Sample records for alters neuronal function

  1. Prolonged cannabinoid exposure alters GABAA receptor mediated synaptic function in cultured hippocampal neurons (United States)

    Deshpande, Laxmikant S.; Blair, Robert. E.; DeLorenzo, Robert. J.


    Developing cannabinoid based medication along with marijuana’s recreational use makes it important to investigate molecular adaptations the endocannabinoid system undergoes following prolonged use and withdrawal. Repeated cannabinoid administration results in development of tolerance and produces withdrawal symptoms that may include seizures. Here we employed electrophysiological and immunochemical techniques to investigate the effects of prolonged CB1 receptor agonist exposure on cultured hippocampal neurons. Approximately 60% of CB1 receptors colocalize to GABAergic terminals in hippocampal cultures. Prolonged treatment with the cannabinamimetic WIN 55,212-2 (+WIN, 1μM, 24-h) caused profound CB1 receptor downregulation accompanied by neuronal hyperexcitability. Furthermore, prolonged +WIN treatment resulted in increased GABA release as indicated by increased mIPSC frequency, a diminished GABAergic inhibition as indicated by reduction in mIPSC amplitude and a reduction in GABAA channel number. Additionally, surface staining for the GABAA β2/3 receptor subunits was decreased, while no changes in staining for the presynaptic vesicular GABA transporter were observed, indicating that GABAergic terminals remained intact. These findings demonstrate that agonist-induced downregulation of the CB1 receptor in hippocampal cultures results in neuronal hyperexcitability that may be attributed, in part, to alterations in both presynaptic GABA release mechanisms and postsynaptic GABAA receptor function demonstrating a novel role for cannabinoid-dependent presynaptic control of neuronal transmission. PMID:21324315

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

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    Thomas eGrüter


    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.

  3. Streptozotocin alters glucose transport, connexin expression and endoplasmic reticulum functions in neurons and astrocytes. (United States)

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


    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.

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


    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.

  5. Function of Metallothionein-3 in Neuronal Cells: Do Metal Ions Alter Expression Levels of MT3? (United States)

    Bousleiman, Jamie; Pinsky, Alexa; Ki, Sohee; Su, Angela; Morozova, Irina; Kalachikov, Sergey; Wiqas, Amen; Silver, Rae; Sever, Mary; Austin, Rachel Narehood


    A study of factors proposed to affect metallothionein-3 (MT3) function was carried out to elucidate the opaque role MT3 plays in human metalloneurochemistry. Gene expression of Mt2 and Mt3 was examined in tissues extracted from the dentate gyrus of mouse brains and in human neuronal cell cultures. The whole-genome gene expression analysis identified significant variations in the mRNA levels of genes associated with zinc homeostasis, including Mt2 and Mt3. Mt3 was found to be the most differentially expressed gene in the identified groups, pointing to the existence of a factor, not yet identified, that differentially controls Mt3 expression. To examine the expression of the human metallothioneins in neurons, mRNA levels of MT3 and MT2 were compared in BE(2)C and SH-SY5Y cell cultures treated with lead, zinc, cobalt, and lithium. MT2 was highly upregulated by Zn2+ in both cell cultures, while MT3 was not affected, and no other metal had an effect on either MT2 or MT3. PMID:28587098

  6. PCB 136 Atropselectively Alters Morphometric and Functional Parameters of Neuronal Connectivity in Cultured Rat Hippocampal Neurons via Ryanodine Receptor-Dependent Mechanisms (United States)

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


    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

  7. Altered neurobiological function of brainstem hypoglossal neurons in DiGeorge/22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome. (United States)

    Wang, Xin; Bryan, Corey; LaMantia, Anthony-Samuel; Mendelowitz, David


    DiGeorge/22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome (22q11DS) is a common genetic microdeletion syndrome that underlies several neurodevelopmental disorders including autism, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and schizophrenia. In addition to cognitive impairments, those with 22q11DS have disrupted feeding and swallowing from birth onward. This perinatal dysphagia significantly compromises nutritional status, impairs appropriate weight gain, and can lead to life threatening aspiration-based infections. Appropriately timed excitation and inhibition of brainstem hypoglossal motor neurons, which innervate tongue muscles, is essential for proper feeding and swallowing. In this study we have examined changes in hypoglossal motor neuron function in the LgDel mouse model of 22q11DS. Hypoglossal motor neurons from LgDel mouse pups have action potentials with afterhyperpolarizations, mediated by a large conductance charybdotoxin-sensitive Ca-activated K current, that are significantly shorter in duration and greater in magnitude than those in wild-type pups. In addition, the amplitude, but not frequency, of glutamatergic excitatory glutamatergic postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) is diminished, and GABAergic, but not glycinergic, neurotransmission to hypoglossal motor neurons was reduced in LgDel animals. These observations provide a foundation for understanding the neurological changes in hypoglossal motor neuron function and their contribution to swallowing abnormalities that occur in DiGeorge/22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Altered NMDA receptor function in primary cultures of hippocampal neurons from mice lacking the Homer2 gene. (United States)

    Smothers, C Thetford; Szumlinski, Karen K; Worley, Paul F; Woodward, John J


    N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) receptors are inhibited during acute exposure to ethanol and are involved in changes in neuronal plasticity following repeated ethanol exposure. The postsynaptic scaffolding protein Homer2 can regulate the cell surface expression of NMDA receptors in vivo, and mice with a null mutation of the Homer2 gene exhibit an alcohol-avoiding and -intolerant phenotype that is accompanied by a lack of ethanol-induced glutamate sensitization. Thus, Homer2 deletion may perturb the function or acute ethanol sensitivity of the NMDA receptor. In this study, the function and ethanol sensitivity of glutamate receptors in cultured hippocampal neurons from wild-type (WT) and Homer2 knock-out (KO) mice were examined at 7 and 14 days in vitro (DIV) using standard whole-cell voltage-clamp electrophysiology. As compared with wild-type controls, NMDA receptor current density was reduced in cultured hippocampal neurons from Homer2 KO mice at 14 DIV, but not at 7 DIV. There were no genotype-dependent changes in whole-cell capacitance or in currents evoked by kainic acid. The GluN2B-selective antagonist ifenprodil inhibited NMDA-evoked currents to a similar extent in both wild-type and Homer2 KO neurons and inhibition was greater at 7 versus 14 DIV. NMDA receptor currents from both WT and KO mice were inhibited by ethanol (10-100 mM) and the degree of inhibition did not differ as a function of genotype. In conclusion, NMDA receptor function, but not ethanol sensitivity, is reduced in hippocampal neurons lacking the Homer2 gene. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Targeted disruption of the Mast syndrome gene SPG21 in mice impairs hind limb function and alters axon branching in cultured cortical neurons (United States)

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


    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

  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. (United States)

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


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

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    Kelly M McCarthy


    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

  12. Neurological and behavioral abnormalities, ventricular dilatation, altered cellular functions, inflammation, and neuronal injury in brains of mice due to common, persistent, parasitic infection

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    Hwang Jong-Hee


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Worldwide, approximately two billion people are chronically infected with Toxoplasma gondii with largely unknown consequences. Methods To better understand long-term effects and pathogenesis of this common, persistent brain infection, mice were infected at a time in human years equivalent to early to mid adulthood and studied 5–12 months later. Appearance, behavior, neurologic function and brain MRIs were studied. Additional analyses of pathogenesis included: correlation of brain weight and neurologic findings; histopathology focusing on brain regions; full genome microarrays; immunohistochemistry characterizing inflammatory cells; determination of presence of tachyzoites and bradyzoites; electron microscopy; and study of markers of inflammation in serum. Histopathology in genetically resistant mice and cytokine and NRAMP knockout mice, effects of inoculation of isolated parasites, and treatment with sulfadiazine or αPD1 ligand were studied. Results Twelve months after infection, a time equivalent to middle to early elderly ages, mice had behavioral and neurological deficits, and brain MRIs showed mild to moderate ventricular dilatation. Lower brain weight correlated with greater magnitude of neurologic abnormalities and inflammation. Full genome microarrays of brains reflected inflammation causing neuronal damage (Gfap, effects on host cell protein processing (ubiquitin ligase, synapse remodeling (Complement 1q, and also increased expression of PD-1L (a ligand that allows persistent LCMV brain infection and CD 36 (a fatty acid translocase and oxidized LDL receptor that mediates innate immune response to beta amyloid which is associated with pro-inflammation in Alzheimer's disease. Immunostaining detected no inflammation around intra-neuronal cysts, practically no free tachyzoites, and only rare bradyzoites. Nonetheless, there were perivascular, leptomeningeal inflammatory cells, particularly contiguous to the aqueduct of

  13. 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.

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

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    Masaki Kobayashi


    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.

  15. Glutamate alteration of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) in GABAergic neurons: the role of cysteine proteases. (United States)

    Monnerie, Hubert; Le Roux, Peter D


    Brain cell vulnerability to neurologic insults varies greatly, depending on their neuronal subpopulation. Among cells that survive a pathological insult such as ischemia or brain trauma, some may undergo morphological and/or biochemical changes that could compromise brain function. We previously reported that surviving cortical GABAergic neurons exposed to glutamate in vitro displayed an NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated alteration in the levels of the GABA synthesizing enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD65/67) [Monnerie, H., Le Roux, P., 2007. Reduced dendrite growth and altered glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) 65- and 67-kDa isoform protein expression from mouse cortical GABAergic neurons following excitotoxic injury in vitro. Exp. Neurol. 205, 367-382]. In this study, we examined the mechanisms by which glutamate excitotoxicity caused a change in cortical GABAergic neurons' GAD protein levels. Removing extracellular calcium prevented the NMDAR-mediated decrease in GAD protein levels, measured using Western blot techniques, whereas inhibiting calcium entry through voltage-gated calcium channels had no effect. Glutamate's effect on GAD protein isoforms was significantly attenuated by preincubation with the cysteine protease inhibitor N-Acetyl-L-Leucyl-L-Leucyl-L-norleucinal (ALLN). Using class-specific protease inhibitors, we observed that ALLN's effect resulted from the blockade of calpain and cathepsin protease activities. Cell-free proteolysis assay confirmed that both proteases were involved in glutamate-induced alteration in GAD protein levels. Together these results suggest that glutamate-induced excitotoxic stimulation of NMDAR in cultured cortical neurons leads to altered GAD protein levels from GABAergic neurons through intracellular calcium increase and protease activation including calpain and cathepsin. Biochemical alterations in surviving cortical GABAergic neurons in various disease states may contribute to the altered balance between excitation

  16. Chronic alterations in monoaminergic cells in the locus coeruleus in orexin neuron-ablated narcoleptic mice.

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    Natsuko Tsujino

    Full Text Available Narcolepsy patients often suffer from insomnia in addition to excessive daytime sleepiness. Narcoleptic animals also show behavioral instability characterized by frequent transitions between all vigilance states, exhibiting very short bouts of NREM sleep as well as wakefulness. The instability of wakefulness states in narcolepsy is thought to be due to deficiency of orexins, neuropeptides produced in the lateral hypothalamic neurons, which play a highly important role in maintaining wakefulness. However, the mechanism responsible for sleep instability in this disorder remains to be elucidated. Because firing of orexin neurons ceases during sleep in healthy animals, deficiency of orexins does not explain the abnormality of sleep. We hypothesized that chronic compensatory changes in the neurophysiologica activity of the locus coeruleus (LC and dorsal raphe (DR nucleus in response to the progressive loss of endogenous orexin tone underlie the pathological regulation of sleep/wake states. To evaluate this hypothesis, we examined firing patterns of serotonergic (5-HT neurons and noradrenergic (NA neurons in the brain stem, two important neuronal populations in the regulation of sleep/wakefulness states. We recorded single-unit activities of 5-HT neurons and NA neurons in the DR nucleus and LC of orexin neuron-ablated narcoleptic mice. We found that while the firing pattern of 5-HT neurons in narcoleptic mice was similar to that in wildtype mice, that of NA neurons was significantly different from that in wildtype mice. In narcoleptic mice, NA neurons showed a higher firing frequency during both wakefulness and NREM sleep as compared with wildtype mice. In vitro patch-clamp study of NA neurons of narcoleptic mice suggested a functional decrease of GABAergic input to these neurons. These alterations might play roles in the sleep abnormality in narcolepsy.

  17. Chronic Alterations in Monoaminergic Cells in the Locus Coeruleus in Orexin Neuron-Ablated Narcoleptic Mice (United States)

    Tsujino, Natsuko; Tsunematsu, Tomomi; Uchigashima, Motokazu; Konno, Kohtarou; Yamanaka, Akihiro; Kobayashi, Kazuto; Watanabe, Masahiko; Koyama, Yoshimasa; Sakurai, Takeshi


    Narcolepsy patients often suffer from insomnia in addition to excessive daytime sleepiness. Narcoleptic animals also show behavioral instability characterized by frequent transitions between all vigilance states, exhibiting very short bouts of NREM sleep as well as wakefulness. The instability of wakefulness states in narcolepsy is thought to be due to deficiency of orexins, neuropeptides produced in the lateral hypothalamic neurons, which play a highly important role in maintaining wakefulness. However, the mechanism responsible for sleep instability in this disorder remains to be elucidated. Because firing of orexin neurons ceases during sleep in healthy animals, deficiency of orexins does not explain the abnormality of sleep. We hypothesized that chronic compensatory changes in the neurophysiologica activity of the locus coeruleus (LC) and dorsal raphe (DR) nucleus in response to the progressive loss of endogenous orexin tone underlie the pathological regulation of sleep/wake states. To evaluate this hypothesis, we examined firing patterns of serotonergic (5-HT) neurons and noradrenergic (NA) neurons in the brain stem, two important neuronal populations in the regulation of sleep/wakefulness states. We recorded single-unit activities of 5-HT neurons and NA neurons in the DR nucleus and LC of orexin neuron-ablated narcoleptic mice. We found that while the firing pattern of 5-HT neurons in narcoleptic mice was similar to that in wildtype mice, that of NA neurons was significantly different from that in wildtype mice. In narcoleptic mice, NA neurons showed a higher firing frequency during both wakefulness and NREM sleep as compared with wildtype mice. In vitro patch-clamp study of NA neurons of narcoleptic mice suggested a functional decrease of GABAergic input to these neurons. These alterations might play roles in the sleep abnormality in narcolepsy. PMID:23922890


    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 ...

  19. Mirror neurons: From origin to function


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


    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...

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

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    Ramesh Chandra


    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.

  1. Mirror neurons: from origin to function. (United States)

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


    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.

  2. Caffeine alters proliferation of neuronal precursors in the adult hippocampus. (United States)

    Wentz, Christian T; Magavi, Sanjay S P


    Neurogenesis continues through adulthood in the hippocampus and olfactory bulb of mammals. Adult neurogenesis has been implicated in learning and memory, and linked with depression. Hippocampal neurogenesis is increased in response to a number of stimuli, including exposure to an enriched environment, increased locomotor activity, and administration of antidepressants. Adult neurogenesis is depressed in response to aging, stress and sleep deprivation. Intriguingly, caffeine modulates a number of these same stimuli in a dose dependent manner. We examined the dose and duration dependent effects of caffeine on the proliferation, differentiation, and survival of newly generated hippocampal neurons in adult mice. Extended, 7 day caffeine administration, alters the proliferation of adult hippocampal precursors in the mouse in a dose dependent manner; moderate to high doses (20-30 mg/kg per day) of caffeine depress proliferation while supraphysiological doses (60 mg/kg per day) increase proliferation of neuronal precursors. Acute, 1 day administration had no affect on proliferation. Caffeine administration does not affect the expression of early or late markers of neuronal differentiation, or rates of long-term survival. However, neurons induced in response to supraphysiological levels of caffeine have a lower survival rate than control cells; increased proliferation does not yield an increase in long-term neurogenesis. These results demonstrate that physiologically relevant doses of caffeine can significantly depress adult hippocampal neurogenesis.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grimm Eleanor R


    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.

  4. Developmental ethanol exposure alters the morphology of mouse prefrontal neurons in a layer-specific manner. (United States)

    Louth, Emma L; Luctkar, Hanna D; Heney, Kayla A; Bailey, Craig D C


    Chronic developmental exposure to ethanol can lead to a wide variety of teratogenic effects, which in humans are known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Individuals affected by FASD may exhibit persistent impairments to cognitive functions such as learning, memory, and attention, which are highly dependent on medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) circuitry. The objective of this study was to determine long-term effects of chronic developmental ethanol exposure on mPFC neuron morphology, in order to better-understand potential neuronal mechanisms underlying cognitive impairments associated with FASD. C57BL/6-strain mice were exposed to ethanol or an isocaloric/isovolumetric amount of sucrose (control) via oral gavage, administered both to the dam from gestational day 10-18 and directly to pups from postnatal day 4-14. Brains from male mice were collected at postnatal day 90 and neurons were stained using a modified Golgi-Cox method. Pyramidal neurons within layers II/III, V and VI of the mPFC were imaged, traced in three dimensions, and assessed using Sholl and branch structure analyses. Developmental ethanol exposure differentially impacted adult pyramidal neuron morphology depending on mPFC cortical layer. Neurons in layer II/III exhibited increased size and diameter of dendrite trees, whereas neurons in layer V were not affected. Layer VI neurons with long apical dendrites had trees with decreased diameter that extended farther from the soma, and layer VI neurons with short apical dendrite trees exhibited decreased tree size overall. These layer-specific alterations to mPFC neuron morphology may form a novel morphological mechanism underlying long-term mPFC dysfunction and resulting cognitive impairments in FASD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Mirror neurons: functions, mechanisms and models. (United States)

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


    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.

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

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    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. Acrylamide alters neurotransmitter induced calcium responses in murine ESC-derived and primary neurons. (United States)

    Sisnaiske, Julia; Hausherr, Vanessa; Krug, Anne K; Zimmer, Bastian; Hengstler, Jan G; Leist, Marcel; van Thriel, Christoph


    Stem cell-derived specialized cell types are of interest as an alternative cell system to identify and research neurotoxic effects and modes of action. Developmental toxicity may be studied during differentiation, while organ-specific toxicity may be assessed in fully functional cells, such as neurons. In this study we tested if fully differentiated neurons derived from murine embryonic stem cells (ESCN) could be used to investigate the effects of the well characterized neurotoxic model compound acrylamide (ACR) and if ESCN behave similar to murine primary cortical neurons (pCN) from 16 days old embryos. We characterized the differentiation process of cryopreserved ESC-derived neural precursor cells (NPC) differentiating to ESCN. During the differentiation process (days 11-20) a strong increase in calcium responses to glutamate, acetylcholine and GABA were observed. Moreover, neuron specific marker proteins, β-III-tubulin, MAP2, Tau, Rbfox3 and synaptophysin showed similar patterns to pCN. In ESCN and pCN the neuronal structure, e.g. neurites, was not affected by low concentrations of ACR [0.5-1.6mM]. However, 24h incubation periods with 0.5-1.6mM ACR led to a reduction of acetylcholine and glutamate induced calcium responses. In conclusion, we show that non-cytotoxic concentrations of ACR alter neurotransmission in ESCN as well as pCN. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. 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


    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...... homeostasis. This finding further broadens the spectrum of neuronal plasticity regulated by ionic compositions across the cellular membrane....

  9. A high-throughput model for investigating neuronal function and synaptic transmission in cultured neuronal networks. (United States)

    Virdee, Jasmeet K; Saro, Gabriella; Fouillet, Antoine; Findlay, Jeremy; Ferreira, Filipa; Eversden, Sarah; O'Neill, Michael J; Wolak, Joanna; Ursu, Daniel


    Loss of synapses or alteration of synaptic activity is associated with cognitive impairment observed in a number of psychiatric and neurological disorders, such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease. Therefore successful development of in vitro methods that can investigate synaptic function in a high-throughput format could be highly impactful for neuroscience drug discovery. We present here the development, characterisation and validation of a novel high-throughput in vitro model for assessing neuronal function and synaptic transmission in primary rodent neurons. The novelty of our approach resides in the combination of the electrical field stimulation (EFS) with data acquisition in spatially separated areas of an interconnected neuronal network. We integrated our methodology with state of the art drug discovery instrumentation (FLIPR Tetra) and used selective tool compounds to perform a systematic pharmacological validation of the model. We investigated pharmacological modulators targeting pre- and post-synaptic receptors (AMPA, NMDA, GABA-A, mGluR2/3 receptors and Nav, Cav voltage-gated ion channels) and demonstrated the ability of our model to discriminate and measure synaptic transmission in cultured neuronal networks. Application of the model described here as an unbiased phenotypic screening approach will help with our long term goals of discovering novel therapeutic strategies for treating neurological disorders.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Delayed Cryptochrome Degradation Asymmetrically Alters the Daily Rhythm in Suprachiasmatic Clock Neuron Excitability. (United States)

    Wegner, Sven; Belle, Mino D C; Hughes, Alun T L; Diekman, Casey O; Piggins, Hugh D


    Suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) neurons contain an intracellular molecular circadian clock and the Cryptochromes (CRY1/2), key transcriptional repressors of this molecular apparatus, are subject to post-translational modification through ubiquitination and targeting for proteosomal degradation by the ubiquitin E3 ligase complex. Loss-of-function point mutations in a component of this ligase complex, Fbxl3, delay CRY1/2 degradation, reduce circadian rhythm strength, and lengthen the circadian period by ∼2.5 h. The molecular clock drives circadian changes in the membrane properties of SCN neurons, but it is unclear how alterations in CRY1/2 stability affect SCN neurophysiology. Here we use male and female Afterhours mice which carry the circadian period lengthening loss-of-function Fbxl3 Afh mutation and perform patch-clamp recordings from SCN brain slices across the projected day/night cycle. We find that the daily rhythm in membrane excitability in the ventral SCN (vSCN) was enhanced in amplitude and delayed in timing in Fbxl3 Afh/Afh mice. At night, vSCN cells from Fbxl3 Afh/Afh mice were more hyperpolarized, receiving more GABAergic input than their Fbxl3 +/+ counterparts. Unexpectedly, the progression to daytime hyperexcited states was slowed by Afh mutation, whereas the decline to hypoexcited states was accelerated. In long-term bioluminescence recordings, GABA A receptor blockade desynchronized the Fbxl3 +/+ but not the Fbxl3 Afh/Afh vSCN neuronal network. Further, a neurochemical mimic of the light input pathway evoked larger shifts in molecular clock rhythms in Fbxl3 Afh/Afh compared with Fbxl3 +/+ SCN slices. These results reveal unanticipated consequences of delaying CRY degradation, indicating that the Afh mutation prolongs nighttime hyperpolarized states of vSCN cells through increased GABAergic synaptic transmission. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The intracellular molecular clock drives changes in SCN neuronal excitability, but it is unclear how mutations

  13. Learning alters theta amplitude, theta-gamma coupling and neuronal synchronization in inferotemporal cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicol Alister U


    which are correlated with behavioral performance. A network model which can reproduce these changes suggests that a key function of such learning-evoked alterations in theta and theta-nested gamma activity may be increased temporal desynchronization in neuronal firing leading to optimal timing of inputs to downstream neural networks potentiating their responses. In this way learning can produce potentiation in neural networks simply through altering the temporal pattern of their inputs.

  14. Severely impaired learning and altered neuronal morphology in mice lacking NMDA receptors in medium spiny neurons.

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    Lisa R Beutler

    Full Text Available The striatum is composed predominantly of medium spiny neurons (MSNs that integrate excitatory, glutamatergic inputs from the cortex and thalamus, and modulatory dopaminergic inputs from the ventral midbrain to influence behavior. Glutamatergic activation of AMPA, NMDA, and metabotropic receptors on MSNs is important for striatal development and function, but the roles of each of these receptor classes remain incompletely understood. Signaling through NMDA-type glutamate receptors (NMDARs in the striatum has been implicated in various motor and appetitive learning paradigms. In addition, signaling through NMDARs influences neuronal morphology, which could underlie their role in mediating learned behaviors. To study the role of NMDARs on MSNs in learning and in morphological development, we generated mice lacking the essential NR1 subunit, encoded by the Grin1 gene, selectively in MSNs. Although these knockout mice appear normal and display normal 24-hour locomotion, they have severe deficits in motor learning, operant conditioning and active avoidance. In addition, the MSNs from these knockout mice have smaller cell bodies and decreased dendritic length compared to littermate controls. We conclude that NMDAR signaling in MSNs is critical for normal MSN morphology and many forms of learning.

  15. Hybrid independent component analysis by adaptive LUT activation function neurons. (United States)

    Fiori, Simone


    The aim of this paper is to present an efficient implementation of unsupervised adaptive-activation function neurons dedicated to one-dimensional probability density estimation, with application to independent component analysis. The proposed implementation is a computationally light improvement to adaptive pseudo-polynomial neurons, recently presented in Fiori, S. (2000a). Blind signal processing by the adaptive activation function neurons. Neural Networks, 13(6), 597-611, and is based upon the concept of 'look-up table' (LUT) neurons.

  16. Fear conditioning leads to alteration in specific genes expression in cortical and thalamic neurons that project to the lateral amygdala. (United States)

    Katz, Ira K; Lamprecht, Raphael


    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.

  17. Astrocyte-neuron communication: functional consequences. (United States)

    Ben Achour, Sarrah; Pascual, Olivier


    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.

  18. Trim9 Deletion Alters the Morphogenesis of Developing and Adult-Born Hippocampal Neurons and Impairs Spatial Learning and Memory. (United States)

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


    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.

  19. The origin and function of mirror neurons: the missing link. (United States)

    Lingnau, Angelika; Caramazza, Alfonso


    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.

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

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    Ana edel Puerto


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

  1. Synaptic vesicle morphology and recycling are altered in myenteric neurons of mice lacking dystrophin (mdx mice). (United States)

    Vannucchi, Maria Giuliana; Corsani, Letizia; Faussone-Pellegrini, Maria-Simonetta


    Several dystrophin isoforms are known. The full-length isoform is present in striated and smooth muscles and neurons and its lack causes Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a progressive myopathy accompanied by mild cognitive deficits and gastrointestinal dismotility. An ultrastructural study was undertaken in the colon of mice lacking full-length dystrophin and maintaining shorter isoforms (mdx mice) to ascertain whether myenteric neurons have an altered morphology. Results showed a significant increase in the size of synaptic vesicle and in the number of recycling vesicles. An enlargement of endoplasmic reticulum cisternae in a subpopulation of neurons was also seen. Immunohistochemistry confirmed that the shorter isoforms were expressed in mdx mice myenteric neurons. These findings indicate the presence of a neuropathy at the myenteric plexus which might justify the defective neuronal control of gastrointestinal motility reported for these animals and which might be correlated with full-length dystrophin loss, since the shorter isoforms are present. Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  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. Cytoskeleton Molecular Motors: Structures and Their Functions in Neuron. (United States)

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


    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.

  4. Attenuating GABA(A) receptor signaling in dopamine neurons selectively enhances reward learning and alters risk preference in mice. (United States)

    Parker, Jones G; Wanat, Matthew J; Soden, Marta E; Ahmad, Kinza; Zweifel, Larry S; Bamford, Nigel S; Palmiter, Richard D


    Phasic dopamine (DA) transmission encodes the value of reward-predictive stimuli and influences both learning and decision-making. Altered DA signaling is associated with psychiatric conditions characterized by risky choices such as pathological gambling. These observations highlight the importance of understanding how DA neuron activity is modulated. While excitatory drive onto DA neurons is critical for generating phasic DA responses, emerging evidence suggests that inhibitory signaling also modulates these responses. To address the functional importance of inhibitory signaling in DA neurons, we generated mice lacking the β3 subunit of the GABA(A) receptor specifically in DA neurons (β3-KO mice) and examined their behavior in tasks that assessed appetitive learning, aversive learning, and risk preference. DA neurons in midbrain slices from β3-KO mice exhibited attenuated GABA-evoked IPSCs. Furthermore, electrical stimulation of excitatory afferents to DA neurons elicited more DA release in the nucleus accumbens of β3-KO mice as measured by fast-scan cyclic voltammetry. β3-KO mice were more active than controls when given morphine, which correlated with potential compensatory upregulation of GABAergic tone onto DA neurons. β3-KO mice learned faster in two food-reinforced learning paradigms, but extinguished their learned behavior normally. Enhanced learning was specific for appetitive tasks, as aversive learning was unaffected in β3-KO mice. Finally, we found that β3-KO mice had enhanced risk preference in a probabilistic selection task that required mice to choose between a small certain reward and a larger uncertain reward. Collectively, these findings identify a selective role for GABA(A) signaling in DA neurons in appetitive learning and decision-making.

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

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    William C. Spencer


    Full Text Available 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

  6. Oral intake of zirconia nanoparticle alters neuronal development and behaviour of Drosophila melanogaster (United States)

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


    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 (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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas R Cheever


    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.

  8. Functional circuits of new neurons in the dentate gyrus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen eVivar


    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.  

  9. Soft chitosan microbeads scaffold for 3D functional neuronal networks. (United States)

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


    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.

  10. Mitochondrial dynamics and bioenergetic dysfunction is associated with synaptic alterations in mutant SOD1 motor neurons (United States)

    Magrané, Jordi; Sahawneh, Mary Anne; Przedborski, Serge; Estévez, Álvaro G.; Manfredi, Giovanni


    Mutations in Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) cause familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS), a rapidly fatal motor neuron disease. Mutant SOD1 has pleiotropic toxic effects on motor neurons, among which mitochondrial dysfunction has been proposed as one of the contributing factors in motor neuron demise. Mitochondria are highly dynamic in neurons; they are constantly reshaped by fusion and move along neurites to localize at sites of high-energy utilization, such as synapses. The finding of abnormal mitochondria accumulation in neuromuscular junctions, where the SOD1-FALS degenerative process is though to initiate, suggests that impaired mitochondrial dynamics in motor neurons may be involved in pathogenesis. We addressed this hypothesis by live imaging microscopy of photo-switchable fluorescent mitoDendra in transgenic rat motor neurons expressing mutant or wild type human SOD1. We demonstrate that mutant SOD1 motor neurons have impaired mitochondrial fusion in axons and cell bodies. Mitochondria also display selective impairment of retrograde axonal transport, with reduced frequency and velocity of movements. Fusion and transport defects are associated with smaller mitochondrial size, decreased mitochondrial density, and defective mitochondrial membrane potential. Furthermore, mislocalization of mitochondria at synapses among motor neurons, in vitro, correlates with abnormal synaptic number, structure, and function. Dynamics abnormalities are specific to mutant SOD1 motor neuron mitochondria, since they are absent in wild type SOD1 motor neurons, they do not involve other organelles, and they are not found in cortical neurons. Taken together, these results suggest that impaired mitochondrial dynamics may contribute to the selective degeneration of motor neurons in SOD1-FALS. PMID:22219285

  11. Altered biometal homeostasis is associated with CLN6 mRNA loss in mouse neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katja M. Kanninen


    Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses, the most common fatal childhood neurodegenerative illnesses, share many features with more prevalent neurodegenerative diseases. Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses are caused by mutations in CLN genes. CLN6 encodes a transmembrane endoplasmic reticulum protein with no known function. We characterized the behavioural phenotype of spontaneous mutant mice modeling CLN6 disease, and demonstrate progressive motor and visual decline and reduced lifespan in these mice, consistent with symptoms observed in neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis patients. Alterations to biometal homeostasis are known to play a critical role in pathology in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's and motor neuron diseases. We have previously shown accumulation of the biometals, zinc, copper, manganese and cobalt, in CLN6 Merino and South Hampshire sheep at the age of symptom onset. Here we determine the physiological and disease-associated expression of CLN6, demonstrating regional CLN6 transcript loss, and concurrent accumulation of the same biometals in the CNS and the heart of presymptomatic CLN6 mice. Furthermore, increased expression of the ER/Golgi-localized cation transporter protein, Zip7, was detected in cerebellar Purkinje cells and whole brain fractions. Purkinje cells not only control motor function, an early symptomatic change in the CLN6 mice, but also display prominent neuropathological changes in mouse models and patients with different forms of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses. Whole brain fractionation analysis revealed biometal accumulation in fractions expressing markers for ER, Golgi, endosomes and lysosomes of CLN6 brains. These data are consistent with a link between CLN6 expression and biometal homeostasis in CLN6 disease, and provide further support for altered cation transporter regulation as a key factor in neurodegeneration.

  12. Hypertension alters GABA receptor-mediated inhibition of neurons in the nucleus of the solitary tract. (United States)

    Mei, Lin; Zhang, Jing; Mifflin, Steve


    Previous studies have demonstrated that microinjection of baclofen, a GABA(B) receptor agonist, into the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) results in an enhanced pressor response in hypertensive (HT) rats compared with normotensive (NT) rats, suggesting a possible alteration in the responses of neurons in this area to activation of GABA(B) receptors. The following studies were designed to determine whether HT alters the sensitivity of neurons in the NTS to GABA receptor agonists. Sham-operated NT and unilateral nephrectomized, renal-wrap HT Sprague-Dawley rats were anesthetized, and the responses of NTS neurons receiving aortic nerve (AN) afferent inputs to iontophoretic application of GABA, the GABA(A) receptor agonist muscimol, and the GABA(B) agonist baclofen were examined. The AN input was classified as monosynaptic (MSN) if the cell responded to each of two stimuli separated by 5 ms with an action potential. If the cell did not respond, the input was considered polysynaptic (PSN). In MSNs, inhibition of AN-evoked discharge by GABA was not altered in 1 wk of HT but was reduced in 4 wk of HT, whereas in PSNs, sensitivity to GABA was reduced at 1 and 4 wk of HT. In HT rats, inhibition of AN-evoked discharge by baclofen was enhanced in MSNs, but not in PSNs, after 1 and 4 wk of HT, whereas inhibition by muscimol was reduced in MSNs and PSNs at 1 and 4 wk of HT. Changes in sensitivity to muscimol and baclofen within MSNs were the same whether the MSN received a slowly or a rapidly conducted AN afferent input. The results demonstrate that early in HT the sensitivity of NTS neurons to inhibitory amino acids is altered and that these changes are maintained for > or =4 wk. The alterations are dependent on the subtype of GABA receptor being activated and whether the neuron receives a mono- or polysynaptic baroreceptor afferent input.

  13. Neurons versus Networks: The Interplay between Individual Neurons and Neural Networks in Cognitive Functions. (United States)

    Arshavsky, Yuri I


    The main paradigm of cognitive neuroscience is the connectionist concept postulating that the higher nervous activity is performed through interactions of neurons forming complex networks, whereas the function of individual neurons is restricted to generating electrical potentials and transmitting signals to other cells. In this article, I describe the observations from three fields-neurolinguistics, physiology of memory, and sensory perception-that can hardly be explained within the constraints of a purely connectionist concept. Rather, these examples suggest that cognitive functions are determined by specific properties of individual neurons and, therefore, are likely to be accomplished primarily at the intracellular level. This view is supported by the recent discovery that the brain's ability to create abstract concepts of particular individuals, animals, or places is performed by neurons ("concept cells") sparsely distributed in the medial temporal lobe. © The Author(s) 2016.

  14. Alterations in neuronal activity in basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuits in the parkinsonian state (United States)

    Galvan, Adriana; Devergnas, Annaelle; Wichmann, Thomas


    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adriana eGalvan


    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.

  16. Locus coeruleus: A brain region exhibiting neuronal alterations in Parkinson’s disease rat model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samah M. Fathy


    Full Text Available Toxic insults lead to increased α-synuclein expression in dopaminergic neurons. However, little information is known about α-synuclein alterations in relation to tyrosine hydroxylase (TH changes in locus coeruleus (LC of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP rat model for Parkinson’s disease (PD. Four injections (15 mg/kg each of the neurotoxicant MPTP to rats led to an upregulation of α-synuclein level and increased immunoreactivity with aggregated protein in the MPTP-treated group as revealed by Western blotting and immunohistochemical techniques. Meanwhile, MPTP reduced the level of and caused immunoreactivity toward TH antibody in LC and adjoining noradrenergic neurons. These data indicate that MPTP can induce α-synuclein alterations in other brain regions that have been implicated in the pathogenesis of PD. The findings are also consistent with a pattern that α-synuclein modification influences the TH level.

  17. Prenatal Ethanol Exposure Persistently Alters Endocannabinoid Signaling and Endocannabinoid-Mediated Excitatory Synaptic Plasticity in Ventral Tegmental Area Dopamine Neurons. (United States)

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


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

  18. Oligodendrocyte-Neuron Interactions: Impact on Myelination and Brain Function. (United States)

    Shimizu, Takeshi; Osanai, Yasuyuki; Ikenaka, Kazuhiro


    In the past, glial cells were considered to be 'glue' cells whose primary role was thought to be merely filling gaps in neural circuits. However, a growing number of reports have indicated the role of glial cells in higher brain function through their interaction with neurons. Myelin was originally thought to be just a sheath structure surrounding neuronal axons, but recently it has been shown that myelin exerts effects on the conduction velocity of neuronal axons even after myelin formation. Therefore, the investigation of glial cell properties and the neuron-glial interactions is important for understanding higher brain function. Moreover, since there are many neurological disorders caused by glial abnormalities, further understanding of glial cell-related diseases and the development of effective therapeutic strategies are warranted. In this review, we focused on oligodendrocyte-neuron interactions, with particular attention on (1) axonal signals underlying oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelination, (2) neuronal activity-dependent myelination and (3) the effects of myelination on higher brain function.

  19. The therapeutic potential of melatonin on neuronal function during ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    all controls had 100% mortality. Conclusion: Melatonin may be a beneficial therapeutic agent to improve neuronal function during normal ageing. INTRODUCTION1. Normal ageing often leads to the decline in cell function and the onset of major degenerative diseases. In particular the brain and skeletal muscle are affected ...

  20. Formation of Autapse Connected to Neuron and Its Biological Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chunni Wang


    Full Text Available Autapse is a specific synapse connected to the neuron via close loop, and its functional adjusting is described by applying time-delayed feedback on the membrane potential of the neuron. This paper discussed the possible formation mechanism and biological function of autapse connection on neurons. We believe that the formation and growth of autapse connected to neuron can be associated with injury on axon and blocking in signal transmission; thus auxiliary loop is developed to form an autapse. When autapse is set up, it can propagate the signals and change the modes of electrical activities under self-adaption. Based on the cable neuron model, the injury on axon is generated by poisoning and blocking in ion channels (of sodium; thus the conductance of ion channels are changed to form injury-associated defects. Furthermore, auxiliary loop with time delay is designed to restore and enhance signal propagation by setting different time delays and feedback gains. The numerical studies confirmed that appropriate time delay and feedback gain in electric or chemical autapse can help signal (or wave generated by external forcing propagation across the blocked area. As a result, formation of autapse could be dependent on the injury of neuron and further enhances the self-adaption to external stimuli.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rainer eFriedrich


    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuming Wang


    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katelin F Hansen


    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.

  4. Altered neuronal response during rapid auditory processing and its relation to phonological processing in prereading children at familial risk for dyslexia. (United States)

    Raschle, Nora M; Stering, Patrice L; Meissner, Sarah N; Gaab, Nadine


    Developmental dyslexia (DD) is a learning disability affecting 5-17% of children. Although researchers agree that DD is characterized by deficient phonological processing (PP), its cause is debated. It has been suggested that altered rapid auditory processing (RAP) may lead to deficient PP in DD and studies have shown deficient RAP in individuals with DD. Functional neuroimaging (fMRI) studies have implicated hypoactivations in left prefrontal brain regions during RAP in individuals with DD. When and how these neuronal alterations evolve remains unknown. In this article, we investigate functional networks during RAP in 28 children with (n = 14) and without (n = 14) a familial risk for DD before reading onset (mean: 5.6 years). Results reveal functional alterations in left-hemispheric prefrontal regions during RAP in prereading children at risk for DD, similar to findings in individuals with DD. Furthermore, activation during RAP in left prefrontal regions positively correlates with prereading measures of PP and with neuronal activation during PP in posterior dorsal and ventral brain areas. Our results suggest that neuronal differences during RAP predate reading instruction and thus are not due to experience-dependent brain changes resulting from DD itself and that there is a functional relationship between neuronal networks for RAP and PP within the prereading brain. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail:

  5. Posttraumatic secondary brain insults exacerbates neuronal injury by altering Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors

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    Li Xia


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Our previous studies indicated that metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs are deeply involved in the secondary processes after diffuse brain injury (DBI. In the present study, we used a rodent DBI model to determine whether hypotension exacerbates neuronal injury as a secondary brain insult (SBI after traumatic brain injury (TBI by changing the expression of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs in the cerebral cortex. Results Three hundred and eleven male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned into five groups: normal control, sham-operated control, SBI alone, DBI alone, or DBI with SBI. DBI was produced in rats by Marmarou's methods and the SBI model was produced by hypotension. The alteration of neuronal expression of mGluRs after DBI and DBI coupled with SBI was observed by hybridization in situ at different time points in the experiment. We found a higher mortality and neurological severity score (NSS for rats in the DBI with SBI group compared with those in the DBI alone group. Although there was a significant rise in the expression of group I and group III mGluRs (except mGluR6 and a decrease in the expression of group II mGluRs after DBI (P Conclusion The results suggest posttraumatic SBI may exacerbate neuronal injury or brain injury by altering expression of mGluRs, and more emphasis should therefore be put on the prevention and treatment of SBI.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María eLlorens-Martín


    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.

  7. Neonatal bladder inflammation induces long-term visceral pain and altered responses of spinal neurons in adult rats. (United States)

    Kannampalli, Pradeep; Babygirija, Reji; Zhang, Jiang; Poe, Michael M; Li, Guanguan; Cook, James M; Shaker, Reza; Banerjee, Banani; Sengupta, Jyoti N


    Painful events early in life have been shown to increase the incidence of interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome in adulthood. However, the intrinsic mechanism is not well studied. We previously reported that neonatal bladder inflammation causes chronic visceral hypersensitivity along with molecular disruption of spinal GABAergic system in rats. The present study investigates whether these molecular changes affect the integrative function and responses of bladder-sensitive primary afferent and spinal neurons. Neonatal bladder inflammation was induced by intravesicular injection of zymosan during postnatal (P) days 14-16. In adulthood (P60), the viscero-motor response (VMR) to visceral stimuli was significantly inhibited by intrathecal (i.t) HZ166 (GABA Aα-2 agonist) only in neonatally saline-treated, but not in neonatally zymosan-treated rats. HZ166 significantly inhibited the responses of bladder-responsive lumbosacral (LS) spinal neurons to urinary bladder distension (UBD) and slow infusion (SI) in neonatally saline-treated rats. Similar results were also observed in naïve adult rats where HZ166 produced significant inhibition of bladder-responsive spinal neurons. However, HZ166 did not inhibit responses of UBD-responsive spinal neurons from neonatally zymosan-treated rats. The drug did not attenuate the responses of UBD-sensitive pelvic nerve afferent (PNA) fibers to UBD and SI in either group of rats tested. Immunohistochemical studies showed a significantly lower level of GABA Aα-2 receptor expression in the LS spinal cord of neonatally zymosan-treated rats compared to saline-treated rats. These findings indicate that neonatal bladder inflammation leads to functional and molecular alteration of spinal GABA Aα-2 receptor subtypes, which may result in chronic visceral hyperalgesia in adulthood. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Dendritic spine remodeling after spinal cord injury alters neuronal signal processing. (United States)

    Tan, Andrew M; Choi, Jin-Sung; Waxman, Stephen G; Hains, Bryan C


    Central sensitization, a prolonged hyperexcitability of dorsal horn nociceptive neurons, is a major contributor to abnormal pain processing after spinal cord injury (SCI). Dendritic spines are micron-sized dendrite protrusions that can regulate the efficacy of synaptic transmission. Here we used a computational approach to study whether changes in dendritic spine shape, density, and distribution can individually, or in combination, adversely modify the input-output function of a postsynaptic neuron to create a hyperexcitable neuronal state. The results demonstrate that a conversion from thin-shaped to more mature, mushroom-shaped spine structures results in enhanced synaptic transmission and fidelity, improved frequency-following ability, and reduced inhibitory gating effectiveness. Increasing the density and redistributing spines toward the soma results in a greater probability of action potential activation. Our results demonstrate that changes in dendritic spine morphology, documented in previous studies on spinal cord injury, contribute to the generation of pain following SCI.

  9. Sleep, Neuronal Plasticity and Brain Function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meerlo, Peter; Benca, Ruth M.; Abel, Ted


    Sleep is truly one of the biggest mysteries in behavioral neuroscience. Humans spend a substantial portion of their lives asleep, as do all other mammalian and bird species that have been studied to date, yet the functions of sleep remain elusive and continue to be a topic of debate among sleep

  10. Altered thalamic functional connectivity in multiple sclerosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Yaou; Liang, Peipeng; Duan, Yunyun; Huang, Jing; Ren, Zhuoqiong; Jia, Xiuqin [Department of Radiology, Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100053 (China); Dong, Huiqing; Ye, Jing [Department of Neurology, Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100053 (China); Shi, Fu-Dong [Department of Neurology and Tianjin Neurological Institute, Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, Tianjin 300052 (China); Butzkueven, Helmut [Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Parkville 3010 (Australia); Li, Kuncheng, E-mail: [Department of Radiology, Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100053 (China)


    Highlights: •We demonstrated decreased connectivity between thalamus and cortical regions in MS. •Increased intra- and inter-thalamic connectivity was also observed in MS. •The increased functional connectivity is attenuated by increasing disease duration. -- Abstract: Objective: To compare thalamic functional connectivity (FC) in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and healthy controls (HC), and correlate these connectivity measures with other MRI and clinical variables. Methods: We employed resting-state functional MRI (fMRI) to examine changes in thalamic connectivity by comparing thirty-five patients with MS and 35 age- and sex-matched HC. Thalamic FC was investigated by correlating low frequency fMRI signal fluctuations in thalamic voxels with voxels in all other brain regions. Additionally thalamic volume fraction (TF), T2 lesion volume (T2LV), EDSS and disease duration were recorded and correlated with the FC changes. Results: MS patients were found to have a significantly lower TF than HC in bilateral thalami. Compared to HC, the MS group showed significantly decreased FC between thalamus and several brain regions including right middle frontal and parahippocampal gyri, and the left inferior parietal lobule. Increased intra- and inter-thalamic FC was observed in the MS group compared to HC. These FC alterations were not correlated with T2LV, thalamic volume or lesions. In the MS group, however, there was a negative correlation between disease duration and inter-thalamic connectivity (r = −0.59, p < 0.001). Conclusion: We demonstrated decreased FC between thalamus and several cortical regions, while increased intra- and inter-thalamic connectivity in MS patients. These complex functional changes reflect impairments and/or adaptations that are independent of T2LV, thalamic volume or presence of thalamic lesions. The negative correlation between disease duration and inter-thalamic connectivity could indicate an adaptive role of thalamus that is

  11. Confounding the origin and function of mirror neurons. (United States)

    Rizzolatti, Giacomo


    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shigeru Shinomoto


    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.

  13. 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. (United States)

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


    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.

  14. Mirror neurons and their function in cognitively understood empathy. (United States)

    Corradini, Antonella; Antonietti, Alessandro


    The current renewal of interest in empathy is closely connected to the recent neurobiological discovery of mirror neurons. Although the concept of empathy has been widely deployed, we shall focus upon one main psychological function it serves: enabling us to understand other peoples' intentions. In this essay we will draw on neuroscientific, psychological, and philosophical literature in order to investigate the relationships between mirror neurons and empathy as to intention understanding. Firstly, it will be explored whether mirror neurons are the neural basis of our empathic capacities: a vast array of empirical results appears to confirm this hypothesis. Secondly, the higher level capacity of reenactive empathy will be examined and the question will be addressed whether philosophical analysis alone is able to provide a foundation for this more abstract level of empathy. The conclusion will be drawn that both empirical evidence and philosophical analysis can jointly contribute to the clarification of the concept of empathy. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Functionalized anatomical models for EM-neuron Interaction modeling (United States)

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


    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.

  16. No neuronal loss, but alterations of the GDNF system in asymptomatic diverticulosis. (United States)

    Barrenschee, Martina; Wedel, Thilo; Lange, Christina; Hohmeier, Ines; Cossais, François; Ebsen, Michael; Vogel, Ilka; Böttner, Martina


    Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is a potent neurotrophic factor known to promote the survival and maintenance of neurons not only in the developing but also in the adult enteric nervous system. As diverticular disease (DD) is associated with reduced myenteric neurons, alterations of the GDNF system were studied in asymptomatic diverticulosis (diverticulosis) and DD. Morphometric analysis for quantifying myenteric ganglia and neurons were assessed in colonic full-thickness sections of patients with diverticulosis and controls. Samples of tunica muscularis (TM) and laser-microdissected myenteric ganglia from patients with diverticulosis, DD and controls were analyzed for mRNA expression levels of GDNF, GFRA1, and RET by RT-qPCR. Myenteric protein expression of both receptors was quantified by fluorescence-immunohistochemistry of patients with diverticulosis, DD, and controls. Although no myenteric morphometric alterations were found in patients with diverticulosis, GDNF, GFRA1 and RET mRNA expression was down-regulated in the TM of patients with diverticulosis as well as DD. Furthermore GFRA1 and RET myenteric plexus mRNA expression of patients with diverticulosis and DD was down-regulated, whereas GDNF remained unaltered. Myenteric immunoreactivity of the receptors GFRα1 and RET was decreased in both asymptomatic diverticulosis and DD patients. Our data provide evidence for an impaired GDNF system at gene and protein level not only in DD but also during early stages of diverticula formation. Thus, the results strengthen the idea of a disturbed GDNF-responsiveness as contributive factor for a primary enteric neuropathy involved in the pathogenesis and disturbed intestinal motility observed in DD.

  17. MRI of neuronal network structure, function, and plasticity. (United States)

    Voss, Henning U; Schiff, Nicholas D


    We review two complementary MRI imaging modalities to characterize structure and function of neuronal networks in the human brain, and their application to subjects with severe brain injury. The structural imaging modality, diffusion tensor imaging, is based on imaging the diffusion of water protons in the brain parenchyma. From the diffusion tensor, several quantities characterizing fiber structure in the brain can be derived. The principal direction of the diffusion tensor has been found to depend on the fiber direction of myelinated axons. It can be used for white matter fiber tracking. The anisotropy (or directional dependence) of diffusion has been shown to be sensitive to developmental as well as white matter changes during training and recovery from brain injury. The functional MRI imaging modality, resting state fMRI, concerns the functional connectivity of neuronal networks rather than their anatomical structure. Subjects undergo a conventional fMRI imaging protocol without performing specific tasks. Various resting state network patterns can be computed by algorithms that reveal correlations in the fMRI signal. Often, thalamic structures are involved, suggesting that resting state fMRI could reflect global brain network functionality. Clinical applications of resting state fMRI have been reported, in particular relating signal abnormalities to neurodegenerative processes. To better understand to which degree resting state patterns reflect neuronal network function, we are comparing network patterns of normal subjects with those having severe brain lesions in a small pilot study.

