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Sample records for central synapses insights

  1. Activity-dependent acceleration of endocytosis at a central synapse.

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    Wu, Wei; Xu, Jianhua; Wu, Xin-Sheng; Wu, Ling-Gang

    2005-12-14

    Accumulated evidence indicates the existence of rapid and slow endocytosis at many synapses. It has been proposed that rapid endocytosis is activated by intense stimulation when vesicle recycling needs to be speeded up to supply vesicles at hippocampal synapses. However, the evidence, as obtained with imaging techniques, which are somewhat indirect in indicating rapid endocytosis, is controversial. Furthermore, a slower time course of endocytosis is often found after more intense nerve activity, casting doubt on the role of rapid endocytosis at synapses. Here, we addressed this issue at a mammalian central synapse, the calyx of Held, using a capacitance measurement technique that provides a higher time resolution than imaging techniques. We found that rapid endocytosis with a time constant of approximately 1-2 s was activated during intense nerve activity. Reducing the presynaptic calcium current or buffering the intracellular calcium with EGTA significantly inhibited rapid endocytosis, suggesting that calcium triggers rapid endocytosis. During intense stimulation, rapid endocytosis retrieved up to approximately eight vesicles per second per active zone, approximately eightfold larger than reported in the hippocampus, and thus played a dominant role during and within 3 s after intense stimulation. Slow endocytosis became dominant 3 s after intense stimulation likely because of the fall of the intracellular calcium level that deactivated rapid endocytosis. These results underscore the importance of calcium-triggered rapid endocytosis, which offers the nerve terminal the plasticity to speed up vesicle cycling during intense nerve activity. PMID:16354926

  2. Independent origins of neurons and synapses: insights from ctenophores.

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    Moroz, Leonid L; Kohn, Andrea B

    2016-01-01

    There is more than one way to develop neuronal complexity, and animals frequently use different molecular toolkits to achieve similar functional outcomes. Genomics and metabolomics data from basal metazoans suggest that neural signalling evolved independently in ctenophores and cnidarians/bilaterians. This polygenesis hypothesis explains the lack of pan-neuronal and pan-synaptic genes across metazoans, including remarkable examples of lineage-specific evolution of neurogenic and signalling molecules as well as synaptic components. Sponges and placozoans are two lineages without neural and muscular systems. The possibility of secondary loss of neurons and synapses in the Porifera/Placozoa clades is a highly unlikely and less parsimonious scenario. We conclude that acetylcholine, serotonin, histamine, dopamine, octopamine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) were recruited as transmitters in the neural systems in cnidarian and bilaterian lineages. By contrast, ctenophores independently evolved numerous secretory peptides, indicating extensive adaptations within the clade and suggesting that early neural systems might be peptidergic. Comparative analysis of glutamate signalling also shows numerous lineage-specific innovations, implying the extensive use of this ubiquitous metabolite and intercellular messenger over the course of convergent and parallel evolution of mechanisms of intercellular communication. Therefore: (i) we view a neuron as a functional character but not a genetic character, and (ii) any given neural system cannot be considered as a single character because it is composed of different cell lineages with distinct genealogies, origins and evolutionary histories. Thus, when reconstructing the evolution of nervous systems, we ought to start with the identification of particular cell lineages by establishing distant neural homologies or examples of convergent evolution. In a corollary of the hypothesis of the independent origins of neurons, our analyses

  3. Independent origins of neurons and synapses: insights from ctenophores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moroz, Leonid L; Kohn, Andrea B

    2016-01-01

    There is more than one way to develop neuronal complexity, and animals frequently use different molecular toolkits to achieve similar functional outcomes. Genomics and metabolomics data from basal metazoans suggest that neural signalling evolved independently in ctenophores and cnidarians/bilaterians. This polygenesis hypothesis explains the lack of pan-neuronal and pan-synaptic genes across metazoans, including remarkable examples of lineage-specific evolution of neurogenic and signalling molecules as well as synaptic components. Sponges and placozoans are two lineages without neural and muscular systems. The possibility of secondary loss of neurons and synapses in the Porifera/Placozoa clades is a highly unlikely and less parsimonious scenario. We conclude that acetylcholine, serotonin, histamine, dopamine, octopamine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) were recruited as transmitters in the neural systems in cnidarian and bilaterian lineages. By contrast, ctenophores independently evolved numerous secretory peptides, indicating extensive adaptations within the clade and suggesting that early neural systems might be peptidergic. Comparative analysis of glutamate signalling also shows numerous lineage-specific innovations, implying the extensive use of this ubiquitous metabolite and intercellular messenger over the course of convergent and parallel evolution of mechanisms of intercellular communication. Therefore: (i) we view a neuron as a functional character but not a genetic character, and (ii) any given neural system cannot be considered as a single character because it is composed of different cell lineages with distinct genealogies, origins and evolutionary histories. Thus, when reconstructing the evolution of nervous systems, we ought to start with the identification of particular cell lineages by establishing distant neural homologies or examples of convergent evolution. In a corollary of the hypothesis of the independent origins of neurons, our analyses

  4. Physical determinants of vesicle mobility and supply at a central synapse

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    Rothman, Jason Seth; Kocsis, Laszlo; Herzog, Etienne; Nusser, Zoltan; Silver, Robin Angus

    2016-01-01

    Encoding continuous sensory variables requires sustained synaptic signalling. At several sensory synapses, rapid vesicle supply is achieved via highly mobile vesicles and specialized ribbon structures, but how this is achieved at central synapses without ribbons is unclear. Here we examine vesicle mobility at excitatory cerebellar mossy fibre synapses which sustain transmission over a broad frequency bandwidth. Fluorescent recovery after photobleaching in slices from VGLUT1Venus knock-in mice reveal 75% of VGLUT1-containing vesicles have a high mobility, comparable to that at ribbon synapses. Experimentally constrained models establish hydrodynamic interactions and vesicle collisions are major determinants of vesicle mobility in crowded presynaptic terminals. Moreover, models incorporating 3D reconstructions of vesicle clouds near active zones (AZs) predict the measured releasable pool size and replenishment rate from the reserve pool. They also show that while vesicle reloading at AZs is not diffusion-limited at the onset of release, diffusion limits vesicle reloading during sustained high-frequency signalling. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.15133.001 PMID:27542193

  5. Endocytic structures and synaptic vesicle recycling at a central synapse in awake rats.

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    Körber, Christoph; Horstmann, Heinz; Sätzler, Kurt; Kuner, Thomas

    2012-12-01

    The synaptic vesicle (SV) cycle has been studied extensively in cultured cells and slice preparations, but not much is known about the roles and relative contributions of endocytic pathways and mechanisms of SV recycling in vivo, under physiological patterns of activity. We employed horseradish peroxidase (HRP) as an in vivo marker of endocytosis at the calyx of Held synapse in the awake rat. Ex vivo serial section scanning electron microscopy and 3D reconstructions revealed two categories of labelled structures: HRP-filled SVs and large cisternal endosomes. Inhibition of adaptor protein complexes 1 and 3 (AP-1, AP-3) by in vivo application of Brefeldin A (BFA) disrupted endosomal SV budding while SV recycling via clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME) remained unaffected. In conclusion, our study establishes cisternal endosomes as an intermediate of the SV cycle and reveals CME and endosomal budding as the predominant mechanisms of SV recycling in a tonically active central synapse in vivo.

  6. Cannabinoid- and lysophosphatidylinositol-sensitive receptor GPR55 boosts neurotransmitter release at central synapses.

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    Sylantyev, Sergiy; Jensen, Thomas P; Ross, Ruth A; Rusakov, Dmitri A

    2013-03-26

    G protein-coupled receptor (GPR) 55 is sensitive to certain cannabinoids, it is expressed in the brain and, in cell cultures, it triggers mobilization of intracellular Ca(2+). However, the adaptive neurobiological significance of GPR55 remains unknown. Here, we use acute hippocampal slices and combine two-photon excitation Ca(2+) imaging in presynaptic axonal boutons with optical quantal analysis in postsynaptic dendritic spines to find that GPR55 activation transiently increases release probability at individual CA3-CA1 synapses. The underlying mechanism involves Ca(2+) release from presynaptic Ca(2+) stores, whereas postsynaptic stores (activated by spot-uncaging of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate) remain unaffected by GPR55 agonists. These effects are abolished by genetic deletion of GPR55 or by the GPR55 antagonist cannabidiol, a constituent of Cannabis sativa. GPR55 shows colocalization with synaptic vesicle protein vesicular glutamate transporter 1 in stratum radiatum. Short-term potentiation of CA3-CA1 transmission after a short train of stimuli reveals a presynaptic, Ca(2+) store-dependent component sensitive to cannabidiol. The underlying cascade involves synthesis of phospholipids, likely in the presynaptic cell, but not the endocannabinoids 2-arachidonoylglycerol or anandamide. Our results thus unveil a signaling role for GPR55 in synaptic circuits of the brain.

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

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    Varodayan, Florence P; Soni, Neeraj; Bajo, Michal; Luu, George; Madamba, Samuel G; Schweitzer, Paul; Parsons, Loren H; Roberto, Marisa

    2016-07-01

    The endogenous cannabinoids (eCBs) influence the acute response to ethanol and the development of tolerance, dependence and relapse. Chronic alcohol exposure alters eCB levels and Type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1 ) expression and function in brain regions associated with addiction. CB1 inhibits GABA 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 agonist WIN 55,212-2 (WIN) decreased the frequency of spontaneous and miniature GABAA receptor-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents (s/mIPSCs). This effect was prevented by CB1 antagonism, but not Type 2 cannabinoid receptor (CB2 ) antagonism. After 2-3 weeks of intermittent ethanol exposure, these WIN inhibitory effects were attenuated, suggesting ethanol-induced impairments in CB1 function. The CB1 antagonist AM251 revealed a tonic eCB/CB1 control of GABAergic transmission in the alcohol-naive CeA that was occluded by calcium chelation in the postsynaptic cell. Chronic ethanol exposure abolished this tonic CB1 influence on mIPSC, but not sIPSC, frequency. Finally, acute ethanol increased CeA GABA release in both naive and ethanol-exposed rats. Although CB1 activation prevented this effect, the AM251- and ethanol-induced GABA release were additive, ruling out a direct participation of CB1 signaling in the ethanol effect. Collectively, these observations demonstrate an important CB1 influence on CeA GABAergic transmission and indicate that the CeA is particularly sensitive to alcohol-induced disruptions of CB1 signaling.

  8. Distinct target cell-dependent forms of short-term plasticity of the central visceral afferent synapses of the rat

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    Watabe Ayako M

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The visceral afferents from various cervico-abdominal sensory receptors project to the dorsal vagal complex (DVC, which is composed of the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS, the area postrema and the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus nerve (DMX, via the vagus and glossopharyngeal nerves and then the solitary tract (TS in the brainstem. While the excitatory transmission at the TS-NTS synapses shows strong frequency-dependent suppression in response to repeated stimulation of the afferents, the frequency dependence and short-term plasticity at the TS-DMX synapses, which also transmit monosynaptic information from the visceral afferents to the DVC neurons, remain largely unknown. Results Recording of the EPSCs activated by paired or repeated TS stimulation in the brainstem slices of rats revealed that, unlike NTS neurons whose paired-pulse ratio (PPR is consistently below 0.6, the distribution of the PPR of DMX neurons shows bimodal peaks that are composed of type I (PPR, 0.6-1.5; 53% of 120 neurons recorded and type II (PPR, Conclusions These two general types of short-term plasticity might contribute to the differential activation of distinct vago-vagal reflex circuits, depending on the firing frequency and type of visceral afferents.

  9. Sediment dynamics in flat landscapes - insights from central Australia

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    Struck, Martin; Jansen, John D.; Codilean, Alexandru T.; Fujioka, Toshiyuki; Fink, David; Kotevski, Steven

    2015-04-01

    Erosion and sediment routing are key to understanding landscape evolution. In this regard, steep mountain regions have been the focus of most research efforts, leaving flat landscapes effectively unstudied in spite of their vast global extent. However, the timescales of material transfer and storage in regions of low relief are considered much longer than in their steep counterparts. Here we apply in situ-produced cosmogenic nuclides (CNs) to examine the sediment transport and storage history of a low-gradient catchment, Peake River, in arid central Australia. Previous work in central Australia has been restricted to mainly local measurements of landscape lowering and bedrock erosion; however, to better understand the processes shaping these landscapes, we adopt a source-to-sink approach coupling bedrock and hillslope colluvium measurements of CNs with basin-wide measurements in fluvial sediment. Variation in concentrations and ratios of cosmogenic 10Be and 26Al in sediment provide insights to rates of sediment residence times and burial history as grains are transmitted through the bedrock-hillslope-stream sediment conveyor. We present our preliminary CN results from sediments and bedrock, and discuss basin-wide sediment dynamics in flat landscapes, emphasizing the contrast with well-studied mountainous regions.

  10. Proteomic studies of a single CNS synapse type: the parallel fiber/purkinje cell synapse.

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    Fekrije Selimi

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Precise neuronal networks underlie normal brain function and require distinct classes of synaptic connections. Although it has been shown that certain individual proteins can localize to different classes of synapses, the biochemical composition of specific synapse types is not known. Here, we have used a combination of genetically engineered mice, affinity purification, and mass spectrometry to profile proteins at parallel fiber/Purkinje cell synapses. We identify approximately 60 candidate postsynaptic proteins that can be classified into 11 functional categories. Proteins involved in phospholipid metabolism and signaling, such as the protein kinase MRCKgamma, are major unrecognized components of this synapse type. We demonstrate that MRCKgamma can modulate maturation of dendritic spines in cultured cortical neurons, and that it is localized specifically to parallel fiber/Purkinje cell synapses in vivo. Our data identify a novel synapse-specific signaling pathway, and provide an approach for detailed investigations of the biochemical complexity of central nervous system synapse types.

  11. The ultrastructural properties of CGRP-like immunoreactive synapses in the central nucleus of amygdala%中央杏仁核内 CGRP 能阳性突触的超微结构研究

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    鲁亚成; 田菲; 李云庆; 董玉琳

    2012-01-01

    Objective: To observe synaptic ultrastructure of calcitonin-gene-related peptide (CGRP)-like immunoreactive (LI) axonal terminals in the central nucleus of amygdala ( CeA). Methods; Immunofluorescence and pre-embedding electronic microscopy were employed to detect the classification and structural features of synapses made by CGRP-LI axonal terminals in the CeA. Results: CGRP-LI terminals were observed to make synapses on the soma of neurons, dendritic shafts and spines. Almost all the axo-soma synapses were symmetrical; However, most of the axo-dendritic shaft and axo-spine synapses were asymmetrical. In all asymmetrical synapses, the ratio of axo-dendritic shaft synapses were 84.9% , and axo-spine synapses 15. 1%. The average length of postsynaptic density (PSD) of axo-dendritic shaft synapses was 790.77 ±313. 55 nm, whereas of axo-spine synapses 723. 34 ±357. 20 nm. There was no significant difference of PSD length between two types of synapses. Conclusion: The CGRP-LI axo-dendritic shaft synapses play important roles in the transmission of nociception and pain-related abnormal emotional responses.%目的:观察降钙素基因相关肽(calcitonin-gene-related peptide,CGRP)样阳性终末在中央杏仁核(central nucleus of amygdala,CeA)内形成的突触的超微结构.方法:应用免疫荧光组织化学和包埋前免疫电镜等方法,观察CGRP样阳性终末在CeA内所形成的突触分布形式及结构特点.结果:CGRP样阳性终末在中央杏仁核内可以与细胞体、树突干和树突棘等结构形成突触;轴-体突触几乎全为对称性突触,而轴-树突触和轴-棘突触则多为非对称性突触.在所有的非对称性突触里,轴-树突触占84.9%,而轴-棘突触占15.1%.CGRP样阳性轴-树的突触后致密带的平均长度为(790.77±313.55)nm,而轴-棘突触的突触后致密带的平均长度为(723.34±357.20)nm,两者之间没有显著性差异.结论:CGPR样阳性的兴奋性突触尤其是轴-树

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

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    Tatsuya Mishima

    Full Text Available Two syntaxin 1 (STX1 isoforms, HPC-1/STX1A and STX1B, are coexpressed in neurons and function as neuronal target membrane (t-SNAREs. However, little is known about their functional differences in synaptic transmission. STX1A null mutant mice develop normally and do not show abnormalities in fast synaptic transmission, but monoaminergic transmissions are impaired. In the present study, we found that STX1B null mutant mice died within 2 weeks of birth. To examine functional differences between STX1A and 1B, we analyzed the presynaptic properties of glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses in STX1B null mutant and STX1A/1B double null mutant mice. We found that the frequency of spontaneous quantal release was lower and the paired-pulse ratio of evoked postsynaptic currents was significantly greater in glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses of STX1B null neurons. Deletion of STX1B also accelerated synaptic vesicle turnover in glutamatergic synapses and decreased the size of the readily releasable pool in glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses. Moreover, STX1A/1B double null neurons showed reduced and asynchronous evoked synaptic vesicle release in glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses. Our results suggest that although STX1A and 1B share a basic function as neuronal t-SNAREs, STX1B but not STX1A is necessary for the regulation of spontaneous and evoked synaptic vesicle exocytosis in fast transmission.

  13. Astrocytes mediate synapse elimination through MEGF10 and MERTK pathways

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    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 Tail-Elicited Tail Withdrawal Reflex of "Aplysia" Is Mediated Centrally at Tail Sensory-Motor Synapses and Exhibits Sensitization across Multiple Temporal Domains

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    Philips, Gary T.; Sherff, Carolyn M.; Menges, Steven A.; Carew, Thomas J.

    2011-01-01

    The defensive withdrawal reflexes of "Aplysia californica" have provided powerful behavioral systems for studying the cellular and molecular basis of memory formation. Among these reflexes the (T-TWR) has been especially useful. In vitro studies examining the monosynaptic circuit for the T-TWR, the tail sensory-motor (SN-MN) synapses, have…

  15. 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...

  16. Influence of paired subduction zones: insight into Central Mediterranean tectonics

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    Miller, Meghan Samantha; Moresi, Louis; Faccenna, Claudio; Funiciello, Francesca

    2015-04-01

    The Hellenic and Calabrian slabs are subducting the last remnant of the Ionian oceanic lithosphere into the deep mantle beneath the Central Mediterranean. Seismic tomography studies have provided clear images of the present day morphology of the subducted lithosphere [1]. Tectonic studies have shown that the Calabrian slab has rolled back into its current geometry with episodes of back-arc spreading that have now ceased [2]. Conversely, GPS observations along with tectonic reconstructions show that the Hellenic slab is currently rolling back and appears to have accelerated in the past ~15 My [3], which has resulted in the only region of backarc spreading still active in the Mediterranean. Observations of seismic anisotropy from SKS splitting [4] indicate toroidal flow patterns at the edges of the subducted slabs, which lead to interpretations of mantle convection and flow. Rollback in a confined setting has allowed the two slabs to become a plate-tectonic pushmi-pullyu [5]. The evolution of each slab is necessarily dependent on the other as they are both subducting the same lithosphere in opposite directions and are sufficiently close together that their induced mantle flow patterns must interact strongly. Although this seems to be an oddity in the classical picture of plate tectonics, we note that rollback-dominated subduction is more likely to be important in the highly-confined setting of a closing ocean where the oceanic lithosphere is not always able to develop into a freely-moving plate. Under such conditions, back-to-back pairings of subducting slabs are potentially more common. To investigate this setting, we present preliminary numerical models of paired subduction zones that we have developed using Underworld. We include variations in the strength and buoyancy of the surrounding (over-riding) plates and account for the presence of continentally-derived basement in the Adriatic sea. The geodynamic models allow for exploration into the timing, mechanics

  17. Synapse formation and remodeling

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    Synapses are specialized structures that mediate information flow between neurons and target cells,and thus are the basis for neuronal system to execute various functions,including learning and memory.There are around 1011 neurons in the human brain,with each neuron receiving thousands of synaptic inputs,either excitatory or inhibitory.A synapse is an asymmetric structure that is composed of pre-synaptic axon terminals,synaptic cleft,and postsynaptic compartments.Synapse formation involves a number of cell adhesion molecules,extracellular factors,and intracellular signaling or structural proteins.After the establishment of synaptic connections,synapses undergo structural or functional changes,known as synaptic plasticity which is believed to be regulated by neuronal activity and a variety of secreted factors.This review summarizes recent progress in the field of synapse development,with particular emphasis on the work carried out in China during the past 10 years(1999-2009).

  18. Steps in the formation of neurites and synapses studied in cultured leech neurons

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    De-Miguel F.F.

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available Leech neurons in culture have provided novel insights into the steps in the formation of neurite outgrowth patterns, target recognition and synapse formation. Identified adult neurons from the central nervous system of the leech can be removed individually and plated in culture under well-controlled conditions, where they retain their characteristic physiological properties, grow neurites and form specific chemical or electrical synapses. Different identified neurons develop distinctive outgrowth patterns that depend on their identities and on the molecular composition of the substrate. On native substrates, the patterns displayed by these neurons reproduce characteristics from the adult or the developing neurons. In addition, the substrate may induce selective directed growth between pairs of neurons that normally make contact in the ganglion. Upon contact, pairs of cultured leech neurons form chemical or electrical synapses, or both types depending on the neuronal identities. Anterograde and retrograde signals during membrane contact and synapse formation modify the distribution of synaptic terminals, calcium currents, and responses to 5-hydroxytryptamine.

  19. Ultrastructural and functional fate of recycled vesicles in hippocampal synapses.

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    Rey, Stephanie A; Smith, Catherine A; Fowler, Milena W; Crawford, Freya; Burden, Jemima J; Staras, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    Efficient recycling of synaptic vesicles is thought to be critical for sustained information transfer at central terminals. However, the specific contribution that retrieved vesicles make to future transmission events remains unclear. Here we exploit fluorescence and time-stamped electron microscopy to track the functional and positional fate of vesicles endocytosed after readily releasable pool (RRP) stimulation in rat hippocampal synapses. We show that most vesicles are recovered near the active zone but subsequently take up random positions in the cluster, without preferential bias for future use. These vesicles non-selectively queue, advancing towards the release site with further stimulation in an actin-dependent manner. Nonetheless, the small subset of vesicles retrieved recently in the stimulus train persist nearer the active zone and exhibit more privileged use in the next RRP. Our findings reveal heterogeneity in vesicle fate based on nanoscale position and timing rules, providing new insights into the origins of future pool constitution.

  20. A bionics chemical synapse.

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    Thanapitak, Surachoke; Toumazou, Christofer

    2013-06-01

    Implementation of the current mode CMOS circuit for chemical synapses (AMPA and NMDA receptors) with dynamic change of glutamate as the neurotransmitter input is presented in this paper. Additionally, circuit realisation for receptor GABA(A) and GABA(B) with an electrical signal which symbolises γ-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) perturbation is introduced. The chemical sensor for glutamate sensing is the modified ISFET with enzyme (glutamate oxidase) immobilisation. The measured results from these biomimetics chemical synapse circuits closely match with the simulation result from the mathematical model. The total power consumption of the whole chip (four chemical synapse circuits and all auxiliary circuits) is 168.3 μW. The total chip area is 3 mm(2) in 0.35-μm AMS CMOS technology.

  1. Copper at synapse: Release, binding and modulation of neurotransmission.

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    D'Ambrosi, Nadia; Rossi, Luisa

    2015-11-01

    Over the last decade, a piece of the research studying copper role in biological systems was devoted to unravelling a still elusive, but extremely intriguing, aspect that is the involvement of copper in synaptic function. These studies were prompted to provide a rationale to the finding that copper is released in the synaptic cleft upon depolarization. The copper pump ATP7A, which mutations are responsible for diseases with a prominent neurodegenerative component, seems to play a pivotal role in the release of copper at synapses. Furthermore, it was found that, when in the synaptic cleft, copper can control, directly or indirectly, the activity of the neurotransmitter receptors (NMDA, AMPA, GABA, P2X receptors), thus affecting excitability. In turn, neurotransmission can affect copper trafficking and delivery in neuronal cells. Furthermore, it was reported that copper can also modulate synaptic vesicles trafficking and the interaction between proteins of the secretory pathways. Interestingly, proteins with a still unclear role in neuronal system though associated with the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases (the amyloid precursor protein, APP, the prion protein, PrP, α-synuclein, α-syn) show copper-binding domains. They may act as copper buffer at synapses and participate in the interplay between copper and the neurotransmitters receptors. Given that copper dysmetabolism occurs in several diseases affecting central and peripheral nervous system, the findings on the contribution of copper in synaptic transmission, beside its more consolidate role as a neuronal enzymes cofactor, may open new insights for therapy interventions.

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

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    Davide Tampellini

    2010-05-01

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

  3. Imaging Structural Plasticity Of Synapses In The Brain

    OpenAIRE

    Yu, Xinzhu

    2012-01-01

    Synapses are the sites where neurons contact each other and exchange information in the brain. Experience-dependent changes in synaptic connections are fundamental for numerous neurological processes, ranging from the development of neuronal circuitry to learning and memory. Dendritic spines are the postsynaptic sites of the majority of excitatory synapses in the mammalian central nervous system. The morphology and dynamics of dendritic spines change throughout the lifespan of animals, espe...

  4. Hair cell ribbon synapses

    OpenAIRE

    Moser, Tobias; Brandt, Andreas; Lysakowski, Anna

    2006-01-01

    Hearing and balance rely on the faithful synaptic coding of mechanical input by the auditory and vestibular hair cells of the inner ear. Mechanical deflection of their stereocilia causes the opening of mechanosensitive channels, resulting in hair cell depolarization, which controls the release of glutamate at ribbon-type synapses. Hair cells have a compact shape with strong polarity. Mechanoelectrical transduction and active membrane turnover associated with stereociliar renewal dominate the ...

  5. Classic Period collapse of the Central Maya Lowlands: insights about human-environment relationships for sustainability.

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    Turner, B L; Sabloff, Jeremy A

    2012-08-28

    The ninth century collapse and abandonment of the Central Maya Lowlands in the Yucatán peninsular region were the result of complex human-environment interactions. Large-scale Maya landscape alterations and demands placed on resources and ecosystem services generated high-stress environmental conditions that were amplified by increasing climatic aridity. Coincident with this stress, the flow of commerce shifted from land transit across the peninsula to sea-borne transit around it. These changing socioeconomic and environmental conditions generated increasing societal conflicts, diminished control by the Maya elite, and led to decisions to move elsewhere in the peninsular region rather than incur the high costs of maintaining the human-environment systems in place. After abandonment, the environment of the Central Maya Lowlands largely recovered, although altered from its state before Maya occupation; the population never recovered. This history and the spatial and temporal variability in the pattern of collapse and abandonment throughout the Maya lowlands support the case for different conditions, opportunities, and constraints in the prevailing human-environment systems and the decisions to confront them. The Maya case lends insights for the use of paleo- and historical analogs to inform contemporary global environmental change and sustainability.

  6. The sticky synapse

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Owczarek, Sylwia Elzbieta; Kristiansen, Lars Villiam; Walmod, Peter Schledermann

    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...... cleavage of their ectodomains. Although specific aspects of NCAM proteins have changed through evolution, core structural and functional features are conserved between NCAM-type proteins in vertebrates and invertebrates, demonstrating that the functions of this class of adhesive proteins are of general...

  7. Advanced Fluorescence Protein-Based Synapse-Detectors.

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    Lee, Hojin; Oh, Won Chan; Seong, Jihye; Kim, Jinhyun

    2016-01-01

    The complex information-processing capabilities of the central nervous system emerge from intricate patterns of synaptic input-output relationships among various neuronal circuit components. Understanding these capabilities thus requires a precise description of the individual synapses that comprise neural networks. Recent advances in fluorescent protein engineering, along with developments in light-favoring tissue clearing and optical imaging techniques, have rendered light microscopy (LM) a potent candidate for large-scale analyses of synapses, their properties, and their connectivity. Optically imaging newly engineered fluorescent proteins (FPs) tagged to synaptic proteins or microstructures enables the efficient, fine-resolution illumination of synaptic anatomy and function in large neural circuits. Here we review the latest progress in fluorescent protein-based molecular tools for imaging individual synapses and synaptic connectivity. We also identify associated technologies in gene delivery, tissue processing, and computational image analysis that will play a crucial role in bridging the gap between synapse- and system-level neuroscience. PMID:27445785

  8. Phospholipase D-mediated hypersensitivity at central synapses is associated with abnormal behaviours and pain sensitivity in rats exposed to prenatal stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Liting; Gooding, Hayley L; Brunton, Paula J; Russell, John A; Mitchell, Rory; Fleetwood-Walker, Sue

    2013-11-01

    Adverse events at critical stages of development can lead to lasting dysfunction in the central nervous system (CNS). To seek potential underlying changes in synaptic function, we used a newly developed protocol to measure alterations in receptor-mediated Ca(2+) fluorescence responses of synaptoneurosomes, freshly isolated from selected regions of the CNS concerned with emotionality and pain processing. We compared adult male controls and offspring of rats exposed to social stress in late pregnancy (prenatal stress, PS), which showed programmed behavioural changes indicating anxiety, anhedonia and pain hypersensitivity. We found corresponding increases, in PS rats compared with normal controls, in responsiveness of synaptoneurosomes from frontal cortex to a glutamate receptor (GluR) agonist, and from spinal cord to activators of nociceptive afferents. Through a combined pharmacological and biochemical strategy, we found evidence for a role of phospholipase D1 (PLD1)-mediated signalling, that may involve 5-HT2A receptor (5-HT2AR) activation, at both levels of the nervous system. These changes might participate in underpinning the enduring alterations in behaviour induced by PS. PMID:23932932

  9. Tricornered Kinase Regulates Synapse Development by Regulating the Levels of Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajalaxmi Natarajan

    Full Text Available Precise regulation of synapses during development is essential to ensure accurate neural connectivity and function of nervous system. Many signaling pathways, including the mTOR (mechanical Target of Rapamycin pathway operate in neurons to maintain genetically determined number of synapses during development. mTOR, a kinase, is shared between two functionally distinct multi-protein complexes- mTORC1 and mTORC2, that act downstream of Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC. We and others have suggested an important role for TSC in synapse development at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ synapses. In addition, our data suggested that the regulation of the NMJ synapse numbers in Drosophila largely depends on signaling via mTORC2. In the present study, we further this observation by identifying Tricornered (Trc kinase, a serine/threonine kinase as a likely mediator of TSC signaling. trc genetically interacts with Tsc2 to regulate the number of synapses. In addition, Tsc2 and trc mutants exhibit a dramatic reduction in synaptic levels of WASP, an important regulator of actin polymerization. We show that Trc regulates the WASP levels largely, by regulating the transcription of WASP. Finally, we show that overexpression of WASP (Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein in trc mutants can suppress the increase in the number of synapses observed in trc mutants, suggesting that WASP regulates synapses downstream of Trc. Thus, our data provide a novel insight into how Trc may regulate the genetic program that controls the number of synapses during development.

  10. Setting the pace: new insights into central pattern generator interactions in box jellyfish swimming.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Lisa Stöckl

    Full Text Available Central Pattern Generators (CPGs produce rhythmic behaviour across all animal phyla. Cnidarians, which have a radially symmetric nervous system and pacemaker centres in multiples of four, provide an interesting comparison to bilaterian animals for studying the coordination between CPGs. The box jellyfish Tripedalia cystophora is remarkable among cnidarians due to its most elaborate visual system. Together with their ability to actively swim and steer, they use their visual system for multiple types of behaviour. The four swim CPGs are directly regulated by visual input. In this study, we addressed the question of how the four pacemaker centres of this radial symmetric cnidarian interact. We based our investigation on high speed camera observations of the timing of swim pulses of tethered animals (Tripedalia cystophora with one or four rhopalia, under different simple light regimes. Additionally, we developed a numerical model of pacemaker interactions based on the inter pulse interval distribution of animals with one rhopalium. We showed that the model with fully resetting coupling and hyperpolarization of the pacemaker potential below baseline fitted the experimental data best. Moreover, the model of four swim pacemakers alone underscored the proportion of long inter pulse intervals (IPIs considerably. Both in terms of the long IPIs as well as the overall swim pulse distribution, the simulation of two CPGs provided a better fit than that of four. We therefore suggest additional sources of pacemaker control than just visual input. We provide guidelines for future research on the physiological linkage of the cubozoan CPGs and show the insight from bilaterian CPG research, which show that pacemakers have to be studied in their bodily and nervous environment to capture all their functional features, are also manifest in cnidarians.

  11. Setting the pace: new insights into central pattern generator interactions in box jellyfish swimming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stöckl, Anna Lisa; Petie, Ronald; Nilsson, Dan-Eric

    2011-01-01

    Central Pattern Generators (CPGs) produce rhythmic behaviour across all animal phyla. Cnidarians, which have a radially symmetric nervous system and pacemaker centres in multiples of four, provide an interesting comparison to bilaterian animals for studying the coordination between CPGs. The box jellyfish Tripedalia cystophora is remarkable among cnidarians due to its most elaborate visual system. Together with their ability to actively swim and steer, they use their visual system for multiple types of behaviour. The four swim CPGs are directly regulated by visual input. In this study, we addressed the question of how the four pacemaker centres of this radial symmetric cnidarian interact. We based our investigation on high speed camera observations of the timing of swim pulses of tethered animals (Tripedalia cystophora) with one or four rhopalia, under different simple light regimes. Additionally, we developed a numerical model of pacemaker interactions based on the inter pulse interval distribution of animals with one rhopalium. We showed that the model with fully resetting coupling and hyperpolarization of the pacemaker potential below baseline fitted the experimental data best. Moreover, the model of four swim pacemakers alone underscored the proportion of long inter pulse intervals (IPIs) considerably. Both in terms of the long IPIs as well as the overall swim pulse distribution, the simulation of two CPGs provided a better fit than that of four. We therefore suggest additional sources of pacemaker control than just visual input. We provide guidelines for future research on the physiological linkage of the cubozoan CPGs and show the insight from bilaterian CPG research, which show that pacemakers have to be studied in their bodily and nervous environment to capture all their functional features, are also manifest in cnidarians. PMID:22073288

  12. 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

  13. Feedforward lateral inhibition in retinal bipolar cells: input-output relation of the horizontal cell-depolarizing bipolar cell synapse.

    OpenAIRE

    Yang, X. L.; S. M. Wu

    1991-01-01

    Lateral inhibition is the ubiquitous strategy used by visual neurons for spatial resolution throughout the animal kingdom. It has been a puzzle whether lateral inputs in retinal bipolar cells are mediated by the horizontal cell (HC)-cone feedback synapse, by the HC-bipolar cell feedforward synapse, or by both. By blocking the central inputs of the depolarizing bipolar cells (DBCs) with L-2-amino-4-phosphonobutyrate, we were able to eliminate the contribution of the feedback synapse and to dem...

  14. Microglial interactions with synapses are modulated by visual experience.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie-Ève Tremblay

    Full Text Available Microglia are the immune cells of the brain. In the absence of pathological insult, their highly motile processes continually survey the brain parenchyma and transiently contact synaptic elements. Aside from monitoring, their physiological roles at synapses are not known. To gain insight into possible roles of microglia in the modification of synaptic structures, we used immunocytochemical electron microscopy, serial section electron microscopy with three-dimensional reconstructions, and two-photon in vivo imaging to characterize microglial interactions with synapses during normal and altered sensory experience, in the visual cortex of juvenile mice. During normal visual experience, most microglial processes displayed direct apposition with multiple synapse-associated elements, including synaptic clefts. Microglial processes were also distinctively surrounded by pockets of extracellular space. In terms of dynamics, microglial processes localized to the vicinity of small and transiently growing dendritic spines, which were typically lost over 2 d. When experience was manipulated through light deprivation and reexposure, microglial processes changed their morphology, showed altered distributions of extracellular space, displayed phagocytic structures, apposed synaptic clefts more frequently, and enveloped synapse-associated elements more extensively. While light deprivation induced microglia to become less motile and changed their preference of localization to the vicinity of a subset of larger dendritic spines that persistently shrank, light reexposure reversed these behaviors. Taken together, these findings reveal different modalities of microglial interactions with synapses that are subtly altered by sensory experience. These findings suggest that microglia may actively contribute to the experience-dependent modification or elimination of a specific subset of synapses in the healthy brain.

  15. Purinergic signaling at immunological synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubyak, G R

    2000-07-01

    The early studies and hypotheses of Geoffrey Burnstock catalyzed intensive characterization of roles for nucleotides and P2 nucleotide receptors in neurotransmission and neuromodulation. These latter analyses have focused on the mechanisms of nucleotide release and action in the microenvironments of nerve endings and synapses. However, studies of various white blood cells, such as monocytes, neutrophils, and lymphocytes, suggest that locally released nucleotides also modulate intercellular signaling at so-called 'immunological synapses'. This communication describes recent findings and speculations regarding nucleotide release and signaling in several key phases of the immune and inflammatory responses.

  16. Distribution of input and output synapses on the central branches of bushcricket and cricket auditory afferent neurones: immunocytochemical evidence for GABA and glutamate in different populations of presynaptic boutons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardt, M; Watson, A H

    1999-01-18

    In order to investigate the synapses on the terminals of primary auditory afferents in the bushcricket and cricket, these were impaled with microelectrodes and after physiological characterisation, injected intracellularly with horseradish peroxidase. The tissue was prepared for electron microscopy, and immunocytochemistry for gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate was carried out on ultrathin sections by using a post-embedding immunogold technique. The afferent terminals received many input synapses. Between 60-65% of these were made by processes immunoreactive for GABA and approximately 25% from processes immunoreactive for glutamate. The relative distribution of the different classes of input were analysed from serial section reconstruction of terminal afferent branches. Inputs from GABA and glutamate-immunoreactive processes appeared to be scattered at random over the terminal arborisation of the afferents both with respect to each other and to the architecture of the terminals. They were, however, always found close to the output synapses. The possible roles of presynaptic inhibition in the auditory afferents is discussed in the context of the auditory responses of the animals.

  17. Going Mobile: AMPA Receptors Move Synapse to Synapse In Vivo

    OpenAIRE

    Rongo, Christopher

    2013-01-01

    Plasticity models invoke the synaptic delivery of AMPARs, yet we know little about how receptors move in vivo. In this issue of Neuron, Hoerndli et al. show that lateral diffusion and kinesin-mediated transport move AMPARs between synapses in vivo.

  18. 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 sig

  19. N-cadherin relocalizes from the periphery to the center of the synapse after transient synaptic stimulation in hippocampal neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia T Yam

    Full Text Available N-cadherin is a cell adhesion molecule which is enriched at synapses. Binding of N-cadherin molecules to each other across the synaptic cleft has been postulated to stabilize adhesion between the presynaptic bouton and the postsynaptic terminal. N-cadherin is also required for activity-induced changes at synapses, including hippocampal long term potentiation and activity-induced spine expansion and stabilization. We hypothesized that these activity-dependent changes might involve changes in N-cadherin localization within synapses. To determine whether synaptic activity changes the localization of N-cadherin, we used structured illumination microscopy, a super-resolution approach which overcomes the conventional resolution limits of light microscopy, to visualize the localization of N-cadherin within synapses of hippocampal neurons. We found that synaptic N-cadherin exhibits a spectrum of localization patterns, ranging from puncta at the periphery of the synapse adjacent to the active zone to an even distribution along the synaptic cleft. Furthermore, the N-cadherin localization pattern within synapses changes during KCl depolarization and after transient synaptic stimulation. During KCl depolarization, N-cadherin relocalizes away from the central region of the synaptic cleft to the periphery of the synapse. In contrast, after transient synaptic stimulation with KCl followed by a period of rest in normal media, fewer synapses have N-cadherin present as puncta at the periphery and more synapses have N-cadherin present more centrally and uniformly along the synapse compared to unstimulated cells. This indicates that transient synaptic stimulation modulates N-cadherin localization within the synapse. These results bring new information to the structural organization and activity-induced changes occurring at synapses, and suggest that N-cadherin relocalization may contribute to activity dependent changes at synapses.

  20. Cenozoic rejuvenation events of Massif Central topography (France): Insights from cosmogenic denudation rates and river profiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olivetti, Valerio; Godard, Vincent; Bellier, Olivier

    2016-06-01

    The French Massif Central is a part of the Hercynian orogenic belt that currently exhibits anomalously high topography. The Alpine orogenesis, which deeply marked Western European topography, involved only marginally the Massif Central, where Cenozoic faulting and short-wavelength crustal deformation is limited to the Oligocene rifting. For this reason the French Massif Central is a key site to study short- and long-term topographic response in a framework of slow tectonic activity. In particular the origin of the Massif Central topography is a topical issue still debated, where the role of mantle upwelling is invoked by different authors. Here we present a landscape analysis using denudation rates derived from basin-averaged cosmogenic nuclide concentrations coupled with longitudinal river profile analysis. This analysis allows us to recognize that the topography of the French Massif Central is not fully equilibrated with the present base level and in transient state. Our data highlight the coexistence of out-of-equilibrium river profiles, incised valleys, and low cosmogenically derived denudation rates ranging between 40 mm/kyr and 80 mm/kyr. Addressing this apparent inconsistency requires investigating the parameters that may govern erosion processes under conditions of reduced active tectonics. The spatial distribution of denudation rates coupled with topography analysis enabled us to trace the signal of the long-term uplift history and to propose a chronology for the uplift evolution of the French Massif Central.

  1. IQ Motif and SEC7 Domain-containing Protein 3 (IQSEC3) Interacts with Gephyrin to Promote Inhibitory Synapse Formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Um, Ji Won; Choii, Gayoung; Park, Dongseok; Kim, Dongwook; Jeon, Sangmin; Kang, Hyeyeon; Mori, Takuma; Papadopoulos, Theofilos; Yoo, Taesun; Lee, Yeunkum; Kim, Eunjoon; Tabuchi, Katsuhiko; Ko, Jaewon

    2016-05-01

    Gephyrin is a central scaffold protein that mediates development, function, and plasticity of mammalian inhibitory synapses by interacting with various inhibitory synaptic proteins. Here, we show that IQSEC3, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for ARF6, directly interacts with gephyrin, an interaction that is critical for the inhibitory synapse localization of IQSEC3. Overexpression of IQSEC3 increases inhibitory, but not excitatory, synapse density in a guanine nucleotide exchange factor activity-dependent manner. Conversely, knockdown of IQSEC3 decreases size of gephyrin cluster without altering gephyrin puncta density. Collectively, these data reveal that IQSEC3 acts together with gephyrin to regulate inhibitory synapse development. PMID:27002143

  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...

  3. Long-Term Depression at Parallel Fiber to Golgi Cell Synapses

    OpenAIRE

    Robberechts, Quinten; Wijnants, Mike; Giugliano, Michele; De Schutter, Erik

    2010-01-01

    Golgi cells (GoCs) are the primary inhibitory interneurons of the granular layer of the cerebellum. Their inhibition of granule cells is central to operate the relay of excitatory inputs to the cerebellar cortex. Parallel fibers (PFs) establish synapses to the GoCs in the molecular layer; these synapses contain AMPA, N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA), and mostly group II metabotropic glutamate receptors. Long-term changes in the efficacy of synaptic transmission at the PF-GoC synapse have not been ...

  4. 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.

  5. Contemporary Insights and Novel Treatment Approaches to Central Sleep Apnea Syndrome in Heart Failure

    OpenAIRE

    Grayburn, Ryan L.; Kaka, Yaquta; Wilson Tang, W. H.

    2014-01-01

    Central sleep apnea (CSA) is a common and under-diagnosed condition commonly associated with Cheyne-Stokes respiration. It is particularly prevalent in the heart failure population affecting up to 40% of all patients with heart failure. The pathophysiology associated with CSA is based on the underlying effects of hypoventilation and hyperventilation, with neurologic dysregulation of respiratory control as the primary defect. However, therapeutic options are limited due to the prevailing perce...

  6. Synapse formation is regulated by the signaling adaptor GIT1

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Huaye; Webb, Donna J.; Asmussen, Hannelore; Horwitz, Alan F.

    2003-01-01

    Dendritic spines in the central nervous system undergo rapid actin-based shape changes, making actin regulators potential modulators of spine morphology and synapse formation. Although several potential regulators and effectors for actin organization have been identified, the mechanisms by which these molecules assemble and localize are not understood. Here we show that the G protein–coupled receptor kinase–interacting protein (GIT)1 serves such a function by targeting actin regulators and lo...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, Mingrui; Lin, Qixiang; Bi, Yanchao; He, Yong

    2016-01-01

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. New insight into genes in association with asthma: literature-based mining and network centrality analysis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIANG Rui; WANG Lei; WANG Gang

    2013-01-01

    Background Asthma is a heterogeneous disease for which a strong genetic basis has been firmly established.Until now no studies have been undertaken to systemically explore the network of asthma-related genes using an internally developed literature-based discovery approach.This study was to explore asthma-related genes by using literaturebased mining and network centrality analysis.Methods Literature involving asthma-related genes were searched in PubMed from 2001 to 2011.Integration of natural language processing with network centrality analysis was used to identify asthma susceptibility genes and their interaction network.Asthma susceptibility genes were classified into three functional groups by gene ontology (GO) analysis and the key genes were confirmed by establishing asthma-related networks and pathways.Results Three hundred and twenty-six genes related with asthma such as IGHE (IgE),interleukin (IL)-4,5,6,10,13,17A,and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha were identified.GO analysis indicated some biological processes (developmental processes,signal transduction,death,etc.),cellular components (non-structural extracellular,plasma membrane and extracellular matrix),and molecular functions (signal transduction activity) that were involved in asthma.Furthermore,22 asthma-related pathways such as the Toll-like receptor signaling pathway,hematopoietic cell lineage,JAK-STAT signaling pathway,chemokine signaling pathway,and cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction,and 17 hub genes,such as JAK3,CCR1-3,CCR5-7,CCR8,were found.Conclusions Our study provides a remarkably detailed and comprehensive picture of asthma susceptibility genes and their interacting network.Further identification of these genes and molecular pathways may play a prominent role in establishing rational therapeutic approaches for asthma.

  10. 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 (green algae like Pediastrum the first pollen spectra indicate a lake shore and shallow fresh water vegetation. This seems to be in agreement with the preliminary observations of the fossil diatom contents, which show a diatom flora mainly composed of benthic and tychoplanktonic species, indicating a shallow freshwater lake. Both diatomite sequences thus suggest shallow lakes throughout their deposition-whether this is due to their marginal position within the large calderas and/or shallow waters covered the entire calderas is an outstanding question that will be addressed with planned additional investigations. Kröpelin, S. etal (2015): New data on the unresolved paradox of the Tibesti crater paleolakes (Central Sahara, North Chad). Abstract #64322 AGU-Fall-Meeting-2015.

  11. Synapse: Synthetic Application Profiler and Emulator

    OpenAIRE

    Merzky, Andre; Jha, Shantenu

    2015-01-01

    We introduce Synapse motivated by the needs to estimate and emulate workload execution characteristics on high-performance and distributed heterogeneous resources. Synapse has a platform independent application profiler, and the ability to emulate profiled workloads on a variety of heterogeneous resources. Synapse is used as a proxy application (or "representative application") for real workloads, with the added advantage that it can be tuned at arbitrary levels of granularity in ways that ar...

  12. Analyzing the exhaustiveness of the synapse protocol

    OpenAIRE

    Marinkovic, Bojan; Ciancaglini, Vincenzo; Ognjanovic, Zoran; Glavan, Paola; Liquori, Luigi; Maksimovic, Petar

    2015-01-01

    International audience The Synapse protocol is a scalable protocol designed for information retrieval over inter-connected heterogeneous overlay networks. In this paper, we give a formal description of Synapse using the Abstract State Machines framework. The formal description pertains to Synapse actions that manipulate distributed keys. Based on this formal description, we present results concerning the expected exhaustiveness for a number of scenarios and systems maintained by the Synaps...

  13. 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.

  14. A genetic landscape reshaped by recent events: Y-chromosomal insights into central Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zerjal, Tatiana; Wells, R Spencer; Yuldasheva, Nadira; Ruzibakiev, Ruslan; Tyler-Smith, Chris

    2002-09-01

    Sixteen Y-chromosomal microsatellites and 16 binary markers have been used to analyze DNA variation in 408 male subjects from 15 populations in Central Asia. Large genetic differences were found between populations, but these did not display an obvious geographical or linguistic pattern like that usually seen for Y-chromosomal variation. Nevertheless, an underlying east-west clinal pattern could be detected by the Autocorrelation Index for DNA Analysis and admixture analysis, and this pattern was interpreted as being derived from the ancient peopling of the area, reinforced by subsequent migrations. Two particularly striking features were seen: an extremely high level of Y-chromosomal differentiation between geographically close populations, accompanied by low diversity within some populations. These were due to the presence of high-frequency population-specific lineages and suggested the occurrence of several recent bottlenecks or founder events. Such events could account for the lack of a clear overall pattern and emphasize the importance of multiple recent events in reshaping this genetic landscape.

  15. New insights into the earliest Quaternary environments in the Central North Sea from 3D seismic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamb, Rachel; Huuse, Mads; Stewart, Margaret; Brocklehurst, Simon H.

    2014-05-01

    In the past the transition between an unconformable surface in the south to a conformable horizon towards the north has made identification and mapping the base-Quaternary in the central North Sea difficult (Sejrup et al 1991; Gatliff et al 1994). However recent integration of biostratigraphy, pollen analysis, paleomagnetism and amino acid analysis in the Dutch and Danish sectors (Rasmussen et al 2005; Kuhlmann et al 2006) has allowed greater confidence in the correlation to the region 3D seismic datasets and thus has allowed the base-Quaternary to be mapped across the entire basin. The base-Quaternary has been mapped using the PGS MegaSurvey dataset from wells in the Danish Sector along the initially unconformable horizon and down the delta front into the more conformable basin giving a high degree of confidence in the horizon pick. The revised base-Quaternary surface reaches a depth of 1248 ms TWT with an elongate basin shape which is significantly deeper than the traditionally mapped surface. Using RMS amplitudes and other seismic attributes the revised base-Quaternary has been investigated along the horizon and in time slice to interpret the environments of the earliest Quaternary prior to the onset of glaciation. Combined with analysis of aligned elongate furrows over 10 km long, 100 m wide and 100 m deep suggest a deep marine environment in an almost enclosed basin with persistent strong NW-SE bottom currents in the deepest parts. Pockmarks were formed by the escape of shallow gas on the sides of a small delta in the eastern part of the basin. The progradation of large deltas from both the north and south into the basin make up the majority of the deposition of sediment into the basin. Key Words: base-Quaternary; seismic interpretation; paleoenvironments References: Gatliff, R.W, Richards, P.C, Smith, K, Graham, C.C, McCormac, M, Smith, N.J.P, Long, D, Cameron, T.D.J, Evans, D, Stevenson, A.G, Bulat, J, Ritchie, J.D, (1994) 'United Kingdom offshore regional

  16. Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Mutation-Positive Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer in the Real-World Setting in Central Europe: The INSIGHT Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramlau, Rodryg; Cufer, Tanja; Berzinec, Peter; Dziadziuszko, Rafal; Olszewski, Włodzimierz; Popper, Helmut; Bajcic, Paolo; Dušek, Ladislav; Zbozinkova, Zuzana; Pirker, Robert

    2015-09-01

    The ImplementatioN of perSonalized medicine In NSCLC in Central Europe: EGFR testing, Histopathology, and clinical feaTures (INSIGHT) observational study assessed both implementation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation testing and treatment of patients with advanced EGFR mutation-positive non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in a real-world setting in Central Europe. A total of 1785 patients from 14 cancer centers of six Central European countries were enrolled. EGFR mutations were detected in tumors of 13.8% of the patients. More than 70% of patients with advanced EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC received EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors as first-line therapy. The INSIGHT study demonstrated the establishment of EGFR mutation testing, a mutation rate consistent with other Caucasian patients populations, and adherence to current guidelines regarding treatment of patients with EGFR mutation-positive tumors in Central Europe.

