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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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:26530910

  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. Synapsin IIa controls the reserve pool of glutamatergic synaptic vesicles

    OpenAIRE

    Gitler, Daniel; Cheng, Qing; Greengard, Paul; Augustine, George J.

    2008-01-01

    Synapsins regulate synaptic transmission by controlling the reserve pool of synaptic vesicles. Each of the three mammalian synapsin genes is subject to alternative splicing, yielding several isoforms whose roles are unknown. To investigate the function of these isoforms, we examined the synaptic effects of introducing each isoform into glutamatergic cultured hippocampal neurons from synapsin triple knock-out mice. Remarkably, we found that synapsin IIa was the only isoform that could rescue t...

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:22674722

  6. The origin of glutamatergic synaptic inputs controls synaptic plasticity and its modulation by alcohol in mice nucleus accumbens

    OpenAIRE

    Ji, Xincai; Saha, Sucharita; Martin, Gilles E.

    2015-01-01

    It is widely accepted that long-lasting changes of synaptic strength in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a brain region involved in drug reward, mediate acute and chronic effects of alcohol. However, our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the effects of alcohol on synaptic plasticity is limited by the fact that the NAc receives glutamatergic inputs from distinct brain regions (e.g., the prefrontal cortex (PFCx), the amygdala and the hippocampus), each region providing different informatio...

  7. 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.

  8. Energy substrates to support glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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 ...

  9. The origin of glutamatergic synaptic inputs controls synaptic plasticity and its modulation by alcohol in mice nucleus accumbens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Xincai; Saha, Sucharita; Martin, Gilles E

    2015-01-01

    It is widely accepted that long-lasting changes of synaptic strength in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a brain region involved in drug reward, mediate acute and chronic effects of alcohol. However, our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the effects of alcohol on synaptic plasticity is limited by the fact that the NAc receives glutamatergic inputs from distinct brain regions (e.g., the prefrontal cortex (PFCx), the amygdala and the hippocampus), each region providing different information (e.g., spatial, emotional and cognitive). Combining whole-cell patch-clamp recordings and the optogenetic technique, we examined synaptic plasticity, and its regulation by alcohol, at cortical, hippocampal and amygdala inputs in fresh slices of mouse tissue. We showed that the origin of synaptic inputs determines the basic properties of glutamatergic synaptic transmission, the expression of spike-timing dependent long-term depression (tLTD) and long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term potentiation (tLTP) and their regulation by alcohol. While we observed both tLTP and tLTD at amygadala and hippocampal synapses, we showed that cortical inputs only undergo tLTD. Functionally, we provide evidence that acute Ethyl Alcohol (EtOH) has little effects on higher order information coming from the PFCx, while severely impacting the ability of emotional and contextual information to induce long-lasting changes of synaptic strength. PMID:26257641

  10. 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. PMID:26799638

  11. 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.

  12. Role of the origin of glutamatergic synaptic inputs in controlling synaptic plasticity and its modulation by alcohol in mice nucleus accumbens

    OpenAIRE

    Gilles Erwann Martin; Xincai eJi; Sucharita eSaha

    2015-01-01

    It is widely accepted that long-lasting changes of synaptic strength in the nucleus accumbens, a brain region involved in drug reward, mediate acute and chronic effects of alcohol. However, our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the effects of alcohol on synaptic plasticity is limited by the fact that the nucleus accumbens receives glutamatergic inputs from distinct brain regions (e.g. the prefrontal cortex, the amygdala and the hippocampus), each region providing different informatio...

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:25100858

  15. 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.

  16. Role of the origin of glutamatergic synaptic inputs in controlling synaptic plasticity and its modulation by alcohol in mice nucleus accumbens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilles Erwann Martin

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available It is widely accepted that long-lasting changes of synaptic strength in the nucleus accumbens, a brain region involved in drug reward, mediate acute and chronic effects of alcohol. However, our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the effects of alcohol on synaptic plasticity is limited by the fact that the nucleus accumbens receives glutamatergic inputs from distinct brain regions (e.g. the prefrontal cortex, the amygdala and the hippocampus, each region providing different information (e.g. spatial, emotional and cognitive. Combining whole-cell patch-clamp recordings and the optogenetic technique, we examined synaptic plasticity, and its regulation by alcohol, at cortical, hippocampal and amygdala inputs in fresh slices of mouse tissue. We showed that the origin of synaptic inputs determines the basic properties of glutamatergic synaptic transmission, the expression of spike-timing dependent long-term depression (tLTD and long-term potentiation (tLTP and their regulation by alcohol. While we observed both tLTP and tLTD at amygadala and hippocampal synapses, we showed that cortical inputs only undergo tLTD. Functionally, we provide evidence that acute EtOH has little effects on higher order information coming from the prefrontal cortex (PFCx, while severely impacting the ability of emotional and contextual information to induce long-lasting changes of synaptic strength.

  17. 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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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

    2016-01-01

    Enduring memories of sensory cues associated with drug intake drive addiction. It is well known that stressful experiences increase addiction vulnerability. However, it is not clear how repeated stress promotes learning of cue-drug associations, as repeated stress generally impairs learning and memory processes unrelated to stressful experiences. Here, we show that repeated social defeat stress in rats causes persistent enhancement of long-term potentiation (LTP) of NMDA receptor-mediated glutamatergic transmission in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Protein kinase A-dependent increase in the potency of inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate-induced Ca(2+) signaling underlies LTP facilitation. Notably, defeated rats display enhanced learning of contextual cues paired with cocaine experience assessed using a conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm. Enhancement of LTP in the VTA and cocaine CPP in behaving rats both require glucocorticoid receptor activation during defeat episodes. These findings suggest that enhanced glutamatergic plasticity in the VTA may contribute, at least partially, to increased addiction vulnerability following repeated stressful experiences. PMID:27374604

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

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    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.

  4. Enhanced glutamatergic and decreased GABAergic synaptic appositions to GnRH neurons on proestrus in the rat: modulatory effect of aging.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Khan

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Previous work by our lab and others has implicated glutamate as a major excitatory signal to gonadotropin hormone releasing hormone (GnRH neurons, with gamma amino butyric acid (GABA serving as a potential major inhibitory signal. However, it is unknown whether GABAergic and/or glutamatergic synaptic appositions to GnRH neurons changes on the day of the proestrous LH surge or is affected by aging. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To examine this question, synaptic terminal appositions on GnRH neurons for VGAT (vesicular GABA transporter and VGLUT2 (vesicular glutamate transporter-2, markers of GABAergic and glutamatergic synaptic terminals, respectively, was examined by immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopic analysis in young and middle-aged diestrous and proestrous rats. The results show that in young proestrous rats at the time of LH surge, we observed reciprocal changes in the VGAT and VGLUT2 positive terminals apposing GnRH neurons, where VGAT terminal appositions were decreased and VGLUT2 terminal appositions were significantly increased, as compared to young diestrus control animals. Interestingly, in middle-aged cycling animals this divergent modulation of VGAT and VGLUT2 terminal apposition was greatly impaired, as no significant differences were observed between VGAT and VGLUT2 terminals apposing GnRH neurons at proestrous. However, the density of VGAT and VGLUT2 terminals apposing GnRH neurons were both significantly increased in the middle-aged animals. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: In conclusion, there is an increase in glutamatergic and decrease in GABAergic synaptic terminal appositions on GnRH neurons on proestrus in young animals, which may serve to facilitate activation of GnRH neurons. In contrast, middle-aged diestrous and proestrous animals show a significant increase in both VGAT and VGLUT synaptic terminal appositions on GnRH neurons as compared to young animals, and the cycle-related change in these

  5. 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.

  6. Altered hippocampus synaptic function in selenoprotein P deficient mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peters Melinda M

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Selenium is an essential micronutrient that function through selenoproteins. Selenium deficiency results in lower concentrations of selenium and selenoproteins. The brain maintains it's selenium better than other tissues under low-selenium conditions. Recently, the selenium-containing protein selenoprotein P (Sepp has been identified as a possible transporter of selenium. The targeted disruption of the selenoprotein P gene (Sepp1 results in decreased brain selenium concentration and neurological dysfunction, unless selenium intake is excessive However, the effect of selenoprotein P deficiency on the processes of memory formation and synaptic plasticity is unknown. In the present studies Sepp1(-/- mice and wild type littermate controls (Sepp1(+/+ fed a high-selenium diet (1 mg Se/kg were used to characterize activity, motor coordination, and anxiety as well as hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. Normal associative learning, but disrupted spatial learning was observed in Sepp1(-/- mice. In addition, severe alterations were observed in synaptic transmission, short-term plasticity and long-term potentiation in hippocampus area CA1 synapses of Sepp1(-/- mice on a 1 mg Se/kg diet and Sepp1(+/+ mice fed a selenium-deficient (0 mg Se/kg diet. Taken together, these data suggest that selenoprotein P is required for normal synaptic function, either through presence of the protein or delivery of required selenium to the CNS.

  7. Cocaine-Induced Synaptic Alterations in Thalamus to Nucleus Accumbens Projection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neumann, Peter A; Wang, Yicun; Yan, Yijin; Wang, Yao; Ishikawa, Masago; Cui, Ranji; Huang, Yanhua H; Sesack, Susan R; Schlüter, Oliver M; Dong, Yan

    2016-08-01

    Exposure to cocaine induces addiction-associated behaviors partially through remodeling neurocircuits in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). The paraventricular nucleus of thalamus (PVT), which projects to the NAc monosynaptically, is activated by cocaine exposure and has been implicated in several cocaine-induced emotional and motivational states. Here we show that disrupting synaptic transmission of select PVT neurons with tetanus toxin activated via retrograde trans-synaptic transport of cre from NAc efferents decreased cocaine self-administration in rats. This projection underwent complex adaptations after self-administration of cocaine (0.75 mg/kg/infusion; 2 h/d × 5 d, 1d overnight training). Specifically, 1d after cocaine self-administration, we observed increased levels of AMPA receptor (AMPAR)-silent glutamatergic synapses in this projection, accompanied by a decreased ratio of AMPAR-to-NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated EPSCs. Furthermore, the decay kinetics of NMDAR EPSCs was significantly prolonged, suggesting insertion of new GluN2B-containing NMDARs to PVT-to-NAc synapses. After 45-d withdrawal, silent synapses within this projection returned to the basal levels, accompanied by a return of the AMPAR/NMDAR ratio and NMDAR decay kinetics to the basal levels. In amygdala and infralimbic prefrontal cortical projections to the NAc, a portion of cocaine-generated silent synapses becomes unsilenced by recruiting calcium-permeable AMPARs (CP-AMPARs) after drug withdrawal. However, the sensitivity of PVT-to-NAc synapses to CP-AMPAR-selective antagonists was not changed after withdrawal, suggesting that CP-AMPAR trafficking is not involved in the evolution of cocaine-generated silent synapses within this projection. Meanwhile, the release probability of PVT-to-NAc synapses was increased after short- and long-term cocaine withdrawal. These results reveal complex and profound alterations at PVT-to-NAc synapses after cocaine exposure and withdrawal. PMID:27074816

  8. Molecular Profiling of Synaptic Vesicle Docking Sites Reveals Novel Proteins but Few Differences between Glutamatergic and GABAergic Synapses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boyken, Janina; Gronborg, Mads; Riedel, Dietmar; Urlaub, Henning; Jahn, Reinhard; Chua, John Jia En

    2013-01-01

    Neurotransmission involves calcium-triggered fusion of docked synaptic vesicles at specialized presynaptic release sites. While many of the participating proteins have been identified, the molecular composition of these sites has not been characterized comprehensively. Here, we report a procedure to

  9. 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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23884939

  10. Synaptic plasticity, neural circuits, and the emerging role of altered short-term information processing in schizophrenia

    OpenAIRE

    Crabtree, Gregg W.; Gogos, Joseph A.

    2014-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity alters the strength of information flow between presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons and thus modifies the likelihood that action potentials in a presynaptic neuron will lead to an action potential in a postsynaptic neuron. As such, synaptic plasticity and pathological changes in synaptic plasticity impact the synaptic computation which controls the information flow through the neural microcircuits responsible for the complex information processing necessary to drive adapt...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Synaptic plasticity, neural circuits and the emerging role of altered short-term information processing in schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregg W. Crabtree

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic plasticity alters the strength of information flow between presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons and thus modifies the likelihood that action potentials in a presynaptic neuron will lead to an action potential in a postsynaptic neuron. As such, synaptic plasticity and pathological changes in synaptic plasticity impact the synaptic computation which controls the information flow through the neural microcircuits responsible for the complex information processing necessary to drive adaptive behaviors. As current theories of neuropsychiatric disease suggest that distinct dysfunctions in neural circuit performance may critically underlie the unique symptoms of these diseases, pathological alterations in synaptic plasticity mechanisms may be fundamental to the disease process. Here we consider mechanisms of both short-term and long-term plasticity of synaptic transmission and their possible roles in information processing by neural microcircuits in both health and disease. As paradigms of neuropsychiatric diseases with strongly implicated risk genes, we discuss the findings in schizophrenia and autism and consider the alterations in synaptic plasticity and network function observed in both human studies and genetic mouse models of these diseases. Together these studies have begun to point towards a likely dominant role of short-term synaptic plasticity alterations in schizophrenia while dysfunction in autism spectrum disorders may be due to a combination of both short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity alterations.

  14. 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.

  15. The Role of the Tripartite Glutamatergic Synapse in the Pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s Disease

    OpenAIRE

    Rudy, Carolyn C.; Hunsberger, Holly C.; Weitzner, Daniel S.; Reed, Miranda N.

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia in individuals over 65 years of age and is characterized by accumulation of beta-amyloid (Aβ) and tau. Both Aβ and tau alter synaptic plasticity, leading to synapse loss, neural network dysfunction, and eventually neuron loss. However, the exact mechanism by which these proteins cause neurodegeneration is still not clear. A growing body of evidence suggests perturbations in the glutamatergic tripartite synapse, comprised of a presyn...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-10-01

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

  17. 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

    following NMDA-induced neurotransmission activity, as indicated by a reversible 10-20 % decrease in the response of the biosensor. The responses were absent when the NMDA receptor antagonist memantine was present. In the presence of lactate alone, the ATP response dropped significantly more than...... biosensor Ateam1.03YEMK. While inducing synaptic activity by subjecting cultured neurons to two 30 s pulses of NMDA (30 µM) with a 4 min interval, changes in relative ATP levels were measured in the presence of lactate (1 mM), glucose (2.5 mM) or the combination of the two. ATP levels reversibly declined...... in the presence of glucose following the 2nd pulse of NMDA (approx. 10 vs. 20 %). Further, cytosolic Ca(2+) homeostasis during NMDA-induced synaptic transmission is partially inhibited by verapamil indicating that voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels are activated. Lastly, we showed that cytosolic Ca(2+) homeostasis...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sven Kroener

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

  19. Exposure to low-dose rotenone precipitates synaptic plasticity alterations in PINK1 heterozygous knockout mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martella, G; Madeo, G; Maltese, M; Vanni, V; Puglisi, F; Ferraro, E; Schirinzi, T; Valente, E M; Bonanni, L; Shen, J; Mandolesi, G; Mercuri, N B; Bonsi, P; Pisani, A

    2016-07-01

    Heterozygous mutations in the PINK1 gene are considered a susceptibility factor to develop early-onset Parkinson's disease (PD), as supported by dopamine hypometabolism in asymptomatic mutation carriers and subtle alterations of dopamine-dependent striatal synaptic plasticity in heterozygous PINK1 knockout (PINK1(+/-)) mice. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether exposure to low-dose rotenone of heterozygous PINK1(+/-) mice, compared to their wild-type PINK1(+/+) littermates, could impact on dopamine-dependent striatal synaptic plasticity, in the absence of apparent structural alterations. Mice were exposed to a range of concentrations of rotenone (0.01-1mg/kg). Chronic treatment with concentrations of rotenone up to 0.8mg/kg did not cause manifest neuronal loss or changes in ATP levels both in the striatum or substantia nigra of PINK1(+/-) and PINK1(+/+) mice. Moreover, rotenone (up to 0.8mg/kg) treatment did not induce mislocalization of the mitochondrial membrane protein Tom20 and release of cytochrome c in PINK1(+/-) striata. Accordingly, basic electrophysiological properties of nigral dopaminergic and striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs) were normal. Despite the lack of gross alterations in neuronal viability in chronically-treated PINK1(+/-), a complete loss of both long-term depression (LTD) and long-term potentiation (LTP) was recorded in MSNs from PINK1(+/-) mice treated with a low rotenone (0.1mg/kg) concentration. Even lower concentrations (0.01mg/kg) blocked LTP induction in heterozygous PINK1(+/-) MSNs compared to PINK1(+/+) mice. Of interest, chronic pretreatment with the antioxidants alpha-tocopherol and Trolox, a water-soluble analog of vitamin E and powerful antioxidant, rescued synaptic plasticity impairment, confirming that, at the doses we utilized, rotenone did not induce irreversible alterations. In this model, chronic exposure to low-doses of rotenone was not sufficient to alter mitochondrial integrity and ATP production, but

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa S Monsey

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Disrupted-in-Schizophrenia (DISC1) Functions Presynaptically at Glutamatergic Synapses

    OpenAIRE

    Brady J Maher; Joseph J LoTurco

    2012-01-01

    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 synapt...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:27280156

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:27375424

  9. Alterations in Central Nervous System Serotonergic and Dopaminergic Synaptic Activity in Adulthood after Prenatal or Neonatal Chlorpyrifos Exposure

    OpenAIRE

    Aldridge, Justin E; Meyer, Armando; Seidler, Frederic J; Slotkin, Theodore A.

    2005-01-01

    Exposure to chlorpyrifos (CPF) alters neuronal development of serotonin (5HT) and dopamine systems, and we recently found long-term alterations in behaviors related to 5HT function. To characterize the synaptic mechanisms underlying these effects, we exposed developing rats to CPF regimens below the threshold for systemic toxicity, in three treatment windows: gestational days (GD) 17–20, postnatal days (PN) 1–4, or PN11–14. In early adulthood (PN60), we assessed basal neurotransmitter content...

  10. Kismet positively regulates glutamate receptor localization and synaptic transmission at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rupa Ghosh

    Full Text Available The Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ is a glutamatergic synapse that is structurally and functionally similar to mammalian glutamatergic synapses. These synapses can, as a result of changes in activity, alter the strength of their connections via processes that require chromatin remodeling and changes in gene expression. The chromodomain helicase DNA binding (CHD protein, Kismet (Kis, is expressed in both motor neuron nuclei and postsynaptic muscle nuclei of the Drosophila larvae. Here, we show that Kis is important for motor neuron synaptic morphology, the localization and clustering of postsynaptic glutamate receptors, larval motor behavior, and synaptic transmission. Our data suggest that Kis is part of the machinery that modulates the development and function of the NMJ. Kis is the homolog to human CHD7, which is mutated in CHARGE syndrome. Thus, our data suggest novel avenues of investigation for synaptic defects associated with CHARGE syndrome.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  13. Alteration of AMPA Receptor-Mediated Synaptic Transmission by Alexa Fluor 488 and 594 in Cerebellar Stellate Cells1 2 3

    OpenAIRE

    Maroteaux, Matthieu; Liu, Siqiong June

    2016-01-01

    Abstract 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, GluA...

  14. Acute and chronic ethanol exposure differentially regulate CB1 receptor function at glutamatergic synapses in the rat basolateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Stacey L; Alexander, Nancy J; Bluett, Rebecca J; Patel, Sachin; McCool, Brian A

    2016-09-01

    The endogenous cannabinoid (eCB) system has been suggested to play a key role in ethanol preference and intake, the acute effects of ethanol, and in the development of withdrawal symptoms following ethanol dependence. Ethanol-dependent alterations in glutamatergic signaling within the lateral/basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) are critical for the development and expression of withdrawal-induced anxiety. Notably, the eCB system significantly regulates both glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic activity within the BLA. Chronic ethanol exposure significantly alters eCB system expression within regions critical to the expression of emotionality and anxiety-related behavior, including the BLA. Here, we investigated specific interactions between the BLA eCB system and its functional regulation of synaptic activity during acute and chronic ethanol exposure. In tissue from ethanol naïve-rats, a prolonged acute ethanol exposure caused a dose dependent inhibition of glutamatergic synaptic activity via a presynaptic mechanism that was occluded by CB1 antagonist/inverse agonists SR141716a and AM251. Importantly, this acute ethanol inhibition was attenuated following 10 day chronic intermittent ethanol vapor exposure (CIE). CIE exposure also significantly down-regulated CB1-mediated presynaptic inhibition at glutamatergic afferent terminals but spared CB1-inhibition of GABAergic synapses arising from local inhibitory-interneurons. CIE also significantly elevated BLA N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA or anandamide) levels and decreased CB1 receptor protein levels. Collectively, these data suggest a dynamic regulation of the BLA eCB system by acute and chronic ethanol. PMID:26707595

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Gaby, Mohamady; Zhang, Yu; Wolf, Konstantin; Schwiening, Christof J; Paulsen, Ole; Shipton, Olivia A

    2016-08-23

    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. PMID:27524609

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    deJong, GI; Buwalda, B.; Schuurman, T.; Luiten, PGM

    1992-01-01

    We examined ultrastructural correlates of synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus of young (3 months) vs aged (30 months) Wistar rats and established the effects of the calcium antagonist nimodipine in animals chronically treated from 24 to 30 months. The effects of nimodipine was studied since this compound improves hippocampal neuronal physiology and enhances cognitive function during aging. In the supragranular layer of the dentate gyrus we found a 24% decrease in synaptic density (Nv) in a...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  2. Expression of glutamatergic genes in healthy humans across 16 brain regions; altered expression in the hippocampus after chronic exposure to alcohol or cocaine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enoch, M-A; Rosser, A A; Zhou, Z; Mash, D C; Yuan, Q; Goldman, D

    2014-11-01

    We analyzed global patterns of expression in genes related to glutamatergic neurotransmission (glutamatergic genes) in healthy human adult brain before determining the effects of chronic alcohol and cocaine exposure on gene expression in the hippocampus. RNA-Seq data from 'BrainSpan' was obtained across 16 brain regions from nine control adults. We also generated RNA-Seq data from postmortem hippocampus from eight alcoholics, eight cocaine addicts and eight controls. Expression analyses were undertaken of 28 genes encoding glutamate ionotropic (AMPA, kainate, NMDA) and metabotropic receptor subunits, together with glutamate transporters. The expression of each gene was fairly consistent across the brain with the exception of the cerebellum, the thalamic mediodorsal nucleus and the striatum. GRIN1, encoding the essential NMDA subunit, had the highest expression across all brain regions. Six factors accounted for 84% of the variance in global gene expression. GRIN2B (encoding GluN2B), was up-regulated in both alcoholics and cocaine addicts (FDR corrected P = 0.008). Alcoholics showed up-regulation of three genes relative to controls and cocaine addicts: GRIA4 (encoding GluA4), GRIK3 (GluR7) and GRM4 (mGluR4). Expression of both GRM3 (mGluR3) and GRIN2D (GluN2D) was up-regulated in alcoholics and down-regulated in cocaine addicts relative to controls. Glutamatergic genes are moderately to highly expressed throughout the brain. Six factors explain nearly all the variance in global gene expression. At least in the hippocampus, chronic alcohol use largely up-regulates glutamatergic genes. The NMDA GluN2B receptor subunit might be implicated in a common pathway to addiction, possibly in conjunction with the GABAB1 receptor subunit. PMID:25262781

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Wei Ling; Idris, Marshita Mohd; Kevin, Felix Suresh; Soga, Tomoko; Parhar, Ishwar S.

    2016-01-01

    Maternal dexamethasone [(DEX); a glucocorticoid receptor agonist] exposure delays pubertal onset and alters reproductive behavior 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 (0.1 mg/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 postsynaptic marker molecule, postsynaptic 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. PMID:27630615

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  6. Deletion of glutamate dehydrogenase 1 (Glud1) in the central nervous system affects glutamate handling without altering synaptic transmission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frigerio, Francesca; Karaca, Melis; De Roo, Mathias;

    2012-01-01

    Glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH), encoded by GLUD1, participates in the breakdown and synthesis of glutamate, the main excitatory neurotransmitter. In the CNS, besides its primary signaling function, glutamate is also at the crossroad of metabolic and neurotransmitter pathways. Importance of brain GDH...... oxidative catabolism of glutamate in astrocytes, showing that GDH is required for Krebs cycle pathway. As revealed by NMR studies, brain glutamate levels remained unchanged, whereas glutamine levels were increased. This pattern was favored by up-regulation of astrocyte-type glutamate and glutamine...... transporters and of glutamine synthetase. Present data show that the lack of GDH in the CNS modifies the metabolic handling of glutamate without altering synaptic transmission....

  7. Lead Exposure Impairs Hippocampus Related Learning and Memory by Altering Synaptic Plasticity and Morphology During Juvenile Period.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Tao; Guan, Rui-Li; Liu, Ming-Chao; Shen, Xue-Feng; Chen, Jing Yuan; Zhao, Ming-Gao; Luo, Wen-Jing

    2016-08-01

    Lead (Pb) is an environmental neurotoxic metal. Pb exposure may cause neurobehavioral changes, such as learning and memory impairment, and adolescence violence among children. Previous animal models have largely focused on the effects of Pb exposure during early development (from gestation to lactation period) on neurobehavior. In this study, we exposed Sprague-Dawley rats during the juvenile stage (from juvenile period to adult period). We investigated the synaptic function and structural changes and the relationship of these changes to neurobehavioral deficits in adult rats. Our results showed that juvenile Pb exposure caused fear-conditioned memory impairment and anxiety-like behavior, but locomotion and pain behavior were indistinguishable from the controls. Electrophysiological studies showed that long-term potentiation induction was affected in Pb-exposed rats, and this was probably due to excitatory synaptic transmission impairment in Pb-exposed rats. We found that NMDA and AMPA receptor-mediated current was inhibited, whereas the GABA synaptic transmission was normal in Pb-exposed rats. NR2A and phosphorylated GluR1 expression decreased. Moreover, morphological studies showed that density of dendritic spines declined by about 20 % in the Pb-treated group. The spine showed an immature form in Pb-exposed rats, as indicated by spine size measurements. However, the length and arborization of dendrites were unchanged. Our results suggested that juvenile Pb exposure in rats is associated with alterations in the glutamate receptor, which caused synaptic functional and morphological changes in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons, thereby leading to behavioral changes. PMID:26141123

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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. PMID:24431444

  11. Executive function deficits and glutamatergic protein alterations in a progressive 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine mouse model of Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pflibsen, Lacey; Stang, Katherine A; Sconce, Michelle D; Wilson, Vanessa B; Hood, Rebecca L; Meshul, Charles K; Mitchell, Suzanne H

    2015-12-01

    Changes in executive function are at the root of most cognitive problems associated with Parkinson's disease. Because dopaminergic treatment does not necessarily alleviate deficits in executive function, it has been hypothesized that dysfunction of neurotransmitters/systems other than dopamine (DA) may be associated with this decrease in cognitive function. We have reported decreases in motor function and dopaminergic/glutamatergic biomarkers in a progressive 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) Parkinson's mouse model. Assessment of executive function and dopaminergic/glutamatergic biomarkers within the limbic circuit has not previously been explored in our model. Our results show progressive behavioral decline in a cued response task (a rodent model for frontal cortex cognitive function) with increasing weekly doses of MPTP. Although within the dorsolateral (DL) striatum mice that had been given MPTP showed a 63% and 83% loss of tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine transporter expression, respectively, there were no changes in the nucleus accumbens or medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Furthermore, dopamine-1 receptor and vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT)-1 expression increased in the mPFC following DA loss. There were significant MPTP-induced decreases and increases in VGLUT-1 and VGLUT-2 expression, respectively, within the DL striatum. We propose that the behavioral decline following MPTP treatment may be associated with a change not only in cortical-cortical (VGLUT-1) glutamate function but also in striatal DA and glutamate (VGLUT-1/VGLUT-2) input. PMID:26332770

  12. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  14. 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

  15. D-Serine and Serine Racemase Are Associated with PSD-95 and Glutamatergic Synapse Stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Hong; Jacobi, Ariel A.; Anderson, Stewart A.; Lynch, David R.

    2016-01-01

    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 α7 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, demonstrating

  16. Distinct Defects in Synaptic Differentiation of Neocortical Neurons in Response to Prenatal Valproate Exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iijima, Yoko; Behr, Katharina; Iijima, Takatoshi; Biemans, Barbara; Bischofberger, Josef; Scheiffele, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a heterogeneous group of neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by impairments in social interactions and stereotyped behaviors. Valproic acid (VPA) is frequently used to treat epilepsy and bipolar disorders. When taken during pregnancy, VPA increases the risk of the unborn child to develop an ASD. In rodents, in utero VPA exposure can precipitate behavioral phenotypes related to ASD in the offspring. Therefore, such rodent models may allow for identification of synaptic pathophysiology underlying ASD risk. Here, we systematically probed alterations in synaptic proteins that might contribute to autism-related behavior in the offspring of in utero VPA-exposed mice. Moreover, we tested whether direct VPA exposure of cultured neocortical neurons may recapitulate the molecular alterations seen in vivo. VPA-exposed neurons in culture exhibit a significant increase in the number of glutamatergic synapses accompanied by a significant decrease in the number of GABAergic synapses. This shift in excitatory/inhibitory balance results in substantially increased spontaneous activity in neuronal networks arising from VPA-exposed neurons. Pharmacological experiments demonstrate that the alterations in GABAergic and glutamatergic synaptic proteins and structures are largely caused by inhibition of histone deacetylases. Therefore, our study highlights an epigenetic mechanism underlying the synaptic pathophysiology in this ASD model. PMID:27264355

  17. Knockout of Cyclophilin-D Provides Partial Amelioration of Intrinsic and Synaptic Properties Altered by Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Jianli; Jacobs, Kimberle M

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondria are central to cell survival and Ca(2+) homeostasis due to their intracellular buffering capabilities. Mitochondrial dysfunction resulting in mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) opening has been reported after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Cyclosporine A provides protection against the mPTP opening through its interaction with cyclophilin-D (CypD). A recent study has found that the extent of axonal injury after mTBI was diminished in neocortex in cyclophilin-D knockout (CypDKO) mice. Here we tested whether this CypDKO could also provide protection from the increased intrinsic and synaptic neuronal excitability previously described after mTBI in a mild central fluid percussion injury mice model. CypDKO mice were crossed with mice expressing yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) in layer V pyramidal neurons in neocortex to create CypDKO/YFP-H mice. Whole cell patch clamp recordings from axotomized (AX) and intact (IN) YFP+ layer V pyramidal neurons were made 1 and 2 days after sham or mTBI in slices from CypDKO/YFP-H mice. Both excitatory post synaptic currents (EPSCs) recorded in voltage clamp and intrinsic cellular properties, including action potential (AP), afterhyperpolarization (AHP), and depolarizing after potential (DAP) characteristics recorded in current clamp were evaluated. There was no significant difference between sham and mTBI for either spontaneous or miniature EPSC frequency, suggesting that CypDKO ameliorates excitatory synaptic abnormalities. There was a partial amelioration of intrinsic properties altered by mTBI. Alleviated were the increased slope of the AP frequency vs. injected current plot, the increased AP, AHP and DAP amplitudes. Other properties that saw a reversal that became significant in the opposite direction include the current rheobase and AP overshoot. The AP threshold remained depolarized and the input resistance remained increased in mTBI compared to sham. Additional altered properties suggest that

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:26612422

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veronica Costa

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  1. 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

  2. Obesity diminishes synaptic markers, alters microglial morphology, and impairs cognitive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bocarsly, Miriam E; Fasolino, Maria; Kane, Gary A; LaMarca, Elizabeth A; Kirschen, Gregory W; Karatsoreos, Ilia N; McEwen, Bruce S; Gould, Elizabeth

    2015-12-22

    Obesity is a major public health problem affecting overall physical and emotional well-being. Despite compelling data suggesting an association between obesity and cognitive dysfunction, this phenomenon has received relatively little attention. Neuroimaging studies in obese humans report reduced size of brain regions involved in cognition, but few studies have investigated the cellular processes underlying cognitive decline in obesity or the influence of obesity on cognition in the absence of obesity-related illnesses. Here, a rat model of diet-induced obesity was used to explore changes in brain regions important for cognition. Obese rats showed deficits on cognitive tasks requiring the prefrontal and perirhinal cortex. Cognitive deficits were accompanied by decreased dendritic spine density and synaptic marker expression in both brain regions. Microglial morphology was also changed in the prefrontal cortex. Detrimental changes in the prefrontal cortex and perirhinal cortex occurred before metabolic syndrome or diabetes, suggesting that these brain regions may be particularly vulnerable to early stage obesity. PMID:26644559

  3. Altered Cortical Dynamics and Cognitive Function upon Haploinsufficiency of the Autism-Linked Excitatory Synaptic Suppressor MDGA2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connor, Steven A; Ammendrup-Johnsen, Ina; Chan, Allen W; Kishimoto, Yasushi; Murayama, Chiaki; Kurihara, Naokazu; Tada, Atsushi; Ge, Yuan; Lu, Hong; Yan, Ryan; LeDue, Jeffrey M; Matsumoto, Hirotaka; Kiyonari, Hiroshi; Kirino, Yutaka; Matsuzaki, Fumio; Suzuki, Toshiharu; Murphy, Timothy H; Wang, Yu Tian; Yamamoto, Tohru; Craig, Ann Marie

    2016-09-01

    Mutations in a synaptic organizing pathway contribute to autism. Autism-associated mutations in MDGA2 (MAM domain containing glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor 2) are thought to reduce excitatory/inhibitory transmission. However, we show that mutation of Mdga2 elevates excitatory transmission, and that MDGA2 blocks neuroligin-1 interaction with neurexins and suppresses excitatory synapse development. Mdga2(+/-) mice, modeling autism mutations, demonstrated increased asymmetric synapse density, mEPSC frequency and amplitude, and altered LTP, with no change in measures of inhibitory synapses. Behavioral assays revealed an autism-like phenotype including stereotypy, aberrant social interactions, and impaired memory. In vivo voltage-sensitive dye imaging, facilitating comparison with fMRI studies in autism, revealed widespread increases in cortical spontaneous activity and intracortical functional connectivity. These results suggest that mutations in MDGA2 contribute to altered cortical processing through the dual disadvantages of elevated excitation and hyperconnectivity, and indicate that perturbations of the NRXN-NLGN pathway in either direction from the norm increase risk for autism. PMID:27608760

  4. A spontaneous, tonic chloride conductance in solitary glutamatergic hippocampal neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Eisenman, Lawrence N.; Kress, Geraldine; Charles F. Zorumski; Mennerick, Steven

    2006-01-01

    GABA-A receptors mediate both phasic synaptic inhibition and more recently appreciated tonic currents in the vertebrate central nervous system. We addressed discrepancies in the literature regarding the pharmacology of tonic currents by examining tonic currents in a controlled environment of dissociated, solitary glutamatergic neurons. We describe a novel tonically active, bicuculline-sensitive chloride conductance that is insensitive to gabazine and to picrotoxin and thus not mediated by con...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  6. 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

    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 m......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...

  7. Data-Driven Modeling of Synaptic Transmission and Integration

    OpenAIRE

    Rothman, Jason S.; Silver, R. Angus

    2014-01-01

    In this chapter, we describe how to create mathematical models of synaptic transmission and integration. We start with a brief synopsis of the experimental evidence underlying our current understanding of synaptic transmission. We then describe synaptic transmission at a particular glutamatergic synapse in the mammalian cerebellum, the mossy fiber to granule cell synapse, since data from this well-characterized synapse can provide a benchmark comparison for how well synaptic properties are ca...

  8. The functional nature of synaptic circuitry is altered in area CA3 of the hippocampus in a mouse model of Down's syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanson, Jesse E; Blank, Martina; Valenzuela, Ricardo A; Garner, Craig C; Madison, Daniel V

    2007-01-01

    Down's syndrome (DS) is the most common cause of mental retardation, and memory impairments are more severe in DS than in most if not all other causes of mental retardation. The Ts65Dn mouse, a genetic model of DS, exhibits phenotypes of DS, including memory impairments indicative of hippocampal dysfunction. We examined functional synaptic connectivity in area CA3 of the hippocampus of Ts65Dn mice using organotypic slice cultures as a model. We found reductions in multiple measures of synaptic function in both excitatory and inhibitory inputs to pyramidal neurons in CA3 of the Ts65Dn hippocampus. However, associational synaptic connections between pyramidal neurons were more abundant and more likely to be active rather than silent in the Ts65Dn hippocampus. Synaptic potentiation was normal in these associational connections. Decreased overall functional synaptic input onto pyramidal neurons expressed along with the specific hyperconnectivity of associational connections between pyramidal neurons will result in predictable alterations of CA3 network function, which may contribute to the memory impairments seen in DS. PMID:17158177

  9. Artemisia santolinifolia enhances glutamatergic neurotransmission in the nucleus of the solitary tract.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vance, Katie M; Ribnicky, David M; Rogers, Richard C; Hermann, Gerlinda E

    2014-10-17

    Artemisia extracts have been used as remedies for a variety of maladies related to metabolic and gastrointestinal control. Because the vagal afferent-nucleus of the solitary tract (NST) synapse regulates the same homeostatic functions affected by Artemisia, it is possible that these extracts may have activity at the synaptic level in the NST. Therefore, we evaluated how extracts of three common medicinal Artemisia species, Artemisia santolinifolia (SANT), Artemisia scoparia (SCO), and Artemisia dracunculus L (PMI-5011), modulate the excitability of the glutamatergic vagal afferent-NST synapse. Our in vitro live cell calcium imaging data from prelabeled vagal afferent terminals show that SANT extract is a positive modulator of vagal afferent calcium levels, as the extract significantly increased the calcium signal relative to the time control. Neither SCO nor PMI-5011 extract altered the vagal calcium signals compared to the time control. Furthermore, whole cell voltage-clamp recordings from NST neurons corroborated the vagal terminal calcium data in that SANT extract also significantly increased miniature excitatory postsynaptic current (mEPSC) frequency in NST neurons. These data suggest that SANT extract could be a pharmacologically significant mediator of glutamatergic neurotransmission within the CNS. PMID:25220699

  10. Altered neuronal intrinsic properties and reduced synaptic transmission of the rat's medial geniculate body in salicylate-induced tinnitus.