  18. Altered intrinsic excitability of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons in aged PDAPP mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco eTamagnini


    Full Text Available Amyloidopathy involves the accumulation of insoluble amyloid β (Aβ species in the brain’s parenchyma and is a key histopathological hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease (AD. Work on transgenic mice that overexpress A suggests that elevated A levels in the brain are associated with aberrant epileptiform activity and increased intrinsic excitability of CA1 hippocampal neurons. In this study we examined if similar changes could be observed in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons from aged PDAPP mice (20-23 month old, Indiana mutation: V717F on APP gene compared to their age-matched WT littermate controls. Whole-cell current clamp recordings revealed that sub-threshold intrinsic properties, such as input resistance, resting membrane potential and hyperpolarization activated sag were unaffected, but capacitance was significantly decreased in the transgenic animals. No differences between genotypes were observed in the overall number of action potentials (AP elicited by 500 ms supra-threshold current stimuli. PDAPP neurons, however, exhibited higher instantaneous firing frequencies after accommodation in response to high intensity current injections. The AP waveform was narrower and shorter in amplitude in PDAPP mice: these changes, according to our in silico model of a CA1/3 pyramidal neuron, depended on the respective reduction and increase of Na+ and K+ voltage-gated channels maximal conductances. Finally, the after-hyperpolarization (AHP, seen after the first AP evoked by a +300 pA current injection and after 50 Hz AP bursts, was more pronounced in PDAPP mice.These data show that Aβ-overexpression in aged mice altered the capacitance, the neuronal firing and the AP waveform of CA1 pyramidal neurons. Some of these findings are consistent with previous work on younger PDAPP, they also show important differences that can be potentially ascribed to the interaction between amyloidopathy and ageing. Such a change of IE properties over time

  19. Violent Video Games Alter Brain Function in Young Men (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. ...

  20. Exploring the reproducibility of functional connectivity alterations in Parkinson's disease. (United States)

    Badea, Liviu; Onu, Mihaela; Wu, Tao; Roceanu, Adina; Bajenaru, Ovidiu


    Since anatomic MRI is presently not able to directly discern neuronal loss in Parkinson's Disease (PD), studying the associated functional connectivity (FC) changes seems a promising approach toward developing non-invasive and non-radioactive neuroimaging markers for this disease. While several groups have reported such FC changes in PD, there are also significant discrepancies between studies. Investigating the reproducibility of PD-related FC changes on independent datasets is therefore of crucial importance. We acquired resting-state fMRI scans for 43 subjects (27 patients and 16 normal controls, with 2 replicate scans per subject) and compared the observed FC changes with those obtained in two independent datasets, one made available by the PPMI consortium (91 patients, 18 controls) and a second one by the group of Tao Wu (20 patients, 20 controls). Unfortunately, PD-related functional connectivity changes turned out to be non-reproducible across datasets. This could be due to disease heterogeneity, but also to technical differences. To distinguish between the two, we devised a method to directly check for disease heterogeneity using random splits of a single dataset. Since we still observe non-reproducibility in a large fraction of random splits of the same dataset, we conclude that functional heterogeneity may be a dominating factor behind the lack of reproducibility of FC alterations in different rs-fMRI studies of PD. While global PD-related functional connectivity changes were non-reproducible across datasets, we identified a few individual brain region pairs with marginally consistent FC changes across all three datasets. However, training classifiers on each one of the three datasets to discriminate PD scans from controls produced only low accuracies on the remaining two test datasets. Moreover, classifiers trained and tested on random splits of the same dataset (which are technically homogeneous) also had low test accuracies, directly substantiating

  1. Complete functional characterization of sensory neurons by system identification. (United States)

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


    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.

  2. 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: [School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Brighton, Cockroft Building, Lewes Road, Brighton BN2 4GJ (United Kingdom)


    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.

  3. The neuronal control of cardiac functions in Molluscs. (United States)

    Kodirov, Sodikdjon A


    In this manuscript, I review the current and relevant classical studies on properties of the Mollusca heart and their central nervous system including ganglia, neurons, and nerves involved in cardiomodulation. Similar to mammalian brain hemispheres, these invertebrates possess symmetrical pairs of ganglia albeit visceral (only one) ganglion and the parietal ganglia (the right ganglion is bigger than the left one). Furthermore, there are two major regulatory drives into the compartments (pericard, auricle, and ventricle) and cardiomyocytes of the heart. These are the excitatory and inhibitory signals that originate from a few designated neurons and their putative neurotransmitters. Many of these neurons are well-identified, their specific locations within the corresponding ganglion are mapped, and some are termed as either heart excitatory (HE) or inhibitory (HI) cells. The remaining neurons are classified as cardio-regulatory, and their direct and indirect actions on the heart's function have been documented. The cardiovascular anatomy of frequently used experimental animals, Achatina, Aplysia, Helix, and Lymnaea is relatively simple. However, as in humans, it possesses all major components including even trabeculae and atrio-ventricular valves. Since the myocardial cells are enzymatically dispersible, multiple voltage dependent cationic currents in isolated cardiomyocytes are described. The latter include at least the A-type K(+), delayed rectifier K(+), TTX-sensitive Na(+), and L-type Ca(2+) channels. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  4. The neuronal control of cardiac functions in Molluscs☆ (United States)

    Kodirov, Sodikdjon A.


    In this manuscript, I review the current and relevant classical studies on properties of the Mollusca heart and their central nervous system including ganglia, neurons, and nerves involved in cardiomodulation. Similar to mammalian brain hemispheres, these invertebrates possess symmetrical pairs of ganglia albeit visceral (only one) ganglion and the parietal ganglia (the right ganglion is bigger than the left one). Furthermore, there are two major regulatory drives into the compartments (pericard, auricle, and ventricle) and cardiomyocytes of the heart. These are the excitatory and inhibitory signals that originate from a few designated neurons and their putative neurotransmitters. Many of these neurons are well-identified, their specific locations within the corresponding ganglion are mapped, and some are termed as either heart excitatory (HE) or inhibitory (HI) cells. The remaining neurons are classified as cardio-regulatory, and their direct and indirect actions on the heart’s function have been documented. The cardiovascular anatomy of frequently used experimental animals, Achatina, Aplysia, Helix, and Lymnaea is relatively simple. However, as in humans, it possesses all major components including even trabeculae and atrio-ventricular valves. Since the myocardial cells are enzymatically dispersible, multiple voltage dependent cationic currents in isolated cardiomyocytes are described. The latter include at least the A-type K+, delayed rectifier K+, TTX-sensitive Na+, and L-type Ca2+ channels. PMID:21736949

  5. Stimulation of neuronal neurite outgrowth using functionalized carbon nanotubes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsumoto, K; Sato, C; Shimizu, N; Naka, Y; Whitby, R


    Low concentrations (0.11-1.7 μg ml -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 μg ml -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.

  6. DNA methylation alterations in iPSC- and hESC-derived neurons: potential implications for neurological disease modeling. (United States)

    de Boni, Laura; Gasparoni, Gilles; Haubenreich, Carolin; Tierling, Sascha; Schmitt, Ina; Peitz, Michael; Koch, Philipp; Walter, Jörn; Wüllner, Ullrich; Brüstle, Oliver


    Genetic predisposition and epigenetic alterations are both considered to contribute to sporadic neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) such as Parkinson's disease (PD). Since cell reprogramming and the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are themselves associated with major epigenetic remodeling, it remains unclear to what extent iPSC-derived neurons lend themselves to model epigenetic disease-associated changes. A key question to be addressed in this context is whether iPSC-derived neurons exhibit epigenetic signatures typically observed in neurons derived from non-reprogrammed human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Here, we compare mature neurons derived from hESC and isogenic human iPSC generated from hESC-derived neural stem cells. Genome-wide 450 K-based DNA methylation and HT12v4 gene array expression analyses were complemented by a deep analysis of selected genes known to be involved in NDD. Our studies show that DNA methylation and gene expression patterns of isogenic hESC- and iPSC-derived neurons are markedly preserved on a genome-wide and single gene level. Overall, iPSC-derived neurons exhibit similar DNA methylation patterns compared to isogenic hESC-derived neurons. Further studies will be required to explore whether the epigenetic patterns observed in iPSC-derived neurons correspond to those detectable in native brain neurons.

  7. Survival of adult generated hippocampal neurons is altered in circadian arrhythmic mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brooke D Rakai

    Full Text Available The subgranular zone of the hippocampal formation gives rise to new neurons that populate the dentate gyrus throughout life. Cells in the hippocampus exhibit rhythmic clock gene expression and the circadian clock is known to regulate the cycle of cell division in other areas of the body. These facts suggest that the circadian clock may regulate adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus as well. In the present study, neurogenesis in the hippocampal subgranular zone was examined in arrhythmic Bmal1 knockout (-KO mice and their rhythmic heterozygous and wildtype littermates. Proliferation and survival of newly generated subgranular zone cells were examined using bromodeoxyuridine labelling, while pyknosis (a measure of cell death and hippocampal volume were examined in cresyl violet stained sections. There was no significant difference in cellular proliferation between any of the groups, yet survival of proliferating cells, 6 weeks after the bromodeoxyuridine injection, was significantly greater in the BMAL1-KO animals. The number of pyknotic cells was significantly decreased in Bmal1-KO animals, yet hippocampal volume remained the same across genotypes. These findings suggest that while a functional circadian clock is not necessary for normal proliferation of neuronal precursor cells, the normal pruning of newly generated neurons in the hippocampus may require a functional circadian clock.

  8. Alterations in cortical thickness and neuronal density in the frontal cortex of Albert Einstein. (United States)

    Anderson, B; Harvey, T


    Neuronal density, neuron size, and the number of neurons under 1 mm2 of cerebral cortical surface area were measured in the right pre-frontal cortex of Albert Einstein and five elderly control subjects. Measurement of neuronal density used the optical dissector technique on celloidin-embedded cresyl violet-stained sections. The neurons counted provided a systematic random sample for the measurement of cell body cross-sectional area. Einstein's cortex did not differ from the control subjects in the number of neurons under 1 mm2 of cerebral cortex or in mean neuronal size. Because Einstein's cortex was thinner than the controls he had a greater neuronal density.

  9. Prepubertal Development of Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Neuron Activity Is Altered by Sex, Age, and Prenatal Androgen Exposure. (United States)

    Dulka, Eden A; Moenter, Suzanne M


    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.

  10. Neonicotinoid Insecticides Alter the Gene Expression Profile of Neuron-Enriched Cultures from Neonatal Rat Cerebellum. (United States)

    Kimura-Kuroda, Junko; Nishito, Yasumasa; Yanagisawa, Hiroko; Kuroda, Yoichiro; Komuta, Yukari; Kawano, Hitoshi; Hayashi, Masaharu


    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 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.

  11. Neonicotinoid Insecticides Alter the Gene Expression Profile of Neuron-Enriched Cultures from Neonatal Rat Cerebellum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junko Kimura-Kuroda


    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.

  12. 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


    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.

  13. Arsenic moiety in gallium arsenide is responsible for neuronal apoptosis and behavioral alterations in rats. (United States)

    Flora, Swaran J S; Bhatt, Kapil; Mehta, Ashish


    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luc J Gentet


    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  16. Environmental exposure and altered menstrual function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Keye, W.R. Jr.


    The impact of environmental agents and occupational factors on hypothalamic and pituitary function and menstruation are poorly understood. To date, most research related to environment, occupation, and reproduction has focused on pregnancy outcome, not menstrual function. It is imperative, however, that menstrual function be considered as an outcome variable in the study of reproduction and occupation.

  17. Deletion of Rictor in catecholaminergic neurons alters locomotor activity and ingestive behavior. (United States)

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


    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.

  18. Neurons the decision makers, Part I: The firing function of a single neuron. (United States)

    Saaty, Thomas


    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

  19. Stimulus-response functions of single avian olfactory bulb neurones. (United States)

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


    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.

  20. 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


    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.

  1. Altered neuronal spontaneous activity correlates with glutamate concentration in medial prefrontal cortex of major depressed females: An fMRI-MRS study. (United States)

    Zhang, Xiaoliu; Tang, Yingying; Maletic-Savatic, Mirjana; Sheng, Jianhua; Zhang, Xuanhong; Zhu, Yajing; Zhang, Tianhong; Wang, Junjie; Tong, Shanbao; Wang, Jijun; Li, Yao


    Major depressive disorder (MDD) is twice more prevalent in females than in males. Yet, there have only been a few studies on the functional brain activity in female MDD patients and the detailed mechanisms underlying their neurobiology merit further investigations. In the present work, we used combined fMRI-MRS methods to investigate the altered intrinsic neuronal activity and its association with neurotransmitter concentration in female MDD patients. The whole brain amplitude of low frequency fluctuation (ALFF) analysis using resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was performed to explore the alteration of intrinsic neuronal signals in MDD females (n=11) compared with female healthy controls (n=11). With a specific interest in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) area, we quantified the concentration of amino acid neurotransmitters including GABA ((r-aminobutyric acid)), Glu (Glutamate), and Glx (Glutamate + Glutamine) using (1)H-MRS technology. Moreover, we conducted Pearson correlation analysis between the ALFF value and neurotransmitter concentration to find out the functional-biochemical relation in mPFC area. The relationship between the metabolites concentration and MDD symptomatology was also examined through Spearman correlation analysis. We found that the female MDD patients showed increased neuronal spontaneous activity in left medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and left middle frontal cortex, with decreased ALFF level in right putamen and right middle temporal cortex (pconcentration in female MDD patients (r=0.67, p=0.023). The Glu concentration in mPFC was positively correlated with patients HAMA scores (r=0.641, p=0.033). The relatively small sample size, metabolite information acquired only in mPFC and not all patients were unmedicated are the major limitations of our study. Using combined fMRI-MRS methods, we found increased spontaneous neuronal activity was correlated with Glu concentration in mPFC of female MDD patients. Other

  2. Alterations in the small intestinal wall and motor function after repeated cisplatin in rat. (United States)

    Uranga, J A; García-Martínez, J M; García-Jiménez, C; Vera, G; Martín-Fontelles, M I; Abalo, R


    Gastrointestinal adverse effects occurring during cancer chemotherapy are well known and feared; those persisting once treatment has finished are relatively unknown. We characterized the alterations occurring in the rat small intestine, after repeated treatment with cisplatin. Male Wistar rats received saline or cisplatin (2 mg kg -1  week -1 , for 5 weeks, ip). Gastric motor function was studied non-invasively throughout treatment (W1-W5) and 1 week after treatment finalization (W6). During W6, upper gastrointestinal motility was also invasively studied and small intestinal samples were collected for histopathological and molecular studies. Structural alterations in the small intestinal wall, mucosa, submucosa, muscle layers, and lymphocytic nodules were histologically studied. Periodic acid-Schiff staining and immunohistochemistry for Ki-67, chromogranin A, and neuronal-specific enolase were used to detect secretory, proliferating, endocrine and neural cells, respectively. The expression of different markers in the tunica muscularis was analyzed by RT/qPCR. Repeated cisplatin induced motility alterations during and after treatment. After treatment (W6), the small intestinal wall showed histopathological alterations in most parameters measured, including a reduction in the thickness of circular and longitudinal muscle layers. Expression of c-KIT (for interstitial cells of Cajal), nNOS (for inhibitory motor neurons), pChAT, and cChAT (for excitatory motor neurons) increased significantly (although both ChATs to a lesser extent). Repeated cisplatin induces relatively long-lasting gut dysmotility in rat associated with important histopathological and molecular alterations in the small intestinal wall. In cancer survivors, the possible chemotherapy-induced histopathological, molecular, and functional intestinal sequelae should be evaluated. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Maternal cocaine administration in mice alters DNA methylation and gene expression in hippocampal neurons of neonatal and prepubertal offspring.

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    Svetlana I Novikova


    Full Text Available Previous studies documented significant behavioral changes in the offspring of cocaine-exposed mothers. We now explore the hypothesis that maternal cocaine exposure could alter the fetal epigenetic machinery sufficiently to cause lasting neurochemical and functional changes in the offspring. Pregnant CD1 mice were administered either saline or 20 mg/kg cocaine twice daily on gestational days 8-19. Male pups from each of ten litters of the cocaine and control groups were analyzed at 3 (P3 or 30 (P30 days postnatum. Global DNA methylation, methylated DNA immunoprecipitation followed by CGI(2 microarray profiling and bisulfite sequencing, as well as quantitative real-time RT-PCR gene expression analysis, were evaluated in hippocampal pyramidal neurons excised by laser capture microdissection. Following maternal cocaine exposure, global DNA methylation was significantly decreased at P3 and increased at P30. Among the 492 CGIs whose methylation was significantly altered by cocaine at P3, 34% were hypermethylated while 66% were hypomethylated. Several of these CGIs contained promoter regions for genes implicated in crucial cellular functions. Endogenous expression of selected genes linked to the abnormally methylated CGIs was correspondingly decreased or increased by as much as 4-19-fold. By P30, some of the cocaine-associated effects at P3 endured, reversed to opposite directions, or disappeared. Further, additional sets of abnormally methylated targets emerged at P30 that were not observed at P3. Taken together, these observations indicate that maternal cocaine exposure during the second and third trimesters of gestation could produce potentially profound structural and functional modifications in the epigenomic programs of neonatal and prepubertal mice.

  4. Transcriptomics of aged Drosophila motor neurons reveals a matrix metalloproteinase that impairs motor function. (United States)

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


    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.

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

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    Ramesh eChandra


    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.

  6. Knockout of Amyloid β Protein Precursor (APP) Expression Alters Synaptogenesis, Neurite Branching and Axonal Morphology of Hippocampal Neurons. (United States)

    Southam, Katherine A; Stennard, Fiona; Pavez, Cassandra; Small, David H


    The function of the β-A4 amyloid protein precursor (APP) of Alzheimer's disease (AD) remains unclear. APP has a number of putative roles in neuronal differentiation, survival, synaptogenesis and cell adhesion. In this study, we examined the development of axons, dendrites and synapses in cultures of hippocampus neutrons derived from APP knockout (KO) mice. We report that loss of APP function reduces the branching of cultured hippocampal neurons, resulting in reduced synapse formation. Using a compartmentalised culture approach, we found reduced axonal outgrowth in cultured hippocampal neurons and we also identified abnormal growth characteristics of isolated hippocampal neuron axons. Although APP has previously been suggested to play an important role in promoting cell adhesion, we surprisingly found that APPKO hippocampal neurons adhered more strongly to a poly-L-lysine substrate and their neurites displayed an increased density of focal adhesion puncta. The findings suggest that the function of APP has an important role in both dendritic and axonal growth and that endogenous APP may regulate substrate adhesion of hippocampal neurons. The results may explain neuronal and synaptic morphological abnormalities in APPKO mice and the presence of abnormal APP expression in dystrophic neurites around amyloid deposits in AD.

  7. A deficit in zinc availability can cause alterations in tubulin thiol redox status in cultured neurons and in the developing fetal rat brain. (United States)

    Mackenzie, Gerardo G; Salvador, Gabriela A; Romero, Carolina; Keen, Carl L; Oteiza, Patricia I


    Zinc (Zn) deficiency during early development can result in multiple brain abnormalities and altered neuronal functions. In rats, a gestational deficit of Zn can affect the fetal brain cytoskeleton and signaling cascades involved in cellular processes that are central to brain development. In this paper, we tested the hypothesis that oxidative stress is involved in Zn deficiency-induced altered tubulin dynamics and the associated dysregulation of transcription factor NF-κB. For this purpose, we used two cell culture models (rat cortical neurons, human IMR-32 neuroblastoma cells) and an animal model of Zn deficiency. A low rate of in vitro tubulin polymerization, an increase in tubulin oligomers, and a higher protein cysteine oxidation were observed in the Zn-deficient neuronal cells and in gestation day 19 fetal brains obtained from dams fed marginal-Zn diets throughout pregnancy. These alterations could be prevented by treating the Zn-deficient cells with the reducing agent tris(2-carboxyethyl)phosphine or by the presence of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) and α-lipoic acid (LA). Consistent with the above, Zn deficiency-induced tubulin-mediated alterations in transcription factor NF-κB nuclear translocation were prevented by treating IMR-32 cells with LA and NAC. Binding of the NF-κB protein p50, dynein, and karyopherin α (components of the NF-κB transport complex) to β-tubulin as well as the expression of NF-κB-dependent genes (Bcl-2, cyclin D1, and c-myc) was also restored by the addition of LA and NAC to Zn-deficient cells. In conclusion, a deficit in Zn viability could affect early brain development through: (1) an induction of oxidative stress, (2) tubulin oxidation, (3) altered tubulin dynamics, and (4) deregulation of signals (e.g., NF-κB) involved in critical developmental events. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Aluminum alters NMDA receptor 1A and 2A/B expression on neonatal hippocampal neurons in rats

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    Yuan Chia-Yi


    Full Text Available Abstract Background High aluminum (Al content in certain infant formula raises the concern of possible Al toxicity on brain development of neonates during their vulnerable period of growing. Results of in vivo study showed that Al content of brain tissues reached to 74 μM when oral intake up to 1110 μM, 10 times of that in the hi-Al infant formula. Methods Utilizing a cultured neuron cells in vitro model, we have assessed Al influence on neuronal specific gene expression alteration by immunoblot and immunohistochemistry and neural proliferation rate changes by MTT assay. Results Microscopic images showed that the neurite outgrowth of hippocampal neurons increased along with the Al dosages (37, 74 μM Al (AlCl3. MTT results also indicated that Al increased neural cell viability. On the other hand, the immunocytochemistry staining suggested that the protein expressions of NMDAR 1A and NMDAR 2A/B decreased with the Al dosages (p Conclusion Treated hippocampal neurons with 37 and 74 μM of Al for 14 days increased neural cell viability, but hampered NMDAR 1A and NMDAR 2A/B expressions. It was suggested that Al exposure might alter the development of hippocampal neurons in neonatal rats.

  9. Advanced type 1 diabetes is associated with ASIC alterations in mouse lower thoracic dorsal root ganglia neurons. (United States)

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


    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.

  10. A Complex Interaction Between Reduced Reelin Expression and Prenatal Organophosphate Exposure Alters Neuronal Cell Morphology

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    Brian R. Mullen


    Full Text Available Genetic and environmental factors are both likely to contribute to neurodevelopmental disorders including schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders, and major depressive disorders. Prior studies from our laboratory and others have demonstrated that the combinatorial effect of two factors—reduced expression of reelin protein and prenatal exposure to the organophosphate pesticide chlorpyrifos oxon—gives rise to acute biochemical effects and to morphological and behavioral phenotypes in adolescent and young adult mice. In the current study, we examine the consequences of these factors on reelin protein expression and neuronal cell morphology in adult mice. While the cell populations that express reelin in the adult brain appear unchanged in location and distribution, the levels of full length and cleaved reelin protein show persistent reductions following prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos oxon. Cell positioning and organization in the hippocampus and cerebellum are largely normal in animals with either reduced reelin expression or prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos oxon, but cellular complexity and dendritic spine organization is altered, with a skewed distribution of immature dendritic spines in adult animals. Paradoxically, combinatorial exposure to both factors appears to generate a rescue of the dendritic spine phenotypes, similar to the mitigation of behavioral and morphological changes observed in our prior study. Together, our observations support an interaction between reelin expression and chlorpyrifos oxon exposure that is not simply additive, suggesting a complex interplay between genetic and environmental factors in regulating brain morphology.

  11. 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


    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.

  12. Alterations in hypothalamic function following thermal injury. (United States)

    Wilmore, D W; Orcutt, T W; Mason, A D; Pruitt, B A


    Nine burn patients with a mean burn size of 39% (range, 23-65%) and five normal individuals studied in an environmental chamber selected optimal comfort temperature by regulating a bedside temperature control unit. The normal individuals selected 27.8 degrees C plus or minus 0.6 (SE) as the comfort temperature and their mean skin temperature was 33.4 plus or minus 0.6 and core temperature 36.9 plus or minus 0.1 while in this environment. In contrast, the burn patients maintained a higher ambient comfort temperature (mean 30.4 plus or minus 0.7, p less than 0.05 when compared to controls) associated with an elevated core (38.4 plus or minus 0.3, p less than 0.01) and surface temperature (35.2 plus or minus 0.4, p less than 0.05). Human growth hormone response to insulin hypoglycemia and arginine infusion was measured in nine additional burn patients (mean burn size, 52%; range, 23-90%) and five normals. Fasting HGH was significantly elevated (1.7 plus or minus 0.2 ng/ml, n = 18, versus control of 0.9 plus or minus 0.1, n = 10, p less than 0.001), despite fasting hyperglycemia in the burn patients (123 plus or minus 5 mg/100 glycemia in the burn patients (123 plus or minus 5 mg/100 ml versus 91 plus or minus 2, p less than 0.001). HGH response to insulin hypoglycemia was diminished in the burn patients with peak HGH value in patients averaging 12.6 ng/ml compared to 27.8 in the recovered patients and 32.6 in the controls (p less than 0.01). Patients receiving an arginine infusion also demonstrated diminished HGH response following injury. The HGH response to known stimuli returned toward normal with time and recovery in the surviving patients. Alterations in comfort temperature, fasting blood glucose, and glucose-HGH interaction occur following thermal trauma. These changes taken together suggest that metabolic responses to injury may be the consequence of homeostatic readjustment within the hypothalamus.

  13. Altered Functional Performance in Patients with Fibromyalgia. (United States)

    Costa, Isis da Silva; Gamundí, Antoni; Miranda, José G Vivas; França, Lucas G Souza; De Santana, Charles Novaes; Montoya, Pedro


    Fibromyalgia is a common chronic pain condition that exerts a considerable impact on patients' daily activities and quality of life. Objectives: The main objective of the present study was to evaluate kinematic parameters of gait, functional performance, and balance in women with fibromyalgia syndrome. Methods: The study included 26 female patients with fibromyalgia (49.2 ± 8.0 years) according to the criteria of the American College of Rheumatology, as well as 16 pain-free women (43.5 ± 8.5 years). Gait and balance parameters were extracted from video recordings of participants performing several motor tasks. Non-linear dynamic of body sway time series was also analyzed by computing the Hurst exponent. In addition, functional performance and clinical pain were obtained by using standardized motor tests (Berg's balance scale, 6-min walking test, timed up and go task, Romberg's balance test) and self-report questionnaires (Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire). Results: Walking speed was significantly diminished ( p cycle frequency ( p assessment of both psychological responses to pain and physical impairments during postural control and gait.

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

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    Felipe Vidal


    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.

  15. Hypocretin/Orexin Peptides Alter Spike Encoding by Serotonergic Dorsal Raphe Neurons through Two Distinct Mechanisms That Increase the Late Afterhyperpolarization. (United States)

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


    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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jayakumar, A R; Bak, L K; Rama Rao, K V


    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......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...... 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...

  17. Characterizing genomic alterations in cancer by complementary functional associations. (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


    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.

  18. Distribution of neurons in functional areas of the mouse cerebral cortex reveals quantitatively different cortical zones (United States)

    Herculano-Houzel, Suzana; Watson, Charles; Paxinos, George


    How are neurons distributed along the cortical surface and across functional areas? Here we use the isotropic fractionator (Herculano-Houzel and Lent, 2005) to analyze the distribution of neurons across the entire isocortex of the mouse, divided into 18 functional areas defined anatomically. We find that the number of neurons underneath a surface area (the N/A ratio) varies 4.5-fold across functional areas and neuronal density varies 3.2-fold. The face area of S1 contains the most neurons, followed by motor cortex and the primary visual cortex. Remarkably, while the distribution of neurons across functional areas does not accompany the distribution of surface area, it mirrors closely the distribution of cortical volumes—with the exception of the visual areas, which hold more neurons than expected for their volume. Across the non-visual cortex, the volume of individual functional areas is a shared linear function of their number of neurons, while in the visual areas, neuronal densities are much higher than in all other areas. In contrast, the 18 functional areas cluster into three different zones according to the relationship between the N/A ratio and cortical thickness and neuronal density: these three clusters can be called visual, sensory, and, possibly, associative. These findings are remarkably similar to those in the human cerebral cortex (Ribeiro et al., 2013) and suggest that, like the human cerebral cortex, the mouse cerebral cortex comprises two zones that differ in how neurons form the cortical volume, and three zones that differ in how neurons are distributed underneath the cortical surface, possibly in relation to local differences in connectivity through the white matter. Our results suggest that beyond the developmental divide into visual and non-visual cortex, functional areas initially share a common distribution of neurons along the parenchyma that become delimited into functional areas according to the pattern of connectivity established later

  19. Distribution of neurons in functional areas of the mouse cerebral cortex reveals quantitatively different cortical zones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzana eHerculano-Houzel


    Full Text Available How are neurons distributed along the cortical surface and across functional areas? Here we use the isotropic fractionator (Herculano-Houzel and Lent, 2005 to analyze the distribution of neurons across the entire isocortex of the mouse, divided into 18 functional areas defined anatomically. We find that the number of neurons underneath a surface area (the N/A ratio varies 4.5-fold across functional areas and neuronal density varies 3.2-fold. The face area of S1 contains the most neurons, followed by motor cortex and the primary visual cortex. Remarkably, while the distribution of neurons across functional areas does not accompany the distribution of surface area, it mirrors closely the distribution of cortical volumes – with the exception of the visual areas, which hold more neurons than expected for their volume. Across the non-visual cortex, the volume of individual functional areas is a shared linear function of their number of neurons, while in the visual areas, neuronal densities are much higher than in all other areas. In contrast, the 18 functional areas cluster into three different zones according to the relationship between the N/A ratio and cortical thickness and neuronal density: these three clusters can be called visual, sensory, and, possibly, associative. These findings are remarkably similar to those in the human cerebral cortex (see companion paper and suggest that, like the human cerebral cortex, the mouse cerebral cortex comprises two zones that differ in how neurons form the cortical volume, and three zones that differ in how neurons are distributed underneath the cortical surface, possibly in relation to local differences in connectivity through the white matter. Our results suggest that beyond the developmental divide into visual and non-visual cortex, functional areas initially share a common distribution of neurons along the parenchyma that become delimited into functional areas according to the pattern of connectivity

  20. Non-motor function of the midbrain dopaminergic neurons. (United States)

    Da Cunha, Claudio; Wietzikoski, Evellyn Claudia; Bortolanza, Mariza; Dombrowski, Patricia Andréia; dos Santos, Lucélia Mendes; Boschen, Suelen Lúcio; Miyoshi, Edmar; Vital, Maria Aparecida Barbato Frazão; Boerngen-Lacerda, Roseli; Andreatini, Roberto


    The roles of the nigrostriatal pathway are far beyond the simple control of motor functions. The tonic release of dopamine in the dorsal and ventral striatum controls the choice of proper actions toward a given environmental situation. In the striatum, a specific action is triggered by a specific stimulus associated with it. When the subject faces a novel and salient stimulus, the phasic release of dopamine allows synaptic plasticity in the cortico-striatal synapses. Neurons of different regions of cortical areas make synapses that converge to the same medium spine neurons of the striatum. The convergent associations form functional units encoding body parts, objects, locations, and symbolic representations of the subject's world. Such units emerge in the striatum in a repetitive manner, like a mosaic of broken mirrors. The phasic release of dopamine allows the association of units to encode an action of the subject directed to an object or location with the outcome of this action. Reinforced stimulus-action-outcome associations will affect future decision making when the same stimulus (object, location, idea) is presented to the subject in the future. In the absence of a minimal amount of striatal dopamine, no action is initiated as seen in Parkinson's disease subjects. The abnormal and improper association of these units leads to the initiation of unpurposeful and sometimes repetitive actions, as those observed in dyskinetic patients. The association of an excessive reinforcement of some actions, like drug consumption, leads to drug addiction. Improper associations of ideas and unpleasant outcomes may be related to traumatic and depressive symptoms common in many diseases, including Parkinson's disease. The same can be said about the learning and memory impairments observed in demented and nondemented Parkinson's disease patients.

  1. Sleep deprivation and hippocampal vulnerability: changes in neuronal plasticity, neurogenesis and cognitive function. (United States)

    Kreutzmann, J C; Havekes, R; Abel, T; Meerlo, P


    Despite the ongoing fundamental controversy about the physiological function of sleep, there is general consensus that sleep benefits neuronal plasticity, which ultimately supports brain function and cognition. In agreement with this are numerous studies showing that sleep deprivation (SD) results in learning and memory impairments. Interestingly, such impairments appear to occur particularly when these learning and memory processes require the hippocampus, suggesting that this brain region may be particularly sensitive to the consequences of sleep loss. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying sleep and memory formation remain to be investigated, available evidence suggests that SD may impair hippocampal neuronal plasticity and memory processes by attenuating intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-protein kinase A (PKA) signaling which may lead to alterations in cAMP response element binding protein (CREB)-mediated gene transcription, neurotrophic signaling, and glutamate receptor expression. When restricted sleep becomes a chronic condition, it causes a reduction of hippocampal cell proliferation and neurogenesis, which may eventually lead to a reduction in hippocampal volume. Ultimately, by impairing hippocampal plasticity and function, chronically restricted and disrupted sleep contributes to cognitive disorders and psychiatric diseases. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

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    Naim Haliti


    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.

  3. Membrane capacitive memory alters spiking in neurons described by the fractional-order Hodgkin-Huxley model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seth H Weinberg

    Full Text Available Excitable cells and cell membranes are often modeled by the simple yet elegant parallel resistor-capacitor circuit. However, studies have shown that the passive properties of membranes may be more appropriately modeled with a non-ideal capacitor, in which the current-voltage relationship is given by a fractional-order derivative. Fractional-order membrane potential dynamics introduce capacitive memory effects, i.e., dynamics are influenced by a weighted sum of the membrane potential prior history. However, it is not clear to what extent fractional-order dynamics may alter the properties of active excitable cells. In this study, we investigate the spiking properties of the neuronal membrane patch, nerve axon, and neural networks described by the fractional-order Hodgkin-Huxley neuron model. We find that in the membrane patch model, as fractional-order decreases, i.e., a greater influence of membrane potential memory, peak sodium and potassium currents are altered, and spike frequency and amplitude are generally reduced. In the nerve axon, the velocity of spike propagation increases as fractional-order decreases, while in a neural network, electrical activity is more likely to cease for smaller fractional-order. Importantly, we demonstrate that the modulation of the peak ionic currents that occurs for reduced fractional-order alone fails to reproduce many of the key alterations in spiking properties, suggesting that membrane capacitive memory and fractional-order membrane potential dynamics are important and necessary to reproduce neuronal electrical activity.

  4. Membrane capacitive memory alters spiking in neurons described by the fractional-order Hodgkin-Huxley model. (United States)

    Weinberg, Seth H


    Excitable cells and cell membranes are often modeled by the simple yet elegant parallel resistor-capacitor circuit. However, studies have shown that the passive properties of membranes may be more appropriately modeled with a non-ideal capacitor, in which the current-voltage relationship is given by a fractional-order derivative. Fractional-order membrane potential dynamics introduce capacitive memory effects, i.e., dynamics are influenced by a weighted sum of the membrane potential prior history. However, it is not clear to what extent fractional-order dynamics may alter the properties of active excitable cells. In this study, we investigate the spiking properties of the neuronal membrane patch, nerve axon, and neural networks described by the fractional-order Hodgkin-Huxley neuron model. We find that in the membrane patch model, as fractional-order decreases, i.e., a greater influence of membrane potential memory, peak sodium and potassium currents are altered, and spike frequency and amplitude are generally reduced. In the nerve axon, the velocity of spike propagation increases as fractional-order decreases, while in a neural network, electrical activity is more likely to cease for smaller fractional-order. Importantly, we demonstrate that the modulation of the peak ionic currents that occurs for reduced fractional-order alone fails to reproduce many of the key alterations in spiking properties, suggesting that membrane capacitive memory and fractional-order membrane potential dynamics are important and necessary to reproduce neuronal electrical activity.

  5. Neuronal spike sorting based on radial basis function neural networks

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    Taghavi Kani M


    Full Text Available "nBackground: Studying the behavior of a society of neurons, extracting the communication mechanisms of brain with other tissues, finding treatment for some nervous system diseases and designing neuroprosthetic devices, require an algorithm to sort neuralspikes automatically. However, sorting neural spikes is a challenging task because of the low signal to noise ratio (SNR of the spikes. The main purpose of this study was to design an automatic algorithm for classifying neuronal spikes that are emitted from a specific region of the nervous system."n "nMethods: The spike sorting process usually consists of three stages: detection, feature extraction and sorting. We initially used signal statistics to detect neural spikes. Then, we chose a limited number of typical spikes as features and finally used them to train a radial basis function (RBF neural network to sort the spikes. In most spike sorting devices, these signals are not linearly discriminative. In order to solve this problem, the aforesaid RBF neural network was used."n "nResults: After the learning process, our proposed algorithm classified any arbitrary spike. The obtained results showed that even though the proposed Radial Basis Spike Sorter (RBSS reached to the same error as the previous methods, however, the computational costs were much lower compared to other algorithms. Moreover, the competitive points of the proposed algorithm were its good speed and low computational complexity."n "nConclusion: Regarding the results of this study, the proposed algorithm seems to serve the purpose of procedures that require real-time processing and spike sorting.

  6. Altered Resting Brain Function and Structure in Professional Badminton Players (United States)

    Di, Xin; Zhu, Senhua; Wang, Pin; Ye, Zhuoer; Zhou, Ke; Zhuo, Yan


    Abstract 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. PMID:22840241

  7. In vivo Labeling of Constellations of Functionally Identified Neurons for Targeted in vitro Recordings. (United States)

    Lien, Anthony D; Scanziani, Massimo


    Relating the functional properties of neurons in an intact organism with their cellular and synaptic characteristics is necessary for a mechanistic understanding of brain function. However, while the functional properties of cortical neurons (e.g., tuning to sensory stimuli) are necessarily determined in vivo, detailed cellular and synaptic analysis relies on in vitro techniques. Here we describe an approach that combines in vivo calcium imaging (for functional characterization) with photo-activation of fluorescent proteins (for neuron labeling), thereby allowing targeted in vitro recording of multiple neurons with known functional properties. We expressed photo-activatable GFP rendered non-diffusible through fusion with a histone protein (H2B-PAGFP) in the mouse visual cortex to rapidly photo-label constellations of neurons in vivo at cellular and sub-cellular resolution using two-photon excitation. This photo-labeling method was compatible with two-photon calcium imaging of neuronal responses to visual stimuli, allowing us to label constellations of neurons with specific functional properties. Photo-labeled neurons were easily identified in vitro in acute brain slices and could be targeted for whole-cell recording. We also demonstrate that in vitro and in vivo image stacks of the same photo-labeled neurons could be registered to one another, allowing the exact in vivo response properties of individual neurons recorded in vitro to be known. The ability to perform in vitro recordings from neurons with known functional properties opens up exciting new possibilities for dissecting the cellular, synaptic, and circuit mechanisms that underlie neuronal function in vivo.

  8. Loss of functional neuronal nicotinic receptors in dorsal root ganglion neurons in a rat model of neuropathic pain. (United States)

    Dubé, Gilles R; Kohlhaas, Kathy L; Rueter, Lynne E; Surowy, Carol S; Meyer, Michael D; Briggs, Clark A


    Recent evidence has suggested that the anti-allodynic effect of neuronal acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) agonists may have a peripheral component [L.E. Rueter, K.L. Kohlhaas, P. Curzon, C.S. Surowy, M.D. Meyer, Peripheral and central sites of action for A-85380 in the spinal nerve ligation model of neuropathic pain, Pain 103 (2003) 269-276]. In further studies of the peripheral anti-allodynic mechanisms of nAChR agonists, we investigated the function of nAChRs in acutely isolated dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons from allodynic [L5-L6 spinal nerve ligation (SNL)] and naive adult rats. Following determination of cell diameter and membrane capacitance, responses to rapid applications of nAChR agonists were recorded under whole cell patch clamp. nAChR inward currents were observed in approximately 60% of naive neurons, across small, medium, and large diameter cells. Evoked nAChR currents could be clustered into three broad classes: fast transient, biphasic, and slow desensitizing currents, consistent with multiple subtypes of nAChR expressed in DRG [J.R. Genzen, W. Van Cleve, D.S. McGehee, Dorsal root ganglion neurons express multiple nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes, J. Neurophysiol. 86 (2001) 1773-1782]. In contrast, in neurons from allodynic animals, the occurrence and amplitude of responses to nAChR agonists were significantly reduced. Reduced responsiveness to nAChR agonists covered the range of DRG neuron sizes. The decrease in the responsiveness to nAChR agonists was not seen in neighboring uninjured L4 neurons. The significant decrease in the number of cells with nAChR agonist responses, compounded with the significant decrease in response amplitude, indicates that there is a marked down regulation of functional nAChRs in DRG somata associated with SNL.

  9. Vector-averaged gravity alters myocyte and neuron properties in cell culture (United States)

    Gruener, Raphael; Hoeger, Glenn


    The effect of changes in the gravitational field of developing neurons and myocytes on the development of these cells was investigated using observations of rotated cultures of embryonic spinal neurons and myocytes in a horizontal clinostat, in which rotation produces, from the cells' perspective, a 'vector-free' gravity environment by continous averaging of the vector, thus simulating the microgravity of space. It was found that, at rotation rates between 1 and 50 rpm, cellular and nuclear areas of myocytes become significantly enlarged and the number of presumptive nucleoli increase; in neurons, frequent and large swellings appeared along neuritic shafts. Some of these changes were reversible after the cessation of rotation.

  10. Altered Expression of Genes Encoding Neurotransmitter Receptors in GnRH Neurons of Proestrous Mice


    Vastagh, Csaba; Rodolosse, Annie; Solymosi, Norbert; Liposits, Zsolt


    Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons play a key role in the central regulation of reproduction. In proestrous female mice, estradiol triggers the pre-ovulatory GnRH surge, however, its impact on the expression of neurotransmitter receptor genes in GnRH neurons has not been explored yet. We hypothesized that proestrus is accompanied by substantial changes in the expression profile of genes coding for neurotransmitter receptors in GnRH neurons. We compared the transcriptome of GnRH neu...

  11. Altered expression of genes encoding neurotransmitter receptors in GnRH neurons of proestrous mice


    Csaba Vastagh; Annie Rodolosse; Norbert Solymosi; Zsolt Liposits; Zsolt Liposits


    Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons play a key role in the central regulation of reproduction. In proestrous female mice, estradiol triggers the pre-ovulatory GnRH surge, however, its impact on the expression of neurotransmitter receptor genes in GnRH neurons has not been explored yet. We hypothesized that proestrus is accompanied by substantial changes in the expression profile of genes coding for neurotransmitter receptors in GnRH neurons. We compared the transcriptome of GnRH neu...

  12. Effects of chronic alcohol consumption on neuronal function in the non-human primate BNST (United States)

    Pleil, Kristen E.; Helms, Christa M.; Sobus, Jon R.; Daunais, James B.; Grant, Kathleen A.; Kash, Thomas L.


    Alterations in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function contribute to many of the adverse behavioral effects of chronic voluntary alcohol drinking, including alcohol dependence and mood disorders; limbic brain structures such as the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) may be key sites for these effects. Here, we measured circulating levels of several steroid hormones and performed whole-cell electrophysiological recordings from acutely-prepared BNST slices of male rhesus monkeys allowed to self-administer alcohol for 12 months or a control solution. Initial comparisons revealed that BNST neurons in alcohol-drinking monkeys had decreased membrane resistance, increased frequency of spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sIPSCs) with no change in spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs). We then used a combined variable cluster analysis and linear mixed model statistical approach to determine whether specific factors including stress and sex hormones, age, and measures of alcohol consumption and intoxication are related to these BNST measures. Modeling results showed that specific measures of alcohol consumption and stress-related hormone levels predicted differences in membrane conductance in BNST neurons. Distinct groups of adrenal stress hormones were negatively associated with the frequency of sIPSCs and sEPSCs, and alcohol drinking measures and basal neuronal membrane properties were additional positive predictors of inhibitory, but not excitatory, PSCs. The amplitude of sEPSCs was highly positively correlated with age, independent of other variables. Together, these results suggest that chronic voluntary alcohol consumption strongly influences limbic function in non-human primates, potentially via interactions with or modulation by other physiological variables, including stress steroid hormones and age. PMID:26223349

  13. 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.


    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

  14. Functional Connectome Analysis of Dopamine Neuron Glutamatergic Connections in Forebrain Regions. (United States)

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


    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

  15. Surgical incision can alter capsaicin-induced central sensitization in rat brainstem nociceptive neurons. (United States)

    Lam, D K; Sessle, B J; Hu, J W


    Surgical trauma can affect spinal neuronal excitability, but there have been no studies of the effects of surgical cutaneous injury on central nociceptive processing of deep afferent inputs evoked by noxious stimuli such as capsaicin. Thus our aim was to test the effect of surgical cutaneous incision in influencing central sensitization induced by capsaicin injection into the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The activity of single nociceptive neurons activated by noxious mechanical stimulation of the TMJ was recorded in the trigeminal subnucleus caudalis/upper cervical cord of halothane-anesthetized rats. The cutaneous mechanoreceptive field (RF), cutaneous mechanical activation threshold (MAT) and TMJ MAT of neurons before and after both surgical cutaneous incision alone and capsaicin injection were compared with results of incision and lidocaine pretreatment of the facial skin overlying the TMJ and capsaicin injection into the TMJ. Incision itself induced a barrage of neuronal spikes and excitability increases reflecting central sensitization (cutaneous RF expansion, cutaneous MAT reduction) in most neurons tested whereas lidocaine pretreatment significantly attenuated the barrage and central sensitization. Capsaicin injection into the TMJ induced cutaneous RF expansion, cutaneous MAT reduction and TMJ MAT reduction following lidocaine pretreatment of the cutaneous incision site whereas capsaicin injection following incision alone not only failed to induce further central sensitization but also decreased the existing incision-induced central sensitization (no cutaneous RF expansion, increased cutaneous MAT and TMJ MAT) in most neurons tested. These findings suggest that central sensitization induced by capsaicin alone or by cutaneous incision alone can readily occur in TMJ-responsive nociceptive neurons and that following incision-induced excitability increases, capsaicin may result in a temporary suppression of nociceptive neuronal changes reflecting central

  16. Free chelatable zinc modulates the cholinergic function during hypobaric hypoxia-induced neuronal damage: an in vivo study. (United States)

    Udayabanu, M; Kumaran, D; Katyal, A


    The deregulation of cholinergic system and associated neuronal damage is thought to be a major contributor to the pathophysiologic sequelae of hypobaric hypoxia-induced memory impairment. Uniquely, the muscarinic receptors also play a role in zinc uptake. Despite the potential role of muscarinic receptors in the development of post hypoxia cognitive deficits, no studies to date have evaluated the mechanistic relationship between memory dysfunction and zinc homeostasis in brain. In the present study, we evaluated the effect of Ca(2)EDTA, a specific zinc chelator in the spatial working and associative memory deficits following hypobaric hypoxia. Our results demonstrate that accumulation of intracellular free chelatable zinc in the hippocampal CA3 pyramidal neurons is accompanied with neuronal loss and memory impairment in hypobaric hypoxic condition. Chelation of this free zinc with Ca(2)EDTA (1.25 mM/kg) ameliorated the hippocampus-dependent spatial as well as associative memory dysfunction and neuronal damage observed on exposure to hypobaric hypoxia. The zinc chelator significantly alleviated the downregulation in expression of choline acetyltransferase, muscarinic receptor 1 and 4, and acetylcholinesterase activity due to hypobaric hypoxia. Our data suggest that the free chelatable zinc released during hypobaric hypoxia might play a critical role in the neuronal damage and the alteration in cholinergic function associated with hypobaric hypoxia-induced memory impairment. We speculate that zinc chelation might be a potential therapy for hypobaric hypoxia-induced cognitive impairment. Copyright © 2011 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Direct evidence of impaired neuronal Na/K-ATPase pump function in alternating hemiplegia of childhood. (United States)

    Simmons, Christine Q; Thompson, Christopher H; Cawthon, Bryan E; Westlake, Grant; Swoboda, Kathryn J; Kiskinis, Evangelos; Ess, Kevin C; George, Alfred L


    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

  18. Developing a functional urinary bladder: a neuronal context

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janet R Keast


    Full Text Available The development of organs occurs in parallel with the formation of their nerve supply. The innervation of pelvic organs (lower urinary tract, hindgut, and sexual organs is complex and we know remarkably little about the mechanisms that form these neural pathways. The goal of this short review is to use the urinary bladder as an example to stimulate interest in this question. The bladder requires a healthy mature nervous system to store urine and release it at behaviourally appropriate times. Understanding the mechanisms underlying the construction of these neural circuits is not only relevant to defining the basis of developmental problems but may also suggest strategies to restore connectivity and function following injury or disease in adults. The bladder nerve supply comprises multiple classes of sensory, and parasympathetic or sympathetic autonomic effector (motor neurons. First, we define the developmental endpoint by describing this circuitry in adult rodents. Next we discuss the innervation of the developing bladder, identifying challenges posed by this area of research. Last we provide examples of genetically modified mice with bladder dysfunction and suggest potential neural contributors to this state.

  19. Activity-Dependent Arc Expression and Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity Are Altered in Neurons from a Mouse Model of Angelman Syndrome (United States)

    Pastuzyn, Elissa D.; Shepherd, Jason D.


    Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that results from deletions or mutations in chromosome 15, which usually includes the UBE3A gene. Ube3A protein is an E3 ubiquitin ligase that ubiquitinates proteins and targets them for degradation. The immediate-early gene Arc, a master regulator of synaptic plasticity, was identified as a putative substrate of Ube3A, but there have been conflicting reports on whether Arc is a bona fide E3 ligase substrate. Using multiple approaches, we found no evidence for a physical interaction between Arc and Ube3A in vivo. Nonetheless, activity-induced subcellular distribution of Arc is altered in brains from Ube3am−/p+ mice, with abnormal concentration of Arc at synapses. Furthermore, although activation of Arc transcription is normal, the stability of Arc protein is enhanced in dendrites of hippocampal neurons cultured from Ube3am−/p+ mice. Finally, homeostatic synaptic scaling of surface AMPA receptors does not occur in Ube3am−/p+ hippocampal neurons, reminiscent of neurons that lack Arc protein. Although Ube3A does not seem to bind Arc in a canonical E3 ligase-substrate interaction, Arc-dependent synaptic plasticity is still altered in Ube3am−/p+ mice, which may underlie the cognitive deficits observed in AS. PMID:28804447

  20. Activity-Dependent Arc Expression and Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity Are Altered in Neurons from a Mouse Model of Angelman Syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elissa D. Pastuzyn


    Full Text Available Angelman syndrome (AS is a neurodevelopmental disorder that results from deletions or mutations in chromosome 15, which usually includes the UBE3A gene. Ube3A protein is an E3 ubiquitin ligase that ubiquitinates proteins and targets them for degradation. The immediate-early gene Arc, a master regulator of synaptic plasticity, was identified as a putative substrate of Ube3A, but there have been conflicting reports on whether Arc is a bona fide E3 ligase substrate. Using multiple approaches, we found no evidence for a physical interaction between Arc and Ube3A in vivo. Nonetheless, activity-induced subcellular distribution of Arc is altered in brains from Ube3am−/p+ mice, with abnormal concentration of Arc at synapses. Furthermore, although activation of Arc transcription is normal, the stability of Arc protein is enhanced in dendrites of hippocampal neurons cultured from Ube3am−/p+ mice. Finally, homeostatic synaptic scaling of surface AMPA receptors does not occur in Ube3am−/p+ hippocampal neurons, reminiscent of neurons that lack Arc protein. Although Ube3A does not seem to bind Arc in a canonical E3 ligase-substrate interaction, Arc-dependent synaptic plasticity is still altered in Ube3am−/p+ mice, which may underlie the cognitive deficits observed in AS.

  1. The function of mirror neurons in the learning process

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    Mara Daniel


    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.

  2. Sleep deprivation and hippocampal vulnerability : Changes in neuronal plasticity, neurogenesis and cognitive function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kreutzmann, J C; Havekes, R; Abel, T; Meerlo, P


    Despite the ongoing fundamental controversy about the physiological function of sleep, there is general consensus that sleep benefits neuronal plasticity, which ultimately supports brain function and cognition. In agreement with this are numerous studies showing that sleep deprivation (SD) results

  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. 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

  5. Connectomics and Neuroticism: An Altered Functional Network Organization


    Servaas, Michelle N; Geerligs, Linda; Renken, Remco J; Marsman, Jan-Bernard C; 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 organization in neuroticism. To this end, we applied graph theory on resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data in 120 women selected based on their neuroticism score. Binary and weig...

