids dependence. Great deals of researches have verified that transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) channels alters synaptic transmitter release and regulate neural plasticity. In the present study, whole-cell patch clamp recordings were adopted to examine the activity of TRPV1 Channels in regulating glutamate-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) in NAc of rat during morphine withdrawal for 3days and 3weeks. The data showed that the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) and the amplitudes of evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (eEPSCs) were increased during morphine withdrawal after applied with capsaicin (TRPV1 agonist). Capsaicin decreased the paired pulse ratio (PPR) and increased sEPSCs frequency but not their amplitudes suggesting a presynaptic locus of action during morphine withdrawal. All these effects were fully blocked by the TRPV1 antagonist Capsazepine. Additionally, In the presence of AM251 (CB1 receptor antagonist), depolarization-induced release of endogenous cannabinoids activated TRPV1 channels to enhance glutamatergic neurotransmission during morphine withdrawal. The functional enhancement of TRPV1 Channels in facilitating glutamatergic transmission was not recorded in dorsal striatum. Our findings demonstrate the ability of TRPV1 in regulating excitatory glutamatergic transmission is enhanced during morphine withdrawal in NAc, which would deepen our understanding of glutamatergic modulation during opioids withdrawal.

  18. Disrupted-in-schizophrenia (DISC1 functions presynaptically at glutamatergic synapses.

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    Brady J Maher

    Full Text Available The pathophysiology of schizophrenia is believed to involve defects in synaptic transmission, and the function of many schizophrenia-associated genes, including DISC1, have been linked to synaptic function at glutamatergic synapses. Here we develop a rodent model via in utero electroporation to assay the presynaptic function of DISC1 at glutamatergic synapses. We used a combination of mosaic transgene expression, RNAi knockdown and optogenetics to restrict both genetic manipulation and synaptic stimulation of glutamatergic neurons presynaptic to other layer 2/3 neocortical pyramidal neurons that were then targeted for whole-cell patch-clamp recording. We show that expression of the DISC1 c-terminal truncation variant that is associated with Schizophrenia alters the frequency of mEPSCs and the kinetics of evoked glutamate release. In addition, we show that expression level of DISC1 is correlated with the probability of glutamate release such that increased DISC1 expression results in paired-pulse depression and RNAi knockdown of DISC1 produces paired-pulse facilitation. Overall, our results support a direct presynaptic function for the schizophrenia-associated gene, DISC1.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  1. Thinking outside the cleft to understand synaptic activity: contribution of the cystine-glutamate antiporter (System xc-) to normal and pathological glutamatergic signaling.

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    Bridges, Richard; Lutgen, Victoria; Lobner, Doug; Baker, David A

    2012-07-01

    System x(c)(-) represents an intriguing target in attempts to understand the pathological states of the central nervous system. Also called a cystine-glutamate antiporter, system x(c)(-) typically functions by exchanging one molecule of extracellular cystine for one molecule of intracellular glutamate. Nonvesicular glutamate released during cystine-glutamate exchange activates extrasynaptic glutamate receptors in a manner that shapes synaptic activity and plasticity. These findings contribute to the intriguing possibility that extracellular glutamate is regulated by a complex network of release and reuptake mechanisms, many of which are unique to glutamate and rarely depicted in models of excitatory signaling. Because system x(c)(-) is often expressed on non-neuronal cells, the study of cystine-glutamate exchange may advance the emerging viewpoint that glia are active contributors to information processing in the brain. It is noteworthy that system x(c)(-) is at the interface between excitatory signaling and oxidative stress, because the uptake of cystine that results from cystine-glutamate exchange is critical in maintaining the levels of glutathione, a critical antioxidant. As a result of these dual functions, system x(c)(-) has been implicated in a wide array of central nervous system diseases ranging from addiction to neurodegenerative disorders to schizophrenia. In the current review, we briefly discuss the major cellular components that regulate glutamate homeostasis, including glutamate release by system x(c)(-). This is followed by an in-depth discussion of system x(c)(-) as it relates to glutamate release, cystine transport, and glutathione synthesis. Finally, the role of system x(c)(-) is surveyed across a number of psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.

  2. 琥珀酸对幼龄大鼠小脑谷氨酸能突触传递的抑制作用%Inhibition of succinic acid on cerebellar glutamatergic synaptic transmission in neonatal rats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    何海燕; 陈静; 晋芙丽; 李凌; 杜永平; 张月萍

    2016-01-01

    目的:探讨琥珀酸( succinic acid,SA)对幼龄大鼠小脑谷氨酸能突触传递的影响。方法采用全细胞膜片钳记录法,在矢状位小脑脑片上记录浦肯野细胞( Purkinje cells,PCs)自发性微小兴奋性突触后电流( miniture excitatory postsynaptic current,mEPSC)和刺激平行纤维( parallel fibre,PF)诱发的PCs兴奋性突触后电位( excitatory postsynaptic potential,EPSP),比较琥珀酸处理前后mEPSC和PF-PC EPSP的变化。结果琥珀酸处理后,幼鼠小脑PCs的自发性mEPSCs幅值显著减小,由给药前的(24.85±2.78)pA减小至给药后的(13.14±0.84)pA,频率也由给药前的(5.04±1.07)Hz降至给药后的(2.77±0.79)Hz,差异均有统计学意义(P<0.01);琥珀酸显著抑制了PF-PC EPSPs的幅值,使其降低至用药前的(37.76±1.10)%(P<0.01),并使EPSP双脉冲(paired-pulse facilitation,PPF)增强的比率较用药前增加了(40.26±2.9)%(P<0.01),差异均有统计学意义。结论琥珀酸对幼龄大鼠小脑谷氨酸能突触传递有显著的抑制作用。%Objective To investigate the effects of succinic acid( SA) on the glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the neonatal rat cerebellum. Methods The whole-cell patch-clamp technique was carried out in Purkinje cells( PCs) of sagittal cerebellar slices to record the spontaneous miniture excitatory postsynaptic current(mEPSC) and the excitatory postsynaptic potential(EPSP) induced by parallel fiber( PF) stimulation. The changes of the mEPSC and the PF-PC EPSP upon SA were analyzed before and after SA perfusion. Results SA significantly reduced the amplitude[from(24.85 ±2.78)pA to(13.14 ±0.84)pA,P<0.01]and the frequency[from (5.04 ±1.07)Hz to (2.77 ±0.79)Hz,P<0.01] of the spontaneous mEPSCs. SA also significantly inhibited PF-PC EPSPs ampli-tude to (37. 76 ± 1. 10)% of the control(P<0. 01) and enhanced the EPSP paired-pulse facilitation(PPF) by(40. 26 ± 2. 9)%(P<0. 01). Conclusion SA may provide an inhibitory effect on cerebellar

  3. Alteration of AMPA Receptor-Mediated Synaptic Transmission by Alexa Fluor 488 and 594 in Cerebellar Stellate Cells.

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    Maroteaux, Matthieu; Liu, Siqiong June

    2016-01-01

    The fluorescent dyes, Alexa Fluor 488 and 594 are commonly used to visualize dendritic structures and the localization of synapses, both of which are critical for the spatial and temporal integration of synaptic inputs. However, the effect of the dyes on synaptic transmission is not known. Here we investigated whether Alexa Fluor dyes alter the properties of synaptic currents mediated by two subtypes of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) at cerebellar stellate cell synapses. In naive mice, GluA2-lacking AMPAR-mediated synaptic currents displayed an inwardly rectifying current-voltage (I-V) relationship due to blockade by cytoplasmic spermine at depolarized potentials. We found that the inclusion of 100 µm Alexa Fluor dye, but not 10 µm, in the pipette solution led to a gradual increase in the amplitude of EPSCs at +40 mV and a change in the I-V relationship from inwardly rectifying to more linear. In mice exposed to an acute stress, AMPARs switched to GluA2-containing receptors, and 100 µm Alexa Fluor 594 did not alter the I-V relationship of synaptic currents. Therefore, a high concentration of Alexa Fluor dye changed the I-V relationship of EPSCs at GluA2-lacking AMPAR synapses.

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

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    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.

  5. Third Trimester Equivalent Alcohol Exposure Reduces Modulation of Glutamatergic Synaptic Transmission by 5-HT1A Receptors in the Rat Hippocampal CA3 Region.

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    Morton, Russell A; Valenzuela, C Fernando

    2016-01-01

    Fetal alcohol exposure has been associated with many neuropsychiatric disorders that have been linked to altered serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) signaling, including depression and anxiety. During the first 2 weeks of postnatal life in rodents (equivalent to the third trimester of human pregnancy) 5-HT neurons undergo significant functional maturation and their axons reach target regions in the forebrain (e.g., cortex and hippocampus). The objective of this study was to identify the effects of third trimester ethanol (EtOH) exposure on hippocampal 5-HT signaling. Using EtOH vapor inhalation chambers, we exposed rat pups to EtOH for 4 h/day from postnatal day (P) 2 to P12. The average serum EtOH concentration in the pups was 0.13 ± 0.04 g/dl (legal intoxication limit in humans = 0.08 g/dl). We used brain slices to assess the modulatory actions of 5-HT on field excitatory postsynaptic potentials in the hippocampal CA3 region at P13-P15. Application of the GABAA/glycine receptor antagonist, picrotoxin, caused broadening of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs), an effect that was reversed by application of 5-HT in slices from air exposed rats. However, this effect of 5-HT was absent in EtOH exposed animals. In slices from naïve animals, application of a 5-HT1A receptor antagonist blocked the effect of 5-HT on the fEPSPs recorded in presence of picrotoxin, suggesting that third trimester ethanol exposure acts by inhibiting the function of these receptors. Studies indicate that 5-HT1A receptors play a critical role in the development of hippocampal circuits. Therefore, inhibition of these receptors by third trimester ethanol exposure could contribute to the pathophysiology of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

  6. Maternal Dexamethasone Exposure Alters Synaptic Inputs to Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Neurons in the Early Postnatal Rat

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    Wei Ling Lim

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Maternal dexamethasone (DEX; a glucocorticoid receptor agonist exposure delays pubertal onset and alters reproductive behaviour in the adult offspring. However, little is known whether maternal DEX exposure affects the offspring’s reproductive function by disrupting the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH neuronal function in the brain. Therefore, this study determined the exposure of maternal DEX on the GnRH neuronal spine development and synaptic cluster inputs to GnRH neurons using transgenic rats expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP under the control of GnRH promoter. Pregnant females were administered with DEX (0.1mg/kg or vehicle (VEH, water daily during gestation day 13-20. Confocal imaging was used to examine the spine density of EGFP-GnRH neurons by three-dimensional rendering and synaptic cluster inputs to EGFP-GnRH neurons by synapsin I immunohistochemistry on postnatal day 0 (P0 males. The spine morphology and number on GnRH neurons did not change between the P0 males following maternal DEX and VEH treatment. The number of synaptic clusters within the organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis (OVLT was decreased by maternal DEX exposure in P0 males. Furthermore, the number and levels of synaptic cluster inputs in close apposition with GnRH neurons was decreased following maternal DEX exposure in the OVLT region of P0 males. In addition, the post synaptic marker molecule, post-synaptic density 95 was observed in GnRH neurons following both DEX and VEH treatment. These results suggest that maternal DEX exposure alters neural afferent inputs to GnRH neurons during early postnatal stage, which could lead to reproductive dysfunction during adulthood.

  7. Xyloside primed glycosaminoglycans alter hair bundle micromechanical coupling and synaptic transmission: Pharmacokinetics

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    Holman, Holly A.; Tran, Vy M.; Nguyen, Lynn Y.; Arungundram, Sailaja; Kalita, Mausam; Kuberan, Balagurunathan; Rabbitt, Richard D.

    2015-12-01

    Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are ubiquitous in the inner ear, and disorders altering their structure or production often result in debilitating hearing and balance deficits. The specific mechanisms responsible for loss of hair-cell function are not well understood. We recently reported that introduction of a novel BODIPY conjugated xyloside (BX) into the endolymph primes fluorescent GAGs in vivo [6, 15]. Confocal and two-photon fluorescence imaging revealed rapid turnover and assembly of a glycocalyx enveloping the kinocilia and extending into the cupula, a structure that presumably serves as a mechanical link between the hair bundle and the cupula. Extracellular fluorescence was also observed around the basolateral surface of hair cells and surrounding afferent nerve projections into the crista. Single unit afferent recordings during mechanical hair bundle stimulation revealed temporary interruption of synaptic transmission following BX administration followed by recovery, demonstrating an essential role for GAGs in function of the hair cell synapse. In the present work we present a pharmacokinetic model to quantify the time course of BX primed GAG production and turnover in the ear.

  8. Xyloside primed glycosaminoglycans alter hair bundle micromechanical coupling and synaptic transmission: Pharmacokinetics

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    Holman, Holly A.; Nguyen, Lynn Y. [Bioengineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah (United States); Tran, Vy M.; Arungundram, Sailaja; Kalita, Mausam [Medicinal Chemistry, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah (United States); Kuberan, Balagurunathan [Medicinal Chemistry, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah (United States); Neuroscience Program, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah (United States); Rabbitt, Richard D. [Bioengineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah (United States); Neuroscience Program, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah (United States); Otolaryngology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah (United States); Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts (United States)

    2015-12-31

    Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are ubiquitous in the inner ear, and disorders altering their structure or production often result in debilitating hearing and balance deficits. The specific mechanisms responsible for loss of hair-cell function are not well understood. We recently reported that introduction of a novel BODIPY conjugated xyloside (BX) into the endolymph primes fluorescent GAGs in vivo [6, 15]. Confocal and two-photon fluorescence imaging revealed rapid turnover and assembly of a glycocalyx enveloping the kinocilia and extending into the cupula, a structure that presumably serves as a mechanical link between the hair bundle and the cupula. Extracellular fluorescence was also observed around the basolateral surface of hair cells and surrounding afferent nerve projections into the crista. Single unit afferent recordings during mechanical hair bundle stimulation revealed temporary interruption of synaptic transmission following BX administration followed by recovery, demonstrating an essential role for GAGs in function of the hair cell synapse. In the present work we present a pharmacokinetic model to quantify the time course of BX primed GAG production and turnover in the ear.

  9. Glutamatergic Transmission: A Matter of Three.

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    Martínez-Lozada, Zila; Ortega, Arturo

    2015-01-01

    Glutamatergic transmission in the vertebrate brain requires the involvement of glia cells, in a continuous molecular dialogue. Glial glutamate receptors and transporters are key molecules that sense synaptic activity and by these means modify their physiology in the short and long term. Posttranslational modifications that regulate protein-protein interactions and modulate transmitter removal are triggered in glial cells by neuronal released glutamate. Moreover, glutamate signaling cascades in these cells are linked to transcriptional and translational control and are critically involved in the control of the so-called glutamate/glutamine shuttle and by these means in glutamatergic neurotransmission. In this contribution, we summarize our current understanding of the biochemical consequences of glutamate synaptic activity in their surrounding partners and dissect the molecular mechanisms that allow neurons to take control of glia physiology to ensure proper glutamate-mediated neuronal communication.

  10. Archaerhodopsin Selectively and Reversibly Silences Synaptic Transmission through Altered pH

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    Mohamady El-Gaby

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Tools that allow acute and selective silencing of synaptic transmission in vivo would be invaluable for understanding the synaptic basis of specific behaviors. Here, we show that presynaptic expression of the proton pump archaerhodopsin enables robust, selective, and reversible optogenetic synaptic silencing with rapid onset and offset. Two-photon fluorescence imaging revealed that this effect is accompanied by a transient increase in pH restricted to archaerhodopsin-expressing boutons. Crucially, clamping intracellular pH abolished synaptic silencing without affecting the archaerhodopsin-mediated hyperpolarizing current, indicating that changes in pH mediate the synaptic silencing effect. To verify the utility of this technique, we used trial-limited, archaerhodopsin-mediated silencing to uncover a requirement for CA3-CA1 synapses whose afferents originate from the left CA3, but not those from the right CA3, for performance on a long-term memory task. These results highlight optogenetic, pH-mediated silencing of synaptic transmission as a spatiotemporally selective approach to dissecting synaptic function in behaving animals.

  11. Alterations in Striatal Synaptic Transmission are Consistent across Genetic Mouse Models of Huntington's Disease

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    Damian M Cummings

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Since the identification of the gene responsible for HD (Huntington's disease, many genetic mouse models have been generated. Each employs a unique approach for delivery of the mutated gene and has a different CAG repeat length and background strain. The resultant diversity in the genetic context and phenotypes of these models has led to extensive debate regarding the relevance of each model to the human disorder. Here, we compare and contrast the striatal synaptic phenotypes of two models of HD, namely the YAC128 mouse, which carries the full-length huntingtin gene on a yeast artificial chromosome, and the CAG140 KI*** (knock-in mouse, which carries a human/mouse chimaeric gene that is expressed in the context of the mouse genome, with our previously published data obtained from the R6/2 mouse, which is transgenic for exon 1 mutant huntingtin. We show that striatal MSNs (medium-sized spiny neurons in YAC128 and CAG140 KI mice have similar electrophysiological phenotypes to that of the R6/2 mouse. These include a progressive increase in membrane input resistance, a reduction in membrane capacitance, a lower frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents and a greater frequency of spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents in a subpopulation of striatal neurons. Thus, despite differences in the context of the inserted gene between these three models of HD, the primary electrophysiological changes observed in striatal MSNs are consistent. The outcomes suggest that the changes are due to the expression of mutant huntingtin and such alterations can be extended to the human condition.

  12. Alterations in striatal synaptic transmission are consistent across genetic mouse models of Huntington's disease

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    Damian M Cummings

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Since the identification of the gene responsible for HD (Huntington's disease, many genetic mouse models have been generated. Each employs a unique approach for delivery of the mutated gene and has a different CAG repeat length and background strain. The resultant diversity in the genetic context and phenotypes of these models has led to extensive debate regarding the relevance of each model to the human disorder. Here, we compare and contrast the striatal synaptic phenotypes of two models of HD, namely the YAC128 mouse, which carries the full-length huntingtin gene on a yeast artificial chromosome, and the CAG140 KI (knock-in mouse, which carries a human/mouse chimaeric gene that is expressed in the context of the mouse genome, with our previously published data obtained from the R6/2 mouse, which is transgenic for exon 1 mutant huntingtin. We show that striatal MSNs (medium-sized spiny neurons in YAC128 and CAG140 KI mice have similar electrophysiological phenotypes to that of the R6/2 mouse. These include a progressive increase in membrane input resistance, a reduction in membrane capacitance, a lower frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents and a greater frequency of spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents in a subpopulation of striatal neurons. Thus, despite differences in the context of the inserted gene between these three models of HD, the primary electrophysiological changes observed in striatal MSNs are consistent. The outcomes suggest that the changes are due to the expression of mutant huntingtin and such alterations can be extended to the human condition.

  13. Methamphetamine reduces LTP and increases baseline synaptic transmission in the CA1 region of mouse hippocampus.

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    Jarod Swant

    Full Text Available Methamphetamine (METH is an addictive psychostimulant whose societal impact is on the rise. Emerging evidence suggests that psychostimulants alter synaptic plasticity in the brain--which may partly account for their adverse effects. While it is known that METH increases the extracellular concentration of monoamines dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, it is not clear how METH alters glutamatergic transmission. Within this context, the aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of acute and systemic METH on basal synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation (LTP; an activity-induced increase in synaptic efficacy in CA1 sub-field in the hippocampus. Both the acute ex vivo application of METH to hippocampal slices and systemic administration of METH decreased LTP. Interestingly, the acute ex vivo application of METH at a concentration of 30 or 60 microM increased baseline synaptic transmission as well as decreased LTP. Pretreatment with eticlopride (D2-like receptor antagonist did not alter the effects of METH on synaptic transmission or LTP. In contrast, pretreatment with D1/D5 dopamine receptor antagonist SCH23390 or 5-HT1A receptor antagonist NAN-190 abrogated the effect of METH on synaptic transmission. Furthermore, METH did not increase baseline synaptic transmission in D1 dopamine receptor haploinsufficient mice. Our findings suggest that METH affects excitatory synaptic transmission via activation of dopamine and serotonin receptor systems in the hippocampus. This modulation may contribute to synaptic maladaption induced by METH addiction and/or METH-mediated cognitive dysfunction.

  14. Acute physiological stress promotes clustering of synaptic markers and alters spine morphology in the hippocampus.

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    Veronica Sebastian

    Full Text Available GluA2-containing AMPA receptors and their association with protein kinase M zeta (PKMζ and post-synaptic density-95 (PSD-95 are important for learning, memory and synaptic plasticity processes. Here we investigated these synaptic markers in the context of an acute 1h platform stress, which can disrupt spatial memory retrieval for a short-term memory on the object placement task and long-term memory retrieval on a well-learned radial arm maze task. Acute stress increased serum corticosterone and elevated the expression of synaptic PKMζ while decreasing synaptic GluA2. Using co-immunoprecipitation, we found that this stressor promotes the clustering of GluA2, PKMζ and PSD-95, which is consistent with effects reported from overexpression of PKMζ in cell culture. Because PKMζ overexpression has also been shown to induce spine maturation in culture, we examined how stress impacts synaptic markers within changing spines across various hippocampal subfields. To achieve this, we employed a new technique combining Golgi staining and immmunohistochemistry to perform 3D reconstruction of tertiary dendrites, which can be analyzed for differences in spine types and the colocalization of synaptic markers within these spines. In CA1, stress increased the densities of long-thin and mushroom spines and the colocalization of GluA2/PSD-95 within these spines. Conversely, in CA3, stress decreased the densities of filopodia and stubby spines, with a concomitant reduction in the colocalization of GluA2/PSD-95 within these spines. In the outer molecular layer (OML of the dentate gyrus (DG, stress increased both stubby and long-thin spines, together with greater GluA2/PSD-95 colocalization. These data reflect the rapid effects of stress on inducing morphological changes within specific hippocampal subfields, highlighting a potential mechanism by which stress can modulate memory consolidation and retrieval.

  15. More sensitivity of cortical GABAergic neurons than glutamatergic neurons in response to acidosis.

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    Liu, Hua; Li, Fang; Wang, Chunyan; Su, Zhiqiang

    2016-05-25

    Acidosis impairs brain functions. Neuron-specific mechanisms underlying acidosis-induced brain dysfunction remain elusive. We studied the sensitivity of cortical GABAergic neurons and glutamatergic neurons to acidosis by whole-cell recording in brain slices. The acidification to the neurons was induced by perfusing artificial cerebral spinal fluid with lower pH. This acidification impairs excitability and synaptic transmission in the glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons. Acidosis impairs spiking capacity in the GABAergic neurons more than in the glutamatergic neurons. Acidosis also strengthens glutamatergic synaptic transmission and attenuates GABAergic synaptic transmission on the GABAergic neurons more than the glutamatergic neurons, which results in the functional impairment of these GABAergic neurons. This acidosis-induced dysfunction predominantly in the cortical GABAergic neurons drives the homeostasis of neuronal networks toward overexcitation and exacerbates neuronal impairment.

  16. Alterations in Brain Inflammation, Synaptic Proteins, and Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis during Epileptogenesis in Mice Lacking Synapsin2.

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    Deepti Chugh

    Full Text Available Synapsins are pre-synaptic vesicle-associated proteins linked to the pathogenesis of epilepsy through genetic association studies in humans. Deletion of synapsins causes an excitatory/inhibitory imbalance, exemplified by the epileptic phenotype of synapsin knockout mice. These mice develop handling-induced tonic-clonic seizures starting at the age of about 3 months. Hence, they provide an opportunity to study epileptogenic alterations in a temporally controlled manner. Here, we evaluated brain inflammation, synaptic protein expression, and adult hippocampal neurogenesis in the epileptogenic (1 and 2 months of age and tonic-clonic (3.5-4 months phase of synapsin 2 knockout mice using immunohistochemical and biochemical assays. In the epileptogenic phase, region-specific microglial activation was evident, accompanied by an increase in the chemokine receptor CX3CR1, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α, and a decrease in chemokine keratinocyte chemoattractant/ growth-related oncogene. Both post-synaptic density-95 and gephyrin, scaffolding proteins at excitatory and inhibitory synapses, respectively, showed a significant up-regulation primarily in the cortex. Furthermore, we observed an increase in the inhibitory adhesion molecules neuroligin-2 and neurofascin and potassium chloride co-transporter KCC2. Decreased expression of γ-aminobutyric acid receptor-δ subunit and cholecystokinin was also evident. Surprisingly, hippocampal neurogenesis was reduced in the epileptogenic phase. Taken together, we report molecular alterations in brain inflammation and excitatory/inhibitory balance that could serve as potential targets for therapeutics and diagnostic biomarkers. In addition, the regional differences in brain inflammation and synaptic protein expression indicate an epileptogenic zone from where the generalized seizures in synapsin 2 knockout mice may be initiated or spread.

  17. Allosteric modulators for the treatment of schizophrenia: targeting glutamatergic networks.

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    Menniti, Frank S; Lindsley, Craig W; Conn, P Jeffrey; Pandit, Jayvardhan; Zagouras, Panayiotis; Volkmann, Robert A

    2013-01-01

    Schizophrenia is a highly debilitating mental disorder which afflicts approximately 1% of the global population. Cognitive and negative deficits account for the lifelong disability associated with schizophrenia, whose symptoms are not effectively addressed by current treatments. New medicines are needed to treat these aspects of the disease. Neurodevelopmental, neuropathological, genetic, and behavioral pharmacological data indicate that schizophrenia stems from a dysfunction of glutamate synaptic transmission, particularly in frontal cortical networks. A number of novel pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms affecting glutamatergic synaptic transmission have emerged as viable targets for schizophrenia. While developing orthosteric glutamatergic agents for these targets has proven extremely difficult, targeting allosteric sites of these targets has emerged as a promising alternative. From a medicinal chemistry perspective, allosteric sites provide an opportunity of finding agents with better drug-like properties and greater target specificity. Furthermore, allosteric modulators are better suited to maintaining the highly precise temporal and spatial aspects of glutamatergic synaptic transmission. Herein, we review neuropathological and genomic/genetic evidence underscoring the importance of glutamate synaptic dysfunction in the etiology of schizophrenia and make a case for allosteric targets for therapeutic intervention. We review progress in identifying allosteric modulators of AMPA receptors, NMDA receptors, and metabotropic glutamate receptors, all with the aim of restoring physiological glutamatergic synaptic transmission. Challenges remain given the complexity of schizophrenia and the difficulty in studying cognition in animals and humans. Nonetheless, important compounds have emerged from these efforts and promising preclinical and variable clinical validation has been achieved.

  18. Widespread alterations in the synaptic proteome of the adolescent cerebral cortex following prenatal immune activation in rats.

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    Györffy, Balázs A; Gulyássy, Péter; Gellén, Barbara; Völgyi, Katalin; Madarasi, Dóra; Kis, Viktor; Ozohanics, Olivér; Papp, Ildikó; Kovács, Péter; Lubec, Gert; Dobolyi, Árpád; Kardos, József; Drahos, László; Juhász, Gábor; Kékesi, Katalin A

    2016-08-01

    An increasing number of studies have revealed associations between pre- and perinatal immune activation and the development of schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Accordingly, neuroimmune crosstalk has a considerably large impact on brain development during early ontogenesis. While a plethora of heterogeneous abnormalities have already been described in established maternal immune activation (MIA) rodent and primate animal models, which highly correlate to those found in human diseases, the underlying molecular background remains obscure. In the current study, we describe the long-term effects of MIA on the neocortical pre- and postsynaptic proteome of adolescent rat offspring in detail. Molecular differences were revealed in sub-synaptic fractions, which were first thoroughly characterized using independent methods. The widespread proteomic examination of cortical samples from offspring exposed to maternal lipopolysaccharide administration at embryonic day 13.5 was conducted via combinations of different gel-based proteomic techniques and tandem mass spectrometry. Our experimentally validated proteomic data revealed more pre- than postsynaptic protein level changes in the offspring. The results propose the relevance of altered synaptic vesicle recycling, cytoskeletal structure and energy metabolism in the presynaptic region in addition to alterations in vesicle trafficking, the cytoskeleton and signal transduction in the postsynaptic compartment in MIA offspring. Differing levels of the prominent signaling regulator molecule calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II in the postsynapse was validated and identified specifically in the prefrontal cortex. Finally, several potential common molecular regulators of these altered proteins, which are already known to be implicated in schizophrenia and ASD, were identified and assessed. In summary, unexpectedly widespread changes in the synaptic molecular machinery in MIA rats were demonstrated which

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

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    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.

  20. Unbalance of CB1 receptors expressed in GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons in a transgenic mouse model of Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiodi, Valentina; Uchigashima, Motokazu; Beggiato, Sarah; Ferrante, Antonella; Armida, Monica; Martire, Alberto; Potenza, Rosa Luisa; Ferraro, Luca; Tanganelli, Sergio; Watanabe, Masahiko; Domenici, Maria Rosaria; Popoli, Patrizia

    2012-03-01

    Cannabinoid CB1 receptors (CB1Rs) are known to be downregulated in patients and in animal models of Huntington's disease (HD). However, the functional meaning of this reduction, if any, is still unclear. Here, the effects of the cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN 55,212-2 (WIN) were investigated on striatal synaptic transmission and on glutamate and GABA release in symptomatic R6/2 mice, a genetic model of HD. The expression levels of CB1Rs in glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses were also evaluated. We found that in R6/2 mice, WIN effects on synaptic transmission and glutamate release were significantly increased with respect to wild type mice. On the contrary, a decrease in WIN-induced reduction of GABA release was found in R6/2 versus WT mice. The expression of CB1Rs in GABAergic neurons was drastically reduced, while CB1Rs levels in glutamatergic neurons were unchanged. These results demonstrate that the expression and functionality of CB1Rs are differentially affected in GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons in R6/2 mice. As a result, the balance between CB1Rs expressed by the two neuronal populations and, thus, the net effect of CB1R stimulation, is profoundly altered in HD mice.

  1. Antagonism of Muscarinic Acetylcholine Receptors Alters Synaptic ERK Phosphorylation in the Rat Forebrain.

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    Mao, Li-Min; Wang, Henry H; Wang, John Q

    2016-12-28

    Acetylcholine (ACh) is a key transmitter in the mesocorticolimbic circuit. By interacting with muscarinic ACh receptors (mAChR) enriched in the circuit, ACh actively regulates various neuronal and synaptic activities. The extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) is one of members of the mitogen-activated protein kinase family and is subject to the regulation by dopamine receptors, although the regulation of ERKs by limbic mAChRs is poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the role of mAChRs in the regulation of ERK phosphorylation (activation) in the mesocorticolimbic system of adult rat brains in vivo. We targeted a sub-pool of ERKs at synaptic sites. We found that a systemic injection of the mAChR antagonist scopolamine increased phosphorylation of synaptic ERKs in the striatum (caudate putamen and nucleus accumbens) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Increases in ERK phosphorylation in both forebrain regions were rapid and transient. Notably, pretreatment with a dopamine D1 receptor (D1R) antagonist SCH23390 blocked the scopolamine-stimulated ERK phosphorylation in these brain regions, while a dopamine D2 receptor antagonist eticlopride did not. Scopolamine and SCH23390 did not change the amount of total ERK proteins. These results demonstrate that mAChRs inhibit synaptic ERK phosphorylation in striatal and mPFC neurons under normal conditions. Blockade of this inhibitory mAChR tone leads to the upregulation of ERK phosphorylation likely through a mechanism involving the level of D1R activity.

  2. Microglial Intracellular Ca2+ Signaling in Synaptic Development and its Alterations in Neurodevelopmental Disorders

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    Mizoguchi, Yoshito; Monji, Akira

    2017-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by deficits in social interaction, difficulties with language and repetitive/restricted behaviors. Microglia are resident innate immune cells which release many factors including proinflammatory cytokines, nitric oxide (NO) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) when they are activated in response to immunological stimuli. Recent in vivo imaging has shown that microglia sculpt and refine the synaptic circuitry by removing excess and unwanted synapses and be involved in the development of neural circuits or synaptic plasticity thereby maintaining the brain homeostasis. BDNF, one of the neurotrophins, has various important roles in cell survival, neurite outgrowth, neuronal differentiation, synaptic plasticity and the maintenance of neural circuits in the CNS. Intracellular Ca2+ signaling is important for microglial functions including ramification, de-ramification, migration, phagocytosis and release of cytokines, NO and BDNF. BDNF induces a sustained intracellular Ca2+ elevation through the upregulation of the surface expression of canonical transient receptor potential 3 (TRPC3) channels in rodent microglia. BDNF might have an anti-inflammatory effect through the inhibition of microglial activation and TRPC3 could play important roles in not only inflammatory processes but also formation of synapse through the modulation of microglial phagocytic activity in the brain. This review article summarizes recent findings on emerging dual, inflammatory and non-inflammatory, roles of microglia in the brain and reinforces the importance of intracellular Ca2+ signaling for microglial functions in both normal neurodevelopment and their potential contributing to neurodevelopmental disorders such as ASDs. PMID:28367116

  3. Loss of the Coffin-Lowry syndrome-associated gene RSK2 alters ERK activity, synaptic function and axonal transport in Drosophila motoneurons

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    Katherina Beck

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Plastic changes in synaptic properties are considered as fundamental for adaptive behaviors. Extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK-mediated signaling has been implicated in regulation of synaptic plasticity. Ribosomal S6 kinase 2 (RSK2 acts as a regulator and downstream effector of ERK. In the brain, RSK2 is predominantly expressed in regions required for learning and memory. Loss-of-function mutations in human RSK2 cause Coffin-Lowry syndrome, which is characterized by severe mental retardation and low IQ scores in affected males. Knockout of RSK2 in mice or the RSK ortholog in Drosophila results in a variety of learning and memory defects. However, overall brain structure in these animals is not affected, leaving open the question of the pathophysiological consequences. Using the fly neuromuscular system as a model for excitatory glutamatergic synapses, we show that removal of RSK function causes distinct defects in motoneurons and at the neuromuscular junction. Based on histochemical and electrophysiological analyses, we conclude that RSK is required for normal synaptic morphology and function. Furthermore, loss of RSK function interferes with ERK signaling at different levels. Elevated ERK activity was evident in the somata of motoneurons, whereas decreased ERK activity was observed in axons and the presynapse. In addition, we uncovered a novel function of RSK in anterograde axonal transport. Our results emphasize the importance of fine-tuning ERK activity in neuronal processes underlying higher brain functions. In this context, RSK acts as a modulator of ERK signaling.

  4. Loss of the Coffin-Lowry syndrome-associated gene RSK2 alters ERK activity, synaptic function and axonal transport in Drosophila motoneurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, Katherina; Ehmann, Nadine; Andlauer, Till F M; Ljaschenko, Dmitrij; Strecker, Katrin; Fischer, Matthias; Kittel, Robert J; Raabe, Thomas

    2015-11-01

    Plastic changes in synaptic properties are considered as fundamental for adaptive behaviors. Extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK)-mediated signaling has been implicated in regulation of synaptic plasticity. Ribosomal S6 kinase 2 (RSK2) acts as a regulator and downstream effector of ERK. In the brain, RSK2 is predominantly expressed in regions required for learning and memory. Loss-of-function mutations in human RSK2 cause Coffin-Lowry syndrome, which is characterized by severe mental retardation and low IQ scores in affected males. Knockout of RSK2 in mice or the RSK ortholog in Drosophila results in a variety of learning and memory defects. However, overall brain structure in these animals is not affected, leaving open the question of the pathophysiological consequences. Using the fly neuromuscular system as a model for excitatory glutamatergic synapses, we show that removal of RSK function causes distinct defects in motoneurons and at the neuromuscular junction. Based on histochemical and electrophysiological analyses, we conclude that RSK is required for normal synaptic morphology and function. Furthermore, loss of RSK function interferes with ERK signaling at different levels. Elevated ERK activity was evident in the somata of motoneurons, whereas decreased ERK activity was observed in axons and the presynapse. In addition, we uncovered a novel function of RSK in anterograde axonal transport. Our results emphasize the importance of fine-tuning ERK activity in neuronal processes underlying higher brain functions. In this context, RSK acts as a modulator of ERK signaling.

  5. Baicalein ameliorated the upregulation of striatal glutamatergic transmission in the mice model of Parkinson's disease.

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    Xue, Xinhong; Liu, Hong; Qi, Lifeng; Li, Xueli; Guo, Cunju; Gong, Dianrong; Qu, Huaiqian

    2014-04-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder, which is characterized by a loss of projecting dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and diminished dopamine level in the striatum. Dopaminergic deficit consequently leads to the alterations of striatal basal glutamatergic synaptic transmission and plasticity in the medium spiny neurons. The cytokines and neurotoxins released from the reactive immune cells induced the loss of the projecting dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra, which triggering the pathogenesis of PD. The present study investigated the effect of treatment with baicalein (5,6,7-trihydroxyflavone) on the central cytokine synthesis, striatal glutamatergic transmission, and behavioral performance in the rotarod task in the mice injected with 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). Treatment with baicalein significantly attenuated the upregulation of striatal basal glutamatergic strength by decreasing the presynaptic glutamate release and recovering the insertion of postsynaptic glutamate receptor subunit GluR1 induced by MPTP. It also significantly improved the behavioral performance in the rotarod task in the mice injected with MPTP. Treatment with baicalein decreased the upregulation of cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-1β) in the substantia nigra and striatum in the mice injected with MPTP. These results indicated that baicalein might serve as novel approach for the treatment of the patients with PD.

  6. Developmental patterning of glutamatergic synapses onto retinal ganglion cells

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    Schubert Timm

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neurons receive excitatory synaptic inputs that are distributed across their dendritic arbors at densities and with spatial patterns that influence their output. How specific synaptic distributions are attained during development is not well understood. The distribution of glutamatergic inputs across the dendritic arbors of mammalian retinal ganglion cells (RGCs has long been correlated to the spatial receptive field profiles of these neurons. Thus, determining how glutamatergic inputs are patterned onto RGC dendritic arbors during development could provide insight into the cellular mechanisms that shape their functional receptive fields. Results We transfected developing and mature mouse RGCs with plasmids encoding fluorescent proteins that label their dendrites and glutamatergic postsynaptic sites. We found that as dendritic density (dendritic length per unit area of dendritic field decreases with maturation, the density of synapses along the dendrites increases. These changes appear coordinated such that RGCs attain the mature average density of postsynaptic sites per unit area (areal density by the time synaptic function emerges. Furthermore, stereotypic centro-peripheral gradients in the areal density of synapses across the arbor of RGCs are established at an early developmental stage. Conclusion The spatial pattern of glutamatergic inputs onto RGCs arises early in synaptogenesis despite ensuing reorganization of dendritic structure. We raise the possibility that these early patterns of synaptic distributions may arise from constraints placed on the number of contacts presynaptic neurons are able to make with the RGCs.

  7. Glutamatergic transmission aberration: a major cause of behavioral deficits in a murine model of Down's syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaur, Gurjinder; Sharma, Ajay; Xu, Wenjin; Gerum, Scott; Alldred, Melissa J; Subbanna, Shivakumar; Basavarajappa, Balapal S; Pawlik, Monika; Ohno, Masuo; Ginsberg, Stephen D; Wilson, Donald A; Guilfoyle, David N; Levy, Efrat

    2014-04-09

    Trisomy 21, or Down's syndrome (DS), is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability. Altered neurotransmission in the brains of DS patients leads to hippocampus-dependent learning and memory deficiency. Although genetic mouse models have provided important insights into the genes and mechanisms responsible for DS-specific changes, the molecular mechanisms leading to memory deficits are not clear. We investigated whether the segmental trisomy model of DS, Ts[Rb(12.1716)]2Cje (Ts2), exhibits hippocampal glutamatergic transmission abnormalities and whether these alterations cause behavioral deficits. Behavioral assays demonstrated that Ts2 mice display a deficit in nest building behavior, a measure of hippocampus-dependent nonlearned behavior, as well as dysfunctional hippocampus-dependent spatial memory tested in the object-placement and the Y-maze spontaneous alternation tasks. Magnetic resonance spectra measured in the hippocampi revealed a significantly lower glutamate concentration in Ts2 as compared with normal disomic (2N) littermates. The glutamate deficit accompanied hippocampal NMDA receptor1 (NMDA-R1) mRNA and protein expression level downregulation in Ts2 compared with 2N mice. In concert with these alterations, paired-pulse analyses suggested enhanced synaptic inhibition and/or lack of facilitation in the dentate gyrus of Ts2 compared with 2N mice. Ts2 mice also exhibited disrupted synaptic plasticity in slice recordings of the hippocampal CA1 region. Collectively, these findings imply that deficits in glutamate and NMDA-R1 may be responsible for impairments in synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus associated with behavioral dysfunctions in Ts2 mice. Thus, these findings suggest that glutamatergic deficits have a significant role in causing intellectual disabilities in DS.

  8. Investigation of synapse formation and function in a glutamatergic-GABAergic two-neuron microcircuit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Chia-Ling; Trimbuch, Thorsten; Chao, Hsiao-Tuan; Jordan, Julia-Christine; Herman, Melissa A; Rosenmund, Christian

    2014-01-15

    Neural circuits are composed of mainly glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons, which communicate through synaptic connections. Many factors instruct the formation and function of these synapses; however, it is difficult to dissect the contribution of intrinsic cell programs from that of extrinsic environmental effects in an intact network. Here, we perform paired recordings from two-neuron microculture preparations of mouse hippocampal glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons to investigate how synaptic input and output of these two principal cells develop. In our reduced preparation, we found that glutamatergic neurons showed no change in synaptic output or input regardless of partner neuron cell type or neuronal activity level. In contrast, we found that glutamatergic input caused the GABAergic neuron to modify its output by way of an increase in synapse formation and a decrease in synaptic release efficiency. These findings are consistent with aspects of GABAergic synapse maturation observed in many brain regions. In addition, changes in GABAergic output are cell wide and not target-cell specific. We also found that glutamatergic neuronal activity determined the AMPA receptor properties of synapses on the partner GABAergic neuron. All modifications of GABAergic input and output required activity of the glutamatergic neuron. Because our system has reduced extrinsic factors, the changes we saw in the GABAergic neuron due to glutamatergic input may reflect initiation of maturation programs that underlie the formation and function of in vivo neural circuits.

  9. Comparative study on glutamatergic synaptic connections in rat striatum with laser scanning confocal microscopy and electron microscopy%激光共聚焦扫描显微镜和透射电镜观察大鼠纹状体内谷氨酸能突触连接的对比观察

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    蔡青; 姬曼; 张进禄; 赵君朋

    2011-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the advantage of the use of laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSCM) for observing the glutamatergic striatal synaptic connections in comparison with the observation with transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Methods 12 normal adult rats were divided into two groups: 6 rats for LSCM or TEM each. With CM-Dil and VGluT1 immunofluorescence labeling,the distribution of the asymmetrical glutamatergic synaptic connections on the dendrites of striatal neurons was observed, and 3-D reconstruction was done. The 6 rats were studied with TEM. Results There is no significant difference in the distribution characters of the glutamatergic striatal synaptic connections obtained with either LSCM or TEM. However, the whole view of the synapses and dendrites and the three-dimensional reconstruction of synaptic connections between neurons can be obtained with LSCM but not TEM.Conclusion LSCM is an effective and quantitative technique to investigate the glutamate synaptic connections of striatal neurons.%目的 探讨使用激光共聚焦扫描显微镜 (Laser scanning confocal microscope,LSCM)观察大鼠纹状体内谷氨酸能突触连接的方法的可行性.方法 12只正常大鼠分为两组,6只大鼠进行纹状体中等棘刺神经元的CM-DiI 单细胞标记,然后Ⅰ型囊泡膜谷氨酸转运体(vesicular glutamate transporter 1,VGluT1 )免疫荧光标记,LSCM层扫后三维重建,观察VGluT1阳性位点在中等棘刺神经元树突上的分布.另外6只大鼠用TEM观察不对称性突触在纹状体神经元树突上的分布.对两种方法的结果进行比较.结果 用LSCM 和TEM方法观察到的纹状体神经元上谷氨酸能突触连接分布情况一致,没有统计学差异.但LSCM更具优越性的是,可以对图像进行三维重构,从而有利于对神经元之间突触连接的空间分布观察和定量分析.结论 神经细胞荧光标记技术结合LSCM观察是考察纹状体神经元上谷氨酸能突触连接的有效方法.

  10. D-serine and serine racemase are associated with PSD-95 and glutamatergic synapse stability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong eLin

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available D-serine is an endogenous coagonist at the glycine site of synaptic NMDA receptors (NMDARs, synthesized by serine racemase (SR through conversion of L-serine. It is crucial for synaptic plasticity and is implicated in schizophrenia. Our previous studies demonstrated specific loss of SR, D-serine-responsive synaptic NMDARs, and glutamatergic synapses in cortical neurons lacking alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, which promotes glutamatergic synapse formation and maturation during development. We thus hypothesize that D-serine and SR (D-serine/SR are associated with glutamatergic synaptic development. Using morphological and molecular studies in cortical neuronal cultures, we demonstrate that D-serine/SR are associated with PSD-95 and NMDARs in postsynaptic neurons and with glutamatergic synapse stability during synaptic development. Endogenous D-serine and SR colocalize with PSD-95, but not presynaptic vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (VGLUT1, in glutamatergic synapses of cultured cortical neurons. Low-density astrocytes in cortical neuronal cultures lack SR expression but contain enriched D-serine in large vesicle-like structures, suggesting possible synthesis of D-serine in postsynaptic neurons and storage in astrocytes. More interestingly, endogenous D-serine and SR colocalize with PSD-95 in the postsynaptic terminals of glutamatergic synapses during early and late synaptic development, implicating involvement of D-serine/SR in glutamatergic synaptic development. Exogenous application of D-serine enhances the interactions of SR with PSD-95 and NR1, and increases the number of VGLUT1- and PSD-95-positive glutamatergic synapses, suggesting that exogenous D-serine enhances postsynaptic SR/PSD-95 signaling and stabilizes glutamatergic synapses during cortical synaptic development. This is blocked by NMDAR antagonist 2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid (AP5 and 7-chlorokynurenic acid (7-CK, a specific antagonist at the glycine site of NMDARs

  11. mTORC1 Inhibition Corrects Neurodevelopmental and Synaptic Alterations in a Human Stem Cell Model of Tuberous Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Veronica; Aigner, Stefan; Vukcevic, Mirko; Sauter, Evelyn; Behr, Katharina; Ebeling, Martin; Dunkley, Tom; Friedlein, Arno; Zoffmann, Sannah; Meyer, Claas A; Knoflach, Frédéric; Lugert, Sebastian; Patsch, Christoph; Fjeldskaar, Fatiha; Chicha-Gaudimier, Laurie; Kiialainen, Anna; Piraino, Paolo; Bedoucha, Marc; Graf, Martin; Jessberger, Sebastian; Ghosh, Anirvan; Bischofberger, Josef; Jagasia, Ravi

    2016-04-05

    Hyperfunction of the mTORC1 pathway has been associated with idiopathic and syndromic forms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), including tuberous sclerosis, caused by loss of either TSC1 or TSC2. It remains largely unknown how developmental processes and biochemical signaling affected by mTORC1 dysregulation contribute to human neuronal dysfunction. Here, we have characterized multiple stages of neurogenesis and synapse formation in human neurons derived from TSC2-deleted pluripotent stem cells. Homozygous TSC2 deletion causes severe developmental abnormalities that recapitulate pathological hallmarks of cortical malformations in patients. Both TSC2(+/-) and TSC2(-/-) neurons display altered synaptic transmission paralleled by molecular changes in pathways associated with autism, suggesting the convergence of pathological mechanisms in ASD. Pharmacological inhibition of mTORC1 corrects developmental abnormalities and synaptic dysfunction during independent developmental stages. Our results uncouple stage-specific roles of mTORC1 in human neuronal development and contribute to a better understanding of the onset of neuronal pathophysiology in tuberous sclerosis.

  12. Both pre- and post-synaptic alterations contribute to aberrant cholinergic transmission in superior cervical ganglia of APP(-/-) mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Zhao-Lin; Zhang, Jia-Jia; Chen, Ming; Wang, Jin-Zhao; Xiao, Peng; Yang, Li; Long, Cheng

    2016-11-01

    Though amyloid precursor protein (APP) can potentially be cleaved to generate the pathological amyloid β peptide (Aβ), APP itself plays an important role in regulating neuronal activity. APP deficiency causes functional impairment in cholinergic synaptic transmission and cognitive performance. However, the mechanisms underlying altered cholinergic synaptic transmission in APP knock-out mice (APP(-/-)) are poorly understood. In this study, we conducted in vivo extracellular recording to investigate cholinergic compound action potentials (CAPs) of the superior cervical ganglion (SCG) in APP(-/-) and littermate wild-type (WT) mice. Our results demonstrate that APP not only regulates presynaptic activity, but also affects postsynaptic function at cholinergic synapses in SCG. APP deficiency reduces the number of vesicles in presynaptic terminalsand attenuatesthe amplitude of CAPs, likely due to dysfunction of high-affinity choline transporters. Pharmacological and biochemical examination showed that postsynaptic responsesmediated by α4β2 and α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are reduced in the absence of APP. Our research provides evidences on how APP regulates cholinergic function and therefore may help to identify potential therapeutic targets to treat cholinergic dysfunction associated with Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis.

  13. Differential Control of Cocaine Self-Administration by GABAergic and Glutamatergic CB1 Cannabinoid Receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín-García, Elena; Bourgoin, Lucie; Cathala, Adeline; Kasanetz, Fernando; Mondesir, Miguel; Gutiérrez-Rodriguez, Ana; Reguero, Leire; Fiancette, Jean-François; Grandes, Pedro; Spampinato, Umberto; Maldonado, Rafael; Piazza, Pier Vincenzo; Marsicano, Giovanni; Deroche-Gamonet, Véronique

    2016-08-01

    The type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1) modulates numerous neurobehavioral processes and is therefore explored as a target for the treatment of several mental and neurological diseases. However, previous studies have investigated CB1 by targeting it globally, regardless of its two main neuronal localizations on glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons. In the context of cocaine addiction this lack of selectivity is critical since glutamatergic and GABAergic neuronal transmission is involved in different aspects of the disease. To determine whether CB1 exerts different control on cocaine seeking according to its two main neuronal localizations, we used mutant mice with deleted CB1 in cortical glutamatergic neurons (Glu-CB1) or in forebrain GABAergic neurons (GABA-CB1). In Glu-CB1, gene deletion concerns the dorsal telencephalon, including neocortex, paleocortex, archicortex, hippocampal formation and the cortical portions of the amygdala. In GABA-CB1, it concerns several cortical and non-cortical areas including the dorsal striatum, nucleus accumbens, thalamic, and hypothalamic nuclei. We tested complementary components of cocaine self-administration, separating the influence of primary and conditioned effects. Mechanisms underlying each phenotype were explored using in vivo microdialysis and ex vivo electrophysiology. We show that CB1 expression in forebrain GABAergic neurons controls mouse sensitivity to cocaine, while CB1 expression in cortical glutamatergic neurons controls associative learning processes. In accordance, in the nucleus accumbens, GABA-CB1 receptors control cocaine-induced dopamine release and Glu-CB1 receptors control AMPAR/NMDAR ratio; a marker of synaptic plasticity. Our findings demonstrate a critical distinction of the altered balance of Glu-CB1 and GABA-CB1 activity that could participate in the vulnerability to cocaine abuse and addiction. Moreover, these novel insights advance our understanding of CB1 neuropathophysiology.

  14. Evidence for loss of synaptic AMPA receptors in anterior piriform cortex of aged mice.

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    Gocel, James; Larson, John

    2013-01-01

    It has been suggested that age-related impairments in learning and memory may be due to age-related deficits in long-term potentiation of glutamatergic synaptic transmission. For example, olfactory discrimination learning is significantly affected by aging in mice and this may be due, in part, to diminished synaptic plasticity in piriform cortex. In the present study, we tested for alterations in electrophysiological properties and synaptic transmission in this simple cortical network. Whole-cell recordings were made from principal neurons in slices of anterior piriform cortex from young (3-6 months old) and old (24-28 months) C57Bl/6 mice. Miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) mediated by AMPA receptors were collected from cells in presence of tetrodotoxin (TTX) and held at -80 mV in voltage-clamp. Amplitudes of mEPSCs were significantly reduced in aged mice, suggesting that synaptic AMPA receptor expression is decreased during aging. In a second set of experiments, spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (s/mEPSCs) were recorded in slices from different cohorts of young and old mice, in the absence of TTX. These currents resembled mEPSCs and were similarly reduced in amplitude in old mice. The results represent the first electrophysiological evidence for age-related declines in glutamatergic synaptic function in the mammalian olfactory system.

  15. 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.

