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Sample records for alters neuronal function

  1. Streptozotocin alters glucose transport, connexin expression and endoplasmic reticulum functions in neurons and astrocytes.

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    Biswas, Joyshree; Gupta, Sonam; Verma, Dinesh Kumar; Singh, Sarika

    2017-07-25

    The study was undertaken to explore the cell-specific streptozotocin (STZ)-induced mechanistic alterations. STZ-induced rodent model is a well-established experimental model of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and in our previous studies we have established it as an in vitro screening model of AD by employing N2A neuronal cells. Therefore, STZ was selected in the present study to understand the STZ-induced cell-specific alterations by utilizing neuronal N2A and astrocytes C6 cells. Both neuronal and astrocyte cells were treated with STZ at 10, 50, 100 and 1000μM concentrations for 48h. STZ exposure caused significant decline in cellular viability and augmented cytotoxicity of cells involving astrocytes activation. STZ treatment also disrupted the energy metabolism by altered glucose uptake and its transport in both cells as reflected with decreased expression of glucose transporters (GLUT) 1/3. The consequent decrease in ATP level and decreased mitochondrial membrane potential was also observed in both the cells. STZ caused increased intracellular calcium which could cause the initiation of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Significant upregulation of ER stress-related markers were observed in both cells after STZ treatment. The cellular communication of astrocytes and neurons was altered as reflected by increased expression of connexin 43 along with DNA fragmentation. STZ-induced apoptotic death was evaluated by elevated expression of caspase-3 and PI/Hoechst staining of cells. In conclusion, study showed that STZ exert alike biochemical alterations, ER stress and cellular apoptosis in both neuronal and astrocyte cells. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Alterations of cortical GABA neurons and network oscillations in schizophrenia.

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    Gonzalez-Burgos, Guillermo; Hashimoto, Takanori; Lewis, David A

    2010-08-01

    The hypothesis that alterations of cortical inhibitory gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons are a central element in the pathology of schizophrenia has emerged from a series of postmortem studies. How such abnormalities may contribute to the clinical features of schizophrenia has been substantially informed by a convergence with basic neuroscience studies revealing complex details of GABA neuron function in the healthy brain. Importantly, activity of the parvalbumin-containing class of GABA neurons has been linked to the production of cortical network oscillations. Furthermore, growing knowledge supports the concept that gamma band oscillations (30-80 Hz) are an essential mechanism for cortical information transmission and processing. Herein we review recent studies further indicating that inhibition from parvalbumin-positive GABA neurons is necessary to produce gamma oscillations in cortical circuits; provide an update on postmortem studies documenting that deficits in the expression of glutamic acid decarboxylase67, which accounts for most GABA synthesis in the cortex, are widely observed in schizophrenia; and describe studies using novel, noninvasive approaches directly assessing potential relations between alterations in GABA, oscillations, and cognitive function in schizophrenia.

  3. Toxoplasma gondii Actively Inhibits Neuronal Function in Chronically Infected Mice

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    Haroon, Fahad; Händel, Ulrike; Angenstein, Frank; Goldschmidt, Jürgen; Kreutzmann, Peter; Lison, Holger; Fischer, Klaus-Dieter; Scheich, Henning; Wetzel, Wolfram; Schlüter, Dirk; Budinger, Eike

    2012-01-01

    Upon infection with the obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii, fast replicating tachyzoites infect a broad spectrum of host cells including neurons. Under the pressure of the immune response, tachyzoites convert into slow-replicating bradyzoites, which persist as cysts in neurons. Currently, it is unclear whether T. gondii alters the functional activity of neurons, which may contribute to altered behaviour of T. gondii–infected mice and men. In the present study we demonstrate that upon oral infection with T. gondii cysts, chronically infected BALB/c mice lost over time their natural fear against cat urine which was paralleled by the persistence of the parasite in brain regions affecting behaviour and odor perception. Detailed immunohistochemistry showed that in infected neurons not only parasitic cysts but also the host cell cytoplasm and some axons stained positive for Toxoplasma antigen suggesting that parasitic proteins might directly interfere with neuronal function. In fact, in vitro live cell calcium (Ca2+) imaging studies revealed that tachyzoites actively manipulated Ca2+ signalling upon glutamate stimulation leading either to hyper- or hypo-responsive neurons. Experiments with the endoplasmatic reticulum Ca2+ uptake inhibitor thapsigargin indicate that tachyzoites deplete Ca2+ stores in the endoplasmatic reticulum. Furthermore in vivo studies revealed that the activity-dependent uptake of the potassium analogue thallium was reduced in cyst harbouring neurons indicating their functional impairment. The percentage of non-functional neurons increased over time In conclusion, both bradyzoites and tachyzoites functionally silence infected neurons, which may significantly contribute to the altered behaviour of the host. PMID:22530040

  4. Toxoplasma gondii actively inhibits neuronal function in chronically infected mice.

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    Fahad Haroon

    Full Text Available Upon infection with the obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii, fast replicating tachyzoites infect a broad spectrum of host cells including neurons. Under the pressure of the immune response, tachyzoites convert into slow-replicating bradyzoites, which persist as cysts in neurons. Currently, it is unclear whether T. gondii alters the functional activity of neurons, which may contribute to altered behaviour of T. gondii-infected mice and men. In the present study we demonstrate that upon oral infection with T. gondii cysts, chronically infected BALB/c mice lost over time their natural fear against cat urine which was paralleled by the persistence of the parasite in brain regions affecting behaviour and odor perception. Detailed immunohistochemistry showed that in infected neurons not only parasitic cysts but also the host cell cytoplasm and some axons stained positive for Toxoplasma antigen suggesting that parasitic proteins might directly interfere with neuronal function. In fact, in vitro live cell calcium (Ca(2+ imaging studies revealed that tachyzoites actively manipulated Ca(2+ signalling upon glutamate stimulation leading either to hyper- or hypo-responsive neurons. Experiments with the endoplasmatic reticulum Ca(2+ uptake inhibitor thapsigargin indicate that tachyzoites deplete Ca(2+ stores in the endoplasmatic reticulum. Furthermore in vivo studies revealed that the activity-dependent uptake of the potassium analogue thallium was reduced in cyst harbouring neurons indicating their functional impairment. The percentage of non-functional neurons increased over time In conclusion, both bradyzoites and tachyzoites functionally silence infected neurons, which may significantly contribute to the altered behaviour of the host.

  5. Pseudorabies virus infection alters neuronal activity and connectivity in vitro.

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    Kelly M McCarthy

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Alpha-herpesviruses, including human herpes simplex virus 1 & 2, varicella zoster virus and the swine pseudorabies virus (PRV, infect the peripheral nervous system of their hosts. Symptoms of infection often include itching, numbness, or pain indicative of altered neurological function. To determine if there is an in vitro electrophysiological correlate to these characteristic in vivo symptoms, we infected cultured rat sympathetic neurons with well-characterized strains of PRV known to produce virulent or attenuated symptoms in animals. Whole-cell patch clamp recordings were made at various times after infection. By 8 hours of infection with virulent PRV, action potential (AP firing rates increased substantially and were accompanied by hyperpolarized resting membrane potentials and spikelet-like events. Coincident with the increase in AP firing rate, adjacent neurons exhibited coupled firing events, first with AP-spikelets and later with near identical resting membrane potentials and AP firing. Small fusion pores between adjacent cell bodies formed early after infection as demonstrated by transfer of the low molecular weight dye, Lucifer Yellow. Later, larger pores formed as demonstrated by transfer of high molecular weight Texas red-dextran conjugates between infected cells. Further evidence for viral-induced fusion pores was obtained by infecting neurons with a viral mutant defective for glycoprotein B, a component of the viral membrane fusion complex. These infected neurons were essentially identical to mock infected neurons: no increased AP firing, no spikelet-like events, and no electrical or dye transfer. Infection with PRV Bartha, an attenuated circuit-tracing strain delayed, but did not eliminate the increased neuronal activity and coupling events. We suggest that formation of fusion pores between infected neurons results in electrical coupling and elevated firing rates, and that these processes may contribute to the altered neural

  6. α-Synuclein fibril-induced paradoxical structural and functional defects in hippocampal neurons.

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    Froula, Jessica M; Henderson, Benjamin W; Gonzalez, Jose Carlos; Vaden, Jada H; Mclean, John W; Wu, Yumei; Banumurthy, Gokulakrishna; Overstreet-Wadiche, Linda; Herskowitz, Jeremy H; Volpicelli-Daley, Laura A

    2018-05-01

    Neuronal inclusions composed of α-synuclein (α-syn) characterize Parkinson's Disease (PD) and Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Cognitive dysfunction defines DLB, and up to 80% of PD patients develop dementia. α-Syn inclusions are abundant in the hippocampus, yet functional consequences are unclear. To determine if pathologic α-syn causes neuronal defects, we induced endogenous α-syn to form inclusions resembling those found in diseased brains by treating hippocampal neurons with α-syn fibrils. At seven days after adding fibrils, α-syn inclusions are abundant in axons, but there is no cell death at this time point, allowing us to assess for potential alterations in neuronal function that are not caused by neuron death. We found that exposure of neurons to fibrils caused a significant reduction in mushroom spine densities, adding to the growing body of literature showing that altered spine morphology is a major pathologic phenotype in synucleinopathies. The reduction in spine densities occurred only in wild type neurons and not in neurons from α-syn knockout mice, suggesting that the changes in spine morphology result from fibril-induced corruption of endogenously expressed α-syn. Paradoxically, reduced postsynaptic spine density was accompanied by increased frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) and presynaptic docked vesicles, suggesting enhanced presynaptic function. Action-potential dependent activity was unchanged, suggesting compensatory mechanisms responding to synaptic defects. Although activity at the level of the synapse was unchanged, neurons exposed to α-syn fibrils, showed reduced frequency and amplitudes of spontaneous Ca 2+ transients. These findings open areas of research to determine the mechanisms that alter neuronal function in brain regions critical for cognition at time points before neuron death.

  7. Altered neuronal excitability underlies impaired hippocampal function in an animal model of psychosis

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    Thomas eGrüter

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Psychosis is accompanied by severe attentional deficits, and impairments in associational-memory processing and sensory information processing that are ascribed to dysfunctions in prefrontal and hippocampal function. Disruptions of glutamatergic signalling may underlie these alterations: Antagonism of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR results in similar molecular, cellular, cognitive and behavioural changes in rodents and/or humans as those that occur in psychosis, raising the question as to whether changes in glutamatergic transmission may be intrinsic to the pathophysiology of the disease. In an animal model of psychosis that comprises treatment with the irreversible NMDAR-antagonist, MK801, we explored the cellular mechanisms that may underlie hippocampal dysfunction in psychosis. MK801-treatment resulted in a profound loss of hippocampal LTP that was evident 4 weeks after treatment. Whereas neuronal expression of the immediate early gene, Arc, was enhanced in the hippocampus by spatial learning in controls, MK801-treated animals failed to show activity-dependent increases in Arc expression. By contrast, a significant increase in basal Arc expression in the absence of learning was evident compared to controls. Paired-pulse facilitation was increased at the 40 ms interval indicating that NMDAR and/or fast GABAergic-mediated neurotransmission was disrupted. In line with this, MK801-treatment resulted in a significant decrease in GABA(A, and increase in GABA(B-receptor-expression in PFC, along with a significant increase of GABA(B- and NMDAR-GluN2B expression in the dentate gyrus. NMDAR-GluN1 or GluN2A subunit expression was unchanged. These data suggest that in psychosis, deficits in hippocampus-dependent memory may be caused by a loss of hippocampal LTP that arises through enhanced hippocampal neuronal excitability, altered GluN2B and GABA receptor expression and an uncoupling of the hippocampus-prefrontal cortex circuitry.

  8. PCB 136 Atropselectively Alters Morphometric and Functional Parameters of Neuronal Connectivity in Cultured Rat Hippocampal Neurons via Ryanodine Receptor-Dependent Mechanisms

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    Yang, Dongren; Kania-Korwel, Izabela; Ghogha, Atefeh; Chen, Hao; Stamou, Marianna; Bose, Diptiman D.; Pessah, Isaac N.; Lehmler, Hans-Joachim; Lein, Pamela J.

    2014-01-01

    We recently demonstrated that polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners with multiple ortho chlorine substitutions sensitize ryanodine receptors (RyRs), and this activity promotes Ca2+-dependent dendritic growth in cultured neurons. Many ortho-substituted congeners display axial chirality, and we previously reported that the chiral congener PCB 136 (2,2′,3,3′,6,6′-hexachlorobiphenyl) atropselectively sensitizes RyRs. Here, we test the hypothesis that PCB 136 atropisomers differentially alter dendritic growth and other parameters of neuronal connectivity influenced by RyR activity. (−)-PCB 136, which potently sensitizes RyRs, enhances dendritic growth in primary cultures of rat hippocampal neurons, whereas (+)-PCB 136, which lacks RyR activity, has no effect on dendritic growth. The dendrite-promoting activity of (−)-PCB 136 is observed at concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 100nM and is blocked by pharmacologic RyR antagonism. Neither atropisomer alters axonal growth or cell viability. Quantification of PCB 136 atropisomers in hippocampal cultures indicates that atropselective effects on dendritic growth are not due to differential partitioning of atropisomers into cultured cells. Imaging of hippocampal neurons loaded with Ca2+-sensitive dye demonstrates that (−)-PCB 136 but not (+)-PCB 136 increases the frequency of spontaneous Ca2+ oscillations. Similarly, (−)-PCB 136 but not (+)-PCB 136 increases the activity of hippocampal neurons plated on microelectrode arrays. These data support the hypothesis that atropselective effects on RyR activity translate into atropselective effects of PCB 136 atropisomers on neuronal connectivity, and suggest that the variable atropisomeric enrichment of chiral PCBs observed in the human population may be a significant determinant of individual susceptibility for adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes following PCB exposure. PMID:24385416

  9. Diabetic polyneuropathy, sensory neurons, nuclear structure and spliceosome alterations: a role for CWC22

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    Masaki Kobayashi

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Unique deficits in the function of adult sensory neurons as part of their early neurodegeneration might account for progressive polyneuropathy during chronic diabetes mellitus. Here, we provide structural and functional evidence for aberrant pre-mRNA splicing in a chronic type 1 model of experimental diabetic polyneuropathy (DPN. Cajal bodies (CBs, unique nuclear substructures involved in RNA splicing, increased in number in diabetic sensory neurons, but their expected colocalization with survival motor neuron (SMN proteins was reduced – a mislocalization described in motor neurons of spinal muscular atrophy. Small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles (snRNPs, also participants in the spliceosome, had abnormal multiple nuclear foci unassociated with CBs, and their associated snRNAs were reduced. CWC22, a key spliceosome protein, was aberrantly upregulated in diabetic dorsal root ganglia (DRG, and impaired neuronal function. CWC22 attenuated sensory neuron plasticity, with knockdown in vitro enhancing their neurite outgrowth. Further, axonal delivery of CWC22 siRNA unilaterally to locally knock down the aberrant protein in diabetic nerves improved aspects of sensory function in diabetic mice. Collectively, our findings identify subtle but significant alterations in spliceosome structure and function, including dysregulated CBs and CWC22 overexpression, in diabetic sensory neurons that offer new ideas regarding diabetic sensory neurodegeneration in polyneuropathy.

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

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    Thyroid hormone deficiency during development produces changes in the structure of neurons and glial cells and alters synaptic function in the hippocampus. GABAergic interneurons comprise the bulk of local inhibitory neuronal circuitry and a subpopulation of these interneurons ...

  11. GABA Neuron Alterations, Cortical Circuit Dysfunction and Cognitive Deficits in Schizophrenia

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    Guillermo Gonzalez-Burgos

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Schizophrenia is a brain disorder associated with cognitive deficits that severely affect the patients' capacity for daily functioning. Whereas our understanding of its pathophysiology is limited, postmortem studies suggest that schizophrenia is associated with deficits of GABA-mediated synaptic transmission. A major role of GABA-mediated transmission may be producing synchronized network oscillations which are currently hypothesized to be essential for normal cognitive function. Therefore, cognitive deficits in schizophrenia may result from a GABA synapse dysfunction that disturbs neural synchrony. Here, we highlight recent studies further suggesting alterations of GABA transmission and network oscillations in schizophrenia. We also review current models for the mechanisms of GABA-mediated synchronization of neural activity, focusing on parvalbumin-positive GABA neurons, which are altered in schizophrenia and whose function has been strongly linked to the production of neural synchrony. Alterations of GABA signaling that impair gamma oscillations and, as a result, cognitive function suggest paths for novel therapeutic interventions.

  12. GABA neuron alterations, cortical circuit dysfunction and cognitive deficits in schizophrenia.

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    Gonzalez-Burgos, Guillermo; Fish, Kenneth N; Lewis, David A

    2011-01-01

    Schizophrenia is a brain disorder associated with cognitive deficits that severely affect the patients' capacity for daily functioning. Whereas our understanding of its pathophysiology is limited, postmortem studies suggest that schizophrenia is associated with deficits of GABA-mediated synaptic transmission. A major role of GABA-mediated transmission may be producing synchronized network oscillations which are currently hypothesized to be essential for normal cognitive function. Therefore, cognitive deficits in schizophrenia may result from a GABA synapse dysfunction that disturbs neural synchrony. Here, we highlight recent studies further suggesting alterations of GABA transmission and network oscillations in schizophrenia. We also review current models for the mechanisms of GABA-mediated synchronization of neural activity, focusing on parvalbumin-positive GABA neurons, which are altered in schizophrenia and whose function has been strongly linked to the production of neural synchrony. Alterations of GABA signaling that impair gamma oscillations and, as a result, cognitive function suggest paths for novel therapeutic interventions.

  13. Structural and Functional Alterations in Neocortical Circuits after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

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    Vascak, Michal

    National concern over traumatic brain injury (TBI) is growing rapidly. Recent focus is on mild TBI (mTBI), which is the most prevalent injury level in both civilian and military demographics. A preeminent sequelae of mTBI is cognitive network disruption. Advanced neuroimaging of mTBI victims supports this premise, revealing alterations in activation and structure-function of excitatory and inhibitory neuronal systems, which are essential for network processing. However, clinical neuroimaging cannot resolve the cellular and molecular substrates underlying such changes. Therefore, to understand the full scope of mTBI-induced alterations it is necessary to study cortical networks on the microscopic level, where neurons form local networks that are the fundamental computational modules supporting cognition. Recently, in a well-controlled animal model of mTBI, we demonstrated in the excitatory pyramidal neuron system, isolated diffuse axonal injury (DAI), in concert with electrophysiological abnormalities in nearby intact (non-DAI) neurons. These findings were consistent with altered axon initial segment (AIS) intrinsic activity functionally associated with structural plasticity, and/or disturbances in extrinsic systems related to parvalbumin (PV)-expressing interneurons that form GABAergic synapses along the pyramidal neuron perisomatic/AIS domains. The AIS and perisomatic GABAergic synapses are domains critical for regulating neuronal activity and E-I balance. In this dissertation, we focus on the neocortical excitatory pyramidal neuron/inhibitory PV+ interneuron local network following mTBI. Our central hypothesis is that mTBI disrupts neuronal network structure and function causing imbalance of excitatory and inhibitory systems. To address this hypothesis we exploited transgenic and cre/lox mouse models of mTBI, employing approaches that couple state-of-the-art bioimaging with electrophysiology to determine the structuralfunctional alterations of excitatory and

  14. Beyond Neuronal Activity Markers: Select Immediate Early Genes in Striatal Neuron Subtypes Functionally Mediate Psychostimulant Addiction

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    Ramesh Chandra

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Immediate early genes (IEGs were traditionally used as markers of neuronal activity in striatum in response to stimuli including drugs of abuse such as psychostimulants. Early studies using these neuronal activity markers led to important insights in striatal neuron subtype responsiveness to psychostimulants. Such studies have helped identify striatum as a critical brain center for motivational, reinforcement and habitual behaviors in psychostimulant addiction. While the use of IEGs as neuronal activity markers in response to psychostimulants and other stimuli persists today, the functional role and implications of these IEGs has often been neglected. Nonetheless, there is a subset of research that investigates the functional role of IEGs in molecular, cellular and behavioral alterations by psychostimulants through striatal medium spiny neuron (MSN subtypes, the two projection neuron subtypes in striatum. This review article will address and highlight the studies that provide a functional mechanism by which IEGs mediate psychostimulant molecular, cellular and behavioral plasticity through MSN subtypes. Insight into the functional role of IEGs in striatal MSN subtypes could provide improved understanding into addiction and neuropsychiatric diseases affecting striatum, such as affective disorders and compulsive disorders characterized by dysfunctional motivation and habitual behavior.

  15. Disruption of astrocyte-neuron cholesterol cross talk affects neuronal function in Huntington's disease.

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    Valenza, M; Marullo, M; Di Paolo, E; Cesana, E; Zuccato, C; Biella, G; Cattaneo, E

    2015-04-01

    In the adult brain, neurons require local cholesterol production, which is supplied by astrocytes through apoE-containing lipoproteins. In Huntington's disease (HD), such cholesterol biosynthesis in the brain is severely reduced. Here we show that this defect, occurring in astrocytes, is detrimental for HD neurons. Astrocytes bearing the huntingtin protein containing increasing CAG repeats secreted less apoE-lipoprotein-bound cholesterol in the medium. Conditioned media from HD astrocytes and lipoprotein-depleted conditioned media from wild-type (wt) astrocytes were equally detrimental in a neurite outgrowth assay and did not support synaptic activity in HD neurons, compared with conditions of cholesterol supplementation or conditioned media from wt astrocytes. Molecular perturbation of cholesterol biosynthesis and efflux in astrocytes caused similarly altered astrocyte-neuron cross talk, whereas enhancement of glial SREBP2 and ABCA1 function reversed the aspects of neuronal dysfunction in HD. These findings indicate that astrocyte-mediated cholesterol homeostasis could be a potential therapeutic target to ameliorate neuronal dysfunction in HD.

  16. Prenatal exposure to urban air nanoparticles in mice causes altered neuronal differentiation and depression-like responses.

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    David A Davis

    Full Text Available Emerging evidence suggests that excessive exposure to traffic-derived air pollution during pregnancy may increase the vulnerability to neurodevelopmental alterations that underlie a broad array of neuropsychiatric disorders. We present a mouse model for prenatal exposure to urban freeway nanoparticulate matter (nPM. In prior studies, we developed a model for adult rodent exposure to re-aerosolized urban nPM which caused inflammatory brain responses with altered neuronal glutamatergic functions. nPMs are collected continuously for one month from a local freeway and stored as an aqueous suspension, prior to re-aerosolization for exposure of mice under controlled dose and duration. This paradigm was used for a pilot study of prenatal nPM impact on neonatal neurons and adult behaviors. Adult C57BL/6J female mice were exposed to re-aerosolized nPM (350 µg/m(3 or control filtered ambient air for 10 weeks (3×5 hour exposures per week, encompassing gestation and oocyte maturation prior to mating. Prenatal nPM did not alter litter size, pup weight, or postnatal growth. Neonatal cerebral cortex neurons at 24 hours in vitro showed impaired differentiation, with 50% reduction of stage 3 neurons with long neurites and correspondingly more undifferentiated neurons at Stages 0 and 1. Neuron number after 24 hours of culture was not altered by prenatal nPM exposure. Addition of exogenous nPM (2 µg/ml to the cultures impaired pyramidal neuron Stage 3 differentiation by 60%. Adult males showed increased depression-like responses in the tail-suspension test, but not anxiety-related behaviors. These pilot data suggest that prenatal exposure to nPM can alter neuronal differentiation with gender-specific behavioral sequelae that may be relevant to human prenatal exposure to urban vehicular aerosols.

  17. Mitochondrial Alterations by PARKIN in Dopaminergic Neurons Using PARK2 Patient-Specific and PARK2 Knockout Isogenic iPSC Lines

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    Atossa Shaltouki

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we used patient-specific and isogenic PARK2-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs to show that mutations in PARK2 alter neuronal proliferation. The percentage of TH+ neurons was decreased in Parkinson’s disease (PD patient-derived neurons carrying various mutations in PARK2 compared with an age-matched control subject. This reduction was accompanied by alterations in mitochondrial:cell volume fraction (mitochondrial volume fraction. The same phenotype was confirmed in isogenic PARK2 null lines. The mitochondrial phenotype was also seen in non-midbrain neurons differentiated from the PARK2 null line, as was the functional phenotype of reduced proliferation in culture. Whole genome expression profiling at various stages of differentiation confirmed the mitochondrial phenotype and identified pathways altered by PARK2 dysfunction that include PD-related genes. Our results are consistent with current model of PARK2 function where damaged mitochondria are targeted for degradation via a PARK2/PINK1-mediated mechanism.

  18. Extracting functionally feedforward networks from a population of spiking neurons.

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    Vincent, Kathleen; Tauskela, Joseph S; Thivierge, Jean-Philippe

    2012-01-01

    Neuronal avalanches are a ubiquitous form of activity characterized by spontaneous bursts whose size distribution follows a power-law. Recent theoretical models have replicated power-law avalanches by assuming the presence of functionally feedforward connections (FFCs) in the underlying dynamics of the system. Accordingly, avalanches are generated by a feedforward chain of activation that persists despite being embedded in a larger, massively recurrent circuit. However, it is unclear to what extent networks of living neurons that exhibit power-law avalanches rely on FFCs. Here, we employed a computational approach to reconstruct the functional connectivity of cultured cortical neurons plated on multielectrode arrays (MEAs) and investigated whether pharmacologically induced alterations in avalanche dynamics are accompanied by changes in FFCs. This approach begins by extracting a functional network of directed links between pairs of neurons, and then evaluates the strength of FFCs using Schur decomposition. In a first step, we examined the ability of this approach to extract FFCs from simulated spiking neurons. The strength of FFCs obtained in strictly feedforward networks diminished monotonically as links were gradually rewired at random. Next, we estimated the FFCs of spontaneously active cortical neuron cultures in the presence of either a control medium, a GABA(A) receptor antagonist (PTX), or an AMPA receptor antagonist combined with an NMDA receptor antagonist (APV/DNQX). The distribution of avalanche sizes in these cultures was modulated by this pharmacology, with a shallower power-law under PTX (due to the prominence of larger avalanches) and a steeper power-law under APV/DNQX (due to avalanches recruiting fewer neurons) relative to control cultures. The strength of FFCs increased in networks after application of PTX, consistent with an amplification of feedforward activity during avalanches. Conversely, FFCs decreased after application of APV

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

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    Wei Ling Lim

    2016-08-01

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

  20. Corazonin neurons function in sexually dimorphic circuitry that shape behavioral responses to stress in Drosophila.

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    Yan Zhao

    Full Text Available All organisms are confronted with dynamic environmental changes that challenge homeostasis, which is the operational definition of stress. Stress produces adaptive behavioral and physiological responses, which, in the Metazoa, are mediated through the actions of various hormones. Based on its associated phenotypes and its expression profiles, a candidate stress hormone in Drosophila is the corazonin neuropeptide. We evaluated the potential roles of corazonin in mediating stress-related changes in target behaviors and physiologies through genetic alteration of corazonin neuronal excitability. Ablation of corazonin neurons confers resistance to metabolic, osmotic, and oxidative stress, as measured by survival. Silencing and activation of corazonin neurons lead to differential lifespan under stress, and these effects showed a strong dependence on sex. Additionally, altered corazonin neuron physiology leads to fundamental differences in locomotor activity, and these effects were also sex-dependent. The dynamics of altered locomotor behavior accompanying stress was likewise altered in flies with altered corazonin neuronal function. We report that corazonin transcript expression is altered under starvation and osmotic stress, and that triglyceride and dopamine levels are equally impacted in corazonin neuronal alterations and these phenotypes similarly show significant sexual dimorphisms. Notably, these sexual dimorphisms map to corazonin neurons. These results underscore the importance of central peptidergic processing within the context of stress and place corazonin signaling as a critical feature of neuroendocrine events that shape stress responses and may underlie the inherent sexual dimorphic differences in stress responses.

  1. Altered Intrinsic Pyramidal Neuron Properties and Pathway-Specific Synaptic Dysfunction Underlie Aberrant Hippocampal Network Function in a Mouse Model of Tauopathy.

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    Booth, Clair A; Witton, Jonathan; Nowacki, Jakub; Tsaneva-Atanasova, Krasimira; Jones, Matthew W; Randall, Andrew D; Brown, Jonathan T

    2016-01-13

    The formation and deposition of tau protein aggregates is proposed to contribute to cognitive impairments in dementia by disrupting neuronal function in brain regions, including the hippocampus. We used a battery of in vivo and in vitro electrophysiological recordings in the rTg4510 transgenic mouse model, which overexpresses a mutant form of human tau protein, to investigate the effects of tau pathology on hippocampal neuronal function in area CA1 of 7- to 8-month-old mice, an age point at which rTg4510 animals exhibit advanced tau pathology and progressive neurodegeneration. In vitro recordings revealed shifted theta-frequency resonance properties of CA1 pyramidal neurons, deficits in synaptic transmission at Schaffer collateral synapses, and blunted plasticity and imbalanced inhibition at temporoammonic synapses. These changes were associated with aberrant CA1 network oscillations, pyramidal neuron bursting, and spatial information coding in vivo. Our findings relate tauopathy-associated changes in cellular neurophysiology to altered behavior-dependent network function. Dementia is characterized by the loss of learning and memory ability. The deposition of tau protein aggregates in the brain is a pathological hallmark of dementia; and the hippocampus, a brain structure known to be critical in processing learning and memory, is one of the first and most heavily affected regions. Our results show that, in area CA1 of hippocampus, a region involved in spatial learning and memory, tau pathology is associated with specific disturbances in synaptic, cellular, and network-level function, culminating in the aberrant encoding of spatial information and spatial memory impairment. These studies identify several novel ways in which hippocampal information processing may be disrupted in dementia, which may provide targets for future therapeutic intervention. Copyright © 2016 Booth, Witton et al.

  2. Targeted disruption of the Mast syndrome gene SPG21 in mice impairs hind limb function and alters axon branching in cultured cortical neurons

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    Soderblom, Cynthia; Stadler, Julia; Jupille, Henri; Blackstone, Craig; Shupliakov, Oleg

    2017-01-01

    Mast syndrome (SPG21) is a childhood-onset, autosomal recessive, complicated form of hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) characterized by dementia, thin corpus callosum, white matter abnormalities, and cerebellar and extrapyramidal signs in addition to spastic paraparesis. A nucleotide insertion resulting in premature truncation of the SPG21 gene product maspardin underlies this disorder, likely leading to loss of protein function. In this study, we generated SPG21−/− knockout mice by homologous recombination as a possible animal model for SPG21. Though SPG21−/− mice appeared normal at birth, within several months they developed gradually progressive hind limb dysfunction. Cerebral cortical neurons cultured from SPG21−/− mice exhibited significantly more axonal branching than neurons from wild-type animals, while comprehensive neuropathological analysis of SPG21−/− mice did not reveal definitive abnormalities. Since alterations in axon branching have been seen in neurons derived from animal models of other forms of HSP as well as motor neuron diseases, this may represent a common cellular pathogenic theme. PMID:20661613

  3. Effects of 4-phenyl butyric acid on high glucose-induced alterations in dorsal root ganglion neurons.

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    Sharma, Dilip; Singh, Jitendra Narain; Sharma, Shyam S

    2016-12-02

    Mechanisms and pathways involving in diabetic neuropathy are still not fully understood but can be unified by the process of overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as superoxide, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, downstream intracellular signaling pathways and their modulation. Susceptibility of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) to internal/external hyperglycemic environment stress contributes to the pathogenesis and progression of diabetic neuropathy. ER stress leads to abnormal ion channel function, gene expression, transcriptional regulation, metabolism and protein folding. 4-phenyl butyric acid (4-PBA) is a potent and selective chemical chaperone; which may inhibit ER stress. It may be hypothesized that 4-PBA could attenuate via channels in DRG in diabetic neuropathy. Effects of 4-PBA were determined by applying different parameters of oxidative stress, cell viability, apoptosis assays and channel expression in cultured DRG neurons. Hyperglycemia-induced apoptosis in the DRG neuron was inhibited by 4-PBA. Cell viability of DRG neurons was not altered by 4-PBA. Oxidative stress was significantly blocked by the 4-PBA. Sodium channel expression was not altered by the 4-PBA. Our data provide evidence that the hyperglycemia-induced alteration may be reduced by the 4-PBA without altering the sodium channel expression. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Ultrastructural Alterations of Von Economo Neurons in the Anterior Cingulate Cortex in Schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, Martin; Theiss, Carsten; Brüne, Martin

    2017-11-01

    Von Economo neurons (VENs) are large bipolar projection neurons mainly located in layer Vb of anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and anterior insula. Both regions are involved in cognitive and emotional procedures and are functionally and anatomically altered in schizophrenia. Although the detailed function of VEN remains unclear, it has been suggested that these neurons are involved in the pathomechanism of schizophrenia. Here, we were interested in the question whether or not the VEN of schizophrenia patients would show abnormalities at the ultrastructural level. Accordingly, we examined the amount of lysosomal aggregations of the VEN in post-mortem tissue of patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and psychologically unaffected individuals, and compared the findings with aggregations in adjacent pyramidal cells in layer Vb of the ACC. VEN of patients with schizophrenia, and to a lesser degree individuals with bipolar disorder contained significantly more lysosomal aggregations compared with tissue from unaffected controls. Specifically, the larger amount of lysosomal aggregations in schizophrenia seemed to be selective for VEN, with no differences occurring in pyramidal cells. These findings may indicate that the VEN of schizophrenia patients are selectively vulnerable to neuronal damage. Anat Rec, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Anat Rec, 300:2017-2024, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. METHYLMERCURY IMPAIRS NEURONAL DIFFERENTIATION BY ALTERING NEUROTROPHIN SIGNALING.

    Science.gov (United States)

    In previous in vivo studies, we observed that developmental exposure to CH3Hg can alter neocortical morphology and neurotrophin signaling. Using primed PC12 cells as a model system for neuronal differentiation, we examined the hypothesis that the developmental effects of CH3Hg ma...

  6. Calcitonin gene-related peptide alters the firing rates of hypothalamic temperature sensitive and insensitive neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grimm Eleanor R

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Transient hyperthermic shifts in body temperature have been linked to the endogenous hormone calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP, which can increase sympathetic activation and metabolic heat production. Recent studies have demonstrated that these centrally mediated responses may result from CGRP dependent changes in the activity of thermoregulatory neurons in the preoptic and anterior regions of the hypothalamus (POAH. Results Using a tissue slice preparation, we recorded the single-unit activity of POAH neurons from the adult male rat, in response to temperature and CGRP (10 μM. Based on the slope of firing rate as a function of temperature, neurons were classified as either warm sensitive or temperature insensitive. All warm sensitive neurons responded to CGRP with a significant decrease in firing rate. While CGRP did not alter the firing rates of some temperature insensitive neurons, responsive neurons showed an increase in firing rate. Conclusion With respect to current models of thermoregulatory control, these CGRP dependent changes in firing rate would result in hyperthermia. This suggests that both warm sensitive and temperature insensitive neurons in the POAH may play a role in producing this hyperthermic shift in temperature.

  7. Alteration of protein folding and degradation in motor neuron diseases : Implications and protective functions of small heat shock proteins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carra, Serena; Crippa, Valeria; Rusmini, Paola; Boncoraglio, Alessandra; Minoia, Melania; Giorgetti, Elisa; Kampinga, Harm H.; Poletti, Angelo

    Motor neuron diseases (MNDs) are neurodegenerative disorders that specifically affect the survival and function of upper and/or lower motor neurons. Since motor neurons are responsible for the control of voluntary muscular movement, MNDs are characterized by muscle spasticity, weakness and atrophy.

  8. Mirror neurons: from origin to function.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  9. Neuromorphological and wiring pattern alterations effects on brain function: a mixed experimental and computational approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linus Manubens-Gil

    2015-04-01

    In addition, the study of fixed intact brains (by means of the state of the art CLARITY technique brings us closer to biologically and medically relevant situations, allowing not only to confirm whether the functional links in neuronal cultures are also present in vivo, but also enabling the introduction of functional information (like behavioral studies and functional imaging and another layer of structural alterations such as brain region morphology, neuronal density, and long-range connectivity. Taking together the experimental information from these systems we want to feed self-developed computational models that allow us to understand what are the fundamental characteristics of the observed connectivity patterns and the impact of each of the alterations on neuronal network function. These models will also provide a framework able to account for the emergent properties that bridge the gap between spontaneous electrical activity arousal/transmission and higher order information processing and memory storage capacities in the brain. As an additional part of the project we are now working on the application of the clearing, labeling and imaging protocols to human biopsy samples. Our aim is to obtain neuronal architecture and connectivity information from focal cortical dysplasia microcircuits using samples from intractable temporal lobe epilepsy patients that undergo deep-brain electrode recording diagnosis and posterior surgical extraction of the tissue. Our computational models can allow us to discern the contributions of the observed abnormalities to neuronal hyperactivity and epileptic seizure generation.

  10. Fear conditioning leads to alteration in specific genes expression in cortical and thalamic neurons that project to the lateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katz, Ira K; Lamprecht, Raphael

    2015-02-01

    RNA transcription is needed for memory formation. However, the ability to identify genes whose expression is altered by learning is greatly impaired because of methodological difficulties in profiling gene expression in specific neurons involved in memory formation. Here, we report a novel approach to monitor the expression of genes after learning in neurons in specific brain pathways needed for memory formation. In this study, we aimed to monitor gene expression after fear learning. We retrogradely labeled discrete thalamic neurons that project to the lateral amygdala (LA) of rats. The labeled neurons were dissected, using laser microdissection microscopy, after fear conditioning learning or unpaired training. The RNAs from the dissected neurons were subjected to microarray analysis. The levels of selected RNAs detected by the microarray analysis to be altered by fear conditioning were also assessed by nanostring analysis. We observed that the expression of genes involved in the regulation of translation, maturation and degradation of proteins was increased 6 h after fear conditioning compared to unpaired or naïve trained rats. These genes were not expressed 24 h after training or in cortical neurons that project to the LA. The expression of genes involved in transcription regulation and neuronal development was altered after fear conditioning learning in the cortical-LA pathway. The present study provides key information on the identity of genes expressed in discrete thalamic and cortical neurons that project to the LA after fear conditioning. Such an approach could also serve to identify gene products as targets for the development of a new generation of therapeutic agents that could be aimed to functionally identified brain circuits to treat memory-related disorders. © 2014 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  11. Loss of spatacsin function alters lysosomal lipid clearance leading to upper and lower motor neuron degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branchu, Julien; Boutry, Maxime; Sourd, Laura; Depp, Marine; Leone, Céline; Corriger, Alexandrine; Vallucci, Maeva; Esteves, Typhaine; Matusiak, Raphaël; Dumont, Magali; Muriel, Marie-Paule; Santorelli, Filippo M; Brice, Alexis; El Hachimi, Khalid Hamid; Stevanin, Giovanni; Darios, Frédéric

    2017-06-01

    Mutations in SPG11 account for the most common form of autosomal recessive hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP), characterized by a gait disorder associated with various brain alterations. Mutations in the same gene are also responsible for rare forms of Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease and progressive juvenile-onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). To elucidate the physiopathological mechanisms underlying these human pathologies, we disrupted the Spg11 gene in mice by inserting stop codons in exon 32, mimicking the most frequent mutations found in patients. The Spg11 knockout mouse developed early-onset motor impairment and cognitive deficits. These behavioral deficits were associated with progressive brain atrophy with the loss of neurons in the primary motor cortex, cerebellum and hippocampus, as well as with accumulation of dystrophic axons in the corticospinal tract. Spinal motor neurons also degenerated and this was accompanied by fragmentation of neuromuscular junctions and muscle atrophy. This new Spg11 knockout mouse therefore recapitulates the full range of symptoms associated with SPG11 mutations observed in HSP, ALS and CMT patients. Examination of the cellular alterations observed in this model suggests that the loss of spatacsin leads to the accumulation of lipids in lysosomes by perturbing their clearance from these organelles. Altogether, our results link lysosomal dysfunction and lipid metabolism to neurodegeneration and pinpoint a critical role of spatacsin in lipid turnover. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Alterations in Neuronal Activity in Basal Ganglia-Thalamocortical Circuits in the Parkinsonian State

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    Adriana eGalvan

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available In patients with Parkinson’s disease and in animal models of this disorder, neurons in the basal ganglia and related regions in thalamus and cortex show changes that can be recorded by using electrophysiologic single-cell recording techniques, including altered firing rates and patterns, pathologic oscillatory activity and increased inter-neuronal synchronization. In addition, changes in synaptic potentials or in the joint spiking activities of populations of neurons can be monitored as alterations in local field potentials, electroencephalograms or electrocorticograms. Most of the mentioned electrophysiologic changes are probably related to the degeneration of diencephalic dopaminergic neurons, leading to dopamine loss in the striatum and other basal ganglia nuclei, although degeneration of non-dopaminergic cell groups may also have a role. The altered electrical activity of the basal ganglia and associated nuclei may contribute to some of the motor signs of the disease. We here review the current knowledge of the electrophysiologic changes at the single cell level, the level of local populations of neural elements, and the level of the entire basal ganglia-thalamocortical network in parkinsonism, and discuss the possible use of this information to optimize treatment approaches to Parkinson’s disease, such as deep brain stimulation therapy.

  13. Alterations in neuronal activity in basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuits in the parkinsonian state

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galvan, Adriana; Devergnas, Annaelle; Wichmann, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    In patients with Parkinson’s disease and in animal models of this disorder, neurons in the basal ganglia and related regions in thalamus and cortex show changes that can be recorded by using electrophysiologic single-cell recording techniques, including altered firing rates and patterns, pathologic oscillatory activity and increased inter-neuronal synchronization. In addition, changes in synaptic potentials or in the joint spiking activities of populations of neurons can be monitored as alterations in local field potentials (LFPs), electroencephalograms (EEGs) or electrocorticograms (ECoGs). Most of the mentioned electrophysiologic changes are probably related to the degeneration of diencephalic dopaminergic neurons, leading to dopamine loss in the striatum and other basal ganglia nuclei, although degeneration of non-dopaminergic cell groups may also have a role. The altered electrical activity of the basal ganglia and associated nuclei may contribute to some of the motor signs of the disease. We here review the current knowledge of the electrophysiologic changes at the single cell level, the level of local populations of neural elements, and the level of the entire basal ganglia-thalamocortical network in parkinsonism, and discuss the possible use of this information to optimize treatment approaches to Parkinson’s disease, such as deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy. PMID:25698937

  14. Nerve growth factor alters microtubule targeting agent-induced neurotransmitter release but not MTA-induced neurite retraction in sensory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pittman, Sherry K; Gracias, Neilia G; Fehrenbacher, Jill C

    2016-05-01

    Peripheral neuropathy is a dose-limiting side effect of anticancer treatment with the microtubule-targeted agents (MTAs), paclitaxel and epothilone B (EpoB); however, the mechanisms by which the MTAs alter neuronal function and morphology are unknown. We previously demonstrated that paclitaxel alters neuronal sensitivity, in vitro, in the presence of nerve growth factor (NGF). Evidence in the literature suggests that NGF may modulate the neurotoxic effects of paclitaxel. Here, we examine whether NGF modulates changes in neuronal sensitivity and morphology induced by paclitaxel and EpoB. Neuronal sensitivity was assessed using the stimulated release of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), whereas morphology of established neurites was evaluated using a high content screening system. Dorsal root ganglion cultures, maintained in the absence or presence of NGF, were treated from day 7 to day 12 in culture with paclitaxel (300nM) or EpoB (30nM). Following treatment, the release of CGRP was stimulated using capsaicin or high extracellular potassium. In the presence of NGF, EpoB mimicked the effects of paclitaxel: capsaicin-stimulated release was attenuated, potassium-stimulated release was slightly enhanced and the total peptide content was unchanged. In the absence of NGF, both paclitaxel and EpoB decreased capsaicin- and potassium-stimulated release and the total peptide content, suggesting that NGF may reverse MTA-induced hyposensitivity. Paclitaxel and EpoB both decreased neurite length and branching, and this attenuation was unaffected by NGF in the growth media. These differential effects of NGF on neuronal sensitivity and morphology suggest that neurite retraction is not a causative factor to alter neuronal sensitivity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Multiple functional attributes of glucose-monitoring neurons in the medial orbitofrontal (ventrolateral prefrontal) cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabó, István; Hormay, Edina; Csetényi, Bettina; Nagy, Bernadett; Lénárd, László; Karádi, Zoltán

    2018-02-01

    Multiple functional attributes of glucose-monitoring neurons in the medial orbitofrontal (ventrolateral prefrontal) cortex. NEUROSCI BIOBEHAV REV 73(1) XXX-XXX, 2017.- Special chemosensory cells, the glucose-monitoring (GM) neurons, reportedly involved in the central feeding control, exist in the medial orbitofrontal (ventrolateral prefrontal) cortex (mVLPFC). Electrophysiological, metabolic and behavioral studies reveal complex functional attributes of these cells and raise their homeostatic significance. Single neuron recordings, by means of the multibarreled microelectrophoretic technique, elucidate differential sensitivities of limbic forebrain neurons in the rat and the rhesus monkey to glucose and other chemicals, whereas gustatory stimulations demonstrate their distinct taste responsiveness. Metabolic examinations provide evidence for alteration of blood glucose level in glucose tolerance test and elevation of plasma triglyceride concentration after destruction of the local GM cells by streptozotocin (STZ). In behavioral studies, STZ microinjection into the mVLPFC fails to interfere with the acquisition of saccharin conditioned taste avoidance, does cause, however, taste perception deficit in taste reactivity tests. Multiple functional attributes of GM neurons in the mVLPFC, within the frame of the hierarchically organized central GM neuronal network, appear to play important role in the maintenance of the homeostatic balance. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Interaction function of coupled bursting neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shi Xia; Zhang Jiadong

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Altered morphologies and functions of the olfactory bulb and hippocampus induced by miR-30c

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tingting eSun

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Adult neurogenesis is considered to contribute to a certain degree of plasticity for the brain. However, the effects of adult-born neurons on the brain are still largely unknown. Here, we specifically altered the expression of miR-30c in the subventricular zone (SVZ and dentate gyrus (DG by stereotaxic injection with their respective up-and down-regulated lentiviruses. Results showed an increased level of miR-30c enhanced adult neurogenesis by prompting cell-cycles of stem cells, whereas down-regulated miR-30c led to the opposite results. When these effects of miR-30c lasted for three months, we detected significant morphological changes in the olfactory bulb (OB and lineage alteration in the hippocampus. Tests of olfactory sensitivity and associative and spatial memory showed that a certain amount of adult-born neurons are essential for the normal functions of the OB and hippocampus, but there also exist redundant newborn neurons that do not further improve the functioning of these areas. Our study revealed the interactions between miRNA, adult neurogenesis, brain morphology and function, and this provides a novel insight into understanding the role of newborn neurons in the adult brain.

  18. Microglia Dictate the Impact of Saturated Fat Consumption on Hypothalamic Inflammation and Neuronal Function

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    Martin Valdearcos

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Diets rich in saturated fat produce inflammation, gliosis, and neuronal stress in the mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH. Here, we show that microglia mediate this process and its functional impact. Although microglia and astrocytes accumulate in the MBH of mice fed a diet rich in saturated fatty acids (SFAs, only the microglia undergo inflammatory activation, along with a buildup of hypothalamic SFAs. Enteric gavage specifically with SFAs reproduces microglial activation and neuronal stress in the MBH, and SFA treatment activates murine microglia, but not astrocytes, in culture. Moreover, depleting microglia abrogates SFA-induced inflammation in hypothalamic slices. Remarkably, depleting microglia from the MBH of mice abolishes inflammation and neuronal stress induced by excess SFA consumption, and in this context, microglial depletion enhances leptin signaling and reduces food intake. We thus show that microglia sense SFAs and orchestrate an inflammatory process in the MBH that alters neuronal function when SFA consumption is high.

  19. Electrophysiology of glioma: a Rho GTPase-activating protein reduces tumor growth and spares neuron structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vannini, Eleonora; Olimpico, Francesco; Middei, Silvia; Ammassari-Teule, Martine; de Graaf, Erik L; McDonnell, Liam; Schmidt, Gudula; Fabbri, Alessia; Fiorentini, Carla; Baroncelli, Laura; Costa, Mario; Caleo, Matteo

    2016-12-01

    Glioblastomas are the most aggressive type of brain tumor. A successful treatment should aim at halting tumor growth and protecting neuronal cells to prevent functional deficits and cognitive deterioration. Here, we exploited a Rho GTPase-activating bacterial protein toxin, cytotoxic necrotizing factor 1 (CNF1), to interfere with glioma cell growth in vitro and vivo. We also investigated whether this toxin spares neuron structure and function in peritumoral areas. We performed a microarray transcriptomic and in-depth proteomic analysis to characterize the molecular changes triggered by CNF1 in glioma cells. We also examined tumor cell senescence and growth in vehicle- and CNF1-treated glioma-bearing mice. Electrophysiological and morphological techniques were used to investigate neuronal alterations in peritumoral cortical areas. Administration of CNF1 triggered molecular and morphological hallmarks of senescence in mouse and human glioma cells in vitro. CNF1 treatment in vivo induced glioma cell senescence and potently reduced tumor volumes. In peritumoral areas of glioma-bearing mice, neurons showed a shrunken dendritic arbor and severe functional alterations such as increased spontaneous activity and reduced visual responsiveness. CNF1 treatment enhanced dendritic length and improved several physiological properties of pyramidal neurons, demonstrating functional preservation of the cortical network. Our findings demonstrate that CNF1 reduces glioma volume while at the same time maintaining the physiological and structural properties of peritumoral neurons. These data indicate a promising strategy for the development of more effective antiglioma therapies. © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Neuro-Oncology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Macroglia-derived thrombospondin 2 regulates alterations of presynaptic proteins of retinal neurons following elevated hydrostatic pressure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shuchao; Hu, Tu; Wang, Zhen; Li, Na; Zhou, Lihong; Liao, Lvshuang; Wang, Mi; Liao, Libin; Wang, Hui; Zeng, Leping; Fan, Chunling; Zhou, Hongkang; Xiong, Kun; Huang, Jufang; Chen, Dan

    2017-01-01

    Many studies on retinal injury and repair following elevated intraocular pressure suggest that the survival ratio of retinal neurons has been improved by various measures. However, the visual function recovery is far lower than expected. The homeostasis of retinal synapses in the visual signal pathway is the key structural basis for the delivery of visual signals. Our previous studies found that complicated changes in the synaptic structure between retinal neurons occurred much earlier than obvious degeneration of retinal ganglion cells in rat retinae. The lack of consideration of these earlier retinal synaptic changes in the rescue strategy may be partly responsible for the limited visual function recovery with the types of protective methods for retinal neurons used following elevated intraocular pressure. Thus, research on the modulatory mechanisms of the synaptic changes after elevated intraocular pressure injury may give new light to visual function rescue. In this study, we found that thrombospondin 2, an important regulator of synaptogenesis in central nervous system development, was distributed in retinal macroglia cells, and its receptor α2δ-1 was in retinal neurons. Cell cultures including mixed retinal macroglia cells/neuron cultures and retinal neuron cultures were exposed to elevated hydrostatic pressure for 2 h. The expression levels of glial fibrillary acidic protein (the marker of activated macroglia cells), thrombospondin 2, α2δ-1 and presynaptic proteins were increased following elevated hydrostatic pressure in mixed cultures, but the expression levels of postsynaptic proteins were not changed. SiRNA targeting thrombospondin 2 could decrease the upregulation of presynaptic proteins induced by the elevated hydrostatic pressure. However, in retinal neuron cultures, elevated hydrostatic pressure did not affect the expression of presynaptic or postsynaptic proteins. Rather, the retinal neuron cultures with added recombinant thrombospondin 2

  1. Prevention of Synaptic Alterations and Neurotoxic Effects of PAMAM Dendrimers by Surface Functionalization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe Vidal

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available One of the most studied nanocarriers for drug delivery are polyamidoamine (PAMAM dendrimers. However, the alterations produced by PAMAM dendrimers in neuronal function have not been thoroughly investigated, and important aspects such as effects on synaptic transmission remain unexplored. We focused on the neuronal activity disruption induced by dendrimers and the possibility to prevent these effects by surface chemical modifications. Therefore, we studied the effects of fourth generation PAMAM with unmodified positively charged surface (G4 in hippocampal neurons, and compared the results with dendrimers functionalized in 25% of their surface groups with folate (PFO25 and polyethylene glycol (PPEG25. G4 dendrimers significantly reduced cell viability at 1 µM, which was attenuated by both chemical modifications, PPEG25 being the less cytotoxic. Patch clamp recordings demonstrated that G4 induced a 7.5-fold increment in capacitive currents as a measure of membrane permeability. Moreover, treatment with this dendrimer increased intracellular Ca2+ by 8-fold with a complete disruption of transients pattern, having as consequence that G4 treatment increased the synaptic vesicle release and frequency of synaptic events by 2.4- and 3-fold, respectively. PFO25 and PPEG25 treatments did not alter membrane permeability, total Ca2+ intake, synaptic vesicle release or synaptic activity frequency. These results demonstrate that cationic G4 dendrimers have neurotoxic effects and induce alterations in normal synaptic activity, which are generated by the augmentation of membrane permeability and a subsequent intracellular Ca2+ increase. Interestingly, these toxic effects and synaptic alterations are prevented by the modification of 25% of PAMAM surface with either folate or polyethylene glycol.

  2. Altered Chloride Homeostasis Decreases the Action Potential Threshold and Increases Hyperexcitability in Hippocampal Neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Andreas T; Ledri, Marco; Melis, Miriam

    2017-01-01

    Chloride ions play an important role in controlling excitability of principal neurons in the central nervous system. When neurotransmitter GABA is released from inhibitory interneurons, activated GABA type A (GABAA) receptors on principal neurons become permeable to chloride. Typically, chloride...... neurons, and promote AP generation. It is generally recognized that altered chloride homeostasis per se has no effect on the AP threshold. Here, we demonstrate that chloride overload of mouse principal CA3 pyramidal neurons not only makes these cells more excitable through GABAA receptor activation...

  3. Amyloid-beta aggregates cause alterations of astrocytic metabolic phenotype: impact on neuronal viability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allaman, Igor; Gavillet, Mathilde; Bélanger, Mireille; Laroche, Thierry; Viertl, David; Lashuel, Hilal A; Magistretti, Pierre J

    2010-03-03

    Amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptides play a key role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease and exert various toxic effects on neurons; however, relatively little is known about their influence on glial cells. Astrocytes play a pivotal role in brain homeostasis, contributing to the regulation of local energy metabolism and oxidative stress defense, two aspects of importance for neuronal viability and function. In the present study, we explored the effects of Abeta peptides on glucose metabolism in cultured astrocytes. Following Abeta(25-35) exposure, we observed an increase in glucose uptake and its various metabolic fates, i.e., glycolysis (coupled to lactate release), tricarboxylic acid cycle, pentose phosphate pathway, and incorporation into glycogen. Abeta increased hydrogen peroxide production as well as glutathione release into the extracellular space without affecting intracellular glutathione content. A causal link between the effects of Abeta on glucose metabolism and its aggregation and internalization into astrocytes through binding to members of the class A scavenger receptor family could be demonstrated. Using astrocyte-neuron cocultures, we observed that the overall modifications of astrocyte metabolism induced by Abeta impair neuronal viability. The effects of the Abeta(25-35) fragment were reproduced by Abeta(1-42) but not by Abeta(1-40). Finally, the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3-kinase) pathway appears to be crucial in these events since both the changes in glucose utilization and the decrease in neuronal viability are prevented by LY294002, a PI3-kinase inhibitor. This set of observations indicates that Abeta aggregation and internalization into astrocytes profoundly alter their metabolic phenotype with deleterious consequences for neuronal viability.

  4. Toxic gain of function from mutant FUS protein is crucial to trigger cell autonomous motor neuron loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scekic-Zahirovic, Jelena; Sendscheid, Oliver; El Oussini, Hajer; Jambeau, Mélanie; Sun, Ying; Mersmann, Sina; Wagner, Marina; Dieterlé, Stéphane; Sinniger, Jérome; Dirrig-Grosch, Sylvie; Drenner, Kevin; Birling, Marie-Christine; Qiu, Jinsong; Zhou, Yu; Li, Hairi; Fu, Xiang-Dong; Rouaux, Caroline; Shelkovnikova, Tatyana; Witting, Anke; Ludolph, Albert C; Kiefer, Friedemann; Storkebaum, Erik; Lagier-Tourenne, Clotilde; Dupuis, Luc

    2016-05-17

    FUS is an RNA-binding protein involved in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Cytoplasmic FUS-containing aggregates are often associated with concomitant loss of nuclear FUS Whether loss of nuclear FUS function, gain of a cytoplasmic function, or a combination of both lead to neurodegeneration remains elusive. To address this question, we generated knockin mice expressing mislocalized cytoplasmic FUS and complete FUS knockout mice. Both mouse models display similar perinatal lethality with respiratory insufficiency, reduced body weight and length, and largely similar alterations in gene expression and mRNA splicing patterns, indicating that mislocalized FUS results in loss of its normal function. However, FUS knockin mice, but not FUS knockout mice, display reduced motor neuron numbers at birth, associated with enhanced motor neuron apoptosis, which can be rescued by cell-specific CRE-mediated expression of wild-type FUS within motor neurons. Together, our findings indicate that cytoplasmic FUS mislocalization not only leads to nuclear loss of function, but also triggers motor neuron death through a toxic gain of function within motor neurons. © 2016 The Authors. Published under the terms of the CC BY NC ND 4.0 license.

  5. Neonatal seizures alter NMDA glutamate receptor GluN2A and 3A subunit expression and function in hippocampal CA1 neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Chengwen; Sun, Hongyu; Klein, Peter M.; Jensen, Frances E.

    2015-01-01

    Neonatal seizures are commonly caused by hypoxic and/or ischemic injury during birth and can lead to long-term epilepsy and cognitive deficits. In a rodent hypoxic seizure (HS) model, we have previously demonstrated a critical role for seizure-induced enhancement of the AMPA subtype of glutamate receptor (GluA) in epileptogenesis and cognitive consequences, in part due to GluA maturational upregulation of expression. Similarly, as the expression and function of the N-Methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) subtype of glutamate receptor (GluN) is also developmentally controlled, we examined how early life seizures during the critical period of synaptogenesis could modify GluN development and function. In a postnatal day (P)10 rat model of neonatal seizures, we found that seizures could alter GluN2/3 subunit composition of GluNs and physiological function of synaptic GluNs. In hippocampal slices removed from rats within 48–96 h following seizures, the amplitudes of synaptic GluN-mediated evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (eEPSCs) were elevated in CA1 pyramidal neurons. Moreover, GluN eEPSCs showed a decreased sensitivity to GluN2B selective antagonists and decreased Mg2+ sensitivity at negative holding potentials, indicating a higher proportion of GluN2A and GluN3A subunit function, respectively. These physiological findings were accompanied by a concurrent increase in GluN2A phosphorylation and GluN3A protein. These results suggest that altered GluN function and expression could potentially contribute to future epileptogenesis following neonatal seizures, and may represent potential therapeutic targets for the blockade of future epileptogenesis in the developing brain. PMID:26441533

  6. Functional characterisation of filamentous actin probe expression in neuronal cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shrujna Patel

    Full Text Available Genetically encoded filamentous actin probes, Lifeact, Utrophin and F-tractin, are used as tools to label the actin cytoskeleton. Recent evidence in several different cell types indicates that these probes can cause changes in filamentous actin dynamics, altering cell morphology and function. Although these probes are commonly used to visualise actin dynamics in neurons, their effects on axonal and dendritic morphology has not been systematically characterised. In this study, we quantitatively analysed the effect of Lifeact, Utrophin and F-tractin on neuronal morphogenesis in primary hippocampal neurons. Our data show that the expression of actin-tracking probes significantly impacts on axonal and dendrite growth these neurons. Lifeact-GFP expression, under the control of a pBABE promoter, caused a significant decrease in total axon length, while another Lifeact-GFP expression, under the control of a CAG promoter, decreased the length and complexity of dendritic trees. Utr261-EGFP resulted in increased dendritic branching but Utr230-EGFP only accumulated in cell soma, without labelling any neurites. Lifeact-7-mEGFP and F-tractin-EGFP in a pEGFP-C1 vector, under the control of a CMV promoter, caused only minor changes in neuronal morphology as detected by Sholl analysis. The results of this study demonstrate the effects that filamentous actin tracking probes can have on the axonal and dendritic compartments of neuronal cells and emphasise the care that must be taken when interpreting data from experiments using these probes.

  7. Trim9 Deletion Alters the Morphogenesis of Developing and Adult-Born Hippocampal Neurons and Impairs Spatial Learning and Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkle, Cortney C; Olsen, Reid H J; Kim, Hyojin; Moy, Sheryl S; Song, Juan; Gupton, Stephanie L

    2016-05-04

    During hippocampal development, newly born neurons migrate to appropriate destinations, extend axons, and ramify dendritic arbors to establish functional circuitry. These developmental stages are recapitulated in the dentate gyrus of the adult hippocampus, where neurons are continuously generated and subsequently incorporate into existing, local circuitry. Here we demonstrate that the E3 ubiquitin ligase TRIM9 regulates these developmental stages in embryonic and adult-born mouse hippocampal neurons in vitro and in vivo Embryonic hippocampal and adult-born dentate granule neurons lacking Trim9 exhibit several morphological defects, including excessive dendritic arborization. Although gross anatomy of the hippocampus was not detectably altered by Trim9 deletion, a significant number of Trim9(-/-) adult-born dentate neurons localized inappropriately. These morphological and localization defects of hippocampal neurons in Trim9(-/-) mice were associated with extreme deficits in spatial learning and memory, suggesting that TRIM9-directed neuronal morphogenesis may be involved in hippocampal-dependent behaviors. Appropriate generation and incorporation of adult-born neurons in the dentate gyrus are critical for spatial learning and memory and other hippocampal functions. Here we identify the brain-enriched E3 ubiquitin ligase TRIM9 as a novel regulator of embryonic and adult hippocampal neuron shape acquisition and hippocampal-dependent behaviors. Genetic deletion of Trim9 elevated dendritic arborization of hippocampal neurons in vitro and in vivo Adult-born dentate granule cells lacking Trim9 similarly exhibited excessive dendritic arborization and mislocalization of cell bodies in vivo These cellular defects were associated with severe deficits in spatial learning and memory. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/364940-19$15.00/0.

  8. GABAB-receptor activation alters the firing pattern of dopamine neurons in the rat substantia nigra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engberg, G; Kling-Petersen, T; Nissbrandt, H

    1993-11-01

    Previous electrophysiological experiments have emphasized the importance of the firing pattern for the functioning of midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons. In this regard, excitatory amino acid receptors appear to constitute an important modulatory control mechanism. In the present study, extracellular recording techniques were used to investigate the significance of GABAB-receptor activation for the firing properties of DA neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) in the rat. Intravenous administration of the GABAB-receptor agonist baclofen (1-16 mg/kg) was associated with a dose-dependent regularization of the firing pattern, concomitant with a reduction in burst firing. At higher doses (16-32 mg/kg), the firing rate of the DA neurons was dose-dependently decreased. Also, microiontophoretic application of baclofen regularized the firing pattern of nigral DA neurons, including a reduction of burst firing. Both the regularization of the firing pattern and inhibition of firing rate produced by systemic baclofen administration was antagonized by the GABAB-receptor antagonist CGP 35348 (200 mg/kg, i.v.). The GABAA-receptor agonist muscimol produced effects on the firing properties of DA neurons that were opposite to those observed following baclofen, i.e., an increase in firing rate accompanied by a decreased regularity. The NMDA receptor antagonist MK 801 (0.4-3.2 mg/kg, i.v.) produced a moderate, dose-dependent increase in the firing rate of the nigral DA neurons as well as a slightly regularized firing pattern. Pretreatment with MK 801 (3.2 mg/kg, i.v., 3-10 min) did neither promote nor prevent the regularization of the firing pattern or inhibition of firing rate on the nigral DA neurons produced by baclofen. The present results clearly show that GABAB-receptors can alter the firing pattern of nigral DA neurons, hereby counterbalancing the previously described ability of glutamate to induce burst firing activity on these neurons.

  9. C75, a fatty acid synthase inhibitor, modulates AMP-activated protein kinase to alter neuronal energy metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landree, Leslie E; Hanlon, Andrea L; Strong, David W; Rumbaugh, Gavin; Miller, Ian M; Thupari, Jagan N; Connolly, Erin C; Huganir, Richard L; Richardson, Christine; Witters, Lee A; Kuhajda, Francis P; Ronnett, Gabriele V

    2004-01-30

    C75, a synthetic inhibitor of fatty acid synthase (FAS), is hypothesized to alter the metabolism of neurons in the hypothalamus that regulate feeding behavior to contribute to the decreased food intake and profound weight loss seen with C75 treatment. In the present study, we characterize the suitability of primary cultures of cortical neurons for studies designed to investigate the consequences of C75 treatment and the alteration of fatty acid metabolism in neurons. We demonstrate that in primary cortical neurons, C75 inhibits FAS activity and stimulates carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1 (CPT-1), consistent with its effects in peripheral tissues. C75 alters neuronal ATP levels and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activity. Neuronal ATP levels are affected in a biphasic manner with C75 treatment, decreasing initially, followed by a prolonged increase above control levels. Cerulenin, a FAS inhibitor, causes a similar biphasic change in ATP levels, although levels do not exceed control. C75 and cerulenin modulate AMPK phosphorylation and activity. TOFA, an inhibitor of acetyl-CoA carboxylase, increases ATP levels, but does not affect AMPK activity. Several downstream pathways are affected by C75 treatment, including glucose metabolism and acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) phosphorylation. These data demonstrate that C75 modulates the levels of energy intermediates, thus, affecting the energy sensor AMPK. Similar effects in hypothalamic neurons could form the basis for the effects of C75 on feeding behavior.

  10. Neuronal redox imbalance results in altered energy homeostasis and early postnatal lethality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maity-Kumar, Gandhari; Thal, Dietmar R; Baumann, Bernd; Scharffetter-Kochanek, Karin; Wirth, Thomas

    2015-07-01

    Redox imbalance is believed to contribute to the development and progression of several neurodegenerative disorders. Our aim was to develop an animal model that exhibits neuron-specific oxidative stress in the CNS to study the consequences and eventually find clues regarding the pathomechanisms of oxidative insults in neuronal homeostasis. We therefore generated a novel neuron-specific superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2)-deficient mouse by deleting exon 3 of the SOD2 gene using CamKIIα promoter-driven Cre expression. These neuron-specific SOD2 knockout (SOD2(nko)) mice, although born at normal frequencies, died at the age of 4 weeks with critical growth retardation, severe energy failure, and several neurologic phenotypes. In addition, SOD2(nko) mice exhibited severe neuronal alterations such as reactive astrogliosis, neuronal cell cycle inhibition, and induction of apoptosis. JNK activation and stabilization of p53, as a result of reactive oxygen species accumulation, are most likely the inducers of neuronal apoptosis in SOD2(nko) mice. It is remarkable that hypothalamic regulation of glucose metabolism was affected, which in turn induced necrotic brain lesions in SOD2(nko) mice. Taken together, our findings suggest that exclusive deficiency of SOD2 in neurons results in an impaired central regulation of energy homeostasis that leads to persistent hypoglycemia, hypoglycemia-related neuropathology, and an early lethality of the mutant mice. © FASEB.

  11. Parallel changes in cortical neuron biochemistry and motor function in protein-energy malnourished adult rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alaverdashvili, Mariam; Hackett, Mark J; Caine, Sally; Paterson, Phyllis G

    2017-04-01

    While protein-energy malnutrition in the adult has been reported to induce motor abnormalities and exaggerate motor deficits caused by stroke, it is not known if alterations in mature cortical neurons contribute to the functional deficits. Therefore, we explored if PEM in adult rats provoked changes in the biochemical profile of neurons in the forelimb and hindlimb regions of the motor cortex. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic imaging using a synchrotron generated light source revealed for the first time altered lipid composition in neurons and subcellular domains (cytosol and nuclei) in a cortical layer and region-specific manner. This change measured by the area under the curve of the δ(CH 2 ) band may indicate modifications in membrane fluidity. These PEM-induced biochemical changes were associated with the development of abnormalities in forelimb use and posture. The findings of this study provide a mechanism by which PEM, if not treated, could exacerbate the course of various neurological disorders and diminish treatment efficacy. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Axonal regeneration and neuronal function are preserved in motor neurons lacking ß-actin in vivo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas R Cheever

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The proper localization of ß-actin mRNA and protein is essential for growth cone guidance and axon elongation in cultured neurons. In addition, decreased levels of ß-actin mRNA and protein have been identified in the growth cones of motor neurons cultured from a mouse model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA, suggesting that ß-actin loss-of-function at growth cones or pre-synaptic nerve terminals could contribute to the pathogenesis of this disease. However, the role of ß-actin in motor neurons in vivo and its potential relevance to disease has yet to be examined. We therefore generated motor neuron specific ß-actin knock-out mice (Actb-MNsKO to investigate the function of ß-actin in motor neurons in vivo. Surprisingly, ß-actin was not required for motor neuron viability or neuromuscular junction maintenance. Skeletal muscle from Actb-MNsKO mice showed no histological indication of denervation and did not significantly differ from controls in several measurements of physiologic function. Finally, motor axon regeneration was unimpaired in Actb-MNsKO mice, suggesting that ß-actin is not required for motor neuron function or regeneration in vivo.