  6. Pyrethroids differentially alter voltage-gated sodium channels from the honeybee central olfactory neurons. (United States)

    Kadala, Aklesso; Charreton, Mercedes; Jakob, Ingrid; Cens, Thierry; Rousset, Matthieu; Chahine, Mohamed; Le Conte, Yves; Charnet, Pierre; Collet, Claude


    The sensitivity of neurons from the honey bee olfactory system to pyrethroid insecticides was studied using the patch-clamp technique on central 'antennal lobe neurons' (ALNs) in cell culture. In these neurons, the voltage-dependent sodium currents are characterized by negative potential for activation, fast kinetics of activation and inactivation, and the presence of cumulative inactivation during train of depolarizations. Perfusion of pyrethroids on these ALN neurons submitted to repetitive stimulations induced (1) an acceleration of cumulative inactivation, and (2) a marked slowing of the tail current recorded upon repolarization. Cypermethrin and permethrin accelerated cumulative inactivation of the sodium current peak in a similar manner and tetramethrin was even more effective. The slow-down of channel deactivation was markedly dependent on the type of pyrethroid. With cypermethrin, a progressive increase of the tail current amplitude along with successive stimulations reveals a traditionally described use-dependent recruitment of modified sodium channels. However, an unexpected decrease in this tail current was revealed with tetramethrin. If one considers the calculated percentage of modified channels as an index of pyrethroids effects, ALNs are significantly more susceptible to tetramethrin than to permethrin or cypermethrin for a single depolarization, but this difference attenuates with repetitive activity. Further comparison with peripheral neurons from antennae suggest that these modifications are neuron type specific. Modeling the sodium channel as a multi-state channel with fast and slow inactivation allows to underline the effects of pyrethroids on a set of rate constants connecting open and inactivated conformations, and give some insights to their specificity. Altogether, our results revealed a differential sensitivity of central olfactory neurons to pyrethroids that emphasize the ability for these compounds to impair detection and processing of

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

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    Daniele Lana


    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

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

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    Tingting eSun


    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.

  9. A mouse model of visual perceptual learning reveals alterations in neuronal coding and dendritic spine density in the visual cortex

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    Yan eWang


    Full Text Available Visual perceptual learning (VPL can improve spatial vision in normally sighted and visually impaired individuals. Although previous studies of humans and large animals have explored the neural basis of VPL, elucidation of the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms remains a challenge. Owing to the advantages of molecular genetic and optogenetic manipulations, the mouse is a promising model for providing a mechanistic understanding of VPL. Here, we thoroughly evaluated the effects and properties of VPL on spatial vision in C57BL/6J mice using a two-alternative, forced-choice visual water task. Briefly, the mice underwent prolonged training at near the individual threshold of contrast or spatial frequency (SF for pattern discrimination or visual detection for 35 consecutive days. Following training, the contrast-threshold trained mice showed an 87% improvement in contrast sensitivity (CS and a 55% gain in visual acuity (VA. Similarly, the SF-threshold trained mice exhibited comparable and long-lasting improvements in VA and significant gains in CS over a wide range of SFs. Furthermore, learning largely transferred across eyes and stimulus orientations. Interestingly, learning could transfer from a pattern discrimination task to a visual detection task, but not vice versa. We validated that this VPL fully restored VA in adult amblyopic mice and old mice. Taken together, these data indicate that mice, as a species, exhibit reliable VPL. Intrinsic signal optical imaging revealed that mice with perceptual training had higher cut-off SFs in primary visual cortex (V1 than those without perceptual training. Moreover, perceptual training induced an increase in the dendritic spine density in layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons of V1. These results indicated functional and structural alterations in V1 during VPL. Overall, our VPL mouse model will provide a platform for investigating the neurobiological basis of VPL.

  10. Altered Neutrophil Function in Localized Juvenile Periodontitis: Intrinsic or Induced? (United States)

    Agarwal, Sudha; Huang, Jian Ping; Piesco, Nicholas P; Suzuki, Jon B; Riccelli, Angelina E; Johns, Lee P


    Localized juvenile periodontitis (LJP) is an aggressive periodontal disease of familial nature. Neutrophils from a majority of patients with this disease exhibit decreased Chemotaxis with increased adherence, oxidative burst, and degranulation in response to opsonized bacteria. It is proposed that the biological basis for these altered neutrophil functions in LJP may be due either to intrinsic cell abnormalities or to the effect of factors present in the sera of LJP patients, which can modulate neutrophil functions. LJP neutrophils exhibit a lower number of receptors for chemoattractants and GP-110 molecules which are known to facilitate Chemotaxis. Furthermore, these cells exhibit lower signal transduction in response to a biological stimulus. These observations suggest that intrinsic cellular defects may be responsible for altered neutrophil functions in LJP. However, healthy neutrophils, when treated with very low concentrations of proinflammatory cytokines, also exhibit the characteristics of altered or "defective" LJP neutrophils. Additionally, healthy neutrophils, when treated with LJP serum, also exhibit many of the characteristics associated with LJP neutrophils. Attempts to identify these factors have shown that cytokines like TNF-α and/or IL1 β in LJP sera may be at least partially responsible for modulating neutrophil functions in LJP. These cytokines are primarily produced by activated macrophages, indicating a role for these cells in the etiology of LJP. The hyper-responsiveness of these cells to an immunologic challenge can result in local increases in cytokines leading to excessive bone loss and tissue damage at the site of infection, while systemic elevations in cytokines would lead to decreased neutrophil Chemotaxis, both of which are observed in LJP. Present evidence indicates that neutrophil functions are indeed altered in the majority of LJP patients. However, the biological basis for the alteration may not be due to the neutrophils themselves

  11. GSK-3β Overexpression Alters the Dendritic Spines of Developmentally Generated Granule Neurons in the Mouse Hippocampal Dentate Gyrus (United States)

    Pallas-Bazarra, Noemí; Kastanauskaite, Asta; Avila, Jesús; DeFelipe, Javier; Llorens-Martín, María


    The dentate gyrus (DG) plays a crucial role in hippocampal-related memory. The most abundant cellular type in the DG, namely granule neurons, are developmentally generated around postnatal day P6 in mice. Moreover, a unique feature of the DG is the occurrence of adult hippocampal neurogenesis, a process that gives rise to newborn granule neurons throughout life. Adult-born and developmentally generated granule neurons share some maturational aspects but differ in others, such as in their positioning within the granule cell layer. Adult hippocampal neurogenesis encompasses a series of plastic changes that modify the function of the hippocampal trisynaptic network. In this regard, it is known that glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) regulates both synaptic plasticity and memory. By using a transgenic mouse overexpressing GSK-3β in hippocampal neurons, we previously demonstrated that the overexpression of this kinase has deleterious effects on the maturation of newborn granule neurons. In the present study, we addressed the effects of GSK-3β overexpression on the morphology and number of dendritic spines of developmentally generated granule neurons. To this end, we performed intracellular injections of Lucifer Yellow in developmentally generated granule neurons of wild-type and GSK-3β-overexpressing mice and analyzed the number and morphologies of dendritic spines (namely, stubby, thin and mushroom). GSK-3β overexpression led to a general reduction in the number of dendritic spines. In addition, it caused a slight reduction in the percentage, head diameter and length of thin spines, whereas the head diameter of mushroom spines was increased. PMID:28344548

  12. Learning to see the difference specifically alters the most informative V4 neurons. (United States)

    Raiguel, Steven; Vogels, Rufin; Mysore, Santosh G; Orban, Guy A


    Perceptual learning is an instance of adult plasticity whereby training in a sensory (e.g., a visual task) results in neuronal changes leading to an improved ability to perform the task. Yet studies in primary visual cortex have found that changes in neuronal response properties were relatively modest. The present study examines the effects of training in an orientation discrimination task on the response properties of V4 neurons in awake rhesus monkeys. Results indicate that the changes induced in V4 are indeed larger than those in V1. Nonspecific effects of training included a decrease in response variance, and an increase in overall orientation selectivity in V4. The orientation-specific changes involved a local steepening in the orientation tuning curve around the trained orientation that selectively improved orientation discriminability at the trained orientation. Moreover, these changes were largely confined to the population of neurons whose orientation tuning was optimal for signaling small differences in orientation at the trained orientation. Finally, the modifications were restricted to the part of the tuning curve close to the trained orientation. Thus, we conclude that it is the most informative V4 neurons, those most directly involved in the discrimination, that are specifically modified by perceptual learning.

  13. Altered Volume and Functional Connectivity of the Habenula in Schizophrenia

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    Lei Zhang


    Full Text Available The pathogenesis of schizophrenia (SCH is associated with the dysfunction of monoamine neurotransmitters, the synthesis and release of which are mainly regulated by a key structure, the habenular (Hb nucleus. However, little is known regarding whether SCH is associated with structural or functional alterations in the Hb. In this study, we combined structural and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the changes in volume and functional connectivity of the Hb in 15 patients with SCH vs. 16 age- and gender-matched healthy controls (HCs. Morphologically, the absolute volume of the bilateral Hb was significantly lower in the SCH patients than in the HCs. Functionally, the bilateral Hb showed significantly enhanced functional connectivity with the left medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC in the SCH patients. Additionally, the SCH patients exhibited increased functional connectivity of the left Hb with the left lingual gyrus and right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG. A further exploratory analysis revealed that the SCH patients showed increased functional connectivity between the right Hb and several subcortical regions related to dopaminergic pathways, including the left ventral striatum, caudate and putamen. Finally, the increased functional connectivity of the right Hb with the mPFC was positively correlated with the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS scores in the patients. Together, these results suggest that the altered volume and functional connectivity of the Hb may be involved in the pathogenesis of SCH and thus that the Hb may serve as a potential target in developing new therapeutic strategies in SCH.

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

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    Sharyn L Rossi


    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.

  15. Strategies to promote differentiation of newborn neurons into mature functional cells in Alzheimer brain. (United States)

    Schaeffer, Evelin L; Novaes, Barbara A; da Silva, Emanuelle R; Skaf, Heni D; Mendes-Neto, Alvaro G


    Adult neurogenesis occurs in the subgranular zone (SGZ) and subventricular zone (SVZ). New SGZ neurons migrate into the granule cell layer of the dentate gyrus (DG). New SVZ neurons seem to enter the association neocortex and entorhinal cortex besides the olfactory bulb. Alzheimer disease (AD) is characterized by neuron loss in the hippocampus (DG and CA1 field), entorhinal cortex, and association neocortex, which underlies the learning and memory deficits. We hypothesized that, if the AD brain can support neurogenesis, strategies to stimulate the neurogenesis process could have therapeutic value in AD. We reviewed the literature on: (a) the functional significance of adult-born neurons; (b) the occurrence of endogenous neurogenesis in AD; and (c) strategies to stimulate the adult neurogenesis process. We found that: (a) new neurons in the adult DG contribute to memory function; (b) new neurons are generated in the SGZ and SVZ of AD brains, but they fail to differentiate into mature neurons in the target regions; and (c) numerous strategies (Lithium, Glatiramer Acetate, nerve growth factor, environmental enrichment) can enhance adult neurogenesis and promote maturation of newly generated neurons. Such strategies might help to compensate for the loss of neurons and improve the memory function in AD.

  16. Functional network connectivity alterations in schizophrenia and depression. (United States)

    Wu, Xing-Jie; Zeng, Ling-Li; Shen, Hui; Yuan, Lin; Qin, Jian; Zhang, Peng; Hu, Dewen


    There is a high degree of overlap between the symptoms of major depressive disorder (MDD) and schizophrenia, but it remains unclear whether the similar symptoms are derived from convergent alterations in functional network connectivity. In this study, we performed a group independent component analysis on resting-state functional MRI data from 20 MDD patients, 24 schizophrenia patients, and 43 matched healthy controls. The functional network connectivity analysis revealed that, compared to healthy controls, the MDD and schizophrenia patients exhibited convergent decreased positive connectivity between the left and right fronto-parietal control network and decreased negative connectivity between the left control and medial visual networks. Furthermore, the MDD patients showed decreased negative connectivity between the left control and auditory networks, and the schizophrenia patients showed decreased positive connectivity between the bilateral control and language networks and decreased negative connectivity between the right control and dorsal attention networks. The convergent network connectivity alterations may underlie the common primary control and regulation disorders, and the divergent connectivity alterations may enable the distinction between the two disorders. All of the convergent and divergent network connectivity alterations were relevant to the control network, suggesting an important role of the network in the pathophysiology of MDD and schizophrenia. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  17. Downregulation of L1 perturbs neuronal migration and alters the expression of transcription factors in murine neocortex. (United States)

    Kishimoto, Tomokazu; Itoh, Kyoko; Umekage, Masafumi; Tonosaki, Madoka; Yaoi, Takeshi; Fukui, Kenji; Lemmon, Vance P; Fushiki, Shinji


    L1 is a cell adhesion molecule associated with a spectrum of human neurological diseases, the most well-known being X-linked hydrocephalus. L1 knockout (L1-KO) mice have revealed a variety of functions of L1 that were crucial in brain development in different brain regions. However; the function of L1 in neuronal migration during cortical histogenesis remains to be clarified. We therefore investigated the corticogenesis of mouse embryos in which L1 molecules were knocked down in selected neurons, by employing in utero electroporation with shRNAs targeting L1 (L1 shRNA). Although more than 50% of the cells transfected with no small hairpin RNA (shRNA; monster green fluorescent protein: MGFP only) vector at embryonic day 13 (E13) reached the cortical plate at E16, significantly fewer (27%) cells transfected with L1 shRNA migrated to the same extent. At E17, 22% of cells transfected with the MGFP-only vector were found in the intermediate zone, and significantly more (34%) cells transfected with L1 shRNA remained in the same zone. Furthermore, the directions of the leading process of neurons transfected with L1 shRNA became more dispersed compared with cells with the MGFP-only vector. In addition, two transcription factors expressed in the neurons, Satb2 and Tbr1, were shown to be reduced or aberrantly expressed in neurons transfected with L1 shRNA. These observations suggest that L1 plays an important role in regulating the locomotion and orientation of migrating neurons and the expression of transcription factors during neocortical development that might partially be responsible for the abnormal tract formation seen in L1-KO mice. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Dopaminergic Neurons Controlling Anterior Pituitary Functions: Anatomy and Ontogenesis in Zebrafish. (United States)

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


    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.

  19. NGF-dependent axon growth and regeneration are altered in sympathetic neurons of dystrophic mdx mice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lombardi, Loredana; Persiconi, Irene; Gallo, Alessandra; Hoogenraad, Casper C; De Stefano, Maria Egle

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a lethal disease, determined by lack of dystrophin (Dp427), a muscular cytoskeletal protein also expressed by selected neuronal populations. Consequently, besides muscular wasting, both human patients and DMD animal models suffer several neural disorders. In

  20. Prenatal stress alters amygdala functional connectivity in preterm neonates. (United States)

    Scheinost, Dustin; Kwon, Soo Hyun; Lacadie, Cheryl; Sze, Gordon; Sinha, Rajita; Constable, R Todd; Ment, Laura R


    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. Role of the NR2A/2B subunits of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor in glutamate-induced glutamic acid decarboxylase alteration in cortical GABAergic neurons in vitro. (United States)

    Monnerie, H; Hsu, F-C; Coulter, D A; Le Roux, P D


    The vulnerability of brain neuronal cell subpopulations to neurologic insults varies greatly. Among cells that survive a pathological insult, for example ischemia or brain trauma, some may undergo morphological and/or biochemical changes that may compromise brain function. The present study is a follow-up of our previous studies that investigated the effect of glutamate-induced excitotoxicity on the GABA synthesizing enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD65/67)'s expression in surviving DIV 11 cortical GABAergic neurons in vitro [Monnerie and Le Roux, (2007) Exp Neurol 205:367-382, (2008) Exp Neurol 213:145-153]. An N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-mediated decrease in GAD expression was found following glutamate exposure. Here we examined which NMDAR subtype(s) mediated the glutamate-induced change in GAD protein levels. Western blotting techniques on cortical neuron cultures showed that glutamate's effect on GAD proteins was not altered by NR2B-containing diheteromeric (NR1/NR2B) receptor blockade. By contrast, blockade of triheteromeric (NR1/NR2A/NR2B) receptors fully protected against a decrease in GAD protein levels following glutamate exposure. When receptor location on the postsynaptic membrane was examined, extrasynaptic NMDAR stimulation was observed to be sufficient to decrease GAD protein levels similar to that observed after glutamate bath application. Blocking diheteromeric receptors prevented glutamate's effect on GAD proteins after extrasynaptic NMDAR stimulation. Finally, NR2B subunit examination with site-specific antibodies demonstrated a glutamate-induced, calpain-mediated alteration in NR2B expression. These results suggest that glutamate-induced excitotoxic NMDAR stimulation in cultured GABAergic cortical neurons depends upon subunit composition and receptor location (synaptic vs. extrasynaptic) on the neuronal membrane. Biochemical alterations in surviving cortical GABAergic neurons in various disease states may contribute to the altered

  2. Inference of neuronal functional circuitry with spike-triggered non-negative matrix factorization. (United States)

    Liu, Jian K; Schreyer, Helene M; Onken, Arno; Rozenblit, Fernando; Khani, Mohammad H; Krishnamoorthy, Vidhyasankar; Panzeri, Stefano; Gollisch, Tim


    Neurons in sensory systems often pool inputs over arrays of presynaptic cells, giving rise to functional subunits inside a neuron's receptive field. The organization of these subunits provides a signature of the neuron's presynaptic functional connectivity and determines how the neuron integrates sensory stimuli. Here we introduce the method of spike-triggered non-negative matrix factorization for detecting the layout of subunits within a neuron's receptive field. The method only requires the neuron's spiking responses under finely structured sensory stimulation and is therefore applicable to large populations of simultaneously recorded neurons. Applied to recordings from ganglion cells in the salamander retina, the method retrieves the receptive fields of presynaptic bipolar cells, as verified by simultaneous bipolar and ganglion cell recordings. The identified subunit layouts allow improved predictions of ganglion cell responses to natural stimuli and reveal shared bipolar cell input into distinct types of ganglion cells.How a neuron integrates sensory information requires knowledge about its functional presynaptic connections. Here the authors report a new method using non-negative matrix factorization to identify the layout of presynaptic bipolar cell inputs onto retinal ganglion cells and predict their responses to natural stimuli.

  3. Structure and function of pedal neurons controlling muscle contractions in Tritonia diomedea

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    James Alan Murray


    Full Text Available There are 16 pairs of "identified neurons" in the pedal ganglion of any sea slug of the species Tritonia diomedea that have published behavioral functions. Many of the pedal neurons cause flexion of the ipsilateral body wall and foot when activated, but they are not thought to innervate muscle directly. The goal of this study was to examine the motor functions of brain neurons with no previously-identified functions. We described the activity of two such cells and their motor effects, and further characterized the motor effects of a previously-identified neuron (Pedal 3. We stimulated the Pedal 3 flexion neuron and characterized where and how it contracted the foot. For each neuron, we described the latency to contraction, the time to relaxation, and the distance and speed of movement. These neurons may be involved in turning during crawling, and these results will help us understand how the activity of specific neurons is translated into behavior (neuromechanics, and determine how fast the animal can respond to sensory feedback during locomotion. The relative simplicity of this brain allows us to understand how behavior is generated on a cellular basis, and to generate neural network and neuromechanical models of navigation that can be applied to robotics.

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


    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.

  5. Altered Expression of Genes Encoding Neurotransmitter Receptors in GnRH Neurons of Proestrous Mice. (United States)

    Vastagh, Csaba; Rodolosse, Annie; Solymosi, Norbert; Liposits, Zsolt


    Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons play a key role in the central regulation of reproduction. In proestrous female mice, estradiol triggers the pre-ovulatory GnRH surge, however, its impact on the expression of neurotransmitter receptor genes in GnRH neurons has not been explored yet. We hypothesized that proestrus is accompanied by substantial changes in the expression profile of genes coding for neurotransmitter receptors in GnRH neurons. We compared the transcriptome of GnRH neurons obtained from intact, proestrous, and metestrous female GnRH-GFP transgenic mice, respectively. About 1500 individual GnRH neurons were sampled from both groups and their transcriptome was analyzed using microarray hybridization and real-time PCR. In this study, changes in mRNA expression of genes involved in neurotransmitter signaling were investigated. Differential gene expression was most apparent in GABA-ergic ( Gabbr1, Gabra3, Gabrb3, Gabrb2, Gabrg2 ), glutamatergic ( Gria1, Gria2, Grin1, Grin3a, Grm1, Slc17a6 ), cholinergic ( Chrnb2, Chrm4 ) and dopaminergic ( Drd3, Drd4 ), adrenergic ( Adra1b, Adra2a, Adra2c ), adenosinergic ( Adora2a, Adora2b ), glycinergic ( Glra ), purinergic ( P2rx7 ), and serotonergic ( Htr1b ) receptors. In concert with these events, expression of genes in the signaling pathways downstream to the receptors, i.e., G-proteins ( Gnai1, Gnai2, Gnas ), adenylate-cyclases ( Adcy3, Adcy5 ), protein kinase A ( Prkaca, Prkacb ) protein kinase C ( Prkca ) and certain transporters ( Slc1a4, Slc17a6, Slc6a17 ) were also changed. The marked differences found in the expression of genes involved in neurotransmitter signaling of GnRH neurons at pro- and metestrous stages of the ovarian cycle indicate the differential contribution of these neurotransmitter systems to the induction of the pre-ovulatory GnRH surge, the known prerequisite of the subsequent hormonal cascade inducing ovulation.

  6. Altered expression of genes encoding neurotransmitter receptors in GnRH neurons of proestrous mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Csaba Vastagh


    Full Text Available Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH neurons play a key role in the central regulation of reproduction. In proestrous female mice, estradiol triggers the pre-ovulatory GnRH surge, however, its impact on the expression of neurotransmitter receptor genes in GnRH neurons has not been explored yet. We hypothesized that proestrus is accompanied by substantial changes in the expression profile of genes coding for neurotransmitter receptors in GnRH neurons. We compared the transcriptome of GnRH neurons obtained from intact, proestrous and metestrous female GnRH-GFP transgenic mice, respectively. About 1500 individual GnRH neurons were sampled from both groups and their transcriptome was analyzed using microarray hybridization and real-time PCR. In this study, changes in mRNA expression of genes involved in neurotransmitter signaling were investigated. Differential gene expression was most apparent in GABA-ergic (Gabbr1, Gabra3, Gabrb3, Gabrb2, Gabrg2, glutamatergic (Gria1, Gria2, Grin1, Grin3a, Grm1, Slc17a6, cholinergic (Chrnb2, Chrm4 and dopaminergic (Drd3, Drd4, adrenergic (Adra1b, Adra2a, Adra2c, adenosinergic (Adora2a, Adora2b, glycinergic (Glra, purinergic (P2rx7 and serotonergic (Htr1b receptors. In concert with these events, expression of genes in the signaling pathways downstream to the receptors, i.e. G-proteins (Gnai1, Gnai2, Gnas, adenylate-cyclases (Adcy3, Adcy5, protein kinase A (Prkaca, Prkacb protein kinase C (Prkca and certain transporters (Slc1a4, Slc17a6, Slc6a17 were also changed. The marked differences found in the expression of genes involved in neurotransmitter signaling of GnRH neurons at pro- and metestrous stages of the ovarian cycle indicate the differential contribution of these neurotransmitter systems to the induction of the pre-ovulatory GnRH surge, the known prerequisite of the subsequent hormonal cascade inducing ovulation.

  7. Neuronal Function in Male Sprague Dawley Rats During Normal ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)


    show no loss of neurons in the ageing brain (Rapp and. Gallagher, 1996; Rasmussen et al., 1996; Rapp et. al.,. 2002). The human population has witnessed an increase in the number of ageing population in the last century owing to the advancement in medicine, science and technology (U.S. Bureau of the Census. 1996 ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  9. Structural alterations of the DNA in cerebellar neurons after whole-brain irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wheeler, K.T.; Winstein, R.E.; Kaufman, K.; Ritter, P.


    Male Sprague-Dawley rats weighing 260 to 280 g were whole-brain-irradiated with x-ray doses of 433, 867, 1083, 1300, 1516, and 1713 rad. Over the next 2.25 years rats were killed at various times, and the state of the DNA in their cerebellar neurons was examined by sedimentation through alkaline sucrose gradients in reorienting zonal rotors. The data were analyzed as the percentage of the sedimenting DNA with sedimentation coefficients greater than 300 S, an arbitrarily selected category of no defined molecular significance. The general pattern at all doses consisted first of a slow return to the unirradiated DNA state that was relatively dose dependent. This was followed by an increase in the amount of DNA sedimenting >300 S; both the extent and time course of this increase appeared to be dose dependent. Finally, the DNA degraded at a relatively dose independent rate. There was little change in the neuronal DNA from unirradiated rats during this study. The data suggest that increases in the amount of fast-sedimenting DNA observed 30 to 80 weeks after low to moderate doses of whole-brain irradiation represent a type of DNA damage rather than repair and that this damage ultimately results in degradation of the neuronal DNA and death of the rat

  10. Overexpression of cypin alters dendrite morphology, single neuron activity, and network properties via distinct mechanisms (United States)

    Rodríguez, Ana R.; O'Neill, Kate M.; Swiatkowski, Przemyslaw; Patel, Mihir V.; Firestein, Bonnie L.


    Objective. This study investigates the effect that overexpression of cytosolic PSD-95 interactor (cypin), a regulator of synaptic PSD-95 protein localization and a core regulator of dendrite branching, exerts on the electrical activity of rat hippocampal neurons and networks. Approach. We cultured rat hippocampal neurons and used lipid-mediated transfection and lentiviral gene transfer to achieve high levels of cypin or cypin mutant (cypinΔPDZ PSD-95 non-binding) expression cellularly and network-wide, respectively. Main results. Our analysis revealed that although overexpression of cypin and cypinΔPDZ increase dendrite numbers and decrease spine density, cypin and cypinΔPDZ distinctly regulate neuronal activity. At the single cell level, cypin promotes decreases in bursting activity while cypinΔPDZ reduces sEPSC frequency and further decreases bursting compared to cypin. At the network level, by using the Fano factor as a measure of spike count variability, cypin overexpression results in an increase in variability of spike count, and this effect is abolished when cypin cannot bind PSD-95. This variability is also dependent on baseline activity levels and on mean spike rate over time. Finally, our spike sorting data show that overexpression of cypin results in a more complex distribution of spike waveforms and that binding to PSD-95 is essential for this complexity. Significance. Our data suggest that dendrite morphology does not play a major role in cypin action on electrical activity.

  11. Neurodegeneration in Autoimmune Optic Neuritis Is Associated with Altered APP Cleavage in Neurons and Up-Regulation of p53.

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    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

  12. Polysensory response characteristics of dorsal root ganglion neurones that may serve sensory functions during myocardial ischaemia. (United States)

    Huang, M H; Horackova, M; Negoescu, R M; Wolf, S; Armour, J A


    To determine the response characteristics of dorsal root ganglion neurones that may serve sensory functions during myocardial ischaemia. Extracellular recordings were made from 54 spontaneously active and 5 normally quiescent dorsal root ganglion neurones (T2-T5) in 22 anaesthetized open-chest dogs under control conditions and during epicardial mechanical or chemical stimulation and myocardial ischaemia. The activity of 78% of spontaneously active and all quiescent neurones with left ventricular sensory fields was modified by left ventricular ischaemia. Forty-six spontaneously active neurones (85%) were polysensory with respect to mechanical and chemical stimuli. The 5 quiescent neurones responded only to chemical stimuli. Spontaneously active neurones associated with left ventricular mechanosensory endings (37 neurones) generated four different activity patterns in response to similar mechanical stimuli (high or low pressure active, high-low pressure active, high-low pressure inactive). A fifth group generated activity which was not related to chamber dynamics. Adenosine, adenosine 5'-triphosphate, substance P and bradykinin modified 72, 61, 65 and 63% of the spontaneously active neurones, respectively. Maximum local mechanical or chemical stimuli enhanced activity to similar degrees, as did ischaemia. Each ischaemia-sensitive neurone displayed unique activity patterns in response to similar mechanical or chemical stimuli. Most myocardial ischemia-sensitive dorsal root ganglion neurones associated with epicardial neurites sense mechanical and multiple chemical stimuli, a small population sensing only mechanical or chemical stimuli. Activity patterns generated by these neurones depend on their primary sensory characteristics or those of other neurones that may converge on them, as well as the type and magnitude of the stimuli that impinge upon their sensory fields, both normally and during ischaemia.

  13. Functional lymphatic alterations in patients suffering from lipedema. (United States)

    Bilancini, S; Lucchi, M; Tucci, S; Eleuteri, P


    Lipedema is a chronic vascular disease almost exclusively of female sex, characterized by the deposit of fat on the legs, with an "Egyptian column" shape, orthostatic edema, hypothermia of the skin, alteration of the plantar support, and negativity of Stemmer's sign. The etiology and pathogenesis of this disease are still the object of study, and therapy is very difficult. Various authors have described morphologic and functional alterations of prelymphatic structures and of lymphatic vessels. The big veins remain untouched in the phlebograms and an alteration of the skin elasticity is demonstrated. The present authors have studied by dynamic lymphoscintigraphy 12 women patients suffering from lipedema, and compared the results with those of 5 normal subjects and 5 patients suffering from idiopathic lymphedema who were sex and age matched with the patients suffering from lipedema. The patients suffering from lipedema showed an abnormal lymphoscintigraphic pattern with a slowing of the lymphatic flow that presented some analogies to the alterations found in the patients suffering from lymphedema. A frequent asymmetry was also noticed in the lymphoscintigraphic findings that is in contrast to the symmetry of the clinical profile.

  14. Depletion of calcium stores in injured sensory neurons: anatomic and functional correlates. (United States)

    Gemes, Geza; Rigaud, Marcel; Weyker, Paul D; Abram, Stephen E; Weihrauch, Dorothee; Poroli, Mark; Zoga, Vasiliki; Hogan, Quinn H


    Painful nerve injury leads to disrupted Ca signaling in primary sensory neurons, including decreased endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca storage. This study examines potential causes and functional consequences of Ca store limitation after injury. Neurons were dissociated from axotomized fifth lumbar (L5) and the adjacent L4 dorsal root ganglia after L5 spinal nerve ligation that produced hyperalgesia, and they were compared to neurons from control animals. Intracellular Ca levels were measured with Fura-2 microfluorometry, and ER was labeled with probes or antibodies. Ultrastructural morphology was analyzed by electron microscopy of nondissociated dorsal root ganglia, and intracellular electrophysiological recordings were obtained from intact ganglia. Live neuron staining with BODIPY FL-X thapsigargin (Invitrogen, Carlsbad, CA) revealed a 40% decrease in sarco-endoplasmic reticulum Ca-ATPase binding in axotomized L5 neurons and a 34% decrease in L4 neurons. Immunocytochemical labeling for the ER Ca-binding protein calreticulin was unaffected by injury. Total length of ER profiles in electron micrographs was reduced by 53% in small axotomized L5 neurons, but it was increased in L4 neurons. Cisternal stacks of ER and aggregation of ribosomes occurred less frequently in axotomized neurons. Ca-induced Ca release, examined by microfluorometry with dantrolene, was eliminated in axotomized neurons. Pharmacologic blockade of Ca-induced Ca release with dantrolene produced hyperexcitability in control neurons, confirming its functional importance. After axotomy, ER Ca stores are reduced by anatomic loss and possibly diminished sarco-endoplasmic reticulum Ca-ATPase. The resulting disruption of Ca-induced Ca release and protein synthesis may contribute to the generation of neuropathic pain.

  15. Modeling Neurological Disease by Rapid Conversion of Human Urine Cells into Functional Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shu-Zhen Zhang


    Full Text Available Somatic cells can be directly converted into functional neurons by ectopic expression of defined factors and/or microRNAs. Since the first report of conversion mouse embryonic fibroblasts into functional neurons, the postnatal mouse, and human fibroblasts, astroglia, hepatocytes, and pericyte-derived cells have been converted into functional dopaminergic and motor neurons both in vitro and in vivo. However, it is invasive to get all these materials. In the current study, we provide a noninvasive approach to obtain directly reprogrammed functional neurons by overexpression of the transcription factors Ascl1, Brn2, NeuroD, c-Myc, and Myt1l in human urine cells. These induced neuronal (iN cells could express multiple neuron-specific proteins and generate action potentials. Moreover, urine cells from Wilson’s disease (WD patient could also be directly converted into neurons. In conclusion, generation of iN cells from nonneural lineages is a feasible and befitting approach for neurological disease modeling.

  16. The Regulation and Function of Fibroblast Growth Factor 8 and Its Function during Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Neuron Development. (United States)

    Chung, Wilson C J; Linscott, Megan L; Rodriguez, Karla M; Stewart, Courtney E


    Over the last few years, numerous studies solidified the hypothesis that fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling regulates neuroendocrine progenitor cell proliferation, fate specification, and cell survival and, therefore, is critical for the regulation and maintenance of homeostasis of the body. One important example that underscores the involvement of FGF signaling during neuroendocrine cell development is gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neuron ontogenesis. Indeed, transgenic mice with reduced olfactory placode (OP) Fgf8 expression do not have GnRH neurons. This observation indicates the requirement of FGF8 signaling for the emergence of the GnRH neuronal system in the embryonic OP, the putative birth place of GnRH neurons. Mammalian reproductive success depends on the presence of GnRH neurons to stimulate gonadotropin secretion from the anterior pituitary, which activates gonadal steroidogenesis and gametogenesis. Together, these observations are critical for understanding the function of GnRH neurons and their control of the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis to maintain fertility. Taken together, these studies illustrate that GnRH neuron emergence and hence HPG function is vulnerable to genomic and molecular signals that abnormally modify Fgf8 expression in the developing mouse OP. In this short review, we focus on research that is aimed at unraveling how androgen, all-trans retinoic acid, and how epigenetic factors modify control mouse OP Fgf8 transcription in the context of GnRH neuronal development and mammalian reproductive success.

  17. Altered functional connectivity of interoception in illness anxiety disorder. (United States)

    Grossi, Dario; Longarzo, Mariachiara; Quarantelli, Mario; Salvatore, Elena; Cavaliere, Carlo; De Luca, Paolofabrizio; Trojano, Luigi; Aiello, Marco


    Interoception collects all information coming from the body and is sustained by several brain areas such as insula and cingulate cortex. Here, we used resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate functional connectivity (FC) of networks implied in interoception in patients with Illness anxiety disorders (IADs). We observed significantly reduced FC between the left extrastriate body area (EBA) and the paracentral lobule compared to healthy controls. Moreover, the correlation analysis between behavioural questionnaires and ROI to ROI FC showed that higher levels of illness anxiety were related to hyper-connectivity between EBA and amygdala and hippocampus. Scores on a questionnaire for interoceptive awareness were significantly correlated with higher FC between right hippocampus and nucleus accumbens bilaterally, and with higher connectivity between left anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and left orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). Last, patients showed increased interoceptive awareness, measured by Self-Awareness Questionnaire (SAQ), and reduced capability in recognizing emotions, indicating inverse correlation between interoception and emotional awareness. Taken together our results suggested that, in absence of structural and micro-structural changes, patients with IADs show functional alteration in the neural network involved in the self-body representation; such functional alteration might be the target of possible treatments. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Phytochemicals perturb membranes and promiscuously alter protein function. (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


    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.

  19. Osmosensation in vasopressin neurons: changing actin density to optimize function. (United States)

    Prager-Khoutorsky, Masha; Bourque, Charles W


    The proportional relation between circulating vasopressin concentration and plasma osmolality is fundamental for body fluid homeostasis. Although changes in the sensitivity of this relation are associated with pathophysiological conditions, central mechanisms modulating osmoregulatory gain are unknown. Here, we review recent data that sheds important light on this process. The cell autonomous osmosensitivity of vasopressin neurons depends on cation channels comprising a variant of the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) channel. Hyperosmotic activation is mediated by a mechanical process where sensitivity increases in proportion with actin filament density. Moreover, angiotensin II amplifies osmotic activation by a rapid stimulation of actin polymerization, suggesting that neurotransmitter-induced changes in cytoskeletal organization in osmosensory neurons can mediate central changes in osmoregulatory gain. (c) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Virus Innexins induce alterations in insect cell and tissue function. (United States)

    Hasegawa, Daniel K; Erickson, Stephanie L; Hersh, Bradley M; Turnbull, Matthew W


    Polydnaviruses are dsDNA viruses that induce immune and developmental alterations in their caterpillar hosts. Characterization of polydnavirus gene families and family members is necessary to understand mechanisms of pathology and evolution of these viruses, and may aid to elucidate the role of host homologues if present. For example, the polydnavirus vinnexin gene family encodes homologues of insect gap junction genes (innexins) that are expressed in host immune cells (hemocytes). While the roles of Innexin proteins and gap junctions in insect immunity are largely unclear, we previously demonstrated that Vinnexins form functional gap junctions and alter the junctional characteristics of a host Innexin when co-expressed in paired Xenopus oocytes. Here, we test the effect of ectopic vinnexin expression on host cell physiology using both a lepidopteran cell culture model and a dipteran whole organism model. Vinnexin expression in the cell culture system resulted in gene-specific alterations in cell morphology and a slight, but non-statistically significant, reduction in gap junction activity as measured by dye transfer, while ectopic expression of a lepidopteran innexin2 gene led to morphological alterations and increase in gap junction activity. Global ectopic expression in the model dipteran, Drosophila melanogaster, of one vinnexin (vinnexinG) or D. melanogaster innexin2 (Dm-inx2) resulted in embryonic lethality, while expression of the other vinnexin genes had no effect. Furthermore, ectopic expression of vinnexinG, but not other vinnexin genes or Dm-inx2, in D. melanogaster larval gut resulted in developmental arrest in the pupal stage. These data indicate the vinnexins likely have gene-specific roles in host manipulation. They also support the use of Drosophila in further analysis of the role of Vinnexins and other polydnavirus genes in modifying host physiological processes. Finally, our findings suggest the vinnexin genes may be useful to perturb and

  1. Alterations in the structure of neuronal inhibitory networks in psychiatric disorders


    Gilabert Juan, Javier


    Introducción El trabajo de investigación de la presente Tesis doctoral realizado por Javier Gilabert Juan, ha estado centrado en el estudio de la plasticidad estructural neuronal de interneuronas en trastornos psiquiátricos, abordado desde diferentes estrategias de estudio: modelos animales, estudios en muestras de cerebro postmortem de pacientes con enfermedades psiquiátricas y estudios de asociación. Durante los últimos años, diversos trabajos han puesto de manifiesto que cierta...

  2. Beadex Function in the Motor Neurons Is Essential for Female Reproduction in Drosophila melanogaster (United States)

    Kairamkonda, Subhash; Nongthomba, Upendra


    Drosophila melanogaster has served as an excellent model system for understanding the neuronal circuits and molecular mechanisms regulating complex behaviors. The Drosophila female reproductive circuits, in particular, are well studied and can be used as a tool to understand the role of novel genes in neuronal function in general and female reproduction in particular. In the present study, the role of Beadex, a transcription co-activator, in Drosophila female reproduction was assessed by generation of mutant and knock down studies. Null allele of Beadex was generated by transposase induced excision of P-element present within an intron of Beadex gene. The mutant showed highly compromised reproductive abilities as evaluated by reduced fecundity and fertility, abnormal oviposition and more importantly, the failure of sperm release from storage organs. However, no defect was found in the overall ovariole development. Tissue specific, targeted knock down of Beadex indicated that its function in neurons is important for efficient female reproduction, since its neuronal knock down led to compromised female reproductive abilities, similar to Beadex null females. Further, different neuronal class specific knock down studies revealed that Beadex function is required in motor neurons for normal fecundity and fertility of females. Thus, the present study attributes a novel and essential role for Beadex in female reproduction through neurons. PMID:25396431

  3. MotomiRs: miRNAs in Motor Neuron Function and Disease. (United States)

    Hawley, Zachary C E; Campos-Melo, Danae; Droppelmann, Cristian A; Strong, Michael J


    MiRNAs are key regulators of the mammalian transcriptome that have been increasingly linked to degenerative diseases of the motor neurons. Although many of the miRNAs currently incriminated as participants in the pathogenesis of these diseases are also important to the normal development and function of motor neurons, at present there is no knowledge of the complete miRNA profile of motor neurons. In this review, we examine the current understanding with respect to miRNAs that are specifically required for motor neuron development, function and viability, and provide evidence that these should be considered as a functional network of miRNAs which we have collectively termed MotomiRs. We will also summarize those MotomiRs currently known to be associated with both amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), and discuss their potential use as biomarkers.

  4. Structural and functional brain signatures of C9orf72 in motor neuron disease. (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


    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siebler Mario


    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

  6. Monosodium glutamate alters the response properties of rat trigeminovascular neurons through activation of peripheral NMDA receptors. (United States)

    O'Brien, Melissa; Cairns, Brian E


    Ingestion of monosodium glutamate (MSG) has been shown to cause headaches in healthy individuals and trigger migraine-like headaches in migraine sufferers. We combined immunohistochemistry, in vivo electrophysiology, and laser Doppler recordings of dural vasculature to investigate the effect of systemic administration of MSG on the trigeminovascular pathway. Immunohistochemical analysis confirmed the expression of NMDA receptors on nerve fibers innervating dural blood vessels and excitatory amino acid transporter 2 on dural blood vessels. Systemic administration of MSG (50mg/kg) evoked an increase in ongoing discharge in 5/6 spinal trigeminal subnucleus caudalis (SpVc) neurons with dural input recorded from male and female rats, respectively, as well as lowering their mechanical activation threshold. There were no sex-related differences in these effects of MSG. Neuronal discharge and mechanical sensitization were significantly attenuated by co-injection with the peripherally restricted NMDA receptor antagonist (2R)-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (APV) in both sexes. Systemic administration of MSG induced a 24.5% and 20.6% increase in dural flux in male and female rats, respectively. These results suggest that MSG-induced headache is mediated by the activation of peripheral NMDA receptors and subsequent dural vasodilation. Peripheral NMDA receptors are a potential target for the development of new drugs to treat headaches. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Network control principles predict neuron function in the Caenorhabditis elegans connectome (United States)

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


    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. Connectomics and neuroticism: an altered functional network organization. (United States)

    Servaas, Michelle N; Geerligs, Linda; Renken, Remco J; Marsman, Jan-Bernard C; 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 organization in neuroticism. To this end, we applied graph theory on resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data in 120 women selected based on their neuroticism score. Binary and weighted brain-wide graphs were constructed to examine changes in the functional network structure and functional connectivity strength. Furthermore, graphs were partitioned into modules to specifically investigate connectivity within and between functional subnetworks related to emotion processing and cognitive control. Subsequently, complex network measures (ie, efficiency and modularity) were calculated on the brain-wide graphs and modules, and correlated with neuroticism scores. Compared with low neurotic individuals, high neurotic individuals exhibited a whole-brain network structure resembling more that of a random network and had overall weaker functional connections. Furthermore, in these high neurotic individuals, functional subnetworks could be delineated less clearly and the majority of these subnetworks showed lower efficiency, while the affective subnetwork showed higher efficiency. In addition, the cingulo-operculum subnetwork demonstrated more ties with other functional subnetworks in association with neuroticism. In conclusion, the 'neurotic brain' has a less than optimal functional network organization and shows signs of functional disconnectivity. Moreover, in high compared with low neurotic individuals, emotion and salience subnetworks have a more prominent role in the information exchange, while sensory(-motor) and cognitive control subnetworks have a less prominent role.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masayuki eSakamoto


    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.

  10. Two aspects of ASIC function: Synaptic plasticity and neuronal injury. (United States)

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


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

  11. Prions, From Structure to Epigenetics and Neuronal Functions (United States)

    Lindquist, Susan


    Prions are a unique type of protein that can misfold and convert other proteins to the same shape. The well-characterized yeast prion [PSI+] is formed from an inactive amyloid fiber conformation of the translation-termination factor, Sup35. This altered conformation is passed from mother cells to daughters, acting as a template to perpetuate the prion state and providing a mechanism of protein-based inheritance. We employed a variety of methods to determine the structure of Sup35 amyloid fibrils. First, using fluorescent tags and cross-linking we identified specific segments of the protein monomer that form intermolecular contacts in a ``Head-to-Head,'' ``Tail-to-Tail'' fashion while a central region forms intramolecular contacts. Then, using peptide arrays we mapped the region responsible for the prion transmission barrier between two different yeast species. We have also used optical tweezers to reveal that the non-covalent intermolecular contacts between monomers are unusually strong, and maintain fibril integrity even under forces that partially unfold individual monomers and extend fibril length. Based on the handful of known yeast prion proteins we predicted sequences that could be responsible for prion-like amyloid folding. Our screen identified 19 new candidate prions, whose protein-folding properties and diverse cellular functions we have characterized using a combination of genetic and biochemical techniques. Prion-driven phenotypic diversity increases under stress, and can be amplified by the dynamic maturation of prion-initiating states. These qualities allow prions to act as ``bet-hedging'' devices that facilitate the adaptation of yeast to stressful environments, and might speed the evolution of new traits. Together with Kandel and Si, we have also found that a regulatory protein that plays an important role in synaptic plasticity behaves as a prion in yeast. Cytoplasmic polyAdenylation element binding protein, CPEB, maintains synapses by promoting

  12. Alteration of the cell adhesion molecule L1 expression in a specific subset of primary afferent neurons contributes to neuropathic pain. (United States)

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


    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.

  13. TRPC1 Deletion Causes Striatal Neuronal Cell Apoptosis and Proteomic Alterations in Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dian Wang


    Full Text Available Transient receptor potential channel 1 (TRPC1 is widely expressed throughout the nervous system, while its biological role remains unclear. In this study, we showed that TRPC1 deletion caused striatal neuronal loss and significantly increased TUNEL-positive and 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG staining in the striatum. Proteomic analysis by two-dimensional fluorescence difference gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE coupled with mass spectrometry (MS revealed a total of 51 differentially expressed proteins (26 increased and 25 decreased in the stratum of TRPC1 knockout (TRPC1−/− mice compared to that of wild type (WT mice. Bioinformatics analysis showed these dysregulated proteins included: oxidative stress-related proteins, synaptic proteins, endoplasmic reticulum (ER stress-related proteins and apoptosis-related proteins. STRING analysis showed these differential proteins have a well-established interaction network. Based on the proteomic data, we revealed by Western-blot analysis that TRPC1 deletion caused ER stress as evidenced by the dysregulation of GRP78 and PERK activation-related signaling pathway, and elevated oxidative stress as suggested by increased 8-OHdG staining, increased NADH dehydrogenase (ubiquinone flavoprotein 2 (NDUV2 and decreased protein deglycase (DJ-1, two oxidative stress-related proteins. In addition, we also demonstrated that TRPC1 deletion led to significantly increased apoptosis in striatum with concurrent decrease in both 14–3–3Z and dynamin-1 (D2 dopamine (DA receptor binding, two apoptosis-related proteins. Taken together, we concluded that TRPC1 deletion might cause striatal neuronal apoptosis by disturbing multiple biological processes (i.e., ER stress, oxidative stress and apoptosis-related signaling. These data suggest that TRPC1 may be a key player in the regulation of striatal cellular survival and death.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    , 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...... 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....

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


    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.

  16. Visual function alterations in essential tremor: A case report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David P. Piñero


    Full Text Available Our purpose is to report alterations in contrast sensitivity function (CSF and in the magno, parvo and koniocellular visual pathways by means of a multichannel perimeter in case of an essential tremor (ET. A complete evaluation of the visual function was performed in a 69-year old patient, including the analysis of the chromatic discrimination by the Fansworth–Munsell 100 hue test, the measurement of the CSF by the CSV-1000E test, and the detection of potential alteration patterns in the magno, parvo and koniocellular visual pathways by means of a multichannel perimeter. Visual acuity and intraocular pressure (IOP were within the ranges of normality in both eyes. No abnormalities were detected in the fundoscopic examination and in the optical coherence tomography (OCT exam. The results of the color vision examination were also within the ranges of normality. A significant decrease in the achromatic CSFs for right eye (RE and left eye (LE was detected for all spatial frequencies. The statistical global values provided by the multichannel perimeter confirms that there were significant absolute sensitivity losses compared to the normal pattern in RE. In the LE, only a statistically significant decrease in sensitivity was detected for the blue-yellow (BY channel. The pattern standard deviation (PSD values obtained in our patient indicated that there were significant localized losses compared to the normality pattern in the achromatic channel of the RE and in the red-green (RG channel of the LE. Some color vision alterations may be present in ET that cannot be detected with conventional color vision tests, such as the FM 100 Hue.

  17. Investigation of cadmium-induced alterations in renal glomerular function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Long, T.J.


    This research was designed to test the hypothesis that certain aspects of cadmium-induced renal dysfunction are the result of glomerular, rather than classic tubular, injury. To determine whether cadmium-induced proteinuria was due to altered glomerular function, cadmium was administered chronically at a concentration of 185 ppm in the drinking water. This protocol resulted in the production of proteinuria which when analyzed by high pressure liquid chromatography and radioimmunoassay was indistinguishable from that occurring in control rats. Glomerular filtration rate, renal blood flow, and filtration fraction were all significantly depressed after 20-30 weeks of exposure. In order to further investigate these alterations in glomerular function, an acute exposure model was developed. It was found that a single i.p. injection of cadmium in mercaptoethanol resulted in the onset of acute renal failure. The clinical picture was characterized by a reduction in glomerular filtrate rate of 50-90% within 24 hours, with partial to total recovery occurring by day 7 post-exposure. Histological evidence indicated that to a large extent the reduction in GFR was due to tubular blockade and/or backleak of filtrate across damaged tubules

  18. Phenotypic and Functional Characterization of Peripheral Sensory Neurons derived from Human Embryonic Stem Cells


    Alshawaf, Abdullah Jawad; Viventi, Serena; Qiu, Wanzhi; D’Abaco, Giovanna; Nayagam, Bryony; Erlichster, Michael; Chana, Gursharan; Everall, Ian; Ivanusic, Jason; Skafidas, Efstratios; Dottori, Mirella


    The dorsal root ganglia (DRG) consist of a multitude of sensory neuronal subtypes that function to relay sensory stimuli, including temperature, pressure, pain and position to the central nervous system. Our knowledge of DRG sensory neurons have been predominantly driven by animal studies and considerably less is known about the human DRG. Human embryonic stem cells (hESC) are valuable resource to help close this gap. Our previous studies reported an efficient system for deriving neural crest...

