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Sample records for aplysia

  1. Developmental transcriptome of Aplysia californica'

    KAUST Repository

    Heyland, Andreas

    2010-12-06

    Genome-wide transcriptional changes in development provide important insight into mechanisms underlying growth, differentiation, and patterning. However, such large-scale developmental studies have been limited to a few representatives of Ecdysozoans and Chordates. Here, we characterize transcriptomes of embryonic, larval, and metamorphic development in the marine mollusc Aplysia californica and reveal novel molecular components associated with life history transitions. Specifically, we identify more than 20 signal peptides, putative hormones, and transcription factors in association with early development and metamorphic stages-many of which seem to be evolutionarily conserved elements of signal transduction pathways. We also characterize genes related to biomineralization-a critical process of molluscan development. In summary, our experiment provides the first large-scale survey of gene expression in mollusc development, and complements previous studies on the regulatory mechanisms underlying body plan patterning and the formation of larval and juvenile structures. This study serves as a resource for further functional annotation of transcripts and genes in Aplysia, specifically and molluscs in general. A comparison of the Aplysia developmental transcriptome with similar studies in the zebra fish Danio rerio, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, and other studies on molluscs suggests an overall highly divergent pattern of gene regulatory mechanisms that are likely a consequence of the different developmental modes of these organisms. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc., A Wiley Company.

  2. Localization and functional characterization of a novel adipokinetic hormone in the mollusk, Aplysia californica.

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    Joshua I Johnson

    Full Text Available Increasing evidence suggests that gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH, corazonin, adipokinetic hormone (AKH, and red pigment-concentrating hormone all share common ancestry to form a GnRH superfamily. Despite the wide presence of these peptides in protostomes, their biological effects remain poorly characterized in many taxa. This study had three goals. First, we cloned the full-length sequence of a novel AKH, termed Aplysia-AKH, and examined its distribution in an opisthobranch mollusk, Aplysia californica. Second, we investigated in vivo biological effects of Aplysia-AKH. Lastly, we compared the effects of Aplysia-AKH to a related A. californica peptide, Aplysia-GnRH. Results suggest that Aplysia-AKH mRNA and peptide are localized exclusively in central tissues, with abdominal, cerebral, and pleural ganglia being the primary sites of Aplysia-AKH production. However, Aplysia-AKH-positive fibers were found in all central ganglia, suggesting diverse neuromodulatory roles. Injections of A. californica with Aplysia-AKH significantly inhibited feeding, reduced body mass, increased excretion of feces, and reduced gonadal mass and oocyte diameter. The in vivo effects of Aplysia-AKH differed substantially from Aplysia-GnRH. Overall, the distribution and biological effects of Aplysia-AKH suggest it has diverged functionally from Aplysia-GnRH over the course of evolution. Further, that both Aplysia-AKH and Aplysia-GnRH failed to activate reproduction suggest the critical role of GnRH as a reproductive activator may be a phenomenon unique to vertebrates.

  3. Localization and Functional Characterization of a Novel Adipokinetic Hormone in the Mollusk, Aplysia californica

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    Johnson, Joshua I.; Kavanaugh, Scott I.; Nguyen, Cindy; Tsai, Pei-San

    2014-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), corazonin, adipokinetic hormone (AKH), and red pigment-concentrating hormone all share common ancestry to form a GnRH superfamily. Despite the wide presence of these peptides in protostomes, their biological effects remain poorly characterized in many taxa. This study had three goals. First, we cloned the full-length sequence of a novel AKH, termed Aplysia-AKH, and examined its distribution in an opisthobranch mollusk, Aplysia californica. Second, we investigated in vivo biological effects of Aplysia-AKH. Lastly, we compared the effects of Aplysia-AKH to a related A. californica peptide, Aplysia-GnRH. Results suggest that Aplysia-AKH mRNA and peptide are localized exclusively in central tissues, with abdominal, cerebral, and pleural ganglia being the primary sites of Aplysia-AKH production. However, Aplysia-AKH-positive fibers were found in all central ganglia, suggesting diverse neuromodulatory roles. Injections of A. californica with Aplysia-AKH significantly inhibited feeding, reduced body mass, increased excretion of feces, and reduced gonadal mass and oocyte diameter. The in vivo effects of Aplysia-AKH differed substantially from Aplysia-GnRH. Overall, the distribution and biological effects of Aplysia-AKH suggest it has diverged functionally from Aplysia-GnRH over the course of evolution. Further, that both Aplysia-AKH and Aplysia-GnRH failed to activate reproduction suggest the critical role of GnRH as a reproductive activator may be a phenomenon unique to vertebrates. PMID:25162698

  4. Neurogenesis of cephalic sensory organs of Aplysia californica

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wollesen, Tim; Wanninger, Andreas; Klussmann-Kolb, Annette

    2007-01-01

    The opisthobranch gastropod Aplysia californica serves as a model organism in experimental neurobiology because of its simple and well-known nervous system. However, its nervous periphery has been less intensely studied. We have reconstructed the ontogeny of the cephalic sensory organs (labial te...

  5. Effects of Hypergravity on Statocyst Development in Embryonic Aplysia californica

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    Pedrozo, Hugo A.; Wiederhold, Michael L.

    1994-01-01

    Aplysia californica is a marine gastropod mollusc with bilaterally paired statocysts as gravity-reccptor organs. Data from three experiments in which embryonic Aplysia californica were exposed to 2 x g arc discussed. The experimental groups were exposed to excess gravity until hatching (9-12 day), whereas control groups were maintained at normal gravity. Body diameter was measured before exposure to 2 x g. Statocyst, statolith and body diameter were each determined for samples of 20 embryos from each group on successive days. Exposure to excess gravity led to an increase in body size. Statocyst size was not affected by exposure to 2 x g. Statolith size decreased with treatment as indicated by smaller statolith-to-body ratios observed in the 2 x g group in all three experiments. Mean statolith diameter was significantly smaller for the 2 x g group in Experiment 1 but not in Experiments 2 and 3. Defective statocysts, characterized by very small or no statoliths, were found in the 2 x g group in Experiments 1 and 2.

  6. Phylogeny of the sea hares in the aplysia clade based on mitochondrial DNA sequence data

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    Medina, Monica; Collins, Timothy; Walsh, Patrick J.

    2004-02-20

    Sea hare species within the Aplysia clade are distributed worldwide. Their phylogenetic and biogeographic relationships are, however, still poorly known. New molecular evidence is presented from a portion of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase c subunit 1 gene (cox1) that improves our understanding of the phylogeny of the group. Based on these data a preliminary discussion of the present distribution of sea hares in a biogeographic context is put forward. Our findings are consistent with only some aspects of the current taxonomy and nomenclatural changes are proposed. The first, is the use of a rank free classification for the different Aplysia clades and subclades as opposed to previously used genus and subgenus affiliations. The second, is the suggestion that Aplysia brasiliana (Rang, 1828) is a junior synonym of Aplysia fasciata (Poiret, 1789). The third, is the elimination of Neaplysia since its only member is confirmed to be part of the large Varria clade.

  7. Functional neuroanatomy of the rhinophore of Aplysia punctata

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    Rössler Wolfgang

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background For marine snails, olfaction represents a crucial sensory modality for long-distance reception, as auditory and visual information is limited. The posterior tentacle of Aplysia, the rhinophore, is a chemosensory organ and several behavioural studies showed that the rhinophores can detect pheromones, initiate orientation and locomotion toward food. However the functional neuroanatomy of the rhinophore is not yet clear. Here we apply serotonin-immunohistochemistry and fluorescent markers in combination with confocal microscopy as well as optical recording techniques to elucidate the structure and function of the rhinophore of the sea slug Aplysia punctata. Results With anatomical techniques an overview of the neuroanatomical organization of the rhinophore is presented. Labelling with propidium iodide revealed one layer of cell nuclei in the sensory epithelium and densely packed cell nuclei beneath the groove of the rhinophore, which extends to about two third of the total length of the rhinophore. Serotonin immunoreactivity was found within the olfactory glomeruli underneath the epithelium as well as in the rhinophore ganglion. Retrograde tracing from the rhinophore ganglion with 4-(4-(dihexadecylaminostyryl-N-methylpyridinium iodide (DiA demonstrated the connection of glomeruli with the ganglion. Around 36 glomeruli (mean diameter 49 μm were counted in a single rhinophore. Fluorimetric measurements of intracellular Ca2+ levels using Fura-2 AM loading revealed Ca2+-responses within the rhinophore ganglion to stimulation with amino acids. Bath application of different amino acids revealed differential responses at different positions within the rhinophore ganglion. Conclusion Our neuroanatomical study revealed the number and position of glomeruli in the rhinophore and the rhinophore ganglion as processing stage of sensory information. Serotonin-immunoreactive processes were found extensively within the rhinophore, but was not

  8. Aging in Sensory and Motor Neurons Results in Learning Failure in Aplysia californica.

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    Andrew T Kempsell

    Full Text Available The physiological and molecular mechanisms of age-related memory loss are complicated by the complexity of vertebrate nervous systems. This study takes advantage of a simple neural model to investigate nervous system aging, focusing on changes in learning and memory in the form of behavioral sensitization in vivo and synaptic facilitation in vitro. The effect of aging on the tail withdrawal reflex (TWR was studied in Aplysia californica at maturity and late in the annual lifecycle. We found that short-term sensitization in TWR was absent in aged Aplysia. This implied that the neuronal machinery governing nonassociative learning was compromised during aging. Synaptic plasticity in the form of short-term facilitation between tail sensory and motor neurons decreased during aging whether the sensitizing stimulus was tail shock or the heterosynaptic modulator serotonin (5-HT. Together, these results suggest that the cellular mechanisms governing behavioral sensitization are compromised during aging, thereby nearly eliminating sensitization in aged Aplysia.

  9. Regulation of statoconia mineralization in Aplysia californica in vitro

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    Pedrozo, H. A.; Schwartz, Z.; Dean, D. D.; Wiederhold, M. L.; Boyan, B. D.

    1996-01-01

    Statoconia are calcium carbonate inclusions in the lumen of the gravity-sensing organ, the statocyst, of Aplysia californica. The aim of the present study was to examine the role of carbonic anhydrase and urease in statoconia mineralization in vitro. The experiments were performed using a previously described culture system (Pedrozo et al., J. Comp. Physiol. (A) 177:415-425). Inhibition of carbonic anhydrase by acetazolamide decreased statoconia production and volume, while inhibition of urease by acetohydroxamic acid reduced total statoconia number, but had no affect on statoconia volume. Inhibition of carbonic anhydrase initially increased and then decreased the statocyst pH, whereas inhibition of urease decreased statocyst pH at all times examined; simultaneous addition of both inhibitors also decreased pH. These effects were dose and time dependent. The results show that carbonic anhydrase and urease are required for statoconia formation and homeostasis, and for regulation of statocyst pH. This suggests that these two enzymes regulate mineralization at least partially through regulation of statocyst pH.

  10. Neurogenesis of cephalic sensory organs of Aplysia californica.

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    Wollesen, Tim; Wanninger, Andreas; Klussmann-Kolb, Annette

    2007-11-01

    The opisthobranch gastropod Aplysia californica serves as a model organism in experimental neurobiology because of its simple and well-known nervous system. However, its nervous periphery has been less intensely studied. We have reconstructed the ontogeny of the cephalic sensory organs (labial tentacles, rhinophores, and lip) of planktonic, metamorphic, and juvenile developmental stages. FMRFamide and serotonergic expression patterns have been examined by immunocytochemistry in conjunction with epifluorescence and confocal laser scanning microscopy. We have also applied scanning electron microscopy to analyze the ciliary distribution of these sensory epithelia. Labial tentacles and the lip develop during metamorphosis, whereas rhinophores appear significantly later, in stage 10 juveniles. Our study has revealed immunoreactivity against FMRFamides and serotonin in all major nerves. The common labial nerve develops first, followed by the labial tentacle base nerve, oral nerve, and rhinophoral nerve. We have also identified previously undescribed neuronal pathways and other FMRFamide-like-immunoreactive neuronal elements, such as peripheral ganglia and glomerulus-like structures, and two groups of conspicuous transient FMRFamide-like cell somata. We have further found two distinct populations of FMRFamide-positive cell somata located both subepidermally and in the inner regions of the cephalic sensory organs in juveniles. The latter population partly consists of sensory cells, suggesting an involvement of FMRFamide-like peptides in the modulation of peripheral sensory processes. This study is the first concerning the neurogenesis of cephalic sensory organs in A. californica and may serve as a basis for future studies of neuronal elements in gastropod molluscs.

  11. Feeding Behavior of Aplysia: A Model System for Comparing Cellular Mechanisms of Classical and Operant Conditioning

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    Baxter, Douglas A.; Byrne, John H.

    2006-01-01

    Feeding behavior of Aplysia provides an excellent model system for analyzing and comparing mechanisms underlying appetitive classical conditioning and reward operant conditioning. Behavioral protocols have been developed for both forms of associative learning, both of which increase the occurrence of biting following training. Because the neural…

  12. Role of Proteasome-Dependent Protein Degradation in Long-Term Operant Memory in "Aplysia"

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    Lyons, Lisa C.; Gardner, Jacob S.; Gandour, Catherine E.; Krishnan, Harini C.

    2017-01-01

    We investigated the in vivo role of protein degradation during intermediate (ITM) and long-term memory (LTM) in "Aplysia" using an operant learning paradigm. The proteasome inhibitor MG-132 inhibited the induction and molecular consolidation of LTM with no effect on ITM. Remarkably, maintenance of steady-state protein levels through…

  13. Occurrence of the alien sea hare Aplysia dactylomela Rang, 1828 (Opisthobranchia, Aplysiidae in Malta

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    P.J. SCHEMBRI

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The alien sea hare Aplysia dactylomela, which is already established in several localities in the centraland eastern Mediterranean, is recorded for the first time from Malta on the basis of a specimen photographedat Cirkewwa (northern Malta. It is hypothesised that the occurrence of this species in Malta isa recent event and may be due to range expansion of the species.

  14. Connecting Model Species to Nature: Predator-Induced Long-Term Sensitization in "Aplysia Californica"

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    Mason, Maria J.; Watkins, Amanda J.; Wakabayashi, Jordann; Buechler, Jennifer; Pepino, Christine; Brown, Michelle; Wright, William G.

    2014-01-01

    Previous research on sensitization in "Aplysia" was based entirely on unnatural noxious stimuli, usually electric shock, until our laboratory found that a natural noxious stimulus, a single sublethal lobster attack, causes short-term sensitization. We here extend that finding by demonstrating that multiple lobster attacks induce…

  15. Chemical Diversity and Biological Properties of Secondary Metabolites from Sea Hares of Aplysia Genus

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    Renato B. Pereira

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The marine environment is an important source of structurally-diverse and biologically-active secondary metabolites. During the last two decades, thousands of compounds were discovered in marine organisms, several of them having inspired the development of new classes of therapeutic agents. Marine mollusks constitute a successful phyla in the discovery of new marine natural products (MNPs. Over a 50-year period from 1963, 116 genera of mollusks contributed innumerous compounds, Aplysia being the most studied genus by MNP chemists. This genus includes 36 valid species and should be distinguished from all mollusks as it yielded numerous new natural products. Aplysia sea hares are herbivorous mollusks, which have been proven to be a rich source of secondary metabolites, mostly of dietary origin. The majority of secondary metabolites isolated from sea hares of the genus Aplysia are halogenated terpenes; however, these animals are also a source of compounds from other chemical classes, such as macrolides, sterols and alkaloids, often exhibiting cytotoxic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and/or antifeedant activities. This review focuses on the diverse structural classes of secondary metabolites found in Aplysia spp., including several compounds with pronounced biological properties.

  16. Extending In Vitro Conditioning in "Aplysia" to Analyze Operant and Classical Processes in the Same Preparation

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    Brembs, Bjorn; Baxter, Douglas A.; Byrne, John H.

    2004-01-01

    Operant and classical conditioning are major processes shaping behavioral responses in all animals. Although the understanding of the mechanisms of classical conditioning has expanded significantly, the understanding of the mechanisms of operant conditioning is more limited. Recent developments in "Aplysia" are helping to narrow the gap in the…

  17. Nicotine inhibits potassium currents in Aplysia bag cell neurons.

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    White, Sean H; Sturgeon, Raymond M; Magoski, Neil S

    2016-06-01

    Acetylcholine and the archetypal cholinergic agonist, nicotine, are typically associated with the opening of ionotropic receptors. In the bag cell neurons, which govern the reproductive behavior of the marine snail, Aplysia californica, there are two cholinergic responses: a relatively large acetylcholine-induced current and a relatively small nicotine-induced current. Both currents are readily apparent at resting membrane potential and result from the opening of distinct ionotropic receptors. We now report a separate current response elicited by applying nicotine to cultured bag cell neurons under whole cell voltage-clamp. This current was ostensibly inward, best resolved at depolarized voltages, presented a noncooperative dose-response with a half-maximal concentration near 1.5 mM, and associated with a decrease in membrane conductance. The unique nicotine-evoked response was not altered by intracellular perfusion with the G protein blocker GDPβS or exposure to classical nicotinic antagonists but was occluded by replacing intracellular K(+) with Cs(+) Consistent with an underlying mechanism of direct inhibition of one or more K(+) channels, nicotine was found to rapidly reduce the fast-inactivating A-type K(+) current as well as both components of the delayed-rectifier K(+) current. Finally, nicotine increased bag cell neuron excitability, which manifested as reduction in spike threshold, greater action potential height and width, and markedly more spiking to continuous depolarizing current injection. In contrast to conventional transient activation of nicotinic ionotropic receptors, block of K(+) channels could represent a nonstandard means for nicotine to profoundly alter the electrical properties of neurons over prolonged periods of time.

  18. Neurons controlling Aplysia feeding inhibit themselves by continuous NO production.

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    Nimrod Miller

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Neural activity can be affected by nitric oxide (NO produced by spiking neurons. Can neural activity also be affected by NO produced in neurons in the absence of spiking? METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Applying an NO scavenger to quiescent Aplysia buccal ganglia initiated fictive feeding, indicating that NO production at rest inhibits feeding. The inhibition is in part via effects on neurons B31/B32, neurons initiating food consumption. Applying NO scavengers or nitric oxide synthase (NOS blockers to B31/B32 neurons cultured in isolation caused inactive neurons to depolarize and fire, indicating that B31/B32 produce NO tonically without action potentials, and tonic NO production contributes to the B31/B32 resting potentials. Guanylyl cyclase blockers also caused depolarization and firing, indicating that the cGMP second messenger cascade, presumably activated by the tonic presence of NO, contributes to the B31/B32 resting potential. Blocking NO while voltage-clamping revealed an inward leak current, indicating that NO prevents this current from depolarizing the neuron. Blocking nitrergic transmission had no effect on a number of other cultured, isolated neurons. However, treatment with NO blockers did excite cerebral ganglion neuron C-PR, a command-like neuron initiating food-finding behavior, both in situ, and when the neuron was cultured in isolation, indicating that this neuron also inhibits itself by producing NO at rest. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Self-inhibitory, tonic NO production is a novel mechanism for the modulation of neural activity. Localization of this mechanism to critical neurons in different ganglia controlling different aspects of a behavior provides a mechanism by which a humeral signal affecting background NO production, such as the NO precursor L-arginine, could control multiple aspects of the behavior.

  19. Antioxidant activity of Aplysia depilans ink colleted from Bizerte Channel (NE Tunisia

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    Ensibi Cherif

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The ink secretion of molluscan species was identified as one of the novel sources of bioactive compounds. The present study aims to evaluate the in vitro antioxidant activity of Aplysia depilans ink extract. The antioxidant activity of ink extract were evaluated using 2,2- diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH scavenging activity, Hydroxyl radical scavenging activity, Ferric ion reducing power (FRP and Ferrous ion chelating (FIC activity. The results from the present work revealed the strongest antioxidant activity of Aplysia depilans ink. The electrophoretic profile showed band with molecular weight of 60 kDa. The highest antioxidant activity in ink extract probably may be due to the presence of this protein with lower moleculair weight.

  20. Serotonin receptor antagonists discriminate between PKA- and PKC-mediated plasticity in aplysia sensory neurons.

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    Dumitriu, Bogdan; Cohen, Jonathan E; Wan, Qin; Negroiu, Andreea M; Abrams, Thomas W

    2006-04-01

    Highly selective serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) receptor antagonists developed for mammals are ineffective in Aplysia due to the evolutionary divergence of neurotransmitter receptors and because the higher ionic strength of physiological saline for marine invertebrates reduces antagonist affinity. It has therefore been difficult to identify antagonists that specifically block individual signaling cascades initiated by 5-HT. We studied two broad-spectrum 5-HT receptor antagonists that have been characterized biochemically in Aplysia CNS: methiothepin and spiperone. Methiothepin is highly effective in inhibiting adenylyl cyclase (AC)-coupled 5-HT receptors in Aplysia. Spiperone, which blocks phospholipase C (PLC)-coupled 5-HT receptors in mammals, does not block AC-coupled 5-HT receptors in Aplysia. In electrophysiological studies, we explored whether methiothepin and spiperone can be used in parallel to distinguish between the AC-cAMP and PLC-protein kinase C (PKC) modulatory cascades that are initiated by 5-HT. 5-HT-induced broadening of the sensory neuron action potential in the presence of tetraethylammonium/nifedipine, which is mediated by modulation of the S-K+ currents, was used an assay for the AC-cAMP cascade. Spike broadening initiated by 5 microM 5-HT was unaffected by 100 microM spiperone, whereas it was effectively blocked by 100 microM methiothepin. Facilitation of highly depressed sensory neuron-to-motor neuron synapses by 5-HT was used as an assay for the PLC-PKC cascade. Spiperone completely blocked facilitation of highly depressed synapses by 5 microM 5-HT. In contrast, methiothepin produced a modest, nonsignificant, reduction in the facilitation of depressed synapses. Interestingly, these experiments revealed that the PLC-PKC cascade undergoes desensitization during exposure to 5-HT.

  1. Neurogenesis in Aplysia californica resembles nervous system formation in vertebrates. [Sponges

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    Jacob, M.H.

    1984-05-01

    The pattern of neurogenesis of the central nervous system of Aplysia californica was investigated by (/sup 3/H)thymidine autoradiography. Large numbers of animals at a series of early developmental stages were labeled with (/sup 3/H)thymidine for 24 or 48 hr and were subsequently sampled at specific intervals throughout the life cycle. I found that proliferative zones, consisting of columnar and placodal ectodermal cells, are established in regions of the body wall adjacent to underlying mesodermal cells. Mitosis in the proliferative zones generates a population of cells which leave the surface and migrate inward to join the nearby forming ganglia. Tracing specific (/sup 3/H)thymidine-labeled cells from the body wall to a particular ganglion and within the ganglion over time suggests that the final genomic replication of the neuronal precursors occurs before the cells join the ganglion while glial cell precursors and differentiating glial cells continue to divide within the ganglion for some time. Ultrastructural examination of the morphological features of the few mitosing cells observed within the Aplysia central nervous system supports this interpretation. The pattern of neurogenesis in the Aplysia central nervous system resembles the proliferation of cells in the neural tube and the migration of neural crest and ectodermal placode cells in the vertebrate nervous system but differs from the pattern described for other invertebrates.

  2. Critical Role of the Circadian Clock in Memory Formation: Lessons from Aplysia

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    Lisa Carlson Lyons

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Unraveling the complexities of learning and the formation of memory requires identification of the cellular and molecular processes through which neural plasticity arises as well as recognition of the conditions or factors through which those processes are modulated. With its relatively simple nervous system, the marine mollusk Aplysia californica has proven an outstanding model system for studies of memory formation and identification of the molecular mechanisms underlying learned behaviors, including classical and operant associative learning paradigms and non-associative behaviors. In vivo behavioral studies in Aplysia have significantly furthered our understanding of how the endogenous circadian clock modulates memory formation. Sensitization of the tail-siphon withdrawal reflex represents a defensive non-associative learned behavior for which the circadian clock strongly modulates intermediate and long-term memory formation. Likewise, Aplysia exhibit circadian rhythms in long-term memory, but not short-term memory, for an operant associative learning paradigm. This review focuses on circadian modulation of intermediate and long-term memory and the putative mechanisms through which this modulation occurs. Additionally, potential functions and the adaptive advantages of time of day pressure on memory formation are considered. The influence of the circadian clock on learning and memory crosses distant phylogeny highlighting the evolutionary importance of the circadian clock on metabolic, physiological and behavioral processes. Thus, studies in a simple invertebrate model system have and will continue to provide critical mechanistic insights to complementary processes in higher organisms.

  3. Behavioral aging is associated with reduced sensory neuron excitability in Aplysia californica

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    Andrew T Kempsell

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Invertebrate models have advantages for understanding the basis of behavioral aging due to their simple nervous systems and short lifespans. The potential usefulness of Aplysia californica in aging research is apparent from its long history of neurobiological research, but it has been underexploited in this model use. Aging of simple reflexes at both single sensory neuron and neural circuit levels was studied to connect behavioral aging to neurophysiological aging. The tail withdrawal reflex (TWR, righting reflex, and biting response were measured throughout sexual maturity in three cohorts of hatchery-reared animals of known age. Reflex times increased and reflex amplitudes decreased significantly during aging. Aging in sensory neurons of animals with deficits in measures of the TWR and biting response resulted in significantly reduced excitability in old animals compared to their younger siblings. The threshold for firing increased while the number of action potentials in response to depolarizing current injection decreased during aging in sensory neurons, but not in tail motoneurons. Glutamate receptor-activated responses in sensory neurons also decreased with aging. In old tail motoneurons, the amplitude of evoked EPSPs following tail shock decreased, presumably due to reduced sensory neuron excitability during aging. The results were used to develop stages of aging relevant to both hatchery-reared and wild-caught Aplysia. Aplysia is a viable aging model in which the contributions of differential aging of components of neural circuits may be assessed.

  4. A Novel Cysteine-Rich Neurotrophic Factor in "Aplysia" Facilitates Growth, MAPK Activation, and Long-Term Synaptic Facilitation

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    Pu, Lu; Kopec, Ashley M.; Boyle, Heather D.; Carew, Thomas J.

    2014-01-01

    Neurotrophins are critically involved in developmental processes such as neuronal cell survival, growth, and differentiation, as well as in adult synaptic plasticity contributing to learning and memory. Our previous studies examining neurotrophins and memory formation in "Aplysia" showed that a TrkB ligand is required for MAPK…

  5. Reinforcement in an in Vitro Analog of Appetitive Classical Conditioning of Feeding Behavior in "Aplysia": Blockade by a Dopamine Antagonist

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    Reyes, Fredy D.; Mozzachiodi, Riccardo; Baxter, Douglas A.; Byrne, John H.

    2005-01-01

    In a recently developed in vitro analog of appetitive classical conditioning of feeding in "Aplysia," the unconditioned stimulus (US) was electrical stimulation of the esophageal nerve (En). This nerve is rich in dopamine (DA)-containing processes, which suggests that DA mediates reinforcement during appetitive conditioning. To test this…

  6. Effects of Aversive Stimuli beyond Defensive Neural Circuits: Reduced Excitability in an Identified Neuron Critical for Feeding in "Aplysia"

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    Shields-Johnson, Maria E.; Hernandez, John S.; Torno, Cody; Adams, Katherine M.; Wainwright, Marcy L.; Mozzachiodi, Riccardo

    2013-01-01

    In "Aplysia," repeated trials of aversive stimuli produce long-term sensitization (LTS) of defensive reflexes and suppression of feeding. Whereas the cellular underpinnings of LTS have been characterized, the mechanisms of feeding suppression remained unknown. Here, we report that LTS training induced a long-term decrease in the excitability of…

  7. Nitric Oxide and Histamine Signal Attempts to Swallow: A Component of Learning that Food Is Inedible in "Aplysia"

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    Katzoff, Ayelet; Miller, Nimrod; Susswein, Abraham J.

    2010-01-01

    Memory that food is inedible in "Aplysia" arises from training requiring three contingent events. Nitric oxide (NO) and histamine are released by a neuron responding to one of these events, attempts to swallow food. Since NO release during training is necessary for subsequent memory and NO substitutes for attempts to swallow, it was suggested that…

  8. PKA and PKC Are Required for Long-Term but Not Short-Term in Vivo Operant Memory in "Aplysia"

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    Michel, Maximilian; Green, Charity L.; Lyons, Lisa C.