  13. Optogenetic release of norepinephrine from cardiac sympathetic neurons alters mechanical and electrical function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wengrowski, Anastasia M; Wang, Xin; Tapa, Srinivas; Posnack, Nikki Gillum; Mendelowitz, David; Kay, Matthew W

    2015-02-01

    Release of norepinephrine (NE) from sympathetic neurons enhances heart rate (HR) and developed force through activation of β-adrenergic receptors, and this sympathoexcitation is a key risk for the generation of cardiac arrhythmias. Studies of β-adrenergic modulation of cardiac function typically involve the administration of exogenous β-adrenergic receptor agonists to directly elicit global β-adrenergic receptor activation by bypassing the involvement of sympathetic nerve terminals. In this work, we use a novel method to activate sympathetic fibres within the myocardium of Langendorff-perfused hearts while measuring changes in electrical and mechanical function. The light-activated optogenetic protein channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) was expressed in murine catecholaminergic sympathetic neurons. Sympathetic fibres were then photoactivated to examine changes in contractile force, HR, and cardiac electrical activity. Incidence of arrhythmia was measured with and without exposure to photoactivation of sympathetic fibres, and hearts were optically mapped to detect changes in action potential durations and conduction velocities. Results demonstrate facilitation of both developed force and HR after photostimulated release of NE, with increases in contractile force and HR of 34.5 ± 5.5 and 25.0 ± 9.3%, respectively. Photostimulation of sympathetic fibres also made hearts more susceptible to arrhythmia, with greater incidence and severity. In addition, optically mapped action potentials displayed a small but significant shortening of the plateau phase (-5.5 ± 1.0 ms) after photostimulation. This study characterizes a powerful and clinically relevant new model for studies of cardiac arrhythmias generated by increasing the activity of sympathetic nerve terminals and the resulting activation of myocyte β-adrenergic receptors. Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author 2014. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. PIP2 mediates functional coupling and pharmacology of neuronal KCNQ channels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kim, Robin Y; Pless, Stephan A; Kurata, Harley T

    2017-01-01

    Retigabine (RTG) is a first-in-class antiepileptic drug that suppresses neuronal excitability through the activation of voltage-gated KCNQ2-5 potassium channels. Retigabine binds to the pore-forming domain, causing a hyperpolarizing shift in the voltage dependence of channel activation. To elucid......Retigabine (RTG) is a first-in-class antiepileptic drug that suppresses neuronal excitability through the activation of voltage-gated KCNQ2-5 potassium channels. Retigabine binds to the pore-forming domain, causing a hyperpolarizing shift in the voltage dependence of channel activation....... These findings reveal an important role for PIP2 in coupling retigabine binding to altered VSD function. We identify a polybasic motif in the proximal C terminus of retigabine-sensitive KCNQ channels that contributes to VSD-pore coupling via PIP2, and thereby influences the unique gating effects of retigabine....

  15. Mirror neurons: From origin to function

    OpenAIRE

    Cook, R; Bird, G; Catmur, C; Press, C; Heyes, C

    2014-01-01

    This article argues that mirror neurons originate in sensorimotor associative learning and therefore a new approach is needed to investigate their functions. Mirror neurons were discovered about 20 years ago in the monkey brain, and there is now evidence that they are also present in the human brain. The intriguing feature of many mirror neurons is that they fire not only when the animal is performing an action, such as grasping an object using a power grip, but also when the animal passively...

  16. γ-Secretase modulators reduce endogenous amyloid β42 levels in human neural progenitor cells without altering neuronal differentiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    D’Avanzo, Carla; Sliwinski, Christopher; Wagner, Steven L.; Tanzi, Rudolph E.; Kim, Doo Yeon; Kovacs, Dora M.

    2015-01-01

    Soluble γ-secretase modulators (SGSMs) selectively decrease toxic amyloid β (Aβ) peptides (Aβ42). However, their effect on the physiologic functions of γ-secretase has not been tested in human model systems. γ-Secretase regulates fate determination of neural progenitor cells. Thus, we studied the impact of SGSMs on the neuronal differentiation of ReNcell VM (ReN) human neural progenitor cells (hNPCs). Quantitative PCR analysis showed that treatment of neurosphere-like ReN cell aggregate cultures with γ-secretase inhibitors (GSIs), but not SGSMs, induced a 2- to 4-fold increase in the expression of the neuronal markers Tuj1 and doublecortin. GSI treatment also induced neuronal marker protein expression, as shown by Western blot analysis. In the same conditions, SGSM treatment selectively reduced endogenous Aβ42 levels by ∼80%. Mechanistically, we found that Notch target gene expressions were selectively inhibited by a GSI, not by SGSM treatment. We can assert, for the first time, that SGSMs do not affect the neuronal differentiation of hNPCs while selectively decreasing endogenous Aβ42 levels in the same conditions. Our results suggest that our hNPC differentiation system can serve as a useful model to test the impact of GSIs and SGSMs on both endogenous Aβ levels and γ-secretase physiologic functions including endogenous Notch signaling.—D’Avanzo, C., Sliwinski, C., Wagner, S. L., Tanzi, R. E., Kim, D. Y., Kovacs, D. M. γ-Secretase modulators reduce endogenous amyloid β42 levels in human neural progenitor cells without altering neuronal differentiation. PMID:25903103

  17. Β-amyloid 1-42 oligomers impair function of human embryonic stem cell-derived forebrain cholinergic neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linn Wicklund

    Full Text Available Cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's disease (AD patients is associated with a decline in the levels of growth factors, impairment of axonal transport and marked degeneration of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons (BFCNs. Neurogenesis persists in the adult human brain, and the stimulation of regenerative processes in the CNS is an attractive prospect for neuroreplacement therapy in neurodegenerative diseases such as AD. Currently, it is still not clear how the pathophysiological environment in the AD brain affects stem cell biology. Previous studies investigating the effects of the β-amyloid (Aβ peptide on neurogenesis have been inconclusive, since both neurogenic and neurotoxic effects on progenitor cell populations have been reported. In this study, we treated pluripotent human embryonic stem (hES cells with nerve growth factor (NGF as well as with fibrillar and oligomeric Aβ1-40 and Aβ1-42 (nM-µM concentrations and thereafter studied the differentiation in vitro during 28-35 days. The process applied real time quantitative PCR, immunocytochemistry as well as functional studies of intracellular calcium signaling. Treatment with NGF promoted the differentiation into functionally mature BFCNs. In comparison to untreated cells, oligomeric Aβ1-40 increased the number of functional neurons, whereas oligomeric Aβ1-42 suppressed the number of functional neurons. Interestingly, oligomeric Aβ exposure did not influence the number of hES cell-derived neurons compared with untreated cells, while in contrast fibrillar Aβ1-40 and Aβ1-42 induced gliogenesis. These findings indicate that Aβ1-42 oligomers may impair the function of stem cell-derived neurons. We propose that it may be possible for future AD therapies to promote the maturation of functional stem cell-derived neurons by altering the brain microenvironment with trophic support and by targeting different aggregation forms of Aβ.

  18. Acute intermittent hypoxia and rehabilitative training following cervical spinal injury alters neuronal hypoxia- and plasticity-associated protein expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassan, Atiq; Arnold, Breanna M; Caine, Sally; Toosi, Behzad M; Verge, Valerie M K; Muir, Gillian D

    2018-01-01

    One of the most promising approaches to improve recovery after spinal cord injury (SCI) is the augmentation of spontaneously occurring plasticity in uninjured neural pathways. Acute intermittent hypoxia (AIH, brief exposures to reduced O2 levels alternating with normal O2 levels) initiates plasticity in respiratory systems and has been shown to improve recovery in respiratory and non-respiratory spinal systems after SCI in experimental animals and humans. Although the mechanism by which AIH elicits its effects after SCI are not well understood, AIH is known to alter protein expression in spinal neurons in uninjured animals. Here, we examine hypoxia- and plasticity-related protein expression using immunofluorescence in spinal neurons in SCI rats that were treated with AIH combined with motor training, a protocol which has been demonstrated to improve recovery of forelimb function in this lesion model. Specifically, we assessed protein expression in spinal neurons from animals with incomplete cervical SCI which were exposed to AIH treatment + motor training either for 1 or 7 days. AIH treatment consisted of 10 episodes of AIH: (5 min 11% O2: 5 min 21% O2) for 7 days beginning at 4 weeks post-SCI. Both 1 or 7 days of AIH treatment + motor training resulted in significantly increased expression of the transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) relative to normoxia-treated controls, in neurons both proximal (cervical) and remote (lumbar) to the SCI. All other markers examined were significantly elevated in the 7 day AIH + motor training group only, at both cervical and lumbar levels. These markers included vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and phosphorylated and nonphosphorylated forms of the BDNF receptor tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB). In summary, AIH induces plasticity at the cellular level after SCI by altering the expression of major plasticity- and hypoxia-related proteins at spinal regions

  19. Toxic effects of lead on neuronal development and function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Freedman, R.; Olson, L.; Hoffer, B.J.

    1990-01-01

    The effects of lead on the development of the nervous system are of immediate concern to human health. While it is clear that lead can affect neuronal development at levels of exposure within the range found in the environment, the particular mechanism of the disruption is not readily ascertained. The goal of the authors research is to develop a model system in which the effects of lead on central nervous system development can be demonstrated. To study neuronal development in a system that minimizes such difficulties, the authors have grafted discrete brain regions derived from rat fetuses into the anterior chamber of the eye of adult hosts. The brain pieces continue organotypic development in the eye, but are isolated from possible secondary changes due to alterations in the development of the endocrine and other somatic systems because the adult host has these systems already fully developed. Using this system, they have discovered that lead induces a hypernoradrenergic innervation of central nervous system tissue. The increased innervation is observed not only structurally, but also functionally. Since norepinephrine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, this ingrowth may explain the profound slowing of discharge of cerebellar neurons recorded in grafts of lead-treated animals. Studies in other tissues suggest that increased axonal ingrowth may be a general problem of lead intoxication that encompasses many brain areas, as well as peripheral sympathetic systems

  20. Mirror neurons: functions, mechanisms and models.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-12

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Born, D.E.

    1986-01-01

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

  2. Multivesicular Bodies in Neurons: Distribution, Protein Content, and Trafficking Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    VON BARTHELD, CHRISTOPHER S.; ALTICK, AMY L.

    2011-01-01

    Summary Multivesicular bodies (MVBs) are intracellular endosomal organelles characterized by multiple internal vesicles that are enclosed within a single outer membrane. MVBs were initially regarded as purely prelysosomal structures along the degradative endosomal pathway of internalized proteins. MVBs are now known to be involved in numerous endocytic and trafficking functions, including protein sorting, recycling, transport, storage, and release. This review of neuronal MVBs summarizes their research history, morphology, distribution, accumulation of cargo and constitutive proteins, transport, and theories of functions of MVBs in neurons and glia. Due to their complex morphologies, neurons have expanded trafficking and signaling needs, beyond those of “geometrically simpler” cells, but it is not known whether neuronal MVBs perform additional transport and signaling functions. This review examines the concept of compartment-specific MVB functions in endosomal protein trafficking and signaling within synapses, axons, dendrites and cell bodies. We critically evaluate reports of the accumulation of neuronal MVBs based on evidence of stress-induced MVB formation. Furthermore, we discuss potential functions of neuronal and glial MVBs in development, in dystrophic neuritic syndromes, injury, disease, and aging. MVBs may play a role in Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and Niemann-Pick diseases, some types of frontotemporal dementia, prion and virus trafficking, as well as in adaptive responses of neurons to trauma and toxin or drug exposure. Functions of MVBs in neurons have been much neglected, and major gaps in knowledge currently exist. Developing truly MVB-specific markers would help to elucidate the roles of neuronal MVBs in intra- and intercellular signaling of normal and diseased neurons. PMID:21216273

  3. Regulatory Mechanisms Controlling Maturation of Serotonin Neuron Identity and Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spencer, William C; Deneris, Evan S

    2017-01-01

    The brain serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) system has been extensively studied for its role in normal physiology and behavior, as well as, neuropsychiatric disorders. The broad influence of 5-HT on brain function, is in part due to the vast connectivity pattern of 5-HT-producing neurons throughout the CNS. 5-HT neurons are born and terminally specified midway through embryogenesis, then enter a protracted period of maturation, where they functionally integrate into CNS circuitry and then are maintained throughout life. The transcriptional regulatory networks controlling progenitor cell generation and terminal specification of 5-HT neurons are relatively well-understood, yet the factors controlling 5-HT neuron maturation are only recently coming to light. In this review, we first provide an update on the regulatory network controlling 5-HT neuron development, then delve deeper into the properties and regulatory strategies governing 5-HT neuron maturation. In particular, we discuss the role of the 5-HT neuron terminal selector transcription factor (TF) Pet-1 as a key regulator of 5-HT neuron maturation. Pet-1 was originally shown to positively regulate genes needed for 5-HT synthesis, reuptake and vesicular transport, hence 5-HT neuron-type transmitter identity. It has now been shown to regulate, both positively and negatively, many other categories of genes in 5-HT neurons including ion channels, GPCRs, transporters, neuropeptides, and other transcription factors. Its function as a terminal selector results in the maturation of 5-HT neuron excitability, firing characteristics, and synaptic modulation by several neurotransmitters. Furthermore, there is a temporal requirement for Pet-1 in the control of postmitotic gene expression trajectories thus indicating a direct role in 5-HT neuron maturation. Proper regulation of the maturation of cellular identity is critical for normal neuronal functioning and perturbations in the gene regulatory networks controlling

  4. Nonenzymatic glucosylation of neuronal calmodulin and its functional consequences

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kowluru, R.A.; Kowluru, A.; Bitensky, M.W.

    1986-01-01

    Glucosylation (NEG) (nonenzymatic) of proteins is a posttranslational protein modification that occurs readily in the diabetic environment. As a consequence of NEG some proteins are known to undergo a change in function. Their studies of red blood cell (RBC) cytoskeletal proteins indicate that calmodulin is glucosylated in the diabetic RBC and this is followed by a change in function. Here they present new data in support of their earlier findings. Purified bovine brain calmodulin was glucosylated in vitro in the presence of 28 mM glucose. After six days of incubation at room temperature 2.75 moles of glucose were incorporated per mole of calmodulin. Glucosylated calmodulin exhibited a marked reduction in calcium dependent functions. Its ability to stimulate neuronal phosphodiesterase (PDE) and adenylate cyclase was reduced by 65 and 80% respectively. Its ability to stimulate rat brain protein kinase was reduced by 40%. Glucosylated calmodulin exhibited a 56% drop in its 45 Ca binding as compared with unmodified calmodulin. These data provide an additional example in which NEG markedly alters protein function

  5. Selective alterations of neurons and circuits related to early memory loss in Alzheimer's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María eLlorens-Martín

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available A progressive loss of episodic memory is a well-known clinical symptom that characterizes Alzheimer’s disease (AD. The beginning of this loss of memory has been associated with the very early, pathological accumulation of tau and neuronal degeneration observed in the entorhinal cortex (EC. Tau-related pathology is thought to then spread progressively to the hippocampal formation and other brain areas as the disease progresses. The major cortical afferent source of the hippocampus and dentate gyrus is the EC through the perforant pathway. At least two main circuits participate in the connection between EC and the hippocampus; one originating in layer II and the other in layer III of the EC giving rise to the classical trisynaptic (ECII→dentate gyrus→CA3→CA1 and monosynaptic (ECIII→CA1 circuits. Thus, the study of the early pathological changes in these circuits is of great interest. In this review, we will discuss mainly the alterations of the granule cell neurons of the dentate gyrus and the atrophy of CA1 pyramidal neurons that occur in AD in relation to the possible differential alterations of these two main circuits.

  6. The role of MAC1 in diesel exhaust particle-induced microglial activation and loss of dopaminergic neuron function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levesque, Shannon; Taetzsch, Thomas; Lull, Melinda E; Johnson, Jo Anne; McGraw, Constance; Block, Michelle L

    2013-06-01

    Increasing reports support that air pollution causes neuroinflammation and is linked to central nervous system (CNS) disease/damage. Diesel exhaust particles (DEP) are a major component of urban air pollution, which has been linked to microglial activation and Parkinson's disease-like pathology. To begin to address how DEP may exert CNS effects, microglia and neuron-glia cultures were treated with either nanometer-sized DEP (neuron function was assessed. All three treatments showed enhanced ameboid microglia morphology, increased H2 O2 production, and decreased DA uptake. Mechanistic inquiry revealed that the scavenger receptor inhibitor fucoidan blocked DEP internalization in microglia, but failed to alter DEP-induced H2 O2 production in microglia. However, pre-treatment with the MAC1/CD11b inhibitor antibody blocked microglial H2 O2 production in response to DEP. MAC1(-/-) mesencephalic neuron-glia cultures were protected from DEP-induced loss of DA neuron function, as measured by DA uptake. These findings support that DEP may activate microglia through multiple mechanisms, where scavenger receptors regulate internalization of DEP and the MAC1 receptor is mandatory for both DEP-induced microglial H2 O2 production and loss of DA neuron function. © 2013 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  7. Electrophysiological Assessment of Serotonin and GABA Neuron Function in the Dorsal Raphe during the Third Trimester Equivalent Developmental Period in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morton, Russell A; Yanagawa, Yuchio; Valenzuela, C Fernando

    2015-01-01

    Alterations in the development of the serotonin system can have prolonged effects, including depression and anxiety disorders later in life. Serotonin axonal projections from the dorsal raphe undergo extensive refinement during the first 2 weeks of postnatal life in rodents (equivalent to the third trimester of human pregnancy). However, little is known about the functional properties of serotonin and GABA neurons in the dorsal raphe during this critical developmental period. We assessed the functional properties and synaptic connectivity of putative serotoninergic neurons and GABAergic neurons in the dorsal raphe during early [postnatal day (P) P5-P7] and late (P15-P17) stages of the third trimester equivalent period using electrophysiology. Our studies demonstrate that GABAergic neurons are hyperexcitable at P5-P7 relative to P15-P17. Furthermore, putative serotonin neurons exhibit an increase in both excitatory and GABAA receptor-mediated spontaneous postsynaptic currents during this developmental period. Our data suggest that GABAergic neurons and putative serotonin neurons undergo significant electrophysiological changes during neonatal development.

  8. Magnocellular Neurons and Posterior Pituitary Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Colin H

    2016-09-15

    The posterior pituitary gland secretes oxytocin and vasopressin (the antidiuretic hormone) into the blood system. Oxytocin is required for normal delivery of the young and for delivery of milk to the young during lactation. Vasopressin increases water reabsorption in the kidney to maintain body fluid balance and causes vasoconstriction to increase blood pressure. Oxytocin and vasopressin secretion occurs from the axon terminals of magnocellular neurons whose cell bodies are principally found in the hypothalamic supraoptic nucleus and paraventricular nucleus. The physiological functions of oxytocin and vasopressin depend on their secretion, which is principally determined by the pattern of action potentials initiated at the cell bodies. Appropriate secretion of oxytocin and vasopressin to meet the challenges of changing physiological conditions relies mainly on integration of afferent information on reproductive, osmotic, and cardiovascular status with local regulation of magnocellular neurons by glia as well as intrinsic regulation by the magnocellular neurons themselves. This review focuses on the control of magnocellular neuron activity with a particular emphasis on their regulation by reproductive function, body fluid balance, and cardiovascular status. © 2016 American Physiological Society. Compr Physiol 6:1701-1741, 2016. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  9. Maternal mobile phone exposure alters intrinsic electrophysiological properties of CA1 pyramidal neurons in rat offspring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razavinasab, Moazamehosadat; Moazzami, Kasra; Shabani, Mohammad

    2016-06-01

    Some studies have shown that exposure to electromagnetic field (EMF) may result in structural damage to neurons. In this study, we have elucidated the alteration in the hippocampal function of offspring Wistar rats (n = 8 rats in each group) that were chronically exposed to mobile phones during their gestational period by applying behavioral, histological, and electrophysiological tests. Rats in the EMF group were exposed to 900 MHz pulsed-EMF irradiation for 6 h/day. Whole cell recordings in hippocampal pyramidal cells in the mobile phone groups did show a decrease in neuronal excitability. Mobile phone exposure was mostly associated with a decrease in the number of action potentials fired in spontaneous activity and in response to current injection in both male and female groups. There was an increase in the amplitude of the afterhyperpolarization (AHP) in mobile phone rats compared with the control. The results of the passive avoidance and Morris water maze assessment of learning and memory performance showed that phone exposure significantly altered learning acquisition and memory retention in male and female rats compared with the control rats. Light microscopy study of brain sections of the control and mobile phone-exposed rats showed normal morphology.Our results suggest that exposure to mobile phones adversely affects the cognitive performance of both female and male offspring rats using behavioral and electrophysiological techniques. © The Author(s) 2014.

  10. Selective alterations of NMDAR function and plasticity in D1 and D2 medium spiny neurons in the nucleus accumbens shell following chronic intermittent ethanol exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renteria, Rafael; Maier, Esther Y; Buske, Tavanna R; Morrisett, Richard A

    2017-01-01

    A major mouse model widely adopted in recent years to induce pronounced ethanol intake is the ethanol vapor model known as "CIE" or "Chronic Intermittent Ethanol." One critical question concerning this model is whether the rapid induction of high blood ethanol levels for such short time periods is sufficient to induce alterations in N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) function which may contribute to excessive ethanol intake. In this study, we determined whether such short term intermittent ethanol exposure modulates NMDAR function as well as other prominent electrophysiological properties and the expression of plasticity in both D1 (D1+) and D2 (D1-) dopamine receptor expressing medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell. To distinguish between the two subtypes of MSNs in the NAc we treated Drd1a-TdTomato transgenic mice with CIE vapor and electrophysiological recordings were conducted 24 h after the last vapor exposure. To investigate CIE induced alterations in plasticity, long-term depression (LTD) was induced by pairing low frequency stimulation (LFS) with post synaptic depolarization. In ethanol naïve mice, LFS induced synaptic depression (LTD) was apparent exclusively in D1+ MSNs. Whereas in slices prepared from CIE treated mice, LFS induced synaptic potentiation (LTP) in D1+ MSNs. Furthermore, following CIE exposure, LFS now produced LTD in D1- MSNs. We found that CIE exposure induced an increase in excitability in D1+ MSNs with no change in D1- MSNs. After CIE, we found a significant increase in spontaneous EPSCs (sEPSCs) frequency in D1+ but not D1- MSNs suggesting alterations in baseline α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPAR) mediated signaling. CIE induced changes in NMDAR function were measured using the NMDA/AMPA ratio and input-output curves of isolated NMDAR currents. We observed a significant increase in NMDAR function in D1+ MSNs and a decrease in D1- MSNs after ethanol vapor exposure. The

  11. Prepubertal Development of Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Neuron Activity Is Altered by Sex, Age, and Prenatal Androgen Exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dulka, Eden A; Moenter, Suzanne M

    2017-11-01

    Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons regulate reproduction though pulsatile hormone release. Disruption of GnRH release as measured via luteinizing hormone (LH) pulses occurs in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and in young hyperandrogenemic girls. In adult prenatally androgenized (PNA) mice, which exhibit many aspects of PCOS, increased LH is associated with increased GnRH neuron action potential firing. How GnRH neuron activity develops over the prepubertal period and whether this is altered by sex or prenatal androgen treatment are unknown. We hypothesized GnRH neurons are active before puberty and that this activity is sexually differentiated and altered by PNA. Dams were injected with dihydrotestosterone (DHT) on days 16 to 18 post copulation to generate PNA mice. Action potential firing of GFP-identified GnRH neurons in brain slices from 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-week-old and adult mice was monitored. GnRH neurons were active at all ages tested. In control females, activity increased with age through 3 weeks, then decreased to adult levels. In contrast, activity did not change in PNA females and was reduced at 3 weeks. Activity was higher in control females than males from 2 to 3 weeks. PNA did not affect GnRH neuron firing rate in males at any age. Short-term action potential patterns were also affected by age and PNA treatment. GnRH neurons are thus typically more active during the prepubertal period than adulthood, and PNA reduces prepubertal activity in females. Prepubertal activity may play a role in establishing sexually differentiated neuronal networks upstream of GnRH neurons; androgen-induced changes during this time may contribute to the adult PNA, and possibly PCOS, phenotype. Copyright © 2017 Endocrine Society.

  12. Functional circuits of new neurons in the dentate gyrus

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    Carmen eVivar

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available The hippocampus is crucial for memory formation. New neurons are added throughout life to the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG, a brain area considered important for differential storage of similar experiences and contexts. To better understand the functional contribution of adult neurogenesis to pattern separation processes, we recently used a novel synapse specific trans-neuronal tracing approach to identify the (sub cortical inputs to new dentate granule cells. It was observed that newly born neurons receive sequential innervation from structures important for memory function. Initially, septal-hippocampal cells provide input to new neurons, followed after about one month by perirhinal and lateral entorhinal cortex. These cortical areas are deemed relevant to encoding of novel environmental information and may enable pattern separation. Here, we review the developmental time-course and proposed functional relevance of new neurons, within the context of their unique neural circuitry.  

  13. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 are not required for GnRH neuron development and normal female reproductive axis function in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wierman, Margaret E; Xu, Mei; Pierce, A; Bliesner, B; Bliss, S P; Roberson, M S

    2012-01-01

    Selective deletion of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1 and ERK2 in the pituitary gonadotrope and ovarian granulosa cells disrupts female reproductive axis function. Thus, we asked if ERK1 and ERK2 are critical for GnRH neuron ontogeny or the central control of female reproductive function. GnRH-Cre-recombinase (Cre+) expressing mice were crossed with mice with a global deletion of ERK1 and a floxed ERK2 allele (Erk1-/Erk2fl/fl) to selectively delete ERK2 in GnRH neurons. Cre-recombinase mRNA was selectively expressed in the brain of Cre+ mice. GnRH neuron number and location were determined during embryogenesis and in the adult. GnRH neuron counts at E15 did not differ between experimental and control groups (1,198 ± 65 and 1,160 ± 80 respectively, p = NS). In adults, numbers of GnRH neurons in the GnRHCre+Erk1-/Erk2- mice (741 ± 157) were similar to those in controls (756 ± 7), without alteration in their distribution across the forebrain. ERK1 and 2 deficiency did not alter the timing of vaginal opening, age at first estrus, or estrous cyclicity. Although ERK1 and 2 are components of a dominant signaling pathway in GnRH neuronal cells that modulates survival and control of GnRH gene expression, other signaling pathways compensate for their deletion in vivo to allow GnRH neuron survival and targeting and normal onset of female sexual maturation and reproductive function. In contrast to effects at the pituitary and the ovary, ERK1 and ERK2 are dispensable at the level of the GnRH neuron. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  14. Proliferative hypothalamic neurospheres express NPY, AGRP, POMC, CART and Orexin-A and differentiate to functional neurons.

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    Lígia Sousa-Ferreira

    Full Text Available Some pathological conditions with feeding pattern alterations, including obesity and Huntington disease (HD are associated with hypothalamic dysfunction and neuronal cell death. Additionally, the hypothalamus is a neurogenic region with the constitutive capacity to generate new cells of neuronal lineage, in adult rodents. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the expression of feeding-related neuropeptides in hypothalamic progenitor cells and their capacity to differentiate to functional neurons which have been described to be affected by hypothalamic dysfunction. Our study shows that hypothalamic progenitor cells from rat embryos grow as floating neurospheres and express the feeding-related neuropeptides Neuropeptide Y (NPY, Agouti-related Protein (AGRP, Pro-OpioMelanocortin (POMC, Cocaine-and-Amphetamine Responsive Transcript (CART and Orexin-A/Hypocretin-1. Moreover the relative mRNA expression of NPY and POMC increases during the expansion of hypothalamic neurospheres in proliferative conditions.Mature neurons were obtained from the differentiation of hypothalamic progenitor cells including NPY, AGRP, POMC, CART and Orexin-A positive neurons. Furthermore the relative mRNA expression of NPY, CART and Orexin-A increases after the differentiation of hypothalamic neurospheres. Similarly to the adult hypothalamic neurons the neurospheres-derived neurons express the glutamate transporter EAAT3. The orexigenic and anorexigenic phenotype of these neurons was identified by functional response to ghrelin and leptin hormones, respectively. This work demonstrates the presence of appetite-related neuropeptides in hypothalamic progenitor cells and neurons obtained from the differentiation of hypothalamic neurospheres, including the neuronal phenotypes that have been described by others as being affected by hypothalamic neurodegeneration. These in vitro models can be used to study hypothalamic progenitor cells aiming a therapeutic intervention to

  15. Neuronal vacuolation and spinocerebellar degeneration associated with altered neurotransmission

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    Aggeliki Giannakopoulou

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Inherited neurodegenerative disorders are debilitating diseases that occur across different species, such as the domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris, and many are caused by mutations in the same genes as corresponding human conditions. In the present study, we report an inherited neurodegenerative condition, termed ‘neuronal vacuolation and spinocerebellar degeneration’ (NVSD which affects neonatal or young dogs, mainly Rottweilers, which recently has been linked with the homozygosity for the RAB3GAP1:c.743delC allele. Mutations in human RAB3GAP1 cause Warburg micro syndrome (WARBM, a severe developmental disorder characterized predominantly by abnormalities of the nervous system including axonal peripheral neuropathy. RAB3GAP1 encodes the catalytic subunit of a GTPase activator protein and guanine exchange factor for Rab3 and Rab18 proteins, respectively. Rab proteins are involved in membrane trafficking in the endoplasmic reticulum, autophagy, axonal transport and synaptic transmission. The present study attempts to carry out a detailed histopathological examination of NVSD disease, extending from peripheral nerves to lower brain structures focusing on the neurotransmitter alterations noted in the cerebellum, the major structure affected. NVSD dogs presented with progressive cerebellar ataxia and some clinical manifestations that recapitulate the WARBM phenotype. Neuropathological examination revealed dystrophic axons, neurodegeneration and intracellular vacuolization in specific nuclei. In the cerebellum, severe vacuolation of cerebellar nuclei neurons, atrophy of Purkinje cells, and diminishing of GABAergic and glutamatergic fibres constitute the most striking lesions. The balance of evidence suggests that the neuropathological lesions are a reaction to the altered neurotransmission. The canine phenotype could serve as a model to delineate the disease-causing pathological mechanisms in RAB3GAP1 mutation.

  16. The transfer function of neuron spike.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmieri, Igor; Monteiro, Luiz H A; Miranda, Maria D

    2015-08-01

    The mathematical modeling of neuronal signals is a relevant problem in neuroscience. The complexity of the neuron behavior, however, makes this problem a particularly difficult task. Here, we propose a discrete-time linear time-invariant (LTI) model with a rational function in order to represent the neuronal spike detected by an electrode located in the surroundings of the nerve cell. The model is presented as a cascade association of two subsystems: one that generates an action potential from an input stimulus, and one that represents the medium between the cell and the electrode. The suggested approach employs system identification and signal processing concepts, and is dissociated from any considerations about the biophysical processes of the neuronal cell, providing a low-complexity alternative to model the neuronal spike. The model is validated by using in vivo experimental readings of intracellular and extracellular signals. A computational simulation of the model is presented in order to assess its proximity to the neuronal signal and to observe the variability of the estimated parameters. The implications of the results are discussed in the context of spike sorting. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Toward functional classification of neuronal types.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharpee, Tatyana O

    2014-09-17

    How many types of neurons are there in the brain? This basic neuroscience question remains unsettled despite many decades of research. Classification schemes have been proposed based on anatomical, electrophysiological, or molecular properties. However, different schemes do not always agree with each other. This raises the question of whether one can classify neurons based on their function directly. For example, among sensory neurons, can a classification scheme be devised that is based on their role in encoding sensory stimuli? Here, theoretical arguments are outlined for how this can be achieved using information theory by looking at optimal numbers of cell types and paying attention to two key properties: correlations between inputs and noise in neural responses. This theoretical framework could help to map the hierarchical tree relating different neuronal classes within and across species. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Neuronal medium that supports basic synaptic functions and activity of human neurons in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bardy, Cedric; van den Hurk, Mark; Eames, Tameji; Marchand, Cynthia; Hernandez, Ruben V; Kellogg, Mariko; Gorris, Mark; Galet, Ben; Palomares, Vanessa; Brown, Joshua; Bang, Anne G; Mertens, Jerome; Böhnke, Lena; Boyer, Leah; Simon, Suzanne; Gage, Fred H

    2015-05-19

    Human cell reprogramming technologies offer access to live human neurons from patients and provide a new alternative for modeling neurological disorders in vitro. Neural electrical activity is the essence of nervous system function in vivo. Therefore, we examined neuronal activity in media widely used to culture neurons. We found that classic basal media, as well as serum, impair action potential generation and synaptic communication. To overcome this problem, we designed a new neuronal medium (BrainPhys basal + serum-free supplements) in which we adjusted the concentrations of inorganic salts, neuroactive amino acids, and energetic substrates. We then tested that this medium adequately supports neuronal activity and survival of human neurons in culture. Long-term exposure to this physiological medium also improved the proportion of neurons that were synaptically active. The medium was designed to culture human neurons but also proved adequate for rodent neurons. The improvement in BrainPhys basal medium to support neurophysiological activity is an important step toward reducing the gap between brain physiological conditions in vivo and neuronal models in vitro.

  19. Neuron-specific feeding RNAi in C. elegans and its use in a screen for essential genes required for GABA neuron function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firnhaber, Christopher; Hammarlund, Marc

    2013-11-01

    Forward genetic screens are important tools for exploring the genetic requirements for neuronal function. However, conventional forward screens often have difficulty identifying genes whose relevant functions are masked by pleiotropy. In particular, if loss of gene function results in sterility, lethality, or other severe pleiotropy, neuronal-specific functions cannot be readily analyzed. Here we describe a method in C. elegans for generating cell-specific knockdown in neurons using feeding RNAi and its application in a screen for the role of essential genes in GABAergic neurons. We combine manipulations that increase the sensitivity of select neurons to RNAi with manipulations that block RNAi in other cells. We produce animal strains in which feeding RNAi results in restricted gene knockdown in either GABA-, acetylcholine-, dopamine-, or glutamate-releasing neurons. In these strains, we observe neuron cell-type specific behavioral changes when we knock down genes required for these neurons to function, including genes encoding the basal neurotransmission machinery. These reagents enable high-throughput, cell-specific knockdown in the nervous system, facilitating rapid dissection of the site of gene action and screening for neuronal functions of essential genes. Using the GABA-specific RNAi strain, we screened 1,320 RNAi clones targeting essential genes on chromosomes I, II, and III for their effect on GABA neuron function. We identified 48 genes whose GABA cell-specific knockdown resulted in reduced GABA motor output. This screen extends our understanding of the genetic requirements for continued neuronal function in a mature organism.

  20. Chemically Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes as Substrates for Neuronal Growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Hui; Ni, Yingchun; Montana, Vedrana; Haddon, Robert C.; Parpura, Vladimir

    2009-01-01

    We report the use of chemically modified carbon nanotubes as a substrate for cultured neurons. The morphological features of neurons that directly reflect their potential capability in synaptic transmission are characterized. The chemical properties of carbon nanotubes are systematically varied by attaching different functional groups that confer known characteristics to the substrate. By manipulating the charge carried by functionalized carbon nanotubes we are able to control the outgrowth and branching pattern of neuronal processes. PMID:21394241

  1. Cytoskeleton Molecular Motors: Structures and Their Functions in Neuron.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Qingpin; Hu, Xiaohui; Wei, Zhiyi; Tam, Kin Yip

    2016-01-01

    Cells make use of molecular motors to transport small molecules, macromolecules and cellular organelles to target region to execute biological functions, which is utmost important for polarized cells, such as neurons. In particular, cytoskeleton motors play fundamental roles in neuron polarization, extension, shape and neurotransmission. Cytoskeleton motors comprise of myosin, kinesin and cytoplasmic dynein. F-actin filaments act as myosin track, while kinesin and cytoplasmic dynein move on microtubules. Cytoskeleton motors work together to build a highly polarized and regulated system in neuronal cells via different molecular mechanisms and functional regulations. This review discusses the structures and working mechanisms of the cytoskeleton motors in neurons.

  2. Subthalamic nucleus high-frequency stimulation restores altered electrophysiological properties of cortical neurons in parkinsonian rat.

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    Bertrand Degos

    Full Text Available Electrophysiological recordings performed in parkinsonian patients and animal models have confirmed the occurrence of alterations in firing rate and pattern of basal ganglia neurons, but the outcome of these changes in thalamo-cortical networks remains unclear. Using rats rendered parkinsonian, we investigated, at a cellular level in vivo, the electrophysiological changes induced in the pyramidal cells of the motor cortex by the dopaminergic transmission interruption and further characterized the impact of high-frequency electrical stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus, a procedure alleviating parkinsonian symptoms. We provided evidence that a lesion restricted to the substantia nigra pars compacta resulted in a marked increase in the mean firing rate and bursting pattern of pyramidal neurons of the motor cortex. These alterations were underlain by changes of the electrical membranes properties of pyramidal cells including depolarized resting membrane potential and increased input resistance. The modifications induced by the dopaminergic loss were more pronounced in cortico-striatal than in cortico-subthalamic neurons. Furthermore, subthalamic nucleus high-frequency stimulation applied at parameters alleviating parkinsonian signs regularized the firing pattern of pyramidal cells and restored their electrical membrane properties.

  3. Neuronal medium that supports basic synaptic functions and activity of human neurons in vitro

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bardy, C.; Hurk, M. van den; Eames, T.; Marchand, C.; Hernandez, R.V.; Kellogg, M.; Gorris, M.A.J.; Galet, B.; Palomares, V.; Brown, J.; Bang, A.G.; Mertens, J.; Bohnke, L.; Boyer, L.; Simon, S.; Gage, F.H.

    2015-01-01

    Human cell reprogramming technologies offer access to live human neurons from patients and provide a new alternative for modeling neurological disorders in vitro. Neural electrical activity is the essence of nervous system function in vivo. Therefore, we examined neuronal activity in media widely

  4. Layer 5 Callosal Parvalbumin-Expressing Neurons: A Distinct Functional Group of GABAergic Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zurita, Hector; Feyen, Paul L C; Apicella, Alfonso Junior

    2018-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that parvalbumin-expressing neurons (CC-Parv neurons) connect the two hemispheres of motor and sensory areas via the corpus callosum, and are a functional part of the cortical circuit. Here we test the hypothesis that layer 5 CC-Parv neurons possess anatomical and molecular mechanisms which dampen excitability and modulate the gating of interhemispheric inhibition. In order to investigate this hypothesis we use viral tracing to determine the anatomical and electrophysiological properties of layer 5 CC-Parv and parvalbumin-expressing (Parv) neurons of the mouse auditory cortex (AC). Here we show that layer 5 CC-Parv neurons had larger dendritic fields characterized by longer dendrites that branched farther from the soma, whereas layer 5 Parv neurons had smaller dendritic fields characterized by shorter dendrites that branched nearer to the soma. The layer 5 CC-Parv neurons are characterized by delayed action potential (AP) responses to threshold currents, lower firing rates, and lower instantaneous frequencies compared to the layer 5 Parv neurons. Kv1.1 containing K + channels are the main source of the AP repolarization of the layer 5 CC-Parv and have a major role in determining both the spike delayed response, firing rate and instantaneous frequency of these neurons.

  5. Manipulating the Cellular Circadian Period of Arginine Vasopressin Neurons Alters the Behavioral Circadian Period.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mieda, Michihiro; Okamoto, Hitoshi; Sakurai, Takeshi

    2016-09-26

    As the central pacemaker in mammals, the circadian clock in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus is a heterogeneous structure consisting of multiple types of GABAergic neurons with distinct chemical identities [1, 2]. Although individual cells have a cellular clock driven by autoregulatory transcriptional/translational feedback loops of clock genes, interneuronal communication among SCN clock neurons is likely essential for the SCN to generate a highly robust, coherent circadian rhythm [1]. However, neuronal mechanisms that determine circadian period length remain unclear. The SCN is composed of two subdivisions: a ventral core region containing vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP)-producing neurons and a dorsal shell region characterized by arginine vasopressin (AVP)-producing neurons. Here we examined whether AVP neurons act as pacemaker cells that regulate the circadian period of behavior rhythm in mice. The deletion of casein kinase 1 delta (CK1δ) specific to AVP neurons, which was expected to lengthen the period of cellular clocks [3-6], lengthened the free-running period of circadian behavior as well. Conversely, the overexpression of CK1δ specific to SCN AVP neurons shortened the free-running period. PER2::LUC imaging in slices confirmed that cellular circadian periods of the SCN shell were lengthened in mice without CK1δ in AVP neurons. Thus, AVP neurons may be an essential component of circadian pacemaker cells in the SCN. Remarkably, the alteration of the shell-core phase relationship in the SCN of these mice did not impair the generation per se of circadian behavior rhythm, thereby underscoring the robustness of the SCN network. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Catenin-dependent cadherin function drives divisional segregation of spinal motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bello, Sanusi M; Millo, Hadas; Rajebhosale, Manisha; Price, Stephen R

    2012-01-11

    Motor neurons that control limb movements are organized as a neuronal nucleus in the developing ventral horn of the spinal cord called the lateral motor column. Neuronal migration segregates motor neurons into distinct lateral and medial divisions within the lateral motor column that project axons to dorsal or ventral limb targets, respectively. This migratory phase is followed by an aggregation phase whereby motor neurons within a division that project to the same muscle cluster together. These later phases of motor neuron organization depend on limb-regulated differential cadherin expression within motor neurons. Initially, all motor neurons display the same cadherin expression profile, which coincides with the migratory phase of motor neuron segregation. Here, we show that this early, pan-motor neuron cadherin function drives the divisional segregation of spinal motor neurons in the chicken embryo by controlling motor neuron migration. We manipulated pan-motor neuron cadherin function through dissociation of cadherin binding to their intracellular partners. We found that of the major intracellular transducers of cadherin signaling, γ-catenin and α-catenin predominate in the lateral motor column. In vivo manipulations that uncouple cadherin-catenin binding disrupt divisional segregation via deficits in motor neuron migration. Additionally, reduction of the expression of cadherin-7, a cadherin predominantly expressed in motor neurons only during their migration, also perturbs divisional segregation. Our results show that γ-catenin-dependent cadherin function is required for spinal motor neuron migration and divisional segregation and suggest a prolonged role for cadherin expression in all phases of motor neuron organization.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

    The cognitive and motor alterations in hepatic encephalopathy (HE) are the final result of altered neurotransmission and communication between neurons in neuronal networks and circuits. Different neurotransmitter systems cooperate to modulate cognitive and motor function, with a main role for glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission in different brain areas and neuronal circuits. There is an interplay between glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission alterations in cognitive and motor impairment in HE. This interplay may occur: (a) in different brain areas involved in specific neuronal circuits; (b) in the same brain area through cross-modulation of glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission. We will summarize some examples of the (1) interplay between glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission alterations in different areas in the basal ganglia-thalamus-cortex circuit in the motor alterations in minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE); (2) interplay between glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission alterations in cerebellum in the impairment of cognitive function in MHE through altered function of the glutamate-nitric oxide-cGMP pathway. We will also comment the therapeutic implications of the above studies and the utility of modulators of glutamate and GABA receptors to restore cognitive and motor function in rats with hyperammonemia and hepatic encephalopathy. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Hypocretin/Orexin Peptides Alter Spike Encoding by Serotonergic Dorsal Raphe Neurons through Two Distinct Mechanisms That Increase the Late Afterhyperpolarization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishibashi, Masaru; Gumenchuk, Iryna; Miyazaki, Kenichi; Inoue, Takafumi; Ross, William N; Leonard, Christopher S

    2016-09-28

    Orexins (hypocretins) are neuropeptides that regulate multiple homeostatic processes, including reward and arousal, in part by exciting serotonergic dorsal raphe neurons, the major source of forebrain serotonin. Here, using mouse brain slices, we found that, instead of simply depolarizing these neurons, orexin-A altered the spike encoding process by increasing the postspike afterhyperpolarization (AHP) via two distinct mechanisms. This orexin-enhanced AHP (oeAHP) was mediated by both OX1 and OX2 receptors, required Ca(2+) influx, reversed near EK, and decayed with two components, the faster of which resulted from enhanced SK channel activation, whereas the slower component decayed like a slow AHP (sAHP), but was not blocked by UCL2077, an antagonist of sAHPs in some neurons. Intracellular phospholipase C inhibition (U73122) blocked the entire oeAHP, but neither component was sensitive to PKC inhibition or altered PKA signaling, unlike classical sAHPs. The enhanced SK current did not depend on IP3-mediated Ca(2+) release but resulted from A-current inhibition and the resultant spike broadening, which increased Ca(2+) influx and Ca(2+)-induced-Ca(2+) release, whereas the slower component was insensitive to these factors. Functionally, the oeAHP slowed and stabilized orexin-induced firing compared with firing produced by a virtual orexin conductance lacking the oeAHP. The oeAHP also reduced steady-state firing rate and firing fidelity in response to stimulation, without affecting the initial rate or fidelity. Collectively, these findings reveal a new orexin action in serotonergic raphe neurons and suggest that, when orexin is released during arousal and reward, it enhances the spike encoding of phasic over tonic inputs, such as those related to sensory, motor, and reward events. Orexin peptides are known to excite neurons via slow postsynaptic depolarizations. Here we elucidate a significant new orexin action that increases and prolongs the postspike

  9. An in silico agent-based model demonstrates Reelin function in directing lamination of neurons during cortical development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caffrey, James R; Hughes, Barry D; Britto, Joanne M; Landman, Kerry A

    2014-01-01

    The characteristic six-layered appearance of the neocortex arises from the correct positioning of pyramidal neurons during development and alterations in this process can cause intellectual disabilities and developmental delay. Malformations in cortical development arise when neurons either fail to migrate properly from the germinal zones or fail to cease migration in the correct laminar position within the cortical plate. The Reelin signalling pathway is vital for correct neuronal positioning as loss of Reelin leads to a partially inverted cortex. The precise biological function of Reelin remains controversial and debate surrounds its role as a chemoattractant or stop signal for migrating neurons. To investigate this further we developed an in silico agent-based model of cortical layer formation. Using this model we tested four biologically plausible hypotheses for neuron motility and four biologically plausible hypotheses for the loss of neuron motility (conversion from migration). A matrix of 16 combinations of motility and conversion rules was applied against the known structure of mouse cortical layers in the wild-type cortex, the Reelin-null mutant, the Dab1-null mutant and a conditional Dab1 mutant. Using this approach, many combinations of motility and conversion mechanisms can be rejected. For example, the model does not support Reelin acting as a repelling or as a stopping signal. In contrast, the study lends very strong support to the notion that the glycoprotein Reelin acts as a chemoattractant for neurons. Furthermore, the most viable proposition for the conversion mechanism is one in which conversion is affected by a motile neuron sensing in the near vicinity neurons that have already converted. Therefore, this model helps elucidate the function of Reelin during neuronal migration and cortical development.

  10. An in silico agent-based model demonstrates Reelin function in directing lamination of neurons during cortical development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James R Caffrey

    Full Text Available The characteristic six-layered appearance of the neocortex arises from the correct positioning of pyramidal neurons during development and alterations in this process can cause intellectual disabilities and developmental delay. Malformations in cortical development arise when neurons either fail to migrate properly from the germinal zones or fail to cease migration in the correct laminar position within the cortical plate. The Reelin signalling pathway is vital for correct neuronal positioning as loss of Reelin leads to a partially inverted cortex. The precise biological function of Reelin remains controversial and debate surrounds its role as a chemoattractant or stop signal for migrating neurons. To investigate this further we developed an in silico agent-based model of cortical layer formation. Using this model we tested four biologically plausible hypotheses for neuron motility and four biologically plausible hypotheses for the loss of neuron motility (conversion from migration. A matrix of 16 combinations of motility and conversion rules was applied against the known structure of mouse cortical layers in the wild-type cortex, the Reelin-null mutant, the Dab1-null mutant and a conditional Dab1 mutant. Using this approach, many combinations of motility and conversion mechanisms can be rejected. For example, the model does not support Reelin acting as a repelling or as a stopping signal. In contrast, the study lends very strong support to the notion that the glycoprotein Reelin acts as a chemoattractant for neurons. Furthermore, the most viable proposition for the conversion mechanism is one in which conversion is affected by a motile neuron sensing in the near vicinity neurons that have already converted. Therefore, this model helps elucidate the function of Reelin during neuronal migration and cortical development.

  11. Advanced type 1 diabetes is associated with ASIC alterations in mouse lower thoracic dorsal root ganglia neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radu, Beatrice Mihaela; Dumitrescu, Diana Ionela; Marin, Adela; Banciu, Daniel Dumitru; Iancu, Adina Daniela; Selescu, Tudor; Radu, Mihai

    2014-01-01

    Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) from dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons are proton sensors during ischemia and inflammation. Little is known about their role in type 1 diabetes (T1D). Our study was focused on ASICs alterations determined by advanced T1D status. Primary neuronal cultures were obtained from lower (T9-T12) thoracic DRG neurons from Balb/c and TCR-HA(+/-)/Ins-HA(+/-) diabetic male mice (16 weeks of age). Patch-clamp recordings indicate a change in the number of small DRG neurons presenting different ASIC-type currents. Multiple molecular sites of ASICs are distinctly affected in T1D, probably due to particular steric constraints for glycans accessibility to the active site: (i) ASIC1 current inactivates faster, while ASIC2 is slower; (ii) PcTx1 partly reverts diabetes effects against ASIC1- and ASIC2-inactivations; (iii) APETx2 maintains unaltered potency against ASIC3 current amplitude, but slows ASIC3 inactivation. Immunofluorescence indicates opposite regulation of different ASIC transcripts while qRT-PCR shows that ASIC mRNA ranking (ASIC2 > ASIC1 > ASIC3) remains unaltered. In conclusion, our study has identified biochemical and biophysical ASIC changes in lower thoracic DRG neurons due to advanced T1D. As hypoalgesia is present in advanced T1D, ASICs alterations might be the cause or the consequence of diabetic insensate neuropathy.

  12. Comparative functional expression of nAChR subtypes in rodent DRG neurons.

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    Smith, Nathan J; Hone, Arik J; Memon, Tosifa; Bossi, Simon; Smith, Thomas E; McIntosh, J Michael; Olivera, Baldomero M; Teichert, Russell W

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the functional expression of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in heterogeneous populations of dissociated rat and mouse lumbar dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons by calcium imaging. By this experimental approach, it is possible to investigate the functional expression of multiple receptor and ion-channel subtypes across more than 100 neuronal and glial cells simultaneously. Based on nAChR expression, DRG neurons could be divided into four subclasses: (1) neurons that express predominantly α3β4 and α6β4 nAChRs; (2) neurons that express predominantly α7 nAChRs; (3) neurons that express a combination of α3β4/α6β4 and α7 nAChRs; and (4) neurons that do not express nAChRs. In this comparative study, the same four neuronal subclasses were observed in mouse and rat DRG. However, the expression frequency differed between species: substantially more rat DRG neurons were in the first three subclasses than mouse DRG neurons, at all developmental time points tested in our study. Approximately 70-80% of rat DRG neurons expressed functional nAChRs, in contrast to only ~15-30% of mouse DRG neurons. Our study also demonstrated functional coupling between nAChRs, voltage-gated calcium channels, and mitochondrial Ca(2) (+) transport in discrete subsets of DRG neurons. In contrast to the expression of nAChRs in DRG neurons, we demonstrated that a subset of non-neuronal DRG cells expressed muscarinic acetylcholine receptors and not nAChRs. The general approach to comparative cellular neurobiology outlined in this paper has the potential to better integrate molecular and systems neuroscience by uncovering the spectrum of neuronal subclasses present in a given cell population and the functionally integrated signaling components expressed in each subclass.

  13. Mycolactone-mediated neurite degeneration and functional effects in cultured human and rat DRG neurons: Mechanisms underlying hypoalgesia in Buruli ulcer.

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    Anand, U; Sinisi, M; Fox, M; MacQuillan, A; Quick, T; Korchev, Y; Bountra, C; McCarthy, T; Anand, P

    2016-01-01

    Mycolactone is a polyketide toxin secreted by the mycobacterium Mycobacterium ulcerans, responsible for the extensive hypoalgesic skin lesions characteristic of patients with Buruli ulcer. A recent pre-clinical study proposed that mycolactone may produce analgesia via activation of the angiotensin II type 2 receptor (AT2R). In contrast, AT2R antagonist EMA401 has shown analgesic efficacy in animal models and clinical trials for neuropathic pain. We therefore investigated the morphological and functional effects of mycolactone in cultured human and rat dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons and the role of AT2R using EMA401. Primary sensory neurons were prepared from avulsed cervical human DRG and rat DRG; 24 h after plating, neurons were incubated for 24 to 96 h with synthetic mycolactone A/B, followed by immunostaining with antibodies to PGP9.5, Gap43, β tubulin, or Mitotracker dye staining. Acute functional effects were examined by measuring capsaicin responses with calcium imaging in DRG neuronal cultures treated with mycolactone. Morphological effects: Mycolactone-treated cultures showed dramatically reduced numbers of surviving neurons and non-neuronal cells, reduced Gap43 and β tubulin expression, degenerating neurites and reduced cell body diameter, compared with controls. Dose-related reduction of neurite length was observed in mycolactone-treated cultures. Mitochondria were distributed throughout the length of neurites and soma of control neurons, but clustered in the neurites and soma of mycolactone-treated neurons. Functional effects: Mycolactone-treated human and rat DRG neurons showed dose-related inhibition of capsaicin responses, which were reversed by calcineurin inhibitor cyclosporine and phosphodiesterase inhibitor 3-isobutyl-1-Methylxanthine, indicating involvement of cAMP/ATP reduction. The morphological and functional effects of mycolactone were not altered by Angiotensin II or AT2R antagonist EMA401. Mycolactone induces toxic effects in DRG

  14. Conservation of 5-HT1A receptor-mediated autoinhibition of serotonin (5-HT neurons in mice with altered 5-HT homeostasis

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    Naozumi eAraragi

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Firing activity of serotonin (5-HT neurons in the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN is controlled by inhibitory somatodendritic 5-HT1A autoreceptors. This autoinhibitory mechanism is implicated in the etiology of disorders of emotion regulation, such as anxiety disorders and depression, as well as in the mechanism of antidepressant action. Here, we investigated how persistent alterations in brain 5-HT availability affect autoinhibition in two genetically modified mouse models lacking critical mediators of serotonergic transmission: 5-HT transporter knockout (Sert -/- and tryptophan hydroxylase-2 knockout (Tph2 -/- mice. The degree of autoinhibition was assessed by loose-seal cell-attached recording in DRN slices. First, application of the 5-HT1A-selective agonist R(+-8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylaminotetralin showed mild sensitization and marked desensitization of 5-HT1A receptors in Tph2 -/- mice and Sert -/- mice, respectively. While 5-HT neurons from Tph2 -/- mice did not display autoinhibition in response to L-tryptophan, autoinhibition of these neurons was unaltered in Sert -/- mice despite marked desensitization of their 5-HT1A autoreceptors. When the Tph2-dependent 5-HT synthesis step was bypassed by application of 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan (5-HTP, neurons from both Tph2 -/- and Sert -/- mice decreased their firing rates at significantly lower concentrations of 5-HTP compared to wildtype controls. Our findings demonstrate that, as opposed to the prevalent view, sensitivity of somatodendritic 5-HT1A receptors does not predict the magnitude of 5-HT neuron autoinhibition. Changes in 5-HT1A receptor sensitivity may rather be seen as an adaptive mechanism to keep autoinhibition functioning in response to extremely altered levels of extracellular 5-HT resulting from targeted inactivation of mediators of serotonergic signaling.

  15. Dicer maintains the identity and function of proprioceptive sensory neurons.

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    O'Toole, Sean M; Ferrer, Monica M; Mekonnen, Jennifer; Zhang, Haihan; Shima, Yasuyuki; Ladle, David R; Nelson, Sacha B

    2017-03-01

    Neuronal cell identity is established during development and must be maintained throughout an animal's life (Fishell G, Heintz N. Neuron 80: 602-612, 2013). Transcription factors critical for establishing neuronal identity can be required for maintaining it (Deneris ES, Hobert O. Nat Neurosci 17: 899-907, 2014). Posttranscriptional regulation also plays an important role in neuronal differentiation (Bian S, Sun T. Mol Neurobiol 44: 359-373, 2011), but its role in maintaining cell identity is less established. To better understand how posttranscriptional regulation might contribute to cell identity, we examined the proprioceptive neurons in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG), a highly specialized sensory neuron class, with well-established properties that distinguish them from other neurons in the ganglion. By conditionally ablating Dicer in mice, using parvalbumin (Pvalb)-driven Cre recombinase, we impaired posttranscriptional regulation in the proprioceptive sensory neuron population. Knockout (KO) animals display a progressive form of ataxia at the beginning of the fourth postnatal week that is accompanied by a cell death within the DRG. Before cell loss, expression profiling shows a reduction of proprioceptor specific genes and an increased expression of nonproprioceptive genes normally enriched in other ganglion neurons. Furthermore, although central connections of these neurons are intact, the peripheral connections to the muscle are functionally impaired. Posttranscriptional regulation is therefore necessary to retain the transcriptional identity and support functional specialization of the proprioceptive sensory neurons. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We have demonstrated that selectively impairing Dicer in parvalbumin-positive neurons, which include the proprioceptors, triggers behavioral changes, a lack of muscle connectivity, and a loss of transcriptional identity as observed through RNA sequencing. These results suggest that Dicer and, most likely by extension, micro

  16. Oral intake of zirconia nanoparticle alters neuronal development and behaviour of Drosophila melanogaster

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    Mishra, Monalisa; Sabat, Debabrat; Ekka, Basanti; Sahu, Swetapadma; P, Unnikannan; Dash, Priyabrat

    2017-08-01

    Zirconia nanoparticles (ZrO2 NPs) have been extensively used in teeth and bone implants and thus get a chance to interact with the physiological system. The current study investigated the oral administration of various concentrations of ZrO2 NPs synthesized by the hydrothermal method (0.25 to 5.0 mg L-1) on Drosophila physiology and behaviour. The size of the currently studied nanoparticle varies from 10 to 12 nm. ZrO2 NPs accumulated within the gut in a concentration-dependent manner and generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) only at 2.5 and 5.0 mg L-1 concentrations. ROS was detected by nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) assay and 2',7'-dichlorofluorescein http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20370560 (H2DCF) staining. The ROS toxicity alters the larval gut structure as revealed by DAPI staining. The NP stress of larvae affects the Drosophila development by distressing pupa count and varying the phenotypic changes in sensory organs (eye, thorax bristle, wings). Besides phenotypic changes, flawed climbing behaviour against gravity was seen in ZrO2 NP-treated flies. All together, for the first time, we have reported that a ROS-mediated ZrO2 NP toxicity alters neuronal development and functioning using Drosophila as a model organism. [Figure not available: see fulltext.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-16

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

  18. TDP-43 Loss-of-Function Causes Neuronal Loss Due to Defective Steroid Receptor-Mediated Gene Program Switching in Drosophila

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    Lies Vanden Broeck

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available TDP-43 proteinopathy is strongly implicated in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and related neurodegenerative disorders. Whether TDP-43 neurotoxicity is caused by a novel toxic gain-of-function mechanism of the aggregates or by a loss of its normal function is unknown. We increased and decreased expression of TDP-43 (dTDP-43 in Drosophila. Although upregulation of dTDP-43 induced neuronal ubiquitin and dTDP-43-positive inclusions, both up- and downregulated dTDP-43 resulted in selective apoptosis of bursicon neurons and highly similar transcriptome alterations at the pupal-adult transition. Gene network analysis and genetic validation showed that both up- and downregulated dTDP-43 directly and dramatically increased the expression of the neuronal microtubule-associated protein Map205, resulting in cytoplasmic accumulations of the ecdysteroid receptor (EcR and a failure to switch EcR-dependent gene programs from a pupal to adult pattern. We propose that dTDP-43 neurotoxicity is caused by a loss of its normal function.

  19. Functionalized anatomical models for EM-neuron Interaction modeling

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    Neufeld, Esra; Cassará, Antonino Mario; Montanaro, Hazael; Kuster, Niels; Kainz, Wolfgang

    2016-06-01

    The understanding of interactions between electromagnetic (EM) fields and nerves are crucial in contexts ranging from therapeutic neurostimulation to low frequency EM exposure safety. To properly consider the impact of in vivo induced field inhomogeneity on non-linear neuronal dynamics, coupled EM-neuronal dynamics modeling is required. For that purpose, novel functionalized computable human phantoms have been developed. Their implementation and the systematic verification of the integrated anisotropic quasi-static EM solver and neuronal dynamics modeling functionality, based on the method of manufactured solutions and numerical reference data, is described. Electric and magnetic stimulation of the ulnar and sciatic nerve were modeled to help understanding a range of controversial issues related to the magnitude and optimal determination of strength-duration (SD) time constants. The results indicate the importance of considering the stimulation-specific inhomogeneous field distributions (especially at tissue interfaces), realistic models of non-linear neuronal dynamics, very short pulses, and suitable SD extrapolation models. These results and the functionalized computable phantom will influence and support the development of safe and effective neuroprosthetic devices and novel electroceuticals. Furthermore they will assist the evaluation of existing low frequency exposure standards for the entire population under all exposure conditions.

  20. Role of Mitochondrial Dynamics in Neuronal Development: Mechanism for Wolfram Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cagalinec, Michal; Liiv, Mailis; Hodurova, Zuzana; Hickey, Miriam Ann; Vaarmann, Annika; Mandel, Merle; Zeb, Akbar; Choubey, Vinay; Kuum, Malle; Safiulina, Dzhamilja; Vasar, Eero; Veksler, Vladimir; Kaasik, Allen

    2016-07-01

    Deficiency of the protein Wolfram syndrome 1 (WFS1) is associated with multiple neurological and psychiatric abnormalities similar to those observed in pathologies showing alterations in mitochondrial dynamics. The aim of this study was to examine the hypothesis that WFS1 deficiency affects neuronal function via mitochondrial abnormalities. We show that down-regulation of WFS1 in neurons leads to dramatic changes in mitochondrial dynamics (inhibited mitochondrial fusion, altered mitochondrial trafficking, and augmented mitophagy), delaying neuronal development. WFS1 deficiency induces endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, leading to inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor (IP3R) dysfunction and disturbed cytosolic Ca2+ homeostasis, which, in turn, alters mitochondrial dynamics. Importantly, ER stress, impaired Ca2+ homeostasis, altered mitochondrial dynamics, and delayed neuronal development are causatively related events because interventions at all these levels improved the downstream processes. Our data shed light on the mechanisms of neuronal abnormalities in Wolfram syndrome and point out potential therapeutic targets. This work may have broader implications for understanding the role of mitochondrial dynamics in neuropsychiatric diseases.

  1. Role of Mitochondrial Dynamics in Neuronal Development: Mechanism for Wolfram Syndrome.

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    Michal Cagalinec

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Deficiency of the protein Wolfram syndrome 1 (WFS1 is associated with multiple neurological and psychiatric abnormalities similar to those observed in pathologies showing alterations in mitochondrial dynamics. The aim of this study was to examine the hypothesis that WFS1 deficiency affects neuronal function via mitochondrial abnormalities. We show that down-regulation of WFS1 in neurons leads to dramatic changes in mitochondrial dynamics (inhibited mitochondrial fusion, altered mitochondrial trafficking, and augmented mitophagy, delaying neuronal development. WFS1 deficiency induces endoplasmic reticulum (ER stress, leading to inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor (IP3R dysfunction and disturbed cytosolic Ca2+ homeostasis, which, in turn, alters mitochondrial dynamics. Importantly, ER stress, impaired Ca2+ homeostasis, altered mitochondrial dynamics, and delayed neuronal development are causatively related events because interventions at all these levels improved the downstream processes. Our data shed light on the mechanisms of neuronal abnormalities in Wolfram syndrome and point out potential therapeutic targets. This work may have broader implications for understanding the role of mitochondrial dynamics in neuropsychiatric diseases.

  2. Neuronal coherence and its functional role in communication between neurons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zeitler-Geurds, M.

    2010-01-01

    Neuronal oscillations are observed in many brain areas in various frequency bands. Each of the frequency bands is associated with a particular functional role. Gamma oscillations (30-80 Hz) are thought to be related to cognitive tasks like memory and attention and possibly also involved in the

  3. Levetiracetam differentially alters CD95 expression of neuronal cells and the mitochondrial membrane potential of immune and neuronal cells in vitro

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    Susannah K Rogers

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Epilepsy is a neurological seizure disorder that affects over 100 million people worldwide. Levetiracetam, either alone, as monotherapy, or as adjunctive treatment, is widely used to control certain types of seizures. Despite its increasing popularity as a relatively safe and effective anti-convulsive treatment option, its mechanism(s of action are poorly understood. Studies have suggested neuronal, glial, and immune mechanisms of action. Understanding the precise mechanisms of action of Levetiracetam would be extremely beneficial in helping to understand the processes involved in seizure generation and epilepsy. Moreover, a full understanding of these mechanisms would help to create more efficacious treatments while minimizing side effects. The current study examined the effects of Levetiracetam on the mitochondrial membrane potential of neuronal and non-neuronal cells, in vitro, in order to determine if Levetiracetam influences metabolic processes in these cell types. In addition, this study sought to address possible immune-mediated mechanisms by determining if Levetiracetam alters the expression of immune receptor-ligand pairs. The results show that Levetiracetam induces expression of CD95 and CD178 on NGF-treated C17.2 neuronal cells. The results also show that Levetiracetam increases mitochondrial membrane potential on C17.2 neuronal cells in the presence of nerve growth factor. In contrast, Levetiracetam decreases the mitochondrial membrane potential of splenocytes and this effect was dependent on intact invariant chain, thus implicating immune cell interactions. These results suggest that both neuronal and non-neuronal anti-epileptic activities of Levetiracetam involve control over energy metabolism, more specifically, mΔΨ. Future studies are needed to further investigate this potential mechanism of action.

  4. Neuron-microglia interactions in mental health disorders: 'For better, and for worse'

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    Eric S Wohleb

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Persistent cognitive and behavioral symptoms that characterize many mental health disorders arise from impaired neuroplasticity in several key corticolimbic brain regions. Recent evidence suggest that reciprocal neuron-microglia interactions shape neuroplasticity during physiological conditions, implicating microglia in the neurobiology of mental health disorders. Neuron-microglia interactions are modulated by several molecular and cellular pathways and dysregulation of these pathways often have neurobiological consequences, including aberrant neuronal responses and microglia activation. The interactions between neurons and microglia have implications for mental health disorders as rodent stress models cause concomitant neuronal dystrophy and alterations in microglia morphology and function. In this context, functional changes in microglia may be indicative of an immune state termed parainflammation in which tissue-resident macrophages (i.e., microglia respond to malfunctioning cells by initiating modest inflammation in an attempt to restore homeostasis. Thus, aberrant neuronal activity and release of damage-associated signals during repeated stress exposure may contribute to functional changes in microglia and resultant parainflammation. Furthermore, accumulating evidence shows that uncoupling neuron-microglia interactions may contribute to altered neuroplasticity and associated anxiety- or depressive-like behaviors. Additional work shows that microglia have varied phenotypes in specific brain regions, which may underlie divergent neuroplasticity observed in corticolimbic structures following stress exposure. These findings indicate that neuron-microglia interactions are critical mediators of the interface between adaptive, homeostatic neuronal function and the neurobiology of mental health disorders.