  17. Flat vs. Normal subduction, Central Chile: insights from regional seismic tomography and rock type modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marot, Marianne; Monfret, Tony; Gerbault, Muriel; Nolet, Guust; Ranalli, Giorgio; Pardo, Mario

    2013-04-01

    The Central Chilean subduction zone (27-35°S) is host to a multitude of unexplained phenomena, all likely linked to one another. Here, the 35 Ma oceanic Nazca plate is subducting beneath South America with a well developed, highly seismic flat slab, very well correlated with the subducting Juan Fernandez seamount Ridge (JFR) track, and also with the absence of volcanism at the surface. The upper plate, currently under compression, is composed of a series of accreted terranes of various origins and ages. Although no general consensus on the formation of this flat slab has been yet achieved, there may have been influence of overthickened oceanic crust, delayed eclogitization and consequent fluid retain within the slab, and slab suction due to the high convergence rate with the thick Rio de Plata craton. Therefore, the main questions we address are: Does the slab dehydrate along the flat subducting segment? If so, how hydrated is the slab, at what depth does slab dehydration occur, where are the fluids transported to, and where are they stored? Is magmatism still active beneath the now inactive arc? Are accreted terranes and suture zones important attributes of this subduction zone? Do they possess their own mantle entities? To answer these questions, we analyzed recorded local seismicity and performed regional 3D seismic tomography for Vp and Vs. Combining seismic tomography with 2D instantaneous thermo-mechanical modeling for the regions of flat and normal subduction, we predict rock compositions for these two regions based on published mineral and rock elastic properties. Here, we present a comparison between the normal subduction zone to the south, reflecting typical and expected features, and the flat slab region to the north, exhibiting heterogeneities. Our results agree with other studies for a dry and cold continental mantle above the flat slab. We distinguish the Cuyania terrane with overthickened crust and/or abnormal mantle beneath it. We notice that the

  18. Graphene Dynamic Synapse with Modulatable Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, He; Mi, Wentian; Wang, Xue-Feng; Zhao, Haiming; Xie, Qian-Yi; Li, Cheng; Li, Yu-Xing; Yang, Yi; Ren, Tian-Ling

    2015-12-01

    The synaptic activities in the nervous system is the basis of memory and learning behaviors, and the concept of biological synapse has also spurred the development of neuromorphic engineering. In recent years, the hardware implementation of the biological synapse has been achieved based on CMOS circuits, resistive switching memory, and field effect transistors with ionic dielectrics. However, the artificial synapse with regulatable plasticity has never been realized of the device level. Here, an artificial dynamic synapse based on twisted bilayer graphene is demonstrated with tunable plasticity. Due to the ambipolar conductance of graphene, both behaviors of the excitatory synapse and the inhibitory synapse could be realized in a single device. Moreover, the synaptic plasticity could also be modulated by tuning the carrier density of graphene. Because the artificial synapse here could be regulated and inverted via changing the bottom gate voltage, the whole process of synapse development could be imitated. Hence, this work would offer a broad new vista for the 2D material electronics and guide the innovation of neuro-electronics fundamentally.

  19. Astrocytic role in synapse formation after injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ying; Li, Daqing; Raisman, Geoffrey

    2016-08-15

    In 1969 a paper entitled Neuronal plasticity in the septal nuclei of the adult rat proposed that new synapses are formed in the adult brain after injury (Raisman, 1969). The quantitative electron microscopic study of the timed responses to selective partial denervation of the neuropil of the adult rat septal nuclei after distant transection of the hippocampal efferent axons in the fimbria showed that the new synapses arise by sprouting of surviving adjacent synapses which selectively take over the previously denervated sites and thus restore the number of synapses to normal. This article presents the evidence for the role of perisynaptic astrocytic processes in the removal and formation of synapses and considers its significance as one of the three major divisions of the astrocytic surface in terms of the axonal responses to injury and regeneration. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI:50th Anniversary Issue. PMID:26746338

  20. Downstream effect of ramping neural activity through synapses with short-term plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Wei; Wang, Xiao-Jing

    2016-01-01

    Ramping neuronal activity has been observed in multiple cortical areas correlated with evidence accumulation processes or timing. In this work we investigate the downstream effect of ramping neuronal activity through synapses that display short-term facilitation (STF) or depression (STD). We obtain an analytical result for a synapse driven by deterministic linear ramping input that exhibits pure STF or STD, and investigate the general case when both STF and STD exist numerically. In neural circuits, the ramping inputs usually have strong fluctuation and each downstream neuron receives converging inputs from many presynaptic neurons. We show that the analytical deterministic solution gives an accurate description of the averaging synaptic activation that a postsynaptic neuron receives in a neural circuit, even when the fluctuation in ramping input is strong. Therefore our work provides insights on the impact of ramping neuronal activity on downstream neurons through synapses displaying short-term plasticity. Specifically, activation of a synapse with STF shows a sublinear increase with time and is insensitive to the slopes of ramping inputs during the initial period, followed by a linear ramping similar to a synapse without STF. Activation of a synapse with STD, on the other hand, develops a local maximum before reaching a steady state, which is independent of the slope of ramping input. For a synapse displaying both STF and STD, increase of the depression time constant from a value much smaller than the facilitation time constant τF to a value much larger than τF leads to a transition from facilitation domination to depression domination. By utilizing STD in the corticostriatal synapses, our work provides an understanding of the saturation of striatal activity as observed for monkeys performing evidence accumulation. Our work also predicts that in the fixed duration version of motion discrimination tasks the stationary state of neuronal activity downstream to the

  1. Insights into the structural biology of G-protein coupled receptors impacts drug design for central nervous system neurodegenerative processes**

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Farfán-García Eunice Dalet; Soriano-Ursúa Marvin Antonio

    2013-01-01

    In the last few years, there have been important new insights into the structural biology of G-protein coupled receptors. It is now known that al osteric binding sites are involved in the affinity and selec-tivity of ligands for G-protein coupled receptors, and that signaling by these receptors involves both G-protein dependent and independent pathways. The present review outlines the physiological and pharmacological implications of this perspective for the design of new drugs to treat disorders of the central nervous system. Specifical y, new possibilities are explored in relation to al osteric and orthosteric binding sites on dopamine receptors for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, and on muscarinic receptors for Alzheimer’s disease. Future research can seek to identify ligands that can bind to more than one site on the same receptor, or simultaneously bind to two receptors and form a dimer. For example, the design of bivalent drugs that can reach homo/hetero-dimers of D2 dopa-mine receptor holds promise as a relevant therapeutic strategy for Parkinson’s disease. Regarding the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, the design of dualsteric ligands for mono-oligomeric musca-rinic receptors could increase therapeutic effectiveness by generating potent compounds that could activate more than one signaling pathway.

  2. Synapse clusters are preferentially formed by synapses with large recycling pool sizes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oliver Welzel

    Full Text Available Synapses are distributed heterogeneously in neural networks. The relationship between the spatial arrangement of synapses and an individual synapse's structural and functional features remains to be elucidated. Here, we examined the influence of the number of adjacent synapses on individual synaptic recycling pool sizes. When measuring the discharge of the styryl dye FM1-43 from electrically stimulated synapses in rat hippocampal tissue cultures, a strong positive correlation between the number of neighbouring synapses and recycling vesicle pool sizes was observed. Accordingly, vesicle-rich synapses were found to preferentially reside next to neighbours with large recycling pool sizes. Although these synapses with large recycling pool sizes were rare, they were densely arranged and thus exhibited a high amount of release per volume. To consolidate these findings, functional terminals were marked by live-cell antibody staining with anti-synaptotagmin-1-cypHer or overexpression of synaptopHluorin. Analysis of synapse distributions in these systems confirmed the results obtained with FM 1-43. Our findings support the idea that clustering of synapses with large recycling pool sizes is a distinct developmental feature of newly formed neural networks and may contribute to functional plasticity.

  3. Emerging Roles of BAI Adhesion-GPCRs in Synapse Development and Plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph G. Duman

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Synapses mediate communication between neurons and enable the brain to change in response to experience, which is essential for learning and memory. The sites of most excitatory synapses in the brain, dendritic spines, undergo rapid remodeling that is important for neural circuit formation and synaptic plasticity. Abnormalities in synapse and spine formation and plasticity are associated with a broad range of brain disorders, including intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders (ASD, and schizophrenia. Thus, elucidating the mechanisms that regulate these neuronal processes is critical for understanding brain function and disease. The brain-specific angiogenesis inhibitor (BAI subfamily of adhesion G-protein-coupled receptors (adhesion-GPCRs has recently emerged as central regulators of synapse development and plasticity. In this review, we will summarize the current knowledge regarding the roles of BAIs at synapses, highlighting their regulation, downstream signaling, and physiological functions, while noting the roles of other adhesion-GPCRs at synapses. We will also discuss the relevance of BAIs in various neurological and psychiatric disorders and consider their potential importance as pharmacological targets in the treatment of these diseases.

  4. Efficient Associative Computation with Discrete Synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knoblauch, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Neural associative networks are a promising computational paradigm for both modeling neural circuits of the brain and implementing associative memory and Hebbian cell assemblies in parallel VLSI or nanoscale hardware. Previous work has extensively investigated synaptic learning in linear models of the Hopfield type and simple nonlinear models of the Steinbuch/Willshaw type. Optimized Hopfield networks of size n can store a large number of about n(2)/k memories of size k (or associations between them) but require real-valued synapses, which are expensive to implement and can store at most C = 0.72 bits per synapse. Willshaw networks can store a much smaller number of about n(2)/k(2) memories but get along with much cheaper binary synapses. Here I present a learning model employing synapses with discrete synaptic weights. For optimal discretization parameters, this model can store, up to a factor ζ close to one, the same number of memories as for optimized Hopfield-type learning--for example, ζ = 0.64 for binary synapses, ζ = 0.88 for 2 bit (four-state) synapses, ζ = 0.96 for 3 bit (8-state) synapses, and ζ > 0.99 for 4 bit (16-state) synapses. The model also provides the theoretical framework to determine optimal discretization parameters for computer implementations or brainlike parallel hardware including structural plasticity. In particular, as recently shown for the Willshaw network, it is possible to store C(I) = 1 bit per computer bit and up to C(S) = log n bits per nonsilent synapse, whereas the absolute number of stored memories can be much larger than for the Willshaw model. PMID:26599711

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

    OpenAIRE

    Allen, Marcus J.; Murphey, R K

    2007-01-01

    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. T...

  6. Understanding the Structure and Function of the Immunological Synapse

    OpenAIRE

    Dustin, Michael L.; Chakraborty, Arup K.; Shaw, Andrey S

    2010-01-01

    The immunological synapse has been an area of very active scientific interest over the last decade. Surprisingly, much about the synapse remains unknown or is controversial.  Here we review some of these current issues in the field:  how the synapse is defined, its potential role in T-cell function, and our current understanding about how the synapse is formed.

  7. Polarized release of T-cell-receptor-enriched microvesicles at the immunological synapse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudhuri, Kaushik; Llodrá, Jaime; Roth, Eric W.; Tsai, Jones; Gordo, Susana; Wucherpfennig, Kai W.; Kam, Lance C.; Stokes, David L.; Dustin, Michael L.

    2014-03-01

    The recognition events that mediate adaptive cellular immunity and regulate antibody responses depend on intercellular contacts between T cells and antigen-presenting cells (APCs). T-cell signalling is initiated at these contacts when surface-expressed T-cell receptors (TCRs) recognize peptide fragments (antigens) of pathogens bound to major histocompatibility complex molecules (pMHC) on APCs. This, along with engagement of adhesion receptors, leads to the formation of a specialized junction between T cells and APCs, known as the immunological synapse, which mediates efficient delivery of effector molecules and intercellular signals across the synaptic cleft. T-cell recognition of pMHC and the adhesion ligand intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) on supported planar bilayers recapitulates the domain organization of the immunological synapse, which is characterized by central accumulation of TCRs, adjacent to a secretory domain, both surrounded by an adhesive ring. Although accumulation of TCRs at the immunological synapse centre correlates with T-cell function, this domain is itself largely devoid of TCR signalling activity, and is characterized by an unexplained immobilization of TCR-pMHC complexes relative to the highly dynamic immunological synapse periphery. Here we show that centrally accumulated TCRs are located on the surface of extracellular microvesicles that bud at the immunological synapse centre. Tumour susceptibility gene 101 (TSG101) sorts TCRs for inclusion in microvesicles, whereas vacuolar protein sorting 4 (VPS4) mediates scission of microvesicles from the T-cell plasma membrane. The human immunodeficiency virus polyprotein Gag co-opts this process for budding of virus-like particles. B cells bearing cognate pMHC receive TCRs from T cells and initiate intracellular signals in response to isolated synaptic microvesicles. We conclude that the immunological synapse orchestrates TCR sorting and release in extracellular microvesicles. These

  8. SynDB: a Synapse protein DataBase based on synapse ontology

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Wuxue; Zhang, Yong; Zheng, Hui; Zhang, Chen; Xiong, Wei; Olyarchuk, John G.; Walker, Michael; Xu, Weifeng; Zhao, Min; Zhao, Shuqi; Zhou, Zhuan; Wei, Liping

    2006-01-01

    A synapse is the junction across which a nerve impulse passes from an axon terminal to a neuron, muscle cell or gland cell. The functions and building molecules of the synapse are essential to almost all neurobiological processes. To describe synaptic structures and functions, we have developed Synapse Ontology (SynO), a hierarchical representation that includes 177 terms with hundreds of synonyms and branches up to eight levels deep. associated 125 additional protein keywords and 109 InterPr...

  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. 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

  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. A single-transistor silicon synapse

    OpenAIRE

    Diorio, Chris; Hasler, Paul; Minch, Bradley A.; Mead, Carver A.

    1996-01-01

    We have developed a new floating-gate silicon MOS transistor for analog learning applications. The memory storage is nonvolatile; hot-electron injection and electron tunneling permit bidirectional memory updates. Because these updates depend on both the stored memory value and the transistor terminal voltages, the synapse can implement a learning function. We have derived a memory-update rule from the physics of the tunneling and injection processes, and have investigated synapse learning in ...

  14. Artificial Synapses: Organometal Halide Perovskite Artificial Synapses (Adv. Mater. 28/2016).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Wentao; Cho, Himchan; Kim, Young-Hoon; Kim, Young-Tae; Wolf, Christoph; Park, Chan-Gyung; Lee, Tae-Woo

    2016-07-01

    A synapse-emulating electronic device based on organometal halide perovskite thin films is described by T.-W. Lee and co-workers on page 5916. The device successfully emulates important characteristics of a biological synapse. This work extends the application of organometal halide perovskites to bioinspired electronic devices, and contributes to the development of neuromorphic electronics. PMID:27442971

  15. 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.

  16. Design and functional specification of the Synapses federated healthcare record server. Synapses Consortium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurlen, P; Skifjeld, K

    1997-01-01

    Synapses is a project funded under the EU Health Telematics Framework IV Programme. Synapses sets out to solve problems of sharing data between autonomous information systems, by providing generic and open means to combine healthcare records or dossiers consistently, simply, comprehensibly and securely, whether the data passes within a single healthcare institution or between institutions. This paper presents the specification of the Synapses server, the kernel concept of Synapses. It describes the basis in the European prestandard for Electronic Healthcare Record Architecture, the interfaces to the Synapses server and different integration mechanisms for systems providing information to the server. The specification will be verified at a number of validation sites, and the final result will be in the public domain. PMID:10179567

  17. Automated quantification of synapses by fluorescence microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schätzle, Philipp; Wuttke, René; Ziegler, Urs; Sonderegger, Peter

    2012-02-15

    The quantification of synapses in neuronal cultures is essential in studies of the molecular mechanisms underlying synaptogenesis and synaptic plasticity. Conventional counting of synapses based on morphological or immunocytochemical criteria is extremely work-intensive. We developed a fully automated method which quantifies synaptic elements and complete synapses based on immunocytochemistry. Pre- and postsynaptic elements are detected by their corresponding fluorescence signals and their proximity to dendrites. Synapses are defined as the combination of a pre- and postsynaptic element within a given distance. The analysis is performed in three dimensions and all parameters required for quantification can be easily adjusted by a graphical user interface. The integrated batch processing enables the analysis of large datasets without any further user interaction and is therefore efficient and timesaving. The potential of this method was demonstrated by an extensive quantification of synapses in neuronal cultures from DIV 7 to DIV 21. The method can be applied to all datasets containing a pre- and postsynaptic labeling plus a dendritic or cell surface marker.

  18. Ultrastructure of the retinal synapses in cubozoans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, G Clark; Martin, Vicki J; Satterlie, Richard A

    2009-08-01

    Cubomedusae (box jellyfish) are well known for strong directional swimming, rapid responses to visual stimuli, and complex lensed eyes comparable to those of more advanced multicellular animals. They possess a total of 24 eyes that are of four morphologically different types, yet little is known about the neural organization of their eyes. The eyes are located on ganglion-like structures called rhopalia. Each of the four rhopalia contains an upper and a lower lensed eye (with a cornea, lens, and retina), two pit ocelli, and two slit ocelli. Transmission electron microscopy was used to examine the synaptic morphology of the eyes and pacemaker region of four species of cubozoans (Tamoya haplonema, Carybdea marsupialis, Tripedalia cystophora, and Chiropsalmus quadrumanus). Invaginated synapses were found in all four species, but only in the upper and lower lensed eyes. Density measurements indicated that the invaginated synapses were located close to the basal region of photoreceptor cells, and size differences of invaginated synapses were observed between the upper and lower lensed eyes, as well as between species. Four additional types of chemical synapses-clear unidirectional, dense-core unidirectional, clear bidirectional, and clear and dense-core bidirectional-were also observed in the rhopalia. The invaginated synapses of the lensed eyes may be useful as markers to help sort out the neural circuitry in the retinal region of these complex cubomedusan eyes. PMID:19679721

  19. Tau and spectraplakins promote synapse formation and maintenance through Jun kinase and neuronal trafficking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voelzmann, Andre; Okenve-Ramos, Pilar; Qu, Yue; Chojnowska-Monga, Monika; del Caño-Espinel, Manuela; Prokop, Andreas; Sanchez-Soriano, Natalia

    2016-01-01

    The mechanisms regulating synapse numbers during development and ageing are essential for normal brain function and closely linked to brain disorders including dementias. Using Drosophila, we demonstrate roles of the microtubule-associated protein Tau in regulating synapse numbers, thus unravelling an important cellular requirement of normal Tau. In this context, we find that Tau displays a strong functional overlap with microtubule-binding spectraplakins, establishing new links between two different neurodegenerative factors. Tau and the spectraplakin Short Stop act upstream of a three-step regulatory cascade ensuring adequate delivery of synaptic proteins. This cascade involves microtubule stability as the initial trigger, JNK signalling as the central mediator, and kinesin-3 mediated axonal transport as the key effector. This cascade acts during development (synapse formation) and ageing (synapse maintenance) alike. Therefore, our findings suggest novel explanations for intellectual disability in Tau deficient individuals, as well as early synapse loss in dementias including Alzheimer’s disease. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14694.001 PMID:27501441

  20. Sex-specific pruning of neuronal synapses in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oren-Suissa, Meital; Bayer, Emily A; Hobert, Oliver

    2016-05-12

    Whether and how neurons that are present in both sexes of the same species can differentiate in a sexually dimorphic manner is not well understood. A comparison of the connectomes of the Caenorhabditis elegans hermaphrodite and male nervous systems reveals the existence of sexually dimorphic synaptic connections between neurons present in both sexes. Here we demonstrate sex-specific functions of these sex-shared neurons and show that many neurons initially form synapses in a hybrid manner in both the male and hermaphrodite pattern before sexual maturation. Sex-specific synapse pruning then results in the sex-specific maintenance of subsets of these connections. Reversal of the sexual identity of either the pre- or postsynaptic neuron alone transforms the patterns of synaptic connectivity to that of the opposite sex. A dimorphically expressed and phylogenetically conserved transcription factor is both necessary and sufficient to determine sex-specific connectivity patterns. Our studies reveal new insights into sex-specific circuit development. PMID:27144354

  1. Transmembrane Agrin Regulates Dendritic Filopodia and Synapse Formation in Mature Hippocampal Neuron Cultures

    OpenAIRE

    McCroskery, Seumas; Bailey, Allison; Lin, Lin; Daniels, Mathew P.

    2009-01-01

    The transmembrane isoform of agrin (Tm-agrin) is the predominant form expressed in the brain but its putative roles in brain development are not well understood. Recent reports have implicated Tm-agrin in the formation and stabilization of filopodia on neurites of immature central and peripheral neurons in culture. In maturing central neurons, dendritic filopodia are believed to facilitate synapse formation. In the present study we have investigated the role of Tm-agrin in regulation of dendr...

  2. Synapse: a Scalable Protocol for Interconnecting Heterogeneous Overlay Networks

    OpenAIRE

    Liquori, Luigi; Tedeschi, Cédric; Vanni, Laurent; Ciancaglini, Vincenzo; Bongiovanni, Francesco; Marinkovic, Bojan

    2010-01-01

    International audience This paper presents Synapse, a scalable protocol for information retrieval over the inter-connection of heterogeneous overlay networks. Applications on top of Synapse see those intra-overlay networks as a unique inter-overlay network. Scalability in Synapse is achieved via co-located nodes, i.e. nodes that are part of multiple overlay networks at the same time. Co-located nodes, playing the role of neural synapses and connected to several overlay networks, give a lar...

  3. Toward a molecular catalogue of synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, Seth G N

    2007-10-01

    1906 was a landmark year in the history of the study of the nervous system, most notably for the first 'neuroscience' Nobel prize given to the anatomists Ramon Y Cajal and Camillo Golgi. 1906 is less well known for another event, also of great significance for neuroscience, namely the publication of Charles Sherrington's book 'The Integrative Action of the Nervous system'. It was Cajal and Golgi who debated the anatomical evidence for the synapse and it was Sherrington who laid its foundation in electrophysiological function. In tribute to these pioneers in synaptic biology, this article will address the issue of synapse diversity from the molecular point of view. In particular I will reflect upon efforts to obtain a complete molecular characterisation of the synapse and the unexpectedly high degree of molecular complexity found within it. A case will be made for developing approaches that can be used to generate a general catalogue of synapse types based on molecular markers, which should have wide application.

  4. 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.

  5. Food restriction modifies ultrastructure of hippocampal synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babits, Réka; Szőke, Balázs; Sótonyi, Péter; Rácz, Bence

    2016-04-01

    Consumption of high-energy diets may compromise health and may also impair cognition; these impairments have been linked to tasks that require hippocampal function. Conversely, food restriction has been shown to improve certain aspects of hippocampal function, including spatial memory and memory persistence. These diet-dependent functional changes raise the possibility that the synaptic structure underlying hippocampal function is also affected. To examine how short-term food restriction (FR) alters the synaptic structure of the hippocampus, we used quantitative electron microscopy to analyze the organization of neuropil in the CA1 stratum radiatum of the hippocampus in young rats, consequent to reduced food. While four weeks of FR did not modify the density, size, or shape of postsynaptic spines, the synapses established by these spines were altered, displaying increased mean length, and more frequent perforations of postsynaptic densities. That the number of perforated synapses (believed to be an indicator of synaptic enhancement) increased, and that the CA1 spine population had on average significantly longer PSDs suggests that synaptic efficacy of axospinous synapses also increased in the CA1. Taken together, our ultrastructural data reveal previously unrecognized structural changes at hippocampal synapses as a function of food restriction, supporting a link between metabolic balance and synaptic plasticity.

  6. Both pre- and postsynaptic activity of Nsf prevents degeneration of hair-cell synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weike Mo

    Full Text Available Vesicle fusion contributes to the maintenance of synapses in the nervous system by mediating synaptic transmission, release of neurotrophic factors, and trafficking of membrane receptors. N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor (NSF is indispensible for dissociation of the SNARE-complex following vesicle fusion. Although NSF function has been characterized extensively in vitro, the in vivo role of NSF in vertebrate synaptogenesis is relatively unexplored. Zebrafish possess two nsf genes, nsf and nsfb. Here, we examine the function of either Nsf or Nsfb in the pre- and postsynaptic cells of the zebrafish lateral line organ and demonstrate that Nsf, but not Nsfb, is required for maintenance of afferent synapses in hair cells. In addition to peripheral defects in nsf mutants, neurodegeneration of glutamatergic synapses in the central nervous system also occurs in the absence of Nsf function. Expression of an nsf transgene in a null background indicates that stabilization of synapses requires Nsf function in both hair cells and afferent neurons. To identify potential targets of Nsf-mediated fusion, we examined the expression of genes implicated in stabilizing synapses and found that transcripts for multiple genes including brain-derived neurotrophic factor (bdnf were significantly reduced in nsf mutants. With regard to trafficking of BDNF, we observed a striking accumulation of BDNF in the neurites of nsf mutant afferent neurons. In addition, injection of recombinant BDNF protein partially rescued the degeneration of afferent synapses in nsf mutants. These results establish a role for Nsf in the maintenance of synaptic contacts between hair cells and afferent neurons, mediated in part via the secretion of trophic signaling factors.

  7. Transition of spatiotemporal patterns in neuronal networks with chemical synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Rong; Li, Jiajia; Du, Mengmeng; Lei, Jinzhi; Wu, Ying

    2016-11-01

    In mammalian neocortex plane waves, spiral and irregular waves appear alternately. In this paper, we study the transition of spatiotemporal patterns in neuronal networks in which neurons are coupled via two types of chemical synapses: fast excitatory synapse and fast inhibitory synapse. Our results indicate that the fast excitatory synapse connection is easier to induce regular spatiotemporal patterns than fast inhibitory synapse connection, and the mechanism is discussed through bifurcation analysis of a single neuron. We introduce the permutation entropy as a measure of network firing complexity to study the mechanisms of formation and transition of spatiotemporal patterns. Our calculations show that the spatiotemporal pattern transitions are closely connected to a sudden decrease in the firing complexity of neuronal networks, and the neuronal networks with fast excitatory synapses have higher firing complexity than those with fast inhibitory synapses.

  8. Changes in rat hippocampal CA1 synapses following imipramine treatment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

    synapses) in subregions of the hippocampus by quantifying number of neurons and synapses. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were injected with imipramine or saline (i.p.) daily for 14 days. Unbiased stereological methods were used to quantify the number of neurons and synapses. No differences in the volume...... 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 results indicate that administration of imipramine for 14 days in normal rats could significantly increase the excitatory spine synapses, and change the relative distribution of spine and shaft synapses. We speculate that the present findings may be explained by the establishment of new synaptic...

  9. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Sorgente, R.; A. Olita; P. Oddo; L. Fazioli; A. Ribotti

    2011-01-01

    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 us...

  11. The massacre mass grave of Schöneck-Kilianstädten reveals new insights into collective violence in Early Neolithic Central Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Christian; Lohr, Christian; Gronenborn, Detlef; Alt, Kurt W

    2015-09-01

    Conflict and warfare are central but also disputed themes in discussions about the European Neolithic. Although a few recent population studies provide broad overviews, only a very limited number of currently known key sites provide precise insights into moments of extreme and mass violence and their impact on Neolithic societies. The massacre sites of Talheim, Germany, and Asparn/Schletz, Austria, have long been the focal points around which hypotheses concerning a final lethal crisis of the first Central European farmers of the Early Neolithic Linearbandkeramik Culture (LBK) have concentrated. With the recently examined LBK mass grave site of Schöneck-Kilianstädten, Germany, we present new conclusive and indisputable evidence for another massacre, adding new data to the discussion of LBK violence patterns. At least 26 individuals were violently killed by blunt force and arrow injuries before being deposited in a commingled mass grave. Although the absence and possible abduction of younger females has been suggested for other sites previously, a new violence-related pattern was identified here: the intentional and systematic breaking of lower limbs. The abundance of the identified perimortem fractures clearly indicates torture and/or mutilation of the victims. The new evidence presented here for unequivocal lethal violence on a large scale is put into perspective for the Early Neolithic of Central Europe and, in conjunction with previous results, indicates that massacres of entire communities were not isolated occurrences but rather were frequent features of the last phases of the LBK. PMID:26283359

  12. Neurotrophic regulation of synapse development and plasticity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    Neurotrophic factors are traditionally thought to be secretory proteins that regulate long-tern survival and differe, ntiation of neurons. Recent studies have revealed a previously unexpected role for these factors in synaptie de velopment ami plasticity in diverse neuronal populations. Here we review experimeuts carried oul in our own laboratory in the last few years.. We have made two important discoveries.First,we were among the first to report that brain-derived. neurotrophie faclor (BDNF) facilitates hippocampal hmg-term potentiation (LTP), a form of synaptic plaslicity believed to be involved in learning and memory. BDNF modulates LTP al CAI synapses by enhaneing synaptic responses to high frequency, tetanic slimulalion. This is achieved primafily by facilitating synaptie vesicle doeking, possibly due to an in crease in the levels of the vesicle prolein synaptobrevin and synaptoplysin in the nerve terminals. Gene knockout study demonstrates thai the effects of BDNF are primarily mediated through presynaptic mechanisms. Second, we demonstrated a form of long-term, neurotrophin-mediated synaptic regulation. We showed that long-term treatment of the neuromuscu lar synapses with neurotrophin-3 (NT3) resulted in an enhancement of both spontaneous and evoked synaptic currcuts, as well as profound changes in thc number of synaptic varicosities and syuaptic vesicle proteins in motoneurons, all of which are indicative of more mature synapses. Our current work addresses the following issues:(i) activity-dependent trafficking of neurotrophin receptors, and its role in synapse-specific modulation; (ii) signal transduction mechanisms medialing the acute enhancement of synaplic transmission by neurotrophins; (iii) acute and long-tenn synaptie actions of the GDNF family; (iv) role of BDNF in late-phase LTP and in the development of hippocampal circuit.

  13. Cooperative synapse formation in the neocortex

    OpenAIRE

    Stepanyants Armen; Fares Tarec

    2009-01-01

    Neuron morphology plays an important role in defining synaptic connectivity. Clearly, only pairs of neurons with closely positioned axonal and dendritic branches can be synaptically coupled. For excitatory neurons in the cerebral cortex, such axo-dendritic oppositions, termed potential synapses, must be bridged by dendritic spines to form synaptic connections. To explore the rules by which synaptic connections are formed within the constraints imposed by neuron morphology, we compared the dis...

  14. 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.

  15. SynDB: a Synapse protein DataBase based on synapse ontology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wuxue; Zhang, Yong; Zheng, Hui; Zhang, Chen; Xiong, Wei; Olyarchuk, John G; Walker, Michael; Xu, Weifeng; Zhao, Min; Zhao, Shuqi; Zhou, Zhuan; Wei, Liping

    2007-01-01

    A synapse is the junction across which a nerve impulse passes from an axon terminal to a neuron, muscle cell or gland cell. The functions and building molecules of the synapse are essential to almost all neurobiological processes. To describe synaptic structures and functions, we have developed Synapse Ontology (SynO), a hierarchical representation that includes 177 terms with hundreds of synonyms and branches up to eight levels deep. associated 125 additional protein keywords and 109 InterPro domains with these SynO terms. Using a combination of automated keyword searches, domain searches and manual curation, we collected 14,000 non-redundant synapse-related proteins, including 3000 in human. We extensively annotated the proteins with information about sequence, structure, function, expression, pathways, interactions and disease associations and with hyperlinks to external databases. The data are stored and presented in the Synapse protein DataBase (SynDB, http://syndb.cbi.pku.edu.cn). SynDB can be interactively browsed by SynO, Gene Ontology (GO), domain families, species, chromosomal locations or Tribe-MCL clusters. It can also be searched by text (including Boolean operators) or by sequence similarity. SynDB is the most comprehensive database to date for synaptic proteins. PMID:17098931

  16. 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.

  17. Future energy consumption and emissions in East-, Central- and West-China: Insights from soft-linking two global models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dai, Hancheng; Mischke, Peggy

    2014-01-01

    China's role in the global economy and energy markets is expanding, however many uncertainties with regards to the country's future energy consumption and emissions remain. Large regional disparities between China's provinces exist. Scenario analysis for different sub-regions of China will be...... useful for an improved understanding of China's potential future development and associated global impacts. This study soft-links a global dynamic CGE model and a global technology-rich energy system model. Both models are expanded to include East-, Central-, and West-China. This study shows that soft......-linking affects the China-specific reference scenario results in the CGE model considerably. Energy consumption and emissions are decreasing in China until 2050 while regional differences within China remain high....

  18. Cenozoic History of Paleo-Currents through the Central American Seaway: Insights from Deep Sea Sediments and Outcrops in Panama

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waite, A. J.; Martin, E. E.

    2015-12-01

    Paleontologic, oceanographic, and ecologic studies suggest gradual shoaling of the Central American Seaway between ~15 to 2 Ma that caused a stepwise shutdown of deep, intermediate, and shallow water exchange between the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. This diminishing communication has been further associated with changes in surface and deep ocean currents, atmospheric flow, and ultimately regional and global climate. Recent studies of the Isthmus of Panama's exhumation history, palm phylogenies, and fossil/molecularly derived migration rates, however, suggest that the isthmus may have risen much earlier. An earlier rise scenario would call into question many accepted consequences of this gateway event under the 'Panama Hypothesis,' including strengthened thermohaline circulation, North Atlantic Deep Water production, the onset of Northern Hemisphere glaciation, and the Great American Biotic Interchange. Despite considerable research on the Neogene, few paleoceanographic studies have directly examined long-term changes in the adjacent oceans over the Cenozoic to evaluate the potential for earlier events in the closure history of the seaway. In this study, we extend records of bottom water circulation reconstructed from the Nd-isotopes of fish teeth from several Caribbean International Ocean Discovery Program sediment cores (ODP Sites 998, 999, 1000). These reconstructions clearly depict an increase in Pacific volcanism throughout the Cenozoic and sustained transport of Pacific waters into the Caribbean basin from ~50 to 9 Ma, although there appear to be interesting complexities within the Caribbean basin itself. We also present preliminary investigations into the potential of Nd-isotopic analyses on fossil fish teeth recovered from outcrops and exposures of marine strata across Panama to further elucidate the regional dynamics and shoaling history of the Central American Seaway.

  19. The molecular physiology of the axo-myelinic synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Micu, Ileana; Plemel, Jason R; Lachance, Celia; Proft, Juliane; Jansen, Andrew J; Cummins, Karen; van Minnen, Jan; Stys, Peter K

    2016-02-01

    Myelinated axons efficiently transmit information over long distances. The apposed myelin sheath confers favorable electrical properties, but restricts access of the axon to its extracellular milieu. Therefore, axonal metabolic support may require specific axo-myelinic communication. Here we explored activity-dependent glutamate-mediated signaling from axon to myelin. 2-Photon microscopy was used to image Ca(2+) changes in myelin in response to electrical stimulation of optic nerve axons ex vivo. We show that optic nerve myelin responds to axonal action potentials by a rise in Ca(2+) levels mediated by GluN2D and GluN3A-containing NMDA receptors. Glutamate is released from axons in a vesicular manner that is tetanus toxin-sensitive. The Ca(2+) source for vesicular fusion is provided by ryanodine receptors on axonal Ca(2+) stores, controlled by L-type Ca(2+) channels that sense depolarization of the internodal axolemma. Genetic ablation of GluN2D and GluN3A subunits results in greater lability of the compact myelin. Our results support the existence of a novel synapse between the axon and its myelin, suggesting a means by which traversing action potentials can signal the overlying myelin sheath. This may be an important physiological mechanism by which an axon can signal companion glia for metabolic support or adjust properties of its myelin in a dynamic manner. The axo-myelinic synapse may contribute to learning, while its disturbances may play a role in the pathophysiology of central nervous system disorders such as schizophrenia, where subtle abnormalities of myelinated white matter tracts have been shown in the human, or to frank demyelinating disorders such as multiple sclerosis. PMID:26515690

  20. A Nutrient Combination that Can Affect Synapse Formation

    OpenAIRE

    Wurtman, Richard J.

    2014-01-01

    Brain neurons form synapses throughout the life span. This process is initiated by neuronal depolarization, however the numbers of synapses thus formed depend on brain levels of three key nutrients—uridine, the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, and choline. Given together, these nutrients accelerate formation of synaptic membrane, the major component of synapses. In infants, when synaptogenesis is maximal, relatively large amounts of all three nutrients are provided in bioavailable forms (e.g., uridine...

  1. Recruitment of dynein to the Jurkat immunological synapse

    OpenAIRE

    Combs, Jeffrey; Kim, Soo Jin; Tan, Sarah; Ligon, Lee A.; Holzbaur, Erika L.F.; Kuhn, Jeffrey; Poenie, Martin

    2006-01-01

    Binding of T cells to antigen-presenting cells leads to the formation of the immunological synapse, translocation of the microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) to the synapse, and focused secretion of effector molecules. Here, we show that upon activation of Jurkat cells microtubules project from the MTOC to a ring of the scaffolding protein ADAP, localized at the synapse. Loss of ADAP, but not lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1, leads to a severe defect in MTOC polarization at the immuno...

  2. Neuron network activity scales exponentially with synapse density

    OpenAIRE

    Brewer, G. J.; Boehler, M D; Pearson, R. A.; DeMaris, A A; Ide, A. N.; Wheeler, B C

    2008-01-01

    Neuronal network output in the cortex as a function of synapse density during development has not been explicitly determined. Synaptic scaling in cortical brain networks seems to alter excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs to produce a representative rate of synaptic output. Here, we cultured rat hippocampal neurons over a three-week period to correlate synapse density with the increase in spontaneous spiking activity. We followed the network development as synapse formation and spike rat...

  3. 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.

  4. A GIS-based Spatial Analysis of Volcanoes in the Central Andes: Insights Into Factors Controlling Volcano Spacing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savant, S. S.; de Silva, S. L.

    2005-12-01

    Volcano spacing has received little attention since the mid-70's when studies undertaken by Vogt (1974; EPSL) and then Marsh (1979; J Geol) suggested a regular spacing of volcanoes in arcs that ranged from 50 to 75 km for different arcs. The spacing was thought to be influenced by the thickness of the lithosphere or gravitational (Rayleigh-Taylor) instabilities related to source layer thickness and viscosity respectively. We have revisited these ideas through a detailed study of volcano distribution in the Central Volcanic Zone (CVZ) of the Andes where volcano spacing was thought to be around 70 km. The CVZ was selected as it is the type example of continental arc volcanism, built on an extremely thick crust of up to 70 km. The availability of a comprehensive dataset describing the relative age, location, and geomorphic characteristics of each volcano (Volcanoes of the Central Andes, de Silva and Francis, 1990, Springer Verlag) made this a compelling case study. The ready availability of ARC GIS Geographic Information Systems software and the geospatial analysis tools therein, allowed a comprehensive spatial analysis of the volcanoes to be conducted. Of the 1,118 volcanoes of ages from 23Ma to active in the CVZ, we focused on the 106 active and potentially active large composite volcanoes that define the modern arc. These volcanoes are related in time and thus to a consistent set of tectonic factors. The frequency distribution of inter-volcano distances shows a peak frequency in the 10 - 30 km range (71%) with subordinate between 40-80 km (19%) and 80 - 120 km (10%). The characteristic spacing is thus much smaller than the characteristic spacing of 70 km found previously and is consistent with Baker (1974; EPSL). The primary cause appears to be clustering of volcanoes into groups. The density of volcanoes is variable along the arc with regularly spaced clusters of two to three volcanoes in northern and southern parts of the arc (13 r°S to 19 r°S and 24 r° to 27

  5. 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. PMID:26721952

  6. Extrinsic sound stimulations and development of periphery auditory synapses

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Kun Hou; Shiming Yang; Ke Liu

    2015-01-01

    The development of auditory synapses is a key process for the maturation of hearing function. However, it is still on debate regarding whether the development of auditory synapses is dominated by acquired sound stimulations. In this review, we summarize relevant publications in recent decades to address this issue. Most reported data suggest that extrinsic sound stimulations do affect, but not govern the development of periphery auditory synapses. Overall, periphery auditory synapses develop and mature according to its intrinsic mechanism to build up the synaptic connections between sensory neurons and/or interneurons.

  7. Analog VLSI Circuits for Short-Term Dynamic Synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shih-Chii Liu

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available Short-term dynamical synapses increase the computational power of neuronal networks. These synapses act as additional filters to the inputs of a neuron before the subsequent integration of these signals at its cell body. In this work, we describe a model of depressing and facilitating synapses derived from a hardware circuit implementation. This model is equivalent to theoretical models of short-term synaptic dynamics in network simulations. These circuits have been added to a network of leaky integrate-and-fire neurons. A cortical model of direction-selectivity that uses short-term dynamic synapses has been implemented with this network.

  8. Congruent phylogeographical patterns of eight tree species in Atlantic Central Africa provide insights into the past dynamics of forest cover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dauby, G; Duminil, J; Heuertz, M; Koffi, G K; Stévart, T; Hardy, O J

    2014-05-01

    Cycles of Quaternary climatic change are assumed to be major drivers of African rainforest dynamics and evolution. However, most hypotheses on past vegetation dynamics relied on palaeobotanical records, an approach lacking spatial resolution, and on current patterns of species diversity and endemism, an approach confounding history and environmental determinism. In this context, a comparative phylogeographical study of rainforest species represents a complementary approach because Pleistocene climatic fluctuations may have left interpretable signatures in the patterns of genetic diversity within species. Using 1274 plastid DNA sequences from eight tree species (Afrostyrax kamerunensis, A. lepidophyllus, Erythrophleum suaveolens, Greenwayodendron suaveolens, Milicia excelsa, Santiria trimera, Scorodophloeus zenkeri and Symphonia globulifera) sampled in 50 populations of Atlantic Central Africa (ACA), we averaged divergence across species to produce the first map of the region synthesizing genetic distinctiveness and standardized divergence within and among localities. Significant congruence in divergence was detected mostly among five of the eight species and was stronger in the northern ACA. This pattern is compatible with a scenario of past forest fragmentation and recolonization whereby forests from eastern Cameroon and northeastern Gabon would have been more affected by past climatic change than those of western Cameroon (where one or more refugia would have occurred). By contrast, southern ACA (Gabon) displayed low congruence among species that may reflect less drastic past forest fragmentation or a more complex history of vegetation changes. Finally, we also highlight the potential impact of current environmental barriers on spatial genetic structures. PMID:24655106

  9. Insights Into Central And Eastern European Countries Competitiveness: On The Exposure Of Capital Markets To Exchange Rate Risk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra HOROBET

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Unexpected fluctuations in exchange rates represent a matter of concern for all businesses nowadays as the volatility in exchange rates impacts businesses’ cash flows, revenues and expenses, and eventually is reflected in the company’s risk-return profile. Companies’ exposures to exchange rate risk have considerably increased in the past decades, given the boost in international operations and the continuous diversification of businesses’ activities at the global level. Despite the attention that businesses display to nominal exchange rates changes, it is the real exchange rate that should be of more concern to corporate managers, since they induce changes at the level of the competitiveness of the business. Our paper comparatively analyzes the exposure to changes in the nominal and real exchanges rates of the local currencies that companies from a number of four Central and Eastern European countries (Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic and Poland and investigates the nature of the relationship between stock market performance and exchange rates in the four countries under consideration. We find limited evidence for contemporaneous and asymmetric exposure to nominal and real exchange rate risk in all four countries, but consistent evidence for three to four months lagged exposure.

  10. Dissolved organic matter and inorganic ions in a central Himalayan glacier--insights into chemical composition and atmospheric sources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Jianzhong; Zhang, Qi; Li, Xiangying; Ge, Xinlei; Xiao, Cunde; Ren, Jiawen; Qin, Dahe

    2013-06-18

    Melting of Himalayan glaciers can be accelerated by the deposition of airborne black carbon and mineral dust as it leads to significant reductions of the surface albedo of snow and ice. Whereas South Asia has been shown a primary source region to these particles, detailed sources of these aerosol pollutants remain poorly understood. In this study, the chemical compositions of snow pit samples collected from Jima Yangzong glacier in the central Himalayas were analyzed to obtain information of atmospheric aerosols deposited from summer 2009 to spring 2010. Especially, an Aerodyne high resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS) was used for the first time to chemically characterize the dissolved organic and inorganic matter (DOM and DIM) in snow samples. The concentrations of these species varied seasonally, with high levels observed during the winter-spring period and low levels during the summer monsoon period. On average, the dissolved substances was dominated by organics (58%) with important contributions from inorganic species, NO3(-) (12.5%), Ca(2+) (9.1%), NH4(+) (8.7%), and SO(4)(2-) (8.1%). DOM was found more oxidized with an average (± 1σ) atomic oxygen-to-carbon ratio (nO/nC) of 0.64 (± 0.14) and organic mass-to-carbon ratio (OM/OC) of 2.01 (± 0.19) during the winter-spring periods compared to the summer season (nO/nC = 0.31 ± 0.09 and OM/OC = 1.58 ± 0.12). In addition, biomass burning particles were found significantly enhanced in snow during the winter-spring periods, consistent with HYSPLIT back trajectory analysis of air mass history, which indicates prevailing atmospheric transport from northwest India and Nepal.

  11. Origin of magnetic highs at ultramafic hosted hydrothermal systems: Insights from the Yokoniwa site of Central Indian Ridge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujii, Masakazu; Okino, Kyoko; Sato, Taichi; Sato, Hiroshi; Nakamura, Kentaro

    2016-05-01

    High-resolution vector magnetic measurements were performed on an inactive ultramafic-hosted hydrothermal vent field, called Yokoniwa Hydrothermal Field (YHF), using a deep-sea manned submersible Shinkai6500 and an autonomous underwater vehicle r2D4. The YHF has developed at a non-transform offset massif of the Central Indian Ridge. Dead chimneys were widely observed around the YHF along with a very weak venting of low-temperature fluids so that hydrothermal activity of the YHF was almost finished. The distribution of crustal magnetization from the magnetic anomaly revealed that the YHF is associated with enhanced magnetization, as seen at the ultramafic-hosted Rainbow and Ashadze-1 hydrothermal sites of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The results of rock magnetic analysis on seafloor rock samples (including basalt, dolerite, gabbro, serpentinized peridotite, and hydrothermal sulfide) showed that only highly serpentinized peridotite carries high magnetic susceptibility and that the natural remanent magnetization intensity can explain the high magnetization of Yokoniwa. These observations reflect abundant and strongly magnetized magnetite grains within the highly serpentinized peridotite. Comparisons with the Rainbow and Ashadze-1 suggest that in ultramafic-hosted hydrothermal systems, strongly magnetized magnetite and pyrrhotite form during the progression of hydrothermal alteration of peridotite. After the completion of serpentinization and production of hydrogen, pyrrhotites convert into pyrite or nonmagnetic iron sulfides, which considerably reduces their levels of magnetization. Our results revealed origins of the magnetic high and the development of subsurface chemical processes in ultramafic-hosted hydrothermal systems. Furthermore, the results highlight the use of near-seafloor magnetic field measurements as a powerful tool for detecting and characterizing seafloor hydrothermal systems.

  12. 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

  13. Trends and Bioclimatic Assessment of Extreme Indices: Emerging Insights for Rainfall Derivative Crop Microinsurance in Central-West Nigeria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Awolala, D. O.

    2015-12-01

    Scientific predictions have forecasted increasing economic losses by which farming households will be forced to consider new adaptation pathways to close the food gap and be income secure. Pro-poor adaptation planning decisions therefore must rely on location-specific details from systematic assessment of extreme climate indices to provide template for most suitable financial adaptation instruments. This paper examined critical loss point to water stress in maize production and risk-averse behaviour to extreme local climate in Central West Nigeria. Trends of extreme indices and bio-climatic assessment based on RClimDex for numerical weather predictions were carried out using a 3-decade time series daily observational climate data of the sub-humid region. The study reveals that the flowering and seed formation stage was identified as the most critical loss point when seed formation is a function of per unit soil water available for uptake. The sub-humid has a bi-modal rainfall pattern but faces longer dry spell with a fast disappearing mild climate measured by budyko evaporation of 80.1%. Radiation index of dryness of 1.394 confirms the region is rapidly becoming drier at an evaporation rate of 949 mm/year and rainfall deficit of 366 mm/year. Net primary production from rainfall is fast declining by 1634 g(DM)/m2/year. These conditions influenced by monthly rainfall uncertainties are associated with losses of standing crops because farmers are uncertain of rainfall probability distribution especially during most important vegetative stage. In a simulated warmer climate, an absolute dryness of months was observed compared with 4 dry months in a normal climate which explains triggers of food deficits and income losses. Positive coefficients of tropical nights (TR20), warm nights (TN90P) and warm days (TX90P), and the negative coefficient of cold days (TX10P) with time are significant at P<0.05. The increasing gradient of warm spell indicator (WSDI), the decreasing

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Upper Paleozoic tectonics in the Tien Shan (Central Asian Orogenic Belt): insight from new structural data (Kyrgyzstan)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jourdon, Anthony; Petit, Carole; Rolland, Yann; Loury, Chloé; Bellahsen, Nicolas; Guillot, Stéphane; Ganino, Clément

    2016-04-01

    Due to successive block accretions, the polarity of structures and tectonic evolution of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB) are still a matter of debate. There are several conflicting models about the polarity of subduction during the Paleozoic, the number of microplates and oceanic basins and the timing of tectonic events in Kyrgyz and Chinese Tien Shan. In this study, we propose new structural maps and cross-sections of Middle and South Kyrgyz Tien Shan (MTS and STS respectively). These cross-sections highlight an overall dextral strike-slip shear zone in the MTS and a north verging structure related to south-dipping subduction in the STS. These structures are Carboniferous in age and sealed by Mesozoic and Cenozoic deposits. In detail, the STS exhibits two deformation phases. The first one is characterized by coeval top-to-the north thrusting and top-to-the-South normal shearing at the boundaries of large continental unit that underwent High-Pressure (Eclogite facies) metamorphism. We ascribe this phase to the exhumation of underthrusted passive margin units of the MTS. The second one corresponds to a top to the North nappe stacking that we link to the last collisional events between the MTS and the Tarim block. Later on, during the Late Carboniferous, a major deformation stage is characterized by the deformation of the MTS and its thrusting over the NTS. This deformation occurred on a large dextral shear zone between the NTS and the MTS known as Song-Kul Zone or Nikolaiev Line as a "side effect" of the Tarim/MTS collision. Based on these observations, we propose a new interpretation of the tectonic evolution of the CAOB. The resulting model comprises the underthrusting of the MTS-Kazakh platform beneath the Tarim and its exhumation followed by the folding, shortening and thickening of the internal metamorphic units during the last collisional events which partitioned the deformation between the STS and the MTS. Finally, the docking of the large Tarim Craton

  18. Circadian rhythmicity of synapses in mouse somatosensory cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jasinska, Malgorzata; Grzegorczyk, Anna; Woznicka, Olga; Jasek, Ewa; Kossut, Malgorzata; Barbacka-Surowiak, Grazyna; Litwin, Jan A; Pyza, Elzbieta

    2015-10-01

    The circadian rhythmicity displayed by motor behavior of mice: activity at night and rest during the day; and the associated changes in the sensory input are reflected by cyclic synaptic plasticity in the whisker representations located in the somatosensory (barrel) cortex. It was not clear whether diurnal rhythmic changes in synapse density previously observed in the barrel cortex resulted from changes in the activity of the animals, from daily light/dark (LD) rhythm or are driven by an endogenous clock. These changes were investigated in the barrel cortex of C57BL/6 mouse strain kept under LD 12 : 12 h conditions and in constant darkness (DD). Stereological analysis of serial electron microscopic sections was used to assess numerical density of synapses. In mice kept under LD conditions, the total density of synapses and the density of excitatory synapses located on dendritic spines was higher during the light period (rest phase). In contrast, the density of inhibitory synapses located on dendritic spines increased during the dark period (activity phase). Under DD conditions, the upregulation of the inhibitory synapses during the activity phase was retained, but the cyclic changes in the density of excitatory synapses were not observed. The results show that the circadian plasticity concerns only synapses located on spines (and not those on dendritic shafts), and that excitatory and inhibitory synapses are differently regulated during the 24 h cycle: the excitatory synapses are influenced by light, whilst the inhibitory synapses are driven by the endogenous circadian clock. PMID:26274013

  19. Stability analysis of associative memory network composed of stochastic neurons and dynamic synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuichi eKatori

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available We investigate the dynamical properties of an associative memory network consisting of stochastic neurons and dynamic synapses that show short-term depression and facilitation. In the stochastic neuron model used in this study, the efficacy of the synaptic transmission changes according to the short-term depression or facilitation mechanism. We derive a macroscopic mean field model that captures the overall dynamical properties of the stochastic model. We analyze the stability and bifurcation structure of the mean field model, and show the dependence of the memory retrieval performance on the noise intensity and parameters that determine the properties of the dynamic synapses, i.e., time constants for depressing and facilitating processes. The associative memory network exhibits a variety of dynamical states, including the memory and pseudo-memory states, as well as oscillatory states among memory patterns. This study provides comprehensive insight into the dynamical properties of the associative memory network with dynamic synapses.

