WorldWideScience

Sample records for central synapses insights

  1. Organization of central synapses by adhesion molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tallafuss, Alexandra; Constable, John R L; Washbourne, Philip

    2010-07-01

    Synapses are the primary means for transmitting information from one neuron to the next. They are formed during the development of the nervous system, and the formation of appropriate synapses is crucial for the establishment of neuronal circuits that underlie behavior and cognition. Understanding how synapses form and are maintained will allow us to address developmental disorders such as autism, mental retardation and possibly also psychological disorders. A number of biochemical and proteomic studies have revealed a diverse and vast assortment of molecules that are present at the synapse. It is now important to untangle this large array of proteins and determine how it assembles into a functioning unit. Here we focus on recent reports describing how synaptic cell adhesion molecules interact with and organize the presynaptic and postsynaptic specializations of both excitatory and inhibitory central synapses. © The Authors (2010). Journal Compilation © Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  2. Organization of central synapses by adhesion molecules

    OpenAIRE

    Tallafuss, Alexandra; Constable, John R.L.; Washbourne, Philip

    2010-01-01

    Synapses are the primary means for transmitting information from one neuron to the next. They are formed during development of the nervous system, and formation of appropriate synapses is crucial for establishment of neuronal circuits that underlie behavior and cognition. Understanding how synapses form and are maintained will allow us to address developmental disorders such as autism, mental retardation and possibly also psychological disorders. A number of biochemical and proteomic studies ...

  3. Neural circuit rewiring: insights from DD synapse remodeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurup, Naina; Jin, Yishi

    2016-01-01

    Nervous systems exhibit many forms of neuronal plasticity during growth, learning and memory consolidation, as well as in response to injury. Such plasticity can occur across entire nervous systems as with the case of insect metamorphosis, in individual classes of neurons, or even at the level of a single neuron. A striking example of neuronal plasticity in C. elegans is the synaptic rewiring of the GABAergic Dorsal D-type motor neurons during larval development, termed DD remodeling. DD remodeling entails multi-step coordination to concurrently eliminate pre-existing synapses and form new synapses on different neurites, without changing the overall morphology of the neuron. This mini-review focuses on recent advances in understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms driving DD remodeling.

  4. Mammalian motor neurons corelease glutamate and acetylcholine at central synapses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nishimaru, Hiroshi; Restrepo, Carlos Ernesto; Ryge, Jesper

    2005-01-01

    Motor neurons (MNs) are the principal neurons in the mammalian spinal cord whose activities cause muscles to contract. In addition to their peripheral axons, MNs have central collaterals that contact inhibitory Renshaw cells and other MNs. Since its original discovery > 60 years ago, it has been...

  5. Linking Mitochondria to Synapses: New Insights for Stress-Related Neuropsychiatric Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Freddy Jeanneteau

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The brain evolved cellular mechanisms for adapting synaptic function to energy supply. This is particularly evident when homeostasis is challenged by stress. Signaling loops between the mitochondria and synapses scale neuronal connectivity with bioenergetics capacity. A biphasic “inverted U shape” response to the stress hormone glucocorticoids is demonstrated in mitochondria and at synapses, modulating neural plasticity and physiological responses. Low dose enhances neurotransmission, synaptic growth, mitochondrial functions, learning, and memory whereas chronic, higher doses produce inhibition of these functions. The range of physiological effects by stress and glucocorticoid depends on the dose, duration, and context at exposure. These criteria are met by neuronal activity and the circadian, stress-sensitive and ultradian, stress-insensitive modes of glucocorticoid secretion. A major hallmark of stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders is the disrupted glucocorticoid rhythms and tissue resistance to signaling with the glucocorticoid receptor (GR. GR resistance could result from the loss of context-dependent glucocorticoid signaling mediated by the downregulation of the activity-dependent neurotrophin BDNF. The coincidence of BDNF and GR signaling changes glucocorticoid signaling output with consequences on mitochondrial respiration efficiency, synaptic plasticity, and adaptive trajectories.

  6. Synaptic heterogeneity and stimulus-induced modulation of depression in central synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, J D; Milton, J G

    2001-08-01

    Short-term plasticity is a pervasive feature of synapses. Synapses exhibit many forms of plasticity operating over a range of time scales. We develop an optimization method that allows rapid characterization of synapses with multiple time scales of facilitation and depression. Investigation of paired neurons that are postsynaptic to the same identified interneuron in the buccal ganglion of Aplysia reveals that the responses of the two neurons differ in the magnitude of synaptic depression. Also, for single neurons, prolonged stimulation of the presynaptic neuron causes stimulus-induced increases in the early phase of synaptic depression. These observations can be described by a model that incorporates two availability factors, e.g., depletable vesicle pools or desensitizing receptor populations, with different time courses of recovery, and a single facilitation component. This model accurately predicts the responses to novel stimuli. The source of synaptic heterogeneity is identified with variations in the relative sizes of the two availability factors, and the stimulus-induced decrement in the early synaptic response is explained by a slowing of the recovery rate of one of the availability factors. The synaptic heterogeneity and stimulus-induced modifications in synaptic depression observed here emphasize that synaptic efficacy depends on both the individual properties of synapses and their past history.

  7. Modulation of Central Synapses by Astrocyte-Released ATP and Postsynaptic P2X Receptors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pankratov, Yuriy

    2017-01-01

    Communication between neuronal and glial cells is important for neural plasticity. P2X receptors are ATP-gated cation channels widely expressed in the brain where they mediate action of extracellular ATP released by neurons and/or glia. Recent data show that postsynaptic P2X receptors underlie slow neuromodulatory actions rather than fast synaptic transmission at brain synapses. Here, we review these findings with a particular focus on the release of ATP by astrocytes and the diversity of postsynaptic P2X-mediated modulation of synaptic strength and plasticity in the CNS. PMID:28845311

  8. Modulation of Central Synapses by Astrocyte-Released ATP and Postsynaptic P2X Receptors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Boué-Grabot

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Communication between neuronal and glial cells is important for neural plasticity. P2X receptors are ATP-gated cation channels widely expressed in the brain where they mediate action of extracellular ATP released by neurons and/or glia. Recent data show that postsynaptic P2X receptors underlie slow neuromodulatory actions rather than fast synaptic transmission at brain synapses. Here, we review these findings with a particular focus on the release of ATP by astrocytes and the diversity of postsynaptic P2X-mediated modulation of synaptic strength and plasticity in the CNS.

  9. Chronic ethanol exposure decreases CB1 receptor function at GABAergic synapses in the rat central amygdala

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Varodayan, Florence P.; Soni, Neeraj; Bajo, Michal

    2016-01-01

    release, and GABAergic dysregulation in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) is critical in the transition to alcohol dependence. We investigated possible disruptions in CB1 signaling of rat CeA GABAergic transmission following intermittent ethanol exposure. In the CeA of alcohol-naive rats, CB1...

  10. Polyribosomes at the base of dendritic spines of central nervous system neurons - their possible role in synapse construction and modification

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Steward, O.

    1983-01-01

    The selective localization of polyribosomes at the base of dendritic spines in granule cells of the dentate gyrus was studied. These polyribosomes seem optimally situated to produce proteins for the postsynaptic membrane specialization or the spine and to have their synthetic activity regulated by functional activity over the synapse. The present work will summarize observations on the polyribosome clusters that were found to be ubiquitous in spines throughout the vertebrate CNS. Evidence will be presented that suggests a role for the polyribosomes in synapse construction and modification. 42 refs., 8 figs., 2 tabs

  11. Neural Activity During The Formation Of A Giant Auditory Synapse

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M.C. Sierksma (Martijn)

    2018-01-01

    markdownabstractThe formation of synapses is a critical step in the development of the brain. During this developmental stage neural activity propagates across the brain from synapse to synapse. This activity is thought to instruct the precise, topological connectivity found in the sensory central

  12. The sticky synapse

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Owczarek, Sylwia Elzbieta; Kristiansen, Lars Villiam; Hortsch, Michael

    NCAM-type proteins modulate multiple neuronal functions, including the outgrowth and guidance of neurites, the formation, maturation, and plasticity of synapses, and the induction of both long-term potentiation and long-term depression. The ectodomains of NCAM proteins have a basic structure...... mediate cell-cell adhesion through homophilic interactions and bind to growth factors, growth factor receptors, glutamate receptors, other CAMs, and components of the extracellular matrix. Intracellularly, NCAM-type proteins interact with various cytoskeletal proteins and regulators of intracellular...... signal transduction. A central feature of the synaptic function of NCAM proteins is the regulation of their extracellular interactions by adhesion-modulating glycoepitopes, their removal from the cell surface by endocytosis, and the elimination of their adhesion-mediating interactions by the proteolytic...

  13. Astrocytes mediate synapse elimination through MEGF10 and MERTK pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Won-Suk; Clarke, Laura E.; Wang, Gordon X.; Stafford, Benjamin K.; Sher, Alexander; Chakraborty, Chandrani; Joung, Julia; Foo, Lynette C.; Thompson, Andrew; Chen, Chinfei; Smith, Stephen J.; Barres, Ben A.

    2013-12-01

    To achieve its precise neural connectivity, the developing mammalian nervous system undergoes extensive activity-dependent synapse remodelling. Recently, microglial cells have been shown to be responsible for a portion of synaptic pruning, but the remaining mechanisms remain unknown. Here we report a new role for astrocytes in actively engulfing central nervous system synapses. This process helps to mediate synapse elimination, requires the MEGF10 and MERTK phagocytic pathways, and is strongly dependent on neuronal activity. Developing mice deficient in both astrocyte pathways fail to refine their retinogeniculate connections normally and retain excess functional synapses. Finally, we show that in the adult mouse brain, astrocytes continuously engulf both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. These studies reveal a novel role for astrocytes in mediating synapse elimination in the developing and adult brain, identify MEGF10 and MERTK as critical proteins in the synapse remodelling underlying neural circuit refinement, and have important implications for understanding learning and memory as well as neurological disease processes.

  14. The immunological synapse

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Klemmensen, Thomas; Pedersen, Lars Ostergaard; Geisler, Carsten

    2003-01-01

    . A distinct 3-dimensional supramolecular structure at the T cell/APC interface has been suggested to be involved in the information transfer. Due to its functional analogy to the neuronal synapse, the structure has been termed the "immunological synapse" (IS). Here, we review molecular aspects concerning...

  15. Specific recycling receptors are targeted to the immune synapse by the intraflagellar transport system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finetti, Francesca; Patrussi, Laura; Masi, Giulia; Onnis, Anna; Galgano, Donatella; Lucherini, Orso Maria; Pazour, Gregory J.; Baldari, Cosima T.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT T cell activation requires sustained signaling at the immune synapse, a specialized interface with the antigen-presenting cell (APC) that assembles following T cell antigen receptor (TCR) engagement by major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-bound peptide. Central to sustained signaling is the continuous recruitment of TCRs to the immune synapse. These TCRs are partly mobilized from an endosomal pool by polarized recycling. We have identified IFT20, a component of the intraflagellar transport (IFT) system that controls ciliogenesis, as a central regulator of TCR recycling to the immune synapse. Here, we have investigated the interplay of IFT20 with the Rab GTPase network that controls recycling. We found that IFT20 forms a complex with Rab5 and the TCR on early endosomes. IFT20 knockdown (IFT20KD) resulted in a block in the recycling pathway, leading to a build-up of recycling TCRs in Rab5+ endosomes. Recycling of the transferrin receptor (TfR), but not of CXCR4, was disrupted by IFT20 deficiency. The IFT components IFT52 and IFT57 were found to act together with IFT20 to regulate TCR and TfR recycling. The results provide novel insights into the mechanisms that control TCR recycling and immune synapse assembly, and underscore the trafficking-related function of the IFT system beyond ciliogenesis. PMID:24554435

  16. Understanding the centrality deficit: insight from foreign language learners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Amanda C; Keenan, Janice M

    2011-07-01

    This study replicated and extended a phenomenon in the text memory literature referred to as the centrality deficit Miller & Keenan (Annals of Dyslexia 59:99-113, 2009). It examined how reading in a foreign language (L2) affects one's text representation and ability to recall the most important information. Readers recalled a greater proportion of central than of peripheral ideas, regardless of whether reading in their native language (L1) or a foreign language (L2). Nonetheless, the greatest deficit in participants' L2 recalls, as compared with L1 recalls, was on the central, rather than the peripheral, information. This centrality deficit appears to stem from resources being diverted from comprehension when readers have to devote more cognitive resources to lower level processes (e.g., L2 word identification and syntactic processing), because the deficit was most evident among readers who had lower L2 proficiency. Prior knowledge (PK) of the passage topic helped compensate for the centrality deficit. Readers with less L2 proficiency who did not have PK of the topic displayed a centrality deficit, relative to their L1 recall, but this deficit dissipated when they did possess PK.

  17. Cell Biology of Astrocyte-Synapse Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Nicola J; Eroglu, Cagla

    2017-11-01

    Astrocytes, the most abundant glial cells in the mammalian brain, are critical regulators of brain development and physiology through dynamic and often bidirectional interactions with neuronal synapses. Despite the clear importance of astrocytes for the establishment and maintenance of proper synaptic connectivity, our understanding of their role in brain function is still in its infancy. We propose that this is at least in part due to large gaps in our knowledge of the cell biology of astrocytes and the mechanisms they use to interact with synapses. In this review, we summarize some of the seminal findings that yield important insight into the cellular and molecular basis of astrocyte-neuron communication, focusing on the role of astrocytes in the development and remodeling of synapses. Furthermore, we pose some pressing questions that need to be addressed to advance our mechanistic understanding of the role of astrocytes in regulating synaptic development. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Structural insights into central hypertension regulation by human aminopeptidase A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yang; Liu, Chang; Lin, Yi-Lun; Li, Fang

    2013-08-30

    Hypertension is regulated through both the central and systemic renin-angiotensin systems. In the central renin-angiotensin system, zinc-dependent aminopeptidase A (APA) up-regulates blood pressure by specifically cleaving the N-terminal aspartate, but not the adjacent arginine, from angiotensin II, a process facilitated by calcium. Here, we determined the crystal structures of human APA and its complexes with different ligands and identified a calcium-binding site in the S1 pocket of APA. Without calcium, the S1 pocket can bind both acidic and basic residues through formation of salt bridges with the charged side chains. In the presence of calcium, the binding of acidic residues is enhanced as they ligate the cation, whereas the binding of basic residues is no longer favorable due to charge repulsion. Of the peptidomimetic inhibitors of APA, amastatin has higher potency than bestatin by fitting better in the S1 pocket and interacting additionally with the S3' subsite. These results explain the calcium-modulated substrate specificity of APA in central hypertension regulation and can guide the design and development of brain-targeting antihypertensive APA inhibitors.

  19. Structural Insights into Central Hypertension Regulation by Human Aminopeptidase A*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yang; Liu, Chang; Lin, Yi-Lun; Li, Fang

    2013-01-01

    Hypertension is regulated through both the central and systemic renin-angiotensin systems. In the central renin-angiotensin system, zinc-dependent aminopeptidase A (APA) up-regulates blood pressure by specifically cleaving the N-terminal aspartate, but not the adjacent arginine, from angiotensin II, a process facilitated by calcium. Here, we determined the crystal structures of human APA and its complexes with different ligands and identified a calcium-binding site in the S1 pocket of APA. Without calcium, the S1 pocket can bind both acidic and basic residues through formation of salt bridges with the charged side chains. In the presence of calcium, the binding of acidic residues is enhanced as they ligate the cation, whereas the binding of basic residues is no longer favorable due to charge repulsion. Of the peptidomimetic inhibitors of APA, amastatin has higher potency than bestatin by fitting better in the S1 pocket and interacting additionally with the S3′ subsite. These results explain the calcium-modulated substrate specificity of APA in central hypertension regulation and can guide the design and development of brain-targeting antihypertensive APA inhibitors. PMID:23888046

  20. The Central Eurasia collision zone: insights from a neotectonic study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tunini, Lavinia; Jiménez-Munt, Ivone; Fernandez, Manel; Vergés, Jaume

    2017-04-01

    In this study, we explore the neotectonic deformation in the whole Central Eurasia, including both the India-Eurasia and the Arabia-Eurasia collision zones, by using the thin-sheet approach in which the lithosphere strength is calculated from the lithosphere structure and thermal regime. We investigate the relative contributions of the lithospheric structure, rheology, boundary conditions, and friction coefficient on faults on the predicted velocity and stress fields. The resulting models have been evaluated by comparing the predictions with available data on seismic deformation, stress directions and GPS velocities. A first order approximation of the velocity and stress directions is obtained, reproducing the counter-clockwise rotation of Arabia and Iran, the westward escape of Anatolia, and the eastward extrusion of the northern Tibetan Plateau. To simulate the observed extensional faults within Tibet a weaker lithosphere is required, provided by a change in the rheological parameters or a reduction of the lithosphere thickness in NE-Tibet. The temperature increase generated by the lithospheric thinning below the Tibetan Plateau would also allow reconciling the model with the high heat flow and low mantle seismic velocities observed in the area. Besides the large scale, this study offers a coherent result in regions with little or no data coverage, as in the case of the Arabia-India inter-collision zone, over large areas of Pakistan and entire Afghanistan. The study is supported by MITE (CGL2014-59516-P) and WE-ME (PIE-CSIC-201330E111) projects.

  1. Face classification using electronic synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Peng; Wu, Huaqiang; Gao, Bin; Eryilmaz, Sukru Burc; Huang, Xueyao; Zhang, Wenqiang; Zhang, Qingtian; Deng, Ning; Shi, Luping; Wong, H.-S. Philip; Qian, He

    2017-05-01

    Conventional hardware platforms consume huge amount of energy for cognitive learning due to the data movement between the processor and the off-chip memory. Brain-inspired device technologies using analogue weight storage allow to complete cognitive tasks more efficiently. Here we present an analogue non-volatile resistive memory (an electronic synapse) with foundry friendly materials. The device shows bidirectional continuous weight modulation behaviour. Grey-scale face classification is experimentally demonstrated using an integrated 1024-cell array with parallel online training. The energy consumption within the analogue synapses for each iteration is 1,000 × (20 ×) lower compared to an implementation using Intel Xeon Phi processor with off-chip memory (with hypothetical on-chip digital resistive random access memory). The accuracy on test sets is close to the result using a central processing unit. These experimental results consolidate the feasibility of analogue synaptic array and pave the way toward building an energy efficient and large-scale neuromorphic system.

  2. The repetition timing of high frequency afferent stimulation drives the bidirectional plasticity at central synapses in the rat medial vestibular nuclei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scarduzio, M; Panichi, R; Pettorossi, V E; Grassi, S

    2012-10-25

    In this study we show that high frequency stimulation (HFS, 100Hz) of afferent fibers to the medial vestibular nucleus (MVN) can induce opposite long-term modifications of synaptic responses in the type B neurons depending upon the stimulation pattern. Long burst stimulation (LBS: 2s) and short burst stimulation (SBS: 0.55s) were applied with different burst number (BN) and inter-burst intervals (IBI). It results that both LBS and SBS can induce either N-methyl-d aspartate receptors (NMDARs)-mediated long-term potentiation (LTP) or long-term depression (LTD), depending on temporal organization of repetitive bursts. In particular, the IBI plays a relevant role in guiding the shift from LTP to LTD since by using both LBS and SBS LTP is induced by shorter IBI than LTD. By contrast, the sign of long-term effect does not depend on the mean impulse frequency evaluated within the entire stimulation period. Therefore, the patterns of repetitive vestibular activation with different ratios between periods of increased activity and periods of basal activity may lead to LTP or LTD probably causing different levels of postsynaptic Ca(2+). On the whole, this study demonstrates that glutamatergic vestibular synapse in the MVN can undergo NMDAR-dependent bidirectional plasticity and puts forward a new aspect for understanding the adaptive and compensatory plasticity of the oculomotor responses. Copyright © 2012 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Advances in synapse formation: forging connections in the worm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cherra, Salvatore J; Jin, Yishi

    2015-01-01

    Synapse formation is the quintessential process by which neurons form specific connections with their targets to enable the development of functional circuits. Over the past few decades, intense research efforts have identified thousands of proteins that localize to the pre- and postsynaptic compartments. Genetic dissection has provided important insights into the nexus of the molecular and cellular network, and has greatly advanced our knowledge about how synapses form and function physiologically. Moreover, recent studies have highlighted the complex regulation of synapse formation with the identification of novel mechanisms involving cell interactions from non-neuronal sources. In this review, we cover the conserved pathways required for synaptogenesis and place specific focus on new themes of synapse modulation arising from studies in Caenorhabditis elegans. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. The authors have declared no conflicts of interest for this article. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Diversity in immunological synapse structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thauland, Timothy J; Parker, David C

    2010-01-01

    Immunological synapses (ISs) are formed at the T cell–antigen-presenting cell (APC) interface during antigen recognition, and play a central role in T-cell activation and in the delivery of effector functions. ISs were originally described as a peripheral ring of adhesion molecules surrounding a central accumulation of T-cell receptor (TCR)–peptide major histocompatibility complex (pMHC) interactions. Although the structure of these ‘classical’ ISs has been the subject of intense study, non-classical ISs have also been observed under a variety of conditions. Multifocal ISs, characterized by adhesion molecules dispersed among numerous small accumulations of TCR–pMHC, and motile ‘immunological kinapses’ have both been described. In this review, we discuss the conditions under which non-classical ISs are formed. Specifically, we explore the profound effect that the phenotypes of both T cells and APCs have on IS structure. We also comment on the role that IS structure may play in T-cell function. PMID:21039474

  5. On-chip photonic synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Zengguang; Ríos, Carlos; Pernice, Wolfram H P; Wright, C David; Bhaskaran, Harish

    2017-09-01

    The search for new "neuromorphic computing" architectures that mimic the brain's approach to simultaneous processing and storage of information is intense. Because, in real brains, neuronal synapses outnumber neurons by many orders of magnitude, the realization of hardware devices mimicking the functionality of a synapse is a first and essential step in such a search. We report the development of such a hardware synapse, implemented entirely in the optical domain via a photonic integrated-circuit approach. Using purely optical means brings the benefits of ultrafast operation speed, virtually unlimited bandwidth, and no electrical interconnect power losses. Our synapse uses phase-change materials combined with integrated silicon nitride waveguides. Crucially, we can randomly set the synaptic weight simply by varying the number of optical pulses sent down the waveguide, delivering an incredibly simple yet powerful approach that heralds systems with a continuously variable synaptic plasticity resembling the true analog nature of biological synapses.

  6. Zinc at glutamatergic synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paoletti, P; Vergnano, A M; Barbour, B; Casado, M

    2009-01-12

    It has long been known that the mammalian forebrain contains a subset of glutamatergic neurons that sequester zinc in their synaptic vesicles. This zinc may be released into the synaptic cleft upon neuronal activity. Extracellular zinc has the potential to interact with and modulate many different synaptic targets, including glutamate receptors and transporters. Among these targets, NMDA receptors appear particularly interesting because certain NMDA receptor subtypes (those containing the NR2A subunit) contain allosteric sites exquisitely sensitive to extracellular zinc. The existence of these high-affinity zinc binding sites raises the possibility that zinc may act both in a phasic and tonic mode. Changes in zinc concentration and subcellular zinc distribution have also been described in several pathological conditions linked to glutamatergic transmission dysfunctions. However, despite intense investigation, the functional significance of vesicular zinc remains largely a mystery. In this review, we present the anatomy and the physiology of the glutamatergic zinc-containing synapse. Particular emphasis is put on the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the putative roles of zinc as a messenger involved in excitatory synaptic transmission and plasticity. We also highlight the many controversial issues and unanswered questions. Finally, we present and compare two widely used zinc chelators, CaEDTA and tricine, and show why tricine should be preferred to CaEDTA when studying fast transient zinc elevations as may occur during synaptic activity.

  7. Farmers’ Preference for Rice Traits: Insights from Farm Surveys in Central Luzon, Philippines, 1966-2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laborte, Alice G.; Paguirigan, Neale C.; Moya, Piedad F.; Nelson, Andrew; Sparks, Adam H.; Gregorio, Glenn B.

    2015-01-01

    Many modern rice varieties (MVs) have been released but only a few have been widely adopted by farmers. To understand farmers’ preferences, we characterized MVs released in the Philippines from 1966 to 2013 and identified important characteristics of the varieties that were widely adopted in Central Luzon using farm surveys conducted in 1966–2012. We found that farmers adopt MVs that are high yielding, mature faster, and have long and slender grains, high milling recovery, and intermediate amylose content. The amylose content of adopted varieties has been declining, suggesting value in developing softer rice. To have a high potential for adoption, new MVs should have characteristics within the ranges of values observed for the adopted MVs. In addition, new MVs should have higher head rice recovery, less chalky grains, and better resistance to pests and diseases. Most MVs released in 2005–2013 compared poorly in these three traits. To reduce the risk of severe outbreaks, broad spectrum resistance should be incorporated into new MVs. This analysis of five decades of farm surveys provides insights into the varietal characteristics preferred by farmers which could contribute to the establishment of a product profile for developing improved MVs that are more targeted and, hence, would have high potential for adoption by farmers in Central Luzon and similar areas. We recommend a similar analysis be done in other major rice growing regions to aid the development of MVs that are more responsive to farmers’ needs and preferences. PMID:26317505

  8. Synapse Pathology in Psychiatric and Neurologic Disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. van Spronsen (Myrrhe); C.C. Hoogenraad (Casper)

    2010-01-01

    textabstractInhibitory and excitatory synapses play a fundamental role in information processing in the brain. Excitatory synapses usually are situated on dendritic spines, small membrane protrusions that harbor glutamate receptors and postsynaptic density components and help transmit electrical

  9. Prevention of Noise Damage to Cochlear Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-10-01

    Assessment of synapse regeneration : Twelve week old CBA/CaJ mice are exposed to a moderate noise that destroys synapses on inner hair cells (IHCs) but spares...result of excitotoxic trauma to cochlear synapses due to glutamate released from the hair cells . Excitotoxic trauma damages the postsynaptic cell by...components ............................................. 12 d) Quantitative analysis of effects of neurotrophic factors on synapse regeneration in vitro

  10. Cadmium action in synapses in the brain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Minami, Akira; Takeda, Atsushi; Nishibaba, Daisuke; Tekefuta, Sachiyo; Oku, Naoto [Department of Radiobiochemistry, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Shizuoka, Shizuoka (Japan)

    2001-05-01

    Chronic exposure to cadmium causes central nervous system disorders, e.g., olfactory dysfunction. To clarify cadmium toxicity in synaptic neurotransmission in the brain, the movement and action of cadmium in the synapses was examined using in vivo microdialysis. One and 24 h after injection of {sup 109}CdCl{sub 2} into the amygdala of rats, {sup 109}Cd release into the extracellular space was facilitated by stimulation with high K{sup +}, suggesting that cadmium taken up in amygdalar neurons is released into the synaptic clefts in a calcium- and impulse-dependent manner. To examine the action of cadmium in the synapses, the amygdala was perfused with artificial cerebrospinal fluid containing 10-30 {mu}M CdCl{sub 2}. The release of excitatory neurotransmitters, i.e., glutamate and aspartate, into the extracellular space was decreased during perfusion with cadmium, while the release of inhibitory neurotransmitters, i.e., glycine and {gamma}-amino butyric acid (GABA), into the extracellular space was increased during the period. These results suggest that cadmium released from the amygdalar neuron terminals affects the degree and balance of excitation-inhibition in synaptic neurotransmission. (author)

  11. Cadmium action in synapses in the brain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Minami, Akira; Takeda, Atsushi; Nishibaba, Daisuke; Tekefuta, Sachiyo; Oku, Naoto

    2001-01-01

    Chronic exposure to cadmium causes central nervous system disorders, e.g., olfactory dysfunction. To clarify cadmium toxicity in synaptic neurotransmission in the brain, the movement and action of cadmium in the synapses was examined using in vivo microdialysis. One and 24 h after injection of 109 CdCl 2 into the amygdala of rats, 109 Cd release into the extracellular space was facilitated by stimulation with high K + , suggesting that cadmium taken up in amygdalar neurons is released into the synaptic clefts in a calcium- and impulse-dependent manner. To examine the action of cadmium in the synapses, the amygdala was perfused with artificial cerebrospinal fluid containing 10-30 μM CdCl 2 . The release of excitatory neurotransmitters, i.e., glutamate and aspartate, into the extracellular space was decreased during perfusion with cadmium, while the release of inhibitory neurotransmitters, i.e., glycine and γ-amino butyric acid (GABA), into the extracellular space was increased during the period. These results suggest that cadmium released from the amygdalar neuron terminals affects the degree and balance of excitation-inhibition in synaptic neurotransmission. (author)

  12. The balancing act of GABAergic synapse organizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ko, Jaewon; Choii, Gayoung; Um, Ji Won

    2015-04-01

    GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid) is the main neurotransmitter at inhibitory synapses in the mammalian brain. It is essential for maintaining the excitation and inhibition (E/I) ratio, whose imbalance underlies various brain diseases. Emerging information about inhibitory synapse organizers provides a novel molecular framework for understanding E/I balance at the synapse, circuit, and systems levels. This review highlights recent advances in deciphering these components of the inhibitory synapse and their roles in the development, transmission, and circuit properties of inhibitory synapses. We also discuss how their dysfunction may lead to a variety of brain disorders, suggesting new therapeutic strategies based on balancing the E/I ratio.

  13. Policy entrepreneurship in UK central government: The behavioural insights team and the use of randomized controlled trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    John, Peter

    2014-07-01

    What factors explain the success of the UK Cabinet Office's Behavioural Insights Team? To answer this question, this article applies insights from organizational theory, particularly accounts of change agents. Change agents are able-with senior sponsorship-to foster innovation by determination and skill: they win allies and circumvent more traditional bureaucratic procedures. Although Behavioural Insights Team is a change agent-maybe even a skunkworks unit-not all the facilitating factors identified in the literature apply in this central government context. Key factors are its willingness to work in a non-hierarchical way, skills at forming alliances, and the ability to form good relationships with expert audiences. It has been able to promote a more entrepreneurial approach to government by using randomized controlled trials as a robust method of policy evaluation.

  14. Dust emission mechanisms in the central Sahara: new insights from remote field observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, C.; Washington, R.; Engelstaedter, S.

    2013-12-01

    North Africa is the world's largest source of mineral aerosol (dust). The Fennec Project, an international consortium led by the University of Oxford, is the first project to systematically instrument the remote central Sahara Desert. These observations have, among others, provided new insights into the atmospheric mechanisms of dust emission. Bordj Badji Mokhtar, in south-west Algeria, is within kilometres of the centre of the global mean summer dust maximum. The site, operated by Fennec partners ONM Algerie, has been heavily instrumented since summer 2011. During the Intensive Observation Period (IOP) in June 2011, four main emission mechanisms were observed and documented: cold pool outflows, low level jets (LLJs), monsoon surges and dry convective plumes. Establishing the relative importance of dust emission mechanisms has been a long-standing research goal. A detailed partitioning exercise of dust events during the IOP shows that 45% of the dust over BBM was generated by local emission in cold pool outflows, 14% by LLJs and only 2% by dry convective plumes. 27% of the dust was advected to the site rather than locally emitted and 12% of the dust was residual or ';background' dust. The work shows the primacy of cold pool outflows for dust emission in the region and also the important contribution of dust advection. In accordance with long-held ideas, the cube of wind speed is strongly correlated with dust emission. Surprisingly however, particles in long-range advection (>500km) were found to be larger than locally emitted dust. Although a clear LLJ wind structure is evident in the mean diurnal cycle during the IOP (12m/s peak winds at 935hPa between 04-05h), LLJs are only responsible for a relatively small amount of dust emission. There is significant daily variability in LLJ strength; the strongest winds are produced by a relatively small number of events. The position and strength of the Saharan Heat Low is strongly associated with the development (or

  15. Autism-Associated Chromatin Regulator Brg1/SmarcA4 Is Required for Synapse Development and Myocyte Enhancer Factor 2-Mediated Synapse Remodeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zilai; Cao, Mou; Chang, Chia-Wei; Wang, Cindy; Shi, Xuanming; Zhan, Xiaoming; Birnbaum, Shari G; Bezprozvanny, Ilya; Huber, Kimberly M; Wu, Jiang I

    2016-01-01

    Synapse development requires normal neuronal activities and the precise expression of synapse-related genes. Dysregulation of synaptic genes results in neurological diseases such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Mutations in genes encoding chromatin-remodeling factor Brg1/SmarcA4 and its associated proteins are the genetic causes of several developmental diseases with neurological defects and autistic symptoms. Recent large-scale genomic studies predicted Brg1/SmarcA4 as one of the key nodes of the ASD gene network. We report that Brg1 deletion in early postnatal hippocampal neurons led to reduced dendritic spine density and maturation and impaired synapse activities. In developing mice, neuronal Brg1 deletion caused severe neurological defects. Gene expression analyses indicated that Brg1 regulates a significant number of genes known to be involved in synapse function and implicated in ASD. We found that Brg1 is required for dendritic spine/synapse elimination mediated by the ASD-associated transcription factor myocyte enhancer factor 2 (MEF2) and that Brg1 regulates the activity-induced expression of a specific subset of genes that overlap significantly with the targets of MEF2. Our analyses showed that Brg1 interacts with MEF2 and that MEF2 is required for Brg1 recruitment to target genes in response to neuron activation. Thus, Brg1 plays important roles in both synapse development/maturation and MEF2-mediated synapse remodeling. Our study reveals specific functions of the epigenetic regulator Brg1 in synapse development and provides insights into its role in neurological diseases such as ASD. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  16. Emergent Synapse Organizers: LAR-RPTPs and Their Companions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, K A; Jeon, S; Um, J W; Ko, J

    2016-01-01

    Leukocyte common antigen-related receptor tyrosine phosphatases (LAR-RPTPs) have emerged as key players that organize various aspects of neuronal development, including axon guidance, neurite extension, and synapse formation and function. Recent research has highlighted the roles of LAR-RPTPs at neuronal synapses in mediating distinct synaptic adhesion pathways through interactions with a host of extracellular ligands and in governing a variety of intracellular signaling cascades through binding to various scaffolds and signaling proteins. In this chapter, we review and update current research progress on the extracellular ligands of LAR-RPTPs, regulation of their extracellular interactions by alternative splicing and heparan sulfates, and their intracellular signaling machineries. In particular, we review structural insights on complexes of LAR-RPTPs with their various ligands. These studies lend support to general molecular mechanisms underlying LAR-RPTP-mediated synaptic adhesion and signaling pathways. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Synapse-specific astrocyte gating of amygdala-related behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin-Fernandez, Mario; Jamison, Stephanie; Robin, Laurie M; Zhao, Zhe; Martin, Eduardo D; Aguilar, Juan; Benneyworth, Michael A; Marsicano, Giovanni; Araque, Alfonso

    2017-11-01

    The amygdala plays key roles in fear and anxiety. Studies of the amygdala have largely focused on neuronal function and connectivity. Astrocytes functionally interact with neurons, but their role in the amygdala remains largely unknown. We show that astrocytes in the medial subdivision of the central amygdala (CeM) determine the synaptic and behavioral outputs of amygdala circuits. To investigate the role of astrocytes in amygdala-related behavior and identify the underlying synaptic mechanisms, we used exogenous or endogenous signaling to selectively activate CeM astrocytes. Astrocytes depressed excitatory synapses from basolateral amygdala via A 1 adenosine receptor activation and enhanced inhibitory synapses from the lateral subdivision of the central amygdala via A 2A receptor activation. Furthermore, astrocytic activation decreased the firing rate of CeM neurons and reduced fear expression in a fear-conditioning paradigm. Therefore, we conclude that astrocyte activity determines fear responses by selectively regulating specific synapses, which indicates that animal behavior results from the coordinated activity of neurons and astrocytes.

  18. Seizures beget seizures in temporal lobe epilepsies: the boomerang effects of newly formed aberrant kainatergic synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-Ari, Yehezkel; Crepel, Valérie; Represa, Alfonso

    2008-01-01

    Do temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) seizures in adults promote further seizures? Clinical and experimental data suggest that new synapses are formed after an initial episode of status epilepticus, however their contribution to the transformation of a naive network to an epileptogenic one has been debated. Recent experimental data show that newly formed aberrant excitatory synapses on the granule cells of the fascia dentate operate by means of kainate receptor-operated signals that are not present on naive granule cells. Therefore, genuine epileptic networks rely on signaling cascades that differentiate them from naive networks. Recurrent limbic seizures generated by the activation of kainate receptors and synapses in naive animals lead to the formation of novel synapses that facilitate the emergence of further seizures. This negative, vicious cycle illustrates the central role of reactive plasticity in neurological disorders.

  19. Presynaptic proteoglycans: sweet organizers of synapse development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Yoo Sung; Kim, Eunjoon

    2013-08-21

    Synaptic adhesion molecules control neuronal synapse development. In this issue of Neuron, Siddiqui et al. (2013) and de Wit et al. (2013) demonstrate that LRRTM4, a postsynaptic adhesion molecule, trans-synaptically interacts with presynaptic heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) to promote synapse development. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Organizers of inhibitory synapses come of age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krueger-Burg, Dilja; Papadopoulos, Theofilos; Brose, Nils

    2017-08-01

    While the postsynaptic density of excitatory synapses is known to encompass a highly complex molecular machinery, the equivalent organizational structure of inhibitory synapses has long remained largely undefined. In recent years, however, substantial progress has been made towards identifying the full complement of organizational proteins present at inhibitory synapses, including submembranous scaffolds, intracellular signaling proteins, transsynaptic adhesion proteins, and secreted factors. Here, we summarize these findings and discuss future challenges in assigning synapse-specific functions to the newly discovered catalog of proteins, an endeavor that will depend heavily on newly developed technologies such as proximity biotinylation. Further advances are made all the more essential by growing evidence that links inhibitory synapses to psychiatric and neurological disorders. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Do flood risk perceptions provide useful insights for flood risk management? Findings from central Vietnam

    OpenAIRE

    Bubeck, P.; Botzen, W.J.W.; Suu, L.T.T.; Aerts, J.C.J.H.

    2012-01-01

    Following the renewed attention for non-structural flood risk reduction measures implemented at the household level, there has been an increased interest in individual flood risk perceptions. The reason for this is the commonly-made assumption that flood risk perceptions drive the motivation of individuals to undertake flood risk mitigation measures, as well as the public's demand for flood protection, and therefore provide useful insights for flood risk management. This study empirically exa...

  2. Microglia - insights into immune system structure, function, and reactivity in the central nervous system

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wirenfeldt, Martin; Babcock, Alicia A; Vinters, Harry V

    2011-01-01

    Microglia are essential cellular components of a well-functioning central nervous system (CNS). The development and establishment of the microglial population differs from the other major cell populations in the CNS i.e. neurons and macroglia (astrocytes and oligodendrocytes). This different onto...

  3. Geometric and topological characterization of porous media: insights from eigenvector centrality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jimenez-Martinez, J.; Negre, C.

    2017-12-01

    Solving flow and transport through complex geometries such as porous media involves an extreme computational cost. Simplifications such as pore networks, where the pores are represented by nodes and the pore throats by edges connecting pores, have been proposed. These models have the ability to preserve the connectivity of the medium. However, they have difficulties capturing preferential paths (high velocity) and stagnation zones (low velocity), as they do not consider the specific relations between nodes. Network theory approaches, where the complex network is conceptualized like a graph, can help to simplify and better understand fluid dynamics and transport in porous media. To address this issue, we propose a method based on eigenvector centrality. It has been corrected to overcome the centralization problem and modified to introduce a bias in the centrality distribution along a particular direction which allows considering the flow and transport anisotropy in porous media. The model predictions are compared with millifluidic transport experiments, showing that this technique is computationally efficient and has potential for predicting preferential paths and stagnation zones for flow and transport in porous media. Entropy computed from the eigenvector centrality probability distribution is proposed as an indicator of the "mixing capacity" of the system.

  4. Natural killer cell signal integration balances synapse symmetry and migration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fiona J Culley

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Natural killer (NK cells discern the health of other cells by recognising the balance of activating and inhibitory ligands expressed by each target cell. However, how the integration of activating and inhibitory signals relates to formation of the NK cell immune synapse remains a central question in our understanding of NK cell recognition. Here we report that ligation of LFA-1 on NK cells induced asymmetrical cell spreading and migration. In contrast, ligation of the activating receptor NKG2D induced symmetrical spreading of ruffled lamellipodia encompassing a dynamic ring of f-actin, concurrent with polarization towards a target cell and a "stop" signal. Ligation of both LFA-1 and NKG2D together resulted in symmetrical spreading but co-ligation of inhibitory receptors reverted NK cells to an asymmetrical migratory configuration leading to inhibitory synapses being smaller and more rapidly disassembled. Using micropatterned activating and inhibitory ligands, signals were found to be continuously and locally integrated during spreading. Together, these data demonstrate that NK cells spread to form large, stable, symmetrical synapses if activating signals dominate, whereas asymmetrical migratory "kinapses" are favoured if inhibitory signals dominate. This clarifies how the integration of activating and inhibitory receptor signals is translated to an appropriate NK cell response.

  5. The chemical component of the mixed GF-TTMn synapse in Drosophila melanogaster uses acetylcholine as its neurotransmitter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Marcus J; Murphey, R K

    2007-07-01

    The largest central synapse in adult Drosophila is a mixed electro-chemical synapse whose gap junctions require the product of the shaking-B (shak-B) gene. Shak-B(2) mutant flies lack gap junctions at this synapse, which is between the giant fibre (GF) and the tergotrochanteral motor neuron (TTMn), but it still exhibits a long latency response upon GF stimulation. We have targeted the expression of the light chain of tetanus toxin to the GF, to block chemical transmission, in shak-B(2) flies. The long latency response in the tergotrochanteral muscle (TTM) was abolished indicating that the chemical component of the synapse mediates this response. Attenuation of GAL4-mediated labelling by a cha-GAL80 transgene, reveals the GF to be cholinergic. We have used a temperature-sensitive allele of the choline acetyltransferase gene (cha(ts2)) to block cholinergic synapses in adult flies and this also abolished the long latency response in shak-B(2) flies. Taken together the data provide evidence that both components of this mixed synapse are functional and that the chemical neurotransmitter between the GF and the TTMn is acetylcholine. Our findings show that the two components of this synapse can be separated to allow further studies into the mechanisms by which mixed synapses are built and function.

  6. Distinct structural and catalytic roles for Zap70 in formation of the immunological synapse in CTL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Misty R; Stinchcombe, Jane C; Au-Yeung, Byron B; Asano, Yukako; Ritter, Alex T; Weiss, Arthur; Griffiths, Gillian M

    2014-01-01

    T cell receptor (TCR) activation leads to a dramatic reorganisation of both membranes and receptors as the immunological synapse forms. Using a genetic model to rapidly inhibit Zap70 catalytic activity we examined synapse formation between cytotoxic T lymphocytes and their targets. In the absence of Zap70 catalytic activity Vav-1 activation occurs and synapse formation is arrested at a stage with actin and integrin rich interdigitations forming the interface between the two cells. The membranes at the synapse are unable to flatten to provide extended contact, and Lck does not cluster to form the central supramolecular activation cluster (cSMAC). Centrosome polarisation is initiated but aborts before reaching the synapse and the granules do not polarise. Our findings reveal distinct roles for Zap70 as a structural protein regulating integrin-mediated control of actin vs its catalytic activity that regulates TCR-mediated control of actin and membrane remodelling during formation of the immunological synapse. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01310.001 PMID:24596147

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llinas, Rodolfo R.

    1988-12-01

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

  8. Spatiotemporal evolution of Reaumuria (Tamaricaceae) in Central Asia: insights from molecular biogeography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mingli Zhang; Xiaoli Hao; Stewart C. Sanderson; Byalt V. Vyacheslav; Alexander P. Sukhorukov; Xia Zhang

    2014-01-01

    Reaumuria is an arid adapted genus with a distribution center in Central Asia; its evolution and dispersal is investigated in this paper. Eighteen species of Reaumuria and nine species of two other genera in the Tamaricaceae, Tamarix and Myricaria, were sampled, and four markers ITS, rps16, psbB-psbH, and trnL-trnF were sequenced. The reconstructed phylogenetic tree is...

  9. A new measure for the strength of electrical synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie S Haas

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Electrical synapses, like chemical synapses, mediate intraneuronal communication. Electrical synapses are typically quantified by subthreshold measurements of coupling, which fall short in describing their impact on spiking activity in coupled neighbors. Here we describe a novel measurement for electrical synapse strength that directly evaluates the effect of synaptically transmitted activity on spike timing. This method, also applicable to neurotransmitter-based synapses, communicates the considerable strength of electrical synapses. For electrical synapses measured in rodent slices of the thalamic reticular nucleus, spike timing is modulated by tens of ms by activity in a coupled neighbor.

  10. Neurobeachin regulates neurotransmitter receptor trafficking to synapses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nair, R.; Lauks, J.; Jung, S; Cooke, N.E.; de Wit, H.; Brose, N.; Kilimann, M.W.; Verhage, M.; Rhee, J.

    2013-01-01

    The surface density of neurotransmitter receptors at synapses is a key determinant of synaptic efficacy. Synaptic receptor accumulation is regulated by the transport, postsynaptic anchoring, and turnover of receptors, involving multiple trafficking, sorting, motor, and scaffold proteins. We found

  11. The Diversity of Cortical Inhibitory Synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoshiyuki eKubota

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The most typical and well known inhibitory action in the cortical microcircuit is a strong inhibition on the target neuron by axo-somatic synapses. However, it has become clear that synaptic inhibition in the cortex is much more diverse and complicated. Firstly, at least ten or more inhibitory non-pyramidal cell subtypes engage in diverse inhibitory functions to produce the elaborate activity characteristic of the different cortical states. Each distinct non-pyramidal cell subtype has its own independent inhibitory function. Secondly, the inhibitory synapses innervate different neuronal domains, such as axons, spines, dendrites and soma, and their IPSP size is not uniform. Thus cortical inhibition is highly complex, with a wide variety of anatomical and physiological modes. Moreover, the functional significance of the various inhibitory synapse innervation styles and their unique structural dynamic behaviors differ from those of excitatory synapses. In this review, we summarize our current understanding of the inhibitory mechanisms of the cortical microcircuit.

  12. Comparative anatomy of phagocytic and immunological synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florence eNiedergang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The generation of phagocytic cups and immunological synapses are crucial events of the innate and adaptive immune responses, respectively. They are triggered by distinct immune receptors and performed by different cell types. However, growing experimental evidence shows that a very close series of molecular and cellular events control these two processes. Thus, the tight and dynamic interplay between receptor signaling, actin and microtubule cytoskeleton, and targeted vesicle traffic are all critical features to build functional phagosomes and immunological synapses. Interestingly, both phagocytic cups and immunological synapses display particular spatial and temporal patterns of receptors and signaling molecules, leading to the notion of phagocytic synapse. Here we discuss both types of structures, their organization and the mechanisms by which they are generated and regulated.

  13. The biochemical anatomy of cortical inhibitory synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth A Heller

    Full Text Available Classical electron microscopic studies of the mammalian brain revealed two major classes of synapses, distinguished by the presence of a large postsynaptic density (PSD exclusively at type 1, excitatory synapses. Biochemical studies of the PSD have established the paradigm of the synapse as a complex signal-processing machine that controls synaptic plasticity. We report here the results of a proteomic analysis of type 2, inhibitory synaptic complexes isolated by affinity purification from the cerebral cortex. We show that these synaptic complexes contain a variety of neurotransmitter receptors, neural cell-scaffolding and adhesion molecules, but that they are entirely lacking in cell signaling proteins. This fundamental distinction between the functions of type 1 and type 2 synapses in the nervous system has far reaching implications for models of synaptic plasticity, rapid adaptations in neural circuits, and homeostatic mechanisms controlling the balance of excitation and inhibition in the mature brain.

  14. Crustal insights from gravity and aeromagnetic analysis: Central North Slope, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saltus, R.W.; Potter, C.J.; Phillips, J.D.

    2006-01-01

    Aeromagnetic and gravity data are processed and interpreted to reveal deep and shallow information about the crustal structure of the central North Slope, Alaska. Regional aeromagnetic anomalies primarily reflect deep crustal features. Regional gravity anomalies are more complex and require detailed analysis. We constrain our geophysical models with seismic data and interpretations along two transects including the Trans-Alaska Crustal Transect. Combined geophysical analysis reveals a remarkable heterogeneity of the pre-Mississippian basement. In the central North Slope, pre-Mississippian basement consists of two distinct geophysical domains. To the southwest, the basement is dense and highly magnetic; this basement is likely mafic and mechanically strong, possibly acting as a buttress to basement involvement in Brooks Range thrusting. To the northeast, the central North Slope basement consists of lower density, moderately magnetic rocks with several discrete regions (intrusions?) of more magnetic rocks. A conjugate set of geophysical trends, northwest-southeast and southwest-northeast, may be a factor in the crustal response to tectonic compression in this domain. High-resolution gravity and aeromagnetic data, where available, reflect details of shallow fault and fold structure. The maps and profile models in this report should provide useful guidelines and complementary information for regional structural studies, particularly in combination with detailed seismic reflection interpretations. Future challenges include collection of high-resolution gravity and aeromagnetic data for the entire North Slope as well as additional deep crustal information from seismic, drilling, and other complementary methods. Copyrights ?? 2006. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved.

  15. Mantle dynamics and Cretaceous magmatism in east-central China: Insight from teleseismic tomograms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Guoming; Zhang, Guibin; Zhao, Dapeng; Lü, Qingtian; Li, Hongyi; Li, Xinfu

    2015-11-01

    Both the rich mineralization in the Lower Yangtze Block (LYB) and the post-collisional mafic rocks in the Dabie Orogen (DBO) are closely related to the Cretaceous magmatism in east-central China. Various geodynamic models have been proposed for explaining the mechanism of the Cretaceous magmatism, but these models are controversial and even contradictory with each other, especially on the mechanism of adakites. A unified geodynamic model is required for explaining the magmatism in east-central China, in particular, the spatial and temporal correlations of magmatic activity in the DBO and that in the LYB. For this purpose, we apply teleseismic tomography to study P-wave velocity structure down to 800 km depth beneath east-central China. A modified multiple-channel cross-correlation method is used to collect 28,805 high-quality P-wave arrival-time data from seismograms of distant earthquakes recorded by permanent seismic stations and our temporary stations in the study region. To remove the influence of crustal heterogeneity on the mantle tomography, we used the CRUST1.0 model to correct the teleseismic relative residuals. Our tomography revealed distinct high-velocity (high-V) anomalies beneath the DBO and two flanks of the LYB, and low-velocity (low-V) anomalies above the high-V zones. Combining our tomographic images with previous geological, geochemical and geophysical results, we infer that these high-V and low-V anomalies reflect the detached lithosphere and upwelling asthenospheric materials, respectively, which are associated with the Late Mesozoic dynamic process and the Cretaceous magmatism. We propose a double-slab subduction model that a ridge subduction yielded the adakitic rocks in the LYB during 150-135 Ma and the subsequent Pacific Plate subduction played a crucial role in not only the formation of igneous rocks in the LYB but also remelting of the subducted South China Block beneath the DBO during 135-101 Ma.

  16. Memory Synapses Are Defined by Distinct Molecular Complexes: A Proposal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sossin, Wayne S

    2018-01-01

    Synapses are diverse in form and function. While there are strong evidential and theoretical reasons for believing that memories are stored at synapses, the concept of a specialized "memory synapse" is rarely discussed. Here, we review the evidence that memories are stored at the synapse and consider the opposing possibilities. We argue that if memories are stored in an active fashion at synapses, then these memory synapses must have distinct molecular complexes that distinguish them from other synapses. In particular, examples from Aplysia sensory-motor neuron synapses and synapses on defined engram neurons in rodent models are discussed. Specific hypotheses for molecular complexes that define memory synapses are presented, including persistently active kinases, transmitter receptor complexes and trans-synaptic adhesion proteins.

  17. Defects of the Glycinergic Synapse in Zebrafish

    OpenAIRE

    Ogino, Kazutoyo; Hirata, Hiromi

    2016-01-01

    Glycine mediates fast inhibitory synaptic transmission. Physiological importance of the glycinergic synapse is well established in the brainstem and the spinal cord. In humans, the loss of glycinergic function in the spinal cord and brainstem leads to hyperekplexia, which is characterized by an excess startle reflex to sudden acoustic or tactile stimulation. In addition, glycinergic synapses in this region are also involved in the regulation of respiration and locomotion, and in the nocicepti...

  18. Communication, the centrosome and the immunological synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stinchcombe, Jane C; Griffiths, Gillian M

    2014-09-05

    Recent findings on the behaviour of the centrosome at the immunological synapse suggest a critical role for centrosome polarization in controlling the communication between immune cells required to generate an effective immune response. The features observed at the immunological synapse show parallels to centrosome (basal body) polarization seen in cilia and flagella, and the cellular communication that is now known to occur at all of these sites.

  19. Insights into cancer surveillance in Central and Eastern Europe, Israel and Turkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vrdoljak, E; Torday, L; Sella, A; Leyman, S; Bavbek, S; Kharkevich, G; Mardiak, J; Szczylik, C; Znaor, A; Wilking, N

    2015-01-01

    The current cancer landscape within transitional economies in central and Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean area is not particularly optimistic. Current perceptions are often based on extrapolations from other countries and regions; and hence the authors collaborated with the South Eastern Europe Oncology Group (SEEROG) to collect information on cancer registration in Central and Eastern Europe, Israel and Turkey. Healthcare authorities and specialist oncology centres in 21 countries in the region were contacted for information on cancer registries in their countries. Based on this information, the authors believe that the recording and reporting of data on cancer in the region is at an acceptable level. The authors discuss and compare institution- and population-based registries, and present opinions on elements of an 'ideal registry' based on the survey replies and comparisons with other registries. A comparison with the sources used for GLOBOCAN 2008 illustrates the need for consistent data to be communicated, published and utilised throughout the region and the oncology community. The authors conclude by considering the potential value of collaboration between health authorities across the region, as well as between the clinical and epidemiological communities, to ensure that cancer data are consistently collected, verified and made public. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Connectomic Insights into Topologically Centralized Network Edges and Relevant Motifs in the Human Brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingrui eXia

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available White matter (WM tracts serve as important material substrates for information transfer across brain regions. However, the topological roles of WM tracts in global brain communications and their underlying microstructural basis remain poorly understood. Here, we employed diffusion magnetic resonance imaging and graph-theoretical approaches to identify the pivotal WM connections in human whole-brain networks and further investigated their wiring substrates (including WM microstructural organization and physical consumption and topological contributions to the brain’s network backbone. We found that the pivotal WM connections with highly topological-edge centrality were primarily distributed in several long-range cortico-cortical connections (including the corpus callosum, cingulum and inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus and some projection tracts linking subcortical regions. These pivotal WM connections exhibited high levels of microstructural organization indicated by diffusion measures (the fractional anisotropy, the mean diffusivity and the axial diffusivity and greater physical consumption indicated by streamline lengths, and contributed significantly to the brain’s hubs and the rich-club structure. Network motif analysis further revealed their heavy participations in the organization of communication blocks, especially in routes involving inter-hemispheric heterotopic and extremely remote intra-hemispheric systems. Computational simulation models indicated the sharp decrease of global network integrity when attacking these highly centralized edges. Together, our results demonstrated high building-cost consumption and substantial communication capacity contributions for pivotal WM connections, which deepens our understanding of the topological mechanisms that govern the organization of human connectomes.

  1. Neuropharmacology of memory consolidation and reconsolidation: Insights on central cholinergic mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, M G; Krawczyk, M C; Baratti, C M; Boccia, M M

    2014-01-01

    Central cholinergic system is critically involved in all known memory processes. Endogenous acetylcholine release by cholinergic neurons is necessary for modulation of acquisition, encoding, consolidation, reconsolidation, extinction, retrieval and expression. Experiments from our laboratory are mainly focused on elucidating the mechanisms by which acetylcholine modulates memory processes. Blockade of hippocampal alpha-7-nicotinic receptors (α7-nAChRs) with the antagonist methyllycaconitine impairs memory reconsolidation. However, the administration of a α7-nAChR agonist (choline) produce a paradoxical modulation, causing memory enhancement in mice trained with a weak footshock, but memory impairment in animals trained with a strong footshock. All these effects are long-lasting, and depend on the age of the memory trace. This review summarizes and discusses some of our recent findings, particularly regarding the involvement of α7-nAChRs on memory reconsolidation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Metamorphic complexes in accretionary orogens: Insights from the Beishan collage, southern Central Asian Orogenic Belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Dongfang; Xiao, Wenjiao; Windley, Brian F.; Han, Chunming; Yang, Lei

    2016-10-01

    The sources of ancient zircons and the tectonic attributions and origins of metamorphic complexes in Phanerozoic accretionary orogens have long been difficult issues. Situated between the Tianshan and Inner Mongolia orogens, the Beishan orogenic collage (BOC) plays a pivotal role in understanding the accretionary processes of the southern Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB), particularly the extensive metamorphic and high-strained complexes on the southern margin. Despite their importance in understanding the basic architecture of the southern CAOB, little consensus has been reached on their ages and origins. Our new structural, LA-ICP-MS zircon U-Pb and Hf isotopic data from the Baidunzi, Shibandun, Qiaowan and Wutongjing metamorphic complexes resolve current controversial relations. The metamorphic complexes have varied lithologies and structures. Detrital zircons from five para-metamorphic rocks yield predominantly Phanerozoic ages with single major peaks at ca. 276 Ma, 286 Ma, 427 Ma, 428 Ma and 461 Ma. Two orthogneisses have weighted mean ages of 294 ± 2 Ma and 304 ± 2 Ma with no Precambrian inherited zircons. Most Phanerozoic zircons show positive εHf(t) values indicating significant crustal growth in the Ordovician, Silurian and Permian. The imbricated fold-thrust deformation style combined with diagnostic zircon U-Pb-Hf isotopic data demonstrate that the metamorphic rocks developed in a subduction-accretion setting on an arc or active continental margin. This setting and conclusion are supported by the nearby occurrence of Ordovician-Silurian adakites, Nb-rich basalts, Carboniferous-Permian ophiolitic mélanges, and trench-type turbidites. Current data do not support the presence of a widespread Precambrian basement in the evolution of the BOC; the accretionary processes may have continued to the early Permian in this part of the CAOB. These relationships have meaningful implications for the interpretation of the tectonic attributions and origins of other

  3. Quaternary gravitational morpho-genesis of Central Apennines (Italy): Insights from the Mt. Genzana case history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esposito, C.; Bianchi-Fasani, G.; Martino, S.; Scarascia-Mugnozza, G.

    2013-10-01

    This paper focuses on a study aimed at defining the role of geological-structural setting and Quaternary morpho-structural evolution on the onset and development of a deep-seated gravitational slope deformation which affects the western slope of Mt. Genzana ridge (Central Apennines, Italy). This case history is particularly significant as it comprises several aspects of such gravitational processes both in general terms and with particular reference to the Apennines. In fact: i) the morpho-structural setting is representative of widespread conditions in Central Apennines; ii) the deforming slope partially evolved in a large rockslide-avalanche; iii) the deformational process provides evidence of an ongoing state of activity; iv) the rockslide-avalanche debris formed a stable natural dam, thus implying significant variations in the morphologic, hydraulic and hydrogeological setting; v) the gravitational deformation as well as the rockslide-avalanche reveal a strong structural control. The main study activities were addressed to define a detailed geological model of the gravity-driven process, by means of geological, structural, geomorphological and geomechanical surveys. As a result, a robust hypothesis about the kinematics of the process was possible, with particular reference to the identification of geological-structural constraints. The process, in fact, involves a specific section of the slope exactly where a dextral transtensional structure is present, thus implying local structural conditions that favor sliding processes: the rock mass is intensively jointed by high angle discontinuity sets and the bedding attitude is quite parallel to the slope angle. Within this frame the gravitational process can be classified as a structurally constrained translational slide, locally evolved into a rockslide-avalanche. The activation of such a deformation can be in its turn related to the Quaternary morphological evolution of the area, which was affected by a significant

  4. Crater palaeolakes in the Tibesti mountains (Central Sahara, North Chad) - New insights into past Saharan climates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kröpelin, Stefan; Dinies, Michèle; Sylvestre, Florence; Hoelzmann, Philipp

    2016-04-01

    For the first time continuous lacustrine sections were sampled from the volcanic Tibesti Mountains (Chad): In the 900 m deep crater of Trou au Natron at Pic Toussidé (3,315 m a.s.l.) and from the 800 m deep Era Kohor, the major sub-caldera of Emi Koussi (3,445 m a.s.l.). The remnant diatomites on their slopes are located 360 m (Trou au Natron) and 125 m (Era Kohor) above the present day bottom of the calderas. These sediments from highly continental positions in the central Sahara are keys for the reconstruction of the last climatic cycles (Kröpelin et al. 2015). We report first results from sedimentary-geochemical (total organic and total inorganic carbon contents; total nitrogen; major elements; mineralogy) and palynological analyses for palaeo-environmental interpretations. The diatomites from the Trou au Natron comprise 330 cm of mostly calcitic sediments with relatively low organic carbon (basin. Two 14C-dated charcoals out of the upper part of the section indicate mid-Holocene ages and a linear extrapolation based on a sediment accumulation rate of 1.4mma-1 would lead to tentative dates of ~8650 cal a BP for basal lacustrine sediments and ~4450 cal a BP for the cessation of this lacustrine sequence. The diatomites from the Era Kohor reflect a suite of sections that in total sum up to 145 cm of mostly silica-based sediments with very low carbon contents (paradox of the Tibesti crater paleolakes (Central Sahara, North Chad). Abstract #64322 AGU-Fall-Meeting-2015.

  5. Accelerated Intoxication of GABAergic Synapses by Botulinum Neurotoxin A Disinhibits Stem Cell-Derived Neuron Networks Prior to Network Silencing

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-04-23

    administered BoNT can lead to central nervous system intoxication is currently being debated. Recent findings in vitro and in vivo suggest that BoNT...Literature 3. DATES COVERED (From - To) 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Accelerated intoxication of GABAergic synapses by botulinum neurotoxin A disinhibits 5a...April 2015 Published: 23 April 2015 Citation: Beske PH, Scheeler SM, AdlerM and McNutt PM (2015) Accelerated intoxication of GABAergic synapses by

  6. Chemical characteristics of submicron particles at the central Tibetan Plateau: insights from aerosol mass spectrometry

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    J. Xu

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have revealed a significant influx of anthropogenic aerosol from South Asia to the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau (TP during pre-monsoon period. In order to characterize the chemical composition, sources, and transport processes of aerosol in this area, we carried out a field study during June 2015 by deploying a suite of online instruments including an Aerodyne high-resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer (HR-AMS and a multi-angle absorption photometer (MAAP at Nam Co station (90°57′ E, 30°46′ N; 4730 m a.s.l. at the central of the TP. The measurements were made at a period when the transition from pre-monsoon to monsoon occurred. The average ambient mass concentration of submicron particulate matter (PM1 over the whole campaign was  ∼  2.0 µg m−3, with organics accounting for 68 %, followed by sulfate (15 %, black carbon (8 %, ammonium (7 %, and nitrate (2 %. Relatively higher aerosol mass concentration episodes were observed during the pre-monsoon period, whereas persistently low aerosol concentrations were observed during the monsoon period. However, the chemical composition of aerosol during the higher aerosol concentration episodes in the pre-monsoon season was on a case-by-case basis, depending on the prevailing meteorological conditions and air mass transport routes. Most of the chemical species exhibited significant diurnal variations with higher values occurring during afternoon and lower values during early morning, whereas nitrate peaked during early morning in association with higher relative humidity and lower air temperature. Organic aerosol (OA, with an oxygen-to-carbon ratio (O ∕ C of 0.94, was more oxidized during the pre-monsoon period than during monsoon (average O ∕ C ratio of 0.72, and an average O ∕ C was 0.88 over the entire campaign period, suggesting overall highly oxygenated aerosol in the central TP. Positive matrix factorization of the

  7. Chemical characteristics of submicron particles at the central Tibetan Plateau: insights from aerosol mass spectrometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Jianzhong; Zhang, Qi; Shi, Jinsen; Ge, Xinlei; Xie, Conghui; Wang, Junfeng; Kang, Shichang; Zhang, Ruixiong; Wang, Yuhang

    2018-01-01

    Recent studies have revealed a significant influx of anthropogenic aerosol from South Asia to the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau (TP) during pre-monsoon period. In order to characterize the chemical composition, sources, and transport processes of aerosol in this area, we carried out a field study during June 2015 by deploying a suite of online instruments including an Aerodyne high-resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer (HR-AMS) and a multi-angle absorption photometer (MAAP) at Nam Co station (90°57' E, 30°46' N; 4730 m a.s.l.) at the central of the TP. The measurements were made at a period when the transition from pre-monsoon to monsoon occurred. The average ambient mass concentration of submicron particulate matter (PM1) over the whole campaign was ˜ 2.0 µg m-3, with organics accounting for 68 %, followed by sulfate (15 %), black carbon (8 %), ammonium (7 %), and nitrate (2 %). Relatively higher aerosol mass concentration episodes were observed during the pre-monsoon period, whereas persistently low aerosol concentrations were observed during the monsoon period. However, the chemical composition of aerosol during the higher aerosol concentration episodes in the pre-monsoon season was on a case-by-case basis, depending on the prevailing meteorological conditions and air mass transport routes. Most of the chemical species exhibited significant diurnal variations with higher values occurring during afternoon and lower values during early morning, whereas nitrate peaked during early morning in association with higher relative humidity and lower air temperature. Organic aerosol (OA), with an oxygen-to-carbon ratio (O / C) of 0.94, was more oxidized during the pre-monsoon period than during monsoon (average O / C ratio of 0.72), and an average O / C was 0.88 over the entire campaign period, suggesting overall highly oxygenated aerosol in the central TP. Positive matrix factorization of the high-resolution mass spectra of OA identified two oxygenated

  8. New insights into sucking, swallowing and breathing central generators: A complexity analysis of rhythmic motor behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samson, Nathalie; Praud, Jean-Paul; Quenet, Brigitte; Similowski, Thomas; Straus, Christian

    2017-01-18

    Sucking, swallowing and breathing are dynamic motor behaviors. Breathing displays features of chaos-like dynamics, in particular nonlinearity and complexity, which take their source in the automatic command of breathing. In contrast, buccal/gill ventilation in amphibians is one of the rare motor behaviors that do not display nonlinear complexity. This study aimed at assessing whether sucking and swallowing would also follow nonlinear complex dynamics in the newborn lamb. Breathing movements were recorded before, during and after bottle-feeding. Sucking pressure and the integrated EMG of the thyroartenoid muscle, as an index of swallowing, were recorded during bottle-feeding. Nonlinear complexity of the whole signals was assessed through the calculation of the noise limit value (NL). Breathing and swallowing always exhibited chaos-like dynamics. The NL of breathing did not change significantly before, during or after bottle-feeding. On the other hand, sucking inconsistently and significantly less frequently than breathing exhibited a chaos-like dynamics. Therefore, the central pattern generator (CPG) that drives sucking may be functionally different from the breathing CPG. Furthermore, the analogy between buccal/gill ventilation and sucking suggests that the latter may take its phylogenetic origin in the gill ventilation CPG of the common ancestor of extant amphibians and mammals. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. The Inylchek Glacier in Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia: Insight on Surface Kinematics from Optical Remote Sensing Imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamad Nobakht

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Mountain chains of Central Asia host a large number of glaciated areas that provide critical water supplies to the semi-arid populated foothills and lowlands of this region. Spatio-temporal variations of glacier flows are a key indicator of the impact of climate change on water resources as the glaciers react sensitively to climate. Satellite remote sensing using optical imagery is an efficient method for studying ice-velocity fields on mountain glaciers. In this study, temporal and spatial changes in surface velocity associated with the Inylchek glacier in Kyrgyzstan are investigated. We present a detailed map for the kinematics of the Inylchek glacier obtained by cross-correlation analysis of Landsat images, acquired between 2000 and 2011, and a set of ASTER images covering the time period between 2001 and 2007. Our results indicate a high-velocity region in the elevated part of the glacier, moving up to a rate of about 0.5 m/day. Time series analysis of optical data reveals some annual variations in the mean surface velocity of the Inylchek during 2000–2011. In particular, our findings suggest an opposite trend between periods of the northward glacial flow in Proletarskyi and Zvezdochka glacier, and the rate of westward motion observed for the main stream of the Inylchek.

  10. Dental calculus reveals unique insights into food items, cooking and plant processing in prehistoric central Sudan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckley, Stephen; Usai, Donatella; Jakob, Tina; Radini, Anita; Hardy, Karen

    2014-01-01

    Accessing information on plant consumption before the adoption of agriculture is challenging. However, there is growing evidence for use of locally available wild plants from an increasing number of pre-agrarian sites, suggesting broad ecological knowledge. The extraction of chemical compounds and microfossils from dental calculus removed from ancient teeth offers an entirely new perspective on dietary reconstruction, as it provides empirical results on material that is already in the mouth. Here we present a suite of results from the multi-period Central Sudanese site of Al Khiday. We demonstrate the ingestion in both pre-agricultural and agricultural periods of Cyperus rotundus tubers. This plant is a good source of carbohydrates and has many useful medicinal and aromatic qualities, though today it is considered to be the world's most costly weed. Its ability to inhibit Streptococcus mutans may have contributed to the unexpectedly low level of caries found in the agricultural population. Other evidence extracted from the dental calculus includes smoke inhalation, dry (roasting) and wet (heating in water) cooking, a second plant possibly from the Triticaceae tribe and plant fibres suggestive of raw material preparation through chewing.

  11. Dental calculus reveals unique insights into food items, cooking and plant processing in prehistoric central Sudan.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen Buckley

    Full Text Available Accessing information on plant consumption before the adoption of agriculture is challenging. However, there is growing evidence for use of locally available wild plants from an increasing number of pre-agrarian sites, suggesting broad ecological knowledge. The extraction of chemical compounds and microfossils from dental calculus removed from ancient teeth offers an entirely new perspective on dietary reconstruction, as it provides empirical results on material that is already in the mouth. Here we present a suite of results from the multi-period Central Sudanese site of Al Khiday. We demonstrate the ingestion in both pre-agricultural and agricultural periods of Cyperus rotundus tubers. This plant is a good source of carbohydrates and has many useful medicinal and aromatic qualities, though today it is considered to be the world's most costly weed. Its ability to inhibit Streptococcus mutans may have contributed to the unexpectedly low level of caries found in the agricultural population. Other evidence extracted from the dental calculus includes smoke inhalation, dry (roasting and wet (heating in water cooking, a second plant possibly from the Triticaceae tribe and plant fibres suggestive of raw material preparation through chewing.

  12. Tectono-metamorphic evolution of the Chinese Altai, central Asia: new insights from microstructures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yingde; Zhang, Jian; Schulmann, Karel; Sun, Min; Zhao, Guochun

    2013-04-01

    The Altai Orogen, extending from Russia, through northeast Kazakhstan and northwest China, to western and southern Mongolia, occupies a pivotal position in understanding the accretionary process of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt and has drawn much attention in recent years. However, its orogenic evolution remains poorly constrained, because previous studies were mainly focused on the geochronological and geochemical signatures and much less work has been done on metamorphic and structural studies. Metamorphic rocks widely occur in the southern Altai Range and have previously been separated into high-T/low-P and medium-P types. Recent studies demonstrated that these two kinds of rocks may have similar protoliths, i.e. early Paleozoic arc-related assemblages, but experienced different metamorphic histories. The development of biotite, garnet, staurolite and kyanite metamorphic zonal sequences in the low- to medium- grade rocks, demonstrate typical medium-pressure metamorphism that has been suggested as a major consequence of the orogenesis. The high-T/low-P metamorphism, represented by the growth of garnet+cordierite+sillimanite+k-feldspar and was accompanied by extensive anatexis, remains its tectonic significance poorly constrained. Field structural investigation in the Chinese Altai reveals that the high-T/low-P metamorphic rocks have major S-L fabrics (defined by the strongly aligned biotite and sillimanite) exactly in the same orientations as those developed in the associated medium-P grade rocks. Geochronological studies constrain the major fabrics in both kinds of rocks developed during mid-Devonian, coeval with the strong magmatism in the region. Micro-structural investigation on both kinds of rocks show similar prograde metamorphic history featured by clockwise P-T path evolution. Phase equilibrium modeling in the MnNCKFMASH system indicates that the development of major fabrics in the medium-P metamorphic rocks mainly recorded the notable increase of

  13. Postfire responses of the woody flora of Central Chile: Insights from a germination experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-González, Susana; Paula, Susana; Cavieres, Lohengrin A; Pausas, Juli G

    2017-01-01

    Fire is a selective agent shaping plant traits and community assembly in fire-prone ecosystems. However, in ecosystems with no fire history, it can be a cause of land degradation when it is suddenly introduced by humans, as plant species may not be able to respond to such novel disturbance. Unlike other Mediterranean-type ecosystems (MTE) of the world, natural fires have not been frequent during the Quaternary in the matorral of Central Chile, and thus, plant adaptive responses are expected to be uncommon. We evaluated the effect of heat shock on seed survival and germination of 21 native woody plants of the Chilean matorral and compiled information on smoke-stimulation and resprouting, to evaluate the importance of fire-adaptive responses in the context of the other MTE. We found that in the Chilean woody flora negative seed responses to fire cues were more frequent than positive responses. Although resprouting is a relatively widespread trait, fire-stimulated germination is not as common in the Chilean matorral as in other MTE. The seeds of seven endemic species were strongly damaged by fire cues and this should be considered in post-fire restoration planning. However, our results also showed that many species were resistant to elevated doses of heat shock and in some, germination was even stimulated. Thus, future research should focus on the evolutionary causes of these responses. These findings could help to develop strategies for fire management in the Chilean matorral. In addition, they will improve our understanding of the evolutionary forces that shaped this plant community and to better frame this region among the other MTE worldwide.