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    Yan-Yan Su

    Full Text Available Sodium salicylate (NaSal, an aspirin metabolite, can cause tinnitus in animals and human subjects. To explore neural mechanisms underlying salicylate-induced tinnitus, we examined effects of NaSal on neural activities of the medial geniculate body (MGB, an auditory thalamic nucleus that provides the primary and immediate inputs to the auditory cortex, by using the whole-cell patch-clamp recording technique in MGB slices. Rats treated with NaSal (350 mg/kg showed tinnitus-like behavior as revealed by the gap prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle (GPIAS paradigm. NaSal (1.4 mM decreased the membrane input resistance, hyperpolarized the resting membrane potential, suppressed current-evoked firing, changed the action potential, and depressed rebound depolarization in MGB neurons. NaSal also reduced the excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic response in the MGB evoked by stimulating the brachium of the inferior colliculus. Our results demonstrate that NaSal alters neuronal intrinsic properties and reduces the synaptic transmission of the MGB, which may cause abnormal thalamic outputs to the auditory cortex and contribute to NaSal-induced tinnitus.

  11. Kidins220/ARMS is a novel modulator of short-term synaptic plasticity in hippocampal GABAergic neurons.

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    Joachim Scholz-Starke

    Full Text Available Kidins220 (Kinase D interacting substrate of 220 kDa/ARMS (Ankyrin Repeat-rich Membrane Spanning is a scaffold protein highly expressed in the nervous system. Previous work on neurons with altered Kidins220/ARMS expression suggested that this protein plays multiple roles in synaptic function. In this study, we analyzed the effects of Kidins220/ARMS ablation on basal synaptic transmission and on a variety of short-term plasticity paradigms in both excitatory and inhibitory synapses using a recently described Kidins220 full knockout mouse. Hippocampal neuronal cultures prepared from embryonic Kidins220(-/- (KO and wild type (WT littermates were used for whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of spontaneous and evoked synaptic activity. Whereas glutamatergic AMPA receptor-mediated responses were not significantly affected in KO neurons, specific differences were detected in evoked GABAergic transmission. The recovery from synaptic depression of inhibitory post-synaptic currents in WT cells showed biphasic kinetics, both in response to paired-pulse and long-lasting train stimulation, while in KO cells the respective slow components were strongly reduced. We demonstrate that the slow recovery from synaptic depression in WT cells is caused by a transient reduction of the vesicle release probability, which is absent in KO neurons. These results suggest that Kidins220/ARMS is not essential for basal synaptic transmission and various forms of short-term plasticity, but instead plays a novel role in the mechanisms regulating the recovery of synaptic strength in GABAergic synapses.

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

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    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. PMID:26926965

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

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

    2008-01-01

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

  14. 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...

  15. Age-Related Alterations in the Expression of Genes and Synaptic Plasticity Associated with Nitric Oxide Signaling in the Mouse Dorsal Striatum

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    Aisa N. Chepkova

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Age-related alterations in the expression of genes and corticostriatal synaptic plasticity were studied in the dorsal striatum of mice of four age groups from young (2-3 months old to old (18–24 months of age animals. A significant decrease in transcripts encoding neuronal nitric oxide (NO synthase and receptors involved in its activation (NR1 subunit of the glutamate NMDA receptor and D1 dopamine receptor was found in the striatum of old mice using gene array and real-time RT-PCR analysis. The old striatum showed also a significantly higher number of GFAP-expressing astrocytes and an increased expression of astroglial, inflammatory, and oxidative stress markers. Field potential recordings from striatal slices revealed age-related alterations in the magnitude and dynamics of electrically induced long-term depression (LTD and significant enhancement of electrically induced long-term potentiation in the middle-aged striatum (6-7 and 12-13 months of age. Corticostriatal NO-dependent LTD induced by pharmacological activation of group I metabotropic glutamate receptors underwent significant reduction with aging and could be restored by inhibition of cGMP hydrolysis indicating that its age-related deficit is caused by an altered NO-cGMP signaling cascade. It is suggested that age-related alterations in corticostriatal synaptic plasticity may result from functional alterations in receptor-activated signaling cascades associated with increasing neuroinflammation and a prooxidant state.

  16. Lrp4 in astrocytes modulates glutamatergic transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:27294513

  17. 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".

  18. Prenatal alcohol exposure alters synaptic activity of adult hippocampal dentate granule cells under conditions of enriched environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kajimoto, Kenta; Valenzuela, C Fernando; Allan, Andrea M; Ge, Shaoyu; Gu, Yan; Cunningham, Lee Anna

    2016-08-01

    Prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) results in fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), which is characterized by a wide range of cognitive and behavioral deficits that may be linked to impaired hippocampal function and adult neurogenesis. Preclinical studies in mouse models of FASD indicate that PAE markedly attenuates enrichment-mediated increases in the number of adult-generated hippocampal dentate granule cells (aDGCs), but whether synaptic activity is also affected has not been studied. Here, we utilized retroviral birth-dating coupled with whole cell patch electrophysiological recordings to assess the effects of PAE on enrichment-mediated changes in excitatory and inhibitory synaptic activity as a function of DGC age. We found that exposure to an enriched environment (EE) had no effect on baseline synaptic activity of 4- or 8-week-old aDGCs from control mice, but significantly enhanced the excitatory/inhibitory ratio of synaptic activity in 8-week-old aDGCs from PAE mice. In contrast, exposure to EE significantly enhanced the excitatory/inhibitory ratio of synaptic activity in older pre-existing DGCs situated in the outer dentate granule cell layer (i.e., those generated during embryonic development; dDGCs) in control mice, an effect that was blunted in PAE mice. These findings indicate distinct electrophysiological responses of hippocampal DGCs to behavioral challenge based on cellular ontogenetic age, and suggest that PAE disrupts EE-mediated changes in overall hippocampal network activity. These findings may have implications for future therapeutic targeting of hippocampal dentate circuitry in clinical FASD. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27009742

  19. Cannabinoid agonists rearrange synaptic vesicles at excitatory synapses and depress motoneuron activity in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Morales, Victoria; Montero, Fernando; Moreno-López, Bernardo

    2015-05-01

    Impairment of motor skills is one of the most common acute adverse effects of cannabis. Related studies have focused mainly on psychomotor alterations, and little is known about the direct impact of cannabinoids (CBs) on motoneuron physiology. As key modulators of synaptic function, CBs regulate multiple neuronal functions and behaviors. Presynaptic CB1 mediates synaptic strength depression by inhibiting neurotransmitter release, via a poorly understood mechanism. The present study examined the effect of CB agonists on excitatory synaptic inputs incoming to hypoglossal motoneurons (HMNs) in vitro and in vivo. The endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA) and the synthetic CB agonist WIN 55,212-2 rapidly and reversibly induced short-term depression (STD) of glutamatergic synapses on motoneurons by a presynaptic mechanism. Presynaptic effects were fully reversed by the CB1-selective antagonist AM281. Electrophysiological and electron microscopy analysis showed that WIN 55,212-2 reduced the number of synaptic vesicles (SVs) docked to active zones in excitatory boutons. Given that AM281 fully abolished depolarization-induced depression of excitation, motoneurons can be feasible sources of CBs, which in turn act as retrograde messengers regulating synaptic function. Finally, microiontophoretic application of the CB agonist O-2545 reversibly depressed, presumably via CB1, glutamatergic inspiratory-related activity of HMNs in vivo. Therefore, evidence support that CBs, via presynaptic CB1, induce excitatory STD by reducing the readily releasable pool of SVs at excitatory synapses, then attenuating motoneuron activity. These outcomes contribute a possible mechanistic basis for cannabis-associated motor performance disturbances such as ataxia, dysarthria and dyscoordination. PMID:25595101

  20. 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.

  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 Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptors (CP-AMPARs) at the level of the NAc

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Optogenetics and synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

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

  6. 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.

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

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    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  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)

    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.

  11. Stress rapidly dysregulates the glutamatergic synapse in the prefrontal cortex of cocaine-withdrawn adolescent rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caffino, Lucia; Calabrese, Francesca; Giannotti, Giuseppe; Barbon, Alessandro; Verheij, Michel M M; Racagni, Giorgio; Fumagalli, Fabio

    2015-01-01

    Although several lines of evidence have shown that chronic cocaine use is associated with stress system dysregulation, the underlying neurochemical mechanisms are still elusive. To investigate whether the rapid stress-induced response of the glutamatergic synapse was influenced by a previous history of cocaine, rats were exposed to repeated cocaine injections during adolescence [from postnatal day (PND) 28-42], subjected to a single swim stress (5 minutes) three days later (PND 45) and sacrificed 15 minutes after the end of this stressor. Critical determinants of glutamatergic homeostasis were measured in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) whereas circulating corticosterone levels were measured in the plasma. Exposure to stress in saline-treated animals did not show changes in the crucial determinants of the glutamatergic synapse. Conversely, in cocaine-treated animals, stress dynamically altered the glutamatergic synapse by: (1) enhancing the presynaptic vesicular mediators of glutamate release; (2) reducing the transporters responsible for glutamate clearance; (3) increasing the postsynaptic responsiveness of the N-methyl-D-aspartate subunit GluN1; and (4) causing hyperresponsive spines as evidenced by increased activation of the postsynaptic cdc42-Pak pathway. These findings indicate that exposure to cocaine during adolescence sensitizes mPFC glutamatergic synapses to stress. It is suggested that changes in glutamatergic signaling may contribute to the increased sensitivity to stress observed in cocaine users. Moreover, glutamatergic processes may play an important role in stress-induced reinstatement of cocaine seeking. PMID:24102978

  12. mGluR5 ablation in cortical glutamatergic neurons increases novelty-induced locomotion.

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    Chris P Jew

    Full Text Available The group I metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5 has been implicated in the pathology of various neurological disorders including schizophrenia, ADHD, and autism. mGluR5-dependent synaptic plasticity has been described at a variety of neural connections and its signaling has been implicated in several behaviors. These behaviors include locomotor reactivity to novel environment, sensorimotor gating, anxiety, and cognition. mGluR5 is expressed in glutamatergic neurons, inhibitory neurons, and glia in various brain regions. In this study, we show that deleting mGluR5 expression only in principal cortical neurons leads to defective cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R dependent synaptic plasticity in the prefrontal cortex. These cortical glutamatergic mGluR5 knockout mice exhibit increased novelty-induced locomotion, and their locomotion can be further enhanced by treatment with the psychostimulant methylphenidate. Despite a modest reduction in repetitive behaviors, cortical glutamatergic mGluR5 knockout mice are normal in sensorimotor gating, anxiety, motor balance/learning and fear conditioning behaviors. These results show that mGluR5 signaling in cortical glutamatergic neurons is required for precisely modulating locomotor reactivity to a novel environment but not for sensorimotor gating, anxiety, motor coordination, several forms of learning or social interactions.

  13. Reduction of the cholesterol sensor SCAP in the brains of mice causes impaired synaptic transmission and altered cognitive function.

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    Ryo Suzuki

    Full Text Available The sterol sensor SCAP is a key regulator of SREBP-2, the major transcription factor controlling cholesterol synthesis. Recently, we showed that there is a global down-regulation of cholesterol synthetic genes, as well as SREBP-2, in the brains of diabetic mice, leading to a reduction of cholesterol synthesis. We now show that in mouse models of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, this is, in part, the result of a decrease of SCAP. Homozygous disruption of the Scap gene in the brains of mice causes perinatal lethality associated with microcephaly and gliosis. Mice with haploinsufficiency of Scap in the brain show a 60% reduction of SCAP protein and ~30% reduction in brain cholesterol synthesis, similar to what is observed in diabetic mice. This results in impaired synaptic transmission, as measured by decreased paired pulse facilitation and long-term potentiation, and is associated with behavioral and cognitive changes. Thus, reduction of SCAP and the consequent suppression of cholesterol synthesis in the brain may play an important role in the increased rates of cognitive decline and Alzheimer disease observed in diabetic states.

  14. Cellular and synaptic network defects in autism

    OpenAIRE

    Peça, João; Feng, Guoping

    2012-01-01

    Many candidate genes are now thought to confer susceptibility to autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Here we review four interrelated complexes, each composed of multiple families of genes that functionally coalesce on common cellular pathways. We illustrate a common thread in the organization of glutamatergic synapses and suggest a link between genes involved in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, Fragile X syndrome, Angelman syndrome and several synaptic ASD candidate genes. When viewed in this conte...

  15. AMPA receptor inhibition by synaptically released zinc.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. Familial hemiplegic migraine type-1 mutated cav2.1 calcium channels alter inhibitory and excitatory synaptic transmission in the lateral superior olive of mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inchauspe, Carlota González; Pilati, Nadia; Di Guilmi, Mariano N; Urbano, Francisco J; Ferrari, Michel D; van den Maagdenberg, Arn M J M; Forsythe, Ian D; Uchitel, Osvaldo D

    2015-01-01

    CaV2.1 Ca(2+) channels play a key role in triggering neurotransmitter release and mediating synaptic transmission. Familial hemiplegic migraine type-1 (FHM-1) is caused by missense mutations in the CACNA1A gene that encodes the α1A pore-forming subunit of CaV2.1 Ca(2+) channels. We used knock-in (KI) transgenic mice harbouring the pathogenic FHM-1 mutation R192Q to study inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmission in the principle neurons of the lateral superior olive (LSO) in the auditory brainstem. We tested if the R192Q FHM-1 mutation differentially affects excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission, disturbing the normal balance between excitation and inhibition in this nucleus. Whole cell patch-clamp was used to measure neurotransmitter elicited excitatory (EPSCs) and inhibitory (IPSCs) postsynaptic currents in wild-type (WT) and R192Q KI mice. Our results showed that the FHM-1 mutation in CaV2.1 channels has multiple effects. Evoked EPSC amplitudes were smaller whereas evoked and miniature IPSC amplitudes were larger in R192Q KI compared to WT mice. In addition, in R192Q KI mice, the release probability was enhanced compared to WT, at both inhibitory (0.53 ± 0.02 vs. 0.44 ± 0.01, P = 2.10(-5), Student's t-test) and excitatory synapses (0.60 ± 0.03 vs. 0.45 ± 0.02, P = 4 10(-6), Student's t-test). Vesicle pool size was diminished in R192Q KI mice compared to WT mice (68 ± 6 vs 91 ± 7, P = 0.008, inhibitory; 104 ± 13 vs 335 ± 30, P = 10(-6), excitatory, Student's t-test). R192Q KI mice present enhanced short-term plasticity. Repetitive stimulation of the afferent axons caused short-term depression (STD) of E/IPSCs that recovered significantly faster in R192Q KI mice compared to WT. This supports the hypothesis of a gain-of-function of the CaV2.1 channels in R192Q KI mice, which alters the balance of excitatory/inhibitory inputs and could also have implications in the altered cortical excitability responsible for FHM

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. 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

    Background: Limbic structures where glutamatergic transmission is considered to be prevalent such as amygdala, hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, have shown a deep impairment in stress-related disorders [1]. A number of studies have highlighted the cumulative effects of stress and its major...... 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...

  20. Elimination of redundant synaptic inputs in the absence of synaptic strengthening

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Hao; Liu, Hong; Zhang, Zhong-wei

    2011-01-01

    Synaptic refinement, a developmental process that consists of selective elimination and strengthening of immature synapses, is essential for the formation of precise neuronal circuits and proper brain function. At glutamatergic synapses in the brain, activity-dependent recruitment of AMPA receptors (AMPAR) is a key mechanism underlying the strengthening of immature synapses. Studies using receptor over-expression have shown that the recruitment of AMPARs is subunit specific. With the notable ...

  1. 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. PMID:26926566

  2. Role of nucleus accumbens glutamatergic plasticity in drug addiction

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    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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Altered neurotransmission in the mesolimbic reward system of Girk mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arora, Devinder; Haluk, Desirae M; Kourrich, Saïd; Pravetoni, Marco; Fernández-Alacid, Laura; Nicolau, Joel C; Luján, Rafael; Wickman, Kevin

    2010-09-01

    Mice lacking the Girk2 subunit of G protein-gated inwardly rectifying K+ (Girk) channels exhibit dopamine-dependent hyperactivity and elevated responses to drugs that stimulate dopamine neurotransmission. The dopamine-dependent phenotypes seen in Girk2(-/-) mice could reflect increased intrinsic excitability of or diminished inhibitory feedback to midbrain dopamine neurons, or secondary adaptations triggered by Girk2 ablation. We addressed these possibilities by evaluating Girk(-/-) mice in behavioral, electrophysiological, and cell biological assays centered on the mesolimbic dopamine system. Despite differences in the contribution of Girk1 and Girk2 subunits to Girk signaling in midbrain dopamine neurons, Girk1(-/-) and Girk2(-/-) mice exhibited comparable baseline hyperactivities and enhanced responses to cocaine. Girk ablation also correlated with altered afferent input to dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area. Dopamine neurons from Girk1(-/-) and Girk2(-/-) mice exhibited elevated glutamatergic neurotransmission, paralleled by increased synaptic levels of alpha-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionate glutamate receptors. In addition, synapse density, alpha-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionate receptor levels, and glutamatergic neurotransmission were elevated in medium spiny neurons of the nucleus accumbens from Girk1(-/-) and Girk2(-/-) mice. We conclude that dopamine-dependent phenotypes in Girk2(-/-) mice are not solely attributable to a loss of Girk signaling in dopamine neurons, and likely involve secondary adaptations facilitating glutamatergic signaling in the mesolimbic reward system. PMID:20557431

  6. Working Memory Impairment in Calcineurin Knock-out Mice Is Associated with Alterations in Synaptic Vesicle Cycling and Disruption of High-Frequency Synaptic and Network Activity in Prefrontal Cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Cottrell, Jeffrey R.; Levenson, Jonathan M.; Kim, Sung Hyun; Gibson, Helen E.; Richardson, Kristen A.; Sivula, Michael; Li, Bing; Ashford, Crystle J.; Heindl, Karen A.; Babcock, Ryan J.; Rose, David M.; Hempel, Chris M; Wiig, Kjesten A.; Laeng, Pascal; Levin, Margaret E.

    2013-01-01

    Working memory is an essential component of higher cognitive function, and its impairment is a core symptom of multiple CNS disorders, including schizophrenia. Neuronal mechanisms supporting working memory under normal conditions have been described and include persistent, high-frequency activity of prefrontal cortical neurons. However, little is known about the molecular and cellular basis of working memory dysfunction in the context of neuropsychiatric disorders. To elucidate synaptic and n...

  7. Tissue Plasminogen Activator Expression Is Restricted to Subsets of Excitatory Pyramidal Glutamatergic Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louessard, Morgane; Lacroix, Alexandre; Martineau, Magalie; Mondielli, Gregoire; Montagne, Axel; Lesept, Flavie; Lambolez, Bertrand; Cauli, Bruno; Mothet, Jean-Pierre; Vivien, Denis; Maubert, Eric

    2016-09-01

    Although the extracellular serine protease tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is involved in pathophysiological processes such as learning and memory, anxiety, epilepsy, stroke, and Alzheimer's disease, information about its regional, cellular, and subcellular distribution in vivo is lacking. In the present study, we observed, in healthy mice and rats, the presence of tPA in endothelial cells, oligodendrocytes, mastocytes, and ependymocytes, but not in pericytes, microglial cells, and astrocytes. Moreover, blockage of the axo-dendritic transport unmasked tPA expression in neurons of cortical and hippocampal areas. Interestingly, combined electrophysiological recordings, single-cell reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and immunohistological analyses revealed that the presence of tPA is restricted to subsets of excitatory pyramidal glutamatergic neurons. We further evidenced that tPA is stored in synaptobrevin-2-positive glutamatergic synaptic vesicles. Based on all these data, we propose the existence of tPA-ergic neurons in the mature brain. PMID:26377106

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  9. Cholinergic-mediated IP3-receptor activation induces long-lasting synaptic enhancement in CA1 pyramidal neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Fernández de Sevilla, D.; Núñez Molina, Ángel; Borde, M.; Malinow, R.; Buño, Washinton

    2008-01-01

    Cholinergic-glutamatergic interactions influence forms of synaptic plasticity that are thought to mediate memory and learning. We tested in vitro the induction of long-lasting synaptic enhancement at Schaffer collaterals by acetylcholine (ACh) at the apical dendrite of CA1 pyramidal neurons and in vivo by stimulation of cholinergic afferents. In vitro ACh induced a Ca2+ wave and synaptic enhancement mediated by insertion of AMPA receptors in spines. Activation of muscarinic ACh receptors (mAC...

  10. 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.

  11. 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...... whether ATP generated in these pathways is equivalent in relation to fueling of the energy-requiring processes, i.e., vesicle filling, transport, and enzymatic processing in the glutamatergic tripartite synapse (the astrocyte and pre- and postsynapse). The role of astrocytic glycogenolysis in maintaining...... theses processes also has not been fully elucidated. Cultured astrocytes and neurons were utilized to monitor these processes related to glutamatergic neurotransmission. Inhibitors of glycolysis and TCA cycle in combination with pathway-selective substrates were used to study glutamate uptake and release...

  12. 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

  13. Microtubule stabilizer ameliorates synaptic function and behavior in a mouse model for schizophrenia.

    OpenAIRE

    Andrieux, Annie; Salin, Paul; Schweitzer, Annie; Bégou, Mélina; Pachoud, Bastien; Brun, Philippe; Gory-Fauré, Sylvie; Kujala, Pekka; Suaud-Chagny, Marie-Françoise; Höfle, Gerhard; Job, Didier

    2006-01-01

    International audience BACKGROUND: Recent data suggest that cytoskeletal defects may play a role in schizophrenia. We previously imitated features of schizophrenia in an animal model by disrupting gene coding for a microtubule-associated protein called STOP. STOP-null mice display synaptic defects in glutamatergic neurons, hyper-dopaminergy, and severe behavioral disorders. Synaptic and behavioral deficits are amended by neuroleptic treatment in STOP-null mice, providing an attractive mode...

  14. Plasticity in Glutamatergic NTS Neurotransmission

    OpenAIRE

    Kline, David D.

    2008-01-01

    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 cen...

  15. 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

  16. Glutamatergic Monopolar Interneurons Provide a Novel Pathway of Excitation in the Mouse Retina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Della Santina, Luca; Kuo, Sidney P; Yoshimatsu, Takeshi; Okawa, Haruhisa; Suzuki, Sachihiro C; Hoon, Mrinalini; Tsuboyama, Kotaro; Rieke, Fred; Wong, Rachel O L

    2016-08-01

    Excitatory and inhibitory neurons in the CNS are distinguished by several features, including morphology, transmitter content, and synapse architecture [1]. Such distinctions are exemplified in the vertebrate retina. Retinal bipolar cells are polarized glutamatergic neurons receiving direct photoreceptor input, whereas amacrine cells are usually monopolar inhibitory interneurons with synapses almost exclusively in the inner retina [2]. Bipolar but not amacrine cell synapses have presynaptic ribbon-like structures at their transmitter release sites. We identified a monopolar interneuron in the mouse retina that resembles amacrine cells morphologically but is glutamatergic and, unexpectedly, makes ribbon synapses. These glutamatergic monopolar interneurons (GluMIs) do not receive direct photoreceptor input, and their light responses are strongly shaped by both ON and OFF pathway-derived inhibitory input. GluMIs contact and make almost as many synapses as type 2 OFF bipolar cells onto OFF-sustained A-type (AOFF-S) retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). However, GluMIs and type 2 OFF bipolar cells possess functionally distinct light-driven responses and may therefore mediate separate components of the excitatory synaptic input to AOFF-S RGCs. The identification of GluMIs thus unveils a novel cellular component of excitatory circuits in the vertebrate retina, underscoring the complexity in defining cell types even in this well-characterized region of the CNS. PMID:27426514

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Candidate glutamatergic neurons in the visual system of Drosophila.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shamprasad Varija Raghu

    Full Text Available The visual system of Drosophila contains approximately 60,000 neurons that are organized in parallel, retinotopically arranged columns. A large number of these neurons have been characterized in great anatomical detail. However, studies providing direct evidence for synaptic signaling and the neurotransmitter used by individual neurons are relatively sparse. Here we present a first layout of neurons in the Drosophila visual system that likely release glutamate as their major neurotransmitter. We identified 33 different types of neurons of the lamina, medulla, lobula and lobula plate. Based on the previous Golgi-staining analysis, the identified neurons are further classified into 16 major subgroups representing lamina monopolar (L, transmedullary (Tm, transmedullary Y (TmY, Y, medulla intrinsic (Mi, Mt, Pm, Dm, Mi Am, bushy T (T, translobula plate (Tlp, lobula intrinsic (Lcn, Lt, Li, lobula plate tangential (LPTCs and lobula plate intrinsic (LPi cell types. In addition, we found 11 cell types that were not described by the previous Golgi analysis. This classification of candidate glutamatergic neurons fosters the future neurogenetic dissection of information processing in circuits of the fly visual system.

  20. 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. PMID:27155145

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Alterations in kainate receptor and TRPM1 localization in bipolar cells after retinal photoreceptor degeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacqueline eGayet-Primo

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Photoreceptor degeneration differentially impacts glutamatergic signaling in downstream On and Off bipolar cells. In rodent models, photoreceptor degeneration leads to loss of glutamatergic signaling in On bipolar cells, whereas Off bipolar cells appear to retain glutamate sensitivity, even after extensive photoreceptor loss. The localization and identity of the receptors that mediate these residual glutamate responses in Off bipolar cells have not been determined. Recent studies show that macaque and mouse Off bipolar cells receive glutamatergic input primarily through kainate-type glutamate receptors. Here, we studied the impact of photoreceptor degeneration on glutamate receptor associated proteins in Off and On bipolar cells. We show that the kainate receptor subunit, GluK1, persists in remodeled Off bipolar cell dendrites of the rd10 mouse retina. However, the pattern of expression is altered and the intensity of staining is reduced compared to wild-type retina. The kainate receptor auxiliary subunit, Neto1, also remains in Off bipolar cell dendrites after complete photoreceptor degeneration. Similar preservation of kainate receptor subunits was evident in human retina in which photoreceptors had degenerated due to serous retinal detachment. In contrast, photoreceptor degeneration leads to loss of synaptic expression of TRPM1 in mouse and human On bipolar cells, but strong somatic expression remains. These findings demonstrate that Off bipolar cells retain dendritic glutamate receptors during retinal degeneration and could thus serve as a conduit for signal transmission from transplanted or optogenetically-restored photoreceptors.

  4. Microtubule-associated protein 1B (MAP1B)-deficient neurons show structural presynaptic deficiencies in vitro and altered presynaptic physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodaleo, Felipe J; Montenegro-Venegas, Carolina; Henríquez, Daniel R; Court, Felipe A; Gonzalez-Billault, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Microtubule-associated protein 1B (MAP1B) is expressed predominantly during the early stages of development of the nervous system, where it regulates processes such as axonal guidance and elongation. Nevertheless, MAP1B expression in the brain persists in adult stages, where it participates in the regulation of the structure and physiology of dendritic spines in glutamatergic synapses. Moreover, MAP1B expression is also found in presynaptic synaptosomal preparations. In this work, we describe a presynaptic phenotype in mature neurons derived from MAP1B knockout (MAP1B KO) mice. Mature neurons express MAP1B, and its deficiency does not alter the expression levels of a subgroup of other synaptic proteins. MAP1B KO neurons display a decrease in the density of presynaptic and postsynaptic terminals, which involves a reduction in the density of synaptic contacts, and an increased proportion of orphan presynaptic terminals. Accordingly, MAP1B KO neurons present altered synaptic vesicle fusion events, as shown by FM4-64 release assay, and a decrease in the density of both synaptic vesicles and dense core vesicles at presynaptic terminals. Finally, an increased proportion of excitatory immature symmetrical synaptic contacts in MAP1B KO neurons was detected. Altogether these results suggest a novel role for MAP1B in presynaptic structure and physiology regulation in vitro. PMID:27425640

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  8. Cocaine-Induced Behavioral Sensitization Is Associated With Changes in the Expression of Endocannabinoid and Glutamatergic Signaling Systems in the Mouse Prefrontal Cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Blanco Calvo, Eduardo; Pavón, Francisco Javier; Palomino, Ana; Luque-Rojas, María Jesús; Serrano, Antonia; Rivera, Patricia; Bilbao, Ainhoa; Alen, Francisco; Vida, Margarita; Suárez, Juan; Rodríguez de Fonseca, Fernando

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Background: Endocannabinoids modulate the glutamatergic excitatory transmission by acting as retrograde messengers. A growing body of studies has reported that both signaling systems in the mesocorticolimbic neural circuitry are involved in the neurobiological mechanisms underlying drug addiction. Methods: We investigated whether the expression of both endocannabinoid and glutamatergic systems in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) were altered by an acute and/or repeated cocaine administrat...

  9. Synaptic determinants of Rett syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena M B Boggio

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available There is mounting evidence showing that the structural and molecular organization of synaptic connections are affected both in human patients and in animal models of neurological and psychiatric diseases. As a consequence of these experimental observations, it has been introduced the concept of synapsopathies, a notion describing brain disorders of synaptic function and plasticity. A close correlation between neurological diseases and synaptic abnormalities is especially relevant for those syndromes including also mental retardation in their symptomatology, such as Rett Syndrome (RS. RS (MIM312750 is an X-linked dominant neurological disorder that is caused, in the majority of cases by mutations in methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2. This review will focus on the current knowledge of the synaptic alterations produced by mutations of the gene MeCP2 in mouse models of RS and will highlight prospects experimental therapies currently in use. Different experimental approaches have revealed that RS could be the consequence of an impairment in the homeostasis of synaptic transmission in specific brain regions. Indeed, several forms of experience-induced neuronal plasticity are impaired in the absence of MeCP2. Based on the results presented in this review, it is reasonable to propose that understanding how the brain is affected by diseases such as RS is at reach. This effort will bring us closer to identify the neurobiological bases of human cognition.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonansco, Christian; Fuenzalida, Marco

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27006834

  12. Imaging the glutamatergic system in vivo - relevance to schizophrenia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schizophrenia is a devastating psychiatric illness. Its pathophysiology is not fully clarified. Animal data, in vitro and indirect in vivo imaging support glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor hypofunction in the disorder. A lack of suitable ligands has obstructed direct evaluation of the NMDA receptor hypofunction hypothesis of schizophrenia. Many research groups are working towards developing appropriate single-photon emission tomography and positron emission tomography ligands for the NMDA receptor. This paper briefly presents evidence for links between glutamatergic system dysfunction and schizophrenia. It reviews the radioligands to evaluate glutamatergic receptors in vivo and discusses issues in developing novel ligands for the glutamatergic system. (orig.)

  13. MAGI-1 modulates AMPA receptor synaptic localization and behavioral plasticity in response to prior experience.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lesley Emtage

    Full Text Available It is well established that the efficacy of synaptic connections can be rapidly modified by neural activity, yet how the environment and prior experience modulate such synaptic and behavioral plasticity is only beginning to be understood. Here we show in C. elegans that the broadly conserved scaffolding molecule MAGI-1 is required for the plasticity observed in a glutamatergic circuit. This mechanosensory circuit mediates reversals in locomotion in response to touch stimulation, and the AMPA-type receptor (AMPAR subunits GLR-1 and GLR-2, which are required for reversal behavior, are localized to ventral cord synapses in this circuit. We find that animals modulate GLR-1 and GLR-2 localization in response to prior mechanosensory stimulation; a specific isoform of MAGI-1 (MAGI-1L is critical for this modulation. We show that MAGI-1L interacts with AMPARs through the intracellular domain of the GLR-2 subunit, which is required for the modulation of AMPAR synaptic localization by mechanical stimulation. In addition, mutations that prevent the ubiquitination of GLR-1 prevent the decrease in AMPAR localization observed in previously stimulated magi-1 mutants. Finally, we find that previously-stimulated animals later habituate to subsequent mechanostimulation more rapidly compared to animals initially reared without mechanical stimulation; MAGI-1L, GLR-1, and GLR-2 are required for this change in habituation kinetics. Our findings demonstrate that prior experience can cause long-term alterations in both behavioral plasticity and AMPAR localization at synapses in an intact animal, and indicate a new, direct role for MAGI/S-SCAM proteins in modulating AMPAR localization and function in the wake of variable sensory experience.

  14. 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.

  15. Effects of Anti-NMDA Antibodies on Functional Recovery and Synaptic Rearrangement Following Hemicerebellectomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laricchiuta, Daniela; Cavallucci, Virve; Cutuli, Debora; De Bartolo, Paola; Caporali, Paola; Foti, Francesca; Finke, Carsten; D'Amelio, Marcello; Manto, Mario; Petrosini, Laura

    2016-06-01

    The compensation that follows cerebellar lesions is based on synaptic modifications in many cortical and subcortical regions, although its cellular mechanisms are still unclear. Changes in glutamatergic receptor expression may represent the synaptic basis of the compensated state. We analyzed in rats the involvement of glutamatergic system of the cerebello-frontal network in the compensation following a right hemicerebellectomy. We evaluated motor performances, spatial competencies and molecular correlates in compensated hemicerebellectomized rats which in the frontal cortex contralateral to the hemicerebellectomy side received injections of anti-NMDA antibodies from patients affected by anti-NMDA encephalitis. In the compensated hemicerebellectomized rats, the frontal injections of anti-NMDA antibodies elicited a marked decompensation state characterized by slight worsening of the motor symptoms as well as severe impairment of spatial mnesic and procedural performances. Conversely, in the sham-operated group the frontal injections of anti-NMDA antibodies elicited slight motor and spatial impairment. The molecular analyses indicated that cerebellar compensatory processes were related to a relevant rearrangement of glutamatergic synapses (NMDA and AMPA receptors and other glutamatergic components) along the entire cortico-cerebellar network. The long-term maintenance of the rearranged glutamatergic activity plays a crucial role in the maintenance of recovered function. PMID:27027521

  16. Glutamatergic Metabolites, Volume and Cortical Thickness in Antipsychotic-Naive Patients with First-Episode Psychosis: Implications for Excitotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plitman, Eric; Patel, Raihaan; Chung, Jun Ku; Pipitone, Jon; Chavez, Sofia; Reyes-Madrigal, Francisco; Gómez-Cruz, Gladys; León-Ortiz, Pablo; Chakravarty, M Mallar; de la Fuente-Sandoval, Camilo; Graff-Guerrero, Ariel

    2016-09-01

    Neuroimaging studies investigating patients with schizophrenia often report appreciable volumetric reductions and cortical thinning, yet the cause of these deficits is unknown. The association between subcortical and cortical structural alterations, and glutamatergic neurometabolites is of particular interest due to glutamate's capacity for neurotoxicity; elevated levels may be related to neuroanatomical compromise through an excitotoxic process. To this end, we explored the relationships between glutamatergic neurometabolites and structural measures in antipsychotic-naive patients experiencing their first non-affective episode of psychosis (FEP). Sixty antipsychotic-naive patients with FEP and 60 age- and sex-matched healthy controls underwent a magnetic resonance imaging session, which included a T1-weighted volumetric image and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy in the precommissural dorsal caudate. Group differences in precommissural caudate volume (PCV) and cortical thickness (CT), and the relationships between glutamatergic neurometabolites (ie, glutamate+glutamine (Glx) and glutamate) and these structural measures, were examined. PCV was decreased in the FEP group (pschizophrenia. PMID:27272768

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:26506253

  19. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  1. 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

  2. Origins of altered reinforcement effects in ADHD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  3. Neuroligins and Neurexins Link Synaptic Function to Cognitive Disease

    OpenAIRE

    Südhof, Thomas C.

    2008-01-01

    The brain processes information by transmitting signals at synapses, which connect neurons into vast networks of communicating cells. In these networks, synapses not only transmit, but also process and refine information. Neurexins and neuroligins are synaptic cell-adhesion molecules that connect pre- and postsynaptic neurons at synapses, mediate trans-synaptic signaling, and shape neural network properties by specifying synaptic functions. In humans, alterations in neurexin or neuroligin gen...

  4. [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.

  5. Differential Modulation of Synaptic Strength and Timing Regulate Synaptic Efficacy in a Motor Network

    OpenAIRE

    Bruce R Johnson; Brown, Jessica M; Kvarta, Mark D.; Lu, Jay Y. J.; Schneider, Lauren R.; Nadim, Farzan; Harris-Warrick, Ronald M

    2010-01-01

    Neuromodulators modify network output by altering neuronal firing properties and synaptic strength at multiple sites; however, the functional importance of each site is often unclear. We determined the importance of monoamine modulation of a single synapse for regulation of network cycle frequency in the oscillatory pyloric network of the lobster. The pacemaker kernel of the pyloric network receives only one chemical synaptic feedback, an inhibitory synapse from the lateral pyloric (LP) neuro...

  6. Optogenetic stimulation of prefrontal glutamatergic neurons enhances recognition memory

    OpenAIRE

    Benn, Abi; Barker, Gareth R. I.; Stuart, Sarah A; Roloff, Eva v. L.; Teschemacher, Anja G; Warburton, Clea; Robinson, Emma S. J.

    2016-01-01

    Finding effective cognitive enhancers is a major health challenge; however, modulating glutamatergic neurotransmission has the potential to enhance performance in recognition memory tasks. Previous studies using glutamate receptor antagonists have revealed that the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) plays a central role in associative recognition memory. The present study investigates short-term recognition memory using optogenetics to target glutamatergic neurons within the rodent mPFC specific...

  7. Glutamatergic substrates of drug addiction and alcoholism1

    OpenAIRE

    Gass, Justin T.; Foster Olive, M.

    2007-01-01

    The past two decades have witnessed a dramatic accumulation of evidence indicating that the excitatory amino acid glutamate plays an important role in drug addiction and alcoholism. The purpose of this review is to summarize findings on glutamatergic substrates of addiction, surveying data from both human and animal studies. The effects of various drugs of abuse on glutamatergic neurotransmission are discussed, as are the effects of pharmacological or genetic manipulation of various component...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  9. 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

    Glucose is the primary energy substrate for the adult mammalian brain. However, lactate produced within the brain might be able to serve this purpose in neurons. In the present study, the relative significance of glucose and lactate as substrates to maintain neurotransmitter homeostasis was inves...

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. [Autism spectrum disorder and genes for synaptic proteins].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shishido, Emiko

    2012-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and restricted interests. It is generally accepted that ASD is caused by abnormalities in the structure or functions of the brain. Recent genome-wide analyses have identified copy number variations (CNVs) of neuronal genes in the genomes of ASD patients. CNV is a commonly observed phenomenon in human beings. During the first cell division of meiosis, irregular crossing over between homologous chromosomes results in loss or duplication of a segment. From 2007 to 2010, several groups performed a large-scale virtual screening of CNVs in ASD genomes. Genes affected by CNV, de novo CNVs, and rare CNVs were more prevalent in ASD. The results highlighted the CNVs of many neuronal genes associated with ASD. A fraction of these genes was previously identified in ASD but some were newly identified in each study. The CNVs implicated in ASD include neuronal genes belonging to 4 classes. These genes encode (1) neural adhesion molecules, including cadherins, neuroligin, and neurexin; (2) scaffold proteins such as SHANK3; (3) protein kinases and other intracellular signaling molecules; and (4) proteins that regulate protein syntheses. In general, these proteins play a role in synapse of glutamatergic neurons. The CNVs detected in the ASD patient genomes of imply a link between the synaptic proteins and pathological characteristics of ASD. Altered protein dosage by the CNVs may alter the functional quality of ASD patient's synapses, and may consequently affect their development of language and communication skills. There are 2 types of ASD, one is sporadic and, the other is familial. According to some reports, de novo CNVs are more frequently observed in sporadic-type ASD. However, it is generally understood that a combination of particular CNVs and other possible mutations underlie the pathology of ASD regardless of ASD type. The major symptoms of ASD are often curable with

  13. 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.