  16. Repeated morphine pretreatment reduces glutamatergic synaptic potentiation in the nucleus accumbens induced by acute morphine exposure%慢性吗啡预处理减弱急性吗啡对伏隔核谷氨酸能突触传递的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    吴晓杰; 张静; 魏春玲; 刘志强; 任维

    2012-01-01

    Repeated exposure to morphine leads to the addiction, which influences its clinical application seriously. The glutamatergic projection from prefrontal cortex (PFC) to the nucleus accumbens (Nac) plays an important role in rewarding effects. It is still unknown whether morphine exposure changes PFC-Nac synaptic transmission. To address this question, in vivo field excitatory post-synaptic potentials (fEPSPs) induced by electric stimulating PFC-Nac projection fibers were recorded to evaluate the effect of acute morphine exposure (10 mg/kg, s.c.) on glutamatergic synaptic transmission in Nac shell of repeated saline/morphine pretreated rats. It was showed that acute morphine exposure enhanced fEPSP amplitude and reduced paired-pulse ratio (PPR) in saline pretreated rats, which could be reversed by following naloxone injection (1 mg/kg, I.p.), an opiate receptor antagonist. However, repeated morphine pretreatment significantly inhibited both the enhancement of fEPSP amplitude and reduction of PPR induced by acute morphine exposure. Those results indicate that the initial morphine exposure enhances PFC-Nac synaptic transmission by pre-synaptic mechanisms, whereas morphine pretreatment occludes this effect.%吗啡长期作用后会产生成瘾(addiction),严重影响其临床应用.前额叶(prefrontal cortex,PFC)投射至伏隔核(nucleus accumbens,NAc)的谷氨酸能突触对奖赏效应有重要的调节作用,但该突触在吗啡成瘾中的具体作用尚不完全清楚.为探讨PFC至NAc的谷氨酸能突触在成瘾形成过程中的具体作用及其机制,本研究利用成年大鼠在体记录的方式,记录电刺激PFC至NAc谷氨酸能传入纤维引起的NAc壳区场兴奋性突触后电位(filed excitatory postsynaptic potential,fEPSP),观察慢性吗啡/盐水预处理后依次急性皮下注射吗啡及腹腔注射纳络酮对fEPSP幅值和配对脉冲比率(paired-pulse ratio,PPR)的影响.结果显示,与基础fEPSP相比,慢性盐水预处理组急

  17. Inhibition of soluble tumor necrosis factor ameliorates synaptic alterations and Ca2+ dysregulation in aged rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana M Sama

    Full Text Available The role of tumor necrosis factor α (TNF in neural function has been investigated extensively in several neurodegenerative conditions, but rarely in brain aging, where cognitive and physiologic changes are milder and more variable. Here, we show that protein levels for TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1 are significantly elevated in the hippocampus relative to TNF receptor 2 (TNFR2 in aged (22 months but not young adult (6 months Fischer 344 rats. To determine if altered TNF/TNFR1 interactions contribute to key brain aging biomarkers, aged rats received chronic (4-6 week intracranial infusions of XPro1595: a soluble dominant negative TNF that preferentially inhibits TNFR1 signaling. Aged rats treated with XPro1595 showed improved Morris Water Maze performance, reduced microglial activation, reduced susceptibility to hippocampal long-term depression, increased protein levels for the GluR1 type glutamate receptor, and lower L-type voltage sensitive Ca(2+ channel (VSCC activity in hippocampal CA1 neurons. The results suggest that diverse functional changes associated with brain aging may arise, in part, from selective alterations in TNF signaling.

  18. Activation of α7-containing nicotinic receptors on astrocytes triggers AMPA receptor recruitment to glutamatergic synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xulong; Lippi, Giordano; Carlson, David M; Berg, Darwin K

    2013-12-01

    Astrocytes, an abundant form of glia, are known to promote and modulate synaptic signaling between neurons. They also express α7-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7-nAChRs), but the functional relevance of these receptors is unknown. We show here that stimulation of α7-nAChRs on astrocytes releases components that induce hippocampal neurons to acquire more α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors post-synaptically at glutamatergic synapses. The increase is specific in that no change is seen in synaptic NMDA receptor clusters or other markers for glutamatergic synapses, or in markers for GABAergic synapses. Moreover, the increases in AMPA receptors on the neuron surface are accompanied by increases in the frequency of spontaneous miniature synaptic currents mediated by the receptors and increases in the ratio of evoked synaptic currents mediated by AMPA versus NMDA receptors. This suggests that stimulating α7-nAChRs on astrocytes can convert 'silent' glutamatergic synapses to functional status. Astrocyte-derived thrombospondin is necessary but not sufficient for the effect, while tumor necrosis factor-α is sufficient but not necessary. The results identify astrocyte α7-nAChRs as a novel pathway through which nicotinic cholinergic signaling can promote the development of glutamatergic networks, recruiting AMPA receptors to post-synaptic sites and rendering the synapses more functional. We find that activation of nicotinic receptors on astrocytes releases a component that specifically recruits AMPA receptors to glutamatergic synapses. The recruitment appears to occur preferentially at what may be 'silent synapses', that is, synapses that have all the components required for glutamatergic transmission (including NMDA receptors) but lack sufficient AMPA receptors to generate a response. The results are unexpected and open up new possibilities for mechanisms underlying network formation and synaptic plasticity.

  19. 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.

  20. Synaptic and molecular mechanisms of glutamatergic synapses in pain and memory%谷氨酸性突触在痛觉和记忆中的突触和分子机制

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    卓敏

    2003-01-01

    谷氨酸是哺乳动物脑中的兴奋性递质.中枢神经系统的谷氨酸性突触广泛参与痛觉传递, 突触可塑性和递质的调节.谷氨酸的NMDA受体参与前脑相关的学习及功能.在这篇综述中, 我们提出前脑的NMDA受体通过增强谷氨酸性突触传递导致长期性的炎痛.具有增强NMDA受体功能的小鼠会产生更多的慢性痛.NMDA NR2B受体抑制剂在未来可能被用来控制人类的慢性痛.%Glutamate is a fast excitatory transmitter in mammalian brains. Glutamatergic synapses are found in central regions related to pain transmission, plasticity and modulation. Glutamate NMDA receptors in forebrain structures are well known to contribute to the formation and storage of information. Here we propose the hypothesis that forebrain NMDA receptors play an important role in persistent inflammatory pain by re-enforcing glutamate sensory transmission in the brain. Mice with enhanced function of forebrain NMDA receptors demonstrate selective enhancement of persistent pain and allodynia. Drugs targeting forebrain NMDA NR2B receptors may serve as a new class of medicine to control persistent pain in humans.

  1. Modulation of the glutamatergic transmission by Dopamine: a focus on Parkinson, Huntington and Addiction diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardoni, Fabrizio; Bellone, Camilla

    2015-01-01

    Dopamine (DA) plays a major role in motor and cognitive functions as well as in reward processing by regulating glutamatergic inputs. In particular in the striatum the release of DA rapidly influences synaptic transmission modulating both AMPA and NMDA receptors. Several neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders, including Parkinson, Huntington and addiction-related diseases, manifest a dysregulation of glutamate and DA signaling. Here, we will focus our attention on the mechanisms underlying the modulation of the glutamatergic transmission by DA in striatal circuits.

  2. Prenatal exposure to the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN 55,212-2 alters migration of early-born glutamatergic neurons and GABAergic interneurons in the rat cerebral cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saez, Trinidad M M; Aronne, María P; Caltana, Laura; Brusco, Alicia H

    2014-05-01

    The endocannabinoid system, composed of cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids, and synthesis and degradation enzymes, is present since early stages of brain development. During this period, the endocannabinoid system is involved in the regulation of neural progenitor proliferation and specification as well as the migration and differentiation of pyramidal neurons and interneurons. Marijuana consumption during pregnancy represents a serious risk in relation to the fetal brain development since Δ(9) -tetrahidrocannabinol, the main active compound of cannabis, can reach the fetus through placenta and hemato-encephalic barrier. Cohort studies performed on children and adolescents of mothers who consumed marijuana during pregnancy reported cognitive and comportamental abnormalities. In the present study, we examined the expression of the cannabinoid receptor CB1 R during corticogenesis in radially and tangentially migrating post-mitotic neurons. We found that prenatal exposure to WIN impaired tangential and radial migration of post-mitotic neurons in the dorsal pallium. In addition, we described alterations of two transcription factors associated with proliferating and newly post-mitotic glutamatergic cells in the dorsal pallium, Tbr1 and Tbr2, and disruption in the number of Cajal-Retzius cells. The present results contribute to the knowledge of neurobiological substrates that determine neuro-comportamental changes that will persist through post-natal life.

  3. IL-6 is increased in the cerebellum of autistic brain and alters neural cell adhesion, migration and synaptic formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dobkin Carl

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Although the cellular mechanisms responsible for the pathogenesis of autism are not understood, a growing number of studies have suggested that localized inflammation of the central nervous system (CNS may contribute to the development of autism. Recent evidence shows that IL-6 has a crucial role in the development and plasticity of CNS. Methods Immunohistochemistry studies were employed to detect the IL-6 expression in the cerebellum of study subjects. In vitro adenoviral gene delivery approach was used to over-express IL-6 in cultured cerebellar granule cells. Cell adhesion and migration assays, DiI labeling, TO-PRO-3 staining and immunofluorescence were used to examine cell adhesion and migration, dendritic spine morphology, cell apoptosis and synaptic protein expression respectively. Results In this study, we found that IL-6 was significantly increased in the cerebellum of autistic subjects. We investigated how IL-6 affects neural cell development and function by transfecting cultured mouse cerebellar granule cells with an IL-6 viral expression vector. We demonstrated that IL-6 over-expression in granule cells caused impairments in granule cell adhesion and migration but had little effect on the formation of dendritic spines or granule cell apoptosis. However, IL-6 over-expression stimulated the formation of granule cell excitatory synapses, without affecting inhibitory synapses. Conclusions Our results provide further evidence that aberrant IL-6 may be associated with autism. In addition, our results suggest that the elevated IL-6 in the autistic brain could alter neural cell adhesion, migration and also cause an imbalance of excitatory and inhibitory circuits. Thus, increased IL-6 expression may be partially responsible for the pathogenesis of autism.

  4. Maternal chewing during prenatal stress ameliorates stress-induced hypomyelination, synaptic alterations, and learning impairment in mouse offspring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Ayumi; Iinuma, Mitsuo; Hayashi, Sakurako; Sato, Yuichi; Azuma, Kagaku; Kubo, Kin-Ya

    2016-11-15

    Maternal chewing during prenatal stress attenuates both the development of stress-induced learning deficits and decreased cell proliferation in mouse hippocampal dentate gyrus. Hippocampal myelination affects spatial memory and the synaptic structure is a key mediator of neuronal communication. We investigated whether maternal chewing during prenatal stress ameliorates stress-induced alterations of hippocampal myelin and synapses, and impaired development of spatial memory in adult offspring. Pregnant mice were divided into control, stress, and stress/chewing groups. Stress was induced by placing mice in a ventilated restraint tube, and was initiated on day 12 of pregnancy and continued until delivery. Mice in the stress/chewing group were given a wooden stick to chew during restraint. In 1-month-old pups, spatial memory was assessed in the Morris water maze, and hippocampal oligodendrocytes and synapses in CA1 were assayed by immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy. Prenatal stress led to impaired learning ability, and decreased immunoreactivity of myelin basic protein (MBP) and 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase (CNPase) in the hippocampal CA1 in adult offspring. Numerous myelin sheath abnormalities were observed. The G-ratio [axonal diameter to axonal fiber diameter (axon plus myelin sheath)] was increased and postsynaptic density length was decreased in the hippocampal CA1 region. Maternal chewing during stress attenuated the prenatal stress-induced impairment of spatial memory, and the decreased MBP and CNPase immunoreactivity, increased G-ratios, and decreased postsynaptic-density length in the hippocampal CA1 region. These findings suggest that chewing during prenatal stress in dams could be an effective coping strategy to prevent hippocampal behavioral and morphologic impairments in their offspring.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 毒蕈碱乙酰胆碱M2/M4受体亚型在调节脊髓背角神经元谷氨酸能递质释放中的作用%Role of muscarinic cholinergic receptor subtypes in regulating glutamatergic synaptic transmission in rat spinal dorsal horn

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杜威; 郭英; 袁维秀

    2013-01-01

    Objective To investigate the role of muscarinic cholinergic receptor (mAChR) subtypes in the regulation of glutamatergic input to the spinal dorsal horn neurons and the possible mechanism.Methods Whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings on acute spinal slice was utilized to investigate the effect of activation of mAChRs and blockade of M2/M4 subtypes on glutamatergic synaptic transmission in rat spinal dorsal horn neurons.Results The nonselective mAChRs agonist oxotremorine-M concentration-dependently decreased the amplitude of monosynaptic and polysynaptic evoked glutamate-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents (eEPSCs) in most of the neurons.The M2/M4 antagonist himbacine completely blocked the inhibitory effect of oxotremorine-M in 92.3% of monosynaptic and 75% of polysynaptic neurons in the spinal cord slices.In the remaining 16% neurons,himbacine partially blocked the inhibitory effect of oxotremorine-M.Conclusions Activation of mAChRs in the spinal cord attenuates synaptic glutamate release to the dorsal horn neurons mainly through M2 and M4 receptor subtypes,indicating that a presynaptic inhibition in the spinal cord may be involved in the regulation of nociception by the cholinergic system and mAChRs.%目的 研究毒蕈碱胆碱能受体(mAChRs)亚型对脊髓背角感觉神经元谷氨酸能突触传递的调节机制.方法 在急性切取的腰段脊髓切片上,利用全细胞膜片钳法记录mAChRs非特异性激动剂氢化震颤素M(Oxo-M)对脊髓背角浅层神经元谷氨酸能兴奋性突触后电流(eEPSCs)的影响,给予M2/M4受体特异性拮抗剂喜巴辛,观察mAChRs在脊髓背角浅层神经元谷氨酸能递质释放调节过程中的作用.结果 不同浓度Oxo-M使脊髓背角神经元单突触和多突触eEPSCs的幅度显著降低,其抑制强度呈浓度依赖性,喜巴辛可以拮抗Oxo-M对刺激诱发eEPSCs幅度的抑制作用,在记录的25个细胞中,92.3%的单突触细胞和75%的多突触细胞表现为Oxo-M

  9. Prenatal immune challenge in rats: altered responses to dopaminergic and glutamatergic agents, prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle, and reduced route-based learning as a function of maternal body weight gain after prenatal exposure to poly IC.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vorhees, Charles V; Graham, Devon L; Braun, Amanda A; Schaefer, Tori L; Skelton, Matthew R; Richtand, Neil M; Williams, Michael T

    2012-08-01

    Prenatal maternal immune activation has been used to test the neurodevelopmental hypothesis of schizophrenia. Most of the data are in mouse models; far less is available for rats. We previously showed that maternal weight change in response to the immune activator polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (Poly IC) in rats differentially affects offspring. Therefore, we treated gravid Harlan Sprague-Dawley rats i.p. on embryonic day 14 with 8 mg/kg of Poly IC or Saline. The Poly IC group was divided into those that lost or gained the least weight, Poly IC (L), versus those that gained the most weight, Poly IC (H), following treatment. The study design controlled for litter size, litter sampling, sex distribution, and test experience. We found no effects of Poly IC on elevated zero maze, open-field activity, object burying, light-dark test, straight channel swimming, Morris water maze spatial acquisition, reversal, or shift navigation or spatial working or reference memory, or conditioned contextual or cued fear or latent inhibition. The Poly IC (H) group showed a significant decrease in the rate of route-based learning when visible cues were unavailable in the Cincinnati water maze and reduced prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle in females, but not males. The Poly IC (L) group exhibited altered responses to acute pharmacological challenges: exaggerated hyperactivity in response to (+)-amphetamine and an attenuated hyperactivity in response to MK-801. This model did not exhibit the cognitive, or latent inhibition deficits reported in Poly IC-treated rats but showed changes in response to drugs acting on neurotransmitter systems implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia (dopaminergic hyperfunction and glutamatergic hypofunction).

  10. Serotonin modulates glutamatergic transmission to neurons in the lateral habenula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Guiqin; Zuo, Wanhong; Wu, Liangzhi; Li, Wenting; Wu, Wei; Bekker, Alex; Ye, Jiang-Hong

    2016-04-01

    The lateral habenula (LHb) is bilaterally connected with serotoninergic raphe nuclei, and expresses high density of serotonin receptors. However, actions of serotonin on the excitatory synaptic transmission to LHb neurons have not been thoroughly investigated. The LHb contains two anatomically and functionally distinct regions: lateral (LHbl) and medial (LHbm) divisions. We compared serotonin's effects on glutamatergic transmission across the LHb in rat brains. Serotonin bi-directionally and differentially modulated glutamatergic transmission. Serotonin inhibited glutamatergic transmission in higher percentage of LHbl neurons but potentiated in higher percentage of LHbm neurons. Magnitude of potentiation was greater in LHbm than in LHbl. Type 2 and 3 serotonin receptor antagonists attenuated serotonin's potentiation. The serotonin reuptake blocker, and the type 2 and 3 receptor agonists facilitated glutamatergic transmission in both LHbl and LHbm neurons. Thus, serotonin via activating its type 2, 3 receptors, increased glutamate release at nerve terminals in some LHb neurons. Our data demonstrated that serotonin affects both LHbm and LHbl. Serotonin might play an important role in processing information between the LHb and its downstream-targeted structures during decision-making. It may also contribute to a homeostatic balance underlying the neural circuitry between the LHb and raphe nuclei.

  11. Lrp4 in astrocytes modulates glutamatergic transmission.

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    Sun, Xiang-Dong; Li, Lei; Liu, Fang; Huang, Zhi-Hui; Bean, Jonathan C; Jiao, Hui-Feng; Barik, Arnab; Kim, Seon-Myung; Wu, Haitao; Shen, Chengyong; Tian, Yun; Lin, Thiri W; Bates, Ryan; Sathyamurthy, Anupama; Chen, Yong-Jun; Yin, Dong-Min; Xiong, Lei; Lin, Hui-Ping; Hu, Jin-Xia; Li, Bao-Ming; Gao, Tian-Ming; Xiong, Wen-Cheng; Mei, Lin

    2016-08-01

    Neurotransmission requires precise control of neurotransmitter release from axon terminals. This process is regulated by glial cells; however, the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. We found that glutamate release in the brain was impaired in mice lacking low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 4 (Lrp4), a protein that is critical for neuromuscular junction formation. Electrophysiological studies revealed compromised release probability in astrocyte-specific Lrp4 knockout mice. Lrp4 mutant astrocytes suppressed glutamatergic transmission by enhancing the release of ATP, whose level was elevated in the hippocampus of Lrp4 mutant mice. Consequently, the mutant mice were impaired in locomotor activity and spatial memory and were resistant to seizure induction. These impairments could be ameliorated by blocking the adenosine A1 receptor. The results reveal a critical role for Lrp4, in response to agrin, in modulating astrocytic ATP release and synaptic transmission. Our findings provide insight into the interaction between neurons and astrocytes for synaptic homeostasis and/or plasticity.

  12. Synaptic plasticity and NO-cGMP-PKG signaling regulate pre- and postsynaptic alterations at rat lateral amygdala synapses following fear conditioning.

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    Kristie T Ota

    Full Text Available In vertebrate models of synaptic plasticity, signaling via the putative "retrograde messenger" nitric oxide (NO has been hypothesized to serve as a critical link between functional and structural alterations at pre- and postsynaptic sites. In the present study, we show that auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning is associated with significant and long-lasting increases in the expression of the postsynaptically-localized protein GluR1 and the presynaptically-localized proteins synaptophysin and synapsin in the lateral amygdala (LA within 24 hrs following training. Further, we show that rats given intra-LA infusion of either the NR2B-selective antagonist Ifenprodil, the NOS inhibitor 7-Ni, or the PKG inhibitor Rp-8-Br-PET-cGMPS exhibit significant decreases in training-induced expression of GluR1, synaptophysin, and synapsin immunoreactivity in the LA, while those rats infused with the PKG activator 8-Br-cGMP exhibit a significant increase in these proteins in the LA. In contrast, rats given intra-LA infusion of the NO scavenger c-PTIO exhibit a significant decrease in synapsin and synaptophysin expression in the LA, but no significant impairment in the expression of GluR1. Finally, we show that intra-LA infusions of the ROCK inhibitor Y-27632 or the CaMKII inhibitor KN-93 impair training-induced expression of GluR1, synapsin, and synaptophysin in the LA. These findings suggest that the NO-cGMP-PKG, Rho/ROCK, and CaMKII signaling pathways regulate fear memory consolidation, in part, by promoting both pre- and post-synaptic alterations at LA synapses. They further suggest that synaptic plasticity in the LA during auditory fear conditioning promotes alterations at presynaptic sites via NO-driven "retrograde signaling".

  13. Altered glutamate reuptake in relapsing-remitting and secondary progressive multiple sclerosis cortex: correlation with microglia infiltration, demyelination, and neuronal and synaptic damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vercellino, Marco; Merola, Aristide; Piacentino, Chiara; Votta, Barbara; Capello, Elisabetta; Mancardi, Giovanni Luigi; Mutani, Roberto; Giordana, Maria Teresa; Cavalla, Paola

    2007-08-01

    Cortical involvement in multiple sclerosis (MS) is emerging as an important determinant of disease progression. The mechanisms responsible for MS cortical pathology are not fully characterized. The objective of this study was to assess the role of excitotoxicity in MS cortex, evaluating excitatory amino acid transporter (EAAT) expression and its relationship with demyelination, inflammation, gliosis, and neuronal and synaptic pathology. EAATs are essential in maintaining low extracellular glutamate concentrations and preventing excitotoxicity. Ten MS brains (3 relapsing-remitting MS cases and 7 secondary progressive MS cases) were evaluated by immunohistochemistry for myelin basic protein, CD68, HLA-DR, EAAT1, EAAT2, glial fibrillary acidic protein, phosphorylated c-Jun N-terminal kinase (pJNK), synaptophysin, and neurofilaments. Cortical lesions were frequently observed in MS brains in variable numbers and extensions. In cortical lesions, activated microglia infiltration correlated with focal loss of EAAT1, EAAT2, and synaptophysin immunostaining, and with neuronal immunostaining for pJNK, a protein involved in response to excitotoxic injury. No reduction of EAATs or synaptophysin immunostaining was observed in demyelinated cortex in the absence of activated microglia. Alterations of the mechanisms of glutamate reuptake are found in cortical MS lesions in the presence of activated microglia and are associated with signs of neuronal and synaptic damage suggestive of excitotoxicity. Excitotoxicity may be involved in the pathogenesis of demyelination and of neuronal and synaptic damage in MS cortex.

  14. Activation of group II metabotropic glutamate receptors inhibits glutamatergic transmission in the rat entorhinal cortex via reduction of glutamate release probability.

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    Wang, Shouping; Chen, Xiaotong; Kurada, Lalitha; Huang, Zitong; Lei, Saobo

    2012-03-01

    Glutamate interacts with ionotropic and metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs). Whereas the entorhinal cortex (EC) is a principal structure involved in learning and memory, the roles of mGluRs in synaptic transmission in the EC have not been completely determined. Here, we show that activation of group II mGluRs (mGluR II) induced robust depression of glutamatergic transmission in the EC. The mGluR II-induced depression was due to a selective reduction of presynaptic release probability without alterations of the quantal size and the number of release sites. The mechanisms underlying mGluR II-mediated suppression of glutamate release included the inhibition of presynaptic release machinery and the depression of presynaptic P/Q-type Ca(2+) channels. Whereas mGluR II-induced depression required the function of Gα(i/o) proteins, protein kinase A (PKA) pathway was only involved in mGluR II-mediated inhibition of release machinery and thereby partially required for mGluR II-induced inhibition of glutamate release. Presynaptic stimulation at 5 Hz for 10 min also induced depression of glutamatergic transmission via activation of presynaptic mGluR II suggesting an endogenous role for mGluR II in modulating glutamatergic transmission.

  15. High abundance of BDNF within glutamatergic presynapses of cultured hippocampal neurons

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    Thomas eAndreska

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available In the mammalian brain, the neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF has emerged as a key factor for synaptic refinement, plasticity and learning. Although BDNF-induced signaling cascades are well known, the spatial aspects of the synaptic BDNF localization remained unclear. Recent data provide strong evidence for an exclusive presynaptic location and anterograde secretion of endogenous BDNF at synapses of the hippocampal circuit. In contrast, various studies using BDNF overexpression in cultured hippocampal neurons support the idea that postsynaptic synapses and other dendritic structures are the preferential sites of BDNF localization and release. In this study we used rigorously tested anti-BDNF antibodies and achieved a dense labeling of endogenous BDNF close to synapses. Confocal microscopy showed natural BDNF close to many, but not all glutamatergic synapses, while neither GABAergic synapses nor postsynaptic structures carried a typical synaptic BDNF label. To visualize the BDNF distribution within the fine structure of synapses, we implemented super resolution fluorescence imaging by direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (dSTORM. Two-color dSTORM images of neurites were acquired with a spatial resolution of ~20 nm. At this resolution, the synaptic scaffold proteins Bassoon and Homer exhibit hallmarks of mature synapses and form juxtaposed bars, separated by a synaptic cleft. BDNF imaging signals form granule-like clusters with a mean size of ~60 nm and are preferentially found within the fine structure of the glutamatergic presynapse. Individual glutamatergic presynapses carried up to 90% of the synaptic BDNF immunoreactivity, and only a minor fraction of BDNF molecules was found close to the postsynaptic bars. Our data proof that hippocampal neurons are able to enrich and store high amounts of BDNF in small granules within the mature glutamatergic presynapse, at a principle site of synaptic plasticity.

  16. Exercise Training after Spinal Cord Injury Selectively Alters Synaptic Properties in Neurons in Adult Mouse Spinal Cord

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    Flynn, Jamie R.; Dunn, Lynda R.; Galea, Mary P.; Callister, Robin; Rank, Michelle M.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Following spinal cord injury (SCI), anatomical changes such as axonal sprouting occur within weeks in the vicinity of the injury. Exercise training enhances axon sprouting; however, the exact mechanisms that mediate exercised-induced plasticity are unknown. We studied the effects of exercise training after SCI on the intrinsic and synaptic properties of spinal neurons in the immediate vicinity (<2 segments) of the SCI. Male mice (C57BL/6, 9–10 weeks old) received a spinal hemisection (T10) and after 1 week of recovery, they were randomized to trained (treadmill exercise for 3 weeks) and untrained (no exercise) groups. After 3 weeks, mice were killed and horizontal spinal cord slices (T6–L1, 250 μm thick) were prepared for visually guided whole cell patch clamp recording. Intrinsic properties, including resting membrane potential, input resistance, rheobase current, action potential (AP) threshold and after-hyperpolarization (AHP) amplitude were similar in neurons from trained and untrained mice (n=67 and 70 neurons, respectively). Neurons could be grouped into four categories based on their AP discharge during depolarizing current injection; the proportions of tonic firing, initial bursting, single spiking, and delayed firing neurons were similar in trained and untrained mice. The properties of spontaneous excitatory synaptic currents (sEPSCs) did not differ in trained and untrained animals. In contrast, evoked excitatory synaptic currents recorded after dorsal column stimulation were markedly increased in trained animals (peak amplitude 78.9±17.5 vs. 42.2±6.8 pA; charge 1054±376 vs. 348±75 pA·ms). These data suggest that 3 weeks of treadmill exercise does not affect the intrinsic properties of spinal neurons after SCI; however, excitatory synaptic drive from dorsal column pathways, such as the corticospinal tract, is enhanced. PMID:23320512

  17. The neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+ alters hippocampal excitatory synaptic transmission by modulation of the GABAergic system

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    YuYing eHuang

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP induces Parkinson’s disease (PD-like symptoms following administration to mice, monkeys and humans. A common view is that MPTP is metabolized to 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium ion (MPP+ to induce its neurodegenerative effects on dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. Moreover, the hippocampus contains dopaminergic fibers, which are projecting from the ventral tegmental area, substantia nigra and pars compacta and contain the whole machinery required for dopamine synthesis making them sensitive to MPTP and MPP+. Here we present data showing that acute bath-application of MPP+ elicited a dose-dependent facilitation followed by a depression of synaptic transmission of hippocampal Schaffer collaterals-CA1 synapses in mice. The effects of MPP+ were not mediated by D1/D5- and D2-like receptor activation. Inhibition of the dopamine transporters (DAT did not prevent but increased the depression of excitatory postsynaptic field potentials. In the search for a possible mechanism, we observed that MPP+ reduced the appearance of polyspikes in population spikes recorded in str. pyramidale and increased the frequency of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents. The acute effect of MPP+ on synaptic transmission was attenuated by co-application of a GABAA receptor antagonist. Taking these data together, we suggest that MPP+ affects hippocampal synaptic transmission by enhancing some aspects of

  18. Influenza A virus infection causes alterations in expression of synaptic regulatory genes combined with changes in cognitive and emotional behaviors in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beraki, S; Aronsson, F; Karlsson, H; Ogren, S O; Kristensson, K

    2005-03-01

    Epidemiological studies have indicated a link between certain neuropsychiatric diseases and exposure to viral infections. In order to examine long-term effects on behavior and gene expression in the brain of one candidate virus, we have used a model involving olfactory bulb injection of the neuro-adapted influenza A virus strain, WSN/33, in C57Bl/6 mice. Following this olfactory route of invasion, the virus targets neurons in the medial habenular, midline thalamic and hypothalamic nuclei as well as monoaminergic neurons in the brainstem. The mice survive and the viral infection is cleared from the brain within 12 days. When tested 14-20 weeks after infection, the mice displayed decreased anxiety in the elevated plus-maze and impaired spatial learning in the Morris water maze test. Elevated transcriptional activity of two genes encoding synaptic regulatory proteins, regulator of G-protein signaling 4 and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIalpha, was found in the amygdala, hypothalamus and cerebellum. It is of particular interest that the gene encoding RGS4, which has been related to schizophrenia, showed the most pronounced alteration. This study indicates that a transient influenza virus infection can cause persistent changes in emotional and cognitive functions as well as alterations in the expression of genes involved in the regulation of synaptic activities.

  19. A Computational Model to Investigate Astrocytic Glutamate Uptake Influence on Synaptic Transmission and Neuronal Spiking

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    Sushmita Lakshmi Allam

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Over the past decades, our view of astrocytes has switched from passive support cells to active processing elements in the brain. The current view is that astrocytes shape neuronal communication and also play an important role in many neurodegenerative diseases. Despite the growing awareness of the importance of astrocytes, the exact mechanisms underlying neuron-astrocyte communication and the physiological consequences of astrocytic-neuronal interactions remain largely unclear. In this work, we define a modeling framework that will permit to address unanswered questions regarding the role of astrocytes. Our computational model of a detailed glutamatergic synapse facilitates the analysis of neural system responses to various stimuli and conditions that are otherwise difficult to obtain experimentally, in particular the readouts at the sub-cellular level. In this paper, we extend a detailed glutamatergic synaptic model, to include astrocytic glutamate transporters. We demonstrate how these glial transporters, responsible for the majority of glutamate uptake, modulate synaptic transmission mediated by ionotropic AMPA and NMDA receptors at glutamatergic synapses. Furthermore, we investigate how these local signaling effects at the synaptic level are translated into varying spatio-temporal patterns of neuron firing. Paired pulse stimulation results reveal that the effect of astrocytic glutamate uptake is more apparent when the input inter-spike interval is sufficiently long to allow the receptors to recover from desensitization. These results suggest an important functional role of astrocytes in spike timing dependent processes and demand further investigation of the molecular basis of certain neurological diseases specifically related to alterations in astrocytic glutamate uptake, such as epilepsy.

  20. Morphine treatment enhances glutamatergic input onto neurons of the nucleus accumbens via both disinhibitory and stimulating effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Kejing; Sheng, Huan; Song, Jiaojiao; Yang, Li; Cui, Dongyang; Ma, Qianqian; Zhang, Wen; Lai, Bin; Chen, Ming; Zheng, Ping

    2016-08-22

    Drug addiction is a chronic brain disorder characterized by the compulsive repeated use of drugs. The reinforcing effect of repeated use of drugs on reward plays an important role in morphine-induced addictive behaviors. The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is an important site where morphine treatment produces its reinforcing effect on reward. However, how morphine treatment produces its reinforcing effect on reward in the NAc remains to be clarified. In the present study, we studied the influence of morphine treatment on the effects of DA and observed whether morphine treatment could directly change glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the NAc. We also explored the functional significance of morphine-induced potentiation of glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the NAc at behavioral level. Our results show that (1) morphine treatment removes the inhibitory effect of DA on glutamatergic input onto NAc neurons; (2) morphine treatment potentiates glutamatergic input onto NAc neurons, especially the one from the basolateral amygdala (BLA) to the NAc; (3) blockade of glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the NAc or ablation of projection neurons from BLA to NAc significantly decreases morphine treatment-induced increase in locomotor activity. These results suggest that morphine treatment enhances glutamatergic input onto neurons of the NAc via both disinhibitory and stimulating effect and therefore increases locomotor activity.

  1. Role of nucleus accumbens glutamatergic plasticity in drug addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quintero, Gabriel C

    2013-01-01

    Substance dependence is characterized by a group of symptoms, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR). These symptoms include tolerance, withdrawal, drug consumption for alleviating withdrawal, exaggerated consumption beyond original intention, failure to reduce drug consumption, expending a considerable amount of time obtaining or recovering from the substance's effects, disregard of basic aspects of life (for example, family), and maintenance of drug consumption, despite facing adverse consequences. The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is a brain structure located in the basal forebrain of vertebrates, and it has been the target of addictive drugs. Different neurotransmitter systems at the level of the NAc circuitry have been linked to the different problems of drug addiction, like compulsive use and relapse. The glutamate system has been linked mainly to relapse after drug-seeking extinction. The dopamine system has been linked mainly to compulsive drug use. The glutamate homeostasis hypothesis centers around the dynamics of synaptic and extrasynaptic levels of glutamate, and their impact on circuitry from the prefrontal cortex (PFC) to the NAc. After repetitive drug use, deregulation of this homeostasis increases the release of glutamate from the PFC to the NAc during drug relapse. Glial cells also play a fundamental role in this hypothesis; glial cells shape the interactions between the PFC and the NAc by means of altering glutamate levels in synaptic and extrasynaptic spaces. On the other hand, cocaine self-administration and withdrawal increases the surface expression of subunit glutamate receptor 1 (GluA1) of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors at the level of the NAc. Also, cocaine self-administration and withdrawal induce the formation of subunit glutamate receptor 2 (GluA2), lacking the Ca(2+)-permeable AMPA receptors (CP-AMPARs) at the level of the NAc

  2. Kalirin Binds the NR2B Subunit of the NMDA Receptor, Altering Its Synaptic Localization and Function

    KAUST Repository

    Kiraly, D. D.

    2011-08-31

    The ability of dendritic spines to change size and shape rapidly is critical in modulating synaptic strength; these morphological changes are dependent upon rearrangements of the actin cytoskeleton. Kalirin-7 (Kal7), a Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor localized to the postsynaptic density (PSD), modulates dendritic spine morphology in vitro and in vivo. Kal7 activates Rac and interacts with several PSD proteins, including PSD-95, DISC-1, AF-6, and Arf6. Mice genetically lacking Kal7 (Kal7KO) exhibit deficient hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) as well as behavioral abnormalities in models of addiction and learning. Purified PSDs from Kal7KO mice contain diminished levels of NR2B, an NMDA receptor subunit that plays a critical role in LTP induction. Here we demonstrate that Kal7KO animals have decreased levels of NR2B-dependent NMDA receptor currents in cortical pyramidal neurons as well as a specific deficit in cell surface expression of NR2B. Additionally, we demonstrate that the genotypic differences in conditioned place preference and passive avoidance learning seen in Kal7KO mice are abrogated when animals are treated with an NR2B-specific antagonist during conditioning. Finally, we identify a stable interaction between the pleckstrin homology domain of Kal7 and the juxtamembrane region of NR2B preceding its cytosolic C-terminal domain. Binding of NR2B to a protein that modulates the actin cytoskeleton is important, as NMDA receptors require actin integrity for synaptic localization and function. These studies demonstrate a novel and functionally important interaction between the NR2B subunit of the NMDA receptor and Kalirin, proteins known to be essential for normal synaptic plasticity.

  3. 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.

  4. Decreased MHC I expression in IFN gamma mutant mice alters synaptic elimination in the spinal cord after peripheral injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victório Sheila CS

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The histocompatibility complex (MHC class I expression in the central nervous system (CNS regulates synaptic plasticity events during development and adult life. Its upregulation may be associated with events such as axotomy, cytokine exposition and changes in neuron electrical activity. Since IFNγ is a potent inducer of the MHC I expression, the present work investigated the importance of this pro-inflammatory cytokine in the synaptic elimination process in the spinal cord, as well as the motor recovery of IFN−/−, following peripheral injury. Methods The lumbar spinal cords of C57BL/6J (wild type and IFNγ−/− (mutant mice, subjected to unilateral sciatic nerve transection, were removed and processed for immunohistochemistry and real time RT-PCR, while the sciatic nerves from animals subjected to unilateral crush, were submitted to immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy for counting of the axons. Gait recovery was monitored using the Cat Walk system. Newborn mice astrocyte primary cultures were established in order to study the astrocytic respose in the absence of the IFNγ expression. Results IFNγ−/− mutant mice showed a decreased expression of MHC I and β2-microglobulin mRNA coupled with reduced synaptophysin immunolabelling in the lesioned spinal cord segment. Following unilateral nerve transection, the Iba-1 (ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule 1 and glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP reactivities increased equally in both strains. In vitro, the astrocytes demonstrated similar GFAP levels, but the proliferation rate was higher in the wild type mice. In the crushed nerves (distal stump, neurofilaments and p75NTR immunolabeling were upregulated in the mutant mice as compared to the wild type and an improvement in locomotor recovery was observed. Conclusion The present results show that a lack of IFNγ affects the MHC I expression and the synaptic elimination process in the spinal cord. Such

  5. Impaired attention and synaptic senescence of the prefrontal cortex involves redox regulation of NMDA receptors.

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    Guidi, Michael; Kumar, Ashok; Foster, Thomas C

    2015-03-04

    Young (3-6 months) and middle-age (10-14 months) rats were trained on the five-choice serial reaction time task. Attention and executive function deficits were apparent in middle-age animals observed as a decrease in choice accuracy, increase in omissions, and increased response latency. The behavioral differences were not due to alterations in sensorimotor function or a diminished motivational state. Electrophysiological characterization of synaptic transmission in slices from the mPFC indicated an age-related decrease in glutamatergic transmission. In particular, a robust decrease in N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-mediated synaptic responses in the mPFC was correlated with several measures of attention. The decrease in NMDAR function was due in part to an altered redox state as bath application of the reducing agent, dithiothreitol, increased the NMDAR component of the synaptic response to a greater extent in middle-age animals. Together with previous work indicating that redox state mediates senescent physiology in the hippocampus, the results indicate that redox changes contribute to senescent synaptic function in vulnerable brain regions involved in age-related cognitive decline.

  6. Impairment of cognitive function and synaptic plasticity associated with alteration of information flow in theta and gamma oscillations in melamine-treated rats.

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    Xiaxia Xu

    Full Text Available Changes of neural oscillations at a variety of physiological rhythms are effectively associated with cognitive performance. The present study investigated whether the directional indices of neural information flow (NIF could be used to symbolize the synaptic plasticity impairment in hippocampal CA3-CA1 network in a rat model of melamine. Male Wistar rats were employed while melamine was administered at a dose of 300 mg/kg/day for 4 weeks. Behavior was measured by the Morris water maze(MWMtest. Local field potentials (LFPs were recorded before long-term potentiation (LTP induction. Generalized partial directed coherence (gPDC and phase-amplitude coupling conditional mutual information (PAC_CMI were used to measure the unidirectional indices in both theta and low gamma oscillations (LG, ~ 30-50 Hz. Our results showed that melamine induced the cognition deficits consistent with the reduced LTP in CA1 area. Phase locking values (PLVs showed that the synchronization between CA3 and CA1 in both theta and LG rhythms was reduced by melamine. In both theta and LG rhythms, unidirectional indices were significantly decreased in melamine treated rats while a similar variation trend was observed in LTP reduction, implying that the effects of melamine on cognitive impairment were possibly mediated via profound alterations of NIF on CA3-CA1 pathway in hippocampus. The results suggested that LFPs activities at these rhythms were most likely involved in determining the alterations of information flow in the hippocampal CA3-CA1 network, which might be associated with the alteration of synaptic transmission to some extent.

  7. Optogenetics and synaptic plasticity.

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    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.

  8. Synaptic kainate receptors in interplay with INaP shift the sparse firing of dentate granule cells to a sustained rhythmic mode in temporal lobe epilepsy.

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    Artinian, Julien; Peret, Angélique; Marti, Geoffrey; Epsztein, Jérôme; Crépel, Valérie

    2011-07-27

    Dentate granule cells, at the gate of the hippocampus, use coincidence detection of synaptic inputs to code afferent information under a sparse firing regime. In both human patients and animal models of temporal lobe epilepsy, mossy fibers sprout to form an aberrant glutamatergic network between dentate granule cells. These new synapses operate via long-lasting kainate receptor-mediated events, which are not present in the naive condition. Here, we report that in chronic epileptic rat, aberrant kainate receptors in interplay with the persistent sodium current dramatically expand the temporal window for synaptic integration. This introduces a multiplicative gain change in the input-output operation of dentate granule cells. As a result, their sparse firing is switched to an abnormal sustained and rhythmic mode. We conclude that synaptic kainate receptors dramatically alter the fundamental coding properties of dentate granule cells in temporal lobe epilepsy.

  9. Altered synaptic marker abundance in the hippocampal stratum oriens of Ts65Dn mice is associated with exuberant expression of versican

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    Paul E Gottschall

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available DS (Down syndrome, resulting from trisomy of chromosome 21, is the most common cause of genetic mental retardation; however, the molecular mechanisms underlying the cognitive deficits are poorly understood. Growing data indicate that changes in abundance or type of CSPGs (chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans in the ECM (extracellular matrix can influence synaptic structure and plasticity. The purpose of this study was to identify changes in synaptic structure in the hippocampus in a model of DS, the Ts65Dn mouse, and to determine the relationship to proteoglycan abundance and/or cleavage and cognitive disability. We measured synaptic proteins by ELISA and changes in lectican expression and processing in the hippocampus of young and old Ts65Dn mice and LMCs (littermate controls. In young (5 months old Ts65Dn hippocampal extracts, we found a significant increase in the postsynaptic protein PSD-95 (postsynaptic density 95 compared with LMCs. In aged (20 months old Ts65Dn hippocampus, this increase was localized to hippocampal stratum oriens extracts compared with LMCs. Aged Ts65Dn mice exhibited impaired hippocampal-dependent spatial learning and memory in the RAWM (radial-arm water maze and a marked increase in levels of the lectican versican V2 in stratum oriens that correlated with the number of errors made in the final RAWM block. Ts65Dn stratum oriens PNNs (perineuronal nets, an extension of the ECM enveloping mostly inhibitory interneurons, were dispersed over a larger area compared with LMC mice. Taken together, these data suggest a possible association with alterations in the ECM and inhibitory neurotransmission in the Ts65Dn hippocampus which could contribute to cognitive deficits.

  10. Altered Synaptic Marker Abundance in the Hippocampal Stratum Oriens of Ts65Dn Mice is Associated with Exuberant Expression of Versican

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew D Howell

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available DS (Down syndrome, resulting from trisomy of chromosome 21, is the most common cause of genetic mental retardation; however, the molecular mechanisms underlying the cognitive deficits are poorly understood. Growing data indicate that changes in abundance or type of CSPGs (chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans in the ECM (extracellular matrix can influence synaptic structure and plasticity. The purpose of this study was to identify changes in synaptic structure in the hippocampus in a model of DS, the Ts65Dn mouse, and to determine the relationship to proteoglycan abundance and/or cleavage and cognitive disability. We measured synaptic proteins by ELISA and changes in lectican expression and processing in the hippocampus of young and old Ts65Dn mice and LMCs (littermate controls. In young (5 months old Ts65Dn hippocampal extracts, we found a significant increase in the postsynaptic protein PSD-95 (postsynaptic density 95 compared with LMCs. In aged (20 months old Ts65Dn hippocampus, this increase was localized to hippocampal stratum oriens extracts compared with LMCs. Aged Ts65Dn mice exhibited impaired hippocampal-dependent spatial learning and memory in the RAWM (radial-arm water maze and a marked increase in levels of the lectican versican V2 in stratum oriens that correlated with the number of errors made in the final RAWM block. Ts65Dn stratum oriens PNNs (perineuronal nets, an extension of the ECM enveloping mostly inhibitory interneurons, were dispersed over a larger area compared with LMC mice. Taken together, these data suggest a possible association with alterations in the ECM and inhibitory neurotransmission in the Ts65Dn hippocampus which could contribute to cognitive deficits.

  11. Cannabinoids modulate spontaneous synaptic activity in retinal ganglion cells.

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    Middleton, T P; Protti, D A

    2011-09-01

    The endocannabinoid (ECB) system has been found throughout the central nervous system and modulates cell excitability in various forms of short-term plasticity. ECBs and their receptors have also been localized to all retinal cells, and cannabinoid receptor activation has been shown to alter voltage-dependent conductances in several different retinal cell types, suggesting a possible role for cannabinoids in retinal processing. Their effects on synaptic transmission in the mammalian retina, however, have not been previously investigated. Here, we show that exogenous cannabinoids alter spontaneous synaptic transmission onto retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Using whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings in whole-mount retinas, we measured spontaneous postsynaptic currents (SPSCs) in RGCs in adult and young (P14-P21) mice. We found that the addition of an exogenous cannabinoid agonist, WIN55212-2 (5 μM), caused a significant reversible reduction in the frequency of SPSCs. This change, however, did not alter the kinetics of the SPSCs, indicating a presynaptic locus of action. Using blockers to isolate inhibitory or excitatory currents, we found that cannabinoids significantly reduced the release probability of both GABA and glutamate, respectively. While the addition of cannabinoids reduced the frequency of both GABAergic and glutamatergic SPSCs in both young and adult mice, we found that the largest effect was on GABA-mediated currents in young mice. These results suggest that the ECB system may potentially be involved in the modulation of signal transmission in the retina. Furthermore, they suggest that it might play a role in the developmental maturation of synaptic circuits, and that exogenous cannabinoids are likely able to disrupt retinal processing and consequently alter vision.

  12. Plasticity in Single Axon Glutamatergic Connection to GABAergic Interneurons Regulates Complex Events in the Human Neocortex.

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    Szegedi, Viktor; Paizs, Melinda; Csakvari, Eszter; Molnar, Gabor; Barzo, Pal; Tamas, Gabor; Lamsa, Karri

    2016-11-01

    In the human neocortex, single excitatory pyramidal cells can elicit very large glutamatergic EPSPs (VLEs) in inhibitory GABAergic interneurons capable of triggering their firing with short (3-5 ms) delay. Similar strong excitatory connections between two individual neurons have not been found in nonhuman cortices, suggesting that these synapses are specific to human interneurons. The VLEs are crucial for generating neocortical complex events, observed as single pyramidal cell spike-evoked discharge of cell assemblies in the frontal and temporal cortices. However, long-term plasticity of the VLE connections and how the plasticity modulates neocortical complex events has not been studied. Using triple and dual whole-cell recordings from synaptically connected human neocortical layers 2-3 neurons, we show that VLEs in fast-spiking GABAergic interneurons exhibit robust activity-induced long-term depression (LTD). The LTD by single pyramidal cell 40 Hz spike bursts is specific to connections with VLEs, requires group I metabotropic glutamate receptors, and has a presynaptic mechanism. The LTD of VLE connections alters suprathreshold activation of interneurons in the complex events suppressing the discharge of fast-spiking GABAergic cells. The VLEs triggering the complex events may contribute to cognitive processes in the human neocortex, and their long-term plasticity can alter the discharging cortical cell assemblies by learning.

  13. Innervation by a GABAergic neuron depresses spontaneous release in glutamatergic neurons and unveils the clamping phenotype of synaptotagmin-1.

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    Wierda, Keimpe D B; Sørensen, Jakob B

    2014-02-01

    The role of spontaneously occurring release events in glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons and their regulation is intensely debated. To study the interdependence of glutamatergic and GABAergic spontaneous release, we compared reciprocally connected "mixed" glutamatergic/GABAergic neuronal pairs from mice cultured on astrocyte islands with "homotypic" glutamatergic or GABAergic pairs and autaptic neurons. We measured mEPSC and mIPSC frequencies simultaneously from both neurons. Neuronal pairs formed both interneuronal synaptic and autaptic connections indiscriminately. We find that whereas mEPSC and mIPSC frequencies did not deviate between autaptic and synaptic connections, the frequency of mEPSCs in mixed pairs was strongly depressed compared with either autaptic neurons or glutamatergic pairs. Simultaneous imaging of synapses, or comparison to evoked release amplitudes, showed that this decrease was not caused by fewer active synapses. The mEPSC frequency was negatively correlated with the mIPSC frequency, indicating interdependence. Moreover, the reduction in mEPSC frequency was abolished when established pairs were exposed to bicuculline for 3 d, but not by long-term incubation with tetrodotoxin, indicating that spontaneous GABA release downregulates mEPSC frequency. Further investigations showed that knockout of synaptotagmin-1 did not affect mEPSC frequencies in either glutamatergic autaptic neurons or in glutamatergic pairs. However, in mixed glutamatergic/GABAergic pairs, mEPSC frequencies were increased by a factor of four in the synaptotagmin-1-null neurons, which is in line with data obtained from mixed cultures. The effect persisted after incubation with BAPTA-AM. We conclude that spontaneous GABA release exerts control over mEPSC release, and GABAergic innervation of glutamatergic neurons unveils the unclamping phenotype of the synaptotagmin-1-null neurons.

  14. Rapid State-Dependent Alteration in Kv3 Channel Availability Drives Flexible Synaptic Signaling Dependent on Somatic Subthreshold Depolarization

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    Matthew J.M. Rowan

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available In many neurons, subthreshold depolarization in the soma can transiently increase action-potential (AP-evoked neurotransmission via analog-to-digital facilitation. The mechanisms underlying this form of short-term synaptic plasticity are unclear, in part, due to the relative inaccessibility of the axon to direct physiological interrogation. Using voltage imaging and patch-clamp recording from presynaptic boutons of cerebellar stellate interneurons, we observed that depolarizing somatic potentials readily spread into the axon, resulting in AP broadening, increased spike-evoked Ca2+ entry, and enhanced neurotransmission strength. Kv3 channels, which drive AP repolarization, rapidly inactivated upon incorporation of Kv3.4 subunits. This leads to fast susceptibility to depolarization-induced spike broadening and analog facilitation independent of Ca2+-dependent protein kinase C signaling. The spread of depolarization into the axon was attenuated by hyperpolarization-activated currents (Ih currents in the maturing cerebellum, precluding analog facilitation. These results suggest that analog-to-digital facilitation is tempered by development or experience in stellate cells.

  15. Rapid State-Dependent Alteration in Kv3 Channel Availability Drives Flexible Synaptic Signaling Dependent on Somatic Subthreshold Depolarization.

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    Rowan, Matthew J M; Christie, Jason M

    2017-02-21

    In many neurons, subthreshold depolarization in the soma can transiently increase action-potential (AP)-evoked neurotransmission via analog-to-digital facilitation. The mechanisms underlying this form of short-term synaptic plasticity are unclear, in part, due to the relative inaccessibility of the axon to direct physiological interrogation. Using voltage imaging and patch-clamp recording from presynaptic boutons of cerebellar stellate interneurons, we observed that depolarizing somatic potentials readily spread into the axon, resulting in AP broadening, increased spike-evoked Ca(2+) entry, and enhanced neurotransmission strength. Kv3 channels, which drive AP repolarization, rapidly inactivated upon incorporation of Kv3.4 subunits. This leads to fast susceptibility to depolarization-induced spike broadening and analog facilitation independent of Ca(2+)-dependent protein kinase C signaling. The spread of depolarization into the axon was attenuated by hyperpolarization-activated currents (Ih currents) in the maturing cerebellum, precluding analog facilitation. These results suggest that analog-to-digital facilitation is tempered by development or experience in stellate cells.

  16. Understanding complexities of synaptic transmission in medically intractable seizures: A paradigm of epilepsy research

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    Jyotirmoy Banerjee

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Investigating the changes associated with the development of epileptic state in humans is complex and requires a multidisciplinary approach. Understanding the intricacies of medically intractable epilepsy still remains a challenge for neurosurgeons across the world. A significant number of patients who has undergone resective brain surgery for epilepsy still continue to have seizures. The reason behind this therapy resistance still eludes us. Thus to develop a cure for the difficult to treat epilepsy, we need to comprehensively study epileptogenesis. Although various animal models are developed but none of them replicate the pathological conditions in humans. So the ideal way to understand epileptogenecity is to examine the tissue resected for the treatment of intractable epilepsy. Advanced imaging and electrical localization procedures are utilized to establish the epileptogenic zone in epilepsy patients. Further molecular and cytological studies are required for the microscopic analysis of brain samples collected from the epileptogenic focus. As alterations in inhibitory as well as excitatory synaptic transmission are key features of epilepsy, understanding the regulation of neurotransmission in the resected surgery zone is of immense importance. Here we summarize various modalities of in vitro slice analysis from the resected brain specimen to understand the changes in GABAergic and glutamatergic synaptic transmission in epileptogenic zone. We also review evidence pertaining to the proposed role of nicotinic receptors in abnormal synaptic transmission which is one of the major causes of epileptiform activity. Elucidation of current concepts in regulation of synaptic transmission will help develop therapies for epilepsy cases that cannot me managed pharmacologically.

  17. Third trimester-equivalent ethanol exposure increases anxiety-like behavior and glutamatergic transmission in the basolateral amygdala.

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    Baculis, Brian C; Diaz, Marvin R; Valenzuela, C Fernando

    2015-10-01

    Ethanol consumption during pregnancy produces a wide range of morphological and behavioral alterations known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). Among the behavioral deficits associated with FASD is an increased probability of developing anxiety disorders. Studies with animal models of FASD have demonstrated that ethanol exposure during the equivalent to the 1(st) and 2(nd) trimesters of human pregnancy increases anxiety-like behavior. Here, we examined the impact on this type of behavior of exposure to high doses of ethanol in vapor inhalation chambers during the rat equivalent to the human 3rd trimester of pregnancy (i.e., neonatal period in these animals). We evaluated anxiety-like behavior with the elevated plus maze. Using whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiological techniques in brain slices, we also characterized glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic transmission in the basolateral amygdala, a brain region that has been implicated to play a role in emotional behavior. We found that ethanol-exposed adolescent offspring preferred the closed arms over the open arms in the elevated plus maze and displayed lower head dipping activity than controls. Electrophysiological measurements showed an increase in the frequency of spontaneous and miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents in pyramidal neurons from the ethanol group. These findings suggest that high-dose ethanol exposure during the equivalent to the last trimester of human pregnancy can persistently increase excitatory synaptic inputs to principal neurons in the basolateral amygdala, leading to an increase in anxiety-like behaviors.