  14. Postfire responses of the woody flora of Central Chile: Insights from a germination experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susana Gómez-González

    Full Text Available Fire is a selective agent shaping plant traits and community assembly in fire-prone ecosystems. However, in ecosystems with no fire history, it can be a cause of land degradation when it is suddenly introduced by humans, as plant species may not be able to respond to such novel disturbance. Unlike other Mediterranean-type ecosystems (MTE of the world, natural fires have not been frequent during the Quaternary in the matorral of Central Chile, and thus, plant adaptive responses are expected to be uncommon. We evaluated the effect of heat shock on seed survival and germination of 21 native woody plants of the Chilean matorral and compiled information on smoke-stimulation and resprouting, to evaluate the importance of fire-adaptive responses in the context of the other MTE. We found that in the Chilean woody flora negative seed responses to fire cues were more frequent than positive responses. Although resprouting is a relatively widespread trait, fire-stimulated germination is not as common in the Chilean matorral as in other MTE. The seeds of seven endemic species were strongly damaged by fire cues and this should be considered in post-fire restoration planning. However, our results also showed that many species were resistant to elevated doses of heat shock and in some, germination was even stimulated. Thus, future research should focus on the evolutionary causes of these responses. These findings could help to develop strategies for fire management in the Chilean matorral. In addition, they will improve our understanding of the evolutionary forces that shaped this plant community and to better frame this region among the other MTE worldwide.

  15. Glutamate synapses in human cognitive disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volk, Lenora; Chiu, Shu-Ling; Sharma, Kamal; Huganir, Richard L

    2015-07-08

    Accumulating data, including those from large genetic association studies, indicate that alterations in glutamatergic synapse structure and function represent a common underlying pathology in many symptomatically distinct cognitive disorders. In this review, we discuss evidence from human genetic studies and data from animal models supporting a role for aberrant glutamatergic synapse function in the etiology of intellectual disability (ID), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and schizophrenia (SCZ), neurodevelopmental disorders that comprise a significant proportion of human cognitive disease and exact a substantial financial and social burden. The varied manifestations of impaired perceptual processing, executive function, social interaction, communication, and/or intellectual ability in ID, ASD, and SCZ appear to emerge from altered neural microstructure, function, and/or wiring rather than gross changes in neuron number or morphology. Here, we review evidence that these disorders may share a common underlying neuropathy: altered excitatory synapse function. We focus on the most promising candidate genes affecting glutamatergic synapse function, highlighting the likely disease-relevant functional consequences of each. We first present a brief overview of glutamatergic synapses and then explore the genetic and phenotypic evidence for altered glutamate signaling in ID, ASD, and SCZ.

  16. Despite disorganized synapse structure, Th2 cells maintain directional delivery of CD40L to antigen-presenting B cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardell, Jennifer L; Parker, David C

    2017-01-01

    Upon recognition of peptide displayed on MHC molecules, Th1 and Th2 cells form distinct immunological synapse structures. Th1 cells have a bull's eye synapse structure with TCR/ MHC-peptide interactions occurring central to a ring of adhesion molecules, while Th2 cells have a multifocal synapse with small clusters of TCR/MHC interactions throughout the area of T cell/antigen-presenting cell interaction. In this study, we investigated whether this structural difference in the immunological synapse affects delivery of T cell help. The immunological synapse is thought to ensure antigen-specific delivery of cytolytic granules and killing of target cells by NK cells and cytolytic T cells. In helper T cells, it has been proposed that the immunological synapse may direct delivery of other effector molecules including cytokines. CD40 ligand (CD40L) is a membrane-bound cytokine essential for antigen-specific T cell help for B cells in the antibody response. We incubated Th1 and Th2 cells overnight with a mixture of antigen-presenting and bystander B cells, and the delivery of CD40L to B cells and subsequent B cell responses were compared. Despite distinct immunological synapse structures, Th1 and Th2 cell do not differ in their ability to deliver CD40L and T cell help in an antigen-specific fashion, or in their susceptibility to inhibition of help by a blocking anti-CD40L antibody.

  17. Neuroligin-1 loss is associated with reduced tenacity of excitatory synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adel Zeidan

    Full Text Available Neuroligins (Nlgns are postsynaptic, integral membrane cell adhesion molecules that play important roles in the formation, validation, and maturation of synapses in the mammalian central nervous system. Given their prominent roles in the life cycle of synapses, it might be expected that the loss of neuroligin family members would affect the stability of synaptic organization, and ultimately, affect the tenacity and persistence of individual synaptic junctions. Here we examined whether and to what extent the loss of Nlgn-1 affects the dynamics of several key synaptic molecules and the constancy of their contents at individual synapses over time. Fluorescently tagged versions of the postsynaptic scaffold molecule PSD-95, the AMPA-type glutamate receptor subunit GluA2 and the presynaptic vesicle molecule SV2A were expressed in primary cortical cultures from Nlgn-1 KO mice and wild-type (WT littermates, and live imaging was used to follow the constancy of their contents at individual synapses over periods of 8-12 hours. We found that the loss of Nlgn-1 was associated with larger fluctuations in the synaptic contents of these molecules and a poorer preservation of their contents at individual synapses. Furthermore, rates of synaptic turnover were somewhat greater in neurons from Nlgn-1 knockout mice. Finally, the increased GluA2 redistribution rates observed in neurons from Nlgn-1 knockout mice were negated by suppressing spontaneous network activity. These findings suggest that the loss of Nlgn-1 is associated with some use-dependent destabilization of excitatory synapse organization, and indicate that in the absence of Nlgn-1, the tenacity of excitatory synapses might be somewhat impaired.

  18. Shaping Synapses by the Neural Extracellular Matrix

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    Maura Ferrer-Ferrer

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Accumulating data support the importance of interactions between pre- and postsynaptic neuronal elements with astroglial processes and extracellular matrix (ECM for formation and plasticity of chemical synapses, and thus validate the concept of a tetrapartite synapse. Here we outline the major mechanisms driving: (i synaptogenesis by secreted extracellular scaffolding molecules, like thrombospondins (TSPs, neuronal pentraxins (NPs and cerebellins, which respectively promote presynaptic, postsynaptic differentiation or both; (ii maturation of synapses via reelin and integrin ligands-mediated signaling; and (iii regulation of synaptic plasticity by ECM-dependent control of induction and consolidation of new synaptic configurations. Particularly, we focused on potential importance of activity-dependent concerted activation of multiple extracellular proteases, such as ADAMTS4/5/15, MMP9 and neurotrypsin, for permissive and instructive events in synaptic remodeling through localized degradation of perisynaptic ECM and generation of proteolytic fragments as inducers of synaptic plasticity.

  19. Wireless synapses in bio-inspired neural networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jannson, Tomasz; Forrester, Thomas; Degrood, Kevin

    2009-05-01

    Wireless (virtual) synapses represent a novel approach to bio-inspired neural networks that follow the infrastructure of the biological brain, except that biological (physical) synapses are replaced by virtual ones based on cellular telephony modeling. Such synapses are of two types: intracluster synapses are based on IR wireless ones, while intercluster synapses are based on RF wireless ones. Such synapses have three unique features, atypical of conventional artificial ones: very high parallelism (close to that of the human brain), very high reconfigurability (easy to kill and to create), and very high plasticity (easy to modify or upgrade). In this paper we analyze the general concept of wireless synapses with special emphasis on RF wireless synapses. Also, biological mammalian (vertebrate) neural models are discussed for comparison, and a novel neural lensing effect is discussed in detail.

  20. Otanps synapse linear relation multiplier circuit

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chible, H.

    2008-01-01

    In this paper, a four quadrant VLSI analog multiplier will be proposed, in order to be used in the implementation of the neurons and synapses modules of the artificial neural networks. The main characteristics of this multiplier are the small silicon area and the low power consumption and the high value of the weight input voltage. (author)

  1. Intercellular protein-protein interactions at synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xiaofei; Hou, Dongmei; Jiang, Wei; Zhang, Chen

    2014-06-01

    Chemical synapses are asymmetric intercellular junctions through which neurons send nerve impulses to communicate with other neurons or excitable cells. The appropriate formation of synapses, both spatially and temporally, is essential for brain function and depends on the intercellular protein-protein interactions of cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) at synaptic clefts. The CAM proteins link pre- and post-synaptic sites, and play essential roles in promoting synapse formation and maturation, maintaining synapse number and type, accumulating neurotransmitter receptors and ion channels, controlling neuronal differentiation, and even regulating synaptic plasticity directly. Alteration of the interactions of CAMs leads to structural and functional impairments, which results in many neurological disorders, such as autism, Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the functions of CAMs during development and in the mature neural system, as well as in the pathogenesis of some neurological disorders. Here, we review the function of the major classes of CAMs, and how dysfunction of CAMs relates to several neurological disorders.

  2. Localization of mineralocorticoid receptors at mammalian synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric M Prager

    Full Text Available In the brain, membrane associated nongenomic steroid receptors can induce fast-acting responses to ion conductance and second messenger systems of neurons. Emerging data suggest that membrane associated glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors may directly regulate synaptic excitability during times of stress when adrenal hormones are elevated. As the key neuron signaling interface, the synapse is involved in learning and memory, including traumatic memories during times of stress. The lateral amygdala is a key site for synaptic plasticity underlying conditioned fear, which can both trigger and be coincident with the stress response. A large body of electrophysiological data shows rapid regulation of neuronal excitability by steroid hormone receptors. Despite the importance of these receptors, to date, only the glucocorticoid receptor has been anatomically localized to the membrane. We investigated the subcellular sites of mineralocorticoid receptors in the lateral amygdala of the Sprague-Dawley rat. Immunoblot analysis revealed the presence of mineralocorticoid receptors in the amygdala. Using electron microscopy, we found mineralocorticoid receptors expressed at both nuclear including: glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons and extra nuclear sites including: presynaptic terminals, neuronal dendrites, and dendritic spines. Importantly we also observed mineralocorticoid receptors at postsynaptic membrane densities of excitatory synapses. These data provide direct anatomical evidence supporting the concept that, at some synapses, synaptic transmission is regulated by mineralocorticoid receptors. Thus part of the stress signaling response in the brain is a direct modulation of the synapse itself by adrenal steroids.

  3. Silent synapses in neuromuscular junction development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomàs, Josep; Santafé, Manel M; Lanuza, Maria A; García, Neus; Besalduch, Nuria; Tomàs, Marta

    2011-01-01

    In the last few years, evidence has been found to suggest that some synaptic contacts become silent but can be functionally recruited before they completely retract during postnatal synapse elimination in muscle. The physiological mechanism of developmental synapse elimination may be better understood by studying this synapse recruitment. This Mini-Review collects previously published data and new results to propose a molecular mechanism for axonal disconnection. The mechanism is based on protein kinase C (PKC)-dependent inhibition of acetylcholine (ACh) release. PKC activity may be stimulated by a methoctramine-sensitive M2-type muscarinic receptor and by calcium inflow though P/Q- and L-type voltage-dependent calcium channels. In addition, tropomyosin-related tyrosine kinase B (trkB) receptor-mediated brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) activity may oppose the PKC-mediated ACh release depression. Thus, a balance between trkB and muscarinic pathways may contribute to the final functional suppression of some neuromuscular synapses during development. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  4. Defects of the Glycinergic Synapse in Zebrafish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogino, Kazutoyo; Hirata, Hiromi

    2016-01-01

    Glycine mediates fast inhibitory synaptic transmission. Physiological importance of the glycinergic synapse is well established in the brainstem and the spinal cord. In humans, the loss of glycinergic function in the spinal cord and brainstem leads to hyperekplexia, which is characterized by an excess startle reflex to sudden acoustic or tactile stimulation. In addition, glycinergic synapses in this region are also involved in the regulation of respiration and locomotion, and in the nociceptive processing. The importance of the glycinergic synapse is conserved across vertebrate species. A teleost fish, the zebrafish, offers several advantages as a vertebrate model for research of glycinergic synapse. Mutagenesis screens in zebrafish have isolated two motor defective mutants that have pathogenic mutations in glycinergic synaptic transmission: bandoneon (beo) and shocked (sho). Beo mutants have a loss-of-function mutation of glycine receptor (GlyR) β-subunit b, alternatively, sho mutant is a glycinergic transporter 1 (GlyT1) defective mutant. These mutants are useful animal models for understanding of glycinergic synaptic transmission and for identification of novel therapeutic agents for human diseases arising from defect in glycinergic transmission, such as hyperekplexia or glycine encephalopathy. Recent advances in techniques for genome editing and for imaging and manipulating of a molecule or a physiological process make zebrafish more attractive model. In this review, we describe the glycinergic defective zebrafish mutants and the technical advances in both forward and reverse genetic approaches as well as in vivo visualization and manipulation approaches for the study of the glycinergic synapse in zebrafish. PMID:27445686

  5. Synapse formation and maintenance by C1q family proteins: a new class of secreted synapse organizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuzaki, Michisuke

    2010-07-01

    Several C1q family members, especially the Cbln and C1q-like subfamilies, are highly and predominantly expressed in the central nervous system. Cbln1, a member of the Cbln subfamily, plays two unique roles at parallel fiber (PF)-Purkinje cell synapses in the cerebellum: the formation and stabilization of synaptic contact, and the control of functional synaptic plasticity by regulating the postsynaptic endocytotic pathway. The delta2 glutamate receptor (GluD2), which is predominantly expressed in Purkinje cells, plays similar critical roles in the cerebellum. In addition, viral expression of GluD2 or the application of recombinant Cbln1 induces PF-Purkinje cell synaptogenesis in vitro and in vivo. Antigen-unmasking methods were necessary to reveal the immunoreactivities for endogenous Cbln1 and GluD2 at the synaptic junction of PF synapses. We propose that Cbln1 and GluD2 are located at the synaptic cleft, where various proteins undergo intricate molecular interactions with each other, and serve as a bidirectional synaptic organizer. © The Author (2010). Journal Compilation © Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  6. A Crustal Cross Section over the Central North Iberian Margin: New Insights into the Bay of Biscay Inverted Hyperextended Rift

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cadenas Martínez, P.; Fernandez Viejo, G.; Pulgar, J. A.; Minshull, T. A.

    2015-12-01

    The Bay of Biscay is a V-shape failed arm of the Atlantic rift which was opened during the Mesozoic and partially closed during the Alpine orogeny in the Cenozoic, when the convergence of the Iberian and European Plates drove to the formation of the Pyrenean-Cantabrian realm in the North Iberian peninsula. A complete crustal cross section through the central part of the North Iberian Margin, representing the southern margin of the Bay of Biscay, is presented here from the interpretation of a high quality deep seismic reflection profile together with boreholes and well logs, acquired for oil and gas exploration purposes. The studied segment of this margin includes a basement high so called Le Danois Bank, and the Asturian basin, one of the sedimentary basins developed during the Mesozoic extensional processes, which was subsequently inverted during the Alpine orogeny. Most of the compression seems to have taken place through uplift of the continental platform and slope and the formation of an accretionary wedge at the bottom of the slope, so it is still possible to elucidate both extensional and compressional features. The basin appears as an asymmetric bowl bounded by synsedimentary normal faults with a maximum thickness of about 6 s TWT, which has been estimated to be equivalent to about 7 km. Depth migration of the seismic profile has revealed the presence of a deeper trough, with a maximum thickness of 13. 5 km at its main depocenter, which closely resembles the sedimentary thickness proposed for other contemporaneous proximal basins. These results support the high degree of extension and the exhumation processes proposed for this margin, deduced from refraction velocities and from the upper crustal and mantle rocks dredged at the slopes of Le Danois High. They will bring new insights to, and further constraints on, geodynamical models for this margin, where the amount of shortening linked with Cenozoic compression and the role of the rift structure during the

  7. Interplay between membrane elasticity and active cytoskeleton forces regulates the aggregation dynamics of the immunological synapse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dharan, Nadiv; Farago, Oded

    Adhesion between a T cell and an antigen presenting cell is achieved by TCR-pMHC and LFA1-ICAM1 protein complexes. These segregate to form a special pattern, known as the immunological synapse (IS), consisting of a central quasi-circular domain of TCR-pMHC bonds surrounded by a peripheral domain of LFA1-ICAM1 complexes. Insights gained from imaging studies had led to the conclusion that the formation of the central adhesion domain in the IS is driven by active (ATP-driven) mechanisms. Recent studies, however, suggested that passive (thermodynamic) mechanisms may also play an important role in this process. Here, we present a simple physical model, taking into account the membrane-mediated thermodynamic attraction between the TCR-pMHC bonds and the effective forces that they experience due to ATP-driven actin retrograde flow and transport by dynein motor proteins. Monte Carlo simulations of the model exhibit a good spatio-temporal agreement with the experimentally observed pattern evolution of the TCR-pMHC microclusters. The agreement is lost when one of the aggregation mechanisms is "muted", which helps to identify the respective roles in the process. We conclude that actin retrograde flow drives the centripetal motion of TCR-pMHC bonds, while the membrane-mediated interactions facilitate microcluster formation and growth. In the absence of dynein motors, the system evolves into a ring-shaped pattern, which highlights the role of dynein motors in the formation of the final concentric pattern. The interplay between the passive and active mechanisms regulates the rate of the accumulation process, which in the absence of one them proceeds either too quickly or slowly.

  8. Mitochondria and Neurotransmission: Evacuating the Synapse

    OpenAIRE

    Hollenbeck, Peter J.

    2005-01-01

    An abundance of mitochondria has been the hallmark of synapses since their first ultrastructural description 50 years ago. Mitochondria have been shown to be essential for synaptic form and function in many systems, but until recently it has not been clear exactly what role(s) they play in neurotransmission. Now, evidence from the nervous system of Drosophila identifies the specific subcellular events that are most dependent upon nearby mitochondria.

  9. Tectonic and lithological controls on fluvial landscape development in central-eastern Portugal: Insights from long profile tributary stream analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, António A.; Cabral, João; Cunha, Pedro P.; Stokes, Martin; Borges, José; Caldeira, Bento; Martins, A. Cardoso

    2017-01-01

    This study examines the long profiles of tributaries of the Tagus and Zêzere rivers in Portugal (West Iberia) in order to provide new insights into patterns, timing, and controls on drainage development during the Quaternary incision stage. The studied streams are incised into a relict culminant fluvial surface, abandoned at the beginning of the incision stage. The streams flow through a landscape with bedrock variations in lithology (mainly granites and metasediments) and faulted blocks with distinct uplift rates. The long profiles of the analyzed streams record an older transitory knickpoint/knickzone separating (1) an upstream relict graded profile, with lower steepness and higher concavity, that reflects a long period of quasi-equilibrium conditions reached after the beginning of the incision stage, and (2) a downstream rejuvenated long profile, with steeper gradient and lower concavity, particularly for the final reach, which is often convex. The rejuvenated reaches testify to the upstream propagation of several incision waves, interpreted as the response of each stream to increasing crustal uplift and prolonged periods of base-level lowering by the trunk drainages, coeval with low sea level conditions. The morphological configurations of the long profiles enabled spatial and relative temporal patterns of incisions to be quantified. The incision values of streams flowing on the Portuguese Central Range (PCR; ca. 380-150 m) are variable but generally higher than the incision values of streams flowing on the adjacent South Portugal Planation Surface (SPPS; ca. 220-110 m), corroborating differential uplift of the PCR relative to the SPPS. Owing to the fact that the relict graded profiles can be correlated with the Tagus River T1 terrace (1.1-0.9 My) present in the study area, incision rates can be estimated (1) for the streams located in the PCR, 0.38-0.15 m/ky and (2) for the streams flowing on the SPPS, 0.22-0.12 m/ky. The differential uplift inferred in the

  10. Ca(2+) influx and neurotransmitter release at ribbon synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Soyoun; von Gersdorff, Henrique

    2012-01-01

    Ca(2+) influx through voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels triggers the release of neurotransmitters at presynaptic terminals. Some sensory receptor cells in the peripheral auditory and visual systems have specialized synapses that express an electron-dense organelle called a synaptic ribbon. Like conventional synapses, ribbon synapses exhibit SNARE-mediated exocytosis, clathrin-mediated endocytosis, and short-term plasticity. However, unlike non-ribbon synapses, voltage-gated L-type Ca(2+) channel opening at ribbon synapses triggers a form of multiquantal release that can be highly synchronous. Furthermore, ribbon synapses appear to be specialized for fast and high throughput exocytosis controlled by graded membrane potential changes. Here we will discuss some of the basic aspects of synaptic transmission at different types of ribbon synapses, and we will emphasize recent evidence that auditory and retinal ribbon synapses have marked differences. This will lead us to suggest that ribbon synapses are specialized for particular operating ranges and frequencies of stimulation. We propose that different types of ribbon synapses transfer diverse rates of sensory information by expressing a particular repertoire of critical components, and by placing them at precise and strategic locations, so that a continuous supply of primed vesicles and Ca(2+) influx leads to fast, accurate, and ongoing exocytosis. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Energy-efficient neuron, synapse and STDP integrated circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz-Albrecht, Jose M; Yung, Michael W; Srinivasa, Narayan

    2012-06-01

    Ultra-low energy biologically-inspired neuron and synapse integrated circuits are presented. The synapse includes a spike timing dependent plasticity (STDP) learning rule circuit. These circuits have been designed, fabricated and tested using a 90 nm CMOS process. Experimental measurements demonstrate proper operation. The neuron and the synapse with STDP circuits have an energy consumption of around 0.4 pJ per spike and synaptic operation respectively.

  12. Eruptive dynamics and hazards associated with obsidian bearing ignimbrites of the Geghama Volcanic Highland, Central Armenia: a textural insight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Zoe; Manning, Christina J.

    2017-04-01

    The Geghama Volcanic highland in central Armenia is an ideal setting to study the young ( 750-25 ka [1]) volcanism that characterises the Lesser Caucasus region. The volcanism in the area is bimodal in composition: the eastern highlands are dominated by numerous monogenetic scoria cones, whilst the west shows more evolved volcanism centered on two obsidian bearing, polygenetic domes (Hatis and Gutanasar) [2]. Activity at Hatis and Gutanasar is thought to have spanned 550ka-200ka [3] and produced a range of products including obsidian flows, ignimbrites and basaltic scoria cones, consistent with long lived and complex magma storage systems. During a similar time period there is evidence for the presence of hominin groups in the surrounding region [3] and it is likely that at least some of the volcanic activity at Hatis and Gutanasar impacted on their distribution [4]. A better understanding of the eruptive behaviour of these volcanoes during this period could therefore shed light on the effect of volcanic activity on the dispersal of man through this period. Whilst large regional studies have striven to better understand the timing and source of volcanism in Armenia, there have been few detailed studies on single volcanoes. Obsidian is ubiquitous within the volcanic material of both Gutanasar and Hatis as lava flows, dome deposits and within ignimbrites. This study aims to better understand the eruptive history of Gutanasar, with specific focus upon the determination of the petrogenetic history of obsidian lenses observed within the ignimbrite deposits. Identification of these obsidians as the result of welding or in-situ melting will help constrain eruptive volumes and flow thickness, important for the reconstruction of palaeo-volcanic hazards. In order to interpret how this obsidian was deposited, macro textural analysis is combined with micro textural measurements of microlite crystals. Quantitative measurements of microlites in obsidian can provide significant

  13. Communication Breakdown: The Impact of Ageing on Synapse Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petralia, Ronald S.; Mattson, Mark P.; Yao, Pamela J.

    2014-01-01

    Impaired synaptic plasticity is implicated in the functional decline of the nervous system associated with ageing. Understanding the structure of ageing synapses is essential to understanding the functions of these synapses and their role in the ageing nervous system. In this review, we summarize studies on ageing synapses in vertebrates and invertebrates, focusing on changes in morphology and ultrastructure. We cover different parts of the nervous system, including the brain, the retina, the cochlea, and the neuromuscular junction. The morphological characteristics of aged synapses could shed light on the underlying molecular changes and their functional consequences. PMID:24495392

  14. How synapses can enhance sensibility of a neural network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Protachevicz, P. R.; Borges, F. S.; Iarosz, K. C.; Caldas, I. L.; Baptista, M. S.; Viana, R. L.; Lameu, E. L.; Macau, E. E. N.; Batista, A. M.

    2018-02-01

    In this work, we study the dynamic range in a neural network modelled by cellular automaton. We consider deterministic and non-deterministic rules to simulate electrical and chemical synapses. Chemical synapses have an intrinsic time-delay and are susceptible to parameter variations guided by learning Hebbian rules of behaviour. The learning rules are related to neuroplasticity that describes change to the neural connections in the brain. Our results show that chemical synapses can abruptly enhance sensibility of the neural network, a manifestation that can become even more predominant if learning rules of evolution are applied to the chemical synapses.

  15. Fine structure of synapses on dendritic spines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael eFrotscher

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Camillo Golgi’s Reazione Nera led to the discovery of dendritic spines, small appendages originating from dendritic shafts. With the advent of electron microscopy (EM they were identified as sites of synaptic contact. Later it was found that changes in synaptic strength were associated with changes in the shape of dendritic spines. While live-cell imaging was advantageous in monitoring the time course of such changes in spine structure, EM is still the best method for the simultaneous visualization of all cellular components, including actual synaptic contacts, at high resolution. Immunogold labeling for EM reveals the precise localization of molecules in relation to synaptic structures. Previous EM studies of spines and synapses were performed in tissue subjected to aldehyde fixation and dehydration in ethanol, which is associated with protein denaturation and tissue shrinkage. It has remained an issue to what extent fine structural details are preserved when subjecting the tissue to these procedures. In the present review, we report recent studies on the fine structure of spines and synapses using high-pressure freezing (HPF, which avoids protein denaturation by aldehydes and results in an excellent preservation of ultrastructural detail. In these studies, HPF was used to monitor subtle fine-structural changes in spine shape associated with chemically induced long-term potentiation (cLTP at identified hippocampal mossy fiber synapses. Changes in spine shape result from reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton. We report that cLTP was associated with decreased immunogold labeling for phosphorylated cofilin (p-cofilin, an actin-depolymerizing protein. Phosphorylation of cofilin renders it unable to depolymerize F-actin, which stabilizes the actin cytoskeleton. Decreased levels of p-cofilin, in turn, suggest increased actin turnover, possibly underlying the changes in spine shape associated with cLTP. The findings reviewed here establish HPF as

  16. The number and distribution of AMPA receptor channels containing fast kinetic GluA3 and GluA4 subunits at auditory nerve synapses depend on the target cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubio, María E; Matsui, Ko; Fukazawa, Yugo; Kamasawa, Naomi; Harada, Harumi; Itakura, Makoto; Molnár, Elek; Abe, Manabu; Sakimura, Kenji; Shigemoto, Ryuichi

    2017-11-01

    The neurotransmitter receptor subtype, number, density, and distribution relative to the location of transmitter release sites are key determinants of signal transmission. AMPA-type ionotropic glutamate receptors (AMPARs) containing GluA3 and GluA4 subunits are prominently expressed in subsets of neurons capable of firing action potentials at high frequencies, such as auditory relay neurons. The auditory nerve (AN) forms glutamatergic synapses on two types of relay neurons, bushy cells (BCs) and fusiform cells (FCs) of the cochlear nucleus. AN-BC and AN-FC synapses have distinct kinetics; thus, we investigated whether the number, density, and localization of GluA3 and GluA4 subunits in these synapses are differentially organized using quantitative freeze-fracture replica immunogold labeling. We identify a positive correlation between the number of AMPARs and the size of AN-BC and AN-FC synapses. Both types of AN synapses have similar numbers of AMPARs; however, the AN-BC have a higher density of AMPARs than AN-FC synapses, because the AN-BC synapses are smaller. A higher number and density of GluA3 subunits are observed at AN-BC synapses, whereas a higher number and density of GluA4 subunits are observed at AN-FC synapses. The intrasynaptic distribution of immunogold labeling revealed that AMPAR subunits, particularly GluA3, are concentrated at the center of the AN-BC synapses. The central distribution of AMPARs is absent in GluA3-knockout mice, and gold particles are evenly distributed along the postsynaptic density. GluA4 gold labeling was homogenously distributed along both synapse types. Thus, GluA3 and GluA4 subunits are distributed at AN synapses in a target-cell-dependent manner.

  17. Cell adhesion and matricellular support by astrocytes of the tripartite synapse

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hillen, Anne E J; Burbach, J Peter H; Hol, Elly M

    2018-01-01

    Astrocytes contribute to the formation, function, and plasticity of synapses. Their processes enwrap the neuronal components of the tripartite synapse, and due to this close interaction they are perfectly positioned to modulate neuronal communication. The interaction between astrocytes and synapses

  18. Rhythmic changes in synapse numbers in Drosophila melanogaster motor terminals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santiago Ruiz

    Full Text Available Previous studies have shown that the morphology of the neuromuscular junction of the flight motor neuron MN5 in Drosophila melanogaster undergoes daily rhythmical changes, with smaller synaptic boutons during the night, when the fly is resting, than during the day, when the fly is active. With electron microscopy and laser confocal microscopy, we searched for a rhythmic change in synapse numbers in this neuron, both under light:darkness (LD cycles and constant darkness (DD. We expected the number of synapses to increase during the morning, when the fly has an intense phase of locomotion activity under LD and DD. Surprisingly, only our DD data were consistent with this hypothesis. In LD, we found more synapses at midnight than at midday. We propose that under LD conditions, there is a daily rhythm of formation of new synapses in the dark phase, when the fly is resting, and disassembly over the light phase, when the fly is active. Several parameters appeared to be light dependent, since they were affected differently under LD or DD. The great majority of boutons containing synapses had only one and very few had either two or more, with a 70∶25∶5 ratio (one, two and three or more synapses in LD and 75∶20∶5 in DD. Given the maintenance of this proportion even when both bouton and synapse numbers changed with time, we suggest that there is a homeostatic mechanism regulating synapse distribution among MN5 boutons.

  19. IR wireless cluster synapses of HYDRA very large neural networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jannson, Tomasz; Forrester, Thomas

    2008-04-01

    RF/IR wireless (virtual) synapses are critical components of HYDRA (Hyper-Distributed Robotic Autonomy) neural networks, already discussed in two earlier papers. The HYDRA network has the potential to be very large, up to 10 11-neurons and 10 18-synapses, based on already established technologies (cellular RF telephony and IR-wireless LANs). It is organized into almost fully connected IR-wireless clusters. The HYDRA neurons and synapses are very flexible, simple, and low-cost. They can be modified into a broad variety of biologically-inspired brain-like computing capabilities. In this third paper, we focus on neural hardware in general, and on IR-wireless synapses in particular. Such synapses, based on LED/LD-connections, dominate the HYDRA neural cluster.

  20. Morphotectonic control of the Białka drainage basin (Central Carpathians: Insights from DEM and morphometric analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wołosiewicz Bartosz

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The Białka river valley is directly related to a deep NNW-SSE oriented fault zone. According to the results of previous morphometric analyses, the Białka drainage basin is one of the most tectonically active zones in the Central Carpathians. It is also located within an area of high seismic activity.

  1. Genotyping and phylogenetic analysis of Yersinia pestis by MLVA: insights into the worldwide expansion of Central Asia plague foci.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanjun Li

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The species Yersinia pestis is commonly divided into three classical biovars, Antiqua, Medievalis, and Orientalis, belonging to subspecies pestis pathogenic for human and the (atypical non-human pathogenic biovar Microtus (alias Pestoides including several non-pestis subspecies. Recent progress in molecular typing methods enables large-scale investigations in the population structure of this species. It is now possible to test hypotheses about its evolution which were proposed decades ago. For instance the three classical biovars of different geographical distributions were suggested to originate from Central Asia. Most investigations so far have focused on the typical pestis subspecies representatives found outside of China, whereas the understanding of the emergence of this human pathogen requires the investigation of strains belonging to subspecies pestis from China and to the Microtus biovar. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Multi-locus VNTR analysis (MLVA with 25 loci was performed on a collection of Y. pestis isolates originating from the majority of the known foci worldwide and including typical rhamnose-negative subspecies pestis as well as rhamnose-positive subspecies pestis and biovar Microtus. More than 500 isolates from China, the Former Soviet Union (FSU, Mongolia and a number of other foci around the world were characterized and resolved into 350 different genotypes. The data revealed very close relationships existing between some isolates from widely separated foci as well as very high diversity which can conversely be observed between nearby foci. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results obtained are in full agreement with the view that the Y. pestis subsp. pestis pathogenic for humans emerged in the Central Asia region between China, Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia, only three clones of which spread out of Central Asia. The relationships among the strains in China, Central Asia and the rest of the world based on the MLVA

  2. Recruitment of activation receptors at inhibitory NK cell immune synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas Schleinitz

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Natural killer (NK cell activation receptors accumulate by an actin-dependent process at cytotoxic immune synapses where they provide synergistic signals that trigger NK cell effector functions. In contrast, NK cell inhibitory receptors, including members of the MHC class I-specific killer cell Ig-like receptor (KIR family, accumulate at inhibitory immune synapses, block actin dynamics, and prevent actin-dependent phosphorylation of activation receptors. Therefore, one would predict inhibition of actin-dependent accumulation of activation receptors when inhibitory receptors are engaged. By confocal imaging of primary human NK cells in contact with target cells expressing physiological ligands of NK cell receptors, we show here that this prediction is incorrect. Target cells included a human cell line and transfected Drosophila insect cells that expressed ligands of NK cell activation receptors in combination with an MHC class I ligand of inhibitory KIR. The two NK cell activation receptors CD2 and 2B4 accumulated and co-localized with KIR at inhibitory immune synapses. In fact, KIR promoted CD2 and 2B4 clustering, as CD2 and 2B4 accumulated more efficiently at inhibitory synapses. In contrast, accumulation of KIR and of activation receptors at inhibitory synapses correlated with reduced density of the integrin LFA-1. These results imply that inhibitory KIR does not prevent CD2 and 2B4 signaling by blocking their accumulation at NK cell immune synapses, but by blocking their ability to signal within inhibitory synapses.

  3. A shared synapse architecture for efficient FPGA implementation of autoencoders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Akihiro; Morie, Takashi; Tamukoh, Hakaru

    2018-01-01

    This paper proposes a shared synapse architecture for autoencoders (AEs), and implements an AE with the proposed architecture as a digital circuit on a field-programmable gate array (FPGA). In the proposed architecture, the values of the synapse weights are shared between the synapses of an input and a hidden layer, and between the synapses of a hidden and an output layer. This architecture utilizes less of the limited resources of an FPGA than an architecture which does not share the synapse weights, and reduces the amount of synapse modules used by half. For the proposed circuit to be implemented into various types of AEs, it utilizes three kinds of parameters; one to change the number of layers' units, one to change the bit width of an internal value, and a learning rate. By altering a network configuration using these parameters, the proposed architecture can be used to construct a stacked AE. The proposed circuits are logically synthesized, and the number of their resources is determined. Our experimental results show that single and stacked AE circuits utilizing the proposed shared synapse architecture operate as regular AEs and as regular stacked AEs. The scalability of the proposed circuit and the relationship between the bit widths and the learning results are also determined. The clock cycles of the proposed circuits are formulated, and this formula is used to estimate the theoretical performance of the circuit when the circuit is used to construct arbitrary networks.

  4. Examining runoff generation processes in the Selke catchment in central Germany: Insights from data and semi-distributed numerical model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sumit Sinha

    2016-09-01

    New hydrological insights for the region: We examined the spatio-temporal variation of runoff generating mechanisms on the sub-basin level on seasonal basis. Our analysis reveals that the runoff generation in the Selke catchment is primarily dominated by shallow sub-surface flow and very rarely the contribution from Dunne overland flow exceeds sub-surface flow. Runoff generated by Hortonian mechanism is very infrequent and almost negligible. We also examined the spatio-temporal variation of runoff coefficients on seasonal basis as well as for individual storms. Due to higher precipitation and topographic relief in the upland catchment of Silberhutte, the runoff coefficients were consistently higher and its peak was found in winter months due to lower evapotranspiration.

  5. Evidence for presynaptically silent synapses in the immature hippocampus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yoon, Jae Young; Choi, Sukwoo

    2017-01-01

    Silent synapses show NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated synaptic responses, but not AMPAR-mediated synaptic responses. A prevailing hypothesis states that silent synapses contain NMDARs, but not AMPARs. However, alternative presynaptic hypotheses, according to which AMPARs are present at silent synapses, have been proposed; silent synapses show slow glutamate release via a fusion pore, and glutamate spillover from the neighboring synaptic terminals. Consistent with these presynaptic hypotheses, the peak glutamate concentrations at silent synapses have been estimated to be ≪170 μM, much lower than those seen at functional synapses. Glutamate transients predicted based on the two presynaptic mechanisms have been shown to activate only high-affinity NMDARs, but not low-affinity AMPARs. Interestingly, a previous study has developed a new approach to distinguish between the two presynaptic mechanisms using dextran, an inert macromolecule that reduces the diffusivity of released glutamate: postsynaptic responses through the fusion pore mechanism, but not through the spillover mechanism, are potentiated by reduced glutamate diffusivity. Therefore, we reasoned that if the fusion pore mechanism underlies silent synapses, dextran application would reveal AMPAR-mediated synaptic responses at silent synapses. In the present study, we recorded AMPAR-mediated synaptic responses at the CA3-CA1 synapses in neonatal rats in the presence of blockers for NMDARs and GABAARs. Bath application of dextran revealed synaptic responses at silent synapses. GYKI53655, a selective AMPAR-antagonist, completely inhibited the unsilenced synaptic responses, indicating that the unsilenced synaptic responses are mediated by AMPARs. The dextran-mediated reduction in glutamate diffusivity would also lead to the activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs), which might induce unsilencing via the activation of unknown intracellular signaling. Hence, we determined whether mGluR-blockers alter

  6. The immunological synapse: a focal point for endocytosis and exocytosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffiths, Gillian M; Tsun, Andy; Stinchcombe, Jane C

    2010-05-03

    There are many different cells in the immune system. To mount an effective immune response, they need to communicate with each other. One way in which this is done is by the formation of immunological synapses between cells. Recent developments show that the immune synapse serves as a focal point for exocytosis and endocytosis, directed by centrosomal docking at the plasma membrane. In this respect, formation of the immunological synapse bears striking similarities to cilia formation and cytokinesis. These intriguing observations suggest that the centrosome may play a conserved role in designating a specialized area of membrane for localized endocytosis and exocytosis.

  7. The cytotoxic T lymphocyte immune synapse at a glance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dieckmann, Nele M G; Frazer, Gordon L; Asano, Yukako; Stinchcombe, Jane C; Griffiths, Gillian M

    2016-08-01

    The immune synapse provides an important structure for communication with immune cells. Studies on immune synapses formed by cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) highlight the dynamic changes and specialised mechanisms required to facilitate focal signalling and polarised secretion in immune cells. In this Cell Science at a Glance article and the accompanying poster, we illustrate the different steps that reveal the specialised mechanisms used to focus secretion at the CTL immune synapse and allow CTLs to be such efficient and precise serial killers. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  8. Visualization by high resolution immunoelectron microscopy of the transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 at inhibitory synapses of the mouse dentate gyrus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miren-Josune Canduela

    Full Text Available We have recently shown that the transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1, a non-selective cation channel in the peripheral and central nervous system, is localized at postsynaptic sites of the excitatory perforant path synapses in the hippocampal dentate molecular layer (ML. In the present work, we have studied the distribution of TRPV1 at inhibitory synapses in the ML. With this aim, a preembedding immunogold method for high resolution electron microscopy was applied to mouse hippocampus. About 30% of the inhibitory synapses in the ML are TRPV1 immunopositive, which is mostly localized perisynaptically (∼60% of total immunoparticles at postsynaptic dendritic membranes receiving symmetric synapses in the inner 1/3 of the layer. This TRPV1 pattern distribution is not observed in the ML of TRPV1 knock-out mice. These findings extend the knowledge of the subcellular localization of TRPV1 to inhibitory synapses of the dentate molecular layer where the channel, in addition to excitatory synapses, is present.

  9. Working memory capacity and the functional connectome - insights from resting-state fMRI and voxelwise centrality mapping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markett, Sebastian; Reuter, Martin; Heeren, Behrend; Lachmann, Bernd; Weber, Bernd; Montag, Christian

    2018-02-01

    The functional connectome represents a comprehensive network map of functional connectivity throughout the human brain. To date, the relationship between the organization of functional connectivity and cognitive performance measures is still poorly understood. In the present study we use resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data to explore the link between the functional connectome and working memory capacity in an individual differences design. Working memory capacity, which refers to the maximum amount of context information that an individual can retain in the absence of external stimulation, was assessed outside the MRI scanner and estimated based on behavioral data from a change detection task. Resting-state time series were analyzed by means of voxelwise degree and eigenvector centrality mapping, which are data-driven network analytic approaches for the characterization of functional connectivity. We found working memory capacity to be inversely correlated with both centrality in the right intraparietal sulcus. Exploratory analyses revealed that this relationship was putatively driven by an increase in negative connectivity strength of the structure. This resting-state connectivity finding fits previous task based activation studies that have shown that this area responds to manipulations of working memory load.

  10. Thrombospondins 1 and 2 are important for afferent synapse formation and function in the inner ear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendus, Diana; Sundaresan, Srividya; Grillet, Nicolas; Wangsawihardja, Felix; Leu, Rose; Müller, Ulrich; Jones, Sherri M; Mustapha, Mirna

    2014-04-01

    Thrombospondins (TSPs) constitute a family of secreted extracellular matrix proteins that have been shown to be involved in the formation of synapses in the central nervous system. In this study, we show that TSP1 and TSP2 are expressed in the cochlea, and offer the first description of their putative roles in afferent synapse development and function in the inner ear. We examined mice with deletions of TSP1, TSP2 and both (TSP1/TSP2) for inner ear development and function. Immunostaining for synaptic markers indicated a significant decrease in the number of formed afferent synapses in the cochleae of TSP2 and TSP1/TSP2 knockout (KO) mice at postnatal day (P)29. In functional studies, TSP2 and TSP1/TSP2 KO mice showed elevated auditory brainstem response (ABR) thresholds as compared with wild-type littermates, starting at P15, with the most severe phenotype being seen for TSP1/TSP2 KO mice. TSP1/TSP2 KO mice also showed reduced wave I amplitudes of ABRs and vestibular evoked potentials, suggesting synaptic dysfunction in both the auditory and vestibular systems. Whereas ABR thresholds in TSP1 KO mice were relatively unaffected at early ages, TSP1/TSP2 KO mice showed the most severe phenotype among all of the genotypes tested, suggesting functional redundancy between the two genes. On the basis of the above results, we propose that TSPs play an important role in afferent synapse development and function of the inner ear. © 2014 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. New insights into the structure of Om Ali-Thelepte basin, central Tunisia, inferred from gravity data: Hydrogeological implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harchi, Mongi; Gabtni, Hakim; El Mejri, Hatem; Dassi, Lassaad; Mammou, Abdallah Ben

    2016-08-01

    This work presents new results from gravity data analyses and interpretation within the Om Ali-Thelepte (OAT) basin, central Tunisia. It focuses on the hydrogeological implication, using several qualitative and quantitative techniques such as horizontal gradient, upward continuation and Euler deconvolution on boreholes log data, seismic reflection data and electrical conductivity measurements. The structures highlighted using the filtering techniques suggest that the Miocene aquifer of OAT basin is cut by four major fault systems that trend E-W, NE-SW, NW-SE and NNE-SSW. In addition, a NW-SE gravity model established shows the geometry of the Miocene sandstone reservoir and the Upper Cretaceous limestone rocks. Moreover, the superimposition of the electrical conductivity and the structural maps indicates that the low conductivity values of sampled water from boreholes are located around main faults.

  12. Insights into mercury deposition and spatiotemporal variation in the glacier and melt water from the central Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paudyal, Rukumesh; Kang, Shichang; Huang, Jie; Tripathee, Lekhendra; Zhang, Qianggong; Li, Xiaofei; Guo, Junming; Sun, Shiwei; He, Xiaobo; Sillanpää, Mika

    2017-12-01

    Long-term monitoring of global pollutant such as Mercury (Hg) in the cryosphere is very essential for understanding its bio-geochemical cycling and impacts in the pristine environment with limited emission sources. Therefore, from May 2015 to Oct 2015, surface snow and snow-pits from Xiao Dongkemadi Glacier and glacier melt water were sampled along an elevation transect from 5410 to 5678m a.s.l. in the central Tibetan Plateau (TP). The concentration of Hg in surface snow was observed to be higher than that from other parts of the TP. Unlike the southern parts of the TP, no clear altitudinal variation was observed in the central TP. The peak Total Hg (Hg T ) concentration over the vertical profile on the snow pits corresponded with a distinct yellowish-brown dust layer supporting the fact that most of the Hg was associated with particulate matter. It was observed that only 34% of Hg in snow was lost when the surface snow was exposed to sunlight indicating that the surface snow is less influenced by the post-depositional process. Significant diurnal variation of Hg T concentration was observed in the river water, with highest concentration observed at 7pm when the discharge was highest and lowest concentration during 7-8am when the discharge was lowest. Such results suggest that the rate of discharge was influential in the concentration of Hg T in the glacier fed rivers of the TP. The estimated export of Hg T from Dongkemadi river basin is 747.43gyr -1 , which is quite high compared to other glaciers in the TP. Therefore, the export of global contaminant Hg might play enhanced role in the Alpine regions as these glaciers are retreating at an alarming rate under global warming which may have adverse impact on the ecosystem and the human health of the region. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Large-scale evolution of the central-east Greenland margin: New insights to the North Atlantic glaciation history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez, Lara F.; Nielsen, Tove; Knutz, Paul C.; Kuijpers, Antoon; Damm, Volkmar

    2018-04-01

    The continental shelf of central-east Greenland is shaped by several glacially carved transverse troughs that form the oceanward extension of the major fjord systems. The evolution of these troughs through time, and their relation with the large-scale glaciation of the Northern Hemisphere, is poorly understood. In this study seismostratigraphic analyses have been carried out to determine the morphological and structural development of this important sector of the East Greenland glaciated margin. The age of major stratigraphic discontinuities has been constrained by a direct tie to ODP site 987 drilled in the Greenland Sea basin plain off Scoresby Sund fan system. The areal distribution and internal facies of the identified seismic units reveal the large-scale depositional pattern formed by ice-streams draining a major part of the central-east Greenland ice sheet. Initial sedimentation along the margin was, however, mainly controlled by tectonic processes related to the margin construction, continental uplift, and fluvial processes. From late Miocene to present, progradational and erosional patterns point to repeated glacial advances across the shelf. The evolution of depo-centres suggests that ice sheet advances over the continental shelf have occurred since late Miocene, about 2 Myr earlier than previously assumed. This cross-shelf glaciation is more pronounced during late Miocene and early Pliocene along Blosseville Kyst and around the Pliocene/Pleistocene boundary off Scoresby Sund; indicating a northward migration of the glacial advance. The two main periods of glaciation were separated by a major retreat of the ice sheet to an inland position during middle Pliocene. Mounded-wavy deposits interpreted as current-related deposits suggest the presence of changing along-slope current dynamics in concert with the development of the modern North Atlantic oceanographic pattern.

  14. Silent Synapse-Based Circuitry Remodeling in Drug Addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Yan

    2016-05-01

    Exposure to cocaine, and likely other drugs of abuse, generates α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor-silent glutamatergic synapses in the nucleus accumbens. These immature synaptic contacts evolve after drug withdrawal to redefine the neurocircuital properties. These results raise at least three critical questions: (1) what are the molecular and cellular mechanisms that mediate drug-induced generation of silent synapses; (2) how are neurocircuits remodeled upon generation and evolution of drug-generated silent synapses; and (3) what behavioral consequences are produced by silent synapse-based circuitry remodeling? This short review analyzes related experimental results, and extends them to some speculations. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.

  15. Changes in rat hippocampal CA1 synapses following imipramine treatment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chen, Fenghua; Madsen, Torsten M; Wegener, Gregers

    2008-01-01

    Neuronal plasticity in hippocampus is hypothesized to play an important role in both the pathophysiology of depressive disorders and the treatment. In this study, we investigated the consequences of imipramine treatment on neuroplasticity (including neurogenesis, synaptogenesis, and remodelling...... and number of neurons of hippocampal subregions following imipramine treatment were found. However, the number and percentage of CA1 asymmetric spine synapses increased significantly and, conversely, the percentage of asymmetric shaft synapses significantly decreased in the imipramine treated group. Our...

  16. When is an Inhibitory Synapse Effective?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Ning; Sejnowski, Terrence J.

    1990-10-01

    Interactions between excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs on dendrites determine the level of activity in neurons. Models based on the cable equation predict that silent shunting inhibition can strongly veto the effect of an excitatory input. The cable model assumes that ionic concentrations do not change during the electrical activity, which may not be a valid assumption, especially for small structures such as dendritic spines. We present here an analysis and computer simulations to show that for large Cl^- conductance changes, the more general Nernst-Planck electrodiffusion model predicts that shunting inhibition on spines should be much less effective than that predicted by the cable model. This is a consequence of the large changes in the intracellular ionic concentration of Cl^- that can occur in small structures, which would alter the reversal potential and reduce the driving force for Cl^-. Shunting inhibition should therefore not be effective on spines, but it could be significantly more effective on the dendritic shaft at the base of the spine. In contrast to shunting inhibition, hyperpolarizing synaptic inhibition mediated by K^+ currents can be very effective in reducing the excitatory synaptic potentials on the same spine if the excitatory conductance change is less than 10 nS. We predict that if the inhibitory synapses found on cortical spines are to be effective, then they should be mediated by K^+ through GABA_B receptors.

  17. Juvenile crustal recycling in an accretionary orogen: Insights from contrasting Early Permian granites from central Inner Mongolia, North China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Lingling; Zhang, Xiaohui; Xue, Fuhong; Liu, Fulin

    2016-11-01

    Coeval high-K calc-alkaline to alkaline granites constitute important components of post-collisional to post-orogenic igneous suites in most orogenic belts of various ages on Earth and their genesis harbors a key to ascertaining critical geodynamic controls on continental crustal formation and differentiation. This zircon U-Pb dating and geochemical study documents three contrasting Early Permian granites from Erenhot of central Inner Mongolia, eastern Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB) and reveals concurrent high-K calc-alkaline to alkaline granite association derived from successive partial melting of distinct protoliths. The ca. 280 Ma Gancihuduge (GCG) pluton shows a calc-alkaline I-type character, with initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios of 0.7035 to 0.7039, εNd(t) of + 1.87 to + 4.70, zircon εHf(t) of + 8.0 to + 13.2 and δ18O from 7.4 to 8.7‰. The ca. 276 Ma Cailiwusu (CLS) pluton is magnesian and peraluminous, with initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios of 0.7036 to 0.7040, εNd(t) of + 1.9 to + 2.4, zircon εHf(t) of + 6.5 to + 12.1 and δ18O from 9.7 to 10.9‰. These features are consistent with partial melts of mixed sources composed of newly underplated meta-basaltic to -andesitic protoliths and variable supracrustal components, with distinctively higher proportion of the latter in the CLS pluton. By contrast, the ca. 279 Ma Kunduleng (KDL) suite exhibits an A-type magmatic affinity, with typical enrichment in alkalis, Ga, Zr, Nb and Y, εNd(t) of + 2.39 to + 3.55, zircon εHf(t) from + 8.3 to + 12.3 and δ18O values from 6.8 to 7.5‰. These features suggest that they stem from high-temperature fusion of dehydrated K-rich mafic to intermediate protoliths. Besides presenting a snapshot into a stratified crustal architecture in δ18O, these contrasting granites could not only serve as a temporal marker for monitoring post-collisional extension in the aftermath of a retreating subduction zone, but also present spatial magmatic proxy for tracing crustal formation and

  18. Calcium channel-dependent molecular maturation of photoreceptor synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nawal Zabouri

    Full Text Available Several studies have shown the importance of calcium channels in the development and/or maturation of synapses. The Ca(V1.4(α(1F knockout mouse is a unique model to study the role of calcium channels in photoreceptor synapse formation. It features abnormal ribbon synapses and aberrant cone morphology. We investigated the expression and targeting of several key elements of ribbon synapses and analyzed the cone morphology in the Ca(V1.4(α(1F knockout retina. Our data demonstrate that most abnormalities occur after eye opening. Indeed, scaffolding proteins such as Bassoon and RIM2 are properly targeted at first, but their expression and localization are not maintained in adulthood. This indicates that either calcium or the Ca(V1.4 channel, or both are necessary for the maintenance of their normal expression and distribution in photoreceptors. Other proteins, such as Veli3 and PSD-95, also display abnormal expression in rods prior to eye opening. Conversely, vesicle related proteins appear normal. Our data demonstrate that the Ca(V1.4 channel is important for maintaining scaffolding proteins in the ribbon synapse but less vital for proteins related to vesicular release. This study also confirms that in adult retinae, cones show developmental features such as sprouting and synaptogenesis. Overall we present evidence that in the absence of the Ca(V1.4 channel, photoreceptor synapses remain immature and are unable to stabilize.

  19. Calcium channel-dependent molecular maturation of photoreceptor synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zabouri, Nawal; Haverkamp, Silke

    2013-01-01

    Several studies have shown the importance of calcium channels in the development and/or maturation of synapses. The Ca(V)1.4(α(1F)) knockout mouse is a unique model to study the role of calcium channels in photoreceptor synapse formation. It features abnormal ribbon synapses and aberrant cone morphology. We investigated the expression and targeting of several key elements of ribbon synapses and analyzed the cone morphology in the Ca(V)1.4(α(1F)) knockout retina. Our data demonstrate that most abnormalities occur after eye opening. Indeed, scaffolding proteins such as Bassoon and RIM2 are properly targeted at first, but their expression and localization are not maintained in adulthood. This indicates that either calcium or the Ca(V)1.4 channel, or both are necessary for the maintenance of their normal expression and distribution in photoreceptors. Other proteins, such as Veli3 and PSD-95, also display abnormal expression in rods prior to eye opening. Conversely, vesicle related proteins appear normal. Our data demonstrate that the Ca(V)1.4 channel is important for maintaining scaffolding proteins in the ribbon synapse but less vital for proteins related to vesicular release. This study also confirms that in adult retinae, cones show developmental features such as sprouting and synaptogenesis. Overall we present evidence that in the absence of the Ca(V)1.4 channel, photoreceptor synapses remain immature and are unable to stabilize.

  20. Structure and tectonic evolution of the southwestern Trinidad dome, Escambray complex, Central Cuba: Insights into deformation in an accretionary wedge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Despaigne-Díaz, Ana Ibis; García Casco, Antonio; Cáceres Govea, Dámaso; Wilde, Simon A.; Millán Trujillo, Guillermo

    2017-10-01

    insights into the tectonic evolution of accretionary wedges in an intra-arc setting.

  1. Attenuation tomography in the western central Andes: A detailed insight into the structure of a magmatic arc

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberland, Christian; Rietbrock, Andreas

    2001-06-01

    High-quality data from 1498 local earthquakes recorded by the PISCO '94 (Proyecto de Investigatión Sismológica de la Cordillera Occidental, 1994) and ANCORP '96 (Andean Continental Research Project, 1996) temporary seismological networks allowed the detailed determination of the three-dimensional (3-D) attenuation structure (Qp-1) beneath the recent magmatic arc in the western central Andes (20° to 24°S). Assuming a frequency-independent Qp-1 in a frequency band between 1 and 30 Hz, whole path attenuation (t*) was estimated from the amplitude spectra of the P waves using spectral ratios and a spectral inversion technique. The damped least squares inversion (tomography) of the data reveals a complex attenuation structure. Crust and mantle of the forearc and subducting slab are generally characterized by low attenuation (Qp > 1000). Crust and mantle beneath the magmatic arc show elevated attenuation. The strongest anomaly of extremely low Qp is found in the crust between 22° and 23°S beneath the recent volcanic arc (Qp < 100). N-S variations can be observed: The western flank of the crustal attenuation anomaly follows the curved course of the volcanic front. North of 21°S the attenuation is less developed. In the northern part of the study area the low-Qp zone penetrates in the forearc mantle down to the subducting slab. In the south a deeper zone of high attenuation is resolved between 23° and 24°S directly above the subducting slab. Low Qp in the mantle correlates with earthquake clusters. The strong crustal attenuation is confined to the distribution of young ignimbrites and silicic volcanism and is interpreted as a thermally weakened zone with partial melts. The attenuation pattern in the upper mantle might reflect the variable extent of the asthenosphere and maps variations of subduction-related hydration processes in the mantle wedge from slab-derived fluids.

  2. Sweeping Changes in Marriage, Cohabitation, and Childbearing in Central and Eastern Europe: New Insights from the Developmental Idealism Framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornton, Arland; Philipov, Dimiter

    2009-01-01

    In Central and Eastern Europe following the political transformations of the late 1980s and early 1990s there were dramatic declines in marriage and childbearing, significant increases in nonmarital cohabitation and childbearing, and a movement from reliance on abortion to a reliance on contraception for fertility limitation. Although many explanations have been offered for these trends, we offer new explanations based on ideational influences and the intersection of these ideational influences with structural factors. We focus on the political, economic, social, and cultural histories of the region, with particular emphasis on how countries in the region have interacted with and been influenced by Western European and North American countries. Our explanations emphasize the role of developmental models in guiding change in the region, suggesting that developmental idealism influenced family and demographic changes following the political transformations. Developmental idealism provides beliefs that modern family systems help to produce modern political and economic accomplishments and helps to establish the importance of freedom and equality as human rights in both the public and private spheres. The disintegration of the governments and the fall of the iron curtain in the late 1980s and early 1990s brought new understanding about social, economic, and family circumstances in the West, increasing consumption aspirations and expectations which clashed with both old economic realities and the dramatic declines in economic circumstances. In addition, the dissolution of the former governments removed or weakened systems supporting the bearing and rearing of children, and, the legitimacy of the former governments and their programs was largely destroyed, removing government support for old norms and patterns of behavior. In addition, the attacks of previous decades on the religious institutions in the region had in many places left these institutions weak. During this

  3. Petrogenesis of incipient charnockite in the Ikalamavony sub-domain, south-central Madagascar: New insights from phase equilibrium modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endo, Takahiro; Tsunogae, Toshiaki; Santosh, M.; Shaji, E.; Rambeloson, Roger A.

    2017-06-01

    Incipient charnockites representing granulite formation on a mesoscopic scale occur in the Ambodin Ifandana area of Ikalamavony sub-domain in south-central Madagascar. Here we report new petrological data from these rocks, and discuss the process of granulite formation on the basis of petrography, mineral equilibrium modeling, and fluid inclusion studies. The incipient charnockites occur as brownish patches, lenses, and layers characterized by an assemblage of biotite + orthopyroxene + K-feldspar + plagioclase + quartz + magnetite + ilmenite within host orthopyroxene-free biotite gneiss with an assemblage of biotite + K-feldspar + plagioclase + quartz + magnetite + ilmenite. Lenses and layers of calc-silicate rock (clinopyroxene + garnet + plagioclase + quartz + titanite + calcite) are typically associated with the charnockite. Coarse-grained charnockite occurs along the contact between the layered charnockite and calc-silicate rock. The application of mineral equilibrium modeling on the mineral assemblages in charnockite and biotite gneiss employing the NCKFMASHTO system as well as fluid inclusion study on coarse-grained charnockite defines a P-T range of 8.5-10.5 kbar and 880-900 °C, which is nearly consistent with the inferred P-T condition of the Ikalamavony sub-domain (8.0-10.5 kbar and 820-880 °C). The result of T versus H2O activity (a(H2O)) modeling demonstrates that orthopyroxene-bearing assemblage in charnockite is stable under relatively low a(H2O) condition of 0.42-0.43, which is consistent with the popular models of incipient-charnockite formation related to the lowering of water activity and stabilization of orthopyroxene through dehydration of biotite. The occurrence of calc-silicate rocks adjacent to the charnockite suggests that the CO2-bearing fluid that caused dehydration and incipient-charnockite formation might have been derived through decarbonation of calc-silicate rocks during the initial stage of decompression slightly after the peak

  4. Numerical simulation and decomposition of kinetic energy in the Central Mediterranean: insight on mesoscale circulation and energy conversion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Sorgente

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The spatial and temporal variability of eddy and mean kinetic energy of the Central Mediterranean region has been investigated, from January 2008 to December 2010, by mean of a numerical simulation mainly to quantify the mesoscale dynamics and their relationships with physical forcing. In order to understand the energy redistribution processes, the baroclinic energy conversion has been analysed, suggesting hypotheses about the drivers of the mesoscale activity in this area. The ocean model used is based on the Princeton Ocean Model implemented at 1/32° horizontal resolution. Surface momentum and buoyancy fluxes are interactively computed by mean of standard bulk formulae using predicted model Sea Surface Temperature and atmospheric variables provided by the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast operational analyses. At its lateral boundaries the model is one-way nested within the Mediterranean Forecasting System operational products.

    The model domain has been subdivided in four sub-regions: Sardinia channel and southern Tyrrhenian Sea, Sicily channel, eastern Tunisian shelf and Libyan Sea. Temporal evolution of eddy and mean kinetic energy has been analysed, on each of the four sub-regions, showing different behaviours. On annual scales and within the first 5 m depth, the eddy kinetic energy represents approximately the 60 % of the total kinetic energy over the whole domain, confirming the strong mesoscale nature of the surface current flows in this area. The analyses show that the model well reproduces the path and the temporal behaviour of the main known sub-basin circulation features. New mesoscale structures have been also identified, from numerical results and direct observations, for the first time as the Pantelleria Vortex and the Medina Gyre.

    The classical kinetic energy decomposition (eddy and mean allowed to depict and to quantify the permanent and fluctuating parts of the circulation in the region, and

  5. Comparison of GPS and Quaternary slip rates: Insights from a new Quaternary fault database for Central Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohadjer, Solmaz; Ehlers, Todd; Bendick, Rebecca; Mutz, Sebastian

    2016-04-01

    Previous studies related to the kinematics of deformation within the India-Asia collision zone have relied on slip rate data for major active faults to test kinematic models that explain the deformation of the region. The slip rate data, however, are generally disputed for many of the first-order faults in the region (e.g., Altyn Tagh and Karakorum faults). Several studies have also challenged the common assumption that geodetic slip rates are representative of Quaternary slip rates. What has received little attention is the degree to which geodetic slip rates relate to Quaternary slip rates for active faults in the India-Asia collision zone. In this study, we utilize slip rate data from a new Quaternary fault database for Central Asia to determine the overall relationship between Quaternary and GPS-derived slip rates for 18 faults. The preliminary analysis investigating this relationship uses weighted least squares and a re-sampling analysis to test the sensitivity of this relationship to different data point attributes (e.g., faults associated with data points and dating methods used for estimating Quaternary slip rates). The resulting sample subsets of data points yield a maximum possible Pearson correlation coefficient of ~0.6, suggesting moderate correlation between Quaternary and GPS-derived slip rates for some faults (e.g., Kunlun and Longmen Shan faults). Faults with poorly correlated Quaternary and GPS-derived slip rates were identified and dating methods used for the Quaternary slip rates were examined. Results indicate that a poor correlation between Quaternary and GPS-derived slip rates exist for the Karakorum and Chaman faults. Large differences between Quaternary and GPS slip rates for these faults appear to be connected to qualitative dating of landforms used in the estimation of the Quaternary slip rates and errors in the geomorphic and structural reconstruction of offset landforms (e.g., offset terrace riser reconstructions for Altyn Tagh fault

  6. Insights on organic aerosol aging and the influence of coal combustion at a regional receptor site of central eastern China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. W. Hu

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available In order to understand the aging and processing of organic aerosols (OA, an intensive field campaign (Campaign of Air Pollution at Typical Coastal Areas IN Eastern China, CAPTAIN was conducted March–April at a receptor site (a Changdao island in central eastern China. Multiple fast aerosol and gas measurement instruments were used during the campaign, including a high resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS that was applied to measure mass concentrations and non-refractory chemical components of submicron particles (PM1nr. The average mass concentration of PM1(PM1nr+black carbon was 47 ± 36 μg m−3 during the campaign and showed distinct variation, depending on back trajectories and their overlap with source regions. Organic aerosol (OA is the largest component of PM1 (30%, followed by nitrate (28%, sulfate (19%, ammonium (15%, black carbon (6%, and chloride (3%. Four OA components were resolved by positive matrix factorization (PMF of the high-resolution spectra, including low-volatility oxygenated organic aerosol (LV-OOA, semi-volatile oxygenated OA (SV-OOA, hydrocarbon-like OA (HOA and a coal combustion OA (CCOA. The mass spectrum of CCOA had high abundance of fragments from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs (m/z 128, 152, 178, etc.. The average atomic ratio of oxygen to carbon in OA (O / C at Changdao was 0.59, which is comparable to other field studies reported at locations downwind of large pollution sources, indicating the oxidized nature of most OA during the campaign. The evolution of OA elemental composition in the van Krevelen diagram (H / C vs. O / C showed a slope of −0.63; however, the OA influenced by coal combustion exhibits a completely different evolution that appears dominated by physical mixing. The aging of organic aerosols vs. photochemical age was investigated. It was shown that OA / ΔCO, as well as LV-OOA / ΔCO and SV-OOA / ΔCO, positively correlated with photochemical age. LV

  7. The central uplift of Elorza Crater: Insights into its geology and possible relationships to the Valles Marineris and Tharsis regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopkins, R. T.; Tornabene, L. L.; Osinski, G. R.

    2017-03-01

    The majority of hydrated silicate occurrences on Mars are associated with impact craters (Ehlmann et al., 2011; Carter et al., 2013). Three formation mechanisms have been suggested to account for this correlation: (1) aqueous alteration occurred pre-impact, and was subsequently exposed via the impact (pre-impact; Bibring et al., 2006; Ehlmann et al., 2011), (2) heat generated from the impact facilitated the formation of a hydrothermal system, leading to alteration products (syn-impact; e.g. Marzo et al., 2010; Osinski et al., 2013), and/or (3) altered materials were deposited after crater formation, or formed within the crater well after the impact had taken place (post-impact). In this study, we analyze the central uplift of Elorza Crater, a ∼40 km diameter impact crater located ∼300 km north of Valles Marineris. To determine whether hydrated minerals found within the uplift were generated pre-, syn-, or post-impact, we used a data synthesis approach, utilizing High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM), Context Camera (CTX), and Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) imagery. Opaline silica is observed in two locations on the southwestern side of the uplift and is interpreted to have been pre-existing or formed via hydrothermal alteration due to stratigraphic relationships with the overlying impact melt unit. Both Fe/Mg smectite and low-calcium pyroxene (LCP) are found throughout the uplift. Bedrock exposures on the northern wall of Coprates Chasma containing Fe/Mg smectite and LCP suggest an uplifted origin for these units. In all cases, although a pre-existing origin is probable, it is difficult to rule out the possibility of an impact-generated hydrothermal origin. Using the observed stratigraphy exposed in Coprates Chasma and bedrock exposures analyzed in nearby craters, we were able to constrain the pre-impact stratigraphy around Elorza. The near-subsurface consists of Hesperian

  8. Changes in Properties of Auditory Nerve Synapses following Conductive Hearing Loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhuang, Xiaowen; Sun, Wei; Xu-Friedman, Matthew A

    2017-01-11

    production, but the location of the problem is unknown. Here, we show that occluding the ear causes synapses at the very first stage of the auditory pathway to modify their properties, by decreasing in size and increasing the likelihood of releasing neurotransmitter. This causes synapses to deplete faster, which reduces fidelity at central targets of the auditory nerve, which could affect perception. Temporary hearing loss could cause similar changes at later stages of the auditory pathway, which could contribute to disorders in behavior. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/370323-10$15.00/0.

  9. Ligand mobility modulates immunological synapse formation and T cell activation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chih-Jung Hsu

    Full Text Available T cell receptor (TCR engagement induces clustering and recruitment to the plasma membrane of many signaling molecules, including the protein tyrosine kinase zeta-chain associated protein of 70 kDa (ZAP70 and the adaptor SH2 domain-containing leukocyte protein of 76 kDa (SLP76. This molecular rearrangement results in formation of the immunological synapse (IS, a dynamic protein array that modulates T cell activation. The current study investigates the effects of apparent long-range ligand mobility on T cell signaling activity and IS formation. We formed stimulatory lipid bilayers on glass surfaces from binary lipid mixtures with varied composition, and characterized these surfaces with respect to diffusion coefficient and fluid connectivity. Stimulatory ligands coupled to these surfaces with similar density and orientation showed differences in their ability to activate T cells. On less mobile membranes, central supramolecular activation cluster (cSMAC formation was delayed and the overall accumulation of CD3ζ at the IS was reduced. Analysis of signaling microcluster (MC dynamics showed that ZAP70 MCs exhibited faster track velocity and longer trajectories as a function of increased ligand mobility, whereas movement of SLP76 MCs was relatively insensitive to this parameter. Actin retrograde flow was observed on all surfaces, but cell spreading and subsequent cytoskeletal contraction were more pronounced on mobile membranes. Finally, increased tyrosine phosphorylation and persistent elevation of intracellular Ca(2+ were observed in cells stimulated on fluid membranes. These results point to ligand mobility as an important parameter in modulating T cell responses.

  10. Stabilization of memory States by stochastic facilitating synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Paul

    2013-12-06

    Bistability within a small neural circuit can arise through an appropriate strength of excitatory recurrent feedback. The stability of a state of neural activity, measured by the mean dwelling time before a noise-induced transition to another state, depends on the neural firing-rate curves, the net strength of excitatory feedback, the statistics of spike times, and increases exponentially with the number of equivalent neurons in the circuit. Here, we show that such stability is greatly enhanced by synaptic facilitation and reduced by synaptic depression. We take into account the alteration in times of synaptic vesicle release, by calculating distributions of inter-release intervals of a synapse, which differ from the distribution of its incoming interspike intervals when the synapse is dynamic. In particular, release intervals produced by a Poisson spike train have a coefficient of variation greater than one when synapses are probabilistic and facilitating, whereas the coefficient of variation is less than one when synapses are depressing. However, in spite of the increased variability in postsynaptic input produced by facilitating synapses, their dominant effect is reduced synaptic efficacy at low input rates compared to high rates, which increases the curvature of neural input-output functions, leading to wider regions of bistability in parameter space and enhanced lifetimes of memory states. Our results are based on analytic methods with approximate formulae and bolstered by simulations of both Poisson processes and of circuits of noisy spiking model neurons.