  14. [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.

  15. Subtle alterations of excitatory transmission are linked to presynaptic changes in the hippocampus of PINK1-deficient mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feligioni, Marco; Mango, Dalila; Piccinin, Sonia; Imbriani, Paola; Iannuzzi, Filomena; Caruso, Alessandra; De Angelis, Francesca; Blandini, Fabio; Mercuri, Nicola B; Pisani, Antonio; Nisticò, Robert

    2016-06-01

    Homozygous or heterozygous mutations in the PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) gene have been linked to early-onset Parkinson's disease (PD). Several neurophysiological studies have demonstrated alterations in striatal synaptic plasticity along with impaired dopamine release in PINK1-deficient mice. Using electrophysiological methods, here we show that PINK1 loss of function causes a progressive increase of spontaneous glutamate-mediated synaptic events in the hippocampus, without influencing long-term potentiation. Moreover, fluorescence analysis reveals increased neurotrasmitter release although our biochemical results failed to detect which presynaptic proteins might be engaged. This study provides a novel role for PINK1 beyond the physiology of nigrostriatal dopaminergic circuit. Specifically, PINK1 might contribute to preserve synaptic function and glutamatergic homeostasis in the hippocampus, a brain region underlying cognition. The subtle changes in excitatory transmission here observed might be a pathogenic precursor to excitotoxic neurodegeneration and cognitive decline often observed in PD. Using electrophysiological and fluorescence techniques, we demonstrate that lack of PINK1 causes increased excitatory transmission and neurotransmitter release in the hippocampus, which might lead to the cognitive decline often observed in Parkinson's disease. PMID:26850695

  16. Novel model of neuronal bioenergetics: postsynaptic utilization of glucose but not lactate correlates positively with Ca2+ signalling in cultured mouse glutamatergic neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sevan A.A. Faek

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available We have previously investigated the relative roles of extracellular glucose and lactate as fuels for glutamatergic neurons during synaptic activity. The conclusion from these studies was that cultured glutamatergic neurons utilize glucose rather than lactate during NMDA (N-methyl-d-aspartate-induced synaptic activity and that lactate alone is not able to support neurotransmitter glutamate homoeostasis. Subsequently, a model was proposed to explain these results at the cellular level. In brief, the intermittent rises in intracellular Ca2+ during activation cause influx of Ca2+ into the mitochondrial matrix thus activating the tricarboxylic acid cycle dehydrogenases. This will lead to a lower activity of the MASH (malate–aspartate shuttle, which in turn will result in anaerobic glycolysis and lactate production rather than lactate utilization. In the present work, we have investigated the effect of an ionomycin-induced increase in intracellular Ca2+ (i.e. independent of synaptic activity on neuronal energy metabolism employing 13C-labelled glucose and lactate and subsequent mass spectrometric analysis of labelling in glutamate, alanine and lactate. The results demonstrate that glucose utilization is positively correlated with intracellular Ca2+ whereas lactate utilization is not. This result lends further support for a significant role of glucose in neuronal bioenergetics and that Ca2+ signalling may control the switch between glucose and lactate utilization during synaptic activity. Based on the results, we propose a compartmentalized CiMASH (Ca2+-induced limitation of the MASH model that includes intracellular compartmentation of glucose and lactate metabolism. We define pre- and post-synaptic compartments metabolizing glucose and glucose plus lactate respectively in which the latter displays a positive correlation between oxidative metabolism of glucose and Ca2+ signalling.

  17. Synaptic Vesicle Exocytosis

    OpenAIRE

    Südhof, Thomas C; Rizo, Josep

    2011-01-01

    Presynaptic nerve terminals release neurotransmitters by synaptic vesicle exocytosis. Membrane fusion mediating synaptic exocytosis and other intracellular membrane traffic is affected by a universal machinery that includes SNARE (for “soluble NSF-attachment protein receptor”) and SM (for “Sec1/Munc18-like”) proteins. During fusion, vesicular and target SNARE proteins assemble into an α-helical trans-SNARE complex that forces the two membranes tightly together, and SM proteins likely wrap aro...

  18. Oscillatory Activity in Developing Prefrontal Networks Results from Theta-Gamma-Modulated Synaptic Inputs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian H. Bitzenhofer

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The hippocampus-driven entrainment of neonatal prefrontal circuits in theta-gamma oscillations contributes to the maturation of cognitive abilities, yet the underlying synaptic mechanisms are still unknown. Here we combine patch-clamp recordings from morphologically and neurochemically characterized layer V pyramidal neurons and interneurons in vivo, with extracellular recordings from the prelimbic cortex (PL of awake and lightly anesthetized neonatal rats, to elucidate the synaptic framework of early network oscillations. We demonstrate that all neurons spontaneously fire bursts of action potentials. They receive barrages of fast and slow glutamatergic as well as GABAergic synaptic inputs. Oscillatory theta activity results from long-range coupling of pyramidal neurons, presumably within prelimbic-hippocampal circuits, and from local interactions between interneurons. In contrast, beta-low gamma activity requires external glutamatergic drive on prelimbic interneurons. High-frequency oscillations in layer V are independent of interactions at chemical synapses. Thus, specific theta-gamma-modulated synaptic interactions represent the substrate of network oscillations in the developing PL.

  19. Spatial relationships between GABAergic and glutamatergic synapses on the dendrites of distinct types of mouse retinal ganglion cells across development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Bleckert

    Full Text Available Neuronal output requires a concerted balance between excitatory and inhibitory (I/E input. Like other circuits, inhibitory synaptogenesis in the retina precedes excitatory synaptogenesis. How then do neurons attain their mature balance of I/E ratios despite temporal offset in synaptogenesis? To directly compare the development of glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses onto the same cell, we biolistically transfected retinal ganglion cells (RGCs with PSD95CFP, a marker of glutamatergic postsynaptic sites, in transgenic Thy1-YFPγ2 mice in which GABAA receptors are fluorescently tagged. We mapped YFPγ2 and PSD95CFP puncta distributions on three RGC types at postnatal day P12, shortly before eye opening, and at P21 when robust light responses in RGCs are present. The mature IGABA/E ratios varied among ON-Sustained (S A-type, OFF-S A-type, and bistratified direction selective (DS RGCs. These ratios were attained at different rates, before eye-opening for ON-S and OFF-S A-type, and after eye-opening for DS RGCs. At both ages examined, the IGABA/E ratio was uniform across the arbors of the three RGC types. Furthermore, measurements of the distances between neighboring PSD95CFP and YFPγ2 puncta on RGC dendrites indicate that their local relationship is established early in development, and cannot be predicted by random organization. These close spatial associations between glutamatergic and GABAergic postsynaptic sites appear to represent local synaptic arrangements revealed by correlative light and EM reconstructions of a single RGC's dendrites. Thus, although RGC types have different IGABA/E ratios and establish these ratios at separate rates, the local relationship between excitatory and inhibitory inputs appear similarly constrained across the RGC types studied.

  20. Spatial Relationships between GABAergic and Glutamatergic Synapses on the Dendrites of Distinct Types of Mouse Retinal Ganglion Cells across Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bleckert, Adam; Parker, Edward D.; Kang, YunHee; Pancaroglu, Raika; Soto, Florentina; Lewis, Renate; Craig, Ann Marie; Wong, Rachel O. L.

    2013-01-01

    Neuronal output requires a concerted balance between excitatory and inhibitory (I/E) input. Like other circuits, inhibitory synaptogenesis in the retina precedes excitatory synaptogenesis. How then do neurons attain their mature balance of I/E ratios despite temporal offset in synaptogenesis? To directly compare the development of glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses onto the same cell, we biolistically transfected retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) with PSD95CFP, a marker of glutamatergic postsynaptic sites, in transgenic Thy1­YFPγ2 mice in which GABAA receptors are fluorescently tagged. We mapped YFPγ2 and PSD95CFP puncta distributions on three RGC types at postnatal day P12, shortly before eye opening, and at P21 when robust light responses in RGCs are present. The mature IGABA/E ratios varied among ON-Sustained (S) A-type, OFF-S A-type, and bistratified direction selective (DS) RGCs. These ratios were attained at different rates, before eye-opening for ON-S and OFF-S A-type, and after eye-opening for DS RGCs. At both ages examined, the IGABA/E ratio was uniform across the arbors of the three RGC types. Furthermore, measurements of the distances between neighboring PSD95CFP and YFPγ2 puncta on RGC dendrites indicate that their local relationship is established early in development, and cannot be predicted by random organization. These close spatial associations between glutamatergic and GABAergic postsynaptic sites appear to represent local synaptic arrangements revealed by correlative light and EM reconstructions of a single RGC's dendrites. Thus, although RGC types have different IGABA/E ratios and establish these ratios at separate rates, the local relationship between excitatory and inhibitory inputs appear similarly constrained across the RGC types studied. PMID:23922756

  1. Involvement of glutamatergic neurotransmission in the antidepressant-like effect of zinc in the chronic unpredictable stress model of depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manosso, Luana M; Moretti, Morgana; Colla, André R; Ribeiro, Camille M; Dal-Cim, Tharine; Tasca, Carla I; Rodrigues, Ana Lúcia S

    2016-03-01

    Stress and excessive glutamatergic neurotransmission have been implicated in the pathophysiology of depression. Therefore, this study was aimed at investigating the influence of zinc on depressive-like behavior induced by chronic unpredictable stress (CUS), on alterations in glutamate-induced toxicity and immunocontent of proteins involved in the control of glutamatergic neurotransmission in the hippocampus of mice. Mice were subjected to CUS procedure for 14 days. From the 8th to the 14th day, mice received zinc chloride (ZnCl2) (10 mg/kg) or fluoxetine (10 mg/kg, positive control) once a day by oral route. CUS caused a depressive-like behavior evidenced by the increased immobility time in the tail suspension test (TST), which was prevented by treatment with ZnCl2 or fluoxetine. Ex vivo exposure of hippocampal slices to glutamate (10 mM) resulted in a significant decrease on cell viability; however, neither CUS procedure nor drug treatments altered this reduction. No alterations in the immunocontents of GLT-1 and GFAP or p-Akt were observed in any experimental group. The ratio of p-Akt/AKT was also not altered in any group. However, Akt immunocontent was increased in stressed mice and in animals treated with ZnCl2 (stressed or non-stressed mice) and EAAC1 immunocontent was increased in stressed mice treated with ZnCl2, fluoxetine or vehicle and in non-stressed mice treated with ZnCl2 and fluoxetine. These findings indicate a robust effect of zinc in reversing behavioral alteration induced by CUS in mice, through a possible modulation of the glutamatergic neurotransmission, extending literature data regarding the mechanisms underlying its antidepressant-like action. PMID:26747027

  2. Ly6h regulates trafficking of alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and nicotine-induced potentiation of glutamatergic signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puddifoot, Clare A; Wu, Meilin; Sung, Rou-Jia; Joiner, William J

    2015-02-25

    α7 nAChRs are expressed widely throughout the brain, where they are important for synaptic signaling, gene transcription, and plastic changes that regulate sensory processing, cognition, and neural responses to chronic nicotine exposure. However, the mechanisms by which α7 nAChRs are regulated are poorly understood. Here we show that trafficking of α7-subunits is controlled by endogenous membrane-associated prototoxins in the Ly6 family. In particular, we find that Ly6h reduces cell-surface expression and calcium signaling by α7 nAChRs. We detect Ly6h in several rat brain regions, including the hippocampus, where we find it is both necessary and sufficient to limit the magnitude of α7-mediated currents. Consistent with such a regulatory function, knockdown of Ly6h in rat hippocampal pyramidal neurons enhances nicotine-induced potentiation of glutamatergic mEPSC amplitude, which is known to be mediated by α7 signaling. Collectively our data suggest a novel cellular role for Ly6 proteins in regulating nAChRs, which may be relevant to plastic changes in the nervous system including rewiring of glutamatergic circuitry during nicotine addiction. PMID:25716842

  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. 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.

  5. NMDA receptors mediate synaptic competition in culture.

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    Kevin She

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Activity through NMDA type glutamate receptors sculpts connectivity in the developing nervous system. This topic is typically studied in the visual system in vivo, where activity of inputs can be differentially regulated, but in which individual synapses are difficult to visualize and mechanisms governing synaptic competition can be difficult to ascertain. Here, we develop a model of NMDA-receptor dependent synaptic competition in dissociated cultured hippocampal neurons. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: GluN1 -/- (KO mouse hippocampal neurons lacking the essential NMDA receptor subunit were cultured alone or cultured in defined ratios with wild type (WT neurons. The absence of functional NMDA receptors did not alter neuron survival. Synapse development was assessed by immunofluorescence for postsynaptic PSD-95 family scaffold and apposed presynaptic vesicular glutamate transporter VGlut1. Synapse density was specifically enhanced onto minority wild type neurons co-cultured with a majority of GluN1 -/- neighbour neurons, both relative to the GluN1 -/- neighbours and relative to sister pure wild type cultures. This form of synaptic competition was dependent on NMDA receptor activity and not conferred by the mere physical presence of GluN1. In contrast to these results in 10% WT and 90% KO co-cultures, synapse density did not differ by genotype in 50% WT and 50% KO co-cultures or in 90% WT and 10% KO co-cultures. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The enhanced synaptic density onto NMDA receptor-competent neurons in minority coculture with GluN1 -/- neurons represents a cell culture paradigm for studying synaptic competition. Mechanisms involved may include a retrograde 'reward' signal generated by WT neurons, although in this paradigm there was no 'punishment' signal against GluN1 -/- neurons. Cell culture assays involving such defined circuits may help uncover the rules and mechanisms of activity-dependent synaptic competition in the

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  8. Lineage origins of GABAergic versus glutamatergic neurons in the neocortex

    OpenAIRE

    Marín, Oscar; Müller, Ulrich

    2014-01-01

    Neocortical circuits are assembled from subtypes of glutamatergic excitatory and GABAergic inhibitory neurons with divergent anatomical and molecular signatures and unique physiological properties. Excitatory neurons derive from progenitors in the pallium, whereas inhibitory neurons originate from progenitors in the subpallium. Both classes of neurons subsequently migrate along well-defined routes to their final target area, where they integrate into common neuronal circuits. Recent findings ...

  9. Role of astrocytic transport processes in glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schousboe, A; Sarup, A; Bak, L K;

    2004-01-01

    The fine tuning of both glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission is to a large extent dependent upon optimal function of astrocytic transport processes. Thus, glutamate transport in astrocytes is mandatory to maintain extrasynaptic glutamate levels sufficiently low to prevent excitotoxic...... neuronal damage. In GABA synapses hyperactivity of astroglial GABA uptake may lead to diminished GABAergic inhibitory activity resulting in seizures. As a consequence of this the expression and functional activity of astrocytic glutamate and GABA transport is regulated in a number of ways at...

  10. The Glutamatergic Neurotransmission in the Central Nervous System

    OpenAIRE

    Marmiroli, PL; Cavaletti, GA

    2012-01-01

    Glutamate is one of the major neurotrasmitters in mammalian brain and changes in its concentration have been associated with a number of neurological disorders, including neurodegenerative, cerebrovascular diseases and epilepsy. Moreover, recently a possible role for glutamatergic system dysfunction has been suggested also in the peripheral nervous system. This chapter will revise the current knowledge in the distribution of glutamate and of its receptors and transporters in the central nervo...

  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. 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

    2013-12-01

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:27537486

  15. Endocannabinoids differentially modulate synaptic plasticity in rat hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons.

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    Jian-Yi Xu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons receive two excitatory glutamatergic synaptic inputs: their most distal dendritic regions in the stratum lacunosum-moleculare (SLM are innervated by the perforant path (PP, originating from layer III of the entorhinal cortex, while their more proximal regions of the apical dendrites in the stratum radiatum (SR are innervated by the Schaffer-collaterals (SC, originating from hippocampal CA3 neurons. Endocannabinoids (eCBs are naturally occurring mediators capable of modulating both GABAergic and glutamatergic synaptic transmission and plasticity via the CB1 receptor. Previous work on eCB modulation of excitatory synapses in the CA1 region largely focuses on the SC pathway. However, little information is available on whether and how eCBs modulate glutamatergic synaptic transmission and plasticity at PP synapses. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: By employing somatic and dendritic patch-clamp recordings, Ca(2+ uncaging, and immunostaining, we demonstrate that there are significant differences in low-frequency stimulation (LFS- or DHPG-, an agonist of group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs, induced long-term depression (LTD of excitatory synaptic transmission between SC and PP synapses in the same pyramidal neurons. These differences are eliminated by pharmacological inhibition with selective CB1 receptor antagonists or genetic deletion of the CB1 receptor, indicating that these differences likely result from differential modulation via a CB1 receptor-dependent mechanism. We also revealed that depolarization-induced suppression of excitation (DSE, a form of short-term synaptic plasticity, and photolysis of caged Ca(2+-induced suppression of Excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs were less at the PP than that at the SC. In addition, application of WIN55212 (WIN induced a more pronounced inhibition of EPSCs at the SC when compared to that at the PP. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results suggest

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Stress, trauma and PTSD: translational insights into the core synaptic circuitry and its modulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Maxwell R; Hatton, Sean N; Lagopoulos, Jim

    2016-06-01

    Evidence is considered as to whether behavioral criteria for diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are applicable to that of traumatized animals and whether the phenomena of acquisition, extinction and reactivation of fear behavior in animals are also successfully applicable to humans. This evidence suggests an affirmative answer in both cases. Furthermore, the deficits in gray matter found in PTSD, determined with magnetic resonance imaging, are also observed in traumatized animals, lending neuropsychological support to the use of animals to probe what has gone awry in PTSD. Such animal experiments indicate that the core synaptic circuitry mediating behavior following trauma consists of the amygdala, ventral-medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, all of which are modulated by the basal ganglia. It is not clear if this is the case in PTSD as the observations using fMRI are equivocal and open to technical objections. Nevertheless, the effects of the basal ganglia in controlling glutamatergic synaptic transmission through dopaminergic and serotonergic synaptic mechanisms in the core synaptic circuitry provides a ready explanation for why modifying these mechanisms delays extinction in animal models and predisposes towards PTSD. In addition, changes of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the core synaptic circuitry have significant effects on acquisition and extinction in animal experiments with single nucleotide polymorphisms in the BDNF gene predisposing to PTSD. PMID:25985955

  19. 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.

  20. Linking Cholinergic Interneurons, Synaptic Plasticity, and Behavior during the Extinction of a Cocaine-Context Association.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Junuk; Finkelstein, Joel; Choi, Jung Yoon; Witten, Ilana B

    2016-06-01

    Despite the fact that cholinergic interneurons are a key cell type within the nucleus accumbens, a relationship between synaptic plasticity and the in vivo activity of cholinergic interneurons remains to be established. Here, we identify a three-way link between the activity of cholinergic interneurons, synaptic plasticity, and learning in mice undergoing the extinction of a cocaine-context association. We found that activity of cholinergic interneurons regulates extinction learning for a cocaine-context association and generates a sustained reduction in glutamatergic presynaptic strength onto medium spiny neurons. Interestingly, activation of cholinergic interneurons does not support reinforcement learning or plasticity by itself, suggesting that these neurons have a modulatory rather than a reinforcing function. PMID:27210555

  1. Synaptic encoding of temporal contiguity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  2. 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...

  3. Calcineurin, Synaptic Plasticity, and Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carl Weitlauf

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available A long-held hypothesis in neuroscience holds that learning and memory mechanisms involve lasting changes in synaptic weights. Multiple mechanisms for producing such changes exist, of which NMDA-receptor–dependent long-term potentiation (LTP is the most widely studied. Curiously, the relatively simple hypothesis that LTP plays a role in learning and memory has proven difficult to test. A current experimental strategy is to generate genetically altered mice with mutations in genes thought to be involved in LTP and assess the effects of these mutations both on LTP and animal behavior[1,2]. A difficulty associated with these approaches has been that they are not temporally or spatially refined. To alleviate this problem, Dr. Isabelle Mansuy and colleagues used an inducible and reversible transgene expression system in which transgene expression could be controlled on a week-to-week timescale to assess the effects of genetic reduction of the activity of a protein phosphatase known as calcineurin or PP2B in adult mouse forebrain[3,4].

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Synaptic electronics: materials, devices and applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. (topical review)

  7. Muscarinic receptor subtypes differentially control synaptic input and excitability of cerebellum-projecting medial vestibular nucleus neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Yun; Chen, Shao-Rui; Pan, Hui-Lin

    2016-04-01

    Neurons in the vestibular nuclei have a vital function in balance maintenance, gaze stabilization, and posture. Although muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) are expressed and involved in regulating vestibular function, it remains unclear how individual mAChR subtypes regulate vestibular neuronal activity. In this study, we determined which specific subtypes of mAChRs control synaptic input and excitability of medial vestibular nucleus (MVN) neurons that project to the cerebellum. Cerebellum-projecting MVN neurons were labeled by a fluorescent retrograde tracer and then identified in rat brainstem slices. Quantitative PCR analysis suggested that M2 and M3 were the possible major mAChR subtypes expressed in the MVN. The mAChR agonist oxotremorine-M significantly reduced the amplitude of glutamatergic excitatory post-synaptic currents evoked by stimulation of vestibular primary afferents, and this effect was abolished by the M2-preferring antagonist AF-DX 116. However, oxotremorine-M had no effect on GABA-mediated spontaneous inhibitory post-synaptic currents of labeled MVN neurons. Furthermore, oxotremorine-M significantly increased the firing activity of labeled MVN neurons, and this effect was blocked by the M3-preferring antagonist J104129 in most neurons tested. In addition, AF-DX 116 reduced the onset latency and prolonged the excitatory effect of oxotremorine-M on the firing activity of labeled MVN neurons. Our findings suggest that M3 is the predominant post-synaptic mAChR involved in muscarinic excitation of cerebellum-projecting MVN neurons. Pre-synaptic M2 mAChR regulates excitatory glutamatergic input from vestibular primary afferents, which in turn influences the excitability of cerebellum-projecting MVN neurons. This new information has important therapeutic implications for treating vestibular disorders with mAChR subtype-selective agents. Medial vestibular nucleus (MVN) neurons projecting to the cerebellum are involved in balance control. We

  8. Cell-specific synaptic plasticity induced by network oscillations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarnadze, Shota; Bäuerle, Peter; Santos-Torres, Julio; Böhm, Claudia; Schmitz, Dietmar; Geiger, Jörg Rp; Dugladze, Tamar; Gloveli, Tengis

    2016-01-01

    Gamma rhythms are known to contribute to the process of memory encoding. However, little is known about the underlying mechanisms at the molecular, cellular and network levels. Using local field potential recording in awake behaving mice and concomitant field potential and whole-cell recordings in slice preparations we found that gamma rhythms lead to activity-dependent modification of hippocampal networks, including alterations in sharp wave-ripple complexes. Network plasticity, expressed as long-lasting increases in sharp wave-associated synaptic currents, exhibits enhanced excitatory synaptic strength in pyramidal cells that is induced postsynaptically and depends on metabotropic glutamate receptor-5 activation. In sharp contrast, alteration of inhibitory synaptic strength is independent of postsynaptic activation and less pronounced. Further, we found a cell type-specific, directionally biased synaptic plasticity of two major types of GABAergic cells, parvalbumin- and cholecystokinin-expressing interneurons. Thus, we propose that gamma frequency oscillations represent a network state that introduces long-lasting synaptic plasticity in a cell-specific manner. PMID:27218453

  9. 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.

  10. Haploinsufficiency of the autism-associated Shank3 gene leads to deficits in synaptic function, social interaction, and social communication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bozdagi Ozlem

    2010-12-01

    , induced either with θ-burst pairing (TBP or high-frequency stimulation, was impaired in Shank3 heterozygous mice, with no significant change in long-term depression (LTD. In concordance with the LTP results, persistent expansion of spines was observed in control mice after TBP-induced LTP; however, only transient spine expansion was observed in Shank3 heterozygous mice. Male Shank3 heterozygotes displayed less social sniffing and emitted fewer ultrasonic vocalizations during interactions with estrus female mice, as compared to wild-type littermate controls. Conclusions We documented specific deficits in synaptic function and plasticity, along with reduced reciprocal social interactions in Shank3 heterozygous mice. Our results are consistent with altered synaptic development and function in Shank3 haploinsufficiency, highlighting the importance of Shank3 in synaptic function and supporting a link between deficits in synapse function and neurodevelopmental disorders. The reduced glutamatergic transmission that we observed in the Shank3 heterozygous mice represents an interesting therapeutic target in Shank3-haploinsufficiency syndromes.

  11. Classification: Molecular & Synaptic Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Reduced glutamatergic currents and dendritic branching of layer 5 pyramidal cells contribute to medial prefrontal cortex deactivation in a rat model of neuropathic pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Crystle Joann Kelly

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Multiple studies have demonstrated that neuropathic pain is associated with major reorganization in multiple brain areas. In line with the strong emotional salience of chronic pain, involvement of the limbic system appears particularly important. Within the past few years, it has become clear that the functional deactivation of the prefrontal cortex is critical for both the cognitive/emotional and the sensory components of pain. However, at the cellular level, details of this deactivation remain in large part unclear. Here we show that one week after a peripheral neuropathic injury (Spared Nerve Injury model pyramidal cells in layer 5 of the rat medial prefrontal cortex show responses to excitatory glutamatergic inputs that are reduced by about 50%, as well as reduced frequency of spontaneous excitatory synaptic currents. Additionally, these cells have reduced membrane capacitance and increased input resistance. All these findings are consistent with decreased dendritic length, thus we performed a detailed morphological analysis on a subset of the recorded neurons. We found that the apical dendrites proximal to the soma (excluding the tuft are shorter and less complex in SNI animals, in agreement with the reduced capacitance and glutamatergic input. Finally, we used in-vivo microdialysis to compare the basal concentrations of glutamate and GABA in the prefrontal cortex of sham and SNI rats and found that ambient glutamate is decreased in SNI rats. Taken together, these data show that impaired glutamatergic transmission contributes to the functional deactivation of the mPFC in neuropathic pain. Additionally, the reduced branching of apical dendrites of layer 5 pyramidal neurons may underlay the gray matter reduction in chronic pain.

  13. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Jiandong

    2012-08-01

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

  15. Manipulations of MeCP2 in glutamatergic neurons highlight their contributions to Rett and other neurological disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Xiangling; Wang, Wei; Lu, Hui; He, Ling-Jie; Chen, Wu; Chao, Eugene S; Fiorotto, Marta L; Tang, Bin; Herrera, Jose A; Seymour, Michelle L; Neul, Jeffrey L; Pereira, Fred A; Tang, Jianrong; Xue, Mingshan; Zoghbi, Huda Y

    2016-01-01

    Many postnatal onset neurological disorders such as autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and intellectual disability are thought to arise largely from disruption of excitatory/inhibitory homeostasis. Although mouse models of Rett syndrome (RTT), a postnatal neurological disorder caused by loss-of-function mutations in MECP2, display impaired excitatory neurotransmission, the RTT phenotype can be largely reproduced in mice simply by removing MeCP2 from inhibitory GABAergic neurons. To determine what role excitatory signaling impairment might play in RTT pathogenesis, we generated conditional mouse models with Mecp2 either removed from or expressed solely in glutamatergic neurons. MeCP2 deficiency in glutamatergic neurons leads to early lethality, obesity, tremor, altered anxiety-like behaviors, and impaired acoustic startle response, which is distinct from the phenotype of mice lacking MeCP2 only in inhibitory neurons. These findings reveal a role for excitatory signaling impairment in specific neurobehavioral abnormalities shared by RTT and other postnatal neurological disorders. PMID:27328325

  16. 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.

  17. Molecular Recognition within Synaptic Scaffolds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Erlendsson, Simon

    domains, responsible for tethering their respective synaptic protein ligands. Therefore, understanding the specificity and binding mechanisms of PDZ domain proteins is essential to understand regulation of synaptic plasticity. PICK1 is a PDZ domain-containing scaffolding protein predominantly expressed...... and characterized in the postsynaptic neurons, where it is involved in regulating processes underlying LTP and LTD. However, PICK1 has also been found to interact with a wide range of other regulatory proteins, receptors and transporters, which implicates PICK1 in several processes important for proper synaptic...

  18. It’s MORe exciting than mu: Crosstalk between mu opioid receptors and glutamatergic transmission in the mesolimbic dopamine system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena H Chartoff

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available 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, nonadherence 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 AMPA and NMDA receptors in the nucleus accumbens (NAc and ventral tegmental area (VTA with the clinical (neurobehavioral progression of opioid dependence, as well as to identify gaps in knowledge that can be addressed in future studies.

  19. Synapses, synaptic activity and intraneuronal Aβ in Alzheimer's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davide Tampellini

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available β-amyloid peptide accumulation plays a central role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. Aberrant β-amyloid buildup in the brain has been shown to be present both in the extracellular space and within neurons. Synapses are important targets of β-amyloid, and alterations in synapses better correlate with cognitive impairment than amyloid plaques or neurofibrillary tangles. The link between β-amyloid and synapses became even tighter when it was discovered that β-amyloid accumulates within synapses and that synaptic activity modulates β-amyloid secretion. Currently, a central question in Alzheimer’s disease research is what role synaptic activity plays in the disease process, and how specifically β-amyloid is involved in the synaptic dysfunction that characterizes the disease.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. Synaptic control of motoneuronal excitability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2000-01-01

    important in understanding the transformation of neural activity to motor behavior. Here, we review recent studies on the control of motoneuronal excitability, focusing on synaptic and cellular properties. We first present a background description of motoneurons: their development, anatomical organization......, and membrane properties, both passive and active. We then describe the general anatomical organization of synaptic input to motoneurons, followed by a description of the major transmitter systems that affect motoneuronal excitability, including ligands, receptor distribution, pre- and postsynaptic actions...

  2. Candidate Glutamatergic Neurons in the Visual System of Drosophila

    OpenAIRE

    Shamprasad Varija Raghu; Alexander Borst

    2011-01-01

    The visual system of Drosophila contains approximately 60,000 neurons that are organized in parallel, retinotopically arranged columns. A large number of these neurons have been characterized in great anatomical detail. However, studies providing direct evidence for synaptic signaling and the neurotransmitter used by individual neurons are relatively sparse. Here we present a first layout of neurons in the Drosophila visual system that likely release glutamate as their major neurotransmitter....

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  4. Wnt signaling pathway improves central inhibitory synaptic transmission in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuenzalida, Marco; Espinoza, Claudia; Pérez, Miguel Ángel; Tapia-Rojas, Cheril; Cuitino, Loreto; Brandan, Enrique; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C

    2016-02-01

    The dystrophin-associated glycoprotein complex (DGC) that connects the cytoskeleton, plasma membrane and the extracellular matrix has been related to the maintenance and stabilization of channels and synaptic receptors, which are both essential for synaptogenesis and synaptic transmission. The dystrophin-deficient (mdx) mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) exhibits a significant reduction in hippocampal GABA efficacy, which may underlie the altered synaptic function and abnormal hippocampal long-term plasticity exhibited by mdx mice. Emerging studies have implicated Wnt signaling in the modulation of synaptic efficacy, neuronal plasticity and cognitive function. We report here that the activation of the non-canonical Wnt-5a pathway and Andrographolide, improves hippocampal mdx GABAergic efficacy by increasing the number of inhibitory synapses and GABA(A) receptors or GABA release. These results indicate that Wnt signaling modulates GABA synaptic efficacy and could be a promising novel target for DMD cognitive therapy. PMID:26626079

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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. PMID:26542977

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Altered cortical glutamatergic and GABAergic signal transmission with glial involvement in depression

    OpenAIRE

    Choudary, P. V.; Molnar, M.; Evans, S J; H. Tomita; Li, J.Z.; Vawter, M. P.; Myers, R.M.; Bunney, W. E.; Akil, H; Watson, S. J.; Jones, E. G.

    2005-01-01

    Abnormalities in l-glutamic acid (glutamate) and GABA signal transmission have been postulated to play a role in depression, but little is known about the underlying molecular determinants and neural mechanisms. Microarray analysis of specific areas of cerebral cortex from individuals who had suffered from major depressive disorder demonstrated significant down-regulation of SLC1A2 and SLC1A3, two key members of the glutamate/neutral amino acid transporter protein family, SLC1. Similarly, exp...

  10. Glutamate Receptor Modulation Is Restricted to Synaptic Microdomains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:27462810

  15. 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...

  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. PMID:27498564

  17. Glutamatergic dysbalance and oxidative stress in in vivo and in vitro models of psychosis based on chronic NMDA receptor antagonism.

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    Just Genius

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The psychotomimetic effects of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA receptor antagonists in healthy humans and their tendency to aggravate psychotic symptoms in schizophrenic patients have promoted the notion of altered glutamatergic neurotransmission in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. METHODS: The NMDA-receptor antagonist MK-801 was chronically administered to rats (0.02 mg/kg intraperitoneally for 14 days. In one subgroup the antipsychotic haloperidol (1 mg/kg was employed as a rescue therapy. Glutamate distribution and 3-NT (3-nitrotyrosine as a marker of oxidative stress were assessed by immunohistochemistry in tissue sections. In parallel, the effects of MK-801 and haloperidol were investigated in primary embryonal hippocampal cell cultures from rats. RESULTS: Chronic NMDA-R antagonism led to a marked increase of intracellular glutamate in the hippocampus (126.1 +/- 10.4% S.E.M of control; p=0.037, while 3-NT staining intensity remained unaltered. No differences were observed in extrahippocampal brain regions. Essentially these findings could be reproduced in vitro. CONCLUSION: The combined in vivo and in vitro strategy allowed us to assess the implications of disturbed glutamate metabolism for the occurrence of oxidative stress and to investigate the effects of antipsychotics. Our data suggest that oxidative stress plays a minor role in this model than previously suggested. The same applies to apoptosis. Moreover, the effect of haloperidol seems to be mediated through yet unidentified mechanisms, unrelated to D2-antagonism. These convergent lines of evidence indicate that further research should be focused on the glutamatergic system and that our animal model may provide a tool to explore the biology of schizophrenia.

  18. 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. PMID:26884404

  19. Unique pH dynamics in GABAergic synaptic vesicles illuminates the mechanism and kinetics of GABA loading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egashira, Yoshihiro; Takase, Miki; Watanabe, Shoji; Ishida, Junji; Fukamizu, Akiyoshi; Kaneko, Ryosuke; Yanagawa, Yuchio; Takamori, Shigeo

    2016-09-20

    GABA acts as the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mammalian brain, shaping neuronal and circuit activity. For sustained synaptic transmission, synaptic vesicles (SVs) are required to be recycled and refilled with neurotransmitters using an H(+) electrochemical gradient. However, neither the mechanism underlying vesicular GABA uptake nor the kinetics of GABA loading in living neurons have been fully elucidated. To characterize the process of GABA uptake into SVs in functional synapses, we monitored luminal pH of GABAergic SVs separately from that of excitatory glutamatergic SVs in cultured hippocampal neurons. By using a pH sensor optimal for the SV lumen, we found that GABAergic SVs exhibited an unexpectedly higher resting pH (∼6.4) than glutamatergic SVs (pH ∼5.8). Moreover, unlike glutamatergic SVs, GABAergic SVs displayed unique pH dynamics after endocytosis that involved initial overacidification and subsequent alkalization that restored their resting pH. GABAergic SVs that lacked the vesicular GABA transporter (VGAT) did not show the pH overshoot and acidified further to ∼6.0. Comparison of luminal pH dynamics in the presence or absence of VGAT showed that VGAT operates as a GABA/H(+) exchanger, which is continuously required to offset GABA leakage. Furthermore, the kinetics of GABA transport was slower (τ > 20 s at physiological temperature) than that of glutamate uptake and may exceed the time required for reuse of exocytosed SVs, allowing reuse of incompletely filled vesicles in the presence of high demand for inhibitory transmission. PMID:27601664

  20. 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.

  1. Salient features of synaptic organisation in the cerebral cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somogyi, P; Tamás, G; Lujan, R; Buhl, E H

    1998-05-01

    The neuronal and synaptic organisation of the cerebral cortex appears exceedingly complex, and the definition of a basic cortical circuit in terms of defined classes of cells and connections is necessary to facilitate progress of its analysis. During the last two decades quantitative studies of the synaptic connectivity of identified cortical neurones and their molecular dissection revealed a number of general rules that apply to all areas of cortex. In this review, first the precise location of postsynaptic GABA and glutamate receptors is examined at cortical synapses, in order to define the site of synaptic interactions. It is argued that, due to the exclusion of G protein-coupled receptors from the postsynaptic density, the presence of extrasynaptic receptors and the molecular compartmentalisation of the postsynaptic membrane, the synapse should include membrane areas beyond the membrane specialisation. Subsequently, the following organisational principles are examined: 1. The cerebral cortex consists of: (i) a large population of principal neurones reciprocally connected to the thalamus and to each other via axon collaterals releasing excitatory amino acids, and, (ii) a smaller population of mainly local circuit GABAergic neurones. 2. Differential reciprocal connections are also formed amongst GABAergic neurones. 3. All extrinsic and intracortical glutamatergic pathways terminate on both the principal and the GABAergic neurones, differentially weighted according to the pathway. 4. Synapses of multiple sets of glutamatergic and GABAergic afferents subdivide the surface of cortical neurones and are often co-aligned on the dendritic domain. 5. A unique feature of the cortex is the GABAergic axo-axonic cell, influencing principal cells through GABAA receptors at synapses located exclusively on the axon initial segment. The analysis of these salient features of connectivity has revealed a remarkably selective array of connections, yet a highly adaptable design of

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

    2011-01-01

    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.

  6. 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.

  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. Open Syntaxin Docks Synaptic Vesicles

    OpenAIRE

    Marc Hammarlund; Mark T Palfreyman; Shigeki Watanabe; Shawn Olsen; Erik M. Jorgensen

    2007-01-01

    Author Summary Like Olympic swimmers crouched on their starting blocks, synaptic vesicles prepare for fusion with the neuronal plasma membrane long before the starting gun fires. This preparation enables vesicles to fuse rapidly, synchronously, and in the correct place when the signal finally arrives. A well-known but poorly understood part of vesicle preparation is docking, in which vesicles prepare for release by attaching to the plasma membrane at the eventual site of release. Here, we out...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  13. Glutamatergic Effects of Divalproex in Adolescents with Mania: A Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strawn, Jeffrey R.; Patel, Nick C.; Chu, Wen-Jang; Lee, Jing-Huei; Adler, Caleb M.; Kim, Mi Jung; Bryan, Holly S.; Alfieri, David C.; Welge, Jeffrey A.; Blom, Thomas J.; Nandagopal, Jayasree J.; Strakowski, Stephen M.; DelBello, Melissa P.