  20. The small GTPase Rab8 interacts with VAMP-3 to regulate the delivery of recycling T-cell receptors to the immune synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finetti, Francesca; Patrussi, Laura; Galgano, Donatella; Cassioli, Chiara; Perinetti, Giuseppe; Pazour, Gregory J; Baldari, Cosima T

    2015-07-15

    IFT20, a component of the intraflagellar transport (IFT) system that controls ciliogenesis, regulates immune synapse assembly in the non-ciliated T-cell by promoting T-cell receptor (TCR) recycling. Here, we have addressed the role of Rab8 (for which there are two isoforms Rab8a and Rab8b), a small GTPase implicated in ciliogenesis, in TCR traffic to the immune synapse. We show that Rab8, which colocalizes with IFT20 in Rab11(+) endosomes, is required for TCR recycling. Interestingly, as opposed to in IFT20-deficient T-cells, TCR(+) endosomes polarized normally beneath the immune synapse membrane in the presence of dominant-negative Rab8, but were unable to undergo the final docking or fusion step. This could be accounted for by the inability of the vesicular (v)-SNARE VAMP-3 to cluster at the immune synapse in the absence of functional Rab8, which is responsible for its recruitment. Of note, and similar to in T-cells, VAMP-3 interacts with Rab8 at the base of the cilium in NIH-3T3 cells, where it regulates ciliary growth and targeting of the protein smoothened. The results identify Rab8 as a new player in vesicular traffic to the immune synapse and provide insight into the pathways co-opted by different cell types for immune synapse assembly and ciliogenesis.

  1. Not committing barbarisms: Sherrington and the synapse, 1897.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tansey, E M

    1997-01-01

    The word synapse first appeared in 1897, in the seventh edition of Michael Foster's Textbook of Physiology. Foster was assisted in writing the volume on the nervous system by Charles Sherrington, who can be credited with developing and advocating the physiological concept of a synapse. The word itself however, was derived by a Cambridge classicist, Arthur Verrall.

  2. Rhythmic Changes in Synapse Numbers in Drosophila melanogaster Motor Terminals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz, Santiago; Ferreiro, Maria Jose; Menhert, Kerstin I.; Casanova, Gabriela; Olivera, Alvaro; Cantera, Rafael

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23840613

  3. 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.

  4. Glimepiride protects neurons against amyloid-β-induced synapse damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osborne, Craig; West, Ewan; Nolan, William; McHale-Owen, Harriet; Williams, Alun; Bate, Clive

    2016-02-01

    Alzheimer's disease is associated with the accumulation within the brain of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides that damage synapses and affect memory acquisition. This process can be modelled by observing the effects of Aβ on synapses in cultured neurons. The addition of picomolar concentrations of soluble Aβ derived from brain extracts triggered the loss of synaptic proteins including synaptophysin, synapsin-1 and cysteine string protein from cultured neurons. Glimepiride, a sulphonylurea used for the treatment of diabetes, protected neurons against synapse damage induced by Aβ. The protective effects of glimepiride were multi-faceted. Glimepiride treatment was associated with altered synaptic membranes including the loss of specific glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins including the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) that acts as a receptor for Aβ42, increased synaptic gangliosides and altered cell signalling. More specifically, glimepiride reduced the Aβ-induced increase in cholesterol and the Aβ-induced activation of cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) in synapses that occurred within cholesterol-dense membrane rafts. Aβ42 binding to glimepiride-treated neurons was not targeted to membrane rafts and less Aβ42 accumulated within synapses. These studies indicate that glimepiride modified the membrane micro-environments in which Aβ-induced signalling leads to synapse damage. In addition, soluble PrP(C), released from neurons by glimepiride, neutralised Aβ-induced synapse damage. Such observations raise the possibility that glimepiride may reduce synapse damage and hence delay the progression of cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease. PMID:26432105

  5. The secretory synapse: the secrets of a serial killer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bossi, Giovanna; Trambas, Christina; Booth, Sarah; Clark, Richard; Stinchcombe, Jane; Griffiths, Gillian M

    2002-11-01

    Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) destroy their targets by a process involving secretion of specialized granules. The interactions between CTLs and target can be very brief; nevertheless, adhesion and signaling proteins segregate into an immunological synapse. Secretion occurs in a specialized secretory domain. Use of live and fixed cell microscopy allows this secretory synapse to be visualized both temporally and spatially. The combined use of confocal and electron microscopy has produced some surprising findings, which suggest that the secretory synapse may be important both in delivering the lethal hit and in facilitating membrane transfer from target to CTL. Studies on the secretory synapse in wild-type and mutant CTLs have been used to identify proteins involved in secretion. Further clues as to the signals required for secretion are emerging from comparisons of inhibitory and activating synapses formed by natural killer cells.

  6. Facilitation at single synapses probed with optical quantal analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oertner, Thomas G; Sabatini, Bernardo L; Nimchinsky, Esther A; Svoboda, Karel

    2002-07-01

    Many synapses can change their strength rapidly in a use-dependent manner, but the mechanisms of such short-term plasticity remain unknown. To understand these mechanisms, measurements of neurotransmitter release at single synapses are required. We probed transmitter release by imaging transient increases in [Ca(2+)] mediated by synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) in individual dendritic spines of CA1 pyramidal neurons in rat brain slices, enabling quantal analysis at single synapses. We found that changes in release probability, produced by paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) or by manipulation of presynaptic adenosine receptors, were associated with changes in glutamate concentration in the synaptic cleft, indicating that single synapses can release a variable amount of glutamate per action potential. The relationship between release probability and response size is consistent with a binomial model of vesicle release with several (>5) independent release sites per active zone, suggesting that multivesicular release contributes to facilitation at these synapses.

  7. Evidence for Archean inheritance in the pre-Panafrican crust of Central Cameroon: Insight from zircon internal structure and LA-MC-ICP-MS Usbnd Pb ages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganwa, Alembert Alexandre; Klötzli, Urs Stephan; Hauzenberger, Christoph

    2016-08-01

    sources. It is likely that erosion, transport and deposition took place between 2116 and 821 Ma. Geochemical data show that the REE, Y, Yb, Sr/Y of some samples are similar to the known Archean craton formations (depletion in REE, Y ≤ 10 ppm, Yb ≤ 1 ppm, Sr/Y ≥ 30). These characteristics are known as specific for the Archean TTG (Tonalite-Trondhjemite-Granodiorite). It means that: i) Archean TTG contribute significantly to the detritus of the sedimentary basin, ii) The depositional basin and the source rock were close and the detritus was immature. Our results show that the Pre-Panafrican history of central Cameroon includes Meso- to Neo-Archean crustal accretion and associated magmatism prior to the Paleoproterozoic event of the West Central African Belt. In respect to this new insight, any evolutionary reconstruction of the area should integrate the presence of Archean crust.

  8. Evidence for Archean inheritance in the pre-Panafrican crust of Central Cameroon: Insight from zircon internal structure and LA-MC-ICP-MS Usbnd Pb ages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganwa, Alembert Alexandre; Klötzli, Urs Stephan; Hauzenberger, Christoph

    2016-08-01

    contributing sources. It is likely that erosion, transport and deposition took place between 2116 and 821 Ma. Geochemical data show that the REE, Y, Yb, Sr/Y of some samples are similar to the known Archean craton formations (depletion in REE, Y ≤ 10 ppm, Yb ≤ 1 ppm, Sr/Y ≥ 30). These characteristics are known as specific for the Archean TTG (Tonalite-Trondhjemite-Granodiorite). It means that: i) Archean TTG contribute significantly to the detritus of the sedimentary basin, ii) The depositional basin and the source rock were close and the detritus was immature. Our results show that the Pre-Panafrican history of central Cameroon includes Meso- to Neo-Archean crustal accretion and associated magmatism prior to the Paleoproterozoic event of the West Central African Belt. In respect to this new insight, any evolutionary reconstruction of the area should integrate the presence of Archean crust.

  9. Nonlinear Synapses for Large-Scale Models: An Efficient Representation Enables Complex Synapse Dynamics Modeling in Large-Scale Simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric eHu

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Chemical synapses are comprised of a wide collection of intricate signaling pathways involving complex dynamics. These mechanisms are often reduced to simple spikes or exponential representations in order to enable computer simulations at higher spatial levels of complexity. However, these representations cannot capture important nonlinear dynamics found in synaptic transmission. Here, we propose an input-output (IO synapse model capable of generating complex nonlinear dynamics while maintaining low computational complexity. This IO synapse model is an extension of a detailed mechanistic glutamatergic synapse model capable of capturing the input-output relationships of the mechanistic model using the Volterra functional power series. We demonstrate that the IO synapse model is able to successfully track the nonlinear dynamics of the synapse up to the third order with high accuracy. We also evaluate the accuracy of the IO synapse model at different input frequencies and compared its performance with that of kinetic models in compartmental neuron models. Our results demonstrate that the IO synapse model is capable of efficiently replicating complex nonlinear dynamics that were represented in the original mechanistic model and provide a method to replicate complex and diverse synaptic transmission within neuron network simulations.

  10. GA-Binding Protein Is Dispensable for Neuromuscular Synapse Formation and Synapse-Specific Gene Expression▿

    OpenAIRE

    Jaworski, Alexander; Smith, Cynthia L.; Burden, Steven J.

    2007-01-01

    The mRNAs encoding postsynaptic components at the neuromuscular junction are concentrated in the synaptic region of muscle fibers. Accumulation of these RNAs in the synaptic region is mediated, at least in part, by selective transcription of the corresponding genes in synaptic myofiber nuclei. The transcriptional mechanisms that are responsible for synapse-specific gene expression are largely unknown, but an Ets site in the promoter regions of acetylcholine receptor (AChR) subunit genes and o...

  11. Proteomic studies of a single CNS synapse type: the parallel fiber/purkinje cell synapse.

    OpenAIRE

    Fekrije Selimi; Cristea, Ileana M.; Elizabeth Heller; Brian T Chait; Nathaniel Heintz

    2009-01-01

    Author Summary The brain is composed of many different types of neurons that form very specific connections: synapses are formed with specific cellular partners and on precise subcellular domains. It has been proposed that different combinations of molecules encode the specificity of neuronal connections, implying the existence of a “molecular synaptic code.” To test this hypothesis, we describe a new experimental strategy that allows systematic identification of the protein composition for i...

  12. Neurotrophin-3 regulates ribbon synapse density in the cochlea and induces synapse regeneration after acoustic trauma

    OpenAIRE

    Wan, Guoqiang; Gómez-Casati, Maria E; Gigliello, Angelica R.; Liberman, M. Charles; Corfas, Gabriel

    2014-01-01

    Neurotrophin-3 (Ntf3) and brain derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) are critical for sensory neuron survival and establishment of neuronal projections to sensory epithelia in the embryonic inner ear, but their postnatal functions remain poorly understood. Using cell-specific inducible gene recombination in mice we found that, in the postnatal inner ear, Bbnf and Ntf3 are required for the formation and maintenance of hair cell ribbon synapses in the vestibular and cochlear epithelia, respective...

  13. Tunnel junction based memristors as artificial synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andy eThomas

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available We prepared magnesia, tantalum oxide and barium titanate based junction structures and investigated their memristive properties. The low amplitudes of the resistance change in these types of junctions are the major obstacle for their use. Here, we increased the amplitude of the resistance change from 10% up to 100%. Utilizing the memristive properties, we looked into the use of the junction structures as artificial synapses. We observed analogs of long-term potentiation, long-term depression and spike-time dependent plasticity in these simple two terminal devices. Finally, we suggest a possible pathway of these devices towards their integration in neuromorphic systems for storing analog synaptic weights and supporting the implementation of biologically plausible learning mechanisms.

  14. Analytical modelling of temperature effects on synapses

    CERN Document Server

    Kufel, Dominik S

    2016-01-01

    It was previously reported, that temperature may significantly influence neural dynamics on different levels of brain modelling. Due to this fact, while creating the model in computational neuroscience we would like to make it scalable for wide-range of various brain temperatures. However currently, because of a lack of experimental data and an absence of analytical model describing temperature influence on synapses, it is not possible to include temperature effects on multi-neuron modelling level. In this paper, we propose first step to deal with this problem: new analytical model of AMPA-type synaptic conductance, which is able to include temperature effects in low-frequency stimulations. It was constructed on basis of Markov model description of AMPA receptor kinetics and few simplifications motivated both experimentally and from Monte Carlo simulation of synaptic transmission. The model may be used for efficient and accurate implementation of temperature effects on AMPA receptor conductance in large scale...

  15. The Extracellular and Cytoplasmic Domains of Syndecan Cooperate Postsynaptically to Promote Synapse Growth at the Drosophila Neuromuscular Junction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margaret U Nguyen

    Full Text Available The heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG Syndecan (Sdc is a crucial regulator of synapse development and growth in both vertebrates and invertebrates. In Drosophila, Sdc binds via its extracellular heparan sulfate (HS sidechains to the receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase LAR to promote the morphological growth of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ. To date, however, little else is known about the molecular mechanisms by which Sdc functions to promote synapse growth. Here we show that all detectable Sdc found at the NMJ is provided by the muscle, strongly suggesting a post-synaptic role for Sdc. We also show that both the cytoplasmic and extracellular domains of Sdc are required to promote synapse growth or to rescue Sdc loss of function. We report the results of a yeast two-hybrid screen using the cytoplasmic domains of Sdc as bait, and identify several novel candidate binding partners for the cytoplasmic domains of Sdc. Together, these studies provide new insight into the mechanism of Sdc function at the NMJ, and provide enticing future directions for further exploring how Sdc promotes synapse growth.

  16. Extracellular matrix control of dendritic spine and synapse structure and plasticity in adulthood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron D Levy

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Dendritic spines are the receptive contacts at most excitatory synapses in the central nervous system. Spines are dynamic in the developing brain, changing shape as they mature as well as appearing and disappearing as they make and break connections. Spines become much more stable in adulthood, and spine structure must be actively maintained to support established circuit function. At the same time, adult spines must retain some plasticity so their structure can be modified by activity and experience. As such, the regulation of spine stability and remodeling in the adult animal is critical for normal function, and disruption of these processes is associated with a variety of late onset diseases including schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. The extracellular matrix (ECM, composed of a meshwork of proteins and proteoglycans, is a critical regulator of spine and synapse stability and plasticity. While the role of ECM receptors in spine regulation has been extensively studied, considerably less research has focused directly on the role of specific ECM ligands. Here, we review the evidence for a role of several brain ECM ligands and remodeling proteases in the regulation of dendritic spine and synapse formation, plasticity, and stability in adults.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wei; Xu, Xin; Pozzo-Miller, Lucas

    2016-03-15

    Deficits in long-term potentiation (LTP) at central excitatory synapses are thought to contribute to cognitive impairments in neurodevelopmental disorders associated with intellectual disability and autism. Using the methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (Mecp2) knockout (KO) mouse model of Rett syndrome, we show that naïve excitatory synapses onto hippocampal pyramidal neurons of symptomatic mice have all of the hallmarks of potentiated synapses. Stronger Mecp2 KO synapses failed to undergo LTP after either theta-burst afferent stimulation or pairing afferent stimulation with postsynaptic depolarization. On the other hand, basal synaptic strength and LTP were not affected in slices from younger presymptomatic Mecp2 KO mice. Furthermore, spine synapses in pyramidal neurons from symptomatic Mecp2 KO are larger and do not grow in size or incorporate GluA1 subunits after electrical or chemical LTP. Our data suggest that LTP is occluded in Mecp2 KO mice by already potentiated synapses. The higher surface levels of GluA1-containing receptors are consistent with altered expression levels of proteins involved in AMPA receptor trafficking, suggesting previously unidentified targets for therapeutic intervention for Rett syndrome and other MECP2-related disorders.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas Schleinitz

    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.

  19. Direct imaging of lateral movements of AMPA receptors inside synapses

    CERN Document Server

    Tardin, Catherine; Bats, Cécile; Lounis, Brahim; Choquet, Daniel

    2003-01-01

    Trafficking of AMPA receptors in and out of synapses is crucial for synaptic plasticity. Previous studies have focused on the role of endo/exocytosis processes or that of lateral diffusion of extra-synaptic receptors. We have now directly imaged AMPAR movements inside and outside synapses of live neurons using single-molecule fluorescence microscopy. Inside individual synapses, we found immobile and mobile receptors, which display restricted diffusion. Extra-synaptic receptors display free diffusion. Receptors could also exchange between these membrane compartments through lateral diffusion. Glutamate application increased both receptor mobility inside synapses and the fraction of mobile receptors present in a juxtasynaptic region. Block of inhibitory transmission to favor excitatory synaptic activity induced a transient increase in the fraction of mobile receptors and a decrease in the proportion of juxtasynaptic receptors. Altogether, our data show that rapid exchange of receptors between a synaptic and ext...

  20. A New Efficient-Silicon Area MDAC Synapse

    OpenAIRE

    Zied Gafsi; Nejib Hassen; Mongia Mhiri; Kamel Besbes

    2007-01-01

    Using the binary representation in the Multiplier digital to analog converter (MDAC) synapse designs have crucial drawbacks. Silicon area of transistors, constituting the MDAC circuit, increases exponentially according to the number of bits. This latter is generated by geometric progression of common ratio equal to 2. To reduce this exponential increase to a linear growth, a new synapse named Arithmetic MDAC (AMDAC) is designed. It functions with a new representation based on arithmetic progr...

  1. Low voltage and time constant organic synapse-transistor

    OpenAIRE

    Desbief, Simon; Kyndiah, Adrica; Guerin, David; Gentili, Denis; Murgia, Mauro; Lenfant, Stéphane; Alibart, Fabien; Cramer, Tobias; Biscarini, Fabio; Vuillaume, Dominique

    2015-01-01

    We report on an artificial synapse, an organic synapse-transistor (synapstor) working at 1 volt and with a typical response time in the range 100-200 ms. This device (also called NOMFET, Nanoparticle Organic Memory Field Effect Transistor) combines a memory and a transistor effect in a single device. We demonstrate that short-term plasticity (STP), a typical synaptic behavior, is observed when stimulating the device with input spikes of 1 volt. Both significant facilitating and depressing beh...

  2. Silent Synapse-Based Circuitry Remodeling in Drug Addiction

    OpenAIRE

    Dong, Yan

    2015-01-01

    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 genera...

  3. Structure and function of the hair cell ribbon synapse.

    OpenAIRE

    Nouvian, R.; Beutner, D.; Parsons, T D; Moser, T.

    2006-01-01

    Faithful information transfer at the hair cell afferent synapse requires synaptic transmission to be both reliable and temporally precise. The release of neurotransmitter must exhibit both rapid on and off kinetics to accurately follow acoustic stimuli with a periodicity of 1 ms or less. To ensure such remarkable temporal fidelity, the cochlear hair cell afferent synapse undoubtedly relies on unique cellular and molecular specializations. While the electron microscopy hallmark of the hair cel...

  4. Functions of axon guidance molecules in synapse formation

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Shih-Yu; Cheng, Hwai-Jong

    2009-01-01

    Axon guidance and synapse formation are important developmental events for establishing a functional neuronal circuitry. These two related cellular processes occur in a coordinated fashion but previous studies from multiple model organisms seemed to suggest that axon guidance and synapse formation are mediated by distinct molecular cues. Thus, axon guidance molecules are responsible for guiding the navigating axon toward its target area, while other adhesion or ligand-receptor molecules speci...

  5. Synapse Loss in Olfactory Local Interneurons Modifies Perception

    OpenAIRE

    Acebes-Vindel, José Ángel; Martín-Peña, Alfonso; Chevalier, Valérie; Ferrús, Alberto

    2011-01-01

    Synapse loss correlates with cognitive decline in aging and most neurological pathologies. Sensory perception changes often represent subtle dysfunctions that precede the onset of a neurodegenerative disease. However, a cause–effect relationship between synapse loss and sensory perception deficits is difficult to prove and quantify due to functional and structural adaptation of neural systems. Here we modified a PI3K/AKT/GSK3 signaling pathway to reduce the number of synapses—without affectin...

  6. Opposite actions of nitric oxide on cholinergic synapses: which pathways?

    OpenAIRE

    Mothet, J P; Fossier, P; Tauc, L; Baux, G

    1996-01-01

    Nitric oxide (NO) produced opposite effects on acetylcholine (ACh) release in identified neuroneuronal Aplysia synapses depending on the excitatory or the inhibitory nature of the synapse. Extracellular application of the NO donor, SIN-1, depressed the inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) and enhanced the excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) evoked by presynaptic action potentials (1/60 Hz). Application of a membrane-permeant cGMP analog mimicked the effect of SIN-1 suggesting the par...

  7. Regulation of excitatory synapse development by the RhoGEF Ephexin5

    OpenAIRE

    Salogiannis, John

    2013-01-01

    The neuronal synapse is a specialized cell-cell junction that mediates communication between neurons. The formation of a synapse requires the coordinated activity of signaling molecules that can either promote or restrict synapse number and function. Tight regulation of these signaling molecules are critical to ensure that synapses form in the correct number, time and place during brain development. A number of molecular mechanisms that promote synapse formation have been elucidated, but s...

  8. Fmr1 KO and Fenobam Treatment Differentially Impact Distinct Synapse Populations of Mouse Neocortex

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Gordon X.; Smith, Stephen J.; MOURRAIN, PHILIPPE

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive deficits in fragile X syndrome (FXS) are attributed to molecular abnormalities of the brain’s vast and heterogeneous synapse populations. Unfortunately, the density of synapses coupled with their molecular heterogeneity presents formidable challenges in understanding the specific contribution of synapse changes in FXS. We demonstrate powerful new methods for the large-scale molecular analysis of individual synapses that allow quantification of numerous specific changes in synapse po...

  9. Synapse- and Stimulus-Specific Local Translation During Long-Term Neuronal Plasticity

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Dan Ohtan; Kim, Sang Mok; Zhao, Yali; Hwang, Hongik; Miura, Satoru K.; Sossin, Wayne S.; Martin, Kelsey C.

    2009-01-01

    Long-term memory and synaptic plasticity require changes in gene expression and yet can occur in a synapse-specific manner. mRNA localization and regulated translation at synapses are thus critical for establishing synapse specificity. Using live cell microscopy of photoconvertible fluorescent protein translational reporters, we directly visualized local translation at synapses during long-term facilitation of Aplysia sensory-motor synapses. Translation of the reporter required multiple appli...

  10. Artificial Synapse Network on Inorganic Proton Conductor for Neuromorphic Systems Applications

    OpenAIRE

    Zhu, Li Qiang; Wan, Chang Jin; Guo, Li Qiang; Shi, Yi; Wan, Qing

    2013-01-01

    The basic units in our brain are neurons and each neuron has more than 1000 synapse connections. Synapse is the basic structure for information transfer in an ever-changing manner, and short-term plasticity allows synapses to perform critical computational functions in neural circuits. Therefore the major challenge for the hardware implementation of neuromorphic computation is to develop artificial synapse. Here, in-plane oxide-based artificial synapse network coupled by proton neurotransmitt...

  11. Differentiation of autonomic reflex control begins with cellular mechanisms at the first synapse within the nucleus tractus solitarius

    OpenAIRE

    Andresen M.C.; Doyle M.W.; Bailey T.W.; Jin Y.-H.

    2004-01-01

    Visceral afferents send information via cranial nerves to the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS). The NTS is the initial step of information processing that culminates in homeostatic reflex responses. Recent evidence suggests that strong afferent synaptic responses in the NTS are most often modulated by depression and this forms a basic principle of central integration of these autonomic pathways. The visceral afferent synapse is uncommonly powerful at the NTS with large unitary response amplit...

  12. Daily rhythm of synapse turnover in mouse somatosensory cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jasinska, Malgorzata; Grzegorczyk, Anna; Jasek, Ewa; Litwin, Jan A; Kossut, Malgorzata; Barbacka-Surowiak, Grazyna; Pyza, Elzbieta

    2014-01-01

    The whisker representations in the somatosensory barrel cortex of mice are modulated by sensory inputs associated with animal motor behavior which shows circadian rhythmicity. In a C57/BL mouse strain kept under a light/dark (LD 12:12) regime, we observed daily structural changes in the barrel cortex, correlated with the locomotor activity level. Stereological analysis of serial electron microscopic sections of the barrel cortex of mice sacrificed during their active or rest period, revealed an increase in the total numerical density of synapses and in the density of excitatory synapses located on dendritic spines during the rest, as well as an increase in the density of inhibitory synapses located on double-synapse spines during the active period. This is the first report demonstrating a daily rhythm in remodeling of the mammalian somatosensory cortex, manifested by changes in the density of synapses and dendritic spines. Moreover, we have found that the excitatory and inhibitory synapses are differently regulated during the day/night cycle. PMID:24718049

  13. 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.

  14. 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

    OpenAIRE

    Berendonk, Christoph; Schirlo, Christian; Balestra, Gianmarco; Bonvin, Raphael; Feller, Sabine; Huber, Philippe; Jünger, Ernst; Monti, Matteo; Schnabel, Kai; Beyeler, Christine; Guttormsen, Sissel; Huwendiek, Sören

    2015-01-01

    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 ...

  15. New views of the human NK cell immunological synapse: recent advances enabled by super- and high- resolution imaging techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily M. Mace

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Imaging technology has undergone rapid growth with the development of super resolution microscopy, which enables resolution below the diffraction barrier of light (~200 nm. In addition, new techniques for single molecule imaging are being added to the cell biologist’s arsenal. Immunologists have exploited these techniques to advance understanding of NK biology, particularly that of the immune synapse. The immune synapse’s relatively small size and complex architecture combined with its exquisitely controlled signaling milieu have made it a challenge to visualize. In this review we highlight and discuss new insights into NK cell immune synapse formation and regulation revealed by cutting edge imaging techniques, including super resolution microscopy and high resolution total internal reflection microscopy and Förster resonance energy transfer.

  16. Inhibitory synapse dynamics: coordinated presynaptic and postsynaptic mobility and the major contribution of recycled vesicles to new synapse formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobie, Frederick A; Craig, Ann Marie

    2011-07-20

    Dynamics of GABAergic synaptic components have been studied previously over milliseconds to minutes, revealing mobility of postsynaptic scaffolds and receptors. Here we image inhibitory synapses containing fluorescently tagged postsynaptic scaffold Gephyrin, together with presynaptic vesicular GABA transporter (VGAT) or postsynaptic GABA(A) receptor γ2 subunit (GABA(A)Rγ2), over seconds to days in cultured rat hippocampal neurons, revealing modes of inhibitory synapse formation and remodeling. Entire synapses were mobile, translocating rapidly within a confined region and exhibiting greater nonstochastic motion over multihour periods. Presynaptic and postsynaptic components moved in unison, maintaining close apposition while translocating distances of several micrometers. An observed flux in the density of synaptic puncta partially resulted from the apparent merging and splitting of preexisting clusters. De novo formation of inhibitory synapses was observed, marked by the appearance of stably apposed Gephyrin and VGAT clusters at sites previously lacking either component. Coclustering of GABA(A)Rγ2 supports the identification of such new clusters as synapses. Nascent synapse formation occurred by gradual accumulation of components over several hours, with VGAT clustering preceding that of Gephyrin and GABA(A)Rγ2. Comparing VGAT labeling by active uptake of a luminal domain antibody with post hoc immunocytochemistry indicated that recycling vesicles from preexisting boutons significantly contribute to vesicle pools at the majority of new inhibitory synapses. Although new synapses formed primarily on dendrite shafts, some also formed on dendritic protrusions, without apparent interconversion. Altogether, the long-term imaging of GABAergic presynaptic and postsynaptic components reveals complex dynamics and perpetual remodeling with implications for mechanisms of assembly and synaptic integration.

  17. Nonlinear Synapses for Large-Scale Models: An Efficient Representation Enables Complex Synapse Dynamics Modeling in Large-Scale Simulations

    OpenAIRE

    Eric eHu; Jean-Marie Charles Bouteiller; Dong eSong; Michel eBaudry; Theodore W. Berger

    2015-01-01

    Chemical synapses are comprised of a wide collection of intricate signaling pathways involving complex dynamics. These mechanisms are often reduced to simple spikes or exponential representations in order to enable computer simulations at higher spatial levels of complexity. However, these representations cannot capture important nonlinear dynamics found in synaptic transmission. Here, we propose an input-output (IO) synapse model capable of generating complex nonlinear dynamics while maintai...

  18. Early maternal deprivation immunologically primes hippocampal synapses by redistributing interleukin-1 receptor type I in a sex dependent manner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viviani, Barbara; Boraso, Mariaserena; Valero, Manuel; Gardoni, Fabrizio; Marco, Eva Maria; Llorente, Ricardo; Corsini, Emanuela; Galli, Corrado Lodovico; Di Luca, Monica; Marinovich, Marina; López-Gallardo, Meritxell; Viveros, Maria-Paz

    2014-01-01

    Challenges experienced in early life cause an enduring phenotypical shift of immune cells towards a sensitised state that may lead to an exacerbated reaction later in life and contribute to increased vulnerability to neurological diseases. Peripheral and central inflammation may affect neuronal function through cytokines such as IL-1. The extent to which an early life challenge induces long-term alteration of immune receptors organization in neurons has not been shown. We investigated whether a single episode of maternal deprivation (MD) on post-natal day (PND) 9 affects: (i) the synapse distribution of IL-1RI together with subunits of NMDA and AMPA receptors; and (ii) the interactions between IL-1RI and the GluN2B subunit of the NMDAR in the long-term, at PND 45. MD increased IL-1RI levels and IL-1RI interactions with GluN2B at the synapse of male hippocampal neurons, without affecting the total number of IL-1RI or NMDAR subunits. Although GluN2B and GluN2A were slightly but not significantly changed at the synapse, their ratio was significantly decreased in the hippocampus of the male rats who had experienced MD; the levels of the GluA1 and GluA2 subunits of the AMPAR were also decreased. These changes were not observed immediately after the MD episode. None of the observed alterations occurred in the hippocampus of the females or in the prefrontal cortex of either sex. These data reveal a long-term, sex-dependent modification in receptor organisation at the hippocampal post-synapses following MD. We suggest that this effect might contribute to priming hippocampal synapses to the action of IL-1β.

  19. Auditory nerve synapses persist in ventral cochlear nucleus long after loss of acoustic input in mice with early-onset progressive hearing loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGuire, Brian; Fiorillo, Benjamin; Ryugo, David K; Lauer, Amanda M

    2015-04-24

    Perceptual performance in persons with hearing loss, especially those using devices to restore hearing, is not fully predicted by traditional audiometric measurements designed to evaluate the status of peripheral function. The integrity of auditory brainstem synapses may vary with different forms of hearing loss, and differential effects on the auditory nerve-brain interface may have particularly profound consequences for the transfer of sound from ear to brain. Loss of auditory nerve synapses in ventral cochlear nucleus (VCN) has been reported after acoustic trauma, ablation of the organ of Corti, and administration of ototoxic compounds. The effects of gradually acquired forms deafness on these synapses are less well understood. We investigated VCN gross morphology and auditory nerve synapse integrity in DBA/2J mice with early-onset progressive sensorineural hearing loss. Hearing status was confirmed using auditory brainstem response audiometry and acoustic startle responses. We found no change in VCN volume, number of macroneurons, or number of VGLUT1-positive auditory nerve terminals between young adult and older, deaf DBA/2J. Cell-type specific analysis revealed no difference in the number of VGLUT1 puncta contacting bushy and multipolar cell body profiles, but the terminals were smaller in deaf DBA/2J mice. Transmission electron microscopy confirmed the presence of numerous healthy, vesicle-filled auditory nerve synapses in older, deaf DBA/2J mice. The present results suggest that synapses can be preserved over a relatively long time-course in gradually acquired deafness. Elucidating the mechanisms supporting survival of central auditory nerve synapses in models of acquired deafness may reveal new opportunities for therapeutic intervention. PMID:25686750

  20. 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.

  1. [Synapse elimination and functional neural circuit formation in the cerebellum].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kano, Masanobu

    2013-06-01

    Neuronal connections are initially redundant, but unnecessary connections are eliminated subsequently during postnatal development. This process, known as 'synapse elimination', is thought to be crucial for establishing functionally mature neural circuits. The climbing fiber (CF) to the Purkinje cell (PC) synapse in the cerebellum is a representative model of synapse elimination. We disclose that one-to-one connection from CF to PC is established through four distinct phases: (1) strengthening of a single CF among multiple CFs in each PC at P3-P7, (2) translocation of a single strengthened CF to PC dendrites from around P9, and (3) early phase (P7 to around P11) and (4) late phase (around P12 to P17) of elimination of weak CF synapses from PC somata. Mice with PC-selective deletion of P/Q-type voltage-dependent Ca2+ channel (VDCC) exhibit severe defects in strengthening of single CFs, dendritic translocation of single CFs and CF elimination from P7. In contrast, mice with a mutation of a single allele for the GABA-synthesizing enzyme GAD67 have a selective impairment of CF elimination from P10 due to reduced inhibition and elevated Ca2+ influx to PC somata. Thus, regulation of Ca2+ influx to PCs is crucial for the four phases of CF synapse elimination. PMID:25069248

  2. Interplay between Subthreshold Oscillations and Depressing Synapses in Single Neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Latorre

    Full Text Available In this paper we analyze the interplay between the subthreshold oscillations of a single neuron conductance-based model and the short-term plasticity of a dynamic synapse with a depressing mechanism. In previous research, the computational properties of subthreshold oscillations and dynamic synapses have been studied separately. Our results show that dynamic synapses can influence different aspects of the dynamics of neuronal subthreshold oscillations. Factors such as maximum hyperpolarization level, oscillation amplitude and frequency or the resulting firing threshold are modulated by synaptic depression, which can even make subthreshold oscillations disappear. This influence reshapes the postsynaptic neuron's resonant properties arising from subthreshold oscillations and leads to specific input/output relations. We also study the neuron's response to another simultaneous input in the context of this modulation, and show a distinct contextual processing as a function of the depression, in particular for detection of signals through weak synapses. Intrinsic oscillations dynamics can be combined with the characteristic time scale of the modulatory input received by a dynamic synapse to build cost-effective cell/channel-specific information discrimination mechanisms, beyond simple resonances. In this regard, we discuss the functional implications of synaptic depression modulation on intrinsic subthreshold dynamics.

  3. Reduced release probability prevents vesicle depletion and transmission failure at dynamin mutant synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lou, Xuelin; Fan, Fan; Messa, Mirko; Raimondi, Andrea; Wu, Yumei; Looger, Loren L; Ferguson, Shawn M; De Camilli, Pietro

    2012-02-21

    Endocytic recycling of synaptic vesicles after exocytosis is critical for nervous system function. At synapses of cultured neurons that lack the two "neuronal" dynamins, dynamin 1 and 3, smaller excitatory postsynaptic currents are observed due to an impairment of the fission reaction of endocytosis that results in an accumulation of arrested clathrin-coated pits and a greatly reduced synaptic vesicle number. Surprisingly, despite a smaller readily releasable vesicle pool and fewer docked vesicles, a strong facilitation, which correlated with lower vesicle release probability, was observed upon action potential stimulation at such synapses. Furthermore, although network activity in mutant cultures was lower, Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) activity was unexpectedly increased, consistent with the previous report of an enhanced state of synapsin 1 phosphorylation at CaMKII-dependent sites in such neurons. These changes were partially reversed by overnight silencing of synaptic activity with tetrodotoxin, a treatment that allows progression of arrested endocytic pits to synaptic vesicles. Facilitation was also counteracted by CaMKII inhibition. These findings reveal a mechanism aimed at preventing synaptic transmission failure due to vesicle depletion when recycling vesicle traffic is backed up by a defect in dynamin-dependent endocytosis and provide new insight into the coupling between endocytosis and exocytosis.

  4. 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.

  5. Functional imaging of single synapses in brain slices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oertner, Thomas G

    2002-11-01

    The strength of synaptic connections in the brain is not fixed, but can be modulated by numerous mechanisms. Traditionally, electrophysiology has been used to characterize connections between neurons. Electrophysiology typically reports the activity of populations of synapses, while most mechanisms of plasticity are thought to operate at the level of single synapses. Recently, two-photon laser scanning microscopy has enabled us to perform optical quantal analysis of individual synapses in intact brain tissue. Here we introduce the basic principle of the two-photon microscope and discuss its main differences compared to the confocal microscope. Using calcium imaging in dendritic spines as an example, we explain the advantages of simultaneous dual-dye imaging for quantitative calcium measurements and address two common problems, dye saturation and background fluorescence subtraction.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seok-Kyu Kwon

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  7. 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; Maximov, Anton; Polleux, Franck

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27429220

  8. A New Efficient-Silicon Area MDAC Synapse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zied Gafsi

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Using the binary representation in the Multiplier digital to analog converter (MDAC synapse designs have crucial drawbacks. Silicon area of transistors, constituting the MDAC circuit, increases exponentially according to the number of bits. This latter is generated by geometric progression of common ratio equal to 2. To reduce this exponential increase to a linear growth, a new synapse named Arithmetic MDAC (AMDAC is designed. It functions with a new representation based on arithmetic progressions. Using the AMS CMOS 0.35µm technology the silicon area is reduced by a factor of 40%.

  9. Electrolyte-gated organic synapse transistor interfaced with neurons

    CERN Document Server

    Desbief, Simon; Casalini, Stefano; Guerin, David; Tortorella, Silvia; Barbalinardo, Marianna; Kyndiah, Adrica; Murgia, Mauro; Cramer, Tobias; Biscarini, Fabio; Vuillaume, Dominique

    2016-01-01

    We demonstrate an electrolyte-gated hybrid nanoparticle/organic synapstor (synapse-transistor, termed EGOS) that exhibits short-term plasticity as biological synapses. The response of EGOS makes it suitable to be interfaced with neurons: short-term plasticity is observed at spike voltage as low as 50 mV (in a par with the amplitude of action potential in neurons) and with a typical response time in the range of tens milliseconds. Human neuroblastoma stem cells are adhered and differentiated into neurons on top of EGOS. We observe that the presence of the cells does not alter short-term plasticity of the device.

  10. Geochemical fractionation of Ni, Cu and Pb in the deep sea sediments from the Central Indian Ocean Basin: An insight into the mechanism of metal enrichment in sediment

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Sensarma, S.; Chakraborty, P.; Banerjee, R.; Mukhopadhyay, S.

    sediment via the non-terrigenous Mn-oxyhydroxide fraction, whereas, Pb gets incorporated mostly via amorphous Fe-hydroxides into the sediment from the CIB. This is the first attempt to provide an insight into the mechanism of metal enrichment in sediment...

  11. 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

  12. Cadherin-9 Regulates Synapse-Specific Differentiation in the Developing Hippocampus

    OpenAIRE

    Williams, Megan E.; Wilke, Scott A.; Daggett, Anthony; Davis, Elizabeth; Otto, Stefanie; Ravi, Deepak; Ripley, Beth; Bushong, Eric A.; Ellisman, Mark H.; Klein, Gerd; Ghosh, Anirvan

    2011-01-01

    Our understanding of mechanisms that regulate the differentiation of specific classes of synapses is limited. Here, we investigate the formation of synapses between hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) neurons and their target CA3 neurons and find that DG neurons preferentially form synapses with CA3 rather than DG or CA1 neurons in culture, suggesting that specific interactions between DG and CA3 neurons drive synapse formation. Cadherin-9 is expressed selectively in DG and CA3 neurons, and downre...

  13. Slitrks control excitatory and inhibitory synapse formation with LAR receptor protein tyrosine phosphatases

    OpenAIRE

    Yim, Yeong Shin; Kwon, Younghee; Nam, Jungyong; Yoon, Hong In; Lee, Kangduk; Kim, Dong Goo; Kim, Eunjoon; Kim, Chul Hoon; Ko, Jaewon

    2013-01-01

    The balance between excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs, which is governed by multiple synapse organizers, controls neural circuit functions and behaviors. Slit- and Trk-like proteins (Slitrks) are a family of synapse organizers, whose emerging synaptic roles are incompletely understood. Here, we report that Slitrks are enriched in postsynaptic densities in rat brains. Overexpression of Slitrks promoted synapse formation, whereas RNAi-mediated knockdown of Slitrks decreased synapse dens...

  14. A strategic analysis of synapse and Canada health infoway’s electronic health record solution blueprint

    OpenAIRE

    Labrosse, Chadwick Andre

    2007-01-01

    Synapse is a currently deployed software application that collects and presents clinical and administrative information about Mental Health & Addictions patients, in the form of an Electronic Health Record (EHR). Synapse was jointly developed by regional health authorities, federal and provincial governments and research institutions. While Synapse has enjoyed limited regional success in British Columbia, the Synapse Project Steering Committee seeks to expand its adoption with clinicians ...

  15. Learning-guided automatic three dimensional synapse quantification for drosophila neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Sanders, Jonathan; Singh, Anil; Sterne, Gabriella; Ye, Bing; Zhou, Jie

    2015-01-01

    Background The subcellular distribution of synapses is fundamentally important for the assembly, function, and plasticity of the nervous system. Automated and effective quantification tools are a prerequisite to large-scale studies of the molecular mechanisms of subcellular synapse distribution. Common practices for synapse quantification in neuroscience labs remain largely manual or semi-manual. This is mainly due to computational challenges in automatic quantification of synapses, including...

  16. Synapse-Specific Metaplasticity: To Be Silenced Is Not to Silence 2B

    OpenAIRE

    Philpot, Benjamin D.; Zukin, R. Suzanne

    2010-01-01

    What happens to a single, presynaptically quiescent synapse among a population of active synapses? In this issue of Neuron, Ehlers and colleagues show that, far from being eliminated, these inactive synapses are primed for potentiation and incorporation into a new neural circuit through an upregulation of NR2B-containing NMDA receptors.

  17. 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

    2016-04-12

    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

  18. Learning Spike Time Codes Through Morphological Learning With Binary Synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Subhrajit; San, Phyo Phyo; Hussain, Shaista; Wei, Lee Wang; Basu, Arindam

    2016-07-01

    In this brief, a neuron with nonlinear dendrites (NNLDs) and binary synapses that is able to learn temporal features of spike input patterns is considered. Since binary synapses are considered, learning happens through formation and elimination of connections between the inputs and the dendritic branches to modify the structure or morphology of the NNLD. A morphological learning algorithm inspired by the tempotron, i.e., a recently proposed temporal learning algorithm is presented in this brief. Unlike tempotron, the proposed learning rule uses a technique to automatically adapt the NNLD threshold during training. Experimental results indicate that our NNLD with 1-bit synapses can obtain accuracy similar to that of a traditional tempotron with 4-bit synapses in classifying single spike random latency and pairwise synchrony patterns. Hence, the proposed method is better suited for robust hardware implementation in the presence of statistical variations. We also present results of applying this rule to real-life spike classification problems from the field of tactile sensing. PMID:26173221

  19. A Nutrient Combination that Can Affect Synapse Formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard J. Wurtman

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Brain neurons form synapses throughout the life span. This process is initiated by neuronal depolarization, however the numbers of synapses thus formed depend on brain levels of three key nutrients—uridine, the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, and choline. Given together, these nutrients accelerate formation of synaptic membrane, the major component of synapses. In infants, when synaptogenesis is maximal, relatively large amounts of all three nutrients are provided in bioavailable forms (e.g., uridine in the UMP of mothers’ milk and infant formulas. However, in adults the uridine in foods, mostly present at RNA, is not bioavailable, and no food has ever been compelling demonstrated to elevate plasma uridine levels. Moreover, the quantities of DHA and choline in regular foods can be insufficient for raising their blood levels enough to promote optimal synaptogenesis. In Alzheimer’s disease (AD the need for extra quantities of the three nutrients is enhanced, both because their basal plasma levels may be subnormal (reflecting impaired hepatic synthesis, and because especially high brain levels are needed for correcting the disease-related deficiencies in synaptic membrane and synapses.

  20. A New Mechanism for Neuron-synapse Maturation Discovered

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2006-01-01

    @@ A group of CAS scientists recently made a research breakthrough in the development of synapse, the key structure of the nervous system that transmits signals from one nerve cell to another. This work was reported as a cover story in the May 4th issue of prestigious journal Neuron.

  1. Supporting shared care for diabetes patients. The synapses solution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toussaint, P. J.; Kalshoven, M.; Ros, M.; van der Kolk, H.; Weier, O.

    1997-01-01

    In this paper we discuss the construction of a Federated Health Care Record server within the context of the European R&D project Synapses. We describe the system using the five ODP viewpoints. From an analysis of the business process to be supported by the distributed system (the shared care for diabetes patients) requirements for the server are derived. PMID:9357655

  2. Liprin-alpha Proteins Regulate Neuronal Development and Synapse Function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S.A. Spangler (Samantha)

    2009-01-01

    textabstractSynapses are specialized communication junctions between neurons whose plasticity provides the structural and functional basis for information processing and storage in the brain. Recent biochemical, genetic and imaging studies in diverse model systems are beginning to reveal the molecul

  3. 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. PMID:26138624

  4. 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...

  5. Efficient supervised learning in networks with binary synapses

    CERN Document Server

    Baldassi, Carlo; Brunel, Nicolas; Zecchina, Riccardo

    2007-01-01

    Recent experimental studies indicate that synaptic changes induced by neuronal activity are discrete jumps between a small number of stable states. Learning in systems with discrete synapses is known to be a computationally hard problem. Here, we study a neurobiologically plausible on-line learning algorithm that derives from Belief Propagation algorithms. We show that it performs remarkably well in a model neuron with binary synapses, and a finite number of `hidden' states per synapse, that has to learn a random classification task. Such system is able to learn a number of associations close to the theoretical limit, in time which is sublinear in system size. This is to our knowledge the first on-line algorithm that is able to achieve efficiently a finite number of patterns learned per binary synapse. Furthermore, we show that performance is optimal for a finite number of hidden states which becomes very small for sparse coding. The algorithm is similar to the standard `perceptron' learning algorithm, with a...

  6. Long memory lifetimes require complex synapses and limited sparseness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel D Ben Dayan Rubin

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Theoretical studies have shown that memories last longer if the neural representations are sparse, that is, when each neuron is selective for a small fraction of the events creating the memories. Sparseness reduces both the interference between stored memories and the number of synaptic modifications which are necessary for memory storage. Paradoxically, in cortical areas like the inferotemporal cortex, where presumably memory lifetimes are longer than in the medial temporal lobe, neural representations are less sparse. We resolve this paradox by analyzing the effects of sparseness on complex models of synaptic dynamics in which there are metaplastic states with different degrees of plasticity. For these models, memory retention in a large number of synapses across multiple neurons is significantly more efficient in case of many metaplastic states, that is, for an elevated degree of complexity. In other words, larger brain regions allow to retain memories for significantly longer times only if the synaptic complexity increases with the total number of synapses. However, the initial memory trace, the one experienced immediately after memory storage, becomes weaker both when the number of metaplastic states increases and when the neural representations become sparser. Such a memory trace must be above a given threshold in order to permit every single neuron to retrieve the information stored in its synapses. As a consequence, if the initial memory trace is reduced because of the increased synaptic complexity, then the neural representations must be less sparse. We conclude that long memory lifetimes allowed by a larger number of synapses require more complex synapses, and hence, less sparse representations, which is what is observed in the brain.

  7. Centenary of the synapse: from Sherrington to the molecular biology of the synapse and beyond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, G M; Erulkar, S D

    1997-09-01

    Few concepts have meant more to neuroscience than the synapse, commonly understood to mean the junction between two excitable cells. The term was introduced by Charles Sherrington in 1897. The centenary of this event is an appropriate time to review the term's origins and utility. There are some surprises. The term didn't actually come from him. His concept was more functional than structural. The pioneering physiological and structural studies in the 1950s in fact did not lead to a rigorous definition. There is still confusion on how to define neurotransmitters. As molecular biological approaches are increasingly refining the concept of a fundamental synaptic unit, many types of neuronal interactions are appearing that do not fit with the synaptic concept. Are the neural circuits underlying behaviour strictly synaptic? In dealing with these questions, a longer perspective is useful for understanding how the term arose, how it has evolved to the present, and what kinds of challenges may be coming in the future.

  8. The Wnt/Planar Cell Polarity Pathway Component Vangl2 Induces Synapse Formation through Direct Control of N-Cadherin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tadahiro Nagaoka

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Although regulators of the Wnt/planar cell polarity (PCP pathway are widely expressed in vertebrate nervous systems, their roles at synapses are unknown. Here, we show that Vangl2 is a postsynaptic factor crucial for synaptogenesis and that it coprecipitates with N-cadherin and PSD-95 from synapse-rich brain extracts. Vangl2 directly binds N-cadherin and enhances its internalization in a Rab5-dependent manner. This physical and functional interaction is suppressed by β-catenin, which binds the same intracellular region of N-cadherin as Vangl2. In hippocampal neurons expressing reduced Vangl2 levels, dendritic spine formation as well as synaptic marker clustering is significantly impaired. Furthermore, Prickle2, another postsynaptic PCP component, inhibits the N-cadherin-Vangl2 interaction and is required for normal spine formation. These results demonstrate direct control of classic cadherin by PCP factors; this control may play a central role in the precise formation and maturation of cell-cell adhesions at the synapse.