    2011-01-01

    We investigated the involvement of PKA and PKC signaling in a negatively reinforced operant learning paradigm in "Aplysia", learning that food is inedible (LFI). In vivo injection of PKA or PKC inhibitors blocked long-term LFI memory formation. Moreover, a persistent phase of PKA activity, although not PKC activity, was necessary for long-term…

  9. Chronic sleep deprivation differentially affects short and long-term operant memory in Aplysia.

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    Krishnan, Harini C; Noakes, Eric J; Lyons, Lisa C

    2016-10-01

    The induction, formation and maintenance of memory represent dynamic processes modulated by multiple factors including the circadian clock and sleep. Chronic sleep restriction has become common in modern society due to occupational and social demands. Given the impact of cognitive impairments associated with sleep deprivation, there is a vital need for a simple animal model in which to study the interactions between chronic sleep deprivation and memory. We used the marine mollusk Aplysia californica, with its simple nervous system, nocturnal sleep pattern and well-characterized learning paradigms, to assess the effects of two chronic sleep restriction paradigms on short-term (STM) and long-term (LTM) associative memory. The effects of sleep deprivation on memory were evaluated using the operant learning paradigm, learning that food is inedible, in which the animal associates a specific netted seaweed with failed swallowing attempts. We found that two nights of 6h sleep deprivation occurring during the first or last half of the night inhibited both STM and LTM. Moreover, the impairment in STM persisted for more than 24h. A milder, prolonged sleep deprivation paradigm consisting of 3 consecutive nights of 4h sleep deprivation also blocked STM, but had no effect on LTM. These experiments highlight differences in the sensitivity of STM and LTM to chronic sleep deprivation. Moreover, these results establish Aplysia as a valid model for studying the interactions between chronic sleep deprivation and associative memory paving the way for future studies delineating the mechanisms through which sleep restriction affects memory formation.

  10. Circadian Rhythm of Neuron R15 of Aplysia californica: In Vivo Photoentrainment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Audesirk, G; Strumwasser, F

    1975-06-01

    (1) The neuron R15 in the parietovisceral ganglion of Aplysia has a circadian rhythm of spiking activity when recorded in the isolated ganglion. The rhythm is entrained in vivo by light-dark cycles. (2) The phase of the R15 rhythm is a function not only of the entraining light schedule, but also of the time of dissection. Changes in the dissection time during the light portion of the light-dark cycle yield little change in the subsequent R15 peak time. Dissections during the dark portion produce peak times that vary with dissection time with a slope that is approximately one. (3) The circadian rhythm of R15 can be phase-shifted in vivo by changes in the phase of the entraining light-dark cycle in one to two weeks. R15 neurons of blinded Aplysia, however, show little or no phase shift in this time. (4) It is concluded that the eyes are important as receptors for the photoentrainment of the R15 rhythm in vivo, but that neural connections from the eyes to R15 are not required.

  11. Live-imaging of PKC translocation in Sf9 cells and in aplysia sensory neurons.

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    Farah, Carole A; Sossin, Wayne S

    2011-04-06

    Protein kinase Cs (PKCs) are serine threonine kinases that play a central role in regulating a wide variety of cellular processes such as cell growth and learning and memory. There are four known families of PKC isoforms in vertebrates: classical PKCs (α, βI, βII and γ), novel type I PKCs (ε and η), novel type II PKCs (δ and θ), and atypical PKCs (ζ and ι). The classical PKCs are activated by Ca(2+) and diacylclycerol (DAG), while the novel PKCs are activated by DAG, but are Ca(2+)-independent. The atypical PKCs are activated by neither Ca(2+) nor DAG. In Aplysia californica, our model system to study memory formation, there are three nervous system specific PKC isoforms one from each major class, namely the conventional PKC Apl I, the novel type I PKC Apl II and the atypical PKC Apl III. PKCs are lipid-activated kinases and thus activation of classical and novel PKCs in response to extracellular signals has been frequently correlated with PKC translocation from the cytoplasm to the plasma membrane. Therefore, visualizing PKC translocation in real time in live cells has become an invaluable tool for elucidating the signal transduction pathways that lead to PKC activation. For instance, this technique has allowed for us to establish that different isoforms of PKC translocate under different conditions to mediate distinct types of synaptic plasticity and that serotonin (5HT) activation of PKC Apl II requires production of both DAG and phosphatidic acid (PA) for translocation (1-2). Importantly, the ability to visualize the same neuron repeatedly has allowed us, for example, to measure desensitization of the PKC response in exquisite detail (3). In this video, we demonstrate each step of preparing Sf9 cell cultures, cultures of Aplysia sensory neurons have been described in another video article (4), expressing fluorescently tagged PKCs in Sf9 cells and in Aplysia sensory neurons and live-imaging of PKC translocation in response to different activators using

  12. Stimulation of protein kinase C recruits covert calcium channels in Aplysia bag cell neurons.

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    Strong, J A; Fox, A P; Tsien, R W; Kaczmarek, L K

    The modulation of voltage-activated calcium currents by protein kinases provides excitable cells with a mechanism for regulating their electrical behaviour. At the single channel level, modulation of calcium current has, to date, been characterized only in cardiac muscle, where beta-adrenergic agonists, acting through cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase, enhance the calcium current by increasing channel availability and opening. We now report that enhancement of calcium current in the peptidergic bag cell neurons of Aplysia by protein kinase C occurs through a different mechanism, the recruitment of a previously covert class of calcium channel. Under control conditions, bag cell neurons contain only one class of voltage-activated calcium channel with a conductance of approximately 12 pS. After exposure to agents that activate protein kinase C, these neurons also express a second class of calcium channel with a different unitary conductance (approximately 24 pS) that is never seen in untreated cells.

  13. Associative conditioning analog selectively increases cAMP levels of tail sensory neurons in Aplysia.

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    Ocorr, K A; Walters, E T; Byrne, J H

    1985-04-01

    Bilateral clusters of sensory neurons in the pleural ganglia of Aplysia contain cells involved in a defensive tail withdrawal reflex. These cells exhibit heterosynaptic facilitation in response to noxious skin stimulation that can be mimicked by the application of serotonin. Recently it has been shown that this facilitation can be selectively amplified by the application of a classical conditioning procedure to individual sensory neurons. We now report that an analog of this classical conditioning paradigm produces a selective amplification of the cAMP content of isolated sensory neuron clusters. The enhancement is achieved within a single trial and appears to be localized to the sensory neurons. These results indicate that a pairing-specific enhancement of cAMP levels may be a biochemical mechanism for associative neuronal modifications and perhaps learning.

  14. Habituation in the tail withdrawal reflex circuit is impaired during aging in Aplysia californica

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    Andrew T Kempsell

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The relevance of putative contributors to age-related memory loss are poorly understood. The tail withdrawal circuit of the sea hare, a straightforward neural model, was used to investigate the aging characteristics of rudimentary learning. The simplicity of this neuronal circuit permits attribution of declines in the function of specific neurons to aging declines. Memory was impaired in advanced age animals compared to their performance at the peak of sexual maturity, with habituation training failing to attenuate the tail withdrawal response or to reduce tail motoneuron excitability, as occurred in peak maturity siblings. Baseline motoneuron excitability of aged animals was significantly lower, perhaps contributing to a smaller scope for attenuation. Conduction velocity in afferent fibers to tail sensory neurons decreased during aging. The findings suggest that age-related changes in tail sensory and motor neurons result in deterioration of a simple form of learning in Aplysia.

  15. Localization of Biogenic Amines in the Foregut of Aplysia californica: Catecholaminergic and Serotonergic Innervation

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    Martínez-Rubio, Clarissa; Serrano, Geidy E.; Miller, Mark W.

    2009-01-01

    This study examined the catecholaminergic and serotonergic innervation of the foregut of Aplysia californica, a model system in which the control of feeding behaviors can be investigated at the cellular level. Similar numbers (15-25) of serotonin-like-immunoreactive (5HTli) and tyrosine hydroxylase-like-immunoreactive (THli) fibers were present in each (bilateral) esophageal nerve (En), the major source of pregastric neural innervation in this system. The majority of En 5HTli and THli fibers originated from the anterior branch (En2), which innervates the pharynx and the anterior esophagus. Fewer fibers were present in the posterior branch (En1), which innervates the majority of the esophagus and the crop. Backfills of the two En branches toward the central nervous system (CNS) labeled a single, centrifugally projecting serotonergic fiber, originating from the metacerebral cell (MCC). The MCC fiber projected only to En2. No central THli neurons were found to project to the En. Surveys of the pharynx and esophagus revealed major differences between their patterns of catecholaminergic (CA) and serotonergic innervation. Whereas THli fibers and cell bodies were distributed throughout the foregut, 5HTli fibers were present in restricted plexi, and no 5HTli somata were detected. Double-labeling experiments in the periphery revealed THli neurons projecting toward the buccal ganglion via En2. Other afferents received dense perisomatic serotonergic innervation. Finally, qualitative and quantitative differences were observed between the buccal motor programs (BMPs) produced by stimulation of the two En branches. These observations increase our understanding of aminergic contributions to the pregastric regulation of Aplysia feeding behaviors. PMID:19330814

  16. Transcriptional regulation of long-term memory in the marine snail Aplysia

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    Lee Yong-Seok

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Whereas the induction of short-term memory involves only covalent modifications of constitutively expressed preexisting proteins, the formation of long-term memory requires gene expression, new RNA, and new protein synthesis. On the cellular level, transcriptional regulation is thought to be the starting point for a series of molecular steps necessary for both the initiation and maintenance of long-term synaptic facilitation (LTF. The core molecular features of transcriptional regulation involved in the long-term process are evolutionally conserved in Aplysia, Drosophila, and mouse, and indicate that gene regulation by the cyclic AMP response element binding protein (CREB acting in conjunction with different combinations of transcriptional factors is critical for the expression of many forms of long-term memory. In the marine snail Aplysia, the molecular mechanisms that underlie the storage of long-term memory have been extensively studied in the monosynaptic connections between identified sensory neuron and motor neurons of the gill-withdrawal reflex. One tail shock or one pulse of serotonin (5-HT, a modulatory transmitter released by tail shocks, produces a transient facilitation mediated by the cAMP-dependent protein kinase leading to covalent modifications in the sensory neurons that results in an enhancement of transmitter release and a strengthening of synaptic connections lasting minutes. By contrast, repeated pulses of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT induce a transcription- and translation-dependent long-term facilitation (LTF lasting more than 24 h and trigger the activation of a family of transcription factors in the presynaptic sensory neurons including ApCREB1, ApCREB2 and ApC/EBP. In addition, we have recently identified novel transcription factors that modulate the expression of ApC/EBP and also are critically involved in LTF. In this review, we examine the roles of these transcription factors during consolidation of LTF induced

  17. Reinforcement in an in vitro analog of appetitive classical conditioning of feeding behavior in Aplysia: blockade by a dopamine antagonist.

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    Reyes, Fredy D; Mozzachiodi, Riccardo; Baxter, Douglas A; Byrne, John H

    2005-01-01

    In a recently developed in vitro analog of appetitive classical conditioning of feeding in Aplysia, the unconditioned stimulus (US) was electrical stimulation of the esophageal nerve (En). This nerve is rich in dopamine (DA)-containing processes, which suggests that DA mediates reinforcement during appetitive conditioning. To test this possibility, methylergonovine was used to antagonize DA receptors. Methylergonovine (1 nM) blocked the pairing-specific increase in fictive feeding that is usually induced by in vitro classical conditioning. The present results and previous observation that methylergonovine also blocks the effects of contingent reinforcement in an in vitro analog of appetitive operant conditioning suggest that DA mediates reinforcement for appetitive associative conditioning of feeding in Aplysia.

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

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

    2014-11-01

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

  19. Morphology, innervation, and peripheral sensory cells of the siphon of aplysia californica.

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    Carrigan, Ian D; Croll, Roger P; Wyeth, Russell C

    2015-11-01

    The siphon of Aplysia californica has several functions, including involvement in respiration, excretion, and defensive inking. It also provides sensory input for defensive withdrawals that have been studied extensively to examine mechanisms that underlie learning. To better understand the neuronal bases of these functions, we used immunohistochemistry to catalogue peripheral cell types and innervation of the siphon in stage 12 juveniles (chosen to allow observation of tissues in whole-mounts). We found that the siphon nerve splits into three major branches, leading ultimately to a two-part FMRFamide-immunoreactive plexus and an apparently separate tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive plexus. Putative sensory neurons included four distinct types of tubulin-immunoreactive bipolar cells (one likely also tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactive) that bore ciliated dendrites penetrating the epithelium. A fifth bipolar neuron type (tubulin- and FMRFamide-immunoreactive) occurred deeper in the tissue, associated with part of the FMRFamide-immunoreactive plexus. Our observations emphasize the structural complexity of the peripheral nervous system of the siphon, and the importance of direct tests of the various components to better understand the functioning of the entire organ, including its role in defensive withdrawal responses.

  20. Role of nitric oxide in classical conditioning of siphon withdrawal in Aplysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antonov, Igor; Ha, Thomas; Antonova, Irina; Moroz, Leonid L; Hawkins, Robert D

    2007-10-10

    Nitric oxide (NO) is thought to be involved in several forms of learning in vivo and synaptic plasticity in vitro, but very little is known about the role of NO during physiological forms of plasticity that occur during learning. We addressed that question in a simplified preparation of the Aplysia siphon-withdrawal reflex. We first used in situ hybridization to show that the identified L29 facilitator neurons express NO synthase. Furthermore, exogenous NO produced facilitation of sensory-motor neuron EPSPs, and an inhibitor of NO synthase or an NO scavenger blocked behavioral conditioning. Application of the scavenger to the ganglion or injection into a sensory neuron blocked facilitation of the EPSP and changes in the sensory-neuron membrane properties during conditioning. Injection of the scavenger into the motor neuron reduced facilitation without affecting sensory neuron membrane properties, and injection of an inhibitor of NO synthase had no effect. Postsynaptic injection of an inhibitor of exocytosis had effects similar to injection of the scavenger. However, changes in the shape of the EPSP during conditioning were not consistent with postsynaptic AMPA-like receptor insertion but were mimicked by presynaptic spike broadening. These results suggest that NO makes an important contribution during conditioning and acts directly in both the sensory and motor neurons to affect different processes of facilitation at the synapses between them. In addition, they suggest that NO does not come from either the sensory or motor neurons but rather comes from another source, perhaps the L29 interneurons.

  1. A Single Aplysia Neurotrophin Mediates Synaptic Facilitation via Differentially Processed Isoforms

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    Stefan R. Kassabov

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Neurotrophins control the development and adult plasticity of the vertebrate nervous system. Failure to identify invertebrate neurotrophin orthologs, however, has precluded studies in invertebrate models, limiting our understanding of fundamental aspects of neurotrophin biology and function. We identified a neurotrophin (ApNT and Trk receptor (ApTrk in the mollusk Aplysia and found that they play a central role in learning-related synaptic plasticity. Blocking ApTrk signaling impairs long-term facilitation, whereas augmenting ApNT expression enhances it and induces the growth of new synaptic varicosities at the monosynaptic connection between sensory and motor neurons of the gill-withdrawal reflex. Unlike vertebrate neurotrophins, ApNT has multiple coding exons and exerts distinct synaptic effects through differentially processed and secreted splice isoforms. Our findings demonstrate the existence of bona fide neurotrophin signaling in invertebrates and reveal a posttranscriptional mechanism that regulates neurotrophin processing and the release of proneurotrophins and mature neurotrophins that differentially modulate synaptic plasticity.

  2. Cyclic AMP enhances calcium-dependent potassium current in Aplysia neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewald, D; Eckert, R

    1983-12-01

    The effect on the Ca-dependent potassium current, IK(Ca), of procedures that increase intracellular cAMP levels was studied in Aplysia neurons using three different pharmacological approaches. Exposure to cAMP analogues which were either resistant to or protected from phosphodiesterase hydrolysis caused an increase in IK(Ca) from 30 to 50% in 10 min. The degree of reversibility of this effect varied from complete with db cAMP to very little with pcpt cAMP. Exposure to cholera toxin, which stimulates the synthesis of endogenous cAMP, increased IK(Ca) 25% in 10 min and the effect was not reversible. Both approaches were effective in all seven neuron types studied. Application of serotonin plus phosphodiesterase inhibitor caused an increase in IK(Ca) in neuron R15 but not in the other neuron types. Application of pentylene tetrazole (PTZ) led to a decrease in IK(Ca). It is proposed that elevation of cyclic AMP mediates an increased sensitivity of the IK(Ca) channel to Ca ions.

  3. Pharmacological and kinetic characterization of two functional classes of serotonergic modulation in Aplysia sensory neurons.

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    Stark, L L; Mercer, A R; Emptage, N J; Carew, T J

    1996-02-01

    1. Modulation of mechanoafferent sensory neurons (SNs) by the neutrotransmitter serotonin (5HT) plays a significant role in behavioral sensitization of several withdrawal reflexes in Aplysia. The modulatory effects of 5HT on these SNs include increased excitability, increased input resistance, action potential broadening, and increased synaptic transmission. Based on a previously described dissociation of some of these modulatory effects, revealed with the 5HT-receptor antagonist, cyproheptadine, we investigated whether a similar dissociation could be found by systematically varying the concentration of the endogenous agonist, 5HT. 2. We first applied a range of 5HT concentrations to isolated pleural/pedal ganglia (containing tail SNs and tail motor neurons, respectively), and measured the magnitude of 5HT-induced modulation of spike broadening and increased excitability. The resulting dose-response curve showed that both forms of modulation increase monotonically as a function of 5HT concentration, but that excitability has a lower threshold for modulation by 5HT than does spike duration. 3. We further characterized the modulatory effects of 5HT on Aplysia SNs by comparing the time course of onset of modulation by 5HT and the time course of recovery after washout. Independent of 5HT concentration, modulation of excitability increases rapidly in the presence of 5HT and recovers rapidly (broadening, which resembles the kinetics of increased excitability and increased input resistance. Higher concentrations of 5HT (2.5 and 5 microM) induce a more slowly developing and prolonged-recovery form of spike broadening (> 9 min). At these higher concentrations, the recovery profile for prolonged spike broadening is significantly different from those observed for both increased excitability and increased input resistance. 4. We next compared the relationship between spike broadening and short-term synaptic facilitation. We found that significant facilitation of synaptic

  4. Consequences and mechanisms of spike broadening of R20 cells in Aplysia californica.

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    Ma, M; Koester, J

    1995-10-01

    We studied frequency-dependent spike broadening in the two electrically coupled R20 neurons in the abdominal ganglion of Aplysia. The peptidergic R20 cells excite the R25/L25 interneurons (which trigger respiratory pumping) and inhibit the RB cells. When fired at 1-10 Hz, the duration of the falling phase of the action potential in R20 neurons increases 2-10 fold during a spike train. Spike broadening recorded from the somata of the R20 cells affected synaptic transmission to nearby follower cells. Chemically mediated synaptic output was reduced by approximately 50% when recorded trains of nonbroadened action potentials were used as command signals for a voltage-clamped R20 cell. Electrotonic EPSPs between the R20 cells, which normally facilitated by two- to fourfold during a high frequency spike train, showed no facilitation when spike broadening was prevented under voltage-clamp control. To examine the mechanism of frequency-dependent spike broadening, we applied two-electrode voltage-clamp and pharmacological techniques to the somata of R20 cells. Several voltage-gated ionic currents were isolated, including INa, a multicomponent ICa, and three K+ currents--a high threshold, fast transient A-type K+ current (IAdepol), a delayed rectifier K+ current (IK-V), and a Ca(2+)-sensitive K+ current (IK-Ca), made up of two components. The influences of different currents on spike broadening were determined by using the recorded train of gradually broadening action potentials as the command for the voltage clamp. We found the following. (1) IAdepol is the major outward current that contributes to repolarization of nonbroadened spikes. It undergoes pronounced cumulative inactivation that is a critical determinant of spike broadening. (2) Activity-dependent changes in IK-V, IK-Ca, and ICa have complex effects on the kinetics and extent of broadening. (3) The time integral of ICa during individual action potentials increases approximately threefold during spike broadening.

  5. Imaging and analysis of evoked excitatory-postsynaptic-calcium-transients by individual presynaptic-boutons of cultured Aplysia sensorimotor synapse.

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    Malkinson, Guy; Spira, Micha E

    2010-04-01

    The use of the sensory-motor (SN-MN) synapse of the Aplysia gill withdrawal reflex has contributed immensely to the understanding of synaptic transmission, learning and memory acquisition processes. Whereas the majority of the studies focused on analysis of the presynaptic mechanisms, recent studies indicated that as in mammalian synapses, long term potentiation (LTP) formed by Aplysia SN-MN synapse depends on elevation of the postsynaptic free intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+](i)). Consistently, injection of the fast calcium chelator BAPTA to the MN prevents the formation of serotonin-induced LTP. Nevertheless, currently there are no published reports that directly examine and document whether evoked synaptic transmission is associated with transient increase in the postsynaptic [Ca2+](i). In the present study we imaged, for the first time, alterations in the postsynaptic [Ca2+](i) in response to presynaptic stimulation and analyzed the underlying mechanisms. Using live imaging of the postsynaptic [Ca2+](i) while monitoring the EPSP, we found that evoked transmitter release generates excitatory postsynaptic calcium concentration transients (EPSCaTs) by two mechanisms: (a) activation of DNQX-sensitive postsynaptic receptors-gated calcium influx and (b) calcium influx through nitrendipine-sensitive voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs). Concomitant confocal imaging of presynaptic boutons and EPSCaTs revealed that approximately 86% of the presynaptic boutons are associated with functional synapses.

  6. A cellular model of memory reconsolidation involves reactivation-induced destabilization and restabilization at the sensorimotor synapse in Aplysia.

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    Lee, Sue-Hyun; Kwak, Chuljung; Shim, Jaehoon; Kim, Jung-Eun; Choi, Sun-Lim; Kim, Hyoung F; Jang, Deok-Jin; Lee, Jin-A; Lee, Kyungmin; Lee, Chi-Hoon; Lee, Young-Don; Miniaci, Maria Concetta; Bailey, Craig H; Kandel, Eric R; Kaang, Bong-Kiun

    2012-08-28

    The memory reconsolidation hypothesis suggests that a memory trace becomes labile after retrieval and needs to be reconsolidated before it can be stabilized. However, it is unclear from earlier studies whether the same synapses involved in encoding the memory trace are those that are destabilized and restabilized after the synaptic reactivation that accompanies memory retrieval, or whether new and different synapses are recruited. To address this issue, we studied a simple nonassociative form of memory, long-term sensitization of the gill- and siphon-withdrawal reflex in Aplysia, and its cellular analog, long-term facilitation at the sensory-to-motor neuron synapse. We found that after memory retrieval, behavioral long-term sensitization in Aplysia becomes labile via ubiquitin/proteasome-dependent protein degradation and is reconsolidated by means of de novo protein synthesis. In parallel, we found that on the cellular level, long-term facilitation at the sensory-to-motor neuron synapse that mediates long-term sensitization is also destabilized by protein degradation and is restabilized by protein synthesis after synaptic reactivation, a procedure that parallels memory retrieval or retraining evident on the behavioral level. These results provide direct evidence that the same synapses that store the long-term memory trace encoded by changes in the strength of synaptic connections critical for sensitization are disrupted and reconstructed after signal retrieval.

  7. Asymmetric localization of natural antisense RNA of neuropeptide sensorin in Aplysia sensory neurons during aging and activity

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    Beena eKadakkuzha

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Despite the advances in our understanding of transcriptome, regulation and function of its noncoding components continue to be poorly understood. Here we searched for natural antisense transcript for sensorin (NAT-SRN, a neuropeptide expressed in the presynaptic sensory neurons of gill-withdrawal reflex of the marine snail Aplysia californica. Sensorin (SRN has a key role in learning and long-term memory storage in Aplysia. We have identified NAT-SRN in the central nervous system (CNS and have confirmed its expression by northern blotting and fluorescent RNA in situ hybridization. Quantitative analysis of NAT-SRN in micro dissected cell bodies and processes of sensory neurons suggest that NAT-SRN is present in the distal neuronal processes along with sense transcripts. Importantly, aging is associated with reduced levels of NAT-SRN in sensory neuron processes. Furthermore, we find that forskolin, an activator of CREB signaling, differentially alters the distribution of SRN and NAT-SRN. These studies reveal novel insights into physiological regulation of natural antisense RNAs.

  8. Effects of food and mates on time budget in Aplysia fasciata: integration of feeding, reproduction, and locomotion.

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    Ziv, I; Markovich, S; Lustig, C; Susswein, A J

    1991-01-01

    This study examines the time budgeted to different behaviors in Aplysia fasciata under three conditions: (1) animals have constant access to food and mates: (2) there is access to food, but not to mates; (3) neither food nor mates are present. The data suggest a number of rules underlying behavioral integration: (1) Feeding, reproductive behaviors, and activity seem to be natural categories for behavioral choice. Feeding and reproductive behaviors are controlled in tandem by a common arousal mechanism, while time left over after animals feed and reproduce is distributed in a fixed ratio between locomotion (crawling and swimming) and inactivity (immobility and movement in place). (2) Relative distribution between different forms of locomotion and inactivity is modified by changes in motivational state. More time is spent swimming than crawling when feeding and/or mating is prevented, while more time is spent moving in place than immobile when the arousal level is increased. (3) Feedback control of feeding and reproduction is asymmetric. Satiation of feeding inhibits the common arousal. In the absence of food, time spent on reproductive behaviors increases due to disinhibition of the common arousal. By contrast, positive feedback arising from sexual behavior excites the common arousal. When mating is prevented by removing potential mates, time spent feeding decreases. (4) Generally, animals choose between performing the three main categories of behavior. Although Aplysia simultaneously can feed and mate, or locomote and mate, they do so infrequently. By contrast, different types of reproductive behaviors (male mating, female mating, egg-laying) are commonly performed simultaneously.

  9. Frequency-dependent action potential prolongation in Aplysia pleural sensory neurones.

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    Edstrom, J P; Lukowiak, K D

    1985-10-01

    The effects of repetitive activity on action-potential shape in Aplysia californica pleural sensory cells are described. Action potentials were evoked by intracellular current injection at frequencies between 7.41 and 0.2 Hz. In contrast to other molluscan neurons having brief action potentials, it was found that at these firing rates the normally brief action potential develops a prominent shoulder or plateau during the repolarization phase. Higher stimulus rates broaden the action potential more rapidly and to a greater extent than lower stimulus rates. Inactivation is slow relative to activation; effects of 3-s 6-Hz trains are detectable after 1 min rest. The amplitude of the plateau voltage reaches a maximum of 50-70 mV at the highest stimulus rates tested. Frequency-dependent increases in action-potential duration measured at half-amplitude normally range between 6 and 15 ms. Cadmium, at concentrations between 0.05 and 0.5 mM, antagonizes frequency-dependent broadening. The increases in duration induced by repetitive activity are more sensitive to cadmium than are the increases in plateau amplitude. Tetraethylammonium, at concentrations between 0.5 and 10 mM, slightly increases the duration and amplitude of single action potentials. During repetitive activity at high stimulus rates the maximum duration and rate of broadening are both increased but the amplitude of the plateau potential is not affected by these tetraethylammonium concentrations. Above 10 mM, tetraethylammonium greatly increases the duration and amplitude of single action potentials as well as the rates of action-potential duration and amplitude increase during repetitive activity. These high tetraethylammonium concentrations also cause the normally smoothly increasing duration and amplitude to reach a maximum value early in a train and then decline slowly during the remainder of the train. The consequences of frequency-dependent spike broadening in these neurons have not yet been investigated

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

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    Andrew T Kempsell

    2015-09-01

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

  11. Dactyloditerpenol acetate, a new prenylbisabolane-type diterpene from Aplysia dactylomela with significant in vitro anti-neuroinflammatory activity

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    Jiménez-Romero, Carlos; Mayer, Alejandro M. S.; Rodríguez, Abimael D.

    2014-01-01

    A new regular diterpene possessing an unusual 1,6-anti-3-methylcyclohex-2-en-1-ol ring system, dactyloditerpenol acetate (1), has been extracted from the tropical sea hare Aplysia dactylomela and its stereostructure elucidated by spectroscopic methods. The absolute configuration of 1 was determined as 1S, 6S, 7R, 10S, and 11R by application of Kishi’s method for the assignment of absolute configuration of alcohols. The new diterpene potently inhibited in vitro thromboxane B2 (TXB2) (IC50 0.4 μM) and superoxide anion (O2−) (IC50 1 μM) generation from E. coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated rat neonatal microglia, with concomitant low short-term toxicity. PMID:24279991

  12. Inhibition of ACh release at an Aplysia synapse by neurotoxic phospholipases A2: specific receptors and mechanisms of action.