    2012-01-01

    Objectives: This study used proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ([superscript 1]H MRS) to evaluate the in vivo effects of extended-release divalproex sodium on the glutamatergic system in adolescents with bipolar disorder, and to identify baseline neurochemical predictors of clinical remission. Method: Adolescents with bipolar disorder who were…

  14. Regulation of synaptic connectivity by glia

    OpenAIRE

    Eroglu, Cagla; Barres, Ben A

    2010-01-01

    The human brain contains more than 100 trillion (1014) synaptic connections, which form all of its neural circuits. Neuroscientists have long been interested in how this complex synaptic web is weaved during development and remodelled during learning and disease. Recent studies have uncovered that glial cells are important regulators of synaptic connectivity. These cells are far more active than was previously thought and are powerful controllers of synapse formation, function, plasticity and...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamberland, Simon; Tóth, Katalin

    2016-02-15

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

  16. Hipótese glutamatérgica da esquizofrenia Glutamatergic hypothesis of schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  17. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of chemical synaptic transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1989-12-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. The Impact of Stimulation Induced Short Term Synaptic Plasticity on Firing Patterns in the Globus Pallidus of the Rat

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    Jenia eBugaysen

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Electrical stimulation in the globus pallidus (GP leads to complex modulations of neuronal activity in the stimulated nucleus. Multiple in-vivo studies have demonstrated the modulation of both firing rates and patterns during and immediately following the GP stimulation. Previous in-vitro studies, together with computational studies, have suggested the involvement of short-term synaptic plasticity (STP during the stimulation. The aim of the current study was to explore in-vitro the effects of STP on neuronal activity of GP neurons during local repetitive stimulation. We recorded synaptic potentials and assessed the modulations of spontaneous firing in a postsynaptic neuron in acute brain slices via a whole-cell pipette. Low-frequency repetitive stimulation locked the firing of the neuron to the stimulus. However, high-frequency repetitive stimulation in the GP generated a biphasic modulation of the firing frequency consisting of inhibitory and excitatory phases. Using blockers of synaptic transmission, we show that GABAergic synapses mediated the inhibitory and glutamatergic synapses the excitatory part of the response. Furthermore, we report that at high stimulation frequencies both types of synapses undergo short-term depression leading to a time dependent modulation of the neuronal firing. These findings indicate that STP modulates the dynamic responses of pallidal activity during electrical stimulation, and may contribute to a better understanding of the mechanism underlying deep brain stimulation (DBS like protocols.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Kidins220/ARMS Is a Novel Modulator of Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity in Hippocampal GABAergic Neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Joachim Scholz-Starke; Fabrizia Cesca; Giampietro Schiavo; Fabio Benfenati; Pietro Baldelli

    2012-01-01

    Kidins220 (Kinase D interacting substrate of 220 kDa)/ARMS (Ankyrin Repeat-rich Membrane Spanning) is a scaffold protein highly expressed in the nervous system. Previous work on neurons with altered Kidins220/ARMS expression suggested that this protein plays multiple roles in synaptic function. In this study, we analyzed the effects of Kidins220/ARMS ablation on basal synaptic transmission and on a variety of short-term plasticity paradigms in both excitatory and inhibitory synapses using a r...

  6. Programmable synaptic chip for electronic neural networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moopenn, A.; Langenbacher, H.; Thakoor, A. P.; Khanna, S. K.

    1988-01-01

    A binary synaptic matrix chip has been developed for electronic neural networks. The matrix chip contains a programmable 32X32 array of 'long channel' NMOSFET binary connection elements implemented in a 3-micron bulk CMOS process. Since the neurons are kept off-chip, the synaptic chip serves as a 'cascadable' building block for a multi-chip synaptic network as large as 512X512 in size. As an alternative to the programmable NMOSFET (long channel) connection elements, tailored thin film resistors are deposited, in series with FET switches, on some CMOS test chips, to obtain the weak synaptic connections. Although deposition and patterning of the resistors require additional processing steps, they promise substantial savings in silicon area. The performance of synaptic chip in a 32-neuron breadboard system in an associative memory test application is discussed.

  7. Learning and reconsolidation implicate different synaptic mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-03-19

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

  8. Synaptic vesicle proteins and active zone plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. Activity-dependent synaptic plasticity modulates the critical phase of brain development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaudhury, Sraboni; Sharma, Vikram; Kumar, Vivek; Nag, Tapas C; Wadhwa, Shashi

    2016-04-01

    Plasticity or neuronal plasticity is a unique and adaptive feature of nervous system which allows neurons to reorganize their interactions in response to an intrinsic or extrinsic stimulation and shapes the formation and maintenance of a functional neuronal circuit. Synaptic plasticity is the most important form of neural plasticity and plays critical role during the development allowing the formation of precise neural connectivity via the process of pruning. In the sensory systems-auditory and visual, this process is heavily dependent on the external cues perceived during the development. Environmental enrichment paradigms in an activity-dependent manner result in early maturation of the synapses and more efficient trans-synaptic signaling or communication flow. This has been extensively observed in the avian auditory system. On the other hand, stimuli results in negative effect can cause alterations in the synaptic connectivity and strength resulting in various developmental brain disorders including autism, fragile X syndrome and rett syndrome. In this review we discuss the role of different forms of activity (spontaneous or environmental) during the development of the nervous system in modifying synaptic plasticity necessary for shaping the adult brain. Also, we try to explore various factors (molecular, genetic and epigenetic) involved in altering the synaptic plasticity in positive and negative way. PMID:26515724

  11. ApoE isoform-dependent changes in hippocampal synaptic function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-11

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

  14. Investigating Glutamatergic Mechanism in Attention and Impulse Control Using Rats in a Modified 5-Choice Serial Reaction Time Task

    OpenAIRE

    Abigail Benn; Emma S J Robinson

    2014-01-01

    The 5-choice serial reaction time task (5CSRTT) has been widely used to study attention and impulse control in rodents. In order to mimic cognitive impairments in psychiatry, one approach has been to use acute administration of NMDA antagonists. This disruption in glutamatergic transmission leads to impairments in accuracy, omissions, and premature responses although findings have been inconsistent. In this study, we further investigated glutamatergic mechanisms using a novel version of the 5...

  15. Respiratory-related Outputs of Glutamatergic, Hypercapnia-Responsive Parabrachial Neurons in Mice

    OpenAIRE

    Yokota, Shigefumi; Kaur, Satvinder; VanderHorst, Veronique G.; Saper, Clifford B.; Chamberlin, Nancy L.

    2015-01-01

    In patients with obstructive sleep apnea, airway obstruction during sleep produces hypercapnia which in turn activates respiratory muscles that pump air into the lungs (e.g. the diaphragm) and that dilate and stabilize the upper airway (e.g., the genioglossus). We hypothesized that these responses are facilitated by glutamatergic neurons in the parabrachial complex (PB) that respond to hypercapnia and project to premotor and motor neurons that innervate the diaphragm and genioglossus muscles....

  16. SEROTONERGIC/GLUTAMATERGIC INTERACTIONS: POTENTIATION OF PHENCYCLIDINE-INDUCED STIMULUS CONTROL BY CITALOPRAM

    OpenAIRE

    Winter, J. C.; Eckler, J.R.; Rice, K. C.; Rabin, R. A.

    2005-01-01

    Previous investigations in our laboratory have found that the stimulus effects of the hallucinogenic serotonergic agonists DOM and LSD are potentiated by phencyclidine [PCP], a non-competitive NMDA antagonist. Also suggestive of behaviorally significant serotonergic/glutamatergic interactions is our finding that stimulus control by both PCP and LSD is partially antagonized by the mGlu2/3 agonist, LY 379268. These observations coupled with the fact that the stimulus effects of LSD and DOM are ...

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

    2015-03-01

    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.

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

    Age-associated changes in cognition are mirrored by impairments in cellular models of memory and learning, such as long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). In young rodents, environmental enrichment (EE) can enhance memory, alter LTP and LTD, as well as reverse cognitive deficits induced by aging. Whether short-term EE can benefit cognition and synaptic plasticity in aged rodents is unclear. Here, we tested if short-term EE could overcome age-associated impairments in induction of LTP and LTD. LTP and LTD could not be induced in the CA1 region of hippocampal slices in control, aged rats using standard stimuli that are highly effective in young rats. However, exposure of aged littermates to EE for three weeks enabled successful induction of LTP and LTD. EE-facilitated LTP was dependent upon N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDARs). These alterations in synaptic plasticity occurred with elevated levels of phosphorylated cAMP response element-binding protein and vascular endothelial growth factor, but in the absence of changes in several other synaptic and cellular markers. Importantly, our study suggests that even a relatively short period of EE is sufficient to alter synaptic plasticity and molecular markers linked to cognitive function in aged animals. PMID:27208617

  2. Single-cell genetic expression of mutant GABAA receptors causing Human genetic epilepsy alters dendritic spine and GABAergic bouton formation in a mutation-specific manner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lachance-Touchette, Pamela; Choudhury, Mayukh; Stoica, Ana; Di Cristo, Graziella; Cossette, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    Mutations in genes encoding for GABAA receptor subunits is a well-established cause of genetic generalized epilepsy. GABA neurotransmission is implicated in several developmental processes including neurite outgrowth and synapse formation. Alteration in excitatory/inhibitory synaptic activities plays a critical role in epilepsy, thus here we investigated whether mutations in α1 subunit of GABAA receptor may affect dendritic spine and GABAergic bouton formation. In particular, we examined the effects of three mutations of the GABRA1 gene (D219N, A322D and K353delins18X) that were found in a cohort of French Canadian families with genetic generalized epilepsy. We used a novel single-cell genetic approach, by preparing cortical organotypic cultures from GABRA1 (flox/flox) mice and simultaneously inactivating endogenous GABRA1 and transfecting mutant α1 subunits in single glutamatergic pyramidal cells and basket GABAergic interneurons by biolistic transfection. We found that GABRA1 (-/-) GABAergic cells showed reduced innervation field, which was rescued by co-expressing α1-A322D and α1-WT but not α1-D219N. We further found that the expression of the most severe GABRA1 missense mutation (α1-A322D) induced a striking increase of spine density in pyramidal cells along with an increase in the number of mushroom-like spines. In addition, α1-A322D expression in GABAergic cells slightly increased perisomatic bouton density, whereas other mutations did not alter bouton formation. All together, these results suggest that the effects of different GABAAR mutations on GABAergic bouton and dendritic spine formation are specific to the mutation and cannot be always explained by a simple loss-of-function gene model. The use of single cell genetic manipulation in organotypic cultures may provide a better understanding of the specific and distinct neural circuit alterations caused by different GABAA receptor subunit mutations and will help define the pathophysiology of genetic

  3. Single-cell genetic expression of mutant GABAA receptors causing Human genetic epilepsy alters dendritic spine and GABAergic bouton formation in a mutation-specific manner

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pamela Lachance-Touchette

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Mutations in genes encoding for GABAA receptor subunits is a well-established cause of genetic generalized epilepsy. GABA neurotransmission is implicated in several developmental processes including neurite outgrowth and synapse formation. Alteration in excitatory/inhibitory synaptic activities plays a critical role in epilepsy, thus here we investigated whether mutations in α1 subunit of GABAA receptor may affect dendritic spine and GABAergic bouton formation. In particular, we examined the effects of three mutations of the GABRA1 gene (D219N, A322D and K353delins18X that were found in a cohort of families with genetic generalized epilepsy. We used a novel single-cell genetic approach, by preparing cortical organotypic cultures from GABRA1flox/flox mice and simultaneously inactivating endogenous GABRA1 and transfecting mutant α1 subunits in single glutamatergic pyramidal cells and basket GABAergic interneurons by biolistic transfection. We found that GABRA1-/- GABAergic cells showed reduced innervation field, which was rescued by co-expressing α1-A322D and α1-WT but not α1-D219N. We further found that the expression of the most severe GABRA1 missense mutation (α1-A322D induced a striking increase of spine density in pyramidal cells along with an increase in the number of mushroom-like spines. In addition, α1-A322D expression in GABAergic cells slightly increased perisomatic bouton density, whereas other mutations did not alter bouton formation. All together, these results suggest that the effects of different GABAAR mutations on GABAergic bouton and dendritic spine formation are specific to the mutation and cannot be always explained by a simple loss-of-function gene model. The use of single cell genetic manipulation in organotypic cultures may provide a better understanding of the specific and distinct neural circuit alterations caused by different GABAA receptor subunit mutations and will help define the pathophysiology of genetic

  4. Single-cell genetic expression of mutant GABAA receptors causing Human genetic epilepsy alters dendritic spine and GABAergic bouton formation in a mutation-specific manner

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lachance-Touchette, Pamela; Choudhury, Mayukh; Stoica, Ana; Di Cristo, Graziella; Cossette, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    Mutations in genes encoding for GABAA receptor subunits is a well-established cause of genetic generalized epilepsy. GABA neurotransmission is implicated in several developmental processes including neurite outgrowth and synapse formation. Alteration in excitatory/inhibitory synaptic activities plays a critical role in epilepsy, thus here we investigated whether mutations in α1 subunit of GABAA receptor may affect dendritic spine and GABAergic bouton formation. In particular, we examined the effects of three mutations of the GABRA1 gene (D219N, A322D and K353delins18X) that were found in a cohort of French Canadian families with genetic generalized epilepsy. We used a novel single-cell genetic approach, by preparing cortical organotypic cultures from GABRA1flox/flox mice and simultaneously inactivating endogenous GABRA1 and transfecting mutant α1 subunits in single glutamatergic pyramidal cells and basket GABAergic interneurons by biolistic transfection. We found that GABRA1−/− GABAergic cells showed reduced innervation field, which was rescued by co-expressing α1-A322D and α1-WT but not α1-D219N. We further found that the expression of the most severe GABRA1 missense mutation (α1-A322D) induced a striking increase of spine density in pyramidal cells along with an increase in the number of mushroom-like spines. In addition, α1-A322D expression in GABAergic cells slightly increased perisomatic bouton density, whereas other mutations did not alter bouton formation. All together, these results suggest that the effects of different GABAAR mutations on GABAergic bouton and dendritic spine formation are specific to the mutation and cannot be always explained by a simple loss-of-function gene model. The use of single cell genetic manipulation in organotypic cultures may provide a better understanding of the specific and distinct neural circuit alterations caused by different GABAA receptor subunit mutations and will help define the pathophysiology of genetic

  5. The role of microglia in synaptic stripping and synaptic degeneration: a revised perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Perry, V. Hugh; O'Connor, Vincent

    2010-01-01

    Chronic neurodegenerative diseases of the CNS (central nervous system) are characterized by the loss of neurons. There is, however, growing evidence to show that an early stage of this process involves degeneration of presynaptic terminals prior to the loss of the cell body. Synaptic plasticity in CNS pathology has been associated with microglia and the phenomenon of synaptic stripping. We review here the evidence for the involvement of microglia in synaptic stripping and synapse degeneration...

  6. Programmable synaptic devices for electronic neural nets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moopenn, A.; Thakoor, A. P.

    1990-01-01

    The architecture, design, and operational characteristics of custom VLSI and thin film synaptic devices are described. The devices include CMOS-based synaptic chips containing 1024 reprogrammable synapses with a 6-bit dynamic range, and nonvolatile, write-once, binary synaptic arrays based on memory switching in hydrogenated amorphous silicon films. Their suitability for embodiment of fully parallel and analog neural hardware is discussed. Specifically, a neural network solution to an assignment problem of combinatorial global optimization, implemented in fully parallel hardware using the synaptic chips, is described. The network's ability to provide optimal and near optimal solutions over a time scale of few neuron time constants has been demonstrated and suggests a speedup improvement of several orders of magnitude over conventional search methods.

  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. Calcineurin inhibition rescues early synaptic plasticity deficits in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavallucci, Virve; Berretta, Nicola; Nobili, Annalisa; Nisticò, Robert; Mercuri, Nicola B; D'Amelio, Marcello

    2013-09-01

    Functional and ultrastructural investigations support the concept that altered brain connectivity, exhausted neural plasticity, and synaptic loss are the strongest correlates of cognitive decline in age-related neurodegenerative dementia of Alzheimer's type. We have previously demonstrated that in transgenic mice, expressing amyloid-β precursor protein-Swedish mutation active caspase-3 accumulates in hippocampal postsynaptic compartments leading to altered postsynaptic density (PSD) composition, increased long-term depression (LTD), and dendritic spine loss. Furthermore, we found strong evidence that dendritic spine alteration is mediated by calcineurin activation, a calcium-dependent phosphatase involved in synapse signaling. In the present work, we analyzed the molecular mechanism linking alteration of synaptic plasticity to the increase of calcineurin activity. We found that acute treatment of young and plaque-free transgenic mice with the calcineurin inhibitor FK506 leads to a complete rescue of LTD and PSD composition. Our findings are in agreement with other results reporting that calcineurin inhibition improves memory function and restores dendritic spine density, confirming that calcineurin inhibition may be explored as a neuroprotective treatment to stop or slowdown synaptic alterations in Alzheimer's disease.

  10. Single-vesicle imaging reveals different transport mechanisms between glutamatergic and GABAergic vesicles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farsi, Zohreh; Preobraschenski, Julia; van den Bogaart, Geert; Riedel, Dietmar; Jahn, Reinhard; Woehler, Andrew

    2016-02-26

    Synaptic transmission is mediated by the release of neurotransmitters, which involves exo-endocytotic cycling of synaptic vesicles. To maintain synaptic function, synaptic vesicles are refilled with thousands of neurotransmitter molecules within seconds after endocytosis, using the energy provided by an electrochemical proton gradient. However, it is unclear how transmitter molecules carrying different net charges can be efficiently sequestered while maintaining charge neutrality and osmotic balance. We used single-vesicle imaging to monitor pH and electrical gradients and directly showed different uptake mechanisms for glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) operating in parallel. In contrast to glutamate, GABA was exchanged for protons, with no other ions participating in the transport cycle. Thus, only a few components are needed to guarantee reliable vesicle filling with different neurotransmitters. PMID:26912364

  11. Brain circuitry outside the synaptic cleft

    OpenAIRE

    Rusakov, Dmitri A.; Alexander E Dityatev

    2014-01-01

    A growing body of experimental evidence suggests that astroglia, and possibly microglia, play an important part in regulating synaptic networking of the brain. It has also emerged that extracellular matrix (ECM) structures that enwrap synaptic connections can generate molecular signals affecting both neuronal and glial activity. Thus it appears that the mechanism of information processing in the brain, which has hitherto been associated almost exclusively with neural circuits, could also invo...

  12. Intracellular accumulation of amyloid-beta - a predictor for synaptic dysfunction and neuron loss in Alzheimer's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. 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.

  14. Refeeding-activated glutamatergic neurons in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) mediate effects of melanocortin signaling in the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Tlx3 promotes glutamatergic neuronal subtype specification through direct interactions with the chromatin modifier CBP.

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    Atsushi Shimomura

    Full Text Available Nervous system development relies on the generation of precise numbers of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. The homeodomain transcription factor, T-cell leukemia 3 (Tlx3, functions as the master neuronal fate regulator by instructively promoting the specification of glutamatergic excitatory neurons and suppressing the specification of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABAergic neurons. However, how Tlx3 promotes glutamatergic neuronal subtype specification is poorly understood. In this study, we found that Tlx3 directly interacts with the epigenetic co-activator cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB-binding protein (CBP and that the Tlx3 homeodomain is essential for this interaction. The interaction between Tlx3 and CBP was enhanced by the three amino acid loop extension (TALE-class homeodomain transcription factor, pre-B-cell leukemia transcription factor 3 (Pbx3. Using mouse embryonic stem (ES cells stably expressing Tlx3, we found that the interaction between Tlx3 and CBP became detectable only after these Tlx3-expressing ES cells were committed to a neural lineage, which coincided with increased Pbx3 expression during neural differentiation from ES cells. Forced expression of mutated Tlx3 lacking the homeodomain in ES cells undergoing neural differentiation resulted in significantly reduced expression of glutamatergic neuronal subtype markers, but had little effect on the expression on pan neural markers. Collectively, our results strongly suggest that functional interplay between Tlx3 and CBP plays a critical role in neuronal subtype specification, providing novel insights into the epigenetic regulatory mechanism that modulates the transcriptional efficacy of a selective set of neuronal subtype-specific genes during differentiation.

  16. Network burst dynamics under heterogeneous cholinergic modulation of neural firing properties and heterogeneous synaptic connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:26869313

  17. Bi-directional modulation of AMPA receptor unitary conductance by synaptic activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  18. Network burst dynamics under heterogeneous cholinergic modulation of neural firing properties and heterogeneous synaptic connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knudstrup, Scott; Zochowski, Michal; Booth, Victoria

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26869313

  19. Network burst dynamics under heterogeneous cholinergic modulation of neural firing properties and heterogeneous synaptic connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Synaptic Mechanisms of Blast Induced Brain Injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrzej ePrzekwas

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Synaptic connectivity in engineered neuronal networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

  3. Evidence for chelatable zinc in the extracellular space of the hippocampus, but little evidence for synaptic release of Zn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. Activation of CRH receptor type 1 expressed on glutamatergic neurons increases excitability of CA1 pyramidal neurons by the modulation of voltage-gated ion channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  5. Changes in sensitivity of reward and motor behavior to dopaminergic, glutamatergic, and cholinergic drugs in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  6. Alteration of BACE1-dependent NRG1/ErbB4 signaling and schizophrenia-like phenotypes in BACE1-null mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savonenko, A V; Melnikova, T; Laird, F M; Stewart, K-A; Price, D L; Wong, P C

    2008-04-01

    beta-Site APP-cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) is required for the penultimate cleavage of the amyloid-beta precursor protein (APP) leading to the generation of amyloid-beta peptides that is central to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. In addition to its role in endoproteolysis of APP, BACE1 participates in the proteolytic processing of neuregulin 1 (NRG1) and influences the myelination of central and peripheral axons. Although NRG1 has been genetically linked to schizophrenia and NRG1(+/-) mice exhibit a number of schizophrenia-like behavioral traits, it is not known whether altered BACE1-dependent NRG1 signaling can cause similar behavioral abnormalities. To test this hypothesis, we analyze the behaviors considered to be rodent analogs of clinical features of schizophrenia in BACE1(-/-) mice with impaired processing of NRG1. We demonstrate that BACE1(-/-) mice exhibit deficits in prepulse inhibition, novelty-induced hyperactivity, hypersensitivity to a glutamatergic psychostimulant (MK-801), cognitive impairments, and deficits in social recognition. Importantly, some of these manifestations were responsive to treatment with clozapine, an atypical antipsychotic drug. Moreover, although the total amount of ErbB4, a receptor for NRG1 was not changed, binding of ErbB4 with postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD95) was significantly reduced in the brains of BACE1(-/-) mice. Consistent with the role of ErbB4 in spine morphology and synaptic function, BACE1(-/-) mice displayed reduced spine density in hippocampal pyramidal neurons. Collectively, our findings suggest that alterations in BACE1-dependent NRG1/ErbB4 signaling may participate in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia and related psychiatric disorders. PMID:18385378

  7. Glutamatergic and HPA-axis pathway genes in bipolar disorder comorbid with alcohol- and substance use disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Targeting the Glutamatergic System to Treat Pathological Gambling: Current Evidence and Future Perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  9. AMPK acts as a molecular trigger to coordinate glutamatergic signals and adaptive behaviours during acute starvation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmadi, Moloud; Roy, Richard

    2016-01-01

    The stress associated with starvation is accompanied by compensatory behaviours that enhance foraging efficiency and increase the probability of encountering food. However, the molecular details of how hunger triggers changes in the activity of neural circuits to elicit these adaptive behavioural outcomes remains to be resolved. We show here that AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) regulates neuronal activity to elicit appropriate behavioural outcomes in response to acute starvation, and this effect is mediated by the coordinated modulation of glutamatergic inputs. AMPK targets both the AMPA-type glutamate receptor GLR-1 and the metabotropic glutamate receptor MGL-1 in one of the primary circuits that governs behavioural response to food availability in C. elegans. Overall, our study suggests that AMPK acts as a molecular trigger in the specific starvation-sensitive neurons to modulate glutamatergic inputs and to elicit adaptive behavioural outputs in response to acute starvation. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16349.001 PMID:27642785

  10. Improving treatment of patients with schizophrenia - glutamatergic and GABAergic disturbances as possible markers of choice-of-treatment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bojesen, Kirsten Borup; Jessen, Kasper; Rostrup, Egill;

    the progressive loss of brain tissue and functions seen in many patients. The neurotransmitter gamma-amino-butyric-acid, (GABA), regulates levels of glutamate, and hypofunctional GABAergic interneurons may cause the high levels of glutamate in patients with schizophrenia. Objectives: To test the hypothesis...... medication modulating glutamatergic and GABAergic disturbances and lead to better prevention strategies for the progressive loss of brain tissue and functions. Lastly, it is the hope that glutamatergic disturbances in the future can be used as a clinical marker for best choice of treatment in the clinical...

  11. Imaging synaptic zinc: promises and perils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Developmental Profile, Morphology, and Synaptic Connectivity of Cajal-Retzius Cells in the Postnatal Mouse Hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Behavioral and synaptic circuit features in a zebrafish model of fragile X syndrome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  14. Extracellular ATP hydrolysis inhibits synaptic transmission by increasing ph buffering in the synaptic cleft.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Optogenetic inhibition of cortical afferents in the nucleus accumbens simultaneously prevents cue-induced transient synaptic potentiation and cocaine-seeking behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefanik, Michael T; Kupchik, Yonatan M; Kalivas, Peter W

    2016-04-01

    Animal models of relapse reveal that the motivation to seek drug is regulated by enduring morphological and physiological changes in the nucleus accumbens, as well as transient synaptic potentiation in the accumbens core (NAcore) that parallels drug-seeking behavior. The current study sought to examine the link between the behavioral and synaptic consequences of cue-induced cocaine seeking by optically silencing glutamatergic afferents to the NAcore from the prelimbic cortex (PL). Adeno-associated virus coding for the inhibitory opsin archaerhodopsin was microinjected into PL, and optical fibers were targeted to NAcore. Animals were trained to self-administer cocaine followed by extinction training, and then underwent cue-induced reinstatement in the presence or absence of 15 min of optically induced inhibition of PL fibers in NAcore. Inhibiting the PL-to-NAcore projection blocked reinstated behavior and was paralleled by decreased dendritic spine head diameter and AMPA/NMDA ratio relative to sham-laser control rats. Interestingly, while spine density was elevated after extinction training, no further effects were observed by cued reinstatement or optical inhibition. These findings validate the critical role for PL afferents to the NAcore in simultaneously regulating both reinstated behavior and the associated transient synaptic potentiation. PMID:25663648

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. Synaptic neurotransmission depression in ventral tegmental dopamine neurons and cannabinoid-associated addictive learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. Synaptic remodeling generates synchronous oscillations in the degenerated outer mouse retina

    OpenAIRE

    Wadood eHaq; Blanca eArango-Gonzalez; Eberhart eZrenner; Thomas eEuler; Timm eSchubert

    2014-01-01

    During neuronal degenerative diseases, neuronal microcircuits undergo severe structural alterations, leading to remodeling of synaptic connectivity. The functional consequences of such remodeling are mostly unknown. For instance, in mutant rd1 mouse retina, a common model for Retinitis Pigmentosa, rod bipolar cells (RBCs) establish contacts with remnant cone photoreceptors (cones) as a consequence of rod photoreceptor cell death and the resulting lack of presynaptic input. To assess the funct...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-24

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

  1. GABA FUNCTION IS ALTERED FOLLOWING DEVELOPMENTAL HYPOTHYROIDISM: NEUROANATOMICAL AND NEUROPHYSIOLOGICAL EVIDENCE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 ...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

    2015-01-01

    In vitro culture of dissociated retinal neurons is an important model for investigating retinal synaptic regeneration (RSR) and exploring potentials in artificial retina. Here, retinal precursor cells were cultured in a microfluidic chip with multiple arrays of microchannels in order to reconstruct the retinal neuronal synapse. The cultured retinal cells were physically connected through microchannels. Activation of electric signal transduction by the cells through the microchannels was demonstrated by administration of glycinergic factors. In addition, an image-based analytical method was used to quantify the synaptic connections and to assess the kinetics of synaptic regeneration. The rate of RSR decreased significantly below 100 μM of inhibitor glycine and then approached to a relatively constant level at higher concentrations. Furthermore, RSR was enhanced by chemical stimulation with potassium chloride. Collectively, the microfluidic synaptic regeneration chip provides a novel tool for high-throughput investigation of RSR at the cellular level and may be useful in quality control of retinal precursor cell transplantation. PMID:26314276

  5. Fragile X mental retardation protein and synaptic plasticity

    OpenAIRE

    Sidorov, Michael S.; Auerbach, Benjamin D.; Bear, Mark F.

    2013-01-01

    Loss of the translational repressor FMRP causes Fragile X syndrome. In healthy neurons, FMRP modulates the local translation of numerous synaptic proteins. Synthesis of these proteins is required for the maintenance and regulation of long-lasting changes in synaptic strength. In this role as a translational inhibitor, FMRP exerts profound effects on synaptic plasticity.

  6. Withdrawal from cocaine self-administration and yoked cocaine delivery dysregulates glutamatergic mGlu5 and NMDA receptors in the rat brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pomierny-Chamiolo, Lucyna; Miszkiel, Joanna; Frankowska, Małgorzata; Pomierny, Bartosz; Niedzielska, Ewa; Smaga, Irena; Fumagalli, Fabio; Filip, Małgorzata

    2015-04-01

    In human addicts and in animal models, chronic cocaine use leads to numerous alterations in glutamatergic transmission, including its receptors. The present study focused on metabotropic glutamatergic receptors type 5 (mGluR(5)) and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunits (NMDAR: GluN1, GluN2A, GluN2B) proteins during cocaine self-administration and after 10-day of extinction training in rats. To discriminate the contingent from the non-contingent cocaine delivery, we employed the "yoked"-triad control procedure. Protein expression in rat prefrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens, hippocampus, and dorsal striatum was determined. We also examined the Homer1b/c protein, a member of the postsynaptic density protein family that links NMDAR to mGluR(5). Our results revealed that cocaine self-administration selectively increased GluN1 and GluN2A subunit in the rat hippocampus and dorsal striatum, respectively, while mGluR(5) protein expression was similarly increased in the dorsal striatum of both experimental groups. Withdrawal from both contingent and non-contingent cocaine delivery induced parallel increases in prefrontal cortical GluN2A protein expression, hippocampal mGluR(5), and GluN1 protein expression as well as in accumbal GluN1 subunit expression, while the mGluR(5) expression was reduced in the prefrontal cortex. Extinction training in animals with a history of cocaine self-administration resulted in an elevation of the hippocampal GluN2A/GluN2B subunits and accumbal mGluR(5), and in a 50 % decrease of mGluR(5) protein expression in the dorsal striatum. The latter reduction was associated with Homer1b/1c protein level decrease. Our results showed that both contingent and non-contingent cocaine administration produces numerous, brain region specific, alterations in the mGluR(5), NMDA, and Homer1b/1c protein expression which are dependent on the modality of cocaine administration. PMID:25408547

  7. Bilinearity in spatiotemporal integration of synaptic inputs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  8. Transient expression of functional serotonin 5-HT3 receptors by glutamatergic granule cells in the early postnatal mouse cerebellum

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. Oostland; J. Sellmeijer; J.A. van Hooft

    2011-01-01

    The serotonin 5-HT3 receptor is the only ligand-gated ion channel activated by serotonin and is expressed by GABAergic interneurons in many brain regions, including the cortex, amygdala and hippocampus. Furthermore, 5-HT3 receptors are expressed by glutamatergic Cajal-Retzius cells in the cerebral c

  9. The Structure of Neurexin 1[alpha] Reveals Features Promoting a Role as Synaptic Organizer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amit Agarwal

    2014-08-01

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

  11. Prenatal immune activation causes hippocampal synaptic deficits in the absence of overt microglia anomalies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giovanoli, Sandra; Weber-Stadlbauer, Ulrike; Schedlowski, Manfred; Meyer, Urs; Engler, Harald

    2016-07-01

    Prenatal exposure to infectious or inflammatory insults can increase the risk of developing neuropsychiatric disorder in later life, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism. These brain disorders are also characterized by pre- and postsynaptic deficits. Using a well-established mouse model of maternal exposure to the viral mimetic polyriboinosinic-polyribocytidilic acid [poly(I:C)], we examined whether prenatal immune activation might cause synaptic deficits in the hippocampal formation of pubescent and adult offspring. Based on the widely appreciated role of microglia in synaptic pruning, we further explored possible associations between synaptic deficits and microglia anomalies in offspring of poly(I:C)-exposed and control mothers. We found that prenatal immune activation induced an adult onset of presynaptic hippocampal deficits (as evaluated by synaptophysin and bassoon density). The early-life insult further caused postsynaptic hippocampal deficits in pubescence (as evaluated by PSD95 and SynGAP density), some of which persisted into adulthood. In contrast, prenatal immune activation did not change microglia (or astrocyte) density, nor did it alter their activation phenotypes. The prenatal manipulation did also not cause signs of persistent systemic inflammation. Despite the absence of overt glial anomalies or systemic inflammation, adult offspring exposed to prenatal immune activation displayed increased hippocampal IL-1β levels. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that age-dependent synaptic deficits and abnormal pro-inflammatory cytokine expression can occur during postnatal brain maturation in the absence of microglial anomalies or systemic inflammation. PMID:26408796

  12. INVOLVEMENT OF SYNAPTIC GENES IN THE PATHOGENESIS OF AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS: THE CASE OF SYNAPSINS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Dysregulated expression of neuregulin-1 by cortical pyramidal neurons disrupts synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agarwal, Amit; Zhang, Mingyue; Trembak-Duff, Irina; Unterbarnscheidt, Tilmann; Radyushkin, Konstantin; Dibaj, Payam; Martins de Souza, Daniel; Boretius, Susann; Brzózka, Magdalena M; Steffens, Heinz; Berning, Sebastian; Teng, Zenghui; Gummert, Maike N; Tantra, Martesa; Guest, Peter C; Willig, Katrin I; Frahm, Jens; Hell, Stefan W; Bahn, Sabine; Rossner, Moritz J; Nave, Klaus-Armin; Ehrenreich, Hannelore; Zhang, Weiqi; Schwab, Markus H

    2014-08-21

    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. PMID:25131210

  17. 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.

  18. Differential presynaptic actions of pyrethroid insecticides on glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons in the hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossain, Muhammad Mubarak; Suzuki, Tadahiko; Unno, Toshihiro; Komori, Seiichi; Kobayashi, Haruo

    2008-01-14

    This study was designed to investigate the effects of several pyrethroids on the extracellular level of glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the hippocampus of rats measured using microdialysis following systemic (i.p.) administration. Pyrethroids, allethrin (type I), cyhalothrin (type II) and deltamethrin (type II), were found to have differential effects on glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons in the hippocampus. Allethrin had an interesting dual effect, increasing glutamate release with low doses (10 and 20mg/kg) to about 175-150% and decreasing glutamate release with high dose (60 mg/kg) to about 50% of baseline. Cyhalothrin (10, 20 and 60 mg/kg) inhibited the release of glutamate dose-dependently to about 60-30% of baseline. The extracellular level of GABA was decreased to about 50% of baseline by 10 and 20mg/kg allethrin. The high dose of allethrin (60 mg/kg) and all doses of cyhalothrin (10, 20 and 60 mg/kg) increased the extracellular level of GABA while decreasing the level of glutamate. Deltamethrin dose-dependently increased extracellular glutamate levels to about 190-275% of baseline while decreasing the level of GABA. Local infusion of TTX (1 microM), a Na(+) channel blocker, completely prevented the effect of allethrin (10, 20 and 60 mg/kg), cyhalothrin (20 and 60 mg/kg) and deltamethrin (20mg/kg) on glutamate and GABA release, but only partially blocked the effects of 60 mg/kg deltamethrin. The effect of deltamethrin (60 mg/kg) on glutamate release was completely prevented by local infusion of nimodipine (10 microM), an L-type Ca(2+) channel blocker. Collectively, results from this study suggest that the excitatory glutamatergic neurons in the hippocampus are modulated by inhibitory GABA-releasing interneurons and that other mechanisms, beside sodium channels, may be involved with the neurotoxic action of pyrethroids.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María-Paz Viveros

    2007-01-01

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

  2. 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. Alterations of the endocannabinoid system may constitute an important factor in the aetiology of certain neuropsychiatric disorders, and, in turn, enhancers of endocannabinoid signaling could represent a potential therapeutical tool in the treatment of both anxiety and depressive symptoms.

  3. Early pre- and postsynaptic calcium signaling abnormalities mask underlying synaptic depression in presymptomatic Alzheimer’s disease mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakroborty, Shreaya; Kim, Joyce; Schneider, Corinne; Jacobson, Christopher; Molgó, Jordi; Stutzmann, Grace E.