  9. Differentiation of autonomic reflex control begins with cellular mechanisms at the first synapse within the nucleus tractus solitarius

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.C. Andresen

    2004-04-01

    Full Text Available Visceral afferents send information via cranial nerves to the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS. The NTS is the initial step of information processing that culminates in homeostatic reflex responses. Recent evidence suggests that strong afferent synaptic responses in the NTS are most often modulated by depression and this forms a basic principle of central integration of these autonomic pathways. The visceral afferent synapse is uncommonly powerful at the NTS with large unitary response amplitudes and depression rather than facilitation at moderate to high frequencies of activation. Substantial signal depression occurs through multiple mechanisms at this very first brainstem synapse onto second order NTS neurons. This review highlights new approaches to the study of these basic processes featuring patch clamp recordings in NTS brain slices and optical techniques with fluorescent tracers. The vanilloid receptor agonist, capsaicin, distinguishes two classes of second order neurons (capsaicin sensitive or capsaicin resistant that appear to reflect unmyelinated and myelinated afferent pathways. The differences in cellular properties of these two classes of NTS neurons indicate clear functional differentiation at both the pre- and postsynaptic portions of these first synapses. By virtue of their position at the earliest stage of these pathways, such mechanistic differences probably impart important differentiation in the performance over the entire reflex pathways.

  10. New insights on the recent and current deformation in Central-Eastern Iran, derived from a combined tectonic and GPS analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walpersdorf, A.; Manighetti, I.; Tavakoli, F.; Mousavi, Z.; Vergnolle, M.; Jadidi, A.; Hatzfeld, D.; Aghamohammadi, A.; Djamour, Y.; Nankali, H.; Sedighi, M.; Lutz, L.

    2012-04-01

    We have studied the recent to current deformation in Iran and especially Central-Eastern Iran by tightly combining tectonic and GPS analyses. Based on morphotectonic analyses of satellite images, we have identified and mapped the major active faults that dissect the entire ≈ 4500 km x 2500 km2 region that extends from Eastern Turkey to Western Afghanistan/Pakistan and hence encompasses Iran, emphasizing their large-scale organization and kinematic relationships. Doing so, we have identified the major fault systems that control the tectonics of Iran, especially in its central-eastern part. We have also analyzed the 11 years GPS record on the 92 stations deployed in central-eastern Iran in the framework of the Iranian-French collaboration. The GPS analysis reveals that all major faults identified as seismogenic in central-eastern Iran are indeed currently active and slipping at fast rates. The northerly-trending East Lut, West Lut, Kuhbanan, Anar and Deshir faults have a current right-lateral slip rate of 5.7 ± 0.9, 4.7 ± 1.7, 2.3 ± 1.9, 2.7 ± 1.3 and 0.5 ± 0.2 mm/yr, respectively, while the ≈ EW-trending Doruneh and Sedeh faults have a left-lateral current slip rate of 3.1 ± 1.8 and 1.7 ± 0.2 mm/yr, respectively. The large regions bounded by the northerly-striking faults behave as fairly rigid blocks that are all found to move towards both the N13°E ARA-EUR convergence direction and the WNW, at fast rates, in the range 6.5-12.5 and 1-5 mm/yr, respectively. Combined with the available data on the studied faults, our tectonic and geodetic results suggest that a bookshelf faulting strain transfer mechanism has been and is still operating in central-eastern Iran. The coeval dextral motion of the two major, overlapping, North Anatolian-Main Recent and Caucasus-Kopeh Dagh-Herat fault lines that embrace central-eastern Iran, induces a large-scale regional sinistral shear on either side of the region, which forces the northerly-trending right-lateral faults and

  11. Can dynamical synapses produce true self-organized criticality?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Ariadne de Andrade; Copelli, Mauro; Kinouchi, Osame

    2015-06-01

    Neuronal networks can present activity described by power-law distributed avalanches presumed to be a signature of a critical state. Here we study a random-neighbor network of excitable cellular automata coupled by dynamical synapses. The model exhibits a very similar to conservative self-organized criticality (SOC) models behavior even with dissipative bulk dynamics. This occurs because in the stationary regime the model is conservative on average, and, in the thermodynamic limit, the probability distribution for the global branching ratio converges to a delta-function centered at its critical value. So, this non-conservative model pertain to the same universality class of conservative SOC models and contrasts with other dynamical synapses models that present only self-organized quasi-criticality (SOqC). Analytical results show very good agreement with simulations of the model and enable us to study the emergence of SOC as a function of the parametric derivatives of the stationary branching ratio.

  12. Crossbar Nanoscale HfO2-Based Electronic Synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matveyev, Yury; Kirtaev, Roman; Fetisova, Alena; Zakharchenko, Sergey; Negrov, Dmitry; Zenkevich, Andrey

    2016-12-01

    Crossbar resistive switching devices down to 40 × 40 nm(2) in size comprising 3-nm-thick HfO2 layers are forming-free and exhibit up to 10(5) switching cycles. Four-nanometer-thick devices display the ability of gradual switching in both directions, thus emulating long-term potentiation/depression properties akin to biological synapses. Both forming-free and gradual switching properties are modeled in terms of oxygen vacancy generation in an ultrathin HfO2 layer. By applying the voltage pulses to the opposite electrodes of nanodevices with the shape emulating spikes in biological neurons, spike-timing-dependent plasticity functionality is demonstrated. Thus, the fabricated memristors in crossbar geometry are promising candidates for hardware implementation of hybrid CMOS-neuron/memristor-synapse neural networks. PMID:26979725

  13. Crossbar Nanoscale HfO2-Based Electronic Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matveyev, Yury; Kirtaev, Roman; Fetisova, Alena; Zakharchenko, Sergey; Negrov, Dmitry; Zenkevich, Andrey

    2016-03-01

    Crossbar resistive switching devices down to 40 × 40 nm2 in size comprising 3-nm-thick HfO2 layers are forming-free and exhibit up to 105 switching cycles. Four-nanometer-thick devices display the ability of gradual switching in both directions, thus emulating long-term potentiation/depression properties akin to biological synapses. Both forming-free and gradual switching properties are modeled in terms of oxygen vacancy generation in an ultrathin HfO2 layer. By applying the voltage pulses to the opposite electrodes of nanodevices with the shape emulating spikes in biological neurons, spike-timing-dependent plasticity functionality is demonstrated. Thus, the fabricated memristors in crossbar geometry are promising candidates for hardware implementation of hybrid CMOS-neuron/memristor-synapse neural networks.

  14. Experience-driven brain plasticity: beyond the synapse

    OpenAIRE

    Markham, Julie A.; Greenough, William T.

    2004-01-01

    The brain is remarkably responsive to its interactions with the environment, and its morphology is altered by experience in measurable ways. Histological examination of the brains of animals exposed to either a complex (‘enriched’) environment or learning paradigm, compared with appropriate controls, has illuminated the nature of experience-induced morphological plasticity in the brain. For example, this research reveals that changes in synapse number and morphology are associated with learni...

  15. Stimulus-specific adaptation at the synapse level in vitro

    OpenAIRE

    Haitao Wang; Yi-Fan Han; Ying-Shing Chan; Jufang He

    2014-01-01

    Stimulus-specific adaptation (SSA) is observed in many brain regions in humans and animals. SSA of cortical neurons has been proposed to accumulate through relays in ascending pathways. Here, we examined SSA at the synapse level using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of primary cultured cortical neurons of the rat. First, we found that cultured neurons had high firing capability with 100-Hz current injection. However, neuron firing started to adapt to repeated electrically activated synaptic...

  16. Laser programmable integrated curcuit for forming synapses in neural networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Chi Y.

    1997-01-01

    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.

  17. Laser programmable integrated circuit for forming synapses in neural networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, C.Y.

    1997-02-11

    Customizable neural network in which one or more resistors form each synapse is disclosed. 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. 5 figs.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Astrocytic mGluR5 and the tripartite synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panatier, A; Robitaille, R

    2016-05-26

    In the brain, astrocytes occupy a key position between vessels and synapses. Among their numerous functions, these glial cells are key partners of neurons during synaptic transmission. Astrocytes detect transmitter release through receptors and transporters at the level of their processes, which are in close proximity to the tow neuronal elements of synapses. In response to transmitter-mediated activation, glial cells in turn regulate synaptic transmission and neuronal excitability. This process has been reported to involve several glial receptors. One of the best known of such receptors is the metabotropic glutamatergic receptor subtype 5 (mGluR5). In the present review we will discuss the implication of mGluR5s as detectors of synaptic transmission. In particular, we will discuss how the functional properties and localization of these receptors permit the detection of the synaptic signal in a defined temporal window and a given spatial area around the synapse. Furthermore, we will review the impact of their activation on synaptic transmission. PMID:25847307

  1. Insights into past atmospheric lead emissions using lead concentrations and isotopic compositions in historic lichens and fungi (1852-2008) from central and southern Victoria, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Liqin; Taylor, Mark Patrick; Handley, Heather K.; Gulson, Brian L.

    2016-08-01

    Lead concentrations and lead isotopic compositions were determined in historic central and southern Victoria, Australia lichen (Cladonia and Usnea) and fungi (Trametes) samples collected between 1852 and 2008 to evaluate long-term atmospheric lead contamination sources. The data are grouped into four time intervals of 1850-1931, 1932-1984, 1985-2001 and 2002-2008 corresponding to the history of leaded petrol use in Australia. Elevated lichen and fungi lead concentrations and relatively high isotopic compositions from the period 1850-1931 are attributed to lithogenic sources, gold mining activities and early industrialisation. Significant increases in lichen and fungi lead concentrations and concomitant lower lead isotopic compositions correspond to the marked increase in lead emissions from leaded petrol use after 1932. Following the end of leaded petrol use in 2002 lead isotopic composition values 'recover' toward more lithogenic values. However, the lead isotopic composition data indicate that the environmental impact from leaded petrol emissions persists in contemporary samples dated to 2002-2008. Overall, the data reveal that herbarium lichens and fungi from central and southern Victoria can be used as proxies for environmental lead emissions over the past 150 years.

  2. Synapses lacking astrocyte appear in the amygdala during consolidation of Pavlovian threat conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostroff, Linnaea E; Manzur, Mustfa K; Cain, Christopher K; Ledoux, Joseph E

    2014-06-15

    There is growing evidence that astrocytes, long held to merely provide metabolic support in the adult brain, participate in both synaptic plasticity and learning and memory. Astrocytic processes are sometimes present at the synaptic cleft, suggesting that they might act directly at individual synapses. Associative learning induces synaptic plasticity and morphological changes at synapses in the lateral amygdala (LA). To determine whether astrocytic contacts are involved in these changes, we examined LA synapses after either threat conditioning (also called fear conditioning) or conditioned inhibition in adult rats by using serial section transmission electron microscopy (ssTEM) reconstructions. There was a transient increase in the density of synapses with no astrocytic contact after threat conditioning, especially on enlarged spines containing both polyribosomes and a spine apparatus. In contrast, synapses with astrocytic contacts were smaller after conditioned inhibition. This suggests that during memory consolidation astrocytic processes are absent if synapses are enlarging but present if they are shrinking. We measured the perimeter of each synapse and its degree of astrocyte coverage, and found that only about 20-30% of each synapse was ensheathed. The amount of synapse perimeter surrounded by astrocyte did not scale with synapse size, giving large synapses a disproportionately long astrocyte-free perimeter and resulting in a net increase in astrocyte-free perimeter after threat conditioning. Thus astrocytic processes do not mechanically isolate LA synapses, but may instead interact through local signaling, possibly via cell-surface receptors. Our results suggest that contact with astrocytic processes opposes synapse growth during memory consolidation.

  3. Spike timing and synaptic dynamics at the awake thalamocortical synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swadlow, Harvey A; Bezdudnaya, Tatiana; Gusev, Alexander G

    2005-01-01

    Thalamocortical (TC) neurons form only a small percentage of the synapses onto neurons of cortical layer 4, but the response properties of these cortical neurons are arguably dominated by thalamic input. This discrepancy is explained, in part, by studies showing that TC synapses are of high efficacy. However, TC synapses display activity-dependent depression. Because of this, in vitro measures of synaptic efficacy will not reflect the situation in vivo, where different neuronal populations have widely varying levels of "spontaneous" activity. Indeed, TC neurons of awake subjects generate high rates of spontaneous activity that would be expected, in a depressing synapse, to result in a chronic state of synaptic depression. Here, we review recent work in the somatosensory thalamocortical system of awake rabbits in which the relationship between TC spike timing and TC synaptic efficacy was examined during both thalamic "relay mode" (alert state) and "burst mode" (drowsy state). Two largely independent methodological approaches were used. First, we employed cross-correlation methods to examine the synaptic impact of single TC "barreloid" neurons on a single neuronal subtype in the topographically aligned layer 4 "barrel" - putative fast-spike inhibitory interneurons. We found that the initial spike of a TC burst, as well as isolated TC spikes with long preceding interspike intervals (ISIs) elicited postsynaptic action potentials far more effectively than did TC impulses with short ISIs. Our second approach took a broader view of the postsynaptic impact of TC impulses. In these experiments we examined spike-triggered extracellular field potentials and synaptic currents (using current source-density analysis) generated through the depths of a cortical barrel column by the impulses of single topographically aligned TC neurons. We found that (a) closely neighboring TC neurons may elicit very different patterns of monosynaptic activation within layers 4 and 6 of the aligned

  4. Neotectonic development of the El Salvador Fault Zone and implications for deformation in the Central America Volcanic Arc: Insights from 4-D analog modeling experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alonso-Henar, Jorge; Schreurs, Guido; Martinez-Díaz, José Jesús; Álvarez-Gómez, José Antonio; Villamor, Pilar

    2015-01-01

    The El Salvador Fault Zone (ESFZ) is an active, approximately 150 km long and 20 km wide, segmented, dextral strike-slip fault zone within the Central American Volcanic Arc striking N100°E. Although several studies have investigated the surface expression of the ESFZ, little is known about its structure at depth and its kinematic evolution. Structural field data and mapping suggest a phase of extension, at some stage during the evolution of the ESFZ. This phase would explain dip-slip movements on structures that are currently associated with the active, dominantly strike slip and that do not fit with the current tectonic regime. Field observations suggest trenchward migration of the arc. Such an extension and trenchward migration of the volcanic arc could be related to slab rollback of the Cocos plate beneath the Chortis Block during the Miocene/Pliocene. We carried out 4-D analog model experiments to test whether an early phase of extension is required to form the present-day fault pattern in the ESFZ. Our experiments suggest that a two-phase tectonic evolution best explains the ESFZ: an early pure extensional phase linked to a segmented volcanic arc is necessary to form the main structures. This extensional phase is followed by a strike-slip dominated regime, which results in intersegment areas with local transtension and segments with almost pure strike-slip motion. The results of our experiments combined with field data along the Central American Volcanic Arc indicate that the slab rollback intensity beneath the Chortis Block is greater in Nicaragua and decreases westward to Guatemala.

  5. 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.

  6. Complement and microglia mediate early synapse loss in Alzheimer mouse models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Soyon; Beja-Glasser, Victoria F; Nfonoyim, Bianca M; Frouin, Arnaud; Li, Shaomin; Ramakrishnan, Saranya; Merry, Katherine M; Shi, Qiaoqiao; Rosenthal, Arnon; Barres, Ben A; Lemere, Cynthia A; Selkoe, Dennis J; Stevens, Beth

    2016-05-01

    Synapse loss in Alzheimer's disease (AD) correlates with cognitive decline. Involvement of microglia and complement in AD has been attributed to neuroinflammation, prominent late in disease. Here we show in mouse models that complement and microglia mediate synaptic loss early in AD. C1q, the initiating protein of the classical complement cascade, is increased and associated with synapses before overt plaque deposition. Inhibition of C1q, C3, or the microglial complement receptor CR3 reduces the number of phagocytic microglia, as well as the extent of early synapse loss. C1q is necessary for the toxic effects of soluble β-amyloid (Aβ) oligomers on synapses and hippocampal long-term potentiation. Finally, microglia in adult brains engulf synaptic material in a CR3-dependent process when exposed to soluble Aβ oligomers. Together, these findings suggest that the complement-dependent pathway and microglia that prune excess synapses in development are inappropriately activated and mediate synapse loss in AD.

  7. Synapse rearrangements upon learning: from divergent-sparse connectivity to dedicated sub-circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caroni, Pico; Chowdhury, Ananya; Lahr, Maria

    2014-10-01

    Learning can involve formation of new synapses and loss of synapses, providing memory traces of learned skills. Recent findings suggest that these synapse rearrangements reflect assembly of task-related sub-circuits from initially broadly distributed and sparse connectivity in the brain. These local circuit remodeling processes involve rapid emergence of synapses upon learning, followed by protracted validation involving strengthening of some new synapses, and selective elimination of others. The timing of these consolidation processes can vary. Here, we review these findings, focusing on how molecular/cellular mechanisms of synapse assembly, strengthening, and elimination might interface with circuit/system mechanisms of learning and memory consolidation. An integrated understanding of these learning-related processes should provide a better basis to elucidate how experience, genetic background, and disease influence brain function.

  8. Turnover of Synapse and Dynamic Nature of Synaptic Molecules In Vitro and In Vivo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Recent advances of imaging techniques have enabled us to investigate the dynamics of synapses in living neurons. The synapse is constructed of presynaptic and postsynaptic elements which contain various kinds of structural and functional molecules. The postsynaptic density (PSD) is the most prominent structure among the excitatory postsynaptic elements. One of the main components of PSD is the scaffolding proteins which interact with multiple proteins in the synapse. Scaffolding proteins are suggested to play key roles in the emergence, maintenance, and remodeling of the excitatory synapses. Several kinds of scaffolding proteins are known to be present in the mammalian and also other vertebrate brains. These proteins were labeled with green fluorescent protein (GFP) and expressed in cultured neurons to analyze the dynamics and turnover of molecules in the synapses. In this review we describe how these molecules behave when the synapse is newly added or eliminated in the steady state and also when neuronal activity is changed

  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. Fate of an Oceanic Island-arc at the Collision Zone: Insight From a Modern Case at the Izu Collision Zone, Central Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aoike, K.

    2003-12-01

    Arc-arc or arc-continent collision zone, which separates an arc crust into materials to be left on the earth_fs surface and to be returned to the mantle, is regarded as the final disposal place of the subduction factory product. Mass balance across the collision boundary, therefore, should have great significance in the processes of continental growth and mantle evolution. The Izu Collision Zone (ICZ) located at the conjunction of the Honshu arc and the Izu-Bonin arc (IBA), is a place of ongoing orthogonal arc-arc collision, where the middle to upper crust of the northern IBA is exposed on land as accretionary terranes. The IBA-ICZ system is much advantageous for elucidating the mass balance, because that the product is simple and fresh and the flow from manufacture to disposal is quite clear. Across arc variation of buoyancy and rheological state of the lithosphere controlled principally by geothermal gradient would regulate the regime of collision tectonics. Crust-scale accretion is taking place associated with conspicuous crustal shortening and thickening in the central ICZ where the active arc that is about 100 km wide and 20 km thick is colliding. By contrast, almost the whole arc crust is subducting, leaving the off-scraped sediments as accretionary prisms in the eastern and western areas where the inactive forearc and backarc, totally 200 km wide and averagely 14 km thick, are colliding. Based on the land geology and existing seismic structure, crustal volume of the accreted IBA is estimated for the line along the axis of the ICZ and another line passing through the Tanzawa Terrane situated eastward 30 km apart from the axis. The estimation indicates that the volume of the Tanzawa line is significantly smaller (16 %) than that of the axis, in spite of being very close. This difference is explainable, if the Philippine Sea Plate slab including expected aseismic part is accompanied with 7 km thick subducted arc crust. This result of calculation implies that

  11. ZAP-70 kinase regulates HIV cell-to-cell spread and virological synapse formation

    OpenAIRE

    Sol-Foulon, Nathalie; Sourisseau, Marion; Porrot, Françoise; Thoulouze, Maria-Isabel; Trouillet, Céline; Nobile, Cinzia; Blanchet, Fabien; Di Bartolo, Vincenzo; Noraz, Nelly; Taylor, Naomi; Alcover, Andres; Hivroz, Claire; Schwartz, Olivier

    2007-01-01

    HIV efficiently spreads in lymphocytes, likely through virological synapses (VSs). These cell–cell junctions share some characteristics with immunological synapses, but cellular proteins required for their constitution remain poorly characterized. We have examined here the role of ZAP-70, a key kinase regulating T-cell activation and immunological synapse formation, in HIV replication. In lymphocytes deficient for ZAP-70, or expressing a kinase-dead mutant of the protein, HIV replication was ...

  12. Attenuation of age-related changes in mouse neuromuscular synapses by caloric restriction and exercise

    OpenAIRE

    Valdez, G; Tapia, J; Kang, H; Clemenson, G.D.; Gage, F.H.; Lichtman, Jeff; Sanes, Joshua R.

    2010-01-01

    The cellular basis of age-related behavioral decline remains obscure but alterations in synapses are likely candidates. Accordingly, the beneficial effects on neural function of caloric restriction and exercise, which are among the most effective anti-aging treatments known, might also be mediated by synapses. As a starting point in testing these ideas, we studied the skeletal neuromuscular junction (NMJ), a large, accessible peripheral synapse. Comparison of NMJs in young adult and aged mice...

  13. Antibody to a molecular marker of cell position inhibits synapse formation in retina.

    OpenAIRE

    Trisler, D.; Bekenstein, J; Daniels, M P

    1986-01-01

    A topographic gradient of TOP molecules in retina can be used to identify neuron position. Antibody to TOP from hybridoma cells that were injected into in vivo embryo eyes diffused into the retina and bound in a topographic gradient of [antibody.TOP] ([Ab.TOP]) complexes. Synapse formation in retina was inhibited in the presence of anti-TOP antibody. This suggests that TOP is involved in synapse formation and that recognition of position by neurons is necessary for normal synapse formation.

  14. A Novel, Noncanonical BMP Pathway Modulates Synapse Maturation at the Drosophila Neuromuscular Junction

    OpenAIRE

    Sulkowski, Mikolaj J.; Tae Hee Han; Carolyn Ott; Qi Wang; Verheyen, Esther M.; Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz; Mihaela Serpe

    2016-01-01

    Author Summary Synaptic activity and synapse development are intimately linked, but our understanding of the coupling mechanisms remains limited. Anterograde and retrograde signals together with trans-synaptic complexes enable intercellular communications. How synapse activity status is monitored and relayed across the synaptic cleft remains poorly understood. The Drosophila NMJ is a very powerful genetic system to study synapse development. BMP signaling modulates NMJ growth via a canonical,...

  15. NK cell survival mediated through the regulatory synapse with human DCs requires IL-15Rα

    OpenAIRE

    Brilot, Fabienne; Strowig, Till; Roberts, Susanne M.; Arrey, Frida; Münz, Christian

    2007-01-01

    DCs activate NK cells during innate immune responses to viral infections. However, the composition and kinetics of the immunological synapse mediating this interaction are largely unknown. Here, we report the rapid formation of an immunological synapse between human resting NK cells and mature DCs. Although inhibitory NK cell receptors were polarized to this synapse, where they are known to protect mature DCs from NK cell lysis, the NK cell also received activation signals that induced mobili...

  16. Synapse-to-neuron ratio is inversely related to neuronal density in mature neuronal cultures

    OpenAIRE

    Cullen, D. Kacy; Gilroy, Meghan; Irons, Hillary R.; LaPlaca, Michelle C.

    2010-01-01

    Synapse formation is a fundamental process in neurons that occurs throughout development, maturity, and aging. Although these stages contain disparate and fluctuating numbers of mature neurons, tactics employed by neuronal networks to modulate synapse number as a function of neuronal density are not well understood. The goal of this study was to utilize an in vitro model to assess the influence of cell density and neuronal maturity on synapse number and distribution. Specifically, cerebral co...

  17. Prolonged synaptic currents increase relay neuron firing at the developing retinogeniculate synapse

    OpenAIRE

    Hauser, Jessica L.; Liu, Xiaojin; Litvina, Elizabeth Y.; Chen, Chinfei

    2014-01-01

    The retinogeniculate synapse, the connection between retinal ganglion cells (RGC) and thalamic relay neurons, undergoes robust changes in connectivity over development. This process of synapse elimination and strengthening of remaining inputs is thought to require synapse specificity. Here we show that glutamate spillover and asynchronous release are prominent features of retinogeniculate synaptic transmission during this period. The immature excitatory postsynaptic currents exhibit a slow de...

  18. Activity-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity of a Chalcogenide Electronic Synapse for Neuromorphic Systems

    OpenAIRE

    Yi Li; Yingpeng Zhong; Jinjian Zhang; Lei Xu; Qing Wang; Huajun Sun; Hao Tong; Xiaoming Cheng; Xiangshui Miao

    2014-01-01

    Nanoscale inorganic electronic synapses or synaptic devices, which are capable of emulating the functions of biological synapses of brain neuronal systems, are regarded as the basic building blocks for beyond-Von Neumann computing architecture, combining information storage and processing. Here, we demonstrate a Ag/AgInSbTe/Ag structure for chalcogenide memristor-based electronic synapses. The memristive characteristics with reproducible gradual resistance tuning are utilised to mimic the act...

  19. New insights into Phanerozoic tectonics of south China: Part 1, polyphase deformation in the Jiuling and Lianyunshan domains of the central Jiangnan Orogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jianhua; Dong, Shuwen; Zhang, Yueqiao; Zhao, Guochun; Johnston, Stephen T.; Cui, Jianjun; Xin, Yujia

    2016-04-01

    The central Jiangnan Orogen, genetically formed by the Proterozoic Yangtze-Cathaysia collision, presents as a composite structural feature in the Phanerozoic with multiple ductile and brittle fabrics whose geometries, kinematics, and ages are crucial to decipher the tectonic evolution of south China. New structural observations coupled with thermochronological and geochronological studies of these fabrics document four main stages of deformation. The earliest stage in early Paleozoic time (460-420 Ma) corresponds to combined E-trending dextral and northwest directed thrust shearing that was variably partitioned in anastomosing high-strain zones under greenschist-facies conditions (~400-500°C), related to the continued Yangtze-Cathaysia convergence externally driven by the suturing of south China with Australia. This event was heterogeneously overprinted by the second stage characterized by ~E-oriented folding in middle Triassic time, geodynamically resulting from the continental collision of south China with Indochina and North China. The third stage was locally developed by northwest and southeast vergent thrusts that truncated ~E-oriented folds in the Late Jurassic, due to northwestward subduction of the Paleo-Pacific plate. The latest stage involved normal faulting and tectonic unroofing in Cretaceous time, which resulted in basin opening and reset footwall 40Ar/39Ar ages in proximity to the Hengshan detachment fault, associated with roll-back of the subducting Paleo-Pacific plate.

  20. Nanoelectronic programmable synapses based on phase change materials for brain-inspired computing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuzum, Duygu; Jeyasingh, Rakesh G D; Lee, Byoungil; Wong, H-S Philip

    2012-05-01

    Brain-inspired computing is an emerging field, which aims to extend the capabilities of information technology beyond digital logic. A compact nanoscale device, emulating biological synapses, is needed as the building block for brain-like computational systems. Here, we report a new nanoscale electronic synapse based on technologically mature phase change materials employed in optical data storage and nonvolatile memory applications. We utilize continuous resistance transitions in phase change materials to mimic the analog nature of biological synapses, enabling the implementation of a synaptic learning rule. We demonstrate different forms of spike-timing-dependent plasticity using the same nanoscale synapse with picojoule level energy consumption. PMID:21668029

  1. Sialic Acid within the Glycosylphosphatidylinositol Anchor Targets the Cellular Prion Protein to Synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bate, Clive; Nolan, William; McHale-Owen, Harriet; Williams, Alun

    2016-08-12

    Although the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) is concentrated at synapses, the factors that target PrP(C) to synapses are not understood. Here we demonstrate that exogenous PrP(C) was rapidly targeted to synapses in recipient neurons derived from Prnp knock-out((0/0)) mice. The targeting of PrP(C) to synapses was dependent upon both neuronal cholesterol concentrations and the lipid and glycan composition of its glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor. Thus, the removal of either an acyl chain or sialic acid from the GPI anchor reduced the targeting of PrP(C) to synapses. Isolated GPIs (derived from PrP(C)) were also targeted to synapses, as was IgG conjugated to these GPIs. The removal of sialic acid from GPIs prevented the targeting of either the isolated GPIs or the IgG-GPI conjugate to synapses. Competition studies showed that pretreatment with sialylated GPIs prevented the targeting of PrP(C) to synapses. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the sialylated GPI anchor attached to PrP(C) acts as a synapse homing signal. PMID:27325697

  2. New insights into the evolution of central Tyrrhenian margin of Italy (northern Latium off-shore area): evidences and constraints from seismic data interpretation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buttinelli, M.; Vico, G.; Scrocca, D.; Petracchini, L.; de Rita, D.

    2009-04-01

    A revision of the available seismic reflection survey in the off-shore part of the northern Latium (central Italy) has been accomplished to better understand the deep structural setting of this area. Previous works performed in the last twenty years have compared the on-shore outcrops of cretaceous flyschoid and Plio-Pleistocene marine sedimentary units with shallow off-shore seismic reflection data (1/1,5 msec twt maximum), while the deep structural setting of calcareous basement of Tuscan units have been poorly analysed. The stratigraphy of the area is well constrained by a deep well, which goes through the entire sedimentary succession. Other geological constraints are provided by a discrete amount of deep wells in the on-shore part of the study area and by a voluminous bibliography, in which many authors tried to correlate this units to the tectonic units described in the central and northern part of the Apennines. The stratigraphy could be divided in four main groups of units; from top to bottom: Plio-Pleistocene marine deposits, Cretaceous Liguride deep-water units, Jurassic Tuscan pelagic deposits, and a Triassic evaporitic formation. Even volcanic intrusive bodies (Tolfa-Ceriti-Manziana dome complexes) are present in the on-shore part. The emplacement of this bodies generally caused a further overprint on the different deformation phases that affected this area. Seismic reflection data analysis show that this area was affected by at least three deformational phases. After the deposition of the Tuscan and Liguride sedimentary units, the area underwent: i) an initial compressional phase associated to the Alps-Northern Apennine chain build up, with formation of compressional features as regional thrusts, back-thrusts and fold structures. These structures are clearly visible in the deep Tuscan and Liguride units setting; ii) a successive extensional deformation phase related to the spreading of the Tyrrhenian Sea, starting in the late Miocene times. This caused

  3. The Role of Antecedent Geology in Submarine Slope Failure: Insights from the Currituck Slide Complex along the Central U.S. Atlantic Margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, J. C.; Brothers, D. S.; Ten Brink, U. S.; Craig, B.; Chaytor, J. D.; Flores, C. H.

    2015-12-01

    To investigate the influence of antecedent geology on the distribution of submarine landslides along the central U.S. Atlantic margin, we examined a suite of multichannel seismic data, including vintage airgun data from Norfolk Canyon to Cape Hatteras and new high-resolution sparker data across the Currituck Slide, as well as regional multibeam bathymetry. Areas north and south of the Currituck Slide are characterized by oblique margin morphology, defined by angular, convex deltaic clinoforms deposited during the Mid-Miocene, which generated an abrupt shelf-break with relatively steep downslope gradients (>8°). As a result, upper slope sediment bypass, closely spaced submarine canyons, and small landslides confined to canyon headwalls and sidewalls characterize these areas. In contrast, the Currituck region is defined by a sigmoidal geometry, with a smooth shelf-edge rollover and more gentle slope gradient (800m of Plio-Pleistocene sediment accumulation across the continental slope prior to failure. Regionally continuous seismic reflectors show little or no evidence of canyonization beneath the Currituck Slide. A significant volume of intact strata on the lower slope suggests the Currituck region was a primary depocenter for fluvial inputs during multiple sea level lowstands. Failure along bedding planes is evident in outcropping strata along the upper and lower headwalls. Buried scarps beneath these headwalls imply repeated cycles of failure. Folds and faults suggest differential compaction across these scarps may have contributed to the most recent failure. These results suggest high sedimentation and subsequent compaction along a sigmoidal margin were critical components in preconditioning the Currituck Slide for failure. Examination of the regional geological framework illustrates the importance of sediment supply and antecedent slope morphology in the development of large, potentially unstable depocenters along passive margins.

  4. 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.

  5. 3D geological modeling of the Kasserine Aquifer System, Central Tunisia: New insights into aquifer-geometry and interconnections for a better assessment of groundwater resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassen, Imen; Gibson, Helen; Hamzaoui-Azaza, Fadoua; Negro, François; Rachid, Khanfir; Bouhlila, Rachida

    2016-08-01

    The challenge of this study was to create a 3D geological and structural model of the Kasserine Aquifer System (KAS) in central Tunisia and its natural extension into north-east Algeria. This was achieved using an implicit 3D method, which honors prior geological data for both formation boundaries and faults. A current model is presented which provides defendable predictions for the spatial distribution of geology and water resources in aquifers throughout the model-domain. This work has allowed validation of regional scale geology and fault networks in the KAS, and has facilitated the first-ever estimations of groundwater resources in this region by a 3D method. The model enables a preliminary assessment of the hydraulic significance of the major faults by evaluating their influence and role on groundwater flow within and between four compartments of the multi-layered, KAS hydrogeological system. Thus a representative hydrogeological model of the study area is constructed. The possible dual nature of faults in the KAS is discussed in the context that some faults appear to be acting both as barriers to horizontal groundwater flow, and simultaneously as conduits for vertical flow. Also discussed is the possibility that two flow directions occur within the KAS, at a small syncline area of near Feriana. In summary, this work evaluates the influence of aquifer connectivity and the role of faults and geology in groundwater flow within the KAS aquifer system. The current KAS geological model can now be used to guide groundwater managers on the best placement for drilling to test and further refine the understanding of the groundwater system, including the faults connectivity. As more geological data become available, the current model can be easily edited and re-computed to provide an updated model ready for the next stage of investigation by numerical flow modeling.

  6. Middle-Late Holocene earthquake history of the Gyrtoni Fault, Central Greece: Insight from optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating and paleoseismology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsodoulos, Ioannis M.; Stamoulis, Konstantinos; Caputo, Riccardo; Koukouvelas, Ioannis; Chatzipetros, Alexandros; Pavlides, Spyros; Gallousi, Christina; Papachristodoulou, Christina; Ioannides, Konstantinos

    2016-09-01

    The south-dipping Gyrtoni Fault defines the northeastern boundary of the Middle-Late Quaternary Tyrnavos Basin, Central Greece. The recognition and recent tectonic activity of the fault were previously based on mapping, remote sensing analyses and electrical resistivity tomography studies. To understand the Holocene seismotectonic behavior of the Gyrtoni Fault we excavated two paleoseismological trenches. To estimate the timing of past earthquakes using luminescence dating, we obtained twenty five fluvial-colluvial sediment and pottery samples from both the upthrown and the downthrown fault blocks. We applied the Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating to coarse grain quartz using the single-aliquot regenerative-dose (SAR) protocol. Our investigations of luminescence characteristics using various tests confirmed the suitability of the material for OSL dating. We found that the estimated OSL ages were internally consistent and agreed well with the available stratigraphical data, archaeological evidence and radiocarbon dates. The performed paleoseismological analysis emphasized the occurrence of three surface faulting events in a time span between 1.42 ± 0.06 ka and 5.59 ± 0.13 ka. Also, we recognized an earlier faulting event (fourth) has been also recognized to be older than 5.59 ± 0.13 ka. The mean throw per event value of 0.50-0.60 m could correspond to a ca. Mw 6.5 earthquake. An average fault slip rate of 0.41 ± 0.01 mm/a and an average recurrence time of 1.39 ± 0.14 ka were also estimated. Our results suggest that the elapsed time from the most recent event (minimum age 1.42 ± 0.06 ka) is comparable with the mean return period.

  7. 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. 

  8. 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.

  9. Synapse-specific inhibitory control of hippocampal feedback inhibitory circuit

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon eChamberland

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Local circuit and long-range GABAergic projections provide powerful inhibitory control over the operation of hippocampal inhibitory circuits, yet little is known about the input- and target-specific organization of interacting inhibitory networks in relation to their specific functions. Using a combination of two-photon laser scanning photostimulation and whole-cell patch clamp recordings in mice hippocampal slices, we examined the properties of transmission at GABAergic synapses formed onto hippocampal CA1 stratum oriens – lacunosum moleculare (O–LM interneurons by two major inhibitory inputs: local projection originating from stratum radiatum interneurons and septohippocampal GABAergic terminals. Optical mapping of local inhibitory inputs to O–LM interneurons revealed that vasoactive intestinal polypeptide- and calretinine-positive neurons, with anatomical properties typical of type III interneuron-specific interneurons, provided the major local source of inhibition to O–LM cells. Inhibitory postsynaptic currents evoked by minimal stimulation of this input exhibited small amplitude and significant paired-pulse and multiple-pulse depression during repetitive activity. Moreover, these synapses failed to show any form of long-term synaptic plasticity. In contrast, synapses formed by septohippocampal projection produced higher amplitude and persistent inhibition and exhibited long-term potentiation induced by theta-like activity. These results indicate the input and target-specific segregation in inhibitory control, exerted by two types of GABAergic projections and responsible for distinct dynamics of inhibition in O–LM interneurons. The two inputs are therefore likely to support the differential activity- and brain state-dependent recruitment of hippocampal feedback inhibitory circuits in vivo, crucial for dendritic disinhibition and computations in CA1 pyramidal cells.

  10. Mapping South American Summer Monsoon Changes during Heinrich Event 1 and the LGM: Insights from New Paleolake Records from the Central Andes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, C. Y.; McGee, D.; Quade, J.

    2015-12-01

    Cave stalagmite records show strong evidence of abrupt changes in summer monsoons during Heinrich events, but we lack rigorous constraints on the amount of wetting or drying occurring in monsoon regions. Studies on shoreline deposits of closed-basin lakes can establish quantitative bounds on water balance changes through mapping-based estimates of lake volume variations. We present new dating constraints on lake level variations in Agua Caliente I and Laguna Loyoques, two closed-basin, high-altitude paleolakes on the Altiplano-Puna plateau of the Central Andes (23.1°S, 67.4°W, 4250 masl). Because this area receives >70% of its total annual precipitation during austral summer, the region is ideally suited to capture a pure response to changes in the South American summer monsoon (SASM). The plateau is home to several small (<40 km2) lakes surrounded by well-preserved paleoshorelines that indicate past wetter conditions. Agua Caliente I is unique, having multiple shorelines encrusted with biologically-mediated calcium carbonate "tufa" deposits. Initial U-Th dating of these massive shoreline tufas reveals that these deposits are dateable to within ±50 to 300 years due to high U concentrations and low initial Th content (as indicated by high 230Th/232Th). Our U-Th dates show that Agua Caliente I was greater in lake surface area during two periods: 17.5-14.5 kyrs BP, coincident with Heinrich Event 1 (HE1), and 24-23 kyrs BP, roughly coincident with the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). At these times, Agua Caliente I also overflowed into a neighboring lake basin (Loyoques) through an 8-km long southeast-trending stream channel. Thus, during HE1 and the LGM, the lake was ~9 times larger in surface area relative to modern. Hydrologic modeling constrained by paleotemperature estimates is used to provide bounds for these past precipitation changes. We also tentatively explore physical mechanisms linking Heinrich events and the regional hydroclimate by comparing freshwater

  11. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 the matrix is stored on-chip as differential voltages on capacitors. In principal any ANN configuration can be made using these chips. A neuron array of 4 neurons and a 4 × 4 matrix-vector multiplie...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guilherme T Silva

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available 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 action potential firing. Recent findings on laboratory animals have shown that neurons can show a variety of temporal windows for spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP. It is unknown what synaptic learning rules exist in human synapses and whether similar temporal windows for STDP at synapses hold true for the human brain. Here, we directly tested in human slices cut from hippocampal tissue removed for surgical treatment of deeper brain structures in drug-resistant epilepsy patients, whether adult human synapses can change strength in response to millisecond timing of pre- and postsynaptic firing. We find that adult human hippocampal synapses can alter synapse strength in response to timed pre- and postsynaptic activity. In contrast to rodent hippocampal synapses, the sign of plasticity does not sharply switch around 0 millisecond timing. Instead, both positive timing intervals, in which presynaptic firing preceded the postsynaptic action potential, and negative timing intervals, in which postsynaptic firing preceded presynaptic activity down to -80 ms, increase synapse strength (tLTP. Negative timing intervals between -80 to -130 ms induce a lasting reduction of synapse strength (tLTD. Thus, similar to rodent synapses, adult human synapses can show spike-timing-dependent changes in strength. The timing rules of STDP in human hippocampus, however, seem to differ from rodent hippocampus, and suggest a less strict interpretation of Hebb’s predictions.

  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. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. NANC transmission at a varicosity: the individuality of single synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, M R

    2000-07-01

    Nerve terminals consist of several hundred varicosities or synapses, each with a single active zone. The smooth muscle membrane apposing varicosities within about 50 nm is occupied by a 1-microm diameter cluster of P2X(1) receptors together with a mixture of other P2X subtypes; the rest of the membrane possesses small (0.4 microm diameter) clusters of P2X(1) to P2X(6) subunits. The small P2X clusters appear to form large clusters during development. This is supported by the observation that chimeras of P2X(1) subunits and green fluorescent protein (P2X(1)-GFP), when packaged into adenoviruses used to infect excitable cells, initially form a diffuse distribution of small clusters of P2X(1)-GFP in the membrane; these can be later observed in real time to form large clusters. Recording the electrical signs of ATP release from single adjacent varicosities, or using antibodies to label the extent of exocytosis from them, shows that they release with quite different probabilities. There are large quantitative differences in the extent of P2X autoreceptors on the membranes of individual varicosities. These will contribute to the differences in the probability of secretion from individual varicosities. The present analysis of NANC transmission at single varicosities indicates that individual synapses possess different probabilities for the secretion of transmitter as well as different complements of autoreceptors and mixtures of postjunctional receptor subunits.

  18. 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.

  19. Stimulus-specific adaptation at the synapse level in vitro.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haitao Wang

    Full Text Available Stimulus-specific adaptation (SSA is observed in many brain regions in humans and animals. SSA of cortical neurons has been proposed to accumulate through relays in ascending pathways. Here, we examined SSA at the synapse level using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of primary cultured cortical neurons of the rat. First, we found that cultured neurons had high firing capability with 100-Hz current injection. However, neuron firing started to adapt to repeated electrically activated synaptic inputs at 10 Hz. Next, to activate different dendritic inputs, electrical stimulations were spatially separated. Cultured neurons showed similar SSA properties in the oddball stimulation paradigm compared to those reported in vivo. Single neurons responded preferentially to a deviant stimulus over repeated, standard stimuli considering both synapse-driven spikes and excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs. Compared with two closely placed stimulating electrodes that activated highly overlapping dendritic fields, two separately placed electrodes that activated less overlapping dendritic fields elicited greater SSA. Finally, we used glutamate puffing to directly activate postsynaptic glutamate receptors. Neurons showed SSA to two separately placed puffs repeated at 10 Hz. Compared with EPSCs, GABAa receptor-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents showed weaker SSA. Heterogeneity of the synaptic inputs was critical for producing SSA, with glutamate receptor desensitization participating in the process. Our findings suggest that postsynaptic fatigue contributes largely to SSA at low frequencies.

  20. Integration of nanoscale memristor synapses in neuromorphic computing architectures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Indiveri, Giacomo; Linares-Barranco, Bernabé; Legenstein, Robert; Deligeorgis, George; Prodromakis, Themistoklis

    2013-09-01

    Conventional neuro-computing architectures and artificial neural networks have often been developed with no or loose connections to neuroscience. As a consequence, they have largely ignored key features of biological neural processing systems, such as their extremely low-power consumption features or their ability to carry out robust and efficient computation using massively parallel arrays of limited precision, highly variable, and unreliable components. Recent developments in nano-technologies are making available extremely compact and low power, but also variable and unreliable solid-state devices that can potentially extend the offerings of availing CMOS technologies. In particular, memristors are regarded as a promising solution for modeling key features of biological synapses due to their nanoscale dimensions, their capacity to store multiple bits of information per element and the low energy required to write distinct states. In this paper, we first review the neuro- and neuromorphic computing approaches that can best exploit the properties of memristor and scale devices, and then propose a novel hybrid memristor-CMOS neuromorphic circuit which represents a radical departure from conventional neuro-computing approaches, as it uses memristors to directly emulate the biophysics and temporal dynamics of real synapses. We point out the differences between the use of memristors in conventional neuro-computing architectures and the hybrid memristor-CMOS circuit proposed, and argue how this circuit represents an ideal building block for implementing brain-inspired probabilistic computing paradigms that are robust to variability and fault tolerant by design.

  1. An Endothelial Planar Cell Model for Imaging Immunological Synapse Dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinelli, Roberta; Carman, Christopher V

    2015-12-24

    Adaptive immunity is regulated by dynamic interactions between T cells and antigen presenting cells ('APCs') referred to as 'immunological synapses'. Within these intimate cell-cell interfaces discrete sub-cellular clusters of MHC/Ag-TCR, F-actin, adhesion and signaling molecules form and remodel rapidly. These dynamics are thought to be critical determinants of both the efficiency and quality of the immune responses that develop and therefore of protective versus pathologic immunity. Current understanding of immunological synapses with physiologic APCs is limited by the inadequacy of the obtainable imaging resolution. Though artificial substrate models (e.g., planar lipid bilayers) offer excellent resolution and have been extremely valuable tools, they are inherently non-physiologic and oversimplified. Vascular and lymphatic endothelial cells have emerged as an important peripheral tissue (or stromal) compartment of 'semi-professional APCs'. These APCs (which express most of the molecular machinery of professional APCs) have the unique feature of forming virtually planar cell surface and are readily transfectable (e.g., with fluorescent protein reporters). Herein a basic approach to implement endothelial cells as a novel and physiologic 'planar cellular APC model' for improved imaging and interrogation of fundamental antigenic signaling processes will be described.

  2. Synapse formation between isolated axons requires presynaptic soma and redistribution of postsynaptic AChRs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meems, Ryanne; Munno, David; van Minnen, Jan; Syed, Naweed I

    2003-05-01

    The involvement of neuronal protein synthetic machinery and extrinsic trophic factors during synapse formation is poorly understood. Here we determine the roles of these processes by reconstructing synapses between the axons severed from identified Lymnaea neurons in cell culture, either in the presence or absence of trophic factors. We demonstrate that, although synapses are maintained between isolated pre- and postsynaptic axons for several days, the presynaptic, but not the postsynaptic, cell body, however, is required for new synapse formation between soma-axon pairs. The formation of cholinergic synapses between presynaptic soma and postsynaptic axon requires gene transcription and protein synthesis solely in the presynaptic neuron. We show that this synaptogenesis is contingent on extrinsic trophic factors present in brain conditioned medium (CM). The CM-induced excitatory synapse formation is mediated through receptor tyrosine kinases. We further demonstrate that, although the postsynaptic axon does not require new protein synthesis for synapse formation, its contact with the presynaptic cell in CM, but not in defined medium (no trophic factors), differentially alters its responsiveness to exogenously applied acetylcholine at synaptic compared with extrasynaptic sites. Together, these data suggest a synergetic action of cell-cell signaling and trophic factors to bring about specific changes in both pre- and postsynaptic neurons during synapse formation.

  3. 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.

  4. Microtubule dynamics and signal transduction at the immunological synapse: new partners and new connections

    OpenAIRE

    Lasserre, Rémi; Alcover, Andrés

    2012-01-01

    Antigen recognition induces T-cell polarization towards antigen presenting cells, generating the immunological synapse at the cell interface. Now, microtubule-mediated polarized vesicle transport is shown to be required for the organization of a signalling-competent synapse and hence T-cell activation.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    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 nod...

  6. Self-control of chaos in neural circuits with plastic electrical synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhigulin, V. P.; Rabinovich, M. I.

    2004-10-01

    Two kinds of connections are known to exist in neural circuits: electrical (also called gap junctions) and chemical. Whereas chemical synapses are known to be plastic (i. e., modifiable), but slow, electrical transmission through gap junctions is not modifiable, but is very fast. We suggest the new artificial synapse that combines the best properties of both: the fast reaction of a gap junction and the plasticity of a chemical synapse. Such a plastic electrical synapse can be used in hybrid neural circuits and for the development of neural prosthetics, i.e., implanted devices that can interact with the real nervous system. Based on the computer modelling we show that such a plastic electrical synapse regularizes chaos in the minimal neural circuit consisting of two chaotic bursting neurons.

  7. Organic core-sheath nanowire artificial synapses with femtojoule energy consumption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Wentao; Min, Sung-Yong; Hwang, Hyunsang; Lee, Tae-Woo

    2016-06-01

    Emulation of biological synapses is an important step toward construction of large-scale brain-inspired electronics. Despite remarkable progress in emulating synaptic functions, current synaptic devices still consume energy that is orders of magnitude greater than do biological synapses (~10 fJ per synaptic event). Reduction of energy consumption of artificial synapses remains a difficult challenge. We report organic nanowire (ONW) synaptic transistors (STs) that emulate the important working principles of a biological synapse. The ONWs emulate the morphology of nerve fibers. With a core-sheath-structured ONW active channel and a well-confined 300-nm channel length obtained using ONW lithography, ~1.23 fJ per synaptic event for individual ONW was attained, which rivals that of biological synapses. The ONW STs provide a significant step toward realizing low-energy-consuming artificial intelligent electronics and open new approaches to assembling soft neuromorphic systems with nanometer feature size. PMID:27386556

  8. Ultrastructural analysis of neuronal synapses using state-of-the-art nano-imaging techniques

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Changlu Tao; Chenglong Xia; Xiaobing Chen; Z. Hong Zhou; Guoqiang Bi

    2012-01-01

    Neuronal synapses are functional nodes in neural circuits.Their organization and activity define an individual's level of intelligence,emotional state and mental health.Changes in the structure and efficacy of synapses are the biological basis of learning and memory.However,investigation of the molecular architecture of synapses has been impeded by the lack of efficient techniques with sufficient resolution.Recent developments in state-of-the-art nano-imaging techniques have opened up a new window for dissecting the molecular organization of neuronal synapses with unprecedented resolution.Here,we review recent technological advances in nano-imaging techniques as well as their applications to the study of synapses,emphasizing super-resolution light microscopy and 3-dimensional electron tomography.

  9. Functional inactivation of a fraction of excitatory synapses in mice deficient for the active zone protein bassoon

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Altrock, Wilko D; tom Dieck, Susanne; Sokolov, Maxim;

    2003-01-01

    normal synaptic transmission, which can be attributed to the inactivation of a significant fraction of glutamatergic synapses. At these synapses, vesicles are clustered and docked in normal numbers but are unable to fuse. Phenotypically, the loss of Bassoon causes spontaneous epileptic seizures. These...... data show that Bassoon is not essential for synapse formation but plays an essential role in the regulated neurotransmitter release from a subset of glutamatergic synapses....

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. A peptide antagonist disrupts NK cell inhibitory synapse formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borhis, Gwenoline; Ahmed, Parvin S; Mbiribindi, Bérénice; Naiyer, Mohammed M; Davis, Daniel M; Purbhoo, Marco A; Khakoo, Salim I

    2013-03-15

    Productive engagement of MHC class I by inhibitory NK cell receptors depends on the peptide bound by the MHC class I molecule. Peptide:MHC complexes that bind weakly to killer cell Ig-like receptors (KIRs) can antagonize the inhibition mediated by high-affinity peptide:MHC complexes and cause NK cell activation. We show that low-affinity peptide:MHC complexes stall inhibitory signaling at the step of Src homology protein tyrosine phosphatase 1 recruitment and do not go on to form the KIR microclusters induced by high-affinity peptide:MHC, which are associated with Vav dephosphorylation and downstream signaling. Furthermore, the low-affinity peptide:MHC complexes prevented the formation of KIR microclusters by high-affinity peptide:MHC. Thus, peptide antagonism of NK cells is an active phenomenon of inhibitory synapse disruption.