  18. Changes in action potential duration alter reliance of excitatory synaptic transmission on multiple types of Ca2+ channels in rat hippocampus.

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    Wheeler, D B; Randall, A; Tsien, R W

    1996-04-01

    It has been established that multiple types of Ca2+ channels participate in triggering neurotransmitter release at central synapses, but there is uncertainty about the nature of their combined actions. We investigated synaptic transmission at CA3-CA1 synapses of rat hippocampal slices and asked whether the dependence on omega-CTx-GVIA-sensitive N-type channels and omega-Aga-IVA-sensitive P/Q-type Ca2+ channels can be altered by physiological mechanisms. The reliance on multiple types of Ca2+ channels was not absolute but depended strongly on the amount of Ca2+ influx through individual channels, which was manipulated by prolonging the presynaptic action potential with the K+ channel blocker 4-aminopyridine (4-AP) and by varying the extracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]o). We quantified the influence of spike broadening on Ca2+ influx through various Ca2+ channels by imposing mock action potentials on voltage-clamped cerebellar granule neurons. In field recordings of the EPSP in hippocampal slices, action potential prolongation increased the EPSP slope by 2-fold and decreased its reliance on either N-type or P/Q-type Ca2+ channels. The inhibition of synaptic transmission by N-type channel blockade was virtually eliminated in the presence of 4-AP, but it could be restored by lowering [Ca2+]o. These results rule out a scenario in which a significant fraction of presynaptic terminals rely solely on N-type channels to trigger transmission. The change in sensitivity to the neurotoxins with 4-AP could be explained in terms of a nonlinear relationship between Ca2+ entry and synaptic strength, which rises steeply at low [Ca2+]o, but approaches saturation at high [Ca2+]o. This relationship was evaluated experimentally by varying [CA2+]o in the absence and presence of 4-AP. One consequence of this relationship is that down-modulation of presynaptic Ca2+ channels by various modulators would increase the relative impact of spike broadening greatly.

  19. Motor dysfunction and altered synaptic transmission at the parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse in mice lacking potassium channels Kv3.1 and Kv3.3.

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    Matsukawa, Hiroshi; Wolf, Alexander M; Matsushita, Shinichi; Joho, Rolf H; Knöpfel, Thomas

    2003-08-20

    Micelacking both Kv3.1 and both Kv3.3 K+ channel alleles display severe motor deficits such as tremor, myoclonus, and ataxic gait. Micelacking one to three alleles at the Kv3.1 and Kv3.3 loci exhibit in an allele dose-dependent manner a modest degree of ataxia. Cerebellar granule cells coexpress Kv3.1 and Kv3.3 K+ channels and are therefore candidate neurons that might be involved in these behavioral deficits. Hence, we investigated the synaptic mechanisms of transmission in the parallel fiber-Purkinje cell system. Action potentials of parallel fibers were broader in mice lacking both Kv3.1 and both Kv3.3 alleles and in mice lacking both Kv3.1 and a single Kv3.3 allele compared with those of wild-type mice. The transmission of high-frequency trains of action potentials was only impaired at 200 Hz but not at 100 Hz in mice lacking both Kv3.1 and Kv3.3 genes. However, paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) at parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapses was dramatically reduced in a gene dose-dependent manner in mice lacking Kv3.1 or Kv3.3 alleles. Normal PPF could be restored by reducing the extracellular Ca2+ concentration indicating that increased activity-dependent presynaptic Ca2+ influx, at least in part caused the altered PPF in mutant mice. Induction of metabotropic glutamate receptor-mediated EPSCs was facilitated, whereas longterm depression was not impaired but rather facilitated in Kv3.1/Kv3.3 double-knockout mice. These results demonstrate the importance of Kv3 potassium channels in regulating the dynamics of synaptic transmission at the parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse and suggest a correlation between short-term plasticity at the parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse and motor performance.

  20. AMPA receptor inhibition by synaptically released zinc.

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

    2015-12-22

    The vast amount of fast excitatory neurotransmission in the mammalian central nervous system is mediated by AMPA-subtype glutamate receptors (AMPARs). As a result, AMPAR-mediated synaptic transmission is implicated in nearly all aspects of brain development, function, and plasticity. Despite the central role of AMPARs in neurobiology, the fine-tuning of synaptic AMPA responses by endogenous modulators remains poorly understood. Here we provide evidence that endogenous zinc, released by single presynaptic action potentials, inhibits synaptic AMPA currents in the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) and hippocampus. Exposure to loud sound reduces presynaptic zinc levels in the DCN and abolishes zinc inhibition, implicating zinc in experience-dependent AMPAR synaptic plasticity. Our results establish zinc as an activity-dependent, endogenous modulator of AMPARs that tunes fast excitatory neurotransmission and plasticity in glutamatergic synapses.

  1. GABA(A) receptor-mediated presynaptic inhibition on glutamatergic transmission.

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    Yamamoto, Sokatsu; Yoshimura, Megumu; Shin, Min-Chul; Wakita, Masahito; Nonaka, Kiku; Akaike, Norio

    2011-01-15

    We investigated the functional roles of presynaptic GABA(A) receptors on excitatory nerve terminals in contributing to spontaneous and action potential-evoked glutamatergic transmission to rat hippocampal CA3 pyramidal neurons. Single CA3 neurons were mechanically isolated with adherent nerve terminals, namely the 'synaptic bouton preparation', and spontaneous glutamatergic excitatory synaptic potentials (sEPSCs) and EPSCs evoked by focal electrical stimuli of a single presynaptic glutamatergic boutons (eEPSCs) were recorded using conventional whole-cell patch recordings. Selective activation of presynaptic GABA(A) receptors on these excitatory nerve terminals by muscimol, markedly facilitated sEPSCs frequency but inhibited eEPSC amplitude. The facilitation of sEPSC frequency was completely occluded by GABA(A) receptor-Cl⁻ channel blockers bicuculline or penicillin (PN). PN itself concentration-dependently inhibited the GABA(A) receptor response induced by bath application of muscimol, but had no effect on the glutamate receptor response. In addition, pretreatment with a blocker of the Na(+), K(+), 2Cl⁻ co-transporter type 1 (NKCC-1), bumetanide, prevented the muscimol-induced inhibition of eEPSCs. The results indicate that activation of presynaptic GABA(A) receptors directly depolarizes glutamatergic excitatory nerve terminals and thereby differentially modulates sEPSCs and eEPSCs.

  2. Genomic convergence analysis of schizophrenia: mRNA sequencing reveals altered synaptic vesicular transport in post-mortem cerebellum.

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    Joann Mudge

    Full Text Available Schizophrenia (SCZ is a common, disabling mental illness with high heritability but complex, poorly understood genetic etiology. As the first phase of a genomic convergence analysis of SCZ, we generated 16.7 billion nucleotides of short read, shotgun sequences of cDNA from post-mortem cerebellar cortices of 14 patients and six, matched controls. A rigorous analysis pipeline was developed for analysis of digital gene expression studies. Sequences aligned to approximately 33,200 transcripts in each sample, with average coverage of 450 reads per gene. Following adjustments for confounding clinical, sample and experimental sources of variation, 215 genes differed significantly in expression between cases and controls. Golgi apparatus, vesicular transport, membrane association, Zinc binding and regulation of transcription were over-represented among differentially expressed genes. Twenty three genes with altered expression and involvement in presynaptic vesicular transport, Golgi function and GABAergic neurotransmission define a unifying molecular hypothesis for dysfunction in cerebellar cortex in SCZ.

  3. The effect of α7 nicotinic receptor activation on glutamatergic transmission in the hippocampus.

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    Cheng, Qing; Yakel, Jerrel L

    2015-10-15

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are expressed widely in the CNS, and mediate both synaptic and perisynaptic activities of endogenous cholinergic inputs and pharmacological actions of exogenous compounds (e.g., nicotine and choline). Behavioral studies indicate that nicotine improves such cognitive functions as learning and memory, however the cellular mechanism of these actions remains elusive. With help from newly developed biosensors and optogenetic tools, recent studies provide new insights on signaling mechanisms involved in the activation of nAChRs. Here we will review α7 nAChR's action in the tri-synaptic pathway in the hippocampus. The effects of α7 nAChR activation via either exogenous compounds or endogenous cholinergic innervation are detailed for spontaneous and evoked glutamatergic synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity, as well as the underlying signaling mechanisms. In summary, α7 nAChRs trigger intracellular calcium rise and calcium-dependent signaling pathways to enhance glutamate release and induce glutamatergic synaptic plasticity.

  4. The cell-autonomous role of excitatory synaptic transmission in the regulation of neuronal structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Wei; Bushong, Eric A; Shih, Tiffany P; Ellisman, Mark H; Nicoll, Roger A

    2013-05-08

    The cell-autonomous role of synaptic transmission in the regulation of neuronal structural and electrical properties is unclear. We have now employed a genetic approach to eliminate glutamatergic synaptic transmission onto individual CA1 pyramidal neurons in a mosaic fashion in vivo. Surprisingly, while electrical properties are profoundly affected in these neurons, as well as inhibitory synaptic transmission, we found little perturbation of neuronal morphology, demonstrating a functional segregation of excitatory synaptic transmission from neuronal morphological development.

  5. Excitatory synapses are stronger in the hippocampus of Rett syndrome mice due to altered synaptic trafficking of AMPA-type glutamate receptors.

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    Li, Wei; Xu, Xin; Pozzo-Miller, Lucas

    2016-03-15

    Deficits in long-term potentiation (LTP) at central excitatory synapses are thought to contribute to cognitive impairments in neurodevelopmental disorders associated with intellectual disability and autism. Using the methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (Mecp2) knockout (KO) mouse model of Rett syndrome, we show that naïve excitatory synapses onto hippocampal pyramidal neurons of symptomatic mice have all of the hallmarks of potentiated synapses. Stronger Mecp2 KO synapses failed to undergo LTP after either theta-burst afferent stimulation or pairing afferent stimulation with postsynaptic depolarization. On the other hand, basal synaptic strength and LTP were not affected in slices from younger presymptomatic Mecp2 KO mice. Furthermore, spine synapses in pyramidal neurons from symptomatic Mecp2 KO are larger and do not grow in size or incorporate GluA1 subunits after electrical or chemical LTP. Our data suggest that LTP is occluded in Mecp2 KO mice by already potentiated synapses. The higher surface levels of GluA1-containing receptors are consistent with altered expression levels of proteins involved in AMPA receptor trafficking, suggesting previously unidentified targets for therapeutic intervention for Rett syndrome and other MECP2-related disorders.

  6. Inhibition of Ca2+-activated large-conductance K+ channel activity alters synaptic AMPA receptor phenotype in mouse cerebellar stellate cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yu; Savtchouk, Iaroslav; Acharjee, Shoana; Liu, Siqiong June

    2011-07-01

    Many fast-spiking inhibitory interneurons, including cerebellar stellate cells, fire brief action potentials and express α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA)-type glutamate receptors (AMPAR) that are permeable to Ca(2+) and do not contain the GluR2 subunit. In a recent study, we found that increasing action potential duration promotes GluR2 gene transcription in stellate cells. We have now tested the prediction that activation of potassium channels that control the duration of action potentials can suppress the expression of GluR2-containing AMPARs at stellate cell synapses. We find that large-conductance Ca(2+)-activated potassium (BK) channels mediate a large proportion of the depolarization-evoked noninactivating potassium current in stellate cells. Pharmacological blockade of BK channels prolonged the action potential duration in postsynaptic stellate cells and altered synaptic AMPAR subtype from GluR2-lacking to GluR2-containing Ca(2+)-impermeable AMPARs. An L-type channel blocker abolished an increase in Ca(2+) entry that was associated with spike broadening and also prevented the BK channel blocker-induced switch in AMPAR phenotype. Thus blocking BK potassium channels prolongs the action potential duration and increases the expression of GluR2-containing receptors at the synapse by enhancing Ca(2+) entry in cerebellar stellate cells.

  7. Prenatal minocycline treatment alters synaptic protein expression, and rescues reduced mother call rate in oxytocin receptor-knockout mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyazaki, Shinji; Hiraoka, Yuichi; Hidema, Shizu; Nishimori, Katsuhiko

    2016-04-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired communication, difficulty in companionship, repetitive behaviors and restricted interests. Recent studies have shown amelioration of ASD symptoms by intranasal administration of oxytocin and demonstrated the association of polymorphisms in the oxytocin receptor (Oxtr) gene with ASD patients. Deficient pruning of synapses by microglial cells in the brain has been proposed as potential mechanism of ASD. Other researchers have shown specific activation of microglial cells in brain regions related to sociality in patients with ASD. Although the roles of Oxtr and microglia in ASD are in the spotlight, the relationship between them remains to be elucidated. In this study, we found abnormal activation of microglial cells and a reduction of postsynaptic density protein PSD95 expression in the Oxtr-deficient brain. Moreover, pharmacological inhibition of microglia during development can alter the expression of PSD95 and ameliorate abnormal mother-infant communication in Oxtr-deficient mice. Our results suggest that microglial abnormality is a potential mechanism of the development of Oxt/Oxtr mediated ASD-like phenotypes.

  8. Kisspeptin increases gamma-aminobutyric acidergic and glutamatergic transmission directly to gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons in an estradiol-dependent manner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pielecka-Fortuna, Justyna; Moenter, Suzanne M

    2010-01-01

    GnRH neurons are the final central pathway controlling fertility. Kisspeptin potently activates GnRH release via G protein-coupled receptor 54 (GPR54). GnRH neurons express GPR54, and kisspeptin can act directly; however, GPR54 is broadly expressed, suggesting indirect actions are possible. Transsynaptic mechanisms are involved in estradiol-induced potentiation of GnRH neuron response to kisspeptin. To investigate these mechanisms, separate whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings were performed of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic and glutamatergic transmission to GnRH neurons in brain slices before and during kisspeptin treatment. To determine whether estradiol alters the effect of kisspeptin on synaptic transmission, mice were ovariectomized and either left with no further treatment (OVX) or treated with estradiol implants (OVX+E). Cells were first studied in the morning when estradiol exerts negative feedback. Kisspeptin increased frequency and amplitude of GABAergic postsynaptic currents (PSCs) in GnRH neurons from OVX+E mice. Blocking action potentials eliminated the effect on frequency, indicating presynaptic actions. Amplitude changes were due to postsynaptic actions. Kisspeptin also increased frequency of glutamatergic excitatory PSCs in cells from OVX+E animals. Kisspeptin did not affect either GABAergic or glutamatergic transmission to GnRH neurons in cells from OVX mice, indicating effects on transmission are estradiol dependent. In contrast to stimulatory effects on GABAergic PSC frequency during negative feedback, kisspeptin had no effect during positive feedback. These data suggest estradiol enables kisspeptin-mediated increases in GABA and glutamate transmission to GnRH neurons. Furthermore, the occlusion of the response during positive feedback implies one consequence of estradiol positive feedback is an increase in transmission to GnRH neurons mediated by endogenous kisspeptin.

  9. Deletion of Shank1 has minimal effects on the molecular composition and function of glutamatergic afferent postsynapses in the mouse inner ear

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Braude, Jeremy P.; Vijayakumar, Sarath; Baumgarner, Katherine; Laurine, Rebecca; Jones, Timothy A.; Jones, Sherri M.; Pyott, Sonja J.

    2015-01-01

    Shank proteins (1-3) are considered the master organizers of glutamatergic postsynaptic densities in the central nervous system, and the genetic deletion of either Shank1, 2, or 3 results in altered composition, form, and strength of glutamatergic postsynapses. To investigate the contribution of Sha

  10. Role of nucleus accumbens glutamatergic plasticity in drug addiction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Quintero GC

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Gabriel C Quintero1–31Florida State University – Panama, Clayton, Panama; 2Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, USA; 3Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Ancon, Republic of PanamaAbstract: Substance dependence is characterized by a group of symptoms, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR. These symptoms include tolerance, withdrawal, drug consumption for alleviating withdrawal, exaggerated consumption beyond original intention, failure to reduce drug consumption, expending a considerable amount of time obtaining or recovering from the substance’s effects, disregard of basic aspects of life (for example, family, and maintenance of drug consumption, despite facing adverse consequences. The nucleus accumbens (NAc is a brain structure located in the basal forebrain of vertebrates, and it has been the target of addictive drugs. Different neurotransmitter systems at the level of the NAc circuitry have been linked to the different problems of drug addiction, like compulsive use and relapse. The glutamate system has been linked mainly to relapse after drug-seeking extinction. The dopamine system has been linked mainly to compulsive drug use. The glutamate homeostasis hypothesis centers around the dynamics of synaptic and extrasynaptic levels of glutamate, and their impact on circuitry from the prefrontal cortex (PFC to the NAc. After repetitive drug use, deregulation of this homeostasis increases the release of glutamate from the PFC to the NAc during drug relapse. Glial cells also play a fundamental role in this hypothesis; glial cells shape the interactions between the PFC and the NAc by means of altering glutamate levels in synaptic and extrasynaptic spaces. On the other hand, cocaine self-administration and withdrawal increases the surface expression of subunit glutamate receptor 1 (GluA1 of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4

  11. Corticotropin releasing factor and catecholamines enhance glutamatergic neurotransmission in the lateral subdivision of the central amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silberman, Yuval; Winder, Danny G

    2013-07-01

    Glutamatergic neurotransmission in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) plays an important role in many behaviors including anxiety, memory consolidation and cardiovascular responses. While these behaviors can be modulated by corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) and catecholamine signaling, the mechanism(s) by which these signals modify CeA glutamatergic neurotransmission remains unclear. Utilizing whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology recordings from neurons in the lateral subdivision of the CeA (CeAL), we show that CRF, dopamine (DA) and the β-adrenergic receptor agonist isoproterenol (ISO) all enhance the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSC) without altering sEPSC kinetics, suggesting they increase presynaptic glutamate release. The effect of CRF on sEPSCs was mediated by a combination of CRFR1 and CRFR2 receptors. While previous work from our lab suggests that CRFRs mediate the effect of catecholamines on excitatory transmission in other subregions of the extended amygdala, blockade of CRFRs in the CeAL failed to significantly alter effects of DA and ISO on glutamatergic transmission. These findings suggest that catecholamine and CRF enhancement of glutamatergic transmission onto CeAL neurons occurs via distinct mechanisms. While CRF increased spontaneous glutamate release in the CeAL, CRF caused no significant changes to optogenetically evoked glutamate release in this region. The dissociable effects of CRF on different types of glutamatergic neurotransmission suggest that CRF may specifically regulate spontaneous excitatory transmission.

  12. Cannabinoids: Glutamatergic Transmission and Kynurenines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colín-González, Ana Laura; Aguilera, Gabriela; Santamaría, Abel

    2016-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) comprises a complex of receptors, enzymes, and endogenous agonists that are widely distributed in the central nervous system of mammals and participates in a considerable number of neuromodulatory functions, including neurotransmission, immunological control, and cell signaling. In turn, the kynurenine pathway (KP) is the most relevant metabolic route for tryptophan degradation to form the metabolic precursor NAD(+). Recent studies demonstrate that the control exerted by the pharmacological manipulation of the ECS on the glutamatergic system in the brain may offer key information not only on the development of psychiatric disorders like psychosis and schizophrenia-like symptoms, but it also may constitute a solid basis for the development of therapeutic strategies to combat excitotoxic events occurring in neurological disorders like Huntington's disease (HD). Part of the evidence pointing to the last approach is based on experimental protocols demonstrating the efficacy of cannabinoids to prevent the deleterious actions of the endogenous neurotoxin and KP metabolite quinolinic acid (QUIN). These findings intuitively raise the question about what is the precise role of the ECS in tryptophan metabolism through KP and vice versa. In this chapter, we will review basic concepts on the physiology of both the ECS and the KP to finally describe those recent findings combining the components of these two systems and hypothesize the future course that the research in this emerging field will take in the next years.

  13. Neurophysiological basis for neurogenic-mediated articular cartilage anabolism alteration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gouze-Decaris, E; Philippe, L; Minn, A; Haouzi, P; Gillet, P; Netter, P; Terlain, B

    2001-01-01

    This study was designed to investigate the pathways involved in neurogenic-mediated articular cartilage damage triggered by a nonsystemic distant subcutaneous or intra-articular inflammation. The cartilage damage was assessed 24 h after subcutaneous or intra-articular complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) injection measuring patellar proteoglycan (PG) synthesis (ex vivo [Na(2)(35)SO(4)] incorporation) in 96 Wistar rats. Unilateral subcutaneous or intra-articular injection of CFA induced significant decrease (25-29%) in PG synthesis in both patellae. Chronic administration of capsaicin (50 mg. kg(-1). day(-1) during 4 days), which blunted the normal response of C fiber stimulation, prevented the bilateral significant decrease in cartilage synthesis. Similarly, intrathecal injection of MK-801 (10 nmol/day during 5 days), which blocked the glutamatergic synaptic transmission at the dorsal horn of signal originating in primary afferent C fibers, eliminated the CFA-induced PG synthesis decrease in both patellae. Chemical sympathectomy, induced by guanethidine (12.5 mg. kg(-1). day(-1) during 6 wk), also prevented PG synthesis alteration. Finally, compression of the spinal cord at the T3-T5 level had a similar protective effect on the reduction of [Na(2)(35)SO(4)] incorporation. It is concluded that the signal that triggers articular cartilage synthesis damage induced by a distant local inflammation 1) is transmitted through the afferent C fibers, 2) makes glutamatergic synaptic connections with the preganglionic neurons of the sympathetic system, and 3) involves spinal and supraspinal pathways.

  14. Calpains and neuronal damage in the ischemic brain: The swiss knife in synaptic injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curcio, Michele; Salazar, Ivan L; Mele, Miranda; Canzoniero, Lorella M T; Duarte, Carlos B

    2016-08-01

    The excessive extracellular accumulation of glutamate in the ischemic brain leads to an overactivation of glutamate receptors with consequent excitotoxic neuronal death. Neuronal demise is largely due to a sustained activation of NMDA receptors for glutamate, with a consequent increase in the intracellular Ca(2+) concentration and activation of calcium- dependent mechanisms. Calpains are a group of Ca(2+)-dependent proteases that truncate specific proteins, and some of the cleavage products remain in the cell, although with a distinct function. Numerous studies have shown pre- and post-synaptic effects of calpains on glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses, targeting membrane- associated proteins as well as intracellular proteins. The resulting changes in the presynaptic proteome alter neurotransmitter release, while the cleavage of postsynaptic proteins affects directly or indirectly the activity of neurotransmitter receptors and downstream mechanisms. These alterations also disturb the balance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission in the brain, with an impact in neuronal demise. In this review we discuss the evidence pointing to a role for calpains in the dysregulation of excitatory and inhibitory synapses in brain ischemia, at the pre- and post-synaptic levels, as well as the functional consequences. Although targeting calpain-dependent mechanisms may constitute a good therapeutic approach for stroke, specific strategies should be developed to avoid non-specific effects given the important regulatory role played by these proteases under normal physiological conditions.

  15. The cell-autonomous role of excitatory synaptic transmission in the regulation of neuronal structure and function

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    The cell-autonomous role of synaptic transmission in the regulation of neuronal structural and electrical properties is unclear. We have now employed a genetic approach to eliminate glutamatergic synaptic transmission onto individual CA1 pyramidal neurons in a mosaic fashion in vivo. Surprisingly, while electrical properties are profoundly affected in these neurons, as well as inhibitory synaptic transmission, we found little perturbation of neuronal morphology, demonstrating a functional seg...

  16. Mechanisms of glycine release, which build up synaptic and extrasynaptic glycine levels: the role of synaptic and non-synaptic glycine transporters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harsing, Laszlo G; Matyus, Peter

    2013-04-01

    Glycine is an amino acid neurotransmitter that is involved in both inhibitory and excitatory neurochemical transmission in the central nervous system. The role of glycine in excitatory neurotransmission is related to its coagonist action at glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors. The glycine levels in the synaptic cleft rise many times higher during synaptic activation assuring that glycine spills over into the extrasynaptic space. Another possible origin of extrasynaptic glycine is the efflux of glycine occurring from astrocytes associated with glutamatergic synapses. The release of glycine from neuronal or glial origins exhibits several differences compared to that of biogenic amines or other amino acid neurotransmitters. These differences appear in an external Ca(2+)- and temperature-dependent manner, conferring unique characteristics on glycine as a neurotransmitter. Glycine transporter type-1 at synapses may exhibit neural and glial forms and plays a role in controlling synaptic glycine levels and the spill over rate of glycine from the synaptic cleft into the extrasynaptic biophase. Non-synaptic glycine transporter type-1 regulates extrasynaptic glycine concentrations, either increasing or decreasing them depending on the reverse or normal mode operation of the carrier molecule. While we can, at best, only estimate synaptic glycine levels at rest and during synaptic activation, glycine concentrations are readily measurable via brain microdialysis technique applied in the extrasynaptic space. The non-synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor may obtain glycine for activation following its spill over from highly active synapses or from its release mediated by the reverse operation of non-synaptic glycine transporter-1. The sensitivity of non-synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors to glutamate and glycine is many times higher than that of synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors making the former type of receptor the primary target for drug action. Synaptic

  17. Differential alterations of synaptic plasticity in dentate gyrus and CA1 hippocampal area of Calbindin-D28K knockout mice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Westerink, R.H.S.; Beekwilder, J.P.; Wadman, W.J.

    2012-01-01

    Regulation of the intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)) is of critical importance for synaptic function. Therefore, neurons buffer [Ca(2+)](i) using intracellular Ca(2+)-binding proteins (CaBPs). Previous evidence suggests that Calbindin-D(28K) (CB), an abundantly expressed endogenous fa

  18. Differential requirement for NMDAR activity in SAP97β-mediated regulation of the number and strength of glutamatergic AMPAR-containing synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Mingna; Lewis, Laura D; Shi, Rebecca; Brown, Emery N; Xu, Weifeng

    2014-02-01

    PSD-95-like, disc-large (DLG) family membrane-associated guanylate kinase proteins (PSD/DLG-MAGUKs) are essential for regulating synaptic AMPA receptor (AMPAR) function and activity-dependent trafficking of AMPARs. Using a molecular replacement strategy to replace endogenous PSD-95 with SAP97β, we show that the prototypic β-isoform of the PSD-MAGUKs, SAP97β, has distinct NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-dependent roles in regulating basic properties of AMPAR-containing synapses. SAP97β enhances the number of AMPAR-containing synapses in an NMDAR-dependent manner, whereas its effect on the size of unitary synaptic response is not fully dependent on NMDAR activity. These effects contrast with those of PSD-95α, which increases both the number of AMPAR-containing synapses and the size of unitary synaptic responses, with or without NMDAR activity. Our results suggest that SAP97β regulates synaptic AMPAR content by increasing surface expression of GluA1-containing AMPARs, whereas PSD-95α enhances synaptic AMPAR content presumably by increasing the synaptic scaffold capacity for synaptic AMPARs. Our approach delineates discrete effects of different PSD-MAGUKs on principal properties of glutamatergic synaptic transmission. Our results suggest that the molecular diversity of PSD-MAGUKs can provide rich molecular substrates for differential regulation of glutamatergic synapses in the brain.

  19. VAMP-2, SNAP-25A/B and syntaxin-1 in glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses of the rat cerebellar cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benagiano Vincenzo

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The aim of this study was to assess the distribution of key SNARE proteins in glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses of the adult rat cerebellar cortex using light microscopy immunohistochemical techniques. Analysis was made of co-localizations of vGluT-1 and vGluT-2, vesicular transporters of glutamate and markers of glutamatergic synapses, or GAD, the GABA synthetic enzyme and marker of GABAergic synapses, with VAMP-2, SNAP-25A/B and syntaxin-1. Results The examined SNARE proteins were found to be diffusely expressed in glutamatergic synapses, whereas they were rarely observed in GABAergic synapses. However, among glutamatergic synapses, subpopulations which did not contain VAMP-2, SNAP-25A/B and syntaxin-1 were detected. They included virtually all the synapses established by terminals of climbing fibres (immunoreactive for vGluT-2 and some synapses established by terminals of parallel and mossy fibres (immunoreactive for vGluT-1, and for vGluT-1 and 2, respectively. The only GABA synapses expressing the SNARE proteins studied were the synapses established by axon terminals of basket neurons. Conclusion The present study supplies a detailed morphological description of VAMP-2, SNAP-25A/B and syntaxin-1 in the different types of glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses of the rat cerebellar cortex. The examined SNARE proteins characterize most of glutamatergic synapses and only one type of GABAergic synapses. In the subpopulations of glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses lacking the SNARE protein isoforms examined, alternative mechanisms for regulating trafficking of synaptic vesicles may be hypothesized, possibly mediated by different isoforms or homologous proteins.

  20. Genetic deletion of NR3A accelerates glutamatergic synapse maturation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maile A Henson

    Full Text Available Glutamatergic synapse maturation is critically dependent upon activation of NMDA-type glutamate receptors (NMDARs; however, the contributions of NR3A subunit-containing NMDARs to this process have only begun to be considered. Here we characterized the expression of NR3A in the developing mouse forebrain and examined the consequences of NR3A deletion on excitatory synapse maturation. We found that NR3A is expressed in many subcellular compartments, and during early development, NR3A subunits are particularly concentrated in the postsynaptic density (PSD. NR3A levels dramatically decline with age and are no longer enriched at PSDs in juveniles and adults. Genetic deletion of NR3A accelerates glutamatergic synaptic transmission, as measured by AMPAR-mediated postsynaptic currents recorded in hippocampal CA1. Consistent with the functional observations, we observed that the deletion of NR3A accelerated the expression of the glutamate receptor subunits NR1, NR2A, and GluR1 in the PSD in postnatal day (P 8 mice. These data support the idea that glutamate receptors concentrate at synapses earlier in NR3A-knockout (NR3A-KO mice. The precocious maturation of both AMPAR function and glutamate receptor expression are transient in NR3A-KO mice, as AMPAR currents and glutamate receptor protein levels are similar in NR3A-KO and wildtype mice by P16, an age when endogenous NR3A levels are normally declining. Taken together, our data support a model whereby NR3A negatively regulates the developmental stabilization of glutamate receptors involved in excitatory neurotransmission, synaptogenesis, and spine growth.

  1. Glutamatergic signaling in the brain's white matter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakiri, Y; Burzomato, V; Frugier, G; Hamilton, N B; Káradóttir, R; Attwell, D

    2009-01-12

    Glutamatergic signaling has been exceptionally well characterized in the brain's gray matter, where it underlies fast information processing, learning and memory, and also generates the neuronal damage that occurs in pathological conditions such as stroke. The role of glutamatergic signaling in the white matter, an area until recently thought to be devoid of synapses, is less well understood. Here we review what is known, and highlight what is not known, of glutamatergic signaling in the white matter. We focus on how glutamate is released, the location and properties of the receptors it acts on, the interacting molecules that may regulate trafficking or signaling of the receptors, the possible functional roles of glutamate in the white matter, and its pathological effects including the possibility of treating white matter disorders with glutamate receptor blockers.

  2. Beneficial Effects of Tianeptine on Hippocampus-Dependent Long-Term Memory and Stress-Induced Alterations of Brain Structure and Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen Muñoz

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Tianeptine is a well-described antidepressant which has been shown to prevent stress from producing deleterious effects on brain structure and function. Preclinical studies have shown that tianeptine blocks stress-induced alterations of neuronal morphology and synaptic plasticity. Moreover, tianeptine prevents stress from impairing learning and memory, and, importantly, demonstrates memory-enhancing properties in the absence of stress. Recent research has indicated that tianeptine works by normalizing glutamatergic neurotransmission, a mechanism of action that may underlie its effectiveness as an antidepressant. These findings emphasize the value in focusing on the mechanisms of action of tianeptine, and specifically, the glutamatergic system, in the development of novel pharmacotherapeutic strategies in the treatment of depression.

  3. NO regulates the strength of synaptic inputs onto hippocampal CA1 neurons via NO-GC1/cGMP signalling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neitz, A; Mergia, E; Neubacher, U; Koesling, D; Mittmann, T

    2015-06-01

    GABAergic interneurons are the predominant source of inhibition in the brain that coordinate the level of excitation and synchronization in neuronal circuitries. However, the underlying cellular mechanisms are still not fully understood. Here we report nitric oxide (NO)/NO-GC1 signalling as an important regulatory mechanism of GABAergic and glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the hippocampal CA1 region. Deletion of the NO receptor NO-GC1 induced functional alterations, indicated by a strong reduction of spontaneous and evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs), which could be compensated by application of the missing second messenger cGMP. Moreover, we found a general impairment in the strength of inhibitory and excitatory synaptic inputs onto CA1 pyramidal neurons deriving from NO-GC1KO mice. Finally, we disclosed one subpopulation of GABAergic interneurons, fast-spiking interneurons, that receive less excitatory synaptic input and consequently respond with less spike output after blockage of the NO/cGMP signalling pathway. On the basis of these and previous findings, we propose NO-GC1 as the major NO receptor which transduces the NO signal into cGMP at presynaptic terminals of different neuronal subtypes in the hippocampal CA1 region. Furthermore, we suggest NO-GC1-mediated cGMP signalling as a mechanism which regulates the strength of synaptic transmission, hence being important in gating information processing between hippocampal CA3 and CA1 region.

  4. Astroglia, Glutamatergic Transmission and Psychiatric Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verkhratsky, Alexei; Steardo, Luca; Peng, Liang; Parpura, Vladimir

    2016-01-01

    Astrocytes are primary homeostatic cells of the central nervous system. They regulate glutamatergic transmission through the removal of glutamate from the extracellular space and by supplying neurons with glutamine. Glutamatergic transmission is generally believed to be significantly impaired in the contexts of all major neuropsychiatric diseases. In most of these neuropsychiatric diseases, astrocytes show signs of degeneration and atrophy, which is likely to be translated into reduced homeostatic capabilities. Astroglial glutamate uptake/release and glutamate homeostasis are affected in all forms of major psychiatric disorders and represent a common mechanism underlying neurotransmission disbalance, aberrant connectome and overall failure on information processing by neuronal networks, which underlie pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric diseases.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  6. Pan-neurexin perturbation results in compromised synapse stability and a reduction in readily releasable synaptic vesicle pool size

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, Dylan P.; Kolar, Annette; Wigerius, Michael; Gomm-Kolisko, Rachel N.; Atwi, Hanine; Fawcett, James P.; Krueger, Stefan R.

    2017-01-01

    Neurexins are a diverse family of cell adhesion molecules that localize to presynaptic specializations of CNS neurons. Heterologous expression of neurexins in non-neuronal cells leads to the recruitment of postsynaptic proteins in contacting dendrites of co-cultured neurons, implicating neurexins in synapse formation. However, isoform-specific knockouts of either all α- or all β-neurexins show defects in synaptic transmission but an unaltered density of glutamatergic synapses, a finding that argues against an essential function of neurexins in synaptogenesis. To address the role of neurexin in synapse formation and function, we disrupted the function of all α- and β-neurexins in cultured hippocampal neurons by shRNA knockdown or by overexpressing a neurexin mutant that is unable to bind to postsynaptic neurexin ligands. We show that neurexin perturbation results in an attenuation of neurotransmitter release that is in large part due to a reduction in the number of readily releasable synaptic vesicles. We also find that neurexin perturbation fails to alter the ability of neurons to form synapses, but rather leads to more frequent synapse elimination. These experiments suggest that neurexins are dispensable for the formation of initial synaptic contacts, but play an essential role in the stabilization and functional maturation of synapses. PMID:28220838

  7. EDITORIAL: Synaptic electronics Synaptic electronics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demming, Anna; Gimzewski, James K.; Vuillaume, Dominique

    2013-09-01

    Conventional computers excel in logic and accurate scientific calculations but make hard work of open ended problems that human brains handle easily. Even von Neumann—the mathematician and polymath who first developed the programming architecture that forms the basis of today's computers—was already looking to the brain for future developments before his death in 1957 [1]. Neuromorphic computing uses approaches that better mimic the working of the human brain. Recent developments in nanotechnology are now providing structures with very accommodating properties for neuromorphic approaches. This special issue, with guest editors James K Gimzewski and Dominique Vuillaume, is devoted to research at the serendipitous interface between the two disciplines. 'Synaptic electronics', looks at artificial devices with connections that demonstrate behaviour similar to synapses in the nervous system allowing a new and more powerful approach to computing. Synapses and connecting neurons respond differently to incident signals depending on the history of signals previously experienced, ultimately leading to short term and long term memory behaviour. The basic characteristics of a synapse can be replicated with around ten simple transistors. However with the human brain having around 1011 neurons and 1015 synapses, artificial neurons and synapses from basic transistors are unlikely to accommodate the scalability required. The discovery of nanoscale elements that function as 'memristors' has provided a key tool for the implementation of synaptic connections [2]. Leon Chua first developed the concept of the 'The memristor—the missing circuit element' in 1971 [3]. In this special issue he presents a tutorial describing how memristor research has fed into our understanding of synaptic behaviour and how they can be applied in information processing [4]. He also describes, 'The new principle of local activity, which uncovers a minuscule life-enabling "Goldilocks zone", dubbed the

  8. Neuron-glia interactions in glutamatergic neurotransmission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schousboe, A; Sickmann, H M; Bak, Lasse Kristoffer;

    2011-01-01

    Glutamatergic neurotransmission accounts for a considerable part of energy consumption related to signaling in the brain. Chemical energy is provided by adenosine triphosphate (ATP) formed in glycolysis and tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle combined with oxidative phosphorylation. It is not clear wh...

  9. Cholinergic and glutamatergic transmission at synapses between pedunculopotine tegmental nucleus axonal terminals and A7 catecholamine cell group noradrenergic neurons in the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Meng-Jiyuan; Chang, Tien-Wei; Hung, Wei-Chen; Wu, Chieh-Yi; Luo, Yu-Cheng; Chang, Ting-Hsuan; Lin, Chingju; Yang, Chi-Sheng; Yang, Hsiu-Wen; Min, Ming-Yuan

    2016-11-01

    We characterized transmission from the pedunculopotine tegmental nucleus (PPTg), which contains cholinergic and glutamatergic neurons, at synapses with noradrenergic (NAergic) A7 neurons. Injection of an anterograde neuronal tracer, biotinylated-dextran amine, into the PPTg resulted in labeling of axonal terminals making synaptic connection with NAergic A7 neurons. Consistent with this, extracellular stimulation using a train of 10 pulses at 100 Hz evoked both fast and slow excitatory synaptic currents (EPSCs) that were blocked, respectively, by DNQX, a non-N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor blocker, or atropine, a cholinergic muscarinic receptor (mAChR) blocker. Interestingly, many spontaneous-like, but stimulation-dependent, EPSCs, were seen for up to one second after the end of stimulation and were blocked by DNQX and decreased by EGTA-AM, a membrane permeable form of EGTA, showing they are glutamatergic EPSCs causing by asynchronous release of vesicular quanta. Moreover, application of atropine or carbachol, an mAChR agonist, caused, respectively, an increase in the number of asynchronous EPSCs or a decrease in the frequency of miniature EPSCs, showing that mAChRs mediated presynaptic inhibition of glutamatergic transmission of the PPTg onto NAergic A7 neurons. In conclusion, our data show direct synaptic transmission of PPTg afferents onto pontine NAergic neurons that involves cooperation of cholinergic and glutamatergic transmission. This dual-transmitter transmission drives the firing rate of NAergic neurons, which may correlate with axonal and somatic/dendritic release of NA.

  10. Neonatal Propofol and Etomidate Exposure Enhance Inhibitory Synaptic Transmission in Hippocampal Cornus Ammonis 1 Pyramidal Neurons

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jia-Qiang Zhang; Wan-Ying Xu; Chang-Qing Xu

    2016-01-01

    Background:Propofol and etomidate are the most important intravenous general anesthetics in the current clinical use and that mediate gamma-aminobutyric acid's (GABAergic) synaptic transmission.However,their long-term effects on GABAergic synaptic transmission induced by neonatal propofol or etomidate exposure remain unclear.We investigated the long-term GABAergic neurotransmission alterations,following neonatal propofol and etomidate administration.Methods:Sprague-Dawley rat pups at postnatal days 4 6 were underwent 6-h-long propofol-induced or 5-h-long etomidate-induced anesthesia.We performed whole-cell patch-clamp recording from pyramidal cells in the cornus ammonis 1 area of acute hippocampal slices of postnatal 80-90 days.Spontaneous and miniature inhibitory GABAergic currents (spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents [sIPSCs] and miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents [mIPSCs]) and their kinetic characters were measured.The glutamatergic tonic effect on inhibitory transmission and the effect of bumetanide on neonatal propofol exposure were also examined.Results:Neonatal propofol exposure significantly increased the frequency of mIPSCs (from 1.87 ± 0.35 Hz to 3.43 ± 0.51 Hz,P < 0.05) and did not affect the amplitude of mIPSCs and sIPSCs.Both propofol and etomidate slowed the decay time of mIPSCs kinetics (168.39 ± 27.91 ms and 267.02 ± 100.08 ms vs.68.18 ± 12.43 ms;P < 0.05).Bumetanide significantly blocked the frequency increase and reversed the kinetic alteration of mIPSCs induced by neonatal propofol exposure (3.01 ± 0.45 Hz and 94.30 ± 32.56 ms).Conclusions:Neonatal propofol and etomidate exposure has long-term effects on inhibitory GABAergic transmission.Propofol might act at pre-and post-synaptic GABA receptor A (GABAA) receptors within GABAergic synapses and impairs the glutamatergic tonic input to GABAergic synapses;etomidate might act at the postsynaptic site.

  11. BMP signaling and microtubule organization regulate synaptic strength.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ball, R W; Peled, E S; Guerrero, G; Isacoff, E Y

    2015-04-16

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

  12. Loss of estrogen-related receptor alpha disrupts ventral-striatal synaptic function in female mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Jesús-Cortés, Héctor; Lu, Yuan; Anderson, Rachel M; Khan, Michael Z; Nath, Varun; McDaniel, Latisha; Lutter, Michael; Radley, Jason J; Pieper, Andrew A; Cui, Huxing

    2016-08-01

    Eating disorders (EDs), including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-ED, are mental illnesses characterized by high morbidity and mortality. While several studies have identified neural deficits in patients with EDs, the cellular and molecular basis of the underlying dysfunction has remained poorly understood. We previously identified a rare missense mutation in the transcription factor estrogen-related receptor alpha (ESRRA) associated with development of EDs. Because ventral-striatal signaling is related to the reward and motivation circuitry thought to underlie EDs, we performed functional and structural analysis of ventral-striatal synapses in Esrra-null mice. Esrra-null female, but not male, mice exhibit altered miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents on medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the ventral striatum, including increased frequency, increased amplitude, and decreased paired pulse ratio. These electrophysiological measures are associated with structural and molecular changes in synapses of MSNs in the ventral striatum, including fewer pre-synaptic glutamatergic vesicles and enhanced GluR1 function. Neuronal Esrra is thus required for maintaining normal synaptic function in the ventral striatum, which may offer mechanistic insights into the behavioral deficits observed in Esrra-null mice.

  13. Modulation of glutamatergic transmission by metabotropic glutamate receptor activation in second-order neurons of the guinea pig nucleus tractus solitarius.

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    Ohi, Yoshiaki; Kimura, Satoko; Haji, Akira

    2014-09-18

    Activity of second-order relay neurons in the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) is regulated by peripheral and intrinsic synaptic inputs, and modulation of those inputs by metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) has been proposed. This study investigated effects of mGluR activation on glutamatergic transmission in the NTS second-order neurons of guinea pigs. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from the brainstem slices revealed that activation of mGluRs exerted its effects on the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) but not on the amplitude. The sEPSC frequency was increased by an agonist of group I mGluRs, and it was decreased by an mGluR1 antagonist but not by an mGluR5 antagonist. The agonists of group II and III mGluRs decreased the sEPSC frequency, while their antagonists alone had no effect. Perfusion of cystine or TBOA, either of which elevates extracellular glutamate concentration, resulted in an increase in the sEPSC frequency, leaving the amplitude unchanged. The increased frequency of sEPSCs was returned to control by an mGluR1 antagonist. The tractus solitarius-evoked EPSCs were not altered by an agonist of group I mGluRs, whereas they were decreased along with an increase in paired-pulse ratio by agonists of group II and III mGluRs. These results suggest that mGluRs are present at the presynaptic sites in the NTS second-order neurons in guinea pigs. The mGluR1s function to facilitate the release of glutamate from axon terminals of intrinsic interneurons and the group II and III mGluRs play an inhibitory role in glutamatergic transmission.

  14. Plasticity-Related Gene 1 Affects Mouse Barrel Cortex Function via Strengthening of Glutamatergic Thalamocortical Transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unichenko, Petr; Kirischuk, Sergei; Yang, Jenq-Wei; Baumgart, Jan; Roskoden, Thomas; Schneider, Patrick; Sommer, Angela; Horta, Guilherme; Radyushkin, Konstantin; Nitsch, Robert; Vogt, Johannes; Luhmann, Heiko J

    2016-07-01

    Plasticity-related gene-1 (PRG-1) is a brain-specific protein that modulates glutamatergic synaptic transmission. Here we investigated the functional role of PRG-1 in adolescent and adult mouse barrel cortex both in vitro and in vivo. Compared with wild-type (WT) animals, PRG-1-deficient (KO) mice showed specific behavioral deficits in tests assessing sensorimotor integration and whisker-based sensory discrimination as shown in the beam balance/walking test and sandpaper tactile discrimination test, respectively. At P25-31, spontaneous network activity in the barrel cortex in vivo was higher in KO mice compared with WT littermates, but not at P16-19. At P16-19, sensory evoked cortical responses in vivo elicited by single whisker stimulation were comparable in KO and WT mice. In contrast, at P25-31 evoked responses were smaller in amplitude and longer in duration in WT animals, whereas KO mice revealed no such developmental changes. In thalamocortical slices from KO mice, spontaneous activity was increased already at P16-19, and glutamatergic thalamocortical inputs to Layer 4 spiny stellate neurons were potentiated. We conclude that genetic ablation of PRG-1 modulates already at P16-19 spontaneous and evoked excitability of the barrel cortex, including enhancement of thalamocortical glutamatergic inputs to Layer 4, which distorts sensory processing in adulthood.

  15. 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.

  16. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and chronic stress-induced modulations of glutamatergic neurotransmission in the hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hennebelle, Marie; Champeil-Potokar, Gaëlle; Lavialle, Monique; Vancassel, Sylvie; Denis, Isabelle

    2014-02-01

    Chronic stress causes the release of glucocorticoids, which greatly influence cerebral function, especially glutamatergic transmission. These stress-induced changes in neurotransmission could be counteracted by increasing the dietary intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs). Numerous studies have described the capacity of n-3 PUFAs to help protect glutamatergic neurotransmission from damage induced by stress and glucocorticoids, possibly preventing the development of stress-related disorders such as depression or anxiety. The hippocampus contains glucocorticoid receptors and is involved in learning and memory. This makes it particularly sensitive to stress, which alters certain aspects of hippocampal function. In this review, the various ways in which n-3 PUFAs may prevent the harmful effects of chronic stress, particularly the alteration of glutamatergic synapses in the hippocampus, are summarized.

  17. 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

  18. Plasticity in glutamatergic NTS neurotransmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kline, David D

    2008-12-10

    Changes in the physiological state of an animal or human can result in alterations in the cardiovascular and respiratory system in order to maintain homeostasis. Accordingly, the cardiovascular and respiratory systems are not static but readily adapt under a variety of circumstances. The same can be said for the brainstem circuits that control these systems. The nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) is the central integration site of baroreceptor and chemoreceptor sensory afferent fibers. This central nucleus, and in particular the synapse between the sensory afferent and second-order NTS cell, possesses a remarkable degree of plasticity in response to a variety of stimuli, both acute and chronic. This brief review is intended to describe the plasticity observed in the NTS as well as the locus and mechanisms as they are currently understood. The functional consequence of NTS plasticity is also discussed.

  19. Notch1 regulates hippocampal plasticity through interaction with the Reelin pathway, glutamatergic transmission and CREB signaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emanuele eBrai

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Notch signaling plays a crucial role in adult brain function such as synaptic plasticity, memory and olfaction. Several reports suggest an involvement of this pathway in neurodegenerative dementia. Yet, to date, the mechanism underlying Notch activity in mature neurons remains unresolved. In this work, we investigate how Notch regulates synaptic potentiation and contributes to the establishment of memory in mice. We observe that Notch1 is a postsynaptic receptor with functional interactions with the Reelin receptor, ApoER2, and the ionotropic receptor, NMDAR. Targeted loss of Notch1 in the hippocampal CA fields affects Reelin signaling by influencing Dab1 expression and impairs the synaptic potentiation achieved through Reelin stimulation. Further analysis indicates that loss of Notch1 affects the expression and composition of the NMDAR but not AMPAR. Glutamatergic signaling is further compromised through downregulation of CamKII and its secondary and tertiary messengers resulting in reduced CREB signaling. Our results identify Notch1 as an important regulator of mechanisms involved in synaptic plasticity and memory formation. These findings emphasize the possible involvement of this signaling receptor in dementia.

  20. Altered pallido-pallidal synaptic transmission leads to aberrant firing of globus pallidus neurons in a rat model of Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miguelez, Cristina; Morin, Stéphanie; Martinez, Audrey; Goillandeau, Michel; Bezard, Erwan; Bioulac, Bernard; Baufreton, Jérôme

    2012-11-15

    The pattern of activity of globus pallidus (GP) neurons is tightly regulated by GABAergic inhibition. In addition to extrinsic inputs from the striatum (STR-GP) the other source of GABA to GP neurons arises from intrinsic intranuclear axon collaterals (GP-GP). While the contribution of striatal inputs has been studied, notably its hyperactivity in Parkinson's disease (PD), the properties and function of intranuclear inhibition remain poorly understood. Our objective was therefore to test the impact of chronic dopamine depletion on pallido-pallidal transmission. Using patch-clamp whole-cell recordings in rat brain slices, we combined electrical and optogenetic stimulations with pharmacology to differentiate basic synaptic properties of STR-GP and GP-GP GABAergic synapses. GP-GP synapses were characterized by activity-dependent depression and insensitivity to the D(2) receptor specific agonist quinpirole and STR-GP synapses by frequency-dependent facilitation and quinpirole modulation. Chronic dopamine deprivation obtained in 6-OHDA lesioned animals boosted the amplitude of GP-GP IPSCs but did not modify STR-GP transmission and increased the amplitude of miniature IPSCs. Replacement of calcium by strontium confirmed that the quantal amplitude was increased at GP-GP synapses. Finally, we demonstrated that boosted GP-GP transmission promotes resetting of autonomous activity and rebound-burst firing after dopamine depletion. These results suggest that GP-GP synaptic transmission (but not STR-GP) is augmented by chronic dopamine depletion which could contribute to the aberrant GP neuronal activity observed in PD.

  1. Optogenetic stimulation of glutamatergic neuronal activity in the striatum enhances neurogenesis in the subventricular zone of normal and stroke mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Mingke; Yu, Shan Ping; Mohamad, Osama; Cao, Wenyuan; Wei, Zheng Zachory; Gu, Xiaohuan; Jiang, Michael Qize; Wei, Ling

    2017-02-01

    Neurogenesis in the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the adult brain may contribute to tissue repair after brain injuries. Whether SVZ neurogenesis can be upregulated by specific neuronal activity in vivo and promote functional recovery after stroke is largely unknown. Using the spatial and cell type specific optogenetic technique combined with multiple approaches of in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo examinations, we tested the hypothesis that glutamatergic activation in the striatum could upregulate SVZ neurogenesis in the normal and ischemic brain. In transgenic mice expressing the light-gated channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) channel in glutamatergic neurons, optogenetic stimulation of the glutamatergic activity in the striatum triggered glutamate release into SVZ region, evoked membrane currents, Ca(2+) influx and increased proliferation of SVZ neuroblasts, mediated by AMPA receptor activation. In ChR2 transgenic mice subjected to focal ischemic stroke, optogenetic stimuli to the striatum started 5days after stroke for 8days not only promoted cell proliferation but also the migration of SVZ neuroblasts into the peri-infarct cortex with increased neuronal differentiation and improved long-term functional recovery. These data provide the first morphological and functional evidence showing a unique striatum-SVZ neuronal regulation via a semi-phasic synaptic mechanism that can boost neurogenic cascades and stroke recovery. The benefits from stimulating endogenous glutamatergic activity suggest a novel regenerative strategy after ischemic stroke and other brain injuries.

  2. Syntaxin 1B, but not syntaxin 1A, is necessary for the regulation of synaptic vesicle exocytosis and of the readily releasable pool at central synapses.

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    Tatsuya Mishima

    Full Text Available Two syntaxin 1 (STX1 isoforms, HPC-1/STX1A and STX1B, are coexpressed in neurons and function as neuronal target membrane (t-SNAREs. However, little is known about their functional differences in synaptic transmission. STX1A null mutant mice develop normally and do not show abnormalities in fast synaptic transmission, but monoaminergic transmissions are impaired. In the present study, we found that STX1B null mutant mice died within 2 weeks of birth. To examine functional differences between STX1A and 1B, we analyzed the presynaptic properties of glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses in STX1B null mutant and STX1A/1B double null mutant mice. We found that the frequency of spontaneous quantal release was lower and the paired-pulse ratio of evoked postsynaptic currents was significantly greater in glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses of STX1B null neurons. Deletion of STX1B also accelerated synaptic vesicle turnover in glutamatergic synapses and decreased the size of the readily releasable pool in glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses. Moreover, STX1A/1B double null neurons showed reduced and asynchronous evoked synaptic vesicle release in glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses. Our results suggest that although STX1A and 1B share a basic function as neuronal t-SNAREs, STX1B but not STX1A is necessary for the regulation of spontaneous and evoked synaptic vesicle exocytosis in fast transmission.

  3. Synaptic determinants of Rett syndrome

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    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.

  4. 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.