  5. REMOD: a computational tool for remodeling neuronal dendrites

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    Panagiotis Bozelos

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, several modeling studies have indicated that dendritic morphology is a key determinant of how individual neurons acquire a unique signal processing profile. The highly branched dendritic structure that originates from the cell body, explores the surrounding 3D space in a fractal-like manner, until it reaches a certain amount of complexity. Its shape undergoes significant alterations not only in various neuropathological conditions, but in physiological, too. Yet, despite the profound effect that these alterations can have on neuronal function, the causal relationship between structure and function remains largely elusive. The lack of a systematic approach for remodeling neuronal cells and their dendritic trees is a key limitation that contributes to this problem. In this context, we developed a computational tool that allows the remodeling of any type of neurons, given a set of exemplar morphologies. The tool is written in Python and provides a simple GUI that guides the user through various options to manipulate selected neuronal morphologies. It provides the ability to load one or more morphology files (.swc or .hoc and choose specific dendrites to operate one of the following actions: shrink, remove, extend or branch (as shown in Figure 1. The user retains complete control over the extent of each alteration and if a chosen action is not possible due to pre-existing structural constraints, appropriate warnings are produced. Importantly, the tool can also be used to extract morphology statistics for one or multiple morphologies, including features such as the total dendritic length, path length to the root, branch order, diameter tapering, etc. Finally, an experimental utility enables the user to remodel entire dendritic trees based on preloaded statistics from a database of cell-type specific neuronal morphologies. To our knowledge, this is the first tool that allows (a the remodeling of existing –as opposed to the de novo

  6. Functional Characterization of Lamina X Neurons in ex-Vivo Spinal Cord Preparation

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    Volodymyr Krotov

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Functional properties of lamina X neurons in the spinal cord remain unknown despite the established role of this area for somatosensory integration, visceral nociception, autonomic regulation and motoneuron output modulation. Investigations of neuronal functioning in the lamina X have been hampered by technical challenges. Here we introduce an ex-vivo spinal cord preparation with both dorsal and ventral roots still attached for functional studies of the lamina X neurons and their connectivity using an oblique LED illumination for resolved visualization of lamina X neurons in a thick tissue. With the elaborated approach, we demonstrate electrophysiological characteristics of lamina X neurons by their membrane properties, firing pattern discharge and fiber innervation (either afferent or efferent. The tissue preparation has been also probed using Ca2+ imaging with fluorescent Ca2+ dyes (membrane-impermeable or -permeable to demonstrate the depolarization-induced changes in intracellular calcium concentration in lamina X neurons. Finally, we performed visualization of subpopulations of lamina X neurons stained by retrograde labeling with aminostilbamidine dye to identify sympathetic preganglionic and projection neurons in the lamina X. Thus, the elaborated approach provides a reliable tool for investigation of functional properties and connectivity in specific neuronal subpopulations, boosting research of lamina X of the spinal cord.

  7. Altered expression of IGF-I system in neurons of the inflamed spinal cord during acute experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parvaneh Tafreshi, Azita; Talebi, Farideh; Ghorbani, Samira; Bernard, Claude; Noorbakhsh, Farshid

    2017-10-01

    There is growing evidence that the impaired IGF-I system contributes to neurodegeneration. In this study, we examined the spinal cords of the EAE, the animal model of multiple sclerosis, to see if the expression of the IGF-I system is altered. To induce EAE, C57/BL6 mice were immunized with the Hooke lab MOG kit, sacrificed at the peak of the disease and their spinal cords were examined for the immunoreactivities (ir) of the IGF-I, IGF binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1) and glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β), as one major downstream molecule in the IGF-I signaling. Although neurons in the non EAE spinal cords did not show the IGF-I immunoreactivity, they were numerously positive for the IGFBP-1. In the inflamed EAE spinal cord however, the patterns of expressions were reversed, that is, a significant increased number of IGF-I expressing neurons versus a reduced number of IGFBP-1 positive neurons. Moreover, while nearly all IGF-I-ir neurons expressed GSK3β, some expressed it more intensely. Considering our previous finding where we showed a significant reduced number of the inactive (phosphorylated) but not that of the total GSK3β expressing neurons in the EAE spinal cord, it is conceivable that the intense total GSK3β expression in the IGF-I-ir neurons belongs to the active form of GSK3β known to exert neuroinflammatory effects. We therefore suggest that the altered expression of the IGF-I system including GSK3β in spinal cord neurons might involve in pathophysiological events during the EAE. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Altering neuronal excitability to preserve network connectivity in a computational model of Alzheimer's disease.

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    Willem de Haan

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Neuronal hyperactivity and hyperexcitability of the cerebral cortex and hippocampal region is an increasingly observed phenomenon in preclinical Alzheimer's disease (AD. In later stages, oscillatory slowing and loss of functional connectivity are ubiquitous. Recent evidence suggests that neuronal dynamics have a prominent role in AD pathophysiology, making it a potentially interesting therapeutic target. However, although neuronal activity can be manipulated by various (non-pharmacological means, intervening in a highly integrated system that depends on complex dynamics can produce counterintuitive and adverse effects. Computational dynamic network modeling may serve as a virtual test ground for developing effective interventions. To explore this approach, a previously introduced large-scale neural mass network with human brain topology was used to simulate the temporal evolution of AD-like, activity-dependent network degeneration. In addition, six defense strategies that either enhanced or diminished neuronal excitability were tested against the degeneration process, targeting excitatory and inhibitory neurons combined or separately. Outcome measures described oscillatory, connectivity and topological features of the damaged networks. Over time, the various interventions produced diverse large-scale network effects. Contrary to our hypothesis, the most successful strategy was a selective stimulation of all excitatory neurons in the network; it substantially prolonged the preservation of network integrity. The results of this study imply that functional network damage due to pathological neuronal activity can be opposed by targeted adjustment of neuronal excitability levels. The present approach may help to explore therapeutic effects aimed at preserving or restoring neuronal network integrity and contribute to better-informed intervention choices in future clinical trials in AD.

  9. Alterations of parenchymal microstructure, neuronal connectivity and cerebrovascular resistance at adolescence following mild to moderate traumatic brain injury in early development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parent, Maxime; Li, Ying; Santhakumar, Vijayalakshmi; Hyder, Fahmeed; Sanganahalli, Basavaraju G; Kannurpatti, Sridhar

    2018-06-01

    TBI is a leading cause of morbidity in children. To investigate outcome of early developmental TBI during adolescence, a rat model of fluid percussion injury was developed, where previous work reported deficits in sensorimotor behavior and cortical blood flow at adolescence. 1 Based on the non-localized outcome, we hypothesized that multiple neurophysiological components of brain function, namely neuronal connectivity, synapse/axonal microstructural integrity and neurovascular function are altered and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) methods could be used to determine regional alterations. Adolescent outcomes of developmental TBI were studied 2-months after injury, using functional MRI (fMRI) and Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI). fMRI based resting state functional connectivity (RSFC), representing neural connectivity, was significantly altered between sham and TBI. RSFC strength decreased in the cortex, hippocampus and thalamus accompanied by decrease in the spatial extent of their corresponding RSFC networks and inter-hemispheric asymmetry. Cerebrovascular reactivity to arterial CO2 changes diminished after TBI across both hemispheres, with a more pronounced decrease in the ipsilateral hippocampus, thalamus and motor cortex. DTI measures of fractional anisotropy (FA) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), reporting on axonal and microstructural integrity of the brain, indicated similar inter-hemispheric asymmetry, with highest change in the ipsilateral hippocampus and regions adjoining the ipsilateral thalamus, hypothalamus and amygdala. TBI-induced corpus callosal microstructural alterations indicated measurable changes in inter-hemispheric structural connectivity. Hippocampus, thalamus and select cortical regions were most consistently affected in multiple imaging markers. The multi-modal MRI results demonstrate cortical and subcortical alterations in neural connectivity, cerebrovascular resistance and parenchymal microstructure in the adolescent brain

  10. Stochastic nanoroughness modulates neuron-astrocyte interactions and function via mechanosensing cation channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blumenthal, Nils R; Hermanson, Ola; Heimrich, Bernd; Shastri, V Prasad

    2014-11-11

    Extracellular soluble signals are known to play a critical role in maintaining neuronal function and homeostasis in the CNS. However, the CNS is also composed of extracellular matrix macromolecules and glia support cells, and the contribution of the physical attributes of these components in maintenance and regulation of neuronal function is not well understood. Because these components possess well-defined topography, we theorize a role for topography in neuronal development and we demonstrate that survival and function of hippocampal neurons and differentiation of telencephalic neural stem cells is modulated by nanoroughness. At roughnesses corresponding to that of healthy astrocytes, hippocampal neurons dissociated and survived independent from astrocytes and showed superior functional traits (increased polarity and calcium flux). Furthermore, telencephalic neural stem cells differentiated into neurons even under exogenous signals that favor astrocytic differentiation. The decoupling of neurons from astrocytes seemed to be triggered by changes to astrocyte apical-surface topography in response to nanoroughness. Blocking signaling through mechanosensing cation channels using GsMTx4 negated the ability of neurons to sense the nanoroughness and promoted decoupling of neurons from astrocytes, thus providing direct evidence for the role of nanotopography in neuron-astrocyte interactions. We extrapolate the role of topography to neurodegenerative conditions and show that regions of amyloid plaque buildup in brain tissue of Alzheimer's patients are accompanied by detrimental changes in tissue roughness. These findings suggest a role for astrocyte and ECM-induced topographical changes in neuronal pathologies and provide new insights for developing therapeutic targets and engineering of neural biomaterials.

  11. Oleate induces KATP channel-dependent hyperpolarization in mouse hypothalamic glucose-excited neurons without altering cellular energy charge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dadak, Selma; Beall, Craig; Vlachaki Walker, Julia M; Soutar, Marc P M; McCrimmon, Rory J; Ashford, Michael L J

    2017-03-27

    The unsaturated fatty acid, oleate exhibits anorexigenic properties reducing food intake and hepatic glucose output. However, its mechanism of action in the hypothalamus has not been fully determined. This study investigated the effects of oleate and glucose on GT1-7 mouse hypothalamic cells (a model of glucose-excited (GE) neurons) and mouse arcuate nucleus (ARC) neurons. Whole-cell and perforated patch-clamp recordings, immunoblotting and cell energy status measures were used to investigate oleate- and glucose-sensing properties of mouse hypothalamic neurons. Oleate or lowered glucose concentration caused hyperpolarization and inhibition of firing of GT1-7 cells by the activation of ATP-sensitive K + channels (K ATP ). This effect of oleate was not dependent on fatty acid oxidation or raised AMP-activated protein kinase activity or prevented by the presence of the UCP2 inhibitor genipin. Oleate did not alter intracellular calcium, indicating that CD36/fatty acid translocase may not play a role. However, oleate activation of K ATP may require ATP metabolism. The short-chain fatty acid octanoate was unable to replicate the actions of oleate on GT1-7 cells. Although oleate decreased GT1-7 cell mitochondrial membrane potential there was no change in total cellular ATP or ATP/ADP ratios. Perforated patch and whole-cell recordings from mouse hypothalamic slices demonstrated that oleate hyperpolarized a subpopulation of ARC GE neurons by K ATP activation. Additionally, in a separate small population of ARC neurons, oleate application or lowered glucose concentration caused membrane depolarization. In conclusion, oleate induces K ATP- dependent hyperpolarization and inhibition of firing of a subgroup of GE hypothalamic neurons without altering cellular energy charge. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  12. Gad1 mRNA as a reliable indicator of altered GABA release from orexigenic neurons in the hypothalamus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dicken, Matthew S; Hughes, Alexander R; Hentges, Shane T

    2015-11-01

    The strength of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-mediated inhibitory synaptic input is a principle determinant of neuronal activity. However, because of differences in the number of GABA afferent inputs and the sites of synapses, it is difficult to directly assay for altered GABA transmission between specific cells. The present study tested the hypothesis that the level of mRNA for the GABA synthetic enzyme glutamate decarboxylase (GAD) can provide a reliable proxy for GABA release. This was tested in a mouse hypothalamic circuit important in the regulation of energy balance. Fluorescent in situ hybridization results show that the expression of Gad1 mRNA (encoding the GAD67 enzyme) was increased in hypothalamic neuropeptide Y/agouti-related peptide (NPY/AgRP) neurons after an overnight fast, consistent with the ability of GABA from these neurons to stimulate food intake. Optogenetic studies confirmed that the observed increase in Gad1 mRNA correlated with an increase in the probability of GABA release from NPY/AgRP neurons onto downstream proopiomelanocortin neurons. Likewise, there was an increase in the readily releasable pool of GABA in NPY/AgRP neurons. Selective inhibition of GAD activity in NPY/AgRP neurons decreased GABA release, indicating that GAD67 activity, which is largely dictated by expression level, is a key determinant of GABA release. Altogether, it appears that Gad expression may be a reliable proxy of altered GABAergic transmission. Examining changes in Gad mRNA as a proxy for GABA release may be particularly helpful when the downstream targets are not known or when limited tools exist for detecting GABA release at a particular synapse. © 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Expressing exogenous functional odorant receptors in cultured olfactory sensory neurons

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    Fomina Alla F

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Olfactory discrimination depends on the large numbers of odorant receptor genes and differential ligand-receptor signaling among neurons expressing different receptors. In this study, we describe an in vitro system that enables the expression of exogenous odorant receptors in cultured olfactory sensory neurons. Olfactory sensory neurons in the culture express characteristic signaling molecules and, therefore, provide a system to study receptor function within its intrinsic cellular environment. Results We demonstrate that cultured olfactory sensory neurons express endogenous odorant receptors. Lentiviral vector-mediated gene transfer enables successful ectopic expression of odorant receptors. We show that the ectopically expressed mouse I7 is functional in the cultured olfactory sensory neurons. When two different odorant receptors are ectopically expressed simultaneously, both receptor proteins co-localized in the same olfactory sensory neurons up to 10 days in vitro. Conclusion This culture technique provided an efficient method to culture olfactory sensory neurons whose morphology, molecular characteristics and maturation progression resembled those observed in vivo. Using this system, regulation of odorant receptor expression and its ligand specificity can be studied in its intrinsic cellular environment.

  14. Extracting neuronal functional network dynamics via adaptive Granger causality analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheikhattar, Alireza; Miran, Sina; Liu, Ji; Fritz, Jonathan B; Shamma, Shihab A; Kanold, Patrick O; Babadi, Behtash

    2018-04-24

    Quantifying the functional relations between the nodes in a network based on local observations is a key challenge in studying complex systems. Most existing time series analysis techniques for this purpose provide static estimates of the network properties, pertain to stationary Gaussian data, or do not take into account the ubiquitous sparsity in the underlying functional networks. When applied to spike recordings from neuronal ensembles undergoing rapid task-dependent dynamics, they thus hinder a precise statistical characterization of the dynamic neuronal functional networks underlying adaptive behavior. We develop a dynamic estimation and inference paradigm for extracting functional neuronal network dynamics in the sense of Granger, by integrating techniques from adaptive filtering, compressed sensing, point process theory, and high-dimensional statistics. We demonstrate the utility of our proposed paradigm through theoretical analysis, algorithm development, and application to synthetic and real data. Application of our techniques to two-photon Ca 2+ imaging experiments from the mouse auditory cortex reveals unique features of the functional neuronal network structures underlying spontaneous activity at unprecedented spatiotemporal resolution. Our analysis of simultaneous recordings from the ferret auditory and prefrontal cortical areas suggests evidence for the role of rapid top-down and bottom-up functional dynamics across these areas involved in robust attentive behavior.

  15. Vasodilatation in the rat dorsal hindpaw induced by activation of sensory neurons is reduced by Paclitaxel

    OpenAIRE

    Gracias, N.G.; Cummins, T.R.; Kelley, M.R.; Basile, D.P.; Iqbal, T.; Vasko, M.R.

    2010-01-01

    Peripheral neuropathy is a major side effect following treatment with the cancer chemotherapeutic drug paclitaxel. Whether paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy is secondary to altered function of small diameter sensory neurons remains controversial. To ascertain whether the function of the small diameter sensory neurons was altered following systemic administration of paclitaxel, we injected male Sprague Dawley rats with 1 mg/kg paclitaxel every other day for a total of four doses and exa...

  16. Nanomolar bifenthrin alters synchronous Ca2+ oscillations and cortical neuron development independent of sodium channel activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Zhengyu; Cui, Yanjun; Nguyen, Hai M; Jenkins, David Paul; Wulff, Heike; Pessah, Isaac N

    2014-04-01

    Bifenthrin, a relatively stable type I pyrethroid that causes tremors and impairs motor activity in rodents, is broadly used. We investigated whether nanomolar bifenthrin alters synchronous Ca(2+) oscillations (SCOs) necessary for activity-dependent dendritic development. Primary mouse cortical neurons were cultured 8 or 9 days in vitro (DIV), loaded with the Ca(2+) indicator Fluo-4, and imaged using a Fluorescence Imaging Plate Reader Tetra. Acute exposure to bifenthrin rapidly increased the frequency of SCOs by 2.7-fold (EC50 = 58 nM) and decreased SCO amplitude by 36%. Changes in SCO properties were independent of modifications in voltage-gated sodium channels since 100 nM bifenthrin had no effect on the whole-cell Na(+) current, nor did it influence neuronal resting membrane potential. The L-type Ca(2+) channel blocker nifedipine failed to ameliorate bifenthrin-triggered SCO activity. By contrast, the metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR)5 antagonist MPEP [2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)pyridine] normalized bifenthrin-triggered increase in SCO frequency without altering baseline SCO activity, indicating that bifenthrin amplifies mGluR5 signaling independent of Na(+) channel modification. Competitive [AP-5; (-)-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid] and noncompetitive (dizocilpine, or MK-801 [(5S,10R)-(+)-5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo[a,d]cyclohepten-5,10-imine maleate]) N-methyl-d-aspartate antagonists partially decreased both basal and bifenthrin-triggered SCO frequency increase. Bifenthrin-modified SCO rapidly enhanced the phosphorylation of cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB). Subacute (48 hours) exposure to bifenthrin commencing 2 DIV-enhanced neurite outgrowth and persistently increased SCO frequency and reduced SCO amplitude. Bifenthrin-stimulated neurite outgrowth and CREB phosphorylation were dependent on mGluR5 activity since MPEP normalized both responses. Collectively these data identify a new mechanism by which bifenthrin potently alters Ca(2

  17. Mild hypothermia protects hippocampal neurons against oxygen-glucose deprivation/reperfusion-induced injury by improving lysosomal function and autophagic flux.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Tianen; Liang, Lian; Liang, Yanran; Yu, Tao; Zeng, Chaotao; Jiang, Longyuan

    2017-09-15

    Mild hypothermia has been proven to be useful to treat brain ischemia/reperfusion injury. However, the underlying mechanisms have not yet been fully elucidated. The present study was undertaken to determine whether mild hypothermia protects hippocampal neurons against oxygen-glucose deprivation/reperfusion(OGD/R)-induced injury via improving lysosomal function and autophagic flux. The results showed that OGD/R induced the occurrence of autophagy, while the acidic environment inside the lysosomes was altered. The autophagic flux assay with RFP-GFP tf-LC3 was impeded in hippocampal neurons after OGD/R. Mild hypothermia recovered the lysosomal acidic fluorescence and the lysosomal marker protein expression of LAMP2, which decreased after OGD/R.Furthermore, we found that mild hypothermia up-regulated autophagic flux and promoted the fusion of autophagosomes and lysosomes in hippocampal neurons following OGD/R injury, but could be reversed by treatment with chloroquine, which acts as a lysosome inhibitor. We also found that mild hypothermia improved mitochondrial autophagy in hippocampal neurons following OGD/R injury. Finally,we found that chloroquine blocked the protective effects of mild hypothermia against OGD/R-induced cell death and injury. Taken together, the present study indicates that mild hypothermia protects hippocampal neurons against OGD/R-induced injury by improving lysosomal function and autophagic flux. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  18. Functional analysis of neuronal microRNAs in Caenorhabditis elegans dauer formation by combinational genetics and Neuronal miRISC immunoprecipitation.

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    Minh T Than

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Identifying the physiological functions of microRNAs (miRNAs is often challenging because miRNAs commonly impact gene expression under specific physiological conditions through complex miRNA::mRNA interaction networks and in coordination with other means of gene regulation, such as transcriptional regulation and protein degradation. Such complexity creates difficulties in dissecting miRNA functions through traditional genetic methods using individual miRNA mutations. To investigate the physiological functions of miRNAs in neurons, we combined a genetic "enhancer" approach complemented by biochemical analysis of neuronal miRNA-induced silencing complexes (miRISCs in C. elegans. Total miRNA function can be compromised by mutating one of the two GW182 proteins (AIN-1, an important component of miRISC. We found that combining an ain-1 mutation with a mutation in unc-3, a neuronal transcription factor, resulted in an inappropriate entrance into the stress-induced, alternative larval stage known as dauer, indicating a role of miRNAs in preventing aberrant dauer formation. Analysis of this genetic interaction suggests that neuronal miRNAs perform such a role partly by regulating endogenous cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP signaling, potentially influencing two other dauer-regulating pathways. Through tissue-specific immunoprecipitations of miRISC, we identified miRNAs and their likely target mRNAs within neuronal tissue. We verified the biological relevance of several of these miRNAs and found that many miRNAs likely regulate dauer formation through multiple dauer-related targets. Further analysis of target mRNAs suggests potential miRNA involvement in various neuronal processes, but the importance of these miRNA::mRNA interactions remains unclear. Finally, we found that neuronal genes may be more highly regulated by miRNAs than intestinal genes. Overall, our study identifies miRNAs and their targets, and a physiological function of these miRNAs in

  19. miR-155 Deletion in Mice Overcomes Neuron-Intrinsic and Neuron-Extrinsic Barriers to Spinal Cord Repair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaudet, Andrew D; Mandrekar-Colucci, Shweta; Hall, Jodie C E; Sweet, David R; Schmitt, Philipp J; Xu, Xinyang; Guan, Zhen; Mo, Xiaokui; Guerau-de-Arellano, Mireia; Popovich, Phillip G

    2016-08-10

    Axon regeneration after spinal cord injury (SCI) fails due to neuron-intrinsic mechanisms and extracellular barriers including inflammation. microRNA (miR)-155-5p is a small, noncoding RNA that negatively regulates mRNA translation. In macrophages, miR-155-5p is induced by inflammatory stimuli and elicits a response that could be toxic after SCI. miR-155 may also independently alter expression of genes that regulate axon growth in neurons. Here, we hypothesized that miR-155 deletion would simultaneously improve axon growth and reduce neuroinflammation after SCI by acting on both neurons and macrophages. New data show that miR-155 deletion attenuates inflammatory signaling in macrophages, reduces macrophage-mediated neuron toxicity, and increases macrophage-elicited axon growth by ∼40% relative to control conditions. In addition, miR-155 deletion increases spontaneous axon growth from neurons; adult miR-155 KO dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons extend 44% longer neurites than WT neurons. In vivo, miR-155 deletion augments conditioning lesion-induced intraneuronal expression of SPRR1A, a regeneration-associated gene; ∼50% more injured KO DRG neurons expressed SPRR1A versus WT neurons. After dorsal column SCI, miR-155 KO mouse spinal cord has reduced neuroinflammation and increased peripheral conditioning-lesion-enhanced axon regeneration beyond the epicenter. Finally, in a model of spinal contusion injury, miR-155 deletion improves locomotor function at postinjury times corresponding with the arrival and maximal appearance of activated intraspinal macrophages. In miR-155 KO mice, improved locomotor function is associated with smaller contusion lesions and decreased accumulation of inflammatory macrophages. Collectively, these data indicate that miR-155 is a novel therapeutic target capable of simultaneously overcoming neuron-intrinsic and neuron-extrinsic barriers to repair after SCI. Axon regeneration after spinal cord injury (SCI) fails due to neuron

  20. miR-155 Deletion in Mice Overcomes Neuron-Intrinsic and Neuron-Extrinsic Barriers to Spinal Cord Repair

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandrekar-Colucci, Shweta; Hall, Jodie C.E.; Sweet, David R.; Schmitt, Philipp J.; Xu, Xinyang; Guan, Zhen; Mo, Xiaokui; Guerau-de-Arellano, Mireia

    2016-01-01

    Axon regeneration after spinal cord injury (SCI) fails due to neuron-intrinsic mechanisms and extracellular barriers including inflammation. microRNA (miR)-155–5p is a small, noncoding RNA that negatively regulates mRNA translation. In macrophages, miR-155-5p is induced by inflammatory stimuli and elicits a response that could be toxic after SCI. miR-155 may also independently alter expression of genes that regulate axon growth in neurons. Here, we hypothesized that miR-155 deletion would simultaneously improve axon growth and reduce neuroinflammation after SCI by acting on both neurons and macrophages. New data show that miR-155 deletion attenuates inflammatory signaling in macrophages, reduces macrophage-mediated neuron toxicity, and increases macrophage-elicited axon growth by ∼40% relative to control conditions. In addition, miR-155 deletion increases spontaneous axon growth from neurons; adult miR-155 KO dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons extend 44% longer neurites than WT neurons. In vivo, miR-155 deletion augments conditioning lesion-induced intraneuronal expression of SPRR1A, a regeneration-associated gene; ∼50% more injured KO DRG neurons expressed SPRR1A versus WT neurons. After dorsal column SCI, miR-155 KO mouse spinal cord has reduced neuroinflammation and increased peripheral conditioning-lesion-enhanced axon regeneration beyond the epicenter. Finally, in a model of spinal contusion injury, miR-155 deletion improves locomotor function at postinjury times corresponding with the arrival and maximal appearance of activated intraspinal macrophages. In miR-155 KO mice, improved locomotor function is associated with smaller contusion lesions and decreased accumulation of inflammatory macrophages. Collectively, these data indicate that miR-155 is a novel therapeutic target capable of simultaneously overcoming neuron-intrinsic and neuron-extrinsic barriers to repair after SCI. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Axon regeneration after spinal cord injury (SCI) fails

  1. Myostatin-like proteins regulate synaptic function and neuronal morphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Augustin, Hrvoje; McGourty, Kieran; Steinert, Joern R; Cochemé, Helena M; Adcott, Jennifer; Cabecinha, Melissa; Vincent, Alec; Halff, Els F; Kittler, Josef T; Boucrot, Emmanuel; Partridge, Linda

    2017-07-01

    Growth factors of the TGFβ superfamily play key roles in regulating neuronal and muscle function. Myostatin (or GDF8) and GDF11 are potent negative regulators of skeletal muscle mass. However, expression of myostatin and its cognate receptors in other tissues, including brain and peripheral nerves, suggests a potential wider biological role. Here, we show that Myoglianin (MYO), the Drosophila homolog of myostatin and GDF11, regulates not only body weight and muscle size, but also inhibits neuromuscular synapse strength and composition in a Smad2-dependent manner. Both myostatin and GDF11 affected synapse formation in isolated rat cortical neuron cultures, suggesting an effect on synaptogenesis beyond neuromuscular junctions. We also show that MYO acts in vivo to inhibit synaptic transmission between neurons in the escape response neural circuit of adult flies. Thus, these anti-myogenic proteins act as important inhibitors of synapse function and neuronal growth. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  2. Neuronal Cell Death Induced by Mechanical Percussion Trauma in Cultured Neurons is not Preceded by Alterations in Glucose, Lactate and Glutamine Metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayakumar, A R; Bak, L K; Rama Rao, K V; Waagepetersen, H S; Schousboe, A; Norenberg, M D

    2016-02-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a devastating neurological disorder that usually presents in acute and chronic forms. Brain edema and associated increased intracranial pressure in the early phase following TBI are major consequences of acute trauma. On the other hand, neuronal injury, leading to neurobehavioral and cognitive impairments, that usually develop months to years after single or repetitive episodes of head trauma, are major consequences of chronic TBI. The molecular mechanisms responsible for TBI-induced injury, however, are unclear. Recent studies have suggested that early mitochondrial dysfunction and subsequent energy failure play a role in the pathogenesis of TBI. We therefore examined whether oxidative metabolism of (13)C-labeled glucose, lactate or glutamine is altered early following in vitro mechanical percussion-induced trauma (5 atm) to neurons (4-24 h), and whether such events contribute to the development of neuronal injury. Cell viability was assayed using the release of the cytoplasmic enzyme lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), together with fluorescence-based cell staining (calcein and ethidium homodimer-1 for live and dead cells, respectively). Trauma had no effect on the LDH release in neurons from 1 to 18 h. However, a significant increase in LDH release was detected at 24 h after trauma. Similar findings were identified when traumatized neurons were stained with fluorescent markers. Additionally (13)C-labeling of glutamate showed a small, but statistically significant decrease at 14 h after trauma. However, trauma had no effect on the cycling ratio of the TCA cycle at any time-period examined. These findings indicate that trauma does not cause a disturbance in oxidative metabolism of any of the substrates used for neurons. Accordingly, such metabolic disturbance does not appear to contribute to the neuronal death in the early stages following trauma.

  3. THC alters alters morphology of neurons in medial prefrontal cortex, orbital prefrontal cortex, and nucleus accumbens and alters the ability of later experience to promote structural plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolb, Bryan; Li, Yilin; Robinson, Terry; Parker, Linda A

    2018-03-01

    Psychoactive drugs have the ability to alter the morphology of neuronal dendrites and spines and to influence later experience-dependent structural plasticity. If rats are given repeated injections of psychomotor stimulants (amphetamine, cocaine, nicotine) prior to being placed in complex environments, the drug experience interferes with the ability of the environment to increase dendritic arborization and spine density. Repeated exposure to Delta 9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) changes the morphology of dendrites in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and nucleus accumbens (NAcc). To determine if drugs other than psychomotor stimulants will also interfere with later experience-dependent structural plasticity we gave Long-Evans rats THC (0.5 mg/kg) or saline for 11 days before placing them in complex environments or standard laboratory caging for 90 days. Brains were subsequently processed for Golgi-Cox staining and analysis of dendritic morphology and spine density mPFC, orbital frontal cortex (OFC), and NAcc. THC altered both dendritic arborization and spine density in all three regions, and, like psychomotor stimulants, THC influenced the effect of later experience in complex environments to shape the structure of neurons in these three regions. We conclude that THC may therefore contribute to persistent behavioral and cognitive deficits associated with prolonged use of the drug. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. In vitro research of the alteration of neurons in vagal core in medulla oblongata at asphyxic deaths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haliti, Naim; Islami, Hilmi; Elezi, Nevzat; Shabani, Ragip; Abdullahu, Bedri; Dragusha, Gani

    2010-08-01

    The aim of this study was to research the morphological changes of neurons in the vagus nerve nuclei in medulla oblongata in asphyxia related death cases. Morphological changes that were investigated were mainly in the dorsal motor respiratory center (DMRC), nucleus tractus solitarius (nTS) and nucleus ambigus (nA) in the medulla oblongata. In our research, the autopsy material from asphyxia related death cases was used from various etiologies: monoxide carbon (CO), liquid drowning, strangulation, electricity, clinical-pathological death, firing weapon, explosive weapon, sharp and blunt objects and death cases due to accident. The material selected for research was taken from medulla oblongata and lungs from all lobes. The material from the medulla oblongata and lungs was fixed in a 10% solution of buffered formalin. Special histochemical methods for central nervous system (CNS) were employed like: Cresyl echt violet, toluidin blue, Sevier-Munger modification and Grimelius. For stereometrical analysis of the quantitative density of the neurons the universal testing system Weibel M42 was used. The acquired results show that in sudden asphyxia related death cases, there are alterations in the nuclei of vagal nerve in form of: central chromatolysis, axonal retraction, axonal fragmentation, intranuclear vacuolization, cytoplasmic vacuolization, edema, condensation and dispersion of substance of Nissl, proliferation of oligodendrocytes, astrocytes and microglia. The altered population of vagus nerve neurons does not show an important statistical significance compared to the overall quantity of the neurons in the nuclei of the vagus nerve (p<0.05).

  5. An Expanded Role for the RFX Transcription Factor DAF-19, with Dual Functions in Ciliated and Nonciliated Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Stasio, Elizabeth A; Mueller, Katherine P; Bauer, Rosemary J; Hurlburt, Alexander J; Bice, Sophie A; Scholtz, Sophie L; Phirke, Prasad; Sugiaman-Trapman, Debora; Stinson, Loraina A; Olson, Haili B; Vogel, Savannah L; Ek-Vazquez, Zabdiel; Esemen, Yagmur; Korzynski, Jessica; Wolfe, Kelsey; Arbuckle, Bonnie N; Zhang, He; Lombard-Knapp, Gaelen; Piasecki, Brian P; Swoboda, Peter

    2018-03-01

    Regulatory Factor X (RFX) transcription factors (TFs) are best known for activating genes required for ciliogenesis in both vertebrates and invertebrates. In humans, eight RFX TFs have a variety of tissue-specific functions, while in the worm Caenorhabditis elegans , the sole RFX gene, daf-19 , encodes a set of nested isoforms. Null alleles of daf-19 confer pleiotropic effects including altered development with a dauer constitutive phenotype, complete absence of cilia and ciliary proteins, and defects in synaptic protein maintenance. We sought to identify RFX/ daf-19 target genes associated with neuronal functions other than ciliogenesis using comparative transcriptome analyses at different life stages of the worm. Subsequent characterization of gene expression patterns revealed one set of genes activated in the presence of DAF-19 in ciliated sensory neurons, whose activation requires the daf-19c isoform, also required for ciliogenesis. A second set of genes is downregulated in the presence of DAF-19, primarily in nonsensory neurons. The human orthologs of some of these neuronal genes are associated with human diseases. We report the novel finding that daf-19a is directly or indirectly responsible for downregulation of these neuronal genes in C. elegans by characterizing a new mutation affecting the daf-19a isoform ( tm5562 ) and not associated with ciliogenesis, but which confers synaptic and behavioral defects. Thus, we have identified a new regulatory role for RFX TFs in the nervous system. The new daf-19 candidate target genes we have identified by transcriptomics will serve to uncover the molecular underpinnings of the pleiotropic effects that daf-19 exerts on nervous system function. Copyright © 2018 by the Genetics Society of America.

  6. The origin and function of mirror neurons: the missing link.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lingnau, Angelika; Caramazza, Alfonso

    2014-04-01

    We argue, by analogy to the neural organization of the object recognition system, that demonstration of modulation of mirror neurons by associative learning does not imply absence of genetic adaptation. Innate connectivity defines the types of processes mirror neurons can participate in while allowing for extensive local plasticity. However, the proper function of these neurons remains to be worked out.

  7. Transcriptomics of aged Drosophila motor neurons reveals a matrix metalloproteinase that impairs motor function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azpurua, Jorge; Mahoney, Rebekah E; Eaton, Benjamin A

    2018-04-01

    The neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is responsible for transforming nervous system signals into motor behavior and locomotion. In the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, an age-dependent decline in motor function occurs, analogous to the decline experienced in mice, humans, and other mammals. The molecular and cellular underpinnings of this decline are still poorly understood. By specifically profiling the transcriptome of Drosophila motor neurons across age using custom microarrays, we found that the expression of the matrix metalloproteinase 1 (dMMP1) gene reproducibly increased in motor neurons in an age-dependent manner. Modulation of physiological aging also altered the rate of dMMP1 expression, validating dMMP1 expression as a bona fide aging biomarker for motor neurons. Temporally controlled overexpression of dMMP1 specifically in motor neurons was sufficient to induce deficits in climbing behavior and cause a decrease in neurotransmitter release at neuromuscular synapses. These deficits were reversible if the dMMP1 expression was shut off again immediately after the onset of motor dysfunction. Additionally, repression of dMMP1 enzymatic activity via overexpression of a tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases delayed the onset of age-dependent motor dysfunction. MMPs are required for proper tissue architecture during development. Our results support the idea that matrix metalloproteinase 1 is acting as a downstream effector of antagonistic pleiotropy in motor neurons and is necessary for proper development, but deleterious when reactivated at an advanced age. © 2018 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Decreased function of survival motor neuron protein impairs endocytic pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimitriadi, Maria; Derdowski, Aaron; Kalloo, Geetika; Maginnis, Melissa S; O'Hern, Patrick; Bliska, Bryn; Sorkaç, Altar; Nguyen, Ken C Q; Cook, Steven J; Poulogiannis, George; Atwood, Walter J; Hall, David H; Hart, Anne C

    2016-07-26

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by depletion of the ubiquitously expressed survival motor neuron (SMN) protein, with 1 in 40 Caucasians being heterozygous for a disease allele. SMN is critical for the assembly of numerous ribonucleoprotein complexes, yet it is still unclear how reduced SMN levels affect motor neuron function. Here, we examined the impact of SMN depletion in Caenorhabditis elegans and found that decreased function of the SMN ortholog SMN-1 perturbed endocytic pathways at motor neuron synapses and in other tissues. Diminished SMN-1 levels caused defects in C. elegans neuromuscular function, and smn-1 genetic interactions were consistent with an endocytic defect. Changes were observed in synaptic endocytic proteins when SMN-1 levels decreased. At the ultrastructural level, defects were observed in endosomal compartments, including significantly fewer docked synaptic vesicles. Finally, endocytosis-dependent infection by JC polyomavirus (JCPyV) was reduced in human cells with decreased SMN levels. Collectively, these results demonstrate for the first time, to our knowledge, that SMN depletion causes defects in endosomal trafficking that impair synaptic function, even in the absence of motor neuron cell death.

  9. Relating neuronal firing patterns to functional differentiation of cerebral cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shigeru Shinomoto

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available It has been empirically established that the cerebral cortical areas defined by Brodmann one hundred years ago solely on the basis of cellular organization are closely correlated to their function, such as sensation, association, and motion. Cytoarchitectonically distinct cortical areas have different densities and types of neurons. Thus, signaling patterns may also vary among cytoarchitectonically unique cortical areas. To examine how neuronal signaling patterns are related to innate cortical functions, we detected intrinsic features of cortical firing by devising a metric that efficiently isolates non-Poisson irregular characteristics, independent of spike rate fluctuations that are caused extrinsically by ever-changing behavioral conditions. Using the new metric, we analyzed spike trains from over 1,000 neurons in 15 cortical areas sampled by eight independent neurophysiological laboratories. Analysis of firing-pattern dissimilarities across cortical areas revealed a gradient of firing regularity that corresponded closely to the functional category of the cortical area; neuronal spiking patterns are regular in motor areas, random in the visual areas, and bursty in the prefrontal area. Thus, signaling patterns may play an important role in function-specific cerebral cortical computation.

  10. Menthol Enhances Nicotine Reward-Related Behavior by Potentiating Nicotine-Induced Changes in nAChR Function, nAChR Upregulation, and DA Neuron Excitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderson, Brandon J; Wall, Teagan R; Henley, Beverley M; Kim, Charlene H; McKinney, Sheri; Lester, Henry A

    2017-11-01

    Understanding why the quit rate among smokers of menthol cigarettes is lower than non-menthol smokers requires identifying the neurons that are altered by nicotine, menthol, and acetylcholine. Dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) mediate the positive reinforcing effects of nicotine. Using mouse models, we show that menthol enhances nicotine-induced changes in nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) expressed on midbrain DA neurons. Menthol plus nicotine upregulates nAChR number and function on midbrain DA neurons more than nicotine alone. Menthol also enhances nicotine-induced changes in DA neuron excitability. In a conditioned place preference (CPP) assay, we observed that menthol plus nicotine produces greater reward-related behavior than nicotine alone. Our results connect changes in midbrain DA neurons to menthol-induced enhancements of nicotine reward-related behavior and may help explain how smokers of menthol cigarettes exhibit reduced cessation rates.

  11. Analyzing the structure and function of neuronal circuits in zebrafish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rainer eFriedrich

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The clever choice of animal models has been instrumental for many breakthrough discoveries in life sciences. One of the outstanding challenges in neuroscience is the in-depth analysis of neuronal circuits to understand how interactions between large numbers of neurons give rise to the computational power of the brain. A promising model organism to address this challenge is the zebrafish, not only because it is cheap, transparent and accessible to sophisticated genetic manipulations but also because it offers unique advantages for quantitative analyses of circuit structure and function. One of the most important advantages of zebrafish is its small brain size, both at larval and adult stages. Small brains enable exhaustive measurements of neuronal activity patterns by optical imaging and facilitate large-scale reconstructions of wiring diagrams by electron microscopic approaches. Such information is important, and probably essential, to obtain mechanistic insights into neuronal computations underlying higher brain functions and dysfunctions. This review provides a brief overview over current methods and motivations for dense reconstructions of neuronal activity and connectivity patterns. It then discusses selective advantages of zebrafish and provides examples how these advantages are exploited to study neuronal computations in the olfactory bulb.

  12. Val66Met polymorphism of BDNF alters prodomain structure to induce neuronal growth cone retraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anastasia, Agustin; Deinhardt, Katrin; Chao, Moses V; Will, Nathan E; Irmady, Krithi; Lee, Francis S; Hempstead, Barbara L; Bracken, Clay

    2013-01-01

    A common single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the human brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene results in a Val66Met substitution in the BDNF prodomain region. This SNP is associated with alterations in memory and with enhanced risk to develop depression and anxiety disorders in humans. Here we show that the isolated BDNF prodomain is detected in the hippocampus and that it can be secreted from neurons in an activity-dependent manner. Using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and circular dichroism, we find that the prodomain is intrinsically disordered, and the Val66Met substitution induces structural changes. Surprisingly, application of Met66 (but not Val66) BDNF prodomain induces acute growth cone retraction and a decrease in Rac activity in hippocampal neurons. Expression of p75(NTR) and differential engagement of the Met66 prodomain to the SorCS2 receptor are required for this effect. These results identify the Met66 prodomain as a new active ligand, which modulates neuronal morphology.

  13. Childhood obstructive sleep apnea associates with neuropsychological deficits and neuronal brain injury.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ann C Halbower

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available Childhood obstructive sleep apnea (OSA is associated with neuropsychological deficits of memory, learning, and executive function. There is no evidence of neuronal brain injury in children with OSA. We hypothesized that childhood OSA is associated with neuropsychological performance dysfunction, and with neuronal metabolite alterations in the brain, indicative of neuronal injury in areas corresponding to neuropsychological function.We conducted a cross-sectional study of 31 children (19 with OSA and 12 healthy controls, aged 6-16 y group-matched by age, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status. Participants underwent polysomnography and neuropsychological assessments. Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging was performed on a subset of children with OSA and on matched controls. Neuropsychological test scores and mean neuronal metabolite ratios of target brain areas were compared. Relative to controls, children with severe OSA had significant deficits in IQ and executive functions (verbal working memory and verbal fluency. Children with OSA demonstrated decreases of the mean neuronal metabolite ratio N-acetyl aspartate/choline in the left hippocampus (controls: 1.29, standard deviation [SD] 0.21; OSA: 0.91, SD 0.05; p = 0.001 and right frontal cortex (controls: 2.2, SD 0.4; OSA: 1.6, SD 0.4; p = 0.03.Childhood OSA is associated with deficits of IQ and executive function and also with possible neuronal injury in the hippocampus and frontal cortex. We speculate that untreated childhood OSA could permanently alter a developing child's cognitive potential.

  14. Dopaminergic Neurons Controlling Anterior Pituitary Functions: Anatomy and Ontogenesis in Zebrafish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontaine, Romain; Affaticati, Pierre; Bureau, Charlotte; Colin, Ingrid; Demarque, Michaël; Dufour, Sylvie; Vernier, Philippe; Yamamoto, Kei; Pasqualini, Catherine

    2015-08-01

    Dopaminergic (DA) neurons located in the preoptico-hypothalamic region of the brain exert a major neuroendocrine control on reproduction, growth, and homeostasis by regulating the secretion of anterior pituitary (or adenohypophysis) hormones. Here, using a retrograde tract tracing experiment, we identified the neurons playing this role in the zebrafish. The DA cells projecting directly to the anterior pituitary are localized in the most anteroventral part of the preoptic area, and we named them preoptico-hypophyseal DA (POHDA) neurons. During development, these neurons do not appear before 72 hours postfertilization (hpf) and are the last dopaminergic cell group to differentiate. We found that the number of neurons in this cell population continues to increase throughout life proportionally to the growth of the fish. 5-Bromo-2'-deoxyuridine incorporation analysis suggested that this increase is due to continuous neurogenesis and not due to a phenotypic change in already-existing neurons. Finally, expression profiles of several genes (foxg1a, dlx2a, and nr4a2a/b) were different in the POHDA compared with the adjacent suprachiasmatic DA neurons, suggesting that POHDA neurons develop as a distinct DA cell population in the preoptic area. This study offers some insights into the regional identity of the preoptic area and provides the first bases for future functional genetic studies on the development of DA neurons controlling anterior pituitary functions.

  15. Characteristics and mechanisms of hypothalamic neuronal fatty acid sensing.

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    Le Foll, Christelle; Irani, Boman G; Magnan, Christophe; Dunn-Meynell, Ambrose A; Levin, Barry E

    2009-09-01

    We assessed the mechanisms by which specialized hypothalamic ventromedial nucleus (VMN) neurons utilize both glucose and long-chain fatty acids as signaling molecules to alter their activity as a potential means of regulating energy homeostasis. Fura-2 calcium (Ca(2+)) and membrane potential dye imaging, together with pharmacological agents, were used to assess the mechanisms by which oleic acid (OA) alters the activity of dissociated VMN neurons from 3- to 4-wk-old rats. OA excited up to 43% and inhibited up to 29% of all VMN neurons independently of glucose concentrations. In those neurons excited by both 2.5 mM glucose and OA, OA had a concentration-dependent effective excitatory concentration (EC(50)) of 13.1 nM. Neurons inhibited by both 2.5 mM glucose and OA had an effective inhibitory concentration (IC(50)) of 93 nM. At 0.5 mM glucose, OA had markedly different effects on these same neurons. Inhibition of carnitine palmitoyltransferase, reactive oxygen species formation, long-chain acetyl-CoA synthetase and ATP-sensitive K(+) channel activity or activation of uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) accounted for only approximately 20% of OA's excitatory effects and approximately 40% of its inhibitory effects. Inhibition of CD36, a fatty acid transporter that can alter cell function independently of intracellular fatty acid metabolism, reduced the effects of OA by up to 45%. Thus OA affects VMN neuronal activity through multiple pathways. In glucosensing neurons, its effects are glucose dependent. This glucose-OA interaction provides a potential mechanism whereby such "metabolic sensing" neurons can respond to differences in the metabolic states associated with fasting and feeding.

  16. In Vitro Research of the Alteration of Neurons in Vagal Core in Medulla Oblongata at Asphyxic Deaths

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    Naim Haliti

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to research the morphological changes of neurons in the vagus nerve nuclei in medulla oblongata in asphyxia related death cases. Morphological changes that were investigated were mainly in the dorsal motor respiratory center (DMRC, nucleus tractus solitarius (nTS and nucleus ambigus (nA in the medulla oblongata. In our research, the autopsy material from asphyxia related death cases was used from various etiologies: monoxide carbon (CO, liquid drowning, strangulation, electricity, clinical-pathological death, firing weapon, explosive weapon, sharp and blunt objects and death cases due to accident. The material selected for research was taken from medulla oblongata and lungs from all lobes. The material from the medulla oblongata and lungs was fixed in a 10% solution of buffered formalin. Special histochemical methods for central nervous system (CNS were employed like: Cresyl echt violet, toluidin blue, Sevier-Munger modification and Grimelius. For stereometrical analysis of the quantitative density of the neurons the universal testing system Weibel M42 was used. The acquired results show that in sudden asphyxia related death cases, there are alterations in the nuclei of vagal nerve in form of: central chromatolysis, axonal retraction, axonal fragmentation, intranuclear vacuolization, cytoplasmic vacuolization, edema, condensation and dispersion of substance of Nissl, proliferation of oligodendrocytes, astrocytes and microglia. The altered population of vagus nerve neurons does not show an important statistica! significarne compared to the overall quantity of the neurons in the nuclei of the vagus nerve (p<0,05.

  17. Functional Connectome Analysis of Dopamine Neuron Glutamatergic Connections in Forebrain Regions.

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    Mingote, Susana; Chuhma, Nao; Kusnoor, Sheila V; Field, Bianca; Deutch, Ariel Y; Rayport, Stephen

    2015-12-09

    In the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a subpopulation of dopamine neurons express vesicular glutamate transporter 2 and make glutamatergic connections to nucleus accumbens (NAc) and olfactory tubercle (OT) neurons. However, their glutamatergic connections across the forebrain have not been explored systematically. To visualize dopamine neuron forebrain projections and to enable photostimulation of their axons independent of transmitter status, we virally transfected VTA neurons with channelrhodopsin-2 fused to enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (ChR2-EYFP) and used DAT(IREScre) mice to restrict expression to dopamine neurons. ChR2-EYFP-expressing neurons almost invariably stained for tyrosine hydroxylase, identifying them as dopaminergic. Dopamine neuron axons visualized by ChR2-EYFP fluorescence projected most densely to the striatum, moderately to the amygdala and entorhinal cortex (ERC), sparsely to prefrontal and cingulate cortices, and rarely to the hippocampus. Guided by ChR2-EYFP fluorescence, we recorded systematically from putative principal neurons in target areas and determined the incidence and strength of glutamatergic connections by activating all dopamine neuron terminals impinging on recorded neurons with wide-field photostimulation. This revealed strong glutamatergic connections in the NAc, OT, and ERC; moderate strength connections in the central amygdala; and weak connections in the cingulate cortex. No glutamatergic connections were found in the dorsal striatum, hippocampus, basolateral amygdala, or prefrontal cortex. These results indicate that VTA dopamine neurons elicit widespread, but regionally distinct, glutamatergic signals in the forebrain and begin to define the dopamine neuron excitatory functional connectome. Dopamine neurons are important for the control of motivated behavior and are involved in the pathophysiology of several major neuropsychiatric disorders. Recent studies have shown that some ventral midbrain dopamine neurons are

  18. Amyloid-beta aggregates cause alterations of astrocytic metabolic phenotype: impact on neuronal viability

    OpenAIRE

    Allaman, Igor; Gavillet, Mathilde; Bélanger, Mireille; Laroche, Thierry; Viertl, David; Lashuel, Hilal A.; Magistretti, Pierre J.

    2010-01-01

    Amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptides play a key role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease and exert various toxic effects on neurons; however, relatively little is known about their influence on glial cells. Astrocytes play a pivotal role in brain homeostasis, contributing to the regulation of local energy metabolism and oxidative stress defense, two aspects of importance for neuronal viability and function. In the present study, we explored the effects of Abeta peptides on glucose metabolism ...

  19. Recurrent antecedent hypoglycemia alters neuronal oxidative metabolism in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Lihong; Herzog, Raimund I; Mason, Graeme F; de Graaf, Robin A; Rothman, Douglas L; Sherwin, Robert S; Behar, Kevin L

    2009-06-01

    The objective of this study was to characterize the changes in brain metabolism caused by antecedent recurrent hypoglycemia under euglycemic and hypoglycemic conditions in a rat model and to test the hypothesis that recurrent hypoglycemia changes the brain's capacity to utilize different energy substrates. Rats exposed to recurrent insulin-induced hypoglycemia for 3 days (3dRH rats) and untreated controls were subject to the following protocols: [2-(13)C]acetate infusion under euglycemic conditions (n = 8), [1-(13)C]glucose and unlabeled acetate coinfusion under euglycemic conditions (n = 8), and [2-(13)C]acetate infusion during a hyperinsulinemic-hypoglycemic clamp (n = 8). In vivo nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy was used to monitor the rise of(13)C-labeling in brain metabolites for the calculation of brain metabolic fluxes using a neuron-astrocyte model. At euglycemia, antecedent recurrent hypoglycemia increased whole-brain glucose metabolism by 43 +/- 4% (P glucose utilization in neurons. Although acetate metabolism remained the same, control and 3dRH animals showed a distinctly different response to acute hypoglycemia: controls decreased pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) flux in astrocytes by 64 +/- 20% (P = 0.01), whereas it increased by 37 +/- 3% in neurons (P = 0.01). The 3dRH animals decreased PDH flux in both compartments (-75 +/- 20% in astrocytes, P neurons, P = 0.005). Thus, acute hypoglycemia reduced total brain tricarboxylic acid cycle activity in 3dRH animals (-37 +/- 4%, P = 0.001), but not in controls. Our findings suggest that after antecedent hypoglycemia, glucose utilization is increased at euglycemia and decreased after acute hypoglycemia, which was not the case in controls. These findings may help to identify better methods of preserving brain function and reducing injury during acute hypoglycemia.

  20. Loss of thymidine kinase 2 alters neuronal bioenergetics and leads to neurodegeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartesaghi, Stefano; Betts-Henderson, Joanne; Cain, Kelvin; Dinsdale, David; Zhou, Xiaoshan; Karlsson, Anna; Salomoni, Paolo; Nicotera, Pierluigi

    2010-05-01

    Mutations of thymidine kinase 2 (TK2), an essential component of the mitochondrial nucleotide salvage pathway, can give rise to mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) depletion syndromes (MDS). These clinically heterogeneous disorders are characterized by severe reduction in mtDNA copy number in affected tissues and are associated with progressive myopathy, hepatopathy and/or encephalopathy, depending in part on the underlying nuclear genetic defect. Mutations of TK2 have previously been associated with an isolated myopathic form of MDS (OMIM 609560). However, more recently, neurological phenotypes have been demonstrated in patients carrying TK2 mutations, thus suggesting that loss of TK2 results in neuronal dysfunction. Here, we directly address the role of TK2 in neuronal homeostasis using a knockout mouse model. We demonstrate that in vivo loss of TK2 activity leads to a severe ataxic phenotype, accompanied by reduced mtDNA copy number and decreased steady-state levels of electron transport chain proteins in the brain. In TK2-deficient cerebellar neurons, these abnormalities are associated with impaired mitochondrial bioenergetic function, aberrant mitochondrial ultrastructure and degeneration of selected neuronal types. Overall, our findings demonstrate that TK2 deficiency leads to neuronal dysfunction in vivo, and have important implications for understanding the mechanisms of neurological impairment in MDS.

  1. Neuronal migration, apoptosis and bipolar disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uribe, Ezequiel; Wix, Richard

    2012-01-01

    Bipolar disorder, like the majority of psychiatric disorders, is considered a neurodevelopment disease of neurodevelopment. There is an increased rate of neuronal birth and death during this development period. In the particular case of the processes that determine neuronal death, it is known that those neurons that establish connections have to be removed from the central nervous system. There is a deficit of GABAergic interneurons in the cerebral cortex in bipolar disorder, accompanied by overexpression of proapoptic genes. There is also an alteration in the expression of molecules that mediate in the migration of these neurons and their inclusion in functional synapsis during the foetal stage. The role of these molecules in the neuronal death pathways by apoptosis will be reviewed here in an attempt to establish biological hypotheses of the genesis of bipolar disorder. Copyright © 2011 SEP y SEPB. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

  2. Neto2 Assembles with Kainate Receptors in DRG Neurons during Development and Modulates Neurite Outgrowth in Adult Sensory Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vernon, Claire G; Swanson, Geoffrey T

    2017-03-22

    Peripheral sensory neurons in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) are the initial transducers of sensory stimuli, including painful stimuli, from the periphery to central sensory and pain-processing centers. Small- to medium-diameter non-peptidergic neurons in the neonatal DRG express functional kainate receptors (KARs), one of three subfamilies of ionotropic glutamate receptors, as well as the putative KAR auxiliary subunit Neuropilin- and tolloid-like 2 (Neto2). Neto2 alters recombinant KAR function markedly but has yet to be confirmed as an auxiliary subunit that assembles with and alters the function of endogenous KARs. KARs in neonatal DRG require the GluK1 subunit as a necessary constituent, but it is unclear to what extent other KAR subunits contribute to the function and proposed roles of KARs in sensory ganglia, which include promotion of neurite outgrowth and modulation of glutamate release at the DRG-dorsal horn synapse. In addition, KARs containing the GluK1 subunit are implicated in modes of persistent but not acute pain signaling. We show here that the Neto2 protein is highly expressed in neonatal DRG and modifies KAR gating in DRG neurons in a developmentally regulated fashion in mice. Although normally at very low levels in adult DRG neurons, Neto2 protein expression can be upregulated via MEK/ERK signaling and after sciatic nerve crush and Neto2 -/- neurons from adult mice have stunted neurite outgrowth. These data confirm that Neto2 is a bona fide KAR auxiliary subunit that is an important constituent of KARs early in sensory neuron development and suggest that Neto2 assembly is critical to KAR modulation of DRG neuron process outgrowth. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Pain-transducing peripheral sensory neurons of the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) express kainate receptors (KARs), a subfamily of glutamate receptors that modulate neurite outgrowth and regulate glutamate release at the DRG-dorsal horn synapse. The putative KAR auxiliary subunit Neuropilin- and

  3. Treatment of trigeminal ganglion neurons in vitro with NGF, GDNF or BDNF: effects on neuronal survival, neurochemical properties and TRPV1-mediated neuropeptide secretion

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    Patwardhan Amol M

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Nerve growth factor (NGF, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF all play important roles in the development of the peripheral sensory nervous system. Additionally, these growth factors are proposed to modulate the properties of the sensory system in the adult under pathological conditions brought about by nerve injury or inflammation. We have examined the effects of NGF, GDNF and BDNF on adult rat trigeminal ganglion (TG neurons in culture to gain a better understanding of how these growth factors alter the cytochemical and functional phenotype of these neurons, with special attention to properties associated with nociception. Results Compared with no growth factor controls, GDNF, at 1 and 100 ng/ml, significantly increased by nearly 100% the number of neurons in culture at 5 days post-plating. A significant, positive, linear trend of increasing neuron number as a function of BDNF concentration was observed, also peaking at nearly 100%. NGF treatment was without effect. Chronic treatment with NGF and GDNF significantly and concentration-dependently increased 100 nM capsaicin (CAP-evoked calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP release, reaching approximately 300% at the highest concentration tested (100 ng/ml. Also, NGF and GDNF each augmented anandamide (AEA- and arachidonyl-2-chloroethylamide (ACEA-evoked CGRP release, while BDNF was without effect. Utilizing immunohistochemistry to account for the proportions of TRPV1- or CGRP-positive neurons under each growth factor treatment condition and then standardizing evoked CGRP release to these proportions, we observed that NGF was much more effective in enhancing CAP- and 50 mM K+-evoked CGRP release than was GDNF. Furthermore, NGF and GDNF each altered the concentration-response function for CAP- and AEA-evoked CGRP release, increasing the Emax without altering the EC50 for either compound. Conclusions Taken together, our

  4. Neuronal activity in the hub of extrasynaptic Schwann cell-axon interactions

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    Chrysanthi eSamara

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available The integrity and function of neurons depend on their continuous interactions with glial cells. In the peripheral nervous system glial functions are exerted by Schwann cells (SCs. SCs sense synaptic and extrasynaptic manifestations of action potential propagation and adapt their physiology to support neuronal activity. We review here existing literature data on extrasynaptic bidirectional axon-SC communication, focusing particularly on neuronal activity implications. To shed light on underlying mechanisms, we conduct a thorough analysis of microarray data from SC-rich mouse sciatic nerve at different developmental stages and in neuropathic models. We identify molecules that are potentially involved in SC detection of neuronal activity signals inducing subsequent glial responses. We further suggest that alterations in the activity-dependent axon-SC crosstalk impact on peripheral neuropathies. Together with previously reported data, these observations open new perspectives for deciphering glial mechanisms of neuronal function support.

  5. Glucose sensing by GABAergic neurons in the mouse nucleus tractus solitarii

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    Boychuk, Carie R.; Gyarmati, Peter; Xu, Hong

    2015-01-01

    Changes in blood glucose concentration alter autonomic function in a manner consistent with altered neural activity in brain regions controlling digestive processes, including neurons in the brain stem nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS), which process viscerosensory information. With whole cell or on-cell patch-clamp recordings, responses to elevating glucose concentration from 2.5 to 15 mM were assessed in identified GABAergic NTS neurons in slices from transgenic mice that express EGFP in a subset of GABA neurons. Single-cell real-time RT-PCR was also performed to detect glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD67) in recorded neurons. In most identified GABA neurons (73%), elevating glucose concentration from 2.5 to 15 mM resulted in either increased (40%) or decreased (33%) neuronal excitability, reflected by altered membrane potential and/or action potential firing. Effects on membrane potential were maintained when action potentials or fast synaptic inputs were blocked, suggesting direct glucose sensing by GABA neurons. Glucose-inhibited GABA neurons were found predominantly in the lateral NTS, whereas glucose-excited cells were mainly in the medial NTS, suggesting regional segregation of responses. Responses were prevented in the presence of glucosamine, a glucokinase (GCK) inhibitor. Depolarizing responses were prevented when KATP channel activity was blocked with tolbutamide. Whereas effects on synaptic input to identified GABAergic neurons were variable in GABA neurons, elevating glucose increased glutamate release subsequent to stimulation of tractus solitarius in unlabeled, unidentified neurons. These results indicate that GABAergic NTS neurons act as GCK-dependent glucose sensors in the vagal complex, providing a means of modulating central autonomic signals when glucose is elevated. PMID:26084907

  6. Ectopic Expression of α6 and δ GABAA Receptor Subunits in Hilar Somatostatin Neurons Increases Tonic Inhibition and Alters Network Activity in the Dentate Gyrus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Xiaoping; Peng, Zechun; Zhang, Nianhui; Cetina, Yliana; Huang, Christine S.; Wallner, Martin; Otis, Thomas S.

    2015-01-01

    The role of GABAA receptor (GABAAR)-mediated tonic inhibition in interneurons remains unclear and may vary among subgroups. Somatostatin (SOM) interneurons in the hilus of the dentate gyrus show negligible expression of nonsynaptic GABAAR subunits and very low tonic inhibition. To determine the effects of ectopic expression of tonic GABAAR subtypes in these neurons, Cre-dependent viral vectors were used to express GFP-tagged GABAAR subunits (α6 and δ) selectively in hilar SOM neurons in SOM-Cre mice. In single-transfected animals, immunohistochemistry demonstrated strong expression of either the α6 or δ subunit; in cotransfected animals, both subunits were consistently expressed in the same neurons. Electrophysiology revealed a robust increase of tonic current, with progressively larger increases following transfection of δ, α6, and α6/δ subunits, respectively, indicating formation of functional receptors in all conditions and likely coassembly of the subunits in the same receptor following cotransfection. An in vitro model of repetitive bursting was used to determine the effects of increased tonic inhibition in hilar SOM interneurons on circuit activity in the dentate gyrus. Upon cotransfection, the frequency of GABAAR-mediated bursting in granule cells was reduced, consistent with a reduction in synchronous firing among hilar SOM interneurons. Moreover, in vivo studies of Fos expression demonstrated reduced activation of α6/δ-cotransfected neurons following acute seizure induction by pentylenetetrazole. The findings demonstrate that increasing tonic inhibition in hilar SOM interneurons can alter dentate gyrus circuit activity during strong stimulation and suggest that tonic inhibition of interneurons could play a role in regulating excessive synchrony within the network. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In contrast to many hippocampal interneurons, somatostatin (SOM) neurons in the hilus of the dentate gyrus have very low levels of nonsynaptic GABAARs and exhibit

  7. VEGF induces sensory and motor peripheral plasticity, alters bladder function, and promotes visceral sensitivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malykhina, Anna P; Lei, Qi; Erickson, Chris S; Epstein, Miles L; Saban, Marcia R; Davis, Carole A; Saban, Ricardo

    2012-12-19

    This work tests the hypothesis that bladder instillation with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) modulates sensory and motor nerve plasticity, and, consequently, bladder function and visceral sensitivity.In addition to C57BL/6J, ChAT-cre mice were used for visualization of bladder cholinergic nerves. The direct effect of VEGF on the density of sensory nerves expressing the transient receptor potential vanilloid subfamily 1 (TRPV1) and cholinergic nerves (ChAT) was studied one week after one or two intravesical instillations of the growth factor.To study the effects of VEGF on bladder function, mice were intravesically instilled with VEGF and urodynamic evaluation was assessed. VEGF-induced alteration in bladder dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons was performed on retrogradly labeled urinary bladder afferents by patch-clamp recording of voltage gated Na+ currents. Determination of VEGF-induced changes in sensitivity to abdominal mechanostimulation was performed by application of von Frey filaments. In addition to an overwhelming increase in TRPV1 immunoreactivity, VEGF instillation resulted in an increase in ChAT-directed expression of a fluorescent protein in several layers of the urinary bladder. Intravesical VEGF caused a profound change in the function of the urinary bladder: acute VEGF (1 week post VEGF treatment) reduced micturition pressure and longer treatment (2 weeks post-VEGF instillation) caused a substantial reduction in inter-micturition interval. In addition, intravesical VEGF resulted in an up-regulation of voltage gated Na(+) channels (VGSC) in bladder DRG neurons and enhanced abdominal sensitivity to mechanical stimulation. For the first time, evidence is presented indicating that VEGF instillation into the mouse bladder promotes a significant increase in peripheral nerve density together with alterations in bladder function and visceral sensitivity. The VEGF pathway is being proposed as a key modulator of neural plasticity in the pelvis and

  8. VEGF induces sensory and motor peripheral plasticity, alters bladder function, and promotes visceral sensitivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malykhina Anna P

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background This work tests the hypothesis that bladder instillation with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF modulates sensory and motor nerve plasticity, and, consequently, bladder function and visceral sensitivity. In addition to C57BL/6J, ChAT-cre mice were used for visualization of bladder cholinergic nerves. The direct effect of VEGF on the density of sensory nerves expressing the transient receptor potential vanilloid subfamily 1 (TRPV1 and cholinergic nerves (ChAT was studied one week after one or two intravesical instillations of the growth factor. To study the effects of VEGF on bladder function, mice were intravesically instilled with VEGF and urodynamic evaluation was assessed. VEGF-induced alteration in bladder dorsal root ganglion (DRG neurons was performed on retrogradly labeled urinary bladder afferents by patch-clamp recording of voltage gated Na+ currents. Determination of VEGF-induced changes in sensitivity to abdominal mechanostimulation was performed by application of von Frey filaments. Results In addition to an overwhelming increase in TRPV1 immunoreactivity, VEGF instillation resulted in an increase in ChAT-directed expression of a fluorescent protein in several layers of the urinary bladder. Intravesical VEGF caused a profound change in the function of the urinary bladder: acute VEGF (1 week post VEGF treatment reduced micturition pressure and longer treatment (2 weeks post-VEGF instillation caused a substantial reduction in inter-micturition interval. In addition, intravesical VEGF resulted in an up-regulation of voltage gated Na+ channels (VGSC in bladder DRG neurons and enhanced abdominal sensitivity to mechanical stimulation. Conclusions For the first time, evidence is presented indicating that VEGF instillation into the mouse bladder promotes a significant increase in peripheral nerve density together with alterations in bladder function and visceral sensitivity. The VEGF pathway is being proposed as a

  9. NeuronMetrics: software for semi-automated processing of cultured neuron images.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narro, Martha L; Yang, Fan; Kraft, Robert; Wenk, Carola; Efrat, Alon; Restifo, Linda L

    2007-03-23

    Using primary cell culture to screen for changes in neuronal morphology requires specialized analysis software. We developed NeuronMetrics for semi-automated, quantitative analysis of two-dimensional (2D) images of fluorescently labeled cultured neurons. It skeletonizes the neuron image using two complementary image-processing techniques, capturing fine terminal neurites with high fidelity. An algorithm was devised to span wide gaps in the skeleton. NeuronMetrics uses a novel strategy based on geometric features called faces to extract a branch number estimate from complex arbors with numerous neurite-to-neurite contacts, without creating a precise, contact-free representation of the neurite arbor. It estimates total neurite length, branch number, primary neurite number, territory (the area of the convex polygon bounding the skeleton and cell body), and Polarity Index (a measure of neuronal polarity). These parameters provide fundamental information about the size and shape of neurite arbors, which are critical factors for neuronal function. NeuronMetrics streamlines optional manual tasks such as removing noise, isolating the largest primary neurite, and correcting length for self-fasciculating neurites. Numeric data are output in a single text file, readily imported into other applications for further analysis. Written as modules for ImageJ, NeuronMetrics provides practical analysis tools that are easy to use and support batch processing. Depending on the need for manual intervention, processing time for a batch of approximately 60 2D images is 1.0-2.5 h, from a folder of images to a table of numeric data. NeuronMetrics' output accelerates the quantitative detection of mutations and chemical compounds that alter neurite morphology in vitro, and will contribute to the use of cultured neurons for drug discovery.

  10. The functional significance of newly born neurons integrated into olfactory bulb circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakamoto, Masayuki; Kageyama, Ryoichiro; Imayoshi, Itaru

    2014-01-01

    The olfactory bulb (OB) is the first central processing center for olfactory information connecting with higher areas in the brain, and this neuronal circuitry mediates a variety of odor-evoked behavioral responses. In the adult mammalian brain, continuous neurogenesis occurs in two restricted regions, the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the lateral ventricle and the hippocampal dentate gyrus. New neurons born in the SVZ migrate through the rostral migratory stream and are integrated into the neuronal circuits of the OB throughout life. The significance of this continuous supply of new neurons in the OB has been implicated in plasticity and memory regulation. Two decades of huge investigation in adult neurogenesis revealed the biological importance of integration of new neurons into the olfactory circuits. In this review, we highlight the recent findings about the physiological functions of newly generated neurons in rodent OB circuits and then discuss the contribution of neurogenesis in the brain function. Finally, we introduce cutting edge technologies to monitor and manipulate the activity of new neurons.