  11. Remodelling at the calyx of Held-MNTB synapse in mice developing with unilateral conductive hearing loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grande, Giovanbattista; Negandhi, Jaina; Harrison, Robert V; Wang, Lu-Yang

    2014-04-01

    Structure and function of central synapses are profoundly influenced by experience during developmental sensitive periods. Sensory synapses, which are the indispensable interface for the developing brain to interact with its environment, are particularly plastic. In the auditory system, moderate forms of unilateral hearing loss during development are prevalent but the pre- and postsynaptic modifications that occur when hearing symmetry is perturbed are not well understood. We investigated this issue by performing experiments at the large calyx of Held synapse. Principal neurons of the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB) are innervated by calyx of Held terminals that originate from the axons of globular bushy cells located in the contralateral ventral cochlear nucleus. We compared populations of synapses in the same animal that were either sound deprived (SD) or sound experienced (SE) after unilateral conductive hearing loss (CHL). Middle ear ossicles were removed 1 week prior to hearing onset (approx. postnatal day (P) 12) and morphological and electrophysiological approaches were applied to auditory brainstem slices taken from these mice at P17-19. Calyces in the SD and SE MNTB acquired their mature digitated morphology but these were structurally more complex than those in normal hearing mice. This was accompanied by bilateral decreases in initial EPSC amplitude and synaptic conductance despite the CHL being unilateral. During high-frequency stimulation, some SD synapses displayed short-term depression whereas others displayed short-term facilitation followed by slow depression similar to the heterogeneities observed in normal hearing mice. However SE synapses predominantly displayed short-term facilitation followed by slow depression which could be explained in part by the decrease in release probability. Furthermore, the excitability of principal cells in the SD MNTB had increased significantly. Despite these unilateral changes in short-term plasticity

  12. Spatially restricted actin-regulatory signaling contributes to synapse morphology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, Daniel A.; Cahill, Michael E.; Tulisiak, Christopher T.; Geinisman, Yuri; Penzes, Peter

    2012-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton in dendritic spines is organized into microdomains, but how signaling molecules that regulate actin are spatially governed is incompletely understood. Here we examine how the localization of the RacGEF kalirin-7, a well-characterized regulator of actin in spines, varies as a function of postsynaptic density (PSD) area and spine volume. Using serial section electron microscopy (EM), we find that extrasynaptic, but not synaptic, expression of kalirin-7 varies directly with synapse size and spine volume. Moreover, we find that overall expression levels of kalirin-7 differ in spines bearing perforated and non-perforated synapses, due primarily to extrasynaptic pools of kalirin-7 expression in the former. Overall, our findings indicate that kalirin-7 is differentially compartmentalized in spines as a function of both synapse morphology and spine size. PMID:22458534

  13. Dynamic mobility of functional GABAA receptors at inhibitory synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Philip; Mortensen, Martin; Hosie, Alastair M; Smart, Trevor G

    2005-07-01

    Importing functional GABAA receptors into synapses is fundamental for establishing and maintaining inhibitory transmission and for controlling neuronal excitability. By introducing a binding site for an irreversible inhibitor into the GABAA receptor alpha1 subunit channel lining region that can be accessed only when the receptor is activated, we have determined the dynamics of receptor mobility between synaptic and extrasynaptic locations in hippocampal pyramidal neurons. We demonstrate that the cell surface GABAA receptor population shows no fast recovery after irreversible inhibition. In contrast, after selective inhibition, the synaptic receptor population rapidly recovers by the import of new functional entities within minutes. The trafficking pathways that promote rapid importation of synaptic receptors do not involve insertion from intracellular pools, but reflect receptor diffusion within the plane of the membrane. This process offers the synapse a rapid mechanism to replenish functional GABAA receptors at inhibitory synapses and a means to control synaptic efficacy.

  14. An NMDA Receptor-Dependent Mechanism Underlies Inhibitory Synapse Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xinglong Gu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In the mammalian brain, GABAergic synaptic transmission provides inhibitory balance to glutamatergic excitatory drive and controls neuronal output. The molecular mechanisms underlying the development of GABAergic synapses remain largely unclear. Here, we report that NMDA-type ionotropic glutamate receptors (NMDARs in individual immature neurons are the upstream signaling molecules essential for GABAergic synapse development, which requires signaling via Calmodulin binding motif in the C0 domain of the NMDAR GluN1 subunit. Interestingly, in neurons lacking NMDARs, whereas GABAergic synaptic transmission is strongly reduced, the tonic inhibition mediated by extrasynaptic GABAA receptors is increased, suggesting a compensatory mechanism for the lack of synaptic inhibition. These results demonstrate a crucial role for NMDARs in specifying the development of inhibitory synapses, and suggest an important mechanism for controlling the establishment of the balance between synaptic excitation and inhibition in the developing brain.

  15. Neuromorphic function learning with carbon nanotube based synapses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gacem, Karim; Filoramo, Arianna; Derycke, Vincent; Retrouvey, Jean-Marie; Chabi, Djaafar; Zhao, Weisheng; Klein, Jacques-Olivier

    2013-01-01

    The principle of using nanoscale memory devices as artificial synapses in neuromorphic circuits is recognized as a promising way to build ground-breaking circuit architectures tolerant to defects and variability. Yet, actual experimental demonstrations of the neural network type of circuits based on non-conventional/non-CMOS memory devices and displaying function learning capabilities remain very scarce. We show here that carbon-nanotube-based memory elements can be used as artificial synapses, combined with conventional neurons and trained to perform functions through the application of a supervised learning algorithm. The same ensemble of eight devices can notably be trained multiple times to code successively any three-input linearly separable Boolean logic function despite device-to-device variability. This work thus represents one of the very few demonstrations of actual function learning with synapses based on nanoscale building blocks. The potential of such an approach for the parallel learning of multiple and more complex functions is also evaluated. (paper)

  16. The Scaffolding Protein Synapse-Associated Protein 97 is Required for Enhanced Signaling Through Isotype-Switched IgG Memory B Cell Receptors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Wanli; Chen, Elizabeth; Zhao, Xing Wang; Wan, Zheng Peng; Gao, Yi Ren; Davey, Angel; Huang, Eric; Zhang, Lijia; Crocetti, Jillian; Sandoval, Gabriel; Joyce, M. Gordon; Miceli, Carrie; Lukszo, Jan; Aravind, L.; Swat, Wojciech; Brzostowski, Joseph; Pierce, Susan K.

    2012-01-01

    Memory B cells are generated during an individual's first encounter with a foreign antigen and respond to re-encounter with the same antigen through cell surface immunoglobulin G (IgG) B cell receptors (BCRs) resulting in rapid, high-titered IgG antibody responses. Despite a central role for IgG BCRs in B cell memory, our understanding of the molecular mechanism by which IgG BCRs enhance antibody responses is incomplete. Here, we showed that the conserved cytoplasmic tail of the IgG BCR, which contains a putative PDZ-binding motif, associated with synapse-associated protein 97 (SAP97), a member of the PDZ domain–containing, membrane-associated guanylate-kinase family of scaffolding molecules that play key roles in controlling receptor density and signal strength at neuronal synapses. We showed that SAP97 accumulated and bound to IgG BCRs in the immune synapses that formed in response to engagement of the B cell with antigen. Knocking down SAP97 in IgG-expressing B cells or mutating the putative PDZ-binding motif in the tail impaired immune synapse formation, the initiation of IgG BCR signaling, and downstream activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase. Thus, heightened B cell memory responses are encoded, in part, by a mechanism that involves SAP97 serving as a scaffolding protein in the IgG BCR immune synapse. PMID:22855505

  17. Neuroglial plasticity at striatal glutamatergic synapses in Parkinson's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosa M Villalba

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Striatal dopamine denervation is the pathological hallmark of Parkinson’s disease (PD. Another major pathological change described in animal models and PD patients is a significant reduction in the density of dendritic spines on medium spiny striatal projection neurons. Simultaneously, the ultrastructural features of the neuronal synaptic elements at the remaining corticostriatal and thalamostriatal glutamatergic axo-spinous synapses undergo complex ultrastructural remodeling consistent with increased synaptic activity (Villalba et al., 2011. The concept of tripartite synapses (TS was introduced a decade ago, according to which astrocytes process and exchange information with neuronal synaptic elements at glutamatergic synapses (Araque et al., 1999a. Although there has been compelling evidence that astrocytes are integral functional elements of tripartite glutamatergic synaptic complexes in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus, their exact functional role, degree of plasticity and preponderance in other CNS regions remain poorly understood. In this review, we discuss our recent findings showing that neuronal elements at cortical and thalamic glutamatergic synapses undergo significant plastic changes in the striatum of MPTP-treated parkinsonian monkeys. We also present new ultrastructural data that demonstrate a significant expansion of the astrocytic coverage of striatal TS synapses in the parkinsonian state, providing further evidence for ultrastructural compensatory changes that affect both neuronal and glial elements at TS. Together with our limited understanding of the mechanisms by which astrocytes respond to changes in neuronal activity and extracellular transmitter homeostasis, the role of both neuronal and glial components of excitatory synapses must be considered, if one hopes to take advantage of glia-neuronal communication knowledge to better understand the pathophysiology of striatal processing in parkinsonism, and develop new PD

  18. Dynamic Information Encoding With Dynamic Synapses in Neural Adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Luozheng; Mi, Yuanyuan; Zhang, Wenhao; Wang, Da-Hui; Wu, Si

    2018-01-01

    Adaptation refers to the general phenomenon that the neural system dynamically adjusts its response property according to the statistics of external inputs. In response to an invariant stimulation, neuronal firing rates first increase dramatically and then decrease gradually to a low level close to the background activity. This prompts a question: during the adaptation, how does the neural system encode the repeated stimulation with attenuated firing rates? It has been suggested that the neural system may employ a dynamical encoding strategy during the adaptation, the information of stimulus is mainly encoded by the strong independent spiking of neurons at the early stage of the adaptation; while the weak but synchronized activity of neurons encodes the stimulus information at the later stage of the adaptation. The previous study demonstrated that short-term facilitation (STF) of electrical synapses, which increases the synchronization between neurons, can provide a mechanism to realize dynamical encoding. In the present study, we further explore whether short-term plasticity (STP) of chemical synapses, an interaction form more common than electrical synapse in the cortex, can support dynamical encoding. We build a large-size network with chemical synapses between neurons. Notably, facilitation of chemical synapses only enhances pair-wise correlations between neurons mildly, but its effect on increasing synchronization of the network can be significant, and hence it can serve as a mechanism to convey the stimulus information. To read-out the stimulus information, we consider that a downstream neuron receives balanced excitatory and inhibitory inputs from the network, so that the downstream neuron only responds to synchronized firings of the network. Therefore, the response of the downstream neuron indicates the presence of the repeated stimulation. Overall, our study demonstrates that STP of chemical synapse can serve as a mechanism to realize dynamical neural

  19. Distinct transmitter release properties determine differences in short-term plasticity at functional and silent synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabezas, Carolina; Buño, Washington

    2006-05-01

    Recent evidence suggests that functional and silent synapses are not only postsynaptically different but also presynaptically distinct. The presynaptic differences may be of functional importance in memory formation because a proposed mechanism for long-term potentiation is the conversion of silent synapses into functional ones. However, there is little direct experimentally evidence of these differences. We have investigated the transmitter release properties of functional and silent Schaffer collateral synapses and show that on the average functional synapses displayed a lower percentage of failures and higher excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC) amplitudes than silent synapses at +60 mV. Moreover, functional but not silent synapses show paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) at +60 mV and thus presynaptic short-term plasticity will be distinct in the two types of synapse. We examined whether intraterminal endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ stores influenced the release properties of these synapses. Ryanodine (100 microM) and thapsigargin (1 microM) increased the percentage of failures and decreased both the EPSC amplitude and PPF in functional synapses. Caffeine (10 mM) had the opposite effects. In contrast, silent synapses were insensitive to both ryanodine and caffeine. Hence we have identified differences in the release properties of functional and silent synapses, suggesting that synaptic terminals of functional synapses express regulatory molecular mechanisms that are absent in silent synapses.

  20. Persistent Associative Plasticity at an Identified Synapse Underlying Classical Conditioning Becomes Labile with Short-Term Homosynaptic Activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Jiangyuan; Schacher, Samuel

    2015-12-09

    Synapses express different forms of plasticity that contribute to different forms of memory, and both memory and plasticity can become labile after reactivation. We previously reported that a persistent form of nonassociative long-term facilitation (PNA-LTF) of the sensorimotor synapses in Aplysia californica, a cellular analog of long-term sensitization, became labile with short-term heterosynaptic reactivation and reversed when the reactivation was followed by incubation with the protein synthesis inhibitor rapamycin. Here we examined the reciprocal impact of different forms of short-term plasticity (reactivations) on a persistent form of associative long-term facilitation (PA-LTF), a cellular analog of classical conditioning, which was expressed at Aplysia sensorimotor synapses when a tetanic stimulation of the sensory neurons was paired with a brief application of serotonin on 2 consecutive days. The expression of short-term homosynaptic plasticity [post-tetanic potentiation or homosynaptic depression (HSD)], or short-term heterosynaptic plasticity [serotonin-induced facilitation or neuropeptide Phe-Met-Arg-Phe-NH2 (FMRFa)-induced depression], at synapses expressing PA-LTF did not affect the maintenance of PA-LTF. The kinetics of HSD was attenuated at synapses expressing PA-LTF, which required activation of protein kinase C (PKC). Both PA-LTF and the attenuated kinetics of HSD were reversed by either a transient blockade of PKC activity or a homosynaptic, but not heterosynaptic, reactivation when paired with rapamycin. These results indicate that two different forms of persistent synaptic plasticity, PA-LTF and PNA-LTF, expressed at the same synapse become labile when reactivated by different stimuli. Activity-dependent changes in neural circuits mediate long-term memories. Some forms of long-term memories become labile and can be reversed with specific types of reactivations, but the mechanism is complex. At the cellular level, reactivations that induce a

  1. LKB1 Regulates Mitochondria-Dependent Presynaptic Calcium Clearance and Neurotransmitter Release Properties at Excitatory Synapses along Cortical Axons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Seok-Kyu; Sando, Richard; Lewis, Tommy L; Hirabayashi, Yusuke; Maximov, Anton; Polleux, Franck

    2016-07-01

    Individual synapses vary significantly in their neurotransmitter release properties, which underlie complex information processing in neural circuits. Presynaptic Ca2+ homeostasis plays a critical role in specifying neurotransmitter release properties, but the mechanisms regulating synapse-specific Ca2+ homeostasis in the mammalian brain are still poorly understood. Using electrophysiology and genetically encoded Ca2+ sensors targeted to the mitochondrial matrix or to presynaptic boutons of cortical pyramidal neurons, we demonstrate that the presence or absence of mitochondria at presynaptic boutons dictates neurotransmitter release properties through Mitochondrial Calcium Uniporter (MCU)-dependent Ca2+ clearance. We demonstrate that the serine/threonine kinase LKB1 regulates MCU expression, mitochondria-dependent Ca2+ clearance, and thereby, presynaptic release properties. Re-establishment of MCU-dependent mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake at glutamatergic synapses rescues the altered neurotransmitter release properties characterizing LKB1-null cortical axons. Our results provide novel insights into the cellular and molecular mechanisms whereby mitochondria control neurotransmitter release properties in a bouton-specific way through presynaptic Ca2+ clearance.

  2. After the flood is before the next flood - post event review of the Central European Floods of June 2013. Insights, recommendations and next steps for future flood prevention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szoenyi, Michael; Mechler, Reinhard; McCallum, Ian

    2015-04-01

    In early June 2013, severe flooding hit Central and Eastern Europe, causing extensive damage, in particular along the Danube and Elbe main watersheds. The situation was particularly severe in Eastern Germany, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Based on the Post Event Review Capability (PERC) approach, developed by Zurich Insurance's Flood Resilience Program to provide independent review of large flood events, we examine what has worked well (best practice) and opportunities for further improvement. The PERC overall aims to thoroughly examine aspects of flood resilience, flood risk management and catastrophe intervention in order to help build back better after events and learn for future events. As our research from post event analyses shows a lot of losses are in fact avoidable by taking the right measures pre-event and these measures are economically - efficient with a return of 4 Euro on losses saved for every Euro invested in prevention on average (Wharton/IIASA flood resilience alliance paper on cost benefit analysis, Mechler et al. 2014) and up to 10 Euros for certain countries. For the 2013 flood events we provide analysis on the following aspects and in general identify a number of factors that worked in terms of reducing the loss and risk burden. 1. Understanding risk factors of the Central European Floods 2013 We review the precursors leading up to the floods in June, with an extremely wet May 2013 and an atypical V-b weather pattern that brought immense precipitation in a very short period to the watersheds of Elbe, Donau and partially the Rhine in the D-A-CH countries and researched what happened during the flood and why. Key questions we asked revolve around which protection and risk reduction approaches worked well and which did not, and why. 2. Insights and recommendations from the post event review The PERC identified a number of risk factors, which need attention if risk is to be reduced over time. • Yet another "100-year flood" - risk

  3. Star-coupled Hindmarsh-Rose neural network with chemical synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usha, K.; Subha, P. A.

    We analyze the patterns like synchrony, desynchrony, and Drum head mode in a network of Hindmarsh-Rose (HR) neurons interacting via chemical synapse in unidirectional and bidirectional star topology. A two-coupled system has been studied for synchronization by varying the coupling strength and the parameter describing the activation and inactivation of the fast ion channel. The transverse Lyapunov exponent spectrum is plotted to observe the point of transition from desynchrony to synchrony. The synchronized, desynchronized, and drum head mode regions are observed when the neurons are connected in unidirectional and bidirectional coupling configurations. A detailed analysis about the time evolution of membrane potential corresponding to each region is presented. The annihilation of synchronized region and the expansion of drum head mode region in bidirectional coupling is discussed using parameter space. Our work provides finer insight into the existence and stability of Drum head mode and is useful for designing communication networks.

  4. The Pathophysiology of Fragile X (and What It Teaches Us about Synapses)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhakar, Asha L.; Dölen, Gül; Bear, Mark F.

    2014-01-01

    Fragile X is the most common known inherited cause of intellectual disability and autism, and it typically results from transcriptional silencing of FMR1 and loss of the encoded protein, FMRP (fragile X mental retardation protein). FMRP is an mRNA-binding protein that functions at many synapses to inhibit local translation stimulated by metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) 1 and 5. Recent studies on the biology of FMRP and the signaling pathways downstream of mGluR1/5 have yielded deeper insight into how synaptic protein synthesis and plasticity are regulated by experience. This new knowledge has also suggested ways that altered signaling and synaptic function can be corrected in fragile X, and human clinical trials based on this information are under way. PMID:22483044

  5. Neuronal activity in the isolated mouse spinal cord during spontaneous deletions in fictive locomotion: insights into locomotor central pattern generator organization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Guisheng; Shevtsova, Natalia A; Rybak, Ilya A; Harris-Warrick, Ronald M

    2012-01-01

    We explored the organization of the spinal central pattern generator (CPG) for locomotion by analysing the activity of spinal interneurons and motoneurons during spontaneous deletions occurring during fictive locomotion in the isolated neonatal mouse spinal cord, following earlier work on locomotor deletions in the cat. In the isolated mouse spinal cord, most spontaneous deletions were non-resetting, with rhythmic activity resuming after an integer number of cycles. Flexor and extensor deletions showed marked asymmetry: flexor deletions were accompanied by sustained ipsilateral extensor activity, whereas rhythmic flexor bursting was not perturbed during extensor deletions. Rhythmic activity on one side of the cord was not perturbed during non-resetting spontaneous deletions on the other side, and these deletions could occur with no input from the other side of the cord. These results suggest that the locomotor CPG has a two-level organization with rhythm-generating (RG) and pattern-forming (PF) networks, in which only the flexor RG network is intrinsically rhythmic. To further explore the neuronal organization of the CPG, we monitored activity of motoneurons and selected identified interneurons during spontaneous non-resetting deletions. Motoneurons lost rhythmic synaptic drive during ipsilateral deletions. Flexor-related commissural interneurons continued to fire rhythmically during non-resetting ipsilateral flexor deletions. Deletion analysis revealed two classes of rhythmic V2a interneurons. Type I V2a interneurons retained rhythmic synaptic drive and firing during ipsilateral motor deletions, while type II V2a interneurons lost rhythmic synaptic input and fell silent during deletions. This suggests that the type I neurons are components of the RG, whereas the type II neurons are components of the PF network. We propose a computational model of the spinal locomotor CPG that reproduces our experimental results. The results may provide novel insights into the

  6. Monitoring air quality in California's Central Valley with aircraft and continuous mountaintop observations - attribution insights gained by considering the scalar budget equation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faloona, I. C.; Trousdell, J.; Caputi, D.; Conley, S. A.

    2017-12-01

    Ozone is one of the six criteria pollutants established by the US EPA's Clean Air Act, and one of two that still routinely violates federal standards as it is a secondary pollutant and therefore subject to indirect control strategies on complex, non-linear atmospheric chemistry. While improvements have been seen in many regions where ozone controls are in place, gains in California's San Joaquin Valley have lagged many other districts across the state. We present airborne measurements from several different campaigns in the valley (DISCOVER-AQ, ArvinO3, and CABOTS) along with data from a mountaintop monitoring site on its upwind side near the Pacific coast that has been operational for 5 years, and we shed light on several outstanding questions concerning air pollution in California's vast Central Valley. The framework of analysis is centered on the primitive equation of any atmospheric constituent - the scalar budget equation. By measuring each term in this equation, we gain insights into the relative impacts of exogenous (due to long range transport) vs. endogenous ozone (due to local photochemical production). We further argue that small aircraft campaigns with an emphasis on scalar budgeting sorties are a cost-effective tool in uncovering specific shortcomings of regional air quality models (e.g., lateral boundary conditions can be tested by comparing horizontal advection, turbulence parameterizations by comparing vertical fluxes, and chemical mechanisms by comparing net photochemical production rates.) In the case of NOx and CH4, for instance, we find that solving for surface emissions points toward inventory underestimates of both species by at least a factor of two. We discuss possible causes of these discrepancies, and suggest other ways to specifically vet aspects of regional air quality models with airborne measurements of meteorological and chemical variables.

  7. Ultralow power artificial synapses using nanotextured magnetic Josephson junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Michael L.; Donnelly, Christine A.; Russek, Stephen E.; Baek, Burm; Pufall, Matthew R.; Hopkins, Peter F.; Dresselhaus, Paul D.; Benz, Samuel P.; Rippard, William H.

    2018-01-01

    Neuromorphic computing promises to markedly improve the efficiency of certain computational tasks, such as perception and decision-making. Although software and specialized hardware implementations of neural networks have made tremendous accomplishments, both implementations are still many orders of magnitude less energy efficient than the human brain. We demonstrate a new form of artificial synapse based on dynamically reconfigurable superconducting Josephson junctions with magnetic nanoclusters in the barrier. The spiking energy per pulse varies with the magnetic configuration, but in our demonstration devices, the spiking energy is always less than 1 aJ. This compares very favorably with the roughly 10 fJ per synaptic event in the human brain. Each artificial synapse is composed of a Si barrier containing Mn nanoclusters with superconducting Nb electrodes. The critical current of each synapse junction, which is analogous to the synaptic weight, can be tuned using input voltage spikes that change the spin alignment of Mn nanoclusters. We demonstrate synaptic weight training with electrical pulses as small as 3 aJ. Further, the Josephson plasma frequencies of the devices, which determine the dynamical time scales, all exceed 100 GHz. These new artificial synapses provide a significant step toward a neuromorphic platform that is faster, more energy-efficient, and thus can attain far greater complexity than has been demonstrated with other technologies. PMID:29387787

  8. Sleep: The hebbian reinforcement of the local inhibitory synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Touzet, Claude

    2015-09-01

    Sleep is ubiquitous among the animal realm, and represents about 30% of our lives. Despite numerous efforts, the reason behind our need for sleep is still unknown. The Theory of neuronal Cognition (TnC) proposes that sleep is the period of time during which the local inhibitory synapses (in particular the cortical ones) are replenished. Indeed, as long as the active brain stays awake, hebbian learning guarantees that efficient inhibitory synapses lose their efficiency – just because they are efficient at avoiding the activation of the targeted neurons. Since hebbian learning is the only known mechanism of synapse modification, it follows that to replenish the inhibitory synapses' efficiency, source and targeted neurons must be activated together. This is achieved by a local depolarization that may travel (wave). The period of time during which such slow waves are experienced has been named the "slow-wave sleep" (SWS). It is cut into several pieces by shorter periods of paradoxical sleep (REM) which activity resembles that of the awake state. Indeed, SWS – because it only allows local neural activation – decreases the excitatory long distance connections strength. To avoid losing the associations built during the awake state, these long distance activations are played again during the REM sleep. REM and SWS sleeps act together to guarantee that when the subject awakes again, his inhibitory synaptic efficiency is restored and his (excitatory) long distance associations are still there. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. A Neuron- and a Synapse Chip for Artificial Neural Networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lansner, John; Lehmann, Torsten

    1992-01-01

    A cascadable, analog, CMOS chip set has been developed for hardware implementations of artificial neural networks (ANN's):I) a neuron chip containing an array of neurons with hyperbolic tangent activation functions and adjustable gains, and II) a synapse chip (or a matrix-vector multiplier) where...

  10. Short-term ionic plasticity at GABAergic synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph Valentino Raimondo

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Fast synaptic inhibition in the brain is mediated by the pre-synaptic release of the neurotransmitter γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA and the post-synaptic activation of GABA-sensitive ionotropic receptors. As with excitatory synapses, it is being increasinly appreciated that a variety of plastic processes occur at inhibitory synapses, which operate over a range of timescales. Here we examine a form of activity-dependent plasticity that is somewhat unique to GABAergic transmission. This involves short-lasting changes to the ionic driving force for the postsynaptic receptors, a process referred to as short-term ionic plasticity. These changes are directly related to the history of activity at inhibitory synapses and are influenced by a variety of factors including the location of the synapse and the post-synaptic cell’s ion regulation mechanisms. We explore the processes underlying this form of plasticity, when and where it can occur, and how it is likely to impact network activity.

  11. Shaping inhibition: activity dependent structural plasticity of GABAergic synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen E Flores

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Inhibitory transmission through the neurotransmitter Ɣ-aminobutyric acid (GABA shapes network activity in the mammalian cerebral cortex by filtering synaptic incoming information and dictating the activity of principal cells. The incredibly diverse population of cortical neurons that use GABA as neurotransmitter shows an equally diverse range of mechanisms that regulate changes in the strength of GABAergic synaptic transmission and allow them to dynamically follow and command the activity of neuronal ensembles. Similarly to glutamatergic synaptic transmission, activity-dependent functional changes in inhibitory neurotransmission are accompanied by alterations in GABAergic synapse structure that range from morphological reorganization of postsynaptic density to de novo formation and elimination of inhibitory contacts. Here we review several aspects of structural plasticity of inhibitory synapses, including its induction by different forms of neuronal activity, behavioral and sensory experience and the molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways involved. We discuss the functional consequences of GABAergic synapse structural plasticity for information processing and memory formation in view of the heterogenous nature of the structural plasticity phenomena affecting inhibitory synapses impinging on somatic and dendritic compartments of cortical and hippocampal neurons.

  12. Cell Adhesion, the Backbone of the Synapse: “Vertebrate” and “Invertebrate” Perspectives

    OpenAIRE

    Giagtzoglou, Nikolaos; Ly, Cindy V.; Bellen, Hugo J.

    2009-01-01

    Synapses are asymmetric intercellular junctions that mediate neuronal communication. The number, type, and connectivity patterns of synapses determine the formation, maintenance, and function of neural circuitries. The complexity and specificity of synaptogenesis relies upon modulation of adhesive properties, which regulate contact initiation, synapse formation, maturation, and functional plasticity. Disruption of adhesion may result in structural and functional imbalance that may lead to neu...

  13. Analog memristive synapse in spiking networks implementing unsupervised learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erika Covi

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Emerging brain-inspired architectures call for devices that can emulate the functionality of biological synapses in order to implement new efficient computational schemes able to solve ill-posed problems. Various devices and solutions are still under investigation and, in this respect, a challenge is opened to the researchers in the field. Indeed, the optimal candidate is a device able to reproduce the complete functionality of a synapse, i.e. the typical synaptic process underlying learning in biological systems (activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. This implies a device able to change its resistance (synaptic strength, or weight upon proper electrical stimuli (synaptic activity and showing several stable resistive states throughout its dynamic range (analog behavior. Moreover, it should be able to perform spike timing dependent plasticity (STDP, an associative homosynaptic plasticity learning rule based on the delay time between the two firing neurons the synapse is connected to. This rule is a fundamental learning protocol in state-of-art networks, because it allows unsupervised learning. Notwithstanding this fact, STDP-based unsupervised learning has been proposed several times mainly for binary synapses rather than multilevel synapses composed of many binary memristors. This paper proposes an HfO2-based analog memristor as a synaptic element which performs STDP within a small spiking neuromorphic network operating unsupervised learning for character recognition. The trained network is able to recognize five characters even in case incomplete or noisy characters are displayed and it is robust to a device-to-device variability of up to +/-30%.

  14. Analog Memristive Synapse in Spiking Networks Implementing Unsupervised Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Covi, Erika; Brivio, Stefano; Serb, Alexander; Prodromakis, Themis; Fanciulli, Marco; Spiga, Sabina

    2016-01-01

    Emerging brain-inspired architectures call for devices that can emulate the functionality of biological synapses in order to implement new efficient computational schemes able to solve ill-posed problems. Various devices and solutions are still under investigation and, in this respect, a challenge is opened to the researchers in the field. Indeed, the optimal candidate is a device able to reproduce the complete functionality of a synapse, i.e., the typical synaptic process underlying learning in biological systems (activity-dependent synaptic plasticity). This implies a device able to change its resistance (synaptic strength, or weight) upon proper electrical stimuli (synaptic activity) and showing several stable resistive states throughout its dynamic range (analog behavior). Moreover, it should be able to perform spike timing dependent plasticity (STDP), an associative homosynaptic plasticity learning rule based on the delay time between the two firing neurons the synapse is connected to. This rule is a fundamental learning protocol in state-of-art networks, because it allows unsupervised learning. Notwithstanding this fact, STDP-based unsupervised learning has been proposed several times mainly for binary synapses rather than multilevel synapses composed of many binary memristors. This paper proposes an HfO 2 -based analog memristor as a synaptic element which performs STDP within a small spiking neuromorphic network operating unsupervised learning for character recognition. The trained network is able to recognize five characters even in case incomplete or noisy images are displayed and it is robust to a device-to-device variability of up to ±30%.

  15. Molecular Mechanisms of Synaptic Specificity: Spotlight on Hippocampal and Cerebellar Synapse Organizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Dongseok; Bae, Sungwon; Yoon, Taek Han; Ko, Jaewon

    2018-04-18

    Synapses and neural circuits form with exquisite specificity during brain development to allow the precise and appropriate flow of neural information. Although this property of synapses and neural circuits has been extensively investigated for more than a century, molecular mechanisms underlying this property are only recently being unveiled. Recent studies highlight several classes of cell-surface proteins as organizing hubs in building structural and functional architectures of specific synapses and neural circuits. In the present minireview, we discuss recent findings on various synapse organizers that confer the distinct properties of specific synapse types and neural circuit architectures in mammalian brains, with a particular focus on the hippocampus and cerebellum.

  16. Making of a Synapse: Recurrent Roles of Drebrin A at Excitatory Synapses Throughout Life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aoki, Chiye; Sherpa, Ang D

    2017-01-01

    Mature excitatory synapses are composed of more than 1500 proteins postsynaptically and hundreds more that operate presynaptically. Among them, drebrin is an F-actin-binding protein that increases noticeably during juvenile synaptogenesis. Electron microscopic analysis reveals that drebrin is highly enriched specifically on the postsynaptic side of excitatory synapses. Since dendritic spines are structures specialized for excitatory synaptic transmission, the function of drebrin was probed by analyzing the ultrastructural characteristics of dendritic spines of animals with genetic deletion of drebrin A (DAKO), the adult isoform of drebrin. Electron microscopic analyses revealed that these brains are surprisingly intact, in that axo-spinous synaptic junctions are well-formed and not significantly altered in number. This normal ultrastructure may be because drebrin E, the alternate embryonic isoform, compensates for the genetic deletion of drebrin A. However, DAKO results in the loss of homeostatic plasticity of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs). The NMDAR activation-dependent trafficking of the NR2A subunit-containing NMDARs from dendritic shafts into spine head cytoplasm is greatly diminished within brains of DAKO. Conversely, within brains of wild-type rodents, spines respond to NMDAR blockade with influx of F-actin, drebrin A, and NR2A subunits of NMDARs. These observations indicate that drebrin A facilitates the trafficking of NMDAR cargos in an F-actin-dependent manner to mediate homeostatic plasticity. Analysis of the brains of transgenic mice used as models of Alzheimer's disease (AD) reveals that the loss of drebrin from dendritic spines predates the emergence of synaptic dysfunction and cognitive impairment, suggesting that this form of homeostatic plasticity contributes toward cognition. Two studies suggest that the nature of drebrin's interaction with NMDARs is dependent on the receptor's subunit composition. Drebrin A can be found co

  17. Reduced sensory stimulation alters the molecular make-up of glutamatergic hair cell synapses in the developing cochlea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barclay, M; Constable, R; James, N R; Thorne, P R; Montgomery, J M

    2016-06-14

    Neural activity during early development is known to alter innervation pathways in the central and peripheral nervous systems. We sought to examine how reduced sound-induced sensory activity in the cochlea affected the consolidation of glutamatergic synapses between inner hair cells (IHC) and the primary auditory neurons as these synapses play a primary role in transmitting sound information to the brain. A unilateral conductive hearing loss was induced prior to the onset of sound-mediated stimulation of the sensory hair cells, by rupturing the tympanic membrane and dislocating the auditory ossicles in the left ear of P11 mice. Auditory brainstem responses at P15 and P21 showed a 40-50-dB increase in thresholds for frequencies 8-32kHz in the dislocated ear relative to the control ear. Immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy were subsequently used to examine the effect of this attenuation of sound stimulation on the expression of RIBEYE, which comprises the presynaptic ribbons, Shank-1, a postsynaptic scaffolding protein, and the GluA2/3 and 4 subunits of postsynaptic AMPA receptors. Our results show that dislocation did not alter the number of pre- or postsynaptic protein puncta. However, dislocation did increase the size of RIBEYE, GluA4, GluA2/3 and Shank-1 puncta, with postsynaptic changes preceding presynaptic changes. Our data suggest that a reduction in sound stimulation during auditory development induces plasticity in the molecular make-up of IHC glutamatergic synapses, but does not affect the number of these synapses. Up-regulation of synaptic proteins with sound attenuation may facilitate a compensatory increase in synaptic transmission due to the reduced sensory stimulation of the IHC. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Autaptic effects on synchrony of neurons coupled by electrical synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Youngtae

    2017-07-01

    In this paper, we numerically study the effects of a special synapse known as autapse on synchronization of population of Morris-Lecar (ML) neurons coupled by electrical synapses. Several configurations of the ML neuronal populations such as a pair or a ring or a globally coupled network with and without autapses are examined. While most of the papers on the autaptic effects on synchronization have used networks of neurons of same spiking rate, we use the network of neurons of different spiking rates. We find that the optimal autaptic coupling strength and the autaptic time delay enhance synchronization in our neural networks. We use the phase response curve analysis to explain the enhanced synchronization by autapses. Our findings reveal the important relationship between the intraneuronal feedback loop and the interneuronal coupling.

  19. Microorganism and filamentous fungi drive evolution of plant synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baluška, František; Mancuso, Stefano

    2013-01-01

    In the course of plant evolution, there is an obvious trend toward an increased complexity of plant bodies, as well as an increased sophistication of plant behavior and communication. Phenotypic plasticity of plants is based on the polar auxin transport machinery that is directly linked with plant sensory systems impinging on plant behavior and adaptive responses. Similar to the emergence and evolution of eukaryotic cells, evolution of land plants was also shaped and driven by infective and symbiotic microorganisms. These microorganisms are the driving force behind the evolution of plant synapses and other neuronal aspects of higher plants; this is especially pronounced in the root apices. Plant synapses allow synaptic cell-cell communication and coordination in plants, as well as sensory-motor integration in root apices searching for water and mineral nutrition. These neuronal aspects of higher plants are closely linked with their unique ability to adapt to environmental changes.

  20. The State of Synapses in Fragile X Syndrome

    OpenAIRE

    Pfeiffer, Brad E.; Huber, Kimberly M.

    2009-01-01

    Fragile X Syndrome is the most common inherited form of mental retardation and a leading genetic cause of autism. There is increasing evidence in both FXS and other forms of autism that alterations in synapse number, structure and function are associated and contribute to these prevalent diseases. FXS is caused by loss of function of the Fmr1 gene which encodes the RNA binding protein, FMRP. Therefore, FXS is a tractable model to understand synaptic dysfunction in cognitive disorders. FMRP is...

  1. Storage capacity of attractor neural networks with depressing synapses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Torres, Joaquin J.; Pantic, Lovorka; Kappen, Hilbert J.

    2002-01-01

    We compute the capacity of a binary neural network with dynamic depressing synapses to store and retrieve an infinite number of patterns. We use a biologically motivated model of synaptic depression and a standard mean-field approach. We find that at T=0 the critical storage capacity decreases with the degree of the depression. We confirm the validity of our main mean-field results with numerical simulations

  2. Process for forming synapses in neural networks and resistor therefor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Chi Y.

    1996-01-01

    Customizable neural network in which one or more resistors form each synapse. All the resistors in the synaptic array are identical, thus simplifying the processing issues. Highly doped, amorphous silicon is used as the resistor material, to create extremely high resistances occupying very small spaces. Connected in series with each resistor in the array is at least one severable conductor whose uppermost layer has a lower reflectivity of laser energy than typical metal conductors at a desired laser wavelength.

  3. TFH-derived dopamine accelerates productive synapses in germinal centres.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papa, Ilenia; Saliba, David; Ponzoni, Maurilio; Bustamante, Sonia; Canete, Pablo F; Gonzalez-Figueroa, Paula; McNamara, Hayley A; Valvo, Salvatore; Grimbaldeston, Michele; Sweet, Rebecca A; Vohra, Harpreet; Cockburn, Ian A; Meyer-Hermann, Michael; Dustin, Michael L; Doglioni, Claudio; Vinuesa, Carola G

    2017-07-20

    Protective high-affinity antibody responses depend on competitive selection of B cells carrying somatically mutated B-cell receptors by follicular helper T (T FH ) cells in germinal centres. The rapid T-B-cell interactions that occur during this process are reminiscent of neural synaptic transmission pathways. Here we show that a proportion of human T FH cells contain dense-core granules marked by chromogranin B, which are normally found in neuronal presynaptic terminals storing catecholamines such as dopamine. T FH cells produce high amounts of dopamine and release it upon cognate interaction with B cells. Dopamine causes rapid translocation of intracellular ICOSL (inducible T-cell co-stimulator ligand, also known as ICOSLG) to the B-cell surface, which enhances accumulation of CD40L and chromogranin B granules at the human T FH cell synapse and increases the synapse area. Mathematical modelling suggests that faster dopamine-induced T-B-cell interactions increase total germinal centre output and accelerate it by days. Delivery of neurotransmitters across the T-B-cell synapse may be advantageous in the face of infection.

  4. The space where aging acts: focus on the GABAergic synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozycka, Aleksandra; Liguz-Lecznar, Monika

    2017-08-01

    As it was established that aging is not associated with massive neuronal loss, as was believed in the mid-20th Century, scientific interest has addressed the influence of aging on particular neuronal subpopulations and their synaptic contacts, which constitute the substrate for neural plasticity. Inhibitory neurons represent the most complex and diverse group of neurons, showing distinct molecular and physiological characteristics and possessing a compelling ability to control the physiology of neural circuits. This review focuses on the aging of GABAergic neurons and synapses. Understanding how aging affects synapses of particular neuronal subpopulations may help explain the heterogeneity of aging-related effects. We reviewed the literature concerning the effects of aging on the numbers of GABAergic neurons and synapses as well as aging-related alterations in their presynaptic and postsynaptic components. Finally, we discussed the influence of those changes on the plasticity of the GABAergic system, highlighting our results concerning aging in mouse somatosensory cortex and linking them to plasticity impairments and brain disorders. We posit that aging-induced impairments of the GABAergic system lead to an inhibitory/excitatory imbalance, thereby decreasing neuron's ability to respond with plastic changes to environmental and cellular challenges, leaving the brain more vulnerable to cognitive decline and damage by synaptopathic diseases. © 2017 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Synapse geometry and receptor dynamics modulate synaptic strength.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dominik Freche

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

  6. Memory-Relevant Mushroom Body Output Synapses Are Cholinergic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnstedt, Oliver; Owald, David; Felsenberg, Johannes; Brain, Ruth; Moszynski, John-Paul; Talbot, Clifford B; Perrat, Paola N; Waddell, Scott

    2016-03-16

    Memories are stored in the fan-out fan-in neural architectures of the mammalian cerebellum and hippocampus and the insect mushroom bodies. However, whereas key plasticity occurs at glutamatergic synapses in mammals, the neurochemistry of the memory-storing mushroom body Kenyon cell output synapses is unknown. Here we demonstrate a role for acetylcholine (ACh) in Drosophila. Kenyon cells express the ACh-processing proteins ChAT and VAChT, and reducing their expression impairs learned olfactory-driven behavior. Local ACh application, or direct Kenyon cell activation, evokes activity in mushroom body output neurons (MBONs). MBON activation depends on VAChT expression in Kenyon cells and is blocked by ACh receptor antagonism. Furthermore, reducing nicotinic ACh receptor subunit expression in MBONs compromises odor-evoked activation and redirects odor-driven behavior. Lastly, peptidergic corelease enhances ACh-evoked responses in MBONs, suggesting an interaction between the fast- and slow-acting transmitters. Therefore, olfactory memories in Drosophila are likely stored as plasticity of cholinergic synapses. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. The 'disector' a tool for quantitative assessment of synaptic plasticity an example on hippocampal synapses and synapse-perforations in ageing rats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groot, D.M.G. de; Bierman, E.P.B.; Bruijnzeel, P.L.B.; Woutersen, R.A.

    1995-01-01

    The 'disector' method was used to estimate number and size of simple non-perforated and complex 'perforated' synapses and their 'perforations' in the hippocampal CA3 area of 3, 12, 24 and 30 months old rats. A decrease with age from 3 to 24 months of age in the number of non-perforated synapses per

  8. Stochastic resonance in small-world neuronal networks with hybrid electrical–chemical synapses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Jiang; Guo, Xinmeng; Yu, Haitao; Liu, Chen; Deng, Bin; Wei, Xile; Chen, Yingyuan

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: •We study stochastic resonance in small-world neural networks with hybrid synapses. •The resonance effect depends largely on the probability of chemical synapse. •An optimal chemical synapse probability exists to evoke network resonance. •Network topology affects the stochastic resonance in hybrid neuronal networks. - Abstract: The dependence of stochastic resonance in small-world neuronal networks with hybrid electrical–chemical synapses on the probability of chemical synapse and the rewiring probability is investigated. A subthreshold periodic signal is imposed on one single neuron within the neuronal network as a pacemaker. It is shown that, irrespective of the probability of chemical synapse, there exists a moderate intensity of external noise optimizing the response of neuronal networks to the pacemaker. Moreover, the effect of pacemaker driven stochastic resonance of the system depends largely on the probability of chemical synapse. A high probability of chemical synapse will need lower noise intensity to evoke the phenomenon of stochastic resonance in the networked neuronal systems. In addition, for fixed noise intensity, there is an optimal chemical synapse probability, which can promote the propagation of the localized subthreshold pacemaker across neural networks. And the optimal chemical synapses probability turns even larger as the coupling strength decreases. Furthermore, the small-world topology has a significant impact on the stochastic resonance in hybrid neuronal networks. It is found that increasing the rewiring probability can always enhance the stochastic resonance until it approaches the random network limit

  9. The new final Clinical Skills examination in human medicine in Switzerland: Essential steps of exam development, implementation and evaluation, and central insights from the perspective of the national Working Group

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berendonk, Christoph

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Objective: Since 2011, the new national final examination in human medicine has been implemented in Switzerland, with a structured clinical-practical part in the OSCE format. From the perspective of the national Working Group, the current article describes the essential steps in the development, implementation and evaluation of the Federal Licensing Examination Clinical Skills (FLE CS as well as the applied quality assurance measures. Finally, central insights gained from the last years are presented. Methods: Based on the principles of action research, the FLE CS is in a constant state of further development. On the foundation of systematically documented experiences from previous years, in the Working Group, unresolved questions are discussed and resulting solution approaches are substantiated (planning, implemented in the examination (implementation and subsequently evaluated (reflection. The presented results are the product of this iterative procedure.Results: The FLE CS is created by experts from all faculties and subject areas in a multistage process. The examination is administered in German and French on a decentralised basis and consists of twelve interdisciplinary stations per candidate. As important quality assurance measures, the national Review Board (content validation and the meetings of the standardised patient trainers (standardisation have proven worthwhile. The statistical analyses show good measurement reliability and support the construct validity of the examination. Among the central insights of the past years, it has been established that the consistent implementation of the principles of action research contributes to the successful further development of the examination.Conclusion: The centrally coordinated, collaborative-iterative process, incorporating experts from all faculties, makes a fundamental contribution to the quality of the FLE CS. The processes and insights presented here can be useful for others planning a

  10. Alterations in the properties of neonatal thalamocortical synapses with time in in vitro slices.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liliana L Luz

    Full Text Available New synapses are constantly being generated and lost in the living brain with only a subset of these being stabilized to form an enduring component of neuronal circuitry. The properties of synaptic transmission have primarily been established in a variety of in vitro neuronal preparations. It is not clear, however, if newly-formed and persistent synapses contribute to the results of these studies consistently throughout the lifespan of these preparations. In neonatal somatosensory, barrel, cortex we have previously hypothesized that a population of thalamocortical synapses displaying unusually slow kinetics represent newly-formed, default-transient synapses. This clear phenotype would provide an ideal tool to investigate if such newly formed synapses consistently contribute to synaptic transmission throughout a normal experimental protocol. We show that the proportion of synapses recorded in vitro displaying slow kinetics decreases with time after brain slice preparation. However, slow synapses persist in vitro in the presence of either minocycline, an inhibitor of microglia-mediated synapse elimination, or the TrkB agonist 7,8-dihydroxyflavone a promoter of synapse formation. These findings show that the observed properties of synaptic transmission may systematically change with time in vitro in a standard brain slice preparation.

  11. Synapse:neural network for predict power consumption: users guide

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Muller, C; Mangeas, M; Perrot, N

    1994-08-01

    SYNAPSE is forecasting tool designed to predict power consumption in metropolitan France on the half hour time scale. Some characteristics distinguish this forecasting model from those which already exist. In particular, it is composed of numerous neural networks. The idea for using many neural networks arises from past tests. These tests showed us that a single neural network is not able to solve the problem correctly. From this result, we decided to perform unsupervised classification of the 24 consumption curves. From this classification, six classes appeared, linked with the weekdays: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, holidays and bridge days. For each class and for each half hour, two multilayer perceptrons are built. The two of them forecast the power for one particular half hour, and for a day including one of the determined class. The input of these two network are different: the first one (short time forecasting) includes the powers for the most recent half hour and relative power of the previous day; the second (medium time forecasting) includes only the relative power of the previous day. A process connects the results of every networks and allows one to forecast more than one half-hour in advance. In this process, short time forecasting networks and medium time forecasting networks are used differently. The first kind of neural networks gives good results on the scale of one day. The second one gives good forecasts for the next predicted powers. In this note, the organization of the SYNAPSE program is detailed, and the user`s menu is described. This first version of synapse works and should allow the APC group to evaluate its utility. (authors). 6 refs., 2 appends.

  12. Neuron array with plastic synapses and programmable dendrites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramakrishnan, Shubha; Wunderlich, Richard; Hasler, Jennifer; George, Suma

    2013-10-01

    We describe a novel neuromorphic chip architecture that models neurons for efficient computation. Traditional architectures of neuron array chips consist of large scale systems that are interfaced with AER for implementing intra- or inter-chip connectivity. We present a chip that uses AER for inter-chip communication but uses fast, reconfigurable FPGA-style routing with local memory for intra-chip connectivity. We model neurons with biologically realistic channel models, synapses and dendrites. This chip is suitable for small-scale network simulations and can also be used for sequence detection, utilizing directional selectivity properties of dendrites, ultimately for use in word recognition.

  13. Mammalian Cochlear Hair Cell Regeneration and Ribbon Synapse Reformation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoling Lu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Hair cells (HCs are the sensory preceptor cells in the inner ear, which play an important role in hearing and balance. The HCs of organ of Corti are susceptible to noise, ototoxic drugs, and infections, thus resulting in permanent hearing loss. Recent approaches of HCs regeneration provide new directions for finding the treatment of sensor neural deafness. To have normal hearing function, the regenerated HCs must be reinnervated by nerve fibers and reform ribbon synapse with the dendrite of spiral ganglion neuron through nerve regeneration. In this review, we discuss the research progress in HC regeneration, the synaptic plasticity, and the reinnervation of new regenerated HCs in mammalian inner ear.

  14. A compound memristive synapse model for statistical learning through STDP in spiking neural networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes eBill

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Memristors have recently emerged as promising circuit elements to mimic the function of biological synapses in neuromorphic computing. The fabrication of reliable nanoscale memristive synapses, that feature continuous conductance changes based on the timing of pre- and postsynaptic spikes, has however turned out to be challenging. In this article, we propose an alternative approach, the compound memristive synapse, that circumvents this problem by the use of memristors with binary memristive states. A compound memristive synapse employs multiple bistable memristors in parallel to jointly form one synapse, thereby providing a spectrum of synaptic efficacies. We investigate the computational implications of synaptic plasticity in the compound synapse by integrating the recently observed phenomenon of stochastic filament formation into an abstract model of stochastic switching. Using this abstract model, we first show how standard pulsing schemes give rise to spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP with a stabilizing weight dependence in compound synapses. In a next step, we study unsupervised learning with compound synapses in networks of spiking neurons organized in a winner-take-all architecture. Our theoretical analysis reveals that compound-synapse STDP implements generalized Expectation-Maximization in the spiking network. Specifically, the emergent synapse configuration represents the most salient features of the input distribution in a Mixture-of-Gaussians generative model. Furthermore, the network’s spike response to spiking input streams approximates a well-defined Bayesian posterior distribution. We show in computer simulations how such networks learn to represent high-dimensional distributions over images of handwritten digits with high fidelity even in presence of substantial device variations and under severe noise conditions. Therefore, the compound memristive synapse may provide a synaptic design principle for future neuromorphic

  15. A compound memristive synapse model for statistical learning through STDP in spiking neural networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bill, Johannes; Legenstein, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Memristors have recently emerged as promising circuit elements to mimic the function of biological synapses in neuromorphic computing. The fabrication of reliable nanoscale memristive synapses, that feature continuous conductance changes based on the timing of pre- and postsynaptic spikes, has however turned out to be challenging. In this article, we propose an alternative approach, the compound memristive synapse, that circumvents this problem by the use of memristors with binary memristive states. A compound memristive synapse employs multiple bistable memristors in parallel to jointly form one synapse, thereby providing a spectrum of synaptic efficacies. We investigate the computational implications of synaptic plasticity in the compound synapse by integrating the recently observed phenomenon of stochastic filament formation into an abstract model of stochastic switching. Using this abstract model, we first show how standard pulsing schemes give rise to spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) with a stabilizing weight dependence in compound synapses. In a next step, we study unsupervised learning with compound synapses in networks of spiking neurons organized in a winner-take-all architecture. Our theoretical analysis reveals that compound-synapse STDP implements generalized Expectation-Maximization in the spiking network. Specifically, the emergent synapse configuration represents the most salient features of the input distribution in a Mixture-of-Gaussians generative model. Furthermore, the network's spike response to spiking input streams approximates a well-defined Bayesian posterior distribution. We show in computer simulations how such networks learn to represent high-dimensional distributions over images of handwritten digits with high fidelity even in presence of substantial device variations and under severe noise conditions. Therefore, the compound memristive synapse may provide a synaptic design principle for future neuromorphic architectures.

  16. Spatiotemporal regulation of ATP and Ca2+ dynamics in vertebrate rod and cone ribbon synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Jerry E; Perkins, Guy A; Giddabasappa, Anand; Chaney, Shawntay; Xiao, Weimin; White, Andrew D; Brown, Joshua M; Waggoner, Jenna; Ellisman, Mark H; Fox, Donald A

    2007-06-15

    In conventional neurons, Ca2+ enters presynaptic terminals during an action potential and its increased local concentration triggers transient exocytosis. In contrast, vertebrate photoreceptors are nonspiking neurons that maintain sustained depolarization and neurotransmitter release from ribbon synapses in darkness and produce light-dependent graded hyperpolarizing responses. Rods transmit single photon responses with high fidelity, whereas cones are less sensitive and exhibit faster response kinetics. These differences are likely due to variations in presynaptic Ca2+ dynamics. Metabolic coupling and cross-talk between mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum (ER), plasma membrane Ca2+ ATPase (PMCA), and Na+-Ca2+ exchanger (NCX) coordinately control presynaptic ATP production and Ca2+ dynamics. The goal of our structural and functional studies was to determine the spatiotemporal regulation of ATP and Ca2+ dynamics in rod spherules and cone pedicles. Central retina tissue from C57BL/6 mice was used. Laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSCM) experiments were conducted on fixed-frozen vertical sections. Primary antibodies were selected for their tissue/cellular specificity and ability to recognize single, multiple or all splice variants of selected isoforms. Electron microscopy (EM) and 3-D electron tomography (ET) studies used our standard procedures on thin- and thick-sectioned retinas, respectively. Calibrated fluo-3-Ca2+ imaging experiments of dark- and light-adapted rod and cone terminals in retinal slices were conducted. Confocal microscopy showed that mitochondria, ER, PMCA, and NCX1 exhibited distinct retinal lamination patterns and differential distribution in photoreceptor synapses. Antibodies for three distinct mitochondrial compartments differentially labeled retinal areas with high metabolic demand: rod and cone inner segments, previously undescribed cone juxtanuclear mitochondria and the two plexiform layers. Rod spherule membranes uniformly and intensely

  17. GLUT4 Mobilization Supports Energetic Demands of Active Synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashrafi, Ghazaleh; Wu, Zhuhao; Farrell, Ryan J; Ryan, Timothy A

    2017-02-08

    The brain is highly sensitive to proper fuel availability as evidenced by the rapid decline in neuronal function during ischemic attacks and acute severe hypoglycemia. We previously showed that sustained presynaptic function requires activity-driven glycolysis. Here, we provide strong evidence that during action potential (AP) firing, nerve terminals rely on the glucose transporter GLUT4 as a glycolytic regulatory system to meet the activity-driven increase in energy demands. Activity at synapses triggers insertion of GLUT4 into the axonal plasma membrane driven by activation of the metabolic sensor AMP kinase. Furthermore, we show that genetic ablation of GLUT4 leads to an arrest of synaptic vesicle recycling during sustained AP firing, similar to what is observed during acute glucose deprivation. The reliance on this biochemical regulatory system for "exercising" synapses is reminiscent of that occurring in exercising muscle to sustain cellular function and identifies nerve terminals as critical sites of proper metabolic control. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Power-law forgetting in synapses with metaplasticity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mehta, A; Luck, J M

    2011-01-01

    The idea of using metaplastic synapses to incorporate the separate storage of long- and short-term memories via an array of hidden states was put forward in the cascade model of Fusi et al. In this paper, we devise and investigate two models of a metaplastic synapse based on these general principles. The main difference between the two models lies in their available mechanisms of decay, when a contrarian event occurs after the build-up of a long-term memory. In one case, this leads to the conversion of the long-term memory to a short-term memory of the opposite kind, while in the other, a long-term memory of the opposite kind may be generated as a result. Appropriately enough, the response of both models to short-term events is not affected by this difference in architecture. On the contrary, the transient response of both models, after long-term memories have been created by the passage of sustained signals, is rather different. The asymptotic behaviour of both models is, however, characterised by power-law forgetting with the same universal exponent

  19. Positioning of AMPA Receptor-Containing Endosomes Regulates Synapse Architecture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Esteves da Silva

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Lateral diffusion in the membrane and endosomal trafficking both contribute to the addition and removal of AMPA receptors (AMPARs at postsynaptic sites. However, the spatial coordination between these mechanisms has remained unclear, because little is known about the dynamics of AMPAR-containing endosomes. In addition, how the positioning of AMPAR-containing endosomes affects synapse organization and functioning has never been directly explored. Here, we used live-cell imaging in hippocampal neuron cultures to show that intracellular AMPARs are transported in Rab11-positive recycling endosomes, which frequently enter dendritic spines and depend on the microtubule and actin cytoskeleton. By using chemically induced dimerization systems to recruit kinesin (KIF1C or myosin (MyosinV/VI motors to Rab11-positive recycling endosomes, we controlled their trafficking and found that induced removal of recycling endosomes from spines decreases surface AMPAR expression and PSD-95 clusters at synapses. Our data suggest a mechanistic link between endosome positioning and postsynaptic structure and composition.

  20. Unsupervised learning in neural networks with short range synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunnet, L. G.; Agnes, E. J.; Mizusaki, B. E. P.; Erichsen, R., Jr.

    2013-01-01

    Different areas of the brain are involved in specific aspects of the information being processed both in learning and in memory formation. For example, the hippocampus is important in the consolidation of information from short-term memory to long-term memory, while emotional memory seems to be dealt by the amygdala. On the microscopic scale the underlying structures in these areas differ in the kind of neurons involved, in their connectivity, or in their clustering degree but, at this level, learning and memory are attributed to neuronal synapses mediated by longterm potentiation and long-term depression. In this work we explore the properties of a short range synaptic connection network, a nearest neighbor lattice composed mostly by excitatory neurons and a fraction of inhibitory ones. The mechanism of synaptic modification responsible for the emergence of memory is Spike-Timing-Dependent Plasticity (STDP), a Hebbian-like rule, where potentiation/depression is acquired when causal/non-causal spikes happen in a synapse involving two neurons. The system is intended to store and recognize memories associated to spatial external inputs presented as simple geometrical forms. The synaptic modifications are continuously applied to excitatory connections, including a homeostasis rule and STDP. In this work we explore the different scenarios under which a network with short range connections can accomplish the task of storing and recognizing simple connected patterns.

  1. A Reinforcement Learning Framework for Spiking Networks with Dynamic Synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karim El-Laithy

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available An integration of both the Hebbian-based and reinforcement learning (RL rules is presented for dynamic synapses. The proposed framework permits the Hebbian rule to update the hidden synaptic model parameters regulating the synaptic response rather than the synaptic weights. This is performed using both the value and the sign of the temporal difference in the reward signal after each trial. Applying this framework, a spiking network with spike-timing-dependent synapses is tested to learn the exclusive-OR computation on a temporally coded basis. Reward values are calculated with the distance between the output spike train of the network and a reference target one. Results show that the network is able to capture the required dynamics and that the proposed framework can reveal indeed an integrated version of Hebbian and RL. The proposed framework is tractable and less computationally expensive. The framework is applicable to a wide class of synaptic models and is not restricted to the used neural representation. This generality, along with the reported results, supports adopting the introduced approach to benefit from the biologically plausible synaptic models in a wide range of intuitive signal processing.

  2. Slack KNa Channels Influence Dorsal Horn Synapses and Nociceptive Behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evely, Katherine M; Pryce, Kerri D; Bausch, Anne E; Lukowski, Robert; Ruth, Peter; Haj-Dahmane, Samir; Bhattacharjee, Arin

    2017-01-01

    The sodium-activated potassium channel Slack (Kcnt1, Slo2.2) is highly expressed in dorsal root ganglion neurons where it regulates neuronal firing. Several studies have implicated the Slack channel in pain processing, but the precise mechanism or the levels within the sensory pathway where channels are involved remain unclear. Here, we furthered the behavioral characterization of Slack channel knockout mice and for the first time examined the role of Slack channels in the superficial, pain-processing lamina of the dorsal horn. We performed whole-cell recordings from spinal cord slices to examine the intrinsic and synaptic properties of putative inhibitory and excitatory lamina II interneurons. Slack channel deletion altered intrinsic properties and synaptic drive to favor an overall enhanced excitatory tone. We measured the amplitudes and paired pulse ratio of paired excitatory post-synaptic currents at primary afferent synapses evoked by electrical stimulation of the dorsal root entry zone. We found a substantial decrease in the paired pulse ratio at synapses in Slack deleted neurons compared to wildtype, indicating increased presynaptic release from primary afferents. Corroborating these data, plantar test showed Slack knockout mice have an enhanced nociceptive responsiveness to localized thermal stimuli compared to wildtype mice. Our findings suggest that Slack channels regulate synaptic transmission within the spinal cord dorsal horn and by doing so establishes the threshold for thermal nociception.

  3. Building blocks of temporal filters in retinal synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bongsoo Suh

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Sensory systems must be able to extract features of a stimulus to detect and represent properties of the world. Because sensory signals are constantly changing, a critical aspect of this transformation relates to the timing of signals and the ability to filter those signals to select dynamic properties, such as visual motion. At first assessment, one might think that the primary biophysical properties that construct a temporal filter would be dynamic mechanisms such as molecular concentration or membrane electrical properties. However, in the current issue of PLOS Biology, Baden et al. identify a mechanism of temporal filtering in the zebrafish and goldfish retina that is not dynamic but is in fact a structural building block-the physical size of a synapse itself. The authors observe that small, bipolar cell synaptic terminals are fast and highly adaptive, whereas large ones are slower and adapt less. Using a computational model, they conclude that the volume of the synaptic terminal influences the calcium concentration and the number of available vesicles. These results indicate that the size of the presynaptic terminal is an independent control for the dynamics of a synapse and may reveal aspects of synaptic function that can be inferred from anatomical structure.

  4. Non-uniform splitting of a single mantle plume by double cratonic roots : Insight into the origin of the central and southern East African Rift System

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koptev, Alexander; Cloetingh, Sierd; Gerya, Taras; Calais, Eric; Leroy, Sylvie

    Using numerical thermo-mechanical experiments we analyse the role of an active mantle plume and pre-existing lithospheric thickness differences in the structural development of the central and southern East African Rift system. The plume-lithosphere interaction model setup captures the essential

  5. Nature and timing of the final collision of Central Asian Orogenic Belt: insights from basic intrusion in the Xilin Gol Complex, Inner Mongolia, China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, Y.; Zhou, H.; Brouwer, F.M.; Xiao, W.; Wijbrans, J.R.; Zhao, J.; Zhong, Z.; Liu, H.

    2014-01-01

    The Solonker suture zone of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB) records the final closure of the Paleo-Asian Ocean. The nature and timing of final collision along the Solonker suture has long been controversial, partly because of an incomplete record of isotopic ages and differing interpretations

  6. Bibliometric analysis of the Korean Journal of Parasitology: measured from SCI, PubMed, Scopus, and Synapse databases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Choon Shil

    2009-10-01

    The Korean Journal of Parasitology (KJP) is the official journal of the Korean Society for Parasitology which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2009. To assess the contributions and achievements of the KJP, bibliometric analysis was conducted based on the citation data retrieved from 4 major databases; SCI, PubMed, Synapse, and Scopus. It was found that the KJP articles were constantly cited by the articles published in major international journals represented in these databases. More than 60% of 1,370 articles published in the KJP from 1963 to June 2009 were cited at least once by SCI articles. The overall average times cited by SCI articles are 2.6. The rate is almost 3 times higher for the articles published in the last 10 years compared to 1.0 for the articles of the 1960s. The SCI journal impact factor for 2008 is calculated as 0.871. It is increasing and it is expected to increase further with the introduction of the KJP in the database in 2008. The more realistic h-indices were measured from the study data set covering all the citations to the KJP; 17 for SCI, 6 for PubMed, 19 for Synapse, and 17 for Scopus. Synapse extensively picked up the citations to the earlier papers not retrievable from the other 3 databases. It identified many papers published in the 1960s and in the 1980s which have been cited heavily, proving the central role of the KJP in the dissemination of the important research findings over the last 5 decades.

  7. SAD-B kinase regulates pre-synaptic vesicular dynamics at hippocampal Schaffer collateral synapses and affects contextual fear memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watabe, Ayako M; Nagase, Masashi; Hagiwara, Akari; Hida, Yamato; Tsuji, Megumi; Ochiai, Toshitaka; Kato, Fusao; Ohtsuka, Toshihisa

    2016-01-01

    Synapses of amphids defective (SAD)-A/B kinases control various steps in neuronal development and differentiation, such as axon specifications and maturation in central and peripheral nervous systems. At mature pre-synaptic terminals, SAD-B is associated with synaptic vesicles and the active zone cytomatrix; however, how SAD-B regulates neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity in vivo remains unclear. Thus, we used SAD-B knockout (KO) mice to study the function of this pre-synaptic kinase in the brain. We found that the paired-pulse ratio was significantly enhanced at Shaffer collateral synapses in the hippocampal CA1 region in SAD-B KO mice compared with wild-type littermates. We also found that the frequency of the miniature excitatory post-synaptic current was decreased in SAD-B KO mice. Moreover, synaptic depression following prolonged low-frequency synaptic stimulation was significantly enhanced in SAD-B KO mice. These results suggest that SAD-B kinase regulates vesicular release probability at pre-synaptic terminals and is involved in vesicular trafficking and/or regulation of the readily releasable pool size. Finally, we found that hippocampus-dependent contextual fear learning was significantly impaired in SAD-B KO mice. These observations suggest that SAD-B kinase plays pivotal roles in controlling vesicular release properties and regulating hippocampal function in the mature brain. Synapses of amphids defective (SAD)-A/B kinases control various steps in neuronal development and differentiation, but their roles in mature brains were only partially known. Here, we demonstrated, at mature pre-synaptic terminals, that SAD-B regulates vesicular release probability and synaptic plasticity. Moreover, hippocampus-dependent contextual fear learning was significantly impaired in SAD-B KO mice, suggesting that SAD-B kinase plays pivotal roles in controlling vesicular release properties and regulating hippocampal function in the mature brain. © 2015 International

  8. Remodeling of hippocampal spine synapses in the rat learned helplessness model of depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajszan, Tibor; Dow, Antonia; Warner-Schmidt, Jennifer L; Szigeti-Buck, Klara; Sallam, Nermin L; Parducz, Arpad; Leranth, Csaba; Duman, Ronald S

    2009-03-01

    Although it has been postulated for many years that depression is associated with loss of synapses, primarily in the hippocampus, and that antidepressants facilitate synapse growth, we still lack ultrastructural evidence that changes in depressive behavior are indeed correlated with structural synaptic modifications. We analyzed hippocampal spine synapses of male rats (n=127) with electron microscopic stereology in association with performance in the learned helplessness paradigm. Inescapable footshock (IES) caused an acute and persistent loss of spine synapses in each of CA1, CA3, and dentate gyrus, which was associated with a severe escape deficit in learned helplessness. On the other hand, IES elicited no significant synaptic alterations in motor cortex. A single injection of corticosterone reproduced both the hippocampal synaptic changes and the behavioral responses induced by IES. Treatment of IES-exposed animals for 6 days with desipramine reversed both the hippocampal spine synapse loss and the escape deficit in learned helplessness. We noted, however, that desipramine failed to restore the number of CA1 spine synapses to nonstressed levels, which was associated with a minor escape deficit compared with nonstressed control rats. Shorter, 1-day or 3-day desipramine treatments, however, had neither synaptic nor behavioral effects. These results indicate that changes in depressive behavior are associated with remarkable remodeling of hippocampal spine synapses at the ultrastructural level. Because spine synapse loss contributes to hippocampal dysfunction, this cellular mechanism may be an important component in the neurobiology of stress-related disorders such as depression.

  9. NKp46 clusters at the immune synapse and regulates NK cell polarization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uzi eHadad

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Natural killer cells play an important role in first-line defense against tumor and virus-infected cells. The activity of NK cells is tightly regulated by a repertoire of cell-surface expressed inhibitory and activating receptors. NKp46 is a major NK cell activating receptor that is involved in the elimination of target cells. NK cells form different types of synapses that result in distinct functional outcomes: cytotoxic, inhibitory, and regulatory. Recent studies revealed that complex integration of NK receptor signaling controls cytoskeletal rearrangement and other immune synapse-related events. However the distinct nature by which NKp46 participates in NK immunological synapse formation and function remains unknown. In this study we determined that NKp46 forms microclusters structures at the immune synapse between NK cells and target cells. Over-expression of human NKp46 is correlated with increased accumulation of F-actin mesh at the immune synapse. Concordantly, knock-down of NKp46 in primary human NK cells decreased recruitment of F-actin to the synapse. Live cell imaging experiments showed a linear correlation between NKp46 expression and lytic granules polarization to the immune synapse. Taken together, our data suggest that NKp46 signaling directly regulates the NK lytic immune synapse from early formation to late function.

  10. Imaging Polarized Secretory Traffic at the Immune Synapse in Living T Lymphocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvo, Víctor; Izquierdo, Manuel

    2018-01-01

    Immune synapse (IS) formation by T lymphocytes constitutes a crucial event involved in antigen-specific, cellular and humoral immune responses. After IS formation by T lymphocytes and antigen-presenting cells, the convergence of secretory vesicles toward the microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) and MTOC polarization to the IS are involved in polarized secretion at the synaptic cleft. This specialized mechanism appears to specifically provide the immune system with a fine strategy to increase the efficiency of crucial secretory effector functions of T lymphocytes, while minimizing non-specific, cytokine-mediated stimulation of bystander cells, target cell killing and activation-induced cell death. The molecular bases involved in the polarized secretory traffic toward the IS in T lymphocytes have been the focus of interest, thus different models and several imaging strategies have been developed to gain insights into the mechanisms governing directional secretory traffic. In this review, we deal with the most widely used, state-of-the-art approaches to address the molecular mechanisms underlying this crucial, immune secretory response.

  11. Three-dimensional distribution of cortical synapses: a replicated point pattern-based analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anton-Sanchez, Laura; Bielza, Concha; Merchán-Pérez, Angel; Rodríguez, José-Rodrigo; DeFelipe, Javier; Larrañaga, Pedro

    2014-01-01

    The biggest problem when analyzing the brain is that its synaptic connections are extremely complex. Generally, the billions of neurons making up the brain exchange information through two types of highly specialized structures: chemical synapses (the vast majority) and so-called gap junctions (a substrate of one class of electrical synapse). Here we are interested in exploring the three-dimensional spatial distribution of chemical synapses in the cerebral cortex. Recent research has showed that the three-dimensional spatial distribution of synapses in layer III of the neocortex can be modeled by a random sequential adsorption (RSA) point process, i.e., synapses are distributed in space almost randomly, with the only constraint that they cannot overlap. In this study we hypothesize that RSA processes can also explain the distribution of synapses in all cortical layers. We also investigate whether there are differences in both the synaptic density and spatial distribution of synapses between layers. Using combined focused ion beam milling and scanning electron microscopy (FIB/SEM), we obtained three-dimensional samples from the six layers of the rat somatosensory cortex and identified and reconstructed the synaptic junctions. A total volume of tissue of approximately 4500μm3 and around 4000 synapses from three different animals were analyzed. Different samples, layers and/or animals were aggregated and compared using RSA replicated spatial point processes. The results showed no significant differences in the synaptic distribution across the different rats used in the study. We found that RSA processes described the spatial distribution of synapses in all samples of each layer. We also found that the synaptic distribution in layers II to VI conforms to a common underlying RSA process with different densities per layer. Interestingly, the results showed that synapses in layer I had a slightly different spatial distribution from the other layers. PMID:25206325

  12. Dopamine synapse is a neuroligin-2–mediated contact between dopaminergic presynaptic and GABAergic postsynaptic structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchigashima, Motokazu; Ohtsuka, Toshihisa; Kobayashi, Kazuto; Watanabe, Masahiko

    2016-01-01

    Midbrain dopamine neurons project densely to the striatum and form so-called dopamine synapses on medium spiny neurons (MSNs), principal neurons in the striatum. Because dopamine receptors are widely expressed away from dopamine synapses, it remains unclear how dopamine synapses are involved in dopaminergic transmission. Here we demonstrate that dopamine synapses are contacts formed between dopaminergic presynaptic and GABAergic postsynaptic structures. The presynaptic structure expressed tyrosine hydroxylase, vesicular monoamine transporter-2, and plasmalemmal dopamine transporter, which are essential for dopamine synthesis, vesicular filling, and recycling, but was below the detection threshold for molecules involving GABA synthesis and vesicular filling or for GABA itself. In contrast, the postsynaptic structure of dopamine synapses expressed GABAergic molecules, including postsynaptic adhesion molecule neuroligin-2, postsynaptic scaffolding molecule gephyrin, and GABAA receptor α1, without any specific clustering of dopamine receptors. Of these, neuroligin-2 promoted presynaptic differentiation in axons of midbrain dopamine neurons and striatal GABAergic neurons in culture. After neuroligin-2 knockdown in the striatum, a significant decrease of dopamine synapses coupled with a reciprocal increase of GABAergic synapses was observed on MSN dendrites. This finding suggests that neuroligin-2 controls striatal synapse formation by giving competitive advantage to heterologous dopamine synapses over conventional GABAergic synapses. Considering that MSN dendrites are preferential targets of dopamine synapses and express high levels of dopamine receptors, dopamine synapse formation may serve to increase the specificity and potency of dopaminergic modulation of striatal outputs by anchoring dopamine release sites to dopamine-sensing targets. PMID:27035941

  13. Synapse-specific and compartmentalized expression of presynaptic homeostatic potentiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiling; Goel, Pragya; Chen, Catherine; Angajala, Varun; Chen, Xun

    2018-01-01

    Postsynaptic compartments can be specifically modulated during various forms of synaptic plasticity, but it is unclear whether this precision is shared at presynaptic terminals. Presynaptic homeostatic plasticity (PHP) stabilizes neurotransmission at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction, where a retrograde enhancement of presynaptic neurotransmitter release compensates for diminished postsynaptic receptor functionality. To test the specificity of PHP induction and expression, we have developed a genetic manipulation to reduce postsynaptic receptor expression at one of the two muscles innervated by a single motor neuron. We find that PHP can be induced and expressed at a subset of synapses, over both acute and chronic time scales, without influencing transmission at adjacent release sites. Further, homeostatic modulations to CaMKII, vesicle pools, and functional release sites are compartmentalized and do not spread to neighboring pre- or post-synaptic structures. Thus, both PHP induction and expression mechanisms are locally transmitted and restricted to specific synaptic compartments. PMID:29620520

  14. Coordinated Feeding Behavior in Trichoplax, an Animal without Synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolyn L Smith

    Full Text Available Trichoplax is a small disk-shaped marine metazoan that adheres to substrates and locomotes by ciliary gliding. Despite having only six cell types and lacking synapses Trichoplax coordinates a complex sequence of behaviors culminating in external digestion of algae. We combine live cell imaging with electron microscopy to show how this is accomplished. When Trichoplax glides over a patch of algae, its cilia stop beating so it ceases moving. A subset of one of the cell types, lipophils, simultaneously secretes granules whose content rapidly lyses algae. This secretion is accurately targeted, as only lipophils located near algae release granules. The animal pauses while the algal content is ingested, and then resumes gliding. Global control of gliding is coordinated with precise local control of lipophil secretion suggesting the presence of mechanisms for cellular communication and integration.