  5. Synaptic function is modulated by LRRK2 and glutamate release is increased in cortical neurons of G2019S LRRK2 knock-in mice

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    Dayne A Beccano-Kelly

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Mutations in Leucine-Rich Repeat Kinase-2 (LRRK2 result in familial Parkinson’s disease and the G2019S mutation alone accounts for up to 30% in some ethnicities. Despite this, the function of LRRK2 is largely undetermined although evidence suggests roles in phosphorylation, protein interactions, autophagy and endocytosis. Emerging reports link loss of LRRK2 to altered synaptic transmission, but the effects of the G2019S mutation upon synaptic release in mammalian neurons are unknown. To assess wild type and mutant LRRK2 in established neuronal networks, we conducted immunocytochemical, electrophysiological and biochemical characterisation of >3 week old cortical cultures of LRRK2 knock-out, wild-type overexpressing and G2019S knock-in mice. Synaptic release and synapse numbers were grossly normal in LRRK2 knock-out cells, but discretely reduced glutamatergic activity and reduced synaptic protein levels were observed. Conversely, synapse density was modestly but significantly increased in wild-type LRRK2 overexpressing cultures although event frequency was not. In knock-in cultures, glutamate release was markedly elevated, in the absence of any change to synapse density; indicating that physiological levels of G2019S LRRK2 elevate probability of release. Several presynaptic regulatory proteins shown by others to interact with LRRK2 were expressed at normal levels in knock-in cultures; however, synapsin 1 phosphorylation was significantly reduced. Thus, perturbations to the presynaptic release machinery and elevated synaptic transmission are early neuronal effects of LRRK2 G2019S. Furthermore, the comparison of knock-in and overexpressing cultures suggests that one copy of the G2019S mutation has a more pronounced effect than an ~3-fold increase in LRRK2 protein. Mutant-induced increases in transmission may convey additional stressors to neuronal physiology that may eventually contribute to the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease.

  6. Restoration of glutamatergic transmission by dopamine D4 receptors in stressed animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuen, Eunice Y; Zhong, Ping; Li, Xiangning; Wei, Jing; Yan, Zhen

    2013-09-06

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC), a key brain region for cognitive and emotional processes, is highly regulated by dopaminergic inputs. The dopamine D4 receptor, which is enriched in PFC, has been implicated in mental disorders, such as attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder and schizophrenia. Recently we have found homeostatic regulation of AMPA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission in PFC pyramidal neurons by the D4 receptor, providing a potential mechanism for D4 in stabilizing cortical excitability. Because stress is tightly linked to adaptive and maladaptive changes associated with mental health and disorders, we examined the synaptic actions of D4 in stressed rats. We found that neural excitability was elevated by acute stress and dampened by repeated stress. D4 activation produced a potent reduction of excitatory transmission in acutely stressed animals and a marked increase of excitatory transmission in repeatedly stressed animals. These effects of D4 targeted GluA2-lacking AMPA receptors and relied on the bi-directional regulation of calcium/calmodulin kinase II activity. The restoration of PFC glutamatergic transmission in stress conditions may enable D4 receptors to serve as a synaptic stabilizer in normal and pathological conditions.

  7. Stress-induced impairment of glutamatergic terminals ultrastructure: High vulnerability of medial prefrontal cortex and preventing action of desipramine

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nava, N.; Popoli, M.; Musazzi, L.;

    2013-01-01

    mediators, glucocorticoids, on brain volume and dendritic remodeling, in both humans and rodents. Nevertheless, few is still known on the structural changes exerted by behavioral stress on the features of glutamatergic synapses as sites of neuronal communication. Indeed, in excitatory synapses synaptic...... communication is driven by neurotransmitter which is stored, within the presynaptic terminal, in morphologically distinct pools of vesicles, namely the readily-releasable pool of vesicles (RRP), docked to the active zone and ready for release, and the reserve pool of vesicles. When neurotransmitter is released...

  8. Innervation by a GABAergic neuron depresses spontaneous release in glutamatergic neurons and unveils the clamping phenotype of synaptotagmin-1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wierda, Keimpe D B; Sørensen, Jakob Balslev

    2014-01-01

    EPSC and mIPSC frequencies did not deviate between autaptic and synaptic connections, the frequency of mEPSCs in mixed pairs was strongly depressed compared with either autaptic neurons or glutamatergic pairs. Simultaneous imaging of synapses, or comparison to evoked release amplitudes, showed...... that this decrease was not caused by fewer active synapses. The mEPSC frequency was negatively correlated with the mIPSC frequency, indicating interdependence. Moreover, the reduction in mEPSC frequency was abolished when established pairs were exposed to bicuculline for 3 d, but not by long-term incubation...

  9. Origins of altered reinforcement effects in ADHD

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    Tripp Gail

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, characterized by hyperactivity, impulsiveness and deficient sustained attention, is one of the most common and persistent behavioral disorders of childhood. ADHD is associated with catecholamine dysfunction. The catecholamines are important for response selection and memory formation, and dopamine in particular is important for reinforcement of successful behavior. The convergence of dopaminergic mesolimbic and glutamatergic corticostriatal synapses upon individual neostriatal neurons provides a favorable substrate for a three-factor synaptic modification rule underlying acquisition of associations between stimuli in a particular context, responses, and reinforcers. The change in associative strength as a function of delay between key stimuli or responses, and reinforcement, is known as the delay of reinforcement gradient. The gradient is altered by vicissitudes of attention, intrusions of irrelevant events, lapses of memory, and fluctuations in dopamine function. Theoretical and experimental analyses of these moderating factors will help to determine just how reinforcement processes are altered in ADHD. Such analyses can only help to improve treatment strategies for ADHD.

  10. Synaptic vesicle endocytosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saheki, Yasunori; De Camilli, Pietro

    2012-09-01

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

  11. Functional recovery after cervical spinal cord injury: Role of neurotrophin and glutamatergic signaling in phrenic motoneurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gill, Luther C; Gransee, Heather M; Sieck, Gary C; Mantilla, Carlos B

    2016-06-01

    Cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) interrupts descending neural drive to phrenic motoneurons causing diaphragm muscle (DIAm) paralysis. Recent studies using a well-established model of SCI, unilateral spinal hemisection of the C2 segment of the cervical spinal cord (SH), provide novel information regarding the molecular and cellular mechanisms of functional recovery after SCI. Over time post-SH, gradual recovery of rhythmic ipsilateral DIAm activity occurs. Recovery of ipsilateral DIAm electromyogram (EMG) activity following SH is enhanced by increasing brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the region of the phrenic motoneuron pool. Delivery of exogenous BDNF either via intrathecal infusion or via mesenchymal stem cells engineered to release BDNF similarly enhance recovery. Conversely, recovery after SH is blunted by quenching endogenous BDNF with the fusion-protein TrkB-Fc in the region of the phrenic motoneuron pool or by selective inhibition of TrkB kinase activity using a chemical-genetic approach in TrkB(F616A) mice. Furthermore, the importance of BDNF signaling via TrkB receptors at phrenic motoneurons is highlighted by the blunting of recovery by siRNA-mediated downregulation of TrkB receptor expression in phrenic motoneurons and by the enhancement of recovery evident following virally-induced increases in TrkB expression specifically in phrenic motoneurons. BDNF/TrkB signaling regulates synaptic plasticity in various neuronal systems, including glutamatergic pathways. Glutamatergic neurotransmission constitutes the main inspiratory-related, excitatory drive to motoneurons, and following SH, spontaneous neuroplasticity is associated with increased expression of ionotropic N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in phrenic motoneurons. Evidence for the role of BDNF/TrkB and glutamatergic signaling in recovery of DIAm activity following cervical SCI is reviewed.

  12. Synaptic and cellular changes induced by the schizophrenia susceptibility gene G72 are rescued by N-acetylcysteine treatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pósfai, B; Cserép, C; Hegedüs, P; Szabadits, E; Otte, D M; Zimmer, A; Watanabe, M; Freund, T F; Nyiri, G

    2016-01-01

    Genetic studies have linked the primate-specific gene locus G72 to the development of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Transgenic mice carrying the entire gene locus express G72 mRNA in dentate gyrus (DG) and entorhinal cortex, causing altered electrophysiological properties of their connections. These transgenic mice exhibit behavioral alterations related to psychiatric diseases, including cognitive deficits that can be reversed by treatment with N-acetylcysteine, which was also found to be effective in human patients. Here, we show that G72 transgenic mice have larger excitatory synapses with an increased amount of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the molecular layer of DG, compared with wild-type littermates. Furthermore, transgenic animals have lower number of dentate granule cells with a parallel, but an even stronger decrease in the number of excitatory synapses in the molecular layer. Importantly, we also show that treatment with N-acetylcysteine can effectively normalize all these changes in transgenic animals, resulting in a state similar to wild-type mice. Our results show that G72 transcripts induce robust alterations in the glutamatergic system at the synaptic level that can be rescued with N-acetylcysteine treatment. PMID:27163208

  13. Pax6-dependent cortical glutamatergic neuronal differentiation regulates autism-like behavior in prenatally valproic acid-exposed rat offspring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Ki Chan; Lee, Dong-Keun; Go, Hyo Sang; Kim, Pitna; Choi, Chang Soon; Kim, Ji-Woon; Jeon, Se Jin; Song, Mi-Ryoung; Shin, Chan Young

    2014-02-01

    Imbalance in excitatory/inhibitory signal in the brain has been proposed as one of the main pathological features in autism spectrum disorders, although the underlying cellular and molecular mechanism is unclear yet. Because excitatory/inhibitory imbalance can be induced by aberration in glutamatergic/GABAergic neuronal differentiation, we investigated the mechanism of dysregulated neuronal differentiation between excitatory and inhibitory neurons in the embryonic and postnatal brain of prenatally valproic acid-exposed rat offspring, which is often used as an animal model of autism spectrum disorders. Transcription factor Pax6, implicated in glutamatergic neuronal differentiation, was transiently increased in embryonic cortex by valproate exposure, which resulted in the increased expression of glutamatergic proteins in postnatal brain of offspring. Chromatin immunoprecipitation showed increased acetylated histone binding on Pax6 promoter region, which may underlie the transcriptional up-regulation of Pax6. Other histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors including TSA and SB but not valpromide, which is devoid of HDAC inhibitor activity, induced Pax6 up-regulation. Silencing Pax6 expression in cultured rat primary neural progenitor cells demonstrated that up-regulation of Pax6 plays an essential role in valproate-induced glutamatergic differentiation. Blocking glutamatergic transmission with MK-801 or memantine treatment, and to a lesser extent with MPEP treatment, reversed the impaired social behaviors and seizure susceptibility of prenatally valproate-exposed offspring. Together, environmental factors may contribute to the imbalance in excitatory/inhibitory neuronal activity in autistic brain by altering expression of transcription factors governing glutamatergic/GABAergic differentiation during fetal neural development, in conjunction with the genetic preload.

  14. Mice deficient of glutamatergic signaling from intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells exhibit abnormal circadian photoentrainment.

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    Nicole Purrier

    Full Text Available Several aspects of behavior and physiology, such as sleep and wakefulness, blood pressure, body temperature, and hormone secretion exhibit daily oscillations known as circadian rhythms. These circadian rhythms are orchestrated by an intrinsic biological clock in the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN of the hypothalamus which is adjusted to the daily environmental cycles of day and night by the process of photoentrainment. In mammals, the neuronal signal for photoentrainment arises from a small subset of intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs that send a direct projection to the SCN. ipRGCs also mediate other non-image-forming (NIF visual responses such as negative masking of locomotor activity by light, and the pupillary light reflex (PLR via co-release of neurotransmitters glutamate and pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP from their synaptic terminals. The relative contribution of each neurotransmitter system for the circadian photoentrainment and other NIF visual responses is still unresolved. We investigated the role of glutamatergic neurotransmission for circadian photoentrainment and NIF behaviors by selective ablation of ipRGC glutamatergic synaptic transmission in mice. Mutant mice displayed delayed re-entrainment to a 6 h phase shift (advance or delay in the light cycle and incomplete photoentrainment in a symmetrical skeleton photoperiod regimen (1 h light pulses between 11 h dark periods. Circadian rhythmicity in constant darkness also was reduced in some mutant mice. Other NIF responses such as the PLR and negative masking responses to light were also partially attenuated. Overall, these results suggest that glutamate from ipRGCs drives circadian photoentrainment and negative masking responses to light.

  15. Mice deficient of glutamatergic signaling from intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells exhibit abnormal circadian photoentrainment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purrier, Nicole; Engeland, William C; Kofuji, Paulo

    2014-01-01

    Several aspects of behavior and physiology, such as sleep and wakefulness, blood pressure, body temperature, and hormone secretion exhibit daily oscillations known as circadian rhythms. These circadian rhythms are orchestrated by an intrinsic biological clock in the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) of the hypothalamus which is adjusted to the daily environmental cycles of day and night by the process of photoentrainment. In mammals, the neuronal signal for photoentrainment arises from a small subset of intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) that send a direct projection to the SCN. ipRGCs also mediate other non-image-forming (NIF) visual responses such as negative masking of locomotor activity by light, and the pupillary light reflex (PLR) via co-release of neurotransmitters glutamate and pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP) from their synaptic terminals. The relative contribution of each neurotransmitter system for the circadian photoentrainment and other NIF visual responses is still unresolved. We investigated the role of glutamatergic neurotransmission for circadian photoentrainment and NIF behaviors by selective ablation of ipRGC glutamatergic synaptic transmission in mice. Mutant mice displayed delayed re-entrainment to a 6 h phase shift (advance or delay) in the light cycle and incomplete photoentrainment in a symmetrical skeleton photoperiod regimen (1 h light pulses between 11 h dark periods). Circadian rhythmicity in constant darkness also was reduced in some mutant mice. Other NIF responses such as the PLR and negative masking responses to light were also partially attenuated. Overall, these results suggest that glutamate from ipRGCs drives circadian photoentrainment and negative masking responses to light.

  16. Effects of Etomidate on GABAergic and Glutamatergic Transmission in Rat Thalamocortical Slices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Bao; Wang, Yuan; Yang, Hao; Yu, Tian

    2016-12-01

    Although accumulative evidence indicates that the thalamocortical system is an important target for general anesthetics, the underlying mechanisms of anesthetic action on thalamocortical neurotransmission are not fully understood. The aim of the study is to explore the action of etomidate on glutamatergic and GABAergic transmission in rat thalamocortical slices by using whole cell patch-clamp recording. We found that etomidate mainly prolonged the decay time of spontaneous GABAergic inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sIPSCs), without changing the frequency. Furthermore, etomidate not only prolonged the decay time of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs) but also increased the amplitude. On the other hand, etomidate significantly decreased the frequency of spontaneous glutamatergic excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs), without altering the amplitude or decay time in the absence of bicuculline. When GABAA receptors were blocked using bicuculline, the effects of etomidate on sEPSCs were mostly eliminated. These results suggest that etomidate enhances GABAergic transmission mainly through postsynaptic mechanism in thalamocortical neuronal network. Etomidate attenuates glutamatergic transmission predominantly through presynaptic action and requires presynaptic GABAA receptors involvement.

  17. Early sequential formation of functional GABA(A) and glutamatergic synapses on CA1 interneurons of the rat foetal hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hennou, Sonia; Khalilov, Ilgam; Diabira, Diabé; Ben-Ari, Yehezkel; Gozlan, Henri

    2002-07-01

    During postnatal development of CA1 pyramidal neurons, GABAergic synapses are excitatory and established prior to glutamatergic synapses. As interneurons are generated before pyramidal cells, we have tested the hypothesis that the GABAergic interneuronal network is operative before glutamate pyramidal neurons and provides the initial patterns of activity. We patch-clamp recorded interneurons in foetal (69 neurons) and neonatal P0 (162 neurons) hippocampal slices and performed a morphofunctional analysis of biocytin-filled neurons. At P0, three types of interneurons were found: (i) non-innervated "silent" interneurons (5%) with no spontaneous or evoked synaptic currents; (ii) G interneurons (17%) with GABA(A) synapses only; and (iii) GG interneurons with GABA and glutamatergic synapses (78%). Relying on the neuronal capacitance, cell body size and arborization of dendrites and axons, the three types of interneurons correspond to three stages of development with non-innervated neurons and interneurons with GABA(A) and glutamatergic synapses being, respectively, the least and the most developed. Recordings from both pyramidal neurons and interneurons in foetuses (E18-20) revealed that the majority of interneurons (65%) had functional synapses whereas nearly 90% of pyramidal neurons were quiescent. Therefore, interneurons follow the same GABA-glutamate sequence of synapse formation but earlier than the principal cells. Interneurons are the source and the target of the first synapses formed in the hippocampus and are thus in a position to modulate the development of the hippocampus in the foetal stage.

  18. Effects of propofol on GABAergic and glutamatergic transmission in isolated hippocampal single nerve-synapse preparations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wakita, Masahito; Kotani, Naoki; Nonaka, Kiku; Shin, Min-Chul; Akaike, Norio

    2013-10-15

    We evaluated the effects of propofol on synaptic transmission using a mechanically dissociated preparation of rat hippocampal CA3 neurons to allow assays of single bouton responses evoked from retained functional native nerve endings. We studied synaptic and extrasynaptic GABAA and glutamate receptor responses in a preparation in which experimental solutions rapidly accessed synaptic terminals. Whole-cell responses were evoked by bath application of GABA and glutamate. Synaptic inhibitory and excitatory postsynaptic currents (IPSC and EPSC) were measured as spontaneous and evoked postsynaptic responses. Evoked currents were elicited by focal electrical stimulation. Propofol (1-100 μM) enhanced extrasynaptic GABAA-receptor mediated responses but the increase at clinically relevant concentrations (1 μM) were minor. In contrast, 1 μM propofol significantly increased both the amplitude and frequency of spontaneous IPSCs (sIPSCs) and increased the amplitudes of evoked IPSCs (eIPSCs) while decreasing failure rates (Rf) and paired-pulse ratios (PPR). Decay times of sIPSCs and eIPSCs were significantly prolonged. Although propofol had no effect on extrasynaptic glutamate responses, only supra-clinical propofol concentrations (≥ 10 µM) increased the spontaneous EPSCs (sEPSCs, amplitudes and frequencies) but suppressed evoked EPSCs (eEPSCs decreased amplitudes with increased Rf and PPR). The decay phases of sEPSCs and eEPSCs were not changed. The propofol-induced changes in sEPSCs and eEPSCs resulted from presynaptic GABAA receptor-mediated depolarization, because these actions were blocked by bicuculline. These results suggest that propofol acts at presynaptic and postsynaptic GABAA receptors within GABAergic synapses, but also increases extrasynaptic GABA responses. Our results expand the locus of propofol actions to GABAergic and glutamatergic synapses.

  19. Progressive brain damage, synaptic reorganization and NMDA activation in a model of epileptogenic cortical dysplasia.

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    Francesca Colciaghi

    Full Text Available Whether severe epilepsy could be a progressive disorder remains as yet unresolved. We previously demonstrated in a rat model of acquired focal cortical dysplasia, the methylazoxymethanol/pilocarpine - MAM/pilocarpine - rats, that the occurrence of status epilepticus (SE and subsequent seizures fostered a pathologic process capable of modifying the morphology of cortical pyramidal neurons and NMDA receptor expression/localization. We have here extended our analysis by evaluating neocortical and hippocampal changes in MAM/pilocarpine rats at different epilepsy stages, from few days after onset up to six months of chronic epilepsy. Our findings indicate that the process triggered by SE and subsequent seizures in the malformed brain i is steadily progressive, deeply altering neocortical and hippocampal morphology, with atrophy of neocortex and CA regions and progressive increase of granule cell layer dispersion; ii changes dramatically the fine morphology of neurons in neocortex and hippocampus, by increasing cell size and decreasing both dendrite arborization and spine density; iii induces reorganization of glutamatergic and GABAergic networks in both neocortex and hippocampus, favoring excitatory vs inhibitory input; iv activates NMDA regulatory subunits. Taken together, our data indicate that, at least in experimental models of brain malformations, severe seizure activity, i.e., SE plus recurrent seizures, may lead to a widespread, steadily progressive architectural, neuronal and synaptic reorganization in the brain. They also suggest the mechanistic relevance of glutamate/NMDA hyper-activation in the seizure-related brain pathologic plasticity.

  20. [Evidence on the key role of the metabotrobic glutamatergic receptors in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia: a "breakthrough" in pharmacological treatment].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pannese, Rossella; Minichino, Amedeo; Pignatelli, Marco; Delle Chiaie, Roberto; Biondi, Massimo; Nicoletti, Ferdinando

    2012-01-01

    The metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) are expressed pre- and post synaptically throughout the nervous system where they serve as modulators of synaptic transmission and neuronal excitability. The glutamatergic system is involved in a wide range of physiological processes in the brain, and its dysfunction plays an important role in the etiology and pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia. This paper reviews the neurodevelopmental origin and genetic susceptibility of schizophrenia relevant to NMDA receptor neurotransmission, and discusses the relationship between NMDA hypofunction and different domains of symptom in schizophrenia as well as putative treatment modality for the disorder. mGlu receptors have been hypothesizes as attractive therapeutic targets for the development of novel interventions for psychiatric disorders. Group II of mGlu receptors are of particular interest because of their unique distribution and the regulatory roles they have in neurotransmission. The glutamate hypothesis of schizophrenia predicts that agents that restore the balance in glutamatergic neurotransmission will ameliorate the symptomatology associated with this illness. Development of potent, efficacious, systemically active drugs will help to address the antipsychotic potential of these novel therapeutics. This review will discuss recent progress in elucidating the pharmacology and function of group II receptors in the context of current hypotheses on the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and the need for new and better antipsychotics.

  1. Ongoing intrinsic synchronous activity is required for the functional maturation of CA3-CA1 glutamatergic synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huupponen, Johanna; Molchanova, Svetlana M; Lauri, Sari E; Taira, Tomi

    2013-11-01

    Fine-tuning of synaptic connectivity during development is guided by intrinsic activity of the immature networks characteristically consisting of intermittent bursts of synchronous activity. However, the role of synchronous versus asynchronous activity in synapse maturation in the brain is unclear. Here, we have pharmacologically prevented generation of synchronous activity in the immature rat CA3-CA1 circuitry in a manner that preserves unitary activity. Long-term desynchronization of the network resulted in weakening of AMPA-receptor-mediated glutamatergic transmission in CA1 pyramidal cells. This weakening was dependent on protein phosphatases and mGluR activity, associated with an increase in the proportion of silent synapses and a decrease in the protein levels of GluA4 suggesting postsynaptic mechanisms of expression. The findings demonstrate that synchronous activity in the immature CA3-CA1 circuitry is critical for the induction and maintenance of glutamatergic synapses and underscores the importance of temporal activity patterns in shaping the synaptic circuitry during development.

  2. Inhibiting BACE1 to reverse synaptic dysfunctions in Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Riqiang; Fan, Qingyuan; Zhou, John; Vassar, Robert

    2016-06-01

    Over the past two decades, many studies have identified significant contributions of toxic β-amyloid peptides (Aβ) to the etiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD), which is the most common age-dependent neurodegenerative disease. AD is also recognized as a disease of synaptic failure. Aβ, generated by sequential proteolytic cleavages of amyloid precursor protein (APP) by BACE1 and γ-secretase, is one of major culprits that cause this failure. In this review, we summarize current findings on how BACE1-cleaved APP products impact learning and memory through proteins localized on glutamatergic, GABAergic, and dopaminergic synapses. Considering the broad effects of Aβ on all three types of synapses, BACE1 inhibition emerges as a practical approach for ameliorating Aβ-mediated synaptic dysfunctions. Since BACE1 inhibitory drugs are currently in clinical trials, this review also discusses potential complications arising from BACE1 inhibition. We emphasize that the benefits of BACE1 inhibitory drugs will outweigh the concerns.

  3. Metabotropic glutamatergic receptors and their ligands in drug addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pomierny-Chamioło, Lucyna; Rup, Kinga; Pomierny, Bartosz; Niedzielska, Ewa; Kalivas, Peter W; Filip, Małgorzata

    2014-06-01

    Glutamatergic excitatory transmission is implicated in physiological and pathological conditions like learning, memory, neuronal plasticity and emotions, while glutamatergic abnormalities are reported in numerous neurological and psychiatric disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases, epilepsy, stroke, traumatic brain injury, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and pain. Also, several lines of evidence have accumulated indicating a pivotal role for glutamatergic neurotransmission in mediating addictive behaviors. Among the proteins regulating glutamatergic transmission, the metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR) are being developed as pharmacological targets for treating many neuropsychiatric disorders, including drug addiction. In this review we describe the molecular structure of mGluRs and their distribution, physiology and pharmacology in the central nervous system, as well as their use as targets in preclinical studies of drug addiction.

  4. Regulation of hippocampal synaptic strength by glial xCT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Leena E; Featherstone, David E

    2014-11-26

    Most extracellular glutamate in the brain is released by xCT, a glial antiporter that exports glutamate and imports cystine. The function of xCT, and extracellular glutamate in general, remains unclear. Several lines of evidence suggest that glutamate from xCT could act in a paracrine fashion to suppress glutamatergic synapse strength by triggering removal of postsynaptic glutamate receptors. To test this idea, we used whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology and immunohistochemistry to quantify receptor number and synapse function in xCT knock-out mouse hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapses. Consistent with the hypothesis that xCT suppresses glutamate receptor number and synapse strength, xCT knock-out synapses showed increased AMPA receptor abundance with concomitant large enhancements of spontaneous and evoked synaptic transmission. We saw no evidence for changes in GABA receptor abundance or the overall number of glutamatergic synapses. The xCT knock-out phenotype was replicated by incubating slices in the xCT inhibitor (S)-4-carboxyphenylglycine, and consistent with the idea that xCT works by regulating extracellular glutamate, the xCT knock-out phenotype could be reproduced in controls by incubating the slices in glutamate-free aCSF. We conclude that glutamate secreted via xCT suppresses glutamatergic synapse strength by triggering removal of postsynaptic AMPA receptors.

  5. Noradrenergic modulation of intrinsic and synaptic properties of lumbar motoneurons in the neonatal rat spinal cord

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maylis Tartas

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Although it is known that noradrenaline powerfully controls spinal motor networks, few data are available regarding the noradrenergic modulation of intrinsic and synaptic properties of neurons in motor networks. Our work explores the cellular basis of noradrenergic modulation in the rat motor spinal cord. We first show that lumbar motoneurons express the three classes of adrenergic receptors at birth. Using patch-clamp recordings in the newborn rat spinal cord preparation, we characterized the effects of noradrenaline and of specific agonists of the three classes of adrenoreceptors on motoneuron membrane properties. Noradrenaline increases the motoneuron excitability partly via the inhibition of a KIR like current. Methoxamine (α1, clonidine (α2 and isoproterenol (β differentially modulate the motoneuron membrane potential but also increase motoneuron excitability, these effects being respectively inhibited by the antagonists prazosin (α1, yohimbine (α2 and propranolol (β. We show that the glutamatergic synaptic drive arising from the T13-L2 network is enhanced in motoneurons by noradrenaline, methoxamine and isoproterenol. On the other hand, noradrenaline, isoproterenol and clonidine inhibit both the frequency and amplitude of miniature glutamatergic EPSCs while methoxamine increases their frequency. The T13-L2 synaptic drive is thereby differentially modulated from the other glutamatergic synapses converging onto motoneurons and enhanced by presynaptic α1 and β receptor activation. Our data thus show that the noradrenergic system exerts a powerful and complex neuromodulation of lumbar motor networks in the neonatal rat spinal cord.

  6. Can Mismatch Negativity Be Linked to Synaptic Processes? A Glutamatergic Approach to Deviance Detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strelnikov, Kuzma

    2007-01-01

    This article aims to provide a theoretical framework to elucidate the neurophysiological underpinnings of deviance detection as reflected by mismatch negativity. A six-step model of the information processing necessary for deviance detection is proposed. In this model, predictive coding of learned regularities is realized by means of long-term…

  7. Mechanism of the modulating action of met-enkephalin on glutamatergic synaptic transmission

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kuznetsov, V.I.; Godukhin, O.V.

    1985-11-01

    The authors show that the inhibiting effect of met-enkephalin on the glutamate-induced responses of the neurons of the neostriatum may be due to the inhibiting influence of the opioid peptide on the binding of glutamate to its postsynaptic receptors. The authors extracted the striatum from the brains of Wistar rats (100-150 g) and homogenized in 20 volumes of 0.32 sucrose. The homogenate was centrifuged at 900g for 10 min. The supernatant was removed and centrifuged at 20,000g for 40 min. The precipitate obtained (P2-fraction) was subjected to hypoosmotic shock in de-ionized water and recentrifuged at 20,000g for 30 min. The precipitate, containing the fraction of plasma membranes, was suspended in 50 ml of Tris-HCl, pH 7.4, to a protein concentration of 1-2 mg/ml, and used in experiments on the binding of (/sup 3/H)glutamate on the same day. To determine the binding of (/sup 3/H)glutamate, 20 microliters of (/sup 3/H)glutamate (specific activity 29 Ci/mmole), 20 microliters of the membrane suspension, 40 microliters of (0.5 x 10/sup -8/-10/sup -7/ M) met-enkephalin, and 100 microliters of Tris-buffer were introduced into 1.5 ml polyethylene test tubes. The final concentration of (/sup 3/H)glutamate in solution was 10/sup -8/-4 x 10/sup -7/ M. Non-specific binding was determined in the presence of 10/sup -3/ M glutamate. The membranes were incubated with a solution of (/sup 3/H)glutamate at 20/sup 0/C for 30 min.

  8. Glucose is necessary to maintain neurotransmitter homeostasis during synaptic activity in cultured glutamatergic neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bak, Lasse K; Schousboe, Arne; Sonnewald, Ursula

    2006-01-01

    including vesicular release. The incorporation of 13C label into intracellular lactate, alanine, succinate, glutamate, and aspartate was determined by mass spectrometry. The metabolism of [U-13C]lactate under non-depolarizing conditions was high compared with that of [U-13C]glucose; however, it decreased...... and efflux of glutamate was examined using preloaded D-[3H]aspartate as a glutamate tracer and DL-threo-beta-benzyloxyaspartate to inhibit glutamate transporters. The results suggest that glucose is essential to prevent depolarization-induced reversal of the transporter (efflux), whereas vesicular release...

  9. Impaired glutamatergic and GABAergic transmission by amitraz in primary hippocampal cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Pino, Javier; Frejo, María Teresa; Baselga, María José Anadon; Moyano, Paula; Díaz, María Jesús

    2015-01-01

    Amitraz is a formamidine pesticide that has been reported to be a neurotoxic compound that induces convulsions among other effects. Excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission is mediated mainly by glutamate and GABA, respectively, so their alteration could be responsible for induction of seizures. In this regard, amitraz α2 adrenergic agonist action, which has been suggested as likely responsible for this effect, could alter these neurotransmitter systems and lead to seizure induction. Moreover, other amitraz mechanisms such as histamine H1 receptor inhibition could be involved. To confirm if amitraz disrupts glutamatergic/GABAergic transmission by these mechanisms, we evaluated, in primary hippocampal neurons, the effect of amitraz (0.01 μM to 100 μM) with or without the α2 adrenergic antagonist idazoxan (1 μM) and/or the H1 receptor agonist n-methylhistaprodifen (30 μM) co-treatment on 4-aminobutyrate aminotransferase, glutamate decarboxylase 65 (GAD 65), succinate-semialdehyde dehydrogenase and glutaminase gene expression and on glutamate and GABA levels after 24h treatment. We observed that amitraz disrupts glutaminase and GAD 65 gene expression, altering glutamatergic and GABAergic transmission. These effects were mediated partially by H1 and α2 receptors suggesting that other mechanisms could be involved. These data could help explain the mechanism by which amitraz induces seizures and provide a therapeutic strategy to protect against this effect in case of poisoning.

  10. Synapsin-dependent reserve pool of synaptic vesicles supports replenishment of the readily releasable pool under intense synaptic transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasileva, Mariya; Horstmann, Heinz; Geumann, Constanze; Gitler, Daniel; Kuner, Thomas

    2012-10-01

    Synapsins are abundant synaptic vesicle (SV)-associated proteins thought to mediate synaptic vesicle mobility and clustering at most synapses. We used synapsin triple knock-out (TKO) mice to examine the morphological and functional consequences of deleting all synapsin isoforms at the calyx of Held, a giant glutamatergic synapse located in the auditory brain stem. Quantitative three-dimensional (3D) immunohistochemistry of entire calyces showed lower amounts of the synaptic vesicle protein vGluT1 while the level of the active zone marker bassoon was unchanged in TKO terminals. Examination of brain lysates by ELISA revealed a strong reduction in abundance of several synaptic vesicle proteins, while proteins of the active zone cytomatrix or postsynaptic density were unaffected. Serial section scanning electron microscopy of large 3D-reconstructed segments confirmed a decrease in the number of SVs to approximately 50% in TKO calyces. Short-term depression tested at stimulus frequencies ranging from 10 to 300 Hz was accelerated only at frequencies above 100 Hz and the time course of recovery from depression was slowed in calyces lacking synapsins. These results reveal that in wild-type synapses, the synapsin-dependent reserve pool contributes to the replenishment of the readily releasable pool (RRP), although accounting only for a small fraction of the SVs that enter the RRP. In conclusion, our results suggest that synapsins may be required for normal synaptic vesicle biogenesis, trafficking and immobilization of synaptic vesicles, yet they are not essential for sustained high-frequency synaptic transmission at the calyx terminal.

  11. Glutamatergic Mechanisms of Comorbidity Between Acute Stress and Cocaine Self-administration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Keller, Constanza; Kupchik, Yonatan; Gipson, Cassandra D; Brown, Robyn M; Spencer, Sade; Bollati, Flavia; Esparza, Maria A; Roberts-Wolfe, Doug; Heinsbroek, Jasper; Bobadilla, Ana-Clara; Cancela, Liliana M; Kalivas, Peter W

    2015-01-01

    There is substantial comorbidity between stress disorders and substance use disorders (SUDs), and acute stress augments the locomotor stimulant effect of cocaine in animal models. Here we endeavor to understand the neural underpinnings of comorbid stress disorders and drug use by determining if the glutamatergic neuroadaptations that characterize cocaine self-administration are induced by acute stress. Rats were exposed to acute (2 h) immobilization stress and 3 weeks later the nucleus accumbens core was examined for changes in glutamate transport, glutamate mediated synaptic currents, and dendritic spine morphology. We also determined if acute stress potentiated the acquisition of cocaine self-administration. Acute stress produced an enduring reduction in glutamate transport, and potentiated excitatory synapses on medium spiny neurons. Acute stress also augmented the acquisition of cocaine self-administration. Importantly, by restoring glutamate transport in the accumbens core with ceftriaxone the capacity of acute stress to augment the acquisition of cocaine self-administration was abolished. Similarly, ceftriaxone treatment prevented stress-induced potentiation of cocaine-induced locomotor activity. However, ceftriaxone did not reverse stress-induced synaptic potentiation, indicating that this effect of stress exposure did not underpin the increased acquisition of cocaine self-administration. Reversing acute stress-induced vulnerability to self-administer cocaine by normalizing glutamate transport poses a novel treatment possibility for reducing comorbid SUDs in stress disorders. PMID:26821978

  12. [Autism, genetics and synaptic function alterations].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perche, O; Laumonnier, F; Baala, L; Ardourel, M-Y; Menuet, A; Robin, V; Mortaud, S; Montécot-Dubourg, C; Richard, O; Pichon, J; Briault, S

    2010-10-01

    Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by a deficit of language and communication both associated with a restricted repertoire of activities and interests. The current prevalence of autistic disorder stricto sensu is estimated at 1/500 whereas autism spectrum disorders (ASD) increases up to 1/150 to 1/200. Mental deficiency (MD) and epilepsy are present in numerous autistic individuals. Consequently, autism is as a major public health issue. Autism was first considered as a non biological disease; however various rational approaches for analysing epidemiological data suggested the possibility of the influence of genetic factors. In 2003, this hypothesis was clearly illustrated by the characterization of genetic mutations transmitted through a mendelian manner. Subsequently, the glutamate synapse appeared as a preferential causal target in autism because the identified genes encoded proteins present in this structure. Strikingly, the findings that an identical genetic dysfunction of the synapse might also explain some MD suggested the possibility of a genetic comorbidity between these neurodevelopmental conditions. To date, various identified genes are considered indifferently as "autism" or "MD" genes. The characterization of mutations in the NLGN4X gene in patients with Asperger syndrome, autism without MD, or MD without autism, was the first example. It appears that a genetic continuum between ASD on one hand, and between autism and MD on the other hand, is present. Consequently, it is likely that genes already involved in MD will be found mutated in autistic patients and will represent future target for finding new factors in autism.

  13. Nicotinic Receptor Activity Alters Synaptic Plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John A. Dani

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Studies using specific agonists, antagonists, and lesions have shown that nicotinic cholinergic systems participate in attention, learning, and memory[1,2]. The nicotinic manipulations usually have the greatest influence on difficult tasks or on cognitively impaired subjects[2]. For example, Alzheimer's disease is characterized by a loss of cholinergic projections and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs in the cortex and hippocampus[3]. Nicotine skin patches can improve learning rates and attention in Alzheimer's patients[4].

  14. Interneurons targeting similar layers receive synaptic inputs with similar kinetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cossart, Rosa; Petanjek, Zdravko; Dumitriu, Dani; Hirsch, June C; Ben-Ari, Yehezkel; Esclapez, Monique; Bernard, Christophe

    2006-01-01

    GABAergic interneurons play diverse and important roles in controlling neuronal network dynamics. They are characterized by an extreme heterogeneity morphologically, neurochemically, and physiologically, but a functionally relevant classification is still lacking. Present taxonomy is essentially based on their postsynaptic targets, but a physiological counterpart to this classification has not yet been determined. Using a quantitative analysis based on multidimensional clustering of morphological and physiological variables, we now demonstrate a strong correlation between the kinetics of glutamate and GABA miniature synaptic currents received by CA1 hippocampal interneurons and the laminar distribution of their axons: neurons that project to the same layer(s) receive synaptic inputs with similar kinetics distributions. In contrast, the kinetics distributions of GABAergic and glutamatergic synaptic events received by a given interneuron do not depend upon its somatic location or dendritic arborization. Although the mechanisms responsible for this unexpected observation are still unclear, our results suggest that interneurons may be programmed to receive synaptic currents with specific temporal dynamics depending on their targets and the local networks in which they operate.

  15. Simulation of postsynaptic glutamate receptors reveals critical features of glutamatergic transmission.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renaud Greget

    Full Text Available Activation of several subtypes of glutamate receptors contributes to changes in postsynaptic calcium concentration at hippocampal synapses, resulting in various types of changes in synaptic strength. Thus, while activation of NMDA receptors has been shown to be critical for long-term potentiation (LTP and long term depression (LTD of synaptic transmission, activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs has been linked to either LTP or LTD. While it is generally admitted that dynamic changes in postsynaptic calcium concentration represent the critical elements to determine the direction and amplitude of the changes in synaptic strength, it has been difficult to quantitatively estimate the relative contribution of the different types of glutamate receptors to these changes under different experimental conditions. Here we present a detailed model of a postsynaptic glutamatergic synapse that incorporates ionotropic and mGluR type I receptors, and we use this model to determine the role of the different receptors to the dynamics of postsynaptic calcium with different patterns of presynaptic activation. Our modeling framework includes glutamate vesicular release and diffusion in the cleft and a glutamate transporter that modulates extracellular glutamate concentration. Our results indicate that the contribution of mGluRs to changes in postsynaptic calcium concentration is minimal under basal stimulation conditions and becomes apparent only at high frequency of stimulation. Furthermore, the location of mGluRs in the postsynaptic membrane is also a critical factor, as activation of distant receptors contributes significantly less to calcium dynamics than more centrally located ones. These results confirm the important role of glutamate transporters and of the localization of mGluRs in postsynaptic sites in their signaling properties, and further strengthen the notion that mGluR activation significantly contributes to postsynaptic calcium

  16. Presynaptic α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors enhance hippocampal mossy fiber glutamatergic transmission via PKA activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Qing; Yakel, Jerrel L

    2014-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are expressed widely in the CNS, and mediate both synaptic and perisynaptic activities of endogenous cholinergic inputs and pharmacological actions of exogenous compounds (e.g., nicotine and choline). Behavioral studies indicate that nicotine improves such cognitive functions as learning and memory. However, the mechanism of nicotine's action on cognitive function remains elusive. We performed patch-clamp recordings from hippocampal CA3 pyramidal neurons to determine the effect of nicotine on mossy fiber glutamatergic synaptic transmission. We found that nicotine in combination with NS1738, an α7 nAChR-positive allosteric modulator, strongly potentiated the amplitude of evoked EPSCs (eEPSCs), and reduced the EPSC paired-pulse ratio. The action of nicotine and NS1738 was mimicked by PNU-282987 (an α7 nAChR agonist), and was absent in α7 nAChR knock-out mice. These data indicate that activation of α7 nAChRs was both necessary and sufficient to enhance the amplitude of eEPSCs. BAPTA applied postsynaptically failed to block the action of nicotine and NS1738, suggesting again a presynaptic action of the α7 nAChRs. We also observed α7 nAChR-mediated calcium rises at mossy fiber giant terminals, indicating the presence of functional α7 nAChRs at presynaptic terminals. Furthermore, the addition of PNU-282987 enhanced action potential-dependent calcium transient at these terminals. Last, the potentiating effect of PNU-282987 on eEPSCs was abolished by inhibition of protein kinase A (PKA). Our findings indicate that activation of α7 nAChRs at presynaptic sites, via a mechanism involving PKA, plays a critical role in enhancing synaptic efficiency of hippocampal mossy fiber transmission.

  17. 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.

  18. Impaired synaptic clustering of postsynaptic density proteins and altered signal transmission in hippocampal neurons, and disrupted learning behavior in PDZ1 and PDZ2 ligand binding-deficient PSD-95 knockin mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nagura Hitoshi

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Postsynaptic density (PSD-95-like membrane-associated guanylate kinases (PSD-MAGUKs are scaffold proteins in PSDs that cluster signaling molecules near NMDA receptors. PSD-MAGUKs share a common domain structure, including three PDZ (PDZ1/2/3 domains in their N-terminus. While multiple domains enable the PSD-MAGUKs to bind various ligands, the contribution of each PDZ domain to synaptic organization and function is not fully understood. Here, we focused on the PDZ1/2 domains of PSD-95 that bind NMDA-type receptors, and studied the specific roles of the ligand binding of these domains in the assembly of PSD proteins, synaptic properties of hippocampal neurons, and behavior, using ligand binding-deficient PSD-95 cDNA knockin (KI mice. Results The KI mice showed decreased accumulation of mutant PSD-95, PSD-93 and AMPA receptor subunits in the PSD fraction of the hippocampus. In the hippocampal CA1 region of young KI mice, basal synaptic efficacy was reduced and long-term potentiation (LTP was enhanced with intact long-term depression. In adult KI mice, there was no significant change in the magnitude of LTP in CA1, but robustly enhanced LTP was induced at the medial perforant path-dentate gyrus synapses, suggesting that PSD-95 has an age- and subregion-dependent role. In a battery of behavioral tests, KI mice showed markedly abnormal anxiety-like behavior, impaired spatial reference and working memory, and impaired remote memory and pattern separation in fear conditioning test. Conclusions These findings reveal that PSD-95 including its ligand binding of the PDZ1/2 domains controls the synaptic clustering of PSD-MAGUKs and AMPA receptors, which may have an essential role in regulating hippocampal synaptic transmission, plasticity, and hippocampus-dependent behavior.

  19. Extrinsic and local glutamatergic inputs of the rat hippocampal CA1 area differentially innervate pyramidal cells and interneurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takács, Virág T; Klausberger, Thomas; Somogyi, Peter; Freund, Tamás F; Gulyás, Attila I

    2012-06-01

    The two main glutamatergic pathways to the CA1 area, the Schaffer collateral/commissural input and the entorhinal fibers, as well as the local axons of CA1 pyramidal cells innervate both pyramidal cells and interneurons. To determine whether these inputs differ in their weights of activating GABAergic circuits, we have studied the relative proportion of pyramidal cells and interneurons among their postsynaptic targets in serial electron microscopic sections. Local axons of CA1 pyramidal cells, intracellularly labeled in vitro or in vivo, innervated a relatively high proportion of interneuronal postsynaptic targets (65.9 and 53.8%, in vitro and in vivo, respectively) in stratum (str.) oriens and alveus. In contrast, axons of in vitro labeled CA3 pyramidal cells in str. oriens and str. radiatum of the CA1 area made synaptic junctions predominantly with pyramidal cell spines (92.9%). The postsynaptic targets of anterogradely labeled medial entorhinal cortical boutons in CA1 str. lacunosum-moleculare were primarily pyramidal neuron dendritic spines and shafts (90.8%). The alvear group of the entorhinal afferents, traversing str. oriens, str. pyramidale, and str. radiatum showed a higher preference for innervating GABAergic cells (21.3%), particularly in str. oriens/alveus. These data demonstrate that different glutamatergic pathways innervate CA1 GABAergic cells to different extents. The results suggest that the numerically smaller CA1 local axonal inputs together with the alvear part of the entorhinal input preferentially act on GABAergic interneurons in contrast to the CA3, or the entorhinal input in str. lacunosum-moleculare. The results highlight differences in the postsynaptic target selection of the feed-forward versus recurrent glutamatergic inputs to the CA1 and CA3 areas.

  20. Glutamatergic Signaling at the Vestibular Hair Cell Calyx Synapse

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sadeghi, Soroush G.; Pyott, Sonja J.; Yu, Zhou; Glowatzki, Elisabeth

    2014-01-01

    In the vestibular periphery a unique postsynaptic terminal, the calyx, completely covers the basolateral walls of type I hair cells and receives input from multiple ribbon synapses. To date, the functional role of this specialized synapse remains elusive. There is limited data supporting glutamaterg

  1. Amyloid-β induces synaptic dysfunction through G protein-gated inwardly rectifying potassium channels in the fimbria-CA3 hippocampal synapse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mauricio O. Nava-Mesa

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Last evidences suggest that, in Alzheimer's disease (AD early stage, Amyloid-β (Aβ peptide induces an imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission systems resulting in the functional impairment of neural networks. Such alterations are particularly important in the septohippocampal system where learning and memory processes take place depending on accurate oscillatory activity tuned at fimbria-CA3 synapse. Here, the acute effects of Aβ on CA3 pyramidal neurons and their synaptic activation from septal part of the fimbria were studied in rats. A triphasic postsynaptic response defined by an excitatory potential (EPSP followed by both early and late inhibitory potentials (IPSP was evoked. The EPSP was glutamatergic acting on ionotropic receptors. The early IPSP was blocked by GABAA antagonists whereas the late IPSP was removed by GABAB antagonists. Aβ perfusion induced recorded cells to depolarize, increase their input resistance and decrease the late IPSP. Aβ action mechanism was localized at postsynaptic level and most likely linked to GABAB-related ion channels conductance decrease. In addition, it was found that the specific pharmacological modulation of the GABAB receptor effector, G-protein-coupled inward rectifier potassium (GirK channels, mimicked all Aβ effects previously described. Thus, our findings suggest that Aβ altering GirK channels conductance in CA3 pyramidal neurons might have a key role in the septohippocampal activity dysfunction observed in AD.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bar-shira, Ossnat; Chechik, Gal

    2013-09-01

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

  3. A method for the three-dimensional reconstruction of Neurobiotin™-filled neurons and the location of their synaptic inputs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew Joseph Fogarty

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Here, we describe a robust method for mapping the number and type of neuro-chemically distinct synaptic inputs that a single reconstructed neuron receives. We have used individual hypoglossal motor neurons filled with Neurobiotin by semi-loose seal electroporation in thick brainstem slices. These filled motor neurons were then processed for excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs, using immunohistochemical-labeling procedures. For excitatory synapses, we used anti-VGLUT2 to locate glutamatergic pre-synaptic terminals and anti-PSD-95 to locate post-synaptic specializations on and within the surface of these filled motor neurons. For inhibitory synapses, we used anti-VGAT to locate GABAergic pre-synaptic terminals and anti-GABA-A receptor subunit α1 to locate the post-synaptic domain. The Neurobiotin-filled and immuno-labeled motor neuron was then processed for optical sectioning using confocal microscopy. The morphology of the motor neuron including its dendritic tree and the distribution of excitatory and inhibitory synapses were then determined by three-dimensional reconstruction using IMARIS software (Bitplane. Using surface rendering, fluorescence thresholding, and masking of unwanted immuno-labeling, tools found in IMARIS, we were able to obtain an accurate 3D structure of an individual neuron including the number and location of its glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic inputs. The power of this method allows for a rapid morphological confirmation of the post-synaptic responses recorded by patch-clamp prior to Neurobiotin filling. Finally, we show that this method can be adapted to super-resolution microscopy techniques, which will enhance its applicability to the study of neural circuits at the level of synapses.

  4. Glutamatergic mechanisms associated with stress-induced amygdala excitability and anxiety-related behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masneuf, Sophie; Lowery-Gionta, Emily; Colacicco, Giovanni; Pleil, Kristen E; Li, Chia; Crowley, Nicole; Flynn, Shaun; Holmes, Andrew; Kash, Thomas

    2014-10-01

    The neural factors underlying individual differences in susceptibility to chronic stress remain poorly understood. Preclinical studies demonstrate that mouse strains vary greatly in anxiety-related responses to chronic stress in a manner paralleled by differential stress-induced changes in glutamatergic signaling in the basolateral amygdala (BLA). Previous work has also shown that alterations in the amygdala gene expression of the GluN1 NMDA and the GluK1 kainate receptors are associated with stress-induced alterations in anxiety-like behavior in the C57BL/6J mouse strain. Using in vivo behavioral pharmacological and ex vivo physiological approaches, the aim of the current study was to further elucidate changes in glutamate neurotransmission in the BLA caused by stress and to test the functional roles of GluN1 and GluK1 in mediating stress-related changes in behavior. Results showed that stress-induced alterations in anxiety-like behavior (light/dark exploration test) were absent following bilateral infusion of the GluK1 agonist ATPA into the BLA. Intra-BLA infusion of the competitive NMDA antagonist AP5 produced a generalized behavioral disinhibition/locomotor hyperactivity, irrespective of stress. Slice electrophysiological recordings showed that ATPA augmented BLA GABAergic neurotransmission and that stress increased the amplitude of network-dependent spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents and amplitude of GABAergic miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents in BLA. These findings could indicate stress-induced BLA glutamatergic neuronal network hyperexcitability and a compensatory increase in GABAergic neurotransmission, suggesting that GluK1 agonism augmented GABAergic inhibition to prevent behavioral sequelae of stress. Current data could have implications for developing novel therapeutic approaches, including GluK1 agonists, for stress-related anxiety disorders.

  5. Agrin and synaptic laminin are required to maintain adult neuromuscular junctions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie A Samuel

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

  6. Activity-dependent switch of GABAergic inhibition into glutamatergic excitation in astrocyte-neuron networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perea, Gertrudis; Gómez, Ricardo; Mederos, Sara; Covelo, Ana; Ballesteros, Jesús J; Schlosser, Laura; Hernández-Vivanco, Alicia; Martín-Fernández, Mario; Quintana, Ruth; Rayan, Abdelrahman; Díez, Adolfo; Fuenzalida, Marco; Agarwal, Amit; Bergles, Dwight E; Bettler, Bernhard; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise; Martín, Eduardo D; Kirchhoff, Frank; Araque, Alfonso

    2016-12-24

    Interneurons are critical for proper neural network function and can activate Ca(2+) signaling in astrocytes. However, the impact of the interneuron-astrocyte signaling into neuronal network operation remains unknown. Using the simplest hippocampal Astrocyte-Neuron network, i.e., GABAergic interneuron, pyramidal neuron, single CA3-CA1 glutamatergic synapse, and astrocytes, we found that interneuron-astrocyte signaling dynamically affected excitatory neurotransmission in an activity- and time-dependent manner, and determined the sign (inhibition vs potentiation) of the GABA-mediated effects. While synaptic inhibition was mediated by GABAA receptors, potentiation involved astrocyte GABAB receptors, astrocytic glutamate release, and presynaptic metabotropic glutamate receptors. Using conditional astrocyte-specific GABAB receptor (Gabbr1) knockout mice, we confirmed the glial source of the interneuron-induced potentiation, and demonstrated the involvement of astrocytes in hippocampal theta and gamma oscillations in vivo. Therefore, astrocytes decode interneuron activity and transform inhibitory into excitatory signals, contributing to the emergence of novel network properties resulting from the interneuron-astrocyte interplay.