    2012-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD)-linked presenilin mutations result in pronounced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) calcium disruptions that occur prior to detectable histopathology and cognitive deficits. More subtly, these early AD-linked calcium alterations also reset neurophysiological homeostasis, such that calcium-dependent pre- and postsynaptic signaling appear functionally normal yet are actually operating under aberrant calcium signaling systems. In these 3xTg-AD mouse brains, upregulated RyR activity is associated with a shift towards synaptic depression, likely through a reduction in presynaptic vesicle stores and increased postsynaptic outward currents through SK2 channels. The deviant RyR-calcium involvement in the 3xTg-AD mice also compensates for an intrinsic predisposition for hippocampal LTD and reduced LTP. In this study we detail the impact of disrupted ryanodine receptor (RyR)-mediated calcium stores on synaptic transmission properties, long term depression (LTD) and calcium-activated membrane channels of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons in presymptomatic 3xTg-AD mice. Using electrophysiological recordings in young 3xTg-AD and NonTg hippocampal slices, we show that increased RyR-evoked calcium release in 3xTg-AD mice ‘normalizes’ an altered synaptic transmission system operating under a shifted homeostatic state that is not present in NonTg mice. In the process, we uncover compensatory signaling mechanisms recruited early in the disease process which counterbalance the disrupted RyR-calcium dynamics, namely increases in presynaptic spontaneous vesicle release, altered probability of vesicle release, and upregulated postsynaptic SK channel activity. As AD is increasingly recognized as a ‘synaptic disease’, calcium-mediated signaling alterations may serve as a proximal trigger for the synaptic degradation driving the cognitive loss in AD. PMID:22699914

  4. Synaptic devices based on purely electronic memristors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pan, Ruobing [Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ningbo 315201 (China); Institute of Materials Science, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200072 (China); Li, Jun; Zhuge, Fei, E-mail: zhugefei@nimte.ac.cn, E-mail: h-cao@nimte.ac.cn; Zhu, Liqiang; Liang, Lingyan; Zhang, Hongliang; Gao, Junhua; Cao, Hongtao, E-mail: zhugefei@nimte.ac.cn, E-mail: h-cao@nimte.ac.cn; Fu, Bing; Li, Kang [Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ningbo 315201 (China)

    2016-01-04

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

  5. Synaptic devices based on purely electronic memristors

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Filamentary Switching: Synaptic Plasticity through Device Volatility

    CERN Document Server

    La Barbera, Selina; Alibart, Fabien

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Synaptic Vesicle Recycling Is Unaffected in the Ts65Dn Mouse Model of Down Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marland, Jamie R K; Smillie, Karen J; Cousin, Michael A

    2016-01-01

    Down syndrome (DS) is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability, and arises from trisomy of human chromosome 21. Accumulating evidence from studies of both DS patient tissue and mouse models has suggested that synaptic dysfunction is a key factor in the disorder. The presence of several genes within the DS trisomy that are either directly or indirectly linked to synaptic vesicle (SV) endocytosis suggested that presynaptic dysfunction could underlie some of these synaptic defects. Therefore we determined whether SV recycling was altered in neurons from the Ts65Dn mouse, the best characterised model of DS to date. We found that SV exocytosis, the size of the SV recycling pool, clathrin-mediated endocytosis, activity-dependent bulk endocytosis and SV generation from bulk endosomes were all unaffected by the presence of the Ts65Dn trisomy. These results were obtained using battery of complementary assays employing genetically-encoded fluorescent reporters of SV cargo trafficking, and fluorescent and morphological assays of fluid-phase uptake in primary neuronal culture. The absence of presynaptic dysfunction in central nerve terminals of the Ts65Dn mouse suggests that future research should focus on the established alterations in excitatory / inhibitory balance as a potential route for future pharmacotherapy.

  8. Synaptic Vesicle Recycling Is Unaffected in the Ts65Dn Mouse Model of Down Syndrome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamie R K Marland

    Full Text Available Down syndrome (DS is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability, and arises from trisomy of human chromosome 21. Accumulating evidence from studies of both DS patient tissue and mouse models has suggested that synaptic dysfunction is a key factor in the disorder. The presence of several genes within the DS trisomy that are either directly or indirectly linked to synaptic vesicle (SV endocytosis suggested that presynaptic dysfunction could underlie some of these synaptic defects. Therefore we determined whether SV recycling was altered in neurons from the Ts65Dn mouse, the best characterised model of DS to date. We found that SV exocytosis, the size of the SV recycling pool, clathrin-mediated endocytosis, activity-dependent bulk endocytosis and SV generation from bulk endosomes were all unaffected by the presence of the Ts65Dn trisomy. These results were obtained using battery of complementary assays employing genetically-encoded fluorescent reporters of SV cargo trafficking, and fluorescent and morphological assays of fluid-phase uptake in primary neuronal culture. The absence of presynaptic dysfunction in central nerve terminals of the Ts65Dn mouse suggests that future research should focus on the established alterations in excitatory / inhibitory balance as a potential route for future pharmacotherapy.

  9. ApoER2 Function in the Establishment and Maintenance of Retinal Synaptic Connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trotter, Justin H.; Klein, Martin; Jinwal, Umesh K.; Abisambra, Jose F.; Dickey, Chad A.; Tharkur, Jeremy; Masiulis, Irene; Ding, Jindong; Locke, Kirstin G.; Rickman, Catherine Bowes; Birch, David G.; Weeber, Edwin J.; Herz, Joachim

    2011-01-01

    The cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for the development of inner retinal circuitry are poorly understood. Reelin and apolipoprotein E (apoE), ligands of apoE receptor 2 (ApoER2), are involved in retinal development and degeneration, respectively. Here we describe the function of ApoER2 in the developing and adult retina. ApoER2 expression was highest during postnatal inner retinal synaptic development and was considerably lower in the mature retina. Both during development and in the adult ApoER2 was expressed by A-II amacrine cells. ApoER2 knockout (KO) mice had rod bipolar morphogenic defects, altered A-II amacrine dendritic development, and impaired rod-driven retinal responses. The presence of an intact ApoER2 NPxY motif, necessary for binding disabled-1 (Dab1) and transducing the Reelin signal, was also necessary for development of the rod bipolar pathway while the alternatively-spliced exon19 was not. Mice deficient in another Reelin receptor, very low-density lipoprotein receptor (VLDLR), had normal rod bipolar morphology but altered A-II amacrine dendritic development. VLDLR KO mice also had reductions in oscillatory potentials and delayed synaptic response intervals. Interestingly, age-related reductions in rod and cone function were observed in both ApoER2 and VLDLR KOs. These results support a pivotal role for ApoER2 in the establishment and maintenance of normal retinal synaptic connectivity. PMID:21976526

  10. Elimination of the vesicular acetylcholine transporter in the striatum reveals regulation of behaviour by cholinergic-glutamatergic co-transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzman, Monica S; De Jaeger, Xavier; Raulic, Sanda; Souza, Ivana A; Li, Alex X; Schmid, Susanne; Menon, Ravi S; Gainetdinov, Raul R; Caron, Marc G; Bartha, Robert; Prado, Vania F; Prado, Marco A M

    2011-11-01

    Cholinergic neurons in the striatum are thought to play major regulatory functions in motor behaviour and reward. These neurons express two vesicular transporters that can load either acetylcholine or glutamate into synaptic vesicles. Consequently cholinergic neurons can release both neurotransmitters, making it difficult to discern their individual contributions for the regulation of striatal functions. Here we have dissected the specific roles of acetylcholine release for striatal-dependent behaviour in mice by selective elimination of the vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT) from striatal cholinergic neurons. Analysis of several behavioural parameters indicates that elimination of VAChT had only marginal consequences in striatum-related tasks and did not affect spontaneous locomotion, cocaine-induced hyperactivity, or its reward properties. However, dopaminergic sensitivity of medium spiny neurons (MSN) and the behavioural outputs in response to direct dopaminergic agonists were enhanced, likely due to increased expression/function of dopamine receptors in the striatum. These observations indicate that previous functions attributed to striatal cholinergic neurons in spontaneous locomotor activity and in the rewarding responses to cocaine are mediated by glutamate and not by acetylcholine release. Our experiments demonstrate how one population of neurons can use two distinct neurotransmitters to differentially regulate a given circuitry. The data also raise the possibility of using VAChT as a target to boost dopaminergic function and decrease high striatal cholinergic activity, common neurochemical alterations in individuals affected with Parkinson's disease. PMID:22087075

  11. Elimination of the vesicular acetylcholine transporter in the striatum reveals regulation of behaviour by cholinergic-glutamatergic co-transmission.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monica S Guzman

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Cholinergic neurons in the striatum are thought to play major regulatory functions in motor behaviour and reward. These neurons express two vesicular transporters that can load either acetylcholine or glutamate into synaptic vesicles. Consequently cholinergic neurons can release both neurotransmitters, making it difficult to discern their individual contributions for the regulation of striatal functions. Here we have dissected the specific roles of acetylcholine release for striatal-dependent behaviour in mice by selective elimination of the vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT from striatal cholinergic neurons. Analysis of several behavioural parameters indicates that elimination of VAChT had only marginal consequences in striatum-related tasks and did not affect spontaneous locomotion, cocaine-induced hyperactivity, or its reward properties. However, dopaminergic sensitivity of medium spiny neurons (MSN and the behavioural outputs in response to direct dopaminergic agonists were enhanced, likely due to increased expression/function of dopamine receptors in the striatum. These observations indicate that previous functions attributed to striatal cholinergic neurons in spontaneous locomotor activity and in the rewarding responses to cocaine are mediated by glutamate and not by acetylcholine release. Our experiments demonstrate how one population of neurons can use two distinct neurotransmitters to differentially regulate a given circuitry. The data also raise the possibility of using VAChT as a target to boost dopaminergic function and decrease high striatal cholinergic activity, common neurochemical alterations in individuals affected with Parkinson's disease.

  12. Minocycline, a microglial inhibitor, blocks spinal CCL2-induced heat hyperalgesia and augmentation of glutamatergic transmission in substantia gelatinosa neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Several lines of evidence suggest that CCL2 could initiate the hyperalgesia of neuropathic pain by causing central sensitization of spinal dorsal horn neurons and facilitating nociceptive transmission in the spinal dorsal horn. The cellular and molecular mechanisms by which CCL2 enhances spinal pain transmission and causes hyperalgesia remain unknown. The substantia gelatinosa (lamina II) of the spinal dorsal horn plays a critical role in nociceptive transmission. An activated spinal microglia, which is believed to release pro-inflammatory cytokines including TNF-α, plays an important role in the development of neuropathic pain, and CCL2 is a key mediator for spinal microglia activation. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that spinal CCL2 causes the central sensitization of substantia gelatinosa neurons and enhances spinal nociceptive transmission by activating the spinal microglia and augmenting glutamatergic transmission in lamina II neurons. Methods CCL2 was intrathecally administered to 2-month-old male rats. An intrathecal injection of CCL2 induced heat hyperalgesia, which was assessed using the hot plate test. Whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings substantia gelatinosa neurons in spinal cord slices were performed to record glutamatergic excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) and GABAergic inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs). Results The hot plate test showed that 1 day after the intrathecal injection of CCL2 (1 μg), the latency of hind-paw withdrawal caused by a heat stimulus was significantly reduced in rats. One day after the intrathecal administration of CCL2, the amplitude of the evoked glutamatergic EPSCs and the frequency of spontaneous glutamatergic miniature EPSCs (mEPSCs) were significantly increased in outer lamina II neurons. Intrathecal co-injection of minocycline, a specific inhibitor of microglial activation, and CCL2 blocked the CCL2-induced reduction in the latency of hind-paw withdrawal and thermal hyperalgesia

  13. Retinal synaptic regeneration via microfluidic guiding channels

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    In vitro culture of dissociated retinal neurons is an important model for investigating retinal synaptic regeneration (RSR) and exploring potentials in artificial retina. Here, retinal precursor cells were cultured in a microfluidic chip with multiple arrays of microchannels in order to reconstruct the retinal neuronal synapse. The cultured retinal cells were physically connected through microchannels. Activation of electric signal transduction by the cells through the microchannels was demon...

  14. Morphological plasticity of astroglia: Understanding synaptic microenvironment

    OpenAIRE

    Heller, J. P.; Rusakov, D. A.

    2015-01-01

    Memory formation in the brain is thought to rely on the remodeling of synaptic connections which eventually results in neural network rewiring. This remodeling is likely to involve ultrathin astroglial protrusions which often occur in the immediate vicinity of excitatory synapses. The phenomenology, cellular mechanisms, and causal relationships of such astroglial restructuring remain, however, poorly understood. This is in large part because monitoring and probing of the underpinning molecula...

  15. Oridonin Attenuates Synaptic Loss and Cognitive Deficits in an Aβ1-42-Induced Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sulei Wang

    Full Text Available Synaptic loss induced by beta-amyloid (Aβ plays a critical role in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD, but the mechanisms underlying this process remain unknown. In this study, we found that oridonin (Ori rescued synaptic loss induced by Aβ1-42 in vivo and in vitro and attenuated the alterations in dendritic structure and spine density observed in the hippocampus of AD mice. In addition, Ori increased the expression of PSD-95 and synaptophysin and promoted mitochondrial activity in the synaptosomes of AD mice. Ori also activated the BDNF/TrkB/CREB signaling pathway in the hippocampus of AD mice. Furthermore, in the Morris water maze test, Ori reduced latency and searching distance and increased the number of platform crosses in AD mice. These data suggest that Ori might prevent synaptic loss and improve behavioral symptoms in Aβ1-42-induced AD mice.

  16. β-Hydroxybutyrate supports synaptic vesicle cycling but reduces endocytosis and exocytosis in rat brain synaptosomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hrynevich, Sviatlana V; Waseem, Tatyana V; Hébert, Audrey; Pellerin, Luc; Fedorovich, Sergei V

    2016-02-01

    The ketogenic diet is used as a prophylactic treatment for different types of brain diseases, such as epilepsy or Alzheimer's disease. In such a diet, carbohydrates are replaced by fats in everyday food, resulting in an elevation of blood-borne ketone bodies levels. Despite clinical applications of this treatment, the molecular mechanisms by which the ketogenic diet exerts its beneficial effects are still uncertain. In this study, we investigated the effect of replacing glucose by the ketone body β-hydroxybutyrate as the main energy substrate on synaptic vesicle recycling in rat brain synaptosomes. First, we observed that exposing presynaptic terminals to nonglycolytic energy substrates instead of glucose did not alter the plasma membrane potential. Next, we found that synaptosomes were able to maintain the synaptic vesicle cycle monitored with the fluorescent dye acridine orange when glucose was replaced by β-hydroxybutyrate. However, in presence of β-hydroxybutyrate, synaptic vesicle recycling was modified with reduced endocytosis. Replacing glucose by pyruvate also led to a reduced endocytosis. Addition of β-hydroxybutyrate to glucose-containing incubation medium was without effect. Reduced endocytosis in presence of β-hydroxybutyrate as sole energy substrate was confirmed using the fluorescent dye FM2-10. Also we found that replacement of glucose by ketone bodies leads to inhibition of exocytosis, monitored by FM2-10. However this reduction was smaller than the effect on endocytosis under the same conditions. Using both acridine orange in synaptosomes and the genetically encoded sensor synaptopHluorin in cortical neurons, we observed that replacing glucose by β-hydroxybutyrate did not modify the pH gradient of synaptic vesicles. In conclusion, the nonglycolytic energy substrates β-hydroxybutyrate and pyruvate are able to support synaptic vesicle recycling. However, they both reduce endocytosis. Reduction of both endocytosis and exocytosis together with

  17. Synaptic theory of Replicator-like melioration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yonatan Loewenstein

    2010-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Synaptic and blood-brain barrier structural changes in a rat epilepsy model induced by coriaria lacton

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jiyan Cheng; Jichun Huang; Yi Han; Guangyi Liu; Ling Yin; Furong Zheng

    2008-01-01

    synaptic interface, length of active zones, thickness of postsynaptic density, and percentage of perforation synapses increased significantly. ②There was significant edema in the endothelium, basement membrane, and the pericyte of the epilepsy group; the electron density of the basement membrane was reduced.CONCLUSION: ①The coriaria lacton treatment altered synaptic ultrastructure, as well as BBB characteristics, in the epileptic rat model, and also improved synaptic transmission efficiency, as well as BBB permeability; ②Synaptic and BBB ultrastructural changes might play an important role in the mechanism of epilepsy.

  20. Role of NMDA Receptor-Mediated Glutamatergic Signaling in Chronic and Acute Neuropathologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco J. Carvajal

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available N-Methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs have two opposing roles in the brain. On the one hand, NMDARs control critical events in the formation and development of synaptic organization and synaptic plasticity. On the other hand, the overactivation of NMDARs can promote neuronal death in neuropathological conditions. Ca2+ influx acts as a primary modulator after NMDAR channel activation. An imbalance in Ca2+ homeostasis is associated with several neurological diseases including schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. These chronic conditions have a lengthy progression depending on internal and external factors. External factors such as acute episodes of brain damage are associated with an earlier onset of several of these chronic mental conditions. Here, we will review some of the current evidence of how traumatic brain injury can hasten the onset of several neurological conditions, focusing on the role of NMDAR distribution and the functional consequences in calcium homeostasis associated with synaptic dysfunction and neuronal death present in this group of chronic diseases.

  1. Adenosine A₂A receptors in striatal glutamatergic terminals and GABAergic neurons oppositely modulate psychostimulant action and DARPP-32 phosphorylation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hai-Ying Shen

    Full Text Available Adenosine A2A receptors (A2AR are located postsynaptically in striatopallidal GABAergic neurons, antagonizing dopamine D2 receptor functions, and are also located presynaptically at corticostriatal terminals, facilitating glutamate release. To address the hypothesis that these two A2AR populations differently control the action of psychostimulants, we characterized A2AR modulation of cocaine-induced effects at the level of DARPP-32 phosphorylation at Thr-34 and Thr-75, c-Fos expression, and psychomotor activity using two lines of cell-type selective A2AR knockout (KO mice with selective A2AR deletion in GABAergic neurons (striatum-A2AR-KO mice, or with A2AR deletion in both striatal GABAergic neurons and projecting cortical glutamatergic neurons (forebrain-A2AR-KO mice. We demonstrated that striatum-A2AR KO mice lacked A2ARs exclusively in striatal GABAergic terminals whereas forebrain-A2AR KO mice lacked A2ARs in both striatal GABAergic and glutamatergic terminals leading to a blunted A2AR-mediated facilitation of synaptosomal glutamate release. The inactivation of A2ARs in GABAergic neurons reduced striatal DARPP-32 phosphorylation at Thr-34 and increased its phosphorylation at Thr-75. Conversely, the additional deletion of corticostriatal glutamatergic A2ARs produced opposite effects on DARPP-32 phosphorylation at Thr-34 and Thr-75. This distinct modulation of DARPP-32 phosphorylation was associated with opposite responses to cocaine-induced striatal c-Fos expression and psychomotor activity in striatum-A2AR KO (enhanced and forebrain-A2AR KO mice (reduced. Thus, A2ARs in glutamatergic corticostriatal terminals and in GABAergic striatal neurons modulate the action of psychostimulants and DARPP-32 phosphorylation in opposite ways. We conclude that A2ARs in glutamatergic terminals prominently control the action of psychostimulants and define a novel mechanism by which A2ARs fine-tune striatal activity by integrating GABAergic, dopaminergic and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-05

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

  3. CCL2-ethanol interactions and hippocampal synaptic protein expression in a transgenic mouse model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donna eGruol

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Chronic exposure to ethanol produces a number of detrimental effects on behavior. Neuroadaptive changes in brain structure or function underlie these behavioral changes and may be transient or persistent in nature. Central to the functional changes are alterations in the biology of neuronal and glial cells of the brain. Recent data show that ethanol induces glial cells of the brain to produce elevated levels of neuroimmune factors including CCL2, a key innate immune chemokine. Depending on the conditions of ethanol exposure, the upregulated levels of CCL2 can be transient or persistent and outlast the period of ethanol exposure. Importantly, results indicate that the upregulated levels of CCL2 may lead to CCL2-ethanol interactions that mediate or regulate the effects of ethanol on the brain. Glial cells are in close association with neurons and regulate many neuronal functions. Therefore, effects of ethanol on glial cells may underlie some of the effects of ethanol on neurons. To investigate this possibility, we are studying the effects of chronic ethanol on hippocampal synaptic function in a transgenic mouse model that expresses elevated levels of CCL2 in the brain through enhanced glial expression, a situation know to occur in alcoholics. Both CCL2 and ethanol have been reported to alter synaptic function in the hippocampus. In the current study, we determined if interactions are evident between CCL2 and ethanol at level of hippocampal synaptic proteins. Two ethanol exposure paradigms were used; the first involved ethanol exposure by drinking and the second involved ethanol exposure in a paradigm that combines drinking plus ethanol vapor. The first paradigm does not produce dependence on ethanol, whereas the second paradigm is commonly used to produce ethanol dependence. Results show modest effects of both ethanol exposure paradigms on the level of synaptic proteins in the hippocampus of CCL2 transgenic mice compared with their non

  4. Similar oxysterols may lead to opposite effects on synaptic transmission: Olesoxime versus 5α-cholestan-3-one at the frog neuromuscular junction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasimov, M R; Zakyrjanova, G F; Giniatullin, A R; Zefirov, A L; Petrov, A M

    2016-07-01

    Cholesterol oxidation products frequently have a high biological activity. In the present study, we have used microelectrode recording of end plate currents and FM-based optical detection of synaptic vesicle exo-endocytosis to investigate the effects of two structurally similar oxysterols, olesoxime (cholest-4-en-3-one, oxime) and 5ɑ-cholestan-3-one (5ɑCh3), on neurotransmission at the frog neuromuscular junction. Olesoxime is an exogenous, potentially neuroprotective, substance and 5ɑCh3 is an intermediate product in cholesterol metabolism, which is elevated in the case of cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis. We found that olesoxime slightly increased evoked neurotransmitter release in response to a single stimulus and significantly reduced synaptic depression during high frequency activity. The last effect was due to an increase in both the number of synaptic vesicles involved in exo-endocytosis and the rate of synaptic vesicle recycling. In contrast, 5ɑCh3 reduced evoked neurotransmitter release during the low- and high frequency synaptic activities. The depressant action of 5ɑCh3 was associated with a reduction in the number of synaptic vesicles participating in exo- and endocytosis during high frequency stimulation, without a change in rate of the synaptic vesicle recycling. Of note, olesoxime increased the staining of synaptic membranes with the B-subunit of cholera toxin and the formation of fluorescent ganglioside GM1 clusters, and decreased the fluorescence of 22-NBD-cholesterol, while 5ɑCh3 had the opposite effects, suggesting that the two oxysterols have different effects on lipid raft stability. Taken together, these data show that these two structurally similar oxysterols induce marked different changes in neuromuscular transmission which are related with the alteration in synaptic vesicle cycle. PMID:27102612

  5. Synaptic Contacts Enhance Cell-to-Cell Tau Pathology Propagation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Calafate

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Accumulation of insoluble Tau protein aggregates and stereotypical propagation of Tau pathology through the brain are common hallmarks of tauopathies, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD. Propagation of Tau pathology appears to occur along connected neurons, but whether synaptic contacts between neurons are facilitating propagation has not been demonstrated. Using quantitative in vitro models, we demonstrate that, in parallel to non-synaptic mechanisms, synapses, but not merely the close distance between the cells, enhance the propagation of Tau pathology between acceptor hippocampal neurons and Tau donor cells. Similarly, in an artificial neuronal network using microfluidic devices, synapses and synaptic activity are promoting neuronal Tau pathology propagation in parallel to the non-synaptic mechanisms. Our work indicates that the physical presence of synaptic contacts between neurons facilitate Tau pathology propagation. These findings can have implications for synaptic repair therapies, which may turn out to have adverse effects by promoting propagation of Tau pathology.

  6. Synaptic Contacts Enhance Cell-to-Cell Tau Pathology Propagation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calafate, Sara; Buist, Arjan; Miskiewicz, Katarzyna; Vijayan, Vinoy; Daneels, Guy; de Strooper, Bart; de Wit, Joris; Verstreken, Patrik; Moechars, Diederik

    2015-05-26

    Accumulation of insoluble Tau protein aggregates and stereotypical propagation of Tau pathology through the brain are common hallmarks of tauopathies, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). Propagation of Tau pathology appears to occur along connected neurons, but whether synaptic contacts between neurons are facilitating propagation has not been demonstrated. Using quantitative in vitro models, we demonstrate that, in parallel to non-synaptic mechanisms, synapses, but not merely the close distance between the cells, enhance the propagation of Tau pathology between acceptor hippocampal neurons and Tau donor cells. Similarly, in an artificial neuronal network using microfluidic devices, synapses and synaptic activity are promoting neuronal Tau pathology propagation in parallel to the non-synaptic mechanisms. Our work indicates that the physical presence of synaptic contacts between neurons facilitate Tau pathology propagation. These findings can have implications for synaptic repair therapies, which may turn out to have adverse effects by promoting propagation of Tau pathology.

  7. Transcriptional evidence for the role of chronic venlafaxine treatment in neurotrophic signaling and neuroplasticity including also Glutamatergic [corrected] - and insulin-mediated neuronal processes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viola Tamási

    Full Text Available Venlafaxine (VLX, a serotonine-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor, is one of the most commonly used antidepressant drugs in clinical practice for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD. Despite being more potent than its predecessors, similarly to them, the therapeutical effect of VLX is visible only 3-4 weeks after the beginning of treatment. Furthermore, recent papers show that antidepressants, including also VLX, enhance the motor recovery after stroke even in non depressed persons. In the present, transcriptomic-based study we looked for changes in gene expressions after a long-term VLX administration.Osmotic minipumps were implanted subcutaneously into Dark Agouti rats providing a continuous (40 mg/kg/day VLX delivery for three weeks. Frontal regions of the cerebral cortex were isolated and analyzed using Illumina bead arrays to detect genes showing significant chances in expression. Gene set enrichment analysis was performed to identify specific regulatory networks significantly affected by long term VLX treatment.Chronic VLX administration may have an effect on neurotransmitter release via the regulation of genes involved in vesicular exocytosis and receptor endocytosis (such as Kif proteins, Myo5a, Sv2b, Syn2 or Synj2. Simultaneously, VLX activated the expression of genes involved in neurotrophic signaling (Ntrk2, Ntrk3, glutamatergic transmission (Gria3, Grin2b and Grin2a, neuroplasticity (Camk2g/b, Cd47, synaptogenesis (Epha5a, Gad2 and cognitive processes (Clstn2. Interestingly, VLX increased the expression of genes involved in mitochondrial antioxidant activity (Bcl2 and Prdx1. Additionally, VLX administration also modulated genes related to insulin signaling pathway (Negr1, Ppp3r1, Slc2a4 and Enpp1, a mechanism that has recently been linked to neuroprotection, learning and memory.Our results strongly suggest that chronic VLX treatment improves functional reorganization and brain plasticity by influencing gene expression in

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lin ZHANG; Zhong-Xin ZHAO

    2006-01-01

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

  9. Roles of Synaptic MAGUK Proteins in Analgesia and Anesthesia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    TAO Yuan-xiang

    2004-01-01

    @@ In the central nervous system, synapses, highly specialized sites of contact between neurons, are organized to facilitate the transmission of signals from the pre-synaptic terminal to the postsynaptic membrane and to activate subsequent signal transduction cascades that result in appropriate cellular events. Efficient and precise organization of synaptic proteins such as receptors, ion channels, and signaling molecules at both pre-synaptic and postsynaptic membranes is critical for proper signal transmission.

  10. Concurrent Imaging of Synaptic Vesicle Recycling and Calcium Dynamics

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Haiyan; Foss, Sarah M.; Dobryy, Yuriy L.; Park, C. Kevin; Hires, Samuel Andrew; Shaner, Nathan C.; Tsien, Roger Y.; Osborne, Leslie C.; Voglmaier, Susan M.

    2011-01-01

    Synaptic transmission involves the calcium dependent release of neurotransmitter from synaptic vesicles. Genetically encoded optical probes emitting different wavelengths of fluorescent light in response to neuronal activity offer a powerful approach to understand the spatial and temporal relationship of calcium dynamics to the release of neurotransmitter in defined neuronal populations. To simultaneously image synaptic vesicle recycling and changes in cytosolic calcium, we developed a red-sh...

  11. Concurrent imaging of synaptic vesicle recycling and calcium dynamics.

    OpenAIRE

    Haiyan eLi; Foss, Sarah M.; Yuriy eDobryy; C. Kevin ePark; Samuel Andrew Hires; Shaner, Nathan C.; Tsien, Roger Y.; Osborne, Leslie C.; Voglmaier, Susan M.

    2011-01-01

    Synaptic transmission involves the calcium-dependent release of neurotransmitter from synaptic vesicles. Genetically encoded optical probes emitting different wavelengths of fluorescent light in response to neuronal activity offer a powerful approach to understand the spatial and temporal relationship of calcium dynamics to the release of neurotransmitter in defined neuronal populations. To simultaneously image synaptic vesicle recycling and changes in cytosolic calcium, we developed a red-...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Schubert, Timm; Wissinger, Bernd

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic disorganization is a prominent feature of many neurological diseases of the CNS, including Parkinson’s disease, intellectual development disorders, and autism. Although synaptic plasticity is critical for learning and memory, it is unclear whether this innate property helps restore synaptic function in disease once the primary cause of disease is abrogated. An answer to this question may come from a recent investigation in X-linked retinoschisis, a currently untreatable retinopathy. ...

  13. A Voltage Mode Memristor Bridge Synaptic Circuit with Memristor Emulators

    OpenAIRE

    Leon Chua; Maheshwar Pd. Sah; Hyongsuk Kim; Changju Yang

    2012-01-01

    A memristor bridge neural circuit which is able to perform signed synaptic weighting was proposed in our previous study, where the synaptic operation was verified via software simulation of the mathematical model of the HP memristor. This study is an extension of the previous work advancing toward the circuit implementation where the architecture of the memristor bridge synapse is built with memristor emulator circuits. In addition, a simple neural network which performs both synaptic weighti...

  14. Emotional enhancement of memory: how norepinephrine enables synaptic plasticity

    OpenAIRE

    Tully Keith; Bolshakov Vadim Y

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Changes in synaptic strength are believed to underlie learning and memory. We explore the idea that norepinephrine is an essential modulator of memory through its ability to regulate synaptic mechanisms. Emotional arousal leads to activation of the locus coeruleus with the subsequent release of norepineprine in the brain, resulting in the enhancement of memory. Norepinephrine activates both pre- and post-synaptic adrenergic receptors at central synapses with different functional outc...

  15. Prenatal Nicotine Exposure Impairs the Proliferation of Neuronal Progenitors, Leading to Fewer Glutamatergic Neurons in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aoyama, Yuki; Toriumi, Kazuya; Mouri, Akihiro; Hattori, Tomoya; Ueda, Eriko; Shimato, Akane; Sakakibara, Nami; Soh, Yuka; Mamiya, Takayoshi; Nagai, Taku; Kim, Hyoung-Chun; Hiramatsu, Masayuki; Nabeshima, Toshitaka; Yamada, Kiyofumi

    2016-01-01

    Cigarette smoking during pregnancy is associated with various disabilities in the offspring such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities, and persistent anxiety. We have reported that nicotine exposure in female mice during pregnancy, in particular from embryonic day 14 (E14) to postnatal day 0 (P0), induces long-lasting behavioral deficits in offspring. However, the mechanism by which prenatal nicotine exposure (PNE) affects neurodevelopment, resulting in behavioral deficits, has remained unclear. Here, we report that PNE disrupted the proliferation of neuronal progenitors, leading to a decrease in the progenitor pool in the ventricular and subventricular zones. In addition, using a cumulative 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine labeling assay, we evaluated the rate of cell cycle progression causing the impairment of neuronal progenitor proliferation, and uncovered anomalous cell cycle kinetics in mice with PNE. Accordingly, the density of glutamatergic neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex (medial PFC) was reduced, implying glutamatergic dysregulation. Mice with PNE exhibited behavioral impairments in attentional function and behavioral flexibility in adulthood, and the deficits were ameliorated by microinjection of D-cycloserine into the PFC. Collectively, our findings suggest that PNE affects the proliferation and maturation of progenitor cells to glutamatergic neuron during neurodevelopment in the medial PFC, which may be associated with cognitive deficits in the offspring. PMID:26105135

  16. Intense synaptic activity enhances temporal resolution in spinal motoneurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berg, Rune W; Ditlevsen, Susanne; Hounsgaard, Jørn Dybkjær

    2008-01-01

    In neurons, spike timing is determined by integration of synaptic potentials in delicate concert with intrinsic properties. Although the integration time is functionally crucial, it remains elusive during network activity. While mechanisms of rapid processing are well documented in sensory systems......, agility in motor systems has received little attention. Here we analyze how intense synaptic activity affects integration time in spinal motoneurons during functional motor activity and report a 10-fold decrease. As a result, action potentials can only be predicted from the membrane potential within 10 ms...... and excitatory synaptic activity. By shortening the effective integration time, this intense synaptic input may serve to facilitate the generation of rapid changes in movements....

  17. Experimental Implementation of a Biometric Laser Synaptic Sensor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander N. Pisarchik

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available We fabricate a biometric laser fiber synaptic sensor to transmit information from one neuron cell to the other by an optical way. The optical synapse is constructed on the base of an erbium-doped fiber laser, whose pumped diode current is driven by a pre-synaptic FitzHugh–Nagumo electronic neuron, and the laser output controls a post-synaptic FitzHugh–Nagumo electronic neuron. The implemented laser synapse displays very rich dynamics, including fixed points, periodic orbits with different frequency-locking ratios and chaos. These regimes can be beneficial for efficient biorobotics, where behavioral flexibility subserved by synaptic connectivity is a challenge.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-19

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  20. Mild hypoxia affects synaptic connectivity in cultured neuronal networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmeijer, Jeannette; Mulder, Alex T B; Farinha, Ana C; van Putten, Michel J A M; le Feber, Joost

    2014-04-01

    Eighty percent of patients with chronic mild cerebral ischemia/hypoxia resulting from chronic heart failure or pulmonary disease have cognitive impairment. Overt structural neuronal damage is lacking and the precise cause of neuronal damage is unclear. As almost half of the cerebral energy consumption is used for synaptic transmission, and synaptic failure is the first abrupt consequence of acute complete anoxia, synaptic dysfunction is a candidate mechanism for the cognitive deterioration in chronic mild ischemia/hypoxia. Because measurement of synaptic functioning in patients is problematic, we use cultured networks of cortical neurons from new born rats, grown over a multi-electrode array, as a model system. These were exposed to partial hypoxia (partial oxygen pressure of 150Torr lowered to 40-50Torr) during 3 (n=14) or 6 (n=8) hours. Synaptic functioning was assessed before, during, and after hypoxia by assessment of spontaneous network activity, functional connectivity, and synaptically driven network responses to electrical stimulation. Action potential heights and shapes and non-synaptic stimulus responses were used as measures of individual neuronal integrity. During hypoxia of 3 and 6h, there was a statistically significant decrease of spontaneous network activity, functional connectivity, and synaptically driven network responses, whereas direct responses and action potentials remained unchanged. These changes were largely reversible. Our results indicate that in cultured neuronal networks, partial hypoxia during 3 or 6h causes isolated disturbances of synaptic connectivity.

  1. Abundance of gap junctions at glutamatergic mixed synapses in adult Mosquitofish spinal cord neurons

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    Jose L Serrano-Velez

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Dye-coupling, whole-mount immunohistochemistry for gap junction channel protein connexin 35 (Cx35, and freeze-fracture replica immunogold labeling (FRIL reveal an abundance of electrical synapses/gap junctions at glutamatergic mixed synapses in the 14th spinal segment that innervates the adult male gonopodium of Western Mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis (Mosquitofish.To study gap junctions’ role in fast motor behavior, we used a minimally-invasive neural-tract-tracing technique to introduce gap junction-permeant or -impermeant dyes into deep muscles controlling the gonopodium of the adult male Mosquitofish, a teleost fish that rapidly transfers (complete in 50 of the 62 gap junctions at mixed synapses are in the 14th spinal segment.Our results support and extend studies showing gap junctions at mixed synapses in spinal cord segments involved in control of genital reflexes in rodents, and they suggest a link between mixed synapses and fast motor behavior. The findings provide a basis for studies of specific roles of spinal neurons in the generation/regulation of sex-specific behavior and for studies of gap junctions’ role in regulating fast motor behavior. Finally, the CoPA IN provides a novel candidate neuron for future studies of gap junctions and neural control of fast motor behaviors.

  2. Tangential migration of glutamatergic neurons and cortical patterning during development: Lessons from Cajal-Retzius cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, Melissa; Pierani, Alessandra

    2016-08-01

    Tangential migration is a mode of cell movement, which in the developing cerebral cortex, is defined by displacement parallel to the ventricular surface and orthogonal to the radial glial fibers. This mode of long-range migration is a strategy by which distinct neuronal classes generated from spatially and molecularly distinct origins can integrate to form appropriate neural circuits within the cortical plate. While it was previously believed that only GABAergic cortical interneurons migrate tangentially from their origins in the subpallial ganglionic eminences to integrate in the cortical plate, it is now known that transient populations of glutamatergic neurons also adopt this mode of migration. These include Cajal-Retzius cells (CRs), subplate neurons (SPs), and cortical plate transient neurons (CPTs), which have crucial roles in orchestrating the radial and tangential development of the embryonic cerebral cortex in a noncell-autonomous manner. While CRs have been extensively studied, it is only in the last decade that the molecular mechanisms governing their tangential migration have begun to be elucidated. To date, the mechanisms of SPs and CPTs tangential migration remain unknown. We therefore review the known signaling pathways, which regulate parameters of CRs migration including their motility, contact-redistribution and adhesion to the pial surface, and discuss this in the context of how CR migration may regulate their signaling activity in a spatial and temporal manner. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 76: 847-881, 2016. PMID:26581033

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-24

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

  4. Tangential migration of glutamatergic neurons and cortical patterning during development: Lessons from Cajal-Retzius cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, Melissa; Pierani, Alessandra

    2016-08-01

    Tangential migration is a mode of cell movement, which in the developing cerebral cortex, is defined by displacement parallel to the ventricular surface and orthogonal to the radial glial fibers. This mode of long-range migration is a strategy by which distinct neuronal classes generated from spatially and molecularly distinct origins can integrate to form appropriate neural circuits within the cortical plate. While it was previously believed that only GABAergic cortical interneurons migrate tangentially from their origins in the subpallial ganglionic eminences to integrate in the cortical plate, it is now known that transient populations of glutamatergic neurons also adopt this mode of migration. These include Cajal-Retzius cells (CRs), subplate neurons (SPs), and cortical plate transient neurons (CPTs), which have crucial roles in orchestrating the radial and tangential development of the embryonic cerebral cortex in a noncell-autonomous manner. While CRs have been extensively studied, it is only in the last decade that the molecular mechanisms governing their tangential migration have begun to be elucidated. To date, the mechanisms of SPs and CPTs tangential migration remain unknown. We therefore review the known signaling pathways, which regulate parameters of CRs migration including their motility, contact-redistribution and adhesion to the pial surface, and discuss this in the context of how CR migration may regulate their signaling activity in a spatial and temporal manner. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 76: 847-881, 2016.

  5. Release probability of hippocampal glutamatergic terminals scales with the size of the active zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holderith, Noemi; Lorincz, Andrea; Katona, Gergely; Rózsa, Balázs; Kulik, Akos; Watanabe, Masahiko; Nusser, Zoltan

    2012-06-10

    Cortical synapses have structural, molecular and functional heterogeneity; our knowledge regarding the relationship between their ultrastructural and functional parameters is still fragmented. Here we asked how the neurotransmitter release probability and presynaptic [Ca(2+)] transients relate to the ultrastructure of rat hippocampal glutamatergic axon terminals. Two-photon Ca(2+) imaging-derived optical quantal analysis and correlated electron microscopic reconstructions revealed a tight correlation between the release probability and the active-zone area. Peak amplitude of [Ca(2+)] transients in single boutons also positively correlated with the active-zone area. Freeze-fracture immunogold labeling revealed that the voltage-gated calcium channel subunit Cav2.1 and the presynaptic protein Rim1/2 are confined to the active zone and their numbers scale linearly with the active-zone area. Gold particles labeling Cav2.1 were nonrandomly distributed in the active zones. Our results demonstrate that the numbers of several active-zone proteins, including presynaptic calcium channels, as well as the number of docked vesicles and the release probability, scale linearly with the active-zone area.