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    Fossier, P; Lambeau, G; Lazdunski, M; Baux, G

    1995-01-01

    1. Monochain (OS2) and multichain (taipoxin) neurotoxic phospholipases A2 (PLA2), purified from taipan snake venom, both inhibited ACh release at a concentration of 20 nM (90% inhibition in 2 h) at an identified synapse from buccal ganglion of Aplysia californica. 2. The Na+ current was unchanged upon application of either OS2 or taipoxin. Conversely, presynaptic K+ currents (IA and IK) were increased by taipoxin but not by OS2. In addition, OS2 induced a significant decrease of the presynaptic Ca2+ current (30%) while taipoxin increased this latter current by 20-30%. 3. Bee venom PLA2, another monochain neurotoxic PLA2, also inhibited ACh release while non-toxic enzymatically active PLA2s like OS1 (also purified from taipan snake venom) or porcine pancreatic PLA2 elicited a much weaker inhibition of ACh release, suggesting a specific action of neurotoxic PLA2s versus non-toxic PLA2s on ACh release. 4. Using iodinated OS2, specific high affinity binding sites with molecular masses of 140 and 18 kDa have been identified on Aplysia ganglia. The maximal binding capacities were 55 and 300-400 fmol (mg protein)-1 for membrane preparations from whole and buccal ganglia, respectively. These binding sites are of high affinity for neurotoxic PLA2s (Kd values, 100-800 pM) and of very low affinity for non-toxic PLA2s (Kd values in the micromolar range), thus indicating that these binding sites are presumably involved in the blockade of ACh release by neurotoxic PLA2s. Images Figure 8 Figure 9 PMID:8583413

  13. Action-potential duration and the modulation of transmitter release from the sensory neurons of Aplysia in presynaptic facilitation and behavioral sensitization

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    Hochner, Binyamin; Klein, Marc; Schacher, Samuel; Kandel, Eric R.

    1986-01-01

    Presynaptic facilitation of transmitter release from Aplysia sensory neurons is an important contributor to behavioral sensitization of the gill and siphon withdrawal reflex. The enhanced release is accompanied by reduction of the serotonin-sensitive S current in the sensory neurons and a consequent increase in duration of the presynaptic action potential (ranging from 10% to 30%). We find that changes of similar magnitude in the duration of depolarizing voltage-clamp steps in sensory neurons...

  14. MicroRNA-22 Gates Long-Term Heterosynaptic Plasticity in Aplysia through Presynaptic Regulation of CPEB and Downstream Targets

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    Ferdinando Fiumara

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The maintenance phase of memory-related long-term facilitation (LTF of synapses between sensory and motor neurons of the gill-withdrawal reflex of Aplysia depends on a serotonin (5-HT-triggered presynaptic upregulation of CPEB, a functional prion that regulates local protein synthesis at the synapse. The mechanisms whereby serotonin regulates CPEB levels in presynaptic sensory neurons are not known. Here, we describe a sensory neuron-specific microRNA 22 (miR-22 that has multiple binding sites on the mRNA of CPEB and inhibits it in the basal state. Serotonin triggers MAPK/Erk-dependent downregulation of miR-22, thereby upregulating the expression of CPEB, which in turn regulates, through functional CPE elements, the presynaptic expression of atypical PKC (aPKC, another candidate regulator of memory maintenance. Our findings support a model in which the neurotransmitter-triggered downregulation of miR-22 coordinates the regulation of genes contributing synergistically to the long-term maintenance of memory-related synaptic plasticity.

  15. Toxic, antimicrobial and hemagglutinating activities of the purple fluid of the sea hare Aplysia dactylomela Rang, 1828

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    Melo V.M.M.

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available The antimicrobial, hemagglutinating and toxic activities of the purple fluid of the sea hare Aplysia dactylomela are described. Intact or dialyzed purple fluid inhibited the growth of species of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and the action was not bactericidal but bacteriostatic. The active factor or factors were heat labile and sensitive to extreme pH values. The fluid preferentially agglutinated rabbit erythrocytes and, to a lesser extent, human blood cells, and this activity was inhibited by the glycoprotein fetuin, a fact suggesting the presence of a lectin. The fluid was also toxic to brine shrimp nauplii (LD50 141.25 µg protein/ml and to mice injected intraperitoneally (LD50 201.8 ± 8.6 mg protein/kg, in a dose-dependent fashion. These toxic activities were abolished when the fluid was heated. Taken together, the data suggest that the activities of the purple fluid are due primarily to substance(s of a protein nature which may be involved in the chemical defense mechanism of this sea hare.

  16. Role of protein synthesis and DNA methylation in the consolidation and maintenance of long-term memory in Aplysia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearce, Kaycey; Cai, Diancai; Roberts, Adam C; Glanzman, David L

    2017-01-01

    Previously, we reported that long-term memory (LTM) in Aplysia can be reinstated by truncated (partial) training following its disruption by reconsolidation blockade and inhibition of PKM (Chen et al., 2014). Here, we report that LTM can be induced by partial training after disruption of original consolidation by protein synthesis inhibition (PSI) begun shortly after training. But when PSI occurs during training, partial training cannot subsequently establish LTM. Furthermore, we find that inhibition of DNA methyltransferase (DNMT), whether during training or shortly afterwards, blocks consolidation of LTM and prevents its subsequent induction by truncated training; moreover, later inhibition of DNMT eliminates consolidated LTM. Thus, the consolidation of LTM depends on two functionally distinct phases of protein synthesis: an early phase that appears to prime LTM; and a later phase whose successful completion is necessary for the normal expression of LTM. Both the consolidation and maintenance of LTM depend on DNA methylation. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18299.001 PMID:28067617

  17. Release properties of individual presynaptic boutons expressed during homosynaptic depression and heterosynaptic facilitation of the Aplysia sensorimotor synapse

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    Guy eMalkinson

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Much of what we know about the mechanisms underlying Homosynaptic Depression (HSD and heterosynaptic facilitation is based on intracellular recordings of integrated postsynaptic potentials. This methodological approach views the presynaptic apparatus as a single compartment rather than taking a more realistic representation reflecting the fact that it is made up of tens to hundreds of individual and independent Presynaptic Release Boutons (PRBs. Using cultured Aplysia sensorimotor synapses, we reexamined HSD and its dishabituation by imaging the release properties of individual PRBs. We find that the PRB population is heterogeneous and can be clustered into three groups: approximately 25% of the PRBs consistently release neurotransmitter throughout the entire habituation paradigm (35 stimuli, 0.05Hz and have a relatively high quantal content, 36% of the PRBs display intermittent failures only after the tenth stimulation, and 39% are low quantal-content PRBs that exhibit intermittent release failures from the onset of the habituation paradigm. 5HT-induced synaptic dishabituation by a single 5HT application was generated by the enhanced recovery of the quantal content of the habituated PRBs and did not involve the recruitment of new release boutons. The characterization of the PRB population as heterogeneous in terms of its temporal pattern of release-probability and quantal content provides new insights into the mechanisms underlying HSD and its dishabituation.

  18. A Galactose-Binding Lectin Isolated from Aplysia kurodai (Sea Hare Eggs Inhibits Streptolysin-Induced Hemolysis

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    Imtiaj Hasan

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available A specific galactose-binding lectin was shown to inhibit the hemolytic effect of streptolysin O (SLO, an exotoxin produced by Streptococcus pyogenes. Commercially available lectins that recognize N-acetyllactosamine (ECA, T-antigen (PNA, and Tn-antigen (ABA agglutinated rabbit erythrocytes, but had no effect on SLO-induced hemolysis. In contrast, SLO-induced hemolysis was inhibited by AKL, a lectin purified from sea hare (Aplysia kurodai eggs that recognizes α-galactoside oligosaccharides. This inhibitory effect was blocked by the co-presence of d-galactose, which binds to AKL. A possible explanation for these findings is that cholesterol-enriched microdomains containing glycosphingolipids in the erythrocyte membrane become occupied by tightly stacked lectin molecules, blocking the interaction between cholesterol and SLO that would otherwise result in penetration of the membrane. Growth of S. pyogenes was inhibited by lectins from a marine invertebrate (AKL and a mushroom (ABA, but was promoted by a plant lectin (ECA. Both these inhibitory and promoting effects were blocked by co-presence of galactose in the culture medium. Our findings demonstrate the importance of glycans and lectins in regulating mechanisms of toxicity, creation of pores in the target cell membrane, and bacterial growth.

  19. In vitro analog of operant conditioning in aplysia. I. Contingent reinforcement modifies the functional dynamics of an identified neuron.

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    Nargeot, R; Baxter, D A; Byrne, J H

    1999-03-15

    Previously, an analog of operant conditioning in Aplysia was developed using the rhythmic motor activity in the isolated buccal ganglia. This analog expressed a key feature of operant conditioning, namely a selective enhancement in the occurrence of a designated motor pattern by contingent reinforcement. Different motor patterns generated by the buccal central pattern generator were induced by monotonic stimulation of a peripheral nerve (i.e., n.2,3). Phasic stimulation of the esophageal nerve (E n.) was used as an analog of reinforcement. The present study investigated the neuronal mechanisms associated with the genesis of different motor patterns and their modifications by contingent reinforcement. The genesis of different motor patterns was related to changes in the functional states of the pre-motor neuron B51. During rhythmic activity, B51 dynamically switched between inactive and active states. Bursting activity in B51 was associated with, and predicted, characteristic features of a specific motor pattern (i.e., pattern I). Contingent reinforcement of pattern I modified the dynamical properties of B51 by decreasing its resting conductance and threshold for eliciting plateau potentials and thus increased the occurrences of pattern I-related activity in B51. These modifications were not observed in preparations that received either noncontingent reinforcement (i.e., yoke control) or no reinforcement (i.e., control). These results suggest that a contingent reinforcement paradigm can regulate the dynamics of neuronal activity that is centrally programmed by the intrinsic cellular properties of neurons.

  20. Characterization of the role of eIF4G in stimulating cap- and IRES-dependent translation in aplysia neurons.

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    Dyer, John; Sossin, Wayne S

    2013-01-01

    The rate-limiting step(s) of translation in the nervous system have not been clearly identified. We have been examining this question in the cell body of the Aplysia sensory neuron, where translational regulation is important for the regulation of synaptic strength. In the present study, we examined the role of the adaptor protein eIF4G. We cloned Aplysia eIF4G (Ap4G) and Ap4G contains all the standard metazoan eIF4G protein-protein interaction domains. Overexpressing Ap4G in Aplysia sensory neurons caused an increase in both cap-dependent and internal ribosome entry site (IRES)-dependent translation using a previously characterized bicistronic fluorescent reporter. Unexpectedly, measurement of overall translation using the methionine analog, L-azidohomoalanine, revealed that overexpression of Ap4G did not lead to an increase in overall translation rates. Indeed, the effect of Ap4G on the bicistronic reporter depended on the presence of an upstream open reading frame (uORF) in the 5' UTR encoded by the vector. We have previously shown that Mnk strongly decreased cap-dependent translation and this depended on a putative 4G binding domain. Here we extend these results showing that even in the absence of the uORF, overexpression of Mnk strongly decreases cap-dependent translation and this depends on the Mnk binding site in eIF4G. Similarly, an increase in cap-dependent translation seen with overexpression of elongation factor 2 kinase did not depend on the uORF. Overall, we show that eIF4G is rate limiting for translation of an mRNA encoding an uORF, but is not generally a rate-limiting step for translation.

  1. Inhibitors of protein kinase C prevent enhancement of calcium current and action potentials in peptidergic neurons of Aplysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conn, P J; Strong, J A; Kaczmarek, L K

    1989-02-01

    Following brief stimulation of an afferent pathway, the bag cell neurons of Aplysia undergo a dramatic change in excitability, resulting in a prolonged discharge of spontaneous action potentials. During the discharge, the action potentials of the bag cell neurons become enhanced in height and width. The afterdischarge triggers release of neuroactive peptides that initiate egg-laying behavior in this animal. Evidence suggests that changes in excitability of the bag cell neurons may be mediated by activation of protein kinase C (PKC) and cAMP-dependent protein kinase (cAMP-PK). PKC activators, such as the phorbol ester TPA (12-O-tetradecanoyl-13-phorbol acetate), enhance the amplitude of action potentials in isolated bag cell neurons in cell culture. These agents act by unmasking a previously covert species of voltage-dependent calcium channel resulting in an increase in calcium current. In the accompanying paper (Conn et al., 1989), we showed that H-7, a protein kinase inhibitor, inhibits the effect of TPA, and is a selective inhibitor of PKC relative to cAMP-PK in these cells. We now report that another PKC inhibitor, sphinganine, also inhibits the effect of TPA on action potential height and calcium current in cultured bag cell neurons, and that N-acetylsphinganine, an inactive sphinganine analog, fails to inhibit the effects of PKC activators. Although both H-7 and sphinganine prevent the effects of TPA when added prior to TPA addition, neither compound reverses the effects of TPA when added after the action potentials have already become enhanced by TPA.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  2. Myogenesis in Aplysia californica (Cooper, 1863) (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Opisthobranchia) with special focus on muscular remodeling during metamorphosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wollesen, Tim; Wanninger, Andreas; Klussmann-Kolb, Annette

    2008-07-01

    To date only few comparative approaches tried to reconstruct the ontogeny of the musculature in invertebrates. This may be due to the difficulties involved in reconstructing three dimensionally arranged muscle systems by means of classical histological techniques combined with light or transmission electron microscopy. Within the scope of the present study we investigated the myogenesis of premetamorphic, metamorphic, and juvenile developmental stages of the anaspidean opisthobranch Aplysia californica using fluorescence F-actin-labeling in conjunction with modern confocal laser scanning microscopy. We categorized muscles with respect to their differentiation and degeneration and found three true larval muscles that differentiate during the embryonic and veliger phase and degenerate during or slightly after metamorphosis. These are the larval retractor, the accessory larval retractor, and the metapodial retractor muscle. While the pedal retractor muscle, some transversal mantle fibers and major portions of the cephalopedal musculature are continued and elaborated during juvenile and adult life, the buccal musculature and the anterior retractor muscle constitute juvenile/adult muscles which differentiate during or after metamorphosis. The metapodial retractor muscle has never been reported for any other gastropod taxon. Our findings indicate that the late veliger larva of A. californica shares some common traits with veligers of other gastropods, such as a larval retractor muscle. However, the postmetamorphic stages exhibit only few congruencies with other gastropod taxa investigated to date, which is probably due to common larval but different adult life styles within gastropods. Accordingly, this study provides further evidence for morphological plasticity in gastropod myogenesis and stresses the importance of ontogenetic approaches to understand adult conditions and life history patterns.

  3. The growth cones of Aplysia sensory neurons: Modulation by serotonin of action potential duration and single potassium channel currents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belardetti, F; Schacher, S; Kandel, E R; Siegelbaum, S A

    1986-09-01

    Serotonin (5-HT) closes a specific K channel ("S") in the cell body of Aplysia sensory neurons, resulting in a slow excitatory postsynaptic potential and spike broadening. To determine whether the S channel is present and can be modulated in processes of the neuron other than the cell body, we studied the effects of 5-HT on growth cones of sensory neurons in culture by using the patch-clamp technique. Simultaneous application of 5-HT to the cell body and to the growth cones of sensory neurons produced, in both, a slow depolarization of approximately 5 mV. Also, 5-HT produced a lengthening of the duration of action potential in the growth cone and cell body by 20-30%. Similar effects were observed in isolated growth cones that had been severed from the rest of the neuron, implying that the growth cones contain all the molecular components (i.e., receptors, channels, cAMP cascade) necessary for 5-HT action. Cell-attached patch-clamp recordings demonstrated the presence of S channels in sensory neuron growth cones. Application of serotonin to the bath produced long-lasting all-or-none closures of these channels in a manner identical to the previously characterized action of 5-HT in the cell body. Thus, channel modulation is not restricted to the cell body and probably occurs throughout the sensory neuron. This strengthens the view that S-channel modulation may also occur at the sensory neuron presynaptic terminal, where it could play a role in the presynaptic facilitation produced by 5-HT.

  4. Long-term habituation of the gill-withdrawal reflex in Aplysia requires gene transcription, calcineurin and L-type voltage-gated calcium channels

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    Joseph eEsdin

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Although habituation is possibly the simplest form of learning, we still do not fully understand the neurobiological basis of habituation in any organism. To advance the goal of a comprehensive understanding of habituation, we have studied long-term habituation (LTH of the gill-withdrawal reflex (GWR in the marine snail Aplysia californica. Previously, we showed that habituation of the GWR in a reduced preparation lasts for up to 12 hr, and depends on protein synthesis, as well as activation of protein phosphatases 1 and 2A and postsynaptic glutamate receptors. Here, we have used the reduced preparation to further analyze the mechanisms of LTH in Aplysia. We found that LTH of the GWR depends on RNA synthesis because it was blocked by both the irreversible transcriptional inhibitor actinomycin-D and the reversible transcriptional inhibitor, 5,6-dichlorobenzimidazole riboside (DRB. In addition, LTH requires activation of protein phosphatase 2B (calcineurin, because it was disrupted by ascomycin. Finally, LTH was blocked by nitrendipine, which indicates that activation of L-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channels is required for this form of learning. Together with our previous results, the present results indicate that exclusively presynaptic mechanisms, although possibly sufficient for short-term habituation, are insufficient for LTH. Rather, LTH must involve postsynaptic, as well as presynaptic, mechanisms.

  5. Characterization of a GHF45 cellulase, AkEG21, from the common sea hare Aplysia kurodai

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Mohammad; Inoue, Akira; Ojima, Takao

    2014-08-01

    The common sea hare Aplysia kurodai is known to be a good source for the enzymes degrading seaweed polysaccharides. Recently four cellulases, i.e., 95 kDa, 66 kDa, 45 kDa and 21 kDa enzymes, were isolated from A. kurodai (Tsuji et al., PLoS ONE, 8, e65418, 2013). The former three cellulases were regarded as glycosyl-hydrolase-family 9 (GHF9) enzymes, while the 21 kDa cellulase was suggested to be a GHF45 enzyme. The 21 kDa cellulase was significantly heat stable, and appeared to be advantageous in performing heterogeneous expression and protein-engineering study. In the present study, we determined some enzymatic properties of the 21 kDa cellulase and cloned its cDNA to provide the basis for the protein engineering study of this cellulase. The purified 21 kDa enzyme, termed AkEG21 in the present study, hydrolyzed carboxymethyl cellulose with an optimal pH and temperature at 4.5 and 40oC, respectively. AkEG21 was considerably heat-stable, i.e., it was not inactivated by the incubation at 55oC for 30 min. AkEG21 degraded phosphoric-acid-swollen cellulose producing cellotriose and cellobiose as major end products but hardly degraded oligosaccharides smaller than tetrasaccharide. This indicated that AkEG21 is an endolytic ?-1,4-glucanase (EC 3.2.1.4). A cDNA of 1,013 bp encoding AkEG21 was amplified by PCR and the amino-acid sequence of 197 residues was deduced. The sequence comprised the initiation Met, the putative signal peptide of 16 residues for secretion and the catalytic domain of 180 residues, which lined from the N-terminus in this order. The sequence of the catalytic domain showed 47-62% amino-acid identities to those of GHF45 cellulases reported in other mollusks. Both the catalytic residues and the N-glycosylation residues known in other GHF45 cellulases were conserved in AkEG21. Phylogenetic analysis for the amino-acid sequences suggested the close relation between AkEG21 and fungal GHF45 cellulases.

  6. Evidence for the involvement of carbonic anhydrase and urease in calcium carbonate formation in the gravity-sensing organ of Aplysia californica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedrozo, H. A.; Schwartz, Z.; Dean, D. D.; Harrison, J. L.; Campbell, J. W.; Wiederhold, M. L.; Boyan, B. D.

    1997-01-01

    To better understand the mechanisms that could modulate the formation of otoconia, calcium carbonate granules in the inner ear of vertebrate species, we examined statoconia formation in the gravity-sensing organ, the statocyst, of the gastropod mollusk Aplysia californica using an in vitro organ culture model. We determined the type of calcium carbonate present in the statoconia and investigated the role of carbonic anhydrase (CA) and urease in regulating statocyst pH as well as the role of protein synthesis and urease in statoconia production and homeostasis in vitro. The type of mineral present in statoconia was found to be aragonitic calcium carbonate. When the CA inhibitor, acetazolamide (AZ), was added to cultures of statocysts, the pH initially (30 min) increased and then decreased. The urease inhibitor, acetohydroxamic acid (AHA), decreased statocyst pH. Simultaneous addition of AZ and AHA caused a decrease in pH. Inhibition of urease activity also reduced total statoconia number, but had no effect on statoconia volume. Inhibition of protein synthesis reduced statoconia production and increased statoconia volume. In a previous study, inhibition of CA was shown to decrease statoconia production. Taken together, these data show that urease and CA play a role in regulating statocyst pH and the formation and maintenance of statoconia. CA produces carbonate ion for calcium carbonate formation and urease neutralizes the acid formed due to CA action, by production of ammonia.

  7. Action-potential duration and the modulation of transmitter release from the sensory neurons of Aplysia in presynaptic facilitation and behavioral sensitization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hochner, B; Klein, M; Schacher, S; Kandel, E R

    1986-11-01

    Presynaptic facilitation of transmitter release from Aplysia sensory neurons is an important contributor to behavioral sensitization of the gill and siphon withdrawal reflex. The enhanced release is accompanied by reduction of the serotonin-sensitive S current in the sensory neurons and a consequent increase in duration of the presynaptic action potential (ranging from 10% to 30%). We find that changes of similar magnitude in the duration of depolarizing voltage-clamp steps in sensory neurons in intact abdominal ganglia yield increases in synaptic potentials of 45-120%. In dissociated cell culture, these changes lead to increases of 25-60% in the synaptic potential. Prolongation of presynaptic depolarization using voltage clamp or prolongation of the duration of the action potential by K(+)-channel blockers leads to prolongation of the time-to-peak of the synaptic potentials; similar changes in time-to-peak occur during presynaptic facilitation. The time-to-peak is not changed by homosynaptic depression or by changing the Ca(2+) concentration, procedures that alter release without changing the duration of the action potential. Preventing the spike from broadening by voltage clamping the presynaptic neuron substantially reduces or blocks the facilitation. These results suggest that broadening of the action potential during facilitation is a causal factor in the enhancement of transmitter release.

  8. Synaptobrevin/vesicle-associated membrane protein (VAMP) of Aplysia californica: structure and proteolysis by tetanus toxin and botulinal neurotoxins type D and F.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamasaki, S; Hu, Y; Binz, T; Kalkuhl, A; Kurazono, H; Tamura, T; Jahn, R; Kandel, E; Niemann, H

    1994-01-01

    Synaptobrevin/vesicle-associated membrane protein (VAMP) and syntaxin are potential vesicle donor and target membrane receptors of a docking complex that requires N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor (NSF) and soluble NSF-attachment proteins as soluble factors for vesicle fusion with target membranes. Members of this docking complex are the target of clostridial neurotoxins that act as zinc-dependent proteases. Molecular cloning of the Aplysia californica synaptobrevin cDNA revealed a 180-residue polypeptide (M(r), 19,745) with a central transmembrane region and an atypically large C-terminal intravesicular domain. This polypeptide integrates into membranes at both the co- and posttranslational level, as shown by modification of an artificially introduced N-glycosylation site. The soluble and membrane-anchored forms of synaptobrevin are cleaved by the light chains of the botulinal toxins type D and F and by tetanus toxin involving the peptide bonds Lys49-Ile50, Gln48-Lys49, and Gln66-Phe67, respectively. The active center of teh tetanus toxin light chain was identified by site-specific mutagenesis. His233, His237, Glu234, and Glu270/271 are essential to this proteolytic activity. Modification of histidine residues resulted in loss of zinc binding, whereas a replacement of Glu234 only slightly reduced the zinc content. Images PMID:8197120

  9. A gonadotropin-releasing hormone-like molecule modulates the activity of diverse central neurons in a gastropod mollusk, Aplysia californica

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    Biao eSun

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available In vertebrates, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH is a crucial decapeptide that activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG axis to ensure successful reproduction. Recently, a GnRH-like molecule has been isolated from a gastropod mollusk, Aplysia californica. This GnRH (ap-GnRH is deduced to be an undecapeptide, and its function remains to be explored. Our previous study demonstrated that ap-GnRH did not stimulate a range of reproductive parameters. Instead, it affected acute behavioral and locomotive changes unrelated to reproduction. In this study, we used electrophysiology and retrograde tracing to further explore the central role of ap-GnRH. Sharp electrode intracellular recordings revealed that ap-GnRH had diverse effects on central neurons that ranged from excitatory, inhibitory, to the alteration of membrane potential. Unexpectedly, extracellular recordings revealed that ap-GnRH suppressed the onset of electrical afterdischarge (AD in bag cell neurons, suggesting an inhibitory effect on female reproduction. Lastly, using immunocytochemistry (ICC coupled with nickel-backfill, we demonstrated that some ap-GnRH neurons projected to efferent nerves known to innervate the foot and parapodia, suggesting ap-GnRH may directly modulate the motor output of these peripheral tissues. Overall, our results suggested that in A. californica, ap-GnRH more likely functioned as a central modulator of complex behavior and motor regulation rather than as a conventional reproductive stimulator.

  10. Identification and Characterization of a 25 kDa Protein That Is Indispensable for the Efficient Saccharification of Eisenia bicyclis in the Digestive Fluid of Aplysia kurodai

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuji, Akihiko; Kuwamura, Shuji; Shirai, Akihiro; Yuasa, Keizo

    2017-01-01

    The digestive fluid of the sea hare Aplysia kurodai can liberate approximately 2.5 mg of glucose from 10 mg of dried Eisenia bicyclis powder. Although laminaran, a major storage polysaccharide in E. bicyclis, is easily digested to glucose by the synergistic action of the 110 and 210 kDa A. kurodai β-glucosidases (BGLs), glucose is not liberated from E. bicyclis by direct incubation with these BGLs. To clarify this discrepancy, we searched for an Eisenia hydrolysis enhancing protein (EHEP) in the digestive fluid of A. kurodai. A novel 25 kDa protein that enhances E. bicyclis saccharification by β-glucosidases was purified to a homogeneous state from the digestive fluid of A. kurodai, and its cDNA was cloned from total cDNAs reverse-transcribed from hepatopancreas total RNA. The E. bicyclis extract strongly inhibited BGLs, suggesting some compound within this brown alga functioned as a feeding deterrent. However, when E. bicyclis was incubated with BGLs in the presence of EHEP, glucose production was markedly increased. As E. bicyclis is rich in phlorotannin, which are only found in brown algae, our study suggested that these compounds are the main BGL inhibitors in E. bicyclis extract. EHEP protects BGLs from phlorotannin inhibition by binding to phlorotannins and forming an insoluble complex with phloroglucinol and phlorotannins. These findings indicated that EHEP plays a key role in the saccharification of brown seaweeds containing phlorotannins in the digestive fluid of A. kurodai. This is the first report of EHEP as a phlorotannin-binding protein that protects BGLs from inhibition. PMID:28129373

  11. Solution NMR characterization of the electronic structure and magnetic properties of high-spin ferrous heme in deoxy myoglobin from Aplysia limacina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Dejian; Musto, Raffaella; Smith, Kevin M; La Mar, Gerd N

    2003-07-16

    Solution (1)H NMR has been used to elucidate the magnetic properties and electronic structure of the prosthetic group in high-spin, ferrous deoxy myoglobin from the sea hare Aplysia limacina. A sufficient number of dipolar shifted residue signals were assigned to allow the robust determination of the orientation and anisotropy of the paramagnetic susceptibility tensor, chi. The resulting quantitative description of dipolar shifts allows a determination of the contact shifts for the heme. Chi was found to be axial, with Deltachi(ax) = -2.07 x 10(-8) m(3)/mol, with the major axis tilted (approximately 76 degrees) almost into the heme plane and in the general direction of the orientation of the axial HisF8 imidazole plane which coincides approximately with the beta-,delta-meso axis. The factored contact shifts for the heme are shown to be consistent with the transfer of positive pi spin density into one of the two components of the highest filled pi molecular orbital, 3e(pi), and the transfer of negative pi-spin density, via spin-spin correlation, into the orthogonal excited-state component of the 3e(pi) molecular orbital. The thermal population of the excited state leads to strong deviation from the Curie law for the heme substituents experiencing primarily the negative pi-spin density. The much larger transfer of negative spin density via the spin-paired dpi orbital into the excited state 3e(pi) in high-spin iron(II) than in low-spin iron(III) hemoproteins is attributed to the much stronger correlation exerted by the four unpaired spin on the iron in the former, as compared to the single unpaired spins on iron in the latter.

  12. Evaluation of the cholinomimetic actions of trimethylsulfonium, a compound present in the midgut gland of the sea hare Aplysia brasiliana (Gastropoda, Opisthobranchia

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    C.M. Kerchove

    2002-04-01

    Full Text Available Trimethylsulfonium, a compound present in the midgut gland of the sea hare Aplysia brasiliana, negatively modulates vagal response, indicating a probable ability to inhibit cholinergic responses. In the present study, the pharmacological profile of trimethylsulfonium was characterized on muscarinic and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. In rat jejunum the contractile response induced by trimethylsulfonium (pD2 = 2.46 ± 0.12 and maximal response = 2.14 ± 0.32 g was not antagonized competitively by atropine. The maximal response (Emax to trimethylsulfonium was diminished in the presence of increasing doses of atropine (P<0.05, suggesting that trimethylsulfonium-induced contraction was not related to muscarinic stimulation, but might be caused by acetylcholine release due to presynaptic stimulation. Trimethylsulfonium displaced [³H]-quinuclidinyl benzilate from rat cortex membranes with a low affinity (Ki = 0.5 mM. Furthermore, it caused contraction of frog rectus abdominis muscles (pD2 = 2.70 ± 0.06 and Emax = 4.16 ± 0.9 g, which was competitively antagonized by d-tubocurarine (1, 3 or 10 µM with a pA2 of 5.79, suggesting a positive interaction with nicotinic receptors. In fact, trimethylsulfonium displaced [³H]-nicotine from rat diaphragm muscle membranes with a Ki of 27.1 µM. These results suggest that trimethylsulfonium acts as an agonist on nicotinic receptors, and thus contracts frog skeletal rectus abdominis muscle and rat jejunum smooth muscle via stimulation of postjunctional and neuronal prejunctional nicotinic cholinoreceptors, respectively.