  7. Activity-dependent switch of GABAergic inhibition into glutamatergic excitation in astrocyte-neuron networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perea, Gertrudis; Gómez, Ricardo; Mederos, Sara; Covelo, Ana; Ballesteros, Jesús J; Schlosser, Laura; Hernández-Vivanco, Alicia; Martín-Fernández, Mario; Quintana, Ruth; Rayan, Abdelrahman; Díez, Adolfo; Fuenzalida, Marco; Agarwal, Amit; Bergles, Dwight E; Bettler, Bernhard; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise; Martín, Eduardo D; Kirchhoff, Frank; Araque, Alfonso

    2016-01-01

    Interneurons are critical for proper neural network function and can activate Ca2+ signaling in astrocytes. However, the impact of the interneuron-astrocyte signaling into neuronal network operation remains unknown. Using the simplest hippocampal Astrocyte-Neuron network, i.e., GABAergic interneuron, pyramidal neuron, single CA3-CA1 glutamatergic synapse, and astrocytes, we found that interneuron-astrocyte signaling dynamically affected excitatory neurotransmission in an activity- and time-dependent manner, and determined the sign (inhibition vs potentiation) of the GABA-mediated effects. While synaptic inhibition was mediated by GABAA receptors, potentiation involved astrocyte GABAB receptors, astrocytic glutamate release, and presynaptic metabotropic glutamate receptors. Using conditional astrocyte-specific GABAB receptor (Gabbr1) knockout mice, we confirmed the glial source of the interneuron-induced potentiation, and demonstrated the involvement of astrocytes in hippocampal theta and gamma oscillations in vivo. Therefore, astrocytes decode interneuron activity and transform inhibitory into excitatory signals, contributing to the emergence of novel network properties resulting from the interneuron-astrocyte interplay. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.20362.001 PMID:28012274

  8. Targeting synaptic dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nisticò, Robert; Pignatelli, Marco; Piccinin, Sonia; Mercuri, Nicola B; Collingridge, Graham

    2012-12-01

    In the past years, major efforts have been made to understand the genetics and molecular pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), which has been translated into extensive experimental approaches aimed at slowing down or halting disease progression. Advances in transgenic (Tg) technologies allowed the engineering of different mouse models of AD recapitulating a range of AD-like features. These Tg models provided excellent opportunities to analyze the bases for the temporal evolution of the disease. Several lines of evidence point to synaptic dysfunction as a cause of AD and that synapse loss is a pathological correlate associated with cognitive decline. Therefore, the phenotypic characterization of these animals has included electrophysiological studies to analyze hippocampal synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation, a widely recognized cellular model for learning and memory. Transgenic mice, along with non-Tg models derived mainly from exogenous application of Aβ, have also been useful experimental tools to test the various therapeutic approaches. As a result, numerous pharmacological interventions have been reported to attenuate synaptic dysfunction and improve behavior in the different AD models. To date, however, very few of these findings have resulted in target validation or successful translation into disease-modifying compounds in humans. Here, we will briefly review the synaptic alterations across the different animal models and we will recapitulate the pharmacological strategies aimed at rescuing hippocampal plasticity phenotypes. Finally, we will highlight intrinsic limitations in the use of experimental systems and related challenges in translating preclinical studies into human clinical trials.

  9. Adolescent chronic mild stress alters hippocampal CB1 receptor-mediated excitatory neurotransmission and plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reich, C G; Mihalik, G R; Iskander, A N; Seckler, J C; Weiss, M S

    2013-12-03

    Endocannabinoids (eCBs) are involved in the stress response and alterations in eCB signaling may contribute to the etiology of mood disorders. Exposure to chronic mild stress (CMS), a model of depression, produces downregulation of the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor in the hippocampus of male rats. However, it is unknown how this stress-induced change in CB1 levels affects eCB-mediated neurotransmission. In vitro, field potential recordings from CMS-exposed (21-days) rats were performed to assess the effects of stress on eCB-regulated glutamatergic neurotransmission in/on hippocampal area CA1. We observed that application of the CB1 agonist, WIN 55,212-5 (1 μM), in stress animals resulted in a ∼135% increase in excitatory neurotransmission, whereas CB1 activation in non-stress animals leads to a ∼30% decrease. However, during blockade of GABA(A) neurotransmission with picrotoxin, CB1 activation yielded a ∼35% decrease in stress animals. These findings indicate that CMS does not directly affect glutamatergic neurotransmission. Rather, CMS sensitizes CB1 function on GABAergic terminals, leading to less inhibition and an increase in excitatory neurotransmission. This finding is reinforced in that induction of weak long-term-potentiation (LTP) is enhanced in CMS-exposed animals compared to controls and this enhancement is CB1-dependent. Lastly, we observed that the LTP-blocking property of WIN 55,212-5 shifts from being glutamate-dependent in non-stress animals to being GABA-dependent in stress animals. These results effectively demonstrate that CMS significantly alters hippocampal eCB-mediated neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rudenko, Gabby [Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Sealy Center for Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard Rm. 5.114B, Galveston, TX 77555, USA

    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. Synaptic vesicle recycling at the calyx of Held

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lei XUE; Yan-ai MEI

    2011-01-01

    Efficient endocytosis is crucial for maintaining synaptic transmission because of its role in retrieving constituent membrane and associated proteins. In the past three decades three modes of endocytosis have been proposed involving the central nervous system: clathrin-mediated endocytosis, kiss-and-run endocytosis and bulk endocytosis. These forms of endocytosis can be induced under different conditions, but their detailed molecular mechanisms and functions are largely unknown. Here, we review the existence and initiation of all three modes of endocytosis at a giant glutamatergic synapse, the calyx of Held. The possibility of direct electrophysiology recording in this synapse allows for accurate tracking of exocytosis and endocytosis via capacitance measurements. Future aims will be focused on identifying the molecules that undergo the different mechanisms of endocytosis and the conditions under which different forms of endocytosis predominate.

  12. Cell type-specific long-term plasticity at glutamatergic synapses onto hippocampal interneurons expressing either parvalbumin or CB1 cannabinoid receptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nissen, Wiebke; Szabo, Andras; Somogyi, Jozsef; Somogyi, Peter; Lamsa, Karri P

    2010-01-27

    Different GABAergic interneuron types have specific roles in hippocampal function, and anatomical as well as physiological features vary greatly between interneuron classes. Long-term plasticity of interneurons has mostly been studied in unidentified GABAergic cells and is known to be very heterogeneous. Here we tested whether cell type-specific plasticity properties in distinct GABAergic interneuron types might underlie this heterogeneity. We show that long-term potentiation (LTP) and depression (LTD), two common forms of synaptic plasticity, are expressed in a highly cell type-specific manner at glutamatergic synapses onto hippocampal GABAergic neurons. Both LTP and LTD are generated in interneurons expressing parvalbumin (PV+), whereas interneurons with similar axon distributions but expressing cannabinoid receptor-1 show no lasting plasticity in response to the same protocol. In addition, LTP or LTD occurs in PV+ interneurons with different efferent target domains. Perisomatic-targeting PV+ basket and axo-axonic interneurons express LTP, whereas glutamatergic synapses onto PV+ bistratified cells display LTD. Both LTP and LTD are pathway specific, independent of NMDA receptors, and occur at synapses with calcium-permeable (CP) AMPA receptors. Plasticity in interneurons with CP-AMPA receptors strongly modulates disynaptic GABAergic transmission onto CA1 pyramidal cells. We propose that long-term plasticity adjusts the synaptic strength between pyramidal cells and interneurons in a cell type-specific manner and, in the defined CA1 interneurons, shifts the spatial pattern of inhibitory weight from pyramidal cell dendrites to the perisomatic region.

  13. Adenosinergic depression of glutamatergic transmission in the entorhinal cortex of juvenile rats via reduction of glutamate release probability and the number of releasable vesicles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shouping Wang

    Full Text Available Adenosine is an inhibitory neuromodulator that exerts antiepileptic effects in the brain and the entorhinal cortex (EC is an essential structure involved in temporal lobe epilepsy. Whereas microinjection of adenosine into the EC has been shown to exert powerful antiepileptic effects, the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms in the EC have not been determined yet. We tested the hypothesis that adenosine-mediated modulation of synaptic transmission contributes to its antiepileptic effects in the EC. Our results demonstrate that adenosine reversibly inhibited glutamatergic transmission via activation of adenosine A1 receptors without effects on GABAergic transmission in layer III pyramidal neurons in the EC. Adenosine-induced depression of glutamatergic transmission was mediated by inhibiting presynaptic glutamate release probability and decreasing the number of readily releasable vesicles. Bath application of adenosine also reduced the frequency of the miniature EPSCs recorded in the presence of TTX suggesting that adenosine may interact with the exocytosis processes downstream of Ca(2+ influx. Both Gαi/o proteins and the protein kinase A pathway were required for adenosine-induced depression of glutamatergic transmission. We further showed that bath application of picrotoxin to the EC slices induced stable epileptiform activity and bath application of adenosine dose-dependently inhibited the epileptiform activity in this seizure model. Adenosine-mediated depression of epileptiform activity was mediated by activation of adenosine A1 receptors and required the functions of Gαi/o proteins and protein kinase A pathway. Our results suggest that the depression of glutamatergic transmission induced by adenosine contributes to its antiepileptic effects in the EC.

  14. Differential expression of vesicular glutamate transporters 1 and 2 may identify distinct modes of glutamatergic transmission in the macaque visual system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balaram, Pooja; Hackett, Troy A; Kaas, Jon H

    2013-05-01

    Glutamate is the primary neurotransmitter utilized by the mammalian visual system for excitatory neurotransmission. The sequestration of glutamate into synaptic vesicles, and the subsequent transport of filled vesicles to the presynaptic terminal membrane, is regulated by a family of proteins known as vesicular glutamate transporters (VGLUTs). Two VGLUT proteins, VGLUT1 and VGLUT2, characterize distinct sets of glutamatergic projections between visual structures in rodents and prosimian primates, yet little is known about their distributions in the visual system of anthropoid primates. We have examined the mRNA and protein expression patterns of VGLUT1 and VGLUT2 in the visual system of macaque monkeys, an Old World anthropoid primate, in order to determine their relative distributions in the superior colliculus, lateral geniculate nucleus, pulvinar complex, V1 and V2. Distinct expression patterns for both VGLUT1 and VGLUT2 identified architectonic boundaries in all structures, as well as anatomical subdivisions of the superior colliculus, pulvinar complex, and V1. These results suggest that VGLUT1 and VGLUT2 clearly identify regions of glutamatergic input in visual structures, and may identify common architectonic features of visual areas and nuclei across the primate radiation. Additionally, we find that VGLUT1 and VGLUT2 characterize distinct subsets of glutamatergic projections in the macaque visual system; VGLUT2 predominates in driving or feedforward projections from lower order to higher order visual structures while VGLUT1 predominates in modulatory or feedback projections from higher order to lower order visual structures. The distribution of these two proteins suggests that VGLUT1 and VGLUT2 may identify class 1 and class 2 type glutamatergic projections within the primate visual system (Sherman and Guillery, 2006).

  15. Adenosinergic depression of glutamatergic transmission in the entorhinal cortex of juvenile rats via reduction of glutamate release probability and the number of releasable vesicles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shouping; Kurada, Lalitha; Cilz, Nicholas I; Chen, Xiaotong; Xiao, Zhaoyang; Dong, Hailong; Lei, Saobo

    2013-01-01

    Adenosine is an inhibitory neuromodulator that exerts antiepileptic effects in the brain and the entorhinal cortex (EC) is an essential structure involved in temporal lobe epilepsy. Whereas microinjection of adenosine into the EC has been shown to exert powerful antiepileptic effects, the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms in the EC have not been determined yet. We tested the hypothesis that adenosine-mediated modulation of synaptic transmission contributes to its antiepileptic effects in the EC. Our results demonstrate that adenosine reversibly inhibited glutamatergic transmission via activation of adenosine A1 receptors without effects on GABAergic transmission in layer III pyramidal neurons in the EC. Adenosine-induced depression of glutamatergic transmission was mediated by inhibiting presynaptic glutamate release probability and decreasing the number of readily releasable vesicles. Bath application of adenosine also reduced the frequency of the miniature EPSCs recorded in the presence of TTX suggesting that adenosine may interact with the exocytosis processes downstream of Ca(2+) influx. Both Gαi/o proteins and the protein kinase A pathway were required for adenosine-induced depression of glutamatergic transmission. We further showed that bath application of picrotoxin to the EC slices induced stable epileptiform activity and bath application of adenosine dose-dependently inhibited the epileptiform activity in this seizure model. Adenosine-mediated depression of epileptiform activity was mediated by activation of adenosine A1 receptors and required the functions of Gαi/o proteins and protein kinase A pathway. Our results suggest that the depression of glutamatergic transmission induced by adenosine contributes to its antiepileptic effects in the EC.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-17

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

  17. Signaling by postsynaptic AMPA receptors in glutamatergic synapse maturation

    OpenAIRE

    2010-01-01

    Excitatory transmission in the brain is largely mediated by synapses containing the neurotransmitter glutamate. Neuronal circuitry is first established early in brain development requiring the formation of vast numbers of glutamatergic synapses at individual sites of contact made between presynaptic axons and postsynaptic dendrites. Despite mounting efforts in the last decade to identify the complex molecular mechanisms underlying initial synaptogenesis and the subsequent steps of synapse m...

  18. Activation of 5-HT6 receptors inhibits corticostriatal glutamatergic transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tassone, Annalisa; Madeo, Graziella; Schirinzi, Tommaso; Vita, Daniela; Puglisi, Francesca; Ponterio, Giulia; Borsini, Franco; Pisani, Antonio; Bonsi, Paola

    2011-09-01

    We investigated the effect of 5-HT6 receptor subtype activation on glutamatergic transmission by means of whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiological recordings from medium spiny neurons of the striatum and layer V pyramidal neurons of the prefrontal cortex. To this aim, we took advantage of a novel ligand, ST1936, showing nM affinity and agonist activity at the 5-HT6 receptor subtype. Our data show that 5-HT6 receptor activation by ST1936 reduces the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents, with an IC50 of 1.3 μM. Moreover, 5-HT6 receptor activation also reduced the amplitude of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents recorded from medium spiny neurons, suggesting a mechanism of action involving postsynaptic 5-HT6 receptors, as further confirmed by the paired-pulse analysis on evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents and by recordings of miniature glutamatergic events. The inhibitory effect of ST1936 on glutamatergic transmission was prevented by the selective 5-HT6 receptor antagonist SB258585 and mimicked by a different agonist, WAY-181187. Conversely, in the cortex ST1936 reduced the frequency, but not the amplitude, of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents suggesting a presynaptic or indirect effect of the 5-HT6 receptor.

  19. TNFα in synaptic function: switching gears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santello, Mirko; Volterra, Andrea

    2012-10-01

    Pathological brain states are known to induce massive production of proinflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα). At much lower levels, these cytokines are also present in the healthy brain, where it is increasingly being recognized that they exert regulatory influences. Recent studies suggest that TNFα plays important roles in controlling synaptic transmission and plasticity. Here, we discuss the evidence in support of synaptic regulation by TNFα and the underlying cellular mechanisms, including control of AMPA receptor trafficking and glutamate release from astrocytes. These findings suggest that increases in TNFα levels (caused by nervous system infection, injury, or disease) transform the physiological actions of the cytokine into deleterious ones. This functional switch may contribute to cognitive alterations in several brain pathologies.

  20. The roles of STP and LTP in synaptic encoding

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    Arturas Volianskis

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Long-term potentiation (LTP, a cellular model of learning and memory, is generally regarded as a unitary phenomenon that alters the strength of synaptic transmission by increasing the postsynaptic response to the release of a quantum of neurotransmitter. LTP, at CA3-CA1 synapses in the hippocampus, contains a stimulation-labile phase of short-term potentiation (STP, or transient LTP, t-LTP that decays into stable LTP. By studying the responses of populations of neurons to brief bursts of high-frequency afferent stimulation before and after the induction of LTP, we found that synaptic responses during bursts are potentiated equally during LTP but not during STP. We show that STP modulates the frequency response of synaptic transmission whereas LTP preserves the fidelity. Thus, STP and LTP have different functional consequences for the transfer of synaptic information.

  1. 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

  2. Aging synaptic mitochondria exhibit dynamic proteomic changes while maintaining bioenergetic function.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

    Aging correlates with a progressive impairment of mitochondrial homeostasis and is an influential factor for several forms of neurodegeneration. However, the mechanisms underlying age-related alterations in synaptosomal mitochondria, a neuronal mitochondria population highly susceptible to insults and critical for brain function, remain incompletely understood. Therefore this study investigates the synaptic mitochondrial proteomic and bioenergetic alterations that occur with age. The utilization of a state of the art quantitative proteomics approach allowed for the comparison of protein expression levels in synaptic mitochondria isolated from 5 (mature), 12 (old), and 24 (aged) month old mice. During the process of aging we find that dynamic proteomic alterations occur in synaptic mitochondria. Despite direct (mitochondrial DNA deletions) and indirect (increased antioxidant protein levels) signs of mitochondrial damage in the aged mice, there was an overall maintenance of mitochondrial function. Therefore the synaptic mitochondrial proteomic changes that occur with aging correlate with preservation of synaptic mitochondrial function.

  3. [Glutamatergic neurotransmitter system in regulation of the gastrointestinal tract motor activity].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alekseeva, E V; Popova, T S; Sal'nikov, P S

    2015-01-01

    The review include actual facts, demonstrating high probability of glutamatergic neurotransmitter system role in the regulation of the gastrointestinal tract motor activity. These facts suggest significant role of the glutamatergic neurotransmitter system dysfunction in forming motor activity disorders of the digestive tract, including in patients in critical condition. The analysis is based on results of multiple experimental and clinical researches of glutamic acid and other components of the glutamatergic neurotransmitter system in central nervous system and autonomic nervous system (with the accent on the enteral nervous system) in normal conditions and with functioning changes of the glutamatergic neurotransmitter system in case of inflammation, hupoxia, stress and in critical condition.

  4. Optical quantal analysis of synaptic transmission in wild-type and rab3-mutant Drosophila motor axons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peled, Einat S; Isacoff, Ehud Y

    2011-04-01

    Synaptic transmission from a neuron to its target cells occurs via neurotransmitter release from dozens to thousands of presynaptic release sites whose strength and plasticity can vary considerably. We report an in vivo imaging method that monitors real-time synaptic transmission simultaneously at many release sites with quantal resolution. We applied this method to the model glutamatergic system of the Drosophila melanogaster larval neuromuscular junction. We find that, under basal conditions, about half of release sites have a very low release probability, but these are interspersed with sites with as much as a 50-fold higher probability. Paired-pulse stimulation depresses high-probability sites, facilitates low-probability sites, and recruits previously silent sites. Mutation of the small GTPase Rab3 substantially increases release probability but still leaves about half of the sites silent. Our findings suggest that basal synaptic strength and short-term plasticity are regulated at the level of release probability at individual sites.

  5. Synaptic encoding of temporal contiguity

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    Srdjan eOstojic

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Often we need to perform tasks in an environment that changes stochastically. In these situations it is important to learn the statistics of sequences of events in order to predict the future and the outcome of our actions. The statistical description of many of these sequences can be reduced to the set of probabilities that a particular event follows another event (temporal contiguity. Under these conditions, it is important to encode and store in our memory these transition probabilities. Here we show that for a large class of synaptic plasticity models, the distribution of synaptic strengths encodes transitions probabilities. Specifically, when the synaptic dynamics depend on pairs of contiguous events and the synapses can remember multiple instances of the transitions, then the average synaptic weights are a monotonic function of the transition probabilities. The synaptic weights converge to the distribution encoding the probabilities also when the correlations between consecutive synaptic modifications are considered. We studied how this distribution depends on the number of synaptic states for a specific model of a multi-state synapse with hard bounds. In the case of bistable synapses, the average synaptic weights are a smooth function of the transition probabilities and the accuracy of the encoding depends on the learning rate. As the number of synaptic states increases, the average synaptic weights become a step function of the transition probabilities. We finally show that the information stored in the synaptic weights can be read out by a simple rate-based neural network. Our study shows that synapses encode transition probabilities under general assumptions and this indicates that temporal contiguity is likely to be encoded and harnessed in almost every neural circuit in the brain.

  6. Synaptic degeneration and remodelling after fast kindling of the olfactory bulb

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Woldbye, D P; Bolwig, T G; Kragh, J

    1996-01-01

    in the basolateral amygdala and dentate gyrus, suggesting that these regions may be functionally altered during the kindling process. In the piriform cortex and dentate gyrus increased NCAM/D3(SNAP-25) ratios found ipsilaterally at seven days after kindling probably reflect an elevated rate of synaptic remodelling....... At this time, however, an overall pattern of ipsilateral decreases in the synaptic marker proteins NCAM and D3(SNAP-25) indicated that this remodelling occurred on a background of synaptic degeneration. These results confirm previous studies showing that kindling is associated with synaptic remodelling...

  7. A trans-synaptic nanocolumn aligns neurotransmitter release to receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Ai-Hui; Chen, Haiwen; Li, Tuo P; Metzbower, Sarah R; MacGillavry, Harold D; Blanpied, Thomas A

    2016-08-11

    Synaptic transmission is maintained by a delicate, sub-synaptic molecular architecture, and even mild alterations in synapse structure drive functional changes during experience-dependent plasticity and pathological disorders. Key to this architecture is how the distribution of presynaptic vesicle fusion sites corresponds to the position of receptors in the postsynaptic density. However, while it has long been recognized that this spatial relationship modulates synaptic strength, it has not been precisely described, owing in part to the limited resolution of light microscopy. Using localization microscopy, here we show that key proteins mediating vesicle priming and fusion are mutually co-enriched within nanometre-scale subregions of the presynaptic active zone. Through development of a new method to map vesicle fusion positions within single synapses in cultured rat hippocampal neurons, we find that action-potential-evoked fusion is guided by this protein gradient and occurs preferentially in confined areas with higher local density of Rab3-interacting molecule (RIM) within the active zones. These presynaptic RIM nanoclusters closely align with concentrated postsynaptic receptors and scaffolding proteins, suggesting the existence of a trans-synaptic molecular 'nanocolumn'. Thus, we propose that the nanoarchitecture of the active zone directs action-potential-evoked vesicle fusion to occur preferentially at sites directly opposing postsynaptic receptor-scaffold ensembles. Remarkably, NMDA receptor activation triggered distinct phases of plasticity in which postsynaptic reorganization was followed by trans-synaptic nanoscale realignment. This architecture suggests a simple organizational principle of central nervous system synapses to maintain and modulate synaptic efficiency.

  8. Enhancement by citral of glutamatergic spontaneous excitatory transmission in adult rat substantia gelatinosa neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Lan; Fujita, Tsugumi; Jiang, Chang-Yu; Kumamoto, Eiichi

    2016-02-10

    Although citral, which is abundantly present in lemongrass, has various actions including antinociception, how citral affects synaptic transmission has not been examined as yet. Citral activates in heterologous cells transient receptor potential vanilloid-1, ankyrin-1, and melastatin-8 (TRPV1, TRPA1, and TRPM8, respectively) channels, the activation of which in the spinal lamina II [substantia gelatinosa (SG)] increases the spontaneous release of L-glutamate from nerve terminals. It remains to be examined what types of transient receptor potential channel in native neurons are activated by citral. With a focus on transient receptor potential activation, we examined the effect of citral on glutamatergic spontaneous excitatory transmission using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique to SG neurons in adult rat spinal cord slices. Bath-applied citral for 3 min increased the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic current in a concentration-dependent manner (half-maximal effective concentration=0.58 mM), with a small increase in its amplitude. The spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic current frequency increase produced by citral was repeated at a time interval of 30 min, albeit this action recovered with a slow time course after washout. The presynaptic effect of citral was inhibited by TRPA1 antagonist HC-030031, but not by voltage-gated Na-channel blocker tetrodotoxin, TRPV1 antagonist capsazepine, and TRPM8 antagonist BCTC. It is concluded that citral increases spontaneous L-glutamate release in SG neurons by activating TRPA1 channels. Considering that the SG plays a pivotal role in modulating nociceptive transmission from the periphery, the citral activity could contribute toward at least a part of the modulation.

  9. Synaptic electronics: materials, devices and applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuzum, Duygu; Yu, Shimeng; Wong, H-S Philip

    2013-09-27

    In this paper, the recent progress of synaptic electronics is reviewed. The basics of biological synaptic plasticity and learning are described. The material properties and electrical switching characteristics of a variety of synaptic devices are discussed, with a focus on the use of synaptic devices for neuromorphic or brain-inspired computing. Performance metrics desirable for large-scale implementations of synaptic devices are illustrated. A review of recent work on targeted computing applications with synaptic devices is presented.

  10. A model of synaptic reconsolidation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David B. Kastner

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Reconsolidation of memories has mostly been studied at the behavioral and molecular level. Here, we put forward a simple extension of existing computational models of synaptic consolidation to capture hippocampal slice experiments that have been interpreted as reconsolidation at the synaptic level. The model implements reconsolidation through stabilization of consolidated synapses by stabilizing entities combined with an activity-dependent reservoir of stabilizing entities that are immune to protein synthesis inhibition (PSI. We derive a reduced version of our model to explore the conditions under which synaptic reconsolidation does or does not occur, often referred to as the boundary conditions of reconsolidation. We find that our computational model of synaptic reconsolidation displays complex boundary conditions. Our results suggest that a limited resource of hypothetical stabilizing molecules or complexes, which may be implemented by protein phosphorylation or different receptor subtypes, can underlie the phenomenon of synaptic reconsolidation.

  11. A pressurized nitrogen counterbalance to cortical glutamatergic pathway stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallee, Nicolas; Rostain, Jean-Claude; Risso, Jean-Jacques

    2010-05-01

    Previous microdialysis studies performed in rats have revealed a decrease of striatal dopamine and glutamate induced by nitrogen narcosis. We sought to establish the hypothetical role of the glutamatergic corticostriatal pathway because of the glutamate deficiency which occurs in the basal ganglia in this hyperbaric syndrome. Retrodialysis with 1 mM of Saclofen and 100 mM of KCl in the prefrontal cortex under normobaric conditions led to an increase in striatal levels of glutamate by 95.2% and no changes in dopamine levels. Under 3 MPa of nitrogen and with the infusion, the rate of striatal glutamate decreased by 51.3%, to a greater extent than under pressurised nitrogen alone (-23.8%). The rate of dopamine decreased, which also occurred under pressurised nitrogen (-36.9 and -31.4%, respectively). In conclusion, the function of the corticostriatal pathway is affected by nitrogen under pressure. This suggests that the nitrogen-induced break point seems to be located at the glutamatergic striatopetal neurons.

  12. Cholinergic modulation of non-N-methyl-D-aspartic acid glutamatergic transmission in the chick ventral lateral geniculate nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, J-Z; Sorenson, E M; Chiappinelli, V A

    2010-03-17

    Neurotransmission between glutamatergic terminals of retinal ganglion cells and principal neurons of the ventral lateral geniculate nucleus (LGNv) was examined with patch clamp recordings in chick brain slices during electrical stimulation of the optic tract. Since muscarinic and nicotinic receptors are present in high densities in LGNv, the present study examined possible roles of both receptors in modulating retinogeniculate transmission. During whole-cell recordings from LGNv neurons, acetylcholine (ACh, 100 microM) caused an initial increase in amplitudes of optic tract-evoked non-N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) glutamatergic postsynaptic currents (PSCs). This increase was unchanged when 1 microM atropine was present, indicating that this initial enhancement of PSCs was due entirely to activation of nicotinic receptors. However, during washout of ACh the amplitudes of evoked PSCs became significantly decreased by 40.4+/-5.0% for several minutes before recovering to their original amplitudes, an effect blocked by 1 microM atropine. Exogenously applied muscarine (10 microM) markedly depressed optic tract-evoked PSCs, and this decrease in amplitude was blocked by atropine. In a second set of experiments, we examined effects of releasing endogenous ACh prior to optic tract stimulation. This was accomplished by stimulation of the lateral portion of LGNv via a separate conditioning electrode. Following a brief train of low intensity conditioning stimuli, non-NMDA glutamatergic PSCs evoked by optic tract stimulation were potentiated. However, at higher conditioning stimulus intensities the PSCs were markedly decreased compared with control, and this decrease was partially blocked by atropine (1 microM). Neither ACh nor muscarine altered amplitudes of PSCs elicited by exogenously applied glutamate. Muscarine significantly reduced the frequency but not the amplitudes of miniature PSCs, consistent with a presynaptic location for muscarinic receptors mediating these

  13. Ammonia impairs glutamatergic communication in astroglial cells: protective role of resveratrol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bobermin, Larissa Daniele; Hansel, Gisele; Scherer, Emilene B S; Wyse, Angela T S; Souza, Diogo Onofre; Quincozes-Santos, André; Gonçalves, Carlos-Alberto

    2015-12-01

    Ammonia is a key toxin in the precipitation of hepatic encephalopathy (HE), a neuropsychiatric disorder associated with liver failure. In response to ammonia, various toxic events are triggered in astroglial cells, and alterations in brain glutamate communication are common. Resveratrol is a polyphenolic compound that has been extensively studied in pathological events because it presents several beneficial effects, including some in the central nervous system (CNS). We previously described that resveratrol is able to significantly modulate glial functioning and has a protective effect during ammonia challenge in vitro. In this study, we addressed the mechanisms by which resveratrol can protect C6 astroglial cells from glutamatergic alterations induced by ammonia. Resveratrol was able to prevent all the effects triggered by ammonia: (i) decrease in glutamate uptake activity and expression of the EAAC1 glutamate transporter, the main glutamate transporter present in C6 cells; (ii) increase of glutamate release, which was also dependent on the activation of the Na(+)-K(+)-Cl(-) co-transporter NKCC1; (iii) reduction in GS activity and intracellular GSH content; and (iv) impairment of Na(+)K(+)-ATPase activity. Interestingly, resveratrol, per se, also positively modulated the astroglial functions evaluated. Moreover, we demonstrated that heme oxygenase 1 (HO1), an enzyme that is part of the cellular defense system, mediated some of the effects of resveratrol. In conclusion, the mechanisms of the putative protective role of resveratrol against ammonia toxicity involve the modulation of pathways and molecules related to glutamate communication in astroglial cells.

  14. Propagation of Homeostatic Sleep Signals by Segregated Synaptic Microcircuits of the Drosophila Mushroom Body.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitaraman, Divya; Aso, Yoshinori; Jin, Xin; Chen, Nan; Felix, Mario; Rubin, Gerald M; Nitabach, Michael N

    2015-11-16

    The Drosophila mushroom body (MB) is a key associative memory center that has also been implicated in the control of sleep. However, the identity of MB neurons underlying homeostatic sleep regulation, as well as the types of sleep signals generated by specific classes of MB neurons, has remained poorly understood. We recently identified two MB output neuron (MBON) classes whose axons convey sleep control signals from the MB to converge in the same downstream target region: a cholinergic sleep-promoting MBON class and a glutamatergic wake-promoting MBON class. Here, we deploy a combination of neurogenetic, behavioral, and physiological approaches to identify and mechanistically dissect sleep-controlling circuits of the MB. Our studies reveal the existence of two segregated excitatory synaptic microcircuits that propagate homeostatic sleep information from different populations of intrinsic MB "Kenyon cells" (KCs) to specific sleep-regulating MBONs: sleep-promoting KCs increase sleep by preferentially activating the cholinergic MBONs, while wake-promoting KCs decrease sleep by preferentially activating the glutamatergic MBONs. Importantly, activity of the sleep-promoting MB microcircuit is increased by sleep deprivation and is necessary for homeostatic rebound sleep (i.e., the increased sleep that occurs after, and in compensation for, sleep lost during deprivation). These studies reveal for the first time specific functional connections between subsets of KCs and particular MBONs and establish the identity of synaptic microcircuits underlying transmission of homeostatic sleep signals in the MB.

  15. Calcium channels, neuromuscular synaptic transmission and neurological diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urbano, Francisco J; Pagani, Mario R; Uchitel, Osvaldo D

    2008-09-15

    Voltage-dependent calcium channels are essential in neuronal signaling and synaptic transmission, and their functional alterations underlie numerous human disorders whether monogenic (e.g., ataxia, migraine, etc.) or autoimmune. We review recent work on Ca(V)2.1 or P/Q channelopathies, mostly using neuromuscular junction preparations, and focus specially on the functional hierarchy among the calcium channels recruited to mediate neurotransmitter release when Ca(V)2.1 channels are mutated or depleted. In either case, synaptic transmission is greatly compromised; evidently, none of the reported functional replacements with other calcium channels compensates fully.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  19. Development of synaptic connectivity onto interneurons in stratum radiatum in the CA1 region of the rat hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riebe Ilse

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The impact of a given presynaptic neuron on the firing probability of the postsynaptic neuron critically depends on the number of functional release sites that connect the two neurons. One way of determining the average functional synaptic connectivity onto a postsynaptic neuron is to compare the amplitudes of action potential dependent spontaneous synaptic currents with the amplitude of the synaptic currents that are independent of action potentials ("minis". With this method it has been found that average synaptic connectivity between glutamatergic CA3 and CA1 pyramidal cells increases from single connections in the neonatal rat, to multiple connections in the young adult rat. On the other hand, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABAergic interneurons form multiple connections onto CA1 pyramidal cells already in the neonatal rat, and the degree of multiple GABAergic connectivity is preserved into adulthood. In the present study, we have examined the development of glutamate and GABA connectivity onto GABAergic CA1 stratum radiatum interneurons in the hippocampal slice, and compared this to the connectivity onto CA1 pyramidal neurons. Results In GABAergic interneurons in the CA1 stratum radiatum, irrespective of developmental stage, we found that the average amplitude of action potential dependent spontaneous AMPA receptor-mediated synaptic currents were of the same magnitude as the mini AMPA receptor mediated synaptic currents. This finding indicates that these GABAergic interneurons, in contrast to the CA1 pyramidal neurons, preserve single glutamate connectivity throughout development. For GABA connectivity, on the other hand, we found multiple functional synaptic connections onto the interneurons, as onto the pyramidal cells. Conclusions The results presented here confirm that glutamate and GABA synaptic connectivity develop very differently in the hippocampal CA1 region. Thus, whereas average GABA connectivity is multiple

  20. Glutamatergic inputs to the CVLM independent of the NTS promote tonic inhibition of sympathetic vasomotor tone in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandel, Daniel A; Schreihofer, Ann M

    2008-10-01

    GABAergic neurons in the caudal ventrolateral medulla (CVLM) are driven by baroreceptor inputs relayed via the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS), and they inhibit neurons in rostral ventrolateral medulla to reduce sympathetic nerve activity (SNA) and arterial pressure (AP). After arterial baroreceptor denervation or lesions of the NTS, inhibition of the CVLM continues to increase AP, suggesting additional inputs also tonically activate the CVLM. This study examined whether the NTS contributes to baroreceptor-independent drive to the CVLM and whether glutamate promotes baroreceptor- and NTS-independent activation of the CVLM to tonically reduce SNA. In addition, we evaluated whether altering central respiratory drive, a baroreceptor-independent regulator of CVLM neurons, influences glutamatergic inputs to the CVLM. Splanchnic SNA and AP were measured in chloralose-anesthetized, ventilated, paralyzed rats. The infusion of nitroprusside decreased AP below threshold for baroreceptor afferent firing (NTS by microinjection of the GABA(A) agonist muscimol did not further increase SNA. In contrast, after inhibition of the NTS, blockade of glutamatergic inputs to CVLM by microinjection of kynurenate increased SNA (274+/-54%; PNTS-mediated excitation of the CVLM. Furthermore, glutamate tonically activates the CVLM to reduce SNA independent of the NTS, and this excitatory input appears to be affected by the strength of central respiratory drive.

  1. The establishment of GABAergic and glutamatergic synapses on CA1 pyramidal neurons is sequential and correlates with the development of the apical dendrite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyzio, R; Represa, A; Jorquera, I; Ben-Ari, Y; Gozlan, H; Aniksztejn, L

    1999-12-01

    We have performed a morphofunctional analysis of CA1 pyramidal neurons at birth to examine the sequence of formation of GABAergic and glutamatergic postsynaptic currents (PSCs) and to determine their relation to the dendritic arborization of pyramidal neurons. We report that at birth pyramidal neurons are heterogeneous. Three stages of development can be identified: (1) the majority of the neurons (80%) have small somata, an anlage of apical dendrite, and neither spontaneous nor evoked PSCs; (2) 10% of the neurons have a small apical dendrite restricted to the stratum radiatum and PSCs mediated only by GABA(A) receptors; and (3) 10% of the neurons have an apical dendrite that reaches the stratum lacunosum moleculare and PSCs mediated both by GABA(A) and glutamate receptors. These three groups of pyramidal neurons can be differentiated by their capacitance (C(m) = 17.9 +/- 0.8; 30.2 +/- 1.6; 43.2 +/- 3.0 pF, respectively). At birth, the synaptic markers synapsin-1 and synaptophysin labeling are present in dendritic layers but not in the stratum pyramidale, suggesting that GABAergic peridendritic synapses are established before perisomatic ones. The present observations demonstrate that GABAergic and glutamatergic synapses are established sequentially with GABAergic synapses being established first most likely on the apical dendrites of the principal neurons. We propose that different sets of conditions are required for the establishment of functional GABA and glutamate synapses, the latter necessitating more developed neurons that have apical dendrites that reach the lacunosum moleculare region.

  2. Synaptic dynamics in analog VLSI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartolozzi, Chiara; Indiveri, Giacomo

    2007-10-01

    Synapses are crucial elements for computation and information transfer in both real and artificial neural systems. Recent experimental findings and theoretical models of pulse-based neural networks suggest that synaptic dynamics can play a crucial role for learning neural codes and encoding spatiotemporal spike patterns. Within the context of hardware implementations of pulse-based neural networks, several analog VLSI circuits modeling synaptic functionality have been proposed. We present an overview of previously proposed circuits and describe a novel analog VLSI synaptic circuit suitable for integration in large VLSI spike-based neural systems. The circuit proposed is based on a computational model that fits the real postsynaptic currents with exponentials. We present experimental data showing how the circuit exhibits realistic dynamics and show how it can be connected to additional modules for implementing a wide range of synaptic properties.

  3. Functional significance of brain glycogen in sustaining glutamatergic neurotransmission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sickmann, Helle M; Walls, Anne B; Schousboe, Arne

    2009-01-01

    The involvement of brain glycogen in sustaining neuronal activity has previously been demonstrated. However, to what extent energy derived from glycogen is consumed by astrocytes themselves or is transferred to the neurons in the form of lactate for oxidative metabolism to proceed is at present...... in co-cultures of cerebellar neurons and astrocytes. In the astrocytes it was shown that uptake of the glutamate analogue D-[3H]aspartate was impaired when glycogen degradation was inhibited irrespective of the presence of glucose, signifying that energy derived from glycogen degradation is important...... for the astrocytic compartment. By inhibiting glycogen degradation in co-cultures it was evident that glycogen provides energy to sustain glutamatergic neurotransmission, i.e. release and uptake of glutamate. The relocation of glycogen derived lactate to the neuronal compartment was investigated by employing d...

  4. Myosin VI contributes to synaptic transmission and development at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction

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    Campbell Shelagh

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Myosin VI, encoded by jaguar (jar in Drosophila melanogaster, is a unique member of the myosin superfamily of actin-based motor proteins. Myosin VI is the only myosin known to move towards the minus or pointed ends of actin filaments. Although Myosin VI has been implicated in numerous cellular processes as both an anchor and a transporter, little is known about the role of Myosin VI in the nervous system. We previously recovered jar in a screen for genes that modify neuromuscular junction (NMJ development and here we report on the genetic analysis of Myosin VI in synaptic development and function using loss of function jar alleles. Results Our experiments on Drosophila third instar larvae revealed decreased locomotor activity, a decrease in NMJ length, a reduction in synaptic bouton number, and altered synaptic vesicle localization in jar mutants. Furthermore, our studies of synaptic transmission revealed alterations in both basal synaptic transmission and short-term plasticity at the jar mutant neuromuscular synapse. Conclusions Altogether these findings indicate that Myosin VI is important for proper synaptic function and morphology. Myosin VI may be functioning as an anchor to tether vesicles to the bouton periphery and, thereby, participating in the regulation of synaptic vesicle mobilization during synaptic transmission.

  5. It's MORe exciting than mu: crosstalk between mu opioid receptors and glutamatergic transmission in the mesolimbic dopamine system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chartoff, Elena H; Connery, Hilary S

    2014-01-01

    Opioids selective for the G protein-coupled mu opioid receptor (MOR) produce potent analgesia and euphoria. Heroin, a synthetic opioid, is considered one of the most addictive substances, and the recent exponential rise in opioid addiction and overdose deaths has made treatment development a national public health priority. Existing medications (methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone), when combined with psychosocial therapies, have proven efficacy in reducing aspects of opioid addiction. Unfortunately, these medications have critical limitations including those associated with opioid agonist therapies (e.g., sustained physiological dependence and opioid withdrawal leading to high relapse rates upon discontinuation), non-adherence to daily dosing, and non-renewal of monthly injection with extended-release naltrexone. Furthermore, current medications fail to ameliorate key aspects of addiction such as powerful conditioned associations that trigger relapse (e.g., cues, stress, the drug itself). Thus, there is a need for developing novel treatments that target neural processes corrupted with chronic opioid use. This requires a basic understanding of molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying effects of opioids on synaptic transmission and plasticity within reward-related neural circuits. The focus of this review is to discuss how crosstalk between MOR-associated G protein signaling and glutamatergic neurotransmission leads to immediate and long-term effects on emotional states (e.g., euphoria, depression) and motivated behavior (e.g., drug-seeking, relapse). Our goal is to integrate findings on how opioids modulate synaptic release of glutamate and postsynaptic transmission via α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors in the nucleus accumbens and ventral tegmental area with the clinical (neurobehavioral) progression of opioid dependence, as well as to identify gaps in knowledge that can be addressed in future studies.

  6. Sumatriptan inhibits synaptic transmission in the rat midbrain periaqueductal grey

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    Connor Mark

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There is evidence to suggest that the midbrain periaqueductal grey (PAG has a role in migraine and the actions of the anti-migraine drug sumatriptan. In the present study we examined the serotonergic modulation of GABAergic and glutamatergic synaptic transmission in rat midbrain PAG slices in vitro. Results Serotonin (5-hydroxytriptamine, 5-HT, IC50 = 142 nM and the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine (30 μM produced a reduction in the amplitude of GABAA-mediated evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs in all PAG neurons which was associated with an increase in the paired-pulse ratio of evoked IPSCs. Real time PCR revealed that 5-HT1A, 5-HT1B, 5-HT1D and 5-HT1F receptor mRNA was present in the PAG. The 5-HT1A, 5-HT1B and 5-HT1D receptor agonists 8-OH-DPAT (3 μM, CP93129 (3 μM and L694247 (3 μM, but not the 5-HT1F receptor agonist LY344864 (1 – 3 μM inhibited evoked IPSCs. The 5-HT (1 μM induced inhibition of evoked IPSCs was abolished by the 5-HT1B antagonist NAS181 (10 μM, but not by the 5-HT1A and 5-HT1D antagonists WAY100135 (3 μM and BRL15572 (10 μM. Sumatriptan also inhibited evoked IPSCs with an IC50 of 261 nM, and reduced the rate, but not the amplitude of spontaneous miniature IPSCs. The sumatriptan (1 μM induced inhibition of evoked IPSCs was abolished by NAS181 (10 μM and BRL15572 (10 μM, together, but not separately. 5-HT (10 μM and sumatriptan (3 μM also reduced the amplitude of non-NMDA mediated evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs in all PAG neurons tested. Conclusion These results indicate that sumatriptan inhibits GABAergic and glutamatergic synaptic transmission within the PAG via a 5-HT1B/D receptor mediated reduction in the probability of neurotransmitter release from nerve terminals. These actions overlap those of other analgesics, such as opioids, and provide a mechanism by which centrally acting 5-HT1B and 5-HT1D ligands might lead to novel anti

  7. Caenorhabditis elegans glutamate transporters influence synaptic function and behavior at sites distant from the synapse.

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    Mano, Itzhak; Straud, Sarah; Driscoll, Monica

    2007-11-23

    To ensure precise neurotransmission and prevent neurotoxic accumulation, l-glutamate (Glu), the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain, is cleared from the synapse by glutamate transporters (GluTs). The molecular components of Glu synapses are highly conserved between Caenorhabditis elegans and mammals, yet the absence of synaptic insulation in C. elegans raises fundamental questions about Glu clearance strategies in the nematode nervous system. To gain insight into how Glu clearance is accomplished and how GluTs impact neurotransmission, we probed expression and function of all 6 GluTs found in the C. elegans genome. Disruption of each GluT impacts multiple Glu-dependent behaviors, with GluT combinations commonly increasing the severity of behavioral deficits. Interestingly, the sole GluT that we find expressed in neurons is localized predominantly in presynaptic neurons, in contrast to the postsynaptic concentration of neuronal GluTs typical in mammals. Moreover, 3 of the 6 GluT genes appear strongly expressed on the capillary excretory canal cell, where they affect Glu-dependent behaviors from positions distal to glutamatergic circuits. Indeed, our focused study of GLT-3, one of the distally expressed GluTs, shows that despite this distance, GLT-3 function can balance the activity mediated by synaptic release and synaptic receptors. The effects of distal GluTs on glutamatergic circuits support that Glu diffusion outside the vicinity of the synapse is a critical factor in C. elegans neurotransmission. Together with the presynaptic localization of neuronal GluTs, these observations suggest an unusual strategy for Glu clearance in C. elegans.

  8. Synaptic consolidation across multiple timescales

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    Lorric Ziegler

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The brain is bombarded with a continuous stream of sensory events, but retains only a small subset in memory. The selectivity of memory formation prevents our memory from being overloaded with irrelevant items that would rapidly bring the brain to its storage limit; moreover, selectivity also prevents overwriting previously formed memories with new ones. Memory formation in the hippocampus, as well as in other brain regions, is thought to be linked to changes in the synaptic connections between neurons. In this view, sensory events imprint traces at the level of synapses that reflect potential memory items. The question of memory selectivity can therefore be reformulated as follows: what are the reasons and conditions that some synaptic traces fade away whereas others are consolidated and persist? Experimentally, changes in synaptic strength induced by 'Hebbian' protocols fade away over a few hours (early long-term potentiation or e-LTP, unless these changes are consolidated. The experiments and conceptual theory of synaptic tagging and capture (STC provide a mechanistic explanation for the processes involved in consolidation. This theory suggests that the initial trace of synaptic plasticity sets a tag at the synapse, which then serves as a marker for potential consolidation of the changes in synaptic efficacy. The actual consolidation processes, transforming e-LTP into late LTP (l-LTP, require the capture of plasticity-related proteins (PRP. We translate the above conceptual model into a compact computational model that accounts for a wealth of in vitro data including experiments on cross-tagging, tag-resetting and depotentiation. A central ingredient is that synaptic traces are described with several variables that evolve on different time scales. Consolidation requires the transmission of information from a 'fast' synaptic trace to a 'slow' one through a 'write' process, including the formation of tags and the production of PRP for the

  9. Optical mapping reveals developmental dynamics of Mg2+-/APV-sensitive components of glossopharyngeal glutamatergic EPSPs in the embryonic chick NTS.

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    Sato, Katsushige; Momose-Sato, Yoko

    2004-10-01

    To examine whether there are any differences in functional organization between the glossopharyngeal nerve (N. IX)- and vagus nerve (N. X)-projecting areas in the nucleus of the tractus solitarius (NTS), we performed optical recording of neural responses evoked by N. IX stimulation in 5- to 9-day-old embryonic chick brain stem preparations and compared the results with those in our previous studies concerning the N. X-related NTS. First, we investigated DL-2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (APV)/Mg2+ sensitivity of the glutamatergic excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) in the N. IX-related NTS. In 7- to 9-day-old preparations, we found regional differences in the degree of both the APV-induced reduction and Mg2+-free-induced enhancement of the EPSPs. We constructed developmental maps of spatial patterns of the APV- and Mg2+-sensitive components and showed that functional expression of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor dynamically changed during development. Second, we studied initial expression of synaptic functions in the N. IX-related NTS. In 6-day-old preparations, although action potentials alone were usually detected in normal Ringer solution, small EPSPs were elicited in a Mg2+-free solution. This result suggests that the NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic function is latently generated in the N. IX-related NTS at the 6-day-old embryonic stage and that external Mg2+ regulates the onset of synaptic functions. Developmental patterns of APV/Mg2+ sensitivity and the stage of initial expression of the glossopharyngeal EPSP were similar to those of the N. X, suggesting that the developmental sequence of the synaptic function in the NTS is the same for the N. IX- and N. X-related NTS.

  10. Enhancement of extinction learning attenuates ethanol-seeking behavior and alters plasticity in the prefrontal cortex.

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    Gass, Justin T; Trantham-Davidson, Heather; Kassab, Amanda S; Glen, William B; Olive, M Foster; Chandler, L Judson

    2014-05-28

    Addiction is a chronic relapsing disorder in which relapse is often initiated by exposure to drug-related cues. The present study examined the effects of mGluR5 activation on extinction of ethanol-cue-maintained responding, relapse-like behavior, and neuronal plasticity. Rats were trained to self-administer ethanol and then exposed to extinction training during which they were administered either vehicle or the mGluR5 positive allosteric modulator 3-cyano-N-(1,3-diphenyl-1H-pyrazol-5-yl) or CDPPB. CDPPB treatment reduced active lever responding during extinction, decreased the total number of extinction sessions required to meet criteria, and attenuated cue-induced reinstatement of ethanol seeking. CDPPB facilitation of extinction was blocked by the local infusion of the mGluR5 antagonist 3-((2-methyl-4-thiazolyl)ethynyl) pyridine into the infralimbic (IfL) cortex, but had no effect when infused into the prelimbic (PrL) cortex. Analysis of dendritic spines revealed alterations in structural plasticity, whereas electrophysiological recordings demonstrated differential alterations in glutamatergic neurotransmission in the PrL and IfL cortex. Extinction was associated with increased amplitude of evoked synaptic PrL and IfL NMDA currents but reduced amplitude of PrL AMPA currents. Treatment with CDPPB prevented the extinction-induced enhancement of NMDA currents in PrL without affecting NMDA currents in the IfL. Whereas CDPPB treatment did not alter the amplitude of PrL or IfL AMPA currents, it did promote the expression of IfL calcium-permeable GluR2-lacking receptors in both abstinence- and extinction-trained rats, but had no effect in ethanol-naive rats. These results confirm changes in the PrL and IfL cortex in glutamatergic neurotransmission during extinction learning and demonstrate that manipulation of mGluR5 facilitates extinction of ethanol cues in association with neuronal plasticity.

  11. 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.

  12. Influence of location of a fluorescent zinc probe in brain slices on its response to synaptic activation.

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    Kay, Alan R; Tóth, Katalin

    2006-03-01

    The precise role of the high concentration of ionic zinc found in the synaptic vesicles of certain glutamatergic terminals is unknown. Fluorescent probes with their ability to detect ions at low concentrations provide a powerful approach to monitoring cellular Zn2+ levels. In the last few years, a number of fluorescent probes (indicators) have been synthesized that can be used to visualize Zn2+ in live cells. The interpretation of data gathered using such probes depends crucially on the location of the probe. Using acutely prepared hippocampal slices, we provide evidence that the Zn2+ probes, ZnAF-2 and ZP4, are membrane permeant and are able to pass into synaptic vesicles. In addition, we show that changes in fluorescence of the Zn2+ probes can be used to monitor presynaptic activity; however, these changes are inconsistent with Zn2+ release.

  13. Valine but not leucine or isoleucine supports neurotransmitter glutamate synthesis during synaptic activity in cultured cerebellar neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bak, Lasse Kristoffer; Johansen, Maja L.; Schousboe, Arne

    2012-01-01

    Synthesis of neuronal glutamate from a-ketoglutarate for neurotransmission necessitates an amino group nitrogen donor; however, it is not clear which amino acid(s) serves this role. Thus, the ability of the three branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), leucine, isoleucine, and valine, to act as amino...... group nitrogen donors for synthesis of vesicular neurotransmitter glutamate was investigated in cultured mouse cerebellar (primarily glutamatergic) neurons. The cultures were superfused in the presence of (15) N-labeled BCAAs, and synaptic activity was induced by pulses of N-methyl-D-aspartate (300 µ......]valine was able to maintain the amount of vesicular glutamate during synaptic activity. This indicates that, among the BCAAs, only valine supports the increased need for synthesis of vesicular glutamate. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc....

  14. Amygdalar glutamatergic neuronal systems play a key role on the hibernating state of hamsters

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    Facciolo Rosa

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Excitatory transmitting mechanisms are proving to play a critical role on neuronal homeostasis conditions of facultative hibernators such as the Syrian golden hamster. Indeed works have shown that the glutamatergic system of the main olfactory brain station (amygdala is capable of controlling thermoregulatory responses, which are considered vital for the different hibernating states. In the present study the role of amygdalar glutamatergic circuits on non-hibernating (NHIB and hibernating (HIB hamsters were assessed on drinking stimuli and subsequently compared to expression variations of some glutamatergic subtype mRNA levels in limbic areas. For this study the two major glutamatergic antagonists and namely that of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR, 3-(+-2-carboxypiperazin-4-yl-propyl-1-phosphonate (CPP plus that of the acid α-amine-3-hydroxy-5-metil-4-isoxazol-propionic receptor (AMPAR site, cyano-7-nitro-quinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX were infused into the basolateral amygdala nucleus. Attempts were made to establish the type of effects evoked by amygdalar glutamatergic cross-talking processes during drinking stimuli, a response that may corroborate their major role at least during some stages of this physiological activity in hibernators. Results From the behavioral results it appears that the two glutamatergic compounds exerted distinct effects. In the first case local infusion of basolateral complexes (BLA with NMDAR antagonist caused very great (p Conclusion We conclude that predominant drinking events evoked by glutamatergic mechanisms, in the presence of prevalently down regulated levels of NR1/2A of some telencephalic and hypothalamic areas appear to constitute an important neuronal switch at least during arousal stage of hibernation. The establishment of the type of glutamatergic subtypes that are linked to successful hibernating states, via drinking stimuli, may have useful bearings toward sleeping disorders.

  15. Cholinergic modulation of primary afferent glutamatergic transmission in rat medullary dorsal horn neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeong, Seok-Gwon; Choi, In-Sun; Cho, Jin-Hwa; Jang, Il-Sung

    2013-12-01

    Although muscarinic acetylcholine (mACh) receptors are expressed in trigeminal ganglia, it is still unknown whether mACh receptors modulate glutamatergic transmission from primary afferents onto medullary dorsal horn neurons. In this study, we have addressed the cholinergic modulation of primary afferent glutamatergic transmission using a conventional whole cell patch clamp technique. Glutamatergic excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) were evoked from primary afferents by electrical stimulation of trigeminal tract and monosynaptic EPSCs were recorded from medullary dorsal horn neurons of rat horizontal brain stem slices. Muscarine and ACh reversibly and concentration-dependently decreased the amplitude of glutamatergic EPSCs and increased the paired-pulse ratio. In addition, muscarine reduced the frequency of miniature EPSCs without affecting the current amplitude, suggesting that muscarine acts presynaptically to decrease the probability of glutamate release onto medullary dorsal horn neurons. The muscarine-induced decrease of glutamatergic EPSCs was significantly occluded by methoctramine or AF-DX116, M2 receptor antagonists, but not pirenzepine, J104129 and MT-3, selective M1, M3 and M4 receptor antagonists. The muscarine-induced decrease of glutamatergic EPSCs was highly dependent on the extracellular Ca2+ concentration. Physostigmine and clinically available acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, such as rivastigmine and donepezil, significantly shifted the concentration-inhibition relationship of ACh for glutamatergic EPSCs. These results suggest that muscarine acts on presynaptic M2 receptors to inhibit glutamatergic transmission by reducing the Ca2+ influx into primary afferent terminals, and that M2 receptor agonists and acetylcholinesterase inhibitors could be, at least, potential targets to reduce nociceptive transmission from orofacial tissues.