  19. Physiological and Functional Alterations after Spaceflight and Bed Rest. (United States)

    Mulavara, Ajitkumar P; Peters, Brian T; Miller, Chris A; Kofman, Igor S; Reschke, Millard F; Taylor, Laura C; Lawrence, Emily L; Wood, Scott J; Laurie, Steven S; Lee, Stuart M C; Buxton, Roxanne E; May-Phillips, Tiffany R; Stenger, Michael B; Ploutz-Snyder, Lori L; Ryder, Jeffrey W; Feiveson, Alan H; Bloomberg, Jacob J


    Exposure to microgravity causes alterations in multiple physiological systems, potentially impacting the ability of astronauts to perform critical mission tasks. The goal of this study was to determine the effects of spaceflight on functional task performance and to identify the key physiological factors contributing to their deficits. A test battery comprised of 7 functional tests and 15 physiological measures was used to investigate the sensorimotor, cardiovascular and neuromuscular adaptations to spaceflight. Astronauts were tested before and after 6-month spaceflights. Subjects were also tested before and after 70 days of 6° head-down bed rest, a spaceflight analog, to examine the role of axial body unloading on the spaceflight results. These subjects included Control and Exercise groups to examine the effects of exercise during bed rest. Spaceflight subjects showed the greatest decrement in performance during functional tasks that required the greatest demand for dynamic control of postural equilibrium which was paralleled by similar decrements in sensorimotor tests that assessed postural and dynamic gait control. Other changes included reduced lower limb muscle performance and increased heart rate to maintain blood pressure. Exercise performed during bed rest prevented detrimental change in neuromuscular and cardiovascular function, however, both bed rest groups experienced functional and balance deficits similar to spaceflight subjects. Bed rest data indicates that body support unloading experienced during spaceflight contributes to postflight postural control dysfunction. Further, the bed rest results in the Exercise group of subjects confirm that resistance and aerobic exercises performed during spaceflight can play an integral role in maintaining neuromuscular and cardiovascular function, which can help in reducing decrements in functional performance. These results indicate that a countermeasure to mitigate postflight postural control dysfunction is

  20. Evidence for altered hippocampal function in a mouse model of the human 22q11.2 microdeletion. (United States)

    Drew, Liam J; Stark, Kimberly L; Fénelon, Karine; Karayiorgou, Maria; Macdermott, Amy B; Gogos, Joseph A


    22q11.2 chromosomal deletions are recurrent copy number mutations that increase the risk of schizophrenia around thirty-fold. Deletion of the orthologous chromosomal region in mice offers an opportunity to characterize changes to neuronal structure and function that may account for the development of this disease. The hippocampus has been implicated in schizophrenia pathogenesis, is reduced in volume in 22q11.2 deletion carriers and displays altered neuronal structure in a mouse model of the mutation (Df(16)A(+/-) mice). Here we investigate hippocampal CA1 physiology, hippocampal-dependent spatial memory and novelty-induced hippocampal activation in Df(16)A(+/-) mice. We found normal spatial reference memory (as assayed by the Morris water maze test) as well as modest but potentially important deficits in physiology. In particular, a reduction in the level of inhibition of CA1 pyramidal neurons was observed, implying a decrease in interneuron activity. Additionally, deficits in LTP were observed using certain induction protocols. Induction of c-Fos expression by exploration of a novel environment suggested a relative sparing of CA1 and dentate gyrus function but showed a robust decrease in the number of activated CA3 pyramidal neurons in Df(16)A(+/-) mice. Overall, experiments performed in this 22q11.2 deletion model demonstrated deficits of various degrees across different regions of the hippocampus, which together may contribute to the increased risk of developing schizophrenia. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison Wood-Kaczmar


    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.

  2. Cadmium induced ROS alters M1 and M3 receptors, leading to SN56 cholinergic neuronal loss, through AChE variants disruption. (United States)

    Moyano, Paula; de Frias, Mariano; Lobo, Margarita; Anadon, María José; Sola, Emma; Pelayo, Adela; Díaz, María Jesús; Frejo, María Teresa; Del Pino, Javier


    Cadmium, an environmental neurotoxic compound, produces cognitive disorders, although the mechanism remains unknown. Previously, we described that cadmium induces a more pronounced cell death on cholinergic neurons from basal forebrain (BF). This effect, partially mediated by M1 receptor blockade, triggering it through AChE splices variants alteration, may explain cadmium effects on learning and memory processes. Cadmium has been also reported to induce oxidative stress generation leading to M2 and M4 muscarinic receptors alteration, in hippocampus and frontal cortex, which are necessary to maintain cell viability and cognitive regulation, so their alteration in BF could also mediate this effect. Moreover, it has been reported that antioxidant treatment could reverse cognitive disorders, muscarinic receptor and AChE variants alterations induced by cadmium. Thus, we hypothesized that cadmium induced cell death of BF cholinergic neurons is mediated by oxidative stress generation and this mechanism could produce this effect, in part, through AChE variants altered by muscarinic receptors disruption. To prove this, we evaluated in BF SN56 cholinergic neurons, whether cadmium induces oxidative stress and alters muscarinic receptors, and their involvement in the induction of cell death through alteration of AChE variants. Our results show that cadmium induces oxidative stress, which mediates partially the alteration of AChE variants and M2 to M4 muscarinic receptors expression and blockage of M1 receptor. In addition, cadmium induced oxidative stress generation by M1 and M3 receptors alteration through AChE variants disruption, leading to cell death. These results provide new understanding of the mechanisms contributing to cadmium harmful effects on cholinergic neurons. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Isolation of functionally active and highly purified neuronal mitochondria from human cortex. (United States)

    Khattar, Nicolas K; Yablonska, Svitlana; Baranov, Sergei V; Baranova, Oxana V; Kretz, Eric S; Larkin, Timothy M; Carlisle, Diane L; Richardson, R Mark; Friedlander, Robert M


    Functional and structural properties of mitochondria are highly tissue and cell dependent, but isolation of highly purified human neuronal mitochondria is not currently available. We developed and validated a procedure to isolate purified neuronal mitochondria from brain tissue. The method combines Percoll gradient centrifugation to obtain synaptosomal fraction with nitrogen cavitation mediated synaptosome disruption and extraction of mitochondria using anti mitochondrial outer membrane protein antibodies conjugated to magnetic beads. The final products of isolation are non-synaptosomal mitochondria, which are a mixture of mitochondria isolated from different brain cells (i.e. neurons, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, microglia) and synaptic mitochondria, which are of neuronal origin. This method is well suited for preparing functional mitochondria from human cortex tissue that is surgically extracted. The procedure produces mitochondria with minimal cytoplasmic contaminations that are functionally active based on measurements of mitochondrial respiration as well as mitochondrial protein import. The procedure requires approximately four hours for the isolation of human neuronal mitochondria and can also be used to isolate mitochondria from mouse/rat/monkey brains. This method will allow researchers to study highly enriched neuronal mitochondria without the confounding effect of cellular and organelle contaminants. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Biological conservation law as an emerging functionality in dynamical neuronal networks. (United States)

    Podobnik, Boris; Jusup, Marko; Tiganj, Zoran; Wang, Wen-Xu; Buldú, Javier M; Stanley, H Eugene


    Scientists strive to understand how functionalities, such as conservation laws, emerge in complex systems. Living complex systems in particular create high-ordered functionalities by pairing up low-ordered complementary processes, e.g., one process to build and the other to correct. We propose a network mechanism that demonstrates how collective statistical laws can emerge at a macro (i.e., whole-network) level even when they do not exist at a unit (i.e., network-node) level. Drawing inspiration from neuroscience, we model a highly stylized dynamical neuronal network in which neurons fire either randomly or in response to the firing of neighboring neurons. A synapse connecting two neighboring neurons strengthens when both of these neurons are excited and weakens otherwise. We demonstrate that during this interplay between the synaptic and neuronal dynamics, when the network is near a critical point, both recurrent spontaneous and stimulated phase transitions enable the phase-dependent processes to replace each other and spontaneously generate a statistical conservation law-the conservation of synaptic strength. This conservation law is an emerging functionality selected by evolution and is thus a form of biological self-organized criticality in which the key dynamical modes are collective.

  5. Modification of sympathetic neuronal function in the rat tail artery by dietary lipid treatment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Panek, R.L.; Dixon, W.R.; Rutledge, C.O.


    The effect of dietary lipid treatment on sympathetic neuronal function was examined in isolated perfused tail arteries of adult rats. The hypothesis that dietary manipulations alter the lipid environment of receptor proteins which may result in the perturbation of specific membrane-associated processes that regulate peripheral adrenergic neurotransmission in the vasculature was the basis for this investigation. In the present study, rats were fed semisynthetic diets enriched in either 16% coconut oil (saturated fat) or 16% sunflower oil (unsaturated fat). The field stimulation-evoked release of endogenous norepinephrine and total 3 H was decreased significantly in rats receiving the coconut oil diet when compared to either sunflower oil- or standard lab chow-fed rats. Norepinephrine content in artery segments from coconut oil-treated rats was significantly higher compared to either sunflower oil- or standard lab chow-fed rats. Tail arteries from rats receiving the coconut oil diet displayed significantly lower perfusion pressure responses to nerve stimulation at all frequencies tested when compared to the sunflower oil- or standard lab chow-fed rats. Vasoconstrictor responses of perfused tail arteries exposed to exogenous norepinephrine resulted in an EC50 for norepinephrine that was not changed by the dietary treatment, but adult rats receiving the sunflower oil diet displayed a significantly greater maximum response to exogenous norepinephrine (10(-5) M) compared to arteries from either coconut oil- or standard lab chow-fed rats

  6. Functional properties of human neuronal Kv11 channels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Einarsen, Karoline; Calloe, Kirstine; Grunnet, Morten


    Kv11 potassium channels are important for regulation of the membrane potential. Kv11.2 and Kv11.3 are primarily found in the nervous system, where they most likely are involved in the regulation of neuronal excitability. Two isoforms of human Kv11.2 have been published so far. Here, we present...... a new splice variant that is present in human brain as demonstrated by reverse transcription PCR. Heterologous expression in Xenopus laevis oocytes revealed a 30-mV shift in the voltage dependence of activation to more depolarized potentials and slower activation together with faster deactivation...... kinetics compared to hKv11.1. Further, we have cloned and electrophysiologically characterized two splice variants of hKv11.3. When expressed in X. laevis oocytes, both isoform 1 and isoform 2 elicited robust currents with a striking transient current component caused by delayed inactivation. The different...

  7. Altered osteoblast structure and function in parabolic flight (United States)

    Zhong-Quan, Dai; Ying-Hui, Li; Fen, Yang; Bai, Ding; Ying-Jun, Tan

    Introduction Bone loss has a significant impact on astronauts during spaceflight being one of the main obstacles preventing interplanetary missions However the exact mechanism is not well understood In the present study we investigated the effects of acute gravitational changes generated by parabolic flight on the structure and function of osteoblasts ROS17 2 8 carried by airbus A300 Methods The alteration of microfilament cytoskeleton was observed by the Texas red conjugated Phalloidin and Alexa Fluor 488 conjugated DNase I immunofluorescence stain ALP activity and expression COL1A1 expression osteocalcin secrete which presenting the osteoblast function were detected by modified calcium and cobalt method RT-PCR and radioimmunity methods respectively Results The changed gravity induced the reorganization of microfilament cytoskeleton of osteoblast After 3 hours parabolic flight F-actin of osteoblast cytoskeleton became more thickness and directivity whereas G-actin reduced and relatively concentrated at the edge of nucleus observed by confocal fluorescence microscopy This phenomenon is identical with structure alternation observed in hypergravity but the osteoblast function decrease The excretion of osteocalcin the activity and mRNA expression of ALP decrease but the COL1A1 expression has no changes These results were similar to the changes in simulated or real microgravity Conclusion Above results suggest that short time gravity alternative change induce osteoblast structure and function

  8. KCC2 rescues functional deficits in human neurons derived from patients with Rett syndrome. (United States)

    Tang, Xin; Kim, Julie; Zhou, Li; Wengert, Eric; Zhang, Lei; Wu, Zheng; Carromeu, Cassiano; Muotri, Alysson R; Marchetto, Maria C N; Gage, Fred H; Chen, Gong


    Rett syndrome is a severe form of autism spectrum disorder, mainly caused by mutations of a single gene methyl CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) on the X chromosome. Patients with Rett syndrome exhibit a period of normal development followed by regression of brain function and the emergence of autistic behaviors. However, the mechanism behind the delayed onset of symptoms is largely unknown. Here we demonstrate that neuron-specific K(+)-Cl(-) cotransporter2 (KCC2) is a critical downstream gene target of MeCP2. We found that human neurons differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells from patients with Rett syndrome showed a significant deficit in KCC2 expression and consequently a delayed GABA functional switch from excitation to inhibition. Interestingly, overexpression of KCC2 in MeCP2-deficient neurons rescued GABA functional deficits, suggesting an important role of KCC2 in Rett syndrome. We further identified that RE1-silencing transcriptional factor, REST, a neuronal gene repressor, mediates the MeCP2 regulation of KCC2. Because KCC2 is a slow onset molecule with expression level reaching maximum later in development, the functional deficit of KCC2 may offer an explanation for the delayed onset of Rett symptoms. Our studies suggest that restoring KCC2 function in Rett neurons may lead to a potential treatment for Rett syndrome.

  9. DPP4-inhibitor improves neuronal insulin receptor function, brain mitochondrial function and cognitive function in rats with insulin resistance induced by high-fat diet consumption. (United States)

    Pipatpiboon, Noppamas; Pintana, Hiranya; Pratchayasakul, Wasana; Chattipakorn, Nipon; Chattipakorn, Siriporn C


    High-fat diet (HFD) consumption has been demonstrated to cause peripheral and neuronal insulin resistance, and brain mitochondrial dysfunction in rats. Although the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor, vildagliptin, is known to improve peripheral insulin sensitivity, its effects on neuronal insulin resistance and brain mitochondrial dysfunction caused by a HFD are unknown. We tested the hypothesis that vildagliptin prevents neuronal insulin resistance, brain mitochondrial dysfunction, learning and memory deficit caused by HFD. Male rats were divided into two groups to receive either a HFD or normal diet (ND) for 12 weeks, after which rats in each group were fed with either vildagliptin (3 mg/kg/day) or vehicle for 21 days. The cognitive function was tested by the Morris Water Maze prior to brain removal for studying neuronal insulin receptor (IR) and brain mitochondrial function. In HFD rats, neuronal insulin resistance and brain mitochondrial dysfunction were demonstrated, with impaired learning and memory. Vildagliptin prevented neuronal insulin resistance by restoring insulin-induced long-term depression and neuronal IR phosphorylation, IRS-1 phosphorylation and Akt/PKB-ser phosphorylation. It also improved brain mitochondrial dysfunction and cognitive function. Vildagliptin effectively restored neuronal IR function, increased glucagon-like-peptide 1 levels and prevented brain mitochondrial dysfunction, thus attenuating the impaired cognitive function caused by HFD. © 2012 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  10. Inflammatory mediator bradykinin increases population of sensory neurons expressing functional T-type Ca(2+) channels. (United States)

    Huang, Dongyang; Liang, Ce; Zhang, Fan; Men, Hongchao; Du, Xiaona; Gamper, Nikita; Zhang, Hailin


    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.

  11. Chronic odorant exposure upregulates acquisition of functional properties in cultured embryonic chick olfactory sensory neurons. (United States)

    O'Neill, Grace; Musto, Christa; Gomez, George


    Neuronal development and differentiation is modulated by activity-dependent mechanisms that stimulate endogenous neurogenesis and differentiation to promote adaptive survival of the organism. Studies on bird odor imprinting have shown how sensory stimuli or environmental influences can affect neonatal behavior, presumably by remodeling the developing nervous system. It is unclear whether these changes originate from the sensory neurons themselves or from the brain. Thus, we attempted to address this by using an in vitro system to separate the peripheral neurons from their central connections. Olfactory neurons from embryonic day 17 Gallus domesticus chicks were isolated, cultured, and exposed to 100 µM amyl acetate or phenethyl alcohol in 12-hr bouts, alternated with periods of no-odor exposure. On days 4 and 5 in vitro, cells were immunostained for olfactory marker protein, neuron-specific tubulin, and olfactory GTP-binding protein, and tested for odorant sensitivity using calcium imaging. While odorant exposure did not result in a significant increase in the overall number of neurons, it promoted neuron differentiation: a larger proportion of odorant-exposed cells expressed olfactory marker protein and the olfactory GTP-binding protein. When cell responsiveness was tested using calcium imaging, a greater proportion of odorant-exposed cells responded to stimulation with 100 µM amyl acetate or phenethyl alcohol. Thus, odorant exposure during development modulated the developmental trajectories of individual neurons, resulting in changes in protein expression associated with odorant signaling. This suggests that the neuronal changes in the periphery have an important contribution to the overall long-term functional changes associated with odor imprinting. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

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    Qian-Kun Yang


    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.

  13. Phenotypic and Functional Characterization of Peripheral Sensory Neurons derived from Human Embryonic Stem Cells. (United States)

    Alshawaf, Abdullah Jawad; Viventi, Serena; Qiu, Wanzhi; D'Abaco, Giovanna; Nayagam, Bryony; Erlichster, Michael; Chana, Gursharan; Everall, Ian; Ivanusic, Jason; Skafidas, Efstratios; Dottori, Mirella


    The dorsal root ganglia (DRG) consist of a multitude of sensory neuronal subtypes that function to relay sensory stimuli, including temperature, pressure, pain and position to the central nervous system. Our knowledge of DRG sensory neurons have been predominantly driven by animal studies and considerably less is known about the human DRG. Human embryonic stem cells (hESC) are valuable resource to help close this gap. Our previous studies reported an efficient system for deriving neural crest and DRG sensory neurons from hESC. Here we show that this differentiation system gives rise to heterogeneous populations of sensory neuronal subtypes as demonstrated by phenotypic and functional analyses. Furthermore, using microelectrode arrays the maturation rate of the hESC-derived sensory neuronal cultures was monitored over 8 weeks in culture, showing their spontaneous firing activities starting at about 12 days post-differentiation and reaching maximum firing at about 6 weeks. These studies are highly valuable for developing an in vitro platform to study the diversity of sensory neuronal subtypes found within the human DRG.

  14. Functional role of a specific ganglioside in neuronal migration and neurite outgrowth

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    Mendez-Otero R.


    Full Text Available Cell migration occurs extensively during mammalian brain development and persists in a few regions in the adult brain. Defective migratory behavior of neurons is thought to be the underlying cause of several congenital disorders. Knowledge of the dynamics and molecular mechanisms of neuronal movement could expand our understanding of the normal development of the nervous system as well as help decipher the pathogenesis of neurological developmental disorders. In our studies we have identified and characterized a specific ganglioside (9-O-acetyl GD3 localized to the membrane of neurons and glial cells that is expressed in regions of cell migration and neurite outgrowth in the developing and adult rat nervous system. In the present article we review our findings that demonstrate the functional role of this molecule in neuronal motility.

  15. Fast reversible learning based on neurons functioning as anisotropic multiplex hubs (United States)

    Vardi, Roni; Goldental, Amir; Sheinin, Anton; Sardi, Shira; Kanter, Ido


    Neural networks are composed of neurons and synapses, which are responsible for learning in a slow adaptive dynamical process. Here we experimentally show that neurons act like independent anisotropic multiplex hubs, which relay and mute incoming signals following their input directions. Theoretically, the observed information routing enriches the computational capabilities of neurons by allowing, for instance, equalization among different information routes in the network, as well as high-frequency transmission of complex time-dependent signals constructed via several parallel routes. In addition, this kind of hubs adaptively eliminate very noisy neurons from the dynamics of the network, preventing masking of information transmission. The timescales for these features are several seconds at most, as opposed to the imprint of information by the synaptic plasticity, a process which exceeds minutes. Results open the horizon to the understanding of fast and adaptive learning realities in higher cognitive brain's functionalities.

  16. Altered mitochondrial function after acute alteration of the endogenous insulin/glucagon ratio

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rohweder-Dunn, G.; Aprille, J.R.


    Mannoheptulose (MH) affects pancreatic Islet cells to cause a drop in serum insulin and a rise in glucagon. This effect peaks 1 hr after injection and results in a 3-fold increase in serum glucose. Here they examined whether metabolic functions of liver mitochondria (mito) are altered by this change in hormone status. Rats fed ad lib on 12 hr light/dark cycles were given MH (2g/kg) or vehicle i.p. during the first 2 hrs of the light cycle. Liver mito were isolated 1 hr later. Acid-extracts were assayed for ATP+ADP+AMP (nmol/mg prot). Citrulline synthesis and pyruvate carboxylation rates (nmol/min/mg prot) were assayed by following H[ 14 C]O 3 - fixation in appropriate media. State 3 and 2,4-DNP-uncoupled respiratory rates (1/2 nmol O 2 /min/mg prot) were assayed polarographically with succinate. The effects of MH on mito are comparable to reported effects of glucagon injection. MH evokes acute reciprocal changes in insulin and glucagon that are highly reproducible. Thus, MH offers an interesting model for studying the effect of endogenous hormones on mito functions

  17. A Variant of GJD2, Encoding for Connexin 36, Alters the Function of Insulin Producing β-Cells.

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    Valentina Cigliola

    Full Text Available Signalling through gap junctions contributes to control insulin secretion and, thus, blood glucose levels. Gap junctions of the insulin-producing β-cells are made of connexin 36 (Cx36, which is encoded by the GJD2 gene. Cx36-null mice feature alterations mimicking those observed in type 2 diabetes (T2D. GJD2 is also expressed in neurons, which share a number of common features with pancreatic β-cells. Given that a synonymous exonic single nucleotide polymorphism of human Cx36 (SNP rs3743123 associates with altered function of central neurons in a subset of epileptic patients, we investigated whether this SNP also caused alterations of β-cell function. Transfection of rs3743123 cDNA in connexin-lacking HeLa cells resulted in altered formation of gap junction plaques and cell coupling, as compared to those induced by wild type (WT GJD2 cDNA. Transgenic mice expressing the very same cDNAs under an insulin promoter revealed that SNP rs3743123 expression consistently lead to a post-natal reduction of islet Cx36 levels and β-cell survival, resulting in hyperglycemia in selected lines. These changes were not observed in sex- and age-matched controls expressing WT hCx36. The variant GJD2 only marginally associated to heterogeneous populations of diabetic patients. The data document that a silent polymorphism of GJD2 is associated with altered β-cell function, presumably contributing to T2D pathogenesis.

  18. Alterations in cognitive and psychological functioning after organic solvent exposure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morrow, L.A.; Ryan, C.M.; Hodgson, M.J.; Robin, N. (Univ. of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, PA (USA))


    Exposure to organic solvents has been linked repeatedly to alterations in both personality and cognitive functioning. To assess the nature and extent of these changes more thoroughly, 32 workers with a history of exposure to mixtures of organic solvents and 32 age- and education-matched blue-collar workers with no history of exposure were assessed with a comprehensive battery of neuropsychological tests. Although both groups were comparable on measures of general intelligence, significant differences were found in virtually all other cognitive domains tested (Learning and Memory, Visuospatial, Attention and Mental Flexibility, Psychomotor Speed). In addition, Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventories of exposed workers indicated clinically significant levels of depression, anxiety, somatic concerns and disturbances in thinking. The reported psychological distress was unrelated to degree of cognitive deficit. Finally, several exposure-related variables were associated with poorer performance on tests of memory and visuospatial ability.

  19. Regulated appearance of NMDA receptor subunits and channel functions during in vitro neuronal differentiation. (United States)

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


    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.

  20. Dynamic functional connectivity and brain metastability during altered states of consciousness. (United States)

    Cavanna, Federico; Vilas, Martina G; Palmucci, Matías; Tagliazucchi, Enzo


    The scientific study of human consciousness has greatly benefited from the development of non-invasive brain imaging methods. The quest to identify the neural correlates of consciousness combined psychophysical experimentation with neuroimaging tools such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to map the changes in neural activity associated with conscious vs. unconscious percepts. Different neuroimaging methods have also been applied to characterize spontaneous brain activity fluctuations during altered states of consciousness, and to develop quantitative metrics for the level of consciousness. Most of these studies, however, have not explored the dynamic nature of the whole-brain imaging data provided by fMRI. A series of empirical and computational studies strongly suggests that the temporal fluctuations observed in this data present a non-trivial structure, and that this structure is compatible with the exploration of a discrete repertoire of states. In this review we focus on how dynamic neuroimaging can be used to address theoretical accounts of consciousness based on the hypothesis of a dynamic core, i.e. a constantly evolving and transiently stable set of coordinated neurons that constitute an integrated and differentiated physical substrate for each conscious experience. We review work exploring the possibility that metastability in brain dynamics leads to a repertoire of dynamic core states, and discuss how it might be modified during altered states of consciousness. This discussion prompts us to review neuroimaging studies aimed to map the dynamic exploration of the repertoire of states as a function of consciousness. Complementary studies of the dynamic core hypothesis using perturbative methods are also discussed. Finally, we propose that a link between metastability in brain dynamics and the level of consciousness could pave the way towards a mechanistic understanding of altered states of consciousness using tools from dynamical systems

  1. Altered Interhemispheric Functional Coordination in Chronic Tinnitus Patients

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    Yu-Chen Chen


    Full Text Available Purpose. Recent studies suggest that tinnitus may be due in part to aberrant callosal structure and interhemispheric interaction. To explore this hypothesis we use a novel method, voxel-mirrored homotopic connectivity (VMHC, to examine the resting-state interhemispheric functional connectivity and its relationships with clinical characteristics in chronic tinnitus patients. Materials and Methods. Twenty-eight chronic tinnitus patients with normal hearing thresholds and 30 age-, sex-, education-, and hearing threshold-matched healthy controls were included in this study and underwent the resting-state fMRI scanning. We computed the VMHC to analyze the interhemispheric functional coordination between homotopic points of the brain in both groups. Results. Compared to the controls, tinnitus patients showed significantly increased VMHC in the middle temporal gyrus, middle frontal gyrus, and superior occipital gyrus. In tinnitus patients, a positive correlation was found between tinnitus duration and VMHC of the uncus. Moreover, correlations between VMHC changes and tinnitus distress were observed in the transverse temporal gyrus, superior temporal pole, precentral gyrus, and calcarine cortex. Conclusions. These results show altered interhemispheric functional connectivity linked with specific tinnitus characteristics in chronic tinnitus patients, which may be implicated in the neuropathophysiology of tinnitus.

  2. Neurotransmission to parasympathetic cardiac vagal neurons in the brain stem is altered with left ventricular hypertrophy-induced heart failure. (United States)

    Cauley, Edmund; Wang, Xin; Dyavanapalli, Jhansi; Sun, Ke; Garrott, Kara; Kuzmiak-Glancy, Sarah; Kay, Matthew W; Mendelowitz, David


    Hypertension, cardiac hypertrophy, and heart failure (HF) are widespread and debilitating cardiovascular diseases that affect nearly 23 million people worldwide. A distinctive hallmark of these cardiovascular diseases is autonomic imbalance, with increased sympathetic activity and decreased parasympathetic vagal tone. Recent device-based approaches, such as implantable vagal stimulators that stimulate a multitude of visceral sensory and motor fibers in the vagus nerve, are being evaluated as new therapeutic approaches for these and other diseases. However, little is known about how parasympathetic activity to the heart is altered with these diseases, and this lack of knowledge is an obstacle in the goal of devising selective interventions that can target and selectively restore parasympathetic activity to the heart. To identify the changes that occur within the brain stem to diminish the parasympathetic cardiac activity, left ventricular hypertrophy was elicited in rats by aortic pressure overload using a transaortic constriction approach. Cardiac vagal neurons (CVNs) in the brain stem that generate parasympathetic activity to the heart were identified with a retrograde tracer and studied using patch-clamp electrophysiological recordings in vitro. Animals with left cardiac hypertrophy had diminished excitation of CVNs, which was mediated both by an augmented frequency of spontaneous inhibitory GABAergic neurotransmission (with no alteration of inhibitory glycinergic activity) as well as a diminished amplitude and frequency of excitatory neurotransmission to CVNs. Opportunities to alter these network pathways and neurotransmitter receptors provide future targets of intervention in the goal to restore parasympathetic activity and autonomic balance to the heart in cardiac hypertrophy and other cardiovascular diseases. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  3. Altered Tau Isoform Ratio Caused by Loss of FUS and SFPQ Function Leads to FTLD-like Phenotypes

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    Shinsuke Ishigaki


    Full Text Available Fused in sarcoma (FUS and splicing factor, proline- and glutamine-rich (SFPQ are RNA binding proteins that regulate RNA metabolism. We found that alternative splicing of the Mapt gene at exon 10, which generates 4-repeat tau (4R-T and 3-repeat tau (3R-T, is regulated by interactions between FUS and SFPQ in the nuclei of neurons. Hippocampus-specific FUS- or SFPQ-knockdown mice exhibit frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD-like behaviors, reduced adult neurogenesis, accumulation of phosphorylated tau, and hippocampal atrophy with neuronal loss through an increased 4R-T/3R-T ratio. Normalization of this increased ratio by 4R-T-specific silencing results in recovery of the normal phenotype. These findings suggest a biological link among FUS/SFPQ, tau isoform alteration, and phenotypic expression, which may function in the early pathomechanism of FTLD.

  4. Retinal function in patients with the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis phenotype

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    Elizabeth Maria Aparecida Barasnevicius Quagliato

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Purpose: To analyze the clinical features, visual acuity, and full-field electroretinogram (ERG findings of 15 patients with the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL phenotype and to establish the role of ERG testing in NCL diagnosis. Methods: The medical records of five patients with infantile NCL, five with Jansky-Bielschowsky disease, and five with juvenile NCL who underwent full-field ERG testing were retrospectively analyzed. Results: Progressive vision loss was the initial symptom in 66.7% of patients and was isolated or associated with ataxia, epilepsy, and neurodevelopmental involution. Epilepsy was present in 93.3% of patients, of whom 86.6% presented with neurodevelopmental involution. Fundus findings ranged from normal to pigmentary/atrophic abnormalities. Cone-rod, rod-cone, and both types of dysfunction were observed in six, one, and eight patients, respectively. Conclusion: In our study, all patients with the NCL phenotype had abnormal ERG findings, and the majority exhibited both cone-rod and rod-cone dysfunction. We conclude that ERG is a valuable tool for the characterization of visual dysfunction in patients with the NCL phenotype and is useful for diagnosis.

  5. Alterations in the coupling functions between cortical and cardio-respiratory oscillations due to anaesthesia with propofol and sevoflurane (United States)

    Stankovski, Tomislav; Petkoski, Spase; Raeder, Johan; Smith, Andrew F.; McClintock, Peter V. E.; Stefanovska, Aneta


    The precise mechanisms underlying general anaesthesia pose important and still open questions. To address them, we have studied anaesthesia induced by the widely used (intravenous) propofol and (inhalational) sevoflurane anaesthetics, computing cross-frequency coupling functions between neuronal, cardiac and respiratory oscillations in order to determine their mutual interactions. The phase domain coupling function reveals the form of the function defining the mechanism of an interaction, as well as its coupling strength. Using a method based on dynamical Bayesian inference, we have thus identified and analysed the coupling functions for six relationships. By quantitative assessment of the forms and strengths of the couplings, we have revealed how these relationships are altered by anaesthesia, also showing that some of them are differently affected by propofol and sevoflurane. These findings, together with the novel coupling function analysis, offer a new direction in the assessment of general anaesthesia and neurophysiological interactions, in general.

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

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


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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Jeong, Suh Young


    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.

  8. Human Cerebral Cortex Cajal-Retzius Neuron: Development, Structure and Function. A Golgi Study

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    Miguel eMarín-Padilla


    Full Text Available The development, morphology and possible functional activity of the Cajal-Retzius cell of the developing human cerebral cortex have been explored herein. The C-RC, of extracortical origin, is the essential neuron of the neocortex first lamina. It receives inputs from subcortical afferent fibers that reach the first lamina early in development. Although the origin and function of these original afferent fibers remain unknown, they target the first lamina sole neuron: the C-RC. The neuron’ orchestrates the arrival, size and stratification of all pyramidal neurons (from ependymal origin of the neocortex gray matter. Its axonic terminals spread radially and horizontally throughout the entire first lamina establishing contacts with the dendritic terminals of all gray matter pyramidal cells regardless of size, location and/or eventual functional roles. While the neuron axonic terminals spread radially and horizontally throughout the first lamina, the neuron’ bodies undergoes progressive developmental dilution and locating any of them in the adult brain become quite difficult. The neuron bodies are probably retained in the older regions of the developing neocortex while their axonic collaterals will spread throughout its more recent ones that, eventually, will represent the great majority of the brain surface. This will explain their bodies progressive dilution in the developing neocortex and, later, in the adult brain. Although quite difficult to locate the body of any of them, they have been described in the adult brain.

  9. Evidence for cell autonomous AP1 function in regulation of Drosophila motor-neuron plasticity

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    Consoulas Christos


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The transcription factor AP1 mediates long-term plasticity in vertebrate and invertebrate central nervous systems. Recent studies of activity-induced synaptic change indicate that AP1 can function upstream of CREB to regulate both CREB-dependent enhancement of synaptic strength as well as CREB-independent increase in bouton number at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ. However, it is not clear from this study if AP1 functions autonomously in motor neurons to directly modulate plasticity. Results Here, we show that Fos and Jun, the two components of AP1, are abundantly expressed in motor neurons. We further combine immunohistochemical and electrophysiological analyses with use of a collection of enhancers that tightly restrict AP1 transgene expression within the nervous system to show that AP1 induction or inhibition in, but not outside of, motor neurons is necessary and sufficient for its modulation of NMJ size and strength. Conclusion By arguing against the possibility that AP1 effects at the NMJ occur via a polysynaptic mechanism, these observations support a model in which AP1 directly modulates NMJ plasticity processes through a cell autonomous pathway in the motor neuron. The approach described here may serve as a useful experimental paradigm for analyzing cell autonomy of genes found to influence structure and function of Drosophila motor neurons.

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

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    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.

  11. How linear features alter predator movement and the functional response.

    KAUST Repository

    McKenzie, Hannah W


    In areas of oil and gas exploration, seismic lines have been reported to alter the movement patterns of wolves (Canis lupus). We developed a mechanistic first passage time model, based on an anisotropic elliptic partial differential equation, and used this to explore how wolf movement responses to seismic lines influence the encounter rate of the wolves with their prey. The model was parametrized using 5 min GPS location data. These data showed that wolves travelled faster on seismic lines and had a higher probability of staying on a seismic line once they were on it. We simulated wolf movement on a range of seismic line densities and drew implications for the rate of predator-prey interactions as described by the functional response. The functional response exhibited a more than linear increase with respect to prey density (type III) as well as interactions with seismic line density. Encounter rates were significantly higher in landscapes with high seismic line density and were most pronounced at low prey densities. This suggests that prey at low population densities are at higher risk in environments with a high seismic line density unless they learn to avoid them.

  12. Determinants of functional coupling between astrocytes and respiratory neurons in the pre-Bötzinger complex.

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    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.

  13. Neonatal exposure to sucralose does not alter biochemical markers of neuronal development or adult behavior. (United States)

    Viberg, Henrik; Fredriksson, Anders


    Sucralose, a high-intensity sweetener, has been approved as a general-purpose sweetener in all food since the late 1990s. Due to its good taste and physiochemical profile, its use has increased and sucralose is considered a way of managing health and an option to improve the quality of life in the diabetic population. Recently high concentrations of sucralose have been found in the environment. Other environmental pollutants have been shown to induce neurotoxic effects when administered during a period of rapid brain growth and development. This period of rapid brain growth and development is postnatal in mice and rats, spanning the first 3-4 wk of life, reaching its peak around postnatal day 10, whereas in humans, brain growth and development is perinatal. The proteins calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, growth-associated protein-43, synaptophysin, and tau play important roles during brain growth and development. In the present study, mice were orally exposed to 5-125 mg of sucralose per kilogram of body weight per day during postnatal days 8-12. Twenty-four hours after last exposure, brains were analyzed for calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, growth-associated protein-43, synaptophysin, and tau, and at the age of 2 mo the animals were tested for spontaneous behavior. The protein analysis showed no alterations in calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, growth-associated protein-43, synaptophysin, or tau. Furthermore, there were no disturbances in adult behavior or habituation after neonatal sucralose exposure. The present study shows that repeated neonatal exposure to the artificial sweetener sucralose does not result in neurotoxicity, which supports that sucralose seems to be a safe alternative for people who want or need to reduce or substitute glucose in their diet. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gentet, L.J.


    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

  15. Altered Astrocyte-Neuron Interactions and Epileptogenesis in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Disorder (United States)


    consequent astrocyte pathology may itself contribute to the ongoing seizure activity. 5 Year 2: We recorded miniature EPSCs, evoked EPSCs and...mGFAPCreCKO mice develop spontaneous clinical seizures at the age of 2.5 months; b) TSC1mGFAPCreCKO mice show astrogliosis, activated mTOR signaling...glutamate transport and potassium buffering functions remained intact in TSC1mGFAPCreCKO mice at 1 month and 2 months of age , prior to the onset of

  16. Insulin receptor signaling in the development of neuronal structure and function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cline Hollis T


    Full Text Available Abstract Sensory experience plays a crucial role in regulating neuronal shape and in developing synaptic contacts during brain formation. These features are required for a neuron to receive, integrate, and transmit signals within the neuronal network so that animals can adapt to the constant changing environment. Insulin receptor signaling, which has been extensively studied in peripheral organ systems such as liver, muscle and adipocyte, has recently been shown to play important roles in the central nervous system. Here we review the current understanding of the underlying mechanisms that regulate structural and functional aspects of circuit development, particularly with respect to the role of insulin receptor signaling in synaptic function and the development of dendritic arbor morphology. The potential link between insulin receptor signaling malfunction and neurological disorders will also be discussed.

  17. Altered Cav1.2 function in the Timothy syndrome mouse model produces ascending serotonergic abnormalities. (United States)

    Ehlinger, Daniel G; Commons, Kathryn G


    Polymorphism in the gene CACNA1C, encoding the pore-forming subunit of Cav1.2 L-type calcium channels, has one of the strongest genetic linkages to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder: psychopathologies in which serotonin signaling has been implicated. Additionally, a gain-of-function mutation in CACNA1C is responsible for the neurodevelopmental disorder Timothy syndrome that presents with prominent behavioral features on the autism spectrum. Given an emerging role for serotonin in the etiology of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), we investigate the relationship between Cav1.2 and the ascending serotonin system in the Timothy syndrome type 2 (TS2-neo) mouse, which displays behavioral features consistent with the core triad of ASD. We find that TS2-neo mice exhibit enhanced serotonin tissue content and axon innervation of the dorsal striatum, as well as decreased serotonin turnover in the amygdala. These regionally specific alterations are accompanied by an enhanced active coping response during acute stress (forced swim), serotonin neuron Fos activity in the caudal dorsal raphe, and serotonin type 1A receptor-dependent feedback inhibition of the rostral dorsal raphe nuclei. Collectively, these results suggest that the global gain-of-function Cav1.2 mutation associated with Timothy syndrome has pleiotropic effects on the ascending serotonin system including neuroanatomical changes, regional differences in forebrain serotonin metabolism and feedback regulatory control mechanisms within the dorsal raphe. Altered activity of the ascending serotonin system continues to emerge as a common neural signature across several ASD mouse models, and the capacity for Cav1.2 L-type calcium channels to impact both serotonin structure and function has important implications for several neuropsychiatric conditions. © 2017 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Developmental alcohol exposure impairs synaptic plasticity without overtly altering microglial function in mouse visual cortex. (United States)

    Wong, Elissa L; Lutz, Nina M; Hogan, Victoria A; Lamantia, Cassandra E; McMurray, Helene R; Myers, Jason R; Ashton, John M; Majewska, Ania K


    Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), caused by gestational ethanol (EtOH) exposure, is one of the most common causes of non-heritable and life-long mental disability worldwide, with no standard treatment or therapy available. While EtOH exposure can alter the function of both neurons and glia, it is still unclear how EtOH influences brain development to cause deficits in sensory and cognitive processing later in life. Microglia play an important role in shaping synaptic function and plasticity during neural circuit development and have been shown to mount an acute immunological response to EtOH exposure in certain brain regions. Therefore, we hypothesized that microglial roles in the healthy brain could be permanently altered by early EtOH exposure leading to deficits in experience-dependent plasticity. We used a mouse model of human third trimester high binge EtOH exposure, administering EtOH twice daily by subcutaneous injections from postnatal day 4 through postnatal day 9 (P4-:P9). Using a monocular deprivation model to assess ocular dominance plasticity, we found an EtOH-induced deficit in this type of visually driven experience-dependent plasticity. However, using a combination of immunohistochemistry, confocal microscopy, and in vivo two-photon microscopy to assay microglial morphology and dynamics, as well as fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) and RNA-seq to examine the microglial transcriptome, we found no evidence of microglial dysfunction in early adolescence. We also found no evidence of microglial activation in visual cortex acutely after early ethanol exposure, possibly because we also did not observe EtOH-induced neuronal cell death in this brain region. We conclude that early EtOH exposure caused a deficit in experience-dependent synaptic plasticity in the visual cortex that was independent of changes in microglial phenotype or function. This demonstrates that neural plasticity can remain impaired by developmental ethanol exposure even in

  19. Functional diversity in a fragmented landscape — Habitat alterations affect functional trait composition of frog assemblages in Madagascar

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    Jana C. Riemann


    Full Text Available Anthropogenic habitat alterations cause biodiversity loss, which in turn negatively affects ecosystem functioning and services, and thus human well-being. To be able to consider ecosystem functioning in conservation actions, analyzing the effects of habitat alteration on functional diversity is essential. Some altered habitats can maintain a significant part of regional biodiversity, however, functional diversity information in altered habitats is so far mostly lacking. We compared functional richness and functional β-diversity based on resource-use traits of frogs between three land-use categories in a rainforest ecosystem in Madagascar. Land-use categories represent a habitat alteration gradient ranging from continuous forest over forest fragments to matrix habitats including different agricultures. Our study revealed distinct changes in resource-use trait composition and complex patterns in the relationship between species richness and functional richness. Thus, the functional structure of frog assemblages changed due to habitat alterations. However, altered habitats likely provide different, rather than fewer functions compared to intact forest. Streams in all land-use categories were the functionally richest habitats, and thus important for ecosystem functioning. Species richness was one, but not the only driver of functional richness in our system. Functional clustering, potentially due to environmental filters depending on resource availability, was caused by anthropogenic and natural drivers. Our study shows that, even in systems where fragmented landscapes still maintain high species diversity, functional diversity can be altered in human altered habitats, which may affect ecosystem processes like productivity, nutrient cycling, and energy flows.

  20. Functional adaptation to loading of a single bone is neuronally regulated and involves multiple bones. (United States)

    Sample, Susannah J; Behan, Mary; Smith, Lesley; Oldenhoff, William E; Markel, Mark D; Kalscheur, Vicki L; Hao, Zhengling; Miletic, Vjekoslav; Muir, Peter


    Regulation of load-induced bone formation is considered a local phenomenon controlled by osteocytes, although it has also been hypothesized that functional adaptation may be neuronally regulated. The aim of this study was to examine bone formation in multiple bones, in response to loading of a single bone, and to determine whether adaptation may be neuronally regulated. Load-induced responses in the left and right ulnas and humeri were determined after loading of the right ulna in male Sprague-Dawley rats (69 +/- 16 days of age). After a single period of loading at -760-, -2000-, or -3750-microepsilon initial peak strain, rats were given calcein to label new bone formation. Bone formation and bone neuropeptide concentrations were determined at 10 days. In one group, temporary neuronal blocking was achieved by perineural anesthesia of the brachial plexus with bupivicaine during loading. We found right ulna loading induces adaptive responses in other bones in both thoracic limbs compared with Sham controls and that neuronal blocking during loading abrogated bone formation in the loaded ulna and other thoracic limb bones. Skeletal adaptation was more evident in distal long bones compared with proximal long bones. We also found that the single period of loading modulated bone neuropeptide concentrations persistently for 10 days. We conclude that functional adaptation to loading of a single bone in young rapidly growing rats is neuronally regulated and involves multiple bones. Persistent changes in bone neuropeptide concentrations after a single loading period suggest that plasticity exists in the innervation of bone.

  1. Specific involvement of gonadal hormones in the functional maturation of growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) neurons. (United States)

    Gouty-Colomer, Laurie-Anne; Méry, Pierre-François; Storme, Emilie; Gavois, Elodie; Robinson, Iain C; Guérineau, Nathalie C; Mollard, Patrice; Desarménien, Michel G


    Growth hormone (GH) is the key hormone involved in the regulation of growth and metabolism, two functions that are highly modulated during infancy. GH secretion, controlled mainly by GH releasing hormone (GHRH), has a characteristic pattern during postnatal development that results in peaks of blood concentration at birth and puberty. A detailed knowledge of the electrophysiology of the GHRH neurons is necessary to understand the mechanisms regulating postnatal GH secretion. Here, we describe the unique postnatal development of the electrophysiological properties of GHRH neurons and their regulation by gonadal hormones. Using GHRH-eGFP mice, we demonstrate that already at birth, GHRH neurons receive numerous synaptic inputs and fire large and fast action potentials (APs), consistent with effective GH secretion. Concomitant with the GH secretion peak occurring at puberty, these neurons display modifications of synaptic input properties, decrease in AP duration, and increase in a transient voltage-dependant potassium current. Furthermore, the modulation of both the AP duration and voltage-dependent potassium current are specifically controlled by gonadal hormones because gonadectomy prevented the maturation of these active properties and hormonal treatment restored it. Thus, GHRH neurons undergo specific developmental modulations of their electrical properties over the first six postnatal weeks, in accordance with hormonal demand. Our results highlight the importance of the interaction between the somatotrope and gonadotrope axes during the establishment of adapted neuroendocrine functions.

  2. Neuronal substrates and functional consequences of prenatal cannabis exposure (United States)

    Calvigioni, Daniela; Hurd, Yasmin L.; Keimpema, Erik


    Cannabis remains one of the world’s most widely used substance of abuse amongst pregnant women. Trends of the last 50 years show an increase in popularity in child-bearing women together with a constant increase in cannabis potency. In addition, potent herbal “legal” highs containing synthetic cannabinoids that mimic the effects of cannabis with unknown pharmacological and toxicological effects have gained rapid popularity amongst young adults. Despite the surge in cannabis use during pregnancy, little is known about the neurobiological and psychological consequences in the exposed offspring. In this review, we emphasize the importance of maternal programming, defined as the intrauterine presentation of maternal stimuli to the foetus, in neurodevelopment. In particular, we focus on cannabis-mediated maternal adverse effects, resulting in direct central nervous system alteration or sensitization to late-onset chronic and neuropsychiatric disorders. We compare clinical and preclinical experimental studies on the effects of foetal cannabis exposure until early adulthood, to stress the importance of animal models that permit the fine control of environmental variables and allow the dissection of cannabis-mediated molecular cascades in the developing central nervous system. In sum, we conclude that preclinical experimental models confirm clinical studies and that cannabis exposure evokes significant molecular modifications to neurodevelopmental programs leading to neurophysiological and behavioural abnormalities. PMID:24793873

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

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    Bron Dominique


    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

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

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    Fulvia Palesi


    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

  5. Deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus preferentially alters the translational profile of striatopallidal neurons in an animal model of Parkinson’s disease

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    Iman eKamali Sarvestani


    Full Text Available Deep brain stimulation targeting the subthalamic nucleus (STN-DBS is an effective surgical treatment for the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD, the precise neuronal mechanisms of which both at molecular and network levels remain a topic of debate. Here we employ two transgenic mouse lines, combining translating ribosomal affinity purification (TRAP with bacterial artificial chromosome expression (Bac, to selectively identify changes in translational gene expression in either Drd1a-expressing striatonigral or Drd2-expressing striatopallidal medium spiny neurons (MSNs of the striatum following STN-DBS. 6-hydroxydopamine lesioned mice received either 5 days stimulation via a DBS electrode implanted in the ipsilateral STN or 5 days sham treatment (no stimulation. Striatal polyribosomal RNA was selectively purified from either Drd2 or Drd1a MSNs using the TRAP method and gene expression profiling performed. We identified 8 significantly altered genes in Drd2 MSNs (Vps33b, Ppp1r3c, Mapk4, Sorcs2, Neto1, Abca1, Penk1 and Gapdh and 2 overlapping genes in Drd1a MSNs (Penk1 and Ppp1r3c implicated in the molecular mechanisms of STN-DBS. A detailed functional analysis, using a further 728 probes implicated in STN-DBS, suggested an increased ability to receive excitation (mediated by increased dendritic spines, increased calcium influx and enhanced excitatory post synaptic potentials accompanied by processes that would hamper the initiation of action potentials, transport of neurotransmitters from soma to axon terminals and vesicular release in Drd2-expressing MSNs. Finally, changes in expression of several genes involved in apoptosis as well as cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism were also identified. This increased understanding of the molecular mechanisms induced by STN-DBS may reveal novel targets for future non-surgical therapies for PD.

  6. Glutamate mediates the function of melanocortin receptor 4 on sim1 neurons in body weight regulation (United States)

    The melanocortin receptor 4 (MC4R) is a well-established mediator of body weight homeostasis. However, the neurotransmitter(s) that mediate MC4R function remain largely unknown; as a result, little is known about the second-order neurons of the MC4R neural pathway. Single-minded 1 (Sim1)-expressing ...

  7. Arrested neuronal proliferation and impaired hippocampal function following fractionated brain irradiation in the adult rat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, Torsten Meldgaard; Kristjansen, P.E.G.; Bolwig, Tom Gert


    irradiation blocked the formation of new neurons in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. At different time points after the termination of the irradiation procedure, the animals were tested in two tests of short-term memory that differ with respect to their dependence on hippocampal function. Eight and 21...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    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

  9. 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.


    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...

  10. Dynamic alteration in splenic function during acute falciparum malaria

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Looareesuwan, S.; Ho, M.; Wattanagoon, Y.; White, N.J.; Warrell, D.A.; Bunnag, D.; Harinasuta, T.; Wyler, D.J.


    Plasmodium-infected erythrocytes lose their normal deformability and become susceptible to splenic filtration. In animal models, this is one mechanism of antimalarial defense. To assess the effect of acute falciparum malaria on splenic filtration, we measured the clearance of heated /sup 51/Cr-labeled autologous erythrocytes in 25 patients with acute falciparum malaria and in 10 uninfected controls. Two groups of patients could be distinguished. Sixteen patients had splenomegaly, markedly accelerated clearance of the labeled erythrocytes (clearance half-time, 8.4 +/- 4.4 minutes (mean +/- SD) vs. 62.5 +/- 36.5 minutes in controls; P less than 0.001), and a lower mean hematocrit than did the patients without splenomegaly (P less than 0.001). In the nine patients without splenomegaly, clearance was normal. After institution of antimalarial chemotherapy, however, the clearance in this group accelerated to supernormal rates similar to those in the patients with splenomegaly, but without the development of detectable splenomegaly. Clearance was not significantly altered by treatment in the group with splenomegaly. Six weeks later, normal clearance rates were reestablished in most patients in both groups. We conclude that splenic clearance of labeled erythrocytes is enhanced in patients with malaria if splenomegaly is present and is enhanced only after treatment if splenomegaly is absent. Whether this enhanced splenic function applies to parasite-infected erythrocytes in patients with malaria and has any clinical benefit will require further studies.

  11. Learning alters the tuning of functional magnetic resonance imaging patterns for visual forms. (United States)

    Zhang, Jiaxiang; Meeson, Alan; Welchman, Andrew E; Kourtzi, Zoe


    Learning is thought to facilitate the recognition of objects by optimizing the tuning of visual neurons to behaviorally relevant features. However, the learning mechanisms that shape neural selectivity for visual forms in the human brain remain essentially unknown. Here, we combine behavioral and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) measurements to test the mechanisms that mediate enhanced behavioral sensitivity in the discrimination of visual forms after training. In particular, we used high-resolution fMRI and multivoxel pattern classification methods to investigate fine learning-dependent changes in neural preference for global forms. We measured the observers' choices when discriminating between concentric and radial patterns presented in noise before and after training. Similarly, we measured the choices of a pattern classifier when predicting each stimulus from fMRI activity. Comparing the performance of human observers and classifiers demonstrated that learning alters the observers' sensitivity to visual forms and the tuning of fMRI activation patterns in visual areas selective for task-relevant features. In particular, training on low-signal stimuli enhanced the amplitude but reduced the width of pattern-based tuning functions in higher dorsal and ventral visual areas. Thus, our findings suggest that learning of visual patterns is implemented by enhancing the response to the preferred stimulus category and reducing the response to nonpreferred stimuli in higher extrastriate visual cortex.