  15. Synchrony detection and amplification by silicon neurons with STDP synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bofill-i-petit, Adria; Murray, Alan F

    2004-09-01

    Spike-timing dependent synaptic plasticity (STDP) is a form of plasticity driven by precise spike-timing differences between presynaptic and postsynaptic spikes. Thus, the learning rules underlying STDP are suitable for learning neuronal temporal phenomena such as spike-timing synchrony. It is well known that weight-independent STDP creates unstable learning processes resulting in balanced bimodal weight distributions. In this paper, we present a neuromorphic analog very large scale integration (VLSI) circuit that contains a feedforward network of silicon neurons with STDP synapses. The learning rule implemented can be tuned to have a moderate level of weight dependence. This helps stabilise the learning process and still generates binary weight distributions. From on-chip learning experiments we show that the chip can detect and amplify hierarchical spike-timing synchrony structures embedded in noisy spike trains. The weight distributions of the network emerging from learning are bimodal.

  16. Spin switches for compact implementation of neuron and synapse

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Quang Diep, Vinh; Sutton, Brian; Datta, Supriyo; Behin-Aein, Behtash

    2014-01-01

    Nanomagnets driven by spin currents provide a natural implementation for a neuron and a synapse: currents allow convenient summation of multiple inputs, while the magnet provides the threshold function. The objective of this paper is to explore the possibility of a hardware neural network implementation using a spin switch (SS) as its basic building block. SS is a recently proposed device based on established technology with a transistor-like gain and input-output isolation. This allows neural networks to be constructed with purely passive interconnections without intervening clocks or amplifiers. The weights for the neural network are conveniently adjusted through analog voltages that can be stored in a non-volatile manner in an underlying CMOS layer using a floating gate low dropout voltage regulator. The operation of a multi-layer SS neural network designed for character recognition is demonstrated using a standard simulation model based on coupled Landau-Lifshitz-Gilbert equations, one for each magnet in the network

  17. Spin switches for compact implementation of neuron and synapse

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Quang Diep, Vinh, E-mail: vdiep@purdue.edu; Sutton, Brian; Datta, Supriyo [School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907 (United States); Behin-Aein, Behtash [GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Inc., Sunnyvale, California 94085 (United States)

    2014-06-02

    Nanomagnets driven by spin currents provide a natural implementation for a neuron and a synapse: currents allow convenient summation of multiple inputs, while the magnet provides the threshold function. The objective of this paper is to explore the possibility of a hardware neural network implementation using a spin switch (SS) as its basic building block. SS is a recently proposed device based on established technology with a transistor-like gain and input-output isolation. This allows neural networks to be constructed with purely passive interconnections without intervening clocks or amplifiers. The weights for the neural network are conveniently adjusted through analog voltages that can be stored in a non-volatile manner in an underlying CMOS layer using a floating gate low dropout voltage regulator. The operation of a multi-layer SS neural network designed for character recognition is demonstrated using a standard simulation model based on coupled Landau-Lifshitz-Gilbert equations, one for each magnet in the network.

  18. New 40Ar-39Ar dating of Lower Cretaceous basalts at the southern front of the Central High Atlas, Morocco: insights on late Mesozoic tectonics, sedimentation and magmatism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moratti, G.; Benvenuti, M.; Santo, A. P.; Laurenzi, M. A.; Braschi, E.; Tommasini, S.

    2018-04-01

    This study is based upon a stratigraphic and structural revision of a Middle Jurassic-Upper Cretaceous mostly continental succession exposed between Boumalne Dades and Tinghir (Southern Morocco), and aims at reconstructing the relation among sedimentary, tectonic and magmatic processes that affected a portion of the Central High Atlas domains. Basalts interbedded in the continental deposits have been sampled in the two studied sites for petrographic, geochemical and radiogenic isotope analyses. The results of this study provide: (1) a robust support to the local stratigraphic revision and to a regional lithostratigraphic correlation based on new 40Ar-39Ar ages (ca. 120 Ma) of the intervening basalts; (2) clues for reconstructing the relation between magma emplacement in a structural setting characterized by syn-depositional crustal shortening pre-dating the convergent tectonic inversion of the Atlasic rifted basins; (3) a new and intriguing scenario indicating that the Middle Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous basalts of the Central High Atlas could represent the first signal of the present-day Canary Islands mantle plume impinging, flattening, and delaminating the base of the Moroccan continental lithosphere since the Jurassic, and successively dragged passively by the Africa plate motion to NE. The tectono-sedimentary and magmatic events discussed in this paper are preliminarily extended from their local scale into a peculiar geodynamic setting of a continental plate margin flanked by the opening and spreading Central Atlantic and NW Tethys oceans. It is suggested that during the late Mesozoic this setting created an unprecedented condition of intraplate stress for concurrent crustal shortening, related mountain uplift, and thinning of continental lithosphere.

  19. THE ANALYTICAL INSIGHT INTO CUSTOMER PERCEPTION OF QUALITY DETERMINANTS OF THE E-COMMERCE MODEL BUSINESS-TO-CONSUMER SUBJECTS IN THE CENTRAL EUROPEAN COUNTRIES

    OpenAIRE

    Radovan Bačík; Zsuzsanna Katalin Szabo; Richard Fedorko

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: The aim of the paper is to describe the specific aspects of the e-commerce model business-to-consumer as a constantly developing field of an economic life in the Central European countries according to their customers. The current state of e-business and business-to-consumer e-commerce issue was identified by the research in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.Methodology/Approach: For the purposes of collecting primary data the crucial factor for the selection of e-shop...

  20. The Fate of Atmospherically Derived Pb in Central European Catchments: Insights from Spatial and Temporal Pollution Gradients and Pb Isotope Ratios

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Bohdálková, Leona; Novák, M.; Štěpánová, M.; Foltová, D.; Chrastný, V.; Miková, J.; Kuběna, Aleš Antonín

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 48, č. 8 (2014), s. 4336-4433 ISSN 0013-936X R&D Projects: GA MŠk ED1.1.00/02.0070 Institutional support: RVO:67985556 ; RVO:67179843 Keywords : AMBIENT AIR-QUALITY * LEAD BIOGEOCHEMISTRY * DEPOSITION TRENDS * NORTHERN ENGLAND * CENTRAL ONTARIO * FOREST SOILS * PEAT BOGS * WATERS * ELEMENT * METALS Subject RIV: DN - Health Impact of the Environment Quality; EH - Ecology, Behaviour (UEK-B) Impact factor: 5.330, year: 2014 http://library.utia.cas.cz/separaty/2014/E/kubena-0433722.pdf

  1. Muscarinic receptors modulate dendrodendritic inhibitory synapses to sculpt glomerular output.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Shaolin; Shao, Zuoyi; Puche, Adam; Wachowiak, Matt; Rothermel, Markus; Shipley, Michael T

    2015-04-08

    Cholinergic [acetylcholine (ACh)] axons from the basal forebrain innervate olfactory bulb glomeruli, the initial site of synaptic integration in the olfactory system. Both nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) are expressed in glomeruli. The activation of nAChRs directly excites both mitral/tufted cells (MTCs) and external tufted cells (ETCs), the two major excitatory neurons that transmit glomerular output. The functional roles of mAChRs in glomerular circuits are unknown. We show that the restricted glomerular application of ACh causes rapid, brief nAChR-mediated excitation of both MTCs and ETCs in the mouse olfactory bulb. This excitation is followed by mAChR-mediated inhibition, which is blocked by GABAA receptor antagonists, indicating the engagement of periglomerular cells (PGCs) and/or short axon cells (SACs), the two major glomerular inhibitory neurons. Indeed, selective activation of glomerular mAChRs, with ionotropic GluRs and nAChRs blocked, increased IPSCs in MTCs and ETCs, indicating that mAChRs recruit glomerular inhibitory circuits. Selective activation of glomerular mAChRs in the presence of tetrodotoxin increased IPSCs in all glomerular neurons, indicating action potential-independent enhancement of GABA release from PGC and/or SAC dendrodendritic synapses. mAChR-mediated enhancement of GABA release also presynaptically suppressed the first synapse of the olfactory system via GABAB receptors on sensory terminals. Together, these results indicate that cholinergic modulation of glomerular circuits is biphasic, involving an initial excitation of MTC/ETCs mediated by nAChRs followed by inhibition mediated directly by mAChRs on PGCs/SACs. This may phasically enhance the sensitivity of glomerular outputs to odorants, an action that is consistent with recent in vivo findings. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/355680-13$15.00/0.

  2. Geochemical Signature of Magmatic-Hydrothermal Fluids Exsolved from the Beauvoir Rare-Metal Granite (Massif Central, France: Insights from LA-ICPMS Analysis of Primary Fluid Inclusions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthieu Harlaux

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The Beauvoir granite (Massif Central, France represents an exceptional case in the European Variscan belt of a peraluminous rare-metal granite crosscutting an early W stockwork. The latter was strongly overprinted by rare-metal magmatic-hydrothermal fluids derived from the Beauvoir granite, resulting in a massive topazification of the quartz-ferberite vein system. This work presents a complete study of primary fluid inclusions hosted in quartz and topaz from the Beauvoir granite and the metasomatized stockwork, in order to characterize the geochemical composition of the magmatic fluids exsolved during the crystallization of this evolved rare-metal peraluminous granite. Microthermometric and Raman spectrometry data show that the earliest fluid (L1 is of high temperature (500 to >600°C, high salinity (17–28 wt.% NaCl eq, and Li-rich (Te100 m and interaction with external fluids.

  3. New insights into structural and stratigraphic aspects of central Northern Switzerland from the Nagra 2D reflection seismic campaign 2011/12

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meier, B.

    2015-01-01

    In this article, some findings resulting from the interpretation of reprocessed and newly acquired 2D seismic data in the central Northern Switzerland are presented. The seismic examples illustrate the relationship between basement and cover-tectonics and offer a closer look at seismic-stratigraphic characteristics which can be observed in the Middle Jurassic sequence. The new 2D seismic data have closed an important data gaps between the Nagra siting regions 'Jura Ost' and Nördlich Lägern' proposed for radioactive waste disposal and allow clarification of the general structural framework and internal composition of the Permo-Carboniferous Through. Furthermore, the kinematic relationships between the basement and cover structures can be studied and the newly acquired seismic data have allowed detailed depositional structures and seismic facies changes within the Mid-Upper Dogger sequence to be recognized, particularly east and west of the lower Aare valley. (author)

  4. Vegetation response to the "African Humid Period" termination in Central Cameroon (7° N – new pollen insight from Lake Mbalang

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Servant

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available A new pollen sequence from the Lake Mbalang (7°19´ N, 13°44´ E, 1110 m a.s.l. located on the eastern Adamawa plateau, in Central Cameroon, is presented in this paper to analyze the Holocene African Humid Period (AHP termination and related vegetation changes at 7° N in tropical Africa, completing an important transect for exploring shifts in the northern margin of the African Monsoon. This sequence, spanning the last 7000 cal yr BP, shows that the vegetation response to this transitional climatic period was marked by significant successional changes within the broad context of long-term aridification. Semi-deciduous/sub-montane forest retreat in this area is initially registered as early as ca. 6100 cal yr BP and modern savannah was definitely established at ca. 3000 cal yr BP and stabilized at ca. 2400 cal yr BP; but a slight forest regeneration episode is observed between ca. 5200 and ca. 4200 cal yr BP. In this area with modern high rainfall, increasing in the length of the dry season during the AHP termination linked to a contraction of the northern margin of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ from ca. 6100 cal yr BP onward, probably associated with decreasing in cloud cover and/or fog frequency, has primarily controlled vegetation dynamics and above all the disappearance of the forested environment on the Adamawa plateau. Compared to previous studies undertaken in northern tropical and Central Africa, this work clearly shows that the response of vegetation to transitional periods between climatic extremes such as the AHP termination might be different in timing, mode and amplitude according to the regional climate of the study sites, but also according to the stability of vegetation before and during these climatic transitions.

  5. Eolian dust dispersal patterns since the last glacial period in eastern Central Asia: insights from a loess-paleosol sequence in the Ili Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yue; Song, Yougui; Fitzsimmons, Kathryn E.; Chang, Hong; Orozbaev, Rustam; Li, Xinxin

    2018-03-01

    The extensive loess deposits of the Eurasian mid-latitudes provide important terrestrial archives of Quaternary climatic change. As yet, however, loess records in Central Asia are poorly understood. Here we investigate the grain size and magnetic characteristics of loess from the Nilka (NLK) section in the Ili Basin of eastern Central Asia. Weak pedogenesis suggested by frequency-dependent magnetic susceptibility (χfd%) and magnetic susceptibility (MS) peaks in primary loess suggest that MS is more strongly influenced by allogenetic magnetic minerals than pedogenesis, and may therefore be used to indicate wind strength. This is supported by the close correlation between variations in MS and proportions of the sand-sized fraction. To further explore the temporal variability in dust transport patterns, we identified three grain size end-members (EM1, mode size 47.5 µm; EM2, 33.6 µm; EM3, 18.9 µm) which represent distinct aerodynamic environments. EM1 and EM2 are inferred to represent grain size fractions transported from proximal sources in short-term, near-surface suspension during dust outbreaks. EM3 appears to represent a continuous background dust fraction under non-dust storm conditions. Of the three end-members, EM1 is most likely the most sensitive recorder of wind strength. We compare our EM1 proportions with mean grain size from the Jingyuan section in the Chinese loess plateau, and assess these in the context of modern and Holocene climate data. Our research suggests that the Siberian High pressure system is the dominant influence on wind dynamics, resulting in loess deposition in the eastern Ili Basin. Six millennial-scale cooling (Heinrich) events can be identified in the NLK loess records. Our grain size data support the hypothesis that the Siberian High acts as teleconnection between the climatic systems of the North Atlantic and East Asia in the high northern latitudes, but not for the mid-latitude westerlies.

  6. IGF-1 Receptor Differentially Regulates Spontaneous and Evoked Transmission via Mitochondria at Hippocampal Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gazit, Neta; Vertkin, Irena; Shapira, Ilana; Helm, Martin; Slomowitz, Edden; Sheiba, Maayan; Mor, Yael; Rizzoli, Silvio; Slutsky, Inna

    2016-01-01

    Summary The insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) signaling is a key regulator of lifespan, growth, and development. While reduced IGF-1R signaling delays aging and Alzheimer’s disease progression, whether and how it regulates information processing at central synapses remains elusive. Here, we show that presynaptic IGF-1Rs are basally active, regulating synaptic vesicle release and short-term plasticity in excitatory hippocampal neurons. Acute IGF-1R blockade or transient knockdown suppresses spike-evoked synaptic transmission and presynaptic cytosolic Ca2+ transients, while promoting spontaneous transmission and resting Ca2+ level. This dual effect on transmitter release is mediated by mitochondria that attenuate Ca2+ buffering in the absence of spikes and decrease ATP production during spiking activity. We conclude that the mitochondria, activated by IGF-1R signaling, constitute a critical regulator of information processing in hippocampal neurons by maintaining evoked-to-spontaneous transmission ratio, while constraining synaptic facilitation at high frequencies. Excessive IGF-1R tone may contribute to hippocampal hyperactivity associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Video Abstract PMID:26804996

  7. Effect of synapse dilution on the memory retrieval in structured attractor neural networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunel, N.

    1993-08-01

    We investigate a simple model of structured attractor neural network (ANN). In this network a module codes for the category of the stored information, while another group of neurons codes for the remaining information. The probability distribution of stabilities of the patterns and the prototypes of the categories are calculated, for two different synaptic structures. The stability of the prototypes is shown to increase when the fraction of neurons coding for the category goes down. Then the effect of synapse destruction on the retrieval is studied in two opposite situations : first analytically in sparsely connected networks, then numerically in completely connected ones. In both cases the behaviour of the structured network and that of the usual homogeneous networks are compared. When lesions increase, two transitions are shown to appear in the behaviour of the structured network when one of the patterns is presented to the network. After the first transition the network recognizes the category of the pattern but not the individual pattern. After the second transition the network recognizes nothing. These effects are similar to syndromes caused by lesions in the central visual system, namely prosopagnosia and agnosia. In both types of networks (structured or homogeneous) the stability of the prototype is greater than the stability of individual patterns, however the first transition, for completely connected networks, occurs only when the network is structured.

  8. Presynaptic muscarinic receptors, calcium channels, and protein kinase C modulate the functional disconnection of weak inputs at polyinnervated neonatal neuromuscular synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santafe, M M; Garcia, N; Lanuza, M A; Tomàs, M; Besalduch, N; Tomàs, J

    2009-04-01

    We studied the relation among calcium inflows, voltage-dependent calcium channels (VDCC), presynaptic muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs), and protein kinase C (PKC) activity in the modulation of synapse elimination. We used intracellular recording to determine the synaptic efficacy in dually innervated endplates of the levator auris longus muscle of newborn rats during axonal competition in the postnatal synaptic elimination period. In these dual junctions, the weak nerve terminal was potentiated by partially reducing calcium entry (P/Q-, N-, or L-type VDCC-specific block or 500 muM magnesium ions), M1- or M4-type selective mAChR block, or PKC block. Moreover, reducing calcium entry or blocking PKC or mAChRs results in unmasking functionally silent nerve endings that now recover neurotransmitter release. Our results show interactions between these molecules and indicate that there is a release inhibition mechanism based on an mAChR-PKC-VDCC intracellular cascade. When it is fully active in certain weak motor axons, it can depress ACh release and even disconnect synapses. We suggest that this mechanism plays a central role in the elimination of redundant neonatal synapses, because functional axonal withdrawal can indeed be reversed by mAChRs, VDCCs, or PKC block.

  9. Geodynamic controls on the contamination of Cenozoic arc magmas in the southern Central Andes: Insights from the O and Hf isotopic composition of zircon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Rosemary E.; Kirstein, Linda A.; Kasemann, Simone A.; Dhuime, Bruno; Elliott, Tim; Litvak, Vanesa D.; Alonso, Ricardo; Hinton, Richard

    2015-09-01

    Subduction zones, such as the Andean convergent margin of South America, are sites of active continental growth and crustal recycling. The composition of arc magmas, and therefore new continental crust, reflects variable contributions from mantle, crustal and subducted reservoirs. Temporal (Ma) and spatial (km) variations in these contributions to southern Central Andean arc magmas are investigated in relation to the changing plate geometry and geodynamic setting of the southern Central Andes (28-32° S) during the Cenozoic. The in-situ analysis of O and Hf isotopes in zircon, from both intrusive (granitoids) and extrusive (basaltic andesites to rhyolites) Late Cretaceous - Late Miocene arc magmatic rocks, combined with high resolution U-Pb dating, demonstrates distinct across-arc variations. Mantle-like δ18O(zircon) values (+5.4‰ to +5.7‰ (±0.4 (2σ))) and juvenile initial εHf(zircon) values (+8.3 (±0.8 (2σ)) to +10.0 (±0.9 (2σ))), combined with a lack of zircon inheritance suggests that the Late Cretaceous (∼73 Ma) to Eocene (∼39 Ma) granitoids emplaced in the Principal Cordillera of Chile formed from mantle-derived melts with very limited interaction with continental crustal material, therefore representing a sustained period of upper crustal growth. Late Eocene (∼36 Ma) to Early Miocene (∼17 Ma) volcanic arc rocks present in the Frontal Cordillera have 'mantle-like' δ18O(zircon) values (+4.8‰ (±0.2 (2σ) to +5.8‰ (±0.5 (2σ))), but less radiogenic initial εHf(zircon) values (+1.0 (±1.1 (2σ)) to +4.0 (±0.6 (2σ))) providing evidence for mixing of mantle-derived melts with the Late Paleozoic - Early Mesozoic basement (up to ∼20%). The assimilation of both Late Paleozoic - Early Mesozoic Andean crust and a Grenville-aged basement is required to produce the higher than 'mantle-like' δ18O(zircon) values (+5.5‰ (±0.6 (2σ) to +7.2‰ (±0.4 (2σ))) and unradiogenic, initial εHf(zircon) values (-3.9 (±1.0 (2σ)) to +1.6 (±4.4 (2

  10. Eolian dust dispersal patterns since the last glacial period in eastern Central Asia: insights from a loess-paleosol sequence in the Ili Basin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Li

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The extensive loess deposits of the Eurasian mid-latitudes provide important terrestrial archives of Quaternary climatic change. As yet, however, loess records in Central Asia are poorly understood. Here we investigate the grain size and magnetic characteristics of loess from the Nilka (NLK section in the Ili Basin of eastern Central Asia. Weak pedogenesis suggested by frequency-dependent magnetic susceptibility (χfd% and magnetic susceptibility (MS peaks in primary loess suggest that MS is more strongly influenced by allogenetic magnetic minerals than pedogenesis, and may therefore be used to indicate wind strength. This is supported by the close correlation between variations in MS and proportions of the sand-sized fraction. To further explore the temporal variability in dust transport patterns, we identified three grain size end-members (EM1, mode size 47.5 µm; EM2, 33.6 µm; EM3, 18.9 µm which represent distinct aerodynamic environments. EM1 and EM2 are inferred to represent grain size fractions transported from proximal sources in short-term, near-surface suspension during dust outbreaks. EM3 appears to represent a continuous background dust fraction under non-dust storm conditions. Of the three end-members, EM1 is most likely the most sensitive recorder of wind strength. We compare our EM1 proportions with mean grain size from the Jingyuan section in the Chinese loess plateau, and assess these in the context of modern and Holocene climate data. Our research suggests that the Siberian High pressure system is the dominant influence on wind dynamics, resulting in loess deposition in the eastern Ili Basin. Six millennial-scale cooling (Heinrich events can be identified in the NLK loess records. Our grain size data support the hypothesis that the Siberian High acts as teleconnection between the climatic systems of the North Atlantic and East Asia in the high northern latitudes, but not for the mid-latitude westerlies.

  11. Adult neurogenesis in the central olfactory pathway of dendrobranchiate and caridean shrimps: New insights into the evolution of the deutocerebral proliferative system in reptant decapods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wittfoth, Christin; Harzsch, Steffen

    2018-04-16

    Persistent neurogenesis in the central olfactory pathway characterizes many reptant decapods such as lobsters, crayfish and crabs. In these animals, the deutocerebral proliferative system generates new neurons which integrate into the neuronal network of the first order processing neuropil of the olfactory system, the deutocerebral chemosensory lobes (also called olfactory lobes). However, differences concerning the phenotype and the mechanisms that drive adult neurogenesis were reported in crayfish versus spiny lobsters. While numerous studies have focussed on these mechanisms and regulation of adult neurogenesis, investigations about the phylogenetic distribution are missing. To contribute an evolutionary perspective on adult neurogenesis in decapods, we investigated two representatives of basally diverging lineages, the dendrobranchiate Penaeus vannamei and the caridean Crangon crangon using the thymidine analogue Bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) as marker for the S phase of cycling cells. Compared to reptant decapods, our results suggest a simpler mechanism of neurogenesis in the adult brain of dendrobranchiate and caridean shrimps. Observed differences in the rate of proliferation and spatial dimensions are suggested to correlate with the complexity of the olfactory system. We assume that a more complex and mitotically more active proliferative system in reptant decapods evolved with the emergence of another processing neuropil, the accessory lobes. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Insights on surface-water/groundwater exchange in the upper Floridan aquifer, north-central Florida (USA), from streamflow data and numerical modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutton, James E.; Screaton, Elizabeth J.; Martin, Jonathan B.

    2015-03-01

    Surface-water/groundwater exchange impacts water quality and budgets. In karst aquifers, these exchanges also play an important role in dissolution. Five years of river discharge data were analyzed and a transient groundwater flow model was developed to evaluate large-scale temporal and spatial variations of exchange between an 80-km stretch of the Suwannee River in north-central Florida (USA) and the karstic upper Floridan aquifer. The one-layer transient groundwater flow model was calibrated using groundwater levels from 59 monitoring wells, and fluxes were compared to the exchange calculated from discharge data. Both the numerical modeling and the discharge analysis suggest that the Suwannee River loses water under both low- and high-stage conditions. River losses appear greatest at the inside of a large meander, and the former river water may continue across the meander within the aquifer rather than return to the river. In addition, the numerical model calibration reveals that aquifer transmissivity is elevated within this large meander, which is consistent with enhanced dissolution due to river losses. The results show the importance of temporal and spatial variations in head gradients to exchange between streams and karst aquifers and dissolution of the aquifers.

  13. Conductive Hearing Loss Has Long-Lasting Structural and Molecular Effects on Presynaptic and Postsynaptic Structures of Auditory Nerve Synapses in the Cochlear Nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarkson, Cheryl; Antunes, Flora M; Rubio, Maria E

    2016-09-28

    Sound deprivation by conductive hearing loss increases hearing thresholds, but little is known about the response of the auditory brainstem during and after conductive hearing loss. Here, we show in young adult rats that 10 d of monaural conductive hearing loss (i.e., earplugging) leads to hearing deficits that persist after sound levels are restored. Hearing thresholds in response to clicks and frequencies higher than 8 kHz remain increased after a 10 d recovery period. Neural output from the cochlear nucleus measured at 10 dB above threshold is reduced and followed by an overcompensation at the level of the lateral lemniscus. We assessed whether structural and molecular substrates at auditory nerve (endbulb of Held) synapses in the cochlear nucleus could explain these long-lasting changes in hearing processing. During earplugging, vGluT1 expression in the presynaptic terminal decreased and synaptic vesicles were smaller. Together, there was an increase in postsynaptic density (PSD) thickness and an upregulation of GluA3 AMPA receptor subunits on bushy cells. After earplug removal and a 10 d recovery period, the density of synaptic vesicles increased, vesicles were also larger, and the PSD of endbulb synapses was larger and thicker. The upregulation of the GluA3 AMPAR subunit observed during earplugging was maintained after the recovery period. This suggests that GluA3 plays a role in plasticity in the cochlear nucleus. Our study demonstrates that sound deprivation has long-lasting alterations on structural and molecular presynaptic and postsynaptic components at the level of the first auditory nerve synapse in the auditory brainstem. Despite being the second most prevalent form of hearing loss, conductive hearing loss and its effects on central synapses have received relatively little attention. Here, we show that 10 d of monaural conductive hearing loss leads to an increase in hearing thresholds, to an increased central gain upstream of the cochlear nucleus at

  14. Magma-Tectonic Interactions along the Central America Volcanic Arc: Insights from the August 1999 Magmatic and Tectonic Event at Cerro Negro, Nicaragua

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Femina, P.; Connor, C.; Strauch, W.

    2002-12-01

    Volcanic vent alignments form parallel to the direction of maximum horizontal stress, accommodating extensional strain via dike injection. Roughly east-west extension within the Central America Volcanic Arc is accommodated along north-northwest-trending basaltic vent alignments. In Nicaragua, these alignments are located in a northwest-trending zone of dextral shear, with shear accommodated along northeast trending bookshelf faults. The recent eruption of Cerro Negro volcano, Nicaragua and Marabios Range seismic swarm revealed the interaction of these fault systems. A low energy (VEI 1), small volume (0.001 km3 DRE) eruption of highly crystalline basalt occurred at Cerro Negro volcano, Nicaragua, August 5-7, 1999. This eruption followed three tectonic earthquakes (each Mw 5.2) in the vicinity of Cerro Negro hours before the onset of eruptive activity. The temporal and spatial pattern of microseismicity and focal mechanisms of the Mw 5.2 earthquakes suggests the activation of northeast-trending faults northwest and southeast of Cerro Negro within the Marabios Range. The eruption was confined to three new vents formed on the southern flank of Cerro Negro along a preexisting north-northwest trending alignment; the El Hoyo alignment of cinder cones, maars and explosion craters. Surface ruptures formed > 1 km south and southeast of the new vents suggest dike injection. Numerical simulations of conduit flow illustrate that the observed effusion rates (up to 65 ms-1) and fountain heights (50-300 m) can be achieved by eruption of magma with little or no excess fluid pressure, in response to tectonic strain. These observations and models suggest that 1999 Cerro Negro activity is an excellent example of tectonically induced small-volume eruptions in an arc setting.

  15. Integrated geochronology of Acheulian sites from the southern Latium (central Italy): Insights on human-environment interaction and the technological innovations during the MIS 11-MIS 10 period

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Alison; Nomade, Sébastien; Moncel, Marie-Hélène; Voinchet, Pierre; Bahain, Jean-Jacques; Biddittu, Italo; Falguères, Christophe; Giaccio, Biagio; Manzi, Giorgio; Parenti, Fabio; Scardia, Giancarlo; Scao, Vincent; Sottili, Gianluca; Vietti, Amina

    2018-05-01

    We have explored the multimethod approach combining 40Ar/39Ar on single crystal, ESR on bleached quartz, and ESR/U-series on teeth to improve the age of four neighbours "Acheulian" sites of the Frosinone Province (Latium, Italy): Fontana Ranuccio, Cava Pompi (Pofi), Isoletta, and Lademagne. Ages obtained by the three methods are in mutual agreement and confirm the potential of dating with confidence Middle Pleistocene sites of Italy using these methods. At Fontana Ranuccio, the 40Ar/39Ar age (408 ± 10 ka, full external error at 2σ) obtained for the archaeological level (unit FR4) and geochemical analyses of glass shards performed on the Unit FR2a layer allow us to attribute the studied volcanic material to the Pozzolane Nere volcanic series, a well-known caldera-forming event originated from the Colli Albani volcanic district. These new data ascribe the Fontana Ranuccio site, as well as the eponym faunal unit, to the climatic optimum of Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11. Ages obtained for the Cava Pompi, Isoletta, and Lademagne sites cover a relatively short period of time between 408 ka and 375 ka, spanning MIS 11 climatic optimum to the MIS 11-10 transition. Analysis of small collections of lithic industries, bifacial tools, and small cores technologies from Isoletta, Lademagne, and the neighbour site of Ceprano-Campogrande shows common technical strategies for the period comprised between MIS 11 and MIS 9 (410-325 ka), such as the elaboration of flaked elephant bone industries found over the whole Latium region. However, some features found only in the Frosinone province area, like large-sized bifaces, suggest particular regional behaviours. The presence of one Levallois core in the oldest layer of Lademagne (i.e. > 405 ± 9 ka) suggests a punctual practice of this technology, also proposed as early as MIS 10/11 in the neighbour site of Guado San Nicola (Molise) in central Italy.

  16. Recovery of Carbonate Ecosystems Following the End-Triassic Mass Extinction: Insights from Mercury Anomalies and Their Relationship to the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corsetti, F. A.; Thibodeau, A. M.; Ritterbush, K. A.; West, A. J.; Yager, J. A.; Ibarra, Y.; Bottjer, D. J.; Berelson, W.; Bergquist, B. A.

    2015-12-01

    Recent high-resolution age dating demonstrates that the end-Triassic mass extinction overlapped with the eruption of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP), and the release of CO2 and other volatiles to the atmosphere has been implicated in the extinction. Given the potentially massive release of CO2, ocean acidification is commonly considered a factor in the extinction and the collapse of shallow marine carbonate ecosystems. However, the timing of global marine biotic recovery versus the CAMP eruptions is more uncertain. Here, we use Hg concentrations and Hg/TOC ratios as indicators of CAMP volcanism in continental shelf sediments, the primary archive of faunal data. In Triassic-Jurassic strata, Muller Canyon, Nevada, Hg and Hg/TOC levels are low prior to the extinction, rise sharply in the extinction interval, peak just prior to the appearance of the first Jurassic ammonite, and remain above background in association with a depauperate (low diversity) earliest Jurassic fauna. The return of Hg to pre-extinction levels is associated with a significant pelagic and benthic faunal recovery. We conclude that significant biotic recovery did not begin until CAMP eruptions ceased. Furthermore, the initial benthic recovery in the Muller Canyon section involves the expansion of a siliceous sponge-dominated ecosystem across shallow marine environments, a feature now known from other sections around the world (e.g., Peru, Morocco, Austria, etc.). Carbonate dominated benthic ecosystems (heralded by the return of abundant corals and other skeletal carbonates) did not recover for ~1 million years following the last eruption of CAMP, longer than the typical duration considered for ocean acidification events, implying other factors may have played a role in carbonate ecosystem dynamics after the extinction.

  17. THE ANALYTICAL INSIGHT INTO CUSTOMER PERCEPTION OF QUALITY DETERMINANTS OF THE E-COMMERCE MODEL BUSINESS-TO-CONSUMER SUBJECTS IN THE CENTRAL EUROPEAN COUNTRIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Radovan Bačík

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: The aim of the paper is to describe the specific aspects of the e-commerce model business-to-consumer as a constantly developing field of an economic life in the Central European countries according to their customers. The current state of e-business and business-to-consumer e-commerce issue was identified by the research in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.Methodology/Approach: For the purposes of collecting primary data the crucial factor for the selection of e-shops was identification of the suitable  online portals focused on post-purchase evaluation of e-shops in Visegrad group countries. Automatic data collection method was used for the observed variables (evaluations within selected online portals of the identified e-shops. The total of 5,228,127 evaluations of 9,260 e-shops were analysed. The main focus was given to customer overall satisfaction with an e-shop in relation to communication with a customer or overall satisfaction with an e-shop and delivery quality.Findings: The results of the research showed that there exists a direct relation between overall satisfaction with an e-shop and communication with customers or overall satisfaction with an e-shop and delivery quality.Originality/Value of paper: The ambition of this paper through the findings is to help subjects of e-commerce in their marketing decisions in order to even better understand the factors that influence customers’ satisfaction. 

  18. On the Universality and Non-Universality of Spiking Neural P Systems With Rules on Synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Tao; Xu, Jinbang; Pan, Linqiang

    2015-12-01

    Spiking neural P systems with rules on synapses are a new variant of spiking neural P systems. In the systems, the neuron contains only spikes, while the spiking/forgetting rules are moved on the synapses. It was obtained that such system with 30 neurons (using extended spiking rules) or with 39 neurons (using standard spiking rules) is Turing universal. In this work, this number is improved to 6. Specifically, we construct a Turing universal spiking neural P system with rules on synapses having 6 neurons, which can generate any set of Turing computable natural numbers. As well, it is obtained that spiking neural P system with rules on synapses having less than two neurons are not Turing universal: i) such systems having one neuron can characterize the family of finite sets of natural numbers; ii) the family of sets of numbers generated by the systems having two neurons is included in the family of semi-linear sets of natural numbers.

  19. Mechanisms of input and output synaptic specificity: finding partners, building synapses, and fine-tuning communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rawson, Randi L; Martin, E Anne; Williams, Megan E

    2017-08-01

    For most neurons to function properly, they need to develop synaptic specificity. This requires finding specific partner neurons, building the correct types of synapses, and fine-tuning these synapses in response to neural activity. Synaptic specificity is common at both a neuron's input and output synapses, whereby unique synapses are built depending on the partnering neuron. Neuroscientists have long appreciated the remarkable specificity of neural circuits but identifying molecular mechanisms mediating synaptic specificity has only recently accelerated. Here, we focus on recent progress in understanding input and output synaptic specificity in the mammalian brain. We review newly identified circuit examples for both and the latest research identifying molecular mediators including Kirrel3, FGFs, and DGLα. Lastly, we expect the pace of research on input and output specificity to continue to accelerate with the advent of new technologies in genomics, microscopy, and proteomics. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Alpha-Bungarotoxin labeling and acetylcholinesterase localization at the Mauthner fiber giant synapse in the hatchetfish

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Day, J.W.; Hall, D.H.; Hall, L.M.; Bennett, M.V.

    1983-01-01

    Autoradiographic and histochemical techniques have been used to characterize further the pharmacology of transmission at the Mauthner fiber giant synapse of the South American hatchetfish. [ 125 I]alpha-Bungarotoxin was applied to hatchetfish medullae and a standard autoradiographic procedure was carried out on 3- to 4-microns sections of glutaraldehyde-fixed tissue. All Mauthner fiber giant synapses, as identified by light microscopic criteria, had closely associated silver grains. Labeling was blocked by d-tubocurarine. Glutaraldehyde-fixed slices of hatchetfish medulla were stained histochemically for acetylcholinesterase; all giant synapses that could be identified in the light microscope showed heavy deposits of reaction product. Staining was blocked by diisopropyl-fluorophosphate, which inhibits both pseudocholinesterase and acetylcholinesterase, but was not blocked by tetraisopropylpyrophosphoramide, a specific pseudocholinesterase inhibitor. This evidence strongly supports the suggestion that the Mauthner fiber giant synapse is nicotinic cholinergic

  1. alpha-Bungarotoxin labeling and acetylcholinesterase localization at the Mauthner fiber giant synapse in the hatchetfish

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Day, J.W.; Hall, D.H.; Hall, L.M.; Bennett, M.V.

    1983-01-01

    Autoradiographic and histochemical techniques have been used to characterize further the pharmacology of transmission at the Mauthner fiber giant synapse of the South American hatchetfish. [ 125 I]alpha-Bungarotoxin was applied to hatchetfish medullae and a standard autoradiographic procedure was carried out on 3- to 4-microns sections of glutaraldehyde-fixed tissue. All Mauthner fiber giant synapses, as identified by light microscopic criteria, had closely associated silver grains. Labeling was blocked by d-tubocurarine. Glutaraldehyde-fixed slices of hatchetfish medulla were stained histochemically for acetylcholinesterase; all giant synapses that could be identified in the light microscope showed heavy deposits of reaction product. Staining was blocked by diisopropyl-fluorophosphate, which inhibits both pseudocholinesterase and acetylcholinesterase, but was not blocked by tetraisopropylpyrophosphoramide, a specific pseudocholinesterase inhibitor. This evidence strongly supports the suggestion that the Mauthner fiber giant synapse is nicotinic cholinergic

  2. Alpha-Bungarotoxin labeling and acetylcholinesterase localization at the Mauthner fiber giant synapse in the hatchetfish

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Day, J.W.; Hall, D.H.; Hall, L.M.; Bennett, M.V.

    1983-02-01

    Autoradiographic and histochemical techniques have been used to characterize further the pharmacology of transmission at the Mauthner fiber giant synapse of the South American hatchetfish. (/sup 125/I)alpha-Bungarotoxin was applied to hatchetfish medullae and a standard autoradiographic procedure was carried out on 3- to 4-microns sections of glutaraldehyde-fixed tissue. All Mauthner fiber giant synapses, as identified by light microscopic criteria, had closely associated silver grains. Labeling was blocked by d-tubocurarine. Glutaraldehyde-fixed slices of hatchetfish medulla were stained histochemically for acetylcholinesterase; all giant synapses that could be identified in the light microscope showed heavy deposits of reaction product. Staining was blocked by diisopropyl-fluorophosphate, which inhibits both pseudocholinesterase and acetylcholinesterase, but was not blocked by tetraisopropylpyrophosphoramide, a specific pseudocholinesterase inhibitor. This evidence strongly supports the suggestion that the Mauthner fiber giant synapse is nicotinic cholinergic.

  3. alpha-Bungarotoxin labeling and acetylcholinesterase localization at the Mauthner fiber giant synapse in the hatchetfish

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Day, J.W.; Hall, D.H.; Hall, L.M.; Bennett, M.V.

    1983-02-01

    Autoradiographic and histochemical techniques have been used to characterize further the pharmacology of transmission at the Mauthner fiber giant synapse of the South American hatchetfish. (/sup 125/I)alpha-Bungarotoxin was applied to hatchetfish medullae and a standard autoradiographic procedure was carried out on 3- to 4-microns sections of glutaraldehyde-fixed tissue. All Mauthner fiber giant synapses, as identified by light microscopic criteria, had closely associated silver grains. Labeling was blocked by d-tubocurarine. Glutaraldehyde-fixed slices of hatchetfish medulla were stained histochemically for acetylcholinesterase; all giant synapses that could be identified in the light microscope showed heavy deposits of reaction product. Staining was blocked by diisopropyl-fluorophosphate, which inhibits both pseudocholinesterase and acetylcholinesterase, but was not blocked by tetraisopropylpyrophosphoramide, a specific pseudocholinesterase inhibitor. This evidence strongly supports the suggestion that the Mauthner fiber giant synapse is nicotinic cholinergic.

  4. Cytoskeletal actin dynamics shape a ramifying actin network underpinning immunological synapse formation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fritzsche, Marco; Fernandes, Ricardo A.; Chang, Veronica T.

    2017-01-01

    optical microscopes to analyze resting and activated T cells, we show that, following contact formation with activating surfaces, these cells sequentially rearrange their cortical actin across the entire cell, creating a previously unreported ramifying actin network above the immunological synapse...

  5. Insights into the dolomitization process and porosity modification in sucrosic dolostones, Avon Park Formation (Middle Eocene), East-Central Florida, U.S.A.

    KAUST Repository

    Maliva,, Robert G.

    2011-03-01

    The Avon Park Formation (middle Eocene) in central Florida, U.S.A., contains shallow-water carbonates that have been replaced by dolomite to varying degrees, ranging from partially replaced limestones, to highly porous sucrosic dolostones, to, less commonly, low-porosity dense dolostones. The relationships between dolomitization and porosity and permeability were studied focusing on three 305-m-long cores taken in the City of Daytona Beach. Stable-isotope data from pure dolostones (mean δ 18O = +3.91% V-PDB) indicate dolomite precipitation in Eocene penesaline pore waters, which would be expected to have been at or above saturation with respect to calcite. Nuclear magnetic log-derived porosity and permeability data indicate that dolomitization did not materially change total porosity values at the bed and formation scale, but did result in a general increase in pore size and an associated substantial increase in permeability compared to limestone precursors. Dolomitization differentially affects the porosity and permeability of carbonate strata on the scale of individual crystals, beds, and formations. At the crystal scale, dolomitization occurs in a volume-for-volume manner in which the space occupied by the former porous calcium carbonate is replaced by a solid dolomite crystal with an associated reduction in porosity. Dolomite crystal precipitation was principally responsible for calcite dissolution both at the actual site of dolomite crystal growth and in the adjoining rock mass. Carbonate is passively scavenged from the formation, which results in no significant porosity change at the formation scale. Moldic pores after allochems formed mainly in beds that experienced high degrees of dolomitization, which demonstrates the intimate association of the dolomitization process with carbonate dissolution. The model of force of crystallization-controlled replacement provides a plausible explanation for key observations concerning the dolomitization process in the

  6. Tectonic uplift-influenced monsoonal changes promoted hominin occupation of the Luonan Basin: Insights from a loess-paleosol sequence, eastern Qinling Mountains, central China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Qian; Hong, Hanlie; Zhao, Lulu; Furnes, Harald; Lu, Huayu; Han, Wen; Liu, Yao; Jia, Zhuoyue; Wang, Chaowen; Yin, Ke; Algeo, Thomas J.

    2017-08-01

    Quaternary soil deposits from northern and southern China are distinctly different, reflecting variability of the East Asian monsoon north and south of the Qinling Mountains. Coeval sediments from the transitional climatic zone of central China, which are little studied to date, have the potential to improve our understanding of Quaternary monsoon changes and associated influences on hominin occupation of this region. Here, we investigate in detail a well-preserved and continuous Quaternary loess-paleosol sequence (Shangbaichuan) from the Luonan Basin, using a variety of weathering indices including major and trace element ratios, clay mineralogy, and Fe-oxide mineralogy. The whole-rock samples display similar rare earth element patterns characterized by upper continental crustal ratios: (La/Yb)N ≈ 9.5 and Eu/Eu* ≈ 0.65. Elemental data such as (La/Yb)N, La/Th and Eu/Eu* ratios show a high degree of homogeneity, suggesting that dust in the source region may have been thoroughly mixed and recycled, resulting in all samples having a uniform initial composition. Indices for pedogenic weathering such as Na/K, Ba/Sr, Rb/Sr, CIA, CIW, CPA, PIA, kaolinite/illite, (kaolinite + smectite)/illite, and hematite/(hematite + goethite) exhibit similar secular trends and reveal a four-stage accumulation history. The indices also indicate that the climate was warmer and wetter during the most recent interglacial stage, compared with coeval environments of the Chinese Loess Plateau. Secular changes in weathering intensity can be related to stepwise uplift of the Qinling Mountains and variation in East Asian monsoon intensity, both of which played significant roles in controlling climate evolution in the Luonan Basin. Furthermore, intensified aridity and winter monsoon strength in dust source areas, as evidenced by mineralogic and geochemical changes, may have been due to the mid-Pleistocene climate transition. Based on temporal correlation of warmer and wetter climatic conditions

  7. The 2015 M7.2 Sarez, Central Pamir, Earthquake And The Importance Of Strike-Slip Faulting In The Pamir Interior: Insights From Geodesy And Field Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metzger, Sabrina; Schurr, Bernd; Ratschbacher, Lothar; Schöne, Tilo; Kufner, Sofia-Katerina; Zhang, Yong; Sudhaus, Henriette

    2017-04-01

    The Pamir mountain range, located in the Northwest of the India-Asia collision zone, accommodates approximately one third of the northward advance of the Indian continent at this longitude (i. e. ˜34 mm/yr) mostly by shortening at its northern thrust system. Geodetic and seismic data sets reveal here a narrow zone of high deformation and M7+ earthquakes of mostly thrust type with some dextral strike-slip faulting observed, too. The Pamir interior shows sinistral strike-slip and normal faulting indicating north-south compression and east-west extension. In this tectonic setting the two largest instrumentally recorded earthquakes, the M7+ 1911 and 2015 earthquake events in the central Pamir occurred with left-lateral shear along a NE-SW rupture plane. We present the co-seismic deformation field of the 2015 earthquake observed by radar satellite interferometry (InSAR), SAR amplitude pixel offsets and high-rate Global Positioning System (GPS). The InSAR and pixel offset results suggest a 50+ km long rupture with sinistral fault offsets at the surface of more than 2 m on a yet unmapped fault trace of the Sarez Karakul Fault System (SKFS). A distributed slip model with a data-driven slip patch resolution yields a sub-vertical fault plane with a strike of N39.5 degrees and a rupture area of ˜80 x 40 km with a maximum slip of 2 m in the upper 10 km of the crust near the surface rupture. Field observations collected some nine months after the earthquake confirm the rupture mechanism, surface trace location and fault offset measurements as constrained by geodetic data. Diffuse deformation was observed across a 1-2 km wide zone, hosting primary fractures sub-parallel to the rupture strike with offsets of 2 m and secondary, en echelon fractures including Riedel shears and hybrid fractures often related to gravitational mass movements. The 1911 and 2015 earthquakes demonstrate the importance of sinistral strike-slip faulting on the SKFS, contributing both to shear between the

  8. Intrusion-Related Gold Deposits: New insights from gravity and hydrothermal integrated 3D modeling applied to the Tighza gold mineralization (Central Morocco)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eldursi, Khalifa; Branquet, Yannick; Guillou-Frottier, Laurent; Martelet, Guillaume; Calcagno, Philippe

    2018-04-01

    The Tighza (or Jebel Aouam) district is one of the most important polymetallic districts in Morocco. It belongs to the Variscan Belt of Central Meseta, and includes W-Au, Pb-Zn-Ag, and Sb-Ba mineralization types that are spatially related to late-Carboniferous granitic stocks. One of the proposed hypotheses suggests that these granitic stocks are connected to a large intrusive body lying beneath them and that W-Au mineralization is directly related to this magmatism during a 287-285 Ma time span. A more recent model argues for a disconnection between the older barren outcropping magmatic stocks and a younger hidden magmatic complex responsible for the W-Au mineralization. Independently of the magmatic scenario, the W-Au mineralization is consensually recognized as of intrusion-related gold deposit (IRGD) type, W-rich. In addition to discrepancies between magmatic sceneries, the IRGD model does not account for published older age corresponding to a high-temperature hydrothermal event at ca. 291 Ma. Our study is based on gravity data inversion and hydro-thermal modeling, and aims to test this model of IRGD and its related magmatic geometries, with respect to subsurface geometries, favorable physical conditions for deposition and time record of hydrothermal processes. Combined inversion of geology and gravity data suggests that an intrusive body is rooted mainly at the Tighza fault in the north and that it spreads horizontally toward the south during a trans-tensional event (D2). Based on the numerical results, two types of mineralization can be distinguished: 1) the "Pre-Main" type appears during the emplacement of the magmatic body, and 2) the "Main" type appears during magma crystallization and the cooling phase. The time-lag between the two mineralization types depends on the cooling rate of magma. Although our numerical model of thermally-driven fluid flow around the Tighza pluton is simplified, as it does not take into account the chemical and deformation

  9. Thermal impact of a small alas-valley river in a continuous permafrost area - insights and issues raised from a field monitoring Site in Syrdakh (Central Yakutia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grenier, Christophe; Nicolas, Roux; Fedorov, Alexander; Konstantinov, Pavel; Séjourné, Antoine; Costard, François; Marlin, Christelle; Khristoforov, Ivan; Saintenoy, Albane

    2017-04-01

    Lakes are probably the most prominent surface water bodies in continuous permafrost areas. As a consequence, they are also the most studied features in these regions (e.g. Fedorov et al. 2014). They are indeed of great interest, not only for local populations that use the water resource they represent both in winter and summer, but also from a climatic point of view as they can be a specific source of green-house gases due to the relatively warmer environment they create, especially associated with their taliks (thawed zone surrounded by permafrost located beneath large enough lakes). From a hydrogeological perspective, such taliks can form complex groundwater networks, thus possibly connecting sub-permafrost groundwater with surface water in the present context of climate change. On the other hand, rivers, another important feature of permafrost landscapes providing similar challenges, have drawn less attention so that only a few studies focus on river interactions with permafrost (e.g. Costard et al. 2014, Grenier et al. 2013). However, the processes of heat transfer at stake between river and permafrost strongly differ from lake systems for several reasons. The geometries differ, the river water flow and thermal regimes and interactions with the lateral slopes (valley) are specific. Of particular importance is the fact that the water, in the case of rivers, is in motion leading to specific heat exchange phenomena between water and soil. (Roux et al., accepted) addressed this issue recently by means of an experimental study in a cold room and associated numerical simulations. The present study focuses on a real river-permafrost system with its full natural complexity. A small alas-valley in the vicinity of Yakutsk (Central Yakutia, Siberia) was chosen. Monitoring was started in October 2012 to study the thermal and hydrological interactions between a river and its underground in this continuous permafrost environment. Thermal sensors were installed inside the

  10. Insights into the dolomitization process and porosity modification in sucrosic dolostones, Avon Park Formation (Middle Eocene), East-Central Florida, U.S.A.

    KAUST Repository

    Maliva,, Robert G.; Budd, David A.; Clayton, Edward A.; Missimer, Thomas M.; Dickson, John Anthony D

    2011-01-01

    The Avon Park Formation (middle Eocene) in central Florida, U.S.A., contains shallow-water carbonates that have been replaced by dolomite to varying degrees, ranging from partially replaced limestones, to highly porous sucrosic dolostones, to, less commonly, low-porosity dense dolostones. The relationships between dolomitization and porosity and permeability were studied focusing on three 305-m-long cores taken in the City of Daytona Beach. Stable-isotope data from pure dolostones (mean δ 18O = +3.91% V-PDB) indicate dolomite precipitation in Eocene penesaline pore waters, which would be expected to have been at or above saturation with respect to calcite. Nuclear magnetic log-derived porosity and permeability data indicate that dolomitization did not materially change total porosity values at the bed and formation scale, but did result in a general increase in pore size and an associated substantial increase in permeability compared to limestone precursors. Dolomitization differentially affects the porosity and permeability of carbonate strata on the scale of individual crystals, beds, and formations. At the crystal scale, dolomitization occurs in a volume-for-volume manner in which the space occupied by the former porous calcium carbonate is replaced by a solid dolomite crystal with an associated reduction in porosity. Dolomite crystal precipitation was principally responsible for calcite dissolution both at the actual site of dolomite crystal growth and in the adjoining rock mass. Carbonate is passively scavenged from the formation, which results in no significant porosity change at the formation scale. Moldic pores after allochems formed mainly in beds that experienced high degrees of dolomitization, which demonstrates the intimate association of the dolomitization process with carbonate dissolution. The model of force of crystallization-controlled replacement provides a plausible explanation for key observations concerning the dolomitization process in the

  11. Synapse Formation in Monosynaptic Sensory–Motor Connections Is Regulated by Presynaptic Rho GTPase Cdc42

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imai, Fumiyasu; Ladle, David R.; Leslie, Jennifer R.; Duan, Xin; Rizvi, Tilat A.; Ciraolo, Georgianne M.; Zheng, Yi

    2016-01-01

    Spinal reflex circuit development requires the precise regulation of axon trajectories, synaptic specificity, and synapse formation. Of these three crucial steps, the molecular mechanisms underlying synapse formation between group Ia proprioceptive sensory neurons and motor neurons is the least understood. Here, we show that the Rho GTPase Cdc42 controls synapse formation in monosynaptic sensory–motor connections in presynaptic, but not postsynaptic, neurons. In mice lacking Cdc42 in presynaptic sensory neurons, proprioceptive sensory axons appropriately reach the ventral spinal cord, but significantly fewer synapses are formed with motor neurons compared with wild-type mice. Concordantly, electrophysiological analyses show diminished EPSP amplitudes in monosynaptic sensory–motor circuits in these mutants. Temporally targeted deletion of Cdc42 in sensory neurons after sensory–motor circuit establishment reveals that Cdc42 does not affect synaptic transmission. Furthermore, addition of the synaptic organizers, neuroligins, induces presynaptic differentiation of wild-type, but not Cdc42-deficient, proprioceptive sensory neurons in vitro. Together, our findings demonstrate that Cdc42 in presynaptic neurons is required for synapse formation in monosynaptic sensory–motor circuits. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Group Ia proprioceptive sensory neurons form direct synapses with motor neurons, but the molecular mechanisms underlying synapse formation in these monosynaptic sensory–motor connections are unknown. We show that deleting Cdc42 in sensory neurons does not affect proprioceptive sensory axon targeting because axons reach the ventral spinal cord appropriately, but these neurons form significantly fewer presynaptic terminals on motor neurons. Electrophysiological analysis further shows that EPSPs are decreased in these mice. Finally, we demonstrate that Cdc42 is involved in neuroligin-dependent presynaptic differentiation of proprioceptive sensory neurons in vitro

  12. Poisson-Like Spiking in Circuits with Probabilistic Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-Bote, Rubén

    2014-01-01

    Neuronal activity in cortex is variable both spontaneously and during stimulation, and it has the remarkable property that it is Poisson-like over broad ranges of firing rates covering from virtually zero to hundreds of spikes per second. The mechanisms underlying cortical-like spiking variability over such a broad continuum of rates are currently unknown. We show that neuronal networks endowed with probabilistic synaptic transmission, a well-documented source of variability in cortex, robustly generate Poisson-like variability over several orders of magnitude in their firing rate without fine-tuning of the network parameters. Other sources of variability, such as random synaptic delays or spike generation jittering, do not lead to Poisson-like variability at high rates because they cannot be sufficiently amplified by recurrent neuronal networks. We also show that probabilistic synapses predict Fano factor constancy of synaptic conductances. Our results suggest that synaptic noise is a robust and sufficient mechanism for the type of variability found in cortex. PMID:25032705

  13. Resolution enhancement in neural networks with dynamical synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. C. Alan Fung

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Conventionally, information is represented by spike rates in the neural system. Here, we consider the ability of temporally modulated activities in neuronal networks to carry information extra to spike rates. These temporal modulations, commonly known as population spikes, are due to the presence of synaptic depression in a neuronal network model. We discuss its relevance to an experiment on transparent motions in macaque monkeys by Treue et al. in 2000. They found that if the moving directions of objects are too close, the firing rate profile will be very similar to that with one direction. As the difference in the moving directions of objects is large enough, the neuronal system would respond in such a way that the network enhances the resolution in the moving directions of the objects. In this paper, we propose that this behavior can be reproduced by neural networks with dynamical synapses when there are multiple external inputs. We will demonstrate how resolution enhancement can be achieved, and discuss the conditions under which temporally modulated activities are able to enhance information processing performances in general.

  14. Dysfunctional synapse in Alzheimer's disease - A focus on NMDA receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mota, Sandra I; Ferreira, Ildete L; Rego, A Cristina

    2014-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most prevalent form of dementia in the elderly. Alterations capable of causing brain circuitry dysfunctions in AD may take several years to develop. Oligomeric amyloid-beta peptide (Aβ) plays a complex role in the molecular events that lead to progressive loss of function and eventually to neurodegeneration in this devastating disease. Moreover, N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors (NMDARs) activation has been recently implicated in AD-related synaptic dysfunction. Thus, in this review we focus on glutamatergic neurotransmission impairment and the changes in NMDAR regulation in AD, following the description on the role and location of NMDARs at pre- and post-synaptic sites under physiological conditions. In addition, considering that there is currently no effective ways to cure AD or stop its progression, we further discuss the relevance of NMDARs antagonists to prevent AD symptomatology. This review posits additional information on the role played by Aβ in AD and the importance of targeting the tripartite glutamatergic synapse in early asymptomatic and possible reversible stages of the disease through preventive and/or disease-modifying therapeutic strategies. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'The Synaptic Basis of Neurodegenerative Disorders'. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Stochastic Synapses Enable Efficient Brain-Inspired Learning Machines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neftci, Emre O.; Pedroni, Bruno U.; Joshi, Siddharth; Al-Shedivat, Maruan; Cauwenberghs, Gert

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that synaptic unreliability is a robust and sufficient mechanism for inducing the stochasticity observed in cortex. Here, we introduce Synaptic Sampling Machines (S2Ms), a class of neural network models that uses synaptic stochasticity as a means to Monte Carlo sampling and unsupervised learning. Similar to the original formulation of Boltzmann machines, these models can be viewed as a stochastic counterpart of Hopfield networks, but where stochasticity is induced by a random mask over the connections. Synaptic stochasticity plays the dual role of an efficient mechanism for sampling, and a regularizer during learning akin to DropConnect. A local synaptic plasticity rule implementing an event-driven form of contrastive divergence enables the learning of generative models in an on-line fashion. S2Ms perform equally well using discrete-timed artificial units (as in Hopfield networks) or continuous-timed leaky integrate and fire neurons. The learned representations are remarkably sparse and robust to reductions in bit precision and synapse pruning: removal of more than 75% of the weakest connections followed by cursory re-learning causes a negligible performance loss on benchmark classification tasks. The spiking neuron-based S2Ms outperform existing spike-based unsupervised learners, while potentially offering substantial advantages in terms of power and complexity, and are thus promising models for on-line learning in brain-inspired hardware. PMID:27445650

  16. Regulation of dopamine D1 receptor dynamics within the postsynaptic density of hippocampal glutamate synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurent Ladepeche

    Full Text Available Dopamine receptor potently modulates glutamate signalling, synaptic plasticity and neuronal network adaptations in various pathophysiological processes. Although key intracellular signalling cascades have been identified, the cellular mechanism by which dopamine and glutamate receptor-mediated signalling interplay at glutamate synapse remain poorly understood. Among the cellular mechanisms proposed to aggregate D1R in glutamate synapses, the direct interaction between D1R and the scaffold protein PSD95 or the direct interaction with the glutamate NMDA receptor (NMDAR have been proposed. To tackle this question we here used high-resolution single nanoparticle imaging since it provides a powerful way to investigate at the sub-micron resolution the dynamic interaction between these partners in live synapses. We demonstrate in hippocampal neuronal networks that dopamine D1 receptors (D1R laterally diffuse within glutamate synapses, in which their diffusion is reduced. Disrupting the interaction between D1R and PSD95, through genetical manipulation and competing peptide, did not affect D1R dynamics in glutamatergic synapses. However, preventing the physical interaction between D1R and the GluN1 subunit of NMDAR abolished the synaptic stabilization of diffusing D1R. Together, these data provide direct evidence that the interaction between D1R and NMDAR in synapses participate in the building of the dopamine-receptor-mediated signalling, and most likely to the glutamate-dopamine cross-talk.

  17. Multiple synchronization transitions in scale-free neuronal networks with electrical and chemical hybrid synapses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, Chen; Wang, Jiang; Wang, Lin; Yu, Haitao; Deng, Bin; Wei, Xile; Tsang, Kaiming; Chan, Wailok

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Synchronization transitions in hybrid scale-free neuronal networks are investigated. • Multiple synchronization transitions can be induced by the time delay. • Effect of synchronization transitions depends on the ratio of the electrical and chemical synapses. • Coupling strength and the density of inter-neuronal links can enhance the synchronization. -- Abstract: The impacts of information transmission delay on the synchronization transitions in scale-free neuronal networks with electrical and chemical hybrid synapses are investigated. Numerical results show that multiple appearances of synchronization regions transitions can be induced by different information transmission delays. With the time delay increasing, the synchronization of neuronal activities can be enhanced or destroyed, irrespective of the probability of chemical synapses in the whole hybrid neuronal network. In particular, for larger probability of electrical synapses, the regions of synchronous activities appear broader with stronger synchronization ability of electrical synapses compared with chemical ones. Moreover, it can be found that increasing the coupling strength can promote synchronization monotonously, playing the similar role of the increasing the probability of the electrical synapses. Interestingly, the structures and parameters of the scale-free neuronal networks, especially the structural evolvement plays a more subtle role in the synchronization transitions. In the network formation process, it is found that every new vertex is attached to the more old vertices already present in the network, the more synchronous activities will be emerge

  18. Effects of Estradiol on Learned Helplessness and Associated Remodeling of Hippocampal Spine Synapses in Female Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajszan, Tibor; Szigeti-Buck, Klara; Sallam, Nermin L; Bober, Jeremy; Parducz, Arpad; MacLusky, Neil J; Leranth, Csaba; Duman, Ronald S

    2009-01-01

    Background Despite the fact that women are twice as likely to develop depression as men, our understanding of depression neurobiology in females is limited. We have recently reported in male rats that development of helpless behavior is associated with a severe loss of hippocampal spine synapses, which is reversed by treatment with the antidepressant, desipramine. Considering the fact that estradiol has a hippocampal synaptogenic effect similar to those of antidepressants, the presence of estradiol during the female reproductive life may influence behavioral and synaptic responses to stress and depression. Methods Using electron microscopic stereology, we analyzed hippocampal spine synapses in association with helpless behavior in ovariectomized female rats (n=70), under different conditions of estradiol exposure. Results Stress induced an acute and persistent loss of hippocampal spine synapses, while subchronic treatment with desipramine reversed the stress-induced synaptic loss. Estradiol supplementation given either prior to stress or prior to escape testing of nonstressed animals both increased the number of hippocampal spine synapses. Correlation analysis demonstrated a statistically significant negative correlation between the severity of helpless behavior and hippocampal spine synapse numbers. Conclusions These findings suggest that hippocampal spine synapse remodeling may be a critical factor underlying learned helplessness and, possibly, the neurobiology of depression. PMID:19811775

  19. A systematic random sampling scheme optimized to detect the proportion of rare synapses in the neuropil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Costa, Nuno Maçarico; Hepp, Klaus; Martin, Kevan A C

    2009-05-30

    Synapses can only be morphologically identified by electron microscopy and this is often a very labor-intensive and time-consuming task. When quantitative estimates are required for pathways that contribute a small proportion of synapses to the neuropil, the problems of accurate sampling are particularly severe and the total time required may become prohibitive. Here we present a sampling method devised to count the percentage of rarely occurring synapses in the neuropil using a large sample (approximately 1000 sampling sites), with the strong constraint of doing it in reasonable time. The strategy, which uses the unbiased physical disector technique, resembles that used in particle physics to detect rare events. We validated our method in the primary visual cortex of the cat, where we used biotinylated dextran amine to label thalamic afferents and measured the density of their synapses using the physical disector method. Our results show that we could obtain accurate counts of the labeled synapses, even when they represented only 0.2% of all the synapses in the neuropil.

  20. A Reaction-Diffusion Model for Synapse Growth and Long-Term Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Kang; Lisman, John; Hagan, Michael

    Memory storage involves strengthening of synaptic transmission known as long-term potentiation (LTP). The late phase of LTP is associated with structural processes that enlarge the synapse. Yet, synapses must be stable, despite continual subunit turnover, over the lifetime of an encoded memory. These considerations suggest that synapses are variable-size stable structure (VSSS), meaning they can switch between multiple metastable structures with different sizes. The mechanisms underlying VSSS are poorly understood. While experiments and theory have suggested that the interplay between diffusion and receptor-scaffold interactions can lead to a preferred stable size for synaptic domains, such a mechanism cannot explain how synapses adopt widely different sizes. Here we develop a minimal reaction-diffusion model of VSSS for synapse growth, incorporating the recent observation from super-resolution microscopy that neural activity can build compositional heterogeneities within synaptic domains. We find that introducing such heterogeneities can change the stable domain size in a controlled manner. We discuss a potential connection between this model and experimental data on synapse sizes, and how it provides a possible mechanism to structurally encode graded long-term memory. We acknowledge the support from NSF INSPIRE Award number IOS-1526941 (KL, MFH, JL) and the Brandeis Center for Bioinspired Soft Materials, an NSF MRSEC, DMR- 1420382 (MFH).

  1. Metaplasticity at CA1 Synapses by Homeostatic Control of Presynaptic Release Dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cary Soares

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Hebbian and homeostatic forms of plasticity operate on different timescales to regulate synaptic strength. The degree of mechanistic overlap between these processes and their mutual influence are still incompletely understood. Here, we report that homeostatic synaptic strengthening induced by prolonged network inactivity compromised the ability of CA1 synapses to exhibit LTP. This effect could not be accounted for by an obvious deficit in the postsynaptic capacity for LTP expression, since neither the fraction of silent synapses nor the ability to induce LTP by two-photon glutamate uncaging were reduced by the homeostatic process. Rather, optical quantal analysis reveals that homeostatically strengthened synapses display a reduced capacity to maintain glutamate release fidelity during repetitive stimulation, ultimately impeding the induction, and thus expression, of LTP. By regulating the short-term dynamics of glutamate release, the homeostatic process thus influences key aspects of dynamic network function and exhibits features of metaplasticity. : Several forms of synaptic plasticity operating over distinct spatiotemporal scales have been described at hippocampal synapses. Whether these distinct plasticity mechanisms interact and influence one another remains incompletely understood. Here, Soares et al. show that homeostatic plasticity induced by network silencing influences short-term release dynamics and Hebbian plasticity rules at hippocampal synapses. Keywords: synapse, LTP, homeostatic plasticity, metaplasticity, iGluSNFR

  2. Cross-correlation analysis of 2012-2014 seismic events in Central-Northern Italy: insights from the geochemical monitoring network of Tuscany

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierotti, Lisa; Facca, Gianluca; Gherardi, Fabrizio

    2015-04-01

    Since late 2002, a geochemical monitoring network is operating in Tuscany, Central Italy, to collect data and possibly identify geochemical anomalies that characteristically occur before regionally significant (i.e. with magnitude > 3) seismic events. The network currently consists of 6 stations located in areas already investigated in detail for their geological setting, hydrogeological and geochemical background and boundary conditions. All these stations are equipped for remote, continuous monitoring of selected physicochemical parameters (temperature, pH, redox potential, electrical conductivity), and dissolved concentrations of CO2 and CH4. Additional information are obtained through in situ discrete monitoring. Field surveys are periodically performed to guarantee maintenance and performance control of the sensors of the automatic stations, and to collect water samples for the determination of the chemical and stable isotope composition of all the springs investigated for seismic precursors. Geochemical continuous signals are numerically processed to remove outliers, monitoring errors and aseismic effects from seasonal and climatic fluctuations. The elaboration of smoothed, long-term time series (more than 200000 data available today for each station) allows for a relatively accurate definition of geochemical background values. Geochemical values out of the two-sigma relative standard deviation domain are inspected as possible indicators of physicochemical changes related to regional seismic activity. Starting on November 2011, four stations of the Tuscany network located in two separate mountainous areas of Northern Apennines separating Tuscany from Emilia-Romagna region (Equi Terme and Gallicano), and Tuscany from Emilia-Romagna and Umbria regions (Vicchio and Caprese Michelangelo), started to register anomalous values in pH and CO2 partial pressure (PCO2). Cross-correlation analysis indicates an apparent relationship between the most important seismic

  3. Nanotechnologies for the study of the central nervous system.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Ajetunmobi, A

    2014-12-01

    The impact of central nervous system (CNS) disorders on the human population is significant, contributing almost €800 billion in annual European healthcare costs. These disorders not only have a disabling social impact but also a crippling economic drain on resources. Developing novel therapeutic strategies for these disorders requires a better understanding of events that underlie mechanisms of neural circuit physiology. Studying the relationship between genetic expression, synapse development and circuit physiology in CNS function is a challenging task, involving simultaneous analysis of multiple parameters and the convergence of several disciplines and technological approaches. However, current gold-standard techniques used to study the CNS have limitations that pose unique challenges to furthering our understanding of functional CNS development. The recent advancement in nanotechnologies for biomedical applications has seen the emergence of nanoscience as a key enabling technology for delivering a translational bridge between basic and clinical research. In particular, the development of neuroimaging and electrophysiology tools to identify the aetiology and progression of CNS disorders have led to new insights in our understanding of CNS physiology and the development of novel diagnostic modalities for therapeutic intervention. This review focuses on the latest applications of these nanotechnologies for investigating CNS function and the improved diagnosis of CNS disorders.

  4. Functional hallmarks of GABAergic synapse maturation and the diverse roles of neurotrophins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosemarie eGrantyn

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Functional impairment of the adult brain can result from deficits in the ontogeny of GABAergic synaptic transmission. Gene defects underlying autism spectrum disorders, Rett’s syndrome or some forms of epilepsy, but also a diverse set of syndromes accompanying perinatal trauma, hormonal imbalances, intake of sleep-inducing or mood-improving drugs or, quite common, alcohol intake during pregnancy can alter GABA signaling early in life. The search for therapeutically relevant endogenous molecules or exogenous compounds able to alleviate the consequences of dysfunction of GABAergic transmission in the embryonic or postnatal brain requires a clear understanding of its site- and state-dependent development. At the level of single synapses, it is necessary to discriminate between presynaptic and postsynaptic alterations, and to define parameters that can be regarded as both suitable and accessible for the quantification of developmental changes. Here we focus on the performance of GABAergic synapses in two brain structures, the hippocampus and the superior colliculus, describe some novel aspects of neurotrophin effects during the development of GABAergic synaptic transmission and examine the applicability of the following rules: 1 Synaptic transmission starts with GABA, 2 Nascent/immature GABAergic synapses operate in a ballistic mode (multivesicular release, 3 Immature synaptic terminals release vesicles with higher probability than mature synapses, 4 Immature GABAergic synapses are prone to paired pulse and tetanic depression, 5 Synapse maturation is characterized by an increasing dominance of synchronous over asynchronous release, 6 In immature neurons GABA acts as a depolarizing transmitter, 7 Synapse maturation implies IPSC shortening due to an increase in alpha1 subunit expression, 8 Extrasynaptic (tonic conductances can inhibit the development of synaptic (phasic GABA actions.