  6. Specification of region-specific neurons including forebrain glutamatergic neurons from human induced pluripotent stem cells.

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    Hui Zeng

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Directed differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC into functional, region-specific neural cells is a key step to realizing their therapeutic promise to treat various neural disorders, which awaits detailed elucidation. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We analyzed neural differentiation from various hiPSC lines generated by others and ourselves. Although heterogeneity in efficiency of neuroepithelial (NE cell differentiation was observed among different hiPSC lines, the NE differentiation process resembles that from human embryonic stem cells (hESC in morphology, timing, transcriptional profile, and requirement for FGF signaling. NE cells differentiated from hiPSC, like those from hESC, can also form rostral phenotypes by default, and form the midbrain or spinal progenitors upon caudalization by morphogens. The rostrocaudal neural progenitors can further mature to develop forebrain glutamatergic projection neurons, midbrain dopaminergic neurons, and spinal motor neurons, respectively. Typical ion channels and action potentials were recorded in the hiPSC-derived neurons. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results demonstrate that hiPSC, regardless of how they were derived, can differentiate into a spectrum of rostrocaudal neurons with functionality, which supports the considerable value of hiPSC for study and treatment of patient-specific neural disorders.

  7. [Peptidergic modulation of the hippocampus synaptic activity].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skrebitskiĭ, V G; Kondratenko, R V; Povarov, I S; Dereviagin, V I

    2011-11-01

    Effects of two newly synthesized nootropic and anxiolytic dipeptides: Noopept and Selank on inhibitory synaptic transmission in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells were investigated using patch-clamp technique in whole-cell configuration. Bath application of Noopept (1 microM) or Selank (2 microM) significantly increased the frequency of spike-dependent spontaneous m1PSCs, whereas spike-independent mlPSCs remained unchanged. It was suggested that both peptides mediated their effect sue to activation of inhibitory interneurons terminating on CA1 pyramidal cells. Results of current clamp recording of inhibitory interneurons residing in stratum radiatum confirmed this suggestion, at least for Noonent. PMID:22390072

  8. Boosting of synaptic potentials and spine Ca transients by the peptide toxin SNX-482 requires alpha-1E-encoded voltage-gated Ca channels.

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    Andrew J Giessel

    Full Text Available The majority of glutamatergic synapses formed onto principal neurons of the mammalian central nervous system are associated with dendritic spines. Spines are tiny protuberances that house the proteins that mediate the response of the postsynaptic cell to the presynaptic release of glutamate. Postsynaptic signals are regulated by an ion channel signaling cascade that is active in individual dendritic spines and involves voltage-gated calcium (Ca channels, small conductance (SK-type Ca-activated potassium channels, and NMDA-type glutamate receptors. Pharmacological studies using the toxin SNX-482 indicated that the voltage-gated Ca channels that signal within spines to open SK channels belong to the class Ca(V2.3, which is encoded by the Alpha-1E pore-forming subunit. In order to specifically test this conclusion, we examined the effects of SNX-482 on synaptic signals in acute hippocampal slices from knock-out mice lacking the Alpha-1E gene. We find that in these mice, application of SNX-482 has no effect on glutamate-uncaging evoked synaptic potentials and Ca influx, indicating that that SNX-482 indeed acts via the Alpha-1E-encoded Ca(V2.3 channel.

  9. Impairment of synaptic development in the hippocampus of diabetic Goto-Kakizaki rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsunaga, Yuki; Negishi, Takayuki; Hatakeyama, Akinori; Kawagoe, Yuta; Sawano, Erika; Tashiro, Tomoko

    2016-10-01

    Insulin receptor signaling has been shown to regulate essential aspects of CNS function such as synaptic plasticity and neuronal survival. To elucidate its roles during CNS development in vivo, we examined the synaptic and cognitive development of the spontaneously diabetic Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rats in the present study. GK rats are non-obese models of type 2 diabetes established by selective inbreeding of Wistar rats based on impaired glucose tolerance. Though they start exhibiting only moderate hyperglycemia without changes in plasma insulin levels from 3 weeks postnatally, behavioral alterations in the open-field as well as significant impairments in memory retention compared with Wistar rats were observed at 10 weeks and were worsened at 20 weeks. Alterations in insulin receptor signaling and signs of insulin resistance were detected in the GK rat hippocampus at 3 weeks, as early as in other insulin-responsive peripheral tissues. Significant reduction of an excitatory postsynaptic scaffold protein, PSD95, was found at 5w and later in the hippocampus of GK rats due to the absence of a two-fold developmental increase of this protein observed in Wistar control rats between 3 and 20w. In the GK rat hippocampus, NR2A which is a NMDA receptor subunit selectively anchored to PSD95 was also reduced. In contrast, both NR2B and its anchoring protein, SAP102, showed similar developmental profiles in Wistar and GK rats with expression peaks at 2 and 3w. The results suggest that early alterations in insulin receptor signaling in the GK rat hippocampus may affect cognitive performance by suppressing synaptic maturation. PMID:27444810

  10. Synaptic Democracy and Vesicular Transport in Axons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bressloff, Paul C.; Levien, Ethan

    2015-04-01

    Synaptic democracy concerns the general problem of how regions of an axon or dendrite far from the cell body (soma) of a neuron can play an effective role in neuronal function. For example, stimulated synapses far from the soma are unlikely to influence the firing of a neuron unless some sort of active dendritic processing occurs. Analogously, the motor-driven transport of newly synthesized proteins from the soma to presynaptic targets along the axon tends to favor the delivery of resources to proximal synapses. Both of these phenomena reflect fundamental limitations of transport processes based on a localized source. In this Letter, we show that a more democratic distribution of proteins along an axon can be achieved by making the transport process less efficient. This involves two components: bidirectional or "stop-and-go" motor transport (which can be modeled in terms of advection-diffusion), and reversible interactions between motor-cargo complexes and synaptic targets. Both of these features have recently been observed experimentally. Our model suggests that, just as in human societies, there needs to be a balance between "efficiency" and "equality".

  11. Myotonic dystrophy CTG expansion affects synaptic vesicle proteins, neurotransmission and mouse behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Hernández, Oscar; Guiraud-Dogan, Céline; Sicot, Géraldine; Huguet, Aline; Luilier, Sabrina; Steidl, Esther; Saenger, Stefanie; Marciniak, Elodie; Obriot, Hélène; Chevarin, Caroline; Nicole, Annie; Revillod, Lucile; Charizanis, Konstantinos; Lee, Kuang-Yung; Suzuki, Yasuhiro; Kimura, Takashi; Matsuura, Tohru; Cisneros, Bulmaro; Swanson, Maurice S; Trovero, Fabrice; Buisson, Bruno; Bizot, Jean-Charles; Hamon, Michel; Humez, Sandrine; Bassez, Guillaume; Metzger, Friedrich; Buée, Luc; Munnich, Arnold; Sergeant, Nicolas; Gourdon, Geneviève; Gomes-Pereira, Mário

    2013-03-01

    Myotonic dystrophy type 1 is a complex multisystemic inherited disorder, which displays multiple debilitating neurological manifestations. Despite recent progress in the understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of myotonic dystrophy type 1 in skeletal muscle and heart, the pathways affected in the central nervous system are largely unknown. To address this question, we studied the only transgenic mouse line expressing CTG trinucleotide repeats in the central nervous system. These mice recreate molecular features of RNA toxicity, such as RNA foci accumulation and missplicing. They exhibit relevant behavioural and cognitive phenotypes, deficits in short-term synaptic plasticity, as well as changes in neurochemical levels. In the search for disease intermediates affected by disease mutation, a global proteomics approach revealed RAB3A upregulation and synapsin I hyperphosphorylation in the central nervous system of transgenic mice, transfected cells and post-mortem brains of patients with myotonic dystrophy type 1. These protein defects were associated with electrophysiological and behavioural deficits in mice and altered spontaneous neurosecretion in cell culture. Taking advantage of a relevant transgenic mouse of a complex human disease, we found a novel connection between physiological phenotypes and synaptic protein dysregulation, indicative of synaptic dysfunction in myotonic dystrophy type 1 brain pathology.

  12. Identification of a human synaptotagmin-1 mutation that perturbs synaptic vesicle cycling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Kate; Gordon, Sarah L; Grozeva, Detelina; van Kogelenberg, Margriet; Roberts, Nicola Y; Pike, Michael; Blair, Edward; Hurles, Matthew E; Chong, W Kling; Baldeweg, Torsten; Kurian, Manju A; Boyd, Stewart G; Cousin, Michael A; Raymond, F Lucy

    2015-04-01

    Synaptotagmin-1 (SYT1) is a calcium-binding synaptic vesicle protein that is required for both exocytosis and endocytosis. Here, we describe a human condition associated with a rare variant in SYT1. The individual harboring this variant presented with an early onset dyskinetic movement disorder, severe motor delay, and profound cognitive impairment. Structural MRI was normal, but EEG showed extensive neurophysiological disturbances that included the unusual features of low-frequency oscillatory bursts and enhanced paired-pulse depression of visual evoked potentials. Trio analysis of whole-exome sequence identified a de novo SYT1 missense variant (I368T). Expression of rat SYT1 containing the equivalent human variant in WT mouse primary hippocampal cultures revealed that the mutant form of SYT1 correctly localizes to nerve terminals and is expressed at levels that are approximately equal to levels of endogenous WT protein. The presence of the mutant SYT1 slowed synaptic vesicle fusion kinetics, a finding that agrees with the previously demonstrated role for I368 in calcium-dependent membrane penetration. Expression of the I368T variant also altered the kinetics of synaptic vesicle endocytosis. Together, the clinical features, electrophysiological phenotype, and in vitro neuronal phenotype associated with this dominant negative SYT1 mutation highlight presynaptic mechanisms that mediate human motor control and cognitive development. PMID:25705886

  13. Stable Learning of Functional Maps in Self-Organizing Spiking Neural Networks with Continuous Synaptic Plasticity

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    Narayan eSrinivasa

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available This study describes a spiking model that self-organizes for stable formation and maintenance of orientation and ocular dominance maps in the visual cortex (V1. This self-organization process simulates three development phases: an early experience-independent phase, a late experience-independent phase and a subsequent refinement phase during which experience acts to shape the map properties. The ocular dominance maps that emerge accommodate the two sets of monocular inputs that arise from the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN to layer 4 of V1. The orientation selectivity maps that emerge feature well-developed iso-orientation domains and fractures. During the last two phases of development the orientation preferences at some locations appear to rotate continuously through +/- 180 along circular paths and referred to as pinwheel-like patterns but without any corresponding point discontinuities in the orientation gradient maps. The formation of these functional maps is driven by balanced excitatory and inhibitory currents that are established via synaptic plasticity based on spike timing for both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. The stability and maintenance of the formed maps with continuous synaptic plasticity is enabled by homeostasis caused by inhibitory plasticity. However, a prolonged exposure to repeated stimuli does alter the formed maps over time due to plasticity. The results from this study suggest that continuous synaptic plasticity in both excitatory neurons and interneurons could play a critical role in the formation, stability, and maintenance of functional maps in the cortex.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Lemtiri-Chlieh, Fouad

    2011-12-19

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

  15. α-synuclein and synapsin III cooperatively regulate synaptic function in dopamine neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaltieri, Michela; Grigoletto, Jessica; Longhena, Francesca; Navarria, Laura; Favero, Gaia; Castrezzati, Stefania; Colivicchi, Maria Alessandra; Della Corte, Laura; Rezzani, Rita; Pizzi, Marina; Benfenati, Fabio; Spillantini, Maria Grazia; Missale, Cristina; Spano, PierFranco; Bellucci, Arianna

    2015-07-01

    The main neuropathological features of Parkinson's disease are dopaminergic nigrostriatal neuron degeneration, and intraneuronal and intraneuritic proteinaceous inclusions named Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites, respectively, which mainly contain α-synuclein (α-syn, also known as SNCA). The neuronal phosphoprotein synapsin III (also known as SYN3), is a pivotal regulator of dopamine neuron synaptic function. Here, we show that α-syn interacts with and modulates synapsin III. The absence of α-syn causes a selective increase and redistribution of synapsin III, and changes the organization of synaptic vesicle pools in dopamine neurons. In α-syn-null mice, the alterations of synapsin III induce an increased locomotor response to the stimulation of synapsin-dependent dopamine overflow, despite this, these mice show decreased basal and depolarization-dependent striatal dopamine release. Of note, synapsin III seems to be involved in α-syn aggregation, which also coaxes its increase and redistribution. Furthermore, synapsin III accumulates in the caudate and putamen of individuals with Parkinson's disease. These findings support a reciprocal modulatory interaction of α-syn and synapsin III in the regulation of dopamine neuron synaptic function. PMID:25967550

  16. Synaptic abnormalities in a Drosophila model of Alzheimer’s disease

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    Siddhita D. Mhatre

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer’s disease (AD is an age-related neurodegenerative disease characterized by memory loss and decreased synaptic function. Advances in transgenic animal models of AD have facilitated our understanding of this disorder, and have aided in the development, speed and efficiency of testing potential therapeutics. Recently, we have described the characterization of a novel model of AD in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, where we expressed the human AD-associated proteins APP and BACE in the central nervous system of the fly. Here we describe synaptic defects in the larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ in this model. Our results indicate that expression of human APP and BACE at the larval NMJ leads to defective larval locomotion behavior, decreased presynaptic connections, altered mitochondrial localization in presynaptic motor neurons and decreased postsynaptic protein levels. Treating larvae expressing APP and BACE with the γ-secretase inhibitor L-685,458 suppresses the behavioral defects as well as the pre- and postsynaptic defects. We suggest that this model will be useful to assess and model the synaptic dysfunction normally associated with AD, and will also serve as a powerful in vivo tool for rapid testing of potential therapeutics for AD.

  17. Long-lasting hippocampal synaptic protein loss in a mouse model of posttraumatic stress disorder.

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    Leonie Herrmann

    Full Text Available Despite intensive research efforts, the molecular pathogenesis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD and especially of the hippocampal volume loss found in the majority of patients suffering from this anxiety disease still remains elusive. We demonstrated before that trauma-induced hippocampal shrinkage can also be observed in mice exhibiting a PTSD-like syndrome. Aiming to decipher the molecular correlates of these trans-species posttraumatic hippocampal alterations, we compared the expression levels of a set of neurostructural marker proteins between traumatized and control mice at different time points after their subjection to either an electric footshock or mock treatment which was followed by stressful re-exposure in several experimental groups. To our knowledge, this is the first systematic in vivo study analyzing the long-term neuromolecular sequelae of acute traumatic stress combined with re-exposure. We show here that a PTSD-like syndrome in mice is accompanied by a long-lasting reduction of hippocampal synaptic proteins which interestingly correlates with the strength of the generalized and conditioned fear response but not with the intensity of hyperarousal symptoms. Furthermore, we demonstrate that treatment with the serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI fluoxetine is able to counteract both the PTSD-like syndrome and the posttraumatic synaptic protein loss. Taken together, this study demonstrates for the first time that a loss of hippocampal synaptic proteins is associated with a PTSD-like syndrome in mice. Further studies will have to reveal whether these findings are transferable to PTSD patients.

  18. The cannabinoid receptor 1 associates with NMDA receptors to produce glutamatergic hypofunction: implications in psychosis and schizophrenia.

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    Pilar eSánchez-Blázquez

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The endocannabinoid system is widespread throughout the central nervous system and its type 1 receptor (CB1 plays a crucial role in preventing the neurotoxicity caused by activation of glutamate N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs. Indeed, it is the activity of NMDARs themselves that provides the demands on the endogenous cannabinoids in order to control their calcium currents. Therefore, a physiological role of this system is to maintain NMDAR activity within safe limits, thereby protecting neural cells from excitotoxicity. Thus, cannabinoids may be able to control NMDAR overactivation-related neural dysfunctions; however the major obstacles to the therapeutic utilization of these compounds are their psychotropic effects and negative influence on cognitive performance. Studies in humans have indicated that abuse of smoked cannabis can promote psychosis and even circumstantially precipitate symptoms of schizophrenia, although the latter appears to require a prior vulnerability in the individual. It is possible that cannabinoids provoke psychosis/schizophrenia reflecting a mechanism common to neuroprotection the reduction of NMDAR activity. Cannabinoids are proposed to produce such effect by reducing the pre-synaptic release of glutamate or interfering with postsynaptic NMDAR-regulated signaling pathways. The efficacy of such control requires the endocannabinoid system to apply its negative influence in a manner that is proportional to the strength of NMDAR signaling. Thus, cannabinoids acting at the wrong time or exerting an inappropriate influence on their receptors may cause NMDAR hypofunction. The purpose of the present review is to draw the attention of the reader to the newly described functional and physical CB1-NMDAR association, which may elucidate the scenario required for the rapid and efficacious control of NMDAR activity. Whether alterations in these mechanisms may increase NMDAR hypofunction leading to vulnerability to

  19. Prenatal stress enhances excitatory synaptic transmission and impairs long-term potentiation in the frontal cortex of adult offspring rats.

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    Joanna Sowa

    Full Text Available The effects of prenatal stress procedure were investigated in 3 months old male rats. Prenatally stressed rats showed depressive-like behavior in the forced swim test, including increased immobility, decreased mobility and decreased climbing. In ex vivo frontal cortex slices originating from prenatally stressed animals, the amplitude of extracellular field potentials (FPs recorded in cortical layer II/III was larger, and the mean amplitude ratio of pharmacologically-isolated NMDA to the AMPA/kainate component of the field potential--smaller than in control preparations. Prenatal stress also resulted in a reduced magnitude of long-term potentiation (LTP. These effects were accompanied by an increase in the mean frequency, but not the mean amplitude, of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs in layer II/III pyramidal neurons. These data demonstrate that stress during pregnancy may lead not only to behavioral disturbances, but also impairs the glutamatergic transmission and long-term synaptic plasticity in the frontal cortex of the adult offspring.

  20. Role of mast cell- and non-mast cell-derived inflammatory mediators in immunologic induction of synaptic plasticity

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    A.A.C. Albuquerque

    1997-07-01

    Full Text Available We have previously discovered a long-lasting enhancement of synaptic transmission in mammal autonomic ganglia caused by immunological activation of ganglionic mast cells. Subsequent to mast cell activation, lipid and peptide mediators are released which may modulate synaptic function. In this study we determined whether some mast cell-derived mediators, prostaglandin D2 (PGD2; 1.0 µM, platelet aggregating factor (PAF; 0.3 µM and U44619 (a thromboxane analogue; 1.0 µM, and also endothelin-1 (ET-1; 0.5 µM induce synaptic potentiation in the guinea pig superior cervical ganglion (SCG, and compared their effects on synaptic transmission with those induced by a sensitizing antigen, ovalbumin (OVA; 10 µg/ml. The experiments were carried out on SCGs isolated from adult male guinea pigs (200-250 g actively sensitized to OVA, maintained in oxygenated Locke solution at 37oC. Synaptic potentiation was measured through alterations of the integral of the post-ganglionic compound action potential (CAP. All agents tested caused long-term (LTP; duration ³30 min or short-term (STP; <30 min potentiation of synaptic efficacy, as measured by the increase in the integral of the post-ganglionic CAP. The magnitude of mediator-induced potentiation was never the same as the antigen-induced long-term potentiation (A-LTP. The agent that best mimicked the antigen was PGD2, which induced a 75% increase in CAP integral for LTP (antigen: 94% and a 34% increase for STP (antigen: 91%. PAF-, U44619-, and ET-1-induced increases in CAP integral ranged for LTP from 34 to 47%, and for STP from 0 to 26%. These results suggest that the agents investigated may participate in the induction of A-LTP

  1. Synaptic depression and short-term habituation are located in the sensory part of the mammalian startle pathway

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    Pilz Peter KD

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Short-term habituation of the startle response represents an elementary form of learning in mammals. The underlying mechanism is located within the primary startle pathway, presumably at sensory synapses on giant neurons in the caudal pontine reticular nucleus (PnC. Short trains of action potentials in sensory afferent fibers induce depression of synaptic responses in PnC giant neurons, a phenomenon that has been proposed to be the cellular correlate for short-term habituation. We address here the question whether both this synaptic depression and the short-term habituation of the startle response are localized at the presynaptic terminals of sensory afferents. If this is confirmed, it would imply that these processes take place prior to multimodal signal integration, rather than occurring at postsynaptic sites on PnC giant neurons that directly drive motor neurons. Results Patch-clamp recordings in vitro were combined with behavioral experiments; synaptic depression was specific for the input pathway stimulated and did not affect signals elicited by other sensory afferents. Concordant with this, short-term habituation of the acoustic startle response in behavioral experiments did not influence tactile startle response amplitudes and vice versa. Further electrophysiological analysis showed that the passive properties of the postsynaptic neuron were unchanged but revealed some alterations in short-term plasticity during depression. Moreover, depression was induced only by trains of presynaptic action potentials and not by single pulses. There was no evidence for transmitter receptor desensitization. In summary, the data indicates that the synaptic depression mechanism is located presynaptically. Conclusion Our electrophysiological and behavioral data strongly indicate that synaptic depression in the PnC as well as short-term habituation are located in the sensory part of the startle pathway, namely at the axon terminals of

  2. Upregulation of calpain activity precedes tau phosphorylation and loss of synaptic proteins in Alzheimer’s disease brain

    OpenAIRE

    Kurbatskaya, Ksenia; Phillips, Emma Claire; Croft, Cara Louise; Dentoni, Giacomo; Hughes, Martina; Wade, Matthew Austen James; Al-Sarraj, Safa; Troakes, Claire; O'Neill, Michael; Gomez Perez-Nievas, Beatriz; Hanger, Diane Pamela; Noble, Wendy Jane

    2016-01-01

    Alterations in calcium homeostasis are widely reported to contribute to synaptic degeneration and neuronal loss in Alzheimer’s disease. Elevated cytosolic calcium concentrations lead to activation of the calcium-sensitive cysteine protease, calpain, which has a number of substrates known to be abnormally regulated in disease. Analysis of human brain has shown that calpain activity is elevated in AD compared to controls, and that calpain-mediated proteolysis regulates the activity of important...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-07-26

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

  4. The Ubiquitin-Proteasome Pathway and Synaptic Plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hegde, Ashok N.

    2010-01-01

    Proteolysis by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway (UPP) has emerged as a new molecular mechanism that controls wide-ranging functions in the nervous system, including fine-tuning of synaptic connections during development and synaptic plasticity in the adult organism. In the UPP, attachment of a small protein, ubiquitin, tags the substrates for…

  5. Synaptic Tagging, Evaluation of Memories, and the Distal Reward Problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papper, Marc; Kempter, Richard; Leibold, Christian

    2011-01-01

    Long-term synaptic plasticity exhibits distinct phases. The synaptic tagging hypothesis suggests an early phase in which synapses are prepared, or "tagged," for protein capture, and a late phase in which those proteins are integrated into the synapses to achieve memory consolidation. The synapse specificity of the tags is consistent with…

  6. Synaptic signaling and aberrant RNA splicing in autism spectrum disorders

    OpenAIRE

    Ryan M Smith; Wolfgang eSadee

    2011-01-01

    Interactions between presynaptic and postsynaptic cellular adhesion molecules drive synapse maturation during development. These trans-synaptic interactions are regulated by alternative splicing of cellular adhesion molecule RNAs, which ultimately determines neurotransmitter phenotype. The diverse assortment of RNAs produced by alternative splicing generates countless protein isoforms necessary for guiding specialized cell-to-cell connectivity. Failure to generate the appropriate synaptic ...

  7. Dynamics of glutamatergic signaling in the mushroom body of young adult Drosophila

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grau Yves

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The mushroom bodies (MBs are paired brain centers located in the insect protocerebrum involved in olfactory learning and memory and other associative functions. Processes from the Kenyon cells (KCs, their intrinsic neurons, form the bulk of the MB's calyx, pedunculus and lobes. In young adult Drosophila, the last-born KCs extend their processes in the α/β lobes as a thin core (α/β cores that is embedded in the surrounding matrix of other mature KC processes. A high level of L-glutamate (Glu immunoreactivity is present in the α/β cores (α/βc of recently eclosed adult flies. In a Drosophila model of fragile X syndrome, the main cause of inherited mental retardation, treatment with metabotropic Glu receptor (mGluR antagonists can rescue memory deficits and MB structural defects. Results To address the role of Glu signaling in the development and maturation of the MB, we have compared the time course of Glu immunoreactivity with the expression of various glutamatergic markers at various times, that is, 1 hour, 1 day and 10 days after adult eclosion. We observed that last-born α/βc KCs in young adult as well as developing KCs in late larva and at various pupal stages transiently express high level of Glu immunoreactivity in Drosophila. One day after eclosion, the Glu level was already markedly reduced in the α/βc neurons. Glial cell processes expressing glutamine synthetase and the Glu transporter dEAAT1 were found to surround the Glu-expressing KCs in very young adults, subsequently enwrapping the α/β lobes to become distributed equally over the entire MB neuropil. The vesicular Glu transporter DVGluT was detected by immunostaining in processes that project within the MB lobes and pedunculus, but this transporter is apparently never expressed by the KCs themselves. The NMDA receptor subunit dNR1 is widely expressed in the MB neuropil just after eclosion, but was not detected in the α/βc neurons. In contrast, we

  8. alpha-Latrotoxin affects mitochondrial potential and synaptic vesicle proton gradient of nerve terminals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarasenko, A S; Storchak, L G; Himmelreich, N H

    2008-02-01

    Ca(2+)-independent [(3)H]GABA release induced by alpha-latrotoxin was found to consist of two sequential processes: a fast initial release realized via exocytosis and more delayed outflow through the plasma membrane GABA transporters [Linetska, M.V., Storchak, L.G., Tarasenko, A.S., Himmelreich, N.H., 2004. Involvement of membrane GABA transporters in alpha-latrotoxin-stimulated [(3)H]GABA release. Neurochem. Int. 44, 303-312]. To characterize the toxin-stimulated events attributable to the transporter-mediated [(3)H]GABA release from rat brain synaptosomes we studied the effect of alpha-latrotoxin on membrane potentials and generation of the synaptic vesicles proton gradient, using fluorescent dyes: potential-sensitive rhodamine 6G and pH-sensitive acridine orange. We revealed that alpha-latrotoxin induced a progressive dose-dependent depolarization of mitochondrial membrane potential and an irreversible run-down of the synaptic vesicle proton gradient. Both processes were insensitive to the presence of cadmium, a potent blocker of toxin-formed transmembrane pores, indicating that alpha-latrotoxin-induced disturbance of the plasma membrane permeability was not responsible to these effects. A gradual dissipation of the synaptic vesicle proton gradient closely coupled with lowering the vesicular GABA transporter activity results in a leakage of the neurotransmitter from synaptic vesicles to cytoplasm. As a consequence, there is an essential increase in GABA concentration in a soluble cytosolic pool that appears to be critical parameter for altering the mode of the plasma membrane GABA transporter operation from inward to outward. Thus, our data allow clarifying what cell processes underlain a recruitment of the plasma membrane transporter-mediated pathway in alpha-LTX-stimulated secretion.

  9. Nicotinic mechanisms influencing synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Andon Nicholas PLACZEK; Tao A ZHANG; John Anthony DANI

    2009-01-01

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

  10. Inhibitory control of ascending glutamatergic projections to the lamprey respiratory rhythm generator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cinelli, Elenia; Mutolo, Donatella; Contini, Massimo; Pantaleo, Tito; Bongianni, Fulvia

    2016-06-21

    Neurons within the vagal motoneuron region of the lamprey have been shown to modulate respiratory activity via ascending excitatory projections to the paratrigeminal respiratory group (pTRG), the proposed respiratory rhythm generator. The present study was performed on in vitro brainstem preparations of the lamprey to provide a characterization of ascending projections within the whole respiratory motoneuron column with regard to the distribution of neurons projecting to the pTRG and related neurochemical markers. Injections of Neurobiotin were performed into the pTRG and the presence of glutamate, GABA and glycine immunoreactivity was investigated by double-labeling experiments. Interestingly, retrogradely labeled neurons were found not only in the vagal region, but also in the facial and glossopharyngeal motoneuron regions. They were also present within the sensory octavolateral area (OLA). The results show for the first time that neurons projecting to the pTRG are immunoreactive for glutamate, surrounded by GABA-immunoreactive structures and associated with the presence of glycinergic cells. Consistently, GABAA or glycine receptor blockade within the investigated regions increased the respiratory frequency. Furthermore, microinjections of agonists and antagonists of ionotropic glutamate receptors and of the GABAA receptor agonist muscimol showed that OLA neurons do not contribute to respiratory rhythm generation. The results provide evidence that glutamatergic ascending pathways to the pTRG are subject to a potent inhibitory control and suggest that disinhibition is one important mechanism subserving their function. The general characteristics of inhibitory control involved in rhythmic activities, such as respiration, appear to be highly conserved throughout vertebrate evolution. PMID:27058146

  11. Evidence for a glutamatergic projection from the zona incerta to the basal ganglia of rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heise, Claire E; Mitrofanis, John

    2004-01-19

    This study explores the organisation and neurochemical nature of the projections from the zona incerta (ZI) to the basal ganglia. Sprague-Dawley rats were anaesthetised with ketamine (100 mg/kg) and Rompun (10 mg/kg), and injections of cholera toxin subunit B were made into each of the following nuclei: the ZI, the substantia nigra (SN), the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PpT), and the entopeduncular nucleus (Ep). Brains were aldehyde fixed, sectioned, and processed using standard methods. Tracer-labelled sections were then doubly labelled with antibodies to glutamate (Glu), nitric oxide synthase (NOS), parvalbumin (Pv), or glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD; the latter two are markers for GABAergic cells); these neurochemicals characterise most types of ZI cells. After ZI injections, labelling was nonuniform across the different basal ganglia nuclei. The bulk of labelling, both anterograde and retrograde, was seen in the SN and PpT and, to a lesser extent, within the other nuclei of the basal ganglia (e.g., caudate-putamen, globus pallidus, subthalamus, Ep). In the SN, labelling was found in both major parts of the nucleus, the pars compacta and pars reticulata. Within the PpT, however, the bulk of labelling was limited to only one of the two sectors of the nucleus, namely, the pars dissipata (PpTd). The pars compacta of the PpT (PpTc) remained largely free of labelled profiles. After CTb injections into three basal ganglia nuclei (SN, PpT, Ep), most labelled cells in the ZI were glutamate+ and very few were NOS+ or gamma-aminobutyric acidergic. Overall, the results indicate that the ZI is in a position to influence preferentially the activity of the SN and PpTd of the basal ganglia via an excitatory, glutamatergic input. PMID:14689481

  12. Milnacipran inhibits glutamatergic N-Methyl-D-Aspartate receptor activity in Spinal Dorsal Horn Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kohno Tatsuro

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Antidepressants, which are widely used for treatment of chronic pain, are thought to have antinociceptive effects by blockade of serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake. However, these drugs also interact with various receptors such as excitatory glutamatergic receptors. Thermal hyperalgesia was induced by intrathecal injection of NMDA in rats. Paw withdrawal latency was measured after intrathecal injection of antidepressants. The effects of antidepressants on the NMDA and AMPA-induced responses were examined in lamina II neurons of rat spinal cord slices using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique. The effects of milnacipran followed by application of NMDA on pERK activation were also investigated in the spinal cord. Results Intrathecal injection of milnacipran (0.1 μmol, but not citalopram (0.1 μmol and desipramine (0.1 μmol, followed by intrathecal injection of NMDA (1 μg suppressed thermal hyperalgesia. Milnacipran (100 μM reduced the amplitude of NMDA (56 ± 3 %, 64 ± 5 % of control-, but not AMPA (98 ± 5 %, 97 ± 5 % of control-mediated currents induced by exogenous application and dorsal root stimulation, respectively. Citalopram (100 μM and desipramine (30 μM had no effect on the amplitude of exogenous NMDA-induced currents. The number of pERK-positive neurons in the group treated with milnacipran (100 μM, but not citalopram (100 μM or desipramine (30 μM, followed by NMDA (100 μM was significantly lower compared with the NMDA-alone group. Conclusions The antinociceptive effect of milnacipran may be dependent on the drug’s direct modulation of NMDA receptors in the superficial dorsal horn. Furthermore, in addition to inhibiting the reuptake of monoamines, glutamate NMDA receptors are also important for analgesia induced by milnacipran.

  13. Coping with dehydration: sympathetic activation and regulation of glutamatergic transmission in the hypothalamic PVN.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bardgett, Megan E; Chen, Qing-Hui; Guo, Qing; Calderon, Alfredo S; Andrade, Mary Ann; Toney, Glenn M

    2014-06-01

    Autonomic and endocrine profiles of chronic hypertension and heart failure resemble those of acute dehydration. Importantly, all of these conditions are associated with exaggerated sympathetic nerve activity (SNA) driven by glutamatergic activation of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN). Here, studies sought to gain insight into mechanisms of disease by determining the role of PVN ionotropic glutamate receptors in supporting SNA and mean arterial pressure (MAP) during dehydration and by elucidating mechanisms regulating receptor activity. Blockade of PVN N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors reduced (P chloralose-anesthetized dehydrated (DH) (48 h water deprivation) rats, but had no effect in euhydrated (EH) controls. Blockade of PVN α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors had no effect in either group. NMDA in PVN caused dose-dependent increases of renal SNA and MAP in both groups, but the maximum agonist evoked response (Emax) of the renal SNA response was greater (P < 0.05) in DH rats. The latter was not explained by increased PVN expression of NMDA receptor NR1 subunit protein, increased PVN neuronal excitability, or decreased brain water content. Interestingly, PVN injection of the pan-specific excitatory amino acid transporter (EAAT) inhibitor DL-threo-β-benzyloxyaspartic acid produced smaller sympathoexcitatory and pressor responses in DH rats, which was associated with reduced glial expression of EAAT2 in PVN. Like chronic hypertension and heart failure, dehydration increases excitatory NMDA receptor tone in PVN. Reduced glial-mediated glutamate uptake was identified as a key contributing factor. Defective glutamate uptake in PVN could therefore be an important, but as yet unexplored, mechanism driving sympathetic hyperactivity in chronic cardiovascular diseases. PMID:24671240

  14. Synaptic Homeostasis and Restructuring across the Sleep-Wake Cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, Wilfredo; Pereira, Catia M; Cota, Vinicius R; Souza, Annie C; Rennó-Costa, César; Santos, Sharlene; Dias, Gabriella; Guerreiro, Ana M G; Tort, Adriano B L; Neto, Adrião D; Ribeiro, Sidarta

    2015-05-01

    Sleep is critical for hippocampus-dependent memory consolidation. However, the underlying mechanisms of synaptic plasticity are poorly understood. The central controversy is on whether long-term potentiation (LTP) takes a role during sleep and which would be its specific effect on memory. To address this question, we used immunohistochemistry to measure phosphorylation of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (pCaMKIIα) in the rat hippocampus immediately after specific sleep-wake states were interrupted. Control animals not exposed to novel objects during waking (WK) showed stable pCaMKIIα levels across the sleep-wake cycle, but animals exposed to novel objects showed a decrease during subsequent slow-wave sleep (SWS) followed by a rebound during rapid-eye-movement sleep (REM). The levels of pCaMKIIα during REM were proportional to cortical spindles near SWS/REM transitions. Based on these results, we modeled sleep-dependent LTP on a network of fully connected excitatory neurons fed with spikes recorded from the rat hippocampus across WK, SWS and REM. Sleep without LTP orderly rescaled synaptic weights to a narrow range of intermediate values. In contrast, LTP triggered near the SWS/REM transition led to marked swaps in synaptic weight ranking. To better understand the interaction between rescaling and restructuring during sleep, we implemented synaptic homeostasis and embossing in a detailed hippocampal-cortical model with both excitatory and inhibitory neurons. Synaptic homeostasis was implemented by weakening potentiation and strengthening depression, while synaptic embossing was simulated by evoking LTP on selected synapses. We observed that synaptic homeostasis facilitates controlled synaptic restructuring. The results imply a mechanism for a cognitive synergy between SWS and REM, and suggest that LTP at the SWS/REM transition critically influences the effect of sleep: Its lack determines synaptic homeostasis, its presence causes synaptic

  15. Synaptic Homeostasis and Restructuring across the Sleep-Wake Cycle.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wilfredo Blanco

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Sleep is critical for hippocampus-dependent memory consolidation. However, the underlying mechanisms of synaptic plasticity are poorly understood. The central controversy is on whether long-term potentiation (LTP takes a role during sleep and which would be its specific effect on memory. To address this question, we used immunohistochemistry to measure phosphorylation of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (pCaMKIIα in the rat hippocampus immediately after specific sleep-wake states were interrupted. Control animals not exposed to novel objects during waking (WK showed stable pCaMKIIα levels across the sleep-wake cycle, but animals exposed to novel objects showed a decrease during subsequent slow-wave sleep (SWS followed by a rebound during rapid-eye-movement sleep (REM. The levels of pCaMKIIα during REM were proportional to cortical spindles near SWS/REM transitions. Based on these results, we modeled sleep-dependent LTP on a network of fully connected excitatory neurons fed with spikes recorded from the rat hippocampus across WK, SWS and REM. Sleep without LTP orderly rescaled synaptic weights to a narrow range of intermediate values. In contrast, LTP triggered near the SWS/REM transition led to marked swaps in synaptic weight ranking. To better understand the interaction between rescaling and restructuring during sleep, we implemented synaptic homeostasis and embossing in a detailed hippocampal-cortical model with both excitatory and inhibitory neurons. Synaptic homeostasis was implemented by weakening potentiation and strengthening depression, while synaptic embossing was simulated by evoking LTP on selected synapses. We observed that synaptic homeostasis facilitates controlled synaptic restructuring. The results imply a mechanism for a cognitive synergy between SWS and REM, and suggest that LTP at the SWS/REM transition critically influences the effect of sleep: Its lack determines synaptic homeostasis, its presence causes

  16. Synaptically Released Matrix Metalloproteinase Activity in Control of Structural Plasticity and the Cell Surface Distribution of GluA1-AMPA Receptors

    OpenAIRE

    Zsuzsanna Szepesi; Eric Hosy; Blazej Ruszczycki; Monika Bijata; Marta Pyskaty; Arthur Bikbaev; Martin Heine; Daniel Choquet; Leszek Kaczmarek; Jakub Wlodarczyk

    2014-01-01

    Synapses are particularly prone to dynamic alterations and thus play a major role in neuronal plasticity. Dynamic excitatory synapses are located at the membranous neuronal protrusions called dendritic spines. The ability to change synaptic connections involves both alterations at the morphological level and changes in postsynaptic receptor composition. We report that endogenous matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity promotes the structural and functional plasticity of local synapses by its ...