  12. Altered mesocorticolimbic functional connectivity in psychotic disorder: an analysis of proxy genetic and environmental effects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peeters, S. C. T.; Gronenschild, E. H. B. M.; van de Ven, V.; Habets, P.; Goebel, R.; van Os, J.; Marcelis, M.; Kahn, Rene; Linszen, Don; van Os, Jim; Wiersma, Durk; Bruggeman, Richard; Cahn, Wiepke; de Haan, Lieuwe; Krabbendam, Lydia; Myin-Germeys, Inez


    Altered dopaminergic neurotransmission in the mesocorticolimbic (MCL) system may mediate psychotic symptoms. In addition, pharmacological dopaminergic manipulation may coincide with altered functional connectivity (fc) 'in rest'. We set out to test whether MCL-fc is conditional on (familial risk

  13. Functional differentiation of midbrain neurons from human cord blood-derived induced pluripotent stem cells. (United States)

    Stanslowsky, Nancy; Haase, Alexandra; Martin, Ulrich; Naujock, Maximilian; Leffler, Andreas; Dengler, Reinhard; Wegner, Florian


    Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) offer great promise for regenerative therapies or in vitro modelling of neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson's disease. Currently, widely used cell sources for the generation of hiPSCs are somatic cells obtained from aged individuals. However, a critical issue concerning the potential clinical use of these iPSCs is mutations that accumulate over lifetime and are transferred onto iPSCs during reprogramming which may influence the functionality of cells differentiated from them. The aim of our study was to establish a differentiation strategy to efficiently generate neurons including dopaminergic cells from human cord blood-derived iPSCs (hCBiPSCs) as a juvenescent cell source and prove their functional maturation in vitro. The differentiation of hCBiPSCs was initiated by inhibition of transforming growth factor-β and bone morphogenetic protein signaling using the small molecules dorsomorphin and SB 431542 before final maturation was carried out. hCBiPSCs and differentiated neurons were characterized by immunocytochemistry and quantitative real time-polymerase chain reaction. Since functional investigations of hCBiPSC-derived neurons are indispensable prior to clinical applications, we performed detailed analysis of essential ion channel properties using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings and calcium imaging. A Sox1 and Pax6 positive neuronal progenitor cell population was efficiently induced from hCBiPSCs using a newly established differentiation protocol. Neuronal progenitor cells could be further maturated into dopaminergic neurons expressing tyrosine hydroxylase, the dopamine transporter and engrailed 1. Differentiated hCBiPSCs exhibited voltage-gated ion currents, were able to fire action potentials and displayed synaptic activity indicating synapse formation. Application of the neurotransmitters GABA, glutamate and acetylcholine induced depolarizing calcium signal changes in neuronal cells providing evidence

  14. Functional dissection of a neuronal network required for cuticle tanning and wing expansion in Drosophila. (United States)

    Luan, Haojiang; Lemon, William C; Peabody, Nathan C; Pohl, Jascha B; Zelensky, Paul K; Wang, Ding; Nitabach, Michael N; Holmes, Todd C; White, Benjamin H


    A subset of Drosophila neurons that expresses crustacean cardioactive peptide (CCAP) has been shown previously to make the hormone bursicon, which is required for cuticle tanning and wing expansion after eclosion. Here we present evidence that CCAP-expressing neurons (NCCAP) consist of two functionally distinct groups, one of which releases bursicon into the hemolymph and the other of which regulates its release. The first group, which we call NCCAP-c929, includes 14 bursicon-expressing neurons of the abdominal ganglion that lie within the expression pattern of the enhancer-trap line c929-Gal4. We show that suppression of activity within this group blocks bursicon release into the hemolymph together with tanning and wing expansion. The second group, which we call NCCAP-R, consists of NCCAP neurons outside the c929-Gal4 pattern. Because suppression of synaptic transmission and protein kinase A (PKA) activity throughout NCCAP, but not in NCCAP-c929, also blocks tanning and wing expansion, we conclude that neurotransmission and PKA are required in NCCAP-R to regulate bursicon secretion from NCCAP-c929. Enhancement of electrical activity in NCCAP-R by expression of the bacterial sodium channel NaChBac also blocks tanning and wing expansion and leads to depletion of bursicon from central processes. NaChBac expression in NCCAP-c929 is without effect, suggesting that the abdominal bursicon-secreting neurons are likely to be silent until stimulated to release the hormone. Our results suggest that NCCAP form an interacting neuronal network responsible for the regulation and release of bursicon and suggest a model in which PKA-mediated stimulation of inputs to normally quiescent bursicon-expressing neurons activates release of the hormone.

  15. A powerful transgenic tool for fate mapping and functional analysis of newly generated neurons

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    Vogt Weisenhorn Daniela M


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Lack of appropriate tools and techniques to study fate and functional integration of newly generated neurons has so far hindered understanding of neurogenesis' relevance under physiological and pathological conditions. Current analyses are either dependent on mitotic labeling, for example BrdU-incorporation or retroviral infection, or on the detection of transient immature neuronal markers. Here, we report a transgenic mouse model (DCX-CreERT2 for time-resolved fate analysis of newly generated neurons. This model is based on the expression of a tamoxifen-inducible Cre recombinase under the control of a doublecortin (DCX promoter, which is specific for immature neuronal cells in the CNS. Results In the DCX-CreERT2 transgenic mice, expression of CreERT2 was restricted to DCX+ cells. In the CNS of transgenic embryos and adult DCX-CreERT2 mice, tamoxifen administration caused the transient translocation of CreERT2 to the nucleus, allowing for the recombination of loxP-flanked sequences. In our system, tamoxifen administration at E14.5 resulted in reporter gene activation throughout the developing CNS of transgenic embryos. In the adult CNS, neurogenic regions were the primary sites of tamoxifen-induced reporter gene activation. In addition, reporter expression could also be detected outside of neurogenic regions in cells physiologically expressing DCX (e.g. piriform cortex, corpus callosum, hypothalamus. Four weeks after recombination, the vast majority of reporter-expressing cells were found to co-express NeuN, revealing the neuronal fate of DCX+ cells upon maturation. Conclusions This first validation demonstrates that our new DCX-CreERT2 transgenic mouse model constitutes a powerful tool to investigate neurogenesis, migration and their long-term fate of neuronal precursors. Moreover, it allows for a targeted activation or deletion of specific genes in neuronal precursors and will thereby contribute to unravel the molecular

  16. Functional properties of parietal hand manipulation-related neurons and mirror neurons responding to vision of own hand action. (United States)

    Maeda, Kazutaka; Ishida, Hiroaki; Nakajima, Katsumi; Inase, Masahiko; Murata, Akira


    Parietofrontal pathways play an important role in visually guided motor control. In this pathway, hand manipulation-related neurons in the inferior parietal lobule represent 3-D properties of an object and motor patterns to grasp it. Furthermore, mirror neurons show visual responses that are concerned with the actions of others and motor-related activity during execution of the same grasping action. Because both of these categories of neurons integrate visual and motor signals, these neurons may play a role in motor control based on visual feedback signals. The aim of this study was to investigate whether these neurons in inferior parietal lobule including the anterior intraparietal area and PFG of macaques represent visual images of the monkey's own hand during a self-generated grasping action. We recorded 235 neurons related to hand manipulation tasks. Of these, 54 responded to video clips of the monkey's own hand action, the same as visual feedback during that action or clips of the experimenter's hand action in a lateral view. Of these 54 neurons, 25 responded to video clips of the monkey's own hand, even without an image of the target object. We designated these 25 neurons as "hand-type." Thirty-three of 54 neurons that were defined as mirror neurons showed visual responses to the experimenter's action and motor responses. Thirteen of these mirror neurons were classified as hand-type. These results suggest that activity of hand manipulation-related and mirror neurons in anterior intraparietal/PFG plays a fundamental role in monitoring one's own body state based on visual feedback.

  17. Functional characterization of neuronal pre and postsynaptic alpha 2-adrenoceptor subtypes in guinea-pig submucosal plexus. (United States)

    Shen, K. Z.; Barajas-Lopez, C.; Surprenant, A.


    1. The alpha 2-adrenoceptors on cell bodies of submucosal neurones, on presynaptic cholinergic nerve terminals innervating submucosal neurones, and on presynaptic sympathetic fibres innervating submucosal arterioles were characterized in functional studies by use of subtype selective ligands. 2. Both membrane hyperpolarization and presynaptic inhibition of nicotinic excitatory synaptic potentials ( produced by UK 14304 were similarly antagonized by idazoxan, yohimbine. SKF 104078, WB 4101 and ARC-239. Antagonism was competitive and dissociation equilibrium constants were the same for both effects. 3. Vasoconstriction of submucosal arterioles in response to stimulation of the sympathetic nerves (20 Hz for 2 s) was inhibited by UK 14304 and clonidine: concentrations producing half-maximum responses were 6 nm and 10 nM respectively. Idazoxan, yohimbine, WB 4101 and SKF 104078 antagonized this action, with dissociation constants similar to those for antagonism of the postsynaptic membrane hyperpolarization and presynaptic inhibition of nicotinic 4. Oxymetazoline was a partial agonist when membrane hyperpolarization or presynaptic inhibition of nicotinic were measured but a full agonist when presynaptic inhibition of sympathetically-mediated arteriolar vasoconstriction was measured. As an agonist, oxymetazoline produced half maximum responses at 80-120 nM; the dissociation constant for oxymetazoline as an antagonist was 130 nM. 5. Neither prazosin nor chlorpromazine (up to 30 microM) altered any of the three responses to alpha 2-adrenoceptor agonists. 6. It is concluded that alpha 2-adrenoceptors present on submucosal neuronal cell bodies, on presynaptic cholinergic nerve terminals and on presynaptic sympathetic nerve terminals are the alpha 2A subtype. However, functional characterization of this subtype differs from that provided by ligand binding studies. PMID:1982232

  18. Restricted cortical and amygdaloid removal of vesicular glutamate transporter 2 in preadolescent mice impacts dopaminergic activity and neuronal circuitry of higher brain function. (United States)

    Wallén-Mackenzie, Asa; Nordenankar, Karin; Fejgin, Kim; Lagerström, Malin C; Emilsson, Lina; Fredriksson, Robert; Wass, Caroline; Andersson, Daniel; Egecioglu, Emil; Andersson, My; Strandberg, Joakim; Lindhe, Orjan; Schiöth, Helgi B; Chergui, Karima; Hanse, Eric; Långström, Bengt; Fredriksson, Anders; Svensson, Lennart; Roman, Erika; Kullander, Klas


    A major challenge in neuroscience is to resolve the connection between gene functionality, neuronal circuits, and behavior. Most, if not all, neuronal circuits of the adult brain contain a glutamatergic component, the nature of which has been difficult to assess because of the vast cellular abundance of glutamate. In this study, we wanted to determine the role of a restricted subpopulation of glutamatergic neurons within the forebrain, the Vglut2-expressing neurons, in neuronal circuitry of higher brain function. Vglut2 expression was selectively deleted in the cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala of preadolescent mice, which resulted in increased locomotor activity, altered social dominance and risk assessment, decreased sensorimotor gating, and impaired long-term spatial memory. Presynaptic VGLUT2-positive terminals were lost in the cortex, striatum, nucleus accumbens, and hippocampus, and a downstream effect on dopamine binding site availability in the striatum was evident. A connection between the induced late-onset, chronic reduction of glutamatergic neurotransmission and dopamine signaling within the circuitry was further substantiated by a partial attenuation of the deficits in sensorimotor gating by the dopamine-stabilizing antipsychotic drug aripiprazole and an increased sensitivity to amphetamine. Somewhat surprisingly, given the restricted expression of Vglut2 in regions responsible for higher brain function, our analyses show that VGLUT2-mediated neurotransmission is required for certain aspects of cognitive, emotional, and social behavior. The present study provides support for the existence of a neurocircuitry that connects changes in VGLUT2-mediated neurotransmission to alterations in the dopaminergic system with schizophrenia-like behavioral deficits as a major outcome.

  19. Three-dimensional functional human neuronal networks in uncompressed low-density electrospun fiber scaffolds. (United States)

    Jakobsson, Albin; Ottosson, Maximilian; Zalis, Marina Castro; O'Carroll, David; Johansson, Ulrica Englund; Johansson, Fredrik


    We demonstrate an artificial three-dimensional (3D) electrical active human neuronal network system, by the growth of brain neural progenitors in highly porous low density electrospun poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL) fiber scaffolds. In neuroscience research cell-based assays are important experimental instruments for studying neuronal function in health and disease. Traditional cell culture at 2D-surfaces induces abnormal cell-cell contacts and network formation. Hence, there is a tremendous need to explore in vivo-resembling 3D neural cell culture approaches. We present an improved electrospinning method for fabrication of scaffolds that promote neuronal differentiation into highly 3D integrated networks, formation of inhibitory and excitatory synapses and extensive neurite growth. Notably, in 3D scaffolds in vivo-resembling intermixed neuronal and glial cell network were formed, whereas in parallel 2D cultures a neuronal cell layer grew separated from an underlying glial cell layer. Hence, the use of the 3D cell assay presented will most likely provide more physiological relevant results. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. 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


    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)

  1. 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


    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)

  2. Muscle fatigue in frog semitendinosus: alterations in contractile function (United States)

    Thompson, L. V.; Balog, E. M.; Riley, D. A.; Fitts, R. H.


    The purpose of this study was to characterize the contractile properties of the frog semitendinosus (ST) muscle before and during recovery from fatigue, to relate the observed functional changes to alterations in specific steps in the crossbridge model of muscle contraction, and to determine how fatigue affects the force-frequency relationship. The frog ST (22 degrees C) was fatigued by direct electrical stimulation with 100-ms 150-Hz trains at 1/s for 5 min. The fatigue protocol reduced peak twitch (Pt) and tetanic (Po) force to 32 and 8.5% of initial force, respectively. The decline in Pt was less than Po, in part due to a prolongation in the isometric contraction time (CT), which increased to 300% of the initial value. The isometric twitch duration was greatly prolonged as reflected by the lengthened CT and the 800% increase in the one-half relaxation time (1/2RT). Both Pt and Po showed a biphasic recovery, a rapid initial phase (2 min) followed by a slower (40 min) return to the prefatigue force. CT and 1/2RT also recovered in two phases, returning to 160 and 265% of control in the first 5 min. CT returned to the prefatigue value between 35 and 40 min, whereas even at 60 min 1/2RT was 133% of control. The maximal velocity of shortening, determined by the slack test, was significantly reduced [from 6.7 +/- 0.5 to 2.5 +/- 0.4 optimal muscle length/s] at fatigue. The force-frequency relationship was shifted to the left, so that optimal frequency for generating Po was reduced.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

  3. Function of Plectranthus barbatus herbal tea as neuronal acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. (United States)

    Falé, Pedro L V; Madeira, Paulo J Amorim; Florêncio, M Helena; Ascensão, Lia; Serralheiro, Maria Luísa M


    This study aims to determine the function of Plectranthus barbatus (Lamiaceae) herbal tea as inhibitor of the brain acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity. To accomplish this objective the herbal tea as well as its main component, rosmarinic acid were administered to laboratory animals (rats) and the effect on the brain AChE activity was evaluated. The study of the herbal tea metabolites in the plasma and also in the brain was undertaken. The herbal water extract was administered intragastrically and also intraperitoneally. When the plant extract was intragastrically administered, vestigial amounts of metabolites from P. barbatus extract compounds were present in rat plasma, but none were found in brain, although inhibition of brain acetylcholinesterase activity was detected. However, when P. barbatus extract was administered intraperitoneally, all its compounds were found in plasma, and rosmarinic acid was found in brain. The highest concentrations of compounds/metabolites were found 30 min after administration. An inhibition of 29.0 ± 2.3% and 24.9 ± 3.7% in brain acetylcholinesterase activity was observed 30 and 60 min after intraperitoneal administration, respectively. These values were higher than those expected, taking into account the quantity of rosmarinic acid detected in the brain, which suggests that other active extract compounds or metabolites may be present in non-detectable amounts. These results prove that the administration of P. barbatus aqueous extract can reach the brain and act as AChE inhibitor.

  4. Age-related neuroinflammatory changes negatively impact on neuronal function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina A Lynch


    Full Text Available Neuroinflammatory changes, characterized by an increase in microglial activation and often accompanied by upregulation of inflammatory cytokines like interleukin-1β (IL-1β, are common to many, if not all, neurodegenerative diseases. Similar, though less dramatic neuroinflammatory changes are also known to occur with age. Among the consequences of these changes is an impairment in synaptic function and the evidence suggests that inflammatory cytokines may be the primary contributory factor responsible for the deficits in synaptic plasticity which have been identified in aged rodents. Specifically a decrease in the ability of aged rats to sustain long-term potentiation (LTP in perforant path-granule cells of the hippocampus is associated with increased microglial activation. This review considers the evidence which suggests a causal relationship between these changes and the factors which contribute to the age-related microglial activation, and reflects on data which demonstrate that agents which inhibit microglial activation also improve ability of rats to sustain LTP.

  5. Midbrain and forebrain patterning delivers immunocytochemically and functionally similar populations of neuropeptide Y containing GABAergic neurons. (United States)

    Khaira, S K; Nefzger, C M; Beh, S J; Pouton, C W; Haynes, J M


    Neurons differentiated in vitro from embryonic stem cells (ESCs) have the potential to serve both as models of disease states and in drug discovery programs. In this study, we use sonic hedgehog (SHH) and fibroblast growth factor 8 (FGF-8) to enrich for forebrain and midbrain phenotypes from mouse ESCs. We then investigate, using Ca(2+) imaging and [(3)H]-GABA release studies, whether the GABAergic neurons produced exhibit distinct functional phenotypes. At day 24 of differentiation, reverse transcriptase-PCR showed the presence of both forebrain (Bf-1, Hesx1, Pgc-1α, Six3) and midbrain (GATA2, GATA3) selective mRNA markers in developing forebrain-enriched cultures. All markers were present in midbrain cultures except for Bf-1 and Pgc-1α. Irrespective of culture conditions all GABA immunoreactive neurons were also immunoreactive to neuropeptide Y (NPY) antibodies. Forebrain and midbrain GABAergic neurons responded to ATP (1 mM), L-glutamate (30 μM), noradrenaline (30 μM), acetylcholine (30 μM) and dopamine (30 μM), with similar elevations of intracellular Ca(2+)([Ca(2+)](i)). The presence of GABA(A) and GABA(B) antagonists, bicuculline (30 μM) and CGP55845 (1 μM), increased the elevation of [Ca(2+)](i) in response to dopamine (30 μM) in midbrain, but not forebrain GABAergic neurons. All agonists, except dopamine, elicited similar [(3)H]-GABA release from forebrain and midbrain cultures. Dopamine (30 μM) did not stimulate significant [(3)H]-GABA release in midbrain cultures, although it was effective in forebrain cultures. This study shows that differentiating neurons toward a midbrain fate restricts the expression of forebrain markers. Forebrain differentiation results in the expression of forebrain and midbrain markers. All GABA(+) neurons contain NPY, and show similar agonist-induced elevations of [Ca(2+)](i) and [(3)H]-GABA release. This study indicates that the pharmacological phenotype of these particular neurons may be independent of the addition of

  6. Anti-Tribbles Pseudokinase 2 (TRIB2)-Immunization Modulates Hypocretin/Orexin Neuronal Functions. (United States)

    Tanaka, Susumu; Honda, Yoshiko; Honda, Makoto; Yamada, Hisao; Honda, Kazuki; Kodama, Tohru


    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

  7. Effects of chronic alcohol consumption on neuronal function in the non-human primate BNST (United States)

    Alterations in hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis function contribute to many of the adverse behavioral effects of chronic voluntary alcohol drinking, including alcohol dependence and mood disorders; limbic brain structures such as the bed nucleus of the stria termin...

  8. Exploring the reproducibility of functional connectivity alterations in Parkinson’s disease (United States)

    Onu, Mihaela; Wu, Tao; Roceanu, Adina; Bajenaru, Ovidiu


    Since anatomic MRI is presently not able to directly discern neuronal loss in Parkinson’s Disease (PD), studying the associated functional connectivity (FC) changes seems a promising approach toward developing non-invasive and non-radioactive neuroimaging markers for this disease. While several groups have reported such FC changes in PD, there are also significant discrepancies between studies. Investigating the reproducibility of PD-related FC changes on independent datasets is therefore of crucial importance. We acquired resting-state fMRI scans for 43 subjects (27 patients and 16 normal controls, with 2 replicate scans per subject) and compared the observed FC changes with those obtained in two independent datasets, one made available by the PPMI consortium (91 patients, 18 controls) and a second one by the group of Tao Wu (20 patients, 20 controls). Unfortunately, PD-related functional connectivity changes turned out to be non-reproducible across datasets. This could be due to disease heterogeneity, but also to technical differences. To distinguish between the two, we devised a method to directly check for disease heterogeneity using random splits of a single dataset. Since we still observe non-reproducibility in a large fraction of random splits of the same dataset, we conclude that functional heterogeneity may be a dominating factor behind the lack of reproducibility of FC alterations in different rs-fMRI studies of PD. While global PD-related functional connectivity changes were non-reproducible across datasets, we identified a few individual brain region pairs with marginally consistent FC changes across all three datasets. However, training classifiers on each one of the three datasets to discriminate PD scans from controls produced only low accuracies on the remaining two test datasets. Moreover, classifiers trained and tested on random splits of the same dataset (which are technically homogeneous) also had low test accuracies, directly substantiating

  9. Altered Cortical Swallowing Processing in Patients with Functional Dysphagia: A Preliminary Study (United States)

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


    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

  10. Differential subcellular distribution of ion channels and the diversity of neuronal function. (United States)

    Nusser, Zoltan


    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. Human iPS cell-derived dopaminergic neurons function in a primate Parkinson's disease model. (United States)

    Kikuchi, Tetsuhiro; Morizane, Asuka; Doi, Daisuke; Magotani, Hiroaki; Onoe, Hirotaka; Hayashi, Takuya; Mizuma, Hiroshi; Takara, Sayuki; Takahashi, Ryosuke; Inoue, Haruhisa; Morita, Satoshi; Yamamoto, Michio; Okita, Keisuke; Nakagawa, Masato; Parmar, Malin; Takahashi, Jun


    Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) are a promising source for a cell-based therapy to treat Parkinson's disease (PD), in which midbrain dopaminergic neurons progressively degenerate. However, long-term analysis of human iPS cell-derived dopaminergic neurons in primate PD models has never been performed to our knowledge. Here we show that human iPS cell-derived dopaminergic progenitor cells survived and functioned as midbrain dopaminergic neurons in a primate model of PD (Macaca fascicularis) treated with the neurotoxin MPTP. Score-based and video-recording analyses revealed an increase in spontaneous movement of the monkeys after transplantation. Histological studies showed that the mature dopaminergic neurons extended dense neurites into the host striatum; this effect was consistent regardless of whether the cells were derived from patients with PD or from healthy individuals. Cells sorted by the floor plate marker CORIN did not form any tumours in the brains for at least two years. Finally, magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography were used to monitor the survival, expansion and function of the grafted cells as well as the immune response in the host brain. Thus, this preclinical study using a primate model indicates that human iPS cell-derived dopaminergic progenitors are clinically applicable for the treatment of patients with PD.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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


    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

  13. 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


    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

  14. Distinct tachykinin NK(1) receptor function in primate nucleus tractus solitarius neurons is dysregulated after second-hand tobacco smoke exposure. (United States)

    Sekizawa, Shin-Ichi; Joad, Jesse P; Pinkerton, Kent E; Bonham, Ann C


    Second-hand tobacco smoke (SHS) exposure in children increases the risk of asthma and sudden infant death syndrome. Epidemiological and experimental data have suggested SHS can alter neuroplasticity in the CNS, associated with substance P. We hypothesized that exposure to SHS in young primates changed the effect of substance P on the plasticity of neurons in the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS), where airway sensory information is first processed in the CNS. Thirteen-month-old rhesus monkeys were exposed to filtered air (FA, n= 5) or SHS (n= 5) for >6 months from 50 days of their fetal age. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were performed on NTS neurons in brainstem slices from these animals to record the intrinsic cell excitability in the absence or presence of the NK(1) receptor antagonist, SR140333 (3 µM). Neurons were electrophysiologically classified based on their spiking onset from a hyperpolarized membrane potential into two phenotypes: rapid-onset spiking (RS) and delayed-onset spiking (DS) types. In RS neurons, SR140333 reduced the spiking response, similarly in both FA- and SHS-exposed animals. In DS neurons, SR140333 almost abolished the spiking response in FA-exposed animals, but had no effect in SHS-exposed animals. The contribution of NK(1) receptors to cell excitability depended on firing phenotype of primate NTS neurons and was disrupted by SHS exposure, specifically in DS neurons. Our findings reveal a novel NK(1) receptor function in the primate brainstem and support the hypothesis that chronic exposure to SHS in children causes tachykinin-related neuroplastic changes in the CNS. © 2011 The Authors. British Journal of Pharmacology © 2011 The British Pharmacological Society.

  15. Distinct tachykinin NK1 receptor function in primate nucleus tractus solitarius neurons is dysregulated after second-hand tobacco smoke exposure (United States)

    Sekizawa, Shin-ichi; Joad, Jesse P; Pinkerton, Kent E; Bonham, Ann C


    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Second-hand tobacco smoke (SHS) exposure in children increases the risk of asthma and sudden infant death syndrome. Epidemiological and experimental data have suggested SHS can alter neuroplasticity in the CNS, associated with substance P. We hypothesized that exposure to SHS in young primates changed the effect of substance P on the plasticity of neurons in the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS), where airway sensory information is first processed in the CNS. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH Thirteen-month-old rhesus monkeys were exposed to filtered air (FA, n = 5) or SHS (n = 5) for >6 months from 50 days of their fetal age. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were performed on NTS neurons in brainstem slices from these animals to record the intrinsic cell excitability in the absence or presence of the NK1 receptor antagonist, SR140333 (3 µM). KEY RESULTS Neurons were electrophysiologically classified based on their spiking onset from a hyperpolarized membrane potential into two phenotypes: rapid-onset spiking (RS) and delayed-onset spiking (DS) types. In RS neurons, SR140333 reduced the spiking response, similarly in both FA- and SHS-exposed animals. In DS neurons, SR140333 almost abolished the spiking response in FA-exposed animals, but had no effect in SHS-exposed animals. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS The contribution of NK1 receptors to cell excitability depended on firing phenotype of primate NTS neurons and was disrupted by SHS exposure, specifically in DS neurons. Our findings reveal a novel NK1 receptor function in the primate brainstem and support the hypothesis that chronic exposure to SHS in children causes tachykinin-related neuroplastic changes in the CNS. PMID:21323902

  16. Extrasynaptic neurotransmission in the modulation of brain function. Focus on the striatal neuronal-glial networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kjell eFuxe


    Full Text Available Extrasynaptic neurotransmission is an important short distance form of volume transmission (VT and describes the extracellular diffusion of transmitters and modulators after synaptic spillover or extrasynaptic release in the local circuit regions binding to and activating mainly extrasynaptic neuronal and glial receptors in the neuroglial networks of the brain. Receptor-receptor interactions in G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR heteromers play a major role, on dendritic spines and nerve terminals including glutamate synapses, in the integrative processes of the extrasynaptic signaling. Heteromeric complexes between GPCR and ion-channel receptors play a special role in the integration of the synaptic and extrasynaptic signals. Changes in extracellular concentrations of the classical synaptic neurotransmitters glutamate and GABA found with microdialysis is likely an expression of the activity of the neuron-astrocyte unit of the brain and can be used as an index of VT-mediated actions of these two neurotransmitters in the brain. Thus, the activity of neurons may be functionally linked to the activity of astrocytes, which may release glutamate and GABA to the extracellular space where extrasynaptic glutamate and GABA receptors do exist. Wiring transmission (WT and VT are fundamental properties of all neurons of the CNS but the balance between WT and VT varies from one nerve cell population to the other. The focus is on the striatal cellular networks, and the WT and VT and their integration via receptor heteromers are described in the GABA projection neurons, the glutamate, dopamine, 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT and histamine striatal afferents, the cholinergic interneurons and different types of GABA interneurons. In addition, the role in these networks of VT signaling of the energy-dependent modulator adenosine and of endocannabinoids mainly formed in the striatal projection neurons will be underlined to understand the communication in the striatal

  17. Deletion of muscarinic type 1 acetylcholine receptors alters splenic lymphocyte functions and splenic noradrenaline concentration. (United States)

    Hainke, Susanne; Wildmann, Johannes; Del Rey, Adriana


    The existence of interactions between the immune and the sympathetic nervous systems is well established. Noradrenaline can promote or inhibit the immune response, and conversely, the immune response itself can affect noradrenaline concentration in lymphoid organs, such as the spleen. It is also well known that acetylcholine released by pre-ganglionic neurons can modulate noradrenaline release by the postsynaptic neuron. The spleen does not receive cholinergic innervation, but it has been reported that lymphocytes themselves can produce acetylcholine, and express acetylcholine receptors and acetylcholinesterase. We found that the spleen of not overtly immunized mice in which muscarinic type 1 acetylcholine receptors have been knocked out (M1KO) has higher noradrenaline concentrations than that of the wildtype mice, without comparable alterations in the heart, in parallel to a decreased number of IgG-producing B cells. Splenic lymphocytes from M1KO mice displayed increased in vitro-induced cytotoxicity, and this was observed only when CD4(+) T cells were present. In contrast, heterozygous acetylcholinesterase (AChE+/-) mice, had no alterations in splenic noradrenaline concentration, but the in vitro proliferation of AChE+/- CD4(+) T cells was increased. It is theoretically conceivable that reciprocal effects between neuronally and non-neuronally derived acetylcholine and noradrenaline might contribute to the results reported. Our results emphasize the need to consider the balance between the effects of these mediators for the final immunoregulatory outcome. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Reduced brain functional reserve and altered functional connectivity in patients with multiple sclerosis. (United States)

    Cader, Sarah; Cifelli, Alberto; Abu-Omar, Yasir; Palace, Jacqueline; Matthews, Paul M


    Cognitive dysfunction (affecting particularly attention and working memory) occurs early in patients with multiple sclerosis. Previous studies have focused on identifying potentially adaptive functional reorganization through recruitment of new brain regions that could limit expression of these deficits. However, lesion studies remind us that functional specializations in the brain make certain brain regions necessary for a given task. We therefore have asked whether altered functional interactions between regions normally recruited provide an alternative adaptive mechanism with multiple sclerosis pathology. We used a version of the n-back task to probe working memory in patients with early multiple sclerosis. We applied a functional connectivity analysis to test whether relationships between relative activations in different brain regions change in potentially adaptive ways with multiple sclerosis. We studied 21 patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis and 16 age- and sex-matched healthy controls with 3T functional MRI. The two groups performed equally well on the task. Task-related activations were found in similar regions for patients and controls. However, patients showed relatively reduced activation in the superior frontal and anterior cingulate gyri (P > 0.01). Patients also showed a variable, but generally substantially smaller increase in activation than healthy controls with greater task complexity, depending on the specific brain region assessed (P memory. Functional connectivity analysis suggests that altered inter-hemispheric interactions between dorsal and lateral prefrontal regions may provide an adaptive mechanism that could limit clinical expression of the disease distinct from recruitment of novel processing regions. Together, these results suggest that therapeutic enhancement of the coherence of interactions between brain regions normally recruited (functional enhancement), as well as recruitment of alternative areas or use of

  19. miR-212/132 expression and functions: within and beyond the neuronal compartment (United States)

    Wanet, Anaïs; Tacheny, Aurélie; Arnould, Thierry; Renard, Patricia


    During the last two decades, microRNAs (miRNAs) emerged as critical regulators of gene expression. By modulating the expression of numerous target mRNAs mainly at the post-transcriptional level, these small non-coding RNAs have been involved in most, if not all, biological processes as well as in the pathogenesis of a number of diseases. miR-132 and miR-212 are tandem miRNAs whose expression is necessary for the proper development, maturation and function of neurons and whose deregulation is associated with several neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease and tauopathies (neurodegenerative diseases resulting from the pathological aggregation of tau protein in the human brain). Although their involvement in neuronal functions is the most described, evidences point towards a role of these miRNAs in many other biological processes, including inflammation and immune functions. Incidentally, miR-132 was recently classified as a ‘neurimmiR’, a class of miRNAs operating within and between the neural and immune compartments. In this review, we propose an outline of the current knowledge about miR-132 and miR-212 functions in neurons and immune cells, by describing the signalling pathways and transcription factors regulating their expression as well as their putative or demonstrated roles and validated mRNA targets. PMID:22362752

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


    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.


    Ecosystems are expected to function more efficiently in response to a diverse community of inhabitants. However, biological invasions may change expected relationships between ecosystem function and diversity. We observed increased decomposition, a measure of ecosystem function...

  3. From atomic structures to neuronal functions of g protein-coupled receptors. (United States)

    Palczewski, Krzysztof; Orban, Tivadar


    G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are essential mediators of signal transduction, neurotransmission, ion channel regulation, and other cellular events. GPCRs are activated by diverse stimuli, including light, enzymatic processing of their N-termini, and binding of proteins, peptides, or small molecules such as neurotransmitters. GPCR dysfunction caused by receptor mutations and environmental challenges contributes to many neurological diseases. Moreover, modern genetic technology has helped identify a rich array of mono- and multigenic defects in humans and animal models that connect such receptor dysfunction with disease affecting neuronal function. The visual system is especially suited to investigate GPCR structure and function because advanced imaging techniques permit structural studies of photoreceptor neurons at both macro and molecular levels that, together with biochemical and physiological assessment in animal models, provide a more complete understanding of GPCR signaling.

  4. Function of a fly motion-sensitive neuron matches eye movements during free flight.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roland Kern


    Full Text Available Sensing is often implicitly assumed to be the passive acquisition of information. However, part of the sensory information is generated actively when animals move. For instance, humans shift their gaze actively in a sequence of saccades towards interesting locations in a scene. Likewise, many insects shift their gaze by saccadic turns of body and head, keeping their gaze fixed between saccades. Here we employ a novel panoramic virtual reality stimulator and show that motion computation in a blowfly visual interneuron is tuned to make efficient use of the characteristic dynamics of retinal image flow. The neuron is able to extract information about the spatial layout of the environment by utilizing intervals of stable vision resulting from the saccadic viewing strategy. The extraction is possible because the retinal image flow evoked by translation, containing information about object distances, is confined to low frequencies. This flow component can be derived from the total optic flow between saccades because the residual intersaccadic head rotations are small and encoded at higher frequencies. Information about the spatial layout of the environment can thus be extracted by the neuron in a computationally parsimonious way. These results on neuronal function based on naturalistic, behaviourally generated optic flow are in stark contrast to conclusions based on conventional visual stimuli that the neuron primarily represents a detector for yaw rotations of the animal.

  5. Human stem cell-derived neurons: a system to study human tau function and dysfunction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariangela Iovino


    Full Text Available Intracellular filamentous deposits containing microtubule-associated protein tau constitute a defining characteristic of many neurodegenerative disorders. Current experimental models to study tau pathology in vitro do not usually recapitulate the tau expression pattern characteristic of adult human brain. In this study, we have investigated whether human embryonic stem cell-derived neurons could be a good model to study human tau distribution, function and dysfunction.Using RT-PCR, immunohistochemistry, western blotting and cell transfections we have investigated whether all 6 adult human brain tau isoforms are expressed in neurons derived from human embryonic and fetal stem cells and whether 4 repeat tau over-expression alone, or with the F3 tau repeat fragment, (amino acid 258-380 of the 2N4R tau isoform with the ΔK280 mutation affects tau distribution. We found that the shortest 3 repeat tau isoform, similarly to human brain, is the first to be expressed during neuronal differentiation while the other 5 tau isoforms are expressed later. Over expression of tau with 4 repeats affects tau cellular distribution and the short tau F3 fragment appears to increase tau phosphorylation but this effect does not appear to be toxic for the cell.Our results indicate that human embryonic stem cell-derived neurons express all 6 tau isoforms and are a good model in which to study tau physiology and pathology.

  6. Radix Puerariae modulates glutamatergic synaptic architecture and potentiates functional synaptic plasticity in primary hippocampal neurons. (United States)

    Bhuiyan, Mohammad Maqueshudul Haque; Haque, Md Nazmul; Mohibbullah, Md; Kim, Yung Kyu; Moon, Il Soo


    Neurologic disorders are frequently characterized by synaptic pathology, including abnormal density and morphology of dendritic spines, synapse loss, and aberrant synaptic signaling and plasticity. Therefore, to promote and/or protect synapses by the use of natural molecules capable of modulating neurodevelopmental events, such as, spinogenesis and synaptic plasticity, could offer a preventive and curative strategy for nervous disorders associated with synaptic pathology. Radix Puerariae, the root of Pueraria monatana var. lobata (Willd.) Sanjappa&Pradeep, is a Chinese ethnomedicine, traditionally used for the treatment of memory-related nervous disorders including Alzheimer's disease. In the previous study, we showed that the ethanolic extracts of Radix Puerariae (RPE) and its prime constituent, puerarin induced neuritogenesis and synapse formation in cultured hippocampal neurons, and thus could improve memory functions. In the present study, we specifically investigated the abilities of RPE and puerarin to improve memory-related brain disorders through modulating synaptic maturation and functional potentiation. Rat embryonic (E19) brain neurons were cultured in the absence or presence of RPE or puerarin. At predetermined times, cells were live-stained with DiO or fixed and immunostained to visualize neuronal morphologies, or lysed for protein harvesting. Morphometric analyses of dendritic spines and synaptogenesis were performed using Image J software. Functional pre- and postsynaptic plasticity was measured by FM1-43 staining and whole-cell patch clamping, respectively. RPE or puerarin-mediated changes in actin-related protein 2 were assessed by Western blotting. Neuronal survivals were measured using propidium iodide exclusion assay. RPE and puerarin both: (1) promoted a significant increase in the numbers, and maturation, of dendritic spines; (2) modulated the formation of glutamatergic synapses; (3) potentiated synaptic transmission by increasing the sizes of

  7. Chronic zinc deficiency alters chick gut microbiota composition and function (United States)

    Zinc (Zn) deficiency is a prevalent micronutrient insufficiency. Although the gut is a vital organ for Zn utilization, and Zn deficiency is associated with impaired intestinal permeability and a global decrease in gastrointestinal health, alterations in the gut microbial ecology of the host under co...

  8. Arrested neuronal proliferation and impaired hippocampal function following fractionated brain irradiation in the adult rat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, Torsten Meldgaard; Kristjansen, P.E.G.; Bolwig, Tom Gert


    irradiation blocked the formation of new neurons in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. At different time points after the termination of the irradiation procedure, the animals were tested in two tests of short-term memory that differ with respect to their dependence on hippocampal function. Eight and 21...... that blocked neurogenesis contributes to the reported deleterious side effects of this treatment, consisting of memory impairment, dysphoria and lethargy....

  9. Pleiotropic and isoform-specific functions for Pitx2 in superior colliculus and hypothalamic neuronal development


    Waite, Mindy R.; Skidmore, Jennifer M.; Micucci, Joseph A.; Shiratori, Hidetaka; Hamada, Hiroshi; Martin, James F.; Martin, Donna M.


    Transcriptional regulation of gene expression during development is critical for proper neuronal differentiation and migration. Alternative splicing and differential isoform expression have been demonstrated for most mammalian genes, but their specific contributions to gene function are not well understood. In mice, the transcription factor gene Pitx2 is expressed as three different isoforms (PITX2A, PITX2B, and PITX2C) which have unique amino termini and common DNA binding homeodomains and c...

  10. Absence of alsin function leads to corticospinal motor neuron vulnerability via novel disease mechanisms. (United States)

    Gautam, Mukesh; Jara, Javier H; Sekerkova, Gabriella; Yasvoina, Marina V; Martina, Marco; Özdinler, P Hande


    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.

  11. Muscle-Derived GDNF: A Gene Therapeutic Approach for Preserving Motor Neuron Function in ALS (United States)


    To perform crucial and extensive pre-clinical studies to enable an investigational new drug (IND) application with the Food and Drug Administration...investigational new drug (IND) application with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the approval to move the use of intramuscular GDNF delivery...function has been shown in acute models of motor neuron injury and in transgenic mouse models of ALS using various delivery strategies by a number

  12. The potential of half a million neurons. Studies with electrocorticography and functional MRI in motor and language areas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hermes, D.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/31410917X


    This thesis describes studies on the electric potential of a neuronal population of about half a million neurons. It is essential to understand neurophysiology at the millimeter scale since ECoG and fMRI studies have shown that some functional units are specifically defined at this scale. While ECoG

  13. Altered depression-related behavior and neurochemical changes in serotonergic neurons in mutant R406W human tau transgenic mice. (United States)

    Egashira, Nobuaki; Iwasaki, Katsunori; Takashima, Akihiko; Watanabe, Takuya; Kawabe, Hideyuki; Matsuda, Tomomi; Mishima, Kenichi; Chidori, Shozo; Nishimura, Ryoji; Fujiwara, Michihiro


    Mutant R406W human tau was originally identified in frontotemporal dementia and parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17 (FTDP-17) and causes a hereditary tauopathy that clinically resembles Alzheimer's disease (AD). In the current study, we examined the performance of R406W transgenic (Tg) mice in the forced swimming test, a test with high predictivity of antidepressant efficacy in human depression, and found an enhancement of the immobility time. In contrast, the motor function and anxiety-related emotional response of R406W Tg mice were normal. Furthermore, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), fluvoxamine (100 mg/kg, p.o.), significantly reduced this enhancement of the immobility time, whereas a noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor, desipramine, had no effect. In an in vivo microdialysis study, R406W Tg mice exhibited a significantly decreased extracellular 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) level in the frontal cortex and also exhibited a tendency toward a decreased extracellular 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) level. Moreover, fluvoxamine, which reduced the enhancement of the immobility time, significantly increased the extracellular 5-HT level in R406W Tg mice. These results suggest that R406W Tg mice exhibit changes in depression-related behavior involving serotonergic neurons and provide an animal model for investigating AD with depression.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minh T Than


    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

  15. A single hidden layer feedforward network with only one neuron in the hidden layer can approximate any univariate function


    Guliyev, Namig; Ismailov, Vugar


    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...

  16. Pyrethroid pesticide-induced alterations in dopamine transporter function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elwan, Mohamed A.; Richardson, Jason R.; Guillot, Thomas S.; Caudle, W. Michael; Miller, Gary W.


    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting the nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway. Several epidemiological studies have demonstrated an association between pesticide exposure and the incidence of PD. Studies from our laboratory and others have demonstrated that certain pesticides increase levels of the dopamine transporter (DAT), an integral component of dopaminergic neurotransmission and a gateway for dopaminergic neurotoxins. Here, we report that repeated exposure (3 injections over 2 weeks) of mice to two commonly used pyrethroid pesticides, deltamethrin (3 mg/kg) and permethrin (0.8 mg/kg), increases DAT-mediated dopamine uptake by 31 and 28%, respectively. Using cells stably expressing DAT, we determined that exposure (10 min) to deltamethrin and permethrin (1 nM-100 μM) had no effect on DAT-mediated dopamine uptake. Extending exposures to both pesticides for 30 min (10 μM) or 24 h (1, 5, and 10 μM) resulted in significant decrease in dopamine uptake. This reduction was not the result of competitive inhibition, loss of DAT protein, or cytotoxicity. However, there was an increase in DNA fragmentation, an index of apoptosis, in cells exhibiting reduced uptake at 30 min and 24 h. These data suggest that up-regulation of DAT by in vivo pyrethroid exposure is an indirect effect and that longer-term exposure of cells results in apoptosis. Since DAT can greatly affect the vulnerability of dopamine neurons to neurotoxicants, up-regulation of DAT by deltamethrin and permethrin may increase the susceptibility of dopamine neurons to toxic insult, which may provide insight into the association between pesticide exposure and PD

  17. Altered Cortical Thickness and Tract Integrity of the Mirror Neuron System and Associated Social Communication in Autism Spectrum Disorder. (United States)

    Chien, Hsiang-Yun; Gau, Susan Shur-Fen; Hsu, Yung-Chin; Chen, Yu-Jen; Lo, Yu-Chun; Shih, Yao-Chia; Tseng, Wen-Yih Isaac


    Previous studies using neural activity recording and neuroimaging techniques have reported functional deficits in the mirror neuron system (MNS) for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, a few studies focusing on gray and white matter structures of the MNS have yielded inconsistent results. The current study recruited adolescents and young adults with ASD (aged 15-26 years) and age-matched typically developing (TD) controls (aged 14-25 years). The cortical thickness (CT) and microstructural integrity of the tracts connecting the regions forming the classical MNS were investigated. High-resolution T1-weighted imaging and diffusion spectrum imaging were performed to quantify the CT and tract integrity, respectively. The structural covariance of the CT of the MNS regions revealed a weaker coordination of the MNS network in ASD. A strong correlation was found between the integrity of the right frontoparietal tracts and the social communication subscores measured by the Chinese version of the Social Communication Questionnaire. The results showed that there were no significant mean differences in the CTs and tract integrity between the ASD and TD groups, but revealed a moderate or even reverse age effect on the frontal MNS structures in ASD. In conclusion, aberrant structural coordination may be an underlying factor affecting the function of the MNS in ASD patients. The association between the right frontoparietal tracts and social communication performance implies a neural correlate of communication processing in the autistic brain. This study provides evidence of abnormal MNS structures and their influence on social communication in individuals with ASD. © 2015 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Increased actin polymerization and stabilization interferes with neuronal function and survival in the AMPKγ mutant Loechrig.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mandy Cook

    Full Text Available loechrig (loe mutant flies are characterized by progressive neuronal degeneration, behavioral deficits, and early death. The mutation is due to a P-element insertion in the gene for the γ-subunit of the trimeric AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK complex, whereby the insertion affects only one of several alternative transcripts encoding a unique neuronal isoform. AMPK is a cellular energy sensor that regulates a plethora of signaling pathways, including cholesterol and isoprenoid synthesis via its downstream target hydroxy-methylglutaryl (HMG-CoA reductase. We recently showed that loe interferes with isoprenoid synthesis and increases the prenylation and thereby activation of RhoA. During development, RhoA plays an important role in neuronal outgrowth by activating a signaling cascade that regulates actin dynamics. Here we show that the effect of loe/AMPKγ on RhoA prenylation leads to a hyperactivation of this signaling pathway, causing increased phosphorylation of the actin depolymerizating factor cofilin and accumulation of filamentous actin. Furthermore, our results show that the resulting cytoskeletal changes in loe interfere with neuronal growth and disrupt axonal integrity. Surprisingly, these phenotypes were enhanced by expressing the Slingshot (SSH phosphatase, which during development promotes actin depolymerization by dephosphorylating cofilin. However, our studies suggest that in the adult SSH promotes actin polymerization, supporting in vitro studies using human SSH1 that suggested that SSH can also stabilize and bundle filamentous actin. Together with the observed increase in SSH levels in the loe mutant, our experiments suggest that in mature neurons SSH may function as a stabilization factor for filamentous actin instead of promoting actin depolymerization.

  19. Mov10 suppresses retroelements and regulates neuronal development and function in the developing brain. (United States)

    Skariah, Geena; Seimetz, Joseph; Norsworthy, Miles; Lannom, Monica C; Kenny, Phillip J; Elrakhawy, Mohamed; Forsthoefel, Craig; Drnevich, Jenny; Kalsotra, Auinash; Ceman, Stephanie


    Moloney leukemia virus 10 (Mov10) is an RNA helicase that mediates access of the RNA-induced silencing complex to messenger RNAs (mRNAs). Until now, its role as an RNA helicase and as a regulator of retrotransposons has been characterized exclusively in cell lines. We investigated the role of Mov10 in the mouse brain by examining its expression over development and attempting to create a Mov10 knockout mouse. Loss of both Mov10 copies led to early embryonic lethality. Mov10 was significantly elevated in postnatal murine brain, where it bound retroelement RNAs and mRNAs. Mov10 suppressed retroelements in the nucleus by directly inhibiting complementary DNA synthesis, while cytosolic Mov10 regulated cytoskeletal mRNAs to influence neurite outgrowth. We verified this important function by observing reduced dendritic arborization in hippocampal neurons from the Mov10 heterozygote mouse and shortened neurites in the Mov10 knockout Neuro2A cells. Knockdown of Fmrp also resulted in shortened neurites. Mov10, Fmrp, and Ago2 bound a common set of mRNAs in the brain. Reduced Mov10 in murine brain resulted in anxiety and increased activity in a novel environment, supporting its important role in the development of normal brain circuitry. Mov10 is essential for normal neuronal development and brain function. Mov10 preferentially binds RNAs involved in actin binding, neuronal projection, and cytoskeleton. This is a completely new and critically important function for Mov10 in neuronal development and establishes a precedent for Mov10 being an important candidate in neurological disorders that have underlying cytoarchitectural causes like autism and Alzheimer's disease.

  20. 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.

  1. Does the Altered Expression of Ion Channels Give Rise to the Enhanced Excitability of Neurons Isolated from Nf1 +/- Mice? (United States)


    complications of neurofibromatosis type 1 in adulthood. Brain 122:473-481. Cregg R, Momin A, Rugiero F, Wood JN, Zhao J (2010) Pain channelopathies . J...TR (2010) Human voltage-gated sodium channel mutations that cause inherited neuronal and muscle channelopathies increase resurgent sodium currents...Jackson JO 2nd, Cummins TR (2010) Hu- man voltage-gated sodium channel mutations that cause inherited neuronal and muscle channelopathies increase

  2. Antenatal insults modify newborn olfactory function by nitric oxide produced from neuronal nitric oxide synthase. (United States)

    Drobyshevsky, Alexander; Yu, Lei; Yang, Yirong; Khalid, Syed; Luo, Kehuan; Jiang, Rugang; Ji, Haitao; Derrick, Matthew; Kay, Leslie; Silverman, Richard B; Tan, Sidhartha


    Newborn feeding, maternal, bonding, growth and wellbeing depend upon intact odor recognition in the early postnatal period. Antenatal stress may affect postnatal odor recognition. We investigated the exact role of a neurotransmitter, nitric oxide (NO), in newborn olfactory function. We hypothesized that olfactory neuron activity depended on NO generated by neuronal NO synthase (NOS). Utilizing in vivo functional manganese enhanced MRI (MEMRI) in a rabbit model of cerebral palsy we had shown previously that in utero hypoxia-ischemia (H-I) at E22 (70% gestation) resulted in impaired postnatal response to odorants and poor feeding. With the same antenatal insult, we manipulated NO levels in the olfactory neuron in postnatal day 1 (P1) kits by administration of intranasal NO donors or a highly selective nNOS inhibitor. Olfactory function was quantitatively measured by the response to amyl acetate stimulation by MEMRI. The relevance of nNOS to normal olfactory development was confirmed by the increase of nNOS gene expression from fetal ages to P1 in olfactory epithelium and bulbs. In control kits, nNOS inhibition decreased NO production in the olfactory system and increased MEMRI slope enhancement. In H-I kits the MEMRI slope did not increase, implicating modification of endogenous NO-mediated olfactory function by the antenatal insult. NO donors as a source of exogenous NO did not significantly change function in either group. In conclusion, olfactory epithelium nNOS in newborn rabbits probably modulates olfactory signal transduction. Antenatal H-I injury remote from delivery may affect early functional development of the olfactory system by decreasing NO-dependent signal transduction. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Tobacco Induced Renal Function Alterations in Wistar Rats: An 8 ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... pattern was observed for urea and uric acid levels. Over all, the significant increase (P<0.05) in renal function parameters of the test rats (as compared to the control values), suggests that the ingestion of tobacco snuff has harmful effects on kidney functions. Keywords: Tobacco, Snuff, Kidney function, Nicotine substitute.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ritva Tikkanen


    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.