  5. NMDA receptor content of synapses in stratum radiatum of the hippocampal CA1 area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Racca, C; Stephenson, F A; Streit, P; Roberts, J D; Somogyi, P

    2000-04-01

    Glutamate receptors activated by NMDA (NMDARs) or AMPA (AMPARs) are clustered on dendritic spines of pyramidal cells. Both the AMPAR-mediated postsynaptic responses and the synaptic AMPAR immunoreactivity show a large intersynapse variability. Postsynaptic responses mediated by NMDARs show less variability. To assess the variability in NMDAR content and the extent of their coexistence with AMPARs in Schaffer collateral-commissural synapses of adult rat CA1 pyramidal cells, electron microscopic immunogold localization of receptors has been used. Immunoreactivity of NMDARs was detected in virtually all synapses on spines, but AMPARs were undetectable, on average, in 12% of synapses. A proportion of synapses had a very high AMPAR content relative to the mean content, resulting in a distribution more skewed toward larger values than that of NMDARs. The variability of synaptic NMDAR content [coefficient of variation (CV), 0.64-0.70] was much lower than that of the AMPAR content (CV, 1.17-1.45). Unlike the AMPAR content, the NMDAR content showed only a weak correlation with synapse size. As reported previously for AMPARs, the immunoreactivity of NMDARs was also associated with the spine apparatus within spines. The results demonstrate that the majority of the synapses made by CA3 pyramidal cells onto spines of CA1 pyramids express both NMDARs and AMPARs, but with variable ratios. A less-variable NMDAR content is accompanied by a wide variability of AMPAR content, indicating that the regulation of expression of the two receptors is not closely linked. These findings support reports that fast excitatory transmission at some of these synapses is mediated by activation mainly of NMDARs.

  6. Quantal concept of T-cell activation: adhesion domains as immunological synapses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sackmann, Erich

    2011-01-01

    Adhesion micro-domains (ADs) formed during encounters of lymphocytes with antigen-presenting cells (APC) mediate the genetic expression of quanta of cytokines interleukin-2 (IL-2). The IL-2-induced activation of IL-2 receptors promotes the stepwise progression of the T-cells through the cell cycle, hence their name, immunological synapses. The ADs form short-lived reaction centres controlling the recruitment of activators of the biochemical pathway (the kinases Lck and ZAP) while preventing the access of inhibitors (phosphatase CD45) through steric repulsion forces. CD45 acts as the generator of adhesion domains and, through its role as a spacer protein, also as the promoter of the reaction. In a second phase of T-cell-APC encounters, long-lived global reaction spaces (called supramolecular activation complexes (SMAC)) form by talin-mediated binding of the T-cell integrin (LFA-1) to the counter-receptor ICAM-1, resulting in the formation of ring-like tight adhesion zones (peripheral SMAC). The ADs move to the centre of the intercellular adhesion zone forming the central SMAC, which serve in the recycling of the AD. We propose that cell stimulation is triggered by integrating the effect evoked by the short-lived adhesion domains. Similar global reaction platforms are formed by killer cells to destruct APC. We present a testable mechanical model showing that global reaction spaces (SMAC or dome-like contacts between cytotoxic cells and APC) form by self-organization through delayed activation of the integrin-binding affinity and stabilization of the adhesion zones by F-actin recruitment. The mechanical stability and the polarization of the adhering T-cells are mediated by microtubule-actin cross-talk.

  7. Optimal and Local Connectivity Between Neuron and Synapse Array in the Quantum Dot/Silicon Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duong, Tuan A.; Assad, Christopher; Thakoor, Anikumar P.

    2010-01-01

    This innovation is used to connect between synapse and neuron arrays using nanowire in quantum dot and metal in CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) technology to enable the density of a brain-like connection in hardware. The hardware implementation combines three technologies: 1. Quantum dot and nanowire-based compact synaptic cell (50x50 sq nm) with inherently low parasitic capacitance (hence, low dynamic power approx.l0(exp -11) watts/synapse), 2. Neuron and learning circuits implemented in 50-nm CMOS technology, to be integrated with quantum dot and nanowire synapse, and 3. 3D stacking approach to achieve the overall numbers of high density O(10(exp 12)) synapses and O(10(exp 8)) neurons in the overall system. In a 1-sq cm of quantum dot layer sitting on a 50-nm CMOS layer, innovators were able to pack a 10(exp 6)-neuron and 10(exp 10)-synapse array; however, the constraint for the connection scheme is that each neuron will receive a non-identical 10(exp 4)-synapse set, including itself, via its efficacy of the connection. This is not a fully connected system where the 100x100 synapse array only has a 100-input data bus and 100-output data bus. Due to the data bus sharing, it poses a great challenge to have a complete connected system, and its constraint within the quantum dot and silicon wafer layer. For an effective connection scheme, there are three conditions to be met: 1. Local connection. 2. The nanowire should be connected locally, not globally from which it helps to maximize the data flow by sharing the same wire space location. 3. Each synapse can have an alternate summation line if needed (this option is doable based on the simple mask creation). The 10(exp 3)x10(exp 3)-neuron array was partitioned into a 10-block, 10(exp 2)x10(exp 3)-neuron array. This building block can be completely mapped within itself (10,000 synapses to a neuron).

  8. ASIC-dependent LTP at multiple glutamatergic synapses in amygdala network is required for fear memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiang, Po-Han; Chien, Ta-Chun; Chen, Chih-Cheng; Yanagawa, Yuchio; Lien, Cheng-Chang

    2015-05-19

    Genetic variants in the human ortholog of acid-sensing ion channel-1a subunit (ASIC1a) gene are associated with panic disorder and amygdala dysfunction. Both fear learning and activity-induced long-term potentiation (LTP) of cortico-basolateral amygdala (BLA) synapses are impaired in ASIC1a-null mice, suggesting a critical role of ASICs in fear memory formation. In this study, we found that ASICs were differentially expressed within the amygdala neuronal population, and the extent of LTP at various glutamatergic synapses correlated with the level of ASIC expression in postsynaptic neurons. Importantly, selective deletion of ASIC1a in GABAergic cells, including amygdala output neurons, eliminated LTP in these cells and reduced fear learning to the same extent as that found when ASIC1a was selectively abolished in BLA glutamatergic neurons. Thus, fear learning requires ASIC-dependent LTP at multiple amygdala synapses, including both cortico-BLA input synapses and intra-amygdala synapses on output neurons.

  9. Synchronization of the small-world neuronal network with unreliable synapses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Chunguang; Zheng, Qunxian

    2010-01-01

    As is well known, synchronization phenomena are ubiquitous in neuronal systems. Recently a lot of work concerning the synchronization of the neuronal network has been accomplished. In these works, the synapses are usually considered reliable, but experimental results show that, in biological neuronal networks, synapses are usually unreliable. In our previous work, we have studied the synchronization of the neuronal network with unreliable synapses; however, we have not paid attention to the effect of topology on the synchronization of the neuronal network. Several recent studies have found that biological neuronal networks have typical properties of small-world networks, characterized by a short path length and high clustering coefficient. In this work, mainly based on the small-world neuronal network (SWNN) with inhibitory neurons, we study the effect of network topology on the synchronization of the neuronal network with unreliable synapses. Together with the network topology, the effects of the GABAergic reversal potential, time delay and noise are also considered. Interestingly, we found a counter-intuitive phenomenon for the SWNN with specific shortcut adding probability, that is, the less reliable the synapses, the better the synchronization performance of the SWNN. We also consider the effects of both local noise and global noise in this work. It is shown that these two different types of noise have distinct effects on the synchronization: one is negative and the other is positive

  10. Simulations of centriole of polarized centrosome as a monopole antenna in immune and viral synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dvorak, Josef; Melichar, Bohuslav; Filipova, Alzbeta; Grimova, Jana; Grimova, Nela; Rozsypalova, Aneta; Buka, David; Voboril, Rene; Zapletal, Radek; Buchler, Tomas; Richter, Igor; Buka, David

    2018-01-01

    The immune synapse (IS) is a temporary interface between an antigen-presenting cell and an effector lymphocyte. Viral synapse is a molecularly organized cellular junction that is structurally similar to the IS. Primary cilium is considered as a functional homologue of the IS due to the morphological and functional similarities in architecture between both micotubule structures. It has been hypothesized that endogenous electromagnetic field in the cell is generated by a unique cooperating system between mitochondria and microtubules. We are extending this prior hypothesis of the endogenous electromagnetic field in the cell postulating that polarized centriole in immune and viral synapse could serve as a monopole antenna. This is an addition to our hypothesis that primary cilium could serve as a monopole antenna. We simulated the distribution of electric field of centriole of polarized centrosome as a monopole antenna in immune and viral synapse. Very weak electromagnetic field of polarized centriole of CD8+ T lymphocyte in IS can contribute to the transport of cytolytic granules into the attacked (cancer) cell. Analogically, very weak electromagnetic field of polarized centriole in viral synapse of infected CD4 cells can aid the transport of viruses (human immunodeficiency virus) to non-infected CD4 cells. We hypothesized that healthy organisms need these monopole antennas. If, during the neoplastic transformation, healthy cells lose monopole antennas in form of primary cilia, the IS aims to replace them by monopole antennas of polarized centrioles in IS to restore homeostasis.

  11. Impacts of hybrid synapses on the noise-delayed decay in scale-free neural networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yilmaz, Ergin

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • We investigate the NDD phenomenon in a hybrid scale-free network. • Electrical synapses are more impressive on the emergence of NDD. • Electrical synapses are more efficient in suppressing of the NDD. • Average degree has two opposite effects on the appearance time of the first spike. - Abstract: We study the phenomenon of noise-delayed decay in a scale-free neural network consisting of excitable FitzHugh–Nagumo neurons. In contrast to earlier works, where only electrical synapses are considered among neurons, we primarily examine the effects of hybrid synapses on the noise-delayed decay in this study. We show that the electrical synaptic coupling is more impressive than the chemical coupling in determining the appearance time of the first-spike and more efficient on the mitigation of the delay time in the detection of a suprathreshold input signal. We obtain that hybrid networks including inhibitory chemical synapses have higher signal detection capabilities than those of including excitatory ones. We also find that average degree exhibits two different effects, which are strengthening and weakening the noise-delayed decay effect depending on the noise intensity

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose L Serrano-Velez

    2014-06-01

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

  13. Extracellular proteolysis in structural and functional plasticity of mossy fiber synapses in hippocampus

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    Grzegorz eWiera

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Brain is continuously altered in response to experience and environmental changes. One of the underlying mechanisms is synaptic plasticity, which is manifested by modification of synapse structure and function. It is becoming clear that regulated extracellular proteolysis plays a pivotal role in the structural and functional remodeling of synapses during brain development, learning and memory formation. Clearly, plasticity mechanisms may substantially differ between projections. Mossy fiber synapses onto CA3 pyramidal cells display several unique functional features, including pronounced short-term facilitation, a presynaptically expressed LTP that is independent of NMDAR activation, and NMDA-dependent metaplasticity. Moreover, structural plasticity at mossy fiber synapses ranges from the reorganization of projection topology after hippocampus-dependent learning, through intrinsically different dynamic properties of synaptic boutons to pre- and postsynaptic structural changes accompanying LTP induction. Although concomitant functional and structural plasticity in this pathway strongly suggests a role of extracellular proteolysis, its impact only starts to be investigated in this projection. In the present report, we review the role of extracellular proteolysis in various aspects of synaptic plasticity in hippocampal mossy fiber synapses. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that among perisynaptic proteases, tPA/plasmin system, β-site amyloid precursor protein-cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1 and metalloproteinases play a crucial role in shaping plastic changes in this projection. We discuss recent advances and emerging hypotheses on the roles of proteases in mechanisms underlying mossy fiber target specific synaptic plasticity and memory formation.

  14. Molecular switches at the synapse emerge from receptor and kinase traffic.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available Changes in the synaptic connection strengths between neurons are believed to play a role in memory formation. An important mechanism for changing synaptic strength is through movement of neurotransmitter receptors and regulatory proteins to and from the synapse. Several activity-triggered biochemical events control these movements. Here we use computer models to explore how these putative memory-related changes can be stabilised long after the initial trigger, and beyond the lifetime of synaptic molecules. We base our models on published biochemical data and experiments on the activity-dependent movement of a glutamate receptor, AMPAR, and a calcium-dependent kinase, CaMKII. We find that both of these molecules participate in distinct bistable switches. These simulated switches are effective for long periods despite molecular turnover and biochemical fluctuations arising from the small numbers of molecules in the synapse. The AMPAR switch arises from a novel self-recruitment process where the presence of sufficient receptors biases the receptor movement cycle to insert still more receptors into the synapse. The CaMKII switch arises from autophosphorylation of the kinase. The switches may function in a tightly coupled manner, or relatively independently. The latter case leads to multiple stable states of the synapse. We propose that similar self-recruitment cycles may be important for maintaining levels of many molecules that undergo regulated movement, and that these may lead to combinatorial possible stable states of systems like the synapse.

  15. Optimal recall from bounded metaplastic synapses: predicting functional adaptations in hippocampal area CA3.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Savin

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available A venerable history of classical work on autoassociative memory has significantly shaped our understanding of several features of the hippocampus, and most prominently of its CA3 area, in relation to memory storage and retrieval. However, existing theories of hippocampal memory processing ignore a key biological constraint affecting memory storage in neural circuits: the bounded dynamical range of synapses. Recent treatments based on the notion of metaplasticity provide a powerful model for individual bounded synapses; however, their implications for the ability of the hippocampus to retrieve memories well and the dynamics of neurons associated with that retrieval are both unknown. Here, we develop a theoretical framework for memory storage and recall with bounded synapses. We formulate the recall of a previously stored pattern from a noisy recall cue and limited-capacity (and therefore lossy synapses as a probabilistic inference problem, and derive neural dynamics that implement approximate inference algorithms to solve this problem efficiently. In particular, for binary synapses with metaplastic states, we demonstrate for the first time that memories can be efficiently read out with biologically plausible network dynamics that are completely constrained by the synaptic plasticity rule, and the statistics of the stored patterns and of the recall cue. Our theory organises into a coherent framework a wide range of existing data about the regulation of excitability, feedback inhibition, and network oscillations in area CA3, and makes novel and directly testable predictions that can guide future experiments.

  16. Stability and Function of Hippocampal Mossy Fiber Synapses Depend on Bcl11b/Ctip2

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elodie De Bruyckere

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Structural and functional plasticity of synapses are critical neuronal mechanisms underlying learning and memory. While activity-dependent regulation of synaptic strength has been extensively studied, much less is known about the transcriptional control of synapse maintenance and plasticity. Hippocampal mossy fiber (MF synapses connect dentate granule cells to CA3 pyramidal neurons and are important for spatial memory formation and consolidation. The transcription factor Bcl11b/Ctip2 is expressed in dentate granule cells and required for postnatal hippocampal development. Ablation of Bcl11b/Ctip2 in the adult hippocampus results in impaired adult neurogenesis and spatial memory. The molecular mechanisms underlying the behavioral impairment remained unclear. Here we show that selective deletion of Bcl11b/Ctip2 in the adult mouse hippocampus leads to a rapid loss of excitatory synapses in CA3 as well as reduced ultrastructural complexity of remaining mossy fiber boutons (MFBs. Moreover, a dramatic decline of long-term potentiation (LTP of the dentate gyrus-CA3 (DG-CA3 projection is caused by adult loss of Bcl11b/Ctip2. Differential transcriptomics revealed the deregulation of genes associated with synaptic transmission in mutants. Together, our data suggest Bcl11b/Ctip2 to regulate maintenance and function of MF synapses in the adult hippocampus.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qian-Kun Yang

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Whisker Deprivation Drives Two Phases of Inhibitory Synapse Weakening in Layer 4 of Rat Somatosensory Cortex.

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    Melanie A Gainey

    Full Text Available Inhibitory synapse development in sensory neocortex is experience-dependent, with sustained sensory deprivation yielding fewer and weaker inhibitory synapses. Whether this represents arrest of synapse maturation, or a more complex set of processes, is unclear. To test this, we measured the dynamics of inhibitory synapse development in layer 4 of rat somatosensory cortex (S1 during continuous whisker deprivation from postnatal day 7, and in age-matched controls. In deprived columns, spontaneous miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs and evoked IPSCs developed normally until P15, when IPSC amplitude transiently decreased, recovering by P16 despite ongoing deprivation. IPSCs remained normal until P22, when a second, sustained phase of weakening began. Delaying deprivation onset by 5 days prevented the P15 weakening. Both early and late phase weakening involved measurable reduction in IPSC amplitude relative to prior time points. Thus, deprivation appears to drive two distinct phases of active IPSC weakening, rather than simple arrest of synapse maturation.

  19. LRRTM3 Regulates Excitatory Synapse Development through Alternative Splicing and Neurexin Binding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ji Won Um

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The four members of the LRRTM family (LRRTM1-4 are postsynaptic adhesion molecules essential for excitatory synapse development. They have also been implicated in neuropsychiatric diseases. Here, we focus on LRRTM3, showing that two distinct LRRTM3 variants generated by alternative splicing regulate LRRTM3 interaction with PSD-95, but not its excitatory synapse-promoting activity. Overexpression of either LRRTM3 variant increased excitatory synapse density in dentate gyrus (DG granule neurons, whereas LRRTM3 knockdown decreased it. LRRTM3 also controlled activity-regulated AMPA receptor surface expression in an alternative splicing-dependent manner. Furthermore, Lrrtm3-knockout mice displayed specific alterations in excitatory synapse density, excitatory synaptic transmission and excitability in DG granule neurons but not in CA1 pyramidal neurons. Lastly, LRRTM3 required only specific splice variants of presynaptic neurexins for their synaptogenic activity. Collectively, our data highlight alternative splicing and differential presynaptic ligand utilization in the regulation of LRRTMs, revealing key regulatory mechanisms for excitatory synapse development.

  20. Kalirin, a key player in synapse formation, is implicated in human diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandela, Prashant; Ma, Xin-Ming

    2012-01-01

    Synapse formation is considered to be crucial for learning and memory. Understanding the underlying molecular mechanisms of synapse formation is a key to understanding learning and memory. Kalirin-7, a major isoform of Kalirin in adult rodent brain, is an essential component of mature excitatory synapses. Kalirin-7 interacts with multiple PDZ-domain-containing proteins including PSD95, spinophilin, and GluR1 through its PDZ-binding motif. In cultured hippocampal/cortical neurons, overexpression of Kalirin-7 increases spine density and spine size whereas reduction of endogenous Kalirin-7 expression decreases synapse number, and spine density. In Kalirin-7 knockout mice, spine length, synapse number, and postsynaptic density (PSD) size are decreased in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons; these morphological alterations are accompanied by a deficiency in long-term potentiation (LTP) and a decreased spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic current (sEPSC) frequency. Human Kalirin-7, also known as Duo or Huntingtin-associated protein-interacting protein (HAPIP), is equivalent to rat Kalirin-7. Recent studies show that Kalirin is relevant to many human diseases such as Huntington's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease, ischemic stroke, schizophrenia, depression, and cocaine addiction. This paper summarizes our recent understanding of Kalirin function.

  1. Nanogranular SiO{sub 2} proton gated silicon layer transistor mimicking biological synapses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, M. J.; Huang, G. S., E-mail: gshuang@fudan.edu.cn, E-mail: pfeng@nju.edu.cn; Guo, Q. L.; Tian, Z. A.; Li, G. J.; Mei, Y. F. [Department of Materials Science, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433 (China); Feng, P., E-mail: gshuang@fudan.edu.cn, E-mail: pfeng@nju.edu.cn; Shao, F.; Wan, Q. [School of Electronic Science and Engineering and Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Microstructures, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093 (China)

    2016-06-20

    Silicon on insulator (SOI)-based transistors gated by nanogranular SiO{sub 2} proton conducting electrolytes were fabricated to mimic synapse behaviors. This SOI-based device has both top proton gate and bottom buried oxide gate. Electrical transfer properties of top proton gate show hysteresis curves different from those of bottom gate, and therefore, excitatory post-synaptic current and paired pulse facilitation (PPF) behavior of biological synapses are mimicked. Moreover, we noticed that PPF index can be effectively tuned by the spike interval applied on the top proton gate. Synaptic behaviors and functions, like short-term memory, and its properties are also experimentally demonstrated in our device. Such SOI-based electronic synapses are promising for building neuromorphic systems.

  2. Long-term potentiation expands information content of hippocampal dentate gyrus synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bromer, Cailey; Bartol, Thomas M; Bowden, Jared B; Hubbard, Dusten D; Hanka, Dakota C; Gonzalez, Paola V; Kuwajima, Masaaki; Mendenhall, John M; Parker, Patrick H; Abraham, Wickliffe C; Sejnowski, Terrence J; Harris, Kristen M

    2018-03-06

    An approach combining signal detection theory and precise 3D reconstructions from serial section electron microscopy (3DEM) was used to investigate synaptic plasticity and information storage capacity at medial perforant path synapses in adult hippocampal dentate gyrus in vivo. Induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) markedly increased the frequencies of both small and large spines measured 30 minutes later. This bidirectional expansion resulted in heterosynaptic counterbalancing of total synaptic area per unit length of granule cell dendrite. Control hemispheres exhibited 6.5 distinct spine sizes for 2.7 bits of storage capacity while LTP resulted in 12.9 distinct spine sizes (3.7 bits). In contrast, control hippocampal CA1 synapses exhibited 4.7 bits with much greater synaptic precision than either control or potentiated dentate gyrus synapses. Thus, synaptic plasticity altered total capacity, yet hippocampal subregions differed dramatically in their synaptic information storage capacity, reflecting their diverse functions and activation histories.

  3. Fear extinction causes target-specific remodeling of perisomatic inhibitory synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trouche, Stéphanie; Sasaki, Jennifer M.; Tu, Tiffany; Reijmers, Leon G.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY A more complete understanding of how fear extinction alters neuronal activity and connectivity within fear circuits may aid in the development of strategies to treat human fear disorders. Using a c-fos based transgenic mouse, we found that contextual fear extinction silenced basal amygdala (BA) excitatory neurons that had been previously activated during fear conditioning. We hypothesized that the silencing of BA fear neurons was caused by an action of extinction on BA inhibitory synapses. In support of this hypothesis, we found extinction-induced target-specific remodeling of BA perisomatic inhibitory synapses originating from parvalbumin and cholecystokinin-positive interneurons. Interestingly, the predicted changes in the balance of perisomatic inhibition matched the silent and active states of the target BA fear neurons. These observations suggest that target-specific changes in perisomatic inhibitory synapses represent a mechanism through which experience can sculpt the activation patterns within a neural circuit. PMID:24183705

  4. Dynamic Observation of Brain-Like Learning in a Ferroelectric Synapse Device

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishitani, Yu; Kaneko, Yukihiro; Ueda, Michihito; Fujii, Eiji; Tsujimura, Ayumu

    2013-04-01

    A brain-like learning function was implemented in an electronic synapse device using a ferroelectric-gate field effect transistor (FeFET). The FeFET was a bottom-gate type FET with a ZnO channel and a ferroelectric Pb(Zr,Ti)O3 (PZT) gate insulator. The synaptic weight, which is represented by the channel conductance of the FeFET, is updated by applying a gate voltage through a change in the ferroelectric polarization in the PZT. A learning function based on the symmetric spike-timing dependent synaptic plasticity was implemented in the synapse device using the multilevel weight update by applying a pulse gate voltage. The dynamic weighting and learning behavior in the synapse device was observed as a change in the membrane potential in a spiking neuron circuit.

  5. Fear extinction causes target-specific remodeling of perisomatic inhibitory synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trouche, Stéphanie; Sasaki, Jennifer M; Tu, Tiffany; Reijmers, Leon G

    2013-11-20

    A more complete understanding of how fear extinction alters neuronal activity and connectivity within fear circuits may aid in the development of strategies to treat human fear disorders. Using a c-fos-based transgenic mouse, we found that contextual fear extinction silenced basal amygdala (BA) excitatory neurons that had been previously activated during fear conditioning. We hypothesized that the silencing of BA fear neurons was caused by an action of extinction on BA inhibitory synapses. In support of this hypothesis, we found extinction-induced target-specific remodeling of BA perisomatic inhibitory synapses originating from parvalbumin and cholecystokinin-positive interneurons. Interestingly, the predicted changes in the balance of perisomatic inhibition matched the silent and active states of the target BA fear neurons. These observations suggest that target-specific changes in perisomatic inhibitory synapses represent a mechanism through which experience can sculpt the activation patterns within a neural circuit. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Eph receptors and ephrins in neuron-astrocyte communication at synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murai, Keith K; Pasquale, Elena B

    2011-11-01

    Neuron-glia communication is essential for regulating the properties of synaptic connections in the brain. Astrocytes, in particular, play a critical and complex role in synapse development, maintenance, and plasticity. Likewise, neurons reciprocally influence astrocyte physiology. However, the molecular signaling events that enable astrocytes and neurons to effectively communicate with each other are only partially defined. Recent findings have revealed that Eph receptor tyrosine kinases and ephrins play an important role in contact-dependent neuron-glia communication at synapses. Upon binding, these two families of cell surface-associated proteins trigger bidirectional signaling events that regulate the structural and physiological properties of both neurons and astrocytes. This review will focus on the emerging role of Eph receptors and ephrins in neuron-astrocyte interaction at synapses and discuss implications for synaptic plasticity, behavior, and disease. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  7. Unsupervised learning by spike timing dependent plasticity in phase change memory (PCM synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano eAmbrogio

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available We present a novel one-transistor/one-resistor (1T1R synapse for neuromorphic networks, based on phase change memory (PCM technology. The synapse is capable of spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP, where gradual potentiation relies on set transition, namely crystallization, in the PCM, while depression is achieved via reset or amorphization of a chalcogenide active volume. STDP characteristics are demonstrated by experiments under variable initial conditions and number of pulses. Finally, we support the applicability of the 1T1R synapse for learning and recognition of visual patterns by simulations of fully connected neuromorphic networks with 2 or 3 layers with high recognition efficiency. The proposed scheme provides a feasible low-power solution for on-line unsupervised machine learning in smart reconfigurable sensors.

  8. Africa Insight

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Africa Insight is a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal of the Africa Institute of South Africa. It is accredited by the South African National Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and is indexed in the International Bibliography of Social Science (IBSS). It is a multi-disciplinary journal primarily focusing on African ...

  9. Preferential loss of dorsal-hippocampus synapses underlies memory impairments provoked by short, multimodal stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maras, P M; Molet, J; Chen, Y; Rice, C; Ji, S G; Solodkin, A; Baram, T Z

    2014-07-01

    The cognitive effects of stress are profound, yet it is unknown if the consequences of concurrent multiple stresses on learning and memory differ from those of a single stress of equal intensity and duration. We compared the effects on hippocampus-dependent memory of concurrent, hours-long light, loud noise, jostling and restraint (multimodal stress) with those of restraint or of loud noise alone. We then examined if differences in memory impairment following these two stress types might derive from their differential impact on hippocampal synapses, distinguishing dorsal and ventral hippocampus. Mice exposed to hours-long restraint or loud noise were modestly or minimally impaired in novel object recognition, whereas similar-duration multimodal stress provoked severe deficits. Differences in memory were not explained by differences in plasma corticosterone levels or numbers of Fos-labeled neurons in stress-sensitive hypothalamic neurons. However, although synapses in hippocampal CA3 were impacted by both restraint and multimodal stress, multimodal stress alone reduced synapse numbers severely in dorsal CA1, a region crucial for hippocampus-dependent memory. Ventral CA1 synapses were not significantly affected by either stress modality. Probing the basis of the preferential loss of dorsal synapses after multimodal stress, we found differential patterns of neuronal activation by the two stress types. Cross-correlation matrices, reflecting functional connectivity among activated regions, demonstrated that multimodal stress reduced hippocampal correlations with septum and thalamus and increased correlations with amygdala and BST. Thus, despite similar effects on plasma corticosterone and on hypothalamic stress-sensitive cells, multimodal and restraint stress differ in their activation of brain networks and in their impact on hippocampal synapses. Both of these processes might contribute to amplified memory impairments following short, multimodal stress.

  10. Spatial distribution of excitatory synapses on the dendrites of ganglion cells in the mouse retina.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yin-Peng Chen

    Full Text Available Excitatory glutamatergic inputs from bipolar cells affect the physiological properties of ganglion cells in the mammalian retina. The spatial distribution of these excitatory synapses on the dendrites of retinal ganglion cells thus may shape their distinct functions. To visualize the spatial pattern of excitatory glutamatergic input into the ganglion cells in the mouse retina, particle-mediated gene transfer of plasmids expressing postsynaptic density 95-green fluorescent fusion protein (PSD95-GFP was used to label the excitatory synapses. Despite wide variation in the size and morphology of the retinal ganglion cells, the expression of PSD95 puncta was found to follow two general rules. Firstly, the PSD95 puncta are regularly spaced, at 1-2 µm intervals, along the dendrites, whereby the presence of an excitatory synapse creates an exclusion zone that rules out the presence of other glutamatergic synaptic inputs. Secondly, the spatial distribution of PSD95 puncta on the dendrites of diverse retinal ganglion cells are similar in that the number of excitatory synapses appears to be less on primary dendrites and to increase to a plateau on higher branch order dendrites. These observations suggest that synaptogenesis is spatially regulated along the dendritic segments and that the number of synaptic contacts is relatively constant beyond the primary dendrites. Interestingly, we also found that the linear puncta density is slightly higher in large cells than in small cells. This may suggest that retinal ganglion cells with a large dendritic field tend to show an increased connectivity of excitatory synapses that makes up for their reduced dendrite density. Mapping the spatial distribution pattern of the excitatory synapses on retinal ganglion cells thus provides explicit structural information that is essential for our understanding of how excitatory glutamatergic inputs shape neuronal responses.

  11. Pursuit of Neurotransmitter Functions: Being Attracted with Fascination of the Synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konishi, Shiro

    2017-01-01

    In the beginning of the 1970s, only two chemical substances, acetylcholine and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), had been definitely established as neurotransmitters. Under such circumstances, I started my scientific career in Professor Masanori Otsuka's lab searching for the transmitter of primary sensory neurons. Until 1976, lines of evidence had accumulated indicating that the undecapeptide substance P could be released as a transmitter from primary afferent fibers into spinal synapses, although the substance P-mediated synaptic response had yet to be identified. Peripheral synapses could serve as a good model and thus, it was demonstrated in the prevertebral sympathetic ganglia by1985 that substance P released from axon collaterals of primary sensory neurons acts as the transmitter mediating non-cholinergic slow excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP). At that time, we also found that autonomic synapses were useful to uncover the transmitter role of the opioid peptide enkephalins, whose functions had been unknown since their discovery in 1975. Accordingly, enkephalins were found to serve a transmitter role in mediating presynaptic inhibition of cholinergic fast and non-cholinergic slow transmission in the prevertebral sympathetic ganglia. In 1990s, we attempted to devise a combined technique of brain slices and patch-clamp recordings. We applied it to study the regulatory mechanisms that operate around cerebellar GABAergic inhibitory synapses, because most of the studies then had centered on excitatory synapses and because inhibitory synapses are crucially involved in brain functions and disorders. Consequently, we discovered novel forms of heterosynaptic interactions, dual actions of a single transmitter, and receptor crosstalk, the details of which are described in this review.

  12. Preferential loss of dorsal-hippocampus synapses underlies memory impairments provoked by short, multimodal stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maras, P M; Molet, J; Chen, Y; Rice, C; Ji, S G; Solodkin, A; Baram, T Z

    2014-01-01

    The cognitive effects of stress are profound, yet it is unknown if the consequences of concurrent multiple stresses on learning and memory differ from those of a single stress of equal intensity and duration. We compared the effects on hippocampus-dependent memory of concurrent, hours-long light, loud noise, jostling and restraint (multimodal stress) with those of restraint or of loud noise alone. We then examined if differences in memory impairment following these two stress types might derive from their differential impact on hippocampal synapses, distinguishing dorsal and ventral hippocampus. Mice exposed to hours-long restraint or loud noise were modestly or minimally impaired in novel object recognition, whereas similar-duration multimodal stress provoked severe deficits. Differences in memory were not explained by differences in plasma corticosterone levels or numbers of Fos-labeled neurons in stress-sensitive hypothalamic neurons. However, although synapses in hippocampal CA3 were impacted by both restraint and multimodal stress, multimodal stress alone reduced synapse numbers severely in dorsal CA1, a region crucial for hippocampus-dependent memory. Ventral CA1 synapses were not significantly affected by either stress modality. Probing the basis of the preferential loss of dorsal synapses after multimodal stress, we found differential patterns of neuronal activation by the two stress types. Cross-correlation matrices, reflecting functional connectivity among activated regions, demonstrated that multimodal stress reduced hippocampal correlations with septum and thalamus and increased correlations with amygdala and BST. Thus, despite similar effects on plasma corticosterone and on hypothalamic stress-sensitive cells, multimodal and restraint stress differ in their activation of brain networks and in their impact on hippocampal synapses. Both of these processes might contribute to amplified memory impairments following short, multimodal stress. PMID:24589888

  13. Synapse associated protein 102 (SAP102 binds the C-terminal part of the scaffolding protein neurobeachin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliane Lauks

    Full Text Available Neurobeachin (Nbea is a multidomain scaffold protein abundant in the brain, where it is highly expressed during development. Nbea-null mice have severe defects in neuromuscular synaptic transmission resulting in lethal paralysis of the newborns. Recently, it became clear that Nbea is important also for the functioning of central synapses, where it is suggested to play a role in trafficking membrane proteins to both, the pre- and post-synaptic sites. So far, only few binding partners of Nbea have been found and the precise mechanism of their trafficking remains unclear. Here, we used mass spectrometry to identify SAP102, a MAGUK protein implicated in trafficking of the ionotropic glutamate AMPA- and NMDA-type receptors during synaptogenesis, as a novel Nbea interacting protein in mouse brain. Experiments in heterologous cells confirmed this interaction and revealed that SAP102 binds to the C-terminal part of Nbea that contains the DUF, PH, BEACH and WD40 domains. Furthermore, we discovered that introducing a mutation in Nbea's PH domain, which disrupts its interaction with the BEACH domain, abolishes this binding, thereby creating an excellent starting point to further investigate Nbea-SAP102 function in the central nervous system.

  14. Astrocyte Transforming Growth Factor Beta 1 Protects Synapses against Aβ Oligomers in Alzheimer's Disease Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diniz, Luan Pereira; Tortelli, Vanessa; Matias, Isadora; Morgado, Juliana; Bérgamo Araujo, Ana Paula; Melo, Helen M; Seixas da Silva, Gisele S; Alves-Leon, Soniza V; de Souza, Jorge M; Ferreira, Sergio T; De Felice, Fernanda G; Gomes, Flávia Carvalho Alcantara

    2017-07-12

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by progressive cognitive decline, increasingly attributed to neuronal dysfunction induced by amyloid-β oligomers (AβOs). Although the impact of AβOs on neurons has been extensively studied, only recently have the possible effects of AβOs on astrocytes begun to be investigated. Given the key roles of astrocytes in synapse formation, plasticity, and function, we sought to investigate the impact of AβOs on astrocytes, and to determine whether this impact is related to the deleterious actions of AβOs on synapses. We found that AβOs interact with astrocytes, cause astrocyte activation and trigger abnormal generation of reactive oxygen species, which is accompanied by impairment of astrocyte neuroprotective potential in vitro We further show that both murine and human astrocyte conditioned media (CM) increase synapse density, reduce AβOs binding, and prevent AβO-induced synapse loss in cultured hippocampal neurons. Both a neutralizing anti-transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) antibody and siRNA-mediated knockdown of TGF-β1, previously identified as an important synaptogenic factor secreted by astrocytes, abrogated the protective action of astrocyte CM against AβO-induced synapse loss. Notably, TGF-β1 prevented hippocampal dendritic spine loss and memory impairment in mice that received an intracerebroventricular infusion of AβOs. Results suggest that astrocyte-derived TGF-β1 is part of an endogenous mechanism that protects synapses against AβOs. By demonstrating that AβOs decrease astrocyte ability to protect synapses, our results unravel a new mechanism underlying the synaptotoxic action of AβOs in AD. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Alzheimer's disease is characterized by progressive cognitive decline, mainly attributed to synaptotoxicity of the amyloid-β oligomers (AβOs). Here, we investigated the impact of AβOs in astrocytes, a less known subject. We show that astrocytes prevent synapse loss induced by A

  15. Modulation, plasticity and pathophysiology of the parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eriola Hoxha

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse represents the point of maximal signal divergence in the cerebellar cortex with an estimated number of about 60 billion synaptic contacts in the rat and 100,000 billions in humans. At the same time, the Purkinje cell dendritic tree is a site of remarkable convergence of more than 100,000 parallel fiber synapses. Parallel fibers activity generates fast postsynaptic currents via AMPA receptors, and slower signals, mediated by mGlu1 receptors, resulting in Purkinje cell depolarization accompanied by sharp calcium elevation within dendritic regions. Long-term depression and long-term potentiation have been widely described for the parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse and have been proposed as mechanisms for motor learning. The mechanisms of induction for LTP and LTD involve different signaling mechanisms within the presynaptic terminal and/or at the postsynaptic site, promoting enduring modification in the neurotransmitter release and change in responsiveness to the neurotransmitter. The parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse is finely modulated by several neurotransmitters, including serotonin, noradrenaline, and acetylcholine. The ability of these neuromodulators to gate LTP and LTD at the parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse could, at least in part, explain their effect on cerebellar-dependent learning and memory paradigms. Overall, these findings have important implications for understanding the cerebellar involvement in a series of pathological conditions, ranging from ataxia to autism. For example, parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse dysfunctions have been identified in several murine models of spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA types 1, 3, 5 and 27. In some cases, the defect is specific for the AMPA receptor signaling (SCA27, while in others the mGlu1 pathway is affected (SCA1, 3, 5. Interestingly, the parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse has been shown to be hyper-functional in a mutant mouse model of autism

  16. Label-free visualization of ultrastructural features of artificial synapses via cryo-EM.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopalakrishnan, Gopakumar; Yam, Patricia T; Madwar, Carolin; Bostina, Mihnea; Rouiller, Isabelle; Colman, David R; Lennox, R Bruce

    2011-12-21

    The ultrastructural details of presynapses formed between artificial substrates of submicrometer silica beads and hippocampal neurons are visualized via cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). The silica beads are derivatized by poly-d-lysine or lipid bilayers. Molecular features known to exist at presynapses are clearly present at these artificial synapses, as visualized by cryo-EM. Key synaptic features such as the membrane contact area at synaptic junctions, the presynaptic bouton containing presynaptic vesicles, as well as microtubular structures can be identified. This is the first report of the direct, label-free observation of ultrastructural details of artificial synapses.

  17. Activity-dependent control of NMDA receptor subunit composition at hippocampal mossy fibre synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carta, Mario; Srikumar, Bettadapura N; Gorlewicz, Adam; Rebola, Nelson; Mulle, Christophe

    2018-02-15

    CA3 pyramidal cells display input-specific differences in the subunit composition of synaptic NMDA receptors (NMDARs). Although at low density, GluN2B contributes significantly to NMDAR-mediated EPSCs at mossy fibre synapses. Long-term potentiation (LTP) of NMDARs triggers a modification in the subunit composition of synaptic NMDARs by insertion of GluN2B. GluN2B subunits are essential for the expression of LTP of NMDARs at mossy fibre synapses. Single neurons express NMDA receptors (NMDARs) with distinct subunit composition and biophysical properties that can be segregated in an input-specific manner. The dynamic control of the heterogeneous distribution of synaptic NMDARs is crucial to control input-dependent synaptic integration and plasticity. In hippocampal CA3 pyramidal cells from mice of both sexes, we found that mossy fibre (MF) synapses display a markedly lower proportion of GluN2B-containing NMDARs than associative/commissural synapses. The mechanism involved in such heterogeneous distribution of GluN2B subunits is not known. Here we show that long-term potentiation (LTP) of NMDARs, which is selectively expressed at MF-CA3 pyramidal cell synapses, triggers a modification in the subunit composition of synaptic NMDARs by insertion of GluN2B. This activity-dependent recruitment of GluN2B at mature MF-CA3 pyramidal cell synapses contrasts with the removal of GluN2B subunits at other glutamatergic synapses during development and in response to activity. Furthermore, although expressed at low levels, GluN2B is necessary for the expression of LTP of NMDARs at MF-CA3 pyramidal cell synapses. Altogether, we reveal a previously unknown activity-dependent regulation and function of GluN2B subunits that may contribute to the heterogeneous plasticity induction rules in CA3 pyramidal cells. © 2017 Centre Nationnal de la Recherche Scientifique. The Journal of Physiology © 2017 The Physiological Society.

  18. Mast cell synapses and exosomes: membrane contacts for information exchange.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carroll-Portillo, A.; Surviladze, Z.; Cambi, A.; Lidke, D.S.; Wilson, B.S.

    2012-01-01

    In addition to their central role in allergy, mast cells are involved in a wide variety of cellular interactions during homeostasis and disease. In this review, we discuss the ability of mast cells to extend their mechanisms for intercellular communication beyond the release of soluble mediators.

  19. 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.

  20. The role of neurexins and neuroligins in the formation, maturation, and function of vertebrate synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krueger, Dilja D; Tuffy, Liam P; Papadopoulos, Theofilos; Brose, Nils

    2012-06-01

    Neurexins (NXs) and neuroligins (NLs) are transsynaptically interacting cell adhesion proteins that play a key role in the formation, maturation, activity-dependent validation, and maintenance of synapses. As complex alternative splicing processes in nerve cells generate a large number of NX and NLs variants, it has been proposed that a combinatorial interaction code generated by these variants may determine synapse identity and network connectivity during brain development. The functional importance of NXs and NLs is exemplified by the fact that mutations in NX and NL genes are associated with several neuropsychiatric disorders, most notably with autism. Accordingly, major research efforts have focused on the molecular mechanisms by which NXs and NLs operate at synapses. In this review, we summarize recent progress in this field and discuss emerging topics, such as the role of alternative interaction partners of NXs and NLs in synapse formation and function, and their relevance for synaptic plasticity in the mature brain. The novel findings highlight the fundamental importance of NX-NL interactions in a wide range of synaptic functions. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Human synapses show a wide temporal window for spike-timing-dependent plasticity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Testa-Silva, G.; Verhoog, M.B.; Goriounova, N.A.; Loebel, A.; Hjorth, J.; Baayen, J.C.; de Kock, C.P.J.; Mansvelder, H.D.

    2010-01-01

    Throughout our lifetime, activity-dependent changes in neuronal connection strength enable the brain to refine neural circuits and learn based on experience. Synapses can bi-directionally alter strength and the magnitude and sign depend on the millisecond timing of presynaptic and postsynaptic

  2. Role of perisynaptic parameters in neurotransmitter homeostasis - computational study of a general synapse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pendyam, Sandeep; Mohan, Ashwin; Kalivas, Peter W.; Nair, Satish S.

    2015-01-01

    Extracellular neurotransmitter concentrations vary over a wide range depending on the type of neurotransmitter and location in the brain. Neurotransmitter homeostasis near a synapse is achieved by a balance of several mechanisms including vesicular release from the presynapse, diffusion, uptake by transporters, non-synaptic production, and regulation of release by autoreceptors. These mechanisms are also affected by the glia surrounding the synapse. However, the role of these mechanisms in achieving neurotransmitter homeostasis is not well understood. A biophysical modeling framework was proposed to reverse engineer glial configurations and parameters related to homeostasis for synapses that support a range of neurotransmitter gradients. Model experiments reveal that synapses with extracellular neurotransmitter concentrations in the micromolar range require non-synaptic neurotransmitter sources and tight synaptic isolation by extracellular glial formations. The model was used to identify the role of perisynaptic parameters on neurotransmitter homeostasis, and to propose glial configurations that could support different levels of extracellular neurotransmitter concentrations. Ranking the parameters based on their effect on neurotransmitter homeostasis, non-synaptic sources were found to be the most important followed by transporter concentration and diffusion coefficient. PMID:22460547

  3. The cAMP cascade modulates the neuroinformative impact of quantal release at cholinergic synapse

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vyskočil, František; Bukcharaeva, E.; Samigullin, D. V.; Nikolsky, E. E.

    2001-01-01

    Roč. 2, č. 2 (2001), s. 317-323 ISSN 1539-2791 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA7011902 Grant - others:EU(XX) Nesting; RFBR(RU) 99-04-48286 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z5011922 Keywords : frog neuromuscular synapse * noradrenaline Subject RIV: ED - Physiology

  4. Diversity in Long-Term Synaptic Plasticity at Inhibitory Synapses of Striatal Spiny Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rueda-Orozco, Pavel E.; Mendoza, Ernesto; Hernandez, Ricardo; Aceves, Jose J.; Ibanez-Sandoval, Osvaldo; Galarraga, Elvira; Bargas, Jose

    2009-01-01

    Procedural memories and habits are posited to be stored in the basal ganglia, whose intrinsic circuitries possess important inhibitory connections arising from striatal spiny neurons. However, no information about long-term plasticity at these synapses is available. Therefore, this work describes a novel postsynaptically dependent long-term…

  5. GABAergic Synapses at the Axon Initial Segment of Basolateral Amygdala Projection Neurons Modulate Fear Extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saha, Rinki; Knapp, Stephanie; Chakraborty, Darpan; Horovitz, Omer; Albrecht, Anne; Kriebel, Martin; Kaphzan, Hanoch; Ehrlich, Ingrid; Volkmer, Hansjürgen; Richter-Levin, Gal

    2017-01-01

    Inhibitory synaptic transmission in the amygdala has a pivotal role in fear learning and its extinction. However, the local circuits formed by GABAergic inhibitory interneurons within the amygdala and their detailed function in shaping these behaviors are not well understood. Here we used lentiviral-mediated knockdown of the cell adhesion molecule neurofascin in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) to specifically remove inhibitory synapses at the axon initial segment (AIS) of BLA projection neurons. Quantitative analysis of GABAergic synapse markers and measurement of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents in BLA projection neurons after neurofascin knockdown ex vivo confirmed the loss of GABAergic input. We then studied the impact of this manipulation on anxiety-like behavior and auditory cued fear conditioning and its extinction as BLA related behavioral paradigms, as well as on long-term potentiation (LTP) in the ventral subiculum-BLA pathway in vivo. BLA knockdown of neurofascin impaired ventral subiculum-BLA-LTP. While this manipulation did not affect anxiety-like behavior and fear memory acquisition and consolidation, it specifically impaired extinction. Our findings indicate that modification of inhibitory synapses at the AIS of BLA projection neurons is sufficient to selectively impair extinction behavior. A better understanding of the role of distinct GABAergic synapses may provide novel and more specific targets for therapeutic interventions in extinction-based therapies.

  6. Memory and pattern storage in neural networks with activity dependent synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mejias, J. F.; Torres, J. J.

    2009-01-01

    We present recently obtained results on the influence of the interplay between several activity dependent synaptic mechanisms, such as short-term depression and facilitation, on the maximum memory storage capacity in an attractor neural network [1]. In contrast with the case of synaptic depression, which drastically reduces the capacity of the network to store and retrieve activity patterns [2], synaptic facilitation is able to enhance the memory capacity in different situations. In particular, we find that a convenient balance between depression and facilitation can enhance the memory capacity, reaching maximal values similar to those obtained with static synapses, that is, without activity-dependent processes. We also argue, employing simple arguments, that this level of balance is compatible with experimental data recorded from some cortical areas, where depression and facilitation may play an important role for both memory-oriented tasks and information processing. We conclude that depressing synapses with a certain level of facilitation allow to recover the good retrieval properties of networks with static synapses while maintaining the nonlinear properties of dynamic synapses, convenient for information processing and coding.

  7. Experience-Dependent Regulation of Presynaptic NMDARs Enhances Neurotransmitter Release at Neocortical Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urban-Ciecko, Joanna; Wen, Jing A.; Parekh, Puja K.; Barth, Alison L.

    2015-01-01

    Sensory experience can selectively alter excitatory synaptic strength at neocortical synapses. The rapid increase in synaptic strength induced by selective whisker stimulation (single-row experience/SRE, where all but one row of whiskers has been removed from the mouse face) is due, at least in part, to the trafficking of AMPA receptors (AMPARs)…

  8. Super resolution imaging of genetically labelled synapses in Drosophila brain tissue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabelle Ayumi Spühler

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Understanding synaptic connectivity and plasticity within brain circuits and their relationship to learning and behavior is a fundamental quest in neuroscience. Visualizing the fine details of synapses using optical microscopy remains however a major technical challenge. Super resolution microscopy opens the possibility to reveal molecular features of synapses beyond the diffraction limit. With direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy, dSTORM, we image synaptic proteins in the brain tissue of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Super resolution imaging of brain tissue harbors difficulties due to light scattering and the density of signals. In order to reduce out of focus signal, we take advantage of the genetic tools available in the Drosophila and have fluorescently tagged synaptic proteins expressed in only a small number of neurons. These neurons form synapses within the calyx of the mushroom body, a distinct brain region involved in associative memory formation. Our results show that super resolution microscopy, in combination with genetically labelled synaptic proteins, is a powerful tool to investigate synapses in a quantitative fashion providing an entry point for studies on synaptic plasticity during learning and memory formation

  9. Super Resolution Imaging of Genetically Labeled Synapses in Drosophila Brain Tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spühler, Isabelle A; Conley, Gaurasundar M; Scheffold, Frank; Sprecher, Simon G

    2016-01-01

    Understanding synaptic connectivity and plasticity within brain circuits and their relationship to learning and behavior is a fundamental quest in neuroscience. Visualizing the fine details of synapses using optical microscopy remains however a major technical challenge. Super resolution microscopy opens the possibility to reveal molecular features of synapses beyond the diffraction limit. With direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy, dSTORM, we image synaptic proteins in the brain tissue of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Super resolution imaging of brain tissue harbors difficulties due to light scattering and the density of signals. In order to reduce out of focus signal, we take advantage of the genetic tools available in the Drosophila and have fluorescently tagged synaptic proteins expressed in only a small number of neurons. These neurons form synapses within the calyx of the mushroom body, a distinct brain region involved in associative memory formation. Our results show that super resolution microscopy, in combination with genetically labeled synaptic proteins, is a powerful tool to investigate synapses in a quantitative fashion providing an entry point for studies on synaptic plasticity during learning and memory formation.

  10. NMDAR-mediated calcium transients elicited by glutamate co-release at developing inhibitory synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abigail Kalmbach

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Before hearing onset, the topographic organization of the inhibitory sound localization pathway from the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB to the lateral superior olive (LSO is refined by means of synaptic silencing and strengthening. During this refinement period MNTB-LSO synapses not only release GABA and glycine but also release glutamate. This co-released glutamate can elicit postsynaptic currents that are predominantly mediated by NMDA receptors (NMDARs. To gain a better understanding of how glutamate contributes to synaptic signaling at developing MNTB-LSO inhibitory synapse, we investigated to what degree and under what conditions NMDARs contribute to postsynaptic calcium responses. Our results demonstrate that MNTB-LSO synapses can elicit compartmentalized calcium responses along aspiny LSO dendrites. These responses are significantly attenuated by the NMDARs antagonist APV. APV, however, has no effect on somatically recorded electrical postsynaptic responses, indicating little, if any, contribution of NMDARs to spike generation. Small NMDAR-mediated calcium responses were also observed under physiological levels of extracellular magnesium concentrations indicating that MNTB-LSO synapses activate magnesium sensitive NMDAR on immature LSO dendrites. In Fura-2 AM loaded neurons, blocking GABAA and glycine receptors decreased NMDAR contribution to somatic calcium responses suggesting that GABA and glycine, perhaps by shunting backpropagating action potentials, decrease the level of NMDAR activation under strong stimulus conditions.

  11. Astrocyte lipid metabolism is critical for synapse development and function in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Deijk, Anne-Lieke F; Camargo, Nutabi; Timmerman, Jaap; Heistek, Tim; Brouwers, Jos F; Mogavero, Floriana; Mansvelder, Huibert D; Smit, August B; Verheijen, Mark H G

    2017-04-01

    The brain is considered to be autonomous in lipid synthesis with astrocytes producing lipids far more efficiently than neurons. Accordingly, it is generally assumed that astrocyte-derived lipids are taken up by neurons to support synapse formation and function. Initial confirmation of this assumption has been obtained in cell cultures, but whether astrocyte-derived lipids support synapses in vivo is not known. Here, we address this issue and determined the role of astrocyte lipid metabolism in hippocampal synapse formation and function in vivo. Hippocampal protein expression for the sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP) and its target gene fatty acid synthase (Fasn) was found in astrocytes but not in neurons. Diminishing SREBP activity in astrocytes using mice in which the SREBP cleavage-activating protein (SCAP) was deleted from GFAP-expressing cells resulted in decreased cholesterol and phospholipid secretion by astrocytes. Interestingly, SCAP mutant mice showed more immature synapses, lower presynaptic protein SNAP-25 levels as well as reduced numbers of synaptic vesicles, indicating impaired development of the presynaptic terminal. Accordingly, hippocampal short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity were defective in mutant mice. These findings establish a critical role for astrocyte lipid metabolism in presynaptic terminal development and function in vivo. GLIA 2017;65:670-682. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Short-term plasticity and long-term potentiation mimicked in single inorganic synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohno, Takeo; Hasegawa, Tsuyoshi; Tsuruoka, Tohru; Terabe, Kazuya; Gimzewski, James K.; Aono, Masakazu

    2011-08-01

    Memory is believed to occur in the human brain as a result of two types of synaptic plasticity: short-term plasticity (STP) and long-term potentiation (LTP; refs , , , ). In neuromorphic engineering, emulation of known neural behaviour has proven to be difficult to implement in software because of the highly complex interconnected nature of thought processes. Here we report the discovery of a Ag2S inorganic synapse, which emulates the synaptic functions of both STP and LTP characteristics through the use of input pulse repetition time. The structure known as an atomic switch, operating at critical voltages, stores information as STP with a spontaneous decay of conductance level in response to intermittent input stimuli, whereas frequent stimulation results in a transition to LTP. The Ag2S inorganic synapse has interesting characteristics with analogies to an individual biological synapse, and achieves dynamic memorization in a single device without the need of external preprogramming. A psychological model related to the process of memorizing and forgetting is also demonstrated using the inorganic synapses. Our Ag2S element indicates a breakthrough in mimicking synaptic behaviour essential for the further creation of artificial neural systems that emulate characteristics of human memory.

  13. MET receptor tyrosine kinase controls dendritic complexity, spine morphogenesis, and glutamatergic synapse maturation in the hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Shenfeng; Lu, Zhongming; Levitt, Pat

    2014-12-03

    The MET receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK), implicated in risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and in functional and structural circuit integrity in humans, is a temporally and spatially regulated receptor enriched in dorsal pallial-derived structures during mouse forebrain development. Here we report that loss or gain of function of MET in vitro or in vivo leads to changes, opposite in nature, in dendritic complexity, spine morphogenesis, and the timing of glutamatergic synapse maturation onto hippocampus CA1 neurons. Consistent with the morphological and biochemical changes, deletion of Met in mutant mice results in precocious maturation of excitatory synapse, as indicated by a reduction of the proportion of silent synapses, a faster GluN2A subunit switch, and an enhanced acquisition of AMPA receptors at synaptic sites. Thus, MET-mediated signaling appears to serve as a mechanism for controlling the timing of neuronal growth and functional maturation. These studies suggest that mistimed maturation of glutamatergic synapses leads to the aberrant neural circuits that may be associated with ASD risk. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3416166-14$15.00/0.

  14. Generation of functional inhibitory synapses incorporating defined combinations of GABA(A or glycine receptor subunits

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    Christine Laura Dixon

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Fast inhibitory neurotransmission in the brain is mediated by wide range of GABAA receptor (GABAAR and glycine receptor (GlyR isoforms, each with different physiological and pharmacological properties. Because multiple isoforms are expressed simultaneously in most neurons, it is difficult to define the properties of inhibitory postsynaptic currents mediated by individual isoforms in vivo. Although recombinant expression systems permit the expression of individual isoforms in isolation, they require exogenous agonist application which cannot mimic the dynamic neurotransmitter profile characteristic of native synapses. We describe a neuron-HEK293 cell co-culture technique for generating inhibitory synapses incorporating defined combinations of GABAAR or GlyR subunits. Primary neuronal cultures, prepared from embryonic rat cerebral cortex or spinal cord, are used to provide presynaptic GABAergic and glycinergic terminals, respectively. When the cultures are mature, HEK293 cells expressing the subunits of interest plus neuroligin 2A are plated onto the neurons, which rapidly form synapses onto HEK293 cells. Patch clamp electrophysiology is then used to analyze the physiological and pharmacological properties of the inhibitory postsynaptic currents mediated by the recombinant receptors. The method is suitable for investigating the kinetic properties or the effects of drugs on inhibitory postsynaptic currents mediated by defined GABAAR or GlyR isoforms of interest, the effects of hereditary disease mutations on the formation and function of both types of synapses, and synaptogenesis and synaptic clustering mechanisms. The entire cell preparation procedure takes 2 – 5 weeks.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-15

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

  16. NeuroD2 regulates the development of hippocampal mossy fiber synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wilke Scott A

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The assembly of neural circuits requires the concerted action of both genetically determined and activity-dependent mechanisms. Calcium-regulated transcription may link these processes, but the influence of specific transcription factors on the differentiation of synapse-specific properties is poorly understood. Here we characterize the influence of NeuroD2, a calcium-dependent transcription factor, in regulating the structural and functional maturation of the hippocampal mossy fiber (MF synapse. Results Using NeuroD2 null mice and in vivo lentivirus-mediated gene knockdown, we demonstrate a critical role for NeuroD2 in the formation of CA3 dendritic spines receiving MF inputs. We also use electrophysiological recordings from CA3 neurons while stimulating MF axons to show that NeuroD2 regulates the differentiation of functional properties at the MF synapse. Finally, we find that NeuroD2 regulates PSD95 expression in hippocampal neurons and that PSD95 loss of function in vivo reproduces CA3 neuron spine defects observed in NeuroD2 null mice. Conclusion These experiments identify NeuroD2 as a key transcription factor that regulates the structural and functional differentiation of MF synapses in vivo.

  17. Presynaptic Membrane Receptors Modulate ACh Release, Axonal Competition and Synapse Elimination during Neuromuscular Junction Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomàs, Josep; Garcia, Neus; Lanuza, Maria A; Santafé, Manel M; Tomàs, Marta; Nadal, Laura; Hurtado, Erica; Simó, Anna; Cilleros, Víctor

    2017-01-01

    During the histogenesis of the nervous system a lush production of neurons, which establish an excessive number of synapses, is followed by a drop in both neurons and synaptic contacts as maturation proceeds. Hebbian competition between axons with different activities leads to the loss of roughly half of the neurons initially produced so connectivity is refined and specificity gained. The skeletal muscle fibers in the newborn neuromuscular junction (NMJ) are polyinnervated but by the end of the competition, 2 weeks later, the NMJ are innervated by only one axon. This peripheral synapse has long been used as a convenient model for synapse development. In the last few years, we have studied transmitter release and the local involvement of the presynaptic muscarinic acetylcholine autoreceptors (mAChR), adenosine autoreceptors (AR) and trophic factor receptors (TFR, for neurotrophins and trophic cytokines) during the development of NMJ and in the adult. This review article brings together previously published data and proposes a molecular background for developmental axonal competition and loss. At the end of the first week postnatal, these receptors modulate transmitter release in the various nerve terminals on polyinnervated NMJ and contribute to axonal competition and synapse elimination.

  18. Blocking p75 (NTR) receptors alters polyinnervationz of neuromuscular synapses during development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Neus; Tomàs, Marta; Santafe, Manel M; Lanuza, Maria A; Besalduch, Nuria; Tomàs, Josep

    2011-09-01

    High-resolution immunohistochemistry shows that the receptor protein p75(NTR) is present in the nerve terminal, muscle cell, and glial Schwann cell at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) of postnatal rats (P4-P6) during the synapse elimination period. Blocking the receptor with the antibody anti-p75-192-IgG (1-5 μg/ml, 1 hr) results in reduced endplate potentials (EPPs) in mono- and polyinnervated synapses ex vivo, but the mean number of functional inputs per NMJ does not change for as long as 3 hr. Incubation with exogenous brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) for 1 hr (50 nM) resulted in a significant increase in the size of the EPPs in all nerve terminals, and preincubation with anti-p75-192-IgG prevented this potentiation. Long exposure (24 hr) in vivo of the NMJs to the antibody anti-p75-192-IgG (1-2 μg/ml) results in a delay of postnatal synapse elimination and even some regrowth of previously withdrawn axons, but also in some acceleration of the morphologic maturation of the postsynaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) clusters. The results indicate that p75(NTR) is involved in both ACh release and axonal retraction during postnatal axonal competition and synapse elimination. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  19. Presynaptic Membrane Receptors Modulate ACh Release, Axonal Competition and Synapse Elimination during Neuromuscular Junction Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josep Tomàs

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available During the histogenesis of the nervous system a lush production of neurons, which establish an excessive number of synapses, is followed by a drop in both neurons and synaptic contacts as maturation proceeds. Hebbian competition between axons with different activities leads to the loss of roughly half of the neurons initially produced so connectivity is refined and specificity gained. The skeletal muscle fibers in the newborn neuromuscular junction (NMJ are polyinnervated but by the end of the competition, 2 weeks later, the NMJ are innervated by only one axon. This peripheral synapse has long been used as a convenient model for synapse development. In the last few years, we have studied transmitter release and the local involvement of the presynaptic muscarinic acetylcholine autoreceptors (mAChR, adenosine autoreceptors (AR and trophic factor receptors (TFR, for neurotrophins and trophic cytokines during the development of NMJ and in the adult. This review article brings together previously published data and proposes a molecular background for developmental axonal competition and loss. At the end of the first week postnatal, these receptors modulate transmitter release in the various nerve terminals on polyinnervated NMJ and contribute to axonal competition and synapse elimination.

  20. New players tip the scales in the balance between excitatory and inhibitory synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    El-Husseini Alaa

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Synaptogenesis is a highly controlled process, involving a vast array of players which include cell adhesion molecules, scaffolding and signaling proteins, neurotransmitter receptors and proteins associated with the synaptic vesicle machinery. These molecules cooperate in an intricate manner on both the pre- and postsynaptic sides to orchestrate the precise assembly of neuronal contacts. This is an amazing feat considering that a single neuron receives tens of thousands of synaptic inputs but virtually no mismatch between pre- and postsynaptic components occur in vivo. One crucial aspect of synapse formation is whether a nascent synapse will develop into an excitatory or inhibitory contact. The tight control of a balance between the types of synapses formed regulates the overall neuronal excitability, and is thus critical for normal brain function and plasticity. However, little is known about how this balance is achieved. This review discusses recent findings which provide clues to how neurons may control excitatory and inhibitory synapse formation, with focus on the involvement of the neuroligin family and PSD-95 in this process.

  1. Orchestrating cytoskeleton and intracellular vesicle traffic to build functional immunological synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soares, Helena; Lasserre, Rémi; Alcover, Andrés

    2013-11-01

    Immunological synapses are specialized cell-cell contacts formed between T lymphocytes and antigen-presenting cells. They are induced upon antigen recognition and are crucial for T-cell activation and effector functions. The generation and function of immunological synapses depend on an active T-cell polarization process, which results from a finely orchestrated crosstalk between the antigen receptor signal transduction machinery, the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons, and controlled vesicle traffic. Although we understand how some of these particular events are regulated, we still lack knowledge on how these multiple cellular elements are harmonized to ensure appropriate T-cell responses. We discuss here our view on how T-cell receptor signal transduction initially commands cytoskeletal and vesicle traffic polarization, which in turn sets the immunological synapse molecular design that regulates T-cell activation. We also discuss how the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) hijacks some of these processes impairing immunological synapse generation and function. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Total regional and global number of synapses in the human brain neocortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tang, Y.; Nyengaard, J.R.; Groot, D.M.G. de; Jorgen, H.; Gundersen, G.

    2001-01-01

    An estimator of the total number of synapses in neocortex of human autopsy brains based on unbiased stereological principles is described. Each randomly chosen cerebral hemisphere was stratified into the four major neocortical regions. Uniform sampling with a varying sampling fraction in each region

  3. Mixed Analog/Digital Matrix-Vector Multiplier for Neural Network Synapses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lehmann, Torsten; Bruun, Erik; Dietrich, Casper

    1996-01-01

    In this work we present a hardware efficient matrix-vector multiplier architecture for artificial neural networks with digitally stored synapse strengths. We present a novel technique for manipulating bipolar inputs based on an analog two's complements method and an accurate current rectifier...

  4. Impact of delays on the synchronization transitions of modular neuronal networks with hybrid synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chen; Wang, Jiang; Yu, Haitao; Deng, Bin; Wei, Xile; Tsang, Kaiming; Chan, Wailok

    2013-09-01

    The combined effects of the information transmission delay and the ratio of the electrical and chemical synapses on the synchronization transitions in the hybrid modular neuronal network are investigated in this paper. Numerical results show that the synchronization of neuron activities can be either promoted or destroyed as the information transmission delay increases, irrespective of the probability of electrical synapses in the hybrid-synaptic network. Interestingly, when the number of the electrical synapses exceeds a certain level, further increasing its proportion can obviously enhance the spatiotemporal synchronization transitions. Moreover, the coupling strength has a significant effect on the synchronization transition. The dominated type of the synapse always has a more profound effect on the emergency of the synchronous behaviors. Furthermore, the results of the modular neuronal network structures demonstrate that excessive partitioning of the modular network may result in the dramatic detriment of neuronal synchronization. Considering that information transmission delays are inevitable in intra- and inter-neuronal networks communication, the obtained results may have important implications for the exploration of the synchronization mechanism underlying several neural system diseases such as Parkinson's Disease.

  5. Loss of protohaem IX farnesyltransferase in mature dentate granule cells impairs short-term facilitation at mossy fibre to CA3 pyramidal cell synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Booker, Sam A; Campbell, Graham R; Mysiak, Karolina S; Brophy, Peter J; Kind, Peter C; Mahad, Don J; Wyllie, David J A

    2017-03-15

    Neurodegenerative disorders can exhibit dysfunctional mitochondrial respiratory chain complex IV activity. Conditional deletion of cytochrome c oxidase, the terminal enzyme in the respiratory electron transport chain of mitochondria, from hippocampal dentate granule cells in mice does not affect low-frequency dentate to CA3 glutamatergic synaptic transmission. High-frequency dentate to CA3 glutamatergic synaptic transmission and feedforward inhibition are significantly attenuated in cytochrome c oxidase-deficient mice. Intact presynaptic mitochondrial function is critical for the short-term dynamics of mossy fibre to CA3 synaptic function. Neurodegenerative disorders are characterized by peripheral and central symptoms including cognitive impairments which have been associated with reduced mitochondrial function, in particular mitochondrial respiratory chain complex IV or cytochrome c oxidase activity. In the present study we conditionally removed a key component of complex IV, protohaem IX farnesyltransferase encoded by the COX10 gene, in granule cells of the adult dentate gyrus. Utilizing whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from morphologically identified CA3 pyramidal cells from control and complex IV-deficient mice, we found that reduced mitochondrial function did not result in overt deficits in basal glutamatergic synaptic transmission at the mossy-fibre synapse because the amplitude, input-output relationship and 50 ms paired-pulse facilitation were unchanged following COX10 removal from dentate granule cells. However, trains of stimuli given at high frequency (> 20 Hz) resulted in dramatic reductions in short-term facilitation and, at the highest frequencies (> 50 Hz), also reduced paired-pulse facilitation, suggesting a requirement for adequate mitochondrial function to maintain glutamate release during physiologically relevant activity patterns. Interestingly, local inhibition was reduced, suggesting the effect observed was not restricted to synapses

  6. A multi nutrient concept to enhance synapse formation and function: science behind a medical food for Alzheimer’s disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sijben John W.C.

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer’s Disease (AD is the leading cause of dementia. Epidemiological studies suggest that AD is linked with poor status of nutrients including DHA, B-vitamins and the vitamins E and C. Ongoing neurodegeneration, particularly synaptic loss, leads to the classical clinical features of AD namely, memory impairment, language deterioration, and executive and visuospatial dysfunction. The main constituents of neural and synaptic membranes are phospholipids. Supplemenation of animals with three dietary precursors of phospholipids namely, DHA, uridine monophosphate and choline, results in increased levels of brain phospholipids, synaptic proteins, neurite outgrowth, dendritic spines formation (i.e. the anatomical precursors of new synapses and an improvement in learning and memory. Other nutrients act as co-factors in the synthesis pathway of neuronal membranes. For example B-vitamins are involved in methylation processes, thereby enhancing the availability of choline as a synaptic membrane precursor. A multi-nutrient concept that includes these nutrients may improve membrane integrity, thereby influencing membrane-dependent processes such as receptor function and amyloid precursor protein (APP processing, as shown by reduced amyloid production and amyloid β plaque burden, as well as toxicity. Together, these insights provided the basis for the development of a medical food for patients with AD, Souvenaid®, containing a specific combination of nutrients (Fortasyn™ Connect and designed to enhance synapse formation in AD. The effect of Souvenaid on memory and cognitive performance was recently assessed in a proof-of-concept study, SOUVENIR I, with 212 drug-naïve mild AD patients (MMSE 20-26. This proof-of-concept study demonstrated that oral nutritional supplementation with Souvenaid® for 12 weeks improves memory in patients with mild AD. To confirm and extend these findings, we have designed and initiated three additional studies. Two of

  7. Perinatal exposure to lead (Pb) induces ultrastructural and molecular alterations in synapses of rat offspring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gąssowska, Magdalena; Baranowska-Bosiacka, Irena; Moczydłowska, Joanna; Frontczak-Baniewicz, Małgorzata; Gewartowska, Magdalena; Strużyńska, Lidia; Gutowska, Izabela; Chlubek, Dariusz; Adamczyk, Agata

    2016-12-12

    Lead (Pb), environmentally abundant heavy-metal pollutant, is a strong toxicant for the developing central nervous system. Pb intoxication in children, even at low doses, is found to affect learning and memorizing, with devastating effects on cognitive function and intellectual development. However, the precise mechanism by which Pb impairs synaptic plasticity is not fully elucidated. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of pre- and neonatal exposure to low dose of Pb (with Pb concentrations in whole blood below 10μg/dL) on the synaptic structure and the pre- and postsynaptic proteins expression in the developing rat brain. Furthermore, the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) was analyzed. Pregnant female Wistar rats received 0.1% lead acetate (PbAc) in drinking water from the first day of gestation until weaning of the offspring, while the control animals received drinking water. During the feeding of pups, mothers from the Pb-group were continuously receiving PbAc. Pups of both groups were weaned at postnatal day 21 and then until postnatal day 28 received only drinking water. 28-day old pups were sacrificed and the ultrastructural changes as well as expression of presynaptic (VAMP1/2, synaptophysin, synaptotagmin-1, SNAP25, syntaxin-1) and postsynaptic (PSD-95) proteins were analyzed in: forebrain cortex, cerebellum and hippocampus. Our data revealed that pre- and neonatal exposure to low dose of Pb promotes pathological changes in synapses, including nerve endings swelling, blurred and thickened synaptic cleft structure as well as enhanced density of synaptic vesicles in the presynaptic area. Moreover, synaptic mitochondria were elongated, swollen or shrunken in Pb-treated animals. These structural abnormalities were accompanied by decrease in the level of key synaptic proteins: synaptotagmin-1 in cerebellum, SNAP25 in hippocampus and syntaxin-1 in cerebellum and hippocampus. In turn, increased level of synaptophysin was

  8. Synapse-centric mapping of cortical models to the SpiNNaker neuromorphic architecture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Courtney Knight

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available While the adult human brain has approximately 8.8x10^10 neurons, this number is dwarfed by its 1x10^15 synapses. From the point of view of neuromorphic engineering and neural simulation in general this makes the simulation of these synapses a particularly complex problem. SpiNNaker is a digital, neuromorphic architecture designed for simulating large-scale spiking neural networks at speeds close to biological real-time. Current solutions for simulating spiking neural networks on SpiNNaker are heavily inspired by work on distributed high-performance computing. However, while SpiNNaker shares many characteristics with such distributed systems, its component nodes have much more limited resources and, as the system lacks global synchronization, the computation performed on each node must complete within a fixed time step. We first analyze the performance of the current SpiNNaker neural simulation software and identify several problems that occur when it is used to simulate networks of the type often used to model the cortex which contain large numbers of sparsely connected synapses. We then present a new, more flexible approach for mapping the simulation of such networks to SpiNNaker which solves many of these problems. Finally we analyze the performance of our new approach using both benchmarks, designed to represent cortical connectivity, and larger, functional cortical models. In a benchmark network where neurons receive input from 8000 STDP synapses, our new approach allows more neurons to be simulated on each SpiNNaker core than has been previously possible. We also demonstrate that the largest plastic neural network previously simulated on neuromorphic hardware can be run in real time using our new approach: double the speed that was previously achieved. Additionally this network contains two types of plastic synapse which previously had to be trained separately but, using our new approach, can be trained simultaneously.