  17. Alzheimer's disease: synaptic dysfunction and Abeta

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Shankar, Ganesh M

    2009-11-23

    Abstract Synapse loss is an early and invariant feature of Alzheimer\\'s disease (AD) and there is a strong correlation between the extent of synapse loss and the severity of dementia. Accordingly, it has been proposed that synapse loss underlies the memory impairment evident in the early phase of AD and that since plasticity is important for neuronal viability, persistent disruption of plasticity may account for the frank cell loss typical of later phases of the disease. Extensive multi-disciplinary research has implicated the amyloid β-protein (Aβ) in the aetiology of AD and here we review the evidence that non-fibrillar soluble forms of Aβ are mediators of synaptic compromise. We also discuss the possible mechanisms of Aβ synaptotoxicity and potential targets for therapeutic intervention.

  18. Synaptic Transmission An Information-Theoretic Perspective

    CERN Document Server

    Manwani, A

    1998-01-01

    Here we analyze synaptic transmission from an information-theoretic perspective. We derive closed-form expressions for the lower-bounds on the capacity of a simple model of a cortical synapse under two explicit coding paradigms. Under the ``signal estimation'' paradigm, we assume the signal to be encoded in the mean firing rate of a Poisson neuron. The performance of an optimal linear estimator of the signal then provides a lower bound on the capacity for signal estimation. Under the ``signal detection'' paradigm, the presence or absence of the signal has to be detected. Performance of the optimal spike detector allows us to compute a lower bound on the capacity for signal detection. We find that single synapses (for empirically measured parameter values) transmit information poorly but significant improvement can be achieved with a small amount of redundancy.

  19. Maternal exposure to hexachlorophene targets intermediate-stage progenitor cells in the hippocampal neurogenesis involving myelin vacuolation of cholinergic and glutamatergic inputs in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kato, Mizuho; Abe, Hajime; Itahashi, Megu; Kikuchihara, Yoh; Kimura, Masayuki; Mizukami, Sayaka; Yoshida, Toshinori; Shibutani, Makoto

    2016-02-01

    Hexachlorophene (HCP) has been shown to induce myelin vacuolation due to intramyelinic edema of the nerve fibers in animal neural tissue. We investigated the maternal exposure effect of HCP on hippocampal neurogenesis in the offspring of pregnant mice supplemented with 0 (control), 33 or 100 ppm HCP in diet from gestational day 6 to day 21 after delivery. On postnatal day (PND) 21, offspring as examined in males exhibited decreased granule cell lineage populations expressing paired box 6, sex-determining region Y-box 2 and eomesodermin in the hippocampal subgranular zone (SGZ) accompanied by myelin vacuolation involving white matter tracts of the hippocampal fimbria at ≥ 33 ppm. However, SGZ cellular populations expressing brain lipid binding protein and doublecortin were unchanged at any dose. Transcript expression of cholinergic receptor genes, Chrna4 and Chrnb2, and glutamate receptor genes, Grm1 and Grin2d, examined at 100 ppm, decreased in the dentate gyrus. HCP exposure did not alter the number of proliferating or apoptotic cells in the SGZ, or reelin- or calcium-binding protein-expressing γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic interneurons in the dentate hilus, on PND 21 and PND 77. All neurogenesis-related changes observed in HCP-exposed offspring on PND 21 disappeared on PND 77, suggesting that maternal HCP exposure at ≥ 33 ppm reversibly decreased type 2 intermediate-stage progenitor cells in the hippocampal neurogenesis. Myelin vacuolation might be responsible for changes in neurogenesis possibly by reducing nerve conduction velocity of cholinergic inputs from the septal-hippocampal pathway to granule cell lineages and/or GABAergic interneurons, and of glutamatergic inputs to granule cell lineages.

  20. A glutamatergic reward input from the dorsal raphe to ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Jia; Zhang, Shiliang; Wang, Hui-Ling; Wang, Huikun; de Jesus Aceves Buendia, Jose; Hoffman, Alexander F; Lupica, Carl R; Seal, Rebecca P; Morales, Marisela

    2014-11-12

    Electrical stimulation of the dorsal raphe (DR) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) activates the fibres of the same reward pathway but the phenotype of this pathway and the direction of the reward-relevant fibres have not been determined. Here we report rewarding effects following activation of a DR-originating pathway consisting of vesicular glutamate transporter 3 (VGluT3) containing neurons that form asymmetric synapses onto VTA dopamine neurons that project to nucleus accumbens. Optogenetic VTA activation of this projection elicits AMPA-mediated synaptic excitatory currents in VTA mesoaccumbens dopaminergic neurons and causes dopamine release in nucleus accumbens. Activation also reinforces instrumental behaviour and establishes conditioned place preferences. These findings indicate that the DR-VGluT3 pathway to VTA utilizes glutamate as a neurotransmitter and is a substrate linking the DR-one of the most sensitive reward sites in the brain--to VTA dopaminergic neurons.

  1. Glial cells modulate the synaptic transmission of NTS neurons sending projections to ventral medulla of Wistar rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Accorsi-Mendonça, Daniela; Zoccal, Daniel B; Bonagamba, Leni G H; Machado, Benedito H

    2013-09-01

    There is evidence that sympathoexcitatory and respiratory responses to chemoreflex activation involve ventrolateral medulla-projecting nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) neurons (NTS-VLM neurons) and also that ATP modulates this neurotransmission. Here, we evaluated whether or not astrocytes is the source of endogenous ATP modulating the synaptic transmission in NTS-VLM neurons. Synaptic activities of putative astrocytes or NTS-VLM neurons were recorded using whole cell patch clamp. Tractus solitarius (TS) stimulation induced TS-evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (TS-eEPSCs) in NTS-VLM neurons as well in NTS putative astrocytes, which were also identified by previous labeling. Fluoracetate (FAC), an inhibitor of glial metabolism, reduced TS-eEPSCs amplitude (-85.6 ± 16 vs. -39 ± 7.1 pA, n = 12) and sEPSCs frequency (2.8 ± 0.5 vs. 1.8 ± 0.46 Hz, n = 10) in recorded NTS-VLM neurons, indicating a gliomodulation of glutamatergic currents. To verify the involvement of endogenous ATP a purinergic antagonist was used, which reduced the TS-eEPSCs amplitude (-207 ± 50 vs. -149 ± 50 pA, n = 6), the sEPSCs frequency (1.19 ± 0.2 vs. 0.62 ± 0.11 Hz, n = 6), and increased the paired-pulse ratio (PPR) values (∼20%) in NTS-VLM neurons. Simultaneous perfusion of Pyridoxalphosphate-6-azophenyl-2',5'-disulfonic acid (iso-PPADS) and FAC produced reduction in TS-eEPSCs similar to that observed with iso-PPADS or FAC alone, indicating that glial cells are the source of ATP released after TS stimulation. Extracellular ATP measurement showed that FAC reduced evoked and spontaneous ATP release. All together these data show that putative astrocytes are the source of endogenous ATP, which via activation of presynaptic P2X receptors, facilitates the evoked glutamate release and increases the synaptic transmission efficacy in the NTS-VLM neurons probably involved with the peripheral chemoreflex pathways.

  2. Sonic hedgehog and retinoic Acid induce bone marrow-derived stem cells to differentiate into glutamatergic neural cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Zhenhai; Wu, Shixing; Liu, Zhen; Lin, Haiyan; Chen, Lei; Yuan, Xinli; Zhang, Zhiying; Liu, Fang; Zhang, Chuansen

    2015-01-01

    Studies have showed that transplanted stem cells in the inner ear won't regenerate to replace the damaged sensory hair cells. They can spontaneously differentiate into mesenchymal cells and fibrocytes in the damaged inner ear. Only mature sensory cells of MSCs-derived possess the great potency for cell transplantation in the treatment of sensorineural hearing loss. So, we try to establish an efficient generation of the glutamatergic sensory neural phenotype for the cell transplantation of the hearing loss. We isolated MSCs from femoral and tibial bones according to their adherence to culture dishes. After purification, proliferation, and passaged, cells became homogeneous in appearance, showing more uniformity and grew in a monolayer with a typical spindle-shape morphology. The cell surface markers were assessed using FACS to characterize the isolated cells. For neural induction to harvest the glutamatergic sensory neurons, passage 3 MSCs were incubated with preinduced medium for 24 hr, and neural-induced medium for an additional 14 days. The cells exhibit a typical neural shape. RT-PCR analysis indicated that the mRNA levels of the neural cell marker nestin, Tau, MAP-2, β-tubulin III, GluR-3, and GluR-4 were higher compared with primary MSCs. Immunohistochemistry and western-blotting proofed that nestin, MAP-2, β-tubulin III, and GluR-4 proteins indeed exhibit their expression difference in the induced cells compared to the MSCs. We show an efficient protocol by the combined applications of Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) and Retinoic Acid (RA) to induce MSCs to differentiate into the glutamatergic sensory neuron which were identified from the morphological, biochemical, and molecular characteristics. PMID:24547891

  3. Biphasic Effects of Cannabinoids in Anxiety Responses: CB1 and GABAB Receptors in the Balance of GABAergic and Glutamatergic Neurotransmission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rey, Alejandro Aparisi; Purrio, Martin; Viveros, Maria-Paz; Lutz, Beat

    2012-01-01

    Biphasic effects of cannabinoids have been shown in processes such as feeding behavior, motor activity, motivational processes and anxiety responses. Using two different tests for the characterization of anxiety-related behavior (elevated plus-maze and holeboard), we first identified in wild-type C57BL/6N mice, two doses of the synthetic CB1 cannabinoid receptor agonist CP-55,940 with anxiolytic (1 μg/kg) and anxiogenic properties (50 μg/kg), respectively. To clarify the role of CB1 receptors in this biphasic effect, both doses were applied to two different conditional CB1 receptor knockout (KO) mouse lines, GABA-CB1-KO (CB1 receptor inactivation in forebrain GABAergic neurons) and Glu-CB1-KO (CB1 receptor inactivation in cortical glutamatergic neurons). We found that the anxiolytic-like effects of the low dose of cannabinoids are mediated via the CB1 receptor on cortical glutamatergic terminals, because this anxiolytic-like response was abrogated only in Glu-CB1-KO mice. On the contrary, the CB1 receptor on the GABAergic terminals is required to induce an anxiogenic-like effect under a high-dose treatment because of the fact that this effect was abolished specifically in GABA-CB1-KO mice. These experiments were carried out in both sexes, and no differences occurred with the doses tested in the mutant mice. Interestingly, the positive allosteric modulation of GABAB receptor with GS-39783 was found to largely abrogate the anxiogenic-like effect of the high dose of CP-55,940. Our results shed new light in further understanding the biphasic effects of cannabinoids at the molecular level and, importantly, pave the way for the development of novel anxiolytic cannabinoid drugs, which may have favorable effect profiles targeting the CB1 receptor on glutamatergic terminals. PMID:22850737

  4. Glutamatergic and GABAergic energy metabolism measured in the rat brain by (13) C NMR spectroscopy at 14.1 T.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duarte, João M N; Gruetter, Rolf

    2013-09-01

    Energy metabolism supports both inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmission processes. This study investigated the specific contribution of astrocytic metabolism to γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) synthesis and inhibitory GABAergic neurotransmission that remained to be ilucidated in vivo. Therefore, we measured (13)C incorporation into brain metabolites by dynamic (13)C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy at 14.1 T in rats under α-chloralose anaesthesia during infusion of [1,6-(13)C]glucose. The enhanced sensitivity at 14.1 T allowed to quantify incorporation of (13) C into the three aliphatic carbons of GABA non-invasively. Metabolic fluxes were determined with a mathematical model of brain metabolism comprising glial, glutamatergic and GABAergic compartments. GABA synthesis rate was 0.11 ± 0.01 μmol/g/min. GABA-glutamine cycle was 0.053 ± 0.003 μmol/g/min and accounted for 22 ± 1% of total neurotransmitter cycling between neurons and glia. Cerebral glucose oxidation was 0.47 ± 0.02 μmol/g/min, of which 35 ± 1% and 7 ± 1% was diverted to the glutamatergic and GABAergic tricarboxylic acid cycles, respectively. The remaining fraction of glucose oxidation was in glia, where 12 ± 1% of the TCA cycle flux was dedicated to oxidation of GABA. 16 ± 2% of glutamine synthesis was provided to GABAergic neurons. We conclude that substantial metabolic activity occurs in GABAergic neurons and that glial metabolism supports both glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons in the living rat brain. PMID:23745684

  5. Cholesterol and F-actin are required for clustering of recycling synaptic vesicle proteins in the presynaptic plasma membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dason, Jeffrey S; Smith, Alex J; Marin, Leo; Charlton, Milton P

    2014-02-15

    Synaptic vesicles (SVs) and their proteins must be recycled for sustained synaptic transmission. We tested the hypothesis that SV cholesterol is required for proper sorting of SV proteins during recycling in live presynaptic terminals. We used the reversible block of endocytosis in the Drosophila temperature-sensitive dynamin mutant shibire-ts1 to trap exocytosed SV proteins, and then examined the effect of experimental treatments on the distribution of these proteins within the presynaptic plasma membrane by confocal microscopy. SV proteins synaptotagmin, vglut and csp were clustered following SV trapping in control experiments but dispersed in samples treated with the cholesterol chelator methyl-β-cyclodextrin to extract SV cholesterol. There was accumulation of phosphatidylinositol (4,5)-bisphosphate (PIP2) in presynaptic terminals following SV trapping and this was reduced following SV cholesterol extraction. Reduced PIP2 accumulation was associated with disrupted accumulation of actin in presynaptic terminals. Similar to vesicular cholesterol extraction, disruption of actin by latrunculin A after SV proteins had been trapped on the plasma membrane resulted in the dispersal of SV proteins and prevented recovery of synaptic transmission due to impaired endocytosis following relief of the endocytic block. Our results demonstrate that vesicular cholesterol is required for aggregation of exocytosed SV proteins in the presynaptic plasma membrane and are consistent with a mechanism involving regulation of PIP2 accumulation and local actin polymerization by cholesterol. Thus, alteration of membrane or SV lipids may affect the ability of synapses to undergo sustained synaptic transmission by compromising the recycling of SV proteins.

  6. APP and APLP2 interact with the synaptic release machinery and facilitate transmitter release at hippocampal synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanutza, Tomas; Del Prete, Dolores; Ford, Michael J; Castillo, Pablo E; D'Adamio, Luciano

    2015-11-09

    The amyloid precursor protein (APP), whose mutations cause familial Alzheimer's disease, interacts with the synaptic release machinery, suggesting a role in neurotransmission. Here we mapped this interaction to the NH2-terminal region of the APP intracellular domain. A peptide encompassing this binding domain -named JCasp- is naturally produced by a γ-secretase/caspase double-cut of APP. JCasp interferes with the APP-presynaptic proteins interaction and, if linked to a cell-penetrating peptide, reduces glutamate release in acute hippocampal slices from wild-type but not APP deficient mice, indicating that JCasp inhibits APP function.The APP-like protein-2 (APLP2) also binds the synaptic release machinery. Deletion of APP and APLP2 produces synaptic deficits similar to those caused by JCasp. Our data support the notion that APP and APLP2 facilitate transmitter release, likely through the interaction with the neurotransmitter release machinery. Given the link of APP to Alzheimer's disease, alterations of this synaptic role of APP could contribute to dementia.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-10-01

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

  8. Overelaborated synaptic architecture and reduced synaptomatrix glycosylation in a Drosophila classic galactosemia disease model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jumbo-Lucioni, Patricia; Parkinson, William; Broadie, Kendal

    2014-12-01

    Classic galactosemia (CG) is an autosomal recessive disorder resulting from loss of galactose-1-phosphate uridyltransferase (GALT), which catalyzes conversion of galactose-1-phosphate and uridine diphosphate (UDP)-glucose to glucose-1-phosphate and UDP-galactose, immediately upstream of UDP-N-acetylgalactosamine and UDP-N-acetylglucosamine synthesis. These four UDP-sugars are essential donors for driving the synthesis of glycoproteins and glycolipids, which heavily decorate cell surfaces and extracellular spaces. In addition to acute, potentially lethal neonatal symptoms, maturing individuals with CG develop striking neurodevelopmental, motor and cognitive impairments. Previous studies suggest that neurological symptoms are associated with glycosylation defects, with CG recently being described as a congenital disorder of glycosylation (CDG), showing defects in both N- and O-linked glycans. Here, we characterize behavioral traits, synaptic development and glycosylated synaptomatrix formation in a GALT-deficient Drosophila disease model. Loss of Drosophila GALT (dGALT) greatly impairs coordinated movement and results in structural overelaboration and architectural abnormalities at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Dietary galactose and mutation of galactokinase (dGALK) or UDP-glucose dehydrogenase (sugarless) genes are identified, respectively, as critical environmental and genetic modifiers of behavioral and cellular defects. Assaying the NMJ extracellular synaptomatrix with a broad panel of lectin probes reveals profound alterations in dGALT mutants, including depletion of galactosyl, N-acetylgalactosamine and fucosylated horseradish peroxidase (HRP) moieties, which are differentially corrected by dGALK co-removal and sugarless overexpression. Synaptogenesis relies on trans-synaptic signals modulated by this synaptomatrix carbohydrate environment, and dGALT-null NMJs display striking changes in heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG) co-receptor and Wnt ligand levels

  9. Overelaborated synaptic architecture and reduced synaptomatrix glycosylation in a Drosophila classic galactosemia disease model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Jumbo-Lucioni

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Classic galactosemia (CG is an autosomal recessive disorder resulting from loss of galactose-1-phosphate uridyltransferase (GALT, which catalyzes conversion of galactose-1-phosphate and uridine diphosphate (UDP-glucose to glucose-1-phosphate and UDP-galactose, immediately upstream of UDP–N-acetylgalactosamine and UDP–N-acetylglucosamine synthesis. These four UDP-sugars are essential donors for driving the synthesis of glycoproteins and glycolipids, which heavily decorate cell surfaces and extracellular spaces. In addition to acute, potentially lethal neonatal symptoms, maturing individuals with CG develop striking neurodevelopmental, motor and cognitive impairments. Previous studies suggest that neurological symptoms are associated with glycosylation defects, with CG recently being described as a congenital disorder of glycosylation (CDG, showing defects in both N- and O-linked glycans. Here, we characterize behavioral traits, synaptic development and glycosylated synaptomatrix formation in a GALT-deficient Drosophila disease model. Loss of Drosophila GALT (dGALT greatly impairs coordinated movement and results in structural overelaboration and architectural abnormalities at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ. Dietary galactose and mutation of galactokinase (dGALK or UDP-glucose dehydrogenase (sugarless genes are identified, respectively, as critical environmental and genetic modifiers of behavioral and cellular defects. Assaying the NMJ extracellular synaptomatrix with a broad panel of lectin probes reveals profound alterations in dGALT mutants, including depletion of galactosyl, N-acetylgalactosamine and fucosylated horseradish peroxidase (HRP moieties, which are differentially corrected by dGALK co-removal and sugarless overexpression. Synaptogenesis relies on trans-synaptic signals modulated by this synaptomatrix carbohydrate environment, and dGALT-null NMJs display striking changes in heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG co-receptor and Wnt

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

    A reduction in taurine content accompanies the ageing process in many tissues. In fact, the decline of brain taurine levels has been associated with cognitive deficits whereas chronic administration of taurine seems to ameliorate age-related deficits such as memory acquisition and retention. In the present study, using rats of three age groups (young, adult and aged) we determined whether the content of taurine and other amino acids (glutamate, serine, glutamine, glycine, alanine and GABA) was altered during ageing in different brain areas (cerebellum, cortex and hippocampus) as well non-brain tissues (heart, kidney, liver and plasma). Moreover, using hippocampal slices we tested whether ageing affects synaptic function and plasticity. These parameters were also determined in aged rats fed with either taurine-devoid or taurine-supplemented diets. With age, we found heterogeneous changes in amino acid content depending on the amino acid type and the tissue. In the case of taurine, its content was reduced in the cerebellum of adult and aged rats, but it remained unchanged in the hippocampus, cortex, heart and liver. The synaptic response amplitude decreased in aged rats, although the late phase of long-term synaptic potentiation (late-LTP), a taurine-dependent process, was not altered. Our study highlights the stability of taurine content in the hippocampus during ageing regardless of whether taurine was present in the diet, which is consistent with the lack of changes detected in late-LTP. These results indicate that the beneficial effects of taurine supplementation might be independent of the replenishment of taurine stores. PMID:26803657

  11. Sensitivity of binding of high-affinity dopamine receptor radioligands to increased synaptic dopamine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gatley, S J; Gifford, A N; Carroll, F I; Volkow, N D

    2000-12-15

    PET and SPECT studies have documented that D2 radioligands of moderate affinity, but not radioligands of high affinity, are sensitive to pharmacological challenges that alter synaptic dopamine levels. The objective of this work was to determine whether the brain kinetics of high-affinity radioligands for dopamine D1 ([(3)H]SCH 23390) and D2 ([(123)I]epidepride) receptors were altered by a prolonged elevation of synaptic dopamine induced by the potent cocaine analog RTI-55. Mice were injected intravenously with radioligands either 30 min after or 4 h before intraperitoneal administration of RTI-55 (2 mg/kg). In separate experiments, the pharmacological effects of RTI-55 were assessed biochemically by measuring uptake of dopamine in synaptosomes prepared from RTI-treated mice and behaviorally by monitoring locomotor activity. Consistent with the expected elevation of synaptic dopamine, RTI-55 induced a long-lasting decrement in dopamine uptake measured ex vivo, and a prolonged increase in locomotor activity. RTI-55 injected prior to the radioligands induced a significant (P epidepride at 15 min, relative to saline-treated controls, but there were no differences between the two groups at later time-points. For [(3)H]SCH 23390, both initial striatal uptake and subsequent clearance were slightly increased by preadministration of RTI-55. Administration of RTI-55 4 h after the radioligands (i.e., when it was presumed that a state of near equilibrium binding of the radioligands had been reached), was associated with a significant reduction of striatal radioactivity for both radiotracers. Our results are consistent with increased competition between dopamine and radioligand for binding to both D1 and D2 receptors after treatment with RTI-55. We suggest that the magnitude of the competition is reduced by failure of the receptor binding of high-affinity radioligands to rapidly attain equilibrium. PMID:11044896

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

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    Alvaro O. Ardiles

    2014-10-01

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

  13. Synapse geometry and receptor dynamics modulate synaptic strength.

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    Dominik Freche

    Full Text Available Synaptic transmission relies on several processes, such as the location of a released vesicle, the number and type of receptors, trafficking between the postsynaptic density (PSD and extrasynaptic compartment, as well as the synapse organization. To study the impact of these parameters on excitatory synaptic transmission, we present a computational model for the fast AMPA-receptor mediated synaptic current. We show that in addition to the vesicular release probability, due to variations in their release locations and the AMPAR distribution, the postsynaptic current amplitude has a large variance, making a synapse an intrinsic unreliable device. We use our model to examine our experimental data recorded from CA1 mice hippocampal slices to study the differences between mEPSC and evoked EPSC variance. The synaptic current but not the coefficient of variation is maximal when the active zone where vesicles are released is apposed to the PSD. Moreover, we find that for certain type of synapses, receptor trafficking can affect the magnitude of synaptic depression. Finally, we demonstrate that perisynaptic microdomains located outside the PSD impacts synaptic transmission by regulating the number of desensitized receptors and their trafficking to the PSD. We conclude that geometrical modifications, reorganization of the PSD or perisynaptic microdomains modulate synaptic strength, as the mechanisms underlying long-term plasticity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. NH125 reduces the level of CPEB3, an RNA binding protein, to promote synaptic GluA2 expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bender, Crhistian L; Yang, Qian; Sun, Lu; Liu, Siqiong June

    2016-02-01

    Neuronal activity can alter the phosphorylation state of eukaryotic elongation factor 2 (eEF2) and thereby regulates protein synthesis. This is thought to be the underlying mechanism for a form of synaptic plasticity that involves changes in the expression of synaptic AMPA type glutamate receptors. Phosphorylation of eEF2 by Ca/calmodulin-dependent eEF2 kinase reduces the activity of eEF2, and this is prevented by a commonly used eEF2 kinase inhibitor, NH125. Here we show that 10 μM NH125 increased the expression of synaptic GluA2-containing receptors in mouse cerebellar stellate cells and this was prevented by a protein synthesis inhibitor. However NH125 at 10 μM also reduced the level of CPEB3, a protein that is known to bind to GluA2 mRNA and suppress GluA2 (also known as GluR2) synthesis. In contrast, a low concentration of NH125 lowered the peEF2 level, but did not alter CPEB3 expression and also failed to increase synaptic GluA2 receptors. A selective eEF2 kinase inhibitor, A-484954, decreased the level of peEF2, without changing the expression of CPEB3. This suggests that reducing peEF2 does not lead to a decrease in CPEB3 levels and is not sufficient to increase GluA2 synthesis. Thus NH125 at 10 μM reduced the level of CPEB3, and promoted GluA2 translation via a mechanism independent of inhibition of eEF2 kinase. Therefore NH125 does not always alter protein synthesis via selective inhibition of eEF2 kinase and the effects of NH125 on translation of mRNAs should be interpreted with caution.

  16. A role for thrombospondin-1 deficits in astrocyte-mediated spine and synaptic pathology in Down's syndrome.

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    Octavio Garcia

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Down's syndrome (DS is the most common genetic cause of mental retardation. Reduced number and aberrant architecture of dendritic spines are common features of DS neuropathology. However, the mechanisms involved in DS spine alterations are not known. In addition to a relevant role in synapse formation and maintenance, astrocytes can regulate spine dynamics by releasing soluble factors or by physical contact with neurons. We have previously shown impaired mitochondrial function in DS astrocytes leading to metabolic alterations in protein processing and secretion. In this study, we investigated whether deficits in astrocyte function contribute to DS spine pathology. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using a human astrocyte/rat hippocampal neuron coculture, we found that DS astrocytes are directly involved in the development of spine malformations and reduced synaptic density. We also show that thrombospondin 1 (TSP-1, an astrocyte-secreted protein, possesses a potent modulatory effect on spine number and morphology, and that both DS brains and DS astrocytes exhibit marked deficits in TSP-1 protein expression. Depletion of TSP-1 from normal astrocytes resulted in dramatic changes in spine morphology, while restoration of TSP-1 levels prevented DS astrocyte-mediated spine and synaptic alterations. Astrocyte cultures derived from TSP-1 KO mice exhibited similar deficits to support spine formation and structure than DS astrocytes. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results indicate that human astrocytes promote spine and synapse formation, identify astrocyte dysfunction as a significant factor of spine and synaptic pathology in the DS brain, and provide a mechanistic rationale for the exploration of TSP-1-based therapies to treat spine and synaptic pathology in DS and other neurological conditions.

  17. Pre-synaptic control of remote fear extinction in the neocortex

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    Gisella eVetere

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Consolidation of remote memory enhances immediate early genes induction (IEGs, augments the expression of the presynaptic growth associated protein 43 (GAP-43, and increases the density and size of dendritic spines in anterior cingulate (aCC and infra-limbic (ILC cortices. Remote memory extinction, however, does not uniformly alter consolidation-induced structural changes. In the aCC, the density, but not the size, of spines is reset to pseudo-conditioning levels while novel thin spines are formed in the ILC. Whether IEGs and GAP-43 also undergo region-specific changes upon remote memory extinction is undetermined. Here we confirm in the same batch of mice that c-Fos induction and GAP-43 expression are increased in both the aCC and the ILC 36 days after contextual fear conditioning. We then show that, in both regions, remote memory extinction is associated with decrease of c-Fos induction but no change in GAP-43 expression thus revealing similar, although protein-specific, pre-synaptic adaptations in aCC and ILC neurons. These observations, in addition to our previous report of region-specific post-synaptic structural changes, disclose a complex pattern of extinction-driven neocortical alterations suitable to support erasure or reinstatement of fear according to the environment demand.

  18. Differential Conditioning of Associative Synaptic Enhancement in Hippocampal Brain Slices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelso, Stephen R.; Brown, Thomas H.

    1986-04-01

    An electrophysiological stimulation paradigm similar to one that produces Pavlovian conditioning was applied to synaptic inputs to pyramidal neurons of hippocampal brain slices. Persistent synaptic enhancement was induced in one of two weak synaptic inputs by pairing high-frequency electrical stimulation of the weak input with stimulation of a third, stronger input to the same region. Forward (temporally overlapping) but not backward (temporally separate) pairings caused this enhancement. Thus hippocampal synapses in vitro can undergo the conditional and selective type of associative modification that could provide the substrate for some of the mnemonic functions in which the hippocampus is thought to participate.

  19. Spikes Synchronization in Neural Networks with Synaptic Plasticity

    CERN Document Server

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. A Voltage Mode Memristor Bridge Synaptic Circuit with Memristor Emulators

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    Leon Chua

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available A memristor bridge neural circuit which is able to perform signed synaptic weighting was proposed in our previous study, where the synaptic operation was verified via software simulation of the mathematical model of the HP memristor. This study is an extension of the previous work advancing toward the circuit implementation where the architecture of the memristor bridge synapse is built with memristor emulator circuits. In addition, a simple neural network which performs both synaptic weighting and summation is built by combining memristor emulators-based synapses and differential amplifier circuits. The feasibility of the memristor bridge neural circuit is verified via SPICE simulations.

  1. Brain region specific pre-synaptic and post-synaptic degeneration are early components of neuropathology in prion disease.

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    Zuzana Šišková

    Full Text Available Synaptic abnormalities, one of the key features of prion disease pathogenesis, gives rise to functional deficits and contributes to the devastating clinical outcome. The synaptic compartment is the first to succumb in several neurodegenerative diseases linked with protein misfolding but the mechanisms underpinning this are poorly defined. In our current study we document that a focal intrahippocampal injection of the mouse-adapted 22L scrapie strain produces a complex, region-specific pathology in the brain. Our findings reveal that early synaptic changes in the stratum radiatum of the hippocampus, identical to those observed with the ME7 strain, occur when 22L strain is introduced into the hippocampus. The pathology was defined by degenerating Type I pre-synaptic elements progressively enveloped by the post-synaptic density of the dendritic spine. In contrast, the pathology in the cerebellum suggested that dendritic disintegration rather than pre-synaptic abnormalities dominate the early degenerative changes associated with the Purkinje cells. Indeed, both of the major synaptic inputs into the cerebellum, which arise from the parallel and climbing fibers, remained intact even at late stage disease. Immunolabeling with pathway selective antibodies reinforced these findings. These observations demonstrate that neuronal vulnerability to pathological protein misfolding is strongly dependent on the structure and function of the target neurons.

  2. Characterizing synaptic protein development in human visual cortex enables alignment of synaptic age with rat visual cortex

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    Joshua G.A Pinto

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Although many potential neuroplasticity based therapies have been developed in the lab, few have translated into established clinical treatments for human neurologic or neuropsychiatric diseases. Animal models, especially of the visual system, have shaped our understanding of neuroplasticity by characterizing the mechanisms that promote neural changes and defining timing of the sensitive period. The lack of knowledge about development of synaptic plasticity mechanisms in human cortex, and about alignment of synaptic age between animals and humans, has limited translation of neuroplasticity therapies. In this study, we quantified expression of a set of highly conserved pre- and post-synaptic proteins (Synapsin, Synaptophysin, PSD-95, Gephyrin and found that synaptic development in human primary visual cortex continues into late childhood. Indeed, this is many years longer than suggested by neuroanatomical studies and points to a prolonged sensitive period for plasticity in human sensory cortex. In addition, during childhood we found waves of inter-individual variability that are different for the 4 proteins and include a stage during early development (<1 year when only Gephyrin has high inter-individual variability. We also found that pre- and post-synaptic protein balances develop quickly, suggesting that maturation of certain synaptic functions happens within the first year or two of life. A multidimensional analysis (principle component analysis showed that most of the variance was captured by the sum of the 4 synaptic proteins. We used that sum to compare development of human and rat visual cortex and identified a simple linear equation that provides robust alignment of synaptic age between humans and rats. Alignment of synaptic ages is important for age-appropriate targeting and effective translation of neuroplasticity therapies from the lab to the clinic.

  3. Cationic influences upon synaptic transmission at the hair cell-afferent fiber synapse of the frog

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cochran, S. L.

    1995-01-01

    The concentrations of inorganic cations (K+, Na+, and Ca2+) bathing the isolated frog labyrinth were varied in order to assess their role in influencing and mediating synaptic transmission at the hair cell-afferent fiber synapse. Experiments employed intracellular recordings of synaptic activity from VIIIth nerve afferents. Recordings were digitized continuously at 50 kHz, and excitatory postsynaptic potentials were detected and parameters quantified by computer algorithms. Particular attention was focused on cationic effects upon excitatory postsynaptic potential frequency of occurrence and excitatory postsynaptic potential amplitude, in order to discriminate between pre- and postsynaptic actions. Because the small size of afferents preclude long term stable recordings, alterations in cationic concentrations were applied transiently and their peak effects on synaptic activity were assessed. Increases in extracellular K+ concentration of a few millimolar produced a large increase in the frequency of occurrence of excitatory postsynaptic potentials with little change in amplitude, indicating that release of transmitter from the hair cell is tightly coupled to its membrane potential. Increasing extracellular Na+ concentration resulted in an increase in excitatory postsynaptic potential amplitude with no significant change in excitatory postsynaptic potential frequency of occurrence, suggesting that the transmitter-gated subsynaptic channel conducts Na+ ions. Decreases in extracellular Ca2+ concentration had little effect upon excitatory postsynaptic potential frequency, but increased excitatory postsynaptic potential frequency and amplitude. These findings suggest that at higher concentrations Ca2+ act presynaptically to prevent transmitter release and postsynaptically to prevent Na+ influx during the generation of the excitatory postsynaptic potential. The influences of these ions on synaptic activity at this synapse are remarkably similar to those reported at the

  4. Discharge Profiles across the Sleep–Waking Cycle of Identified Cholinergic, GABAergic, and Glutamatergic Neurons in the Pontomesencephalic Tegmentum of the Rat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boucetta, Soufiane; Cissé, Youssouf; Mainville, Lynda; Morales, Marisela

    2014-01-01

    Distributed within the laterodorsal tegmental and pedunculopontine tegmental nuclei (LDT and PPT), cholinergic neurons in the pontomesencephalic tegmentum have long been thought to play a critical role in stimulating cortical activation during waking (W) and paradoxical sleep (PS, also called REM sleep), yet also in promoting PS with muscle atonia. However, the discharge profile and thus precise roles of the cholinergic neurons have remained uncertain because they lie intermingled with GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons, which might also assume these roles. By applying juxtacellular recording and labeling in naturally sleeping–waking, head-fixed rats, we investigated the discharge profiles of histochemically identified cholinergic, GABAergic, and glutamatergic neurons in the LDT, SubLDT, and adjoining medial part of the PPT (MPPT) in relation to sleep–wake states, cortical activity, and muscle tone. We found that all cholinergic neurons were maximally active during W and PS in positive correlation with fast (γ) cortical activity, as “W/PS-max active neurons.” Like cholinergic neurons, many GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons were also “W/PS-max active.” Other GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons were “PS-max active,” being minimally active during W and maximally active during PS in negative correlation with muscle tone. Conversely, some glutamatergic neurons were “W-max active,” being maximally active during W and minimally active during PS in positive correlation with muscle tone. Through different discharge profiles, the cholinergic, GABAergic, and glutamatergic neurons of the LDT, SubLDT, and MPPT thus appear to play distinct roles in promoting W and PS with cortical activation, PS with muscle atonia, or W with muscle tone. PMID:24672016

  5. Discharge profiles across the sleep-waking cycle of identified cholinergic, GABAergic, and glutamatergic neurons in the pontomesencephalic tegmentum of the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boucetta, Soufiane; Cissé, Youssouf; Mainville, Lynda; Morales, Marisela; Jones, Barbara E

    2014-03-26

    Distributed within the laterodorsal tegmental and pedunculopontine tegmental nuclei (LDT and PPT), cholinergic neurons in the pontomesencephalic tegmentum have long been thought to play a critical role in stimulating cortical activation during waking (W) and paradoxical sleep (PS, also called REM sleep), yet also in promoting PS with muscle atonia. However, the discharge profile and thus precise roles of the cholinergic neurons have remained uncertain because they lie intermingled with GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons, which might also assume these roles. By applying juxtacellular recording and labeling in naturally sleeping-waking, head-fixed rats, we investigated the discharge profiles of histochemically identified cholinergic, GABAergic, and glutamatergic neurons in the LDT, SubLDT, and adjoining medial part of the PPT (MPPT) in relation to sleep-wake states, cortical activity, and muscle tone. We found that all cholinergic neurons were maximally active during W and PS in positive correlation with fast (γ) cortical activity, as "W/PS-max active neurons." Like cholinergic neurons, many GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons were also "W/PS-max active." Other GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons were "PS-max active," being minimally active during W and maximally active during PS in negative correlation with muscle tone. Conversely, some glutamatergic neurons were "W-max active," being maximally active during W and minimally active during PS in positive correlation with muscle tone. Through different discharge profiles, the cholinergic, GABAergic, and glutamatergic neurons of the LDT, SubLDT, and MPPT thus appear to play distinct roles in promoting W and PS with cortical activation, PS with muscle atonia, or W with muscle tone. PMID:24672016

  6. Voltage-Dependent Rhythmogenic Property of Respiratory Pre-Bötzinger Complex Glutamatergic, Dbx1-Derived, and Somatostatin-Expressing Neuron Populations Revealed by Graded Optogenetic Inhibition123

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koizumi, Hidehiko; Mosher, Bryan; Tariq, Mohammad F.; Zhang, Ruli

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The rhythm of breathing in mammals, originating within the brainstem pre-Bötzinger complex (pre-BötC), is presumed to be generated by glutamatergic neurons, but this has not been directly demonstrated. Additionally, developmental expression of the transcription factor Dbx1 or expression of the neuropeptide somatostatin (Sst), has been proposed as a marker for the rhythmogenic pre-BötC glutamatergic neurons, but it is unknown whether these other two phenotypically defined neuronal populations are functionally equivalent to glutamatergic neurons with regard to rhythm generation. To address these problems, we comparatively investigated, by optogenetic approaches, the roles of pre-BötC glutamatergic, Dbx1-derived, and Sst-expressing neurons in respiratory rhythm generation in neonatal transgenic mouse medullary slices in vitro and also more intact adult perfused brainstem-spinal cord preparations in situ. We established three different triple-transgenic mouse lines with Cre-driven Archaerhodopsin-3 (Arch) expression selectively in glutamatergic, Dbx1-derived, or Sst-expressing neurons for targeted photoinhibition. In each line, we identified subpopulations of rhythmically active, Arch-expressing pre-BötC inspiratory neurons by whole-cell recordings in medullary slice preparations in vitro, and established that Arch-mediated hyperpolarization of these inspiratory neurons was laser power dependent with equal efficacy. By site- and population-specific graded photoinhibition, we then demonstrated that inspiratory frequency was reduced by each population with the same neuronal voltage-dependent frequency control mechanism in each state of the respiratory network examined. We infer that enough of the rhythmogenic pre-BötC glutamatergic neurons also have the Dbx1 and Sst expression phenotypes, and thus all three phenotypes share the same voltage-dependent frequency control property. PMID:27275007

  7. Ambient GABA modulates glutamatergic synapse in sacral dorsal commissural nucleus by presynaptic GABAB receptors%周边γ-氨基丁酸通过GABAB受体调控骶髓后联合核神经元谷氨酸能突触

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    马红雨; 林凯; 罗丹; 吕建晓; 杨鲲

    2011-01-01

    Aim To investigate the role of ambient γ-aminobutyric acid ( CABA ) on glutamatergic synapse via CABAB receptors in sacral dorsal commissural nucleus ( SDCN ). Method Using whole-cell voltageclamp recordings on acute spinal cord slice, effect of blockade of CABAB receptors on glutamatergic synaptic transmission was studied. Results Blockade of GABAB receptors by a selective antagonist CGP52432 increased evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents ( eEPSCs ) , decreased paired-pulse ration ( PPR ). switched " presynaptically" silent synapse to active one, indicating a presynaptic GABAB receptor-mediated modulation by ambient GABA. Conclusions Ambient GABA modulates glutamate release by GABAB receptors on presynaptic glutamatergic terminals to SDCN neurons;this action may contribute to nociception transmission at spinal cord level.%目的 研究突触周边γ-氨基丁酸(ambient GABA)通过GABAB受体调控骶髓后联合核(SDCN)神经元谷氨酸能突触的机制.方法 在急性切取的骶段脊髓薄片上,利用全细胞膜片钳法记录骶髓后联合核神经元谷氨酸能兴奋性突触后电流(EPSCs),将GABAB受体用其特异性受体拮抗剂CGP52432阻断,观察谷氨酸突触终末上的GABAB受体被周边GABA作用的影响.结果 在突触后GABAB受体被从胞内阻断的条件下,再灌流CGP52432阻断谷氨酸能突触前GABAB受体,可增加刺激引发的EPSCs (eEPSCs) 幅度; 改变配对刺激的两个EPSC比率 (paired-pulse ratio,PPR),并激发沉默突触 (silent synapse).但CGP52432对微小兴奋性突触后电流(mEPSCs)无影响.结论 位于SDCN神经元谷氨酸能突触前的GABAB受体受周边GABA调控.这种影响参与调节谷氨酸释放并可能参与痛觉信息在脊髓水平的传递.