  5. Biphasic functions for the GDNF-Ret signaling pathway in chemosensory neuron development and diversification. (United States)

    Donnelly, Christopher R; Shah, Amol A; Mistretta, Charlotte M; Bradley, Robert M; Pierchala, Brian A


    The development of the taste system relies on the coordinated regulation of cues that direct the simultaneous development of both peripheral taste organs and innervating sensory ganglia, but the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. In this study, we describe a novel, biphasic function for glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in the development and subsequent diversification of chemosensory neurons within the geniculate ganglion (GG). GDNF, acting through the receptor tyrosine kinase Ret, regulates the expression of the chemosensory fate determinant Phox2b early in GG development. Ret -/- mice, but not Ret fx/fx ; Phox2b -Cre mice, display a profound loss of Phox2b expression with subsequent chemosensory innervation deficits, indicating that Ret is required for the initial amplification of Phox2b expression but not its maintenance. Ret expression is extinguished perinatally but reemerges postnatally in a subpopulation of large-diameter GG neurons expressing the mechanoreceptor marker NF200 and the GDNF coreceptor GFRα1. Intriguingly, we observed that ablation of these neurons in adult Ret -Cre/ER T2 ; Rosa26 LSL-DTA mice caused a specific loss of tactile, but not chemical or thermal, electrophysiological responses. Overall, the GDNF-Ret pathway exerts two critical and distinct functions in the peripheral taste system: embryonic chemosensory cell fate determination and the specification of lingual mechanoreceptors. Copyright © 2018 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.

  6. Neuron hemilineages provide the functional ground plan for the Drosophila ventral nervous system (United States)

    Harris, Robin M; Pfeiffer, Barret D; Rubin, Gerald M; Truman, James W


    Drosophila central neurons arise from neuroblasts that generate neurons in a pair-wise fashion, with the two daughters providing the basis for distinct A and B hemilineage groups. 33 postembryonically-born hemilineages contribute over 90% of the neurons in each thoracic hemisegment. We devised genetic approaches to define the anatomy of most of these hemilineages and to assessed their functional roles using the heat-sensitive channel dTRPA1. The simplest hemilineages contained local interneurons and their activation caused tonic or phasic leg movements lacking interlimb coordination. The next level was hemilineages of similar projection cells that drove intersegmentally coordinated behaviors such as walking. The highest level involved hemilineages whose activation elicited complex behaviors such as takeoff. These activation phenotypes indicate that the hemilineages vary in their behavioral roles with some contributing to local networks for sensorimotor processing and others having higher order functions of coordinating these local networks into complex behavior. DOI: PMID:26193122

  7. [The Effect of Chronic Intermittent Hypoxia on Cognitive Function and Prefrontal Cortex Neurons in Rats]. (United States)

    Li, Li-qun; Cao, Jin-li; Li, Lin; Han, Xiao-qing; Wang, Hong-yang; Liang, Xiao-mei; Wang, Ling; Zhang, Min; Wang, Ya-nan; Duan, Li-jun


    To determine the effect of chronic intermittent hypoxia on cognitive function and prefrontal cortex neurons in rats. 48 adult male Wistar rats were randomly divided into two groups: control group and 50 mL/L intermittent hypoxia group (50 mL/L CIH). Rats in the CIH group were placed in the low oxygen tank, simulating intermittent hypoxia environment. At 7 d, 14 d, 21 d, and 28 d, the learning and memory ability of the rats was assessed with the Morris water maze (MWM) test; the expressions of cysteinyl aspartate specific protease (caspase)-8 protein in their prefrontal cortex were determined using Western blot method; the apoptosis of neurons was detected by the TdT mediated UTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) method. Compared with the controls, the CIH rats had significantly prolonged escape latency at 14 d, 21 d, and 28 d (Phypoxia (Phypoxia (Phypoxia can lead to pathological changes of frontal,cortex of rats, possibly

  8. Effect of neuronal PC12 cells on the functional properties of intestinal epithelial Caco-2 cells. (United States)

    Satsu, Hideo; Yokoyama, Tatsuya; Ogawa, Nobumasa; Fujiwara-Hatano, Yoko; Shimizu, Makoto


    The effect of neuronal cells on the functional properties of intestinal epithelial cells was examined by using an in vitro coculture system. Two cell lines, Caco-2 and PC12, were respectively used as intestinal epithelial and enteric neuronal cell models. Coculture of differentiated Caco-2 cells with PC12 caused a significant decrease in the transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) value of the Caco-2 monolayer. The permeability to lucifer yellow (LY) was also significantly increased, suggesting that the tight junction (TJ) of the Caco-2 monolayers was modulated by coculturing with PC12. To identify the TJ-modulating factor presumably secreted from PC12, the effects of the major neurotransmitters on the TER value and LY transport were examined, but no influence was apparent. The TJ-modulating effect of PC12 was prevented by exposing PC12 to cycloheximide, suggesting that new protein synthesis in PC12 was necessary for this regulation.

  9. Physiological basis and image processing in functional magnetic resonance imaging: Neuronal and motor activity in brain

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    Sharma Rakesh


    Full Text Available Abstract Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI is recently developing as imaging modality used for mapping hemodynamics of neuronal and motor event related tissue blood oxygen level dependence (BOLD in terms of brain activation. Image processing is performed by segmentation and registration methods. Segmentation algorithms provide brain surface-based analysis, automated anatomical labeling of cortical fields in magnetic resonance data sets based on oxygen metabolic state. Registration algorithms provide geometric features using two or more imaging modalities to assure clinically useful neuronal and motor information of brain activation. This review article summarizes the physiological basis of fMRI signal, its origin, contrast enhancement, physical factors, anatomical labeling by segmentation, registration approaches with examples of visual and motor activity in brain. Latest developments are reviewed for clinical applications of fMRI along with other different neurophysiological and imaging modalities.

  10. Vertically aligned carbon nanofiber as nano-neuron interface for monitoring neural function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ericson, Milton Nance [ORNL; McKnight, Timothy E [ORNL; Melechko, Anatoli Vasilievich [ORNL; Simpson, Michael L [ORNL; Morrison, Barclay [ORNL; Yu, Zhe [Columbia University


    Neural chips, which are capable of simultaneous, multi-site neural recording and stimulation, have been used to detect and modulate neural activity for almost 30 years. As a neural interface, neural chips provide dynamic functional information for neural decoding and neural control. By improving sensitivity and spatial resolution, nano-scale electrodes may revolutionize neural detection and modulation at cellular and molecular levels as nano-neuron interfaces. We developed a carbon-nanofiber neural chip with lithographically defined arrays of vertically aligned carbon nanofiber electrodes and demonstrated its capability of both stimulating and monitoring electrophysiological signals from brain tissues in vitro and monitoring dynamic information of neuroplasticity. This novel nano-neuron interface can potentially serve as a precise, informative, biocompatible, and dual-mode neural interface for monitoring of both neuroelectrical and neurochemical activity at the single cell level and even inside the cell.

  11. Prion replication occurs in endogenous adult neural stem cells and alters their neuronal fate: involvement of endogenous neural stem cells in prion diseases.

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    Aroa Relaño-Ginès

    Full Text Available Prion diseases are irreversible progressive neurodegenerative diseases, leading to severe incapacity and death. They are characterized in the brain by prion amyloid deposits, vacuolisation, astrocytosis, neuronal degeneration, and by cognitive, behavioural and physical impairments. There is no treatment for these disorders and stem cell therapy therefore represents an interesting new approach. Gains could not only result from the cell transplantation, but also from the stimulation of endogenous neural stem cells (NSC or by the combination of both approaches. However, the development of such strategies requires a detailed knowledge of the pathology, particularly concerning the status of the adult neurogenesis and endogenous NSC during the development of the disease. During the past decade, several studies have consistently shown that NSC reside in the adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS and that adult neurogenesis occurs throughout the adulthood in the subventricular zone of the lateral ventricle or the Dentate Gyrus of the hippocampus. Adult NSC are believed to constitute a reservoir for neuronal replacement during normal cell turnover or after brain injury. However, the activation of this system does not fully compensate the neuronal loss that occurs during neurodegenerative diseases and could even contribute to the disease progression. We investigated here the status of these cells during the development of prion disorders. We were able to show that NSC accumulate and replicate prions. Importantly, this resulted in the alteration of their neuronal fate which then represents a new pathologic event that might underlie the rapid progression of the disease.

  12. Functional alterations in neural substrates of geometric reasoning in adults with high-functioning autism.

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    Takashi Yamada

    Full Text Available Individuals with autism spectrum condition (ASC are known to excel in some perceptual cognitive tasks, but such developed functions have been often regarded as "islets of abilities" that do not significantly contribute to broader intellectual capacities. However, recent behavioral studies have reported that individuals with ASC have advantages for performing Raven's (Standard Progressive Matrices (RPM/RSPM, a standard neuropsychological test for general fluid intelligence, raising the possibility that ASC's cognitive strength can be utilized for more general purposes like novel problem solving. Here, the brain activity of 25 adults with high-functioning ASC and 26 matched normal controls (NC was measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to examine neural substrates of geometric reasoning during the engagement of a modified version of the RSPM test. Among the frontal and parietal brain regions involved in fluid intelligence, ASC showed larger activation in the left lateral occipitotemporal cortex (LOTC during an analytic condition with moderate difficulty than NC. Activation in the left LOTC and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC increased with task difficulty in NC, whereas such modulation of activity was absent in ASC. Furthermore, functional connectivity analysis revealed a significant reduction of activation coupling between the left inferior parietal cortex and the right anterior prefrontal cortex during both figural and analytic conditions in ASC. These results indicate altered pattern of functional specialization and integration in the neural system for geometric reasoning in ASC, which may explain its atypical cognitive pattern, including performance on the Raven's Matrices test.

  13. Mitochondrial function is altered in horse atypical myopathy. (United States)

    Lemieux, Hélène; Boemer, François; van Galen, Gaby; Serteyn, Didier; Amory, Hélène; Baise, Etienne; Cassart, Dominique; van Loon, Gunther; Marcillaud-Pitel, Christel; Votion, Dominique-M


    Equine atypical myopathy in Europe is a fatal rhabdomyolysis syndrome that results from the ingestion of hypoglycin A contained in seeds and seedlings of Acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple). Acylcarnitine concentrations in serum and muscle OXPHOS capacity were determined in 15 atypical myopathy cases. All but one acylcarnitine were out of reference range and mitochondrial respiratory capacity was severely decreased up to 49% as compared to 10 healthy controls. The hallmark of atypical myopathy thus consists of a severe alteration in the energy metabolism including a severe impairment in muscle mitochondrial respiration that could contribute to its high death rate. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. and Mitochondria Research Society. All rights reserved.

  14. Transplantation of β-endorphin neurons into the hypothalamus promotes immune function and restricts the growth and metastasis of mammary carcinoma. (United States)

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


    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.

  15. On the similarity of functional connectivity between neurons estimated across timescales.

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    Ian H Stevenson


    Full Text Available A central objective in neuroscience is to understand how neurons interact. Such functional interactions have been estimated using signals recorded with different techniques and, consequently, different temporal resolutions. For example, spike data often have sub-millisecond resolution while some imaging techniques may have a resolution of many seconds. Here we use multi-electrode spike recordings to ask how similar functional connectivity inferred from slower timescale signals is to the one inferred from fast timescale signals. We find that functional connectivity is relatively robust to low-pass filtering--dropping by about 10% when low pass filtering at 10 hz and about 50% when low pass filtering down to about 1 Hz--and that estimates are robust to high levels of additive noise. Moreover, there is a weak correlation for physiological filters such as hemodynamic or Ca2+ impulse responses and filters based on local field potentials. We address the origin of these correlations using simulation techniques and find evidence that the similarity between functional connectivity estimated across timescales is due to processes that do not depend on fast pair-wise interactions alone. Rather, it appears that connectivity on multiple timescales or common-input related to stimuli or movement drives the observed correlations. Despite this qualification, our results suggest that techniques with intermediate temporal resolution may yield good estimates of the functional connections between individual neurons.

  16. How does transcranial DC stimulation of the primary motor cortex alter regional neuronal activity in the human brain? (United States)

    Lang, Nicolas; Siebner, Hartwig R; Ward, Nick S; Lee, Lucy; Nitsche, Michael A; Paulus, Walter; Rothwell, John C; Lemon, Roger N; Frackowiak, Richard S


    Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the primary motor hand area (M1) can produce lasting polarity-specific effects on corticospinal excitability and motor learning in humans. In 16 healthy volunteers, O positron emission tomography (PET) of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) at rest and during finger movements was used to map lasting changes in regional synaptic activity following 10 min of tDCS (+/-1 mA). Bipolar tDCS was given through electrodes placed over the left M1 and right frontopolar cortex. Eight subjects received anodal or cathodal tDCS of the left M1, respectively. When compared to sham tDCS, anodal and cathodal tDCS induced widespread increases and decreases in rCBF in cortical and subcortical areas. These changes in rCBF were of the same magnitude as task-related rCBF changes during finger movements and remained stable throughout the 50-min period of PET scanning. Relative increases in rCBF after real tDCS compared to sham tDCS were found in the left M1, right frontal pole, right primary sensorimotor cortex and posterior brain regions irrespective of polarity. With the exception of some posterior and ventral areas, anodal tDCS increased rCBF in many cortical and subcortical regions compared to cathodal tDCS. Only the left dorsal premotor cortex demonstrated an increase in movement related activity after cathodal tDCS, however, modest compared with the relatively strong movement-independent effects of tDCS. Otherwise, movement related activity was unaffected by tDCS. Our results indicate that tDCS is an effective means of provoking sustained and widespread changes in regional neuronal activity. The extensive spatial and temporal effects of tDCS need to be taken into account when tDCS is used to modify brain function.

  17. Thermal Stimulation Alters Cervical Spinal Cord Functional Connectivity in Humans. (United States)

    Weber, Kenneth A; Sentis, Amy I; Bernadel-Huey, Olivia N; Chen, Yufen; Wang, Xue; Parrish, Todd B; Mackey, Sean


    The spinal cord has an active role in the modulation and transmission of the neural signals traveling between the body and the brain. Recent advancements in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have made the in vivo examination of spinal cord function in humans now possible. This technology has been recently extended to the investigation of resting state functional networks in the spinal cord, leading to the identification of distinct patterns of spinal cord functional connectivity. In this study, we expand on the previous work and further investigate resting state cervical spinal cord functional connectivity in healthy participants (n = 15) using high resolution imaging coupled with both seed-based functional connectivity analyses and graph theory-based metrics. Within spinal cord segment functional connectivity was present between the left and right ventral horns (bilateral motor network), left and right dorsal horns (bilateral sensory network), and the ipsilateral ventral and dorsal horns (unilateral sensory-motor network). Functional connectivity between the spinal cord segments was less apparent with the connectivity centered at the region of interest and spanning spinal cord functional network was demonstrated to be state-dependent as thermal stimulation of the right ventrolateral forearm resulted in significant disruption of the bilateral sensory network, increased network global efficiency, and decreased network modularity. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Gestational Exposure to Air Pollution Alters Cortical Volume, Microglial Morphology, and Microglia-Neuron Interactions in a Sex-Specific Manner

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    Jessica L. Bolton


    Full Text Available Microglia are the resident immune cells of the brain, important for normal neural development in addition to host defense in response to inflammatory stimuli. Air pollution is one of the most pervasive and harmful environmental toxicants in the modern world, and several large scale epidemiological studies have recently linked prenatal air pollution exposure with an increased risk of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD. Diesel exhaust particles (DEP are a primary toxic component of air pollution, and markedly activate microglia in vitro and in vivo in adult rodents. We have demonstrated that prenatal exposure to DEP in mice, i.e., to the pregnant dams throughout gestation, results in a persistent vulnerability to behavioral deficits in adult offspring, especially in males, which is intriguing given the greater incidence of ASD in males to females (∼4:1. Moreover, there is a striking upregulation of toll-like receptor (TLR 4 gene expression within the brains of the same mice, and this expression is primarily in microglia. Here we explored the impact of gestational exposure to DEP or vehicle on microglial morphology in the developing brains of male and female mice. DEP exposure increased inflammatory cytokine protein and altered the morphology of microglia, consistent with activation or a delay in maturation, only within the embryonic brains of male mice; and these effects were dependent on TLR4. DEP exposure also increased cortical volume at embryonic day (E18, which switched to decreased volume by post-natal day (P30 in males, suggesting an impact on the developing neural stem cell niche. Consistent with this hypothesis, we found increased microglial-neuronal interactions in male offspring that received DEP compared to all other groups. Taken together, these data suggest a mechanism by which prenatal exposure to environmental toxins may affect microglial development and long-term function, and thereby contribute

  19. Altered B lymphocyte homeostasis and functions in systemic sclerosis. (United States)

    Forestier, Alexandra; Guerrier, Thomas; Jouvray, Mathieu; Giovannelli, Jonathan; Lefèvre, Guillaume; Sobanski, Vincent; Hauspie, Carine; Hachulla, Eric; Hatron, Pierre-Yves; Zéphir, Hélène; Vermersch, Patrick; Labalette, Myriam; Launay, David; Dubucquoi, Sylvain


    Beyond the production of autoantibodies, B-cells are thought to play a role in systemic sclerosis (SSc) by secreting proinflammatory/profibrotic cytokines. B-cells are a heterogeneous population with different subsets distinguished by their phenotypes and cytokine production. Data about B-cell subsets, cytokine production and intracellular pathways leading to this production are scarce in SSc. The aim of our study was to describe B-cell homeostasis, activation, proliferation, cytokine production in B-cells and serum and B-cell intracellular signaling pathways in SSc. We hypothezided that B-cell homeostasis and cytokine production were altered in SSc and could be explained by serum cytokine as well as by intracellular signaling pathway abnormalities. Forty SSc patients and 20 healthy controls (HC) were prospectively included. B-cell subsets were determined by flow cytometry using CD19, CD21, CD24, CD38, CD27, IgM and IgD. CD25, CD80, CD95, HLA-DR were used to assess B-cell activation. Intracellular production of IL-10 and IL-6 were assessed by flow cytometry after TLR9 and CD40 stimulation. IL-6, IL-10, Ki67, Bcl2 mRNA were quantified in B-cells. Cytokine production was also assessed in sera and supernatants of B-cell culture, using a multiplex approach. Signaling pathways were studied through phosphorylation of mTOR, ERK, STAT3, STAT5 using a flow cytometry approach. We found that SSc patients exhibited an altered peripheral blood B-cell subset distribution, with decreased memory B-cells but increased proportion of naive and CD21 Lo CD38 Lo B-cell subsets. We observed an increased expression of activation markers (CD80, CD95, HLA-DR) on some B-cell subsets, mainly the memory B-cells. Secretion of IL-6, BAFF and CXCL13 were increased in SSc sera. There was no correlation between the peripheral blood B-cell subsets and the serum concentrations of these cytokines. After stimulation, we observed a lower proportion of IL-10 and IL-6 producing B-cells in SSc. Finally, we

  20. Reduced sensory synaptic excitation impairs motor neuron function via Kv2.1 in spinal muscular atrophy. (United States)

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


    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.

  1. 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


    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.

  2. Urethane anesthesia depresses activities of thalamocortical neurons and alters its response to nociception in terms of dual firing modes

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    Yeowool eHuh


    Full Text Available Anesthetics are often used to characterize the activity of single neurons in-vivo for its advantages such as reduced noise level and convenience in noxious stimulations. Of the anesthetics, urethane had been widely used in some thalamic studies under the assumption that sensory signals are still relayed to the thalamus under urethane anesthesia and that thalamic response would therefore reflect the response of the awake state. We tested whether this assumption stands by comparing thalamic activity in terms of tonic and burst firing modes during ‘the awake state’ or under ‘urethane anesthesia’ utilizing the extracellular single unit recording technique. First we have tested how thalamic relay neurons respond to the introduction of urethane and then tested how urethane influences thalamic discharges under formalin-induced nociception. Urethane significantly depressed overall firing rates of thalamic relay neurons, which was sustained despite the delayed increase of burst activity over the 4 hour recording period. Thalamic response to nociception under anesthesia was also similar overall except for the slight and transient increase of burst activity. Overall, results demonstrated that urethane suppresses the activity of thalamic relay neurons and that, despite the slight fluctuation of burst firing, formalin-induced nociception cannot significantly change the firing pattern of thalamic relay neurons that was caused by urethane.

  3. Altered Brain Functional Connectivity in Betel Quid-Dependent Chewers

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    Xiaojun Huang


    Full Text Available BackgroundBetel quid (BQ is a common psychoactive substance worldwide with particularly high usage in many Asian countries. This study aimed to explore the effect of BQ use on functional connectivity by comparing global functional brain networks and their subset between BQ chewers and healthy controls (HCs.MethodsResting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI was obtained from 24 betel quid-dependent (BQD male chewers and 27 healthy male individuals on a 3.0T scanner. We used independent component analysis (ICA to determine components that represent the brain’s functional networks and their spatial aspects of functional connectivity. Two sample t-tests were used to identify the functional connectivity differences in each network between these two groups.ResultsSeventeen networks were identified by ICA. Nine of them showed connectivity differences between BQD and HCs (two sample t-tests, p < 0.001 uncorrected. We found increased functional connectivity in the orbitofrontal, bilateral frontoparietal, frontotemporal, occipital/parietal, frontotemporal/cerebellum, and temporal/limbic networks, and decreased connectivity in the parietal and medial frontal/anterior cingulate networks in the BQD compared to the HCs. The betel quid dependence scale scores were positively related to the increased functional connectivity in the orbitofrontal (r = 0.39, p = 0.03 while negatively related to the decreased functional connectivity in medial frontal/anterior cingulate networks (r = −0.35, p = 0.02.DiscussionOur findings provide further evidence that BQ chewing may lead to brain functional connectivity changes, which may play a key role in the psychological and physiological effects of BQ.

  4. Acute 5-HT7 receptor activation increases NMDA-evoked currents and differentially alters NMDA receptor subunit phosphorylation and trafficking in hippocampal neurons. (United States)

    Vasefi, Maryam S; Yang, Kai; Li, Jerry; Kruk, Jeff S; Heikkila, John J; Jackson, Michael F; MacDonald, John F; Beazely, Michael A


    N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors are regulated by several G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) as well as receptor tyrosine kinases. Serotonin (5-HT) type 7 receptors are expressed throughout the brain including the thalamus and hippocampus. Long-term (2-24 h) activation of 5-HT7 receptors promotes the expression of neuroprotective growth factor receptors, including the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) β receptors which can protect neurons against NMDA-induced neurotoxicity. In contrast to long-term activation of 5-HT7 receptors, acute (5 min) treatment of isolated hippocampal neurons with the 5-HT7 receptor agonist 5-carboxamidotryptamine (5-CT) enhances NMDA-evoked peak currents and this increase in peak currents is blocked by the 5-HT7 receptor antagonist, SB 269970. In hippocampal slices, acute 5-HT7 receptor activation increases NR1 NMDA receptor subunit phosphorylation and differentially alters the phosphorylation state of the NR2B and NR2A subunits. NMDA receptor subunit cell surface expression is also differentially altered by 5-HT7 receptor agonists: NR2B cell surface expression is decreased whereas NR1 and NR2A surface expression are not significantly altered. In contrast to the negative regulatory effects of long-term activation of 5-HT7 receptors on NMDA receptor signaling, acute activation of 5-HT7 receptors promotes NMDA receptor activity. These findings highlight the potential for temporally differential regulation of NMDA receptors by the 5-HT7 receptor.

  5. Pleiotropic and isoform-specific functions for Pitx2 in superior colliculus and hypothalamic neuronal development (United States)

    Waite, Mindy R.; Skidmore, Jennifer M.; Micucci, Joseph A.; Shiratori, Hidetaka; Hamada, Hiroshi; Martin, James F.; Martin, Donna M.


    Transcriptional regulation of gene expression during development is critical for proper neuronal differentiation and migration. Alternative splicing and differential isoform expression have been demonstrated for most mammalian genes, but their specific contributions to gene function are not well understood. In mice, the transcription factor gene Pitx2 is expressed as three different isoforms (PITX2A, PITX2B, and PITX2C) which have unique amino termini and common DNA binding homeodomains and carboxyl termini. The specific roles of these isoforms in neuronal development are not known. Here we report the onset of Pitx2ab and Pitx2c isoform-specific expression by E9.5 in the developing mouse brain. Using isoform-specific Pitx2 deletion mouse strains, we show that collicular neuron migration requires PITX2AB and that collicular GABAergic differentiation and targeting of hypothalamic projections require unique Pitx2 isoform dosage. These results provide insights into Pitx2 dosage and isoform-specific requirements underlying midbrain and hypothalamic development. PMID:23147109

  6. Altered functional brain networks in Prader–Willi syndrome


    Zhang, Yi; Zhao, Heng; Qiu, Siyou; Tian, Jie; Wen, Xiaotong; Miller, Jennifer L.; von Deneen, Karen M.; Zhou, Zhenyu; Gold, Mark S.; Liu, Yijun


    Prader–Willi syndrome (PWS) is a genetic imprinting disorder characterized mainly by hyperphagia and early childhood obesity. Previous functional neuroimaging studies used visual stimuli to examine abnormal activities in the eating-related neural circuitry of patients with PWS. It was found that patients with PWS exhibited both excessive hunger and hyperphagia consistently, even in situations without any food stimulation. In the present study, we employed resting-state functional MRI techniqu...

  7. Alterations to dendritic spine morphology, but not dendrite patterning, of cortical projection neurons in Tc1 and Ts1Rhr mouse models of Down syndrome.

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    Matilda A Haas

    Full Text Available Down Syndrome (DS is a highly prevalent developmental disorder, affecting 1/700 births. Intellectual disability, which affects learning and memory, is present in all cases and is reflected by below average IQ. We sought to determine whether defective morphology and connectivity in neurons of the cerebral cortex may underlie the cognitive deficits that have been described in two mouse models of DS, the Tc1 and Ts1Rhr mouse lines. We utilised in utero electroporation to label a cohort of future upper layer projection neurons in the cerebral cortex of developing mouse embryos with GFP, and then examined neuronal positioning and morphology in early adulthood, which revealed no alterations in cortical layer position or morphology in either Tc1 or Ts1Rhr mouse cortex. The number of dendrites, as well as dendrite length and branching was normal in both DS models, compared with wildtype controls. The sites of projection neuron synaptic inputs, dendritic spines, were analysed in Tc1 and Ts1Rhr cortex at three weeks and three months after birth, and significant changes in spine morphology were observed in both mouse lines. Ts1Rhr mice had significantly fewer thin spines at three weeks of age. At three months of age Tc1 mice had significantly fewer mushroom spines--the morphology associated with established synaptic inputs and learning and memory. The decrease in mushroom spines was accompanied by a significant increase in the number of stubby spines. This data suggests that dendritic spine abnormalities may be a more important contributor to cognitive deficits in DS models, rather than overall neuronal architecture defects.

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

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    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

  9. Distribution and function of HCN channels in the apical dendritic tuft of neocortical pyramidal neurons. (United States)

    Harnett, Mark T; Magee, Jeffrey C; Williams, Stephen R


    The apical tuft is the most remote area of the dendritic tree of neocortical pyramidal neurons. Despite its distal location, the apical dendritic tuft of layer 5 pyramidal neurons receives substantial excitatory synaptic drive and actively processes corticocortical input during behavior. The properties of the voltage-activated ion channels that regulate synaptic integration in tuft dendrites have, however, not been thoroughly investigated. Here, we use electrophysiological and optical approaches to examine the subcellular distribution and function of hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated nonselective cation (HCN) channels in rat layer 5B pyramidal neurons. Outside-out patch recordings demonstrated that the amplitude and properties of ensemble HCN channel activity were uniform in patches excised from distal apical dendritic trunk and tuft sites. Simultaneous apical dendritic tuft and trunk whole-cell current-clamp recordings revealed that the pharmacological blockade of HCN channels decreased voltage compartmentalization and enhanced the generation and spread of apical dendritic tuft and trunk regenerative activity. Furthermore, multisite two-photon glutamate uncaging demonstrated that HCN channels control the amplitude and duration of synaptically evoked regenerative activity in the distal apical dendritic tuft. In contrast, at proximal apical dendritic trunk and somatic recording sites, the blockade of HCN channels decreased excitability. Dynamic-clamp experiments revealed that these compartment-specific actions of HCN channels were heavily influenced by the local and distributed impact of the high density of HCN channels in the distal apical dendritic arbor. The properties and subcellular distribution pattern of HCN channels are therefore tuned to regulate the interaction between integration compartments in layer 5B pyramidal neurons. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/351024-14$15.00/0.

  10. Optically-Induced Neuronal Activity Is Sufficient to Promote Functional Motor Axon Regeneration In Vivo.

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    Patricia J Ward

    Full Text Available Peripheral nerve injuries are common, and functional recovery is very poor. Beyond surgical repair of the nerve, there are currently no treatment options for these patients. In experimental models of nerve injury, interventions (such as exercise and electrical stimulation that increase neuronal activity of the injured neurons effectively enhance axon regeneration. Here, we utilized optogenetics to determine whether increased activity alone is sufficient to promote motor axon regeneration. In thy-1-ChR2/YFP transgenic mice in which a subset of motoneurons express the light-sensitive cation channel, channelrhodopsin (ChR2, we activated axons in the sciatic nerve using blue light immediately prior to transection and surgical repair of the sciatic nerve. At four weeks post-injury, direct muscle EMG responses evoked with both optical and electrical stimuli as well as the ratio of these optical/electrical evoked EMG responses were significantly greater in mice that received optical treatment. Thus, significantly more ChR2+ axons successfully re-innervated the gastrocnemius muscle in mice that received optical treatment. Sections of the gastrocnemius muscles were reacted with antibodies to Synaptic Vesicle Protein 2 (SV2 to quantify the number of re-occupied motor endplates. The number of SV2+ endplates was greater in mice that received optical treatment. The number of retrogradely-labeled motoneurons following intramuscular injection of cholera toxin subunit B (conjugated to Alexa Fluor 555 was greater in mice that received optical treatment. Thus, the acute (1 hour, one-time optical treatment resulted in robust, long-lasting effects compared to untreated animals as well as untreated axons (ChR2-. We conclude that neuronal activation is sufficient to promote motor axon regeneration, and this regenerative effect is specific to the activated neurons.

  11. Supporting women with advanced breast cancer: the impact of altered functional status on their social roles. (United States)

    Chen, Bai Qi Peggy; Parmar, Monica P; Gartshore, Kimberley


    Despite early detection of breast cancer and the progress of treatment modalities, metastasis-specific symptoms continue to impact women's functional status and daily living. The aim of this study was to explore the experience of altered functional status and social roles of women with advanced breast cancer. Using qualitative descriptive methodology, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 women diagnosed with advanced breast cancer and altered functional status attending a tertiary care cancer centre. Results illustrated the adaptive experience of women living with their illness as they reshaped their social roles to fit with their altered functional status and advanced disease. These findings highlight the opportunity for supportive care nursing interventions to facilitate the behavioural and cognitive transitions that are experienced by women with advanced breast cancer and altered functional status. These results may have implications for women with other advanced chronic diseases, though more research is required.

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

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    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

  13. Nanometric resolution magnetic resonance imaging methods for mapping functional activity in neuronal networks. (United States)

    Boretti, Albert; Castelletto, Stefania


    This contribution highlights and compares some recent achievements in the use of k-space and real space imaging (scanning probe and wide-filed microscope techniques), when applied to a luminescent color center in diamond, known as nitrogen vacancy (NV) center. These techniques combined with the optically detected magnetic resonance of NV, provide a unique platform to achieve nanometric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) resolution of nearby nuclear spins (known as nanoMRI), and nanometric NV real space localization. •Atomic size optically detectable spin probe.•High magnetic field sensitivity and nanometric resolution.•Non-invasive mapping of functional activity in neuronal networks.

  14. Kaempferol inhibits Entamoeba histolytica growth by altering cytoskeletal functions. (United States)

    Bolaños, Verónica; Díaz-Martínez, Alfredo; Soto, Jacqueline; Marchat, Laurence A; Sanchez-Monroy, Virginia; Ramírez-Moreno, Esther


    The flavonoid kaempferol obtained from Helianthemum glomeratum, an endemic Mexican medicinal herb used to treat gastrointestinal disorders, has been shown to inhibit growth of Entamoeba histolytica trophozoites in vitro; however, the mechanisms associated with this activity have not been documented. Several works reported that kaempferol affects cytoskeleton in mammalian cells. In order to gain insights into the action mechanisms involved in the anti-amoebic effect of kaempferol, here we evaluated the effect of this compound on the pathogenic events driven by the cytoskeleton during E. histolytica infection. We also carried out a two dimensional gel-based proteomic analysis to evidence modulated proteins that could explain the phenotypical changes observed in trophozoites. Our results showed that kaempferol produces a dose-dependent effect on trophozoites growth and viability with optimal concentration being 27.7 μM. Kaempferol also decreased adhesion, it increased migration and phagocytic activity, but it did not affect erythrocyte binding nor cytolytic capacity of E. histolytica. Congruently, proteomic analysis revealed that the cytoskeleton proteins actin, myosin II heavy chain and cortexillin II were up-regulated in response to kaempferol treatment. In conclusion, kaempferol anti-amoebic effects were associated with deregulation of proteins related with cytoskeleton, which altered invasion mechanisms. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Chronic fluoxetine treatment alters cardiovascular functions in unanesthetized rats. (United States)

    Crestani, Carlos C; Tavares, Rodrigo F; Guimarães, Franscisco S; Correa, Fernando M A; Joca, Sâmia R L; Resstel, Leonardo B M


    In the present study, we investigated the effects induced by fluoxetine treatment (10 mg/kg) for either 1 or 21 consecutive days on arterial pressure and heart rate basal levels, baroreflex activity, hemodynamic responses to vasoactive agents and cardiovascular responses to acute restraint stress. Mild hypertension was observed after 21 days of treatment, but not after administration for 1 day. Moreover, chronic treatment affected the baroreflex control of heart rate, which was characterized by a reduced reflex tachycardia and an enhanced bradycardiac baroreflex response. The pressor responses to systemic administration of the selective α(1)-adrenoceptor agonist phenylephrine, as well as the depressor responses to systemic infusion of the nitric oxide donor sodium nitroprusside, were reduced after chronic fluoxetine treatment. Fluoxetine treatment for 21 days reduced both the pressor and tachycardiac responses evoked by acute restraint stress. In conclusion, the results indicate the development of mild hypertension after chronic fluoxetine treatment. This effect was followed by changes in the baroreflex control of heart rate and altered vascular responsiveness to pressor and depressor agents, which may explain, at least in part, the increase in arterial pressure. Chronic fluoxetine treatment also affected cardiovascular responses to restraint stress, thus indicating that fluoxetine may affect cardiovascular adaptation under conditions of stress. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Deficiency of Serotonin in Raphe Neurons and Altered Behavioral Responses in Tryptophan Hydroxylase 2-Knockout Medaka (Oryzias latipes). (United States)

    Ansai, Satoshi; Hosokawa, Hiroshi; Maegawa, Shingo; Naruse, Kiyoshi; Washio, Youhei; Sato, Kenji; Kinoshita, Masato


    Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine [5-HT]) is a bioactive monoamine that acts as a neurotransmitter in the central and peripheral nervous system of animals. Teleost fish species have serotonergic neurons in the raphe nuclei of the brainstem; however, the role of 5-HT in the raphe neurons in teleost fish remains largely unknown. Here, we established a medaka (Oryzias latipes) strain with targeted disruption of tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (tph2) gene that is involved in the 5-HT synthesis in the raphe nuclei. Immunohistochemistry and mass spectrometry analysis revealed that the homozygous mutants (tph2 Δ13/Δ13 ) lacked the ability to synthesize 5-HT in the raphe neurons. To investigate the effects of 5-HT deficiency in adult behaviors, the mutant fish were subjected to five behavioral paradigms (diving, open-field, light-dark transition, mirror-biting, and two-fish social interaction). The homozygous mutation caused a longer duration of freezing response in all examined paradigms and reduced the number of entries to the top area in the diving test. In addition, the mutants exhibited a decreased number of mirror-biting in the males and an increased contact time in direct social interaction between the females. These results indicate that this tph2-knockout medaka serves as a good model to analyze the effects of 5-HT deficiency in the raphe neurons.

  17. Hydrocephalus compacted cortex and hippocampus and altered their output neurons in association with spatial learning and memory deficits in rats. (United States)

    Chen, Li-Jin; Wang, Yueh-Jan; Chen, Jeng-Rung; Tseng, Guo-Fang


    Hydrocephalus is a common neurological disorder in children characterized by abnormal dilation of cerebral ventricles as a result of the impairment of cerebrospinal fluid flow or absorption. Clinical presentation of hydrocephalus varies with chronicity and often shows cognitive dysfunction. Here we used a kaolin-induction method in rats and studied the effects of hydrocephalus on cerebral cortex and hippocampus, the two regions highly related to cognition. Hydrocephalus impaired rats' performance in Morris water maze task. Serial three-dimensional reconstruction from sections of the whole brain freshly froze in situ with skull shows that the volumes of both structures were reduced. Morphologically, pyramidal neurons of the somatosensory cortex and hippocampus appear to be distorted. Intracellular dye injection and subsequent three-dimensional reconstruction and analyses revealed that the dendritic arbors of layer III and V cortical pyramid neurons were reduced. The total dendritic length of CA1, but not CA3, pyramidal neurons was also reduced. Dendritic spine densities on both cortical and hippocampal pyramidal neurons were decreased, consistent with our concomitant findings that the expressions of both synaptophysin and postsynaptic density protein 95 were reduced. These cortical and hippocampal changes suggest reductions of excitatory connectivity, which could underlie the learning and memory deficits in hydrocephalus. © 2016 International Society of Neuropathology.

  18. Direct lineage reprogramming of mouse fibroblasts to functional midbrain dopaminergic neuronal progenitors

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    Han-Seop Kim


    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. Functional expression of the 5-HT1c receptor in neuronal and nonneuronal cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Julius, D.; MacDermott, A.B.; Jessel, T.M.; Huang, K.; Molineaux, S.; Schieren, I.; Axel, R.


    The isolation of the genes encoding the multiple serotonin receptor subtypes and the ability to express these receptors in new cellular environments will help to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of action of serotonin in the mammalian brain. The cloning of most neurotransmitter receptors has required the purification of receptor, the determination of partial protein sequence, and the synthesis of oligonucleotide probes with which to obtain cDNA or genomic clones. However, the serotonin receptors have not been purified and antibodies have not been generated. The authors therefore designed a cDNA expression system that permits the identification of functional cDNA clones encoding serotonin receptors in the absence of protein sequence information. They have combined cloning in RNA expression vectors with an electrophysiological assay in oocytes to isolate a functional cDNA clone encoding the entire 5-HT 1c receptor. The sequence of this clone reveals that the 5-HT 1c receptor belongs to a family of G-protein-coupled receptors that are thought to traverse the membrane seven times. Mouse fibroblasts transformed with this clone bind serotonergic ligands and respond to serotonin with an elevation in intracellular calcium. Moreover, in situ hybridization and Northern blot analysis indicate that the 5-HT 1c receptor mRNA is expressed in a wide variety of neurons in the rat central nervous system, suggesting that this receptor plays a prominent role in neuronal function

  20. Proliferative reactive gliosis is compatible with glial metabolic support and neuronal function

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    Fero Matthew


    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.

  1. PCBs Alter Dopamine Mediated Function in Aging Workers (United States)


    assessment of toxicant - induced deficits in neuropsychological function, measurement of serum PCB concentrations, non-invasive determination of bone...likelihood of exposure to PCBs, lead, mercury , and pesticides, using a four point scale. Each job has also been classified using Standard Industrial and... Diuretics Anti-depressants Beta blockers Diabetes meds Acetaminophen Potassium supplement Gastro-intestinals Ace inhibitors Hyperlipoproteinemia meds

  2. Bilingualism Alters Children's Frontal Lobe Functioning for Attentional Control (United States)

    Arredondo, Maria M.; Hu, Xiao-Su; Satterfield, Teresa; Kovelman, Ioulia


    Bilingualism is a typical linguistic experience, yet relatively little is known about its impact on children's cognitive and brain development. Theories of bilingualism suggest that early dual-language acquisition can improve children's cognitive abilities, specifically those relying on frontal lobe functioning. While behavioral findings present…

  3. Altered monocyte function in experimental preeclampsia in the rat

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Faas, Marijke M.; Broekema, Martine; Moes, Henk; van der Schaaf, Gerda; Heineman, Maas Jan; de Vos, Paul


    OBJECTIVES: In the present study, we evaluated functional activity of monocytes in experimental preeclampsia induced by low-dose endotoxin infusion. STUDY DESIGN: Pregnant (n = 12) and cyclic rats (n = 12) were equipped with a permanent jugular vein cannula and infused with either low-dose endotoxin

  4. Does Exercise Alter Immune Function and Respiratory Infections? (United States)

    Nieman, David C.


    This paper examines whether physical activity influences immune function as a consequence risk of infection from the common cold and other upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) and whether the immune system responds differently to moderate versus intense physical exertion. Research indicates that people who participate in regular moderate…

  5. Glycogen metabolism in brain and neurons - astrocytes metabolic cooperation can be altered by pre- and neonatal lead (Pb) exposure. (United States)

    Baranowska-Bosiacka, Irena; Falkowska, Anna; Gutowska, Izabela; Gąssowska, Magdalena; Kolasa-Wołosiuk, Agnieszka; Tarnowski, Maciej; Chibowska, Karina; Goschorska, Marta; Lubkowska, Anna; Chlubek, Dariusz


    Lead (Pb) is an environmental neurotoxin which particularly affects the developing brain but the molecular mechanism of its neurotoxicity still needs clarification. The aim of this paper was to examine whether pre- and neonatal exposure to Pb (concentration of Pb in rat offspring blood below the "threshold level") may affect the brain's energy metabolism in neurons and astrocytes via the amount of available glycogen. We investigated the glycogen concentration in the brain, as well as the expression of the key enzymes involved in glycogen metabolism in brain: glycogen synthase 1 (Gys1), glycogen phosphorylase (PYGM, an isoform active in astrocytes; and PYGB, an isoform active in neurons) and phosphorylase kinase β (PHKB). Moreover, the expression of connexin 43 (Cx43) was evaluated to analyze whether Pb poisoning during the early phase of life may affect the neuron-astrocytes' metabolic cooperation. This work shows for the first time that exposure to Pb in early life can impair brain energy metabolism by reducing the amount of glycogen and decreasing the rate of its metabolism. This reduction in brain glycogen level was accompanied by a decrease in Gys1 expression. We noted a reduction in the immunoreactivity and the gene expression of both PYGB and PYGM isoform, as well as an increase in the expression of PHKB in Pb-treated rats. Moreover, exposure to Pb induced decrease in connexin 43 immunoexpression in all the brain structures analyzed, both in astrocytes as well as in neurons. Our data suggests that exposure to Pb in the pre- and neonatal periods results in a decrease in the level of brain glycogen and a reduction in the rate of its metabolism, thereby reducing glucose availability, which as a further consequence may lead to the impairment of brain energy metabolism and the metabolic cooperation between neurons and astrocytes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Altered astrocyte-neuronal interactions after hypoxia-ischemia in the neonatal brain in female and male rats. (United States)

    Morken, Tora Sund; Brekke, Eva; Håberg, Asta; Widerøe, Marius; Brubakk, Ann-Mari; Sonnewald, Ursula


    Increased susceptibility to excitotoxicity of the neonatal brain after hypoxia-ischemia (HI) may be caused by limited capacity of astrocytes for glutamate uptake, and mitochondrial failure probably plays a key role in the delayed injury cascade. Male infants have poorer outcome than females after HI, possibly linked to differential intermediary metabolism. [1-(13)C]glucose and [1,2-(13)C]acetate were injected at zero, 6, and 48 hours after unilateral HI in 7-day-old rats. Intermediary metabolism was analyzed with magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Mitochondrial metabolism was generally reduced in the ipsilateral hemisphere for ≤6 hours after HI, whereas contralaterally, it was reduced in neurons but not in astrocytes. Transfer of glutamate from neurons to astrocytes was increased in the contralateral, but not in the ipsilateral hemisphere at 0 hour, and reduced bilaterally at 6 hours after HI. The transfer of glutamine from astrocytes to glutamatergic neurons was unaltered in both hemispheres, whereas the transfer of glutamine to GABAergic neurons was increased ipsilaterally at 0 hour. Anaplerosis (astrocytes) was decreased, whereas partial pyruvate recycling (astrocytes) was increased directly after HI. Male pups had lower astrocytic mitochondrial metabolism than females immediately after HI, whereas that of females was reduced longer and encompassed both neurons and astrocytes. The prolonged depression in mitochondrial metabolism indicates that mitochondria are vulnerable targets in the delayed injury after neonatal HI. The degree of astrocytic malfunction may be a valid indicator of outcome after hypoxic/HI brain injury and may be linked to the differential outcome in males and females. © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.

  7. Altered brain functional connectivity and behaviour in a mouse model of maternal alcohol binge-drinking. (United States)

    Cantacorps, Lídia; González-Pardo, Héctor; Arias, Jorge L; Valverde, Olga; Conejo, Nélida M


    alcohol-exposed offspring, suggesting neuroadaptive effects due to early alcohol exposure. Our results demonstrate that maternal binge-like alcohol drinking causes long-lasting effects on motor and emotional-related behaviours associated with impaired neuronal metabolic capacity and altered functional brain connectivity. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  8. Changes in cognitive state alter human functional brain networks

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    Malaak Nasser Moussa


    Full Text Available The study of the brain as a whole system can be accomplished using network theory principles. Research has shown that human functional brain networks during a resting state exhibit small-world properties and high degree nodes, or hubs, localized to brain areas consistent with the default mode network (DMN. However, the study of brain networks across different tasks and or cognitive states has been inconclusive. Research in this field is important because the underpinnings of behavioral output are inherently dependent on whether or not brain networks are dynamic. This is the first comprehensive study to evaluate multiple network metrics at a voxel-wise resolution in the human brain at both the whole brain and regional level under various conditions: resting state, visual stimulation, and multisensory (auditory and visual stimulation. Our results show that despite global network stability, functional brain networks exhibit considerable task-induced changes in connectivity, efficiency, and community structure at the regional level.

  9. Pinceau Organization in the Cerebellum Requires Distinct Functions of Neurofascin in Purkinje and Basket Neurons During Postnatal Development (United States)

    Buttermore, Elizabeth D.; Piochon, Claire; Wallace, Michael L.; Philpot, Benjamin D.; Hansel, Christian; Bhat, Manzoor A.


    Basket axon collaterals synapse onto the Purkinje soma/axon initial segment (AIS) area to form specialized structures, the pinceau, which are critical for normal cerebellar function. Mechanistic details of how the pinceau become organized during cerebellar development are poorly understood. Loss of cytoskeletal adaptor protein Ankyrin G (AnkG) results in mislocalization of the cell adhesion molecule Neurofascin (Nfasc) at the Purkinje AIS and abnormal organization of the pinceau. Loss of Nfasc in adult Purkinje neurons leads to slow disorganization of the Purkinje AIS and pinceau morphology. Here we utilized mouse conditional knockout techniques to show that selective loss of Nfasc specifically in Purkinje neurons during early development prevented maturation of the AIS and resulted in loss of Purkinje neuron spontaneous activity and pinceau disorganization. Loss of Nfasc in both Purkinje and basket neurons caused abnormal basket axon collateral branching and targeting to Purkinje soma/AIS, leading to extensive pinceau disorganization, Purkinje neuron degeneration and severe ataxia. Our studies reveal that the Purkinje Nfasc is required for AIS maturation and for maintaining stable contacts between basket axon terminals and the Purkinje AIS during pinceau organization, while the basket neuron Nfasc in combination with Purkinje Nfasc is required for proper basket axon collateral outgrowth and targeting to Purkinje soma/AIS. Thus, cerebellar pinceau organization requires coordinated mechanisms involving specific Nfasc functions in both Purkinje and basket neurons. PMID:22492029

  10. Discontinuous Galerkin finite element method for solving population density functions of cortical pyramidal and thalamic neuronal populations. (United States)

    Huang, Chih-Hsu; Lin, Chou-Ching K; Ju, Ming-Shaung


    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.

  11. Distinct functional and temporal requirements for zebrafish Hdac1 during neural crest-derived craniofacial and peripheral neuron development.

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    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.

  12. Predicting the functional states of human iPSC-derived neurons with single-cell RNA-seq and electrophysiology. (United States)

    Bardy, C; van den Hurk, M; Kakaradov, B; Erwin, J A; Jaeger, B N; Hernandez, R V; Eames, T; Paucar, A A; Gorris, M; Marchand, C; Jappelli, R; Barron, J; Bryant, A K; Kellogg, M; Lasken, R S; Rutten, B P F; Steinbusch, H W M; Yeo, G W; Gage, F H


    Human neural progenitors derived from pluripotent stem cells develop into electrophysiologically active neurons at heterogeneous rates, which can confound disease-relevant discoveries in neurology and psychiatry. By combining patch clamping, morphological and transcriptome analysis on single-human neurons in vitro, we defined a continuum of poor to highly functional electrophysiological states of differentiated neurons. The strong correlations between action potentials, synaptic activity, dendritic complexity and gene expression highlight the importance of methods for isolating functionally comparable neurons for in vitro investigations of brain disorders. Although whole-cell electrophysiology is the gold standard for functional evaluation, it often lacks the scalability required for disease modeling studies. Here, we demonstrate a multimodal machine-learning strategy to identify new molecular features that predict the physiological states of single neurons, independently of the time spent in vitro. As further proof of concept, we selected one of the potential neurophysiological biomarkers identified in this study-GDAP1L1-to isolate highly functional live human neurons in vitro.

  13. Low dose exposure to Bisphenol A alters development of gonadotropin-releasing hormone 3 neurons and larval locomotor behavior in Japanese Medaka. (United States)

    Inagaki, T; Smith, N; Lee, E K; Ramakrishnan, S


    Accumulating evidence indicates that chronic low dose exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA), an endocrine disruptor, may disrupt normal brain development and behavior mediated by the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) pathways. While it is known that GnRH neurons in the hypothalamus regulate reproductive physiology and behavior, functional roles of extra-hypothalamic GnRH neurons remain unclear. Furthermore, little is known whether BPA interacts with extra-hypothalamic GnRH3 neural systems in vulnerable developing brains. Here we examined the impact of low dose BPA exposure on the developing GnRH3 neural system, eye and brain growth, and locomotor activity in transgenic medaka embryos and larvae with GnRH3 neurons tagged with GFP. Fertilized eggs were collected daily and embryos/larvae were chronically exposed to 200ng/ml of BPA, starting at 1 day post fertilization (dpf). BPA significantly increased fluorescence intensity of the GnRH3-GFP neural population in the terminal nerve (TN) of the forebrain at 3dpf, but decreased the intensity at 5dpf, compared with controls. BPA advanced eye pigmentation without affecting eye and brain size development, and accelerated times to hatch. Following chronic BPA exposure, 20dpf larvae showed suppression of locomotion, both in distance covered and speed of movement (47% and 43% reduction, respectively). BPA-induced hypoactivity was accompanied by decreased cell body sizes of individual TN-GnRH3 neurons (14% smaller than those of controls), but not of non-GnRH3 neurons. These novel data demonstrate complex neurobehavioral effects of BPA on the development of extra-hypothalamic GnRH3 neurons in teleost fish. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Altered Venous Function during Long-Duration Spaceflights

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    Jacques-Olivier Fortrat


    Full Text Available Aims: Venous adaptation to microgravity, associated with cardiovascular deconditioning, may contribute to orthostatic intolerance following spaceflight. The aim of this study was to analyze the main parameters of venous hemodynamics with long-duration spaceflight.Methods: Venous plethysmography was performed on 24 cosmonauts before, during, and after spaceflights aboard the International Space Station. Venous plethysmography assessed venous filling and emptying functions as well as microvascular filtration, in response to different levels of venous occlusion pressure. Calf volume was assessed using calf circumference measurements.Results: Calf volume decreased during spaceflight from 2.3 ± 0.3 to 1.7 ± 0.2 L (p < 0.001, and recovered after it (2.3 ± 0.3 L. Venous compliance, determined as the relationship between occlusion pressure and the change in venous volume, increased during spaceflight from 0.090 ± 0.005 to 0.120 ± 0.007 (p < 0.01 and recovered 8 days after landing (0.071 ± 0.005, arbitrary units. The index of venous emptying rate decreased during spaceflight from −0.004 ± 0.022 to −0.212 ± 0.033 (p < 0.001, arbitrary units. The index of vascular microfiltration increased during spaceflight from 6.1 ± 1.8 to 10.6 ± 7.9 (p < 0.05, arbitrary units.Conclusion: This study demonstrated that overall venous function is changed during spaceflight. In future, venous function should be considered when developing countermeasures to prevent cardiovascular deconditioning and orthostatic intolerance with long-duration spaceflight.