  9. P2X7 Receptors Drive Spine Synapse Plasticity in the Learned Helplessness Model of Depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otrokocsi, Lilla; Kittel, Ágnes; Sperlágh, Beáta

    2017-10-01

    Major depressive disorder is characterized by structural and functional abnormalities of cortical and limbic brain areas, including a decrease in spine synapse number in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. Recent studies highlighted that both genetic and pharmacological invalidation of the purinergic P2X7 receptor (P2rx7) leads to antidepressant-like phenotype in animal experiments; however, the impact of P2rx7 on depression-related structural changes in the hippocampus is not clarified yet. Effects of genetic deletion of P2rx7s on depressive-like behavior and spine synapse density in the dentate gyrus were investigated using the learned helplessness mouse model of depression. We demonstrate that in wild-type animals, inescapable footshocks lead to learned helplessness behavior reflected in increased latency and number of escape failures to subsequent escapable footshocks. This behavior is accompanied with downregulation of mRNA encoding P2rx7 and decrease of spine synapse density in the dentate gyrus as determined by electron microscopic stereology. In addition, a decrease in synaptopodin but not in PSD95 and NR2B/GluN2B protein level was also observed under these conditions. Whereas the absence of P2rx7 was characterized by escape deficit, no learned helpless behavior is observed in these animals. Likewise, no decrease in spine synapse number and synaptopodin protein levels was detected in response to inescapable footshocks in P2rx7-deficient animals. Our findings suggest the endogenous activation of P2rx7s in the learned helplessness model of depression and decreased plasticity of spine synapses in P2rx7-deficient mice might explain the resistance of these animals to repeated stressful stimuli. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.

  10. A Machine Learning Method for the Prediction of Receptor Activation in the Simulation of Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montes, Jesus; Gomez, Elena; Merchán-Pérez, Angel; DeFelipe, Javier; Peña, Jose-Maria

    2013-01-01

    Chemical synaptic transmission involves the release of a neurotransmitter that diffuses in the extracellular space and interacts with specific receptors located on the postsynaptic membrane. Computer simulation approaches provide fundamental tools for exploring various aspects of the synaptic transmission under different conditions. In particular, Monte Carlo methods can track the stochastic movements of neurotransmitter molecules and their interactions with other discrete molecules, the receptors. However, these methods are computationally expensive, even when used with simplified models, preventing their use in large-scale and multi-scale simulations of complex neuronal systems that may involve large numbers of synaptic connections. We have developed a machine-learning based method that can accurately predict relevant aspects of the behavior of synapses, such as the percentage of open synaptic receptors as a function of time since the release of the neurotransmitter, with considerably lower computational cost compared with the conventional Monte Carlo alternative. The method is designed to learn patterns and general principles from a corpus of previously generated Monte Carlo simulations of synapses covering a wide range of structural and functional characteristics. These patterns are later used as a predictive model of the behavior of synapses under different conditions without the need for additional computationally expensive Monte Carlo simulations. This is performed in five stages: data sampling, fold creation, machine learning, validation and curve fitting. The resulting procedure is accurate, automatic, and it is general enough to predict synapse behavior under experimental conditions that are different to the ones it has been trained on. Since our method efficiently reproduces the results that can be obtained with Monte Carlo simulations at a considerably lower computational cost, it is suitable for the simulation of high numbers of synapses and it is

  11. A machine learning method for the prediction of receptor activation in the simulation of synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesus Montes

    Full Text Available Chemical synaptic transmission involves the release of a neurotransmitter that diffuses in the extracellular space and interacts with specific receptors located on the postsynaptic membrane. Computer simulation approaches provide fundamental tools for exploring various aspects of the synaptic transmission under different conditions. In particular, Monte Carlo methods can track the stochastic movements of neurotransmitter molecules and their interactions with other discrete molecules, the receptors. However, these methods are computationally expensive, even when used with simplified models, preventing their use in large-scale and multi-scale simulations of complex neuronal systems that may involve large numbers of synaptic connections. We have developed a machine-learning based method that can accurately predict relevant aspects of the behavior of synapses, such as the percentage of open synaptic receptors as a function of time since the release of the neurotransmitter, with considerably lower computational cost compared with the conventional Monte Carlo alternative. The method is designed to learn patterns and general principles from a corpus of previously generated Monte Carlo simulations of synapses covering a wide range of structural and functional characteristics. These patterns are later used as a predictive model of the behavior of synapses under different conditions without the need for additional computationally expensive Monte Carlo simulations. This is performed in five stages: data sampling, fold creation, machine learning, validation and curve fitting. The resulting procedure is accurate, automatic, and it is general enough to predict synapse behavior under experimental conditions that are different to the ones it has been trained on. Since our method efficiently reproduces the results that can be obtained with Monte Carlo simulations at a considerably lower computational cost, it is suitable for the simulation of high numbers of

  12. Parental insightfulness: retrospect and prospect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koren-Karie, Nina; Oppenheim, David

    2018-06-01

    We open this introductory paper to the special issue with the theoretical and clinical roots of the insightfulness concept. Next, the Insightfulness Assessment (IA) is presented, followed by a review of key empirical findings supporting the IA. The central points in the papers in this special issue are reviewed next. These include the use of the IA with parents of children ranging in age from infancy to adolescence, its applicability outside the parent-child relationship (e.g. insightfulness toward a close friend), its use with high-risk mothers, and the usefulness of insightfulness both as a continuous and a categorical measure. The clinical applications of the IA are discussed, and we close with future directions for IA research.

  13. Combined effect of chemical and electrical synapses in Hindmarsh-Rose neural networks on synchronization and the rate of information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baptista, M S; Moukam Kakmeni, F M; Grebogi, C

    2010-09-01

    In this work we studied the combined action of chemical and electrical synapses in small networks of Hindmarsh-Rose (HR) neurons on the synchronous behavior and on the rate of information produced (per time unit) by the networks. We show that if the chemical synapse is excitatory, the larger the chemical synapse strength used the smaller the electrical synapse strength needed to achieve complete synchronization, and for moderate synaptic strengths one should expect to find desynchronous behavior. Otherwise, if the chemical synapse is inhibitory, the larger the chemical synapse strength used the larger the electrical synapse strength needed to achieve complete synchronization, and for moderate synaptic strengths one should expect to find synchronous behaviors. Finally, we show how to calculate semianalytically an upper bound for the rate of information produced per time unit (Kolmogorov-Sinai entropy) in larger networks. As an application, we show that this upper bound is linearly proportional to the number of neurons in a network whose neurons are highly connected.

  14. Espina: A Tool for the Automated Segmentation and Counting of Synapses in Large Stacks of Electron Microscopy Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales, Juan; Alonso-Nanclares, Lidia; Rodríguez, José-Rodrigo; DeFelipe, Javier; Rodríguez, Ángel; Merchán-Pérez, Ángel

    2011-01-01

    The synapses in the cerebral cortex can be classified into two main types, Gray's type I and type II, which correspond to asymmetric (mostly glutamatergic excitatory) and symmetric (inhibitory GABAergic) synapses, respectively. Hence, the quantification and identification of their different types and the proportions in which they are found, is extraordinarily important in terms of brain function. The ideal approach to calculate the number of synapses per unit volume is to analyze 3D samples reconstructed from serial sections. However, obtaining serial sections by transmission electron microscopy is an extremely time consuming and technically demanding task. Using focused ion beam/scanning electron microscope microscopy, we recently showed that virtually all synapses can be accurately identified as asymmetric or symmetric synapses when they are visualized, reconstructed, and quantified from large 3D tissue samples obtained in an automated manner. Nevertheless, the analysis, segmentation, and quantification of synapses is still a labor intensive procedure. Thus, novel solutions are currently necessary to deal with the large volume of data that is being generated by automated 3D electron microscopy. Accordingly, we have developed ESPINA, a software tool that performs the automated segmentation and counting of synapses in a reconstructed 3D volume of the cerebral cortex, and that greatly facilitates and accelerates these processes. PMID:21633491

  15. Constancy and variability in cortical structure. A study on synapses and dendritic spines in hedgehog and monkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schüz, A; Demianenko, G P

    1995-01-01

    Synapses and dendritic spines were investigated in the parietal cortex of the hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) and the monkey (Macaca mulatta). There was no significant difference in the density of synapses between the two species (14 synapses/100 microns2 in the hedgehog, 15/100 microns2 in the monkey), neither in the size of the synaptic junctions, in the proportion of Type I and Type II synapses (8-10% were of Type II in the hedgehog, 10-14% in the monkey) nor in the proportion of perforated synapses (8% in the hedgehog, 5% in the monkey). The only striking difference at the electron microscopic level concerned the frequency of synapses in which the postsynaptic profile was deeply indented into the presynaptic terminal. Such synapses were 10 times more frequent in the monkey. Dendritic spines were investigated in Golgi-preparations. The density of spines along dendrites was similar in both species. The results are discussed with regard to connectivity in the cortex of small and large brains.

  16. ESPINA: a tool for the automated segmentation and counting of synapses in large stacks of electron microscopy images

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan eMorales

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The synapses in the cerebral cortex can be classified into two main types, Gray’s type I and type II, which correspond to asymmetric (mostly glutamatergic excitatory and symmetric (inhibitory GABAergic synapses, respectively. Hence, the quantification and identification of their different types and the proportions in which they are found, is extraordinarily important in terms of brain function. The ideal approach to calculate the number of synapses per unit volume is to analyze three-dimensional samples reconstructed from serial sections. However, obtaining serial sections by transmission electron microscopy is an extremely time consuming and technically demanding task. Using FIB/SEM microscopy, we recently showed that virtually all synapses can be accurately identified as asymmetric or symmetric synapses when they are visualized, reconstructed and quantified from large three-dimensional tissue samples obtained in an automated manner. Nevertheless, the analysis, segmentation and quantification of synapses is still a labor intensive procedure. Thus, novel solutions are currently necessary to deal with the large volume of data that is being generated by automated 3D electron microscopy. Accordingly, we have developed ESPINA, a software tool that performs the automated segmentation and counting of synapses in a reconstructed 3D volume of the cerebral cortex, and that greatly facilitates and accelerates these processes.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Salucci

    2014-05-01

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

  18. Reduced Synapse and Axon Numbers in the Prefrontal Cortex of Rats Subjected to a Chronic Stress Model for Depression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csabai, Dávid; Wiborg, Ove; Czéh, Boldizsár

    2018-01-01

    Stressful experiences can induce structural changes in neurons of the limbic system. These cellular changes contribute to the development of stress-induced psychopathologies like depressive disorders. In the prefrontal cortex of chronically stressed animals, reduced dendritic length and spine loss have been reported. This loss of dendritic material should consequently result in synapse loss as well, because of the reduced dendritic surface. But so far, no one studied synapse numbers in the prefrontal cortex of chronically stressed animals. Here, we examined synaptic contacts in rats subjected to an animal model for depression, where animals are exposed to a chronic stress protocol. Our hypothesis was that long term stress should reduce the number of axo-spinous synapses in the medial prefrontal cortex. Adult male rats were exposed to daily stress for 9 weeks and afterward we did a post mortem quantitative electron microscopic analysis to quantify the number and morphology of synapses in the infralimbic cortex. We analyzed asymmetric (Type I) and symmetric (Type II) synapses in all cortical layers in control and stressed rats. We also quantified axon numbers and measured the volume of the infralimbic cortex. In our systematic unbiased analysis, we examined 21,000 axon terminals in total. We found the following numbers in the infralimbic cortex of control rats: 1.15 × 109 asymmetric synapses, 1.06 × 108 symmetric synapses and 1.00 × 108 myelinated axons. The density of asymmetric synapses was 5.5/μm3 and the density of symmetric synapses was 0.5/μm3. Average synapse membrane length was 207 nm and the average axon terminal membrane length was 489 nm. Stress reduced the number of synapses and myelinated axons in the deeper cortical layers, while synapse membrane lengths were increased. These stress-induced ultrastructural changes indicate that neurons of the infralimbic cortex have reduced cortical network connectivity. Such reduced network connectivity is likely

  19. Reduced Synapse and Axon Numbers in the Prefrontal Cortex of Rats Subjected to a Chronic Stress Model for Depression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dávid Csabai

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Stressful experiences can induce structural changes in neurons of the limbic system. These cellular changes contribute to the development of stress-induced psychopathologies like depressive disorders. In the prefrontal cortex of chronically stressed animals, reduced dendritic length and spine loss have been reported. This loss of dendritic material should consequently result in synapse loss as well, because of the reduced dendritic surface. But so far, no one studied synapse numbers in the prefrontal cortex of chronically stressed animals. Here, we examined synaptic contacts in rats subjected to an animal model for depression, where animals are exposed to a chronic stress protocol. Our hypothesis was that long term stress should reduce the number of axo-spinous synapses in the medial prefrontal cortex. Adult male rats were exposed to daily stress for 9 weeks and afterward we did a post mortem quantitative electron microscopic analysis to quantify the number and morphology of synapses in the infralimbic cortex. We analyzed asymmetric (Type I and symmetric (Type II synapses in all cortical layers in control and stressed rats. We also quantified axon numbers and measured the volume of the infralimbic cortex. In our systematic unbiased analysis, we examined 21,000 axon terminals in total. We found the following numbers in the infralimbic cortex of control rats: 1.15 × 109 asymmetric synapses, 1.06 × 108 symmetric synapses and 1.00 × 108 myelinated axons. The density of asymmetric synapses was 5.5/μm3 and the density of symmetric synapses was 0.5/μm3. Average synapse membrane length was 207 nm and the average axon terminal membrane length was 489 nm. Stress reduced the number of synapses and myelinated axons in the deeper cortical layers, while synapse membrane lengths were increased. These stress-induced ultrastructural changes indicate that neurons of the infralimbic cortex have reduced cortical network connectivity. Such reduced network

  20. Nitric Oxide-Mediated Posttranslational Modifications: Impacts at the Synapse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophie A. Bradley

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Nitric oxide (NO is an important gasotransmitter molecule that is involved in numerous physiological processes throughout the nervous system. In addition to its involvement in physiological plasticity processes (long-term potentiation, LTP; long-term depression, LTD which can include NMDAR-mediated calcium-dependent activation of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS, new insights into physiological and pathological consequences of nitrergic signalling have recently emerged. In addition to the canonical cGMP-mediated signalling, NO is also implicated in numerous pathways involving posttranslational modifications. In this review we discuss the multiple effects of S-nitrosylation and 3-nitrotyrosination on proteins with potential modulation of function but limit the analyses to signalling involved in synaptic transmission and vesicular release. Here, crucial proteins which mediate synaptic transmission can undergo posttranslational modifications with either pre- or postsynaptic origin. During normal brain function, both pathways serve as important cellular signalling cascades that modulate a diverse array of physiological processes, including synaptic plasticity, transcriptional activity, and neuronal survival. In contrast, evidence suggests that aging and disease can induce nitrosative stress via excessive NO production. Consequently, uncontrolled S-nitrosylation/3-nitrotyrosination can occur and represent pathological features that contribute to the onset and progression of various neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s.

  1. Gap junctions and inhibitory synapses modulate inspiratory motoneuron synchronization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bou-Flores, C; Berger, A J

    2001-04-01

    Interneuronal electrical coupling via gap junctions and chemical synaptic inhibitory transmission are known to have roles in the generation and synchronization of activity in neuronal networks. Uncertainty exists regarding the roles of these two modes of interneuronal communication in the central respiratory rhythm-generating system. To assess their roles, we performed studies on both the neonatal mouse medullary slice and en bloc brain stem-spinal cord preparations where rhythmic inspiratory motor activity can readily be recorded from both hypoglossal and phrenic nerve roots. The rhythmic inspiratory activity observed had two temporal characteristics: the basic respiratory frequency occurring on a long time scale and the synchronous neuronal discharge within the inspiratory burst occurring on a short time scale. In both preparations, we observed that bath application of gap-junction blockers, including 18 alpha-glycyrrhetinic acid, 18 beta-glycyrrhetinic acid, and carbenoxolone, all caused a reduction in respiratory frequency. In contrast, peak integrated phrenic and hypoglossal inspiratory activity was not significantly changed by gap-junction blockade. On a short-time-scale, gap-junction blockade increased the degree of synchronization within an inspiratory burst observed in both nerves. In contrast, opposite results were observed with blockade of GABA(A) and glycine receptors. We found that respiratory frequency increased with receptor blockade, and simultaneous blockade of both receptors consistently resulted in a reduction in short-time-scale synchronized activity observed in phrenic and hypoglossal inspiratory bursts. These results support the concept that the central respiratory system has two components: a rhythm generator responsible for the production of respiratory cycle timing and an inspiratory pattern generator that is involved in short-time-scale synchronization. In the neonatal rodent, properties of both components can be regulated by interneuronal

  2. Loss of perforated synapses in the dentate gyrus: morphological substrate of memory deficit in aged rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geinisman, Y; de Toledo-Morrell, L; Morrell, F

    1986-01-01

    Most, but not all, aged rats exhibit a profound deficit in spatial memory when tested in a radial maze--a task known to depend on the integrity of the hippocampal formation. In this study, animals were divided into three groups based on their spatial memory capacity: young adult rats with good memory, aged rats with impaired memory, and aged rats with good memory. Memory-impaired aged animals showed a loss of perforated axospinous synapses in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampal formation in comparison with either young adults or aged rats with good memory. This finding suggests that the loss of perforated axospinous synapses in the hippocampal formation underlies the age-related deficit in spatial memory. Images PMID:3458260

  3. Mimicking Neurotransmitter Release in Chemical Synapses via Hysteresis Engineering in MoS2 Transistors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnold, Andrew J; Razavieh, Ali; Nasr, Joseph R; Schulman, Daniel S; Eichfeld, Chad M; Das, Saptarshi

    2017-03-28

    Neurotransmitter release in chemical synapses is fundamental to diverse brain functions such as motor action, learning, cognition, emotion, perception, and consciousness. Moreover, improper functioning or abnormal release of neurotransmitter is associated with numerous neurological disorders such as epilepsy, sclerosis, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease. We have utilized hysteresis engineering in a back-gated MoS 2 field effect transistor (FET) in order to mimic such neurotransmitter release dynamics in chemical synapses. All three essential features, i.e., quantal, stochastic, and excitatory or inhibitory nature of neurotransmitter release, were accurately captured in our experimental demonstration. We also mimicked an important phenomenon called long-term potentiation (LTP), which forms the basis of human memory. Finally, we demonstrated how to engineer the LTP time by operating the MoS 2 FET in different regimes. Our findings could provide a critical component toward the design of next-generation smart and intelligent human-like machines and human-machine interfaces.

  4. Retrogradely Transported TrkA Endosomes Signal Locally within Dendrites to Maintain Sympathetic Neuron Synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathryn M. Lehigh

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Sympathetic neurons require NGF from their target fields for survival, axonal target innervation, dendritic growth and formation, and maintenance of synaptic inputs from preganglionic neurons. Target-derived NGF signals are propagated retrogradely, from distal axons to somata of sympathetic neurons via TrkA signaling endosomes. We report that a subset of TrkA endosomes that are transported from distal axons to cell bodies translocate into dendrites, where they are signaling competent and move bidirectionally, in close proximity to synaptic protein clusters. Using a strategy for spatially confined inhibition of TrkA kinase activity, we found that distal-axon-derived TrkA signaling endosomes are necessary within sympathetic neuron dendrites for maintenance of synapses. Thus, TrkA signaling endosomes have unique functions in different cellular compartments. Moreover, target-derived NGF mediates circuit formation and synapse maintenance through TrkA endosome signaling within dendrites to promote aggregation of postsynaptic protein complexes.

  5. The interplay between neurons and glia in synapse development and plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stogsdill, Jeff A; Eroglu, Cagla

    2017-02-01

    In the brain, the formation of complex neuronal networks amenable to experience-dependent remodeling is complicated by the diversity of neurons and synapse types. The establishment of a functional brain depends not only on neurons, but also non-neuronal glial cells. Glia are in continuous bi-directional communication with neurons to direct the formation and refinement of synaptic connectivity. This article reviews important findings, which uncovered cellular and molecular aspects of the neuron-glia cross-talk that govern the formation and remodeling of synapses and circuits. In vivo evidence demonstrating the critical interplay between neurons and glia will be the major focus. Additional attention will be given to how aberrant communication between neurons and glia may contribute to neural pathologies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. From synapse to nucleus and back again--communication over distance within neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fainzilber, Mike; Budnik, Vivian; Segal, Rosalind A; Kreutz, Michael R

    2011-11-09

    How do neurons integrate intracellular communication from synapse to nucleus and back? Here we briefly summarize aspects of this topic covered by a symposium at Neuroscience 2011. A rich repertoire of signaling mechanisms link both dendritic terminals and axon tips with neuronal soma and nucleus, using motor-dependent transport machineries to traverse the long intracellular distances along neuronal processes. Activation mechanisms at terminals include localized translation of dendritic or axonal RNA, proteolytic cleavage of receptors or second messengers, and differential phosphorylation of signaling moieties. Signaling complexes may be transported in endosomes, or as non-endosomal complexes associated with importins and dynein. Anterograde transport of RNA granules from the soma to neuronal processes, coupled with retrograde transport of proteins translated locally at terminals or within processes, may fuel ongoing bidirectional communication between soma and synapse to modulate synaptic plasticity as well as neuronal growth and survival decisions.

  7. Navigating barriers: the challenge of directed secretion at the natural killer cell lytic immunological synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanborn, Keri B; Orange, Jordan S

    2010-05-01

    Natural killer (NK) cells have an inherent ability to recognize and destroy a wide array of cells rendered abnormal by stress or disease. NK cells can kill a targeted cell by forming a tight interface-the lytic immunological synapse. This represents a dynamic molecular arrangement that over time progresses through a series of steps to ultimately deliver the contents of specialized organelles known as lytic granules. In order to mediate cytotoxicity, the NK cell faces the challenge of mobilizing the lytic granules, polarizing them to the targeted cell, facilitating their approximation to the NK cell membrane, and releasing their contents. This review is focused upon the final steps in accessing function through the lytic immunological synapse.

  8. Synapses of the rat end brain in response to flight effects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Antipov, V.V.; Tikhonchuk, V.S.; Ushakov, I.B.; Fedorov, V.P.

    1988-01-01

    Using electron microscopy, synapses of different structures of the rat end brain related to cognitive and motor acts (sensorimotor cortex, caudate nucleus) as well as memory and behavior (hippocampus) were examined. Rats were exposed to ionizing radiation, superhigh frequency, hypoxia, hyperoxia, vibration and acceleration (applied separately or in combination) which have been traditionally in the focus of space and aviation medicine. Brain internuronal junctions were found to be very sensitive to the above effects, particularly ionizing radiation and hypoxia. Conversely, synapses were shown to be highly resistant to short-term hyperoxia and electromagnetic radiation. When combined effects were used, response of interneuronal junctions depended on the irradiation dose and order of application of radiation and other flight factors

  9. A cortical attractor network with Martinotti cells driven by facilitating synapses.

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    Pradeep Krishnamurthy

    Full Text Available The population of pyramidal cells significantly outnumbers the inhibitory interneurons in the neocortex, while at the same time the diversity of interneuron types is much more pronounced. One acknowledged key role of inhibition is to control the rate and patterning of pyramidal cell firing via negative feedback, but most likely the diversity of inhibitory pathways is matched by a corresponding diversity of functional roles. An important distinguishing feature of cortical interneurons is the variability of the short-term plasticity properties of synapses received from pyramidal cells. The Martinotti cell type has recently come under scrutiny due to the distinctly facilitating nature of the synapses they receive from pyramidal cells. This distinguishes these neurons from basket cells and other inhibitory interneurons typically targeted by depressing synapses. A key aspect of the work reported here has been to pinpoint the role of this variability. We first set out to reproduce quantitatively based on in vitro data the di-synaptic inhibitory microcircuit connecting two pyramidal cells via one or a few Martinotti cells. In a second step, we embedded this microcircuit in a previously developed attractor memory network model of neocortical layers 2/3. This model network demonstrated that basket cells with their characteristic depressing synapses are the first to discharge when the network enters an attractor state and that Martinotti cells respond with a delay, thereby shifting the excitation-inhibition balance and acting to terminate the attractor state. A parameter sensitivity analysis suggested that Martinotti cells might, in fact, play a dominant role in setting the attractor dwell time and thus cortical speed of processing, with cellular adaptation and synaptic depression having a less prominent role than previously thought.

  10. Anatomically detailed and large-scale simulations studying synapse loss and synchrony using NeuroBox

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Markus eBreit

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The morphology of neurons and networks plays an important role in processing electrical and biochemical signals. Based on neuronal reconstructions, which are becoming abundantly available through databases such as NeuroMorpho.org, numerical simulations of Hodgkin-Huxley-type equations, coupled to biochemical models, can be performed in order to systematically investigate the influence of cellular morphology and the connectivity pattern in networks on the underlying function. Development in the area of synthetic neural network generation and morphology reconstruction from microscopy data has brought forth the software tool NeuGen. Coupling this morphology data (either from databases, synthetic or reconstruction to the simulation platform UG 4 (which harbors a neuroscientific portfolio and VRL-Studio, has brought forth the extendible toolbox NeuroBox. NeuroBox allows users to perform numerical simulations on hybrid-dimensional morphology representations. The code basis is designed in a modular way, such that e.g. new channel or synapse types can be added to the library. Workflows can be specified through scripts or through the VRL-Studio graphical workflow representation. Third-party tools, such as ImageJ, can be added to NeuroBox workflows. In this paper, NeuroBox is used to study the electrical and biochemical effects of synapse loss vs. synchrony in neurons, to investigate large morphology data sets within detailed biophysical simulations, and used to demonstrate the capability of utilizing high-performance computing infrastructure for large scale network simulations. Using new synapse distribution methods and Finite Volume based numerical solvers for compartment-type models, our results demonstrate how an increase in synaptic synchronization can compensate synapse loss at the electrical and calcium level, and how detailed neuronal morphology can be integrated in large-scale network simulations.

  11. Three-terminal ferroelectric synapse device with concurrent learning function for artificial neural networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nishitani, Y.; Kaneko, Y.; Ueda, M.; Fujii, E.; Morie, T.

    2012-01-01

    Spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity (STDP) is demonstrated in a synapse device based on a ferroelectric-gate field-effect transistor (FeFET). STDP is a key of the learning functions observed in human brains, where the synaptic weight changes only depending on the spike timing of the pre- and post-neurons. The FeFET is composed of the stacked oxide materials with ZnO/Pr(Zr,Ti)O 3 (PZT)/SrRuO 3 . In the FeFET, the channel conductance can be altered depending on the density of electrons induced by the polarization of PZT film, which can be controlled by applying the gate voltage in a non-volatile manner. Applying a pulse gate voltage enables the multi-valued modulation of the conductance, which is expected to be caused by a change in PZT polarization. This variation depends on the height and the duration of the pulse gate voltage. Utilizing these characteristics, symmetric and asymmetric STDP learning functions are successfully implemented in the FeFET-based synapse device by applying the non-linear pulse gate voltage generated from a set of two pulses in a sampling circuit, in which the two pulses correspond to the spikes from the pre- and post-neurons. The three-terminal structure of the synapse device enables the concurrent learning, in which the weight update can be performed without canceling signal transmission among neurons, while the neural networks using the previously reported two-terminal synapse devices need to stop signal transmission for learning.

  12. Emerging roles of the neurotrophin receptor TrkC in synapse organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naito, Yusuke; Lee, Alfred Kihoon; Takahashi, Hideto

    2017-03-01

    Tropomyosin-receptor-kinase (Trk) receptors have been extensively studied for their roles in kinase-dependent signaling cascades in nervous system development. Synapse organization is coordinated by trans-synaptic interactions of various cell adhesion proteins, a representative example of which is the neurexin-neuroligin complex. Recently, a novel role for TrkC as a synapse organizing protein has been established. Post-synaptic TrkC binds to pre-synaptic type-IIa receptor-type protein tyrosine phosphatase sigma (PTPσ). TrkC-PTPσ specifically induces excitatory synapses in a kinase domain-independent manner. TrkC has distinct extracellular domains for PTPσ- and NT-3-binding and thus may bind both ligands simultaneously. Indeed, NT-3 enhances the TrkC-PTPσ interaction, thus facilitating synapse induction at the pre-synaptic side and increasing pre-synaptic vesicle recycling in a kinase-independent fashion. A crystal structure study has revealed the detailed structure of the TrkC-PTPσ complex as well as competitive modulation of TrkC-mediated synaptogenesis by heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs), which bind the same domain of TrkC as PTPσ. Thus, there is strong evidence supporting a role for the TrkC-PTPσ complex in mechanisms underlying the fine turning of neural connectivity. Furthermore, disruption of the TrkC-PTPσ complex may be the underlying cause of certain psychiatric disorders caused by mutations in the gene encoding TrkC (NTRK3), supporting its role in cognitive functions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.

  13. The interplay between neurons and glia in synapse development and plasticity

    OpenAIRE

    Stogsdill, Jeff A; Eroglu, Cagla

    2016-01-01

    In the brain, the formation of complex neuronal networks amenable to experience-dependent remodeling is complicated by the diversity of neurons and synapse types. The establishment of a functional brain depends not only on neurons, but also non-neuronal glial cells. Glia are in continuous bi-directional communication with neurons to direct the formation and refinement of synaptic connectivity. This article reviews important findings, which uncovered cellular and molecular aspects of the neuro...

  14. Energy-efficient STDP-based learning circuits with memristor synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xinyu; Saxena, Vishal; Campbell, Kristy A.

    2014-05-01

    It is now accepted that the traditional von Neumann architecture, with processor and memory separation, is ill suited to process parallel data streams which a mammalian brain can efficiently handle. Moreover, researchers now envision computing architectures which enable cognitive processing of massive amounts of data by identifying spatio-temporal relationships in real-time and solving complex pattern recognition problems. Memristor cross-point arrays, integrated with standard CMOS technology, are expected to result in massively parallel and low-power Neuromorphic computing architectures. Recently, significant progress has been made in spiking neural networks (SNN) which emulate data processing in the cortical brain. These architectures comprise of a dense network of neurons and the synapses formed between the axons and dendrites. Further, unsupervised or supervised competitive learning schemes are being investigated for global training of the network. In contrast to a software implementation, hardware realization of these networks requires massive circuit overhead for addressing and individually updating network weights. Instead, we employ bio-inspired learning rules such as the spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) to efficiently update the network weights locally. To realize SNNs on a chip, we propose to use densely integrating mixed-signal integrate-andfire neurons (IFNs) and cross-point arrays of memristors in back-end-of-the-line (BEOL) of CMOS chips. Novel IFN circuits have been designed to drive memristive synapses in parallel while maintaining overall power efficiency (<1 pJ/spike/synapse), even at spike rate greater than 10 MHz. We present circuit design details and simulation results of the IFN with memristor synapses, its response to incoming spike trains and STDP learning characterization.

  15. Coexisting chaotic attractors in a single neuron model with adapting feedback synapse

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Chunguang; Chen Guanrong

    2005-01-01

    In this paper, we consider the nonlinear dynamical behavior of a single neuron model with adapting feedback synapse, and show that chaotic behaviors exist in this model. In some parameter domain, we observe two coexisting chaotic attractors, switching from the coexisting chaotic attractors to a connected chaotic attractor, and then switching back to the two coexisting chaotic attractors. We confirm the chaoticity by simulations with phase plots, waveform plots, and power spectra

  16. Transglial transmission at the dorsal root ganglion sandwich synapse: glial cell to postsynaptic neuron communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozanski, Gabriela M; Li, Qi; Stanley, Elise F

    2013-04-01

    The dorsal root ganglion (DRG) contains a subset of closely-apposed neuronal somata (NS) separated solely by a thin satellite glial cell (SGC) membrane septum to form an NS-glial cell-NS trimer. We recently reported that stimulation of one NS with an impulse train triggers a delayed, noisy and long-lasting response in its NS pair via a transglial signaling pathway that we term a 'sandwich synapse' (SS). Transmission could be unidirectional or bidirectional and facilitated in response to a second stimulus train. We have shown that in chick or rat SS the NS-to-SGC leg of the two-synapse pathway is purinergic via P2Y2 receptors but the second SGC-to-NS synapse mechanism remained unknown. A noisy evoked current in the target neuron, a reversal potential close to 0 mV, and insensitivity to calcium scavengers or G protein block favored an ionotropic postsynaptic receptor. Selective block by D-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoate (AP5) implicated glutamatergic transmission via N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors. This agent also blocked NS responses evoked by puff of UTP, a P2Y2 agonist, directly onto the SGC cell, confirming its action at the second synapse of the SS transmission pathway. The N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor NR2B subunit was implicated by block of transmission with ifenprodil and by its immunocytochemical localization to the NS membrane, abutting the glial septum P2Y2 receptor. Isolated DRG cell clusters exhibited daisy-chain and branching NS-glial cell-NS contacts, suggestive of a network organization within the ganglion. The identification of the glial-to-neuron transmitter and receptor combination provides further support for transglial transmission and completes the DRG SS molecular transmission pathway. © 2013 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  17. Reciprocal synapses between outer hair cells and their afferent terminals: evidence for a local neural network in the mammalian cochlea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiers, Fabio A; Nadol, Joseph B; Liberman, M Charles

    2008-12-01

    Cochlear outer hair cells (OHCs) serve both as sensory receptors and biological motors. Their sensory function is poorly understood because their afferent innervation, the type-II spiral ganglion cell, has small unmyelinated axons and constitutes only 5% of the cochlear nerve. Reciprocal synapses between OHCs and their type-II terminals, consisting of paired afferent and efferent specialization, have been described in the primate cochlea. Here, we use serial and semi-serial-section transmission electron microscopy to quantify the nature and number of synaptic interactions in the OHC area of adult cats. Reciprocal synapses were found in all OHC rows and all cochlear frequency regions. They were more common among third-row OHCs and in the apical half of the cochlea, where 86% of synapses were reciprocal. The relative frequency of reciprocal synapses was unchanged following surgical transection of the olivocochlear bundle in one cat, confirming that reciprocal synapses were not formed by efferent fibers. In the normal ear, axo-dendritic synapses between olivocochlear terminals and type-II terminals and/or dendrites were as common as synapses between olivocochlear terminals and OHCs, especially in the first row, where, on average, almost 30 such synapses were seen in the region under a single OHC. The results suggest that a complex local neuronal circuitry in the OHC area, formed by the dendrites of type-II neurons and modulated by the olivocochlear system, may be a fundamental property of the mammalian cochlea, rather than a curiosity of the primate ear. This network may mediate local feedback control of, and bidirectional communication among, OHCs throughout the cochlear spiral.

  18. Reduced cortical distribution volume of iodine-123 iomazenil in Alzheimer's disease as a measure of loss of synapses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Soricelli, A; Postiglione, A; Grivet-Fojaja, M R

    1996-01-01

    Iodine-123 labelled iomazenil (IMZ) is a specific tracer for the GABAA receptor, the dominant inhibitory synapse of the brain. The cerebral distribution volume (Vd) of IMZ may be taken as a quantitative measure of these synapses in Alzheimer's disease (AD), where synaptic loss tends indiscriminat...... simultaneously. Reduced values were found in all regions except in the occipital (visual) cortex. In particular, temporal and parietal cortex Vd was significantly (P...

  19. Integrated plasticity at inhibitory and excitatory synapses in the cerebellar circuit

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa eMapelli

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The way long-term potentiation (LTP and depression (LTD are integrated within the different synapses of brain neuronal circuits is poorly understood. In order to progress beyond the identification of specific molecular mechanisms, a system in which multiple forms of plasticity can be correlated with large-scale neural processing is required. In this paper we take as an example the cerebellar network , in which extensive investigations have revealed LTP and LTD at several excitatory and inhibitory synapses. Cerebellar LTP and LTD occur in all three main cerebellar subcircuits (granular layer, molecular layer, deep cerebellar nuclei and correspondingly regulate the function of their three main neurons: granule cells (GrCs, Purkinje cells (PCs and deep cerebellar nuclear (DCN cells. All these neurons, in addition to be excited, are reached by feed-forward and feed-back inhibitory connections, in which LTP and LTD may either operate synergistically or homeostatically in order to control information flow through the circuit. Although the investigation of individual synaptic plasticities in vitro is essential to prove their existence and mechanisms, it is insufficient to generate a coherent view of their impact on network functioning in vivo. Recent computational models and cell-specific genetic mutations in mice are shedding light on how plasticity at multiple excitatory and inhibitory synapses might regulate neuronal activities in the cerebellar circuit and contribute to learning and memory and behavioral control.

  20. Multiple cell adhesion molecules shaping a complex nicotinic synapse on neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Triana-Baltzer, Gallen B; Liu, Zhaoping; Gounko, Natalia V; Berg, Darwin K

    2008-09-01

    Neuroligin, SynCAM, and L1-CAM are cell adhesion molecules with synaptogenic roles in glutamatergic pathways. We show here that SynCAM is expressed in the chick ciliary ganglion, embedded in a nicotinic pathway, and, as shown previously for neuroligin and L1-CAM, acts transcellularly to promote synaptic maturation on the neurons in culture. Moreover, we show that electroporation of chick embryos with dominant negative constructs disrupting any of the three molecules in vivo reduces the total amount of presynaptic SV2 overlaying the neurons expressing the constructs. Only disruption of L1-CAM and neuroligin, however, reduces the number of SV2 puncta specifically overlaying nicotinic receptor clusters. Disrupting L1-CAM and neuroligin together produces no additional decrement, indicating that they act on the same subset of synapses. SynCAM may affect synaptic maturation rather than synapse formation. The results indicate that individual neurons can express multiple synaptogenic molecules with different effects on the same class of nicotinic synapses.

  1. High resolution in situ zymography reveals matrix metalloproteinase activity at glutamatergic synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gawlak, M; Górkiewicz, T; Gorlewicz, A; Konopacki, F A; Kaczmarek, L; Wilczynski, G M

    2009-01-12

    Synaptic plasticity involves remodeling of extracellular matrix. This is mediated, in part, by enzymes of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family, in particular by gelatinase MMP-9. Accordingly, there is a need of developing methods to visualize gelatinolytic activity at the level of individual synapses, especially in the context of neurotransmitters receptors. Here we present a high-resolution fluorescent in situ zymography (ISZ), performed in thin sections of the alcohol-fixed and polyester wax-embedded brain tissue of the rat (Rattus norvegicus), which is superior to the current ISZ protocols. The method allows visualization of structural details up to the resolution-limit of light microscopy, in conjunction with immunofluorescent labeling. We used this technique to visualize and quantify gelatinolytic activity at the synapses in control and seizure-affected rat brain. In particular, we demonstrated, for the first time, frequent colocalization of gelatinase(s) with synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA)- and AMPA-type glutamate receptors. We believe that our method represents a valuable tool to study extracellular proteolytic processes at the synapses, it could be used, as well, to investigate proteinase involvement in a range of physiological and pathological phenomena in the nervous system.

  2. Contextual Learning Requires Functional Diversity at Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapses onto CA1 Pyramidal Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dai Mitsushima

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Although the hippocampus is processing temporal and spatial information in particular context, the encoding rule creating memory is completely unknown. To examine the mechanism, we trained rats on an inhibitory avoidance (IA task, a hippocampus-dependent rapid one-trial contextual learning paradigm. By combining Herpes virus-mediated in vivo gene delivery with in vitro patch-clamp recordings, I reported contextual learning drives GluR1-containing AMPA receptors into CA3-CA1 synapses. The molecular event is required for contextual memory, since bilateral expression of delivery blocker in CA1 successfully blocked IA learning. Moreover, I found a logarithmic correlation between the number of delivery blocking cells and learning performance. Considering that one all-or-none device can process 1-bit of data per clock (Nobert Wiener 1961, the logarithmic correlation may provides evidence that CA1 neurons transmit essential data of contextual information. Further, I recently reported critical role of acetylcholine as an intrinsic trigger of learning-dependent synaptic plasticity. IA training induced ACh release in CA1 that strengthened not only AMPA receptor-mediated excitatory synapses, but also GABAA receptor-mediated inhibitory synapses on each CA1 neuron. More importantly, IA-trained rats showed individually different excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs with wide variation on each CA1 neuron. Here I propose a new hypothesis that the diversity of synaptic inputs on CA1 neurons may depict cell-specific outputs processing experienced episodes after training.

  3. The demise of the synapse as the locus of memory: A looming paradigm shift?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick C. Trettenbrein

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic plasticity is widely considered to be the neurobiological basis of learning and memory by neuroscientists and researchers in adjacent fields, though diverging opinions are increasingly being recognised. From the perspective of what we might call classical cognitive science it has always been understood that the mind/brain is to be considered a computational-representational system. Proponents of the information-processing approach to cognitive science have long been critical of connectionist or network approaches to (neuro-cognitive architecture, pointing to the shortcomings of the associative psychology that underlies Hebbian learning as well as to the fact that synapses are practically unfit to implement symbols. Recent work on memory has been adding fuel to the fire and current findings in neuroscience now provide first tentative neurobiological evidence for the cognitive scientists’ doubts about the synapse as the (sole locus of memory in the brain. This paper briefly considers the history and appeal of synaptic plasticity as a memory mechanism, followed by a summary of the cognitive scientists’ objections regarding these assertions. Next, a variety of tentative neuroscientific evidence that appears to substantiate questioning the idea of the synapse as the locus of memory is presented. On this basis, a novel way of thinking about the role of synaptic plasticity in learning and memory is proposed.

  4. Retrograde Signaling from Progranulin to Sort1 Counteracts Synapse Elimination in the Developing Cerebellum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uesaka, Naofumi; Abe, Manabu; Konno, Kohtarou; Yamazaki, Maya; Sakoori, Kazuto; Watanabe, Takaki; Kao, Tzu-Huei; Mikuni, Takayasu; Watanabe, Masahiko; Sakimura, Kenji; Kano, Masanobu

    2018-02-21

    Elimination of redundant synapses formed early in development and strengthening of necessary connections are crucial for shaping functional neural circuits. Purkinje cells (PCs) in the neonatal cerebellum are innervated by multiple climbing fibers (CFs) with similar strengths. A single CF is strengthened whereas the other CFs are eliminated in each PC during postnatal development. The underlying mechanisms, particularly for the strengthening of single CFs, are poorly understood. Here we report that progranulin, a multi-functional growth factor implicated in the pathogenesis of frontotemporal dementia, strengthens developing CF synaptic inputs and counteracts their elimination from postnatal day 11 to 16. Progranulin derived from PCs acts retrogradely onto its putative receptor Sort1 on CFs. This effect is independent of semaphorin 3A, another retrograde signaling molecule that counteracts CF synapse elimination. We propose that progranulin-Sort1 signaling strengthens and maintains developing CF inputs, and may contribute to selection of single "winner" CFs that survive synapse elimination. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Early Seizures Prematurely Unsilence Auditory Synapses to Disrupt Thalamocortical Critical Period Plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongyu Sun

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Heightened neural excitability in infancy and childhood results in increased susceptibility to seizures. Such early-life seizures are associated with language deficits and autism that can result from aberrant development of the auditory cortex. Here, we show that early-life seizures disrupt a critical period (CP for tonotopic map plasticity in primary auditory cortex (A1. We show that this CP is characterized by a prevalence of “silent,” NMDA-receptor (NMDAR-only, glutamate receptor synapses in auditory cortex that become “unsilenced” due to activity-dependent AMPA receptor (AMPAR insertion. Induction of seizures prior to this CP occludes tonotopic map plasticity by prematurely unsilencing NMDAR-only synapses. Further, brief treatment with the AMPAR antagonist NBQX following seizures, prior to the CP, prevents synapse unsilencing and permits subsequent A1 plasticity. These findings reveal that early-life seizures modify CP regulators and suggest that therapeutic targets for early post-seizure treatment can rescue CP plasticity.

  6. Artificial Synapses Based on in-Plane Gate Organic Electrochemical Transistors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Chuan; Sun, Jia; Kong, Ling-An; Gou, Guangyang; Yang, Junliang; He, Jun; Gao, Yongli; Wan, Qing

    2016-10-05

    Realization of biological synapses using electronic devices is regarded as the basic building blocks for neuromorphic engineering and artificial neural network. With the advantages of biocompatibility, low cost, flexibility, and compatible with printing and roll-to-roll processes, the artificial synapse based on organic transistor is of great interest. In this paper, the artificial synapse simulation by ion-gel gated organic field-effect transistors (FETs) with poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) active channel is demonstrated. Key features of the synaptic behaviors, such as paired-pulse facilitation (PPF), short-term plasticity (STP), self-tuning, the spike logic operation, spatiotemporal dentritic integration, and modulation are successfully mimicked. Furthermore, the interface doping processes of electrolyte ions between the active P3HT layer and ion gels is comprehensively studied for confirming the operating processes underlying the conductivity and excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC) variations in the organic synaptic devices. This study represents an important step toward building future artificial neuromorphic systems with newly emerged ion gel gated organic synaptic devices.

  7. A reconfigurable on-line learning spiking neuromorphic processor comprising 256 neurons and 128K synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiao, Ning; Mostafa, Hesham; Corradi, Federico; Osswald, Marc; Stefanini, Fabio; Sumislawska, Dora; Indiveri, Giacomo

    2015-01-01

    Implementing compact, low-power artificial neural processing systems with real-time on-line learning abilities is still an open challenge. In this paper we present a full-custom mixed-signal VLSI device with neuromorphic learning circuits that emulate the biophysics of real spiking neurons and dynamic synapses for exploring the properties of computational neuroscience models and for building brain-inspired computing systems. The proposed architecture allows the on-chip configuration of a wide range of network connectivities, including recurrent and deep networks, with short-term and long-term plasticity. The device comprises 128 K analog synapse and 256 neuron circuits with biologically plausible dynamics and bi-stable spike-based plasticity mechanisms that endow it with on-line learning abilities. In addition to the analog circuits, the device comprises also asynchronous digital logic circuits for setting different synapse and neuron properties as well as different network configurations. This prototype device, fabricated using a 180 nm 1P6M CMOS process, occupies an area of 51.4 mm(2), and consumes approximately 4 mW for typical experiments, for example involving attractor networks. Here we describe the details of the overall architecture and of the individual circuits and present experimental results that showcase its potential. By supporting a wide range of cortical-like computational modules comprising plasticity mechanisms, this device will enable the realization of intelligent autonomous systems with on-line learning capabilities.

  8. Astrocytic Ca2+ signals are required for the functional integrity of tripartite synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanaka Mika

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neuronal activity alters calcium ion (Ca2+ dynamics in astrocytes, but the physiologic relevance of these changes is controversial. To examine this issue further, we generated an inducible transgenic mouse model in which the expression of an inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate absorbent, “IP3 sponge”, attenuates astrocytic Ca2+ signaling. Results Attenuated Ca2+ activity correlated with reduced astrocytic coverage of asymmetric synapses in the hippocampal CA1 region in these animals. The decreased astrocytic ‘protection’ of the synapses facilitated glutamate ‘spillover’, which was reflected by prolonged glutamate transporter currents in stratum radiatum astrocytes and enhanced N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor currents in CA1 pyramidal neurons in response to burst stimulation. These mice also exhibited behavioral impairments in spatial reference memory and remote contextual fear memory, in which hippocampal circuits are involved. Conclusions Our findings suggest that IP3-mediated astrocytic Ca2+ signaling correlates with the formation of functional tripartite synapses in the hippocampus.

  9. Emerging phenomena in neural networks with dynamic synapses and their computational implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joaquin J. eTorres

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we review our research on the effect and computational role of dynamical synapses on feed-forward and recurrent neural networks. Among others, we report on the appearance of a new class of dynamical memories which result from the destabilisation of learned memory attractors. This has important consequences for dynamic information processing allowing the system to sequentially access the information stored in the memories under changing stimuli. Although storage capacity of stable memories also decreases, our study demonstrated the positive effect of synaptic facilitation to recover maximum storage capacity and to enlarge the capacity of the system for memory recall in noisy conditions. Possibly, the new dynamical behaviour can be associated with the voltage transitions between up and down states observed in cortical areas in the brain. We investigated the conditions for which the permanence times in the up state are power-law distributed, which is a sign for criticality, and concluded that the experimentally observed large variability of permanence times could be explained as the result of noisy dynamic synapses with large recovery times. Finally, we report how short-term synaptic processes can transmit weak signals throughout more than one frequency range in noisy neural networks, displaying a kind of stochastic multi-resonance. This effect is due to competition between activity-dependent synaptic fluctuations (due to dynamic synapses and the existence of neuron firing threshold which adapts to the incoming mean synaptic input.

  10. A 2-transistor/1-resistor artificial synapse capable of communication and stochastic learning in neuromorphic systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhongqiang; Ambrogio, Stefano; Balatti, Simone; Ielmini, Daniele

    2014-01-01

    Resistive (or memristive) switching devices based on metal oxides find applications in memory, logic and neuromorphic computing systems. Their small area, low power operation, and high functionality meet the challenges of brain-inspired computing aiming at achieving a huge density of active connections (synapses) with low operation power. This work presents a new artificial synapse scheme, consisting of a memristive switch connected to 2 transistors responsible for gating the communication and learning operations. Spike timing dependent plasticity (STDP) is achieved through appropriate shaping of the pre-synaptic and the post synaptic spikes. Experiments with integrated artificial synapses demonstrate STDP with stochastic behavior due to (i) the natural variability of set/reset processes in the nanoscale switch, and (ii) the different response of the switch to a given stimulus depending on the initial state. Experimental results are confirmed by model-based simulations of the memristive switching. Finally, system-level simulations of a 2-layer neural network and a simplified STDP model show random learning and recognition of patterns.

  11. Specific Disruption of Hippocampal Mossy Fiber Synapses in a Mouse Model of Familial Alzheimer's Disease

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    Wilke, Scott A.; Raam, Tara; Antonios, Joseph K.; Bushong, Eric A.; Koo, Edward H.; Ellisman, Mark H.; Ghosh, Anirvan

    2014-01-01

    The earliest stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD) are characterized by deficits in memory and cognition indicating hippocampal pathology. While it is now recognized that synapse dysfunction precedes the hallmark pathological findings of AD, it is unclear if specific hippocampal synapses are particularly vulnerable. Since the mossy fiber (MF) synapse between dentate gyrus (DG) and CA3 regions underlies critical functions disrupted in AD, we utilized serial block-face electron microscopy (SBEM) to analyze MF microcircuitry in a mouse model of familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD). FAD mutant MF terminal complexes were severely disrupted compared to control – they were smaller, contacted fewer postsynaptic spines and had greater numbers of presynaptic filopodial processes. Multi-headed CA3 dendritic spines in the FAD mutant condition were reduced in complexity and had significantly smaller sites of synaptic contact. Significantly, there was no change in the volume of classical dendritic spines at neighboring inputs to CA3 neurons suggesting input-specific defects in the early course of AD related pathology. These data indicate a specific vulnerability of the DG-CA3 network in AD pathogenesis and demonstrate the utility of SBEM to assess circuit specific alterations in mouse models of human disease. PMID:24454724

  12. Integrated plasticity at inhibitory and excitatory synapses in the cerebellar circuit.

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    Mapelli, Lisa; Pagani, Martina; Garrido, Jesus A; D'Angelo, Egidio

    2015-01-01

    The way long-term potentiation (LTP) and depression (LTD) are integrated within the different synapses of brain neuronal circuits is poorly understood. In order to progress beyond the identification of specific molecular mechanisms, a system in which multiple forms of plasticity can be correlated with large-scale neural processing is required. In this paper we take as an example the cerebellar network, in which extensive investigations have revealed LTP and LTD at several excitatory and inhibitory synapses. Cerebellar LTP and LTD occur in all three main cerebellar subcircuits (granular layer, molecular layer, deep cerebellar nuclei) and correspondingly regulate the function of their three main neurons: granule cells (GrCs), Purkinje cells (PCs) and deep cerebellar nuclear (DCN) cells. All these neurons, in addition to be excited, are reached by feed-forward and feed-back inhibitory connections, in which LTP and LTD may either operate synergistically or homeostatically in order to control information flow through the circuit. Although the investigation of individual synaptic plasticities in vitro is essential to prove their existence and mechanisms, it is insufficient to generate a coherent view of their impact on network functioning in vivo. Recent computational models and cell-specific genetic mutations in mice are shedding light on how plasticity at multiple excitatory and inhibitory synapses might regulate neuronal activities in the cerebellar circuit and contribute to learning and memory and behavioral control.

  13. Low-doses of cisplatin injure hippocampal synapses: a mechanism for 'chemo' brain?

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    Andres, Adrienne L; Gong, Xing; Di, Kaijun; Bota, Daniela A

    2014-05-01

    Chemotherapy-related cognitive deficits are a major neurological problem, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. The death of neural stem/precursor cell (NSC) by cisplatin has been reported as a potential cause, but this requires high doses of chemotherapeutic agents. Cisplatin is frequently used in modern oncology, and it achieves high concentrations in the patient's brain. Here we report that exposure to low concentrations of cisplatin (0.1μM) causes the loss of dendritic spines and synapses within 30min. Longer exposures injured dendritic branches and reduced dendritic complexity. At this low concentration, cisplatin did not affect NSC viability nor provoke apoptosis. However, higher cisplatin levels (1μM) led to the rapid loss of synapses and dendritic disintegration, and neuronal-but not NSC-apoptosis. In-vivo treatment with cisplatin at clinically relevant doses also caused a reduction of dendritic branches and decreased spine density in CA1 and CA3 hippocampal neurons. An acute increase in cell death was measured in the CA1 and CA3 neurons, as well as in the NSC population located in the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus in the cisplatin treated animals. The density of dendritic spines is related to the degree of neuronal connectivity and function, and pathological changes in spine number or structure have significant consequences for brain function. Therefore, this synapse and dendritic damage might contribute to the cognitive impairment observed after cisplatin treatment. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Astrocytic glutamate transport regulates a Drosophila CNS synapse that lacks astrocyte ensheathment.

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    MacNamee, Sarah E; Liu, Kendra E; Gerhard, Stephan; Tran, Cathy T; Fetter, Richard D; Cardona, Albert; Tolbert, Leslie P; Oland, Lynne A

    2016-07-01

    Anatomical, molecular, and physiological interactions between astrocytes and neuronal synapses regulate information processing in the brain. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has become a valuable experimental system for genetic manipulation of the nervous system and has enormous potential for elucidating mechanisms that mediate neuron-glia interactions. Here, we show the first electrophysiological recordings from Drosophila astrocytes and characterize their spatial and physiological relationship with particular synapses. Astrocyte intrinsic properties were found to be strongly analogous to those of vertebrate astrocytes, including a passive current-voltage relationship, low membrane resistance, high capacitance, and dye-coupling to local astrocytes. Responses to optogenetic stimulation of glutamatergic premotor neurons were correlated directly with anatomy using serial electron microscopy reconstructions of homologous identified neurons and surrounding astrocytic processes. Robust bidirectional communication was present: neuronal activation triggered astrocytic glutamate transport via excitatory amino acid transporter 1 (Eaat1), and blocking Eaat1 extended glutamatergic interneuron-evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents in motor neurons. The neuronal synapses were always located within 1 μm of an astrocytic process, but none were ensheathed by those processes. Thus, fly astrocytes can modulate fast synaptic transmission via neurotransmitter transport within these anatomical parameters. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:1979-1998, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Spontaneous Vesicle Fusion Is Differentially Regulated at Cholinergic and GABAergic Synapses

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    Haowen Liu

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The locomotion of C. elegans is balanced by excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitter release at neuromuscular junctions. However, the molecular mechanisms that maintain the balance of synaptic transmission remain enigmatic. Here, we investigated the function of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels in triggering spontaneous release at cholinergic and GABAergic synapses. Recordings of the miniature excitatory/inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs and mIPSCs, respectively showed that UNC-2/CaV2 and EGL-19/CaV1 channels are the two major triggers for spontaneous release. Notably, however, Ca2+-independent spontaneous release was observed at GABAergic but not cholinergic synapses. Functional screening led to the identification of hypomorphic unc-64/Syntaxin-1A and snb-1/VAMP2 mutants in which mEPSCs are severely impaired, whereas mIPSCs remain unaltered, indicating differential regulation of these currents at cholinergic and GABAergic synapses. Moreover, Ca2+-independent spontaneous GABA release was nearly abolished in the hypomorphic unc-64 and snb-1 mutants, suggesting distinct mechanisms for Ca2+-dependent and Ca2+-independent spontaneous release.

  16. Recurrent synapses and circuits in the CA3 region of the hippocampus: an associative network.

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    Richard eMiles

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In the CA3 region of the hippocampus, pyramidal cells excite other pyramidal cells and interneurons. The axons of CA3 pyramidal cells spread throughout most of the region to form an associative network. These connections were first drawn by Cajal and Lorente de No. Their physiological properties were explored to understand epileptiform discharges generated in the region. Synapses between pairs of pyramidal cells involve one or few release sites and are weaker than connections made by mossy fibres on CA3 pyramidal cells. Synapses with interneurons are rather effective, as needed to control unchecked excitation. We examine contributions of recurrent synapses to epileptiform synchrony, to the genesis of sharp waves in the CA3 region and to population oscillations at theta and gamma frequencies. Recurrent connections in CA3, as other associative cortices, have a lower connectivity spread over a larger area than in primary sensory cortices. This sparse, but wide-ranging connectivity serves the functions of an associative network, including acquisition of neuronal representations as activity in groups of CA3 cells and completion involving the recall from partial cues of these ensemble firing patterns.

  17. Chimeric antigen receptor T cells form nonclassical and potent immune synapses driving rapid cytotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davenport, A J; Cross, R S; Watson, K A; Liao, Y; Shi, W; Prince, H M; Beavis, P A; Trapani, J A; Kershaw, M H; Ritchie, D S; Darcy, P K; Neeson, P J; Jenkins, M R

    2018-02-27

    Chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cells are effective serial killers with a faster off-rate from dying tumor cells than CAR-T cells binding target cells through their T cell receptor (TCR). Here we explored the functional consequences of CAR-mediated signaling using a dual-specific CAR-T cell, where the same cell was triggered via TCR (tcrCTL) or CAR (carCTL). The carCTL immune synapse lacked distinct LFA-1 adhesion rings and was less reliant on LFA to form stable conjugates with target cells. carCTL receptors associated with the synapse were found to be disrupted and formed a convoluted multifocal pattern of Lck microclusters. Both proximal and distal receptor signaling pathways were induced more rapidly and subsequently decreased more rapidly in carCTL than in tcrCTL. The functional consequence of this rapid signaling in carCTL cells included faster lytic granule recruitment to the immune synapse, correlating with faster detachment of the CTL from the target cell. This study provides a mechanism for how CAR-T cells can debulk large tumor burden quickly and may contribute to further refinement of CAR design for enhancing the quality of signaling and programming of the T cell. Copyright © 2018 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.

  18. Effects of dynamic synapses on noise-delayed response latency of a single neuron

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    Uzuntarla, M.; Ozer, M.; Ileri, U.; Calim, A.; Torres, J. J.

    2015-12-01

    The noise-delayed decay (NDD) phenomenon emerges when the first-spike latency of a periodically forced stochastic neuron exhibits a maximum for a particular range of noise intensity. Here, we investigate the latency response dynamics of a single Hodgkin-Huxley neuron that is subject to both a suprathreshold periodic stimulus and a background activity arriving through dynamic synapses. We study the first-spike latency response as a function of the presynaptic firing rate f . This constitutes a more realistic scenario than previous works, since f provides a suitable biophysically realistic parameter to control the level of activity in actual neural systems. We first report on the emergence of classical NDD behavior as a function of f for the limit of static synapses. Second, we show that when short-term depression and facilitation mechanisms are included at the synapses, different NDD features can be found due to their modulatory effect on synaptic current fluctuations. For example, an intriguing double NDD (DNDD) behavior occurs for different sets of relevant synaptic parameters. Moreover, depending on the balance between synaptic depression and synaptic facilitation, single NDD or DNDD can prevail, in such a way that synaptic facilitation favors the emergence of DNDD whereas synaptic depression favors the existence of single NDD. Here we report the existence of the DNDD effect in the response latency dynamics of a neuron.

  19. Monoacylated Cellular Prion Proteins Reduce Amyloid-β-Induced Activation of Cytoplasmic Phospholipase A2 and Synapse Damage

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    Ewan West

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer’s disease (AD is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ and the loss of synapses. Aggregation of the cellular prion protein (PrPC by Aβ oligomers induced synapse damage in cultured neurons. PrPC is attached to membranes via a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI anchor, the composition of which affects protein targeting and cell signaling. Monoacylated PrPC incorporated into neurons bound “natural Aβ”, sequestering Aβ outside lipid rafts and preventing its accumulation at synapses. The presence of monoacylated PrPC reduced the Aβ-induced activation of cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2 and Aβ-induced synapse damage. This protective effect was stimulus specific, as treated neurons remained sensitive to α-synuclein, a protein associated with synapse damage in Parkinson’s disease. In synaptosomes, the aggregation of PrPC by Aβ oligomers triggered the formation of a signaling complex containing the cPLA2.a process, disrupted by monoacylated PrPC. We propose that monoacylated PrPC acts as a molecular sponge, binding Aβ oligomers at the neuronal perikarya without activating cPLA2 or triggering synapse damage.

  20. Differential regulation of polarized synaptic vesicle trafficking and synapse stability in neural circuit rewiring in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Naina Kurup

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Neural circuits are dynamic, with activity-dependent changes in synapse density and connectivity peaking during different phases of animal development. In C. elegans, young larvae form mature motor circuits through a dramatic switch in GABAergic neuron connectivity, by concomitant elimination of existing synapses and formation of new synapses that are maintained throughout adulthood. We have previously shown that an increase in microtubule dynamics during motor circuit rewiring facilitates new synapse formation. Here, we further investigate cellular control of circuit rewiring through the analysis of mutants obtained in a forward genetic screen. Using live imaging, we characterize novel mutations that alter cargo binding in the dynein motor complex and enhance anterograde synaptic vesicle movement during remodeling, providing in vivo evidence for the tug-of-war between kinesin and dynein in fast axonal transport. We also find that a casein kinase homolog, TTBK-3, inhibits stabilization of nascent synapses in their new locations, a previously unexplored facet of structural plasticity of synapses. Our study delineates temporally distinct signaling pathways that are required for effective neural circuit refinement.

  1. ProBDNF and mature BDNF as punishment and reward signals for synapse elimination at mouse neuromuscular junctions.

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    Je, H Shawn; Yang, Feng; Ji, Yuanyuan; Potluri, Srilatha; Fu, Xiu-Qing; Luo, Zhen-Ge; Nagappan, Guhan; Chan, Jia Pei; Hempstead, Barbara; Son, Young-Jin; Lu, Bai

    2013-06-12

    During development, mammalian neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) transit from multiple-innervation to single-innervation through axonal competition via unknown molecular mechanisms. Previously, using an in vitro model system, we demonstrated that the postsynaptic secretion of pro-brain-derived neurotrophic factor (proBDNF) stabilizes or eliminates presynaptic axon terminals, depending on its proteolytic conversion at synapses. Here, using developing mouse NMJs, we obtained in vivo evidence that proBDNF and mature BDNF (mBDNF) play roles in synapse elimination. We observed that exogenous proBDNF promoted synapse elimination, whereas mBDNF infusion substantially delayed synapse elimination. In addition, pharmacological inhibition of the proteolytic conversion of proBDNF to mBDNF accelerated synapse elimination via activation of p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75(NTR)). Furthermore, the inhibition of both p75(NTR) and sortilin signaling attenuated synapse elimination. We propose a model in which proBDNF and mBDNF serve as potential "punishment" and "reward" signals for inactive and active terminals, respectively, in vivo.

  2. Involvement of intracellular Zn2+ signaling in LTP at perforant pathway-CA1 pyramidal cell synapse.

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    Tamano, Haruna; Nishio, Ryusuke; Takeda, Atsushi

    2017-07-01

    Physiological significance of synaptic Zn 2+ signaling was examined at perforant pathway-CA1 pyramidal cell synapses. In vivo long-term potentiation (LTP) at perforant pathway-CA1 pyramidal cell synapses was induced using a recording electrode attached to a microdialysis probe and the recording region was locally perfused with artificial cerebrospinal fluid (ACSF) via the microdialysis probe. Perforant pathway LTP was not attenuated under perfusion with CaEDTA (10 mM), an extracellular Zn 2+ chelator, but attenuated under perfusion with ZnAF-2DA (50 μM), an intracellular Zn 2+ chelator, suggesting that intracellular Zn 2+ signaling is required for perforant pathway LTP. Even in rat brain slices bathed in CaEDTA in ACSF, intracellular Zn 2+ level, which was measured with intracellular ZnAF-2, was increased in the stratum lacunosum-moleculare where perforant pathway-CA1 pyramidal cell synapses were contained after tetanic stimulation. These results suggest that intracellular Zn 2+ signaling, which originates in internal stores/proteins, is involved in LTP at perforant pathway-CA1 pyramidal cell synapses. Because the influx of extracellular Zn 2+ , which originates in presynaptic Zn 2+ release, is involved in LTP at Schaffer collateral-CA1 pyramidal cell synapses, synapse-dependent Zn 2+ dynamics may be involved in plasticity of postsynaptic CA1 pyramidal cells. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. PD-1 blocks lytic granule polarization with concomitant impairment of integrin outside-in signaling in the natural killer cell immunological synapse.

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    Huang, Yu; Chen, Zhiying; Jang, Joon Hee; Baig, Mirza S; Bertolet, Grant; Schroeder, Casey; Huang, Shengjian; Hu, Qian; Zhao, Yong; Lewis, Dorothy E; Qin, Lidong; Zhu, Michael Xi; Liu, Dongfang

    2018-04-18

    The inhibitory receptor programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) is upregulated on a variety of immune cells, including natural killer (NK) cells, during chronic viral infection and tumorigenesis. Blockade of PD-1 or its ligands produces durable clinical responses with tolerable side effects in patients with a broad spectrum of cancers. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms of how PD-1 regulates NK cell function remain poorly characterized. We sought to determine the effect of PD-1 signaling on NK cells. PD-1 was overexpressed in CD16-KHYG-1 (a human NK cell line with both antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity through CD16 and natural cytotoxicity through NKG2D) cells and stimulated by exposing the cells to NK-sensitive target cells expressing programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1). PD-1 engagement by PD-L1 specifically blocked NK cell-mediated cytotoxicity without interfering with the conjugation between NK cells and target cells. Further examination showed that PD-1 signaling blocked lytic granule polarization in NK cells, which was accompanied by failure of integrin-linked kinase, a key molecule in the integrin outside-in signaling pathway, to accumulate in the immunological synapse after NK-target cell conjugation. Our results suggest that NK cell cytotoxicity is inhibited by PD-1 engagement, which blocks lytic granule polarization to the NK cell immunological synapse with concomitant impairment of integrin outside-in signaling. This study provides novel mechanistic insights into how PD-1 inhibition disrupts NK cell function. Copyright © 2018 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Bidirectional Signaling of Neuregulin-2 Mediates Formation of GABAergic Synapses and Maturation of Glutamatergic Synapses in Newborn Granule Cells of Postnatal Hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kyu-Hee; Lee, Hyunsu; Yang, Che Ho; Ko, Jeong-Soon; Park, Chang-Hwan; Woo, Ran-Sook; Kim, Joo Yeon; Sun, Woong; Kim, Joung-Hun; Ho, Won-Kyung; Lee, Suk-Ho

    2015-12-16

    Expression of neuregulin-2 (NRG2) is intense in a few regions of the adult brain where neurogenesis persists; however, little is understood about its role in developments of newborn neurons. To study the role of NRG2 in synaptogenesis at different developmental stages, newborn granule cells in rat hippocampal slice cultures were labeled with retrovirus encoding tetracycline-inducible microRNA targeting NRG2 and treated with doxycycline (Dox) at the fourth or seventh postinfection day (dpi). The developmental increase of GABAergic postsynaptic currents (GPSCs) was suppressed by the early Dox treatment (4 dpi), but not by late treatment (7 dpi). The late Dox treatment was used to study the effect of NRG2 depletion specific to excitatory synaptogenesis. The Dox effect on EPSCs emerged 4 d after the impairment in dendritic outgrowth became evident (10 dpi). Notably, Dox treatment abolished the developmental increases of AMPA-receptor mediated EPSCs and the AMPA/NMDA ratio, indicating impaired maturation of glutamatergic synapses. In contrast to GPSCs, Dox effects on EPSCs and dendritic growth were independent of ErbB4 and rescued by concurrent overexpression of NRG2 intracellular domain. These results suggest that forward signaling of NRG2 mediates GABAergic synaptogenesis and its reverse signaling contributes to dendritic outgrowth and maturation of glutamatergic synapses. The hippocampal dentate gyrus is one of special brain regions where neurogenesis persists throughout adulthood. Synaptogenesis is a critical step for newborn neurons to be integrated into preexisting neural network. Because neuregulin-2 (NRG2), a growth factor, is intensely expressed in these regions, we investigated whether it plays a role in synaptogenesis and dendritic growth. We found that NRG2 has dual roles in the development of newborn neurons. For GABAergic synaptogenesis, the extracellular domain of NRG2 acts as a ligand for a receptor on GABAergic neurons. In contrast, its intracellular

  5. Centriole polarisation to the immunological synapse directs secretion from cytolytic cells of both the innate and adaptive immune systems

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    Arico Maurizo

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cytolytic cells of the immune system destroy pathogen-infected cells by polarised exocytosis of secretory lysosomes containing the pore-forming protein perforin. Precise delivery of this lethal hit is essential to ensuring that only the target cell is destroyed. In cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs, this is accomplished by an unusual movement of the centrosome to contact the plasma membrane at the centre of the immunological synapse formed between killer and target cells. Secretory lysosomes are directed towards the centrosome along microtubules and delivered precisely to the point of target cell recognition within the immunological synapse, identified by the centrosome. We asked whether this mechanism of directing secretory lysosome release is unique to CTL or whether natural killer (NK and invariant NKT (iNKT cytolytic cells of the innate immune system use a similar mechanism to focus perforin-bearing lysosome release. Results NK cells were conjugated with B-cell targets lacking major histocompatibility complex class I 721.221 cells, and iNKT cells were conjugated with glycolipid-pulsed CD1-bearing targets, then prepared for thin-section electron microscopy. High-resolution electron micrographs of the immunological synapse formed between NK and iNKT cytolytic cells with their targets revealed that in both NK and iNKT cells, the centrioles could be found associated (or 'docked' with the plasma membrane within the immunological synapse. Secretory clefts were visible within the synapses formed by both NK and iNKT cells, and secretory lysosomes were polarised along microtubules leading towards the docked centrosome. The Golgi apparatus and recycling endosomes were also polarised towards the centrosome at the plasma membrane within the synapse. Conclusions These results reveal that, like CTLs of the adaptive immune system, the centrosomes of NK and iNKT cells (cytolytic cells of the innate immune system direct secretory lysosomes to

  6. Centriole polarisation to the immunological synapse directs secretion from cytolytic cells of both the innate and adaptive immune systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stinchcombe, Jane C; Salio, Mariolina; Cerundolo, Vincenzo; Pende, Daniela; Arico, Maurizo; Griffiths, Gillian M

    2011-06-28

    Cytolytic cells of the immune system destroy pathogen-infected cells by polarised exocytosis of secretory lysosomes containing the pore-forming protein perforin. Precise delivery of this lethal hit is essential to ensuring that only the target cell is destroyed. In cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), this is accomplished by an unusual movement of the centrosome to contact the plasma membrane at the centre of the immunological synapse formed between killer and target cells. Secretory lysosomes are directed towards the centrosome along microtubules and delivered precisely to the point of target cell recognition within the immunological synapse, identified by the centrosome. We asked whether this mechanism of directing secretory lysosome release is unique to CTL or whether natural killer (NK) and invariant NKT (iNKT) cytolytic cells of the innate immune system use a similar mechanism to focus perforin-bearing lysosome release. NK cells were conjugated with B-cell targets lacking major histocompatibility complex class I 721.221 cells, and iNKT cells were conjugated with glycolipid-pulsed CD1-bearing targets, then prepared for thin-section electron microscopy. High-resolution electron micrographs of the immunological synapse formed between NK and iNKT cytolytic cells with their targets revealed that in both NK and iNKT cells, the centrioles could be found associated (or 'docked') with the plasma membrane within the immunological synapse. Secretory clefts were visible within the synapses formed by both NK and iNKT cells, and secretory lysosomes were polarised along microtubules leading towards the docked centrosome. The Golgi apparatus and recycling endosomes were also polarised towards the centrosome at the plasma membrane within the synapse. These results reveal that, like CTLs of the adaptive immune system, the centrosomes of NK and iNKT cells (cytolytic cells of the innate immune system) direct secretory lysosomes to the immunological synapse. Morphologically, the

  7. Mixed electrical-chemical synapses in adult rat hippocampus are primarily glutamatergic and coupled by connexin-36

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    Farid eHamzei-Sichani

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Dendrodendritic electrical signaling via gap junctions is now an accepted feature of neuronal communication in the mammalian brain, whereas axodendritic and axosomatic gap junctions have rarely been described. We present ultrastructural, immunocytochemical, and dye-coupling evidence for mixed (electrical/chemical synapses in adult rat hippocampus on both principal cells and interneurons. Thin-section electron microscopic images of small gap junction-like appositions were found at mossy fiber (MF terminals on thorny excrescences of CA3 pyramidal neurons (CA3pyr, apparently forming glutamatergic mixed synapses. Lucifer Yellow injected into four weakly-fixed CA3pyr was detected in MF axons that contacted the injected CA3pyr, supporting gap junction-mediated coupling between those two types of principal cells. Freeze-fracture replica immunogold-labeling revealed diverse sizes and morphologies of connexin36-containing gap junctions throughout hippocampus. Of 20 immunogold-labeled gap junctions, seven were large (328-1140 connexons, three of which were consistent with electrical synapses between interneurons; but nine were at axon terminal synapses, three of which were immediately adjacent to distinctive glutamate receptor-containing postsynaptic densities, forming mixed glutamatergic synapses. Four others were adjacent to small clusters of immunogold-labeled 10-nm E-face intramembrane particles, apparently representing extrasynaptic glutamate receptor particles. Gap junctions also were on spines in stratum lucidum, stratum oriens, dentate gyrus, and hilus, on both interneurons and unidentified neurons. In addition, one putative GABAergic mixed synapse was found in thin section images of a CA3pyr, but none found by immunogold-labeling were at GABAergic mixed synapses, suggesting their rarity. Cx36-containing gap junctions throughout hippocampus suggest the possibility of reciprocal modulation of electrical and chemical signals in diverse hippocampal

  8. Synapses between parallel fibres and stellate cells express long-term changes in synaptic efficacy in rat cerebellum.

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    Rancillac, Armelle; Crépel, Francis

    2004-02-01

    Various forms of synaptic plasticity underlying motor learning have already been well characterized at cerebellar parallel fibre (PF)-Purkinje cell (PC) synapses. Inhibitory interneurones play an important role in controlling the excitability and synchronization of PCs. We have therefore tested the possibility that excitatory synapses between PFs and stellate cells (SCs) are also able to exhibit long-term changes in synaptic efficacy. In the present study, we show that long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) were induced at these synapses by a low frequency stimulation protocol (2 Hz for 60 s) and that pairing this low frequency stimulation protocol with postsynaptic depolarization induced a marked shift of synaptic plasticity in favour of LTP. This LTP was cAMP independent, but required nitric oxide (NO) production from pre- and/or postsynaptic elements, depending on the stimulation or pairing protocol used, respectively. In contrast, LTD was not dependent on NO production but it required activation of postsynaptic group II and possibly of group I metabotropic glutamate receptors. Finally, stimulation of PFs at 8 Hz for 15 s also induced LTP at PF-SC synapses. But in this case, LTP was cAMP dependent, as was also observed at PF-PC synapses for presynaptic LTP induced in the same conditions. Thus, long-term changes in synaptic efficacy can be accomplished by PF-SCs synapses as well as by PF-PC synapses, suggesting that both types of plasticity might co-operate during cerebellar motor learning.