  13. Subcellular sites of processing of precursors to neurosecretory peptides in the bag cells of Aplysia: inferences from the effects of monensin, FCCP, and chloroquine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yates, M E; Berry, R W

    1984-03-01

    The effects of the sodium ionophore monensin were examined in the bag cells of Aplysia californica in order to identify the subcellular sites of processing of precursors to their neurosecretory products. Incubation of bag cells in media containing 10 microM monensin led to a marked disruption of the morphology of the Golgi apparatus without affecting that of other organelles. Exposure of bag cells to monensin led to a significant impairment of processing of the largest precursor and of an intermediate protein which gives rise to the immediate precursors to the final secreted products, the egg-laying hormone (ELH) and the acidic peptide (AP). Furthermore, ELH and AP were never produced in the presence of monensin during the time course of these experiments. When axonal transport was allowed to proceed, the contents of bag-cell terminals indicated that the intermediate protein is the first to be packaged in Golgi-derived vesicles, and in monensin-treated cells may be transported without being processed further. In contrast to these results, the protonophore FCCP-impaired precursor and intermediate cleavage equally, indicating that monensin and FCCP have different effects on intracellular transport and precursor processing. These data are interpreted to indicate that the largest ELH-AP precursor is normally processed within the Golgi apparatus, and that the disruption of this organelle induced by monensin produces the impairment seen in its processing. The impairment of cleavage of the intermediate species, and the blockade of production of AP and ELH, are probably the result of monensin-induced impairment of production of proteolytically competent secretory granules by the Golgi apparatus.

  14. H-deficient Bombay and para-Bombay red blood cells are most strongly agglutinated by the galactophilic lectins of Aplysia and Pseudomonas aeruginosa that detect I and P1 antigens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilboa-Garber, N; Sudakevitz, D; Levene, C; Rahimi-Levene, N; Yahalom, V

    2006-01-01

    The galactophilic lectins Aplysia gonad lectin (AGL) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa lectin (PA-IL), which detect human I and P1 RBC antigens, were examined for hemagglutination of H+ (group O and B) and H-deficient (Bombay and para-Bombay phenotype) RBCs. The results were compared with those obtained using two other galactophilic lectins, Maclura pomifera lectin (MPL) and Arachis hypogaea (peanut) agglutinin (PNA), which share T-antigen affinity, and two fucose-binding H-specific lectins, Ulex europaeus (UEA-I) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa lectin (PA-IIL), as well as with those achieved with anti-I serum. The results revealed that, in contrast to UEA-I and PA-IIL, which preferentially agglutinated H+ RBCs, and to MPL and PNA, which similarly agglutinated all examined RBCs, AGL, PA-IL, and the anti-I serum agglutinated the H-deficient RBCs more strongly than did the H+ RBCs. These findings could be attributed to increased levels of I and P1 antigens on those RBCs resulting from the use of the free common H-type 2 precursor for their synthesis. Since both PA-IL and PA-IIL are regarded as potential pathogen adhesins, it would be interesting to statistically compare the sensitivities of individuals of H+ and H-deficient RBC populations to P. aeruginosa infections.

  15. Comprehensive enzymatic analysis of the amylolytic system in the digestive fluid of the sea hare, Aplysia kurodai: Unique properties of two α-amylases and two α-glucosidases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akihiko Tsuji

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Sea lettuce (Ulva pertusa is a nuisance species of green algae that is found all over the world. East-Asian species of the marine gastropod, the sea hare Aplysia kurodai, shows a clear feeding preference for sea lettuce. Compared with cellulose, sea lettuce contains a higher amount of starch as a storage polysaccharide. However, the entire amylolytic system in the digestive fluid of A. kurodai has not been studied in detail. We purified α-amylases and α-glucosidases from the digestive fluid of A. kurodai and investigated the synergistic action of these enzymes on sea lettuce. A. kurodai contain two α-amylases (59 and 80 kDa and two α-glucosidases (74 and 86 kDa. The 59-kDa α-amylase, but not the 80-kDa α-amylase, was markedly activated by Ca2+ or Cl−. Both α-amylases degraded starch and maltoheptaose, producing maltotriose, maltose, and glucose. Glucose production from starch was higher with 80-kDa α-amylase than with 59-kDa α-amylase. Kinetic analysis indicated that 74-kDa α-glucosidase prefers short α-1,4-linked oligosaccharide, whereas 86-kDa α-glucosidase prefers large α-1,6 and α-1,4-linked polysaccharides such as glycogen. When sea lettuce was used as a substrate, a 2-fold greater amount of glucose was released by treatment with 59-kDa α-amylase and 74-kDa α-glucosidase than by treatment with 45-kDa cellulase and 210-kDa β-glucosidase of A. kurodai. Unlike mammals, sea hares efficiently digest sea lettuce to glucose by a combination of two α-amylases and two α-glucosidases in the digestive fluids without membrane-bound maltase–glucoamylase and sucrase–isomaltase complexes.

  16. The chemistry of escapin: identification and quantification of the components in the complex mixture generated by an L-amino acid oxidase in the defensive secretion of the sea snail Aplysia californica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamio, Michiya; Ko, Ko-Chun; Zheng, Shilong; Wang, Binghe; Collins, Stacy L; Gadda, Giovanni; Tai, Phang C; Derby, Charles D

    2009-01-01

    Escapin is an L-amino acid oxidase in the ink of a marine snail, the sea hare Aplysia californica, which oxidizes L-lysine (1) to produce a mixture of chemicals which is antipredatory and antimicrobial. The goal of our study was to determine the identity and relative abundance of the constituents of this mixture, using molecules generated enzymatically with escapin and also using products of organic syntheses. We examined this mixture under the natural range of pH values for ink-from approximately 5 at full strength to approximately 8 when fully diluted in sea water. The enzymatic reaction likely forms an equilibrium mixture containing the linear form alpha-keto-epsilon-aminocaproic acid (2), the cyclic imine Delta(1)-piperidine-2-carboxylic acid (3), the cyclic enamine Delta(2)-piperidine-2-carboxylic acid (4), possibly the linear enol 6-amino-2-hydroxy-hex-2-enoic acid (7), the alpha-dihydroxy acid 6-amino-2,2-dihydroxy-hexanoic acid (8), and the cyclic aminol 2-hydroxy-piperidine-2-carboxylic acid (9). Using NMR and mass spectroscopy, we show that 3 is the major component of this enzymatic product at any pH, but at more basic conditions, the equilibrium shifts to produce relatively more 4, and at acidic conditions, the equilibrium shifts to produce relatively more 2, 7, and/or 9. Studies of escapin's enzyme kinetics demonstrate that because of the high concentrations of escapin and L-lysine in the ink secretion, millimolar concentrations of 3, H(2)O(2), and ammonia are produced, and also lower concentrations of 2, 4, 7, and 9 as a result. We also show that reactions of this mixture with H(2)O(2) produce delta-aminovaleric acid (5) and delta-valerolactam (6), with 6 being the dominant component under the naturally acidic conditions of ink. Thus, the product of escapin's action on L-lysine contains an equilibrium mixture that is more complex than previously known for any L-amino acid oxidase.

  17. Comprehensive enzymatic analysis of the cellulolytic system in digestive fluid of the Sea Hare Aplysia kurodai. Efficient glucose release from sea lettuce by synergistic action of 45 kDa endoglucanase and 210 kDa ß-glucosidase.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akihiko Tsuji

    Full Text Available Although many endo-ß-1,4-glucanases have been isolated in invertebrates, their cellulolytic systems are not fully understood. In particular, gastropod feeding on seaweed is considered an excellent model system for production of bioethanol and renewable bioenergy from third-generation feedstocks (microalgae and seaweeds. In this study, enzymes involved in the conversion of cellulose and other polysaccharides to glucose in digestive fluids of the sea hare (Aplysia kurodai were screened and characterized to determine how the sea hare obtains glucose from sea lettuce (Ulva pertusa. Four endo-ß-1,4-glucanases (21K, 45K, 65K, and 95K cellulase and 2 ß-glucosidases (110K and 210K were purified to a homogeneous state, and the synergistic action of these enzymes during cellulose digestion was analyzed. All cellulases exhibited cellulase and lichenase activities and showed distinct cleavage specificities against cellooligosaccharides and filter paper. Filter paper was digested to cellobiose, cellotriose, and cellotetraose by 21K cellulase, whereas 45K and 65K enzymes hydrolyzed the filter paper to cellobiose and glucose. 210K ß-glucosidase showed unique substrate specificity against synthetic and natural substrates, and 4-methylumbelliferyl (4MU-ß-glucoside, 4MU-ß-galactoside, cello-oligosaccharides, laminarin, and lichenan were suitable substrates. Furthermore, 210K ß-glucosidase possesses lactase activity. Although ß-glucosidase and cellulase are necessary for efficient hydrolysis of carboxymethylcellulose to glucose, laminarin is hydrolyzed to glucose only by 210K ß-glucosidase. Kinetic analysis of the inhibition of 210K ß-glucosidase by D-glucono-1,5-lactone suggested the presence of 2 active sites similar to those of mammalian lactase-phlorizin hydrolase. Saccharification of sea lettuce was considerably stimulated by the synergistic action of 45K cellulase and 210K ß-glucosidase. Our results indicate that 45K cellulase and 210K

  18. 混合蛋白质体系中魟鱼和海兔肝铁蛋白释放铁的动力学研究%STUDIES ON KINETICS OF IRON RELEASE FROM THE LIVER FERRITINS OF Dasyatics akajei AND Aplysia UNDER THE SYSTEM OF MIXED PROTEINS

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈平; 黄河清; 颜利; 黄河宁; 杨天赐; 周常义

    2004-01-01

    分别制备含有魟鱼肝铁蛋白(1iver ferritin of Dasyatis akajei,DALF)和海兔肝铁蛋白(Liver ferritin of Aplysia,ALF)的混合蛋白质体系.选用电子光谱技术和不同电子供体,研究在混合蛋白质体系中,DALF和ALF释放铁的动力学过程和规律.实验结果表明,采用Na2S2O4作为还原剂时,DALF以两相行为进行释放铁的反应;而选用抗坏血酸作为还原剂时,DALF却以一级反应动力学方式进行释放铁的反应,简化释放铁的过程.在混合蛋白质体系中且以抗坏血酸和Na2S2O4为电子供体时,ALF均以一级反应动力学过程进行释放铁的反应,认为某些蛋白质参与协助ALF释放铁反应,从而简化释放铁的过程.

  19. A Presynaptic Role for FMRP during Protein Synthesis-Dependent Long-Term Plasticity in "Aplysia"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Till, Sally M.; Li, Hsiu-Ling; Miniaci, Maria Concetta; Kandel, Eric R.; Choi, Yun-Beom

    2011-01-01

    Loss of the Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) is associated with presumed postsynaptic deficits in mouse models of Fragile X syndrome. However, the possible presynaptic roles of FMRP in learning-related plasticity have received little attention. As a result, the mechanisms whereby FMRP influences synaptic function remain poorly…

  20. Cloning, expression and processing of the CP2 neuropeptide precursor of Aplysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilim, F S; Alexeeva, V; Moroz, L L; Li, L; Moroz, T P; Sweedler, J V; Weiss, K R

    2001-12-01

    The cDNA sequence encoding the CP2 neuropeptide precursor is identified and encodes a single copy of the neuropeptide that is flanked by appropriate processing sites. The distribution of the CP2 precursor mRNA is described and matches the CP2-like immunoreactivity described previously. Single cell RT-PCR independently confirms the presence of CP2 precursor mRNA in selected neurons. MALDI-TOF MS is used to identify additional peptides derived from the CP2 precursor in neuronal somata and nerves, suggesting that the CP2 precursor may give rise to additional bioactive neuropeptides.

  1. Localized illumination of the Aplysia and Bulla eye reveals new relationships between retinal layers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Block, G D; McMahon, D G

    1983-04-11

    The cellular organization of the opisthobranch retina is of interest since the eyes of several of these molluscs express circadian rhythms in optic nerve impulse frequency. In a model for retinal organization proposed by Audesirk, photoreceptors make electrical contacts with higher order cells which generate the compound action potential (CAP) recorded in the optic nerve. However, using micro-illumination on selected retinal regions, we now find that cells near the base of the retina are responsible for light transduction leading to CAPs. Illumination of the distal segments of photoreceptors surrounding the lens generates low-amplitude unitary activity in the optic nerve without CAPs. Furthermore, illumination of this region leads to inhibition of spontaneous CAPs or those generated by illumination of the retinal base. This inhibition is blocked by high magnesium-low calcium solutions and thus we conclude that inhibition and a secretory step comprise at least part of the pathway between the photoreceptor layer and neurons giving rise to the CAP.

  2. Exogenous mRNA encoding tetanus or botulinum neurotoxins expressed in Aplysia neurons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mochida, Sumiko; Poulain, Bernard; Eisel, Ulrich; Binz, Thomas; Kurazono, Hisao; Niemann, Heiner; Tauc, Ladislav; Bullock, Theodore H.

    1990-01-01

    Injection of exogenous mRNA purified from various tissue preparations into cellular translation systems such as Xenopus oocytes has allowed expression of complex proteins (e.g., receptors for neurotransmitters). No evidence for expression of injected exogenous mRNA, however, has been reported in ter

  3. Taxonomy Icon Data: Kuroda's sea hare [Taxonomy Icon

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available .png Aplysia_kurodai_S.png Aplysia_kurodai_NS.png http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Aplysia+k...urodai&t=L http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Aplysia+kurodai&t=NL http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy..._icon/icon.cgi?i=Aplysia+kurodai&t=S http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/i...con.cgi?i=Aplysia+kurodai&t=NS http://togodb.biosciencedbc.jp/togodb/view/taxonomy_icon_comment_en?species_id=14 ...

  4. From Aplysia to the constitution: evolution of concepts in behavior analysis / Da Aplysia à constituição: evolução de conceitos na análise do comportamento

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João Claudio Todorov

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available This work presents the evolution of concepts in behavior analysis, especially in the writings of Skinner, from the definition of operant behavior and reinforcement contingency to processes of selection by consequences, following the development of a conceptual language that covers both the behavior of molluscs and the metacontingencies included in the constitution of a country. Skinner's first papers used the terminology developed by Pavlov in his studies of conditioned reflexes to deal with behavior in general. From Skinner's doctoral dissertation to the papers published in the 80's there was an evolution, followed by the field of behavior analysis, which today uses the same, sophisticated language to deal with complex issues like cultural practices and the survival of cultures.

  5. Da Aplysia à constituição: evolução de conceitos na análise do comportamento From Aplysia to the constitution: evolution of concepts in behavior analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João Claudio Todorov

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Objetivou-se apresentar a evolução de conceitos na análise do comportamento, especialmente nos trabalhos de Skinner, desde a definição do conceito de operante, de contingência de reforço, até os processos de seleção por conseqüências, seguindo o desenvolvimento de uma linguagem teórica que abarca desde o comportamento de moluscos até o texto da Constituição, enquanto metacontingência. Os trabalhos iniciais de Skinner usavam a linguagem desenvolvida por Pavlov no estudo de reflexos condicionados para abranger todo o comportamento. De sua dissertação de doutorado até os trabalhos publicados nos anos 1980, Skinner evoluiu e com ele toda a análise do comportamento, que hoje usa a mesma linguagem mais sofisticada para abordar temas complexos como práticas culturais e a sobrevivência de culturas.This work presents the evolution of concepts in behavior analysis, especially in the writings of Skinner, from the definition of operant behavior and reinforcement contingency to processes of selection by consequences, following the development of a conceptual language that covers both the behavior of molluscs and the metacontingencies included in the constitution of a country. Skinner's first papers used the terminology developed by Pavlov in his studies of conditioned reflexes to deal with behavior in general. From Skinner's doctoral dissertation to the papers published in the 80's there was an evolution, followed by the field of behavior analysis, which today uses the same, sophisticated language to deal with complex issues like cultural practices and the survival of cultures.

  6. The Role of the Electrogenic Sodium Pump in Modulation of Pacemaker Discharge of ’Aplysia’ Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    1974-10-01

    functionally change the intracellular ionic 12 concentrations. Gorman and Marmor , in a closely related preparation, have shown that membrane...Gorman, A. L. F. and Marmor , M. F. Contributions of the sodium pump and ionic gradients to the membrane potential of a molluscan neurone. J...Physiol. 210:897-917, 1970. 18 13. Gorman, A. L. F. and Marmor , M. F. Temperature dependence of the sodium- potassium permeability ratio of a

  7. Myogenesis in Aplysia californica (Cooper, 1863) (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Opisthobranchia) with special focus on muscular remodeling during metamorphosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wollesen, Tim; Wanninger, Andreas; Klussmann-Kolb, Annette

    2008-01-01

    To date only few comparative approaches tried to reconstruct the ontogeny of the musculature in invertebrates. This may be due to the difficulties involved in reconstructing three dimensionally arranged muscle systems by means of classical histological techniques combined with light or transmissi...

  8. Putative Neurotransmitters in ’Aplysia’: Distribution of Gamma- Aminobutyric Acid, Aspartate and Glutamate in Ganglia and Single Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    1975-02-01

    been described in other inver- 21 7 tebrate nervous systems. Lewis and Evans note the presence of large amounts of taurine in...and Tauc, L. Pharmacological specificities of neurones in an elementary central nervous system. Nature 189:924-925, 1961. 15 12. Giller, E...Abstract 1349), 1974. 32. Usherwood, P. N. R., Machili, P. and Leaf, G. L-glutamate at insect excit- atory nerve-muscle synapses. Nature 219

  9. Improved electrochemical detection of biogenic amines in Aplysia using base-hydrolyzed cellulose-coated carbon fiber microelectrodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marinesco, Stéphane; Carew, Thomas J

    2002-05-30

    A major challenge with electrochemical techniques in vivo, using carbon-fiber microelectrodes, is to achieve sufficient sensitivity to detect the low concentrations of transmitters released by neurons. In particular, when an electrode is inserted into living tissue, its sensitivity is usually substantially decreased as a result of the degradation of the carbon surface by proteins. Here, we show that this decrease can be significantly attenuated by coating the electrode with cellulose acetate. The cellulose film offers a steric barrier that prevents macromolecules from diffusing to the carbon surface and its porosity can be progressively increased by controlled hydrolysis. We compared different cellulose-coated electrodes, either non-hydrolysed or hydrolyzed, in 0.08 N KOH for 10-30 min. We found that dopamine and serotonin detection was blocked by non-hydrolysed cellulose films, but that hydrolysis restored optimal detection similar to uncoated electrodes. Moreover, cellulose films (hydrolyzed for 20 min) significantly diminished electrode degradation in vivo and allowed reliable detection of fast concentration changes with coated electrodes is approximately 20 min with our protocol and carbon fiber electrodes prepared with this method offer improved sensitivity for the detection of biogenic amines.

  10. MOLECULAR-BIOLOGY OF CLOSTRIDIAL TOXINS - EXPRESSION OF MESSENGER-RNAS ENCODING TETANUS AND BOTULINUM NEUROTOXINS IN APLYSIA NEURONS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    MOCHIDA, S; POULAIN, B; EISEL, U; BINZ, T; KURAZONO, H; NIEMANN, H; TAUC, L

    1990-01-01

    mRNAs encoding the light chain of tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins were transcribed, in vitro, from the cloned and specifically truncated genes of Clostridium tetani and Clostridium botulinum, respectively, and injected into presynaptic identified cholinergic neurons of the buccal ganglia of Aplysi

  11. A PKM Generated by Calpain Cleavage of a Classical PKC Is Required for Activity-Dependent Intermediate-Term Facilitation in the Presynaptic Sensory Neuron of "Aplysia"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farah, Carole A.; Hastings, Margaret H.; Dunn, Tyler W.; Gong, Katrina; Baker-Andresen, Danay; Sossin, Wayne S.

    2017-01-01

    Atypical PKM, a persistently active form of atypical PKC, is proposed to be a molecular memory trace, but there have been few examinations of the role of PKMs generated from other PKCs. We demonstrate that inhibitors used to inhibit PKMs generated from atypical PKCs are also effective inhibitors of other PKMs. In contrast, we demonstrate that…

  12. A Shab potassium channel contributes to action potential broadening in peptidergic neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quattrocki, E A; Marshall, J; Kaczmarek, L K

    1994-01-01

    We have cloned the gene for a potassium channel, Aplysia Shab, that is expressed in the bag cell neurons of Aplysia. The voltage dependence and kinetics of the Aplysia Shab current in oocytes match those of IK2, one of the two delayed rectifiers in these neurons. Like IK2, but in contrast with other members of the Shab subfamily, the Aplysia Shab current inactivates within several hundred milliseconds. This inactivation occurs by a process whose properties do not match those previously described for C-type and N-type mechanisms. Neither truncation of the N-terminus nor block by tetraethylammonium alters the time course of inactivation. By incorporating the characteristics of Aplysia Shab into a computational model, we have shown how this current contributes to the normal enhancement of action potentials that occurs in the bag cell neurons at the onset of neuropeptide secretion.

  13. Activity-Dependent Calpain Activation Plays a Critical Role in Synaptic Facilitation and Post-Tetanic Potentiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khoutorsky, Arkady; Spira, Micha E.

    2009-01-01

    Synaptic facilitation and post-tetanic potentiation (PTP) are believed to necessitate active regeneration of the release machinery and supply of synaptic vesicles to a ready-releasable site. The prevailing hypothesis assumes that synapsins play pivotal roles in these processes. Using a cholinergic synapse formed between cultured "Aplysia" neurons…

  14. Chemical composition of inks of diverse marine molluscs suggests convergent chemical defenses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derby, Charles D; Kicklighter, Cynthia E; Johnson, P M; Zhang, Xu

    2007-05-01

    Some marine molluscs, notably sea hares, cuttlefish, squid, and octopus, release ink when attacked by predators. The sea hare Aplysia californica releases secretions from the ink gland and opaline gland that protect individuals from injury or death from predatory spiny lobsters through a combination of mechanisms that include chemical deterrence, sensory disruption, and phagomimicry. The latter two mechanisms are facilitated by millimolar concentrations of free amino acids (FAA) in sea hare ink and opaline, which stimulate the chemosensory systems of predators, ultimately leading to escape by sea hares. We hypothesize that other inking molluscs use sensory disruption and/or phagomimicry as a chemical defense. To investigate this, we examined concentrations of 21 FAA and ammonium in the defensive secretions of nine species of inking molluscs: three sea hares (Aplysia californica, Aplysia dactylomela, Aplysia juliana) and six cephalopods (cuttlefish: Sepia officinalis; squid: Loligo pealei, Lolliguncula brevis, Dosidicus gigas; octopus: Octopus vulgaris, Octopus bimaculoides). We found millimolar levels of total FAA and ammonium in these secretions, and the FAA in highest concentration were taurine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, alanine, and lysine. Crustaceans and fish, which are major predators of these molluscs, have specific receptor systems for these FAA. Our chemical analysis supports the hypothesis that inking molluscs have the potential to use sensory disruption and/or phagomimicry as a chemical defense.

  15. Dicty_cDB: Contig-U01723-1 [Dicty_cDB

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available cospora zeae-maydis cercospor... 32 5.4 2 ( GD236757 ) G1045P366RL10.T1 Aplysia cal...EY383727 ) CAXA476.fwd CAXA Helobdella robusta Subtracted La... 38 5.4 2 ( FG247080 ) CBYB4735.b1 CBYB Cer

  16. Analysis and Synthesis of Adaptive Neural Elements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-09-30

    processing, long-term memory, and goal-seeking behavior. Single identified sensory and interneurons in the mollusc Aplysia that have demonstrated capacities...seen in about 50% of preparations, is associated with a large compound EPSP . It has a frequency of 1-10 sec, period of 0.5-3 sec, and amplitude of 2-20...the motor neurons. Artificial stimulation of these newly identified group of electrically coupled cells produced monosynaptic EPSPs in B4 and initiated

  17. Release of a single neurotransmitter from an identified interneuron coherently affects motor output on multiple time scales

    OpenAIRE

    Dacks, Andrew M.; Weiss, Klaudiusz R.

    2013-01-01

    Neurotransmitters can have diverse effects that occur over multiple time scales often making the consequences of neurotransmission difficult to predict. To explore the consequences of this diversity, we used the buccal ganglion of Aplysia to examine the effects of GABA release by a single interneuron, B40, on the intrinsic properties and motor output of the radula closure neuron B8. B40 induces a picrotoxin-sensitive fast IPSP lasting milliseconds in B8 and a slow EPSP lasting seconds. We fou...

  18. A Brain-Machine-Brain Interface for Rewiring of Cortical Circuitry after Traumatic Brain Injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-01

    Task 1 (Electronics Testing/Microsystem Packaging) 1.1 Conduct in vivo experiments in brain-injured monkeys using a fully assembled microsystem...rodent studies in constructing the microsystem for non- human primate (squirrel monkey ) studies. This is because the capabilities of the rat ASIC (e.g...Aplysia californica (see Appendix II). In Year 4, the SAR algorithm was integrated on an ASIC that combined spike recording, electrical microstimulation

  19. Spatial and temporal variability in response to hybrid electro-optical stimulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duke, Austin R.; Lu, Hui; Jenkins, Michael W.; Chiel, Hillel J.; Jansen, E. Duco

    2012-06-01

    Hybrid electro-optical neural stimulation is a novel paradigm combining the advantages of optical and electrical stimulation techniques while reducing their respective limitations. However, in order to fulfill its promise, this technique requires reduced variability and improved reproducibility. Here we used a comparative physiological approach to aid the further development of this technique by identifying the spatial and temporal factors characteristic of hybrid stimulation that may contribute to experimental variability and/or a lack of reproducibility. Using transient pulses of infrared light delivered simultaneously with a bipolar electrical stimulus in either the marine mollusk Aplysia californica buccal nerve or the rat sciatic nerve, we determined the existence of a finite region of excitability with size altered by the strength of the optical stimulus and recruitment dictated by the polarity of the electrical stimulus. Hybrid stimulation radiant exposures yielding 50% probability of firing (RE50) were shown to be negatively correlated with the underlying changes in electrical stimulation threshold over time. In Aplysia, but not in the rat sciatic nerve, increasing optical radiant exposures (J cm-2) beyond the RE50 ultimately resulted in inhibition of evoked potentials. Accounting for the sources of variability identified in this study increased the reproducibility of stimulation from 35% to 93% in Aplysia and 23% to 76% in the rat with reduced variability.

  20. In vitro antibacterial, alpha-amylase inhibition potential of three nudibranchs extracts from South East coast of India

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Giji Sadhasivam; Arumugam Muthuvel; Wanjale Mrunal Vitthal; Abirami Pachaiyappan; Mohan Kumar; Balasubramanian Thangavel

    2013-01-01

    Objective: To study the antibacterial and antiamylase properties of methanol and acetone extracts of nudibranchs including Bursatella leachii (B. leachii), Kalinga ornata (K. ornata),Aplysia sp. Methods: Crude methanol and acetone extracts of sea slugs were tested for inhibition of fish bacterial pathogens' growth through disc diffusion method. The activity was measured based on the formation of inhibition zone around the disc impregnated with crude extracts. The α-amylase inhibitory effect was also measured calorimetrically. The chemical fingerprinting of the extract was recorded with HPTLC and GC-MS. Results: The solvent extracts of all the three sea slugs showed antibacterial property. The maximum zone of inhibition (>15-20 mm) was recorded for methanol and acetone extracts of K.ornata. The methanol extract of Aplysia sp. exhibited 93% inhibition against α-amylase, following by B. leachii (methanol) 70.6% and K. ornata (methanol) 49.03% inhibition respectively. The acetone extracts didn' t show any notable inhibition. The presence of free amino acids like lysine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, arginine etc., terpenoids and pigents were confirmed through HPTLC analysis. The presence of siloxanes and propanoic acid were also revealed through GC-MS. Conclusions: This study suggests that further scrutinisation of the B. leachii, K. ornata and Aplysia sp. will pave the way for development of antibacterial and α-amylase inhibitory agent for therapeutic application.