  14. Elastohydrodynamics and kinetics of protein patterning in the immunological synapse

    CERN Document Server

    Carlson, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    The cellular basis for the adaptive immune response during antigen recognition relies on a specialized protein interface known as the immunological synapse (IS). Understanding the biophysical basis for protein patterning by deciphering the quantitative rules for their formation and motion is an important aspect of characterizing immune cell recognition and thence the rules for immune system activation. We propose a minimal mathematical model for the physical basis of membrane protein patterning in the IS, which encompass membrane mechanics, protein binding kinetics and motion, and fluid flow in the synaptic cleft. Our theory leads to simple predictions for the spatial and temporal scales of protein cluster formation, growth and arrest as a function of membrane stiffness, rigidity and kinetics of the adhesive proteins, and the fluid in the synaptic cleft. Numerical simulations complement these scaling laws by quantifying the nucleation, growth and stabilization of proteins domains on the size of the cell. Dire...

  15. Consumer Insights

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    JANKOT

    2004-01-01

    Fang Jun, the head of consumer and market insights of Unilever Shanghai, has summarized his early life as a market in two sentences: rush about to study market changes;act all day to observe consumer behavior. And now?"Tell stories, conduct interviews and piece together different data; calculate numbers,build models and write reports."

  16. Opposing mechanisms mediate morphine- and cocaine-induced generation of silent synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graziane, Nicholas M; Sun, Shichao; Wright, William J; Jang, Daniel; Liu, Zheng; Huang, Yanhua H; Nestler, Eric J; Wang, Yu Tian; Schlüter, Oliver M; Dong, Yan

    2016-07-01

    Exposures to cocaine and morphine produce similar adaptations in nucleus accumbens (NAc)-based behaviors, yet produce very different adaptations at NAc excitatory synapses. In an effort to explain this paradox, we found that both drugs induced NMDA receptor-containing, AMPA receptor-silent excitatory synapses, albeit in distinct cell types through opposing cellular mechanisms. Cocaine selectively induced silent synapses in D1-type neurons, likely via a synaptogenesis process, whereas morphine induced silent synapses in D2-type neurons via internalization of AMPA receptors from pre-existing synapses. After drug withdrawal, cocaine-generated silent synapses became 'unsilenced' by recruiting AMPA receptors to strengthen excitatory inputs to D1-type neurons, whereas morphine-generated silent synapses were likely eliminated to weaken excitatory inputs to D2-type neurons. Thus, these cell type-specific, opposing mechanisms produced the same net shift of the balance between excitatory inputs to D1- and D2-type NAc neurons, which may underlie certain common alterations in NAc-based behaviors induced by both classes of drugs. PMID:27239940

  17. Similar GABAA receptor subunit composition in somatic and axon initial segment synapses of hippocampal pyramidal cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerti-Szigeti, Katalin; Nusser, Zoltan

    2016-01-01

    Hippocampal pyramidal cells (PCs) express many GABAAR subunit types and receive GABAergic inputs from distinct interneurons. Previous experiments revealed input-specific differences in α1 and α2 subunit densities in perisomatic synapses, suggesting distinct IPSC decay kinetics. However, IPSC decays evoked by axo-axonic, parvalbumin- or cholecystokinin-expressing basket cells were found to be similar. Using replica immunogold labeling, here we show that all CA1 PC somatic and AIS synapses contain the α1, α2, β1, β2, β3 and γ2 subunits. In CA3 PCs, 90% of the perisomatic synapses are immunopositive for the α1 subunit and all synapses are positive for the remaining five subunits. Somatic synapses form unimodal distributions based on their immunoreactivity for these subunits. The α2 subunit densities in somatic synapses facing Cav2.1 (i.e. parvalbumin) or Cav2.2 (cholecystokinin) positive presynaptic active zones are comparable. We conclude that perisomatic synapses made by three distinct interneuron types have similar GABAA receptor subunit content. PMID:27537197

  18. cAMP-Inhibits Cytoplasmic Phospholipase A2 and Protects Neurons against Amyloid-β-Induced Synapse Damage

    OpenAIRE

    Clive Bate; Alun Williams

    2015-01-01

    A key event in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the production of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides and the loss of synapses. In cultured neurons Aβ triggered synapse damage as measured by the loss of synaptic proteins. α-synuclein (αSN), aggregates of which accumulate in Parkinson’s disease, also caused synapse damage. Synapse damage was associated with activation of cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2), an enzyme that regulates synapse function and structure, and the production of prostaglandin (PG) E2. I...

  19. Novel mRNA-silencing bodies at the synapse: A never-ending story.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, María Gabriela; Boccaccio, Graciela Lidia

    2016-01-01

    Several cellular responses depend on translational regulation and in most cases, this involves the formation of cytoplasmic granules that contain repressed mRNAs. In neurons, numerous mRNAs travel along dendrites to be locally regulated upon synapse activity and we have recently shown that the exoribonuclease XRN1 forms dynamic aggregates at the post synapse that respond to specific stimuli.(1) These foci were termed SX-bodies and are distinct from stress granules (SGs), processing bodies (PBs) and other RNA granules previously described. Together with Smaug1-foci and FMRP-granules, the SX-bodies contribute to dynamically shape the transcriptome available for translation at the post-synapse.

  20. Menin: A Tumor Suppressor That Mediates Postsynaptic Receptor Expression and Synaptogenesis between Central Neurons of Lymnaea stagnalis

    OpenAIRE

    Nichole Flynn; Angela Getz; Frank Visser; Tara A Janes; Syed, Naweed I.

    2014-01-01

    Neurotrophic factors (NTFs) support neuronal survival, differentiation, and even synaptic plasticity both during development and throughout the life of an organism. However, their precise roles in central synapse formation remain unknown. Previously, we demonstrated that excitatory synapse formation in Lymnaea stagnalis requires a source of extrinsic NTFs and receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) activation. Here we show that NTFs such as Lymnaea epidermal growth factor (L-EGF) act through RTKs to t...

  1. VAMP-2, SNAP-25A/B and syntaxin-1 in glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses of the rat cerebellar cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benagiano Vincenzo

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The aim of this study was to assess the distribution of key SNARE proteins in glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses of the adult rat cerebellar cortex using light microscopy immunohistochemical techniques. Analysis was made of co-localizations of vGluT-1 and vGluT-2, vesicular transporters of glutamate and markers of glutamatergic synapses, or GAD, the GABA synthetic enzyme and marker of GABAergic synapses, with VAMP-2, SNAP-25A/B and syntaxin-1. Results The examined SNARE proteins were found to be diffusely expressed in glutamatergic synapses, whereas they were rarely observed in GABAergic synapses. However, among glutamatergic synapses, subpopulations which did not contain VAMP-2, SNAP-25A/B and syntaxin-1 were detected. They included virtually all the synapses established by terminals of climbing fibres (immunoreactive for vGluT-2 and some synapses established by terminals of parallel and mossy fibres (immunoreactive for vGluT-1, and for vGluT-1 and 2, respectively. The only GABA synapses expressing the SNARE proteins studied were the synapses established by axon terminals of basket neurons. Conclusion The present study supplies a detailed morphological description of VAMP-2, SNAP-25A/B and syntaxin-1 in the different types of glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses of the rat cerebellar cortex. The examined SNARE proteins characterize most of glutamatergic synapses and only one type of GABAergic synapses. In the subpopulations of glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses lacking the SNARE protein isoforms examined, alternative mechanisms for regulating trafficking of synaptic vesicles may be hypothesized, possibly mediated by different isoforms or homologous proteins.

  2. Germinal center B cells recognize antigen through a specialized immune synapse architecture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowosad, Carla R; Spillane, Katelyn M; Tolar, Pavel

    2016-07-01

    B cell activation is regulated by B cell antigen receptor (BCR) signaling and antigen internalization in immune synapses. Using large-scale imaging across B cell subsets, we found that, in contrast with naive and memory B cells, which gathered antigen toward the synapse center before internalization, germinal center (GC) B cells extracted antigen by a distinct pathway using small peripheral clusters. Both naive and GC B cell synapses required proximal BCR signaling, but GC cells signaled less through the protein kinase C-β-NF-κB pathway and produced stronger tugging forces on the BCR, thereby more stringently regulating antigen binding. Consequently, GC B cells extracted antigen with better affinity discrimination than naive B cells, suggesting that specialized biomechanical patterns in B cell synapses regulate T cell-dependent selection of high-affinity B cells in GCs. PMID:27183103

  3. A positive feedback synapse from retinal horizontal cells to cone photoreceptors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Skyler L Jackman

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Cone photoreceptors and horizontal cells (HCs have a reciprocal synapse that underlies lateral inhibition and establishes the antagonistic center-surround organization of the visual system. Cones transmit to HCs through an excitatory synapse and HCs feed back to cones through an inhibitory synapse. Here we report that HCs also transmit to cone terminals a positive feedback signal that elevates intracellular Ca(2+ and accelerates neurotransmitter release. Positive and negative feedback are both initiated by AMPA receptors on HCs, but positive feedback appears to be mediated by a change in HC Ca(2+, whereas negative feedback is mediated by a change in HC membrane potential. Local uncaging of AMPA receptor agonists suggests that positive feedback is spatially constrained to active HC-cone synapses, whereas the negative feedback signal spreads through HCs to affect release from surrounding cones. By locally offsetting the effects of negative feedback, positive feedback may amplify photoreceptor synaptic release without sacrificing HC-mediated contrast enhancement.

  4. The Cell Death Pathway Regulates Synapse Elimination through Cleavage of Gelsolin in Caenorhabditis elegans Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lingfeng Meng

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Synapse elimination occurs in development, plasticity, and disease. Although the importance of synapse elimination has been documented in many studies, the molecular mechanisms underlying this process are unclear. Here, using the development of C. elegans RME neurons as a model, we have uncovered a function for the apoptosis pathway in synapse elimination. We find that the conserved apoptotic cell death (CED pathway and axonal mitochondria are required for the elimination of transiently formed clusters of presynaptic components in RME neurons. This function of the CED pathway involves the activation of the actin-filament-severing protein, GSNL-1. Furthermore, we show that caspase CED-3 cleaves GSNL-1 at a conserved C-terminal region and that the cleaved active form of GSNL-1 promotes its actin-severing ability. Our data suggest that activation of the CED pathway contributes to selective elimination of synapses through disassembly of the actin filament network.

  5. 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.

  6. Bottleneck of using single memristor as a synapse and its solution

    CERN Document Server

    Merrikh-Bayat, Farnood

    2010-01-01

    Physical realization of the first memristor by researchers at Hewlett Packard (HP) labs attracts so much interest in this newly found circuit element which has so many applications specially in a field of neuromorphic systems. Now, it is well known that one of the main applications of memristor is for the hardware implementation of synapses because of their capability in dense fabrication and acting as a perfect analog memory. However, synapses in biological systems have this property that by progressing in the learning process, variation rate of the synapses weights should decrease which is not the case in the currently suggested memristor-based structures of neuromorphic systems. In this paper, we show that using two dissimilar memristors connected in series as a synapse perform better than the single memristor.

  7. Investigation and Manipulation of Different Analog Behaviors of Memristor as Electronic Synapse for Neuromorphic Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Changhong; He, Wei; Tong, Yi; Zhao, Rong

    2016-03-01

    Low-power and high-density electronic synapse is an important building block of brain-inspired systems. The recent advancement in memristor has provided an opportunity to advance electronic synapse design. However, a guideline on designing and manipulating the memristor’s analog behaviors is still lacking. In this work, we reveal that compliance current (Icomp) of electroforming process played an important role in realizing a stable analog behavior, which is attributed to the generation of conical-type conductive filament. A proper Icomp could result in a large conductance window, good stability, and low voltage analog switching. We further reveal that different pulse conditions can lead to three analog behaviors, where the conductance changes in monotonic increase, plateau after initial jump, and impulse-like shape, respectively. These behaviors could benefit the design of electronic synapse with enriched learning capabilities. This work will provide a useful guideline for designing and manipulating memristor as electronic synapses for brain-inspired systems.

  8. Essential role of postsynaptic NMDA receptors in developmental refinement of excitatory synapses

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Zhong-wei; Peterson, Matthew; Liu, Hong

    2012-01-01

    Neurons in the brains of newborns are usually connected with many other neurons through weak synapses. This early pattern of connectivity is refined through pruning of many immature connections and strengthening of the remaining ones. NMDA receptors (NMDARs) are essential for the development of excitatory synapses, but their role in synaptic refinement is controversial. Although chronic application of blockers or global knockdown of NMDARs disrupts developmental refinement in many parts of th...

  9. A CMOS Spiking Neuron for Dense Memristor-Synapse Connectivity for Brain-Inspired Computing

    OpenAIRE

    Wu, Xinyu; Saxena, Vishal; Zhu, Kehan

    2015-01-01

    Neuromorphic systems that densely integrate CMOS spiking neurons and nano-scale memristor synapses open a new avenue of brain-inspired computing. Existing silicon neurons have molded neural biophysical dynamics but are incompatible with memristor synapses, or used extra training circuitry thus eliminating much of the density advantages gained by using memristors, or were energy inefficient. Here we describe a novel CMOS spiking leaky integrate-and-fire neuron circuit. Building on a reconfigur...

  10. Investigation and Manipulation of Different Analog Behaviors of Memristor as Electronic Synapse for Neuromorphic Applications

    OpenAIRE

    Changhong Wang; Wei He; Yi Tong; Rong Zhao

    2016-01-01

    Low-power and high-density electronic synapse is an important building block of brain-inspired systems. The recent advancement in memristor has provided an opportunity to advance electronic synapse design. However, a guideline on designing and manipulating the memristor’s analog behaviors is still lacking. In this work, we reveal that compliance current (I comp) of electroforming process played an important role in realizing a stable analog behavior, which is attributed to the generation of c...

  11. Super resolution imaging of genetically labeled synapses in drosophila brain tissue

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  12. Fundamental GABAergic amacrine cell circuitries in the retina: nested feedback, concatenated inhibition, and axosomatic synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marc, R E; Liu, W

    2000-10-01

    Presynaptic gamma-aminobutyrate-immunoreactive (GABA+) profiles were mapped in the cyprinid retina with overlay microscopy: a fusion of electron and optical imaging affording high-contrast ultrastructural and immunocytochemical visualization. GABA+ synapses, deriving primarily from amacrine cells (ACs), compose 92% of conventional synapses and 98% of the input to bipolar cells (BCs) in the inner plexiform layer. GABA+ AC synapses, the sign-inverting elements of signal processing, are deployed in micronetworks and distinctive synaptic source/target topologies. Nested feedback micronetworks are formed by three types of links (BC --> AC, reciprocal BC AC synapses) arranged as nested BC [AC --> AC] loops. Circuits using nested feedback can possess better temporal performance than those using simple reciprocal feedback loops. Concatenated GABA+ micronetworks of AC --> AC and AC --> AC --> AC chains are common and must be key elements for lateral spatial, temporal, and spectral signal processing. Concatenated inhibitions may represent exceptionally stable, low-gain, sign-conserving devices for receptive field construction. Some chain elements are GABA immunonegative (GABA-) and are, thus, likely glycinergic synapses. GABA+ synaptic baskets target the somas of certain GABA+ and GABA- cells, resembling cortical axosomatic synapses. Finally, all myelinated intraretinal profiles are GABA+, suggesting that some efferent systems are sources of GABAergic inhibition in the cyprinid retina and may comprise all axosomatic synapses. These micronetworks are likely the fundamental elements for receptive field shaping in the inner plexiform layer, although few receptive field models incorporate them as functional components. Conversely, simple feedback and feedforward synapses may often be chimeras: the result of an incomplete view of synaptic topology.

  13. On the Relation between Bursts and Dynamic Synapse Properties: A Modulation-Based Ansatz

    OpenAIRE

    Christian Mayr; Johannes Partzsch; Rene Schüffny

    2009-01-01

    When entering a synapse, presynaptic pulse trains are filtered according to the recent pulse history at the synapse and also with respect to their own pulse time course. Various behavioral models have tried to reproduce these complex filtering properties. In particular, the quantal model of neurotransmitter release has been shown to be highly selective for particular presynaptic pulse patterns. However, since the original, pulse-iterative quantal model does not lend itself to mathematical ...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Reduced gap junctional coupling leads to uncorrelated motor neuron firing and precocious neuromuscular synapse elimination

    OpenAIRE

    Personius, Kirkwood E.; Chang, Qiang; Mentis, George Z.; O'Donovan, Michael J.; Rita J Balice-Gordon

    2007-01-01

    During late embryonic and early postnatal life, neuromuscular junctions undergo synapse elimination that is modulated by patterns of motor neuron activity. Here, we test the hypothesis that reduced spinal neuron gap junctional coupling decreases temporally correlated motor neuron activity that, in turn, modulates neuromuscular synapse elimination, by using mutant mice lacking connexin 40 (Cx40), a developmentally regulated gap junction protein expressed in motor and other spinal neurons. In C...

  16. Spatial Regulation of Gene Expression in Neurons During Synapse Formation and Synaptic Plasticity

    OpenAIRE

    Kim, Sangmok

    2013-01-01

    mRNA localization and regulated translation allow individual neurons to locally regulate the proteome of each of their many subcellular compartments. To investigate the spatial regulation of gene expression during synaptic plasticity, we used a translational reporter system to demonstrate synapse- and stimulus-specific translation during long-term facilitation of Aplysia sensory-motor synapse. These studies revealed a role for a retrograde signal from the postsynaptic motor neuron in regulati...

  17. Spin-Based Neuron Model with Domain Wall Magnets as Synapse

    OpenAIRE

    Sharad, Mrigank; Augustine, Charles; Panagopoulos, Georgios; Roy, Kaushik

    2012-01-01

    We present artificial neural network design using spin devices that achieves ultra low voltage operation, low power consumption, high speed, and high integration density. We employ spin torque switched nano-magnets for modelling neuron and domain wall magnets for compact, programmable synapses. The spin based neuron-synapse units operate locally at ultra low supply voltage of 30mV resulting in low computation power. CMOS based inter-neuron communication is employed to realize network-level fu...

  18. The Role of MuSK in Synapse Formation and Neuromuscular Disease

    OpenAIRE

    Burden, Steven J.; Yumoto, Norihiro; Zhang, Wei

    2013-01-01

    Muscle-specific kinase (MuSK) is essential for each step in neuromuscular synapse formation. Before innervation, MuSK initiates postsynaptic differentiation, priming the muscle for synapse formation. Approaching motor axons recognize the primed, or prepatterned, region of muscle, causing motor axons to stop growing and differentiate into specialized nerve terminals. MuSK controls presynaptic differentiation by causing the clustering of Lrp4, which functions as a direct retrograde signal for p...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Brady J Maher; Joseph J LoTurco

    2012-01-01

    The pathophysiology of schizophrenia is believed to involve defects in synaptic transmission, and the function of many schizophrenia-associated genes, including DISC1, have been linked to synaptic function at glutamatergic synapses. Here we develop a rodent model via in utero electroporation to assay the presynaptic function of DISC1 at glutamatergic synapses. We used a combination of mosaic transgene expression, RNAi knockdown and optogenetics to restrict both genetic manipulation and synapt...

  20. Neuroligin 2 is expressed in synapses established by cholinergic cells in the mouse brain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virág T Takács

    Full Text Available Neuroligin 2 is a postsynaptic protein that plays a critical role in the maturation and proper function of GABAergic synapses. Previous studies demonstrated that deletion of neuroligin 2 impaired GABAergic synaptic transmission, whereas its overexpression caused increased inhibition, which suggest that its presence strongly influences synaptic function. Interestingly, the overexpressing transgenic mouse line showed increased anxiety-like behavior and other behavioral phenotypes, not easily explained by an otherwise strengthened GABAergic transmission. This suggested that other, non-GABAergic synapses may also express neuroligin 2. Here, we tested the presence of neuroligin 2 at synapses established by cholinergic neurons in the mouse brain using serial electron microscopic sections double labeled for neuroligin 2 and choline acetyltransferase. We found that besides GABAergic synapses, neuroligin 2 is also present in the postsynaptic membrane of cholinergic synapses in all investigated brain areas (including dorsal hippocampus, somatosensory and medial prefrontal cortices, caudate putamen, basolateral amygdala, centrolateral thalamic nucleus, medial septum, vertical- and horizontal limbs of the diagonal band of Broca, substantia innominata and ventral pallidum. In the hippocampus, the density of neuroligin 2 labeling was similar in GABAergic and cholinergic synapses. Moreover, several cholinergic contact sites that were strongly labeled with neuroligin 2 did not resemble typical synapses, suggesting that cholinergic axons form more synaptic connections than it was recognized previously. We showed that cholinergic cells themselves also express neuroligin 2 in a subset of their input synapses. These data indicate that mutations in human neuroligin 2 gene and genetic manipulations of neuroligin 2 levels in rodents will potentially cause alterations in the cholinergic system as well, which may also have a profound effect on the functional properties

  1. Investigating complex I deficiency in Purkinje cells and synapses in patients with mitochondrial disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chrysostomou, Alexia; Grady, John P.; Laude, Alex; Taylor, Robert W.; Turnbull, Doug M.

    2015-01-01

    Aims Cerebellar ataxia is common in patients with mitochondrial disease, and despite previous neuropathological investigations demonstrating vulnerability of the olivocerebellar pathway in patients with mitochondrial disease, the exact neurodegenerative mechanisms are still not clear. We use quantitative quadruple immunofluorescence to enable precise quantification of mitochondrial respiratory chain protein expression in Purkinje cell bodies and their synaptic terminals in the dentate nucleus. Methods We investigated NADH dehydrogenase [ubiquinone] 1 alpha subcomplex subunit 13 protein expression in 12 clinically and genetically defined patients with mitochondrial disease and ataxia and 10 age‐matched controls. Molecular genetic analysis was performed to determine heteroplasmy levels of mutated mitochondrial DNA in Purkinje cell bodies and inhibitory synapses. Results Our data reveal that complex I deficiency is present in both Purkinje cell bodies and their inhibitory synapses which surround dentate nucleus neurons. Inhibitory synapses are fewer and enlarged in patients which could represent a compensatory mechanism. Mitochondrial DNA heteroplasmy demonstrated similarly high levels of mutated mitochondrial DNA in cell bodies and synapses. Conclusions This is the first study to use a validated quantitative immunofluorescence technique to determine complex I expression in neurons and presynaptic terminals, evaluating the distribution of respiratory chain deficiencies and assessing the degree of morphological abnormalities affecting synapses. Respiratory chain deficiencies detected in Purkinje cell bodies and their synapses and structural synaptic changes are likely to contribute to altered cerebellar circuitry and progression of ataxia. PMID:26337858

  2. ApoE receptor 2 regulates synapse and dendritic spine formation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonya B Dumanis

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Apolipoprotein E receptor 2 (ApoEr2 is a postsynaptic protein involved in long-term potentiation (LTP, learning, and memory through unknown mechanisms. We examined the biological effects of ApoEr2 on synapse and dendritic spine formation-processes critical for learning and memory. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In a heterologous co-culture synapse assay, overexpression of ApoEr2 in COS7 cells significantly increased colocalization with synaptophysin in primary hippocampal neurons, suggesting that ApoEr2 promotes interaction with presynaptic structures. In primary neuronal cultures, overexpression of ApoEr2 increased dendritic spine density. Consistent with our in vitro findings, ApoEr2 knockout mice had decreased dendritic spine density in cortical layers II/III at 1 month of age. We also tested whether the interaction between ApoEr2 and its cytoplasmic adaptor proteins, specifically X11α and PSD-95, affected synapse and dendritic spine formation. X11α decreased cell surface levels of ApoEr2 along with synapse and dendritic spine density. In contrast, PSD-95 increased cell surface levels of ApoEr2 as well as synapse and dendritic spine density. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results suggest that ApoEr2 plays important roles in structure and function of CNS synapses and dendritic spines, and that these roles are modulated by cytoplasmic adaptor proteins X11α and PSD-95.

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

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    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.

  4. Poisson-like spiking in circuits with probabilistic synapses.

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    Rubén Moreno-Bote

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  5. Poisson-like spiking in circuits with probabilistic synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-Bote, Rubén

    2014-07-01

    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

  6. Quantitative analysis of synaptic release at the photoreceptor synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duncan, Gabriel; Rabl, Katalin; Gemp, Ian; Heidelberger, Ruth; Thoreson, Wallace B

    2010-05-19

    Exocytosis from the rod photoreceptor is stimulated by submicromolar Ca(2+) and exhibits an unusually shallow dependence on presynaptic Ca(2+). To provide a quantitative description of the photoreceptor Ca(2+) sensor for exocytosis, we tested a family of conventional and allosteric computational models describing the final Ca(2+)-binding steps leading to exocytosis. Simulations were fit to two measures of release, evoked by flash-photolysis of caged Ca(2+): exocytotic capacitance changes from individual rods and postsynaptic currents of second-order neurons. The best simulations supported the occupancy of only two Ca(2+) binding sites on the rod Ca(2+) sensor rather than the typical four or five. For most models, the on-rates for Ca(2+) binding and maximal fusion rate were comparable to those of other neurons. However, the off-rates for Ca(2+) unbinding were unexpectedly slow. In addition to contributing to the high-affinity of the photoreceptor Ca(2+) sensor, slow Ca(2+) unbinding may support the fusion of vesicles located at a distance from Ca(2+) channels. In addition, partial sensor occupancy due to slow unbinding may contribute to the linearization of the first synapse in vision. PMID:20483317

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Fear learning increases the number of polyribosomes associated with excitatory and inhibitory synapses in the barrel cortex.

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    Malgorzata Jasinska

    Full Text Available Associative fear learning, resulting from whisker stimulation paired with application of a mild electric shock to the tail in a classical conditioning paradigm, changes the motor behavior of mice and modifies the cortical functional representation of sensory receptors involved in the conditioning. It also induces the formation of new inhibitory synapses on double-synapse spines of the cognate barrel hollows. We studied density and distribution of polyribosomes, the putative structural markers of enhanced synaptic activation, following conditioning. By analyzing serial sections of the barrel cortex by electron microscopy and stereology, we found that the density of polyribosomes was significantly increased in dendrites of the barrel activated during conditioning. The results revealed fear learning-induced increase in the density of polyribosomes associated with both excitatory and inhibitory synapses located on dendritic spines (in both single- and double-synapse spines and only with the inhibitory synapses located on dendritic shafts. This effect was accompanied by a significant increase in the postsynaptic density area of the excitatory synapses on single-synapse spines and of the inhibitory synapses on double-synapse spines containing polyribosomes. The present results show that associative fear learning not only induces inhibitory synaptogenesis, as demonstrated in the previous studies, but also stimulates local protein synthesis and produces modifications of the synapses that indicate their potentiation.

  10. ELKS controls the pool of readily releasable vesicles at excitatory synapses through its N-terminal coiled-coil domains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Held, Richard G; Liu, Changliang; Kaeser, Pascal S

    2016-06-02

    In a presynaptic nerve terminal, synaptic strength is determined by the pool of readily releasable vesicles (RRP) and the probability of release (P) of each RRP vesicle. These parameters are controlled at the active zone and vary across synapses, but how such synapse specific control is achieved is not understood. ELKS proteins are enriched at vertebrate active zones and enhance P at inhibitory hippocampal synapses, but ELKS functions at excitatory synapses are not known. Studying conditional knockout mice for ELKS, we find that ELKS enhances the RRP at excitatory synapses without affecting P. Surprisingly, ELKS C-terminal sequences, which interact with RIM, are dispensable for RRP enhancement. Instead, the N-terminal ELKS coiled-coil domains that bind to Liprin-α and Bassoon are necessary to control RRP. Thus, ELKS removal has differential, synapse-specific effects on RRP and P, and our findings establish important roles for ELKS N-terminal domains in synaptic vesicle priming.

  11. 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.

  12. Loss of SynDIG1 Reduces Excitatory Synapse Maturation But Not Formation In Vivo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaur, Inderpreet; Liu, Xiao-Bo; Kirk, Lyndsey M.; Speca, David J.; McMahon, Samuel A.; Zito, Karen

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Modification of the strength of excitatory synaptic connections is a fundamental mechanism by which neural circuits are refined during development and learning. Synapse Differentiation Induced Gene 1 (SynDIG1) has been shown to play a key role in regulating synaptic strength in vitro. Here, we investigated the role of SynDIG1 in vivo in mice with a disruption of the SynDIG1 gene rather than use an alternate loxP-flanked conditional mutant that we find retains a partial protein product. The gene-trap insertion with a reporter cassette mutant mice shows that the SynDIG1 promoter is active during embryogenesis in the retina with some activity in the brain, and postnatally in the mouse hippocampus, cortex, hindbrain, and spinal cord. Ultrastructural analysis of the hippocampal CA1 region shows a decrease in the average PSD length of synapses and a decrease in the number of synapses with a mature phenotype. Intriguingly, the total synapse number appears to be increased in SynDIG1 mutant mice. Electrophysiological analyses show a decrease in AMPA and NMDA receptor function in SynDIG1-deficient hippocampal neurons. Glutamate stimulation of individual dendritic spines in hippocampal slices from SynDIG1-deficient mice reveals increased short-term structural plasticity. Notably, the overall levels of PSD-95 or glutamate receptors enriched in postsynaptic biochemical fractions remain unaltered; however, activity-dependent synapse development is strongly compromised upon the loss of SynDIG1, supporting its importance for excitatory synapse maturation. Together, these data are consistent with a model in which SynDIG1 regulates the maturation of excitatory synapse structure and function in the mouse hippocampus in vivo.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sackmann, Erich

    2011-06-01

    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.

  14. Functional and structural deficits at accumbens synapses in a mouse model of Fragile X

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    Daniela eNeuhofer

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Fragile X is the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability and a leading cause of autism. The disease is caused by mutation of a single X-linked gene called fmr1 that codes for the Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP, a 71 kDa protein, which acts mainly as a translation inhibitor. Fragile X patients suffer from cognitive and emotional deficits that coincide with abnormalities in dendritic spines. Changes in spine morphology are often associated with altered excitatory transmission and long-term plasticity, the most prominent deficit in fmr1-/y mice. The nucleus accumbens, a central part of the mesocortico-limbic reward pathway, is now considered as a core structure in the control of social behaviors. Although the socio-affective impairments observed in Fragile X suggest dysfunctions in the accumbens, the impact of the lack of FMRP on accumbal synapses has scarcely been studied. Here we report for the first time a new spike timing-dependent plasticity paradigm that reliably triggers NMDAR-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP of excitatory afferent inputs of medium spiny neurons (MSN in the nucleus accumbens core region. Notably, we discovered that this LTP was completely absent in fmr1-/y mice. In the fmr1-/y accumbens intrinsic membrane properties of MSNs and basal excitatory neurotransmission remained intact in the fmr1-/y accumbens but the deficit in LTP was accompanied by an increase in evoked AMPA/NMDA ratio and a concomitant reduction of spontaneous NMDAR-mediated currents. In agreement with these physiological findings, we found significantly more filopodial spines in fmr1-/y mice by using an ultrastructural electron microscopic analysis of accumbens core medium spiny neuron spines. Surprisingly, spine elongation was specifically due to the longer longitudinal axis and larger area of spine necks, whereas spine head morphology and postsynaptic density size on spine heads remained unaffected in the fmr1-/y accumbens

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sackmann, Erich, E-mail: sackmann@ph.tum.de [Physics Department E22, Technical University Munich, D-85748 Garching (Germany)

    2011-06-15

    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.

  16. Clustering of sialylated glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchors mediates PrP-induced activation of cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 and synapse damage

    OpenAIRE

    Bate, Clive; Williams, Alun

    2012-01-01

    Precisely how the accumulation of PrPSc causes the neuronal degeneration that leads to the clinical symptoms of prion diseases is poorly understood. Our recent paper showed that the clustering of specific glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchors attached to PrP proteins triggered synapse damage in cultured neurons. First, we demonstrated that small, soluble PrPSc oligomers caused synapse damage via a GPI-dependent process. Our hypothesis, that the clustering of specific GPIs caused synapse ...

  17. 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).

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qian-Kun Yang

    2013-01-01

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

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

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    Jose L Serrano-Velez

    2014-06-01

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

  20. Calcium influx through CRAC channels controls actin organization and dynamics at the immune synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartzell, Catherine A; Jankowska, Katarzyna I; Burkhardt, Janis K; Lewis, Richard S

    2016-01-01

    T cell receptor (TCR) engagement opens Ca(2+) release-activated Ca(2+) (CRAC) channels and triggers formation of an immune synapse between T cells and antigen-presenting cells. At the synapse, actin reorganizes into a concentric lamellipod and lamella with retrograde actin flow that helps regulate the intensity and duration of TCR signaling. We find that Ca(2+) influx is required to drive actin organization and dynamics at the synapse. Calcium acts by promoting actin depolymerization and localizing actin polymerization and the actin nucleation promotion factor WAVE2 to the periphery of the lamellipod while suppressing polymerization elsewhere. Ca(2+)-dependent retrograde actin flow corrals ER tubule extensions and STIM1/Orai1 complexes to the synapse center, creating a self-organizing process for CRAC channel localization. Our results demonstrate a new role for Ca(2+) as a critical regulator of actin organization and dynamics at the synapse, and reveal potential feedback loops through which Ca(2+) influx may modulate TCR signaling. PMID:27440222

  1. Calcium influx through CRAC channels controls actin organization and dynamics at the immune synapse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartzell, Catherine A; Jankowska, Katarzyna I; Burkhardt, Janis K; Lewis, Richard S

    2016-01-01

    T cell receptor (TCR) engagement opens Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ (CRAC) channels and triggers formation of an immune synapse between T cells and antigen-presenting cells. At the synapse, actin reorganizes into a concentric lamellipod and lamella with retrograde actin flow that helps regulate the intensity and duration of TCR signaling. We find that Ca2+ influx is required to drive actin organization and dynamics at the synapse. Calcium acts by promoting actin depolymerization and localizing actin polymerization and the actin nucleation promotion factor WAVE2 to the periphery of the lamellipod while suppressing polymerization elsewhere. Ca2+-dependent retrograde actin flow corrals ER tubule extensions and STIM1/Orai1 complexes to the synapse center, creating a self-organizing process for CRAC channel localization. Our results demonstrate a new role for Ca2+ as a critical regulator of actin organization and dynamics at the synapse, and reveal potential feedback loops through which Ca2+ influx may modulate TCR signaling. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14850.001 PMID:27440222

  2. Effects of Trace Metal Profiles Characteristic for Autism on Synapses in Cultured Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simone Hagmeyer

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Various recent studies revealed that biometal dyshomeostasis plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of neurological disorders such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD. Substantial evidence indicates that disrupted neuronal homeostasis of different metal ions such as Fe, Cu, Pb, Hg, Se, and Zn may mediate synaptic dysfunction and impair synapse formation and maturation. Here, we performed in vitro studies investigating the consequences of an imbalance of transition metals on glutamatergic synapses of hippocampal neurons. We analyzed whether an imbalance of any one metal ion alters cell health and synapse numbers. Moreover, we evaluated whether a biometal profile characteristic for ASD patients influences synapse formation, maturation, and composition regarding NMDA receptor subunits and Shank proteins. Our results show that an ASD like biometal profile leads to a reduction of NMDAR (NR/Grin/GluN subunit 1 and 2a, as well as Shank gene expression along with a reduction of synapse density. Additionally, synaptic protein levels of GluN2a and Shanks are reduced. Although Zn supplementation is able to rescue the aforementioned alterations, Zn deficiency is not solely responsible as causative factor. Thus, we conclude that balancing Zn levels in ASD might be a prime target to normalize synaptic alterations caused by biometal dyshomeostasis.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiera, Grzegorz; Mozrzymas, Jerzy W

    2015-01-01

    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 long-term potentiation (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, tissue plasminogen activator (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.

  5. 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.

  6. Physical Realization of a Supervised Learning System Built with Organic Memristive Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Yu-Pu; Bennett, Christopher H.; Cabaret, Théo; Vodenicarevic, Damir; Chabi, Djaafar; Querlioz, Damien; Jousselme, Bruno; Derycke, Vincent; Klein, Jacques-Olivier

    2016-09-01

    Multiple modern applications of electronics call for inexpensive chips that can perform complex operations on natural data with limited energy. A vision for accomplishing this is implementing hardware neural networks, which fuse computation and memory, with low cost organic electronics. A challenge, however, is the implementation of synapses (analog memories) composed of such materials. In this work, we introduce robust, fastly programmable, nonvolatile organic memristive nanodevices based on electrografted redox complexes that implement synapses thanks to a wide range of accessible intermediate conductivity states. We demonstrate experimentally an elementary neural network, capable of learning functions, which combines four pairs of organic memristors as synapses and conventional electronics as neurons. Our architecture is highly resilient to issues caused by imperfect devices. It tolerates inter-device variability and an adaptable learning rule offers immunity against asymmetries in device switching. Highly compliant with conventional fabrication processes, the system can be extended to larger computing systems capable of complex cognitive tasks, as demonstrated in complementary simulations.

  7. Short-Term Plasticity and Long-Term Potentiation in Magnetic Tunnel Junctions: Towards Volatile Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sengupta, Abhronil; Roy, Kaushik

    2016-02-01

    Synaptic memory is considered to be the main element responsible for learning and cognition in humans. Although traditionally nonvolatile long-term plasticity changes are implemented in nanoelectronic synapses for neuromorphic applications, recent studies in neuroscience reveal that biological synapses undergo metastable volatile strengthening followed by a long-term strengthening provided that the frequency of the input stimulus is sufficiently high. Such "memory strengthening" and "memory decay" functionalities can potentially lead to adaptive neuromorphic architectures. In this paper, we demonstrate the close resemblance of the magnetization dynamics of a magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) to short-term plasticity and long-term potentiation observed in biological synapses. We illustrate that, in addition to the magnitude and duration of the input stimulus, the frequency of the stimulus plays a critical role in determining long-term potentiation of the MTJ. Such MTJ synaptic memory arrays can be utilized to create compact, ultrafast, and low-power intelligent neural systems.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Optical quantal analysis reveals a presynaptic component of LTP at hippocampal Schaffer-associational synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emptage, Nigel J; Reid, Christopher A; Fine, Alan; Bliss, Timothy V P

    2003-06-01

    The mechanisms by which long-term potentiation (LTP) is expressed are controversial, with evidence for both presynaptic and postsynaptic involvement. We have used confocal microscopy and Ca(2+)-sensitive dyes to study LTP at individual visualized synapses. Synaptically evoked Ca(2+) transients were imaged in distal dendritic spines of pyramidal cells in cultured hippocampal slices, before and after the induction of LTP. At most synapses, from as early as 10 min to at least 60 min after induction, LTP was associated with an increase in the probability of a single stimulus evoking a postsynaptic Ca(2+) response. These observations provide compelling evidence of a presynaptic component to the expression of early LTP at Schaffer-associational synapses. In most cases, the store-dependent evoked Ca(2+) transient in the spine was also increased after induction, a novel postsynaptic aspect of LTP.

  11. Nanogranular SiO2 proton gated silicon layer transistor mimicking biological synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, M. J.; Huang, G. S.; Feng, P.; Guo, Q. L.; Shao, F.; Tian, Z. A.; Li, G. J.; Wan, Q.; Mei, Y. F.

    2016-06-01

    Silicon on insulator (SOI)-based transistors gated by nanogranular SiO2 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.

  12. A Model of In Vitro Plasticity at the Parallel Fiber - Molecular Layer Interneuron Synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William eLennon

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Theoretical and computational models of the cerebellum typically focus on the role of parallel fiber (PF - Purkinje cell (PKJ synapses for learned behavior, but few emphasize the role of the molecular layer interneurons (MLIs -- the stellate and basket cells. A number of recent experimental results suggest the role of MLIs is more important than previous models put forth. We investigate learning at PF - MLI synapses and propose a mathematical model to describe plasticity at this synapse. We perform computer simulations with this form of learning using a spiking neuron model of the MLI and show that it reproduces six in vitro experimental results in addition to simulating four novel protocols. Further, we show how this plasticity model can predict the results of other experimental protocols that are not simulated. Finally, we hypothesize what the biological mechanisms are for changes in synaptic efficacy that embody the phenomenological model proposed here.

  13. Visualizing the distribution of synapses from individual neurons in the mouse brain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ling Li

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Proper function of the mammalian brain relies on the establishment of highly specific synaptic connections among billions of neurons. To understand how complex neural circuits function, it is crucial to precisely describe neuronal connectivity and the distributions of synapses to and from individual neurons. METHODS AND FINDINGS: In this study, we present a new genetic synaptic labeling method that relies on expression of a presynaptic marker, synaptophysin-GFP (Syp-GFP in individual neurons in vivo. We assess the reliability of this method and use it to analyze the spatial patterning of synapses in developing and mature cerebellar granule cells (GCs. In immature GCs, Syp-GFP is distributed in both axonal and dendritic regions. Upon maturation, it becomes strongly enriched in axons. In mature GCs, we analyzed synapses along their ascending segments and parallel fibers. We observe no differences in presynaptic distribution between GCs born at different developmental time points and thus having varied depths of projections in the molecular layer. We found that the mean densities of synapses along the parallel fiber and the ascending segment above the Purkinje cell (PC layer are statistically indistinguishable, and higher than previous estimates. Interestingly, presynaptic terminals were also found in the ascending segments of GCs below and within the PC layer, with the mean densities two-fold lower than that above the PC layer. The difference in the density of synapses in these parts of the ascending segment likely reflects the regional differences in postsynaptic target cells of GCs. CONCLUSIONS: The ability to visualize synapses of single neurons in vivo is valuable for studying synaptogenesis and synaptic plasticity within individual neurons as well as information flow in neural circuits.

  14. A development-based compartmentalization of the Drosophila central brain

    OpenAIRE

    Pereanu, Wayne; Kumar, Abilasha; Jennett, Arnim; Reichert, Heinrich; Hartenstein, Volker

    2010-01-01

    The neuropile of the Drosophila brain is subdivided into anatomically discrete compartments. Compartments are rich in terminal neurite branching and synapses; they are the neuropile domains in which signal processing takes place. Compartment boundaries are defined by more or less dense layers of glial cells, as well as long neurite fascicles. These fascicles are formed during the larval period when the approximately 100 neuronal lineages that constitute the Drosophila central brain differenti...

  15. Menin: a tumor suppressor that mediates postsynaptic receptor expression and synaptogenesis between central neurons of Lymnaea stagnalis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nichole Flynn

    Full Text Available Neurotrophic factors (NTFs support neuronal survival, differentiation, and even synaptic plasticity both during development and throughout the life of an organism. However, their precise roles in central synapse formation remain unknown. Previously, we demonstrated that excitatory synapse formation in Lymnaea stagnalis requires a source of extrinsic NTFs and receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK activation. Here we show that NTFs such as Lymnaea epidermal growth factor (L-EGF act through RTKs to trigger a specific subset of intracellular signalling events in the postsynaptic neuron, which lead to the activation of the tumor suppressor menin, encoded by Lymnaea MEN1 (L-MEN1 and the expression of excitatory nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs. We provide direct evidence that the activation of the MAPK/ERK cascade is required for the expression of nAChRs, and subsequent synapse formation between pairs of neurons in vitro. Furthermore, we show that L-menin activation is sufficient for the expression of postsynaptic excitatory nAChRs and subsequent synapse formation in media devoid of NTFs. By extending our findings in situ, we reveal the necessity of EGFRs in mediating synapse formation between a single transplanted neuron and its intact presynaptic partner. Moreover, deficits in excitatory synapse formation following EGFR knock-down can be rescued by injecting synthetic L-MEN1 mRNA in the intact central nervous system. Taken together, this study provides the first direct evidence that NTFs functioning via RTKs activate the MEN1 gene, which appears sufficient to regulate synapse formation between central neurons. Our study also offers a novel developmental role for menin beyond tumour suppression in adult humans.

  16. A VLSI network of spiking neurons with plastic fully configurable "stop-learning" synapses

    OpenAIRE

    Giulioni, M; Camilleri, P; Dante, V; Badoni, D.; G. Indiveri; Braun, J; Del Giudice, P.

    2008-01-01

    We describe and demonstrate a neuromorphic, analog VLSI chip (termed F-LANN) hosting 128 integrate-and-fire (IF) neurons with spike-frequency adaptation, and 16,384 plastic bistable synapses implementing a self-regulated form of Hebbian, spike-driven, stochastic plasticity. The chip is designed to offer a high degree of reconfigurability: each synapse may be individually configured at any time to be either excitatory or inhibitory and to receive either recurrent input from an on-chip neuron o...

  17. The Nogo Receptor Family Restricts Synapse Number in the Developing Hippocampus

    OpenAIRE

    Wills, Zachary P.; Mandel-Brehm, Caleigh; Mardinly, Alan R.; McCord, Alejandra E.; Giger, Roman J.; Greenberg, Michael E.

    2012-01-01

    Neuronal development is characterized by a period of exuberant synaptic growth that is well studied. However, the mechanisms that restrict this process are less clear. Here we demonstrate that glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol-anchored cell-surface receptors of the Nogo Receptor family (NgR1, NgR2, and NgR3) restrict excitatory synapse formation. Loss of any one of the NgRs results in an increase in synapse number in vitro, whereas loss of all three is necessary for abnormally elevated synaptogen...

  18. D-serine and serine racemase are associated with PSD-95 and glutamatergic synapse stability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong eLin

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available D-serine is an endogenous coagonist at the glycine site of synaptic NMDA receptors (NMDARs, synthesized by serine racemase (SR through conversion of L-serine. It is crucial for synaptic plasticity and is implicated in schizophrenia. Our previous studies demonstrated specific loss of SR, D-serine-responsive synaptic NMDARs, and glutamatergic synapses in cortical neurons lacking alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, which promotes glutamatergic synapse formation and maturation during development. We thus hypothesize that D-serine and SR (D-serine/SR are associated with glutamatergic synaptic development. Using morphological and molecular studies in cortical neuronal cultures, we demonstrate that D-serine/SR are associated with PSD-95 and NMDARs in postsynaptic neurons and with glutamatergic synapse stability during synaptic development. Endogenous D-serine and SR colocalize with PSD-95, but not presynaptic vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (VGLUT1, in glutamatergic synapses of cultured cortical neurons. Low-density astrocytes in cortical neuronal cultures lack SR expression but contain enriched D-serine in large vesicle-like structures, suggesting possible synthesis of D-serine in postsynaptic neurons and storage in astrocytes. More interestingly, endogenous D-serine and SR colocalize with PSD-95 in the postsynaptic terminals of glutamatergic synapses during early and late synaptic development, implicating involvement of D-serine/SR in glutamatergic synaptic development. Exogenous application of D-serine enhances the interactions of SR with PSD-95 and NR1, and increases the number of VGLUT1- and PSD-95-positive glutamatergic synapses, suggesting that exogenous D-serine enhances postsynaptic SR/PSD-95 signaling and stabilizes glutamatergic synapses during cortical synaptic development. This is blocked by NMDAR antagonist 2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid (AP5 and 7-chlorokynurenic acid (7-CK, a specific antagonist at the glycine site of NMDARs

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    D-serine is an endogenous coagonist at the glycine site of synaptic NMDA receptors (NMDARs), synthesized by serine racemase (SR) through conversion of L-serine. It is crucial for synaptic plasticity and is implicated in schizophrenia. Our previous studies demonstrated specific loss of SR, D-serine-responsive synaptic NMDARs, and glutamatergic synapses in cortical neurons lacking α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, which promotes glutamatergic synapse formation and maturation during development. We thus hypothesize that D-serine and SR (D-serine/SR) are associated with glutamatergic synaptic development. Using morphological and molecular studies in cortical neuronal cultures, we demonstrate that D-serine/SR are associated with PSD-95 and NMDARs in postsynaptic neurons and with glutamatergic synapse stability during synaptic development. Endogenous D-serine and SR colocalize with PSD-95, but not presynaptic vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (VGLUT1), in glutamatergic synapses of cultured cortical neurons. Low-density astrocytes in cortical neuronal cultures lack SR expression but contain enriched D-serine in large vesicle-like structures, suggesting possible synthesis of D-serine in postsynaptic neurons and storage in astrocytes. More interestingly, endogenous D-serine and SR colocalize with PSD-95 in the postsynaptic terminals of glutamatergic synapses during early and late synaptic development, implicating involvement of D-serine/SR in glutamatergic synaptic development. Exogenous application of D-serine enhances the interactions of SR with PSD-95 and NR1, and increases the number of VGLUT1- and PSD-95-positive glutamatergic synapses, suggesting that exogenous D-serine enhances postsynaptic SR/PSD-95 signaling and stabilizes glutamatergic synapses during cortical synaptic development. This is blocked by NMDAR antagonist 2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid (AP5) and 7-chlorokynurenic acid (7-CK), a specific antagonist at the glycine site of NMDARs, demonstrating

  20. mGluR-LTD at Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapses in the Lateral Habenula Tunes Neuronal Output.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valentinova, Kristina; Mameli, Manuel

    2016-08-30

    Excitatory and inhibitory transmission onto lateral habenula (LHb) neurons is instrumental for the expression of positive and negative motivational states. However, insights into the molecular mechanisms modulating synaptic transmission and the repercussions for neuronal activity within the LHb remain elusive. Here, we report that, in mice, activation of group I metabotropic glutamate receptors triggers long-term depression at excitatory (eLTD) and inhibitory (iLTD) synapses in the LHb. mGluR-eLTD and iLTD rely on mGluR1 and PKC signaling. However, mGluR-dependent adaptations of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission differ in their expression mechanisms. mGluR-eLTD occurs via an endocannabinoid receptor-dependent decrease in glutamate release. Conversely, mGluR-iLTD occurs postsynaptically through PKC-dependent reduction of β2-containing GABAA-R function. Finally, mGluR-dependent plasticity of excitation or inhibition decides the direction of neuronal firing, providing a synaptic mechanism to bidirectionally control LHb output. We propose mGluR-LTD as a cellular substrate that underlies LHb-dependent encoding of opposing motivational states. PMID:27545888

  1. Adaptive learning and decision-making under uncertainty by metaplastic synapses guided by a surprise detection system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iigaya, Kiyohito

    2016-01-01

    Recent experiments have shown that animals and humans have a remarkable ability to adapt their learning rate according to the volatility of the environment. Yet the neural mechanism responsible for such adaptive learning has remained unclear. To fill this gap, we investigated a biophysically inspired, metaplastic synaptic model within the context of a well-studied decision-making network, in which synapses can change their rate of plasticity in addition to their efficacy according to a reward-based learning rule. We found that our model, which assumes that synaptic plasticity is guided by a novel surprise detection system, captures a wide range of key experimental findings and performs as well as a Bayes optimal model, with remarkably little parameter tuning. Our results further demonstrate the computational power of synaptic plasticity, and provide insights into the circuit-level computation which underlies adaptive decision-making. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18073.001 PMID:27504806

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  3. β-Adducin is required for stable assembly of new synapses and improved memory upon environmental enrichment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bednarek, Ewa; Caroni, Pico

    2011-03-24

    Learning is correlated with the assembly of new synapses, but the roles of synaptogenesis processes in memory are poorly understood. Here, we show that mice lacking β-Adducin fail to assemble new synapses upon enhanced plasticity and exhibit diminished long-term hippocampal memory upon environmental enrichment. Enrichment-enhanced the disassembly and assembly of dynamic subpopulations of synapses. Upon enrichment, stable assembly of new synapses depended on the presence of β-Adducin, disassembly involved β-Adducin phosphorylation through PKC, and both were required for augmented learning. In the absence of β-Adducin, enrichment still led to an increase in spine structures, but the assembly of synapses at those spines was compromised. Virus-mediated re-expression of β-Adducin in hippocampal granule cells of β-Adducin(-/-) mice rescued new synapse assembly and learning upon enrichment. Our results provide evidence that synapse disassembly and the establishment of new synapses are both critically important for augmented long-term learning and memory upon environmental enrichment.