  8. Drosophila larval to pupal switch under nutrient stress requires IP3R/Ca2+ signalling in glutamatergic interneurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayakumar, Siddharth; Richhariya, Shlesha; Reddy, O Venkateswara; Texada, Michael J; Hasan, Gaiti

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal circuits are known to integrate nutritional information, but the identity of the circuit components is not completely understood. Amino acids are a class of nutrients that are vital for the growth and function of an organism. Here, we report a neuronal circuit that allows Drosophila larvae to overcome amino acid deprivation and pupariate. We find that nutrient stress is sensed by the class IV multidendritic cholinergic neurons. Through live calcium imaging experiments, we show that these cholinergic stimuli are conveyed to glutamatergic neurons in the ventral ganglion through mAChR. We further show that IP3R-dependent calcium transients in the glutamatergic neurons convey this signal to downstream medial neurosecretory cells (mNSCs). The circuit ultimately converges at the ring gland and regulates expression of ecdysteroid biosynthetic genes. Activity in this circuit is thus likely to be an adaptation that provides a layer of regulation to help surpass nutritional stress during development. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.17495.001 PMID:27494275

  9. Caenorhabditis elegans intersectin: a synaptic protein regulating neurotransmission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rose, Simon; Malabarba, Maria Grazia; Krag, Claudia;

    2007-01-01

    Intersectin is a multifunctional protein that interacts with components of the endocytic and exocytic pathways, and it is also involved in the control of actin dynamics. Drosophila intersectin is required for viability, synaptic development, and synaptic vesicle recycling. Here, we report...... phenotype, under physiological conditions. However, they display aldicarb-hypersensitivity, compatible with a negative regulatory role of ITSN-1 on neurotransmission. ITSN-1 physically interacts with dynamin and EHS-1, two proteins involved in synaptic vesicle recycling. We have previously shown that EHS-1...... is a positive modulator of synaptic vesicle recycling in the nematode, likely through modulation of dynamin or dynamin-controlled pathways. Here, we show that ITSN-1 and EHS-1 have opposite effects on aldicarb sensitivity, and on dynamin-dependent phenotypes. Thus, the sum of our results identifies dynamin...

  10. Proteomic Analysis of Unbounded Cellular Compartments: Synaptic Clefts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loh, Ken H; Stawski, Philipp S; Draycott, Austin S; Udeshi, Namrata D; Lehrman, Emily K; Wilton, Daniel K; Svinkina, Tanya; Deerinck, Thomas J; Ellisman, Mark H; Stevens, Beth; Carr, Steven A; Ting, Alice Y

    2016-08-25

    Cellular compartments that cannot be biochemically isolated are challenging to characterize. Here we demonstrate the proteomic characterization of the synaptic clefts that exist at both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. Normal brain function relies on the careful balance of these opposing neural connections, and understanding how this balance is achieved relies on knowledge of their protein compositions. Using a spatially restricted enzymatic tagging strategy, we mapped the proteomes of two of the most common excitatory and inhibitory synaptic clefts in living neurons. These proteomes reveal dozens of synaptic candidates and assign numerous known synaptic proteins to a specific cleft type. The molecular differentiation of each cleft allowed us to identify Mdga2 as a potential specificity factor influencing Neuroligin-2's recruitment of presynaptic neurotransmitters at inhibitory synapses. PMID:27565350

  11. Synaptic remodeling of neuronal circuits in early retinal degeneration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto, Florentina; Kerschensteiner, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Photoreceptor degenerations are a major cause of blindness and among the most common forms of neurodegeneration in humans. Studies of mouse models revealed that synaptic dysfunction often precedes photoreceptor degeneration, and that abnormal synaptic input from photoreceptors to bipolar cells causes circuits in the inner retina to become hyperactive. Here, we provide a brief overview of frequently used mouse models of photoreceptor degenerations. We then discuss insights into circuit remodeling triggered by early synaptic dysfunction in the outer and hyperactivity in the inner retina. We discuss these insights in the context of other experimental manipulations of synaptic function and activity. Knowledge of the plasticity and early remodeling of retinal circuits will be critical for the design of successful vision rescue strategies. PMID:26500497

  12. Compatibility between itinerant synaptic receptors and stable postsynaptic structure

    CERN Document Server

    Sekimoto, Ken

    2009-01-01

    The density of synaptic receptors in front of presynaptic release sites is stabilized in the presence of scaffold proteins, but the receptors and scaffold molecules have local exchanges with characteristic times shorter than that of the receptor-scaffold assembly. We propose a mesoscopic model to account for the regulation of the local density of receptors as quasiequilibrium. It is based on two zones (synaptic and extrasynaptic) and multi-layer (membrane, sub-membrane and cytoplasmic) topological organization. The model includes the balance of chemical potentials associated with the receptor and scaffold protein concentrations in the various compartments. The model shows highly cooperative behavior including a "phase change" resulting in the formation of well-defined post-synaptic domains. This study provides theoretical tools to approach the complex issue of synaptic stability at the synapse, where receptors are transiently trapped yet rapidly diffuse laterally on the plasma membrane.

  13. Synaptic remodeling of neuronal circuits in early retinal degeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florentina eSoto

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Photoreceptor degenerations are a major cause of blindness and among the most common forms of neurodegeneration in humans. Studies of mouse models revealed that synaptic dysfunction often precedes photoreceptor degeneration, and that abnormal synaptic input from photoreceptors to bipolar cells causes circuits in the inner retina to become hyperactive. Here, we provide a brief overview of frequently used mouse models of photoreceptor degenerations. We then discuss insights into circuit remodeling triggered by early synaptic dysfunction in the outer and hyperactivity in the inner retina. We discuss these insights in the context of other experimental manipulations of synaptic function and activity. Knowledge of the plasticity and early remodeling of retinal circuits will be critical for the design of successful vision rescue strategies.

  14. Neuroplastic alterations in the limbic system following cocaine or alcohol exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuber, Garret D; Hopf, F Woodward; Tye, Kay M; Chen, Billy T; Bonci, Antonello

    2010-01-01

    Neuroplastic changes in the CNS are thought to be a fundamental component of learning and memory. While pioneering studies in the hippocampus and cerebellum have detailed many of the basic mechanisms that can lead to alterations in synaptic transmission based on previous activity, only more recently has synaptic plasticity been monitored after behavioral manipulation or drug exposure. In this chapter, we review evidence that drugs of abuse are powerful modulators of synaptic plasticity. Both the dopaminergic neurons of the ventral tegmental area as well medium spiny neurons in nucleus accumbens show enhanced excitatory synaptic strength following passive or active exposure to drugs such as cocaine and alcohol. In the VTA, both the enhancement of excitatory synaptic strength and the acquisition of drug-related behaviors depend on signaling through the N-methyl-D: -aspartate receptors (NMDARs) which are mechanistically thought to lead to increased synaptic insertion of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors (AMPARs). Synaptic insertion of AMPARs by drugs of abuse can be long lasting, depending on the route of administration, number of drug exposures, or whether the drugs are received passively or self-administered. PMID:21161748

  15. Achieving High-Frequency Optical Control of Synaptic Transmission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Corticosteroid Regulation of Synaptic Plasticity in the Hippocampus

    OpenAIRE

    Nicola Maggio; Menahem Segal

    2010-01-01

    Stress, via release of steroid hormones, has been shown to affect several cellular functions in the brain, including synaptic receptors and ion channels. As such, corticosteroids were reported to modulate plasticity, expressed as long-term changes in reactivity to afferent stimulation. The classical view of the effects of stress on synaptic plasticity and cognitive functions assumes an inverted U-shape curve, such that a low stress level facilitates and a high stress level (i.e., corticostero...

  17. Synaptic Contacts Enhance Cell-to-Cell Tau Pathology Propagation

    OpenAIRE

    Sara Calafate; Arjan Buist; Katarzyna Miskiewicz; Vinoy Vijayan; Guy Daneels; Bart de Strooper; Joris de Wit; Patrik Verstreken; Diederik Moechars

    2015-01-01

    Accumulation of insoluble Tau protein aggregates and stereotypical propagation of Tau pathology through the brain are common hallmarks of tauopathies, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Propagation of Tau pathology appears to occur along connected neurons, but whether synaptic contacts between neurons are facilitating propagation has not been demonstrated. Using quantitative in vitro models, we demonstrate that, in parallel to non-synaptic mechanisms, synapses, but not merely the close dista...

  18. Activity-dependent modulation of neural circuit synaptic connectivity

    OpenAIRE

    Tessier, Charles R.; Kendal Broadie

    2009-01-01

    In many nervous systems, the establishment of neural circuits is known to proceed via a two-stage process; 1) early, activity-independent wiring to produce a rough map characterized by excessive synaptic connections, and 2) subsequent, use-dependent pruning to eliminate inappropriate connections and reinforce maintained synapses. In invertebrates, however, evidence of the activity-dependent phase of synaptic refinement has been elusive, and the dogma has long been that invertebrate circ...

  19. Nonequivalent release sites govern synaptic depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Hua; McGinley, Matthew J; Mandel, Gail; Brehm, Paul

    2016-01-19

    Synaptic depression is prominent among synapses, but the underlying mechanisms remain uncertain. Here, we use paired patch clamp recording to study neuromuscular transmission between the caudal primary motor neuron and target skeletal muscle in zebrafish. This synapse has an unusually low number of release sites, all with high probabilities of release in response to low-frequency stimulation. During high-frequency stimulation, the synapse undergoes short-term depression and reaches steady-state levels of transmission that sustain the swimming behavior. To determine the release parameters underlying this steady state, we applied variance analysis. Our analysis revealed two functionally distinct subclasses of release sites differing by over 60-fold in rates of vesicle reloading. A slow reloading class requires seconds to recover and contributes to depression onset but not the steady-state transmission. By contrast, a fast reloading class recovers within tens of milliseconds and is solely responsible for steady-state transmission. Thus, in contrast to most current models that assign levels of steady-state depression to vesicle availability, our findings instead assign this function to nonuniform release site kinetics. The duality of active-site properties accounts for the highly nonlinear dependence of steady-state depression levels on frequency. PMID:26715759

  20. Synaptic failure: The achilles tendon of sphingolipidoses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantuti-Castelvetri, Ludovico; Bongarzone, Ernesto R

    2016-11-01

    The presence of life-threatening neurological symptoms in more than two-thirds of lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs) underscores how vulnerable the nervous system is to lysosomal failure. Neurological dysfunction in LSDs has historically been attributed to the disruption of neuronal and glial homeostasis resulting from the progressive jamming of the endosomal/lysosomal pathway. In neurons, a dysfunctional endosomal-lysosomal system can elicit dire consequences. Given that neurons are largely postmitotic after birth, one can clearly understand that the inability of these cells to proliferate obliterates any possibility of diluting stored lysosomal material by means of cellular division. At its most advanced stage, this situation constitutes a terminal factor in neuronal life, resulting in cell death. However, synaptic deficits in the absence of classical neuronal cell death appear to be common features during the early stages in many LSDs, particularly sphingolipidoses. In essence, failure of synapses to convey their messages, even without major structural damage to the neuronal bodies, is a form of physiological death. This concept of dying-back neuropathology is highly relevant not only for understanding the dynamics of the neurological decline in these diseases, but, more importantly; it might also constitute an important target for molecular therapies to protect perhaps the "Achilles" point in the entire physiological architecture of the brain, thus avoiding an irreversible journey to neuronal demise. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27638588

  1. The interactive role of CB(1) and GABA(B) receptors in hippocampal synaptic plasticity in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nazari, Masoumeh; Komaki, Alireza; Karamian, Ruhollah; Shahidi, Siamak; Sarihi, Abdolrahman; Asadbegi, Masoumeh

    2016-01-01

    Long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic transmission is a cellular process underlying learning and memory. Cannabinoids are known to be powerful modulators of this kind of synaptic plasticity. Changes in GABAergic inhibition have also been shown to affect synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. GABA receptor type B (GABAB) and cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) exhibit overlapping anatomical localization in some brain areas including the hippocampus. CB1 and GABAB are also localized to the same cells and share a common signaling pathway in some brain areas. In this study, we examined the hippocampal effects of co-administrating AM251 and CGP55845, which are CB1 and GABAB antagonists, respectively, on LTP induction in the dentate gyrus (DG) of rats. LTP in the hippocampal area was induced by high-frequency stimulation (HFS) of the perforant path. Our results showed that HFS coupled with administration of the CB1 antagonist increased both the population spike (PS) amplitude and field excitatory post-synaptic potential (fEPSP). Conversely, the GABAB antagonist decreased these parameters along with decreased LTP induction. We also demonstrated that the co-administration of CB1 and GABAB antagonists had different effects on the PS amplitude and fEPSP slope. It is likely that GABAB receptor antagonists modulate cannabinoid outputs that cause a decrease in synaptic plastisity, while in the simultaneous consumption of two antagonists, CB1 antagonists can alter the release of GABA which in turn results in enhancement of LTP induction. These findings suggest that there are functional interactions between the CB1 and GABAB receptor in the hippocampus. PMID:26611204

  2. Synaptic adaptations by alcohol and drugs of abuse: changes in microRNA expression and mRNA regulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dana eMost

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Local translation of mRNAs is a mechanism by which cells can rapidly remodel synaptic structure and function. There is ample evidence for a role of synaptic translation in the neuroadaptations resulting from chronic drug use and abuse. Persistent and coordinated changes of many mRNAs, globally and locally, may have a causal role in complex disorders such as addiction. In this review we examine the evidence that translational regulation by microRNAs drives synaptic remodeling and mRNA expression, which may regulate the transition from recreational to compulsive drug use.MicroRNAs are small, non-coding RNAs that control the translation of mRNAs in the cell and within spatially restricted sites such as the synapse. MicroRNAs typically repress the translation of mRNAs into protein by binding to the 3’UTR of their targets. As ‘master regulators’ of many mRNAs, changes in microRNAs could account for the systemic alterations in mRNA and protein expression observed with drug abuse and dependence. Recent studies indicate that manipulation of microRNAs affects addiction-related behaviors such as the rewarding properties of cocaine, cocaine-seeking behavior and self-administration rates of alcohol. There is limited evidence, however, regarding how synaptic microRNAs control local mRNA translation during chronic drug exposure and how this contributes to the development of dependence.Here, we discuss research supporting microRNA regulation of local mRNA translation and how drugs of abuse may target this process. The ability of synaptic microRNAs to rapidly regulate mRNAs provides a discrete, localized system that could potentially be used as diagnostic and treatment tools for alcohol and other addiction disorders.

  3. Molecular components required for resting and stimulated endocytosis of botulinum neurotoxins by glutamatergic and peptidergic neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Jianghui; Wang, Jiafu; Lawrence, Gary W; Dolly, J Oliver

    2013-08-01

    Proteins responsible for basal and stimulated endocytosis in nerves containing small clear synaptic vesicles (SCSVs) or large dense-core vesicles (LDCVs) are revealed herein, using probes that exploit surface-exposed vesicle proteins as acceptors for internalization. Basal uptake of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) by both SCSV-releasing cerebellar granule neurons (CGNs) and LDCV-enriched trigeminal ganglionic neurons (TGNs) was found to require protein acceptors and acidic compartments. In addition, dynamin, clathrin, adaptor protein complex-2 (AP2), and amphiphysin contribute to the depolarization-evoked entry. For fast recycling of SCSVs, knockdown and knockout strategies demonstrated that CGNs use predominantly dynamin 1, whereas isoform 2 and, to a smaller extent, isoform 3 support a less rapid mode of stimulated endocytosis. Accordingly, proximity ligation assay confirmed that dynamin 1 and 2 colocalize with amphiphysin 1 in CGNs, and the latter copurified with both dynamins from cell extracts. In contrast, LDCV-releasing TGNs preferentially employ dynamins 2 and 3 and amphiphysin 1 for evoked endocytosis and lack the fast phase. Hence, stimulation recruits dynamin, clathrin, AP2, and amphiphysin to augment BoNT internalization, and neurons match endocytosis mediators to the different demands for locally recycling SCSVs or replenishing distally synthesized LDCVs. PMID:23640057

  4. Dopaminergic and glutamatergic microdomains in a subset of rodent mesoaccumbens axons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shiliang; Qi, Jia; Li, Xueping; Wang, Hui-Ling; Britt, Jonathan P; Hoffman, Alexander F; Bonci, Antonello; Lupica, Carl R; Morales, Marisela

    2015-03-01

    Mesoaccumbens fibers are thought to co-release dopamine and glutamate. However, the mechanism is unclear, and co-release by mesoaccumbens fibers has not been documented. Using electron microcopy, we found that some mesoaccumbens fibers have vesicular transporters for dopamine (VMAT2) in axon segments that are continuous with axon terminals that lack VMAT2, but contain vesicular glutamate transporters type 2 (VGluT2). In vivo overexpression of VMAT2 did not change the segregation of the two vesicular types, suggesting the existence of highly regulated mechanisms for maintaining this segregation. The mesoaccumbens axon terminals containing VGluT2 vesicles make asymmetric synapses, commonly associated with excitatory signaling. Using optogenetics, we found that dopamine and glutamate were released from the same mesoaccumbens fibers. These findings reveal a complex type of signaling by mesoaccumbens fibers in which dopamine and glutamate can be released from the same axons, but are not normally released at the same site or from the same synaptic vesicles.

  5. Imaging synaptic density in the living human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finnema, Sjoerd J; Nabulsi, Nabeel B; Eid, Tore; Detyniecki, Kamil; Lin, Shu-Fei; Chen, Ming-Kai; Dhaher, Roni; Matuskey, David; Baum, Evan; Holden, Daniel; Spencer, Dennis D; Mercier, Joël; Hannestad, Jonas; Huang, Yiyun; Carson, Richard E

    2016-07-20

    Chemical synapses are the predominant neuron-to-neuron contact in the central nervous system. Presynaptic boutons of neurons contain hundreds of vesicles filled with neurotransmitters, the diffusible signaling chemicals. Changes in the number of synapses are associated with numerous brain disorders, including Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy. However, all current approaches for measuring synaptic density in humans require brain tissue from autopsy or surgical resection. We report the use of the synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2A (SV2A) radioligand [(11)C]UCB-J combined with positron emission tomography (PET) to quantify synaptic density in the living human brain. Validation studies in a baboon confirmed that SV2A is an alternative synaptic density marker to synaptophysin. First-in-human PET studies demonstrated that [(11)C]UCB-J had excellent imaging properties. Finally, we confirmed that PET imaging of SV2A was sensitive to synaptic loss in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy. Thus, [(11)C]UCB-J PET imaging is a promising approach for in vivo quantification of synaptic density with several potential applications in diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring of neurological and psychiatric disorders. PMID:27440727

  6. The influence of synaptic weight distribution on neuronal population dynamics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramakrishnan Iyer

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The manner in which different distributions of synaptic weights onto cortical neurons shape their spiking activity remains open. To characterize a homogeneous neuronal population, we use the master equation for generalized leaky integrate-and-fire neurons with shot-noise synapses. We develop fast semi-analytic numerical methods to solve this equation for either current or conductance synapses, with and without synaptic depression. We show that its solutions match simulations of equivalent neuronal networks better than those of the Fokker-Planck equation and we compute bounds on the network response to non-instantaneous synapses. We apply these methods to study different synaptic weight distributions in feed-forward networks. We characterize the synaptic amplitude distributions using a set of measures, called tail weight numbers, designed to quantify the preponderance of very strong synapses. Even if synaptic amplitude distributions are equated for both the total current and average synaptic weight, distributions with sparse but strong synapses produce higher responses for small inputs, leading to a larger operating range. Furthermore, despite their small number, such synapses enable the network to respond faster and with more stability in the face of external fluctuations.

  7. Cerebellar Synaptic Plasticity and the Credit Assignment Problem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jörntell, Henrik

    2016-04-01

    The mechanism by which a learnt synaptic weight change can contribute to learning or adaptation of brain function is a type of credit assignment problem, which is a key issue for many parts of the brain. In the cerebellum, detailed knowledge not only of the local circuitry connectivity but also of the topography of different sources of afferent/external information makes this problem particularly tractable. In addition, multiple forms of synaptic plasticity and their general rules of induction have been identified. In this review, we will discuss the possible roles of synaptic and cellular plasticity at specific locations in contributing to behavioral changes. Focus will be on the parts of the cerebellum that are devoted to limb control, which constitute a large proportion of the cortex and where the knowledge of the external connectivity is particularly well known. From this perspective, a number of sites of synaptic plasticity appear to primarily have the function of balancing the overall level of activity in the cerebellar circuitry, whereas the locations at which synaptic plasticity leads to functional changes in terms of limb control are more limited. Specifically, the postsynaptic forms of long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) at the parallel fiber synapses made on interneurons and Purkinje cells, respectively, are the types of plasticity that mediate the widest associative capacity and the tightest link between the synaptic change and the external functions that are to be controlled. PMID:25417189

  8. Smectite alteration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report contains the proceedings of a second workshop in Washington DC December 8-9, 1983 on the alteration of smectites intended for use as buffer materials in the long-term containment of nuclear wastes. It includes extended summaries of all presentations and a transcript of the detailed scientific discussion. The discussions centered on three main questions: What is the prerequisite for and what is the precise mechanism by which smectite clays may be altered to illite. What are likly sources of potassium with respect to the KBS project. Is it likely that the conversion of smectite to illite will be of importance in the 10 5 to the 10 6 year time frame. The workshop was convened to review considerations and conclusions in connection to these questions and also to broaden the discussion to consider the use of smectite clays as buffer materials for similar applications in different geographical and geological settings. SKBF/KBS technical report 83-03 contains the proceedings from the first workshop on these matters that was held at the State University of New York, Buffalo May 26-27, 1982. (Author)

  9. σ2-Adaptin Facilitates Basal Synaptic Transmission and Is Required for Regenerating Endo-Exo Cycling Pool Under High-Frequency Nerve Stimulation in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudhury, Saumitra Dey; Mushtaq, Zeeshan; Reddy-Alla, Suneel; Balakrishnan, Sruthi S; Thakur, Rajan S; Krishnan, Kozhalmannom S; Raghu, Padinjat; Ramaswami, Mani; Kumar, Vimlesh

    2016-05-01

    The functional requirement of adapter protein 2 (AP2) complex in synaptic membrane retrieval by clathrin-mediated endocytosis is not fully understood. Here we isolated and functionally characterized a mutation that dramatically altered synaptic development. Based on the aberrant neuromuscular junction (NMJ) synapse, we named this mutation angur (a Hindi word meaning "grapes"). Loss-of-function alleles of angur show more than twofold overgrowth in bouton numbers and a dramatic decrease in bouton size. We mapped the angur mutation to σ2-adaptin, the smallest subunit of the AP2 complex. Reducing the neuronal level of any of the subunits of the AP2 complex or disrupting AP2 complex assembly in neurons phenocopied the σ2-adaptin mutation. Genetic perturbation of σ2-adaptin in neurons leads to a reversible temperature-sensitive paralysis at 38°. Electrophysiological analysis of the mutants revealed reduced evoked junction potentials and quantal content. Interestingly, high-frequency nerve stimulation caused prolonged synaptic fatigue at the NMJs. The synaptic levels of subunits of the AP2 complex and clathrin, but not other endocytic proteins, were reduced in the mutants. Moreover, bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)/transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) signaling was altered in these mutants and was restored by normalizing σ2-adaptin in neurons. Thus, our data suggest that (1) while σ2-adaptin facilitates synaptic vesicle (SV) recycling for basal synaptic transmission, its activity is also required for regenerating SVs during high-frequency nerve stimulation, and (2) σ2-adaptin regulates NMJ morphology by attenuating TGFβ signaling. PMID:26920756

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew T Kempsell

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gidon, Albert; Segev, Idan

    2009-01-01

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

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

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    Gidon, Albert; Segev, Idan

    2009-06-01

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

  13. Maternal dietary loads of alpha-tocopherol increase synapse density and glial synaptic coverage in the hippocampus of adult offspring

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    S. Salucci

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available An increased intake of the antioxidant α-Tocopherol (vitamin E is recommended in complicated pregnancies, to prevent free radical damage to mother and fetus. However, the anti-PKC and antimitotic activity of α-Tocopherol raises concerns about its potential effects on brain development. Recently, we found that maternal dietary loads of α-Tocopherol through pregnancy and lactation cause developmental deficit in hippocampal synaptic plasticity in rat offspring. The defect persisted into adulthood, with behavioral alterations in hippocampus-dependent learning. Here, using the same rat model of maternal supplementation, ultrastructural morphometric studies were carried out to provide mechanistic interpretation to such a functional impairment in adult offspring by the occurrence of long-term changes in density and morphological features of hippocampal synapses. Higher density of axo-spinous synapses was found in CA1 stratum radiatum of α-Tocopherol-exposed rats compared to controls, pointing to a reduced synapse pruning. No morphometric changes were found in synaptic ultrastructural features, i.e., perimeter of axon terminals, length of synaptic specializations, extension of bouton-spine contact. Glia-synapse anatomical relationship was also affected. Heavier astrocytic coverage of synapses was observed in Tocopherol-treated offspring, notably surrounding axon terminals; moreover, the percentage of synapses contacted by astrocytic endfeet at bouton-spine interface (tripartite synapses was increased. These findings indicate that gestational and neonatal exposure to supranutritional tocopherol intake can result in anatomical changes of offspring hippocampus that last through adulthood. These include a surplus of axo-spinous synapses and an aberrant glia-synapse relationship, which may represent the morphological signature of previously described alterations in synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent learning.

  14. Riluzole attenuates the effects of chemoconvulsants acting on glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission in the planarian Dugesia tigrina.

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    Ramakrishnan, Latha; Dalhoff, Zachary; Fettig, Samantha L; Eggerichs, Michael R; Nelson, Briegette E; Shrestha, Bibita; Elshikh, Amira H; Karki, Pratima

    2013-10-15

    Planarians, the non-parasitic flatworms, display dose-dependent, distinct (C-like and corkscrew-like) hyperkinesias upon exposure to 0.001-10 mM aqueous solutions of glutamatergic agonists (L-glutamate and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)) and 0.001-5 mM concentrations of the glutamate decarboxylase (GAD) inhibitor (semicarbazide). In the planarian seizure-like activity (PSLA) experiments the three chemoconvulsants displayed the following order of potency (EC50): L-glutamate (0.6mM)>NMDA (1.4 mM)>semicarbazide (4.5mM). Planarian hyperkinesias behavior counting experiments also revealed that riluzole (0.001 to 1mM), an anti-convulsive agent, displayed no significant behavioral activity by itself, but attenuated hyperkinesias elicited by the three chemoconvulsants targeting either glutamatergic or GABAergic neurotransmission with the following order of potency (IC50): NMDA (44.7 µM)>semicarbazide (88.3 µM)>L-glutamate (160 µM). Further, (+)-MK-801, a specific NMDA antagonist, alleviated 3mM NMDA (47%) or 3mM L-glutamate (27%) induced planarian hyperkinesias. The results provide pharmacological evidence for the presence of glutamatergic receptor-like and semicarbazide sensitive functional GAD enzyme-like proteins in planaria in addition to demonstrating, for the first time, the anti-convulsive effects of riluzole in an invertebrate model. High performance liquid chromatography coupled with fluorescence detection (HPLC-F) analysis performed on planarian extracts post no drug treatment (control) or treatment with 3mM semicarbazide, combination of 3mM semicarbazide and 0.1 mM riluzole, or 0.1 mM riluzole revealed that 3 mM semicarbazide induced 35% decrease in the GABA levels and a combination of 3mM semicarbazide and 0.1 mM riluzole induced 42% decrease in glutamate levels with respect to the control group. PMID:23872399

  15. Local Control of Extracellular Dopamine Levels in the Medial Nucleus Accumbens by a Glutamatergic Projection from the Infralimbic Cortex.

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    Quiroz, César; Orrú, Marco; Rea, William; Ciudad-Roberts, Andrés; Yepes, Gabriel; Britt, Jonathan P; Ferré, Sergi

    2016-01-20

    It is generally assumed that infralimbic cortex (ILC) and prelimbic cortex, two adjacent areas of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in rodents, provide selective excitatory glutamatergic inputs to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell and core, respectively. It is also generally believed that mPFC influences the extracellular levels of dopamine in the NAc primarily by an excitatory collateral to the ventral tegmental area (VTA). In the present study, we first established the existence of a selective functional connection between ILC and the posteromedial portions of the VTA (pmVTA) and the mNAc shell (pmNAc shell), by measuring striatal neuronal activation (immunohistochemical analysis of ERK1/2 phosphorylation) and glutamate release (in vivo microdialysis) upon ILC electrical stimulation. A novel optogenetic-microdialysis approach allowed the measurement of extracellular concentrations of glutamate and dopamine in the pmNAc shell upon local light-induced stimulation of glutamatergic terminals from ILC. Cortical electrical and local optogenetic stimulation produced significant increases in the extracellular concentrations of glutamate and dopamine in the pmNAc shell. Local blockade of glutamate release by perfusion of an adenosine A2A receptor antagonist in the pmNAc shell blocked the dopamine release induced by local optogenetic stimulation but only partially antagonized dopamine release induced by cortical electrical stimulation. The results demonstrate that ILC excitatory afferents directly modulate the extracellular concentration of dopamine in the pmNAc shell, but also support the involvement of an indirect mechanism of dopamine control, through a concomitant ILC-mediated activation of the pmVTA. Significance statement: We established the existence of a functional connection between the infralimbic cortex (ILC) and the posteromedial portions of the ventral tegmental area (pmVTA) and the medial nucleus acumbens shell (pmNAc shell). A novel optogenetic

  16. Molecular evidence of synaptic pathology in the CA1 region in schizophrenia

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    Matosin, Natalie; Fernandez-Enright, Francesca; Lum, Jeremy S; Engel, Martin; Andrews, Jessica L; Gassen, Nils C; Wagner, Klaus V; Schmidt, Mathias V; Newell, Kelly A

    2016-01-01

    Alterations of postsynaptic density (PSD)95-complex proteins in schizophrenia ostensibly induce deficits in synaptic plasticity, the molecular process underlying cognitive functions. Although some PSD95-complex proteins have been previously examined in the hippocampus in schizophrenia, the status of other equally important molecules is unclear. This is especially true in the cornu ammonis (CA)1 hippocampal subfield, a region that is critically involved in the pathophysiology of the illness. We thus performed a quantitative immunoblot experiment to examine PSD95 and several of its associated proteins in the CA1 region, using post mortem brain samples derived from schizophrenia subjects with age-, sex-, and post mortem interval-matched controls (n=20/group). Our results indicate a substantial reduction in PSD95 protein expression (−61.8%). Further analysis showed additional alterations to the scaffold protein Homer1 (Homer1a: +42.9%, Homer1b/c: −24.6%), with a twofold reduction in the ratio of Homer1b/c:Homer1a isoforms (P=0.011). Metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 (mGluR1) protein levels were significantly reduced (−32.7%), and Preso, a protein that supports interactions between Homer1 or PSD95 with mGluR1, was elevated (+83.3%). Significant reduction in synaptophysin (−27.8%) was also detected, which is a validated marker of synaptic density. These findings support the presence of extensive molecular abnormalities to PSD95 and several of its associated proteins in the CA1 region in schizophrenia, offering a small but significant step toward understanding how proteins in the PSD are altered in the schizophrenia brain, and their relevance to overall hippocampal and cognitive dysfunction in the illness. PMID:27430010

  17. Synaptic transmission changes in fear memory circuits underlie key features of an animal model of schizophrenia.

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    Pollard, Marie; Varin, Christophe; Hrupka, Brian; Pemberton, Darrel J; Steckler, Thomas; Shaban, Hamdy

    2012-02-01

    Non-competitive antagonists of the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDA) such as phencyclidine (PCP) elicit schizophrenia-like symptoms in healthy individuals. Similarly, PCP dosing in rats produces typical behavioral phenotypes that mimic human schizophrenia symptoms. Although schizophrenic behavioral phenotypes of the PCP model have been extensively studied, the underlying alterations of intrinsic neuronal properties and synaptic transmission in relevant limbic brain microcircuits remain elusive. Acute brain slice electrophysiology and immunostaining of inhibitory neurons were used to identify neuronal circuit alterations of the amygdala and hippocampus associated with changes in extinction of fear learning in rats following PCP treatment. Subchronic PCP application led to impaired long-term potentiation (LTP) and marked increases in the ratio of NMDA to 2-amino-3(5-methyl-3-oxo-1,2-oxazol-4-yl)propionic acid (AMPA) receptor-mediated currents at lateral amygdala (LA) principal neurons without alterations in parvalbumin (PV) as well as non-PV, glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 (GAD 67) immunopositive neurons. In addition, LTP was impaired at the Schaffer collateral to CA1 hippocampal pathway coincident with a reduction in colocalized PV and GAD67 immunopositive neurons in the CA3 hippocampal area. These effects occurred without changes in spontaneous events or intrinsic membrane properties of principal cells in the LA. The impairment of LTP at both amygdalar and hippocampal microcircuits, which play a key role in processing relevant survival information such as fear and extinction memory concurred with a disruption of extinction learning of fear conditioned responses. Our results show that subchronic PCP administration in rats impairs synaptic functioning in the amygdala and hippocampus as well as processing of fear-related memories. PMID:22085880

  18. Upregulation of calpain activity precedes tau phosphorylation and loss of synaptic proteins in Alzheimer's disease brain.

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    Kurbatskaya, Ksenia; Phillips, Emma C; Croft, Cara L; Dentoni, Giacomo; Hughes, Martina M; Wade, Matthew A; Al-Sarraj, Safa; Troakes, Claire; O'Neill, Michael J; Perez-Nievas, Beatriz G; Hanger, Diane P; Noble, Wendy

    2016-03-31

    Alterations in calcium homeostasis are widely reported to contribute to synaptic degeneration and neuronal loss in Alzheimer's disease. Elevated cytosolic calcium concentrations lead to activation of the calcium-sensitive cysteine protease, calpain, which has a number of substrates known to be abnormally regulated in disease. Analysis of human brain has shown that calpain activity is elevated in AD compared to controls, and that calpain-mediated proteolysis regulates the activity of important disease-associated proteins including the tau kinases cyclin-dependent kinase 5 and glycogen kinase synthase-3. Here, we sought to investigate the likely temporal association between these changes during the development of sporadic AD using Braak staged post-mortem brain. Quantification of protein amounts in these tissues showed increased activity of calpain-1 from Braak stage III onwards in comparison to controls, extending previous findings that calpain-1 is upregulated at end-stage disease, and suggesting that activation of calcium-sensitive signalling pathways are sustained from early stages of disease development. Increases in calpain-1 activity were associated with elevated activity of the endogenous calpain inhibitor, calpastatin, itself a known calpain substrate. Activation of the tau kinases, glycogen-kinase synthase-3 and cyclin-dependent kinase 5 were also found to occur in Braak stage II-III brain, and these preceded global elevations in tau phosphorylation and the loss of post-synaptic markers. In addition, we identified transient increases in total amyloid precursor protein and pre-synaptic markers in Braak stage II-III brain, that were lost by end stage Alzheimer's disease, that may be indicative of endogenous compensatory responses to the initial stages of neurodegeneration. These findings provide insight into the molecular events that underpin the progression of Alzheimer's disease, and further highlight the rationale for investigating novel treatment

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

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    John R W Menzies

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

  20. Concurrent imaging of synaptic vesicle recycling and calcium dynamics.

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    Haiyan eLi

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic transmission involves the calcium-dependent release of neurotransmitter from synaptic vesicles. Genetically encoded optical probes emitting different wavelengths of fluorescent light in response to neuronal activity offer a powerful approach to understand the spatial and temporal relationship of calcium dynamics to the release of neurotransmitter in defined neuronal populations. To simultaneously image synaptic vesicle recycling and changes in cytosolic calcium, we developed a red-shifted reporter of vesicle recycling based on a vesicular glutamate transporter, VGLUT1-mOrange2 (VGLUT1-mOr2, and a presynaptically-localized green calcium indicator, synaptophysin-GCaMP3 (SyGCaMP3 with a large dynamic range. The fluorescence of VGLUT1-mOr2 is quenched by the low pH of synaptic vesicles. Exocytosis upon electrical stimulation exposes the luminal mOr2 to the neutral extracellular pH and relieves fluorescence quenching. Re-acidification of the vesicle upon endocytosis again reduces fluorescence intensity. Changes in fluorescence intensity thus monitor synaptic vesicle exo- and endocytosis, as demonstrated