  16. Synaptic vesicle pools and dynamics.

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    Alabi, AbdulRasheed A; Tsien, Richard W

    2012-08-01

    Synaptic vesicles release neurotransmitter at chemical synapses, thus initiating the flow of information in neural networks. To achieve this, vesicles undergo a dynamic cycle of fusion and retrieval to maintain the structural and functional integrity of the presynaptic terminals in which they reside. Moreover, compelling evidence indicates these vesicles differ in their availability for release and mobilization in response to stimuli, prompting classification into at least three different functional pools. Ongoing studies of the molecular and cellular bases for this heterogeneity attempt to link structure to physiology and clarify how regulation of vesicle pools influences synaptic strength and presynaptic plasticity. We discuss prevailing perspectives on vesicle pools, the role they play in shaping synaptic transmission, and the open questions that challenge current understanding.

  17. Isolated NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic responses express both LTP and LTD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, X; Berger, T W; Barrionuevo, G

    1992-04-01

    1. The possibility of use-dependent, long-lasting modifications of pharmacologically isolated N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-mediated synaptic transmission was examined by intracellular recordings from granule cells of the hippocampal dentate gyrus in vitro. In the presence of the non-NMDA receptor antagonist 6-cyano-7-nitroquinaxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX, 10 microM) robust, long-term potentiation (LTP) of NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic potentials was induced by brief, high (50 Hz) and lower (10 Hz) frequency tetanic stimuli of glutamatergic afferents (60 +/- 6%, n = 8, P less than 0.001 and 43 +/- 12%, n = 3, P less than 0.05, respectively). 2. Hyperpolarization of granule cell membrane potential to -100 mV during 50-Hz tetanic stimuli reversibly blocked the induction of LTP (-6 +/- 2%, n = 6, P greater than 0.05) indicating that simultaneous activation of pre- and postsynaptic elements is a prerequisite for potentiation of NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission. In contrast, hyperpolarization of the granule cell membrane potential to -100 mV during 10-Hz tetanic stimuli resulted in long-term depression (LTD) of NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic potentials (-34 +/- 8%, n = 8, P less than 0.01). 3. We also studied the role of [Ca2+]i in the induction of LTP and LTD of NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic responses. Before tetanization, [Ca2+]i was buffered by iontophoretic injections of bis-(o-aminophenoxy)-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid (BAPTA). BAPTA completely blocked the induction of LTP (3 +/- 5%, n = 13) and partially blocked LTD (-14.8 +/- 6%, n = 10).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  18. Streptozotocin Inhibits Electrophysiological Determinants of Excitatory and Inhibitory Synaptic Transmission in CA1 Pyramidal Neurons of Rat Hippocampal Slices: Reduction of These Effects by Edaravone

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    Ting Ju

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: Streptozotocin (STZ has served as an agent to generate an Alzheimer's disease (AD model in rats, while edaravone (EDA, a novel free radical scavenger, has recently emerged as an effective treatment for use in vivo and vitro AD models. However, to date, these beneficial effects of EDA have only been clearly demonstrated within STZ-induced animal models of AD and in cell models of AD. A better understanding of the mechanisms of EDA may provide the opportunity for their clinical application in the treatment of AD. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the underlying mechanisms of STZ and EDA as assessed upon electrophysiological alterations in CA1 pyramidal neurons of rat hippocampal slices. Methods: Through measures of evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (eEPSCs, AMPAR-mediated eEPSCs (eEPSCsAMPA, evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents (eIPSCs, evoked excitatory postsynaptic current paired pulse ratio (eEPSC PPR and evoked inhibitory postsynaptic current paired pulse ratio (eIPSC PPR, it was possible to investigate mechanisms as related to the neurotoxicity of STZ and reductions in these effects by EDA. Results: Our results showed that STZ (1000 µM significantly inhibited peak amplitudes of eEPSCs, eEPSCsAMPA and eIPSCs, while EDA (1000 µM attenuated these STZ-induced changes at holding potentials ranging from -60mV to +40 mV for EPSCs and -60mV to +20 mV for IPSCs. Our work also indicated that mean eEPSC PPR were substantially altered by STZ, effects which were partially restored by EDA. In contrast, no significant effects upon eIPSC PPR were obtained in response to STZ and EDA. Conclusion: Our data suggest that STZ inhibits glutamatergic transmission involving pre-synaptic mechanisms and AMPAR, and that STZ inhibits GABAergic transmission by post-synaptic mechanisms within CA1 pyramidal neurons. These effects are attenuated by EDA.

  19. VTA glutamatergic inputs to nucleus accumbens drive aversion by acting on GABAergic interneurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Jia; Zhang, Shiliang; Wang, Hui-Ling; Barker, David J.; Miranda-Barrientos, Jorge; Morales, Marisela

    2016-01-01

    The ventral tegmental area (VTA) is best known for its dopamine neurons, some of which project to nucleus accumbens (nAcc). However, the VTA also has glutamatergic neurons that project to nAcc. The function of the mesoaccumbens-glutamatergic pathway remains unknown. Here, we report that nAcc photoactivation of mesoaccumbens-glutamatergic fibers promotes aversion. Although we found that these mesoaccumbens-glutamate-fibers lack GABA, the aversion evoked by their photoactivation depends on glutamate and GABA receptor signaling, and not on dopamine receptor signaling. We found that mesoaccumbens-glutamatergic-fibers establish multiple asymmetric synapses on single parvalbumin-GABAergic interneurons, and that nAcc photoactivation of these fibers drives AMPA-mediated cellular firing of parvalbumin-GABAergic interneurons. These parvalbumin-GABAergic-interneurons, in turn, inhibit nAcc medium spiny output neurons, as such, controlling inhibitory neurotransmission within nAcc. The mesoaccumbens-glutamatergic pathway is the first glutamatergic input to nAcc shown to mediate aversion, instead of reward, and the first pathway shown to establish excitatory synapses on nAcc parvalbumin-GABAergic interneurons. PMID:27019014

  20. Modulation of excitatory neurotransmission by neuronal/glial signalling molecules: interplay between purinergic and glutamatergic systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köles, László; Kató, Erzsébet; Hanuska, Adrienn; Zádori, Zoltán S; Al-Khrasani, Mahmoud; Zelles, Tibor; Rubini, Patrizia; Illes, Peter

    2016-03-01

    Glutamate is the main excitatory neurotransmitter of the central nervous system (CNS), released both from neurons and glial cells. Acting via ionotropic (NMDA, AMPA, kainate) and metabotropic glutamate receptors, it is critically involved in essential regulatory functions. Disturbances of glutamatergic neurotransmission can be detected in cognitive and neurodegenerative disorders. This paper summarizes the present knowledge on the modulation of glutamate-mediated responses in the CNS. Emphasis will be put on NMDA receptor channels, which are essential executive and integrative elements of the glutamatergic system. This receptor is crucial for proper functioning of neuronal circuits; its hypofunction or overactivation can result in neuronal disturbances and neurotoxicity. Somewhat surprisingly, NMDA receptors are not widely targeted by pharmacotherapy in clinics; their robust activation or inhibition seems to be desirable only in exceptional cases. However, their fine-tuning might provide a promising manipulation to optimize the activity of the glutamatergic system and to restore proper CNS function. This orchestration utilizes several neuromodulators. Besides the classical ones such as dopamine, novel candidates emerged in the last two decades. The purinergic system is a promising possibility to optimize the activity of the glutamatergic system. It exerts not only direct and indirect influences on NMDA receptors but, by modulating glutamatergic transmission, also plays an important role in glia-neuron communication. These purinergic functions will be illustrated mostly by depicting the modulatory role of the purinergic system on glutamatergic transmission in the prefrontal cortex, a CNS area important for attention, memory and learning.

  1. On the mechanism of synaptic depression induced by CaMKIIN, an endogenous inhibitor of CaMKII.

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    Camilo Gouet

    Full Text Available Activity-dependent synaptic plasticity underlies, at least in part, learning and memory processes. NMDA receptor (NMDAR-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP is a major synaptic plasticity model. During LTP induction, Ca(2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII is activated, autophosphorylated and persistently translocated to the postsynaptic density, where it binds to the NMDAR. If any of these steps is inhibited, LTP is disrupted. The endogenous CaMKII inhibitor proteins CaMKIINα,β are rapidly upregulated in specific brain regions after learning. We recently showed that transient application of peptides derived from CaMKIINα (CN peptides persistently depresses synaptic strength and reverses LTP saturation, as it allows further LTP induction in previously saturated pathways. The treatment disrupts basal CaMKII-NMDAR interaction and decreases bound CaMKII fraction in spines. To unravel CaMKIIN function and to further understand CaMKII role in synaptic strength maintenance, here we more deeply investigated the mechanism of synaptic depression induced by CN peptides (CN-depression in rat hippocampal slices. We showed that CN-depression does not require glutamatergic synaptic activity or Ca(2+ signaling, thus discarding unspecific triggering of activity-dependent long-term depression (LTD in slices. Moreover, occlusion experiments revealed that CN-depression and NMDAR-LTD have different expression mechanisms. We showed that CN-depression does not involve complex metabolic pathways including protein synthesis or proteasome-mediated degradation. Remarkably, CN-depression cannot be resolved in neonate rats, for which CaMKII is mostly cytosolic and virtually absent at the postsynaptic densities. Overall, our results support a direct effect of CN peptides on synaptic CaMKII-NMDAR binding and suggest that CaMKIINα,β could be critical plasticity-related proteins that may operate as cell-wide homeostatic regulators preventing saturation of

  2. Glutamate Receptor Modulation Is Restricted to Synaptic Microdomains

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    Gyorgy Lur

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available A diverse array of neuromodulators governs cellular function in the prefrontal cortex (PFC via the activation of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs. However, these functionally diverse signals are carried and amplified by a relatively small assortment of intracellular second messengers. Here, we examine whether two distinct Gαi-coupled neuromodulators (norepinephrine and GABA act as redundant regulators of glutamatergic synaptic transmission. Our results reveal that, within single dendritic spines of layer 5 pyramidal neurons, alpha-2 adrenergic receptors (α2Rs selectively inhibit excitatory transmission mediated by AMPA-type glutamate receptors, while type B GABA receptors (GABABRs inhibit NMDA-type receptors. We show that both modulators act via the downregulation of cAMP and PKA. However, by restricting the lifetime of active Gαi, RGS4 promotes the independent control of these two distinct target proteins. Our findings highlight a mechanism by which neuromodulatory microdomains can be established in subcellular compartments such as dendritic spines.

  3. Neuroligin-1 regulates excitatory synaptic transmission, LTP and EPSP-spike coupling in the dentate gyrus in vivo.

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    Jedlicka, Peter; Vnencak, Matej; Krueger, Dilja D; Jungenitz, Tassilo; Brose, Nils; Schwarzacher, Stephan W

    2015-01-01

    Neuroligins are transmembrane cell adhesion proteins with a key role in the regulation of excitatory and inhibitory synapses. Based on previous in vitro and ex vivo studies, neuroligin-1 (NL1) has been suggested to play a selective role in the function of glutamatergic synapses. However, the role of NL1 has not yet been investigated in the brain of live animals. We studied the effects of NL1-deficiency on synaptic transmission in the hippocampal dentate gyrus using field potential recordings evoked by perforant path stimulation in urethane-anesthetized NL1 knockout (KO) mice. We report that in NL1 KOs the activation of glutamatergic perforant path granule cell inputs resulted in reduced synaptic responses. In addition, NL1 KOs displayed impairment in long-term potentiation. Furthermore, field EPSP-population spike (E-S) coupling was greater in NL1 KO than WT mice and paired-pulse inhibition was reduced, indicating a compensatory rise of excitability in NL1 KO granule cells. Consistent with changes in excitatory transmission, NL1 KOs showed a significant reduction in hippocampal synaptosomal expression levels of the AMPA receptor subunit GluA2 and NMDA receptor subunits GluN1, GluN2A and GluN2B. Taken together, we provide first evidence that NL1 is essential for normal excitatory transmission and long-term synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus of intact animals. Our data provide insights into synaptic and circuit mechanisms of neuropsychiatric abnormalities such as learning deficits and autism.

  4. SynProt: A Comprehensive Database for Proteins of the Detergent-Resistant Synaptic Junctions Fraction

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    Rainer ePielot

    2012-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Enduring medial perforant path short-term synaptic depression at high pressure

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    Adolfo E Talpalar

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available The high pressure neurological syndrome develops during deep diving (> 1.1 MPa involving impairment of cognitive functions, alteration of synaptic transmission and increased excitability in cortico-hippocampal areas. The medial perforant path (MPP, connecting entorhinal cortex with the hippocampal formation, displays synaptic frequency-dependent-depression (FDD under normal conditions. Synaptic FDD is essential for specific functions of various neuronal networks. We used rat cortico-hippocampal slices and computer simulations for studying the effects of pressure and its interaction with extracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]o on FDD at the MPP synapses. At atmospheric pressure, high [Ca2+]o (4-6 mM saturated single MPP field EPSP (fEPSP and increased FDD in response to short trains at 50 Hz. High pressure (HP; 10.1 MPa depressed single fEPSPs by 50 %. Increasing [Ca2+]o to 4 mM at HP saturated synaptic response at a subnormal level (only 20 % recovery of single fEPSPs, but generated a FDD similar to atmospheric pressure. Mathematical model analysis of the fractions of synaptic resources used by each fEPSP during trains (normalized to their maximum and the total fraction utilized within a train indicate that HP depresses synaptic activity also by reducing synaptic resources. This data suggest that MPP synapses may be modulated, in addition to depression of single events, by reduction of synaptic resources and then may have the ability to conserve their dynamic properties under different conditions.

  7. Glutamatergic neurons are present in the rat ventral tegmental area

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    Yamaguchi, Tsuyoshi; Sheen, Whitney; Morales, Marisela

    2010-01-01

    The ventral tegmental area (VTA) is thought to play an important role in reward function. Two populations of neurons, containing either dopamine (DA) or γ-amino butyric acid (GABA), have been extensively characterized in this area. However, recent electrophysiological studies are consistent with the notion that neurons that utilize neurotransmitters other than DA or GABA are likely to be present in the VTA. Given the pronounced phenotypic diversity of neurons in this region, we have proposed that additional cell types, such as those that express the neurotransmitter glutamate may also be present in this area. Thus, by using in situ hybridization histochemistry we investigated whether transcripts encoded by genes for the two vesicular glutamate transporters, VGluT1 or VGluT2, were expressed in the VTA. We found that VGluT2 mRNA but not VGluT1 mRNA is expressed in the VTA. Neurons expressing VGluT2 mRNA were differentially distributed throughout the rostro-caudal and medio-lateral aspects of the VTA, with the highest concentration detected in rostro-medial areas. Phenotypic characterization with double in situ hybridization of these neurons indicated that they rarely co–expressed mRNAs for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH, marker for DAergic neurons) or glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD, marker for GABAergic neurons). Based on the results described here, we concluded that the VTA contains glutamatergic neurons that in their vast majority are clearly non-DAergic and non-GABAergic. PMID:17241272

  8. Molecular constraints on synaptic tagging and maintenance of long-term potentiation: a predictive model.

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    Paul Smolen

    Full Text Available Protein synthesis-dependent, late long-term potentiation (LTP and depression (LTD at glutamatergic hippocampal synapses are well characterized examples of long-term synaptic plasticity. Persistent increased activity of protein kinase M ζ (PKMζ is thought essential for maintaining LTP. Additional spatial and temporal features that govern LTP and LTD induction are embodied in the synaptic tagging and capture (STC and cross capture hypotheses. Only synapses that have been "tagged" by a stimulus sufficient for LTP and learning can "capture" PKMζ. A model was developed to simulate the dynamics of key molecules required for LTP and LTD. The model concisely represents relationships between tagging, capture, LTD, and LTP maintenance. The model successfully simulated LTP maintained by persistent synaptic PKMζ, STC, LTD, and cross capture, and makes testable predictions concerning the dynamics of PKMζ. The maintenance of LTP, and consequently of at least some forms of long-term memory, is predicted to require continual positive feedback in which PKMζ enhances its own synthesis only at potentiated synapses. This feedback underlies bistability in the activity of PKMζ. Second, cross capture requires the induction of LTD to induce dendritic PKMζ synthesis, although this may require tagging of a nearby synapse for LTP. The model also simulates the effects of PKMζ inhibition, and makes additional predictions for the dynamics of CaM kinases. Experiments testing the above predictions would significantly advance the understanding of memory maintenance.

  9. Molecular constraints on synaptic tagging and maintenance of long-term potentiation: a predictive model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smolen, Paul; Baxter, Douglas A; Byrne, John H

    2012-01-01

    Protein synthesis-dependent, late long-term potentiation (LTP) and depression (LTD) at glutamatergic hippocampal synapses are well characterized examples of long-term synaptic plasticity. Persistent increased activity of protein kinase M ζ (PKMζ) is thought essential for maintaining LTP. Additional spatial and temporal features that govern LTP and LTD induction are embodied in the synaptic tagging and capture (STC) and cross capture hypotheses. Only synapses that have been "tagged" by a stimulus sufficient for LTP and learning can "capture" PKMζ. A model was developed to simulate the dynamics of key molecules required for LTP and LTD. The model concisely represents relationships between tagging, capture, LTD, and LTP maintenance. The model successfully simulated LTP maintained by persistent synaptic PKMζ, STC, LTD, and cross capture, and makes testable predictions concerning the dynamics of PKMζ. The maintenance of LTP, and consequently of at least some forms of long-term memory, is predicted to require continual positive feedback in which PKMζ enhances its own synthesis only at potentiated synapses. This feedback underlies bistability in the activity of PKMζ. Second, cross capture requires the induction of LTD to induce dendritic PKMζ synthesis, although this may require tagging of a nearby synapse for LTP. The model also simulates the effects of PKMζ inhibition, and makes additional predictions for the dynamics of CaM kinases. Experiments testing the above predictions would significantly advance the understanding of memory maintenance.

  10. Synaptic computation and sensory processing in neocortical layer 2/3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Carl C H; Crochet, Sylvain

    2013-04-10

    Computations in neocortical circuits are predominantly driven by synaptic integration of excitatory glutamatergic and inhibitory GABAergic inputs. New optical, electrophysiological, and genetic methods allow detailed in vivo investigation of the superficial neocortical layers 2 and 3 (L2/3). Here, we review current knowledge of mouse L2/3 sensory cortex, focusing on somatosensory barrel cortex with comparisons to visual and auditory cortex. Broadly tuned, dense subthreshold synaptic input accompanied by sparse action potential (AP) firing in excitatory neurons provides a simple and reliable neural code useful for associative learning. Sparse AP firing is enforced by strong inhibition from genetically defined classes of GABAergic neurons. Subnetworks of strongly and specifically connected excitatory neurons may drive L2/3 network function, with potential contributions from dendritic spikes evoked by spatiotemporally clustered synaptic input. These functional properties of L2/3 are under profound regulation by brain state and behavior, providing interesting avenues for future mechanistic investigations into context-specific processing of sensory information.

  11. Forebrain deletion of αGDI in adult mice worsens the pre-synaptic deficit at cortico-lateral amygdala synaptic connections.

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    Veronica Bianchi

    Full Text Available The GDI1 gene encodes αGDI, which retrieves inactive GDP-bound RAB from membranes to form a cytosolic pool awaiting vesicular release. Mutations in GDI1 are responsible for X-linked Intellectual Disability. Characterization of the Gdi1-null mice has revealed alterations in the total number and distribution of hippocampal and cortical synaptic vesicles, hippocampal short-term synaptic plasticity and specific short-term memory deficits in adult mice, which are possibly caused by alterations of different synaptic vesicle recycling pathways controlled by several RAB GTPases. However, interpretation of these studies is complicated by the complete ablation of Gdi1 in all cells in the brain throughout development. In this study, we generated conditionally gene-targeted mice in which the knockout of Gdi1 is restricted to the forebrain, hippocampus, cortex and amygdala and occurs only during postnatal development. Adult mutant mice reproduce the short-term memory deficit previously reported in Gdi1-null mice. Surprisingly, the delayed ablation of Gdi1 worsens the pre-synaptic phenotype at cortico-amygdala synaptic connections compared to Gdi1-null mice. These results suggest a pivotal role of αGDI via specific RAB GTPases acting specifically in forebrain regions at the pre-synaptic sites involved in memory formation.

  12. The interplay between neuronal activity and actin dynamics mimic the setting of an LTD synaptic tag

    OpenAIRE

    Szabó, Eszter C.; Manguinhas, Rita; Fonseca, Rosalina

    2016-01-01

    Persistent forms of plasticity, such as long-term depression (LTD), are dependent on the interplay between activity-dependent synaptic tags and the capture of plasticity-related proteins. We propose that the synaptic tag represents a structural alteration that turns synapses permissive to change. We found that modulation of actin dynamics has different roles in the induction and maintenance of LTD. Inhibition of either actin depolymerisation or polymerization blocks LTD induction whereas only...

  13. 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.

  14. Spontaneous synaptic activity is required for the formation of functional GABAergic synapses in the developing rat hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colin-Le Brun, Isabelle; Ferrand, Nadine; Caillard, Olivier; Tosetti, Patrizia; Ben-Ari, Yehezkel; Gaïarsa, Jean-Luc

    2004-08-15

    Here we examine the role of the spontaneous synaptic activity generated by the developing rat hippocampus in the formation of functional gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) synapses. Intact hippocampal formations (IHFs) were dissected at birth and incubated for 1 day in control or tetrodotoxin (TTX)-supplemented medium at 25 degrees C. After the incubation, miniature GABA(A)-mediated postsynaptic currents (mGABA(A)-PSCs) were recorded in whole-cell voltage-clamped CA3 pyramidal neurones from IHF-derived slices. After 1 day in vitro in control medium, the frequency of mGABA(A)-PSCs was similar to that recorded in acute slices obtained 1 day after birth, but significantly higher than the frequency recorded from acute slices just after birth. These results suggest that the factors required in vivo for the formation of functional GABAergic synapses are preserved in the IHFs in vitro. The frequency increase was prevented when IHFs were incubated for 1 day with TTX. TTX treatment affected neither the morphology of CA3 pyramidal neurones nor cell viability. The TTX effects were reproduced when IHFs were incubated in the presence of glutamatergic or GABAergic ionotropic receptor antagonists or in high divalent cationic medium. The present results indicate that the spontaneous synaptic activity generated by the developing hippocampus is a key player in the formation of functional GABAergic synapses, possibly via network events requiring both glutamatergic and GABAergic receptors.

  15. Synaptic potentials in locus coeruleus neurons in brain slices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, J T; Bobker, D H; Harris, G C

    1991-01-01

    Neurons of the locus coeruleus (LC) fire action potentials spontaneously in vitro in the absence of any stimulation. This spontaneous activity is thought to arise from intrinsic membrane properties that include a balance between at least two ion conductances. One is a persistent inward sodium current that is active near the threshold for action potential generation. The second is a calcium-dependent potassium current that is activated following the entry of calcium during the action potential, is responsible for the after-hyperpolarization following the action potential, and decays over a period of 1-2 sec following the action potential. The spontaneous activity of LC neurons can be altered by both excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs. One excitatory input has been described that is mediated by glutamate receptors of both the non-NMDA and NMDA subtypes. Inhibitory synaptic potentials include those mediated by GABA (acting on GABAA-receptors), glycine (acting on a strychnine-sensitive receptor) and noradrenaline (acting on alpha 2-adrenoceptors). The presence of synaptic potentials mediated by these transmitters, studied in vitro, correlate with studies made in vivo and with histochemical identification of synaptic inputs to the locus coeruleus.

  16. Glutamatergic Neurotransmission Links Sensitivity to Volatile Anesthetics with Mitochondrial Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimin, Pavel I; Woods, Christian B; Quintana, Albert; Ramirez, Jan-Marino; Morgan, Philip G; Sedensky, Margaret M

    2016-08-22

    An enigma of modern medicine has persisted for over 150 years. The mechanisms by which volatile anesthetics (VAs) produce their effects (loss of consciousness, analgesia, amnesia, and immobility) remain an unsolved mystery. Many attractive putative molecular targets have failed to produce a significant effect when genetically tested in whole-animal models [1-3]. However, mitochondrial defects increase VA sensitivity in diverse organisms from nematodes to humans [4-6]. Ndufs4 knockout (KO) mice lack a subunit of mitochondrial complex I and are strikingly hypersensitive to VAs yet resistant to the intravenous anesthetic ketamine [7]. The change in VA sensitivity is the largest reported for a mammal. Limiting NDUFS4 loss to a subset of glutamatergic neurons recapitulates the VA hypersensitivity of Ndufs4(KO) mice, while loss in GABAergic or cholinergic neurons does not. Baseline electrophysiologic function of CA1 pyramidal neurons does not differ between Ndufs4(KO) and control mice. Isoflurane concentrations that anesthetize only Ndufs4(KO) mice (0.6%) decreased the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) only in Ndufs4(KO) CA1 neurons, while concentrations effective in control mice (1.2%) decreased sEPSC frequencies in both control and Ndufs4(KO) CA1 pyramidal cells. Spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sIPSCs) were not differentially affected between genotypes. The effects of isoflurane were similar on evoked field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) and paired pulse facilitation (PPF) in KO and control hippocampal slices. We propose that CA1 presynaptic excitatory neurotransmission is hypersensitive to isoflurane in Ndufs4(KO) mice due to the inhibition of pre-existing reduced complex I function, reaching a critical reduction that can no longer meet metabolic demands.

  17. 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.

  18. Actions of endomorphins on synaptic transmission of Adelta-fibers in spinal cord dorsal horn neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yajiri, Y; Huang, L Y

    2000-01-01

    The effects of endogenous mu-opioid ligands, endomorphins, on Adelta-afferent-evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) were studied in substantia gelatinosa neurons in spinal cord slices. Under voltage-clamp conditions, endomorphins blocked the evoked EPSCs in a dose-dependent manner. To determine if the block resulted from changes in transmitter release from glutamatergic synaptic terminals, the opioid actions on miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) were examined. Endomorphins (1 microM) reduced the frequency but not the amplitude of mEPSCs, suggesting that endomorphins directly act on presynaptic terminals. The effects of endomorphins on the unitary (quantal) properties of the evoked EPSCs were also studied. Endomorphins reduced unitary content without significantly changing unitary amplitude. These results suggest that in addition to presynaptic actions on interneurons, endomorphins also inhibit evoked EPSCs by reducing transmitter release from Adelta-afferent terminals.

  19. Subregional Expression of Hippocampal Glutamatergic and GABAergic Genes in F344 Rats with Social Isolation after Weaning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwata, Hisaya; Yamamuro, Yutaka

    2016-02-01

    Many studies have shown that postweaning social isolation (pwSI) alters various behavioral phenotypes, including hippocampusdependent tasks. Here, we report the comprehensive analysis of the expression of glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmissionrelated genes in the distinct hippocampal subregions of pwSI rats. Male F344 rats (age, 4 wk) experienced either pwSI or group housing (controls). At 7 wk of age, the hippocampus of each rat was removed and laser-microdissected into the CA1 and CA3 layers of pyramidal cells and the granule cell layer of the dentate gyrus. Subsequently, the expression of glutamatergic- and GABAergic- related genes was analyzed by quantitative RT-PCR. In the CA1 and CA3 pyramidal cell layers, 18 of 24 glutamate receptor subunit genes were at least 1.5-fold increased in expression after pwSI. In particular, the expression of several N-methyl-D-aspartate and kainate receptors (for example, Grin2a in CA1, Grik4 in CA3) was significantly increased after pwSI. In contrast, pwSI tended to decrease the expression of GABAA receptor subunit genes, and Gabra1, Gabra2, Gabra4, Gabra5, Gabrb2, Gabrg1, and Gabrg2 were all significantly decreased in expression compared with the levels in the group-housed rats. These results indicate a subregion- specific increase of glutamate receptors and reduction of GABAA receptors, suggesting that the hippocampal circuits of pwSI rats may be in more excitable states than those of group-housed rats.

  20. Divergent Modulation of Nociception by Glutamatergic and GABAergic Neuronal Subpopulations in the Periaqueductal Gray

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grajales-Reyes, Jose G.; Copits, Bryan A.; O’Brien, Daniel E.; Trigg, Sarah L.; Gomez, Adrian M.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The ventrolateral periaqueductal gray (vlPAG) constitutes a major descending pain modulatory system and is a crucial site for opioid-induced analgesia. A number of previous studies have demonstrated that glutamate and GABA play critical opposing roles in nociceptive processing in the vlPAG. It has been suggested that glutamatergic neurotransmission exerts antinociceptive effects, whereas GABAergic neurotransmission exert pronociceptive effects on pain transmission, through descending pathways. The inability to exclusively manipulate subpopulations of neurons in the PAG has prevented direct testing of this hypothesis. Here, we demonstrate the different contributions of genetically defined glutamatergic and GABAergic vlPAG neurons in nociceptive processing by employing cell type-specific chemogenetic approaches in mice. Global chemogenetic manipulation of vlPAG neuronal activity suggests that vlPAG neural circuits exert tonic suppression of nociception, consistent with previous pharmacological and electrophysiological studies. However, selective modulation of GABAergic or glutamatergic neurons demonstrates an inverse regulation of nociceptive behaviors by these cell populations. Selective chemogenetic activation of glutamatergic neurons, or inhibition of GABAergic neurons, in vlPAG suppresses nociception. In contrast, inhibition of glutamatergic neurons, or activation of GABAergic neurons, in vlPAG facilitates nociception. Our findings provide direct experimental support for a model in which excitatory and inhibitory neurons in the PAG bidirectionally modulate nociception. PMID:28374016

  1. Sequential generation of olfactory bulb glutamatergic neurons by Neurog2-expressing precursor cells

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    Brill Monika S

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background While the diversity and spatio-temporal origin of olfactory bulb (OB GABAergic interneurons has been studied in detail, much less is known about the subtypes of glutamatergic OB interneurons. Results We studied the temporal generation and diversity of Neurog2-positive precursor progeny using an inducible genetic fate mapping approach. We show that all subtypes of glutamatergic neurons derive from Neurog2 positive progenitors during development of the OB. Projection neurons, that is, mitral and tufted cells, are produced at early embryonic stages, while a heterogeneous population of glutamatergic juxtaglomerular neurons are generated at later embryonic as well as at perinatal stages. While most juxtaglomerular neurons express the T-Box protein Tbr2, those generated later also express Tbr1. Based on morphological features, these juxtaglomerular cells can be identified as tufted interneurons and short axon cells, respectively. Finally, targeted electroporation experiments provide evidence that while the majority of OB glutamatergic neurons are generated from intrabulbar progenitors, a small portion of them originate from extrabulbar regions at perinatal ages. Conclusions We provide the first comprehensive analysis of the temporal and spatial generation of OB glutamatergic neurons and identify distinct populations of juxtaglomerular interneurons that differ in their antigenic properties and time of origin.

  2. Cholinergic interneurons mediate fast VGluT3-dependent glutamatergic transmission in the striatum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higley, Michael J; Gittis, Aryn H; Oldenburg, Ian A; Balthasar, Nina; Seal, Rebecca P; Edwards, Robert H; Lowell, Bradford B; Kreitzer, Anatol C; Sabatini, Bernardo L

    2011-04-22

    The neurotransmitter glutamate is released by excitatory projection neurons throughout the brain. However, non-glutamatergic cells, including cholinergic and monoaminergic neurons, express markers that suggest that they are also capable of vesicular glutamate release. Striatal cholinergic interneurons (CINs) express the Type-3 vesicular glutamate transporter (VGluT3), although whether they form functional glutamatergic synapses is unclear. To examine this possibility, we utilized mice expressing Cre-recombinase under control of the endogenous choline acetyltransferase locus and conditionally expressed light-activated Channelrhodopsin2 in CINs. Optical stimulation evoked action potentials in CINs and produced postsynaptic responses in medium spiny neurons that were blocked by glutamate receptor antagonists. CIN-mediated glutamatergic responses exhibited a large contribution of NMDA-type glutamate receptors, distinguishing them from corticostriatal inputs. CIN-mediated glutamatergic responses were insensitive to antagonists of acetylcholine receptors and were not seen in mice lacking VGluT3. Our results indicate that CINs are capable of mediating fast glutamatergic transmission, suggesting a new role for these cells in regulating striatal activity.

  3. Cholinergic interneurons mediate fast VGluT3-dependent glutamatergic transmission in the striatum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Higley

    Full Text Available The neurotransmitter glutamate is released by excitatory projection neurons throughout the brain. However, non-glutamatergic cells, including cholinergic and monoaminergic neurons, express markers that suggest that they are also capable of vesicular glutamate release. Striatal cholinergic interneurons (CINs express the Type-3 vesicular glutamate transporter (VGluT3, although whether they form functional glutamatergic synapses is unclear. To examine this possibility, we utilized mice expressing Cre-recombinase under control of the endogenous choline acetyltransferase locus and conditionally expressed light-activated Channelrhodopsin2 in CINs. Optical stimulation evoked action potentials in CINs and produced postsynaptic responses in medium spiny neurons that were blocked by glutamate receptor antagonists. CIN-mediated glutamatergic responses exhibited a large contribution of NMDA-type glutamate receptors, distinguishing them from corticostriatal inputs. CIN-mediated glutamatergic responses were insensitive to antagonists of acetylcholine receptors and were not seen in mice lacking VGluT3. Our results indicate that CINs are capable of mediating fast glutamatergic transmission, suggesting a new role for these cells in regulating striatal activity.

  4. Autocrine glutamatergic transmission for the regulation of embryonal carcinoma stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teng, Lin; Lei, Hui-Min; Sun, Fan; An, Shi-Min; Tang, Ya-Bin; Meng, Shuang; Wang, Cong-Hui; Shen, Ying; Chen, Hong-Zhuan; Zhu, Liang

    2016-08-02

    Glutamate behaves as the principal excitatory neurotransmitter in the vertebrate central nervous system and recently demonstrates intercellular signaling activities in periphery cancer cells. How the glutamatergic transmission is organized and operated in cancer stem cells remains undefined. We have identified a glutamatergic transmission circuit in embryonal carcinoma stem cells. The circuit is organized and operated in an autocrine mechanism and suppresses the cell proliferation and motility. Biological analyses determined a repertoire of glutamatergic transmission components, glutaminase, vesicular glutamate transporter, glutamate NMDA receptor, and cell membrane excitatory amino-acid transporter, for glutamate biosynthesis, package for secretion, reaction, and reuptake in mouse and human embryonal carcinoma stem cells. The glutamatergic components were also identified in mouse transplanted teratocarcinoma and in human primary teratocarcinoma tissues. Released glutamate acting as the signal was directly quantified by liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Genetic and pharmacological abolishment of the endogenously released glutamate-induced tonic activation of the NMDA receptors increased the cell proliferation and motility. The finding suggests that embryonal carcinoma stem cells can be actively regulated by establishing a glutamatergic autocrine/paracrine niche via releasing and responding to the transmitter.

  5. Synaptic dynamics and decision making

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  6. Mechanisms of Synaptic Alterations in a Neuroinflammation Model of Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-10-01

    2013) or epige- netic changes ( Basil et al., 2014) have not been examined. Although a full pharmacokinetic analysis was beyond the scope of this...hospitalization during pregnancy and autism spectrum disorders. J. Autism Dev. Disord. 40, 1423– 1430. Basil , P., Li, Q., Dempster, E.L., Mill, J., Sham, P.C... Moore , M.J., Patterson, P.H., 2012. Maternal immune activation yields offspring displaying mouse versions of the three core symptoms of autism. Brain

  7. The interplay between neuronal activity and actin dynamics mimic the setting of an LTD synaptic tag.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabó, Eszter C; Manguinhas, Rita; Fonseca, Rosalina

    2016-09-21

    Persistent forms of plasticity, such as long-term depression (LTD), are dependent on the interplay between activity-dependent synaptic tags and the capture of plasticity-related proteins. We propose that the synaptic tag represents a structural alteration that turns synapses permissive to change. We found that modulation of actin dynamics has different roles in the induction and maintenance of LTD. Inhibition of either actin depolymerisation or polymerization blocks LTD induction whereas only the inhibition of actin depolymerisation blocks LTD maintenance. Interestingly, we found that actin depolymerisation and CaMKII activation are involved in LTD synaptic-tagging and capture. Moreover, inhibition of actin polymerisation mimics the setting of a synaptic tag, in an activity-dependent manner, allowing the expression of LTD in non-stimulated synapses. Suspending synaptic activation also restricts the time window of synaptic capture, which can be restored by inhibiting actin polymerization. Our results support our hypothesis that modulation of the actin cytoskeleton provides an input-specific signal for synaptic protein capture.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. Synaptic vesicle pools: an update

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annette Denker

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available During the last few decades synaptic vesicles have been assigned to a variety of functional and morphological classes or pools. We have argued in the past (Rizzoli SO and Betz WJ, 2005, Synaptic vesicle pools, Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 6, 57-69 that synaptic activity in several preparations is accounted for by the function of three vesicle pools: the readily releasable pool (docked at active zones and ready to go upon stimulation, the recycling pool (scattered throughout the nerve terminals and recycling upon moderate stimulation, and finally the reserve pool (occupying most of the vesicle clusters and only recycling upon strong stimulation. We discuss here the advancements in the vesicle pool field which took place in the ensuing years, focusing on the behavior of different pools under both strong stimulation and physiological activity. Several new findings have enhanced the three-pool model, with, for example, the disparity between recycling and reserve vesicles being underlined by the observation that the former are mobile, while the latter are fixed. Finally, a number of altogether new concepts have also evolved such as the current controversy on the identity of the spontaneously recycling vesicle pool.

  11. 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.

  12. Modulation of glutamatergic transmission by presynaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate mechanisms in second-order neurons of the rat nucleus tractus solitarius.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohi, Yoshiaki; Kimura, Satoko; Haji, Akira

    2015-02-05

    The present study investigated the physiological function of presynaptic N-methyl-d aspartate (NMDA) mechanisms in glutamatergic transmission in the rat nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS). Membrane currents were recorded from the NTS second-order neurons by using whole-cell patch pipettes including MK-801 to block postsynaptic NMDA receptors. All experiments were performed under blockade of inhibitory synaptic transmission. Co-application of NMDA and d-serine decreased the tractus solitarius (TS)-evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (eEPSCs) in 7/12 (58%) of neurons, and increased the paired pulse ratio. The remaining neurons were insensitive to NMDA and d-serine. Application of an NMDA antagonist D-AP5 had no effect on eEPSCs in all 8 neurons tested. Action potential-independent EPSCs (miniature EPSCs; mEPSCs) were recorded in the presence of tetrodotoxin. Co-application of NMDA and d-serine increased the mEPSC frequency but had no significant effect on the amplitude in 5/28 (18%) of neurons. D-AP5 decreased the mEPSC frequency without effect on the amplitude in 6/18 (33%) of neurons. This study demonstrated that (1) NMDA receptors were presynaptically distributed in a subset of NTS second-order neurons and that (2) the presynaptic NMDA receptors played an inhibitory role in TS-mediated release of glutamate and a facilitatory role in spontaneous release of glutamate. The present results suggest that the activation of presynaptic NMDA receptors modulates glutamatergic transmissions in the rat NTS second-order neurons.

  13. Whiplash-like facet joint loading initiates glutamatergic responses in the DRG and spinal cord associated with behavioral hypersensitivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Ling; Quindlen, Julia C.; Lipschutz, Daniel E.; Winkelstein, Beth A.

    2012-01-01

    The cervical facet joint and its capsule are a common source of neck pain from whiplash. Mechanical hyperalgesia elicited by painful facet joint distraction is associated with spinal neuronal hyperexcitability that can be induced by transmitter/receptor systems that potentiate the synaptic activation of neurons. This study investigated the temporal response of a glutamate receptor and transporters in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) and spinal cord. Bilateral C6/C7 facet joint distractions were imposed in the rat either to produce behavioral sensitivity or without inducing any sensitivity. Neuronal metabotropic glutamate receptor-5 (mGluR5) and protein kinase C-epsilon (PKCε) expression in the DRG and spinal cord were evaluated on days 1 and 7. Spinal expression of a glutamate transporter, excitatory amino acid carrier 1 (EAAC1), was also quantified at both time points. Painful distraction produced immediate behavioral hypersensitivity that was sustained for 7 days. Increased expression of mGluR5 and PKCε in the DRG was not evident until day 7 and only following painful distraction; this increase was observed in small-diameter neurons. Only painful facet joint distraction produced a significant increase (p<0.001) in neuronal mGluR5 over time, and this increase also was significantly elevated (p ≤ 0.05) over responses in the other groups at day 7. However, there were no differences in spinal PKCε expression on either day or between groups. Spinal EAAC1 expression was significantly increased (p<0.03) only in the nonpainful groups on day 7. Results from this study suggest spinal glutamatergic plasticity is selectively modulated in association with facet-mediated pain. PMID:22578356

  14. Enhancement of inorganic Martian dust simulant with carbon component and its effects on key characteristics of glutamatergic neurotransmission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borisova, Tatiana; Krisanova, Natalia; Nazarova, Anastasiya; Borysov, Arseniy; Pastukhov, Artem; Pozdnyakova, Natalia; Dudarenko, Marina

    2016-07-01

    Evidence on the past existence of subsurface organic-bearing fluids on Mars was recently achieved basing on the investigation of organic carbon from the Tissint Martian meteorite (Lin et al., 2014). Tremendous amount of meteorites containing abundant carbon and carbon-enriched dust particles have reached the Earth daily (Pizzarello and Shock 2010). National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences/National Institute of Health panel of research scientists revealed recently that accumulating evidences suggest that nano-sized air pollution may have a significant impact on central nervous system in health and disease (Block et al., Neurotoxicology, 2012). During inhalation, nano-/microsized particles are efficiently deposited in nasal, tracheobronchial, and alveolar regions and can be transported to the central nervous system (Oberdorster et al., 2004). Based on above facts, the aims of this study were: 1) to upgrade inorganic Martian dust stimulant derived from volcanic ash (JSC-1a/JSC, ORBITEC Orbital Technologies Corporation, Madison, Wisconsin) by the addition of carbon components, that is, nanodiamonds; 2) to analyse acute effects of upgraded stimulant on the key characteristic of synaptic neurotransmission and to compare its effects with those of inorganic dust and carbon components per se. Acute administration of carbon-containing Martian dust analogue resulted in a significant decrease in Na+-dependent uptake of L-[14C]glutamate that is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system (CNS). The ambient level of the neurotransmitter in the preparation of isolated rat brain nerve terminals increased in the presence of carbon-contained Martian dust analogue. This fact indicated that carbon component of native Martian dust can have deleterious effects on extracellular glutamate homeostasis in the CNS, and so glutamatergic neurtransmission.

  15. Progress toward treatments for synaptic defects in autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-01

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

  16. Molecular underpinnings of synaptic vesicle pool heterogeneity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Devon C; Kavalali, Ege T

    2015-04-01

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

  17. Quantitative synaptic alterations in human brain during normal aging and in patients with Alzheimer disease%正常增龄及阿尔茨海默病患者脑组织中突触密度改变的定量观察

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    许丹; 胡亚卓; 桂秋萍; 朱明伟; 张红红; 王鲁宁

    2005-01-01

    果:纳入分析脑标本共34例,全部进入分析结果.①光镜下可见突触素免疫反应阳性物质呈大小不等的颗粒,弥散分布于脑皮质、壳核及海马灰质神经毡内,神经细胞、胶质细胞胞体内及血管穿行部位和白质无阳性表达.额叶皮质Ⅱ,Ⅲ层较其他各层密度高,枕叶皮质Ⅳ层密度较其他各层高.②正常老年脑额叶、枕叶、壳核及海马CA3区突触素吸光度与年龄呈负相关(r=-0.688,-0 592,-0458,-0619,P=0.000,0.001,0.014,0.000).③阿尔茨海默病患者海马CA3区突触素吸光度低于正常>75岁病例(0.031 3±0.003 0,0.040 7±0.005 3,Z=-2.997,P=0.001).结论:①脑老化过程中额叶、枕叶及脑海马CA3区与壳核突触密度随年龄增加而下降,尤其是脑额叶、枕叶及脑海马CA3区的这种变化与年龄的相关性更为显著.②阿尔茨海默病患者突触密度较正常增龄病例有所降低,其认知功能减退可能与突触脱失有关.③尸检取材操作均在死亡后8~72 h完成,甲醛固定时间均在6周以上,避免了对突触素稳定性数据的影响.%BACKGROUND: Synaptic density, a key index of structure and function of brain tissues, is related to cognitive function. Synaptic loss occurs during human brain aging and in Alzheimer disease (AD), inducing the changes of synaptic density.OBJECTIVE: To observe quantitative synaptic alterations in human brain and changes of synaptic density in different parts during normal aging so as to compare them with those of AD patients.DESIGN: Sampling survey.SETTING: Senile Neurological Department of General Hospital of Chinese PLA.PARTICIPANTS: Pathological data were selected from General Hospital of Chinese PLA from June 1996 to December 2002. Inclusion criteria: had no major nervous system diseases and neuropathological changes. Brain tissues of 28 corpses in normal aging group, 23 males and 5 females aged 23-100 years with an average of (65±22.8) years, were obtained at autopsy.All corpses were divided into

  18. GABA transporter subtype 1 and GABA transporter subtype 3 modulate glutamatergic transmission via activation of presynaptic GABA(B) receptors in the rat globus pallidus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Xiao-Tao; Paré, Jean-Francois; Smith, Yoland

    2012-08-01

    The intra-pallidal application of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transporter subtype 1 (GAT-1) or GABA transporter subtype 3 (GAT-3) transporter blockers [1-(4,4-diphenyl-3-butenyl)-3-piperidinecarboxylic acid hydrochloride (SKF 89976A) or 1-[2-[tris(4-methoxyphenyl)methoxy]ethyl]-(S)-3-piperidinecarboxylic acid (SNAP 5114)] reduces the activity of pallidal neurons in monkey. This effect could be mediated through the activation of presynaptic GABA(B) heteroreceptors in glutamatergic terminals by GABA spillover following GABA transporter (GAT) blockade. To test this hypothesis, we applied the whole-cell recording technique to study the effects of SKF 89976A and SNAP 5114 on evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (eEPSCs) in the presence of gabazine, a GABA(A) receptor antagonist, in rat globus pallidus slice preparations. Under the condition of postsynaptic GABA(B) receptor blockade by the intra-cellular application of N-(2,6-dimethylphenylcarbamoylmethyl)-triethylammonium bromide (OX314), bath application of SKF 89976A (10 μM) or SNAP 5114 (10 μM) decreased the amplitude of eEPSCs, without a significant effect on its holding current and whole cell input resistance. The inhibitory effect of GAT blockade on eEPSCs was blocked by (2S)-3-[[(1S)-1-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)ethyl]amino-2-hydroxypropyl](phenylmethyl)phosphinic acid, a GABA(B) receptor antagonist. The paired-pulse ratio of eEPSCs was increased, whereas the frequency, but not the amplitude, of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents was reduced in the presence of either GAT blocker, demonstrating a presynaptic effect. These results suggest that synaptically released GABA can inhibit glutamatergic transmission through the activation of presynaptic GABA(B) heteroreceptors following GAT-1 or GAT-3 blockade. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that presynaptic GABA(B) heteroreceptors in putative glutamatergic subthalamic afferents to the globus pallidus are sensitive to increases in extracellular GABA induced

  19. Adolescent alcohol exposure: Burden of epigenetic reprogramming, synaptic remodeling, and adult psychopathology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evan J Kyzar

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Adolescence represents a crucial phase of synaptic maturation characterized by molecular changes in the developing brain that shape normal behavioral patterns. Epigenetic mechanisms play an important role in these neuromaturation processes. Perturbations of normal epigenetic programming during adolescence by ethanol can delay these molecular events, leading to synaptic remodeling and abnormal adult behaviors. Repeated exposure to binge levels of alcohol increases the risk for alcohol use disorder (AUD and comorbid psychopathology including anxiety in adulthood. Recent studies in the field clearly suggest that adolescent alcohol exposure causes widespread and persistent changes in epigenetic, neurotrophic, and neuroimmune pathways in the brain. These changes are manifested by altered synaptic remodeling and neurogenesis in key brain regions leading to adult psychopathology such as anxiety and alcoholism. This review details the molecular mechanisms underlying adolescent alcohol exposure-induced changes in synaptic plasticity and the development of alcohol addiction-related phenotypes in adulthood.

  20. Memory and synaptic deficits in Hip14/DHHC17 knockout mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milnerwood, Austen J; Parsons, Matthew P; Young, Fiona B; Singaraja, Roshni R; Franciosi, Sonia; Volta, Mattia; Bergeron, Sabrina; Hayden, Michael R; Raymond, Lynn A

    2013-12-10

    Palmitoylation of neurotransmitter receptors and associated scaffold proteins regulates their membrane association in a rapid, reversible, and activity-dependent fashion. This makes palmitoylation an attractive candidate as a key regulator of the fast, reversible, and activity-dependent insertion of synaptic proteins required during the induction and expression of long-term plasticity. Here we describe that the constitutive loss of huntingtin interacting protein 14 (Hip14, also known as DHHC17), a single member of the broad palmitoyl acyltransferase (PAT) family, produces marked alterations in synaptic function in varied brain regions and significantly impairs hippocampal memory and synaptic plasticity. The data presented suggest that, even though the substrate pool is overlapping for the 23 known PAT family members, the function of a single PAT has marked effects upon physiology and cognition. Moreover, an improved understanding of the role of PATs in synaptic modification and maintenance highlights a potential strategy for intervention against early cognitive impairments in neurodegenerative disease.

  1. Glutamatergic and central cholinergic dysfunction in the CA1, CA2 and CA3 fields on spatial learning and memory in chronic cerebral ischemia-Induced vascular dementia of rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Yanjing; Gou, Zengmei; Du, Yifeng; Fan, Yongjun; Liang, Lizhen; Yan, Yongxing; Lin, Ping; Jin, Mudan; Du, Yifenf

    2016-05-04

    Chronic cerebral ischemia (CCI) is associated with cognitive decline in aging, vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Substantial evidence has shown that chronic cerebral ischemia may cause cognitive impairment, but the underlying neurobiological mechanism is poorly understood so far. In the present study, we used a rat model of chronic cerebral ischemia by permanent bilateral common carotid artery occlusion (BCCAO) to investigate the alterations of glutamatergic and central cholinergic dysfunction, and their causal relationship with the cognitive deficits induced by chronic cerebral ischemia. We found that BCCAO rats exhibited spatial learning and memory impairments dysfunction 3 month after BCCAO. Meanwhile, vGluT levels as well as glutamatergic and central cholinergic positive neurons in the hippocampus CA1-3 field significantly decreased. The protection of glutamergic and cholinergic neurons or regulating glutamate and central cholinergic levels in hippocampal subregion may have beneficial effects on cognitive impairments associated with the possible mechanism in CCI-induced vascular dementia.

  2. Synaptic impairment induced by paroxysmal ionic conditions in neocortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seigneur, Josée; Timofeev, Igor

    2011-01-01

    Summary Purpose Seizures are associated with a reduction in extracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]o) and an increase in extracellular K+ concentration ([K+]o). The long-range synchrony observed between distant electrodes during seizures is weak. We hypothesized that changes in extracellular ionic conditions during seizures are sufficient to alter synaptic neuronal responses and synchrony in the neocortex. Methods We obtained in vivo and in vitro electrophysiologic recordings combined with microstimulation from cat/rat neocortical neurons during seizures and seizure-like ionic conditions. In vitro the [K+]o was 2.8, 6.25, 8.0, and 12 mM and the [Ca2+]o was 1.2 and 0.6 mM. Key Findings During seizures recorded in vivo, we observed abolition of evoked synaptic responses. In vitro, the membrane potential of both regular-spiking and fast-spiking neurons was depolarized in high [K+]o conditions and hyperpolarized in high [Ca2+]o conditions. During high [K+]o conditions, changes in [Ca2+]o did not affect membrane potential. The synaptic responsiveness of both regular-spiking and fast-spiking neurons was reduced during seizure-like ionic conditions. A reduction in [Ca2+]o to 0.6 mM increased failure rates but did not abolish responses. However, an increase in [K+]o to 12 mM abolished postsynaptic responses, which depended on a blockade in axonal spike propagation. Significance We conclude that concomitant changes in [K+]o and [Ca2+]o observed during seizures contribute largely to the alterations of synaptic neuronal responses and to the decrease in long-range synchrony during neocortical seizures. PMID:21126243

  3. A2A adenosine receptor antagonism enhances synaptic and motor effects of cocaine via CB1 cannabinoid receptor activation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Tozzi

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

  4. Ketamine as the prototype glutamatergic antidepressant: pharmacodynamic actions, and a systematic review and meta-analysis of efficacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caddy, Caroline; Giaroli, Giovanni; White, Thomas P.; Shergill, Sukhwinder S.