  1. In vitro antibacterial, alpha-amylase inhibition potential of three nudibranchs extracts from South East coast of India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giji Sadhasivam

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To study the antibacterial and antiamylase properties of methanol and acetone extracts of nudibranchs including Bursatella leachii (B. leachii, Kalinga ornata (K. ornata, Aplysia sp. Methods: Crude methanol and acetone extracts of sea slugs were tested for inhibition of fish bacterial pathogens' growth through disc diffusion method. The activity was measured based on the formation of inhibition zone around the disc impregnated with crude extracts. The α-amylase inhibitory effect was also measured calorimetrically. The chemical fingerprinting of the extract was recorded with HPTLC and GC-MS. Results: The solvent extracts of all the three sea slugs showed antibacterial property. The maximum zone of inhibition (>15-20 mm was recorded for methanol and acetone extracts of K. ornata. The methanol extract of Aplysia sp. exhibited 93% inhibition against α-amylase, following by B. leachii (methanol 70.6% and K. ornata (methanol 49.03% inhibition respectively. The acetone extracts didn' t show any notable inhibition. The presence of free amino acids like lysine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, arginine etc., terpenoids and pigents were confirmed through HPTLC analysis. The presence of siloxanes and propanoic acid were also revealed through GC-MS. Conclusions: This study suggests that further scrutinisation of the B. leachii, K. ornata and Aplysia sp. will pave the way for development of antibacterial and α-amylase inhibitory agent for therapeutic application.

  2. Development of gravity-sensing organs in altered gravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiederhold, M. L.; Gao, W. Y.; Harrison, J. L.; Hejl, R.

    1997-01-01

    Experiments are described in which the development of the gravity-sensing organs was studied in newt larvae reared in microgravity on the IML-2 mission and in Aplysia embryos and larvae reared on a centrifuge at 1 to 5 g. In Aplysia embryos, the statolith (single dense mass on which gravity and linear acceleration act) was reduced in size in a graded fashion at increasing g. In early post-metamorphic Aplysia or even in isolated statocysts from such animals, the number of statoconia produced is reduced at high g. Newt larvae launched before any of the otoconia were formed and reared for 15 days in microgravity had nearly adult labyrinths at the end of the IML-2 mission. The otoliths of the saccule and utricle were the same size in flight and ground-reared larvae. However, the system of aragonitic otoconia produced in the endolymphatic sac in amphibians was much larger and developed earlier in the flight-reared larvae. At later developmental stages, the aragonitic otoconia enter and fill the saccule. One flight-reared larva was maintained for nine months post-flight and the size of the saccular otolith, as well as the volume of otoconia within the endolymphatic sac, were considerably larger than in age-matched, ground-reared newts. This suggests that rearing in microgravity initiates a process that continues for several months after introduction to 1-g, which greatly increases the volume of otoconia. The flight-reared animal had abnormal posture, pointing its head upward, whereas normal ground-reared newts always keep their head horizontal. This suggests that rearing for even a short period in microgravity can have lasting functional consequences in an animal subsequently reared in 1-g conditions on Earth.

  3. Latent modulation: a basis for non-disruptive promotion of two incompatible behaviors by a single network state.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dacks, Andrew M; Weiss, Klaudiusz R

    2013-02-27

    Behavioral states often preferentially enhance specific classes of behavior and suppress incompatible behaviors. In the nervous system, this may involve upregulation of the efficacy of neural modules that mediate responses to one stimulus and suppression of modules that generate antagonistic or incompatible responses to another stimulus. In Aplysia, prestimulation of egestive inputs [esophageal nerve (EN)] facilitates subsequent EN-elicited egestive responses and weakens ingestive responses to ingestive inputs [Cerebral-Buccal Interneuron (CBI-2)]. However, a single state can also promote incompatible behaviors in response to different stimuli. This is the case in Aplysia, where prestimulation of CBI-2 inputs not only enhances subsequent CBI-2-elicited ingestive responses, but also strengthens EN-elicited egestive responses. We used the modularly organized feeding network of Aplysia to characterize the organizational principles that allow a single network state to promote two opposing behaviors, ingestion and egestion, without the two interfering with each other. We found that the CBI-2 prestimulation-induced state upregulates the excitability of neuron B65 which, as a member of the egestive module, increases the strength of egestive responses. Furthermore, we found that this upregulation is likely mediated by the actions of the neuropeptides FCAP (Feeding Circuit Activating Peptide) and CP2 (Cerebral Peptide 2). This increased excitability is mediated by a form of modulation that we refer to as "latent modulation" because it is established during stimulation of CBI-2, which does not activate B65. However, when B65 is recruited into EN-elicited egestive responses, the effects of the latent modulation are expressed as a higher B65 firing rate and a resultant strengthening of the egestive response.

  4. Infrared neural stimulation (INS) inhibits electrically evoked neural responses in the deaf white cat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, Claus-Peter; Rajguru, Suhrud M.; Robinson, Alan; Young, Hunter K.

    2014-03-01

    Infrared neural stimulation (INS) has been used in the past to evoke neural activity from hearing and partially deaf animals. All the responses were excitatory. In Aplysia californica, Duke and coworkers demonstrated that INS also inhibits neural responses [1], which similar observations were made in the vestibular system [2, 3]. In deaf white cats that have cochleae with largely reduced spiral ganglion neuron counts and a significant degeneration of the organ of Corti, no cochlear compound action potentials could be observed during INS alone. However, the combined electrical and optical stimulation demonstrated inhibitory responses during irradiation with infrared light.

  5. Identification of a human homologue of the vesicle-associated membrane protein (VAMP)-associated protein of 33 kDa (VAP-33): a broadly expressed protein that binds to VAMP.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weir, M L; Klip, A; Trimble, W S

    1998-01-01

    We report the identification of a human homologue of the vesicle-associated membrane protein (VAMP)-associated protein (hVAP-33) that has been implicated in neuronal exocytosis in Aplysia californica. This hVAP-33 shared 50% amino acid identity with the A. californica form and had similar length, structural organization and VAMP-binding abilities. However, in contrast with the neuron-specific expression seen in A. californica, hVAP-33 was broadly expressed, suggesting possible roles in vesicle fusion in both neuronal and non-neuronal cells. PMID:9657962

  6. Functional Authentication of a Novel Gastropod Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Receptor Reveals Unusual Features and Evolutionary Insight

    OpenAIRE

    Kavanaugh, Scott I.; Tsai, Pei-San

    2016-01-01

    A gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)-like molecule was previously identified in a gastropod, Aplysia californica, and named ap-GnRH. In this study, we cloned the full-length cDNA of a putative ap-GnRH receptor (ap-GnRHR) and functionally authenticated this receptor as a bona fide ap-GnRHR. This receptor contains two potential translation start sites, each accompanied by a Kozak sequence, suggesting the translation of a long and a short form of the receptor is possible. The putative ap-GnRH...

  7. Analysis of neuropeptides using capillary zone electrophoresis with multichannel fluorescence detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweedler, Jonathan V.; Shear, Jason B.; Fishman, Harvey A.; Zare, Richard N.; Scheller, Richard H.

    1991-12-01

    Capillary zone electrophoresis is fast becoming one of the most sensitive separation schemes for sampling complex microenvironments. A unique detection scheme is developed in which a charge-coupled device (CCD) detects laser induced fluorescence from an axially illuminated electrophoresis capillary. The fluorescence from an analyte band is measured over a several centimeter section of the capillary, greatly increasing the observation time of the fluorescently tagged band. The sensitivity of the system is in the 1-8 X 10-20 mol range for derivatized amino acids and peptides. Subattomole quantities of bag cell neuropeptides collected from the giant marine mollusk Aplysia californica can be measured.

  8. Compostos biologicamente ativos em invertebrados marinhos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Carlos de Freitas

    1980-12-01

    Full Text Available The author has reviewed the classification, the nomenclature and the ecological aspects of biologically active compounds, emphasizing the Freyvogel & Perret's (1973 concepts of venomous and poisonous organisms. The literature involving the phyla Annelida, Mollusca and Arthropoda was also reviewed. The author's pharmacological studies performed with the polychaete Eurytlioe camplanata, which revealed a dializable principle, active in the guinea pig's ileum and dorsal muscle ot polvchaete itself are also commented. This principle differs from Acetylcholine and Serotonin. Pharmacologically studies in the sea-hares (genus Aplysia were also focused, including the author's contribution. In the glands os Aplysia brasiliana, namely the mid-gut-gland, the opaline gland and the purple gland, the author confirmed presence of cholinesters, which are discussed in the review. Toxicity of Arthropods are also discussed, mainly in decapod crustaceans. In some Brazilian crabs studies revealed a pharmacological activity of the gastric secretion expelled with an apparently defensive purpose and its ecological importance is focused in terms of the community. The relatively scarce studies of chemical ecology of marine organisms in Latin America and the importance of these studies were finally emphasized.

  9. Event timing in associative learning: from biochemical reaction dynamics to behavioural observations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayse Yarali

    Full Text Available Associative learning relies on event timing. Fruit flies for example, once trained with an odour that precedes electric shock, subsequently avoid this odour (punishment learning; if, on the other hand the odour follows the shock during training, it is approached later on (relief learning. During training, an odour-induced Ca(++ signal and a shock-induced dopaminergic signal converge in the Kenyon cells, synergistically activating a Ca(++-calmodulin-sensitive adenylate cyclase, which likely leads to the synaptic plasticity underlying the conditioned avoidance of the odour. In Aplysia, the effect of serotonin on the corresponding adenylate cyclase is bi-directionally modulated by Ca(++, depending on the relative timing of the two inputs. Using a computational approach, we quantitatively explore this biochemical property of the adenylate cyclase and show that it can generate the effect of event timing on associative learning. We overcome the shortage of behavioural data in Aplysia and biochemical data in Drosophila by combining findings from both systems.

  10. Eric Kandel: the future of memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kandel, Erik

    2005-04-01

    Watching ice floes glide by on the Hudson River from Eric Kandel's office, one gets a sense of placid reflection tempered by constant action-an apt analogy for Kandel's ability to calmly manage several ongoing projects and commitments at once. In addition to his well-lauded, ongoing research at Columbia University Medical Center's New York State Psychiatric Institute, Kandel has written several books on neurobiology, behavior, and memory. In addition to being a Nobel Laureate Scientist, he is well-known as an editor of the seminal textbook Principles of Neural Science. He and his colleagues are in the midst of working on a new edition of Principles, and he is working on a scientific autobiography. MI sat down with Dr. Kandel and discussed with him a range of topics including childhood and early career influences, intramural research at the NIH, the HHMI, ethical considerations of altering memory and, of course, Aplysia.

  11. New Mediterranean Biodiversity Records (June 2012

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. NICOLAIDOU

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The present work reports on the extended distribution of nineteen species in the Mediterranean. These are: Upeneus pori(Fish:Turkey, Bursatella leachii (Mollusca, Opisthobranchia: eastern coast of Spain, Sparisoma cretense (Fish: Ionian coastof Greece, Pseudobryopsis myura (Chlorophyta: Turkey, Aplysia dactylomela (Mollusca, Opisthobranchia: Karpathos island,and Kyklades Archipelago, Greece, Asparagopsis armata and Botryocladia madagascariensis (Rhodophyta: South Peloponnesos,Greece, Oxynotus centrina (Fish: Greece, Caulerpa racemosa var. cylindracea (Chlorophyta , Stypopodium schimperi(Phaeophyta Siganus luridus and Stephanolepis diaspros (Fish Percnon gibbesi (Decapoda, Brachyura (Kyklades Archipelago,Greece, Cerithium scabridum (Mollusca, Prosobranchia: Anavissos: Greece and Cerithium renovatum (Mollusca, Prosobranchia:N. Κriti, Cassiopea andromeda (Scyphomedusa: Rhodos Island, Greece, Abra tenuis (Mollusca Bivalvia: VouliagmeniLake, Greece Lagocephalus lagocephalus (Fish: Calabrian coast, Italy and Plocamopherus ocellatus (Mollusca, Opisthobranchia:İskenderun Bay, Turkey.

  12. Comparisons of FIR and IIR implementations of a subtraction-based stimulus artifact rejection algorithm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azin, Meysam; Chiel, Hillel J; Mohseni, Pedram

    2007-01-01

    Finite impulse response (FIR) and infinite impulse response (IIR) temporal filtering techniques are investigated to assess the feasibility of very-large-scale-integrated (VLSI) implementation of a subtraction-based stimulus artifact rejection (SAR) algorithm in implantable, closed-loop neuroprostheses. The two approaches are compared in terms of their system architectures, overall performances, and the associated computational costs. Pre-recorded neural data from an Aplysia californica are used to demonstrate the functionality of the proposed implementations. Digital building blocks for an FIR-based system are also simulated in a 0.18-microm CMOS technology, showing a total power consumption of IIR-based system can further reduce the required power consumption and die area.

  13. Synthesis of Natural O-Linked Carba-Disaccharides, (+)- and (−)-Pericosine E, and Their Analogues as α-Glucosidase Inhibitors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usami, Yoshihide; Mizuki, Koji; Kawahata, Rikiya; Shibano, Makio; Sekine, Atsuko; Yoneyama, Hiroki; Harusawa, Shinya

    2017-01-01

    Pericosine E (6), a metabolite of Periconia byssoides OUPS-N133 was originally isolated from the sea hare Aplysia kurodai, which exists as an enantiomeric mixture in nature. The enantiospecific syntheses of both enantiomers of Periconia byssoides OUPS-N133 has been achieved, along with six stereoisomers, using a common simple synthetic strategy. For these efficient syntheses, highly regio- and steroselective processes for the preparation of bromohydrin and anti-epoxide intermediates were applied. In order to access the unique O-linked carbadisaccharide structure, coupling of chlorohydrin as a donor and anti-epoxide as an acceptor was achieved using catalytic BF3·Et2O. Most of the synthesized compounds exhibited selectively significant inhibitory activity against α-glycosidase derived from yeast. The strongest analog showed almost 50 times the activity of the positive control, deoxynojirimycin.

  14. It's not what it looks like: molecular data fails to substantiate morphological differences in two sea hares (Mollusca, Heterobranchia, Aplysiidae) from southern Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saad, Luiza de Oliveira; Cunha, Carlo Magenta; Colpo, Karine Delevati; Valdés, Ángel

    2014-12-01

    Species of sea hares have been recognized traditionally based on morphological traits, mainly the radula, external coloration, and reproductive anatomy. However, recent studies have shown substantial color variation in some sea slug species. Molecular data have been successfully used to differentiate morphologically similar species of "opisthobranchs" and resolve questions on the taxonomic value of color. The objective of this paper is to use molecular data in an attempt to elucidate whether specimens of Aplysia brasiliana with distinct colorations and morphologies are actually the same species. To this end, DNA from 14 specimens of A. brasiliana was extracted, including five specimens identified as a distinct morphotype from typical A. brasiliana. Although the two morphotypes have consistent differences in their external morphology and radula, the molecular data confirmed that there are no significant genetic differences between them. This is another example of the need to re-evaluate taxonomic decisions based on morphology in light of molecular evidence.

  15. Cloning and Characterization of an Abalone (Haliotis discus hannai) Actin Gene

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    MA Hongming; XU Wei; MAI Kangsen; LIUFU Zhiguo; CHEN Hong

    2004-01-01

    An actin encoding gene was cloned by using RT-PCR, 3' RACE and 5' RACE from abalone Haliotis discus hannai. The full length of the gene is 1532 base pairs, which contains a long 3' untranslated region of 307 base pairs and 79 base pairs of 5' untranslated sequence. The open reading frame encodes 376 amino acid residues. Sequence comparison with those of human and other mollusks showed high conservation among species at amino acid level. The identities was 96%, 97% and 96% respectively compared with Aplysia californica, Biomphalaria glabrata and Homo sapience β-actin. It is also indicated that this actin is more similar to the human cytoplasmic actin(β-actin)than to human muscle actin.

  16. AcEST: DK955788 [AcEST

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Oryza sati... 67 6e-11 sp|Q3TZZ7|ESYT2_MOUSE Extended synaptotagmin-2 OS=Mus musculus G... 66 1e-10 sp|Q9ZT4...848_DICDI Probable serine/threonine-protein kinase D... 65 3e-10 sp|A0FGR8|ESYT2_HUMAN Extended synaptotagmi...p|P41823|SY65_APLCA Synaptotagmin-1 OS=Aplysia californica GN=S... 60 7e-09 sp|Q5M7N9|ESYT3_XENTR Extended s...ynaptotagmin-3 OS=Xenopus tropic... 60 7e-09 sp|Q7ZWU7|EST2B_XENLA Extended synaptotagmin-2-B OS=Xenopus lae...v... 60 9e-09 sp|Q5FWL4|EST2A_XENLA Extended synaptotagmin-2-A OS=Xenopus laev... 60 9e-09 sp|P48231|TCB2_YE

  17. AcEST: DK956209 [AcEST

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available 5_APLCA Synaptotagmin-1 OS=Aplysia californica GN=S... 73 1e-12 sp|Q3TZZ7|ESYT2_MOUSE Extended synaptotagmin...-2 OS=Mus musculus G... 73 1e-12 sp|A0FGR8|ESYT2_HUMAN Extended synaptotagmin-2 O...Y62_DISOM Synaptotagmin-B OS=Discopyge ommata GN=P65-... 63 1e-09 sp|A0FGR9|ESYT3_HUMAN Extended synaptotagm...-LDIHVFDQEKHGSDEAMG 299 +P + L I V D ++ G+ E +G Sbjct: 361 VPFEQIQKVTLIITVVDYDRIGTSEPIG 388 >sp|Q3TZZ7|ESYT2_MOUSE Extended...+ E+ I+LFD+D Sbjct: 355 KENLSPKWNEVYEALVYEHPGQELEIELFDED 386 >sp|A0FGR8|ESYT2_HUMAN Extended synaptotagmin-2

  18. AcEST: DK954129 [AcEST

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available OS=Oryza sati... 86 1e-16 sp|P41823|SY65_APLCA Synaptotagmin-1 OS=Aplysia californica GN=S... 72 2e-12 sp|Q3TZZ7|ESYT2_MOUSE Extende...d synaptotagmin-2 OS=Mus musculus G... 67 5e-11 sp|A0FGR8|ESYT2_HUMAN Extended syna...s mus... 62 2e-09 sp|Q9ZT47|PP16A_CUCMA 16 kDa phloem protein 1 OS=Cucurbita maxim... 62 2e-09 sp|Q5RAG2|ESYT1_PONAB Extended... synaptotagmin-1 OS=Pongo abelii G... 62 3e-09 sp|Q9Z1X1|ESYT1_RAT Extended synaptotagmin-1... OS=Rattus norvegicu... 61 4e-09 sp|Q9BSJ8|ESYT1_HUMAN Extended synaptotagmin-1 O

  19. AcEST: DK961580 [AcEST

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available naptotagmin-1 OS=Aplysia californica GN=S... 73 1e-12 sp|Q3TZZ7|ESYT2_MOUSE Extended synaptotagmin-2 OS=Mus ...musculus G... 73 1e-12 sp|A0FGR8|ESYT2_HUMAN Extended synaptotagmin-2 OS=Homo sap...Synaptotagmin-B OS=Discopyge ommata GN=P65-... 63 1e-09 sp|A0FGR9|ESYT3_HUMAN Extended synaptotagmin-3 OS=Ho...DYDRIGTSEPIG 388 >sp|Q3TZZ7|ESYT2_MOUSE Extended synaptotagmin-2 OS=Mus musculus GN=Fam62b PE=1 SV=1 Length ...-NNEVTEVLIKLFDKD 631 + P WNE + + + E+ I+LFD+D Sbjct: 355 KENLSPKWNEVYEALVYEHPGQELEIELFDED 386 >sp|A0FGR8|ESYT2_HUMAN Extended

  20. AcEST: DK953789 [AcEST

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available CA Synaptotagmin-1 OS=Aplysia californica GN=S... 53 1e-06 sp|Q5M7N9|ESYT3_XENTR Extended synaptotagmin-3 OS...=Xenopus tropic... 53 1e-06 sp|A0FGR8|ESYT2_HUMAN Extended synaptotagmin-2 OS=Hom...o sapiens G... 53 1e-06 sp|Q3TZZ7|ESYT2_MOUSE Extended synaptotagmin-2 OS=Mus musculus G... 52 2e-06 sp|Q9NZ...-06 sp|Q9Z0R6|ITSN2_MOUSE Intersectin-2 OS=Mus musculus GN=Itsn2 PE=... 50 7e-06 sp|A0FGR9|ESYT3_HUMAN Extended...abditis elegans G... 47 6e-05 sp|Q5DTI8|ESYT3_MOUSE Extended synaptotagmin-3 OS=M

  1. AcEST: DK955033 [AcEST

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available musculus G... 53 8e-07 sp|P41823|SY65_APLCA Synaptotagmin-1 OS=Aplysia californica GN=S... 53 8e-07 sp|Q5M7N9|ESYT3_XENTR Extended... synaptotagmin-3 OS=Xenopus tropic... 53 8e-07 sp|A0FGR8|ESYT2_HUMAN Extended synapto...tagmin-2 OS=Homo sapiens G... 53 8e-07 sp|Q3TZZ7|ESYT2_MOUSE Extended synaptotagm...in-2 OS=Mus musculus GN=Itsn2 PE=... 50 5e-06 sp|A0FGR9|ESYT3_HUMAN Extended synaptotagmin-3 OS=Homo sapiens...tis elegans G... 47 4e-05 sp|Q5DTI8|ESYT3_MOUSE Extended synaptotagmin-3 OS=Mus musculus G... 47 4e-05 sp|P4

  2. Enzymatic routes for the production of mono- and di-glucosylated derivatives of hydroxytyrosol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trincone, Antonio; Pagnotta, Eduardo; Tramice, Annabella

    2012-07-01

    In this work, a new eco-friendly procedure for the synthesis of hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol α-glycosidic derivatives was proposed by using the marine α-glucosidase from Aplysia fasciata, and a commercial tyrosinase from mushroom for the bioconversion of tyrosol glycosidic derivatives into the corresponding hydroxytyrosol products. New hydroxytyrosol mono- and di-saccharide derivatives were synthesized at final concentrations of 9.35 and 10.8 g/l of reaction, respectively, and their antioxidant activity was evaluated by DPPH test. The best antioxidant agent resulted the (3,4-dihydroxyphenyl) ethyl-α-D-glucopyranoside; it showed a radical scavenging activity similar to that of the hydroxytyrosol, together with an increased hydrosolubility. This molecule could be a good response to many food industry demands, always in search of cheap antioxidants with nutritional properties to improve the nutritional value and the quality of foods.

  3. Roles for small noncoding RNAs in silencing of retrotransposons in the mammalian brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nandi, Sayan; Chandramohan, Dhruva; Fioriti, Luana; Melnick, Ari M; Hébert, Jean M; Mason, Christopher E; Rajasethupathy, Priyamvada; Kandel, Eric R

    2016-10-24

    Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs), long thought to be restricted to germline, have recently been discovered in neurons of Aplysia, with a role in the epigenetic regulation of gene expression underlying long-term memory. We here ask whether piwi/piRNAs are also expressed and have functional roles in the mammalian brain. Large-scale RNA sequencing and subsequent analysis of protein expression revealed the presence in brain of several piRNA biogenesis factors including a mouse piwi (Mili), as well as small RNAs, albeit at low levels, resembling conserved piRNAs in mouse testes [primarily LINE1 (long interspersed nuclear element1) retrotransposon-derived]. Despite the seeming low expression of these putative piRNAs, single-base pair CpG methylation analyses across the genome of Mili/piRNA-deficient (Mili(-/-)) mice demonstrate that brain genomic DNA is preferentially hypomethylated within intergenic areas and LINE1 promoter areas of the genome. Furthermore, Mili mutant mice exhibit behavioral deficits such as hyperactivity and reduced anxiety. These results suggest that putative piRNAs exist in mammalian brain, and similar to the role of piRNAs in testes, they may be involved in the silencing of retrotransposons, which in brain have critical roles in contributing to genomic heterogeneity underlying adaptation, stress response, and brain pathology. We also describe the presence of another class of small RNAs in the brain, with features of endogenous siRNAs, which may have taken over the role of invertebrate piRNAs in their capacity to target both transposons, as well as protein-coding genes. Thus, RNA interference through gene and retrotransposon silencing previously encountered in Aplysia may also have potential roles in the mammalian brain.

  4. Molecular recognition of neonicotinoid insecticides: the determinants of life or death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomizawa, Motohiro; Casida, John E

    2009-02-17

    Until the mid-20th century, pest insect control in agriculture relied on largely inorganic and botanical insecticides, which were inadequate. Then, the remarkable insecticidal properties of several organochlorines, organophosphates, methylcarbamates, and pyrethroids were discovered, leading to an arsenal of synthetic organics. The effectiveness of these insecticides, however, diminished over time due to the emergence of resistant insect strains with less sensitive molecular targets in their nervous systems. This created a critical need for a new type of neuroactive insecticide with a different yet highly sensitive target. Nicotine in tobacco extract was for centuries the best available agent to prevent sucking insects from damaging crops, although this alkaloid was hazardous to people and not very effective. The search for unusual structures and optimization revealed a new class of potent insecticides, known as neonicotinoids, which are similar to nicotine in their structure and action as agonists of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR). Fortunately, neonicotinoids are much more toxic to insects than mammals due in large part to differences in their binding site interactions at the corresponding nAChRs. This Account discusses the progress that has been made in defining the structural basis of neonicotinoid and nicotinoid potency and selectivity. The findings are based on comparisons of two acetylcholine binding proteins (AChBPs) with distinct pharmacological profiles that serve as structural surrogates for the extracellular ligand-binding domain of the nAChRs. Saltwater mollusk (Aplysia californica) AChBP has high neonicotinoid sensitivity, whereas freshwater snail (Lymnaea stagnalis) AChBP has low neonicotinoid and high nicotinoid sensitivities, pharmacologies reminiscent of insect and vertebrate nAChR subtypes, respectively. The ligand-receptor interactions for these AChBPs were established by photoaffinity labeling and X-ray crystallography. Both

  5. Methylaplysinopsin and other marine natural products affecting neurotransmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, K M; Baird-Lambert, J A; Davis, P A; Spence, I

    1981-01-01

    Methylaplysinopsin is a novel marine natural product that, after oral administration, prevented the effects of tetrabenazine in mice and rats. Methylaplysinopsin was a short-acting inhibitor of monoamine oxidase activity with greatest potency when serotonin was the substrate studied. The brain concentration of serotonin in the mouse was increased by methylaplysinopsin over the same time course as monoamine oxidase inhibition ex vivo. Methylaplysinopsin was also a weak inhibitor of the neuronal uptake of [3H]serotonin and a potentiator of the K+-induced release of [3H]serotonin from prelabeled synaptosomes. The predicted potentiation of serotonergic neurotransmission was supported by initial neurophysiological studies in an identified serotonergic pathway in the central nervous system of Aplysia. Two other studies on the pharmacology of marine natural products are reviewed. The majority of polyhalogenated monoterpenes isolated from red algae had central nervous system depressant properties. The exception is plocamadiene A, which caused, in mice, a reversible spastic paresis lasting up to 72 hours after oral administration. The severe muscle spasm was antagonized by diazepam. The final study discussed is the effect of a variety of marine natural products on the synthesis, neuronal uptake, and metabolism of GABA. Their selectivity is discussed with regard to the effects on metabolic respiration, and the correlation of neurochemical and neurophysiological effects on these marine substances.

  6. In Vitro Studies of Neuronal Networks and Synaptic Plasticity in Invertebrates and in Mammals Using Multielectrode Arrays

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Massobrio

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Brain functions are strictly dependent on neural connections formed during development and modified during life. The cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying synaptogenesis and plastic changes involved in learning and memory have been analyzed in detail in simple animals such as invertebrates and in circuits of mammalian brains mainly by intracellular recordings of neuronal activity. In the last decades, the evolution of techniques such as microelectrode arrays (MEAs that allow simultaneous, long-lasting, noninvasive, extracellular recordings from a large number of neurons has proven very useful to study long-term processes in neuronal networks in vivo and in vitro. In this work, we start off by briefly reviewing the microelectrode array technology and the optimization of the coupling between neurons and microtransducers to detect subthreshold synaptic signals. Then, we report MEA studies of circuit formation and activity in invertebrate models such as Lymnaea, Aplysia, and Helix. In the following sections, we analyze plasticity and connectivity in cultures of mammalian dissociated neurons, focusing on spontaneous activity and electrical stimulation. We conclude by discussing plasticity in closed-loop experiments.