  9. Isolation of TRPV1 independent mechanisms of spontaneous and asynchronous glutamate release at primary afferent to NTS synapses.

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    Axel J. Fenwick

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Cranial visceral afferents contained within the solitary tract (ST contact second-order neurons in the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS and release the excitatory amino acid glutamate via three distinct exocytosis pathways; synchronous, asynchronous, and spontaneous release. The presence of TRPV1 in the central terminals of a majority of ST afferents conveys activity-dependent asynchronous glutamate release and provides a temperature sensitive calcium conductance which largely determines the rate of spontaneous vesicle fusion. TRPV1 is present in unmyelinated C-fiber afferents and these facilitated forms of glutamate release may underlie the relative strength of C-fibers in activating autonomic reflex pathways. However, pharmacological blockade of TRPV1 signaling eliminates only ~50% of the asynchronous profile and attenuates the temperature sensitivity of spontaneous release indicating additional thermosensitive calcium influx pathways may exist which mediate these forms of vesicle release. In the present study we isolate the contribution of TRPV1 independent forms of glutamate release at ST-NTS synapses. We found ST afferent innervation at NTS neurons and synchronous vesicle release from TRPV1 KO mice was not different to control animals; however, only half of TRPV1 KO ST afferents completely lacked asynchronous glutamate release. Further, temperature driven spontaneous rates of vesicle release were not different from 33˚ - 37˚C between control and TRPV1 KO afferents. These findings suggest additional temperature dependent mechanisms controlling asynchronous and thermosensitive spontaneous release at physiological temperatures, possibly mediated by additional thermosensitive TRP channels in primary afferent terminals.

  10. Citation Analysis of the Korean Journal of Urology From Web of Science, Scopus, Korean Medical Citation Index, KoreaMed Synapse, and Google Scholar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huh, Sun

    2013-04-01

    The Korean Journal of Urology began to be published exclusively in English in 2010 and is indexed in PubMed Central/PubMed. This study analyzed a variety of citation indicators of the Korean Journal of Urology before and after 2010 to clarify the present position of the journal among the urology category journals. The impact factor, SCImago Journal Rank (SJR), impact index, Z-impact factor (ZIF, impact factor excluding self-citation), and Hirsch Index (H-index) were referenced or calculated from Web of Science, Scopus, SCImago Journal & Country Ranking, Korean Medical Citation Index (KoMCI), KoreaMed Synapse, and Google Scholar. Both the impact factor and the total citations rose rapidly beginning in 2011. The 2012 impact factor corresponded to the upper 84.9% in the nephrology-urology category, whereas the 2011 SJR was in the upper 58.5%. The ZIF in KoMCI was one fifth of the impact factor because there are only two other urology journals in KoMCI. Up to 2009, more than half of the citations in the Web of Science were from Korean researchers, but from 2010 to 2012, more than 85% of the citations were from international researchers. The H-indexes from Web of Science, Scopus, KoMCI, KoreaMed Synapse, and Google Scholar were 8, 10, 12, 9, and 18, respectively. The strategy of the language change in 2010 was successful from the perspective of citation indicators. The values of the citation indicators will continue to increase rapidly and consistently as the research achievement of authors of the Korean Journal of Urology increases.

  11. Human tau increases amyloid β plaque size but not amyloid β-mediated synapse loss in a novel mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Rosemary J; Rudinskiy, Nikita; Herrmann, Abigail G; Croft, Shaun; Kim, JeeSoo Monica; Petrova, Veselina; Ramos-Rodriguez, Juan Jose; Pitstick, Rose; Wegmann, Susanne; Garcia-Alloza, Monica; Carlson, George A; Hyman, Bradley T; Spires-Jones, Tara L

    2016-12-01

    Alzheimer's disease is characterized by the presence of aggregates of amyloid beta (Aβ) in senile plaques and tau in neurofibrillary tangles, as well as marked neuron and synapse loss. Of these pathological changes, synapse loss correlates most strongly with cognitive decline. Synapse loss occurs prominently around plaques due to accumulations of oligomeric Aβ. Recent evidence suggests that tau may also play a role in synapse loss but the interactions of Aβ and tau in synapse loss remain to be determined. In this study, we generated a novel transgenic mouse line, the APP/PS1/rTg21221 line, by crossing APP/PS1 mice, which develop Aβ-plaques and synapse loss, with rTg21221 mice, which overexpress wild-type human tau. When compared to the APP/PS1 mice without human tau, the cross-sectional area of ThioS+ dense core plaques was increased by ~50%. Along with increased plaque size, we observed an increase in plaque-associated dystrophic neurites containing misfolded tau, but there was no exacerbation of neurite curvature or local neuron loss around plaques. Array tomography analysis similarly revealed no worsening of synapse loss around plaques, and no change in the accumulation of Aβ at synapses. Together, these results indicate that adding human wild-type tau exacerbates plaque pathology and neurite deformation but does not exacerbate plaque-associated synapse loss. © 2016 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience published by Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. ON Cone Bipolar Cell Axonal Synapses in the OFF Inner Plexiform Layer of the Rabbit Retina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauritzen, J. Scott; Anderson, James R.; Jones, Bryan W.; Watt, Carl B.; Mohammed, Shoeb; Hoang, John V.; Marc, Robert E.

    2012-01-01

    Analysis of the rabbit retinal connectome RC1 reveals that the division between the ON and OFF inner plexiform layer (IPL) is not structurally absolute. ON cone bipolar cells make non-canonical axonal synapses onto specific targets and receive amacrine cell synapses in the nominal OFF layer, creating novel motifs, including inhibitory crossover networks. Automated transmission electron microscope (ATEM) imaging, molecular tagging, tracing, and rendering of ≈ 400 bipolar cells reveals axonal ribbons in 36% of ON cone bipolar cells, throughout the OFF IPL. The targets include GABA-positive amacrine cells (γACs), glycine-positive amacrine cells (GACs) and ganglion cells. Most ON cone bipolar cell axonal contacts target GACs driven by OFF cone bipolar cells, forming new architectures for generating ON-OFF amacrine cells. Many of these ON-OFF GACs target ON cone bipolar cell axons, ON γACs and/or ON-OFF ganglion cells, representing widespread mechanisms for OFF to ON crossover inhibition. Other targets include OFF γACs presynaptic to OFF bipolar cells, forming γAC-mediated crossover motifs. ON cone bipolar cell axonal ribbons drive bistratified ON-OFF ganglion cells in the OFF layer and provide ON drive to polarity-appropriate targets such as bistratified diving ganglion cells (bsdGCs). The targeting precision of ON cone bipolar cell axonal synapses shows that this drive incidence is necessarily a joint distribution of cone bipolar cell axonal frequency and target cell trajectories through a given volume of the OFF layer. Such joint distribution sampling is likely common when targets are sparser than sources and when sources are coupled, as are ON cone bipolar cells. PMID:23042441

  13. The organization of plasticity in the cerebellar cortex: from synapses to control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Angelo, Egidio

    2014-01-01

    The cerebellum is thought to play a critical role in procedural learning, but the relationship between this function and the underlying cellular and synaptic mechanisms remains largely speculative. At present, at least nine forms of long-term synaptic and nonsynaptic plasticity (some of which are bidirectional) have been reported in the cerebellar cortex and deep cerebellar nuclei. These include long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression at the mossy fiber-granule cell synapse, at the synapses formed by parallel fibers, climbing fibers, and molecular layer interneurons on Purkinje cells, and at the synapses formed by mossy fibers and Purkinje cells on deep cerebellar nuclear cells, as well as LTP of intrinsic excitability in granule cells, Purkinje cells, and deep cerebellar nuclear cells. It is suggested that the complex properties of cerebellar learning would emerge from the distribution of plasticity in the network and from its dynamic remodeling during the different phases of learning. Intrinsic and extrinsic factors may hold the key to explain how the different forms of plasticity cooperate to select specific transmission channels and to regulate the signal-to-noise ratio through the cerebellar cortex. These factors include regulation of neuronal excitation by local inhibitory networks, engagement of specific molecular mechanisms by spike bursts and theta-frequency oscillations, and gating by external neuromodulators. Therefore, a new and more complex view of cerebellar plasticity is emerging with respect to that predicted by the original "Motor Learning Theory," opening issues that will require experimental and computational testing. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Homeostatic regulation of excitatory synapses on striatal medium spiny neurons expressing the D2 dopamine receptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thibault, Dominic; Giguère, Nicolas; Loustalot, Fabien; Bourque, Marie-Josée; Ducrot, Charles; El Mestikawy, Salah; Trudeau, Louis-Éric

    2016-05-01

    Striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs) are contacted by glutamatergic axon terminals originating from cortex, thalamus and other regions. The striatum is also innervated by dopaminergic (DAergic) terminals, some of which release glutamate as a co-transmitter. Despite evidence for functional DA release at birth in the striatum, the role of DA in the establishment of striatal circuitry is unclear. In light of recent work suggesting activity-dependent homeostatic regulation of glutamatergic terminals on MSNs expressing the D2 DA receptor (D2-MSNs), we used primary co-cultures to test the hypothesis that stimulation of DA and glutamate receptors regulates the homeostasis of glutamatergic synapses on MSNs. Co-culture of D2-MSNs with mesencephalic DA neurons or with cortical neurons produced an increase in spines and functional glutamate synapses expressing VGLUT2 or VGLUT1, respectively. The density of VGLUT2-positive terminals was reduced by the conditional knockout of this gene from DA neurons. In the presence of both mesencephalic and cortical neurons, the density of synapses reached the same total, compatible with the possibility of a homeostatic mechanism capping excitatory synaptic density. Blockade of D2 receptors increased the density of cortical and mesencephalic glutamatergic terminals, without changing MSN spine density or mEPSC frequency. Combined blockade of AMPA and NMDA glutamate receptors increased the density of cortical terminals and decreased that of mesencephalic VGLUT2-positive terminals, with no net change in total excitatory terminal density or in mEPSC frequency. These results suggest that DA and glutamate signaling regulate excitatory inputs to striatal D2-MSNs at both the pre- and postsynaptic level, under the influence of a homeostatic mechanism controlling functional output of the circuit.

  15. Presynaptic membrane receptors in acetylcholine release modulation in the neuromuscular synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomàs, Josep; Santafé, Manel M; Garcia, Neus; Lanuza, Maria A; Tomàs, Marta; Besalduch, Núria; Obis, Teresa; Priego, Mercedes; Hurtado, Erica

    2014-05-01

    Over the past few years, we have studied, in the mammalian neuromuscular junction (NMJ), the local involvement in transmitter release of the presynaptic muscarinic ACh autoreceptors (mAChRs), purinergic adenosine autoreceptors (P1Rs), and trophic factor receptors (TFRs; for neurotrophins and trophic cytokines) during development and in the adult. At any given moment, the way in which a synapse works is largely the logical outcome of the confluence of these (and other) metabotropic signalling pathways on intracellular kinases, which phosphorylate protein targets and materialize adaptive changes. We propose an integrated interpretation of the complementary function of these receptors in the adult NMJ. The activity of a given receptor group can modulate a given combination of spontaneous, evoked, and activity-dependent release characteristics. For instance, P1Rs can conserve resources by limiting spontaneous quantal leak of ACh (an A1 R action) and protect synapse function, because stimulation with adenosine reduces the magnitude of depression during repetitive activity. The overall outcome of the mAChRs seems to contribute to upkeep of spontaneous quantal output of ACh, save synapse function by decreasing the extent of evoked release (mainly an M2 action), and reduce depression. We have also identified several links among P1Rs, mAChRs, and TFRs. We found a close dependence between mAChR and some TFRs and observed that the muscarinic group has to operate correctly if the tropomyosin-related kinase B receptor (trkB) is also to operate correctly, and vice versa. Likewise, the functional integrity of mAChRs depends on P1Rs operating normally. Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Merkel disc is a serotonergic synapse in the epidermis for transmitting tactile signals in mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Weipang; Kanda, Hirosato; Ikeda, Ryo; Ling, Jennifer; DeBerry, Jennifer J; Gu, Jianguo G

    2016-09-13

    The evolution of sensory systems has let mammals develop complicated tactile end organs to enable sophisticated sensory tasks, including social interaction, environmental exploration, and tactile discrimination. The Merkel disc, a main type of tactile end organ consisting of Merkel cells (MCs) and Aβ-afferent endings, are highly abundant in fingertips, touch domes, and whisker hair follicles of mammals. The Merkel disc has high tactile acuity for an object's physical features, such as texture, shape, and edges. Mechanisms underlying the tactile function of Merkel discs are obscured as to how MCs transmit tactile signals to Aβ-afferent endings leading to tactile sensations. Using mouse whisker hair follicles, we show herein that tactile stimuli are transduced by MCs into excitatory signals that trigger vesicular serotonin release from MCs. We identify that both ionotropic and metabotropic 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) receptors are expressed on whisker Aβ-afferent endings and that their activation by serotonin released from MCs initiates Aβ-afferent impulses. Moreover, we demonstrate that these ionotropic and metabotropic 5-HT receptors have a synergistic effect that is critical to both electrophysiological and behavioral tactile responses. These findings elucidate that the Merkel disc is a unique serotonergic synapse located in the epidermis and plays a key role in tactile transmission. The epidermal serotonergic synapse may have important clinical implications in sensory dysfunctions, such as the loss of tactile sensitivity and tactile allodynia seen in patients who have diabetes, inflammatory diseases, and undergo chemotherapy. It may also have implications in the exaggerated tactile sensations induced by recreational drugs that act on serotoninergic synapses.

  17. Role of the mouse retinal photoreceptor ribbon synapse in visual motion processing for optokinetic responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugita, Yuko; Araki, Fumiyuki; Chaya, Taro; Kawano, Kenji; Furukawa, Takahisa; Miura, Kenichiro

    2015-01-01

    The ribbon synapse is a specialized synaptic structure in the retinal outer plexiform layer where visual signals are transmitted from photoreceptors to the bipolar and horizontal cells. This structure is considered important in high-efficiency signal transmission; however, its role in visual signal processing is unclear. In order to understand its role in visual processing, the present study utilized Pikachurin-null mutant mice that show improper formation of the photoreceptor ribbon synapse. We examined the initial and late phases of the optokinetic responses (OKRs). The initial phase was examined by measuring the open-loop eye velocity of the OKRs to sinusoidal grating patterns of various spatial frequencies moving at various temporal frequencies for 0.5 s. The mutant mice showed significant initial OKRs with a spatiotemporal frequency tuning (spatial frequency, 0.09 ± 0.01 cycles/°; temporal frequency, 1.87 ± 0.12 Hz) that was slightly different from the wild-type mice (spatial frequency, 0.11 ± 0.01 cycles/°; temporal frequency, 1.66 ± 0.12 Hz). The late phase of the OKRs was examined by measuring the slow phase eye velocity of the optokinetic nystagmus induced by the sinusoidal gratings of various spatiotemporal frequencies moving for 30 s. We found that the optimal spatial and temporal frequencies of the mutant mice (spatial frequency, 0.11 ± 0.02 cycles/°; temporal frequency, 0.81 ± 0.24 Hz) were both lower than those in the wild-type mice (spatial frequency, 0.15 ± 0.02 cycles/°; temporal frequency, 1.93 ± 0.62 Hz). These results suggest that the ribbon synapse modulates the spatiotemporal frequency tuning of visual processing along the ON pathway by which the late phase of OKRs is mediated.

  18. Role of the mouse retinal photoreceptor ribbon synapse in visual motion processing for optokinetic responses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuko Sugita

    Full Text Available The ribbon synapse is a specialized synaptic structure in the retinal outer plexiform layer where visual signals are transmitted from photoreceptors to the bipolar and horizontal cells. This structure is considered important in high-efficiency signal transmission; however, its role in visual signal processing is unclear. In order to understand its role in visual processing, the present study utilized Pikachurin-null mutant mice that show improper formation of the photoreceptor ribbon synapse. We examined the initial and late phases of the optokinetic responses (OKRs. The initial phase was examined by measuring the open-loop eye velocity of the OKRs to sinusoidal grating patterns of various spatial frequencies moving at various temporal frequencies for 0.5 s. The mutant mice showed significant initial OKRs with a spatiotemporal frequency tuning (spatial frequency, 0.09 ± 0.01 cycles/°; temporal frequency, 1.87 ± 0.12 Hz that was slightly different from the wild-type mice (spatial frequency, 0.11 ± 0.01 cycles/°; temporal frequency, 1.66 ± 0.12 Hz. The late phase of the OKRs was examined by measuring the slow phase eye velocity of the optokinetic nystagmus induced by the sinusoidal gratings of various spatiotemporal frequencies moving for 30 s. We found that the optimal spatial and temporal frequencies of the mutant mice (spatial frequency, 0.11 ± 0.02 cycles/°; temporal frequency, 0.81 ± 0.24 Hz were both lower than those in the wild-type mice (spatial frequency, 0.15 ± 0.02 cycles/°; temporal frequency, 1.93 ± 0.62 Hz. These results suggest that the ribbon synapse modulates the spatiotemporal frequency tuning of visual processing along the ON pathway by which the late phase of OKRs is mediated.

  19. Hypoxia-Induced neonatal seizures diminish silent synapses and long-term potentiation in hippocampal CA1 neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Chengwen; Bell, Jocelyn J. Lippman; Sun, Hongyu; Jensen, Frances E.

    2012-01-01

    Neonatal seizures can lead to epilepsy and long-term cognitive deficits in adulthood. Using a rodent model of the most common form of human neonatal seizures, hypoxia-induced seizures (HS), we aimed to determine whether these seizures modify long-term potentiation (LTP) and “silent” N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-only synapses in hippocampal CA1. At 48-72 hours (hrs) post-HS, electrophysiology and immunofluorescent confocal microscopy revealed a significant decrease in the incidence of silent synapses, and an increase in amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors (AMPARs) at the synapses. Coincident with this decrease in silent synapses, there was an attenuation of LTP elicited by either tetanic stimulation of Schaffer collaterals or a pairing protocol, and persistent attenuation of LTP in slices removed in later adulthood after P10 HS. Furthermore, post-seizure treatment in vivo with the AMPAR antagonist 2,3-dihydroxy-6-nitro-7-sulfonyl-benzo[f]quinoxaline (NBQX) protected against the HS-induced depletion of silent synapses and preserved LTP. Thus, this study demonstrates a novel mechanism by which early-life seizures could impair synaptic plasticity, suggesting a potential target for therapeutic strategies to prevent long-term cognitive deficits. PMID:22171027

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. SynDIG4/Prrt1 Is Required for Excitatory Synapse Development and Plasticity Underlying Cognitive Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucas Matt

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Altering AMPA receptor (AMPAR content at synapses is a key mechanism underlying the regulation of synaptic strength during learning and memory. Previous work demonstrated that SynDIG1 (synapse differentiation-induced gene 1 encodes a transmembrane AMPAR-associated protein that regulates excitatory synapse strength and number. Here we show that the related protein SynDIG4 (also known as Prrt1 modifies AMPAR gating properties in a subunit-dependent manner. Young SynDIG4 knockout (KO mice have weaker excitatory synapses, as evaluated by immunocytochemistry and electrophysiology. Adult SynDIG4 KO mice show complete loss of tetanus-induced long-term potentiation (LTP, while mEPSC amplitude is reduced by only 25%. Furthermore, SynDIG4 KO mice exhibit deficits in two independent cognitive assays. Given that SynDIG4 colocalizes with the AMPAR subunit GluA1 at non-synaptic sites, we propose that SynDIG4 maintains a pool of extrasynaptic AMPARs necessary for synapse development and function underlying higher-order cognitive plasticity.

  2. The networks scale and coupling parameter in synchronization of neural networks with diluted synapses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Yanlong; Ma Jun; Chen Yuhong; Xu Wenke; Wang Yinghai

    2008-01-01

    In this paper the influence of the networks scale on the coupling parameter in the synchronization of neural networks with diluted synapses is investigated. Using numerical simulations, an exponential decay form is observed in the extreme case of global coupling among networks and full connection in each network; the larger linked degree becomes, the larger critical coupling intensity becomes; and the oscillation phenomena in the relationship of critical coupling intensity and the number of neural networks layers in the case of small-scale networks are found

  3. Sailing to and Docking at the Immune Synapse: Role of Tubulin Dynamics and Molecular Motors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noa Beatriz Martín-Cófreces

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available The different cytoskeleton systems and their connecting molecular motors move vesicles and intracellular organelles to shape cells. Polarized cells with specialized functions display an exquisite spatio-temporal regulation of both cytoskeletal and organelle arrangements that support their specific tasks. In particular, T cells rapidly change their shape and cellular function through the establishment of cell surface and intracellular polarity in response to a variety of cues. This review focuses on the contribution of the microtubule-based dynein/dynactin motor complex, the tubulin and actin cytoskeletons, and different organelles to the formation of the antigen-driven immune synapse.

  4. MUC16 provides immune protection by inhibiting synapse formation between NK and ovarian tumor cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Migneault Martine

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cancer cells utilize a variety of mechanisms to evade immune detection and attack. Effective immune detection largely relies on the formation of an immune synapse which requires close contact between immune cells and their targets. Here, we show that MUC16, a heavily glycosylated 3-5 million Da mucin expressed on the surface of ovarian tumor cells, inhibits the formation of immune synapses between NK cells and ovarian tumor targets. Our results indicate that MUC16-mediated inhibition of immune synapse formation is an effective mechanism employed by ovarian tumors to evade immune recognition. Results Expression of low levels of MUC16 strongly correlated with an increased number of conjugates and activating immune synapses between ovarian tumor cells and primary naïve NK cells. MUC16-knockdown ovarian tumor cells were more susceptible to lysis by primary NK cells than MUC16 expressing controls. This increased lysis was not due to differences in the expression levels of the ligands for the activating receptors DNAM-1 and NKG2D. The NK cell leukemia cell line (NKL, which does not express KIRs but are positive for DNAM-1 and NKG2D, also conjugated and lysed MUC16-knockdown cells more efficiently than MUC16 expressing controls. Tumor cells that survived the NKL challenge expressed higher levels of MUC16 indicating selective lysis of MUC16low targets. The higher csMUC16 levels on the NKL resistant tumor cells correlated with more protection from lysis as compared to target cells that were never exposed to the effectors. Conclusion MUC16, a carrier of the tumor marker CA125, has previously been shown to facilitate ovarian tumor metastasis and inhibits NK cell mediated lysis of tumor targets. Our data now demonstrates that MUC16 expressing ovarian cancer cells are protected from recognition by NK cells. The immune protection provided by MUC16 may lead to selective survival of ovarian cancer cells that are more efficient in

  5. Influence of oculomotor nerve afferents on central endings of primary trigeminal fibers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manni, E; Bortolami, R; Pettorossi, V E; Lucchi, M L; Callegari, E; Draicchio, F

    1987-12-01

    Painful fibers running in the third nerve and originating from the ophthalmic trigeminal area send their central projections at level of substantia gelatinosa of nucleus caudalis trigemini. The central endings of these fibers form axoaxonic synapses with trigeminal fibers entering the brain stem through the trigeminal root. The effect of electrical stimulation of the third nerve central stump on the central endings of trigeminal afferent fibers consists in an increased excitability, possibly resulting in a presynaptic inhibition. This inhibitory influence is due to both direct and indirect connections of the third nerve afferent fibers with the trigeminal ones.

  6. Deficits in synaptic function occur at medial perforant path-dentate granule cell synapses prior to Schaffer collateral-CA1 pyramidal cell synapses in the novel TgF344-Alzheimer's Disease Rat Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Lindsey A; McMahon, Lori L

    2018-02-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology begins decades prior to onset of clinical symptoms, and the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus are among the first and most extensively impacted brain regions. The TgF344-AD rat model, which more fully recapitulates human AD pathology in an age-dependent manner, is a next generation preclinical rodent model for understanding pathophysiological processes underlying the earliest stages of AD (Cohen et al., 2013). Whether synaptic alterations occur in hippocampus prior to reported learning and memory deficit is not known. Furthermore, it is not known if specific hippocampal synapses are differentially affected by progressing AD pathology, or if synaptic deficits begin to appear at the same age in males and females in this preclinical model. Here, we investigated the time-course of synaptic changes in basal transmission, paired-pulse ratio, as an indirect measure of presynaptic release probability, long-term potentiation (LTP), and dendritic spine density at two hippocampal synapses in male and ovariectomized female TgF344-AD rats and wildtype littermates, prior to reported behavioral deficits. Decreased basal synaptic transmission begins at medial perforant path-dentate granule cell (MPP-DGC) synapses prior to Schaffer-collateral-CA1 (CA3-CA1) synapses, in the absence of a change in paired-pulse ratio (PPR) or dendritic spine density. N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-dependent LTP magnitude is unaffected at CA3-CA1 synapses at 6, 9, and 12months of age, but is significantly increased at MPP-DGC synapses in TgF344-AD rats at 6months only. Sex differences were only observed at CA3-CA1 synapses where the decrease in basal transmission occurs at a younger age in males versus females. These are the first studies to define presymptomatic alterations in hippocampal synaptic transmission in the TgF344-AD rat model. The time course of altered synaptic transmission mimics the spread of pathology through hippocampus in human AD and provides

  7. Live cell linear dichroism imaging reveals extensive membrane ruffling within the docking structure of natural killer cell immune synapses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Benninger, Richard K P; Vanherberghen, Bruno; Young, Stephen

    2009-01-01

    We have applied fluorescence imaging of two-photon linear dichroism to measure the subresolution organization of the cell membrane during formation of the activating (cytolytic) natural killer (NK) cell immune synapse (IS). This approach revealed that the NK cell plasma membrane is convoluted...... into ruffles at the periphery, but not in the center of a mature cytolytic NK cell IS. Time-lapse imaging showed that the membrane ruffles formed at the initial point of contact between NK cells and target cells and then spread radialy across the intercellular contact as the size of the IS increased, becoming...... absent from the center of the mature synapse. Understanding the role of such extensive membrane ruffling in the assembly of cytolytic synapses is an intriguing new goal....

  8. Inference of topology and the nature of synapses, and the flow of information in neuronal networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borges, F. S.; Lameu, E. L.; Iarosz, K. C.; Protachevicz, P. R.; Caldas, I. L.; Viana, R. L.; Macau, E. E. N.; Batista, A. M.; Baptista, M. S.

    2018-02-01

    The characterization of neuronal connectivity is one of the most important matters in neuroscience. In this work, we show that a recently proposed informational quantity, the causal mutual information, employed with an appropriate methodology, can be used not only to correctly infer the direction of the underlying physical synapses, but also to identify their excitatory or inhibitory nature, considering easy to handle and measure bivariate time series. The success of our approach relies on a surprising property found in neuronal networks by which nonadjacent neurons do "understand" each other (positive mutual information), however, this exchange of information is not capable of causing effect (zero transfer entropy). Remarkably, inhibitory connections, responsible for enhancing synchronization, transfer more information than excitatory connections, known to enhance entropy in the network. We also demonstrate that our methodology can be used to correctly infer directionality of synapses even in the presence of dynamic and observational Gaussian noise, and is also successful in providing the effective directionality of intermodular connectivity, when only mean fields can be measured.

  9. Aging-related impairments of hippocampal mossy fibers synapses on CA3 pyramidal cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villanueva-Castillo, Cindy; Tecuatl, Carolina; Herrera-López, Gabriel; Galván, Emilio J

    2017-01-01

    The network interaction between the dentate gyrus and area CA3 of the hippocampus is responsible for pattern separation, a process that underlies the formation of new memories, and which is naturally diminished in the aged brain. At the cellular level, aging is accompanied by a progression of biochemical modifications that ultimately affects its ability to generate and consolidate long-term potentiation. Although the synapse between dentate gyrus via the mossy fibers (MFs) onto CA3 neurons has been subject of extensive studies, the question of how aging affects the MF-CA3 synapse is still unsolved. Extracellular and whole-cell recordings from acute hippocampal slices of aged Wistar rats (34 ± 2 months old) show that aging is accompanied by a reduction in the interneuron-mediated inhibitory mechanisms of area CA3. Several MF-mediated forms of short-term plasticity, MF long-term potentiation and at least one of the critical signaling cascades necessary for potentiation are also compromised in the aged brain. An analysis of the spontaneous glutamatergic and gamma-aminobutyric acid-mediated currents on CA3 cells reveal a dramatic alteration in amplitude and frequency of the nonevoked events. CA3 cells also exhibited increased intrinsic excitability. Together, these results demonstrate that aging is accompanied by a decrease in the GABAergic inhibition, reduced expression of short- and long-term forms of synaptic plasticity, and increased intrinsic excitability. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Visualizing presynaptic calcium dynamics and vesicle fusion with a single genetically encoded reporter at individual synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel E Jackson

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic transmission depends on the influx of calcium into the presynaptic compartment, which drives neurotransmitter release. Genetically encoded reporters are widely used tools to understand these processes, particularly pHluorin-based reporters that report vesicle exocytosis and endocytosis through pH dependent changes in fluorescence, and genetically encoded calcium indicators (GECIs that exhibit changes in fluorescence upon binding to calcium. The recent expansion of the color palette of available indicators has made it possible to image multiple probes simultaneously within a cell. We have constructed a single molecule reporter capable of concurrent imaging of both presynaptic calcium influx and exocytosis, by fusion of sypHy, the vesicle associated protein synaptophysin containing a GFP-based pHluorin sensor, with the red-shifted GECI R-GECO1. Due to the fixed stoichiometry of the two probes, the ratio of the two responses can also be measured, providing an all optical correlate of the calcium dependence of release. Here, we have characterized stimulus-evoked sypHy-RGECO responses of hippocampal synapses in vitro, exploring the effects of different stimulus strengths and frequencies as well as variations in external calcium concentrations. By combining live sypHy-RGECO imaging with post-hoc fixation and immunofluorescence, we have also investigated correlations between structural and functional properties of synapses.

  11. The influence of single bursts vs. single spikes at excitatory dendrodendritic synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masurkar, Arjun V.; Chen, Wei R.

    2015-01-01

    The synchronization of neuronal activity is thought to enhance information processing. There is much evidence supporting rhythmically bursting external tufted cells (ETCs) of the rodent olfactory bulb glomeruli coordinating the activation of glomerular interneurons and mitral cells via dendrodendritic excitation. However, as bursting has variable significance at axodendritic cortical synapses, it is not clear if ETC bursting imparts a specific functional advantage over the preliminary spike in dendrodendritic synaptic networks. To answer this question, we investigated the influence of single ETC bursts and spikes with the in-vitro rat olfactory bulb preparation at different levels of processing, via calcium imaging of presynaptic ETC dendrites, dual electrical recording of ETC–interneuron synaptic pairs, and multicellular calcium imaging of ETC-induced population activity. Our findings supported single ETC bursts, vs. single spikes, driving robust presynaptic calcium signaling, which in turn was associated with profound extension of the initial monosynaptic spike-driven dendrodendritic excitatory postsynaptic potential. This extension could be driven by either the spike-dependent or spike-independent components of the burst. At the population level, burst-induced excitation was more widespread and reliable compared with single spikes. This further supports the ETC network, in part due to a functional advantage of bursting at excitatory dendrodendritic synapses, coordinating synchronous activity at behaviorally relevant frequencies related to odor processing in vivo. PMID:22277089

  12. The influence of single bursts versus single spikes at excitatory dendrodendritic synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masurkar, Arjun V; Chen, Wei R

    2012-02-01

    The synchronization of neuronal activity is thought to enhance information processing. There is much evidence supporting rhythmically bursting external tufted cells (ETCs) of the rodent olfactory bulb glomeruli coordinating the activation of glomerular interneurons and mitral cells via dendrodendritic excitation. However, as bursting has variable significance at axodendritic cortical synapses, it is not clear if ETC bursting imparts a specific functional advantage over the preliminary spike in dendrodendritic synaptic networks. To answer this question, we investigated the influence of single ETC bursts and spikes with the in vitro rat olfactory bulb preparation at different levels of processing, via calcium imaging of presynaptic ETC dendrites, dual electrical recording of ETC -interneuron synaptic pairs, and multicellular calcium imaging of ETC-induced population activity. Our findings supported single ETC bursts, versus single spikes, driving robust presynaptic calcium signaling, which in turn was associated with profound extension of the initial monosynaptic spike-driven dendrodendritic excitatory postsynaptic potential. This extension could be driven by either the spike-dependent or spike-independent components of the burst. At the population level, burst-induced excitation was more widespread and reliable compared with single spikes. This further supports the ETC network, in part due to a functional advantage of bursting at excitatory dendrodendritic synapses, coordinating synchronous activity at behaviorally relevant frequencies related to odor processing in vivo. © 2012 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience © 2012 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  13. Fasudil, a Clinically Used ROCK Inhibitor, Stabilizes Rod Photoreceptor Synapses after Retinal Detachment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Townes-Anderson, Ellen; Wang, Jianfeng; Halász, Éva; Sugino, Ilene; Pitler, Amy; Whitehead, Ian; Zarbin, Marco

    2017-06-01

    Retinal detachment disrupts the rod-bipolar synapse in the outer plexiform layer by retraction of rod axons. We showed that breakage is due to RhoA activation whereas inhibition of Rho kinase (ROCK), using Y27632, reduces synaptic damage. We test whether the ROCK inhibitor fasudil, used for other clinical applications, can prevent synaptic injury after detachment. Detachments were made in pigs by subretinal injection of balanced salt solution (BSS) or fasudil (1, 10 mM). In some animals, fasudil was injected intravitreally after BSS-induced detachment. After 2 to 4 hours, retinae were fixed for immunocytochemistry and confocal microscopy. Axon retraction was quantified by imaging synaptic vesicle label in the outer nuclear layer. Apoptosis was analyzed using propidium iodide staining. For biochemical analysis by Western blotting, retinal explants, detached from retinal pigmented epithelium, were cultured for 2 hours. Subretinal injection of fasudil (10 mM) reduced retraction of rod spherules by 51.3% compared to control detachments ( n = 3 pigs, P = 0.002). Intravitreal injection of 10 mM fasudil, a more clinically feasible route of administration, also reduced retraction (28.7%, n = 5, P ROCK, was decreased with 30 μM fasudil ( n = 8-10 explants, P ROCK signaling with fasudil reduced photoreceptor degeneration and preserved the rod-bipolar synapse after retinal detachment. These results support the possibility, previously tested with Y27632, that ROCK inhibition may attenuate synaptic damage in iatrogenic detachments.

  14. Spiking Neural Networks Based on OxRAM Synapses for Real-Time Unsupervised Spike Sorting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werner, Thilo; Vianello, Elisa; Bichler, Olivier; Garbin, Daniele; Cattaert, Daniel; Yvert, Blaise; De Salvo, Barbara; Perniola, Luca

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, we present an alternative approach to perform spike sorting of complex brain signals based on spiking neural networks (SNN). The proposed architecture is suitable for hardware implementation by using resistive random access memory (RRAM) technology for the implementation of synapses whose low latency (spike sorting. This offers promising advantages to conventional spike sorting techniques for brain-computer interfaces (BCI) and neural prosthesis applications. Moreover, the ultra-low power consumption of the RRAM synapses of the spiking neural network (nW range) may enable the design of autonomous implantable devices for rehabilitation purposes. We demonstrate an original methodology to use Oxide based RRAM (OxRAM) as easy to program and low energy (Spike Timing Dependent Plasticity. Real spiking data have been recorded both intra- and extracellularly from an in-vitro preparation of the Crayfish sensory-motor system and used for validation of the proposed OxRAM based SNN. This artificial SNN is able to identify, learn, recognize and distinguish between different spike shapes in the input signal with a recognition rate about 90% without any supervision.

  15. Improving Spiking Dynamical Networks: Accurate Delays, Higher-Order Synapses, and Time Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voelker, Aaron R; Eliasmith, Chris

    2018-03-01

    Researchers building spiking neural networks face the challenge of improving the biological plausibility of their model networks while maintaining the ability to quantitatively characterize network behavior. In this work, we extend the theory behind the neural engineering framework (NEF), a method of building spiking dynamical networks, to permit the use of a broad class of synapse models while maintaining prescribed dynamics up to a given order. This theory improves our understanding of how low-level synaptic properties alter the accuracy of high-level computations in spiking dynamical networks. For completeness, we provide characterizations for both continuous-time (i.e., analog) and discrete-time (i.e., digital) simulations. We demonstrate the utility of these extensions by mapping an optimal delay line onto various spiking dynamical networks using higher-order models of the synapse. We show that these networks nonlinearly encode rolling windows of input history, using a scale invariant representation, with accuracy depending on the frequency content of the input signal. Finally, we reveal that these methods provide a novel explanation of time cell responses during a delay task, which have been observed throughout hippocampus, striatum, and cortex.

  16. Synaptic Conversion of Chloride-Dependent Synapses in Spinal Nociceptive Circuits: Roles in Neuropathic Pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark S. Cooper

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Electrophysiological conversion of chloride-dependent synapses from inhibitory to excitatory function, as a result of aberrant neuronal chloride homeostasis, is a known mechanism for the genesis of neuropathic pain. This paper examines theoretically how this type of synaptic conversion can disrupt circuit logic in spinal nociceptive circuits. First, a mathematical scaling factor is developed to represent local aberration in chloride electrochemical driving potential. Using this mathematical scaling factor, electrophysiological symbols are developed to represent the magnitude of synaptic conversion within nociceptive circuits. When inserted into a nociceptive circuit diagram, these symbols assist in understanding the generation of neuropathic pain associated with the collapse of transmembrane chloride gradients. A more generalized scaling factor is also derived to represent the interplay of chloride and bicarbonate driving potentials on the function of GABAergic and glycinergic synapses. These mathematical and symbolic representations of synaptic conversion help illustrate the critical role that anion driving potentials play in the transduction of pain. Using these representations, we discuss ramifications of glial-mediated synaptic conversion in the genesis, and treatment, of neuropathic pain.

  17. Astrocyte-secreted thrombospondin-1 modulates synapse and spine defects in the fragile X mouse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Connie; Lau, Sally K M; Doering, Laurie C

    2016-08-02

    Astrocytes are key participants in various aspects of brain development and function, many of which are executed via secreted proteins. Defects in astrocyte signaling are implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by abnormal neural circuitry such as Fragile X syndrome (FXS). In animal models of FXS, the loss in expression of the Fragile X mental retardation 1 protein (FMRP) from astrocytes is associated with delayed dendrite maturation and improper synapse formation; however, the effect of astrocyte-derived factors on the development of neurons is not known. Thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) is an important astrocyte-secreted protein that is involved in the regulation of spine development and synaptogenesis. In this study, we found that cultured astrocytes isolated from an Fmr1 knockout (Fmr1 KO) mouse model of FXS displayed a significant decrease in TSP-1 protein expression compared to the wildtype (WT) astrocytes. Correspondingly, Fmr1 KO hippocampal neurons exhibited morphological deficits in dendritic spines and alterations in excitatory synapse formation following long-term culture. All spine and synaptic abnormalities were prevented in the presence of either astrocyte-conditioned media or a feeder layer derived from FMRP-expressing astrocytes, or following the application of exogenous TSP-1. Importantly, this work demonstrates the integral role of astrocyte-secreted signals in the establishment of neuronal communication and identifies soluble TSP-1 as a potential therapeutic target for Fragile X syndrome.

  18. Molecular determinants of magnesium-dependent synaptic plasticity at electrical synapses formed by connexin36

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palacios-Prado, Nicolás; Chapuis, Sandrine; Panjkovich, Alejandro; Fregeac, Julien; Nagy, James I.; Bukauskas, Feliksas F.

    2014-08-01

    Neuronal gap junction (GJ) channels composed of connexin36 (Cx36) play an important role in neuronal synchronization and network dynamics. Here we show that Cx36-containing electrical synapses between inhibitory neurons of the thalamic reticular nucleus are bidirectionally modulated by changes in intracellular free magnesium concentration ([Mg2+]i). Chimeragenesis demonstrates that the first extracellular loop of Cx36 contains a Mg2+-sensitive domain, and site-directed mutagenesis shows that the pore-lining residue D47 is critical in determining high Mg2+-sensitivity. Single-channel analysis of Mg2+-sensitive chimeras and mutants reveals that [Mg2+]i controls the strength of electrical coupling mostly via gating mechanisms. In addition, asymmetric transjunctional [Mg2+]i induces strong instantaneous rectification, providing a novel mechanism for electrical rectification in homotypic Cx36 GJs. We suggest that Mg2+-dependent synaptic plasticity of Cx36-containing electrical synapses could underlie neuronal circuit reconfiguration via changes in brain energy metabolism that affects neuronal levels of intracellular ATP and [Mg2+]i.

  19. Spine Calcium Transients Induced by Synaptically-Evoked Action Potentials Can Predict Synapse Location and Establish Synaptic Democracy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meredith, Rhiannon M.; van Ooyen, Arjen

    2012-01-01

    CA1 pyramidal neurons receive hundreds of synaptic inputs at different distances from the soma. Distance-dependent synaptic scaling enables distal and proximal synapses to influence the somatic membrane equally, a phenomenon called “synaptic democracy”. How this is established is unclear. The backpropagating action potential (BAP) is hypothesised to provide distance-dependent information to synapses, allowing synaptic strengths to scale accordingly. Experimental measurements show that a BAP evoked by current injection at the soma causes calcium currents in the apical shaft whose amplitudes decay with distance from the soma. However, in vivo action potentials are not induced by somatic current injection but by synaptic inputs along the dendrites, which creates a different excitable state of the dendrites. Due to technical limitations, it is not possible to study experimentally whether distance information can also be provided by synaptically-evoked BAPs. Therefore we adapted a realistic morphological and electrophysiological model to measure BAP-induced voltage and calcium signals in spines after Schaffer collateral synapse stimulation. We show that peak calcium concentration is highly correlated with soma-synapse distance under a number of physiologically-realistic suprathreshold stimulation regimes and for a range of dendritic morphologies. Peak calcium levels also predicted the attenuation of the EPSP across the dendritic tree. Furthermore, we show that peak calcium can be used to set up a synaptic democracy in a homeostatic manner, whereby synapses regulate their synaptic strength on the basis of the difference between peak calcium and a uniform target value. We conclude that information derived from synaptically-generated BAPs can indicate synapse location and can subsequently be utilised to implement a synaptic democracy. PMID:22719238

  20. Persistent long-term facilitation at an identified synapse becomes labile with activation of short-term heterosynaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Jiang-Yuan; Schacher, Samuel

    2014-04-02

    Short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity are cellular correlates of learning and memory of different durations. Little is known, however, how these two forms of plasticity interact at the same synaptic connection. We examined the reciprocal impact of short-term heterosynaptic or homosynaptic plasticity at sensorimotor synapses of Aplysia in cell culture when expressing persistent long-term facilitation (P-LTF) evoked by serotonin [5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)]. Short-term heterosynaptic plasticity induced by 5-HT (facilitation) or the neuropeptide FMRFa (depression) and short-term homosynaptic plasticity induced by tetanus [post-tetanic potentiation (PTP)] or low-frequency stimulation [homosynaptic depression (HSD)] of the sensory neuron were expressed in both control synapses and synapses expressing P-LTF in the absence or presence of protein synthesis inhibitors. All forms of short-term plasticity failed to significantly affect ongoing P-LTF in the absence of protein synthesis inhibitors. However, P-LTF reversed to control levels when either 5-HT or FMRFa was applied in the presence of rapamycin. In contrast, P-LTF was unaffected when either PTP or HSD was evoked in the presence of either rapamycin or anisomycin. These results indicate that synapses expressing persistent plasticity acquire a "new" baseline and functionally express short-term changes as naive synapses, but the new baseline becomes labile following selective activations-heterosynaptic stimuli that evoke opposite forms of plasticity-such that when presented in the presence of protein synthesis inhibitors produce a rapid reversal of the persistent plasticity. Activity-selective induction of a labile state at synapses expressing persistent plasticity may facilitate the development of therapies for reversing inappropriate memories.

  1. Repetitive activation of the corticospinal pathway by means of rTMS may reduce the efficiency of corticomotoneuronal synapses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Taube, Wolfgang; Leukel, Christian; Nielsen, Jens Bo

    2015-01-01

    Low-frequency rTMS applied to the primary motor cortex (M1) may produce depression of motor-evoked potentials (MEPs). This depression is commonly assumed to reflect changes in cortical circuits. However, little is known about rTMS-induced effects on subcortical circuits. Therefore, the present st......-either at M1 and/or the CM synapse. As the early facilitation reflects activation of direct CM projections, the most likely site of action is the synapse of the CM neurons onto spinal motoneurons....

  2. Genetic Aspects of Autism Spectrum Disorders: Insights from Animal Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Swati eBanerjee

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorders (ASD are a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that display a triad of core behavioral deficits including restricted interests, often accompanied by repetitive behavior, deficits in language and communication, and an inability to engage in reciprocal social interactions. ASD is among the most heritable disorders but is not a simple disorder with a singular pathology and has a rather complex etiology. It is interesting to note that perturbations in synaptic growth, development and stability underlie a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders, including ASD, schizophrenia, epilepsy and intellectual disability. Biological characterization of an increasing repertoire of synaptic mutants in various model organisms indicates synaptic dysfunction as causal in the pathophysiology of ASD. Our understanding of the genes and genetic pathways that contribute towards the formation, stabilization and maintenance of functional synapses coupled with an in-depth phenotypic analysis of the cellular and behavioral characteristics is therefore essential to unraveling the pathogenesis of these disorders. In this review, we discuss the genetic aspects of ASD emphasizing on the well conserved set of genes and genetic pathways implicated in this disorder, many of which contribute to synapse assembly and maintenance across species. We also review how fundamental research using animal models is providing key insights into the various facets of human ASD.

  3. Neurotrophin-3 Regulates Synapse Development by Modulating TrkC-PTPσ Synaptic Adhesion and Intracellular Signaling Pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Kyung Ah; Woo, Doyeon; Kim, Seungjoon; Choii, Gayoung; Jeon, Sangmin; Won, Seoung Youn; Kim, Ho Min; Heo, Won Do; Um, Ji Won; Ko, Jaewon

    2016-04-27

    Neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) is a secreted neurotrophic factor that binds neurotrophin receptor tyrosine kinase C (TrkC), which in turn binds to presynaptic protein tyrosine phosphatase σ (PTPσ) to govern excitatory synapse development. However, whether and how NT-3 cooperates with the TrkC-PTPσ synaptic adhesion pathway and TrkC-mediated intracellular signaling pathways in rat cultured neurons has remained unclear. Here, we report that NT-3 enhances TrkC binding affinity for PTPσ. Strikingly, NT-3 treatment bidirectionally regulates the synaptogenic activity of TrkC: at concentrations of 10-25 ng/ml, NT-3 further enhanced the increase in synapse density induced by TrkC overexpression, whereas at higher concentrations, NT-3 abrogated TrkC-induced increases in synapse density. Semiquantitative immunoblotting and optogenetics-based imaging showed that 25 ng/ml NT-3 or light stimulation at a power that produced a comparable level of NT-3 (6.25 μW) activated only extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and Akt, whereas 100 ng/ml NT-3 (light intensity, 25 μW) further triggered the activation of phospholipase C-γ1 and CREB independently of PTPσ. Notably, disruption of TrkC intracellular signaling pathways, extracellular ligand binding, or kinase activity by point mutations compromised TrkC-induced increases in synapse density. Furthermore, only sparse, but not global, TrkC knock-down in cultured rat neurons significantly decreased synapse density, suggesting that intercellular differences in TrkC expression level are critical for its synapse-promoting action. Together, our data demonstrate that NT-3 is a key factor in excitatory synapse development that may direct higher-order assembly of the TrkC/PTPσ complex and activate distinct intracellular signaling cascades in a concentration-dependent manner to promote competition-based synapse development processes. In this study, we present several lines of experimental evidences to support the conclusion that

  4. Central amygdala, stress and adaption

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roozendaal, Benno

    1992-01-01

    In this thesis the results were presented of studies that were designed to provide more insight in the role of the central nucleus of the amygdala (CEA) in the adaptation to environmental demands. The experiments were performed in several situations, in which rats react either directly to aversive

  5. Anergic CD4+ T cells form mature immunological synapses with enhanced accumulation of c-Cbl and Cbl-b1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doherty, Melissa; Osborne, Douglas G.; Browning, Diana L.; Parker, David C.; Wetzel, Scott A.

    2010-01-01

    CD4+ T cell recognition of MHC:peptide complexes in the context of a costimulatory signal results in the large-scale redistribution of molecules at the T-APC interface to form the immunological synapse. The immunological synapse is the location of sustained TCR signaling and delivery of a subset of effector functions. T cells activated in the absence of costimulation are rendered anergic and are hyporesponsive when presented with antigen in the presence of optimal costimulation. Several previous studies have looked at aspects of immunological synapses formed by anergic T cells, but it remains unclear whether there are differences in the formation or composition of anergic immunological synapses. In this study we anergized primary murine CD4+ T cells by incubation of costimulation-deficient, transfected fibroblast APC. Using a combination of TCR, MHC:peptide, and ICAM-1 staining, we found that anergic T cells make mature immunological synapses with characteristic cSMAC and pSMAC domains that were indistinguishable from control synapses. There were small increases in total phosphotyrosine at the anergic synapse along with significant decreases in phosphorylated ERK 1/2 accumulation. Most striking, there was specific accumulation of c-Cbl and Cbl-b to the anergic synapses. Cbl-b, previously shown to be essential in anergy induction, was found in both the pSMAC and the cSMAC of the anergic synapse. This Cbl-b (and c-Cbl) accumulation at the anergic synapse may play an important role in anergy maintenance and/or induction. PMID:20207996

  6. Proofs that Develop Insight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Keith

    2010-01-01

    Many mathematics educators have noted that mathematicians do not only read proofs to gain conviction but also to obtain insight. The goal of this article is to discuss what this insight is from mathematicians' perspective. Based on interviews with nine research-active mathematicians, two sources of insight are discussed. The first is reading a…

  7. Loss of Synapse Repressor MDGA1 Enhances Perisomatic Inhibition, Confers Resistance to Network Excitation, and Impairs Cognitive Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven A. Connor

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Synaptopathies contributing to neurodevelopmental disorders are linked to mutations in synaptic organizing molecules, including postsynaptic neuroligins, presynaptic neurexins, and MDGAs, which regulate their interaction. The role of MDGA1 in suppressing inhibitory versus excitatory synapses is controversial based on in vitro studies. We show that genetic deletion of MDGA1 in vivo elevates hippocampal CA1 inhibitory, but not excitatory, synapse density and transmission. Furthermore, MDGA1 is selectively expressed by pyramidal neurons and regulates perisomatic, but not distal dendritic, inhibitory synapses. Mdga1−/− hippocampal networks demonstrate muted responses to neural excitation, and Mdga1−/− mice are resistant to induced seizures. Mdga1−/− mice further demonstrate compromised hippocampal long-term potentiation, consistent with observed deficits in spatial and context-dependent learning and memory. These results suggest that mutations in MDGA1 may contribute to cognitive deficits through altered synaptic transmission and plasticity by loss of suppression of inhibitory synapse development in a subcellular domain- and cell-type-selective manner.

  8. Cux1 and Cux2 regulate dendritic branching, spine morphology and synapses of the upper layer neurons of the cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cubelos, Beatriz; Sebastián-Serrano, Alvaro; Beccari, Leonardo; Calcagnotto, Maria Elisa; Cisneros, Elsa; Kim, Seonhee; Dopazo, Ana; Alvarez-Dolado, Manuel; Redondo, Juan Miguel; Bovolenta, Paola; Walsh, Christopher A.; Nieto, Marta

    2010-01-01

    Summary Dendrite branching and spine formation determines the function of morphologically distinct and specialized neuronal subclasses. However, little is known about the programs instructing specific branching patterns in vertebrate neurons and whether such programs influence dendritic spines and synapses. Using knockout and knockdown studies combined with morphological, molecular and electrophysiological analysis we show that the homeobox Cux1 and Cux2 are intrinsic and complementary regulators of dendrite branching, spine development and synapse formation in layer II–III neurons of the cerebral cortex. Cux genes control the number and maturation of dendritic spines partly through direct regulation of the expression of Xlr3b and Xlr4b, chromatin remodeling genes previously implicated in cognitive defects. Accordingly, abnormal dendrites and synapses in Cux2−/− mice correlate with reduced synaptic function and defects in working memory. These demonstrate critical roles of Cux in dendritogenesis and highlight novel subclass-specific mechanisms of synapse regulation that contribute to the establishment of cognitive circuits. PMID:20510857

  9. Thyroid hormone is required for pruning, functioning and long-term maintenance of afferent inner hair cell synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sundaresan, Srividya; Kong, Jee-Hyun; Fang, Qing; Salles, Felipe T; Wangsawihardja, Felix; Ricci, Anthony J; Mustapha, Mirna

    2016-01-01

    Functional maturation of afferent synaptic connections to inner hair cells (IHCs) involves pruning of excess synapses formed during development, as well as the strengthening and survival of the retained synapses. These events take place during the thyroid hormone (TH)-critical period of cochlear development, which is in the perinatal period for mice and in the third trimester for humans. Here, we used the hypothyroid Snell dwarf mouse (Pit1(dw)) as a model to study the role of TH in afferent type I synaptic refinement and functional maturation. We observed defects in afferent synaptic pruning and delays in calcium channel clustering in the IHCs of Pit1(dw) mice. Nevertheless, calcium currents and capacitance reached near normal levels in Pit1(dw) IHCs by the age of onset of hearing, despite the excess number of retained synapses. We restored normal synaptic pruning in Pit1(dw) IHCs by supplementing with TH from postnatal day (P)3 to P8, establishing this window as being critical for TH action on this process. Afferent terminals of older Pit1(dw) IHCs showed evidence of excitotoxic damage accompanied by a concomitant reduction in the levels of the glial glutamate transporter, GLAST. Our results indicate that a lack of TH during a critical period of inner ear development causes defects in pruning and long-term homeostatic maintenance of afferent synapses. © 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. On optical detection of densely labeled synapses in neuropil and mapping connectivity with combinatorially multiplexed fluorescent synaptic markers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuriy Mishchenko

    Full Text Available We propose a new method for mapping neural connectivity optically, by utilizing Cre/Lox system Brainbow to tag synapses of different neurons with random mixtures of different fluorophores, such as GFP, YFP, etc., and then detecting patterns of fluorophores at different synapses using light microscopy (LM. Such patterns will immediately report the pre- and post-synaptic cells at each synaptic connection, without tracing neural projections from individual synapses to corresponding cell bodies. We simulate fluorescence from a population of densely labeled synapses in a block of hippocampal neuropil, completely reconstructed from electron microscopy data, and show that high-end LM is able to detect such patterns with over 95% accuracy. We conclude, therefore, that with the described approach neural connectivity in macroscopically large neural circuits can be mapped with great accuracy, in scalable manner, using fast optical tools, and straightforward image processing. Relying on an electron microscopy dataset, we also derive and explicitly enumerate the conditions that should be met to allow synaptic connectivity studies with high-resolution optical tools.

  11. Coding deficits in noise-induced hidden hearing loss may stem from incomplete repair of ribbon synapses in the cochlea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lijuan eShi

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Recent evidence has shown that noise-induced damage to the synapse between inner hair cells (IHCs and type I afferent auditory nerve fibers (ANFs may occur in the absence of permanent threshold shift (PTS, and that synapses connecting IHCs with low spontaneous rate (SR ANFs are disproportionately affected. Due to the functional importance of low-SR ANF units for temporal processing and signal coding in noisy backgrounds, deficits in cochlear coding associated with noise-induced damage may result in significant difficulties with temporal processing and hearing in noise (i.e., hidden hearing loss. However, significant noise-induced coding deficits have not been reported at the single unit level following the loss of low-SR units. We have found evidence to suggest that some aspects of neural coding are not significantly changed with the initial loss of low-SR ANFs, and that further coding deficits arise in association with the subsequent reestablishment of the synapses. This suggests that synaptopathy in hidden hearing loss may be the result of insufficient repair of disrupted synapses, and not simply due to the loss of low-SR units. These coding deficits include decreases in driven spike rate for intensity coding as well as several aspects of temporal coding: spike latency, peak-to-sustained spike ratio and the recovery of spike rate as a function of click-interval.

  12. Learning Discloses Abnormal Structural and Functional Plasticity at Hippocampal Synapses in the APP23 Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Middei, Silvia; Roberto, Anna; Berretta, Nicola; Panico, Maria Beatrice; Lista, Simone; Bernardi, Giorgio; Mercuri, Nicola B.; Ammassari-Teule, Martine; Nistico, Robert

    2010-01-01

    B6-Tg/Thy1APP23Sdz (APP23) mutant mice exhibit neurohistological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease but show intact basal hippocampal neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity. Here, we examine whether spatial learning differently modifies the structural and electrophysiological properties of hippocampal synapses in APP23 and wild-type mice. While…

  13. Lrit1, a Retinal Transmembrane Protein, Regulates Selective Synapse Formation in Cone Photoreceptor Cells and Visual Acuity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akiko Ueno

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Summary: In the vertebrate retina, cone photoreceptors play crucial roles in photopic vision by transmitting light-evoked signals to ON- and/or OFF-bipolar cells. However, the mechanisms underlying selective synapse formation in the cone photoreceptor pathway remain poorly understood. Here, we found that Lrit1, a leucine-rich transmembrane protein, localizes to the photoreceptor synaptic terminal and regulates the synaptic connection between cone photoreceptors and cone ON-bipolar cells. Lrit1-deficient retinas exhibit an aberrant morphology of cone photoreceptor pedicles, as well as an impairment of signal transmission from cone photoreceptors to cone ON-bipolar cells. Furthermore, we demonstrated that Lrit1 interacts with Frmpd2, a photoreceptor scaffold protein, and with mGluR6, an ON-bipolar cell-specific glutamate receptor. Additionally, Lrit1-null mice showed visual acuity impairments in their optokinetic responses. These results suggest that the Frmpd2-Lrit1-mGluR6 axis regulates selective synapse formation in cone photoreceptors and is essential for normal visual function. : Ueno et al. finds that Lrit1 plays an important role in regulating the synaptic connection between cone photoreceptors and cone ON-bipolar cells. The Frmpd2-Lrit1-mGluR6 axis is crucial for selective synapse formation in cone photoreceptors and for development of normal visual function. Keywords: retina, circuit, synapse formation, cone photoreceptor cell, ON-bipolar cell, visual acuity

  14. The role of extracellular proteolysis in synaptic plasticity of the central nervous system 

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Konopka

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The extracellular matrix (ECM of the central nervous system has a specific structure and protein composition that are different from those in other organs. Today we know that the ECM not only provides physical scaffolding for the neurons and glia, but also actively modifies their functions. Over the last two decades, a growing body of research evidence has been collected, suggesting an important role of ECM proteolysis in synaptic plasticity of the brain. So far the majority of data concern two large families of proteases: the serine proteases and the matrix metalloproteinases. The members of these families are localized at the synapses, and are secreted into the extracellular space in an activity-dependent manner. The proteases remodel the local environment as well as influencing synapse structure and function. The structural modifications induced by proteases include shape and size changes, as well as synapse elimination, and synaptogenesis. The functional changes include modifications of receptor function in the postsynaptic part of the synapse, as well as the potentiation or depression of neurotransmitter secretion by the presynaptic site. The present review summarizes the current view on the role of extracellular proteolysis in the physiological synaptic plasticity underlying the phenomena of learning and memory, as well as in the pathological plasticity occurring during epileptogenesis or development of drug addiction. 

  15. REM sleep selectively prunes and maintains new synapses in development and learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wei; Ma, Lei; Yang, Guang; Gan, Wen-Biao

    2017-03-01

    The functions and underlying mechanisms of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep remain unclear. Here we show that REM sleep prunes newly formed postsynaptic dendritic spines of layer 5 pyramidal neurons in the mouse motor cortex during development and motor learning. This REM sleep-dependent elimination of new spines facilitates subsequent spine formation during development and when a new motor task is learned, indicating a role for REM sleep in pruning to balance the number of new spines formed over time. Moreover, REM sleep also strengthens and maintains newly formed spines, which are critical for neuronal circuit development and behavioral improvement after learning. We further show that dendritic calcium spikes arising during REM sleep are important for pruning and strengthening new spines. Together, these findings indicate that REM sleep has multifaceted functions in brain development, learning and memory consolidation by selectively eliminating and maintaining newly formed synapses via dendritic calcium spike-dependent mechanisms.

  16. Control of bursting synchronization in networks of Hodgkin-Huxley-type neurons with chemical synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batista, C A S; Viana, R L; Ferrari, F A S; Lopes, S R; Batista, A M; Coninck, J C P

    2013-04-01

    Thermally sensitive neurons present bursting activity for certain temperature ranges, characterized by fast repetitive spiking of action potential followed by a short quiescent period. Synchronization of bursting activity is possible in networks of coupled neurons, and it is sometimes an undesirable feature. Control procedures can suppress totally or partially this collective behavior, with potential applications in deep-brain stimulation techniques. We investigate the control of bursting synchronization in small-world networks of Hodgkin-Huxley-type thermally sensitive neurons with chemical synapses through two different strategies. One is the application of an external time-periodic electrical signal and another consists of a time-delayed feedback signal. We consider the effectiveness of both strategies in terms of protocols of applications suitable to be applied by pacemakers.

  17. Role of the MAGUK protein family in synapse formation and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliva, Carlos; Escobedo, Pía; Astorga, César; Molina, Claudia; Sierralta, Jimena

    2012-01-01

    Synaptic function is crucially dependent on the spatial organization of the presynaptic and postsynaptic apparatuses and the juxtaposition of both membrane compartments. This precise arrangement is achieved by a protein network at the submembrane region of each cell that is built around scaffold proteins. The membrane-associated guanylate kinase (MAGUK) family of proteins is a widely expressed and well-conserved group of proteins that plays an essential role in the formation and regulation of this scaffolding. Here, we review general features of this protein family, focusing on the discs large and calcium/calmodulin-dependent serine protein kinase subfamilies of MAGUKs in the formation, function, and plasticity of synapses. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Resolving dynamics of cell signaling via real-time imaging of the immunological synapse.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stevens, Mark A.; Pfeiffer, Janet R. (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM); Wilson, Bridget S. (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM); Timlin, Jerilyn Ann; Thomas, James L. (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM); Lidke, Keith A. (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM); Spendier, Kathrin (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM); Oliver, Janet M. (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM); Carroll-Portillo, Amanda (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM); Aaron, Jesse S.; Mirijanian, Dina T.; Carson, Bryan D.; Burns, Alan Richard; Rebeil, Roberto

    2009-10-01

    This highly interdisciplinary team has developed dual-color, total internal reflection microscopy (TIRF-M) methods that enable us to optically detect and track in real time protein migration and clustering at membrane interfaces. By coupling TIRF-M with advanced analysis techniques (image correlation spectroscopy, single particle tracking) we have captured subtle changes in membrane organization that characterize immune responses. We have used this approach to elucidate the initial stages of cell activation in the IgE signaling network of mast cells and the Toll-like receptor (TLR-4) response in macrophages stimulated by bacteria. To help interpret these measurements, we have undertaken a computational modeling effort to connect the protein motion and lipid interactions. This work provides a deeper understanding of the initial stages of cellular response to external agents, including dynamics of interaction of key components in the signaling network at the 'immunological synapse,' the contact region of the cell and its adversary.

  19. Neurotrophin-4 couples to locally modulated ACh release at the end of neuromuscular synapse maturation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, N; Santafe, M M; Tomas, M; Lanuza, M A; Besalduch, N; Tomas, J

    2010-01-01

    We use immunocytochemistry to show that neurotrophin-4 (NT-4) and its receptor proteins (p75(NTR) and tropomyosin-related tyrosine kinase B) are present in neonatal neuromuscular junctions (NMJ) colocalized with several synaptic markers. NT-4 incubation (1h, in the range 2-12 nM) does not change the size of the endplate potential between P6 and P45. However, extended exposure (3h) to a relatively low dose of NT-4 (2 nM) potentiates ACh release (approx. 70%) in adult but not in neonatal muscles. The present results suggest that the developmental mechanism of axonal competition and neonatal elimination of redundant synapses cannot be modulated by added NT-4. However, this neurotrophin was able to modulate synaptic transmission locally in the adult NMJ.

  20. Transmitter release in the neuromuscular synapse of the protein kinase C theta-deficient adult mouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besalduch, Núria; Santafé, Manel M; Garcia, Neus; Gonzalez, Carmen; Tomás, Marta; Tomás, Josep; Lanuza, Maria A

    2011-04-01

    We studied structural and functional features of the neuromuscular junction in adult mice (P30) genetically deficient in the protein kinase C (PKC) theta isoform. Confocal and electron microscopy shows that there are no differences in the general morphology of the endplates between PKC theta-deficient and wild-type (WT) mice. Specifically, there is no difference in the density of the synaptic vesicles. However, the myelin sheath is not as thick in the intramuscular nerve fibers of the PKC theta-deficient mice. We found a significant reduction in the size of evoked endplate potentials and in the frequency of spontaneous, asynchronous, miniature endplate potentials in the PKC theta-deficient neuromuscular preparations in comparison with the WT, but the mean amplitude of the spontaneous potentials is not different. These changes indicate that PKC theta has a presynaptic role in the function of adult neuromuscular synapses. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  1. Building tolerance by dismantling synapses: inhibitory receptor signaling in natural killer cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huse, Morgan; Catherine Milanoski, S; Abeyweera, Thushara P

    2013-01-01

    Cell surface receptors bearing immunotyrosine-based inhibitory motifs (ITIMs) maintain natural killer (NK) cell tolerance to normal host tissues. These receptors are difficult to analyze mechanistically because they block activating responses in a rapid and comprehensive manner. The advent of high-resolution single cell imaging techniques has enabled investigators to explore the cell biological basis of the inhibitory response. Recent studies using these approaches indicate that ITIM-containing receptors function at least in part by structurally undermining the immunological synapse between the NK cell and its target. In this review, we discuss these new advances and how they might relate to what is known about the biochemistry of inhibitory signaling in NK cells and other cell types. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  2. The neuregulin receptor ErbB-4 interacts with PDZ-containing proteins at neuronal synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Rolando A. G.; Vasudevan, Kuzhalini; Buonanno, Andres

    2000-01-01

    Neuregulins regulate the expression of ligand- and voltage-gated channels in neurons and skeletal muscle by the activation of their cognate tyrosine kinase receptors, ErbB 1–4. The subcellular distribution and mechanisms that regulate the localization of ErbB receptors are unknown. We have found that ErbB receptors are present in brain subcellular fractions enriched for postsynaptic densities (PSD). The ErbB-4 receptor is unique among the ErbB proteins because its C-terminal tail (T-V-V) conforms to a sequence that binds to a protein motif known as the PDZ domain. Using the yeast two-hybrid system, we found that the C-terminal region of ErbB-4 interacts with the three related membrane-associated guanylate kinases (MAGUKs) PSD-95/SAP90, PSD-93/chapsyn-110, and SAP 102, which harbor three PDZ domains, as well as with β2-syntrophin, which has a single PDZ domain. As with N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, ErbB4 interacts with the first two PDZ domains of PSD-95. Using coimmunoprecipitation assays, we confirmed the direct interactions between ErbB-4 and PSD-95 in transfected heterologous cells, as well as in vivo, where both proteins are coimmunoprecipitated from brain lysates. Moreover, evidence for colocalization of these proteins was also observed by immunofluorescence in cultured hippocampal neurons. ErbB-4 colocalizes with PSD-95 and NMDA receptors at a subset of excitatory synapses apposed to synaptophysin-positive presynaptic terminals. The capacity of ErbB receptors to interact with PDZ-domain proteins at cell junctions is conserved from invertebrates to mammals. As discussed, the interactions found between receptor tyrosine kinases and MAGUKs at neuronal synapses may have important implications for activity-dependent plasticity. PMID:10725395

  3. Low voltage-activated calcium channels gate transmitter release at the dorsal root ganglion sandwich synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozanski, Gabriela M; Nath, Arup R; Adams, Michael E; Stanley, Elise F

    2013-11-15

    A subpopulation of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons are intimately attached in pairs and separated solely by thin satellite glial cell membrane septa. Stimulation of one neuron leads to transglial activation of its pair by a bi-, purinergic/glutamatergic synaptic pathway, a transmission mechanism that we term sandwich synapse (SS) transmission. Release of ATP from the stimulated neuron can be attributed to a classical mechanism involving Ca(2+) entry via voltage-gated calcium channels (CaV) but via an unknown channel type. Specific blockers and toxins ruled out CaV1, 2.1 and 2.2. Transmission was, however, blocked by a moderate depolarization (-50 mV) or low-concentration Ni(2+) (0.1 mM). Transmission persisted using a voltage pulse to -40 mV from a holding potential of -80 mV, confirming the involvement of a low voltage-activated channel type and limiting the candidate channel type to either CaV3.2 or a subpopulation of inactivation- and Ni(2+)-sensitive CaV2.3 channels. Resistance of the neuron calcium current and SS transmission to SNX482 argue against the latter. Hence, we conclude that inter-somatic transmission at the DRG SS is gated by CaV3.2 type calcium channels. The use of CaV3 family channels to gate transmission has important implications for the biological function of the DRG SS as information transfer would be predicted to occur not only in response to action potentials but also to sub-threshold membrane voltage oscillations. Thus, the SS synapse may serve as a homeostatic signalling mechanism between select neurons in the DRG and could play a role in abnormal sensation such as neuropathic pain.