  15. Polyploidization altered gene functions in cotton (Gossypium spp.). (United States)

    Xu, Zhanyou; Yu, John Z; Cho, Jaemin; Yu, Jing; Kohel, Russell J; Percy, Richard G


    Cotton (Gossypium spp.) is an important crop plant that is widely grown to produce both natural textile fibers and cottonseed oil. Cotton fibers, the economically more important product of the cotton plant, are seed trichomes derived from individual cells of the epidermal layer of the seed coat. It has been known for a long time that large numbers of genes determine the development of cotton fiber, and more recently it has been determined that these genes are distributed across At and Dt subgenomes of tetraploid AD cottons. In the present study, the organization and evolution of the fiber development genes were investigated through the construction of an integrated genetic and physical map of fiber development genes whose functions have been verified and confirmed. A total of 535 cotton fiber development genes, including 103 fiber transcription factors, 259 fiber development genes, and 173 SSR-contained fiber ESTs, were analyzed at the subgenome level. A total of 499 fiber related contigs were selected and assembled. Together these contigs covered about 151 Mb in physical length, or about 6.7% of the tetraploid cotton genome. Among the 499 contigs, 397 were anchored onto individual chromosomes. Results from our studies on the distribution patterns of the fiber development genes and transcription factors between the At and Dt subgenomes showed that more transcription factors were from Dt subgenome than At, whereas more fiber development genes were from At subgenome than Dt. Combining our mapping results with previous reports that more fiber QTLs were mapped in Dt subgenome than At subgenome, the results suggested a new functional hypothesis for tetraploid cotton. After the merging of the two diploid Gossypium genomes, the At subgenome has provided most of the genes for fiber development, because it continues to function similar to its fiber producing diploid A genome ancestor. On the other hand, the Dt subgenome, with its non-fiber producing D genome ancestor

  16. Alteration of renal function of rats following spaceflight (United States)

    Wade, C. E.; Morey-Holton, E.


    Following spaceflight, changes in renal function of humans have been suggested. To assess the effects of readaptation on renal function, urine was collected from male rats ( approximately 245 g) over a 2-wk period following a 14-day spaceflight. Rats were assigned to three groups: flight animals (n = 6), flight controls (n = 6) housed in the flight cages on the ground, and vivarium controls (n = 5) housed in standard shoe box cages. Animals were placed into individual metabolic cages for urine collection. Urine output was significantly increased for 3 days following flight. Excretion rates of Na+ and K+ were increased, resulting in an increased osmotic excretion rate. Creatinine excretion rate increased over the first two postflight days. Glomerular filtration rate increased immediately following spaceflight without changes in plasma creatinine, Na+, K+, or osmolality. Increased excretion of solute was thus the result of increased delivery and a decreased percent reabsorption of the filtered load. Osmolal clearance was increased immediately postflight while free water clearance was decreased. In growing rats, the diuresis after short-duration spaceflight is the result of an increase in solute excretion with an accompanying reduction in free water clearance.

  17. A new photosensory function for simple photoreceptors, the intrinsically photoresponsive neurons of the sea slug Onchidium

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    Tsukasa Gotow


    Full Text Available Simple photoreceptors, namely intrinsically light-sensitive neurons without microvilli and/or cilia, have long been known to exist in the central ganglia of crayfish, Aplysia, Onchidium, and Helix. These simple photoreceptors are not only first-order photosensory cells, but also second-order neurons (interneurons, relaying several kinds of sensory synaptic inputs. Another important issue is that the photoresponses of these simple photoreceptors show very slow kinetics and little adaptation. These characteristics suggest that the simple photoreceptors of the Onchidium have a function in non-image-forming vision, different from classical eye photoreceptors used for cording dynamic images of vision. The cited literature provides evidence that the depolarizing and hyperpolarizing photoresponses of simple photoreceptors play a role in the long-lasting potentiation of synaptic transmission of excitatory and inhibitory sensory inputs, and as well as in the potentiation and the suppression of the subsequent behavioral outputs. In short, we suggest that simple photoreceptors operate in the general potentiation of synaptic transmission and subsequent motor output; i.e., they perform a new photosensory function.

  18. Functional neuromuscular junctions formed by embryonic stem cell-derived motor neurons.

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    Joy A Umbach

    Full Text Available A key objective of stem cell biology is to create physiologically relevant cells suitable for modeling disease pathologies in vitro. Much progress towards this goal has been made in the area of motor neuron (MN disease through the development of methods to direct spinal MN formation from both embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells. Previous studies have characterized these neurons with respect to their molecular and intrinsic functional properties. However, the synaptic activity of stem cell-derived MNs remains less well defined. In this study, we report the development of low-density co-culture conditions that encourage the formation of active neuromuscular synapses between stem cell-derived MNs and muscle cells in vitro. Fluorescence microscopy reveals the expression of numerous synaptic proteins at these contacts, while dual patch clamp recording detects both spontaneous and multi-quantal evoked synaptic responses similar to those observed in vivo. Together, these findings demonstrate that stem cell-derived MNs innervate muscle cells in a functionally relevant manner. This dual recording approach further offers a sensitive and quantitative assay platform to probe disorders of synaptic dysfunction associated with MN disease.

  19. Selective destruction of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons does not alter [3H]-ryanodine binding in rat striatum

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    Noël F.


    Full Text Available Dopamine nigrostriatal neurons are important for motor control and may contain a particularly dense population of ryanodine receptors involved in the control of dopamine release. To test this hypothesis, we used a classical model of unilateral selective lesion of these neurons in rats based on 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA injection into the substantia nigra. Binding of [3H]-GBR 12935, used as a presynaptic marker since it labels specifically the dopamine uptake complex, was dramatically decreased by 83-100% in striatum homogenates after 6-OHDA lesion. On the contrary, no reduction of [3H]-ryanodine binding was observed. The present data indicate that [3H]-ryanodine binding sites present in rat striatum are not preferentially localized in dopaminergic terminals.

  20. Curcuma treatment prevents cognitive deficit and alteration of neuronal morphology in the limbic system of aging rats. (United States)

    Vidal, Blanca; Vázquez-Roque, Rubén A; Gnecco, Dino; Enríquez, Raúl G; Floran, Benjamin; Díaz, Alfonso; Flores, Gonzalo


    Curcuma is a natural compound that has shown neuroprotective properties, and has been reported to prevent aging and improve memory. While the mechanism(s) underlying these effects are unclear, they may be related to increases in neural plasticity. Morphological changes have been reported in neuronal dendrites in the limbic system in animals and elderly humans with cognitive impairment. In this regard, there is a need to use alternative therapies that delay the onset of morphologies and behavioral characteristics of aging. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of curcuma on cognitive processes and dendritic morphology of neurons in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), the CA1 and CA3 regions of the dorsal hippocampus, the dentate gyrus, and the basolateral amygdala (BLA) of aged rats. 18-month-old rats were administered curcuma (100 mg/kg) daily for 60 days. After treatment, recognition memory was assessed using the novel object recognition test. Curcuma-treated rats showed a significant increase in the exploration quotient. Dendritic morphology was assessed by Golgi-Cox staining and followed by Sholl analysis. Curcuma-treated rats showed a significant increase in dendritic spine density and dendritic length in pyramidal neurons of the PFC, the CA1 and CA3, and the BLA. The preservation of dendritic morphology was positively correlated with cognitive improvements. Our results suggest that curcuma induces modification of dendritic morphology in the aforementioned regions. These changes may explain how curcuma slows the aging process that has already begun in these animals, preventing deterioration in neuronal morphology of the limbic system and recognition memory. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Altered neuronal firing pattern of the basal ganglia nucleus plays a role in levodopa-induced dyskinesia in patients with Parkinson's disease

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    Xiaoyu eLi


    Full Text Available Background: Levodopa therapy alleviates the symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD, but long-term treatment often leads to motor complications such as levodopa-induced dyskinesia (LID. Aim: To explore the neuronal activity in the basal ganglia nuclei in patients with PD and LID. Methods: Thirty patients with idiopathic PD (age, 55.1±11.0 years; disease duration, 8.7±5.6 years were enrolled between August 2006 and August 2013 at the Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University, China. Their Hoehn and Yahr scores ranged from 2 to 4 and their UPDRS III scores were 28.5±5.2. Fifteen of them had severe LID (UPDRS IV scores of 6.7±1.6. Microelectrode recording was performed in the globus pallidus internus (GPi and subthalamic nucleus (STN during pallidotomy (n=12 or STN deep brain stimulation (DBS; bilateral, n=12; unilateral, n=6. The firing patterns and frequencies of various cell types were analyzed by assessing single cell interspike intervals (ISIs and the corresponding coefficient of variation (CV. Results: A total of 295 neurons were identified from the GPi (n=12 and STN (n=18. These included 26 (8.8% highly grouped discharge, 30 (10.2% low frequency firing, 78 (26.4% rapid tonic discharge, 103 (34.9% irregular activity, and 58 (19.7% tremor-related activity. There were significant differences between the two groups (P<0.05 for neurons with irregular firing, highly irregular cluster-like firing, and low-frequency firing. Conclusion: Altered neuronal activity was observed in the basal ganglia nucleus of GPi and STN, and may play important roles in the pathophysiology of PD and LID.

  2. Deficits in the activity of presynaptic γ-aminobutyric acid type B receptors contribute to altered neuronal excitability in fragile X syndrome. (United States)

    Kang, Ji-Yong; Chadchankar, Jayashree; Vien, Thuy N; Mighdoll, Michelle I; Hyde, Thomas M; Mather, Robert J; Deeb, Tarek Z; Pangalos, Menelas N; Brandon, Nicholas J; Dunlop, John; Moss, Stephen J


    The behavioral and anatomical deficits seen in fragile X syndrome (FXS) are widely believed to result from imbalances in the relative strengths of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission. Although modified neuronal excitability is thought to be of significance, the contribution that alterations in GABAergic inhibition play in the pathophysiology of FXS are ill defined. Slow sustained neuronal inhibition is mediated by γ-aminobutyric acid type B (GABA B ) receptors, which are heterodimeric G-protein-coupled receptors constructed from R1a and R2 or R1b and R2 subunits. Via the activation of G i/o , they limit cAMP accumulation, diminish neurotransmitter release, and induce neuronal hyperpolarization. Here we reveal that selective deficits in R1a subunit expression are seen in Fmr1 knock-out mice (KO) mice, a widely used animal model of FXS, but the levels of the respective mRNAs were unaffected. Similar trends of R1a expression were seen in a subset of FXS patients. GABA B receptors (GABA B Rs) exert powerful pre- and postsynaptic inhibitory effects on neurotransmission. R1a-containing GABA B Rs are believed to mediate presynaptic inhibition in principal neurons. In accordance with this result, deficits in the ability of GABA B Rs to suppress glutamate release were seen in Fmr1-KO mice. In contrast, the ability of GABA B Rs to suppress GABA release and induce postsynaptic hyperpolarization was unaffected. Significantly, this deficit contributes to the pathophysiology of FXS as the GABA B R agonist ( R )-baclofen rescued the imbalances between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission evident in Fmr1-KO mice. Collectively, our results provided evidence that selective deficits in the activity of presynaptic GABA B Rs contribute to the pathophysiology of FXS. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

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


    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.

  4. Natural reward experience alters AMPA and NMDA receptor distribution and function in the nucleus accumbens.

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    Kyle K Pitchers

    Full Text Available Natural reward and drugs of abuse converge upon the mesolimbic system which mediates motivation and reward behaviors. Drugs induce neural adaptations in this system, including transcriptional, morphological, and synaptic changes, which contribute to the development and expression of drug-related memories and addiction. Previously, it has been reported that sexual experience in male rats, a natural reward behavior, induces similar neuroplasticity in the mesolimbic system and affects natural reward and drug-related behavior. The current study determined whether sexual experience causes long-lasting changes in mating, or ionotropic glutamate receptor trafficking or function in the nucleus accumbens (NAc, following 3 different reward abstinence periods: 1 day, 1 week, or 1 month after final mating session. Male Sprague Dawley rats mated during 5 consecutive days (sexual experience or remained sexually naïve to serve as controls. Sexually experienced males displayed facilitation of initiation and performance of mating at each time point. Next, intracellular and membrane surface expression of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA: NR1 subunit and α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionate (AMPA: GluA1, GluA2 subunits receptors in the NAc was determined using a bis(sulfosuccinimidylsuberate (BS(3 protein cross-linking assay followed by Western Blot analysis. NR1 expression was increased at 1 day abstinence both at surface and intracellular, but decreased at surface at 1 week of abstinence. GluA2 was increased intracellularly at 1 week and increased at the surface after 1 month of abstinence. Finally, whole-cell patch clamp electrophysiological recordings determined reduced AMPA/NMDA ratio of synaptic currents in NAc shell neurons following stimulation of cortical afferents in sexually experienced males after all reward abstinence periods. Together, these data show that sexual experience causes long-term alterations in glutamate receptor expression and

  5. La Alters the Response Properties of Neurons in the Mouse Primary Somatosensory Cortex to Low-Temperature Noxious Stimulation of the Dental Pulp

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    Yanjiao Jin


    Full Text Available Although dental pain is a serious health issue with high incidence among the human population, its cellular and molecular mechanisms are still unclear. Transient receptor potential (TRP channels are assumed to be involved in the generation of dental pain. However, most of the studies were conducted with molecular biological or histological methods. In vivo functional studies on the role of TRP channels in the mechanisms of dental pain are lacking. This study uses in vivo cellular electrophysiological and neuropharmacological method to directly disclose the effect of LaCl 3 , a broad spectrum TRP channel blocker, on the response properties of neurons in the mouse primary somatosensory cortex to low-temperature noxious stimulation of the dental pulp. It was found that LaCl 3 suppresses the high-firing-rate responses of all nociceptive neurons to noxious low-temperature stimulation and also inhibits the spontaneous activities in some nonnociceptive neurons. The effect of LaCl 3 is reversible. Furthermore, this effect is persistent and stable unless LaCl 3 is washed out. Washout of LaCl 3 quickly revitalized the responsiveness of neurons to low-temperature noxious stimulation. This study adds direct evidence for the hypothesis that TRP channels are involved in the generation of dental pain and sensation. Blockade of TRP channels may provide a novel therapeutic treatment for dental pain.

  6. Regular consumption of a silicic acid-rich water prevents aluminium-induced alterations of nitrergic neurons in mouse brain: histochemical and immunohistochemical studies. (United States)

    Foglio, E; Buffoli, B; Exley, C; Rezzani, R; Rodella, L F


    Silicon is not generally considered an essential nutrient for mammals and, to date, whether it has a biological role or beneficial effects in humans is not known. The results of a number of studies suggest that dietary silicon supplementation might have a protective effect both for limiting aluminium absorption across the gut and for the removal of systemic aluminium via the urine, hence, preventing potential accumulation of aluminium in the brain. Since our previous studies demonstrated that aluminium exposure reduces the number of nitrergic neurons, the aim of the present study was to compare the distribution and the morphology of NO-containing neurons in brain cortex of mice exposed to aluminium sulphate dissolved in silicic acid-rich or poor drinking water to assess the potential protective role of silicon against aluminium toxicity in the brain. NADPH-d histochemistry and nNOS immunohistochemistry showed that high concentrations of silicon in drinking water were able to minimize the impairment of the function of nitrergic neurons induced by aluminium administration. We found that silicon protected against aluminium-induced damage to the nitrergic system: in particular, we demonstrated that silicon maintains the number of nitrergic neurons and their expression of nitrergic enzymes at physiological levels, even after a 12 and 15 month exposure to aluminium.

  7. Altered effector function of peripheral cytotoxic cells in COPD

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    Corne Jonathan M


    Full Text Available Abstract Background There is mounting evidence that perforin and granzymes are important mediators in the lung destruction seen in COPD. We investigated the characteristics of the three main perforin and granzyme containing peripheral cells, namely CD8+ T lymphocytes, natural killer (NK; CD56+CD3- cells and NKT-like (CD56+CD3+ cells. Methods Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs were isolated and cell numbers and intracellular granzyme B and perforin were analysed by flow cytometry. Immunomagnetically selected CD8+ T lymphocytes, NK (CD56+CD3- and NKT-like (CD56+CD3+ cells were used in an LDH release assay to determine cytotoxicity and cytotoxic mechanisms were investigated by blocking perforin and granzyme B with relevant antibodies. Results The proportion of peripheral blood NKT-like (CD56+CD3+ cells in smokers with COPD (COPD subjects was significantly lower (0.6% than in healthy smokers (smokers (2.8%, p +CD3- cells from COPD subjects were significantly less cytotoxic than in smokers (16.8% vs 51.9% specific lysis, p +CD3+ cells (16.7% vs 52.4% specific lysis, p +CD3- and NKT-like (CD56+CD3+ cells from smokers and HNS. Conclusion In this study, we show that the relative numbers of peripheral blood NK (CD56+CD3- and NKT-like (CD56+CD3+ cells in COPD subjects are reduced and that their cytotoxic effector function is defective.

  8. Functional differentiation of macaque visual temporal cortical neurons using a parametric action space. (United States)

    Vangeneugden, Joris; Pollick, Frank; Vogels, Rufin


    Neurons in the rostral superior temporal sulcus (STS) are responsive to displays of body movements. We employed a parametric action space to determine how similarities among actions are represented by visual temporal neurons and how form and motion information contributes to their responses. The stimulus space consisted of a stick-plus-point-light figure performing arm actions and their blends. Multidimensional scaling showed that the responses of temporal neurons represented the ordinal similarity between these actions. Further tests distinguished neurons responding equally strongly to static presentations and to actions ("snapshot" neurons), from those responding much less strongly to static presentations, but responding well when motion was present ("motion" neurons). The "motion" neurons were predominantly found in the upper bank/fundus of the STS, and "snapshot" neurons in the lower bank of the STS and inferior temporal convexity. Most "motion" neurons showed strong response modulation during the course of an action, thus responding to action kinematics. "Motion" neurons displayed a greater average selectivity for these simple arm actions than did "snapshot" neurons. We suggest that the "motion" neurons code for visual kinematics, whereas the "snapshot" neurons code for form/posture, and that both can contribute to action recognition, in agreement with computation models of action recognition.

  9. Correlation between serum neuron specific enolase and functional neurological outcome in patients of acute ischemic stroke. (United States)

    Zaheer, Sana; Beg, Mujahid; Rizvi, Imran; Islam, Najmul; Ullah, Ekram; Akhtar, Nishat


    The use of biomarkers to predict stroke prognosis is gaining particular attention nowadays. Neuron specific enolase (NSE), which is a dimeric isoenzyme of the glycolytic enzyme enolase and is found mainly in the neurons is one such biomarker. This study was carried out on patients of acute ischemic stroke with the aims to determine the correlation between NSE levels on the day of admission with infarct volume, stroke severity, and functional neurological outcome on day 30. Seventy five patients of acute ischemic stroke admitted in the Department of Medicine were included in the study. Levels of NSE were determined on day 1 using the human NSE ELISA kit (Alpha Diagnostic International Texas 78244, USA). Volume of infarct was measured by computed tomography (CT) scan using the preinstalled software Syngo (version A40A) of Siemen's medical solutions (Forchheim, Germany). Stroke severity at admission was assessed using Glasgow coma scale (GCS) and functional neurological outcome was assessed using modified Rankin scale (mRS) on day 30. Statistical analysis was performed using the SPSS software for windows version 15.0 (SPSS). A positive correlation was found between concentration of NSE on day 1 and infarct volume determined by CT scan (r = 0.955, P < 0.001). A strong negative correlation was found between GCS at presentation and concentration of NSE on day 1 (r = -0.806, P < 0.001). There was a positive correlation between NSE levels at day 1 and functional neurological outcome assessed by mRS at day 30 (r = 0.744, P < 0.001). Serum levels of NSE in first few days of ischemic stroke can serve as a useful marker to predict stroke severity and early functional outcome. However, larger studies with serial estimation of NSE are needed to establish these observations more firmly.

  10. Prevention of Hippocampal Neuronal Damage and Cognitive Function Deficits in Vascular Dementia by Dextromethorphan. (United States)

    Xu, Xiaofeng; Zhang, Bin; Lu, Kaili; Deng, Jiangshan; Zhao, Fei; Zhao, Bing-Qiao; Zhao, Yuwu


    Dextromethorphan (DM) is a non-competitive antagonist of NMDA receptors and a widely used component of cough medicine. Recently, its indication has been extended experimentally to a wide range of disorders including inflammation-mediated central nervous system disorders such as Parkinson disease (PD) and multiple sclerosis (MS). In this study, we investigate whether DM treatment has protective effects on the hippocampal neuron damage induced by bilateral occlusion of the common carotid arteries (two-vessel occlusion [2VO]), an animal model of vascular dementia (VaD). Sprague-Dawley (SD) (10 weeks of age) rats were subjected to the 2VO, and DM was injected intraperitoneally once per day for 37 days. Neuron death, glial activation, and cognitive function were assessed at 37 days after 2VO (0.2 mg/kg, i.p., "DM-0.2" and 2 mg/kg, i.p., "DM-2"). DM-2 treatment provided protection against neuronal death and glial activation in the hippocampal CA1 subfield and reduced cognitive impairment induced by 2VO in rats. The study also demonstrates that activation of the Nrf2-HO-1 pathway and upregulation of superoxide dismutase (SOD) play important roles in these effects. These results suggest that DM is effective in treating VaD and protecting against oxidative stress, which is strongly implicated in the pathogenesis of VaD. Therefore, the present study suggests that DM treatment may represent a new and promising protective strategy for treating VaD.

  11. Protease-activated receptor 1-dependent neuronal damage involves NMDA receptor function. (United States)

    Hamill, Cecily E; Mannaioni, Guido; Lyuboslavsky, Polina; Sastre, Aristide A; Traynelis, Stephen F


    Protease-activated receptor 1 (PAR1) is a G-protein coupled receptor that is expressed throughout the central nervous system. PAR1 activation by brain-derived as well as blood-derived proteases has been shown to have variable and complex effects in a variety of animal models of neuronal injury and inflammation. In this study, we have evaluated the effects of PAR1 on lesion volume in wild-type or PAR1-/- C57Bl/6 mice subjected to transient occlusion of the middle cerebral artery or injected with NMDA in the striatum. We found that removal of PAR1 reduced infarct volume following transient focal ischemia to 57% of control. Removal of PAR1 or application of a PAR1 antagonist also reduced the neuronal injury associated with intrastriatal injection of NMDA to 60% of control. To explore whether NMDA receptor potentiation by PAR1 activation contributes to the harmful effects of PAR1, we investigated the effect of NMDA receptor antagonists on the neuroprotective phenotype of PAR1-/- mice. We found that MK801 reduced penumbral but not core neuronal injury in mice subjected to transient middle cerebral artery occlusion or intrastriatal NMDA injection. Lesion volumes in both models were not significantly different between PAR1-/- mice treated with and without MK801. Use of the NMDA receptor antagonist and dissociative anesthetic ketamine also renders NMDA-induced lesion volumes identical in PAR1-/- mice and wild-type mice. These data suggest that the ability of PAR1 activation to potentiate NMDA receptor function may underlie its harmful actions during injury.

  12. An electrophysiological analysis of altered cognitive functions in Huntington disease. (United States)

    Münte, T F; Ridao-Alonso, M E; Preinfalk, J; Jung, A; Wieringa, B M; Matzke, M; Dengler, R; Johannes, S


    Neuropsychological deficits are a main feature of Huntington disease (HD) with previous data suggesting involvement of memory functions and visual processing. To increase the knowledge about cognitive malfunction in HD in the domains of visual processing and memory by the use of modern electrophysiological techniques (event-related potentials [ERPs]). A case-control design was used. Three ERP paradigms were used; a parallel visual search paradigm allowed for the simultaneous processing of a multi-element visual array in search of a target stimulus, while a serial search paradigm with varied numbers of distractor items necessitated a serial one by one scanning of the arrays. The third experiment was a word-recognition memory task. The measurements were obtained in a neurophysiological laboratory of a university hospital. Nine patients with HD and 9 control subjects matched for age, sex, and education were studied. Components of averaged ERPs were quantified by latency and amplitude measures and subjected to statistical analysis. Behavioral measures (search time, hit rate, and recognition accuracy) were assessed as well. The early visual components showed a significant latency shift (delay of about 50 milliseconds) in HD. In the search paradigms the P3 components differentiating target and standard stimuli were virtually absent in HD as was the ERP effect indexing word recognition. This was accompanied by a marked delay in search times and lower hit rates in the search tasks and a grossly reduced recognition accuracy in the memory task. The results suggest marked impairments of patients with HD in early visual sensory processing (early components). Deficits in visual search might be attributed to an impairment to deploy attentional resources across the visual field and/or an inability to control eye movements. The ERPs in the memory task differed grossly from similar data obtained by others in patients with Alzheimer disease, suggesting a different neural basis for

  13. Lychee Seed Saponins Improve Cognitive Function and Prevent Neuronal Injury via Inhibiting Neuronal Apoptosis in a Rat Model of Alzheimer’s Disease

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    Xiuling Wang


    Full Text Available Lychee seed is a traditional Chinese medicine and possesses many activities, including hypoglycemia, liver protection, antioxidation, antivirus, and antitumor. However, its effect on neuroprotection is still unclear. The present study investigated the effects of lychee seed saponins (LSS on neuroprotection and associated mechanisms. We established a rat model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD by injecting Aβ25–35 into the lateral ventricle of rats and evaluated the effect of LSS on spatial learning and memory ability via the Morris water maze. Neuronal apoptosis was analyzed by hematoxylin and eosin stain and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (Tdt-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling analysis, and mRNA expression of caspase-3 and protein expressions of Bax and Bcl-2 by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR and Western blotting, respectively. The results showed that LSS remarkably improved cognitive function and alleviated neuronal injury by inhibiting apoptosis in the hippocampus of AD rats. Furthermore, the mRNA expression of caspase-3 and the protein expression of Bax were downregulated, while the protein expression of Bcl-2 and the ratio of Bcl-2/Bax were increased by LSS. We demonstrate that LSS significantly improves cognitive function and prevent neuronal injury in the AD rats via regulation of the apoptosis pathway. Therefore, LSS may be developed as a nutritional supplement and sold as a drug for AD prevention and/or treatment.

  14. Alterations in dopamine system function across the estrous cycle of the MAM rodent model of schizophrenia. (United States)

    Perez, Stephanie M; Chen, Li; Lodge, Daniel J


    Clinical studies have reported differences in the incidence and severity of schizophrenia symptoms between male and female schizophrenia patients. Unfortunately, the cause of these differences is not currently known due, in part, to the fact that preclinical studies largely focus on male subjects. Dopamine neuron activity has been previously demonstrated to change across the estrous cycle, and may therefore be of relevance, as aberrant dopamine signaling is thought to underlie the positive symptoms of schizophrenia. Here we examine dopamine neuron activity across the estrous cycle in the MAM rodent model of schizophrenia. We demonstrate that the elevation in dopamine neuron activity, consistently observed in male MAM-treated rats, is most prominent during estrus and attenuated in met-estrus. Furthermore, this appears to be mediated, in part, by progesterone in the ventral hippocampus, as increases in dopamine neuron population activity (observed in estrus) were normalized by the intra-hippocampal administration of the progesterone receptor antagonist, mifepristone (but not the estrogen receptor antagonists, fulvestrant). Taken together, these data suggest that changes in dopamine system function occur across the estrous cycle in MAM-treated rats and may contribute to the differences in symptomatology between male and female schizophrenia patients. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Neuropathic Pain-like Alterations in Muscle Nociceptor Function Associated with Vibration-induced Muscle Pain


    Chen, Xiaojie; Green, Paul G.; Levine, Jon D.


    We recently developed a rodent model of the painful muscle disorders induced by occupational exposure to vibration. In the present study we used this model to evaluate the function of sensory neurons innervating the vibration-exposed gastrocnemius muscle. Activity of 74 vibration-exposed and 40 control nociceptors, with mechanical receptive fields in the gastrocnemius muscle, were recorded. In vibration-exposed rats ~15% of nociceptors demonstrated an intense and long-lasting barrage of actio...

  16. Impaired cognitive function and altered hippocampal synapse morphology in mice lacking Lrrtm1, a gene associated with schizophrenia.

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    Noriko Takashima

    Full Text Available Recent genetic linkage analysis has shown that LRRTM1 (Leucine rich repeat transmembrane neuronal 1 is associated with schizophrenia. Here, we characterized Lrrtm1 knockout mice behaviorally and morphologically. Systematic behavioral analysis revealed reduced locomotor activity in the early dark phase, altered behavioral responses to novel environments (open-field box, light-dark box, elevated plus maze, and hole board, avoidance of approach to large inanimate objects, social discrimination deficit, and spatial memory deficit. Upon administration of the NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801, Lrrtm1 knockout mice showed both locomotive activities in the open-field box and responses to the inanimate object that were distinct from those of wild-type mice, suggesting that altered glutamatergic transmission underlay the behavioral abnormalities. Furthermore, administration of a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (fluoxetine rescued the abnormality in the elevated plus maze. Morphologically, the brains of Lrrtm1 knockout mice showed reduction in total hippocampus size and reduced synaptic density. The hippocampal synapses were characterized by elongated spines and diffusely distributed synaptic vesicles, indicating the role of Lrrtm1 in maintaining synaptic integrity. Although the pharmacobehavioral phenotype was not entirely characteristic of those of schizophrenia model animals, the impaired cognitive function may warrant the further study of LRRTM1 in relevance to schizophrenia.

  17. Direct Induction and Functional Maturation of Forebrain GABAergic Neurons from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfred Xuyang Sun


    Full Text Available Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA-releasing interneurons play an important modulatory role in the cortex and have been implicated in multiple neurological disorders. Patient-derived interneurons could provide a foundation for studying the pathogenesis of these diseases as well as for identifying potential therapeutic targets. Here, we identified a set of genetic factors that could robustly induce human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs into GABAergic neurons (iGNs with high efficiency. We demonstrated that the human iGNs express neurochemical markers and exhibit mature electrophysiological properties within 6–8 weeks. Furthermore, in vitro, iGNs could form functional synapses with other iGNs or with human-induced glutamatergic neurons (iENs. Upon transplantation into immunodeficient mice, human iGNs underwent synaptic maturation and integration into host neural circuits. Taken together, our rapid and highly efficient single-step protocol to generate iGNs may be useful to both mechanistic and translational studies of human interneurons.

  18. Directed induction of functional motor neuron-like cells from genetically engineered human mesenchymal stem cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hwan-Woo Park

    Full Text Available Cell replacement using stem cells is a promising therapeutic approach to treat degenerative motor neuron (MN disorders, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinal cord injury. Human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs are a desirable cell source for autologous cell replacement therapy to treat nervous system injury due to their plasticity, low immunogenicity, and a lower risk of tumor formation than embryonic stem cells. However, hMSCs are inefficient with regards to differentiating into MN-like cells. To solve this limitation, we genetically engineered hMSCs to express MN-associated transcription factors, Olig2 and Hb9, and then treat the hMSCs expressing Olig2 and Hb9 with optimal MN induction medium (MNIM. This method of induction led to higher expression (>30% of total cells of MN markers. Electrophysiological data revealed that the induced hMSCs had the excitable properties of neurons and were able to form functional connections with muscle fibers in vitro. Furthermore, when the induced hMSCs were transplanted into an injured organotypic rat spinal cord slice culture, an ex vivo model of spinal cord injury, they exhibited characteristics of MNs. The data strongly suggest that induced Olig2/Hb9-expressing hMSCs were clearly reprogrammed and directed toward a MN-like lineage. We propose that methods to induce Olig2 and Hb9, followed by further induction with MNIM have therapeutic potential for autologous cell replacement therapy to treat degenerative MN disorders.

  19. Divergent functions of the proneural genes Mash1 and Ngn2 in the specification of neuronal subtype identity (United States)

    Parras, Carlos M.; Schuurmans, Carol; Scardigli, Raffaella; Kim, Jaesang; Anderson, David J.; Guillemot, François


    The neural bHLH genes Mash1 and Ngn2 are expressed in complementary populations of neural progenitors in the central and peripheral nervous systems. Here, we have systematically compared the activities of the two genes during neural development by generating replacement mutations in mice in which the coding sequences of Mash1 and Ngn2 were swapped. Using this approach, we demonstrate that Mash1 has the capacity to respecify the identity of neuronal populations normally derived from Ngn2-expressing progenitors in the dorsal telencephalon and ventral spinal cord. In contrast, misexpression of Ngn2 in Mash1-expressing progenitors does not result in any overt change in neuronal phenotype. Taken together, these results demonstrate that Mash1 and Ngn2 have divergent functions in specification of neuronal subtype identity, with Mash1 having the characteristics of an instructive determinant whereas Ngn2 functions as a permissive factor that must act in combination with other factors to specify neuronal phenotypes. Moreover, the ectopic expression of Ngn2 can rescue the neurogenesis defects of Mash1 null mutants in the ventral telencephalon and sympathetic ganglia but not in the ventral spinal cord and the locus coeruleus, indicating that Mash1 contribution to the specification of neuronal fates varies greatly in different lineages, presumably depending on the presence of other determinants of neuronal identity. PMID:11825874

  20. Design, Surface Treatment, Cellular Plating, and Culturing of Modular Neuronal Networks Composed of Functionally Inter-connected Circuits. (United States)

    Kanner, Sivan; Bisio, Marta; Cohen, Gilad; Goldin, Miri; Tedesco, Marieteresa; Hanein, Yael; Ben-Jacob, Eshel; Barzilai, Ari; Chiappalone, Michela; Bonifazi, Paolo


    The brain operates through the coordinated activation and the dynamic communication of neuronal assemblies. A major open question is how a vast repertoire of dynamical motifs, which underlie most diverse brain functions, can emerge out of a fixed topological and modular organization of brain circuits. Compared to in vivo studies of neuronal circuits which present intrinsic experimental difficulties, in vitro preparations offer a much larger possibility to manipulate and probe the structural, dynamical and chemical properties of experimental neuronal systems. This work describes an in vitro experimental methodology which allows growing of modular networks composed by spatially distinct, functionally interconnected neuronal assemblies. The protocol allows controlling the two-dimensional (2D) architecture of the neuronal network at different levels of topological complexity. A desired network patterning can be achieved both on regular cover slips and substrate embedded micro electrode arrays. Micromachined structures are embossed on a silicon wafer and used to create biocompatible polymeric stencils, which incorporate the negative features of the desired network architecture. The stencils are placed on the culturing substrates during the surface coating procedure with a molecular layer for promoting cellular adhesion. After removal of the stencils, neurons are plated and they spontaneously redirected to the coated areas. By decreasing the inter-compartment distance, it is possible to obtain either isolated or interconnected neuronal circuits. To promote cell survival, cells are co-cultured with a supporting neuronal network which is located at the periphery of the culture dish. Electrophysiological and optical recordings of the activity of modular networks obtained respectively by using substrate embedded micro electrode arrays and calcium imaging are presented. While each module shows spontaneous global synchronizations, the occurrence of inter-module synchronization

  1. A neuronal disruption in redox homeostasis elicited by ammonia alters the glycine/glutamate (GABA) cycle and contributes to MMA-induced excitability. (United States)

    Royes, Luiz Fernando Freire; Gabbi, Patrícia; Ribeiro, Leandro Rodrigo; Della-Pace, Iuri Domingues; Rodrigues, Fernanda Silva; de Oliveira Ferreira, Ana Paula; da Silveira Junior, Mauro Eduardo Porto; da Silva, Luís Roberto Hart; Grisólia, Alan Barroso Araújo; Braga, Danielle Valente; Dobrachinski, Fernando; da Silva, Anderson Manoel Herculano Oliveira; Soares, Félix Alexandre Antunes; Marchesan, Sara; Furian, Ana Flavia; Oliveira, Mauro Schneider; Fighera, Michele Rechia


    Hyperammonemia is a common finding in children with methylmalonic acidemia. However, its contribution to methylmalonate-induced excitotoxicty is poorly understood. The aim of this study was to evaluate the mechanisms by which ammonia influences in the neurotoxicity induced by methylmalonate (MMA) in mice. The effects of ammonium chloride (NH4Cl 3, 6, and 12 mmol/kg; s.c.) on electroencephalographic (EEG) and behavioral convulsions induced by MMA (0.3, 0.66, and 1 µmol/2 µL, i.c.v.) were observed in mice. After, ammonia, TNF-α, IL1β, IL-6, nitrite/nitrate (NOx) levels, mitochondrial potential (ΔΨ), reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, Methyl-Tetrazolium (MTT) reduction, succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), and Na(+), K(+)-ATPase activity levels were measured in the cerebral cortex. The binding of [(3)H]flunitrazepam, release of glutamate-GABA; glutamate decarboxylase (GAD) and glutamine synthetase (GS) activity and neuronal damage [opening of blood brain barrier (BBB) permeability and cellular death volume] were also measured. EEG recordings showed that an intermediate dose of NH4Cl (6 mmol/kg) increased the duration of convulsive episodes induced by MMA (0.66 μmol/2 μL i.c.v). NH4Cl (6 mmol/kg) administration also induced neuronal ammonia and NOx increase, as well as mitochondrial ROS generation throughout oxidation of 2,7-dichlorofluorescein diacetate (DCFH-DA) to DCF-RS, followed by GS and GAD inhibition. The NH4Cl plus MMA administration did not alter cytokine levels, plasma fluorescein extravasation, or neuronal damage. However, it potentiated DCF-RS levels, decreased the ΔΨ potential, reduced MTT, inhibited SDH activity, and increased Na(+), K(+)-ATPase activity. NH4Cl also altered the GABA cycle characterized by GS and GAD activity inhibition, [(3)H]flunitrazepam binding, and GABA release after MMA injection. On the basis of our findings, the changes in ROS and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) levels elicited by ammonia alter the glycine

  2. Specific Neuron Placement on Gold and Silicon Nitride-Patterned Substrates through a Two-Step Functionalization Method. (United States)

    Mescola, Andrea; Canale, Claudio; Prato, Mirko; Diaspro, Alberto; Berdondini, Luca; Maccione, Alessandro; Dante, Silvia


    The control of neuron-substrate adhesion has been always a challenge for fabricating neuron-based cell chips and in particular for multielectrode array (MEA) devices, which warrants the investigation of the electrophysiological activity of neuronal networks. The recent introduction of high-density chips based on the complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology, integrating thousands of electrodes, improved the possibility to sense large networks and raised the challenge to develop newly adapted functionalization techniques to further increase neuron electrode localization to avoid the positioning of cells out of the recording area. Here, we present a simple and straightforward chemical functionalization method that leads to the precise and exclusive positioning of the neural cell bodies onto modified electrodes and inhibits, at the same time, cellular adhesion in the surrounding insulator areas. Different from other approaches, this technique does not require any adhesion molecule as well as complex patterning technique such as μ-contact printing. The functionalization was first optimized on gold (Au) and silicon nitride (Si3N4)-patterned surfaces. The procedure consisted of the introduction of a passivating layer of hydrophobic silane molecules (propyltriethoxysilane [PTES]) followed by a treatment of the Au surface using 11-amino-1-undecanethiol hydrochloride (AT). On model substrates, well-ordered neural networks and an optimal coupling between a single neuron and single micrometric functionalized Au surface were achieved. In addition, we presented the preliminary results of this functionalization method directly applied on a CMOS-MEA: the electrical spontaneous spiking and bursting activities of the network recorded for up to 4 weeks demonstrate an excellent and stable neural adhesion and functional behavior comparable with what expected using a standard adhesion factor, such as polylysine or laminin, thus demonstrating that this procedure can be

  3. Structural and functional properties of a probabilistic model of neuronal connectivity in a simple locomotor network (United States)

    Merrison-Hort, Robert; Soffe, Stephen R; Borisyuk, Roman


    Although, in most animals, brain connectivity varies between individuals, behaviour is often similar across a species. What fundamental structural properties are shared across individual networks that define this behaviour? We describe a probabilistic model of connectivity in the hatchling Xenopus tadpole spinal cord which, when combined with a spiking model, reliably produces rhythmic activity corresponding to swimming. The probabilistic model allows calculation of structural characteristics that reflect common network properties, independent of individual network realisations. We use the structural characteristics to study examples of neuronal dynamics, in the complete network and various sub-networks, and this allows us to explain the basis for key experimental findings, and make predictions for experiments. We also study how structural and functional features differ between detailed anatomical connectomes and those generated by our new, simpler, model (meta-model). PMID:29589828

  4. Oxytocin Neurons Exhibit Extensive Functional Plasticity Due To Offspring Age in Mothers and Fathers. (United States)

    Kelly, Aubrey M; Hiura, Lisa C; Saunders, Alexander G; Ophir, Alexander G


    The needs of offspring change as they develop. Thus, parents should concomitantly change their investment based on the age-related needs of the offspring as they mature. Due to the high costs of parental care, it is optimal for parents to exhibit a shift from intense caregiving of young offspring to promoting independence in older offspring. Yet, the neural mechanisms that underlie shifts in parental behavior are poorly understood, and little is known about how the parental brain responds to offspring of different ages. To elucidate mechanisms that relate to shifts in parental behavior as offspring develop, we examined behavioral and neural responses of male and female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster), a biparental rodent, to interactions with offspring at different stages of development (ranging from neonatal to weaning age). Importantly, in biparental species, males and females may adjust their behavior differentially as offspring develop. Because the nonapeptides, vasopressin (VP) and oxytocin (OT), are well known for modulating aspects of parental care, we focused on functional activity of distinct VP and OT cell groups within the maternal and paternal brain in response to separation from, reunion (after a brief period of separation) with, or no separation from offspring of different ages. We found several differences in the neural responses of individual VP and OT cell groups that varied based on the age of pups and sex of the parent. Hypothalamic VP neurons exhibit similar functional responses in both mothers and fathers. However, hypothalamic and amygdalar OT neurons exhibit differential functional responses to being separated from pups based on the sex of the parent. Our results also reveal that the developmental stage of offspring significantly impacts neural function within OT, but not VP, cell groups of both mothers and fathers. These findings provide insight into the functional plastic capabilities of the nonapeptide system, specifically in relation

  5. The acute inhibition of enteric glial metabolism with fluoroacetate alters calcium signaling, hemichannel function, and the expression of key proteins (United States)

    McClain, Jonathon L.


    Glia play key roles in the regulation of neurotransmission in the nervous system. Fluoroacetate (FA) is a metabolic poison widely used to study glial functions by disrupting the tricarboxylic acid cycle enzyme aconitase. Despite the widespread use of FA, the effects of FA on essential glial functions such as calcium (Ca2+) signaling and hemichannel function remain unknown. Therefore, our goal was to assess specifically the impact of FA on essential glial cell functions that are involved with neurotransmission in the enteric nervous system. To this end, we generated a new optogenetic mouse model to study specifically the effects of FA on enteric glial Ca2+ signaling by crossing PC::G5-tdTomato mice with Sox10::creERT2 mice. FA did not change the peak glial Ca2+ response when averaged across all glia within a ganglion. However, FA decreased the percent of responding glia by 30% (P glial cells that still exhibited a response by 26% (P glial or neurodegeneration, but glial cells significantly increased glial fibrillary acid protein by 56% (P glial metabolism with FA causes key changes in glial functions associated with their roles in neurotransmission and phenotypic changes indicative of reactive gliosis. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Our study shows that the acute impairment of enteric glial metabolism with fluoroacetate (FA) alters specific glial functions that are associated with the modification of neurotransmission in the gut. These include subtle changes to glial agonist-evoked calcium signaling, the subsequent disruption of connexin-43 hemichannels, and changes in protein expression that are consistent with a transition to reactive glia. These changes in glial function offer a mechanistic explanation for the effects of FA on peripheral neuronal networks. PMID:27784805

  6. Loss of Sphingosine Kinase Alters Life History Traits and Locomotor Function inCaenorhabditis elegans. (United States)

    Chan, Jason P; Brown, Jaylene; Hark, Brandon; Nolan, Abby; Servello, Dustin; Hrobuchak, Hannah; Staab, Trisha A


    Sphingolipid metabolism is important to balance the abundance of bioactive lipid molecules involved in cell signaling, neuronal function, and survival. Specifically, the sphingolipid sphingosine mediates cell death signaling, whereas its phosphorylated form, sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), mediates cell survival signaling. The enzyme sphingosine kinase produces S1P, and the activity of sphingosine kinase impacts the ability of cells to survive under stress and challenges. To examine the influence of sphingolipid metabolism, particularly enzymes regulating sphingosine and S1P, in mediating aging, neuronal function and stress response, we examined life history traits, locomotor capacities and heat stress responses of young and old animals using the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans . We found that C. elegans sphk-1 mutants, which lack sphingosine kinase, had shorter lifespans, reduced brood sizes, and smaller body sizes compared to wild type animals. By analyzing a panel of young and old animals with genetic mutations in the sphingolipid signaling pathway, we showed that aged sphk-1 mutants exhibited a greater decline in neuromuscular function and locomotor behavior. In addition, aged animals lacking sphk-1 were more susceptible to death induced by acute and prolonged heat exposure. On the other hand, older animals with loss of function mutations in ceramide synthase ( hyl-1 ), which converts sphingosine to ceramide, showed improved neuromuscular function and stress response with age. This phenotype was dependent on sphk-1 . Together, our data show that loss of sphingosine kinase contributes to poor animal health span, suggesting that sphingolipid signaling may be important for healthy neuronal function and animal stress response during aging.

  7. Loss of Sphingosine Kinase Alters Life History Traits and Locomotor Function in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason P. Chan


    Full Text Available Sphingolipid metabolism is important to balance the abundance of bioactive lipid molecules involved in cell signaling, neuronal function, and survival. Specifically, the sphingolipid sphingosine mediates cell death signaling, whereas its phosphorylated form, sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P, mediates cell survival signaling. The enzyme sphingosine kinase produces S1P, and the activity of sphingosine kinase impacts the ability of cells to survive under stress and challenges. To examine the influence of sphingolipid metabolism, particularly enzymes regulating sphingosine and S1P, in mediating aging, neuronal function and stress response, we examined life history traits, locomotor capacities and heat stress responses of young and old animals using the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that C. elegans sphk-1 mutants, which lack sphingosine kinase, had shorter lifespans, reduced brood sizes, and smaller body sizes compared to wild type animals. By analyzing a panel of young and old animals with genetic mutations in the sphingolipid signaling pathway, we showed that aged sphk-1 mutants exhibited a greater decline in neuromuscular function and locomotor behavior. In addition, aged animals lacking sphk-1 were more susceptible to death induced by acute and prolonged heat exposure. On the other hand, older animals with loss of function mutations in ceramide synthase (hyl-1, which converts sphingosine to ceramide, showed improved neuromuscular function and stress response with age. This phenotype was dependent on sphk-1. Together, our data show that loss of sphingosine kinase contributes to poor animal health span, suggesting that sphingolipid signaling may be important for healthy neuronal function and animal stress response during aging.

  8. Patterning human neuronal networks on photolithographically engineered silicon dioxide substrates functionalized with glial analogues. (United States)

    Hughes, Mark A; Brennan, Paul M; Bunting, Andrew S; Cameron, Katherine; Murray, Alan F; Shipston, Mike J


    Interfacing neurons with silicon semiconductors is a challenge being tackled through various bioengineering approaches. Such constructs inform our understanding of neuronal coding and learning and ultimately guide us toward creating intelligent neuroprostheses. A fundamental prerequisite is to dictate the spatial organization of neuronal cells. We sought to pattern neurons using photolithographically defined arrays of polymer parylene-C, activated with fetal calf serum. We used a purified human neuronal cell line [Lund human mesencephalic (LUHMES)] to establish whether neurons remain viable when isolated on-chip or whether they require a supporting cell substrate. When cultured in isolation, LUHMES neurons failed to pattern and did not show any morphological signs of differentiation. We therefore sought a cell type with which to prepattern parylene regions, hypothesizing that this cellular template would enable secondary neuronal adhesion and network formation. From a range of cell lines tested, human embryonal kidney (HEK) 293 cells patterned with highest accuracy. LUHMES neurons adhered to pre-established HEK 293 cell clusters and this coculture environment promoted morphological differentiation of neurons. Neurites extended between islands of adherent cell somata, creating an orthogonally arranged neuronal network. HEK 293 cells appear to fulfill a role analogous to glia, dictating cell adhesion, and generating an environment conducive to neuronal survival. We next replaced HEK 293 cells with slower growing glioma-derived precursors. These primary human cells patterned accurately on parylene and provided a similarly effective scaffold for neuronal adhesion. These findings advance the use of this microfabrication-compatible platform for neuronal patterning. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Neuropathic pain-like alterations in muscle nociceptor function associated with vibration-induced muscle pain. (United States)

    Chen, Xiaojie; Green, Paul G; Levine, Jon D


    We recently developed a rodent model of the painful muscle disorders induced by occupational exposure to vibration. In the present study we used this model to evaluate the function of sensory neurons innervating the vibration-exposed gastrocnemius muscle. Activity of 74 vibration-exposed and 40 control nociceptors, with mechanical receptive fields in the gastrocnemius muscle, were recorded. In vibration-exposed rats ∼15% of nociceptors demonstrated an intense and long-lasting barrage of action potentials in response to sustained suprathreshold mechanical stimulation (average of 2635 action potentials with frequency of ∼44Hz during a 1min suprathreshold stimulus) much greater than that has been reported to be produced even by potent inflammatory mediators. While these high-firing nociceptors had lower mechanical thresholds than the remaining nociceptors, exposure to vibration had no effect on conduction velocity and did not induce spontaneous activity. Hyperactivity was not observed in any of 19 neurons from vibration-exposed rats pretreated with intrathecal antisense for the IL-6 receptor subunit gp130. Since vibration can injure peripheral nerves and IL-6 has been implicated in painful peripheral neuropathies, we suggest that the dramatic change in sensory neuron function and development of muscles pain, induced by exposure to vibration, reflects a neuropathic muscle pain syndrome. Copyright © 2010 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. L-carnitine exposure and mitochondrial function in human neuronal cells. (United States)

    Geier, David A; Geier, Mark R


    L-Carnitine is a naturally occurring substance required in mammalian energy metabolism that functions by facilitating long-chain fatty acid entry into cellular mitochondria, thereby delivering substrate for oxidation and subsequent energy production. It has been purposed that L-carnitine may improve and preserve cognitive performance, and may lead to better cognitive aging through the life span, and several controlled human clinical trials with L-carnitine support the hypothesis that this substance has the ability to improve cognitive function. We further hypothesized that, since L-carnitine is an important co-factor of mammalian mitochondrial energy metabolism, acute administration of L-carnitine to human tissue culture cells should result in detectable increases in mitochondrial function. Cultures of SH-SY-5Y human neuroblastoma and 1321N1 human astrocytoma cells grown in 96-well cell culture plates were acutely administered L-carnitine hydrochloride, and then, mitochondrial function was assayed using the colorimetric 2,3-bis[2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulfophenyl]-2H-tetrazolium-5-carboxyanilide inner salt cell assay kit in a VERSAmax tunable microplate reader. Significant increases in mitochondrial function were observed when human neuroblastoma or human astrocytoma cells were exposed to 100 nM (20 μg L-carnitine hydrochloride/L) to 100 μM (20 mg L-carnitine hydrochloride/L) concentrations of L-carnitine hydrochloride in comparison to unexposed cells, whereas no significant positive effects were observed at lower or higher concentrations of L-carnitine hydrochloride. The results of the present study provide insights for how L-carnitine therapy may significantly improve human neuronal function, but we recommend that future studies further explore different derivatives of L-carnitine compounds in different in vitro cell-based systems using different markers of mitochondrial function.