  4. 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...

  5. SALM4 suppresses excitatory synapse development by cis-inhibiting trans-synaptic SALM3-LAR adhesion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lie, Eunkyung; Ko, Ji Seung; Choi, Su-Yeon; Roh, Junyeop Daniel; Cho, Yi Sul; Noh, Ran; Kim, Doyoun; Li, Yan; Kang, Hyeyeon; Choi, Tae-Yong; Nam, Jungyong; Mah, Won; Lee, Dongmin; Lee, Seong-Gyu; Kim, Ho Min; Kim, Hyun; Choi, Se-Young; Um, Ji Won; Kang, Myoung-Goo; Bae, Yong Chul; Ko, Jaewon; Kim, Eunjoon

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic adhesion molecules regulate various aspects of synapse development, function and plasticity. These functions mainly involve trans-synaptic interactions and positive regulations, whereas cis-interactions and negative regulation are less understood. Here we report that SALM4, a member of the SALM/Lrfn family of synaptic adhesion molecules, suppresses excitatory synapse development through cis inhibition of SALM3, another SALM family protein with synaptogenic activity. Salm4-mutant (Salm4(-/-)) mice show increased excitatory synapse numbers in the hippocampus. SALM4 cis-interacts with SALM3, inhibits trans-synaptic SALM3 interaction with presynaptic LAR family receptor tyrosine phosphatases and suppresses SALM3-dependent presynaptic differentiation. Importantly, deletion of Salm3 in Salm4(-/-) mice (Salm3(-/-); Salm4(-/-)) normalizes the increased excitatory synapse number. These results suggest that SALM4 negatively regulates excitatory synapses via cis inhibition of the trans-synaptic SALM3-LAR adhesion.

  6. Insight, obsession et verification dans le trouble obsessionnel-compulsif

    OpenAIRE

    Jaafari, N.; Daniel, M.-L.; Lacoste, J.; Bacconnier, M.; Belin, D; Rotge, J.Y.

    2011-01-01

    Resume Introduction ? L?insight a une place centrale dans le trouble obsessionnel compulsif (TOC), il conditionne la prise en charge diagnostique et therapeutique du patient. Cependant, le role de l?insight dans l?emergence des symptomes obsessionnels compulsifs demeure controverse. Dans le but de clarifier le role de l?insight dans le TOC, nous avons evalue la relation entre le degre d?insight et certaines alterations cognitives qui font le lit de l?expression symptomatique. Pour ...

  7. 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

  8. Persistent posttetanic depression at cerebellar parallel fiber to Purkinje cell synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Astrid Bergerot

    Full Text Available Plasticity at the cerebellar parallel fiber to Purkinje cell synapse may underlie information processing and motor learning. In vivo, parallel fibers appear to fire in short high frequency bursts likely to activate sparsely distributed synapses over the Purkinje cell dendritic tree. Here, we report that short parallel fiber tetanic stimulation evokes a ∼7-15% depression which develops over 2 min and lasts for at least 20 min. In contrast to the concomitantly evoked short-term endocannabinoid-mediated depression, this persistent posttetanic depression (PTD does not exhibit a dependency on the spatial pattern of synapse activation and is not caused by any detectable change in presynaptic calcium signaling. This persistent PTD is however associated with increased paired-pulse facilitation and coefficient of variation of synaptic responses, suggesting that its expression is presynaptic. The chelation of postsynaptic calcium prevents its induction, suggesting that post- to presynaptic (retrograde signaling is required. We rule out endocannabinoid signaling since the inhibition of type 1 cannabinoid receptors, monoacylglycerol lipase or vanilloid receptor 1, or incubation with anandamide had no detectable effect. The persistent PTD is maximal in pre-adolescent mice, abolished by adrenergic and dopaminergic receptors block, but unaffected by adrenergic and dopaminergic agonists. Our data unveils a novel form of plasticity at parallel fiber synapses: a persistent PTD induced by physiologically relevant input patterns, age-dependent, and strongly modulated by the monoaminergic system. We further provide evidence supporting that the plasticity mechanism involves retrograde signaling and presynaptic diacylglycerol.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Plasticity-dependent, full detonation at hippocampal mossy fiber–CA3 pyramidal neuron synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vyleta, Nicholas P; Borges-Merjane, Carolina; Jonas, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Mossy fiber synapses on CA3 pyramidal cells are 'conditional detonators' that reliably discharge postsynaptic targets. The 'conditional' nature implies that burst activity in dentate gyrus granule cells is required for detonation. Whether single unitary excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) trigger spikes in CA3 neurons remains unknown. Mossy fiber synapses exhibit both pronounced short-term facilitation and uniquely large post-tetanic potentiation (PTP). We tested whether PTP could convert mossy fiber synapses from subdetonator into detonator mode, using a recently developed method to selectively and noninvasively stimulate individual presynaptic terminals in rat brain slices. Unitary EPSPs failed to initiate a spike in CA3 neurons under control conditions, but reliably discharged them after induction of presynaptic short-term plasticity. Remarkably, PTP switched mossy fiber synapses into full detonators for tens of seconds. Plasticity-dependent detonation may be critical for efficient coding, storage, and recall of information in the granule cell–CA3 cell network. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.17977.001 PMID:27780032

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  16. Pitx3 deficiency in mice affects cholinergic modulation of GABAergic synapses in the nucleus accumbens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Rover, Mischa; Lodder, Johannes C.; Smidt, Marten P.; Brussaard, Arjen B.

    2006-01-01

    Pitx3 deficiency in mice affects cholinergic modulation of GABAergic synapses in the nucleus accumbens. J Neurophysiol 96: 2034-2041, 2006. First published July 12, 2006; doi:10.1152/jn.00333.2006. We investigated to what extent Pitx3 deficiency, causing hyperdopaminergic transmission in the nucleus

  17. Synapse Specificity of Long-Term Potentiation Breaks Down with Aging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ris, Laurence; Godaux, Emile

    2007-01-01

    Memory shows age-related decline. According to the current prevailing theoretical model, encoding of memories relies on modifications in the strength of the synapses connecting the different cells within a neuronal network. The selective increases in synaptic weight are thought to be biologically implemented by long-term potentiation (LTP). Here,…

  18. Synergistic NGF/B27 gradients position synapses heterogeneously in 3D micropatterned neural cultures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anja Kunze

    Full Text Available Native functional brain circuits show different numbers of synapses (synaptic densities in the cerebral cortex. Until now, different synaptic densities could not be studied in vitro using current cell culture methods for primary neurons. Herein, we present a novel microfluidic based cell culture method that combines 3D micropatterning of hydrogel layers with linear chemical gradient formation. Micropatterned hydrogels were used to encapsulate dissociated cortical neurons in laminar cell layers and neurotrophic factors NGF and B27 were added to influence the formation of synapses. Neurotrophic gradients allowed for the positioning of distinguishable synaptic densities throughout a 3D micropatterned neural culture. NGF and B27 gradients were maintained in the microfluidic device for over two weeks without perfusion pumps by utilizing a refilling procedure. Spatial distribution of synapses was examined with a pre-synaptic marker to determine synaptic densities. From our experiments, we observed that (1 cortical neurons responded only to synergistic NGF/B27 gradients, (2 synaptic density increased proportionally to synergistic NGF/B27 gradients; (3 homogeneous distribution of B27 disturbed cortical neurons in sensing NGF gradients and (4 the cell layer position significantly impacted spatial distribution of synapses.

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

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    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.

  20. 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)…

  1. Sparking Student Synapses, Grades 9-12: Think Critically and Accelerate Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Rich; Scozzi, Nigel

    2011-01-01

    Today's students must be more than good test takers. They must be able to collaborate, innovate, and think critically to solve real-world problems. As content demands increase, how can teachers make time to teach these advanced skills? "Sparking Student Synapses, Grades 9-12" describes how master teacher Nigel Scozzi used Rich Allen's Green Light…

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Mechanisms of TSC-mediated control of synapse assembly and axon guidance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Knox

    Full Text Available Tuberous sclerosis complex is a dominant genetic disorder produced by mutations in either of two tumor suppressor genes, TSC1 and TSC2; it is characterized by hamartomatous tumors, and is associated with severe neurological and behavioral disturbances. Mutations in TSC1 or TSC2 deregulate a conserved growth control pathway that includes Ras homolog enriched in brain (Rheb and Target of Rapamycin (TOR. To understand the function of this pathway in neural development, we have examined the contributions of multiple components of this pathway in both neuromuscular junction assembly and photoreceptor axon guidance in Drosophila. Expression of Rheb in the motoneuron, but not the muscle of the larval neuromuscular junction produced synaptic overgrowth and enhanced synaptic function, while reductions in Rheb function compromised synapse development. Synapse growth produced by Rheb is insensitive to rapamycin, an inhibitor of Tor complex 1, and requires wishful thinking, a bone morphogenetic protein receptor critical for functional synapse expansion. In the visual system, loss of Tsc1 in the developing retina disrupted axon guidance independently of cellular growth. Inhibiting Tor complex 1 with rapamycin or eliminating the Tor complex 1 effector, S6 kinase (S6k, did not rescue axon guidance abnormalities of Tsc1 mosaics, while reductions in Tor function suppressed those phenotypes. These findings show that Tsc-mediated control of axon guidance and synapse assembly occurs via growth-independent signaling mechanisms, and suggest that Tor complex 2, a regulator of actin organization, is critical in these aspects of neuronal development.

  5. Activity-dependent synaptic plasticity of a chalcogenide electronic synapse for neuromorphic systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yi; Zhong, Yingpeng; Zhang, Jinjian; Xu, Lei; Wang, Qing; Sun, Huajun; Tong, Hao; Cheng, Xiaoming; Miao, Xiangshui

    2014-01-01

    Nanoscale inorganic electronic synapses or synaptic devices, which are capable of emulating the functions of biological synapses of brain neuronal systems, are regarded as the basic building blocks for beyond-Von Neumann computing architecture, combining information storage and processing. Here, we demonstrate a Ag/AgInSbTe/Ag structure for chalcogenide memristor-based electronic synapses. The memristive characteristics with reproducible gradual resistance tuning are utilised to mimic the activity-dependent synaptic plasticity that serves as the basis of memory and learning. Bidirectional long-term Hebbian plasticity modulation is implemented by the coactivity of pre- and postsynaptic spikes, and the sign and degree are affected by assorted factors including the temporal difference, spike rate and voltage. Moreover, synaptic saturation is observed to be an adjustment of Hebbian rules to stabilise the growth of synaptic weights. Our results may contribute to the development of highly functional plastic electronic synapses and the further construction of next-generation parallel neuromorphic computing architecture. PMID:24809396

  6. Mechanisms underlying the rules for associative plasticity at adult human neocortical synapses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M.B. Verhoog (Matthijs); N.A. Goriounova (Natalia); J. Obermayer (Joshua); J. Stroeder (Jasper); J.J. Johannes Hjorth (J.); G. Testa-Silva (Guilherme); J.C. Baayen; C.P.J. de Kock (Christiaan); R.M. Meredith (Rhiannon); H.D. Mansvelder (Huibert)

    2013-01-01

    textabstractThe neocortex in our brain stores long-term memories by changing the strength of connections between neurons. To date, the rules and mechanisms that govern activity-induced synaptic changes at human cortical synapses are poorly understood and have not been studied directly at a cellular

  7. Vulnerability-Based Critical Neurons, Synapses, and Pathways in the Caenorhabditis elegans Connectome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Seongkyun; Kim, Hyoungkyu; Kralik, Jerald D; Jeong, Jaeseung

    2016-08-01

    Determining the fundamental architectural design of complex nervous systems will lead to significant medical and technological advances. Yet it remains unclear how nervous systems evolved highly efficient networks with near optimal sharing of pathways that yet produce multiple distinct behaviors to reach the organism's goals. To determine this, the nematode roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans is an attractive model system. Progress has been made in delineating the behavioral circuits of the C. elegans, however, many details are unclear, including the specific functions of every neuron and synapse, as well as the extent the behavioral circuits are separate and parallel versus integrative and serial. Network analysis provides a normative approach to help specify the network design. We investigated the vulnerability of the Caenorhabditis elegans connectome by performing computational experiments that (a) "attacked" 279 individual neurons and 2,990 weighted synaptic connections (composed of 6,393 chemical synapses and 890 electrical junctions) and (b) quantified the effects of each removal on global network properties that influence information processing. The analysis identified 12 critical neurons and 29 critical synapses for establishing fundamental network properties. These critical constituents were found to be control elements-i.e., those with the most influence over multiple underlying pathways. Additionally, the critical synapses formed into circuit-level pathways. These emergent pathways provide evidence for (a) the importance of backward locomotion, avoidance behavior, and social feeding behavior to the organism; (b) the potential roles of specific neurons whose functions have been unclear; and PMID:27540747

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-15

    Neural circuits are composed of mainly glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons, which communicate through synaptic connections. Many factors instruct the formation and function of these synapses; however, it is difficult to dissect the contribution of intrinsic cell programs from that of extrinsic environmental effects in an intact network. Here, we perform paired recordings from two-neuron microculture preparations of mouse hippocampal glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons to investigate how synaptic input and output of these two principal cells develop. In our reduced preparation, we found that glutamatergic neurons showed no change in synaptic output or input regardless of partner neuron cell type or neuronal activity level. In contrast, we found that glutamatergic input caused the GABAergic neuron to modify its output by way of an increase in synapse formation and a decrease in synaptic release efficiency. These findings are consistent with aspects of GABAergic synapse maturation observed in many brain regions. In addition, changes in GABAergic output are cell wide and not target-cell specific. We also found that glutamatergic neuronal activity determined the AMPA receptor properties of synapses on the partner GABAergic neuron. All modifications of GABAergic input and output required activity of the glutamatergic neuron. Because our system has reduced extrinsic factors, the changes we saw in the GABAergic neuron due to glutamatergic input may reflect initiation of maturation programs that underlie the formation and function of in vivo neural circuits. PMID:24431444

  9. 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

  10. Mapping and morphometric analysis of synapses and spines on fusiform cells in the dorsal cochlear nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salloum, Rony H; Chen, Guoyou; Velet, Liliya; Manzoor, Nauman F; Elkin, Rachel; Kidd, Grahame J; Coughlin, John; Yurosko, Christopher; Bou-Anak, Stephanie; Azadi, Shirin; Gohlsch, Stephanie; Schneider, Harold; Kaltenbach, James A

    2014-01-01

    Fusiform cells are the main integrative units of the mammalian dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN), collecting and processing inputs from auditory and other sources before transmitting information to higher levels of the auditory system. Despite much previous work describing these cells and the sources and pharmacological identity of their synaptic inputs, information on the three-dimensional organization and utltrastructure of synapses on these cells is currently very limited. This information is essential since an understanding of synaptic plasticity and remodeling and pathologies underlying disease states and hearing disorders must begin with knowledge of the normal characteristics of synapses on these cells, particularly those features that determine the strength of their influence on the various compartments of the cell. Here, we employed serial block face scanning electron microscopy (SBFSEM) followed by 3D reconstructions to map and quantitatively characterize synaptic features on DCN fusiform cells. Our results reveal a relative sparseness of synapses on the somata of fusiform cells but a dense distribution of synapses on apical and basal dendrites. Synapses on apical dendrites were smaller and more numerous than on basal dendrites. The vast majority of axosomatic terminals were found to be linked to other terminals connected by the same axon or different branches of the same axon, suggesting a high degree of divergent input to fusiform cells. The size of terminals was correlated with the number of mitochondria and with the number of active zones, which was highly correlated with the number of postsynaptic densities, suggesting that larger terminals exert more powerful influence on the cell than smaller terminals. These size differences suggest that the input to basal dendrites, most likely those from the auditory nerve, provide the most powerful sources of input to fusiform cells, while those to apical dendrites (e.g., parallel fiber) are weaker but more

  11. Mapping and Morphometric Analysis of Synapses and Spines on Fusiform Cells in the Dorsal Cochlear Nucleus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rony H. Salloum

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Fusiform cells are the main integrative units of the mammalian dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN, collecting and processing inputs from auditory and other sources before transmitting information to higher levels of the auditory system. Despite much previous work describing these cells and the sources and pharmacological identity of their synaptic inputs, information on the 3- dimensional organization and utltrastructure of synapses on these cells is currently very limited. This information is essential since an understanding of synaptic plasticity and remodeling and pathologies underlying disease states and hearing disorders must begin with knowledge of the normal characteristics of synapses on these cells, particularly those features that determine the strength of their influence on the various compartments of the cell. Here, we employed serial block face scanning electron microscopy (SBFSEM followed by 3D reconstructions to map and quantitatively characterize synaptic features on DCN fusiform cells. Our results reveal a relative sparseness of synapses on the somata of fusiform cells but a dense distribution of synapses on apical and basal dendrites. Synapses on apical dendrites were smaller and more numerous than on basal dendrites. The vast majority of axosomatic terminals were found to be linked to other terminals connected by the same axon or different branches of the same axon, suggesting a high degree of divergent input to fusiform cells. The size of terminals was correlated with the number of mitochondria and with the number of active zones, which was highly correlated with the number of postsynaptic densities, suggesting that larger terminals exert more powerful influence on the cell than smaller terminals. These size differences suggest that the input to basal dendrites, most likely those from the auditory nerve, provide the most powerful sources of input to fusiform cells, while those to apical dendrites (e.g., parallel fiber are weaker

  12. Coordinated trafficking of synaptic vesicle and active zone proteins prior to synapse formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabo Shasta L

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The proteins required for synaptic transmission are rapidly assembled at nascent synapses, but the mechanisms through which these proteins are delivered to developing presynaptic terminals are not understood. Prior to synapse formation, active zone proteins and synaptic vesicle proteins are transported along axons in distinct organelles referred to as piccolo-bassoon transport vesicles (PTVs and synaptic vesicle protein transport vesicles (STVs, respectively. Although both PTVs and STVs are recruited to the same site in the axon, often within minutes of axo-dendritic contact, it is not known whether or how PTV and STV trafficking is coordinated before synapse formation. Results Here, using time-lapse confocal imaging of the dynamics of PTVs and STVs in the same axon, we show that vesicle trafficking is coordinated through at least two mechanisms. First, a significant proportion of STVs and PTVs are transported together before forming a stable terminal. Second, individual PTVs and STVs share pause sites within the axon. Importantly, for both STVs and PTVs, encountering the other type of vesicle increases their propensity to pause. To determine if PTV-STV interactions are important for pausing, PTV density was reduced in axons by expression of a dominant negative construct corresponding to the syntaxin binding domain of syntabulin, which links PTVs with their KIF5B motor. This reduction in PTVs had a minimal effect on STV pausing and movement, suggesting that an interaction between STVs and PTVs is not responsible for enhancing STV pausing. Conclusions Our results indicate that trafficking of STVs and PTVs is coordinated even prior to synapse development. This novel coordination of transport and pausing might provide mechanisms through which all of the components of a presynaptic terminal can be rapidly accumulated at sites of synapse formation.

  13. Back-propagation operation for analog neural network hardware with synapse components having hysteresis characteristics.

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    Michihito Ueda

    Full Text Available To realize an analog artificial neural network hardware, the circuit element for synapse function is important because the number of synapse elements is much larger than that of neuron elements. One of the candidates for this synapse element is a ferroelectric memristor. This device functions as a voltage controllable variable resistor, which can be applied to a synapse weight. However, its conductance shows hysteresis characteristics and dispersion to the input voltage. Therefore, the conductance values vary according to the history of the height and the width of the applied pulse voltage. Due to the difficulty of controlling the accurate conductance, it is not easy to apply the back-propagation learning algorithm to the neural network hardware having memristor synapses. To solve this problem, we proposed and simulated a learning operation procedure as follows. Employing a weight perturbation technique, we derived the error change. When the error reduced, the next pulse voltage was updated according to the back-propagation learning algorithm. If the error increased the amplitude of the next voltage pulse was set in such way as to cause similar memristor conductance but in the opposite voltage scanning direction. By this operation, we could eliminate the hysteresis and confirmed that the simulation of the learning operation converged. We also adopted conductance dispersion numerically in the simulation. We examined the probability that the error decreased to a designated value within a predetermined loop number. The ferroelectric has the characteristics that the magnitude of polarization does not become smaller when voltages having the same polarity are applied. These characteristics greatly improved the probability even if the learning rate was small, if the magnitude of the dispersion is adequate. Because the dispersion of analog circuit elements is inevitable, this learning operation procedure is useful for analog neural network hardware.

  14. Synapse-Centric Mapping of Cortical Models to the SpiNNaker Neuromorphic Architecture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knight, James C; Furber, Steve B

    2016-01-01

    While the adult human brain has approximately 8.8 × 10(10) neurons, this number is dwarfed by its 1 × 10(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 4× 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. PMID:27683540

  15. Shank–cortactin interactions control actin dynamics to maintain flexibility of neuronal spines and synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacGillavry, Harold D.; Kerr, Justin M.; Kassner, Josh; Frost, Nicholas A.; Blanpied, Thomas A.

    2016-01-01

    The family of Shank scaffolding molecules (comprising Shank1, 2 and 3) are core components of the postsynaptic density (PSD) in neuronal synapses. Shanks link surface receptors to other scaffolding molecules within the PSD, as well as to the actin cytoskeleton. However, determining the function of Shank proteins in neurons has been complicated because the different Shank isoforms share a very high degree of sequence and domain homology. Therefore, to control Shank content while minimizing potential compensatory effects, a miRNA-based knockdown strategy was developed to reduce the expression of all synaptically targeted Shank isoforms simultaneously in rat hippocampal neurons. Using this approach, a strong (>75%) reduction in total Shank protein levels was achieved at individual dendritic spines, prompting an approximately 40% decrease in mushroom spine density. Furthermore, Shank knockdown reduced spine actin levels and increased sensitivity to the actin depolymerizing agent Latrunculin A. A SHANK2 mutant lacking the proline-rich cortactin-binding motif (SHANK2-ΔPRO) was unable to rescue these defects. Furthermore, Shank knockdown reduced cortactin levels in spines and increased the mobility of spine cortactin as measured by single-molecule tracking photoactivated localization microscopy, suggesting that Shank proteins recruit and stabilize cortactin at the synapse. Furthermore, it was found that Shank knockdown significantly reduced spontaneous remodelling of synapse morphology that could not be rescued by the SHANK2-ΔPRO mutant. It was concluded that Shank proteins are key intermediates between the synapse and the spine interior that, via cortactin, permit the actin cytoskeleton to dynamically regulate synapse morphology and function. PMID:26547831

  16. 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

  17. Synapse-Centric Mapping of Cortical Models to the SpiNNaker Neuromorphic Architecture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knight, James C; Furber, Steve B

    2016-01-01

    While the adult human brain has approximately 8.8 × 10(10) neurons, this number is dwarfed by its 1 × 10(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 4× 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. HVEM serial-section analysis of rabbit foliate taste buds: I. Type III cells and their synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Royer, S M; Kinnamon, J C

    1991-04-01

    Serially sectioned rabbit foliate taste buds were examined with high voltage electron microscopy (HVEM) and computer-assisted, three-dimensional reconstruction. This report focuses on the ultrastructure of the type III cells and their synapses with sensory nerve fibers. Type III cells have previously been proposed to be the primary gustatory receptor cells in taste buds of rabbits and other mammals. Within rabbit foliate taste buds, type III cells constitute a well-defined, easily recognizable class and are the only taste bud cells observed to form synapses with intragemmal nerve fibers. Among 18 type III cells reconstructed from serial sections, 11 formed from 1 to 6 synapses each with nerve fibers; 7 reconstructed type III cells formed no synapses. Examples of both convergence and divergence of synaptic input from type III cells onto nerve fibers were observed. The sizes of the active zones of the synapses and numbers of vesicles associated with the presynaptic membrane specializations were highly variable. Dense-cored vesicles 80-140 nm in diameter were often found among the 40-60 nm clear vesicles clustered at presynaptic sites. At some synapses, these large dense-cored vesicles appeared to be the predominant vesicle type. This observation suggests that there may be functionally different types of synapses in taste buds, distinguished by the prevalence of either clear or dense-cored vesicles. Previous investigations have indicated that the dense-cored vesicles in type III cells may be storage sites for biogenic amines.

  1. Wnt signaling mediates experience-related regulation of synapse numbers and mossy fiber connectivities in the adult hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gogolla, Nadine; Galimberti, Ivan; Deguchi, Yuichi; Caroni, Pico

    2009-05-28

    We investigated how experience regulates the structure of a defined neuronal circuit in adult mice. Enriched environment (EE) produced a robust and reversible increase in hippocampal stratum lucidum synapse numbers, mossy fiber terminal (LMT) numbers, and spine plus synapse densities at LMTs, whereas a distinct mechanism depending on Rab3a promoted LMT volume growth. In parallel, EE increased postsynaptic CA3 pyramidal neuron Wnt7a/b levels. Inhibiting Wnt signaling through locally applied sFRP-1 suppressed the effects of EE on synapse numbers and further reduced synapse numbers in control mice. Wnt7 applied to CA3 mimicked the effects of EE on synapse and LMT numbers. CA3 Wnt7a/b levels were enhanced by excitatory activity and reduced by sFRP-1. Synapse numbers and Wnt7a/b levels peaked in mice aged 6-12 months; a decline in aged mice was reversed by EE. Therefore, behavioral experience specifically regulates adult global stratum lucidum synapse numbers and hippocampal network structure through Wnt signaling.

  2. The Enhanced Rise and Delayed Fall of Memory in a Model of Synaptic Integration: Extension to Discrete State Synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliott, Terry

    2016-09-01

    Integrate-and-express models of synaptic plasticity propose that synapses may act as low-pass filters, integrating synaptic plasticity induction signals in order to discern trends before expressing synaptic plasticity. We have previously shown that synaptic filtering strongly controls destabilizing fluctuations in developmental models. When applied to palimpsest memory systems that learn new memories by forgetting old ones, we have also shown that with binary-strength synapses, integrative synapses lead to an initial memory signal rise before its fall back to equilibrium. Such an initial rise is in dramatic contrast to nonintegrative synapses, in which the memory signal falls monotonically. We now extend our earlier analysis of palimpsest memories with synaptic filters to consider the more general case of discrete state, multilevel synapses. We derive exact results for the memory signal dynamics and then consider various simplifying approximations. We show that multilevel synapses enhance the initial rise in the memory signal and then delay its subsequent fall by inducing a plateau-like region in the memory signal. Such dynamics significantly increase memory lifetimes, defined by a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). We derive expressions for optimal choices of synaptic parameters (filter size, number of strength states, number of synapses) that maximize SNR memory lifetimes. However, we find that with memory lifetimes defined via mean-first-passage times, such optimality conditions do not exist, suggesting that optimality may be an artifact of SNRs. PMID:27391686

  3. Isolation of TRPV1 independent mechanisms of spontaneous and asynchronous glutamate release at primary afferent to NTS synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fenwick, Axel J; Wu, Shaw-Wen; Peters, James H

    2014-01-01

    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 to 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Human neural stem cells promote corticospinal axons regeneration and synapse reformation in injured spinal cord of rats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIANG Peng; JIN Lian-hong; LIANG Tao; LIU En-zhong; ZHAO Shi-guang

    2006-01-01

    Background Axonal regeneration in lesioned mammalian central nervous system is abortive, and this causes permanent disabilities in individuals with spinal cord injuries. This paper studied the action of neural stem cell (NSC) in promoting corticospinal axons regeneration and synapse reformation in rats with injured spinal cord.Methods NSCs were isolated from the cortical tissue of spontaneous aborted human fetuses in accordance with the ethical request. The cells were discarded from the NSC culture to acquire NSC-conditioned medium. Sixty adult Wistar rats were randomly divided into four groups (n=15 in each): NSC graft, NSC medium, graft control and medium control groups. Microsurgical transection of the spinal cord was performed in all the rats at the T11. The NSC graft group received stereotaxic injections of NSCs suspension into both the spinal cord stumps immediately after transection; graft control group received DMEM injection. In NSC medium group,NSC-conditioned medium was administered into the spinal cord every week; NSC culture medium was administered to the medium control group. Hindlimb motor function was assessed using the BBB Locomotor Rating Scale. Regeneration of biotin dextran amine (BDA) labeled corticospinal tract was assessed. Differentiation of NSCs and the expression of synaptophysin at the distal end of the injured spinal cord were observed under a confocal microscope. Group comparisons of behavioral data were analyzed with ANOVA.Results NSCs transplantation resulted in extensive growth of corticospinal axons and locomotor recovery in adult rats after complete spinal cord transection, the mean BBB scores reached 12.5 in NSC graft group and 2.5 in graft control group (P< 0.05). There was also significant difference in BBB score between the NSC medium (11.7) and medium control groups (3.7, P< 0.05). BDA traces regenerated fibers sprouted across the lesion site and entered the caudal part of the spinal cord. Synaptophysin expression

  6. 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.

  7. Ginkgolides protect against amyloid-β1–42-mediated synapse damage in vitro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Williams Alun

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The early stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD are closely associated with the production of the Aβ1–42 peptide, loss of synapses and gradual cognitive decline. Since some epidemiological studies showed that EGb 761, an extract from the leaves of the Ginkgo biloba tree, had a beneficial effect on mild forms of AD, the effects of some of the major components of the EGb 761 extract (ginkgolides A and B, myricetin and quercetin on synapse damage in response to Aβ1–42 were examined. Results The addition of Aβ1–42 to cortical or hippocampal neurons reduced the amounts of cell associated synaptophysin, a pre-synaptic membrane protein that is essential for neurotransmission, indicating synapse damage. The effects of Aβ1–42 on synapses were apparent at concentrations approximately 100 fold less than that required to kill neurons; the synaptophysin content of neuronal cultures was reduced by 50% by 50 nM Aβ1–42. Pre-treatment of cortical or hippocampal neuronal cultures with ginkgolides A or B, but not with myrecitin or quercetin, protected against Aβ1–42-induced loss of synaptophysin. This protective effect was achieved with nanomolar concentrations of ginkgolides. Previous studies indicated that the ginkgolides are platelet-activating factor (PAF receptor antagonists and here we show that Aβ1–42-induced loss of synaptophysin from neuronal cultures was also reduced by pre-treatment with other PAF antagonists (Hexa-PAF and CV6209. PAF, but not lyso-PAF, mimicked the effects Aβ1–42 and caused a dose-dependent reduction in the synaptophysin content of neurons. This effect of PAF was greatly reduced by pre-treatment with ginkgolide B. In contrast, ginkgolide B did not affect the loss of synaptophysin in neurons incubated with prostaglandin E2. Conclusion Pre-treatment with ginkgolides A or B protects neurons against Aβ1–42-induced synapse damage. These ginkgolides also reduced the effects of PAF, but not those of

  8. Optical quantal analysis indicates that long-term potentiation at single hippocampal mossy fiber synapses is expressed through increased release probability, recruitment of new release sites, and activation of silent synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, Christopher A; Dixon, Don B; Takahashi, Michiko; Bliss, Tim V P; Fine, Alan

    2004-04-01

    It is generally believed that long-term potentiation (LTP) at hippocampal mossy fiber synapses between dentate granule and CA3 pyramidal cells is expressed through presynaptic mechanisms leading to an increase in quantal content. The source of this increase has remained undefined but could include enhanced probability of transmitter release at existing functional release sites or increases in the number of active release sites. We performed optical quantal analyses of transmission at individual mossy fiber synapses in cultured hippocampal slices, using confocal microscopy and intracellular fluorescent Ca(2+) indicators. Our results indicate that LTP is expressed at functional synapses by both increased probability of transmitter release and recruitment of new release sites, including the activation of previously silent synapses here visualized for the first time.

  9. Synchronization and rhythm dynamics of a neuronal network consisting of mixed bursting neurons with hybrid synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Xia; Xi, Wenqi

    2016-05-01

    In this paper, burst synchronization and rhythm dynamics of a small-world neuronal network consisting of mixed bursting types of neurons coupled via inhibitory-excitatory chemical synapses are explored. Two quantities, the synchronization parameter and average width factor, are used to characterize the synchronization degree and rhythm dynamics of the neuronal network. Numerical results show that the percentage of the inhibitory synapses in the network is the major factor for we get a similarly bell-shaped dependence of synchronization on it, and the decrease of the average width factor of the network. We also find that not only the value of the coupling strength can promote the synchronization degree, but the probability of random edges adding to the small-world network also can. The ratio of the long bursting neurons has little effect on the burst synchronization and rhythm dynamics of the network.

  10. Neuronal synapse as a memristor: modeling pair- and triplet-based STDP rule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Weiran; Ellinger, Frank; Tetzlaff, Ronald

    2015-02-01

    We propose a new memristive model for the neuronal synapse based on the spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) protocol, considering both long-term and short-term plasticity in the synapse. Higher-order behavior is modeled by a memristor with adaptive thresholds, which realizes the well-established suppression principle of Froemke. We assume a mechanism of variable thresholds adapting to synaptic potentiation (LTP) and depression (LTD), which reproduces the refractory time in the weight modification. The corresponding dynamical process is governed by a set of ordinary differential equations. Interestingly, the Froemke's model and our memristive model, based on two completely different mechanisms, are found to be quantitatively equivalent for the 'pre-post-pre' case and 'post-pre-post' case. A relation of the adaptive thresholds to short-term plasticity is addressed. PMID:24960611

  11. Regulated vesicle fusion generates signaling nanoterritories that control T cell activation at the immunological synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soares, Helena; Henriques, Ricardo; Sachse, Martin; Ventimiglia, Leandro; Alonso, Miguel A; Zimmer, Christophe; Thoulouze, Maria-Isabel; Alcover, Andrés

    2013-10-21

    How the vesicular traffic of signaling molecules contributes to T cell receptor (TCR) signal transduction at the immunological synapse remains poorly understood. In this study, we show that the protein tyrosine kinase Lck, the TCRζ subunit, and the adapter LAT traffic through distinct exocytic compartments, which are released at the immunological synapse in a differentially regulated manner. Lck vesicular release depends on MAL protein. Synaptic Lck, in turn, conditions the calcium- and synaptotagmin-7-dependent fusion of LAT and TCRζ containing vesicles. Fusion of vesicles containing TCRζ and LAT at the synaptic membrane determines not only the nanoscale organization of phosphorylated TCRζ, ZAP70, LAT, and SLP76 clusters but also the presence of phosphorylated LAT and SLP76 in interacting signaling nanoterritories. This mechanism is required for priming IL-2 and IFN-γ production and may contribute to fine-tuning T cell activation breadth in response to different stimulatory conditions.

  12. The human language-associated gene SRPX2 regulates synapse formation and vocalization in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sia, G M; Clem, R L; Huganir, R L

    2013-11-22

    Synapse formation in the developing brain depends on the coordinated activity of synaptogenic proteins, some of which have been implicated in a number of neurodevelopmental disorders. Here, we show that the sushi repeat-containing protein X-linked 2 (SRPX2) gene encodes a protein that promotes synaptogenesis in the cerebral cortex. In humans, SRPX2 is an epilepsy- and language-associated gene that is a target of the foxhead box protein P2 (FoxP2) transcription factor. We also show that FoxP2 modulates synapse formation through regulating SRPX2 levels and that SRPX2 reduction impairs development of ultrasonic vocalization in mice. Our results suggest FoxP2 modulates the development of neural circuits through regulating synaptogenesis and that SRPX2 is a synaptogenic factor that plays a role in the pathogenesis of language disorders. PMID:24179158

  13. Nonneuronal cells regulate synapse formation in the vestibular sensory epithelium via erbB-dependent BDNF expression

    OpenAIRE

    Gómez-Casati, Maria E; MURTIE, JOSHUA C.; Rio, Carlos; Stankovic, Konstantina; Liberman, M. Charles; Corfas, Gabriel

    2010-01-01

    Recent studies indicate that molecules released by glia can induce synapse formation. However, what induces glia to produce such signals, their identity, and their in vivo relevance remain poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that supporting cells of the vestibular organ—cells that have many characteristics of glia—promote synapse formation only when induced by neuron-derived signals. Furthermore, we identify BDNF as the synaptogenic signal produced by these nonneuronal cells. Mice in which...

  14. A novel non-CB1/TRPV1 endocannabinoid-mediated mechanism depresses excitatory synapses on hippocampal CA1 interneurons

    OpenAIRE

    Edwards, Jeffrey G.; Gibson, Helen E.; Jensen, Tyron; Nugent, Fereshteh; Walther, Curtis; Blickenstaff, Jacob; Kauer, Julie A.

    2010-01-01

    Endocannabinoids (eCBs) mediate various forms of synaptic plasticity at excitatory and inhibitory synapses in the brain. The eCB anandamide binds to several receptors including the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) and cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1). We recently identified that TRPV1 is required for long-term depression at excitatory synapses on hippocampal stratum radiatum interneurons. Here we performed whole-cell patch clamp recordings from CA1 stratum radiatum interneurons in...

  15. Neuromorhic Silicon Neuron and Synapse: Analog VLSI Implemetation of Biological Structures

    OpenAIRE

    Ms. Pooja Verma; Ms. Neha Verma

    2014-01-01

    Neuromorphic Silicon neurons and synapses are very large scale integration (VLSI) circuits that emulate or mimic the electrophysiological behavior of their biological counterparts. These analog circuits can be used for the qualitative analysis of the functioning of neural circuits; and also for making intelligent systems that can perform the tasks that can be easily performed by biolological organisms but are very difficult to be performed by any traditionally engineered syste...

  16. Vulnerability-Based Critical Neurons, Synapses, and Pathways in the Caenorhabditis elegans Connectome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Seongkyun; Kim, Hyoungkyu; Kralik, Jerald D.; Jeong, Jaeseung

    2016-01-01

    Determining the fundamental architectural design of complex nervous systems will lead to significant medical and technological advances. Yet it remains unclear how nervous systems evolved highly efficient networks with near optimal sharing of pathways that yet produce multiple distinct behaviors to reach the organism’s goals. To determine this, the nematode roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans is an attractive model system. Progress has been made in delineating the behavioral circuits of the C. elegans, however, many details are unclear, including the specific functions of every neuron and synapse, as well as the extent the behavioral circuits are separate and parallel versus integrative and serial. Network analysis provides a normative approach to help specify the network design. We investigated the vulnerability of the Caenorhabditis elegans connectome by performing computational experiments that (a) “attacked” 279 individual neurons and 2,990 weighted synaptic connections (composed of 6,393 chemical synapses and 890 electrical junctions) and (b) quantified the effects of each removal on global network properties that influence information processing. The analysis identified 12 critical neurons and 29 critical synapses for establishing fundamental network properties. These critical constituents were found to be control elements—i.e., those with the most influence over multiple underlying pathways. Additionally, the critical synapses formed into circuit-level pathways. These emergent pathways provide evidence for (a) the importance of backward locomotion, avoidance behavior, and social feeding behavior to the organism; (b) the potential roles of specific neurons whose functions have been unclear; and (c) both parallel and serial design elements in the connectome—i.e., specific evidence for a mixed architectural design. PMID:27540747

  17. Synchronization of the minimal models of bursting neurons coupled by delayed chemical or electrical synapses

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Neboj?a Vasovi; Nikola Buri; Kristina Todorovi; Ines Grozdanovi

    2012-01-01

    The minimal two-dimensional model of bursting neuronal dynamics is used to study the influence of time-delay on the properties of synchronization of bursting neurons.Generic properties of bursting and dependence of the stability of synchronization on the time-lag and the strength of coupling are described,and compared with the two common types of synaptical coupling,i.e.,time-delayed chemical and electrical synapses.

  18. Anatomically Detailed and Large-Scale Simulations Studying Synapse Loss and Synchrony Using NeuroBox.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breit, Markus; Stepniewski, Martin; Grein, Stephan; Gottmann, Pascal; Reinhardt, Lukas; Queisser, Gillian

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26903818

  19. Morphological and molecular changes in aging rat prelimbic prefrontal cortical synapses

    OpenAIRE

    Bloss, Erik B.; Puri, Rishi; Yuk, Frank; Punsoni, Michael; Hara, Yuko; Janssen, William G; McEwen, Bruce S.; Morrison, John H.

    2012-01-01

    Age-related impairments of executive functions appear to be related to reductions of the number and plasticity of dendritic spine synapses in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Experimental evidence suggests that synaptic plasticity is mediated by the spine actin cytoskeleton, and a major pathway regulating actin-based plasticity is controlled by phosphorylated LIM kinase (pLIMK). We asked whether aging resulted in altered synaptic density, morphology, and pLIMK expression in the rat prelimbic regi...

  20. Rate dynamics of leaky integrate-and-fire neurons with strong synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eilen Nordlie

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Firing-rate models provide a practical tool for studying the dynamics of trial- or population-averaged neuronal signals. A wealth of theoretical and experimental studies has been dedicated to the derivation or extraction of such models by investigating the firing-rate response characteristics of ensembles of neurons. The majority of these studies assumes that neurons receive input spikes at a high rate through weak synapses (diffusion approximation. For many biological neural systems, however, this assumption cannot be justified. So far, it is unclear how time-varying presynaptic firing rates are transmitted by a population of neurons if the diffusion assumption is dropped. Here, we numerically investigate the stationary and non-stationary firing-rate response properties of leaky integrate-and-fire (LIF neurons receiving input spikes through excitatory synapses with alpha-function shaped postsynaptic currents for strong synaptic weights. Input spike trains are modelled by inhomogeneous Poisson point-processes with sinusoidal rate. Average rates, modulation amplitudes and phases of the period-averaged spike responses are measured for a broad range of stimulus, synapse and neuron parameters. Across wide parameter regions, the resulting transfer functions can be approximated by a linear 1st-order low-pass filter. Below a critical synaptic weight, the cutoff frequencies are approximately constant and determined by the synaptic time constants. Only for synapses with unrealistically strong weights are the cutoff frequencies significantly increased. To account for stimuli with larger modulation depths, we combine the measured linear transfer function with the nonlinear response characteristics obtained for stationary inputs. The resulting linear-nonlinear model accurately predicts the population response for a variety of non-sinusoidal stimuli.

  1. Interaction between autism-linked MDGAs and neuroligins suppresses inhibitory synapse development

    OpenAIRE

    Pettem, Katherine L.; Yokomaku, Daisaku; Takahashi, Hideto; Ge, Yuan; Craig, Ann Marie

    2013-01-01

    Rare variants in MDGAs (MAM domain–containing glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchors), including multiple protein-truncating deletions, are linked to autism and schizophrenia, but the function of these genes is poorly understood. Here, we show that MDGA1 and MDGA2 bound to neuroligin-2 inhibitory synapse–organizing protein, also implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders. MDGA1 inhibited the synapse-promoting activity of neuroligin-2, without altering neuroligin-2 surface trafficking, by inhibi...

  2. The complete synchronization of coupled Morris-Lecar neurons with chemical synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Guanping; Jin, Wuyin; Wang, An

    2016-05-01

    Based on the basic principles of stability theory and Lyapunov function, the condition of complete synchronization in coupled Morris-Lecar (ML) neuronal system with chemical synapses is studied in this work. The boundedness of the model solution is proved by analytical approach, the sufficient condition of the complete synchronization is proposed based on the quadratic of the constructed Lyapunov function and the result is verified by simulations.

  3. A matter of balance: role of neurexin and neuroligin at the synapse

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bang, Marie Louise; Owczarek, Sylwia

    2013-01-01

    Neurexins and neuroligins are synaptic cell adhesion molecules. Neurexins are primary located on the presynaptic membrane, whereas neuroligins are strictly postsynaptic proteins. Since their discovery, the knowledge of neurexins and neuroligins has expanded, implicating them in various neuronal p...... processes, including the differentiation, maturation, stabilization, and plasticity of both inhibitory and excitatory synapses. Here, we review the most recent results regarding the structure and function of these cell adhesion molecules....

  4. Changes in input strength and number are driven by distinct mechanisms at the retinogeniculate synapse

    OpenAIRE

    Lin, David J.; Kang, Erin; Chen, Chinfei

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated that vision influences the functional remodeling of the mouse retinogeniculate synapse, the connection between retinal ganglion cells and thalamic relay neurons in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN). Initially, each relay neuron receives a large number of weak retinal inputs. Over a 2- to 3-wk developmental window, the majority of these inputs are eliminated, and the remaining inputs are strengthened. This period of refinement is followed by a critica...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li Chunguang [Institute of Electronic Systems, School of Electronic Engineering, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu 610054 (China)]. E-mail: cgli@uestc.edu.cn; Chen Guanrong [Department of Electronic Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, 83 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong (China)]. E-mail: gchen@ee.cityu.edu.hk

    2005-03-01

    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.

  6. Control of CNS synapse development by γ-protocadherin-mediated astrocyte-neuron contact

    OpenAIRE

    Garrett, Andrew M.; Weiner, Joshua A.

    2009-01-01

    Recent studies indicate that astrocytes, whose processes enwrap synaptic terminals, promote synapse formation both by releasing soluble factors and through contact-dependent mechanisms. While astrocyte-secreted synaptogenic factors have been identified, the molecules underlying perisynaptic astroctye-neuron contacts are unknown. Here we show that the γ-Protocadherins (γ-Pcdhs), a family of 22 neuronal adhesion molecules encoded by a single gene cluster, are also expressed by astrocytes and lo...

  7. Aplysia synapse associated protein (APSAP): identification, characterization, and selective interactions with Shaker-type potassium channels

    OpenAIRE

    Reissner, Kathryn J.; Boyle, Heather D.; Ye, Xiaojing; Carew, Thomas J.

    2007-01-01

    The vertebrate post-synaptic density (PSD) is a region of high molecular complexity in which dynamic protein interactions modulate receptor localization and synaptic function. Members of the membrane-associated guanylate kinase (MAGUK) family of proteins represent a major structural and functional component of the vertebrate PSD. In order to investigate the expression and significance of orthologous PSD components associated with the Aplysia sensory neuron-motor neuron synapse, we have cloned...

  8. Astrocytic Ephrin-B1 Regulates Synapse Remodeling Following Traumatic Brain Injury

    OpenAIRE

    Nikolakopoulou, Angeliki M.; Koeppen, Jordan; Garcia, Michael; Leish, Joshua; Obenaus, Andre; Iryna M Ethell

    2016-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can result in tissue alterations distant from the site of the initial injury, which can trigger pathological changes within hippocampal circuits and are thought to contribute to long-term cognitive and neuropsychological impairments. However, our understanding of secondary injury mechanisms is limited. Astrocytes play an important role in brain repair after injury and astrocyte-mediated mechanisms that are implicated in synapse development are likely important in ...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Added astroglia promote greater synapse density and higher activity in neuronal networks

    OpenAIRE

    Boehler, Michael D.; Wheeler, Bruce C; Brewer, Gregory J.

    2007-01-01

    Astroglia are known to potentiate individual synapses, but their contribution to networks is unclear. Here we examined the effect of adding either astroglia or media conditioned by astroglia on entire networks of rat hippocampal neurons cultured on microelectrode arrays. Added astroglia increased spontaneous spike rates nearly two-fold and glutamate-stimulated spiking by six-fold, with desensitization eliminated for bath addition of 25 μM glutamate. Astrocyte-conditioned medium partly mimicke...

  12. Alcohol impairs long-term depression at the cerebellar parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse

    OpenAIRE

    Belmeguenai, A.; Botta, Paolo; Weber, John; Carta, Mario; De Ruiter, Martijn; De Zeeuw, Chris; Valenzuela, Fernando; Hansel, Christian

    2008-01-01

    textabstractAcute alcohol consumption causes deficits in motor coordination and gait, suggesting an involvement of cerebellar circuits, which play a role in the fine adjustment of movements and in motor learning. It has previously been shown that ethanol modulates inhibitory transmission in the cerebellum and affects synaptic transmission and plasticity at excitatory climbing fiber (CF) to Purkinje cell synapses. However, it has not been examined thus far how acute ethanol application affects...

  13. Kohler's Insight Revisited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Windholtz, George

    1985-01-01

    Psychology textbooks frequently present Wolfgang Kohler's two-stick experiment with chimpanzees as having demonstrated insight in learning. Studies that replicated Kohler's work support his findings but not his interpretation in terms of insightful solution. The uncritical inclusion of Kohler's insight interpretation in texts is not warranted in…

  14. 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…

  15. Plastic Changes of Synapses and Excitatory Neurotransmitter Receptors in Facial Nucleus Following Facial-facial Anastomosis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Pei CHEN; Jun SONG; Linghui LUO; Shusheng GONG

    2008-01-01

    The remodeling process of synapses and eurotransmitter receptors of facial nucleus were observed. Models were set up by facial-facial anastomosis in rat. At post-surgery day (PSD) 0, 7, 21 and 60, synaptophysin (p38), NMDA receptor subunit 2A and AMPA receptor subunit 2 (GIuR2) were observed by immunohistochemical method and emi-quantitative RT-PCR, respectively. Meanwhile, the synaptic structure of the facial motorneurons was observed under a transmission electron microscope (TEM). The intensity of p38 immunoreactivity was decreased, reaching the lowest value at PSD day 7, and then increased slightly at PSD 21. Ultrastructurally, the number of synapses in nucleus of the operational side decreased, which was consistent with the change in P38 immhnoreactivity. NMDAR2A mRNA was down-regulated significantly in facial nucleus after the operation (P000.05). The synapses innervation and the expression of NMDAR2A and AMPAR2 mRNA in facial nucleus might be modified to suit for the new motor tasks following facial-facial anastomosis, and influenced facial nerve regeneration and recovery.

  16. Astrocytic Ca2+ signals are required for the functional integrity of tripartite synapses

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    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.

  17. Role of primary afferents in the developmental regulation of motor axon synapse numbers on Renshaw cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siembab, Valerie C; Gomez-Perez, Laura; Rotterman, Travis M; Shneider, Neil A; Alvarez, Francisco J

    2016-06-15

    Motor function in mammalian species depends on the maturation of spinal circuits formed by a large variety of interneurons that regulate motoneuron firing and motor output. Interneuron activity is in turn modulated by the organization of their synaptic inputs, but the principles governing the development of specific synaptic architectures unique to each premotor interneuron are unknown. For example, Renshaw cells receive, at least in the neonate, convergent inputs from sensory afferents (likely Ia) and motor axons, raising the question of whether they interact during Renshaw cell development. In other well-studied neurons, such as Purkinje cells, heterosynaptic competition between inputs from different sources shapes synaptic organization. To examine the possibility that sensory afferents modulate synaptic maturation on developing Renshaw cells, we used three animal models in which afferent inputs in the ventral horn are dramatically reduced (ER81(-/-) knockout), weakened (Egr3(-/-) knockout), or strengthened (mlcNT3(+/-) transgenic). We demonstrate that increasing the strength of sensory inputs on Renshaw cells prevents their deselection and reduces motor axon synaptic density, and, in contrast, absent or diminished sensory afferent inputs correlate with increased densities of motor axons synapses. No effects were observed on other glutamatergic inputs. We conclude that the early strength of Ia synapses influences their maintenance or weakening during later development and that heterosynaptic influences from sensory synapses during early development regulates the density and organization of motor inputs on mature Renshaw cells. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:1892-1919, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26660356

  18. A 2-transistor/1-resistor artificial synapse capable of communication and stochastic learning forneuromorphic systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhongqiang eWang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Specific disruption of hippocampal mossy fiber synapses in a mouse model of familial Alzheimer's disease.