  11. The functional significance of newly born neurons integrated into olfactory bulb circuits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masayuki eSakamoto

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The olfactory bulb (OB is the first central processing center for olfactory information connecting with higher areas in the brain, and this neuronal circuitry mediates a variety of odor-evoked behavioral responses. In the adult mammalian brain, continuous neurogenesis occurs in two restricted regions, the subventricular zone (SVZ of the lateral ventricle and the hippocampal dentate gyrus. New neurons born in the SVZ migrate through the rostral migratory stream and are integrated into the neuronal circuits of the OB throughout life. The significance of this continuous supply of new neurons in the OB has been implicated in plasticity and memory regulation. Two decades of huge investigation in adult neurogenesis revealed the biological importance of integration of new neurons into the olfactory circuits. In this review, we highlight the recent findings about the physiological functions of newly generated neurons in rodent OB circuits and then discuss the contribution of neurogenesis in the brain function. Finally, we introduce cutting edge technologies to monitor and manipulate the activity of new neurons.

  12. Soft chitosan microbeads scaffold for 3D functional neuronal networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tedesco, Maria Teresa; Di Lisa, Donatella; Massobrio, Paolo; Colistra, Nicolò; Pesce, Mattia; Catelani, Tiziano; Dellacasa, Elena; Raiteri, Roberto; Martinoia, Sergio; Pastorino, Laura

    2018-02-01

    The availability of 3D biomimetic in vitro neuronal networks of mammalian neurons represents a pivotal step for the development of brain-on-a-chip experimental models to study neuronal (dys)functions and particularly neuronal connectivity. The use of hydrogel-based scaffolds for 3D cell cultures has been extensively studied in the last years. However, limited work on biomimetic 3D neuronal cultures has been carried out to date. In this respect, here we investigated the use of a widely popular polysaccharide, chitosan (CHI), for the fabrication of a microbead based 3D scaffold to be coupled to primary neuronal cells. CHI microbeads were characterized by optical and atomic force microscopies. The cell/scaffold interaction was deeply characterized by transmission electron microscopy and by immunocytochemistry using confocal microscopy. Finally, a preliminary electrophysiological characterization by micro-electrode arrays was carried out. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Disruption of Transient Serotonin Accumulation by Non-Serotonin-Producing Neurons Impairs Cortical Map Development

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    Xiaoning Chen

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Polymorphisms that alter serotonin transporter SERT expression and functionality increase the risks for autism and psychiatric traits. Here, we investigate how SERT controls serotonin signaling in developing CNS in mice. SERT is transiently expressed in specific sets of glutamatergic neurons and uptakes extrasynaptic serotonin during perinatal CNS development. We show that SERT expression in glutamatergic thalamocortical axons (TCAs dictates sensory map architecture. Knockout of SERT in TCAs causes lasting alterations in TCA patterning, spatial organizations of cortical neurons, and dendritic arborization in sensory cortex. Pharmacological reduction of serotonin synthesis during the first postnatal week rescues sensory maps in SERTGluΔ mice. Furthermore, knockdown of SERT expression in serotonin-producing neurons does not impair barrel maps. We propose that spatiotemporal SERT expression in non-serotonin-producing neurons represents a determinant in early life genetic programming of cortical circuits. Perturbing this SERT function could be involved in the origin of sensory and cognitive deficits associated with neurodevelopmental disorders.

  14. Hyperosmolar Tears Induce Functional and Structural Alterations of Corneal Nerves: Electrophysiological and Anatomical Evidence Toward Neurotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirata, Harumitsu; Mizerska, Kamila; Marfurt, Carl F; Rosenblatt, Mark I

    2015-12-01

    In an effort to elucidate possible neural mechanisms underlying diminished tearing in dry eye disease, this study sought to determine if hyperosmolar tears, a ubiquitous sign of dry eye disease, produce functional changes in corneal nerve responses to drying of the cornea and if these changes correlate with alterations in corneal nerve morphology. In vivo extracellular electrophysiological recordings were performed in rat trigeminal ganglion neurons that innervated the cornea before, and up to 3 hours after, the ocular application of continuous hyperosmolar tears or artificial tears. In corollary experiments, immunohistochemical staining was performed to compare corneal nerve morphology in control and in eyes treated with hyperosmolar solutions. Our previous studies identified a population of corneal afferents, dry-sensitive neurons that are strongly excited by corneal dessication ("dry response"), a response thought to trigger the lacrimation reflex. In the present study, we found that the dry responses of corneal dry-sensitive neurons were depressed or even completely abolished by hyperosmolar tears in a time- (30 minutes to 3 hours) and dose (450- to 1000-mOsm solutions)-dependent manner. Furthermore, eyes treated with hyperosmolar tears for 3 hours contained large numbers of morphologically abnormal (granular, fragmented, or prominently beaded) subbasal nerves that appeared to be undergoing degeneration. These results demonstrate that tear hyperosmolarity, considered to be a "core" mechanism of dry eye disease, significantly decreases physiological sensitivity and morphologic integrity of the corneal nerves important in tear production. These alterations might contribute to the diminished tearing seen clinically in dry eye patients.

  15. Anorexia and impaired glucose metabolism in mice with hypothalamic ablation of Glut4 neurons.

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    Ren, Hongxia; Lu, Taylor Y; McGraw, Timothy E; Accili, Domenico

    2015-02-01

    The central nervous system (CNS) uses glucose independent of insulin. Nonetheless, insulin receptors and insulin-responsive glucose transporters (Glut4) often colocalize in neurons (Glut4 neurons) in anatomically and functionally distinct areas of the CNS. The apparent heterogeneity of Glut4 neurons has thus far thwarted attempts to understand their function. To answer this question, we used Cre-dependent, diphtheria toxin-mediated cell ablation to selectively remove basal hypothalamic Glut4 neurons and investigate the resulting phenotypes. After Glut4 neuron ablation, mice demonstrate altered hormone and nutrient signaling in the CNS. Accordingly, they exhibit negative energy balance phenotype characterized by reduced food intake and increased energy expenditure, without locomotor deficits or gross neuronal abnormalities. Glut4 neuron ablation affects orexigenic melanin-concentrating hormone neurons but has limited effect on neuropeptide Y/agouti-related protein and proopiomelanocortin neurons. The food intake phenotype can be partially normalized by GABA administration, suggesting that it arises from defective GABAergic transmission. Glut4 neuron-ablated mice show peripheral metabolic defects, including fasting hyperglycemia and glucose intolerance, decreased insulin levels, and elevated hepatic gluconeogenic genes. We conclude that Glut4 neurons integrate hormonal and nutritional cues and mediate CNS actions of insulin on energy balance and peripheral metabolism. © 2015 by the American Diabetes Association. Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered.

  16. In Vivo Neuromechanics: Decoding Causal Motor Neuron Behavior with Resulting Musculoskeletal Function.

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    Sartori, Massimo; Yavuz, Utku Ş; Farina, Dario

    2017-10-18

    Human motor function emerges from the interaction between the neuromuscular and the musculoskeletal systems. Despite the knowledge of the mechanisms underlying neural and mechanical functions, there is no relevant understanding of the neuro-mechanical interplay in the neuro-musculo-skeletal system. This currently represents the major challenge to the understanding of human movement. We address this challenge by proposing a paradigm for investigating spinal motor neuron contribution to skeletal joint mechanical function in the intact human in vivo. We employ multi-muscle spatial sampling and deconvolution of high-density fiber electrical activity to decode accurate α-motor neuron discharges across five lumbosacral segments in the human spinal cord. We use complete α-motor neuron discharge series to drive forward subject-specific models of the musculoskeletal system in open-loop with no corrective feedback. We perform validation tests where mechanical moments are estimated with no knowledge of reference data over unseen conditions. This enables accurate blinded estimation of ankle function purely from motor neuron information. Remarkably, this enables observing causal associations between spinal motor neuron activity and joint moment control. We provide a new class of neural data-driven musculoskeletal modeling formulations for bridging between movement neural and mechanical levels in vivo with implications for understanding motor physiology, pathology, and recovery.

  17. GABA neurons and the mechanisms of network oscillations: implications for understanding cortical dysfunction in schizophrenia.

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    Gonzalez-Burgos, Guillermo; Lewis, David A

    2008-09-01

    Synchronization of neuronal activity in the neocortex may underlie the coordination of neural representations and thus is critical for optimal cognitive function. Because cognitive deficits are the major determinant of functional outcome in schizophrenia, identifying their neural basis is important for the development of new therapeutic interventions. Here we review the data suggesting that phasic synaptic inhibition mediated by specific subtypes of cortical gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons is essential for the production of synchronized network oscillations. We also discuss evidence indicating that GABA neurotransmission is altered in schizophrenia and propose mechanisms by which such alterations can decrease the strength of inhibitory connections in a cell-type-specific manner. We suggest that some alterations observed in the neocortex of schizophrenia subjects may be compensatory responses that partially restore inhibitory synaptic efficacy. The findings of altered neural synchrony and impaired cognitive function in schizophrenia suggest that such compensatory responses are insufficient and that interventions aimed at augmenting the efficacy of GABA neurotransmission might be of therapeutic value.

  18. Sub-acute nickel exposure impairs behavior, alters neuronal microarchitecture, and induces oxidative stress in rats' brain.

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    Ijomone, Omamuyovwi Meashack; Okori, Stephen Odey; Ijomone, Olayemi Kafilat; Ebokaiwe, Azubike Peter

    2018-02-26

    Nickel (Ni) is a heavy metal with wide industrial uses. Environmental and occupational exposures to Ni are potential risk factors for neurological symptoms in humans. The present study investigated the behavior and histomorphological alterations in brain of rats sub-acutely exposed to nickel chloride (NiCl 2 ) and the possible involvement of oxidative stress. Rats were administered with 5, 10 or 20 mg/kg NiCl 2 via intraperitoneal injections for 21 days. Neurobehavioral assessment was performed using the Y-maze and open field test (OFT). Histomorphological analyses of brain tissues, as well as biochemical determination of oxidative stress levels were performed. Results showed that Ni treatments significantly reduced body weight and food intake. Cognitive and motor behaviors on the Y-maze and OFT, respectively, were compromised following Ni treatments. Administration of Ni affected neuronal morphology in the brain and significantly reduced percentage of intact neurons in both hippocampus and striatum. Additionally, markers of oxidative stress levels and nitric oxide (NO) levels were significantly altered following Ni treatments. These data suggest that compromised behavior and brain histomorphology following Ni exposures is associated with increase in oxidative stress.

  19. CREB regulates spine density of lateral amygdala neurons: implications for memory allocation

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    Derya eSargin

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Neurons may compete against one another for integration into a memory trace. Specifically, neurons in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala with relatively higher levels of CREB seem to be preferentially allocated to a fear memory trace, while neurons with relatively decreased CREB function seem to be excluded from a fear memory trace. CREB is a ubiquitous transcription factor that modulates many diverse cellular processes, raising the question as to which of these CREB-mediated processes underlie memory allocation. CREB is implicated in modulating dendritic spine number and morphology. As dendritic spines are intimately involved in memory formation, we investigated whether manipulations of CREB function alter spine number or morphology of neurons at the time of fear conditioning. We used viral vectors to manipulate CREB function in the lateral amygdala principal neurons in mice maintained in their homecages. At the time that fear conditioning normally occurs, we observed that neurons with high levels of CREB had more dendritic spines, while neurons with low CREB function had relatively fewer spines compared to control neurons. These results suggest that the modulation of spine density provides a potential mechanism for preferential allocation of a subset of neurons to the memory trace.

  20. Misfolded SOD1 associated with motor neuron mitochondria alters mitochondrial shape and distribution prior to clinical onset.

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    Christine Vande Velde

    Full Text Available Mutations in superoxide dismutase (SOD1 are causative for inherited amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. A proportion of SOD1 mutant protein is misfolded onto the cytoplasmic face of mitochondria in one or more spinal cord cell types. By construction of mice in which mitochondrially targeted enhanced green fluorescent protein is selectively expressed in motor neurons, we demonstrate that axonal mitochondria of motor neurons are primary in vivo targets for misfolded SOD1. Mutant SOD1 alters axonal mitochondrial morphology and distribution, with dismutase active SOD1 causing mitochondrial clustering at the proximal side of Schmidt-Lanterman incisures within motor axons and dismutase inactive SOD1 producing aberrantly elongated axonal mitochondria beginning pre-symptomatically and increasing in severity as disease progresses. Somal mitochondria are altered by mutant SOD1, with loss of the characteristic cylindrical, networked morphology and its replacement by a less elongated, more spherical shape. These data indicate that mutant SOD1 binding to mitochondria disrupts normal mitochondrial distribution and size homeostasis as early pathogenic features of SOD1 mutant-mediated ALS.

  1. Mechanisms of pyrethroid insecticide-induced stimulation of calcium influx in neocortical neurons

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    Pyrethroid insecticides bind to voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) and modify their gating kinetics, thereby disrupting neuronal function. Pyrethroids have also been reported to alter the function of other channel types, including activation of voltage-gated Ca2+ calcium chann...

  2. Developmental alterations in motor coordination and medium spiny neuron markers in mice lacking pgc-1α.

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    Elizabeth K Lucas

    Full Text Available Accumulating evidence implicates the transcriptional coactivator peroxisome proliferator activated receptor γ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α in the pathophysiology of Huntington Disease (HD. Adult PGC-1α (-/- mice exhibit striatal neurodegeneration, and reductions in the expression of PGC-1α have been observed in striatum and muscle of HD patients as well as in animal models of the disease. However, it is unknown whether decreased expression of PGC-1α alone is sufficient to lead to the motor phenotype and striatal pathology characteristic of HD. For the first time, we show that young PGC-1α (-/- mice exhibit severe rotarod deficits, decreased rearing behavior, and increased occurrence of tremor in addition to the previously described hindlimb clasping. Motor impairment and striatal vacuolation are apparent in PGC-1α (-/- mice by four weeks of age and do not improve or decline by twelve weeks of age. The behavioral and pathological phenotype of PGC-1α (-/- mice can be completely recapitulated by conditional nervous system deletion of PGC-1α, indicating that peripheral effects are not responsible for the observed abnormalities. Evaluation of the transcriptional profile of PGC-1α (-/- striatal neuron populations and comparison to striatal neuron profiles of R6/2 HD mice revealed that PGC-1α deficiency alone is not sufficient to cause the transcriptional changes observed in this HD mouse model. In contrast to R6/2 HD mice, PGC-1α (-/- mice show increases in the expression of medium spiny neuron (MSN markers with age, suggesting that the observed behavioral and structural abnormalities are not primarily due to MSN loss, the defining pathological feature of HD. These results indicate that PGC-1α is required for the proper development of motor circuitry and transcriptional homeostasis in MSNs and that developmental disruption of PGC-1α leads to long-term alterations in motor functioning.

  3. Excitability of Aβ sensory neurons is altered in an animal model of peripheral neuropathy

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    Zhu Yong

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Causes of neuropathic pain following nerve injury remain unclear, limiting the development of mechanism-based therapeutic approaches. Animal models have provided some directions, but little is known about the specific sensory neurons that undergo changes in such a way as to induce and maintain activation of sensory pain pathways. Our previous studies implicated changes in the Aβ, normally non-nociceptive neurons in activating spinal nociceptive neurons in a cuff-induced animal model of neuropathic pain and the present study was directed specifically at determining any change in excitability of these neurons. Thus, the present study aimed at recording intracellularly from Aβ-fiber dorsal root ganglion (DRG neurons and determining excitability of the peripheral receptive field, of the cell body and of the dorsal roots. Methods A peripheral neuropathy was induced in Sprague Dawley rats by inserting two thin polyethylene cuffs around the right sciatic nerve. All animals were confirmed to exhibit tactile hypersensitivity to von Frey filaments three weeks later, before the acute electrophysiological experiments. Under stable intracellular recording conditions neurons were classified functionally on the basis of their response to natural activation of their peripheral receptive field. In addition, conduction velocity of the dorsal roots, configuration of the action potential and rate of adaptation to stimulation were also criteria for classification. Excitability was measured as the threshold to activation of the peripheral receptive field, the response to intracellular injection of depolarizing current into the soma and the response to electrical stimulation of the dorsal roots. Results In control animals mechanical thresholds of all neurons were within normal ranges. Aβ DRG neurons in neuropathic rats demonstrated a mean mechanical threshold to receptive field stimulation that were significantly lower than in control rats, a

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

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    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.

  5. Selective inhibition of miR-92 in hippocampal neurons alters contextual fear memory.

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    Vetere, Gisella; Barbato, Christian; Pezzola, Silvia; Frisone, Paola; Aceti, Massimiliano; Ciotti, MariaTeresa; Cogoni, Carlo; Ammassari-Teule, Martine; Ruberti, Francesca

    2014-12-01

    Post-transcriptional gene regulation mediated by microRNAs (miRNAs) is implicated in memory formation; however, the function of miR-92 in this regulation is uncharacterized. The present study shows that training mice in contextual fear conditioning produces a transient increase in miR-92 levels in the hippocampus and decreases several miR-92 gene targets, including: (i) the neuronal Cl(-) extruding K(+) Cl(-) co-transporter 2 (KCC2) protein; (ii) the cytoplasmic polyadenylation protein (CPEB3), an RNA-binding protein regulator of protein synthesis in neurons; and (iii) the transcription factor myocyte enhancer factor 2D (MEF2D), one of the MEF2 genes which negatively regulates memory-induced structural plasticity. Selective inhibition of endogenous miR-92 in CA1 hippocampal neurons, by a sponge lentiviral vector expressing multiple sequences imperfectly complementary to mature miR-92 under the control of the neuronal specific synapsin promoter, leads to up-regulation of KCC2, CPEB3 and MEF2D, impairs contextual fear conditioning, and prevents a memory-induced increase in the spine density. Taken together, the results indicate that neuronal-expressed miR-92 is an endogenous fine regulator of contextual fear memory in mice. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Disturbed neuronal ER-Golgi sorting of unassembled glycine receptors suggests altered subcellular processing is a cause of human hyperekplexia.

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    Schaefer, Natascha; Kluck, Christoph J; Price, Kerry L; Meiselbach, Heike; Vornberger, Nadine; Schwarzinger, Stephan; Hartmann, Stephanie; Langlhofer, Georg; Schulz, Solveig; Schlegel, Nadja; Brockmann, Knut; Lynch, Bryan; Becker, Cord-Michael; Lummis, Sarah C R; Villmann, Carmen

    2015-01-07

    Recent studies on the pathogenic mechanisms of recessive hyperekplexia indicate disturbances in glycine receptor (GlyR) α1 biogenesis. Here, we examine the properties of a range of novel glycine receptor mutants identified in human hyperekplexia patients using expression in transfected cell lines and primary neurons. All of the novel mutants localized in the large extracellular domain of the GlyR α1 have reduced cell surface expression with a high proportion of receptors being retained in the ER, although there is forward trafficking of glycosylated subpopulations into the ER-Golgi intermediate compartment and cis-Golgi compartment. CD spectroscopy revealed that the mutant receptors have proportions of secondary structural elements similar to wild-type receptors. Two mutants in loop B (G160R, T162M) were functional, but none of those in loop D/β2-3 were. One nonfunctional truncated mutant (R316X) could be rescued by coexpression with the lacking C-terminal domain. We conclude that a proportion of GlyR α1 mutants can be transported to the plasma membrane but do not necessarily form functional ion channels. We suggest that loop D/β2-3 is an important determinant for GlyR trafficking and functionality, whereas alterations to loop B alter agonist potencies, indicating that residues here are critical elements in ligand binding. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/350422-16$15.00/0.

  7. The endogenous alkaloid harmane: acidifying and activity-reducing effects on hippocampal neurons in vitro.

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    Bonnet, Udo; Scherbaum, Norbert; Wiemann, Martin

    2008-02-15

    The endogenous alkaloid harmane is enriched in plasma of patients with neurodegenerative or addictive disorders. As harmane affects neuronal activity and viability and because both parameters are strongly influenced by intracellular pH (pH(i)), we tested whether effects of harmane are correlated with altered pH(i) regulation. Pyramidal neurons in the CA3 field of hippocampal slices were investigated under bicarbonate-buffered conditions. Harmane (50 and 100 microM) reversibly decreased spontaneous firing of action potentials and caffeine-induced bursting of CA3 neurons. In parallel experiments, 50 and 100 microM harmane evoked a neuronal acidification of 0.12+/-0.08 and 0.18+/-0.07 pH units, respectively. Recovery from intracellular acidification subsequent to an ammonium prepulse was also impaired, suggesting an inhibition of transmembrane acid extrusion by harmane. Harmane may modulate neuronal functions via altered pH(i)-regulation. Implications of these findings for neuronal survival are discussed.

  8. Transgenic miR132 alters neuronal spine density and impairs novel object recognition memory.

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    Katelin F Hansen

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Inducible gene expression plays a central role in neuronal plasticity, learning, and memory, and dysfunction of the underlying molecular events can lead to severe neuronal disorders. In addition to coding transcripts (mRNAs, non-coding microRNAs (miRNAs appear to play a role in these processes. For instance, the CREB-regulated miRNA miR132 has been shown to affect neuronal structure in an activity-dependent manner, yet the details of its physiological effects and the behavioral consequences in vivo remain unclear. To examine these questions, we employed a transgenic mouse strain that expresses miR132 in forebrain neurons. Morphometric analysis of hippocampal neurons revealed that transgenic miR132 triggers a marked increase in dendritic spine density. Additionally, miR132 transgenic mice exhibited a decrease in the expression of MeCP2, a protein implicated in Rett Syndrome and other disorders of mental retardation. Consistent with these findings, miR132 transgenic mice displayed significant deficits in novel object recognition. Together, these data support a role for miR132 as a regulator of neuronal structure and function, and raise the possibility that dysregulation of miR132 could contribute to an array of cognitive disorders.

  9. 6-OHDA induced calcium influx through N-type calcium channel alters membrane properties via PKA pathway in substantia nigra pars compacta dopaminergic neurons.

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    Qu, Liang; Wang, Yuan; Zhang, Hai-Tao; Li, Nan; Wang, Qiang; Yang, Qian; Gao, Guo-Dong; Wang, Xue-Lian

    2014-07-11

    Voltage gated calcium channels (VGCC) are sensitive to oxidative stress, and their activation or inactivation can impact cell death. Although these channels have been extensively studied in expression systems, their role in the brain, particularly in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc), remain controversial. In this study, we assessed 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) induced transformation of firing pattern and functional changes of calcium channels in SNc dopaminergic neurons. Application of 6-OHDA (0.5-2mM) evoked a dose-dependent, desensitizing inward current and intracellular free calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)]i) rise. In voltage clamp, ω-conotoxin-sensitive Ca(2+) current modulation mediated by 6-OHDA reflected an altered sensitivity. Furthermore, we found that 6-OHDA modulated Ca(2+) currents through PKA pathway. These results provided evidence for the potential role of VGCCs and PKA involved in oxidative stress in degeneration of SNc neurons in Parkinson's disease (PD). Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. TorsinA dysfunction causes persistent neuronal nuclear pore defects.

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    Pappas, Samuel S; Liang, Chun-Chi; Kim, Sumin; Rivera, CheyAnne O; Dauer, William T

    2018-02-01

    A critical challenge to deciphering the pathophysiology of neurodevelopmental disease is identifying which of the myriad abnormalities that emerge during CNS maturation persist to contribute to long-term brain dysfunction. Childhood-onset dystonia caused by a loss-of-function mutation in the AAA+ protein torsinA exemplifies this challenge. Neurons lacking torsinA develop transient nuclear envelope (NE) malformations during CNS maturation, but no NE defects are described in mature torsinA null neurons. We find that during postnatal CNS maturation torsinA null neurons develop mislocalized and dysfunctional nuclear pore complexes (NPC) that lack NUP358, normally added late in NPC biogenesis. SUN1, a torsinA-related molecule implicated in interphase NPC biogenesis, also exhibits localization abnormalities. Whereas SUN1 and associated nuclear membrane abnormalities resolve in juvenile mice, NPC defects persist into adulthood. These findings support a role for torsinA function in NPC biogenesis during neuronal maturation and implicate altered NPC function in dystonia pathophysiology. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. The inhibition of nitric oxide-activated poly(ADP-ribose) synthetase attenuates transsynaptic alteration of spinal cord dorsal horn neurons and neuropathic pain in the rat.

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    Mao, J; Price, D D; Zhu, J; Lu, J; Mayer, D J

    1997-09-01

    Transsynaptic alteration of spinal cord dorsal horn neurons characterized by hyperchromatosis of cytoplasm and nucleoplasm (so-called 'dark' neurons) occurs in a rat model of neuropathic pain induced by chronic constriction injury (CCI) of the common sciatic nerve. The incidence of dark neurons in CCI rats has been proposed to be mediated by glutamate-induced neurotoxicity. In the present study, we examined whether the inhibition of the nitric oxide (NO)-activated poly(ADP-ribose) synthetase (PARS), a nuclear enzyme critical to glutamate-induced neurotoxicity, would both reduce the incidence of dark neurons and attenuate behavioral manifestations of neuropathic pain in CCI rats. Dark neurons were observed bilaterally (with ipsilateral predominance) within the spinal cord dorsal horn, particularly in laminae I-II, of rats 8 days after unilateral sciatic nerve ligation as compared to sham operated rats. The number of dark neurons in the dorsal horn was dose-dependently reduced in CCI rats receiving once daily intrathecal (i.t.) treatment with the PARS inhibitor benzamide (200 or 400 nmol, but not 100 nmol benzamide or saline) for 7 days. Consistent with the histological improvement, thermal hyperalgesia, mechanical hyperalgesia, and low threshold mechano-allodynia also were reliably reduced in CCI rats treated with either 200 or 400 nmol benzamide. Neither dark neurons nor neuropathic pain behaviors were reliably affected by i.t. administration of either 800 nmol novobiocin (a mono(ADP-ribose) synthetase) or 800 nmol benzoic acid (the backbone structure of benzamide), indicating a selective effect of benzamide. Intrathecal treatment with an NO synthase inhibitor NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (40 nmol, but not its inactive D-isomer) utilizing the same benzamide treatment regimen resulted in similar reductions of both dark neurons and neuropathic pain behaviors in CCI rats. These results provide, for the first time, in vivo evidence indicating that benzamide is

  12. Intrinsic neuromodulation: altering neuronal circuits from within.

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    Katz, P S; Frost, W N

    1996-02-01

    There are two sources of neuromodulation for neuronal circuits: extrinsic inputs and intrinsic components of the circuits themselves. Extrinsic neuromodulation is known to be pervasive in nervous systems, but intrinsic neuromodulation is less recognized, despite the fact that it has now been demonstrated in sensory and neuromuscular circuits and in central pattern generators. By its nature, intrinsic neuromodulation produces local changes in neuronal computation, whereas extrinsic neuromodulation can cause global changes, often affecting many circuits simultaneously. Studies in a number of systems are defining the different properties of these two forms of neuromodulation.

  13. Prediction of rat behavior outcomes in memory tasks using functional connections among neurons.

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    Hu Lu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Analyzing the neuronal organizational structures and studying the changes in the behavior of the organism is key to understanding cognitive functions of the brain. Although some studies have indicated that spatiotemporal firing patterns of neuronal populations have a certain relationship with the behavioral responses, the issues of whether there are any relationships between the functional networks comprised of these cortical neurons and behavioral tasks and whether it is possible to take advantage of these networks to predict correct and incorrect outcomes of single trials of animals are still unresolved. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: This paper presents a new method of analyzing the structures of whole-recorded neuronal functional networks (WNFNs and local neuronal circuit groups (LNCGs. The activity of these neurons was recorded in several rats. The rats performed two different behavioral tasks, the Y-maze task and the U-maze task. Using the results of the assessment of the WNFNs and LNCGs, this paper describes a realization procedure for predicting the behavioral outcomes of single trials. The methodology consists of four main parts: construction of WNFNs from recorded neuronal spike trains, partitioning the WNFNs into the optimal LNCGs using social community analysis, unsupervised clustering of all trials from each dataset into two different clusters, and predicting the behavioral outcomes of single trials. The results show that WNFNs and LNCGs correlate with the behavior of the animal. The U-maze datasets show higher accuracy for unsupervised clustering results than those from the Y-maze task, and these datasets can be used to predict behavioral responses effectively. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results of the present study suggest that a methodology proposed in this paper is suitable for analysis of the characteristics of neuronal functional networks and the prediction of rat behavior. These types of structures in cortical

  14. Long-term artificial sweetener acesulfame potassium treatment alters neurometabolic functions in C57BL/6J mice.

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    Wei-na Cong

    Full Text Available With the prevalence of obesity, artificial, non-nutritive sweeteners have been widely used as dietary supplements that provide sweet taste without excessive caloric load. In order to better understand the overall actions of artificial sweeteners, especially when they are chronically used, we investigated the peripheral and central nervous system effects of protracted exposure to a widely used artificial sweetener, acesulfame K (ACK. We found that extended ACK exposure (40 weeks in normal C57BL/6J mice demonstrated a moderate and limited influence on metabolic homeostasis, including altering fasting insulin and leptin levels, pancreatic islet size and lipid levels, without affecting insulin sensitivity and bodyweight. Interestingly, impaired cognitive memory functions (evaluated by Morris Water Maze and Novel Objective Preference tests were found in ACK-treated C57BL/6J mice, while no differences in motor function and anxiety levels were detected. The generation of an ACK-induced neurological phenotype was associated with metabolic dysregulation (glycolysis inhibition and functional ATP depletion and neurosynaptic abnormalities (dysregulation of TrkB-mediated BDNF and Akt/Erk-mediated cell growth/survival pathway in hippocampal neurons. Our data suggest that chronic use of ACK could affect cognitive functions, potentially via altering neuro-metabolic functions in male C57BL/6J mice.

  15. Ablation of BRaf impairs neuronal differentiation in the postnatal hippocampus and cerebellum.

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    Verena Pfeiffer

    Full Text Available This study focuses on the role of the kinase BRaf in postnatal brain development. Mice expressing truncated, non-functional BRaf in neural stem cell-derived brain tissue demonstrate alterations in the cerebellum, with decreased sizes and fuzzy borders of the glomeruli in the granule cell layer. In addition we observed reduced numbers and misplaced ectopic Purkinje cells that showed an altered structure of their dendritic arborizations in the hippocampus, while the overall cornus ammonis architecture appeared to be unchanged. In male mice lacking BRaf in the hippocampus the size of the granule cell layer was normal at postnatal day 12 (P12 but diminished at P21, as compared to control littermates. This defect was caused by a reduced ability of dentate gyrus progenitor cells to differentiate into NeuN positive granule cell neurons. In vitro cell culture of P0/P1 hippocampal cells revealed that BRaf deficient cells were impaired in their ability to form microtubule-associated protein 2 positive neurons. Together with the alterations in behaviour, such as autoaggression and loss of balance fitness, these observations indicate that in the absence of BRaf all neuronal cellular structures develop, but neuronal circuits in the cerebellum and hippocampus are partially disturbed besides impaired neuronal generation in both structures.

  16. Inflammation alters AMPA-stimulated calcium responses in dorsal striatal D2 but not D1 spiny projection neurons.

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    Winland, Carissa D; Welsh, Nora; Sepulveda-Rodriguez, Alberto; Vicini, Stefano; Maguire-Zeiss, Kathleen A

    2017-11-01

    Neuroinflammation precedes neuronal loss in striatal neurodegenerative diseases and can be exacerbated by the release of proinflammatory molecules by microglia. These molecules can affect trafficking of AMPARs. The preferential trafficking of calcium-permeable versus impermeable AMPARs can result in disruptions of [Ca 2+ ] i and alter cellular functions. In striatal neurodegenerative diseases, changes in [Ca 2+ ] i and L-type voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) have been reported. Therefore, this study sought to determine whether a proinflammatory environment alters AMPA-stimulated [Ca 2+ ] i through calcium-permeable AMPARs and/or L-type VGCCs in dopamine-2- and dopamine-1-expressing striatal spiny projection neurons (D2 and D1 SPNs) in the dorsal striatum. Mice expressing the calcium indicator protein, GCaMP in D2 or D1 SPNs, were utilized for calcium imaging. Microglial activation was assessed by morphology analyses. To induce inflammation, acute mouse striatal slices were incubated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Here we report that LPS treatment potentiated AMPA responses only in D2 SPNs. When a nonspecific VGCC blocker was included, we observed a decrease of AMPA-stimulated calcium fluorescence in D2 but not D1 SPNs. The remaining agonist-induced [Ca 2+ ] i was mediated by calcium-permeable AMPARs because the responses were completely blocked by a selective calcium-permeable AMPAR antagonist. We used isradipine, the highly selective L-type VGCC antagonist to determine the role of L-type VGCCs in SPNs treated with LPS. Isradipine decreased AMPA-stimulated responses selectively in D2 SPNs after LPS treatment. Our findings suggest that dorsal striatal D2 SPNs are specifically targeted in proinflammatory conditions and that L-type VGCCs and calcium-permeable AMPARs are important mediators of this effect. © 2017 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Exploring patterns of alteration in Alzheimer’s disease brain networks: a combined structural and functional connectomics analysis

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    Fulvia Palesi

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer’s disease (AD is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a severe derangement of cognitive functions, primarily memory, in elderly subjects. As far as the functional impairment is concerned, growing evidence supports the disconnection syndrome hypothesis. Recent investigations using fMRI have revealed a generalized alteration of resting state networks in patients affected by AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI. However, it was unclear whether the changes in functional connectivity were accompanied by corresponding structural network changes. In this work, we have developed a novel structural/functional connectomic approach: resting state fMRI was used to identify the functional cortical network nodes and diffusion MRI to reconstruct the fiber tracts to give a weight to internodal subcortical connections. Then, local and global efficiency were determined for different networks, exploring specific alterations of integration and segregation patterns in AD and MCI patients compared to healthy controls (HC. In the default mode network (DMN, that was the most affected, axonal loss and reduced axonal integrity appeared to compromise both local and global efficiency along posterior-anterior connections. In the basal ganglia network (BGN, disruption of white matter integrity implied that main alterations occurred in local microstructure. In the anterior insular network (AIN, neuronal loss probably subtended a compromised communication with the insular cortex. Cognitive performance, evaluated by neuropsychological examinations, revealed a dependency on integration and segregation of brain networks. These findings are indicative of the fact that cognitive deficits in AD could be associated not only with cortical alterations (revealed by fMRI but also with subcortical alterations (revealed by diffusion MRI that extend beyond the areas primarily damaged by neurodegeneration, towards the support of an emerging concept of AD as a

  18. Multifaceted effects of oligodendroglial exosomes on neurons: impact on neuronal firing rate, signal transduction and gene regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fröhlich, Dominik; Kuo, Wen Ping; Frühbeis, Carsten; Sun, Jyh-Jang; Zehendner, Christoph M; Luhmann, Heiko J; Pinto, Sheena; Toedling, Joern; Trotter, Jacqueline; Krämer-Albers, Eva-Maria

    2014-09-26

    Exosomes are small membranous vesicles of endocytic origin that are released by almost every cell type. They exert versatile functions in intercellular communication important for many physiological and pathological processes. Recently, exosomes attracted interest with regard to their role in cell-cell communication in the nervous system. We have shown that exosomes released from oligodendrocytes upon stimulation with the neurotransmitter glutamate are internalized by neurons and enhance the neuronal stress tolerance. Here, we demonstrate that oligodendroglial exosomes also promote neuronal survival during oxygen-glucose deprivation, a model of cerebral ischaemia. We show the transfer from oligodendrocytes to neurons of superoxide dismutase and catalase, enzymes which are known to help cells to resist oxidative stress. Additionally, we identify various effects of oligodendroglial exosomes on neuronal physiology. Electrophysiological analysis using in vitro multi-electrode arrays revealed an increased firing rate of neurons exposed to oligodendroglial exosomes. Moreover, gene expression analysis and phosphorylation arrays uncovered differentially expressed genes and altered signal transduction pathways in neurons after exosome treatment. Our study thus provides new insight into the broad spectrum of action of oligodendroglial exosomes and their effects on neuronal physiology. The exchange of extracellular vesicles between neural cells may exhibit remarkable potential to impact brain performance. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  19. Astrocyte-neuron communication: functional consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben Achour, Sarrah; Pascual, Olivier

    2012-11-01

    Astrocyte-neuron communication has recently been proposed as a potential mechanism participating to synaptic transmission. With the development of this concept and accumulating evidences in favor of a modulation of synaptic transmission by astrocytes, has emerged the term gliotransmission. It refers to the capacity of astrocytes to release various transmitters, such as ATP, glutamate, D-serine, and GABA in the vicinity of synapses. While the cellular mechanisms involved in gliotransmission still need to be better described and, for some, identified, the aim of more and more studies is to determine the role of astrocytes from a functional point of view. This review will summarize the principal studies that have investigated a potential role of astrocytes in the various functions regulated by the brain (sleep, breathing, perception, learning and memory…). This will allow us to highlight the similarities and discrepancies in the signaling pathways involved in the different areas of the brain related to these functions.

  20. Vasculo-Neuronal Coupling: Retrograde Vascular Communication to Brain Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Ki Jung; Ramiro Diaz, Juan; Iddings, Jennifer A; Filosa, Jessica A

    2016-12-14

    Continuous cerebral blood flow is essential for neuronal survival, but whether vascular tone influences resting neuronal function is not known. Using a multidisciplinary approach in both rat and mice brain slices, we determined whether flow/pressure-evoked increases or decreases in parenchymal arteriole vascular tone, which result in arteriole constriction and dilation, respectively, altered resting cortical pyramidal neuron activity. We present evidence for intercellular communication in the brain involving a flow of information from vessel to astrocyte to neuron, a direction opposite to that of classic neurovascular coupling and referred to here as vasculo-neuronal coupling (VNC). Flow/pressure increases within parenchymal arterioles increased vascular tone and simultaneously decreased resting pyramidal neuron firing activity. On the other hand, flow/pressure decreases evoke parenchymal arteriole dilation and increased resting pyramidal neuron firing activity. In GLAST-CreERT2; R26-lsl-GCaMP3 mice, we demonstrate that increased parenchymal arteriole tone significantly increased intracellular calcium in perivascular astrocyte processes, the onset of astrocyte calcium changes preceded the inhibition of cortical pyramidal neuronal firing activity. During increases in parenchymal arteriole tone, the pyramidal neuron response was unaffected by blockers of nitric oxide, GABA A , glutamate, or ecto-ATPase. However, VNC was abrogated by TRPV4 channel, GABA B , as well as an adenosine A 1 receptor blocker. Differently to pyramidal neuron responses, increases in flow/pressure within parenchymal arterioles increased the firing activity of a subtype of interneuron. Together, these data suggest that VNC is a complex constitutive active process that enables neurons to efficiently adjust their resting activity according to brain perfusion levels, thus safeguarding cellular homeostasis by preventing mismatches between energy supply and demand. We present evidence for vessel-to-neuron

  1. Niche-dependent development of functional neuronal networks from embryonic stem cell-derived neural populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siebler Mario

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The present work was performed to investigate the ability of two different embryonic stem (ES cell-derived neural precursor populations to generate functional neuronal networks in vitro. The first ES cell-derived neural precursor population was cultivated as free-floating neural aggregates which are known to form a developmental niche comprising different types of neural cells, including neural precursor cells (NPCs, progenitor cells and even further matured cells. This niche provides by itself a variety of different growth factors and extracellular matrix proteins that influence the proliferation and differentiation of neural precursor and progenitor cells. The second population was cultivated adherently in monolayer cultures to control most stringently the extracellular environment. This population comprises highly homogeneous NPCs which are supposed to represent an attractive way to provide well-defined neuronal progeny. However, the ability of these different ES cell-derived immature neural cell populations to generate functional neuronal networks has not been assessed so far. Results While both precursor populations were shown to differentiate into sufficient quantities of mature NeuN+ neurons that also express GABA or vesicular-glutamate-transporter-2 (vGlut2, only aggregate-derived neuronal populations exhibited a synchronously oscillating network activity 2–4 weeks after initiating the differentiation as detected by the microelectrode array technology. Neurons derived from homogeneous NPCs within monolayer cultures did merely show uncorrelated spiking activity even when differentiated for up to 12 weeks. We demonstrated that these neurons exhibited sparsely ramified neurites and an embryonic vGlut2 distribution suggesting an inhibited terminal neuronal maturation. In comparison, neurons derived from heterogeneous populations within neural aggregates appeared as fully mature with a dense neurite network and punctuated

  2. Unique functional properties of somatostatin-expressing GABAergic neurons in mouse barrel cortex.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gentet, L.J.; Kremer, Y.; Taniguchi, H.; Huang, Z.J.; Staiger, J.F.; Petersen, C.C.H.

    2012-01-01

    Neocortical GABAergic neurons have diverse molecular, structural and electrophysiological features, but the functional correlates of this diversity are largely unknown. We found unique membrane potential dynamics of somatostatin-expressing (SOM) neurons in layer 2/3 of the primary somatosensory

  3. Nanomolar Bifenthrin Alters Synchronous Ca2+ Oscillations and Cortical Neuron Development Independent of Sodium Channel Activity

    OpenAIRE

    Cao, Zhengyu; Cui, Yanjun; Nguyen, Hai M.; Jenkins, David Paul; Wulff, Heike; Pessah, Isaac N.

    2014-01-01

    Bifenthrin, a relatively stable type I pyrethroid that causes tremors and impairs motor activity in rodents, is broadly used. We investigated whether nanomolar bifenthrin alters synchronous Ca 2+ oscillations (SCOs) necessary for activity-dependent dendritic development. Primary mouse cortical neurons were cultured 8 or 9 days in vitro (DIV), loaded with the Ca2+ indicator Fluo-4, and imaged using a Fluorescence Imaging Plate Reader Tetra. Acute exposure to bifenthrin rapidly increased the fr...

  4. BAD and KATP channels regulate neuron excitability and epileptiform activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-François, Juan Ramón; Fernández-Agüera, María Carmen; Nathwani, Nidhi; Lahmann, Carolina; Burnham, Veronica L; Danial, Nika N; Yellen, Gary

    2018-01-25

    Brain metabolism can profoundly influence neuronal excitability. Mice with genetic deletion or alteration of Bad ( B CL-2 a gonist of cell d eath) exhibit altered brain-cell fuel metabolism, accompanied by resistance to acutely induced epileptic seizures; this seizure protection is mediated by ATP-sensitive potassium (K ATP ) channels. Here we investigated the effect of BAD manipulation on K ATP channel activity and excitability in acute brain slices. We found that BAD's influence on neuronal K ATP channels was cell-autonomous and directly affected dentate granule neuron (DGN) excitability. To investigate the role of neuronal K ATP channels in the anticonvulsant effects of BAD, we imaged calcium during picrotoxin-induced epileptiform activity in entorhinal-hippocampal slices. BAD knockout reduced epileptiform activity, and this effect was lost upon knockout or pharmacological inhibition of K ATP channels. Targeted BAD knockout in DGNs alone was sufficient for the antiseizure effect in slices, consistent with a 'dentate gate' function that is reinforced by increased K ATP channel activity. © 2018, Martínez-François et al.

  5. Dissecting mechanisms of brain aging by studying the intrinsic excitability of neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valerio eRizzo

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Several studies using vertebrate and invertebrate animal models have shown aging associated changes in brain function. Importantly, changes in soma size, loss or regression of dendrites and dendritic spines and alterations in the expression of neurotransmitter receptors in specific neurons were described. Despite this understanding, how aging impacts intrinsic properties of individual neurons or circuits that govern a defined behavior is yet to be determined. Here we discuss current understanding of specific electrophysiological changes in individual neurons and circuits during aging.

  6. Critical time window of neuronal cholesterol synthesis during neurite outgrowth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fünfschilling, Ursula; Jockusch, Wolf J; Sivakumar, Nandhini; Möbius, Wiebke; Corthals, Kristina; Li, Sai; Quintes, Susanne; Kim, Younghoon; Schaap, Iwan A T; Rhee, Jeong-Seop; Nave, Klaus-Armin; Saher, Gesine

    2012-05-30

    Cholesterol is an essential membrane component enriched in plasma membranes, growth cones, and synapses. The brain normally synthesizes all cholesterol locally, but the contribution of individual cell types to brain cholesterol metabolism is unknown. To investigate whether cortical projection neurons in vivo essentially require cholesterol biosynthesis and which cell types support neurons, we have conditionally ablated the cholesterol biosynthesis in these neurons in mice either embryonically or postnatally. We found that cortical projection neurons synthesize cholesterol during their entire lifetime. At all stages, they can also benefit from glial support. Adult neurons that lack cholesterol biosynthesis are mainly supported by astrocytes such that their functional integrity is preserved. In contrast, microglial cells support young neurons. However, compensatory efforts of microglia are only transient leading to layer-specific neuronal death and the reduction of cortical projections. Hence, during the phase of maximal membrane growth and maximal cholesterol demand, neuronal cholesterol biosynthesis is indispensable. Analysis of primary neurons revealed that neurons tolerate only slight alteration in the cholesterol content and plasma membrane tension. This quality control allows neurons to differentiate normally and adjusts the extent of neurite outgrowth, the number of functional growth cones and synapses to the available cholesterol. This study highlights both the flexibility and the limits of horizontal cholesterol transfer in vivo and may have implications for the understanding of neurodegenerative diseases.

  7. Asynchronous Cholinergic Drive Correlates with Excitation-Inhibition Imbalance via a Neuronal Ca2+ Sensor Protein

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keming Zhou

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Excitation-inhibition imbalance in neural networks is widely linked to neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. However, how genetic factors alter neuronal activity, leading to excitation-inhibition imbalance, remains unclear. Here, using the C. elegans locomotor circuit, we examine how altering neuronal activity for varying time periods affects synaptic release pattern and animal behavior. We show that while short-duration activation of excitatory cholinergic neurons elicits a reversible enhancement of presynaptic strength, persistent activation results to asynchronous and reduced cholinergic drive, inducing imbalance between endogenous excitation and inhibition. We find that the neuronal calcium sensor protein NCS-2 is required for asynchronous cholinergic release in an activity-dependent manner and dampens excitability of inhibitory neurons non-cell autonomously. The function of NCS-2 requires its Ca2+ binding and membrane association domains. These results reveal a synaptic mechanism implicating asynchronous release in regulation of excitation-inhibition balance.

  8. The Intrinsic Electrophysiological Properties of Mammalian Neurons: Insights into Central Nervous System Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llinas, Rodolfo R.

    1988-12-01

    This article reviews the electroresponsive properties of single neurons in the mammalian central nervous system (CNS). In some of these cells the ionic conductances responsible for their excitability also endow them with autorhythmic electrical oscillatory properties. Chemical or electrical synaptic contacts between these neurons often result in network oscillations. In such networks, autorhytmic neurons may act as true oscillators (as pacemakers) or as resonators (responding preferentially to certain firing frequencies). Oscillations and resonance in the CNS are proposed to have diverse functional roles, such as (i) determining global functional states (for example, sleep-wakefulness or attention), (ii) timing in motor coordination, and (iii) specifying connectivity during development. Also, oscillation, especially in the thalamo-cortical circuits, may be related to certain neurological and psychiatric disorders. This review proposes that the autorhythmic electrical properties of central neurons and their connectivity form the basis for an intrinsic functional coordinate system that provides internal context to sensory input.

  9. Differentiation of Spermatogonia Stem Cells into Functional Mature Neurons Characterized with Differential Gene Expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bojnordi, Maryam Nazm; Azizi, Hossein; Skutella, Thomas; Movahedin, Mansoureh; Pourabdolhossein, Fereshteh; Shojaei, Amir; Hamidabadi, Hatef Ghasemi

    2017-09-01

    Transplantation of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) is a promising therapeutic approach for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. However, ESCs are not usable clinically due to immunological and ethical limitations. The identification of an alternative safe cell source opens novel options via autologous transplantation in neuro-regeneration circumventing these problems. Here, we examined the neurogenic capacity of embryonic stem-like cells (ES-like cells) derived from the testis using neural growth factor inducers and utilized them to generate functional mature neurons. The neuronal differentiation of ES-like cells is induced in three stages. Stage 1 is related to embryoid body (EB) formation. To induce neuroprogenitor cells, EBs were cultured in the presence of retinoic acid, N 2 supplement and fibroblast growth factor followed by culturing in a neurobasal medium containing B 27 , N 2 supplements for additional 10 days, to allow the maturation and development of neuronal progenitor cells. The neurogenic differentiation was confirmed by immunostaining for markers of mature neurons. The differentiated neurons were positive for Tuj1 and Tau1. Real-time PCR dates indicated the expression of Nestin and Neuro D (neuroprogenitor markers) in induced cells at the second stage of the differentiation protocol. The differentiated mature neurons exhibited the specific neuron markers Map2 and β-tubulin. The functional maturity of neurons was confirmed by an electrophysiological analysis of passive and active neural membrane properties. These findings indicated a differentiation capacity of ES-like cells derived from the testis to functionally mature neurons, which proposes them as a novel cell source for neuroregenerative medicine.

  10. Stimulation of neuronal neurite outgrowth using functionalized carbon nanotubes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Matsumoto, K; Sato, C; Shimizu, N [Graduate School of Life Sciences, Toyo University, 1-1-1 Izumino, Itakura-machi, Ora-gun, Gunma 374-0193 (Japan); Naka, Y [Bio-Nano Electronics Research Center, Toyo University, 2100 Kujirai, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama 350-8585 (Japan); Whitby, R, E-mail: shimizu@toyonet.toyo.ac.jp [School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Brighton, Cockroft Building, Lewes Road, Brighton BN2 4GJ (United Kingdom)

    2010-03-19

    Low concentrations (0.11-1.7 {mu}g ml{sup -1}) of functionalized carbon nanotubes (CNTs), which are multi-walled CNTs modified by amino groups, when added with nerve growth factor (NGF), promoted outgrowth of neuronal neurites in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons and rat pheochromocytoma cell line PC12h cells in culture media. The quantity of active extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) was higher after the addition of both 0.85 {mu}g ml{sup -1} CNTs and NGF than that with NGF alone. CNTs increased the number of cells with neurite outgrowth in DRG neurons and PC12h cells after the inhibition of the ERK signaling pathway using a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/ERK kinase (MEK) inhibitor. Active ERK proteins were detected in MEK inhibitor-treated neurons after the addition of CNTs to the culture medium. These results demonstrate that CNTs may stimulate neurite outgrowth by activation of the ERK signaling pathway. Thus, CNTs are biocompatible and are promising candidates for biological applications and devices.

  11. Dysfunction in endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondria crosstalk underlies SIGMAR1 loss of function mediated motor neuron degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernard-Marissal, Nathalie; Médard, Jean-Jacques; Azzedine, Hamid; Chrast, Roman

    2015-04-01

    Mutations in Sigma 1 receptor (SIGMAR1) have been previously identified in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and disruption of Sigmar1 in mouse leads to locomotor deficits. However, cellular mechanisms underlying motor phenotypes in human and mouse with disturbed SIGMAR1 function have not been described so far. Here we used a combination of in vivo and in vitro approaches to investigate the role of SIGMAR1 in motor neuron biology. Characterization of Sigmar1(-/-) mice revealed that affected animals display locomotor deficits associated with muscle weakness, axonal degeneration and motor neuron loss. Using primary motor neuron cultures, we observed that pharmacological or genetic inactivation of SIGMAR1 led to motor neuron axonal degeneration followed by cell death. Disruption of SIGMAR1 function in motor neurons disturbed endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondria contacts, affected intracellular calcium signalling and was accompanied by activation of endoplasmic reticulum stress and defects in mitochondrial dynamics and transport. These defects were not observed in cultured sensory neurons, highlighting the exacerbated sensitivity of motor neurons to SIGMAR1 function. Interestingly, the inhibition of mitochondrial fission was sufficient to induce mitochondria axonal transport defects as well as axonal degeneration similar to the changes observed after SIGMAR1 inactivation or loss. Intracellular calcium scavenging and endoplasmic reticulum stress inhibition were able to restore mitochondrial function and consequently prevent motor neuron degeneration. These results uncover the cellular mechanisms underlying motor neuron degeneration mediated by loss of SIGMAR1 function and provide therapeutically relevant insight into motor neuronal diseases. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. Altered network communication following a neuroprotective drug treatment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathleen Vincent

    Full Text Available Preconditioning is defined as a range of stimuli that allow cells to withstand subsequent anaerobic and other deleterious conditions. While cell protection under preconditioning is well established, this paper investigates the influence of neuroprotective preconditioning drugs, 4-aminopyridine and bicuculline (4-AP/bic, on synaptic communication across a broad network of in vitro rat cortical neurons. Using a permutation test, we evaluated cross-correlations of extracellular spiking activity across all pairs of recording electrodes on a 64-channel multielectrode array. The resulting functional connectivity maps were analyzed in terms of their graph-theoretic properties. A small-world effect was found, characterized by a functional network with high clustering coefficient and short average path length. Twenty-four hours after exposure to 4-AP/bic, small-world properties were comparable to control cultures that were not treated with the drug. Four hours following drug washout, however, the density of functional connections increased, while path length decreased and clustering coefficient increased. These alterations in functional connectivity were maintained at four days post-washout, suggesting that 4-AP/bic preconditioning leads to long-term effects on functional networks of cortical neurons. Because of their influence on communication efficiency in neuronal networks, alterations in small-world properties hold implications for information processing in brain systems. The observed relationship between density, path length, and clustering coefficient is captured by a phenomenological model where connections are added randomly within a spatially-embedded network. Taken together, results provide information regarding functional consequences of drug therapies that are overlooked in traditional viability studies and present the first investigation of functional networks under neuroprotective preconditioning.

  13. [Functional organization and structure of the serotonergic neuronal network of terrestrial snail].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikitin, E S; Balaban, P M

    2011-01-01

    The extension of knowledge how the brain works requires permanent improvement of methods of recording of neuronal activity and increase in the number of neurons recorded simultaneously to better understand the collective work of neuronal networks and assemblies. Conventional methods allow simultaneous intracellular recording up to 2-5 neurons and their membrane potentials, currents or monosynaptic connections or observation of spiking of neuronal groups with subsequent discrimination of individual spikes with loss of details of the dynamics of membrane potential. We recorded activity of a compact group of serotonergic neurons (up to 56 simultaneously) in the ganglion of a terrestrial mollusk using the method of optical recording of membrane potential that allowed to record individual action potentials in details with action potential parameters and to reveal morphology of the neurons rcorded. We demonstrated clear clustering in the group in relation with the dynamics of action potentials and phasic or tonic components in the neuronal responses to external electrophysiological and tactile stimuli. Also, we showed that identified neuron Pd2 could induce activation of a significant number of neurons in the group whereas neuron Pd4 did not induce any activation. However, its activation is delayed with regard to activation of the reacting group of neurons. Our data strongly support the concept of possible delegation of the integrative function by the network to a single neuron.

  14. Diverse Roles of Axonemal Dyneins in Drosophila Auditory Neuron Function and Mechanical Amplification in Hearing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karak, Somdatta; Jacobs, Julie S; Kittelmann, Maike; Spalthoff, Christian; Katana, Radoslaw; Sivan-Loukianova, Elena; Schon, Michael A; Kernan, Maurice J; Eberl, Daniel F; Göpfert, Martin C

    2015-11-26

    Much like vertebrate hair cells, the chordotonal sensory neurons that mediate hearing in Drosophila are motile and amplify the mechanical input of the ear. Because the neurons bear mechanosensory primary cilia whose microtubule axonemes display dynein arms, we hypothesized that their motility is powered by dyneins. Here, we describe two axonemal dynein proteins that are required for Drosophila auditory neuron function, localize to their primary cilia, and differently contribute to mechanical amplification in hearing. Promoter fusions revealed that the two axonemal dynein genes Dmdnah3 (=CG17150) and Dmdnai2 (=CG6053) are expressed in chordotonal neurons, including the auditory ones in the fly's ear. Null alleles of both dyneins equally abolished electrical auditory neuron responses, yet whereas mutations in Dmdnah3 facilitated mechanical amplification, amplification was abolished by mutations in Dmdnai2. Epistasis analysis revealed that Dmdnah3 acts downstream of Nan-Iav channels in controlling the amplificatory gain. Dmdnai2, in addition to being required for amplification, was essential for outer dynein arms in auditory neuron cilia. This establishes diverse roles of axonemal dyneins in Drosophila auditory neuron function and links auditory neuron motility to primary cilia and axonemal dyneins. Mutant defects in sperm competition suggest that both dyneins also function in sperm motility.

  15. Functional properties and synaptic integration of genetically labelled dopaminergic neurons in intrastriatal grafts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Andreas Toft; Thompson, Lachlan; Kirik, Deniz

    2005-01-01

    in the dopamine-depleted striatum than of those in the intact striatum. Our findings define specific electrophysiological characteristics of transplanted fetal dopaminergic neurons, and we provide the first direct evidence of functional synaptic integration of these neurons into host neural circuitries......., the electrophysiological properties grafted cells need to have in order to induce substantial functional recovery are poorly defined. It has not been possible to prospectively identify and record from dopaminergic neurons in fetal transplants. Here we used transgenic mice expressing green fluorescent protein under control...... of the rat tyrosine hydroxylase promoter for whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of endogenous and grafted dopaminergic neurons. We transplanted ventral mesencephalic tissue from E12.5 transgenic mice into striatum of neonatal rats with or without lesions of the nigrostriatal dopamine system. The transplanted...

  16. Neurons the decision makers, Part I: The firing function of a single neuron.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saaty, Thomas

    2017-02-01

    This paper is concerned with understanding synthesis of electric signals in the neural system based on making pairwise comparisons. Fundamentally, every person and every animal are born with the talent to compare stimuli from things that share properties in space or over time. Comparisons always need experience to distinguish among things. Pairwise comparisons are numerically reciprocal. If a value is assigned to the larger of two elements that have a given property when compared with the smaller one, then the smaller has the reciprocal of that value when compared with the larger. Because making comparisons requires the reciprocal property, we need mathematics that can cope with division. There are four division algebras that would allow us to use our reciprocals arising from comparisons: The real numbers, the complex numbers, the non-commutative quaternions and the non-associative octonions. Rather than inferring function as from electric flow in a network, in this paper we infer the flow from function. Neurons fire in response to stimuli and their firings vary relative to the intensities of the stimuli. We believe neurons use some kind of pairwise comparison mechanism to determine when to fire based on the stimuli they receive. The ideas we develop here about flows are used to deduce how a system based on this kind of firing determination works and can be described. Furthermore the firing of neurons requires continuous comparisons. To develop a formula describing the output of these pairwise comparisons requires solving Fredholm's equation of the second kind which is satisfied if and only if a simple functional equation has solutions. The Fourier transform of the real solution of this equation leads to inverse square laws like those that are common in physics. The Fourier transform applied to a complex valued solution leads to Dirac type of firings. Such firings are dense in the very general fields of functions known as Sobolev spaces and thus can be used to

  17. Iron insufficiency compromises motor neurons and their mitochondrial function in Irp2-null mice

    KAUST Repository

    Jeong, Suh Young; Crooks, Daniel R.; Wilson-Ollivierre, Hayden; Ghosh, Manik C.; Sougrat, Rachid; Lee, Jaekwon; Cooperman, Sharon; Mitchell, James B.; Beaumont, Carole; Rouault, Tracey A.

    2011-01-01

    Genetic ablation of Iron Regulatory Protein 2 (Irp2, Ireb2), which post-transcriptionally regulates iron metabolism genes, causes a gait disorder in mice that progresses to hind-limb paralysis. Here we have demonstrated that misregulation of iron metabolism from loss of Irp2 causes lower motor neuronal degeneration with significant spinal cord axonopathy. Mitochondria in the lumbar spinal cord showed significantly decreased Complex I and II activities, and abnormal morphology. Lower motor neurons appeared to be the most adversely affected neurons, and we show that functional iron starvation due to misregulation of iron import and storage proteins, including transferrin receptor 1 and ferritin, may have a causal role in disease. We demonstrated that two therapeutic approaches were beneficial for motor neuron survival. First, we activated a homologous protein, IRP1, by oral Tempol treatment and found that axons were partially spared from degeneration. Secondly, we genetically decreased expression of the iron storage protein, ferritin, to diminish functional iron starvation. These data suggest that functional iron deficiency may constitute a previously unrecognized molecular basis for degeneration of motor neurons in mice.

  18. Iron insufficiency compromises motor neurons and their mitochondrial function in Irp2-null mice

    KAUST Repository

    Jeong, Suh Young

    2011-10-07

    Genetic ablation of Iron Regulatory Protein 2 (Irp2, Ireb2), which post-transcriptionally regulates iron metabolism genes, causes a gait disorder in mice that progresses to hind-limb paralysis. Here we have demonstrated that misregulation of iron metabolism from loss of Irp2 causes lower motor neuronal degeneration with significant spinal cord axonopathy. Mitochondria in the lumbar spinal cord showed significantly decreased Complex I and II activities, and abnormal morphology. Lower motor neurons appeared to be the most adversely affected neurons, and we show that functional iron starvation due to misregulation of iron import and storage proteins, including transferrin receptor 1 and ferritin, may have a causal role in disease. We demonstrated that two therapeutic approaches were beneficial for motor neuron survival. First, we activated a homologous protein, IRP1, by oral Tempol treatment and found that axons were partially spared from degeneration. Secondly, we genetically decreased expression of the iron storage protein, ferritin, to diminish functional iron starvation. These data suggest that functional iron deficiency may constitute a previously unrecognized molecular basis for degeneration of motor neurons in mice.

  19. Postoperative cognitive dysfunction : Involvement of neuroinflammation and neuronal functioning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hovens, Iris B.; Schoemaker, Regien G.; van der Zee, Eddy A.; Absalom, Anthony R.; Heineman, Erik; van Leeuwen, Barbara L.

    Postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) has been hypothesized to be mediated by surgery-induced inflammatory processes, which may influence neuronal functioning either directly or through modulation of intraneuronal pathways, such as the brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mediated pathway.

  20. Communication networks in the brain: neurons, receptors, neurotransmitters, and alcohol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovinger, David M

    2008-01-01

    Nerve cells (i.e., neurons) communicate via a combination of electrical and chemical signals. Within the neuron, electrical signals driven by charged particles allow rapid conduction from one end of the cell to the other. Communication between neurons occurs at tiny gaps called synapses, where specialized parts of the two cells (i.e., the presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons) come within nanometers of one another to allow for chemical transmission. The presynaptic neuron releases a chemical (i.e., a neurotransmitter) that is received by the postsynaptic neuron's specialized proteins called neurotransmitter receptors. The neurotransmitter molecules bind to the receptor proteins and alter postsynaptic neuronal function. Two types of neurotransmitter receptors exist-ligand-gated ion channels, which permit rapid ion flow directly across the outer cell membrane, and G-protein-coupled receptors, which set into motion chemical signaling events within the cell. Hundreds of molecules are known to act as neurotransmitters in the brain. Neuronal development and function also are affected by peptides known as neurotrophins and by steroid hormones. This article reviews the chemical nature, neuronal actions, receptor subtypes, and therapeutic roles of several transmitters, neurotrophins, and hormones. It focuses on neurotransmitters with important roles in acute and chronic alcohol effects on the brain, such as those that contribute to intoxication, tolerance, dependence, and neurotoxicity, as well as maintained alcohol drinking and addiction.

  1. Merkel Cell-Driven BDNF Signaling Specifies SAI Neuron Molecular and Electrophysiological Phenotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed-Geaghan, Erin G; Wright, Margaret C; See, Lauren A; Adelman, Peter C; Lee, Kuan Hsien; Koerber, H Richard; Maricich, Stephen M

    2016-04-13

    The extent to which the skin instructs peripheral somatosensory neuron maturation is unknown. We studied this question in Merkel cell-neurite complexes, where slowly adapting type I (SAI) neurons innervate skin-derived Merkel cells. Transgenic mice lacking Merkel cells had normal dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neuron numbers, but fewer DRG neurons expressed the SAI markers TrkB, TrkC, and Ret. Merkel cell ablation also decreased downstream TrkB signaling in DRGs, and altered the expression of genes associated with SAI development and function. Skin- and Merkel cell-specific deletion of Bdnf during embryogenesis, but not postnatal Bdnf deletion or Ntf3 deletion, reproduced these results. Furthermore, prototypical SAI electrophysiological signatures were absent from skin regions where Bdnf was deleted in embryonic Merkel cells. We conclude that BDNF produced by Merkel cells during a precise embryonic period guides SAI neuron development, providing the first direct evidence that the skin instructs sensory neuron molecular and functional maturation. Peripheral sensory neurons show incredible phenotypic and functional diversity that is initiated early by cell-autonomous and local environmental factors found within the DRG. However, the contribution of target tissues to subsequent sensory neuron development remains unknown. We show that Merkel cells are required for the molecular and functional maturation of the SAI neurons that innervate them. We also show that this process is controlled by BDNF signaling. These findings provide new insights into the regulation of somatosensory neuron development and reveal a novel way in which Merkel cells participate in mechanosensation. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/364362-15$15.00/0.

  2. Transplantation of β-endorphin neurons into the hypothalamus promotes immune function and restricts the growth and metastasis of mammary carcinoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarkar, Dipak K; Zhang, Changqing; Murugan, Sengottuvelan; Dokur, Madhavi; Boyadjieva, Nadka I; Ortigüela, Maria; Reuhl, Kenneth R; Mojtehedzadeh, Sepide

    2011-10-01

    Neurobehavioral stress has been shown to promote tumor growth and progression and dampen the immune system. In this study, we investigated whether inhibiting stress hormone production could inhibit the development of mammary carcinoma and metastasis in a rat model of breast carcinogenesis. To enhance β-endorphin (BEP), the endogenous opioid polypeptide that boosts immune activity and decreases stress, we generated BEP neurons by in vitro differentiation from fetal neuronal stem cells and transplanted them into the hypothalami of rats subjected to breast carcinogenesis. BEP-transplanted rats displayed a reduction in mammary tumor incidence, growth, malignancy rate, and metastasis compared with cortical cells-transplanted rats. BEP neuron transplants also reduced inflammation and epithelial to mesenchymal transition in the tumor tissues. In addition, BEP neuron transplants increased peripheral natural killer (NK) cell and macrophage activities, elevated plasma levels of antiinflammatory cytokines, and reduced plasma levels of inflammatory cytokines. Antimetastatic effects along with stimulation of NK cells and macrophages could be reversed by treatment with the opiate antagonist naloxone, the β-receptor agonist metaproterenol, or the nicotine acetylcholine receptor antagonist methyllycaconitine. Together, our findings establish a protective role for BEP against the growth and metastasis of mammary tumor cells by altering autonomic nervous system activities that enhance innate immune function.

  3. Non-Neuronal Functions of the M2 Muscarinic Acetylcholine Receptor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ritva Tikkanen

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Acetylcholine is an important neurotransmitter whose effects are mediated by two classes of receptors. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are ion channels, whereas the muscarinic receptors belong to the large family of G protein coupled seven transmembrane helix receptors. Beyond its function in neuronal systems, it has become evident that acetylcholine also plays an important role in non-neuronal cells such as epithelial and immune cells. Furthermore, many cell types in the periphery are capable of synthesizing acetylcholine and express at least some of the receptors. In this review, we summarize the non-neuronal functions of the muscarinic acetylcholine receptors, especially those of the M2 muscarinic receptor in epithelial cells. We will review the mechanisms of signaling by the M2 receptor but also the cellular trafficking and ARF6 mediated endocytosis of this receptor, which play an important role in the regulation of signaling events. In addition, we provide an overview of the M2 receptor in human pathological conditions such as autoimmune diseases and cancer.