    2014-01-01

    The burden of depressive disorders and the frequent inadequacy of their current pharmacological treatments are well established. The anaesthetic and hallucinogenic drug ketamine has provoked much interest over the past decade or so as an extremely rapidly acting antidepressant that does not modify ‘classical’ monoaminergic receptors. Current evidence has shown several ways through which it might exert therapeutic antidepressant actions: blockade of glutamatergic NMDA receptors and relative upregulation of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) subtypes may alter cortical connectivity patterns; through intracellular changes in protein expression, including the proteins mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF); and alteration of intracellular signalling cascades. The clinical evidence demonstrates rapid improvements in mood and suicidal thinking in most participants, although study numbers have generally been small and many trials are unblinded and methodologically weak. There is a small body of work to suggest ketamine might also augment electroconvulsive therapy and potentially have a role as a surgical anaesthetic in depressed patients. A major problem is that the effects of ketamine appear temporary, disappearing after days to weeks (although longer benefits have been sustained in some), and attempts to circumvent this through pharmacological augmentation have been disappointing thus far. These exciting data are providing new insights into neurobiological models of depression, and potentially opening up a new class of antidepressants, but there are significant practical and ethical issues about any future mainstream clinical role it might have. PMID:24688759

  5. Genetic inhibition of neurotransmission reveals role of glutamatergic input to dopamine neurons in high-effort behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchison, M A; Gu, X; Adrover, M F; Lee, M R; Hnasko, T S; Alvarez, V A; Lu, W

    2017-02-14

    Midbrain dopamine neurons are crucial for many behavioral and cognitive functions. As the major excitatory input, glutamatergic afferents are important for control of the activity and plasticity of dopamine neurons. However, the role of glutamatergic input as a whole onto dopamine neurons remains unclear. Here we developed a mouse line in which glutamatergic inputs onto dopamine neurons are specifically impaired, and utilized this genetic model to directly test the role of glutamatergic inputs in dopamine-related functions. We found that while motor coordination and reward learning were largely unchanged, these animals showed prominent deficits in effort-related behavioral tasks. These results provide genetic evidence that glutamatergic transmission onto dopaminergic neurons underlies incentive motivation, a willingness to exert high levels of effort to obtain reinforcers, and have important implications for understanding the normal function of the midbrain dopamine system.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 14 February 2017; doi:10.1038/mp.2017.7.

  6. Reflections on the specificity of synaptic connections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Edward L

    2007-10-01

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

  7. In search for peripheral markers for epilepsy and ALS - focus on glutamatergic signaling in blood cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bos, Willemina Minke

    2005-01-01

    This thesis describes the research that was undertaken to find peripheral markers for epilepsy and ALS. Changes in the glutamatergic system and excitotoxicity are suggested to play a role in the pathogenesis of epilepsy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) (chapter 1) and therefore research was f

  8. DIXDC1 contributes to psychiatric susceptibility by regulating dendritic spine and glutamatergic synapse density via GSK3 and Wnt/β-catenin signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, P-M; Stanley, R E; Ross, A P; Freitas, A E; Moyer, C E; Brumback, A C; Iafrati, J; Stapornwongkul, K S; Dominguez, S; Kivimäe, S; Mulligan, K A; Pirooznia, M; McCombie, W R; Potash, J B; Zandi, P P; Purcell, S M; Sanders, S J; Zuo, Y; Sohal, V S; Cheyette, B N R

    2016-10-18

    Mice lacking DIX domain containing-1 (DIXDC1), an intracellular Wnt/β-catenin signal pathway protein, have abnormal measures of anxiety, depression and social behavior. Pyramidal neurons in these animals' brains have reduced dendritic spines and glutamatergic synapses. Treatment with lithium or a glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3) inhibitor corrects behavioral and neurodevelopmental phenotypes in these animals. Analysis of DIXDC1 in over 9000 cases of autism, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia reveals higher rates of rare inherited sequence-disrupting single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) in these individuals compared with psychiatrically unaffected controls. Many of these SNVs alter Wnt/β-catenin signaling activity of the neurally predominant DIXDC1 isoform; a subset that hyperactivate this pathway cause dominant neurodevelopmental effects. We propose that rare missense SNVs in DIXDC1 contribute to psychiatric pathogenesis by reducing spine and glutamatergic synapse density downstream of GSK3 in the Wnt/β-catenin pathway.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 18 October 2016; doi:10.1038/mp.2016.184.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  10. Evolution of the aging brain transcriptome and synaptic regulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick M Loerch

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

  11. Amyloid-β depresses excitatory cholinergic synaptic transmission in Drosophila

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Liqun Fang; Jingjing Duan; Dongzhi Ran; Zihao Fan; Ying Yan; Naya Huang; Huaiyu Gu; Yulan Zhu

    2012-01-01

    Objective Decline,disruption,or alterations of nicotinic cholinergic mechanisms contribute to cognitive dysfunctions like Alzheimer's disease (AD).Although amyloid-β (Aβ) aggregation is a pathological hallmark of AD,the mechanisms by which Aβ peptides modulate cholinergic synaptic transmission and memory loss remain obscure.This study was aimed to investigate the potential synaptic modulation by Aβ of the cholinergic synapses between olfactory receptor neurons and projection neurons (PNs) in the olfactory lobe of the fruit fly.Methods Cholinergic spontaneous and miniature excitatory postsynaptic current (mEPSC) were recorded with whole-cell patch clamp from PNs in Drosophila AD models expressing Aβ40,Aβ42,or Aβ42Arc peptides in neural tissue.Results In fly pupae (2 days before eclosion),overexpression of Aβ42 or Aβ42Arc,but not Aβ40,led to a significant decrease of mEPSC frequency,while overexpression of Aβ40,Aβ42,or Aβ42Arc had no significant effect on mEPSC amplitude.In contrast,Pavlovian olfactory associative learning and lifespan assays showed that both short-term memory and lifespan were decreased in the Drosophila models expressing Aβ40,Aβ42,or Aβ42Arc.Conclusion Both electrophysiological and behavioral results showed an effect of Aβ peptide on cholinergic synaptic transmission and suggest a possible mechanism by which Aβ peptides cause cholinergic neuron degeneration and the consequent memory loss.

  12. Hipótese glutamatérgica da esquizofrenia Glutamatergic hypothesis of schizophrenia

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    Rodrigo A Bressan

    2003-09-01

    Full Text Available A esquizofrenia é um transtorno psiquiátrico devastador cuja fisiopatologia ainda está para ser esclarecida. Apesar de uma disfunção dopaminérgica estar bem estabelecida na esquizofrenia, há uma série de evidências sugerindo o envolvimento do sistema glutamatérgico na fisiopatologia do transtorno. Este artigo faz uma breve revisão de alguns aspectos básicos do funcionamento dos receptores glutamatérgicos com ênfase nos receptores N-metil-D-aspartato (NMDA. Apresenta evidências científicas sugerindo uma disfunção do sistema glutamatérgico na esquizofrenia (hipofunção de receptores NMDA. E discute as interações entre os sistemas dopaminérgico e glutamatérgico; mais especificamente como os estados hiperdopaminérgicos encontrados na esquizofrenia podem estar associados a uma alteração glutamatérgica.Schizophrenia is a devastating psychiatric disorder whose pathophysiology has not been fully clarified yet. Although dopamine dysfunction in schizophrenia is unequivocal, there are many evidences suggesting the involvement of the glutamatergic system. This paper briefly describes some basic knowledge regarding the functioning of the glutamatergic receptors with emphasis on the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA receptors. Presents evidence for glutamatergic dysfunction in schizophrenia, more specifically NMDA receptor hypofunction. Finaly the paper discusses the interaction between the dopaminergic and the glutamatergic systems; in special how hyperdopaminergic state found in schizophrenia can be associated to glutamatergic dysfunctions.

  13. Synaptic genes are extensively downregulated across multiple brain regions in normal human aging and Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berchtold, Nicole C; Coleman, Paul D; Cribbs, David H; Rogers, Joseph; Gillen, Daniel L; Cotman, Carl W

    2013-06-01

    Synapses are essential for transmitting, processing, and storing information, all of which decline in aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Because synapse loss only partially accounts for the cognitive declines seen in aging and AD, we hypothesized that existing synapses might undergo molecular changes that reduce their functional capacity. Microarrays were used to evaluate expression profiles of 340 synaptic genes in aging (20-99 years) and AD across 4 brain regions from 81 cases. The analysis revealed an unexpectedly large number of significant expression changes in synapse-related genes in aging, with many undergoing progressive downregulation across aging and AD. Functional classification of the genes showing altered expression revealed that multiple aspects of synaptic function are affected, notably synaptic vesicle trafficking and release, neurotransmitter receptors and receptor trafficking, postsynaptic density scaffolding, cell adhesion regulating synaptic stability, and neuromodulatory systems. The widespread declines in synaptic gene expression in normal aging suggests that function of existing synapses might be impaired, and that a common set of synaptic genes are vulnerable to change in aging and AD.

  14. Near-Perfect Synaptic Integration by Nav1.7 in Hypothalamic Neurons Regulates Body Weight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branco, Tiago; Tozer, Adam; Magnus, Christopher J; Sugino, Ken; Tanaka, Shinsuke; Lee, Albert K; Wood, John N; Sternson, Scott M

    2016-06-16

    Neurons are well suited for computations on millisecond timescales, but some neuronal circuits set behavioral states over long time periods, such as those involved in energy homeostasis. We found that multiple types of hypothalamic neurons, including those that oppositely regulate body weight, are specialized as near-perfect synaptic integrators that summate inputs over extended timescales. Excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) are greatly prolonged, outlasting the neuronal membrane time-constant up to 10-fold. This is due to the voltage-gated sodium channel Nav1.7 (Scn9a), previously associated with pain-sensation but not synaptic integration. Scn9a deletion in AGRP, POMC, or paraventricular hypothalamic neurons reduced EPSP duration, synaptic integration, and altered body weight in mice. In vivo whole-cell recordings in the hypothalamus confirmed near-perfect synaptic integration. These experiments show that integration of synaptic inputs over time by Nav1.7 is critical for body weight regulation and reveal a mechanism for synaptic control of circuits regulating long term homeostatic functions.

  15. Spontaneous Vesicle Recycling in the Synaptic Bouton

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    Sven eTruckenbrodt

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The trigger for synaptic vesicle exocytosis is Ca2+, which enters the synaptic bouton following action potential stimulation. However, spontaneous release of neurotransmitter also occurs in the absence of stimulation in virtually all synaptic boutons. It has long been thought that this represents exocytosis driven by fluctuations in local Ca2+ levels. The vesicles responding to these fluctuations are thought to be the same ones that release upon stimulation, albeit potentially triggered by different Ca2+ sensors. This view has been challenged by several recent works, which have suggested that spontaneous release is driven by a separate pool of synaptic vesicles. Numerous articles appeared during the last few years in support of each of these hypotheses, and it has been challenging to bring them into accord. We speculate here on the origins of this controversy, and propose a solution that is related to developmental effects. Constitutive membrane traffic, needed for the biogenesis of vesicles and synapses, is responsible for high levels of spontaneous membrane fusion in young neurons, probably independent of Ca2+. The vesicles releasing spontaneously in such neurons are not related to other synaptic vesicle pools and may represent constitutively releasing vesicles (CRVs rather than bona fide synaptic vesicles. In mature neurons, constitutive traffic is much dampened, and the few remaining spontaneous release events probably represent bona fide spontaneously releasing synaptic vesicles (SRSVs responding to Ca2+ fluctuations, along with a handful of CRVs that participate in synaptic vesicle turnover.

  16. Spontaneous vesicle recycling in the synaptic bouton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Truckenbrodt, Sven; Rizzoli, Silvio O

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Reward memory relieves anxiety-related behavior through synaptic strengthening and protein kinase C in dentate gyrus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lei, Zhuofan; Liu, Bei; Wang, Jin-Hui

    2016-04-01

    Anxiety disorders are presumably associated with negative memory. Psychological therapies are widely used to treat this mental deficit in human beings based on the view that positive memory competes with negative memory and relieves anxiety status. Cellular and molecular processes underlying psychological therapies remain elusive. Therefore, we have investigated its mechanisms based on a mouse model in which food reward at one open-arm of the elevated plus-maze was used for training mice to form reward memory and challenge the open arms. Mice with the reward training showed increased entries and stay time in reward open-arm versus neutral open-arm as well as in open-arms versus closed-arms. Accompanying with reward memory formation and anxiety relief, glutamatergic synaptic transmission in dentate gyrus in vivo and dendritic spines in granule cells became upregulated. This synaptic up-regulation was accompanied by the expression of more protein kinase C (PKC) in the dendritic spines. The inhibition of PKC by chelerythrine impaired the formation of reward memory, the relief of anxiety-related behavior and the up-regulation of glutamate synapses. Our results suggest that reward-induced positive memory relieves mouse anxiety-related behavior by strengthening synaptic efficacy and PKC in the hippocampus, which imply the underlying cellular and molecular processes involved in the beneficial effects of psychological therapies treating anxiety disorders.

  18. Valine but not leucine or isoleucine supports neurotransmitter glutamate synthesis during synaptic activity in cultured cerebellar neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bak, Lasse K; Johansen, Maja L; Schousboe, Arne; Waagepetersen, Helle S

    2012-09-01

    Synthesis of neuronal glutamate from α-ketoglutarate for neurotransmission necessitates an amino group nitrogen donor; however, it is not clear which amino acid(s) serves this role. Thus, the ability of the three branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), leucine, isoleucine, and valine, to act as amino group nitrogen donors for synthesis of vesicular neurotransmitter glutamate was investigated in cultured mouse cerebellar (primarily glutamatergic) neurons. The cultures were superfused in the presence of (15) N-labeled BCAAs, and synaptic activity was induced by pulses of N-methyl-D-aspartate (300 μM), which results in release of vesicular glutamate. At the end of the superfusion experiment, the vesicular pool of glutamate was released by treatment with α-latrotoxin (3 nM, 5 min). This experimental paradigm allows a separate analysis of the cytoplasmic and vesicular pools of glutamate. Amount and extent of (15) N labeling of intracellular amino acids plus vesicular glutamate were analyzed employing HPLC and LC-MS analysis. Only when [(15) N]valine served as precursor did the labeling of both cytoplasmic and vesicular glutamate increase after synaptic activity. In addition, only [(15) N]valine was able to maintain the amount of vesicular glutamate during synaptic activity. This indicates that, among the BCAAs, only valine supports the increased need for synthesis of vesicular glutamate.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. Synaptic Vesicle Proteins and Active Zone Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. ApoE isoform-dependent changes in hippocampal synaptic function

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    Sullivan Patrick M

    2009-05-01

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

  3. Mapping synaptic pathology within cerebral cortical circuits in subjects with schizophrenia

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    Robert Sweet

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Converging lines of evidence indicate that schizophrenia is characterized by impairments of synaptic machinery within cerebral cortical circuits. Efforts to localize these alterations in brain tissue from subjects with schizophrenia have frequently been limited to the quantification of structures that are non-selectively identified (e.g. dendritic spines labeled in Golgi preparations, axon boutons labeled with synaptophysin, or to quantification of proteins using methods unable to resolve relevant cellular compartments. Multiple label fluorescence confocal microscopy represents a means to circumvent many of these limitations, by concurrently extracting information regarding the number, morphology, and relative protein content of synaptic structures. An important adaptation required for studies of human disease is coupling this approach to stereologic methods for systematic random sampling of relevant brain regions. In this review article we consider the application of multiple label fluorescence confocal microscopy to the mapping of synaptic alterations in subjects with schizophrenia and describe the application of a novel, readily automated, iterative intensity/morphological segmentation algorithm for the extraction of information regarding synaptic structure number, size, and relative protein level from tissue sections obtained using unbiased stereological principles of sampling. In this context, we provide examples of the examination of pre- and post-synaptic structures within excitatory and inhibitory circuits of the cerebral cortex.

  4. The late maintenance of hippocampal LTP: requirements, phases, 'synaptic tagging', 'late-associativity' and implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reymann, Klaus G; Frey, Julietta U

    2007-01-01

    Our review focuses on the mechanisms which enable the late maintenance of hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP; >3h), a phenomenon which is thought to underlie prolonged memory. About 20 years ago we showed for the first time that the maintenance of LTP - like memory storage--depends on intact protein synthesis and thus, consists of at least two temporal phases. Here we concentrate on mechanisms required for the induction of the transient early-LTP and of the protein synthesis-dependent late-LTP. Our group has shown that the induction of late-LTP requires the associative activation of heterosynaptic inputs, i.e. the synergistic activation of glutamatergic and modulatory, reinforcing inputs within specific, effective time windows. The induction of late-LTP is characterized by novel, late-associative properties such as 'synaptic tagging' and 'late-associative reinforcement'. Both phenomena require the associative setting of synaptic tags as well as the availability of plasticity-related proteins (PRPs) and they are restricted to functional dendritic compartments, in general. 'Synaptic tagging' guarantees input specificity and thus the specific processing of afferent signals for the establishment of late-LTP. 'Late-associative reinforcement' describes a process where early-LTP by the co-activation of modulatory inputs can be transformed into late-LTP in activated synapses where a tag is set. Recent evidence from behavioral experiments, which studied processes of emotional and cognitive reinforcement of LTP, point to the physiological relevance of the above mechanisms during cellular and system's memory formation.

  5. Synaptic control of motoneuronal excitability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rekling, J C; Funk, G D; Bayliss, D A

    2000-01-01

    Movement, the fundamental component of behavior and the principal extrinsic action of the brain, is produced when skeletal muscles contract and relax in response to patterns of action potentials generated by motoneurons. The processes that determine the firing behavior of motoneurons are therefore......, and membrane properties, both passive and active. We then describe the general anatomical organization of synaptic input to motoneurons, followed by a description of the major transmitter systems that affect motoneuronal excitability, including ligands, receptor distribution, pre- and postsynaptic actions...... and norepinephrine, and neuropeptides, as well as the glutamate and GABA acting at metabotropic receptors, modulate motoneuronal excitability through pre- and postsynaptic actions. Acting principally via second messenger systems, their actions converge on common effectors, e.g., leak K(+) current, cationic inward...

  6. Estrogen receptor GPR30 exerts anxiolytic effects by maintaining the balance between GABAergic and glutamatergic transmission in the basolateral amygdala of ovariectomized mice after stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Zhen; Wang, Yu; Zhang, Nan; Guo, Yan-Yan; Feng, Bin; Liu, Shui-Bing; Zhao, Ming-Gao

    2013-10-01

    G-protein-coupled receptor 30 (GPR30)/G-protein-coupled estrogen receptor is a novel estrogen membrane receptor that localizes to the cell membrane and endoplasmic reticulum. GPR30 is widely distributed and has numerous physiological functions in the central nervous system. We found that GPR30 is highly expressed in the basolateral amygdala (BLA). Additionally, GPR30 expression in the amygdala of ovariectomized (OVX) mice significantly increased after acute stress and was accompanied by anxiety-like behaviors. These effects, however, were reversed by local infusion of the GPR30 agonist (G1) in the BLA. Protein assessments revealed that G1 attenuated the up-regulation of the GluR1 subunit of the α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor and NR2A-containing N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) in the BLA of OVX mice using an acute stress paradigm. In the same model, we found that the agonist also blocked the down-regulation of γ-aminobutyric acid A (GABAA) receptors and NR2B-containing NMDARs. Electrophysiological recording showed that the activation of GPR30 increased the inhibitory synaptic transmission in the BLA. Overall, our results indicate that estradiol reduces anxiety-like behaviors induced by acute stress at least partially through GPR30 signaling, maintaining the balance between GABAergic and glutamatergic transmission in the BLA of OVX-stressed mice.

  7. Role of a hippocampal SRC-family kinase-mediated glutamatergic mechanism in drug context-induced cocaine seeking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Xiaohu; Arguello, Amy A; Wells, Audrey M; Reittinger, Andrew M; Fuchs, Rita A

    2013-12-01

    Glutamatergic neurotransmission in the dorsal hippocampus (DH) is necessary for drug context-induced reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior in an animal model of drug relapse. Furthermore, in vitro studies suggest that the Src family of tyrosine kinases critically regulates glutamatergic cellular functions within the DH. Thus, Src-family kinases in the DH may similarly control contextual cocaine-seeking behavior. To test this hypothesis, rats were trained to lever press for un-signaled cocaine infusions in a distinct context followed by extinction training in a different context. Cocaine-seeking behavior (non-reinforced active lever pressing) was then assessed in the previously cocaine-paired and extinction contexts after AP5 (N-methyl-D-aspartate glutamate (NMDA) receptor (NMDAR) antagonist; 0.25 or 2.5 μg/0.5 μl/hemisphere), PP2 (Src-family kinase inhibitor; 6.25 or 62.5 ng/0.5 μl/hemisphere), Ro25-6981 (NR2B subunit-containing NMDAR antagonist; 0.2 or 2 μg/0.5 μl/hemisphere), or vehicle administration into the DH. Administration of AP5, PP2, or Ro25-6981 into the DH dose-dependently impaired drug context-induced reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior relative to vehicle, without altering instrumental behavior in the extinction context or food-reinforced instrumental responding and general motor activity in control experiments. Cocaine-seeking behavior during the first 20 min of the test session in the cocaine-paired context was associated with an increase in NR2B subunit activation, and intra-DH PP2 pretreatment disrupted this relationship. Together, these findings suggest that Src-family kinase activation, NMDAR stimulation, and likely Src-family kinase-mediated NR2B subunit-containing NMDAR activation in the DH are necessary for incentive motivational and/or memory processes that promote contextual cocaine-seeking behavior.

  8. Effects of age and acute ethanol on glutamatergic neurotransmission in the medial prefrontal cortex of freely moving rats using enzyme-based microelectrode amperometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Devesh; Harrison, Nicholas R; Gonzales, Carolina B; Schilström, Björn; Konradsson-Geuken, Åsa

    2015-01-01

    Ethanol abuse during adolescence may significantly alter development of the prefrontal cortex which continues to undergo structural remodeling into adulthood. Glutamatergic neurotransmission plays an important role during these brain maturation processes and is modulated by ethanol. In this study, we investigated glutamate dynamics in the medial prefrontal cortex of freely moving rats, using enzyme-based microelectrode amperometry. We analyzed the effects of an intraperitoneal ethanol injection (1 g/kg) on cortical glutamate levels in adolescent and adult rats. Notably, basal glutamate levels decreased with age and these levels were found to be significantly different between postnatal day (PND) 28-38 vs PND 44-55 (pprefrontal cortex and suggest that acute ethanol injections have both inhibitory and excitatory effects in adolescent rats. These effects of ethanol on the prefrontal cortex may disturb its maturation and possibly limiting individuals´ control over addictive behaviors.

  9. Modulation of NMDA and AMPA-mediated synaptic transmission by CB1 receptors in frontal cortical pyramidal cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qiang; Yan, Haidun; Wilson, Wilkie A; Swartzwelder, H Scott

    2010-06-25

    Although the endogenous cannabinoid system modulates a variety of physiological and pharmacological processes, the specific role of cannabinoid CB1 receptors in the modulation of glutamatergic neurotransmission and neural plasticity is not well understood. Using whole-cell patch clamp recording techniques, evoked or spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (eEPSCs or sEPSCs) were recorded from visualized, layer II/III pyramidal cells in frontal cortical slices from rat brain. Bath application of the CB1 receptor agonist, WIN 55212-2 (WIN), reduced the amplitude of NMDA receptor-mediated EPSCs in a concentration-dependent manner. When co-applied with the specific CB1 antagonists, AM251 or AM281, WIN did not suppress NMDA receptor-mediated EPSCs. WIN also reduced the amplitude of evoked AMPA receptor-mediated EPSCs, an effect that was also reversed by AM251. Both the frequency and amplitude of spontaneous AMPA receptor-mediated EPSCs were significantly reduced by WIN. In contrast, WIN reduced the frequency, but not the amplitude of miniature EPSCs, suggesting that the suppression of glutamatergic activity by CB1 receptors in the frontal neocortex is mediated by a presynaptic mechanism. Taken together, these data indicate a critical role for endocannabinoid signaling in the regulation of excitatory synaptic transmission in frontal neocortex, and suggest a possible neuronal mechanism whereby THC regulates cortical function.

  10. Late postnatal development of intrinsic and synaptic properties promotes fast and precise signaling in the dorsal nucleus of the lateral lemniscus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ammer, J J; Grothe, B; Felmy, F

    2012-02-01

    The dorsal nucleus of the lateral lemniscus (DNLL) is an auditory brain stem structure that generates a long-lasting GABAergic output, which is important for binaural processing. Despite its importance in binaural processing, little is known about the cellular physiology and the synaptic input kinetics of DNLL neurons. To assess the relevant physiological parameters of DNLL neurons, their late postnatal developmental profile was analyzed in acute brain slices of 9- to 26-day-old Mongolian gerbils. The observed developmental changes in passive membrane and action potential (AP) properties all point toward an improvement of fast and precise signal integration in these neurons. Accordingly, synaptic glutamatergic and GABAergic current kinetics accelerate with age. The changes in intrinsic and synaptic properties contribute nearly equally to reduce the latency and jitter in AP generation and thus enhance the temporal precision of DNLL neurons. Furthermore, the size of the synaptic NMDA current is developmentally downregulated. Despite this developmental reduction, DNLL neurons display an NMDA-dependent postsynaptic amplification of AP generation, known to support high firing rates, throughout this developmental period. Taken together, our findings indicate that during late postnatal development DNLL neurons are optimized for high firing rates with high temporal precision.

  11. Characterization of emergent synaptic topologies in noisy neural networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Aaron James

    of a LIF neuron subjected to Gaussian white noise (GWN). The system reduces to the Ornstein-Uhlenbeck first passage time problem, the solution of which we build into the mapping method of Chapter 2. We demonstrate that simulations using the stochastic mapping have reduced computation time compared to traditional Runge-Kutta methods by more than a factor of 150. In Chapter 4, we use the stochastic mapping to study the dynamics of emerging synaptic topologies in noisy networks. With the addition of membrane noise, networks with dynamical synapses can admit states in which the distribution of the synaptic weights is static under spontaneous activity, but the random connectivity between neurons is dynamical. The widely cited problem of instabilities in networks with STDP is avoided with the implementation of a synaptic decay and an activation threshold on each synapse. When such networks are presented with stimulus modeled by a focused excitatory current, chain-like networks can emerge with the addition of an axon-remodeling plasticity rule, a topological constraint on the connectivity modeling the finite resources available to each neuron. The emergent topologies are the result of an iterative stochastic process. The dynamics of the growth process suggest a strong interplay between the network topology and the spike sequences they produce during development. Namely, the existence of an embedded spike sequence alters the distribution of synaptic weights through the entire network. The roles of model parameters that affect the interplay between network structure and activity are elucidated. Finally, we propose two mathematical growth models, which are complementary, that capture the essence of the growth dynamics observed in simulations. In Chapter 5, we present an extension of the stochastic mapping that allows the possibility of neuronal cooperation. We demonstrate that synaptic topologies admitting stereotypical sequences can emerge in yet higher, biologically

  12. Metaplasticity governs compartmentalization of synaptic tagging and capture through brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and protein kinase Mzeta (PKMzeta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sajikumar, Sreedharan; Korte, Martin

    2011-02-08

    Activity-dependent synaptic plasticity is widely accepted to be the cellular correlate of learning and memory. It is believed that associativity between different synaptic inputs can transform short-lasting forms of synaptic plasticity (<3 h) to long-lasting ones. Synaptic tagging and capture (STC) might be able to explain this heterosynaptic support, because it distinguishes between local mechanisms of synaptic tags and cell-wide mechanisms responsible for the synthesis of plasticity-related proteins (PRPs). STC initiate storage processes only when the strength of the synaptic tag and the local concentration of essential proteins are above a certain plasticity threshold. We present evidence that priming stimulation through the activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors substantially increases the "range of threshold" for functional plasticity by producing protein kinase Mζ (PKMζ) as a PRP through local protein synthesis. In addition, our results implicate BDNF as a PRP which is mandatory for establishing cross-capture between synaptic strengthening and weakening, whereas the newly generated PKMζ specifically establishes synaptic tagging of long-term potentiation. Most intriguingly, we show here that STC are confined to specific dendritic compartments and that these compartments contain "synaptic clusters" with different plasticity thresholds. Our results suggest that within a dendritic compartment itself a homeostatic process exists to adjust plasticity thresholds. The range in which these clusters operate can be altered by processes of metaplasticity, which will operate on the cluster independently of other clusters at the same dendrite. These clusters will then prepare the synaptic network to form long-term memories.

  13. Fronto-striatal glutamatergic compounds in compulsive and impulsive syndromes: A review of magnetic resonance spectroscopy studies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Naaijen, J.; Lithgoe, D.J.; Amiri, H.; Buitelaar, J.; Glennon, J.C.

    2015-01-01

    Compulsivity and impulsivity are cross-disorder traits observed in autism spectrum disorders (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Aberrant fronto-striatal glutamatergic signalling is core to the understanding of compulsive and impulsive diso

  14. Cannabinoid CB1 receptor calibrates excitatory synaptic balance in the mouse hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monory, Krisztina; Polack, Martin; Remus, Anita; Lutz, Beat; Korte, Martin

    2015-03-04

    The endocannabinoid system negatively regulates the release of various neurotransmitters in an activity-dependent manner, thereby influencing the excitability of neuronal circuits. In the hippocampus, cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor is present on both GABAergic and glutamatergic axon terminals. CB1 receptor-deficient mice were previously shown to have increased hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP). In this study, we have investigated the consequences of cell-type-specific deletion of the CB1 receptor on the induction of hippocampal LTP and on CA1 pyramidal cell morphology. Deletion of CB1 receptor in GABAergic neurons in GABA-CB1-KO mice leads to a significantly decreased hippocampal LTP compared with WT controls. Concomitantly, CA1 pyramidal neurons have a significantly reduced dendritic branching both on the apical and on the basal dendrites. Moreover, the average spine density on the apical dendrites of CA1 pyramidal neurons is significantly diminished. In contrast, in mice lacking CB1 receptor in glutamatergic cells (Glu-CB1-KO), hippocampal LTP is significantly enhanced and CA1 pyramidal neurons show an increased branching and an increased spine density in the apical dendritic region. Together, these results indicate that the CB1 receptor signaling system both on inhibitory and excitatory neurons controls functional and structural synaptic plasticity of pyramidal neurons in the hippocampal CA1 region to maintain an appropriate homeostatic state upon neuronal activation. Consequently, if the CB1 receptor is lost in either neuronal population, an allostatic shift will occur leading to a long-term dysregulation of neuronal functions.

  15. Potentiation by histamine of synaptically mediated excitotoxicity in cultured hippocampal neurones: a possible role for mast cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skaper, S D; Facci, L; Kee, W J; Strijbos, P J

    2001-01-01

    Excessive glutamatergic neurotransmission, particularly when mediated by the N:-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) subtype of glutamate receptor, is thought to underlie neuronal death in a number of neurological disorders. Histamine has been reported to potentiate NMDA receptor-mediated events under a variety of conditions. In the present study we have utilized primary hippocampal neurone cultures to investigate the effect of mast cell-derived, as well as exogenously applied, histamine on neurotoxicity evoked by excessive synaptic activity. Exposure of mature cultures for 15 min to an Mg(2+)-free/glycine-containing buffer to trigger synaptic transmission through NMDA receptors, caused a 30-35% neuronal loss over 24 h. When co-cultured with hippocampal neurones, activated mast cells increased excitotoxic injury to 60%, an effect that was abolished in the presence of histaminase. Similarly, addition of histamine during magnesium deprivation produced a concentration-dependent potentiation (+ 60%; EC(50) : 5 microM) of neuronal death which was inhibited by sodium channel blockers and NMDA receptor antagonists, although this effect did not involve known histamine receptors. The histamine effect was further potentiated by acidification of the culture medium. Cultures 'preconditioned' by sublethal (5 min) Mg(2+) deprivation exhibited less neuronal death than controls when exposed to a more severe insult. NMDA receptor activation and the extracellular regulated kinase cascade were required for preconditioning neuroprotection. The finding that histamine potentiates NMDA receptor-mediated excitotoxicity may have important implications for our understanding of conditions where enhanced glutamatergic neurotransmission is observed in conjunction with tissue acidification, such as cerebral ischaemia and epilepsy.

  16. Synaptic relationship between somatostatin- and neurokinin-1 receptor-immunoreactive neurons in the pre-Bötzinger complex of rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Xiao-Yan; Zhao, Yu; Wong-Riley, Margaret T T; Ju, Gong; Liu, Ying-Ying

    2012-09-01

    The pre-Bötzinger complex (pre-BötC) in the ventrolateral medulla oblongata is critical for the generation of respiratory rhythm in mammals. Somatostatin (SST) and neurokinin 1 receptor (NK1R) immunoreactivity have been used as markers of the pre-BötC. SST immunoreactivity almost completely overlaps with small fusiform NK1R-immunoreactive (ir) neurons, the presumed rhythmogenic neurons, but not with large multipolar NK1R-ir neurons. Understanding the neurochemical characteristics, especially the synaptic relationship of SST/NK1R-ir neurons within the pre-BötC network is essential in providing cellular and structural bases for understanding their physiological significance. This work has not been documented so far. We found that SST immunoreactivity was highly expressed in terminals, somas, and primary dendrites in the pre-BötC. Besides the small fusiform neurons, a small population of medium-sized NK1R-ir neurons also colocalized with SST. Large NK1R-ir neurons were not SST-ir, but received somatostatinergic inputs. SST-ir terminals were glutamatergic or GABAergic, and synapsed with NK1R-ir neurons. Most of synapses between them were of the symmetric type, indicating their inhibitory nature. Asymmetric synapses were evident between SST-ir terminals and NK1R-ir dendrites, strongly suggesting an excitatory innervation from the presumed rhythmogenic neurons as these neurons are glutamatergic. We speculate that SST-mediated excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission onto NK1R-ir rhythmogenic and follower neurons synchronizes their activity to contribute to respiratory rhythmogenesis and control.

  17. Inositol 1,4,5-Triphosphate Drives Glutamatergic and Cholinergic Inhibition Selectively in Spiny Projection Neurons in the Striatum

    OpenAIRE

    Clements, Michael A; Swapna, Immani; Morikawa, Hitoshi

    2013-01-01

    The striatum is critically involved in the selection of appropriate actions in a constantly changing environment. The spiking activity of striatal spiny projection neurons (SPNs), driven by extrinsic glutamatergic inputs, is shaped by local GABAergic and cholinergic networks. For example, it is well established that different types of GABAergic interneurons, activated by extrinsic glutamatergic and local cholinergic inputs, mediate powerful feedforward inhibition of SPN activity. In this stud...

  18. Terminal axonal arborization and synaptic bouton formation critically rely on abp1 and the arp2/3 complex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole Koch

    Full Text Available Neuronal network formation depends on properly timed and localized generation of presynaptic as well as postsynaptic structures. Although of utmost importance for understanding development and plasticity of the nervous system and neurodegenerative diseases, the molecular mechanisms that ensure the fine-control needed for coordinated establishment of pre- and postsynapses are still largely unknown. We show that the F-actin-binding protein Abp1 is prominently expressed in the Drosophila nervous system and reveal that Abp1 is an important regulator in shaping glutamatergic neuromuscular junctions (NMJs of flies. STED microscopy shows that Abp1 accumulations can be found in close proximity of synaptic vesicles and at the cell cortex in nerve terminals. Abp1 knock-out larvae have locomotion defects and underdeveloped NMJs that are characterized by a reduced number of both type Ib synaptic boutons and branches of motornerve terminals. Abp1 is able to indirectly trigger Arp2/3 complex-mediated actin nucleation and interacts with both WASP and Scar. Consistently, Arp2 and Arp3 loss-of-function also resulted in impairments of bouton formation and arborization at NMJs, i.e. fully phenocopied abp1 knock-out. Interestingly, neuron- and muscle-specific rescue experiments revealed that synaptic bouton formation critically depends on presynaptic Abp1, whereas the NMJ branching defects can be compensated for by restoring Abp1 functions at either side. In line with this presynaptic importance of Abp1, also presynaptic Arp2 and Arp3 are crucial for the formation of type Ib synaptic boutons. Interestingly, presynaptic Abp1 functions in NMJ formation were fully dependent on the Arp2/3 complex, as revealed by suppression of Abp1-induced synaptic bouton formation and branching of axon terminals upon presynaptic Arp2 RNAi. These data reveal that Abp1 and Arp2/3 complex-mediated actin cytoskeletal dynamics drive both synaptic bouton formation and NMJ branching. Our

  19. Prenatal betamethasone does not affect glutamatergic or GABAergic neurogenesis in preterm newborns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vose, L R; Vinukonda, G; Diamond, D; Korumilli, R; Hu, F; Zia, M T K; Hevner, R; Ballabh, P

    2014-06-13

    Prenatal glucocorticoids (GCs) are routinely used for pregnant women in preterm labor to prevent respiratory distress syndrome and intraventricular hemorrhage in premature infants. However, the effect of antenatal GCs on neurogenesis in preterm neonates remains elusive. Herein, we hypothesized that prenatal GCs might suppress both glutamatergic and GABAergic neurogenesis in preterm rabbits and that this treatment would induce distinct changes in the expression of transcription factors regulating these developmental events. To test our hypotheses, we treated pregnant rabbits with betamethasone at E27 and E28, delivered the pups at E29 (term=32d), and assessed neurogenesis at birth and postnatal day 3. We quantified radial glia (Sox2(+)) and intermediate progenitor cells (Tbr2(+)) in the dorsal cortical subventricular zone to assess glutamatergic neuronal progenitors, and counted Nkx2.1(+) and Dlx2(+) cells in the ganglionic eminence to evaluate GABAergic neurogenesis. In addition, we assayed transcription factors regulating neurogenesis. We found that prenatal GCs did not affect the densities of radial glia and intermediate progenitors of glutamatergic or GABAergic neurons. The number of GABA(+) interneurons in the ganglionic eminence was similar between the prenatal GC-treated pups compared to untreated controls. Moreover, the mRNA expression of transcription factors, including Pax6, Ngn1/2, Emx1/2, Insm1, Dlx1, Nkx2.1, and Gsh2, were comparable between the two groups. However, there was a transient elevation in Mash1 protein in betamethasone-treated pups relative to controls at birth. These data suggest that prenatal GC treatment does not significantly impact the balance of glutamatergic and GABAergic neurogenesis in premature infants.

  20. Salsolinol facilitates glutamatergic transmission to dopamine neurons in the posterior ventral tegmental area of rats.

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    Guiqin Xie

    Full Text Available Although in vivo evidence indicates that salsolinol, the condensation product of acetaldehyde and dopamine, has properties that may contribute to alcohol abuse, the underlying mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. We have reported previously that salsolinol stimulates dopamine neurons in the posterior ventral tegmental area (p-VTA partly by reducing inhibitory GABAergic transmission, and that ethanol increases glutamatergic transmission to VTA-dopamine neurons via the activation of dopamine D(1 receptors (D(1Rs. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that salsolinol stimulates dopamine neurons involving activation of D(1Rs. By using whole-cell recordings on p-VTA-dopamine neurons in acute brain slices of rats, we found that salsolinol-induced increase in spike frequency of dopamine neurons was substantially attenuated by DL-2-amino-5-phosphono-valeric acid and 6, 7-dinitroquinoxaline-2, 3-dione, the antagonists of glutamatergic N-Methyl-D-aspartic acid and α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors. Moreover, salsolinol increased the amplitude of evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs and the frequency but not the amplitude of spontaneous EPSCs. Additionally, SKF83566, a D(1R antagonist attenuated the salsolinol-induced facilitation of EPSCs and of spontaneous firing of dopamine neurons. Our data reveal that salsolinol enhances glutamatergic transmission onto dopamine neurons via activation of D(1Rs at the glutamatergic afferents in dopamine neurons, which contributes to salsolinol's stimulating effect on p-VTA dopamine neurons. This appears to be a novel mechanism which contributes toward rewarding properties of salsolinol.

  1. Salsolinol facilitates glutamatergic transmission to dopamine neurons in the posterior ventral tegmental area of rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Guiqin; Ye, Jiang-Hong

    2012-01-01

    Although in vivo evidence indicates that salsolinol, the condensation product of acetaldehyde and dopamine, has properties that may contribute to alcohol abuse, the underlying mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. We have reported previously that salsolinol stimulates dopamine neurons in the posterior ventral tegmental area (p-VTA) partly by reducing inhibitory GABAergic transmission, and that ethanol increases glutamatergic transmission to VTA-dopamine neurons via the activation of dopamine D(1) receptors (D(1)Rs). In this study, we tested the hypothesis that salsolinol stimulates dopamine neurons involving activation of D(1)Rs. By using whole-cell recordings on p-VTA-dopamine neurons in acute brain slices of rats, we found that salsolinol-induced increase in spike frequency of dopamine neurons was substantially attenuated by DL-2-amino-5-phosphono-valeric acid and 6, 7-dinitroquinoxaline-2, 3-dione, the antagonists of glutamatergic N-Methyl-D-aspartic acid and α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors. Moreover, salsolinol increased the amplitude of evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) and the frequency but not the amplitude of spontaneous EPSCs. Additionally, SKF83566, a D(1)R antagonist attenuated the salsolinol-induced facilitation of EPSCs and of spontaneous firing of dopamine neurons. Our data reveal that salsolinol enhances glutamatergic transmission onto dopamine neurons via activation of D(1)Rs at the glutamatergic afferents in dopamine neurons, which contributes to salsolinol's stimulating effect on p-VTA dopamine neurons. This appears to be a novel mechanism which contributes toward rewarding properties of salsolinol.

  2. Hypoxia-induced hypothermia mediated by the glutamatergic transmission in the lateral preoptic area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osaka, T

    2012-12-13

    Hypoxia evokes a regulated decrease in the body core temperature, which response is mediated, at least in part, by noradrenaline (NA) and nitric oxide (NO) in the rostromedial preoptic area (POA) of the hypothalamus. In the accompanying paper, it was shown that glutamatergic activation of the lateral POA also evokes hypothermic responses. Here, I tested the hypothesis that the glutamatergic transmission in the lateral POA is critically involved in the neural mechanism of hypoxia-induced hypothermia. Hypoxic ventilation (10% O(2)-90% N(2), 5 min) as well as a single microinjection of NA (50 pmol) or the NO donor sodium nitroprusside (8.4 nmol) into the rostromedial POA evoked an increase in the tail skin temperature and a decrease in the colonic temperature in urethane-chloralose-anesthetized, neuromuscularly blocked, artificially ventilated rats. All of these responses were greatly attenuated by pretreatment with multiple microinjections of kynurenic acid (10 nmol, four locations), a nonselective glutamate receptor antagonist, but not by those with saline solution, in the bilateral rostral and central parts of the lateral POA. These results suggest that the NA- and NO-sensitive structure in the rostromedial POA activated the glutamatergic transmission in the lateral POA to mediate hypoxia-induced hypothermia.

  3. The role of the glutamatergic system in the patogenesis and treatment of alcohol dependence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karina Łukasik

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available The lack of satisfactory results of alcohol dependence treatment has necessitated the search for new directions of studies. One of them is connected with glutamatergic transmission. The influence of alcohol on this transmission is very complex and relates to changes including at the molecular level. However, the diversity of glutamatergic receptors creates a new possibility of modulation of its activity. It leads to decrease of alcohol reward abilities, prolongs abstinence time and reduces the incidence of acute alcohol intoxication in alcohol addicts. The use of acamprosate – a glutamatergic transmission modulator drug – and naltrexone (an opioid receptor antagonist improves therapy effectiveness of acamprosate alone. Satisfactory results were achieved in the studies of topiramate – an antagonist of AMPA and KA receptors. Its effectiveness was proved in clinical studies. Topiramate reduced alcohol craving and prolonged abstinence time, which decreased the probability of relapse. There are promising preclinical results of groups I and II metabotropic receptor antagonists. However, further studies are necessary to elucidate precisely their role in alcohol dependence.

  4. M4 mAChR-mediated modulation of glutamatergic transmission at corticostriatal synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pancani, Tristano; Bolarinwa, Caroline; Smith, Yoland; Lindsley, Craig W; Conn, P Jeffrey; Xiang, Zixiu

    2014-04-16

    The striatum is the main input station of the basal ganglia and is extensively involved in the modulation of motivated behavior. The information conveyed to this subcortical structure through glutamatergic projections from the cerebral cortex and thalamus is processed by the activity of several striatal neuromodulatory systems including the cholinergic system. Acetylcholine potently modulates glutamate signaling in the striatum via activation of muscarinic receptors (mAChRs). It is, however, unclear which mAChR subtype is responsible for this modulatory effect. Here, by using electrophysiological, optogenetic, and immunoelectron microscopic approaches in conjunction with a novel, highly selective M4 positive allosteric modulator VU0152100 (ML108) and M4 knockout mice, we show that M4 is a major mAChR subtype mediating the cholinergic inhibition of corticostriatal glutamatergic input on both striatonigral and striatopallidal medium spiny neurons (MSNs). This effect is due to activation of presynaptic M4 receptors, which, in turn, leads to a decrease in glutamate release from corticostriatal terminals. The findings of the present study raise the interesting possibility that M4 mAChR could be a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders involving hyper-glutamatergic transmission at corticostriatal synapses.

  5. Upregulation of glutamatergic transmission in anterior cingulate cortex in the diabetic rats with neuropathic pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Weifang; Wang, Peng; Li, Hua

    2014-05-07

    Peripheral neuropathic pain is a common complication in the diabetic patients, and the underlying central mechanism remains unclear. Forebrain anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is critically involved in the supraspinal perception of physical and affective components of noxious stimulus and pain modulation. Excitatory glutamatergic transmission in the ACC extensively contributed to the maintenance of negative affective component of chronic pain. The present study examined the adaptation of glutamatergic transmission in the ACC in rats with diabetic neuropathic pain. Injection with streptozotocin (STZ) induced hyperglycemia, thermal hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia in the rats. In these rats, significant enhanced basal glutamatergic transmission was observed in the ACC neurons. The increased presynaptic glutamate release and enhanced conductance of postsynaptic glutamate receptors were also observed in the ACC neurons of these modeled rats. Increased phosphorylation of PKMζ, but not the expression of total PKMζ, was also observed in the ACC. Microinjection of PKMζ inhibitor ZIP into ACC attenuated the upregulation of glutamate transmission and painful behaviors in STZ-injected rats. These results revealed a substantial central sensitization in the ACC neurons in the rodents with diabetic neuropathic pain, which may partially underlie the negative affective components of patients with diabetic neuropathic pain.

  6. Estrogen protects against the detrimental effects of repeated stress on glutamatergic transmission and cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, J; Yuen, E Y; Liu, W; Li, X; Zhong, P; Karatsoreos, I N; McEwen, B S; Yan, Z

    2014-05-01

    Converging evidence suggests that females and males show different responses to stress; however, little is known about the mechanism underlying the sexually dimorphic effects of stress. In this study, we found that young female rats exposed to 1 week of repeated restraint stress show no negative effects on temporal order recognition memory (TORM), a cognitive process controlled by the prefrontal cortex (PFC), which was contrary to the impairment in TORM observed in stressed males. Concomitantly, normal glutamatergic transmission and glutamate receptor surface expression in PFC pyramidal neurons were found in repeatedly stressed females, in contrast to the significant reduction seen in stressed males. The detrimental effects of repeated stress on TORM and glutamate receptors were unmasked in stressed females when estrogen receptors were inhibited or knocked down in PFC, and were prevented in stressed males with the administration of estradiol. Blocking aromatase, the enzyme for the biosynthesis of estrogen, revealed the stress-induced glutamatergic deficits and memory impairment in females, and the level of aromatase was significantly higher in the PFC of females than in males. These results suggest that estrogen protects against the detrimental effects of repeated stress on glutamatergic transmission and PFC-dependent cognition, which may underlie the stress resilience of females.

  7. Implementing the cellular mechanisms of synaptic transmission in a neural mass model of the thalamo-cortical circuitry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Basabdatta Sen Bhattacharya

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available A novel direction to existing neural mass modelling technique is proposed where the commonly used `alpha function' for representing synaptic transmission is replaced by a kinetic framework of neurotransmitter and receptor dynamics. The aim is to underpin neuro-transmission dynamics associated with abnormal brain rhythms commonly observed in neurological and psychiatric disorders. An existing thalamocortical neural mass model is modified by using the kinetic framework for modelling synaptic transmission mediated by glutamatergic and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric-acid-ergic receptors. The model output is compared qualitatively with existing literature on in-vitro experimental studies of ferret thalamic slices, as well as on single-neuron-level model based studies of neuro-receptor and transmitter dynamics in the thalamocortical tissue. The results are consistent with these studies: the activation of ligand-gated GABA receptors is essential for generation of spindle waves in the model, while blocking this pathway leads to low-frequency synchronised oscillations such as observed in slow-wave sleep; the frequency of spindle oscillations increase with increased levels of post-synaptic membrane conductance for AMPA (alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic-acid receptors, and blocking this pathway effects a quiescent model output. In terms of computational efficiency, the simulation time is improved by a factor of ten compared to a similar neural mass model based on alpha functions. This implies a dramatic improvement in computational resources for large-scale network simulation using this model. Thus, the model provides a platform for correlating high-level brain oscillatory activity with low-level synaptic attributes, and makes a significant contribution towards advancements in current neural mass modelling paradigm as a potential computational tool to better the understanding of brain oscillations in sickness and in health.

  8. Implementing the cellular mechanisms of synaptic transmission in a neural mass model of the thalamo-cortical circuitry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharya, Basabdatta S

    2013-01-01

    A novel direction to existing neural mass modeling technique is proposed where the commonly used "alpha function" for representing synaptic transmission is replaced by a kinetic framework of neurotransmitter and receptor dynamics. The aim is to underpin neuro-transmission dynamics associated with abnormal brain rhythms commonly observed in neurological and psychiatric disorders. An existing thalamocortical neural mass model is modified by using the kinetic framework for modeling synaptic transmission mediated by glutamatergic and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric-acid)-ergic receptors. The model output is compared qualitatively with existing literature on in vitro experimental studies of ferret thalamic slices, as well as on single-neuron-level model based studies of neuro-receptor and transmitter dynamics in the thalamocortical tissue. The results are consistent with these studies: the activation of ligand-gated GABA receptors is essential for generation of spindle waves in the model, while blocking this pathway leads to low-frequency synchronized oscillations such as observed in slow-wave sleep; the frequency of spindle oscillations increase with increased levels of post-synaptic membrane conductance for AMPA (alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic-acid) receptors, and blocking this pathway effects a quiescent model output. In terms of computational efficiency, the simulation time is improved by a factor of 10 compared to a similar neural mass model based on alpha functions. This implies a dramatic improvement in computational resources for large-scale network simulation using this model. Thus, the model provides a platform for correlating high-level brain oscillatory activity with low-level synaptic attributes, and makes a significant contribution toward advancements in current neural mass modeling paradigm as a potential computational tool to better the understanding of brain oscillations in sickness and in health.

  9. Differential synaptic integration of interneurons in the outer and inner molecular layers of the developing dentate gyrus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chittajallu, Ramesh; Kunze, Albrecht; Mangin, Jean-Marie; Gallo, Vittorio

    2007-08-01

    The dentate gyrus (DG) undergoes continued reorganization and lamination during early postnatal development. Interneurons with anatomically identified synaptic contacts migrate from the outer to the inner regions of the molecular layer (ML) of the DG. By using the 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase (CNP)-enhanced green fluorescent protein transgenic mouse, we were able to target and physiologically characterize Dlx2(+) developing ML interneurons. We investigated whether synapses on migrating ML interneurons were functional and defined properties of synaptic inputs onto interneurons that were located in the outer ML (OML) or inner ML (IML). Consistent with ongoing maturation, IML interneurons displayed lower input resistances and more hyperpolarized resting membrane potentials than OML interneurons. Both OML and IML interneurons received a direct excitatory monosynaptic input from the entorhinal cortex via the perforant paths, but this input was differentially sensitive to activation of presynaptic group II and III metabotropic glutamate receptors. Furthermore, only IML interneurons also received significant synaptic input from the CA3/hilar region, especially under conditions of experimentally induced disinhibition. These changes are attributed to a significant reorganization of dendritic fields. GABA(A) receptor-mediated innervation of OML and IML interneurons also displayed significant differences in miniature IPSC amplitude, frequency, and decay kinetics. Finally, cell-attached recordings indicated that GABA(A) receptor activation was depolarizing in OML interneurons but predominantly shunting in IML interneurons. Our data provide evidence that developing ML interneurons receive functional glutamatergic and GABAergic inputs and undergo significant changes in synaptic integration during migration from the OML to the IML.