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    Scott A Wilke

    Full Text Available 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.

  1. Effects of dynamic synapses on noise-delayed response latency of a single neuron

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. Spike-timing dependence of structural plasticity explains cooperative synapse formation in the neocortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moritz Deger

    Full Text Available Structural plasticity governs the long-term development of synaptic connections in the neocortex. While the underlying processes at the synapses are not fully understood, there is strong evidence that a process of random, independent formation and pruning of excitatory synapses can be ruled out. Instead, there must be some cooperation between the synaptic contacts connecting a single pre- and postsynaptic neuron pair. So far, the mechanism of cooperation is not known. Here we demonstrate that local correlation detection at the postsynaptic dendritic spine suffices to explain the synaptic cooperation effect, without assuming any hypothetical direct interaction pathway between the synaptic contacts. Candidate biomolecular mechanisms for dendritic correlation detection have been identified previously, as well as for structural plasticity based thereon. By analyzing and fitting of a simple model, we show that spike-timing correlation dependent structural plasticity, without additional mechanisms of cross-synapse interaction, can reproduce the experimentally observed distributions of numbers of synaptic contacts between pairs of neurons in the neocortex. Furthermore, the model yields a first explanation for the existence of both transient and persistent dendritic spines and allows to make predictions for future experiments.

  3. The role of MuSK in synapse formation and neuromuscular disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burden, Steven J; Yumoto, Norihiro; Zhang, Wei

    2013-05-01

    Muscle-specific kinase (MuSK) is essential for each step in neuromuscular synapse formation. Before innervation, MuSK initiates postsynaptic differentiation, priming the muscle for synapse formation. Approaching motor axons recognize the primed, or prepatterned, region of muscle, causing motor axons to stop growing and differentiate into specialized nerve terminals. MuSK controls presynaptic differentiation by causing the clustering of Lrp4, which functions as a direct retrograde signal for presynaptic differentiation. Developing synapses are stabilized by neuronal Agrin, which is released by motor nerve terminals and binds to Lrp4, a member of the low-density lipoprotein receptor family, stimulating further association between Lrp4 and MuSK and increasing MuSK kinase activity. In addition, MuSK phosphorylation is stimulated by an inside-out ligand, docking protein-7 (Dok-7), which is recruited to tyrosine-phosphorylated MuSK and increases MuSK kinase activity. Mutations in MuSK and in genes that function in the MuSK signaling pathway, including Dok-7, cause congenital myasthenia, and autoantibodies to MuSK, Lrp4, and acetylcholine receptors are responsible for myasthenia gravis. PMID:23637281

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. Physical Realization of a Supervised Learning System Built with Organic Memristive Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Yu-Pu; Bennett, Christopher H.; Cabaret, Théo; Vodenicarevic, Damir; Chabi, Djaafar; Querlioz, Damien; Jousselme, Bruno; Derycke, Vincent; Klein, Jacques-Olivier

    2016-01-01

    Multiple modern applications of electronics call for inexpensive chips that can perform complex operations on natural data with limited energy. A vision for accomplishing this is implementing hardware neural networks, which fuse computation and memory, with low cost organic electronics. A challenge, however, is the implementation of synapses (analog memories) composed of such materials. In this work, we introduce robust, fastly programmable, nonvolatile organic memristive nanodevices based on electrografted redox complexes that implement synapses thanks to a wide range of accessible intermediate conductivity states. We demonstrate experimentally an elementary neural network, capable of learning functions, which combines four pairs of organic memristors as synapses and conventional electronics as neurons. Our architecture is highly resilient to issues caused by imperfect devices. It tolerates inter-device variability and an adaptable learning rule offers immunity against asymmetries in device switching. Highly compliant with conventional fabrication processes, the system can be extended to larger computing systems capable of complex cognitive tasks, as demonstrated in complementary simulations. PMID:27601088

  7. Physical Realization of a Supervised Learning System Built with Organic Memristive Synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Yu-Pu; Bennett, Christopher H; Cabaret, Théo; Vodenicarevic, Damir; Chabi, Djaafar; Querlioz, Damien; Jousselme, Bruno; Derycke, Vincent; Klein, Jacques-Olivier

    2016-01-01

    Multiple modern applications of electronics call for inexpensive chips that can perform complex operations on natural data with limited energy. A vision for accomplishing this is implementing hardware neural networks, which fuse computation and memory, with low cost organic electronics. A challenge, however, is the implementation of synapses (analog memories) composed of such materials. In this work, we introduce robust, fastly programmable, nonvolatile organic memristive nanodevices based on electrografted redox complexes that implement synapses thanks to a wide range of accessible intermediate conductivity states. We demonstrate experimentally an elementary neural network, capable of learning functions, which combines four pairs of organic memristors as synapses and conventional electronics as neurons. Our architecture is highly resilient to issues caused by imperfect devices. It tolerates inter-device variability and an adaptable learning rule offers immunity against asymmetries in device switching. Highly compliant with conventional fabrication processes, the system can be extended to larger computing systems capable of complex cognitive tasks, as demonstrated in complementary simulations. PMID:27601088

  8. Monoacylated Cellular Prion Proteins Reduce Amyloid-β-Induced Activation of Cytoplasmic Phospholipase A2 and Synapse Damage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  9. 40Ar/39Ar geochronology and geochemistry of the Central Saurashtra mafic dyke swarm: insights into magmatic evolution, magma transport, and dyke-flow relationships in the northwestern Deccan Traps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cucciniello, Ciro; Demonterova, Elena I.; Sheth, Hetu; Pande, Kanchan; Vijayan, Anjali

    2015-05-01

    The Central Saurashtra mafic dyke swarm in the northwestern Deccan Traps contains a few picrites, several subalkalic basalts and basaltic andesites, and an andesite. We have obtained precise 40Ar/39Ar ages of 65.6 ± 0.2 Ma, 66.6 ± 0.3, and 62.4 ± 0.3 Ma (2σ errors) for three of the dykes, indicating the emplacement of the swarm over several million years. Mineral chemical and whole-rock major and trace element and Sr-Nd isotopic data show that fractional crystallization and crystal accumulation were important processes. Except for two dykes (with ɛNd t values of -8.2 and -12.3), the magmas were only moderately contaminated by continental crust. The late-emplaced (62.4 Ma) basalt dyke has compositional characteristics (low La/Sm and Th/Nb, high ɛNd t of +4.3) suggesting little or no crustal contamination. Most dykes are low-Ti and a few high-Ti, and these contrasting Ti types cannot be produced by fractional crystallization processes but require distinct parental magmas. Some dykes are compositionally homogeneous over tens of kilometers, whereas others are heterogeneous, partly because they were formed by multiple magma injections. The combined field and geochemical data establish the Sardhar dyke as ≥62 km long and the longest in Saurashtra, but this and the other Central Saurasthra dykes cannot have fed any of the hitherto studied lava-flow sequences in Saurashtra, given their very distinct Sr-Nd isotopic compositions. As observed previously, high-Ti lavas and dykes only outcrop east-northeast of a line joining Rajkot and Palitana, probably because of underlying enriched mantle at ~65 Ma.

  10. Genetic Aspects of Autism Spectrum Disorders: Insights from Animal Models

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    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.

  11. Dynamic remodelling of synapses can occur in the absence of the parent cell body

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    Baxter Becki

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Retraction of nerve terminals is a characteristic feature of development, injury and insult and may herald many neurodegenerative diseases. Although morphological events have been well characterized, we know relatively little about the nature of the underlying cellular machinery. Evidence suggests a strong local component in determining which neuronal branches and synapses are lost, but a greater understanding of this basic neurological process is required. Here we test the hypothesis that nerve terminals are semi-autonomous and able to rapidly respond to local stimuli in the absence of communication with their parent cell body. Results We used an isolated preparation consisting of distal peripheral nerve stumps, associated nerve terminals and post-synaptic muscle fibres, maintained in-vitro for up to 3 hrs. In this system synapses are intact but the presynaptic nerve terminal is disconnected from its cell soma. In control preparations synapses were stable for extended periods and did not undergo Wallerian degneration. In contrast, addition of purines triggers rapid changes at synapses. Using fluorescence and electron microscopy we observe ultrastructural and gross morphological events consistent with nerve terminal retraction. We find no evidence of Wallerian or Wallerian-like degeneration in these preparations. Pharmacological experiments implicate pre-synaptic P2X7 receptor subunits as key mediators of these events. Conclusion The data presented suggest; first that isolated nerve terminals are able to regulate connectivity independent of signals from the cell body, second that synapses exist in a dynamic state, poised to shift from stability to loss by activating intrinsic mechanisms and molecules, and third that local purines acting at purinergic receptors can trigger these events. A role for ATP receptors in this is not surprising since they are frequently activated during cellular injury, when adenosine tri-phosphate is

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cochran, S. L.

    1995-01-01

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

  13. Intense exercise can cause excessive apoptosis and synapse plasticity damage in rat hippocampus through Ca2+ overload and endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced apoptosis pathway

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ding Yi; Chang Cunqing; Xie Lan; Chen Zhimin; Ai Hua

    2014-01-01

    Background Intense exercise can cause injury and apoptosis,but few studies have reported its effect on the central nervous system (CNS).The initial reason for hippocampus injury is the excitotoxicity of glutamate and calcium overload.Intracellular free Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) overload may trigger the apoptosis pathway and neuron damage.The aim of this study was to investigate whether intense exercise could cause hippocampus apoptosis and neuron damage and then to determine which pathway was activated by this apoptosis.Methods We used one bout of swimming exhaustion rats as models.Intracellular [Ca2+]i was measured to estimate the calcium overload by Fura-2/AM immediately after exhaustion; glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and synaptophysin (SYP)immunofluorescence were performed for estimating astrocyte activation and synapse plasticity 24 hours after exhaustion.Apoptosis cells were displayed using dUTP nick end labelling (TUNEL) stain; endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-induced apoptosis pathway and mitochondrial apoptosis pathway were synchronously detected by Western blotting.Results An increasing level of intracellular [Ca2+]i (P <0.01) was found in the hippocampus immediately after exhaustion.GFAP and SYP immunofluorescence showed that the astrocytes are activated,and the synapse plasticity collapsed significantly 24 hours after exhaustion.TUNEL stain showed that the number of apoptosis cells were notably raised (P <0.01); Western blotting of the apoptosis pathway showed increasing levels of caspase-3 cleavage (P <0.01),Bax (P <0.01),caspase-12 cleavage (P <0.01),C/EBP-homologous protein (CHOP) (P <0.01),and phospho-Junaminoterminal kinases (p-JNK; P <0.01) and decreasing level of Bcl-2 (P <0.01).Our results proved that exhaustion can induce hippocampus injury and apoptosis by [Ca2+]i overload,with collapsed synaptic plasticity as the injury pattern and ER stress-induced apoptosis as the activated pathway.Conclusion Intense exercise can cause

  14. Magnetic properties of the remagnetized Middle-Ordovician limestones of the Ponón Trehué Formation (San Rafael Block, central-western Argentina): Insights into the Permian widespread Sanrafaelic overprint

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fazzito, Sabrina Y.; Rapalini, Augusto E.

    2016-10-01

    The widespread Sanrafaelic remagnetization reset most of the early Cambrian to mid-Ordovician carbonate platform of the Argentine Precordillera and the calcareous units of the San Rafael Block. We conducted a detailed rock-magnetic study on the Middle-Ordovician limestones of the Ponón Trehué Formation at both limbs of a tight anticline exposed in the San Rafael Block (Mendoza province, central-western Argentina) that are carriers of a syntectonic magnetization of Permian age. We found that the magnetic overprint in the Ponón Trehué Formation is carried by both pyrrhotite and magnetite, with goethite and subordinate haematite likely related to weathering. Hysteresis parameters, frequency dependence of magnetic susceptibility, Cisowski and modified Lowrie-Fuller tests suggest the presence of ultrafine particles of chemical origin. Demagnetization of natural remanent magnetization and of three-axis isothermal remanence confirm pyrrhotite and magnetite as important contributors to the remanence. Both minerals carry the same magnetic syntectonic component suggesting a coeval or nearly coeval remanence acquisition and therefore mineral formation. This and the results of the magnetic fabric analyses indicate an authigenic origin of the magnetic minerals during folding associated with the Sanrafaelic tectonic phase (ca. 280 Ma). Although the chemically active (oxidizing?) fluids expelled from the orogen as it developed in the early Permian is a viable explanation for the Sanrafaelic remagnetization, the role of the nearly coeval magmatism in Precordillera and the San Rafael Block remains to be properly evaluated.

  15. 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.

  16. Cross-dressing by donor dendritic cells after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation contributes to formation of the immunological synapse and maximizes responses to indirectly presented antigen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markey, Kate A; Koyama, Motoko; Gartlan, Kate H; Leveque, Lucie; Kuns, Rachel D; Lineburg, Katie E; Teal, Bianca E; MacDonald, Kelli P A; Hill, Geoffrey R

    2014-06-01

    The stimulation of naive donor T cells by recipient alloantigen is central to the pathogenesis of graft-versus-host disease after bone marrow transplantation (BMT). Using mouse models of transplantation, we have observed that donor cells become "cross-dressed" in very high levels of recipient hematopoietic cell-derived MHC class I and II molecules following BMT. Recipient-type MHC is transiently present on donor dendritic cells (DCs) after BMT in the setting of myeloablative conditioning but is persistent after nonmyeloablative conditioning, in which recipient hematopoietic cells remain in high numbers. Despite the high level of recipient-derived alloantigen present on the surface of donor DCs, donor T cell proliferative responses are generated only in response to processed recipient alloantigen presented via the indirect pathway and not in response to cross-dressed MHC. Assays in which exogenous peptide is added to cross-dressed MHC in the presence of naive TCR transgenic T cells specific to the MHC class II-peptide combination confirm that cross-dressed APC cannot induce T cell proliferation in isolation. Despite failure to induce T cell proliferation, cross-dressing by donor DCs contributes to generation of the immunological synapse between DCs and CD4 T cells, and this is required for maximal responses induced by classical indirectly presented alloantigen. We conclude that the process of cross-dressing by donor DCs serves as an efficient alternative pathway for the acquisition of recipient alloantigen and that once acquired, this cross-dressed MHC can assist in immune synapse formation prior to the induction of full T cell proliferative responses by concurrent indirect Ag presentation.

  17. Melamine Alters Glutamatergic Synaptic Transmission of CA3-CA1 Synapses Presynaptically Through Autophagy Activation in the Rat Hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hui; Wang, Hui; Xiao, Xi; Zhang, Tao

    2016-01-01

    Melamine is an industrial chemical that can cause central nervous system disorders including excitotoxicity and cognitive impairment. Its illegal use in powdered baby formula was the focus of a milk scandal in China in 2008. One of our previous studies showed that melamine impaired glutamatergic transmission in rat hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells. However, the underlying mechanism of action of melamine is unclear, and it is unknown if the CA3-CA1 pathway is directly involved. In the present study, a whole-cell patch-clamp technique was employed to investigate the effect of melamine on the hippocampal CA3-CA1 pathway in vitro. Both the evoked excitatory postsynaptic current (eEPSC) and the paired-pulse ratio (PPR) were recorded. Furthermore, we examined whether autophagy was involved in glutamatergic transmission alterations induced by melamine. Our data showed that melamine significantly increased the amplitude of eEPSCs in a dose-dependent manner. Inhibition of the N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor did not prevent the increase in eEPSC amplitude. In addition, the PPR was remarkably decreased by a melamine concentration of 5 × 10(-5) g/mL. It was found that autophagy could be activated by melamine and an autophagy inhibitor, 3-MA, prevented the melamine-induced increase in eEPSC amplitude. Overall, our results show that melamine presynaptically alters glutamatergic synaptic transmission of hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapses in vitro and this is likely associated with autophagy alteration. PMID:26530910

  18. The adhesion protein IgSF9b is coupled to neuroligin 2 via S-SCAM to promote inhibitory synapse development

    OpenAIRE

    Woo, Jooyeon; Kwon, Seok-Kyu; Nam, Jungyong; Choi, Seungwon; Takahashi, Hideto; Krueger, Dilja; Park, Joohyun; Lee, Yeunkum; Bae, Jin Young; Lee, Dongmin; Ko, Jaewon; Kim, Hyun; Kim, Myoung-Hwan; Bae, Yong Chul; Chang, Sunghoe

    2013-01-01

    Synaptic adhesion molecules regulate diverse aspects of synapse formation and maintenance. Many known synaptic adhesion molecules localize at excitatory synapses, whereas relatively little is known about inhibitory synaptic adhesion molecules. Here we report that IgSF9b is a novel, brain-specific, homophilic adhesion molecule that is strongly expressed in GABAergic interneurons. IgSF9b was preferentially localized at inhibitory synapses in cultured rat hippocampal and cortical interneurons an...

  19. SYNAPSE, Symposium for Young Neuroscientists and Professors of the Southeast: A One-day, Regional Neuroscience Meeting Focusing on Undergraduate Research

    OpenAIRE

    Hurd, Mark W.; Lom, Barbara; Silver, Wayne L

    2011-01-01

    The Symposium for Young Neuroscientists and Professors of the Southeast (SYNAPSE; synapse.cofc.edu) was designed to encourage contacts among faculty and students interested in neuroscience. Since its inception in 2003, the SYNAPSE conference has consistently drawn faculty and undergraduate interest from the region. This unique meeting provides undergraduates with a valuable opportunity for neuroscience education; students interact with noted neuroscience faculty, present research results, obt...

  20. 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.

  1. Systematic substrate identification indicates a central role for the metalloprotease ADAM10 in axon targeting and synapse function

    OpenAIRE

    Kuhn, P.-H.; Colombo, A.V.; Schusser, B.; Dreymueller, D.; Wetzel, S.; Schepers, U.; Herber, J.; Ludwig, A.; Kremmer, E; Montag, D.; Müller, U; Schweizer, M.; Saftig, P; Bräse, S.; Lichtenthaler, S.F.

    2016-01-01

    Metzincin metalloproteases have major roles in intercellular communication by modulating the function of membrane proteins. One of the proteases is the a-disintegrin-and-metalloprotease 10 (ADAM10) which acts as alpha-secretase of the Alzheimer's disease amyloid precursor protein. ADAM10 is also required for neuronal network functions in murine brain, but neuronal ADAM10 substrates are only partly known. With a proteomic analysis of Adam10-deficient neurons we identified 91, mostly novel ADAM...

  2. Active zone stability:insights from fly neuromuscular junction

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiaolin Tian; Chunlai Wu

    2015-01-01

    The presynaptic active zone is a dynamic structure that orchestrates regulated release of neurotrans-mitters. Developmental and aging processes, and changes in neuronal network activity can all modulate the number, size and composition of active zone and thereby synaptic efifcacy. However, very little is known about the mechanism that controls the structural stability of active zone. By study-ing a model synapse, theDrosophila neuromuscular junction, our recent work shed light on how two scaffolding proteins at the active zone regulate active zone stability by promoting a localized dephos-phorylation event at the nerve terminal. Here we discuss the major insights from our ifndings and their implications for future research.

  3. Dreaming and insight

    OpenAIRE

    Edwards, Christopher L; Perrine Marie RUBY; Malinowski, Josie E.; Bennett, Paul D.; Blagrove, Mark T.

    2013-01-01

    This paper addresses claims that dreams can be a source of personal insight. Whereas there has been anecdotal backing for such claims, there is now tangential support from findings of the facilitative effect of sleep on cognitive insight, and of REM sleep in particular on emotional memory consolidation. Furthermore, the presence in dreams of metaphorical representations of waking life indicates the possibility of novel insight as an emergent feature of such metaphorical mappings. In order to ...

  4. The intersection of climate, tectonic uplift, and regional groundwater flow in the central Andean Plateau: Insight from the accumulation of the massive evaporite deposit in the Salar de Atacama, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boutt, D. F.; Hynek, S. A.; Corenthal, L.; Munk, L. A.

    2015-12-01

    The Salar de Atacama (SdA), a large endorheic basin adjacent to the Central Andes in the hyperarid Atacama Desert, has accumulated over 1800 km3 of evaporites and a lithium-rich brine since the late Miocene. Focused groundwater discharge in endorheic basins, such as those in the Chilean Altiplano, provide opportunities to investigate mechanisms for closing hydrologic budgets in arid regions. We demonstrate that modern evapotranspiration is 5 to 21 times greater than modern recharge from precipitation in the topographic watershed. Multiple lines of evidence including an adapted chloride mass balance method applied to remotely sensed precipitation estimates and sodium mass balance calculations support this conclusion. We contend that the missing water needed to close the extreme hydrologic imbalance of SdA is sourced from recharge on the orogenic plateau in an area over 4 times larger than the topographic watershed, augmented by transient draining of stored groundwater. Groundwater recharged during wetter periods in the late Pleistocene is still actively draining and discharging from storage without corresponding recharge into the system. Geologic evidence from the volume of evaporites deposited in the basin suggests that the SdA has been receiving significant amounts of fresh inflow waters over at least 7 Ma despite the region being hyperarid over the same time frame. Our conceptualization of the depositional model for evaporite accumulation necessitates the water table being at or close to the land surface. Subsidence associated with basin development has accommodated significant accumulation of these deposits thereby requiring the sustenance of fresh inflow waters during uplift of the Andean plateau. Sustained groundwater discharge to the basin requires long residence times, deep water tables and strong gradients in landscape and climate enabled by an uplifting plateau. The application of steady state assumptions to the modern hydrologic system are unsupported by

  5. Super-resolution microscopy reveals γ-secretase at both sides of the neuronal synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schedin-Weiss, Sophia; Caesar, Ina; Winblad, Bengt; Blom, Hans; Tjernberg, Lars O

    2016-03-31

    The transmembrane protein assembly γ-secretase is a key protease in regulated intramembrane processing (RIP) of around 100 type-1 transmembrane proteins. Importantly, it has a pathological role in Alzheimer disease (AD) as it generates the neurotoxic amyloid β-peptide from the amyloid precursor protein (APP). Studies on γ-secretase location are therefore crucial both from a biological and a therapeutic perspective. Despite several years of efforts in many laboratories, it is not clear where in the neuron γ-secretase exerts it's activities. Technical challenges include the fact that the active enzyme contains four protein components and that most subcellular compartments cannot be spatially resolved by traditional light microscopy. Here, we have used a powerful combination of the two nanoscopy techniques STORM and STED microscopy to visualize the location of γ-secretase in neurons using an active-site specific probe, with a focus on the synapse. We show that γ-secretase is present in both the pre-and postsynaptic compartments. We further show that the enzyme is enriched very close to the synaptic cleft in the postsynaptic membrane, as well as to NMDA receptors, demonstrating that γ-secretase is present in the postsynaptic plasma membrane. Importantly, the expression of γ-secretase increased in the pre- and postsynaptic compartments with the size of the synapse, suggesting a correlation between γ-secretase activity and synapse maturation. Thus, our data shows the synaptic location with high precision in three dimensions and settles the long-lasting debate on the synaptic location of γ-secretase.

  6. Up-regulation of GLT-1 severely impairs LTD at mossy fibre--CA3 synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omrani, Azar; Melone, Marcello; Bellesi, Michele; Safiulina, Victoria; Aida, Tomomi; Tanaka, Kohishi; Cherubini, Enrico; Conti, Fiorenzo

    2009-10-01

    Glutamate transporters are responsible for clearing synaptically released glutamate from the extracellular space. By this action, they maintain low levels of ambient glutamate, thus preventing excitotoxic damage, and contribute to shaping synaptic currents. We show that up-regulation of the glutamate transporter GLT-1 by ceftriaxone severely impaired mGluR-dependent long-term depression (LTD), induced at rat mossy fibre (MF)-CA3 synapses by repetitive stimulation of afferent fibres. This effect involved GLT-1, since LTD was rescued by the selective GLT-1 antagonist dihydrokainate (DHK). DHK per se produced a modest decrease in fEPSP amplitude that rapidly regained control levels after DHK wash out. Moreover, the degree of fEPSP inhibition induced by the low-affinity glutamate receptor antagonist gamma-DGG was similar during basal synaptic transmission but not during LTD, indicating that in ceftriaxone-treated rats LTD induction did not alter synaptic glutamate transient concentration. Furthermore, ceftriaxone-induced GLT-1 up-regulation significantly reduced the magnitude of LTP at MF-CA3 synapses but not at Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses. Postembedding immunogold studies in rats showed an increased density of gold particles coding for GLT-1a in astrocytic processes and in mossy fibre terminals; in the latter, gold particles were located near and within the active zones. In both CEF-treated and untreated GLT-1 KO mice used for verifying the specificity of immunostaining, the density of gold particles in MF terminals was comparable to background levels. The enhanced expression of GLT-1 at release sites may prevent activation of presynaptic receptors, thus revealing a novel mechanism by which GLT-1 regulates synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus.

  7. The Drosophila KIF1A Homolog unc-104 Is Important for Site-Specific Synapse Maturation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yao V; Hannan, Shabab B; Stapper, Zeenna A; Kern, Jeannine V; Jahn, Thomas R; Rasse, Tobias M

    2016-01-01

    Mutations in the kinesin-3 family member KIF1A have been associated with hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP), hereditary and sensory autonomic neuropathy type 2 (HSAN2) and non-syndromic intellectual disability (ID). Both autosomal recessive and autosomal dominant forms of inheritance have been reported. Loss of KIF1A or its homolog unc-104 causes early postnatal or embryonic lethality in mice and Drosophila, respectively. In this study, we use a previously described hypomorphic allele of unc-104, unc-104(bris) , to investigate the impact of partial loss-of-function of kinesin-3 on synapse maturation at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Unc-104(bris) mutants exhibit structural defects where a subset of synapses at the NMJ lack all investigated active zone (AZ) proteins, suggesting a complete failure in the formation of the cytomatrix at the active zone (CAZ) at these sites. Modulating synaptic Bruchpilot (Brp) levels by ectopic overexpression or RNAi-mediated knockdown suggests that the loss of AZ components such as Ca(2+) channels and Liprin-α is caused by impaired kinesin-3 based transport rather than due to the absence of the key AZ organizer protein, Brp. In addition to defects in CAZ assembly, unc-104(bris) mutants display further defects such as depletion of dense core and synaptic vesicle (SV) markers from the NMJ. Notably, the level of Rab3, which is important for the allocation of AZ proteins to individual release sites, was severely reduced at unc-104(bris) mutant NMJs. Overexpression of Rab3 partially ameliorates synaptic phenotypes of unc-104(bris) larvae, suggesting that lack of presynaptic Rab3 contributes to defects in synapse maturation. PMID:27656128

  8. miR-8 controls synapse structure by repression of the actin regulator enabled.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loya, Carlos M; McNeill, Elizabeth M; Bao, Hong; Zhang, Bing; Van Vactor, David

    2014-05-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression that play important roles in nervous system development and physiology. However, our understanding of the strategies by which miRNAs control synapse development is limited. We find that the highly conserved miRNA miR-8 regulates the morphology of presynaptic arbors at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ) through a postsynaptic mechanism. Developmental analysis shows that miR-8 is required for presynaptic expansion that occurs in response to larval growth of the postsynaptic muscle targets. With an in vivo sensor, we confirm our hypothesis that the founding member of the conserved Ena/VASP (Enabled/Vasodilator Activated Protein) family is regulated by miR-8 through a conserved site in the Ena 3' untranslated region (UTR). Synaptic marker analysis and localization studies suggest that Ena functions within the subsynaptic reticulum (SSR) surrounding presynaptic terminals. Transgenic lines that express forms of a conserved mammalian Ena ortholog further suggest that this localization and function of postsynaptic Ena/VASP family protein is dependent on conserved C-terminal domains known to mediate actin binding and assembly while antagonizing actin-capping proteins. Ultrastructural analysis demonstrates that miR-8 is required for SSR morphogenesis. As predicted by our model, we find that Ena is both sufficient and necessary to account for miR-8-mediated regulation of SSR architecture, consistent with its localization in this compartment. Finally, electrophysiological analysis shows that miR-8 is important for spontaneous neurotransmitter release frequency and quantal content. However, unlike the structural phenotypes, increased expression of Ena fails to mimic the functional defects observed in miR-8-null animals. Together, these findings suggest that miR-8 limits the expansion of presynaptic terminals during larval synapse development through regulation of postsynaptic actin assembly that

  9. The Cdk5 inhibitor Roscovitine increases LTP induction in corticostriatal synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Miranda‑Barrientos

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available In corticostriatal synapses, LTD (long-term depression and LTP (long-term potentiation are modulated by the activation of DA (dopamine receptors, with LTD being the most common type of long-term plasticity induced using the standard stimulation protocols. In particular, activation of the D1 signaling pathway increases cAMP/PKA (protein kinase A phosphorylation activity and promotes an increase in the amplitude of glutamatergic corticostriatal synapses. However, if the Cdk5 (cyclin-dependent kinase 5 phosphorylates the DARPP-32 (dopamine and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein of 32 kDa at Thr75, DARPP-32 becomes a strong inhibitor of PKA activity. Roscovitine is a potent Cdk5 inhibitor; it has been previously shown that acute application of Roscovitine increases striatal transmission via Cdk5/DARPP-32. Since DARPP-32 controls long-term plasticity in the striatum, we wondered whether switching off CdK5 activity with Roscovitine contributes to the induction of LTP in corticostriatal synapses. For this purpose, excitatory population spikes and whole cell EPSC (excitatory postsynaptic currents were recorded in striatal slices from C57/BL6 mice. Experiments were carried out in the presence of Roscovitine (20 μM in the recording bath. Roscovitine increased the amplitude of excitatory population spikes and the percentage of population spikes that exhibited LTP after HFS (high-frequency stimulation; 100Hz. Results obtained showed that the mechanisms responsible for LTP induction after Cdk5 inhibition involved the PKA pathway, DA and NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor activation, L-type calcium channels activation and the presynaptic modulation of neurotransmitter release.

  10. Biphasic Alteration of the Inhibitory Synapse Scaffold Protein Gephyrin in Early and Late Stages of an Alzheimer Disease Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiss, Eva; Gorgas, Karin; Schlicksupp, Andrea; Groß, Dagmar; Kins, Stefan; Kirsch, Joachim; Kuhse, Jochen

    2016-09-01

    The pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease (AD) is thought to begin many years before the diagnosis of dementia. Accumulating evidence indicates the involvement of GABAergic neurotransmission in the physiopathology of AD. However, in comparison to excitatory synapses, the structural and functional alterations of inhibitory synapses in AD are less well characterized. We studied the expression and distribution of proteins specific for inhibitory synapses in hippocampal areas of APPPS1 mice at different ages. Interestingly, by immunoblotting and confocal fluorescence microscopy, we disclosed a robust increase in the expression of gephyrin, an organizer of ligand-gated ion channels at inhibitory synapses in hippocampus CA1 and dentate gyrus of young presymptomatic APPPS1 mice (1 to 3 months) as compared to controls. The postsynaptic γ2-GABA(A)-receptor subunit and the presynaptic vesicular inhibitory amino acid transporter protein showed similar expression patterns. In contrast, adult transgenic animals (12 months) displayed decreased levels of these proteins in comparison to wild type in hippocampus areas devoid of amyloid plaques. Within most plaques, strong gephyrin immunoreactivity was detected, partially colocalizing with vesicular amino acid transporter and GABA(A)-receptor γ2 subunit immunoreactivities. Our results indicate a biphasic alteration in expression of hippocampal inhibitory synapse components in AD. Altered inhibition of neurotransmission might be an early prognostic marker and might even be involved in the pathogenesis of AD.

  11. The presence of perforated synapses in the striatum after dopamine depletion, is this a sign of maladaptive brain plasticity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anaya-Martínez, Verónica; Gutierrez-Valdez, Ana Luisa; Ordoñez-Librado, Jose Luis; Montiel-Flores, Enrique; Sánchez-Betancourt, Javier; Sánchez Vázquez del Mercado, César; Reynoso-Erazo, Leonardo; Tron-Alvarez, Rocío; Avila-Costa, Maria Rosa

    2014-12-01

    Synaptic plasticity is the process by which long-lasting changes take place at synaptic connections. The phenomenon itself is complex and can involve many levels of organization. Some authors separate forms into adaptations that have positive or negative consequences for the individual. It has been hypothesized that an increase in the number of synapses may represent a structural basis for the enduring expression of synaptic plasticity during some events that involve memory and learning; also, it has been suggested that perforated synapses increase in number after some diseases and experimental situations. The aim of this study was to analyze whether dopamine depletion induces changes in the synaptology of the corpus striatum of rats after the unilateral injection of 6-OHDA. The findings suggest that after the lesion, both contralateral and ipsilateral striata exhibit an increased length of the synaptic ending in ipsilateral (since third day) and contralateral striatum (since Day 20), loss of axospinous synapses in ipsilateral striatum and a significant increment in the number of perforated synapses, suggesting brain plasticity that might be deleterious for the spines, because this type of synaptic contacts are presumably excitatory, and in the absence of the modulatory effects of dopamine, the neuron could die through excitotoxic mechanisms. Thus, we can conclude that the presence of perforated synapses after striatal dopamine depletion might be a form of maladaptive synaptic plasticity. PMID:25246608

  12. Biphasic Alteration of the Inhibitory Synapse Scaffold Protein Gephyrin in Early and Late Stages of an Alzheimer Disease Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiss, Eva; Gorgas, Karin; Schlicksupp, Andrea; Groß, Dagmar; Kins, Stefan; Kirsch, Joachim; Kuhse, Jochen

    2016-09-01

    The pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease (AD) is thought to begin many years before the diagnosis of dementia. Accumulating evidence indicates the involvement of GABAergic neurotransmission in the physiopathology of AD. However, in comparison to excitatory synapses, the structural and functional alterations of inhibitory synapses in AD are less well characterized. We studied the expression and distribution of proteins specific for inhibitory synapses in hippocampal areas of APPPS1 mice at different ages. Interestingly, by immunoblotting and confocal fluorescence microscopy, we disclosed a robust increase in the expression of gephyrin, an organizer of ligand-gated ion channels at inhibitory synapses in hippocampus CA1 and dentate gyrus of young presymptomatic APPPS1 mice (1 to 3 months) as compared to controls. The postsynaptic γ2-GABA(A)-receptor subunit and the presynaptic vesicular inhibitory amino acid transporter protein showed similar expression patterns. In contrast, adult transgenic animals (12 months) displayed decreased levels of these proteins in comparison to wild type in hippocampus areas devoid of amyloid plaques. Within most plaques, strong gephyrin immunoreactivity was detected, partially colocalizing with vesicular amino acid transporter and GABA(A)-receptor γ2 subunit immunoreactivities. Our results indicate a biphasic alteration in expression of hippocampal inhibitory synapse components in AD. Altered inhibition of neurotransmission might be an early prognostic marker and might even be involved in the pathogenesis of AD. PMID:27423698

  13. Syncrip/hnRNP Q influences synaptic transmission and regulates BMP signaling at the Drosophila neuromuscular synapse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James M. Halstead

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic plasticity involves the modulation of synaptic connections in response to neuronal activity via multiple pathways. One mechanism modulates synaptic transmission by retrograde signals from the post-synapse that influence the probability of vesicle release in the pre-synapse. Despite its importance, very few factors required for the expression of retrograde signals, and proper synaptic transmission, have been identified. Here, we identify the conserved RNA binding protein Syncrip as a new factor that modulates the efficiency of vesicle release from the motoneuron and is required for correct synapse structure. We show that syncrip is required genetically and its protein product is detected only in the muscle and not in the motoneuron itself. This unexpected non-autonomy is at least partly explained by the fact that Syncrip modulates retrograde BMP signals from the muscle back to the motoneuron. We show that Syncrip influences the levels of the Bone Morphogenic Protein ligand Glass Bottom Boat from the post-synapse and regulates the pre-synapse. Our results highlight the RNA-binding protein Syncrip as a novel regulator of synaptic output. Given its known role in regulating translation, we propose that Syncrip is important for maintaining a balance between the strength of presynaptic vesicle release and postsynaptic translation.

  14. 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.

  15. SALM4 suppresses excitatory synapse development by cis-inhibiting trans-synaptic SALM3–LAR adhesion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lie, Eunkyung; Ko, Ji Seung; Choi, Su-Yeon; Roh, Junyeop Daniel; Cho, Yi Sul; Noh, Ran; Kim, Doyoun; Li, Yan; Kang, Hyeyeon; Choi, Tae-Yong; Nam, Jungyong; Mah, Won; Lee, Dongmin; Lee, Seong-Gyu; Kim, Ho Min; Kim, Hyun; Choi, Se-Young; Um, Ji Won; Kang, Myoung-Goo; Bae, Yong Chul; Ko, Jaewon; Kim, Eunjoon

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic adhesion molecules regulate various aspects of synapse development, function and plasticity. These functions mainly involve trans-synaptic interactions and positive regulations, whereas cis-interactions and negative regulation are less understood. Here we report that SALM4, a member of the SALM/Lrfn family of synaptic adhesion molecules, suppresses excitatory synapse development through cis inhibition of SALM3, another SALM family protein with synaptogenic activity. Salm4-mutant (Salm4−/−) mice show increased excitatory synapse numbers in the hippocampus. SALM4 cis-interacts with SALM3, inhibits trans-synaptic SALM3 interaction with presynaptic LAR family receptor tyrosine phosphatases and suppresses SALM3-dependent presynaptic differentiation. Importantly, deletion of Salm3 in Salm4−/− mice (Salm3−/−; Salm4−/−) normalizes the increased excitatory synapse number. These results suggest that SALM4 negatively regulates excitatory synapses via cis inhibition of the trans-synaptic SALM3–LAR adhesion. PMID:27480238

  16. Dynamic changes in hair cell ribbon synapse induced by loss of spiral ganglion neurons in mice

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yuan Yasheng; Chi Fanglu

    2014-01-01

    Background Previous studies have suggested that primary degeneration of hair cells causes secondary degeneration of spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs),but the effect of SGN degeneration on hair cells has not been studied.In the adult mouse inner ear ouabain can selectively and permanently induce the degeneration of type 1 SGNs while leaving type 2 SGNs,efferent fibers,and sensory hair cells relatively intact.This study aimed to investigate the dynamic changes in hair cell ribbon synapse induced by loss of SGNs using ouabain application to the round window niche of adult mice.Methods In the analysis,24 CBA/CAJ mice aged 8-10 weeks,were used,of which 6 normal mice were used as the control group.After ouabain application in the round window niche 6 times in an hour,ABR threshold shifts at least 30 dB in the three experimental groups which had six mice for 1-week group,six for 1-month group,and six for 3-month group.All 24 animals underwent function test at 1 week and then immunostaining at 1 week,1 month,and 3 months.Results The loss of neurons was followed by degeneration of postsynaptic specializations at the afferent synapse with hair cells.One week after ouabain treatment,the nerve endings of type 1 SGNs and postsynaptic densities,as measured by Na/K ATPase and PSD-95,were affected but not entirely missing,but their partial loss had consequences for synaptic ribbons that form the presynaptic specialization at the synapse between hair cells and primary afferent neurons.Ribbon numbers in inner hair cells decreased (some of them broken and the ribbon number much decreased),and the arrangement of the synaptic ribbons had undergone a dynamic reorganization:ribbons with or without associated postsynaptic densities moved from their normal location in the basal membrane of the cell to a more apical location and the neural endings alone were also found at more apical locations without associated ribbons.After 1 month,when the neural postsynaptic densities had completed their

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

    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...

  18. Wbp2 is required for normal glutamatergic synapses in the cochlea and is crucial for hearing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buniello, Annalisa; Ingham, Neil J; Lewis, Morag A; Huma, Andreea C; Martinez-Vega, Raquel; Varela-Nieto, Isabel; Vizcay-Barrena, Gema; Fleck, Roland A; Houston, Oliver; Bardhan, Tanaya; Johnson, Stuart L; White, Jacqueline K; Yuan, Huijun; Marcotti, Walter; Steel, Karen P

    2016-03-01

    WBP2 encodes the WW domain-binding protein 2 that acts as a transcriptional coactivator for estrogen receptor α (ESR1) and progesterone receptor (PGR). We reported that the loss of Wbp2 expression leads to progressive high-frequency hearing loss in mouse, as well as in two deaf children, each carrying two different variants in the WBP2 gene. The earliest abnormality we detect in Wbp2-deficient mice is a primary defect at inner hair cell afferent synapses. This study defines a new gene involved in the molecular pathway linking hearing impairment to hormonal signalling and provides new therapeutic targets.

  19. Why Neurons Have Thousands of Synapses, a Theory of Sequence Memory in Neocortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkins, Jeff; Ahmad, Subutai

    2016-01-01

    Pyramidal neurons represent the majority of excitatory neurons in the neocortex. Each pyramidal neuron receives input from thousands of excitatory synapses that are segregated onto dendritic branches. The dendrites themselves are segregated into apical, basal, and proximal integration zones, which have different properties. It is a mystery how pyramidal neurons integrate the input from thousands of synapses, what role the different dendrites play in this integration, and what kind of network behavior this enables in cortical tissue. It has been previously proposed that non-linear properties of dendrites enable cortical neurons to recognize multiple independent patterns. In this paper we extend this idea in multiple ways. First we show that a neuron with several thousand synapses segregated on active dendrites can recognize hundreds of independent patterns of cellular activity even in the presence of large amounts of noise and pattern variation. We then propose a neuron model where patterns detected on proximal dendrites lead to action potentials, defining the classic receptive field of the neuron, and patterns detected on basal and apical dendrites act as predictions by slightly depolarizing the neuron without generating an action potential. By this mechanism, a neuron can predict its activation in hundreds of independent contexts. We then present a network model based on neurons with these properties that learns time-based sequences. The network relies on fast local inhibition to preferentially activate neurons that are slightly depolarized. Through simulation we show that the network scales well and operates robustly over a wide range of parameters as long as the network uses a sparse distributed code of cellular activations. We contrast the properties of the new network model with several other neural network models to illustrate the relative capabilities of each. We conclude that pyramidal neurons with thousands of synapses, active dendrites, and multiple

  20. 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

  1. The central role of heat shock factor 1 in synaptic fidelity and memory consolidation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hooper, Philip L; Durham, Heather D; Török, Zsolt; Hooper, Paul L; Crul, Tim; Vígh, László

    2016-09-01

    Networks of neuronal synapses are the fundamental basis for making and retaining memory. Reduced synapse number and quality correlates with loss of memory in dementia. Heat shock factor 1 (HSF1), the major transcription factor regulating expression of heat shock genes, plays a central role in proteostasis, in establishing and sustaining synaptic fidelity and function, and in memory consolidation. Support for this thesis is based on these observations: (1) heat shock induces improvements in synapse integrity and memory consolidation; (2) synaptic depolarization activates HSF1; (3) activation of HSF1 alone (independent of the canonical heat shock response) augments formation of essential synaptic elements-neuroligands, vesicle transport, synaptic scaffolding proteins, lipid rafts, synaptic spines, and axodendritic synapses; (4) HSF1 coalesces and activates memory receptors in the post-synaptic dendritic spine; (5) huntingtin or α-synuclein accumulation lowers HSF1 while HSF1 lowers huntingtin and α-synuclein aggregation-a potential vicious cycle; and (6) HSF1 agonists (including physical activity) can improve cognitive function in dementia models. Thus, via direct gene expression of synaptic elements, production of HSPs that assure high protein fidelity, and activation of other neuroprotective signaling pathways, HSF1 agonists could provide breakthrough therapy for dementia-associated disease. PMID:27283588

  2. The central role of heat shock factor 1 in synaptic fidelity and memory consolidation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hooper, Philip L; Durham, Heather D; Török, Zsolt; Hooper, Paul L; Crul, Tim; Vígh, László

    2016-09-01

    Networks of neuronal synapses are the fundamental basis for making and retaining memory. Reduced synapse number and quality correlates with loss of memory in dementia. Heat shock factor 1 (HSF1), the major transcription factor regulating expression of heat shock genes, plays a central role in proteostasis, in establishing and sustaining synaptic fidelity and function, and in memory consolidation. Support for this thesis is based on these observations: (1) heat shock induces improvements in synapse integrity and memory consolidation; (2) synaptic depolarization activates HSF1; (3) activation of HSF1 alone (independent of the canonical heat shock response) augments formation of essential synaptic elements-neuroligands, vesicle transport, synaptic scaffolding proteins, lipid rafts, synaptic spines, and axodendritic synapses; (4) HSF1 coalesces and activates memory receptors in the post-synaptic dendritic spine; (5) huntingtin or α-synuclein accumulation lowers HSF1 while HSF1 lowers huntingtin and α-synuclein aggregation-a potential vicious cycle; and (6) HSF1 agonists (including physical activity) can improve cognitive function in dementia models. Thus, via direct gene expression of synaptic elements, production of HSPs that assure high protein fidelity, and activation of other neuroprotective signaling pathways, HSF1 agonists could provide breakthrough therapy for dementia-associated disease.

  3. The ultrastructure of prosternal sensory hair afferents within the locust central nervous system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, A H; Pflüger, H J

    1984-01-01

    The sensory neurones innervating long prosternal hairs of Locusta migratorioides were backfilled with horseradish peroxidase through their dendrites. The neurones' central projections in and around the medial ventral tract were examined with electron microscopy. Most synapses occur on axon collaterals which ramify through the neuropile around the tract where both input and output synapses were observed. Serial sectioning methods were used to determine the relative distribution of inputs and outputs which often lie in close proximity to one another on the axon terminals. The prosternal hair terminals contain agranular synaptic vesicles approximately 37 nm in diameter. Surrounding unidentified neuropilar profiles contain vesicles which are either statistically indistinguishable in size, or are larger, 45 nm diameter agranular vesicles. Neurones which are pre- or postsynaptic to labelled terminals generally contain vesicles of the second type. Input synapses onto the central terminals of primary afferent neurones can be recognised as a widespread phenomenon in the nervous systems of both invertebrates and vertebrates which will allow a fine degree of control of sensory inflow into the central nervous system. PMID:6709188

  4. Immunostaining for Homer reveals the majority of excitatory synapses in laminae I-III of the mouse spinal dorsal horn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutierrez-Mecinas, Maria; Kuehn, Emily D; Abraira, Victoria E; Polgár, Erika; Watanabe, Masahiko; Todd, Andrew J

    2016-08-01

    The spinal dorsal horn processes somatosensory information before conveying it to the brain. The neuronal organization of the dorsal horn is still poorly understood, although recent studies have defined several distinct populations among the interneurons, which account for most of its constituent neurons. All primary afferents, and the great majority of neurons in laminae I-III are glutamatergic, and a major factor limiting our understanding of the synaptic circuitry has been the difficulty in identifying glutamatergic synapses with light microscopy. Although there are numerous potential targets for antibodies, these are difficult to visualize with immunocytochemistry, because of protein cross-linking following tissue fixation. Although this can be overcome by antigen retrieval methods, these lead to difficulty in detecting other antigens. The aim of this study was to test whether the postsynaptic protein Homer can be used to reveal glutamatergic synapses in the dorsal horn. Immunostaining for Homer gave punctate labeling when viewed by confocal microscopy, and this was restricted to synapses at the ultrastructural level. We found that Homer puncta were colocalized with the AMPA receptor GluR2 subunit, but not with the inhibitory synapse-associated protein gephyrin. We also examined several populations of glutamatergic axons and found that most boutons were in contact with at least one Homer punctum. These results suggest that Homer antibodies can be used to reveal the great majority of glutamatergic synapses without antigen retrieval. This will be of considerable value in tracing synaptic circuits, and also in investigating plasticity of glutamatergic synapses in pain states. PMID:27185486

  5. 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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27485117

  6. Activity-dependent transport of the transcriptional coactivator CRTC1 from synapse to nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ch'ng, Toh Hean; Uzgil, Besim; Lin, Peter; Avliyakulov, Nuraly K; O'Dell, Thomas J; Martin, Kelsey C

    2012-07-01

    Long-lasting changes in synaptic efficacy, such as those underlying long-term memory, require transcription. Activity-dependent transport of synaptically localized transcriptional regulators provides a direct means of coupling synaptic stimulation with changes in transcription. The CREB-regulated transcriptional coactivator (CRTC1), which is required for long-term hippocampal plasticity, binds CREB to potently promote transcription. We show that CRTC1 localizes to synapses in silenced hippocampal neurons but translocates to the nucleus in response to localized synaptic stimulation. Regulated nuclear translocation occurs only in excitatory neurons and requires calcium influx and calcineurin activation. CRTC1 is controlled in a dual fashion with activity regulating CRTC1 nuclear translocation and cAMP modulating its persistence in the nucleus. Neuronal activity triggers a complex change in CRTC1 phosphorylation, suggesting that CRTC1 may link specific types of stimuli to specific changes in gene expression. Together, our results indicate that synapse-to-nuclear transport of CRTC1 dynamically informs the nucleus about synaptic activity.

  7. A magnetic synapse: multilevel spin-torque memristor with perpendicular anisotropy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lequeux, Steven; Sampaio, Joao; Cros, Vincent; Yakushiji, Kay; Fukushima, Akio; Matsumoto, Rie; Kubota, Hitoshi; Yuasa, Shinji; Grollier, Julie

    2016-08-01

    Memristors are non-volatile nano-resistors which resistance can be tuned by applied currents or voltages and set to a large number of levels. Thanks to these properties, memristors are ideal building blocks for a number of applications such as multilevel non-volatile memories and artificial nano-synapses, which are the focus of this work. A key point towards the development of large scale memristive neuromorphic hardware is to build these neural networks with a memristor technology compatible with the best candidates for the future mainstream non-volatile memories. Here we show the first experimental achievement of a multilevel memristor compatible with spin-torque magnetic random access memories. The resistive switching in our spin-torque memristor is linked to the displacement of a magnetic domain wall by spin-torques in a perpendicularly magnetized magnetic tunnel junction. We demonstrate that our magnetic synapse has a large number of intermediate resistance states, sufficient for neural computation. Moreover, we show that engineering the device geometry allows leveraging the most efficient spin torque to displace the magnetic domain wall at low current densities and thus to minimize the energy cost of our memristor. Our results pave the way for spin-torque based analog magnetic neural computation.

  8. 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.

  9. Neuromorphic log-domain silicon synapse circuits obey bernoulli dynamics: a unifying tutorial analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papadimitriou, Konstantinos I; Liu, Shih-Chii; Indiveri, Giacomo; Drakakis, Emmanuel M

    2014-01-01

    The field of neuromorphic silicon synapse circuits is revisited and a parsimonious mathematical framework able to describe the dynamics of this class of log-domain circuits in the aggregate and in a systematic manner is proposed. Starting from the Bernoulli Cell Formalism (BCF), originally formulated for the modular synthesis and analysis of externally linear, time-invariant logarithmic filters, and by means of the identification of new types of Bernoulli Cell (BC) operators presented here, a generalized formalism (GBCF) is established. The expanded formalism covers two new possible and practical combinations of a MOS transistor (MOST) and a linear capacitor. The corresponding mathematical relations codifying each case are presented and discussed through the tutorial treatment of three well-known transistor-level examples of log-domain neuromorphic silicon synapses. The proposed mathematical tool unifies past analysis approaches of the same circuits under a common theoretical framework. The speed advantage of the proposed mathematical framework as an analysis tool is also demonstrated by a compelling comparative circuit analysis example of high order, where the GBCF and another well-known log-domain circuit analysis method are used for the determination of the input-output transfer function of the high (4(th)) order topology.