  4. Analyzing topological characteristics of neuronal functional networks in the rat brain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lu, Hu; Yang, Shengtao; Song, Yuqing; Wei, Hui

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we recorded spike trains from brain cortical neurons of several behavioral rats in vivo by using multi-electrode recordings. An NFN was constructed in each trial, obtaining a total of 150 NFNs in this study. The topological characteristics of NFNs were analyzed by using the two most important characteristics of complex networks, namely, small-world structure and community structure. We found that the small-world properties exist in different NFNs constructed in this study. Modular function Q was used to determine the existence of community structure in NFNs, through which we found that community-structure characteristics, which are related to recorded spike train data sets, are more evident in the Y-maze task than in the DM-GM task. Our results can also be used to analyze further the relationship between small-world characteristics and the cognitive behavioral responses of rats. - Highlights: • We constructed the neuronal function networks based on the recorded neurons. • We analyzed the two main complex network characteristics, namely, small-world structure and community structure. • NFNs which were constructed based on the recorded neurons in this study exhibit small-world properties. • Some NFNs have community structure characteristics

  5. Analyzing topological characteristics of neuronal functional networks in the rat brain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lu, Hu [School of Computer Science and Communication Engineering, Jiangsu University, Jiangsu 212003 (China); School of Computer Science, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433 (China); Yang, Shengtao [Institutes of Brain Science, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433 (China); Song, Yuqing [School of Computer Science and Communication Engineering, Jiangsu University, Jiangsu 212003 (China); Wei, Hui [School of Computer Science, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433 (China)

    2014-08-28

    In this study, we recorded spike trains from brain cortical neurons of several behavioral rats in vivo by using multi-electrode recordings. An NFN was constructed in each trial, obtaining a total of 150 NFNs in this study. The topological characteristics of NFNs were analyzed by using the two most important characteristics of complex networks, namely, small-world structure and community structure. We found that the small-world properties exist in different NFNs constructed in this study. Modular function Q was used to determine the existence of community structure in NFNs, through which we found that community-structure characteristics, which are related to recorded spike train data sets, are more evident in the Y-maze task than in the DM-GM task. Our results can also be used to analyze further the relationship between small-world characteristics and the cognitive behavioral responses of rats. - Highlights: • We constructed the neuronal function networks based on the recorded neurons. • We analyzed the two main complex network characteristics, namely, small-world structure and community structure. • NFNs which were constructed based on the recorded neurons in this study exhibit small-world properties. • Some NFNs have community structure characteristics.

  6. Overexpression of survival motor neuron improves neuromuscular function and motor neuron survival in mutant SOD1 mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Bradley J; Alfazema, Neza; Sheean, Rebecca K; Sleigh, James N; Davies, Kay E; Horne, Malcolm K; Talbot, Kevin

    2014-04-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy results from diminished levels of survival motor neuron (SMN) protein in spinal motor neurons. Low levels of SMN also occur in models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) caused by mutant superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) and genetic reduction of SMN levels exacerbates the phenotype of transgenic SOD1(G93A) mice. Here, we demonstrate that SMN protein is significantly reduced in the spinal cords of patients with sporadic ALS. To test the potential of SMN as a modifier of ALS, we overexpressed SMN in 2 different strains of SOD1(G93A) mice. Neuronal overexpression of SMN significantly preserved locomotor function, rescued motor neurons, and attenuated astrogliosis in spinal cords of SOD1(G93A) mice. Despite this, survival was not prolonged, most likely resulting from SMN mislocalization and depletion of gems in motor neurons of symptomatic mice. Our results reveal that SMN upregulation slows locomotor deficit onset and motor neuron loss in this mouse model of ALS. However, disruption of SMN nuclear complexes by high levels of mutant SOD1, even in the presence of SMN overexpression, might limit its survival promoting effects in this specific mouse model. Studies in emerging mouse models of ALS are therefore warranted to further explore the potential of SMN as a modifier of ALS. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Distinctive transcriptome alterations of prefrontal pyramidal neurons in schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arion, D; Corradi, J P; Tang, S; Datta, D; Boothe, F; He, A; Cacace, A M; Zaczek, R; Albright, C F; Tseng, G; Lewis, D A

    2015-11-01

    Schizophrenia is associated with alterations in working memory that reflect dysfunction of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) circuitry. Working memory depends on the activity of excitatory pyramidal cells in DLPFC layer 3 and, to a lesser extent, in layer 5. Although many studies have profiled gene expression in DLPFC gray matter in schizophrenia, little is known about cell-type-specific transcript expression in these two populations of pyramidal cells. We hypothesized that interrogating gene expression, specifically in DLPFC layer 3 or 5 pyramidal cells, would reveal new and/or more robust schizophrenia-associated differences that would provide new insights into the nature of pyramidal cell dysfunction in the illness. We also sought to determine the impact of other variables, such as a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder or medication use at the time of death, on the patterns of gene expression in pyramidal neurons. Individual pyramidal cells in DLPFC layers 3 or 5 were captured by laser microdissection from 36 subjects with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and matched normal comparison subjects. The mRNA from cell collections was subjected to transcriptome profiling by microarray followed by quantitative PCR validation. Expression of genes involved in mitochondrial (MT) or ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) functions were markedly downregulated in the patient group (P-values for MT-related and UPS-related pathways were schizoaffective disorder subjects (diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder was the most significant covariate, Pschizoaffective disorder, providing a potential molecular-cellular basis of differences in clinical phenotypes.

  8. Characterizing genomic alterations in cancer by complementary functional associations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jong Wook; Botvinnik, Olga B; Abudayyeh, Omar; Birger, Chet; Rosenbluh, Joseph; Shrestha, Yashaswi; Abazeed, Mohamed E; Hammerman, Peter S; DiCara, Daniel; Konieczkowski, David J; Johannessen, Cory M; Liberzon, Arthur; Alizad-Rahvar, Amir Reza; Alexe, Gabriela; Aguirre, Andrew; Ghandi, Mahmoud; Greulich, Heidi; Vazquez, Francisca; Weir, Barbara A; Van Allen, Eliezer M; Tsherniak, Aviad; Shao, Diane D; Zack, Travis I; Noble, Michael; Getz, Gad; Beroukhim, Rameen; Garraway, Levi A; Ardakani, Masoud; Romualdi, Chiara; Sales, Gabriele; Barbie, David A; Boehm, Jesse S; Hahn, William C; Mesirov, Jill P; Tamayo, Pablo

    2016-05-01

    Systematic efforts to sequence the cancer genome have identified large numbers of mutations and copy number alterations in human cancers. However, elucidating the functional consequences of these variants, and their interactions to drive or maintain oncogenic states, remains a challenge in cancer research. We developed REVEALER, a computational method that identifies combinations of mutually exclusive genomic alterations correlated with functional phenotypes, such as the activation or gene dependency of oncogenic pathways or sensitivity to a drug treatment. We used REVEALER to uncover complementary genomic alterations associated with the transcriptional activation of β-catenin and NRF2, MEK-inhibitor sensitivity, and KRAS dependency. REVEALER successfully identified both known and new associations, demonstrating the power of combining functional profiles with extensive characterization of genomic alterations in cancer genomes.

  9. Pharmacological Bypass of Cockayne Syndrome B Function in Neuronal Differentiation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuming Wang

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Cockayne syndrome (CS is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by growth abnormalities, premature aging, and photosensitivity. Mutation of Cockayne syndrome B (CSB affects neuronal gene expression and differentiation, so we attempted to bypass its function by expressing downstream target genes. Intriguingly, ectopic expression of Synaptotagmin 9 (SYT9, a key component of the machinery controlling neurotrophin release, bypasses the need for CSB in neuritogenesis. Importantly, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, a neurotrophin implicated in neuronal differentiation and synaptic modulation, and pharmacological mimics such as 7,8-dihydroxyflavone and amitriptyline can compensate for CSB deficiency in cell models of neuronal differentiation as well. SYT9 and BDNF are downregulated in CS patient brain tissue, further indicating that sub-optimal neurotrophin signaling underlies neurological defects in CS. In addition to shedding light on cellular mechanisms underlying CS and pointing to future avenues for pharmacological intervention, these data suggest an important role for SYT9 in neuronal differentiation.

  10. Regulated appearance of NMDA receptor subunits and channel functions during in vitro neuronal differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jelitai, Márta; Schlett, Katalin; Varju, Patrícia; Eisel, Ulrich; Madarász, Emília

    2002-04-01

    The schedule of NMDA receptor subunit expression and the appearance of functional NMDA-gated ion channels were investigated during the retinoic acid (RA) induced neuronal differentiation of NE-4C, a p53-deficient mouse neuroectodermal progenitor cell line. NR2A, NR2B, and NR2D subunit transcripts were present in both nondifferentiated and neuronally differentiated cultures, while NR2C subunits were expressed only transiently, during the early period of neural differentiation. Several splice variants of NR1 were detected in noninduced progenitors and in RA-induced cells, except the N1 exon containing transcripts that appeared after the fourth day of induction, when neuronal processes were already formed. NR1 and NR2A subunit proteins were detected both in nondifferentiated progenitor cells and in neurons, while the mature form of NR2B subunit protein appeared only at the time of neuronal process elongation. Despite the early presence of NR1 and NR2A subunits, NMDA-evoked responses could be detected in NE-4C neurons only after the sixth day of induction, coinciding in time with the expression of the mature NR2B subunit. The formation of functional NMDA receptors also coincided with the appearance of synapsin I and synaptophysin. The lag period between the production of the subunits and the onset of channel function suggests that subunits capable of channel formation cannot form functional NMDA receptors until a certain stage of neuronal commitment. Thus, the in vitro neurogenesis by NE-4C cells provides a suitable tool to investigate some inherent regulatory processes involved in the initial maturation of NMDA receptor complexes. Copyright 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Linking Neurons to Network Function and Behavior by Two-Photon Holographic Optogenetics and Volumetric Imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dal Maschio, Marco; Donovan, Joseph C; Helmbrecht, Thomas O; Baier, Herwig

    2017-05-17

    We introduce a flexible method for high-resolution interrogation of circuit function, which combines simultaneous 3D two-photon stimulation of multiple targeted neurons, volumetric functional imaging, and quantitative behavioral tracking. This integrated approach was applied to dissect how an ensemble of premotor neurons in the larval zebrafish brain drives a basic motor program, the bending of the tail. We developed an iterative photostimulation strategy to identify minimal subsets of channelrhodopsin (ChR2)-expressing neurons that are sufficient to initiate tail movements. At the same time, the induced network activity was recorded by multiplane GCaMP6 imaging across the brain. From this dataset, we computationally identified activity patterns associated with distinct components of the elicited behavior and characterized the contributions of individual neurons. Using photoactivatable GFP (paGFP), we extended our protocol to visualize single functionally identified neurons and reconstruct their morphologies. Together, this toolkit enables linking behavior to circuit activity with unprecedented resolution. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Maternal creatine supplementation affects the morpho-functional development of hippocampal neurons in rat offspring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sartini, S; Lattanzi, D; Ambrogini, P; Di Palma, M; Galati, C; Savelli, D; Polidori, E; Calcabrini, C; Rocchi, M B L; Sestili, P; Cuppini, R

    2016-01-15

    Creatine supplementation has been shown to protect neurons from oxidative damage due to its antioxidant and ergogenic functions. These features have led to the hypothesis of creatine supplementation use during pregnancy as prophylactic treatment to prevent CNS damage, such as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. Unfortunately, very little is known on the effects of creatine supplementation during neuron differentiation, while in vitro studies revealed an influence on neuron excitability, leaving the possibility of creatine supplementation during the CNS development an open question. Using a multiple approach, we studied the hippocampal neuron morphological and functional development in neonatal rats born by dams supplemented with 1% creatine in drinking water during pregnancy. CA1 pyramidal neurons of supplemented newborn rats showed enhanced dendritic tree development, increased LTP maintenance, larger evoked-synaptic responses, and higher intrinsic excitability in comparison to controls. Moreover, a faster repolarizing phase of action potential with the appearance of a hyperpolarization were recorded in neurons of the creatine-treated group. Consistently, CA1 neurons of creatine exposed pups exhibited a higher maximum firing frequency than controls. In summary, we found that creatine supplementation during pregnancy positively affects morphological and electrophysiological development of CA1 neurons in offspring rats, increasing neuronal excitability. Altogether, these findings emphasize the need to evaluate the benefits and the safety of maternal intake of creatine in humans. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Confounding the origin and function of mirror neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzolatti, Giacomo

    2014-04-01

    Cook et al. argue that mirror neurons originate in sensorimotor associative learning and that their function is determined by their origin. Both these claims are hard to accept. It is here suggested that a major role in the origin of the mirror mechanism is played by top-down connections rather than by associative learning.

  14. CALHM1 deficiency impairs cerebral neuron activity and memory flexibility in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vingtdeux, Valérie; Chang, Eric H; Frattini, Stephen A; Zhao, Haitian; Chandakkar, Pallavi; Adrien, Leslie; Strohl, Joshua J; Gibson, Elizabeth L; Ohmoto, Makoto; Matsumoto, Ichiro; Huerta, Patricio T; Marambaud, Philippe

    2016-04-12

    CALHM1 is a cell surface calcium channel expressed in cerebral neurons. CALHM1 function in the brain remains unknown, but recent results showed that neuronal CALHM1 controls intracellular calcium signaling and cell excitability, two mechanisms required for synaptic function. Here, we describe the generation of Calhm1 knockout (Calhm1(-/-)) mice and investigate CALHM1 role in neuronal and cognitive functions. Structural analysis revealed that Calhm1(-/-) brains had normal regional and cellular architecture, and showed no evidence of neuronal or synaptic loss, indicating that CALHM1 deficiency does not affect brain development or brain integrity in adulthood. However, Calhm1(-/-) mice showed a severe impairment in memory flexibility, assessed in the Morris water maze, and a significant disruption of long-term potentiation without alteration of long-term depression, measured in ex vivo hippocampal slices. Importantly, in primary neurons and hippocampal slices, CALHM1 activation facilitated the phosphorylation of NMDA and AMPA receptors by protein kinase A. Furthermore, neuronal CALHM1 activation potentiated the effect of glutamate on the expression of c-Fos and C/EBPβ, two immediate-early gene markers of neuronal activity. Thus, CALHM1 controls synaptic activity in cerebral neurons and is required for the flexible processing of memory in mice. These results shed light on CALHM1 physiology in the mammalian brain.

  15. Physiological characterisation of human iPS-derived dopaminergic neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth M Hartfield

    Full Text Available Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs offer the potential to study otherwise inaccessible cell types. Critical to this is the directed differentiation of hiPSCs into functional cell lineages. This is of particular relevance to research into neurological disease, such as Parkinson's disease (PD, in which midbrain dopaminergic neurons degenerate during disease progression but are unobtainable until post-mortem. Here we report a detailed study into the physiological maturation over time of human dopaminergic neurons in vitro. We first generated and differentiated hiPSC lines into midbrain dopaminergic neurons and performed a comprehensive characterisation to confirm dopaminergic functionality by demonstrating dopamine synthesis, release, and re-uptake. The neuronal cultures include cells positive for both tyrosine hydroxylase (TH and G protein-activated inward rectifier potassium channel 2 (Kir3.2, henceforth referred to as GIRK2, representative of the A9 population of substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc neurons vulnerable in PD. We observed for the first time the maturation of the slow autonomous pace-making (<10 Hz and spontaneous synaptic activity typical of mature SNc dopaminergic neurons using a combination of calcium imaging and electrophysiology. hiPSC-derived neurons exhibited inositol tri-phosphate (IP3 receptor-dependent release of intracellular calcium from the endoplasmic reticulum in neuronal processes as calcium waves propagating from apical and distal dendrites, and in the soma. Finally, neurons were susceptible to the dopamine neuron-specific toxin 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+ which reduced mitochondrial membrane potential and altered mitochondrial morphology. Mature hiPSC-derived dopaminergic neurons provide a neurophysiologically-defined model of previously inaccessible vulnerable SNc dopaminergic neurons to bridge the gap between clinical PD and animal models.

  16. Control of neuronal network organization by chemical surface functionalization of multi-walled carbon nanotube arrays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Jie; Bibari, Olivier; Marchand, Gilles; Benabid, Alim-Louis; Sauter-Starace, Fabien; Appaix, Florence; De Waard, Michel

    2011-01-01

    Carbon nanotube substrates are promising candidates for biological applications and devices. Interfacing of these carbon nanotubes with neurons can be controlled by chemical modifications. In this study, we investigated how chemical surface functionalization of multi-walled carbon nanotube arrays (MWNT-A) influences neuronal adhesion and network organization. Functionalization of MWNT-A dramatically modifies the length of neurite fascicles, cluster inter-connection success rate, and the percentage of neurites that escape from the clusters. We propose that chemical functionalization represents a method of choice for developing applications in which neuronal patterning on MWNT-A substrates is required.

  17. Control of neuronal network organization by chemical surface functionalization of multi-walled carbon nanotube arrays

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu Jie; Bibari, Olivier; Marchand, Gilles; Benabid, Alim-Louis; Sauter-Starace, Fabien [CEA, LETI-Minatec, 17 Rue des Martyrs, 38054 Grenoble Cedex 9 (France); Appaix, Florence; De Waard, Michel, E-mail: fabien.sauter@cea.fr, E-mail: michel.dewaard@ujf-grenoble.fr [Inserm U836, Grenoble Institute of Neuroscience, Site Sante la Tronche, Batiment Edmond J Safra, Chemin Fortune Ferrini, BP170, 38042 Grenoble Cedex 09 (France)

    2011-05-13

    Carbon nanotube substrates are promising candidates for biological applications and devices. Interfacing of these carbon nanotubes with neurons can be controlled by chemical modifications. In this study, we investigated how chemical surface functionalization of multi-walled carbon nanotube arrays (MWNT-A) influences neuronal adhesion and network organization. Functionalization of MWNT-A dramatically modifies the length of neurite fascicles, cluster inter-connection success rate, and the percentage of neurites that escape from the clusters. We propose that chemical functionalization represents a method of choice for developing applications in which neuronal patterning on MWNT-A substrates is required.

  18. Synaptic and intrinsic activation of GABAergic neurons in the cardiorespiratory brainstem network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Julie G; Mendelowitz, David

    2012-01-01

    GABAergic pathways in the brainstem play an essential role in respiratory rhythmogenesis and interactions between the respiratory and cardiovascular neuronal control networks. However, little is known about the identity and function of these GABAergic inhibitory neurons and what determines their activity. In this study we have identified a population of GABAergic neurons in the ventrolateral medulla that receive increased excitatory post-synaptic potentials during inspiration, but also have spontaneous firing in the absence of synaptic input. Using transgenic mice that express GFP under the control of the Gad1 (GAD67) gene promoter, we determined that this population of GABAergic neurons is in close apposition to cardioinhibitory parasympathetic cardiac neurons in the nucleus ambiguus (NA). These neurons fire in synchronization with inspiratory activity. Although they receive excitatory glutamatergic synaptic inputs during inspiration, this excitatory neurotransmission was not altered by blocking nicotinic receptors, and many of these GABAergic neurons continue to fire after synaptic blockade. The spontaneous firing in these GABAergic neurons was not altered by the voltage-gated calcium channel blocker cadmium chloride that blocks both neurotransmission to these neurons and voltage-gated Ca(2+) currents, but spontaneous firing was diminished by riluzole, demonstrating a role of persistent sodium channels in the spontaneous firing in these cardiorespiratory GABAergic neurons that possess a pacemaker phenotype. The spontaneously firing GABAergic neurons identified in this study that increase their activity during inspiration would support respiratory rhythm generation if they acted primarily to inhibit post-inspiratory neurons and thereby release inspiration neurons to increase their activity. This population of inspiratory-modulated GABAergic neurons could also play a role in inhibiting neurons that are most active during expiration and provide a framework for

  19. Synaptic and intrinsic activation of GABAergic neurons in the cardiorespiratory brainstem network.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie G Frank

    Full Text Available GABAergic pathways in the brainstem play an essential role in respiratory rhythmogenesis and interactions between the respiratory and cardiovascular neuronal control networks. However, little is known about the identity and function of these GABAergic inhibitory neurons and what determines their activity. In this study we have identified a population of GABAergic neurons in the ventrolateral medulla that receive increased excitatory post-synaptic potentials during inspiration, but also have spontaneous firing in the absence of synaptic input. Using transgenic mice that express GFP under the control of the Gad1 (GAD67 gene promoter, we determined that this population of GABAergic neurons is in close apposition to cardioinhibitory parasympathetic cardiac neurons in the nucleus ambiguus (NA. These neurons fire in synchronization with inspiratory activity. Although they receive excitatory glutamatergic synaptic inputs during inspiration, this excitatory neurotransmission was not altered by blocking nicotinic receptors, and many of these GABAergic neurons continue to fire after synaptic blockade. The spontaneous firing in these GABAergic neurons was not altered by the voltage-gated calcium channel blocker cadmium chloride that blocks both neurotransmission to these neurons and voltage-gated Ca(2+ currents, but spontaneous firing was diminished by riluzole, demonstrating a role of persistent sodium channels in the spontaneous firing in these cardiorespiratory GABAergic neurons that possess a pacemaker phenotype. The spontaneously firing GABAergic neurons identified in this study that increase their activity during inspiration would support respiratory rhythm generation if they acted primarily to inhibit post-inspiratory neurons and thereby release inspiration neurons to increase their activity. This population of inspiratory-modulated GABAergic neurons could also play a role in inhibiting neurons that are most active during expiration and provide a

  20. Iron insufficiency compromises motor neurons and their mitochondrial function in Irp2-null mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suh Young Jeong

    Full Text Available Genetic ablation of Iron Regulatory Protein 2 (Irp2, Ireb2, which post-transcriptionally regulates iron metabolism genes, causes a gait disorder in mice that progresses to hind-limb paralysis. Here we have demonstrated that misregulation of iron metabolism from loss of Irp2 causes lower motor neuronal degeneration with significant spinal cord axonopathy. Mitochondria in the lumbar spinal cord showed significantly decreased Complex I and II activities, and abnormal morphology. Lower motor neurons appeared to be the most adversely affected neurons, and we show that functional iron starvation due to misregulation of iron import and storage proteins, including transferrin receptor 1 and ferritin, may have a causal role in disease. We demonstrated that two therapeutic approaches were beneficial for motor neuron survival. First, we activated a homologous protein, IRP1, by oral Tempol treatment and found that axons were partially spared from degeneration. Secondly, we genetically decreased expression of the iron storage protein, ferritin, to diminish functional iron starvation. These data suggest that functional iron deficiency may constitute a previously unrecognized molecular basis for degeneration of motor neurons in mice.

  1. ALS-associated mutant FUS induces selective motor neuron degeneration through toxic gain of function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Aarti; Lyashchenko, Alexander K; Lu, Lei; Nasrabady, Sara Ebrahimi; Elmaleh, Margot; Mendelsohn, Monica; Nemes, Adriana; Tapia, Juan Carlos; Mentis, George Z; Shneider, Neil A

    2016-02-04

    Mutations in FUS cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), including some of the most aggressive, juvenile-onset forms of the disease. FUS loss-of-function and toxic gain-of-function mechanisms have been proposed to explain how mutant FUS leads to motor neuron degeneration, but neither has been firmly established in the pathogenesis of ALS. Here we characterize a series of transgenic FUS mouse lines that manifest progressive, mutant-dependent motor neuron degeneration preceded by early, structural and functional abnormalities at the neuromuscular junction. A novel, conditional FUS knockout mutant reveals that postnatal elimination of FUS has no effect on motor neuron survival or function. Moreover, endogenous FUS does not contribute to the onset of the ALS phenotype induced by mutant FUS. These findings demonstrate that FUS-dependent motor degeneration is not due to loss of FUS function, but to the gain of toxic properties conferred by ALS mutations.

  2. Reduced sensory synaptic excitation impairs motor neuron function via Kv2.1 in spinal muscular atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fletcher, Emily V; Simon, Christian M; Pagiazitis, John G; Chalif, Joshua I; Vukojicic, Aleksandra; Drobac, Estelle; Wang, Xiaojian; Mentis, George Z

    2017-07-01

    Behavioral deficits in neurodegenerative diseases are often attributed to the selective dysfunction of vulnerable neurons via cell-autonomous mechanisms. Although vulnerable neurons are embedded in neuronal circuits, the contributions of their synaptic partners to disease process are largely unknown. Here we show that, in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a reduction in proprioceptive synaptic drive leads to motor neuron dysfunction and motor behavior impairments. In SMA mice or after the blockade of proprioceptive synaptic transmission, we observed a decrease in the motor neuron firing that could be explained by the reduction in the expression of the potassium channel Kv2.1 at the surface of motor neurons. Chronically increasing neuronal activity pharmacologically in vivo led to a normalization of Kv2.1 expression and an improvement in motor function. Our results demonstrate a key role of excitatory synaptic drive in shaping the function of motor neurons during development and the contribution of its disruption to a neurodegenerative disease.

  3. Histological and functional benefit following transplantation of motor neuron progenitors to the injured rat spinal cord.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharyn L Rossi

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Motor neuron loss is characteristic of cervical spinal cord injury (SCI and contributes to functional deficit.In order to investigate the amenability of the injured adult spinal cord to motor neuron differentiation, we transplanted spinal cord injured animals with a high purity population of human motor neuron progenitors (hMNP derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs. In vitro, hMNPs displayed characteristic motor neuron-specific markers, a typical electrophysiological profile, functionally innervated human or rodent muscle, and secreted physiologically active growth factors that caused neurite branching and neuronal survival. hMNP transplantation into cervical SCI sites in adult rats resulted in suppression of intracellular signaling pathways associated with SCI pathogenesis, which correlated with greater endogenous neuronal survival and neurite branching. These neurotrophic effects were accompanied by significantly enhanced performance on all parameters of the balance beam task, as compared to controls. Interestingly, hMNP transplantation resulted in survival, differentiation, and site-specific integration of hMNPs distal to the SCI site within ventral horns, but hMNPs near the SCI site reverted to a neuronal progenitor state, suggesting an environmental deficiency for neuronal maturation associated with SCI.These findings underscore the barriers imposed on neuronal differentiation of transplanted cells by the gliogenic nature of the injured spinal cord, and the physiological relevance of transplant-derived neurotrophic support to functional recovery.

  4. Neuronal gain modulability is determined by dendritic morphology: A computational optogenetic study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarvis, Sarah; Nikolic, Konstantin; Schultz, Simon R

    2018-03-01

    The mechanisms by which the gain of the neuronal input-output function may be modulated have been the subject of much investigation. However, little is known of the role of dendrites in neuronal gain control. New optogenetic experimental paradigms based on spatial profiles or patterns of light stimulation offer the prospect of elucidating many aspects of single cell function, including the role of dendrites in gain control. We thus developed a model to investigate how competing excitatory and inhibitory input within the dendritic arbor alters neuronal gain, incorporating kinetic models of opsins into our modeling to ensure it is experimentally testable. To investigate how different topologies of the neuronal dendritic tree affect the neuron's input-output characteristics we generate branching geometries which replicate morphological features of most common neurons, but keep the number of branches and overall area of dendrites approximately constant. We found a relationship between a neuron's gain modulability and its dendritic morphology, with neurons with bipolar dendrites with a moderate degree of branching being most receptive to control of the gain of their input-output relationship. The theory was then tested and confirmed on two examples of realistic neurons: 1) layer V pyramidal cells-confirming their role in neural circuits as a regulator of the gain in the circuit in addition to acting as the primary excitatory neurons, and 2) stellate cells. In addition to providing testable predictions and a novel application of dual-opsins, our model suggests that innervation of all dendritic subdomains is required for full gain modulation, revealing the importance of dendritic targeting in the generation of neuronal gain control and the functions that it subserves. Finally, our study also demonstrates that neurophysiological investigations which use direct current injection into the soma and bypass the dendrites may miss some important neuronal functions, such as gain

  5. The Languages of Neurons: An Analysis of Coding Mechanisms by Which Neurons Communicate, Learn and Store Information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morris H. Baslow

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available In this paper evidence is provided that individual neurons possess language, and that the basic unit for communication consists of two neurons and their entire field of interacting dendritic and synaptic connections. While information processing in the brain is highly complex, each neuron uses a simple mechanism for transmitting information. This is in the form of temporal electrophysiological action potentials or spikes (S operating on a millisecond timescale that, along with pauses (P between spikes constitute a two letter “alphabet” that generates meaningful frequency-encoded signals or neuronal S/P “words” in a primary language. However, when a word from an afferent neuron enters the dendritic-synaptic-dendritic field between two neurons, it is translated into a new frequency-encoded word with the same meaning, but in a different spike-pause language, that is delivered to and understood by the efferent neuron. It is suggested that this unidirectional inter-neuronal language-based word translation step is of utmost importance to brain function in that it allows for variations in meaning to occur. Thus, structural or biochemical changes in dendrites or synapses can produce novel words in the second language that have changed meanings, allowing for a specific signaling experience, either external or internal, to modify the meaning of an original word (learning, and store the learned information of that experience (memory in the form of an altered dendritic-synaptic-dendritic field.

  6. Network control principles predict neuron function in the Caenorhabditis elegans connectome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Gang; Vértes, Petra E.; Towlson, Emma K.; Chew, Yee Lian; Walker, Denise S.; Schafer, William R.; Barabási, Albert-László

    2017-10-01

    Recent studies on the controllability of complex systems offer a powerful mathematical framework to systematically explore the structure-function relationship in biological, social, and technological networks. Despite theoretical advances, we lack direct experimental proof of the validity of these widely used control principles. Here we fill this gap by applying a control framework to the connectome of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, allowing us to predict the involvement of each C. elegans neuron in locomotor behaviours. We predict that control of the muscles or motor neurons requires 12 neuronal classes, which include neuronal groups previously implicated in locomotion by laser ablation, as well as one previously uncharacterized neuron, PDB. We validate this prediction experimentally, finding that the ablation of PDB leads to a significant loss of dorsoventral polarity in large body bends. Importantly, control principles also allow us to investigate the involvement of individual neurons within each neuronal class. For example, we predict that, within the class of DD motor neurons, only three (DD04, DD05, or DD06) should affect locomotion when ablated individually. This prediction is also confirmed; single cell ablations of DD04 or DD05 specifically affect posterior body movements, whereas ablations of DD02 or DD03 do not. Our predictions are robust to deletions of weak connections, missing connections, and rewired connections in the current connectome, indicating the potential applicability of this analytical framework to larger and less well-characterized connectomes.

  7. Network control principles predict neuron function in the Caenorhabditis elegans connectome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Gang; Vértes, Petra E; Towlson, Emma K; Chew, Yee Lian; Walker, Denise S; Schafer, William R; Barabási, Albert-László

    2017-10-26

    Recent studies on the controllability of complex systems offer a powerful mathematical framework to systematically explore the structure-function relationship in biological, social, and technological networks. Despite theoretical advances, we lack direct experimental proof of the validity of these widely used control principles. Here we fill this gap by applying a control framework to the connectome of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, allowing us to predict the involvement of each C. elegans neuron in locomotor behaviours. We predict that control of the muscles or motor neurons requires 12 neuronal classes, which include neuronal groups previously implicated in locomotion by laser ablation, as well as one previously uncharacterized neuron, PDB. We validate this prediction experimentally, finding that the ablation of PDB leads to a significant loss of dorsoventral polarity in large body bends. Importantly, control principles also allow us to investigate the involvement of individual neurons within each neuronal class. For example, we predict that, within the class of DD motor neurons, only three (DD04, DD05, or DD06) should affect locomotion when ablated individually. This prediction is also confirmed; single cell ablations of DD04 or DD05 specifically affect posterior body movements, whereas ablations of DD02 or DD03 do not. Our predictions are robust to deletions of weak connections, missing connections, and rewired connections in the current connectome, indicating the potential applicability of this analytical framework to larger and less well-characterized connectomes.

  8. [Infantile autism and mirror neurons].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornelio-Nieto, J O

    2009-02-27

    Infantile autism is a disorder that is characterised by alterations affecting reciprocal social interactions, abnormal verbal and non-verbal communication, poor imaginative activity and a restricted repertoire of activities and interests. The causes of autism remain unknown, but there are a number of different approaches that attempt to explain the neurobiological causes of the syndrome. A recent theory that has been considered is that of a dysfunction in the mirror neuron system (MNS). The MNS is a neuronal complex, originally described in monkeys and also found in humans, that is related with our movements and which offers specific responses to the movements and intended movements of other subjects. This system is believed to underlie processes of imitation and our capacity to learn by imitation. It is also thought to play a role in language acquisition, in expressing the emotions, in understanding what is happening to others and in empathy. Because these functions are altered in children with autism, it has been suggested that there is some dysfunction present in the MNS of those with autism. Dysfunction of the MNS could account for the symptoms that are observed in children with autism.

  9. Focusing on neuronal cell-type specific mechanisms for brain circuit organization, function and dysfunction

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lu Li

    2017-01-01

    Mammalian brain circuits consist of dynamically interconnected neurons with characteristic morphology, physiology, connectivity and genetics which are often called neuronal cell types. Neuronal cell types have been considered as building blocks of brain circuits, but knowledge of how neuron types or subtypes connect to and interact with each other to perform neural computation is still lacking. Such mechanistic insights are critical not only to our understanding of normal brain functions, such as perception, motion and cognition, but also to brain disorders including Alzheimer's disease, Schizophrenia and epilepsy, to name a few. Thus it is necessary to carry out systematic and standardized studies on neuronal cell-type specific mechanisms for brain circuit organization and function, which will provide good opportunities to bridge basic and clinical research. Here based on recent technology advancements, we discuss the strategy to target and manipulate specific populations of neuronsin vivo to provide unique insights on how neuron types or subtypes behave, interact, and generate emergent properties in a fully connected brain network. Our approach is highlighted by combining transgenic animal models, targeted electrophysiology and imaging with robotics, thus complete and standardized mapping ofin vivo properties of genetically defined neuron populations can be achieved in transgenic mouse models, which will facilitate the development of novel therapeutic strategies for brain disorders.

  10. Autoradiographic assessment of [3H]proline uptake by neurons of epileptogenic mirror focus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khudoerkov, R.M.

    1985-01-01

    Epileptogenic mirror focus was produced in the left parietal area of the rat brain by cobalt implantation into the contralateral hemisphere. On the 14th day after cobalt implantation [ 3 H]proline was injected into both experimental and control rats (without cobalt). The incorporation of [ 3 H]proline in neurons of layers III and V of the parietal brain cortex and neurons of the nucleus lateralis thalami was investigated by the autoradiography technique. A statistically reliable increase in [ 3 H]proline uptake was observed in neurons of layer III (31%) and in neurons of layer V (41%) of the epileptogenic mirror focus. The other neuronal types revealed no reliable changes. The morphological and functional aspects of the altered protein metabolism during epileptogenesis are discussed. (author)

  11. Functional architecture of reward learning in mushroom body extrinsic neurons of larval Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saumweber, Timo; Rohwedder, Astrid; Schleyer, Michael; Eichler, Katharina; Chen, Yi-Chun; Aso, Yoshinori; Cardona, Albert; Eschbach, Claire; Kobler, Oliver; Voigt, Anne; Durairaja, Archana; Mancini, Nino; Zlatic, Marta; Truman, James W; Thum, Andreas S; Gerber, Bertram

    2018-03-16

    The brain adaptively integrates present sensory input, past experience, and options for future action. The insect mushroom body exemplifies how a central brain structure brings about such integration. Here we use a combination of systematic single-cell labeling, connectomics, transgenic silencing, and activation experiments to study the mushroom body at single-cell resolution, focusing on the behavioral architecture of its input and output neurons (MBINs and MBONs), and of the mushroom body intrinsic APL neuron. Our results reveal the identity and morphology of almost all of these 44 neurons in stage 3 Drosophila larvae. Upon an initial screen, functional analyses focusing on the mushroom body medial lobe uncover sparse and specific functions of its dopaminergic MBINs, its MBONs, and of the GABAergic APL neuron across three behavioral tasks, namely odor preference, taste preference, and associative learning between odor and taste. Our results thus provide a cellular-resolution study case of how brains organize behavior.

  12. Complete functional characterization of sensory neurons by system identification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Michael C-K; David, Stephen V; Gallant, Jack L

    2006-01-01

    System identification is a growing approach to sensory neurophysiology that facilitates the development of quantitative functional models of sensory processing. This approach provides a clear set of guidelines for combining experimental data with other knowledge about sensory function to obtain a description that optimally predicts the way that neurons process sensory information. This prediction paradigm provides an objective method for evaluating and comparing computational models. In this chapter we review many of the system identification algorithms that have been used in sensory neurophysiology, and we show how they can be viewed as variants of a single statistical inference problem. We then review many of the practical issues that arise when applying these methods to neurophysiological experiments: stimulus selection, behavioral control, model visualization, and validation. Finally we discuss several problems to which system identification has been applied recently, including one important long-term goal of sensory neuroscience: developing models of sensory systems that accurately predict neuronal responses under completely natural conditions.

  13. Effects of oxaliplatin on mouse myenteric neurons and colonic motility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wafai, Linah; Taher, Mohammadali; Jovanovska, Valentina; Bornstein, Joel C.; Dass, Crispin R.; Nurgali, Kulmira

    2013-01-01

    Oxaliplatin, an anti-cancer chemotherapeutic agent used for the treatment of colorectal cancer, commonly causes gastrointestinal side-effects such as constipation, diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting. Damage to enteric neurons may underlie some of these gastrointestinal side-effects, as the enteric nervous system (ENS) controls functions of the bowel. In this study, neuronal loss and changes to the structure and immunoreactivity of myenteric neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) neurons were examined in colonic segments from mice following exposure to oxaliplatin ex vivo and following repeated intraperitoneal injections of oxaliplatin over 3 weeks in vivo, using immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy. Significant morphological alterations and increases in the proportion of NOS-immunoreactive (IR) neurons were associated with both short-term oxaliplatin exposure and long-term oxaliplatin administration, confirming that oxaliplatin causes changes to the myenteric neurons. Long-term oxaliplatin administration induced substantial neuronal loss that was correlated with a reduction in both the frequency and propagation speed of colonic migrating motor complexes (CMMCs) in vitro. Similar changes probably produce some symptoms experienced by patients undergoing oxaliplatin treatment. PMID:23486839

  14. Combined small-molecule inhibition accelerates the derivation of functional, early-born, cortical neurons from human pluripotent stem cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Yuchen; Zhang, Xin-Jun; Renier, Nicolas; Wu, Zhuhao; Atkin, Talia; Sun, Ziyi; Ozair, M. Zeeshan; Tchieu, Jason; Zimmer, Bastian; Fattahi, Faranak; Ganat, Yosif; Azevedo, Ricardo; Zeltner, Nadja; Brivanlou, Ali H.; Karayiorgou, Maria; Gogos, Joseph; Tomishima, Mark; Tessier-Lavigne, Marc; Shi, Song-Hai; Studer, Lorenz

    2017-01-01

    Considerable progress has been made in converting human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) into functional neurons. However, the protracted timing of human neuron specification and functional maturation remains a key challenge that hampers the routine application of hPSC-derived lineages in disease modeling and regenerative medicine. Using a combinatorial small-molecule screen, we previously identified conditions for the rapid differentiation of hPSCs into peripheral sensory neurons. Here we generalize the approach to central nervous system (CNS) fates by developing a small-molecule approach for accelerated induction of early-born cortical neurons. Combinatorial application of 6 pathway inhibitors induces post-mitotic cortical neurons with functional electrophysiological properties by day 16 of differentiation, in the absence of glial cell co-culture. The resulting neurons, transplanted at 8 days of differentiation into the postnatal mouse cortex, are functional and establish long-distance projections, as shown using iDISCO whole brain imaging. Accelerated differentiation into cortical neuron fates should facilitate hPSC-based strategies for disease modeling and cell therapy in CNS disorders. PMID:28112759

  15. Chronic unpredictable stress alters gene expression in rat single dentate granule cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Qin, Y.J.; Karst, H.; Joëls, M.

    2004-01-01

    The rat adrenal hormone corticosterone binds to low and high affinity receptors, discretely localized in brain, including the dentate gyrus. Differential activation of the two receptor types under physiological conditions alters gene expression and functional characteristics of hippocampal neurones.

  16. Roles of Fukutin, the Gene Responsible for Fukuyama-Type Congenital Muscular Dystrophy, in Neurons: Possible Involvement in Synaptic Function and Neuronal Migration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hiroi, Atsuko; Yamamoto, Tomoko; Shibata, Noriyuki; Osawa, Makiko; Kobayashi, Makio

    2011-01-01

    Fukutin is a gene responsible for Fukuyama-type congenital muscular dystrophy (FCMD), accompanying ocular and brain malformations represented by cobblestone lissencephaly. Fukutin is related to basement membrane formation via the glycosylation of α-dystoglycan (α-DG), and astrocytes play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of the brain lesion. On the other hand, its precise function in neurons is unknown. In this experiment, the roles of fukutin in mature and immature neurons were examined using brains from control subjects and FCMD patients and cultured neuronal cell lines. In quantitative PCR, the expression level of fukutin looked different depending on the region of the brain examined. A similar tendency in DG expression appears to indicate a relation between fukutin and α-DG in mature neurons. An increase of DG mRNA and core α-DG in the FCMD cerebrum also supports the relation. In immunohistochemistry, dot-like positive reactions for VIA4-1, one of the antibodies detecting the glycosylated α-DG, in Purkinje cells suggest that fukutin is related to at least a post-synaptic function via the glycosylation of α-DG. As for immature neurons, VIA4-1 was predominantly positive in cells before and during migration with expression of fukutin, which suggest a participation of fukutin in neuronal migration via the glycosylation of α-DG. Moreover, fukutin may prevent neuronal differentiation, because its expression was significantly lower in the adult cerebrum and in differentiated cultured cells. A knockdown of fukutin was considered to induce differentiation in cultured cells. Fukutin seems to be necessary to keep migrating neurons immature during migration, and also to support migration via α-DG

  17. Neuraminidases 3 and 4 regulate neuronal function by catabolizing brain gangliosides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Xuefang; De Aragão, Camila De Britto Pará; Velasco-Martin, Juan P; Priestman, David A; Wu, Harry Y; Takahashi, Kohta; Yamaguchi, Kazunori; Sturiale, Luisella; Garozzo, Domenico; Platt, Frances M; Lamarche-Vane, Nathalie; Morales, Carlos R; Miyagi, Taeko; Pshezhetsky, Alexey V

    2017-08-01

    Gangliosides (sialylated glycolipids) play an essential role in the CNS by regulating recognition and signaling in neurons. Metabolic blocks in processing and catabolism of gangliosides result in the development of severe neurologic disorders, including gangliosidoses manifesting with neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation. We demonstrate that 2 mammalian enzymes, neuraminidases 3 and 4, play important roles in catabolic processing of brain gangliosides by cleaving terminal sialic acid residues in their glycan chains. In neuraminidase 3 and 4 double-knockout mice, G M3 ganglioside is stored in microglia, vascular pericytes, and neurons, causing micro- and astrogliosis, neuroinflammation, accumulation of lipofuscin bodies, and memory loss, whereas their cortical and hippocampal neurons have lower rate of neuritogenesis in vitro Double-knockout mice also have reduced levels of G M1 ganglioside and myelin in neuronal axons. Furthermore, neuraminidase 3 deficiency drastically increased storage of G M2 in the brain tissues of an asymptomatic mouse model of Tay-Sachs disease, a severe human gangliosidosis, indicating that this enzyme is responsible for the metabolic bypass of β-hexosaminidase A deficiency. Together, our results provide the first in vivo evidence that neuraminidases 3 and 4 have important roles in CNS function by catabolizing gangliosides and preventing their storage in lipofuscin bodies.-Pan, X., De Britto Pará De Aragão, C., Velasco-Martin, J. P., Priestman, D. A., Wu, H. Y., Takahashi, K., Yamaguchi, K., Sturiale, L., Garozzo, D., Platt, F. M., Lamarche-Vane, N., Morales, C. R., Miyagi, T., Pshezhetsky, A. V. Neuraminidases 3 and 4 regulate neuronal function by catabolizing brain gangliosides. © FASEB.

  18. Functional Properties of Human Stem Cell-Derived Neurons in Health and Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason P. Weick

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Stem cell-derived neurons from various source materials present unique model systems to examine the fundamental properties of central nervous system (CNS development as well as the molecular underpinnings of disease phenotypes. In order to more accurately assess potential therapies for neurological disorders, multiple strategies have been employed in recent years to produce neuronal populations that accurately represent in vivo regional and transmitter phenotypes. These include new technologies such as direct conversion of somatic cell types into neurons and glia which may accelerate maturation and retain genetic hallmarks of aging. In addition, novel forms of genetic manipulations have brought human stem cells nearly on par with those of rodent with respect to gene targeting. For neurons of the CNS, the ultimate phenotypic characterization lies with their ability to recapitulate functional properties such as passive and active membrane characteristics, synaptic activity, and plasticity. These features critically depend on the coordinated expression and localization of hundreds of ion channels and receptors, as well as scaffolding and signaling molecules. In this review I will highlight the current state of knowledge regarding functional properties of human stem cell-derived neurons, with a primary focus on pluripotent stem cells. While significant advances have been made, critical hurdles must be overcome in order for this technology to support progression toward clinical applications.

  19. EEG study of the mirror neuron system in children with high functioning autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymaekers, Ruth; Wiersema, Jan Roelf; Roeyers, Herbert

    2009-12-22

    Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are characterised by an impaired imitation, thought to be critical for early affective, social and communicative development. One neurological system proposed to underlie this function is the mirror neuron system (MNS) and previous research has suggested a dysfunctional MNS in ASD. The EEG mu frequency, more precisely the reduction of the mu power, is considered to be an index for mirror neuron functioning. In this work, EEG registrations are used to evaluate the mirror neuron functioning of twenty children with high functioning autism (HFA) between 8 and 13 years. Their mu suppression to self-executed and observed movement is compared to typically developing peers and related to age, intelligence and symptom severity. Both groups show significant mu suppression to both self and observed hand movements. No group differences are found in either condition. These results do not support the hypothesis that HFA is associated with a dysfunctional MNS. The discrepancy with previous research is discussed in light of the heterogeneity of the ASD population.

  20. Do dorsal raphe 5-HT neurons encode "beneficialness"?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Minmin; Li, Yi; Zhong, Weixin

    2016-11-01

    The neurotransmitter serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) affects numerous behavioral and physiological processes. Drugs that alter 5-HT signaling treat several major psychiatric disorders and may lead to widespread abuse. The dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) in the midbrain provides a majority of 5-HT for the forebrain. The importance of 5-HT signaling propels the search for a general theoretical framework under which the diverse functions of the DRN 5-HT neurons can be interpreted and additional therapeutic solutions may be developed. However, experimental data so far support several seeming irreconcilable theories, suggesting that 5-HT neurons mediate behavioral inhibition, aversive processing, or reward signaling. Here, we review recent progresses and propose that DRN 5-HT neurons encode "beneficialness" - how beneficial the current environmental context represents for an individual. Specifically, we speculate that the activity of these neurons reflects the possible net benefit of the current context as determined by p·R-C, in which p indicates reward probability, R the reward value, and C the cost. Through the widespread projections of these neurons to the forebrain, the beneficialness signal may reconfigure neural circuits to bias perception, boost positive emotions, and switch behavioral choices. The "beneficialness" hypothesis can explain many conflicting observations, and at the same time raises new questions. We suggest additional experiments that will help elucidate the exact computational functions of the DRN 5-HT neurons. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Late maturation of adult-born neurons in the temporal dentate gyrus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snyder, Jason S; Ferrante, Sarah C; Cameron, Heather A

    2012-01-01

    Hippocampal function varies along its septotemporal axis, with the septal (dorsal) pole more frequently involved in spatial learning and memory and the temporal (ventral) pole playing a greater role in emotional behaviors. One feature that varies across these subregions is adult neurogenesis. New neurons are more numerous in the septal hippocampus but are more active in the temporal hippocampus during water maze training. However, many other aspects of adult neurogenesis remain unexplored in the context of septal versus temporal subregions. In addition, the dentate gyrus contains another functionally important anatomical division along the transverse axis, with the suprapyramidal blade showing greater experience-related activity than the infrapyramidal blade. Here we ask whether new neurons differ in their rates of survival and maturation along the septotemporal and transverse axes. We found that neurogenesis is initially higher in the infrapyramidal than suprapyramidal blade, but these cells are less likely to survive, resulting in similar densities of neurons in the two blades by four weeks. Across the septotemporal axis, neurogenesis was higher in septal than temporal pole, while the survival rate of new neurons did not differ. Maturation was assessed by immunostaining for the neuronal marker, NeuN, which increases in expression level with maturation, and for the immediate-early gene, Arc, which suggests a neuron is capable of undergoing activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. Maturation occurred approximately 1-2 weeks earlier in the septal pole than in the temporal pole. This suggests that septal neurons may contribute to function sooner; however, the prolonged maturation of new temporal neurons may endow them with a longer window of plasticity during which their functions could be distinct from those of the mature granule cell population. These data point to subregional differences in new neuron maturation and suggest that changes in neurogenesis could alter

  2. Gamma Radiation (5-10 Gy) Impairs Neuronal Function in the Guinea Pig Hippocampus

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-01-01

    Radiation (5-10 Gy) Impairs Neuronal Function in the Guinea Pig Hippocampus TERRY C. PELLMAR AND DENNIS L. LEPINSKI Ph.vsiology Department..Irmned Forces...L. Gamma Radiation ioral effects. Within hours of irradiation with 10 Gy and (5- 10 Gy) Impairs Neuronal Function in the Guinea Pig Hippo- less...acti v- Guinea pigs were exposed to 5 and 10 Gy ’y radiation. Hippo- ity (9) are evident. campal brain slices were isolated 30 min, I day, 3 days and 5

  3. Deletion of Rictor in catecholaminergic neurons alters locomotor activity and ingestive behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaska, Sophia; Brunk, Rebecca; Bali, Vedrana; Kechner, Megan; Mazei-Robison, Michelle S

    2017-05-01

    While the etiology of depression is not fully understood, increasing evidence from animal models suggests a role for the ventral tegmental area (VTA) in pathogenesis. In this paper, we investigate the potential role of VTA mechanistic target of rapamycin 2 (TORC2) signaling in mediating susceptibility to chronic social defeat stress (CSDS), a well-established mouse model of depression. Utilizing genetic and viral knockout of Rictor (rapamycin-insensitive companion of target of rapamycin), a requisite component of TORC2, we demonstrate that decreasing Rictor-dependent TORC2 signaling in catecholaminergic neurons, or within the VTA specifically, does not alter susceptibility to CSDS. Opiate abuse and mood disorders are often comorbid, and previous data demonstrate a role for VTA TORC2 in mediating opiate reward. Thus, we also investigated its potential role in mediating changes in opiate reward following CSDS. Catecholaminergic deletion of Rictor increases water, sucrose, and morphine intake but not preference in a two-bottle choice assay in stress-naïve mice, and these effects are maintained after stress. VTA-specific knockout of Rictor increases water and sucrose intake after physical CSDS, but does not alter consummatory behavior in the absence of stress. These findings suggest a novel role for TORC2 in mediating stress-induced changes in consummatory behaviors that may contribute to some aspects of mood disorders. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Optogenetic inhibition of D1R containing nucleus accumbens neurons alters cocaine- mediated regulation of Tiam1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramesh eChandra

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Exposure to psychostimulants results in structural and synaptic plasticity in striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs. These cellular adaptations arise from alterations in genes that are highly implicated in the rearrangement of the actin cytoskeleton, such as Tiam1. Previous studies have demonstrated a crucial role for dopamine receptor 1 (D1-containing striatal MSNs in mediating psychostimulant induced plasticity changes. These D1-MSNs in the nucleus accumbens (NAc positively regulate drug seeking, reward, and locomotor behavioral effects as well as the morphological adaptations of psychostimulant drugs. Here, we demonstrate that rats that actively self-administer cocaine display reduced levels of Tiam1 in the NAc. To further examine the cell type specific contribution to these changes in Tiam1 we used optogenetics to selectively manipulate NAc D1-MSNs or dopamine receptor 2 (D2 expressing MSNs. We find that repeated ChR2 activation of D1-MSNs but not D2-MSNs caused a down-regulation of Tiam1 levels similar to the effects of cocaine. Further, activation of D2-MSNs, which caused a late blunted cocaine-mediated locomotor behavioral response, did not alter Tiam1 levels. We then examined the contribution of D1-MSNs to the cocaine-mediated decrease of Tiam1. Using the light activated chloride pump, eNpHR3.0, we selectively inhibited D1-MSNs during cocaine exposure, which resulted in a behavioral blockade of cocaine-induced locomotor sensitization. Moreover, inhibiting these NAc D1-MSNs during cocaine exposure reversed the down-regulation of Tiam1 gene expression and protein levels. These data demonstrate that altering activity in specific neural circuits with optogenetics can impact the underlying molecular substrates of psychostimulant mediated behavior and function.

  5. Altered spontaneous brain activity in patients with acute spinal cord injury revealed by resting-state functional MRI.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ling Zhu

    Full Text Available Previous neuroimaging studies have provided evidence of structural and functional reorganization of brain in patients with chronic spinal cord injury (SCI. However, it remains unknown whether the spontaneous brain activity changes in acute SCI. In this study, we investigated intrinsic brain activity in acute SCI patients using a regional homogeneity (ReHo analysis based on resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging.A total of 15 patients with acute SCI and 16 healthy controls participated in the study. The ReHo value was used to evaluate spontaneous brain activity, and voxel-wise comparisons of ReHo were performed to identify brain regions with altered spontaneous brain activity between groups. We also assessed the associations between ReHo and the clinical scores in brain regions showing changed spontaneous brain activity.Compared with the controls, the acute SCI patients showed decreased ReHo in the bilateral primary motor cortex/primary somatosensory cortex, bilateral supplementary motor area/dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex, right inferior frontal gyrus, bilateral dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and bilateral caudate; and increased ReHo in bilateral precuneus, the left inferior parietal lobe, the left brainstem/hippocampus, the left cingulate motor area, bilateral insula, bilateral thalamus and bilateral cerebellum. The average ReHo values of the left thalamus and right insula were negatively correlated with the international standards for the neurological classification of spinal cord injury motor scores.Our findings indicate that acute distant neuronal damage has an immediate impact on spontaneous brain activity. In acute SCI patients, the ReHo was prominently altered in brain regions involved in motor execution and cognitive control, default mode network, and which are associated with sensorimotor compensatory reorganization. Abnormal ReHo values in the left thalamus and right insula could serve as potential biomarkers for

  6. Functional diversity of supragranular GABAergic neurons in the barrel cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luc J Gentet

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Although the neocortex forms a distributed system comprised of several functional areas, its vertical columnar organization is largely conserved across areas and species, suggesting the existence of a canonical neocortical microcircuit. In order to elucidate the principles governing the organization of such a cortical diagram, a detailed understanding of the dynamics binding different types of cortical neurons into a coherent algorithm is essential. Within this complex circuitry, GABAergic interneurons, while forming approximately only 15-20% of all cortical neurons, appear critical in maintaining a dynamic balance between excitation and inhibition. Despite their importance, cortical GABAergic neurons have not been extensively studied in vivo and their precise role in shaping the local microcircuit sensory response still remains to be determined. Their paucity, combined with their molecular, anatomical and physiological diversity, has made it difficult to even establish a consensual nomenclature.However, recent technological advances in microscopy and mouse genetics have fostered a renewed interest in neocortical interneurons by putting them within visible reach of experimenters. The anatomically well-defined whisker-to-barrel pathway of the rodent is particularly amenable to studies attempting to link cortical circuit dynamics to behavior. To each whisker corresponds a discrete cortical unit equivalent to a single column, specialized in the encoding and processing of the sensory information it receives. In this review, we will focus on the functional role that each subtype of supragranular GABAergic neuron embedded within such a single neocortical unit may play in shaping the dynamics of the local circuit during somatosensory integration.

  7. Acetyl-L-Carnitine via Upegulating Dopamine D1 Receptor and Attenuating Microglial Activation Prevents Neuronal Loss and Improves Memory Functions in Parkinsonian Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Sonu; Mishra, Akanksha; Srivastava, Neha; Shukla, Rakesh; Shukla, Shubha

    2018-01-01

    Parkinson's disease is accompanied by nonmotor symptoms including cognitive impairment, which precede the onset of motor symptoms in patients and are regulated by dopamine (DA) receptors and the mesocorticolimbic pathway. The relative contribution of DA receptors and astrocytic glutamate transporter (GLT-1) in cognitive functions is largely unexplored. Similarly, whether microglia-derived increased immune response affects cognitive functions and neuronal survival is not yet understood. We have investigated the effect of acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) on cognitive functions and its possible underlying mechanism of action in 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced hemiparkinsonian rats. ALCAR treatment in 6-OHDA-lesioned rats improved memory functions as confirmed by decreased latency time and path length in the Morris water maze test. ALCAR further enhanced D1 receptor levels without altering D2 receptor levels in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC) regions, suggesting that the D1 receptor is preferentially involved in the regulation of cognitive functions. ALCAR attenuated microglial activation and release of inflammatory mediators through balancing proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines, which subsequently enhanced the survival of mature neurons in the CA1, CA3, and PFC regions and improved cognitive functions in hemiparkinsonian rats. ALCAR treatment also improved glutathione (GSH) content, while decreasing oxidative stress indices, inducible nitrogen oxide synthase (iNOS) levels, and astrogliosis resulting in the upregulation of GLT-1 levels. Additionally, ALCAR prevented the loss of dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons in ventral tagmental area (VTA)/substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) regions of 6-OHDA-lesioned rats, thus maintaining the integrity of the nigrostriatal pathway. Together, these results demonstrate that ALCAR treatment in hemiparkinsonian rats ameliorates neurodegeneration and cognitive deficits, hence suggesting its therapeutic potential in

  8. Neuron and neuroblast numbers and cytogenesis in the dentate gyrus of aged APP(swe)/PS1(dE9) transgenic mice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olesen, Louise Orum; Sivasaravanaparan, Mithula; Severino, Maurizio

    2017-01-01

    Altered neurogenesis may influence hippocampal functions such as learning and memory in Alzheimer's disease. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors enhance neurogenesis and have been reported to reduce cerebral amyloidosis in both humans and transgenic mice. We have used stereology to assess the...... working memory, independent of changes in total granular neurons. Furthermore, while long-term paroxetine treatment may be able to reduce hippocampal amyloidosis, it appears to have no effect on total number of granular neurons or spatial working memory....... the longitudinal changes in the number of doublecortin-expressing neuroblasts and number of granular neurons in the dentate gyrus of APPswe/PS1dE9 transgenic mice. Furthermore, we investigated the effect of long-term paroxetine treatment on the number of neuroblasts and granular neurons, hippocampal amyloidosis......Altered neurogenesis may influence hippocampal functions such as learning and memory in Alzheimer's disease. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors enhance neurogenesis and have been reported to reduce cerebral amyloidosis in both humans and transgenic mice. We have used stereology to assess...

  9. IBS, NERD and functional dyspepsia are immuno-neuronal disorders of mucosal cytokine imbalances clinically reversible with high potency sucralfate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCullough, Ricky W

    2013-03-01

    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), non-erosive reflux disorder (NERD), and functional dyspepsia (FD) are best classified as immuno-neuronal disorders of the mucosa or functional mucosal syndromes (FMS). Each appears to be clinically reversible using high potency sucralfate (HPS). In FMS of the GI tract, postprandial nausea, altered motility, discordant peristalsis, vomiting, diarrhea, and hyperalgesia are the clinical expressions of a mucosal imbalance between pro-inflammatory cytokines of up-regulated intra-epithelial lymphocytes (IELs) and feedback anti-inflammatory cytokines tasked with moderating the antigenic response of IELs. Normal functioning GI tract requires an operative balance between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatrory cytokines, a balance governed by locally expressed growth factors. The surface concentration of sucralfate can be enhanced 7-23-fold by suspending it in a select concentration of cations and multi-dentate cationic chelators. Increased surface concentration of sucralfate facilitates novel dose effects which include efficient activation of growth factors, quiescence of gated-nociceptor firing and resultant restoration of normal GI function. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  10. AgRP neurons regulate development of dopamine neuronal plasticity and nonfood-associated behaviors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietrich, Marcelo O; Bober, Jeremy; Ferreira, Jozélia G; Tellez, Luis A; Mineur, Yann S; Souza, Diogo O; Gao, Xiao-Bing; Picciotto, Marina R; Araújo, Ivan; Liu, Zhong-Wu; Horvath, Tamas L

    2012-01-01

    It is not known whether behaviors unrelated to feeding are affected by hypothalamic regulators of hunger. We found that impairment of Agouti-related protein (AgRP) circuitry by either Sirt1 knockdown in AgRP-expressing neurons or early postnatal ablation of these neurons increased exploratory behavior and enhanced responses to cocaine. In AgRP circuit–impaired mice, ventral tegmental dopamine neurons exhibited enhanced spike timing–dependent long-term potentiation, altered amplitude of miniature postsynaptic currents and elevated dopamine in basal forebrain. Thus, AgRP neurons determine the set point of the reward circuitry and associated behaviors. PMID:22729177

  11. Snapin-regulated late endosomal transport is critical for efficient autophagy-lysosomal function in neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Qian; Lu, Li; Tian, Jin-Hua; Zhu, Yi-Bing; Qiao, Haifa; Sheng, Zu-Hang

    2010-10-06

    Neuron maintenance and survival require late endocytic transport from distal processes to the soma where lysosomes are predominantly localized. Here, we report a role for Snapin in attaching dynein to late endosomes through its intermediate chain (DIC). snapin(-/-) neurons exhibit aberrant accumulation of immature lysosomes, clustering and impaired retrograde transport of late endosomes along processes, reduced lysosomal proteolysis due to impaired delivery of internalized proteins and hydrolase precursors from late endosomes to lysosomes, and impaired clearance of autolysosomes, combined with reduced neuron viability and neurodegeneration. The phenotypes are rescued by expressing the snapin transgene, but not the DIC-binding-defective Snapin-L99K mutant. Snapin overexpression in wild-type neurons enhances late endocytic transport and lysosomal function, whereas expressing the mutant defective in Snapin-DIC coupling shows a dominant-negative effect. Altogether, our study highlights new mechanistic insights into how Snapin-DIC coordinates retrograde transport and late endosomal-lysosomal trafficking critical for autophagy-lysosomal function, and thus neuronal homeostasis. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Ontogeny of Biochemical, Morphological and Functional Parameters of Synaptogenesis in Primary Cultures of Rat Hippocampal and Cortical Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    AbstractBackground: Synaptogenesis is a critical neurodevelopmental process whereby pre-and postsynaptic neurons form apposed sites of contact specialized for excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission. Many neurodevelopmental disorders are thought to reflect altered patterns of...

  13. Dynamical patterns of calcium signaling in a functional model of neuron-astrocyte networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Postnov, D.E.; Koreshkov, R.N.; Brazhe, N.A.

    2009-01-01

    We propose a functional mathematical model for neuron-astrocyte networks. The model incorporates elements of the tripartite synapse and the spatial branching structure of coupled astrocytes. We consider glutamate-induced calcium signaling as a specific mode of excitability and transmission...... in astrocytic-neuronal networks. We reproduce local and global dynamical patterns observed experimentally....

  14. Organization of Functional Long-Range Circuits Controlling the Activity of Serotonergic Neurons in the Dorsal Raphe Nucleus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Zhou

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Serotonergic neurons play key roles in various biological processes. However, circuit mechanisms underlying tight control of serotonergic neurons remain largely unknown. Here, we systematically investigated the organization of long-range synaptic inputs to serotonergic neurons and GABAergic neurons in the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN of mice with a combination of viral tracing, slice electrophysiological, and optogenetic techniques. We found that DRN serotonergic neurons and GABAergic neurons receive largely comparable synaptic inputs from six major upstream brain areas. Upon further analysis of the fine functional circuit structures, we found both bilateral and ipsilateral patterns of topographic connectivity in the DRN for the axons from different inputs. Moreover, the upstream brain areas were found to bidirectionally control the activity of DRN serotonergic neurons by recruiting feedforward inhibition or via a push-pull mechanism. Our study provides a framework for further deciphering the functional roles of long-range circuits controlling the activity of serotonergic neurons in the DRN.

  15. Altered neuronal architecture and plasticity in the visual cortex of adult MMP-3 deficient mice

    OpenAIRE

    Aerts, Jeroen; Nys, Julie; Moons, Lieve; Hu, Tjing-Tjing; Arckens, Lut

    2015-01-01

    Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are Zn2+ dependent endopeptidases considered to be essential for normal brain development and neuroplasticity by modulating extracellular matrix proteins, receptors, adhesion molecules, growth factors and cytoskeletal proteins. Specifically MMP-3 has recently been implicated in synaptic plasticity, hippocampus-dependent learning and neuronal development and migration in the cerebellum. However, the function(s) of this enzyme in the neocortex is understudied. T...

  16. Altered resting brain function and structure in professional badminton players.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di, Xin; Zhu, Senhua; Jin, Hua; Wang, Pin; Ye, Zhuoer; Zhou, Ke; Zhuo, Yan; Rao, Hengyi

    2012-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies of professional athletic or musical training have demonstrated considerable practice-dependent plasticity in various brain structures, which may reflect distinct training demands. In the present study, structural and functional brain alterations were examined in professional badminton players and compared with healthy controls using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and resting-state functional MRI. Gray matter concentration (GMC) was assessed using voxel-based morphometry (VBM), and resting-brain functions were measured by amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) and seed-based functional connectivity. Results showed that the athlete group had greater GMC and ALFF in the right and medial cerebellar regions, respectively. The athlete group also demonstrated smaller ALFF in the left superior parietal lobule and altered functional connectivity between the left superior parietal and frontal regions. These findings indicate that badminton expertise is associated with not only plastic structural changes in terms of enlarged gray matter density in the cerebellum, but also functional alterations in fronto-parietal connectivity. Such structural and functional alterations may reflect specific experiences of badminton training and practice, including high-capacity visuo-spatial processing and hand-eye coordination in addition to refined motor skills.

  17. Circadian Activators Are Expressed Days before They Initiate Clock Function in Late Pacemaker Neurons from Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Tianxin; Mahesh, Guruswamy; Houl, Jerry H; Hardin, Paul E

    2015-06-03

    Circadian pacemaker neurons in the Drosophila brain control daily rhythms in locomotor activity. These pacemaker neurons can be subdivided into early or late groups depending on whether rhythms in period (per) and timeless (tim) expression are initiated at the first instar (L1) larval stage or during metamorphosis, respectively. Because CLOCK-CYCLE (CLK-CYC) heterodimers initiate circadian oscillator function by activating per and tim transcription, a Clk-GFP transgene was used to mark when late pacemaker neurons begin to develop. We were surprised to see that CLK-GFP was already expressed in four of five clusters of late pacemaker neurons during the third instar (L3) larval stage. CLK-GFP is only detected in postmitotic neurons from L3 larvae, suggesting that these four late pacemaker neuron clusters are formed before the L3 larval stage. A GFP-cyc transgene was used to show that CYC, like CLK, is also expressed exclusively in pacemaker neurons from L3 larval brains, demonstrating that CLK-CYC is not sufficient to activate per and tim in late pacemaker neurons at the L3 larval stage. These results suggest that most late pacemaker neurons develop days before novel factors activate circadian oscillator function during metamorphosis. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/358662-10$15.00/0.

  18. Modeling non-syndromic autism and the impact of TRPC6 disruption in human neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griesi-Oliveira, Karina; Acab, Allan; Gupta, Abha R.; Sunaga, Daniele Yumi; Chailangkarn, Thanathom; Nicol, Xavier; Nunez, Yanelli; Walker, Michael F.; Murdoch, John D.; Sanders, Stephan J.; Fernandez, Thomas V.; Ji, Weizhen; Lifton, Richard P.; Vadasz, Estevão; Dietrich, Alexander; Pradhan, Dennis; Song, Hongjun; Ming, Guo-li; Guoe, Xiang; Haddad, Gabriel; Marchetto, Maria C. N.; Spitzer, Nicholas; Passos-Bueno, Maria Rita; State, Matthew W.; Muotri, Alysson R.