  10. An Exploratory Study of Spectroscopic Glutamatergic Correlates of Cortical Excitability in Depressed Adolescents

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    Charles P. Lewis

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS research has suggested dysfunction in cortical glutamatergic systems in depression, while proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS studies have demonstrated deficits in concentrations of glutamatergic metabolites in depressed individuals in several cortical regions, including the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC. However, few studies have combined TMS and MRS methods to examine relationships between glutamatergic neurochemistry and excitatory and inhibitory neural functions, and none have utilized TMS-MRS methodology in clinical populations or in youth. This exploratory study aimed to examine relationships between TMS measures of cortical excitability and inhibition and concentrations of glutamatergic metabolites as measured by 1H-MRS in depressed adolescents. Methods: Twenty-four children and adolescents (aged 11-18 years with depressive symptoms underwent TMS testing, which included measures of the resting motor threshold (RMT, cortical silent period (CSP, short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI, and intracortical facilitation (ICF. Fourteen participants from the same sample also completed 1H-MRS in a 3 T MRI scanner after TMS testing. Glutamate + glutamine (Glx concentrations were measured in medial ACC and left primary motor cortex voxels with a TE-optimized PRESS sequence. Metabolite concentrations were corrected for cerebrospinal fluid after tissue segmentation. Pearson product-moment and Spearman rank-order correlations were calculated to assess relationships between TMS measures and Glx. Results: In the left primary motor cortex voxel, Glx had a significant positive correlation with the RMT. In the medial ACC voxel, Glx had significant positive correlations with ICF at the 10-ms and 20-ms ISIs.Conclusions: These preliminary data implicate glutamate in cortical excitatory processes measured by TMS. Limitations included small sample size, lack of healthy control comparators

  11. Tumor necrosis factor-mediated downregulation of spinal astrocytic connexin43 leads to increased glutamatergic neurotransmission and neuropathic pain in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morioka, Norimitsu; Zhang, Fang Fang; Nakamura, Yoki; Kitamura, Tomoya; Hisaoka-Nakashima, Kazue; Nakata, Yoshihiro

    2015-10-01

    Spinal cord astrocytes are critical in the maintenance of neuropathic pain. Connexin 43 (Cx43) expressed on spinal dorsal horn astrocytes modulates synaptic neurotransmission, but its role in nociceptive transduction has yet to be fully elaborated. In mice, Cx43 is mainly expressed in astrocytes, not neurons or microglia, in the spinal dorsal horn. Hind paw mechanical hypersensitivity was observed beginning 3days after partial sciatic nerve ligation (PSNL), but a persistent downregulation of astrocytic Cx43 in ipsilateral lumbar spinal dorsal horn was not observed until 7days post-PSNL, suggesting that Cx43 downregulation mediates the maintenance and not the initiation of nerve injury-induced hypersensitivity. Downregulation of Cx43 expression by intrathecal treatment with Cx43 siRNA also induced mechanical hypersensitivity. Conversely, restoring Cx43 by an adenovirus vector expressing Cx43 (Ad-Cx43) ameliorated PSNL-induced mechanical hypersensitivity. The sensitized state following PSNL is likely maintained by dysfunctional glutamatergic neurotransmission, as Cx43 siRNA-induced mechanical hypersensitivity was attenuated with intrathecal treatment of glutamate receptor antagonists MK801 and CNQX, but not neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist CP96345 or the Ca(2+) channel subunit α2δ1 blocker gabapentin. The source of this dysfunctional glutamatergic neurotransmission is likely decreased clearance of glutamate from the synapse rather than increased glutamate release into the synapse. Astrocytic expression of glutamate transporter GLT-1, but not GLAST, and activity of glutamate transport were markedly decreased in mice intrathecally injected with Cx43-targeting siRNA but not non-targeting siRNA. Glutamate release from spinal synaptosomes prepared from mice treated with either Cx43-targeting siRNA or non-targeting siRNA was unchanged. Intrathecal injection of Ad-Cx43 in PSNL mice restored astrocytic GLT-1 expression. The cytokine tumor necrosis factor (TNF) has been

  12. Intracellular accumulation of amyloid-beta - a predictor for synaptic dysfunction and neuron loss in Alzheimer's disease

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    Thomas A Bayer

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Despite of long-standing evidence that beta-amyloid (Aβ peptides have detrimental effects on synaptic function, the relationship between Aβ, synaptic and neuron loss is largely unclear. During the last years there is growing evidence that early intraneuronal accumulation of Aβ peptides is one of the key events leading to synaptic and neuronal dysfunction. Many studies have been carried out using transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease (AD which have been proven to be valuable model system in modern AD research. The present review discusses the impact of intraneuronal Aβ accumulation on synaptic impairment and neuron loss and provides an overview of currently available AD mouse models showing these pathological alterations.

  13. Tau Deletion Prevents Stress-Induced Dendritic Atrophy in Prefrontal Cortex: Role of Synaptic Mitochondria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, Sofia; Teplytska, Larysa; Vaz-Silva, Joao; Dioli, Chrysoula; Trindade, Rita; Morais, Monica; Webhofer, Christian; Maccarrone, Giuseppina; Almeida, Osborne F X; Turck, Christoph W; Sousa, Nuno; Sotiropoulos, Ioannis; Filiou, Michaela D

    2016-04-12

    Tau protein in dendrites and synapses has been recently implicated in synaptic degeneration and neuronal malfunction. Chronic stress, a well-known inducer of neuronal/synaptic atrophy, triggers hyperphosphorylation of Tau protein and cognitive deficits. However, the cause-effect relationship between these events remains to be established. To test the involvement of Tau in stress-induced impairments of cognition, we investigated the impact of stress on cognitive behavior, neuronal structure, and the synaptic proteome in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of Tau knock-out (Tau-KO) and wild-type (WT) mice. Whereas exposure to chronic stress resulted in atrophy of apical dendrites and spine loss in PFC neurons as well as significant impairments in working memory in WT mice, such changes were absent in Tau-KO animals. Quantitative proteomic analysis of PFC synaptosomal fractions, combined with transmission electron microscopy analysis, suggested a prominent role for mitochondria in the regulation of the effects of stress. Specifically, chronically stressed animals exhibit Tau-dependent alterations in the levels of proteins involved in mitochondrial transport and oxidative phosphorylation as well as in the synaptic localization of mitochondria in PFC. These findings provide evidence for a causal role of Tau in mediating stress-elicited neuronal atrophy and cognitive impairment and indicate that Tau may exert its effects through synaptic mitochondria.

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

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    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.

  15. Making synapses strong: metaplasticity prolongs associativity of long-term memory by switching synaptic tag mechanisms.

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    Li, Qin; Rothkegel, Martin; Xiao, Zhi Cheng; Abraham, Wickliffe C; Korte, Martin; Sajikumar, Sreedharan

    2014-02-01

    One conceptual mechanism for the induction of associative long-term memory is that a synaptic tag, set by a weak event, can capture plasticity-related proteins from a nearby strong input, thus enabling associativity between the 2 (synaptic tagging and capture, STC). So far, STC has been observed for only a limited time of 60 min. Nevertheless, association of weak memory forms can occur beyond this period and its mechanism is not well understood. Here we report that metaplasticity induced by ryanodine receptor activation or synaptic activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors prolongs the durability of the synaptic tag, thus extending the time window for associative interactions mediating storage of long-term memory. We provide evidence that such metaplasticity alters the mechanisms of STC from a CaMKII-mediated (in non-primed STC) to a protein kinase Mzeta (PKMζ)-mediated process (in primed STC). Thus the association of weak synapses with strong synapses in the "late" stage of associative memory formation occurs only through metaplasticity. The results also reveal that the short-lived, CaMKII-mediated tag may contribute to a mechanism for a fragile form of memory while metaplasticity enables a PKMζ-mediated synaptic tag capable of prolonged interactions that induce a more stable form of memory that is resistant to reversal.

  16. ApoE4 induces synaptic and ERG impairments in the retina of young targeted replacement apoE4 mice.

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    Ran Antes

    Full Text Available The vertebrate retina, which is part of the central nervous system, is a window into the brain. The present study investigated the extent to which the retina can be used as a model for studying the pathological effects of apolipoprotein E4 (apoE4, the most prevalent genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD. Immunohistochemical studies of retinas from young (4 months old apoE4-targeted replacement mice and from corresponding mice which express the AD benign apoE3 allele, revealed that the density of the perikarya of the different classes of retinal neurons was not affected by apoE4. In contrast, the synaptic density of the retinal synaptic layers, which was assessed immunohistochemically and by immunoblot experiments, was significantly lower in the apoE4 than in the apoE3 mice. This was associated with reduced levels of the presynaptic vesicular glutamatergic transporter, VGluT1, but not of either the GABAergic vesicular transporter, VGaT, or the cholinergic vesicular transporter, VAChT, suggesting that the glutamatergic nerve terminals are preferentially affected by apoE4. In contrast, the post synaptic scaffold proteins PSD-95 and Gephyrin, which reside in excitatory and inhibitory synapses, respectively, were both elevated, and their ratio was not affected by apoE4. Electroretinogram (ERG recordings revealed significant attenuation of mixed rod-cone responses in dark-adapted eyes of apoE4 mice. These findings suggest that the reduced ERG response in the apoE4 mice may be related to the observed decrease in the retinal nerve terminals and that the retina could be used as a novel model for non-invasive monitoring of the effects of apoE4 on the CNS.

  17. Characterization of energy and neurotransmitter metabolism in cortical glutamatergic neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells: A novel approach to study metabolism in human neurons.

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    Aldana, Blanca I; Zhang, Yu; Lihme, Maria Fog; Bak, Lasse K; Nielsen, Jørgen E; Holst, Bjørn; Hyttel, Poul; Freude, Kristine K; Waagepetersen, Helle S

    2017-02-24

    Alterations in the cellular metabolic machinery of the brain are associated with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Novel human cellular disease models are essential in order to study underlying disease mechanisms. In the present study, we characterized major metabolic pathways in neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC). With this aim, cultures of hiPSC-derived neurons were incubated with [U-(13)C]glucose, [U-(13)C]glutamate or [U-(13)C]glutamine. Isotopic labeling in metabolites was determined using gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry, and cellular amino acid content was quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography. Additionally, we evaluated mitochondrial function using real-time assessment of oxygen consumption via the Seahorse XF(e)96 Analyzer. Moreover, in order to validate the hiPSC-derived neurons as a model system, a metabolic profiling was performed in parallel in primary neuronal cultures of mouse cerebral cortex and cerebellum. These serve as well-established models of GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons, respectively. The hiPSC-derived neurons were previously characterized as being forebrain-specific cortical glutamatergic neurons. However, a comparable preparation of predominantly mouse cortical glutamatergic neurons is not available. We found a higher glycolytic capacity in hiPSC-derived neurons compared to mouse neurons and a substantial oxidative metabolism through the mitochondrial tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. This finding is supported by the extracellular acidification and oxygen consumption rates measured in the cultured human neurons. [U-(13)C]Glutamate and [U-(13)C]glutamine were found to be efficient energy substrates for the neuronal cultures originating from both mice and humans. Interestingly, isotopic labeling in metabolites from [U-(13)C]glutamate was higher than that from [U-(13)C]glutamine. Although the metabolic profile of hiPSC-derived neurons in vitro was

  18. Synaptic function for the Nogo-66 receptor NgR1: regulation of dendritic spine morphology and activity-dependent synaptic strength.

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    Lee, Hakjoo; Raiker, Stephen J; Venkatesh, Karthik; Geary, Rebecca; Robak, Laurie A; Zhang, Yu; Yeh, Hermes H; Shrager, Peter; Giger, Roman J

    2008-03-12

    In the mature nervous system, changes in synaptic strength correlate with changes in neuronal structure. Members of the Nogo-66 receptor family have been implicated in regulating neuronal morphology. Nogo-66 receptor 1 (NgR1) supports binding of the myelin inhibitors Nogo-A, MAG (myelin-associated glycoprotein), and OMgp (oligodendrocyte myelin glycoprotein), and is important for growth cone collapse in response to acutely presented inhibitors in vitro. After injury to the corticospinal tract, NgR1 limits axon collateral sprouting but is not important for blocking long-distance regenerative growth in vivo. Here, we report on a novel interaction between NgR1 and select members of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family. FGF1 and FGF2 bind directly and with high affinity to NgR1 but not to NgR2 or NgR3. In primary cortical neurons, ectopic NgR1 inhibits FGF2-elicited axonal branching. Loss of NgR1 results in altered spine morphologies along apical dendrites of hippocampal CA1 neurons in vivo. Analysis of synaptosomal fractions revealed that NgR1 is enriched synaptically in the hippocampus. Physiological studies at Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses uncovered a synaptic function for NgR1. Loss of NgR1 leads to FGF2-dependent enhancement of long-term potentiation (LTP) without altering basal synaptic transmission or short-term plasticity. NgR1 and FGF receptor 1 (FGFR1) are colocalized to synapses, and mechanistic studies revealed that FGFR kinase activity is necessary for FGF2-elicited enhancement of hippocampal LTP in NgR1 mutants. In addition, loss of NgR1 attenuates long-term depression of synaptic transmission at Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses. Together, our findings establish that physiological NgR1 signaling regulates activity-dependent synaptic strength and uncover neuronal NgR1 as a regulator of synaptic plasticity.

  19. Bi-directional modulation of AMPA receptor unitary conductance by synaptic activity

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    Matthews Paul

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Knowledge of how synapses alter their efficiency of communication is central to the understanding of learning and memory. The most extensively studied forms of synaptic plasticity are long-term potentiation (LTP and its counterpart long-term depression (LTD of AMPA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission. In the CA1 region of the hippocampus, it has been shown that LTP often involves a rapid increase in the unitary conductance of AMPA receptor channels. However, LTP can also occur in the absence of any alteration in AMPA receptor unitary conductance. In the present study we have used whole-cell dendritic recording, failures analysis and non-stationary fluctuation analysis to investigate the mechanism of depotentiation of LTP. Results We find that when LTP involves an increase in unitary conductance, subsequent depotentiation invariably involves the return of unitary conductance to pre-LTP values. In contrast, when LTP does not involve a change in unitary conductance then depotentiation also occurs in the absence of any change in unitary conductance, indicating a reduction in the number of activated receptors as the most likely mechanism. Conclusions These data show that unitary conductance can be bi-directionally modified by synaptic activity. Furthermore, there are at least two distinct mechanisms to restore synaptic strength from a potentiated state, which depend upon the mechanism of the previous potentiation.

  20. Network burst dynamics under heterogeneous cholinergic modulation of neural firing properties and heterogeneous synaptic connectivity.

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    Knudstrup, Scott; Zochowski, Michal; Booth, Victoria

    2016-05-01

    The characteristics of neural network activity depend on intrinsic neural properties and synaptic connectivity in the network. In brain networks, both of these properties are critically affected by the type and levels of neuromodulators present. The expression of many of the most powerful neuromodulators, including acetylcholine (ACh), varies tonically and phasically with behavioural state, leading to dynamic, heterogeneous changes in intrinsic neural properties and synaptic connectivity properties. Namely, ACh significantly alters neural firing properties as measured by the phase response curve in a manner that has been shown to alter the propensity for network synchronization. The aim of this simulation study was to build an understanding of how heterogeneity in cholinergic modulation of neural firing properties and heterogeneity in synaptic connectivity affect the initiation and maintenance of synchronous network bursting in excitatory networks. We show that cells that display different levels of ACh modulation have differential roles in generating network activity: weakly modulated cells are necessary for burst initiation and provide synchronizing drive to the rest of the network, whereas strongly modulated cells provide the overall activity level necessary to sustain burst firing. By applying several quantitative measures of network activity, we further show that the existence of network bursting and its characteristics, such as burst duration and intraburst synchrony, are dependent on the fraction of cell types providing the synaptic connections in the network. These results suggest mechanisms underlying ACh modulation of brain oscillations and the modulation of seizure activity during sleep states.

  1. Short term synaptic depression imposes a frequency dependent filter on synaptic information transfer.

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    Rosenbaum, Robert; Rubin, Jonathan; Doiron, Brent

    2012-01-01

    Depletion of synaptic neurotransmitter vesicles induces a form of short term depression in synapses throughout the nervous system. This plasticity affects how synapses filter presynaptic spike trains. The filtering properties of short term depression are often studied using a deterministic synapse model that predicts the mean synaptic response to a presynaptic spike train, but ignores variability introduced by the probabilistic nature of vesicle release and stochasticity in synaptic recovery time. We show that this additional variability has important consequences for the synaptic filtering of presynaptic information. In particular, a synapse model with stochastic vesicle dynamics suppresses information encoded at lower frequencies more than information encoded at higher frequencies, while a model that ignores this stochasticity transfers information encoded at any frequency equally well. This distinction between the two models persists even when large numbers of synaptic contacts are considered. Our study provides strong evidence that the stochastic nature neurotransmitter vesicle dynamics must be considered when analyzing the information flow across a synapse.

  2. Synaptic Ribbons Require Ribeye for Electron Density, Proper Synaptic Localization, and Recruitment of Calcium Channels

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    Caixia Lv

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic ribbons are structures made largely of the protein Ribeye that hold synaptic vesicles near release sites in non-spiking cells in some sensory systems. Here, we introduce frameshift mutations in the two zebrafish genes encoding for Ribeye and thus remove Ribeye protein from neuromast hair cells. Despite Ribeye depletion, vesicles collect around ribbon-like structures that lack electron density, which we term “ghost ribbons.” Ghost ribbons are smaller in size but possess a similar number of smaller vesicles and are poorly localized to synapses and calcium channels. These hair cells exhibit enhanced exocytosis, as measured by capacitance, and recordings from afferent neurons post-synaptic to hair cells show no significant difference in spike rates. Our results suggest that Ribeye makes up most of the synaptic ribbon density in neuromast hair cells and is necessary for proper localization of calcium channels and synaptic ribbons.

  3. Refeeding-activated glutamatergic neurons in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) mediate effects of melanocortin signaling in the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS).

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    Singru, Praful S; Wittmann, Gábor; Farkas, Erzsébet; Zséli, Györgyi; Fekete, Csaba; Lechan, Ronald M

    2012-08-01

    We previously demonstrated that refeeding after a prolonged fast activates a subset of neurons in the ventral parvocellular subdivision of the paraventricular nucleus (PVNv) as a result of increased melanocortin signaling. To determine whether these neurons contribute to satiety by projecting to the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS), the retrogradely transported marker substance, cholera toxin-β (CTB), was injected into the dorsal vagal complex of rats that were subsequently fasted and refed for 2 h. By double-labeling immunohistochemistry, CTB accumulation was found in the cytoplasm of the majority of refeeding-activated c-Fos neurons in the ventral parvocellular subdivision of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVNv). In addition, a large number of refeeding-activated c-Fos-expressing neurons were observed in the lateral parvocellular subdivision (PVNl) that also contained CTB and were innervated by axon terminals of proopiomelanocortin neurons. To visualize the location of neuronal activation within the NTS by melanocortin-activated PVN neurons, α-MSH was focally injected into the PVN, resulting in an increased number of c-Fos-containing neurons in the PVN and in the NTS, primarily in the medial and commissural parts. All refeeding-activated neurons in the PVNv and PVNl expressed the mRNA of the glutamatergic marker, type 2 vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT2), indicating their glutamatergic phenotype, but only rare neurons contained oxytocin. These data suggest that melanocortin-activated neurons in the PVNv and PVNl may contribute to refeeding-induced satiety through effects on the NTS and may alter the sensitivity of NTS neurons to vagal satiety inputs via glutamate excitation.

  4. 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.

  5. Synaptic connectivity in engineered neuronal networks.

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    Molnar, Peter; Kang, Jung-Fong; Bhargava, Neelima; Das, Mainak; Hickman, James J

    2014-01-01

    We have developed a method to organize cells in dissociated cultures using engineered chemical clues on a culture surface and determined their connectivity patterns. Although almost all elements of the synaptic transmission machinery can be studied separately in single cell models in dissociated cultures, the complex physiological interactions between these elements are usually lost. Thus, factors affecting synaptic transmission are generally studied in organotypic cultures, brain slices, or in vivo where the cellular architecture generally remains intact. However, by utilizing engineered neuronal networks complex phenomenon such as synaptic transmission or synaptic plasticity can be studied in a simple, functional, cell culture-based system. We have utilized self-assembled monolayers and photolithography to create the surface templates. Embryonic hippocampal cells, plated on the resultant patterns in serum-free medium, followed the surface clues and formed the engineered neuronal networks. Basic whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology was applied to characterize the synaptic connectivity in these engineered two-cell networks. The same technology has been used to pattern other cell types such as cardiomyocytes or skeletal muscle fibers.

  6. Pregabalin reduces the release of synaptic vesicles from cultured hippocampal neurons.

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    Micheva, Kristina D; Taylor, Charles P; Smith, Stephen J

    2006-08-01

    Pregabalin [S-[+]-3-isobutylGABA or (S)-3-(aminomethyl)-5-methylhexanoic acid, Lyrica] is an anticonvulsant and analgesic medication that is both structurally and pharmacologically related to gabapentin (Neurontin; Pfizer Inc., New York, NY). Previous studies have shown that pregabalin reduces the release of neurotransmitters in several in vitro preparations, although the molecular details of these effects are less clear. The present study was performed using living cultured rat hippocampal neurons with the synaptic vesicle fluorescent dye probe FM4-64 to determine details of the action of pregabalin to reduce neurotransmitter release. Our results indicate that pregabalin treatment, at concentrations that are therapeutically relevant, slightly but significantly reduces the emptying of neurotransmitter vesicles from presynaptic sites in living neurons. Dye release is reduced in both glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD)-immunoreactive and GAD-negative (presumed glutamatergic) synaptic terminals. Furthermore, both calcium-dependent release and hyperosmotic (calcium-independent) dye release are reduced by pregabalin. The effects of pregabalin on dye release are masked in the presence of l-isoleucine, consistent with the fact that both of these compounds have a high binding affinity to the calcium channel alpha(2)-delta protein. The effect of pregabalin is not apparent in the presence of an N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) antagonist [D(-)-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid], suggesting that pregabalin action depends on NMDA receptor activation. Finally, the action of pregabalin on dye release is most apparent before and early during a train of electrical stimuli when vesicle release preferentially involves the readily releasable pool.

  7. Evidence for chelatable zinc in the extracellular space of the hippocampus, but little evidence for synaptic release of Zn.

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    Kay, Alan R

    2003-07-30

    Zinc colocalizes with glutamate in the synaptic vesicles of certain glutamatergic vesicles in the mammalian brain. Here, I introduce a method for detecting Zn in the extracellular space of brain slices and another method for detecting the passage of Zn out of the slice. In both cases, the fluorimetric Zn probe FluoZin-3 is used in conjunction with a slow Zn chelator, Ca-EDTA, to reduce background fluorescence. In addition, a new Zn chelator, ethylenediiminodi-2-pentanedioic acid, with little affinity for Ca or Mg is introduced. These tools are then used to show that little Zn (approximately 2 nm) is released during the course of synaptic transmission into the extracellular space. However, when hippocampal slices are subjected to a high potassium stimulus (50 mM) combined with an increase in osmolarity, Zn is externalized in the Timm's-stained areas (approximately 6 nm). This stimulus also leads to even greater Zn elevations in area CA1 that is only weakly stained by the Timm's method. Nevertheless, even under these conditions, little if any Zn makes its way out of the slices. I present evidence for a layer of Zn in the extracellular space that maps onto the Timm's stained region of the hippocampus. This Zn veneer appears to be loosely associated with molecules in the extracellular space and may be the raison d'être for vesicular Zn.

  8. Prenatal exposure of ethanol induces increased glutamatergic neuronal differentiation of neural progenitor cells

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    Han Seol-Heui

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Prenatal ethanol exposure during pregnancy induces a spectrum of mental and physical disorders called fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD. The central nervous system is the main organ influenced by FASD, and neurological symptoms include mental retardation, learning abnormalities, hyperactivity and seizure susceptibility in childhood along with the microcephaly. In this study, we examined whether ethanol exposure adversely affects the proliferation of NPC and de-regulates the normal ratio between glutamatergic and GABAergic neuronal differentiation using primary neural progenitor culture (NPC and in vivo FASD models. Methods Neural progenitor cells were cultured from E14 embryo brain of Sprague-Dawley rat. Pregnant mice and rats were treated with ethanol (2 or 4 g/kg/day diluted with normal saline from E7 to E16 for in vivo FASD animal models. Expression level of proteins was investigated by western blot analysis and immunocytochemical assays. MTT was used for cell viability. Proliferative activity of NPCs was identified by BrdU incorporation, immunocytochemistry and FACS analysis. Results Reduced proliferation of NPCs by ethanol was demonstrated using BrdU incorporation, immunocytochemistry and FACS analysis. In addition, ethanol induced the imbalance between glutamatergic and GABAergic neuronal differentiation via transient increase in the expression of Pax6, Ngn2 and NeuroD with concomitant decrease in the expression of Mash1. Similar pattern of expression of those transcription factors was observed using an in vivo model of FASD as well as the increased expression of PSD-95 and decreased expression of GAD67. Conclusions These results suggest that ethanol induces hyper-differentiation of glutamatergic neuron through Pax6 pathway, which may underlie the hyper-excitability phenotype such as hyperactivity or seizure susceptibility in FASD patients.

  9. Glutamatergic deficits and parvalbumin-containing inhibitory neurons in the prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia

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    Kelley JF

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We have previously reported that the expression of the messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA for the NR2A subunit of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA class of glutamate receptor was decreased in a subset of inhibitory interneurons in the cerebral cortex in schizophrenia. In this study, we sought to determine whether a deficit in the expression of NR2A mRNA was present in the subset of interneurons that contain the calcium buffer parvalbumin (PV and whether this deficit was associated with a reduction in glutamatergic inputs in the prefrontal cortex (PFC in schizophrenia. Methods We examined the expression of NR2A mRNA, labeled with a 35S-tagged riboprobe, in neurons that expressed PV mRNA, visualized with a digoxigenin-labeled riboprobe via an immunoperoxidase reaction, in twenty schizophrenia and twenty matched normal control subjects. We also immunohistochemically labeled the glutamatergic axon terminals with an antibody against vGluT1. Results The density of the PV neurons that expressed NR2A mRNA was significantly decreased by 48-50% in layers 3 and 4 in the subjects with schizophrenia, but the cellular expression of NR2A mRNA in the PV neurons that exhibited a detectable level of this transcript was unchanged. In addition, the density of vGluT1-immunoreactive boutons was significantly decreased by 79% in layer 3, but was unchanged in layer 5 of the PFC in schizophrenia. Conclusion These findings suggest that glutamatergic neurotransmission via NR2A-containing NMDA receptors on PV neurons in the PFC may be deficient in schizophrenia. This may disinhibit the postsynaptic excitatory circuits, contributing to neuronal injury, aberrant information flow and PFC functional deficits in schizophrenia.

  10. GABA FUNCTION IS ALTERED FOLLOWING DEVELOPMENTAL HYPOTHYROIDISM: NEUROANATOMICAL AND NEUROPHYSIOLOGICAL EVIDENCE.

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    Thyroid hormone deficiency during development produces changes in the structure of neurons and glial cells and alters synaptic function in the hippocampus. GABAergic interneurons comprise the bulk of local inhibitory neuronal circuitry and a subpopulation of these interneurons ...

  11. Imaging synaptic zinc: promises and perils.

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    Kay, Alan R

    2006-04-01

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

  12. Extracellular ATP hydrolysis inhibits synaptic transmission by increasing ph buffering in the synaptic cleft.

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    Rozan Vroman

    2014-05-01

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

  13. Obesity-driven synaptic remodeling affects endocannabinoid control of orexinergic neurons.

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    Cristino, Luigia; Busetto, Giuseppe; Imperatore, Roberta; Ferrandino, Ida; Palomba, Letizia; Silvestri, Cristoforo; Petrosino, Stefania; Orlando, Pierangelo; Bentivoglio, Marina; Mackie, Kenneth; Di Marzo, Vincenzo

    2013-06-11

    Acute or chronic alterations in energy status alter the balance between excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission and associated synaptic plasticity to allow for the adaptation of energy metabolism to new homeostatic requirements. The impact of such changes on endocannabinoid and cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1)-mediated modulation of synaptic transmission and strength is not known, despite the fact that this signaling system is an important target for the development of new drugs against obesity. We investigated whether CB1-expressing excitatory vs. inhibitory inputs to orexin-A-containing neurons in the lateral hypothalamus are altered in obesity and how this modifies endocannabinoid control of these neurons. In lean mice, these inputs are mostly excitatory. By confocal and ultrastructural microscopic analyses, we observed that in leptin-knockout (ob/ob) obese mice, and in mice with diet-induced obesity, orexinergic neurons receive predominantly inhibitory CB1-expressing inputs and overexpress the biosynthetic enzyme for the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol, which retrogradely inhibits synaptic transmission at CB1-expressing axon terminals. Patch-clamp recordings also showed increased CB1-sensitive inhibitory innervation of orexinergic neurons in ob/ob mice. These alterations are reversed by leptin administration, partly through activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin pathway in neuropeptide-Y-ergic neurons of the arcuate nucleus, and are accompanied by CB1-mediated enhancement of orexinergic innervation of target brain areas. We propose that enhanced inhibitory control of orexin-A neurons, and their CB1-mediated disinhibition, are a consequence of leptin signaling impairment in the arcuate nucleus. We also provide initial evidence of the participation of this phenomenon in hyperphagia and hormonal dysregulation in obesity.

  14. Drosophila spastin regulates synaptic microtubule networks and is required for normal motor function.

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    Nina Tang Sherwood

    2004-12-01

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

  15. Developmental Profile, Morphology, and Synaptic Connectivity of Cajal-Retzius Cells in the Postnatal Mouse Hippocampus.

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    Anstötz, Max; Huang, Hao; Marchionni, Ivan; Haumann, Iris; Maccaferri, Gianmaria; Lübke, Joachim H R

    2016-02-01

    Cajal-Retzius (CR) cells are early generated neurons, involved in the assembly of developing neocortical and hippocampal circuits. However, their roles in networks of the postnatal brain remain poorly understood. In order to get insights into these latter functions, we have studied their morphological and synaptic properties in the postnatal hippocampus of the CXCR4-EGFP mouse, where CR cells are easily identifiable. Our data indicate that CR cells are nonuniformly distributed along different subfields of the hippocampal formation, and that their postnatal decline is regulated in a region-specific manner. In fact, CR cells persist in distinct areas of fully mature animals. Subclasses of CR cells project and target either local (molecular layers) or distant regions [subicular complex and entorhinal cortex (EC)] of the hippocampal formation, but have similar firing patterns. Lastly, CR cells are biased toward targeting dendritic shafts compared with spines, and produce large-amplitude glutamatergic unitary postsynaptic potentials on γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) containing interneurons. Taken together, our results suggest that CR cells are involved in a novel excitatory loop of the postnatal hippocampal formation, which potentially contributes to shaping the flow of information between the hippocampus, parahippocampal regions and entorhinal cortex, and to the low seizure threshold of these brain areas.

  16. Neuropeptide S-mediated facilitation of synaptic transmission enforces subthreshold theta oscillations within the lateral amygdala.

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    Susanne Meis

    Full Text Available The neuropeptide S (NPS receptor system modulates neuronal circuit activity in the amygdala in conjunction with fear, anxiety and the expression and extinction of previously acquired fear memories. Using in vitro brain slice preparations of transgenic GAD67-GFP (Δneo mice, we investigated the effects of NPS on neural activity in the lateral amygdala as a key region for the formation and extinction of fear memories. We are able to demonstrate that NPS augments excitatory glutamatergic synaptic input onto both projection neurons and interneurons of the lateral amygdala, resulting in enhanced spike activity of both types of cells. These effects were at least in part mediated by presynaptic mechanisms. In turn, inhibition of projection neurons by local interneurons was augmented by NPS, and subthreshold oscillations were strengthened, leading to their shift into the theta frequency range. These data suggest that the multifaceted effects of NPS on amygdaloid circuitry may shape behavior-related network activity patterns in the amygdala and reflect the peptide's potent activity in various forms of affective behavior and emotional memory.

  17. Behavioral and synaptic circuit features in a zebrafish model of fragile X syndrome.

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    Ming-Chong Ng

    Full Text Available Fragile X syndrome (FXS is the most frequent inherited form of human mental retardation. It is characterized by cognitive impairment and physical and behavioral problems and is caused by the silencing of fmr1 transcription and the absence of the fmr1 protein (FMRP. Recently, animal models of FXS have greatly facilitated the investigation of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of this loss-of-function disorder. The present study was aimed to further characterize the role of FMRP in behavior and synaptic function by using fmr1 knockout zebrafish. In adult zebrafish, we found that fmr1 knockout produces the anxiolytic-like responses of increased exploratory behavior in light/dark and open-field tests and avoidance learning impairment. Furthermore, electrophysiological recordings from telencephalic slice preparations of knockout fish displayed markedly reduced long-term potentiation and enhanced long-term depression compared to wild-type fish; however, basal glutamatergic transmission and presynaptic function at the lateral (Dl and medial (Dm division of the dorsal telencephalon synapse remained normal. Taken together, our study not only evaluates the mechanism of FRMP but also suggests that zebrafish have valuable potential as a complementary vertebrate model in studying the molecular pathogenesis of human fragile X syndrome.

  18. Synaptic neurotransmission depression in ventral tegmental dopamine neurons and cannabinoid-associated addictive learning.

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    Zhiqiang Liu

    Full Text Available Drug addiction is an association of compulsive drug use with long-term associative learning/memory. Multiple forms of learning/memory are primarily subserved by activity- or experience-dependent synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP and long-term depression (LTD. Recent studies suggest LTP expression in locally activated glutamate synapses onto dopamine neurons (local Glu-DA synapses of the midbrain ventral tegmental area (VTA following a single or chronic exposure to many drugs of abuse, whereas a single exposure to cannabinoid did not significantly affect synaptic plasticity at these synapses. It is unknown whether chronic exposure of cannabis (marijuana or cannabinoids, the most commonly used illicit drug worldwide, induce LTP or LTD at these synapses. More importantly, whether such alterations in VTA synaptic plasticity causatively contribute to drug addictive behavior has not previously been addressed. Here we show in rats that chronic cannabinoid exposure activates VTA cannabinoid CB1 receptors to induce transient neurotransmission depression at VTA local Glu-DA synapses through activation of NMDA receptors and subsequent endocytosis of AMPA receptor GluR2 subunits. A GluR2-derived peptide blocks cannabinoid-induced VTA synaptic depression and conditioned place preference, i.e., learning to associate drug exposure with environmental cues. These data not only provide the first evidence, to our knowledge, that NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic depression at VTA dopamine circuitry requires GluR2 endocytosis, but also suggest an essential contribution of such synaptic depression to cannabinoid-associated addictive learning, in addition to pointing to novel pharmacological strategies for the treatment of cannabis addiction.

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

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

    2016-04-01

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

  20. Changes in sensitivity of reward and motor behavior to dopaminergic, glutamatergic, and cholinergic drugs in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome.

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    Eric W Fish

    Full Text Available Fragile X syndrome (FXS is a leading cause of intellectual disability. FXS is caused by loss of function of the FMR1 gene, and mice in which Fmr1 has been inactivated have been used extensively as a preclinical model for FXS. We investigated the behavioral pharmacology of drugs acting through dopaminergic, glutamatergic, and cholinergic systems in fragile X (Fmr1 (-/Y mice with intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS and locomotor activity measurements. We also measured brain expression of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH, the rate-limiting enzyme in dopamine biosynthesis. Fmr1 (-/Y mice were more sensitive than wild type mice to the rewarding effects of cocaine, but less sensitive to its locomotor stimulating effects. Anhedonic but not motor depressant effects of the atypical neuroleptic, aripiprazole, were reduced in Fmr1 (-/Y mice. The mGluR5-selective antagonist, 6-methyl-2-(phenylethynylpyridine (MPEP, was more rewarding and the preferential M1 antagonist, trihexyphenidyl, was less rewarding in Fmr1 (-/Y than wild type mice. Motor stimulation by MPEP was unchanged, but stimulation by trihexyphenidyl was markedly increased, in Fmr1 (-/Y mice. Numbers of midbrain TH+ neurons in the ventral tegmental area were unchanged, but were lower in the substantia nigra of Fmr1 (-/Y mice, although no changes in TH levels were found in their forebrain targets. The data are discussed in the context of known changes in the synaptic physiology and pharmacology of limbic motor systems in the Fmr1 (-/Y mouse model. Preclinical findings suggest that drugs acting through multiple neurotransmitter systems may be necessary to fully address abnormal behaviors in individuals with FXS.

  1. Activation of CRH receptor type 1 expressed on glutamatergic neurons increases excitability of CA1 pyramidal neurons by the modulation of voltage-gated ion channels

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    Stephan eKratzer

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH plays an important role in a substantial number of patients with stress-related mental disorders, such as anxiety disorders and depression. CRH has been shown to increase neuronal excitability in the hippocampus, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. The effects of CRH on neuronal excitability were investigated in acute hippocampal brain slices. Population spikes (PS and field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSP were evoked by stimulating Schaffer-collaterals and recorded simultaneously from the somatic and dendritic region of CA1 pyramidal neurons. CRH was found to increase PS amplitudes (mean  Standard error of the mean; 231.8  31.2% of control; n=10 while neither affecting fEPSPs (104.3 ± 4.2%; n=10 nor long-term potentiation (LTP. However, when Schaffer-collaterals were excited via action potentials (APs generated by stimulation of CA3 pyramidal neurons, CRH increased fEPSP amplitudes (119.8 ± 3.6%; n=8 and the magnitude of LTP in the CA1 region. Experiments in slices from transgenic mice revealed that the effect on PS amplitude is mediated exclusively by CRH receptor 1 (CRHR1 expressed on glutamatergic neurons. The effects of CRH on PS were dependent on phosphatase-2B, L- and T-type calcium channels and voltage-gated potassium channels but independent on intracellular Ca2+-elevation. In patch-clamp experiments, CRH increased the frequency and decay times of APs and decreased currents through A-type and delayed-rectifier potassium channels. These results suggest that CRH does not affect synaptic transmission per se, but modulates voltage-gated ion currents important for the generation of APs and hence elevates by this route overall neuronal activity.

  2. Dynamic control of synaptic vesicle replenishment and short-term plasticity by Ca(2+)-calmodulin-Munc13-1 signaling.

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    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.

  3. 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

  4. Glutamatergic and HPA-axis pathway genes in bipolar disorder comorbid with alcohol- and substance use disorders.

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    Dalvie, Shareefa; Fabbri, Chiara; Ramesar, Raj; Serretti, Alessandro; Stein, Dan J

    2016-02-01

    Glutamatergic neurotransmission has been shown to be dysregulated in bipolar disorder (BD), alcohol use disorder (AUD) and substance use disorder (SUD). Similarly, disruption in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis has also been observed in these conditions. BD is often comorbid with AUD and SUD. The effects of the glutamatergic and HPA systems have not been extensively examined in individuals with BD-AUD and BD-SUD comorbidity. The aim of this investigation was to determine whether variants in the glutamatergic pathway and HPA-axis are associated with BD-AUD and BD-SUD comorbidity. The research cohort consisted of 498 individuals with BD type I from the Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder (STEP-BD). A subset of the cohort had comorbid current AUD and current SUD. A total of 1935 SNPs from both the glutamatergic and HPA pathways were selected from the STEP-BD genome-wide dataset. To identify population stratification, IBS clustering was performed using the program Plink 1.07. Single SNP association and gene-based association testing were conducted using logistic regression. A pathway analysis of glutamatergic and HPA genes was performed, after imputation using IMPUTE2. No single SNP was associated with BD-AUD or BD-SUD comorbidity after correction for multiple testing. However, from the gene-based analysis, the gene PRKCI was significantly associated with BD-AUD. The pathway analysis provided overall negative findings, although several genes including GRIN2B showed high percentage of associated SNPs for BD-AUD. Even though the glutamatergic and HPA pathways may not be involved in BD-AUD and BD-SUD comorbidity, PRKCI deserves further investigation in BD-AUD.

  5. The role of glutamatergic and GABAergic systems on serotonin- induced feeding behavior in chicken.

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    Mortezaei, Sepideh Seyedali; Zendehdel, Morteza; Babapour, Vahab; Hasani, Keyvan

    2013-12-01

    It has been reported that serotonin can modulate glutamate and GABA release in central nervous system (CNS). The present study was designed to examine the role of glutamatergic and GABAergic systems on serotonin- induced feeding behavior in chickens. In Experiment 1 intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of MK- 801(NMDA receptor antagonist, 15 nmol) performed followed by serotonin (10 μg). In experiments 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 prior to serotonin injection, chickens received CNQX (AMPA/kainate receptor antagonist, 390 nmol), AIDA (mGluR1 antagonist, 2 nmol), LY341495 (mGluR2 antagonist, 150 nmol), UBP1112 (mGluR3 antagonist, 2 nmol), picrotoxin (GABA A receptor antagonist, 0.5 μg), CGP54626 (GABAB receptor antagonist, 20 ng) respectively. Cumulative food intake was determined at 3 h post injection. The results of this study showed that the hypophagic effect of serotonin was significantly attenuated by pretreatment with MK- 801 and CNQX (p 0.05). Also, the inhibitory effect of serotonin on food intake was amplified by picrotoxin (p 0.05). These results suggest that serotonin as a modulator probably interacts with glutamatergic (via NMDA and AMPA/Kainate receptors) and GABAergic (via GABAA receptor) systems on feeding behavior in chicken.

  6. Glutamatergic motoneurons in the stomatogastric ganglion of the mantis shrimp Squilla oratoria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiba, C; Tazaki, K

    1992-07-01

    1. Transmitters of motoneurons in the stomatogastric ganglion (STG) of Squilla were identified by analyzing the excitatory neuromuscular properties of muscles in the posterior cardiac plate (pcp) and pyloric regions. 2. Bath and iontophoretic applications of glutamate produce depolarizations in these muscles. The pharmacological experiments and desensitization of the junctional receptors elucidate the glutamatergic nature of the excitatory junctional potentials (EJPs) evoked in the constrictor and dilator muscles. The reversal potentials for the excitatory junctional current (EJC) and for the glutamate-induced current are almost the same. 3. Some types of dilator muscle show sensitivity to both glutamate and acetylcholine (ACh) exogenously applied. The pharmacological evidence and desensitization of the junctional receptors indicate the glutamatergic nature of neuromuscular junctions in these dually sensitive muscles. The reversal potentials for the EJC and for the ACh-induced current are not identical. 4. Glutamate is a candidate as an excitatory neuro-transmitter at the neuromuscular junctions which the STG motoneurons named PCP, PY, PD, LA and VC make with the identified muscles. Kainic and quisqualic acids which act on glutamate receptors are potent excitants of these muscles. Extrajunctional receptors to ACh are present in two types of the muscle innervated by LA and VC. 5. Neurotransmitters used by the STG motoneurons of stomatopods are compared to those of decapods.

  7. Targeting the Glutamatergic System to Treat Pathological Gambling: Current Evidence and Future Perspectives

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    Mauro Pettorruso

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Pathological gambling or gambling disorder has been defined by the DSM-5 as a behavioral addiction. To date, its pathophysiology is not completely understood and there is no FDA-approved treatment for gambling disorders. Glutamate is the principal excitatory neurotransmitter in the nervous system and it has been recently involved in the pathophysiology of addictive behaviors. In this paper, we review the current literature on a class of drugs that act as modulating glutamate system in PG. A total of 19 studies have been included, according to inclusion and exclusion criteria. Clinical trial and case series using glutamatergic drugs (N-acetylcysteine, memantine, amantadine, topiramate, acamprosate, baclofen, gabapentin, pregabalin, and modafinil will be presented to elucidate the effectiveness on gambling behaviors and on the related clinical dimensions (craving, withdrawal, and cognitive symptoms in PG patients. The results have been discussed to gain more insight in the pathophysiology and treatment of PG. In conclusion, manipulation of glutamatergic neurotransmission appears to be promising in developing improved therapeutic agents for the treatment of gambling disorders. Further studies are required. Finally, we propose future directions and challenges in this research area.

  8. 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.

  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. Retinal synaptic regeneration via microfluidic guiding channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-28

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

  11. 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

  12. Bilinearity in spatiotemporal integration of synaptic inputs.

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    Songting Li

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Neurons process information via integration of synaptic inputs from dendrites. Many experimental results demonstrate dendritic integration could be highly nonlinear, yet few theoretical analyses have been performed to obtain a precise quantitative characterization analytically. Based on asymptotic analysis of a two-compartment passive cable model, given a pair of time-dependent synaptic conductance inputs, we derive a bilinear spatiotemporal dendritic integration rule. The summed somatic potential can be well approximated by the linear summation of the two postsynaptic potentials elicited separately, plus a third additional bilinear term proportional to their product with a proportionality coefficient [Formula: see text]. The rule is valid for a pair of synaptic inputs of all types, including excitation-inhibition, excitation-excitation, and inhibition-inhibition. In addition, the rule is valid during the whole dendritic integration process for a pair of synaptic inputs with arbitrary input time differences and input locations. The coefficient [Formula: see text] is demonstrated to be nearly independent of the input strengths but is dependent on input times and input locations. This rule is then verified through simulation of a realistic pyramidal neuron model and in electrophysiological experiments of rat hippocampal CA1 neurons. The rule is further generalized to describe the spatiotemporal dendritic integration of multiple excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs. The integration of multiple inputs can be decomposed into the sum of all possible pairwise integration, where each paired integration obeys the bilinear rule. This decomposition leads to a graph representation of dendritic integration, which can be viewed as functionally sparse.

  13. The Structure of Neurexin 1[alpha] Reveals Features Promoting a Role as Synaptic Organizer

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    Chen, Fang; Venugopal, Vandavasi; Murray, Beverly; Rudenko, Gabby (Michigan)

    2014-10-02

    {alpha}-Neurexins are essential synaptic adhesion molecules implicated in autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia. The {alpha}-neurexin extracellular domain consists of six LNS domains interspersed by three EGF-like repeats and interacts with many different proteins in the synaptic cleft. To understand how {alpha}-neurexins might function as synaptic organizers, we solved the structure of the neurexin 1{alpha} extracellular domain (n1{alpha}) to 2.65 {angstrom}. The L-shaped molecule can be divided into a flexible repeat I (LNS1-EGF-A-LNS2), a rigid horseshoe-shaped repeat II (LNS3-EGF-B-LNS4) with structural similarity to so-called reelin repeats, and an extended repeat III (LNS5-EGF-B-LNS6) with controlled flexibility. A 2.95 {angstrom} structure of n1{alpha} carrying splice insert SS3 in LNS4 reveals that SS3 protrudes as a loop and does not alter the rigid arrangement of repeat II. The global architecture imposed by conserved structural features enables {alpha}-neurexins to recruit and organize proteins in distinct and variable ways, influenced by splicing, thereby promoting synaptic function.

  14. INVOLVEMENT OF SYNAPTIC GENES IN THE PATHOGENESIS OF AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS: THE CASE OF SYNAPSINS

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    Silvia eGiovedi

    2014-09-01

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

  15. Synaptic proteome changes in mouse brain regions upon auditory discrimination learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kähne, Thilo; Kolodziej, Angela; Smalla, Karl-Heinz; Eisenschmidt, Elke; Haus, Utz-Uwe; Weismantel, Robert; Kropf, Siegfried; Wetzel, Wolfram; Ohl, Frank W; Tischmeyer, Wolfgang; Naumann, Michael; Gundelfinger, Eckart D

    2012-08-01

    Changes in synaptic efficacy underlying learning and memory processes are assumed to be associated with alterations of the protein composition of synapses. Here, we performed a quantitative proteomic screen to monitor changes in the synaptic proteome of four brain areas (auditory cortex, frontal cortex, hippocampus striatum) during auditory learning. Mice were trained in a shuttle box GO/NO-GO paradigm to discriminate between rising and falling frequency modulated tones to avoid mild electric foot shock. Control-treated mice received corresponding numbers of either the tones or the foot shocks. Six hours and 24 h later, the composition of a fraction enriched in synaptic cytomatrix-associated proteins was compared to that obtained from naïve mice by quantitative mass spectrometry. In the synaptic protein fraction obtained from trained mice, the average percentage (±SEM) of downregulated proteins (59.9 ± 0.5%) exceeded that of upregulated proteins (23.5 ± 0.8%) in the brain regions studied. This effect was significantly smaller in foot shock (42.7 ± 0.6% down, 40.7 ± 1.0% up) and tone controls (43.9 ± 1.0% down, 39.7 ± 0.9% up). These data suggest that learning processes initially induce removal and/or degradation of proteins from presynaptic and postsynaptic cytoskeletal matrices before these structures can acquire a new, postlearning organisation. In silico analysis points to a general role of insulin-like signalling in this process.

  16. KV7 Channels Regulate Firing during Synaptic Integration in GABAergic Striatal Neurons

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    M. Belén Pérez-Ramírez

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Striatal projection neurons (SPNs process motor and cognitive information. Their activity is affected by Parkinson’s disease, in which dopamine concentration is decreased and acetylcholine concentration is increased. Acetylcholine activates muscarinic receptors in SPNs. Its main source is the cholinergic interneuron that responds with a briefer latency than SPNs during a cortical command. Therefore, an important question is whether muscarinic G-protein coupled receptors and their signaling cascades are fast enough to intervene during synaptic responses to regulate synaptic integration and firing. One of the most known voltage dependent channels regulated by muscarinic receptors is the KV7/KCNQ channel. It is not known whether these channels regulate the integration of suprathreshold corticostriatal responses. Here, we study the impact of cholinergic muscarinic modulation on the synaptic response of SPNs by regulating KV7 channels. We found that KV7 channels regulate corticostriatal synaptic integration and that this modulation occurs in the dendritic/spines compartment. In contrast, it is negligible in the somatic compartment. This modulation occurs on sub- and suprathreshold responses and lasts during the whole duration of the responses, hundreds of milliseconds, greatly altering SPNs firing properties. This modulation affected the behavior of the striatal microcircuit.

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

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    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.

  18. Synaptic vesicle docking: sphingosine regulates syntaxin1 interaction with Munc18.

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    Paola G Camoletto

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  20. Stochastic single-molecule dynamics of synaptic membrane protein domains

    CERN Document Server

    Kahraman, Osman; Haselwandter, Christoph A

    2016-01-01

    Motivated by single-molecule experiments on synaptic membrane protein domains, we use a stochastic lattice model to study protein reaction and diffusion processes in crowded membranes. We find that the stochastic reaction-diffusion dynamics of synaptic proteins provide a simple physical mechanism for collective fluctuations in synaptic domains, the molecular turnover observed at synaptic domains, key features of the single-molecule trajectories observed for synaptic proteins, and spatially inhomogeneous protein lifetimes at the cell membrane. Our results suggest that central aspects of the single-molecule and collective dynamics observed for membrane protein domains can be understood in terms of stochastic reaction-diffusion processes at the cell membrane.

  1. A targeted glycan-related gene screen reveals heparan sulfate proteoglycan sulfation regulates WNT and BMP trans-synaptic signaling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil Dani

    Full Text Available A Drosophila transgenic RNAi screen targeting the glycan genome, including all N/O/GAG-glycan biosynthesis/modification enzymes and glycan-binding lectins, was conducted to discover novel glycan functions in synaptogenesis. As proof-of-product, we characterized functionally paired heparan sulfate (HS 6-O-sulfotransferase (hs6st and sulfatase (sulf1, which bidirectionally control HS proteoglycan (HSPG sulfation. RNAi knockdown of hs6st and sulf1 causes opposite effects on functional synapse development, with decreased (hs6st and increased (sulf1 neurotransmission strength confirmed in null mutants. HSPG co-receptors for WNT and BMP intercellular signaling, Dally-like Protein and Syndecan, are differentially misregulated in the synaptomatrix of these mutants. Consistently, hs6st and sulf1 nulls differentially elevate both WNT (Wingless; Wg and BMP (Glass Bottom Boat; Gbb ligand abundance in the synaptomatrix. Anterograde Wg signaling via Wg receptor dFrizzled2 C-terminus nuclear import and retrograde Gbb signaling via synaptic MAD phosphorylation and nuclear import are differentially activated in hs6st and sulf1 mutants. Consequently, transcriptional control of presynaptic glutamate release machinery and postsynaptic glutamate receptors is bidirectionally altered in hs6st and sulf1 mutants, explaining the bidirectional change in synaptic functional strength. Genetic correction of the altered WNT/BMP signaling restores normal synaptic development in both mutant conditions, proving that altered trans-synaptic signaling causes functional differentiation defects.

  2. Metabotropic glutamate and GABA receptors modulate cellular excitability and glutamatergic transmission in chicken cochlear nucleus angularis neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Wei; Lu, Yong

    2017-03-01

    Neurons in the avian cochlear nucleus angularis (NA) receive glutamatergic input from the auditory nerve, and GABAergic input from the superior olivary nucleus. Physiologically heterogeneous, NA neurons perform multiple functions including encoding sound intensity information. Using in vitro whole-cell patch recordings from acute brain slices and immunohistochemistry staining, we investigated neuromodulation mediated by metabotropic glutamate and GABA receptors (mGluRs and GABABRs) in NA neurons. Based on their intrinsic firing patterns in response to somatic current injections, NA neurons were classified into onset, damped, and tonic cells. Pharmacological activation of group II mGluRs, group III mGluRs, and GABABRs, by their respective agonists, suppressed the cellular excitability of non-onset firing NA neurons. Each of these agonists inhibited the glutamatergic transmission in NA neurons, in a cell type-independent manner. The frequency but not the amplitude of spontaneous release of glutamate was reduced by each of these agonists, suggesting that the modulation of the glutamatergic transmission was via presynaptic actions. Interestingly, activation of group I mGluRs increased cellular excitability and suppressed glutamatergic transmission in non-onset neurons. These results elaborate that auditory processing in NA neurons is subject to neuromodulation mediated by metabotropic receptors activated by native neurotransmitters released at NA.

  3. Proteomic analysis of membrane microdomain-associated proteins in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder reveals alterations in LAMP, STXBP1 and BASP1 protein expression.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Behan, A T

    2009-06-01

    The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlpfc) is strongly implicated in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia (SCZ) and bipolar disorder (BPD) and, within this region, abnormalities in glutamatergic neurotransmission and synaptic function have been described. Proteins associated with these functions are enriched in membrane microdomains (MM). In the current study, we used two complementary proteomic methods, two-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis and one-dimensional sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis followed by reverse phase-liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (RP-LC-MS\\/MS) (gel separation liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (GeLC-MS\\/MS)) to assess protein expression in MM in pooled samples of dlpfc from SCZ, BPD and control cases (n=10 per group) from the Stanley Foundation Brain series. We identified 16 proteins altered in one\\/both disorders using proteomic methods. We selected three proteins with roles in synaptic function (syntaxin-binding protein 1 (STXBP1), brain abundant membrane-attached signal protein 1 (BASP1) and limbic system-associated membrane protein (LAMP)) for validation by western blotting. This revealed significantly increased expression of these proteins in SCZ (STXBP1 (24% difference; P<0.001), BASP1 (40% difference; P<0.05) and LAMP (22% difference; P<0.01)) and BPD (STXBP1 (31% difference; P<0.001), BASP1 (23% difference; P<0.01) and LAMP (20% difference; P<0.01)) in the Stanley brain series (n=20 per group). Further validation in dlpfc from the Harvard brain subseries (n=10 per group) confirmed increased protein expression in SCZ of STXBP1 (18% difference; P<0.0001), BASP1 (14% difference; P<0.0001) but not LAMP (20% difference; P=0.14). No significant differences in STXBP1, BASP1 or LAMP protein expression in BPD dlpfc were observed. This study, through proteomic assessments of MM in dlpfc and validation in two brain series, strongly implicates LAMP, STXBP1 and BASP1 in SCZ and supports

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritzenthaler, S; Chiba, A

    2001-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.