  10. Visualizing Presynaptic Calcium Dynamics and Vesicle Fusion with a Single Genetically Encoded Reporter at Individual Synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Rachel E; Burrone, Juan

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27507942

  11. Effects of hybrid synapses on the vibrational resonance in small-world neuronal networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Haitao; Wang, Jiang; Sun, Jianbing; Yu, Haifeng

    2012-09-01

    We investigate the effect of vibrational resonance in small-world neuronal networks with hybrid chemical and electrical synapses. It is shown that, irrespective of the probability of chemical synapses, an optimal amplitude of high-frequency component of the signal can optimize the dynamical response of neuron populations to the low-frequency component, which encodes the information. This effect of vibrational resonance of neuronal systems depends extensively on the network structure and parameters, which determine the ability of neuronal networks to enhance the outreach of localized subthreshold low-frequency signal. In particular, chemical synaptic coupling is more efficient than the electrical coupling for the transmission of local input signal due to its selective coupling. Moreover, there exists an optimal small-world topology characterized by an optimal value of rewiring probability, warranting the largest peak value of the system response. Considering that two-frequency signals are ubiquity in brain dynamics, we expect the presented results could have important implications for signal processing in neuronal systems. PMID:23020444

  12. A Novel Chaotic Neural Network Using Memristive Synapse with Applications in Associative Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaofang Hu

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Chaotic Neural Network, also denoted by the acronym CNN, has rich dynamical behaviors that can be harnessed in promising engineering applications. However, due to its complex synapse learning rules and network structure, it is difficult to update its synaptic weights quickly and implement its large scale physical circuit. This paper addresses an implementation scheme of a novel CNN with memristive neural synapses that may provide a feasible solution for further development of CNN. Memristor, widely known as the fourth fundamental circuit element, was theoretically predicted by Chua in 1971 and has been developed in 2008 by the researchers in Hewlett-Packard Laboratory. Memristor based hybrid nanoscale CMOS technology is expected to revolutionize the digital and neuromorphic computation. The proposed memristive CNN has four significant features: (1 nanoscale memristors can simplify the synaptic circuit greatly and enable the synaptic weights update easily; (2 it can separate stored patterns from superimposed input; (3 it can deal with one-to-many associative memory; (4 it can deal with many-to-many associative memory. Simulation results are provided to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed scheme.

  13. Mechanism of High-Frequency Signaling at a Depressing Ribbon Synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grabner, Chad P; Ratliff, Charles P; Light, Adam C; DeVries, Steven H

    2016-07-01

    Ribbon synapses mediate continuous release in neurons that have graded voltage responses. While mammalian retinas can signal visual flicker at 80-100 Hz, the time constant, τ, for the refilling of a depleted vesicle release pool at cone photoreceptor ribbons is 0.7-1.1 s. Due to this prolonged depression, the mechanism for encoding high temporal frequencies is unclear. To determine the mechanism of high-frequency signaling, we focused on an "Off" cone bipolar cell type in the ground squirrel, the cb2, whose transient postsynaptic responses recovered following presynaptic depletion with a τ of ∼0.1 s, or 7- to 10-fold faster than the τ for presynaptic pool refilling. The difference in recovery time course is caused by AMPA receptor saturation, where partial refilling of the presynaptic pool is sufficient for a full postsynaptic response. By limiting the dynamic range of the synapse, receptor saturation counteracts ribbon depression to produce rapid recovery and facilitate high-frequency signaling. PMID:27292536

  14. Two modes of release shape the postsynaptic response at the inner hair cell ribbon synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, Lisa; Yi, Eunyoung; Glowatzki, Elisabeth

    2010-03-24

    Cochlear inner hair cells (IHCs) convert sounds into receptor potentials and via their ribbon synapses into firing rates in auditory nerve fibers. Multivesicular release at individual IHC ribbon synapses activates AMPA-mediated EPSCs with widely ranging amplitudes. The underlying mechanisms and specific role for multivesicular release in encoding sound are not well understood. Here we characterize the waveforms of individual EPSCs recorded from afferent boutons contacting IHCs and compare their characteristics in immature rats (postnatal days 8-11) and hearing rats (postnatal days 19-21). Two types of EPSC waveforms were found in every recording: monophasic EPSCs, with sharp rising phases and monoexponential decays, and multiphasic EPSCs, exhibiting inflections on rising and decaying phases. Multiphasic EPSCs exhibited slower rise times and smaller amplitudes than monophasic EPSCs. Both types of EPSCs had comparable charge transfers, suggesting that they were activated by the release of similar numbers of vesicles, which for multiphasic EPSCs occurred in a less coordinated manner. On average, a higher proportion of larger, monophasic EPSCs was found in hearing compared to immature rats. In addition, EPSCs became significantly faster with age. The developmental increase in size and speed could improve auditory signaling acuity. Multiphasic EPSCs persisted in hearing animals, in some fibers constituting half of the EPSCs. The proportion of monophasic versus multiphasic EPSCs varied widely across fibers, resulting in marked heterogeneity of amplitude distributions. We propose that the relative contribution of two modes of multivesicular release, generating monophasic and multiphasic EPSCs, may underlie fundamental characteristics of auditory nerve fibers.

  15. NMDA-Dependent Switch of proBDNF Actions on Developing GABAergic Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langlois, Anais; Diabira, Diabe; Ferrand, Nadine; Porcher, Christophe

    2013-01-01

    The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has emerged as an important messenger for activity-dependent development of neuronal network. Recent findings have suggested that a significant proportion of BDNF can be secreted as a precursor (proBDNF) and cleaved by extracellular proteases to yield the mature form. While the actions of proBDNF on maturation and plasticity of excitatory synapses have been studied, the effect of the precursor on developing GABAergic synapses remains largely unknown. Here, we show that regulated secretion of proBDNF exerts a bidirectional control of GABAergic synaptic activity with NMDA receptors driving the polarity of the plasticity. When NMDA receptors are activated during ongoing synaptic activity, regulated Ca2+-dependent secretion of proBDNF signals via p75NTR to depress GABAergic synaptic activity, while in the absence of NMDA receptors activation, secreted proBDNF induces a p75NTR-dependent potentiation of GABAergic synaptic activity. These results revealed a new function for proBDNF-p75NTR signaling in synaptic plasticity and a novel mechanism by which synaptic activity can modulate the development of GABAergic synaptic connections. PMID:22510533

  16. Contribution of plasma membrane Ca2+ ATPase to cerebellar synapse function

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Helena; Huang; Raghavendra; Y; Nagaraja; Molly; L; Garside; Walther; Akemann; Thomas; Knpfel; Ruth; M; Empson

    2010-01-01

    The cerebellum expresses one of the highest levels of the plasma membrane Ca2+ATPase,isoform 2 in the mammalian brain.This highly efficient plasma membrane calcium transporter protein is enriched within the main output neurons of the cerebellar cortex;i.e. the Purkinje neurons(PNs) .Here we review recent evidence,including electrophysiological and calcium imaging approaches using the plasma membrane calcium ATPase 2(PMCA2) knockout mouse,to show that PMCA2 is critical for the physiological control of calcium at cerebellar synapses and cerebellar dependent behaviour.These studies have also revealed that deletionof PMCA2 throughout cerebellar development in the PMCA2 knockout mouse leads to permanent signalling and morphological alterations in the PN dendrites. Whilst these findings highlight the importance of PMCA2 during cerebellar synapse function and development,they also reveal some limitations in the use of the PMCA2 knockout mouse and the need for additional experimental approaches including cell-specific and reversible manipulation of PMCAs.

  17. A magnetic synapse: multilevel spin-torque memristor with perpendicular anisotropy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lequeux, Steven; Sampaio, Joao; Cros, Vincent; Yakushiji, Kay; Fukushima, Akio; Matsumoto, Rie; Kubota, Hitoshi; Yuasa, Shinji; Grollier, Julie

    2016-01-01

    Memristors are non-volatile nano-resistors which resistance can be tuned by applied currents or voltages and set to a large number of levels. Thanks to these properties, memristors are ideal building blocks for a number of applications such as multilevel non-volatile memories and artificial nano-synapses, which are the focus of this work. A key point towards the development of large scale memristive neuromorphic hardware is to build these neural networks with a memristor technology compatible with the best candidates for the future mainstream non-volatile memories. Here we show the first experimental achievement of a multilevel memristor compatible with spin-torque magnetic random access memories. The resistive switching in our spin-torque memristor is linked to the displacement of a magnetic domain wall by spin-torques in a perpendicularly magnetized magnetic tunnel junction. We demonstrate that our magnetic synapse has a large number of intermediate resistance states, sufficient for neural computation. Moreover, we show that engineering the device geometry allows leveraging the most efficient spin torque to displace the magnetic domain wall at low current densities and thus to minimize the energy cost of our memristor. Our results pave the way for spin-torque based analog magnetic neural computation. PMID:27539144

  18. NOMA-GAP/ARHGAP33 regulates synapse development and autistic-like behavior in the mouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuster, S; Rivalan, M; Strauss, U; Stoenica, L; Trimbuch, T; Rademacher, N; Parthasarathy, S; Lajkó, D; Rosenmund, C; Shoichet, S A; Winter, Y; Tarabykin, V; Rosário, M

    2015-09-01

    Neuropsychiatric developmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and schizophrenia, are typically characterized by alterations in social behavior and have been linked to aberrant dendritic spine and synapse development. Here we show, using genetically engineered mice, that the Cdc42 GTPase-activating multiadaptor protein, NOMA-GAP, regulates autism-like social behavior in the mouse, as well as dendritic spine and synapse development. Surprisingly, we were unable to restore spine morphology or autism-associated social behavior in NOMA-GAP-deficient animals by Cre-mediated deletion of Cdc42 alone. Spine morphology can be restored in vivo by re-expression of wild-type NOMA-GAP or a mutant of NOMA-GAP that lacks the RhoGAP domain, suggesting that other signaling functions are involved. Indeed, we show that NOMA-GAP directly interacts with several MAGUK (membrane-associated guanylate kinase) proteins, and that this modulates NOMA-GAP activity toward Cdc42. Moreover, we demonstrate that NOMA-GAP is a major regulator of PSD-95 in the neocortex. Loss of NOMA-GAP leads to strong upregulation of serine 295 phosphorylation of PSD-95 and moreover to its subcellular mislocalization. This is associated with marked loss of surface α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor and defective synaptic transmission, thereby providing a molecular basis for autism-like social behavior in the absence of NOMA-GAP.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brady J Maher

    Full Text Available The pathophysiology of schizophrenia is believed to involve defects in synaptic transmission, and the function of many schizophrenia-associated genes, including DISC1, have been linked to synaptic function at glutamatergic synapses. Here we develop a rodent model via in utero electroporation to assay the presynaptic function of DISC1 at glutamatergic synapses. We used a combination of mosaic transgene expression, RNAi knockdown and optogenetics to restrict both genetic manipulation and synaptic stimulation of glutamatergic neurons presynaptic to other layer 2/3 neocortical pyramidal neurons that were then targeted for whole-cell patch-clamp recording. We show that expression of the DISC1 c-terminal truncation variant that is associated with Schizophrenia alters the frequency of mEPSCs and the kinetics of evoked glutamate release. In addition, we show that expression level of DISC1 is correlated with the probability of glutamate release such that increased DISC1 expression results in paired-pulse depression and RNAi knockdown of DISC1 produces paired-pulse facilitation. Overall, our results support a direct presynaptic function for the schizophrenia-associated gene, DISC1.

  20. Effects of hybrid synapses on the vibrational resonance in small-world neuronal networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Haitao; Wang, Jiang; Sun, Jianbing; Yu, Haifeng

    2012-09-01

    We investigate the effect of vibrational resonance in small-world neuronal networks with hybrid chemical and electrical synapses. It is shown that, irrespective of the probability of chemical synapses, an optimal amplitude of high-frequency component of the signal can optimize the dynamical response of neuron populations to the low-frequency component, which encodes the information. This effect of vibrational resonance of neuronal systems depends extensively on the network structure and parameters, which determine the ability of neuronal networks to enhance the outreach of localized subthreshold low-frequency signal. In particular, chemical synaptic coupling is more efficient than the electrical coupling for the transmission of local input signal due to its selective coupling. Moreover, there exists an optimal small-world topology characterized by an optimal value of rewiring probability, warranting the largest peak value of the system response. Considering that two-frequency signals are ubiquity in brain dynamics, we expect the presented results could have important implications for signal processing in neuronal systems.

  1. Parallel Transformation of Tactile Signals in Central Circuits of Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuthill, John C; Wilson, Rachel I

    2016-02-25

    To distinguish between complex somatosensory stimuli, central circuits must combine signals from multiple peripheral mechanoreceptor types, as well as mechanoreceptors at different sites in the body. Here, we investigate the first stages of somatosensory integration in Drosophila using in vivo recordings from genetically labeled central neurons in combination with mechanical and optogenetic stimulation of specific mechanoreceptor types. We identify three classes of central neurons that process touch: one compares touch signals on different parts of the same limb, one compares touch signals on right and left limbs, and the third compares touch and proprioceptive signals. Each class encodes distinct features of somatosensory stimuli. The axon of an individual touch receptor neuron can diverge to synapse onto all three classes, meaning that these computations occur in parallel, not hierarchically. Representing a stimulus as a set of parallel comparisons is a fast and efficient way to deliver somatosensory signals to motor circuits. PMID:26919434

  2. Insight cognitif et schizophrenie

    OpenAIRE

    W. El-Hage; Lafay, N.; Wassouf, I.; Jaafari, N.

    2011-01-01

    Resume La schizophrenie est souvent associee a une meconnaissance du trouble severe et persistante. Ce deficit d?insight est correle a l?hypofrontalite mais independant du pronostic de la maladie ou du quotient intellectuel. L?insight cognitif est defini comme la difference entre la capacite de reflexion sur soi et la certitude dans cette reflexion. Cette capacite est trouvee diminuee dans la schizophrenie mais augmentee en cas de depression. Ainsi, la schizophrenie avec comorbidit...

  3. Multiclass Classification by Adaptive Network of Dendritic Neurons with Binary Synapses Using Structural Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hussain, Shaista; Basu, Arindam

    2016-01-01

    The development of power-efficient neuromorphic devices presents the challenge of designing spike pattern classification algorithms which can be implemented on low-precision hardware and can also achieve state-of-the-art performance. In our pursuit of meeting this challenge, we present a pattern classification model which uses a sparse connection matrix and exploits the mechanism of nonlinear dendritic processing to achieve high classification accuracy. A rate-based structural learning rule for multiclass classification is proposed which modifies a connectivity matrix of binary synaptic connections by choosing the best "k" out of "d" inputs to make connections on every dendritic branch (k classification problem, a two-step solution is proposed. First, an adaptive approach is proposed which scales the relative size of the dendritic trees of neurons for each class. It works by progressively adding dendrites with fixed number of synapses to the network, thereby allocating synaptic resources as per the complexity of the given problem. As a second step, theoretical capacity calculations are used to convert each neuronal dendritic tree to its optimal topology where dendrites of each class are assigned different number of synapses. The performance of the model is evaluated on classification of handwritten digits from the benchmark MNIST dataset and compared with other spike classifiers. We show that our system can achieve classification accuracy within 1 - 2% of other reported spike-based classifiers while using much less synaptic resources (only 7%) compared to that used by other methods. Further, an ensemble classifier created with adaptively learned sizes can attain accuracy of 96.4% which is at par with the best reported performance of spike-based classifiers. Moreover, the proposed method achieves this by using about 20% of the synapses used by other spike algorithms. We also present results of applying our algorithm to classify the MNIST-DVS dataset collected from a

  4. Eph Receptors and Ephrins in Neuron-Astrocyte Communication at Synapses

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    MuraiKK; Pasquale EB

    2011-01-01

    神经元-胶质细胞间的相互作用对调节脑内突触联系有重要作用.星形胶质细胞对突触的发育、维 持和可塑性有特别关键、复杂的作用.同样,神经元也对星形胶质细胞的生理功能产生影响.但是,神经元和星形胶质细胞之间相互作用的分子机制尚未完全阐明.近来研究表明,Eph受体酪氨酸激酶及轴突导向因子在突触间接触依赖性神经元-胶质细胞的相互作用中起重要作用.与配体结合后,这2个细胞表面相关蛋白家族成员激活双向信号通路,调节神经元和星形胶质细胞的结构和生理特征.本综述着重探讨Eph受体酪氨酸激酶及轴突导向因子在突触间神经元胶质细胞的相互作用中扮演的角色,并讨论其在突触可塑性、行为及疾病中的潜在作用.%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 en able 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.(c) 2010 Wiley-Liss,Inc.

  5. Coding Deficits in Noise-Induced Hidden Hearing Loss May Stem from Incomplete Repair of Ribbon Synapses in the Cochlea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Lijuan; Chang, Yin; Li, Xiaowei; Aiken, Steven J.; Liu, Lijie; Wang, Jian

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27252621

  6. Calcium-Activated Proteases Are Critical for Refilling Depleted Vesicle Stores in Cultured Sensory-Motor Synapses of "Aplysia"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khoutorsky, Arkady; Spira, Micha E.

    2005-01-01

    "Aplysia" motoneurons cocultured with a presynaptic sensory neuron exhibit homosynaptic depression when stimulated at low frequencies. A single bath application of serotonin (5HT) leads within seconds to facilitation of the depressed synapse. The facilitation is attributed to mobilization of neurotransmitter-containing vesicles from a feeding…

  7. Changes in Synapses and Axons Demonstrated by Synaptophysin Immunohistochemistry Following Spinal Cord Compression Trauma in the Rat and Mouse

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GUI-LIN LI; MOHAMMAD FAROOQUE; JONAS ISAKSSON; YNGVE OLSSON

    2004-01-01

    and methods To evaluate synaptic changes using synaptophysin immunohistochemstry in rat and mouse, which spinal cords were subjected to graded compression trauma at the level of Th8-9. Results Normal animals showed numerous fine dots of synaptophysin immunoreactivity in the gray matter. An increase in synaptophysin immunoreactivity was observed in the neuropil and synapses at the surface of motor neurons of the anterior horns in the Th8-9 segments lost immunoreactivity at 4-hour point after trauma. The immunoreactive synapses reappeared around motor neurons at 9-day point. Unexpected accumulation of synaptophysin immunoreactivity occurred in injured axons of the white matter of the compressed spinal cord. Conclusion Synaptic changes were important components of secondary injuries in spinal cord trauma. Loss of synapses on motor neurons may be one of the factors causing motor dysfunction of hind limbs and formation of new synapses may play an important role in recovery of motor function. Synaptophysin immunohistochemistry is also a good tool for studies of axonal swellings in spinal cord injuries.

  8. 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.

  9. Expression of long-term plasticity at individual synapses in hippocampus is graded, bidirectional, and mainly presynaptic: optical quantal analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enoki, Ryosuke; Hu, Yi-Ling; Hamilton, David; Fine, Alan

    2009-04-30

    Key aspects of the expression of long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) remain unresolved despite decades of investigation. Alterations in postsynaptic glutamate receptors are believed to contribute to the expression of various forms of LTP and LTD, but the relative importance of presynaptic mechanisms is controversial. In addition, while aggregate synaptic input to a cell can undergo sequential and graded (incremental) LTP and LTD, it has been suggested that individual synapses may only support binary changes between initial and modified levels of strength. We have addressed these issues by combining electrophysiological methods with two-photon optical quantal analysis of plasticity at individual active (non-silent) Schaffer collateral synapses on CA1 pyramidal neurons in acute slices of hippocampus from adolescent rats. We find that these synapses sustain graded, bidirectional long-term plasticity. Remarkably, changes in potency are small and insignificant; long-term plasticity at these synapses is expressed overwhelmingly via presynaptic changes in reliability of transmitter release.

  10. 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…

  11. Driver or coincidence detector: Modal switch of a corticothalamic giant synapse controlled by spontaneous activity and short-term depression

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    A. Groh (Alexander); C.P.J. de Kock (Christiaan); V.C. Wimmer (Verena); B. Sakmann (Bert); T. Kuner (Thomas)

    2008-01-01

    textabstractGiant synapses between layer 5B (L5B) neurons of somatosensory (barrel) cortex and neurons of the posteromedial nucleus (POm) of thalamus reside in a key position of the cortico-thalamo-cortical (CTC) loop, yet their synaptic properties and contribution to CTC information processing rema

  12. MicroRNA-8 promotes robust motor axon targeting by coordinate regulation of cell adhesion molecules during synapse development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Cecilia S; Zhai, Bo; Mauss, Alex; Landgraf, Matthias; Gygi, Stephen; Van Vactor, David

    2014-09-26

    Neuronal connectivity and specificity rely upon precise coordinated deployment of multiple cell-surface and secreted molecules. MicroRNAs have tremendous potential for shaping neural circuitry by fine-tuning the spatio-temporal expression of key synaptic effector molecules. The highly conserved microRNA miR-8 is required during late stages of neuromuscular synapse development in Drosophila. However, its role in initial synapse formation was previously unknown. Detailed analysis of synaptogenesis in this system now reveals that miR-8 is required at the earliest stages of muscle target contact by RP3 motor axons. We find that the localization of multiple synaptic cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) is dependent on the expression of miR-8, suggesting that miR-8 regulates the initial assembly of synaptic sites. Using stable isotope labelling in vivo and comparative mass spectrometry, we find that miR-8 is required for normal expression of multiple proteins, including the CAMs Fasciclin III (FasIII) and Neuroglian (Nrg). Genetic analysis suggests that Nrg and FasIII collaborate downstream of miR-8 to promote accurate target recognition. Unlike the function of miR-8 at mature larval neuromuscular junctions, at the embryonic stage we find that miR-8 controls key effectors on both sides of the synapse. MiR-8 controls multiple stages of synapse formation through the coordinate regulation of both pre- and postsynaptic cell adhesion proteins.

  13. A kinetic model for the frequency dependence of cholinergic modulation at hippocampal GABAergic synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stone, Emily; Haario, Heikki; Lawrence, J Josh

    2014-12-01

    In this paper we use a simple model of presynaptic neuromodulation of GABA signaling to decipher paired whole-cell recordings of frequency dependent cholinergic neuromodulation at CA1 parvalbumin-containing basket cell (PV BC)-pyramidal cell synapses. Variance-mean analysis is employed to normalize the data, which is then used to estimate parameters in the mathematical model. Various parameterizations and hidden parameter dependencies are investigated using Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) parameter estimation techniques. This analysis reveals that frequency dependence of cholinergic modulation requires both calcium-dependent recovery from depression and mAChR-induced inhibition of presynaptic calcium entry. A reduction in calcium entry into the presynaptic terminal in the kinetic model accounted for the frequency-dependent effects of mAChR activation.

  14. 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.

  15. A kinetic model for the frequency dependence of cholinergic modulation at hippocampal GABAergic synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stone, Emily; Haario, Heikki; Lawrence, J Josh

    2014-12-01

    In this paper we use a simple model of presynaptic neuromodulation of GABA signaling to decipher paired whole-cell recordings of frequency dependent cholinergic neuromodulation at CA1 parvalbumin-containing basket cell (PV BC)-pyramidal cell synapses. Variance-mean analysis is employed to normalize the data, which is then used to estimate parameters in the mathematical model. Various parameterizations and hidden parameter dependencies are investigated using Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) parameter estimation techniques. This analysis reveals that frequency dependence of cholinergic modulation requires both calcium-dependent recovery from depression and mAChR-induced inhibition of presynaptic calcium entry. A reduction in calcium entry into the presynaptic terminal in the kinetic model accounted for the frequency-dependent effects of mAChR activation. PMID:25445738

  16. Tests of achromatic phase shifters performed on the SYNAPSE test bench: a progress report

    CERN Document Server

    Gabor, Pavel; Chazelas, Bruno; Decaudin, Michel; Labèque, Alain; Duret, Philippe; Rabbia, Yves; Launhardt, Ralf; Gay, Jean; Sodnik, Zoran; Barillot, Marc; Brachet, Frank; Laurent, Thomas; Jacquinod, Sophie; Vandormael, Denis; Loicq, Jérôme; Mawet, Dimitri; Ollivier, Marc; Léger, Alain; 10.1117/12.789269

    2008-01-01

    The achromatic phase shifter (APS) is a component of the Bracewell nulling interferometer studied in preparation for future space missions (viz. Darwin/TPF-I) focusing on spectroscopic study of Earth-like exo-planets. Several possible designs of such an optical subsystem exist. Four approaches were selected for further study. Thales Alenia Space developed a dielectric prism APS. A focus crossing APS prototype was developed by the OCA, Nice, France. A field reversal APS prototype was prepared by the MPIA in Heidelberg, Germany. Centre Spatial de Li\\`ege develops a concept based on Fresnel's rhombs. This paper presents a progress report on the current work aiming at evaluating these prototypes on the SYNAPSE test bench at the Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale in Orsay, France.

  17. Effects of electromagnetic radiation on spatial memory and synapses in rat hippocampal CA1

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yuhong Li; Changhua Shi; Guobing Lu; Qian Xu; Shaochen Liu

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we investigated the effects of mobile phone radiation on spatial learning, reference memory, and morphology in related brain regions. After the near-field radiation (0.52-1.08 W/kg) was delivered to 8-week-old Wistar rats 2 hours per day for 1 month, behavioral changes were examined using the Morris water maze. Compared with the sham-irradiated rats, the irradiated rats exhibited impaired performance. Morphological changes were investigated by examining synaptic ultrastructural changes in the hippocampus. Using the physical dissector technique, the number of pyramidal neurons, the synaptic profiles, and the length of postsynaptic densities in the CA1 region were quantified stereologically. The morphological changes included mitochondrial degenerations, fewer synapses, and shorter postsynaptic densities in the radiated rats. These findings indicate that mobile phone radiation can significantly impair spatial learning and reference memory and induce morphological changes in the hippocampal CA1 region.

  18. A CORBA-based integration of distributed electronic healthcare records using the synapses approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimson, J; Grimson, W; Berry, D; Stephens, G; Felton, E; Kalra, D; Toussaint, P; Weier, O W

    1998-09-01

    The ability to exchange in a meaningful, secure, and simple fashion relevant healthcare data about patients is seen as vital in the context of efficient and cost-effective shared or team-based care. The electronic healthcare record (EHCR) lies at the heart of this information exchange, and it follows that there is an urgent need to address the ability to share EHCR's or parts of records between carers and across distributed health information systems. This paper presents the Synapses approach to sharing based on a standardized shared record, the Federated Healthcare Record, which is implemented in an open and flexible manner using the Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA). The architecture of the Federated Healthcare Record is based on the architecture proposed by the Technical Committee 251 of the European Committee for Standardization.

  19. Unsupervised learning in probabilistic neural networks with multi-state metal-oxide memristive synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serb, Alexander; Bill, Johannes; Khiat, Ali; Berdan, Radu; Legenstein, Robert; Prodromakis, Themis

    2016-09-01

    In an increasingly data-rich world the need for developing computing systems that cannot only process, but ideally also interpret big data is becoming continuously more pressing. Brain-inspired concepts have shown great promise towards addressing this need. Here we demonstrate unsupervised learning in a probabilistic neural network that utilizes metal-oxide memristive devices as multi-state synapses. Our approach can be exploited for processing unlabelled data and can adapt to time-varying clusters that underlie incoming data by supporting the capability of reversible unsupervised learning. The potential of this work is showcased through the demonstration of successful learning in the presence of corrupted input data and probabilistic neurons, thus paving the way towards robust big-data processors.

  20. Unsupervised learning in probabilistic neural networks with multi-state metal-oxide memristive synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serb, Alexander; Bill, Johannes; Khiat, Ali; Berdan, Radu; Legenstein, Robert; Prodromakis, Themis

    2016-01-01

    In an increasingly data-rich world the need for developing computing systems that cannot only process, but ideally also interpret big data is becoming continuously more pressing. Brain-inspired concepts have shown great promise towards addressing this need. Here we demonstrate unsupervised learning in a probabilistic neural network that utilizes metal-oxide memristive devices as multi-state synapses. Our approach can be exploited for processing unlabelled data and can adapt to time-varying clusters that underlie incoming data by supporting the capability of reversible unsupervised learning. The potential of this work is showcased through the demonstration of successful learning in the presence of corrupted input data and probabilistic neurons, thus paving the way towards robust big-data processors. PMID:27681181

  1. 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.

  2. Dopamine-dependent CB1 receptor dysfunction at corticostriatal synapses in homozygous PINK1 knockout mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madeo, G; Schirinzi, T; Maltese, M; Martella, G; Rapino, C; Fezza, F; Mastrangelo, N; Bonsi, P; Maccarrone, M; Pisani, A

    2016-02-01

    Recessive mutations in the PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1) gene cause early-onset Parkinson's disease (PD). We investigated the interaction between endocannabinoid (eCB) and dopaminergic transmission at corticostriatal synapses in PINK1 deficient mice. Whole-cell patch-clamp and conventional recordings of striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs) were made from slices of PINK1(-/-), heterozygous PINK1(+/-) mice and wild-type littermates (PINK1(+/+)). In PINK1(+/+) mice, CB1 receptor (CB1R) activation reduced spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs). Likewise, CB1R agonists (ACEA, WIN55,212-3 and HU210) induced a dose-dependent reduction of cortically-evoked excitatory postsynaptic potential (eEPSP) amplitude. While CB1R agonists retained their inhibitory effect in heterozygous PINK1(+/-) mice, conversely, in PINK1(-/-) mice they failed to modulate sEPSC amplitude. Similarly, CB1R activation failed to reduce eEPSP amplitude in PINK1(-/-) mice. Parallel biochemical measurements revealed no significant difference in the levels of the two main eCBs, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and anandamide (AEA) in PINK1(-/-) striata. Similarly, no change was observed in the enzymatic activity of both fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), responsible for eCB hydrolysis. Instead, a significant reduction of binding ability of CB1R agonists was found in PINK1(-/-) mice. Notably, the CB1R-dependent inhibition of synaptic activity was restored either by amphetamine or after chronic treatment with the D2 dopamine receptor agonist quinpirole. Additionally, CB1R binding activity returned to control levels after chronic pretreatment with quinpirole. Consistent with the hypothesis of a close interplay with dopaminergic neurotransmission, our findings show a CB1R dysfunction at corticostriatal synapses in PINK1(-/-), but not in PINK1(+/-) mice, and provide a mechanistic link to the distinct plasticity deficits observed in both genotypes. PMID

  3. Mechanisms, pools, and sites of spontaneous vesicle release at synapses of rod and cone photoreceptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cork, Karlene M; Van Hook, Matthew J; Thoreson, Wallace B

    2016-08-01

    Photoreceptors have depolarized resting potentials that stimulate calcium-dependent release continuously from a large vesicle pool but neurons can also release vesicles without stimulation. We characterized the Ca(2+) dependence, vesicle pools, and release sites involved in spontaneous release at photoreceptor ribbon synapses. In whole-cell recordings from light-adapted horizontal cells (HCs) of tiger salamander retina, we detected miniature excitatory post-synaptic currents (mEPSCs) when no stimulation was applied to promote exocytosis. Blocking Ca(2+) influx by lowering extracellular Ca(2+) , by application of Cd(2+) and other agents reduced the frequency of mEPSCs but did not eliminate them, indicating that mEPSCs can occur independently of Ca(2+) . We also measured release presynaptically from rods and cones by examining quantal glutamate transporter anion currents. Presynaptic quantal event frequency was reduced by Cd(2+) or by increased intracellular Ca(2+) buffering in rods, but not in cones, that were voltage clamped at -70 mV. By inhibiting the vesicle cycle with bafilomycin, we found the frequency of mEPSCs declined more rapidly than the amplitude of evoked excitatory post-synaptic currents (EPSCs) suggesting a possible separation between vesicle pools in evoked and spontaneous exocytosis. We mapped sites of Ca(2+) -independent release using total internal reflectance fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy to visualize fusion of individual vesicles loaded with dextran-conjugated pHrodo. Spontaneous release in rods occurred more frequently at non-ribbon sites than evoked release events. The function of Ca(2+) -independent spontaneous release at continuously active photoreceptor synapses remains unclear, but the low frequency of spontaneous quanta limits their impact on noise.

  4. Metabotropic glutamate receptor subtypes modulating neurotransmission at parallel fibre-Purkinje cell synapses in rat cerebellum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neale, S A; Garthwaite, J; Batchelor, A M

    2001-07-01

    The actions of reportedly group-selective metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptor agonists and antagonists on neurotransmission at parallel fibre-Purkinje cell synapses in the rat cerebellum have been characterised using sharp microelectrode recording and an in vitro slice preparation. Application of the group I agonist (S)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG) or the group III selective agonist L(+)-2-amino-4-phosphonobutyric acid (L-AP4) depressed synaptic transmission in a reversible and concentration-dependent manner (EC(50)=18 and 5 microM, respectively). The depression produced by DHPG was unrelated to the depolarisation observed in some Purkinje cells. The group II agonist (2S,2'R,3'R)-2-(2',3'-dicarboxycyclopropyl)glycine (DCG IV, 1 microM) had no effect. The effects of DHPG were inhibited by the group I-selective antagonist 7-hydroxyiminocyclopropan[b]chromen-1a-carboxylic acid ethyl ester (CPCCOEt), but not by the group II/III antagonist alpha-methyl-4-phosphonophenylglycine (MPPG). The effect of L-AP4 was inhibited by MPPG, but not by the group I/II antagonist (S)-alpha-methyl-4-carboxyphenylglycine (MCPG). By themselves, the antagonists did not affect the EPSPs, suggesting that neither receptor is activated during low frequency neurotransmission. It is concluded that, in addition to the excitatory role for group I receptors described previously, both group I and III (but not group II) mGlu receptors operate at this synapse to inhibit synaptic transmission. The specific receptor subtypes involved are likely to be mGlu1 and mGlu4. PMID:11445184

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  6. Changes in the Numbers of Ribbon Synapses and Expression of RIBEYE in Salicylate-Induced Tinnitus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feng-Ying Zhang

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: This study was performed to explore the mechanism underlying tinnitus by investigating the changes in the synaptic ribbons and RIBEYE expression in cochlear inner hair cells in salicylate-induced tinnitus. Methods: C57BL/6J mice were injected with salicylate (350 mg/kg for 10 days and grouped. Behavioral procedures were performed to assess whether the animals experienced tinnitus. The specific presynaptic RIBEYE protein and non-specific postsynaptic glutamate receptor 2&3 protein in basilar membrane samples were examined by immunofluorescent labeling. RT-PCR and Western blot assays were used to examine RIBEYE expression. Serial sections were used to build three-dimensional models using 3ds MAX software to evaluate the changes in the synaptic ribbons. Results: The administration of salicylate increased false positives in the behavioral procedure from 3 d to 10 d. The membrane profiles of inner hair cells in all mice were intact. The number of synaptic ribbons in the salicylate group increased on the 7th d and decreased on the 9th and 10th d. mRNA and protein expression of RIBEYE were initially up-regulated and later down-regulated by injecting salicylate for 10 consecutive days. Conclusion: This change in the ribbon synapses of cochlear inner hair cells in salicylate-induced mice might serve as a compensatory mechanism in the early stages of ototoxicity and contribute to tinnitus later. The alteration of RIBEYE expression could be responsible for the changes in the morphology of ribbon synapses and for salicylate-induced tinnitus.

  7. Regulation and functional roles of rebound potentiation at cerebellar stellate cell - Purkinje cell synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomoo eHirano

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Purkinje cells receive both excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs and send sole output from the cerebellar cortex. Long-term depression, a type of synaptic plasticity, at excitatory parallel fiber–Purkinje cell synapses has been studied extensively as a primary cellular mechanism of motor learning. On the other hand, at inhibitory synapses on a Purkinje cell, postsynaptic depolarization induces long-lasting potentiation of GABAergic synaptic transmission. This synaptic plasticity is called rebound potentiation (RP, and its molecular regulatory mechanisms have been studied. The increase in intracellular Ca2+ concentration caused by depolarization induces RP through enhancement of GABAA receptor (GABAAR responsiveness. RP induction depends on binding of GABAAR with GABAAR associated protein (GABARAP which is regulated by Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent kinase II (CaMKII. Whether RP is induced or not is determined by the balance between phosphorylation and de-phosphorylation activities regulated by intracellular Ca2+ and by metabotropic GABA and glutamate receptors. Recent studies have revealed that the subunit composition of CaMKII has significant impact on RP induction. A Purkinje cell expresses both alpha- and beta-CaMKII, and the latter has much higher affinity for Ca2+/calmodulin than the former. It was shown that when the relative amount of alpha- to beta-CaMKII is large, RP induction is suppressed. The functional significance of RP has also been studied using transgenic mice in which a peptide inhibiting association of GABARAP and GABAAR is expressed selectively in Purkinje cells. The transgenic mice show abrogation of RP and subnormal adaptation of vestibulo-ocular reflex, a type of motor learning. Thus, RP is involved in a certain type of motor learning.

  8. Stability and synchronization of coupled Rulkov map-based neurons with chemical synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Dongpo; Cao, Hongjun

    2016-06-01

    The stability and synchronization analysis of two chaotic Rulkov maps coupled by bidirectional and symmetric chemical synapses are taken into account. As a function of intrinsic control parameters α, σ, η, reversal potential v, synaptic parameters θ, k, and external chemical coupling strength gc, conditions for stability of a fixed point for this system are derived. Some typical domains are chosen for numerical simulations which include time evolution of transmembrane voltages and phase portraits, and both of them are presented for theoretical analysis. Based on the master stability functions approach and calculation of the maximum Lyapunov exponents of synchronization errors, synchronized regions of the coupled neurons and a strip-shaped chaotic structure in parameter-space are obtained. Specially, given some values of control parameter α, we propose interval ranges of coupling strength gc in which the two chaotic Rulkov map-based neurons can be synchronized completely. It is shown that there exist different transition mechanisms of the neuronal spiking and bursting synchronization. The synchronized regions will become smaller and smaller as control parameter α or synaptic parameter θ increases. Nevertheless, the coupled neurons can at first transit from desynchrony to in-phase synchronization, and then to complete synchronization as chemical coupling strength gc increases. Compared with control parameter α and synaptic parameter θ, chemical coupling strength gc plays an opposite role in the process of synchronization transition. These findings could be useful for further understanding the role of two chaotic Rulkov maps coupled by bidirectional and symmetric chemical synapses in the field of cooperative behaviors of coupled neurons.

  9. Mechanisms, pools, and sites of spontaneous vesicle release at synapses of rod and cone photoreceptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cork, Karlene M; Van Hook, Matthew J; Thoreson, Wallace B

    2016-08-01

    Photoreceptors have depolarized resting potentials that stimulate calcium-dependent release continuously from a large vesicle pool but neurons can also release vesicles without stimulation. We characterized the Ca(2+) dependence, vesicle pools, and release sites involved in spontaneous release at photoreceptor ribbon synapses. In whole-cell recordings from light-adapted horizontal cells (HCs) of tiger salamander retina, we detected miniature excitatory post-synaptic currents (mEPSCs) when no stimulation was applied to promote exocytosis. Blocking Ca(2+) influx by lowering extracellular Ca(2+) , by application of Cd(2+) and other agents reduced the frequency of mEPSCs but did not eliminate them, indicating that mEPSCs can occur independently of Ca(2+) . We also measured release presynaptically from rods and cones by examining quantal glutamate transporter anion currents. Presynaptic quantal event frequency was reduced by Cd(2+) or by increased intracellular Ca(2+) buffering in rods, but not in cones, that were voltage clamped at -70 mV. By inhibiting the vesicle cycle with bafilomycin, we found the frequency of mEPSCs declined more rapidly than the amplitude of evoked excitatory post-synaptic currents (EPSCs) suggesting a possible separation between vesicle pools in evoked and spontaneous exocytosis. We mapped sites of Ca(2+) -independent release using total internal reflectance fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy to visualize fusion of individual vesicles loaded with dextran-conjugated pHrodo. Spontaneous release in rods occurred more frequently at non-ribbon sites than evoked release events. The function of Ca(2+) -independent spontaneous release at continuously active photoreceptor synapses remains unclear, but the low frequency of spontaneous quanta limits their impact on noise. PMID:27255664

  10. Diffuse and specific tectopulvinar terminals in the tree shrew: synapses, synapsins, and synaptic potentials.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haiyang Wei

    Full Text Available The pulvinar nucleus of the tree shrew receives both topographic (specific and nontopographic (diffuse projections from superior colliculus (SC, which form distinct synaptic arrangements. We characterized the physiological properties of these synapses and describe two distinct types of excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs that correlate with structural properties of the specific and diffuse terminals. Synapses formed by specific terminals were found to be significantly longer than those formed by diffuse terminals. Stimulation of these two terminal types elicited two types of EPSPs that differed in their latency and threshold amplitudes. In addition, in response to repetitive stimulation (0.5-20 Hz one type of EPSP displayed frequency-dependent depression whereas the amplitudes of the second type of EPSP were not changed by repetitive stimulation of up to 20 Hz. To relate these features to vesicle release, we compared the synapsin content of terminals in the pulvinar nucleus and the dorsal lateral geniculate (dLGN by combining immunohistochemical staining for synapsin I or II with staining for the type 1 or type 2 vesicular glutamate transporters (markers for corticothalamic and tectothalamic/retinogeniculate terminals, respectively. We found that retinogeniculate terminals do not contain either synapsin I or synapsin II, corticothalamic terminals in the dLGN and pulvinar contain synapsin I, but not synapsin II, whereas tectopulvinar terminals contain both synapsin I and synapsin II. Finally, both types of EPSPs showed a graded increase in amplitude with increasing stimulation intensity, suggesting convergence; this was confirmed using a combination of anterograde tract tracing and immunocytochemistry. We suggest that the convergent synaptic arrangements, as well as the unique synapsin content of tectopulvinar terminals, allow them to relay a dynamic range of visual signals from the SC.

  11. The Effects of Neuregulin on Synapse Formation in Primary Muscle/Nerve Co-Cultures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica Walsh

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available In development, motor neurons innervate maturing myotubes to form the neuromuscular junction (NMJ. During this process, the nerve terminal secretes a protein called neuregulin (NRG1. NRG1 acts as a signal which increases the number of acetylcholine receptors (AChRs on the postsynaptic membrane. NRG1 binds to receptors on the surface of the muscle, known as erbB receptors. The binding of NRG1 causes the erbB receptor to auto-phosphorylate (Fu, 1999. As a result, there is an increase in transcription of the gene for AchRs, integral membrane proteins that respond to the binding of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. In order to study the effects of NRG1 on early stages of synapse formation, we prepared co-cultures of dissociated muscle cells from postnatal day 1 (P1 mice and neural tube explants from embryonic day 11 (E11 mice. Silicone chambers were created as a system for growing dissociated muscle cells and neuronal explants in co-culture (Loeb, 1999. ErbB inhibitor (PD 158780 was added to chambers prior to the formation of the NMJ. After one week the tissue was fixed and stained to visualize the synapses. Based on the results of two experiments, the chambers that were not treated with the inhibitor had an average of 10 times more AchR (+ contacts. Therefore, at the time point studied, it appears that NRG1 signaling through the erbB receptor tyrosine kinases is necessary for the formation of AchR (+ receptor contacts at the motor terminal in the post-synaptic membrane.

  12. Accelerated intoxication of GABAergic synapses by botulinum neurotoxin A disinhibits stem cell-derived neuron networks prior to network silencing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phillip H Beske

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs are extremely potent toxins that specifically cleave SNARE proteins in peripheral synapses, preventing neurotransmitter release. Neuronal responses to BoNT intoxication are traditionally studied by quantifying SNARE protein cleavage in vitro or monitoring physiological paralysis in vivo. Consequently, the dynamic effects of intoxication on synaptic behaviors are not well understood. We have reported that mouse embryonic stem cell-derived neurons (ESNs are highly sensitive to BoNT based on molecular readouts of intoxication. Here we study the time-dependent changes in synapse- and network-level behaviors following addition of BoNT/A to spontaneously active networks of glutamatergic and GABAergic ESNs. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings indicated that BoNT/A rapidly blocked synaptic neurotransmission, confirming that ESNs replicate the functional pathophysiology responsible for clinical botulism. Quantitation of spontaneous neurotransmission in pharmacologically isolated synapses revealed accelerated silencing of GABAergic synapses compared to glutamatergic synapses, which was consistent with the selective accumulation of cleaved SNAP-25 at GAD1+ presynaptic terminals at early timepoints. Different latencies of intoxication resulted in complex network responses to BoNT/A addition, involving rapid disinhibition of stochastic firing followed by network silencing. Synaptic activity was found to be highly sensitive to SNAP-25 cleavage, reflecting the functional consequences of the localized cleavage of the small subpopulation of SNAP-25 that is engaged in neurotransmitter release in the nerve terminal. Collectively these findings illustrate that use of synaptic function assays in networked neurons cultures offers a novel and highly sensitive approach for mechanistic studies of toxin:neuron interactions and synaptic responses to BoNT.

  13. GABABR-Dependent Long-Term Depression at Hippocampal Synapses between CB1-Positive Interneurons and CA1 Pyramidal Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jappy, Dave; Valiullina, Fliza; Draguhn, Andreas; Rozov, Andrei

    2016-01-01

    Activity induced long lasting modifications of synaptic efficacy have been extensively studied in excitatory synapses, however, long term plasticity is also a property of inhibitory synapses. Inhibitory neurons in the hippocampal CA1 region can be subdivided according to the compartment they target on the pyramidal cell. Some interneurons preferentially innervate the perisomatic area and axon hillock of the pyramidal cells while others preferentially target dendritic branches and spines. Another characteristic feature allowing functional classification of interneurons is cell type specific expression of different neurochemical markers and receptors. In the hippocampal CA1 region, nearly 90% of the interneurons expressing cannabinoid type 1 receptors (CB1R) also express cholecystokinin (CCK). Therefore, the functional presence of CB1 receptors can be used for identification of the inhibitory input from CCK positive (CCK+) interneurons to CA1 pyramidal cells. The goal of this study was to explore the nature of long term plasticity at the synapses between interneurons expressing CB1Rs (putative CCK+) and pyramidal neurons in the CA1 region of the hippocampus in vitro. We found that theta burst stimulation triggered robust long-term depression (LTD) at this synapse. The locus of LTD induction was postsynaptic and required activation of GABAB receptors. We also showed that LTD at this synaptic connection involves GABABR-dependent suppression of adenylyl cyclase and consequent reduction of PKA activity. In this respect, CB1+ to pyramidal cell synapses differ from the majority of the other hippocampal inhibitory connections where theta burst stimulation results in long-term potentiation. PMID:26858602

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. TPM analyses reveal that FtsK contributes both to the assembly and the activation of the XerCD-dif recombination synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diagne, Cheikh Tidiane; Salhi, Maya; Crozat, Estelle; Salomé, Laurence; Cornet, Francois; Rousseau, Philippe; Tardin, Catherine

    2014-02-01

    Circular chromosomes can form dimers during replication and failure to resolve those into monomers prevents chromosome segregation, which leads to cell death. Dimer resolution is catalysed by a highly conserved site-specific recombination system, called XerCD-dif in Escherichia coli. Recombination is activated by the DNA translocase FtsK, which is associated with the division septum, and is thought to contribute to the assembly of the XerCD-dif synapse. In our study, direct observation of the assembly of the XerCD-dif synapse, which had previously eluded other methods, was made possible by the use of Tethered Particle Motion, a single molecule approach. We show that XerC, XerD and two dif sites suffice for the assembly of XerCD-dif synapses in absence of FtsK, but lead to inactive XerCD-dif synapses. We also show that the presence of the γ domain of FtsK increases the rate of synapse formation and convert them into active synapses where recombination occurs. Our results represent the first direct observation of the formation of the XerCD-dif recombination synapse and its activation by FtsK.

  17. Association and Centrality in Criminal Networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Rasmus Rosenqvist

    and analyze the structural richness required to model and investigate criminal network entities and their associations. We demonstrate a need to rethink entity associations with one specific case (inspired by \\textit{The Wire}, a tv series about organized crime in Baltimore, United States) and corroborated...... three of these associations and extend and test two centrality measures using CrimeFighter Investigator, a novel tool for criminal network investigation. Our findings show that the extended centrality measures offer new insights into criminal networks....

  18. Inside PixInsight

    CERN Document Server

    Keller, Warren A

    2016-01-01

    In this book, Warren Keller reveals the secrets of astro-image processing software PixInsight in a practical and easy to follow manner, allowing the reader to produce stunning astrophotographs from even mediocre data. As the first comprehensive post-processing platform to be created by astro-imagers for astro-imagers, it has for many, replaced the generic graphics editors as the software of choice. With clear instructions from Keller, astrophotographers can get the most from its tools to create amazing images. Capable of complex post-processing routines, PixInsight is also an advanced pre-processing software, through which astrophotographers calibrate and stack their exposures into completed master files.This is the most comprehensive resource on PixInsight to date. With screenshots to help illustrate the process, it is a vital guide.

  19. Dreaming and insight

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher L Edwards

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper addresses claims that dreams can be a source of personal insight. Whereas there has been anecdotal backing for such claims, there is now tangential support from findings of the facilitative effect of sleep on cognitive insight, and of REM sleep in particular on emotional memory consolidation. Furthermore, the presence in dreams of metaphorical representations of waking life indicates the possibility of novel insight as an emergent feature of such metaphorical mappings. In order to assess whether personal insight can occur as a result of the consideration of dream content, 11 dream group discussion sessions were conducted which followed the Ullman Dream Appreciation technique, one session for each of 11 participants (10 females, 1 male; mean age = 19.2 years. Self-ratings of deepened self-perception and personal gains from participation in the group sessions showed that the Ullman technique is an effective procedure for establishing connections between dream content and recent waking life experiences, although wake life sources were found for only 14% of dream report text. The mean Exploration-Insight score on the Gains from Dream Interpretation questionnaire was very high and comparable to outcomes from the well-established Hill (1996 therapist-led dream interpretation method. This score was associated between-subjects with pre-group positive Attitude Toward Dreams. The need to distinguish ‘aha’ experiences as a result of discovering a waking life source for part of a dream, from ‘aha’ experiences of personal insight as a result of considering dream content, is discussed. Difficulties are described in designing a control condition to which the dream report condition can be compared.

  20. Dreaming and insight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Christopher L; Ruby, Perrine M; Malinowski, Josie E; Bennett, Paul D; Blagrove, Mark T

    2013-01-01

    This paper addresses claims that dreams can be a source of personal insight. Whereas there has been anecdotal backing for such claims, there is now tangential support from findings of the facilitative effect of sleep on cognitive insight, and of REM sleep in particular on emotional memory consolidation. Furthermore, the presence in dreams of metaphorical representations of waking life indicates the possibility of novel insight as an emergent feature of such metaphorical mappings. In order to assess whether personal insight can occur as a result of the consideration of dream content, 11 dream group discussion sessions were conducted which followed the Ullman Dream Appreciation technique, one session for each of 11 participants (10 females, 1 male; mean age = 19.2 years). Self-ratings of deepened self-perception and personal gains from participation in the group sessions showed that the Ullman technique is an effective procedure for establishing connections between dream content and recent waking life experiences, although wake life sources were found for only 14% of dream report text. The mean Exploration-Insight score on the Gains from Dream Interpretation questionnaire was very high and comparable to outcomes from the well-established Hill (1996) therapist-led dream interpretation method. This score was associated between-subjects with pre-group positive Attitude Toward Dreams (ATD). The need to distinguish "aha" experiences as a result of discovering a waking life source for part of a dream, from "aha" experiences of personal insight as a result of considering dream content, is discussed. Difficulties are described in designing a control condition to which the dream report condition can be compared. PMID:24550849