    2014-01-01

    An increasing number of genetic variants have been implicated in autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and the functional study of such variants will be critical for the elucidation of autism pathophysiology. Here, we report a de novo balanced translocation disruption of TRPC6, a cation channel, in a non-syndromic autistic individual. Using multiple models, such as dental pulp cells, iPSC-derived neuronal cells and mouse models, we demonstrate that TRPC6 reduction or haploinsufficiency leads to altered neuronal development, morphology, and function. The observed neuronal phenotypes could then be rescued by TRPC6 complementation and by treatment with IGF1 or hyperforin, a TRPC6-specific agonist, suggesting that ASD individuals with alterations in this pathway might benefit from these drugs. We also demonstrate that MeCP2 levels affect TRPC6 expression. Mutations in MeCP2 cause Rett syndrome, revealing common pathways among ASDs. Genetic sequencing of TRPC6 in 1041 ASD individuals and 2872 controls revealed significantly more nonsynonymous mutations in the ASD population, and identified loss-of-function mutations with incomplete penetrance in two patients. Taken together, these findings suggest that TRPC6 is a novel predisposing gene for ASD that may act in a multiple-hit model. This is the first study to use iPSC-derived human neurons to model non-syndromic ASD and illustrate the potential of modeling genetically complex sporadic diseases using such cells. PMID:25385366

  19. Insulin and Leptin Signaling Interact in the Mouse Kiss1 Neuron during the Peripubertal Period.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoliang Qiu

    Full Text Available Reproduction requires adequate energy stores for parents and offspring to survive. Kiss1 neurons, which are essential for fertility, have the potential to serve as the central sensors of metabolic factors that signal to the reproductive axis the presence of stored calories. Paradoxically, obesity is often accompanied by infertility. Despite excess circulating levels of insulin and leptin, obese individuals exhibit resistance to both metabolic factors in many neuron types. Thus, resistance to insulin or leptin in Kiss1 neurons could lead to infertility. Single deletion of the receptors for either insulin or the adipokine leptin from Kiss1 neurons does not impair adult reproductive dysfunction. However, insulin and leptin signaling pathways may interact in such a way as to obscure their individual functions. We hypothesized that in the presence of genetic or obesity-induced concurrent insulin and leptin resistance, Kiss1 neurons would be unable to maintain reproductive function. We therefore induced a chronic hyperinsulinemic and hyperleptinemic state in mice lacking insulin receptors in Kiss1 neurons through high fat feeding and examined the impact on fertility. In an additional, genetic model, we ablated both leptin and insulin signaling in Kiss1 neurons (IR/LepRKiss mice. Counter to our hypothesis, we found that the addition of leptin insensitivity did not alter the reproductive phenotype of IRKiss mice. We also found that weight gain, body composition, glucose and insulin tolerance were normal in mice of both genders. Nonetheless, leptin and insulin receptor deletion altered pubertal timing as well as LH and FSH levels in mid-puberty in a reciprocal manner. Our results confirm that Kiss1 neurons do not directly mediate the critical role that insulin and leptin play in reproduction. However, during puberty kisspeptin neurons may experience a critical window of susceptibility to the influence of metabolic factors that can modify the onset of

  20. Neuron-specific caveolin-1 overexpression improves motor function and preserves memory in mice subjected to brain trauma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egawa, Junji; Schilling, Jan M; Cui, Weihua; Posadas, Edmund; Sawada, Atsushi; Alas, Basheer; Zemljic-Harpf, Alice E; Fannon-Pavlich, McKenzie J; Mandyam, Chitra D; Roth, David M; Patel, Hemal H; Patel, Piyush M; Head, Brian P

    2017-08-01

    Studies in vitro and in vivo demonstrate that membrane/lipid rafts and caveolin (Cav) organize progrowth receptors, and, when overexpressed specifically in neurons, Cav-1 augments neuronal signaling and growth and improves cognitive function in adult and aged mice; however, whether neuronal Cav-1 overexpression can preserve motor and cognitive function in the brain trauma setting is unknown. Here, we generated a neuron-targeted Cav-1-overexpressing transgenic (Tg) mouse [synapsin-driven Cav-1 (SynCav1 Tg)] and subjected it to a controlled cortical impact model of brain trauma and measured biochemical, anatomic, and behavioral changes. SynCav1 Tg mice exhibited increased hippocampal expression of Cav-1 and membrane/lipid raft localization of postsynaptic density protein 95, NMDA receptor, and tropomyosin receptor kinase B. When subjected to a controlled cortical impact, SynCav1 Tg mice demonstrated preserved hippocampus-dependent fear learning and memory, improved motor function recovery, and decreased brain lesion volume compared with wild-type controls. Neuron-targeted overexpression of Cav-1 in the adult brain prevents hippocampus-dependent learning and memory deficits, restores motor function after brain trauma, and decreases brain lesion size induced by trauma. Our findings demonstrate that neuron-targeted Cav-1 can be used as a novel therapeutic strategy to restore brain function and prevent trauma-associated maladaptive plasticity.-Egawa, J., Schilling, J. M., Cui, W., Posadas, E., Sawada, A., Alas, B., Zemljic-Harpf, A. E., Fannon-Pavlich, M. J., Mandyam, C. D., Roth, D. M., Patel, H. H., Patel, P. M., Head, B. P. Neuron-specific caveolin-1 overexpression improves motor function and preserves memory in mice subjected to brain trauma. © FASEB.

  1. Stimulus-response functions of single avian olfactory bulb neurones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKeegan, Dorothy E F; Demmers, Theodorus G M; Wathes, Christopher M; Jones, R Bryan; Gentle, Michael J

    2002-10-25

    This study investigated olfactory processing in a functional context by examining the responses of single avian olfactory bulb neurones to two biologically important gases over relevant concentration ranges. Recordings of extracellular spike activity were made from 80 single units in the left olfactory bulb of 11 anaesthetised, freely breathing adult hens (Gallus domesticus). The units were spontaneously active, exhibiting widely variable firing rates (0.07-47.28 spikes/s) and variable temporal firing patterns. Single units were tested for their response to an ascending concentration series of either ammonia (2.5-100 ppm) or hydrogen sulphide (1-50 ppm), delivered directly to the olfactory epithelium. Stimulation with a calibrated gas delivery system resulted in modification of spontaneous activity causing either inhibition (47% of units) or excitation (53%) of firing. For ammonia, 20 of the 35 units tested exhibited a response, while for hydrogen sulphide, 25 of the 45 units tested were responsive. Approximate response thresholds for ammonia (median threshold 3.75 ppm (range 2.5-60 ppm, n=20)) and hydrogen sulphide (median threshold 1 ppm (range 1-10 ppm, n=25)) were determined with most units exhibiting thresholds near the lower end of these ranges. Stimulus response curves were constructed for 23 units; 16 (the most complete) were subjected to a linear regression analysis to determine whether they were best fitted by a linear, log or power function. No single function provided the best fit for all the curves (seven were linear, eight were log, one was power). These findings show that avian units respond to changes in stimulus concentration in a manner generally consistent with reported responses in mammalian olfactory bulb neurones. However, this study illustrates a level of fine-tuning to small step changes in concentration (<5 ppm) not previously demonstrated in vertebrate single olfactory bulb neurones.

  2. Alterations in the Interplay between Neurons, Astrocytes and Microglia in the Rat Dentate Gyrus in Experimental Models of Neurodegeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniele Lana

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The hippocampus is negatively affected by aging and neurodegenerative diseases leading to impaired learning and memory abilities. A diverse series of progressive modifications in the intercellular communication among neurons, astrocytes and microglia occur in the hippocampus during aging or inflammation. A detailed understanding of the neurobiological modifications that contribute to hippocampal dysfunction may reveal new targets for therapeutic intervention. The current study focussed on the interplay between neurons and astroglia in the Granule Layer (GL and the Polymorphic Layer (PL of the Dentate Gyrus (DG of adult, aged and LPS-treated rats. In GL and PL of aged and LPS-treated rats, astrocytes were less numerous than in adult rats. In GL of LPS-treated rats, astrocytes acquired morphological features of reactive astrocytes, such as longer branches than was observed in adult rats. Total and activated microglia increased in the aged and LPS-treated rats, as compared to adult rats. In the GL of aged and LPS-treated rats many neurons were apoptotic. Neurons decreased significantly in GL and PL of aged but not in rats treated with LPS. In PL of aged and LPS-treated rats many damaged neurons were embraced by microglia cells and were infiltrated by branches of astrocyte, which appeared to be bisecting the cell body, forming triads. Reactive microglia had a scavenging activity of dying neurons, as shown by the presence of neuronal debris within their cytoplasm. The levels of the chemokine fractalkine (CX3CL1 increased in hippocampal homogenates of aged rats and rats treated with LPS, and CX3CL1 immunoreactivity colocalized with activated microglia cells. Here we demonstrated that in the DG of aged and LPS-treated rats, astrocytes and microglia cooperate and participate in phagocytosis/phagoptosis of apoptotic granular neurons. The differential expression/activation of astroglia and the alteration of their intercommunication may be responsible for

  3. Studies on functional roles of the histaminergic neuron system by using pharmacological agents, knockout mice and positron emission tomography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Watanabe, Takehiko; Yanai, Kazuhiko

    2001-01-01

    Since one of us, Takehiko Watanabe (TW), elucidated the location and distribution of the histaminergic neuron system in the brain with antibody raised against L-histidine decarboxylase (a histamine-forming enzyme, HDC) as a marker in 1984 and came to Tohoku University School of Medicine in Sendai, we have been collaborating on the functions of this neuron system by using pharmacological agents, knockout mice of the histamine-related genes, and, in some cases, positron emission tomography (PET). Many of our graduate students and colleagues have been actively involved in histamine research since 1985. Our extensive studies have clarified some of the functions of histamine neurons using methods from molecular techniques to non-invasive human PET imaging. Histamine neurons are involved in many brain functions, such as spontaneous locomotion, arousal in wake-sleep cycle, appetite control, seizures, learning and memory, aggressive behavior and emotion. Particularly, the histaminergic neuron system is one of the most important neuron systems to maintain and stimulate wakefulness. Histamine also functions as a biprotection system against various noxious and unfavorable stimuli (for examples, convulsion, nociception, drug sensitization, ischemic lesions, and stress). Although activators of histamine neurons have not been clinically available until now, we would like to point out that the activation of the histaminergic neuron system is important to maintain mental health. Here, we summarize the newly-discovered functions of histamine neurons mainly on the basis of results from our research groups. (author)

  4. Studies on functional roles of the histaminergic neuron system by using pharmacological agents, knockout mice and positron emission tomography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Watanabe, Takehiko; Yanai, Kazuhiko [Tohoku Univ., Sendai (Japan). Graduate School of Medicine

    2001-12-01

    Since one of us, Takehiko Watanabe (TW), elucidated the location and distribution of the histaminergic neuron system in the brain with antibody raised against L-histidine decarboxylase (a histamine-forming enzyme, HDC) as a marker in 1984 and came to Tohoku University School of Medicine in Sendai, we have been collaborating on the functions of this neuron system by using pharmacological agents, knockout mice of the histamine-related genes, and, in some cases, positron emission tomography (PET). Many of our graduate students and colleagues have been actively involved in histamine research since 1985. Our extensive studies have clarified some of the functions of histamine neurons using methods from molecular techniques to non-invasive human PET imaging. Histamine neurons are involved in many brain functions, such as spontaneous locomotion, arousal in wake-sleep cycle, appetite control, seizures, learning and memory, aggressive behavior and emotion. Particularly, the histaminergic neuron system is one of the most important neuron systems to maintain and stimulate wakefulness. Histamine also functions as a biprotection system against various noxious and unfavorable stimuli (for examples, convulsion, nociception, drug sensitization, ischemic lesions, and stress). Although activators of histamine neurons have not been clinically available until now, we would like to point out that the activation of the histaminergic neuron system is important to maintain mental health. Here, we summarize the newly-discovered functions of histamine neurons mainly on the basis of results from our research groups. (author)

  5. Activity of Raphé Serotonergic Neurons Controls Emotional Behaviors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Teissier

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Despite the well-established role of serotonin signaling in mood regulation, causal relationships between serotonergic neuronal activity and behavior remain poorly understood. Using a pharmacogenetic approach, we find that selectively increasing serotonergic neuronal activity in wild-type mice is anxiogenic and reduces floating in the forced-swim test, whereas inhibition has no effect on the same measures. In a developmental mouse model of altered emotional behavior, increased anxiety and depression-like behaviors correlate with reduced dorsal raphé and increased median raphé serotonergic activity. These mice display blunted responses to serotonergic stimulation and behavioral rescues through serotonergic inhibition. Furthermore, we identify opposing consequences of dorsal versus median raphé serotonergic neuron inhibition on floating behavior, together suggesting that median raphé hyperactivity increases anxiety, whereas a low dorsal/median raphé serotonergic activity ratio increases depression-like behavior. Thus, we find a critical role of serotonergic neuronal activity in emotional regulation and uncover opposing roles of median and dorsal raphé function.

  6. Kappe neurons, a novel population of olfactory sensory neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Ahuja, Gaurav; Nia, Shahrzad Bozorg; Zapilko, Veronika; Shiriagin, Vladimir; Kowatschew, Daniel; Oka, Yuichiro; Korsching, Sigrun I.

    2014-01-01

    Perception of olfactory stimuli is mediated by distinct populations of olfactory sensory neurons, each with a characteristic set of morphological as well as functional parameters. Beyond two large populations of ciliated and microvillous neurons, a third population, crypt neurons, has been identified in teleost and cartilaginous fishes. We report here a novel, fourth olfactory sensory neuron population in zebrafish, which we named kappe neurons for their characteristic shape. Kappe neurons ar...

  7. The signaling role for chloride in the bidirectional communication between neurons and astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Corinne S; Mongin, Alexander A

    2018-01-09

    It is well known that the electrical signaling in neuronal networks is modulated by chloride (Cl - ) fluxes via the inhibitory GABA A and glycine receptors. Here, we discuss the putative contribution of Cl - fluxes and intracellular Cl - to other forms of information transfer in the CNS, namely the bidirectional communication between neurons and astrocytes. The manuscript (i) summarizes the generic functions of Cl - in cellular physiology, (ii) recaps molecular identities and properties of Cl - transporters and channels in neurons and astrocytes, and (iii) analyzes emerging studies implicating Cl - in the modulation of neuroglial communication. The existing literature suggests that neurons can alter astrocytic Cl - levels in a number of ways; via (a) the release of neurotransmitters and activation of glial transporters that have intrinsic Cl - conductance, (b) the metabotropic receptor-driven changes in activity of the electroneutral cation-Cl - cotransporter NKCC1, and (c) the transient, activity-dependent changes in glial cell volume which open the volume-regulated Cl - /anion channel VRAC. Reciprocally, astrocytes are thought to alter neuronal [Cl - ] i through either (a) VRAC-mediated release of the inhibitory gliotransmitters, GABA and taurine, which open neuronal GABA A and glycine receptor/Cl - channels, or (b) the gliotransmitter-driven stimulation of NKCC1. The most important recent developments in this area are the identification of the molecular composition and functional heterogeneity of brain VRAC channels, and the discovery of a new cytosolic [Cl - ] sensor - the Wnk family protein kinases. With new work in the field, our understanding of the role of Cl - in information processing within the CNS is expected to be significantly updated. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. TRPA1 is functionally expressed primarily by IB4-binding, non-peptidergic mouse and rat sensory neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie E Barabas

    Full Text Available Subpopulations of somatosensory neurons are characterized by functional properties and expression of receptor proteins and surface markers. CGRP expression and IB4-binding are commonly used to define peptidergic and non-peptidergic subpopulations. TRPA1 is a polymodal, plasma membrane ion channel that contributes to mechanical and cold hypersensitivity during tissue injury, making it a key target for pain therapeutics. Some studies have shown that TRPA1 is predominantly expressed by peptidergic sensory neurons, but others indicate that TRPA1 is expressed extensively within non-peptidergic, IB4-binding neurons. We used FURA-2 calcium imaging to define the functional distribution of TRPA1 among peptidergic and non-peptidergic adult mouse (C57BL/6J DRG neurons. Approximately 80% of all small-diameter (<27 µm neurons from lumbar 1-6 DRGs that responded to TRPA1 agonists allyl isothiocyanate (AITC; 79% or cinnamaldehyde (84% were IB4-positive. Retrograde labeling via plantar hind paw injection of WGA-Alexafluor594 showed similarly that most (81% cutaneous neurons responding to TRPA1 agonists were IB4-positive. Additionally, we cultured DRG neurons from a novel CGRP-GFP mouse where GFP expression is driven by the CGRPα promoter, enabling identification of CGRP-expressing live neurons. Interestingly, 78% of TRPA1-responsive neurons were CGRP-negative. Co-labeling with IB4 revealed that the majority (66% of TRPA1 agonist responders were IB4-positive but CGRP-negative. Among TRPA1-null DRGs, few small neurons (2-4% responded to either TRPA1 agonist, indicating that both cinnamaldehyde and AITC specifically target TRPA1. Additionally, few large neurons (≥27 µm diameter responded to AITC (6% or cinnamaldehyde (4%, confirming that most large-diameter somata lack functional TRPA1. Comparison of mouse and rat DRGs showed that the majority of TRPA1-responsive neurons in both species were IB4-positive. Together, these data demonstrate that TRPA1 is

  9. TRPA1 Is Functionally Expressed Primarily by IB4-Binding, Non-Peptidergic Mouse and Rat Sensory Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stucky, Cheryl L.

    2012-01-01

    Subpopulations of somatosensory neurons are characterized by functional properties and expression of receptor proteins and surface markers. CGRP expression and IB4-binding are commonly used to define peptidergic and non-peptidergic subpopulations. TRPA1 is a polymodal, plasma membrane ion channel that contributes to mechanical and cold hypersensitivity during tissue injury, making it a key target for pain therapeutics. Some studies have shown that TRPA1 is predominantly expressed by peptidergic sensory neurons, but others indicate that TRPA1 is expressed extensively within non-peptidergic, IB4-binding neurons. We used FURA-2 calcium imaging to define the functional distribution of TRPA1 among peptidergic and non-peptidergic adult mouse (C57BL/6J) DRG neurons. Approximately 80% of all small-diameter (neurons from lumbar 1–6 DRGs that responded to TRPA1 agonists allyl isothiocyanate (AITC; 79%) or cinnamaldehyde (84%) were IB4-positive. Retrograde labeling via plantar hind paw injection of WGA-Alexafluor594 showed similarly that most (81%) cutaneous neurons responding to TRPA1 agonists were IB4-positive. Additionally, we cultured DRG neurons from a novel CGRP-GFP mouse where GFP expression is driven by the CGRPα promoter, enabling identification of CGRP-expressing live neurons. Interestingly, 78% of TRPA1-responsive neurons were CGRP-negative. Co-labeling with IB4 revealed that the majority (66%) of TRPA1 agonist responders were IB4-positive but CGRP-negative. Among TRPA1-null DRGs, few small neurons (2–4%) responded to either TRPA1 agonist, indicating that both cinnamaldehyde and AITC specifically target TRPA1. Additionally, few large neurons (≥27 µm diameter) responded to AITC (6%) or cinnamaldehyde (4%), confirming that most large-diameter somata lack functional TRPA1. Comparison of mouse and rat DRGs showed that the majority of TRPA1-responsive neurons in both species were IB4-positive. Together, these data demonstrate that TRPA1 is functionally expressed

  10. Differential subcellular distribution of ion channels and the diversity of neuronal function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nusser, Zoltan

    2012-06-01

    Following the astonishing molecular diversity of voltage-gated ion channels that was revealed in the past few decades, the ion channel repertoire expressed by neurons has been implicated as the major factor governing their functional heterogeneity. Although the molecular structure of ion channels is a key determinant of their biophysical properties, their subcellular distribution and densities on the surface of nerve cells are just as important for fulfilling functional requirements. Recent results obtained with high resolution quantitative localization techniques revealed complex, subcellular compartment-specific distribution patterns of distinct ion channels. Here I suggest that within a given neuron type every ion channel has a unique cell surface distribution pattern, with the functional consequence that this dramatically increases the computational power of nerve cells. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Intrinsically active and pacemaker neurons in pluripotent stem cell-derived neuronal populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-11

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

  12. Deletion of Lkb1 in pro-opiomelanocortin neurons impairs peripheral glucose homeostasis in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claret, Marc; Smith, Mark A; Knauf, Claude; Al-Qassab, Hind; Woods, Angela; Heslegrave, Amanda; Piipari, Kaisa; Emmanuel, Julian J; Colom, André; Valet, Philippe; Cani, Patrice D; Begum, Ghazala; White, Anne; Mucket, Phillip; Peters, Marco; Mizuno, Keiko; Batterham, Rachel L; Giese, K Peter; Ashworth, Alan; Burcelin, Remy; Ashford, Michael L; Carling, David; Withers, Dominic J

    2011-03-01

    AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling acts as a sensor of nutrients and hormones in the hypothalamus, thereby regulating whole-body energy homeostasis. Deletion of Ampkα2 in pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons causes obesity and defective neuronal glucose sensing. LKB1, the Peutz-Jeghers syndrome gene product, and Ca(2+)-calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase β (CaMKKβ) are key upstream activators of AMPK. This study aimed to determine their role in POMC neurons upon energy and glucose homeostasis regulation. Mice lacking either Camkkβ or Lkb1 in POMC neurons were generated, and physiological, electrophysiological, and molecular biology studies were performed. Deletion of Camkkβ in POMC neurons does not alter energy homeostasis or glucose metabolism. In contrast, female mice lacking Lkb1 in POMC neurons (PomcLkb1KO) display glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, impaired suppression of hepatic glucose production, and altered expression of hepatic metabolic genes. The underlying cellular defect in PomcLkb1KO mice involves a reduction in melanocortin tone caused by decreased α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone secretion. However, Lkb1-deficient POMC neurons showed normal glucose sensing, and body weight was unchanged in PomcLkb1KO mice. Our findings demonstrate that LKB1 in hypothalamic POMC neurons plays a key role in the central regulation of peripheral glucose metabolism but not body-weight control. This phenotype contrasts with that seen in mice lacking AMPK in POMC neurons with defects in body-weight regulation but not glucose homeostasis, which suggests that LKB1 plays additional functions distinct from activating AMPK in POMC neurons.

  13. Organization of Functional Long-Range Circuits Controlling the Activity of Serotonergic Neurons in the Dorsal Raphe Nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Li; Liu, Ming-Zhe; Li, Qing; Deng, Juan; Mu, Di; Sun, Yan-Gang

    2017-03-21

    Serotonergic neurons play key roles in various biological processes. However, circuit mechanisms underlying tight control of serotonergic neurons remain largely unknown. Here, we systematically investigated the organization of long-range synaptic inputs to serotonergic neurons and GABAergic neurons in the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) of mice with a combination of viral tracing, slice electrophysiological, and optogenetic techniques. We found that DRN serotonergic neurons and GABAergic neurons receive largely comparable synaptic inputs from six major upstream brain areas. Upon further analysis of the fine functional circuit structures, we found both bilateral and ipsilateral patterns of topographic connectivity in the DRN for the axons from different inputs. Moreover, the upstream brain areas were found to bidirectionally control the activity of DRN serotonergic neurons by recruiting feedforward inhibition or via a push-pull mechanism. Our study provides a framework for further deciphering the functional roles of long-range circuits controlling the activity of serotonergic neurons in the DRN. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Does rapid and physiological astrocyte–neuron signalling amplify epileptic activity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The hippocampus is a key brain region in the pathophysiology of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. Long‐term changes of its architecture and function on the network and cellular level are well documented in epilepsy. Astrocytes can control many aspects of neuronal function and their long‐term alterations over weeks, months and years play an important role in epilepsy. However, a pathophysiological transformation of astrocytes does not seem to be required for astrocytes to contribute to epileptic activity. Some of the properties of physiological astrocyte–neuron communication could allow these cells to exacerbate or synchronize neuronal firing on shorter time scales of milliseconds to minutes. Therefore, these astrocyte–neuron interactions are increasingly recognized as potential contributors to epileptic activity. Fast and reciprocal communication between astrocytes and neurons is enabled by a diverse set of mechanisms that could both amplify and counteract epileptic activity. They may thus promote or cause development of epileptic activity or inhibit it. Mechanisms of astrocyte–neuron interactions that can quickly increase network excitability involve, for example, astrocyte Ca2+ and Na+ signalling, K+ buffering, gap junction coupling and metabolism. However, rapid changes of astrocyte neurotransmitter uptake and morphology may also underlie or support development of network hyperexcitability. The temporal characteristics of these interactions, their ability to synchronize neuronal activity and their net effect on network activity will determine their contribution to the emergence or maintenance of epileptic activity. PMID:27106234

  15. Does rapid and physiological astrocyte-neuron signalling amplify epileptic activity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henneberger, Christian

    2017-03-15

    The hippocampus is a key brain region in the pathophysiology of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. Long-term changes of its architecture and function on the network and cellular level are well documented in epilepsy. Astrocytes can control many aspects of neuronal function and their long-term alterations over weeks, months and years play an important role in epilepsy. However, a pathophysiological transformation of astrocytes does not seem to be required for astrocytes to contribute to epileptic activity. Some of the properties of physiological astrocyte-neuron communication could allow these cells to exacerbate or synchronize neuronal firing on shorter time scales of milliseconds to minutes. Therefore, these astrocyte-neuron interactions are increasingly recognized as potential contributors to epileptic activity. Fast and reciprocal communication between astrocytes and neurons is enabled by a diverse set of mechanisms that could both amplify and counteract epileptic activity. They may thus promote or cause development of epileptic activity or inhibit it. Mechanisms of astrocyte-neuron interactions that can quickly increase network excitability involve, for example, astrocyte Ca 2+ and Na + signalling, K + buffering, gap junction coupling and metabolism. However, rapid changes of astrocyte neurotransmitter uptake and morphology may also underlie or support development of network hyperexcitability. The temporal characteristics of these interactions, their ability to synchronize neuronal activity and their net effect on network activity will determine their contribution to the emergence or maintenance of epileptic activity. © 2016 The Authors. The Journal of Physiology © 2016 The Physiological Society.

  16. Inhibition of autophagy with bafilomycin and chloroquine decreases mitochondrial quality and bioenergetic function in primary neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew Redmann

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Autophagy is an important cell recycling program responsible for the clearance of damaged or long-lived proteins and organelles. Pharmacological modulators of this pathway have been extensively utilized in a wide range of basic research and pre-clinical studies. Bafilomycin A1 and chloroquine are commonly used compounds that inhibit autophagy by targeting the lysosomes but through distinct mechanisms. Since it is now clear that mitochondrial quality control, particularly in neurons, is dependent on autophagy, it is important to determine whether these compounds modify cellular bioenergetics. To address this, we cultured primary rat cortical neurons from E18 embryos and used the Seahorse XF96 analyzer and a targeted metabolomics approach to measure the effects of bafilomycin A1 and chloroquine on bioenergetics and metabolism. We found that both bafilomycin and chloroquine could significantly increase the autophagosome marker LC3-II and inhibit key parameters of mitochondrial function, and increase mtDNA damage. Furthermore, we observed significant alterations in TCA cycle intermediates, particularly those downstream of citrate synthase and those linked to glutaminolysis. Taken together, these data demonstrate a significant impact of bafilomycin and chloroquine on cellular bioenergetics and metabolism consistent with decreased mitochondrial quality associated with inhibition of autophagy.

  17. Assessing neuronal networks: understanding Alzheimer's disease.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Bokde, Arun L W

    2012-02-01

    Findings derived from neuroimaging of the structural and functional organization of the human brain have led to the widely supported hypothesis that neuronal networks of temporally coordinated brain activity across different regional brain structures underpin cognitive function. Failure of integration within a network leads to cognitive dysfunction. The current discussion on Alzheimer\\'s disease (AD) argues that it presents in part a disconnection syndrome. Studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography and electroencephalography demonstrate that synchronicity of brain activity is altered in AD and correlates with cognitive deficits. Moreover, recent advances in diffusion tensor imaging have made it possible to track axonal projections across the brain, revealing substantial regional impairment in fiber-tract integrity in AD. Accumulating evidence points towards a network breakdown reflecting disconnection at both the structural and functional system level. The exact relationship among these multiple mechanistic variables and their contribution to cognitive alterations and ultimately decline is yet unknown. Focused research efforts aimed at the integration of both function and structure hold great promise not only in improving our understanding of cognition but also of its characteristic progressive metamorphosis in complex chronic neurodegenerative disorders such as AD.

  18. Defects in the COG complex and COG-related trafficking regulators affect neuronal Golgi function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leslie K Climer

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The Conserved Oligomeric Golgi (COG complex is an evolutionarily conserved hetero-octameric protein complex that has been proposed to organize vesicle tethering at the Golgi apparatus. Defects in seven of the eight COG subunits are linked to Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation (CDG-type II, a family of rare diseases involving misregulation of protein glycosylation, alterations in Golgi structure, variations in retrograde trafficking through the Golgi and system-wide clinical pathologies. A troublesome aspect of these diseases are the neurological pathologies such as low IQ, microcephaly and cerebellar atrophy. The essential function of the COG complex is dependent upon interactions with other components of trafficking machinery, such as Rab-GTPases and SNAREs. COG-interacting Rabs and SNAREs have been implicated in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Defects in Golgi maintenance disrupts trafficking and processing of essential proteins, frequently associated with and contributing to compromised neuron function and human disease. Despite the recent advances in molecular neuroscience, the subcellular bases for most neurodegenerative diseases are poorly understood. This article gives an overview of the potential contributions of the COG complex and its Rab and SNARE partners in the pathogenesis of different neurodegenerative disorders.

  19. ATF3 expression improves motor function in the ALS mouse model by promoting motor neuron survival and retaining muscle innervation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seijffers, Rhona; Zhang, Jiangwen; Matthews, Jonathan C; Chen, Adam; Tamrazian, Eric; Babaniyi, Olusegun; Selig, Martin; Hynynen, Meri; Woolf, Clifford J; Brown, Robert H

    2014-01-28

    ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by a progressive loss of motor neurons and atrophy of distal axon terminals in muscle, resulting in loss of motor function. Motor end plates denervated by axonal retraction of dying motor neurons are partially reinnervated by remaining viable motor neurons; however, this axonal sprouting is insufficient to compensate for motor neuron loss. Activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3) promotes neuronal survival and axonal growth. Here, we reveal that forced expression of ATF3 in motor neurons of transgenic SOD1(G93A) ALS mice delays neuromuscular junction denervation by inducing axonal sprouting and enhancing motor neuron viability. Maintenance of neuromuscular junction innervation during the course of the disease in ATF3/SOD1(G93A) mice is associated with a substantial delay in muscle atrophy and improved motor performance. Although disease onset and mortality are delayed, disease duration is not affected. This study shows that adaptive axonal growth-promoting mechanisms can substantially improve motor function in ALS and importantly, that augmenting viability of the motor neuron soma and maintaining functional neuromuscular junction connections are both essential elements in therapy for motor neuron disease in the SOD1(G93A) mice. Accordingly, effective protection of optimal motor neuron function requires restitution of multiple dysregulated cellular pathways.

  20. Spatiotemporal intracellular dynamics of neurotrophin and its receptors. Implications for neurotrophin signaling and neuronal function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bronfman, F C; Lazo, O M; Flores, C; Escudero, C A

    2014-01-01

    Neurons possess a polarized morphology specialized to contribute to neuronal networks, and this morphology imposes an important challenge for neuronal signaling and communication. The physiology of the network is regulated by neurotrophic factors that are secreted in an activity-dependent manner modulating neuronal connectivity. Neurotrophins are a well-known family of neurotrophic factors that, together with their cognate receptors, the Trks and the p75 neurotrophin receptor, regulate neuronal plasticity and survival and determine the neuronal phenotype in healthy and regenerating neurons. Is it now becoming clear that neurotrophin signaling and vesicular transport are coordinated to modify neuronal function because disturbances of vesicular transport mechanisms lead to disturbed neurotrophin signaling and to diseases of the nervous system. This chapter summarizes our current understanding of how the regulated secretion of neurotrophin, the distribution of neurotrophin receptors in different locations of neurons, and the intracellular transport of neurotrophin-induced signaling in distal processes are achieved to allow coordinated neurotrophin signaling in the cell body and axons.

  1. New Pharmacotherapy Targeting Cognitive Dysfunction of Schizophrenia via Modulation of GABA Neuronal Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uehara, Takashi; Sumiyoshi, Tomiki; Kurachi, Masayoshi

    2015-01-01

    Schizophrenia is considered a neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorder. Cognitive impairment is a core symptom in patients with the illness, and has been suggested a major predictor of functional outcomes. Reduction of parvalbumin (PV)-positive γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) interneurons has been associated with the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, in view of the link between the abnormality of GABA neurons and cognitive impairments of the disease. It is assumed that an imbalance of excitatory and inhibitory (E-I) activity induced by low activity of glutamatergic projections and PV-positive GABA interneurons in the prefrontal cortex resulted in sustained neural firing and gamma oscillation, leading to impaired cognitive function. Therefore, it is important to develop novel pharmacotherapy targeting GABA neurons and their activities. Clinical evidence suggests serotonin (5-HT) 1A receptor agonist improves cognitive disturbances of schizophrenia, consistent with results from preclinical studies, through mechanism that corrects E-I imbalance via the suppression of GABA neural function. On the other hand, T-817MA, a novel neurotrophic agent, ameliorated loss of PV-positive GABA neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex and reduction of gamma-band activity, as well as cognitive dysfunction in animal model of schizophrenia. In conclusion, a pharmacotherapy to alleviate abnormalities in GABA neurons through 5-HT1A agonists and T-817MA is expected to prevent the onset and/or progression of schizophrenia.

  2. Brain innate immunity regulates hypothalamic arcuate neuronal activity and feeding behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reis, Wagner L; Yi, Chun-Xia; Gao, Yuanqing; Tschöp, Mathias H; Stern, Javier E

    2015-04-01

    Hypothalamic inflammation, involving microglia activation in the arcuate nucleus (ARC), is proposed as a novel underlying mechanism in obesity, insulin and leptin resistance. However, whether activated microglia affects ARC neuronal activity, and consequently basal and hormonal-induced food intake, is unknown. We show that lipopolysaccharide, an agonist of the toll-like receptor-4 (TLR4), which we found to be expressed in ARC microglia, inhibited the firing activity of the majority of orexigenic agouti gene-related protein/neuropeptide Y neurons, whereas it increased the activity of the majority of anorexigenic proopiomelanocortin neurons. Lipopolysaccharide effects in agouti gene-related protein/neuropeptide Y (but not in proopiomelanocortin) neurons were occluded by inhibiting microglia function or by blocking TLR4 receptors. Finally, we report that inhibition of hypothalamic microglia altered basal food intake, also preventing central orexigenic responses to ghrelin. Our studies support a major role for a TLR4-mediated microglia signaling pathway in the control of ARC neuronal activity and feeding behavior.

  3. FTO is expressed in neurones throughout the brain and its expression is unaltered by fasting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McTaggart, James S; Lee, Sheena; Iberl, Michaela; Church, Chris; Cox, Roger D; Ashcroft, Frances M

    2011-01-01

    Single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the first intron of the ubiquitously expressed FTO gene are associated with obesity. Although the physiological functions of FTO remain unclear, food intake is often altered when Fto expression levels are manipulated. Furthermore, deletion of FTO from neurones alone has a similar effect on food intake to deletion of FTO in all tissues. These results indicate that FTO expression in the brain is particularly important. Considerable focus has been placed on the dynamic regulation of Fto mRNA expression in the hypothalamus after short-term (16-48 hour) fasting, but results have been controversial. There are no studies that quantify FTO protein levels across the brain, and assess its alteration following short-term fasting. Using immunohistochemistry, we found that FTO protein is widely expressed in mouse brain, and present in the majority of neurones. Using quantitative Western blotting and RT-qPCR we show that FTO protein and mRNA levels in the hypothalamus, cerebellum and rostral brain are relatively uniform, and levels in the brain are higher than in skeletal muscles of the lower limbs. Fasting for 18 hours does not alter the expression pattern, or levels, of FTO protein and mRNA. We further show that the majority of POMC neurones, which are critically involved in food intake regulation, also express FTO, but that the percentage of FTO-positive POMC neurones is not altered by fasting. In summary, we find no evidence that Fto/FTO expression is regulated by short-term (18-hour) fasting. Thus, it is unlikely that the hunger and increased post-fasting food intake caused by such food deprivation is driven by alterations in Fto/FTO expression. The widespread expression of FTO in neurones also suggests that physiological studies of this protein should not be limited to the hypothalamus.

  4. FTO is expressed in neurones throughout the brain and its expression is unaltered by fasting.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James S McTaggart

    Full Text Available Single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the first intron of the ubiquitously expressed FTO gene are associated with obesity. Although the physiological functions of FTO remain unclear, food intake is often altered when Fto expression levels are manipulated. Furthermore, deletion of FTO from neurones alone has a similar effect on food intake to deletion of FTO in all tissues. These results indicate that FTO expression in the brain is particularly important. Considerable focus has been placed on the dynamic regulation of Fto mRNA expression in the hypothalamus after short-term (16-48 hour fasting, but results have been controversial. There are no studies that quantify FTO protein levels across the brain, and assess its alteration following short-term fasting. Using immunohistochemistry, we found that FTO protein is widely expressed in mouse brain, and present in the majority of neurones. Using quantitative Western blotting and RT-qPCR we show that FTO protein and mRNA levels in the hypothalamus, cerebellum and rostral brain are relatively uniform, and levels in the brain are higher than in skeletal muscles of the lower limbs. Fasting for 18 hours does not alter the expression pattern, or levels, of FTO protein and mRNA. We further show that the majority of POMC neurones, which are critically involved in food intake regulation, also express FTO, but that the percentage of FTO-positive POMC neurones is not altered by fasting. In summary, we find no evidence that Fto/FTO expression is regulated by short-term (18-hour fasting. Thus, it is unlikely that the hunger and increased post-fasting food intake caused by such food deprivation is driven by alterations in Fto/FTO expression. The widespread expression of FTO in neurones also suggests that physiological studies of this protein should not be limited to the hypothalamus.

  5. PINK1 is necessary for long term survival and mitochondrial function in human dopaminergic neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison Wood-Kaczmar

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Parkinson's disease (PD is a common age-related neurodegenerative disease and it is critical to develop models which recapitulate the pathogenic process including the effect of the ageing process. Although the pathogenesis of sporadic PD is unknown, the identification of the mendelian genetic factor PINK1 has provided new mechanistic insights. In order to investigate the role of PINK1 in Parkinson's disease, we studied PINK1 loss of function in human and primary mouse neurons. Using RNAi, we created stable PINK1 knockdown in human dopaminergic neurons differentiated from foetal ventral mesencephalon stem cells, as well as in an immortalised human neuroblastoma cell line. We sought to validate our findings in primary neurons derived from a transgenic PINK1 knockout mouse. For the first time we demonstrate an age dependent neurodegenerative phenotype in human and mouse neurons. PINK1 deficiency leads to reduced long-term viability in human neurons, which die via the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway. Human neurons lacking PINK1 demonstrate features of marked oxidative stress with widespread mitochondrial dysfunction and abnormal mitochondrial morphology. We report that PINK1 plays a neuroprotective role in the mitochondria of mammalian neurons, especially against stress such as staurosporine. In addition we provide evidence that cellular compensatory mechanisms such as mitochondrial biogenesis and upregulation of lysosomal degradation pathways occur in PINK1 deficiency. The phenotypic effects of PINK1 loss-of-function described here in mammalian neurons provides mechanistic insight into the age-related degeneration of nigral dopaminergic neurons seen in PD.

  6. Characterization of cortical neuronal and glial alterations during culture of organotypic whole brain slices from neonatal and mature mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staal, Jerome A; Alexander, Samuel R; Liu, Yao; Dickson, Tracey D; Vickers, James C

    2011-01-01

    Organotypic brain slice culturing techniques are extensively used in a wide range of experimental procedures and are particularly useful in providing mechanistic insights into neurological disorders or injury. The cellular and morphological alterations associated with hippocampal brain slice cultures has been well established, however, the neuronal response of mouse cortical neurons to culture is not well documented. In the current study, we compared the cell viability, as well as phenotypic and protein expression changes in cortical neurons, in whole brain slice cultures from mouse neonates (P4-6), adolescent animals (P25-28) and mature adults (P50+). Cultures were prepared using the membrane interface method. Propidium iodide labeling of nuclei (due to compromised cell membrane) and AlamarBlue™ (cell respiration) analysis demonstrated that neonatal tissue was significantly less vulnerable to long-term culture in comparison to the more mature brain tissues. Cultures from P6 animals showed a significant increase in the expression of synaptic markers and a decrease in growth-associated proteins over the entire culture period. However, morphological analysis of organotypic brain slices cultured from neonatal tissue demonstrated that there were substantial changes to neuronal and glial organization within the neocortex, with a distinct loss of cytoarchitectural stratification and increased GFAP expression (pglial limitans and, after 14 DIV, displayed substantial cellular protrusions from slice edges, including cells that expressed both glial and neuronal markers. In summary, we present a substantial evaluation of the viability and morphological changes that occur in the neocortex of whole brain tissue cultures, from different ages, over an extended period of culture.

  7. Astrocyte-neuron crosstalk regulates the expression and subcellular localization of carbohydrate metabolism enzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mamczur, Piotr; Borsuk, Borys; Paszko, Jadwiga; Sas, Zuzanna; Mozrzymas, Jerzy; Wiśniewski, Jacek R; Gizak, Agnieszka; Rakus, Dariusz

    2015-02-01

    Astrocytes releasing glucose- and/or glycogen-derived lactate and glutamine play a crucial role in shaping neuronal function and plasticity. Little is known, however, how metabolic functions of astrocytes, e.g., their ability to degrade glucosyl units, are affected by the presence of neurons. To address this issue we carried out experiments which demonstrated that co-culturing of rat hippocampal astrocytes with neurons significantly elevates the level of mRNA and protein for crucial enzymes of glycolysis (phosphofructokinase, aldolase, and pyruvate kinase), glycogen metabolism (glycogen synthase and glycogen phosphorylase), and glutamine synthetase in astrocytes. Simultaneously, the decrease of the capability of neurons to metabolize glucose and glutamine is observed. We provide evidence that neurons alter the expression of astrocytic enzymes by secretion of as yet unknown molecule(s) into the extracellular fluid. Moreover, our data demonstrate that almost all studied enzymes may localize in astrocytic nuclei and this localization is affected by the co-culturing with neurons which also reduces proliferative activity of astrocytes. Our results provide the first experimental evidence that the astrocyte-neuron crosstalk substantially affects the expression of basal metabolic enzymes in the both types of cells and influences their subcellular localization in astrocytes. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Leptin signaling in GABA neurons, but not glutamate neurons, is required for reproductive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuure, Wieteke A; Roberts, Amy L; Quennell, Janette H; Anderson, Greg M

    2013-11-06

    The adipocyte-derived hormone leptin acts in the brain to modulate the central driver of fertility: the gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) neuronal system. This effect is indirect, as GnRH neurons do not express leptin receptors (LEPRs). Here we test whether GABAergic or glutamatergic neurons provide the intermediate pathway between the site of leptin action and the GnRH neurons. Leptin receptors were deleted from GABA and glutamate neurons using Cre-Lox transgenics, and the downstream effects on puberty onset and reproduction were examined. Both mouse lines displayed the expected increase in body weight and region-specific loss of leptin signaling in the hypothalamus. The GABA neuron-specific LEPR knock-out females and males showed significantly delayed puberty onset. Adult fertility observations revealed that these knock-out animals have decreased fecundity. In contrast, glutamate neuron-specific LEPR knock-out mice displayed normal fertility. Assessment of the estrogenic hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis regulation in females showed that leptin action on GABA neurons is not necessary for estradiol-mediated suppression of tonic luteinizing hormone secretion (an indirect measure of GnRH neuron activity) but is required for regulation of a full preovulatory-like luteinizing hormone surge. In conclusion, leptin signaling in GABAergic (but not glutamatergic neurons) plays a critical role in the timing of puberty onset and is involved in fertility regulation throughout adulthood in both sexes. These results form an important step in explaining the role of central leptin signaling in the reproductive system. Limiting the leptin-to-GnRH mediators to GABAergic cells will enable future research to focus on a few specific types of neurons.

  9. Alcohol alters hypothalamic glial-neuronal communications involved in the neuroendocrine control of puberty: In vivo and in vitro assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dees, W L; Hiney, J K; Srivastava, V K

    2015-11-01

    The onset of puberty is the result of the increased secretion of hypothalamic luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH). The pubertal process can be altered by substances that can affect the prepubertal secretion of this peptide. Alcohol is one such substance known to diminish LHRH secretion and delay the initiation of puberty. The increased secretion of LHRH that normally occurs at the time of puberty is due to a decrease of inhibitory tone that prevails prior to the onset of puberty, as well as an enhanced development of excitatory inputs to the LHRH secretory system. Additionally, it has become increasingly clear that glial-neuronal communications are important for pubertal development because they play an integral role in facilitating the pubertal rise in LHRH secretion. Thus, in recent years attempts have been made to identify specific glial-derived components that contribute to the development of coordinated communication networks between glia and LHRH cell bodies, as well as their nerve terminals. Transforming growth factor-α and transforming growth factor-β1 are two such glial substances that have received attention in this regard. This review summarizes the use of multiple neuroendocrine research techniques employed to assess these glial-neuronal communication pathways involved in regulating prepubertal LHRH secretion and the effects that alcohol can have on their respective functions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Functional characterization of GABAA receptor-mediated modulation of cortical neuron network activity in microelectrode array recordings

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bader, Benjamin M; Steder, Anne; Klein, Anders Bue

    2017-01-01

    The numerous γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptor (GABAAR) subtypes are differentially expressed and mediate distinct functions at neuronal level. In this study we have investigated GABAAR-mediated modulation of the spontaneous activity patterns of primary neuronal networks from murine frontal...... of the information extractable from the MEA recordings offers interesting insights into the contributions of various GABAAR subtypes/subgroups to cortical network activity and the putative functional interplay between these receptors in these neurons....... cortex by characterizing the effects induced by a wide selection of pharmacological tools at a plethora of activity parameters in microelectrode array (MEA) recordings. The basic characteristics of the primary cortical neurons used in the recordings were studied in some detail, and the expression levels...

  11. CNS development under altered gravity: cerebellar glial and neuronal protein expression in rat neonates exposed to hypergravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguon, K.; Li, G.-H.; Sajdel-Sulkowska, E. M.

    2004-01-01

    The future of space exploration depends on a solid understanding of the developmental process under microgravity, specifically in relation to the central nervous system (CNS). We have previously employed a hypergravity paradigm to assess the impact of altered gravity on the developing rat cerebellum [Exp. Biol. Med. 226 (2000) 790]. The present study addresses the molecular mechanisms involved in the cerebellar response to hypergravity. Specifically, the study focuses on the expression of selected glial and neuronal cerebellar proteins in rat neonates exposed to hypergravity (1.5 G) from embryonic day (E)11 to postnatal day (P)6 or P9 (the time of maximal cerebellar changes) comparing them against their expression in rat neonates developing under normal gravity. Proteins were analyzed by quantitative Western blots of cerebellar homogenates; RNA analysis was performed in the same samples using quantitative PCR. Densitometric analysis of Western blots suggested a reduction in glial (glial acidic protein, GFAP) and neuronal (neuronal cell adhesion moiecule, NCAM-L1, synaptophysin) proteins, but the changes in individual cerebellar proteins in hypergravity-exposed neonates appeared both age- and gender-specific. RNA analysis suggested a reduction in GFAP and synaptophysin mRNAs on P6. These data suggest that exposure to hypergravity may interfere with the expression of selected cerebellar proteins. These changes in protein expression may be involved in mediating the effect of hypergravity on the developing rat cerebellum.

  12. Three Types of Cortical L5 Neurons that Differ in Brain-Wide Connectivity and Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Euiseok J.; Juavinett, Ashley L.; Kyubwa, Espoir M.; Jacobs, Matthew W.; Callaway, Edward M.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Cortical layer 5 (L5) pyramidal neurons integrate inputs from many sources and distribute outputs to cortical and subcortical structures. Previous studies demonstrate two L5 pyramid types: cortico-cortical (CC) and cortico-subcortical (CS). We characterize connectivity and function of these cell types in mouse primary visual cortex and reveal a new subtype. Unlike previously described L5 CC and CS neurons, this new subtype does not project to striatum [cortico-cortical, non-striatal (CC-NS)] and has distinct morphology, physiology and visual responses. Monosynaptic rabies tracing reveals that CC neurons preferentially receive input from higher visual areas, while CS neurons receive more input from structures implicated in top-down modulation of brain states. CS neurons are also more direction-selective and prefer faster stimuli than CC neurons. These differences suggest distinct roles as specialized output channels, with CS neurons integrating information and generating responses more relevant to movement control and CC neurons being more important in visual perception. PMID:26671462

  13. Violent Video Games Alter Brain Function in Young Men

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... feed News from the RSNA Annual Meeting Violent Video Games Alter Brain Function in Young Men At A ... functional MRI, researchers have found that playing violent video games for one week causes changes in brain function. ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-26

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Neuronal expression of glucosylceramide synthase in central nervous system regulates body weight and energy homeostasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nordström, Viola; Willershäuser, Monja; Herzer, Silke; Rozman, Jan; von Bohlen Und Halbach, Oliver; Meldner, Sascha; Rothermel, Ulrike; Kaden, Sylvia; Roth, Fabian C; Waldeck, Clemens; Gretz, Norbert; de Angelis, Martin Hrabě; Draguhn, Andreas; Klingenspor, Martin; Gröne, Hermann-Josef; Jennemann, Richard

    2013-01-01

    Hypothalamic neurons are main regulators of energy homeostasis. Neuronal function essentially depends on plasma membrane-located gangliosides. The present work demonstrates that hypothalamic integration of metabolic signals requires neuronal expression of glucosylceramide synthase (GCS; UDP-glucose:ceramide glucosyltransferase). As a major mechanism of central nervous system (CNS) metabolic control, we demonstrate that GCS-derived gangliosides interacting with leptin receptors (ObR) in the neuronal membrane modulate leptin-stimulated formation of signaling metabolites in hypothalamic neurons. Furthermore, ganglioside-depleted hypothalamic neurons fail to adapt their activity (c-Fos) in response to alterations in peripheral energy signals. Consequently, mice with inducible forebrain neuron-specific deletion of the UDP-glucose:ceramide glucosyltransferase gene (Ugcg) display obesity, hypothermia, and lower sympathetic activity. Recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV)-mediated Ugcg delivery to the arcuate nucleus (Arc) significantly ameliorated obesity, specifying gangliosides as seminal components for hypothalamic regulation of body energy homeostasis.

  17. Identifying specific prefrontal neurons that contribute to autism-associated abnormalities in physiology and social behavior

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brumback, A C; Ellwood, I T; Kjaerby, C

    2017-01-01

    Functional imaging and gene expression studies both implicate the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), particularly deep-layer projection neurons, as a potential locus for autism pathology. Here, we explored how specific deep-layer prefrontal neurons contribute to abnormal physiology and behavior...... in mouse models of autism. First, we find that across three etiologically distinct models-in utero valproic acid (VPA) exposure, CNTNAP2 knockout and FMR1 knockout-layer 5 subcortically projecting (SC) neurons consistently exhibit reduced input resistance and action potential firing. To explore how altered...... SC neuron physiology might impact behavior, we took advantage of the fact that in deep layers of the mPFC, dopamine D2 receptors (D2Rs) are mainly expressed by SC neurons, and used D2-Cre mice to label D2R+ neurons for calcium imaging or optogenetics. We found that social exploration preferentially...

  18. Neuron-NG2 Cell Synapses: Novel Functions for Regulating NG2 Cell Proliferation and Differentiation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qian-Kun Yang

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available NG2 cells are a population of CNS cells that are distinct from neurons, mature oligodendrocytes, astrocytes, and microglia. These cells can be identified by their NG2 proteoglycan expression. NG2 cells have a highly branched morphology, with abundant processes radiating from the cell body, and express a complex set of voltage-gated channels, AMPA/kainate, and GABA receptors. Neurons notably form classical and nonclassical synapses with NG2 cells, which have varied characteristics and functions. Neuron-NG2 cell synapses could fine-tune NG2 cell activities, including the NG2 cell cycle, differentiation, migration, and myelination, and may be a novel potential therapeutic target for NG2 cell-related diseases, such as hypoxia-ischemia injury and periventricular leukomalacia. Furthermore, neuron-NG2 cell synapses may be correlated with the plasticity of CNS in adulthood with the synaptic contacts passing onto their progenies during proliferation, and synaptic contacts decrease rapidly upon NG2 cell differentiation. In this review, we highlight the characteristics of classical and nonclassical neuron-NG2 cell synapses, the potential functions, and the fate of synaptic contacts during proliferation and differentiation, with the emphasis on the regulation of the NG2 cell cycle by neuron-NG2 cell synapses and their potential underlying mechanisms.

  19. The design of a new spiking neuron using dual work function silicon nanowire transistors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bindal, Ahmet; Hamedi-Hagh, Sotoudeh

    2007-01-01

    A new spike neuron cell is designed using vertically grown, undoped silicon nanowire transistors. This study presents an entire design cycle from designing and optimizing vertical nanowire transistors for minimal power dissipation to realizing a neuron cell and measuring its dynamic power consumption, performance and layout area. The design cycle starts with determining individual metal gate work functions for NMOS and PMOS transistors as a function of wire radius to produce a 300 mV threshold voltage. The wire radius and effective channel length are subsequently varied to find a common body geometry for both transistors that yields smaller than 1 pA OFF current while producing maximum drive currents. A spike neuron cell is subsequently built using these transistors to measure its transient performance, power dissipation and layout area. Post-layout simulation results indicate that the neuron consumes 0.397 μW to generate a +1 V and 1.12 μW to generate a -1 V output pulse for a fan-out of five synapses at 500 MHz; the power dissipation increases by approximately 3 nW for each additional synapse at the output for generating either pulse. The neuron circuit occupies approximately 0.27 μm 2

  20. Functional significance of O-GlcNAc modification in regulating neuronal properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang, Hongik; Rhim, Hyewhon

    2018-03-01

    Post-translational modifications (PTMs) covalently modify proteins and diversify protein functions. Along with protein phosphorylation, another common PTM is the addition of O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) to serine and/or threonine residues. O-GlcNAc modification is similar to phosphorylation in that it occurs to serine and threonine residues and cycles on and off with a similar time scale. However, a striking difference is that the addition and removal of the O-GlcNAc moiety on all substrates are mediated by the two enzymes regardless of proteins, O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) and O-GlcNAcase (OGA), respectively. O-GlcNAcylation can interact or potentially compete with phosphorylation on serine and threonine residues, and thus serves as an important molecular mechanism to modulate protein functions and activation. However, it has been challenging to address the role of O-GlcNAc modification in regulating protein functions at the molecular level due to the lack of convenient tools to determine the sites and degrees of O-GlcNAcylation. Studies in this field have only begun to expand significantly thanks to the recent advances in detection and manipulation methods such as quantitative proteomics and highly selective small-molecule inhibitors for OGT and OGA. Interestingly, multiple brain regions, especially hippocampus, express high levels of both OGT and OGA, and a number of neuron-specific proteins have been reported to undergo O-GlcNAcylation. This review aims to discuss the recent updates concerning the impacts of O-GlcNAc modification on neuronal functions at multiple levels ranging from intrinsic neuronal properties to synaptic plasticity and animal behaviors. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Altered Cortical Swallowing Processing in Patients with Functional Dysphagia: A Preliminary Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wollbrink, Andreas; Warnecke, Tobias; Winkels, Martin; Pantev, Christo; Dziewas, Rainer

    2014-01-01

    Objective Current neuroimaging research on functional disturbances provides growing evidence for objective neuronal correlates of allegedly psychogenic symptoms, thereby shifting the disease concept from a psychological towards a neurobiological model. Functional dysphagia is such a rare condition, whose pathogenetic mechanism is largely unknown. In the absence of any organic reason for a patient's persistent swallowing complaints, sensorimotor processing abnormalities involving central neural pathways constitute a potential etiology. Methods In this pilot study we measured cortical swallow-related activation in 5 patients diagnosed with functional dysphagia and a matched group of healthy subjects applying magnetoencephalography. Source localization of cortical activation was done with synthetic aperture magnetometry. To test for significant differences in cortical swallowing processing between groups, a non-parametric permutation test was afterwards performed on individual source localization maps. Results Swallowing task performance was comparable between groups. In relation to control subjects, in whom activation was symmetrically distributed in rostro-medial parts of the sensorimotor cortices of both hemispheres, patients showed prominent activation of the right insula, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and lateral premotor, motor as well as inferolateral parietal cortex. Furthermore, activation was markedly reduced in the left medial primary sensory cortex as well as right medial sensorimotor cortex and adjacent supplementary motor area (pdysphagia - a condition with assumed normal brain function - seems to be associated with distinctive changes of the swallow-related cortical activation pattern. Alterations may reflect exaggerated activation of a widely distributed vigilance, self-monitoring and salience rating network that interferes with down-stream deglutition sensorimotor control. PMID:24586948

  2. Overactivity of Liver-Related Neurons in the Paraventricular Nucleus of the Hypothalamus: Electrophysiological Findings in db/db Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Hong; Molinas, Adrien J R; Miyata, Kayoko; Qiao, Xin; Zsombok, Andrea

    2017-11-15

    Preautonomic neurons in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus play a large role in the regulation of hepatic functions via the autonomic nervous system. Activation of hepatic sympathetic nerves increases glucose and lipid metabolism and contributes to the elevated hepatic glucose production observed in the type 2 diabetic condition. This augmented sympathetic output could originate from altered activity of liver-related PVN neurons. Remarkably, despite the importance of the brain-liver pathway, the cellular properties of liver-related neurons are not known. In this study, we provide the first evidence of overall activity of liver-related PVN neurons. Liver-related PVN neurons were identified with a retrograde, trans-synaptic, viral tracer in male lean and db/db mice and whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were conducted. In db/db mice, the majority of liver-related PVN neurons fired spontaneously; whereas, in lean mice the majority of liver-related PVN neurons were silent, indicating that liver-related PVN neurons are more active in db/db mice. Persistent, tonic inhibition was identified in liver-related PVN neurons; although, the magnitude of tonic inhibitory control was not different between lean and db/db mice. In addition, our study revealed that the transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1-dependent increase of excitatory neurotransmission was reduced in liver-related PVN neurons of db/db mice. These findings demonstrate plasticity of liver-related PVN neurons and a shift toward excitation in a diabetic mouse model. Our study suggests altered autonomic circuits at the level of the PVN, which can contribute to autonomic dysfunction and dysregulation of neural control of hepatic functions including glucose metabolism. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT A growing body of evidence suggests the importance of the autonomic control in the regulation of hepatic metabolism, which plays a major role in the development and progression of type 2 diabetes mellitus

  3. Supraoptic oxytocin and vasopressin neurons function as glucose and metabolic sensors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Zhilin; Levin, Barry E; Stevens, Wanida; Sladek, Celia D

    2014-04-01

    Neurons in the supraoptic nuclei (SON) produce oxytocin and vasopressin and express insulin receptors (InsR) and glucokinase. Since oxytocin is an anorexigenic agent and glucokinase and InsR are hallmarks of cells that function as glucose and/or metabolic sensors, we evaluated the effect of glucose, insulin, and their downstream effector ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels on calcium signaling in SON neurons and on oxytocin and vasopressin release from explants of the rat hypothalamo-neurohypophyseal system. We also evaluated the effect of blocking glucokinase and phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI3K; mediates insulin-induced mobilization of glucose transporter, GLUT4) on responses to glucose and insulin. Glucose and insulin increased intracellular calcium ([Ca(2+)]i). The responses were glucokinase and PI3K dependent, respectively. Insulin and glucose alone increased vasopressin release (P glucose in the presence of insulin. The oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (VP) responses to insulin+glucose were blocked by the glucokinase inhibitor alloxan (4 mM; P ≤ 0.002) and the PI3K inhibitor wortmannin (50 nM; OT: P = 0.03; VP: P ≤ 0.002). Inactivating K ATP channels with 200 nM glibenclamide increased oxytocin and vasopressin release (OT: P neurons functioning as glucose and "metabolic" sensors to participate in appetite regulation.

  4. Supraoptic oxytocin and vasopressin neurons function as glucose and metabolic sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Zhilin; Levin, Barry E.; Stevens, Wanida

    2014-01-01

    Neurons in the supraoptic nuclei (SON) produce oxytocin and vasopressin and express insulin receptors (InsR) and glucokinase. Since oxytocin is an anorexigenic agent and glucokinase and InsR are hallmarks of cells that function as glucose and/or metabolic sensors, we evaluated the effect of glucose, insulin, and their downstream effector ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels on calcium signaling in SON neurons and on oxytocin and vasopressin release from explants of the rat hypothalamo-neurohypophyseal system. We also evaluated the effect of blocking glucokinase and phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI3K; mediates insulin-induced mobilization of glucose transporter, GLUT4) on responses to glucose and insulin. Glucose and insulin increased intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i). The responses were glucokinase and PI3K dependent, respectively. Insulin and glucose alone increased vasopressin release (P glucose in the presence of insulin. The oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (VP) responses to insulin+glucose were blocked by the glucokinase inhibitor alloxan (4 mM; P ≤ 0.002) and the PI3K inhibitor wortmannin (50 nM; OT: P = 0.03; VP: P ≤ 0.002). Inactivating KATP channels with 200 nM glibenclamide increased oxytocin and vasopressin release (OT: P neurons functioning as glucose and “metabolic” sensors to participate in appetite regulation. PMID:24477542

  5. Deletion of Lkb1 in Pro-Opiomelanocortin Neurons Impairs Peripheral Glucose Homeostasis in Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claret, Marc; Smith, Mark A.; Knauf, Claude; Al-Qassab, Hind; Woods, Angela; Heslegrave, Amanda; Piipari, Kaisa; Emmanuel, Julian J.; Colom, André; Valet, Philippe; Cani, Patrice D.; Begum, Ghazala; White, Anne; Mucket, Phillip; Peters, Marco; Mizuno, Keiko; Batterham, Rachel L.; Giese, K. Peter; Ashworth, Alan; Burcelin, Remy; Ashford, Michael L.; Carling, David; Withers, Dominic J.

    2011-01-01

    OBJECTIVE AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling acts as a sensor of nutrients and hormones in the hypothalamus, thereby regulating whole-body energy homeostasis. Deletion of Ampkα2 in pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons causes obesity and defective neuronal glucose sensing. LKB1, the Peutz-Jeghers syndrome gene product, and Ca2+-calmodulin–dependent protein kinase kinase β (CaMKKβ) are key upstream activators of AMPK. This study aimed to determine their role in POMC neurons upon energy and glucose homeostasis regulation. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Mice lacking either Camkkβ or Lkb1 in POMC neurons were generated, and physiological, electrophysiological, and molecular biology studies were performed. RESULTS Deletion of Camkkβ in POMC neurons does not alter energy homeostasis or glucose metabolism. In contrast, female mice lacking Lkb1 in POMC neurons (PomcLkb1KO) display glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, impaired suppression of hepatic glucose production, and altered expression of hepatic metabolic genes. The underlying cellular defect in PomcLkb1KO mice involves a reduction in melanocortin tone caused by decreased α-melanocyte–stimulating hormone secretion. However, Lkb1-deficient POMC neurons showed normal glucose sensing, and body weight was unchanged in PomcLkb1KO mice. CONCLUSIONS Our findings demonstrate that LKB1 in hypothalamic POMC neurons plays a key role in the central regulation of peripheral glucose metabolism but not body-weight control. This phenotype contrasts with that seen in mice lacking AMPK in POMC neurons with defects in body-weight regulation but not glucose homeostasis, which suggests that LKB1 plays additional functions distinct from activating AMPK in POMC neurons. PMID:21266325

  6. Pattern separation: a common function for new neurons in hippocampus and olfactory bulb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahay, Amar; Wilson, Donald A; Hen, René

    2011-05-26

    While adult-born neurons in the olfactory bulb (OB) and the dentate gyrus (DG) subregion of the hippocampus have fundamentally different properties, they may have more in common than meets the eye. Here, we propose that new granule cells in the OB and DG may function as modulators of principal neurons to influence pattern separation and that adult neurogenesis constitutes an adaptive mechanism to optimally encode contextual or olfactory information. See the related Perspective from Aimone, Deng, and Gage, "Resolving New Memories: A Critical Look at the Dentate Gyrus, Adult Neurogenesis, and Pattern Separation," in this issue of Neuron. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Alteration of the cell adhesion molecule L1 expression in a specific subset of primary afferent neurons contributes to neuropathic pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamanaka, Hiroki; Obata, Koichi; Kobayashi, Kimiko; Dai, Yi; Fukuoka, Tetsuo; Noguchi, Koichi

    2007-02-01

    The cell adhesion molecule L1 (L1-CAM) plays important functional roles in the developing and adult nervous systems. Here we show that peripheral nerve injury induced dynamic post-transcriptional alteration of L1-CAM in the rat dorsal root ganglia (DRGs) and spinal cord. Sciatic nerve transection (SCNT) changed the expression of L1-CAM protein but not L1-CAM mRNA. In DRGs, SCNT induced accumulation of the L1-CAM into the surface of somata, which resulted in the formation of immunoreactive ring structures in a number of unmyelinated C-fiber neurons. These neurons with L1-CAM-immunoreactive ring structures were heavily colocalized with phosphorylated p38 MAPK. Western blot analysis revealed the increase of full-length L1-CAM and decrease of fragments of L1-CAM after SCNT in DRGs. Following SCNT, L1-CAM-immunoreactive profiles in the dorsal horn showed an increase mainly in pre-synaptic areas of laminae I-II with a delayed onset and colocalized with growth-associated protein 43. In contrast to DRGs, SCNT increased the proteolytic 80-kDa fragment of L1-CAM and decreased full-length L1-CAM in the spinal cord. The intrathecal injection of L1-CAM antibody for the extracellular domain of L1-CAM inhibited activation of p38 MAPK and emergence of ring structures of L1-CAM immunoreactivity in injured DRG neurons. Moreover, inhibition of extracellular L1-CAM binding by intrathecal administration of antibody suppressed the mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia induced by partial SCNT. Collectively, these data suggest that the modification of L1-CAM in nociceptive pathways might be an important pathomechanism of neuropathic pain.