  7. In Vitro Studies of Neuronal Networks and Synaptic Plasticity in Invertebrates and in Mammals Using Multielectrode Arrays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tessadori, Jacopo; Ghirardi, Mirella

    2015-01-01

    Brain functions are strictly dependent on neural connections formed during development and modified during life. The cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying synaptogenesis and plastic changes involved in learning and memory have been analyzed in detail in simple animals such as invertebrates and in circuits of mammalian brains mainly by intracellular recordings of neuronal activity. In the last decades, the evolution of techniques such as microelectrode arrays (MEAs) that allow simultaneous, long-lasting, noninvasive, extracellular recordings from a large number of neurons has proven very useful to study long-term processes in neuronal networks in vivo and in vitro. In this work, we start off by briefly reviewing the microelectrode array technology and the optimization of the coupling between neurons and microtransducers to detect subthreshold synaptic signals. Then, we report MEA studies of circuit formation and activity in invertebrate models such as Lymnaea, Aplysia, and Helix. In the following sections, we analyze plasticity and connectivity in cultures of mammalian dissociated neurons, focusing on spontaneous activity and electrical stimulation. We conclude by discussing plasticity in closed-loop experiments. PMID:25866681

  8. Atomic interactions of neonicotinoid agonists with AChBP: Molecular recognition of the distinctive electronegative pharmacophore

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Talley, Todd T.; Harel, Michal; Hibbs, Ryan E.; Radi, Zoran; Tomizawa, Motohiro; Casida, John E.; Taylor, Palmer (UCB); (UCSD)

    2008-07-28

    Acetylcholine-binding proteins (AChBPs) from mollusks are suitable structural and functional surrogates of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors when combined with transmembrane spans of the nicotinic receptor. These proteins assemble as a pentamer with identical ACh binding sites at the subunit interfaces and show ligand specificities resembling those of the nicotinic receptor for agonists and antagonists. A subset of ligands, termed the neonicotinoids, exhibit specificity for insect nicotinic receptors and selective toxicity as insecticides. AChBPs are of neither mammalian nor insect origin and exhibit a distinctive pattern of selectivity for the neonicotinoid ligands. We define here the binding orientation and determinants of differential molecular recognition for the neonicotinoids and classical nicotinoids by estimates of kinetic and equilibrium binding parameters and crystallographic analysis. Neonicotinoid complex formation is rapid and accompanied by quenching of the AChBP tryptophan fluorescence. Comparisons of the neonicotinoids imidacloprid and thiacloprid in the binding site from Aplysia californica AChBP at 2.48 and 1.94 {angstrom} in resolution reveal a single conformation of the bound ligands with four of the five sites occupied in the pentameric crystal structure. The neonicotinoid electronegative pharmacophore is nestled in an inverted direction compared with the nicotinoid cationic functionality at the subunit interfacial binding pocket. Characteristic of several agonists, loop C largely envelops the ligand, positioning aromatic side chains to interact optimally with conjugated and hydrophobic regions of the neonicotinoid. This template defines the association of interacting amino acids and their energetic contributions to the distinctive interactions of neonicotinoids.

  9. New learning while consolidating memory during sleep is actively blocked by a protein synthesis dependent process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Roi; Levitan, David; Susswein, Abraham J

    2016-01-01

    Brief experiences while a memory is consolidated may capture the consolidation, perhaps producing a maladaptive memory, or may interrupt the consolidation. Since consolidation occurs during sleep, even fleeting experiences when animals are awakened may produce maladaptive long-term memory, or may interrupt consolidation. In a learning paradigm affecting Aplysia feeding, when animals were trained after being awakened from sleep, interactions between new experiences and consolidation were prevented by blocking long-term memory arising from the new experiences. Inhibiting protein synthesis eliminated the block and allowed even a brief, generally ineffective training to produce long-term memory. Memory formation depended on consolidative proteins already expressed before training. After effective training, long term memory required subsequent transcription and translation. Memory formation during the sleep phase was correlated with increased CREB1 transcription, but not CREB2 transcription. Increased C/EBP transcription was a correlate of both effective and ineffective training and of treatments not producing memory. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.17769.001 PMID:27919318

  10. p63 gene structure in the phylum mollusca.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baričević, Ana; Štifanić, Mauro; Hamer, Bojan; Batel, Renato

    2015-08-01

    Roles of p53 family ancestor (p63) in the organisms' response to stressful environmental conditions (mainly pollution) have been studied among molluscs, especially in the genus Mytilus, within the last 15 years. Nevertheless, information about gene structure of this regulatory gene in molluscs is scarce. Here we report the first complete genomic structure of the p53 family orthologue in the mollusc Mediterranean mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis and confirm its similarity to vertebrate p63 gene. Our searches within the available molluscan genomes (Aplysia californica, Lottia gigantea, Crassostrea gigas and Biomphalaria glabrata), found only one p53 family member present in a single copy per haploid genome. Comparative analysis of those orthologues, additionally confirmed the conserved p63 gene structure. Conserved p63 gene structure can be a helpful tool to complement or/and revise gene annotations of any future p63 genomic sequence records in molluscs, but also in other animal phyla. Knowledge of the correct gene structure will enable better prediction of possible protein isoforms and their functions. Our analyses also pointed out possible mis-annotations of the p63 gene in sequenced molluscan genomes and stressed the value of manual inspection (based on alignments of cDNA and protein onto the genome sequence) for a reliable and complete gene annotation.

  11. Repetition priming-induced changes in sensorimotor transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svensson, Erik; Evans, Colin G; Cropper, Elizabeth C

    2016-03-01

    When a behavior is repeated performance often improves, i.e., repetition priming occurs. Although repetition priming is ubiquitous, mediating mechanisms are poorly understood. We address this issue in the feeding network ofAplysia Similar to the priming observed elsewhere, priming inAplysiais stimulus specific, i.e., it can be either "ingestive" or "egestive." Previous studies demonstrated that priming alters motor and premotor activity. Here we sought to determine whether sensorimotor transmission is also modified. We report that changes in sensorimotor transmission do occur. We ask how they are mediated and obtain data that strongly suggest a presynaptic mechanism that involves changes in the "background" intracellular Ca(2+)concentration ([Ca(2+)]i) in primary afferents themselves. This form of plasticity has previously been described and generated interest due to its potentially graded nature. Manipulations that alter the magnitude of the [Ca(2+)]iimpact the efficacy of synaptic transmission. It is, however, unclear how graded control is exerted under physiologically relevant conditions. In the feeding system changes in the background [Ca(2+)]iare mediated by the induction of a nifedipine-sensitive current. We demonstrate that the extent to which this current is induced is altered by peptides (i.e., increased by a peptide released during the repetition priming of ingestive activity and decreased by a peptide released during the repetition priming of egestive activity). We suggest that this constitutes a behaviorally relevant mechanism for the graded control of synaptic transmission via the regulation of the [Ca(2+)]iin a neuron.

  12. A feasibility study of multi-site,intracellular recordings from mammalian neurons by extracellular gold mushroom-shaped microelectrodes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojovan, Silviya M.; Rabieh, Noha; Shmoel, Nava; Erez, Hadas; Maydan, Eilon; Cohen, Ariel; Spira, Micha E.

    2015-01-01

    The development of multi-electrode array platforms for large scale recording of neurons is at the forefront of neuro-engineering research efforts. Recently we demonstrated, at the proof-of-concept level, a breakthrough neuron-microelectrode interface in which cultured Aplysia neurons tightly engulf gold mushroom-shaped microelectrodes (gMμEs). While maintaining their extracellular position, the gMμEs record synaptic- and action-potentials with characteristic features of intracellular recordings. Here we examined the feasibility of using gMμEs for intracellular recordings from mammalian neurons. To that end we experimentally examined the innate size limits of cultured rat hippocampal neurons to engulf gMμEs and measured the width of the “extracellular” cleft formed between the neurons and the gold surface. Using the experimental results we next analyzed the expected range of gMμEs-neuron electrical coupling coefficients. We estimated that sufficient electrical coupling levels to record attenuated synaptic- and action-potentials can be reached using the gMμE-neuron configuration. The definition of the engulfment limits of the gMμEs caps diameter at ≤2–2.5 μm and the estimated electrical coupling coefficients from the simulations pave the way for rational development and application of the gMμE based concept for in-cell recordings from mammalian neurons. PMID:26365404

  13. Selective control of small versus large diameter axons using infrared laser light (Conference Presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lothet, Emilie H.; Shaw, Kendrick M.; Horn, Charles C.; Lu, Hui; Wang, Yves T.; Jansen, E. Duco; Chiel, Hillel J.; Jenkins, Michael W.

    2016-03-01

    Sensory information is conveyed to the central nervous system via small diameter unmyelinated fibers. In general, smaller diameter axons have slower conduction velocities. Selective control of such fibers could create new clinical treatments for chronic pain, nausea in response to chemo-therapeutic agents, or hypertension. Electrical stimulation can control axonal activity, but induced axonal current is proportional to cross-sectional area, so that large diameter fibers are affected first. Physiologically, however, synaptic inputs generally affect small diameter fibers before large diameter fibers (the size principle). A more physiological modality that first affected small diameter fibers could have fewer side effects (e.g., not recruiting motor axons). A novel mathematical analysis of the cable equation demonstrates that the minimum length along the axon for inducing block scales with the square root of axon diameter. This implies that the minimum length along an axon for inhibition will scale as the square root of axon diameter, so that lower radiant exposures of infrared light will selectively affect small diameter, slower conducting fibers before those of large diameter. This prediction was tested in identified neurons from the marine mollusk Aplysia californica. Radiant exposure to block a neuron with a slower conduction velocity (B43) was consistently lower than that needed to block a faster conduction velocity neuron (B3). Furthermore, in the vagus nerve of the musk shrew, lower radiant exposure blocked slow conducting fibers before blocking faster conducting fibers. Infrared light can selectively control smaller diameter fibers, suggesting many novel clinical treatments.

  14. Common mechanics of mode switching in locomotion of limbless and legged animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuroda, Shigeru; Kunita, Itsuki; Tanaka, Yoshimi; Ishiguro, Akio; Kobayashi, Ryo; Nakagaki, Toshiyuki

    2014-06-06

    Crawling using muscular waves is observed in many species, including planaria, leeches, nemertea, aplysia, snails, chitons, earthworms and maggots. Contraction or extension waves propagate along the antero-posterior axis of the body as the crawler pushes the ground substratum backward. However, the observation that locomotory waves can be directed forward or backward has attracted much attention over the past hundred years. Legged organisms such as centipedes and millipedes exhibit parallel phenomena; leg tips form density waves that propagate backward or forward. Mechanical considerations reveal that leg-density waves play a similar role to locomotory waves in limbless species, and that locomotory waves are used by a mechanism common to both legged and limbless species to achieve crawling. Here, we report that both mode switching of the wave direction and friction control were achieved when backward motion was induced in the laboratory. We show that the many variations of switching in different animals can essentially be classified in two types according to mechanical considerations. We propose that during their evolution, limbless crawlers first moved in a manner similar to walking before legs were obtained. Therefore, legged crawlers might have learned the mechanical mode of movement involved in walking long before obtaining legs.

  15. Unraveling the complexities of circadian and sleep interactions with memory formation through invertebrate research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maximilian eMichel

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Across phylogeny, the endogenous biological clock has been recognized as providing adaptive advantages to organisms through coordination of physiological and behavioral processes. Recent research has emphasized the role of circadian modulation of memory in generating peaks and troughs in cognitive performance. The circadian clock along with homeostatic processes also regulates sleep, which itself impacts the formation and consolidation of memory. Thus, the circadian clock, sleep and memory form a triad with ongoing dynamic interactions. With technological advances and the development of a global 24/7 society, understanding the mechanisms underlying these connections becomes pivotal for development of therapeutic treatments for memory disorders and to address issues in cognitive performance arising from non-traditional work schedules. Invertebrate models, such as Drosophila melanogaster and the mollusks Aplysia and Lymnaea, have proven invaluable tools for identification of highly conserved molecular processes in memory. Recent research from invertebrate systems has outlined the influence of sleep and the circadian clock upon synaptic plasticity. In this review, we discuss the effects of the circadian clock and sleep on memory formation in invertebrates drawing attention to the potential of in vivo and in vitro approaches that harness the power of simple invertebrate systems to correlate individual cellular processes with complex behaviors. In conclusion, this review highlights how studies in invertebrates with relatively simple nervous systems can provide mechanistic insights into corresponding behaviors in higher organisms and can be used to outline possible therapeutic options to guide further targeted inquiry.

  16. Unraveling the complexities of circadian and sleep interactions with memory formation through invertebrate research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, Maximilian; Lyons, Lisa C

    2014-01-01

    Across phylogeny, the endogenous biological clock has been recognized as providing adaptive advantages to organisms through coordination of physiological and behavioral processes. Recent research has emphasized the role of circadian modulation of memory in generating peaks and troughs in cognitive performance. The circadian clock along with homeostatic processes also regulates sleep, which itself impacts the formation and consolidation of memory. Thus, the circadian clock, sleep and memory form a triad with ongoing dynamic interactions. With technological advances and the development of a global 24/7 society, understanding the mechanisms underlying these connections becomes pivotal for development of therapeutic treatments for memory disorders and to address issues in cognitive performance arising from non-traditional work schedules. Invertebrate models, such as Drosophila melanogaster and the mollusks Aplysia and Lymnaea, have proven invaluable tools for identification of highly conserved molecular processes in memory. Recent research from invertebrate systems has outlined the influence of sleep and the circadian clock upon synaptic plasticity. In this review, we discuss the effects of the circadian clock and sleep on memory formation in invertebrates drawing attention to the potential of in vivo and in vitro approaches that harness the power of simple invertebrate systems to correlate individual cellular processes with complex behaviors. In conclusion, this review highlights how studies in invertebrates with relatively simple nervous systems can provide mechanistic insights into corresponding behaviors in higher organisms and can be used to outline possible therapeutic options to guide further targeted inquiry.

  17. Protein phosphatase-dependent circadian regulation of intermediate-term associative memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, Maximilian; Gardner, Jacob S; Green, Charity L; Organ, Chelsea L; Lyons, Lisa C

    2013-03-01

    The endogenous circadian clock is a principal factor modulating memory across species. Determining the processes through which the circadian clock modulates memory formation is a key issue in understanding and identifying mechanisms to improve memory. We used the marine mollusk Aplysia californica to investigate circadian modulation of intermediate-term memory (ITM) and the mechanisms through which the circadian clock phase specifically suppresses memory using the operant learning paradigm, learning that food is inedible. We found that ITM, a temporally and mechanistically distinct form of memory, is rhythmically expressed under light-dark and constant conditions when induced by either massed or spaced training. Strong circadian regulation of ITM occurs with memory exhibited only by animals trained during the early subjective day; no apparent memory is expressed when training occurs during the late subjective day or night. Given the necessity of multiple persistent kinase cascades for ITM, we investigated whether protein phosphatase activity affected circadian modulation. Inhibition of protein phosphatases 1 and 2A blocked ITM when animals were trained during the early (subjective) day while resulting in phase-specific memory rescue when animals were trained late in the subjective day and early night. In contrast, inhibition of calcineurin did not block ITM when animals were trained during the early day and permitted ITM when animals were trained during the late subjective day, early evening, and throughout the night. These results demonstrate that levels of protein phosphatase activity are critical regulators of ITM and one mechanism through which the circadian clock regulates memory formation.

  18. PKC in motorneurons underlies self-learning, a form of motor learning in Drosophila

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julien Colomb

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Tethering a fly for stationary flight allows for exquisite control of its sensory input, such as visual or olfactory stimuli or a punishing infrared laser beam. A torque meter measures the turning attempts of the tethered fly around its vertical body axis. By punishing, say, left turning attempts (in a homogeneous environment, one can train a fly to restrict its behaviour to right turning attempts. It was recently discovered that this form of operant conditioning (called operant self-learning, may constitute a form of motor learning in Drosophila. Previous work had shown that Protein Kinase C (PKC and the transcription factor dFoxP were specifically involved in self-learning, but not in other forms of learning. These molecules are specifically involved in various forms of motor learning in other animals, such as compulsive biting in Aplysia, song-learning in birds, procedural learning in mice or language acquisition in humans. Here we describe our efforts to decipher which PKC gene is involved in self-learning in Drosophila. We also provide evidence that motorneurons may be one part of the neuronal network modified during self-learning experiments. The collected evidence is reminiscent of one of the simplest, clinically relevant forms of motor learning in humans, operant reflex conditioning, which also relies on motorneuron plasticity.

  19. Loss of transforming growth factor-beta 2 leads to impairment of central synapse function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rickmann Michael

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The formation of functional synapses is a crucial event in neuronal network formation, and with regard to regulation of breathing it is essential for life. Members of the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β superfamily act as intercellular signaling molecules during synaptogenesis of the neuromuscular junction of Drosophila and are involved in synaptic function of sensory neurons of Aplysia. Results Here we show that while TGF-β2 is not crucial for the morphology and function of the neuromuscular junction of the diaphragm muscle of mice, it is essential for proper synaptic function in the pre-Bötzinger complex, a central rhythm organizer located in the brainstem. Genetic deletion of TGF-β2 in mice strongly impaired both GABA/glycinergic and glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the pre-Bötzinger complex area, while numbers and morphology of central synapses of knock-out animals were indistinguishable from their wild-type littermates at embryonic day 18.5. Conclusion The results demonstrate that TGF-β2 influences synaptic function, rather than synaptogenesis, specifically at central synapses. The functional alterations in the respiratory center of the brain are probably the underlying cause of the perinatal death of the TGF-β2 knock-out mice.

  20. New Invertebrate Vectors of Okadaic Acid from the North Atlantic Waters—Portugal (Azores and Madeira and Morocco

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marisa Silva

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Okadaic acid and its analogues are potent phosphatase inhibitors that cause Diarrheic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP through the ingestion of contaminated shellfish by humans. This group of toxins is transmitted worldwide but the number of poisoning incidents has declined over the last 20 years due to legislation and monitoring programs that were implemented for bivalves. In the summer of 2012 and 2013, we collected a total of 101 samples of 22 different species that were made up of benthic and subtidal organisms such echinoderms, crustaceans, bivalves and gastropods from Madeira, São Miguel Island (Azores archipelago and the northwestern coast of Morocco. The samples were analyzed by UPLC-MS/MS. Our main objective was to detect new vectors for these biotoxins. We can report nine new vectors for these toxins in the North Atlantic: Astropecten aranciacus, Arbacia lixula, Echinaster sepositus, Holothuria sanctori, Ophidiaster ophidianus, Onchidella celtica, Aplysia depilans, Patella spp., and Stramonita haemostoma. Differences in toxin contents among the species were found. Even though low concentrations were detected, the levels of toxins that were present, especially in edible species, indicate the importance of these types of studies. Routine monitoring should be extended to comprise a wider number of vectors other than for bivalves of okadaic acid and its analogues.

  1. VLSI implementation of a template subtraction algorithm for real-time stimulus artifact rejection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Limnuson, Kanokwan; Lu, Hui; Chiel, Hillel J; Mohseni, Pedram

    2010-01-01

    In this paper, we present very-large-scale integrated (VLSI) implementation of a template subtraction algorithm for stimulus artifact rejection (SAR) in real time with applicability to closed-loop neuroprostheses. The SAR algorithm is based upon an infinite impulse response (IIR) temporal filtering technique, which can be efficiently implemented in VLSI with reduced power consumption and silicon area. We demonstrate that initialization of the memory within the system architecture using the first recorded stimulus artifact significantly decreases system response time as compared to the case without memory initialization. Two sets of pre-recorded neural data from an Aplysia californica are used to simulate the functionality of the proposed VLSI architecture in AMS 0.35 microm complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) technology. Depending upon the reproducibility in the shape of stimulus artifacts in vivo, the system eliminates virtually all artifacts in real time and recovers the extracellular neural activity with microW-level power consumption from 1.5 V.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tsukasa Gotow

    2009-12-01

    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.

  3. Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry Imaging of Molecular Distributions in Cultured Neurons and Their Processes: Comparative Analysis of Sample Preparation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, Kevin R.; Li, Zhen; Rubakhin, Stanislav S.; Sweedler, Jonathan V.

    2012-11-01

    Neurons often exhibit a complex chemical distribution and topography; therefore, sample preparation protocols that preserve structures ranging from relatively large cell somata to small neurites and growth cones are important factors in secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) imaging studies. Here, SIMS was used to investigate the subcellular localization of lipids and lipophilic species in neurons from Aplysia californica. Using individual neurons cultured on silicon wafers, we compared and optimized several SIMS sampling approaches. After an initial step to remove the high salt culturing media, formaldehyde, paraformaldehyde, and glycerol, and various combinations thereof, were tested for their ability to achieve cell stabilization during and after the removal of extracellular media. These treatments improved the preservation of cellular morphology as visualized with SIMS imaging. For analytes >250 Da, coating the cell surface with a 3.2 nm-thick gold layer increased the ion intensity; multiple analytes previously not observed or observed at low abundance were detected, including intact cholesterol and vitamin E molecular ions. However, once a sample was coated, many of the lower molecular mass (cell stabilization with glycerol and 4 % paraformaldehyde. The sample preparation methods described here enhance SIMS imaging of processes of individual cultured neurons over a broad mass range with enhanced image contrast.

  4. MIPs are ancestral ligands for the sex peptide receptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Young-Joon; Bartalska, Katarina; Audsley, Neil; Yamanaka, Naoki; Yapici, Nilay; Lee, Ju-Youn; Kim, Yong-Chul; Markovic, Milica; Isaac, Elwyn; Tanaka, Yoshiaki; Dickson, Barry J

    2010-04-06

    Upon mating, females of many animal species undergo dramatic changes in their behavior. In Drosophila melanogaster, postmating behaviors are triggered by sex peptide (SP), which is produced in the male seminal fluid and transferred to female during copulation. SP modulates female behaviors via sex peptide receptor (SPR) located in a small subset of internal sensory neurons that innervate the female uterus and project to the CNS. Although required for postmating responses only in these female sensory neurons, SPR is expressed broadly in the CNS of both sexes. Moreover, SPR is also encoded in the genomes of insects that lack obvious SP orthologs. These observations suggest that SPR may have additional ligands and functions. Here, we identify myoinhibitory peptides (MIPs) as a second family of SPR ligands that is conserved across a wide range of invertebrate species. MIPs are potent agonists for Drosophila, Aedes, and Aplysia SPRs in vitro, yet are unable to trigger postmating responses in vivo. In contrast to SP, MIPs are not produced in male reproductive organs, and are not required for postmating behaviors in Drosophila females. We conclude that MIPs are evolutionarily conserved ligands for SPR, which are likely to mediate functions other than the regulation of female reproductive behaviors.

  5. Functional neuroanatomy of the rhinophore of Archidoris pseudoargus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wertz, Adrian; Rössler, Wolfgang; Obermayer, Malu; Bickmeyer, Ulf

    2007-06-01

    For sea slugs, chemosensory information represents an important sensory modality, because optical and acoustical information are limited. In the present study, we focussed on the neuroanatomy of the rhinophores and processing of olfactory stimuli in the rhinophore ganglion of Archidoris pseudoargus, belonging to the order of Nudibranchia in the subclass of Opisthobranchia. Histological techniques, fluorescent markers, and immunohistochemistry were used to analyse neuroanatomical features of the rhinophore. A large ganglion and a prominent central lymphatic channel are surrounded by longitudinal muscles. Many serotonin-immunoreactive (IR) processes were found around the centre and between the ganglion and the highly folded lobes of the rhinophore, but serotonin-IR cell bodies were absent inside the rhinophore. In contrast to the conditions recently found in Aplysia punctata, we found no evidence for the presence of olfactory glomeruli within the rhinophore. Using calcium-imaging techniques with Fura II as a calcium indicator, we found differential calcium responses in various regions within the ganglion to stimulation of the rhinophore with different amino acids. The lack of glomeruli in the rhinophores induces functional questions about processing of chemical information in the rhinophore.

  6. New Invertebrate Vectors of Okadaic Acid from the North Atlantic Waters—Portugal (Azores and Madeira) and Morocco

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Marisa; Rodriguez, Inés; Barreiro, Aldo; Kaufmann, Manfred; Neto, Ana Isabel; Hassouani, Meryem; Sabour, Brahim; Alfonso, Amparo; Botana, Luis M.; Vasconcelos, Vitor

    2015-01-01

    Okadaic acid and its analogues are potent phosphatase inhibitors that cause Diarrheic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP) through the ingestion of contaminated shellfish by humans. This group of toxins is transmitted worldwide but the number of poisoning incidents has declined over the last 20 years due to legislation and monitoring programs that were implemented for bivalves. In the summer of 2012 and 2013, we collected a total of 101 samples of 22 different species that were made up of benthic and subtidal organisms such echinoderms, crustaceans, bivalves and gastropods from Madeira, São Miguel Island (Azores archipelago) and the northwestern coast of Morocco. The samples were analyzed by UPLC-MS/MS. Our main objective was to detect new vectors for these biotoxins. We can report nine new vectors for these toxins in the North Atlantic: Astropecten aranciacus, Arbacia lixula, Echinaster sepositus, Holothuria sanctori, Ophidiaster ophidianus, Onchidella celtica, Aplysia depilans, Patella spp., and Stramonita haemostoma. Differences in toxin contents among the species were found. Even though low concentrations were detected, the levels of toxins that were present, especially in edible species, indicate the importance of these types of studies. Routine monitoring should be extended to comprise a wider number of vectors other than for bivalves of okadaic acid and its analogues. PMID:26670254

  7. Residues Responsible for the Selectivity of α-Conotoxins for Ac-AChBP or nAChRs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bo Lin

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs are targets for developing new drugs to treat severe pain, nicotine addiction, Alzheimer disease, epilepsy, etc. α-Conotoxins are biologically and chemically diverse. With 12–19 residues and two disulfides, they can be specifically selected for different nAChRs. Acetylcholine-binding proteins from Aplysia californica (Ac-AChBP are homologous to the ligand-binding domains of nAChRs and pharmacologically similar. X-ray structures of the α-conotoxin in complex with Ac-AChBP in addition to computer modeling have helped to determine the binding site of the important residues of α-conotoxin and its affinity for nAChR subtypes. Here, we present the various α-conotoxin residues that are selective for Ac-AChBP or nAChRs by comparing the structures of α-conotoxins in complex with Ac-AChBP and by modeling α-conotoxins in complex with nAChRs. The knowledge of these binding sites will assist in the discovery and design of more potent and selective α-conotoxins as drug leads.

  8. The Complex Hydrodynamics of Swimming in the Spanish Dancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Zhuoyu; Mittal, Rajat

    2016-11-01

    The lack of a vertebra seems to have freed marine gastropods to explore and exploit a stupendous variety of swimming kinematics. In fact, examination of just a few animals in this group reveal locomotory modes ranging from insect-like flapping, to fish-like undulatory swimming, jet propulsion, and rajiform (manta-like) swimming. There are also a number of marine gastropods that have bizarre swimming gaits with no equivalent among fish or marine mammals. In this latter category is the Spanish Dancer (Hexabranchus sanguineus) a sea slug that swims with a complex combination of body undulations and flapping parapodia. While the neurobiology of these animals has been relatively well-studied, less is known about their propulsive mechanism and swimming energetics. In this study, we focus on the hydrodynamics of two distinct swimmers: the Spanish Dancer, and the sea hare Aplysia; the latter adopts a rajiform-like mode of swimming by passing travelling waves along its parapodia. In the present study an immersed boundary method is employed to examine the vortex structures, hydrodynamic forces and energy costs of the swimming in these animals. NSF Grant No. 1246317.

  9. Identification of protein components of egg masses indicates parental investment in immunoprotection of offspring by Biomphalaria glabrata (gastropoda, mollusca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hathaway, Jennifer J M; Adema, Coen M; Stout, Barbara A; Mobarak, Charlotte D; Loker, Eric S

    2010-04-01

    The macromolecules contributed by the freshwater gastropod Biomphalaria glabrata, intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni, to developing offspring inside egg masses are poorly known. SDS-PAGE fractionated egg mass fluids (EMF) of M line and BB02 B. glabrata were analyzed by MALDI-TOF (MS and tandem MS). A MASCOT database was assembled with EST data from B. glabrata and other molluscs to aid in sequence characterization. Of approximately 20 major EMF polypeptides, 16 were identified as defense-related, including protease inhibitors, a hemocyanin-like factor and tyrosinase (each with possible phenoloxidase activity), extracellular Cu-Zn SOD, two categories of C-type lectins, Gram-negative bacteria-binding protein (GNBP), aplysianin/achacin-like protein, as well as versions of lipopolysaccharide binding protein/bacterial permeability-increasing proteins (LBP/BPI) that differed from those previously described from hemocytes. Along with two sequences that were encoded by "unknown" ESTs, EMF also yielded a compound containing a vWF domain that is likely involved in defense and a polypeptide with homology to the Aplysia pheromone temptin. Further study of B. glabrata pheromones is warranted as these could be useful in efforts to control these schistosome-transmitting snails. Several of the EMF polypeptides were contained in the albumen gland, the organ that produces most EMF. Thus, parental investment of B. glabrata in immunoprotection of its offspring is indicated to be considerable.