  4. Chronic Fluoxetine Induces the Enlargement of Perforant Path-Granule Cell Synapses in the Mouse Dentate Gyrus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitahara, Yosuke; Ohta, Keisuke; Hasuo, Hiroshi; Shuto, Takahide; Kuroiwa, Mahomi; Sotogaku, Naoki; Togo, Akinobu; Nakamura, Kei-ichiro; Nishi, Akinori

    2016-01-01

    A selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor is the most commonly prescribed antidepressant for the treatment of major depression. However, the mechanisms underlying the actions of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are not fully understood. In the dentate gyrus, chronic fluoxetine treatment induces increased excitability of mature granule cells (GCs) as well as neurogenesis. The major input to the dentate gyrus is the perforant path axons (boutons) from the entorhinal cortex (layer II). Through voltage-sensitive dye imaging, we found that the excitatory neurotransmission of the perforant path synapse onto the GCs in the middle molecular layer of the mouse dentate gyrus (perforant path-GC synapse) is enhanced after chronic fluoxetine treatment (15 mg/kg/day, 14 days). Therefore, we further examined whether chronic fluoxetine treatment affects the morphology of the perforant path-GC synapse, using FIB/SEM (focused ion beam/scanning electron microscopy). A three-dimensional reconstruction of dendritic spines revealed the appearance of extremely large-sized spines after chronic fluoxetine treatment. The large-sized spines had a postsynaptic density with a large volume. However, chronic fluoxetine treatment did not affect spine density. The presynaptic boutons that were in contact with the large-sized spines were large in volume, and the volumes of the mitochondria and synaptic vesicles inside the boutons were correlated with the size of the boutons. Thus, the large-sized perforant path-GC synapse induced by chronic fluoxetine treatment contains synaptic components that correlate with the synapse size and that may be involved in enhanced glutamatergic neurotransmission. PMID:26788851

  5. Centrality and Creativity:

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Kristina Vaarst; Lorenzen, Mark

    2009-01-01

    To provide new insights into urban hierarchy, this article brings together one of economic geography’s oldest and most well-established notions with one of its newest and most disputed notions: Christäller’s centrality and Florida’s creative class. Using a novel original database, the article...... compares the distribution of the general population and the creative class across 444 city regions in 8 European countries. It finds that the two groups are both distributed according to the rank-size rule, but exhibit different distinct phases with different slopes. The article argues that the two...... distributions are different because market thresholds for creative services and jobs are lower than thresholds for less specialized services and jobs. The article hence concludes that centrality exerts a strong influence upon urban hierarchies of creativity and that the study of creative urban city hierarchies...

  6. New insights into prevalence, genetic diversity, and proviral load of human T-cell leukemia virus types 1 and 2 in pregnant women in Gabon in equatorial central Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etenna, Sonia Lekana-Douki; Caron, Mélanie; Besson, Guillaume; Makuwa, Maria; Gessain, Antoine; Mahé, Antoine; Kazanji, Mirdad

    2008-11-01

    Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is highly endemic in areas of central Africa; mother-to-child transmission and sexual transmission are considered to be the predominant routes. To determine the prevalence and subtypes of HTLV-1/2 in pregnant women in Gabon, we conducted an epidemiological survey in the five main cities of the country. In 907 samples, the HTLV-1 seroprevalence was 2.1%, which is lower than that previously reported. Only one case of HTLV-2 infection was found. The HTLV-1 seroprevalence increased with age and differed between regions (P cosmopolitan subtype A. The new strains of subtype B exhibited wide genetic diversity, but there was no evidence of clustering of specific genomes within geographical regions of the country. Some strains were closely related to simian T-cell leukemia virus type 1 strains of great apes, suggesting that in these areas some HTLV-1 strains could arise from relatively recent interspecies transmission. The sole HTLV-2 strain belonged to subtype B. In this study we showed that the prevalence of HTLV-1 in the southeast is one of the highest in the world for pregnant women.

  7. Geodynamic control on melt production in the central Azores : new insights from major and trace elements, Sr, Nd, Pb, Hf isotopic data and K/Ar ages on the islands of Terceira, Sao Jorge and Faial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hildenbrand, A.; Weis, D. A.; Madureira, P.; Marques, F. O.

    2012-12-01

    A combined geochronological and geochemical study has been carried out on the volcanic islands of Terceira, São Jorge, and Faial (central Azores) to examine the relationships between mantle dynamics, melt production and regional deformation close to the triple junction between the American, the Eurasian and the Nubian lithospheric plates. The lavas analyzed span the last 1.3 Myr, and have been erupted during two main periods prior to 800 ka and after 750 ka, respectively. They range in composition from alkaline basalts/basanites to trachytes, and overall exhibit a strong enrichment in highly incompatible elements. The whole range of isotopic compositions here reported (87Sr/86Sr: 0.703508-0.703913; 143Nd/144Nd: 0.512882-0.513010; 206Pb/204Pb: 19.0840- 20.0932; 207Pb/204Pb: 15.5388-15.6409; 208Pb/204Pb: 38.7416-39.3921; 176Hf/177Hf: 0.282956-0.283111) suggests the involvement of three components: (1) a weakly radiogenic component reflecting the source of regional MORBs, (2) a main HIMU-type component represented in the three islands, and (3) an additional component in Faial recent lavas, which appears similar to the EM type end-member previously recognized on other Azores eruptive complexes. The geographical distribution of the enriched components and the synchronous construction of various islands at the regional scale rules out a single narrow active plume. They suggest in turn the presence of dispersed residual enriched mantle blobs, interpreted as remnants from a large heterogeneous plume probably responsible for edification of the Azores plateau several Myr ago. The lavas erupted in São Jorge and Faial prior to 800 ka have similar and homogeneous isotopic ratios, which partly overlap the compositional field of MORBs from the adjacent portion of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR). Their genesis can be explained by the regional development of N150 transtensive tectonic structures, which promoted significant decompression melting of the upper mantle, with correlative

  8. Natural factors and mining activity bearings on the water quality of the Choapa basin, North Central Chile: insights on the role of mafic volcanic rocks in the buffering of the acid drainage process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parra, Amparo; Oyarzún, Jorge; Maturana, Hugo; Kretschmer, Nicole; Meza, Francisco; Oyarzún, Ricardo

    2011-10-01

    This contribution analyzes water chemical data for the Choapa basin, North Central Chile, for the period 1980-2004. The parameters considered are As, Cu Fe, pH, EC, SO₄⁻², Cl⁻¹, and HCO[Formula: see text], from samples taken in nine monitoring stations throughout the basin. Results show rather moderate contents of As, Cu, and Fe, with the exception of the Cuncumén River and the Aucó creek, explained by the influence of the huge porphyry copper deposit of Los Pelambres and by the presence of mining operations, respectively. When compared against results obtained in previous researches at the neighboring Elqui river basin, which host the El Indio Au-Cu-As district, a much reduced grade of pollution is recognized for the Choapa basin. Considering the effect of acid rock drainage (ARD)-related Cu contents on the fine fraction of the sediments of both river basins, the differences recorded are even more striking. Although the Los Pelambres porphyry copper deposit, on the headwaters of the Choapa river basin, is between one and two orders of magnitude bigger than El Indio, stream water and sediments of the former exhibit significantly lower copper contents than those of the latter. A main factor which may explain these results is the smaller degree of H( + )-metasomatism on the host rocks of the Los Pelambres deposit, where mafic andesitic volcanic rocks presenting propylitic hydrothermal alteration are dominant. This fact contrast with the highly altered host rocks of El Indio district, where most of them have lost their potential to neutralize ARD.

  9. Origin and paleoenvironment of Pleistocene-Holocene Travertine deposit from the Mbéré sedimentary sub-basin along the Central Cameroon shear zone: Insights from petrology and palynology and evidence for neotectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tchouatcha, Milan Stafford; Njoya, André; Ganno, Sylvestre; Toyama, Réné; Ngouem, Paul Aubin; Njiké Ngaha, Pierre Ricard

    2016-06-01

    The Mbéré sub-basin belongs to the Mbéré-Djerem intra-continental basin of Central North Cameroon. In this sub-basin, a travertine outcrop has been discovered and investigated palynologically and petrologically in this study. The sporopollinic content of the studied travertine is mainly composed of fungal spores (Rhyzophagites sp., Monoporisporites sp …) associated with rare fresh water algae spores such as Chomotriletes minor and angiosperm pollens (compositae, graminae, …). This sporopollinic association is indicative of hot and semi-arid to arid paleoclimate and reveals a Pleistocene-Holocene depositional age. The whole rock major element geochemistry shows relative enrichment of CaO (49.48%) and CO2 (38.49%). The origin of CO2 is probably from magmatic and/or metamorphic fluids. Compared to other travertines, SiO2 and Al2O3 contents are significant with average concentrations of 5.68% and 2.58% respectively. The mineralogical composition revealed by a microscopic study of bulk rocks is dominated by calcite (90-92%) associated to quartz (2-4%) and feldspar (2-3%), meanwhile the heavy mineral concentrate is formed by various mineral types such as zircon (most abundant), garnet, tourmaline, epidote, biotite, peridot and aegirine augite suggesting that the underground water has crossed both volcanic, plutonic and metamorphic rocks. With the mineral composition made of both chemical and detrital derived elements, the Mbéré travertine corresponds to chemico-lithoclastic/detrital limestone. In the Mbéré trough, numerous thermo-mineral springs are located along major fractures and faults. This result suggests that the Mbéré travertine deposit is related to the rising of deep water with the help of a fracturing system, similar to those of Irdi (Morocco), Italy and Turkey where there is much volcanism.

  10. Paleomagnetic and magnetic fabric studies of Lower Triassic red sandstones from the autochthonous cover of the Central Western Carpathians: new insights into paleogeographic setting and tectonic evolution of the area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szaniawski, R.; Jankowski, L.; Ludwiniak, M.; Mazzoli, S.; Szczygieł, J.

    2017-12-01

    The Carpathian Mountains were formed through progressive collision and amalgamation of the Alcapa and Tisza-Dacia microplates with the European Platform. The Central Western Carpathians (CWC) tectonic unit analyzed in this study constitutes a fragment of the Alcapa microplate - research in this area is therefore of great importance in the context of the geotectonic evolution of the Carpathian orogen. Our paleomagnetic and magnetic fabric studies were focused on Lower Triassic red sandstones from the autochthonous cover of the crystalline basement. We present new results from three mountain massifs: Low Tatra, Velka Fatra and Strazovske Vrchy, comparing them with our earlier works performed in the Tatra Mts. Rockmagnetic studies reveal similar results in all four studied regions - the dominant ferromagnetic carrier in red sandstones is hematite, while the magnetic fabric is mostly controlled by paramagnetic minerals. AMS results outline a bedding parallel foliation and a tectonic lineation. This lineation lies in the bedding plane but is somewhat oblique to the present horizontal plane. The fact that the lineation is not exactly parallel to the strike of the beds is most likely due to multistage deformation: the lineation is related to bedding parallel shortening associated with the folding and thrusting stage, while present-day bedding attitude results at least partially from rotations associated with subsequent uplift and/or faulting. Paleomagnetic analysis indicate that hematite carrier records characteristic remanent component of high unblocking temperatures (680°C) and both normal (dominant) and reversed polarity. Paleomagnetic inclinations are similar to those expected from reference paleomagnetic data from the European Platform. Declination values are rather similar in all four studied areas and imply moderate counterclockwise rotations of the CWC. These results are incompatible with some of the previous paleomagnetic studies of younger rocks from the CWC

  11. The central amygdala circuits in fear regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Bo

    The amygdala is essential for fear learning and expression. The central amygdala (CeA), once viewed as a passive relay between the amygdala complex and downstream fear effectors, has emerged as an active participant in fear conditioning. However, how the CeA contributes to the learning and expression of fear remains unclear. Our recent studies in mice indicate that fear conditioning induces robust plasticity of excitatory synapses onto inhibitory neurons in the lateral subdivision of CeA (CeL). In particular, this plasticity is cell-type specific and is required for the formation of fear memory. In addition, sensory cues that predict threat can cause activation of the somatostatin-positive CeL neurons, which is sufficient to drive freezing behavior. Here I will report our recent findings regarding the circuit and cellular mechanisms underlying CeL function in fear processing.

  12. Activated microglia mediate synapse loss and short-term memory deficits in a mouse model of transthyretin-related oculoleptomeningeal amyloidosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azevedo, E P; Ledo, J H; Barbosa, G; Sobrinho, M; Diniz, L; Fonseca, A C C; Gomes, F; Romão, L; Lima, F R S; Palhano, F L; Ferreira, S T; Foguel, D

    2013-09-05

    Oculoleptomeningeal amyloidosis (OA) is a fatal and untreatable hereditary disease characterized by the accumulation of transthyretin (TTR) amyloid within the central nervous system. The mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of OA, and in particular how amyloid triggers neuronal damage, are still unknown. Here, we show that amyloid fibrils formed by a mutant form of TTR, A25T, activate microglia, leading to the secretion of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and nitric oxide. Further, we found that A25T amyloid fibrils induce the activation of Akt, culminating in the translocation of NFκB to the nucleus of microglia. While A25T fibrils were not directly toxic to neurons, the exposure of neuronal cultures to media conditioned by fibril-activated microglia caused synapse loss that culminated in extensive neuronal death via apoptosis. Finally, intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injection of A25T fibrils caused microgliosis, increased brain TNF-α and IL-6 levels and cognitive deficits in mice, which could be prevented by minocycline treatment. These results indicate that A25T fibrils act as pro-inflammatory agents in OA, activating microglia and causing neuronal damage.

  13. A lack of immune system genes causes loss in high frequency hearing but does not disrupt cochlear synapse maturation in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calton, Melissa A; Lee, Dasom; Sundaresan, Srividya; Mendus, Diana; Leu, Rose; Wangsawihardja, Felix; Johnson, Kenneth R; Mustapha, Mirna

    2014-01-01

    Early cochlear development is marked by an exuberant outgrowth of neurites that innervate multiple targets. The establishment of mature cochlear neural circuits is, however, dependent on the pruning of inappropriate axons and synaptic connections. Such refinement also occurs in the central nervous system (CNS), and recently, genes ordinarily associated with immune and inflammatory processes have been shown to play roles in synaptic pruning in the brain. These molecules include the major histocompatibility complex class I (MHCI) genes, H2-K(b) and H2-D(b), and the complement cascade gene, C1qa. Since the mechanisms involved in synaptic refinement in the cochlea are not well understood, we investigated whether these immune system genes may be involved in this process and whether they are required for normal hearing function. Here we report that these genes are not necessary for normal synapse formation and refinement in the mouse cochlea. We further demonstrate that C1qa expression is not necessary for normal hearing in mice but the lack of expression of H2-K(b) and H2-D(b) causes hearing impairment. These data underscore the importance of the highly polymorphic family of MHCI genes in hearing in mice and also suggest that factors and mechanisms regulating synaptic refinement in the cochlea may be distinct from those in the CNS.

  14. Diurnal inhibition of NMDA-EPSCs at rat hippocampal mossy fibre synapses through orexin-2 receptors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perin, Martina; Longordo, Fabio; Massonnet, Christine; Welker, Egbert; Lüthi, Anita

    2014-01-01

    Diurnal release of the orexin neuropeptides orexin-A (Ox-A, hypocretin-1) and orexin-B (Ox-B, hypocretin-2) stabilises arousal, regulates energy homeostasis and contributes to cognition and learning. However, whether cellular correlates of brain plasticity are regulated through orexins, and whether they do so in a time-of-day-dependent manner, has never been assessed. Immunohistochemically we found sparse but widespread innervation of hippocampal subfields through Ox-A- and Ox-B-containing fibres in young adult rats. The actions of Ox-A were studied on NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated excitatory synaptic transmission in acute hippocampal slices prepared around the trough (Zeitgeber time (ZT) 4–8, corresponding to 4–8 h into the resting phase) and peak (ZT 23) of intracerebroventricular orexin levels. At ZT 4–8, exogenous Ox-A (100 nm in bath) inhibited NMDA receptor-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents (NMDA-EPSCs) at mossy fibre (MF)–CA3 (to 55.6 ± 6.8% of control, P = 0.0003) and at Schaffer collateral–CA1 synapses (70.8 ± 6.3%, P = 0.013), whereas it remained ineffective at non-MF excitatory synapses in CA3. Ox-A actions were mediated postsynaptically and blocked by the orexin-2 receptor (OX2R) antagonist JNJ10397049 (1 μm), but not by orexin-1 receptor inhibition (SB334867, 1 μm) or by adrenergic and cholinergic antagonists. At ZT 23, inhibitory effects of exogenous Ox-A were absent (97.6 ± 2.9%, P = 0.42), but reinstated (87.2 ± 3.3%, P = 0.002) when endogenous orexin signalling was attenuated for 5 h through i.p. injections of almorexant (100 mg kg−1), a dual orexin receptor antagonist. In conclusion, endogenous orexins modulate hippocampal NMDAR function in a time-of-day-dependent manner, suggesting that they may influence cellular plasticity and consequent variations in memory performance across the sleep–wake cycle. PMID:25085886

  15. Actin Cytoskeleton-Based Plant Synapse as Gravitransducer in the Transition Zone of the Root Apex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baluska, Frantisek; Barlow, Peter; Volkmann, Dieter; Mancuso, Stefano

    The actin cytoskeleton was originally proposed to act as the signal transducer in the plant gravity sensory-motoric circuit. Surprisingly, however, several studies have documented that roots perfom gravisensing and gravitropism more effectively if exposed to diverse anti-F-actin drugs. Our study, using decapped maize root apices, has revealed that depolymerization of F-actin stimulates gravity perception in cells of the transition zone where root gravitropism is initiated (Mancuso et al. 2006). It has been proposed (Balǔka et al. 2005, 2009a) that s the non-growing adhesive end-poles, enriched with F-actin and myosin VIII, and active in endocytic recycling of both PIN transporters and cell wall pectins cross-linked with calcium and boron, act as the gravisensing domains, and that these impinge directly upon the root motoric responses via control of polar auxin transport. This model suggests that mechanical asymmetry at these plant synapses determines vectorial gravity-controlled auxin transport. Due to the gravity-imposed mechanical load upon the protoplast, a tensional stress is also imposed upon the plasma membrane of the physically lower synaptic cell pole. This stress is then relieved by shifting the endocytosis-exocytosis balance towards exocytosis (Balǔka et al. s 2005, 2009a,b). This `Synaptic Auxin Secretion' hypothesis does not conflict with the `Starch Statolith' hypothesis, which is based on amyloplast sedimentation. In fact, the `Synaptic Auxin Secretion' hypothesis has many elements which allow its unification with the Starch-Statolith model (Balǔka et al. 2005, 2009a,b). s References Balǔka F, Volkmann D, Menzel D (2005) Plant synapses: actin-based adhesion s domains for cell-to-cell communication. Trends Plant Sci 10: 106-111 Balǔka F, Schlicht M, s Wan Y-L, Burbach C, Volkmann D (2009a) Intracellular domains and polarity in root apices: from synaptic domains to plant neurobiology. Nova Acta Leopoldina 96: 103-122 Balǔka s F, Mancuso S

  16. A model of microsaccade-related neural responses induced by short-term depression in thalamocortical synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wujie eYuan

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Microsaccades during fixation have been suggested to counteract visual fading. Recent experi- ments have also observed microsaccade-related neural responses from cellular record, scalp elec- troencephalogram (EEG and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI. The underlying mechanism, however, is not yet understood and highly debated. It has been proposed that the neural activity of primary visual cortex (V1 is a crucial component for counteracting visual adaptation. In this paper, we use computational modeling to investigate how short-term depres- sion (STD in thalamocortical synapses might affect the neural responses of V1 in the presence of microsaccades. Our model not only gives a possible synaptic explanation for microsaccades in counteracting visual fading, but also reproduces several features in experimental findings. These modeling results suggest that STD in thalamocortical synapses plays an important role in microsaccade-related neural responses and the model may be useful for further investigation of behavioral properties and functional roles of microsaccades.

  17. A model of microsaccade-related neural responses induced by short-term depression in thalamocortical synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Wu-Jie; Dimigen, Olaf; Sommer, Werner; Zhou, Changsong

    2013-01-01

    Microsaccades during fixation have been suggested to counteract visual fading. Recent experiments have also observed microsaccade-related neural responses from cellular record, scalp electroencephalogram (EEG), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The underlying mechanism, however, is not yet understood and highly debated. It has been proposed that the neural activity of primary visual cortex (V1) is a crucial component for counteracting visual adaptation. In this paper, we use computational modeling to investigate how short-term depression (STD) in thalamocortical synapses might affect the neural responses of V1 in the presence of microsaccades. Our model not only gives a possible synaptic explanation for microsaccades in counteracting visual fading, but also reproduces several features in experimental findings. These modeling results suggest that STD in thalamocortical synapses plays an important role in microsaccade-related neural responses and the model may be useful for further investigation of behavioral properties and functional roles of microsaccades. PMID:23630494

  18. Presynaptic learning and memory with a persistent firing neuron and a habituating synapse: a model of short term persistent habituation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramanathan, Kiruthika; Ning, Ning; Dhanasekar, Dhiviya; Li, Guoqi; Shi, Luping; Vadakkepat, Prahlad

    2012-08-01

    Our paper explores the interaction of persistent firing axonal and presynaptic processes in the generation of short term memory for habituation. We first propose a model of a sensory neuron whose axon is able to switch between passive conduction and persistent firing states, thereby triggering short term retention to the stimulus. Then we propose a model of a habituating synapse and explore all nine of the behavioral characteristics of short term habituation in a two neuron circuit. We couple the persistent firing neuron to the habituation synapse and investigate the behavior of short term retention of habituating response. Simulations show that, depending on the amount of synaptic resources, persistent firing either results in continued habituation or maintains the response, both leading to longer recovery times. The effectiveness of the model as an element in a bio-inspired memory system is discussed.

  19. RAE-1, a novel PHR binding protein, is required for axon termination and synapse formation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grill, Brock; Chen, Lizhen; Tulgren, Erik D; Baker, Scott T; Bienvenut, Willy; Anderson, Matthew; Quadroni, Manfredo; Jin, Yishi; Garner, Craig C

    2012-02-22

    Previous studies in Caenorhabditis elegans showed that RPM-1 (Regulator of Presynaptic Morphology-1) regulates axon termination and synapse formation. To understand the mechanism of how rpm-1 functions, we have used mass spectrometry to identify RPM-1 binding proteins, and have identified RAE-1 (RNA Export protein-1) as an evolutionarily conserved binding partner. We define a RAE-1 binding region in RPM-1, and show that this binding interaction is conserved and also occurs between Rae1 and the human ortholog of RPM-1 called Pam (protein associated with Myc). rae-1 loss of function causes similar axon and synapse defects, and synergizes genetically with two other RPM-1 binding proteins, GLO-4 and FSN-1. Further, we show that RAE-1 colocalizes with RPM-1 in neurons, and that rae-1 functions downstream of rpm-1. These studies establish a novel postmitotic function for rae-1 in neuronal development.

  20. Size and receptor density of glutamatergic synapses: a viewpoint from left-right asymmetry of CA3-CA1 connections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoshiaki Shinohara

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic plasticity is considered to be the main mechanism for learning and memory. Excitatory synapses in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus undergo plastic changes during development and in response to electric stimulation. It is widely accepted that this process is mediated by insertion and elimination of various glutamate receptors. In a series of recent investigations on left-right asymmetry of hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapses, glutamate receptor subunits have been found to have distinctive expression patterns that depend on the postsynaptic density (PSD area. Particularly notable are the GluR1 AMPA receptor subunit and NR2B NMDA receptor subunit, where receptor density has either a supra-linear (GluR1 AMPA or inverse (NR2B NMDAR relationship to the PSD area. We review current understanding of structural and physiological synaptic plasticity and propose a scheme to classify receptor subtypes by their expression pattern with respect to PSD area.

  1. Regulation of the Postsynaptic Compartment of Excitatory Synapses by the Actin Cytoskeleton in Health and Its Disruption in Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holly Stefen

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Disruption of synaptic function at excitatory synapses is one of the earliest pathological changes seen in wide range of neurological diseases. The proper control of the segregation of neurotransmitter receptors at these synapses is directly correlated with the intact regulation of the postsynaptic cytoskeleton. In this review, we are discussing key factors that regulate the structure and dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton, the major cytoskeletal building block that supports the postsynaptic compartment. Special attention is given to the complex interplay of actin-associated proteins that are found in the synaptic specialization. We then discuss our current understanding of how disruption of these cytoskeletal elements may contribute to the pathological events observed in the nervous system under disease conditions with a particular focus on Alzheimer’s disease pathology.

  2. In Search of Insight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, Craig A.; Simon, Herbert A.

    1990-01-01

    Attaining the insight needed to solve the Mutilated Checkerboard problem, which requires discovery of an effective problem representation (EPR), is described. Performance on insight problems can be predicted from the availability of generators and constraints in the search for an EPR. Data for 23 undergraduates were analyzed. (TJH)

  3. Central Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

    The beginning of spring in central Chile looked like this to SeaWiFS. The snow-covered Andes mark the country's eastern border, and phytoplankton blooms and river sediment plumes fill the waters off its west coast. A large eddy due west of Concepcion is highlighted by the phytoplankton it contains.

  4. Afrique Centrale

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    PR BOKO

    (Afrique Centrale) : peuplement de protozoaires ciliés et macro invertébrés ... Le lac d'Obili est un écosystème aquatique situé en plein cœur de Yaoundé en ...... électrique des eaux est assez stable, autour de 200 ; ce qui suppose que la ...

  5. The effect of STDP temporal kernel structure on the learning dynamics of single excitatory and inhibitory synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yotam Luz

    Full Text Available Spike-Timing Dependent Plasticity (STDP is characterized by a wide range of temporal kernels. However, much of the theoretical work has focused on a specific kernel - the "temporally asymmetric Hebbian" learning rules. Previous studies linked excitatory STDP to positive feedback that can account for the emergence of response selectivity. Inhibitory plasticity was associated with negative feedback that can balance the excitatory and inhibitory inputs. Here we study the possible computational role of the temporal structure of the STDP. We represent the STDP as a superposition of two processes: potentiation and depression. This allows us to model a wide range of experimentally observed STDP kernels, from Hebbian to anti-Hebbian, by varying a single parameter. We investigate STDP dynamics of a single excitatory or inhibitory synapse in purely feed-forward architecture. We derive a mean-field-Fokker-Planck dynamics for the synaptic weight and analyze the effect of STDP structure on the fixed points of the mean field dynamics. We find a phase transition along the Hebbian to anti-Hebbian parameter from a phase that is characterized by a unimodal distribution of the synaptic weight, in which the STDP dynamics is governed by negative feedback, to a phase with positive feedback characterized by a bimodal distribution. The critical point of this transition depends on general properties of the STDP dynamics and not on the fine details. Namely, the dynamics is affected by the pre-post correlations only via a single number that quantifies its overlap with the STDP kernel. We find that by manipulating the STDP temporal kernel, negative feedback can be induced in excitatory synapses and positive feedback in inhibitory. Moreover, there is an exact symmetry between inhibitory and excitatory plasticity, i.e., for every STDP rule of inhibitory synapse there exists an STDP rule for excitatory synapse, such that their dynamics is identical.

  6. Estradiol pretreatment ameliorates impaired synaptic plasticity at synapses of insulted CA1 neurons after transient global ischemia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeuchi, Koichi; Yang, Yupeng; Takayasu, Yukihiro; Gertner, Michael; Hwang, Jee-Yeon; Aromolaran, Kelly; Bennett, Michael V.L.; Zukin, R. Suzanne

    2015-01-01

    Global ischemia in humans or induced experimentally in animals causes selective and delayed neuronal death in pyramidal neurons of the hippocampal CA1. The ovarian hormone estradiol administered before or immediately after insult affords histological protection in experimental models of focal and global ischemia and ameliorates the cognitive deficits associated with ischemic cell death. However, the impact of estradiol on the functional integrity of Schaffer collateral to CA1 (Sch-CA1) pyramidal cell synapses following global ischemia is not clear. Here we show that long term estradiol treatment initiated 14 days prior to global ischemia in ovariectomized female rats acts via the IGF-1 receptor to protect the functional integrity of CA1 neurons. Global ischemia impairs basal synaptic transmission, assessed by the input/output relation at Sch-CA1 synapses, and NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-dependent long term potentiation (LTP), assessed at 3 days after surgery. Presynaptic function, assessed by fiber volley and paired pulse facilitation, is unchanged. To our knowledge, our results are the first to demonstrate that estradiol at near physiological concentrations enhances basal excitatory synaptic transmission and ameliorates deficits in LTP at synapses onto CA1 neurons in a clinically-relevant model of global ischemia. Estradiol-induced rescue of LTP requires the IGF-1 receptor, but not the classical estrogen receptors (ER)-α or β. These findings support a model whereby estradiol acts via the IGF-1 receptor to maintain the functional integrity of hippocampal CA1 synapses in the face of global ischemia. PMID:25463028

  7. A VLSI recurrent network of integrate-and-fire neurons connected by plastic synapses with long-term memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chicca, E; Badoni, D; Dante, V; D'Andreagiovanni, M; Salina, G; Carota, L; Fusi, S; Del Giudice, P

    2003-01-01

    Electronic neuromorphic devices with on-chip, on-line learning should be able to modify quickly the synaptic couplings to acquire information about new patterns to be stored (synaptic plasticity) and, at the same time, preserve this information on very long time scales (synaptic stability). Here, we illustrate the electronic implementation of a simple solution to this stability-plasticity problem, recently proposed and studied in various contexts. It is based on the observation that reducing the analog depth of the synapses to the extreme (bistable synapses) does not necessarily disrupt the performance of the device as an associative memory, provided that 1) the number of neurons is large enough; 2) the transitions between stable synaptic states are stochastic; and 3) learning is slow. The drastic reduction of the analog depth of the synaptic variable also makes this solution appealing from the point of view of electronic implementation and offers a simple methodological alternative to the technological solution based on floating gates. We describe the full custom analog very large-scale integration (VLSI) realization of a small network of integrate-and-fire neurons connected by bistable deterministic plastic synapses which can implement the idea of stochastic learning. In the absence of stimuli, the memory is preserved indefinitely. During the stimulation the synapse undergoes quick temporary changes through the activities of the pre- and postsynaptic neurons; those changes stochastically result in a long-term modification of the synaptic efficacy. The intentionally disordered pattern of connectivity allows the system to generate a randomness suited to drive the stochastic selection mechanism. We check by a suitable stimulation protocol that the stochastic synaptic plasticity produces the expected pattern of potentiation and depression in the electronic network.

  8. Genetic targeting of NRXN2 in mice unveils role in excitatory cortical synapse function and social behaviors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gesche eBorn

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Human genetics has identified rare copy number variations and deleterious mutations for all neurexin genes (NRXN1-3 in patients with neurodevelopmental diseases, and electrophysiological recordings in animal brains have shown that Nrxns are important for synaptic transmission. While several mouse models for Nrxn1α inactivation have previously been studied for behavioral changes, very little information is available for other variants. Here, we validate that mice lacking Nrxn2α exhibit behavioral abnormalities, characterized by social interaction deficits and increased anxiety-like behavior, which partially overlap, partially differ from Nrxn1α mutant behaviors. Using patch-clamp recordings in Nrxn2α knockout brains, we observe reduced spontaneous transmitter release at excitatory synapses in the neocortex. We also analyse at this cellular level a novel NRXN2 mouse model that carries a combined deletion of Nrxn2α and Nrxn2β. Electrophysiological analysis of this Nrxn2-mutant mouse shows surprisingly similar defects of excitatory release to Nrxn2α, indicating that the β-variant of Nrxn2 has no strong function in basic transmission at these synapses. Inhibitory transmission as well as synapse densities and ultrastructure remain unchanged in the neocortex of both models. Furthermore, at Nrxn2α and Nrxn2-mutant excitatory synapses we find an altered facilitation and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR function because NMDAR-dependent decay time and NMDAR-mediated responses are reduced. As Nrxn can indirectly be linked to NMDAR via neuroligin and PSD-95, the trans-synaptic nature of this complex may help to explain occurrence of presynaptic and postsynaptic effects. Since excitatory/inhibitory imbalances and impairment of NMDAR function are alledged to have a role in autism and schizophrenia, our results support the idea of a related pathomechanism in these disorders.

  9. Mother Centriole Distal Appendages Mediate Centrosome Docking at the Immunological Synapse and Reveal Mechanistic Parallels with Ciliogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stinchcombe, Jane C; Randzavola, Lyra O; Angus, Karen L; Mantell, Judith M; Verkade, Paul; Griffiths, Gillian M

    2015-12-21

    Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) are highly effective serial killers capable of destroying virally infected and cancerous targets by polarized release from secretory lysosomes. Upon target contact, the CTL centrosome rapidly moves to the immunological synapse, focusing microtubule-directed release at this point [1-3]. Striking similarities have been noted between centrosome polarization at the synapse and basal body docking during ciliogenesis [1, 4-8], suggesting that CTL centrosomes might dock with the plasma membrane during killing, in a manner analogous to primary cilia formation [1, 4]. However, questions remain regarding the extent and function of centrosome polarization at the synapse, and recent reports have challenged its role [9, 10]. Here, we use high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (TEM) tomography analysis to show that, as in ciliogenesis, the distal appendages of the CTL mother centriole contact the plasma membrane directly during synapse formation. This is functionally important as small interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting of the distal appendage protein, Cep83, required for membrane contact during ciliogenesis [11], impairs CTL secretion. Furthermore, the regulatory proteins CP110 and Cep97, which must dissociate from the mother centriole to allow cilia formation [12], remain associated with the mother centriole in CTLs, and neither axoneme nor transition zone ciliary structures form. Moreover, complete centrosome docking can occur in proliferating CTLs with multiple centriole pairs. Thus, in CTLs, centrosomes dock transiently with the membrane, within the cell cycle and without progression into ciliogenesis. We propose that this transient centrosome docking without cilia formation is important for CTLs to deliver rapid, repeated polarized secretion directed by the centrosome. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  10. Phencyclidine-induced Loss of Asymmetric Spine Synapses in Rodent Prefrontal Cortex is Reversed by Acute and Chronic Treatment with Olanzapine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elsworth, John D; Morrow, Bret A; Hajszan, Tibor; Leranth, Csaba; Roth, Robert H

    2011-01-01

    Enduring cognitive deficits exist in schizophrenic patients, long-term abusers of phencyclidine (PCP), as well as in animal PCP models of schizophrenia. It has been suggested that cognitive performance and memory processes are coupled with remodeling of pyramidal dendritic spine synapses in prefrontal cortex (PFC), and that reduced spine density and number of spine synapses in the medial PFC of PCP-treated rats may potentially underlie, at least partially, the cognitive dysfunction previously observed in this animal model. The present data show that the decrease in number of asymmetric (excitatory) spine synapses in layer II/III of PFC, previously noted at 1-week post PCP treatment also occurs, to a lesser degree, in layer V. The decrease in the number of spine synapses in layer II/III was sustained and persisted for at least 4 weeks, paralleling the observed cognitive deficits. Both acute and chronic treatment with the atypical antipsychotic drug, olanzapine, starting at 1 week after PCP treatment at doses that restore cognitive function, reversed the asymmetric spine synapse loss in PFC of PCP-treated rats. Olanzapine had no significant effect on spine synapse number in saline-treated controls. These studies demonstrate that the effect of PCP on asymmetric spine synapse number in PFC lasts at least 4 weeks in this model. This spine synapse loss in PFC is reversed by acute treatment with olanzapine, and this reversal is maintained by chronic oral treatment, paralleling the time course of the restoration of the dopamine deficit, and normalization of cognitive function produced by olanzapine. PMID:21677652

  11. DISC1, PDE4B, and NDE1 at the centrosome and synapse

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bradshaw, Nicholas J.; Ogawa, Fumiaki; Antolin-Fontes, Beatriz; Chubb, Jennifer E.; Carlyle, Becky C.; Christie, Sheila; Claessens, Antoine; Porteous, David J.; Millar, J. Kirsty

    2008-01-01

    Disrupted-In-Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) is a risk factor for schizophrenia and other major mental illnesses. Its protein binding partners include the Nuclear Distribution Factor E Homologs (NDE1 and NDEL1), LIS1, and phosphodiesterases 4B and 4D (PDE4B and PDE4D). We demonstrate that NDE1, NDEL1 and LIS1, together with their binding partner dynein, associate with DISC1, PDE4B and PDE4D within the cell, and provide evidence that this complex is present at the centrosome. LIS1 and NDEL1 have been previously suggested to be synaptic, and we now demonstrate localisation of DISC1, NDE1, and PDE4B at synapses in cultured neurons. NDE1 is phosphorylated by cAMP-dependant Protein Kinase A (PKA), whose activity is, in turn, regulated by the cAMP hydrolysis activity of phosphodiesterases, including PDE4. We propose that DISC1 acts as an assembly scaffold for all of these proteins and that the NDE1/NDEL1/LIS1/dynein complex is modulated by cAMP levels via PKA and PDE4.

  12. Self-Organization of Microcircuits in Networks of Spiking Neurons with Plastic Synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel Koch Ocker

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The synaptic connectivity of cortical networks features an overrepresentation of certain wiring motifs compared to simple random-network models. This structure is shaped, in part, by synaptic plasticity that promotes or suppresses connections between neurons depending on their joint spiking activity. Frequently, theoretical studies focus on how feedforward inputs drive plasticity to create this network structure. We study the complementary scenario of self-organized structure in a recurrent network, with spike timing-dependent plasticity driven by spontaneous dynamics. We develop a self-consistent theory for the evolution of network structure by combining fast spiking covariance with a slow evolution of synaptic weights. Through a finite-size expansion of network dynamics we obtain a low-dimensional set of nonlinear differential equations for the evolution of two-synapse connectivity motifs. With this theory in hand, we explore how the form of the plasticity rule drives the evolution of microcircuits in cortical networks. When potentiation and depression are in approximate balance, synaptic dynamics depend on weighted divergent, convergent, and chain motifs. For additive, Hebbian STDP these motif interactions create instabilities in synaptic dynamics that either promote or suppress the initial network structure. Our work provides a consistent theoretical framework for studying how spiking activity in recurrent networks interacts with synaptic plasticity to determine network structure.

  13. Self-Organization of Microcircuits in Networks of Spiking Neurons with Plastic Synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ocker, Gabriel Koch; Litwin-Kumar, Ashok; Doiron, Brent

    2015-08-01

    The synaptic connectivity of cortical networks features an overrepresentation of certain wiring motifs compared to simple random-network models. This structure is shaped, in part, by synaptic plasticity that promotes or suppresses connections between neurons depending on their joint spiking activity. Frequently, theoretical studies focus on how feedforward inputs drive plasticity to create this network structure. We study the complementary scenario of self-organized structure in a recurrent network, with spike timing-dependent plasticity driven by spontaneous dynamics. We develop a self-consistent theory for the evolution of network structure by combining fast spiking covariance with a slow evolution of synaptic weights. Through a finite-size expansion of network dynamics we obtain a low-dimensional set of nonlinear differential equations for the evolution of two-synapse connectivity motifs. With this theory in hand, we explore how the form of the plasticity rule drives the evolution of microcircuits in cortical networks. When potentiation and depression are in approximate balance, synaptic dynamics depend on weighted divergent, convergent, and chain motifs. For additive, Hebbian STDP these motif interactions create instabilities in synaptic dynamics that either promote or suppress the initial network structure. Our work provides a consistent theoretical framework for studying how spiking activity in recurrent networks interacts with synaptic plasticity to determine network structure.

  14. Cell Biological Mechanisms of Activity-Dependent Synapse to Nucleus Translocation of CRTC1 in Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toh Hean eCh'ng

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have revealed a critical role for CREB-regulated transcriptional coactivator (CRTC1 in regulating neuronal gene expression during learning and memory. CRTC1 localizes to synapses but undergoes activity-dependent nuclear translocation to regulate the transcription of CREB target genes. Here we investigate the long-distance retrograde transport of CRTC1 in hippocampal neurons. We show that local elevations in calcium, triggered by activation of synaptic glutamate receptors and L-type voltage-gated calcium channels, initiate active, dynein-mediated retrograde transport of CRTC1 along microtubules. We identify a nuclear localization signal within CRTC1, and characterize three conserved serine residues whose dephosphorylation is required for nuclear import. Domain analysis reveals that the amino-terminal third of CRTC1 contains all of the signals required for regulated nucleocytoplasmic trafficking. We fuse this region to Dendra2 to generate a reporter construct and perform live-cell imaging coupled with local uncaging of glutamate and photoconversion to characterize the dynamics of stimulus-induced retrograde transport and nuclear accumulation.

  15. The adaptor molecule SAP plays essential roles during invariant NKT cell cytotoxicity and lytic synapse formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Rupali; Bassiri, Hamid; Guan, Peng; Wiener, Susan; Banerjee, Pinaki P; Zhong, Ming-Chao; Veillette, André; Orange, Jordan S; Nichols, Kim E

    2013-04-25

    The adaptor molecule signaling lymphocytic activation molecule-associated protein (SAP) plays critical roles during invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cell ontogeny. As a result, SAP-deficient humans and mice lack iNKT cells. The strict developmental requirement for SAP has made it difficult to discern its possible involvement in mature iNKT cell functions. By using temporal Cre recombinase-mediated gene deletion to ablate SAP expression after completion of iNKT cell development, we demonstrate that SAP is essential for T-cell receptor (TCR)-induced iNKT cell cytotoxicity against T-cell and B-cell leukemia targets in vitro and iNKT-cell-mediated control of T-cell leukemia growth in vivo. These findings are not restricted to the murine system: silencing RNA-mediated suppression of SAP expression in human iNKT cells also significantly impairs TCR-induced cytolysis. Mechanistic studies reveal that iNKT cell killing requires the tyrosine kinase Fyn, a known SAP-binding protein. Furthermore, SAP expression is required within iNKT cells to facilitate their interaction with T-cell targets and induce reorientation of the microtubule-organizing center to the immunologic synapse (IS). Collectively, these studies highlight a novel and essential role for SAP during iNKT cell cytotoxicity and formation of a functional IS.

  16. Taurine Induces Proliferation of Neural Stem Cells and Synapse Development in the Developing Mouse Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shivaraj, Mattu Chetana; Marcy, Guillaume; Low, Guoliang; Ryu, Jae Ryun; Zhao, Xianfeng; Rosales, Francisco J.; Goh, Eyleen L. K.

    2012-01-01

    Taurine is a sulfur-containing amino acid present in high concentrations in mammalian tissues. It has been implicated in several processes involving brain development and neurotransmission. However, the role of taurine in hippocampal neurogenesis during brain development is still unknown. Here we show that taurine regulates neural progenitor cell (NPC) proliferation in the dentate gyrus of the developing brain as well as in cultured early postnatal (P5) hippocampal progenitor cells and hippocampal slices derived from P5 mice brains. Taurine increased cell proliferation without having a significant effect on neural differentiation both in cultured P5 NPCs as well as cultured hippocampal slices and in vivo. Expression level analysis of synaptic proteins revealed that taurine increases the expression of Synapsin 1 and PSD 95. We also found that taurine stimulates the phosphorylation of ERK1/2 indicating a possible role of the ERK pathway in mediating the changes that we observed, especially in proliferation. Taken together, our results demonstrate a role for taurine in neural stem/progenitor cell proliferation in developing brain and suggest the involvement of the ERK1/2 pathways in mediating these actions. Our study also shows that taurine influences the levels of proteins associated with synapse development. This is the first evidence showing the effect of taurine on early postnatal neuronal development using a combination of in vitro, ex-vivo and in vivo systems. PMID:22916184

  17. Multiple proviral integration events after virological synapse-mediated HIV-1 spread

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Russell, Rebecca A.; Martin, Nicola; Mitar, Ivonne; Jones, Emma; Sattentau, Quentin J.

    2013-01-01

    HIV-1 can move directly between T cells via virological synapses (VS). Although aspects of the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying this mode of spread have been elucidated, the outcomes for infection of the target cell remain incompletely understood. We set out to determine whether HIV-1 transfer via VS results in productive, high-multiplicity HIV-1 infection. We found that HIV-1 cell-to-cell spread resulted in nuclear import of multiple proviruses into target cells as seen by fluorescence in-situ hybridization. Proviral integration into the target cell genome was significantly higher than that seen in a cell-free infection system, and consequent de novo viral DNA and RNA production in the target cell detected by quantitative PCR increased over time. Our data show efficient proviral integration across VS, implying the probability of multiple integration events in target cells that drive productive T cell infection. - Highlights: • Cell-to-cell HIV-1 infection delivers multiple vRNA copies to the target cell. • Cell-to-cell infection results in productive infection of the target cell. • Cell-to-cell transmission is more efficient than cell-free HIV-1 infection. • Suggests a mechanism for recombination in cells infected with multiple viral genomes

  18. Real-Time Million-Synapse Simulation of Rat Barrel Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas eSharp

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Simulations of neural circuits are bounded in scale and speed by available computing resources, and particularly by the differences in parallelism and communication patterns between the brain and high-performance computers. SpiNNaker is a computer architecture designed to address this problem by emulating the structure and function of neural tissue, using very many low-power processors and an interprocessor communication mechanism inspired by axonal arbors. Here we demonstrate that thousand-processor SpiNNaker prototypes can simulate models of the rodent barrel system comprising fifty thousand neurons and fifty million synapses. We use the PyNN library to specify models, and the intrinsic features of Python to control experimental procedures and analysis. The models reproduce known thalamocortical response transformations, exhibit known, balanced dynamics of excitation and inhibition, and show a spatiotemporal spread of activity though the superficial cortical layers. These demonstrations are a significant step towards tractable simulations of entire cortical areas on the million-processor SpiNNaker machines in development.

  19. Real-time million-synapse simulation of rat barrel cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharp, Thomas; Petersen, Rasmus; Furber, Steve

    2014-01-01

    Simulations of neural circuits are bounded in scale and speed by available computing resources, and particularly by the differences in parallelism and communication patterns between the brain and high-performance computers. SpiNNaker is a computer architecture designed to address this problem by emulating the structure and function of neural tissue, using very many low-power processors and an interprocessor communication mechanism inspired by axonal arbors. Here we demonstrate that thousand-processor SpiNNaker prototypes can simulate models of the rodent barrel system comprising 50,000 neurons and 50 million synapses. We use the PyNN library to specify models, and the intrinsic features of Python to control experimental procedures and analysis. The models reproduce known thalamocortical response transformations, exhibit known, balanced dynamics of excitation and inhibition, and show a spatiotemporal spread of activity though the superficial cortical layers. These demonstrations are a significant step toward tractable simulations of entire cortical areas on the million-processor SpiNNaker machines in development.

  20. Recent advances in basic neurosciences and brain disease: from synapses to behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salter Michael W

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Understanding basic neuronal mechanisms hold the hope for future treatment of brain disease. The 1st international conference on synapse, memory, drug addiction and pain was held in beautiful downtown Toronto, Canada on August 21–23, 2006. Unlike other traditional conferences, this new meeting focused on three major aims: (1 to promote new and cutting edge research in neuroscience; (2 to encourage international information exchange and scientific collaborations; and (3 to provide a platform for active scientists to discuss new findings. Up to 64 investigators presented their recent discoveries, from basic synaptic mechanisms to genes related to human brain disease. This meeting was in part sponsored by Molecular Pain, together with University of Toronto (Faculty of Medicine, Department of Physiology as well as Center for the Study of Pain. Our goal for this meeting is to promote future active scientific collaborations and improve human health through fundamental basic neuroscience researches. The second international meeting on Neurons and Brain Disease will be held in Toronto (August 29–31, 2007.

  1. Function and Dynamics of Tetraspanins during Antigen Recognition and Immunological Synapse Formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vera eRocha-Perugini

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Tetraspanin-enriched microdomains (TEMs are specialized membrane platforms driven by protein-protein interactions that integrate membrane receptors and adhesion molecules. Tetraspanins participate in antigen recognition and presentation by antigen presenting cells (APCs through the organization of pattern recognition receptors (PRRs and their downstream induced-signaling, as well as the regulation of MHC-II-peptide trafficking. T lymphocyte activation is triggered upon specific recognition of antigens present on the APC surface during immunological synapse (IS formation. This dynamic process is characterized by a defined spatial organization involving the compartmentalization of receptors and adhesion molecules in specialized membrane domains that are connected to the underlying cytoskeleton and signaling molecules. Tetraspanins contribute to the spatial organization and maturation of the IS by controlling receptor clustering and local accumulation of adhesion receptors and integrins, their downstream signaling and linkage to the actin cytoskeleton. This review offers a perspective on the important role of TEMs in the regulation of antigen recognition and presentation, and in the dynamics of IS architectural organization.

  2. Function and Dynamics of Tetraspanins during Antigen Recognition and Immunological Synapse Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha-Perugini, Vera; Sánchez-Madrid, Francisco; Martínez del Hoyo, Gloria

    2016-01-01

    Tetraspanin-enriched microdomains (TEMs) are specialized membrane platforms driven by protein–protein interactions that integrate membrane receptors and adhesion molecules. Tetraspanins participate in antigen recognition and presentation by antigen-­presenting cells (APCs) through the organization of pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) and their downstream-induced signaling, as well as the regulation of MHC-II–peptide trafficking. T lymphocyte activation is triggered upon specific recognition of antigens present on the APC surface during immunological synapse (IS) formation. This dynamic process is characterized by a defined spatial organization involving the compartmentalization of receptors and adhesion molecules in specialized membrane domains that are connected to the underlying cytoskeleton and signaling molecules. Tetraspanins contribute to the spatial organization and maturation of the IS by controlling receptor clustering and local accumulation of adhesion receptors and integrins, their downstream signaling, and linkage to the actin cytoskeleton. This review offers a perspective on the important role of TEMs in the regulation of antigen recognition and presentation and in the dynamics of IS architectural organization. PMID:26793193

  3. Supervised Learning Using Spike-Timing-Dependent Plasticity of Memristive Synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishitani, Yu; Kaneko, Yukihiro; Ueda, Michihito

    2015-12-01

    We propose a supervised learning model that enables error backpropagation for spiking neural network hardware. The method is modeled by modifying an existing model to suit the hardware implementation. An example of a network circuit for the model is also presented. In this circuit, a three-terminal ferroelectric memristor (3T-FeMEM), which is a field-effect transistor with a gate insulator composed of ferroelectric materials, is used as an electric synapse device to store the analog synaptic weight. Our model can be implemented by reflecting the network error to the write voltage of the 3T-FeMEMs and introducing a spike-timing-dependent learning function to the device. An XOR problem was successfully demonstrated as a benchmark learning by numerical simulations using the circuit properties to estimate the learning performance. In principle, the learning time per step of this supervised learning model and the circuit is independent of the number of neurons in each layer, promising a high-speed and low-power calculation in large-scale neural networks.

  4. A Re-configurable On-line Learning Spiking Neuromorphic Processor comprising 256 neurons and 128K synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ning eQiao

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Implementing compact, low-power artificial neural processing systems with real-time on-line learning abilities is still an open challenge. In this paper we present a full-custom mixed-signal VLSI device with neuromorphic learning circuits that emulate the biophysics of real spiking neurons and dynamic synapses for exploring the properties of computational neuroscience models and for building brain-inspired computing systems. The proposed architecture allows the on-chip configuration of a wide range of network connectivities, including recurrent and deep networks with short-term and long-term plasticity. The device comprises 128 K analog synapse and 256 neuron circuits with biologically plausible dynamics and bi-stable spike-based plasticity mechanisms that endow it with on-line learning abilities. In addition to the analog circuits, the device comprises also asynchronous digital logic circuits for setting different synapse and neuron properties as well as different network configurations. This prototype device, fabricated using a 180 nm 1P6M CMOS process, occupies an area of 51.4 mm 2 , and consumes approximately 4 mW for typical experiments, for example involving attractor networks. Here we describe the details of the overall architecture and of the individual circuits and present experimental results that showcase its potential. By supporting a wide range of cortical-like computational modules comprising plasticity mechanisms, this device will enable the realization of intelligent autonomous systems with on-line learning capabilities.

  5. The short- and long-term proteomic effects of sleep deprivation on the cortical and thalamic synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simor, Attila; Györffy, Balázs András; Gulyássy, Péter; Völgyi, Katalin; Tóth, Vilmos; Todorov, Mihail Ivilinov; Kis, Viktor; Borhegyi, Zsolt; Szabó, Zoltán; Janáky, Tamás; Drahos, László; Juhász, Gábor; Kékesi, Katalin Adrienna

    2017-03-01

    Acute total sleep deprivation (SD) impairs memory consolidation, attention, working memory and perception. Structural, electrophysiological and molecular experimental approaches provided evidences for the involvement of sleep in synaptic functions. Despite the wide scientific interest on the effects of sleep on the synapse, there is a lack of systematic investigation of sleep-related changes in the synaptic proteome. We isolated parietal cortical and thalamic synaptosomes of rats after 8h of total SD by gentle handling and 16h after the end of deprivation to investigate the short- and longer-term effects of SD on the synaptic proteome, respectively. The SD efficiency was verified by electrophysiology. Protein abundance alterations of the synaptosomes were analyzed by fluorescent two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis and by tandem mass spectrometry. As several altered proteins were found to be involved in synaptic strength regulation, our data can support the synaptic homeostasis hypothesis function of sleep and highlight the long-term influence of SD after the recovery sleep period, mostly on cortical synapses. Furthermore, the large-scale and brain area-specific protein network change in the synapses may support both ideas of sleep-related synaptogenesis and molecular maintenance and reorganization in normal rat brain. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Live Imaging of HIV-1 Transfer across T Cell Virological Synapse to Epithelial Cells that Promotes Stromal Macrophage Infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Real, Fernando; Sennepin, Alexis; Ganor, Yonatan; Schmitt, Alain; Bomsel, Morgane

    2018-05-08

    During sexual intercourse, HIV-1 crosses epithelial barriers composing the genital mucosa, a poorly understood feature that requires an HIV-1-infected cell vectoring efficient mucosal HIV-1 entry. Therefore, urethral mucosa comprising a polarized epithelium and a stroma composed of fibroblasts and macrophages were reconstructed in vitro. Using this system, we demonstrate by live imaging that efficient HIV-1 transmission to stromal macrophages depends on cell-mediated transfer of the virus through virological synapses formed between HIV-1-infected CD4 + T cells and the epithelial cell mucosal surface. We visualized HIV-1 translocation through mucosal epithelial cells via transcytosis in regions where virological synapses occurred. In turn, interleukin-13 is secreted and HIV-1 targets macrophages, which develop a latent state of infection reversed by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) activation. The live observation of virological synapse formation reported herein is key in the design of vaccines and antiretroviral therapies aimed at blocking HIV-1 access to cellular reservoirs in genital mucosa. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  7. Reduced cortical distribution volume of iodine-123 iomazenil in Alzheimer's disease as a measure of loss of synapses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soricelli, A.; Postiglione, A.; Grivet-Fojaja, M.R.; Mainenti, P.P.; Discepolo, A.; Varrone, A.; Salvatore, M.; Lassen, N.A.

    1996-01-01

    Iodine-123 labelled iomazenil (IMZ) is a specific tracer for the GABA A receptor, the dominant inhibitory synapse of the brain. The cerebral distribution volume (V d ) of IMZ may be taken as a quantitative measure of these synapses in Alzheimer's disease (AD), where synaptic loss tends indiscriminately to affect all cortical neurons, albeit more so in some areas than in others. In this pilot study we measured V d in six patients with probable AD and in five age-matched controls using a brain-dedicated single-photon emission tomography scanner allowing all cortical levels to be sampled simultaneously. Reduced values were found in all regions except in the occipital (visual) cortex. In particular, temporal and parietal cortex V d was significantly (P d averaged 69 ml/ml in normals and 51 ml/ml in AD, and parietal V d averaged 71 ml/ml in normals and 48 ml/ml in AD. These results accord well with emission tomographic studies of blood flow or labelled glucose. This supports the idea that while only measuring a subpopulation of synapses, the IMZ method reflects synaptic loss and hence functional loss in AD. The method constitutes an in vivo version of synaptic quantitation that in histopathological studies has been shown to correlated closely with the mental deterioration in AD. (orig.)

  8. Zinc-mediated transactivation of TrkB potentiates the hippocampal mossy fiber-CA3 pyramid synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yang Z; Pan, Enhui; Xiong, Zhi-Qi; McNamara, James O

    2008-02-28

    The receptor tyrosine kinase, TrkB, is critical to diverse functions of the mammalian nervous system in health and disease. Evidence of TrkB activation during epileptogenesis in vivo despite genetic deletion of its prototypic neurotrophin ligands led us to hypothesize that a non-neurotrophin, the divalent cation zinc, can transactivate TrkB. We found that zinc activates TrkB through increasing Src family kinase activity by an activity-regulated mechanism independent of neurotrophins. One subcellular locale at which zinc activates TrkB is the postsynaptic density of excitatory synapses. Exogenous zinc potentiates the efficacy of the hippocampal mossy fiber (mf)-CA3 pyramid synapse by a TrkB-requiring mechanism. Long-term potentiation of this synapse is impaired by deletion of TrkB, inhibition of TrkB kinase activity, and by CaEDTA, a selective chelator of zinc. The activity-dependent activation of synaptic TrkB in a neurotrophin-independent manner provides a mechanism by which this receptor can regulate synaptic plasticity.

  9. Europa central

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karel BARTOSEK

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available La investigación francesa continúa interesándose por Europa Central. Desde luego, hay límites a este interés en el ambiente general de mi nueva patria: en la ignorancia, producto del largo desinterés de Francia por este espacio después de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, y en el comportamiento y la reflexión de la clase política y de los medios de comunicación (una anécdota para ilustrar este ambiente: durante la preparación de nuestro coloquio «Refugiados e inmigrantes de Europa Central en el movimiento antifascista y la Resistencia en Francia, 1933-1945», celebrado en París en octubre de 1986, el problema de la definición fue planteado concreta y «prácticamente». ¡Y hubo entonces un historiador eminente, para quién Alemania no formaría parte de Europa Central!.

  10. Sympathetic Responses to Central Hypovolemia: New Insights from Microneurographic Recordings

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-26

    Surgical Research, Fort Sam Houston, TX, USA 2 Department of Health and Kinesiology , The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, USA Edited...suggested that this phenomenon may represent sympathetic baroreflex deafferentation (Cooke et al., 2009), as the fused bursts observed during intense ...Convertino, V. A. (2009). Muscle sympathetic nerve activity during intense lower body negative pressure to presyn- cope in humans. J. Physiol. (Lond

  11. Neurite sprouting and synapse deterioration in the aging Caenorhabditis elegans nervous system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toth, Marton Lorant; Melentijevic, Ilija; Shah, Leena; Bhatia, Aatish; Lu, Kevin; Talwar, Amish; Naji, Haaris; Ibanez-Ventoso, Carolina; Ghose, Piya; Jevince, Angela; Xue, Jian; Herndon, Laura A; Bhanot, Gyan; Rongo, Chris; Hall, David H; Driscoll, Monica

    2012-06-27

    Caenorhabditis elegans is a powerful model for analysis of the conserved mechanisms that modulate healthy aging. In the aging nematode nervous system, neuronal death and/or detectable loss of processes are not readily apparent, but because dendrite restructuring and loss of synaptic integrity are hypothesized to contribute to human brain decline and dysfunction, we combined fluorescence microscopy and electron microscopy (EM) to screen at high resolution for nervous system changes. We report two major components of morphological change in the aging C. elegans nervous system: (1) accumulation of novel outgrowths from specific neurons, and (2) physical decline in synaptic integrity. Novel outgrowth phenotypes, including branching from the main dendrite or new growth from somata, appear at a high frequency in some aging neurons, but not all. Mitochondria are often associated with age-associated branch sites. Lowered insulin signaling confers some maintenance of ALM and PLM neuron structural integrity into old age, and both DAF-16/FOXO and heat shock factor transcription factor HSF-1 exert neuroprotective functions. hsf-1 can act cell autonomously in this capacity. EM evaluation in synapse-rich regions reveals a striking decline in synaptic vesicle numbers and a diminution of presynaptic density size. Interestingly, old animals that maintain locomotory prowess exhibit less synaptic decline than same-age decrepit animals, suggesting that synaptic integrity correlates with locomotory healthspan. Our data reveal similarities between the aging C. elegans nervous system and mammalian brain, suggesting conserved neuronal responses to age. Dissection of neuronal aging mechanisms in C. elegans may thus influence the development of brain healthspan-extending therapies.

  12. Detection of axonal synapses in 3D two-photon images.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cher Bass

    Full Text Available Studies of structural plasticity in the brain often require the detection and analysis of axonal synapses (boutons. To date, bouton detection has been largely manual or semi-automated, relying on a step that traces the axons before detection the boutons. If tracing the axon fails, the accuracy of bouton detection is compromised. In this paper, we propose a new algorithm that does not require tracing the axon to detect axonal boutons in 3D two-photon images taken from the mouse cortex. To find the most appropriate techniques for this task, we compared several well-known algorithms for interest point detection and feature descriptor generation. The final algorithm proposed has the following main steps: (1 a Laplacian of Gaussian (LoG based feature enhancement module to accentuate the appearance of boutons; (2 a Speeded Up Robust Features (SURF interest point detector to find candidate locations for feature extraction; (3 non-maximum suppression to eliminate candidates that were detected more than once in the same local region; (4 generation of feature descriptors based on Gabor filters; (5 a Support Vector Machine (SVM classifier, trained on features from labelled data, and was used to distinguish between bouton and non-bouton candidates. We found that our method achieved a Recall of 95%, Precision of 76%, and F1 score of 84% within a new dataset that we make available for accessing bouton detection. On average, Recall and F1 score were significantly better than the current state-of-the-art method, while Precision was not significantly different. In conclusion, in this article we demonstrate that our approach, which is independent of axon tracing, can detect boutons to a high level of accuracy, and improves on the detection performance of existing approaches. The data and code (with an easy to use GUI used in this article are available from open source repositories.

  13. Protein tyrosine phosphatase PTP1B is involved in hippocampal synapse formation and learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federico Fuentes

    Full Text Available ER-bound PTP1B is expressed in hippocampal neurons, and accumulates among neurite contacts. PTP1B dephosphorylates ß-catenin in N-cadherin complexes ensuring cell-cell adhesion. Here we show that endogenous PTP1B, as well as expressed GFP-PTP1B, are present in dendritic spines of hippocampal neurons in culture. GFP-PTP1B overexpression does not affect filopodial density or length. In contrast, impairment of PTP1B function or genetic PTP1B-deficiency leads to increased filopodia-like dendritic spines and a reduction in mushroom-like spines, while spine density is unaffected. These morphological alterations are accompanied by a disorganization of pre- and post-synapses, as judged by decreased clustering of synapsin-1 and PSD-95, and suggest a dynamic synaptic phenotype. Notably, levels of ß-catenin-Tyr-654 phosphorylation increased ∼5-fold in the hippocampus of adult PTP1B(-/- (KO mice compared to wild type (WT mice and this was accompanied by a reduction in the amount of ß-catenin associated with N-cadherin. To determine whether PTP1B-deficiency alters learning and memory, we generated mice lacking PTP1B in the hippocampus and cortex (PTP1B(fl/fl-Emx1-Cre. PTP1B(fl/fl-Emx1-Cre mice displayed improved performance in the Barnes maze (decreased time to find and enter target hole, utilized a more efficient strategy (cued, and had better recall compared to WT controls. Our results implicate PTP1B in structural plasticity within the hippocampus, likely through modulation of N-cadherin function by ensuring dephosphorylation of ß-catenin on Tyr-654. Disruption of hippocampal PTP1B function or expression leads to elongation of dendritic filopodia and improved learning and memory, demonstrating an exciting novel role for this phosphatase.

  14. Disruption of basal lamina components in neuromotor synapses of children with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karyn G Robinson

    Full Text Available Cerebral palsy (CP is a static encephalopathy occurring when a lesion to the developing brain results in disordered movement and posture. Patients present with sometimes overlapping spastic, athetoid/dyskinetic, and ataxic symptoms. Spastic CP, which is characterized by stiff muscles, weakness, and poor motor control, accounts for ∼80% of cases. The detailed mechanisms leading to disordered movement in spastic CP are not completely understood, but clinical experience and recent studies suggest involvement of peripheral motor synapses. For example, it is recognized that CP patients have altered sensitivities to drugs that target neuromuscular junctions (NMJs, and protein localization studies suggest that NMJ microanatomy is disrupted in CP. Since CP originates during maturation, we hypothesized that NMJ disruption in spastic CP is associated with retention of an immature neuromotor phenotype later in life. Scoliosis patients with spastic CP or idiopathic disease were enrolled in a prospective, partially-blinded study to evaluate NMJ organization and neuromotor maturation. The localization of synaptic acetylcholine esterase (AChE relative to postsynaptic acetylcholine receptor (AChR, synaptic laminin β2, and presynaptic vesicle protein 2 (SV2 appeared mismatched in the CP samples; whereas, no significant disruption was found between AChR and SV2. These data suggest that pre- and postsynaptic NMJ components in CP children were appropriately distributed even though AChE and laminin β2 within the synaptic basal lamina appeared disrupted. Follow up electron microscopy indicated that NMJs from CP patients appeared generally mature and similar to controls with some differences present, including deeper postsynaptic folds and reduced presynaptic mitochondria. Analysis of maturational markers, including myosin, syntrophin, myogenin, and AChR subunit expression, and telomere lengths, all indicated similar levels of motor maturation in the two groups

  15. Enhanced Synaptic Transmission at the Squid Giant Synapse by Artificial Seawater Based on Physically Modified Saline

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soonwook eChoi

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Superfusion of the squid giant synapse with artificial seawater (ASW based on isotonic saline containing oxygen nanobubbles (RNS60 ASW generates an enhancement of synaptic transmission. This was determined by examining the postsynaptic response to single and repetitive presynaptic spike activation, spontaneous transmitter release, and presynaptic voltage clamp studies. In the presence of RNS60 ASW single presynaptic stimulation elicited larger postsynaptic potentials (PSP and more robust recovery from high frequency stimulation than in control ASW. Analysis of postsynaptic noise revealed an increase in spontaneous transmitter release with modified noise kinetics in RNS60 ASW. Presynaptic voltage clamp demonstrated an increased EPSP, without an increase in presynaptic ICa⁺⁺ amplitude during RNS60 ASW superfusion. Synaptic release enhancement reached stable maxima within 5 to 10 minutes of RNS60 ASW superfusion and was maintained for the entire recording time, up to one hour. Electronmicroscopic morphometry indicated a decrease in synaptic vesicle density and the number at active zones with an increase in the number of clathrin-coated vesicles and large endosome-like vesicles near junctional sites. Block of mitochondrial ATP synthesis by presynaptic injection of oligomycin reduced spontaneous release and prevented the synaptic noise increase seen in RNS60 ASW. After ATP block the number of vesicles at the active zone and clathrin-coated vesicles was reduced, with an increase in large vesicles. The possibility that RNS60 ASW acts by increasing mitochondrial ATP synthesis was tested by direct determination of ATP levels in both presynaptic and postsynaptic structures. This was implemented using luciferin/luciferase photon emission, which demonstrated a marked increase in ATP synthesis following RNS60 administration. It is concluded that RNS60 positively modulates synaptic transmission by up-regulating ATP synthesis, thus leading to synaptic

  16. Enhanced synaptic transmission at the squid giant synapse by artificial seawater based on physically modified saline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Soonwook; Yu, Eunah; Rabello, Guilherme; Merlo, Suelen; Zemmar, Ajmal; Walton, Kerry D.; Moreno, Herman; Moreira, Jorge E.; Sugimori, Mutsuyuki; Llinás, Rodolfo R.

    2014-01-01

    Superfusion of the squid giant synapse with artificial seawater (ASW) based on isotonic saline containing oxygen nanobubbles (RNS60 ASW) generates an enhancement of synaptic transmission. This was determined by examining the postsynaptic response to single and repetitive presynaptic spike activation, spontaneous transmitter release, and presynaptic voltage clamp studies. In the presence of RNS60 ASW single presynaptic stimulation elicited larger postsynaptic potentials (PSP) and more robust recovery from high frequency stimulation than in control ASW. Analysis of postsynaptic noise revealed an increase in spontaneous transmitter release with modified noise kinetics in RNS60 ASW. Presynaptic voltage clamp demonstrated an increased EPSP, without an increase in presynaptic ICa++ amplitude during RNS60 ASW superfusion. Synaptic release enhancement reached stable maxima within 5–10 min of RNS60 ASW superfusion and was maintained for the entire recording time, up to 1 h. Electronmicroscopic morphometry indicated a decrease in synaptic vesicle density and the number at active zones with an increase in the number of clathrin-coated vesicles (CCV) and large endosome-like vesicles near junctional sites. Block of mitochondrial ATP synthesis by presynaptic injection of oligomycin reduced spontaneous release and prevented the synaptic noise increase seen in RNS60 ASW. After ATP block the number of vesicles at the active zone and CCV was reduced, with an increase in large vesicles. The possibility that RNS60 ASW acts by increasing mitochondrial ATP synthesis was tested by direct determination of ATP levels in both presynaptic and postsynaptic structures. This was implemented using luciferin/luciferase photon emission, which demonstrated a marked increase in ATP synthesis following RNS60 administration. It is concluded that RNS60 positively modulates synaptic transmission by up-regulating ATP synthesis, thus leading to synaptic transmission enhancement. PMID:24575037

  17. GABAergic synapse properties may explain genetic variation in hippocampal network oscillations in mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim S Heistek

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive ability and the properties of brain oscillation are highly heritable in humans. Genetic variation underlying oscillatory activity might give rise to differences in cognition and behavior. How genetic diversity translates into altered properties of oscillations and synchronization of neuronal activity is unknown. To address this issue, we investigated cellular and synaptic mechanisms of hippocampal fast network oscillations in eight genetically distinct inbred mouse strains. The frequency of carbachol-induced oscillations differed substantially between mouse strains. Since GABAergic inhibition sets oscillation frequency, we studied the properties of inhibitory synaptic inputs (IPSCs received by CA3 and CA1 pyramidal cells of three mouse strains that showed the highest, lowest and intermediate frequencies of oscillations. In CA3 pyramidal cells, the frequency of rhythmic IPSC input showed the same strain differences as the frequency of field oscillations. Furthermore, IPSC decay times in both CA1 and CA3 pyramidal cells were faster in mouse strains with higher oscillation frequencies than in mouse strains with lower oscillation frequency, suggesting that differences in GABAA-receptor subunit composition exist between these strains. Indeed, gene expression of GABAA-receptor β2 (Gabrb2 and β3 (Gabrb2 subunits was higher in mouse strains with faster decay kinetics compared with mouse strains with slower decay kinetics. Hippocampal pyramidal neurons in mouse strains with higher oscillation frequencies and faster decay kinetics fired action potential at higher frequencies. These data indicate that differences in genetic background may result in different GABAA-receptor subunit expression, which affects the rhythm of pyramidal neuron firing and fast network activity through GABA synapse kinetics.

  18. Artificial neural systems using memristive synapses and nano-crystalline silicon thin-film transistors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantley, Kurtis D.

    Future computer systems will not rely solely on digital processing of inputs from well-defined data sets. They will also be required to perform various computational tasks using large sets of ill-defined information from the complex environment around them. The most efficient processor of this type of information known today is the human brain. Using a large number of primitive elements (˜1010 neurons in the neocortex) with high parallel connectivity (each neuron has ˜104 synapses), brains have the remarkable ability to recognize and classify patterns, predict outcomes, and learn from and adapt to incredibly diverse sets of problems. A reasonable goal in the push to increase processing power of electronic systems would thus be to implement artificial neural networks in hardware that are compatible with today's digital processors. This work focuses on the feasibility of utilizing non-crystalline silicon devices in neuromorphic electronics. Hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) nanowire transistors with Schottky barrier source/drain junctions, as well as a-Si:H/Ag resistive switches are fabricated and characterized. In the transistors, it is found that the on-current scales linearly with the effective width W eff of the channel nanowire array down to at least 20 nm. The solid-state electrolyte resistive switches (memristors) are shown to exhibit the proper current-voltage hysteresis. SPICE models of similar devices are subsequently developed to investigate their performance in neural circuits. The resulting SPICE simulations demonstrate spiking properties and synaptic learning rules that are incredibly similar to those in biology. Specifically, the neuron circuits can be designed to mimic the firing characteristics of real neurons, and Hebbian learning rules are investigated. Finally, some applications are presented, including associative learning analogous to the classical conditioning experiments originally performed by Pavlov, and frequency and pattern

  19. central t

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel R. Piña Monarrez

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Dado que la Regresión Ridge (RR, es una estimación sesgada que parte de la solución de la regresión de Mínimos Cuadrados (MC, es vital establecer las condiciones para las que la distribución central t de Student que se utiliza en la prueba de hipótesis en MC, sea también aplicable a la regresión RR. La prueba de este importante resultado se presenta en este artículo.