  8. PROS-1/Prospero Is a Major Regulator of the Glia-Specific Secretome Controlling Sensory-Neuron Shape and Function in C. elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Sean W; Singhvi, Aakanksha; Liang, Yupu; Lu, Yun; Shaham, Shai

    2016-04-19

    Sensory neurons are an animal's gateway to the world, and their receptive endings, the sites of sensory signal transduction, are often associated with glia. Although glia are known to promote sensory-neuron functions, the molecular bases of these interactions are poorly explored. Here, we describe a post-developmental glial role for the PROS-1/Prospero/PROX1 homeodomain protein in sensory-neuron function in C. elegans. Using glia expression profiling, we demonstrate that, unlike previously characterized cell fate roles, PROS-1 functions post-embryonically to control sense-organ glia-specific secretome expression. PROS-1 functions cell autonomously to regulate glial secretion and membrane structure, and non-cell autonomously to control the shape and function of the receptive endings of sensory neurons. Known glial genes controlling sensory-neuron function are PROS-1 targets, and we identify additional PROS-1-dependent genes required for neuron attributes. Drosophila Prospero and vertebrate PROX1 are expressed in post-mitotic sense-organ glia and astrocytes, suggesting conserved roles for this class of transcription factors. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. The zinc finger E-box-binding homeobox 1 (Zeb1) promotes the conversion of mouse fibroblasts into functional neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Long; Li, Yue; Shi, Zixiao; Lu, Xiaoyin; Ma, Jiao; Hu, Baoyang; Jiao, Jianwei; Wang, Hongmei

    2017-08-04

    The zinc finger E-box-binding transcription factor Zeb1 plays a pivotal role in the epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Numerous studies have focused on the molecular mechanisms by which Zeb1 contributes to this process. However, the functions of Zeb1 beyond the epithelial-mesenchymal transition remain largely elusive. Using a transdifferentiation system to convert mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) into functional neurons via the neuronal transcription factors achaete-scute family bHLH (basic helix-loop-helix) transcription factor1 ( Ascl1 ), POU class 3 homeobox 2 (POU3F2/ Brn2 ), and neurogenin 2 (Neurog2, Ngn2 ) (ABN), we found that Zeb1 was up-regulated during the early stages of transdifferentiation. Knocking down Zeb1 dramatically attenuated the transdifferentiation efficiency, whereas Zeb1 overexpression obviously increased the efficiency of transdifferentiation from MEFs to neurons. Interestingly, Zeb1 improved the transdifferentiation efficiency induced by even a single transcription factor ( e.g. Asc1 or Ngn2 ). Zeb1 also rapidly promoted the maturation of induced neuron cells to functional neurons and improved the formation of neuronal patterns and electrophysiological characteristics. Induced neuron cells could form functional synapse in vivo after transplantation. Genome-wide RNA arrays showed that Zeb1 overexpression up-regulated the expression of neuron-specific genes and down-regulated the expression of epithelial-specific genes during conversion. Taken together, our results reveal a new role for Zeb1 in the transdifferentiation of MEFs into neurons. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  10. Gene expression pattern of functional neuronal cells derived from human bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bron Dominique

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neuronal tissue has limited potential to self-renew or repair after neurological diseases. Cellular therapies using stem cells are promising approaches for the treatment of neurological diseases. However, the clinical use of embryonic stem cells or foetal tissues is limited by ethical considerations and other scientific problems. Thus, bone marrow mesenchymal stomal cells (BM-MSC could represent an alternative source of stem cells for cell replacement therapies. Indeed, many studies have demonstrated that MSC can give rise to neuronal cells as well as many tissue-specific cell phenotypes. Methods BM-MSC were differentiated in neuron-like cells under specific induction (NPBM + cAMP + IBMX + NGF + Insulin. By day ten, differentiated cells presented an expression profile of real neurons. Functionality of these differentiated cells was evaluated by calcium influx through glutamate receptor AMPA3. Results Using microarray analysis, we compared gene expression profile of these different samples, before and after neurogenic differentiation. Among the 1943 genes differentially expressed, genes down-regulated are involved in osteogenesis, chondrogenesis, adipogenesis, myogenesis and extracellular matrix component (tuftelin, AGC1, FADS3, tropomyosin, fibronectin, ECM2, HAPLN1, vimentin. Interestingly, genes implicated in neurogenesis are increased. Most of them are involved in the synaptic transmission and long term potentialisation as cortactin, CASK, SYNCRIP, SYNTL4 and STX1. Other genes are involved in neurite outgrowth, early neuronal cell development, neuropeptide signaling/synthesis and neuronal receptor (FK506, ARHGAP6, CDKRAP2, PMCH, GFPT2, GRIA3, MCT6, BDNF, PENK, amphiregulin, neurofilament 3, Epha4, synaptotagmin. Using real time RT-PCR, we confirmed the expression of selected neuronal genes: NEGR1, GRIA3 (AMPA3, NEF3, PENK and Epha4. Functionality of these neuron-like cells was demonstrated by Ca2+ influx through glutamate

  11. Changes in the Excitability of Neocortical Neurons in a Mouse Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Are Not Specific to Corticospinal Neurons and Are Modulated by Advancing Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Juhyun; Hughes, Ethan G; Shetty, Ashwin S; Arlotta, Paola; Goff, Loyal A; Bergles, Dwight E; Brown, Solange P

    2017-09-13

    Cell type-specific changes in neuronal excitability have been proposed to contribute to the selective degeneration of corticospinal neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and to neocortical hyperexcitability, a prominent feature of both inherited and sporadic variants of the disease, but the mechanisms underlying selective loss of specific cell types in ALS are not known. We analyzed the physiological properties of distinct classes of cortical neurons in the motor cortex of hSOD1 G93A mice of both sexes and found that they all exhibit increases in intrinsic excitability that depend on disease stage. Targeted recordings and in vivo calcium imaging further revealed that neurons adapt their functional properties to normalize cortical excitability as the disease progresses. Although different neuron classes all exhibited increases in intrinsic excitability, transcriptional profiling indicated that the molecular mechanisms underlying these changes are cell type specific. The increases in excitability in both excitatory and inhibitory cortical neurons show that selective dysfunction of neuronal cell types cannot account for the specific vulnerability of corticospinal motor neurons in ALS. Furthermore, the stage-dependent alterations in neuronal function highlight the ability of cortical circuits to adapt as disease progresses. These findings show that both disease stage and cell type must be considered when developing therapeutic strategies for treating ALS. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT It is not known why certain classes of neurons preferentially die in different neurodegenerative diseases. It has been proposed that the enhanced excitability of affected neurons is a major contributor to their selective loss. We show using a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease in which corticospinal neurons exhibit selective vulnerability, that changes in excitability are not restricted to this neuronal class and that excitability does not increase

  12. Regulator of G protein signaling 5 (RGS5) inhibits sonic hedgehog function in mouse cortical neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chuanliang; Hu, Qiongqiong; Jing, Jia; Zhang, Yun; Jin, Jing; Zhang, Liulei; Mu, Lili; Liu, Yumei; Sun, Bo; Zhang, Tongshuai; Kong, Qingfei; Wang, Guangyou; Wang, Dandan; Zhang, Yao; Liu, Xijun; Zhao, Wei; Wang, Jinghua; Feng, Tao; Li, Hulun

    2017-09-01

    Regulator of G protein signaling 5 (RGS5) acts as a GTPase-activating protein (GAP) for the Gαi subunit and negatively regulates G protein-coupled receptor signaling. However, its presence and function in postmitotic differentiated primary neurons remains largely uncharacterized. During neural development, sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling is involved in cell signaling pathways via Gαi activity. In particular, Shh signaling is essential for embryonic neural tube patterning, which has been implicated in neuronal polarization involving neurite outgrowth. Here, we examined whether RGS5 regulates Shh signaling in neurons. RGS5 transcripts were found to be expressed in cortical neurons and their expression gradually declined in a time-dependent manner in culture system. When an adenovirus expressing RGS5 was introduced into an in vitro cell culture model of cortical neurons, RGS5 overexpression significantly reduced neurite outgrowth and FM4-64 uptake, while cAMP-PKA signaling was also affected. These findings suggest that RGS5 inhibits Shh function during neurite outgrowth and the presynaptic terminals of primary cortical neurons mature via modulation of cAMP. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zoladz, Phillip R.; Muñoz, Carmen; Diamond, David M.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen Muñoz

    2010-10-01

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

  15. Three Types of Cortical Layer 5 Neurons That Differ in Brain-wide Connectivity and Function.

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    Kim, Euiseok J; Juavinett, Ashley L; Kyubwa, Espoir M; Jacobs, Matthew W; Callaway, Edward M

    2015-12-16

    Cortical layer 5 (L5) pyramidal neurons integrate inputs from many sources and distribute outputs to cortical and subcortical structures. Previous studies demonstrate two L5 pyramid types: cortico-cortical (CC) and cortico-subcortical (CS). We characterize connectivity and function of these cell types in mouse primary visual cortex and reveal a new subtype. Unlike previously described L5 CC and CS neurons, this new subtype does not project to striatum [cortico-cortical, non-striatal (CC-NS)] and has distinct morphology, physiology, and visual responses. Monosynaptic rabies tracing reveals that CC neurons preferentially receive input from higher visual areas, while CS neurons receive more input from structures implicated in top-down modulation of brain states. CS neurons are also more direction-selective and prefer faster stimuli than CC neurons. These differences suggest distinct roles as specialized output channels, with CS neurons integrating information and generating responses more relevant to movement control and CC neurons being more important in visual perception. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Transcriptomic Analysis of Ciguatoxin-Induced Changes in Gene Expression in Primary Cultures of Mice Cortical Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Andrés Rubiolo

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Ciguatoxins are polyether marine toxins that act as sodium channel activators. These toxins cause ciguatera, one of the most widespread nonbacterial forms of food poisoning, which presents several symptoms in humans including long-term neurological alterations. Earlier work has shown that both acute and chronic exposure of primary cortical neurons to synthetic ciguatoxin CTX3C have profound impacts on neuronal function. Thus, the present work aimed to identify relevant neuronal genes and metabolic pathways that could be altered by ciguatoxin exposure. To study the effect of ciguatoxins in primary neurons in culture, we performed a transcriptomic analysis using whole mouse genome microarrays, for primary cortical neurons exposed during 6, 24, or 72 h in culture to CTX3C. Here, we have shown that the effects of the toxin on gene expression differ with the exposure time. The results presented here have identified several relevant genes and pathways related to the effect of ciguatoxins on neurons and may assist in future research or even treatment of ciguatera. Moreover, we demonstrated that the effects of the toxin on gene expression were exclusively consequential of its action as a voltage-gated sodium channel activator, since all the effects of CTX3C were avoided by preincubation of the neurons with the sodium channel blocker tetrodotoxin.

  17. Intermittent fasting uncovers and rescues cognitive phenotypes in PTEN neuronal haploinsufficient mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabral-Costa, J V; Andreotti, D Z; Mello, N P; Scavone, C; Camandola, S; Kawamoto, E M

    2018-06-05

    Phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) is an important protein with key modulatory functions in cell growth and survival. PTEN is crucial during embryogenesis and plays a key role in the central nervous system (CNS), where it directly modulates neuronal development and synaptic plasticity. Loss of PTEN signaling function is associated with cognitive deficits and synaptic plasticity impairment. Accordingly, Pten mutations have a strong link with autism spectrum disorder. In this study, neuronal Pten haploinsufficient male mice were subjected to a long-term environmental intervention - intermittent fasting (IF) - and then evaluated for alterations in exploratory, anxiety and learning and memory behaviors. Although no significant effects on spatial memory were observed, mutant mice showed impaired contextual fear memory in the passive avoidance test - an outcome that was effectively rescued by IF. In this study, we demonstrated that IF modulation, in addition to its rescue of the memory deficit, was also required to uncover behavioral phenotypes otherwise hidden in this neuronal Pten haploinsufficiency model.

  18. Activity of Raphé Serotonergic Neurons Controls Emotional Behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teissier, Anne; Chemiakine, Alexei; Inbar, Benjamin; Bagchi, Sneha; Ray, Russell S; Palmiter, Richard D; Dymecki, Susan M; Moore, Holly; Ansorge, Mark S

    2015-12-01

    Despite the well-established role of serotonin signaling in mood regulation, causal relationships between serotonergic neuronal activity and behavior remain poorly understood. Using a pharmacogenetic approach, we find that selectively increasing serotonergic neuronal activity in wild-type mice is anxiogenic and reduces floating in the forced-swim test, whereas inhibition has no effect on the same measures. In a developmental mouse model of altered emotional behavior, increased anxiety and depression-like behaviors correlate with reduced dorsal raphé and increased median raphé serotonergic activity. These mice display blunted responses to serotonergic stimulation and behavioral rescues through serotonergic inhibition. Furthermore, we identify opposing consequences of dorsal versus median raphé serotonergic neuron inhibition on floating behavior, together suggesting that median raphé hyperactivity increases anxiety, whereas a low dorsal/median raphé serotonergic activity ratio increases depression-like behavior. Thus, we find a critical role of serotonergic neuronal activity in emotional regulation and uncover opposing roles of median and dorsal raphé function. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Familial knockin mutation of LRRK2 causes lysosomal dysfunction and accumulation of endogenous insoluble α-synuclein in neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schapansky, Jason; Khasnavis, Saurabh; DeAndrade, Mark P; Nardozzi, Jonathan D; Falkson, Samuel R; Boyd, Justin D; Sanderson, John B; Bartels, Tim; Melrose, Heather L; LaVoie, Matthew J

    2018-03-01

    Missense mutations in the multi-domain kinase LRRK2 cause late onset familial Parkinson's disease. They most commonly with classic proteinopathy in the form of Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites comprised of insoluble α-synuclein, but in rare cases can also manifest tauopathy. The normal function of LRRK2 has remained elusive, as have the cellular consequences of its mutation. Data from LRRK2 null model organisms and LRRK2-inhibitor treated animals support a physiological role for LRRK2 in regulating lysosome function. Since idiopathic and LRRK2-linked PD are associated with the intraneuronal accumulation of protein aggregates, a series of critical questions emerge. First, how do pathogenic mutations that increase LRRK2 kinase activity affect lysosome biology in neurons? Second, are mutation-induced changes in lysosome function sufficient to alter the metabolism of α-synuclein? Lastly, are changes caused by pathogenic mutation sensitive to reversal with LRRK2 kinase inhibitors? Here, we report that mutation of LRRK2 induces modest but significant changes in lysosomal morphology and acidification, and decreased basal autophagic flux when compared to WT neurons. These changes were associated with an accumulation of detergent-insoluble α-synuclein and increased neuronal release of α-synuclein and were reversed by pharmacologic inhibition of LRRK2 kinase activity. These data demonstrate a critical and disease-relevant influence of native neuronal LRRK2 kinase activity on lysosome function and α-synuclein homeostasis. Furthermore, they also suggest that lysosome dysfunction, altered neuronal α-synuclein metabolism, and the insidious accumulation of aggregated protein over decades may contribute to pathogenesis in this late-onset form of familial PD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Neurogenic Radial Glia-like Cells in Meninges Migrate and Differentiate into Functionally Integrated Neurons in the Neonatal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bifari, Francesco; Decimo, Ilaria; Pino, Annachiara; Llorens-Bobadilla, Enric; Zhao, Sheng; Lange, Christian; Panuccio, Gabriella; Boeckx, Bram; Thienpont, Bernard; Vinckier, Stefan; Wyns, Sabine; Bouché, Ann; Lambrechts, Diether; Giugliano, Michele; Dewerchin, Mieke; Martin-Villalba, Ana; Carmeliet, Peter

    2017-03-02

    Whether new neurons are added in the postnatal cerebral cortex is still debated. Here, we report that the meninges of perinatal mice contain a population of neurogenic progenitors formed during embryonic development that migrate to the caudal cortex and differentiate into Satb2 + neurons in cortical layers II-IV. The resulting neurons are electrically functional and integrated into local microcircuits. Single-cell RNA sequencing identified meningeal cells with distinct transcriptome signatures characteristic of (1) neurogenic radial glia-like cells (resembling neural stem cells in the SVZ), (2) neuronal cells, and (3) a cell type with an intermediate phenotype, possibly representing radial glia-like meningeal cells differentiating to neuronal cells. Thus, we have identified a pool of embryonically derived radial glia-like cells present in the meninges that migrate and differentiate into functional neurons in the neonatal cerebral cortex. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Proliferative reactive gliosis is compatible with glial metabolic support and neuronal function

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    Fero Matthew

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The response of mammalian glial cells to chronic degeneration and trauma is hypothesized to be incompatible with support of neuronal function in the central nervous system (CNS and retina. To test this hypothesis, we developed an inducible model of proliferative reactive gliosis in the absence of degenerative stimuli by genetically inactivating the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1 (p27 or Cdkn1b in the adult mouse and determined the outcome on retinal structure and function. Results p27-deficient Müller glia reentered the cell cycle, underwent aberrant migration, and enhanced their expression of intermediate filament proteins, all of which are characteristics of Müller glia in a reactive state. Surprisingly, neuroglial interactions, retinal electrophysiology, and visual acuity were normal. Conclusion The benign outcome of proliferative reactive Müller gliosis suggests that reactive glia display context-dependent, graded and dynamic phenotypes and that reactivity in itself is not necessarily detrimental to neuronal function.

  2. Absence of alsin function leads to corticospinal motor neuron vulnerability via novel disease mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gautam, Mukesh; Jara, Javier H; Sekerkova, Gabriella; Yasvoina, Marina V; Martina, Marco; Özdinler, P Hande

    2016-03-15

    Mutations in the ALS2 gene result in early-onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, infantile-onset ascending hereditary spastic paraplegia and juvenile primary lateral sclerosis, suggesting prominent upper motor neuron involvement. However, the importance of alsin function for corticospinal motor neuron (CSMN) health and stability remains unknown. To date, four separate alsin knockout (Alsin(KO)) mouse models have been generated, and despite hopes of mimicking human pathology, none displayed profound motor function defects. This, however, does not rule out the possibility of neuronal defects within CSMN, which is not easy to detect in these mice. Detailed cellular analysis of CSMN has been hampered due to their limited numbers and the complex and heterogeneous structure of the cerebral cortex. In an effort to visualize CSMN in vivo and to investigate precise aspects of neuronal abnormalities in the absence of alsin function, we generated Alsin(KO)-UeGFP mice, by crossing Alsin(KO) and UCHL1-eGFP mice, a CSMN reporter line. We find that CSMN display vacuolated apical dendrites with increased autophagy, shrinkage of soma size and axonal pathology even in the pons region. Immunocytochemistry coupled with electron microscopy reveal that alsin is important for maintaining cellular cytoarchitecture and integrity of cellular organelles. In its absence, CSMN displays selective defects both in mitochondria and Golgi apparatus. UCHL1-eGFP mice help understand the underlying cellular factors that lead to CSMN vulnerability in diseases, and our findings reveal unique importance of alsin function for CSMN health and stability. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.

  3. Intellectual disabilities, neuronal posttranscriptional RNA metabolism, and RNA-binding proteins: three actors for a complex scenario.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bardoni, Barbara; Abekhoukh, Sabiha; Zongaro, Samantha; Melko, Mireille

    2012-01-01

    Intellectual disability (ID) is the most frequent cause of serious handicap in children and young adults and interests 2-3% of worldwide population, representing a serious problem from the medical, social, and economic points of view. The causes are very heterogeneous. Genes involved in ID have various functions altering different pathways important in neuronal function. Regulation of mRNA metabolism is particularly important in neurons for synaptic structure and function. Here, we review ID due to alteration of mRNA metabolism. Functional absence of some RNA-binding proteins--namely, FMRP, FMR2P, PQBP1, UFP3B, VCX-A--causes different forms of ID. These proteins are involved in different steps of RNA metabolism and, even if a detailed analysis of their RNA targets has been performed so far only for FMRP, it appears clear that they modulate some aspects (translation, stability, transport, and sublocalization) of a subset of RNAs coding for proteins, whose function must be relevant for neurons. Two other proteins, DYRK1A and CDKL5, involved in Down syndrome and Rett syndrome, respectively, have been shown to have an impact on splicing efficiency of specific mRNAs. Both proteins are kinases and their effect is indirect. Interestingly, both are localized in nuclear speckles, the nuclear domains where splicing factors are assembled, stocked, and recycled and influence their biogenesis and/or their organization. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Epigenetic Basis of Neuronal and Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karpova, Nina N; Sales, Amanda J; Joca, Samia R

    2017-01-01

    Neuronal network and plasticity change as a function of experience. Altered neural connectivity leads to distinct transcriptional programs of neuronal plasticity-related genes. The environmental challenges throughout life may promote long-lasting reprogramming of gene expression and the development of brain disorders. The modifications in neuronal epigenome mediate gene-environmental interactions and are required for activity-dependent regulation of neuronal differentiation, maturation and plasticity. Here, we highlight the latest advances in understanding the role of the main players of epigenetic machinery (DNA methylation and demethylation, histone modifications, chromatin-remodeling enzymes, transposons, and non-coding RNAs) in activity-dependent and long- term neural and synaptic plasticity. The review focuses on both the transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression levels, including the processes of promoter activation, alternative splicing, regulation of stability of gene transcripts by natural antisense RNAs, and alternative polyadenylation. Further, we discuss the epigenetic aspects of impaired neuronal plasticity and the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental (Rett syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, genomic imprinting disorders, schizophrenia, and others), stressrelated (mood disorders) and neurodegenerative Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's disorders. The review also highlights the pharmacological compounds that modulate epigenetic programming of gene expression, the potential treatment strategies of discussed brain disorders, and the questions that should be addressed during the development of effective and safe approaches for the treatment of brain disorders.

  5. Roles for the VCP co-factors Npl4 and Ufd1 in neuronal function in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byrne, Dwayne J; Harmon, Mark J; Simpson, Jeremy C; Blackstone, Craig; O'Sullivan, Niamh C

    2017-10-20

    The VCP-Ufd1-Npl4 complex regulates proteasomal processing within cells by delivering ubiquitinated proteins to the proteasome for degradation. Mutations in VCP are associated with two neurodegenerative diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and inclusion body myopathy with Paget's disease of the bone and frontotemporal dementia (IBMPFD), and extensive study has revealed crucial functions of VCP within neurons. By contrast, little is known about the functions of Npl4 or Ufd1 in vivo. Using neuronal-specific knockdown of Npl4 or Ufd1 in Drosophila melanogaster, we infer that Npl4 contributes to microtubule organization within developing motor neurons. Moreover, Npl4 RNAi flies present with neurodegenerative phenotypes including progressive locomotor deficits, reduced lifespan and increased accumulation of TAR DNA-binding protein-43 homolog (TBPH). Knockdown, but not overexpression, of TBPH also exacerbates Npl4 RNAi-associated adult-onset neurodegenerative phenotypes. In contrast, we find that neuronal knockdown of Ufd1 has little effect on neuromuscular junction (NMJ) organization, TBPH accumulation or adult behaviour. These findings suggest the differing neuronal functions of Npl4 and Ufd1 in vivo. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  6. Motor Neuron Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... and other neurodegenerative diseases to better understand the function of neurons and other support cells and identify candidate therapeutic ... and other neurodegenerative diseases to better understand the function of neurons and other support cells and identify candidate therapeutic ...

  7. Neuron density is decreased in the prefrontal cortex in Williams syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lew, Caroline Horton; Brown, Chelsea; Bellugi, Ursula; Semendeferi, Katerina

    2017-01-01

    Williams Syndrome (WS) is a rare neurodevelopmental disorder associated with a hemideletion in chromosome 7, which manifests a distinct behavioral phenotype characterized by a hyperaffiliative social drive, in striking contrast to the social avoidance behaviors that are common in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). MRI studies have observed structural and functional abnormalities in WS cortex, including the prefrontal cortex (PFC), a region implicated in social cognition. This study utilizes the Bellugi Williams Syndrome Brain Collection, a unique resource that comprises the largest WS postmortem brain collection in existence, and is the first to quantitatively examine WS PFC cytoarchitecture. We measured neuron density in layers II/III and V/VI of five cortical areas: PFC areas BA 10 and BA 11, primary motor BA 4, primary somatosensory BA 3, and visual area BA 18 in six matched pairs of WS and typically developing (TD) controls. Neuron density in PFC was lower in WS relative to TD, with layers V/VI demonstrating the largest decrease in density, reaching statistical significance in BA 10. In contrast, BA 3 and BA 18 demonstrated a higher density in WS compared to TD, although this difference was not statistically significant. Neuron density in BA 4 was similar in WS and TD. While other cortical areas were altered in WS, prefrontal areas appeared to be most affected. Neuron density is also altered in the PFC of individuals with ASD. Together these findings suggest that the PFC is targeted in neurodevelopmental disorders associated with sociobehavioral alterations. Autism Res 2017, 10: 99-112. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Involvment of cytosolic and mitochondrial GSK-3beta in mitochondrial dysfunction and neuronal cell death of MPTP/MPP-treated neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnès Petit-Paitel

    Full Text Available Aberrant mitochondrial function appears to play a central role in dopaminergic neuronal loss in Parkinson's disease (PD. 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium iodide (MPP(+, the active metabolite of N-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP, is a selective inhibitor of mitochondrial complex I and is widely used in rodent and cell models to elicit neurochemical alterations associated with PD. Recent findings suggest that Glycogen Synthase Kinase-3beta (GSK-3beta, a critical activator of neuronal apoptosis, is involved in the dopaminergic cell death. In this study, the role of GSK-3beta in modulating MPP(+-induced mitochondrial dysfunction and neuronal death was examined in vivo, and in two neuronal cell models namely primary cultured and immortalized neurons. In both cell models, MPTP/MPP(+ treatment caused cell death associated with time- and concentration-dependent activation of GSK-3beta, evidenced by the increased level of the active form of the kinase, i.e. GSK-3beta phosphorylated at tyrosine 216 residue. Using immunocytochemistry and subcellular fractionation techniques, we showed that GSK-3beta partially localized within mitochondria in both neuronal cell models. Moreover, MPP(+ treatment induced a significant decrease of the specific phospho-Tyr216-GSK-3beta labeling in mitochondria concomitantly with an increase into the cytosol. Using two distinct fluorescent probes, we showed that MPP(+ induced cell death through the depolarization of mitochondrial membrane potential. Inhibition of GSK-3beta activity using well-characterized inhibitors, LiCl and kenpaullone, and RNA interference, prevented MPP(+-induced cell death by blocking mitochondrial membrane potential changes and subsequent caspase-9 and -3 activation. These results indicate that GSK-3beta is a critical mediator of MPTP/MPP(+-induced neurotoxicity through its ability to regulate mitochondrial functions. Inhibition of GSK-3beta activity might provide protection against

  9. Ambient but not local lactate underlies neuronal tolerance to prolonged glucose deprivation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobieski, Courtney; Shu, Hong-Jin

    2018-01-01

    Neurons require a nearly constant supply of ATP. Glucose is the predominant source of brain ATP, but the direct effects of prolonged glucose deprivation on neuronal viability and function remain unclear. In sparse rat hippocampal microcultures, neurons were surprisingly resilient to 16 h glucose removal in the absence of secondary excitotoxicity. Neuronal survival and synaptic transmission were unaffected by prolonged removal of exogenous glucose. Inhibition of lactate transport decreased microculture neuronal survival during concurrent glucose deprivation, suggesting that endogenously released lactate is important for tolerance to glucose deprivation. Tandem depolarization and glucose deprivation also reduced neuronal survival, and trace glucose concentrations afforded neuroprotection. Mass cultures, in contrast to microcultures, were insensitive to depolarizing glucose deprivation, a difference attributable to increased extracellular lactate levels. Removal of local astrocyte support did not reduce survival in response to glucose deprivation or alter evoked excitatory transmission, suggesting that on-demand, local lactate shuttling is not necessary for neuronal tolerance to prolonged glucose removal. Taken together, these data suggest that endogenously produced lactate available globally in the extracellular milieu sustains neurons in the absence of glucose. A better understanding of resilience mechanisms in reduced preparations could lead to therapeutic strategies aimed to bolster these mechanisms in vulnerable neuronal populations. PMID:29617444

  10. The neuron identity problem: form meets function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fishell, Gord; Heintz, Nathaniel

    2013-10-30

    A complete understanding of nervous system function cannot be achieved without the identification of its component cell types. In this Perspective, we explore a series of related issues surrounding cell identity and how revolutionary methods for labeling and probing specific neuronal types have clarified this question. Specifically, we ask the following questions: what is the purpose of such diversity, how is it generated, how is it maintained, and, ultimately, how can one unambiguously identity one cell type from another? We suggest that each cell type can be defined by a unique and conserved molecular ground state that determines its capabilities. We believe that gaining an understanding of these molecular barcodes will advance our ability to explore brain function, enhance our understanding of the biochemical basis of CNS disorders, and aid in the development of novel therapeutic strategies. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Fetal alcohol exposure disrupts metabolic signaling in hypothalamic proopiomelanocortin neurons via a circadian mechanism in male mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agapito, Maria A; Zhang, Changqing; Murugan, Sengottuvelan; Sarkar, Dipak K

    2014-07-01

    Early-life ethanol feeding (ELAF) alters the metabolic function of proopiomelanocortin (POMC)-producing neurons and the circadian expression of clock regulatory genes in the hypothalamus. We investigated whether the circadian mechanisms control the action of ELAF on metabolic signaling genes in POMC neurons. Gene expression measurements of Pomc and a selected group of metabolic signaling genes, Stat3, Sirt1, Pgc1-α, and Asb4 in laser-captured microdissected POMC neurons in the hypothalamus of POMC-enhanced green fluorescent protein mice showed circadian oscillations under light/dark and constant darkness conditions. Ethanol programmed these neurons such that the adult expression of Pomc, Stat3, Sirt, and Asb4 gene transcripts became arrhythmic. In addition, ELAF dampened the circadian peak of gene expression of Bmal1, Per1, and Per2 in POMC neurons. We crossed Per2 mutant mice with transgenic POMC-enhanced green fluorescent protein mice to determine the role of circadian mechanism in ELAF-altered metabolic signaling in POMC neurons. We found that ELAF failed to alter arrhythmic expression of most circadian genes, with the exception of the Bmal1 gene and metabolic signaling regulating genes in Per2 mutant mice. Comparison of the ELAF effects on the circadian blood glucose in wild-type and Per2 mutant mice revealed that ELAF dampened the circadian peak of glucose, whereas the Per2 mutation shifted the circadian cycle and prevented the ELAF dampening of the glucose peak. These data suggest the possibility that the Per2 gene mutation may regulate the ethanol actions on Pomc and the metabolic signaling genes in POMC neurons in the hypothalamus by blocking circadian mechanisms.

  12. Evaluation of mRNA expression levels and electrophysiological function of neuron-like cells derived from canine bone marrow stromal cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakano, Rei; Edamura, Kazuya; Sugiya, Hiroshi; Narita, Takanori; Okabayashi, Ken; Moritomo, Tadaaki; Teshima, Kenji; Asano, Kazushi; Nakayama, Tomohiro

    2013-10-01

    To investigate the in vitro differentiation of canine bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) into functional, mature neurons. Bone marrow from 6 adult dogs. BMSCs were isolated from bone marrow and chemically induced to develop into neurons. The morphology of the BMSCs during neuronal induction was monitored, and immunocytochemical analyses for neuron markers were performed after the induction. Real-time PCR methods were used to evaluate the mRNA expression levels of markers for neural stem or progenitor cells, neurons, and ion channels, and western blotting was used to assess the expression of neuronal proteins before and after neuronal induction. The electrophysiological properties of the neuron-like cells induced from canine BMSCs were evaluated with fluorescent dye to monitor Ca(2)+ influx. Canine BMSCs developed a neuron-like morphology after neuronal induction. Immunocytochemical analysis revealed that these neuron-like cells were positive for neuron markers. After induction, the cells' mRNA expression levels of almost all neuron and ion channel markers increased, and the protein expression levels of nestin and neurofilament-L increased significantly. However, the neuron-like cells derived from canine BMSCs did not have the Ca(2)+ influx characteristic of spiking neurons. Although canine BMSCs had neuron-like morphological and biochemical properties after induction, they did not develop the electrophysiological characteristics of neurons. Thus, these results have suggested that canine BMSCs could have the capacity to differentiate into a neuronal lineage, but the differentiation protocol used may have been insufficient to induce development into functional neurons.

  13. The Effects of NAD+ on Apoptotic Neuronal Death and Mitochondrial Biogenesis and Function after Glutamate Excitotoxicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiaowan; Li, Hailong; Ding, Shinghua

    2014-01-01

    NAD+ is an essential co-enzyme for cellular energy metabolism and is also involved as a substrate for many cellular enzymatic reactions. It has been shown that NAD+ has a beneficial effect on neuronal survival and brain injury in in vitro and in vivo ischemic models. However, the effect of NAD+ on mitochondrial biogenesis and function in ischemia has not been well investigated. In the present study, we used an in vitro glutamate excitotoxicity model of primary cultured cortical neurons to study the effect of NAD+ on apoptotic neuronal death and mitochondrial biogenesis and function. Our results show that supplementation of NAD+ could effectively reduce apoptotic neuronal death, and apoptotic inducing factor translocation after neurons were challenged with excitotoxic glutamate stimulation. Using different approaches including confocal imaging, mitochondrial DNA measurement and Western blot analysis of PGC-1 and NRF-1, we also found that NAD+ could significantly attenuate glutamate-induced mitochondrial fragmentation and the impairment of mitochondrial biogenesis. Furthermore, NAD+ treatment effectively inhibited mitochondrial membrane potential depolarization and NADH redistribution after excitotoxic glutamate stimulation. Taken together, our results demonstrated that NAD+ is capable of inhibiting apoptotic neuronal death after glutamate excitotoxicity via preserving mitochondrial biogenesis and integrity. Our findings provide insights into potential neuroprotective strategies in ischemic stroke. PMID:25387075

  14. Planar polarity pathway and Nance-Horan syndrome-like 1b have essential cell-autonomous functions in neuronal migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Gregory S; Grant, Paul K; Morgan, John A; Moens, Cecilia B

    2011-07-01

    Components of the planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway are required for the caudal tangential migration of facial branchiomotor (FBM) neurons, but how PCP signaling regulates this migration is not understood. In a forward genetic screen, we identified a new gene, nhsl1b, required for FBM neuron migration. nhsl1b encodes a WAVE-homology domain-containing protein related to human Nance-Horan syndrome (NHS) protein and Drosophila GUK-holder (Gukh), which have been shown to interact with components of the WAVE regulatory complex that controls cytoskeletal dynamics and with the polarity protein Scribble, respectively. Nhsl1b localizes to FBM neuron membrane protrusions and interacts physically and genetically with Scrib to control FBM neuron migration. Using chimeric analysis, we show that FBM neurons have two modes of migration: one involving interactions between the neurons and their planar-polarized environment, and an alternative, collective mode involving interactions between the neurons themselves. We demonstrate that the first mode of migration requires the cell-autonomous functions of Nhsl1b and the PCP components Scrib and Vangl2 in addition to the non-autonomous functions of Scrib and Vangl2, which serve to polarize the epithelial cells in the environment of the migrating neurons. These results define a role for Nhsl1b as a neuronal effector of PCP signaling and indicate that proper FBM neuron migration is directly controlled by PCP signaling between the epithelium and the migrating neurons.

  15. Anti-Tribbles Pseudokinase 2 (TRIB2)-Immunization Modulates Hypocretin/Orexin Neuronal Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Susumu; Honda, Yoshiko; Honda, Makoto; Yamada, Hisao; Honda, Kazuki; Kodama, Tohru

    2017-01-01

    Recent findings showed that 16%-26% of narcolepsy patients were positive for anti-tribbles pseudokinase 2 (TRIB2) antibody, and the intracerebroventricular administration of immunoglobulin-G purified from anti-TRIB2 positive narcolepsy patients caused hypocretin/orexin neuron loss. We investigated the pathophysiological role of TRIB2 antibody using TRIB2-immunized rats and hypocretin/ataxin-3 transgenic (ataxin-3) mice. Plasma, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and hypothalamic tissues from TRIB2-immunized rats were collected. Anti-TRIB2 titers, hypocretin contents, mRNA expressions, the cell count of hypocretin neurons, and immunoreactivity of anti-TRIB2 antibodies on hypocretin neurons were investigated. The plasma from ataxin-3 mice was also used to determine the anti-TRIB2 antibody titer changes following the loss of hypocretin neurons. TRIB2 antibody titers increased in the plasma and CSF of TRIB2-immunized rats. The hypothalamic tissue immunostained with the sera from TRIB2-immunized rats revealed positive signals in the cytoplasm of hypcretin neurons. While no changes were found regarding hypothalamic hypocretin contents or cell counts, but there were significant decreases of the hypocretin mRNA level and release into the CSF. The plasma from over 26-week-old ataxin-3 mice, at the advanced stage of hypocretin cell destruction, showed positive reactions against TRIB2 antigen, and positive plasma also reacted with murine hypothalamic hypocretin neurons. Our results suggest that the general activation of the immune system modulates the functions of hypocretin neurons. The absence of a change in hypocretin cell populations suggested that factors other than anti-TRIB2 antibody play a part in the loss of hypocretin neurons in narcolepsy. The increased anti-TRIB2 antibody after the destruction of hypocretin neurons suggest that anti-TRIB2 antibody in narcolepsy patients is the consequence rather than the inciting cause of hypocretin cell destruction. © Sleep Research

  16. Neonicotinoid Insecticides Alter the Gene Expression Profile of Neuron-Enriched Cultures from Neonatal Rat Cerebellum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junko Kimura-Kuroda

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Neonicotinoids are considered safe because of their low affinities to mammalian nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs relative to insect nAChRs. However, because of importance of nAChRs in mammalian brain development, there remains a need to establish the safety of chronic neonicotinoid exposures with regards to children’s health. Here we examined the effects of longterm (14 days and low dose (1 μM exposure of neuron-enriched cultures from neonatal rat cerebellum to nicotine and two neonicotinoids: acetamiprid and imidacloprid. Immunocytochemistry revealed no differences in the number or morphology of immature neurons or glial cells in any group versus untreated control cultures. However, a slight disturbance in Purkinje cell dendritic arborization was observed in the exposed cultures. Next we performed transcriptome analysis on total RNAs using microarrays, and identified significant differential expression (p < 0.05, q < 0.05, ≥1.5 fold between control cultures versus nicotine-, acetamiprid-, or imidacloprid-exposed cultures in 34, 48, and 67 genes, respectively. Common to all exposed groups were nine genes essential for neurodevelopment, suggesting that chronic neonicotinoid exposure alters the transcriptome of the developing mammalian brain in a similar way to nicotine exposure. Our results highlight the need for further careful investigations into the effects of neonicotinoids in the developing mammalian brain.

  17. Arsenic moiety in gallium arsenide is responsible for neuronal apoptosis and behavioral alterations in rats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flora, Swaran J.S.; Bhatt, Kapil; Mehta, Ashish

    2009-01-01

    Gallium arsenide (GaAs), an intermetallic semiconductor finds widespread applications in high frequency microwave and millimeter wave, and ultra fast supercomputers. Extensive use of GaAs has led to increased exposure to humans working in semiconductor industry. GaAs has the ability to dissociate into its constitutive moieties at physiological pH and might be responsible for the oxidative stress. The present study was aimed at evaluating, the principle moiety (Ga or As) in GaAs to cause neurological dysfunction based on its ability to cause apoptosis, in vivo and in vitro and if this neuronal dysfunction translated to neurobehavioral changes in chronically exposed rats. Result indicated that arsenic moiety in GaAs was mainly responsible for causing oxidative stress via increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitric oxide (NO) generation, both in vitro and in vivo. Increased ROS further caused apoptosis via mitochondrial driven pathway. Effects of oxidative stress were also confirmed based on alterations in antioxidant enzymes, GPx, GST and SOD in rat brain. We noted that ROS induced oxidative stress caused changes in the brain neurotransmitter levels, Acetylcholinesterase and nitric oxide synthase, leading to loss of memory and learning in rats. The study demonstrates for the first time that the slow release of arsenic moiety from GaAs is mainly responsible for oxidative stress induced apoptosis in neuronal cells causing behavioral changes.

  18. The evolutionarily conserved transcription factor PRDM12 controls sensory neuron development and pain perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagy, Vanja; Cole, Tiffany; Van Campenhout, Claude; Khoung, Thang M; Leung, Calvin; Vermeiren, Simon; Novatchkova, Maria; Wenzel, Daniel; Cikes, Domagoj; Polyansky, Anton A; Kozieradzki, Ivona; Meixner, Arabella; Bellefroid, Eric J; Neely, G Gregory; Penninger, Josef M

    2015-01-01

    PR homology domain-containing member 12 (PRDM12) belongs to a family of conserved transcription factors implicated in cell fate decisions. Here we show that PRDM12 is a key regulator of sensory neuronal specification in Xenopus. Modeling of human PRDM12 mutations that cause hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy (HSAN) revealed remarkable conservation of the mutated residues in evolution. Expression of wild-type human PRDM12 in Xenopus induced the expression of sensory neuronal markers, which was reduced using various human PRDM12 mutants. In Drosophila, we identified Hamlet as the functional PRDM12 homolog that controls nociceptive behavior in sensory neurons. Furthermore, expression analysis of human patient fibroblasts with PRDM12 mutations uncovered possible downstream target genes. Knockdown of several of these target genes including thyrotropin-releasing hormone degrading enzyme (TRHDE) in Drosophila sensory neurons resulted in altered cellular morphology and impaired nociception. These data show that PRDM12 and its functional fly homolog Hamlet are evolutionary conserved master regulators of sensory neuronal specification and play a critical role in pain perception. Our data also uncover novel pathways in multiple species that regulate evolutionary conserved nociception.

  19. Methyl-CpG binding-protein 2 function in cholinergic neurons mediates cardiac arrhythmogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, José A; Ward, Christopher S; Wehrens, Xander H T; Neul, Jeffrey L

    2016-11-15

    Sudden unexpected death occurs in one quarter of deaths in Rett Syndrome (RTT), a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in Methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2). People with RTT show a variety of autonomic nervous system (ANS) abnormalities and mouse models show similar problems including QTc interval prolongation and hypothermia. To explore the role of cardiac problems in sudden death in RTT, we characterized cardiac rhythm in mice lacking Mecp2 function. Male and female mutant mice exhibited spontaneous cardiac rhythm abnormalities including bradycardic events, sinus pauses, atrioventricular block, premature ventricular contractions, non-sustained ventricular arrhythmias, and increased heart rate variability. Death was associated with spontaneous cardiac arrhythmias and complete conduction block. Atropine treatment reduced cardiac arrhythmias in mutant mice, implicating overactive parasympathetic tone. To explore the role of MeCP2 within the parasympathetic neurons, we selectively removed MeCP2 function from cholinergic neurons (MeCP2 ChAT KO), which recapitulated the cardiac rhythm abnormalities, hypothermia, and early death seen in RTT male mice. Conversely, restoring MeCP2 only in cholinergic neurons rescued these phenotypes. Thus, MeCP2 in cholinergic neurons is necessary and sufficient for autonomic cardiac control, thermoregulation, and survival, and targeting the overactive parasympathetic system may be a useful therapeutic strategy to prevent sudden unexpected death in RTT.

  20. Determinants of functional coupling between astrocytes and respiratory neurons in the pre-Bötzinger complex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Schnell

    Full Text Available Respiratory neuronal network activity is thought to require efficient functioning of astrocytes. Here, we analyzed neuron-astrocyte communication in the pre-Bötzinger Complex (preBötC of rhythmic slice preparations from neonatal mice. In astrocytes that exhibited rhythmic potassium fluxes and glutamate transporter currents, we did not find a translation of respiratory neuronal activity into phase-locked astroglial calcium signals. In up to 20% of astrocytes, 2-photon calcium imaging revealed spontaneous calcium fluctuations, although with no correlation to neuronal activity. Calcium signals could be elicited in preBötC astrocytes by metabotropic glutamate receptor activation or after inhibition of glial glutamate uptake. In the latter case, astrocyte calcium elevation preceded a surge of respiratory neuron discharge activity followed by network failure. We conclude that astrocytes do not exhibit respiratory-rhythmic calcium fluctuations when they are able to prevent synaptic glutamate accumulation. Calcium signaling is, however, observed when glutamate transport processes in astrocytes are suppressed or neuronal discharge activity is excessive.

  1. Neuron-Glia Crosstalk and Neuropathic Pain: Involvement in the Modulation of Motor Activity in the Orofacial Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossain, Mohammad Zakir; Unno, Shumpei; Ando, Hiroshi; Masuda, Yuji; Kitagawa, Junichi

    2017-09-26

    Neuropathic orofacial pain (NOP) is a debilitating condition. Although the pathophysiology remains unclear, accumulating evidence suggests the involvement of multiple mechanisms in the development of neuropathic pain. Recently, glial cells have been shown to play a key pathogenetic role. Nerve injury leads to an immune response near the site of injury. Satellite glial cells are activated in the peripheral ganglia. Various neural and immune mediators, released at the central terminals of primary afferents, lead to the sensitization of postsynaptic neurons and the activation of glia. The activated glia, in turn, release pro-inflammatory factors, further sensitizing the neurons, and resulting in central sensitization. Recently, we observed the involvement of glia in the alteration of orofacial motor activity in NOP. Microglia and astroglia were activated in the trigeminal sensory and motor nuclei, in parallel with altered motor functions and a decreased pain threshold. A microglial blocker attenuated the reduction in pain threshold, reduced the number of activated microglia, and restored motor activity. We also found an involvement of the astroglial glutamate-glutamine shuttle in the trigeminal motor nucleus in the alteration of the jaw reflex. Neuron-glia crosstalk thus plays an important role in the development of pain and altered motor activity in NOP.

  2. Error-based analysis of optimal tuning functions explains phenomena observed in sensory neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steve Yaeli

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Biological systems display impressive capabilities in effectively responding to environmental signals in real time. There is increasing evidence that organisms may indeed be employing near optimal Bayesian calculations in their decision-making. An intriguing question relates to the properties of optimal encoding methods, namely determining the properties of neural populations in sensory layers that optimize performance, subject to physiological constraints. Within an ecological theory of neural encoding/decoding, we show that optimal Bayesian performance requires neural adaptation which reflects environmental changes. Specifically, we predict that neuronal tuning functions possess an optimal width, which increases with prior uncertainty and environmental noise, and decreases with the decoding time window. Furthermore, even for static stimuli, we demonstrate that dynamic sensory tuning functions, acting at relatively short time scales, lead to improved performance. Interestingly, the narrowing of tuning functions as a function of time was recently observed in several biological systems. Such results set the stage for a functional theory which may explain the high reliability of sensory systems, and the utility of neuronal adaptation occurring at multiple time scales.

  3. Error-based analysis of optimal tuning functions explains phenomena observed in sensory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaeli, Steve; Meir, Ron

    2010-01-01

    Biological systems display impressive capabilities in effectively responding to environmental signals in real time. There is increasing evidence that organisms may indeed be employing near optimal Bayesian calculations in their decision-making. An intriguing question relates to the properties of optimal encoding methods, namely determining the properties of neural populations in sensory layers that optimize performance, subject to physiological constraints. Within an ecological theory of neural encoding/decoding, we show that optimal Bayesian performance requires neural adaptation which reflects environmental changes. Specifically, we predict that neuronal tuning functions possess an optimal width, which increases with prior uncertainty and environmental noise, and decreases with the decoding time window. Furthermore, even for static stimuli, we demonstrate that dynamic sensory tuning functions, acting at relatively short time scales, lead to improved performance. Interestingly, the narrowing of tuning functions as a function of time was recently observed in several biological systems. Such results set the stage for a functional theory which may explain the high reliability of sensory systems, and the utility of neuronal adaptation occurring at multiple time scales.

  4. Quinolinic acid induces disrupts cytoskeletal homeostasis in striatal neurons. Protective role of astrocyte-neuron interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierozan, Paula; Ferreira, Fernanda; de Lima, Bárbara Ortiz; Pessoa-Pureur, Regina

    2015-02-01

    Quinolinic acid (QUIN) is an endogenous metabolite of the kynurenine pathway involved in several neurological disorders. Among the several mechanisms involved in QUIN-mediated toxicity, disruption of the cytoskeleton has been demonstrated in striatally injected rats and in striatal slices. The present work searched for the actions of QUIN in primary striatal neurons. Neurons exposed to 10 µM QUIN presented hyperphosphorylated neurofilament (NF) subunits (NFL, NFM, and NFH). Hyperphosphorylation was abrogated in the presence of protein kinase A and protein kinase C inhibitors H89 (20 μM) and staurosporine (10 nM), respectively, as well as by specific antagonists to N-methyl-D-aspartate (50 µM DL-AP5) and metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 (100 µM MPEP). Also, intra- and extracellular Ca(2+) chelators (10 µM BAPTA-AM and 1 mM EGTA, respectively) and Ca(2+) influx through L-type voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channel (10 µM verapamil) are implicated in QUIN-mediated effects. Cells immunostained for the neuronal markers βIII-tubulin and microtubule-associated protein 2 showed altered neurite/neuron ratios and neurite outgrowth. NF hyperphosphorylation and morphological alterations were totally prevented by conditioned medium from QUIN-treated astrocytes. Cocultured astrocytes and neurons interacted with one another reciprocally, protecting them against QUIN injury. Cocultured cells preserved their cytoskeletal organization and cell morphology together with unaltered activity of the phosphorylating system associated with the cytoskeleton. This article describes cytoskeletal disruption as one of the most relevant actions of QUIN toxicity in striatal neurons in culture with soluble factors secreted by astrocytes, with neuron-astrocyte interaction playing a role in neuroprotection. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Different requirements of functional telomeres in neural stem cells and terminally differentiated neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobanova, Anastasia; She, Robert; Pieraut, Simon; Clapp, Charlie; Maximov, Anton; Denchi, Eros Lazzerini

    2017-04-01

    Telomeres have been studied extensively in peripheral tissues, but their relevance in the nervous system remains poorly understood. Here, we examine the roles of telomeres at distinct stages of murine brain development by using lineage-specific genetic ablation of TRF2, an essential component of the shelterin complex that protects chromosome ends from the DNA damage response machinery. We found that functional telomeres are required for embryonic and adult neurogenesis, but their uncapping has surprisingly no detectable consequences on terminally differentiated neurons. Conditional knockout of TRF2 in post-mitotic immature neurons had virtually no detectable effect on circuit assembly, neuronal gene expression, and the behavior of adult animals despite triggering massive end-to-end chromosome fusions across the brain. These results suggest that telomeres are dispensable in terminally differentiated neurons and provide mechanistic insight into cognitive abnormalities associated with aberrant telomere length in humans. © 2017 Lobanova et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  6. When "altering brain function" becomes "mind control".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koivuniemi, Andrew; Otto, Kevin

    2014-01-01

    Functional neurosurgery has seen a resurgence of interest in surgical treatments for psychiatric illness. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) technology is the preferred tool in the current wave of clinical experiments because it allows clinicians to directly alter the functions of targeted brain regions, in a reversible manner, with the intent of correcting diseases of the mind, such as depression, addiction, anorexia nervosa, dementia, and obsessive compulsive disorder. These promising treatments raise a critical philosophical and humanitarian question. "Under what conditions does 'altering brain function' qualify as 'mind control'?" In order to answer this question one needs a definition of mind control. To this end, we reviewed the relevant philosophical, ethical, and neurosurgical literature in order to create a set of criteria for what constitutes mind control in the context of DBS. We also outline clinical implications of these criteria. Finally, we demonstrate the relevance of the proposed criteria by focusing especially on serendipitous treatments involving DBS, i.e., cases in which an unintended therapeutic benefit occurred. These cases highlight the importance of gaining the consent of the subject for the new therapy in order to avoid committing an act of mind control.

  7. A light- and calcium-gated transcription factor for imaging and manipulating activated neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wenjing; Wildes, Craig P; Pattarabanjird, Tanyaporn; Sanchez, Mateo I; Glober, Gordon F; Matthews, Gillian A; Tye, Kay M; Ting, Alice Y

    2017-09-01

    Activity remodels neurons, altering their molecular, structural, and electrical characteristics. To enable the selective characterization and manipulation of these neurons, we present FLARE, an engineered transcription factor that drives expression of fluorescent proteins, opsins, and other genetically encoded tools only in the subset of neurons that experienced activity during a user-defined time window. FLARE senses the coincidence of elevated cytosolic calcium and externally applied blue light, which together produce translocation of a membrane-anchored transcription factor to the nucleus to drive expression of any transgene. In cultured rat neurons, FLARE gives a light-to-dark signal ratio of 120 and a high- to low-calcium signal ratio of 10 after 10 min of stimulation. Opsin expression permitted functional manipulation of FLARE-marked neurons. In adult mice, FLARE also gave light- and motor-activity-dependent transcription in the cortex. Due to its modular design, minute-scale temporal resolution, and minimal dark-state leak, FLARE should be useful for the study of activity-dependent processes in neurons and other cells that signal with calcium.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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 toward a likely dominant role of short-term synaptic plasticity alterations in schizophrenia while dysfunction in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) may be due to a combination of both short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity alterations. PMID:25505409

  9. Functional integration of grafted neural stem cell-derived dopaminergic neurons monitored by optogenetics in an in vitro Parkinson model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tønnesen, Jan; Parish, Clare L; Sørensen, Andreas T

    2011-01-01

    Intrastriatal grafts of stem cell-derived dopamine (DA) neurons induce behavioral recovery in animal models of Parkinson's disease (PD), but how they functionally integrate in host neural circuitries is poorly understood. Here, Wnt5a-overexpressing neural stem cells derived from embryonic ventral...... of post-synaptic currents, and functional expression of DA D₂ autoreceptors. These properties resembled those recorded from identical cells in acute slices of intrastriatal grafts in the 6-hydroxy-DA-induced mouse PD model and from DA neurons in intact substantia nigra. Optogenetic activation...... using optogenetics that ectopically grafted stem cell-derived DA neurons become functionally integrated in the DA-denervated striatum. Further optogenetic dissection of the synaptic wiring between grafted and host neurons will be crucial to clarify the cellular and synaptic mechanisms underlying...

  10. Neuronal Rac1 Is Required for Learning-Evoked Neurogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Matthew P.; Freewoman, Julia; Cord, Branden; Babu, Harish; Brakebusch, Cord

    2013-01-01

    Hippocampus-dependent learning and memory relies on synaptic plasticity as well as network adaptations provided by the addition of adult-born neurons. We have previously shown that activity-induced intracellular signaling through the Rho family small GTPase Rac1 is necessary in forebrain projection neurons for normal synaptic plasticity in vivo, and here we show that selective loss of neuronal Rac1 also impairs the learning-evoked increase in neurogenesis in the adult mouse hippocampus. Earlier work has indicated that experience elevates the abundance of adult-born neurons in the hippocampus primarily by enhancing the survival of neurons produced just before the learning event. Loss of Rac1 in mature projection neurons did reduce learning-evoked neurogenesis but, contrary to our expectations, these effects were not mediated by altering the survival of young neurons in the hippocampus. Instead, loss of neuronal Rac1 activation selectively impaired a learning-evoked increase in the proliferation and accumulation of neural precursors generated during the learning event itself. This indicates that experience-induced alterations in neurogenesis can be mechanistically resolved into two effects: (1) the well documented but Rac1-independent signaling cascade that enhances the survival of young postmitotic neurons; and (2) a previously unrecognized Rac1-dependent signaling cascade that stimulates the proliferative production and retention of new neurons generated during learning itself. PMID:23884931

  11. Asymmetry in electrical coupling between neurons alters multistable firing behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pisarchik, A. N.; Jaimes-Reátegui, R.; García-Vellisca, M. A.

    2018-03-01

    The role of asymmetry in electrical synaptic connection between two neuronal oscillators is studied in the Hindmarsh-Rose model. We demonstrate that the asymmetry induces multistability in spiking dynamics of the coupled neuronal oscillators. The coexistence of at least three attractors, one chaotic and two periodic orbits, for certain coupling strengths is demonstrated with time series, phase portraits, bifurcation diagrams, basins of attraction of the coexisting states, Lyapunov exponents, and standard deviations of peak amplitudes and interspike intervals. The experimental results with analog electronic circuits are in good agreement with the results of numerical simulations.

  12. Functional crosstalk in culture between macrophages and trigeminal sensory neurons of a mouse genetic model of migraine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franceschini, Alessia; Nair, Asha; Bele, Tanja; van den Maagdenberg, Arn Mjm; Nistri, Andrea; Fabbretti, Elsa

    2012-11-21

    Enhanced activity of trigeminal ganglion neurons is thought to underlie neuronal sensitization facilitating the onset of chronic pain attacks, including migraine. Recurrent headache attacks might establish a chronic neuroinflammatory ganglion profile contributing to the hypersensitive phenotype. Since it is difficult to study this process in vivo, we investigated functional crosstalk between macrophages and sensory neurons in primary cultures from trigeminal sensory ganglia of wild-type (WT) or knock-in (KI) mice expressing the Cacna1a gene mutation (R192Q) found in familial hemiplegic migraine-type 1. After studying the number and morphology of resident macrophages in culture, the consequences of adding host macrophages on macrophage phagocytosis and membrane currents mediated by pain-transducing P2X3 receptors on sensory neurons were examined. KI ganglion cultures constitutively contained a larger number of active macrophages, although no difference in P2X3 receptor expression was found. Co-culturing WT or KI ganglia with host macrophages (active as much as resident cells) strongly stimulated single cell phagocytosis. The same protocol had no effect on P2X3 receptor expression in WT or KI co-cultures, but it largely enhanced WT neuron currents that grew to the high amplitude constitutively seen for KI neurons. No further potentiation of KI neuronal currents was observed. Trigeminal ganglion cultures from a genetic mouse model of migraine showed basal macrophage activation together with enhanced neuronal currents mediated by P2X3 receptors. This phenotype could be replicated in WT cultures by adding host macrophages, indicating an important functional crosstalk between macrophages and sensory neurons.

  13. Diverse Intrinsic Properties Shape Functional Phenotype of Low-Frequency Neurons in the Auditory Brainstem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hui Hong

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available In the auditory system, tonotopy is the spatial arrangement of where sounds of different frequencies are processed. Defined by the organization of neurons and their inputs, tonotopy emphasizes distinctions in neuronal structure and function across topographic gradients and is a common feature shared among vertebrates. In this study we characterized action potential firing patterns and ion channel properties from neurons located in the extremely low-frequency region of the chicken nucleus magnocellularis (NM, an auditory brainstem structure. We found that NM neurons responsible for encoding the lowest sound frequencies (termed NMc neurons have enhanced excitability and fired bursts of action potentials to sinusoidal inputs ≤10 Hz; a distinct firing pattern compared to higher-frequency neurons. This response property was due to lower amounts of voltage dependent potassium (KV conductances, unique combination of KV subunits and specialized sodium (NaV channel properties. Particularly, NMc neurons had significantly lower KV1 and KV3 currents, but higher KV2 current. NMc neurons also showed larger and faster transient NaV current (INaT with different voltage dependence of inactivation from higher-frequency neurons. In contrast, significantly smaller resurgent sodium current (INaR was present in NMc with kinetics and voltage dependence that differed from higher-frequency neurons. Immunohistochemistry showed expression of NaV1.6 channel subtypes across the tonotopic axis. However, various immunoreactive patterns were observed between regions, likely underlying some tonotopic differences in INaT and INaR. Finally, using pharmacology and computational modeling, we concluded that KV3, KV2 channels and INaR work synergistically to regulate burst firing in NMc.

  14. Mutational Analysis of Drosophila Basigin Function in the Visual System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munro, Michelle; Akkam, Yazan; Curtin, Kathryn D.

    2009-01-01

    Drosophila basigin is a cell-surface glycoprotein of the Ig superfamily and a member of a protein family that includes mammalian EMMPRIN/CD147/basigin, neuroplastin, and embigin. Our previous work on Drosophila basigin has shown that it is required for normal photoreceptor cell structure and normal neuron-glia interaction in the fly visual system. Specifically, the photoreceptor neurons of mosaic animals that are mutant in the eye for basigin show altered cell structure with nuclei, mitochondria and rER misplaced and variable axon diameter compared to wild-type. In addition, glia cells in the optic lamina that contact photoreceptor axons are misplaced and show altered structure. All these defects are rescued by expression of either transgenic fly basigin or transgenic mouse basigin in the photoreceptors demonstrating that mouse basigin can functionally replace fly basigin. To determine what regions of the basigin protein are required for each of these functions, we have created mutant basigin transgenes coding for proteins that are altered in conserved residues, introduced these into the fly genome, and tested them for their ability to rescue both photoreceptor cell structure defects and neuron-glia interaction defects of basigin. The results suggest that the highly conserved transmembrane domain and the extracellular domains are crucial for basigin function in the visual system while the short intracellular tail may not play a role in these functions. PMID:19782733

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-20

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

  16. Altered intrinsic functional connectivity in the latent period of epileptogenesis in a temporal lobe epilepsy model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hyoin; Jung, Seungmoon; Lee, Peter; Jeong, Yong

    2017-10-01

    The latent period, a seizure-free phase, is the duration between brain injury and the onset of spontaneous recurrent seizures (SRSs) during epileptogenesis. The latent period is thought to involve several progressive pathophysiological events that lead to the evolution of the chronic epilepsy phase. Hence, it is vital to investigate the changes in the latent period during epileptogenesis in order to better understand temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), and to achieve early diagnosis and appropriate management of the condition. Accordingly, recent studies with patients with TLE using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) have reported that alterations of resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) during the chronic period are associated with some clinical manifestations, including learning and memory impairments, emotional instability, and social behavior deficits, in addition to repetitive seizure episodes. In contrast, the changes in the intrinsic rsFC during epileptogenesis, particularly during the latent period, remain unclear. In this study, we investigated the alterations in intrinsic rsFC during the latent and chronic periods in a pilocarpine-induced TLE mouse model using intrinsic optical signal imaging (IOSI). This technique can monitor the changes in the local hemoglobin concentration according to neuronal activity and can help investigate large-scale brain intrinsic networks. After seeding on the anatomical regions of interest (ROIs) and calculating the correlation coefficients between each ROI, we established and compared functional correlation matrices and functional connectivity maps during the latent and chronic periods of epilepsy. We found a decrease in the interhemispheric rsFC at the frontal and temporal regions during both the latent and chronic periods. Furthermore, a significant decrease in the interhemispheric rsFC was observed in the somatosensory area during the chronic period. Changes in network configurations during

  17. The influence of hubs in the structure of a neuronal network during an epileptic seizure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Abner Cardoso; Cerdeira, Hilda A.; Machado, Birajara Soares

    2016-02-01

    In this work, we propose changes in the structure of a neuronal network with the intention to provoke strong synchronization to simulate episodes of epileptic seizure. Starting with a network of Izhikevich neurons we slowly increase the number of connections in selected nodes in a controlled way, to produce (or not) hubs. We study how these structures alter the synchronization on the spike firings interval, on individual neurons as well as on mean values, as a function of the concentration of connections for random and non-random (hubs) distribution. We also analyze how the post-ictal signal varies for the different distributions. We conclude that a network with hubs is more appropriate to represent an epileptic state.

  18. Functional integration of grafted neural stem cell-derived dopaminergic neurons monitored by optogenetics in an in vitro Parkinson model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Tønnesen

    Full Text Available Intrastriatal grafts of stem cell-derived dopamine (DA neurons induce behavioral recovery in animal models of Parkinson's disease (PD, but how they functionally integrate in host neural circuitries is poorly understood. Here, Wnt5a-overexpressing neural stem cells derived from embryonic ventral mesencephalon of tyrosine hydroxylase-GFP transgenic mice were expanded as neurospheres and transplanted into organotypic cultures of wild type mouse striatum. Differentiated GFP-labeled DA neurons in the grafts exhibited mature neuronal properties, including spontaneous firing of action potentials, presence of post-synaptic currents, and functional expression of DA D₂ autoreceptors. These properties resembled those recorded from identical cells in acute slices of intrastriatal grafts in the 6-hydroxy-DA-induced mouse PD model and from DA neurons in intact substantia nigra. Optogenetic activation or inhibition of grafted cells and host neurons using channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2 and halorhodopsin (NpHR, respectively, revealed complex, bi-directional synaptic interactions between grafted cells and host neurons and extensive synaptic connectivity within the graft. Our data demonstrate for the first time using optogenetics that ectopically grafted stem cell-derived DA neurons become functionally integrated in the DA-denervated striatum. Further optogenetic dissection of the synaptic wiring between grafted and host neurons will be crucial to clarify the cellular and synaptic mechanisms underlying behavioral recovery as well as adverse effects following stem cell-based DA cell replacement strategies in PD.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  20. Kappe neurons, a novel population of olfactory sensory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahuja, Gaurav; Bozorg Nia, Shahrzad; Zapilko, Veronika; Shiriagin, Vladimir; Kowatschew, Daniel; Oka, Yuichiro; Korsching, Sigrun I

    2014-02-10

    Perception of olfactory stimuli is mediated by distinct populations of olfactory sensory neurons, each with a characteristic set of morphological as well as functional parameters. Beyond two large populations of ciliated and microvillous neurons, a third population, crypt neurons, has been identified in teleost and cartilaginous fishes. We report here a novel, fourth olfactory sensory neuron population in zebrafish, which we named kappe neurons for their characteristic shape. Kappe neurons are identified by their Go-like immunoreactivity, and show a distinct spatial distribution within the olfactory epithelium, similar to, but significantly different from that of crypt neurons. Furthermore, kappe neurons project to a single identified target glomerulus within the olfactory bulb, mdg5 of the mediodorsal cluster, whereas crypt neurons are known to project exclusively to the mdg2 glomerulus. Kappe neurons are negative for established markers of ciliated, microvillous and crypt neurons, but appear to have microvilli. Kappe neurons constitute the fourth type of olfactory sensory neurons reported in teleost fishes and their existence suggests that encoding of olfactory stimuli may require a higher complexity than hitherto assumed already in the peripheral olfactory system.

  1. Methamphetamine compromises gap junctional communication in astrocytes and neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellano, Paul; Nwagbo, Chisom; Martinez, Luis R; Eugenin, Eliseo A

    2016-05-01

    Methamphetamine (meth) is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that results in psychological and physical dependency. The long-term effects of meth within the CNS include neuronal plasticity changes, blood-brain barrier compromise, inflammation, electrical dysfunction, neuronal/glial toxicity, and an increased risk to infectious diseases including HIV. Most of the reported meth effects in the CNS are related to dysregulation of chemical synapses by altering the release and uptake of neurotransmitters, especially dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. However, little is known about the effects of meth on connexin (Cx) containing channels, such as gap junctions (GJ) and hemichannels (HC). We examined the effects of meth on Cx expression, function, and its role in NeuroAIDS. We found that meth altered Cx expression and localization, decreased GJ communication between neurons and astrocytes, and induced the opening of Cx43/Cx36 HC. Furthermore, we found that these changes in GJ and HC induced by meth treatment were mediated by activation of dopamine receptors, suggesting that dysregulation of dopamine signaling induced by meth is essential for GJ and HC compromise. Meth-induced changes in GJ and HC contributed to amplified CNS toxicity by dysregulating glutamate metabolism and increasing the susceptibility of neurons and astrocytes to bystander apoptosis induced by HIV. Together, our results indicate that connexin containing channels, GJ and HC, are essential in the pathogenesis of meth and increase the sensitivity of the CNS to HIV CNS disease. Methamphetamine (meth) is an extremely addictive central nervous system stimulant. Meth reduced gap junctional (GJ) communication by inducing internalization of connexin-43 (Cx43) in astrocytes and reducing expression of Cx36 in neurons by a mechanism involving activation of dopamine receptors (see cartoon). Meth-induced changes in Cx containing channels increased extracellular levels of glutamate and resulted in higher

  2. Network analysis of genomic alteration profiles reveals co-altered functional modules and driver genes for glioblastoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Yunyan; Wang, Hongwei; Qin, Yao; Zhang, Yujing; Zhao, Wenyuan; Qi, Lishuang; Zhang, Yuannv; Wang, Chenguang; Guo, Zheng

    2013-03-01

    The heterogeneity of genetic alterations in human cancer genomes presents a major challenge to advancing our understanding of cancer mechanisms and identifying cancer driver genes. To tackle this heterogeneity problem, many approaches have been proposed to investigate genetic alterations and predict driver genes at the individual pathway level. However, most of these approaches ignore the correlation of alteration events between pathways and miss many genes with rare alterations collectively contributing to carcinogenesis. Here, we devise a network-based approach to capture the cooperative functional modules hidden in genome-wide somatic mutation and copy number alteration profiles of glioblastoma (GBM) from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), where a module is a set of altered genes with dense interactions in the protein interaction network. We identify 7 pairs of significantly co-altered modules that involve the main pathways known to be altered in GBM (TP53, RB and RTK signaling pathways) and highlight the striking co-occurring alterations among these GBM pathways. By taking into account the non-random correlation of gene alterations, the property of co-alteration could distinguish oncogenic modules that contain driver genes involved in the progression of GBM. The collaboration among cancer pathways suggests that the redundant models and aggravating models could shed new light on the potential mechanisms during carcinogenesis and provide new indications for the design of cancer therapeutic strategies.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pfisterer, Ulrich Gottfried; Khodosevich, Konstantin

    2017-01-01

    Neurogenic regions of mammalian brain produce many more neurons that will eventually survive and reach a mature stage. Developmental cell death affects both embryonically produced immature neurons and those immature neurons that are generated in regions of adult neurogenesis. Removal of substantial...... numbers of neurons that are not yet completely integrated into the local circuits helps to ensure that maturation and homeostatic function of neuronal networks in the brain proceed correctly. External signals from brain microenvironment together with intrinsic signaling pathways determine whether...... for survival in a certain brain region. This review focuses on how immature neurons survive during normal and impaired brain development, both in the embryonic/neonatal brain and in brain regions associated with adult neurogenesis, and emphasizes neuron type-specific mechanisms that help to survive for various...

  4. Altered structure-function relations of semantic processing in youths with high-functioning autism: a combined diffusion and functional MRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, Yu-Chun; Chou, Tai-Li; Fan, Li-Ying; Gau, Susan Shur-Fen; Chiu, Yen-Nan; Tseng, Wen-Yih Isaac

    2013-12-01

    Deficits in language and communication are among the core symptoms of autism, a common neurodevelopmental disorder with long-term impairment. Despite the striking nature of the autistic language impairment, knowledge about its corresponding alterations in the brain is still evolving. We hypothesized that the dual stream language network is altered in autism, and that this alteration could be revealed by changes in the relationships between microstructural integrity and functional activation. The study recruited 20 right-handed male youths with autism and 20 carefully matched individually, typically developing (TD) youths. Microstructural integrity of the left dorsal and left ventral pathways responsible for language processing and the functional activation of the connected brain regions were investigated by using diffusion spectrum imaging and functional magnetic resonance imaging of a semantic task, respectively. Youths with autism had significantly poorer language function, and lower functional activation in left dorsal and left ventral regions of the language network, compared with TD youths. The TD group showed a significant correlation of the functional activation of the left dorsal region with microstructural integrity of the left ventral pathway, whereas the autism group showed a significant correlation of the functional activation of the left ventral region with microstructural integrity of the left dorsal pathway, and moreover verbal comprehension index was correlated with microstructural integrity of the left ventral pathway. These altered structure-function relationships in autism suggest possible involvement of the dual pathways in supporting deficient semantic processing. © 2013 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Embryonic Cell Grafts in a Culture Model of Spinal Cord Lesion: Neuronal Relay Formation is Essential for Functional Regeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Tscherter

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Presently there exists no cure for spinal cord injury. However, transplantation of embryonic tissue into spinal cord lesions resulted in axon outgrowth across the lesion site and some functional recovery, fostering hope for future stem cell therapies. Although in vivo evidence for functional recovery is given, the exact cellular mechanism of the graft support remains elusive: either the grafted cells provide a permissive environment for the host tissue to regenerate itself or the grafts actually integrate functionally into the host neuronal network reconnecting the separated spinal cord circuits. We tested the two hypotheses in an in vitro spinal cord lesion model that is based on propagation of activity between two rat organotypic spinal cord slices in culture. Transplantation of dissociated cells from E14 rat spinal cord or forebrain re-established the relay of activity over the lesion site and, thus, provoked functional regeneration. Combining patch-clamp recordings from transplanted cells with network activity measurements from the host tissue on multi-electrode arrays we here show that neurons differentiate from the grafted cells and integrate into the host circuits. Optogenetic silencing of neurons developed from transplanted embryonic mouse forebrain cells provides clear evidence that they replace the lost neuronal connections to relay and synchronize activity between the separated spinal cord circuits. In contrast, transplantation of neurospheres induced neither the differentiation of mature neurons from the grafts nor an improvement of functional regeneration. Together these findings suggest, that the formation of neuronal relays from grafted embryonic cells is essential to re-connect segregated spinal cord circuits.