  10. In vitro studies of neuronal networks and synaptic plasticity in invertebrates and in mammals using multielectrode arrays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massobrio, Paolo; Tessadori, Jacopo; Chiappalone, Michela; Ghirardi, Mirella

    2015-01-01

    Brain functions are strictly dependent on neural connections formed during development and modified during life. The cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying synaptogenesis and plastic changes involved in learning and memory have been analyzed in detail in simple animals such as invertebrates and in circuits of mammalian brains mainly by intracellular recordings of neuronal activity. In the last decades, the evolution of techniques such as microelectrode arrays (MEAs) that allow simultaneous, long-lasting, noninvasive, extracellular recordings from a large number of neurons has proven very useful to study long-term processes in neuronal networks in vivo and in vitro. In this work, we start off by briefly reviewing the microelectrode array technology and the optimization of the coupling between neurons and microtransducers to detect subthreshold synaptic signals. Then, we report MEA studies of circuit formation and activity in invertebrate models such as Lymnaea, Aplysia, and Helix. In the following sections, we analyze plasticity and connectivity in cultures of mammalian dissociated neurons, focusing on spontaneous activity and electrical stimulation. We conclude by discussing plasticity in closed-loop experiments.

  11. Sea urchin coelomocytes are resistant to a variety of DNA damaging agents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Loram, Jeannette; Raudonis, Renee; Chapman, Jecar; Lortie, Mae [Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, St. George' s, Bermuda, GE 01 (Bermuda); Bodnar, Andrea, E-mail: andrea.bodnar@bios.edu [Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, St. George' s, Bermuda, GE 01 (Bermuda)

    2012-11-15

    Increasing anthropogenic activities are creating environmental pressures that threaten marine ecosystems. Effective environmental health assessment requires the development of rapid, sensitive, and cost-effective tools to predict negative impacts at the individual and ecosystem levels. To this end, a number of biological assays using a variety of cells and organisms measuring different end points have been developed for biomonitoring programs. The sea urchin fertilization/development test has been useful for evaluating environmental toxicology and it has been proposed that sea urchin coelomocytes represent a novel cellular biosensor of environmental stress. In this study we investigated the sensitivity of coelomocytes from the sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus to a variety of DNA-damaging agents including ultraviolet (UV) radiation, hydrogen peroxide (H{sub 2}O{sub 2}), methylmethane sulfonate (MMS) and benzo[a]pyrene (BaP). LD{sub 50} values determined for coelomocytes after 24 h of exposure to these DNA damaging agents indicated a high level of resistance to all treatments. Significant increases in the formation of apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP or abasic) sites in DNA were only detected using high doses of H{sub 2}O{sub 2}, MMS and UV radiation. Comparison of sea urchin coelomocytes with hemocytes from the gastropod mollusk Aplysia dactylomela and the decapod crustacean Panulirus argus indicated that sensitivity to different DNA damaging agents varies between species. The high level of resistance to genotoxic agents suggests that DNA damage may not be an informative end point for environmental health assessment using sea urchin coelomocytes however, natural resistance to DNA damaging agents may have implications for the occurrence of neoplastic disease in these animals.

  12. New Mediterranean Biodiversity Records (December 2012

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    M. THESSALOU-LEGAKI

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents records extending or confirming the distribution of Mediterranean species. Three alien algae are included, namely Codium taylorii reported for the first time from the Aegean and Turkey (Izmir Gulf, Caulerpa racemosa var. cylindracea (Karpathos and Chalki Isl., Aegean Sea and Ganonema farinosum (Karpathos Isl., Aegean Sea. As far as animals are concerned, Litarachna divergens (Acari: Hydrachnidia was recorded (Side, Eastern Mediterranean and represents a new amendment at genus level for Turkish fauna. Other invertebrates include alien species such as the crabs Dyspanopeus sayi (Lago Fusaro, SW Italy, Percnon gibbesi (Larnaca, Cyprus; Karpathos and Chalki Isl., Aegean Sea and Callinectes sapidus (Voda estuary, NW Greece, the nudibranch Aplysia dactylomela (Boka Kotorska Bay, Montenegro, the gastropod Conomurex persicus (Karpathos and ChalkiIsl., Aegean Sea and the bryozoan Electra tenella (Livorno harbour and Messina Straits area. The alien fish Siganus luridus, Siganus rivulatus, Fistularia commersonii, Sphyraena chrysotaenia and Sargocentron rubrum are also reported from the islands of Karpathos and Chalki, and Pteragogus pelycus from Heraklion Bay, Crete. In addition, new localities for four rare Mediterranean inhabitants are given: the cephalopod Thysanoteuthis rhombus (NW Sardinia and the fish: Lampris guttatus (Calabria, S Italy, Petromyzon marinus (Gokova Bay and Remora australis (Saronikos Gulf, while the opisthobranch gastropod Cerberilla bernadettae is reported for the first time from the E Mediterranean (Cyprus. Finally, three species of the Aegean ascidiofauna are recorded for the first time: Lissoclinum perforatum, Ciona roulei and Ecteinascidia turbinata. Furthermore, it was established that Phallusia nigra has extended its distributional range to the north of the Aegean Sea.

  13. Interview with eric R. Kandel: from memory, free will, and the problem with Freud to fortunate decisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kandel, Eric R

    2008-04-24

    Eric R. Kandel shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Arvid Carlsson and Paul Greengard in 2000 for their discoveries concerning signal transduction in the nervous system. Eric Kandel was rewarded for his discoveries of molecular mechanisms underlying learning and memory. He is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Senior Investigator at Columbia Universities Center for Neurobiology and Behavior. In this interview given at Hertie Foundation's Neuroforum 2008 on April 18, 2008 in Frankfurt, Germany, Nobel Prize Laureate Eric R. Kandel takes us on an enlighting journey ranging from memory, free will, the problem with Freud , to scientific challenges and the rise of European science. Starting with short- and long-term memory basics, underlying molecular mechanisms, and events affecting the formation of long-term memory, Eric Kandel then shares his thoughts on the issue of free will and makes a strong case for its existence. In addition to his outstanding scientific career, Eric Kandel developed an interest in business and today serves as scientific advisor at Memory Pharmaceuticals. Eric Kandel then talks about the use and abuse of drugs in children and the merging of scientific disciplines. In one of the most intriguing parts of the interview, Kandel shares his thoughts on Freud, Freud's mistakes, and the unique situation that the generations following Freud did not develop Freud's work further. The interview then turns to more scientific aspects and Eric Kandel talks about his confidence and courage during the initial phases of his scientific career, studying learning and memory, and employing a strictly reductionistic approach, best characterized by his simple model organism Aplysia. Eric Kandel then describes one of the most challenging phases in his scientific career when adult neurogenesis was discovered in the hippocampus, a structure so integral to Kandel's work. The final parts of the interview cover today's absence of epic battles and

  14. Effects of ARHI on cell cycle progression and apoptosis levels of breast cancer cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ying; Shi, Li; Han, Chun; Wang, Yishang; Yang, Junlan; Cao, Cheng; Jiao, Shunchang

    2012-10-01

    The purposes of this study were to investigate the role of Aplysia Ras Homolog I (ARHI) on cell growth, proliferation, apoptosis, and other biological characteristics of HER2-positive breast cancer cells. Our goal was to provide experimental evidence for the development of future effective treatments of HER2-positive breast cancer. A pcDNA3.1-ARHI eukaryotic expression vector was constructed and transfected into the human HER2-positive breast cancer cell lines SK-BR-3 and JIMT-1. Then, various experimental methods were utilized to analyze the biological characteristics of ARHI-expressing breast cancer cells and to examine the impact of expression of the ARHI gene on cyclin D1, p27(Kip1), and calpain1 expression. We further analyzed the cells in each group after treatment with trastuzumab to examine the effects of this drug on various cellular characteristics. When we compared pcDNA3.1-ARHI-expressing SK-BR-3 and JIMT-1 cells to their respective empty vector and control groups, we found that cell viability was significantly lower (p SK-BR-3 cells, trastuzumab treatment significantly decreased cell growth (p SK-BR-3 cells and JIMT-1 cells, while it promoted p27(Kip1) and calpain1 expression in these cells. ARHI expression inhibits the growth and proliferation of HER2-positive breast cancer cells, while it also promotes apoptosis in these cells. ARHI expression also improves the sensitivity of JIMT-1 cells to trastuzumab by inducing apoptosis.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim D Allen

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

  16. PKC enhances the capacity for secretion by rapidly recruiting covert voltage-gated Ca2+ channels to the membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groten, Christopher J; Magoski, Neil S

    2015-02-11

    It is unknown whether neurons can dynamically control the capacity for secretion by promptly changing the number of plasma membrane voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels. To address this, we studied peptide release from the bag cell neurons of Aplysia californica, which initiate reproduction by secreting hormone during an afterdischarge. This burst engages protein kinase C (PKC) to trigger the insertion of a covert Ca(2+) channel, Apl Cav2, alongside a basal channel, Apl Cav1. The significance of Apl Cav2 recruitment to secretion remains undetermined; therefore, we used capacitance tracking to assay secretion, along with Ca(2+) imaging and Ca(2+) current measurements, from cultured bag cell neurons under whole-cell voltage-clamp. Activating PKC with the phorbol ester, PMA, enhanced Ca(2+) entry, and potentiated stimulus-evoked secretion. This relied on channel insertion, as it was occluded by preventing Apl Cav2 engagement with prior whole-cell dialysis or the cytoskeletal toxin, latrunculin B. Channel insertion reduced the stimulus duration and/or frequency required to initiate secretion and strengthened excitation-secretion coupling, indicating that Apl Cav2 accesses peptide release more readily than Apl Cav1. The coupling of Apl Cav2 to secretion also changed with behavioral state, as Apl Cav2 failed to evoke secretion in silent neurons from reproductively inactive animals. Finally, PKC also acted secondarily to enhance prolonged exocytosis triggered by mitochondrial Ca(2+) release. Collectively, our results suggest that bag cell neurons dynamically elevate Ca(2+) channel abundance in the membrane to ensure adequate secretion during the afterdischarge.

  17. Physiological, Molecular and Genetic Mechanisms of Long-Term Habituation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Calin-Jageman, Robert J

    2009-09-12

    Work funded on this grant has explored the mechanisms of long-term habituation, a ubiquitous form of learning that plays a key role in basic cognitive functioning. Specifically, behavioral, physiological, and molecular mechanisms of habituation have been explored using a simple model system, the tail-elicited siphon-withdrawal reflex (T-SWR) in the marine mollusk Aplysia californica. Substantial progress has been made on the first and third aims, providing some fundamental insights into the mechanisms by which memories are stored. We have characterized the physiological correlates of short- and long-term habituation. We found that short-term habituation is accompanied by a robust sensory adaptation, whereas long-term habituation is accompanied by alterations in sensory and interneuron synaptic efficacy. Thus, our data indicates memories can be shifted between different sites in a neural network as they are consolidated from short to long term. At the molecular level, we have accomplished microarray analysis comparing gene expression in both habituated and control ganglia. We have identified a network of putatively regulated transcripts that seems particularly targeted towards synaptic changes (e.g. SNAP25, calmodulin) . We are now beginning additional work to confirm regulation of these transcripts and build a more detailed understanding of the cascade of molecular events leading to the permanent storage of long-term memories. On the third aim, we have fostered a nascent neuroscience program via a variety of successful initiatives. We have funded over 11 undergraduate neuroscience scholars, several of whom have been recognized at national and regional levels for their research. We have also conducted a pioneering summer research program for community college students which is helping enhance access of underrepresented groups to life science careers. Despite minimal progress on the second aim, this project has provided a) novel insight into the network mechanisms by

  18. Neuromolecular Imaging Shows Temporal Synchrony Patterns between Serotonin and Movement within Neuronal Motor Circuits in the Brain

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    Patricia A. Broderick

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The present discourse links the electrical and chemical properties of the brain with neurotransmitters and movement behaviors to further elucidate strategies to diagnose and treat brain disease. Neuromolecular imaging (NMI, based on electrochemical principles, is used to detect serotonin in nerve terminals (dorsal and ventral striata and somatodendrites (ventral tegmentum of reward/motor mesocorticolimbic and nigrostriatal brain circuits. Neuronal release of serotonin is detected at the same time and in the same animal, freely moving and unrestrained, while open-field behaviors are monitored via infrared photobeams. The purpose is to emphasize the unique ability of NMI and the BRODERICK PROBE® biosensors to empirically image a pattern of temporal synchrony, previously reported, for example, in Aplysia using central pattern generators (CPGs, serotonin and cerebral peptide-2. Temporal synchrony is reviewed within the context of the literature on central pattern generators, neurotransmitters and movement disorders. Specifically, temporal synchrony data are derived from studies on psychostimulant behavior with and without cocaine while at the same time and continuously, serotonin release in motor neurons within basal ganglia, is detected. The results show that temporal synchrony between the neurotransmitter, serotonin and natural movement occurs when the brain is NOT injured via, e.g., trauma, addictive drugs or psychiatric illness. In striking contrast, in the case of serotonin and cocaine-induced psychostimulant behavior, a different form of synchrony and also asynchrony can occur. Thus, the known dysfunctional movement behavior produced by cocaine may well be related to the loss of temporal synchrony, the loss of the ability to match serotonin in brain with motor activity. The empirical study of temporal synchrony patterns in humans and animals may be more relevant to the dynamics of motor circuits and movement behaviors than are studies of

  19. Transcriptome analysis of the Octopus vulgaris central nervous system.

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    Xiang Zhang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Cephalopoda are a class of Mollusca species found in all the world's oceans. They are an important model organism in neurobiology. Unfortunately, the lack of neuronal molecular sequences, such as ESTs, transcriptomic or genomic information, has limited the development of molecular neurobiology research in this unique model organism. RESULTS: With high-throughput Illumina Solexa sequencing technology, we have generated 59,859 high quality sequences from 12,918,391 paired-end reads. Using BLASTx/BLASTn, 12,227 contigs have blast hits in the Swissprot, NR protein database and NT nucleotide database with E-value cutoff 1e(-5. The comparison between the Octopus vulgaris central nervous system (CNS library and the Aplysia californica/Lymnaea stagnalis CNS ESTs library yielded 5.93%/13.45% of O. vulgaris sequences with significant matches (1e(-5 using BLASTn/tBLASTx. Meanwhile the hit percentage of the recently published Schistocerca gregaria, Tilapia or Hirudo medicinalis CNS library to the O. vulgaris CNS library is 21.03%-46.19%. We constructed the Phylogenetic tree using two genes related to CNS function, Synaptotagmin-7 and Synaptophysin. Lastly, we demonstrated that O. vulgaris may have a vertebrate-like Blood-Brain Barrier based on bioinformatic analysis. CONCLUSION: This study provides a mass of molecular information that will contribute to further molecular biology research on O. vulgaris. In our presentation of the first CNS transcriptome analysis of O. vulgaris, we hope to accelerate the study of functional molecular neurobiology and comparative evolutionary biology.

  20. Rescue of tau-induced synaptic transmission pathology by paclitaxel

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    Hdas eErez

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Behavioral and electrophysiological studies of Alzheimer’s disease (AD and other tauopathies have revealed that the onset of cognitive decline correlates better with synaptic dysfunctions than with hallmark pathologies such as extracellular amyloid-β plaques, intracellular hyperphosphorylated tau or neuronal loss. Recent experiments have also demonstrated that anti-cancer microtubule-stabilizing drugs can rescue tau-induced behavioral decline and hallmark neuron pathologies. Nevertheless, the mechanisms underlying tau-induced synaptic dysfunction as well as those involved in the rescue of cognitive decline by microtubules stabilizing drugs remain unclear. Here we began to study these mechanisms using the glutaminergic sensory-motoneuron synapse derived from Aplysia ganglia, electrophysiological methods, the expression of mutant-human-tau (mt-htau either pre- or post-synaptically and the antimitotic drug paclitaxel. Expression of mt-htau in the presynaptic neurons led to reduced excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP amplitude generated by rested synapses within 3 days of mt-htau expression, and to deeper levels of homosynaptic depression. mt-htau-induced synaptic weakening correlated with reduced releasable presynaptic vesicle pools as revealed by the induction of asynchronous neurotransmitter release by hypertonic sucrose solution. Paclitaxel totally rescued tau-induced synaptic weakening by maintaining the availability of the presynaptic vesicle stores. Postsynaptic expression of mt-htau did not impair the above described synaptic-transmission parameters for up to 5 days. Along with earlier confocal microscope observations from our laboratory, these findings suggest that tau-induced synaptic dysfunction is the outcome of impaired axoplasmic transport and the ensuing reduction in the releasable presynaptic vesicle stores rather than the direct effects of mt-htau or paclitaxel on the synaptic release mechanisms.

  1. Release of a single neurotransmitter from an identified interneuron coherently affects motor output on multiple time scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dacks, Andrew M; Weiss, Klaudiusz R

    2013-05-01

    Neurotransmitters can have diverse effects that occur over multiple time scales often making the consequences of neurotransmission difficult to predict. To explore the consequences of this diversity, we used the buccal ganglion of Aplysia to examine the effects of GABA release by a single interneuron, B40, on the intrinsic properties and motor output of the radula closure neuron B8. B40 induces a picrotoxin-sensitive fast IPSP lasting milliseconds in B8 and a slow EPSP lasting seconds. We found that the excitatory effects of this slow EPSP are also mediated by GABA. Together, these two GABAergic actions structure B8 firing in a pattern characteristic of ingestive programs. Furthermore, we found that repeated B40 stimulation induces a persistent increase in B8 excitability that was occluded in the presence of the GABA B receptor agonist baclofen, suggesting that GABA affects B8 excitability over multiple time scales. The phasing of B8 activity during the feeding motor programs determines the nature of the behavior elicited during that motor program. The persistent increase in B8 excitability induced by B40 biased the activity of B8 during feeding motor programs causing the motor programs to become more ingestive in nature. Thus, a single transmitter released from a single interneuron can have consequences for motor output that are expressed over multiple time scales. Importantly, despite the differences in their signs and temporal characteristics, the three actions of B40 are coherent in that they promote B8 firing patterns that are characteristic of ingestive motor outputs.

  2. Computational exploration of a protein receptor binding space with student proposed peptide ligands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Matthew D; Phillips, Paul; Turner, Matthew W; Katz, Michael; Lew, Sarah; Bradburn, Sarah; Andersen, Tim; McDougal, Owen M

    2016-01-01

    Computational molecular docking is a fast and effective in silico method for the analysis of binding between a protein receptor model and a ligand. The visualization and manipulation of protein to ligand binding in three-dimensional space represents a powerful tool in the biochemistry curriculum to enhance student learning. The DockoMatic tutorial described herein provides a framework by which instructors can guide students through a drug screening exercise. Using receptor models derived from readily available protein crystal structures, docking programs have the ability to predict ligand binding properties, such as preferential binding orientations and binding affinities. The use of computational studies can significantly enhance complimentary wet chemical experimentation by providing insight into the important molecular interactions within the system of interest, as well as guide the design of new candidate ligands based on observed binding motifs and energetics. In this laboratory tutorial, the graphical user interface, DockoMatic, facilitates docking job submissions to the docking engine, AutoDock 4.2. The purpose of this exercise is to successfully dock a 17-amino acid peptide, α-conotoxin TxIA, to the acetylcholine binding protein from Aplysia californica-AChBP to determine the most stable binding configuration. Each student will then propose two specific amino acid substitutions of α-conotoxin TxIA to enhance peptide binding affinity, create the mutant in DockoMatic, and perform docking calculations to compare their results with the class. Students will also compare intermolecular forces, binding energy, and geometric orientation of their prepared analog to their initial α-conotoxin TxIA docking results.

  3. P-glycoprotein and its inducible expression in three bivalve species after exposure to Prorocentrum lima.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Lu; Liu, Su-Li; Zheng, Jian-Wei; Li, Hong-Ye; Liu, Jie-Sheng; Yang, Wei-Dong

    2015-12-01

    P-glycoprotein (P-gp or ABCB1) belongs to the family of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters responsible for multixenobiotic resistance (MXR) in aquatic organisms. To provide more information of P-gp in shellfish, in this study, complete cDNA of P-gp in three bivalve species including Ruditapes philippinarum, Scapharca subcrenata and Tegillarca granosa were cloned and its expressions in gill, digestive gland, adductor muscle and mantle of the three bivalves were detected after exposure to Prorocentrum lima, a toxogenic dinoflagellate. The complete sequences of R. philippinarum, S. subcrenata and T. granosa P-gp showed high homology with MDR/P-gp/ABCB proteins from other species, having a typical sequence organization as full transporters from the ABCB family. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the amino acid sequences of P-gp from S. subcrenata and T. granosa had a closest relationship, forming an independent branch, then grouping into the other branch with Mytilus californianus, Mytilus galloprovincialis and Crassostrea gigas. However, P-gp sequences from R. philippinarum were more similar to the homologs from the more distantly related Aplysia californica than to homologs from S. subcrenata and T. granosa, suggesting that bivalves P-gp might have different paralogs. P-glycoprotein expressed in all detected tissues but there were large differences between them. After exposure to P. lima, the expression of P-gp changed in the four tissues in varying degrees within the same species and between different species, but the changes in mRNA and protein level were not always synchronous.

  4. Molecules and cognition: the latterday lessons of levels, language, and lac. Evolutionary overview of brain structure and function in some vertebrates and invertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miklos, G L

    1993-06-01

    The characteristics of the nervous systems of a number of organisms in different phyla are examined at the recombinant DNA, protein, neuroanatomic, neurophysiological, and cognitive levels. Among the invertebrates, special attention is paid to the advantages as well as the shortcomings of the fly Drosophila melanogaster, the worm Caenorhabditis elegans, the honey bee Apis mellifera, the sea hare Aplysia californica, the octopus Octopus vulgaris, and the squid Loligo pealei. Among vertebrates, the focus is on Homo sapiens, the mouse Mus musculus, the rat Rattus norvegicus, the cat Felis catus, the macaque monkey Macaca fascicularis, the barn owl Tyto alba, and the zebrafish Brachydanio rerio. Vertebrate nervous systems have also been compared in fossil vs. extant organisms. I conclude that complex nervous systems arose in the Early Cambrian via a big bang that was underpinned by a modular method of construction involving massive pleiotropy of gene circuits. This rapidity of construction had enormous implications for the degrees of freedom that were subsequently available to evolving nervous systems. I also conclude that at the level of neuronal populations and interactions of neuropiles there is no model system between phyla except at the basic macromolecular level. Further, I argue that to achieve a significant understanding of the functions of extant nervous systems we need to concentrate on fewer organisms in greater depth and manipulate genomes via transgenic technologies to understand the behavioral outputs that are possible from an organism. Finally, I analyze the concepts of "perceptual categorization" and "information processing" and the difficulties involved in the extrapolation of computer analogies to sophisticated nervous systems.

  5. Deep mRNA sequencing of the Tritonia diomedea brain transcriptome provides access to gene homologues for neuronal excitability, synaptic transmission and peptidergic signalling.

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    Adriano Senatore

    Full Text Available The sea slug Tritonia diomedea (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Nudibranchia, has a simple and highly accessible nervous system, making it useful for studying neuronal and synaptic mechanisms underlying behavior. Although many important contributions have been made using Tritonia, until now, a lack of genetic information has impeded exploration at the molecular level.We performed Illumina sequencing of central nervous system mRNAs from Tritonia, generating 133.1 million 100 base pair, paired-end reads. De novo reconstruction of the RNA-Seq data yielded a total of 185,546 contigs, which partitioned into 123,154 non-redundant gene clusters (unigenes. BLAST comparison with RefSeq and Swiss-Prot protein databases, as well as mRNA data from other invertebrates (gastropod molluscs: Aplysia californica, Lymnaea stagnalis and Biomphalaria glabrata; cnidarian: Nematostella vectensis revealed that up to 76,292 unigenes in the Tritonia transcriptome have putative homologues in other databases, 18,246 of which are below a more stringent E-value cut-off of 1x10-6. In silico prediction of secreted proteins from the Tritonia transcriptome shotgun assembly (TSA produced a database of 579 unique sequences of secreted proteins, which also exhibited markedly higher expression levels compared to other genes in the TSA.Our efforts greatly expand the availability of gene sequences available for Tritonia diomedea. We were able to extract full length protein sequences for most queried genes, including those involved in electrical excitability, synaptic vesicle release and neurotransmission, thus confirming that the transcriptome will serve as a useful tool for probing the molecular correlates of behavior in this species. We also generated a neurosecretome database that will serve as a useful tool for probing peptidergic signalling systems in the Tritonia brain.

  6. Pain in aquatic animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sneddon, Lynne U

    2015-04-01

    Recent developments in the study of pain in animals have demonstrated the potential for pain perception in a variety of wholly aquatic species such as molluscs, crustaceans and fish. This allows us to gain insight into how the ecological pressures and differential life history of living in a watery medium can yield novel data that inform the comparative physiology and evolution of pain. Nociception is the simple detection of potentially painful stimuli usually accompanied by a reflex withdrawal response, and nociceptors have been found in aquatic invertebrates such as the sea slug Aplysia. It would seem adaptive to have a warning system that allows animals to avoid life-threatening injury, yet debate does still continue over the capacity for non-mammalian species to experience the discomfort or suffering that is a key component of pain rather than a nociceptive reflex. Contemporary studies over the last 10 years have demonstrated that bony fish possess nociceptors that are similar to those in mammals; that they demonstrate pain-related changes in physiology and behaviour that are reduced by painkillers; that they exhibit higher brain activity when painfully stimulated; and that pain is more important than showing fear or anti-predator behaviour in bony fish. The neurophysiological basis of nociception or pain in fish is demonstrably similar to that in mammals. Pain perception in invertebrates is more controversial as they lack the vertebrate brain, yet recent research evidence confirms that there are behavioural changes in response to potentially painful events. This review will assess the field of pain perception in aquatic species, focusing on fish and selected invertebrate groups to interpret how research findings can inform our understanding of the physiology and evolution of pain. Further, if we accept these animals may be capable of experiencing the negative experience of pain, then the wider implications of human use of these animals should be considered.

  7. Distribution and evolution of the serine/aspartate racemase family in invertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uda, Kouji; Abe, Keita; Dehara, Yoko; Mizobata, Kiriko; Sogawa, Natsumi; Akagi, Yuki; Saigan, Mai; Radkov, Atanas D; Moe, Luke A

    2016-02-01

    Free D-amino acids have been found in various invertebrate phyla, while amino acid racemase genes have been identified in few species. The purpose of this study is to elucidate the distribution, function, and evolution of amino acid racemases in invertebrate animals. We searched the GenBank databases, and found 11 homologous serine racemase genes from eight species in eight different invertebrate phyla. The cloned genes were identified based on their maximum activity as Acropora millepora (Cnidaria) serine racemase (SerR) and aspartate racemase (AspR), Caenorhabditis elegans (Nematoda) SerR, Capitella teleta (Annelida) SerR, Crassostrea gigas (Mollusca) SerR and AspR, Dugesia japonica (Platyhelminthes) SerR, Milnesium tardigradum (Tardigrada) SerR, Penaeus monodon (Arthropoda) SerR and AspR and Strongylocentrotus purpuratus (Echinodermata) AspR. We found that Acropora, Aplysia, Capitella, Crassostrea and Penaeus had two amino acid racemase paralogous genes and these paralogous genes have evolved independently by gene duplication at their recent ancestral species. The transcriptome analyses using available SRA data and enzyme kinetic data suggested that these paralogous genes are expressed in different tissues and have different functions in vivo. Phylogenetic analyses clearly indicated that animal SerR and AspR are not separated by their particular racemase functions and form a serine/aspartate racemase family cluster. Our results revealed that SerR and AspR are more widely distributed among invertebrates than previously known. Moreover, we propose that the triple serine loop motif at amino acid positions 150-152 may be responsible for the large aspartate racemase activity and the AspR evolution from SerR.

  8. Evolution of the AKH/corazonin/ACP/GnRH receptor superfamily and their ligands in the Protostomia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauser, Frank; Grimmelikhuijzen, Cornelis J P

    2014-12-01

    In this review we trace the evolutionary connections between GnRH receptors from vertebrates and the receptors for adipokinetic hormone (AKH), AKH/corazonin-related peptide (ACP), and corazonin from arthropods. We conclude that these G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are closely related and have a common evolutionary origin, which dates back to the split of Proto- and Deuterostomia, about 700 million years ago. We propose that in the protostomian lineage, the ancestral GnRH-like receptor gene duplicated as did its GnRH-like ligand gene, followed by diversification, leading to (i) a corazonin receptor gene and a corazonin-like ligand gene, and (ii) an AKH receptor gene and an AKH-like ligand gene in the Mollusca and Annelida. Subsequently, the AKH receptor and ligand genes duplicated once more, yielding the situation that we know from arthropods today, where three independent hormonal systems exist, signalling with AKH, ACP, and corazonin. Our model for the evolution of GnRH signaling in the Protostomia is a striking example of receptor-ligand co-evolution. This model has been developed using several bioinformatics tools (TBLASTN searches, phylogenetic tree analyses), which also helped us to annotate six novel AKH preprohormones and their corresponding AKH sequences from the following molluscs: the sea hare Aplysia californica (AKH sequence: pQIHFSPDWGTamide), the sea slug Tritonia diomedea (pQIHFSPGWEPamide), the fresh water snail Bithynia siamensis goniomphalos (pQIHFTPGWGSamide), the owl limpet Lottia gigantea (pQIHFSPTWGSamide), the oyster Crassostrea gigas (pQVSFSTNWGSamide), and the freshwater pearl mussel Hyriopsis cumingii (pQISFSTNWGSamide). We also found AKHs in the tardigrade Hysibius dujardini (pQLSFTGWGHamide), the rotifer Brachionus calycifloros (pQLTFSSDWSGamide), and the penis worm Priapulus caudatus (pQIFFSKGWRGamide). This is the first report, showing that AKH signaling is widespread in molluscs.