  11. 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


    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.

  12. Structure-function correlations of rat trigeminal primary neurons: Emphasis on club-like endings, a vibrissal mechanoreceptor. (United States)

    Tonomura, Sotatsu; Ebara, Satomi; Bagdasarian, Knarik; Uta, Daisuke; Ahissar, Ehud; Meir, Inbal; Lampl, Ilan; Kuroda, Daichi; Furuta, Takahiro; Furue, Hidemasa; Kumamoto, Kenzo


    This study focuses on the structure and function of the primary sensory neurons that innervate vibrissal follicles in the rat. Both the peripheral and central terminations, as well as their firing properties were identified using intracellular labelling and recording in trigeminal ganglia in vivo. Fifty-one labelled neurons terminating peripherally, as club-like, Merkel, lanceolate, reticular or spiny endings were identified by their morphology. All neurons responded robustly to air puff stimulation applied to the vibrissal skin. Neurons with club-like endings responded with the highest firing rates; their peripheral processes rarely branched between the cell body and their terminal tips. The central branches of these neurons displayed abundant collaterals terminating within all trigeminal nuclei. Analyses of three-dimensional reconstructions reveal a palisade arrangement of club-like endings bound to the ringwulst by collagen fibers. Our morphological findings suggest that neurons with club-like endings sense mechanical aspects related to the movement of the ringwulst and convey this information to all trigeminal nuclei in the brainstem.

  13. Early postnatal respiratory viral infection alters hippocampal neurogenesis, cell fate, and neuron morphology in the neonatal piglet. (United States)

    Conrad, Matthew S; Harasim, Samantha; Rhodes, Justin S; Van Alstine, William G; Johnson, Rodney W


    Respiratory viral infections are common during the neonatal period in humans, but little is known about how early-life infection impacts brain development. The current study used a neonatal piglet model as piglets have a gyrencephalic brain with growth and development similar to human infants. Piglets were inoculated with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) to evaluate how chronic neuroinflammation affects hippocampal neurogenesis and neuron morphology. Piglets in the neurogenesis study received one bromodeoxyuridine injection on postnatal day (PD) 7 and then were inoculated with PRRSV. Piglets were sacrificed at PD 28 and the number of BrdU+ cells and cell fate were quantified in the dentate gyrus. PRRSV piglets showed a 24% reduction in the number of newly divided cells forming neurons. Approximately 15% of newly divided cells formed microglia, but this was not affected by sex or PRRSV. Additionally, there was a sexual dimorphism of new cell survival in the dentate gyrus where males had more cells than females, and PRRSV infection caused a decreased survival in males only. Golgi impregnation was used to characterize dentate granule cell morphology. Sholl analysis revealed that PRRSV caused a change in inner granule cell morphology where the first branch point was extended further from the cell body. Males had more complex dendritic arbors than females in the outer granule cell layer, but this was not affected by PRRSV. There were no changes to dendritic spine density or morphology distribution. These findings suggest that early-life viral infection can impact brain development. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Alterations in gene expression as an index of neuronal injury: heat shock and the immediate early gene response. (United States)

    Sharp, F R; Sagar, S M


    The c-fos immediate early gene is induced by normal stimuli including light, stress, hyperosmolar solutions, and hormones. Ischemia, hypoxia, seizures, cortical injury, nerve section and other pathological stimuli can also induce c-fos. The induction can occur via increases in intracellular calcium that act through a Ca2+/cAMP element on its promoter, or via trophic and other factors that act through a serum response element (SRE) on its promoter. Several studies show that calcium entry via voltage sensitive calcium channels (VSCCs) is important for inducing c-fos. We have shown that calcium entry via the NMDA receptor is important for induction of c-fos mRNA by glutamate and cAMP in cultured cortical neurons. Moreover, the NMDA receptor appears to regulate translation of c-fos mRNA to Fos protein when cells are stimulated with other types of stimuli including vasoactive intestinal peptide, zinc, and fibroblast growth factor. These results suggest that toxins that elevate intracellular calcium will likely induce the c-fos gene in brain. The heat shock or stress genes are induced by a wide variety of stimuli including heavy metals, heat, oxidative and ischemic stress, prolonged seizures, hypoglycemia, calcium ionophores, and certain toxins. It is believed that denatured proteins stimulate heat shock factors to bind to heat shock elements on the promoters of all heat shock genes to induce gene transcription. We and others have shown that global and focal ischemia induce the hsp70 heat shock gene in brain. Mild ischemia induces hsp70 mRNA and HSP70 protein in neurons only.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  15. Dissociation and Alterations in Brain Function and Structure: Implications for Borderline Personality Disorder. (United States)

    Krause-Utz, Annegret; Frost, Rachel; Winter, Dorina; Elzinga, Bernet M


    Dissociation involves disruptions of usually integrated functions of consciousness, perception, memory, identity, and affect (e.g., depersonalization, derealization, numbing, amnesia, and analgesia). While the precise neurobiological underpinnings of dissociation remain elusive, neuroimaging studies in disorders, characterized by high dissociation (e.g., depersonalization/derealization disorder (DDD), dissociative identity disorder (DID), dissociative subtype of posttraumatic stress disorder (D-PTSD)), have provided valuable insight into brain alterations possibly underlying dissociation. Neuroimaging studies in borderline personality disorder (BPD), investigating links between altered brain function/structure and dissociation, are still relatively rare. In this article, we provide an overview of neurobiological models of dissociation, primarily based on research in DDD, DID, and D-PTSD. Based on this background, we review recent neuroimaging studies on associations between dissociation and altered brain function and structure in BPD. These studies are discussed in the context of earlier findings regarding methodological differences and limitations and concerning possible implications for future research and the clinical setting.

  16. Functional expression of the GABAA receptor alpha2 and alpha3 subunits at synapses between intercalated medial paracapsular neurons of mouse amygdala

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raffaella eGeracitano


    Full Text Available In the amygdala, GABAergic neurons in the intercalated medial paracapsular cluster (Imp have been suggested to play a key role in fear learning and extinction. These neurons project to the central amygdaloid nucleus and to other areas within and outside the amygdala. In addition, they give rise to local collaterals that innervate other neurons in the Imp. Several drugs, including benzodiazepines, are allosteric modulators of GABA-A receptors. Benzodiazepines have both anxiolytic and sedative actions, which are mediated through GABA-A receptors containing alpha2/3 and alpha1 subunits, respectively. To establish whether alpha1 or alpha2/3 subunits are expressed at Imp cell synapses, we used paired recordings of anatomically-identified Imp neurons and high resolution immunocytochemistry in the mouse. We observed that a selective alpha3 subunit agonist, TP003 (100 nM, significantly increased the decay time constant of the unitary IPSCs. A similar effect was also induced by zolpidem (10 microM or by diazepam (1 microM. In contrast, lower doses of zolpidem (0.1-1 microM did not significantly alter the kinetics of the unitary IPSCs. Accordingly, immunocytochemical experiments established that the alpha2 and alpha3, but not the alpha1 subunits of the GABA-A receptors, were present at Imp cell synapses of the mouse amygdala. These results define, for the first time, some of the functional GABA-A receptor subunits expressed at synapses of Imp cells. The data also provide an additional rationale to prompt the search of GABA-A receptor alpha3 selective ligands as improved anxiolytic drugs.

  17. Organotins in Neuronal Damage, Brain Function, and Behavior: A Short Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor Ferraz da Silva


    Full Text Available The consequences of exposure to environmental contaminants have shown significant effects on brain function and behavior in different experimental models. The endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC present various classes of pollutants with potential neurotoxic actions, such as organotins (OTs. OTs have received special attention due to their toxic effects on the central nervous system, leading to abnormal mammalian neuroendocrine axis function. OTs are organometallic pollutants with a tin atom bound to one or more carbon atoms. OT exposure may occur through the food chain and/or contaminated water, since they have multiple applications in industry and agriculture. In addition, OTs have been used with few legal restrictions in the last decades, despite being highly toxic. In addition to their action as EDC, OTs can also cross the blood–brain barrier and show relevant neurotoxic effects, as observed in several animal model studies specifically involving the development of neurodegenerative processes, neuroinflammation, and oxidative stress. Thus, the aim of this short review is to summarize the toxic effects of the most common OT compounds, such as trimethyltin, tributyltin, triethyltin, and triphenyltin, on the brain with a focus on neuronal damage as a result of oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. We also aim to present evidence for the disruption of behavioral functions, neurotransmitters, and neuroendocrine pathways caused by OTs.

  18. On the mechanism of irradiation effect on the function of Helix pomatia neuron Na+, K+-pump

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ajrapetyan, S.N.; Egorova, E.G.; Sagiyan, A.A.; Dadalyan, S.S.; Dvoretskij, A.I.; Sulejmonyan, M.A.


    Mechanism of irradiation effect on passive permeability, Na + /Ca 2+ exchange, Na + , K + -pump function intensity, the number of membrane functionally active pump units (Na + , K + -ATP-ase molecules) was determined using Helix pomatia and nervous ganglions isolated from them and irradiated by 5.16 Kl/kg dose. The data obtained show that ionizing radiation leads to obvious destructions in the mechanisms of neuron Na + , K + -pump functioning

  19. Intermittent fasting promotes prolonged associative interactions during synaptic tagging/capture by altering the metaplastic properties of the CA1 hippocampal neurons. (United States)

    Dasgupta, Ananya; Kim, Joonki; Manakkadan, Anoop; Arumugam, Thiruma V; Sajikumar, Sreedharan


    Metaplasticity is the inherent property of a neuron or neuronal population to undergo activity-dependent changes in neural function that modulate subsequent synaptic plasticity. Here we studied the effect of intermittent fasting (IF) in governing the interactions of associative plasticity mechanisms in the pyramidal neurons of rat hippocampal area CA1. Late long-term potentiation and its associative mechanisms such as synaptic tagging and capture at an interval of 120 min were evaluated in four groups of animals, AL (Ad libitum), IF12 (daily IF for 12 h), IF16 (daily IF for 16 h) and EOD (every other day IF for 24 h). IF had no visible effect on the early or late plasticity but it manifested a critical role in prolonging the associative interactions between weak and strong synapses at an interval of 120 min in IF16 and EOD animals. However, both IF12 and AL did not show associativity at 120 min. Plasticity genes such as Bdnf and Prkcz, which are well known for their expressions in late plasticity and synaptic tagging and capture, were significantly upregulated in IF16 and EOD in comparison to AL. Specific inhibition of brain derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) prevented the prolonged associativity expressed in EOD. Thus, daily IF for 16 h or more can be considered to enhance the metaplastic properties of synapses by improving their associative interactions that might translate into animprovedmemoryformation. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  20. Non-concomitant cortical structural and functional alterations in sensorimotor areas following incomplete spinal cord injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Pan


    Full Text Available Brain plasticity, including anatomical changes and functional reorganization, is the physiological basis of functional recovery after spinal cord injury (SCI. The correlation between brain anatomical changes and functional reorganization after SCI is unclear. This study aimed to explore whether alterations of cortical structure and network function are concomitant in sensorimotor areas after incomplete SCI. Eighteen patients with incomplete SCI (mean age 40.94 ± 14.10 years old; male:female, 7:11 and 18 healthy subjects (37.33 ± 11.79 years old; male:female, 7:11 were studied by resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Gray matter volume (GMV and functional connectivity were used to evaluate cortical structure and network function, respectively. There was no significant alteration of GMV in sensorimotor areas in patients with incomplete SCI compared with healthy subjects. Intra-hemispheric functional connectivity between left primary somatosensory cortex (BA1 and left primary motor cortex (BA4, and left BA1 and left somatosensory association cortex (BA5 was decreased, as well as inter-hemispheric functional connectivity between left BA1 and right BA4, left BA1 and right BA5, and left BA4 and right BA5 in patients with SCI. Functional connectivity between both BA4 areas was also decreased. The decreased functional connectivity between the left BA1 and the right BA4 positively correlated with American Spinal Injury Association sensory score in SCI patients. The results indicate that alterations of cortical anatomical structure and network functional connectivity in sensorimotor areas were non-concomitant in patients with incomplete SCI, indicating the network functional changes in sensorimotor areas may not be dependent on anatomic structure. The strength of functional connectivity within sensorimotor areas could serve as a potential imaging biomarker for assessment and prediction of sensory function in patients with incomplete SCI

  1. Adolescent Cannabis Use: What is the Evidence for Functional Brain Alteration? (United States)

    Lorenzetti, Valentina; Alonso-Lana, Silvia; Youssef, George J; Verdejo-Garcia, Antonio; Suo, Chao; Cousijn, Janna; Takagi, Michael; Yücel, Murat; Solowij, Nadia


    Cannabis use typically commences during adolescence, a period during which the brain undergoes profound remodeling in areas that are high in cannabinoid receptors and that mediate cognitive control and emotion regulation. It is therefore important to determine the impact of adolescent cannabis use on brain function. We investigate the impact of adolescent cannabis use on brain function by reviewing the functional magnetic resonance imaging studies in adolescent samples. We systematically reviewed the literature and identified 13 functional neuroimaging studies in adolescent cannabis users (aged 13 to 18 years) performing working memory, inhibition and reward processing tasks. The majority of the studies found altered brain function, but intact behavioural task performance in adolescent cannabis users versus controls. The most consistently reported differences were in the frontal-parietal network, which mediates cognitive control. Heavier use was associated with abnormal brain function in most samples. A minority of studies controlled for the influence of confounders that can also undermine brain function, such as tobacco and alcohol use, psychopathology symptoms, family history of psychiatric disorders and substance use. Emerging evidence shows abnormal frontal-parietal network activity in adolescent cannabis users, particularly in heavier users. Brain functional alterations may reflect a compensatory neural mechanism that enables normal behavioural performance. It remains unclear if cannabis exposure drives these alterations, as substance use and mental health confounders have not been systematically examined. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at

  2. Interleukin-18 alters protein expressions of neurodegenerative diseases-linked proteins in human SH-SY5Y neuron-like cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elina M Sutinen


    Full Text Available Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress (OS are present in Alzheimer´s disease (AD brains in addition to neuronal loss, Amyloid-β (Aβ plaques and hyperphosphorylated tau-protein neurofibrillary tangles. Previously we showed that levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin-18 (IL-18, are elevated in post-mortem AD brains. IL-18 can modulate the tau kinases, Cdk5 and GSK3β, as well as Aβ-production. IL-18 levels are also increased in AD risk diseases, including type-2 diabetes and obesity. Here, we explored other IL-18 regulated proteins in neuron-like SH-SY5Y cells. Differentiated SH-SY5Y cells, incubated with IL-18 for 24, 48 or 72h, were analyzed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE. Specific altered protein spots were chosen and identified with mass spectrometry and verified by western immunoblotting. IL-18 had time-dependent effects on the SH-SY5Y proteome, modulating numerous protein levels/modifications. We concentrated on those related to OS (DDAH2, peroxiredoxins 2, 3 and 6, DJ-1, BLVRA, Aβ-degradation (MMP14, TIMP2, Aβ-aggregation (Septin-2 and modifications of axon growth and guidance associated, collapsing response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2. IL-18 significantly increased antioxidative enzymes, indicative of OS, and altered levels of glycolytic α- and γ-enolase and multifunctional 14-3-3γ and -ε, commonly affected in neurodegenerative diseases. MMP14, TIMP2, α-enolase and 14-3-3ε, indirectly involved in Aβ metabolism, as well as Septin-2 showed changes that increase Aβ levels. Increased 14-3-3γ may contribute to GSK3β driven tau hyperphosphorylation and CRMP2 Thr514 and Ser522 phosphorylation with the Thr555-site, a target for Rho kinase, showing time-dependent changes. IL-18 also increased caspase-1 levels and vacuolization of the cells. Although our SH-SY5Y cells were not aged, as neurons in AD, our work suggests that heightened or prolonged IL-18 levels can drive protein changes of known

  3. Altered nutrition during hot droughts will impair forest functions in the future (United States)

    Grossiord, C.; Gessler, A.; Reed, S.; Dickman, L. T.; Collins, A.; Schönbeck, L.; Sevanto, S.; Vilagrosa, A.; McDowell, N. G.


    Rising greenhouse gas emissions will increase atmospheric temperature globally and alter hydrological cycles resulting in more extreme and recurrent droughts in the coming century. Nutrition is a key component affecting the vulnerability of forests to extreme climate. Models typically assume that global warming will enhance nitrogen cycling in terrestrial ecosystems and lead to improved plant functions. Drought on the other hand is expected to weaken the same processes, leading to a clear conflict and inability to predict how nutrition and plant functions will be impacted by a simultaneously warming and drying climate. We used a unique setup consisting of long-term manipulation of climate on mature trees to examine how individual vs. combined warming and drought would alter soil N cycling and tree functions. The site consists of the longest record of tree responses to experimental warming and precipitation reduction in natural conditions.Changes in soil nitrogen cycling (e.g. microbial activity, nitrification and ammonification rates, N concentration) occurred in response to the treatments. In addition, temperature rise and precipitation reduction altered the ability of trees to take up nitrogen and modified nitrogen allocation patterns between aboveground and belowground compartments. Although no additive effect of warming and drying were found for the two studied species, contrasting responses to warming and droughts were observed between the two functional types. Overall, our results show that higher temperature and reduced precipitation will alter the nutrition of forest ecosystems in the future with potentially large consequences for forest functions, structure and biodiversity.

  4. The Mirror Neurons Network in Aging, Mild Cognitive Impairment, and Alzheimer Disease: A functional MRI Study. (United States)

    Farina, Elisabetta; Baglio, Francesca; Pomati, Simone; D'Amico, Alessandra; Campini, Isabella C; Di Tella, Sonia; Belloni, Giulia; Pozzo, Thierry


    The aim of the current study is to investigate the integrity of the Mirror Neurons (MN) network in normal aging, Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), and Alzheimer disease (AD). Although AD and MCI are considered "cognitive" diseases, there has been increasing recognition of a link between motor function and AD. More recently the embodied cognition hypothesis has also been developed: it postulates that a part of cognition results from the coupling between action and perception representations. MN represent a neuronal population which links perception, action, and cognition, therefore we decided to characterize MN functioning in neurodegenerative cognitive decline. Three matched groups of 16 subjects (normal elderly-NE, amnesic MCI with hippocampal atrophy and AD) were evaluated with a focused neuropsychological battery and an fMRI task specifically created to test MN: that comprised of an observation run, where subjects were shown movies of a right hand grasping different objects, and of a motor run, where subjects observed visual pictures of objects oriented to be grasped with the right hand. In NE subjects, the conjunction analysis (comparing fMRI activation during observation and execution), showed the activation of a bilateral fronto-parietal network in "classical" MN areas, and of the superior temporal gyrus (STG). The MCI group showed the activation of areas belonging to the same network, however, parietal areas were activated to a lesser extent and the STG was not activated, while the opposite was true for the right Broca's area. We did not observe any activation of the fronto-parietal network in AD participants. They did not perform as well as the NE subjects in all the neuropsychological tests (including tests of functions attributed to MN) whereas the MCI subjects were significantly different from the NE subjects only in episodic memory and semantic fluency. Here we show that the MN network is largely preserved in aging, while it appears involved following an

  5. The Mirror Neurons Network in Aging, Mild Cognitive Impairment, and Alzheimer Disease: A functional MRI Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabetta Farina


    Full Text Available The aim of the current study is to investigate the integrity of the Mirror Neurons (MN network in normal aging, Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI, and Alzheimer disease (AD. Although AD and MCI are considered “cognitive” diseases, there has been increasing recognition of a link between motor function and AD. More recently the embodied cognition hypothesis has also been developed: it postulates that a part of cognition results from the coupling between action and perception representations. MN represent a neuronal population which links perception, action, and cognition, therefore we decided to characterize MN functioning in neurodegenerative cognitive decline. Three matched groups of 16 subjects (normal elderly-NE, amnesic MCI with hippocampal atrophy and AD were evaluated with a focused neuropsychological battery and an fMRI task specifically created to test MN: that comprised of an observation run, where subjects were shown movies of a right hand grasping different objects, and of a motor run, where subjects observed visual pictures of objects oriented to be grasped with the right hand. In NE subjects, the conjunction analysis (comparing fMRI activation during observation and execution, showed the activation of a bilateral fronto-parietal network in “classical” MN areas, and of the superior temporal gyrus (STG. The MCI group showed the activation of areas belonging to the same network, however, parietal areas were activated to a lesser extent and the STG was not activated, while the opposite was true for the right Broca's area. We did not observe any activation of the fronto-parietal network in AD participants. They did not perform as well as the NE subjects in all the neuropsychological tests (including tests of functions attributed to MN whereas the MCI subjects were significantly different from the NE subjects only in episodic memory and semantic fluency. Here we show that the MN network is largely preserved in aging, while it appears

  6. Altered Neuronal Dynamics in the Striatum on the Behavior of Huntingtin Interacting Protein 14 (HIP14 Knockout Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana María Estrada-Sánchez


    Full Text Available Huntington’s disease (HD, a neurodegenerative disorder caused by an expanded CAG repeat in the huntingtin gene, impairs information processing in the striatum, which, as part of the basal ganglia, modulates motor output. Growing evidence suggests that huntingtin interacting protein 14 (HIP14 contributes to HD neuropathology. Here, we recorded local field potentials (LFPs in the striatum as HIP14 knockout mice and wild-type controls freely navigated a plus-shaped maze. Upon entering the choice point of the maze, HIP14 knockouts tend to continue in a straight line, turning left or right significantly less often than wild-types, a sign of motor inflexibility that also occurs in HD mice. Striatal LFP activity anticipates this difference. In wild-types, the power spectral density pattern associated with entry into the choice point differs significantly from the pattern immediately before entry, especially at low frequencies (≤13 Hz, whereas HIP14 knockouts show no change in LFP activity as they enter the choice point. The lack of change in striatal activity may explain the turning deficit in the plus maze. Our results suggest that HIP14 plays a critical role in the aberrant behavioral modulation of striatal neuronal activity underlying motor inflexibility, including the motor signs of HD.

  7. Human neural stem cell-derived cultures in three-dimensional substrates form spontaneously functional neuronal networks. (United States)

    Smith, Imogen; Silveirinha, Vasco; Stein, Jason L; de la Torre-Ubieta, Luis; Farrimond, Jonathan A; Williamson, Elizabeth M; Whalley, Benjamin J


    Differentiated human neural stem cells were cultured in an inert three-dimensional (3D) scaffold and, unlike two-dimensional (2D) but otherwise comparable monolayer cultures, formed spontaneously active, functional neuronal networks that responded reproducibly and predictably to conventional pharmacological treatments to reveal functional, glutamatergic synapses. Immunocytochemical and electron microscopy analysis revealed a neuronal and glial population, where markers of neuronal maturity were observed in the former. Oligonucleotide microarray analysis revealed substantial differences in gene expression conferred by culturing in a 3D vs a 2D environment. Notable and numerous differences were seen in genes coding for neuronal function, the extracellular matrix and cytoskeleton. In addition to producing functional networks, differentiated human neural stem cells grown in inert scaffolds offer several significant advantages over conventional 2D monolayers. These advantages include cost savings and improved physiological relevance, which make them better suited for use in the pharmacological and toxicological assays required for development of stem cell-based treatments and the reduction of animal use in medical research. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  8. 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


    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...

  9. Unravelling the differential functions and regulation of striatal neuron sub-populations in motor control, reward and motivational processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabrina eEna


    Full Text Available The striatum, the major input structure of the basal ganglia, is critically involved in motor control and learning of habits and skills, and is also involved in motivational and reward processes. The dorsal striatum, caudate-putamen, is primarily implicated in motor functions whereas the ventral striatum, the nucleus accumbens, is essential for motivation and drug reinforcement. Severe basal ganglia dysfunction occurs in movement disorders as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, and in psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and drug addiction. The striatum is essentially composed of GABAergic medium-sized spiny neurons (MSNs that are output neurons giving rise to the so-called direct and indirect pathways and are targets of the cerebral cortex and mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons. Although the involvement of striatal sub-areas in motor control and motivation has been thoroughly characterized, major issues remained concerning the specific and respective functions of the two MSNs sub-populations, D2R-striatopallidal (dopamine D2 receptor-positive and D1R-striatonigral (dopamine D1 receptor-positive neurons, as well as their specific regulation. Here, we review recent advances that gave new insight in the understanding of the differential roles of striatopallidal and striatonigral neurons in the basal ganglia circuit. We discuss innovative techniques developed in the last decade which allowed a much precise evaluation of molecular pathways implicated in motivational processes and functional roles of striatopallidal and striatonigral neurons in motor control and in the establishment of reward-associated behaviour.

  10. Functional and structural neural alterations in Internet gaming disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis. (United States)

    Yao, Yuan-Wei; Liu, Lu; Ma, Shan-Shan; Shi, Xin-Hui; Zhou, Nan; Zhang, Jin-Tao; Potenza, Marc N


    This meta-analytic study aimed to identify the common and specific neural alterations in Internet gaming disorder (IGD) across different domains and modalities. Two separate meta-analyses for functional neural activation and gray-matter volume were conducted. Sub-meta-analyses for the domains of reward, cold-executive, and hot-executive functions were also performed, respectively. IGD subjects, compared with healthy controls, showed: (1) hyperactivation in the anterior and posterior cingulate cortices, caudate, posterior inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), which were mainly associated with studies measuring reward and cold-executive functions; and, (2) hypoactivation in the anterior IFG in relation to hot-executive function, the posterior insula, somatomotor and somatosensory cortices in relation to reward function. Furthermore, IGD subjects showed reduced gray-matter volume in the anterior cingulate, orbitofrontal, dorsolateral prefrontal, and premotor cortices. These findings suggest that IGD is associated with both functional and structural neural alterations in fronto-striatal and fronto-cingulate regions. Moreover, multi-domain assessments capture different aspects of neural alterations in IGD, which may be helpful for developing effective interventions targeting specific functions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Respiratory function after selective respiratory motor neuron death from intrapleural CTB-saporin injections. (United States)

    Nichols, Nicole L; Vinit, Stéphane; Bauernschmidt, Lorene; Mitchell, Gordon S


    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) causes progressive motor neuron degeneration, paralysis and death by ventilatory failure. In rodent ALS models: 1) breathing capacity is preserved until late in disease progression despite major respiratory motor neuron death, suggesting unknown forms of compensatory respiratory plasticity; and 2) spinal microglia become activated in association with motor neuron cell death. Here, we report a novel experimental model to study the impact of respiratory motor neuron death on compensatory responses without many complications attendant to spontaneous motor neuron disease. In specific, we used intrapleural injections of cholera toxin B fragment conjugated to saporin (CTB-SAP) to selectively kill motor neurons with access to the pleural space. Motor neuron survival, CD11b labeling (microglia), ventilatory capacity and phrenic motor output were assessed in rats 3-28days after intrapleural injections of: 1) CTB-SAP (25 and 50μg), or 2) unconjugated CTB and SAP (i.e. control; (CTB+SAP). CTB-SAP elicited dose-dependent phrenic and intercostal motor neuron death; 7days post-25μg CTB-SAP, motor neuron survival approximated that in end-stage ALS rats (phrenic: 36±7%; intercostal: 56±10% of controls; n=9; pmotor nucleus, indicating microglial activation; 2) decreased breathing during maximal chemoreceptor stimulation; and 3) diminished phrenic motor output in anesthetized rats (7days post-25μg, 0.3±0.07V; CTB+SAP: 1.5±0.3; n=9; pmotor neuron death and provides an opportunity to study compensation for respiratory motor neuron loss. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Neuronal AChE splice variants and their non-hydrolytic functions: redefining a target of AChE inhibitors?


    Zimmermann, M


    AChE enzymatic inhibition is a core focus of pharmacological intervention in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Yet, AChE has also been ascribed non-hydrolytic functions, which seem related to its appearance in various isoforms. Neuronal AChE presents as a tailed form (AChE-T) predominantly found on the neuronal synapse, and a facultatively expressed readthough form (AChE-R), which exerts short to medium-term protective effects. Notably, this latter form is also found in the periphery. While these non...

  13. Perfluorooctane sulfonate induces neuronal and oligodendrocytic differentiation in neural stem cells and alters the expression of PPARγ in vitro and in vivo

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wan Ibrahim, Wan Norhamidah, E-mail: [Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, S-17177 Stockholm (Sweden); Tofighi, Roshan, E-mail: [Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, S-17177 Stockholm (Sweden); Onishchenko, Natalia, E-mail: [Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, S-17177 Stockholm (Sweden); Rebellato, Paola, E-mail: [Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet, S-17177 Stockholm (Sweden); Bose, Raj, E-mail: [Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, S-17177 Stockholm (Sweden); Uhlén, Per, E-mail: [Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet, S-17177 Stockholm (Sweden); Ceccatelli, Sandra, E-mail: [Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, S-17177 Stockholm (Sweden)


    Perfluorinated compounds are ubiquitous chemicals of major concern for their potential adverse effects on the human population. We have used primary rat embryonic neural stem cells (NSCs) to study the effects of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) on the process of NSC spontaneous differentiation. Upon removal of basic fibroblast growth factor, NSCs were exposed to nanomolar concentrations of PFOS for 48 h, and then allowed to differentiate for additional 5 days. Exposure to 25 or 50 nM concentration resulted in a lower number of proliferating cells and a higher number of neurite-bearing TuJ1-positive cells, indicating an increase in neuronal differentiation. Exposure to 50 nM also significantly increased the number of CNPase-positive cells, pointing to facilitation of oligodendrocytic differentiation. PPAR genes have been shown to be involved in PFOS toxicity. By q-PCR we detected an upregulation of PPARγ with no changes in PPARα or PPARδ genes. One of the downstream targets of PPARs, the mitochondrial uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) was also upregulated. The number of TuJ1- and CNPase-positive cells increased after exposure to PPARγ agonist rosiglitazone (RGZ, 3 μM) and decreased after pre-incubation with the PPARγ antagonist GW9662 (5 μM). RGZ also upregulated the expression of PPARγ and UCP2 genes. Meanwhile GW9662 abolished the UCP2 upregulation and decreased Ca{sup 2+} activity induced by PFOS. Interestingly, a significantly higher expression of PPARγ and UCP3 genes was also detected in mouse neonatal brain after prenatal exposure to PFOS. These data suggest that PPARγ plays a role in the alteration of spontaneous differentiation of NSCs induced by nanomolar concentrations of PFOS. - Highlights: • PFOS decreases proliferation of neural stem cells (NSCs). • PFOS induces neuronal and oligodendrocytic differentiation in NSCs. • PFOS alters expression of PPARγ and UCP2 in vitro. • PFOS alters expression of PPARγ and UCP3 in vivo. • Block of PPAR

  14. Phenobarbital alters hepatic Mrp2 function by direct and indirect interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Patel, NJ; Zamek-Gliszczynski, MJ; Zhang, PJ; Han, YH; Jansen, PLM; Meier, PJ; Stieger, B; Brouwer, KLR

    Phenobarbital (PB) treatment impairs the biliary excretion of some organic anions. One mechanism may involve direct competition for biliary excretion by PB and/or a PB metabolite. Alternatively, PB may alter the expression and/or function of hepatic organic anion transport proteins. The role of

  15. Phenobarbital alters hepatic Mrp2 function by direct and indirect interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Patel, Nita J.; Zamek-Gliszczynski, Maciej J.; Zhang, Peijin; Han, Yong-Hae; Jansen, Peter L. M.; Meier, Peter J.; Stieger, Bruno; Brouwer, Kim L. R.


    Phenobarbital (PB) treatment impairs the biliary excretion of some organic anions. One mechanism may involve direct competition for biliary excretion by PB and/or a PB metabolite. Alternatively, PB may alter the expression and/or function of hepatic organic anion transport proteins. The role of

  16. Expression and structural-functional alterations of α-1-acid glycoprotein at the pathological state

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kulinich A. O.


    Full Text Available The review analyzes up-to-date knowledge on structure and biological functions of α-acid glycoprotein. The special attention is given to alterations of fucosylation, sialylation and branching of orosomucoid at the acute, chronic inflammation and oncotransformations.

  17. Exploring the human microbiome from multiple perspectives: factors altering its composition and function. (United States)

    Rojo, David; Méndez-García, Celia; Raczkowska, Beata Anna; Bargiela, Rafael; Moya, Andrés; Ferrer, Manuel; Barbas, Coral


    Our microbiota presents peculiarities and characteristics that may be altered by multiple factors. The degree and consequences of these alterations depend on the nature, strength and duration of the perturbations as well as the structure and stability of each microbiota. The aim of this review is to sketch a very broad picture of the factors commonly influencing different body sites, and which have been associated with alterations in the human microbiota in terms of composition and function. To do so, first, a graphical representation of bacterial, fungal and archaeal genera reveals possible associations among genera affected by different factors. Then, the revision of sequence-based predictions provides associations with functions that become part of the active metabolism. Finally, examination of microbial metabolite contents and fluxes reveals whether metabolic alterations are a reflection of the differences observed at the level of population structure, and in the last step, link microorganisms to functions under perturbations that differ in nature and aetiology. The utilisation of complementary technologies and methods, with a special focus on metabolomics research, is thoroughly discussed to obtain a global picture of microbiota composition and microbiome function and to convey the urgent need for the standardisation of protocols. © FEMS 2017.

  18. The extent to which melanoma alters tissue-resident dendritic cell function correlates with tumorigenicity


    Hargadon, Kristian Michael


    ABSTRACT We have shown that melanoma-derived factors alter the function of differentiated tissue-resident dendritic cells (DC) in a tumorigenicity-dependent manner. Soluble factors, including TGF?1 and VEGF-A, contributed to dendritic cell dysfunction associated with a highly-aggressive melanoma and conferred a phenotype upon DC likely to favor immune escape and tumor outgrowth.

  19. The extent to which melanoma alters tissue-resident dendritic cell function correlates with tumorigenicity. (United States)

    Hargadon, Kristian Michael

    We have shown that melanoma-derived factors alter the function of differentiated tissue-resident dendritic cells (DC) in a tumorigenicity-dependent manner. Soluble factors, including TGFβ1 and VEGF-A, contributed to dendritic cell dysfunction associated with a highly-aggressive melanoma and conferred a phenotype upon DC likely to favor immune escape and tumor outgrowth.

  20. Planar polarity pathway and Nance-Horan syndrome-like 1b have essential cell-autonomous functions in neuronal migration. (United States)

    Walsh, Gregory S; Grant, Paul K; Morgan, John A; Moens, Cecilia B


    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.

  1. Neural proliferation and restoration of neurochemical phenotypes and compromised functions following capsaicin-induced neuronal damage in the nodose ganglion of the adult rat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zachary Rex Gallaher


    Full Text Available We previously reported that neuronal numbers within adult nodose ganglia (NG were restored to normal levels 60 days following the capsaicin-induced destruction of nearly half of the neuronal population. However, the nature of this neuronal replacement is not known. Therefore, we aimed to characterize neural proliferation, neurochemical phenotypes, and functional recovery within adult rat NG neurons following capsaicin-induced damage. Sprague-Dawley rats received intraperitoneal injections of capsaicin or vehicle solution, followed by BrdU injections to reveal cellular proliferation. NG were collected at multiple times post-treatment (up to 300 days and processed for immunofluorescence, real-time RT-PCR, and dispersed cell cultures. Capsaicin-induced cellular proliferation, indicated by BrdU/Ki-67-labeled cells, suggests that lost neurons were replaced through cell division. NG cells expressed the stem cell marker, nestin, indicating that these ganglia have the capacity to generate new neurons. BrdU incorporation within beta-III tubulin-positive neuronal profiles following capsaicin suggests that proliferating cells matured to become neurons. NG neurons displayed decreased NMDAR expression up to 180 days post-capsaicin. However, both NMDAR expression within the NG and synaptophysin expression within the central target of NG neurons, the NTS, were restored to pre-injury levels by 300 days. NG cultures from capsaicin-treated rats contained bipolar neurons, normally found only during development. To test the functional recovery of NG neurons, we injected the satiety molecule, CCK. The effect of CCK on food intake was restored by 300 days post-capsaicin. This restoration may be due to the regeneration of damaged NG neurons or generation of functional neurons that replaced lost connections.

  2. En masse in vitro functional profiling of the axonal mechanosensitivity of sensory neurons. (United States)

    Usoskin, Dmitry; Zilberter, Misha; Linnarsson, Sten; Hjerling-Leffler, Jens; Uhlén, Per; Harkany, Tibor; Ernfors, Patrik


    Perception of the environment relies on somatosensory neurons. Mechanosensory, proprioceptor and many nociceptor subtypes of these neurons have specific mechanosensitivity profiles to adequately differentiate stimulus patterns. Nevertheless, the cellular basis of differential mechanosensation remains largely elusive. Successful transduction of sensory information relies on the recruitment of sensory neurons and mechanosensation occurring at their peripheral axonal endings in vivo. Conspicuously, existing in vitro models aimed to decipher molecular mechanisms of mechanosensation test single sensory neuron somata at any one time. Here, we introduce a compartmental in vitro chamber design to deliver precisely controlled mechanical stimulation of sensory axons with synchronous real-time imaging of Ca(2+) transients in neuronal somata that reliably reflect action potential firing patterns. We report of three previously not characterized types of mechanosensitive neuron subpopulations with distinct intrinsic axonal properties tuned specifically to static indentation or vibration stimuli, showing that different classes of sensory neurons are tuned to specific types of mechanical stimuli. Primary receptor currents of vibration neurons display rapidly adapting conductance reliably detected for every single stimulus during vibration and are consistently converted into action potentials. This result allows for the characterization of two critical steps of mechanosensation in vivo: primary signal detection and signal conversion into specific action potential firing patterns in axons.

  3. Function and coding in the blowfly H1 neuron during naturalistic optic flow

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hateren, J.H. van; Kern, R.; Schwerdtfeger, G.; Egelhaaf, M.


    Naturalistic stimuli, reconstructed from measured eye movements of flying blowflies, were replayed on a panoramic stimulus device. The directional movement-sensitive H1 neuron was recorded from blowflies watching these stimuli. The response of the H1 neuron is dominated by the response to fast

  4. Diet-Induced Weight Loss Alters Functional Brain Responses during an Episodic Memory Task


    Boraxbekk, Carl-Johan; Stomby, Andreas; Ryberg, Mats; Lindahl, Bernt; Larsson, Christel; Nyberg, Lars; Olsson, Tommy


    Objective: It has been suggested that overweight is negatively associated with cognitive functions. The aim of this study was to investigate whether a reduction in body weight by dietary interventions could improve episodic memory performance and alter associated functional brain responses in overweight and obese women. Methods: 20 overweight postmenopausal women were randomized to either a modified paleolithic diet or a standard diet adhering to the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations for 6 mon...

  5. Trimethyloxonium modification of batrachotoxin-activated Na channels alters functionally important protein residues.


    Cherbavaz, D B


    The extracellular side of single batrachotoxin-activated voltage-dependent Na channels isolated from rat skeletal muscle membranes incorporated into neutral planar lipid bilayers were treated in situ with the carboxyl methylating reagent, trimethyloxonium (TMO). These experiments were designed to determine whether TMO alters Na channel function by a general through-space electrostatic mechanism or by methylating specific carboxyl groups essential to channel function. TMO modification reduced ...

  6. Bilingualism alters brain functional connectivity between "control" regions and "language" regions: Evidence from bimodal bilinguals. (United States)

    Li, Le; Abutalebi, Jubin; Zou, Lijuan; Yan, Xin; Liu, Lanfang; Feng, Xiaoxia; Wang, Ruiming; Guo, Taomei; Ding, Guosheng


    Previous neuroimaging studies have revealed that bilingualism induces both structural and functional neuroplasticity in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and the left caudate nucleus (LCN), both of which are associated with cognitive control. Since these "control" regions should work together with other language regions during language processing, we hypothesized that bilingualism may also alter the functional interaction between the dACC/LCN and language regions. Here we tested this hypothesis by exploring the functional connectivity (FC) in bimodal bilinguals and monolinguals using functional MRI when they either performed a picture naming task with spoken language or were in resting state. We found that for bimodal bilinguals who use spoken and sign languages, the FC of the dACC with regions involved in spoken language (e.g. the left superior temporal gyrus) was stronger in performing the task, but weaker in the resting state as compared to monolinguals. For the LCN, its intrinsic FC with sign language regions including the left inferior temporo-occipital part and right inferior and superior parietal lobules was increased in the bilinguals. These results demonstrate that bilingual experience may alter the brain functional interaction between "control" regions and "language" regions. For different control regions, the FC alters in different ways. The findings also deepen our understanding of the functional roles of the dACC and LCN in language processing. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Blueberries and neuronal aging. (United States)

    Shukitt-Hale, Barbara


    As the population of people in the United States over the age of 65 years continues to increase, so too will the incidence of age-related pathologies, including decreases in cognitive and motor function. In cases of severe deficits in memory or motor function, hospitalization and/or custodial care would be a likely outcome. This means that unless some way is found to reduce these age-related decrements in neuronal function, health care costs will continue to rise exponentially. Evidence is accumulating that consumption of blueberries may be one strategy to forestall or even reverse age-related neuronal deficits, as well as their subsequent behavioral manifestations, in order to increase healthy aging. Research suggests that the polyphenolic compounds found in blueberries exert their beneficial effects either through their ability to lower oxidative stress and inflammation or directly by altering the signaling involved in neuronal communication. These interventions, in turn, may protect against age-related deficits in cognitive and motor function. Appropriately, the US Department of Agriculture has figured prominently in these discoveries, through the efforts of two USDA researchers who worked for the department 100 years apart. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  8. GLT-1-Dependent Disruption of CNS Glutamate Homeostasis and Neuronal Function by the Protozoan Parasite Toxoplasma gondii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clément N David


    Full Text Available The immune privileged nature of the CNS can make it vulnerable to chronic and latent infections. Little is known about the effects of lifelong brain infections, and thus inflammation, on the neurological health of the host. Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite that can infect any mammalian nucleated cell with average worldwide seroprevalence rates of 30%. Infection by Toxoplasma is characterized by the lifelong presence of parasitic cysts within neurons in the brain, requiring a competent immune system to prevent parasite reactivation and encephalitis. In the immunocompetent individual, Toxoplasma infection is largely asymptomatic, however many recent studies suggest a strong correlation with certain neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders. Here, we demonstrate a significant reduction in the primary astrocytic glutamate transporter, GLT-1, following infection with Toxoplasma. Using microdialysis of the murine frontal cortex over the course of infection, a significant increase in extracellular concentrations of glutamate is observed. Consistent with glutamate dysregulation, analysis of neurons reveal changes in morphology including a reduction in dendritic spines, VGlut1 and NeuN immunoreactivity. Furthermore, behavioral testing and EEG recordings point to significant changes in neuronal output. Finally, these changes in neuronal connectivity are dependent on infection-induced downregulation of GLT-1 as treatment with the ß-lactam antibiotic ceftriaxone, rescues extracellular glutamate concentrations, neuronal pathology and function. Altogether, these data demonstrate that following an infection with T. gondii, the delicate regulation of glutamate by astrocytes is disrupted and accounts for a range of deficits observed in chronic infection.

  9. Cryopreservation Maintains Functionality of Human iPSC Dopamine Neurons and Rescues Parkinsonian Phenotypes In Vivo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dustin R. Wakeman


    Full Text Available A major challenge for clinical application of pluripotent stem cell therapy for Parkinson's disease (PD is large-scale manufacturing and cryopreservation of neurons that can be efficiently prepared with minimal manipulation. To address this obstacle, midbrain dopamine neurons were derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC-mDA and cryopreserved in large production lots for biochemical and transplantation studies. Cryopreserved, post-mitotic iPSC-mDA neurons retained high viability with gene, protein, and electrophysiological signatures consistent with midbrain floor-plate lineage. To test therapeutic efficacy, cryopreserved iPSC-mDA neurons were transplanted without subculturing into the 6-OHDA-lesioned rat and MPTP-lesioned non-human-primate models of PD. Grafted neurons retained midbrain lineage with extensive fiber innervation in both rodents and monkeys. Behavioral assessment in 6-OHDA-lesioned rats demonstrated significant reversal in functional deficits up to 6 months post transplantation with reinnervation of the host striatum and no aberrant growth, supporting the translational development of pluripotent cell-based therapies in PD.

  10. Conditional ablation of orexin/hypocretin neurons: a new mouse model for the study of narcolepsy and orexin system function. (United States)

    Tabuchi, Sawako; Tsunematsu, Tomomi; Black, Sarah W; Tominaga, Makoto; Maruyama, Megumi; Takagi, Kazuyo; Minokoshi, Yasuhiko; Sakurai, Takeshi; Kilduff, Thomas S; Yamanaka, Akihiro


    The sleep disorder narcolepsy results from loss of hypothalamic orexin/hypocretin neurons. Although narcolepsy onset is usually postpubertal, current mouse models involve loss of either orexin peptides or orexin neurons from birth. To create a model of orexin/hypocretin deficiency with closer fidelity to human narcolepsy, diphtheria toxin A (DTA) was expressed in orexin neurons under control of the Tet-off system. Upon doxycycline removal from the diet of postpubertal orexin-tTA;TetO DTA mice, orexin neurodegeneration was rapid, with 80% cell loss within 7 d, and resulted in disrupted sleep architecture. Cataplexy, the pathognomic symptom of narcolepsy, occurred by 14 d when ∼5% of the orexin neurons remained. Cataplexy frequency increased for at least 11 weeks after doxycycline. Temporary doxycycline removal followed by reintroduction after several days enabled partial lesion of orexin neurons. DTA-induced orexin neurodegeneration caused a body weight increase without a change in food consumption, mimicking metabolic aspects of human narcolepsy. Because the orexin/hypocretin system has been implicated in the control of metabolism and addiction as well as sleep/wake regulation, orexin-tTA; TetO DTA mice are a novel model in which to study these functions, for pharmacological studies of cataplexy, and to study network reorganization as orexin input is lost.

  11. Functional Rescue of Dopaminergic Neuron Loss in Parkinson's Disease Mice After Transplantation of Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells. (United States)

    Altarche-Xifro, Wassim; di Vicino, Umberto; Muñoz-Martin, Maria Isabel; Bortolozzi, Analía; Bové, Jordi; Vila, Miquel; Cosma, Maria Pia


    Parkinson's disease is a common neurodegenerative disorder, which is due to the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) and for which no definitive cure is currently available. Cellular functions in mouse and human tissues can be restored after fusion of bone marrow (BM)-derived cells with a variety of somatic cells. Here, after transplantation of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) in the SNpc of two different mouse models of Parkinson's disease, we significantly ameliorated the dopaminergic neuron loss and function. We show fusion of transplanted HSPCs with neurons and with glial cells in the ventral midbrain of Parkinson's disease mice. Interestingly, the hybrids can undergo reprogramming in vivo and survived up to 4weeks after transplantation, while acquiring features of mature astroglia. These newly generated astroglia produced Wnt1 and were essential for functional rescue of the dopaminergic neurons. Our data suggest that glial-derived hybrids produced upon fusion of transplanted HSPCs in the SNpc can rescue the Parkinson's disease phenotype via a niche-mediated effect, and can be exploited as an efficient cell-therapy approach. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. DNM1L Variant Alters Baseline Mitochondrial Function and Response to Stress in a Patient with Severe Neurological Dysfunction. (United States)

    Hogarth, Kaley A; Costford, Sheila R; Yoon, Grace; Sondheimer, Neal; Maynes, Jason T


    Mitochondria play vital roles in brain development and neuronal activity, and mitochondrial dynamics (fission and fusion) maintain organelle function through the removal of damaged components. Dynamin-like protein-1 (DRP-1), encoded by DNM1L, is an evolutionarily conserved GTPase that mediates mitochondrial fission by surrounding the scission site in concentric ring-like structures via self-oligomerization, followed by GTPase-dependant constriction. Here, we describe the clinical characteristics and cellular phenotype of a patient with severe neurological dysfunction, possessing a homozygous DNM1L variant c.305C>T (p.T115M) in the GTPase domain. For comparative analysis, we also describe a previously identified heterozygous variant demonstrating a rapidly fatal neurocognitive phenotype (c.261dup/c.385:386del, p.W88M*9/E129K*6). Using patient-generated fibroblasts, we demonstrated both DNM1L variants undergo adverse alterations to mitochondrial structure and function, including impaired mitochondrial fission, reduced membrane potential, and lower oxidative capacity including an increased cellular level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and dsDNA breaks. Mutation of DNM1L was also associated with impaired responses to oxidative stress, as treatment with hydrogen peroxide dramatically increased cellular ROS, with minimal exacerbation of already impaired mitochondrial function. Taken together, our observations indicate that homozygous p.T115M variant of DNM1L produces a neurological and neurodevelopmental phenotype, consistent with impaired mitochondrial architecture and function, through a diminished ability to oligomerize, which was most prevalent under oxidative stress.

  13. A Dual Functional Scaffold Tethered with EGFR Antibody Promotes Neural Stem Cell Retention and Neuronal Differentiation for Spinal Cord Injury Repair. (United States)

    Xu, Bai; Zhao, Yannan; Xiao, Zhifeng; Wang, Bin; Liang, Hui; Li, Xing; Fang, Yongxiang; Han, Sufang; Li, Xiaoran; Fan, Caixia; Dai, Jianwu


    Neural stem cells (NSCs) transplantation is a promising strategy to restore neuronal relays and neurological function of injured spinal cord because of the differentiation potential into functional neurons, but the transplanted NSCs often largely diffuse from the transplanted site and mainly differentiate into glial cells rather than neurons due to the adverse microenviornment after spinal cord injury (SCI). This paper fabricates a dual functional collagen scaffold tethered with a collagen-binding epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) antibody to simultaneously promote NSCs retention and neuronal differentiation by specifically binding to EGFR molecule expressed on NSCs and attenuating EGFR signaling, which is responsible for the inhibition of differentiation of NSCs toward neurons. Compared to unmodified control scaffold, the dual functional scaffold promotes the adhesion and neuronal differentiation of NSCs in vitro. Moreover, the implantation of the dual functional scaffold with exogenous NSCs in rat SCI model can capture and retain NSCs at the injury sites, and promote the neuronal differentiation of the retained NSCs into functional neurons, and finally dedicate to improving motor function of SCI rats, which provides a potential strategy for synchronously promoting stem cell retention and differentiation with biomaterials for SCI repair. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  14. Near-future carbon dioxide levels alter fish behaviour by interfering with neurotransmitter function (United States)

    Nilsson, Göran E.; Dixson, Danielle L.; Domenici, Paolo; McCormick, Mark I.; Sørensen, Christina; Watson, Sue-Ann; Munday, Philip L.


    Predicted future CO2 levels have been found to alter sensory responses and behaviour of marine fishes. Changes include increased boldness and activity, loss of behavioural lateralization, altered auditory preferences and impaired olfactory function. Impaired olfactory function makes larval fish attracted to odours they normally avoid, including ones from predators and unfavourable habitats. These behavioural alterations have significant effects on mortality that may have far-reaching implications for population replenishment, community structure and ecosystem function. However, the underlying mechanism linking high CO2 to these diverse responses has been unknown. Here we show that abnormal olfactory preferences and loss of behavioural lateralization exhibited by two species of larval coral reef fish exposed to high CO2 can be rapidly and effectively reversed by treatment with an antagonist of the GABA-A receptor. GABA-A is a major neurotransmitter receptor in the vertebrate brain. Thus, our results indicate that high CO2 interferes with neurotransmitter function, a hitherto unrecognized threat to marine populations and ecosystems. Given the ubiquity and conserved function of GABA-A receptors, we predict that rising CO2 levels could cause sensory and behavioural impairment in a wide range of marine species, especially those that tightly control their acid-base balance through regulatory changes in HCO3- and Cl- levels.

  15. Functional alterations of astrocytes in mental disorders: pharmacological significance as a drug target

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yutaka eKoyama