  6. An ancient duplication of exon 5 in the Snap25 gene is required for complex neuronal development/function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jenny U Johansson

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Alternative splicing is an evolutionary innovation to create functionally diverse proteins from a limited number of genes. SNAP-25 plays a central role in neuroexocytosis by bridging synaptic vesicles to the plasma membrane during regulated exocytosis. The SNAP-25 polypeptide is encoded by a single copy gene, but in higher vertebrates a duplication of exon 5 has resulted in two mutually exclusive splice variants, SNAP-25a and SNAP-25b. To address a potential physiological difference between the two SNAP-25 proteins, we generated gene targeted SNAP-25b deficient mouse mutants by replacing the SNAP-25b specific exon with a second SNAP-25a equivalent. Elimination of SNAP-25b expression resulted in developmental defects, spontaneous seizures, and impaired short-term synaptic plasticity. In adult mutants, morphological changes in hippocampus and drastically altered neuropeptide expression were accompanied by severe impairment of spatial learning. We conclude that the ancient exon duplication in the Snap25 gene provides additional SNAP-25-function required for complex neuronal processes in higher eukaryotes.

  7. Correlating Anatomy and Function with Gene Expression in Individual Neurons by Combining in Vivo Labeling, Patch Clamp, and Single Cell RNA-seq

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carsten K. Pfeffer

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The classification of neurons into distinct types is an ongoing effort aimed at revealing and understanding the diversity of the components of the nervous system. Recently available methods allow us to determine the gene expression pattern of individual neurons in the mammalian cerebral cortex to generate powerful categorization schemes. For a thorough understanding of neuronal diversity such genetic categorization schemes need to be combined with traditional classification parameters like position, axonal projection or response properties to sensory stimulation. Here we describe a method to link the gene expression of individual neurons with their position, axonal projection, or sensory response properties. Neurons are labeled in vivo based on their anatomical or functional properties and, using patch clamp pipettes, their RNA individually harvested in vitro for RNAseq. We validate the methodology using multiple established molecularly and anatomically distinct cell populations and explore molecular differences between uncharacterized neurons in mouse visual cortex. Gene expression patterns between L5 neurons projecting to frontal or contralateral cortex are distinct while L2 neurons differing in position, projection, or function are molecularly similar. With this method we can determine the genetic expression pattern of functionally and anatomically identified individual neurons.

  8. The autism-associated MET receptor tyrosine kinase engages early neuronal growth mechanism and controls glutamatergic circuits development in the forebrain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Y; Lu, Z; Li, G; Piechowicz, M; Anderson, M; Uddin, Y; Wu, J; Qiu, S

    2016-07-01

    The human MET gene imparts a replicated risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and is implicated in the structural and functional integrity of brain. MET encodes a receptor tyrosine kinase, MET, which has a pleiotropic role in embryogenesis and modifies a large number of neurodevelopmental events. Very little is known, however, on how MET signaling engages distinct cellular events to collectively affect brain development in ASD-relevant disease domains. Here, we show that MET protein expression is dynamically regulated and compartmentalized in developing neurons. MET is heavily expressed in neuronal growth cones at early developmental stages and its activation engages small GTPase Cdc42 to promote neuronal growth, dendritic arborization and spine formation. Genetic ablation of MET signaling in mouse dorsal pallium leads to altered neuronal morphology indicative of early functional maturation. In contrast, prolonged activation of MET represses the formation and functional maturation of glutamatergic synapses. Moreover, manipulating MET signaling levels in vivo in the developing prefrontal projection neurons disrupts the local circuit connectivity made onto these neurons. Therefore, normal time-delimited MET signaling is critical in regulating the timing of neuronal growth, glutamatergic synapse maturation and cortical circuit function. Dysregulated MET signaling may lead to pathological changes in forebrain maturation and connectivity, and thus contribute to the emergence of neurological symptoms associated with ASD.

  9. Function of gonadotropin-releasing hormone in olfaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wirsig-Wiechmann, C R

    2001-06-01

    Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is present within neurons of the nervus terminalis, the zeroeth cranial nerve. In all vertebrate species, except in sharks where it is a separate nerve, the nervus terminalis consists of a chain of neurons embedded within olfactory or vomeronasal nerves in the nasal cavity. The function of the GnRH component of the nervus terminalis is thought to be neuromodulatory. Our research on GnRH effects on olfaction confirms this hypothesis. The processes of GnRH neural cell bodies located within chemosensory nerves project centrally into the ventral forebrain and peripherally into the lamina propria of the nasal chemosensory mucosa. GnRH receptors are expressed by chemosensory neurons as shown by RT-PCR/Southern blotting and GnRH agonist binding studies. Patch-clamp studies have shown that GnRH alters the responses of isolated chemosensory neurons to natural or electrophysiological stimulation through the modulation of voltage-gated and receptor-gated channels. Behavioral experiments demonstrate that interfering with the nasal GnRH system leads to deficits in mating behavior. These studies suggest that the function of the intranasal GnRH system is to modify olfactory information, perhaps at reproductively auspicious times. We speculate that the purpose of this altered olfactory sense is to make pheromones more detectable and salient.

  10. Developmental profiles of the intrinsic properties and synaptic function of auditory neurons in preterm and term baboon neonates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sei Eun; Lee, Seul Yi; Blanco, Cynthia L; Kim, Jun Hee

    2014-08-20

    The human fetus starts to hear and undergoes major developmental changes in the auditory system during the third trimester of pregnancy. Although there are significant data regarding development of the auditory system in rodents, changes in intrinsic properties and synaptic function of auditory neurons in developing primate brain at hearing onset are poorly understood. We performed whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of principal neurons in the medial nucleus of trapezoid body (MNTB) in preterm and term baboon brainstem slices to study the structural and functional maturation of auditory synapses. Each MNTB principal neuron received an excitatory input from a single calyx of Held terminal, and this one-to-one pattern of innervation was already formed in preterm baboons delivered at 67% of normal gestation. There was no difference in frequency or amplitude of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic synaptic currents between preterm and term MNTB neurons. In contrast, the frequency of spontaneous GABA(A)/glycine receptor-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic synaptic currents, which were prevalent in preterm MNTB neurons, was significantly reduced in term MNTB neurons. Preterm MNTB neurons had a higher input resistance than term neurons and fired in bursts, whereas term MNTB neurons fired a single action potential in response to suprathreshold current injection. The maturation of intrinsic properties and dominance of excitatory inputs in the primate MNTB allow it to take on its mature role as a fast and reliable relay synapse. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3411399-06$15.00/0.

  11. Characterization of neurons from immortalized dental pulp stem cells for the study of neurogenetic disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nora Urraca

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available A major challenge to the study and treatment of neurogenetic syndromes is accessing live neurons for study from affected individuals. Although several sources of stem cells are currently available, acquiring these involve invasive procedures, may be difficult or expensive to generate and are limited in number. Dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs are multipotent stem cells that reside deep the pulp of shed teeth. To investigate the characteristics of DPSCs that make them a valuable resource for translational research, we performed a set of viability, senescence, immortalization and gene expression studies on control DPSC and derived neurons. We investigated the basic transport conditions and maximum passage number for primary DPSCs. We immortalized control DPSCs using human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT and evaluated neuronal differentiation potential and global gene expression changes by RNA-seq. We show that neurons from immortalized DPSCs share morphological and electrophysiological properties with non-immortalized DPSCs. We also show that differentiation of DPSCs into neurons significantly alters gene expression for 1305 transcripts. Here we show that these changes in gene expression are concurrent with changes in protein levels of the transcriptional repressor REST/NRSF, which is known to be involved in neuronal differentiation. Immortalization significantly altered the expression of 183 genes after neuronal differentiation, 94 of which also changed during differentiation. Our studies indicate that viable DPSCs can be obtained from teeth stored for ≥72 h, these can then be immortalized and still produce functional neurons for in vitro studies, but that constitutive hTERT immortalization is not be the best approach for long term use of patient derived DPSCs for the study of disease.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-10-01

    inhibitory presynaptic input in the cortex of MIA offspring To determine if the altered number, shape and dynamic proper- ties of spines are...affects synaptic function in the cortex . We performed whole-cell voltage -clamp recordings from layer 2 pyramidal neurons in the somatosensory cortex ...highly dynamic struc- tures with new spines forming and others disappearing on a time scale of minutes (Dailey and Smith, 1996; Dunaevsky et al., 1999

  13. Block of voltage-gated potassium channels by Pacific ciguatoxin-1 contributes to increased neuronal excitability in rat sensory neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Birinyi-Strachan, Liesl C.; Gunning, Simon J.; Lewis, Richard J.; Nicholson, Graham M.

    2005-01-01

    The present study investigated the actions of the polyether marine toxin Pacific ciguatoxin-1 (P-CTX-1) on neuronal excitability in rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons using patch-clamp recording techniques. Under current-clamp conditions, bath application of 2-20 nM P-CTX-1 caused a rapid, concentration-dependent depolarization of the resting membrane potential in neurons expressing tetrodotoxin (TTX)-sensitive voltage-gated sodium (Na v ) channels. This action was completely suppressed by the addition of 200 nM TTX to the external solution, indicating that this effect was mediated through TTX-sensitive Na v channels. In addition, P-CTX-1 also prolonged action potential and afterhyperpolarization (AHP) duration. In a subpopulation of neurons, P-CTX-1 also produced tonic action potential firing, an effect that was not accompanied by significant oscillation of the resting membrane potential. Conversely, in neurons expressing TTX-resistant Na v currents, P-CTX-1 failed to alter any parameter of neuronal excitability examined in this study. Under voltage-clamp conditions in rat DRG neurons, P-CTX-1 inhibited both delayed-rectifier and 'A-type' potassium currents in a dose-dependent manner, actions that occurred in the absence of alterations to the voltage dependence of activation. These actions appear to underlie the prolongation of the action potential and AHP, and contribute to repetitive firing. These data indicate that a block of potassium channels contributes to the increase in neuronal excitability, associated with a modulation of Na v channel gating, observed clinically in response to ciguatera poisoning

  14. The Role of Rab Proteins in Neuronal Cells and in the Trafficking of Neurotrophin Receptors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cecilia Bucci

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Neurotrophins are a family of proteins that are important for neuronal development, neuronal survival and neuronal functions. Neurotrophins exert their role by binding to their receptors, the Trk family of receptor tyrosine kinases (TrkA, TrkB, and TrkC and p75NTR, a member of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF receptor superfamily. Binding of neurotrophins to receptors triggers a complex series of signal transduction events, which are able to induce neuronal differentiation but are also responsible for neuronal maintenance and neuronal functions. Rab proteins are small GTPases localized to the cytosolic surface of specific intracellular compartments and are involved in controlling vesicular transport. Rab proteins, acting as master regulators of the membrane trafficking network, play a central role in both trafficking and signaling pathways of neurotrophin receptors. Axonal transport represents the Achilles' heel of neurons, due to the long-range distance that molecules, organelles and, in particular, neurotrophin-receptor complexes have to cover. Indeed, alterations of axonal transport and, specifically, of axonal trafficking of neurotrophin receptors are responsible for several human neurodegenerative diseases, such as Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and some forms of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. In this review, we will discuss the link between Rab proteins and neurotrophin receptor trafficking and their influence on downstream signaling pathways.

  15. The Role of Rab Proteins in Neuronal Cells and in the Trafficking of Neurotrophin Receptors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bucci, Cecilia; Alifano, Pietro; Cogli, Laura

    2014-01-01

    Neurotrophins are a family of proteins that are important for neuronal development, neuronal survival and neuronal functions. Neurotrophins exert their role by binding to their receptors, the Trk family of receptor tyrosine kinases (TrkA, TrkB, and TrkC) and p75NTR, a member of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor superfamily. Binding of neurotrophins to receptors triggers a complex series of signal transduction events, which are able to induce neuronal differentiation but are also responsible for neuronal maintenance and neuronal functions. Rab proteins are small GTPases localized to the cytosolic surface of specific intracellular compartments and are involved in controlling vesicular transport. Rab proteins, acting as master regulators of the membrane trafficking network, play a central role in both trafficking and signaling pathways of neurotrophin receptors. Axonal transport represents the Achilles' heel of neurons, due to the long-range distance that molecules, organelles and, in particular, neurotrophin-receptor complexes have to cover. Indeed, alterations of axonal transport and, specifically, of axonal trafficking of neurotrophin receptors are responsible for several human neurodegenerative diseases, such as Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and some forms of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. In this review, we will discuss the link between Rab proteins and neurotrophin receptor trafficking and their influence on downstream signaling pathways. PMID:25295627

  16. Functional crosstalk in culture between macrophages and trigeminal sensory neurons of a mouse genetic model of migraine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franceschini Alessia

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Enhanced activity of trigeminal ganglion neurons is thought to underlie neuronal sensitization facilitating the onset of chronic pain attacks, including migraine. Recurrent headache attacks might establish a chronic neuroinflammatory ganglion profile contributing to the hypersensitive phenotype. Since it is difficult to study this process in vivo, we investigated functional crosstalk between macrophages and sensory neurons in primary cultures from trigeminal sensory ganglia of wild-type (WT or knock-in (KI mice expressing the Cacna1a gene mutation (R192Q found in familial hemiplegic migraine-type 1. After studying the number and morphology of resident macrophages in culture, the consequences of adding host macrophages on macrophage phagocytosis and membrane currents mediated by pain-transducing P2X3 receptors on sensory neurons were examined. Results KI ganglion cultures constitutively contained a larger number of active macrophages, although no difference in P2X3 receptor expression was found. Co-culturing WT or KI ganglia with host macrophages (active as much as resident cells strongly stimulated single cell phagocytosis. The same protocol had no effect on P2X3 receptor expression in WT or KI co-cultures, but it largely enhanced WT neuron currents that grew to the high amplitude constitutively seen for KI neurons. No further potentiation of KI neuronal currents was observed. Conclusions Trigeminal ganglion cultures from a genetic mouse model of migraine showed basal macrophage activation together with enhanced neuronal currents mediated by P2X3 receptors. This phenotype could be replicated in WT cultures by adding host macrophages, indicating an important functional crosstalk between macrophages and sensory neurons.

  17. Effects of hypoglycaemia on neuronal metabolism in the adult brain: role of alternative substrates to glucose.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amaral, Ana I

    2013-07-01

    Hypoglycaemia is characterized by decreased blood glucose levels and is associated with different pathologies (e.g. diabetes, inborn errors of metabolism). Depending on its severity, it might affect cognitive functions, including impaired judgment and decreased memory capacity, which have been linked to alterations of brain energy metabolism. Glucose is the major cerebral energy substrate in the adult brain and supports the complex metabolic interactions between neurons and astrocytes, which are essential for synaptic activity. Therefore, hypoglycaemia disturbs cerebral metabolism and, consequently, neuronal function. Despite the high vulnerability of neurons to hypoglycaemia, important neurochemical changes enabling these cells to prolong their resistance to hypoglycaemia have been described. This review aims at providing an overview over the main metabolic effects of hypoglycaemia on neurons, covering in vitro and in vivo findings. Recent studies provided evidence that non-glucose substrates including pyruvate, glycogen, ketone bodies, glutamate, glutamine, and aspartate, are metabolized by neurons in the absence of glucose and contribute to prolong neuronal function and delay ATP depletion during hypoglycaemia. One of the pathways likely implicated in the process is the pyruvate recycling pathway, which allows for the full oxidation of glutamate and glutamine. The operation of this pathway in neurons, particularly after hypoglycaemia, has been re-confirmed recently using metabolic modelling tools (i.e. Metabolic Flux Analysis), which allow for a detailed investigation of cellular metabolism in cultured cells. Overall, the knowledge summarized herein might be used for the development of potential therapies targeting neuronal protection in patients vulnerable to hypoglycaemic episodes.

  18. Structural and functional brain signatures of C9orf72 in motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agosta, Federica; Ferraro, Pilar M; Riva, Nilo; Spinelli, Edoardo Gioele; Domi, Teuta; Carrera, Paola; Copetti, Massimiliano; Falzone, Yuri; Ferrari, Maurizio; Lunetta, Christian; Comi, Giancarlo; Falini, Andrea; Quattrini, Angelo; Filippi, Massimo

    2017-09-01

    This study investigated structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities in hexanucleotide repeat expansion in chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9orf72) motor neuron disease (MND) relative to disease severity-matched sporadic MND cases. We enrolled 19 C9orf72 and 67 disease severity-matched sporadic MND patients, and 22 controls. Sporadic cases were grouped in patients with: no cognitive/behavioral deficits (sporadic-motor); same patterns of cognitive/behavioral impairment as C9orf72 cases (sporadic-cognitive); shorter disease duration versus other sporadic groups (sporadic-early). C9orf72 patients showed cerebellar and thalamic atrophy versus all sporadic cases. All MND patients showed motor, frontal, and temporoparietal cortical thinning and motor and extramotor white matter damage versus controls, independent of genotype and presence of cognitive impairment. Compared with sporadic-early, C9orf72 patients revealed an occipital cortical thinning. C9orf72 patients had enhanced visual network functional connectivity versus sporadic-motor and sporadic-early cases. Structural cerebellar and thalamic damage and posterior cortical alterations are the brain magnetic resonance imaging signatures of C9orf72 MND. Frontotemporal cortical and widespread white matter involvement are likely to be an effect of the disease evolution rather than a C9orf72 marker. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Direct evidence of impaired neuronal Na/K-ATPase pump function in alternating hemiplegia of childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmons, Christine Q; Thompson, Christopher H; Cawthon, Bryan E; Westlake, Grant; Swoboda, Kathryn J; Kiskinis, Evangelos; Ess, Kevin C; George, Alfred L

    2018-03-19

    Mutations in ATP1A3 encoding the catalytic subunit of the Na/K-ATPase expressed in mammalian neurons cause alternating hemiplegia of childhood (AHC) as well as an expanding spectrum of other neurodevelopmental syndromes and neurological phenotypes. Most AHC cases are explained by de novo heterozygous ATP1A3 mutations, but the fundamental molecular and cellular consequences of these mutations in human neurons are not known. In this study, we investigated the electrophysiological properties of neurons generated from AHC patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to ascertain functional disturbances underlying this neurological disease. Fibroblasts derived from two subjects with AHC, a male and a female, both heterozygous for the common ATP1A3 mutation G947R, were reprogrammed to iPSCs. Neuronal differentiation of iPSCs was initiated by neurogenin-2 (NGN2) induction followed by co-culture with mouse glial cells to promote maturation of cortical excitatory neurons. Whole-cell current clamp recording demonstrated that, compared with control iPSC-derived neurons, neurons differentiated from AHC iPSCs exhibited a significantly lower level of ouabain-sensitive outward current ('pump current'). This finding correlated with significantly depolarized potassium equilibrium potential and depolarized resting membrane potential in AHC neurons compared with control neurons. In this cellular model, we also observed a lower evoked action potential firing frequency when neurons were held at their resting potential. However, evoked action potential firing frequencies were not different between AHC and control neurons when the membrane potential was clamped to -80 mV. Impaired neuronal excitability could be explained by lower voltage-gated sodium channel availability at the depolarized membrane potential observed in AHC neurons. Our findings provide direct evidence of impaired neuronal Na/K-ATPase ion transport activity in human AHC neurons and demonstrate the potential

  20. Overproduction of Upper-Layer Neurons in the Neocortex Leads to Autism-like Features in Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei-Qun Fang

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Summary: The functional integrity of the neocortex depends upon proper numbers of excitatory and inhibitory neurons; however, the consequences of dysregulated neuronal production during the development of the neocortex are unclear. As excess cortical neurons are linked to the neurodevelopmental disorder autism, we investigated whether the overproduction of neurons leads to neocortical malformation and malfunction in mice. We experimentally increased the number of pyramidal neurons in the upper neocortical layers by using the small molecule XAV939 to expand the intermediate progenitor population. The resultant overpopulation of neurons perturbs development of dendrites and spines of excitatory neurons and alters the laminar distribution of interneurons. Furthermore, these phenotypic changes are accompanied by dysregulated excitatory and inhibitory synaptic connection and balance. Importantly, these mice exhibit behavioral abnormalities resembling those of human autism. Thus, our findings collectively suggest a causal relationship between neuronal overproduction and autism-like features, providing developmental insights into the etiology of autism. : Fang et al. generated a mouse model with excessive excitatory neurons in the neocortex by manipulating embryonic neurogenesis. Overproduction of neurons results in autism-like anatomical and behavioral features. These findings suggest a causal relationship between overproduction of neurons and cortical malfunction and provide developmental insights into the etiology of autism.

  1. Nuclear organization in the spinal cord depends on motor neuron lamination orchestrated by catenin and afadin function

    OpenAIRE

    Dewitz, C.; Pimpinella, S.; Hackel, P.; Akalin, A.; Jessell, T.M.; Zampieri, N.

    2018-01-01

    Motor neurons in the spinal cord are found grouped in nuclear structures termed pools, whose position is precisely orchestrated during development. Despite the emerging role of pool organization in the assembly of spinal circuits, little is known about the morphogenetic programs underlying the patterning of motor neuron subtypes. We applied three-dimensional analysis of motor neuron position to reveal the roles and contributions of cell adhesive function by inactivating N-cadherin, catenin, a...

  2. Organization of rat neuronal DNA as a function of dose, time after irradiation and age

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jaberaboansari, A.

    1989-01-01

    The organization of DNA and chromatin structure were examined in male Fisher 344 rat cerebellar neurons at various times from < 5 min to 2 years after exposure to ionizing radiation. Immediately after irradiation, the organization of neuronal DNA was altered. First, the DNA superhelical structure was changed due to removal of the topological constraints on the supercoiled DNA loops. Secondly, the accessibility of bulk neuronal DNA to digestion by micrococcal nuclease was increased. This increase in the m. nuclease sensitivity of bulk DNA did not depend on the oxygen concentration during irradiation. Thirdly, the accessibility of the nuclear matrix-associated DNA to digestion by DNase I was decreased. This decrease was most likely caused by masking the DNA with additional nuclear matrix-associated proteins. This increase in protein content was independent of oxygen, but inhibited if irradiations were performed at 4 degree C. The kinetics were consistent with the saturation kinetics observed for DNA repair in cerebellar neurons. Thus, these proteins may be associated with repair of radiation-induced DNA damage. The neuronal DNA/chromatin structure was restored to its unirradiated state by 24 hr after irradiation with biphasic kinetics having half-times similar to those reported for repair of radiation-induced DNA damage. However, the evidence suggested that residual DNA damage occurred in aging rats that had received a relatively high radiation dose at 4 months of age. In those rats, there was: (a) a decrease in the total nuclear protein content with age, (b) an increase in the digestibility of bulk DNA by m. nuclease with age, and (c) a reduction in the amount of nuclear matrix-associated proteins that persisted with age

  3. Barrier Function-Based Neural Adaptive Control With Locally Weighted Learning and Finite Neuron Self-Growing Strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Zi-Jun; Song, Yong-Duan

    2017-06-01

    This paper presents a new approach to construct neural adaptive control for uncertain nonaffine systems. By integrating locally weighted learning with barrier Lyapunov function (BLF), a novel control design method is presented to systematically address the two critical issues in neural network (NN) control field: one is how to fulfill the compact set precondition for NN approximation, and the other is how to use varying rather than a fixed NN structure to improve the functionality of NN control. A BLF is exploited to ensure the NN inputs to remain bounded during the entire system operation. To account for system nonlinearities, a neuron self-growing strategy is proposed to guide the process for adding new neurons to the system, resulting in a self-adjustable NN structure for better learning capabilities. It is shown that the number of neurons needed to accomplish the control task is finite, and better performance can be obtained with less number of neurons as compared with traditional methods. The salient feature of the proposed method also lies in the continuity of the control action everywhere. Furthermore, the resulting control action is smooth almost everywhere except for a few time instants at which new neurons are added. Numerical example illustrates the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

  4. Neuronal Function in Male Sprague Dawley Rats During Normal Ageing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Idowu, A J; Olatunji-Bello, I I; Olagunju, J A

    2017-03-06

    During normal ageing, there are physiological changes especially in high energy demanding tissues including the brain and skeletal muscles. Ageing may disrupt homeostasis and allow tissue vulnerability to disease. To establish an appropriate animal model which is readily available and will be useful to test therapeutic strategies during normal ageing, we applied behavioral approaches to study age-related changes in memory and motor function as a basis for neuronal function in ageing in male Sprague Dawley rats. 3 months, n=5; 6 months, n=5 and 18 months, n=5 male Sprague Dawley Rats were tested using the Novel Object Recognition Task (NORT) and the Elevated plus Maze (EPM) Test. Data was analyzed by ANOVA and the Newman-Keuls post hoc test. The results showed an age-related gradual decline in exploratory behavior and locomotor activity with increasing age in 3 months, 6 months and 18 months old rats, although the values were not statistically significant, but grooming activity significantly increased with increasing age. Importantly, we established a novel finding that the minimum distance from the novel object was statistically significant between 3 months and 18 months old rats and this may be an index for age-related memory impairment in the NORT. Altogether, we conclude that the male Sprague Dawley rat show age-related changes in neuronal function and may be a useful model for carrying out investigations into the mechanisms involved in normal ageing.

  5. 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.

  6. Tumor-altered dendritic cell function: implications for anti-tumor immunity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristian Michael Hargadon

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Dendritic cells are key regulators of both innate and adaptive immunity, and the array of immunoregulatory functions exhibited by these cells is dictated by their differentiation, maturation, and activation status. Although a major role for these cells in the induction of immunity to pathogens has long been appreciated, data accumulated over the last several years has demonstrated that DC are also critical regulators of anti-tumor immune responses. However, despite the potential for stimulation of robust anti-tumor immunity by DC, tumor-altered DC function has been observed in many cancer patients and tumor-bearing animals and is often associated with tumor immune escape. Such dysfunction has significant implications for both the induction of natural anti-tumor immune responses as well as the efficacy of immunotherapeutic strategies that target endogenous DC in situ or that employ exogenous DC as part of anti-cancer immunization maneuvers. In this review, the major types of tumor-altered DC function will be described, with emphasis on recent insights into the mechanistic bases for the inhibition of DC differentiation from hematopoietic precursors, the altered programming of DC precursors to differentiate into myeloid-derived suppressor cells or tumor-associated macrophages, the suppression of DC maturation and activation, and the induction of immunoregulatory DC by tumors, tumor-derived factors, and tumor-associated cells within the milieu of the tumor microenvironment. The impact of these tumor-altered cells on the quality of the overall anti-tumor immune response will also be discussed. Finally, this review will also highlight questions concerning tumor-altered DC function that remain unanswered, and it will address factors that have limited advances in the study of this phenomenon in order to focus future research efforts in the field on identifying strategies for interfering with tumor-associated DC dysfunction and improving DC-mediated anti

  7. Norepinephrine metabolism in neuronal cultures is increased by angiotensin II

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sumners, C.; Shalit, S.L.; Kalberg, C.J.; Raizada, M.K.

    1987-01-01

    In this study the authors have examined the actions of angiotensin II (ANG II) on catecholamine metabolism in neuronal brain cell cultures prepared from the hypothalamus and brain stem. Neuronal cultures prepared from the brains of 1-day-old Sprague-Dawley rats exhibit specific neuronal uptake mechanisms for both norepinephrine (NE) and dopamine (DA), and also monoamine oxidase (MAO) and catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT) activity. Separate neuronal uptake sites for NE and DA were identified by using specific neuronal uptake inhibitors for each amine. In previous studies, they determined that ANG II (10 nM-1 μM) stimulates increased neuronal [ 3 H]NE uptake by acting as specific receptors. They have confirmed these results here and in addition have shown that ANG II has not significant effects on neuronal [ 3 H]DA uptake. These results suggest that the actions of ANG II are restricted to the NE transporter in neuronal cultures. It is possible that ANG II stimulates the intraneuronal metabolism of at least part of the NE that is taken up, because the peptide stimulates MAO activity, an effect mediated by specific ANG II receptors. ANG II had no effect on COMT activity in neuronal cultures. Therefore, the use of neuronal cultures of hypothalamus and brain stem they have determined that ANG II can specifically alter NE metabolism in these areas, while apparently not altering DA metabolism

  8. Altered contralateral sensorimotor system organization after experimental hemispherectomy : A structural and functional connectivity study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Otte, Wim; Van Der Marel, Kajo; Van Meer, Maurits P A; Van Rijen, Peter C.; Gosselaar, Peter H.; Braun, Kees P J; Dijkhuizen, Rick M.

    2015-01-01

    Hemispherectomy is often followed by remarkable recovery of cognitive and motor functions. This reflects plastic capacities of the remaining hemisphere, involving large-scale structural and functional adaptations. Better understanding of these adaptations may (1) provide new insights in the neuronal

  9. Discontinuous Galerkin finite element method for solving population density functions of cortical pyramidal and thalamic neuronal populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Chih-Hsu; Lin, Chou-Ching K; Ju, Ming-Shaung

    2015-02-01

    Compared with the Monte Carlo method, the population density method is efficient for modeling collective dynamics of neuronal populations in human brain. In this method, a population density function describes the probabilistic distribution of states of all neurons in the population and it is governed by a hyperbolic partial differential equation. In the past, the problem was mainly solved by using the finite difference method. In a previous study, a continuous Galerkin finite element method was found better than the finite difference method for solving the hyperbolic partial differential equation; however, the population density function often has discontinuity and both methods suffer from a numerical stability problem. The goal of this study is to improve the numerical stability of the solution using discontinuous Galerkin finite element method. To test the performance of the new approach, interaction of a population of cortical pyramidal neurons and a population of thalamic neurons was simulated. The numerical results showed good agreement between results of discontinuous Galerkin finite element and Monte Carlo methods. The convergence and accuracy of the solutions are excellent. The numerical stability problem could be resolved using the discontinuous Galerkin finite element method which has total-variation-diminishing property. The efficient approach will be employed to simulate the electroencephalogram or dynamics of thalamocortical network which involves three populations, namely, thalamic reticular neurons, thalamocortical neurons and cortical pyramidal neurons. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Phytochemicals Perturb Membranes and Promiscuously Alter Protein Function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ingólfsson, Helgi I; Thakur, Pratima; Herold, Karl F; Hobart, E Ashley; Ramsey, Nicole B; Periole, Xavier; de Jong, Djurre H; Zwama, Martijn; Yilmaz, Duygu; Hall, Katherine; Maretzky, Thorsten; Hemmings, Hugh C; Blobel, Carl; Marrink, Siewert J; Kocer, Armagan; Sack, Jon T; Andersen, Olaf S

    A wide variety of phytochemicals are consumed for their perceived health benefits. Many of these phytochemicals have been found to alter numerous cell functions, but the mechanisms underlying their biological activity tend to be poorly understood. Phenolic phytochemicals are particularly promiscuous

  11. Phytochemicals Perturb Membranes and Promiscuously Alter Protein Function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ingólfsson, Helgi I; Thakur, Pratima; Herold, Karl F; Hobart, E Ashley; Ramsey, Nicole B; Periole, Xavier; de Jong, Djurre H; Zwama, Martijn; Yilmaz, Duygu; Hall, Katherine; Maretzky, Thorsten; Hemmings, Hugh C; Blobel, Carl; Marrink, Siewert J; Kocer, Armagan; Sack, Jon T; Andersen, Olaf S

    2014-01-01

    A wide variety of phytochemicals are consumed for their perceived health benefits. Many of these phytochemicals have been found to alter numerous cell functions, but the mechanisms underlying their biological activity tend to be poorly understood. Phenolic phytochemicals are particularly promiscuous

  12. Cell-Type Specific Development of the Hyperpolarization-Activated Current, Ih, in Prefrontal Cortical Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sha-Sha Yang

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available H-current, also known as hyperpolarization-activated current (Ih, is an inward current generated by the hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN cation channels. Ih plays an essential role in regulating neuronal properties, synaptic integration and plasticity, and synchronous activity in the brain. As these biological factors change across development, the brain undergoes varying levels of vulnerability to disorders like schizophrenia that disrupt prefrontal cortex (PFC-dependent function. However, developmental changes in Ih in PFC neurons remains untested. Here, we examine Ih in pyramidal neurons vs. gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABAergic parvalbumin-expressing (PV+ interneurons in developing mouse PFC. Our findings show that the amplitudes of Ih in these cell types are identical during the juvenile period but differ at later time points. In pyramidal neurons, Ih amplitude significantly increases from juvenile to adolescence and follows a similar trend into adulthood. In contrast, the amplitude of Ih in PV+ interneurons decreases from juvenile to adolescence, and does not change from adolescence to adulthood. Moreover, the kinetics of HCN channels in pyramidal neurons is significantly slower than in PV+ interneurons, with a gradual decrease in pyramidal neurons and a gradual increase in PV+ cells across development. Our study reveals distinct developmental trajectories of Ih in pyramidal neurons and PV+ interneurons. The cell-type specific alteration of Ih during the critical period from juvenile to adolescence reflects the contribution of Ih to the maturation of the PFC and PFC-dependent function. These findings are essential for a better understanding of normal PFC function, and for elucidating Ih’s crucial role in the pathophysiology of neurodevelopmental disorders.

  13. Age Is Associated with Reduced Sharp-Wave Ripple Frequency and Altered Patterns of Neuronal Variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiegand, Jean-Paul L; Gray, Daniel T; Schimanski, Lesley A; Lipa, Peter; Barnes, C A; Cowen, Stephen L

    2016-05-18

    Spatial and episodic memory performance declines with age, and the neural basis for this decline is not well understood. Sharp-wave ripples are brief (∼70 ms) high-frequency oscillatory events generated in the hippocampus and are associated with the consolidation of spatial memories. Given the connection between ripple oscillations and memory consolidation, we investigated whether the structure of ripple oscillations and ripple-triggered patterns of single-unit activity are altered in aged rats. Local field and single-unit activity surrounding sharp-wave ripple events were examined in the CA1 region of the hippocampus of old (n = 5) and young (n = 6) F344 rats during periods of rest preceding and following performance on a place-dependent eyeblink-conditioning task. Neural responses in aged rats differed from responses in young rats in several ways. First, compared with young rats, the rate of ripple occurrence (ripple density) is reduced in aged rats during postbehavior rest. Second, mean ripple frequency during prebehavior and postbehavior rest is lower in aged animals (aged: 132 Hz; young: 146 Hz). Third, single neurons in aged animals responded more consistently from ripple to ripple. Fourth, variability in interspike intervals was greater in aged rats. Finally, neurons were tuned to a narrower range of phases of the ripple oscillation relative to young animals. Together, these results suggest that the CA1 network in aged animals has a reduced "vocabulary" of available representational states. The hippocampus is a structure that is critical for the formation of episodic memories. Sharp-wave ripple events generated in the hippocampus have been implicated in memory consolidation processes critical to memory stabilization. We examine here whether these ripple oscillations are altered over the course of the life span, which could contribute to hippocampus-dependent memory deficits that occur during aging. This experiment used young and aged memory-impaired rats

  14. PCBs Alter Dopamine Mediated Function in Aging Workers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    PCBs Alter Dopamine Mediated Function in Aging Workers 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER DAMD17-02-1-0173 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT...hypothesized that occupational exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) reduces dopamine (DA) terminal densities in the basal ganglia. We found...motor function in women compared to similarly aged men with similar bone lead levels. These latter findings are the first to demonstrate a sexual

  15. An electronic implementation for Liao's chaotic delayed neuron model with non-monotonous activation function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duan Shukai; Liao Xiaofeng

    2007-01-01

    A new chaotic delayed neuron model with non-monotonously increasing transfer function, called as chaotic Liao's delayed neuron model, was recently reported and analyzed. An electronic implementation of this model is described in detail. At the same time, some methods in circuit design, especially for circuit with time delayed unit and non-monotonously increasing activation unit, are also considered carefully. We find that the dynamical behaviors of the designed circuits are closely similar to the results predicted by numerical experiments

  16. Secondhand tobacco smoke exposure differentially alters nucleus tractus solitarius neurons at two different ages in developing non-human primates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sekizawa, Shin-ichi; Joad, Jesse P.; Pinkerton, Kent E.; Bonham, Ann C.

    2010-01-01

    Exposing children to secondhand tobacco smoke (SHS) is associated with increased risk for asthma, bronchiolitis and SIDS. The role for changes in the developing CNS contributing to these problems has not been fully explored. We used rhesus macaques to test the hypothesis that SHS exposure during development triggers neuroplastic changes in the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS), where lung sensory information related to changes in airway and lung function is first integrated. Pregnant monkeys were exposed to filtered air (FA) or SHS for 6 h/day, 5 days/week starting at 50-day gestational age. Mother/infant pairs continued the exposures postnatally to age 3 or 13 months, which may be equivalent to approximately 1 or 4 years of human age, respectively. Whole-cell recordings were made of second-order NTS neurons in transverse brainstem slices. To target the consequences of SHS exposure based on neuronal subgroups, we classified NTS neurons into two phenotypes, rapid-onset spiking (RS) and delayed-onset spiking (DS), and then evaluated intrinsic and synaptic excitabilities in FA-exposed animals. RS neurons showed greater cell excitability especially at age of 3 months while DS neurons received greater amplitudes of excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs). Developmental neuroplasticity such as increases in intrinsic and synaptic excitabilities were detected especially in DS neurons. In 3 month olds, SHS exposure effects were limited to excitatory changes in RS neurons, specifically increases in evoked EPSC amplitudes and increased spiking responses accompanied by shortened action potential width. By 13 months, the continued SHS exposure inhibited DS neuronal activity; decreases in evoked EPSC amplitudes and blunted spiking responses accompanied by prolonged action potential width. The influence of SHS exposure on age-related and phenotype specific changes may be associated with age-specific respiratory problems, for which SHS exposure can increase the risk, such as SIDS

  17. Altered Gastrointestinal Function in the Neuroligin-3 Mouse Model of Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-01

    Faure, C. Di Lorenzo and N. Thapar, Humana Press, pp 23-35. 17. OBERMAYR, F., STAMP, L.A., ANDERSON, C.R. and YOUNG, H.M. (2013) Genetic fate...in the proportion of GABA neurons as a result of other genetic mutations influencing synaptic function during enteric development (Li et al., 2012

  18. Direct lineage reprogramming of mouse fibroblasts to functional midbrain dopaminergic neuronal progenitors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Han-Seop Kim

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The direct lineage reprogramming of somatic cells to other lineages by defined factors has led to innovative cell-fate-change approaches for providing patient-specific cells. Recent reports have demonstrated that four pluripotency factors (Oct4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc are sufficient to directly reprogram fibroblasts to other specific cells, including induced neural stem cells (iNSCs. Here, we show that mouse fibroblasts can be directly reprogrammed into midbrain dopaminergic neuronal progenitors (DPs by temporal expression of the pluripotency factors and environment containing sonic hedgehog and fibroblast growth factor 8. Within thirteen days, self-renewing and functional induced DPs (iDPs were generated. Interestingly, the inhibition of both Jak and Gsk3β notably enhanced the iDP reprogramming efficiency. We confirmed the functionality of the iDPs by showing that the dopaminergic neurons generated from iDPs express midbrain markers, release dopamine, and show typical electrophysiological profiles. Our results demonstrate that the pluripotency factors-mediated direct reprogramming is an invaluable strategy for supplying functional and proliferating iDPs and may be useful for other neural progenitors required for disease modeling and cell therapies for neurodegenerative disorders.

  19. Computer Modelling of Functional Aspects of Noise in Endogenously Oscillating Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huber, M. T.; Dewald, M.; Voigt, K.; Braun, H. A.; Moss, F.

    1998-03-01

    Membrane potential oscillations are a widespread feature of neuronal activity. When such oscillations operate close to the spike-triggering threshold, noise can become an essential property of spike-generation. According to that, we developed a minimal Hodgkin-Huxley-type computer model which includes a noise term. This model accounts for experimental data from quite different cells ranging from mammalian cortical neurons to fish electroreceptors. With slight modifications of the parameters, the model's behavior can be tuned to bursting activity, which additionally allows it to mimick temperature encoding in peripheral cold receptors including transitions to apparently chaotic dynamics as indicated by methods for the detection of unstable periodic orbits. Under all conditions, cooperative effects between noise and nonlinear dynamics can be shown which, beyond stochastic resonance, might be of functional significance for stimulus encoding and neuromodulation.

  20. Prenatal stress alters amygdala functional connectivity in preterm neonates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheinost, Dustin; Kwon, Soo Hyun; Lacadie, Cheryl; Sze, Gordon; Sinha, Rajita; Constable, R Todd; Ment, Laura R

    2016-01-01

    Exposure to prenatal and early-life stress results in alterations in neural connectivity and an increased risk for neuropsychiatric disorders. In particular, alterations in amygdala connectivity have emerged as a common effect across several recent studies. However, the impact of prenatal stress exposure on the functional organization of the amygdala has yet to be explored in the prematurely-born, a population at high risk for neuropsychiatric disorders. We test the hypothesis that preterm birth and prenatal exposure to maternal stress alter functional connectivity of the amygdala using two independent cohorts. The first cohort is used to establish the effects of preterm birth and consists of 12 very preterm neonates and 25 term controls, all without prenatal stress exposure. The second is analyzed to establish the effects of prenatal stress exposure and consists of 16 extremely preterm neonates with prenatal stress exposure and 10 extremely preterm neonates with no known prenatal stress exposure. Standard resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and seed connectivity methods are used. When compared to term controls, very preterm neonates show significantly reduced connectivity between the amygdala and the thalamus, the hypothalamus, the brainstem, and the insula (p amygdala and the thalamus, the hypothalamus, and the peristriate cortex (p amygdala connectivity associated with preterm birth. Functional connectivity from the amygdala to other subcortical regions is decreased in preterm neonates compared to term controls. In addition, these data, for the first time, suggest that prenatal stress exposure amplifies these decreases.

  1. Direct projections from hypothalamic orexin neurons to brainstem cardiac vagal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-17

    Orexin neurons are known to augment the sympathetic control of cardiovascular function, however the role of orexin neurons in parasympathetic cardiac regulation remains unclear. To test the hypothesis that orexin neurons contribute to parasympathetic control we selectively expressed channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) in orexin neurons in orexin-Cre transgenic rats and examined postsynaptic currents in cardiac vagal neurons (CVNs) in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV). Simultaneous photostimulation and recording in ChR2-expressing orexin neurons in the lateral hypothalamus resulted in reliable action potential firing as well as large whole-cell currents suggesting a strong expression of ChR2 and reliable optogenetic excitation. Photostimulation of ChR2-expressing fibers in the DMV elicited short-latency (ranging from 3.2ms to 8.5ms) postsynaptic currents in 16 out of 44 CVNs tested. These responses were heterogeneous and included excitatory glutamatergic (63%) and inhibitory GABAergic (37%) postsynaptic currents. The results from this study suggest different sub-population of orexin neurons may exert diverse influences on brainstem CVNs and therefore may play distinct functional roles in parasympathetic control of the heart. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Transcranial magnetic stimulation changes response selectivity of neurons in the visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Taekjun; Allen, Elena A.; Pasley, Brian N.; Freeman, Ralph D.

    2015-01-01

    Background Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is used to selectively alter neuronal activity of specific regions in the cerebral cortex. TMS is reported to induce either transient disruption or enhancement of different neural functions. However, its effects on tuning properties of sensory neurons have not been studied quantitatively. Objective/Hypothesis Here, we use specific TMS application parameters to determine how they may alter tuning characteristics (orientation, spatial frequency, and contrast sensitivity) of single neurons in the cat’s visual cortex. Methods Single unit spikes were recorded with tungsten microelectrodes from the visual cortex of anesthetized and paralyzed cats (12 males). Repetitive TMS (4Hz, 4sec) was delivered with a 70mm figure-8 coil. We quantified basic tuning parameters of individual neurons for each pre- and post-TMS condition. The statistical significance of changes for each tuning parameter between the two conditions was evaluated with a Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Results We generally find long-lasting suppression which persists well beyond the stimulation period. Pre- and post-TMS orientation tuning curves show constant peak values. However, strong suppression at non-preferred orientations tends to narrow the widths of tuning curves. Spatial frequency tuning exhibits an asymmetric change in overall shape, which results in an emphasis on higher frequencies. Contrast tuning curves show nonlinear changes consistent with a gain control mechanism. Conclusions These findings suggest that TMS causes extended interruption of the balance between sub-cortical and intra-cortical inputs. PMID:25862599

  3. Connectomics and neuroticism : an altered functional network organization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Servaas, Michelle N; Geerligs, Linda; Renken, Remco J; Marsman, Jan-Bernard; Ormel, Johan; Riese, Harriëtte; Aleman, André

    The personality trait neuroticism is a potent risk marker for psychopathology. Although the neurobiological basis remains unclear, studies have suggested that alterations in connectivity may underlie it. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to shed more light on the functional network

  4. Parasite-altered feeding behavior in insects: integrating functional and mechanistic research frontiers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernardo, Melissa A; Singer, Michael S

    2017-08-15

    Research on parasite-altered feeding behavior in insects is contributing to an emerging literature that considers possible adaptive consequences of altered feeding behavior for the host or the parasite. Several recent ecoimmunological studies show that insects can adaptively alter their foraging behavior in response to parasitism. Another body of recent work shows that infection by parasites can change the behavior of insect hosts to benefit the parasite; manipulations of host feeding behavior may be part of this phenomenon. Here, we address both the functional and the underlying physiological frontiers of parasite-altered feeding behavior in order to spur research that better integrates the two. Functional categories of parasite-altered behavior that are adaptive for the host include prophylaxis, therapy and compensation, while host manipulation is adaptive for the parasite. To better understand and distinguish prophylaxis, therapy and compensation, further study of physiological feedbacks affecting host sensory systems is especially needed. For host manipulation in particular, research on mechanisms by which parasites control host feedbacks will be important to integrate with functional approaches. We see this integration as critical to advancing the field of parasite-altered feeding behavior, which may be common in insects and consequential for human and environmental health. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  5. Phytochemicals perturb membranes and promiscuously alter protein function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingólfsson, Helgi I; Thakur, Pratima; Herold, Karl F; Hobart, E Ashley; Ramsey, Nicole B; Periole, Xavier; de Jong, Djurre H; Zwama, Martijn; Yilmaz, Duygu; Hall, Katherine; Maretzky, Thorsten; Hemmings, Hugh C; Blobel, Carl; Marrink, Siewert J; Koçer, Armağan; Sack, Jon T; Andersen, Olaf S

    2014-08-15

    A wide variety of phytochemicals are consumed for their perceived health benefits. Many of these phytochemicals have been found to alter numerous cell functions, but the mechanisms underlying their biological activity tend to be poorly understood. Phenolic phytochemicals are particularly promiscuous modifiers of membrane protein function, suggesting that some of their actions may be due to a common, membrane bilayer-mediated mechanism. To test whether bilayer perturbation may underlie this diversity of actions, we examined five bioactive phenols reported to have medicinal value: capsaicin from chili peppers, curcumin from turmeric, EGCG from green tea, genistein from soybeans, and resveratrol from grapes. We find that each of these widely consumed phytochemicals alters lipid bilayer properties and the function of diverse membrane proteins. Molecular dynamics simulations show that these phytochemicals modify bilayer properties by localizing to the bilayer/solution interface. Bilayer-modifying propensity was verified using a gramicidin-based assay, and indiscriminate modulation of membrane protein function was demonstrated using four proteins: membrane-anchored metalloproteases, mechanosensitive ion channels, and voltage-dependent potassium and sodium channels. Each protein exhibited similar responses to multiple phytochemicals, consistent with a common, bilayer-mediated mechanism. Our results suggest that many effects of amphiphilic phytochemicals are due to cell membrane perturbations, rather than specific protein binding.

  6. Motor Neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hounsgaard, Jorn

    2017-01-01

    Motor neurons translate synaptic input from widely distributed premotor networks into patterns of action potentials that orchestrate motor unit force and motor behavior. Intercalated between the CNS and muscles, motor neurons add to and adjust the final motor command. The identity and functional...... in in vitro preparations is far from complete. Nevertheless, a foundation has been provided for pursuing functional significance of intrinsic response properties in motoneurons in vivo during motor behavior at levels from molecules to systems....

  7. Cholesterol up-regulates neuronal G protein-gated inwardly rectifying potassium (GIRK) channel activity in the hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bukiya, Anna N; Durdagi, Serdar; Noskov, Sergei; Rosenhouse-Dantsker, Avia

    2017-04-14

    Hypercholesterolemia is a well known risk factor for the development of neurodegenerative disease. However, the underlying mechanisms are mostly unknown. In recent years, it has become increasingly evident that cholesterol-driven effects on physiology and pathophysiology derive from its ability to alter the function of a variety of membrane proteins including ion channels. Yet, the effect of cholesterol on G protein-gated inwardly rectifying potassium (GIRK) channels expressed in the brain is unknown. GIRK channels mediate the actions of inhibitory brain neurotransmitters. As a result, loss of GIRK function can enhance neuron excitability, whereas gain of GIRK function can reduce neuronal activity. Here we show that in rats on a high-cholesterol diet, cholesterol levels in hippocampal neurons are increased. We also demonstrate that cholesterol plays a critical role in modulating neuronal GIRK currents. Specifically, cholesterol enrichment of rat hippocampal neurons resulted in enhanced channel activity. In accordance, elevated currents upon cholesterol enrichment were also observed in Xenopus oocytes expressing GIRK2 channels, the primary GIRK subunit expressed in the brain. Furthermore, using planar lipid bilayers, we show that although cholesterol did not affect the unitary conductance of GIRK2, it significantly enhanced the frequency of channel openings. Last, combining computational and functional approaches, we identified two putative cholesterol-binding sites in the transmembrane domain of GIRK2. These findings establish that cholesterol plays a critical role in modulating GIRK activity in the brain. Because up-regulation of GIRK function can reduce neuronal activity, our findings may lead to novel approaches for prevention and therapy of cholesterol-driven neurodegenerative disease. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  8. Optogenetic stimulation of locus ceruleus neurons augments inhibitory transmission to parasympathetic cardiac vagal neurons via activation of brainstem α1 and β1 receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xin; Piñol, Ramón A; Byrne, Peter; Mendelowitz, David

    2014-04-30

    Locus ceruleus (LC) noradrenergic neurons are critical in generating alertness. In addition to inducing cortical arousal, the LC also orchestrates changes in accompanying autonomic system function that compliments increased attention, such as during stress, excitation, and/or exposure to averse or novel stimuli. Although the association between arousal and increased heart rate is well accepted, the neurobiological link between the LC and parasympathetic neurons that control heart rate has not been identified. In this study, we test directly whether activation of noradrenergic neurons in the LC influences brainstem parasympathetic cardiac vagal neurons (CVNs). CVNs were identified in transgenic mice that express channel-rhodopsin-2 (ChR2) in LC tyrosine hydroxylase neurons. Photoactivation evoked a rapid depolarization, increased firing, and excitatory inward currents in ChR2-expressing neurons in the LC. Photostimulation of LC neurons did not alter excitatory currents, but increased inhibitory neurotransmission to CVNs. Optogenetic activation of LC neurons increased the frequency of isolated glycinergic IPSCs by 27 ± 8% (p = 0.003, n = 26) and augmented GABAergic IPSCs in CVNs by 21 ± 5% (p = 0.001, n = 26). Inhibiting α1, but not α2, receptors blocked the evoked responses. Inhibiting β1 receptors prevented the increase in glycinergic, but not GABAergic, IPSCs in CVNs. This study demonstrates LC noradrenergic neurons inhibit the brainstem CVNs that generate parasympathetic activity to the heart. This inhibition of CVNs would increase heart rate and risks associated with tachycardia. The receptors activated within this pathway, α1 and/or β1 receptors, are targets for clinically prescribed antagonists that promote slower, cardioprotective heart rates during heightened vigilant states.

  9. Alteration of synaptic activity-regulating genes underlying functional improvement by long-term exposure to an enriched environment in the adult brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Min-Young; Yu, Ji Hea; Kim, Ji Yeon; Seo, Jung Hwa; Park, Eun Sook; Kim, Chul Hoon; Kim, Hyongbum; Cho, Sung-Rae

    2013-01-01

    Housing animals in an enriched environment (EE) enhances behavioral function. However, the mechanism underlying this EE-mediated functional improvement and the resultant changes in gene expression have yet to be elucidated. We attempted to investigate the underlying mechanisms associated with long-term exposure to an EE by evaluating gene expression patterns. We housed 6-week-old CD-1 (ICR) mice in standard cages or an EE comprising a running wheel, novel objects, and social interaction for 2 months. Motor and cognitive performances were evaluated using the rotarod test and passive avoidance test, and gene expression profile was investigated in the cerebral hemispheres using microarray and gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA). In behavioral assessment, an EE significantly enhanced rotarod performance and short-term working memory. Microarray analysis revealed that genes associated with neuronal activity were significantly altered by an EE. GSEA showed that genes involved in synaptic transmission and postsynaptic signal transduction were globally upregulated, whereas those associated with reuptake by presynaptic neurotransmitter transporters were downregulated. In particular, both microarray and GSEA demonstrated that EE exposure increased opioid signaling, acetylcholine release cycle, and postsynaptic neurotransmitter receptors but decreased Na+ / Cl- -dependent neurotransmitter transporters, including dopamine transporter Slc6a3 in the brain. Western blotting confirmed that SLC6A3, DARPP32 (PPP1R1B), and P2RY12 were largely altered in a region-specific manner. An EE enhanced motor and cognitive function through the alteration of synaptic activity-regulating genes, improving the efficient use of neurotransmitters and synaptic plasticity by the upregulation of genes associated with postsynaptic receptor activity and downregulation of presynaptic reuptake by neurotransmitter transporters.

  10. Distinct functional and temporal requirements for zebrafish Hdac1 during neural crest-derived craniofacial and peripheral neuron development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Myron S Ignatius

    Full Text Available The regulation of gene expression is accomplished by both genetic and epigenetic means and is required for the precise control of the development of the neural crest. In hdac1(b382 mutants, craniofacial cartilage development is defective in two distinct ways. First, fewer hoxb3a, dlx2 and dlx3-expressing posterior branchial arch precursors are specified and many of those that are consequently undergo apoptosis. Second, in contrast, normal numbers of progenitors are present in the anterior mandibular and hyoid arches, but chondrocyte precursors fail to terminally differentiate. In the peripheral nervous system, there is a disruption of enteric, DRG and sympathetic neuron differentiation in hdac1(b382 mutants compared to wildtype embryos. Specifically, enteric and DRG-precursors differentiate into neurons in the anterior gut and trunk respectively, while enteric and DRG neurons are rarely present in the posterior gut and tail. Sympathetic neuron precursors are specified in hdac1(b382 mutants and they undergo generic neuronal differentiation but fail to undergo noradrenergic differentiation. Using the HDAC inhibitor TSA, we isolated enzyme activity and temporal requirements for HDAC function that reproduce hdac1(b382 defects in craniofacial and sympathetic neuron development. Our study reveals distinct functional and temporal requirements for zebrafish hdac1 during neural crest-derived craniofacial and peripheral neuron development.

  11. Distinct functional and temporal requirements for zebrafish Hdac1 during neural crest-derived craniofacial and peripheral neuron development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ignatius, Myron S; Unal Eroglu, Arife; Malireddy, Smitha; Gallagher, Glen; Nambiar, Roopa M; Henion, Paul D

    2013-01-01

    The regulation of gene expression is accomplished by both genetic and epigenetic means and is required for the precise control of the development of the neural crest. In hdac1(b382) mutants, craniofacial cartilage development is defective in two distinct ways. First, fewer hoxb3a, dlx2 and dlx3-expressing posterior branchial arch precursors are specified and many of those that are consequently undergo apoptosis. Second, in contrast, normal numbers of progenitors are present in the anterior mandibular and hyoid arches, but chondrocyte precursors fail to terminally differentiate. In the peripheral nervous system, there is a disruption of enteric, DRG and sympathetic neuron differentiation in hdac1(b382) mutants compared to wildtype embryos. Specifically, enteric and DRG-precursors differentiate into neurons in the anterior gut and trunk respectively, while enteric and DRG neurons are rarely present in the posterior gut and tail. Sympathetic neuron precursors are specified in hdac1(b382) mutants and they undergo generic neuronal differentiation but fail to undergo noradrenergic differentiation. Using the HDAC inhibitor TSA, we isolated enzyme activity and temporal requirements for HDAC function that reproduce hdac1(b382) defects in craniofacial and sympathetic neuron development. Our study reveals distinct functional and temporal requirements for zebrafish hdac1 during neural crest-derived craniofacial and peripheral neuron development.

  12. Evaluation of the neuronal apoptotic pathways involved in cytoskeletal disruption-induced apoptosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordà, Elvira G; Verdaguer, Ester; Jimenez, Andrés; Arriba, S Garcia de; Allgaier, Clemens; Pallàs, Mercè; Camins, Antoni

    2005-08-01

    The cytoskeleton is critical to neuronal functioning and survival. Cytoskeletal alterations are involved in several neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. We studied the possible pathways involved in colchicine-induced apoptosis in cerebellar granule neurons (CGNs). Although colchicine evoked an increase in caspase-3, caspase-6 and caspase-9 activation, selective caspase inhibitors did not attenuate apoptosis. Inhibitors of other cysteine proteases such as PD150606 (a calpain-specific inhibitor), Z-Phe-Ala fluoromethyl ketone (a cathepsins-inhibitors) and N(alpha)-p-tosyl-l-lysine chloromethyl ketone (serine-proteases inhibitor) also had no effect on cell death/apoptosis induced by colchicine. However, BAPTA-AM 10 microM (intracellular calcium chelator) prevented apoptosis mediated by cytoskeletal alteration. These data indicate that calcium modulates colchicine-induced apoptosis in CGNs. PARP-1 inhibitors did not prevent apoptosis mediated by colchicine. Finally, colchicine-induced apoptosis in CGNs was attenuated by kenpaullone, a cdk5 inhibitor. Kenpaullone and indirubin also prevented cdk5/p25 activation mediated by colchicine. These findings indicate that cytoskeletal alteration can compromise cdk5 activation, regulating p25 formation and suggest that cdk5 inhibitors attenuate apoptosis mediated by cytoskeletal alteration. The present data indicate the potential therapeutic value of drugs that prevent the formation of p25 for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders.

  13. Inflammatory mediator bradykinin increases population of sensory neurons expressing functional T-type Ca(2+) channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Dongyang; Liang, Ce; Zhang, Fan; Men, Hongchao; Du, Xiaona; Gamper, Nikita; Zhang, Hailin

    2016-04-29

    T-type Ca(2+) channels are important regulators of peripheral sensory neuron excitability. Accordingly, T-type Ca(2+) currents are often increased in various pathological pain conditions, such as inflammation or nerve injury. Here we investigated effects of inflammation on functional expression of T-type Ca(2+) channels in small-diameter cultured dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. We found that overnight treatment of DRG cultures with a cocktail of inflammatory mediators bradykinin (BK), adenosine triphosphate (ATP), norepinephrine (NE) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) strongly increased the population size of the small-diameter neurons displaying low-voltage activated (LVA, T-type) Ca(2+) currents while having no effect on the peak LVA current amplitude. When applied individually, BK and ATP also increased the population size of LVA-positive neurons while NE and PGE2 had no effect. The PLC inhibitor U-73122 and B2 receptor antagonist, Hoe-140, both abolished the increase of the population of LVA-positive DRG neurons. Inflammatory treatment did not affect CaV3.2 mRNA or protein levels in DRG cultures. Furthermore, an ubiquitination inhibitor, MG132, did not increase the population of LVA-positive neurons. Our data suggest that inflammatory mediators BK and ATP increase the abundance of LVA-positive DRG neurons in total neuronal population by stimulating the recruitment of a 'reserve pool' of CaV3.2 channels, particularly in neurons that do not display measurable LVA currents under control conditions. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Neurodegeneration in Autoimmune Optic Neuritis Is Associated with Altered APP Cleavage in Neurons and Up-Regulation of p53.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabine Herold

    Full Text Available Multiple Sclerosis (MS is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (CNS. Histopathological and radiological analysis revealed that neurodegeneration occurs early in the disease course. However, the pathological mechanisms involved in neurodegeneration are poorly understood. Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG-induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE in Brown Norway rats (BN-rats is a well-established animal model, especially of the neurodegenerative aspects of MS. Previous studies in this animal model indicated that loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs, the neurons that form the axons of the optic nerve, occurs in the preclinical phase of the disease and is in part independent of overt histopathological changes of the optic nerve. Therefore, the aim of this study was to identify genes which are involved in neuronal cell loss at different disease stages of EAE. Furthermore, genes that are highly specific for autoimmune-driven neurodegeneration were compared to those regulated in RGCs after optic nerve axotomy at corresponding time points. Using laser capture micro dissection we isolated RNA from unfixed RGCs and performed global transcriptome analysis of retinal neurons. In total, we detected 582 genes sequentially expressed in the preclinical phase and 1150 genes in the clinical manifest EAE (P 1.5. Furthermore, using ingenuity pathway analysis (IPA, we identified amyloid precursor protein (APP as a potential upstream regulator of changes in gene expression in the preclinical EAE but neither in clinical EAE, nor at any time point after optic nerve transection. Therefore, the gene pathway analysis lead to the hypothesis that altered cleavage of APP in neurons in the preclinical phase of EAE leads to the enhanced production of APP intracellular domain (AICD, which in turn acts as a transcriptional regulator and thereby initiates an apoptotic signaling cascade via up-regulation of the target gene p

  15. Neurexin Dysfunction in Adult Neurons Results in Autistic-like Behavior in Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis G. Rabaneda

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs comprise a group of clinical phenotypes characterized by repetitive behavior and social and communication deficits. Autism is generally viewed as a neurodevelopmental disorder where insults during embryonic or early postnatal periods result in aberrant wiring and function of neuronal circuits. Neurexins are synaptic proteins associated with autism. Here, we generated transgenic βNrx1ΔC mice in which neurexin function is selectively impaired during late postnatal stages. Whole-cell recordings in cortical neurons show an impairment of glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the βNrx1ΔC mice. Importantly, mutant mice exhibit autism-related symptoms, such as increased self-grooming, deficits in social interactions, and altered interaction for nonsocial olfactory cues. The autistic-like phenotype of βNrx1ΔC mice can be reversed after removing the mutant protein in aged animals. The defects resulting from disruption of neurexin function after the completion of embryonic and early postnatal development suggest that functional impairment of mature circuits can trigger autism-related phenotypes.

  16. Differential activation of an identified motor neuron and neuromodulation provide Aplysia's retractor muscle an additional function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McManus, Jeffrey M; Lu, Hui; Cullins, Miranda J; Chiel, Hillel J

    2014-08-15

    To survive, animals must use the same peripheral structures to perform a variety of tasks. How does a nervous system employ one muscle to perform multiple functions? We addressed this question through work on the I3 jaw muscle of the marine mollusk Aplysia californica's feeding system. This muscle mediates retraction of Aplysia's food grasper in multiple feeding responses and is innervated by a pool of identified neurons that activate different muscle regions. One I3 motor neuron, B38, is active in the protraction phase, rather than the retraction phase, suggesting the muscle has an additional function. We used intracellular, extracellular, and muscle force recordings in several in vitro preparations as well as recordings of nerve and muscle activity from intact, behaving animals to characterize B38's activation of the muscle and its activity in different behavior types. We show that B38 specifically activates the anterior region of I3 and is specifically recruited during one behavior, swallowing. The function of this protraction-phase jaw muscle contraction is to hold food; thus the I3 muscle has an additional function beyond mediating retraction. We additionally show that B38's typical activity during in vivo swallowing is insufficient to generate force in an unmodulated muscle and that intrinsic and extrinsic modulation shift the force-frequency relationship to allow contraction. Using methods that traverse levels from individual neuron to muscle to intact animal, we show how regional muscle activation, differential motor neuron recruitment, and neuromodulation are key components in Aplysia's generation of multifunctionality. Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.

  17. Characterization of neurons from immortalized dental pulp stem cells for the study of neurogenetic disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urraca, Nora; Memon, Rawaha; El-Iyachi, Ikbale; Goorha, Sarita; Valdez, Colleen; Tran, Quynh T; Scroggs, Reese; Miranda-Carboni, Gustavo A; Donaldson, Martin; Bridges, Dave; Reiter, Lawrence T

    2015-11-01

    A major challenge to the study and treatment of neurogenetic syndromes is accessing live neurons for study from affected individuals. Although several sources of stem cells are currently available, acquiring these involve invasive procedures, may be difficult or expensive to generate and are limited in number. Dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) are multipotent stem cells that reside deep the pulp of shed teeth. To investigate the characteristics of DPSCs that make them a valuable resource for translational research, we performed a set of viability, senescence, immortalization and gene expression studies on control DPSC and derived neurons. We investigated the basic transport conditions and maximum passage number for primary DPSCs. We immortalized control DPSCs using human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) and evaluated neuronal differentiation potential and global gene expression changes by RNA-seq. We show that neurons from immortalized DPSCs share morphological and electrophysiological properties with non-immortalized DPSCs. We also show that differentiation of DPSCs into neurons significantly alters gene expression for 1305 transcripts. Here we show that these changes in gene expression are concurrent with changes in protein levels of the transcriptional repressor REST/NRSF, which is known to be involved in neuronal differentiation. Immortalization significantly altered the expression of 183 genes after neuronal differentiation, 94 of which also changed during differentiation. Our studies indicate that viable DPSCs can be obtained from teeth stored for ≥72 h, these can then be immortalized and still produce functional neurons for in vitro studies, but that constitutive hTERT immortalization is not be the best approach for long term use of patient derived DPSCs for the study of disease. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. A single hidden layer feedforward network with only one neuron in the hidden layer can approximate any univariate function

    OpenAIRE

    Guliyev , Namig; Ismailov , Vugar

    2016-01-01

    The possibility of approximating a continuous function on a compact subset of the real line by a feedforward single hidden layer neural network with a sigmoidal activation function has been studied in many papers. Such networks can approximate an arbitrary continuous function provided that an unlimited number of neurons in a hidden layer is permitted. In this paper, we consider constructive approximation on any finite interval of $\\mathbb{R}$ by neural networks with only one neuron in the hid...

  19. Von Economo Neurons and Fork Cells: A Neurochemical Signature Linked to Monoaminergic Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dijkstra, Anke A; Lin, Li-Chun; Nana, Alissa L; Gaus, Stephanie E; Seeley, William W

    2018-01-01

    The human anterior cingulate and frontoinsular cortices are distinguished by 2 unique Layer 5 neuronal morphotypes, the von Economo neurons (VENs) and fork cells, whose biological identity remains mysterious. Insights could impact research on diverse neuropsychiatric diseases to which these cells have been linked. Here, we leveraged the Allen Brain Atlas to evaluate mRNA expression of 176 neurotransmitter-related genes and identified vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2), gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor subunit θ (GABRQ), and adrenoreceptor α-1A (ADRA1A) expression in human VENs, fork cells, and a minority of neighboring Layer 5 neurons. We confirmed these results using immunohistochemistry or in situ hybridization. VMAT2 and GABRQ expression was absent in mouse cerebral cortex. Although VMAT2 is known to package monoamines into synaptic vesicles, in VENs and fork cells its expression occurs in the absence of monoamine-synthesizing enzymes or reuptake transporters. Thus, VENs and fork cells may possess a novel, uncharacterized mode of cortical monoaminergic function that distinguishes them from most other mammalian Layer 5 neurons. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. The function of mirror neurons in the learning process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mara Daniel

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available In the last years, Neurosciences have developed very much, being elaborated many important theories scientific research in the field. The main goal of neuroscience is to understand how groups of neurons interact to create the behavior. Neuroscientists studying the action of molecules, genes and cells. It also explores the complex interactions involved in motion perception, thoughts, emotions and learning. Brick fundamental nervous system is the nerve cell, neuron. Neurons exchange information by sending electrical signals and chemical through connections called synapses. Discovered by a group of Italian researchers from the University of Parma, neurons - mirror are a special class of nerve cells played an important role in the direct knowledge, automatic and unconscious environment. These cortical neurons are activated not only when an action is fulfilled, but when we see how the same action is performed by someone else, they represent neural mechanism by which the actions, intentions and emotions of others can be understood automatically. In childhood neurons - mirror are extremely important. Thanks to them we learned a lot in the early years: smile, to ask for help and, in fact, all the behaviors and family and group norms. People learn by what they see and sense the others. Neurons - mirror are important to understanding the actions and intentions of other people and learn new skills through mirror image. They are involved in planning and controlling actions, abstract thinking and memory. If a child observes an action, neurons - mirror is activated and forming new neural pathways as if even he takes that action. Efficient activity of mirror neurons leads to good development in all areas at a higher emotional intelligence and the ability to empathize with others.