  9. Computational Exploration of a Protein Receptor Binding Space with Student Proposed Peptide Ligands

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Matthew D.; Phillips, Paul; Turner, Matthew W.; Katz, Michael; Lew, Sarah; Bradburn, Sarah; Andersen, Tim; Mcdougal, Owen M.

    2017-01-01

    Computational molecular docking is a fast and effective in silico method for the analysis of binding between a protein receptor model and a ligand. The visualization and manipulation of protein to ligand binding in three-dimensional space represents a powerful tool in the biochemistry curriculum to enhance student learning. The DockoMatic tutorial described herein provides a framework by which instructors can guide students through a drug screening exercise. Using receptor models derived from readily available protein crystal structures, docking programs have the ability to predict ligand binding properties, such as preferential binding orientations and binding affinities. The use of computational studies can significantly enhance complimentary wet chemical experimentation by providing insight into the important molecular interactions within the system of interest, as well as guide the design of new candidate ligands based on observed binding motifs and energetics. In this laboratory tutorial, the graphical user interface, DockoMatic, facilitates docking job submissions to the docking engine, AutoDock 4.2. The purpose of this exercise is to successfully dock a 17-amino acid peptide, α-conotoxin TxIA, to the acetylcholine binding protein from Aplysia californica-AChBP to determine the most stable binding configuration. Each student will then propose two specific amino acid substitutions of α-conotoxin TxIA to enhance peptide binding affinity, create the mutant in DockoMatic, and perform docking calculations to compare their results with the class. Students will also compare intermolecular forces, binding energy, and geometric orientation of their prepared analog to their initial α-conotoxin TxIA docking results. PMID:26537635

  10. Vibrational dynamics of thiocyanate and selenocyanate bound to horse heart myoglobin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maj, Michał; Oh, Younjun; Park, Kwanghee; Lee, Jooyong; Cho, Minhaeng, E-mail: mcho@korea.ac.kr [Department of Chemistry, Korea University, Seoul 136-713 (Korea, Republic of); Kwak, Kyung-Won [Department of Chemistry, Chung-Ang University, Seoul 156-756, SouthKorea (Korea, Republic of)

    2014-06-21

    The structure and vibrational dynamics of SCN- and SeCN-bound myoglobin have been investigated using polarization-controlled IR pump-probe measurements and quantum chemistry calculations. The complexes are found to be in low and high spin states, with the dominant contribution from the latter. In addition, the Mb:SCN high spin complex exhibits a doublet feature in the thiocyanate stretch IR absorption spectra, indicating two distinct molecular conformations around the heme pocket. The binding mode of the high spin complexes was assigned to occur through the nitrogen atom, contrary to the binding through the sulfur atom that was observed in myoglobin derived from Aplysia Limacina. The vibrational energy relaxation process has been found to occur substantially faster than those of free SCN{sup −} and SeCN{sup −} ions and neutral SCN- and SeCN-derivatized molecules reported previously. This supports the N-bound configurations of MbNCS and MbNCSe, because S- and Se-bound configurations are expected to have significantly long lifetimes due to the insulation effect by heavy bridge atom like S and Se in such IR probes. Nonetheless, even though their lifetimes are much shorter than those of corresponding free ions in water, the vibrational lifetimes determined for MbNCS and MbNCSe are still fairly long compared to those of azide and cyanide myoglobin systems studied before. Thus, thiocyanate and selenocyanate can be good local probes of local electrostatic environment in the heme pocket. The globin dependence on binding mode and vibrational dynamics is also discussed.

  11. Vibrational dynamics of thiocyanate and selenocyanate bound to horse heart myoglobin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maj, Michał; Oh, Younjun; Park, Kwanghee; Lee, Jooyong; Kwak, Kyung-Won; Cho, Minhaeng

    2014-06-01

    The structure and vibrational dynamics of SCN- and SeCN-bound myoglobin have been investigated using polarization-controlled IR pump-probe measurements and quantum chemistry calculations. The complexes are found to be in low and high spin states, with the dominant contribution from the latter. In addition, the Mb:SCN high spin complex exhibits a doublet feature in the thiocyanate stretch IR absorption spectra, indicating two distinct molecular conformations around the heme pocket. The binding mode of the high spin complexes was assigned to occur through the nitrogen atom, contrary to the binding through the sulfur atom that was observed in myoglobin derived from Aplysia Limacina. The vibrational energy relaxation process has been found to occur substantially faster than those of free SCN- and SeCN- ions and neutral SCN- and SeCN-derivatized molecules reported previously. This supports the N-bound configurations of MbNCS and MbNCSe, because S- and Se-bound configurations are expected to have significantly long lifetimes due to the insulation effect by heavy bridge atom like S and Se in such IR probes. Nonetheless, even though their lifetimes are much shorter than those of corresponding free ions in water, the vibrational lifetimes determined for MbNCS and MbNCSe are still fairly long compared to those of azide and cyanide myoglobin systems studied before. Thus, thiocyanate and selenocyanate can be good local probes of local electrostatic environment in the heme pocket. The globin dependence on binding mode and vibrational dynamics is also discussed.

  12. Functional Authentication of a Novel Gastropod Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Receptor Reveals Unusual Features and Evolutionary Insight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kavanaugh, Scott I; Tsai, Pei-San

    2016-01-01

    A gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)-like molecule was previously identified in a gastropod, Aplysia californica, and named ap-GnRH. In this study, we cloned the full-length cDNA of a putative ap-GnRH receptor (ap-GnRHR) and functionally authenticated this receptor as a bona fide ap-GnRHR. This receptor contains two potential translation start sites, each accompanied by a Kozak sequence, suggesting the translation of a long and a short form of the receptor is possible. The putative ap-GnRHR maintains the conserved structural motifs of GnRHR-like receptors and shares 45% sequence identity with the octopus GnRHR. The expression of the putative ap-GnRHR short form is ubiquitous in all tissues examined, whereas the long form is only expressed in parts of the central nervous system, osphradium, small hermaphroditic duct, and ovotestis. The cDNA encoding the long or the short receptor was transfected into the Drosophila S2 cell line and subject to a radioreceptor assay using 125I-labeled ap-GnRH as the radioligand. Further, the transfected cells were treated with various concentrations of ap-GnRH and measured for the accumulation of cAMP and inositol monophosphate (IP1). Radioreceptor assay revealed that only the long receptor bound specifically to the radioligand. Further, only the long receptor responded to ap-GnRH with an increased accumulation of IP1, but not cAMP. Our studies show that despite the more prevalent expression of the short receptor, only the long receptor is the functional ap-GnRHR. Importantly, this is only the second report on the authentication of a protostome GnRHR, and based on the function and the phylogenetic grouping of ap-GnRHR, we suggest that this receptor is more similar to protostome corazonin receptors than chordate GnRHRs.

  13. Kinetics of carbon monoxide binding to monomeric hemoproteins. Role of the proximal histidine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coletta, M; Ascenzi, P; Traylor, T G; Brunori, M

    1985-04-10

    The effect of pH on (i) the second-order rate constant for CO binding and (ii) the spectral properties of the deoxygenated derivative of several monomeric hemoproteins has been investigated in the pH range between 2.3 and 9.0. As in the case of 3-[1-imidazolyl]-propylamide monomethyl ester mesoheme, the rate constant for CO binding to sperm whale, horse, Dermochelys coriacea, Coryphaena hippurus, and Aplysia limacina myoglobins (the latter only in the presence of acetate/acetic acid mixture) increases, as the pH is lowered, to a value at least 1 order of magnitude higher than at pH 7.0. Such an effect is not observed in A. limacina myoglobin (in the absence of the acetate/acetic acid mixture) and Chironomus thummi thummi erythrocruorin. Moreover, the absorption spectrum, in the visible region, of the deoxy derivative of all these monomeric hemoproteins (with the exception of A. limacina myoglobin in the absence of the acetate/acetic acid mixture) undergoes a transition as the pH is lowered, an effect observed previously with 3-[1-imidazolyl]-propylamide monomethyl ester protoheme. On the basis of analogous spectroscopic and kinetic properties of chelated heme model compounds we attribute this behavior to the protonation of the N epsilon of the proximal imidazole involved in the bond with the iron atom. On the basis of this model the movement of the iron atom to the heme plane appears as a crucial step for CO binding, the activation free energy of the process amounting to approximately 2 kcal/mol.

  14. Functional Authentication of a Novel Gastropod Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Receptor Reveals Unusual Features and Evolutionary Insight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kavanaugh, Scott I.

    2016-01-01

    A gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)-like molecule was previously identified in a gastropod, Aplysia californica, and named ap-GnRH. In this study, we cloned the full-length cDNA of a putative ap-GnRH receptor (ap-GnRHR) and functionally authenticated this receptor as a bona fide ap-GnRHR. This receptor contains two potential translation start sites, each accompanied by a Kozak sequence, suggesting the translation of a long and a short form of the receptor is possible. The putative ap-GnRHR maintains the conserved structural motifs of GnRHR-like receptors and shares 45% sequence identity with the octopus GnRHR. The expression of the putative ap-GnRHR short form is ubiquitous in all tissues examined, whereas the long form is only expressed in parts of the central nervous system, osphradium, small hermaphroditic duct, and ovotestis. The cDNA encoding the long or the short receptor was transfected into the Drosophila S2 cell line and subject to a radioreceptor assay using 125I-labeled ap-GnRH as the radioligand. Further, the transfected cells were treated with various concentrations of ap-GnRH and measured for the accumulation of cAMP and inositol monophosphate (IP1). Radioreceptor assay revealed that only the long receptor bound specifically to the radioligand. Further, only the long receptor responded to ap-GnRH with an increased accumulation of IP1, but not cAMP. Our studies show that despite the more prevalent expression of the short receptor, only the long receptor is the functional ap-GnRHR. Importantly, this is only the second report on the authentication of a protostome GnRHR, and based on the function and the phylogenetic grouping of ap-GnRHR, we suggest that this receptor is more similar to protostome corazonin receptors than chordate GnRHRs. PMID:27467252

  15. Spike-adding in parabolic bursters: The role of folded-saddle canards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desroches, Mathieu; Krupa, Martin; Rodrigues, Serafim

    2016-09-01

    The present work develops a new approach to studying parabolic bursting, and also proposes a novel four-dimensional canonical and polynomial-based parabolic burster. In addition to this new polynomial system, we also consider the conductance-based model of the Aplysia R15 neuron known as the Plant model, and a reduction of this prototypical biophysical parabolic burster to three variables, including one phase variable, namely the Baer-Rinzel-Carillo (BRC) phase model. Revisiting these models from the perspective of slow-fast dynamics reveals that the number of spikes per burst may vary upon parameter changes, however the spike-adding process occurs in an explosive fashion that involves special solutions called canards. This spike-adding canard explosion phenomenon is analysed by using tools from geometric singular perturbation theory in tandem with numerical bifurcation techniques. We find that the bifurcation structure persists across all considered systems, that is, spikes within the burst are incremented via the crossing of an excitability threshold given by a particular type of canard orbit, namely the true canard of a folded-saddle singularity. However there can be a difference in the spike-adding transitions in parameter space from one case to another, according to whether the process is continuous or discontinuous, which depends upon the geometry of the folded-saddle canard. Using these findings, we construct a new polynomial approximation of the Plant model, which retains all the key elements for parabolic bursting, including the spike-adding transitions mediated by folded-saddle canards. Finally, we briefly investigate the presence of spike-adding via canards in planar phase models of parabolic bursting, namely the theta model by Ermentrout and Kopell.

  16. New Mediterranean Biodiversity Records (October, 2014

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. KATSANEVAKIS

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The Collective Article ‘New Mediterranean Biodiversity Records’ of the Mediterranean Marine Science journal offers the means to publish biodiversity records in the Mediterranean Sea. The current article is divided in two parts, for records of alien and native species respectively. The new records of alien species include: the red alga Asparagopsis taxiformis (Crete and Lakonicos Gulf (Greece; the red alga Grateloupia turuturu (along the Israeli Mediterranean shore; the mantis shrimp Clorida albolitura (Gulf of Antalya, Turkey; the mud crab Dyspanopeus sayi (Mar Piccolo of Taranto, Ionian Sea; the blue crab Callinectes sapidus (Chios Island, Greece; the isopod Paracerceis sculpta (northern Aegean Sea, Greece; the sea urchin Diadema setosum (Gökova Bay, Turkey; the molluscs Smaragdia souverbiana, Murex forskoehlii, Fusinus verrucosus, Circenita callipyga, and Aplysia dactylomela (Syria; the cephalaspidean mollusc Haminoea cyanomarginata (Baia di Puolo, Massa Lubrense, Campania, southern Italy; the topmouth gudgeon Pseudorasbora parva (Civitavecchia, Tyrrhenian Sea; the fangtooth moray Enchelycore anatine (Plemmirio marine reserve, Sicily; the silver-cheeked toadfish Lagocephalus sceleratus (Saros Bay, Turkey; and Ibiza channel, Spain; the Indo-Pacific ascidian Herdmania momusin Kastelorizo Island (Greece; and the foraminiferal Clavulina multicam erata (Saronikos Gulf, Greece. The record of L. sceleratus in Spain consists the deepest (350-400m depth record of the species in the Mediterranean Sea. The new records of native species include: first record of the ctenophore Cestum veneris in Turkish marine waters; the presence of Holothuria tubulosa and Holothuria polii in the Bay of Igoumenitsa (Greece; the first recorded sighting of the bull ray Pteromylaeus bovinus in Maltese waters; and a new record of the fish Lobotes surinamensis from Maliakos Gulf. 

  17. Conserved N-terminal negative charges support optimally efficient N-type inactivation of Kv1 channels.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison Prince

    Full Text Available N-type inactivation is produced by the binding of a potassium channel's N-terminus within the open pore, blocking conductance. Previous studies have found that introduction of negative charges into N-terminal inactivation domains disrupts inactivation; however, the Aplysia AKv1 N-type inactivation domain contains two negatively charged residues, E2 and E9. Rather than being unusual, sequence analysis shows that this N-terminal motif is highly conserved among Kv1 sequences across many phyla. Conservation analysis shows some tolerance at position 9 for other charged residues, like D9 and K9, whereas position 2 is highly conserved as E2. To examine the functional importance of these residues, site directed mutagenesis was performed and effects on inactivation were recorded by two electrode voltage clamp in Xenopus oocytes. We find that inclusion of charged residues at positions 2 and 9 prevents interactions with non-polar sites along the inactivation pathway increasing the efficiency of pore block. In addition, E2 appears to have additional specific electrostatic interactions that stabilize the inactivated state likely explaining its high level of conservation. One possible explanation for E2's unique importance, consistent with our data, is that E2 interacts electrostatically with a positive charge on the N-terminal amino group to stabilize the inactivation domain at the block site deep within the pore. Simple electrostatic modeling suggests that due to the non-polar environment in the pore in the blocked state, even a 1 Å larger separation between these charges, produced by the E2D substitution, would be sufficient to explain the 65× reduced affinity of the E2D N-terminus for the pore. Finally, our studies support a multi-step, multi-site N-type inactivation model where the N-terminus interacts deep within the pore in an extended like structure placing the most N-terminal residues 35% of the way across the electric field in the pore blocked

  18. Central nervous system action of peptides to influence gastrointestinal motor function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taché, Y; Garrick, T; Raybould, H

    1990-02-01

    The central action of peptides to influence GI motility in experimental animals is summarized in Table 1. TRH stimulates gastric, intestinal, and colonic contractility in rats and in several experimental species. A number of peptides including calcitonin, CGRP, neurotensin, NPY, and mu opioid peptides act centrally to induce a fasted MMC pattern of intestinal motility in fed animals while GRF and substance P shorten its duration. The dorsal vagal complex is site of action for TRH-, bombesin-, and somatostatin-induced stimulation of gastric contractility, and for CCK-, oxytocin- and substance P-induced decrease in gastric contractions or intraluminal pressure. The mechanisms through which TRH, bombesin, calcitonin, neurotensin, CCK, and oxytocin alter GI motility are vagally mediated. An involvement of central peptidergic neurons in the regulation of gut motility has recently been demonstrated in Aplysia, indicating that such regulatory mechanisms are important in the phylogenesis. Alterations of the pattern of GI motor activity are associated with functional changes in transit. TRH is so far the only centrally acting peptide stimulating simultaneously gastric, intestinal, and colonic transit in various animals species. Opioid peptides acting on mu receptor subtypes in the brain exert the opposite effect and inhibit concomitantly gastric, intestinal, and colonic transit. Bombesin and CRF were found to act centrally to inhibit gastric and intestinal transit and to stimulate colonic transit in the rat. The antitransit effect of calcitonin and CGRP is limited to the stomach and small intestine. The delay in GI transit is associated with reduced GI contractility for most of the peptides except central bombesin that increases GI motility. Nothing is known about brain sites through which these peptides act to alter gastric emptying and colonic transit. Regarding brain sites influencing intestinal transit, TRH-induced stimulation of intestinal transit in the rat is

  19. Early Development of Gravity-Sensing Organs in Microgravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiederhold, Michael L.; Gao, Wenyuan; Harrison, Jeffrey L.; Parker, Kevin A.

    2003-01-01

    Most animals have organs that sense gravity. These organs use dense stones (called otoliths or statoconia), which rest on the sensitive hairs of specialized gravity- and motion-sensing cells. The weight of the stones bends the hairs in the direction of gravitational pull. The cells in turn send a coded representation of the gravity or motion stimulus to the central nervous system. Previous experiments, in which the eggs or larvae of a marine mollusk (Aplysia californica, the sea hare) were raised on a centrifuge, demonstrated that the size of the stones (or test mass) was reduced in a graded manner as the gravity field was increased. This suggests that some control mechanism was acting to normalize the weight of the stones. The experiments described here were designed to test the hypothesis that, during their initial development, the mass of the stones is regulated to achieve a desired weight. If this is the case, we would expect a larger-than-normal otolith would develop in animals reared in the weightlessness of space. To test this, freshwater snails and swordtail fish were studied after spaceflight. The snails mated in space, and the stones (statoconia) in their statocysts developed in microgravity. Pre-mated adult female swordtail fish were flown on the Space Shuttle, and the developing larvae were collected after landing. Juvenile fish, where the larval development had taken place on the ground, were also flown. In snails that developed in space, the total volume of statoconia forming the test mass was 50% greater than in size-matched snails reared in functionally identical equipment on the ground. In the swordtail fish, the size of otoliths was compared between ground- and flight-reared larvae of the same size. For later-stage larvae, the growth of the otolith was significantly greater in the flight-reared fish. However, juvenile fish showed no significant difference in otolith size between flight- and ground-reared fish. Thus, it appears that fish and snails

  20. Forskolin's effect on transient K current in nudibranch neurons is not reproduced by cAMP.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coombs, J; Thompson, S

    1987-02-01

    Forskolin, a diterpene extracted from Coleus forskolii, stimulates the production of cAMP in a variety of cells and is potentially an important tool for studying the role of cAMP in the modulation of neuronal excitability. We studied the effects of forskolin on neurons of nudibranch molluscs and found that it caused characteristic, reversible changes in the amplitude and waveform of the transient K current, IA, and also activated an inward current similar to the cAMP-dependent inward current previously described in molluscan neurons. Forskolin altered the time course of IA activation and inactivation but did not affect the voltage dependence or the reversal potential of the current. IA normally inactivates exponentially, but in forskolin the time course of inactivation can be fit by the sum of 2 exponentials with an initial rate that is faster than the control and a final rate that is much slower. On depolarization in forskolin, IA begins to activate at the normal rate, but a slower component of activation is also seen. The changes in IA in the nudibranch cells were qualitatively different than the changes caused by forskolin in Aplysia bag cell neurons (Strong, 1984). Experiments were performed to determine whether these effects of forskolin require cAMP. Intracellular injection of cAMP, application of membrane-permeable analogs of cAMP, application of phosphodiesterase inhibitors, and intracellular injection of the active catalytic subunit of cAMP-dependent protein kinase did not affect the amplitude or waveform of IA. Also, the changes in IA that are caused by forskolin were not prevented or reversed by intracellular injection of an inhibitor of cAMP-dependent protein kinase. Cyclic AMP did, however, activate inward current at voltages near the resting potential. We conclude that the changes in IA and the activation of inward current represent separate affects of forskolin. The inward current appears to depend on an increase in intracellular cAMP, while the

  1. cDNA cloning and bacterial expression of a PL-14 alginate lyase from a herbivorous marine snail Littorina brevicula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Mohammad Matiur; Wang, Ling; Inoue, Akira; Ojima, Takao

    2012-10-01

    Herbivorous marine snails like Littorina species are known to possess alginate lyases in their digestive tracts. The Littorina enzymes have been identified as endolytic polymannuronate (poly(M)) lyases (EC 4.2.2.3); however, it is still unclear which polysaccharide-lyase family (PL) the Littorina enzymes belong to, since no complete primary structure of Littorina enzymes has been determined. Thus, in the present study, we analyzed the primary structure of LbAly28, a 28kDa alginate lyase isozyme of Littorina brevicula, by the cDNA method. LbAly28 cDNAs were amplified by PCR followed by 5'- and 3'-RACE PCRs from the L. brevicula hepatopancreas cDNA. A cDNA covering entire coding region of LbAly28 consisted of 1129bp and encoded an amino-acid sequence of 291 residues. The deduced amino-acid sequence comprised an initiation methionine, a putative signal peptide of 14 residues, a propeptide-like region of 16 residues, and a mature LbAly28 domain of 260 residues. The mature LbAly28 domain showed 43-53% amino-acid identities with other molluscan PL-14 enzymes. The catalytically important residues in PL-14 enzymes, which were identified in the Chlorella virus glucuronate-specific lyase vAL-1 and Aplysia poly(M) lyase AkAly30, were also conserved in LbAly28. Site-directed mutagenesis regarding these residues, that is, replacements of Lys94, Lys97, Thr121, Arg 123, Tyr135, and Tyr137 to Ala, decreased the activity of recombinant LbAly28 to various degrees. From these results we concluded that LbAly28 is a member of PL-14 alginate lyases. Besides the effects of above mutations, we noticed that the replacement of T121 by Ala changed the substrate preference of LbAly28. Namely, the activities toward sodium alginate and poly(MG)-block substrate increased and became comparable with the activity toward poly(M)-block substrate. This suggests that the region including T121 of LbAly28 closely relates to the recognition of poly(MG) region of alginate.

  2. Construction of a medicinal leech transcriptome database and its application to the identification of leech homologs of neural and innate immune genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wincker Patrick

    2010-06-01

    evolutionarily conserved sequences, representing all known pathways involved in these important functions. Conclusions The sequences obtained for Hirudo transcripts represent the first major database of genes expressed in this important model system. Comparison of translated open reading frames (ORFs with the other openly available leech datasets, the genome and transcriptome of Helobdella robusta, shows an average identity at the amino acid level of 58% in matched sequences. Interestingly, comparison with other available Lophotrochozoans shows similar high levels of amino acid identity, where sequences match, for example, 64% with Capitella capitata (a polychaete and 56% with Aplysia californica (a mollusk, as well as 58% with Schistosoma mansoni (a platyhelminth. Phylogenetic comparisons of putative Hirudo innate immune response genes present within the Hirudo transcriptome database herein described show a strong resemblance to the corresponding mammalian genes, indicating that this important physiological response may have older origins than what has been previously proposed.

  3. ENZYME KINETICS OF APLYSIN METABOLISM IN RAT LIVER MICROSOMES%海兔素在大鼠肝微粒体中的酶促反应动力学研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    丰暖; 梁惠; 马爱国; 张辉珍

    2015-01-01

    Objective To establish a HPLC method for the determination of aplysin in rat liver microsome, and study the enzyme kinetics of aplysin metabolism in rat liver microsome, as well as the effect of CYP3A inhibitor ketoconazole. Methods A HPLC method was developed for the determination of aplysin. Aplysin was incubated in rat liver microsome for 30 min. The effects of different incubation times and liver microsomal protein concentrations on alysin metabolism were observed. Lineweave-Burk graphic method was used to calculate the enzyme kinetic parameters. Ketoconazole (0.5, 2, 5, 10, 20, 40 mg/L) was used to inhibit the metabolism of aplysin in vitro. Results The linear range of aplysia standard curve was 0.5-100 mg/L. The intra- and inter-day RSDs were less than 3.18%. The recovery rate was 96.19%-97.83%, and a good stability at room temperature for 24 h or at -200C for a week was confirmed. The best incubation conditions for aplysin metabolism in rat liver microsome were 30 min for incubation time and 1 mg/mL for protein concentration. The enzyme kinetic parameters were as follows: Km 19.72 mg/L, Vmax 0.35 mg/min/g protein, CLint 17.75 ml/(min·g) protein. Ketoconazole was inhibitory to the metabolism of aplysin in vitro. Conclusion The established HPLC method is fast, simple, specific and sensitive and applicable in the study of the enzyme kinetics of aplysin metabolism in rat liver microsome. CYP3A may be involved in the metabolism of aplysin.%目的建立测定大鼠肝微粒体孵育液中海兔素含量的高效液相色谱法(HPLC),研究海兔素在大鼠肝微粒体中代谢的酶动力学以及CYP3A特异性抑制剂酮康唑对其代谢反应的影响。方法考察不同孵育时间、肝微粒体蛋白浓度、海兔素浓度对代谢反应的影响,并采用双倒数作图法计算海兔素的酶促反应动力学参数;观察不同浓度酮康唑(0.5,2,5,10,20,40 mg/L)对海兔素体外代谢的影响。结果海兔素的

  4. EDITORIAL: Special issue on optical neural engineering: advances in optical stimulation technology Special issue on optical neural engineering: advances in optical stimulation technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoham, Shy; Deisseroth, Karl

    2010-08-01

    and Chalazonitis N 1961 Excitatiory and inhibitory processes initiated by light and infra-red radiations in single identifiable nerve cells Nervous Inhibition ed. E Florey (New York: Pergamon) pP 194-231 [5] Fork R L 1971 Laser stimulation of nerve cells in Aplysia Science 171 907-8 [6] Allegre G, Avrillier S and Albe-Fessard D 1994 Stimulation in the rat of a nerve fiber bundle by a short UV pulse from an excimer laser Neurosci. Lett. 180 261-4 [7] Hirase H, Nikolenko V, Goldberg J H and Yuste R 2002 Multiphoton stimulation of neurons J. Neurobiol. 51 237-47 [8] Callaway E M and Yuste R 2002 Stimulating neurons with light Curr. Opin. Neurobiol. 12 587-92 [9] Ellis-Davies G C 2007 Caged compounds: photorelease technology for control of cellular chemistry and physiology Nat. Methods 4 619-28 [10] Shoham S, O'Connor D H, Sarkisov D V and Wang S S 2005 Rapid neurotransmitter uncaging in spatially defined patterns Nat. Methods 2 837-43 [11] Nikolenko V, Poskanzer K E and Yuste R 2007 Two-photon photostimulation and imaging of neural circuits Nat. Methods 4 943-50 [12] Lutz C, Otis T S, DeSars V, Charpak S, DiGregorio D A and Emiliani V 2008 Holographic photolysis of caged neurotransmitters Nat. Methods 5 821-7 [13] Nikolenko V, Watson B O, Araya R, Woodruff A, Peterka D S and Yuste R 2008 SLM microscopy: scanless two-photon imaging and photostimulation with spatial light modulators Front. Neural Circuits 2 5 [14] Zahid M, Velez-Fort M, Papagiakoumou E, Ventalon C, Angulo M C and Emiliani V Holographic photolysis for multiple cell stimulation in mouse hippocampal slices PLoS One 5 e9431 [15] Boyden E S, Zhang F, Bamberg E, Nagel G and Deisseroth K 2005 Millisecond-timescale, genetically targeted optical control of neural activity Nat. Neurosci. 8 1263-8 [16] Zhang F, Aravanis A M, Adamantidis A, de Lecea L and Deisseroth K 2007 Circuit-breakers: optical technologies for probing neural signals and systems Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 8 577-81 [17] Gradinaru V, Zhang F, Ramakrishnan